Saturday, July 14, 2018

Brandon Ax and the Pile of Notebooks.

Hello all.

I have found something interesting about myself.

I like to write in notebooks. Not stories so much, but notes. I mean after all they are called notebooks.

I had this thing where I never took notes. I tried to. I have several documents on the computer with a book title followed by "notes". I think the longest one is three pages.

The thing is, I have a habit of holding it all in my head. Which when I had about four books/series I was working on I was able to do. As I've gotten older and added more to mental library of unfinished works, I have found it harder.

When I was just starting I used to write exclusively in notebooks. In fact I have several older ones for my epic fantasy. The issue is once I got my hands on a computer I didn't look back. So a little bit ago I decided to try something and took a notebook to work with me. I started writing down histories and jotting down ideas and notes and names.

I was hooked.

Now I have this nice little pile of notebooks. Not all are full, but there are some really cool things in them. Something about putting actual pen to paper changes the way I think. Sometimes ideas come more freely than when I would just sit and think. Other times I get ideas from just looking back through it all.

I am currently working on a book that goes back eleven years. So far I have several notebooks with notes and I feel like it is a much stronger story for them. I still keep a lot in my head, but I like having something physical. I like looking back and seeing a little doodle that represents an idea or a note that I had forgotten I'd written.

I wish I had done this for the Light Bringer Saga, it would have been nice to look back after the trilogy and see how it all came to be.

Do you guys have a certain way you take notes? Do you write on paper first then transfer it to the computer?

Well back to the grind.

Talk to you soon. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

IWSG Nov 2017

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

So I suck at this. Lol. 

I was for some reason thinking the first was Thursday. I was planning to do a post for IWSG next Wednesday. Oh well better late than never I guess. 

So the question this month is - Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Honestly I always plan on doing NaNo, but never get myself into it. Sometimes I have worked on a project in tandem with the contest.  

It is strange because I am writing all the time lately. You would think that I would love to jump in there and use it to push myself, but I most likely will be skipping it again this year. 

Anyway, hope everyone is doing well. See you soon.

I also had a question for everyone. What are some ways you have used to promote your books after they come out?

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Chasm.

It is a strange thing to be an artist.

In essence we live inside of our head.  So much of our time is spent being inside of ourselves or trying to get that thing inside of us out.

It leaves, at least me, in a state that is often very lonely.

Now I hasten to add, I live in a full house. A very full house. I am almost never alone.

Also my life is not devoid of happiness. I have many joys that are very dear to me.

Yet I do find what I do to be lonely at times.

I imagine that is why authors and other types of artist like to do signings and cons. It is that moment where our art can reach out and let us interact with others and have them interact with us.

I have enjoyed every bit of interaction that I have had with readers.

I used to wonder if it was ego at play. In the end I am coming to understand that it is that quenching of the loneliness.

Maybe there are self-sustaining artist out there. They just work and work and don't really care what others think or do.

I can understand the mentality some. The art is about expression. To a degree this is for ourselves. To help us understand who we are.

But in the end if we are spending all of this time making our feelings known, we must want to share them.

It isn't just some form of reflection.

It is also a form of communication.

Anyway, just some musings from a busy artist. I hope everyone is doing well. Talk to you soon.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

And the Winners are!!!

So the giveaway is officially over. I have not used Rafflecopter in quite a bit, but I still really enjoyed it.

So as some of you know I have small kids and sometimes leaving your computer up while one of them loves to play on it may do interesting things.

So while most of the winners I can annouce through RC, there is one that I will have to announce myself as they were taken off by my three year old. That along with opening about a hundred other windows. Maybe he will be a programmer one day.

Luckily we remembered the name so it isn't too big of a deal.

Anyway most of the winners can be seen in the widget.

The one that was removed by my son was Terri-Ann Barker!

I'll be contacting everyone through their email.

All prizes should be shipped out by November 1st.

Thank you all for entering it has been fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The post that should have happened last week.

Yeah as the title says this one should have been last week, but life she has some other plans.

But not to be deterred, I am here with my extended week of the giveaway. So here are the prizes.


Mystery Print plus signed copy of Elemental


Aiden necklace and print


Lynn necklace and print


Connor necklace and print


Zander necklace and print


Sophia neckalce and signed copy of Light Bringer


$10 gift card

Here are all of the necklaces. They are made by Amanda from Layla's Trinkets, if you want to contact her to make something awesome you can reach her here.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a book so far and remember reviews help a ton.

I hope everyone is doing well. Talk to you all again soon. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG 10-17

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! You can join HERE!!

Wow it is great to be back with this amazing group of people. I must say that I have missed IWSG.

Normally I would try to spend this time encouraging others about this process of writing or trying to get some, but obviously this month is a bit different for me. This month my main source of insecurity or worry is all around the release of my new book.

Things that were out of my control have had me away from my blog and other areas in a time where I needed to be here the most.

That being the case I have extended the giveaway for another week so that I can make the rounds and really try to get everything out.

Other than that I have started work on a few new projects. I am excited to see where they go, but also the insecurities are always there with something new.

The question this month asked if we had slipped personal information into a character. The answer is ... yes. lol

Sophia has a lot of things that are similar to me or things from my past. If you have read her, you might know me just a bit better.

Hope everyone is doing well. See you soon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 25, 2017

Wow, it is finally HERE!!!!

I can't believe it is finally out for everyone to read.

I know when I started working on this book after Ashes, I never thought it would take me four years to produce another book.

I am generally a fast writer, or at least a steady writer. The problem wasn't with the book, the problem was with me. I was going through so much, but the book was always there.

I can still remember the stirrings that started this series. Sophia and I have been through quite a bit together and I will never be the same person I was before we met.

I know what I have planned for the future, but this has been quite a journey so far.

I really hope everyone enjoys the third installment of The Light Bringer Saga.

I am having a giveaway for the book so if you want to enter the details are below. I will do another blog showing in more detail what the prizes look like.

If you want to see part of them go check out an interview I had with SK Anthony. We always have fun.

Well I am overjoyed to have finished this and actually have it ready for everyone. I hope you are all well. Talk to you soon.

Grab the book HERE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I had a chat.

So sometimes being a writer takes you to fun and interesting places. In those places some people may like coffee and they may want you to like coffee too.

I got to hang out with the awesome Lynda Dietz today.  We got to talk a bit about my upcoming release and I shared part of the giveaway there.

Hopefully she will have me back after her cat calms down a bit.

If you would like to check it out click HERE.

We are getting closer to the release, are you excited? I am. I hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life of writing.

With how long it took between Ashes and Light Bringer, I didn't want to be in that spot again so I have been trying to stay busy. With four kids, pets and full time...overtime, job—that get's problematic.

Luckily I have a CP and wife who helps me stay on track. It is really important to have people around you that support you and don't let you let yourself down.

Of course that doesn't mean every day is as productive as it could be.

So I woke up today and was raring to go. I sat at my computer, brought up the word browser, typed ten words and jumped on FB. Because...well, FB.

That led to youtube because, of course.

I then made breakfast for my kids and wife.

Proceeded to watching every DragonCon video that contained Jim Butcher.

Had to play faces with my three year old.

My dog, Sadie, had to go outside then instantly needed a rub down.

There was a small crisis of my youngest deciding my three year old was a stepping stool.

Then finally everyone but me took a nap.

Free time. I can write now. So I wrote this blog.

Life as a writer is funny.

Anyway, I figured I would let everyone know that I have a free weekend coming up for Elemental. Starting Friday if you have never read my series or know someone who might want to check it out, they can do so up until Sunday.

I hope everyone is well. I'll talk to you all again soon.

Monday, September 4, 2017

The cat behind the boy behind the man.

I have always loved words. I spend a lot of time looking into etymology and why certain phrasings are used. Things in my life were not always of a rational nature to my young mind and people could be cruel, but words were solid. 

Words gave you stories and what is life without stories?

But, I did say something about a cat.

I remember when I was quite young my mother had brought home a kitten. He was a tiny thing, smallest in the litter in fact. I had learned that was called the runt. Of course I knew all about runts, my favorite book at the time was Charlotte's Web.

He was black and white, with bright green-yellow eyes and cute little tufts of white hair behind his ears. We called them his wings.

I asked my mother then what his name was. And she said, Lagniappe. Well what she actually said was, "Lanyap." It just so happens that Lagniappe is how such a sound is spelled. Now this name was strange at the time, but it hit off the ears in a fun way that a child can appreciate. As the years went on it was something that was as natural as saying Spot, or Billy.

It was always something that was hard to say to people because it was almost immediately followed by some version of, "What?"

It taught me other people's relation to words.

The word itself is a Louisiana French adaptation of a Spanish word. In it's simplest form it means, a little something extra and he certainly was. He ended up growing to be a huge cat. He could have easily hurt someone or something if he wasn't also the most gentle creature I have ever known in my life. 

He would let us dress him in clothes and pose him for pictures. He could often be found sleeping on his back in a bed with the covers pulled up to his chest. If you were sick or sad, he was there. He was our little guardian. He was not a pet, he was family. 

"So, interesting story, what does this have to do with you as a man?"

Well, besides giving me a companion when I often needed one, he was also inspiration. I remember in the second grade the teacher passed around these hardback notebooks. The pages inside were blank and the instruction was to write and illustrate a book about anything we wanted. 

I didn't have to think. I was instantly writing away about my amazing cat. The pictures came easily because I often spent time with my furry friend. I learned in that moment that a person made stories happen. That I could make stories happen. 

 I know for sure the book was terribly simplistic and the art, while showing a budding talent, would win no awards, but it was a start. It was the beginning of a love for things that would stay with me the rest of my life.   

Lagniappe lived quite a long life as far as cats go. He lived long enough to meet my first born. Life eventually takes its toll on us all and he had finally slowed down by my early twenties. His last year was spent staring out the window of a white house. Birds chirping in a thick tree capturing his attention even when his body could no longer run around with them.

When he passed, I remember feeling such a loss. Thinking of him now I get the dull ache that one often gets when they remember a loved one no longer with them. Both my mother and I have entertained writing books about him because he was that wonderful. Neither of us have, and I often wonder if it is because we fear we could never capture just how truly amazing he was. Even if they were not about him, I did end up writing more books. I like to think my feline brother set me on that path. 

Anyway, thanks for listening. I hope everyone is doing well. Talk to you soon.

(My mother and daughter with Lagniappe)


Friday, August 25, 2017

Exciting news!!

Well, it has been a long time since I was able to say this, but—I have a release date!!!

It is official. On September 25th I will finally get to release the third installment in the Light Bringer Saga!


I will be doing a giveaway for the book and have some other cool little things planned across the blogisphere...bloggersphere....the place we blog. 

For now I can show you the blurb for the book. Hope you enjoy it:

After facing her nightmares and battling against those who should have been her protectors, Sophia should be prepared for anything. With knowledge gained from the Pathways and a power growing inside, the last mystery she faces is herself.
Answers about her past are being kept just out of reach. Two powerful groups of Elementals are coming to town and their intentions could easily spell doom for everyone she loves. As if that weren’t enough, a dark figure looms ever closer, threatening to change everything she once believed.
Life is never dull around the Elementals. As each decision puts those she cares about further at risk, Sophia is left with one question: Is knowing who you are worth losing everything?

Anyway, thanks for listening. Hope everyone is well. See you soon.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spotlight of awesome!!

A big thing I love about blogging is all the help and camaraderie that goes on here. It's a pretty special place. 

It is also filled with some pretty special people. I would like to share some of these folks with you all. Many of you may know them, but it may be time to check out some of the things they can do. 

First up are two amazing...and award winning...authors! 


Aside from being authors the two have started a website with tons of helpful advice, videos, and even a podcast. 

It is the podcast I want to really talk about here. I have been following these two as they made YouTube videos, which are also great. So I remember when they announced the podcast I got really excited.

"How To Know If Writing Advice Is Good", led the way into what would be a new favorite pastime for me.  

As of writing this, they have ten episodes and each of them is really great. They give succinct advice and have great flow and chemistry as they do it. It is a cool resource for new and old writers alike. I often listen to them when drawing or eating. You can even listen to it from itunes and soundcloud.

Oh and they are doing something really cool over there. It is a contest for authors. I will let them explain as they will do it better than me anyway. Click HERE!   

I am a pretty big fan. Do yourselves a favor and check them out. 

Being writer you take a lot of advice. Once we get this advice we sweat and toil over our works of love for who knows how long. Eventually we may get to a point in drafting that we think people might want to buy this stuff. At this point there is an important step that no author should skip. Yes, you may know where I'm going here.


Being a Self Published author it is hard to wade through all the noise and find people we are compatible with. So if I may, I would like to offer up two amazing people for your consideration. 

The first is the wonderful, Janie Junebug. You can check out her blog here where she will give tips on editing and regale you with tales from Florida, Willy Dunne Wooters, and some amazing pups. 

After rushing my books out lacking the proper editing, it was Janie that came to my rescue and helped me right the ship, or did we write the ship? Well one of those things happened. 

She has great insights on content and flow. Many of the structural problems in my prose she helped me curb and fix. You will find working with her insightful and fun. 

I have been told by people that you can never have enough eyes on your work so I also had the pleasure of using this next person to proofread the books and just give it that extra set of peepers. 

Lynda Dietz is incredible as a person and editor. You can find her blog here, where she will offer her editors notes and a profound knowledge of all things editing. I found the process of working with her incredibly enjoyable. You can tell right away that your work is in good hands and you are instilled with a sense of confidence about going forward. 

I know this one was a bit long. I hope that you give the podcast a listen. I am telling you once you start you will want to hear them all. Also check out the blogs of these lovely editors and keep them in mind whenever you are in the market.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks for listening, I'll see you next time.