Just two more weeks till the Storm…

(Or it was when I started this post.  Now it’s 12 days. 12 DAYS!)

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SHADOWSTORM will be available for purchase and download in less than two weeks!

Now, I’ve never dealt with Amazon’s CreateSpace before – the Kindle store takes less than a day to approve and list a new book, but CreateSpace and the Nook store might need longer, so I’m planning to upload all relevant files early next week.  What that means for you, gentle reader, is that there’s a chance SHADOWSTORM might be available before the official release date.  If you see it is, by all means, order! Hopefully when Book 7 comes around I’ll have a better feel for how all this self-pub stuff works in my world.

At any rate, over on my Facebook page I’ve been posting songs from the “official” SHADOWSTORM playlist, so if you’ve been entertained by my soundtracks in the past I recommend you hop over and follow me.  I’ll be posting a different song every day (more or less) until March 1.

On to the actual post.  I’ve been asked many times since the Shadow World appeared (and the Agency, too, for that matter) which of the landmarks and businesses in the books are real and which I made up.  I treat Austin as a character in the books, and it seems to work.  So I thought I’d give you an updated list of places in the books that are “real/not real,” not to be all Peeta Mellark about it.

Real (or Once Real) Locations in the Shadow World Novels

Strait Music
Austin Java
Barton Creek Greenbelt
Book People
Alamo Drafthouse
Waterloo Records
Zachary Scott Theatre
The Driskill Hotel
The Texican Cafe
Kerbey Lane Cafe
Zilker Park (the Austin Live Music Festival is not real, but is based on big music festivals like SXSW and Austin City Limits)
Paramount Theater
Amy’s Ice Cream
Freebird’s World Burrito
Brackenridge Hospital
Houndstooth Coffee

Fictional Locations in the Shadow World Novels

The Bat Cave (As in where Miranda records her albums; then again, the other Batcave, David’s office, isn’t real either, but I doubt I had to tell you that.)
Mel’s Bar & Grill
The Winchester Bank Building (It surprises me how many people think this one really exists.)
The Ambassador Hotel
Travis County Psychiatric Hospital
The Torch Song
Slim Shaky’s Espresso Bar  (People ask about this one more than any other.  Sorry, it’s fictional, and yes, it’s a play on Eminem’s alter ego.  Why? Because I thought it was funny.)
The Black Door
Anodyne
Nepenthe
Deep Six
The Plague Rat
The Riviera
Hunter Development
Newman’s Deli (the approximate location where Miranda hides while waiting for Kat during Queen of Shadows is actually a Schlotzsky’s)
Anna Hausmann Memorial Clinic
Madre Luna tattoo parlor
Revelry
IntelliGenetic Labs

Also, I probably don’t have to point out that there aren’t nearly as many empty warehouses and abandoned buildings in East Austin as it sounds like there are.

Locations Outside Austin

In California:
Muir Woods – real
Tower Bridge in Sacramento – real
St. Anthony’s Church – not real
La Caccia – not real
Goodall’s ice cream – not real

Rio Verde, Texas – not real, therefore places like the Verde Inn aren’t real either, although unfortunately Wal Mart is a real thing in the world.

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It’s Possible – I’ve Killed a Lot of People.

With Halloween just round the corner and a seemingly endless run of Forensic Files reruns on TV, I found myself pondering the many ways I’ve done my characters in, and how there are certain commonalities.  I apparently get off on blowing people up, for example.  (Who knew?)

Just sticking with the Shadow World novels it was quite a list.  I didn’t include large numbers of unnamed people who died in battles or explosions; I tried to stick mostly to people who at least had a name.

Obviously I’m no George R.R. Martin or anything, but I do seem to burn through vampires at an alarming rate.

Read more

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Shadow World Extra: Little-Known Facts, Part 2

It’s harder than you might think to pick a font for a character, let alone two.  The general idea is that they’re writing these themselves (which accounts for the various ways they refer to themselves – David never used a pronoun at all, and Dev refers to himself in the third person.  I expect Miranda will use “I.”); unfortunately I have over 900 fonts and for some reason none of them are ever just right.  (Although the handprinted font on this one, DJB Jenna, is almost exactly what I was looking for.)

I give you, Little-Known Facts About Deven Burke.

 

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New Shadow World Extra: Little-Known Facts, Part 1

This came from a wild Ambien-induced hair, and I thought it was utterly silly and fun and I loved it, so why not let you guys see it?  There will probably be several more, including some for a couple of characters who aren’t as much in the spotlight right now, like Jacob and maybe Cora (don’t worry, they’re going to be more involved in the story soon, but right now I have to deal with a certain Pair who are nothing but purple-eyed trouble).

Once again: if you become a Patron of my work, you can see these extras, and read chapters of Book Six, before the rest of the world.  Right now my Patreon peeps are on Chapter 11 of SHADOWSTORM – I still don’t even have a release date for the full book.

Without further ado:  Little-Known Facts About David Solomon.

little known ds

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The Lost…Or Something…Shadow World Extra

As I was posting the latest chapter of Shadowstorm to my Patreon backers, I recalled that one of the minor characters had first been introduced in an Extra.  I went to find the link and include it in the post…only to find it had never made it here to the site.  I’d never even made a pdf of it!

Right after Queen of Shadows came out I took part in a promotional challenge where a bunch of writers were tasked with retelling a fairy tale or fable using their own characters.  That first time I did The Big Bad Wolf, which *is* on the Extras page; a couple of years later I was invited to do it again, and rather than go with some typical romantic fairy tale, I decided to do Aesop’s fable The Lion and the Mouse.

It was short and kind of silly, but I really liked the kid in the story, so I decided to bring him back in one of the books.  You don’t have to read the Extra to know what’s going on in the novel, but like all the Extras, it fleshes things out a bit.  Enjoy!

Mouse

 

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