Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kid Silver: Alone - Deleted Scenes (Dream Sequence #2)

These two deleted scenes are dream sequences which would’ve helped establish some connective tissue between two other books I was (and still am) excited about: No Magic For Luke Peters (The Luke Peters Series) and The Last Reich: Bringing Up God First (The Last Reich Series). I, ultimately, decided that the first Kid Silver: Alone novel wasn’t the best place for such things. I can establish my universe elsewhere, but I still did like these scenes and didn’t want to see them die. I hope you enjoy them.


– Matthew H. Jones, author.

Deleted Scene #2, Dream Scene


I dreamt of the blonde girl with the long legs and I dreamt of the boy with the red-ringed eyes. The two of them were wrestling with one another while standing before a billowing blanket of white light. Metal men with a red light planted in the middle of their faces were racing about like man-sized ants off to war. There was this blonde man fighting a bald man with a goatee. Both of them had open wounds. It looked like they’d been dipped in blood. The African-American man with the tattoos across his face and body was firing big, black revolvers at the scurrying robots and at a big man with boils on his face and body. It was all chaos swirling chaos and nonsense. There were zombies, actual zombies shambling into this spacious, concrete room with a long, metal catwalk cutting through the center.


There was a rumble and then a giant fissure busted through the ceiling. Dust peppered down. More and more cracks busted through the ceiling and down the walls, slicing through everything. The walls were going to fall down and these people were just fighting. There was a sound that wasn’t a sound. I heard it but I couldn’t describe the noise. My brain couldn’t wrap itself around the stimulus entering my ears. The closest I could get to a description wasn’t a sound, but an image.  I heard a stone. The sound was like big, smooth stones hovering over my head, hanging taut on thin-thin chords, stones that were about to fall. It makes no sense, I know. It’s like the sound had messed with my senses, twisted them so that up was down and left was right.


The girl and the boy fell into the billowing blanket of light. It belched outward like they’d fallen into a great pool of water. They were gone and then all the walls collapsed inwards, smashing into the wall of billowing light. Big hunks of stone smashed into the scurrying robots and the shambling zombies, crushing them like bugs. Something happened with the tattooed man and the guns. Darkness snaked out from the guns, raveling up around his forearms, burning into his tattooed flesh, then he fell to his knees and lastly onto his face. There was a boy with a twisted up neck. He looked like he was dead. The boy came up behind the blonde man with the sword and the bald man with the goatee. The broken-necked boy shot a shard of solid shadow through the bald man, killing him.


It must have caught the blonde man as well because he fell to his knees. His blue eyes were wide and watery as he stared at the boy. The boy knelt down and began to cannibalize the dead, bald man. All around me, big hunks of stone crashed down and made the ground beneath my feet shutter. This was true. This was real. I believe it was real. It was going to happen one day in the far future and it was happening now.


The blonde man and the man with the boils were enveloped in snaking shadows and there was a thing, a thing made of dripping tar and obsidian. It was the vaguest form of a woman held up on all four legs. She dragged the tattooed man away into the depths of the crumbling building, pulling him away like a dog with a bit of road kill. This was the worst thing. These were crusaders taking their worst blow, coming within a hair’s breath of dying and having good blotted out forever. This was the ascension of a blood god, a Death god.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kid Silver: Alone - Deleted Scene (Dream Sequence #1)

These two deleted scenes are dream sequences which would’ve helped establish some connective tissue between two other books I was (and still am) excited about: No Magic For Luke Peters (The Luke Peters Series) and The Last Reich: Bringing Up God First (The Last Reich Series). I, ultimately, decided that the first Kid Silver: Alone novel wasn’t the best place for such things. I can establish my universe elsewhere, but I still did like these scenes and didn’t want to see them die. I hope you enjoy them.


– Matthew H. Jones, author.
Deleted Scene, Dream Scene #1
I dreamt of fire and blood. I dreamt of men flitting through the darkness with guns in their hands as explosions belched up into the blackened sky. Figures like tar covered panthers mulled men, ripping into their bellies. Screams rang out into the night. Bullets flew over my head as I raced across an uneven field. Jagged tree trunks like broken shards of metal jutted up out of the ground, threatening to stab up at my feet. Dead bodies falling to the ground, littered about like leaves in the gutter. There was Elena at my side with knives held in her hands. Alongside Elena was a girl with long, blonde hair. The girl with the long hair had a rifle with a pull-down lever, an old style kind of gun. At the girls’ side, there was a young man with red-ringed eyes. His hands were curled up into claws. His teeth were bared, showing sharpened canines. He had a mouth like a wolf. On my other side, there was an older, blonde boy with fists balled up and set on fire.  Up in the sky, like a star spitting out lightening was another boy, flying. His brown, curly hair shuttered and rippled with the heavy winds and his eyes were white pools of fury. 
We ran through the wind  and the darkness, preparing for war and I didn’t know who we were fighting, or why. A blonde man stood on the other end of the field. He clutched a long sword in his hands. He wore a black serape pinned back at the shoulders and worn, black jeans. Looped on his hips were two gun belts holding a holstered gun on either hip. I thought he was Scotty for a moment, though this man was full of scars and his face was worn and hard.
Another man came to stand at the blonde man’s side, an old man with iron-gray eyes and iron-gray hair and a crimson cane held in his hand. Another came to stand at the blonde man’s side, a bald, African-American man with tattoos etched all over his face and bared chest. The tattooed man held an ax in hand, engraved with a pattern I didn’t recognize. Something like a living shadows seeped out from the darkness, snaking forward and ameliorating into a mans’ form. A corn cob pipe wove its way into his mouth. His eyes were black pools and his lips dropped into a snarl. There were two more men stepping forward to the line. One of them was bald with a mustache. He had a face like an old English boxer. He had scars tracing across his ham-hock forearms. The other man wore a billowing, gray cloak. He had his gray hood up over his head and all I could see was the bridge of his nose and the tip of this chin. Dr. Sparks and Harry were standing with men that we were going to fight.
The man-like shadow exploded into a whirl of black tendrils snaking through the air, lashing towards us. Lightening struck down from the sky as the flying boy punched down to Earth. There was an explosion of dirt and the men across from us disappeared, scattering in all directions. The old man with the crimson cane came out of the settling dust, swinging the varnished length of oak like it was a sword. The blonde girl stepped before me and blocked the old man’s attack with the length of her rifle. She forced the cane down to the ground and then spun, driving the butt of the rifle into the old man’s ribs. It hit hard and the old man fell aside and the blonde girl continued onward into the cloud of roaring debris. The old man wasn’t out yet, so I came with my fists balled. I hit him hard, but I couldn’t feel it. I hit him again and saw his skull shatter. Still, I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel anything in this place.
There was another explosion. The blonde boy with the fiery hands had made an explosion, tearing into the slashing and screeching shadow man. There was another and another explosion, sending more and more dirt into the air. Smoke billowed across the field, driving a wall across my vision. Figures stretched their hands out at me and I batted them away, growling like an animal. I was an animal and I wasn’t going to be taken by anyone.
All the smoke and haze cleared and there was only me, Dr. Sparks and Harry. All the rest had left and I didn’t know who they were or why they were in a killing mood. My fake mob-father balled his hands into fists and Dr. Sparks did the same. It was time for me to get ready for real combat. Harry was the first to strike at me and I wasn’t surprised by it. I knew him and he was about the fight, always about the fight. He swung on me and I bounded out of the way, giving him ground. Harry pursued and Dr. Sparks came afterward. They were both striking at me and I was batting their fists away. They were attacking faster than I could defend  or get away. I was fighting their fight, I couldn’t fight the way they wanted me to. If I did, I would be dead. I didn’t know, but I thought they were trying to kill me. I believed they were.

Harry was the first to strike out at me, smashing me in the face. I fell down hard into the dirt. Dr. Sparks kicked me in the side. I couldn’t feel the blows, but I felt the fear. I was terrified. They were stomping on me, breaking my nerveless bones. They were hitting me hard while I was down on the ground.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Music Of Kid Silver: Alone

I wanted to share some of the musical influences that guided me while I worked on Kid Silver: Alone.


1.)   Bottom of the River: Delta Rae’s “Carry The Fire” –


Hold my hand.

Oh baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river.

Hold my hand.

It’s a long way down. It’s a long way down.


I heard this song for the first time on VH1. It was a part of the rare music video blocks that occur in between shows about drunk women slapping each other. It’s this eerie soul-filled song with diluted echoes of field Hymns. There’s this call-and-response, call-and-response rhythm that expresses, at least to my ears, a desperation and seduction. I don’t know how Kid Silver: Alone and Bottom of the River fit together, but they do. Like chocolate and potato chips, it shouldn’t work but it does. Possibly, it has something to do with Maxwell’s descent into darkness. The seduction of the gummy, tan Heroin on the tip of his finger. Were he to snort it up his nose, it’d go a long way down…a long way down.


2.)   Die Young: Ke$ha’s “Die Young- Single”


I hear your heartbeat t

to the beat of the drums.

Oh, what a shame that you came here with someone.

So, while you’re here in my arms

Let’s make the most of the night

Like we’re going to die young.


This one’s a little embarrassing and a little obvious. Elena dies young in the novel and for some reason, this spoke to her death. Elena died the way she wanted to. She died fighting and she died loved. This song is about someone living like they were going to die the next day. I don’t want to attribute some philosophical depth to a Ke$ha song, but this song, in particular, isn’t exactly philosophically shallow, either. Also, it’s just crazy catchy. I could easily listen to it on a loop for a solid hour.


3.)   Mayday!!!: Flobot’s “Fight With Tools.”


Spray paint on the teleprompter

Anchorman says he sees a monster

There are bloodstains on his shirt

They say that he’s gone berserk


This song is all about the action. It has this revolutionary feel to it. When you listen to it, you can almost smell the Tear-gas in the air and feel the ground trembling from all the footsteps. Kid Silver is rising up against a force far greater than himself. While listening to it, I felt like I was inside Maxwell’s world, fighting alongside Kid Silver.


4.) O Death: Ralph Shelby of the “O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack”  


O Death.

O Death.

Won’t you spare me over to another year?

Won’t you spare me over to another year?


This song is hopelessness  and lonesomeness set to a rhythm . Mr. Shelby isn’t accompanied by any instruments. It’s just his reedy, Southern voice singing about a man pleading with Death, asking if he could live for one more year, one more month, one more week, one more day. Death can not be reasoned with. It can not be bribed. As Kid Silver stares at the wreckage that had been the shipping bay toward the end of the novel… As he hears a man cry out in pain, I hear this song. It’s the song of the lonesome, of the unredeemed.


5.)   Wont Back Down: Eminem’s “Recovery”


You can sound the alarm

You can call out your Guards

You can fence in the yard

You can pull all the card

But I won’t back down.

Oh, no! I won’t down.

Oh, No!


This is a ‘Jock-jams 101’ kind of song. Kid Silver is a powerful character, fearless and unrelenting. Won’t Back Down got me into Maxwell’s mindset. If Kid Silver: Alone is fast-paced, it’s because Eminem was my goad, stabbing me in the back with a pointy stick whenever I slowed down.






Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Look Inside Kid Silver: Alone

 I wanted to discuss some of the influences behind this novel. So, get ready because we’re going to take A Look Inside of Kid Silver: Alone.


While reading the book description, you had a hunch. While reading the first chapter, you had an idea and if you’ve made it to the last page, then you should outright know that Kid Silver: Alone is inspired by the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder. While describing Kid Silver: Alone, I commonly referred to the book as Batman and Robin with the serial numbers filed off. I’ve had a lot of weird ideas about Batman and Robin, foremost being the relationship between Bruce Wayne and the various Robins.


One day, in the late summer of 2012, I was watching Justice League: A New Frontier on cable. There’s this scene, in which Robin makes a cameo, bounding in while Batman has a conversation with Superman. Superman notes Batman’s new clothes, (he had traded in his black and gray costume for a blue and gray one.) and that he had a kid running around the cave.


“What’s with the kid?” Superman asks.


“It’s my job to stop criminals. Not to scare children.” Batman replies grimly. I should mention that this statement is in reaction to an earlier scene where Batman is rescuing a child from a Doomsday cult. Batman had beaten the cult members to a bloody pulp with the aid of two detectives, one of whom becomes The Martian Man-hunter. The child recoils from Batman and one of the detectives, Jon Jones’s partner, scolds him, saying “ Give him some room. You’re scaring the kid.”


We all know the origins of the first Robin or, at least, we know a version of the origin. We know that Robin’s parents were performers in the circus and that they were murdered, much like Batman’s parents. Batman and Robin, sort of, bond over their shared tragedies and Batman teaches Robin how to be a hero. When Batman said, “It’s my job to stop criminals. Not to scare children”, the Robin origin changed into something dark and interesting. In this incarnation, Batman had made Robin into a tool, like his new blue suit. He was using Robin to make himself appear less intimidating to children, which was actually the DC’s reasoning for creating the Robin character. Batman had been growing darker and more authoritative in children’s eyes, so they created a character, a child character, garbed in bright red and yellow.


There are deeper tones to the Gray Knight and Kid Silver relationship than one of a man using a child as a tool, but that’s how the idea began and I couldn’t help but keep that dynamic for a little while. The Gray Knight gives orders to Kid Silver in the same way that someone might give orders to an iPhone 5. ‘Maxwell, get rid of the body.’


I turned to the Internet, asking the question: Do you think Batman loves Robin? The Internet hadn’t disappointed me, giving me a slue of disgusting suggestions, but among the notions of Robin’s sexual slavery, I had gotten answers referring to Batman’s and Robins relationship as being brotherly rather than a relationship between a father and a son. Although Robin is called a sidekick, they consider Robin to be a partner to Batman, instead. 


The seeds of Kid Silver: Alone had also begun with a half-formed three-panel joke for a comic strip I had thought up. The joke made its way into the end of the book when Boss Vincent is speaking with Maxwell. Batman and Robin race into an abandoned Planetarium (because they apparently fucking have those). Mr. Freeze has turned the lens of the Planetarium’s giant telescope into a freeze ray and he threatens to throw Gotham into a new ice age. Mr. Freeze’s henchmen aren’t scientists. They’re guys who get paid to hit other guys. I doubt that they’d know how to work a freeze ray. They’re just there to get in Batman and Robin’s way while the freeze ray warms up (or cools down. I’m not sure how a freeze ray works.) In a lot of cases, Robin is there to keep the henchmen busy while Batman goes after the main bad guy. In this case, that’s Mr. Freeze. Technically, in this scenario, Robin and the henchmen can just go home, nothing they can do will change the outcome of this fight…or will it? That’s where the joke falls apart. I could easily see the henchmen running out to grab a beer while everything gets figured out, but I can’t see Robin doing that. Even if Batman were to have his neck broken in front of Robin, I think Robin would stay and fight. Robin is called a sidekick, but I think he knows what it feels like to be a hero, to be a real hero, to fight when you had no hope of winning.


This sparked an idea inside of me. I was curious how Alfred would feel about Robin looking to finish the work of the slain Batman. Dr. Sparks and Alfred don’t exactly maintain the same role, but Dr. Sparks was born out of the reaction I expected out of Alfred. If Batman and Robin had a brotherly love, who was their father? In my opinion, that would be Alfred. One of the major problems with new writers writing Young Adult fiction is that they forget that the main character is under-aged, therefore there lives are governed by a parent r guardian. There has to be a reason why the parent or guardian is allowing the main character to go on the adventure.


For Harry Potter, his parents were dead and his guardians didn’t care about him. With Ender of Ender’s Game, his parents didn’t have a choice in the matter. The government wanted Ender and his parents couldn’t say anything about it. In The Hunger Games, the main character’s father was dead and her mother didn’t have a choice. In the case of Kid Silver: Alone, Harry Garrison forced him into this adventure and Dr. Sparks tries his hardest to stop the adventure from happening, but can’t. I imagine that Alfred would have tried to stand in Robin’s way if he could. He would have lost one sudo-son. He wouldn’t have been able to lose another one. He wouldn’t allow Robin to risk it.


Next, let me ask you a question. Is Altruism real? Do you believe that it is possible to do a good deed without any reward what so ever? Something you may have noticed in this novel, is that there are no classic hero moments. No instances where a wide-eyed beauty clasps her hands together and says, ‘Oh, you’re my hero’ to Maxwell. It’s a half-explored concept that I can’t take all the credit for, but every heroic act Maxwell engages in is tinged with some sort of major failure. In the first chapter, where Maxwell and Harry seek to save a rich man’s daughter, they find her long dead and Maxwell remarks on how all the criminals would probably end up back on the street because he and Harry hadn’t been cops. They hadn’t read anyone their Miranda Rights.


Think about being a hero who can only fail, who is always a few moments too late to save the girl. How long do you realistically think you could keep fighting crime when you know that people are going to die anyway. How long before you walk away?


If I were to make another Kid Silver novel, Maxwell would not be Kid Silver anymore. Part of it is obvious. He had been arrested for Aggravated assault on a Police Officer and Assault with A Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer. He’s not getting out of jail anytime soon. Therefore, he wouldn’t be a Kid Anything, anymore. The other part is that Maxwell had seen too much failure as a hero. The victims will cry out, but he would learn not to listen.


Throughout Kid Silver: Alone, Maxwell tears his life apart to save the day. To stop Alan Sown, he had to lose Elena, his first love. He had to turn on Dr. Sparks, his only positive father-figure. He had become a fugitive, sacrificing his own identity as a hero. Ultimately, he even loses his freedom. With each knick and tear, he could have stopped. He could have walked away, but instead he raged forward like someone crawling across broken glass and barbed wires to save another’s life.


Like I said, I hadn’t thought this concept out completely. Most of it happened on accident, but while editing it, the question kept arising. When Harry was kidnapped, I asked myself if I would save him. When Maxwell had been beaten unconscious by the villains of North City and Dr. Sparks takes him to New York, I asked myself if I would go back. When Elena died, I asked if I would still think the city was worth it. Maxwell is the ultimate Altruist, in my eyes because he doesn’t even get to have the feeling that he was right in his actions. He gets absolutely nothing from his adventure except for the peace of jail cell.


Kid Silver: Alone is a blend of two story lines. There’s a point-A to point-B action story mixed with a psychological study of a teenager carrying the entire world on his shoulders. Maxwell is an egoistic character, although it isn’t directly mentioned in the text. He believes the world is his responsibility. Physically, Maxwell could isn’t a prisoner of Harry, but Maxwell is still a prisoner. Harry offers Maxwell something that no one else has. Maxwell wants to save the world and Harry gives him the opportunity to do it. Night after night, they go out and Maxwell, the great and terrible Kid Silver, gets to feed an addiction. Maxwell gets to mold the night and change the world. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Preparation For Readercon 24

On July 11th and July 12th, I’ll be going to Reader-con in Burlington, Ma and something I want to do is figure out how to best use my two days in the Land of the Writers. I don’t have too many places where I can walk up to a complete stranger and ask, “Hey, how’s the book going?”


Everywhere else, more often than not, I’d be looked at like a crazy person. At Reader-con, I could swing a dead cat by the tail and hit ten other aspiring writers. I imagine that hitting people with cats, dead or alive, is a horrible way to make friends and influence people, so my first list item is:


1.)   Leave the Dead Cat at home. You can take it out if you ever get roped into going to your Uncle’s Church.


What I think is the most important thing for me is, finding other writers, keeping in contact with other writers. There’s this writer from my writing group who I’ve never met. She says she’ll be going to Reader-con and though she’s never come to a meeting, she seems to be a serious writer. If I can connect with her, I’ll mark Reader-con a success. Hell, if I connect with any serious writers at this thing, I’ll mark it as a success. My second list item is:


2.)   Hunt down this one person I know will be there and if I can’t find her, then I’ll just stalk everyone else.


 So, I’ll be arriving after school at about 4pm, hopefully. My sister will be driving me down and then, I’ll be checking into my room. I’ll just be packing a couple shirts, some deodorant and my toothbrush. I’ll sit on my single bed, probably flick on my television and probably have a minor panic-attack. I’m learning to acknowledge my fears and choose to push forward. I have to look at my goal and ignore the snarling beast before me. I have to believe that it can’t hurt me. I don’t know what will happen at the ‘Welcome to Reader-con’ Event at 7pm, but I doubt that I will be physically harmed. I’m a big guy and I’ve been working out, getting muscles. In some weird scenario where someone comes at me with a knife, I think I can handle myself. That’ll be the third item on my list:


3.)   If you see a knife, strike at the throat and don’t be afraid to knock him in the nuts. If it’s a lady, just punch her in the tit.


My second day, I’ll be walking around, attending a couple panels and try to meet a couple more people. Or, I’ll be sitting in my hotel room until I have to check out and then hover at the fringes, nodding at strangers until my sister picks me up. It’s one step at a time, one $360.00 step at a goddamn time. I should have that tattooed on my arm. I could look down at my arm, say, ‘I spent that much to be here and I’m this poor.’ (I’m very poor.) If I can remember that, then I’ll probably do a panel or two, shake a few hands and hand out a few business cards. That’ll be my fourth list item:


4.)   You’ve spent money that you don’t have to go to this stupid thing. Make it worthwhile, jackass.


  This could be good for me. This will be good for me. I’m excited for Reader-con.


 Oh, God! I’m so afraid….


No…No… It’s a good thing. This will be a good thing.

So, here’s my list:


1.)   Leave the Dead Cat at home. Actually, throw away the dead cat. It’s starting to stink.

2.)   Stalk everyone, but this one person especially.

3.)   If you see a knife, go for the throat, nuts or tits.

4.)   Make it worthwhile.


I’m ready for Reader-con 24!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Where Do Babies Come From?

“Daddy?” My child asks me, his eyes goggling up from behind thick, black framed glasses. I grimace down at him and then, slush some beer into my mouth. I call him my son, but I’m not exactly sure of it. His mother, whatever she is, definitely cheated on me, coming home with her make-up smeared and the knees of her jeans grass-stained and covered in red clay.

“What?” I ask him after swallowing my first mouthful and taking a second.

“Where do babies come from?” He asks me. I grunt in disgust and finish off the beer. I reach down for another, but my hand only finds the cardboard bottom of the box.

“I should still have some beers in the kitchen. Bring them to me and I’ll tell you all about it.” I tell him. He frowns at me and doesn’t move. I remember that my daddy would pop me in the mouth if I hesitated to do something he told me to do. I wasn’t that type of man and my daddy was dead, so he wasn’t around to disapprove of my parenting style.

“Now, what?” I ask him. He frowns at me.

“Do you have to keep drinking?” He asks me.
“Shut up.” I tell him and then gesture to the kitchen. He leaves and takes his time coming back with the new 6-pack. I twist the top off of one and drink deep.

“So…” He asks.

“So what?” I ask.

“So, where do babies come from?” I grunt in disgust, again and then take another swig of beer.

“Where do babies come from: Well…ah… when a man loves a woman… or likes her…hell, sometimes he can hate her… well, when two people get together, they sometimes get together, you know what I mean?” I tell him, intertwining my fingers.

“No.” He says. I grunt in disgust.

“Don’t you, kids, have the Internet for this? Listen, you got something in your pants and girls got something in theirs. Way off in the future… or statistically, in about five years, you’re going to make those to things connect, but she ain’t going to want you to. You’re going to buy her a bunch of crap and spend a whole bunch of time with her and still, she ain’t going to want to. Then, she’s going to screw some asshole from Tucson and tell you, ‘Oh! I’m a human woman with needs and you’re emotionally distant.’” I say, trying my best to match his mother’s shrill voice. I take a swig of beer.

 “Well, she finally lets you do what you wanted to do, but it’s really just a scam. You see, that asshole in Tucson knocked her up and she just wants there to be some confusion as to who the daddy is. You see, you’ll have a job, breaking your back in construction while that asshole in Tucson is just running around with his shirt off. Well, nine months later, a baby shows up and asks a bunch of questions while you’re trying to relax.”

“So, babies come from Mom?” He asks.

 “Yeah, your mother and some asshole in Tucson.” I tell him.