THE FLOTSAM Trilogy Cover Reveal

by Jennifer 4. November 2015 10:16

The Flotsam Trilogy omnibus by Peter M. Ball will be released on November 18, 2015.

“Excellent noir yarn with well interwoven demonic and supernatural aspects…”
–Alan Baxter, author of Alex Caine series

My name’s Keith Murphy. Danny Roark and I hunt down the dark things that prey on humans like you. Or we did, until what seemed like a routine assassination job went bad. Really bad. Now the end of the world is coming at us like a possessed freight train.

 Running doesn’t bother me. It’s a fine survival trait. What bothers me is the 9mm bullet I swallowed—with the soul of my last victim trapped inside it. That botched job I mentioned. He was leader of the Raven Cult: bloodthirsty fools who won’t let a little thing like death cramp their style. When Roark goes down, I’m left to figure out what the cult’s survivors are planning.

 It’s a puzzle I’ve got to figure out before the Gloom gets too strong and the real monsters come through—ones my rag­tag, mostly demonic, army can’t handle. All this magic and end of the world stuff was Roark’s department, not mine. I’ll have to figure it out as I go. The end of the world’s still coming, but it’s got to go through me first.

The Flotsam Trilogy contains the novellas Exile, Frost, and Crusade as well as two more stories from the gold coast, “Local Heroes” and “Tithes.”

“Brutal and inventive...”
–David Versace, The Lexifabricographer

Cover art by Mark Ferrari. Isn't it divine?


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Guest Blog: What Scares a Horror Author?

by Jennifer 6. October 2015 14:00

Oh, dear.

I wish I feared the things in my books. Eternal damnation or creatures from beyond the veil. I wish ghosts and aliens made my hair stand on end. Honestly, however, they don’t.

Given my publisher, I wish the apocalypse gave me pause, but no dice. I watched The Day After in grade school, and while I later understood why it was such a big deal, even at the time it seemed kind of silly to worry about it.

Even threats that are all too real – serial killers, drone strikes, and mass shooters – don’t really scare me. I mean, I’d be scared if I knew that one had targeted me. I’d be even more terrified if someone I love was a victim of one.

Nevertheless, as with the end of the world, I learned early on that worrying about unlikely things (and by the numbers, these things are unlikely) does more harm than good. To spend your life preparing for a disaster that never comes is counterproductive, if it gets in the way of enjoying your life in the moment.

I know. Hello, ants. Meet the grasshopper.

No, none of those things worries me.

I won’t share the one thing which terrifies me above all else. To do so would be paradoxical; this may give a clue in and of itself.

Instead, let me speak of L’appel du videThe call of the void. The unlovely language of science and psychology calls it High Place Phenomenon; but the French philosophy is so much clearer and more true.

At its most basic, this is the urge to jump off of a tall bridge, or building. I used to think it only happened to me, that it was the apex of a certain tendency toward self-destructive activities; but I’ve learned that it’s a widespread phenomenon.

That helps, somewhat. It makes things seem more rational.

It doesn’t help when I’m there.

The last time it struck me was here, in Door County, Wisconsin. Adamant that I could overcome it, that this time would be different, that I am a grown man who needs to face his fears, I insisted on climbing to the top.

Once there, Leanne tells me I was simultaneously shaking and paralytic until I had to sit down, where I couldn’t see over the railings. I barely remember that. I just remember looking at the treetops, and picturing them rushing past me. Looking at the rocks and feeling them scrape against my skin as my body rolled down the ravine. I remember that my hands hurt gripping the railings tight on my way back down, wincing as merry children raced past me on their way up.

Per Kierkegaard’s The Concept of Anxiety, the anxiety of individual freedom and responsibility causes L’appel du vide. The fact that one is free to make any decision, even the most terrifying, triggers immense feelings of dread.

Kierkegaard called this our "dizziness of freedom," the ability to make any choice we want at any time in our lives. That terrible sense of freedom, and the consequences it carries, lies at the heart of my greatest fears.

Read into my writing whatever else you may wish. This one’s now a given.

~Ivan Ewert, author of the Gentlemen Ghouls series.

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Author Etiquette: Dealing with Disappointment

by Jennifer 28. September 2015 12:00

Apocalypse Ink Productions started our segment on Author Etiquette earlier this year and it has been a great success. AIP loves authors, we wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t and we want to do our best to help support authors.

Almost every author I’ve encountered has had a dream of being on the NYT Best Seller’s List and earning a six figure income. It does happen sometimes, but for the majority of writers, it’s a struggle to keep going forward. Most authors have to split their time between a day job that pays bills and the quest of writing the breakout story. Over time dreams begins to fade as the rejection pile grows and many authors begin to wonder if their stories are good enough and even if they should be an author in the first place.

Being an author is possibly one of the most difficult occupations out there. If you ask for advice you will find there’s a thousand ways to write a story and none of them are right and none are wrong; every author follows a different path to success. What works for one won’t work for another. It’s difficult to point at a particular road a new or struggling author should take when they are feeling down.

It’s normal to feel disappointed when you get a rejection. But sometimes it weighs on you. After a while many authors begin to feel as though they are imposters
people who pretend to be in an occupation. It’s a very common form of doubt that plagues many creatives.

So what can you do about it?

Let Other People Know

For many authors, it’s difficult to let other’s know that we are feeling down. Afterall, we get to play in these interesting worlds and let our characters do amazing things—what do we have to be sad about?

Plenty, but we don’t have to hold it in. Confiding in a close friend, family member or even an open post on social media, can let others know that you are struggling. Establishing a support group is essential to help creatives handle the ups and downs of what we do.

Take a Step Back

Sometimes we get so caught up in the process of creating, editing or rewriting, that we forget that there’s a lot more going on in the world. Take a night or weekend off away from your story and even the internet. Go outside for a long walk in the sun or go out with friends for a fun evening. Even a short break such as watching a show with friends or family can help set aside the disappointment and give you a new outlook.

Sometimes you might even have to take a longer break. A short recharge might help for a little while but sometimes an author might need to set the writing aside for a week, a month or even longer, before they feel ready to face submissions and the results. It’s okay to feel you need a longer break. It’s necessary sometimes but don’t forget to come back.

Try Something Else

I know many authors who are creative in other fields as well. Some like to knit and crochet, while others draw or create jewelry. By changing your focus to another outlet, you sometimes get a different perspective on those rejections. You might just let your subconscious work out an issue or figure out what story will be next.

If you aren’t sure you have other creative skills (and yes everyone does they just may not want to let other people see them) then volunteer for some slush or beta reading. Look at your own bookshelf for something you’ve not read yet. Stop worrying about your own writing for a little while.

Talking with a Professional

But sometimes talking with your support group or even taking a break doesn’t relieve the feelings of disappointment. Sometimes those feelings get deeper and darker.

If you, a friend or relative, is dealing with more than simple disappointment, then it may be time to talk to a professional. Depression is a very serious health issue that can be helped by physicians and counselors. Sometimes medication is the answer. For others counseling makes a difference. Getting help is the first step to relieving that dark weight that looms over you.

Disappointment doesn’t have to strangle your creativity. Asking for some support, taking a break, doing something new and sometimes contacting a professional health provider can help you when you are feeling down. A

The bad news is we all suffer from disappointment at some point or another.  The good news is, we’ve all been there before.

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OryCon and SF Authorfest 9

by Jennifer 23. September 2015 10:25

It's official, Apocalypse Ink Productions will be at Portland, Oregon's OryCon 37 (Nov 20-22) in the dealers room. We'll have all our new books, including our signed, limited edition books from Dylan Birtolo and Peter M. Ball. Also, Jennifer Brozek will be on hand to sign her books as well as make an appearance at SFAuthorfest 9 on Nov 22, from 4-5pm at the Powell's Beaverton location.

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The Sheynan Trilogy Omnibus is Released!

by Jennifer 15. September 2015 09:20

Apocalypse Ink Productions | Amazon
DriveThruFiction | Barnes&Noble
Note: The hardback signed limited edition of this book is only available on the AIP website.

This dark urban fantasy adventure by Dylan Birtolo is an omnibus of three novels: The Shadow Chaser, The Bringer of War, and The Torn Soul, and features three new short stories.

The Shadow Chaser:  Darien Yost is a young man haunted by blackouts and vividly realistic dreams. When mysterious strangers start to appear, claiming that he has a power which makes him unique, he finds himself entangled in their world; a world of shape shifters. Soon, he is thrust into the middle of a centuries long war, and must master his ability before either side claims him... as an asset or a casualty.    

The Bringer of War: Months have passed, and the Arm of Gaia and the Shadows still struggle to control Darien’s destiny, attempting to use him to tip the balance of their war. But Darien has embraced his power. He and his allies have gone on the offensive, hunting down those who are trying to enslave him. Meanwhile, another renegade shifter has appeared, trying to pull Darien away from his friends for reasons of her own.  

The Torn Soul: Time is running out for Darien. As new players and new dangers enter the scene, Darien must confront his past, and convince the Arm of Gaia and the Shadows to work together against a new enemy—before his mind is lost to the Sheynan’s curse.

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CRUSADE Cover Reveal

by Jennifer 7. July 2015 13:36

Crusade, Book 3 of the Flotsam trilogy by Peter M. Ball.
To be released on July 15, 2015

My name's Keith Murphy. For nearly two decades, my partner, Danny Roark, and I hunted down the dark things that prey on normal humans. But, on what we thought was a routine job, something went wrong. Now the end of the world is coming at us like a freight train on steroids.

When Danny goes down, it's me who has to figure out what those fools left over from the Raven cult have planned.  It's a puzzle I've got to figure out before those doors open wider and real monsters—ones that my rag-tag, mostly demon, army can't handle—come through.

Roark was the one who knew about all this magic and end or the world stuff, not me. I guess I'll figured it out as I go.


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AIP goes to Origins Game Fair

by Jennifer 1. June 2015 18:36

Two of Apocalypse Ink Productions authors will be at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio from Wednesday June 3 to Sunday June 7th. Jennifer Brozek and Dylan Birtolo both urge you to stop by their booths and introduce yourself.

If you are considering freelancing in the future, working on your first novel or would like to write for RPGs, then check out some of the great panels and workshops that Jennifer will be at.

If you are interested in story research, Medieval Combat, or creating villains, then go check out what Dylan will be speaking on.

When not speaking at a panel, Jennifer and Dylan will be at their tables in the Library section of the Dealer’s Room. Catch them and ask about their newest releases!

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2014 was a good year

by Jennifer 1. January 2015 08:55

2014 was a good year. We published 4 novels and 2 novellas.

Also, we acquired the Cross Cutting trilogy by Wendy Hammer.

In 2015, we plan to publish:

  • The Torn Soul, Sheynan #3.
  • Chimera Incarnate, Karen Wilson Chronicles #4.
  • Crusade, Flotsam #3.
  • Famished: The Ranch, Gentlemen Ghouls #3
  • The Thin, Cross Cutting #1.

Not a bad plan, eh?

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Origins Game Fair

by Jennifer 8. June 2014 22:45

Apocalypse Ink Productions will be at Origins Game Fair with a table in the Library in the dealers hall. Jennifer Brozek and Dylan Birtolo will also be at Origins in the Library and on panels in the Writers Symposium. Be sure to come by, say hello, and get a book signed!

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Last Day of the Holiday Sale

by Jennifer 2. December 2013 10:26

Holiday Sale!
Apocalypse Ink Productions Store
All ebooks are $0.99 and all domestic shipping is free.

If you prefer Amazon:

Caller Unknown, Karen Wilson Chronicles, Book 1, Jennifer Brozek
Children of Anu, Karen Wilson Chronicles, Book 2, Jennifer Brozek
Famished: The Farm, Gentlemen Ghouls, Book 1, Ivan Ewert

Jay Lake’s Process of Writing, Jay Lake
Industry Talk, Jennifer Brozek

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