A Seat at the Table

Becoming a published author has given me a seat at a table where I’ve always wanted to sit. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Trifecta Publishing House label mate Samantha Heuwagen to that table. She is a new voice in science fiction and I had the pleasure of discussing her debut novel, Dawn Among the Stars, with her on my latest podcast.

Listen as we discuss her book, the science fiction genre in literature and films, feminism and much more.

Check out Samantha’s web site: https://samanthaheuwagen.com/ and her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq67cnElH2CATM_JedJ-FFA

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A Seat at the Table

Titillating Interview with Rick Tittle

TheDarkTruth6_850On Wednesday, Dec. 20, one month to the day after the release of my debut novel, I had the opportunity to appear on my pal Rick Tittle’s internationally syndicated Titillating Sports show in Sports Byline USA. We discussed Raiders history, my job as Raiders historian, and of course, my new novel, The Dark Truth. Rick’s show is picked up worldwide by the Armed Forces Radio network. I had to follow the Amazing Kreskin, which was no small feat.

As a former U.S. Navy sailor and Navy journalist and broadcaster on AFRTS, it was a thrill for me to talk about my profession and my endeavors with this audience. It was during my time with AFRTS in Iceland that convinced me that I had a future in sports media. Twenty years later, I have carved out a niche for myself in the industry and started a new endeavor as a novelist.

I’ve known Rick for a number of years and I am grateful for his support and this opportunity to discuss my passions with a worldwide audience.

In case you missed it, here it is for your listening pleasure. Check out my other radio appearances. Follow Rick on Twitter.

Titillating Interview with Rick Tittle

What’s in a Name?

IMG_0799When I set out to write The Dark Truth, I used a working title. It was never meant to be the title of the book, just something to name the file. There was a line in the movie Gladiator that I liked and it used the phrase, “shadows and dust.” So, that was the working title, Shadows and Dust. I thought it could work if necessary. It is a vampire story after all. They live in the shadows and can turn to dust. I was just never sold on it.

Many of the locations in the story are real. Almost all of them, actually. I was inspired by a photo gallery published by SFGate depicting some amazing abandoned places in Northern California. The climax takes place in a location I found thanks to Atlas Obscura. I had a need for an establishment in a particular location in San Francisco. The establishment didn’t exist and it didn’t exist where I needed it for the narrative.

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Enjoying  beer in the place that makes the beer that inspired the title for my debut novel. Photo by Amy Anderson.

Off to the local Beverages and More for writing fuel – a beer and whisky run. I have developed quite the taste for porters and stouts, and my love of Scotch is well-documented. I found an Imperial Stout called Dark Truth. At 9.75% ABV, it’s quite potent. I didn’t pay attention to who made it.

As I worked on the story, I thought, ‘hey, this is a great idea for the name of that establishment.’ So, I named it The Dark Truth. The more I wrote, the more I thought, ‘hey, this is a helluva an idea for the name of the book.’

When I went back to get more, BevMo said it was discontinued. I was disappointed. I wanted to celebrate the completion of the book with a Dark Truth. Shockingly enough, I found it again on a family vacation to visit my wife’s family in Ohio. We bought one bottle, I drank it, washed the bottle, and brought it back.

I posted a photo or graphic on social media and someone, I do believe it was my friends who live in Kansas City, said that the Dark Truth was made there. The label says “Boulevard.”

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Posing for a photo with a bottle of the Dark Truth at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City. Photo by Amy Anderson.

IMG_1784I get to Kansas City once a year and I visited this past weekend. My friends and I visited the World War I Museum. If you have never been I highly recommend. Anywho, on the way to the museum I noticed “Boulevard Brewing Company” from the highway. I asked my pals if we could go after the museum visit. They kindly agreed.

We parked, went to the wrong building, and were directed to the correct building. We ascended the stairs to the taproom bar. After standing in a line for a bit, a young lady asked to take our order. I showed her the graphic I had made with the cover of the book and a picture of the Dark Truth, and expressed my dismay that they didn’t have it on tap. She informed me that they had it in bottles. She also said that one of their beers inspiring the title for my book, “touched her heart.” I could not bring myself to drink a beer from a bottle at a craft brewery, especially one such as this. This was an impressive facility with numerous beers available on tap. I chose a Scottish Ale, and one of my friends had a hard cider.

Wallet in hand, I asked, “What’s the damage, what do I owe you?” With a wave of her hand, she responded, “Naw, you’re good.” I didn’t expect anything free, didn’t want anything free, didn’t ask for anything free. I was just excited to be at Boulevard that I wanted to share it with an employee.

After finishing our drinks, we hit the gift shop where I purchased a single bottle of the Dark Truth to take home and a Dark Truth t-shirt. We then zipped off to make our dinner reservation. I tweeted a few photos and @ mentioned Boulevard and they retweeted me.

This was an unexpected experience, one I will treasure. I’ll be sending Boulevard Brewing Company a signed copy of The Dark Truth.

What’s in a Name?

Making the Radio Rounds

I had the opportunity to do two radio interviews recently in support of The Dark Truth – my good friend JT the Brick’s Las Vegas show on FOX Sports Radio, and Late Hits with Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Thank you to JT, and Alex and Gil for their support and taking the time to make me look like a rock star. Listen in.

Making the Radio Rounds

The Dark Truth is an Amazon Bestseller

The Dark Truth, my debut novel, officially released today, and the Amazon Kindle version hit as high as No. 63 on the Amazon bestseller list for vampire books, regardless of format. It sits at No. 82 as I write this. Thank you to everyone who has helped make me an Amazon bestseller on DAY 1!

Order your copy now!

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Also got my first customer review on Amazon:

“Jerry Knaak has created a crossroads of good vs evil with all the mystery and suspense that surrounds vampire thrillers. The pages fly by as the author introduces Elizabeth, a newly-fashioned vampire as the good, and her creator, Andrei, who has been around for ages and has seen many, many victims, as the evil. Elizabeth and Andrei play a delicious game of cat and mouse throughout the entire novel. The push and pull of Elizabeth’s conscience is entertaining. A vampire must feed, yet, Elizabeth has a conscience and won’t prey on just anyone. All the while, Detective Sergeant Jonas Dietrich, is closing in on both of them with his old school detective style…the author left me wanting more!”

The Dark Truth is an Amazon Bestseller

The Dark Truth Released!

TheDarkTruth6_850Today is release day for my debut novel, The Dark Truth! This dark, gritty vampire tale set in modern-day San Francisco took approximately 21 months to bring to market.

I started writing in earnest in January 2016, wrote “The End” in February 2017, landed a publishing contract in March, and here we are. This is Book One of The Dark Passage Series, the next two are under contract, with The Dark Descent due out in April 2018, and The Dark Terror set for early 2019. Trifecta Publishing House is my publisher, Ingram is the distributor.

The Dark Truth is available in trade paperback, Kindle and e-book.

Order your copy now! Fangs for your support!

The Dark Truth Released!

In a Celebratory Mood

Listen to my latest podcast as fellow Trifecta Publishing House author Mark London Williams checks in to discuss his new book, Max Random and the Zombie 500, our joint Facebook release party, all manner of undead things and much more. Both of our new books are set to be released Monday.

In a Celebratory Mood