Ladies and gents of the Jackverse, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about one of my upcoming releases — my first steampunk novel. So excited am I, that I am going to share with you a portion of the first chapter of this book. And so, without further adieu, I give you chapter 1:00 O’CLOCK from the first draft of Klockwerk Cabaret.
We live in a time of disturbing trends. From the “Me Generation” to war torn nations, to terrorism, to abject apathy — everything seems destined to force humanity on a collision course with madness. Somehow the immediacy of nearly everything has soiled our souls and stripped us of the one thing that truly defines our species — compassion.
Let’s face it, the world isn’t being taken care of. The leaders of the free (and not so free) world have pretty much chewed up the planet (and it’s population) and pooped it out into a steaming pile of “I don’t care”. Logic has pretty much left the building with Elvis and compassion was voted off the island along with intelligence.
This wouldn’t all be happening if I ran the world. How can I say that? The world is a tough place to run. It’s angry, confusing, and just generally in a constant state of PMS. But the leaders have pretty much run it so far into the ground that anyone with half a brain (and conscience) could do a better job. With that in mind, I thought I’d list out what I would do if the world was run by Jack.
As everyone in the Jackverse knows, I am about to complete the first book in my Klockwerk Kabaret steampunk series. During the process of penning this tale, I fell in love with the genre. Not only does it offer the joy of creating something wholly unique, it allows the writer to dive into worlds unseen; with a fabric so flexible, the dirigible-filled sky is the limit.
Before this book is released, I wanted to touch on the variations on the steampunk theme — so you can have a full understanding of just what steampunk is before you lay down your iron coins to purchase my book.
The countdown is nearing zero. Before that clock ticks down, I wanted to share with the Dark Hayride a taste of what is to come. Here is Chapter 3 of the prequel to the I Zombie series, T-Minus Zero.
I want to preface this by saying, I write this today with a rather cheeky tongue. With that in mind…
We all know the saying “Ignorance is bliss”. Over the last few days, I have come to realize that saying is far more true and deeply profound as I original gave it credit.
Everyone, say it with me — “Ignorance is bliss.” Now, say it again — “Ignorance IS bliss”.
If you’re not in the loop, the next book to come out of the mind of Jack Wallen (after T-Minus Zero) will be Klockwerk Kabaret. This story is a dark steampunk tale about Nathan Gage and Olivia Nightingale, the proprietors of the Klockwerk Kabaret. As the name implies, the establishment (resting in the heart of Mainspring) is a cabaret that features the song stylings of Olivia as well as the mechanical, sensual wonders — the Klockwerk Dolls. But there’s so much more to the story than that!
Recently I read a letter of resignation from a long-time teacher who finally had enough of the system telling him he basically had to treat his students as if they were nothing more than an assembly line of open brains to be fed the same information in the same way. The idea that not only students should be treated as unique beings, each with unique needs, but that every teacher can better serve the educational system by teaching in their own, unique, style — was no longer accepted. The job of the teacher was to force Tab A into Slot B at all cost.
It should be clearly obvious that such a means of education would not only fail, but does a complete injustice to one of the most important pieces of the human puzzle — education. But what this also points out is something a bit darker and the conspiracy streak in me has glommed onto something I think most certainly worth sharing.
Conformity is the enemy of the soul.
I was chatting with a buddy of mine this week on the subject of forgiveness and how it relates to the world in which we live. The topic came about when I was telling him about a mistake I made in an article and how there was such a lack of forgiving and understanding surrounding said mistake. From that, it hit me just how our culture has degraded with regards to courtesy and kindness.
As you know, I’m a huge Rush fan. I have been since eighth grade (that’d be around 1982 — in case curiosity got your inner cat). I thought it’d be a cool little exercise to list out one favorite song from each of their studio albums. You can then put that playlist together and get your Rush on in Zombie King style! So, without further adieu, let’s have at it.
I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but here goes… Hollywood (and the silver screen) is getting pummelled into oblivion by television. That’s right, I said it — TV is besting Hollywood. And although the spectre of reality TV still poisons the pudding, television is riding a wave of intelligent, provocative programming while Hollywood is fading fast.
I can tell you, in a single word, why this is happening — books. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen of the Dark Hayride, the reason television is besting Hollywood is because of its source material.
I was chatting with my step daughter when she asked me a simple question: “Why do Americans all look so different, when other races tend to look similar?” The answer was simple — we are mutts. Americans have bred with so many different races that we have become a veritable smorgasbord of flavor. This country was once called The Great American Melting Pot. Why? Because we welcomed everyone a home away from tyranny and oppression. We gave everyone the right to be treated as an equal and fellow human being.
So why does that end with, of all things, marriage? What is it about marriage that makes it so untouchable? After decades of American citizens abusing the institution, with the divorce rate above fifty percent — why are we still having to fight for the right for same sex couples to enjoy the legal and loving bonds of matrimony?
Last week, a co-worker and I had a conversation that was very disturbing to me. The thread of the conversation went something like this:
- You go to high school understanding you must go to college
- You go to college understanding you must study hard so you can get a good job
- You get a good job so you can have a family and buy a house
- You spend about two to four waking hours in that home you bought a day
- You spend the majority of your adult life hating your job and wishing you would have followed your dream
- You die
Sigh. It’s an ugly reality, but that’s our society.
Ladies and gentlement of the Dark Hayride, I give to you the first look at the full line up of the cover reboot for the I Zombie I series. Take a gander at these sexy beauties! You may drool in fear if you like. Just make sure you have your straight-jacket on first.
The indie author boom has brought about the necessity for more and more audio book talent. But just like how self-publishing affords a lot of people who dream of being a writer (but shouldn’t bother), the same holds true for recording ebooks. I wanted to take a moment to lay out the challenges of recording audio books so anyone considering making a go at it can either say, with authority that, yes, they can do it… or run screaming.
It’s that time again. I was sent a two-fold question from reader Jeremy Hunt . Jeremy asks:
I have a question for Ask Jack. Of all your books, which did you enjoy writing most, and which are you most proud of?
And we’re back – to the jacking that is. This time around, I have, for your reading pleasure, fellow fear-monger, the great and powerful Edward Lorn. Ed is about to release upon the world one Hell of a twisted ride, Hope for the Wicked. Let’s crack open Ed’s skull and see just how his flavor of brain tastes.
I haven’t done this in a while, but I thought I’d give the Jackverse a taste of what awaits between the covers of my latest book, Hell’s Muse.