vigilante_3dPublished: 7.1.11


Nolan Gray, the country’s most decorated and skilled soldier, is dead. At least that’s what all the news reports are saying. Gray, together with a small team, has faked his murder so that he can tackle his most important mission ever.

Everywhere he looks, society is being destroyed by evil men who don’t care who suffers or who they destroy. Crime is rampant. The innocent are scared.

Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the lawless. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won’t stop until the world is the way it should be.

The wicked have had their day.
Morality’s time has come.
There is a better way.

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Weekly Inspiration: The Mystery Box

It’s no secret that I’ve been heavily influenced by Lost, along with other TV shows and movies by J.J. Abrams. I think the man is a genius, and I love everything he does. In this talk he gave at TED, Abrams explains a fundamental philosophy that exists in every story he tells: the mystery box.

In storytelling terms, the tenet of the mystery box states that a closed box with mysterious contents is a lot more compelling than an open box where all the contents are laid bare. It’s a concept that has fascinated me for years, and I could never explain it as well as Abrams does here. This video’s been around for a few years now, but I’m inspired anew every time I watch it.

[Note: this video contains a few instances of foul language.]


Weekly Inspiration

“Endless Streets” by Andreas Rocha, of Portugal.

Love the futuristic/noire vibe of this digital painting. Where do you suppose this street is located? What city? What year? How high up do those buildings go? What’s the rest of the city like? What sort of people live here, and what kinds of stories would they get caught up in?


How it feels to write a novel

People often ask me what it’s like to write a novel. Everyone I meet seems endlessly fascinated by the answers this question brings. There’s the logistic side of it, of course — the back-and-forth work with your editor and publisher, where the finished product is hammered out via collaboration.

And then there’s the actual writing part of it. This is the part people are most interested in, yet I always find it the hardest part to explain. This cheeky video, by my friend and fellow author James Andrew Wilson, sums up the emotions every writer goes through during each part of the writing process far better than I ever could.


Weekly Inspiration

Once a week, I’ll bring you a personally-selected piece of media to inspire your creative juices. This will take the form of photos, original art, music, and more.

I am very, very visual. Anyone who’s read my books knows just how much I rely on visuals to convey the action, characters, and even more subtle things like emotions and themes. I absolutely love looking at conceptual art — aka, art pieces made to demonstrate a nonexistent setting being imagined specifically for a movie or TV show.

Much to my delight, I’ve discovered that there’s a huge community of talented artists online who are creating original concept art, not for any particular Hollywood project but just to push the boundaries of their own imaginations. A lot of them are made as assignments for college art classes and the like, though many are simply an artist following his or her muse. I find this sort of thing so inspiring, all I have to do is look at a really well-done piece of concept art, and my mind is immediately trying to come up with explanations for why these impossible places exist. Who lives there? Why does it exist? What’s the story?

Here’s a perfect example, by 24-year-old Vietnamese artist Phuoc Quan Dinh.

Zoom in to get a really good look — this smaller view doesn’t do it justice. My favorite details: the gorgeous sunset colors, the blue lens flare on the ship’s engines, and the birds in the bottom right corner. Just spectacular.

Click here to see more about this piece, and the artist who made it.

Where does it send your imagination? What world is this? Is it Earth of the future? Why are the massive buildings so dilapidated? Who’s in that ship, and where are they going?