Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Catastrophe Theory: A Progressive Story

Remember back in school, when you would write a sentence then pass it to your friend and they would add on?  You would take turns until some crazy, odd-ball story was created then you would giggle as you read the insanity of said story?

Well, we authors still do that.

The Hunt For Tomorrow was the digital scavenger hunt that led readers through 23 author stops and ended with an immense grand prize.  Part of that prize pack was letting the winner choose certain facts that we authors would then create into a progressive story.  

And we are doing it.

Each day, a new author posts a new chapter to the story, solely based off what has been written before.  There has honestly been no brainstorming, no planning.  Just a little bit of banter and the facts given to us by the Hunt winner.  We read the new chapter, then the next author has 24 hours to create the next installment.  That's it.   

It is insane.  We have no idea where this is going.  And we are loving it.

Today is Chapter 7.  And it is my turn.  
If you have already been following along, read away.  If you are just getting started, go to Chapter 1 and enjoy!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Hunt For Tomorrow WINNER

And the winner is...

Gayle Noble!

Thanks to everyone that participated. We hope you enjoyed The Hunt as much as we did.

The fun, however, is not over.
The progressive story begins this Wednesday. Each day, a chapter will be posted on this blog. All we're starting with is Gayle's title, trope and characters.

Title: The Catastrophe Theory
Trope: Technology Catastrophe
Characters: Jared, Eve and Cas

We have no idea where this is going...

20 authors.
1 story.
Begins July 23.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Hunt For Tomorrow

23 Authors.
1 Grand Prize Winner.
Tons of free stuff.

  • The Hunt will take you to 23 dystopian authors giving away ebooks, short stories and swag. 
  • Collect answers at each stop to enter the drawing at the end. 
  • The grand prize winner receives an autographed paperback from 22 authors, 3 dystopian digital boxed sets, and a progressive story written by all 23 authors.

Hurry.  The Hunt ENDS 11:59 PM, July 20th EST

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Hunt For Tomorrow (Stop #8)

Welcome to THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW, a virtual scavenger hunt through 22 fictional dystopias.
Stop #8

by Jenni Merritt

In the Nation, no one is innocent - not even the children born behind bars. Millie 942B has spent her entire life locked away with her criminal parents and countless other inmates. She believes in the Nation, in its strict laws and harsh punishments.

But when Millie is released on her eighteenth birthday, she finds things are nothing as she was taught. People vanish, never to be seen again. Lies cover every word. Trust is as fragile as ice.
And then there is Reed. Born and raised outside the Prison walls, his dreams and thoughts cause Millie to doubt everything she has ever believed.

What is truly worth fighting for? If she pushes too hard, she could lose her freedom. If she stays silent, she could lose herself. The clock is ticking, and Millie must find the truth before it is too late.

QUESTION: Who causes Millie to doubt everything she has ever believed about the Nation?

BONUS: Subscribe to my newsletter then email me at jennimerritt.writing(at)gmail(dot)com to enter.  TEN randomly selected subscribers will win a little stack of surprise swag.  Some of my own.  Some from other authors I have met.  Who knows what you will get!


(For more about The Hunt For Tomorrow, CLICK HERE)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Voight-Kampff Interview

Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions, Leon.
Subject: Kowalski, Leon (Bladerunner)

It is finally my turn to answer some questions, as part of the What Tomorrow May Bring blog schedule.  
Are you ready for this?

I was obsessed with writing and reading all growing up and told most anyone who would listen that someday I was going to be an author.  Even though I loved it, I never seemed to get anything done though.  Until I discovered NaNoWriMo.  Yes, I am a NaNo Lover.  In one month, I had finally finished my first draft of a book and then did another and another and...

So far my other WIPS consist of urban fantasy, paranormal, fairy tales....I am even growing the idea for my first contemporary piece.  I love stories too much to stay roped into one genre.  As to why I was drawn to dystopian: I love screwing with the idea of society then seeing what people do to fix it.  It is intriguing.  I fell in love with The Giver, then searched for years for more great dystopian reads.  The next step was obviously adding my own voice in with the collection.

I tend to slam my head on my desk.  Stuff my face full of chocolate.  Get lost in Netflix and Facebook.  Wander aimlessly... Then I force myself to throw up words until the words finally start to make sense.

Oh my...I believe it was A Tale of Time City.  I loved that book (and yes, I still reread it every so often.)

One??  Goodness, let's see... Orson Scott Card is a for sure.  Along with JK Rowling, Terry Goodkind, Steven King...

Desktop for sure.  I have a laptop (am using it right now in fact) but there is something about sitting at my desktop with dual screens and spinny chair that gets my mind in working mode.

As soon as I get the itch to write, the first thing I do is run to my room and throw on the nearest pair of jammies.  Some people wear suits to work.  Some wear vests with flair.  Authors wear PJs.  It is just a fact.

A good friend of mine got charged for a crime.  Being as he couldn't afford an attorney, he got appointed one.  And even though he wasn't guilty for the crime, he got sentenced for it based on stipulations.  To make matters worse, his sentencing was protected under a measure that ensures mandatory sentences.  So there he was, no previous history, sentenced for a crime he wasn't guilty of, and thrown into prison for nearly eight years.  This got me thinking: What if it was always this way?  What if the jails ruled the country? Thus the book was born.

I did lots of research on prisons.  I even made friends with a fellow NaNo writer who used to work in a prison, and I scoured for any info I could get.  

I love this book.  It was my debut novel.  It is my baby.  But I will be the first to admit that it isn't perfect.  Am I proud of it?  Darn right!  But if I were to make it big, I think I would prefer it to be off of one of my coming novels.  And let this book just be my little pride and joy.

A few reviews have stated that my book seemed to be pushing some sort of agenda.  Honestly, it is just a book.  But if you can't handle thoughts that don't support prisons and society control...don't read this book.  But if you can: Read away!

Don't forget to snag your copy of WHAT TOMORROW MAY BRING,
the YA Dystopian boxset, including Prison Nation.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Hunt For Tomorrow is Coming


THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW 22 AUTHORS. 3 DYSTOPIAN BOXED SETS. 1 MASSIVE EVENT. A virtual scavenger hunt through twenty-two fictional dystopias. Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (EST) - Sunday, July 20 at 6:00pm (EST). Join THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW, an on-line scavenger hunt, and embark on a virtual odyssey through twenty-two dystopian futures. Become an intrepid scavenger and solve clues at each of the dystopian author stops as you navigate your way to the finish line where you’ll be entered into a random draw for the Grand Prize. For each correct answer collected along the way you’ll get an additional chance to win. During The Hunt, the authors will offer up their own exclusive material, sneak peeks, contests, and giveaways at their individual stops on The Hunt, giving all scavengers multiple chances to win bonus prizes. The twenty-two participating indie authors include best-selling, award-winning and emerging writers from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom who all have books included in three dystopian boxed sets - - What Tomorrow May Bring, A Taste Of Tomorrow, and Shattered Worlds. In a unique collaboration of story-telling, nineteen of the authors will write a progressive short story over nineteen days following The Hunt. The Grand Prize Winner of The Hunt For Tomorrow will name characters and contribute the title for this dystopian world, and all participants in The Hunt will receive an advance copy of the story for an exclusive period before it is made available as a free download. The Grand Prize also includes a signed copy of books included in the boxed sets, an ebook of all the boxed sets, and the first copy of this one-of-a-kind progressive story. THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW begins at http://huntfortomorrow.blogspot.com on Friday, July 18 at 6:00pm (EST) and ends on Sunday, July 20 at 6:00pm (EST). The Hunt is on for one weekend only, although there is no time-limit for completing the course. The Hunt is open to scavengers around the world; there is no cost to enter and one grand prize winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries. Go to THE HUNT FOR TOMORROW for details and the full list of participating authors. JOIN THE HUNT. JULY 18-20.  

book blast button

Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/20/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Thoughts on Tomorrow GUEST POST: Megan Thomason

I am a huge fan of the dystopian genre and love to spend a lot of time thinking about societal extremes. The themes in daynight, many of which are very dark, are all designed to have readers think about parallels to our own society and where we need to draw lines.

The dystopia category is pretty broad these days. By definition a dystopian world must have deprivation, oppression, or terror. I prefer dystopias that explore interesting societal and moral dilemmas to catastrophic conditions/survival stories.

The very best dystopias most often have a well formed government enforcing extremes. I’m fascinated by these entities, and in particular:

- What events drove them to shift the way they governed? For example, in The Hunger Games the government instituted the games to punish and remind the districts of their former rebellion (and failure to succeed).

- What results are they looking to achieve? In 1984, the desired result was control over every action and thought. In Brave New World the government desired peaceful coexistence and happiness for its citizens.

- What methods do the governments use to achieve the desired result? The Capital in Hunger Games uses the games to terrorize its citizens into subservience, and tightly controls resources by segregating districts and limiting what each could produce. In 1984 the Inner Party uses surveillance (telescreens, microphones everywhere), controls information (rewriting history to support claims is the ultimate form of censorship), and all citizens are indoctrinated to be whistle-blowers on those committing ‘thought crimes’ (any thought contrary to the governmen). In Brave New World, the government breeds and then conditions (through their sleep) citizens to be in (and only desire to be in) a certain caste, to be sexually promiscuous, hate solitude, and to take the drug ‘soma’ if any contrary thought occurs.

Equally interesting is how the characters in the novel react to the dystopian government. Do they acquiesce? Do they rebel and in what ways? Outwardly? Inwardly? Each well done dystopia will have characters that question the status quo. Their actions will cause us to reflect upon our own, and how we would act in a similar situation. Katniss in The Hunger Games defies authority by bringing out a handful of berries and threatening to deprive the Capital of a winner and ultimately forcing them to back down and lose face. Winston and Julia in 1984 both commit thought crimes and engage in an illicit affair, but are outed by an informant and tortured into both subservience to Big Brother and betraying each other. John (the Savage) in Brave New World is so disgusted when he caves to societal immorality that he takes extreme measures to escape.

daynight came about as I hiked the canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day and pondered what would happen if temperatures were so extreme that days and nights had to be switched. This became the impetus for Thera, the main setting for daynight. I mentally brewed the concepts of dark and light, and what kind of government would rule the dark, and The Second Chance Institute (SCI) was born.

The SCI is an interesting entity. They are in the business of providing second chances. But instead of nurturing and fostering the downtrodden, they use the Second Chancers as science experiments for new political ideas they want to push on Earth. One such idea, Cleaving is an extreme enforcement of morality. If two people have sex, they’re automatically Cleaved, a forced lifetime union. Violation of Cleaving results in exile or death.

Some of the things that went through my mind that I intended readers to think about while reading daynight were:

  • Freedom of being able to do whatever we want vs. consequences of our choices
  • When is it appropriate for the government to intervene in moral issues?
  • How should the government enforce rules? What is acceptable/not acceptable for enforcement?
  • When does ‘research’ cross the line? Is it ever okay to have test groups, when subjects don’t know they are a part of the research? Does our government “use” certain segments of our population to press their agendas?
  • Can altruistic purposes get so skewed they are no longer altruistic? The SCI claims to be giving people a second chance at life. Despite this being true and seemingly noble, is it okay if they are only do it to further their own agenda, and not to truly benefit the Second Chancers?
  • Is there ever an appropriate time for a government to play Big Brother (as in 1984)? Does our government do this to us? Where’s the line between societal protection and personal violation?
Don’t worry…the daynight series is not all serious. There is plenty of entertainment with highly flawed main characters, compelling love interests, despicable antagonists, lots of action, surprises, twists and turns.

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Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone--over 600 in the last year--or attending to the needs of her family. Megan's fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.


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