MIKE BOCKOVEN

My Second Novel Is Happening!

May
21

No need to bury the lead (or lede for my journalism friends). I’m excited to announce the contracts have been signed and my second novel is officially happening.

At this point I don’t want to go too much into the details because a) while the contacts have been signed there’s still a ways to go before I can share details like release dates and titles with you (and part of me is forever worried that it will all fall apart in spectacular fashion) and b) I will be hyping it more than enough in the coming weeks and months.

Still, this moment represents sort of a high water mark for me in terms of this wonderful little writing thing I’ve been doing these past few years. A second book means the chances the first book was a fluke reduces considerably. That might still be the case but with professionals in the literary community that I know and respect saying they approve, I’m moving closer to that ever elusive moment where I can tell people “I’m a novelist” and have them take me seriously. A second book improves the chances for a third. A second book means I’m not that far away from the dream of having a bookshelf with six or seven books with my name on them on my bookshelf. That was the dream from way back.

I’m excited, obviously (I’ve said that already) but I’m also extremely grateful to so many people who encouraged me in so many different ways.  Specifically my family has been more supportive than I deserve, I’ve got an agent who buys me lunch and answers my emails, an editor who likes David Lynch  movies and wants to see what I’m doing next and people who engage with me on facebook, Instagram, or wherever. I can’t tell you how much that has meant to me and I legitimately think about it every day.

Please check back for details when they become available but the next book is happening, likely sooner rather than later. Until then, I’ve got some editing to do.

Thanks again.

What’choo Reading? – The Girl With All The Gifts

Mar
29

The problem with the “star” rating system on Amazon is it’s pretty easy to give something four or five stars. “The Girl With All The Gifts” is a five star book, through and through, from the set up to the characters to the gore to the subtext to the ending that has more guts than anything I’ve read in a while. It’s an A+ concept, executed flawlessly with enough depth to stick to your ribs a while after you’ve finished it up.

Quickly, “The Girl With All The Gifts” is about a spore that infects people and turns them into zombies with the exception of a few children who are rounded up and put in a classroom. When the camp housing the classroom falls, a zombie child named Melanie travels with her teacher, two military men and a scientist keen on cutting her up to discover what makes her tick into the wasteland to find out where she belongs.

I’m a fan of when high art and low art get together and this is a delicious paring of lofty “nature of humanity” kind of thoughts with ooey gooey zombie stuff. It’s splendid.

Cheap Books = Lots of Reviews

Mar
27

My first novel, “FantasticLand”, was on sale in ebook edition for $1.99 a few weeks back and as a result, something happened that I’m still trying to process.

People seem to really like my book.

I’m not trying to be self deprecating. I mean, I like my book and there’s a team of editors and agents and such that also like my book. I trust in their taste but it’s one thing to get a book published and another thing to read reviews like this:

“I knew this book was going to be scary. The reviews on the back and word-of-mouth prepared me for that. But I’ll admit, when I started the book and saw it was written as a series of interviews, I thought the level of action and suspense would somehow be muted or diminished. Boy, was I wrong! I was hooked from the beginning and stayed up way too late reading, and even after I put the book down, I kept thinking about the story and the characters. I love how each interview built on the previous one but added a new perspective and dimension to the story. It gave enough information to get your heart rate up and left just enough to the imagination to really freak you out at all the right moments. I’ve never read a book quite like this, but I loved it. I highly recommend it!”

Or this one:

“FantasticLand is a fantastic voyage into the depths of the human soul and what lengths one might stoop to when faced with a tragedy. It is written in the style of interviewer and interviewee and quite believable at points. If you are a fan of the technique of investigative reporter ala Max Brooks and the post apocalyptic World War Z, this book is for you. While there are no zombies in this story, the real monsters are the young men and women who are set in a circumstance where there are no consequences to actions taken. Some times the real horror of this story is the things that are not said but rather implied. People pushed to extreme limits and the struggle to hold on to one’s own humanity give this book chops, a difficult thing to accomplish when dealing with horror fiction.

You have to ask yourself. “To which tribe would I belong?” I hope I am never put in a circumstance where I have to find out.

I look forward to other books by Mr. Bockoven.”

Of course, there are negative reviews, but just a few and none of them are of the “you suck” variety but more of the “I was disappointed” or “not what I expected in a negative way” sort of thing. And I’m used to disappointing people. OK, I’m being self deprecating.

You can visit the book on Amazon and read all the reviews here.

What’s the point, then? Two fold. One, I like pointing out any and all “gold stars” I get because part of me is still in awe that all this is happening. And I like selling books. But, secondly, I really want to give a hearty, heart felt and humble thanks to everyone who read and reviewed the book. I can’t go into this too much, but right now some folks are looking at my book for a project and while I’ve been told it’s selling “modestly” (I don’t find out until June), I was able to point to the reviews of “FantasticLand” as something impressive. I could not be prouder to do so or more thankful for everyone who took the time.

It’s going to take a while to process all the positive reviews but it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing to have to work through.