Quantum energy. Unlimited power. Humanity’s salvation.
The Frameway Project promises all of this and more, and Mackland Luther is guiding the project to its final culmination. On the eve of what promises to be their biggest breakthrough, Mackland and his friends, Billy and Sean, prepare the test that will provide the almost limitless power needed to take the human race into the future.
Initial success and excitement quickly turn to horror as the Frame goes out of control, ripping Mackland and his friends from their world and depositing them in a world that is completely different yet strangely familiar. Along with Lily, a hard-charging security guard that was caught by the Frame along with them; and Grizzly, a rough yet gentle survivalist they meet in this new world, Mack and his friends must figure out some way to understand and undo whatever brought them here if they ever want to return to their own world.
But first they must survive an increasingly dangerous world full of undead drug addicts, giant mutants, and a relentless telepathic madman who will do anything to get his hands on the Frame for his own purposes.
Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, E.M. McDowell first started writing in high school, consisting primarily of sappy poems aimed at impressing girls. A four year stint in the Marine Corps pushed literary endeavors to the background, where they remained for the next twenty-odd years, until they were uncovered by a mild mid-life crisis.
In the intervening years, he has worked in various technology jobs, and is currently the technology manager for a small county government.
Married for twenty-two years to his best friend, and blessed with two wonderful daughters, he works to balance his writing while living in a house full of women.
1. How did your life as a writer begin?
If I’m being honest, I’d say it was probably a mid-life crisis of sorts. I was tired of my daily job in the computer industry, but I didn’t want to take the risk of changing jobs. So in order to get a break from the monotony, I decided to go back to some creative writing ideas I had from high school. I always enjoyed writing poetry and stories, but life kind of got in the way, and I didn’t do any writing for over twenty years. So when I had this little mid-life crisis, I started writing, and Dark Luminance just kind of grew the more I wrote. About two months later, I felt like I had something that other people might want to read, so I began planning to publish, and here we are now!
2. What makes you feel inspired to write?
Once I began writing, it was as if the floodgates were opened, and the ideas for stories just kept popping up all around me. Now I have to write just to keep myself sane by letting the stories out into the light of day.
3. How did you come with the idea for your current story?
It first originated back around 1996, when I saw a TV show called “Sliders” which dealt with a group of people that wound up traveling between multiple universes as they searched for a way back home. I instantly found myself wondering what I would do if I had the ability to travel to an infinite number of universes. That ability to go anywhere, anytime, but with the restriction that you can’t really guide your travel was the original foundation for Dark Luminance.
4. Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat of your pants type of a writer?
A little of both, actually. I have to do a basic outline before I start, just so that I can easily picture the entire story arc from a general perspective. It’s a 10,000 foot view, and very rough, but it gives me a framework that I feel comfortable with. Once I actually start the writing itself, things tend to be more free-flowing for the most part. I sit down for each scene and allow myself to see things through the eyes of the character experiencing it. I try to take myself out of the process as much as possible and let the story develop from there.
5. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I’m a sucker for the fight scenes, which are the most fun to write, but my personal favorite is the first meeting with Grizzly. He was one of the products of the free-flowing process I talked about above, and I had no idea how he was going to turn out when I started that scene. I knew I wanted someone different from the existing characters, but Grizzly just kind of jumped out at me and took on a life of his own.
6. What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I always stop writing in the middle of a scene. I find it easier to pick up the thread again at that point. Sometimes it feels weird to stop part way through, but it works for me.
7. What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
Nothing fancy. I just want to write stories that I would like to read, and write them with enough skill that others enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.
8. Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
R.A. Salvatore. His dark elf novels are some of my all-time favorites, and I would like to spend a few minutes getting to know the man behind that kind of imagination.
9. What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
The old adage “write what you love” is absolutely critical. If you don’t like what you are writing, your readers will know it. And don’t rush the process; let your story develop organically within yourself. It will be done when it is done.
10. Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I do most of my writing in the world’s smallest man cave, it’s only 7 x 7.
- I spend every weekend in the month of October with my daughters as zombies at a local haunted attraction called the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse.
- I have trouble thinking of three fun facts about myself.
11. What do you have in store next for your readers?
I have a short story called “Bad Seed” in an upcoming ASMSG Anthology called World of Worlds, which should be out in the next month or so. All of the authors in the anthology are great, and it’s free, so keep an eye out and pick it up for a great read! As I mentioned previously, I also have a YA Urban Fantasy novel, Urban Phoenix, which will hopefully be published late summer 2014. And of course, the sequel to Dark Luminance, Dark Nexxus, is currently in progress, and tentatively scheduled to be published in fall 2014.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Just to say thanks to everyone that has read Dark Luminance, and especially those that took the time to contact me with their thoughts and comments, or to leave a review on one of the many sites. Hearing how much others enjoy reading my stories makes it so much more exciting to sit down and put words on paper!
Thanks for having me, and I look forward to hearing from more of the readers in the future!
Excerpt from Dark Luminance by E.M. McDowell
Post-Experiment- Day 1
Where do I start? Nothing has gone the way I expected since we started the Frameway test last night. Or was it this morning?
I’m not sure of time or date, as everything seems to have changed when we ran the test and ended up—wherever…here is. Nothing seems to make sense yet, but maybe if I write down my observations, it will help me put the pieces together.
Everything appeared to be going fine with the test until the power surge. By the time Billy saw it and warned us, there wasn’t time to do anything about it. I haven’t had time to really discuss it with the others, but based on what happened to me, I can only guess that the Frameway pierced through nullspace and somehow pulled us through to some place else.
But where are we? Many of the buildings and landmarks are the same as the Pueblo we left, but…dead. Sounds melodramatic, but it’s the most accurate description I can come up with; silent and dark with an oppressive weight soaking into the night air. Moreover, since I don’t know of any dogs the size of bulls on Earth; I have to assume that we ended up in some kind of quantum copy of our own world. I’ll have to gather more information in the morning; right now, I just want to make sure we survive the night.
The bank seems like a safe enough location, although if another of those hellhounds decided to attack, I’m not sure if the plate glass is going to stop them. I’ve never seen anything like that before. It had to be at least eight-hundred pounds, with some type of mutated musculature that made it even stronger than its size would have indicated.
What kind of world creates a monster like that, anyway? And what else has it created?
Lily seems confident that we will be okay, and for some reason I trust her, even though I hardly know her. Something about her just puts me at ease, even in this crazy situation. If I’m honest, it might have something to do with the fact that she is pretty damn hot, but I think there is more to it. Anyway, we have more important issues, so my feelings don’t matter right now.
Tomorrow we’ll find out more about where we are and see if we can find anyone that can help us. Then we need to figure out how to get back home, if we can. I know if I can just get enough data, I can come up with a way to fix this. I have to.
I’ll try to keep this updated, for myself more than anything, but I guess if something happens and we don’t make it, this might give whoever finds it some idea of what we are going through. If you are that person, I am Dr. Mackland Luther, and it’s my fault we are in this mess.
Connect with the Author