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- Just outlined five more Tobias Fox stories for my editor. On my phone. #likeaboss 4 days ago
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- "Hill 142" is off to my newly-minted Beta Readers. Let's see how they like it. #althistory #amwriting #urbanfantasy 1 week ago
Category Archives: News
March 10, 2013Posted by on
Hey, look at that, a 0600 post. Strange, no? Well, you can think of this little scheduling thingy they have for future posts, or believe that I really am awake early in the morning typing this, sans Starbucks. Your call.
I just finished the David Tennant seasons of Doctor Who and am now on to the Matt Smith episodes. So far I’ve been underwhelmed. It seems that the writing is going out of its way to make him funny, but primarily it’s coming off as childish. I don’t know, maybe he gets better as the season moves along. I do like Amy Pond, however (mainly because I have a weakness for redheads, especially Scottish ones… what, don’t judge me), though River Swan keeps popping up and being her annoying self. Perhaps it’s the writing, but I dislike River very much. The only person who should be that sure of themselves is the Doctor.
Ahem. Excuse me.
On a completely-related note, a very cool artist I got to meet at Mysticon this year is doing a Kickstarter. Now, I normally don’t get on board with any Kickstarter events, because, well, I don’t really have any money to throw around. But this guy… this guy I definitely support. He does these really cool 8-bit pixel art of Dr. Who. Calling it PixelWho, he is having a Kickstarter fundraiser right now to help build his 4th Doctor art. He already has a 10th Doctor one (sadly, I couldn’t convince him to do a 9th Doctor one, since Chris Eccleston is still my favorite Doctor but not everybody else’s), a classic Doctor and every variant of a Dalek one (which is super cool). Really, you should check out his Kickstarter and, if you have some money to toss around, donate.
Work is work, as it were, and writing is moving along. Just thought you should know that I haven’t missed any deadlines in awhile now (though I do hear the ominous hum of them approaching… or perhaps that’s just my imagination?) and am looking at keeping that streak alive. I guess I better get some stuff done then.
February 14, 2013Posted by on
Yesterday was weird. I got home, and the next thing I knew it was time to go back to work. I did literally nothing yesterday. No writing. No creating. No editing. No painting. No eating.
I don’t think I’m sick. But I did miss my word count goal as a result, which has set me back about two days. I can make it up this weekend, but it’s problematic, since I’m going to miss about a week’s worth of writing when I go to Mysticon. Yes, I’m grumbling. Grr.
Picked up some small book display easels today over at Hobby Lobby. They were inexpensive and exactly what I was looking for. I’ll be using these for conventions and book signings, which is a good thing. It means I actually look somewhat “professional”.
Okay, need to get some more writing done. Have to wrap up The Tree of Death and Life before I can start my next short story (for an anthology my buddy Stephen Zimmer is editing), Yet We Remain. I still need to finish up The Gods Anointed as well. Guh.
I think I may have overcommitted myself.
Don’t forget, you need to order your copy of my books soon if you expect to get them before Mysticon. Otherwise, what will I sign? Okay, I’d sign a napkin. Sheesh. I’m so easy.
December 30, 2012Posted by on
…and across the land did the faithful lament.
I am, of course, talking about the city of Lexington’s attitude about losing to Louisville in basketball. They lose to them all the time in football (it’s a Kentucky thing, belonging in the SEC and not giving a rat’s ass about football), which is no big deal. Kentucky is supposed to lose in football. However, lose in basketball, especially a team from that city… well, now you’re looking at a very despondent and depressed city. A city that, even in the midst of a snowstorm, will seek out refuge and drink with their fellows. A city that wonders if God really despises them (I’d call it 50-50, but I’m a pessimist). Really. They are that serious about their college basketball.
In cheerier news (I could give a damn about UK basketball; Ball State lost their bowl game, which means my interest in sports is gone until Opening Day for the Braves), I heard a rumor that I’ll have two books coming out in January. Now, I don’t know just how accurate this is, but I heard that Dreams of Steam III will be coming out in the middle of January, joining What Scares the Boogeyman? This is all exciting news, and I’ll have more information as it comes out.
I’m supposed to be writing stories for two anthologies I’m going to be in right now but I don’t wanna. I want need to finish Wraithkin so I can get it out of my head. I have a picture on my desk with a due date for this story. Much like prenatal gestation, I’m looking at the deadline and thinking “That’s not even close. I have plenty of time”. And much like in life, when the day draws nearer, I’ll either say “Dear God, already?!” or “Get this damned thing out of me!!!”
Lay in your wagers now, gents.
December 26, 2012Posted by on
The Preditors & Editors voting poll has opened and, as usual, people are having a hard time getting the pages to open. It’s almost like an 8th grade test website built in the 90′s. For someone who claims to have been involved with the first internet service provider, his internet providing seems to, well, suck.
I shouldn’t say anything though. He might sue. Or worse, get the SFWA to come after me.
A lot of people use the P&E website (including me, because it can be helpful), and whenever they have their annual Best Of (insert year) voting, it draws even more traffic. Traffic which invariably causes mass time out. Now, I don’t know much about the internet (except that it’s about cats and porn), but I do know that a first year college student can probably draw up something a little more efficient (and working) solution than what is up there right now.
*sigh* This is me, complaining, because I’m still bitter about my low finish with Corruptor in the voting back in 2010. I blame John Ringo, since we were in the same category (thriller).
Anyways, the P&E voting poll is up once more, and you can vote for me in Anthologies (Sha’Daa Pawns). Most of the other stuff I’ve written (i.e., just about all of it) is coming out in 2013, starting with the What Scares the Boogeyman? anthology in January. After that, I know that Dreamers in Hell is coming out either June or July; Dreams of Steam III sometime in the spring; Mental Ward II sometime this summer (an assumption); and Terror By Gaslight sometime later in the year. Then * drum roll please*…
…The Midnight Crew is being released on October 15, 2013. I may have mentioned my Christian Cole books once upon a time, but this is the first book in that series (once it’s been reorganized, that is). It’s coming out from Bad Moons Press (which, if anybody knows anything, is the name of my company) and I am super excited about this book. It’ll be available in print and ebook, with a non-DRM format (because I feel that DRM is teh evil), and will have some bonus features inside (like a sneak peak of the sequel, The Green Jewel, which is coming out in 2014).
This was an agonizing decision to go the independent route, primarily because I am cautious by nature. However, the time is right (you can thank the Penguin/Random House merger) and I feel that these books are ready (eight in total… yeah, I had that same reaction when I realized how long the series was).
Anyway, if you’re tired of always reading about “The Chosen One” and his or her “destiny”, then you’ll love Christian Cole, because he wasn’t supposed to be anything important. — until the day he chose to be a hero.
December 13, 2012Posted by on
I’ve seen this going around other blogs but didn’t really pay too much attention to it until I was tagged by Barb Caffrey (hey Barb). Barb recently inked a deal for her novel, Elfy, with one of the publishers I’ve written for (Twilight Times Books). We’re also working on a steampunk/alt history story (I think that’s what it is; it’s moving along slowly and it’s meandering a bit). She does book reviews with me over at Shiny Book Review and is very patient (since I don’t do as many reviews as I used to).
Well, without further ado, let’s get this Next Big Thing started.
Anyway, here are the rules:
- Give credit to the person who tagged you
- Post the rules for this blog hop
- Answer these 10 questions about your current work
- Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can go over and meet them.
First I’ll list Larry Atchley, Jr. He writes some pretty fun stories and we are both in Lawyers in Hell.
Second, Scott Oden. He, too, is in Lawyers in Hell but I was far more impressed with his historical fantasy stuff, primarily The Lion of Cairo, which I reviewed over at SBR once upon a time.
Third, Rusty Fisher. Zombie guy. He writes some fascinatingly fun stuff and, well, yeah. Zombies. Lots of ‘em.
Fourth, Michael H. Hanson. He’s my editor for the Sha’Daa Pawns anthology and all-around nice guy.
Lastly, Sarah A. Hoyt. Because I can (and she’s been tagged in this already, I’m certain).
Oh, bonus person: Dean Wesley Smith. Indy publishing guru and brilliant writer. Smart, funny and capable. I read his blog for a lot of advice, plus he’s married to the dynamic Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Lucky guy.
Now let’s get the next part of this started.
What is the working title of your book? Wraithkin (I’m going with the one that’s furthest along and not finished)
Where did the idea come from for your book? Oddly enough, the SF movie Gattaca. I found myself finding holes in the society’s rules and quickly realized I had a novel in the works. Throw in a parliamentary monarchy, a brewing civil war and an alien invasion and you’ve got one crazy book.
What genre does your book fall under? Science fiction
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie version? This one is easy, because I have their pictures next to their bios on my profile building file. Allesandro Juliani would play Gabriel, the star of the book. Other primary characters would be Ryan Reynolds as his best friend, Esau; Gabriel’s love interest would be played by Tina Benko, and his enemy/ally Joshua would be played by Dominic Purcell. One of my favorite secondary characters, Sergeant Griffin, would be played by Duane “The Rock” Johnson, because he’s the only actor big enough.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Once everything is taken away from you, how far would you go to take it all back? I’m a sucker for a mysterious one-liner.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Probably neither. The publisher I want putting this book out accepts unagented solicitations, which gives me some leeway.
How long did it take you to write your book? Well, this is rewrite #4, so about three years now. It originally was written in a year, but various changes, plot shifts, characters being introduced and deleted, has left it far fuller than ever. And I still have two more edits to go.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre? I’d probably guess Armor by John Steakley, A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo and maybe Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, merely because of the military SF element involved. At heart, though, this is a love story.
Who or what inspired you to write this book? As I said, a movie. But to expand upon that, I found myself asking what would happen when society has determined that people with genetic defects do not meet their needs, and are taxed into serfdom and chemically castrated so that they can no longer taint the rest of their perfect society. The illusion of perfection — I call them “Imperfects” and “Perfects” — is what drives this plot.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Wow, uh…. it’s very intense. I’ve tried to delve into the mind of a damaged warrior who is out searching for the one he loves most, and the path of destruction he leaves in his wake as he tries to find her. Also, people interested in good old stories of loyalty, friendship, honor.
Okay, so today’s Next Big Thing is done. Hope you enjoyed it.
November 29, 2012Posted by on
I love it when a bunch of books I can’t wait to read are all released at the same time. You can literally see my writing come screeching to a halt.
In two days I’ve purchased and finished Jim Butcher’s Cold Days, his latest in the Dresden Files, and Kevin Hearne’s fifth book of his Iron Druid series, Trapped. The best part about the two is that their voices (and bizarre, tongue in cheek humor) are similar to one another. I need to buy Hearne’s books in print eventually (I own them all in ebooks), but I have to recommend them to everyone. You know, I should probably get around to reviewing them over at SBR.
Did some more writing on a book I shouldn’t be touching until the Christian Cole rewrites are finished, but my muse is flogging me and desiring that the written word be put into first person and not Christian Cole. So now I’m stuck trying to channel a teenage girl who happens to be a werewolf (please, no jokes. This is embarrassing enough as is) and kills Cullens (heh). On the plus side, I’v written 3,000 words of Burnt Moon (title subject to change) over the past two days, bringing it to 12,000 total, which is 1/8 of the way to my goal. Go team!
Anyways, don’t forget that Corruptor is still on sale over at Amazon for only $3.99 on Kindle. Makes a great Christmas present (or Hannakuh, or Kwanzaa, or Flying Spaghetti Boiling Day, whichever you prefer) for anyone.
Don’t worry, your well-spent money goes to a good cause.
November 27, 2012Posted by on
Before I start this, let me first say that I am a huge J. J. Abrams fan. I loved what he did with Star Trek, and Lost wasn’t too bad (except for the ending). Super 8 was very entertaining and I really do enjoy most of what he produces.
But damn it all to hell, what the hell is going on with Revolutions? The show makes sense at some points, and at other points it leaves me scratching my head and wondering who comes up with these scenarios. I mean, I really have to wonder why some people think that after 15 years of living in a post-apocalyptic dystopia wouldn’t harden people to, oh, I don’t know, inequality, oppression, dangerous surroundings, and the law of the gun?
Yeah, I’ve been complaining about the show for over a month now (ask my coworkers; they’re getting tired of hearing it), primarily about the writing of character reactions to certain sequences (being raised in dystopia and still being confused about what’s going on being the chief complaint) but fortunately, the show has been providing me with enough material to form up a Survival Guide to an Abrams’ Dystopia. Hopefully this list will help you if you ever find yourself stuck in a dystopian future written and produced by J. J. Abrams.
Rule #1: Have no family that can be used against you in time of crisis. – seriously, it’s this way at every turn in the show. I created this rule in episode 1, and to this day I have yet to be disappointed in it. Even the most hardass of all, Colonel Tom (whose last name I forget at the moment) has a wife and child, and eventually get used against him. The best thing to be in an Abrystopia (you like what I did there, right? right?) is a lone wolf single male.
Rule #2: Act like you know what is going on, even when you don’t. — Do you know how many times I’ve seen people killed on this show because they don’t seem to know what’s going on while wandering around in obviously hostile territory? It’s like every single one of them failed their bluff check and then rolled a 1 for INT. One of the episodes (“The Children’s Crusade”) has children who seem better equipped to survive in the crazy Abrystopia than our intrepid heroes. Of course, then they screw it up by throwing in with our heroes to get their leader back. BLUFF. Bullsh*t your way through it. This is the end of the world here, cupcake. Your doe-eyed innocence is only going to leave you lying in a ditch somewhere. Unless, of course, the writers like your character, in which case…
Rule #3: Keep flashback scenes to a minimum. — You are the hero. You are wandering around trying to rescue someone (in direct violation of Rule #1) when suddenly something triggers your flashbacks. Oh, sh*t, right? Yeah. Bad time to flashback, because someone out to kill you will always attack the moment you come out of your flashback. As the great adventurer Habib mentioned once, “Let us go into the lair of evil at midnight, so that the odds will be more even.” Don’t be a Habib.
Rule #4: Don’t wander around the countryside unarmed. — Seriously, end of the world, right? Everyone seems to be either out to rule, survive or destroy. So why in the nine circles of hell would you even consider wandering around the countryside unarmed? Oh, wait, you’re the hero. Heroes only use weapons when threatened, or don’t need them because their goodliness carries the day and everyone respects their virtuosity. *snort* Get yourself a tree limb or something.
Rule #5: Don’t attack a numerically superior force. Also, don’t attack an obviously weaker foe. They may be hiding something. — This seems to be self-explanatory to everyone… except for our heroes. You’re outnumbered dozens to one, and surprise is not on your side. So… you attack, right? Or better yet, a numerically inferior force is holding something vital (bridge, building, etc). They must be easy to defeat, right? Because there’s no way that the inferior group has held the location for as long as they have on anything other than luck, right? Right? You believe that, cupcake, and I’ll say a few nice words at your memorial service.
Rule #6: Be boring. — The most entertaining people in the Abrystopia die. All. The. Time. Be boring, be alive. Keep it simple. Don’t carry anythign valuable in plain sight. Keep your head down. Avoid the roads. BE THE DULLEST PLOT DEVICE IN EXISTENCE!
Rule #7: Trust no one. — Seriously, why do strangers say “Trust me” and people listen? All throughout the Abrystopia people say “Trust me”. Why should they? They could be a deep cover operative of some shady militaristic organization or, worse yet, some kind of zealot who wants to live and is convinced that the only way to survive is to TAKE YOUR SH*T! Ugh. Just make it easier on yourself and trust no one. Not even mommy dearest because trust me, that bitch is going to be slightly off her rocker after watching her baby slaughter someone in the name of a can of green beans.
Rule #8: Traitors are the ones who want you to trust them the most. Shoot them first. — If you ignored Rule #7, then this rule will come in handy. This one seems to be prevalent in dealing with traitors and their ilk. You see, despite what television and superheroes say, everyone has their price. Whether it be family (see Rule #1) or simply surviving the next five minutes (see Rule #6), everyone has their pressure point. That being said, in the Abrystopia there will always be that one slightly shady guy you can’t quite put a finger on the reason you don’t trust him. He goes above and beyond to make himself “trustable” for some reason. He’s the traitor. Shoot him (or her). Screw your conscience, this is about survival. Shoot. The. Traitor.
Rule #9: Do not think that your one advantage will remain so forever. — This rule came about after watching how everyone thinks that walls are impermeable. “Look throughout history,” people will tell me defiantly, probably while sipping a $7 latte. “Walls of castles have held invading armies off for thousands of years.” Yes, of course, that’s why all rulers ruled in castles and their empires lasted forever… oh wait, hold on. Technology. Yeah. Forgot about that, did we? The advantage of a sniper rifle versus a crapload of muskets is the range. That advantage cannot last forever, right? Running out of ammo or something, then all you have is a very heavy club versus lots of clubs. Odds in favor they are not. Be prepared for the day when you no longer have the advantage and have another ace in your sleeve. Keep your advantage, keep living.
Rule #10: Don’t trust the rebels. Especially if you were once their enemy. — They’re called “rebels” because they’re rebelling against established order. You spent a good chunk of your surviving avoiding these guys or, worse yet, affiliating yourself with what the rebels were rebelling against. You were the enemy. So why would you trust the rebels under any circumstance, especially considering that they are willing to do anything to further their cause? Avoid rebels, especially if they know you as “the enemy”. You’ll thank me later.
Rule #11: The easiest way is always a trap. Listen to your Admiral Ackbar. — You would think that by now, with all the books out there telling you that there are no easy ways, that an obviously easy way might as well have a sign posted above screaming “Die Here!” If you think it’s a trap, it probably is. That means you do not go wandering around with your back to the obvious ambush point, ala Habib. Don’t be stupid. The easiest way to danger means the furthest way to be harmed… or something like that, in any case. I don’t know for certain. The last guy who took the easy way is lying in a puddle of crap and blood o’er yonder.
Rule #12: Find yourself a munitions expert. They’ll save your ass more than any leader will. — What do you need to survive the Abrystopia? A good, strong leader? Nope. Plucky young heroine? Nope. Smart computer guy who is a coward? Nope. You need someone who can make explosives out of bottle caps, some ant sh*t and glue. That person will save your life more times than not, and will always be able to find a place to replenish their bomb making supplies. Look at Nora, for example. She always had explosive materials on her. She’s the reason the TSA live to shove their gloved hands up our posteriors. Yep, end of the world, all on the line? I want me a Nora.
Rule #13: If you don’t have many friends left in a town you abandoned, it’s probably not a good idea to go them first when you come back. — For some reason or another, you violated Rule #7. Your reasons are your own. So you trust a friend. A friend who you left behind in a town where you are most assuredly not welcomed. So the townspeople hear you’re headed back. Who do you think they’re going to look for first? The guy whose daughter you knocked up before you ran out of town, or the guy you were best friends with before your daring escape? Yeah. Don’t be predictable. Go to the guy whose daughter you knocked up or, better yet, don’t go back at all. I hear Florida is nice this time of year.
Rule #14: If your character has been a coward and whiner the whole entire show, it’s probably not a good idea to suddenly grow a pair during the most emotional confrontation the character has to face. — This is more of a character problem than anything else. You have followed almost all of the rules, and suddenly find yourself face to face with something that will cause you to have an emotion. Deciding to grow a pair right at this time and ignore everything which has kept you alive up to this point is probably a bad idea. Why would you suddenly forget how to survive? Why would you cast aside all that hard work which kept you alive just to get something off your chest that has been bothering you for years? Yeah, your timing sucks, cupcake.
Rule #15: At least the anti-hero knows a trap when he sees one. — Yeah, chalk one up for your team. That guy who pissed you off by stealing your woman, being a better leader and still a jackass to boot? Yeah, he can spot a trap like it was nobody’s business. Of course, it would have been even more impressive if he had avoided being put in the place to spot an obvious trap in the first place, but still. Keep him around for a little while longer. After all, you’re going to need someone to make that heroic sacrifice to end the Abrystopia. Let the anti-hero stick around until then, and find all those nasty traps while he’s at it. So what if he steals your woman? She’ll come crawling back when anti-hero is a rotting corpse and you’re still there. That’s how TV romance works, right?
Rules #16: A good hostage works every time. — This one is stolen directly from one of the villains of the show. As always, violations of Rules 1, 7, 10 and 11 usually lead up to the necessity of hostage negotiations. You see that? If it weren’t for breaking Rule #1, Rule #16 wouldn’t exist. The only possible way to survive this? Kill everyone close to you before someone else can**. It’s the only way!
Did I miss any? Let me know.
*ed.– The author never claimed the ability to count.
**ed.– The author is not advocating homicide. Please don’t kill everyone close to you unless, you know, it’ll appease the Mayan gods or something “end of the world” drastic.
November 24, 2012Posted by on
I’m still recovering from my turkey coma, so bear with me here.
I was on my way to work and saw, well, mayhem is the only way I can describe it. You see, I live near a big mall and Target and Walmart (they’re not close to one another, until you take into account I can cut through a park to get to all three within a minute) and, as you may have seen on the news (or your calendar, if you’re one of those people) that Friday was that little old thing called “Black Friday”. And people get a little… crazy on Black Friday.
Me? I don’t get it. Still don’t. But then, I do most of my shopping online.
So anyway, as I was on my way to work, there was a wall of people surging to the entrance of Target. There were cops. There were lines. There was utter, incomprehensible mayhem.
It was a thing of beauty, seeing how well evolution has treated humans– oh, wait. Sale! Sale!!
I felt bad for making fun of the hundreds and thousand of people there for about five seconds before I remembered that these people choose to do this. I don’t understand it, really. Okay, I do understand a little, but I can’t find a good reason for it. To save some money? Or is it to be a part of something bigger? Something commercialized? It’s hard to get behind a crowd mentality when you have so little in common with the crowd.
So did you go Black Friday shopping? Did you have to mace someone this year?
November 17, 2012Posted by on
Good news on the war front: sold another short story this week.
Wake, a dark, creepy horror story with a bit of a humorous bent, is going to see print sometime in 2013. I’m still waiting on official word, but I have a hard “yes” from them, which is nice to have.
This is good stuff, since it raises my stories sold count to five this year (and I’m waiting to hear back on two more).
Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
November 13, 2012Posted by on
So yesterday, I saw that once more has Facebook taken our privacy settings and screwed them over, leaving all the personal information out there for any intrepid individual (or company) to find. Although I willingly signed up for Facebook, I was smart and didn’t post too much personal information in there. I tried to use it merely as a promotional tool but as the years have gone on, I’ve watched as it prohibited use because I wouldn’t put in my birthday, or I was too restrictive on my settings, or so on. Little by little they dug away at the armor I had put up around me, finding little chinks and exploiting them so I’d have to give them more and more.
Yesterday was the final straw. I found that they had created a new feature from which you could not opt out of. The map feature was bad enough (talk about creating stalkers), but the new “relationships” page was just too much. I saw friends who had kept their profiles private splashed all over, with their private pictures all on this public page. I decided then and there to delete my Facebook profile.
I understand that Facebook is a business and the business is personal information, but holy sh*t Zuckerburg, really? I know many people who have kept their Facebook profiles private because they are private people and are only on to communicate with a handful of friends. It appears that Facebook just about shat on its users and is forcing them to smile about it. You think the outcry when timeline was forced on people was bad, just wait until word of this new feature gets around.
So far, Facebook has pulled this off with little announcement or fanfare. They learned from their timeline mistake and are no longer warning people of a change in terms of service beforehand. People aren’t getting a warning about their private lives going public anymore.
Here is an article talking about how to prevent Facebook from using your info. This was a sneaky, underhanded move by Zuckerburg and Co, one that I both applaud and revile him for. This is literally Facebook giving their users the middle finger because they know that right now, there is nothing better out there.
So can someone remind me, dear people, of what happens when a company becomes so arrogant that they no longer care about the consequences of their actions?
I’ll still be here, on this blog, like I have been for the past few years. In fact, I think I’ve been here since 2006, while only on Facebook since 2008. I’ll update more (probably). I’ll also write more (more than likely, given as to how much more writing I did when I quit Facebook for two months earlier this year). I’ll still be on Twitter (because 140 characters or less is a fun challenge at times).
So I’m not leaving the internet. Just ensuring that Facebook is no longer a part of my life.