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Book Reading at Flight Coffee

This past weekend, I had a great time sharing a few passages from Intraterrestrial with a fun crowd at Flight Coffee in Dover, a local third wave coffee shop which has become one of the top community hot spots on the NH seacoast.  It’s an awesome location, with equally awesome coffee—which, for a self-proclaimed “coffee vigilante” like myself, is a key factor in any great book reading.

Big thanks to everyone who came, and hope the rest of you had an equally cosmic Earth Day weekend!

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Joining the Stack!

Thanks to a cosmic UFO mail delivery, the Intraterrestrial paperbacks are now available! Finally, young Adam gets to claim his own spot on the self alongside Gabriel (Pale Highway), Katie (Clay Tongue: A Novelette), and Ethan (The Cage Legacy).

It’s interesting to imagine what the conversations would be like, if all of them were in the same room: aliens, slugs, golems, and more would certainly come up. Plus, how would they feel about this strange “author” fellow, the invisible figure who seems to keep orchestrating such painful and disastrous circumstances for them? Hmm…

Intraterrestrial: Available on Amazon

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The INTRATERRESTRIAL paperback has arrived!

Hey, paperback readers! The UFO carrying the paperback edition of Intraterrestrial has finally touched down on Earth, and materialized in physical form. Get your copy on Amazon, straight from the stars. Here’s the link:

Get your copy here!

Adam Helios is a bully magnet without many friends. When he starts hearing a voice that claims to come from the stars, he fears he’s losing his mind, so he withdraws even further. On the way home from a meeting at the school, he and his parents are involved in a horrible car crash. With his skull cracked open, Adam’s consciousness is abducted by the alien who has been speaking to him for months. After surviving the wreck with only minor scratches, Camille Helios must deal with her guilt over the accident that left her husband badly injured and her son in a coma. When the doctor suggests letting Adam go, Camille refuses to stop fighting for her son’s life. Lost among galaxies, Adam must use his imagination to forge a path home before his body dies on the operating table. But even if he does return to Earth, he may end up locked inside a damaged brain forever.

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True Tales Live: “Day One” (Video)

This past month, I was honored with the opportunity to appear on the second season premiere of the local NH television program, True Tales Live.  As with the True Tales radio program that preceded it, True Tales Live seeks to give storytellers the opportunity to share actual stories from their life.

For this episode of True Tales Live, I shared my story, “Day One,” where I delve back into my early days working in a nursing home, as a nursing aide on a longterm care unit, and how that experience changed my views, my perception, and my way of trying to be there for other people.

Though the series can be watched on local TV in the NH area, everyone else can check it out here on the official True Tales YouTube! My section begins around 46:50, in the video below:

 

Other storytellers in this episode include Arnie Alpert, Emilie Spaulding, Gail Licciardello, Joanne Piazzi, and Annette Slattery. Definitely worth watching, and to everyone behind the scenes, thank you for putting this program together.

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Here come the Intraterrestrial reviews!

The ebook edition of Intraterrestrial has been out for a few weeks now—though the paperback is still coming soon—and the reviews are starting to roll in. Here are some highlights!

“Creatively mingling reality and science fiction, Nicholas Conley crafts a mind boggling, intense story. It left me soul searching, a little heart broken, and overwhelmingly in awe of the way he weaves not only Adam’s story but that of his mother, Camille.”

– Shelley, Nerd Girl Official

 

“Intraterrestrial deals with some heavy topics: brain injury, bullying, and finding your place in the world when you’re different than everyone else.”

– Misti Pyles, My Trending Stories

 

“There is some Descartes-ian philosophy thrown in here too, which is always fun.”

– Sean, ReadWorldBooks

 

“This is a very good story. It has several tough issues that are discussed and will make you think about if you were in the same situation.”

– Jessica Bronder, JBronder Book Reviews

 

“The scenes with Adam’s mother Camille should have seemed boring and dull in comparison to Adam’s journey. On the contrary, her character arc and voice were just as engrossing. The ending to both character’s journeys tied up neatly, but still packed a satisfying emotional wallop.”

J.L. Gribble

 

“This book reminded me of my childhood. I grew up behind a gas station. My playground was a shed in the back of the station. It was used for car parts, old radios and such. With my spacecraft set up, I blasted into outer space.”

– Randy Tramp 

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Intraterrestrial is nominated for #CoverOfTheMonth

Intraterrestrial has rolled right into the first round of AllAuthor’s #CoverOfTheMonth contest for February, where members of the public can vote for their favorite covers for new releases of the past month.

Now, obviously, I love the cover for Intraterrestrial, which was designed by Streetlight Graphics. I’m still amazed by it, and I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like on a paperback. Of course, being the author and all, I might be a bit biased—but seriously, I think the cover really captures the heart of this story.

If you agree, and are interested in helping fly Intraterrestrial into Round #2 of the contest, place your vote at AllAuthor’s online contest. No registration required.

Vote for the cover here!

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The writing soundtrack for Intraterrestrial

The creative process is a magical thing, and every creative person out there has their own unique way of tapping into it. Some people just flip open their laptop and go. Others need to do it with a pen and paper. And then there’s the vast majority of us, who have all kinds of ridiculously particular routines that will probably only get more ridiculous as we get older.

For me, when I decide that I’m feverish enough to start writing another novel, I like having a soundtrack. Seriously, having the right music gets me into the zone. You know, the creative zone. That’s the place where characters come to life and start arguing with you. Where the environment you’re creating starts to become more real than the room around you. Writers exist for this zone. We think about it constantly, whether we’re at the grocery store or trying to sleep. And for me, the right music helps me tap into that zone like cracking an egg creates the possibility of an omelet.

Coffee helps, too.

Nicholas Conley coffee dark

But it’s not just any music. For me, I’m apparently so ridiculous that by now, I like to have a specific playlist for each writing project I take on. I know, I know, it’s too much! But that’s how it is. When I’m writing, this music becomes so intimately connected with the novel that it becomes, for me, the story’s playlist. Back when I was writing Pale Highway, I spent a lot of time listening to The Album Leaf.  But Intraterrestrial required a different soundtrack.

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Intraterrestrial is, without question, a weird novel. By its nature, this book is two stories, each one wrapped around one another like a braided rope: on one hand, there’s the tale of Adam, a young boy undergoing an imaginative journey through the cosmos, meeting “aliens” formed by his own imagination, while knowing that when he comes back to Earth, his life could be totally unlike what it was before. On the other hand, there’s the story of Camille, his mother—a woman stubbornly fighting to protect her son from the perils of the medical system, while battling her own guilt about the car crash that created this situation.

As I was writing Intraterrestrial, the music that really jump-started my creative process was that of Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi, whose work I was introduced to when he scored the French film The Intouchables (which, by the way, I highly recommend!). To put it clearly, Einaudi’s album Divenire helped me form the backbone of this novel. Seriously, I almost can’t imagine writing it without that soundtrack. This particular piece, to me, totally captures Adam’s journey through space:

 

However, there’s another song that played an important role in the development of Intratrerrestrial, and this song also plays an integral role in the novel’s story. If you’ve read the book (now available on Amazon, don’t forget!), then you know the song I’m talking about: it’s Soundgarden’s “The Day I Tried to Live,” sung by the now tragically deceased Chris Cornell.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment that Intraterrestrial first came to me, as a concept. But I do remember that when the story finally came together in my head—as I envisioned this boy riding a “lightboard” through outer space, while his physical body remained in a hospital bed on Earth—I was definitely listening to this song.

Now, let me ask all of you other writers, artists, and creative types in general: do you have specific soundtracks for your projects? Or on the other hand, maybe you have your own specific creative habits, outside of that?

If so, what are they?

Intraterrestrial: Available on Amazon!