Friday, December 9, 2016

New Release & Shop Talk

I hope everyone is having a great December so far!  I just wanted to drop in and let you know that the first couple of chapters of my new YA Paranormal Fiction series, The Dead Oaks, are now available to read on Wattpad

Jasper Jelinek believes in ghosts.  Probably more than he believes in himself.  After living a life of relative solitude and misanthropy, he suddenly becomes saddled with some unexpected new friends.  Their obsession with the paranormal forces them to face the thing they've all been avoiding most:  Life.  And each of them must learn to deal with what it truly means to be haunted.

Typically, I plan to update this much like I currently do with HUNTER.  Bi-weekly, unless I have those lucky weeks with more time to work on writing.

Speaking of HUNTER, have you caught up to the latest chapter yet?  What did you think about that bombshell (without getting too spoilery)?  I think you will love where this story is headed.  It's probably not what anyone expected but you'll realize the clues have been there all along.  Enjoy the rest of the crazy ride!  There are a couple more books to come after this one that tie everything together, so plenty of surprises still await you.

As for my illustration work, (Which I generally don't talk about much on here because this blog is mostly for my books but I might start to incorporate it more.), I have some ideas lined up that I'm really excited to work on over the holidays and into the new year.  I've got a fairly solid idea of where my focuses will be.  I'm also getting my hands on some new creative tools soon and I can't wait to practice using them.  Vague, I know, but I'd rather just wait to post the results once I get to that point.

There's really only one area that I'm debating on:  What storefront to use to sell my work??  I really don't know.  Currently, I mainly use Etsy & Redbubble but they're both rather empty at the moment while I decide my next move.   Most of my sales have actually happened by people contacting me directly through DMs on social media.  So, I'm not really sure how I should move forward with that.  I am definitely going to keep using Redbubble because they give me the ability to offer products that I normally couldn't on my own; but for prints and original drawings... I'll either just stick with Etsy or maybe give Storenvy a second chance.  I know, personally, I purchase most art from Storenvy.  I've also seen people just sell their work directly on their Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr pages.  So many options!  What do you all think?  Thoughts, opinions, preferences, experiences?  Any feedback would be great.

Until next time, here: Have some Ethan/Grady feels!


Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 28, 2016

COMING SOON: The Dead Oaks

Thank you so much for your feedback on my last blog post!  I will, indeed, go ahead and work on both of my series simultaneously.  So, with that said, I will be posting up the first chapter of my new YA Paranormal Fiction series, The Dead Oaks, very soon!  Be sure to follow me on Wattpad for update notifications so that you can be the first to know when it's available.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Vibes and a Q&A

I have a few thoughts to share today.  Before I get into that, though, I want to give a HUGE "Thank You" to everyone that purchased a copy of The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett on Kindle!  Also, much love and appreciation to everyone that has read it, either through there or Wattpad.  It made it to 1K Reads which is wonderful for a prequel story!  That means nearly everyone that read ROAM took the time to check out Dacey's origin story as well and I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

For those that have asked, I'm still working on getting print editions made.  I'll let you know the moment they're available.  I'll probably host a giveaway, so be on the look out for that.

I've started a fun little image series called "vibes" on my social media (I've included the first few here.).  Pretty straightforward and I love making them.  A mix of the "fan casting" idea and Pinterest-inspiration in collage form.

I'm about halfway through writing HUNTER!  Which brings me to the Q & A portion of today's post.  I've had a few inquiries flow in and so I'm going to go ahead and address them here so that everyone gets the information and not just the people that DMed.  Here goes!

• How many books will be in the ROAM series?

A:  This is a tricky question.  The base response would be 4 books total.  ROAM, The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett, HUNTER, and the final novel- DREAM WEAVER (also - There's your next title announcement!  haha).  However, that answer would be slightly misleading.  You see, I do plan to write at least two "spin-off" novels that will incorporate characters from the ROAM series in their own stories but with brand new lead characters.  I'm also not opposed to writing more "spin-off"'s in the future.  But, as for Ethan Roam and Dr. Grady Hunter, the four main books will cover their story arc to completion.

Is Dacey dead or not?

A:  LOL, I get this question more than any other.  He would kill me if I told you.

You've mentioned DůO is your next book.  Any details?  Is it part of ROAM or something else?

A:  DůO is one of the "spin-off" books.  It is a loose tie-in to ROAM but you won't have had to have read ROAM to read it.  Although, there will be a couple of character cameos that you'll enjoy if you have.  As for details, I don't want to get into it too much because it involves spoilers from HUNTER.  I will say, though, that the decision to write it before writing the final ROAM book is due to the timeline of events.  That's all you get for now.  :)

And now I get to turn the tables on you all!  I have my own question to ask.  You can feel free to answer in the comments or shoot me a message on social media at your leisure.  Here's the deal:  I've been "secretly" working on a YA Paranormal Fiction novella series.  It's completely separate from ROAM and, as novellas, the stories will be shorter.  So here's my question to you readers.  Would you prefer for me to only work on one series at a time OR do both simultaneously and just rotate?  Honestly, either way works for me, so I just want to know from a reader standpoint what you all would like best for your reading experience.

Thanks in advance for your input and please feel free to shoot me questions any time!  Now, I'd better get back to writing.  ;)

"vibes" credits: Lyrics: Lana Del Rey, GUNSHIP // art: Len-Yan, Art of Animation/Tumblr

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 2016: Updates

I hope everyone had a fang-tastic Halloween!  I also hope you all enjoyed my short story, Fossegrimen.  If you missed out on it, have no fear.  It's available to read for free on Wattpad and I will also be offering it as a free download on Kindle soon.

Thank you to everyone that has read The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett!  I'm so glad to hear how much you all have liked it.  Getting DMs and comments about which characters are your favorites and why is incredibly fun.  If you have some free time, please leave a review on either Goodreads, Amazon, or both!  It helps the book reach more potential readers on those sites and I would love to get this series into as many hands, minds, and hearts as possible.

This year I'll be participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time!  "Casually" participating, anyway.  I'm not really trying to win any awards at the moment or compete with anyone or whatnot. (Oh dear.  Now I'm starting to sound like Dr. Grady Hunter...)  Mostly, I just want to see what all the fuss is about and I'm using it to track my progress while I write HUNTER.

Speaking of- HUNTER is back on track!  Now that Dacey has been let loose into the world (Print version still to come.), I can get my main focus back to Ethan and Grady.  I think you guys will really enjoy the twist this book will bring to the series as a whole.

What else?  Oh, yes.  Commissions are now CLOSED.  If you follow my social media then you probably know I also do illustrations.  Thank you so much to everyone that ordered from me this year!  I finished up my last commission of 2016 last night and I am done.  Probably for a long time.  While making extra cash is nice, working on commissions is extremely time consuming.  After a lot of deliberation, I've decided not to accept any more for a while with one exception:  I'm still willing to collaborate with other artists so long as your idea fits my aesthetic.  Have some supernatural dapper dudes you want drawn or colored?  I'm there!  Otherwise, I'm outties for now on the illustration game.  Save for working on my own projects, of course.  I've had a number of people request more illustrations of my OCs and even, potentially, some web comic style posts.  So, if I'm going to devote time away from writing to drawing then I'd rather it be for projects in that vein.  I'm sure you all understand.  Mostly, I just want to write!!

Do we feel good and updated now?  Was that a sufficient 'Welcome-To-November' blog post?  No?  You want more?  GOOD!  I HAVE SOME MORE!

I'm looking into putting some progress bar widgets onto this blog so you can keep track of my work.  Still trying to decide exactly how I'd like to go about that so it's just a WIP at the moment.  For now, here's an old school style write up of what's to come.

Short Story // Dark Fantasy, Historical Fiction
'Fossegrimen' - Mid. to Late November

Novel // Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy, LGBT
'HUNTER: Book II of the ROAM Series'
Status: 22,500 words of approx. 50,000

Novel // Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, LGBT
Status: Outline

That last one probably left you with more questions than answers.  ;)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

NEW RELEASE - The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett

Someone SINister is waiting for you!

It's finally here!  'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett' is now available on Kindle!  You can get your copy HERE.

Thank you so much for all of your support and enjoy these mischievous vampires this Halloween season!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wilde Wednesday: How Oscar Helped Shape Dacey Sinnett

I'd like to make this a regular feature on my blog but I don't blog regularly so, I suppose, that would make it relatively a matter of perspective as to how "regular" it is.  It feels apropos to dedicate some time to the inclusion of Oscar Wilde's influence on my own work as he is singly the most pivotal of all my inspirations.  In many ways, he is my muse in both my creativity and personal existential exploration which are incorporated themes in my books.  It's important to me to spread awareness of his life and work and also to carry on the spirit of his ideas and writings.  Thus, I've also become a member of the Oscar Wilde Society in support of precisely that endeavor.

My books are not intended as an echo or mimic.  They are uniquely their own.  They have their own voice and say the things about life and existence that I personally wish to be said.  They deal with a multitude of different topics.  They are, essentially, my own personal revelations shared with the world in the only way in which I feel comfortable being entirely honest and raw with my audience.  I simply enjoy employing the paranormal to help me do that.

That being said, and having had some readers request it, I would love to take time now and again to delve deeper into the ways in which Oscar's work has played its role in shaping the stories that I enjoy writing most.  Think of this as an occasional pit stop of analysis on dissecting my own work with a Wildean filter.

I felt that, with the upcoming Kindle release of The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett, this quote was a great place to begin.  (I can't cover all the ground in one post.  I will simply tackle one angle at a time; which is why a series of blog posts over time makes the most sense.)  Firstly, because The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favorite book.  Secondly, but most importantly, because the sentiment plays heavily into the way that I threaded the relationship that exists between Dacey Sinnett and Marcus von Rottal.  I'll try my best to expound upon this without revealing too many spoilers.

In a sense, there is a bit of Dorian Gray in both Dacey and Marcus.  I would say Dacey better represents the earlier Dorian (though much less innocent) and Marcus the darker version he becomes by the end of the story.  Essentially, they are two men that land on the same path, engage in the same vices, but still manage to retain their own personalities and convictions (Though, they are always magnetically drawn together despite their better judgement.).

This is where the quote and Wilde's personal life begin to weave together in my reinterpretation of an interpersonal dynamic that ultimately forms the, more tragic, basis of my vampires' relationship with one another.

Right now, Wildeans are having an "Aha!" moment.  If this isn't you then, for the sake of not spoiling anything, I will only say to please take some time one afternoon, evening, or preferably night (Night research is always the best, don't you agree?), to look into the history of Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas.  In this regard, the similarities might guide the reader into seeing a parallel of Dacey being like Oscar and Marcus more like Bosie.  Although, it should be noted, there is no definitive outline or boundary for this and both characters are indubitably their own personalities.

Neither were purposefully modeled directly with Oscar or Bosie in mind.  Rather, they were born of the idea of splitting apart who Dorian Gray became and the man he originally was and setting both characteristics against the same obstacles.  The Oscar/Bosie correlation was something that came to me after I'd already outlined the book but then I felt as though it were staring me right in face.  A nuance that I hand't necessarily planned initially but that couldn't be denied once I saw it coming to life in their interactions.

As I stated earlier, my stories are not complete homages to Wilde but he definitely has his place on the color wheel of inspiration that's constantly spinning in my mind while I create.  My favorite muse, indeed.

I hope you enjoyed this feature!  If you have any questions or would just like to discuss this topic further then please feel free to talk to me on Twitter or submit a query on my Goodreads Author Page (that way other readers can get involved).

Also, if you're a fellow Wildean and would like to join the Oscar Wilde Society then please visit their page through the link on my sidebar.

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

COVER ART REVEAL - The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett

I'm excited to share the new cover art for 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett' with you all!  This will be for the upcoming print & Kindle editions!  I'm finishing up edits and last minute formatting and shooting for a release in the next few weeks.  I'll keep you posted on my progress through social media.

Getting this book release prepped has taken up most of my time but I'll be posting a new chapter of 'HUNTER' on Wattpad soon.  I also had a great time meeting readers at West Texas Table Top Con a few weeks ago!  It was awesome to get to meet some of you in person and hear your thoughts on 'ROAM'.  I hope to have a book signing soon so we can all meet up again!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


The first chapter of 'HUNTER: Book II of the ROAM Series' is now available to read on Wattpad!  After conducting a poll on Twitter, I've decided to release each chapter after I finish writing it.  This will probably be on a weekly to bi-weekly basis (depending how busy each week is for me).

Once complete, I will format the entire story for Kindle readers.

I hope you enjoy this sequel to 'ROAM' and thank you so much for reading!


Sunday, July 31, 2016

NEW RELEASE - Fossegrimen

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  Just wanted to drop in and let you know that my new short story, 'Fossegrimen', is now available to read for FREE on Wattpad!

This folklore inspired fantasy tale is set in 19th century Sweden.:

"Fredrik Larsson is always second best.  At least that's the way he sees it.  His cousin, Elof, is constantly besting him at everything.  Especially the things he loves the most!  Consumed with envy, he sets out to seek help from the one creature he knows of that might actually be able to give him the upper-hand."
I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Influences: John William Polidori

As an artist/creator in any medium, you have your own voice but are definitely the sum of various other creative people that have inspired you throughout your artistic growth.  Their works affect us both directly and indirectly and at different times; but you can always look back fondly and say, "I found them so inspiring!"

It is because of a sense of kindred spirit, I presume.  We see ourselves- our own beliefs, passions, and perceptions- mirrored in their work.  This leads us to admire it, internalize it, and- very often - it becomes a silent part of our own creative thinking.  These inspirations build the atmosphere and backdrop of our own imaginary worlds.  They represent to us a set standard and become a stage to bring to life the characters that we have then created to perform from our own unique perspectives.

In the past I've shared some of my musical influences but I'd like to expand that and share others as well.  John William Polidori feels like a fantastic place to start.

Most of you are probably familiar with the Regency era English physician and writer, Polidori.  If not, he was part of the Romantic movement and published the first modern English vampire story "The Vampyre" in 1819.

Polidori was Lord Byron's personal physician and traveled with him across Europe.  He stayed at the Villa Diodati in Switzerland with Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (pre-marriage to Shelley), Percy Shelley, and Claire Clairmont.  I'm certain that you know this story.  During that summer, Lord Byron proposed that they all write horror stories of their own (after having read "Fantasmagoriana").  This was where Mary Shelley's story "Frankenstein" originated and also a story that Bryon began and abandoned.  However, Polidori took the basis of Byron's tale and fabricated his own story which became "The Vampyre".

If you've not had a chance to read this short story, I greatly recommend it.  I feel as though more people run to Dracula than to Lord Ruthven (the vampire in Polidori's tale) in search for the origins of the modern vampire.   And that, honestly, makes me a bit sad.

Other than "The Vampyre", Polidori's published works include some diaries, medical essays, a few short stories, and poems.

Polidori suffered from depression and struggled with a gambling habit.  He died at the age of 25; committing suicide by ingesting cyanide, though the coroner gave a verdict of natural causes.

Side Note:  If you're ever looking for an interesting film that features Polidori, Alex Winter (of "Bill & Ted" fame) gives a great performance in "Haunted Summer" (he's pictured above on the far right).  I'm not really sure where you can get a copy of this.  I bought a DVD of it on Amazon a while back but it was obviously bootlegged when I received it.  If you do get a chance though, it's definitely worth watching. 

Clearly, "The Vampyre" has inspired all of us that write in the genre.  It's the backbone on which our beliefs of the handsome, aristocratic, sexually charged version of the creature are based.  I find that I've not only been inspired by the vampire in the story but of the main protagonist, Aubrey, as well.  He was a very relatable character- optimistic, ambitious, and naive.  I think, in many ways, he's shaped my own renderings of protagonists.

After all, a vampire story is only as good as the humanistic elements at its core; and at this, Polidori understood more about the possibilities of the creatures and their prey than anyone that had ever come before him.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

TEASER - New Short Story

I'm excited to share this teaser of my new project.  My upcoming short story, 'Fossegrimen', will be available to read for free on Wattpad!  You can follow me on Wattpad or Twitter to be immediately notified once it is posted.

After this, I will begin working on the sequel to 'ROAM' which will be titled 'HUNTER'.  Looking forward to sharing more on that soon!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett - COMPLETED

'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett' is now complete!  You can read the book in full on Wattpad.  Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading!

In answer to a few questions I've received from non-Wattpaders:  Yes, I do plan on releasing this novel through Amazon eventually.  However, there is no official ETA on when that will be.  I will need to proof the whole thing, format it for Kindle, etc.  Plus, over the next few weeks I will be prepping for WT3C and beginning work on new projects.  Once it's closer to being ready for a Print/Kindle release I will post an update.

Again, thank you for reading and letting these characters into your heart!  I'm happy to have been able to share Dacey's story with you.

Next up, I will be releasing a short story on Wattpad and then will head into writing 'HUNTER' (the sequel to 'ROAM').

I appreciate all of your support and look forward to sharing these new stories with you soon.  Until then, I hope you enjoy the conclusion to 'Dacey Sinnett'!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

WT3C - I'll Be There!

I will have a Writer's Booth at WT3C this year!  I will be there on Sept. 10th ONLY.  So come by and see me and get a book signed!  I will have copies of 'ROAM' available or you can bring your own and I will gladly sign those as well.  I may or may not also have prints/merch of some of my art (still considering this).  I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

BTS Writing: Upcoming Projects

(Illustration of Findlay McCrea from 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett')

I'm back from taking some time off for vacation and am now getting into the swing of things again.  I'm rounding out the final few chapters of 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett'.  I'm really excited to share them with you as there are now direct tie-ins to 'ROAM'.  You'll get to meet characters that were mentioned in the other book and also enjoy a cameo from a certain charming doctor.

As I finish up this novel, I'm working on ordering copies of 'ROAM' and having promotional materials printed so that I can do my first book signing.  More details to come later!

I've also taken some time to set a "Goal List" for all of the things I would like to accomplish and I've already filled up my calendar for the next two years. (!!!)  So, there will be plenty more stories about sassy supernaturals headed your way.


Status:  Outlined
The sequel to 'ROAM'.  Ethan Roam returns from dream traveling to find that Shady Pines has somewhat of a vampire infestation.  As he and Dr. Grady Hunter find themselves at odds on how to deal with the problem a familiar face returns to offer some help.  But can he be trusted or is he there to ensure that they fail?  Grady also finds himself distracted and challenged by the ghosts of his past.

The Fossegrimen
Status: Outlined, Working on Cover Art
An ambitious young musician befriends a handsome fiddle player full of promises that may cost him more than he bargained for.

As always, thank you for reading and for all of your continued support!  I look forward to sharing more with you as I progress.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

BTS Writing: Dacey & Decisions

A little update on the progress of 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett'.  I'm now 3K words away from reaching the length of 'ROAM'!  When I'd outlined the story originally, I hadn't realized that it would end up being longer in the end but as I'm just beginning the last third of the book it is quite obvious that will be the case.  I'm not sure how many prequels are longer than the original but there was a lot of ground to cover.  Over a hundred years worth of material to be precise.  Vampires.  :)

I'm excited to enter the last act of the book because everything will now start tieing in more directly with the events in 'ROAM'.  Some characters will even have cameos which I'm very much looking forward to writing.

As I come closer to finishing this book, I've begun to work on the beginning process of executive decisions and outlining for my next book (which is the sequel to 'ROAM').  After a lot of thought, I'm leaning toward taking a different approach with the release of it.

First of all, I should say that, yes, I do plan on releasing 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett' for Kindle as I did with 'ROAM'.  A lot of people don't use Wattpad and prefer to just download the story to their devices. (Also, the versions on Wattpad are the first drafts.  I edit, refine, and finalize them before placing on Kindle.)  Plus, as an author it makes sense for me to do that as purchases allow me to continue progressing forward with my writing goals.

I don't want to change things too drastically for readers with this series.  I appreciate all of the support and enthusiasm that you've had.  So, as long as I write 'ROAM' stories (and self-publish), I will publish them on Wattpad.  The difference that I'm considering is this:  Instead of releasing the sequel chapter-by-chapter as I write them, I will instead write the entire book and then put it up on Wattpad and Kindle at the same time.  On Wattpad I will release two chapters a week or you can just download it in full on Kindle.  I think this process works out better for everyone.  Chapter releases will be on a consistent schedule that way and those who prefer to get the whole story at once will have that option instead of having to wait and read a chapter at a time over the course of many months.

Let me know what you think, though.  I will definitely consider any advice on the subject but I belive this is the best direction to go with the next book in the series.

Thanks again for all of your support!  And if you're a 'Dacey' reader, be ready, someone very close to Ethan Roam will be making an appearance soon.  :)

Your Dapper Friend,
-Dez Schwartz-

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Creature Feature: Dorian Gray (2009)

If you know me in person or if you've been following me online for a while then you already know what a huge Oscar Wilde fan I am.  You probably also know that 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is my favorite book.  There are a handful of Dorian Gray films to date and I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on the pros and cons of each.  This week, I'd like to begin with the 2009 version to start out a new series of film reviews titled 'Creature Feature' in which I assess various "gothic" films and monster movies.  So, let's begin!

5 Thoughts On This Film:

#1 - The Cast

Typically, if Colin Firth is in a movie then you're probably going to enjoy it.  This fact holds true with this film.  I honestly can't imagine a better Lord Henry Wotton.  The casting of Ben Barnes is especially interesting to me because I can't seem to overlook the similarities to a young Oscar Wilde himself more so than casting to fit the description of Dorian Gray.  I'm not sure if this was intentional or if I'm alone in this but I definitely found it pleasing.  That being said, Ben Barnes is phenomenal in this role.  He definitely shines in this film and has won me over as a fan.  I'd also like to mention that Ben Chaplin's performance as Basil Hallward is so passionate and true to the character that it made my fangirl heart soar.  Basil Hallward is one of the few fictional characters in literature that I actually identify on a deep level with and so I was very happy that Chaplin did him such great honor.  I would be remiss to leave out Fiona Shaw.  Her performance as Agatha is also a highlight.

#2 - The Script

Yes, as a book lover you have to acknowledge the fact that it has its "That wasn't how it happened in the book!" moments.  However, and this is coming from someone who truly loves this story dearly, I think those creative flourishes can be forgiven.  Overall, I feel it strays only to make the story more adaptable to the screen.  The book allows you to really see things from Dorian's perspective but transforming that visually could prove difficult; so, Toby Finlay took some liberties by adding new characters and altering situations to highlight the progressions of Dorian's character and examine the destruction to those associated with him.  I don't feel like these variations take away from the nature of the story and, in fact, I feel that as a whole the film stays very true to the tone and heart of the book.  I love that a lot of the original dialogue was also used.

#3 - Honoring Dorian's Sexuality

Dorian Gray was a progressive character of his time for a number of reasons, not least of all being his sexuality.  Most accept that he was bisexual and some, including myself, insist he was actually omnisexual.  It's very important to me that this fact isn't left out or shied away from when he's portrayed.  (What would be the point in making a film about Dorian Gray if you're not going to let him be Dorian Gray?) I'm extremely thankful that they embraced it fully in this film.  I'm also happy that they took the time to depict Basil's feelings toward Dorian.  Dorian's sexuality is built upon ego but Basil's is sincere and heartfelt.  Their dynamic is definitely one of my favorite things about the story.

#4 - Art Direction

It's the quintessential Victorian Gothic film and I mean that in the best way.  The entire movie is, fittingly, a work of art.  Every scene is carefully constructed from the sets to the direction of the actor's movements to be visually stunning.  This film is definitely in my rotation of movies that I'll just casually have on in the background while I work on creative projects.

#5 - The Heart Of It

This isn't a film that was made to cash in on the popularity of gothic literature.  This is a film about (for so many of us) a beloved novel made by Wildean enthusiasts for Wildean enthusiasts.  I am aware that there are some fans that really dislike this film.  I'm going to hazard a guess that it's because of the addition of certain characters (namely Emily) that vary from the original story.  However, I stand by my assessment that overall the movie does great honor to the nature of Dorian Gray's character and I'm happy that this film exists.

Have you seen this film?  What did you think about it?  If not, then I hope this review inspires you to give it a chance.  It's definitely worth two hours of your time and many more, if like myself, you find yourself watching it again and again.

- Dez Schwartz -

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Interview With A Vampire: Dacey Sinnett

Dacey Sinnett was the winning character when I polled readers about whom they would like a chance to interview.  First of all, thank you to everyone that voted and sent in questions!  I had a lot more come in than expected so I selected a nice crop of the ones that weren't too spoilery. ;)  So, without further ado, please enjoy Dacey sitting down with us today to answer your questions!

Who are your favorite composers of modern times?

D: Music took a fascinating turn this past century. I fell in love with so many things. But you know, it's rather funny, I think I grew most partial to rock music and theatrical scores. Don't tell the other vampires because they would find it very cliche' indeed, but I truly have to say that I enjoy the work of Queen and Danny Elfman most. More recently, I've also enjoyed the budding work of Abel Korzeniowski and the alternative band Marquis of Vaudeville.

You've spent a lot of time with all sorts of different creatures. Why did you grow so fond of a human like Grady and how did you meet?

D: [laughs] You've obviously never met him or else this wouldn't even be a question. Simply put, Grady was the most enigmatic and remarkable person I'd met since Marcus. There are not many people that I can read with my powers who can still keep me guessing. Grady is one of them. As far as how we met, I'm told that will be revealed at the end of 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett'.

You seem very fashionable. What time period had the best fashion so far?

D: Obvious bias but I'll forever be most fond of the Victorian era. Although, there was something to be said for the gothic fashion of the 1990s. I'm not entirely certain what that something is though.

Be honest. Aren't you at least a little bit jealous of Ethan?

D: I'm insanely jealous of Ethan! In all the best ways. He doesn't know it yet but he's going to turn out to be quite enviable. I'm privy to insight and I can guarantee you that boy will surprise everyone, most of all himself. Well, I suppose that all sounds more like pride than jealously doesn't it? I'm proud of him.

What is the coolest artifact you’ve come across?

D: I'm told that I am both allowed and not allowed to answer this question directly. So, you will find out but it will be through the books.

I read 'ROAM' and have been reading along as 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett' comes out. I'm very curious to know, what are your current feelings toward Marcus?

D: Marcus has my heart eternally. It's debatable as to whether or not that's a good thing. And trust me, it has been widely debated by everyone I've ever known for as long as I've been around.

What’s your favorite book?

D: This may surprise you but I've never really been one for reading. I know, I know. I'm in books but I'm not into them. [laughs] However, Marcus loved books and through him I did experience a few and I have to say that 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde was the only one that ever really spoke to me. Besides the Kama Sutra, of course. You know what I do like, though? Comic strips. They were always the best part of newspapers.

You were my favorite character so will you be in the next book in some capacity?

D: Thank you, darling heart! And, yes.

Do cats stare intensely at you?

D: Everyone stares intensely at me. Have you seen me?

Who's better in bed, Marcus or Grady?

D: Finally, an important question! [laughs] Really, you can't compare the two and I'm not just saying that to be a gentleman. Perhaps I need a refresher? I wonder how they'd feel about a threesome so that I may determine properly? I'm kidding, of course. Not on my part, I would definitely do it. But I know them both too well. They'd kill each other. [smiles]

Is there a creature that you haven't met but would like to?

D: Yes, many. And as you'll find out, I may very well get a chance to meet them all eventually.

In 'ROAM' you mention that there is a reason you no longer live with Marcus. What is that reason?

D: [sighs] Marcus and I had to part ways. Neither of us were happy about it but it was inevitable. The reason will be revealed in 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett'.

Why do you keep track of the other vampires?

D: Why do you keep track of anyone? For gossip, information, and out of boredom.

Who is your OTP from 'ROAM'?

D: I had to ask for help with this question. I try to evolve with times as best as I can but, really, the popularity of modern acronyms as slang is one of my least favorite things about this era. It's as if everyone is talking to each other in some form of crude Morse Code. Let me key you in on something: Language is sexy. Words can be an aphrodisiac. Learn them, love them, use them. Bend and tailor them to your will. Do not continue to castrate them, please.

As for the answer to the question, I'm actually rather fond of Grady and Ethan together. There's promise for something extraordinary there and I hope that I'm right.

Any hints or insights into the next 'ROAM' book that you're allowed to give??

D: Expect the unexpected. Old faces and new friends. Sexy times. Monkey wrenches. Multiverses. Deaths. And, of course, a lot of dapper sass.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Coming Soon - Character Interview

A few weeks back I ran a poll for readers to vote on which of my original characters they would like to have interviewed here on the blog.  It was a pretty close race between Dr. Grady Hunter and Dacey Sinnett but in the end (and as I suspected might be the case), Dacey won!

So, now is the time.  It is literally an interview with a vampire!  Send in your questions!  He's up for answering anything.  ANYTHING.  Silly, serious, spoiler-y, risqué - it's all up to you!

You can either comment your questions here or shoot them to me on social media (I check Twitter most often).

Don't worry.  The questions will be posted anonymously so feel free to get creative & don't be shy (Dacey certainly isn't.)!

Thanks for reading & keep an eye out for when Dacey meets the hot seat!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Music Monday - Possum Kingdom

For this week's Music Monday, I'd like to spotlight a song that played an integral part in the creation of a specific character of mine - Marcus von Rottal.

Marcus doesn't come into 'ROAM' until very late in the game and there's a reason for that. He didn't exist in my mind at all until then! I had done a lot of forward planning when it came to Ethan & Grady and their backgrounds and such but the supporting characters were still a work-in-progess. As I wrote Dacey's character, though, I quickly realized that his personality certainly didn't support solitude and while he enjoyed his trysts the fact of the matter is there would have been, at some point, someone very close to him. Maybe even who had helped shape him into the person that he is now. That's the point of origin from which the idea for Marcus developed.

Then 'Possum Kingdom' happened. I've always really liked this song. It has a raw, macabre, emotional, in-your-face nature to it. I was waiting in a Coliseum parking lot, thinking about the next chapter of my book when this song came on the radio and as I listened to it things just clicked together. I suddenly knew exactly who Marcus was and what all of his motivations were. The song definitely represents the way he feels about Dacey and his own wild nature. He is a vampire, after all, and exceedingly self-indulgent & ruthless. As you see in 'The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett', Dacey is in fact the only thing that he is truly passionate about and not always in the best of ways.

There are other songs that helped inspire the storyline for the 'Dacey' book but I'll touch on those in the future. For the most part this song (and to be honest, 'Killing Strangers' by Marilyn Manson) was the main musical influence in the creation of Marcus.

Before I close, I'd like to mention the Poll Results from last week! It looks like Dacey Sinnett will be the character that gets to be interviewed by readers, and ANYTHING goes! So, think up some good questions and submit them in the comments or through my social media. Seriously, anything you want to ask him! He's a good sport. :)

Thanks for reading!

- Dez

Monday, February 8, 2016

Music Monday - The Killing Moon

A huge part of my creative process is listening to music. Either as a way to get me into the mood of a scene that I'm writing or as inspiration for certain characters and storylines. There have been many times when I've heard a song and thought, "Oh, that's definitely a Grady song." or even heard certain lyrics that sparked an idea for where I want a plot point to go.

So, I thought it would be fun to include a 'Music Monday' feature here to share some of the songs that have had a lot of influence in my stories or the creation of certain characters.

The first song I'd like to share is 'The Killing Moon' by Echo & The Bunnymen. I'm aware this song has actually influenced a lot of great stories/films (most notably, 'Donnie Darko') and it was most assuredly a huge inspiration for me. The mood of the song sets a great tone and the lyrics speak for themselves. It's also the most obvious of my inspirations as it's actually referenced in a subtle way in 'ROAM'.

This song spoke to me for two reasons. One: The idea of Ethan facing his destiny and, Two: The depth of emotion in the vocals, I feel, matches Ethan's emotions as he struggles with who he is and the way that Grady makes him feel.

I love this song so much. It's definitely one of my favorite 80's tunes and I hope you enjoy it as well!

Thanks for reading!

~ Dez

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Giveaway on Whimsy and Noir

This week, I teamed up with Whimsy & Noir for a fun giveaway!  There are two days left to enter to win a signed paperback copy of 'ROAM', so be sure to head over there and throw your hat (top hat, bowler, cabbie, whatever hat preference you have) in the ring.  If you follow me on social media then  you're already halfway there; you just need to claim it on the blog.  There are multiple options for entering so check it out & good luck!

Also, the Blogger gods seem to be against me today and the Poll gadget isn't working.  I'm planning on doing a post in the near future that will be an interview format for one of my characters where you, the readers, can ask questions!  I think it will be a fun feature and I'm trying to determine which character should get the honor.  SO, since Blogger is having issues, I've pinned the poll on my Twitter account which you can access HERE.

OR, feel free to write in a vote in the comments below or through any of my social media.

Thanks so much & I look forward to seeing who you all choose!

~ Dez

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Beginning Is, After All, The Best Place To Start


I decided to create this space to serve as a supplement to my books.  Here you will find news, illustrations, and behind-the-scenes features of my work.  One feature that I'm really excited about (but will be a continuous work in progress) is a Character Compendium.  I will attempt to organize the massive collection of characters from my stories with background information, etc.  So, if you'd ever like a quick reference (or even a sneak peek at newer characters) then you'll have an easy place to access information on them quickly.

Feel free to click around for now while I work on getting everything set up!  I think it's all pretty straightforward and I look forward to sharing some of my creative processes with you soon!  I'm also thinking it might be fun to have a post written by one of my characters from time to time.  Maybe even interview style where readers can ask them questions?  We'll see how that goes.  ;)

Thank you for stopping by!
~ Dez