Friday, August 14, 2015

The Drowning God by James Kendley Book Feature!

The Drowning God

The Drowning GodTitle: The Drowning God
Author: James Kendley
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Format: Kindle/Paperback

The Drowning God, a paranormal thriller by James Kendley, is one of 30 projects selected out of 4,563 submissions for Harper Voyager's new digital-first expansion -- release date July 28, 2015!

Detective Tohru Takuda faces his own tragic past to uncover modern Japan's darkest secret--The Drowning God. Few villagers are happy when Takuda comes home to investigate a foiled abduction, and local police enlist powerful forces to shut him out. Takuda sacrifices his career and family honor to solve the string of disappearances in the dark and backward valley of his youth, but more than a job is at stake. Behind the conspiracy lurks the Kappa, a monstrous living relic of Japan's pagan prehistory. Protected long ago by a horrible pact with local farmers and now by coldly calculated corporate interests, the Kappa drains the valley's lifeblood, one villager at a time.

Takuda and his wife, Yumi, are among the few who have escaped the valley, but no one gets away unscarred. When Takuda digs into the valley's mysteries, Yumi's heart breaks all over again. She wants justice for her murdered son, but she needs an end to grief. Even if Takuda survives the Kappa, the ordeal may end his marriage.

With Yumi's tortured blessing, Takuda dedicates his life to ending the Drowning God's centuries-long reign of terror. He can't do it alone. A laconic junior officer and a disarmingly cheerful Buddhist priest convince Takuda to let them join in the final battle, where failure means death--or worse. The journey of these three unlikely warriors from uneasy alliance to efficient team turns THE DROWNING GOD's mystery into an adventure in friendship, sacrifice and courage.

The Drowning God is available for order at  

google play

I rested easy in the long, lonesome place between completing The Drowning God and making the sale, all thanks to a forum troll.

It wasn’t fun, mind you. Agent after agent passed on it. Contests and direct submissions didn’t pan out. But I rested easy because a troll fulfilled his role. I was inoculated. If my own dear mother had called to say I should give up this writing business, I would have smiled and nodded and kept right on doing what I do.

But let me just tell you the story:

In 2009, I took several months away from my favorite online community to complete the first draft of The Drowning God. This community, music fans of all ages from Scandinavia to the Antipodes, is by far the wittiest, most knowledgeable and kindest online family it's ever been my pleasure to meet. I count several of them as "actual" friends, not just online friends. It was a pretty tight group.

Except for one spiteful and maladjusted unit who called himself H0neyc0mb Jack. Jack trolled the “official” forum, but he lurked on the "friends" forum, which he had chosen not to join.

When I rejoined after my hiatus, I announced on the “friends” forum what I’d been up to. Jack responded the next day on the "official" forum, an entirely different entity:

Hay Guys!
Good to be back! I've been away researching my new novel and its a spinecrackler! At least three (Count'em, losers) internet publisher ibook download companies have picked up on the idea and guess what?! I've actually written it and people are telling me it IS good! I cannot believe I am this close to the Booker Prize at age fifty laugh.gif. My first novel!!! Based on black and white films catapulted into a Die Hard present mixed with Sopranos vava voom and tossed off with words written in another style, I cannot BELIEVE the hum it is stirring blink.gifblink.gif. If you had asked me at age seventeen when the sap was still rising if I could have written anything so erudite and funny and musical and in touch; well, I would have said...NO WAY laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif
Thanks for the support guys, because without you all,there is no way I would have written this blink.gifblink.gif
Peace wub.gif

Juvenile mockery, but it was good enough. The troll fulfilled his role.

Familiar and not-very-interesting troll strategies here:

• posting on a different forum for deniability ("Dear boy, my post had nothing to do with you! Just trumpeting my successes and whatnot. But what is this? Do you scribble as well? What a coincidence!")
• exaggerating the target's claims ("But of course you're shooting for the Booker Prize, old sock. What young Turk like yourself would not?")
• and the troll's best game, playing on my perceived weaknesses: academia's scorn of genre writing, the rapidly changing publishing market, my advanced years (I was 47 at the time, not 50), my lack of contacts, and my wide-eyed naïveté.

I kept on writing and submitting. Several friends PM'd to commiserate about Jack’s unwarranted cross-forum cruelty, but I held my tongue. That in itself was unusual. At the time, I loved an occasional wee online dust-up, and I've never been one to let a bully have the last word, online or off. But this was different because there was something to be learned here.

I kept on writing and submitting. I looked up the Booker Prize to see how hard he was mocking me.

And I kept on writing and submitting. With a full-time job, a new baby, three moves, and an overlong sojourn in the barren gulag archipelago of for-the-love online litmags, I kept on writing and submitting. I joined a professional writing organization, The Horror Writers Association, and a couple of local writers' clubs. I put out 80,000 words of short stories, essays, and reviews, and I polished The Drowning God to within an inch of its life.

That was the lesson. I kept on writing and submitting. Over time, the truth in the action dispelled the troll's lies.

Think of it this way: every environment has a scavenger, a bottom-feeder that turns dead matter and excreta into energy. In the process, it removes toxins and debris to make room for new life.

Trolls and haters can be good for the writer's mental environment. They uncover the fears, thus helping to turn toxins and debris into new energy and new work.

Thank you, bottom-feeding scavengers.

Thank you, H0neyc0mb Jack, wherever you are.

H0neyc0mb Jack pissed off into the ether on Jan. 31, 2011, the date of his last post. I assumed at the time that he tired of trolling well-adjusted adults or forum admins finally booted him. However, astute forum members correlated Jack's disappearance with the suicide of a music fan with a similarly troubled online history. H0neyc0mb Jack seems to have taken his own life. Weirder still: at one point, the troubled fellow in question, the man who was probably H0neyc0mb Jack, friended me on Facebook.

As for me, there’s no joy in outliving my detractors. It’s just sad. And I will meet meaner, stronger, smarter trolls. That's part of the deal. But the lesson has been learned:

I write.
I submit.
I am rejected.
I am disappointed.

I write.
I submit.
I am rejected.
I am disappointed.


Oh, the future:
Every dog has his day.
Kendleyness is next to dogliness.
Therefore, I will have my day.
Quod erat demonstrandum.

James FendleyJames Kendley has written and edited professionally for more than 30 years, first as a newspaper reporter and editor, then as a copy editor and translator in Japan (where he taught for eight years at private colleges and universities), and currently as an educational publishing content wrangler living in northern Virginia. He has a taste for the macabre, and he hopes you do, too! For More Information Visit James’ website. Connect with James Social-Network-Facebook Social-Network-Twitter

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