Update on Curse of a Dark God

I just turned in a 35 page chapter outline of Curse of a Dark God to my editor. This is the third iteration of the outline since December. Hopefully, at last, we have a story we can all agree on. Keep your fingers crossed.

Of course, since this back and forth has been a process of write like mad then wait a few weeks then write like mad and wait again, I’ve been working on another project during the waits. It’s a straight-up thriller.

Leon is ex-Special Forces (or an Army Ranger, but I’m leaning SF). He left the service when a colonel decided it was his job to make Leon’s life hell. He did security and a number of other things. Tried to be a plumber, but fell into bad company and then crime. And then was send to the big house and learned about a whole new theater of war. During his stay, he saw the light. Changed. He shaped up, and despite the swastika tatoos on his feet, flew straight when he got out. He had his odd jobs, but figured it was easiest to avoid all the questions and fuss that arise when you tell a prospective employer that you’re a felon. So he got himself a laundromat. Then another. Then he invested in a car wash. There’s good money in cleaning. And with the proceeds he bought himself a little ranch.

Leon’s a big man. Knows a lot about guns (although he can’t possess one), security, and crime. He lives in Rock Springs, Wyoming. On occassion, the sheriff is known to ask for his services. On more frequent occassions, the sheriff’s wife keeps trying to set him up with an unending line of women. But he doesn’t know if he’s ready for women. He doesn’t know if he’s ready for his nephew that his sister wants him to reform.

Then two old buddies from prison show up one night. They’ve got a girl with them. They need a place to stay. But it’s clear the girl isn’t there of her own accord. He figures they’re either holding her for ransom or blackmail. He’s not sure which. He knows these boys are connected to some bad men. Then his nephew breaks her free. The excons get in their car and chase after her. Leon gets in his car and chases after them. And soon he finds himself in the middle of something bigger than he could imagine.

Or something like that. I should have the chapter outline ready to go as soon as I finish Curse. I can’t wait to write it.

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11 Responses to Update on Curse of a Dark God

  1. Steve Lewis says:

    So, John, what do you think? Are you going to shop this one around New York or are you going to put it out digitally? It sounds like it’d be a good fast read, which make it a perfect fit for indie publishing.

  2. John Brown says:

    I think my strategy will be to do both. My job as a business man is to maximize my profits and grow an excited customer base. Indie and traditional publishing offer two different methods for doing that. Both have their pros and cons. Neither comes with guarantees. But I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. I can be selling it online while it’s being shopped. If I don’t get a publisher deal that’s attractive, I stay indie. If I do, I’m happy to use that method. I really don’t care which method I use as long as I maximize and grow.

  3. valerie M says:

    Crossing my fingers for Curse! This other sounds like a great read. I’m always a sucker for bad boys in books. As always I wish you the best of luck. I finally got my boyfriend to read Servant. He doesn’t have a lot of reading time, which is why I say “finally”. He enjoyed it as much as I did!
    I hope you come back to Scottsdale to sign for us again when Curse comes out. We had fun.

  4. valerie M says:

    I should say even bad boys who are reformed. I think those hold even higher appeal because you know you won’t be caught up in something bad but there still might be something a little dangeous about them. Hey, every gal loves a bad boy. The smart ladies stick with the nice guys, but they still love a bad boy. 😉

  5. Dale Ivan Smith says:


    I think that’s a wise strategy! I love your thriller’s setup and premise–it seems like it would be a fine candidate for indie publishing. Also, you won’t be forgoing any present income from the novel. J.A. Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith both stress the monetary opportunity cost of not having a novel for sale while it is going through the traditional publishing submission route. This way it will be earning some money from the day you complete it.

    Another indie advantage is you aren’t bound by publisher expectation–as I understand it, traditional publishing still tends to place authors into what they consider marketable boxes (e.g. once a fantasy author, always a fantasy author). As an indie you are free to write a thriller, and let that book connect with thriller readers.

    I look forward to seeing it up at Amazon (I own a Kindle 😉

  6. Jon (WEKM) Krupp says:

    John, this sounds like the plot worked up at LTUE two years ago at yours and Larry’s seminar.
    Now I just have to know, when do we find out about the pies?

  7. John Brown says:

    Dale, this one will go out under a pen name. Thrillers are just a different product and so I think it’s wise to use a different brand. As for the name, I’m still narrowing down the possibilities. I’ll probably post a list here and get feedback. Of course, going out under a penname allows me to keep the fantasy side dark, so I don’t know that thrillers would limit me with traditional publishers. Regardless, I think you’re right. No sense letting a product sit on a shelf when it can be making money.

  8. John Brown says:

    Suuuuure, you want the reformed ones, Valerie 🙂 I’m glad to hear your boyfriend liked it. And I plan on coming back to Poisoned Pen. We’ll see if it works out.

    Jon, actually it’s not. Although I am using the bit about pies. I just loved that. But there are a lot of similarities, aren’t there.

  9. Jared Adams says:

    This sounds awesome! A guy who knows all this stuff about guns but can’t use them–love it. Sold it to me at least.

    Also I second the motion about Scottsdale.

  10. John Brown says:

    Two down for Poisoned Pen.

  11. L.T. Elliot says:

    Oops! Just saw this. Sorry! Ignore the other comment. 😉