A Father Dreams…

I’ve been suffering insomnia for a while now, waking up anytime between 2:30 and 5:30 (with the target being rising at 6:00) and not being able to fall back to sleep. I’m beginning to think I may as well start planning to actually make use of the time, since I’m up anyway, rather than just puttering about and waiting for the son rise (when he gets up to get ready for school).

Last night, woke up at 2:30. I had maybe three and a half hours sleep.

This morning, gravity dragged at me like I was on Jupiter. My son, Nathaniel, and I always read for an hour in the morning, and I could barely keep my eyes open. This is all made even more ironic by the fact that the main book I’m reading at the moment is Insomnia by Stephen King. (And no, the problem didn’t start when I started the book).

Once Nathaniel headed to school, I flopped onto the couch and fell asleep. And I dreamed…

…I can’t recall much about the situation…various people I know were at a school or a mall or, I don’t know, some sort of underground base…

I do remember that I was trying to meet folks who could review or otherwise help promote my book (huh, wonder where that came from)…

There was also some sort of lurking threat, like something buried or trapped underground. I think maybe it was down a passage we planned to take, and there was an argument in the group (me, my son, and I don’t recall who else) that it was too dangerous. So we opted to go the longer way around, aboveground.

Up top, we made our way across a landscape full of debris. Construction of some kind was going on. And there was a huge chasm off to the right, three or four hundred feet deep.

We walked close to the edge, peering in. And Nathaniel squatted near the brink, on some cardboard that was part of the general clutter of the world around us.

And I noticed his feet were on a part of the cardboard that actually hung slightly over the edge. And the board started to slip in the loose dirt.

I cried out for him to get back, but it happened too fast. His feet slipped with the cardboard, and he fell.

I landed on my belly at chasm’s edge, grabbing for him.

And I caught the collar of his shirt.

I hauled him back up, over the edge, onto solid ground. And I just lost it, overcome from the surge of terror and the sweet release of joy that I’d saved him, wrapping him in my arms, rolling back and forth, kissing the top of his head and crying harder than I’ve ever cried in my life…

The emotion was so strong, it woke me. I could feel adrenaline buzzing in my veins, but the happiness that I’d saved my son in the dream lingered.

Happiness that he’s alive.

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Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom: “Over The Top Fun!”

The latest review of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is from Tia Nevitt at Fantasy Debut (and also has the distinction of being the first actual reader review posted for the book at Amazon, where she gives it 5 stars).

She seems to love it:

The adventure is a blend of Cthulhuian gods and a 10-year-old boy’s passion for all things squishy–like frogs. I mean, who can possibly find a frog anything but harmless? If anything, they’re a bit icky, but they don’t even have claws! They have little suction-cup thingies…kind of cute. . .in an amphibian kind of way.

Not Mr. Byrd’s frogs. They are green menaces! They have claws and gnashing teeth! And tentacles!

It’s fun. It’s also smart. There’s all sorts of interesting stuff in this little novel, like dark matter, nanotechnology (in a rather over-the-top way) and a smattering of Latin…

You can read the rest here.

There’s a good deal more, and she manages to say a lot without spoiling stuff, which I deeply appreciate (as will most readers, I think). I’m also very impressed with Fantasy Debut‘s review format, which includes a block at the start of the review that gives Amazon links for the USA, UK, and Canada, links to both the official Doc Wilde site and the Doc Wilde blog (which is different than this, my personal blog), and a link to the excerpt from the book I’ve made available. They’re really serving their readers well.

Doc Wilde: “Really. Totally. Awesome.”

The latest review of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is from Book Nut:

I needed something, after finishing The Woman in White, that was as far away from Victorian serialized novels as I could get. And, sorting through my piles of stuff, I came across this one. Which screams “not stuffy”. (Also “campy” and “not deep”, among other things.)

First off: how awesome is that title? Just saying it makes me grin… though I have to admit that I tend to say it in that movie-announcer voice: “DOC WILDE and the FROGS of DOOOOOOM!” Honestly: how much better can you get than frogs of doom? Not much.

That said, it totally and completely lived up to my campy expectations…It’s smart, enjoyable, campy fun. Perfect for a hot summer day (or a kid whose tastes tend toward the mutant…).

The full review is here. It’s pretty much a rave, she clearly enjoyed the book and is quite enthusiastic about it. She does use the term “campy” a lot, which hurts my soul a bit because as regular blog readers will know, I tend to not like campy things, and don’t consider Doc Wilde campy.

In my eyes, camp makes fun of its subjects, and I’m very serious (though also very playful) about the Wildes. As Alex Bledsoe at Guys Lit Wire wrote in his review, the book “while light-hearted, never turns to self-referential mockery.” But that’s a semantics issue (and actually a debate I had with my editor, so Melissa’s not alone in her definition of camp), and a minor one since she’s using the term in an enthusiastic way.

She also falls into the same “golden=blonde” trap that Tim Gabor, the cover artist, fell into:

You have a god of a Dad in Doc: a tall, muscular, blonde, intelligent, rich inventor who happens to Love his family and adventures…

Upon seeing the cover art, my son (the inspiration for Doc Wilde’s son, Brian) asked “When did we become blonde?” That’s because I described the Wildes thus:

They were all long-limbed and golden: golden brown hair, golden tans, and large eyes with glittering irises that seemed composed of layered gold leaf…

They have golden brown hair. Gary Chaloner got it right in his depictions of the Wildes, and in the real world, Jessica Alba’s hair and skin are about right for them:

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But lots of folks are going to see gold and think yellow, so I figure I’m going to have to get used to that. ;)

Doc Wilde Is Here!

Order Now!

Order Now!

Finally! As of yesterday, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is officially published! You can find it in bookstores and on the net.

The book is the first in a series of modern pulp adventures which follow the expoits of Dr. Spartacus Wilde and his swashbuckling kids, Brian and Wren.

If you’re somehow out of the loop, you can find out more about the book at the Doc Wilde web site, http://www.DocWilde.com. Continue reading

It’s National Michelle Malone Day

Or it should be, anyway.

If you’re not familiar with Michelle Malone, she’s sixteen tons of rock and blues melted down to a scalding boil and poured into a whiskey bottle. She’s a world-class talent I’ve been listening to since the mid-1980s, and a nice lady to boot.

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Today’s her birthday. To celebrate, everybody should buy her new album, Debris. It’s an amazing work. Here’s a taste:

And if you likey the blues, you really need to watch this one:

Happy birthday, Michelle!

The Consensus on Doc Wilde…

…is pretty darn good, thankfully.

Order Now!

Order Now!

It’s just a few days before the book lands in bookstores (Thursday, May 14th), so I figured I’d post a roster of the reviews it has received thus far for the interested:

Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom is an adventure yarn in the old tradition. It gets that reading is an intellectual activity, and that an adventure, to be really good, has to engage the reader’s brain. I love a smart book!”

—Daniel Pinkwater, author of
The Neddiad and The Yggyssey

“Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures. A tale ‘terrifying and dark, of indescribable horrors and eldritch mysteries,’ this is sure to be Wilde-ly popular, and readers will anxiously await future installments.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is a pulp-pounding ribbiting croaker of a tale!

—Will Murray, author of
seven Doc Savage novels

“Like its spiritual predecessors, the two-fisted adventure novels for boys and grown-up boys, this is a book to be read under the covers, with a flashlight, way past bedtime. It is old-school entertainment and proud of it.”

—Quentin Dodd, author of
Beatnik Rutabagas from Beyond the Stars

Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom is a fun pulp adventure that pays homage to Doc Savage while targeting the tweener crowd. The story line is fast and lighthearted as the heroes battle mutant fogs. With literary quotes ranging from Seuss to Lovecraft and beyond, Tim Byrd avoids dumbing down his novel. Young readers will relish the escapades of the Wilde family and friends as they struggle to save the world one croak at a time.

—Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round

Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom doesn’t really have one main character. It’s the story of a family…The basic premise behind the book is very clever, and the quality of the writing is excellent.

—Gail Gauthier,
author of Happy Kid!

Action adventure is just the tip of the iceberg because this book is actually crammed full of interesting and, dare we say it, educational tidbits…Parents, don’t be surprised if you find yourselves enjoying this fun pulp fiction just as much as your kids.

—Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics

Sonderbooks Reviews Doc Wilde

I woke up (well, mostly…I’m still working at it) this morning to a new Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom review. It’s notable because it looks like it could well have been my first negative review, but wound up very positive anyway.

It’s by Sondra Eklund at Sonderbooks, and she began like this:

Okay, I admit it. When I read the first chapter of this book, it reminded me way too much of the Spy Kids movie that my children watched until it nauseated me.  I wasn’t at all sure I could finish the book.

She also notes:

The book is described as a tribute to the old pulp adventure novels.  That is perhaps my problem — I never was a fan of those books.

A clear case of “not every thing is for every one,” right? But then:

However…I began to be intrigued to learn in what over-the-top way Doc Wilde and his children Brian and Wren would get the better of the sinister amazonian frogs of doom.  The less I took it seriously, the more fun I had reading it…once I got in the habit, I did find myself coming back for more each night…

I am looking forward to having this book on the library shelves.  I think it will be a natural choice for young comic book fans ready for a little more text and a lot of rollicking adventure. The story is indeed over-the-top.  Brian and Wren take after their father — tanned, golden-haired, strong, agile, good-looking, and incredibly smart.  Throw in being magnificently wealthy with all kinds of high-tech gadgets invented by Doc Wilde himself, and you won’t be surprised when they get out of every life-threatening situation thrown at them.  The fun comes in at how they get out of it this time.

And the adventure continues.

Doc Wilde: a “rock’em, sock’em cliffhanging adventure” (new review)

And, another review of my novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, this time from Sandy Amazeen at Monsters and Critics:

Rock’em, sock’em cliffhanging adventure…Action adventure is just the tip of the iceberg because this book is actually crammed full of interesting and dare we say it, educational tidbits…Parents, don’t be surprised if you find yourselves enjoying this fun pulp fiction just as much as your kids.

And that, of course, is the idea.