Writing Sci-Fi Space Battles? Watch this!

I stumbled upon this video while in the midst of writing my MilSF book with a kind of Star Trek/BSG vibe and I fully agree with this guy. Kudos to youtube for an excellent video suggestion. If you’re writing space battle sci-fi, you should watch this video and pay attention to what he talks about regarding stakes, movement, and knowing who’s in the battle.

State of Writing


I got some writing in over the weekend while selling books at a rather slow convention. The next Dekker’s Dozen book, Austicon’s Lockbox, is underway. A lot of the regulars at this convention reminded me exactly how important having an audio version is; several of them had previous books of mine in their audible account already, so I’m planning to begin the audible version of my latest book (Dekker’s Dozen: Seed Child of Sippar Sulcus) this week. I’ve had some software holdups preventing me from beginning (Wolf of the Tesseract 2 has been “in review” for 2 months now and I don’t want to do my hardware and software changes, which are a real necessity, before that clears the queue.) I’ll start anyway and hope I don’t have to re-record WotT2.

This week I hope to write 2 chapters and have my audio software changeover complete and new hardware installed! I’ve probably got to count my books, too, and make sure I have enough on hand for Planet Comic Con at the end of the month.

Review of The Dinosaur Lords


This high concept novel seems it has such an amazing potential. George RR Martin himself called it “Game of Thrones meets Jurassic Park.” I first discovered it while scavenging the bones of a failing bookstore chain like a procompsognathus during its “going out of business” sale. It went on my Christmas reading list… and there it stayed. Despite it’s amazing potential, Victor Milan’s Dinosaur Lords took me a year to complete. That is not my norm.

Continue reading Review of The Dinosaur Lords

Are You Using Social Media Correctly?

Hey Indie authors of all stripes, we need to keep this in mind… especially when it seems tough to find your tribe, don’t opt to start spamming people on social media (and yes…that’s exactly what it is.)
Have you ever been having a great conversation with friends and had a very loose acquaintance interrupt and try to sell you all on Amway/whatever pyramid scheme is currently popular? That’s an exact parallel to “using social media as a sales channel.” Read this article for more!

Marketing Christian Books

Contrary to popular belief, social media is not a marketing channel.

You are probably thinking, “What?! I thought social media is how you build an audience for books.”

Exactly! Social media is an audience building tool, not an advertising tool. Unless you are purchasing ads on social media sites or offering your followers an announcement or special on your books, the information you share via social media should not be broadcast marketing messages.

Many authors don’t understand this concept. These authors use social media to shout about their books. Recently, an indie author had the courtesy of asking if she could post about her book on Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) Facebook Page.

This author wrote:

“Good evening! I’d love to post a blurb about a faith-based children’s book that I wrote and published on your Facebook page. Is this something you allow publishers to do?”

I wrote her…

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State of Writing


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.

State of Writing

Very little writing done this week… But I guess it’s not all about the keyboard. I did get a few very minor things accomplished. Mostly, however, I worked on my rental property that got trashed by renters (but at least they also jacked me on 5 months rent, too.) I’ve spent every spare scrap of time these last two months doing major renovations and I finally finished! The market’s hot, so hopefully I can flip this thing and recoup some lost income and pay down debts!

As for my goals, I did not finish my short story. I don’t think I can venture a guess about its eta. I’m pretty well consumed by this month of camps I’m in charge of. It’s a ton of spinning plates and it seems that people are insisting on trying to knock them off.

Still, keep your fingers crossed. I might yet get to it. Also, please stop by and visit the big SF/F event at Roseville MN Barnes and Noble that I’m co-hosting with some friends this Saturday! It’s gonna be a fun one.

State of Writing


I got to spend all weekend at a SF con and hang out a little with one of my literary heroes who inspired me to begin writing my own SF in a round about way. Sold some books, met lots of great people and made some solid contacts! (Timothy Zahn put me in touch with his son who is a pro editor, so keep your fingers crossed there. Maybe something comes of it.)

Though it was a successful con for me, it had lots of downtime–good for networking and writing. I outlined my new short story I’m doing and wrote another 500 words. I’m about a thousand in so far and want to keep it between 10-15k. I guess my goal is to finish it by next week… two weeks tops… also to catch up on sleep. I hope to still be in bed by the time this auto-posts in the morning. I love cons. I hate the travel and hotels.

Review: Darling Girls


Darling girls isn’t my usual kind of novel, but I do like vampire books and tropes. The setting and feel of Darling girls is more like Pretty Little Liars meets Vampires than it is Underworld. I’m more an Underworld kind of guy (so take my review with a grain of salt.) I also love White Wolf/WoD stuff and this book really has a World of Darkness kind of feel, but more with battles of intrigue than straight up adrenaline fueled slugfests. Continue reading Review: Darling Girls

Steps to Take If Indie Publishing a Previously Published Title


Last week I talked about answers to the question, “what happens when my publishing contract expires?” I’m going to assume you chose the option to republish your work as an Indie title and will use Createspace or Kindle in order to accomplish that. (By the way, self-publishing as an Indie should not cost you a dime provided you have the necessary items. Any company who tells you otherwise is a scam. I have a step by step book that can guide you in the process, more on that below… or just Follow and go deep into my blog articles for the same basic content.)

You will need a few things in order to move your book into the Indiesphere:

  1. A new ISBN
  2. Cover artwork
  3. Enough time to match previous formatting
  4. A platform to relaunch
  5. Createspace or Kindle Account
  6. Contact Customer Service to link books

Firstly, ISBNs usually need to change. Here is a message I got from Createspace:

“You are welcome to republish the book with CreateSpace once your contract ends with the other publisher.

You can use the ISBN if you purchased it independently. If the ISBN was provided by the publisher then it will most likely belong to that publisher and will be unusable on our platform… [if you] need a new one, we can provide you with a new ISBN for free. The book would then have different ISBN’s but we could link the Amazon detail pages provided that you do not change the content, title name or the author.” Continue reading Steps to Take If Indie Publishing a Previously Published Title