Kevin L. O'Brien

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31 books | 1,775 friends

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Kevin L. O'Brien

Goodreads Author

in Fort Wayne, IN, The United States



CJ Cherryh, Ramsey Campbell, Larry Niven, Alan Dean Foster, JRR Tolkei ...more

Member Since
May 2013


Kevin L. O'Brien was born with a pen in his hand.

Well, not quite, but he has been writing for as long as he can remember, at least since First Grade. Writing has always been his first, true love, but it hasn't always been his career. He worked for 15 years as a biomedical researcher, then for 3 years as a web designer. However, after 35 years of trying to be published in print with little success, he has decided to try his hand at self-publishing. Most of his works will be sold as ebooks through Smashwords, Kindle, and Kobe, but he also plans to make some available for free here on Goodreads.

He writes primarily speculative fiction -- fantasy, science fiction, horror, and their sub-genres -- but he also likes to try his hand at thrillers, su

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Kevin L. O'Brien I generally get writer's block because I get bored. So I put the story aside for awhile to regenerate my interest.

Sometime, however, I genuinely have …more
I generally get writer's block because I get bored. So I put the story aside for awhile to regenerate my interest.

Sometime, however, I genuinely have no idea what to write next. That is, I know what's coming next, but I don't know how to write it. In such circumstances I do one of two things: just bull my way through, and hope a better way to write it comes to me later, or set it aside until inspiration strikes. I prefer to do the latter if I can, but sometimes I really want to get a story finished, so I have to do the former.(less)
Kevin L. O'Brien Ultimately, every writer is different, and writes in his or her own way. What works for one may not work for another.

Having said that, I can offer two…more
Ultimately, every writer is different, and writes in his or her own way. What works for one may not work for another.

Having said that, I can offer two pieces of general advice:

1. Write; stick your butt in the chair and type. No one ever became a writer by dreaming about it.

2. Finish your stories; write as far as you need to to be able to say "The End". No one ever became a writer by starting a hundred stories but never completing any.

Now, if you have adult attention deficit disorder like I do and can't seem to finish anything, you might want to try this: don't force it. Put your story aside and start a new one. Just every now and then go back and reread your old story. At some point you will probably get interested in it again and be able to finish it.

Finally, if you have difficulty getting commercially published, you might want to look into self-publishing.(less)
Average rating: 3.6 · 135 ratings · 21 reviews · 74 distinct works
Eldritch Blue: Love & Sex i...

3.50 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 2004 — 2 editions
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Her Majesty's Monster Hunte...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6 ratings3 editions
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The Christmas Vampires

4.25 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2013
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Feline Savior

3.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2013
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A Fidus Aranea

3.50 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2013 — 3 editions
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Redshirt (Strange & Unnatur...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2013
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Man Friday

3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2013
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Her Majesty's Monster Hunte...

3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings2 editions
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Do Unto Others...

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2013 — 2 editions
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Fun 'n' Games

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2014
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More books by Kevin L. O'Brien…

#PitMad Twitter Pitch Party

Today is the first scheculed #PitMad Twitter pitch party for this year.

I am pitching novel: The Adventure of the Dream Trials.

Mortally wounded, Differel escapes an enemy ambush by entering the Dreamlands, where she is found by Team Girl. They save her life and protect her as they try to get her back home. But a host of enemies, including Nyarlathotep, conspire to stop them, and if all else fails, Read more of this blog post »
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Published on March 17, 2016 08:38
Feline Savior Man Friday Oak Do Hate Gourmand Hag Shenanigans The Beast of Exmoor One-Percenter Vendetta
(15 books)
3.76 avg rating — 17 ratings

A Fidus Aranea Disposable Commodities Do Unto Others... Far-Sight Inseparable In an Octopus's Garden Redshirt
(11 books)
3.31 avg rating — 16 ratings

The Adventure of the Cats' ... Masie's Mind Post-Traumatic Redemption The Steel Gazelle The Temple of Ubasti The Adventure of the Golden... Differential Damsel
(15 books)
3.62 avg rating — 13 ratings

Dark Vengeance Sacrificial Offering The Lions of Inganok Barbarians R Us Gruff Tolls Pride and Fall Desperate Acts
(8 books)
2.89 avg rating — 9 ratings

The Lions of Inganok Barbarians R Us Pride and Fall Gruff Tolls The Steel Gazelle Desperate Acts The Temple of Ubasti
(12 books)
3.17 avg rating — 6 ratings

More series by Kevin L. O'Brien…
Neil Gaiman
“When the web started, I used to get really grumpy with people because they put my poems up. They put my stories up. They put my stuff up on the web. I had this belief, which was completely erroneous, that if people put your stuff up on the web and you didn’t tell them to take it down, you would lose your copyright, which actually, is simply not true.

And I also got very grumpy because I felt like they were pirating my stuff, that it was bad. And then I started to notice that two things seemed much more significant. One of which was… places where I was being pirated, particularly Russia where people were translating my stuff into Russian and spreading around into the world, I was selling more and more books. People were discovering me through being pirated. Then they were going out and buying the real books, and when a new book would come out in Russia, it would sell more and more copies. I thought this was fascinating, and I tried a few experiments. Some of them are quite hard, you know, persuading my publisher for example to take one of my books and put it out for free. We took “American Gods,” a book that was still selling and selling very well, and for a month they put it up completely free on their website. You could read it and you could download it. What happened was sales of my books, through independent bookstores, because that’s all we were measuring it through, went up the following month three hundred percent.

I started to realize that actually, you’re not losing books. You’re not losing sales by having stuff out there. When I give a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people say, “Well, what about the sales that I’m losing through having stuff copied, through having stuff floating out there?” I started asking audiences to just raise their hands for one question. Which is, I’d say, “Okay, do you have a favorite author?” They’d say, “Yes.” and I’d say, “Good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book, put up your hands.” And then, “Anybody who discovered your favorite author by walking into a bookstore and buying a book raise your hands.” And it’s probably about five, ten percent of the people who actually discovered an author who’s their favorite author, who is the person who they buy everything of. They buy the hardbacks and they treasure the fact that they got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it, and that’s how they found their favorite author. And I thought, “You know, that’s really all this is. It’s people lending books. And you can’t look on that as a loss of sale. It’s not a lost sale, nobody who would have bought your book is not buying it because they can find it for free.”

What you’re actually doing is advertising. You’re reaching more people, you’re raising awareness. Understanding that gave me a whole new idea of the shape of copyright and of what the web was doing. Because the biggest thing the web is doing is allowing people to hear things. Allowing people to read things. Allowing people to see things that they would never have otherwise seen. And I think, basically, that’s an incredibly good thing.”
Neil Gaiman

Mark Twain
“Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huck Finn

Raymond Chandler
“down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

“He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.

“The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”
Raymond Chandler

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message 35: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have activated "Ask the Author" on my Author page, so people can ask me questions if they like.

message 34: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien _Masie's Mind_ has reached 100 downloads on Smashwords.

message 33: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien My Author's Page is up and I have started a blog. Comments welcome.

Thank you.

message 32: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien It turns out that I have an author page here on Goodreads:

I've added the ebooks I've published so far, and I've requested being added to the Author Program. Once I'm approved I should be able to better promote my writing here.

message 31: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published this week's ebook:

Masie's Mind

Eile and Sunny are two adventurous twenty-something girls who met when Eile rescued Sunny from being kidnapped by enemies of her parents. They fell in love, and after the crisis had been resolved they decided to live together.

Sunny was still in danger, so their mentor, Medb hErenn, acquired a house for them in a secure gated community. She gave them the run of the place, but there was one room, in the basement, that was off limits.

That didn't sit well with Sunny, who burned with curiosity to discover what the mysterious room contained. When she and Eile finally gained access by accident, they discovered that they shared the house with a secret and rather unusual roommate....

It is free and available in Kindle, EPUB, PDF, LRF, PDB, RTF, and Plain Text platforms.

message 30: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published my first ebook through Smashwords:

Barbarians R Us -- In the Dreamlands, Medb hErenn works as a troubleshooter, using her powers and experience to solve other people's problems. When a barbarian causes trouble in Ulthar, she is asked to bring him back to make restitution, but she doubts he will come quietly. Can she persuade him to return, or will she have to use force?

It is free, and it is available in the following formats: Kindle, EPUB, PDF, RTF, LRF, PDB, Plain Text and HTML.

I will publish a new ebook each weekend, and I have 48 left.

message 29: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have finished posting all the stories I planned to here on Goodreads, though more will come in future.

Since Goodreads automatically posts updates whenever I post a story, I won't be doing that myself from now on, but I will still announce when I publish an ebook.

Thank you.

message 28: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I've been on Goodreads almost a month now, and only today I learned that I can post stories here for people to read and comment on.

I will be busy posting everything I've published on Wattpad, then I will post a URL here.

Thank you.

message 27: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published a new story on Wattpad:

Immanuel -- The night before Christmas is a time of miracles. Eile and Sunny do all they can to make this true for the homeless women and their children living in Pastor Sjauken's shelter. But there is another force at work this night, which makes use of the Girls for its own ends, even though they are unaware of it at the time....

message 26: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published the next story in _Strange & Unnatural Tales_:

Disposable Commodities -- A Hollywood agent has a macabre source for the actresses he supplies his clients.

message 25: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I've published a new story on Wattpad:

Post-Traumatic Redemption -- Being turned into a vampire is a real bitch, but the ordeal doesn't end when you're cured. For someone like Eile, it can be just the beginning....

message 24: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published the next story in _Strange & Unnatural Tales_:

A Deliberation of Morality -- Sir Differel meets her shoulder devil face to face.

message 23: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published a new free story on Wattpad:

Masie's Mind -- Eile and Sunny enjoy living together in their new house, but they have a secret roommate who finally reveals herself.

message 22: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien _Life of Duty_ is now going on hiatus until I finish the third and final novella:

message 21: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien _Life of Duty_ is now the second ebook on Wattpad to exceed 100 reads. Thanks again for all your help.

message 20: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published another story in _Strange & Unnatural Tales_:

The Christmas Vampires --

message 19: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published the conclusion of "Man Friday" from _Life of Duty_:

message 18: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have decided to accelerate my publishing schedule of stories for _Strange & Unnatural Tales_ from one a week to one every other day, beginning today, as I gear up to begin publishing through Smashwords, Kobo, and Kimble over the next few weeks.

I will make announcements of published ebooks here, on Twitter, and Facebook.

message 17: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien Part 2 of "Man Friday" from "Life of Duty" is published:

message 16: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien "Strange & Unnatural Tales", the free ebook collection of short stories that I published on Wattpad, has exceeded 100 reads (as of this writing it is at 117 reads).

That is the first of my works to do so. I want to thank everyone who helped make that possible and I hope you are enjoying it. Three stories have now been published but there are still 27 to go.

Once again, thank you very much.

message 15: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have started the second novella from "Life of Duty":

"Man Friday" --

I have also added the next story to "Strange & Unnatural Tales":

"The Cat Who Saved the Ark" --

message 14: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien The conclusion of "Feline Savior", from "Life of Duty", is now published:

message 13: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien "Life of Duty" consists of three novellas, each of which is divided into three parts.

The first novella is "Feline Savior". Part 2 is now published.

message 12: by Kevin (last edited May 15, 2013 04:17PM)

Kevin O'Brien I have published a new story on Wattpad: The Christmas Vampires

This story was originally slated to appear in "Strange & Unnatural Tales" for free, but I believe it could be sold on its own. After reading it, if you agree, please say so in a comment or a private message. I would appreciate your input, and thank you.

message 11: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have started a new book on Wattpad:

Life of Duty -- Sir Differel Van Helsing origin story

Differel Van Helsing is heir to the Caerleon Order, Britain's official monster-hunting organization, created by Abraham Van Helsing, the conqueror of Dracula. She is also a 12-year old girl, but when her father is killed she must assume control to ensure the safety of Sovereign, Church, and Country, while defending her legacy from enemies who seek to destroy the Order as well as her family. If they succeed, Britain will be defenseless against paranormal horrors, but how can a mere child, with no training or allies, hope to stop them?

message 10: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien "No Torrent Like Greed" is now complete:

message 9: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have added Chapter X to "No Torrent Like Greed".

I will publish Chapter XI, the climax, and the Epilogue, tomorrow.

message 8: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published six more chapters in "No Torrent Like Greed":

There are now two chapters left, plus the epilogue, but they are the longest chapters. I will publish one later today and the last tomorrow.

message 7: by Kevin (last edited May 12, 2013 02:24PM)

Kevin O'Brien I have posted another story to "Strange & Unnatural Tales":

Ambition's Appetite -- A Medb hErenn Adventure

I also published a new story:

Youthful Indiscretion -- A Sir Differel Adventure

Henry Helsing-Plunkett, the son of Sir Differel Van Helsing, finds a puzzle cube and decides to solve it. Very bad idea....

As well as another story:

No Torrent Like Greed -- New York police detective Lt. Mark Thorner needs a vacation in the worst way. A recent tragedy has him on edge and out of sorts, so he decides a trip out west is the best medicine. What he doesn't know, however, is that trouble awaits him in Colorado, in the form of a femme fatale, a conniving gangster, and the secret to a lost gold mine.

message 6: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have posted a new story on Wattpad:

The Denver Walker -- A Team Girl Adventure

Col. Eile and Maj. Sunny have been given a desperate mission: destroy the alien robotic Walker before it destroys Denver. However, their weapon uses unproven technology, and the Walker's defenses are nearly impenetrable. They know it's a suicide mission, but millions of lives are at stake. They must succeed, somehow.

message 5: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published a new story on Wattpad:

The Golden Mushroom -- A Team Girl Dreamlands adventure

message 4: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have started publishing a story collection on Wattpad, "Strange & Unnatural Tales".

The first story, "A fidus Aranea", is up; there will be 30 stories in total. I will publish another each week until the collection is complete.

This one of 4 collections I plan to publish through Smashwords and Kindle, but I want to do all four at once, and the other 3 are not ready. Since SUT was going to be free anyways, I felt Wattpad would be a good place to put the stories until then.

Thank you.

message 3: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have published my first free book on Watt pad:

Barbarians R Us -- a story of Medb hErenn in the Dreamlands

message 2: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien Just saw this on Facebook:

I doubt any of you are supportive of Vanity Presses, but I was surprised to learn that big publishers are now buying up and running VP's, and not to reform them.

I also found it interesting that when the author called on writers organizations to de-list offending publishers, he didn't mention the HWA (Horror Writers Association). That might have been an oversight on his part, but I would not be surprised if the HWA is giving big publishers a free pass on this issue.

message 1: by Kevin

Kevin O'Brien I have sent a request to be made a Goodreads Author. I'll let everyone know if that's approved.

I will also announce when I publish stories through Smashwords, Kindle, and Kobe.

Meanwhile, I have also set up an account with Wattpad where I will be posting free stories to try to gain a wider readership.

Those of you who wish may follow me there, but I will also make announcements here and on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you for following my efforts.

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