The Ramblings of a Weird Author

MichaelHibbardGreetings, Dreamers!

I wanted to take a moment and talk a bit about who I am and what I write.  I’ve gained quite a few new followers so I though it was time that I gave you a little more insight into me, what I write, and what inspires me to continue.

I am laying it all out there, because I am a communicator, well, online that is.  In real life, I’m a bit of a recluse, and am not really good in social situations, which I am working on.

Who were my inspirations?

I’ve been an avid reader since I was really young.  The first adult book I read was “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.  I’ve always loved the supernatural, so I continued with other authors such as Poe, Lovecraft, King, Bradbury, F. Paul Wilson and many others.  Oddly, my two biggest influences were Lovecraft and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Lovecraft is an inspiration because he loved description, words and his creation of the Cthulhu Mythos.  Fitzgerald is an inspiration for his writing style, his ability to expose the dark underbelly of our society, and for giving us my favorite book, The Great Gatsby.

The Waking Dream is not all that I write, but it is a huge focus on my career because it spans so many genres and deals with many social issues, both for adults and young adults.  I love to write horror, especially Lovecraftian Horror, because I do love a good scary tale, and it seems that there are not enough new ideas coming out.  I have not been scared by anything that has come out lately.  I abhor slasher type books, because the news does a pretty good job of covering that genre.  It’s all too real and close to home.

The inspiration for the Waking Dream truly came from my personal quest to understand the nature of reality.  I am inspired by a variety of things: the change of seasons, weird happenings, interactions between people, philosophy, religion, science and the paranormal.

When Did I Start Writing?

I really started writing stories when I was 12.  I was attending a Catholic School in Woodbury, New Jersey.  It was very old, and the basement was very creepy.  I wrote a screen play about dark rituals happening in the basement at night.  My teacher at the time, Mr. DuBois, fully supported me filming it and got permission for me to do so.  Unfortunately, before we could do the film, my parents moved to Pennsylvania.

I was an avid Role-Player, and I’ve played just about every table-top game there is, and I enjoyed being the storyteller more than the player.  I would write very involved campaigns, which were essentially interactive stories.  Then when I got on the internet, I went crazy in the chat rooms with story lines, and had three channels devoted to different settings.  Castle Nightshade was a high fantasy storyline set in a world I created with over 100 people playing at any given time.  Night City was a vampire based storyline with many of the same people playing back and forth.  And then finally, The Waking Dream which only had 12 players as a private group.

My first novel, which was published by Phantasm Books, is my crowning achievement as an author.  I was very pleased to have my book recognized so quickly without having been published anywhere before.  Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many to come.  I enjoyed writing it, hated the editing process, and have stressed the promotion.  But in the end, I am happy with what I have produced.

Here is the list of books I have written to date:

What is the Waking Dream All About?

I do get a lot of people who are very confused about the subject matter contained in the Waking Dream.  I have many journals with all of the particulars about the Waking Dream Universe, because it is quite expansive.  I am trying to create a world that is wholly unique, but emulates Cthulhu Mythos, or Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I am fascinated with the universe.  I rarely watch any non-science shows, because I want to understand the nature of reality.  So, I started the Waking Dream as a synthesis of all the concepts I feel to be true about our universe.  If the universe were just a dream we should be able to control it.  It’s just a matter of learning how to.  We are all children, no matter how old we get.  But, we tend to start to disbelieve that we have the power to change it.  We get wrapped up in politics, our daily jobs, acquiring things, and we stop believing that life really is very magical.  The fact that we exist at all is magical in of itself.

The Waking Dream is targeted to people who want to believe and it is appropriate for young adults, as well as adults.  I explore social issues, so there is a lot of allegory in the novel.  I also explore topics that plague our children today, such as coming of age, self-mutilation, poor self-esteem, dealing with loss, and how to fit in.  On the social level, I address self-sustaining communities, religion, reincarnation, the degradation of society, politics, and the struggle between good vs. evil.

What Do I Do for My Day Job?

Currently, I am a data analyst, and I do enjoy it, because it has helped my ability to market my book, and self-promote.  It all comes down to numbers.  But, on the side, I am a programmer and I can program in 11 different computer languages.  All of it self-taught, as I am a true autodidact.  Structured learning is not my thing.  I tend to learn better when I can move at my own pace.

However, I did not start out in this field.  I have had many many different jobs in my 43 years.  Here are the ones I can remember:

Gardener, Greenhouse Worker, Pastry Chef, Sous Chef, Line Cook, Toy Store Manager, Video Store Manager, Blockbuster Assistant Manager, Medical Sales, Web Designer, Project Manager, Grounds Keeper,  Coder, Software Architect, Business Architect, Graphic Designer, and now Published Author.

All of the jobs I’ve had contributed to my experience as a writer.  I have learned something valuable from each of them, though I wasn’t necessarily happy in each job.  Working at a toy store during Christmas was an absolute nightmare!

What Are My Hobbies?

I am a firm believer in the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”.  Those of you who frequent my blog know that I try to post at least once a day.  But I also have my facebook pages, my four secret twitter accounts, and my main @arkangyl account.  So I do love social media.  But my other hobbies include:

Drawing/Illustration (I have designed all but one of my book covers), Guitar, Drums, Music in general, Cooking, Console and PC Gaming, Role-playing, Poetry, Reading, Philosophy, Quantum Physics, Mathematics, Programming Apps and Board Games.

Writing I do not consider a hobby.  This is what I ultimately want to do for a full-time job, and I feel confident that I will get there.  As I’ve said to my other fellow authors, who are just starting out, it takes patience.   Everything requires work and honing one’s craft.

Why Did I Do This?

First, I really did this because I wanted you all to know who I really am.  I believe that it is important to engage my friends, (I hate the term followers).  I do no spend all night looking for people to follow.  I tweet and if someone follows me, I’ll follow them back if it seems we’d be friends!  I always respond to everyone who engages me, because I do not want to sit on some pedestal and have people adore me.

Second, I am what I write.  I am not writing to become rich and famous.  I doubt I could deal very well with fame, as I am a recluse, as I mentioned.  If you know who I am, perhaps you’ll be more interested in the stuff I write, and more importantly, you’ll understand why I write the way I do.

Again, thank you for listening, and I am always interested in a good conversation, either here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

If you hit the Interview Menu at the top, you can listen or read about my other interviews.

Happy Friday the 13th, my friends!

Advertisements

So You Want to Be A Dreamer?

OneGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I wanted to tell you about  a new project I am working on.  This is something that I have given a great deal of thought to, and I have been asked by my friends and fans to discuss the philosophy behind my Waking Dream series.

The philosophy behind the Waking Dream is much more than a simple dark fantasy adventure story.  I truly believe that we all have the ability to change the course of our reality.  Dreamers are the ones who have that ability, and anyone can become a Dreamer, you just have to learn how to do so.

So, in response to all these questions from interviews, friends and fans, I am beginning a new project to be released at about the same time as the next book in the series, The Unkindness.  This book will be called The Little Book of Dreams – Libellus Somnium, and it will be a non-fiction view of a new philosophy I have formulated called Mism, the Merger of all Isms.  (Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Communism, you get the idea).  You can read the abstract at this link, and my view on creation.  This is only the beginning.

The book is targeted to those who want to lead a more peaceful and meaningful existence.  This is not to say that I have perfected my implementation of Mism in my life, but that is because we are not, and cannot, be perfect.  Perfection is a myth, and a fruitless pursuit.  We will always be learning, experiencing and evolving.  But, I can say with profound certainty that we are eternal spirits.  The body you inhabit now is just a vehicle.  It allows you to experience the world, and experience the universe.  When it is broken, you fix it.  When it completely fails, you abandon it and get a new one to continue your journey.

Many people believe that there must be some specific purpose to life.  There is and there isn’t. You create your purpose based on what you want to experience.  The only innate purpose to life is to live and create the universe.  We are all responsible for taking care of ourselves and one another, because we share a Oneness with each other.  We all affect one another, therefore we are inexorably linked.  My action causes your reaction.  Reading this article will invoke thought, negative or positive, and that demonstrates the connection between us.

I always start off my blog posts calling you Dreamers, because those who read my blog are Dreamers, or want to be.  And the more people I draw in, the more we can share intellectual discourse on how best to reshape our world.  So writing The Little Book of Dreams will simply be a compilation of all that I have learned and infused into my life, as well as the stories and novels that make up the Waking Dream Universe.

I also believe in the Weirdness.  That may sound strange to you, because it is just my word for magic.  Do I believe that magic exists?  Not in the Tolkien way, such as fireballs, wizards and dragons.  I believe that each of us possesses an inherent ability that super-cedes conventional physics and what we perceive as impossible.  I have seen and experienced many of these abilities in other people.  Nothing is impossible — somethings just may not be probable, as we have learned through quantum mechanics.

At the core of Mism, we must understand that to completely understand ourselves and the universe, we must merge all of our disparate ideas into a cohesive framework that allows science and religion to coexist and explain each other.  We would remove the distinction between the two and label it a philosophy of life.  A Philosophy of Everything, if you will.

Now, you are probably asking yourself, who is this guy to tell me anything?  The answer to that is very simple, I am the sum of everything everyone living and dead has taught me.  And you are the sum of the same.  I did not create this by myself, all of you have contributed to this idea, in one way or another.

Finally, you are probably asking, why would I bother to write this all down.  And you are free to agree or disagree with me.  But I am writing this down, because it takes just one thought to make a change.  Look around you, look at the state of the world.  Is this the ideal world you want to live in? Do you feel that the right decisions are being made?  Do you have fear for the future?  Are you concerned about what we are leaving our children?  Have you lost your way?  Do you know what you want out of your life?

I am going to give you my perspective on what truly matters, and hopefully in the process, I will learn more about you, so that I can improve myself as a person, and in turn make the world a better place for us all.

Have a wonderful day, and I thank you for listening to me babble, as always.

Michael

Immortal Memories is now on Sale!

Immortal MemoriesGreetings Dreamers!

Immortal Memories is now on sale at an introductory Kindle price of $2.99 and in paperback at $7.99.

You can read all about the book here.

This is a new edition with two new tales!  Also, in addition to the book, we will be doing another batch of custom Blood Dolls, which are featured in the book.  You can order your very own uniquely named and hand-made doll at this link.

MeresinEach doll has a tag with a name assigned by me, and they are all hand-made, each slightly different from the last making them a true collectible! They can sit and stand and measure 13 inches in length.

They take 4-6 weeks to arrive, but they are well worth the wait.  The doll is made exclusively through Southern Gothica.

The Unkindness

UnkindnessGreetings, Dreamers!

I am happy to announce that I am on schedule for releasing Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II in the Transformation Trilogy.

This is the cover I have designed and I am feeling very good about it.

The Unkindness picks up where Devlin left off, only a few short weeks after the calamity on Halloween Night.

More information to come as we get closer to the release date, but the identity of the Immortal behind the insidious plot set in motion in Devlin will be revealed.  And the world as we know it, will be forever changed.

Auber and the Dreamers of Devlin will gain new allies, and foes, as they rush to uncover the secrets of their nemesis, and trying desperately to arrest control of the Black Heart, before it is too late.

In the mean time, you can read my serial story, Lost Haven, which takes place between Book I and Book II.

And of course, Immortal Memories gives the fans a deeper insight into the lives of the Immortals you met in the first book.

Lost Haven

HavenGreetings, Dreamers!

I have released Lost Haven as a Kindle Book, all assembled for your reading pleasure!

Again, it is a novella, and it is a stand alone story that happens between Book I and Book II in the series.

I know that many of you have been reading the story, but I decided to release the book on Kindle to gain a larger audience than my blog.

I have decided to curtail language in my future books so that this series can appeal to both adults and young adults. Book I has one small section with language, however, it is nothing that young adults have not already been subjected to. The world is not perfect, and I am not Mary Poppins.

The underlying story of the Waking Dream is about understanding that we all have the power to change the world to what we want. And I know that will begin with our children.

You can read this novella and decide whether or not the Waking Dream is for you. Its not for everyone! But, I assure you, you can’t truly be a Dreamer until you see what lies ahead.

Happy reading, my friends!

Immortal Memories

Immortal MemoriesGreetings, Dreamers!

Immortal Memories is now available!  It contains nine stories, each a single moment in the life of an Immortal, throughout history.

It is available on Amazon here.

This is a re-release with two new stories.  The paperback will be $7.99 and the Kindle version will be offered at an introductory $2.99 for a limited time!

All of the stories in this collection are related to the Waking Dream, and will give you a deeper insight into the characters you met in Waking Dream: Devlin

Each story is a different genre, to appeal to a wide range of readers:

One – The story of the beginning of the Waking Dream Universe told by the first Immortal One — formatted as a biblical story.

The Black Heart in Madness – This is the story of the final days of Ludwig II of Bavaria, and is an alternate history story with my take on his mysterious death, as well as explaining the importance of the artifact known as The Black Heart — mentioned in Devlin.

The Fairy In Red – A paranormal romance set in 1920’s New Orleans about a writer obsessed with an ethereal beauty, as he tirelessly waits night after night for her to return to a pub so he can get just one last glimpse of her.  Can you guess who the narrator is?

So Long But Never Good Bye – Another paranormal romance, set in during World War II.  This story chronicles the beginnings of a long-standing love affair between Olivia and Grigor.

The Place of the Sisters – A folk-lore tale spun by Grandfather Maxwell at one of the earlier Halloween celebrations in Devlin.  It is the tale of three strange girls and their plight after being ejected from their home town.  This story is woven into Devlin as well, and is a key to the next book in the series, The Unkindness.

What Rough Beast – This is my attempt at tasteful erotica.  It is the story of a man who is inhabited by an entity known as The Beast — the Eater of Sins.  In exchange, our narrator is given limited immortality to indulge his darker passions, keeping women as pets — of their own free will.  This story explores the depths of human depravity, and further examines the role of the Beast in the series.  Not recommended for those who are easily offended. It has been called a paranormal 50 Shades of Grey.

Vacant Eyes on the Eternal Sea – This is a new addition to the collection.  It is a paranormal tale of a failed writer who finds himself obsessed with a hotel in Virginia Beach.  He quickly discovers that his obsession was for reasons beyond his control.

The Charnel House – This is a horror/paranormal story about three adventurous gamers who have decided to become paranormal investigators.  However, the house they chose to investigate turns out to be more than they could have ever bargained for.

The Blood Dolls – This is a  magical tale about Virgil the blood doll maker, and how one night a stranger comes to him and teaches him how to animate his friends to assist him in the days to come, following the Transformation of the Waking Dream.

Here are some reviews from the previous edition:

Anne Synder – Amazon Review – 5 Stars

“This is a fascinating set of stories by a, in my opinion, brilliant author and philosopher. What a fascinating new world I have discovered thanks to him.”

M Woisard – Amazon Review – 4 stars

“Waking Dreams – Immortal Memories
I enjoyed the collection of short stories in this series and can’t wait for more. The characters are memorable, and the stories unique and intriguing. The timelines for many of the tales give a good sense of the longevity of the Immortals, and their pivotal roles in the Waking Dream universe slowly being revealed. As a new writer on the scene Mr. Hibbard shows great promise. From the Blood Dolls with their cotton hearts, to the whispery, sensual, Fairy in Red, these tales capture the imagination, and leave you with new friends you’d like to meet again, and dark, powerful enemies you’re safer only reading about. Whether Dreamer, Sleeper, or an ancient Immortal, there is something for everyone in these dark, inventive tales. It is refreshing to see a new take on the horror/occult/paranormal genre. I look forward to the first full-length novel in this series. Write on Mr. Hibbard write on!”

Justin Miller – Amazon Review – 5 stars

“I loved each story in its own way. They all left me wanting more, and when I got to the last page on my kindle app I was sad it was over. I purchased a physical copy as well to lend to friends so they could enjoy every page as I did. I encourage all readers to share this book with at least one friend.”

Sheri Smith – Amazon Review – 5 stars

“Immortal Memories: Volume 1 by E. Michael Hibbard is extremely well written and definitely appeals to a wide range of audiences. As a result, I enjoyed all of the stories each for different reasons.

My two favorite stories are “The Fairy in Red” and “So Long, But Never Say Good-Bye” due to the aspect of romance. However, be sure to note that the stories contained in this volume are definitely not that of romance. There are tales of torture, darkness, violence, rituals, and even hapless ghost hunters. All of which certainly make this an extraordinary read!

Since some of these characters transcend time, I am eagerly awaiting additional stories to see what new adventures await them whether past, present, or future!”

You can read more at http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Memories-Vol-Waking-Dream/product-reviews/1480277584

Immortal Memories Cover Reveal

Greetings Dreamers!

Today I am happy to reveal the new cover for Immortal Memories: Volume I (Second Edition)

This book will be available later this month via Amazon on both Kindle and in Trade Paperback. Immortal Memories is a collection of stories that will give a deeper insight into some of the lives of Immortals you met in the first novel of the series, Waking Dream: Devlin. There are nine stories in all, and each of them are in different genres — romance, horror, paranormal, alternate history, and even paranormal erotica.

More information about the final release date will be forth coming! But I can tell you that I will be offering the kindle and paperback version for a low introductory price! So you’ll want to grab this little gem quickly!

Immortal Memories

New Author Interview

Ginger Nuts of Horror Blog

 

Greetings, Dreamers!

Jim McLeod posted “5 Minutes with Michael Hibbard” at his website.  If you want to learn even more about me and the Waking Dream Series, take a gander at his site Ginger Nuts of Horror!  In addition to my interview, he has interviewed many new and upcoming authors, and has everything one would need to know about the buzz in the horror and dark fiction industry.

Thanks Jim for taking the time to post the interview!

In other news, I will be interviewing with Elaine Charles of The Book Report Radio show, which will on October 27 between 3 and 4 P.M. EST.  I am excited to be featured on this show alongside such amazing authors such as Orson Scott Card, Maya Angelou, and Mary Higgins Clark.  You will be able to tune in live on the web via her website, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio or download the Podcast.  I will be discussing the book, the Waking Dream universe and the philosophy behind the Waking Dream.  If you want to keep up with developments on the event, you can register to attend on Facebook via this link.

Finally, I will be beginning my posts about the philosophy behind the Waking Dream, Mism, starting this week where we will discuss Creation of the Universe and Consciousness.  You can find out more by reading the abstract.

Thank you all again for your support!  Peace!

New Review for Devlin!

DevlinGreetings, Dreamers!

I have a few bits of information today.

First, I just received an awesome review from Victoria Craven of Autodidact in the Attic — an amazing writer in her own right.

You can read the full review at Waking Dream: Devlin Book I by Michael Hibbard.

She absolutely got what I was trying to relay in my work, and that gives me hope that the book will start to catch on.  Yes, it is a quick read.  I wanted to introduce the world before getting into the details.  This first book is meant to tease you, because I am going to perform a trick on you, the reader.  I say to you that I am going to make a rabbit vanish into the hat, but at the end, I’ll do much more than make him return again.  Your mind will be left wondering, forced to look into yourself and find your own magic.

Here is an excerpt:

“There’s a bit of Poe and quite a bit of Lovecraft about the thing. A compelling plot, multiple inventive characters and situations and some rather gross moments (in a good way) made this one a winner. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of dark fantasy.

Devlin itself put me in mind of a grown up version of Hogsmeade. Just because you didn’t get your letter from Hogwarts doesn’t mean you can’t be Awakened to your particular ability–that can happen at any time in your life. So take heart!

The events of the book take place in the autumn and there’s magic and the lifting of the veil in a very big way so it’s the perfect book for this time of year.” – V.L. Craven

But wait, there’s more!  Starting next week, I will start posting a series of articles about the philosophy behind the Waking Dream, but it much more than that.  I am going to create a framework that will merge science and religion, creating a new philosophical framework, and drawing from the work of Dr. Erik Andrulis‘, of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, scientifically irrefutable “Theory of the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life” — which I urge you to read, both his theory and his blog.  I have entitled this new philosophy as Mism, the Merging of all isms.

And just one more thing, my book will be reviewed and I will be interviewed on Elaine Charles’ radio show about the Waking Dream and Devlin the weekend of October 27.  Details will come as to times and what local station you can hear it, and links to the podcast.

Thank you all for helping me write this book, and make the Waking Dream a success.  It is for you, because we need a little magic and hope in this world gone awry.

Why the Waking Dream?

DevlinI get asked on many occasions why I’ve spent so much time working on this series before I wrote the book.  Part of it was procrastination, but the biggest reason was the allegory behind the Waking Dream.

When I was a kid, I was very much enamored by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.  The idea of a writer creating a framework for other writers to contribute to was fascinating to me.  And since the story “The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 1926, scores of renowned authors have taken their turn to try to rouse the Ancient Ones from their slumber.

I initially came up with the idea for the Waking Dream in 1995 as a Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing game.  It was first premiered on Internet Relay Chat, where I had over 100 people playing at any given time.  But as I began to write these elaborate story lines for others to interact with, it occurred to me that it would be more useful to write stories and novels, rather than a bunch of rules and dice play.  The Waking Dream began to evolve.

I stepped away from the online role-play world and began to do serious research on how to make the Waking Dream a framework.  But along the way, it started to become something much more than that.  It started to become a philosophical debate on the nature of existence – a subject that has haunted me my entire adult life.  I have for a long time stopped reading fiction, and jumped headlong into physics, cosmology, religion, philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.  And along the way, I created an entire universe populated by Dreamers, Sleepers and Immortals and solved — in my mind — the answers to our universe.

It does not matter really what comprises the universe, how it came to be, or where it will go from here.  What does matter is the voyage and exploration of the self and understanding that we are all connected at a fundamental level, and the universe is our playground.  We have gone about our search for the answer in the wrong way.  Rather than trying to understand our consciousness and our spirit, we’ve leaped into the abyss, searching for answers in the stars — but the answer is in each and every one of us.

The Waking Dream books and stories and framework are to give us a way to be children again, when we looked at everything with wonder. Magic and Monsters are everywhere, we’ve just chosen not to see them in the same way we once did.  We’ve allowed what we call the “common reality” — what the majority believes to be true — to make us blind to the true nature of the universe and thus, ourselves.

For me, the Waking Dream is not about making money, it’s about throwing a new idea out on the table for everyone to see.  And in turn, I expect others to take up the mantle and submit their own stories about the Waking Dream.  Because, in the Waking Dream anything is possible.  And if we all take a moment to realize the Dream as something wonderful, it will be wonderful.  But at the moment, we are creating a nightmare.

Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many novels to come.  If you are looking to escape for just a little while, and you believe in any of the things I have said, I believe you will enjoy walking with me in the Waking Dream.