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Interview with Jillian Kuhlmann, author of “The Hidden Icon”

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

I’ve actually never done an interview with another author before,  though it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Let’s be honest, they’re just fun. Right? Right.

Jillian Kuhlmann - Head Shot

So, when I decided to do said interview, the first person that popped in my head was Jillian Kuhlmann, author of “The Hidden Icon“. There were a few reasons I did this: First, I know her since we’re under the same publisher. Second, she’s probably one of the sweetest people I’ve come across in this here writing game. Third, and most importantly, she has a “voice” that I’m seriously envious of. It’s sort of…astounding how beautifully she crafts a tale. Seriously.

So, before delving into the interview, a quick bit about Jillian (taken from the Fable Press website):

Jillian Kuhlmann received her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati. She has been published in Paper Darts literary magazine and Cincinnati’s CityBeat. In junior high school, she peopled post-apocalyptic adventure stories with her friends… and her enemies. It was a far more satisfying way of killing off the classmates she didn’t like than letting them die of dysentery on the Oregon Trail.
She maintains a garden, a husband, a baby girl, and a wicked costume collection in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Hidden Icon is her first novel.

Now, with that out of the way. To the interview!

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Stupid rules.

Posted in Blog, Books, Novel, Uncategorized, Writing on October 8, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

I haven’t been able to write much here in a while. I have school going on, a son, work, I’ve been sick off and on, all that fun stuff that sort of gets in the way of bloggification. That said, I haven’t entirely forgotten about it and thus, here I am.

Anyhow, for a while I’ve been wrestling with a topic for my grand blogging comeback, which isn’t really grand in any way shape or form. I thought about doing something on promotion, decided against it. Someone suggested I go on a political rant, and I definitely decided against that. I seriously considered kittie pictures, because, well….KITTEHZ!

Though, when it all came down to it there was one thing that really bothered me. These certain writing rules, that people hold up as some sort of holy scripture. This idea that there are these hard and fast things, that if you do them, instantly you’re going to be better at your craft or that they are the “right” or “best” way to do it. Well, to that I say bollocks. I’m gonna tear these little rules apart….kind of.

So, without further adieu:

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Demon Jack Sample Chapter

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

I realized I hadn’t posted this here, so I thought I’d go ahead and do such. This is the first chapter from my novel, being published by Fable Press. I don’t have a release date just yet but I’d be much obliged if folks liked it and wanted to pass it around. If you don’t dig it, well, that’s cool too. Not everyone’s gonna be picking up what I’m putting down right?

Why Write a Series?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 12, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

I got asked on Facebook a few days ago why I wanted to write a series. I guess that’s a pretty valid question. I mean, a series takes a metric shit ton of work, of planning, interweaving threads, dropping in little nuggets of foreshadowing, and all kinds of other fun little tweaks and tricks to make it all play out the way it’s intended. It got me thinking though, about the idea of writing a series. The notion of putting this whole thing on paper and making it all make sense is sort of mind boggling when you take a step back and look at it. Even more so if you’re like me and have two different series kicking around in your head. That, however, is a horse of a different color all together.

 So, back to the topic at hand: Why write a series?

 The idea of a series, at least in fantasy, seem to be a normal thing, regardless of what type of fantasy it is you’re writing. There’s the Lord of the Rings, The Dresden Files, Anita Blake and on and on and on. So, why the series? Easy, because it’s freaking fun. It’s nice getting attached to these characters, holding on to them, watching them grow, change, fail and triumph. It’s a lot like life. There’s more to it than that.

 In a way, it’s easier. I know, I know. Sounds like madness right? It’s really not. Look at it this way, you’ve sat down and created this whole world. You’ve filled it with character’s, factions, agendas, political bodies, and what have you. You have all this stuff just teeming out of your notebook and, in the end, it’s just too damn much. You try to include all that in one book, you’re going to end up with a tome that makes The Stand look like a pamphlet. More importantly though, there’s going to be too damn much going on. It’ll confuse readers. Hell, it’s going to confuse you.

 Putting it all into a series makes more sense for a couple of reasons. The first, obviously, is organization and space constraints. In a series you have the option of focusing on parts of a macrocosm on a much smaller scale. You get to focus on that one important battle or that one scheming faction and how they’re about to desecrate the face of your intrepid hero.

 Second, it lets you fully explore those things that you created. You can now really get into the meat of what makes your religious cult a bunch of zealots, their beliefs, their sins, the stuff that really makes them pop. Also, by fully exploring these ideas it helps you to immerse the reader and pull them into your world without leaving them asking all those questions like: “Why did Super Bad Guy X decide to slaughter Protagonist Q’s family before the book started?” or “So this war that happened, what sparked again and why was this guy exiled from Super Awesome Military Unit?”

 Most important though, the sheer fun you get to have putting in little nuggets of foreshadowing that won’t come to fruition for another…six or seven books (DAMN YOU JIM BUTCHER!). I mean really, it’s kind of an awesome feeling just to be reading along, minding your own business when WHAM you stumble across something from the first book you read in said series. Then something in your head clicks and you realize that little seed from back then just came to fruition.

 To get zen for a moment, the main thing to keep in mind, if you’re reading or writing is that the whole thing is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a peep show, not a porno.


This really says it all.

Posted in Blog, Books, Novel, Uncategorized, Writing on July 4, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

Writing is, in and of itself, a process. It takes some sweat, a little blood, a copious amount of either booze or coffee, and a whole metric shit ton of determination. With anything, there’s gonna be some times where putting your head and slogging through the rough patches is nigh impossible. Sadly enough, that’s just what you have to do. You have to put your head down, soldier up, and carry on my wayward son.

With that in mind. Motivation helps, so I found this. It works.


Why I do this thing

Posted in Blog, Books, Novel, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

I’ve seen more than a fair share of interviews and the like where an author will say the number one question they get is where their ideas come from. Honestly, I can’t recall a single time when I’ve seen an interview where an author was asked why they write. That’s, I don’t know. I think it’s kind of profound.

Anyways, I figured I’d actually write a bit on why I decided to be a writer. For me, honestly, it’s about one thing really. Well, two, but I don’t think that finally getting to make out with a girl dressed like Aayla Secura because she saw me at a Con and I wrote a book is A. Ever going to happen, or B. worth exposing the depths of my nerdness in blog form over.

I remember I was writing Demon Jack for a good portion of the Fall and into Winter. I can’t, right off the top of my head, remember the date I finished it on. Somewhere in the writing of Jack, Newtown happened. It sort of dawned on me then, watching the footage, why I do what I do. We live in a world, that while it possesses infinite beauty and wonder and all that other hippy stuff, is downright nasty sometimes. That kind of nastiness, well, it can weigh on you a bit. I remember, next time I saw my son after the shooting, scooping him up and pretty much smothering the poor guy with a hug.

The point is, that incident sort of reminded me of why I do what I do. Writing and reading both have always been an escape for me, a chance to put this world away and go somewhere else for a little while. It’s the same for a lot of people I’m sure. I feel like if I’m able to contribute to that, I should.

I mean, I’ll be honest, I’m not in this for the money. I’m not in it for fame or the groupies (do writers even have those?). I’m just in it because I can give someone a chance to be a little happier, simple as that.

A Soundtrack You Say?

Posted in Blog, Books, Metal, Music, Novel, Punk, Soundtrack, Uncategorized, Writing on June 24, 2013 by Patrick Donovan

Pretty much everyone I know that writes in some way shape or form claims that music is the great muse. I can’t say I disagree. I won’t get into the whole process that I use as far as writing goes (at least not in this post), but I thought it might be fun to post a playlist of sorts.

Mostly I’ve tried to focused said playlist on the character’s that are sticking around for a while. Granted, this isn’t everything I listened to while putting Demon Jack together, but it’s a handful. It’s sort of the stuff I used to get a lot of the vibe down for the setting, characters, and the like. That said, I’m not going to give out too much info (see any at all) about the characters, at least not yet.

So, without furthur adieu…

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