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Category Archives: Wraithkin
February 24, 2013Posted by on
So it’s late Sunday afternoon at Soldier’s Retreat and I’m coming down off of the high that was the awesomeness of Mysticon 2013. Finally got to meet Col. Tom Kratman in person, which was a hoot, because that man can tell a story. Had to keep it relatively PG-13, however, due to the underage midgets in the room.
Okay, so on to the convention after action review.
Left Lexington on Thursday since I wanted to be relatively fresh at the con for the following day, so I made a beeline for Casa Boyd. Got there, I think I had a salad and promptly crashed. Hey, cut me some slack. I’d just driven 6 hours and I’m not used to seeing that much daylight.
Friday I rolled in to Mysticon around 3 or so. I didn’t have a room (I stayed with friends in town) but that wasn’t going to stop me from doing what I do best — party crash. Unfortunately, I found out later why I couldn’t seem to find any sort of room party whatsoever.
Anyways, the con has tripled in size since the first year of existence, and with the concom working their tails off to keep up with the sudden influx of attendees. With the Author Guest of Honor being Orson Scott Card and the Media GOH Peter Davison, you could say that there were a lot of people.
So there I was, trying to figure out what I was going to do next, when suddenly someone told me that the dealer’s room was open. Since the con hadn’t really started yet, I was a bit surprised. But I sauntered in anyway and saw that, despite a lot of vending booths, there wasn’t a lot of things I could see myself wanting. However, I did score a comic book from Travis Surber (author/artist of Hainted Holler), as well as a Dr. WHOrse. Seriously. It’s freaking awesome.
I did run into Mark Morgan, who is a villain in Corruptor. He gave me permission to use his name, and so I made him an awesome villain. He’s a nice guy though, even if I portrayed him as a money hungry, greedy little cyber terrorist.
My first panel came up and I had almost as many attendees as panelists. I was prepared for this, however, since I’ve noticed that my panel attendance grows throughout the weekend as more and more people discover that I’m actually a little funny at time. But I discovered quickly on this panel (Genre Mashups) that a select few people were more eager to sell their book than talk about the topic at hand. Again, I’m used to this, so I quickly decided to make the audience laugh at me (note: not with me, but at me. I sacrificed myself for the greater good), and this killed the self-promo bid and got the panel back on track.
After the panel ended (thankfully, nobody was killed during the making of the panel) we headed up to the con suite. There we saw the ultimate in cake design: The TARDIS, in cake form, complete with a working light and sound effects.
Sufficiently impressed, I headed back down to my next panel, Law Breakers or Makers, where we would proceed to talk about how all of us follow our own universe’s rules and a pox upon the household that breaks their own rules. Oddly enough, Stephen King came up once or thrice. No idea why **coughNeedfulThingscoughcough**.
Afterwards I went back to my friend Peggey’s house and crashed there. Was exhausted, but a fun and successful Day One.
Day Two began with me oversleeping. Yeah, still not entirely used to be awake in the daylight, but needs must and all that. I soldiered on and, after a quick bite to eat, headed back to Mysticon. I was hoping to find some room parties to go to that night, and hang out with some very cool people after my last panel (the infamous Iron Author) was completed. I found Tom Kratman, Andrew Fox (author of Fat White Vampire Blues) and Clay White (with his son, what’shisface) just by hanging out at the con suite. I figured my odds were good at meeting Orson Scott Card there (didn’t even see him all weekend… our panels never coincided), but alas the odds were not in my favor.
Note to self: do not live in District 12. I’d be screwed.
Went to the Baen Traveling Road Show and scored a free book (John Ringo’s Tiger by the Tail) and finally met Laura Haywood-Cory in person. Ran into Leon and KatieKat while I was in there, and dinner plans went astray when I went to the hotel restaraunt and they went elsewhere. That was okay, except for the fact that my dinner came five minutes after left and I had to get it delivered to my next panel, which I was almost late for.
My next panel, Kill ‘em!, was a lot of fun and I got to share how I killed one character not once, but twice in the same book series. This was met with some skepticism until I explained the way to properly nuke a grave from orbit. After that, everyone was on board (as well as feeling sorry for me, since previously mentioned character is based on someone) and the audience was really into it. Tony Ruggiero (author of the Immortal Servitude series) did a great job at balancing my relative insanity, and we all agreed: no character is sacred.
George R. R. Martin would have loved that panel.
Afterwards I scarfed down my dinner and met Peggey, David and Ellie as they were preparing for the Masquerade. Ellie was a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who, and a very good one at that. She won a prize (along with the mini-Dr Who and the mini TARDIS — all kids who were under 10 and dressed up like Doctor Who) and I took a few pictures of them.
Afterwards it was time for… IRON AUTHOR!
This is something I had never done before and was eager to try it. However, as soon as the words “Disney Stunt Cock” were thrown out there, I knew I was doomed.
…so skipping over specific details…
Thought about going to the Bella Morte concert after the last panel but by then I was exhausted. So I staggered back to Peg’s and fell into bed, remembering to set my alarm since I had a book signing at 10 the next morning.
Made it to the book signing on Sunday with about 3 minutes to spare. This was my singular complaint about the weekend — why in the world do you schedule the younger authors to do signings at oMG in the morning after a Saturday night? Sold my last copy of Lawyers in Hell and talked to the amazing Amanda Carruba about potential book covers later on down the road. Ran into Brandy and Derek Spraker (they who run Libertycon) and had breakfast with them, which was nice because they are absolutely awesome people. Ran into a few more familiar faces (sorry if I can never remember your names. Really!) and then called it a day after making one last journey through the Dealer’s Room.
I have to say, even with the massive amount of people in the con, it was a fun time to be had. I was able to duck away from the larger groups with some ease and find some quiet time to myself, which is important if I want to keep my sanity. I also was able to meet some new people, sign a book that someone had purchased at a con in Texas and came all the way to Mysticon just for me, and reconnect.
Definite good time. Hope everyone enjoyed themselves!
February 10, 2013Posted by on
Taking a breather from this writing marathon that’s hit me today. It feels good, but it also dredges up some bad moments of “Whoops… did I mean that?” when reviewing scenes I’d already finished off. A lot of the problem is that it’s difficult for me to keep the voices of Gabriel and Andrew (oh, I’m working on Wraithkin, for those of you who are curious… short stories are done later in the week) separate but similar, since they’re brothers and all that. I also have begun the “linking process” — where I link together two scenes that occur near one another and had left enough of an impression on me to actually write, but at the time I didn’t have anything connecting them. That’s always a challenge, but it’s a fun one, since I get to figure out why so-and-so did things later down the line.
I’m less than 11 days until my mini-vacation starts. I’m looking forward to my trip to Mysticon, where I’ll hang with some really cool people. The Baen Road Show will be there, and they always have really cool prizes to give out to attendees. I’m actually trying to work my way around my panel schedule so I can be at it. I’ve never actually met some of the people from Baen (which is odd, because I’ve been to Libertycon more than any other con), so hanging out with them will be nice. I also am looking forward to meeting Orson Scott Card, though I’m certain he’s going to be pretty busy. Besides, I doubt I’ll have anything witty to say (other than “Hey, don’t worry… I won’t go all ‘fan boi’ on you like I did Tim Zahn”).
Poor Tim Zahn.
Anywho, back to the tale of intergalactic warfare, rebellion, love, adventure, and family bonds triumphing over all else.
I really can’t wait to finish this damned book.
January 29, 2013Posted by on
What Scares the Boogeyman? was released on Amazon Kindle today. Print copy will be up soon, undoubtedly. You should go buy it. It has a lot of great writers in it like CJ Henderson, Nancy Asire, David Conyers, Rich Groller, Janet and Chris Morris, and it was edited by John Manning.
I didn’t write a review today. I’ll put it up tomorrow. It’s probably going to be book 2 of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher, since my review pile is starting to get thin.
Don’t hate me, though. I didn’t even get any writing on Wraithkin done today. It was just one of those days I guess. That’s cool, though. The Tree of Death and Life is almost finished. Then I can finish up The Gods Anointed and not worry about anything except for Wraithkin until June.
January 16, 2013Posted by on
I’ve been elbows deep in Wraithkin, so please pardon my absence. I’ve added about 10,000 words to the book since Jan 1st, so I’m somewhat pleased. Add in the fact that I’ve also been working on The Gods Anointed and keeping up with my book reviews (while battling the evil, nefarious flu and working full time) and I’m downright impressed with myself. The completion date of June 1 for Wraithkin looks to be right on target, so that’s a good thing I guess. Just having issues with one of the main characters… he keeps trying to take over the book, except that I can’t have him do that yet because he’s not the primary character. Stupid git. He needs to accept his role and get over it.
According to my “To Do” list, today is a “work on anything creative” day. I’ll write a short horror story for a magazine or something. I have an idea that’s been bouncing around in my head for a few days, and it’s a little creepy. It’s what happens when you’re out driving at four in the morning and you see something that makes you go “Hmmm…”
Also: gearing up for Mysticon. I hope to see all my old friends there. Then I’ll be hanging out in the Roanoke area for a week, visiting friends, recharging, etc. It’ll be neat meeting Orson Scott Card finally.
Also, a very special message from Larry Correia that I have to share.
Please, for the puppies?
January 13, 2013Posted by on
Whoever cast “Plague of Angels” on me and my party can totally suck it. Do you know how bad I’ve been sick the past five days?
On the plus side, I’ve gotten a ton of sleep the last five days. While not entirely “restful”, (see: 100+ degree fever) it was still more sleep than I’d been getting the past few months. So excuse me if I’m not overly upset about not meeting my writing goals this week. Of course, that just means that next week I’ll have to crank it up a notch (bam! hehe).
Just letting everyone know that this round of flu hasn’t killed me. Stay hydrated if you do get sick, though. I know that having a massive jug of ice water by my bed helped me with the fever.
And off to get some writing done.
January 7, 2013Posted by on
Doing some writing today, so it’s a short blog update.
–Reviewed Cold Days by Jim Butcher over at SBR. My first review of 2013. Yeah, I’m not reviewing as much. Yes, we’re looking for more reviewers.
–Cracked 50,000 words yesterday on Wraithkin. Go me.
–Eating healthier foods. Last night – Brussels sprouts, tomato basil chicken sausage, orschetti (dafuq?) pasta and basil pesto. Surprisingly good. Today was chicken tomato soup with grilled mushrooms. Rice milk drink (almond and vanilla flavor) is different but it’s better than water. No, I haven’t given up soda. I don’t want any more kidney stones.
And that is it for your daily dose of me. Hope it was worth the door charge.
January 6, 2013Posted by on
Writing a difficult scene from Wraithkin right now and it’s tough going. Not because it’s being difficult, but because it’s a highly traumatic scene. It’s rough when you have a character that needs to go, because it’s the basis of the entire story arc. It’s still not easy, though, especially when you really like said character. It’s not like I’m George R R Martin, who indiscriminately murders main characters on a whim (okay, he probably doesn’t do it that way, but it sure feels like it sometimes).
So instead, I’m posting these lyrics from my favorite band, The Cruxshadows. This pretty much sums up the entire sequence of events better than I can.
They say this cause is lost
And she will not return to me
They say that she is gone
And this is just a shell unliving
And through the dark of the morning
She fades, but I will not leave here
Fight back the demons around us
Love lives, and I will defend her.
That actually sums it up better than I ever can, other than writing the actual scene itself. *sigh*
Writing sucks, man.
January 1, 2013Posted by on
Two of my major goals are to get Wraithkin and Wraithguard out. Not published, but merely out of my hands and into the hands of the Alpha Reader Squad. In order to accomplish this, I forced myself the other day to create a massive spreadsheet for word count. I think my word count goal (not including the blog or book reviews) was somewhere in the 370,000 range. It’s doable (in 2008 I cracked 500,000 words) but it is a lofty goal, primarily because of the dark and gritty undertones of both books. I’ve talked about Wraithkin before here, but I haven’t gone into too much detail about the subsequent books — Wraithguard and Wraithlord — because I only have them plotted with some notes about where they’re supposed to go. Of course, saying that, you just know that they’re going to go ever other way but that one.
Also, because I’m not sure the last title is going to stay as is.
So today was a 1,200 word day on Wraithkin. I hit the 1,000 daily goal (It’s a convoluted math score, involving certain days I don’t write, certain days where I need to write 3,000 words, others when it’s a measly 1,000), so we’re well on track to the 370,000 goal. I also added in about 700 words for a short story I’m writing called The Gods Anointed for an epic SF anthology, Not To Yield. So almost 2,000 words (not counting the blog!) today. I’m happy with the progress and pace.
Now let’s see if I can keep it up. 2013 is starting off with a bang.
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 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.