It's been awhile since I've written much about my dark thriller Empty Rooms here. It remains one of the books I'm most proud of. It introduced two characters that I hoped (and am still hoping) would become series characters--ex-cop and human encyclopedia of crime and criminals Richie Krebbs, and detective and comic book fan Frank Robey--along with various supporting characters I'd like to see more of. It took Richie and Frank to very dark places and explored how people whose day-to-day lives required them to face the worst that humans could do to one another are able to maintain some sense of their own humanity--how they hold onto the light in the midst of all that darkness.
I wrote it at a time of some personal darkness, in the wake of having written the true crime book Criminal Minds: Serial Killers, Sociopaths and other Deviants. As I was writing it, I knew it was good, and the deeper into it I went, the better it became.
When I was finished, I sent the book to a couple of thriller masters who'd agreed to read it, and to my eternal delight, they liked it. A lot. Here's what they said:
Empty Rooms is a searing, no-holds barred journey into darkness. Jeffrey J. Mariotte knows the key is character, character, character and has delivered a story about men who relentlessly work the case at the same time the case works them. I was pulled in from the start on this one and it never let up. I highly recommend it.
Author of The Black Box and The Gods of Guilt
Empty Rooms is as good and moving as a thriller can be. Keenly observed and deftly written, it’s something you’ll want on your shelf as long as you have one. Mariotte’s characters come off the page at you, and through them, the author spins a tale truly of our time. I couldn’t put this one down.
--T. Jefferson Parker
Author of The Jaguar and The Border Lords
The book was published by WordFire Press, which put on this fantastic cover art:
It's been in print consistently since, and now it's part of a special promotion, a "StoryBundle" called the Pulse Pounders Thriller Bundle. Here's the deal: You pay what you want for the bundle (with a $5 minimum) and you get a batch of ebooks, hand-selected by bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson. For the $5 (or more--again, whatever you think they're worth), you get five books, including Empty Rooms and Virtual Destruction, by Kevin with Doug Beason. But there are six more books in the overall bundle, including Jonathan Maberrry's V-Wars. For a minimum of $15, you get all 11 books. On top of that, you can choose to have some of your payment donated to the Challenger Center for Space Education!
Kevin wrote a post about how he chose the books, with more detail about how it all works. That's here. Or you can go here, where you can read an excerpt from each book, along with a note from Kevin about why he chose it for the bundle. These books are all DRM-free, so you can read them on any device.
When you buy the bundle, you're not only helping authors earn a few bucks for their hard work, but you're supporting a good cause--and you're getting hours of riveting reading. What are you waiting for?
In other news...
Marsheila (Marcy) Rockwell and I have had a couple of short stories published recently: "The Real HousewiVes of Scottsdale" in the vampire anthology V-Wars: Shockwaves, and "Transmissions" in the anthology X-Files: Secret Agendas. That's right--Scully and Mulder live! Both books were edited by the great Jonathan Maberry, and contain lots of other terrific stories as well as our collaborations.
We're making a couple of personal appearances in the Phoenix, AZ on Saturday, Oct. 15. From 10-11 am we'll be at the Bonny Books tent, at the Jo Combs San Tan Valley Home & Garden Show. We'll have paperback copies of our collaborative horror/sf/thriller 7 SYKOS, my new weird western Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising, Empty Rooms, and other stuff (and if there's anything special you're looking for, let us know and we'll bring it along).
From 4-6 pm, we'll be at the Barnes & Noble at Chandler Fashion Center, where they'll have 7 SYKOS and Deadlands: Thunder Moon Rising on sale (possibly other books as well, but that's all we're sure of at this point).
We'd love to see you at either event--or both!
In early November, we'll be at the Tucson Comic-Con and TusCon, both in Tucson, AZ--more details to come soon on those.