The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain

The brand new edition of dystopian, psychological thriller The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain was re-released on December 11th. Originally published in May 2014, this new Booktrope edition has had a complete editing overhaul plus a stunning new cover design.

5 interesting facts about The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain

As part of the re-release of my psychological, dystopian thriller The Phoenix Project, I decided to let my readers in on some of the secrets behind its conception.

Most of The Phoenix Project was written by hand, whilst listening to music. I have shelves full of handwritten notebooks containing the first draft of The Phoenix Project. I always listen to epic, instrumental music when writing such as Two steps from Hell and Immediate Music.

The protagonist of The Phoenix Project, Raven Kennedy, is on a glorified death row within Salverford prison for the terrible crime he committed. In the original idea he was innocent and had been framed and that’s why he was in prison. (As soon as I began writing it, I realised it worked better if he was actually guilty!)

The horrifying ‘dark room’ in The Phoenix Project (a pitch-black sensory deprivation cell) was inspired by a visit to the Terror Haza in Budapest—a museum dedicated to the fascistic and communistic regimes that operated from the building. In the cellar of the Terror Haza are the old cells used to imprison and torture inmates. For research purposes, I crawled inside a very low cell and shut the door, casting myself into total darkness. It was terrifying and claustrophobic, and I only lasted five minutes in there, but it gave me an idea of what it would be like to be in one of those cells.

Raven Kennedy from The Phoenix Project actually started life as the same character as Vincent Wilder from A Chronicle of Chaos (even though Raven is a good guy and Vincent is the mega-villain of my Light and Shadow Chronicles series!). The first book I started to write had a character called Vincent (he wasn’t quite the same character as his later incarnation) and I developed his character in two ways – drawing upon his negative traits to create the later Vincent, and his redeeming characteristics to create Raven.

There is a scene in the book where Raven and a few other characters take part in a high-pressure televised interview. In order to prepare for this and make it seem natural, my husband and I acted it out and recorded the interview! I played Raven and my husband played the other characters, and I then played the tape (yes, tape!) back and used it to write the scene. I still have that tape in my collection of books etc!

The book is available to buy from a wide range of digital and paperback distributors:



Barnes and Noble:

D.M. Cain Biography

D.M. Cain is a dystopian and fantasy author working for US publisher Booktrope. She has released three novels: The Phoenix Project – a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future, Soren – a middle-grade fantasy, and A Chronicle of Chaos – the first in a dark fantasy series. She is currently working on the next novel in the series, ‘The Shield of Soren’, and a novella to accompany it.

D.M. Cain is also a member of the International Thriller Writers and is one of the creators and administrators of the online author group #Awethors. Her short story ‘The End’ was published in Awethology Dark – an anthology by the #Awethors.

Cain lives in Leicestershire, UK, with her husband and young son, and spends her time reading, writing and reviewing books, playing RPGs and listening to symphonic metal.

Don’t miss my Author Party Event on Friday, January 15th at 1pm CST!!

GIVEAWAYS: (2) book bundles – (1) paperback of THE PHOENIX PROJECT along with (1) paperback of her children’s book, SOREN!

To be eligible to win one of these sets, merely leave a comment on any stop along the tour, including this one and you could be one of our two lucky winners!!!



Filed under Writing

22 responses to “The Phoenix Project by D.M. Cain

  1. Sounds like an interesting story, D.M. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘Hands on’ research is always rewarding, but self-induced claustrophobia would have had me running away PDQ (and I hate running!).
    As for ‘negative’ protagonists… lol The ‘why’ is always most intriguing when it comes to good and evil – being guilty of the crime isn’t always straightforward and gives you a much more interesting (and longer) story arc! 😉
    Thanks for hosting DM Craig 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Self induced claustrophobia isn’t for me either. It might make the story more interesting though.


    • Ha ha! It was pretty horrible – especially because it wasn’t just dark. but it was damp and filthy too. And it was a real prison cell so I couldn’t shake the thought that real prisoners had endured it. *shudder* – still, it was great for research.

      Good point about guilt too – I wanted to play with the concept of guilt and remorse in this book. You’re right – it isn’t always straightforward!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The idea of crawling into that cell freaked me out. I love hands on research but I’m not sure I could push it that far *shudder* The Phoenix Project sounds like an interesting read. Wishing you all the best, with the tour DM.
    This was a great guest post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so impressed by the first-hand research you do inside prison cells and in front of a camera recording an interview. I can see how the experiences would give you greater clarity and insight when writing the scenes. Well done! Thanks for hosting, Craig!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Five interesting facts about The Phoenix Project! Step 3 on The Phoenix Project release tour

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love you are still using video tape. Seems right for the kind of fiction yu are writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like that you made your main character guilty… It gives him depth and a “truer” dark side that most.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m really enjoying your tour, D.M. I feel like I’m getting to know the author through her work. Best wishes.

    Thanks for hosting, Craig.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You hand write your story?! That, I could never do. You see, I am not a fast writer, and I get quickly frustrated when I can’t get to my story fast.:) Congrats as you continue your tour. Enjoy it. Thank you C.S. for hosting her.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I tend to do a mixture of handwriting and typing now. If I’m at home I’ll type, but if I’m out and about and writing in a cafe or restaurant, I’ll just take my notebook. There’s something inspiring about old school hand-writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t think I could’ve lasted a minute in that cell. Bravo for five minutes!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: Reading Links…1/13/16 – Traci Kenworth

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