Guest Blog: How to spot Subliminal Marketing by Robert Brockway author of The Empty Ones.

As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Robert Brockway the author of The Empty Ones and The Unnoticeables has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Mr. Brockway and Tor Books for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

The Empty Ones by Robert Brockway


The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

are OUT NOW!

So go get your copies!

How to spot Subliminal Marketing

by Robert Brockway

Don’t trust anything I say.

In fact, don’t trust anything any writer says… at least for the two-week period surrounding the launch of their new book.

I see you out there on the internet: reading think pieces, poring over genre breakdowns, nodding along with op-eds written by your favorite authors. All the while naively believing that they’re doing these things solely in service of the betterment of culture. Not true! Those filthy bastards just want to sell you their books.

Well, I’m here to help you see through the lies. To bite straight through the shallow candy shell of Marketing and get right to the creamy nougat of Truth.

Oh, I don’t blame those other writers for trying to trick you. I, myself, am an author with a new book out – The Empty Ones, book two of the Vicious Circuit series, which Publisher’s Weekly says reads “like Hunter S. Thompson went drinking with Stephen King” – so I have also been tempted by that wicked goddess, Self-promotion.

I have even, on occasion, given in to her wiles. I know! I’m sorry – honestly, it’s a kind of sickness. I tried to seek help, but halfway through the call with the intake nurse I smoothly segued my own medical history into a shameless plug for my punk rock fantasy series about loud guitars, cheap beer, and the immortal psychopaths who maintain the gears that turn the universe.

Did you spot it? Did you see the cleverly concealed marketing slipped, ninja-like and invisible, into that last paragraph?

No? That’s okay. I’m an expert at this.

See, there was no need for me to explain the plot of my book like that — especially not in such sultry and evocative terms. That was just marketing. If you were actually interested in the book, you would’ve Googled it by now, added it to your Amazon cart, been distracted from the purchase by the new Trump gaffe, then visited the site weeks later to add something else, only to find my book there, idling, forgotten, your interest in it waned, at which point you’d delete it in favor of a Hannibal adult coloring book.

That’s why writers occasionally resort to self-promotion: The competition for your attention is brutal. Countless books are published daily, and every one of their authors wants you – yes, you, specifically – to read them. And love them. And review them, and tell all of your friends, and follow us on social media, and maybe build us a palanquin of gold so we can ride about town on your shoulders like the gods we are.

But mostly the book thing.

And that’s not even factoring in other media: Watch my movie, binge my TV show, play my game, read my comic, color the severed breasts in my R-rated activity book — the list goes on forever. Sometimes we authors feel like the works that we toil years to create are going overlooked by people who may enjoy them. To avoid that fate, we’ll tell you just about anything.

So what are you, the discerning, skeptical, wary, beautiful, virile consumer to do?

Ignore us.

Yes, even me, the bastion of integrity: As an author, there’s always the possibility that my words are tainted by my subconscious desire to sell you my book. It’s extremely unlikely — but not outside the realm of possibility — that I’m only writing this guest post from my Cambodian jail cell in the hopes that I can sell enough copies of The Empty Ones to buy Ding Dongs from the commissary, which I need to pay Tiger Tong, so he won’t stab me in the outdoor showers with a sharpened toothbrush.

Of course I’d like for you to check out The Empty Ones — the dark, twisted, strangely comedic urban horror sequel to The Unnoticeables, which NPR called a “raunchy, rollicking tale of punk rock, gruesome horror and pop-culture satire” – but more importantly, I want to help you see past all the desperate pleading and sly marketing, and just buy the books you truly want to buy.

Like mine.


ROBERT BROCKWAY is the author of The Unnoticeables and The Empty Ones (books 1 and 2 of the Vicious Circuit) and is a Senior Editor and columnist for He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife Meagan and their two dogs, Detectives Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. He has been known, on occasion, to have a beard. Visit him online at


The Empty Ones by Robert Brockway

  • Series: The Vicious Circuit (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 30, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0765379686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765379689

1977 was a bad year for Carey: The NYC summer was brutally hot, he barely made rent on his apartment, and most of his friends were butchered by a cult that worships the quantum angel he helped give birth to. He needs a vacation. You know where there’s supposed to be a killer punk scene? London. Oh, plus the leader of the aforementioned murderous cult is building an army there in an attempt to solve the world, once and for all. Time to mix business with pleasure. Along the way, maybe he’ll make some friends that won’t try to kill him, or even meet a nice girl who eats angels for supper and can kick a man in half. 1978 is looking better already…

2013 was a bad year for Kaitlyn, too: LA was distinctly unkind to her aspirations towards a career in stunt work, she hooked up with her childhood crush―a B-list celebrity heartthrob named Marco―and he turned out to be an immortal psychopath trying to devour her soul, and she accidentally killed the angel Marco and his bizarre cult worshipped. Now she’s on the run through the American Southwest. She heard Marco’s filming a new show in Mexico, though, so all she has to do is cross the border, navigate a sea of acidic sludge monsters, and find a way to kill an unkillable monster before he sacrifices her and her friends to his extra-dimensional god. Nobody said a career in the entertainment industry would be easy.

Following on the heels of his hilarious and horrifying novel The Unnoticeables, Robert Brockway’s The Empty Ones is like any good punk band: just when you think it can’t get any louder, they somehow turn it up a notch. It’s terrifying and hilarious, visceral and insane, chaotic and beautiful.

The Unnoticeables is a nightmarish and hilarious tour through modern-day Hollywood, the 1970s New York punk scene, and Robert Brockway’s own diseased mind.” ―David Wong



The Unnoticeables by Robert Brockway

  • Series: The Vicious Circuit (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (July 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 076537966X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765379665

From Robert Brockway, Sr. Editor and Columnist of comes The Unnoticeables, a funny and frightening urban fantasy.
There are angels, and they are not beneficent or loving. But they do watch over us. They watch our lives unfold, analyzing us for repeating patterns and redundancies. When they find them, the angels simplify those patterns and remove the redundancies, and the problem that is “you” gets solved.
Carey doesn’t much like that idea. As a punk living in New York City, 1977, Carey is sick and tired of watching strange kids with unnoticeable faces abduct his friends. He doesn’t care about the rumors of tar-monsters in the sewers or unkillable psychopaths invading the punk scene―all he wants is to drink cheap beer and dispense ass-kickings.

Kaitlyn isn’t sure what she’s doing with her life. She came to Hollywood in 2013 to be a stunt woman, but last night a former teen heartthrob tried to eat her, her best friend has just gone missing, and there’s an angel outside her apartment. Whatever she plans on doing with her life, it should probably happen in the few remaining minutes she has left.
There are angels. There are demons. They are the same thing. It’s up to Carey and Kaitlyn to stop them. The survival of the human race is in their hands.

We are, all of us, well and truly screwed.

” The novel’s author, Robert Brockway, is a senior editor at, and he brings that publication’s legendarily irreverent wit to this raunchy, rollicking tale of punk rock, gruesome horror and pop-culture satire.”―NPR

A nasty, freaky, and haphazardly funny horror story.”―Kirkus Reviews

Strangely readable, with unexpected depths.”―Publishers Weekly

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