AIP Holiday Gift Exchange

by Jennifer 12. January 2015 11:27

Apocalypse Ink Productions decided to do something just a bit different this year for the holidays.  Instead of exchanging gifts among our authors, we decided to have the main characters of our series exchange gifts. Now I know it’s a bit after the holidays, but you do have to remember some of these characters are on the run or are difficult to contact so their responses are a bit delayed. (Plus the Shadow Minion was sick.)


Trinidad received a gift from Karen Wilson.

It was just a brown cardboard box—perfectly ordinary except for one key detail. It was addressed to her. Trinidad had never received an unexpected package before. Pre-arranged drops and trails of dead letters were more her style, in truth. Karen had gone above and beyond.


“Brilliant, gyal.”


Trinidad grinned, pulled out her knife, and sliced through the tape. The box sprang open. The first item was a jar of lotion—something she could always use. Winter was particularly hard on her skin. Freezing wind and dry heat seemed to conspire against her. She tried a dab of the cream. “Lovely.”


The rest of the box was filled with arm warmers. Trinidad chose a pair with black and turquoise stripes and slipped them on. They’d keep her toasty and her fingers would still be free. Pretty and practical was a winning combination.


Trinidad grabbed her coat and the remaining knit sleeves. She only needed one pair, after all. The city would help her find others out in the cold. It would be a fine thing to pass along the joy of a surprise gift and she figured Karen would approve.


Her steps were light as she headed out for what would surely be one of the best walks of the season.


Darien received a gift from Trinadad.

Darien went to the door shortly after the knock, opening it just in time to see the UPS man leaving. He offered out a shout of “Thanks!”, to which the driver waved over his head without turning around to look back. Darien wasn’t surprised – he couldn’t imagine just how many deliveries the man had to take care of today. He wondered, did UPS hire extra drivers for this time of year, or did they just make their current drivers work longer hours and hopefully get paid overtime? He shrugged and picked up the box, carrying it back into the kitchen.


Putting the box down on the table, he looked at the return address on it, curious who knew that Susan and he were staying here. They had tried to keep their location a secret, only telling a few choice people they could trust. The name on the return label read Trinidad O’Laughlin, and he snapped his fingers in recognition. Susan had reached out to Trinidad after meeting up with her online discussing supernatural forces. She was insistent that Trinidad was someone they could trust, and Darien trusted her instincts. Although, why was Trinidad sending him a package?

Darien grabbed a knife from the butcher’s block and sliced through the tape. It was a few days after Christmas anyways, so there was nothing to wait for. Inside was a note that simply read “I had a feeling you would need these.”


The first item that he pulled out was a five pound bag of trail mix. It was labeled as high octane energy mix, and that title made him smile. If there was any way to describe his life after realizing what he was, it was definitely high octane and energetic. Hell, he barely was able to manage keeping track of his life himself, and he was the one living it. This would be immensely helpful if they needed to go on the run again. For weeks, this type of food was all that he, Susan, and Richard had survived on. Considering that he was getting that itch again that it might be time to run, this was quite serendipitous. Did Trinidad know more than she let on?


The second item in the box looked like a key. It confused him at first until he turned the package over to read the back of it. According to the description, it was a multi tool disguised as a key that could be used as a screwdriver or a knife. Given that it would fit easily onto his key ring and not be as obvious as a Swiss Army knife, this could come in handy. Even if it was small, you could never underestimate the value of having a knife on you at all times.


He’d need to send a thank you to Trinidad for her gifts, or ask Susan to send her a quick message. But he still couldn’t help but get the feeling that these gifts were not just for the season. Something in the back of his mind told him that they were an indicator of things to come. Perhaps he should get back to work on that escape plan, just in case it was necessary.


Gordon received a gift from Darien.

This is fantastic, Darien - it's got a wonderful heft to it. Edge is nice and sharp. I wish I could say it wouldn't come in handy, but I have a feeling you got me just what I'm going to need on the trek West.


As to friends, well ... I'm full of them. ::smiles:: But he'll make a great addition. Happy holidays and best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful New Year!


Karen received a gift from Gordon.

The package arrived at the Kendrick’s Historical Library instead of to Karen’s home. That, in and of itself, was unusual. Then, it was from Gordon. She shook her head. With all that was going on with him, it was amazing that he feel the need to send out gifts this year. Then again, little things. And with her casual acceptance of his personal brand of weirdness, she supposed he’d appreciate that.


She read the note attached before she opened the package.


Hello Karen - Happy New Year!


I apologize for the lateness of this package. We were hitching through Kansas around the holiday proper, and you wouldn't believe how long it can take to get to a FedEx.


I know you're a wired person, but with your new work in the library and the number of people you seem to keep track of, I thought this might be a helpful accessory. Consider it a low-tech backup for a busy lifestyle ... Kate Spade's still a thing, I hope?

With that, she ripped into the brown paper and saw Gordon’s thoughtful gift. Karen grinned at the notebook. “Well, I did just say that I needed to chronicle my adventures for the library. This is a perfect way to start.”


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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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Interview with Ivan Ewert

by Jennifer 8. April 2014 09:36

Ivan Ewert is the author of Famished: The Farm. Its sequel, Famished: The Commons, is going through the editorial process right now.

What drew you to Speculative Fiction?

Ha, I just did a blog post about this! My father was a huge speculative fiction fan. His library was the thing I coveted most in my young life. When I started reading, I was actually more interested in legends like King Arthur, Robin Hood, and such – things that Disney probably turned me onto initially – but the trappings of fantasy were there.

Therefore, as I was reading, dad would suggest things I might enjoy. In third grade, I think, there was a confluence – my mother was teaching (voluntary) art classes to grade school kids, and she brought in the Brothers Hildebrandt, where I learned about The Hobbit. That was it. Done. Fantasy all the way.

Lovecraft was my introduction into horror, straight out of dad's library. He also had a lot of originals from Van Vogt, Asimov, and such, but he preferred hard science fiction, which I just don't find interesting. When I found social science fiction, I got more into it.

Was there a reason you started writing?

I drove my mother nuts with "Let's pretend" as soon as I was old enough to communicate. She humored me, though there was the occasional "Let's pretend you're Ivan, a human boy, and I'm his mother, okay?" I loved make-believe so much more than reality. (Let us leave that in past tense for the moment …)

So again, in grade school, I sat down and wrote a play at some point for my friends at school. I remember a cuckoo clock, living toys, and a lost girl. Not much else. Everyone loved it, though, and I was hooked on both the creative aspect and the attention it garnered.

Role-playing games distracted me for a long time, and didn't write much in high school – I was making stories but not having to work at writing them down. After college, I took it more seriously.

Where do you get your ideas?

Do you know I think you're the first one to ask? Ideas have always come to me most easily when moving through the darkness – driving before dawn, flying through the night. Moving silently, alert for danger, other travelers, and story fragments.

What's your current writing process? Outliner/Pantser, when, do you play music? pen/paper or keyboard/ink? any rituals? Etc.

AIP turned me into an outliner. Once I have the outline done, I carve time in my daily calendar, aiming for a minimum of one hour (usually my lunch hour at work).

When that time hits, I turn off my email notifications, my telephone, and any instant message programs. I work in Microsoft Word, though I just bought a new laptop and plan to give Scrivener a whirl. I don't like writing by hand as much. That distracts me.

Music is key. KEY. For horror and science fiction work, I'll usually go to and search tags for ambient, downtempo electronica, or doomjazz. Fantasy is either Azam Ali Radio on or Darkfolk Radio on

Then, I just write until the time I allotted is up.

I don't have any real rituals. I do give a short "thank you" every morning to whatever's given me all the good in my life, which includes an imagination and the ability to convey it.

How did you get started with AIP?

I met Jennifer Brozek online through Livejournal; I think it was a friend-of-a-friend thing. I had a lot more spare time at that stage in my life, and I posted little snippets of tales and writing exercises online. We became friends online, then met up at a convention and – to my mind, anyway – became friends in real life.

When she founded The Edge of Propinquity, she asked me to contribute; and I can't tell you how happy that made me. I really enjoyed the work, and the discipline it required. Not that I was perfect. At all. I did enjoy it, though; and I'm beyond flattered that AIP continues to believe in me and work with me. They are wonderful, wonderful people whom I love very much.

Talk some about the Gentleman Ghouls series.

The Lovecraft short story, "The Picture in the House," which scared me sleepless, inspired the main subject matter. I wanted to examine the way that closed, insular societies work. Cults and secret societies have always fascinated me, as has the American experience as a whole, which I hope will come across more clearly as we release the books.

I wrote the first book, FAMISHED: THE FARM, over the space of four years. FAMISHED: THE COMMONS took a little over one year. I've written quite a bit about the process of editing those.

What are you working on now?

I have a dear friend named William Dolan who paints tremendous Chicago street scenes (check him out at His motto is, "I never talk about my work. Talking about it makes me feel like I've done something about it, and as such, the work never really gets done."

I saw a lot of truth in that. Talking about the work dilutes it for me and makes it easy to pretend it's moving along faster than it is. I'm still focused on the Gentleman Ghouls series as well as some poetry and short stories, one of which I'm very excited about.

Best and worst advice you've received or heard about writing.

The worst advice is "write what you know." I hate that phrase with a passion; it lines shelves with copyists and endless memoirs of suburban alienation. I've said it before; write what you're excited to know more about.

The best advice … Steven Raichlen, one of my cooking idols, says, "Set concrete goals with realistic timetables." Creative work is still work, and if you just dream up this great big book you want to write "someday," well. Someday never comes.

Any last words?

Not last, I hope.

But I believe in you. I believe in everyone reading these words … you can do anything you want to. It might not be easy, it might not be fun; but it's possible. When you think nobody has any faith, think again. I want you all to succeed and live a life that you find worth living.


Read more about Ivan at his website.

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by Jennifer 28. November 2013 18:00


November 28-December 2nd

ALL ebooks are $0.99

All domestic shipping is free with the code: BLACKFRIDAY

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From the Authors

by Jennifer 25. November 2013 10:15

Here's a peek at some of the stuff our authors have been doing lately.

Ivan talks about what it's like to go through heavy revisions on a novel (Famished: The Commons) for the first time. This is the sequel to Famished: The Farm.

Jennifer talks how she came up with the title for the fourth Karen Wilson Chronicles book, Chimera Incarnate. The first two books, Caller Unknown and Children of Anu, are already out.

Jay talks about his 2013 fiction bibliography. He doesn't mention his writing book, Jay Lake's Process of Writing, because it's not fiction. It's an impressive list. You should take a look.

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Short and Sweet Reviews

by Jennifer 26. January 2013 17:36

Short and sweet reviews for our Apocalypse Ink Production books on Amazon:

Industry Talk - five stars
"This book contains a number of essays about two specific fields: Role-Playing Game Freelance Writing and Editing Anthologies. It was though the author had been looking over my shoulder and decided to help me out by giving advice for all of my pending projects. If you are interested in either topic, I highly recommend this book." -Jason Andrew

Famished: The Farm - five stars
"I  don't normally read the horror genre, but this book kept me riveted to the very end! Highly recommend to anyone who loves to be scared and horrified!!" -Kelly S. Madsen

Caller Unknown - five stars
"I was surprised at how well this was written. It was complete in and of itself while fitting into a series (or so it is advertised -- I plan to find out by reading the series). You can read more than enough about the plot or the setting. I just wanted to confirm it is carried off well without gratuitous sex or other miscellaneous material. Two thumbs up." -S. Marsh


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The Next Big Thing

by Jennifer 3. January 2013 10:18

Both Ivan Ewert and Jennifer Brozek have talked about their "Next Big Thing" in blog posts. As it happens, both of these are AIP projects.

Jennifer talks about The Children of Anu in her post.

Ivan talks about Famished: The Commons in his post.

Bonus! Ivan talks about a local eatery naming a sandwich after his book series that sounds very tasty.

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Giving Thanks

by Jennifer 24. November 2012 13:10

Ivan, author of FAMISHED: THE FARM, talks about "giving thanks" and writing acknowledgements on his blog. While Jennifer, author of CALLER UNKNOWN, talks about her "gratitude" for the disasters in her life that brought her to where she is today. Those of us at Apocalypse Ink Productions would like to thank everything who has supported us thus far and will support us in the future. We appreciate every single one of you.


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Ivan Ewert on Writing Horror

by Jennifer 19. October 2012 20:08

Famished: The Farm author Ivan Ewert talks about writing horror on Booklife Now. It's a great article.

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FAMISHED - THE FARM book giveaway

by Jennifer 7. October 2012 17:55

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Famished by Ivan Ewert


by Ivan Ewert

Giveaway ends October 31, 2012.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Open until Oct 31.



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