Monday, June 14, 2021

Interview & Excerpt ~ ORDER OF THE VOID by Robert Vaughn

Order of the Void (Order of the Void, #1)
by: Robert Vaughn
Series: Order of the Void
Genre: Occult Horror
Release Date: November 14, 2020
Publisher: Robert Vaughn
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Internet vlogger Jeffery Bailey, attends the funeral of his dead best friend. While at the funeral Jeffery is given a package from his friend's mother. After looking through the contents of the package, Jeffery learns that it was more than just a simple home invasion that took the life of his friend.

Hi Robert. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m great thank you for having me.

You’re welcome. Order of the Void is your first book. Tell me about it.
Correct Order of the Void is my first book. It is about internet vlogger Jeffery Bailey, who learns that his best friend was killed during a home invasion. As he learns about what happens to his best friend, he learns it was more than just a simple home invasion. When he finds out about what happens, he becomes entangled in a web of mysteries involving an ancient cult and the United States government.

Tell me about your protagonist Jeffery Bailey.
Readers learn Jeffery is just like you, I, or any of your followers. He is a Youtuber (for lack of a better term). If someone was to come across Jeffery’s YouTube channel, it would be nothing but gaming-related stuff and videos on exploring the Deep Web.

My goal behind Jeffery was to have him be relatable. With technology, we all can start a Youtube channel. Some of us may have lost a good friend, or a loved one, like how Jeffery lost his friend. A protagonist can make or break a story. For this story, I wanted the protagonist to really draw the reader in. We can’t be the knight with epic plot armor that saves the fictional world from the evil dragon. However, you, me, or your followers can start a vlog or/and blog. Jefferey is just trying to survive long enough, so he learns the truth about his friend. Jeffery’s hunt for the truth about his friend motivates him.

When you sat down to write Order of the Void did you know where you wanted the story to go, or did the characters dictate where it went?
Like every writer, we know where we want the story to go but like everything in life, card is subject to change. I had a beginning, middle, and end. How I got to those points on the other hand wasn't hard, but there were some potholes along the way. The potholes made things very fun.

Oh, I can’t go down this road because of insert reason here. Okay, let’s try something else and see what happens. Those alternate paths made the book an enjoyment to write.

Without giving anything about the story away, can you tell me about some of the characters we’ll meet in the story?
Yes, I can. Agent Hayes and Agent Miller. Two United States government agents who help Jeffery in his hunt for the truth. To me, Hayes is the more logical type. While Miller is the type to get the job done by any means. I actually drew inspiration for Agent Miller from the Resident Evil character, Albert Wesker.

What was your writing experience like? How long from idea to the end did it take you to write the story?
What was it like? It was interesting. To be honest, I wasn’t a big reader growing up. I really didn’t get into reading till I got to college. Even then I wasn’t reading your everyday novel. Don’t get me wrong, if something caught my eye at the bookstore I would pick it up.

Most of the time and still to this day I am mostly reading tabletop RPG books. More so for the lore than the rules. I draw a lot of inspiration from the lore of tabletop RPG games like Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40k, and World of Darkness to name a few.

Once I got my ideas for my story, I grab a composition book and just started writing, and then from there I type everything out on the computer. When everything was done, it took me a little over a year to have a draft to send off to the editor.

Coming up with book titles can be tricky and challenging. Does the title Order of the Void have a meaning behind it?
I think that was the hardest part. Coming up with a title. I didn't have a title till I was halfway through my first draft. As for the meaning behind the title, the reader will have to read the book to find out why I picked that title.

Piggybacking off the last question, does the book cover have any significance?
No significance behind the cover. I had an idea in mind of what I wanted the cover to be. I got in contact with Mr. Wolf. He did a superb job in turning my version into a work of art with the book cover.

I listened to a sample of the story via your narrator, Ryan Lee Dunlap. He was pretty good. I loved that he changed his voice for the two characters in the scene. What was it like going through the process of finding someone to voice your work?
First off, working with Ryan was a blast. Very professional and really easy to work with. I will definitely work with him again for my future projects.

As for finding the right voice, it was really simple. I used ACX. I submitted a book excerpt. People would use that excerpt to audition. Ryans audition stood out the most. He had that IT factor.

What is it about the horror and suspense genres that intrigue you so much?
I have always enjoyed those genres. I'm a fan of horror movies. From the old Friday the 13th movies. To the modern ones like Us and the Saw movies. Even to Japanese horror like Ringu. Those kinds of stories have always intrigued me. It’s that feeling of anticipation of what will happen next. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, something else out of the blue happens instead.

I have one last question….Now that you have the writing bug, are you planning on writing more books?
Hahaha. What I am not planning. Currently working on the second draft of the sequel to Order of the Void. Working on the first draft for part three of this book series. I foresee this being maybe six books.

I have always been a huge fan of sci-fi space operas. So I’m brainstorming ideas for a future space opera I want to write.

Finally, I plan to publish a book of cyberpunk short stories.

Those are my current major projects I want to work on. Although like I said earlier, card subject to change.

Wait! Hold on! I wasn’t expecting you to say that you foresaw six books in your Order of the Void series. What’s the name of the series?
I have been toying around with a few names for the series, but one hasn’t stuck yet.

I’m beyond intrigued. What is this series about exactly? I guess I’m wondering if Jefferey is going to be in all the books or if each one is going to have a new protagonist.
Without giving too much away, what I can tell you is that the series is about an ancient coming into our world from theirs. Each book will focus on a new protagonist. The story will be told from the POV of different protagonists as the overall story advances.

Oh. This story is so much more than I initially thought. Does Order of the Void end in a cliffhanger?
Yes, it does. To give your followers a little something extra so does the second book.

Hmm. Interesting. Robert, thank you so much for taking the time to talk about Order of the Void with me.
Thank you for having me. I look forward to coming back.

Definitely.

Chapter 1

Rain drizzles over the gravesite, as it has all day; it seems appropriate for the occasion. As the funeral services end, I somberly make my way to the closed casket and place my hand on the top. I look at the casket, still shocked that a friend of mine is dead; and finally I manage to choke out, "This isn't 'goodbye,' Bret. This is 'I'll see you later'."

I trudge over to Bret's mother and say in a low voice, "Bret was a great person, Ms. Pearsmith," then hug her.

Tissues still in hand, Mrs. Pearsmith wipes her eyes. Honestly, I can't tell if it's the rain, tears, or both she's wiping away. "Thank you, Jeffery," she replies in a weary, breathy voice. "He always had nothing but good things to say about you."

"Thank you. We were good friends. If you need anything, let me know, okay? I mean it. You have my number."

She smiles and nods. "I appreciate that, but I'm going to Canada for a while. To spend time with family. I just need to get away, you know?"

"Yeah, I understand. I'd do the same thing."

She nods again. "Can you follow me to the limo? Bret wanted me to give you something."

"Yes, ma'am, of course."

As we walk to the limo, I wondered what Bret's left me. Once there, she asks the driver to open up the trunk. When he does, Ms. Pearsmith removes a shoebox and hands it to me. "He sent this to me with a note, saying to give this to you. I don't know what's inside. I figured it's something personal between the two of you."

I look at the box, confused. "Um thank you. I don't know what's in it either." I turn my attention back to her. "I'm sorry if this is the wrong time to ask, but did the police give you any new information about what happened?"

She shakes her head and sighs. "No, all I know is what they already told me. They found him tied up, with a gunshot wound to his head. Was Bret into anything strange at all?"

"Not that I know of. The last time I talked to him was two days before he died, and he seemed fine." I sigh, looking at her. "I wish I had more information for you, ma'am."

"I know, Jeffery. If anything comes up, I'll let you know. I promise."

"I'll do the same for you." I thank her, and we hug one last time before we part ways. I don't know it at the time, but I've lied to her. As it turns out, the truth is too painful and horrific for her to ever know.

Later, back at my apartment, I sit down at my computer desk and open up the shoebox to see what's inside. I find some pictures of a couple I don't recognize, some defaced; a used black candle; and a thumb drive. As I paw through the box to see if anything else is in there, I get an email notification on my cell phone; my eyes go wide in shock when I see that it's from Bret's email address. Confused, at first I figure this is some sick joke, but I open the email anyway. All I see is a video file attachment. I run the file through a virus scan before I open it, and it comes back clean.

When I open the file, I'm shocked to see Bret on my screen, sitting in front of the camera in his living room, looking gloriously alive. "Hey, Jeffery. I'm gonna cut straight to the point: I'm dead. The only way you'll ever see this video is if you receive it through what I call a deadman drop. If I don't reply to an automated system every three days, then it automatically emails this video to you.

"I... I accidentally got involved in something dangerous." After taking a deep breath, he continues, "Okay. All this started when I ordered one of those deep-web mystery boxes just for kicks. I figured I would get on the bandwagon of making an unboxing video and make a quick buck or two. I didn't get what I expected. I did some digging to find out more about the stuff in the box. It's all linked to a friggin' cult, and I know this cult is coming after me now. Every time I've tried to upload a video about the cult, it's been taken down in the blink of an eye. I was told time and again by the admins of site after site that the reason was because it broke the terms of service. Soon all my accounts got taken down, and I couldn't create new ones. I didn't want to tell you this sooner for your safety, but I know they won't stop until someone stops them — or at the very least, until the general public knows about them." His eyes flick to the right, and the next words come in a rush: "You have a large Internet following that you can use to spread the word about this cult. I'm snail-mailing my mom everything that was in the mystery box to give to you when I die, okay? And I know I'm gonna die. It's inevitable. So I need your help from beyond the grave. Please bring this cult down and stop them.

"Thanks, Jeffery. You've been a great friend, and I... I'll miss you." The video cuts out .

Are you intrigued yet? Have a listen of this excerpt from the book. *Note: An mp3 file will be downloaded to your computer or whatever device you are reading this on.*

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Robert Vaughn was born and raised in Houston, Texas. In 2009, he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in Television and Radio Broadcasting. When he is not educating himself on the latest political news or writing, he is normally in the gym or being a total nerd with video games, tabletop role-playing games or something sci-fi related.

Places to find Robert Vaughn:


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