Monday, May 15, 2017

New Update!

So, as I’m finishing up some edits, I thought I’d give a little update on what’s going on with “Crusade” and everything else.

THC Volume 3: Crusade
15 (of the 24) chapters have made it through the first round of editing. Crusade is a bit longer than Awakening and Revelation. Though those two books had a lot of fat trimmed by my awesome editors, the words so far is…there isn’t too much fat. So, while books 1 & 2 were 105k words after editing, book 3 (Crusade) is 138k pre-editing, and so far, it has probably only lost a couple hundred. So, it’s proving to be a longer book.

Now, I’m not writing for length. If the story would have only been 70k words, then that’s what it would have been. For those of you that do not know, The Hunt Chronicles is a 5 book series. Each Volume will explore the changes in Christian, Fish, their friends, Scabs, and the world until we reach where the Prologue of Awakening starts off. The outline for the series has been done since I began writing. Other than minor changes in story and characters, the series has always been on the same course.

I don’t want to give an exact date for release, but it should be soon. After the first round of edits happen, it heads to the second. After that, I ship it off for formatting and for Audio Book production.

Crusade: Audio Book
Joshua Story, my very awesome Voice Actor, has told me he should be finishing up a project by the end of the month and will be able to jump on Crusade as soon as he can. At that point, it is out of my hands so you can hound the hell out of him until he finishes. Though, let’s not rush him.

The Hunt Chronicles…Movie? TV Series?
Well, I’ve been sitting on this for a little while, but I have mentioned it here and there. I have signed an Option for THC to be made into a movie and/or TV series. This option contains the whole series (not just one book).

What does this mean?

Well, nothing yet. I can’t talk about much, but I can tell you the screen play is currently being written. I’ve talked with the writer a few times and he is excited and wants to stay as close to the story as possible. Other than that, I cannot mention names or anything else. We have to be patient, I guess. However, I’ve talked with enough other authors to realize this does happen more often than you might think. The unfortunate side of this is that until money is deposited in the Studio’s bank account, nothing happens. This is where a lot of these projects fall short.

I’ve been flying a little blind, depending on numerous authors to help guide me through this process. Since I do not have an agent (an issue I am now currently reviewing), this is all new to me.
So, let’s keep our fingers crossed!

THC Companion Stories
I’ve said it before. Sometimes, I get writers block or need a change of pace. I’ve been working on a series called “A THC Companion Story”. What are Companion Stories?

Companion Stories are excerpts from The Hunt Chronicles. They themselves have very little to do with the actual main Series, but, there are plenty of Easter Eggs and at least have an appearance in the main story line. Each will be stand-alone stories even though they are indirectly a part of THC. As far as length? Well, they will be as long as they need to be to tell their story. Here are a few that are currently in production.

Get Your Fun On – This is the story of Marc. Who is Marc? Well, Marc makes an appearance in Revelation, though you never learn his name. I won’t spoil where or how, but it has to do with Enrique, Christian, and Enrique’s wife.

Sarah – If you remember, Sarah was the first living person Christian meets in Awakening.

Stephanie – Who is Stephanie? Well, she is on the cover of Awakening

Bogdon – ZERO spoilers on this one, since it happens AFTER Crusade.

Portland Todd – This project is different, because I am co-authoring it with popular zompoc author T.W. Brown. Todd helped me a lot when I first got started and I couldn’t be more grateful. So, I threw Todd in Revelation as the first person they talked to on the HAM radio. I had already scripted out Todd’s story, but since it would have just been tons of fat for Revelation, I didn’t bring it up. However, the story is one of my favorite.

Prequels are similar to the Companion Stories, but these deal primarily with main characters. Like the Companion Stories, their length will be determined by what needs to be said. Also like the Companion Stories, I work on these while I am reloading my brain.

There is one major difference, though. These stories were detailed while I was writing the books. I wanted to have a firm background for each character and what they had gone through since the Awakening. Here are a couple that are currently outlined and partially in production.

A Fish Tale – Fish’s story from the Awakening until he meets with Christian. His wife, son, and the troubles he endures.

Name TBD – This is bound to be a long novel, but it will encompass Doctor Tripp, Major Dobson, Sergeant Pittman and their journey from the States, England, Asia and the Middle East, all the way to landing on the beaches of Melbourne. This will be the only book I write that will start off a few weeks before The Awakening happens.

The Stallions – This is how the Stallions of Ace Hardware came together. DJ, Chuck, Karina, Campbell, Preacher, Chad and more.

Nomad - This is about a group that you meet in Crusade. The story will be about three groups of refugees that come together (Spoilers aren’t happening, sorry). Nomad is one of my favorite characters in Crusade.

Trinity – No details or spoilers on this one, but after you read Crusade, I’m sure you will want this one right off.

Those are just the Prequels and Companion Stories I have outlines for. Many have already been started to a more or lesser degree.

Other books/genres:
Besides all of those things I have been working on, there is another series I have started, though I refuse to release any of them until THC Volume 5 has been released. After all, I know people want to know how he got in the damn building!

But, I have been working on REM. REM is a supernatural suspense/thriller about a Sheriff’s detective turned government secret investigator. His name is Remington and he hates his job almost as much as he hates his X-Wife. But, when you learn what he has, you have two choices: Ignore it and hope it goes away, or do something about it.

Anyway, that is what’s in the pipe and hopefully things will change soon so I can devote tons more time to writing.

Thanks for being fans!

J.D. Demers

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Characters to Life: Enrique (and Irene)

Characters to Life

Enrique (& Irene scab)

Enrique is a character introduced it Volume 2 Revelation, so if you’ve only read the first book, this may have a couple spoilers in it for you (you’ve been warned!)

First, I would like to touch a certain subject. Enrique, according to a couple of my “Audio Book” reviews, was stereotyped.

One reviewer wrote this:

Great story, makes more sense if you've read Vol 1. Generally like the reader but he does stereotypical voices (i.e. Black and Latino characters) too much. Feels like the author set him up for this to some degree with his lines for one of the Latino characters, who of course was a construction worker. Just assume everyone who's skin isn't described as "chocolate" or "mocha" is white. Still like the plot though.

As an afterthought, I can see why she thought this. I am in no way calling her out, but I hope she reads this specific blog and understands that I was not stereotyping, I was basing a character off of a long and dear friend of mine.

Now, as far as her pointing out how I describe skin color…well, I will admit I am still learning how to be diverse on that subject, and mean no offense, so please, bear with me. As far as the “Black” comment as and the way he talks, I will address that quickly. I am 99% sure she is talking about Pittman. Don’t worry, Pittman will have his own “Character’s to Life”.

The funny thing about that is, the REAL Pittman’s (Michael) girlfriend (Lisa) told me to “Make sure you have him talk slow…he is from Georgia after all.” So, when I had him speak, I said just that in the book. When I discussed characters with my Audio Book Producer, I did the same thing, and told him to make sure Pittman has a deep voice, and that he speaks slow and deliberately. I did just that. So, for those of you who may think I was stereotyping him, please understand that was not the case. Maybe the problem is considering something stereotypical.

Now, onto Enrique.

I’ve known (Real) Enrique for 14 years. He is one of the hardest working men I know. His life story and how he has become a legal resident in the US is both sad and uplifting…if you can get those feelings at the same time. I will admit, I did not know what immigrants needed to go through to become residents or citizens, and the extreme difficulties Mexicans, specifically, go through until I met him.

Enrique, like most Mexicans, is a veteran of the Mexican Military. He served almost two mandatory years, but was released early when he moved to the US.

His father worked for a restaurant in New York City, and Enrique flew to visit him when he was 20 years old. During the visit, a dishwasher called out of work, so his father asked him if he wanted to fill in. He did and never left.

(Real) Enrique moved his girlfriend (Irene) to the States, and traveled around a little before settling in Palm Bay, Florida where his uncle got him a job making Pizzas. He later went to work for Wagon Wheel Pizza (Yes, the same that is in Volume 1).

Unfortunately, when his father, mother, and three younger brothers were given residence in the U.S., (Real) Enrique was past the age to qualify under his parents. The whole time, (Real) Enrique was still paying taxes through a tax ID, even though legally, he really wasn’t supposed to be here. Strange, huh? I thought so to.

Since (Real) Enrique had to become a Resident on his own, he decided to do everything he could to increase his chances. He got a lawyer, bought a house, bought a separate business, married Irene, had two beautiful young boys, and more.

There is a sad part to this. Even though he owned property in the State of Florida, paid income tax with ZERO benefits, he still could not have a driver’s license. As years went on, and I got to know him better, I began to understand the plight of immigrants from Mexico, and the mounds of red tape they had to go through to become residents. I didn’t always feel this way, and I am happy I was enlightened.

I was so frustrated with the system that I wrote my local congressman. I mean, how could this guy who worked so hard, paid all of his taxes, received zero benefits (and refused to even try because he thought it would hurt his chances), he still had to file three times. But, there was little the congressman could do.

Finally, after 15 years, and approximately $30,000 spent just to get his resident card (lawyer fees, filing fees, etc), (Real) Enrique became a resident. I have never seen the little man so happy, but at the same time, I thought it was wrong that he had to go through all that, even though he paid taxes the entire time.

Okay, so enough about his difficulties to become a resident of the US. Let’s get to the nuts and bolts.

(Real) Enrique is Mr. Jack of all Trades, which is why I chose to make him a character. If you need something built, some electrical work done, some hard labor done, this is the man that can do it.

Of course, like all the characters/people I use, there are differences. (Real) Enrique has never actually been a construction worker, per say. He does have some background in electrician work. But (Character) Enrique needed to know construction. I wanted someone with the know-how when building up Camp Holly’s walls. I also wanted him to be able to drive big trucks. So, (Character) Enrique fit much better as a former construction worker than a pizza maker/T-Shirt maker/electrician (I already had Preacher for that).

Ironically, (Real) Enrique has a side business: Graphic design for T-Shirts and more (I’ll post a link at the bottom). He helped me design my first cover for Awakening, and is also designing T-Shirts and Hoodies for The Hunt Chronicles brand (soon to be released). He has even done work for "American Ninja Warrior".

When I asked (Real) Enrique if he minded if I used him as a character, he was all about it. Then came the dreaded question…can I use Irene… When he learned that he got to lop her head off, he was stoked! She was…not as happy. (just kidding, she thought it was cool).

(Real) Enrique, to me, is the epidemy of what the American Dream is supposed to be and is an inspiration in my life. He moved here with nothing and has been more than successful through hard work, perseverance, passion, and drive. He is so thankful for the opportunities he has, and one of the nicest guys I know. He loves his family and is such a proud father.

And, Enrique can take and give jokes. People may not find this funny (I don’t care), but there have been many discriminatory jokes between us. All in jest, of course. I would be a lazy flaka gringo, and he would be a dirty Mexican (which is funnier because he is the cleanest, most OCD person I know, next to my wife).

One time I joked, “I hate Mexicans”.

His response was “Me too, that’s why I moved here!”

Of course, I really don’t feel that way, but it is nice that you can have that humor with someone and for no one to get offended.

I want to thank (Real) Enrique and (Real) Irene for letting me use them as characters, and letting me write this “Characters to Life” blog.

Infinity Graphics (Enrique’s graphic company)

Hope you enjoyed this “Character’s to Life”!

J.D. Demers

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In the works:

Just giving an update to my fans on what I have going on right now.

The Hunt Chronicles: Volume 3 Crusade

Currently, I am around 50% done with the first draft. I have been slacking on it, but am now writing almost every day. Crusade is different than the first two because unlike those, this is happening “on the road”. There are some new characters being introduced which I’m excited about, and the loss of a couple which saddens me. But remember, Christian is telling his not for the sake of himself, but for those he lost along the way.

Spin Offs

I recently wrote a short story for Chris Philbrook’s latest Anthology Only the light we make. It was fun and I really liked how other zombie authors and fans came together to write stories based in his AUD world. This helped an idea of mine come to fruition.

One reason why it takes me FOREVER to complete a book is because, unfortunately, I am overly detailed when it comes to backstory. You don’t see it, but it is there. It helps me form the world and characters with a sense of history. Rarely, any of it makes its way into the first draft, let alone the final print of my books.

Stories like “Marc”, who owns the store where Enrique killed his wife. Or “Todd from Portland”, who made first radio contact with our heroes. Some of their story was written out in notes, while other parts were left swimming around in my head.

After my part in the Anthology, I decided to do something else. I have been in negotiation with other zombie authors to co-author some of these stories. Primarily, I’m looking for authors that live in the area where the story takes place. The story of “Todd from Portland” is all but a done deal. We have worked out the mechanics of writing the book and, for the most part, the legal deals (waiting for a contract to be drafted).

I am also talking with another author on John Ivanisin’s story. He was the man you never heard from in Revelation. The other group from Maine that our heroes talked with and found out fire was a weapon against the dead. The summary of the story is done. Hopefully, we will come to an agreement.

I love both stories that have been mapped out. The beauty about these books is they are stand-alone stories. You don’t even have to read the original series to understand them.
I am keeping the proposed authors “secret” for the time being, while we get all of our ducks in a row.

Now, you may say, “Why do spin-off’s while we’re still waiting on the series to finish?” Well, there are a few reasons:

     1. Working with other authors allows me to write these spin offs part time. Trading chapters back and forth, with each of us adding our own two cents and developing a unique novel. Time wise, this won’t be too impacting.

          2. Sometimes when I’m writing, I hit a spot I cannot figure out. It happens to most (or all?) authors. Some of my favorite scenes in my books is when I write my characters into a corner without a solution. Think of Chuck, Karina and Christian being trapped in the cooler, or when Fish handcuffed Christian to the desk. I don’t always have the answers to these issues and I have to mull over them and try and figure out how “that or those characters” will escape or find a solution. This can take an hour or a week, depending on how my brain is working. Trust me, there are times I just need to move onto something else for a little bit until a solution pops into my head. This allows me that relief.
          3. The problem with my series is that it is what one author (James Dean) called “A small epic story”. Now, what does that mean to me? Well, there is a story to be told, and it will not be done until Volume 5. Because of this, every book is a cliff hanger of sort. These books will not only be stand-alone, but complete stories. One book, one account, all happing in the world of The Hunt Chronicles with little to no impact on the original heroes.
          4. And finally, because I want to. Selfish, I know.

I hope my fans will embrace this idea. Especially given the fact that the authors I am negotiating with are at the top of the list when it comes to zombie fiction. They will add their own special touch to these stories that should make them better than if it was just me writing them.


I am currently working with someone to develop cool little things for The Hunt Chronicles. Shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs, etc. I am excited about this.

Please comment below and let me know what you think!

J.D. Demers

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Characters to Life - Chad

“Characters to Life” - Chad

Characters to Life is a little thing I’m doing for my fans. I am picking a character from my book that I derived from a friend or acquaintance. The Characters, of course, matured into their own, but I think most authors would agree that they steal bits from people they’ve met in real life. This series I’m posting will let you see the faces behind the characters that I’ve developed and learned to love. They are not exact replicas, but they did help me develop some great and interesting people. Hope you enjoy!


I have a feeling some people thought I went too far with (Character) Chad. Like, how could someone be like that (in the beginning)? Does prison time really have that big of an effect on you? What people do not know is I based this character off of a good friend of mine. (Real) Chad made some mistakes when he was young. And just like (Character) Chad, he had the book thrown at him at the young age of 18 and spent ten and a half years in prison for breaking and entering.

Justice can be harsh. The entire time one should be finding themselves (18-25 years of age), Chad spent in prison. Not a good place to find yourself. I remember when he first got out, my friends and I took him to a bar. Poor guy passed out after a few drinks. The next few years were rough. Looking for work as a felon can be tough. He had his ups and downs…lots of downs. Learning to fit back into society was not easy.

In the end, though, (Real) Chad prevailed. Maybe if (Character) Chad had the same opportunities, he would have too. But unfortunately, the zombie apocalypse happened just six months after (Character) Chad’s release from the penitentiary. No time to grow. He had to grow in the mist of Armageddon. He had to learn how to get along with previously civilized people while civilization itself was collapsing. It was rough, but I think (Character) Chad began to cope better in the end.

(Real) Chad, however, did have the time. After some years of adjusting, Chad settled down with his high school sweet heart. They have two children, and (Real) Chad has a very good career working as a surveyor for pipelines. He makes great money and is a loving father. Not a bad rebound for someone who had all the cards stacked against him at the age of twenty-nine when he was released. Now, he is 42 and doing great.

(Character) Chad was derived from my friend’s background. Just like (Real) Chad, he was quick tempered, socially inept (sorry Chad!) and covered in tattoos-some good, some...ummm, well, jail house. But deep down, both Chad’s were good people. They just needed to find where they fit into their perspective worlds. (Real) Chad did, and I’m proud of him and what he has accomplished. He is a great friend and I want to thank him for letting me put his story both in my books and here in this “Characters to Life” bio.

J.D. Demers
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