As you (probably) know, the print editions of books need full covers, which can actually be super-annoying, because full covers are A: more expensive, B: require words to be put on the back, and C: have to match the dimensions of the physical book once it’s been produced.

That last one is particularly annoying because book size isn’t something you can just estimate based on word count or whatever.  You have to actually take the book, drop it in a template, and format the bejeezus out of it.  (There are professional Bejeezus Formatters out there.  Google it.)  Also necessary is the height and width, and there are a ton of options.

To commission the full cover of The Spaceship Next Door, I went to Createspace and dropped the .doc version into it to get a rough page count.  The number it gave me was 266, so I told the designer that number.  Then, a couple of days ago, I finished the final draft and did my bejeezus formatting, and got a new number.  THAT number was 424.

As you can imagine, a cover designed for a 266 page book isn’t going to line up correctly on the outside of a 424 page book.

Lesson 1: always wait until you’ve really completed the book and formatting before commissioning a cover, no matter how anxious you are to get to that part.

Lesson 2: always work with a patient and understanding cover designer.

Here is what the full cover of The Spaceship Next Door looks like.


(The .PDF version is prettier, but also too large to insert.)

Expect the print edition to be available on or slightly before 12/22/15, for a sale price of $19.95.  Createspace is annoyingly unaccommodating when it comes to setting up pre-orders, so to make sure it’s there on the 22nd I might just go live early with it.

There will be a Goodreads giveaway of a signed copy, which I’ll announce as soon as it’s up.

Pre-order your copy of The Spaceship Next Door below:

The Spaceship Next Door on Amazon

The Spaceship Next Door on iBooks

The Spaceship Next Door on Kobo

The Spaceship Next Door on Google Play

The Spaceship Next Door is now listed on Goodreads.GeneDoucette_TheSpaceshipNextDoor1400

Please, go, add it to your to-reads list!

The Spaceship Next Door on Goodreads 

In other news, the final proof edit is going faster than anticipated, which means I should have time and opportunity to issue copies of the book to reviewers, and perhaps run a print edition giveaway or two.

If you are a reviewer and would like a review copy, drop me a note!  Let’s talk!

Pre-order your copy of The Spaceship Next Door below:

The Spaceship Next Door on Amazon

The Spaceship Next Door on iBooks

The Spaceship Next Door on Kobo

The Spaceship Next Door on Google Play

Exciting news!  The Spaceship Next Door is now available for pre-order!GeneDoucette_TheSpaceshipNextDoor1400

The Spaceship Next Door is the first full-length novel I’ve put out since Immortal at the Edge of the World, back in October, 2014.  You may find that hard to believe–I did–but it turns out all the books in The Immortal Chronicles, along with Eve, were novellas.

It’s been a busy year.

What is The Spaceship Next Door, anyway?

Why, that is a very good question I have asked myself.

Here’s the long-form description:

The world changed on a Tuesday.

When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization, everyone freaked out for a little while.

Or, almost everyone. The residents of Sorrow Falls took the news pretty well. This could have been due to a certain local quality of unflappability, or it could have been that in three years, the ship did exactly nothing other than sit quietly in that field, and nobody understood the full extent of this nothing the ship was doing better than the people who lived right next door.

Sixteen-year old Annie Collins is one of the ship’s closest neighbors. Once upon a time she took every last theory about the ship seriously, whether it was advanced by an adult ,or by a peer. Surely one of the theories would be proven true eventually—if not several of them—the very minute the ship decided to do something. Annie is starting to think this will never happen.

Leonid_MeteorOne late August morning, a little over three years since the ship landed, Edgar Somerville arrived in town. Ed’s a government operative posing as a journalist, which is obvious to Annie—and pretty much everyone else he meets—almost immediately. He has a lot of questions that need answers, because he thinks everyone is wrong: the ship is doing something, and he needs Annie’s help to figure out what that is.

Annie is a good choice for tour guide. She already knows everyone in town and when Ed’s theory is proven correct—something is apocalyptically wrong in Sorrow Falls—she’s a pretty good person to have around.

As a matter of fact, Annie Collins might be the most important person on the planet. She just doesn’t know it.

But what is it?

By now, I’m sure you appreciate how rarely I color within the lines, so you will find elements of a lot of things in The Spaceship Next Door.  It’s fast-paced, funny, weird, clever, occasionally horrific, and I can’t wait for you to read it.

It’s probably also my most accessible book.  That was sort of by accident.  If you know a Young Adult reader, and you’ve been wanting to introduce them to my books but couldn’t–because of Jerry the iffrit (in Immortal), or a certain horrifying interlude in a mental hospital (Fixer), or just because of the usual harsh language and sexual situations–you should be able to hand this novel to them safely.

Probably.  I mean, read it first.


I’m going to be releasing The Spaceship Next Door in all formats at once.  This is a departure from my earlier approach of releasing books exclusively to Amazon for the first 90 days.  I love Amazon, but I need to show some love to the other markets as well.

A print edition will also be available, either before the 22nd of December or at around the same time.  I appreciate this is probably insufficient time to purchase hard copies for use as gifts, but it can’t be helped–I need the time to have the book in the best shape possible.

If there is sufficient demand, I may try and eke out the paperback copy a little earlier.  Drop me a note if you need for me to try.

Finally: here are the links.  Please note the book will also be available on the Nook, but Barnes & Noble (inexplicably) is not set up to allow for pre-orders.

The Spaceship Next Door on Amazon

The Spaceship Next Door on iBooks

The Spaceship Next Door on Kobo

The Spaceship Next Door on Google Play

If you’re a regular around this blog, you probably already have a copy of the first five books in The Immortal Chronicles, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know someone who doesn’t have them.  (Yes, I ended that sentence with a triple negative.  Look upon my works, o mighty, and weep.)

I’ve put out a boxed set of those five books for you, or anyone you know.  It’s available on all platforms, or will be as soon as Google Play gets its collective shit together.  Below is the Amazon link.

Incidentally, yesterday also marked the day Immortal Stories: Eve debuted on non-Amazon platforms, so if you were holding out, now’s your opportunity to pick up a copy.


The Immortal Chronicles

A few weeks back I gave everyone a taste of my latest project, a novel which at the time was called A Notion of Aliens.  Since then, I’ve stumbled upon a title I like better, and even commissioned a cover for that new title.

I haven’t finished the BOOK, but, you know… one thing at a time.

Here’s the cover for The Spaceship Next Door.


You can read a draft of the first chapter HERE.

For a loose timeline, I plan to have the first draft finished by the end of this week.  Hopefully, the book will be ready for you by the end of November, but I can’t promise that just yet…

ImageI have a new article up at the Huffington Post this evening.  I actually sent this in on Friday, and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure they’d take it.  The piece I’m making fun of was also a Huffington Post article, you see.  Kudos to them, then.  Unless they don’t realize I’m making fun of one of their own articles, in which case never mind.

How many novels should you write in a year? Bad Advice for Writers has your answer!

I’m not one of those writers who shares unfinished things.

I mean, with anyone.  I have no beta readers, and it may or may not distress you to learn I haven’t worked with an editor in over a year.

I don’t like showing off things that I know are going to change, by my own hand, in my personal editing process.  Right now, for instance, I have about half of a new Fixer book written, and about a fifth of a new Immortal book, and I’m not nearly happy enough with any part of these manuscripts to want someone who isn’t me looking at them.

This new book–my latest ‘work-in-progress’ or WIP if you wish to engage in writerspeak– is one of those rare occasions when I’ve written something that feels pretty close to final-draft right away.  It’s also a situation where I’m writing something that isn’t like anything I’ve written before, and that means I have to spend a little more time getting you, the reader, ready for it.  After all, I didn’t need to do anything to get you excited about a new Fixer book or a new Immortal book other than tell you they exist.

A Notion of AliensLeonid_Meteor

That’s the working title of the new novel.  Other titles I’ve considered are “The Meteor That Took a Right Turn” and “Annie’s Idea of Aliens.”  By the time I’m done with the book, I may have come up with a title I like better than any of these, but for now “A Notion of Aliens” is it.

Here’s the first chapter.


The Fault In Our Starship

The space ship landed on a cool night in August, in a field that wasn’t being used for anything in particular.

Like most remarkable things, nobody realized it was remarkable as it happened. The ship lit up the sky above Sorrow Falls when it entered the upper atmosphere, but that was only slightly unusual in the way a meteor could be slightly unusual.

Later, eyewitness accounts would describe the evening as becoming as bright as daytime in that moment, but this was a profound exaggeration. The truth was, while the object flashed brightly, one had to already be looking skyward to see it. If one were instead looking at the road, or the television, or the ceiling, the craft would have gone unnoticed as it traveled toward that field on the edge of town.

It was also nearing Midnight, on a Tuesday.

Prior to the arrival of the space ship, Sorrow Falls was a prototypical rural mill town, which was to say there was nothing unusual or spectacular about it. Most residents were either mill employees or farmers. Nearing Midnight, on a Tuesday in August, just about everybody was sleeping.

It’s possible the sonic boom woke up one or two people, but as was the case with the supposed eyewitnesses startled by the profound brightness that didn’t happen, the boom was unlikely to have awoken anyone, as the sound made by the object was more like a pop. To those who did hear it, the volume was approximately equivalent to that of a Jake braking eighteen-wheeler two blocks away.

In other words, had the space ship arrived at the surface of the earth as the meteor it initially resembled, the number of people who claimed to have seen its passage across the sky would have dwindled significantly.

It wasn’t a meteor though, and it didn’t behave like one. Not entirely.

Meteors didn’t slow down and turn. Meteors didn’t have landing lights. And in all of history there had never been a recorded instance of a meteor hovering. These exceptions to the standard trajectory of a falling object are what convinced the handful of true witnesses that this was indeed a remarkable thing.

Someone called the police. (Two hundred and seventeen people in the town claim to have made the call; nobody knows who actually did.) At the time, the Sorrow Falls local police force consisted of twenty-two officers—two of whom were on maternity leave at the time—and seven official squad cars. Three of those cars were dispatched to locate the object.

They couldn’t find it.

In fairness to those officers, they were told to locate a brightly glowing object that had landed from space, which wasn’t a particularly accurate description once the ship touched down and turned its lights off. Also, they had every reason to believe there was no such object and somebody had been drinking.

That left the job of first contact with the alien spacecraft to a man named Billy Pederson. This was entirely due to a combination of luck and an unkind work schedule, as Billy happened to be the first person to drive down the road nearest to the unused field—or if not the first person, the first one to look to his right at the correct moment—and spot the object through an opening in the trees.

He would say later he knew what was there was not of this world, but that wasn’t the truth. The truth (as he would admit in private to anyone who asked provided they didn’t work for a media outlet) was that his first thought was where did this house come from and how did it go up overnight?

The space ship did not look like a house, but Billy’s initial perception was understandable only because most rational people tend to go to “interstellar spacecraft” last, after exhausting other options.

It also wasn’t large enough to be a proper house. A pool house, perhaps, or a large shed.

It was a matte black vehicle resting on four squat legs, with a curved surface and with no apparent door. The sides were a warren of tubes and vents and dark round holes that looked either like a place for spotlights or—if you were in the midst of a nightmare and looking at this craft—eyeballs.

It was arguably saucer-like, and no doubt looked round from beneath or above, but from the side it looked like a tall, black, birthday cake, or an unusually thick and wide cap on a steam pipe.

The ship sat in a ring of blackened grass. Again, what Billy did next depended upon who was asking. To the many, many interviewers he sat with after the morning of first contact, he would say that he reached the edge of the landing ring (as it was soon called) and understood somehow that going any further would be dangerous, so he stopped and called the sheriff.

That wasn’t really true. He actually did step past the burnt grass ring, and got within about five or six feet of the ship before deciding he didn’t really feel like getting any closer.

When asked to elaborate on this, he couldn’t.

“I dunno, I just sort of lost interest,” he said. “Didn’t seem important any more.”

He did call the sheriff, though. Thus, the first confirmed sighting of an alien space ship on the planet was recorded in the police logs at 6:42 A.M., August 14th, as a case of possible trespassing.

*   *   *

The police came, and someone remembered the meteor hunt from the night before and connected it to the strange object in the field, and then more police came. Then the fire department, a couple of state police troopers, and an ambulance for some reason, and soon the tiny road—at the time it was called Tunney Way—was so overrun with vehicles nobody could get past.

Sometime around 10:00 A.M., the sheriff got his hands on a bullhorn and started asking if the occupants of the ship could please come out with your hands up. This sparked a minor debate as to the likelihood that anyone inside the space ship A: understood English, and B: had hands. The debate and the question were both moot, though, as nobody inside the craft responded in any obvious way. It didn’t open, or make a noise, or flash a light, or react in any real sense.

Another debate ensued regarding the legitimate alien-ness of the ship and the potential that this was only an elaborate hoax. The fire chief pointed out that the craft could easily be something constructed out of cardboard and foam, and surely if that were the case it would be light enough to be moved to the field in one evening, perhaps specifically on an evening when a meteor had also been spotted. The report could have even been a part of the hoax: perhaps there was no meteor either.

This theory gained enough traction that by 11:30, the sheriff had decided to postpone the call he’d been planning to make to the National Guard and just walk up to the ship and see what was what.

He and two of his deputies did just that, retracing the same steps Billy had taken and getting just about as far, until all three of them decided this was actually a bad idea—suffering, some said, from a sudden and inexplicable lack of fortitude—and they should try something else.

They stepped back. And when it was pointed out that by not getting any closer they had failed to resolve the question of whether or not the object was a large prank, the sheriff took out his gun, dropped to a knee, and fired two rounds at the center of the ship.

A spectacular thing—the first real spectacular thing—happened.

The bullets ceased to exist. They reached a certain point in the air beyond the skin of the ship’s hull, flashed brightly, and then were gone, much like a mosquito in a bug zapper. Their disappearance was accompanied by a deep THUD, like a thousand pianos hitting a low C at the same time. It wasn’t so much heard as felt, deep in the belly near the umbilical.

It was enough to convince the sheriff not to fire a third round.

He got to his feet and turned to the nearest deputy.

“Somebody get me the President,” he said.

Of all the embellishments surrounding the events of the morning of first contact, one thing remained true: he actually did say that.

*   *   *

Calling the President of the United States was not something the sheriff’s department of a small Massachusetts mill town could just do, it turned out. There were steps to take, and jurisdictions to consider, and people to convince.

Convincing people was a big hurdle. It didn’t much matter how sane and level-headed any one person in this chain of reportage was, the person on the other end of each link was going to begin with, no really, why are you calling? and there wasn’t much anyone could do about that.

Compounding the problem was that as far as anybody was concerned, alien space ships didn’t simply land at the edge of little towns in the Connecticut River valley, and if they did, they didn’t land only there. Admittedly, that opinion was colored by Hollywood movies and science fiction books, but those stories were further informed by actual military history and tactics. If the ship was the vanguard of an invasion, it was in the wrong place. If it was part of a fleet, there would have been other ships. If it was lost, it would have moved, or asked for directions. If it was disabled—it didn’t look disabled, but how would anybody know?—somebody would have asked for help or a wrench. Or something.

In other words, once past the whole space ship thing, the hardest part about getting the right people to believe that this remarkable event had happened in Sorrow Falls was that the space ship hadn’t done anything.

It just sat there. Sure, it could make bullets disappear, but someone had to shoot the gun. That wasn’t so much a thing it did, as it was a thing it did in response to someone else doing a thing. It was not in any real sense—after landing—a proactive space ship.

Still, the President was eventually notified. It happened about two weeks after the ship landed and approximately six hours before the media was to go live with the story. By the time of the media announcement, the army had already cordoned off the field and taken over about a third of the town. (In fairness, this was not a lot of space in terms of pure acreage, and the actual land was fallow farmland, and the army was, on the whole, extremely polite about the entire thing.)

That evening, the President held a press conference confirming that our planet had been visited by aliens, and Sorrow Falls became the most talked about place in the world.

That was three years ago.



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