Way of the World: Mrs. Dunlap

A lot of thought and research went into the worldly and Spiritual cultures of “Way of the World.” Loyalists, citizens, bandits, deputies, and biblically-based characters have wardrobes specific to themselves. Buildings, technologies, weapons, and clothing styles in “Way of the World” were taken from various cultures and span multiple centuries, from medieval times to present day. Today we’ll take a look at Mrs. Dunlap, who is married to the mayor, and has as much influence over Gnashing as the first lady has over the United States.

Mrs. Dunlap

Mrs. Dunlap is a sweetheart who married the wrong man, despite his being the Mayor of Gnashing. She has a tremendous impact on Michael. She loves to talk a lot, which is a good thing, considering Michael hates to talk. Even after she learns that Michael is the most wanted murderer in the history of Gnashing, the notorious “Death Angel”, she continues to treat him humanely, and despises the feelings she has developed for him.

Her sweetness crushes Michael, as he has avoided ordinary people (women included) his entire life. For the first time, he reconsiders the path of violence, and begins to feel an emotion he has never felt before – love.

Unfortunately for Michael, he’s going to have to overcome his fear of speaking in order to explain how he was forced to kill throughout his childhood. And when his quest forces him to decide between love and vengeance, will Michael open up to Mrs. Dunlap, or go after his enemies and do what he knows best?

Way of the World: Michael’s Story

Coming soon…

– Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom”

Advertisements

Bizarre Setting for “Way of the World”

The entire Way of the World series takes place in two distinct settings – The Island of Paradise and a town called Gnashing.

The Island of Paradise is a metaphor for the garden of Eden, and in later books becomes the kingdom of heaven.

Gnashing is a metaphor for the world – and in the town of Gnashing there is a wilderness that features rattlesnakes, wolves, and bears. There are green ferns from the east coast, and giant redwood trees from the west coast. To one side of the wilderness is a beach, to the other a desert. The extravagant homes in Gnashing are based on early 20th century Edwardian models. Here is a sketch of the Dunlap’s residence:

Dunlap's estate front view

Across from the luxurious houses are farms, where the lowly class of Loyalists work (they were slaves not long ago).

The setting of Gnashing is meant to be timeless and multicultural. The “Way of the World” series has a Spiritual message at its heart, a theme which each and every generation of man has questioned since the beginning of his existence.

What do you think of this setting? Is it too ridiculous and unbelievable to have a rich wilderness within close proximity of a desert? Should the bizarre setting of Gnashing and non-existent time period be established within the first few pages through direct narration, or should that be left up to the readers to figure out as they go along?

Looking forward to hearing your opinions.

Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom”

Social Media and Flippy

Along with the importance clothing your book with an enticing cover, it has come to my attention that another necessary step along the path to literary success is social media. You can credit Ashlee Willis, author of the well-known fantasy novel “The Word Changers,” for bringing this to my attention.

Unfortunately for me, I hate social media.

I pretty much loath electronic communication in general – for proof, here’s a picture of my phone:

flip phone

That’s right, I own a flip phone. Let me take it a step further – I paid fifty dollars more to get that hunk of junk than I would have had to pay for an Iphone. Why?

1. My last touch screen phone pocket-dialed every time I put it in my pocket.

2. Sending a text on that thing takes 5-10 minutes. Why is that a good thing? I’m an impulsive person. Impulsive people say things they regret later on… often.

3. No internet or games. Why is that a good thing? Because when you’re goal is to make a living as an indie author, you’ve pretty much signed a contract that stipulates any wasted time will result in ‘insufficient funds’.

Though I personally have no problem with flippy, the opinions of others have gotten to me. For one thing, even when I manage to get a girl’s digits, every time I whip out flippy they look at me like, “Oh… you’re poor.” Not to mention technological progress is inevitable, and if you don’t get with the times you’ll get run-over by them.

So back to social media – What can you expect to find me doing on my new Thomas M. Watt twitter, facebook, goodreads, and google + pages? Well I’ll tell you – I have no idea. Probably doing my best not to send out updates like “I hate facebook” or post tweets like “f’ twitter.”

One thing I’ve noticed, successful people are quite often positive people. I guess that means I should post things like “Way of the world, coming soon!!!”

Because an exclamation mark is a sure sign that your product is something that will make your customers happy. God forbid I post “Way of the World, coming soon.” I can only imagine the ‘negative vibes’ such a tweet or update would send out to the rest of the exclamation mark loving population. I’d probably get booted from those sites in no time.

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to today. Anybody have any advice for how I should dive into these new social media platforms? How do you gain followers on twitter? Do you think there are book blogs that would be willing to discuss the “Way of the World” as part of a virtual blog tour?

I received some great responses yesterday, and can only hope to get more of the same today.

– Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom”

Cover Art

I’ve been researching successful indie authors the past few days to get an idea of how I can maximize book sales. One point that gets hammered is the importance of having a good cover design. Word on the street is find books in the genre you are writing in, see what cover designs sell the most books, then get a cover similar to them. If it were up to me, this painting I made would be my cover for Way of the World – Michael’s Story:

Kingsley's island on fire

And I feel it would be complement the cover to Way of the World – Adam’s Story:

Upscale Saloon

Unfortunately, one truth I have learned about people is they’re much more likely to purchase a product that seems familiar to them, rather then branching out to try a product that seems unique and different. Here are my top three cover selections from the genre of Christian Fantasy:

a draw of kings resistance cover - depositphotos the gift of light - j. and g. publishing

Each of these covers was designed by a different cover artist. G. and J. publishing, Lookout Design Inc., and “Resistance” credited four various contributors.

Perhaps I’m dreaming big, because I have no idea whether these cover artists are even available, willing to work with me, or even within my budget. Still, these covers are impressive, and each contributed to a book that found its way into the top 100 bestsellers list for Christian fantasy.

What do you think? Which cover design is your favorite? Am I fooling myself by thinking the paintings I made would make good covers? Be honest now.

Looking forward to your responses.

– Thomas M. Watt

Author of “A New Kingdom

Way of the World – Michael’s Story

Kingsley's island on fire

Spent all morning stacking the chapters up so I could make a single file out of them. It amazes me how much time I spend on the easiest of tasks.

Going to promote Way of the World on a daily basis from here on out, sorry ’bout it. I’ll give you updates, information, and every reason to resent me as a blogger and a human being.

Oh well.

Anyway, Way of the World is a book series that I spent a year and a half of my life working on. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I got ridiculously obsessed with the concept – it’s a loose allegory of the bible, from Old Testament to New, and features biblical protagonists that would make Marvel comics jealous.

The first book is split into two stories – one is told from the Archangel Michael’s perspective, the other is told from Adam’s, who of course stands for the Adam who is responsible for the fall of man.

I’m not marketing this as a Christian book mainly because I don’t feel it is one. It’s a ‘Christians meet the real world’ book. I believe people who know nothing about the bible and have no belief in God whatsoever will still enjoy this story.

What are your thoughts? Does this concept appeal to you? Are there any aspects of Way of the World that you don’t like, or find offensive?

Let me know.

Thomas M. Watt

Running Blind

god

For months and months been on the run,

Had myself a bit of fun.

Tore down all my truths of old,

Replaced them with some sins so bold.

In the flesh I did reside,

The more you sin the more you die.

It eases e-motional pain,

Sin enough you’ll feel no shame.

But go on you’ll find some trouble,

And when then comes your pride will double.

So sure I was of Christ’s untruth,

I laughed at Christians on youtube.

Dumb it seemed that some believed,

One man could replace our primal needs.

Sacrifice, deny yourself, worry not, you won’t see Hell.

Hahaha, haha, hehe, the things he speaks of I won’t take heed.

For I was sure that I knew better, that heavenly things were not too clever.

Dumb it was to live this life thinking one day you’ll see the light.

What light, what proof, what evidence? Where is this God that some still seek?

Nowhere, nowhere, He goes unseen, but this God of light lets blind men see.

For you see I came to truth – that evil exists, and me it used.

Day by day I could not rest, could not stop sin, did not repent.

But when I prayed my heart did open, God returned, covenant He honored.

Showed me to the days of old, when we were close and I wasn’t so cold.

Amazing how when there’s no evil, you find your own evil has doubled.

But after mocking God is through, and your world has fallen through,

And you’re sure you have no chance, that you have tripped on your last dance,

And of good feelings there’s none left, no way this life holds hope; you’re doomed.

That’s when I think it’s time to pray, and if you listen, you’ll know why I say –

That God who lives up high above, that God who you so boldly told –

That with all your heart you don’t believe, who you once deemed a mental disease,

That same God you went against, He will still be there when you’re on the fence,

And it won’t be long before you see, that God so loves you, He’s all you need.

– Thomas M. Watt

Farmer Ed: Part 1

gun aimed at dog

Farmer Ed was one trigger-pull away from blowing the head off his daughter’s golden retriever. It’s body would most likely fall on Tommy’s.

Tommy was Farmer Ed’s infant son, whose bloody corpse lie in the hay.

“Dad, don’t!” The shout came as the barn doors flew open. “Don’t kill him, daddy! I don’t want Ruffy to die!”

“Get out.” Tears filled Farmer Ed’s eyes. He used the rifle to direct her outside. “Leave dammit!”

Molly hugged both her arms around Ruffy’s collar, then began sobbing into his fur.

It had been a long day, one that had begun just like any other – plates with stacks of pancakes, a jug filled with orange juice, and grace before breakfast.

Farmer Ed had sat across from his wife, to the side of his daughter Molly, and nearby the crib of his son Tommy. Now, just a few hours later, Molly and Farmer Ed were the only surviving members of their family.

The sound of sirens prompted Farmer Ed to rise. He rushed over to the barn doors, then used the bolt to lock them close.

Farmer Ed rubbed his forehead as he paced frantically around the barn.

“Where’s mommy, daddy?” said Molly softly.

Farmer Ed paused to look at her, then returned to his frantic walk.

“Dad?” said Molly, as she made her way over to him. “Did something happen to mommy?”

Tires screeched outside. “Come out with your hands up!” came the voice from the police microphone.

Ed stopped pacing, walked over to the haystack, then sat. He turned the rifle on himself, then stared straight into the barrel.

“What happened to mom, daddy?” said Molly. She walked over to him then grabbed his big hand with her little one. “Did something bad happen?”

“Come out with your hands up!” screamed the voice through the microphone once more. Farmer Ed continued to cry as he stared down into his rifle. His breath felt uncontrollable, his entire being felt as if it were on fire.

…to be continued.

Thomas M. Watt

– Author of A New Kingdom