Anker 14 Watt Portable Solar Charger

In my book, the main character uses this same device to repeatedly charge his cellphone while traveling on foot.  How do I know it works?  Because I own one and I’ve tried it out myself.  More variations on this device are becoming available each day and they will only get lighter and more powerful as the technology is improved.

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If I’m in the backcountry, or even if I’m just camping away from a vehicle, this device will charge my cellphone.  It’s not as fast as a wall or car charger, but it works everywhere.  Opened it’s nearly three feet long and around eleven inches wide.  It weighs 27.9 oz so it’s not exactly ultralight, but the ability to communicate is one of your primary safety tools.  The grommet holes allow it to be attached to your backpack with carabiners so you can stow your phone in your pack, run a cord to one the two USB ports on the charger, and you can charge while you’re on the trail.

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You can read about the  device on Anker’s website.  You can also buy it for around $50 right now on Amazon.  While this device may seem like a luxury, what’s it worth to communicate with your family during a disaster?

[amazon asin=B012YUJJM8&template=iframe image]




After a summer of writing, editing, and the other mechanics of publication, ASHES OF THE UNSPEAKABLE is finally available.  The paperback and ebook came out yesterday on Amazon.  The review process takes a little longer now than it did last time so even though Kevin Pierce and I finalized the audiobook on October 1, it still hasn’t been approve for release.  Hopefully by next week those of you who enjoy audiobooks will be able to start reading it.

I’ve enjoyed hearing from those of you who had to read it the first day it was available, including the friend who stayed up all night after it materialized from pre-order onto her kindle and the other friend who took the day off work yesterday to read it.  So far reaction has been good.  I felt like this was a stronger book than the first and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Will there be a third book in this series?


Updating THE BORROWED WORLD Paperback

On October 9th, I’ll be releasing the sequel to THE BORROWED WORLD.  In preparation for that, we’ve redone the cover of the original book.  The ebook cover has been changed on Amazon already, but the paperback cover is a slightly more complicated process.  The cover has to be reviewed, during which time the book is not available for purchase.  So as of now the paperback version of THE BORROWED WORLD is unavailable while being reviewed.  It bothered me to have two different covers floating around out there so I wanted to get this done before the release date for ASHES OF THE UNSPEAKABLE.

And just an FYI — everything on the ebook is finalized.  The paperback should be finalized this week, so I can request a proof and review that.  Kevin Pierce is plugging away on the audiobook version.  Hopefully, everything will be done around the same time.  I appreciate the comments.  Thanks for reading.



Labor Day Update



It’s Labor Day and I spent some of it revising the manuscript for the second book in THE BORROWED WORLD series.  It was in the editor’s lap for a week before she tossed it back to me.  Now it’s my turn to review her suggestions and toss the draft back at her.  There were no major problems so I think this will be an easy turnaround.  Everything is happening a little ahead of schedule, which is a great thing.  We should be perfectly on track for an October release.

Deranged Doctor Design has worked diligently on the cover and I think we may be ready to reveal the cover and title this week if all goes well.  I’m also working to prepare the book for pre-order.  There’s still a few things that have to be done to get the book out, but all those things are happening and I think you’ll be pleased with the result.

It’s difficult for me to predict the reaction of readers, but my opinion is that this book will be better than the first.  I hope this month moves quickly and that the book is in your hands by this time next month.

Book Two!

I’m getting a lot of questions about the timing of the second book.  I’ve mentioned this on Facebook and Twitter, but can’t remember if it’s easily available in the blog or not.  So here’s the scoop.

The first draft of Book Two is complete and I’m halfway through the second revision of the draft.  The way my process works, I’ll give it a third revision before I pass it to other hands.  All of those revisions will take place this month.  I’m getting tired of referring to is as Book Two.  You may even be tired of hearing it referred to that way.  By the end of this month I will reveal the title.

Editing and cover design will take place in September, as will formatting and proofreading.

Then in October, the ebook will emerge.  Paperback should follow within a week or so.  The audiobook will be just a little behind that, but I plan on using the prolific and hard-working Kevin Pierce for that and I know he’ll have things completed in no time.

If I can get everything completed on schedule I anticipate making the ebook available for pre-order.  By pre-ordering, you can purchase it during the pre-order period and have it delivered to your device immediately as it becomes available.

Thanks for your interest.

Books, Brews, and Boos


The folks at Red Vein Army have invited me to participate in their Books, Brews and Boos event in Richmond, VA, on August 14th at 8 pm.  The event will take place at Strangeways Brewing.  It will be my privilege to add a touch of Post-Apocalyptic flair to their horror event.  There will be seven horror authors, including myself. 

At first, I wasn’t sure if my book fit or not but I have to admit that I have a lot of people telling me that my book either gave them nightmares or at least kept them up at night.  That’s horror of the frightfully realistic kind.  And we all know that sometimes its the human monsters that can be the scariest.

But Richmond…

The city is special to me because that’s where the journey of my characters in THE BORROWED WORLD starts.  Their business trip to Richmond quickly becomes the trip from hell.

Richmond is also special to me because I’m a VCU grad and had some great times there in that city.  I have great memories of living in the Fan district and Oregon Hill.  Hanging at the James River before they cleaned it all up.  Wandering Hollywood Cemetery.  Eating my first Fried Provolone Sandwich at The VIllage Café.  Going to Main Street Thrift.  Seeing GWAR and the Butthole Surfers perform together.  Seeing shows at Rockitz.  Wandering Grace Street when you could see anything in the world there, even things you couldn’t un-see no matter how much you tried.

Anyway, I appreciate their invitation and am looking forward to the event.  If you’re in the neighborhood and it sounds like your cup of tea, stop by to say hello, have a beer, and enjoy what promises to be some entertaining conversation.

If you’re interested, check out their interview with me for the Pretty & Putrid Blog at


The Audiobook Lives


I love audiobooks because they allow me to experience more books than I can read in the conventional manner.  I can only sit and read so long each day, but if I expand my “reading” time to include driving, mowing, bicycling, walking, and any other task I can do while wearing an iPod, then I can cover way more books.

For this very reason I am very excited that the audiobook of THE BORROWED WORLD is now available.  Kevin Pierce did an absolutely incredible job of capturing the tone of the book and the nuance of the dialogue.  He completely “got it” – he knew where I was going and he took the audio there.  If any of you have listened to Glen Tate’s 299 DAYS series, you’ll immediately recognize Kevin Pierce’s narration.

It’s available on Amazon, you can get it through if that’s your venue of choice, and if you can download it through iTunes.

Thanks for reading and continue to stay tuned for the next installment.  Cover design will be starting soon and I’ll unveil that here as we get closer.

Franklin Horton

A Cool Email


I’ve been getting a lot of cool email and I really appreciate that.  It helps me know that I’m on the right track with this series of books. I’ve been out of town for a few days.  That’s my “smiling” face up there at the top taken while I was kayak fishing at Douthat State Park in Virginia.  While I was gone, I got a nice email that I have shared below.  It came from CW, but the name won’t be shared so don’t feel like you can’t contact me without risk of being outed as a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction.

Thanks for emailing and thanks for reading.  If you liked the book, tell your friends.

Franklin Horton

Mr. Horton:

I just finished “A Borrowed World” and had to write. I’ve read a LOT of apocalyptic fiction over the years because I enjoy it. My life’s work has been in the medical profession in emergency and disaster care so the genre feels natural.

Your book was excellent; far and away better than most I’ve read, especially for someone who is just starting with their publishing. (And yes, indie publishing is fantastic!) Your plot was crisp and clear, your main characters engaging, yet strong, and the sad description of what will happen to those who fail to fully grasp the signs of the times was, well, sad.

The assumption of what will happen is probably more accurate than most have depicted. The 72 hour window that many see as when society will start to devolve is going to catch too many people unaware. It was refreshing to read someone who thought through this a little more accurately.

I can’t wait to read your next installment, and look forward to finding out what happens from the threads you left at the end – excellent idea, by the way…drives the adrenalin right back up!

Best of luck to you, and keep thinking and writing!

Another Update

I just wanted to post a quick update and let you know of some of the latest developments around The Borrowed World.  I continue to receive a lot of feedback and I appreciate your comments.  I’m glad to know that so many of you have enjoyed the book and are looking forward to the next installment.

The Borrowed World on Audio

The last few days I’ve been listening to Kevin Pierce’s excellent narration of the book.  It’s been great hearing my book read in a voice other than my own.  I think his narration is gripping and brings a whole new element to the book.  If you’re an audiobook fan, it should be available in July.  I’ll be posting updates as the release date is finalized.

The Next Book

The most common question I’m getting is about the release of the second book in the series.  I have to admit that promotion and getting the audiobook off the ground has taken some time away from writing but the draft of Book 2 is about halfway complete.  I’ve got a title in mind and I’ll release that a little later.  The projected release of Book 2 is early October.


A lot of hands go into the production of a book.  At some point I will post more information about my journey as a writer, but suffice is to say that the journey of all writers involves a lot of frustration.  Ten years ago I completely washed my hands of the system and vowed never to write anything else ever again.  Yeah, I was pouting.

But as some point I gave up pouting and started writing again.  Part of that was due to the encouraging information shared on the websites of authors Steve Konkoly and J.A. Konrath.  They made me realize that there were now huge opportunities available to independent authors willing to publish outside of the big publishing house system.  It was impressive to me that both of these authors were willing to take their time and share information that would help other writers.  I have thanked Steve for this before and will continue to thank him.  J. A. Konrath — if you read this — thank you, too.

The First Month of Sales

I released The Borrowed World at the beginning of May.  It took a couple of days to get word out so there were really no sales that first week.  By May 7th I’d sold about ten copies and was ecstatic to be out of the single digits.  Yesterday marked the end of the first month of sales and I was excited to see where the numbers fell.

In regular Amazon sales, I sold 2664 copies of the ebook this first month.  For the Kindle Unlimited program there were 2146 downloads for the month through that program.  Kindle Unlimited allows a customer to pay a monthly fee which allows them to download participating books for free.  The author receives a payment for that download which is less than a sale, but at this stage increases exposure for the book.  That makes 4810 total paid sales of the ebook for the month of May.  I sold 161 paperbacks, too, for a total of 4971 books sold in May 2015.  I am excited to see what the next month holds.

I appreciate those of you who have read the book and shared your comments with me.  Emails of support are pouring in from English-speaking countries around the globe with everyone asking the same question:  When is Book 2 coming out?

At this point, it looks like the beginning of October.  The storylines for Book 2 and Book 3 are coming together nicely.  Book 2 is well underway and I think it will answer a lot of the questions that I’m receiving about what happened to Alice and Rebecca.

Stay tuned for updates on the audiobook and the progress of Book 2.


Franklin Horton