SURVIVE WITH ME: A Charity Anthology from Alien Agenda Publishing

Holy crap. I originally wanted to put this book together after Samhain Publishing collapsed back in 2016. In a perfect world, I would have snagged all the novels and novellas of all my friends and started Alien Agenda Publishing then. Of course, that takes a lot of time and money to do the right way.

I let myself dream about getting stories from some of my Samhain buds and jokingly titled the anthology, SURVIVE WITH ME. We would write stories about survival, be it disease, war, zombies, publishers, etc. Two years later, I started asking around hitting up my Samhain buds first. I got nearly everyone I approached to participate in this collection. That makes me very happy. The authors involved donated their stories (most of them brand new).

When I sat down to consider the many charities to donate to, I tried to focus on survival. There are people in this country that have been surviving, struggling with what they were left with for hundreds of years. The American Indians still struggle. Poverty, abuse, and addiction deal blow after blow to reservations across the country, and any time and any place those circumstances happen, education falls behind on the list of priorities, survival is all that matters.

Native Americans have a lower overall high school graduation rate: about 65 percent earn a high school diploma compared with 75.2 percent of the U.S. population. Their college graduation rate is also much lower, with 9.3 percent earning a college degree compared with the national average of 20.3 percent. (Scholarshipowl.com)

Sadly, the greatest economic disparity for Native Americans lies in reservations themselves. The median income on a reservation is $29,097, compared to the national median income for Native Americans which is $40,315. (NCRC.org)

I wanted to try and help where I could. ALL proceeds from this book will be donated directly to the American Indian College Fund (which you can donate to anytime).

Once the authors committed and began to deliver these stories of survival, I knew we also needed an amazing artist to do our cover. Zach McCain had done some fantastic work on my Thunderstorm Books, and he was more than happy to help out when I emailed him.

Kenneth W. Cain jumped on board once we had all the stories together and he and his team busted their butts getting the edits and proofreading done in a relatively short amount of time.

16 authors, 16 voices, 16 stories of survival.

My sincerest thanks to those mentioned above, as well as the authors: Ronald Malfi, Tim Waggoner, Heather Herrman, Brian Kirk, Somer Canon, Brian Moreland, Lucas Mangum, Gwendolyn Kiste, Rio Youers, Chris Sorensen, Chad Lutzke, JG Faherty, John Everson, Kristin Dearborn, and Nate Kenyon.

I would have loved to have had Owl Goingback or Stephen Graham Jones be a part of this, but unfortunately, it didn’t end up happening. That’s okay. If you’re not reading and supporting their work already, you should start doing that as soon as possible. They are amazing writers and wonderful people.

I also have to thank Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. Erin put in plenty of hours early on in this project and she was there to listen to my daydreaming ideas about what this book could be. Thank you, Erin. I’m always grateful for the work we’ve done together.

Survive With Me will be available in paperback and eBook this December. I hope you’ll all consider ordering a copy when the time comes.

Thank you so much on this Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Adios, Eddie. RIP

When I wrote my latest novel, Until Summer Comes Around, there was one song that played through my head over and over again. “Love Walks In” by Van Halen (or Van Hagar, if you prefer). It was one the songs I taped off the radio when I was a kid. It compared love to something alien (aliens were one of my favorite things, at the time) and it just sounded so good. When I decided to place my story in 1986 , there was no way this song and album (5150) wouldn’t work its way in.

Contact is all it takes…

I’d been exposed to the mighty Van Halen via the David Lee Roth videos on MTV from the 1984 album, but it was “Love Walks In” that made me a VH fan. While there’s a shit ton of keyboards on this tune and album, it’s the guitar solo that held every ounce of vocal magic as Sammy on this one.

I guess I’ve always been some sort of hopeless romantic from the very start. I probably wanted Cyndi Lauper to be the girl that walked in, but alas, she never did.

This song meant so much to me then, and still thrills me today when I crank it up in my van. I’ve even caught my boy singing along to “Dreams” a time or two.

The world has certainly lost a great guitarist, one of the very best, and maybe the most influential. Also, a son has lost his father and bother lost his brother. I can relate to both of those.

RIP, Eddie.