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About my Absence and a Reading!

As you may know, I haven't been active online anywhere near as much as I've been known to be in the last couple of months. There are a few projects I've been working on that are just sucking up all of my available time. As many of you know, I'm not just an author, but a filmmaker as well, and I'm in the midst of directing two documentaries. One is for the city of Salt Lake and the history of rail and public transportation here dating back to the 1870s, and the other is for PBS and explores the culture and dichotomous statistics that define Utah as a place. As you can imagine, those two projects alone are keeping me quite busy. Not content to rest on my laurels, I'm still hosting The Big Shiny Geek Show Pub Quiz every Wednesday night in Salt Lake at the Lucky 13 bar. I'm still co-hosting the Full of Sith podcast. I'm still writing my regular column at City Weekly, the official Star Wars website, and writing/editing for Big Shiny Robot! I'm working…

A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination: Part 2

As I write this, there are about 30 hours left on the Kickstarter campaign for my next book, A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination.

We're currently 215% funded and climbing.

We've been in the news in a number of places:

First, we have The National Journal. Writer Marina Koren interviewed me for her piece in their White House section today. How to Explain Presidential Assassinations to Your Kids is a great, positive piece. They read the book, loved it,  and they even asked for a copy when the book is out. Then, the DCist wrote a great story about it, too, running some of Scout's art. Author Creates Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination For Kids. Some of the comments are pretty funny.

WatchPlayRead added a question mark to the title, A Children’s Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination?, and are very supportive.

Sadly, The DailyKos went straight to conspiracy theorist territory and assumed this book was some sort of m…

Walt Simonson on Misleading Readers

Walt Simonson is a brilliant comics writer, and easily one of my favorites. I've spoken to him before about writing (you can read that here). And I saw this clip pop up on Bleeding Cool with Walt Simonson discussing the origin of Beta Rey Bill, one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe. During the video, he drops this nugget of wisdom: "You want to play fair with the reader but you want to mislead them in stories. You'd like them not to get the end and go, 'Oh yeah, this is going to go there,' and then you go there." You can watch it in this video, the whole thing is worth watching, but this tidbit comes in at about 2:16: And it seems obvious, but it's a brilliant piece of advice and it's something we tend to forget. We all need to be reminded of this now and again. We need to work to be two steps ahead of the readers, play fair with them, but keep them surprised. Obligatory reminder of my Kickstarter, A Children's Illustrated H…

A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination

So, my publisher for this book, Silence in the Library, launched a Kickstarter campaign for a book.

I've written it and Erin Kubinek drew it.

 I'd appreciate deeply your support for this project.

The manuscript is done and most of the illustrations are as well. This is really just a preorder campaign. The book documents the attempted assassinations of Presidents as well as those who were actually killed in a way that's interesting and engaging to kids and adults.

And the illustrations just put it over the top. It's a labor of love I put together for my daughter, and I think most geek kids and adults would really dig it. Consider ordering a copy. And there are tons of cool add-ons and extra bits to make it doubly worth your while.

 And you can get a copy of the completed eBook version for as little as $5.

 Check it out: A Children's Illustrated History of Presidential Assassination on Kickstarter.

Salt Lake Comic-Con: Tentative Schedule

I am happy to say that I'll be a guest at my first hometown Comic-Con, right here in Salt Lake City.

I'll be selling and signing books from a table, and Big Shiny Robot! will have a presence there as well.

I've got a pretty busy schedule and am in negotiations to make it even busier, but right now, this is what's going on so far.

For tickets, visit the Salt Lake Comic-Con website.

Thursday: September 5

6:00 pm:
Making a Film on a Shoestring Budget 
(Aaron Hultgren, Bryan Young, Scott Taylor, Tom Carr, Kohl Glass, William Pace, Chris “Doc” Wyatt)

Friday: September 6

Noon
Why We Love the Prequels: A Celebration of Star Wars 2.0 
(Bryan Young, Leigh George Kade, Dartanian Richards, Sean McPeak)

1:00pm
Directing for Independent Film 
(Kohl Glass, Daryn Tufts, Bryan Leffler, Jonathan Martin, Bryan Young, Brian Higgins)

7:00pm
King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings & Star Wars: An Examination of the Hero’s  Journey 
(Bryan Young, Dan Willis, David Farland, Brad Torgerson, Robison Wells, R…

Dragon Con: Tentative Schedule

Dragon Con is coming up quick and my tentative schedule is nothing short of exciting. I'll be all over the place and if you don't get to see me, it can't possibly be my fault because I'm doing all of the coolest stuff.

I will stress that this schedule is tentative and subject to change, but there is a lot of VERY cool stuff on here.

Friday 
What We Know About Episode VII Thus Far
2:30 pm - A706 Marriott
Rumors, theories, confirmed details, wishes, hopes, and fears. WE ARE GETTING A NEW MOVIE! Let's discuss!  (Tentative Panelists: Bryan Young)

Your Favorite Star Wars Authors
7:00pm - A706 Marriott
You love them. We love them. They'll be on hand to take YOUR questions!
(Moderator: Bryan Young Tentative Panelists: Aaron Allston, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Stackpole, Timothy Zahn)

Totally Retro Toons
8:30pm - A708 Marriott
Do today's cartoons gag you with a spoon? Our discussion of 80's kids shows will be totally tubular. (Tentative Panelists: Bryan Young, E. …

An Update and Announcements

July 2013 might have been one of my busiest months ever, so I apologize for the lapse in posting. San Diego Comic-Con was wedged in the middle of all of that, as well as some other things. I had two readings, one at a library in Logan, Utah, and another at The King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City.

And on top of everything, I'm still working on a rewrite of The Serpent's Head.

But let's take San Diego Comic-Con first.



I was on a couple of panels and met a lot of very cool people. For the Full of Sith podcast I got to interview people like Tommy Yune of Harmony Gold about Star Wars and Robotech, The Clone Wars voice actors Stephen Stanton and TC Carson, and Del Rey Books' Erich Schoneweiss. You can listen to all of my interviews with them here.

I also got to interview the cast and crew of The World's End (Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright) and those should be appearing soon. As well as my interviews with the guys behind Robot Chicken (most notably, Breck…

That Award and Two Readings in Utah

Over the weekend I was honored by the Utah Arts Festival and the Salt Lake City Mayor's office with the award for Literary Arts, given out generally every year, but not always. I'm pictured there, second from the left with the other winners.

It was a great experience and truly an honor.

Coming off the heels of that award, I'll be doing two different readings in the area. The first will be this Thursday at the regular Helicon West reading at the Logan Library, 255 North Main, Logan, Utah.

I'll be there at 7:00 as the author guest and I'll be reading for twenty minutes or so. Afterward, I'll be signing and selling books to those who are interested.

More info can be found here.

The second reading is a little bit further out, but on Tuesday, July 9th, I'll be doing a reading and a signing at the King's English Bookshop. The King's English is located at 1511 South 1500 East, Salt Lake City, Utah.

That event also starts at 7:00 and I'll be reading wit…

A Hero By Any Other Name

Silence in the Library Publishing has put out a brand new anthology and is a collection of superhero stories. It's a fantastic collection and I'm very proud of it. First off, it has stories from Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston in it. And a story by me.

My story, called "Changing The Game," is about the sidekick half of the Kid Sleuth and the Inspector team.

Each of the stories is illustrated by Mark Dos Santos, and has a cover by Dennis Loubet. Here's a full breakdown of authors and stories:

Aaron Allston - RetreadsJanine Spendlove - Stupendous SparkleMaxwell Alexander Drake - The KidBryan Young - Changing the GameMaggie Allen - A Marvelous New World R.T. Kaelin - All-StarRon Garner - Hero Today, Gone Tomorrow Jean Rabe - Mortar's OvationMichael A. Stackpole - Need to Know It is now on sale through Amazon, but you can buy it here directly, $15 + shipping, at a much better benefit to the authors. 
In fact, this is another instance of Silence in the Libr…

Time Traveled Tales

Time Traveled Tales is a new collection of short stories from guys like Timothy Zahn, Aaron Allston, Mike Stackpole and plenty of other authors you've heard of (me included) and some authors that you're going to be hearing a lot about in the future.

 They're kickstarting the book as a collection to subvert big publishing and cut out the middle-men, something I was talking about recently in my latest column for City Weekly.

This is a perfect way to get great fiction and directly support the artists creating it.

The story I wrote, called "Deep Salvage," is a very cool sci-fi story about two spacers looking to recover a salvage and find something altogether more terrifying.

I'd count it as a personal favor if you checked out the book and considered kickstarting it.

Disconnecting

As writers, we need to get into our heads and do lots of thinking and lots of soul searching. Living in a society where advertisers, our friends and families, and the entire Internet are competing for our attention, that kind of quiet thought might be hard to come by.
When I was in Paris, I had limited Internet access, no phone access, and nothing more on my agenda than to learn.
While I was there, I'd spend my mornings writing on a new novel. I got almost 20k words done while I was there, over three weeks, that averages out to about 1,000 words a day. After we'd head out for the day, I'd keep my moleskin with me and write as often as a thought struck me (you know, instead of tweeting or facebooking). In that notebook, I wrote two short stories, and I put about 20k words down full of observations and ideas.
It was refreshing and it was refueling.
I wasn't so concerned about the rest of the world, I could spend my time thinking about capturing photographs of things that…

The Serpent's Head, Origins Game Fair, and SDCC

It's time again for an update.

First off, for those expecting The Serpent's Head this month, as it was scheduled, after getting back with meetings with the editor, it needs another rewrite. It's just not ready for publication and I'm not going to rush it. I'm going to get it right. It will be out before the end of the year, though, so you can still look forward to it. Doubly so, knowing that it's going to be even better than I could have imagined in the first place.
I have a rough mock-up of the cover as well, it's not final art, but I wanted to share it with you. It's from Erin Kubinek, a hell of an artist.
We'll see how much it changes, but I really like the idea of the piece. And for a sci-fi/western, I think it works really well. Be sure to let me know what you think.
The next order of business:
Origins Game Fair. It's one of my favorite conventions and every writer should want to go. There are two tracks of panels on the craft of writing tau…

CONduit and Denver Comic-Con

Well, I'm back from three weeks in Paris. I got plenty of writing done and am completely creatively rejuvenated. And, like a fool, instead of parlaying that rejuvenation into more writing, I'm doing conventions for the next two weekends.

I'll try to keep up on the writing, sure, but I'd have a hard time passing up seeing those of you who care.

CONduit is a Science Fiction convention held each year in Salt Lake City. Here's their website. They're  one of the oldest cons in Utah devoted to Science Fiction (possibly the oldest?) and I'll be doing four appearances.

Saturday 11:00 am - Reading (I'll be reading a selection from Operation: Montauk and possibly a tease from my next book.)Saturday 2:00 pm - Signing (I'll be signing and selling books)Saturday 3:00 Geek Journalism (Bryan Young, Krystal Star & Danielle Uber Alles (Hello Sweetie)) Sunday 10:00 Star Trek, Star Wars, and J.J. Abrams (Julie Henderson, Bryan Young, Stephanie Roberts, Carl Stark) …

Off to Paris

For as long as I've been a writer I've desired to see Europe. There's an old idea that women have a biological clock for having children, I think that's true of writer's and visiting Europe.

From the moment I read Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, Paris is something I knew I needed to see for myself and tomorrow I'm leaving on a plane to experience it for three weeks. I'll be largely disconnected to that time. I'm using the next three weeks to write a book and collect material for another, as well as drink in every sight I can imagine.

Paris is interesting to me as a filmmaker, too. I'm wondering what's caught the eye of so many of my favorite filmmakers and why they chose to set films in Paris.

I have no illusions about what Paris is. I know it's not going to be the Paris I read about at Hemingway's pen. I won't run into F. Scott Fitzgerald like Woody Allen would have me believe. It's not the old, charming city that Moulin Rouge…

An Award

I was informed last week that I was to be the recipient of the Mayor’s Artists Award in the Literary Arts category, presented annually by the Mayor of Salt Lake City and the Utah Arts Festival.

Here's the pertinent portions of the press release:


Salt Lake City, UT: Since 1992 the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office has recognized individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the artistic landscape of the community. The Utah Arts Festival and the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office are honored to present the Mayor’s Artists Awards during the Festival on Friday, June 21st on the Festival Stage at 8:15 pm.  This year’s five recipients are Karen Horne – Visual Arts; Mary Ann Lee – Performing Arts; Bryan Young – Literary Arts; Frank McEntire – Service to the Arts by an Individual; and RadioWest – Service to the Arts by an Organization. (Biographies below)
Bryan Young – Literary Arts  Bryan Young works across many different mediums. As an author, he’s written the bestsell…

Writer's Rules Revisited #15

It's time again for a new installment of writer's rules. It's been a while, but I've been very busy. And I think this is pretty much the last bit of procrastination before I have to finish my next novel. I've got ideas for short stories and a new book waiting to come out, but I need to finish this last one before I can move on.

But all of that is just a distraction from why you're here.

For those new around these parts, a brief explanation is in order. A long time ago I posted a list of rules and guidelines I've been collecting in my notebook over the years as a writer. I put together the list on the blog and it was fairly popular. (You can read the whole thing here) But there's only so much that comes across in a simple bullet point list. I wanted to expand on it and we've been doing it two or three at a time ever since.

If you want to catch up on the series:

You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 herePart 4 herePart 5 here,Part 6 herePar…

A General Update

I have been incredibly busy over the last month and many things have happened. To that end, I wanted to give you all an update and let you know I'm still alive and still writing.

To start with, I've been doing a lot of revising. I finished a revision of The Serpent's Head, top to bottom, and it's now with readers and an editor as we speak. This is my second overhaul of the book and I'm really excited to bring it to you guys.

I'm also working with an artist about a cover, and I'm very excited about what's been planned there, too.

With The Serpent's Head, we're still on track for a Late May/Early June release.

Then, there's this:



Yeah. Somehow, beyond all reason, I was put on a list of The Hottest Geek Guys of 2013 by The RedEye, which is in The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times.

So...  yeah.  That happened.

I also took a road trip to San Francisco with my son, which was a great time. We took a tour of ILM, ate in the Lucasfilm Cafeter…

Is Amazon Getting into the Author Marketing Business?

I just received an email and a survey from Amazon's KDP program asking me a number of questions.

Every single question was geared toward determining what I have done to market my books. From writing on this blog to hiring the lovely Consetta Parker, they wanted to know everything.

What was the hardest thing about marketing? What was the most expensive? What was the easiest? What was I doing currently?

Then, they started asking questions about how much money I was spending on such efforts.

The email stated thusly:
As part of Kindle Direct Publishing’s ongoing effort to provide you with better services and support, we would like your feedback. Please help us by taking this short online survey which asks about your opinions and experiences with book marketing and more. I think it's a prudent move for Amazon to get into book marketing, but they don't need to do a whole lot for it. All they'd need to do is hire a few readers to elevate the good stuff on the site and review i…

Writer's Rules Revisited #14

I've been catching up ever since I got back from SheVaCon, where I had a great time talking about writing. It made me realize very much that no matter how many answers I had to offer others for their writing, I would never be 100% sure of those answers in my own writing. I don't think any of us can be. We're all searching for that extra help or bit of guidance that will put our stories over the top, but we're too close to them and so we have to rely equally on our knowledge of the craft and the opinions of those we trust.

But that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

Also, for those interested, there's a new interview with me about Operation: Montauk at Indie Author Land. 

And for you Star Wars fans, be sure to check me out on the Full of Sith podcast which seems to be taking on a life of its own that I can't explain.

For those new around these parts, a brief explanation is in order. A long time ago I posted a list of rules and guidelines I've been collecti…

ShevaCon - Panel Schedule

I'm heading out tonight for SheVaCon, which starts tomorrow in Roanoke, Virginia. I'm excited to meet people, sell and sign some books, and hang out with two of my favorite pals, Janine Spendlove and Aaron Allston.

I wanted to leave my schedule with you in case you could make it. This is a great convention with lots of great seminars to be had.
Feb 8

E-publishing how does it work - Bryan Young, Anne B Walsh, Elaine Corvidae
1:00pm-1:50pm Harrison/Tyler Room   Intro to graphic novel writing - Bryan Young, Elaine Corvidae
3:00pm-3:50pm Bent Mountain Room  Feb 9  How to Kill your Character - Robert West, Betty Cross, Leona Wisoker, Janine Spendlove, Gail Martin, Bryan Young, Aaron Allston, Heather E Hutsell
12:00pm-12:50pm Washington Lecture Hall   Beating Writer’s Block - Paul Dellinger, Leona Wisoker, Janine Spendlove, Betty Cross, Bryan Young, Mark Rainey, Jim Bernheimer, Heather E Hutsell
2:00pm-2:50pm Harrison/Tyler Room   Evolution of Weapons in Sci-Fi  - Janine Spendlove, Bryan …