Ranking on Amazon.ca

It’s been just over a month since The Distomos was available to the public, and it has been doing surprisingly well!

In fact, I found out that out of over 26 million books,

Distomos Amazon
Distomos Amazon Rank

I’ve cracked the top 300,000!

While that doesn’t sound *that* great (and it really isn’t), it’s pretty darn amazing to think about.

Thank you again to everyone who has purchased a book (not only through Amazon.ca), and helped support me through this wild ride of a self published novel.

You can purchase paperback copies from:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble.com
Lulu.com.

Ebook copies are available at:
iTunes Store
Barnes & Noble NOOK
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

Author Interview – The Brock Press

The University that I went to did an interview with me about my book! It’s now published in their newspaper, The Brock Press! You can see it here! And yes, it even somehow made the front page!

A love for sci-fi leads to Brock grad’s self-published novel
By Celia Carr

After being falsely accused of plagiarism in high school for a strikingly creative and well-written short story, Derek Smith realized that perhaps he had a knack for writing after all. Now, after a lot of dedication, the Brock University graduate has published his own full-length novel, The Distomos.

The Distomos is a sci-fi novel set in the distant future in a world where mankind has taken to the stars and the church reigns as the ultimate form of government. Peace and prosperity are kept through Templars, a kind of policemen appointed by the church. Trouble arises when the Distomos, the secret weapon and power source of the church falls into the hands of the enemy. With very little time before interstellar war begins, the church hires two ex-templars, Kieren Rhet and Normandie Jade, to retrieve it. The Distomos is a story of friendship, courage and faith being tested when all seems hopeless.

The word “Distomos” itself is Hebrew for double-edged sword but the story incorporates a number of different religions which complete the all-encompassing governing church in Smith’s novel.

“It was unintentionally more of a religious story, but there’s more than one religion involved and I sort of play on both sides of the debate,” said Smith. “A lot of it was almost subconscious just because I’ve been so exposed to it. I grew up in St. Catharines and apparently Niagara has the highest amount of churches in an area than anywhere else in Canada. Even just going down Glenridge Avenue, there’s at least five or six churches. Religion is very prevalent around here so it sort of just made its way into my writing.”

Smith knew from a young age that he wanted to be a writer, stating he was always writing Star Wars fan-fiction before he even knew what fan-fiction was. This creative spark eventually lead him to pursue an English degree at Brock in hopes that it would help him with his potential future career in writing. He graduated from Brock in 2009 with a degree in English and professional writing.

“I always had ideas but I never knew what to do with them,” said Smith. “It was in my third year of university that I took a creative writing journalism course, and I started writing in that class. It was mostly just a fictional skeleton of a story but just being in that class sparked a lot of creativity.”
After a lengthy process of writing, copious amounts of tea and learning the do’s and don’ts of self-publishing, The Distomos was officially published on Feb. 21.

Smith works full-time from March until August, so the majority of his writing took place from September until December. Sometimes he would be writing for as many as 16 hours per day, taking short breaks in between. He mentioned that he purposely bought a laptop that couldn’t handle an internet browser to avoid distractions while working on his novel.

“It was honestly just a matter of sitting down and actually writing it,” said Smith. “So that’s what I did. I just sat down and wrote.”

Smith described how many rules there are for self-publishing including things as simple as finding fonts to use on the cover that aren’t copyrighted. Aside from already writing an entire novel, sorting out the rules and legalities was a project of its own, but Smith said he enjoyed the otherwise tedious work. The Distomos also became a very “Brock” oriented project as it was peer-edited by other Brock English graduates. The front cover was illustrated by another Brock graduate, Matthew Therrien, who is now a professional illustrator based-out of Toronto.

Smith is now in the process of getting his novel into bookstores and currently runs a blog on how to self-publish.

To learn more about Derek and The Distomos, visit Smith’s blog at Uncannyderek.com. Paperback copies of The Distomos are currently available to order through Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and Lulu.com. E-book versions are available in the iTunes store and on Lulu.com.

When you’re out and about, you can pick up a copy of the paper today!

Distomos Front Page

While you’re at it, you can also follow me on Twitter.

For more information about the book or where to purchase it:
Paperback copies available through Amazon.ca
Paperback copies available through Amazon.com
Paperback copies available through Barnes & Noble.com
Paperback copies available through Lulu.com.

Ebook copies:
iTunes Store
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

—–

Until next time, Keep on Space Truckin’!

The Distomos – Still in the Top of the Month!

A surprise to me, The Distomos is still in the top-selling list on Lulu.com!

Top Selling Book

Once again, I cannot thank you all enough for making this such a successful venture. As my first self-published novel, it’s quite humbling to know that there are people interested in helping out “the little guy” and making dreams come true.

I certainly have learned a lot from making this happen. Not only has it been a great experience, but also a ton of fun to do! Writing is something I love to do. With the positive experience I’ve had with making this novel, you can guarantee there will be more stories coming your way!

To keep updated with the excitement, you can follow me on Twitter.

For more information about the book or where to purchase it:
Paperback copies available through Amazon.ca
Paperback copies available through Amazon.com
Paperback copies available through Barnes & Noble.com
Paperback copies available through Lulu.com.

Ebook copies:
iTunes Store
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

—–

Until next time, Keep on Space Truckin’!

The Distomos Ranked #1 Book of the Month!

I found out The Distomos has made #1 on the Top 100 Sales in ALL BOOKS and SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY this MONTH on Lulu!

Distomos Ranked First

This has completely taken me by surprise! I have to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased a copy and have supported me through this journey!

It’s been a wild ride so far! I’ve been driving all across the city, hand-delivering books and stirring up excitement along the way. I had not anticipated how much labour I would be doing when selling. Of course the snow hasn’t helped. . .

I digress. I can tell you that I have already gone through a good chunk of my inventory and am ready to continue pushing the book into deeper channels! When I get a chance to next week, I’ll be hopping into local stores with my ISBN number to get the book out there further!

The whole self-publishing journey has been a great experience so far. I cannot express how happy I am with how it has gone. Now I cannot stop thinking about how I will plan my next novel.

As for this first week with The Distomos – it’s been a blast. I have been given so much love and support; it’s definitely overwhelming with “the feels.”

With that, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and more importantly, spread the word around about the book!

For more information about the book or how to purchase it, see below:

Paperback copies available through Amazon.ca
Paperback copies available through Amazon.com
Paperback copies available through Barnes & Noble.com
Paperback copies available through Lulu.com.
Limited edition signed copies are available through me. For more information, please contact me at uncannyderek(at)hotmail.com with the subject line: The Distomos.

Ebook copies:
iTunes Store
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

—–

Until next time, Keep on Space Truckin’!

My Book – On Sale Now! Now Through Amazon!

What an exciting day yesterday was!

I drove around most of my city delivering the book to people who pre-ordered it, as well as sending many off into the mail to ship across the world!

To think: I get to do the same thing today!

I’m completely excited to continue to promote the book and get it into everyone’s hands. I even know that since yesterday’s release, one person is almost done reading it! Yikes!

For more information about the book or how to purchase it, see below:

Paperback copies available through Amazon.ca
Paperback copies available through Amazon.com
Paperback copies available through Barnes & Noble.com
Paperback copies available through Lulu.com.
Limited edition signed copies are available through me. For more information, please contact me at uncannyderek(at)hotmail.com with the subject line: The Distomos.

Ebook copies:
iTunes Store
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

ON SALE NOW! THE DISTOMOS!

It’s finally here! My book, The Distomos is now available to purchase from the following retailers!

Paperback copies available through Amazon.ca
Paperback copies available through Amazon.com
Paperback copies available through Barnes & Noble.com
Paperback copies available through Lulu.com.
Limited edition signed copies are available through me. For more information, please contact me at uncannyderek(at)hotmail.com with the subject line: The Distomos.

Ebook copies:
iTunes Store
Lulu.com

The Distomos

Cover art by Matthew Therrien: MCTherrien.com

ABOUT

Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.

With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.

Classic Comic Fridays: X-Men – God Loves, Man Kills

The first Friday of each month, I will review a classic comic from my own personal collection.

God Loves Man Kills

I’ve been doing something a bit different with these past few CCF reviews. To keep that going, and to celebrate its release on trade paperback earlier last month, comes Marvel Graphic Novel #5: X-Men – God Loves, Man Kills. I really wanted to speak about it because of it’s overall message.

The story is a turning point in the world of the X-Men. It’s probably one of the most in-your-face stories without trying to hide behind some super villain like Magneto, or huge robots like the Sentinels. This is a story which is very plausible. The results are anything less than astounding.

X-Men God Loves Man Kills

Marvel Graphic Novel #5: X-Men – God Loves, Man Kills (December, 1982)
Chris Claremont (writer), Brent Anderson (pencils, inks, cover), Steve Oliff (colours), Tom Orzechowski (letterer). $5.95

I’m sure you’ve heard of William Stryker. You remember the main villain in the movie X2: X-Men United – the one guilty for giving Wolverine his adamantium skeleton? The one guilty for the Weapon X project? Well this is where Stryker first appeared. But he was nothing of what he was in the movie.

Here, in God Loves, Man Kills (GLMK), William Stryker is a reverend, and we see early in the story that he hates mutants and wishes them all to be cleansed from the earth. In fact, he has a team of religious fanatics called the Purifiers (which you may of heard in X-stories already) who do Stryker’s mutant assassination for him. All of this is done in the name of god. Stryker believes mutants are indeed the “homo superior”, but are not “homo sapien.” Thus, they are products of the devil and must be destroyed.

Stryker’s seems nothing like how he’s portrayed in the second X-Men movie, is he? Neither is the story.

This story is blunt with its readers by contrasting humans and mutants with racial subjection. Within the story’s first few pages, a black family is killed in cold blood – not because of colour – but because the parents bore a son who was a mutant. Then the mutant son and human daughter are executed in the first two pages, then strung up on a swing set for the rest of the world to see. A sign posted on the boy reads “Muties.”

Cut to Kitty Pryde fighting a boy at Stevie Hunters dance studio. She’s fighting because the boy’s family supports Stryker’s endeavors. The boy is unaware of Kitty’s powers, so Stevie jumps in to stop the fight and tells Kitty to back down before she uses them on the boy. Despite knowing that Kitty’s a mutant, Stevie talks to Kitty to calm her down:

God Loves Man Kills

These blatant comparisons to real-life issues are what the basis of the X-Men grew to be. Lately, there have not been many comparisons between racism and mutants, but it is stories like in GLMK which bring us a wake up call by a slap to the face.

GLMK is not a story about hate upon religion. It is definitely not a spite against god, either. It is the idea of hate reaching out and becoming ever-engrossing by shielding itself behind an ideal to be justified. GLMK successfully shows us this with its story.

Stryker becomes so powerful with his rhetoric that he gets to speak at a stadium to preach his word on behalf of god. There, he faces a final showdown with the X-Men with quite a surprise twist.

That twist, too, is a perfect example of how society operates. Without spoiling it, the end recedes what Claremont built up in the entire story. In a way, GLMK becomes a story of Good versus Evil versus Good. It implies the analogy of grass being green on the other side and shows that there is still a continuous loop to what is defined as both good and evil.

I cannot talk about the moral of the story without mention of Brent Anderson’s moody pages. As a graphic novel, these stories get a lot more attention to than regular comic books. It shows.

Immense time and effort was placed into crafting a grim story amongst a fearful backdrop of hate and despair. Anderson successfully hits every mood with every turn of the page. Even when the climactic ending comes into play, the positive feeling the reader should get with the falling action is narrowed by Anderson’s art. As both the drawer and inker, Anderson has no boundaries to how he makes wonderful sketches seem downright terrifying.

Steve Oliff’s colours hit the mark. Rarely are pages splashed with colours to give any sort of hope to the mutants. Even on a sunny day, Oliff works the panels to still suggest danger afoot. Even with the image above between Stevie and Kitty, Oliff’s use with white, red and black tones really separate the different feels in each panel.

GLMK is a phenomenal story which I would suggest is deeply prevalent, even today. With the recent reactions and discussions from the public on the death of Osama bin Laden, it is somewhat frightening that thirty years later, GLMK could still a possible and harsh reality.

A story that never stops teaching is a story always worth reading.

Grade: 8/10

As a side note: I went to the midnight viewing of Thor. I would definitely say it was the most accurate portrayal of a Marvel character, and I was quite happy with the film. It is certainly worth seeing a few times. Tons of love and screen time was given to Sif and the Warrior’s Three – which is something I was not expecting. There’s also tons of little tidbits added into the film for Marvel fans to enjoy – so stay sharp!

Don’t forget to stay after the credits.

Keep on Space Truckin’!