Nadya the Deathless – A new short story by J Edward Neill

Mother to a slain child…

Hunted for her power…

Some fear her…

Others adore her…

Those who know her best have named her…

Nadya the Deathless

Episode 8 in the Hollow Empire series

Now available on Amazon.

Hollow Empire – Night of Knives – Episode One is now FREE!!!

Co-Authored by J Edward Neill and John R McGuire

Hollow Empire – Night of Knives

Episode One (of Six) is now FREE via Amazon!!!

Hollow Empire Front Cover

In the aftermath of a horrific plague, the nation of Vhur teeters on utter annihilation. Its cities lie in ruin, its king hides in his tower, and its people rot in their graves. Surrounded by death and suffering, four survivors struggle to live their separate lives.

But the lords of Vhur have different plans in mind…

…for soon must come the Night of Knives.

Get into the darkness…

Follow it all the way to the bottom…

The complete softcover version is available here.

 J Edward Neill

Hollow Empire – Final Episode!

Vadim, Nadya, Cassidy, and Murgul walk the line between life and death.

Will they join the rest of Vhur in death…

…or survive with the hope of finding peace in the Hollow Empire?

Includes bonus chapters for Isidora and Little Lys.

Season 1 – Final Episode – Now available via Amazon and Smashwords.

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Hollow Empire – Night of Knives

John McGuire & J Edward Neill

Episode Three – Hollow Empire – Night of Knives!

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In case you’ve missed it, Episode 1 and Episode 2 are out already.

But if you’re caught up…

Episode 3 of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives is on the market. Snag the Amazon Kindle version here. The Smashwords version will be out in a few days.

In Episode 3: Vadim stares down a hard, hard truth. Nadya faces the Gallows Boys. Cassidy and Isidora race for Othis. And poor Murgul the Maggot learns just how Luka healed all his children.

Pick it up. Our grimmest episode yet…

J Edward Neill

New Release – Hollow Empire – Episode 2!!

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Hear that? The thumping hearts, wailing widows, and dead men’s screams? That’s right. Episode 2 of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives is out!

A few teasers

After saving Jericho from public execution, Vadim and his fellow riders set off on the Long Ride…

Nadya of the Bashir meets an unsavory vagabond and sees her first Iritul face-to-face…

Cassidy and Isidora ride for their lives…

An entire city screams for Murgul the Maggot to die…

Catch up with part two of the six-part Hollow Empire series, available now for Kindles everywhere.  If you’ve got a non-Kindle e-reader (or if you simply prefer Smashwords) the Smashwords edition is here.

J Edward Neill

New Release!! – Hollow Empire – Night of Knives – Episode 1

HollowEmpireEP1

 

Six weeks. Six episodes. Six chapters per episode…

Ladies and gentlemen, Episode 1 of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives is now available on Amazon for only $0.99Hollow Empire is co-authored by J Edward Neill and John R McGuire, the creators of Down the Dark Path and The Dark that Follows.

Join Vadim, Nadya, Cassidy, and Murgul the Maggot as they struggle to survive in the aftermath of the world’s deepest, darkest plague, the Lichy. Hunted by aristocrats, chased by outlaws, sought after as supper for the vicious, zombie-like Iritul, the four survivors must fight for every moment of their lives.

For otherwise, they’ll join the rest of the world in its grave…

On the fence about Hollow Empire? Think post-apocalyptic medieval dark fantasy opera. Yeah. All of that. It’s deathy, dark, and terrifying, sprinkled with a bit of horror, a dash of western, and even a little extra superhero on the side.

We’ll be releasing one episode per week, each for $0.99. Get in on this. You won’t regret it.

Hollow Empire – Night of Knives – Season One/Episode One – Now available for e-readers everywhere…

J Edward Neill

Hollow Empire – Those Initial Steps

On March 23, 2013 I received the following email from J Edward Neill:

“My final round scooped. Weak. But seriously, if you want to try your hand at the serial story blog thing, I’m all in.”

The first part of that line refers to Magic the Gathering, so not really important to our discussion right now. The second refers to a conversation I had with J about a podcast I’d been listening to “The Self-Publishing Podcast” and how two of those guys had been on a tear with serialized fiction (which if you are at all interested in independent writing, you should check out the podcast). The format basically was about 15,000 words per episode (which equals about 60 pages), six episodes make a season (apparently we are on an English schedule)… leaving you with 90,000 words for the book (360 pages). They released them on a weekly basis, cliffhangers at the end of episodes (just like some of your favorite tv shows).

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No, not this kind of serial!

And I thought it could be duplicated.

So a couple of days later I got that email. And I replied on March 25, 2013:

“Serial – I’d be down.”

There was tons more included. Talk about potential schedules, the idea that this book could help not only cross-pollinate our works, but also generate content for our virtual book shelves. The one thing I am sure of in this writing thing is that if I only have one book, then it is much harder for anyone to find me. But if I have another book, I’ve increased my odds. And by co-writing it, I only have to do 1/2 as much work to get to the full novel.

Right?

Anyway. At that point we had no idea what this was going to be besides the barest of formats. Genre? Who knows. I only knew that we probably wanted to avoid vampires and zombies since they seemed to be running rampant throughout fiction and tv and movies.

J mentioned “a superhero theme, but waaaay back in time… fighting against ancient evils in a fantasy dark ages setting.”

I took that and wrote the following:

“125 years ago the last of the Great Wars were fought and the beginning of King XXX began. And the Age of Peace spread throughout the lands that he had conquered. Much like Alexander in our own world, this King spread his kingdom to the far reaches of the known world, but unlike Alexander, he lived to a ripe old age. Long enough to ensure that his heir would be ready to rule after him, long enough to make sure that the new lands remained within the kingdom. Trade increase, prosperity increased, etc.

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20 years ago marked the beginning of the Outbreak in YYY. hey stacked the dead along the walls until they reached the top, and then they began a new corpse wall. The spread like wildfire throughout the world; the downside to having increased contact with the far reaches meant that no one could outrun it. The population of the world decreased over the next 10 years by 50%. Small villages now are ghost towns, empty of all life, as those who survived journeyed to the cities for protection, cure, help.

Now we deal with a medieval world which has begun to pull itself out of the apocalypse. They are trying to figure out where they stand. But there are peasant revolts, coups, kingdoms which quarantined themselves and have not been heard from in the last dozen years.

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<Insert Project Name> – Dark Fantasy – Not saving the world, not saving the day… just saving yourself.”

That’s all it took and we were off to the races. We began to flesh out the pieces of the world and the people who survived the end of the world. We came up with our four Points of View, each choosing to write two of them. We’d be each other’s first editor. And when it was done we’d have something greater than the one could possibly do.

I must admit, I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out. I’ve collaborated plenty on the comic book side of things. Heck, the whole format is about that very thing. Writers and artists working together to achieve something they could not have done alone. But this was something else.

And it worked (at least I think it did, you’ll have to read it and be the judge). I think we’ve not only managed to flesh out a world, but we’ve done it by using the characters as our vehicles to get there. They determine so much of what the world is going to look like.

The best part, though, was getting that new chapter from J. There would always be something new one of us would include in a chapter that the other one would want to add to their own story. So many emails and conversations seemed to begin with “X thing is cool… how exactly does it work so that I can use it.” Those surprises made it fresh in a way that working by yourself sometimes can’t be.

I’m excited to release this new creation into the world. I can’t wait to have people give it a read and let us know what they think.

And by the way, Mr. Neill also has given a little bit of teaser for Hollow Empire here.

***

John McGuire

John McGuire is the author of the supernatural thriller The Dark That Follows, the steampunk comic The Gilded Age, and the novella There’s Something About Mac through the Amazon Kindle Worlds program. He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com.

The Dark That Follows is now available in print here or on Amazon!

Upcoming Release – Hollow Empire

Something new lurks on the horizon…

In 2013, I teamed with John R McGuire for an ambitious new co-project. We called it the Dark Fantasy Project, an appropriately ominous moniker for the grim, grave-licious tale we’d begun to weave. Truthfully, the DFP was my first attempt at co-anything. I felt jittery about working with someone not named me. I worried that our vision might never meet in the middle.

My fears were unfounded.

We’ve crafted a tale rivaling anything we’ve written before.

Fast forward to 2014, and the DFP nears its release. Only it’s not the DFP any longer; it’s Hollow Empire, a six-part serial novel. We’re excited. If you like quick reads or full-length novels, you should be excited, too. In the coming weeks, we’ll release Hollow Empire in serial e-form (six episodes at only $0.99 each!) and in a complete softcover format available on Amazon and Createspace.

Get some.

Here’s a bone-licious teaser of the back cover art, crafted by Tessera’s own Amanda Makepeace. It sums up Hollow Empire’s tone. Just wait ’til you see the front cover.

HollowEmpireBackText1

What is Hollow Empire, you ask? Think post-apocalyptic, post-catastrophe world, but instead of zombies, nukes, vampires, or futuristic technological holocausts, think the other direction. What if the apocalypse happened during medieval times? What if, instead of scavenging for ammo, fuel, and the odd crossbow bolt, mankind were forced to scratch out their lives by the sword? And by the sword, we mean literally. What if surviving in this grave new world meant not reclaiming the life you lost, but simply trying to make it to the next hour without being carved to tatters by outlaws, captured and tortured by bloodthirsty aristocrats, or eaten alive by wild, flesh-craving animals? What if, what if, what if…?

Hollow Empire follows the lives of four unlucky people as they claw their way across the ruined nation of Vhur. We call them unlucky because it might’ve been better for their sakes if they’d already died. We’ve got Vadim, a highborn soldier with only a fragment of his former life to cling to. There’s Nadya, an outcast mother with nowhere to hide. We’ve got Cassidy, a Walker charged with doing God’s dirty work. And finally there’s Murgul, a broken, twisted, and heart-rendingly simply soul who craves only a few moments of peace in his sad little life.

Survivors, all of them. Each with only a thread of their former lives remaining.

Here’s our world. We call it Vhur.  See all those cities marked ‘Lichy Ruins’? Dead…all of ’em. Surrounded by graves. Haunted by handful of survivors and packs of vicious Iritul.

Vhur World Map

So keep your eyes peeled and yours breath held.

Hollow Empire – September 2014.

From the authors of Down the Dark Path and The Dark that Follows.

J Edward Neill & John R McGuire

* * *

Until next week,

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Author of The Sleepers and Old Man of Tessera

Down the Dark Path