Every morning, I read global news and science articles, looking for nuggets of weird, unique, and awesome stories. There are thirty tabs open in my phone’s browser, each one of them a story that captured my imagination. Some I save for later. Some get blended into what I’m currently writing. And some inspire entire stories. That’s what happened when I read about North Sentinel Island, which was proclaimed-by the article-to be the most dangerous island in the world. As someone intrigued by dangerous islands (I’ve written about them in the past) I was keen to learn about this real-life island of doom.
The more I read, the more fascinated I became. Not only is North Sentinel Island a very dangerous place to visit, but the native, uncontacted tribe that lives there is mysterious, strange, and violent. In terms of real world inspiration, North Sentinel Island is jet fuel for my imagination. Combining real history, reports of encounters with the locals, and my own nefarious conjurings, I’ve put together a story that is action-packed, strange, and a bit mind bending.
Forbidden Island is a journey to the world’s most dangerous island (IRL), where what little is known about the stone age natives is strange, mysterious and deadly… Like a certain other Island novel, it’s a blend of the thriller and horror genres based on real history that’s put through the blender that is my imagination. The novel comes out on December 5th, just five days from today, but I wanted to share the opening chapters with you now. I hope you enjoy them, and snag a copy of the book on the 5th of December. MWA HAHAHAHAAAA… Ahem. Thanks. — Jeremy
North Sentinel Island,
The Bay of Bengal, 1981
The setting sun made Mike Pastore nervous, not because he feared the coming darkness, but because the wild men preferred it.
The Primrose, a two-hundred-fifty-foot cargo ship out of Hong Kong, had run aground five days earlier, when a monsoon had heaved the ship upon the sharp reefs surrounding the island. Pummeled by relentless twenty foot waves, the vessel had been shoved to within a hundred feet of the sandy beach.
During the first two days, as the rains drifted toward India, the glowing sands looked empty and inviting; the lush jungle beyond promised shade and the thrill of exploration. If not for the still violent waves, the crew would have vacated the floundering vessel, and set up on dry land, to wait for rescue.
But on the third day, when the waves became manageable, they arrived.
Pastore had been on watch as the sun rose, a solitary guardian while the crew slept, ignorant to the danger. As one of three crewmembers who was not Chinese, he got ‘shit duty’ a third of the time.
A shiver ran through Pastore’s body as he remembered the first native he’d seen. The man walked out of the jungle in a squat. His strange position, small stature and dark skin had convinced Pastore that he had discovered some kind of island-dwelling chimpanzee. Lured by intrigue, he had left the wheelhouse and stepped onto the starboard-side main deck, binoculars in hand. The memory was still fresh, and he didn’t so much remember it as relive it in his mind.
As some of you might recall from the post I made a year ago my health has been in a state of upheaval. Last year it presented as a kind of mental breakdown with constant anxiety, extreme depression and frequent panic attacks. While all this was happening, I was told I probably had a brain tumor. Later in the year, an MRI and blood test suggested I did not, in fact, have a brain tumor.
Alas, that didn’t mean there was nothing wrong with me. There was. And is.
Despite testing negatively for a tick-borne disease called Bartonella (that you can also get from cat and dog bites and scratches—I think I got it from wrestling with Kenobi), my symptoms suggested that I had it. While I was being treated for it naturally, using herbs and supplements that usually cure Bartonella, it was also largely ignored because many of the symptoms overlapped with having a brain tumor, including panic attacks, which persisted throughout the year and into the summer.
Flash forward to September. Toward the end of the month, about a week before Robinsonfest, I started getting neuropathic symptoms. At first it felt like severe goosebumps on my thighs, but over the course of a few days, it progressed up my back and onto my head. By the time Robinsonfest happened, it was distracting, but not yet debilitating. That happened a few days after Robinsonfest, when my nerves became so out of whack that I couldn’t stand to be touched. I couldn’t do much more than sit in bed. Even something as simple as a shower became horribly painful.
I first announced this book about two and a half years ago, and it’s been ready for the world for at least a full year. So why am I releasing it now, instead of a flippin’ year ago? Timing. I wanted to make sure a story this epic had a nice chunk of space to pick up steam and carry sales into Christmas (along with Forbidden Island in December). ALSO, I pulled a Taylor Swift and killed my old self. If that reference confuses you, you probably don’t have a teenage daughter. Originally, Viking Tomorrow was going to be a Jeremiah Knight novel, but that experimental name didn’t pull its weight (he was a slacker), so I offed him and switched the author names to the actual duo behind the madness, myself and Kane Gilmour.
You might remember Kane from such hits as Ragnarok and Omega, the two bestselling Jack Sigler thrillers, and the Deep Blue stand alone. Well, now Kane and all of his crazy action and wild concepts is back, and the result is Val, a Viking heroine kicking ass through a post-apocalyptic landscape. That’s right. This is modern VIKINGS in a POST-APOCALYPTIC nightmarescape. If that’s not enough to sell you on the concept, check out the trailer, the promo graphics, the cover and the description below!
And if you want to help Viking Tomorrow sell a bunch and guarantee the sequel gets published, share the promo graphics we’re posting on Facebook, share the trailer (below), share the buy link and POST REVIEWS! Each one helps a lot, and if we hit 40 in the first week, Amazon will start pushing the book, too, which would be awesome.
The world is barely holding on. A century after a series of apocalyptic events, humanity is struggling to survive. In the frigid north of Scandinavia, people have returned to farming, fishing and fighting amongst themselves, living as their ancient Viking ancestors once did. But their days in the world are numbered.
The last tattered remnants of humankind have become barren. No new live births have occurred in over a decade. When the remaining population dies, the human race will end.
When a call goes out to the greatest fighters in the North, men capable of surviving a long journey and crushing any obstacle in their path, a young female berserker named Val takes up the challenge. With her eyes hidden behind red-lens goggles, she violently proves her worth, seizes control of a small band of fellow berserkers and heads south to claim her prize: the first glimmer of hope for a tomorrow.
Traveling deep into the wastes of Europe, surrounded by dangerous landscapes and the mutated creatures that populate them, they find themselves pursued by enemies determined to stop them at all costs. Attacked from without and betrayed from within, Val fights for the future, and if she fails, humanity fails along with her.
When I was a kid, my parents took our family to spend a long weekend at a kid’s campground before the season kicked off. I had attended the camp the year before and had memories of games, hikes, pranks and new friends. While the picturesque campground looked the same, it felt wrong. The people—the real heart and soul of that place—were missing. I spent those days feeling detached and longing for absent friends.
In the wake of RobinsonFest, I feel a similar sense of something missing. As I visit Portsmouth and the surrounding area, some instinctual part of my brain says, “Go to the hotel and see everyone!” Then the conscious part of my brain realizes that’s not possible, that if I went to the amazing Homewood Suites, the place would feel like an empty, soulless husk. I have never walked through those doors and not been greeted by a smile and a hug. It’s odd to feel that kind of an attachment to a hotel, but after this year’s RobinsonFest, I think stopping by the hotel would feel a lot like that bittersweet campground visit.
That is the quality and intensity of the relationships forged at RobinsonFest. Writing that feels like an exaggeration, and I imagine a lot of people reading this will think I’m simply promoting the event, but I think everyone who attended will agree.
While we visited some amazing places (the Mount Washington cruise and Franconia Notch Echo Lake), participated in some fun activities (Hilltop Fun Center and Butternut Farm) those events weren’t the weekend’s highlight. The people were. The closest comparison is a family reunion. While many people have attended multiple years, and they keep in touch throughout the year, new attendees are welcomed with open arms (literally) and are made part of the family.
Jeremy Robinson is the international bestselling author of more than sixty novels and novellas spanning multiple genres, some of which are published under the pen names Jeremy Bishop and Jeremiah Knight. He also writes comic books including: Project Nemesis, Island 731 and Godzilla - Rage Across Time, and several of his project have been optioned for film and TV.