Hi everyone!  Please welcome J.R. Hobeck, a fellow midwesterner, who I'm very excited to bring to the blog today.  He has a brand new book out, Smokestack, which sounds really fascinating!

Fantasy / Sci-Fi

An enormous, enigmatic object appears suddenly in a limestone quarry in the flatlands of the midwest. A reporter, a security guard, and government operatives all seek the answer to what the object is, and why it has appeared. What they discover is not what any of them expect. This unpredictable thriller takes readers on a journey to the edges of quantum physics and also the inner reaches of the psyche. Each key character must come to terms with his or her past, as well as their common destiny.


 I asked J.R. to put together a guest post on himself and how Smokestack came to be.  Grab your coffee, and sit back and enjoy!  

Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. “Smokestack” is no exception. Except, in a way it is. The novel began as a short story. And, although the entirety of that short story is contained in the novel, it has taken on a much different context. The beginning of the short story is no the beginning of the novel. And, the end of the short story is no much closer to the beginning of the novel than to the end. When I started with is far from what I ended with. The finished product would have surprised me when I started.

That pretty much sums up what this whole experience of, first writing the novel, then actually getting it published, to trying to promote it, has been. When I first gave in to my wife, and began to change the short story to a novel, I didn’t really have any idea where it would end.

I have read quite a few ‘how I write’ articles from many different authors. Many of them say they begin with an outline. Some go as far as to say that a novel cannot be written without an outline, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. (OK, maybe the wording is not that strong, but there does seem to be a subset of writers who must first know before they can see.) The other group of writers, the group to which I belong, is the ‘pantsers’. We write by the seat of our pants, without a plan and just write the words as they come and clean it up later.

That was the thing I found most fascinating in the writing process of this novel. I honestly had places in the writing when I did not know what was going to happen next. It was not till I actually wrote the sentence that gave the reveal, that I actually knew the answer to the mystery. I do sometimes wonder if this is an odd form of split personality, but since it doesn’t manifest anywhere else in my life, I am not worried.

Now that the book is actually published, I am finding myself in a whole new place of not knowing what is going to happen. I do know that I had and indescribable feeling of amazement when I personally saw a stranger buy a copy of my book. I know that feeling will probably fade as I sell (hopefully) many more books. I just hope the memory of the feeling does not. But, for now I have no idea how this is going to end, but I look forward to the ride.

Let's take a peek shall we?

The first picture was blurry, hastily taken, or perhaps taken with shaking hands. Still, Tommy could clearly see a large metal looking object, that was unlike anything he had ever seen. At the end of a conical pillar was a fan shaped blade that was glowing in a cool, pale blue light. It reminded Tommy of the foxfire he had seen in the Smokey Mountains as a kid on vacation. The conical pillar was attached at the other end to what looked like one of the points of a crescent moon, just slightly back from the point. About a third of the crescent was sticking out of the limestone. The rest of whatever it was appeared to be embedded in the limestone.

Tommy thought of Stephen King’s Tommyknockers, and wondered what to do next. The last picture Tommy came to was the most distressing. It was a close up of the area where the object met the limestone. There were two bodies of plant workers. They were dead. They had to be. Their skin was blackened. There was smoke rising from them, in the picture. The worst part was that their clothes looked like they had only been charred at the edges by whatever had fried the workers’ bodies  


About the Author:  

J.R. Hobeck is a writer, poet, scientist and Pharmacist. A native of the flatlands of northwest Ohio, a smokestack very similar to the one in this story has always been on his radar. He currently lives in Clemmons, NC with his wife, Jenni, his two children, Jake and Juli, and his dog, Charlie.


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1 Response so far.

  1. I just want to let everyone know that the book version.is now available for kindle at Amazon. For nook at bn.com and for other readers at smashwords.com

    J.R. Hobeck

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"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



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