THE THREE-YEAR RIDE! — Derek Barton

Anniv Blog

Three years ago, I created this blog and established my site and social media footprint in order to advertise my book and to give my fans a place to reach out to me.  This has been a crazy but fantastic ride!  So thankful to all of you who’ve come along as passengers on my little quest.

Here’s the growth from year one to now:

SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2019 = 70 WordPress, 11 Email & 488 through Twitter & Facebook.
  • 2016 = 11 Email

VIEWS/VISITORS:

  • 2019 = 4,488 — 2016 = 1603 views
  • 2019 = 2,475 — 2016 = 659 visitors
  • 2019 = 61 — 2016 = 19 different countries

POSTS:

  • 2019 = this is the 115th post!! (26 so far this year)
  • 2016 = 37 posts

GIVEAWAYS:  18 Individual giveaways for Book, Audio, Amazon or Metal Bookmarkers!

 

As you know if you’ve been following my goal blogs, I use a bi-montly process that has actually been quite effective.  Here are the goals made and fulfilled from July, 2018 through June, 2019:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days. Now out on Amazon, Audible & Kindle! N4D Revamp 2018c
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors. Was a decent success — this year’s increase in participation & what we are giving away is a nice testament to that!

2019 Indie Book Giveaway Ad

  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance. Did four book signings but due to finances and low turnout I couldn’t justify doing more…but with several books released now, I will be on the prowl for another couple signing spots this year!  Would also like to get into one or two comic-cons, but cannot promise that due to having to usually register months in advance.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  Elude Ad 2019The entire series has been completed, book covers designed then redesigned, and soon to be released in audible format by the end of the first quarter next year!!
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  I have been successful with this and plan on continuing.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  Accomplished this and have published the entire series on Amazon & Kindle!cover
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. Still trying to get through this one. Coming up with the battle plans and the intricate plots is a whole lot more complicated than you’d expect! Plus, with this being the finale, I want to do better than “What-did-you-do-to-my-Game-of-Thrones?!”… UGH!!!GoT s8
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)  I participated in this last November, but my outline had too many holes so it only garnered 26,000 words… However, it’s a good start!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)  This will happen — but trying to make Wyvernshield #3 a priority right now.
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.  Decided to do a Dystopian/Fantasy saga:  Juxtaposed…  Now working on Chapter Four. JX CH 2
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…  I did get this off the ground and have had some success doing covers, editing & proofing for other writers. I plan on continuing this as the work has been sporadic and not too overwhelming so far.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  This has been a success — our final and fourth blogs are due out this month.  Check out Adam’s here!  For my blogs, click here!

 

Thanks again to all of you for your continued help, support and following me along this bumpy road!  It has been the greatest adventure of my life!!

Anniv Blog v2

 

Bi-Monthly Goals for July & August 2019 — Derek Barton

Blog Goal #1

Well…this has definitely been a challenging yet rewarding year. Unfortunately, events have substantially impacted my writing production.

At the beginning of April, I gave you my goals for April & May.  Now, I won’t go into detail or give any excuses, but me and my family had to face and overcome some serious medical obstacles followed by financial hardships. I was so derailed that I lost most of June as well still working things out.

The dust has settled and overall, we are sitting better than where we even started the year.  However, like any sudden change, it takes time to recover and adapt.

I do want to apologize to you, my core fans, and ask for your forgiveness and patience.

My work schedule has done a 360 degree shift on me and thus, my writing time has been severely compromised. One of my priorities this month will have to be to determine when and where to write. As I have stated in the past that I write mainly after 10 PM when my family goes to bed. Now I am working from 8 AM to 4:30 PM versus 11:30 AM to 8 PM  — not too mention the two hours of driving time… But, I repeat, I am not wanting  to give you excuses, only facts which I’ll have to find a work-around.

I promise you: Writing and developing my collection is too important for me to throw away or forget about. Adjustment, flexibility, good attitude and drive will help me find a path through.

Here were my goals and results from April & May:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series — partially completed; more chapters to work though.
  • Complete the outline for the new web saga, Juxtaposed — succeeded on this goal, but need to publish the third installment.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series) — no writing or outlining yet done on this storyline unfortunately.
  • Rework the covers of my books — partial success as I revamped the Elude Series which I’m quite happy with. Still need another artist or somehow figure out what I want for my new covers for the Wyvernshield Series.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! — success as I published the interview (see here if you haven’t had a chance to read it) and have done 3 of the 4 guest blogs with him so far.

And by the way…I recently did an in-depth interview with my voice actress, Laura Richcreek on the Wyvernshield Series. That is in the editing stage but soon to be released. STAY TUNED FOR THAT!  It was fun to do and we get into a lot of the minute details and reasons behind the plot twists in the two books>>SPOILERS ALERT<<  

My Goals for July & August:

The last goal blog, I proposed goals and put some dates of completion with them.  This time I’m going to try putting Priority Levels on them — I will work from the top down which will keep me focused on what’s most important for me to complete.

  • Complete the total outline for the third book of the Wyvernshield Series. Highest Priority.
  • Maintain a two-week production of the chapters for the web series, Juxtaposed. Highest Priority.
  • Develop and begin the Evade Series outline.  Medium Priority.
  • Find a cover artist or design the Wyvernshield book covers myself.  Medium Priority.
  • Develop a book trailer for Wyvernshield Series. Lowest Priority (stretch goal).

 

There are many other things I want to do, but time is very limited so I hope these goals can be accomplished. With luck and with the better financial position, I hope to do more appearances, giveaways, and book signings by the end of the year! Thanks for everyone’s support and I appreciate everyone sticking around to see what’s in store for the future.

 

 

Reviews of Audible Book AND 80s & 2019’s Movie Versions of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary — Derek Barton

PS VS PS

Pet Sematary

by Stephen King — Horror Novel

Released on November 14, 1983 — 561 pages

Narrated by Michael C. Hall (of the Dexter television series)

 

MOVIE ADAPTIONS:

1989 Pet Sematary — Screenplay written by Stephen King — Starring Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne & Denise Crosby

2019 Pet Sematary —  Screenplay written by Jeff Buhler — Starring Jason Clarke, John Lithgow & Amy Seimetz

 

This review post I wanted to do a little different as this book is one of my favorites from Stephen King and to some fans, the 1989 movie was one of the best movie renditions of his books.

Recently, King released a new audio version narrated by the talented Michael C. Hall who played the vigilante/serial killer on the HBO television hit, Dexter.  And this last April, the film reboot was made of Pet Sematary.  I felt it was fitting to give you a review of all three.

 

The Synopsis:

When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets.

Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better

 

PET SEMATARY (1989)

The Review:

I will admit right now that I am very biased about this film for three reasons:  One – the late Fred Gwynne did an absolute stellar performance as Jud Crandall, the well-meaning neighbor, two – Dale Midkiff who starred as Louis Creed, the patriarch of the family as he gives a very emotional performance through the film and three – Brad Greenquist who plays the ill-fated jogger, Victor Pascow, who tries time and time again to warn Louis of the supernatural dangers.

These memorable characters and the roles they played in this tragic tale just stick with you long after you’ve read and/or seen the movie.  Jud Crandall a lifetime resident of Maine, comes to life on the screen with his thick Northeastern accent (“Ayup”) and quirky sayings like “The heart of a man is stonier, Louis.” And of course, “Sometimes…dead is better!”.

Overall, I have found this movie aged very well with the retelling, most of the acting and the physical special effects.

 

PET SEMATARY (2019)

 

The Review:

I applaud the effort this reboot made to give some new insight to the reasons why the Micmac Indians burial ground “soured” and became tainted with ghastly evil.  The writers delved a tad deeper into “the Wendigo” creature that traveled between our realm and the realm of the dead.  They also played up the enchantment the land held over the local children — how they had funeral marches and maintained the Pet Sematary grounds.

The other highlight they accomplished was a better version of Churchill, the Creeds’ cat (as seen above). Its evil stare would for sure lock you in your tracks should you ever come across it on your path.

However, those are the only two highlights for this version.  Very poor writing (I even wondered at times if Jeff Buhler even read the original book) as the plot veers erratically and key conversations and events in the book are just haphazardly placed in the film at times.

Another knock against the film is the underuse of John Lithgow’s incredible acting talent. Also, they took away the Jud Crandall accent as well as most of his character building interactions with Louis.  Instead of trying to scare the audience with Zelda, Rachel Creed’s dead sister, they should have focused on what made the 89 film a classic: its character stories.

This version tried too hard to introduce its own vague ideas (I won’t go into any detailed spoilers) but the unnecessary jump scares and changes to plot points were beyond annoying and the ending was over-the-top and frankly dumb.

 

PS Narr

 

The Narration:

Michael C. Hall was born February 1, 1971, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Michael is a graduate of NYU’s Master of Fine Arts program in acting. He is known for the titular character “Dexter” in Dexter (2006) and as mortician “David Fisher” in Six Feet Under (2001). His most recent performance on Broadway was as “Hedwig” in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”.

Battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma during his run on Dexter, but the disease has been in remission since January, 2010.

 

Michael does a fantastic job of the voices and the pacing of the story, even channeling Fred Gwynne to perform the classic version of Jud Crandall.  Choosing this actor who has a way of delivering great sarcasm with subtly was a great choice for this story.

The Rating:

In summary, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the original book and the audio version.  As well I would recommend seeing the 1989 film as it brings King’s suspense and dark undertones to the screen, but don’t waste your time and money on the new 2019 Pet Sematary.  Hollywood’s attempt to reboot or “resurrect” this story was a dismal failure… Or as Jud Crandall would say, “Dead is better.”

 

By DEREK BARTON — Author of the ELUDE series (Parts I, II & III — a Horror/crime thriller), IN FOUR DAYS: a Horror-Suspense Novella and co-author of The Hidden (all available on Amazon & Kindle).  Also author of the Dark Fantasy novel series CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS and THE BLEEDING CROWN (also available on Audible.com!).

 

 

Audible Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” — Derek Barton

Am Gods #2

American Gods

by Neil Gaiman — a Contemporary Fantasy Novel

Released on June 19, 2001 — 674 pages

Narrated by Ron McLarty and a full ensemble cast

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

 

American Gods is now a STARZ Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber.

 

Am Gods #1

From watching the first episode of the television series, I was hooked on this story.  American Gods has become a classic tale and this novel highlights just how much Neil Gaiman is an innovative author and a dynamic storyteller.

One of his biggest strengths is his use of visual depictions.  He paints the scene so vividly in your mind, you can’t help but feel like you are standing in his story world.  This appeals a lot to me as this is the type of writer I aspire to be and have worked hard at refining my skills at imagery and visual writing.

 

The Synopsis:

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies . . . and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing — an epic war for the very soul of America — and that he is standing squarely in its path.

 

The Review:

As I stated above, I loved the writing style and his way with words to produce a play within your mind’s eye.

The story itself…well, I liked it, sort of… It is very unusual and at times wanders way left, then zigzags suddenly back to the right.  It keeps you engaged, but sometimes frustratingly confused for long periods.

While I was disappointed somewhat in the meandering plot, I did find that I loved the characters so much I had to continue forward to the end.  They were obviously very well thought through, fleshed out with tons of back story, and rich with flaws, strengths, and desires. He could challenge even Stephen King’s skills in making such memorable and deeply-moving characters.

I would definitely encourage every avid reader to give this story a welcome chance and experience the rollercoaster ride that American Gods is for themselves.  He didn’t leave a huge amount of loose ends at its conclusion and thus, has never written a sequel in the eighteen years since its original publication.  However, the television series could possibly prompt him to with the resurgence of interest in this storyline.

 

McLarty

The Narration:

Narrated by Ron McLarty and several other cast members.

A native of East Providence, RI–Ron McLarty is a veteran actor, accomplished playwright, prolific audiobook narrator, and acclaimed novelist.

McLarty is also noted for his body of work as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators having done over 100 titles including the narration of books authored by Stephen King, David Baldacci, Anne Rice, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, and Scott Turow, among many others. He is the recipient of numerous Audie Awards.

This is the first audiobook I have heard using more than two voice actors.  It was very well produced and the voices were not melodramatic or over-the-top as one might expect with such a fantasy tale about the gods that roam America.

 

The Rating:

In summary, I was not totally thrilled with the development of the story but definitely blown away by his characters and the writing of this novel.  I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND (but I did warn you of the “exotic” plot!).  I will definitely be checking out more of his work in the future!

 

By DEREK BARTON — Author of the ELUDE series (Parts I, II & III — a Horror/crime thriller),  & IN FOUR DAYS: a Horror-Suspense Novella (available on Audible.com!).  Also the Dark Fantasy novel series CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS and THE BLEEDING CROWN (both available on Audible.com!).

 

 

Listen to a Great Tale! — Derek Barton

BC v32

 

Laura Richcreek-Morrison does it again!  The Bleeding Crown joins Consequences Within Chaos on Audible.com.  She continues the epic tale started with Consequences Within Chaos, this time the focus is on Princess Letandra.

Laura has an incredible range of character voices, along with her smooth but dramatic performances, they all come together to bring the worlds of Tayneva and Aberrisc to life!  Her talents know no end!  Check out her other work on Laura’s Voice: Voice Over Talent In The Fort Wayne Area.

 

Here’s a sample to whet your appetite: The Bleeding Crown Chapter 1 Sample

 

 

The Bleeding Crown:

Abducted by her family’s bitter rivals, spirited Princess Letandra finds herself stranded in a foreign land. Alone but confident a rescue will come at the hands of her brother, King Taihven, she focuses all her energy on surviving the unexpected trials she now faces.

But before he can save Letandra, she is captured by the sadistic Ebon Queen of the Quietus Dominion. Now, the princess must risk everything to escape and warn Taihven. War is coming not only for him, but the future of all hangs in the balance.

Just $13.97 or 1 credit with membership on Audible.com.

 

 

Items In the Forge Update — Derek Barton

 

Iron Forge

 

Hey there!  I wanted to send out a quick update of items I’m working on currently and what you can expect to see from me in the future!

THE BLEEDING CROWN AUDIOBOOK will be available by the end of March or the first week of April!  Laura Richcreek continues the saga and lends her incredible voice talents to bring the story alive. Literally over thirty different creature voices alone had to be crafted for the novel. Keep an eye out for free download giveaways!!

ELUDE PART THREE is finally written and going through a thorough wave of editing by my editors, Nesa Miller and Ted Barton.  It will be produced by the end of March. This is the thrilling conclusion to the suspenseful Elude Series!

THE HIDDEN has also come to a stunning end and the last chapters will be published on this site in the next couple weeks!  This horror origin story written with my father, T.D. Barton, will be available on both Amazon and Kindle by the middle of this year.

SWIMMING IN THE ASHES is still in the first draft process (over 26,000 words so far). I am going to delve into the book’s outline as I want to flesh out a few of the plot points I didn’t fully define yet before I continue with the writing.  As I have proclaimed before, I am a “hard-nosed plotter” and I want to be sure I haven’t messed any events up!

EVADE will be a new Crime/Horror story I want to write which delves deeper into horror than the crime genre. Like ELUDE, it will also have ties to my Horror/Suspense novella IN FOUR DAYS. This time the story revolves around when the police find themselves on the receiving end of a high-speed car chase!

AFTER WYVERNSHIELD… I have been developing an idea and I hope to bring you another three-book series this time focusing on characters living in the wondrous lands of Aberrisc! How were their lives impacted by the events depicted in CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS, THE BLEEDING CROWN and SWIMMING IN THE ASHES?  What has happened with the dark reign of the Quietus Dominion after the Ebon Queen Chroyanne?

AN UNTITLED NEW WEB SAGA in the works once THE HIDDEN has officially wrapped up.  This will be an ongoing “Parallel Universe” story with a fascinating look at what happens when you meet the “other you”!

Yes, all this and I still have a full-time day job and a family with three children to help take care of!

Thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to help with my work, given me great ideas and feedback, and kept my spirits high through this epic journey!

 

 

 

Missing the Party? — Derek Barton

Dub #1

 

What are you missing out on — what exclusive items or sneak previews could you be reading right now on my Patreon Page?

Take a look!

 

Posted — Jan 16 at 6:26 PM

Elude — Part Three: Opening Chapter Rough Draft Preview

 

CHAPTER ONE — LOSING THE LURE

Vic pulled the space heater closer and pointed it at Shellie who was asleep next to the wall. They were on the roof of one of the abandoned warehouses in Guadalupe. She moaned a little but angled her face into the waves of heat.

The skies overhead had been clear and cloudless, but there was still a chill that seemed to seep into every bone. He was himself bundled up in several layers of clothes and a windbreaker jacket. They were camped out here which had been a part of the plan. The access to them was only through one door.

 

Continue Reading…

 

Posted — Jan 18 at 2:15 AM

Elude: Part Three — Chapter Two Preview of My Rough Draft

 

CHAPTER TWO  — CUT SHORT

 

Chad had been hit two years ago by a semi-truck tractor on that same night he encountered the Jinn. He wondered if this time he’d be able to continue his career.

That is if they stop fucking firing and I live!

He pressed his head down flat upon a cement step, face first into the crease of the stair, cradled in a fetal position. The bullets whirred through the area like irate bees. His ears hurt and throbbed from the terrible noise.

Barely he registered the sounds of more gunfire coming from the roof. The rain of metal stopped finally, and their guns were trained on something or someone else.

 

Continue Reading…

 

Posted — Jan 29 at 5:21 PM

Sneak Preview of Chapter 25 of The Hidden (Rough Draft)

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE:  REUNION

Reflected light from the bath danced crazily across the ceiling, and Zelda watched it, abstractly, remembering the times she had spent with Nate. She thought back to when they first met: She was playing Fiona in a small-time production of “Brigadoon.” It was summer stock theater, in a North Chicago suburb called Palatine — very little, pay and even less prestige.

 

Continue Reading…

 

Posted — Feb 5 at 6:26 PM

Audible Book Review of James Patterson’s “Never Never” — Derek Barton

I have been for over a year now getting Audible books so I decided I would review and share my opinion on some of them with you. Enjoy!

I have a small confession: this is actually the first book I have read from James Patterson. I know that he is an extremely prolific writer, but until recently I just did not have the opportunity to read much. I still don’t, but that is the beauty and power of buying audiobooks.

 

Continue Reading…

 

Swimming In The Ashes (Working Title) — Chapter One Sneak Preview

Posted — Feb 8 at 1:49 AM

PART ONE

Chapter One

The white and brown roan rode hard, its side heaved from the exertion and its breath plumed out in the chill of the early morning air. LLasher hated doing so, but he pushed the animal nearly to its physical limits. However, it was critical that he get there, the urgency of his mission required it. He guided the horse with his knees to the underside of a towering, vine-choked cliff. He spotted a small ledge which climbed up the massive wall.

 

Continue Reading…

 

Certainly, some of this content has been posted on my normal writer’s website, but it was posted there first!  And none of the Sneak Preview Chapters are on my website…

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