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Shade City: The Dead Side Blues [Kindle Edition]

Domino Finn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For Dante Butcher, Los Angeles ghost hunting isn't a business, it's a pastime. Going to clubs, knocking back a few drinks, even taking the occasional punch are all in a night's work. But cool confidence doesn't prepare Dante for what begins in a piss-soaked bathroom. The Dead Side opens up a whole new world to him, and for the first time, it's the ghosts that are hunting Dante.


Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

1.    What is your book Shade City: The Dead Side Blues about?
It's about a ghost hunter, named Dante Butcher, in LA. He's an irreverent urban fantasy misfit who gives readers an outsider's inside-perspective of a shadowy Los Angeles. He's a party guy who goes out to clubs on the weekends, but he can feel things that no one else can. He knows when people are possessed. He kind of doesn't have any goals in life, but he has strong feelings about right and wrong, and he decides to do something about it. That's what Shade City is about: a guy hunting shades in the city.

2.    How did you decide to write the story?
The idea of being in a bar or a club, this location where everybody is being reckless and having fun, yet having something important to do, really appealed to me. And personally, I have a lot of experience going out in Los Angeles and have a real affinity for the nightlife. I heavily feature real locations and history snippets in the novel. You could say that Shade City is my homage to LA.

3.    What was the biggest challenge during the writing process?
I wanted Dante to be a real guy, not just a standard character archetype that everybody loves. He's not a knight in shining armor. He has his faults. He's a dick sometimes. But at the end of the day, when it's time to pick sides, he's someone you want on your team. It was challenging making sure that Dante was sympathetic enough to engage readers and convince them to hang on with him.

4.    Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
It's funny, because Shade City isn't my first novel, but it rings very true for me because, in a lot of ways, Dante's experiences are based on mine. We were both born in Miami and moved to Los Angeles. He's an exaggerated extension of my character and imagination. I think any great urban fantasy needs to have a larger-than-life character to balance the mystery of the city.

5.    How much time did you need to finish the story and publish it?
I'm writing full time, and I really got into the swing of things with Shade City. Besides working through the idea and some of the scenes for more than a year, the actual writing process before I sent it to my editor was 6 months.

6.    What about your first book The Seventh Sons?
The Seventh Sons was more difficult to write in a lot of ways. It's third person, has multiple POV characters, and focuses on subjects that required a lot of research: homicide detective work, biker clubs, various branches of the federal government, and serial killers. I'm currently editing the sequel, The Blood of Brothers, and it's almost twice as long. Anyone who likes detective mysteries, werewolves, and general spookiness should check them out.

7.    Who are you?
A rebel. A writer. A malcontent. I'm an author who grew up in a generation of entertainment. TV, movies, video games, tabletop games- pop culture has really led me down my path. I worked as a programmer in the video game industry for 10 years, but to be honest, creating worlds on my terms is much more fulfilling. Through my stories, I think it's obvious that I want to burn down overused ideas. Story structure, character arcs, ideas about romance and morality- I think there's a desire for fresh takes on all of them.

8.    What are your writing habits?
Simply put, it's a routine. I don't need to nourish my muse or find inspiration. Motivation is completely removed from the equation. I know that I have a block of a few hours here or there, every weekday, to write. So I sit down and do it.

9.    Are you satisfied by the sales of the book and do you plan another one?
Is anyone ever satisfied? As of my writing this, I haven't even been self-publishing for 6 months, so I'm still the new author on the block. My sales aren't bringing in bags of cash yet, but initial success is about establishing yourself as a brand and getting readers to trust you. Part of that is building a backlist. Besides the sequel that will be released in the fall, I have two more books planned ahead.

10.    What are you doing to best promote your book?
I've used some of the smaller ad services for book launches, along with sale prices, but nothing too involved yet. My biggest priority is to create a professional brand and backlist. Then, when I can prove that I have a lot to offer my fans, I'll look into Bookbub.

11.    If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don't forget to answer)
I guess I would ask, as an author, what am I trying to do different?
And I would say that I write grown-up fantasy. Not just because it's gritty and edgy. Not just because of the alcohol and drug use. It has more to do with respecting the reader and not leaning on tired tropes like saving the world. It's okay to deal with mature issues in a ghost story. It's okay to take fantasy seriously. That's my main message.

12.    Tell us about your work in the video game industry?
It was great. Programming can be a very creative endeavor. In a game studio, you are surrounded by so much talent: artists, designers, audio engineers. It's fast-paced and you always need to be learning something or you're falling behind. I programmed a lot of the main heroes, weapons, and game mechanics. I took part in design meetings and story discussions. I ended up managing a team of programmers and designers. I loved it, but I needed to stretch my wings a little and get out of the office.

13.    You mentioned that trouble is your inspiration. May you give some examples?
Heh, certainly. Trouble is, by its very nature, a provoking business. It's scary. It's exciting. It's fun after the fact, but maybe not so much while it's happening. When I was younger, roaming the streets of Miami, me and my friends were pretty brash and ended up in fights a lot. I never started them, but I would inevitably be sucker-punched or drawn into an argument because of a careless friend or lucky pool shot. So there's some of that mentality in Dante Butcher.

14.    Why is fantasy so popular for readers?
The contemporary fantasy I write, I think, has very obvious appeal. It's the real world that we live in, with all its dreariness, but there's a spark of something magical and different. Just the idea of raising the stakes of normal situations and unlocking completely new experiences stirs something in the soul. Like my old days in Miami, it's trouble, only in the pages of a book.

15.    What is the story behind your name Domino?
It's funny, because Domino is more than just a brand. It means a lot to me. As tired as the line goes, I've always worked hard and played harder. Writing code for hours on end and then going out drinking until dawn sticks with a person. I've always appreciated the symbolism of a domino. Its dual nature. Black and white. Two numbers. Two sides: exposed and hidden. It says a lot about me as a person. Plus, DominoFinn.com wasn't taken yet.

About the Author

Domino Finn is a science-fiction and fantasy author who has a decade of award-winning experience in the video game industry in Los Angeles. He likes to write about believable characters in unbelievable circumstances. Travel, technology, and trouble are his inspirations; music and football his distractions; and alcohol, well, it depends on the number of drinks.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3990 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0692242953
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blood & Treasure; 1 edition (June 24, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L9UICD2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Once my attention was finally turned to this novel, I could not put it down. I have a predilection for supernatural, sci-fi, and similar genre work, which is why I wanted to read this in the first place. That and the snazzy cover that caught my eye on the giveaway page. Stories that deal with the supernatural are anything but new. So, it is rare to find something new and inventive that is actually worth adding to the mythos that is supernatural fiction. Clove cigarettes laced with sage are used as weapons in this novel. In addition to the clove cigarettes, Mr. Finn also gives his character Dante a unique way to sense evil spirits and a very unique way to communicate with one of his main allies. (Not gonna find any spoilers in this review). It is sad that in today's literature that for every good idea like the ones mentioned above we all to often end up with crap like sparkly vampires and an inordinate amount of love triangles. Today's market is flooded with copy/paste stories about a lead female torn between two lovers that can be inserted into pretty much any kind of genre by the myriad of writers too damned lazy or not talented enough to make something up on their own. The fact that Domino Finn marches to the beat of a different drummer, one with a dub step beat I might add, makes his novel stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Lots of time great concepts or ideas are undone by poor execution when put in motion. A writer might have a great idea but the real magic happens when the words are put onto paper or in today's times an electronic screen. Domino Finn does not suffer in this regard. His story is well paced and I really enjoy the verbiage he uses. The way that Dante speaks in the novel reminds me of me and my friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reason to smoke! September 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Shade City: The Dead Side Blues is not a book I would normally pick up to read. The title conjured up visions of a mystery involving blues music, a genre of which I have no interest. The cover, at a quick glance, didn’t grab my attention, at least not until I figured out how the cigarette on the cover art pertained to the story. However, I am so glad that I took the chance and read this book because it is a great read. Dante, the main character, has the special talent of being able to touch someone and seeing if they are possessed by a “shade” which is basically a deceased person, not a ghost but a variation of one. He can force the shade to leave the body, thus allowing the person to be free from possession, by getting the shade to inhale sage smoke by way of sage cigarettes he carries with him. Dante also carries around an antique watch that is possessed by a twelve year old girl named Violet who helps him to expel these shades from the bodies. The book has an interesting premise and has a bit of everything including mystery, romance, sex and the supernatural. The characters are interesting and the author has created a whole other world called the Dead Side. I’m hoping that this is one book of many that I’ll be reading by this author. It is entertaining and fun to read. It worked well on my ereader with perfect formatting and editing. The cover didn’t catch my eye at first but did make sense when I read how Dante gets rid of shades. This is definitely worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Supernatural Thriller October 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Dante picks up an old pocket watch in an antique store he gains a new friend. That new friend awakens some special abilities that had been dormant in Dante. As Dante begins to look into this new friend he realizes that hes stumbled upon a mystery hundreds of years old and he is involved in something much more dangerous than simple exorcism.

This novel is impeccably well written. I loved the twists and turns the story takes. I was surprised by what happens. I love the characters and how well developed they are. I would highly recommend this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shade City: The Dead Side of Blues August 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dante knew that he was special but he did not know exactly how special he was until meeting Violet (a 12 year old girl who is a shade). He is destined with Violet's help to send shades living in humans without their consent back to the dead side where Violet resides. His biggest adventure lay just around the bend and would Violet help him or hinder him, after all she was a shade and he was digging into her past and making Violet mad. A good read and keeps you interested to see what lies ahead for Dante.
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More About the Author

Like most authors, Domino Finn was once a kid. Instead of regaling you with a cute story about his early efforts at writing (actual title: Dinosaur Island), it might be more illuminating to explore his thoughts on pop culture. Domino grew up surrounded by fantasy. There was magic in his books, his movies, and his video games, and it was awesome. But the prevailing attitudes relegated all of it to kid stuff, and that didn't sit well with this kid.

Domino strived to create aged-up versions of his favorite games, comics, and books. Eventually, his passions led to Los Angeles and a career as a video game programmer. But something was missing, and after a decade in the industry, Domino realized that his first love was telling stories. Just not the same kinds of stories.

No more simple good and evil. No more ancient powers bestowed upon reluctant children. The best yarns aren't about saving the world, they're about saving what the hero believes in. The most powerful fantasies aren't just showcases for elemental power, they're about the inner discovery that flourishes alongside the spectacular.

Now, as back then, Domino sees a void in the marketplace. Genre fiction where subtlety is applauded. The impossible presented in a plausible light. A melding of the real and unreal, driven by characters easy to care about. Fantasy for grown-ups.

Defy convention. Take your stand. Read what you believe in.

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