Here is the (more or less) complete version of the cover for my upcoming novel, Scope’s War!
Here is the (more or less) complete version of the cover for my upcoming novel, Scope’s War!
Ok, I know this sounds like the beginning of a Barenaked Ladies song, but it’s not.
I was sitting in bed tonight, editing Scope’s War ( I’m almost done with rewrites through Ch. 13 ) when I looked up at the date on my computer. I realized with a start that tomorrow, Jan. 17, 2013 will be the 1 year mark of releasing Across the Battlefield.
It seems incredible to me that it has already been one year since I put forth my first publication. Since then, I’ve been featured in a couple flash fiction anthologies, with one more on the way, finished my first novel, and started several other short fiction project, including a followup to Across the Battlefield. Despite the difficulties of life the past year, which included changing jobs and nearly losing my brother-in-law to horrific surgery complications, I seem to have come out on top of it all.
So I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who follows my blog and my work. Thank you to all my online friends and networking buddies who have helped get Across the Battlefield up to over 100 likes on Amazon and have convinced me that this is what I should continue to write and focus on this part of my life.
Most of all, I have to thank my amazing wife and my family, who are constantly encouraging and have pushed me on more than one occasion to keep going even when I felt like giving up.
So cheers and happy writing to you all. Let’s make this year better than last!
It’s been quite a while since my last post. Work and life have been busy and taken a major toll on my writing. The holidays are always busy, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to find much time to write during the past month or so. I am, however, in the process of editing Scope’s War. I’ve gone through the first 6 chapters of revisions, rereading my work and changing some character arcs, dropping and adding new characters, and making the overall timeline of the book flow more naturally. If I stay on this pace, my hope is to have first round rewrites and edits done sometime next month. Then it will be time to pull out the red pen and do the serious text editing and grammar checking. My goal is to get Scope’s War onto Amazon sometime this summer, hopefully by June, but if it happens earlier than that, so much the better. In the meantime, I’m going to be putting together a small group of test readers to read through the first 3 or 4 chapters of Scope’s War. I’d like to get an idea of how people relate to the story, the world, and the characters. If you’re interested, you can send me a message via Facebook on my Author Page. Once Scope’s War is done, I’ll be starting to work on Scope’s Redemption, the follow up book. I’m planning on the story only being a duology, rather than the traditional trilogy. I’m also going to resume work on Sands of Eternity, the alternate history / time travel novel that was my first project when I started out writing. I put about 41k words into it before I shelved it to work on Scope’s War, but my hope is to finish that up in the next year or so. I leave you, now, with an excerpt from Scope’s War. The passage below is a brief glimpse into the history of America just before the birth of our protagonist. Enjoy and, as always, happy writing!
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The Northern War, of which he father’s friends had spoken, arrived just on the heel of the Southern War with Mexico. The city of Vancouver, in western Canada, had defected and given over control of their city and surrounding territory to the Pacific Territory Authorities, specifically to the city government of Seattle, its citizens tired of a government whose main focus was on the eastern half of the nation. The result of the United States accepting the Canadian city was that rather than gaining territory, and the economic boon the city offered, the United States once again found itself at war with a neighbor. The American military was pushed back almost a hundred miles along a northern border simply too large to adequately defend. Garrisons along the northern border stripped of their core commands to fight the Mexicans in the south found themselves outnumbered and outgunned. In the end, Canada stopped short of a full-scale invasion, content to keep what it had conquered as the United Nations stepped in to put a stop to the fighting. America lost nearly twelve percent of their continental holdings in what amounted to a Canadian blitzkrieg that couldn’t be answered.
It’s been some time now since my last post. Work has been very busy and left me with little time for writing. I have, however, somehow managed to find the time to finish the first draft of Scope’s War. The draft settled in at just over 81k words. It’s been a big work, but it feels good to finally have something to start molding into a final product. I’ll be doing rewrites and modifying some character roles in the coming weeks. As any writer will know, it’s very easy to let your story dictate itself and I found myself with a second half that didn’t really match up to the first.
On other writing fronts, I’m also now actively working on the first of two follow-ups to Across the Battlefield. The first, subtitled Operation Soaring Eagle, is based in a future version United States we got a glimpse of in story five from the original collection, Deception. This new collection is much more closely related, with certain characters reappearing later in other stories. In some ways, it is a novella as much as as an anthology. Where Across the Battlefield had only 5 stories, OSE will have 8 or 9. I’m also trying to add a little more insight to the characters and their histories and motivations.
Finally, I’ve sketched out the outline for Across the Battlefield: Volume 2. This will be a more direct follow-up than OSE, with 6 brand new stories written in the same mysterious style as the first 5. The stories are once again staggered throughout history and involve a variety of factions and peoples. It will be up to the ready to figure out who’s who before each story ends.
As always, thanks for the support, it really means everything. Cheers and happy writings!
It’s been a while since my last post, but I wanted to keep everyone up to date on how work is coming along on my projects and how things in general are going. I’ve been working really hard at my new job with just under a month there. We’re working on a new project, which will be revealed at PAX in a couple weeks, so everyone is really in high gear. As a result, I’ve had less than stellar results in trying to get the manuscript for Scope’s War done by this weekend. Time’s a ticking, and I’m putting in some work tonight, but it looks like I’ll be pushing back my finishing date until probably next weekend.
With that said, the work is coming along great. I’ve been fine-tuning the story as I go, knocking some chapters out in favor of others. I’ve also finally figured out how to incorporate some characters who were briefly introduced early on in the story. I had phased them out for simplicities sake, but then realized I could really hook the twists back in near the end of the book. It looks like, based on how the story is progressing so far, that I’ll be likely only doing a sequel, rather than a trilogy. That may change in the future, but for now that’s the plan I’m sticking with.
On the ATB front, Across the Battlefield received its fourth review, which also happened to be its third 5 Star review. Chris Thrall, author of the international best seller ‘Eating Smoke’ wrote the awesome review. It’s great to have fans, especially in successful authors. When work on Scope’s War is finished, I’ll be moving over to work on the follow-up to ATB. The second volume, titled ‘Across the Battlefield: Operation Soaring Eagle’ will be a collection for stories that expand on the arc and characters of my story ‘Deception’ which was the final story in the original collection. I’ve got a great set of new stories planned and currently have eight drafted out, which should give the collection more meat than the first one.
I’m going to sign off now and get cracking on some writing, but once again, thank you all so much for the support and encouragement. Cheers, and happy writings!
All’s been quiet on the writing front recently. I just started a new job this week, working for a startup mobile games developer. As such, I’ve been a little behind in my writing. I recently finished off Ch13 of Scope’s War, as well as the epilogue of the book to set it up for book 2. I’m trying to get back to some kind of writing flow, but things are very busy right now. I’m still shooting, however, to have the manuscript done by the end of September. My hope / goal is to have it edited fully by the end of December and then submit it to the Amazon Breakthrough Author competition. It might be a good way to see how it is received by professional judges and it doesn’t hurt to try. In the mean time, I’ll be focusing on my new job. If you’d like to see what I’m working on, and have an Android or iPhone, you can check out our game, Life is Crime. It is a geo-location based crime game that takes your actual position and converts the maps around you into a game. I’ll try to get another update up with more writing info soon. Cheers and happy writing!
Well, I finally heard back from American Short Fiction’s flash fiction contest. Turns out I didn’t make the finals. Kind of a bummer, but then again it was the first paid contest I entered, so I can’t take it too harshly. I think as writers, we tend to think we are better writers and more creative than we sometimes are. On a positive note, I can still work on the story and no one holds rights to it.
On the writing front, I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently, more from lack of time to write than any real lack of inspiration. I’m nearing the end of the chapter I’m working on in Scope’s War. I’ve also been working sporadically on America’s War. I’ve nearly finished the first of the 9 projected stories, and have a good chunk of the next three written out. My plan for the collection has also morphed a little. I’m going for kind of a cross between a short collection and novella. The stories, or chapters, will stand alone by themselves, but they are all taking place during the same conflict, just in different places / times. I haven’t decided if characters will meet each other yet, I’m just letting the stories weave themselves together. As I did with ATB, I will post one of the stories, not sure which one yet, on the blog here so everyone can get a little taste of what’s in store.
Cheers and happy writing!
Well, I’ve been off the blog for quite a while. I’ve also been off of writing for the most part. Summer is always busy for everyone and my life hasn’t been an exception to that. Work has been extremely busy and we spent a week house sitting a while back. All in all, I really just haven’t had time to write much, including adding a new book review for May and June (I’ve got books lined up for review, one of them I’m currently reading.)
I’ve been working steadily on Scope’s War, topping just over 51k in the word count. I’m very close to another battle / firefight scenario so I’m trying to make the chapter leading in to it read a bit more slowly, to really deliver a blow when the fighting starts. I’ve also been working bits and pieces together for a second set of short stories I’m planning to follow my already published collection, Across The Battlefield. While four of the five stories in that collection were historical fiction, the fifth was speculative fiction based on an international invasion of the United States. My next anthology, tentatively titled America’s War: Operation Soaring Eagle, will have 7-10 stories and will be twice to three times longer than Across the Battlefield was. I want it to read like an anthology mixed with a novella, but I’m trying to get Scope’s War finished soon so I can get to editing. My hope is to submit the finished manuscript to the Breakthrough Authors competition hosted annually by Amazon. Once that is in, I’ll begin working more heavily on America’s War: OSE and the planned sequel to Scope’s War, tentatively titled Scope’s Mission. (Book three, the final of the trilogy, is tentatively titled Scope’s Uprising.)
Hopefully I’ll have more progress to report on in the coming weeks. In the mean time, keep an eye out for incoming book reviews for May and June. Keep reading, keep writing!
It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve been steadily working on Scope’s War, which is now past the halfway mark and over 50,000 words so far. If you haven’t done so yet, head over to my books section and read Chapter 1, or click here to bet taken directly.
I’m also happy at announce there will be a sale for Across The Battlefield in honor of Father’s Day this weekend. June 16 & 17, ATB will be free to download on Amazon. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, now is your chance to get in on the action free of charge. It makes a great gift for the guys too! You can find Across The Battlefield on Amazon here! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.
So I haven’t updated the blog very recently. I apologize for that one. In trying to get back to regular updates, I figured I would do a quick entry on Kickstarter and its use for funding indie books / authors. Don’t know what Kickstarter is? Check their page out here. Kickstarter is a website that allows users to raise money for any project they are working on to support their work. While many of the initial projects involved centered around music production, video game studio foundings, and event fundraising, there has been a noticeable spike in the number of authors using Kickstarter to fund their first books.
This has caused some controversy, moreso from within the indie writing community than from without. I’ve rarely heard much support from indie authors for this type of fundraising. Much of the opinion coming from within the community seems to indicate that using kickstarter or other fundraising tools is akin to ‘begging’ for money, or assuming that you should be paid well for your work before you actually sell it. Now, to a certain degree I can agree with that. There is no reason to assume that just because someone is putting up a novel fundraiser that they are a good writer or that their book will sell. In some ways, perhaps it feels to many people that this is just another version of vanity press, but instead you get other people to pay for it for you.
OK, well, in case you hadn’t guessed, I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter. While I’m not likely to use it myself, that’s more because writing is a part-time job / hobby for me. When you raise through kickstarter you generally have rewards for the various donation amounts, much like donating to public TV or radio. For me, I don’t want to have the burden of both writing the novel and making sure I get the various copies of hardbound, paperback, and electronic books, tshirts, stationary, etc shipped out to everyone who backed me. Maybe I’m lazy like that. But I think opponents of this method should sit down and examine just exactly what they are critiqueing about this process. Here are a couple of arguments I’ve seen against using Kickstarter.
- You might be supporting a bad writer who only makes indie authors look bad: Well, that’s true of course, but that’s the same argument people use against Amazon and their self publishing. The idea that you should judge someone’s work, especially before it is even completed, based solely on the fact that they are an unknown player is a little risky. Mainstream authors had the same reaction when indie authors started becoming successful using epublishing with Amazon / B&N/ Smashwords. Indie authors were seen as diluting the quality of books available to the public. Some of my favorite series come from indie authors, so I take that idea with a grain of salt. There are plenty of traditionally published, New York Times best selling authors who I think dilute the quality of writing in the world, but that’s for another post. If you use funding sources and don’t have a contract with a trad publisher, you need to reevaluate why exactly you are against someone getting funding up front based on a possible lack of quality while you publish your own work for free with no risk.
- Authors are basically begging for money and that is demeaning: Isn’t this pretty much what authors have done for hundreds of years? What exactly is an advance payment for a book, other than giving you funding to focus on writing and not worry about bills? I get the feeling people don’t realize that Kickstarting for money is the independent version of getting a contract with an advance. If anything, we should be applauding these people for convincing others to fund their projects where many authors must struggle to piece together a novel while working full time jobs elsewhere.
- You shouldn’t be paid for work you haven’t done and there is no guarantee you will finish: I think if people are investing in a project, they take the risk it will never be finished, just as a publisher takes the risk that an author might never get a book through to completion. Now those two situations have different outcomes. Trad authors will probably have signed a contract, so legality comes into play there, but with Kickstarter, you invest in projects at your own risk. The site reviews each submitted project and only posts ones that look legit, though I’m sure a few bad ones leak through. But it really is up to each individual backer to investigate the authors and examine the book they propose to write to see if it looks like a good investment.
Ultimately, I’m not hoping to change your mind just through this post. But I think skeptics of Kickstarter would do well to just browse through the site for ten minutes and see all the amazing projects you can fund. Then ask yourself, if all these other people can get funding to produce awesome content, why shouldn’t authors be able to as well?