Here it is: the cover to my upcoming short story collection Dusk vol 2.
Available soon for Kindle or Kindle app!
*cover art by Dan Civitella
It’s finally here: Blood Drive by Budgie Bigelow!
Follow the tale of two vampires with a van of stolen blood, their werewolf bodyguard, and an armed and dangerous priest.
Click the link below to head over to Amazon and check it out, have a free sample sent to your Kindle app, or purchase!
What happens when two vampires with a van of stolen blood, their werewolf bodyguard, and an armed and dangerous priest try to make their way across America?
You get Blood Drive, the latest book by Budgie Bigelow.
Humans have always played the game of predator and prey, but they’ve been mostly wrong about their part in it, unknowing of those who hunt them in the night, feeding on their blood. They are hidden in plain sight, dismissed as fictitious, their ever-present thirst waiting to be quenched.
But there are some vampires who drink blood simply for the bouquet and taste.
An entire van of blood is stolen at gunpoint from a corporate blood drive in Connecticut, and the culprits are two vampires: the staunch Christian and carefree Evan. The two have orders from their masters to drive the blood cross-country, delivering it to Los Angeles for their High Council’s annual gala.
Joining them on their trip is Bart Peters, a simple man with a secret: when the moon is out, he transforms into a werewolf, an uncontrollable beast of rage. Bart’s job is to make sure the shipment of blood gets to Los Angeles; his paycheck depends on it, and nothing is going to easily get between him and his money.
Dogging their tracks is Father Matthew, a priest and agent of the Vatican. Father Matthew is tasked with the recovery of the stolen blood and the elimination of those who took it. Armed to the teeth with guns, silver knuckles, and wooden stakes, the holy man tracks the vampires across the country, intent on completing his mission.
Can Christian and Evan make the drive from Connecticut to Los Angeles, completing their task of getting the blood to their elders without killing each other first? Will Bart become more of a hassle than he’s worth? What role will Father Matthew play as he tracks the vampires on their westward journey across America?
Blood Drive is an action-comedy with a bloody twist, a fierce yet touching supernatural romp, traveling across the country with the unlikely foursome of the vampiric duo of Christian and Evan, their werewolf companion, and the Vatican-dispatched badass. Hop in and take the ride through one of the most wickedly satisfying adventures you’ll ever love to join. This novel has the most unexpected side trips ever to be taken on a cross-country journey, wrought with danger, enemies, obstacles, and lots of necks to bite.
Blood Drive is Budgie Bigelow’s ninth book, bringing to life a version of America where vampires hide in the night, werewolves hunt under the light of the moon, and priests protect their flock from the dangers of the darkness with gun and stake. You’ll be guessing to the last page, where you’ll be loathing and fearing telling the dark and hunkering cast a melancholy goodbye.
Now available on Amazon for Kindle or the Kindle app:
I follow a lot of writers and writing advice accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and this one piece of advice pops up daily:
To be a better writer, read and write more.
That’s it. It’s always worded different or put in front of a different meme, but it’s always around, every day. Read and write more and you’ll become a better writer.
I’m here today to tell you that’s bullshit.
Maybe that’s a bit too harsh. I’ll leave it at “simplistic at best”, an extreme watered down version of a concept taken directly from On Writing by Stephen King (which is where I suspect most of the writing advice online comes from without attributing him). I would never tell anyone, especially a writer, not to read. What I would say is: “read out of your comfort zone”. If your comfortable reading, then it’s too easy.
Re-reading the Harry Potter or Twilight books won’t help you. If you like sci-fi books, then those won’t help either. Go to the library and get a card (they’re free). Then take out books at random an actually read them. Find an old book from a long dead author you’ve never heard of. Grab a biography of a president you know little about. Read a romance about a horse farmer. Pick up a self-help book addressing a problem you don’t have. This is what you need to do if you want to improve your creative power.
You know what, go back to Harry Potter anyway. Re-read it again, but take notes on how JK Rowling expertly spun the tale, foreshadowing, using almost one character for the entire POV of the series. And see how she sculpted the story in all seven parts.
And then get that library card.
Writing more when you’re a bad writer won’t help you write better. It will just help you write more bad stories. What you should be focusing on is improving your plot, structure, dialogue, and grammar. That’s where most indie writing falls short. Simply telling a writer who’s struggling to write more is like telling someone who’s drowning to try flailing more.
And do your research. Colin aka @lowericon posted this tweet today:
The point: if you’re writing a medieval fantasy piece read up on horses, armor, archery, etcetera. Don’t count on Google to give you the highlights. Apply as needed.
Get some grammar reference books. Buy them and keep them on hand. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White is a must have, recommended across the board. The aforementioned On Writing by Stephen King is another great one. The book Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss is both entertaining and a great grammar tool. I suggest you read these often.
Dialogue is important too. Practice it by talking and listening. I won’t talk about this at length now because I have an upcoming piece about this in the works for this week. Look out for it (tomorrow probably).
Write small, flash fiction or short stories. Let them sit for a month and re-read them, keeping in mind that not everything you write is fit to be published or posted.
I’ll end this with the ever important beta reader. I’ve talked about this many times, but I’m adding a twist: find someone who you know will dislike your writing. Find someone who isn’t your friend. Let them tell you that you suck and why you suck. Let it sink into your thick skull. Then dry your tears, thank them, and grow from it.
If you can’t take the last part, then you’re done. Don’t bother. You’re not a writer if you can’t take your lumps like we all do.
That’s it. I’m spent after that. I’m not sorry either. It needed to be said, even though I’m sure anyone who will benefit from this won’t read it. Hopefully I can touch a few minds and give some slightly better advice than “read and write more”.
I don’t know if there’s any worse saying than that. It’s the sarcastic epitome of what I hate about my role in the corporate gears of America. It’s why I write, to break my mind from the tedium of the dull gray. It’s also why I picked up another hobby.
I’ve started reading the tarot for myself, and mostly just a daily card, which I forgot today. It’s not an exact science, but I’ve noticed patterns when they’re begging to be noticed. I’ve always been good at stuff like that. This weekend’s readings had a theme, and I would have to be blind to miss it.
I’ve basically been on the cusp of something great for some time now, but it’s always been just out of reach. As of now, I feel like I can grab that golden snitch if I can just stretch a little more. My readings from last week confirmed this, but the weekend brought a dire message.
I have to be on the look out for back-stabbers or betrayers, and the road to being a successful writer is beset by them. From what I understand (and with a heaping pile of help from my talented wife) there will be a real chance at success, but there’s a major bump in that road waiting for me. I have to stay true to myself, this project, and those supporting it. That much is certain.
So I’m moving forward, cautiously. I have some new ideas, and I won’t stop creating. I’ll face whatever challenges lie ahead, and I’ll come up on top or I won’t. The worst possible thing I can do is nothing.