Tag Archives: Keith Wayne McCoy

A Review: Castles Burning by Keith Wayne McCoy

In Castles Burning (Champagne, 2014) by Keith Wayne McCoy, a son is confronted with horrors he thought he’d escaped when he left home years before. Wil Warner returns home when he receives an imperious summons from his mother.

As a child, he had been manipulated by and pulled between both his parents. His mother, a narcissistic woman obsessed with possessions and maintaining the family’s prominent position at the top of local society, believes that everything and everyone has a price. To prove her point, she bought her husband, Wil’s father. Wil learned early from his father, a handsome man who had worked for the family, that the price of being bought was obedience to the whims of the one who pays the bills, his wife and Wil’s mother.

When his mother tried to exert the same control over Wil after he returned from college for a visit with his girlfriend, he rejected her attempts to control him and walked out of her life—until the summons arrived. Wil arrives home to realize that he must deal with his mother who has fallen into the depths of mental illness.

McCoy’s Castles Burning is a great read that examines how mental illness affects individuals and families, especially when the mental illness leads to horrific acts that defy belief. Castles Burning also addresses Wil Warner’s personal growth as he must deal with the mother who dominated him in his youth with her selfishness and meanness, which devolved into insanity.

BUY LINKS:  CHAMPAGNE BOOK GROUP / AMAZON

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Thursday Redux: Keith Wayne McCoy’s Meet Jess Bennett

Keith Wayne McCoy is my first guest on Thursday Redux , where my favorite authors share their favorite posts. “Meet Jess Bennett” was first published by Keith as a character interview on fantasy author Olga Godim’s Blog on March 10th, 2014.

Meet Jess Bennett, a 78 years old protagonist of The Travelers, an urban fantasy novel by Keith Wayne McCoy.

1. Tell me a little about yourself—your name, profession, where you live, do you have a family, the usual.

My name is Jess Bennett and I am 78 years old. I was born and raised in a flat in London, England. World War II gave me an American GI named James to fall in love with and marry. After the war, we left England and my mother for New York on the ship of our destiny, the QUEEN MARY. We left Southampton with only each other but arrived in New York as a family after a North Atlantic encounter with an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children. My life began on that voyage.

2. What happened to you, so you ended up in this crazy adventure the novel talks about?

We began a life in southern Illinois in Jim’s ancestral Victorian farmhouse. It was heaven on earth, and I had never been happier. But when we lost our children just nine months apart, I fell off the path of the living and descended into the deathly world of bitterness and hostility. Losing just one of them would have been pain enough but both was simply too much, like a double amputation. My marriage disintegrated and despair leveled any hope of a normal existence and I became a recluse. Now, decades later, this young black filmmaker has brought Jim and I together again for a final reunion with that poor mother who has returned to shut doors all older mortals contemplate.

3. What is your biggest regret?

I lost the love of my life. I am happy Jim remarried but I absolutely hate his second wife because she has my man. I’ve never been with another man but have no one to blame for losing him except myself. I actually freed him because I knew I would never be the same. It was the hardest choice I’ve ever made, brave I tell myself, but it was necessary. But this young man has given me this final chance to find my way after all these decades and all I need before I die is to see that woman.

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Book

The Travelers

In 1947, the Queen Mary transmits a message which is intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.

In the present day, Guy Turner, a melancholy, black filmmaker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California. Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing.

Guy is thrust into an unexpected and unwanted voyage of self-discovery as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time.

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Thank you for visiting, Keith. The buy info and links for The Travelers and Keith’s webpage and social media contacts are listed below:

Buy The Travelers at any of these sites: Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Champagne Book Group

Note:  Visit Keith Wayne McCoy’s blog at  http://www.keithwaynemccoy.com where he shares some of his magnificent collection of Queen Mary memorabilia. Rita

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Book Review: The Travelers

In 1947, the luxury liner Queen Mary transmits a routine message which is intercepted by an extraterrestrial intelligence. A dying alien world uses the beacon to transport a mother and her two young children to the ship amid flashing electrical lights and a raging storm. James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his British war bride returning to New York are astounded by the apparition of a woman with her two children who gradually assumes corporeal shapes. Jess is drawn to the pathetic woman and accepts her silent entreaty to take her children. As the woman retreats into fog and disappears, the Bennett’s return to their cabin with their children. Despite the biological math being off a bit, the Bennett’s claim the children as their own and raise them on the family farm.

Sideboard 001Flash forward to the present. Guy Turner, a melancholy black film maker, is tasked with filming a history of the Queen Mary. While the film will be a boost to his career, his personal life has recently fallen into shambles. His girlfriend of many years gave him “the ultimatum.” While he was fine with marriage, the idea of bringing children into the world was intimidating – so much that he allowed the love of his life to leave.

BookWhen Guy interviews James and Jess who are now divorced for his film, he never imagined he would be drawn into their lives and another extraterrestrial visit. When the flashing lights and storms appear and decades-old messages are received signaling another visit, his friend, a government employee he’d shared the couple’s strange story with, demands that he become involved in the new visitation.

The Travelers goes beyond fantasy to portray the life journeys of the characters to the limits of anxiety, despair, grief, and joy. A great read that not only entertains but challenges the reader to put him or herself in the shoes of the characters and perhaps examine his/her own priorities in life.

The Travelers is author Keith Wayne McCoy’s debut novel with Champagne Book Group: Burst. The Travelers was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Click the cover for buy link.

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Keith Wayne McCoy Visits An Author’s Desk

I’m pleased to host author Keith Wayne McCoy at An Author’s Desk. Keith’s book, The Travelers, is a new release from BURST, Champagne Book Group’s fantasy/scifi imprint. Check out the blurb and buy links below.

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Thank you Rita for inviting me to post on your popular blog.  My debut novel “The Travelers”, an urban fantasy, was released Monday, February 3, 2014 with Burst.  And on Friday, February 7, 2014, my novella “Castles Burning” was contracted, also with Burst.  A very productive, exhilarating week to say the least.

I’d like to discuss my own approach to writing here and take no offense at those authors who are countered to it.  I went to college in the early 90s and was taught that the proper steps for writing were creating and revising, re-editing, query letters via the post office with SASE, and, of course, rejection letters.  The internet was not prominent at all back then and the idea of submitting query letters electronically was unheard of.  I am amused by the contemplation of my mentors today in the world of Kindle, Nook, and iPad.  Every single publishing house I queried required electronic interaction.  I even signed my contract electronically.  But I personally feel that the electronic approach is superior to the chapters or even the full manuscript.  One editor who requested a manuscript replied via email that “slush piles” are a thing of the past.  The writer still has the harrowing wait but it comes much faster.  I am pleased to be part of the ebook phenomenon.

As for “The Travelers”,  it was completely hand-written on yellow legal pads and revised and revised again before finally being typed in Word.  As Rita Bay can attest, I am emphatically not computer literate.  But I am learning.  I must.  We all must.  The “Big Six” in New York are no longer the only means of becoming published and many, if not most of my friends and family, prefer the electronic editions as they can take them on vacation, to lunch time at work, and the air flight.

Sideboard 001I scratch notes of lyrical sentences, dialogue, and plot possibilities on any piece of paper available whether it be a grocery bag, a calculator tape, or even the back of junk mail envelopes.  When the idea hits, write it down immediately as I promise you will not remember it for a later, more convenient time.  I have even woke up in the night with a conversation or scene description in mind and scrambled to the tiny notebook I keep on the nightstand.  So, my author’s desk is everywhere a literary thought comes.  That’s not to say that sitting at a blank computer screen and contemplating what to type first is not a perfectly valid method for writing.  But I want the physical presence of the written word first and foremost.

I have been a collector of furniture and memorabilia from the 1930s luxury liner Queen Mary since the third grade.  My love (actually compulsion) of writing took hold at the same time as I ferociously wrote tales involving the great liner.  “The Travelers” is a product of that lifetime obsession in the fact that the retired liner permanently docked in Long Beach, California plays a very pivotal role in the plot.  Urban Fantasy intertwines with the liner’s history to form an enigmatic portrayal of the ship’s personality.  (And, believe me, she still has a soul that no other liner possessed, not even the Titanic.  I know because I have vacationed and spent the night aboard her!  She has a quality of alertness that refuses to be ignored.)

Although the novel has fantasy elements, it is essentially a character-study of a World War II GI and his British war bride who have an extraterrestrial encounter with an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.  My college professor read the manuscript before I began querying and told me that if it were a movie, it would be a David Lynch version of the film Ordinary People.  I took this as a compliment.  Thanks again for inviting me, Rita!

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BookIn 1947, the Queen Mary transmits a message which is intercepted by extraterrestrial intelligence. This errant radio signal serves as a beacon for a North Atlantic encounter between James and Jess Bennett, a GI and his war bride, and an otherworldly, desperate mother and her two small children.

In the present day, Guy Turner, a melancholy, black filmmaker, finds himself at the center of a supernatural mystery after a haunting prelude with the now elderly mother in a corridor aboard the retired liner in Long Beach, California. Standing at the edge of eternity, the old woman and the Bennetts have the complex task of setting certain aspects of the past in order as the doors to their lives are closing.

Guy is thrust into an unexpected and unwanted voyage of self-discovery as he is solely enjoined to bring the three together one last time.

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Buy The Travellers HERE or click the cover.

Keith Wayne McCoy

http://www.keithwaynemccoy.com

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