D. Scott Meek's Blog - Posts Tagged "writing"

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Published on July 06, 2010 20:47 • 108 views • Tags: d-scott-meek, dying-light, novel, posters, simply-scott, writing
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Published on July 06, 2010 20:47 • 225 views • Tags: d-scott-meek, dying-light, novel, posters, simply-scott, writing
So, after much gnashing of teeth over suicidal laptops and revisions and rewriting, part two of "Dying Light" is feeling pretty solid. I am sending it out to my four beta readers tonight, and then we will see what worked and what didn't, although again I think it's pretty good to go. A bit more editing in Feb, and then it's off to the publisher for what I'm hoping will be a mid-March publication.

Here, again, is the link for the blog to keep up with what's going on:

/"Dying Light blog

Also, don't forget to get on Facebook and fan up on the Dying Light page. More to come!!
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Published on January 18, 2011 08:31 • 131 views • Tags: blog, dying-light, fan, fiction, novel, science-fiction, thriller, writing
So, after much gnashing of teeth over suicidal laptops and revisions and rewriting, part two of "Dying Light" is feeling pretty solid. I am sending it out to my four beta readers tonight, and then we will see what worked and what didn't, although again I think it's pretty good to go. A bit more editing in Feb, and then it's off to the publisher for what I'm hoping will be a mid-March publication.

Here, again, is the link for the blog to keep up with what's going on:

Dying Light blog

Also, don't forget to get on Facebook and fan up on the Dying Light page. More to come!!
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Published on January 18, 2011 08:32 • 249 views • Tags: blog, dying-light, fan, fiction, novel, science-fiction, thriller, writing
,I had not wanted to come home to an empty flat every night, although for a while it had sufficed. I was barely ready for interaction when I found myself retired and involuntarily sent back to the moon, then here. I’d had money and a free ride anywhere from this lone connection with the old lunar base, but I’d chosen to stay. It was home, or it was close enough, and the metropolis I’d seen as we came down from space in the shuttle had intrigued me. At first, it was hard enough to interact with anyone – too many years in the isolation of the jump suits, dealing with incoming data and the occasional guiding voice in my ear. All I’d done those first months was acclimatize and orient. I wasn’t used to the gravity anymore, and despite my advanced training and physiological and biological enhancements for warfare, I was still simply unprepared for life on Earth after being gone so long. Once I could move reasonably well, I was on the go constantly, trying things, seeing things, endless hours watching people move and interact and communicate, exploring every inch of the cityscape I could access. I ate everything – no more paste through tubes and recycled urine and feces. Now there were vivid colors and rich flavors, aromatic broths and spicy meats that made my eyes water, my mouth salivate, and brought me back to my childhood and the simple pleasure found in a good meal. Booze and drugs followed closely, and I spent weeks on binges, vomiting up the contents of my stomach, shivering in the corner behind the door, long showers and hard workouts trying to detox. Finally there was sex – long bouts with two or more women, violent couplings, even smooth, slow engagements. I pushed the limit with it all, experiencing the utmost in what realities I could find, even those in the haze of DOPe. Eventually I bottomed out, needing a new fix, and it was then that I found Anatoly, a man that would need my unique skill set, my ability to assess the situation and achieve the objective without qualms and with no moral repercussions. He needed a man that could kill, could do it clean and quiet, and had no qualms about it. I could do all that; I even liked it. But it was still not enough, so it led me to the request that he find me suitable companion, not a lover, not a person to grow old with, but someone to take care of whatever needs I had, someone I could rely on, someone that couldn’t, wouldn’t say ‘no’.
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Published on March 05, 2013 11:53 • 57 views • Tags: addiction, excerpt, military, novel, ptsd, scifi, slave, warfare, writing
Across the black river of asphalt, the thousand-eyed monolith condemned me as if it knew I’d already activated the detonation sequence that would kill everyone on the platform. Morning commuters, they wouldn’t make it to their destinations today, and neither would the passengers in the ground car that would arrive in front of the watchful monolith in just under two hundred and twenty-seven seconds.

I stared my watch again and nodded at the digits counting down, then fingered the sleeve again. High luxury Permaflat poly-silk. A waste on me, but it’d been worth it to get this coat, to spend the money and pretend I was something I wasn’t. Great coat, even if this would be the only day I’d wear it or the glam Western-cut suit underneath. I reached up instinctively and adjusted the tight cravat, annoyed again at the restrictiveness and rigidity of the well-to-do uniform of the high-end bazaris. I wanted to rip it off and dare the pidúrok to say anything, but I stayed my hand. Had to play it cool; there was money to be made, and more. At least I wasn’t hot; I hated being hot. Even though the dome was temperature-controlled, and there were certain fashions to adhere to in this plush sector of Almaty, and I hadn’t missed a beat. The chill tech liner of the overcoat kept me frosty, despite all the layers between it and my skin. It made me yearn for a longer relationship with it and/or the tailor. But it wouldn’t do in my part of the city, and besides, I thought, smiling, my usual coat had other accoutrements that I preferred, not to mention the tailor was dead. Misheh.

I weighed the briefcase in my left hand. I wanted rid of it already, but I knew the timing had to be precise. In a moment it would be lost in the shuffle of dozens of the dome’s denizens all hopped up on jet caffeine and whatever artificials got them going in the early hours in preparation for a day of what passed as some sort of business throughout the dome. High-powered meetings with high-powered players in high-powered rooms. I’d be gone then, a ghost that sought haunts elsewhere.

One hundred sixty-three seconds. I cast my eyes left and right, assessing the crowd once again, making sure I wasn’t catching someone’s eye, ensuring the tram was still conveniently out of sight around the curve of the boulevard. Man with a gray ushanka, flaps pulled down over his ears as if it got cold enough here under glass for it. Another man animated on his mobilnik – deal gone sour or angry mistress. Woman with two small children; I turned to my right a little – I didn’t need to think about what would be their fate in less than two minutes – and looked down the path of the elevated track, where I’d see the tram soon enough – too soon for these people. The timing had to be perfect, and I’d worked it out to perfection. The tram would arrive, the bomb would detonate, and I would fire five shots. Then it would be over and I would collect.

Traffic crept by, the world moving in slow motion as the clock wound down. Colorless cars and colorless people, dark shadows across my field of vision. The sky overhead was an early morning pink – artificial as it was. Outside it was overcast and snowing; in the dome, it was spring time.

My watch vibrated, and I set the silver briefcase down without looking at it. I checked it again – time to go, my fingers lingering on the fabricated silk, and stepped through to the back of the crowd. I glided down the steps – not a care in the world. “Just another dome dweller drowning in digits and dimes,” or so the song went. It was a shit song – more trash metal from Liuby’s, but I couldn’t get it out of my head. Just another reason I preferred the back room.

I stepped into the crosswalk just as the strip of blacktop flashed in front of me a subtle green, and I moved across the street as various whisper cars ghosted to a rest just out of my reach. On my right I could hear the tram coming, a soft rumble like distant thunder, the only sound beyond the cluster of humanity I’d just left behind. I could feel the gentle vibration under my feet as it curved around the bend in the distance, a flicker in my peripherals. I ignored it; the target was elsewhere, and it was almost time – maybe ninety seconds. When I made the far sidewalk, I nodded to the twin doormen and glanced up at the eyes above, an endless sea of glass panels reflecting the ersatz sky, a stern glance from an angry god. Surely it was snowing outside already – the forecast had called for two more feet, but for the moment there was nothing but the artificial breeze to ruffle my coat. It reeked of the same sterility that everything in the dome exuded, a concoction of tedious boredom and calculated blandness. I frowned at the colorless façade and passed through the revolving doors, ignoring the brutes hovering on either side. They’d be dead in less than sixty seconds; they just didn’t realize it yet.

Tucked inside on the right, a newsy hawked his wares. I stepped up the stand and heard the chirp as a few credits bought me a paper. I folded it as I always did and nodded to the dealer as he withdrew his hand. He pretended not to notice me, which was probably best for him. I, on the other hand, was feeling secure. I’d be long gone in less than half an hour, and – my wrist vibrated, the second alarm – I’d be done with the job in thirty seconds. I made a show of adjusting my cravat in the reflection of a nearby ad glass, its easy blues calling attention to the return of Almaty Air to the skies with non-stop flights to Moscow, Dushanbe, and even New Delhi. The Himalayas peaked underneath the sleek, modern jet, more flanged disc than winged cigar, a design I was more familiar with beyond Earth’s atmosphere. I stared at the vid for a moment, thought about booking a flight to nowhere, and then the ad changed over to something fast and furious, some khert-o-pert, and I turned away. Glancing back at and past the newsy – no one around noticing me as far as I could tell, only a few earlies trudging toward administrative monotony – I passed the paper from left hand to right, feeling the weight of the Gia Smooth Barrel tucked neatly between the lifeless sheets of spec paper. It wasn’t my usual choice for a weapon, but it would do the job quietly, and it wasn’t coded to me, so there would be no trace.

Cravat perfect, I straightened and noted the aqua-on-white tram sliding into place where I’d stood only a minute before at the top of alabaster steps. Closer still, a long black whisper car edged up to the main entrance of my waiting place. I stepped forward just as the doors opened, unleashing a uniformed driver and a goon with an odd sense of 20th century chic from the front seat. The goon took up station immediately and assessed the situation behind a pair of dark glasses. The driver rounded the car at a jog and whipped open the black door with a practiced flourish, making way for another goon, a short balding man carrying my briefcase’s twin, and a leggy brunette in little more than a slip of gold glitter: the entertainment. Right at that moment, I pulled back the sleeve of my coat for the last time and blinked reflexively. Time.

The explosion sent the tram car tumbling blackened into the street as if it was spat out by an angry god. It shook the ground under my feet and rattled the thousand eyes above me. They’d seen what was coming, known as had I, but there was nothing to be done about it. Across from the glass door swinging open under my hand the entire platform was engulfed in a fatal fog of twisted bodies and metal, black smoke and yellow fire. It was a necessary distraction, a perfect feint as everyone near the car spun towards the carnage, completely unaware of me as I emerged from the skyscraper and opened fire. Two rounds and both goons were down; two more and the doormen followed. The Gia Smooth Bore suppressed the flash and bang in a way that even the whisper car couldn’t replicate, but the carnage of the tram would have masked the approach of a freight train. I ignored it, focusing on the target. The driver turned and moved purposefully around the car away from me; I let him go. My business was with the couple. The little man and his playmate whirled, suddenly aware of the danger behind them, their faces already marred by horror and shock from the explosion. Now suddenly they had a more immediate threat and no way to respond. I leveled the pistol as I continue forward and put a round in the bald head before he could get a word out. I didn’t want to hear it; that wasn’t part of the contract.

Blood-soaked bone and brain splattered across the face of his beloved who opened her mouth as if to scream, but instead she starred down at her ruined dress and began laughing. “U tebia choen malenki hui,” she screamed at the dead man. I didn’t even look up at her when she starting spitting on the corpse, backing away as she did to avoid the blood pooling around his skull from getting on her stilettos. I stopped right in front of her, arm extended as I knelt down and found the briefcase, the barrel of the Gia pressing into the waxen perfection of her cheek. She stared back at me, suddenly quiet.

“In the car,” I said. “Now.” She didn’t move at first, so I tucked the pistol into my pocket and spun her around, shoving her inside as the driver got into the front. When we pulled away from the curve, I called up to the driver through the intercom: “You know where to go.”

“Dah. Check the armrest.”

Then I turned my attention back to the briefcase, leaving the girl curled up on the seat to my left. She had positioned herself as far away from me as possible, and I could smell her fear, a mixture of sweat and piss. It’s what everyone smelled like right when they realized they might actually die – if they had a moment to see what was coming. Some targets were lucky; they were just suddenly dead – quick and painless.

“I’m free now?” Her voice was flat, distant, and I didn’t look at her or respond. I set the Gia on the seat between us, knowing her eyes were riveted on it, as if she needed a reminder who I was or what I was there to do. Then I flipped out my mobilnik and keyed in the sequence of numbers on the silver case – the authorization code. A moment later, the chirp told me I had a valid authentication code, and I was rewarded with a click. In the case was exactly what I’d expected: thousands of crisp rubles neatly stacked and packed like Russian mafia playing cards. Underneath I found two scan discs and a data chip. I pocketed those – they were the real treasure. The rest I left intact, snapped the case shut and laid it to the side. I had what I needed. I just had to finish up.

“The money? All there, no? Fuck shit. Promise half million to you. Delivery now.” She was coming back to life now, the shock wearing off. Her accent was heavy Russian, the I’s more like long E’s. The girl shifted on the seat, her eyes drifting from me to the case to the Gia and back. “Million for you. Is million. Deal?” There was still blood on her face as if she was wearing it as a badge of honor for setting up her owner’s death.

I nodded, but I wasn’t sure if I was taking the money – too easy to trace, and the data was worth as much, if not more. That was one part of the deal she hadn’t known about. It was really the only thing I’d come for.

“Now me free. Dog sucker – how you say? Veeblyodok is kaput. Dead. Thanks you. Požalujsta.”

She tried smiling, but I saw there was still some fear in her eyes, her breathing too shallow as she waited for my response, hoping our deal was concluded. It was. A waited before answering, watching the boulevard go by behind her – façades of nameless, conforming dominoes waiting to be knocked over by the right hand. There was no color, no vibe to the dome – nothing but endless scheming and mudak vying for supremacy, old men with goons and guns and harems of whores plotting the next big takeover, the next betrayal, the next war, until the next mystery man walked out onto the street and gunned down a corporate thug smugly on schedule. Just like life outside the dome, but with better vodka.

“Free?” I said, shifting my focus back to her. Back to business. I didn’t like to think about the aspirations and limitations of those living encased in glass. She’d forgotten her limitations; she would relearn them soon. “Not free.” This was the other part of the deal she didn’t know about. I picked up the Gia, and she stopped breathing for a full few beats. “Strip. You’re to be naked on delivery.” I waved the Gia in her direction as I reached into the arm rest on my right, watching her shaking hand struggle with the clasp at her shoulder. She was used to taking orders, even ones she didn’t like. Her eyes were locked on mine, and I could see the tears welling there, diamonds streaking now across a pale canvas. “It’s the nature of the world,” I said as the slip fell into her lap, exposing perfection. “You paid for this” – I indicated what I saw, what for the moment I envied; she was exquisite – “with your freedom.”

“But you have money.” Her eyes flickering away from the Gia for a moment to rest on the silver case.

“I don’t need the money. I need a ride out of the dome, a ride that won’t attract attention, a ride that’ll open the right doors. You’re the payment for that.”

“Still slave?” The stream of diamonds trickled into her quivering mouth, gleaming on ruby lips. I wanted to kiss them just once. Her nipples were hard in the air conditioning. I wanted to bite them.

“Dah,” I said and twisted around, brandishing the graft collar that I’d pulled from the arm rest. I’d needed the complicity of the driver, and he’d only wanted one thing. I would give him two: the money and the girl. A good driver in pocket was a bonus, and I knew what kinds of training he’d been through. He’d been the most dangerous man in the stiff’s party, but he’d been my asset for weeks.

She slid across the leather, knowing what to do, leaving me yearning for a smoke or a drink or a few moments to explore what treasures she possessed. “What would you do without this collar?” I asked.

She didn’t say a word but leaned in close until I could smell her hair, her breath, feel the hot rain on her cheeks. Then I slipped the band around her neck and heard it seal against her skin.

She stayed close to me for a moment as if she wanted to touch me, as if she was waiting for me to take control, to push her legs open and find her wet and ready. Perfectly trained. I could feel her body trembling, smell her kos. Then I sat back and activated the paper, saw the front page updating, then saw the black smoke rising from the tram terminal in real time. The newsbots were already on the scene. Words scrawled out below the live picture, and I tapped it off.

We’d be out of the dome in a minute, and I had what I came for.
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Published on July 16, 2013 06:25 • 75 views • Tags: fiction, novel, reading, science-fiction, scifi, thriller, writing
Great tour by Girls Heart Book Tours! Had over 740 entries to win three Amazon gift cards and five autographed copies of the books. Also ended up adding nearly two hundred peeps to the ranks of Sesame Swallow followers on Facebook.


The ebook was free all last week, too, and there were a few downloads, but not that many. No worries - just building steam, and with the sequel coming out in three months, that just adds more fuel to the fire.

The book party, which I held in Baltimore last week, was a lot of fun, as well. A bunch of friends showed up, we had a great meal, and I sold/autographed a few books and had a few drinks. Definitely a win there, and it's always nice when friends come out to support and hang out.

The interesting result of this entire book promotion exercise is the number of people on Goodreads that suddenly decided to follow my book reviews. That leads me to realize that I need to do more reading and thus more book reviews. It's hard when you don't have that much time, but I'll get on it. I just finished a book, so a short review is one its way.

So, a successful week, and a lot of good things said and done. Back to the sequel and all my other writing projects!
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Published on February 05, 2014 08:20 • 42 views • Tags: book-reviews, book-tour, ebook, free, goodreads, novels, promotion, publicity, sequel, sesame-swallow, writing
How often do you get to interview a fictional character?

Well, for Sesame, it's her first. She's gotten mixed reviews for her first book, and I think that comes primarily from inaccurate expectations or simply the shock value of the book.

So, some words about that, some discussion of the next book, and some insight into the setting and characters.

Part one of (most likely) three, this section of the interview is more about Sesame and her mystery solving life. Part two will be more about themes that are found in the book, and future books. And part three, if we go that far, will be just a grab bag of fun and silliness, I suspect.


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Published on February 25, 2014 11:56 • 50 views • Tags: baltimore, mystery, novel, sesame-swallow, sleuth, writing
So much going on, but the big news, as always, involves Sesame Swallow's sequel and Dying Light's revision.

Both are underway.

That is, I've started editing the sequel, which will be called Sesame Swallow and the Case of the Missing Heart. I'm only done with chapter one, which needs a few hundred words added. On to chapter two tonight. Hope to be done in about two weeks, then I'll be looking for beta readers.

As for Dying Light, the revision is mostly done, and I have some notes for changes, but I've sent it to two beta readers and have a third on the hook. I figure within a month I'll have some feedback in hand, and I can get going with cleaning it up over the summer. Then one more round of smoothing and last minute edits, and we should be good.

So excited! Three books in one year - here we go!
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Published on March 10, 2014 08:58 • 67 views • Tags: books, dying-light, novels, publishing, revision, sesame-swallow, writing
The first revision/round of edits is done and now I'm sending it out to beta readers. I want to go back and tweak a few different things, but better to just let it ride for now. We'll see what they say, and hopefully it'll be a lot of good with a few good remarks thrown in to help me beef up some weak areas, fix some errors, etc. We'll see.

One thing I'm happy about going into book two is that I've taken into account a lot of the criticism I got in book one, which was supposed to just be a wild one-off thrill and sex ride. But to make Sesame a more realistic character, which is my style anyway, I have to be more realistic with what she's like, and I think this was a pretty good transition, although I think I have a few little tidbits to throw in here and there to make sure it comes off right. Again, we'll see, but at least I actually have something now that can go forward to other books if I want to do that.
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Published on July 08, 2014 04:18 • 34 views • Tags: books, editing, mystery, writing