Work In Progress: Hell’s Muse

Well hello beautiful cats and kittens of the Jackverse! How have you been? It’s been a while since I’ve posted information on a work in progress, so I thought it time I shake the lazy out of my be-boned fingers and give you some tasty bits about the up comping release… Hell’s Muse.

Cover Mock Up


NOTE: I’ve gone back to the original title for the WIP: Hell’s Muse.

I want to start by giving a bit of background for this piece. I have been wanting to write a novel of straight-up horror for quite some time now. Like with everything else I write, I wanted to present myself with a real challenge.

I haven’t ever made this public knowledge, but the first draft of I Zombie I, was in first person present tense. I wanted to write it that way because I felt there would be an immediacy to the words that past tense couldn’t bring to the table. After the editor went through the first read, we discussed the manuscript and decided to rewrite the book in past tense. The end result was a better product, but the challenge went unfulfilled. That is where Dead Muse (working title — by the way) comes in.

The idea for this book was simple: A washed up horror writer begins a new book to revitalize his career. Unknown to the writer, everything he writes is paralleled in reality. My original idea was that this writer was a bitter, arrogant, angry misogynist who really only cares that his empty bank account is once again filled to overflowing as it once was.

That, in and of itself, was a problem. A book with a main character no one would like is destined to fail. In order to save this book, I had to toss down the gauntlet of challenge once again — this time for real. What developed has me incredibly excited. Dead Muse is a book within a book within a book — who’s foundation (or the book within the book within the book) is set in Hell. Pushed forward by a shadowy figure, Bronson Coulter begins to write his swan song about “The Nameless” hell-bent on perching his ass on the molten throne of Hell. As his idea continues to get shot down by agents and publishers, the writing becomes ever-more painful and desperate. The counterpoint to that is Bob (the main character) who is writing the book starring Bronson Coulter that is beloved by his agent (who thinks the book will be his “Carrie”).

From there, things get ugly. People die, demons parish… you get the idea.

When I first started Dead Muse, I was in the middle of writing Lie Zombie Lie. I attempted to write both at the same time, but “Lie” demanded all of my attention. Now, I’m tremendously excited about this project. Throughout my years of writing the horrific, no book has so consistently given me nightmares. That, I hope, will get you all anxious to have this little bit o’ nasty in your hands as soon as possible.

I’m working on it… fast and furious. My goal is to have it in your precious hands by the holidays. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a brutal piece of horror?