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Showing posts from January, 2013

Walt Simonson on Writing

Those who know me know how much I love Marvel's Thor character. Those who know me well know how much I utterly adore Walt Simonson's run with that character. It's one of the most formative reading experiences I've ever had in comics and I really loved everything about it since I was young. 
You can imagine my excitement when I was given an opportunity to speak to Mr. Simonson last year for The Huffington Post and for Big Shiny Robot!
We talked about quite a lot of things, but the interview was mainly about the re-release of his adaptation of the film Alien. Our conversation ran long though, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk to him about Thor (and his time on Marvel's Star Wars book.) Through that conversation, we talked a bit about writing his run on Thor and I felt like some of the things he said would be useful to you guys. It was certainly useful to me.
The first question I asked about was the ability to turn Thor into a frog and get away with …

7 of 7

Once again, my friend and author R.T. Kaelin has got me on another one of these chain things and this one proved too interesting to ignore. It's called 7 of 7 and it's very simple. You go to line 7 of page 7 or page 77 of your current work in progress and reveal the 7 lines that follow. 

I have three unpublished books and I thought it might be fun to do this with all three of them. I figured I'd tell you a bit about each of them.
The first is 'The Serpents Head." This book is coming out in June and is an sci-fi western if with a Sergio Leone sensibility. It's about a gunslinger on the frontier of space who comes across a village massacred by a posse of creatures called Glicks. The only survivors, three young children, are taken in by the stranger, who is convinced to help them try to rescue another young girl who had been kidnapped by the murderers.
So, here's 7 lines starting with 7 lines on page 7.
A few, particularly those on the outskirts, seemed construc…

Guest Post: Janine Spendlove on Interacting with Readers

My good friend and fellow author, Janine Spendlove, is taking over this space to talk to you about interacting with potential readers. She's written the incredible War of the Seasons trilogy, a YA Fantasy that's definitely worth your time. But for once, you're not here to read what I have to say, so I'll let her take it away:

Bryan Young and I met camping in line for Star Wars: Episode I. This should tell you most of what you need to know about our friendship. I count myself blessed that not only is Bryan one of my very best friends (and has been for well over a decade now), but that we've been able to work together & encourage each other on our personal "writing" journeys.

When we decided to guest post on each other's blogs I asked Bryan write a piece on finding time to write (he's one of the busiest people I know), and he asked me to write "a piece about the importance of networking with other writers and not being a jerk, since you…

Writer's Rules Revisited #12

It's been incredibly busy 'round these parts lately. I've finished two more short pieces for eventual publication since last I posted. And I've been working with the artist for the cover for the next novel I'm putting out. I've also started revising that book pretty heavily based on notes from a couple of trusted advanced readers who saw...lots of room for improvement. 

I've also been pretty focused on launching a new project. It's a Star Wars based podcast called Full of Sith. Our third episode just went live and I couldn't be more proud of how the show is turning out. I hope you'll check it out.

But I didn't want this to stagnate, so here we are with another installment of this writer's rules series.

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 fair…

2013 Convention Schedule

I'm trying to cut down on the amount of conventions I'm doing, but nothing seems to work. I keep getting invited to cons. That's a good thing and I won't complain.

At this point, here is my schedule:


2/8-10- ShevaCon - Roanoke, Virginia3/22-23 - Anime Salt Lake - Salt Lake City, UtahApril - SLCNerd - Salt Lake City, Utah5/24-26 - CONduit - Salt Lake City, Utah5/31-6/2 - Denver Comic-Con - Denver, Colorado6/12-16 - Origins Game Fair - Columbus, Ohio8/30-9/2 - Dragon*Con - Atlanta, Georgia10/18-20 - Anime Banzai - Salt Lake City, Utah This list is subject to change at any time, but I think I can say with certainty that I'll be at these conventions. It's less than I did last year, but I'm still hoping a couple of other conventions invite me to come out. (Like GMX, hint-hint.)

And there are other conventions that have very low chances of me coming to, like San Diego Comic-Con. Unless I have more than a couple of panels and a table, I just can't see myself go…

Writer's Rules Revisited #11

I've taken some time off of this series. I'll be honest: I was using this column to procrastinate on a difficult stretch of my novel. I'm still doing it, but whenever I write one of these I turn around and put another significant dent into it. I'm almost done with it and  a couple more short stories. And I've begun revising the novel I'm going to be putting out next.

Things are getting busier for me, but that's always a good thing.

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 …

Triumph Over Tragedy - Available Now

Triumph Over Tragedy, an anthology for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, is officially out now. Not only does it have a new, original science fiction written by me, it also has stories by Michael Stackpole, Robert Silverberg, Michael J. Sullivan, Jean Rabe, Maxwell A. Drake, Timothy Zahn, Elizabeth Bear, Marion Zimmber Bradley, and dozens of others. 40 authors had donations accepted into this collection and I'm quite proud of the piece I contributed.

R.T. Kaelin put the whole thing together and contributed a story of his own. He's a class act.

For those of you who didn't pick it up on Indiegogo when they had the donation page up, you can get it on Amazon now.

I implore you to check it out. It's only $6.99 and contains 40 sci-fi and fantasy stories. There isn't much better you can do with bang for your buck, and all the proceeds are still going to the American Red Cross to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Though it's available for Amazon, it will be on the Nook so…

The Next Big Thing

Fantasy Author R.T. Kaelin (check out his books, you'll like them) got tagged (by Michael J. Sullivan, no less) and he, in turn, tagged me.

What does all of that mean? What is "The Next Big Thing?" I'm glad you asked that. It's a sort of meme (explained quite eloquently by Mr. Sullivan and rather comically by Mr.Kaelin) where an author answers 10 questions about his next book and asks five other authors to do the same. It's a way for people to link to me and tell their audience to check me out and find out about my new book. It's also a way for my faithful readers to discover at least a few more projects that might be of interest to them.

So, without further ado, here are the questions: 1) What is the working title of your next book?  There's a couple that are "next" and a couple further out than that. For the purposes of this question (and most questions) I'll stick to the two closest to publication, though. The working title of my two …

Finding Time to Write

For the first post of the New Year, with everyone eager to set New Year's resolutions they'll keep, I wanted to chime in on something I hear all too much of. I love seeing people who enjoy writing use that talent just because it feels good. For them and for me. I know far too many people who write because the act of doing so makes them happy, but they don't do enough of it (or let it fall by the wayside entirely) and they're plagued by a hundred different excuses.

If writing makes you happy, you should be writing. Period. And if your writing is good, there's no reason you shouldn't be publishing.

But the biggest stumbling block for people always seems to be, "I don't have time to write."

I'll let you in on a secret: Me neither. I make time.

I wrote and published well over 250,000 words in 2012.

In 2012, I also held a full time job. I had freelance work on top of that. On top of that, I have a family that demands attention. Dates, play dates wi…