Review: Blood Calls

51+2Z1a+PqL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I recently got Andrew Wichland’s book Blood Calls (Dragon Knight Chronicles book 2). He continues his saga with the same tight storytelling and fast paced action typical of his novels. (I’ve read two previous titles by him and they never fail to disappoint.)

In Blood Calls, Robin’s got a problem. Maltanore may be dead, but his armor is still acting wonky. His quest to ree the magical beings previously enslaved takes him through space… and the stakes increase when he discovers his long lost sister being dragged into slavery. Continue reading Review: Blood Calls

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State of Writing

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I had a nice weekend… I did very little, although I was able through the week, to begin the audio production on Through the Darque Gates of Koth and hired out the TKR series to an audible talent who will record and produce all three books by winter.

Last week I did get my copies back for Bridge of Se7en, my paranormal detective short story, back and submitted to the publisher, so cross your fingers. I’m also planning on writing another comic book and have been in discussion with Jessie Gillespie about doing the art (he did all the artwork for the wildly popular Hand of Fate board game).

Other than that, I’ve got lots of projects in the works. Now to keep recording my next 2 audible releases and working outlines for my next couple projects!

Review: Touched by the Fire of the Sun

51YvJ85zEVL._SY346_Touched by the Fire of the Sun. That title gives the book something of a series feel from the cover. It really is something other than what is pitched on the front (a graphic that feels like an anime version of Marvel’s Multiple Man/Jamie Madrox.) Flipping to the back we find it’s something more of a SF rom-com, and that’s a genre there are not enough of. Everything these days are ripped bodices and turgid members. I’d prefer not to break into a nervous sweat during romance scenes in a book. Continue reading Review: Touched by the Fire of the Sun

State of Writing

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Right before leaving for a weekend comic con I was able to complete the final (I hope) version of my novelette, The Bridge of Seven, my paranormal detective story that takes place in the same universe as the Wolves of the Tesseract series (and the Hidden Rings series).

This week I hope to get some additional feedback on the story before I submit it for an anthology I’m excited for. I’m hoping to perhaps sketch out a steam punk story for another anthology that a friend referred me to. Maybe, but maybe not. Lots of people at the con wanting more comics from me and so I think I should maybe work on one of those (thinking about a black and white interior with a story featuring Vikrum Wiltshire… kinda shooting for a mike mignola/noir kind of feel).

I have other big new, too. Corwin Zahn (son of SF legend Timothy Zahn, who he edits for) will be editing Fear in a Land Without Shadows! I’m super pumped. More to come… if I’m not bogged down in rewrites, that is.

Small Publishers: Pros and Cons

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We’re continuing our conversation about small publishing houses. This week: Pros and Cons.

Let’s start with the pros. Chiefly, as a smaller publisher, they ought to have a greater vested interest in you as an author. If you are just another cog in the machine, chances are, you are with a vanity publisher masquerading as a real publisher.

Secondly, they are in business and want to stay that way—that said they want you to succeed and they’re going to try their hardest to stay afloat—when you make money, so do they… that’s how this business is supposed to work.

Perhaps the biggest Pro is that they are more likely to publish books that are outside current norms, risky, or difficult to read, and thus represent unlikely commercial ventures for larger publishers who only want to produce commercial gold.

Small publishers play a vital role in the development of materials that may end up going to larger publishers in the future. Essentially, this is the minor leagues of the publishing world. Just like in pro sports, many big-leaguers spend some time learning the ropes and being developed before they get called up. Click Read More for the Cons.

Continue reading Small Publishers: Pros and Cons

Review-Wild Hearts: The Coming Night

51qsEghgsAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_First of all, I’m totally digging this cover for Andrew Wichland’s new book, Wild Hearts: The Coming Night. Not just the cover, but the themes, too. Cyber suits and alien invasions? This is the kind of book that there ought to be more of: high intensity slugfests with supercool tech. It reads like Power Rangers wearing Iron Man suits! Continue reading Review-Wild Hearts: The Coming Night

State of Writing

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I may have cooked my brain. My nonprofit group runs two annual peach sales where I sit by the side of the road and sell peaches. Heat indexes where 105 and up for two days and I’m sitting on blacktop for 6-9 hours each day. Despite that, I managed to finish my paranormal detective story, Bridge of Se7en. I’m pretty excited about it; I’ve wanted to write my paranormal investigator series for years now (I started one several years ago that a windows update/forced shut down destroyed.) I hope to write a few stories in the series. The Vikrum Wiltshire stories actually bridge a gap between the Hidden Rings of Myrddin series and my Wolves of the Tesseract series.

Now onto editing! I’m planning to work the story to completion this week and maybe outline some new stuff. I have 2 or 3 other projects before I begin the next Hidden Rings novel, but I have a deadline for Bridge of Se7en in order to submit it to a publication whose window closes at the end of the month and their submission call was what prompted me to pen this story when I did.

The other project I am working on is a workbook for my Indie Author’s Bible. I’m talking with a library network to teach a series that follows the book’s methods and helps writers move into the publication realm (or at least foreshadows what is to come if their manuscript isn’t yet ready.) It’s a grant funded thing that is still in discussion with the powers that be, but at least one library has already said they want to do it. More on that later (after my brain recuperates from sunstroke… and that’s no joke. I was not well after the first day.)

Small Publishers and Ethics

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This month, we’re going to have an honest talk about small publishing houses. The good, bad, and ugly.

Every writer starts with a dream: get published, have their books on shelves across America, and be famous/die rich. Or some version of that… nevermind that bookstore chains are dropping dead left and right. As we wade deeper into the literary community, that dream tends to wither and shrink and we cry out, “my book is worthy—why won’t someone give it an honest read?”

Market saturation and competition means that publishers don’t care about good stories. They are a business. They care about SELLABLE stories; it’s all about the cash flow for them. It may sound heartless, and it is. It’s also good business… apparently business is good. Continue reading Small Publishers and Ethics

Review/Plagarism Alert: To Kindle and Beyond

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I’m going to sound overly harsh, probably, since you guys are used to seeing such positive reviews from me. Sometimes, however, there are books like this where somebody does not ask “does there need to be a book about XYZ” but instead they ask “can I make do a cash-grab and get in on the XYZ market?” That is exactly what this book looked like (from its non-industry-standard cover, to the poor language in the first few pages of the book). Continue reading Review/Plagarism Alert: To Kindle and Beyond