Tag Archives: guest

Coming Soon!

Next Monday, July 20, 2015, I’ll begin to share interviews with some fantastic authors I’ve met recently.

 

Soon after, I’ll share reviews of some of their work, excerpts and more of my own works in progress.

 

Speaking of my work, I’ve discarded the old Rise of the DarkWalker stuff because it was becoming boring, even to me. I’m hoping you like the new version even more. Maybe you’ll even like it enough to comment.

Advertisements

Guest Post from E.D.C. Johnson

Today, I have a guest post for y’all from the wonderful E.D.C. Johnson. She’s the author of the excellent YA story called Moonflower. It’s available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

A brief blurb about the story: After Josephine Wood’s father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?

And now, Ms. Johnson, it’s all yours.

***

Three Main Aspects That Make a Good Love-Triangle

There are three main aspects that make a good love-triangle:  both of the potential romantic leads need to have contrast, there must be both pros and cons for the protagonist to be involved with either choice and finally the protagonist must be riddled with indecision.

In my novel Moonflower, the two love interests, Lucius Conrí and Donovan Conrí, are brothers with very different personalities.  Not only is Donovan the older brother, he was raised to be the next heir as Marquess.  He serves in the military and takes his future very seriously.  In great contrast Lucius, as the younger brother, knows that he is not destined for greatness like his brother.  He did not have the luxury of countless tutors preparing him for his future.  Konrad, an old alchemist, was his only teacher but also became a mentor and friend.  He is a hard worker but focuses his energy in the here-and-now.  These qualities present two distinct choices, no Ménage à trois in this YA book.

For a love triangle to truly sizzle the characters need flawed realism.  If any character is too good to be true then it gets annoying and pointless.  Donovan has some in-your-face pros and cons.  At first the reader may not be sold on him as a possible love interest.  Although he is smokin’ hot, Donovan’s demeanor is judgmental, exclusive and self-important.  Our heroine, Josephine Woods, has to peel away his layers to discover his inner self.  His confidence, maturity and passion make him a total babe.

Lucius is the younger energetic brother with a bit of growing up to do.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and acts impulsively.  Despite his weaknesses he has lots of love to give and a kind heart.  He wants the best for all the people in his land.  Lucius is crazy about Josie and, hey, what girl doesn’t like that?!

These amazing qualities and intriguing flaws makes it difficult for Josie to decide which brother is the one for her.  Throw in her desire to return home, away from them altogether, and she becomes apprehensive to invest too much into either of the two boys.  The inner struggle Josie has debating between Donovan and Lucius is the crown to this royal affair.  The suspense and the process excites the reader and allows them to develop a favorite brother to root for.  Team Donovan or team Lucius, which will you be?

You can find more information about EDC Johnson and her novel Moonflower at:

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Moonflower-EDC-...

Website:  http://www.edcjohnson.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/EDCJohnson

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EDCJohnson

An Interview With R.S.Guthrie

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but all sorts of hell got in the way. I’m deeply sorry for this.

Okay, for those of you who might not know him, R.S.Guthrie is an indy author with some talent in his pe- wait, he uses computer, not a pen. He an excellent author is what I’m meaning to say. His novels (a couple I’ve reviewed), are epic page turners. I’m doing this interview to get a bit more info about his forth-coming book called, Honor Land. It’s the latest in his James Pruett saga. Let’s get it, eh?

R.w.F: Would you tell us a little about your upcoming release, the third in the James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series, “Honor Land”? honorland-finalx1000

R.S.Guthrie: I can tell you that I am looking forward to it more than any book I have written so far. I am a “write by the seat of your pants” author (a pantser), which means I usually have a broad-strokes idea of where the story ends up, but I let the writing take me where it will. This particular book has come to my head in much greater detail and I believe it is going to be the best in the series.

It is centered around a war hero who has been sentenced to die in Wyoming’s lethal injection chamber—I mean this guy’s a legend; a foster of the state standing at the Army recruitment office at the minute they opened the door at 8 AM on his 18th birthday. A real hero that did some bad things when he came back from the war.

My recurring protagonist, Sheriff James Pruett has followed the story of this man since he was a child legend growing up in the state. There is a jail break and let’s just say Pruett’s not convinced the dishonored war hero is as guilty people, including the U.S. Marshal Service who are tracking him down.

R.w.F: Where did you get the idea for James Pruett and his legacy?

The man himself! Click to learn more.
The man himself! Click to learn more.

R.G: I believe more than anything, as a writer or a reader, in the characters. If you’ve not created characters with depth and flaws and honest traits, they don’t ring true, and a read cannot connect with them. The people I grew up with and around in Wyoming are some of the finest people I know to this day, and they are wonderful characters (in every sense of the word).

I always knew I wanted to write a recurring hero with whom the everyday man or woman could relate. Each of us has problems, defects, weaknesses, and hardships, but characters like Pruett let us believe that we can still be the heroes we dream of being, flaws and all.

R.w.F: Who’s your favorite character in this series?

R.G: Easily Ty McIntyre, the anti-hero of the first book, Blood Land. Like I said, I’m a pantser and I had originally had Ty planned for one book. He’s such a great character that I brought him back briefly in book two, “Money Land. Don’t be surprised if I do a lot more with him in the future; he’s just one of those characters who refuses to allow you to shelve him.

R.w.F: What was the hardest part of writing it?

R.G.: Being true to the locals. Of course as fiction writers we have to be magnificent exaggerators, but I believe we still need to respect the truth. The hardest part about writing characters from the area in which you lived is that every book needs some evil antagonists to create the conflict, the story. You don’t want anyone thinking you “picked them” as the foundation for your coal-hearted villain.

R.w.F: If Blood Land were optioned for a movie deal, who would you like to play Pruett?

Click to buy
Click to buy

R.G: For anyone who has not read “Blood Land” the answer to this is actually a huge SPOILER, so skip it. Unless that kind of thing doesn’t bother you.

Answer: Danny Glover. It’s who I have always seen whenever I think of Pruett. There’s no one else for the part. Have you seen “Silverado”? My book’s not a Western but it occurs in the West, where even in the twenty-first century there are still cowboys and cowgirls, Stetson hats, and a landscape that would make you believe in the glory of a time machine. Glover would pull all that together. And then some.

R.w.F: What made you chose indy publishing?

R.G.: Unknown authors can’t afford one book coming out every year or two (or three). They’ll be forgotten. Stephen King can take as much time as he needs, but I need to keep my audience both fulfilled and, more importantly, GROWING. Plus the royalties are much higher when you don’t have to share.

R.w.F: What’s the hardest part of independent publishing?

R.G: The marketing. Finding readers, or rather, reaching them. It’s not just a self-publishing issue, it’s an issue for the unknown author who signs a deal with, say, Penguin or Simon & Schuster. Sure, their moniker ads a little clout to the book, but beyond that, no one knows you from Adam, and the publisher knows that. They aren’t going to sink any money into your marketing until they have some pretty risk-free assurances you’re going to sell and make them money. So guess who still gets to do a lion’s share of the marketing and readership ferreting? Yep. Not them — you.

R.w.F: Did you hire an editor, or do you have a friend who is one?

Click to buy.
Click to buy.

R.G.: I have a traditionally published author, Russell Rowland, who edits my James Pruett series. He has been on board “Blood Land” since the first word; he was the teacher of the class where I began that book (and from the start he told me it was publish-worthy and we’ve maintained a friendship and professional working relationship ever since. He really gets me — my voice. His advice is irreplaceable.

R.w.F: How do you promote your novels?

R.G.: There’s not enough time to list all the ways. A very good (and highly successful) writer friend told me this: “I look at every book and ask myself ‘what am I doing to promote this?’ and he tries to always have something going on, coming up, etc. I’m a bit behind him to say the least, but I am learning. It’s not easy. I will be taking some big marketing risks in 2013. But to get big, you have to walk the walk and think big.

R.w.F: What’s the best thing about being independent?

You control your own destiny. It makes for a lot of work—you are like nine professionals rolled into one. But when you work hard and succeed, or you affect someone’s life—man, you know you did that, not some gargantuan corporation. I received this quote just today:

“My husband stopped drinking alcohol 10yrs ago and now he is addicted to this character, Sheriff Pruett,, Thank you RS Guthrie for having a real character with the real time flaws of man, it helps keep him,Ted, focused..please keep them coming..”

Can there be any better feeling to know that was something you wrote that touched and helped another living, breathing human being? Then you get to throw on there that you didn’t have to worry about some third party changing your theme or your storyline (where then you might never have reached that person). Your destiny is in your hands. I like that, as much work as it may be.

Look for Honor Land to hit Amazon in April.

A Sit Down With Keeper Dearbhaile

I’m sitting on the second floor of the coffee shop/internet café, Peace & A Cup of Joe (713 W. Pratt St. here in Baltimore City, MD), when a sudden movement catches my attention. I look up, and my breath catches. A gorgeous woman approaches. Her face is ageless, neither old nor young, though in it is written the memory of many things both glad and sorrowful. Her hair, at first seeming sable, is revealed to be auburn as a maple leaf in the fall in direct light; her eyes are emerald and in them a light like that of the stars. Thought and knowledge are in her glance which seems to pierce me to my innermost secrets. The lady’s grace is such that she seems to glide across the floor. Her bearing causes me to rise when she approaches. “Carter says ye wished to speak tae me?” she says. Her mellifluous voice has a Scottish, or Irish, burr to it.

I nearly swallow my tongue. “Yes’m. I would like to ask you a few questions, if that is okay.”

“Aye. Ye may.” She has a small smile on her rosy lips.

I offer her a seat, and take my own once more. I take up my pen and notebook so I can jot notes. I look into her emerald eyes and can see why the Walker of Worlds had fallen in love with her.

R.w: Let’s start with the pronunciation of your name, if that’s alright.

KD: Aye. It’s pronounced Der-va-la Ga-lon-ah-dree-el.

R.w: Dearbhaile Galonadriel. A lovely name.

(A small smile.) KD: Thank ye.

R.w: You’re welcome. You don’t look like other women I’ve seen before. There is an otherworldly air about you, as if you’ve seen everything before, yet you look to be no more than 24. How is this?

KD: Yer a smooth taker, sir. (she chuckles) I be a half-Elven. I’ve seen my third century already.

R.w: Wow. Carter calls you “Keeper Dearbhaile”. Is that a title? (She nods) What is a “Keeper”?

KD: A Keeper be one who learns magic from a Vaush-tauric. They be apprenticed for two centuries, then they return to their clan. Eventually, they lead their clan.

R.w: A Vawsh-taw-ric?

KD: Vaush-tauric, yes. They are Dragon Speakers, a direct conduit to the draconic gods. They be vera powerful magic users.

R.w: And you are a student of one?

KD: I was. I’m now th’ Walker’s companion.

R.w: Your eyes shine when you speak of him. Would you share more?

(She turns pink, and bites her lip) KD: I love him. He makes me feel alive, as if I can do anythin’ in th’ world.

(I grin. I can hear the regard she holds for the Walker of Worlds in her voice.)

R.w: When I last spoke with Carter (look), he mentioned something about a Sourcewell. What is that?

(She sobers)

KD: That be where th’ gods be from. It be th’ beginning of ever’thin’.

(I choose to say nothing of how her brogue has thickened. I hope I haven’t upset her too much.)

R.w: That seems to be a touchy subject.

KD: Aye.

R.w: Would you tell us why?

KD: A vile man be tryi’ tae get thair. If ye will excuse me.

Before I can say anything, she vanishes in a flash of silver light. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m intrigued. I’m thinking of trying to interview Belial, or Drago the Clanless next. Who would you like to hear from? Let me know below.

An Author Interview

Kevin Rau, Superhero Author.
Kevin Rau, Superhero Author.
Today I’m going an interview with the great author Kevin Rau. He’s the author of the phenomenal H.E.R.O: Metamorphoses, and H.E.R.O: New Markets. He’s also written others in the series, but I’ve not read them, so I can’t judge them. However, I look forward to reading the others.

1. Would you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a software developer/manager at a small company by day, by night I put on my mask and write novels. (It only seems silly if I see myself in the mirror.) I’ve been a superhero, fantasy and sci-fi fan since I was a child, and I’m also a long-time gamer (both computer games and role-playing games). I collected comics for many years, although I stopped nearly a decade ago when I was married.

2. Would you be willing to give us a brief rundown about your fantastic H.E.R.O. novels?

In a nutshell, I wanted comic-book action in book form, with all the extras that novels can bring over comics, such as dialog, minor plots, and depth given by many thousands of words. I chose a low-to-mid power level for my supers to “keep it real,” and to avoid dealing with ultra-powerful supers that deal with worldly events, as the series is focused on one (huge) city in my super world. I started the series off with a very in-depth walkthrough from three new heroes’ viewpoints, and then after a few books expanded into a larger set of heroes active in Metrocity. Each novel has a self-contained story, so the core plotlines will be wrapped up in that story. However, there are also plots that continue through the books, much like a television series. It’s grown quite a bit so far, to 12 books (9 novels, 2 short stories and 1 illustrated guide), and over a million words. (For general information, an average published book tends to be about 100,000 words, and most comic books have 1,500 to 2,500 words.)

3. How do you prepare to write? Are you an outliner, or a seat-of-your-pants style writer?

I select the core batch of plotlines that will be handled in that book, and then write up a large list of ongoing “issues” that need to be addressed for different characters, often due to plotlines that have crossed books. I very roughly outline the first 6-12 chapters, and then go by the pants. I often have no clue where the twists of a story will take it when I begin, as the personalities of the characters dictate what they’ll do when I happen to write a scene, and strange things sometimes occur.

4. Your H.E.R.O.s are grouped into three categories (that I’ve seen so far): Blaster, Mutant and Brick. Are there any combinations, or will there be?

The categories are (officially) Blaster, Brick, Mutant, Psychic, and Elemental, with both Mutants and Blasters serving as somewhat broad categories for those with unusual physical abilities, or energy-based abilities, respectively. There are indeed combinations. Example characters include Spartan (Brick with some blaster abilities to absorb fire), Zonk (Brick with rubber body and fireworks blast), and Lady Celeste (Mutant with psychic powers).

5. If you were to change, and could choose, would you be a Blaster, Brick, or Mutant?

That’s a tough decision, and would depend upon if I was the only hero around. In our real world, I’d probably choose a Brick, for very little could hurt one here. I wouldn’t mind being a mutant, so long as I didn’t look extremely non-human. I doubt I’d want to be a blaster, unless I could choose the energy type. Disintegration would be extremely useful, but there aren’t a lot of good uses for fire blasters…

6. What’s the hardest part about writing your novels?

These days, it’s focus. I have a tough time working a full day, going home, and then sitting at a desk and writing all night. Writing is a very intense mental activity, so it can wear a person out after enough time, day after day, and week after week.

7. Your cover art is pretty amazing. Do you do it yourself, or did you hire it out?

Really awesome. Just finished reading it. Click to buy it.
Really awesome. Just finished reading it. Click to buy it.

I make my own cover art. Having said that, I buy the 3D art assets (such as the base male and female figures), change them, and tweak or create my own materials (the colors on skin/clothes/etc.). So I guess it’s fair to say that it’s a mix of my art, based on separate art items made by other people.

8. What tools did you use for the cover art?

I use Poser to create the 3D characters, put in lights, change the camera angle, and render it. Paint.NET is my tool for materials, background, etc. I’ve got a few more, such as for 3D object manipulation, but those two handle 95% of my art time.

9. Do you write full-time, or part-time?

I write full-time in the evenings and weekends, and work as an I.T. Manager full-time during “regular business hours.”

10. I’m sure you get this a lot, but: Why superheroes?

I love superheroes. As I mentioned above, I was a collector of comic books for a long time, but wanted more story and dialog. I watch just about every (somewhat) major superhero movie that comes out. There’s something about being able to do more than a normal human, and being able to save the day would be great.

11. You are the only writer I’ve read that uses the story-telling method of getting each of your MC’s perspectives with a dash of third person perspective. What do you call it?

I’m not sure there is an official term. I suppose I would call it “shifting first-person,” although a friend of mine calls it “multi-personality writing mode.”

12. What made you decide to use that style?

I wanted readers to see what the character saw, to feel the experience through them. I shift the viewpoints to let the reader see each of the primary heroes in the story (or villain, in some cases). Sticking with a single first-person mode wouldn’t allow for that, and third-person felt too distant. (Not that I don’t write in that mode, the novel I’m just finishing up is a fantasy novel, and uses third-person.)

13. Where can we find your novels?

The e-Books of them can be found on all major e-retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords. I’ll include links to the first book for those below (the first full novel is free, by the way), since that’s the normal place to start. You can also find all the links on my website, on the book’s page at: http://www.kevinrau.com/books.asp
Paperback copies can be found through Amazon or Createspace, and links to them are also at http://www.kevinrau.com/books.asp

From left to right: Pystar, Spartan, and Black Tiger.Click the image to get it for Kindle.
From left to right: Pystar, Spartan, and Black Tiger.
Click the image to get it for Kindle.
H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis can be found free at (also on international sites of them, search for the book name, or by Kevin Rau):

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo Books
itunes
Smash Words
Drive Thru Fiction

I also post information on my author Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/herobooks

Robert – thanks much for having me here!

Kevin Rau

Kevin's Books.
Kevin’s Books.
http://www.kevinrau.com

Thank you for being here, Kevin. If anyone clicks the images, they’ll be taken to purchase pages, or Kevin’s website.

Rob, meet Robby

So, I’m skipping though Carroll Park – What? Yes. Skipping. Feck off – and as I round a pretty impressive oak, I see this oddly familiar little kid. I glance around, but don’t see anyone parent-like around. Before I can say anything –

No, Fecker, you don’t look creepy at all. No worries though: I’m the 10-year-old you. I’m Robby.

No, fecking way! How is this possible? And how do you know what I’m thinking?

Oh, for feck’s sake! How did I survive to 32 being this dumb?

Snarky little fecker, aren’t you? He nods. What do you want?

Duh. I want to know about the future. I know you can’t tell me the big stuff like lottery numbers, so don’t worry about that.

Fair enough. Alright: After about the mid-90s, when you’re about to turn 16, all the good cartoons’ll be off the air.

That sucks.

Indeed. Oh! Good news: VHS tapes will be phased out in favor of DVD’s. They’re kind of like CDs, but for movies and tv shows.

Cool. What else?

Floppy disks are replaced by something a lot smaller called a micro SD card. And, it can hold a butt load more than the floppys.

No way.

Yes way. CDs and DVDs have all but gone the way of the Dodo. Almost everything is digital.

What does that mean?

Well, for example, nowadays, you can carry the equivilent of a million CD’s in your pocket. Hell, you can do that with a fecking computer.

Seriously?

Oh, yeah. They’ve figured out a way to combine a computer, a phone, a movie player and a music player. The whole bloody thing fits in your pocket too.

Holy crap! What else is there?

There’s this cool thing called the internet. I think in your time it’s still called ARPANET, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the internet is a collection of computers linked up all over the world. You have access to almost all the info in the world, and all the access to all the bullshit in the world. And, it seems the bs out numbers the knowledge.

Isn’t that always the way? We both laugh. What’s going on with our life?

I’m about to be a published author. I also have four other novels in various stages of completion.

Gleeful grin on the little guy’s face. Yes! that is so cool!

Indeed. We’re also friends with a very funny lady named Rebecca Donohue, a talented writer full of doubts named Fabiola, and another talented writer named Jennifer. She also is full of doubts.

You still haven’t told them you doubt yourself more than they do?

They don’t buy it.

Hey, are we still alone, or do we have someone to love us?

Rob?

Character Interview

A little bit back, I got us an interview with Carter Blake, the Walker of Worlds ( see it here), but he had to leave abruptly. I was able to secure an interview with his lovely mate, Keeper Dearbhaile. She has graciously agreed to sit down with me at Peace & A Cup of Joe, the cafe where I usually write.

I’ll post it tomorrow, as soon as we’re finished chatting.

Today, R.S.Guthrie Takes Over…

Rob-75x850-Cropped…Posting on my blog. He’s a great author of Books such as Black Beast and Lost. Both are phenomenal books. Give them a read. To check out what up coming novels he has coming (like Blood Land) Check out his blog robonwriting. Tell him beginingsinwriting sent you. Without further ado, here’s Rob:

The Self-Publishing Dream (Or Was It Nightmare?)

10202025_xl

It was so much simpler when writing was just a dream. I mean, everything works out in a dream, and unknown things like deadlines and marketing campaigns with their cost and timing and effectiveness aren’t in the dream—after all, their unknown, right?

And what about the slush pile you were planning to avoid by self-publishing instead of sending your manuscript into the maw of overworked, underpaid, tumultuous world of traditional publishing? Send it there you might never see it again and even if you did what were the chances of it not having a form rejection slip attached to it?

Here’s the rub: the slush pile has moved to the marketplace. Yes, the ability for any man, woman, or child with an Internet connection to publish a book is one of the most fantastic things to happen to the unpublished writer. Want to know what one of the absolute worst things to happen to those same writers turned out to be?

Same thing.

Now this is not all doom and gloom. If you’re like me (or you were a Scout) you like to be prepared. Know what you’re in for. Muster your courage. Become the warrior you were always meant to be. (And when you’re done fighting those bloody battles you’re really going to need that sword as a machete to cut your way out of the middle of the “Jungle of Unknown Writers” for the next few years.
10383690_xl
Writing the book is the easy part, my friends. It really is. You have about three or four other full-time jobs awaiting you after the completion of your masterpiece. You are the Marketing Department, the Accounting Department, the Art Department, the Accounts Payable department, the CEO, the CFO, and a few other jobs I’ve forgotten due to the anti-depression medication.

Okay, that’s more like six or seven jobs above and beyond AUTHOR. The good news is even if you went the traditional publishing route, were signed, and waited until you were old and gray to see your book on the shelves, you’d be expected to do most of those things yourself (at your cost) anyway.

So here I am going to lay out some things, high level, you need to think about and my opinion on them (based on semi-substantial experience):

1. Hire a cover designer. There are a LOT of them out there who work for major publishers (or even publishers in general) who do work on the side. You should not have to pay more than $100-200 for a really nice cover. Make sure that you get the spine and back cover if you are going to have a paperback made.
2. Have a paperback made. You aren’t going to make money off of it, but you owe yourself after dreaming all those years of seeing your book in print to finally see it in print! And people want signed copies (book signings are a great way to meet your readers and even if they aren’t giant revenue producers, they make you feel more like an author and things that bolster your confidence are going to be very important in the first year or two.
3. Hire an editor and a proofreader. Yes, two different people. I like to think of it as checks and balances because the professions do overlap so you get some bonus work by using two different professionals instead of just one. (I hope I didn’t just ruin half my relationships with editors and proofreaders.) Again, you should be able to find reasonably priced people for each but expect to pay a bit more for the editing. That’s hard work.
4. Whatever date you have in mind for your “release”, plan to send it to advanced reader/reviewers as far ahead of time as possible. They are called Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) and you need to leverage them big time. Some advertisers won’t even allow you to pay for an ad without a certain number of reviews and a particular average score (say 4.5 out of 5 stars). You’re also going to have better luck actually getting them to post the reviews if your book is already out there digitally published on Amazon (and wherever else). Trust me, you hitting “publish” and your book being “available for sale”, while majorly exciting for you, means nothing to the marketplace. Just another web page no one knows about…YET.
5. Get on every social networking site there is (Twitter, Facebook Author Page, LinkedIn, GoodReads, etc.). And do it now (i.e. ahead of the release of your book). They say buyers have to see your name 3-4 times before it sinks into their brain that they might want to buy something from you. You need exposure. Pay for a decent website. That’s one thing that’s going to cost you a little bit more—definitely one of those “you get what you pay for” things. But look at it this way: your webpage is like your home on the Internet (and will be for a very long time). It’s also Grand Central Station through which all trains of reader will connect to your books. Make sure it looks good and performs nicely.
6. Grow thick skin. I mean skin that makes an alligators look like rice paper. No matter how good you are, no matter how nice you are—in fact, many times inversely proportionally to these things—you are going to be disliked, poorly reviewed, and even hated. You won’t even know why. This is the hardest part for me. I take things personally. DON’T. EVER. If you write well and produce quality material, the readers who love you will one day come. To Hades with the rest.

I know this makes self-publishing sound scary. Guess what? It is. Nothing worth getting in this life is without hard work, crazy levels of patience, and the ability to levitate above all the crap and still get up every day and start it all over again.

If you are truly a writer—if it truly is a passion; if you love it—you’ll get up every day and get done what needs to get done.

I Heart WritingIt’s a love affair. Actually, it’s a marriage. Love affairs come and go. This is your passion; this is what you’ve decided to dedicate your life to—richer, poorer, sickness, health, good reviews, haters, etc.

No one can take away your talent OR your love. And the combination of the two (with a lot of determination and outlasting the others mixed in) will get you there.

Click this again.
Click this.

Thanks for those words, Rob. They are ones to study on. Now, if y’all will excuse me, my Kindle says I downloaded his new book, Blood Land already. Let me go read it. I’ll review it here when I’m done.

Dreams Image credit: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Guy With Sword Image credit: aaronamat / 123RF Stock Photo

I Image credit: burakowski / 123RF Stock Photo

Jennifer Steel And Other Changes

This week is the last one for Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. raw updates appearing on Fridays. beginning next week, Fridays will be the day of the guest post (I hope). Also, I aim to begin running simple contests beginning next Wednesday. Jennifer Steel Raw updates will Alternate with Carter Blake ones if I have more stuff to post. If not, they will come on Tuesdays. Without further ado, here is the last Friday Jennifer Steel Raw update.

Jennifer Steel, Agent of the F.S.I.A. (Raw Update)

Jennifer looked around the training room. With the exception of the colorful mats on the floor, it was pretty bland. The walls were a stark white and the ceiling matched. Rob pointed to the opening behind him.
“Ladies locker room. You will find a gi in your size. You’ve already been scanned.”
“I have a question, Worth.”
“Yes?”
“How did you know I would agree to join?”
“I know all, remember?”
“Right, you’re god. How could I forget?” she said sarcastically.
‘I’ve been too lenient with you mortals lately.” He grinned when she rolled her eyes. She shook her head and headed into the locker room.

She looked around, not really impressed with the interior. It looked like every other locker room she’d been in. Rows of metal lockers stood side by side like soldiers at parade. They were a nondescript utilitarian grey. Each had a copper nameplate near eye level for an average sized woman. Before each row of lockers was a long wooden bench. The benches were a varnished white pine. The floor was a rough textured tile that she could feel through her soft leather boots. As she advanced further in, she was first greeted by the stench of sweat and dirty gym clothes. This was followed by a variety of flowered scents that when taken in all at once, wasn’t all-together unpleasant. She knew these were the body washes and shampoos the others used after their workouts. She came to a locker with her name engraved on the nameplate. She reached out and lightly touched the beautifully flowing script.

Jennifer Steel,
Agent of the F.S.I.A.

The letters were etched fairly deeply into the metal. The way the letters streamed into each other felt marvelous. She allowed her hand to slide downward, enjoying the feel of smooth, cold steel. When her hand reached chest level, a beep sounded. Her hand had continued further past, so she stopped and raised her hand to that point again. Three beeps sounded this time, followed by a warm green light playing over her hand. From within the locker, there was a hollow click and the door swung open. She pulled it completely open and a light clicked on. There were two shelves about eighteen inches apart near the top of the locker, and an empty hanger dangling from a crossbar. She peered at the top shelf. On it was a turquoise jacket, pants and belt, carefully folded. On the bottom shelf was a grey sport bra and a pair of grey spankies, athletic underwear. Next to the underwear was a roll of white tape. She dressed, finding that the gi fit perfectly and was incredibly light and smooth. It had to have been made from silk. She grabbed the tape and headed out, barefoot, to the training room.

Rob was already there, dressed similarly except his gi was black and trimmed in red. He was doing some moves like a dance. But, he then snapped out a few kicks and punches in rapid succession. He dropped to the ground, sweeping his right leg around in a circle, then whirling back to his feet. He twirled through the air, kicking out first one leg, then landing on it and thrusting out the other one. He continued this for several moments before halting and smoothly moving into a series of rapid punches. She walked up behind him, causing him to spin while throwing a fist towards her face!

Guest Bloggers

Hey, Followers!

I’m looking for some guests to post about writing. Whether you just blog, are a beginning author (like me! :-D), or a published novelist, I’d like you to post a blog for my readers. Tell us a bit about what you’re writing about: Is it random thoughts? Is it a novel? A screen play? A children’s book? Or, share some of your writing routine: Do you write for two hours every morning no matter what? Do you map things out step-by-step? Or do you write by the seat of your pants? Maybe even share some of your writing expertise: Are settings your speciality? Are you great at showing your character’s feelings? Maybe you are awesome at allowing your MC’s to get into trouble? Don’t forget, after you post for us, leave a link to your blog and/or book(s). I want my readers to find you, too.

Any thing like that would be awesome. Leave a comment below indicating your interest, or contact me one of the otherways.