Cover Reveal – Dusk vol 2

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

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Blood Drive 

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!

Blood Drive on Amazon

-Budgie Bigelow 
10/17/17

Blood Drive Preview

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:

Blood Drive 

Interview with Some Vampires, a werewolf, and a Priest

Back in May, I published a series of faux interviews with the characters of my new book Blood Drive. Now that it’s the eve of its release, I decided to post it once more. So enjoy “Interview with some Vampires”.
 
-Budgie Bigelow 
10/16/17
 
 
 
Christian:
 
 
“Good evening, Budgie fans,” Budgie Bigelow says, sitting across from the vampire in his studio chair. “Tonight, I’ll be interviewing one of the characters from the upcoming book, ‘Blood Drive’. How are you today, Christian?”
 
“I find the day pleasant enough,” Christian replies, giving only a slight nod. He’s wearing a suit of dark gray with a red tie, his dark hair tied back in a ponytail. “Although the night is the time for my kind.”
 
Budgie observes his subject. “You’re one of the characters in Blood Drive, which will be out for purchase on Amazon tomorrow, October Seventeenth. How do you feel about being apart of this action-comedy novel?”
 
“It was an experience,” Christian replies.
 
“Do you care to elaborate?” Budgie asks.
 
“I do not,” Christian says.
 
“So in Blood Drive,” Budgie continues, “you’re on a cross-country road trip with a van of stolen blood along with your partner, a fellow vampire named Evan, and a werewolf. That must have been a fun drive.”
 
“Fun is not the word,” Christian says, his expression unchanging. “I would say ‘necessary’.”
 
Budgie sighed. “But it was a fun trip, wasn’t it?”
 
“I do not like repeating myself,” Christian says.
 
“How did you feel about your partners in crime?” Budgie asks. “And Father Matthew, the priest who dogged your every move.”
 
It was Christian’s turn to sigh. “Evan was neaeraly unbearable, Bart was definitely unbearable, and Father Matthew was as pesky as a tick on a dog’s backside.”
 
“Is there anything else you’d like to say about Blood Drive?” Budgie asks.
 
“No,” Christian replies. “It’s your book.”
 
“Alright then,” Budgie says. “Thanks for stopping by and talking.”
 
“No problem,” Christian said, getting up. “Enjoy your life.”
 
“Wow,” Budgie says, rubbing the back of his neck as Christian leaves. “That guy doesn’t do dialogue I guess.”
 
 
 
Evan:
 
“Welcome back,” Budgie says, addressing you, his audience. “I’m here with another star form the upcoming novel ‘Blood Drive’: Evan. How are you?”
 
“I’m great!” Evan says, smiling widely. “It’s great to be here. I never thought I’d be the star of a book, let alone be interviewed for it.”
 
“Well thank you for agreeing to the interview,” Budgie says, returning the vampire’s smile.
 
“But call me ‘Sparrow’,” Evan says.
 
“Okay,” Budgie replies, “Sparrow.”
 
“Have you ever seen Interview with the Vampire?” Evan asks. “I love that movie. I’ve seen it probably ten times or more.”
 
“I’ve read the book,” Budgie replies. “How do you feel about being a character of your own.”
 
“That was a book too?” Evan asks.
 
“You’re one of two main vampires in ‘Blood Drive’,” Budgie continues, “along with a werewolf and a vampire-hunting priest. How did you feel about your cross-country journey with the others?”
 
“It was a lot of fun!” Evan says, excited. “Christian comes off as a hard-ass, but I know he’s a puppy dog on the inside. Bart is harsh too, but I’m sure deep down he’s also a pup… Wait. What’s a baby wolf?”
 
“I think they’re called puppies,” Budgie says.
 
“That makes sense,” Evan say. “But Christian and Bart can’t both be puppies on the inside… Maybe deep down Christian is a baby bat. Do you know what baby bats are called by chance?”
 
“I have no idea,” Budgie says.
 
“Huh,” Christian muses. He reaches in his pocket and takes out his cell phone and starts tapping away at the screen.
 
“So back to Blood Drive,” Budgie continues. “So you’re transporting this van of stolen donor blood -”
 
“Oh shit,” Evan interrupts, still looking at his phone screen. “Baby bats are called ‘pups’. I swear that’s true. You cant make this stuff up!”
 
“But back to ‘Blood Drive’,” Budgie says. “In it, you’re driving cross-country with your partner, Christian -”
 
“Did he tell you how he’s from Transylvania?” Evan asks.
 
“He actually didn’t say much,” Budgie admits. “Is he really?”
 
“No,” Evan sighs. “He’s from Romania, but not anywhere near Transylvania. At least it’s more interesting than where I’m from: South Carolina.”
 
“We’re just about out of time,” Budgie says. “Is there anything else you want to say about Blood Drive?”
 
“Not really,” Evan says. “I think we just about covered it all.”
 
“Okay,” Budgie said. “Thanks for joining us. Again, the book is called ‘Blood Drive’, and it’s out tomorrow.”
 
 
 
Bart:
 
“Hi,” Budgie says, sitting in his studio chair. “I’m Budgie Bigelow, and I’m interviewing one of the characters from my upcoming book ‘Blood Drive’. Today, I’m welcoming Bart Peters of Pennsylvania.”
 
Bart nods, tipping a styrofoam cup in a mock salute. There’s dark brown sludge inside. He has an un-groomed beard and head of hair of the same reddish brown. He’s wearing a a flannel shirt that’s only buttoned halfway.
 
“Tell me about your role in Blood Drive,” Budgie says. “You come in as the wildcard of the group.”
 
“I wouldn’t put it that way,” Bart says, spitting into his cup. “Those two blood suckers couldn’t do squat without me, and their bosses know it. So they paid me to tag along and make sure they didn’t fuck the whole mission up.”
 
“You’re a werewolf too, is that correct?” Budgie asks.
 
“Yeah, I’m a damn werewolf,” Bart says, growing agitated. “One of the few in America too like muh daddy ‘fore me. Europe is lousy with ‘em, but I wouldn’t go over there with all ‘em limeys and frogs. No sir.”
 
“How does a werewolf benefit the mission to transport the blood cross-country?” Budgie asks.
 
Bart spits into his cup again. “Vampires are a bunch of candy asses, and those two I had to ride with ain’t no different. They don’t wanna mess up those polished nails of theirs, so they need a guy like me to do the dirty work. If anyone gets in their way, the wolf can handle ‘em no problem.”
 
“So you end up doing all the hard work?” Budgie asks.
 
“The fuck did I just say?” Bart asks in return. “Are y’all deaf or stupid or both?”
 
“But you’d only he useful at night,” Budgie says. “Under the moon.”
 
Bart laughs once, spitting once more into his cup. “I don’t need no damn moonlight. I’ve been shootin’ since I was big enough to walk and swing my johnny.”
 
“What?” Budgie asks.
 
Bart sighs, reaching behind him and pulling a revolver from the waistband of his old jeans. “See this ‘un? I shit you not, muh daddy had me shoot one just like it when I was just four years old. Recoil nearly knocked me on my ass too.”
 
“How’d you get that in here?!” Budgie asks, visibly shaken.
 
“This is America,” Bart said, waving his gun. “And I have the God-given right to arm myself. So you see now that I don’t need to turn into no werewolf to get shit done.”
 
“Well, that just about wraps this interview up,” Budgie says. “Thank you, Bart, for stopping by, and the book is called ‘Blood Drive’, out tomorrow.”
 
“Whatever,” Bart says, putting his gun back into the waistband of his jeans. “Where do I get paid?”
 
 
 
Father Matthew:
 
“Hello, and welcome to my final interview of the characters of my upcoming book ‘Blood Drive’,” Budgie says, once again sitting in his studio seat. “I’m joined by Father Matthew McAllen, a vampire-hunting priest.”
 
“It is an honor to be here,” Father Matthew says. He is wearing his priest outfit, his dark hair combed neatly.
 
“You have an interesting job,” Budgie says. “You work as a priest, but you also hunt vampires and werewolfs as an agent of the Vatican. How did you come into such a job?”
 
“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” Father Matthew says. “I always had an aptitude toward guns and fighting, but I knew from when I was a boy that I wanted to be a man of God. My mentor saw this skill in me and put me into the program that would mold me into the man I am today, doing God’s will and spreading His word.”
 
“In Blood Drive, you’re tasked with hunting down the vampires and retrieving their van of stolen blood,” Budgie says. “How do you go about your mission?”
 
“The path was set out before me,” Father Matthew said. “Like all paths, one must choose to walk it. The Lord guides my body as he guides my gun as I walk the path bathed in His light, the one I have chosen for myself. The task or mission, as you put it, will end how He wills it to end. I am only a conduit of his grace, mercy, and vengeance.”
 
“But how do you go about tracking the two vampires and their blood,” Budgie asks, “specifically in Blood Drive.”
 
Father Matthew takes in a breath, thinking of his answer. “There are those who stalk in the darkness, feeding off humans, God’s children. I took my position to rid the world of as much evil as I possibly can. If it’s the will of the Vatican for me to track down a van of stolen blood, then it is the will of my Lord as well.”
 
“But following the van,” Budgie says. “Christian and Evan are transporting a van of stolen blood from Connecticut to Los Angeles. Tell me a little about how the trip and your pursuit.”
 
“The path I chose is wrought with obstacles,” Father Matthew says, “but I will survive if it’s His will. If I lose my life while in pursuit of those responsible for the blood theft; then that is also His will, and I will live forever in His kingdom when it is done. That being said, dying is not part of my plan. If you were to test me, you would find that I am very hard to kill.”
 
“I guess that will have to do,” Budgie says. “But there was some question about your sexuality and how that plays into your role as a priest.”
 
Father Matthew sighs. “I have had many mentors over the years, being sent from church to church to fulfill my duties as an agent of the Vatican. The thing that remains most constant is the discontent for one’s sexuality. I have read the Bible, closer than most, and I can tell you that homosexuality is not looked upon as a sin. The homophobic King James would tell you otherwise, but who i am attracted to is not a sin, especially when I have upheld my vow of celibacy during my entire tenure as a man of God. It is an insult that anyone would think this would negatively effect my ability as a priest and and agent of the Vatican.”
 
“Sorry for bringing it up,” Budgie says. “I didn’t mean to insult you.”
 
“Tell me,” Father Matthew says, “when was the last time you took part in the sacrament of confession?”
 
“That about wraps this last interview up,” Budgie says. “Thank you for reading all of my interviews, and I hope you are all looking forward to ‘Blood Drive’, out tomorrow on Amazon Budgie Bigelow publishing.”
 
“You did not answer my,” Father Matthew says. “You can confess your sins to me now if you’d like, and I can absolve you of them.”
 
“Good night everyone!” Budgie exclaims.

 

 

Budgie’s Journal #79 – Bad Writing Advice

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”.

-Budgie Bigelow
9/14/17

Budgie’s Journal #62 – A Cautious Monday Morning

Happy Monday.

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.

-Budgie Bigelow
8/7/17