Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

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Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Next Project - Dark Arts

New Dark Arts, new cover art by Kirill Semenov.
Focused on a young Maxwell in the 70's. 
Dark Arts is a new novel. Years ago I wrote a seven chapter short, an experiment to see if I could write a supernatural story that I enjoyed and people could follow.

On Smashwords it was a dismal failure, receiving low reviews and low downloads. On Barnes & Noble it was a smash success for a project I dumped onto the site and didn't publicise. Over the following year it gained thousands of readers and accumulated high ratings from people who had no idea the Spinward Fringe series existed. I even got a few creepy emails telling me to release the rest of the manuscript or my house pets and I would be in grave peril.

A few Spinward Fringe readers enjoyed it too, and a few of them have stuck around. I'm happy for their support this early on in the new inception of this project.

Let's be clear on this point, there was never a long version manuscript. It was only ever seven chapters long. That is, until now.

One important question I started asking myself about Dark Arts this year was difficult to face... did I like the seven chapter short?

The answer was yes and no. As a short it was a taste of something that could be fun with a bit of work, but it was a very small taste of something that hinted at a rich backstory and much more to come. So, I did like the seven chapter story, but I was dissatisfied because it was not interesting enough. No one could know the characters well enough to truly feel attached to them, and I was never happy with the ending, it felt cheap.

Dark Arts: Rising, It was a great experiment
worth building on for four or five years...
Since Dark Arts was pulled from the Internet, a miracle I almost successfully pulled off several years ago, I've been building that backstory and figuring out all the how's and why's and even the where and when. Now I feel I have the characters, the settings and most of the story. I'm also not afraid to deliver, but I am a little afraid of what this will lead to. This is a full rewrite that starts before the seven chapter short, twenty one years before, in 1976.

Here's the low-down. This Dark Arts novel follows the main character, Maxwell, a guitarist whose band is coming off the road under discouraging circumstances. The minimal success his band has had is being smothered by an era where bars are becoming discos, and live entertainment is being replaced by larger dance floors. They got a small record deal years before, but the excitement has cooled, and they never got much radio play. The only hope he has of putting his band back on the road for a few more gigs rests in a book he hunted down using contacts and skills he learned from his father, who was an expert at acquiring rare occult objects. Max is not a believer in mysticism, but he knows what he has was hard to get, and should be worth thousands. When he's told it's too hot to sell, his dreams are defeated, and his wallet is left empty. He'll have to tell his band mates that his plan has fallen through, and their next gig may be their last. His band is set to return home during a summer festival, where hundreds of people gather to celebrate music, nature, and each other.

He doesn't know it yet, but this is the event that will make him a believer, and he will have some choices to make. All the while, there are people who know he has the book, and they are determined to twist the knowledge it contains to a terrible purpose, to break the circle of life, making resurrections possible, to open the door between the living and the dead just enough to embrace forbidden power. Their selfish intent would disrupt the natural order enough to change the world, and not for the better.

Maxwell's music career is about to be the least of his worries.


So, that's the first four or so chapters. Set in 1976, the new opening to Dark Arts includes temptation, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a fight involving a gun, some lighter fluid and a zippo lighter, and an outrageously nice guitar, for starters. Maxwell is the same character that appeared in the seven chapter short: Dark Arts Rising, but he's twenty three years old, and hungry to prove himself to the world. He's just about as moody though, some things never change.

Will this be the first instalment of a series? I'm going to say that, with all the extra story matter I've found so far, it's likely. Will this book be a complete story? Yes. This isn't going to be serialised as thickly as Spinward Fringe, where one book seems to flow into the next. Instead, I want each Dark Arts book to be a very separate experience. So far, I'm looking at a trilogy, and if I can fit Max's story in this one, each book will be centered around a different character, set in a different decade. I may skip the 80's though.

The genre this book is fitting in so far is Supernatural / Horror / A Touch Of Romance, but that could change. I'll make sure to tell you if it does before this book comes out on October 31, 2015.

So, what do you think about Supernatural novels? Are you willing to take a ride with Max on his Harley into horror and potential doom?

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Tracy Holmes said...

I was lucky enough to have read, and have a copy of Dark Arts. I throughly enjoyed it, and I have been one of the many who has been hoping that you would visit this genre again. After the wild ride of Broadcast 9, and on my second re-read, I'm look forward with great anticipation on the release of new Dark Arts novels.

Sheila Hall said...

I totally agree with Tracy. I was lucky enough to read it. I don't have a copy as of now. You can bet that I will have it as soon as it's published.