Author Archives: Regan Wolfrom

Now Available: Iris: Queen of the Partially Redeemed

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irisqueenredeemed-wolfrom-ebook

That’s right, Schmidt-girl lovers! Seffy and Iris are back, and someone took the time to write it all down.

Is it a cure? And if so, how would they actually spread the frickin thing? It’s not exactly Silver-Lining Friday for Seffy and Iris Schmidt.

Persephone has saved her half-sister Iris from the not-so-undead apocalypse (centered in the picturesque pancake known as the Red River Valley), not that the rest of North America isn’t slowly still finding itself infected and zombified by the mutated “cat-poop” parasite. Trapped in a devastated isolation zone of barricaded homes and coffee shops, the Schmidt sisters realize that there are powerful forces working not to cure the infection, but to find a way to control the minds of the infected.

Now the sheer effort required to keep themselves and their loved ones safe — while trying to stop the douchebag bad guys and save the planet — is threatening to overwhelm their unsteady relationship and endanger their very lives. But it’s starting to dawn on Seffy that there’s a chance she and Iris might be the ones who hold the real power…

eBook:

Paperback:

The Let-Down Lifecycle of the New Release

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So I have a book that’s coming out soon (Iris: Queen of the Partially Redeemed). I’m going to pick the release date in the next 2-3 days and it will be sometime between January 16 and 31st.

But I don’t want to release it.

Not because I don’t think it’s any good; if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have written it (hence my recent lack of clown-narrated murder mysteries set in Saskatoon). It’s because I don’t feel like going through the let-down lifecycle of the new release.

 

The Let-Down Lifecycle of the New Release

1. Writing Phase: Writer self-motivates not just by enjoyment of storytelling, but visualizations of success, fame, and riches based on the release of Book Two from a little-known series.

2. Pre-release Phase: Book is completed (minus final polishing that will occur until at least a full week after it’s released), and while there are a few butterflies clawing away at the writer’s stomach lining, those visualizations are still showing up, if slightly less unrealistic (not success, but maybe not complete failure).

3. Release Day: Crap. Crap. Crap. Are the sales reports lagging? Is the “Buy Now” button broken?

4. First Review (let’s assume it’s pretty good): Phew. But why is no one buying?

5. Second Review (scathing): Writer wants to fake own death, maybe something involving a radio telescope and a big bag of rotting onions.

6. The Nothing Phase: Writer wonders when someone will take notice of the book, but worries about the day when someone actually does.

 

I like writing, and I do believe in what I’m writing (and accept that by their very nature, people closest to you will be wary of every creative thing you do). I’m in it for the long run, knowing that in the end of all of this, I will have had tens of thousands of readers, and some of those readers will have enjoyed what I do enough to be sad once I’ve told my last story.

But I wish there was a way to just throw these books into a vacuum tube on release day, and let some other Regan deal with the fact that a big name like Denzel Washington signed on for some other guy’s post-apocalyptic book-turned-movie. (Personally, I still envision Giancarlo Esposito as Baptiste, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.)

So, in essence, I want to write, and have plenty of readers, but I want to never have a bad day. Is that too much to ask?

It’s Release Day for First Lights!

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firstlights

Once again hoisting his scattered and sickening thoughts on an unsuspecting populace, Regan Wolfrom — the same Regan who is now talking about himself in the third person — celebrates the release of his book, not mentioning at all that through his inability to understand the CreateSpace process, he had the paperback version up for sale a week too early.

Yes, it’s release day.

First Lights.

offplanet, book one.

 

eBook:

Paperback:

 

First Lights now available to pre-order at Amazon (Kindle for now)

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firstlights Coming December 12th, 2014, which should give me enough time to add more unneeded references to current events.

It’s been over twenty years since Elgin and Singhal and their crowdsourced sunshield saved the world from runaway climate change. Or at least bought the world a little time.

Now, in a bold new world where the people have started to gain power over the old elites, and the first uncertain steps are being taken to move offplanet, there are alliances at work to take control of the sunshield — even if that means destroying it — and to reverse the progress that has been made.

You can pre-order here.

First Peek: The Near Future Science Fiction “EPIC”

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No title, no cover. Just know this. It’s ambitious, which can mean good and bad things. :)

Here are some excerpts (from what is not the final draft), so you can get a feel for where I’m heading:

It was mid-April, so la plage des Hattes hadn’t gotten busy just yet; it wouldn’t start filling with visitors until the rains started coming. There were a few hikers with tattered packs heading toward the western horizon, but other than that just a three mile strip of unlittered sand fringed by palms and low lush greenery. To the north was the Atlantic, over five hundred miles east of the Caribbean. To the west, across the muddy Maroni River, was the gentrified Eco-Republic of Suriname, where you could see some of the same sights as in French Guiana, but for three times the cash.

Riley Crouch was surprised that they even still had any ecological sights to see across the river, that the well-heeled tourists hadn’t scared the animals away and repurposed half the forest for ultraluxe treehouses.

It wouldn’t take much for the Dutch-speaking turtles to switch over to the next beach to the left, would it?

He waited as the sun started to set; nighttime was best.

Riley had promised himself that he’d never fail to savor the purple and orange of the sunsets. When he’d overwintered in Rothera as part of the sovereignty project — a bunch of uni students manning the evergreen dome — there were months where at most you’d get some dark purple around lunchtime, from a sun that was giving you a small speck of daylight from its place below the horizon. British Antarctica had been bad; French Guiana was paradise.

It wasn’t long before he saw the first one, a leatherback turtle that was almost two meters long. She slowly moved along the sand, up from the water’s edge.

Riley felt like he was watching something ageless; sea turtles like her had been coming to beaches like la plage des Hattes for over a hundred million years. There would have been soft-shelled ancestors of that mother turtle laying eggs in the age of the dinosaurs. That made the Westbury White Horse look like it had been scraped out last week.

He sat quietly and watched with his infrared glasses as the turtle crafted her nest in the sand, swiping and digging with her front flippers.

He’d set his glasses to record; he wanted not just to have the video, but to share it with everyone he knew. Sometimes it felt like his coworkers at the Guiana Space Centre never actually took any time away from work to see the beauty of the area. Maybe this would get them out. Maybe it would get Suzanne to join him sometime in July or August, when the eggs finally start to hatch.

He felt at peace, like everything he’d ever done was what should have been, since it had brought him there, to that beach, to that perfect moment.

He felt a hand grab him by the shoulder, pulling him back and down. His head hit the sand behind him.

His glasses were torn off his face.

More hands, at least four — maybe six –pulling at his clothing, removing his shirt, his shoes and socks. And finally his pants. Everything except his black boxer briefs.

They started dragging him along the sand, toward the water. He tried to fight back, but they held him by his elbows and two hands grasping his head.

He was in the water now, his legs wet up to his knees.

They pushed his head under the waves.

And held him under.

He held his breath, but eventually he couldn’t hold it any more, and he sucked in the salt water. He couldn’t get back up to the surface; he couldn’t stop what was coming.

Riley Crouch eventually stopped fighting.

Well, that was awkward… so here’s some more:

There’s a little section of quiet in Battery Park, where, like every few blocks in Manhattan south of Washington Heights, there’s a patch of ground at the bottom of a canyon of concrete and steel and oblivious New Yorkers looking down from great heights.

A metropol of thirty two million sets of eyes, but no one seems to notice you most of the time. Not that every piece of green in the city isn’t carpeted with your neighbors.

But somehow, that one section a few blocks off Ground Zero and the Hudson River ferries is still mostly a secret.

Anita Singhal sat in Teardrop Park as a sunny but not too hot Tuesday lunchtime turned into a cloudy Tuesday afternoon, sitting with a Hipster Mug of home-brewed Starbuck’s Dark Roast and the beat up fisherman’s creel she’d bought on goodwill at that market in Tribeca. She’d left her clutch and its tablet on the ferry again, and she figured based on past and well-worn experience that it could take until about eight or nine pm before she got it back.

She knew she should have brought along the goddamn wristwatch. Because she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing glasses.

No one would be able to get a hold of her now, at least not until she got back home.

Or to that other girl’s home.

Anita liked to pretend she lived in Manhattan, wordlessly, to the people she met or just walked by and ignored, but mostly to herself. That other girl, that puffy-eyed brown girl with the frizzy hair, she was the one who lived on Staten Island, and even that girl only lived there from the hours of as-late-in-the-evenings-as-possible to as-early-as-she-could-climb-out-of-bed.

That girl lives where they used to send all the garbage, where they now send those people — the Basics — the ones who are described as not much more than trash under most people’s breaths.

That girl isn’t Anita.

Anita Singhal is a Manhattan girl. She comes to life at Whitehall, stepping off the Staten Island Ferry in that crush of commuting beef cattle.

A Manhattan girl who refuses to accept that she’s turning fifty in less than a year. A forty-nine year old woman who’d left her tablet on the ferry for the millionth time.

Not really. She hadn’t done that.

It was that disheveled girl from Staten Island who’d lost it.

And some more:

There’s a remoteness to Cape Churchill that you come to appreciate. It’s a patch of land with short, crooked trees and more grass than you’d expect for the “barren” tundra. In a month or so there’d even be carpets of white and purple flowers poking up through the grass, leaving only the occasional outcrops of rugged gray rock to remind you that you aren’t in some field in central Illinois.

People talk about places like northern Nevada or the middle of Montana — or every square inch of Iowa — as being the middle of nowhere, but Cape Churchill, on the southwest corner of Hudson Bay, is actually set squat in the center of nothing.

That’s what Jared Koskela would call it. Not the middle of nowhere, since that’s too cliched and overdone.

It’s the center of nothing.

And the center of something very important, if you’re into the idea of cutting-edge tech and saving the planet.

That’s what Jared Koskela wants to do.

And he wants to look good doing it.

So he’d gone into the town of Churchill for a haircut. He had a few hours to kill before the next test. “Next test” sounded good, better than “The Test”, which would make it feel that much worse when it fails.

Churchill, Manitoba is a funny mix of tourist trap and subarctic favela, and Jared had the distinct feeling that if it wasn’t for the resurgence of polar bears — now that the temperatures were back to mean — the entire vicinity would be coated in stray dogs.

But May isn’t polar bear season, and it isn’t beluga season, either. May in Churchill is known locally as the “why the hell is it still winter” season, and Jared had still been wearing his winter parka wherever he went.

He knew that his thick blue jacket shouted American way more than his Chicago accent. If it had been any later in the year, people would have mistaken him for a tourist. And charged him accordingly.

But Jared managed to get the unwritten local rate at the salon in the boutique hotel, despite being in the gray area between local and walking money tree.

And the hairdresser was pretty cute, too, despite her goofy look with the half-shaved head on one side and the long blonde comb-over the flopped down on top of the stubble.

All in a perfectly good Tuesday, until he ran into Rachael on the way out, through the lobby.

She was looking done up, her dark hair styled down and straight, her eyelashes plumped with mascara. She looked for once like she wasn’t working, like she had somewhere fun to be.

Jared was tempted to ask her about it.

“No time for your bullshit,” she said as she walked by.

“What?”

She stopped and turned back to look at him. “Was that too harsh?”

He smiled.

She didn’t.

“You working tomorrow?” he asked her.

She rolled her eyes at him.

“So I’m just headed out to do the big test,” he said.

She glared at him. It was like she was telling him he should have led with something more interesting, while also letting him know he shouldn’t have wasted her time to begin with.

“The rocket.” She’d been into all of that before. Or at least she’d told him she was. The thing was one step below a state secret, and he’d wanted to impress her…

Before he’d known that she’d been keeping tabs on all of it already…

“Good to know,” she said. And started walking again.

He wasn’t about to chase after her. Assuming that’s what she wanted.

He didn’t understand her. Not in the least.

He had a feeling she knew that. That she’d cultivated that.

Jared’s older sister had always promised him that he’d understand girls well enough to drive them up the wall. That he’d know exactly what to do to get a rise out of them, good or bad.

And she’d been right. Right up until Rachael Duck.

So this is coming out later this year, just like that book about Persephone’s sister Iris. Book Five of After The Fires Went Out comes after that.

And then I will take a vacation from using my imagination.