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Group Reads: Guest Author Invite > June 2018 Group Read with Guest Author, Bryan Smith

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Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
This is the thread for the June 2018 Group Read with Guest Author, Bryan Smith. We'll be reading Bryan's latest, the apocolyptic horror tale, Last Day. Bryan has been a stalwart in the horror world since his days with Leisure Horror. Grab your copy of Last Day at the link below and help me welcome, Bryan Smith!

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Day-Bryan...


message 2: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
Welcome to HA, Bryan. Thank you for joining us!


message 3: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 11283 comments Mod
hi and thank you Bryan :)


message 4: by Laurie (new) - added it

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments Just bought it and hopefully will get it read in time for the discussion! The plot sounded too good to pass up.


message 5: by Bryan (last edited May 25, 2018 12:23PM) (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments Hello, everyone. I'll probably only check in intermittently over the weekend, but will be looking in regularly come Monday. Thanks for having me here.


message 6: by Kasia (new)

Kasia (kasia_s) | 3741 comments Mod
Got my copy as well, I cannot believe we have Bryan Smith himself joining us. Holy guacamole. Epic.


WendyB  | 3407 comments Mod
I've been rooting for a real killer asteroid for the last year and a half. I'll read this to see what I have to look forward to. :)


message 8: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments For those who don't know, I'm pretty firmly from the Richard Laymon and Edward Lee school of graphic horror. Lots of gore. Lots of sex. Lots of depravity. Lots of twisted shit in general. So if that kind of thing's not your cup of tea, you may want to read something else. Just fair warning. However, if you ARE down for that particular vein of madness, by all means, have at it. Hope you enjoy it.


message 9: by Tod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tod (todclark) | 6 comments This should be fun, absolutely loved LAST DAY.


message 10: by Char (new) - added it

Char  | 16828 comments Mod
I guess it worked out perfectly that Laymon's The Cellar by Richard Laymon won our main group read this month! They can be companion reads, so to speak. :)

Hi, Bryan! Welcome to HA and thanks for coming.


message 11: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
Char wrote: "I guess it worked out perfectly that Laymon's The Cellar by Richard Laymon won our main group read this month! They can be companion reads, so to speak. :)

Hi, Bryan! Welcome to HA and thanks for..."


Great point!!


WendyB  | 3407 comments Mod
Just getting started and am wondering about (view spoiler)


message 13: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments Hi, Wendy. Yes, I'd heard of that. If I'm not mistaken, it's the same incident that inspired the 90's song by Filter called "Hey, Man, Nice Shot". But, no, I wasn't thinking of that when I wrote that scene. I just thought it'd be a good dramatic way of kicking things off. Like, people everywhere would see that happen and automatically think, "Holy shit, if that can happen, anything goes." It sets the tone.


WendyB  | 3407 comments Mod
That was intense. Sorry, had to skim over some parts. I guess I'm squeamish about some things. Liked the way the various story lines merged at the end. Not for everyone but I hope a few more HA members will give this a try.


message 15: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments Yes, this book, along with many of my others, does fall on the more Ed Lee-like hardcore horror/extreme spectrum. Thus the reason for my warning post above. Thanks for giving it a try, though.


Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
Getting ready to start this one tonight. What can you tell us about the cover, Bryan? Who did it for you? How much imput do you have on this one and your covers, in general?


message 17: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments The cover for Last Day was a premade cover I purchased from Inkubus Design. It was one that seemed to fit the overall tone of the book. But Last Day is an indie release. It's different when I work with actual publishers. With Leisure Books, the editor there would often ask for my thoughts on potential cover ideas, then, usually, the graphic arts department would ignore that and come up something completely different. Sometimes I was displeased, as in the case of Queen of Blood. That book should not have featured a house on the cover. Such a boring cover. With later books, they paid a little attention to my input, specifically with The Killing Kind and The Dark Ones. On the other hand, the covers for the books I did with Samhain were almost exactly what I requested when I discussed it with the editor. In the case of the hardcover limited editions, of course, I also get a great deal more input.

I'm entering into a new arrangement soon for paperback editions of my forthcoming books, so the responsibility of coming up with the covers will again be taken out of my hands. Thankfully.


Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
I see that you’ve self-published the last few of your books. How has that worked for you? Why challenges have you faced by self-publishing?


message 19: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments I've made more money self-publishing than I ever did with Leisure Books or Samhain Publishing, to the point where I've made my full-time living solely from writing since early 2012. The biggest issue I've faced boils down to having to pull everything together myself. However, beginning with my next book, all paperback editions of my books will be published by Grindhouse Press. This means a lot of the work I've been doing will no longer be on my shoulders. I'll still be releasing the ebook versions myself, but I'll be using the covers and layouts put together by Grindhouse. This should make my life as a semi-indie writer a lot easier going forward.


WendyB  | 3407 comments Mod
I'm curious about how long it takes to write a book and where do you get your story ideas?


message 21: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments I tend to write fast these days because I want to get as much product out as possible as fast as I possibly can. That's to keep the money coming in with the frequency I need. My novel 68 Kill (recently turned into a film, by the way) was written and published inside of 45 days. Another novel of mine, The Reborn (one you definitely would NOT want to read, Wendy, as it makes the squishy stuff in Last Day seem like Disney material by comparison), was written and published inside of a single month. Those two are at the extreme end of the fast spectrum, though. More often the books get written in the 2-3 month time frame. I took a little more time with them back in the Leisure Books days because of their publishing schedules, but even back then I wrote pretty fast. Depraved was written in about two months.

As for story ideas, they can come from pretty much anywhere. Most often they emerge from random stream of thought, while I'm mulling over a lot of different things, which is how Last Day came about. But story ideas can also be inspired by things in the news, a random bit of overheard conversation, coincidences that make me go "Hmm, what if...?", and so forth.


message 22: by Kenneth (last edited Jun 15, 2018 08:37PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
Do you have a particular place that you like to write or a schedule that you try to stick to? Or do you write wherever and whenever you're able?


message 23: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments I usually write at night when my wife is at work. And usually on my laptop on the coffee table in the living room. Though I'm too easily distracted so I normally have to keep the TV off while I'm writing. I was distracted a lot during hockey season.


Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
Finished this one up this morning and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Even in such a crazy, tumultuous setting, I thought the characters really shined. Each one displayed multiple layers to them, instead of being cardboard thin.

Question for you, Bryan - (view spoiler)


message 25: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly (kimberly_3238) | 6441 comments Mod
Ken wrote: "Finished this one up this morning and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Even in such a crazy, tumultuous setting, I thought the characters really shined. Each one displayed multiple layers to..."

GREAT question!


message 26: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments It unfolds differently for each book. Sometimes I have a clear picture of how it ends in my head from the start and I work my way toward that. More often how the end game plays out comes to me while a book is in-progress, sometimes early on usually somewhere around the mid-point. With Last Day, I knew all along I wanted the plot threads to intersect eventually, it was just a matter of figuring out how to do that.

By the way, I apologize for the delay in answering this question. My birthday was on the 19th and my wife had a couple days off from work. I drank a bunch of beers and got distracted.


message 27: by Alan (new)

Alan | 5542 comments Mod
Bryan wrote: "By the way, I apologize for the delay in answering this question. My birthday was on the 19th and my wife had a couple days off from work. I drank a bunch of beers and got distracted."

Maybe your next story can be something about an author who failed to keep up the internet chat with his/her fans due to a drunken stupor and now they're out to get him/her.
On second thought, maybe I should copyright that and come up with a story myself. ;)


message 28: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments Not quite the same thing, but I did have an idea once about various characters from my books coming to life (or coming over to my universe from theirs) and coming after me for putting them through so many messed-up things. Then I was told the idea had already been done at least once and didn't pursue it.


WendyB  | 3407 comments Mod
Too bad it's been done but couldn't that be said of almost any book. I think your characters would love some revenge. ;)
I admit I don't know what the other stories are like but I bet your story would top them all. You should go for it.


Kenneth McKinley | 1559 comments Mod
Bryan, what do you have coming down the pike for us in 2018 and beyond?


message 31: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Smith (bryansmith) | 11 comments The next book--still in-progress--is a wild horror-crime hybrid called Dead Stripper Storage. That one should be out from Grindhouse Press before the end of the summer. The next one after that *might* be Depraved 4, though I still haven't made a definite decision about that yet.


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