Welcome to the tour for Orange City by Lee Matthew Goldberg! Today we have an excerpt and a guest post by the author for you, plus a chance to win a signed copy of the book!
Expected Publication Date: March 16th, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction/ Dystopian Sci-Fi
Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave.
Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.
After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.
A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, ORANGE CITY is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel LEMONWORLD.
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At six on the dot, the gloved cellular let out a piercing ring. A timer turned on, ticking down with each buzz. E wouldn’t have long to remain idle. The entire pod apartment vibrated, and his capsule bed slid open. The white ceiling drew his attention, the walls devoid of color, a minimalist’s fantasy—nothing like a home.
Shades of the dream from last night still lingered. His knuckles painted with blood as he beat a shadow. The voice of the shadow belonging to a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s cries stabbing E’s ears. He shook that dream away.
He removed the intravenous tube that connected him to his bed and switched off the cooling mist which allowed him to slumber for days. He stretched his old bones, his hair standing up in a state of white shock like it had since he was a young man. Swinging his thick legs over the side of the bed, he yawned at the morning before finally answering his cell.
“I’ll be right there,” he coughed into the digital eye on his gloved palm.
He removed the glove and pushed a button on the side of the bed. Doors opening along the wall revealed a sliver of a kitchen with a piping pot of subpar and gritty coffee brewing on the counter— the best offered to the Scouts— and two sizzling poached eggs from a suspect source. He scarfed down the eggs and pushed another button to raise the shades along the lone wall facing east. The heart of The City hovered in the near distance, its new buildings staggering on one end like giant colorful stalagmites. Sipping his black coffee, he watched it in motion as he did every morning.
Between the Scouts and the rest of The City lay a half a mile of ice water. The City was made up of many Regions, his situated on the outskirts. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to fall into those frosty waters and drift off to wherever it might choose to take him, no longer having to shuttle between The City and the faraway Outside World anymore. But instead of a dramatic suicide, he suited up and headed through the tunnel with a suitcase in hand like he had for twenty years. He’d convinced himself long ago that living here was better than rotting in prison like he would’ve been if they hadn’t selected him. At least he was still able to get lost in a bottle of whiskey or feel the sun against his cheek during
the few instances it was allowed to peek through the chronic clouds. Even though The City was far from ideal, the Outside World remained definitely worse. It reminded him too often of the man he used to be and of the terrible sins he’d committed. These thoughts returned at the beginning of every week while he geared up for another one, as he wondered if one day the Man in the Eye might give him a promotion and he wouldn’t have to be a Scout anymore.
That way, he’d never have to return to the Outside World.
Then, he could possibly be at peace, like all The City’s inhabitants wished.
Available on Amazon!
How to Avoid the Rejection Blues
Rejection and being an author go hand in hand. Fiction is very subjective so what one person may like, another may hate. I have had two novels published, one by the indie press, New Pulp Press, and the other by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s; but before that, I had three novels rejected over the course of a few years and a lot of rejections from agents before I landed with Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory. There were many times I thought I wouldn’t make it as an author, but I’m stubbornly determined and driven, and I used the rejections to make my writing better so I wouldn’t be rejected the next time.
The first set of rejections came from literary magazines until a few finally hit. Lit mags are a very smart way to start as a career as an author, since agents and editors and publishers will want to see some type of publications on your Writing Resume. It is guaranteed that more magazines will say no as opposed to yes. However, once one magazine accepts your work, you have a greater chance of getting another to bite, since you are beginning to establish yourself. The idea that you will be published in The New Yorker automatically will not happen, so forget about that. Begin with online journals and don’t worry about not getting paid, the exposure, even if it’s small, is better than a check.
The same goes for agents. Most agents will reject you because they are flooded with submissions. They also want to shape a writer’s career so they want to believe in you rather than just your one book. Have a follow up ready. More importantly, take the advice that they give if you’re lucky to get notes. My agent liked the book I initially sent him, but had a lot of revisions before he could sign me on. I listened to everything he said.
Editors are even trickier. An editor can love the book that an agent sends and then try to pitch it within his imprint and no one else bites. This had happened to me many times. They want to fall in love with your characters so other editors and their boss will fall in love with them too. There were moments I wanted to give up, but with every rejection I rewrote and edited the manuscript and also moved on to other projects as well. If you are writing a book and trying to sell it for ten years without any interest, it’s time to write a new one.
Finally, don’t let rejection get you down. I look at all the no’s I got now as evidence that I wasn’t ready to be published at the time and I needed to hone my work more. You only need one yes, so even though one day might deliver a flood of rejections to your inbox, the next day could bring that acceptance you’ve been waiting for.
Lee Matthew Goldberg
About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
Book Tour Schedule
Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://readsandreels.com
Bonnie Reads and Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com
@jypsylynn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn/
Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://www.scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com
@pillowreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/pillowreader/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Nesie’s Place (Guest Post) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://tsarinapress.com/blog/
Book After Book (Interview) http://bookafterbook.blogspot.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Book Review Crew (Review) https://bookreviewcrew.blogspot.com
Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com
Cup of Toast (Spotlight) https://cupoftoast.co.uk
@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Giveaway: Signed Copy of Orange City (US ONLY)
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