Coming in 2017 – The Birth of a New Book

I have written several science fiction novels over the last seventeen years. I couldn’t tell you where the ideas for all but one or two came from. Each one started with a flash of an idea, but that flash was lost in the hours of writing and revising. I’ve been working on a new one for the last four weeks, and since it’s still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share.

Thursday afternoon, November 10. About 4:15 in the afternoon I’m walking back to my desk when an idea comes to mind. What if there was a guy who told every girl who dumped him that somewhere, in an alternate universe, the two of them live happily ever after? What if after saying this to a girl, that same girl from an alternate universe comes looking for him?

When I leave work that afternoon I then ask another question: What if she doesn’t come looking for the guy because she loves him? What if she wants to kill him?

A few hours later I drive my kids, ages 7 and 9, to the library. I pitch the idea to them, and they start pitching ideas back? (We’ve been doing this since they were babies, when I used to make up stories for them at bed time.) They named three of my main characters. I keep two of the names: Shanna and Angie.

About 11 PM I doze off in front of the keyboard. I wake up at 1 AM – and I outline the entire story. In short order I have four main characters and synopses for 29 chapters.

I write a few chapters over the weekend, a couple thousand words. I base my main characters on people I’ve known in the past, a technique that always makes developing characters easier. Suddenly, out of nowhere, one of my favorite classic movie stars enters the story. She becomes a key character. She also becomes part of a parody of modern sci-fi writers who lace their stories with 80s references.

I’m having a ton of fun.

Work slows me down the following week. Meanwhile, my son is still pondering this alternate universe idea. He makes me a short list of ideas for alternate worlds. Then, right before Thanksgiving, he does this:

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Seven years old, folks. The boy has quite the imagination!

It’s slow going after Thanksgiving, but the story progresses a little at a time. I find myself doubling back, fixing holes here and there, adding more back story. A really funny subplot (too complicated to explain here) develops. The further I go, the more momentum I get. I get back to a chapter a night progress.

On Tuesday night, December 6, after brainstorming through a number of terrible ideas, I hit on a title I like. It’s different than any I’ve used before, and it’s memorable: DIE MAX DIE.

Tomorrow marks the 4 week point. I’m about 2/3rds of the way done. The story has taken some crazy turns, but it’s pouring out of the imagination now. It’s a little frustrating because I’m neglecting other more profitable writing projects to try and finish this one. I keep going because (1) I’m having fun and (2) my kids are really excited about it.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a kids story. But it’s also not laced with stuff I don’t want my kids reading. It may be PG, but it’ll engage any age reader who likes a little fun – and funny – in their sci-fi.

It’ll also be a quick read. 30K words, if I’m lucky. I could expand on that, I guess, but why? I don’t want to bog it down with fluff. And those 1000 page Game of Thrones epics just aren’t my style.

Like most of my books, it’ll be open for a sequel. Not that it’ll happen. The story will have to be there and be at least as much fun. First things first: I’m shooting for a Fall 2017 release, and I hope all of you will love it.

Cyber Monday Special – $10 Signed Books Available!

Frank Jordan: Evil SnowmanIf you’ve got readers, young or old, on your Christmas list, here’s a deal for you:

Now through Sunday December 4, you can order signed copies of Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman, Bluegrass Brawlers, Robot/Girlfriend, or Tales from the Dad Side for only $10 direct from me with free shipping!

Books will be shipped by Monday December 5 via First Class Mail. Quantities are limited (I have about a half dozen of each on the shelf!) so first come first served.

Email me at johncosper@yahoo.com for Paypal instructions.

Merry Christmas!

Gift Ideas for the Sci-Fi Fan on Your List!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us! if you’re shopping for a fan of science fiction and don’t know what to buy this year, here are a few suggestions from my own reading this past year.

Ctrl-Alt-Revolt is a devilishly clever twist on the robot apocalypse. What if, author Nick Cole mused, the story of Terminator were told not just from the human point of view, but that of the robots? Ctrl-Alt-Revolt gives you both sides of the story, as the machines decide the best thing for the world is simply to eradicate all human life before they wise up and eliminate the machines. It’s bleak and at times brutal, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself pulling for the wrong side.

Amish Vampires in Space is a treat for fans of sci-fi and vampires, but maybe not fans of Amish romance fiction. Beyond the amusing title and the amazing cover at is a serious science fiction tale that has far more chills than chuckles. Kerry Nietz took a ridiculous premise and turned it into a story that explores issues of faith as powerfully as it does the challenges of interstellar travel and the living dead. It’s the longest of the novels on my recommendation list, and it is a page turner you can’t put down.

Paul Regnier’s debut novel Space Drifters: The Emerald Enigma is part Firefly, part Hitchhiker’s Guide, and part Tripping the Rift (minus the dirty stuff). Space Drifters is the tale of a ship’s captain, an alien with unusual powers of the mind, a woman with a secret, and a kid from modern day Earth with a Bible. Like Amish Vampires, it’s written with a Christian viewpoint, but the author never beats you over the head with the Bible. It’s woven into the humor of the story in a very clever way, and the story is laugh out loud funny.

Finally, there’s Benjamin Wallace’s post-apocalyptic adventure story, Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors. This novel was advertised as Mad Max meets Monty Python, and while the humor doesn’t quite feel like Python, it’s extremely funny. The story of a would-be hero looking for a city in peril to save will keep you laughing, while giving you a healthy fear of the super smart bears that will one day dominate our planet.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind readers I have a number of science fiction offerings as well, including the popular short story collection Robot/Girlfriend. Give these and my holiday recommendations a look on Amazon this week.

Book giveaway – Martian Queen

Martian QueenI have one last book giveaway on Goodreads this fall, and it’s a good one. Martian Queen: The Adventures of Stewart John Jones of Mars, was my first space opera novel. Inspired by the tales of the legendary John Carter and Lt. Gulliver Jones (Google that one, if you’ve never heard of him), Martian Queen tells the tale of a modern day sci-fi buff who accidentally ends up on the red planet. Stewart discovers Mars to be his kind of place, where leisure and doing nothing take precedent over hard work, but when the Martian girl of his dreams is taken from him and no one lifts a finger to stop it, Stewart sets out on the adventure of a lifetime.

I’m giving away three copies of the book featuring a limited edition cover by Chicago-based artist, Erik Hodson. These are the LAST books with this cover, so it’s your last chance to grab one!

Watch the trailer below, then go to Goodreads and enter the giveaway today. Contest ends Monday, November 21!

A New Story

I opted not to go NaNoWriMo at the last minute. I had 3 ideas I was considering for this year, and narrowed it to one on October 31. I then went to Amazon to search and see if my idea had been done before. Yup – at least six different titles with the same basic idea. So, I didn’t jump in on November 1.

Flash forward to Thursday the 10th. I’m at work, wrapping up the day when all of a sudden – boom. It was a “What if?” question, the same kind of question that had jumpstarted several of my past efforts. I kicked the idea around in the car that afternoon with two story consultants – my kids. The next night, while my daughter and eight of her friends had a slumber party in the living room, I stayed up most of the night outlining a new novel.

Okay, so three days later, I’m only a chapter and a half into what (at the moment) is a 29 chapter outline. It won’t be done November 30, but this one is special. Like Space Kat, it’s written itself, and it’s just a matter of me making the time and effort to let my typing catch up to my ideas.

“In Another Universe” is the working title. It’s a multi-dimensional love/hate story. Sort of. More details sure to come.

Final Ultimatum

f-u-posterI have some amazing friends across Kentucky. The film community in that state is second to none, with some very talented actors, producers, writers, and directors churning out one project after another. Final Ultimatum is a recent project that features three of these friends.

Jerry Williams is a cult film hero, known the world over for his demented and inventive science fiction films. He’s one of the most popular filmmakers on the INC Channel on Roku, and he’s always willing to lend a hand to anyone in need with a film.

Roni Jonah is a former professional wrestler with a number of film credits on her resume as an actress, producer, writer, and director. She’s the rare actor who, when you hand her a script, you let her take it wherever she wants to go, knowing that in her hands, it will be better and (in this case) funnier than you imagined.

Sonny Burnette is a professor of music at Georgetown University and an outstanding actor whose talent and sense of humor knows no bounds. Look for him to appear as the president at the end of this one.

I Almost Married a Man from Outer Space!

married-posterEarlier this week, I posted about two short films, based on stories in the book Robot/Girlfriend, that will be playing in film festivals. Today I decided to share another short film based on a Robot/Girlfriend story.

It was my pleasure to work with one of my favorite fellow writers, Giavanna Signorelli, a few months ago on two shorts. Gia and I first worked together nearly twenty years ago, when I was a youth drama leader at our church and she was just in high school. We had a blast on this shoot, and if things go the way we hope, this is just the first of many collaborations between the two of us.

Enjoy!

Two stories from Robot/Girlfriend headed to Film Festivals

robot-girlfriend-coverTwo short stories from the book Robot/Girlfriend are coming to a film festival near you!

Out of My Mind, a short directed by Cindy Maples, was honored by the Independent Horror Movie Awards. The film, based on the short story “Drip, Drip,” picked up a few awards including Best Scare, and if early reviews are any indication, this is only the beginning.

’Til Zombies Do Us Part, directed by yours truly, was accepted to my hometown film festival, Fright Night. Fright Night Film Fest has always been good to me, screening the Fluffy trilogy, the Clive the Zombie films, and The Telemarketer (starring Cindy Maples) in previous years, and I’m thrilled to be a part of one of the best horror shows in the Midwest once again.

Robot/Girlfriend is available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon.com. Watch the trailer for the title story below, then head to Amazon to get your copy.

And please, get out and sponsor independent films like these in your area!

Support Local Bookstores!

Christmas is coming, and if you’re wise, you’re already Christmas shopping. If you’re a shop local fan in the Louisville area, here’s where you can pick up a few of my books:

The Nerdy Planet – Owned by Ken and Myra Daniels, the promoters behind FandomFest and Fright Night Film Fest, you’ll find this little comic shop south of the Gene Snyder on Preston Highway. They’ve always got some special event going almost every weekend, whether it’s celebrating the return of The Walking Dead or celebrating Batman’s birthday. Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman and Bluegrass Brawlers are both on the shelf out there.

Karen’s Book Barn – A gem of a used bookstore in the historic downtown section of LaGrange, Karen’s is the kind of place where a book lover can lose themselves for hours. They’re also high supporters of local authors and feature a wide range of local books right up front. Frank Jordan: Evil Snowman, Bluegrass Brawlers, and Tales from the Dad Side are all available for sale here.

Space Reaper: The Legend of Trish Angel

Space ReaperLast week I posted the story behind a trilogy of short films I produced about a cute and fuzzy killer from outer space known as Fluffy. The hero of these films was a woman named Trish Angel, a born killer who, at the end of it all, decided she had more than enough of killing, even if it was just a bunch of fuzzy pink aliens. But what happened to Trish after the battle of Cleveland?

Space Reaper: The Legend of Trish Angel is a new story about the legendary Trish Angel and her old comrade in arms, Stone Brockman. A fluke accident forces Trish to come out of retirement (again) and out of a convent (again) to join Stone Brockman on a journey into outer space (yet again!).

Trish hopes this new adventure will allow her to make a new start and once and for all purge herself of the anguish she feels for annihilating an alien race, but such catharsis was never meant to be. A new alien menace awaits Trish, Stone, and their crew on this new world, and Trish must decide if she can continue on the path of peace or once again, grab a gun and save everyone’s butts.

Space Reaper is now available as a free download! Click here to download your copy now.