10 Ways to Make Your Own Opportunities

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I wrote a while back about a guy who quit Facebook because he didn’t like my advice about what he needed to do if he wanted to be successful as an author. He wanted to just release his book quietly and take a chance that he somehow got rich and famous. Being an author, however, is about more than just the writing. Click Read More to get ten ways you can force opportunities to come your way.

Continue reading 10 Ways to Make Your Own Opportunities

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A Strategic Book Launch Timeline From the Pros

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Have you ever released an indie book and thought, “I should have put some strategic effort into the launch,” or wished you could plan better for a strong opening sales rank? Click Read More to hear some thoughts from professionals that I wish I’d heeded with my last several books.

Continue reading A Strategic Book Launch Timeline From the Pros

State of Writing

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Success! I was able to complete my story early in the week and then complete several revisions of Grandma Ethel’s Bullets and Hollow Points. My last several weeks have been very chaotic; I’ve barely gotten any sleep and hardly kept up with my work load (ran three weeks’ worth of youth camps.)

Now that I have that done I can work on some other items on my agenda. I hope to write one more short story and a comicbook before I get serious about my next project (the second Hidden Rings novel). I will probably also get a rough sketch of an untitled fantasy project as well that I’m currently speaking to a gaming company about (warm door so far, so keeping my fingers crossed.) My artist friend who did the Wolves of the Tesseract comic wants to do another comic with me.

The story I’m planning to write takes place in both the Wolves of the Tesseract and the Hidden Rings of Myrddin the Cambion series. It follows the character of Vikrum Wiltshire, a paranormal investigator much like Mike Mignola’s Baltimore… think Dresden meets Penny Dreadful. The comic will be a Wiltshire comic (I might call it The Red Order, though Wiltshire was technically kicked out. He has a cameo in the second Wolves of the Tesseract Book and I have some unpublished stuff with him in it already. The Red Order is formed during the first book of the Hidden Rings series.)

I have so many ideas, so little time. Dang it. If I could just get paid to write full time I’d be so thrilled. Help me out with that. Hop over to my website and by a book or three.

Television Again

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I just got word about the Great American Read project that PBS is pushing. My local area PBS has a news program called Compass and they are choosing to broadcast an interview I did with them a little while back about my Indie Author’s Bible (a resource for writers who want to publish their book). The episode “fits nicely with the national effort to promote reading,” their general manager said in an email.

The segment is part of the Compass program that will be broadcast on Thursday, June 28 at 9 p.m. It will be repeated the following Sunday at 12:30 p.m. After that, the interview will be available online. If you’re in the SW part of MN, tune in and check it out!

I was also on their program last season as well. Click here to see that interview.

Review: The War of Humanity

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E.S. Dunn’s The War of Humanity has sat for a couple weeks at the bottom of my reading stack, teasing me. It’s such an impressive book and I’ve eagerly waiting to get into it.

Let’s talk about what worked and what didn’t for me. This book strikes a good balance between standard SF and superhero tales as it effectively bridges tropes. The world building is impressive and Dunn uses a lot of language terms to infuse the alien nature of he culture and humanoid race of Chaosns. I Felt that part made me feel the surroundings and see what the author wanted me to. One thing that I felt the DCEU did great was visiting Krypton in the setup for Batman vs Superman. The world Dunn crafts feels similar to Krypton, perhaps intentionally, as Selison’s story shares so much in common. Continue reading Review: The War of Humanity

State of Writing

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I’m so close to having this short story done! It’s taken me almost as long to write as my last novel… partly because of content and partly because of my schedule. This is my last super crazy week, though, and I do hope to finish it this week.

“Grandma Ethel’s Donuts and Hollowpoints.” Grandma Ethel’s got a long day ahead of her: a pile of cancer medications, a fistful of bullets, and a plate full of donuts. Good thing her car does 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds… if only she could see over the steering wheel.

Review: Morgan La Fay, Small Things and Great

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I got a chance to review Jo-Anne Blanco’s Morgan La Fay, Small Things and Great. It’s got a more fairytale feel than fantasy I’ve read of late.

Blanco’s world building is spot on as she recast traditional Arthurian elements to fit her tale. She even does something that few writers do well: use weather to set moods and situations. All the necessary elements are present to entrench the narrative in the Pendragon mythos and it reminded me in many ways of Mists of Avalon when the magical elements crossed into territory usually reserved for church (or maybe Lawhead’s Patrick) though Blanco’s book is a much easier read. Continue reading Review: Morgan La Fay, Small Things and Great

State of Writing

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As fast as I usually am, this short story is going slow. I’ve been slogging through a lot of junk on the business side of things (in addition to it being maybe the busiest time of the year for me). I’m still gonna cross my fingers that I finish the story this week… we’ll see. I’m about a quarter done with it and I’ve already got solid notes for the next short story I’d like to write (plus a rewrite on another one which establishes it as a series.)

I did have a good time at the B&N author panel for MN based SF/F writers. We had a decent crowd, in fact, and I was glad to be a part of it… though it was more of an informative event than a buying one and so I’ve got a bit of an overstock on books so I’m trying to get back to that store by the end of summer to move some books (if you’re near Roseville, stop in at the HarMar location and pick one up!)

Also, I’ve had some great conversations with some folks who hold the keys to awesome opportunities. (I’m in preliminary talks with a company who owns some old TSR rights to write a story in their universe… there were only a few books in an old series, but one of them was an old favorite of mine!)

 

Book Covers: The Last Thing Writers Think About but the First Thing Readers See

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I’m a broken record. Yeah, I know. But let’s talk about the most important aspect of your marketing for a moment: the book cover. I’ve been toying with the idea for a year now of opening a small, regional publishing house, sort of a micropress hybrid… the main reason for this? the amount of really bad book covers that I see on books put out by small, traditional publishers.

The fact is people judge books by the cover. It is your very first opportunity to say something about the book—your first introduction—and it speaks volumes and on a pass/fail basis. Think of a bookstore shelf like a formal party; if you wear torn sweatpants and forgot to shower and do your hair when everyone else is in tuxedoes and evening gowns you are not going to make it past the bouncer. Your book might need to freshen up and see a tailor. Continue reading Book Covers: The Last Thing Writers Think About but the First Thing Readers See