Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project is a story that is very close to my heart. I had the original idea in 2002 and it has slowly grown with the input of a variety of influences and inspiration.

Inspiration #1: Raven Kennedy:

Raven began as the villain, Vincent, in my first novel “Dead End” (an idea which never came to fruition). The plot didn’t work, but I adored his character so I kept him and developed him as the antagonist in the fantasy world of ‘The Light and Shadow Chronicles’ (You may have met him in A Chronicle of Chaos or The Shield of Soren).

I loved the character so much that I took the idea of him and developed it in another direction—into the dark and depressed Raven in my next novel, The Phoenix Project.

Having worked with Raven for so long, I am very emotionally attached to him. Even though he is fictional, I feel that he is a part of my heart and soul. Hence this tattoo:

D.M. Cain profile picture - Raven tattoo

Raven also features as a major character in The Light and Shadow Chronicles. I don’t think I will ever write a book that doesn’t have Raven in it in some way. He is my muse and my access to my creativity.

Continue reading “Inspiration for The Phoenix Project”

In desperate need of Thunderclap help!

With just 2 days left until my Thunderclap campaign ends, I am still in need of 22 supporters! From July 11th – 17th The Phoenix Project will be on sale for just $0.99 / £0.99 and in order to get this news to as many people as possible, I need Thunderclap’s help.

This means I need as much support as possible. I will gladly return support for anybody else’s campaigns, or if you need shares or tweets etc.

Here is my campaign:

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/43726-the-phoenix-project-for-0-99

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The Phoenix Project is back on sale!

Thanks to my amazing new publisher, Creativia, The Phoenix Project is now back on sale! Grab a copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GKU3T92/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GKU3T92/

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Special promotion!

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A GAME FOR ASSASSINS

New Promo Price!!!   £/$ 0.99

29th January to 4th February 2016

Available from Amazon

 

The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..

It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.

But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.

Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent. Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents. He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.

But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business. He’s an expert at close quarter combat: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS). He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.

“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.

A GAME FOR ASSASSINS COMPLETE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.

He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.

The second book in the Gorilla Grant series – SENTINEL FIVE – will be available from Creativia Publishing in 2016.

He lives in the United Kingdom.

For more information check out the James Quinn Website: http://jamesquinn.webs.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/James-Quinn/1558765681046413

Amazon

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00VRR0DYI?ref_=pe_1805931_64002121

http://www.amazon.com/James-Quinn/e/B00VRR0DYI/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Excerpt from SENTINEL FIVE

Coming 2016

Reierson smiled the smile of a man that was satisfied with life. He stretched, heard his muscles click and then made his way to the drinks cabinet and poured himself a large Remy martin, no ice. He flicked on the record player and turned the volume up. Something rock and roll that Gorilla didn’t know. Someone was singing about being a wild thing.

Reierson sat back in the high chair facing the fire and the rug that he just made love on. His feet were tapping along to the music as he sipped at his drink. Gorilla was pleased. The man was relaxed, off guard, and the volume of the music would help to hide what was about to happen next. He did one final mental check: catch to the inside of the cabinet loose, gloves on, gun primed. Check. Then he gently pushed open the door, took three long steps forward so that he could reach the chair, brought the gun up to the side of Reierson’s head and pulled the trigger just as the drum beat intensified. The boom of the revolver was lost in the maelstrom of music. It had been that simple, that easy and that brutal, and no more than five seconds had elapsed since he had left the confines of the wall cabinet. Taking a life could take no time at all and Reierson hadn’t even been aware of what had happened. One moment here, the next gone. Permanently.

New teaser trailer for The Phoenix Project

My psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project has a brand-new mini trailer! I’m so happy with the results 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXvGZoQ_Ftc

Want your own teaser trailer? This was from a fiverr gig, which you can access here: https://uk.fiverr.com/nomansalehzada/create-animated-book-cover-intro-video

The Phoenix Project Blog Tour!

My 4Wills blog tour for The Phoenix Project will take place over the next few weeks, stopping at the blogs of lots of wonderful writers. To see where I’ll be on each day, check out the tour schedule here:

https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/blog-tour-author-d-m-cain/   

You can also win some goodies!

I am giving away two free book bundles, where you can win a signed paperback of The Phoenix Project, plus a paperback of my children’s book, Soren.


To be eligible to win one of these sets, merely leave a comment on any stop along the tour, including this one and you could be one of our two lucky winners!!!

The first stop on our tour starts today at the blog of the wonderful John Fioravanti, where you can learn about the changes from the first to the second edition of The Phoenix Project:

http://fiorabooks.com/introducing-d-m-cains-the-phoenix-project-2nd-edition/

Don’t miss my Author Party Event (http://4Wills-DMCain.chatovod.com/) on Friday, January 15th at 1pm CST!!

Dark, psychological dystopian ‘The Phoenix Project’ gets a makeover!

It’s taken many an hour slogging away over the manuscript, making tweaks and changes and tearing my hair out, but the new version of The Phoenix Project is finally here!

This brand new edition of my dystopian, psychological thriller The Phoenix Project will be re-released on December 11th. It was originally published in May 2014, and this new Booktrope edition has had a complete editing overhaul plus a stunning new cover design.

The Phoenix Project Cover - Booktrope

The book will be available to buy from a wide range of digital and paperback distributors, including Amazon:

Nook:

http://www.nook.com/gb/ebooks/the-phoenix-project-by-dm-cain/2940157645656

Amazon:

US http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0195A6AYKhttp://amzn.to/1NKjbrt

UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0195A6AYKhttp://amzn.to/1QAoJW9

Synopsis:

How can you fight to the death, when you’ve given up on life?

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

A man fights for life—and redemption—in D. M. Cain’s riveting re-released novel, The Phoenix Project.

Britain has descended into chaos as violence and terrorist attacks seethe across this once-peaceful country. Outraged by the steady stream of lawlessness, citizens demand a harsher penal system, and the Phoenix Project is born.

In prisons across the country, inmates fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages on within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?

‘The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain is a superbly written debut, soaked in tension and intrigue,’ Jack Croxall, author of the ‘Tethers’ trilogy.

An interesting fact about The Phoenix Project: The horrifying ‘dark room’ in The Phoenix Project (a pitch-black sensory deprivation cell) was inspired by D.M. Cain’s visit to the Terror Haza in Budapest—a museum dedicated to the fascistic and communistic regimes that operated from the building. In the cellar of the Terror Haza are the old cells used to imprison and torture inmates. D.M. crawled inside a very low cell and shut the door, casting herself into total darkness. It was terrifying and claustrophobic, and she only lasted five minutes in there!

 

Extract from Chapter One:

This is the opening, which throws us straight into Raven preparing for his first fight to the death
Cold, dark terror trickled through Raven Kennedy’s veins, freezing him on the spot. There was a thunderous drumbeat echoing around his skull and it took him a while to realise it was the relentless, agitated pounding of his own heart.

As he became more nervous, more afraid of his looming fate, his breath came quickly, sticking in his throat and choking him. A cough threatened to burst forth from his lips, but he held it in, afraid it would bring with it the contents of his stomach—the bland, tasteless meal he had been given in his cell.

It was the worst possible time to feel weak, but Raven felt like he could hardly lift his arms, his exhaustion was so great. He hadn’t slept a wink last night. How could he with today hovering over him?
The time for his first fight had come around quickly. He’d hardly been given time to think about it at all. Raven looked down at his hands and was not surprised to see they were shaking.

His opponent’s name was Wilson. Raven knew nothing else about him. He’d never spoken to him, had never even met him. Had they passed one another in the dining hall and never even looked up? If he had spoken to him would that make what he was about to do any easier?

He heard heavy footsteps in the corridor and his heart jumped into his throat. They were coming for him.

 

The Phoenix Project Thunderclap!

Hi everybody! I need some help with my release of The Phoenix Project through US publisher Booktrope. I have set up a Thunderclap campaign to try and get the word out. Any support would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/35467-the-phoenix-project-release

Thank you so much!

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I won the #awethors opening lines competition!

#Awethors opening lines Winner badge
#Awethors opening lines Winner badge

Hooray! I won the #Awethors ‘opening lines’ competition with the first line of my psychological dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project:

“Cold, dark terror trickled through Raven Kennedy’s veins, freezing him on the spot.”

I will now be featured on the #Awethors website and have earned bragging rights 😉

Dark, dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project - soon to be re-released through Booktrope
Dark, dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project – soon to be re-released through Booktrope

Booktrope_logo

The Phoenix Project dystopian thriller

Secrets of The Phoenix Project

Secrets of The Phoenix Project…

dystopian thriller psychological novel
The Phoenix Project – a psychological dystopian thriller by D.M. Cain

The Phoenix Project was an idea floating around in my head for 10 years before it finally saw the light of day. All the characters, locations and events were gradually built upon to become what they are today. So here are some of the early influences on the novel.

When hunting through my old notes from the very early versions of the book, I found these pictures. I cut them from magazines when I was around 18 years old and for years they were the perfect images for my characters. My ideas have changed somewhat (especially for Khan, who looks far too sweet here!), but the main ideas remained the same.

Alexia The Phoenix Project magazine inspiration
Alexia

Khan The Phoenix Project magazine inspiration

Khan
Kiri The Phoenix Project magazine inspiration
Kiri

 

Seraphia The Phoenix Project magazine inspiration
Seraphia

I even tried drawing some of my characters years ago! I have absolutely no talent in drawing so these are not very good – but they allowed me to get a better idea of the characters early on. Alexia (left) Raven (right).

Alexia illustration The Phoenix Project dystopian thriller
Alexia
Raven illustration The Phoenix Project dystopian thriller
Raven

Raven has also been a mixture of various people – both real and imaginary. I was working on the same character for a long time and he grew and developed into both Vincent Wilder from the Light and Shadow Chronicles, and Raven Kennedy from The Phoenix Project. Therefore, much of Raven’s character is from him. However, parts of him have been based around the following people:

Raven has always had dark hair and intense eyes. The first person I saw in a movie that really looked like my image of him was Billy Crudup as Tommy Marcano in the film ‘Sleepers.’

Billy Crudup Sleepers Raven The Phoenix Project

Then I watched ‘Sunshine’ starring Cillian Murphy, and I loved the intensity of his eyes, and the haunted look he always has about him!

Cillian Murphy Raven The Phoenix Project

Another good model for Raven is Aidan Turner – especially in ‘Being Human’. I like the darkness of his eyes, (though I think he may be a bit too ‘pretty’ for Raven!)

Aidan Turner Raven The Phoenix Project

The closest I’ve come yet to an actor who looks a lot like my image of Raven is Santiago Cabrera as Isaac in Heroes. As a character that deals with mental health issues, Isaac reminded me a lot of Raven and that brooding intensity he has is just perfect!

Santiago Cabrera Heroes Raven The Phoenix Project

So, what do you think? If you have read The Phoenix Project why not drop me a line and let me know who you pictured when you were reading the book. Maybe your idea of Raven (or any of the characters) will be very different to mine, but I’d love to know!


RELATED LINKS:

The Phoenix Project

THE PHOENIX PROJECT by DM Cain – my review no.51

Inspiration for The Phoenix Project

Guest Post The Phoenix Project