Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Children of the Gods: Uprising

Hey everyone I was wanting to help reveal the cover to Jessica Therrien's Children of the Gods: Uprising . Below is the cover and a small teaser from the book.


We left everything but the weapons. Clothes, food, toothpaste. There wasn’t time for things that weren’t essential to escape. The five of us went on foot in a direction that was meaningless to me. I had never seen what was outside of the edges of the safe haven, not since I’d been here.
When Mac stopped abruptly after our fifteen-minute trek into the woods, we all froze at once, bodies poised and ready to attack, eyes searching for threats.
“We’re here,” Mac announced. “What should we expect Marcus?”
I had never heard Dr. Nickel called by his first name, and it made me realize he wasn’t as untouchable as I had imagined. Just because he was here, didn’t mean we were safe.
            “I don’t know,” he answered. “Maybe an army, maybe nothing. Depends on where they are.”
            “Everyone best get down on the ground just in case,” Mac decided with a nod. “Weapons ready.”
            As I lay belly down in the dirt, I noticed Dr. Nickel pull a gun from his belt, and my stomach gave a heave.
“When I remove the haven walls, there will be a van. Everyone get in back. If anything goes wrong…” Mac paused, uncomfortable at the thought. “It’s been nice knowin’ ya.”

Anyway check out her blog and her books, as always have fun and keep writing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Technically summer isn't over until September 21, but for my kids and I it ends tomorrow as they go back to school. As summer moves to fall and leaves change color and the temperature turns cooler, I have to find a new schedule for my writing.

Mostly during the summer I wait until everyone goes to bed, the house grows quiet and I sit down to write. I can go for a few hours before sleep takes me. Now, though, if I'm not in bed at a decent hour waking up to take the kids to school is a disaster. So I tend to change my schedule to writing in the mornings after I've dropped them off.

This got me thinking about the importance of schedule and how it effects my writing. I remember when I first started writing, it was all about the mood. I would say things like, "Oh the mood isn't striking me." Or I might say, "I can't just make myself write whenever, it won't be good." Now I take a more studious approach to it. If I sit down everyday and put something on paper eventually things start happening. The blank pages used to scare me(still do sometimes), but I have learned that I am responsible for my progression in my writing career and no one else is going to sit down and get these stories out and perfect them.

I think part of this progression was getting myself on a schedule. I knew at a certain time I was supposed to be writing. If I was doing something else I could guilt myself into sitting down instead of allowing excuses to be made. Yes at times I would type one word an hour, but at least I was writing. I finished one novel this way and am on my way to completing another, so for me at least having a schedule works. 

Has anyone else found having a schedule works for them or do you write when you can? What works best for you?

Anyway have fun and keep writing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WriteOnCon, Amazing

Well I can honestly say I have never been a part of something quite like that before. I guess that means I've been pretty sheltered as a writer up to this point.

I met so many great people and got so much useful and concise advice that my brain is slightly overloaded at the moment.

My computer and me have been just a bit too close these past few days. Whether it was discovering new blogs, critiquing or receiving critiques or a new hobby—ninja stalking—I don't think I got up too often.

I have decided to do another big revision on my first novel ELEMENTAL, after some things were brought to my attention, I feel this may be the revision that does it.

I also feel my brain, butt and possibly even my computer needs a break so I will take a few days and process everything I read. Can't wait for next year and I hope anyone else doing WriteOnCon had as much fun. A big Congratulations on all the people who got request.

Anyway, have fun and keep writing.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ah that Lucky Seven

    Kathryn Purdie Was nice enough to include me in her Lucky 7 post on her blog. I have been spending most of my online time at WritOnCon so I couldn't get together seven people I would like to have post their "Lucky Seven", but I figured I could give an excerpt of my very new(and very rough) WIP. The rules are, I'm to go to the seventh page, seventh line of my story and post seven lines of prose. So here it is from my WIP, Andious Seed.

Falling halfway to his knees Adrian scrambled around to take in the new danger and found himself staring at death made flesh. 

Feeling his mind trying to pull from what he was seeing Adrian blinked several times attempting to get the image to make sense. 

Crouched down on now broken concrete was a creature, Adrian didn't know how else to describe it, demon maybe. 

Its skin was a mix of putrid greens and yellows, a trail of massive, bone colored spikes ran from its wide brow down the middle of an overly muscled back.

Even kneeling as it was, it dwarfed both Adrian and the gray coated man, its orange eyes taking both of them in, spoke of a predator’s intellect.

“I told you we had to run," the strange man said, "but you didn't want to listen, no one listens anymore. The world has become full of know-it-alls, and each one knows less than the last,” he pulled Adrian to his feet and stepped in front of him.

Anyway hope you enjoy it, I am having a blast writing it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Writing Spirit.

It was three years ago that I finished my first novel. I have not been idle in that time. I have gathered some beta readers, done countless revisions and in the last year started the journey of learning to write queries and sending them off.

This idea to be a published writer comes with a lot of things attached to it. One of the biggest is rejection. I like the phrase, "Getting published is not a sprint it's a marathon." Each time I get a critique I try to use it and grow from it. That isn't to say it is never discouraging, but I am finding the more I write, the more I know I am supposed to be a writer.

With this knowledge I am learning to face things in a better light. I am growing thicker skin every day and also learning how to take some advice and leave others. This is a process and anyone going through it with me I just want to say stay strong, because people do give up and for every manuscript thrown in the fire one more makes it to the next level.

Here are my I will persevere songs this month.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Query up

Well I got my query up at the forums for WriteOnCon. I hope to get some good feedback so I can really get my manuscript to someone who will know what to do with it. Here is a link for anyone interested.

Anyway have fun and keep writing.

The Move was a Success

Well it has been a couple of months since I moved from my apartment into a house. Moves can sometimes be jarring when it comes to writing. You lose that(or those) sacred place(s) and there is always so much to do. 

It was a definite upgrade on space and having a backyard again is very refreshing. If I feel too stuffy siting at my desk I can just walk around in the woods for a bit and clear my head. I think sometimes we hold energy in a place, not like some voodoo more so just association. There were good and bad times in my last place and while that "energy" can be good for writing it can also be bad. 

As a kid I moved a lot, which is probably why my MC moved so much in Elemental. There is something about a fresh start it can invigorate you and allow you to shake off things that can weigh you down. While I was looking forward to this I also worried that it would take me a while to get back into writing and if I'm honest the first week or so here I don't think I wrote a word. I did do some reading, this house has some great reading spots. I started to worry though that I hadn't found a way to get back into the groove I'd had at the old place.

So I did a few things, first was I started this blog, one of my favorite things to do is look up author's interviews on YouTube and I happened to be watching some classes Brandon Sanderson(Elantris, Mistborn) was teaching on writing. He took one of his classes and brought on an old student of his Peggy Eddleman(Through the Bomb's Breath) and she talked about the importance of a blog and its uses.

The second was I bought a few more things for my nerd station, any little weird thing that stirs my mind and rearranged it a bit. This got me to sit in my chair and the first few blogs got me touching my keyboard, the combination soon had me typing on two different WIPs. So far I am twenty thousand words in and writing almost everyday. I guess I can say now that the move was a success.

Anyway have fun and keep writing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Tube

Just wanted to post a link to Geek and Sundry. They have some great vids about books and with authors.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Reading Widely

I remember being fourteen and stumbling onto my first Dragon Lance book. I had read other things like the Hobbit and most of the Narnia series, but here was a tale that magnified the hero. The action was grittier and more thorough. I was hooked, if it was Dragon Lance I read it and nothing else would do. Some years later my then girlfriend (now wife) found a book called the Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore as a gift for my friend. I wanted her to buy him a Dragon Lance book, but she decided to stick with this one instead. For months after all I heard was how amazing this book was and that he would never go back to Dragon Lance. Obviously my interest was peaked, so I went to my local book store and made my way to the fantasy section.

There it was sitting next to the section of Dragon Lance books, Forgotten Realms, another giant series of books set in one world. I struggled with the idea, but soon enough I pulled the paperback from the shelf and felt like a traitor all the way home. It didn't take me long to understand the praise my friend was giving the book, I finished it in two days, which for me is amazing as I am a notoriously slow reader. I was now enlightened, I understood the error of my ways. Reading only Dragon Lance books was wrong, the right way was....wait for only read Forgotten Realms (yeah I know).

So I went about collecting any Forgotten Realms story I could find and waiting for the new Drizzt book to come out each year. Soon I was hitting the bottom of the barrel at my book store. It was hard to wait so long to read a new book, I saw a solution in my favorite author. Mr. Salvatore had written another fantasy series set in his own world. So without hesitation I grabbed the first three books in the series, The Demon Awakens, The Demon Spirit and The Demon Apostle. Great books by the way, if you have not read them. Again I quickly devoured them and set about to finish the series. This, I believe was the seed that brought about change. I loved this series of books and it made me wonder if there were other great books out there I was missing.

Somewhere in the middle of all this I started writing, as I was reading this type of fantasy I was of course writing this type of fantasy. I would write a few thousand words and get some of my friends to read it, luckily they were the honest type and pointed out my need for growth. This went on for many years until one day I picked up a book called The Sorcerer's Stone. I'd had this idea for a children's book after having two of my own and was curious as to what was out there. Hearing about the success of the Harry Potter series I decided to start there. Like many fans of the series I quickly realized what the hype was all about, the books were successful because of one simple reason, they were really good. This was the book that changed me, I had to know what was out there.

So here we are, in the last few months I have finished The Name of the Wind (by Patrick Rothfuss), Savages (by Don Wilson), Eon (by Alison Goodman) and the first three Dresden Files books (by Jim Butcher). Four quite different genres and enjoyed and learned from each of them. The first novel I completely finished and got praise from my group of critical readers was a YA/Urban fantasy.

I have said before about believing the saying that writers are sponges. Now that doesn't mean take everyone's ideas and copy them, but the more you read, the more types of things you read, the better prepared you are for what and how you want to say the things you do in your writing.

Anyway this is a bit of my reading/writing story. Have fun and keep writing.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Now I am a firm believer in skill > idea. As Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Way of Kings) says, ideas are cheap. I know myself I think of something "cool" to write about at least twice daily. It takes patience, endurance and skill to make a good novel. Still, inspiration does have its values. 

Inspiration and inspired writing, tend to be the things that drive a story on. Editing can clean things up, fill in holes, but it is the "Hey this is a really cool thing I want to write about" that for me fills the most pages. When I feel like I am trudging through a section it is usually the stuff I edit most afterwards. 

So that got me thinking. What is this inspiration thing, where does it come from. For the most part I don't believe the clouds part, the earth opens and the mystical forces plop great ideas directly into your brain (although that would be awesome). Personally I think writers are sponges. We take things in, you see a cat slinking up the hallway, its tail flickering against a wall as it spots its playmate. Inching closer it bends down hunching its shoulders, anticipation building in its haunches moments before it pounces. This image sticks with you and the next time your writing it may find its way in, maybe instead of a cat it's a dragon. I remember when I was younger living in Tennessee and hiking in the foot hills around there. When I'm writing a forest scene I can still pull up sounds, images and smells remembered from all that time ago.

R. A. Salvatore (legend of Drizzt, Saga of the First King) said in an interview that there is no such thing as writer's block, he said to him it is just a lack of confidence in what you're writing. I tend to agree, but also sometimes I think it is this feeling that we are not inspired. I have found in this situation the best thing to do is get up, go walk through the woods and stare at trees, go to the mall and watch people, watch a movie or listen to music. Any of these things will allow you to "fill up" that sponge of a writer's brain we all tend to have. 

Anyway these are some of the things that work for me, have fun and keep writing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Comic Books and Me

The first "comic book" hit the United States around 1933, arguably not a very old story telling format. The first books were mostly re-printings of comic strips and for humor. In 1938 the world was introduced to it's first superhero. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel brought us Action Comics number 1 in 1938 and with it our first glimpse of Superman. From there the floodgates opened and many years later the story format endures. Spawning movies, books, video games and TV shows. 

I recently moved and while doing so realized how out of order my comic collection had become. After settling in to the new house I pulled all of my many (too many) comics from their boxes. I can't really explain the joy to someone who is not a fan, but I can go from a bad mood to a good one, just by flipping through a few issues. While onerous, the task of cataloging and re-boxing all of those books brought about a sense of joy and nostalgia. This got me thinking about why they meant so much to me and how they have impacted me as a writer. 

First I should explain that not only had comics been one of the first things that got me into reading, it was also the first type of story I started writing. Me and a few friends around the age of twelve started creating a world. We worked out characters, background for the world and why the types of people were in it. We had plot and setting, protagonist, antagonist, all of this learned by just reading comics. Of course for us it was just fun and a means to stretch our imagination and hang out with each other, but in truth much of what made me want to be an author came from that time in my life.

I was watching an interview with Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) and he was talking about him and Brandon Sanderson writing action scenes in their stories that made it obvious they had at one point wished they wrote for the Avengers. This is true, the focus of most comics is the action, it really shows a good way to have flow within your action scenes and many give a good idea of how to build up to and move on from a fight.

Villains, now while many bad ideas for villains come from comics there are some interesting ideas as well. Simon Williams, also known as Wonder Man, turned himself into a super being and joined the Avengers with plans of luring them into a trap. It was repayment for Tony Stark (Iron Man) sending his family business under. In the end Simon couldn't cause the deaths of the Avengers and sacrificed himself to save them. Some people even believe Lucas got the idea of Darth Vader from Dr. Doom a Marvel villain(shrug). I know that for me a hero is only as prolific as his villain, and a villain is only prolific if he has a good reason for being the way he is and I pulled many ideas for what the "bad guy" is from the multitude of outside the line people offered in comics.

After all of this I can thank comics for what they have taught me, but I think the biggest impact they have had on me is my idea of heroes. I read a book about Superman, here is someone who could live life like no other. He's able to fly to the beach hang out drink some mojitos and be back at the fortress watching the big screen, in seconds. He could just kill the bad guy and be done with him. Superman could show off and have money and women and all the things most people strive for, instead he uses his gifts to help those around him. What he strives for is to save instead of kill, to follow the rules and try to make the world a better place. I think most people know how hard it would be for us given his abilities. Then someone like Batman, he loses his parents and instead of taking his large means and burying himself away somewhere to sulk, he rises above. Comics are filled with this self-sacrifice, power equals responsibility kind of mindset. 

I know they are not for everyone, but maybe if you are not already into them and you pass by a comic book store think about stopping in and checking out this interesting, innovative type of story telling.