A few years ago I stumbled on a wonderful blog, Terribleminds, and it totally shifted the way I thought about writing. Especially this post. And this one. And this one. And hell, there are just too many.

I finally had the chance to meet Chuck at Phoenix Comicon, where he predicted my death–crushed under books (judging by the overflow I cleaned out of my office last weekend, this is probably accurate).

I’m happy to announce that his newest book, BLIGHTBORN, the second in the The Heartland Trilogy series, is now out! Have a look-see:

Cael McAvoy is on the run. He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, Lane and Rigo, Cael journeys across the Heartland to catch a ride into the sky. But with Boyland and others after them, Cael and his friends won’t make it through unchanged.

Gwennie’s living the life of a Lottery winner, but it’s not what she expected. Separated from her family, Gwennie makes a bold move—one that catches the attention of the Empyrean and changes the course of an Empyrean man’s life.

The crew from Boxelder aren’t the only folks willing to sacrifice everything to see the Empyrean fall. The question is: Can the others be trusted?

They’d all better hurry. Because the Empyrean has plans that could ensure that the Heartland never fights back again.

Here are Chuck’s answers to some questions:

You are a self-admitted pen monkey. When and how did the pen come to your monkey fingers?

I was born with a pen in my hands. My hands actually are pens. Just don’t put an i between ’n’ and ’s’ there, because that’s a whole different thing.

More seriously: I had my first short story published when I was 18 — and it was all downhill for the literary world from there.

I’m amazed at what you’ve been able to achieve with pen-hands (how do you drive?). And I love the premise of the Heartland trilogy. How does BLIGHTBORN expand on the world you’ve built? 

Blightborn takes us out of Boxelder, the town from the first book. So, we see a lot of what else is out there in the corn — depots, twisters, other towns. But we also are afforded a chance to go up, up, up, and spend a lot of time on one of the Empyrean flotillas! Plus: we get glimpses of what waits outside the Heartland, as well.

Definite intrigue. As mentioned above, I’m a huge fan of your blog, Terribleminds. How did the blog come to be, and how has it changed over time?

Terribleminds was a site I started Many Moons Ago as a place for me to basically rant at myself about writing. Back then it was just an HTML site with no metrics, no comments, nothing, so it was me (presumably) shouting into the void. Over time, it grew into a thing much bigger and wackier than all that, something that is hopefully useful to the writing and reading community and also useful for my own audience. ALL FOUR OF YOU.

Speaking as an audience member, it definitely is. Your online portfolio shows that you write everything from novels, to scripts, to short fiction. What do you like most about dabbling in multiple forms of media?

The greatest thing is that with other forms of media, you start to go beyond individual format and see the Matrix code behind it all — meaning, you start to see the architecture of story itself.

Very well put (and much less convoluted than the actual Matrix architect made it out to be). What are some of your current projects?

I am presently working on ZEROES, my “hackers versus an NSA hive-mind” book. I also just turned in the third Heartland book, tentatively titled THE HARVEST.

To get BLIGHBORN (and the first in the series, UNDER THE EMPYREAN SKY) for yourself, click the links below.


And for Chuck’s other awesome books, click these:


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