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Messages - boydm

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Hi everyone!

I'm sorry I went into radio silence mode for a while, but I had to keep a low profile while our negotiations were ongoing. It was hard staying quiet for so long. I have been monitoring the boards, though, and I'm so grateful for all the kind words.

Now the big news: Today I received confirmation from my agent that The Ark will be published in hardcover in summer 2010 by Simon and Schuster's Touchstone imprint. I couldn't be more excited! The two-book deal is for The Ark and the next book in the Tyler Locke series, so Locke's adventures will definitely be continuing. I also have book deals in seven other countries so far. We're still working on The Palmyra Impact and The Adamas Blueprint, but those will be back in readers' hands at some point.

Thanks so much for everyone who has been so enthusiastic about my novels. I can honestly say that the readers on Kindleboards were a big factor in spreading the word and getting me noticed by my publisher. I may be the first author whose book was available only on the Kindle to get a New York publishing deal, and the reviews I got from readers here helped immensely.

If anyone is attending Thrillerfest in New York City, I will be there July 9-12, and I'd love to meet you. I'm also attending the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle on July 30-August 2 and Bouchercon in Indianapolis October 15-18. Now I can go as a soon-to-be-published author, which will be a great feeling.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll tell you what I can. I'm still processing all of this, so I'm a little flummoxed right now, but flummoxed in a great, amazing way!


These books are gone fron Kindle.

People have started to notice that my books are no longer on Amazon, so I thought I post a short note here for now. I took my books off Amazon and my web site because I'm in negotiations for a book deal. That's all I can say at this time. I'll let you know more when I have something concrete to report. Thanks again to everyone!

Thanks, everyone! I've been lucky to get such great support like this on Kindleboards.

I'm working on my next story now, so please keep an eye out for it.

The Book Corner / Re: So, what are you reading?
« on: June 18, 2009, 10:26:51 am »
Loving this:  The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein.

Couldn't get the picture link to work.......

300th post - Woohoo!!!! ;D ;D ;D

I loved that book! However, I have to admit it had me teary by the end of the first chapter because I'm a big dog person. A very moving story.

I've finished the book and left a review on Amazon. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well done. It was easy to get hooked and forget to go to bed at a decent hour.  ;D   I like how it got your attention right off on page 1 and was action packed throughout.

I wish there would have been a little more of Locke's history. It seems like he knew how to do everything. I realize his military training helped some, but there were a couple of moments I thought 'how would he know that'. I can't remember specifics. Maybe it's my own lack of understanding what exactly an engineer does. I still enjoyed the story very much.

I look forward to reading your other books.

Thanks for the review, Kimmy! I hope we get to learn more about Locke in future books. I see him as something of an engineering renaissance man. Because he's so smart and capable, he's the engineer I would aspire to be, but he's also very focused on his work, almost to a fault. And when he isn't working, he's doing something mechanical or speedy, like racing cars. He might know a lot about how to take apart an engine and put it back together, but if you asked him the latest about politics or entertainment, he'd just give you a blank stare. That kind of thing doesn't interest him. Now Grant, on the other hand, loves that stuff, and what little Locke knows about it, he learned through Grant.

Thanks, Frojazz and Geoff. There is a way to report reviews, but I didn't, even though I was indignant as well. I appreciate the rave reviews, and I don't want someone to suggest they're tainted in any way.


Weird. Now that review has been removed. I'm glad, because it didn't add anything to the conversation about the merits or demerits of The Ark.

Thanks to everyone for their great feedback! This Book Klub has been great fun, and I'd recommend it to other authors who want to start some discussion on their books.

It's also nice to get some honest feedback in a forum that let's us all have a respectful discussion, even when you may not like some of the aspects of the book. It helps to counter a few of the less-than-stellar reviews I've gotten on Amazon. The latest one-star review accuses me of spamming Amazon with reviews from friends, which is obviously untrue, since many of my good reviews have come from readers here on Kindleboards. It bothers me not only because it's a baseless accusation, but also because it dismisses out of hand the opinions of those who enjoyed the book. I don't mind if someone doesn't like The Ark--it's not for everyone--but that one was disturbing. I didn't respond to it on Amazon because starting a flame war never benefits the author, but I wanted to express my gratitude for the support I've received on Kindleboards.

I've had all three of your books on my Kindle for a while.  I started reading "The Palmyra Impact" yesterday.  I wasn't sure I would like the tsunami topic but I do and I'm learning so much.  Your writing is great! Your story flows smoothly.  I like the characters and everything I've read so far.  I'm sure I'll read the others as soon as I finish this one.

Has anyone told you that in some of your pictures you look like Michael J Fox?  It's great to have you here on the Kindle Boards.  I'm looking forward to reading more of your novels and I wish you continued success.

Thanks, Avalon3! I hope you enjoy the others as well.

That's a first for being compared to Michael J. Fox, although I'm probably about 10 inches taller than he is, so that may be why. At one time or another, people have told me I look like Clint Eastwood, David Bowie, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rick Astley, and Vanilla Ice. Clint Eastwood I like, Vanilla Ice not so much. I take Michael J. Fox as a compliment. :)

Thanks, Frojazz and Marianne!

I've never worked with limestone formations, which would be a more likely place to find a cave like the Ark. That's what makes it somewhat miraculous, that a cavern like that could form inside a shield volcano like Mt. Ararat.

I'm a terrible artist, so the Ark only exists in my head (and in text form, of course!). But I do have an excellent idea of what it would look like, and I would love to see a visual representation of what Locke and the others saw the first time it was revealed.

As you mentioned, I discussed my travels in other threads, but I'll repeat it here. I live in Seattle, and I've been to all the US cities I describe. I've never been on an oil platform, but I worked for Mobil Oil in a west Texas oil field one summer in college, so I'm extremely familiar with the smell of crude. I've never been to Armenia or Turkey, but I've been to over 30 countries in my life, which I think gives me a sense of how different other countries and cultures can be. Then I can fill in the facts with what I've learned on the Internet or through books.

Relationships, especially long-distance relationships, can be difficult to keep intact. Locke is a globe-trotting adventurer, so it'll be hard for him to settle down with someone, particularly a globe-trotting archaeologist. That doesn't mean they can't get together for some nookie when it's convenient, but exclusivity doesn't seem realistic.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Author Snippet Challenge
« on: June 12, 2009, 07:32:32 am »
This is a snippet from The Ark:

“What the hell is going on, Judy?”
“That bone is why the hazmat team is here. Because of the condition of the remains, the FBI was worried about biological or chemical residues. The closest team was an Army unit from Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. Didn’t find anything. They gave us the all-clear to start our processing yesterday afternoon.”
“How many bodies have you recovered so far?”
“What?” Locke said, incredulous. “You must have found some by now. According to the manifest I saw, there were 27 people on board.”
“We’ve found remains from at least twenty people, but no bodies.”
“By remains, you mean hands, torsos, things like that?”
“No. That row of bags you saw before contains nothing but bones.”
Locke was speechless. Grant looked like he felt--completely shocked.
“How is that possible?” Locke finally said.
“We have no idea,” Judy said. “All we know is that before the plane crashed, something reduced every single person on board to skeletons.”

My thanks to everyone for reading my books! These forums have been a great way for me to connect with readers.

Writing novels is not my only foray into the entertainment world. I wanted to let everyone know that, starting this Friday, I will be appearing on stage in Leading Ladies, a cross-dressing comedy in the tradition of Tootsie and Some Like It Hot. I will be playing one of the title leading ladies. Yes, I will be in a dress, high heels, and a wig, which is quite a sight since I'm 6'2". If you're in the Seattle area, I'd love for you to come. We run for three weeks from June 12-28. You can get more info at

Thanks, LDB! That's high praise indeed.

And thanks to you, Vicki! I'm working on the next one right now, and I should have it finished this summer. When you'll be able to read it depends on whether NY publishing decides to pick it up. If they don't, it'll go onto the Kindle with my others.

The Book Corner / Re: So, what are you reading?
« on: June 07, 2009, 08:58:28 am »
Just finished Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child. The violence is a little graphic in places, and I have one quibble with the ending, but it's an excellent read.

For some reason, Link Maker can't find it, so here's the regular link:

Here's a cool article about how the Kindle is changing the publishing industry, featuring me and other self-published authors that are Kindleboards members.

You're welcome, MumsicalWhimsy! And thanks to everyone.

EllenR, I'd say read The Palmyra Impact next. It's a much different book from The Ark, but still a thriller.

Boyd, I just finished reading The Ark.  As I was reading, I kept saying to myself, this book is too long, it's just too long.  At the end, I wouldn't remove a word.  It's all there, all necessary, and wonderfully put together.

Thanks for a great read.

Oh, and thanks for not doing the Ark of the Covenant.  Noah's Ark was much more interesting.   ;)

Thanks, Gertie! It is a long story, but like you said, I couldn't think of anything I could remove and still have the story make sense. One thing I don't really do in my books is subplot. It's all plot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Author Snippet Challenge
« on: June 05, 2009, 09:40:39 pm »
That gives me anxiety.  I don't swim that good. :-\  Are they very far from the beach?  A dumb question no doubt! :-[  Good snippet.  Got my attention. :)

Being close to the beach is only the start of their problems.  :)

Since the assignment for next Friday (June 12) is the last section of the book, I don't know if there's any point in making this thread spoiler-free. But if you read this before you finished, I don't want to give anything away.

My main question here would be, what did you think of the reveal of the Ark explanation? Did you have it figured out by now, or were you surprised? It's always a tricky for an author to plant just enough seeds to make the reveal an "aha!" moment without either making it too obvious or making it seem like it comes out of left field for no apparent reason. I certainly don't want to get into the trap that M. Night Shymalan got into where people are now expecting a twist and being mostly disappointed by it, but I also want to retain a sense of mystery throughout my books, even though they are thrillers, not mysteries.

Also, does this section of the book seem tacked on or an appropriate ending?

Thanks, Michael and PraiseGod13! And Michael, thanks for mentioning me on Podbram.

Yes, LDB, I did think of The Palmyra Impact when I heard about the Air France tragedy. It just goes to show that tidy explanations of mysterious events are much harder to come by in the real world. I think that's one reason I like reading fiction. BTW, I'm reading Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child right now, and it's great. The next one I'm waiting for is The Doomsday Key by James Rollins.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Author Snippet Challenge
« on: June 05, 2009, 02:28:18 pm »
This is a great thread! I thought I'd jump in and share a snippet from my novel, The Palmyra Impact:

   “How big?” Kai asked, already knowing that it was beyond his worst fears.
   Reggie let out a heavy sigh. “At least 70.”
   There was fear in Brad's eyes, but he also had the slightest smile. Kai could understand the mixture of dread and excitement he was feeling. Despite the terrible devastation from the massive waves, despite the danger, despite the illogic of it, Kai had always wanted to see a tsunami in person. Now he was going to get his chance.
   “The Asia tsunami didn’t get bigger than 30 feet high, did it?” Brad asked.
   Reggie shook his head. “There are some estimates that it got at least twice that high in Banda Aceh.”
   “So 70 feet will be huge."
   Kai put his hand on Brad’s shoulder. He didn’t get it.
   “Brad, all of our figures are in metric units. Meters, not feet. 70 meters. The wave is going to be over 200 feet high.”

One of the reasons I came up with Oasis was because, as an engineer, I've always wondered how the evil masterminds recruit their henchmen and build these enormous, elaborate lairs in secret. Who builds it for them? How do they keep anyone from finding out about it as it's built? Where does the seemingly inexhaustible supply of faceless minions come from? I've largely had to suspend my disbelief when I read it in books or see it in films that the bad guy has a vast army hidden inside a volcano. The Ark was my attempt to show how it might be plausible.

Then of course, the challenge for me was to figure out how to get Locke inside such a secure facility without the bad guys making idiotic mistakes. No one gets to crawl through conveniently-large air vents. Garrett saw too many movies to allow that to happen.

I'm glad the false climax didn't seem inappropriate or labored to you, Frojazz. I wanted to actually see Noah's Ark and solve that mystery.

This entire section is almost all action. In novels, action sequences can sometimes get tedious because you don't have the visual dynamics that you do in a movie. For me, what makes an interesting action segment is one that sustains the tension and suspense. Action for action's sake is not interesting to me. On the other hand, sometimes action sequences are so short and perfunctory that I feel cheated. I like getting into the meat of how something is accomplished, and if it happens too easily, then the hero didn't have enough obstacles to overcome to make the story worthy. Also, if it happens too fast, the details can get confusing.

So my main question here is, does this action sequence maintain the suspense or does it drag on too long? Was it confusing in any way? Did the infiltration of the compound seem believable?

Hi Frojazz,

You're not being too critical at all. This is exactly the kind of discussion I wanted to generate.

I tried to strike a balance in the scientific explanations. I wanted enough scientific detail to make the effects of the prion disease believable without boring the reader with pages and pages of information that didn't drive the story forward. And of course, this kind of prion disease doesn't actually exist, but I don't think anything I included was actually impossible. I think Garrett was just far ahead of the curve in understanding prion diseases, and instead of using that knowledge to help save lives, he had a more twisted vision.

The other problem an author has is that the more information I give about a fake technology, the easier it is to see the holes in how it would work. Not to mention that I'm neither a prion specialist nor a biologist. So I don't really know how Garrett made the prion act so quickly. Something about speeding up the protein folding sequence, I'm guessing. But I just thought it would be cool if there was a disease that could make people literally dissolve, and this was my attempt to make it plausible. Plus, it seemed to fit the Flood story well, so it was a two-fer.

I felt that what makes Garrett so scary is that he thinks he's doing the right thing. He's so convinced of his righteousness that he can't be reasoned with. He thinks he is the good guy, and that Locke is dooming humanity for trying to stop him, because of the reasons you mentioned.

Thanks for reading with us! I'm so grateful for how supportive everyone on Kindleboards has been, and I can't wait to share my next book.

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