getting “lost” again

I thought that 6 years after I published my most popular novel, Lost Dogs (recently revamped with the new, badass cover below), that it would be difficult to revisit that book as I write Stray Cats, its sequel/follow-up.

lostdogs12.02.2019front

“Difficult” in that it would be hard for me to get back into the groove I had as I wrote it, when I told a tale of two dogs and the end of the world.  But come to find out, it’s been very easy.

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a peek at “stray cats”

People have asked me what my next novel, Stray Cats, will be about.  Rather than tell you, let me show you:

Revised back coverAs I’ve mentioned before, Stray Cats is going to be a collection of interconnected stories set on different worlds.  Pimmi is the main character, but I can’t wait for you to meet the others.  Some characters from my previous novels make appearances, too, because all the stories are connected.

(Speaking of other books, if you though the monsters from This Wasted Land were scary, wait until you get a load of the Kurindans!)

Enough teasing for now: time for me to get back to work.  Check back here for more sneak peeks!

 

Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young.  In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.  

Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog.  He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons!  With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  Kenton also published Hand-Selling Books to help authors better their sales.   

Follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

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new year, “new mutants”

After the debacle that was Dark Phoenix, I thought that the X-Men film franchise as we know it was dead, but this looks really cool:

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looking back, looking ahead (and a peek at “stray cats”)

This past decade was when my childhood dream of becoming an author became reality.  I began the 2010’s with a manuscript of a fantasy novel, and ended it with 5 published books.  Here’s a glance back at some key events:

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of “star wars” and “stray cats”

Despite being a Star Wars fan since I was 10 years old, I have no intention of seeing Rise of Skywalker.  Nope, sorry not sorry.

I was initially beguiled by The Force Awakens, only to realize that it was a nonsensical rip-off of A New Hope.  Willing to give the franchise another chance, I was burned by The Last Jedi, a movie so cynical, so shitty, it inspired a scathing, book-length takedown by award-winning sci-fi master John C. Wright.

straw

TLJ is so bad, it makes Attack of the Clones look like Casablanca.  In fairness to AotC, at least it had this scene going for it: 

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twl playlist, track 10: “paranoid”

A surprising number of teenagers in 2019 (some them, no doubt, encouraged by hit films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman) are fans of vintage hard rock.  So, too, is Alyx, the Feisty Teenage Heroine of This Wasted Land, my young adult dark fantasy novel.   TWL tells of Alyx’s attempts to rescue her boyfriend Sam from a shapeshifting witch who has abducted him to a cold, gray, ash desert where monsters prowl.

xmasjacket

To reflect Alyx’s musical tastes, I set up the table of contents for TWL as a “playlist,” and named each chapter after a hard rock song.  Each relates to their chapter in some way, whether it evokes the mood, mirrors events, reiterates themes, or simply inspired it.  You can find posts about other songs on the playlist here.

toc10

(Some spoilers ahead)

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twl playlist, track 9: “atomic punk”

A surprising number of teenagers in 2019 (some them, no doubt, encouraged by hit films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman) are fans of vintage hard rock.  So, too, is Alyx, the Feisty Teenage Heroine of This Wasted Land, my young adult dark fantasy novel.   TWL tells of Alyx’s attempts to rescue her boyfriend Sam from a shapeshifting witch who has abducted him to a cold, gray, ash desert where monsters prowl.

cover

To reflect Alyx’s musical tastes, I set up the table of contents for TWL as a “playlist,” and named each chapter after a hard rock song.  Each relates to their chapter in some way, whether it evokes the mood, mirrors events, reiterates themes, or simply inspired it.  You can find posts about other songs on the playlist here.

track 9

(Some spoilers ahead)

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a great “wasted” year

This Wasted Land, my third published novel, was released a year ago.  As I mentioned in this post, it was in 1988, when I was a senior in college, that I first began working on what would become TWL.  I developed the premise, created some characters, and did extensive research, but I struggled for several years to write the story.

twl1st

After several failed attempts, I resolved in late 2015 to finally make the book happen, and three years later, it did.  It wasn’t easy (I spent months working on the climactic chapters), but I’m proud of how it turned out.  In a nutshell, the story is:

Boy Meets Girl

Evil Witch Abducts Boy

Girl Goes to Get Boy Back

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twl playlist, track 8: “sixes and sevens”

A surprising number of teenagers in 2019 (some them, no doubt, encouraged by hit films like Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman) are fans of vintage hard rock.  So, too, is Alyx, the Feisty Teenage Heroine of This Wasted Land, my latest young adult dark fantasy novel.

twl display

To go along with that, I set up the table of contents for TWL as a “playlist,” and named each chapter after a hard rock song.  Each relates to their chapter in some way, whether it evokes the mood, mirrors events, reiterates themes, or simply inspired it.  You can find posts about other songs on the playlist here.

twl8

(Some spoilers ahead)

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a new look for “lost dogs”

A while back, I talked about changing the cover of my previous novel, Lost Dogs, to align more with other titles in the young-adult post-apocalypse genre.  It’s not that the original cover is bad: it’s a spectacular piece done by my friend and pro artist James Arnold.  It’s just that I didn’t tell James exactly what was needed, because I didn’t know any better 5 years ago, when I was publishing it.

smallFinalcover

The original cover

James has moved on to bigger and better things, living the dream as a designer at a major gaming company, so I turned to Suzie O’Connell at Sunset Rose Books for a new look.   I’d say she delivered:

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