Wasteland Wednesday #7

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Wasteland Wednesday

 

It’s time for another edition of Wasteland Wednesday. Come and cuddle up next to the bonfire. Ah, don’t mind those inbreeder heads. I collected those to pay off some heavy writing debts I owe to the muse.

Anyways, I wanted to talk a little about the novella, The Wastelander Survival Guide, today. A very rough discovery draft has been hacked away and while I am working on the rewrites for the main book, the novella will marinate.

army combat manual.jpg

The novella features images similar to what a U.S. Army combat manual would have inside. It is also formatted much the same way. 

The concept for the novella stems from the world I have created. In the main book, Drake carries around a journal (you can see it in his back pocket in the final cover art for the book) and writes tips to survive the wasteland. This, he compiled at the behest of Lex. While he’ll never admit it, he enjoys keeping this journal and it has allowed him to elaborate on his wasteland “virtues.” To Drake, these virtues are what he believes will keep a person alive (it’s worked for him).

Each chapter of the main book is opened with a tiny excerpt from Drake’s journal highlighting a virtue. The book is written in a way that these “Drakisms” help drive the story. One of Lex’s secret hopes, is that there is life outside of Middle America. In her eyes, a book of how to survive the wasteland would be essential to anyone who delves into unsettled areas.

While she wouldn’t say this to Drake, her plan it to eventually inherit the book and find a way to reproduce it. Drake’s name has become legend in Middle America and she sees the potential to monetize/trade it in some shape or form. She also believes there is life outside of the wasteland. If this is true, such a guide would be valuable to an outsider.

She also wants Drake to compile this journal because she notices a drastic down-tic in his reckless tendencies when he takes time to organize and expel his thoughts. Lex knows that there is merit in Drake’s rantings. Despite the vulgarity and rough exterior, not many people make it to old age in the wasteland; Drake has almost made it to his sixties.

hourglass[Break in Timeline] 

Eventually, Drake’s journal does end up in the hands of someone in a “civilized” part of the world. They rewrite his journal and cast Drake as a romanticized folk hero. The rewritten version of the journal is reproduced as a survival guide for the expansionist movement into the isolated areas of the post-fall United States.

His “Drakisms” are recast as real-world virtues a potential settler should embody to combat the unknown dangers awaiting them. The chapters are very short, illustrated, and offer a very romantic look at how to survive the wasteland. Some portions are rewritten completely and deviate from Drake’s original writings.

I guess plagiarism and intellectual property rights aren’t a big thing in the post-fall United States…

The first book, Legacy of Drake, hints about aircraft flying overhead and unknown technologies making it over The Red (the area of seemingly impassable radiation) into Middle America. Perhaps there are other isolated pockets of people and inbreeders struggling out there? The wasteland might just be a bigger place than we realize, or it might be much smaller.

question-markThat’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all enjoyed this sneak-peak into Wastelander: The Drake Legacy and the Wastelander Survival Guide.  I’d love to know what you think and answer your questions (as long as the answer won’t be a spoiler-sandwich). Until we cross quills again, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always—stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

Wasteland Wednesday #6

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Wasteland Wednesday

 

It’s time for another update from the Wasteland.  As the author, I’m pounding away on rewrites. If I can hold my pace, I should have it out to my alphas by the end of the month. When it goes out to my alphas, I’ll do the rewrites of the novella.

I‘m planning on finishing one of my more time consuming client projects here in mid-December (not a bad thing, just a bit of work), and when that happens I’ll pound out the discovery draft of the next book in the series. This next book will have whoever survives book one, moving north to face a bigger threat—and maybe even escaping Middle America. The Lost Word, mentioned last week, will play a larger role in the next book as well.

Today, meet Jim.

Name:  Jim

Age: 14

BackgroundFrom birth, Jim lived in a bunker. His father told him the outside world was a barren radioactive wasteland, and if they would leave the bunker they would die. Despite his isolation, Jim’s father provided him a superb education (even by pre-fall standards). This education was heavy in classic works of literature, language, and some technical skills like medicine and electronics.

When Drake meets Jim, his familial background is ambiguous. They meet “accidentally” outside of Stanley Station, which is a coal plant that was converted into a settlement.  Jim admits little about his father and family.  Outside accounts indicate Jim is an orphan that wandered into the station.

vegetables-italian-pizza-restaurant.jpgBasic Physical Description: The wasteland doesn’t provide salad bars, or all you can eat pizza, so Jim is a skinny boy. Acne has began to spring up among his freckles.  His eyes are described as bright blue, and his hair is shaggy and brown.  He is very pale—apparently the bunker didn’t have a tanning bed.

Personality: Jim is very clever and optimistic. This is likely a result of his education and lack of exposure to the wastes. With no “real” experiences to rely on, Jim often attempts to apply classic works of literature to things he experiences.  The boy is particularly fond of Treasure Island and sees Drake as swashbuckling pirate of sorts.

treasure island.jpgAs classic works of fiction are basically extinct, Jim references people, places, and things that most people have never heard of.  On the other hand, the most common of wasteland information is often a foreign concept to the boy.

Drake considers himself to be a master of manipulation and understanding what makes people tick, and Jim has managed to pull a few fast ones on him. In this way, Jim quickly endeared himself to Drake (thought Drake would never admit that).  Both Drake and Lex are very protective of children, and this cements him into the party—that, in addition to some wasteland happenstance.

When Drake looks at Jim, he imagines what his dead son Jonathon might have become.  When Lex looks at him, she sees the innocence she lost. When Preacher looks at Jim, he sees the future of the wasteland. Due to all of these points of view, Jim because a central character to the groups unity.

Abilities: Jim is clueless and vastly intelligence at the same time.  Especially in a time when most children, and even adults, are knuckle draggers in terms of brainpower.  This cuts both ways for the boy.  He is also a sponge, quickly picking up on information and training.  Drake notes that the boy learned the steps to effectively fire a pistol faster than some of the people he trained while he was in the military.

suture.jpgJim is also a whiz when it comes to first aid.  Drake owes his life to Jim’s fast action with a needle and thread.  Drake has noted Jim knows aspects about medicine that could have only been taught formally, not just picked up at random.

Motivation:  Jim’s motivations shift throughout the book. At first, he hears a story about Drake Nelson, who had rolled into Stanley Station.  Jim puts a lot of stock in stories and maneuvered himself in a way to be close to him.  Being naive, one motivation is to share in Drake’s adventure. This perhaps, as the story unfolds, wasn’t the best course of action.

Jim is also motivated by something higher, something even Drake can’t put his finger on. To Drake, Jim seems to be running away from something and toward something else at the same time.  Preacher seems to believe Jim is the future of the wasteland…which to Drake is the kind of idiotic rantings he would expect from someone like Preacher.

Jim is driven to prove he isn’t just some dumb kid.  While he knows he is probably the most intelligence kid out there, he understands there is a lot of things he is ignorant of.  Any opportunity he gets, he attempts to prove himself and his worth.

 

Sig-mosquito.jpgEquipment:  Jim, much to his horror, is largely Drake’s pack mule.  The boy bears a heavy burden, literally. He is a novice with the pistol Drake acquired for him, a Sig Sauer Mosquito, but becomes more and more proficient with each passing firefight.

Author’s Note: I say this for all of my characters, but Jim is one of my favorites. He is comic relief, a source of bonding, and has a natural way of cutting through characters and revealing their motivations.  For Drake, Jim’s character reveals his humanity to the reader.  It also acts to tie Drake back to the person he was before the fall, when he had a little boy named Jonathon. I also like how dynamic Jim’s character is.  His arc is very rewarding and there are a lot of important plot points tied to his evolution and growth.

question-markThat’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all enjoyed this sneak-peak into Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  I’d love to know what you think about Jim.  Until we cross quills again, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always—stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

 

Wasteland Wednesday #5

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.

Wasteland Wednesday

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had an update from the wasteland.  It’s still there, I promise.  As for progress, the first stage of rewrites begins next week.  I’m pretty excited to dive right back into it.  It’s been hard stopping myself from starting early, but I try to practice what I preach (irony…you’ll see).

Today I’ll introduce another character from the book, Daniel.  A member of the Lost Word, Daniel has traveled the wastes extensively. He’s not the only Daniel out there.  In fact, all members of the Lost Word are named Daniel.

Name:  Daniel

Nickname: Preacher

Age: Unknown (old)

Bio: Daniel, or Preacher, as Drake and his group like to call him, offered a helping hand when hundreds of hungry mouths were coming to gorge on their flesh. Not much is known about his background.  Of course, being a member of the Lost Word carries a lot of implications. Also, a body covered in scars often tells more about a man than any word could.

faith.pngMuch like all people in the wasteland, Preacher has some secrets.  One thing that isn’t a secret is his apparent allegiance to the Lost Word.  He carries his faith around his neck, and reveals it with his words.  The Lost Word are the keepers of what is left of the religions.  They offer it freely to those they encounter, and focus on spreading the “good word” at settlements and outposts.

You would think faith doesn’t play a large role in wasteland. Well the hundreds of Daniels that comprise the Lost Word would disagree.  Their sect has been known to purge communities who hurt or harm their members or interfere with their practices.  How they are able to do this with just a few men—nobody is really sure.  All that is known for certain is communities of crucified men and women stand testament to their abilities and few challenge them outright.  The children?  No one knows what happens to them.

This particular Daniel, Preacher, is a little different.  He wanders alone.  This is odd because most Daniels travel in a group of three.

pills.jpgAbilities: Members of the Lost Word have access to unheard of pharmaceuticals and are trained to protect themselves with whatever is available.  They rely heavily on stimulants and other meds and tend to wade into combat with a single pistol and knife.  While this may sound outlandish, stories tell of a groups of three wiping settlements off the map.  A forest of hastily erected crucifixes sprout up when this happens.  Daniels must be carpenters too.

Personality: Preacher is quick to smile and quote various religious texts.  Drake doesn’t tolerate this being directed at him, but Lex and Jim (you haven’t met Jim yet) are more open to it.  Preacher respects Drake’s wishes, which only makes him more suspicious to the one-eyed madman.  Preacher is easy-going and will talk with anyone willing to listen.  Drake knows the potential for violence hides behind the old mans gray eyes.

Drake, being older himself, understands that to grow old in the wasteland you have to be one tough bastard.  Preacher appears to be much older than Drake and this makes Drake wonder how the hell the old fool was able to stay alive at all.

Motivation:  Preachers’ motivations are complex (and to remain spoiler free, won’t be talked about much).  What I will share is that he is a member of the Lost Word, but has grown disenchanted with the group.  There is a time he can remember when the order spread hope.  Now, purges are all too common.  He feels purging a community, no matter how far they have fallen or what they have done, is barbaric and wrong.

He dreams of restoring the order, but knows this is likely impossible.  He seems to content himself by helping strangers he encounters. Self-medication also seems to help him, and he is often seen consuming pills.

Drake doesn’t believe Preacher is actually still a member. In his opinion, which he voices (typical Drake), any fool can dress up like one of those nut-jobs and play pretend. Regardless, after Preachers explosive entrance in the book, Drake doesn’t have a lot of options and requires his help.  While Drake will never say it, he respects someone hard enough to grow old despite the wasteland.

bag.jpg

Bag is similar to this.  Concept art is in the works.  Updates are coming!

Equipment:  Preacher carries an engraved black revolver.  It’s much larger than seems necessary and Drake wonders how the old man can even wield it effectively.  Drake, even with his vast knowledge of firearms, couldn’t put his finger on the make and model.  All he could tell for sure is that it would be able to chamber a variety of ammunition.  He also noted the metal and engravings on the pistol were unlike anything he had ever seen.  This is uncharacteristic of standard wasteland weaponry, which is usually in a state of constant [dis]repair.

Preacher also carries a worn leather messenger bag. Beneath the brass buckled flap fastening the bag closed is a silver dagger.  Drake observed Preacher using this dagger to silence the cries of some inbreeders who were trapped under rubble (rubble Preacher created). The contents of the bag are a mystery to Drake.  All Drake knows for sure is that the bag contains meds of some kind—meds that can mask pain.

Author’s Note: Preachers character in the book was important because it serves a number of purposes.  It reveals the existence of the Lost Word, and it also examines faith in the wasteland, or lack thereof.  While Drake is governed by a set of “virtues,” Preacher is guided by something else entirely.  The two are an interesting contrast because both of them are lost souls who prescribe to a sort of debatable faith.

question-markThat’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all stop by next Wednesday for more information about Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  I’d love to know what you think about Preacher.  This is only a brief glimpse, but hopefully it did him justice.  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

Wasteland Wednesday #1

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday will be full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.  I’m talking f-bombs, thrice-bosomed mutant women, and potential buckets of gore.

Wasteland Wednesday

Corey:  Welcome to Wasteland Wednesday!  I have a very special guest here today to talk about what Wasteland Wednesday is and what we will be doing from here on out.  He rose from the dead, destroyed entire settlements, battled slavers, and butchered an army of renegade flesh eaters!  I’m very pleased to introduce…Drake Nelson!

Drake Nelson:  Eh?  The fuck is this? 

I’m using you as a marketing tool to sell books.

You suck inbreeder balls Corey.  First you create the fucking wasteland to absolutely bone me and now this?  I refuse. 

Refuse?  You one-eyed ingrate!  I created you.

…fuck you.  

* slams door shut on Corey’s imagination *

Ugh!  Frigging useless moronic piece of—

* door re-opens * 

I want bullets.  At least fifty .45 rounds.  You give me that and I’ll help you out with this idiotic sales pitch.  

Fine!

* Corey opens manuscript and types,  “Drake springs a monumental boner as his foot kicks a box of fresh .45 rounds hidden beneath some leaves.” *

Nice!  Got it.  Okay, about this stupid book of yours, maybe you should talk about the cover art you just got updated?  People seem to either wet or stretch their undies at the sight of sexy cover art.  

That’s actually not a bad idea.  After all, you are featured on the cover.  Maybe you could explain what you were doing in the scene?

That’s such a great idea Corey.  I’m in a sharing mood right now too!  Just kidding.  Adios.

*door slams shut again*

Drake?  Are you friggin kidding me?

*sighs*

I don’t have time for this.  All right folks!  We are going to continue on without that geriatric madman here to slow us down.  The next iteration of the cover art did come in.

Many moons ago I wrote a post about how I am currently collaborating with the amazing Michail Mamaschew.  The post featured some of his stellar artwork.  You can check it out here if you missed it.

In that post I revealed how Michail (who is working from Berlin) and I have been collaborating to make the exchange of information easier.  I also shared my original concept art.  Here is my doodle.

Cover Art Concept

*door opens*  

You suck at drawing and your “doodle” is much smaller than this.   

*door closes again*

Screw you Drake!

* Corey locks door *

Okay.  So that was my attempt at the drawing the scene.  Michail recently emailed me his rough concept art for approval.  He added a superficial strip down the center of the image to approximate spine location for the print version.  If you consider the space to the right of the strip, this is what the electronic cover will morph into.

Cover Concept.jpg
The concept cover art for Wastelander: The Drake Legacy. This image is owned by Corey Truax. Any manipulation or use of this image without written permission from Corey Truax is not permitted.

*door rattles*

Yeah, we know Drake, you look badass and Michail rocks.  This is the rough creation without any details added.  I, for one, am pretty stoked about how it’s coming along.

If I fail at traditional publishing, the print and typesetting company (something I’ll talk about in future post) I have selected for the indie route will create font and set the cover text.  Once I get the final product from Michail, I will create a cover draft with temporary text so you can see what it looks like in all of it’s wasteland glory.  That’s pretty much—

* door explodes and Drake jumps through giving thumbs up * 

That is one magnificent bastard right there! 

Humble as always.  Can you share at least one thing about the scene here?  People are curious man.  Do me a solid.

Well the image shows me making my approach to Last Chance.¹  A few minutes later I obliterated the place using only wit, balls, and fucking grit.  Or did I?  Maybe I ninja’d my way in.  Hell, maybe I’m a shit bag slaver myself!  Guess you’ll have to read this ass hats book if you’re curious.  Drake out!

* Drake runs off through broken door waving a middle finger at me *

I’m really sorry about all of this you all.  Next time I’ll try to get Collins, Jim, or Preacher to help me out.  Drake’s kind of a wildcard.  I guess you learned a little though, hopefully.

We’ll see what my broken brain comes up with next week.  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

¹ Fun Fact!  The Last Chance slaver fortress is modeled after the Moundsville Penitentiary.  In fact, the story occurs in this region of the United States.  

For giggles and evaluation purposes…here’s a poll if you are bored.   

 

Copyright Info (final)

%d bloggers like this: