Friday, October 31, 2014

Freebie of my book Death of Heaven for Halloween Weekend!

Happy Halloween!

Welcome, to your nightmare. But have fun with it!

Horror book for Free!

Now welcome to MY Nightmare! Just for the weekend, I'm offering a free ebook download copy of my book Death of Heaven. from Zilyon Publishing - coupon KL76K good through the weekend.

You've never read a book like this one.

Cover by Marvin Hayes

See the video trailer here at my YoutTube Channel TheJZMurdock

Demons for Free!

Also, my Wattpad story The Unwritten, is always free, available to read on your cell phone or mobile device as it's being written. I'm up to part XII now and part XV is going to be a massacre.

Ever wake in an old cabin which a crazy woman was sticking you in the side with a knife while you were strapped to an old table? I'd advise against it, especially with what this guy has to deal with. Alternate universes, Hell, literally...Hell. It's an ongoing story being posted as I’m writing it.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


I mean...Cheers!

Monday, October 27, 2014

What is, The Unwritten? Find out FREE on Wattpad. Experience, the cliffhanger, as it's being written!

[ My editor said she had trouble finding links to
my story on her iPad, so just to be clear,
here is the STORY LINK referred to below.]
New parts posted to Wattpad weekly, or more frequently
This past summer I started playing with a site called, Wattpad. An author I know from Facebook, Louis Shalako, was posting parts of a book he calls, "The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue". I wasn't paying much attention to things till I started to wonder why he was using Wattpad. So I thought I would give it a try.

I posted a few things, getting my toes wet. I posted the popular story, To End All War. A short story I wrote on Wattpad. I posted my short short story, "The Fall" which previously was only available in an ebook of mine as an additional story. This was a story that led to an article on my writings, in Indies Unlimited called, "Gender Bender" by L.A. Lewandowski, about writers writing both male and female characters and making it work. I wrote, Crashing Indulgence, as an experiment that got more than a few reads. But these were all just testing the waters, until something of substance came about.

Then one day, I came across an old quote on my quotes page here on my blog called, Quotes Along The Murdock.
Currently only 12 parts, more coming, trust me.
Whenever I post something somewhere that I find interesting, I post it on that page. I posted one a while back and saved it in there attributing it to, "The Unwritten". Which actually meant to be a kind of joke and essentially something that I hadn't written, it was a quote from nowhere. I write just about everything: non-fiction, fiction, horror, sci fi, screenplays, whatever. I try to stretch my skill set.

The quote goes like this:

"I want to learn to love you best of all," she said, "and that's just easier if you're dead."
From, The Unwritten

It occurred to me that I should write it into something so that when I said it was from, "The Unwritten", it could actually be from SOME thing called, "The Unwritten". I thought about Wattpad and figured, what the Hell, let's see what happens. Wattpad is a place readers can watch writers as they write something. Some writers have even gotten book deals from publishing on Wattpad, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

You can see how writers think as they develop a story. It's a kind of first draft platform for many, both writers and readers. Some polish their work before publishing on there so their works aren't first drafts, but some of us are throwing our first drafts up there, a  pretty scary prospect, really. Especially for those writers who think it's offensive to show a first draft to anyone, as I was taught by one of my university professors.

For some, they really shouldn't publish a first draft. But for those who can kick out a first draft that's readable, especially if you already have readers, it can be fun and rewarding to see how a writer develops their stories. It's also a good experience for a writer. It can change how you work, it can embolden you and beef up your skills. I do have to go back from time to time to clean up parts to fit the new parts, new directions as things develop, but I've found that I really don't have to do that very frequently.

So, as for the quote, it is obviously some kind of a quote from a horror story, so I wrote part "The Unwritten Part I". I wasn't sure if I'd go on beyond that, or where it may lead.

Right after I posted that first part, I was on Facebook, joking around with some people I know from a group on there and to give a guy a hard time, who I was just teasing, I threatened to name a character in a horror story after him. I thought about which one and well, "The Unwritten Part I" became, "The Unwritten Part I - Tom". I'm not so sure he appreciated it, but there it is, the protagonist's name is now, Tom. And Tom has been immortalized in one of my stories. 

A part II came along and then a part III and I realized, there was more to come. At this point there's eleven parts published and two more in draft stage, with no end in sight.

I seemed to be publishing them on Wattpad at a rate of about one a week. Then it escalated. I work on it as I have time. I create one or a few drafts of upcoming parts and work on them if I have an idea where those part should go. I do my note taking in these draft parts and dabble in them, altering them as they develop, then sit down and write through the next part and publish it.

It's led to some research on things. Like Hell and how it's perceived throughout history and in different religions and cultures.

Okay, SPOILERS now -

If you don't want to know anything about the story till you read it, then go read it. It's free.

You can download the Wattpad app for your phone and within seconds of my publishing a new part (or whatever author you decided to follow), you get notified immediately and can read it right then on your phone. Or whatever or however you like. It's kind of a throwback to the old Saturday movie cliffhangers where you just have to wait for a new episode to see what is happening to our here. Or, our antihero, in some cases. 

Here comes a basic description of what you're getting into with this story, The Unwritten.

The story begins with a guy who wakes up in an old cabin in the woods, strapped to an old kitchen table, with a woman standing over him with a knife. She says to him (you'll never guess what):

"I want to learn to love you best of all, and that's just easier if you're dead."

There. Now that quote comes from somewhere and truly is from, "The Unwritten".

Moving along....

With that, she stabs him in the side. Not to kill, but to torture. And, he's not very happy about it. Finally, he finally passes out. When he wakes up, she's gone, he's still tied up and he can't remember anything. Not who he is, where he came from or how he got there. He just knows that he doesn't want to be there or see that woman again since, his host isn't very nice.

One thing leads to another and well, his day just gets worse from then, and then it gets really bad and finally, pretty surreal. Surreal in a way I don't think you've experienced before.

That is to say, things go downhill for him from there; literally and figuratively.

But they also go up.

You see, there is something up there in the cabin, too. Something, is flowing along the ceiling. That's bad enough but where it comes from, is even worse. But that's not all.

There are some others involved. No, they're not there. All three come together in this story in a bizarre exploration of some very disparate things that interact in unforeseen ways. Unforeseen for us, and unforeseen for the characters.

This is a horror story. It's a slasher and torture story. It's traditional and nontraditional. It's a sci fi. A very dark fantasy. Basically, a little bit of everything and, the kitchen sink.

Well, that's all I'm going to tell you. I may at some point in a future post, explain how the parts came to be.

For once, in writing this, I'm just cutting loose and enjoying my writing process. Usually I have a very structured way of going about things. But with this, as Wattpad allows, I can just go for it and see what happens, let my imagination run wild. Which some might say from past writings, I do anyway, but this is different. Maybe it will come out in a similar way to the readers, but for this writer, it's quite a different experience. 

The few people who have read it so far have liked it and have no clue where this story is going. Because honestly, neither do I. I do even more so than usual, write myself into a corner, then try to creatively write myself back out of that corner. If I do a good job in the end is yet to be seen. But so far, I have a pretty good track record in doing that.

One of the cool things about Wattpad, is that readers can make comments, can connect with the writer as the writing is being done. If I were to see a good comment and it changed how the story was going in an interesting way, I just might incorporate it.

I should say that I do have a path in the back of my mind, as to where I'm going. Up to a point. Which is mostly just one to three parts ahead at any one point with an overall thought about where I'm heading, that changes as I come up with a better idea from time to time.

The story is being honed as I write it. It's odd for me since people are reading it before my editor has a chance to do any editing. I should add that she is enjoying the experience and anxiously awaiting my new parts as I post them. So that's a good sign. Because if it sucked, I'd hear about it, I'm sure.

So if you like this kind of thing, please come along for the ride. Because you'll be on a ride that is free, fun, and a touch foolhardy. No, maybe not so much that last one, but it will hopefully keep your attention and be entertaining on several levels.

So, come on down to the dark side! 

Down? Yeah, you'll see what I mean. If you join us for the ride. Experience what the "cliffhanger" is about!

Come join us reading, The Unwritten
New parts posted to Wattpad weekly, or more frequently

Monday, October 20, 2014

We're Not Doomed, It's Always Just Darkest Before The Dawn

There's an old adage, "It's always darkest before the dawn", which has a lot of wisdom in it. Many times, perhaps most times, things do get their worse before they get better.

I've seen the same thing in my life. When times were hardest, once I got through them, times got a lot better. Sometimes just because it feels much better, sometimes because you worked so hard to get out of your bad situation, you overshoot when things start to turn for the better. Or you put out calls and some finally pay off, sometimes after you no longer need them. Not always the case surely, but many times it is true and frequently for some of the worst times.

This certainly isn't news to me but for some, they seem completely ignorant of it and that brews up anger and bitterness in them; sometimes in ways to work against themselves.

I was recetnly listening to Fareed Zararia's Sunday morning news show as I always do on the weekend: Real Time With Bill Maher on Saturday mornings for a lighthearted view of what's going on in the world and Fareed on Sundays for a more serious orientation, as I prep my next Monday blog.

I realized something about how bad things have been at times and questioning, where's the relief, where's the end? It occurred to me it may be closer than I thought.

The US Congressional Republican's stupidity these past years, the stupidity of China's leaders, the insanity in the Middle East, perhaps all this is their death knell and good times are soon to be upon us? News networks like Fox News who push rational issues to the point of media manipulation and sensationalism purely for the purpose of ratings and money, greed. It's dislikeable, disagreeable and stupid.

Rational people dislike types such as Bill O'Reilly who are a part of the hiding in plain sight, conservative anti-intelligentsia...the "Intelligent Stupid Elite", who exist under the transparent media "rocks" of the anti-liberal wingnut.

People dislike national leaders such as Vlady Putin in Russia, an ex-KGB punk, grown just a bit bigger than tiny. Wait, punks are cool now, let's say, chump, instead then. Look, I'd say thug but I don't want to disdain the good name of thugs everywhere.

Putin who dresses (IN a dress? Hey, who knows in private, right?) when he doesn't have his shirt off, to try to satiate his bloated ego and girlishly sensitive self-esteem. He's like the self-esteem insufficient bully in the elementary schoolyard who picks on poor little Ukraine who was minding their own business and only wanted to talk to the cool kids in the west, and so he steals their Crimea while everybody is looking, then dares anyone to do anything about it. This isn't very impressive for everyone else, by the way.

Putin who takes up a sport like judo (or wrestling for that matter). Unless you are looking to get up close and personal, rubbing up against sweaty skin with other men. Look, there's nothing wrong with either Judo or wresting, But it's different when you are leader of a nation. Things, count for more than the seem to and they should.

When wouldn't he take a really good Martial Art like Aikido, unless he feels that is too peacenik-like so then he could go for, Krag Maga. What does it say about Russia's leader that instead of taking up an excellent home grown Martial Art like Systema, he takes on a Japanese one and not even an Martial Art but Japan's venerable and national sport? Is this a brave Russian Bear of a man?

If he's a real man, if he wants to prove to the world how powerful he really is, let's see him produce a television cartoon making fun of the Prophet Mohammad.

Now THAT, wold take a real man.

People also dislike his similar counterpart in more extreme North Korea's Kim Jong-Un whose carnal and culinary satiations have gotten so far out of hand his ankles rebelled and broke. Or the too thin right up through to the brain, Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.

Or the pathetic movements of ISIS\ISIL, with their sad abuses in allowing juvenile desires to run rampant and free with weapons aimed and fired at who many innocent people? This is a group whose single obvious goal apparently is to get Iran talking with the Great Satan!

Yes, lots of things going on around the world today.

These are sad individuals all, whose sense of self importance trumps that of the abused citizens in their care.

But these are all tiny despots including Putin in massive and still mighty Russia, whose people will one day wake up and kick his abusive ass out of office and take out his cronies and backers as well. Putin who is still just a tiny man in control of a large nation on their way out of this ever modernizing world if Putin remains in power.

Enough of these concerns about these tiny egotisticals.

Consider the slow engagement of governments to clamp down on issues like ebola. An issue which drastically points out how not helping poorer nations, can truly affect those who think, "this isn't our issue".

Because, it is. It's all our issue.

Sometimes it takes things getting to their worst, to gather the attention of everyone, before there is a strong enough and cohesive enough of a reaction in order for real positive change to come to fruition.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we're finally almost there.

Of course, many times things go on seemingly forever. Sometimes bad things fizzle out and suddenly there is a newer, better arrangement and things simply evolve into being better, without an Arab Uprising, a Tienanmen Square, or a Civil War.

But the current issue with ISIS/ISIL is pretty bad, pretty ridiculous, pretty offensive; not only to the world, to the west, but to the Arab and Islamic world, too.

We may be viewing the death knell of much bad in the world. It doesn't look or seem like it. But when it happens we will look back over it and only then see how it was obvious at some point after the fact; when it seems like it should have been obvious during the fact; and yet, we couldn't see it. Why?

Just ask your self, why, and look around you, try to see what isn't obvious. Of course you have to cut through the media's skewing things for sensationalism and their lies depending on what compromised news network you listen to (that is Fox News as opposed to Al Jezeera, maybe), and the spin doctors and publicist's manipulations.

If that is the case, if things are about to get better, let's at least consider it now, when we most need to see the light of a new day and not the sunset of an old one. To be aware of the possibility of an upswing, so that later you can say, I saw it coming and not, I really had no idea and I did unnecessary harm to myself and others in my professing "the sky is falling", which seems to be so much anymore about life in our modern times.

Just... be, aware, be, hopeful. And act toward making things better.

Monday, October 13, 2014

What exactly is, Big Horror by JZ Murdock? Well, I'll tell you.

Big Horror, huh? What in the world is that, you might ask?

I've had a few catch phrases since I started marketing my horror writings.
  • Big Horror
  • Author of the Macabre
  • Making my nightmares your reality
  • Epic Horror on a Galactic Scale (This refers to my book, Death of Heaven)

Epic Horror means it's very large, in this case lasting through a great deal if time; Galactic scale is merely punctuating that and with Death of Heaven, it really couldn't be more correct.

As an Author of the Macabre - I grew up loving horror and the classics. Scary tales told in stories, books and films from the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, most especially. The original Twilight Zone show affected me as a very young child in the late 1950s, early 60s.

Macabre is defined generally as: disturbing and horrifying because of involvement with or depiction of death and injury. Fear of whatever in a weird, unusual, or unexpected way. 

I like what feels fresh, what comes at you from odd angles. I've been told I do that very well and so I've earned the title.

In Making my nightmares your reality, I am obviously referring to taking horror stories from my imagination (and yes in some cases dreams and nightmares I've had) and putting them into a format that you can experience.

In my writings, which include screenplays, who knows what the future might bring. There is an interesting crossover between my screen and fiction writing. Sometimes you can see in writing a screenplay what you can't see in a prosaic story, and vice versa.

"Big Horror" simply put, means it's big.

Kind of self explanatory there, but I thought I'd explain my personal thought processes on this. Big, to me means either big in scope, or big in how it affects the character, and also hopefully, the reader.

Here's a few examples.
Cover by Marvin Hayes
In my short story, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear (a standalone ebook, also in Anthology of Evil), a world renowned doctor tries to help his long time missing son's best friend from his childhood and college days. In that endeavor he ends up creating something that alters America and the world and not necessarily in a good way. It's a big concept that grows from a small thing involving a single individual or two.

It is big or epic in that it encompasses the world and also, at the end, is very personal and big to the reader and the character. Whether it serves its purpose in what I had intended, I leave that up to the reader. I've had responses from people to that story that go from yawns to people being very disturbed by it. In one case, a new acquaintance (sadly, unfamiliar with the world of horror fiction) read it and never talked to me again after that. Well, to each his (or her) own.

I believe the assumption was made that I thought how the main character though in the end of the story. A mistake people can make and one that actors especially go through in their careers when their acting skill makes a character so real to the public, that some start to think that actor and character are one in the same. It's the mark of a good or great actor (or a well played, very well written character) and I think, the sign of a very good, or great writer.

My book, Death of Heaven (video book trailer) is certainly epic in scope (and I will attempt to leave that to discovery through reading) because of what it encompasses in time, distance and story. It is the biggest thing I have ever written and possibly the biggest story (again regarding time and distance) that I may have ever read.

Because of that I have revised and re-released it this year (August 30th, 2014) after it's initial release in 2012. It is now a better read with the help of my editor (a new writing partnership at the time of starting the revision in 2013). It flows better now (a good editor is a great thing, you know), and it's even more intense. Some areas that needed "fleshing out" have now been fully realized.

That book is big or epic in scope but also because of the prequel that was written several decades ago. Andrew was a story that left my University Fiction Writing 101 class stunned and they all became fans that day. That was when I first started to realize I was onto something in my writing fiction and perhaps psychology (my major) was the wrong career direction.

That Professor in my first fiction writing class, sent me to the Theatre department for that next school quarter, to better my dialog skills in taking playwriting. That class led to my being asked to join a year long screenwriting class in a team environment of eight writers also carefully chosen from that playwriting class. An experience I enjoyed wholeheartedly and will simply never forget. And wouldn't mind repeating, albeit in a more compensated and professional fashion.

My editor and I are finally starting to revise that story that got the ball rolling, both on my writing career and on my book Death of Heaven. That short story has also grown into a novella over the years in tinkering with it. That is now dovetailed into the sequel to my screenplay Gray and Lover The Hearth Tales Incident (Semi-Finalist in the Circus Road Films Screenplay Contest, winner announced on December 1st), where both my book and the screenplay characters will meet up in a third, more tropical location.

If you want to read the original novella as it is now, it is the novella at the end of my collection of short stories, Anthology of Evil and is available as a standalone ebook. I am currently compiling a second collection of my short story (Anthology of Evil II, obviously), that I hope to put out perhaps next year. You can also see all my works available on my Amazon Author page.

Another story I see as Big or Epic is my "Poor Lord Ritchie" story (see Anthology of Evil; which I can now refer to as the Lord Ritchie stories as there is a new prequel version contained within an anthology I am included in along with other authors, called, Giant Tales - World of Pirates. It is a short story titled, Breaking On Cave Island.

I am also going to be showcased in another anthology soon called, Final Ships. It has my story, In The Shade. That is a story from Death of Heaven that is not included in that book. It is the story of a man in Florida who experiences what happens toward the end of Death of Heaven but has no idea what is going on. There are a few of those stories in the book, but I wrote the one especially for this anthology, after my book had been released. So you get a slightly different perspective on the events that unfold in my book.

I hope you will consider giving Death of Heaven, a try, as well as some of my other writings. I've read a lot of fiction in my life, and I've never seen anything myself, quite like it.

Also, please drop by to check out my writings on Wattpad. I have several finished on there and one now that I am writing and you can read as I write it, called, The Unwritten ("Life is what it seems. If you can just see where the seams are.").

This is a write and publish it now, kind of site. Then later I can go back over it and work on it some more. You can actually see how my mind thinks in writing a story; you can also see what I can do with a first draft (which I'm told is not bad and I'm from the school of NEVER show ANYONE  your first drafts). So this is a first. It has been unsettling to me, but also invigorating. And you can watch a book being written as it develops.

I got this idea from another author on Facebook, Louis Shalako. Drop by and check out his writings too. Who knows, maybe you'll pick up a few new good authors, and you can read there for free. Just download their app, read it on your phone from anywhere, and it will notify you when a new story part is published.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Isn't it all about the journey and not the destination?

Isn't it all about the journey and not simply the destination?

If nothing else it just makes sense, because we spend so much more time getting somewhere, than being somewhere. If you see what I mean. And if that's so, then why, WHY, do I work so hard to achieve a destination, just to...get there, to be there?

Why do I work so hard on things I don't want to work on, simply in order to achieve a destination?

I do things that I find difficult, things that force me to learn new things. Though I do love to learn, I find myself learning about things I really couldn't care less about. Like, marketing, since I'm a writer, when I really just want to write. But then understanding marketing, understanding your audience can actually enhance sales. Does it really enhance the quality of your writing, though?

Maybe. Maybe, not.

I don't really know why, why I do that.

I mean if it's all about the journey, if Life is about the moments and not the end point, the achievements, then why do it?

What am I doing, why am I doing this to myself?

Perhaps it's just that I'm looking at it all wrong? Perhaps, I'm simply incorrect?

So, what IS correct then? What SHOULD I be doing? Where AM I going and WHY am I going there?

I suspect it is because if life is really all about the journey, then that journey will select your destination for you, anyway. If you select the right journey, then you are selecting the destination you want to begin with. You just need desperately to want it, you need to be passionate about it.

Otherwise, why bother? Right?

I suspect that when you feel like you ARE trying to live the journey and yet, you feel you are only working on the destination, then IF you TRULY are working on the journey, what may be happening, what hopefully IS happening, is that you are "changing cars", "changing modes of transportation".

Look. If you go on a journey for a vacation, the entire thing is really about the journey. Even if you get to your destination and you only then begin that journey, then you are still on the journey. You do however have to realize that the journey in getting to the destination, where the journey is to begin, really is also a journey.

If you don't realize that, or see that this is indeed the case, then you are cutting half (or at the very least, a third) of the overall experience completely out of your available bank of possibilities.

Experience happens. It just, happens. You can't stop and start it, it is always just, occurring, all around you.

So why not enjoy it? Why not utilize that journey-that-isn't-the-journey before the destination, when the journey is actually only then supposed to begin?

Let's say you agree and decide to do that and yet, you realize that you are still dealing with the journey as if only the destination mattered.

Why is that? I mean, why do that?

I submit to you that this is the changing of cars, of modes of transportation.

When you go on that vacation, say you take a boat to Italy, you get your things packed at home. Then, let's say you take a taxi to the boat. You then load onto the boat, across a bridge, up a gangplank, whatever; you board the boat.

Then you ride the boat for days to your destination. You eventually depart the boat and head to your hotel. You unpack.

Finally, you are beginning your journey at your destination.

In taking that initial taxi to the boat, you are wondering to yourself, did I forget anything, do I have my tickets, wallet, credit cards, whatever? Because I don't want to get on that boat and have it drop its connections with the land and only then realize, I am going to be lost without that thing that I needed or wanted to bring along.

On that taxi ride I might ignore the driver. I might ignore the garbage truck we pass on the street, I might ignore the truck load of incredible oddities that drives by us. The beautiful park with the strange little parade will go unnoticed. The child who looks up at an adult on the sidewalk, the one who is being a complete ass who gets a childlike look that says it all about what an ass that adult is being. A look I might click to see a video of it on YouTube, or would even pay to see as it's just so damn funny. And I could have seen in in real life...for real...really.

The world is filled with these marvelous and amazing moments of life lessons and entertainment, with educational moments, with creative, with cathartic and artistic moments.

All these things you can miss, if you don't remember that when the journey to the destination begins, your destination is already there on the way to the journey's destination's journey.

So in the end and after all, it really is all about the journey. Right?

Now, to completely change the subject....
There is a signed horror book giveaway on the Horror Writers Association's Selfies site. There will be a lot of authors offering a free signed book.

Like Peter Straub's "A Dark Matter", for one.

And my own, "Death of Heaven", for another.

Best of luck! Cheers!