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Book Release Day!


It’s release day for Devastator, book 2 of The Warp and direct sequel to Corruptor, the very first novel I had published under my own name. Let’s get that Amazon rank up there and leave some reviews so people will think “Hey, fun YA that’s age-appropriate!”

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Devastator – Book 2 of The Warp

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Finished and Other News


Two things…

First off, Darkling is finished! It’s now off and in the hands of the Super Mega Awesome Beta Force Crew for dissemination and assassination. Book 2 of the Kin Wars Saga had a ton of heartache, loyalty, and betrayal. Let the song of victory play!

 

Secondly, my article about the current kerfuffle within the Worldcon has gone live over at the Mad Genius Club. Go take a gander and see just why they would seek to remove one of the more prominent Hispanic science fiction writers out there from their attending guests, and see just what I think of this (hint: I’m not a fan of their decision).

2017 Year In Review


2017 was a strange year. It had some tremendous highs and a few lows.

The hardest part of the year was putting down Wally-cat. He was still a young cat (6 years old) when the decision was made. He was suffering from kidney failure and it was a genetic thing that nobody caught until he became a little old. I buried him next to Sophie out on the farm, so he can hang with the only dog he ever liked. I still miss him and occasionally catch myself asking Casper where his brother is.

I had to rehome Odin due to him just not getting enough attention. I hated leaving him in his crate all the time but with my work schedule it wasn’t feasible to do much with him. Fortunately I found a nice family that I knew who were willing to take him on. I still get to go visit him regularly and he’s always happy to see me. He traded 8 teenage boys for 2 teenagers, so he’s pretty happy that he has someone to run with still.

My work was exhausting this year but I survived it. We had a staffing shortage at one point and I was working 6 days straight, 24 hours a day for just over three months. That killed any extra energy I might have needed, but it all worked out in the end.

I also survived another Libertycon. This one was a lot of fun because I got to hang out with people I hadn’t seen in years and finally met the guy who pretty much is my twin, Jon Del Arroz. Now that people have seen us in the same place together they will quit confusing us.

In 2017, I released or turned in a lot of stuff for the publishers. The list follows:

  1. Paint the Sky, my Four Horsemen Universe short story which featured the first Liberian mercenary unit in the 4H universe. It was in A Fistful of Credits, and edited by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy. It was pretty popular from what I heard.
  2. Magnum Opus was released in the Michael Z Williamson Freehold universe anthology, Forged in Blood. Again, pretty good reviews (61 five-stars as of this moment) and lots of people really liked Rowan Moran, the Operative in my story. I love working with Baen Books and really, really need to get them a standalone or series.
  3. Corruptor was re-released as a science fiction YA book in September, mere days after Forged in Blood came out, which is what it is at it’s core, by Anticipation Press. I’d resecured the rights to the novel earlier this year and it was almost immediately snapped up by another publisher. The sales have been slow, but I figured that would happen due to it being 7 years old. However, the publisher didn’t get the rights to a single novel, oh no. As you’ll see later on this list, they got much much more.
  4. Then I got word that the Japanese translation of Kaiju Apocalypse came out in Japan from Takeshobo. The cover was awesome and I really enjoyed seeing my name in Japanese. I’m still waiting to see about getting a copy of that novel.
  5. Right after that I turned in the long-awaited sequel to Corruptor, titled Devastator. This is coming out in 11 days (Jan 12) so be ready. I was insanely thrilled about getting this one in, since I got to go back to The Warp and do crazy things that break the laws of physics and tease with something else going on in my electronic worlds.
  6. Best of all, I closed the year off with a bang as my second Kakata Korps short story was picked up and published in The Good, The Bad, and The Merc, the third anthology in the 4HU. Keep the Home Fires Burning is about honor and duty, while keeping the family and tribe together as a whole. It’s also about a bit of becoming more than just a mercenary unit, and potentially becoming a savior to a people who have been forgotten as the world moved on.

This was a fairly productive year overall. Basketball continues to do well as last year’s returning players have helped the newcomers adjust to the frantic pace I demand, as well as how to properly run Havok and the offense. Win percentage is up over last year at this point, and I can see this team doing very well at the year end tournament.

So a pretty eventful year overall. No complaints from me here. I hope that 2018 can be even better.

19 Days


…until Devastator is live. Not that I’m counting.

Yesterday I was going through Darkling before I started really cranking it out and finishing it up by New Year’s (that’s my goal) when I realized that I had an empty chapter placeholder just… sitting there. Like that puppy in the window that nobody wants, Chapter 11 was just staring at me. No notes, not /// marks to let me know I was working on something in there. I was a bit curious because I knew whose chapters were in 10 and 12 (Christine chapters, the lot of them) but I had no idea who was supposed to be 11. I even read the book and saw that there wasn’t a gap between character scenes that needed to be filled.

So who is it? Where did he come from?

So from the looks of things I’m going to have a 100K word novel with only 16 chapters in it. At least I didn’t pull a We Few. You know, the novel that John sent to David without a single chapter in it? That was an amusing story to hear from both sides of things.

January 1 I’ll be getting ready to finish my bender and knock out Obliterator, then finish off The Warp with Vindicator. Then back on over to the Kin Wars Saga to finish of the third book of the first trilogy, Deathlords. Two more unannounced books later and that should wrap up my 2018.

Oh, throw in a few short stories for friends and whatnot that I owe (sorry!). Forgot about those.

22 Day Countdown


22 days and counting until Book 2 of The Warp is released. Devastator is, in my opinion, a terrific story. The pacing is fast, which is typical for me, but the story unfolds at just the right amount of time. Drama? Got it. Love story? Check.

22 days. Start the countdown.

In the meanwhile, I’ll be finishing up Darkling, the second book in the Kin Wars Saga.

Also, keep an eye out for a new page coming soon.

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Devastator – Jan 12, 2018 Release Date

The Hoarding of Words


I typically don’t read books while I’m writing one of my own. Call it undue influence because yes, I am influenced by books which I read and enjoy. So for me to pick up a book and read it from start to finish in two days while writing “Darkling” is a strange occurrence. Nonetheless, I went ahead and read Moira Greyland’s biopic, “The Last Closet”, in the midst of writing a book and coaching two varsity basketball games.
And I can feel the influence already on my writing.
When I first came up with “Wraithkin”, I envisioned a society that had just freed itself from a tyrannical overlord and religious persecution merely two hundred years before, much like the American Revolution. However, in this society where people were born perfect and without flaws, what happened to those who were predisposed to cancer or other illnesses? What did their life mean after that point? Well, I figured they would be cannon fodder for an ever-increasing war machine. Waste not and want not, if you catch my drift. “Sure, Jason, okay… but then who are they always fighting?”
Aliens, duh. Well, later other star nations. But aliens, man!
But after reading Moira’s book I started asking different questions, especially about homosexuality and heterosexuality. Many friends who are gay or bisexual tell me that they did not have a choice, that they were genetically born this way. I used to just nod and go about it, because it didn’t matter to me if they chose to be homosexual or were born that way. Now though, since I’m writing about a really screwed up society that puts values on perfection over imperfection, my mind is asking “So if you are born this way, and that means you cannot or will not procreate due to a lack of attraction to the opposite sex, which is what the human body is designed to do, then does that make a homosexual genetically inferior?”
That’s a tough question. I mean, I want to say “no”, but the inability to procreate due to a lack of attraction to the opposite sex means that your genetic line will not continue, and not by choice. This is a design flaw, if one looks at it from a certain point of view.
In “Wraithkin” I almost touched on the topic in the book but changed it during a round of editing. I was a coward and didn’t want any potential controversy (this was back in 2013 when I was still a young author just breaking into the business… if I had known then what I know now about what happens to me in 2015, I’d have just left it all in and walked off into the sunset with two middle fingers in the air). In “Darkling”, though, now I really want to touch on the idea that homosexuality is genetic, which means that nature made a flawed product. I want to use this in both a good light and a bad one, with conflict on both sides being driven apart by this.
Overstepping boundaries? Depends on who you ask. I can see some of my friends absolutely flipping out over this and cutting off all contact and basically burning me in effigy. I can also see some of my friends nodding along and saying “That’s an interesting thought experiment.”
I love my sister dearly. She is fairly openly gay and happily married to a nice woman (I think; I’ve actually never ever spoken to her spouse… I’m a horrible big brother). I don’t know when she figured it out, but I had it pegged when she was about 12 or 13. I can’t even tell you how I knew. It just seemed like she was… gay. *shrug* She wasn’t butch, didn’t wear Doc Martins (I’d have stolen them anyways because I was all into grunge around that point in my life) and simply abhorred dating.
She was also the one who was the most like me due to her bookwormishness (new word!) and her smarts (she’s the smarter one. This was decided by all the siblings in a vote). Is she going to have kids one day? I honestly don’t know. She is, after all, still fairly young (30? 31?) and they HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY to do things now. In that same thought train, though, if this were a pre-industrial revolution era, would she have children even though she has no interest in being with a man? If not, wouldn’t that make her genetically flawed due to her homosexuality?
In nature, the female of the mammalian class of animals rarely get a choice in the mating process. Sure, bears fight to see who gets the shot, but the female will go ahead and procreate with the victor. Plus mammals have a “heat cycle” which changes depending on the animal. Human women? Monthly ovarian cycle, but not a real “heat cycle” (John Ringo really hit the nail on the head in “Live Free or Die” when he used the Johannesburg Virus on humanity), so human females can procreate at any time and not seasonally. If a woman has endometriosis and it is left untreated, then the woman will have a harder time producing children, yes? Would this imperfection be considered a genetic flaw? More than likely. In the Kin Wars Saga, this means that the woman is genetically Imperfect and will be sterilized so that she can’t have kids with genetic imperfections, and this flawed family tree will not be able to be passed down into future generations. The society is saved, yay! Would they do the same for a homosexual man who could not perform for a woman to procreate if homosexuality was something he was born with?
I hate asking these questions because it takes away from the story and threatens to turn the book into grandstanding. At the same time, though, I wanted to get this into the head of the reader. If homosexuality is a choice, then there is nothing genetically wrong with it, correct? That means that, according to the rules of nature, a man or woman can be emotionally with a member of the same sex but, when the time comes, create life with a member of the opposite sex.
But if it is genetic, and they are unable to procreate, then that means that they failed nature. This is a genetic flaw, and Imperfects must be scrubbed…
This is dark stuff. This is also why I don’t read other people’s stuff when I’m working on my own.

Book Cover Reveal


Also in the news today, Book 2 of The Warp has been turned in. As a prize, my publisher let me show off the latest cover for DevastatorThe long-awaited sequel to Corruptor is much better (in my opinion) though a bit shorter. I can’t wait to see this book in print next year.

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Book Release Day!


I do seem to be having a lot of these lately, don’t I?

The Good, The Bad, and The Merc is currently live on Amazon. My short story, Keep the Home Fires Burning, continues the tale of the Kakata Korps as they take a new contract and discover a new purpose in life.

I really enjoy writing about the Liberian mercs and I’m hoping to eventually put a novel down about them. Chris and Mark seemed enthused by the idea but with the schedule I have right now it would be a little difficult to fit it in. Nonetheless, it’s there in the head, which means eventually it’ll get written.

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“Keep the Home Fires Burning” – Published 2017

Wronged Way


Cedar had an interesting post yesterday over at the Mad Genius Club (I actually missed the original post because I’ve been buried by basketball and finishing a book) and after reading it, I got to thinking (run! hide the women and children! he had two brain cells crash into one another on accident!) about professionalism in the publishing industry and how technology has changed the way it works.

I’ve been watching author interaction with fans now for over 7 years, mainly because I wanted to learn how to interact with my fans (all twelve of you… hey guys!) and what not to do. Then it dawned on me that I probably shouldn’t air my grievances against a publisher out in public (this is…. wise, one would think). This should be common sense but then you throw in the whole Internet thing and suddenly common sense takes a backseat to raging on a keyboard at the world.

Too often these days people forget about decorum because they are protected by the anonymity of online interactions. The web can protect folks from repercussions of their words online and gives people a false sense of courage. It’s easy to slam someone when hiding behind a firewall. It’s far more difficult to do it in person, to their face. There’s always the off-chance that calling someone a foul name to their face will get you kicked in the nuts.

One of the things I fall into the trap of is reading about when people are piling on an individual about some stupid thing they said or did online and nodding along, saying “Yep, they deserve what they’re getting right now.” It’s not really fair because, more often than not, what was posted was probably in the heat of the moment and the person wasn’t thinking clearly through their rage. I’ve been there, done that, copyrighted the hell out of it, so I understand completely.

So when Cedar talked about professionalism, I was kinda taken aback by the tone of some of the commentators on the private forum who had saved the epic rage-quit letter in question.

I felt that too many people wanted to revel in glee at the misfortune of the person in question (seriously, go read Cedar’s piece. It’s pretty good) and focus on the negativity, instead of feeling sorry for the author who felt that a rage-letter to her publisher was the way to go. I’ve seen many careers in the past go down in flames because of letters like that. Nowadays? Not so much, because most authors understand that everything they do online stays online. Publishers also understand this, though to a lesser extent. Authors talk to one another, as do publishers. It’s very easy to find oneself under a blacklist when you bad mouth a publisher (alternatively, piling on another seems to benefit others, but that still doesn’t make it right).

While I haven’t always been pleased with some of my past publishers and how they treated me, I kept my grievances mostly private. I’ve warned a few authors away who I felt may have been harmed in their business dealings with those publishers, but overall I simply let it be. It doesn’t help me one bit to attack someone who I don’t like or have worked with in the past.

Now, I know I’m not perfect. Sometimes when I get all worked up and pissed off I will go on a warpath (the Empress Theresa incident is a good example), but I do try to avoid this. In private, at home? With my cats staring at me like I’m insane? Oh yeah. They know how I feel. But everyone else? Nope. That stays between me and the cats (who were probably ignoring me anyways, so I’m good there).

What do you think? Should authors publicly call out publishers and other authors who they dislike or feel as if they’ve been wronged by?

Turnaround


It’s basketball season at last and I of course forgot my day over at the Mad Genius Club. Undoubtedly this will lead to me being replaced by someone crazier than I.

Just a quick update letting everyone know that I’m still around. Turned in Devastator last week and am almost finished with Deathlord. Meanwhile, Keep the Home Fires Burning is coming out in two weeks in the latest Four Horsemen anthology, The Good, The Bad, and The Merc. After that will be a new Sha’Daa anthology, called Sha’Daa: Toys. Then… I don’t know, really.

The turnaround time is really short these days.