5 Reasons to Come to the WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION Book Signing This Sunday

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This weekend, the Two Navy Guys are having a pre-holidays book reading and signing for their Minnesota military thriller, Weapons of Mass Deception.

Here’s five reasons why you should stop by the Shakopee Public Library this Sunday, December 13th at 2PM to meet the Two Navy Guys and pick up a signed copy of WMD.

  1. Win a prize – we’re giving away a numbered Collector’s Edition copy of WMD to a random audience member, but you have to be there to claim your prize!
  1. Get a unique Christmas gift – Do you have a hard-to-please person on your Christmas list? How about a signed, personally inscribed copy of a novel written by two local authors?
  1. Hear a sea story from a former US Navy nuclear submarine officer – David was an officer in the Silent Service for six years. He’s got a few stories about what life is like on a submarine.
  1. Ask a former naval intel officer about current events – JR retired from the Navy a few years ago after a twenty-one year career as a naval intelligence officer. When was the last time you got to talk to a real intel officer?
  1. JR and David ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign—find out how they did it!

Weapons of Mass Deception is a military thriller with Minnesota roots. Co-written by two local US Navy veterans, WMD is a “ripped from the headlines” story of modern-day nuclear terrorism that takes you all over the globe then right back to the Twin Cities.

For fans of Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn and Clive Cussler


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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Reading for a Cause on #VeteransDay – Get Your Badge of Support!

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As a veteran myself, I’m proud to be Writing for a Cause with Tails of the Apocalypse and Pets for Vets. If you haven’t heard of what we’re doing, then here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

$1 from every book sold in 2015 will be donated to Pets for Vets, a national non-profit that trains rescue dogs to act as companion animals to veterans.

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That’s it—no rebates, no proof of purchase, no nothing. The editor of Tails will give a check to Pets for Vets on January 1, 2016, that is equal to the number of books we sell. Period.

Buy the Book and display this Badge to show your support:

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We operate on the honor system: if you show the badge, we’re assuming you support the cause by purchasing a book. We’ve seen people post these on their Facebook page, even use them as profile pics.

There’s even a giveaway if you’d like to try to snag a paperback or an audiobook copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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TAILS OF THE APOCALYPSE #Giveaway

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Described as The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey, the collection includes short stories written by 14 of today’s most innovative independent authors. Tails of the Apocalypse examines world-ending scenarios—from nuclear war to natural disasters to planetary pandemics—featuring animals as main characters. Preorder on Amazon right now.

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Remember, $1 from every book sold in 2015 will be donated to Pets for Vets, a national non-profit that trains rescue dogs to act as companion animals to veterans.

But wait, there’s more:

How about a giveaway of paperbacks, audiobooks, and ebooks?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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Writing for a Cause: Pets for Vets and TAILS OF THE APOCALYPSE

“There are a number of unique aspects of this anthology, but the thing I’m most proud of is our partnership with Pets for Vets.”

Tails coverThat’s how author-editor Chris Pourteau talks about his latest project, Tails of the Apocalypse. Described as The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey, the collection includes short stories written by 14 of today’s most innovative independent authors. Tails of the Apocalypse examines world-ending scenarios—from nuclear war to natural disasters to planetary pandemics—featuring animals as main characters.

The idea came to Pourteau last spring after publishing his own short story, “Unconditional” about a dog searching for his boy, lost to the zombie apocalypse. The overwhelmingly positive response from readers made him think that maybe he’d hit a cultural nerve. And the idea for Tails of the Apocalypse was born.

Over the next six months, he recruited his writers–including four USA Today bestselling authors–edited their stories, developed cover art, and produced an anthology that R. J. Pineiro, author of The Fall calls: “one of the most original and captivating collections of end-of-the-world ‘tails,’ shown through the eyes of an amazing cast of unforgettable furry and feathered characters.”

Giving Tails a Purpose

Even as the anthology took shape, Pourteau felt like he was missing something. The point of these wonderful stories about animals caught up in dystopian situations was about giving voice to those without the ability to speak for themselves. He decided he wanted to donate some of the profits from his self-funded project to an organization that helped animals.

It was one of his authors, David Bruns, also a US Navy vet, who suggested Pets for Vets. From the beginning, it was great fit. The name and the mission of the non-profit immediately resonated with Pourteau. And as Bruns and Pourteau have worked to drum up awareness of their project, they’ve found that the cause resonates with others as well.

Founded by animal trainer Clarissa Black, Pets for Vets matches shelter dogs with military veterans. Personnel train the animals as special companions for veterans suffering from emotional trauma, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year,” says Ann Black, president of Pets for Vets. “And it’s estimated that 20 percent of returning vets suffer from PTSD. Bringing them together provides a loving home for the pet and a caring companion for the vet. It’s a win-win.”

The Big Idea

Pourteau plans to donate $1.00 to Pets for Vets from every copy of Tails of the Apocalypse sold through the end of the calendar year, regardless of format—e-book, paperback, or audiobook. “I’m honored that Pets for Vets allowed us to adopt them as a cause,” Pourteau says. “My goal now is to write them a big check on January 1st.”

Want to Lend a Hand?

We’re calling our project Tails for Vets. If you’d like to be part of the Tails for Vets movement, here’s how you can help:

  1. Join the Tails for Vets Street Team — Get email updates and shareable content by joining the Tails Street Team. Facebook banners, a “badge” you can post online to show your support, and chances to win paperback and audiobook copies of Tails of the Apocalypse are all available to the Tails Street Team.
  2. Buy the BookTails of the Apocalypse launches on November 20th, but you can preorder on Amazon now. Remember: $1 from every purchase goes to Pets for Vets.

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David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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How To Get Your Short Story Turned Into a Radio Drama

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Early this year, I sold the audio drama rights to one of my short stories to a sci-fi radio drama group called Redshift. Their team of writers and actors did a fabulous job of converting “The Collector,” a 9000 word short story, into a 23-minute radio performance.

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Click the cover to hear Redshift’s version of The Collector.

This is not an audiobook, this is an audio drama. Remember the old-timey radio series like “The Shadow” or “Dimension X?” Well, that’s what we’re talking about here. Redshift takes scripts or prose pieces and adapts them for performance. Creepy background music, doors opening, footsteps, the whole nine yards.

Redshift has opened up submissions for Season Two.

They’re looking for Twilight Zone-ish science fiction. Read the full submission guidelines here.

Before you go, you should know that Redshift is in the final days of a Kickstarter to help fund Season Two. Give the video a gander, then click the K in the upper left corner and help them out if you can.


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


 

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How to Create A Setting for Your APOCALYPSE WEIRD Novel

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When I first heard of Apocalypse Weird and read the initial book descriptions for the upcoming novels, I had one thought: they’re all in North America. (Okay, Jennifer Ellis’ Reversal was in the arctic—and the Antarctic, come to think of it).

Before the plot for The Seal Bearer was even formed in my head, I knew the setting for my novel. My strategy was simple:

Go where the people are.

A quick Google search will tell you that of the roughly 7 billion people on Earth, only 529 million live in North America. Yep, that’s right, from the tippy-top of Canada all the way down to the Panama Canal contains only about 7.5% of the world’s population.

This my shot, I thought. I can claim all of Southeast Asia!

Here’s a few of the places I had in my head as I was writing.

Write What You Know – Singapore

My family and I lived in Singapore during the 2007-8 school year and I traveled extensively throughout Asia on business for about five years. I knew right off the bat that my AW novel was going to be set in this wonderful city-state.

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Marina Bay Sands has a rooftop bar with a great view of the Singapore harbor.

The spaceship-looking Marina Bay Sands was being built when I lived in Singapore. It’s a breath-taking 656-feet above the city with an entire park on top of the structure. You can also get a real good look at the harbor from the bar, which is what I needed it for…

But Singapore is an island, and a pretty small one at that, only 277 square miles. (By contrast, Rhode Island is 1212 square miles). If TEOTWAWKI breaks out in a densely populated island, you’re probably going to want to bug out as quickly as possible.

Malaysia

Fortunately, a short trip across the Johor Strait puts you on the Malyasian peninsula, where you’ve got some room to maneuver away from whatever’s chasing you. No trip to Malaysia is complete with a stop in Kuala Lumpur and its famous Petronas Towers.

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The Petronas Towers at night, It didn’t look so good in my novel.

Penang

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Penang island is separated from the Malaysian mainland by an 8.5 mile bridge. Perfect for keeping out the zombie hordes!

Another Malaysian hotspot that I’ve been to more times than I can count is Penang, a small mountainous island on the western side of the peninsula. Unlike Singapore, Penang Island is separated from the mainland by an 8.5-mile bridge. That works fine as long as the bad guys don’t come from the sea…

Bangkok

If you want imagery worthy of an AW novel, go to Bangkok. The Seal Bearer makes a pitstop there, but most of the action is indoors.

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Thailand buildings and statues are custom-made for the apocalypse.

Then there’s a train ride to the northern city of Chiang Mai. High above Chiang Mai sits Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (wat is the Thai word for “temple”). Leading up to the temple is the Naga Staircase, a long set of steps with a flanked by the bodies of serpents.

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The Naga Staircase in Chaing Mai, Thailand.

The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit and is the word for a snake-like deity throughout the region. (You’ll recall that the cobra in “Rikki-tikki-tavi” from The Jungle Book was named Nag. Also, the snake in Harry Potter was called Nagini, the feminine version.)

China

And finally, we’re on to China. I’ve been to China many times, but not to this exact spot. I like to call it “the Gateway to Shambhala.”

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There you have it,  a few mental images to take with you when you read The Seal Bearer, lucky 13 in the Apocalypse Weird lineup.

And did I mention how much I love this cover?

Go on, get a copy for 99 cents, you know you want to…

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David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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4 Things I Learned Writing My APOCALYPSE WEIRD Novel

AW_SealBearer_FrontCVR (3)You can call me “Lucky 13.” My novel, The Seal Bearer, which launched this week, is the thirteenth story in the Apocalypse Weird catalog.

What is AW? Think of it as a coalition of authors writing in a shared universe. The best analogy is the MARVEL Comics franchise, which operates as a creative umbrella for independent characters and storylines. You can go here for the full download on why I see it as a benefit to both readers and writers.

Now that my novel’s safely out in the world, I’m taking some time to reflect on the AW experience. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Use Constraints as Creative Levers – Every AW novel has parameters. You have a “territory”—mine was Southeast Asia—and a set of canon rules with required elements and a hierarchy of the evil lurking behind the scenes. Everything else—characters, writing style, disasters—are up for grabs. The trick for me was to define a main character, then use the AW “must haves” to shape the action in the story. As an example, a required story element is an earthquake. What happens when an earthquake happens underwater? Voila, I give you a tsunami, probably one of the most terrifying natural disasters for coastal communities in SE Asia.
  1. Steal From Your Fellow Authors – As the 13th AW novel, I had the luxury of using the work of twelve authors as source material for my own novel. In Immunity, by EE Giorgi, she has a secondary character named General Naga, with a backstory as a drug kingpin from the Golden Triangle. I “borrowed” the General from Giorgi, and he developed into the main bad guy in my story.
  1. Learn From Your Fellow Authors – This was my first foray into post-apocalyptic fiction. In reading the twelve books before mine, I got to see how different authors handled the subject matter. In Red Palm, Weston Oches went for a horror vibe, heavy on the gore. <cue the bloodmobile> Kevin Summers had more of a Stephen King, small town-creepy thing going on in The Bleak December and Chris Pourteau’s The Serenity Strain aimed for an intimate, family-based end of the world story. Reading each of these authors helped me find a voice for my own story of an uber-rich, software tycoon forced to endure a supernatural roadtrip.
  1. Stake Out Your Own Space – While it’s great to leverage the work of those before me, when it came time to craft my own story, I was determined to put my own stamp on things. For me, that meant a close third-person, single point of view narrator with a strong sense of inner change and a twist at the end. I also used real places in Asia that I’ve actually visited so I could give that “lived in” feeling to the story.

For anyone on the fence about writing in a shared universe, I strongly suggest you give that opportunity another look.

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David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


 

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David Bruns Interviewed on the Author Stories Podcast with Hank Garner

I’m honored to be a returning guest on Hank Garner’s Author Stories Podcast this week.

Hank and I chatted about Weapons of Mass Deception, co-writing, and my just-released Apocalypse Weird novel, The Seal Bearer.

99 cents for a limited time

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seal bearer featured


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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TAILS OF THE APOCALYPSE – A Different Breed of Anthology

Coming November 20th

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14 original stories of beloved pets in dystopian worlds

7  new short stories in fan-favorite worlds by David Adams, Michael Bunker, Nick Cole, Hank Garner, E.E. Giorgi, Deirdre Gould, and Edward W. Robertson.

4 USA Today Bestselling authors

1 Great Cause

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Join the Tails for Vets Street Team

If you’re a reader and a pet lover, help us make our partnership with Pets for Vets a huge success!

Street Team members get first access to ARCs (advance reader copies), swag, and news about our partnership with Pets for Vets in advance of our official launch on November 20, 2015.


David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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New Release: THE SEAL BEARER, Apocalypse Weird #13

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I’m proud to announce my latest release set in the Apocalypse Weird multiverse

The Seal Bearer

For billionaire gaming tycoon Trent Baird, the in-and-out business trip to Singapore was just a blip in his otherwise self-absorbed existence. Do the deal and get back on a plane to LA.

But when a global pandemic traps him on the island nation, the situation goes sideways fast. Martial law, rumors of zombies, and a girl named Karma, who claims the tattoo on his chest is a talisman in an ancient war against evil. Abandoned by his friends, Trent takes the only escape option left—a thousand mile overland journey to a mysterious hideaway deep in the Himalayas.

As he fights his way north, Trent faces the awful truth. He is the Seal Bearer, and dark forces are coming for him.

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99 cents for a limited time

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David author pic - cropped-min

David Bruns is the creator of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles, one half of the Two Navy Guys and a Novel blog series about co-writing a military thriller, and co-author of Weapons of Mass Deceptiona story of modern-day nuclear terrorism.


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