Wednesday, November 30, 2011


When I was writing Extinction Agenda, I knew I wanted it to be apocalyptic. Things in the Skinners world were never exactly cheery, but I wanted them to get pushed into a whole new realm when I made the transition from one story arc to another. As I discussed earlier, I decided to go along my intended route even after HarperCollins decided this would be the last Skinners book they would publish. What I had in mind for the next arc was cool, exciting and fell in line with all the groundwork I've been setting. To bring it all to a halt now would just feel wrong. Even so, some very important things do come to an end in this book. Just reading the title would tell you that much. For those of you who haven't read Extinction Agenda yet, I'll warn you there may be some spoilers coming up in the rest of this entry.

So...writing the end of Book 6 was difficult for me. VERY difficult. What happened in it, I feel, had to happen. It's the way the story played out when I conceived it and still feels right to me now. From the very start, I didn't want any of my characters to feel safe. Nothing bugs me more than main characters in any sort of fiction who walk away from every explosion, dust themselves off after every fight and survive every catastrophe simply because they're the main characters. Skinners, above all else, are warriors. In Book 1, one of their greatest was killed so he could pass the torch on to Cole. They've been dropping off like flies for centuries, partly because they're the nut-jobs who stand toe-to-toe with monsters and partly because they are in a VERY dangerous line of work. The sacrifice that was made at the end of Book 6 paves the way for the rest of the series. Those who were lost will NOT be forgotten. On the contrary, their memory will be carried throughout the rest of the books by everyone who was strong (and lucky) enough to have survived the events of Extinction Agenda.

That being said, and no matter how confident I felt in my choice or how well I think I portrayed those events on paper, I knew I would hear about it from readers. That's a good thing. It means you guys are out there reading my books and paying attention to what happens in them. I understand why some of you are upset. Honestly, I got broken up every time I had to read through that last scene. After all, I've been with these characters longer than anyone. Most of the responses I've heard have been good. Thanks for that. Some of you are mad and some are saying this is a crappy way to end the series. If I was ending the series here, I agree. This WOULD have been a crappy way to do it. It's not the end, though. Trust me. I'll write more Skinners books because, if for no other reason, I won't have it end this way. There's more story to tell and if you can believe anyone who says that, you can believe me. 

Finally, what happened at the end of Book 6 was necessary. If everyone had come away free and clear after having retreated to fight another day, things would have been a WHOLE lot worse for the world in general. Since Skinners don't retreat (at least, not the Skinners who are the focus of the series), they had to charge into a fight against a purely destructive force. Having everyone walk away from that with just a few more scars and a wary chuckle didn't set well with me. Not only will the survivors return with the proverbial vengeance, but they will do their damndest to make sure every bad guy out there regrets the loss of those who didn't make it. Until now, the Skinners have been fractured and fighting with their backs in a corner. Now, they can become something more. Maybe something even scarier than the werewolves they fight. Nobody will forget about those who fell at the end of Book 6. I'll make sure of it.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.