Discussing The Forge of Darkness With John Wesley Smith

I’ve talked with John Wesley Smith on his Destiny Survival Radio show about all of my recent books, and this week we discussed The Forge of Darkness, published earlier this month.

As I have learned from talking to him about my other novels, John has a knack for finding subtle things in the stories that I may not have been conscious of when writing them. It’s always interesting when he comes up with unexpected questions during the interview, and they actually help as I start thinking about the next book in the series. John’s take on The Forge of Darkness was that it was a downer of a story, but with a ray of hope at the end. I think he was spot on there, and as I told him the interview, the darkness referred to in this series is not just about the lights being out. It’s a look at the dark side of human nature too, and how desperation and opportunity can both bring out the worst in some people.

You can read John’s article on his Destiny Survival website and listen to the interview from the link near the bottom of that page.

As always, I am grateful to John for inviting me on his show to discuss one of my books, and I look forward to being his guest again.

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Book Four of The Pulse Series

The forth book in The Pulse Series is my current work-in-progress and the story is flowing well as I’ve gotten back into the sailing mood after finishing the third book in The Darkness After Series earlier this month. All the books in The Pulse Series are a bit longer than those of The Darkness After, and I expect the forth one to run around 80,000 words as well.

Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath will be released this summer, scheduled for August 23, but I hope to make it available sooner if at all possible. The story picks up where Voyage After the Collapse left off, and the action takes places among the islands of the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. Here is the cover, designed by the artist at Bayou Cover Designs, who revamped a couple of my older covers as mentioned in my recent posts:


Here is the description from the Amazon page for Landfall:


Artie Drager and his daughter Casey, along with his brother and their new friends have made landfall on a remote and seldom-visited cay in the Bahamas. But not everything has gone as planned. Their catamaran, the Casey Nicole is grounded on a reef, Larry’s partner Scully is missing, left behind in Florida waters, where the coast is under lock-down by the U.S. Navy. And new dangers lurk among the once peaceful out islands where desperate survivors are trying to hang on.

You can preorder the Kindle Edition now for $3.99 from Amazon:

Landfall: Islands in the Aftermath

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New Cover for Sailing the Apocalypse

When I first contacted the artist at Bayou Cover Designs, it was to commission the design of a set of covers for a new series I’m developing that will be coming soon. After seeing some sample mock-ups, I decided to see what she could do with some of my current covers, such as the one for Voyage After the Collapse (see the result in my last post; that one has not been uploaded to Amazon yet).

My old cover for Sailing the Apocalypse was particularly drab, so I asked her to rework it next, and here is the result. I think it’s a lot more eye-catching:


Here’s the old one, just to compare:

Sailing the Apocalypse Front FINAL5Med

The new cover has been uploaded to Amazon and should appear on the product page for the Kindle Edition later today or by tomorrow (edit: it just went live on the site was I was writing this post). The designer will be reworking the paperback covers for this book and Voyage as well, and I hope to have those replaced soon.

Unless major changes to the interior content are made to Kindle ebooks, Amazon does not automatically update the books purchasers already own in their Kindle Library. You can, however, request the updated version and they will push it to your library, replacing the old one. If you own any of these Kindle books and prefer the old covers of this or any other title I may update, you can leave them as is, as nothing else has changed.

One thing I’ve learned in researching cover design from those who know a lot more about the subject than I ever will, is that there is a big difference between what may appeal as a photograph vs. what sells a product. My older covers are all over the place, especially those of the nine traditionally-published books produced by two different publishers. There’s nothing I can do to change those, but going forward, I’m looking for more consistency across my different series and my overall author brand. Every little thing like this helps readers recognize and find books.

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