Dean’s pick of the month

May 2023’s Pick

The publication and release of Terra’s Sabbath.

When writing a book like this, first and foremost a lot of emotion goes into it. I didn’t realize how much until a few days after its publication and release to the masses. Putting something this exhaustive and personal out for the world to read is a daunting task. From idea to outline to scene creation to drafts one and two to editing and galley proofs to publishing, the process can seem overwhelming.

Second, there is the material itself. I first created the demonic villain, Terra Drake, while in the cell of a prison rehab. Her creation came during some of the most harrowing and hopeless moments I’ve ever faced. Yet somehow, she came to fruition and the short story “She” was published 4 years ago. This latest novel, “Terra’s Sabbath,” is the full embodiment of what and who she represents: the burrowing evil we all have within us if pressed with what haunts us most deeply. Most disturbingly. At first, she represented sex addiction. Then drugs and alcohol. Then chaos. She’s since become rape, murder, betrayal of our every sense, the ugliness that’s been under our fingernails since the dawn of time. Yet I needed a character with the wits and determination to never give up.

This is where my brother, Joshua Nielsen, came into play. A cop. A father and brother. An athlete with fabulous strength, but one with a mind and strategy to constantly question and think through every obstacle such a demonic force would spew out. Marion Paul is as much a character of our inner strength to overcome as much as Terra Drake is one who seeks to destroy.

Thus the material itself is a product of our world that is being torn to shreds while we do our best to live lives that survive, manage, and finally, with hope, cross the finish line. This book is an essay of how that can play out. It has been a process of battling and facing my own demons as an alcoholic who has had to face and accept losses that have wounded me forever, but giving my finest efforts to create something new and whole.

Finally, with such an endeavor there is always special thanks given to those who have believed in and encouraged me. My brother, of course, as mentioned above, I am forever grateful for everything you are. My wife, Lisa, who has seen me through all that Terra Drake is and all that I have done to become more like my brother. Her ceaseless love is how I do what I do. My sister, Joelle, for calling me her hero. Friendships that have remained a constant positive in my life. Dave Foley. Doug Gibson. Lynwood Davis. Chris Kennedy. Paul Wold. My publisher and editor, Terry Wright, whose constant belief in my talent and perseverance to bring these books to life that has made this journey worth every second. I am grateful to each of you.

My fine readers, it is my hope that this novel takes you on a terrifying ride that you’ll never forget, and one that’s far from over.


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