Episode #6: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, episode #6, the lies and truth of doctor desmond brice, supernatural fictionThe Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice Episode #6 brings us another step closer to the end of our titular character’s misadventures. Thus far, I have avoided blogging about the publishing process.

As near as we are now though, I feel it’s a good time.

Bringing an episode of this novella out every week (or so, I get it…) has been a fun little adventure. But would I do it the same way again? Maybe.

Serial publishing is nice because it gives me, the writer and publisher, a chance at increased interaction. Writers are always complaining about not having enough relevant material to blog or write about to their audience. This process has given me an opportunity to introduce and discuss a piece of new work on a weekly basis. From readers, I have gotten the impression that this works too.

What serial publishing has done though is made me eager. I am really ready to have this whole book out. There has been so much getting ready and getting the book together that arriving at the end has felt too long.

Here we are though. Episode #6 “The Old Lie”. According to Doctor Desmond Brice, the last of his many lies. The next episode, the last in the ebook we discover the consequences of truth.

How Do I Get My Hands On The Novella?

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January/February 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

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Episode #5: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, supernatural fiction, episode #5, the lies and truth of doctor desmond briceA couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog confessing that Episode #4 took longer to release than expected. Well, in that case, the amount of time I took getting Episode #5 out and off my desk has been just plumb ridiculous.

I’ll blame the holidays, how’s that? I’m sure that you’ve heard that excuse before. But it’s true.

I spent last week with family down in balmy Carlsbad, California up the coast from San Diego. Once I got back home to Portland, I decided it was a good idea to take a few days to acclimate back to life in the normal lane.

Better never late, I know, but the episode is out just the same.

After Episode #5 “A Cover-Up” there are only two more episodes left. Best get writing, right?

What Happens In Episode #5?

In the most succinct possible terms, Episode #5 finds Doctor Desmond Brice face to face with a new foe. Anson Jeffs arrives on his doorstep with an offer that he claims Desmond cannot refuse.

Is there such a thing? Find out in Episode #5, “A Cover Up” the latest installment.

How Do I Get My Hands On The Novella?

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January/February 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

Sound interesting? Sign up today and receive this mailing list exclusive.

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Episode #4: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, the lies and truth of doctor desmond brice, free ebook, episode #4, supernatural fictionSo, the publication of “Episode #4” took me just a little bit longer to get out to my readers than I would have hoped.

Sorry folks. I missed the good Doctor Brice too.

Today is release day though. The latest, “Episode #4” of The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice will drop to all my loyal email list subscribers later on this afternoon.

This episode I’ve entitled, “Falsehood”.

And just so you don’t go thinking I was too indulgent with my  week away from publishing… I went out to Lake Chelan, Washington and got a lot of writing and novel plotting done with the good folks from Write On The River.

Also, Episode #4 features a brand new eBook cover. Anyone like this one better than the last? Leave me a comment below.

I have to say, I missed the process and I missed dropping eBooks in your email boxes.

Thank you for your patience… and enjoy.

How Do I Get My Hands On The Novella?:

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

What Happens In Episode #4?:

Desmond Brice returns home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday in this episode. As you lovely readers have discovered, the good Doctor isn’t exactly a normal guy.

While most of us return to our home towns looking to reflect by the home fires, Desmond comes back seeking something else altogether. For Desmond, the idea of a home fire has an entirely different meaning altogether. In Episode #4, he is reminded of that.

Sound interesting? Sign up today and receive this mailing list exclusive.

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Episode #3: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, book release, episode #3, the lies and truth of doctor desmond briceMy first order of business is to wish everyone out there a Happy Halloween. The song tells us that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. For me though, nothing feels quite as good as the crisp late-October air out here in western Oregon.

Doctor Desmond Brice is back. “Episode #3: A Deception” will release later on today to all of my loyal and patient email subscribers.

Thank you to all of those who have already signed up. As a long time devotee of spooky stories, I am grateful that, in a small way, my little story will find a way into their “spooktacular” evening.

Be safe tonight. Be silly. Let the ghosts in.

How Do I Get The Novella?:

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

What Happens In Episode #3:

We know Desmond Brice has a very special gift. He can hear things no one else can.

In “Episode #3: A Deception” we find our main character far away from Canyon County, Oregon at school in Upper Michigan University. Desmond is a studious young man and he wants nothing more than to keep focused on his studies.

But a young student has her sights set on him. Sarah Schofield Taylor is every bit Desmond’s intellectual equal and by the end of “Episode #3” she will begin to threaten his most tightly held secret.

Sound interesting? Sign up today and receive this mailing list exclusive.

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Episode #2: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, the lies and truth of doctor desmond brice, episode #2, supernatural fictionI want to pass along a great big thank you to everyone who has signed up for their free eBook. Those readers have already received Episode #1 of my supernatural fiction novella, The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice. Now it’s time to let Episode #2 loose into the world.

I have gotten some early reader feedback and it has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ll admit to some nervousness.

So positive feedback? It feels terrific.

In a logistical sense, I’m feel a little leery of the weekly publishing schedule I’ve set this book on. At this time though, I don’t feel like it’s too much.

Not yet at least.

How Do I Get The Novella?:

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

What Happens In Episode #2:

Taking place a few years after the events of the previous chapter, in “Episode #2: A Sweet Little Lie” we meet Desmond in high school where he is learning the hard lessons of truth and love.

As we know though, truth is a challenge for young Mr. Brice. When pressed to describe his real feelings, Desmond whispers those sweet little nothing the girl wants to hear instead of what he’s really feeling.

As is usually the case, even a little lie has consequences.

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Episode #1: “The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice”

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erick mertz, lies and truth of doctor desmond brice, book release, episode one, the first lieToday marks the book release for Episode #1 of my serially published novella, The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice. For a couple of reasons, I am particularly excited to announce this book release.

One reason for excitement… this book the first publishing venture for Longbranch Productions, my fledgling company. For that reason alone, I am very excited. I have been building up to this for quite a long time and to see the book come to life is a dream come true.

Another reason, and perhaps even more critically… this is the first in my The Strange Air Series of supernatural fiction books which explore the strange happenings around Canyon County, Oregon.

For a writer, a book release is always exciting… but this one is special. Thank you for being a part of it.

How Do I Get The Novella?:

Did I mention that this eBook is free?

Getting your eBook copy of The Lies & Truth of Doctor Desmond Brice could hardly be easier. Just fill out the form below to subscribe to my email list.

Once you subscribe, I’ll send you “Episode #1: The First Lie”. Every one of my subscribers will receive this plus each of the following episodes in this serially published novella.

When this novella is complete, it will stand as the prequel book to The Mask Of Tomorrow (tentatively scheduled for release January 2019… more on that) the first full-length novel in my series.

What Happens In Episode #1:

Each of the seven episodes (or chapters) of The Lies & Truth Of Doctor Desmond Brice depicts the titular character at a critical junction in his life. In “Episode #1: The First Lie” we are introduced to Desmond Brice at the age of seven. Although Desmond is very young, his powers of perception are one of a kind.

Another aspect playing prominently in Episode #1 is Desmond’s family. We meet his Father, a failed Canyon County farmer riddled with self-loathing, and his Mother, a hopeful religious sort who finds her hopes crushed by her husband’s bitter temperament.

Young Desmond Brice possesses powerful gifts. How far will he go to prove to himself he’s not crazy? Will he figure out a way to keeps his powers secret long enough to use them?

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Character Development In “The Mask Of Tomorrow”

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erick mertz, mask of tomorrow, character development, supernatural fictionWriting The Mask Of Tomorrow has been an extensive journey steeped in careful character development choices. Throughout the long process of finishing my debut novel, I have spent quite a lot of time inside the heads of my characters, asking “what if” questions about Two Folds and Short Pipe and Owl, as well as late night disc jockey, Frank Lenzi.

Among the small but critical aspects of nailing character tone has been deciding on the appropriate drink for each character. People are, to a large extent, defined by their particular drink of choice. Describe someone as a “wine drinker” and the immediate association is much different than if the same person is described as a “whiskey drinker” or a “martini drinker”. Even non-alcoholic drinks apply. Between a “tea drinker” and “coffee drinker” there is a significant distinction.

The story in The Mask Of Tomorrow is set in rural Central Oregon in the fictional mill town of Josephine. The action takes place between the summer of 1981 and summer of 1982. For a historical perspective, the early 1980’s was at least a decade and a half before the boom in craft beer began. Pull up to a Wasco county bar today and you’re likely to find at least a few craft beer taps. Not back then though. The dawn of the Reagan era took place before boutique distilling. When I look at the early 1980’s, it’s pretty much before my time too. I was nothing but a cherub cheeked five year old when my book took place.

To get the drinks right, I had to go just a bit outside of my native element. Therefore in the interest of accuracy, I decided to undertake a “method drinking” experiment. The least I can do is share a drink across time and fiction with the men I’ve gotten to know.

You know, in the interest of character development.

Most of my characters aren’t casual drinkers. They drink hard. This means that their eyes drift beyond the beer tap to the row of liquor bottles behind the bar. But my characters are also “drinking class” (as famously dubbed by Oscar Wilde) which means by necessity they must tilt their gaze to the bottom shelf.

Searching for the right whiskey, I settled on Evan Williams. Produced in Louisville, Kentucky, Evan Williams is often described as “something that’s cheap, but doesn’t taste bad.” Seemed right to me. Plus, at 86 proof, it’s a just a notch stronger than others in their category.

Cheap. Decent. Strong. Take those together and it seemed like the right choice for a cast of budget conscious farmers and ranch hands who drink to get drunk.

My choice in beer? As a Pacific Northwest native, I recognized that getting the right beer would probably come with some scrutiny and debate.

So, I went with Rainer beer, but with a caveat.

Rainer has always held a special place in my heart. First off, it’s dirt cheap. Rainer is a rock solid macro. The name is pure Pacific Northwest too, derived from the tallest mountain in the Cascade range. Also, I liked the idea that my local readers could immediately associate an image of the familiar Rainer “R” logo.

Plus, it’s hard to wrestle these commercials from our sense of regional nostalgia.

The beer I wanted to use in my character development exercise was Henry Weinhards. Specifically, I wanted to use Blitz Weinhard. As a Portland boy, I have fond memories of how the Weinhards brewery filled downtown Portland with the rank aroma of brewing hops and barley. Anyone who traveled into Old Town (what they used to call The Pearl before gentrification) knew that fetid smell.

My characters would have drank Blitz. However, I cannot. No one carries Blitz Weinhards in a can and try and ask for one at a local tap. Your liable to get thrown out for slurring your words.

Character development is hard. Maybe I should try writing a sober character next time?

Any thoughts on these drink selections? Did I get my rural blue collar drinkers pegged right? If you want me to add a little variety to my method drinking exercise, leave it in the comments below.

Please take a moment to subscribe to my mailing list for updates on The Mask Of Tomorrow and other soon to be released fiction projects.

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Poem Published In “Baldhip Magazine”

Along that fine edge between complexity and simplicity I would like to dwell, perpetually. My world would become, in theory, so very simple.

“Drones mate and then they die.” I can recall hearing those words, quite clearly.

Although I learned this truth some many years ago, that small but vivid lesson resonates still today. The words echo whenever I turn over an old chunk of rotten firewood from the pile, only to watch an escaped bee circle overhead.

Along that fine edge, my belief is that there we discover the most salient debates about our shared universe. At least this much seems to be true — all the poems worth writing about dwell in that liminal space.

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“The Dandelion Lesson” – A Poem By Erick Mertz

THE DANDELION LESSON 

Father’s first assigned chore.

Take the red lighter

from off his night stand.

Burn backyard dandelions gone to seed.

You will need to know how to perform this.

How to stop them

before they can spread.

At all costs, the fine art of killing the young.

Copyright 2015, Erick Mertz

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POETRY CHAPBOOK – Early Book Art

One of the tasks of self-publishing I have looked most forward to is creating the The Last New Year’s overall look and feel. The words are the substance, of course, but answering questions about what visual context could I provide them has brought a rousing, sumptuous challenge.

My father was a photographer. Correction, my father was a lot of things at once — an engineer, a fisherman, a painter, but somewhere in there he managed to shoot a lot of film in a time when that statement could be taken literally. As it turns out, I have a box of those early photos. When I set about answering that question, I realize I need look no further than that box.

Here are a few pictures that I have hand selected for The Last New Year, moments my father captured decades ago that I felt seized some of the book’s zeitgeist. There are dozens more but these are the early leaders for inclusion.


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