Tag Archives: Kevin Rau

I Have A Confession To Make

Disclaimer: The authors I mention below are not among those I’m referring to in the post. All have helped me immensely, and are willing to do the same for other author-wannabes (like me). Two even have a website, and books dedicated to that. Another has a book too.  

 

Not too long ago, I read a couple of lines that made me realize: We writers are a rather arrogant bunch. I did some searching online to double-check, and I discovered, yep, we are. Here’s what I mean: I have read over 1,000 books, blog posts and articles over the last year that says not everyone can write a novel. I’m not going to cite any of them because a few were written by folks I’d like to consider my friends. Almost everyone said that only a select few can write novels, or they’d quote some statistic that says 80% of people think they can write a book, and then say that was bullshit. What we do is so hard. Um, no it isn’t.

Technically speaking, nothing is hard to do unless you don’t put in the time, and energy in learning how to do it. For me, building a space shuttle, a nuclear reactor, calculating pi, or even making bouillabaisse. I don’t know how to do those things. However, I can go learn how to, if I had the drive to. It’s the same thing with writing. Anyone can put words together to form sentences, then paragraphs, and then a manuscript. It’s not that hard.

What separates we writers from Joe, or Jane, Average is our drive to put words to paper, or screen. We have a compunction, or a predilection for doing so.  Hell, you can even say it is our obsession (some of them anyway. I’m pretty damned lazy for the most part). Something within us makes us get to a desk, or table, pull out our notebooks, pads, typewriters, or computers, and start stringing words together to form a story. Sometimes it is great, sometimes it sucks. Great thing is, what is awesome, and what is sucky, are subjective. For example, millions rave over The Twilight Saga, and 50 Shades of Grey. I can’t stand either.

“You’re not the target audience, asshole.”

Fair enough. I also can’t stand Terry Pratchett novels. Or some R.A.Salvatore ones. And you know what? Not one of those four I just mentioned even notice that I haven’t bought their stuff. They have millions of fans.

If you have any interest in some authors I do like, I can rattle off a couple of names (maybe you could go check ’em out, see if you agree with me): R.S.Guthrie, L.T.Kelly, Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi (Anglea & Becca are a writing team. They have separate links because I want to show both pages, and not have both names go to the same place. I’m weird like that. :P), Kevin Rau, Jen Boyce, Fabiola Surya. Jen & Fab don’t have links because their novels are not yet published, and they don’t yet have websites, though Fab does have a blog. Wondering how I can say Jen & Fab are some of my favorite writers? Simple: I get to assist these wonderful ladies in crafting their stories. I’m kinda blessed that way.

Why did I title this blog “I Have A Confession To Make”? I was one of those arrogant writers I mentioned. I am no longer. Now, if someone says to me, “I want to be a writer,” or “I can write a novel,” my response will be, “Go for it. I’ll be cheering you on. If there’s any way I can assist, let me know. I’ll be glad to.”

Wanna check out some of the above author’s works? Here’s a series of links to their stuff on Amazon:

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi –  The Emotion Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus

R.S.Guthrie – Black Beast, Ink, Blood Land (This one is Free)

Kevin Rau – H.E.R.O: Metamorphosis, H.E.R.O: New Markets, Necromancer’s Ascent

L.T.Kelly – Falling to Pieces (her debut novel. The second is in the works).

Why not show some love to these wonderful authors? Tell them R.w.Foster sent you.

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Inspiring Blogger Award

This is interesting: I was just nominated for my first blogging award. The nom came from the lovely Sooz over at her blog, dreamshadow59.wordpress.com. According to her, I have to name 7 interesting things about myself. I have a small problem with that: I don’t think I’m that interesting. Others do. So, I’m gonna cheat a bit (probably won’t win, but eh). I’m gonna tell some things about me that aren’t general knowledge.

1) I’m an atheist. I really can’t stand religion, nor do I understand the need people have to hope that there is something out there.

2) I’m a giver. If I like you, I’m going to give you all that I can, be it time, caring, a shoulder to cry on, ect.

3) I’m a pimp. No, not the illegal kind. I mean, if I like someone’s stuff, I will talk it up everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Linkdin, WordPress, ect. I want everyone to see this epic stuff.

4) I’m a midget. Seriously. To leave my third floor apartment, I base jump down each stair. It’s exhausting I tell you. What? You know I’m bullshitten? Oh, alright. I’m 6′. (shrugs) I thought it was funny.

5) I’m a word thief. I kid you not. There is a fellow blogger (I’ll mention her later) who doesn’t like to use the F-bomb on her blog. She came up with “Feck” to take its fecken place. I liked it. Boom Mine. One of my friend’s doesn’t like to have “-ing” at the end of her words. Instead, the end with “-en”. I’m sure you’ve seen that I swiped that fecken thing too. 😀

6) I like fecken with people. Are you a homophobe? Come, gimme them sweet cheeks, boyo. Are you deeply religious? Luke, I am your god. Are you strongly atheistic? You will be much happier when you accept Jesus in your heart. But, I only do that if I like you in general.

7) I seek to help others, but I don’t know how to accept it for myself.

And now for the part where I’m supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers that I think deserve it.

Sweet Mother She’s a blast, and is willing to share some of her inner struggles. Also, the originator of the almighty “Feck.”

Sooz She’s epic. I love reading her blog. Some of her stories are pretty hot. 😉

R.S.Guthrie A friend of mine with several published books. He’s a good man who is willing to give me a hand with my novel. His books are really good. Go check them out on his blog.

Kevin Rau is another friend of mine who has published several books. He, too is willing to help me out with my novel. I really like Kevin’s H.E.R.O novels. Go get them on his blog. The first in his series is free.

Vy is as big a fan of Sweet Mother’s “Feck” as I am. She has a great blog, too.

Fab is one of my best friends. She is going through a lot, and is pretty tough. She’s new to the blogosphere, so, why not go check her out?

Miss Snarky Pants. She is funny as feck. She’s fond of snark, so she’s a woman after my own heart.

There. All done. Good luck to all I have nominated.

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.

Lists, Lists, Every-fecking-one Does Lists…

…so, I say, “Feck it. I will as well.” 😀

    My favorite blogs

Sweet Mother – This is one of the funniest blogs I subscribe to. When I jump aboard WordPress, Sweet Mother’s blog is one of my first stops. Without fail, she has me laugh, or raises my passions so I am ready to argue. Click the name of her blog to go check her out. You won’t regret it.

Dreamshadow59, – This is another funny blog I subscribe to. I usually jump on her blog every day. Her humor is different that Sweet Mother’s, a little darker, and usually drunker. 😉 Go check her out if you need your funny bone tickled. Click the name to go.

The Book Shelf Muse – Wow. Since I found this blog, my writing has improved dramatically. Their Setting thesaurus and Emotion Thesaurus are invaluable to me. I used to write stuff like, “The forest was big,” and “Joe smiled.” Now, I write stuff like, “The verdant evergreen forest stretched for miles. Pine fills your nostrils are dappled sunlight caresses your cheeks,” and “Joe’s face lit. His eyes crinkled at the corners as his lips arched. He leaned forward, joy radiating from him.” Then, I go polish it. If you want to make your writing better, but aren’t sure how, click the name to check out the blog of Ms. Angela Ackerman and Ms. Becca Puglisi.

The MP Website – This is the site of one of my new favorite writers. I’ve had the pleasure of critiquing her first novel, and I must say, it is shaping up to be epic. Click the name and you’ll see.

    My Favorite Books

H.E.R.O: Metamorphosis – This is the first novel about Supers from author Kevin Rau. Three friends are exposed to a gene “super virus” from a meteor shower that turns them to supers. Stephanie becomes a “Blaster” named Psystar, Rael becomes a “Mutant” named Black Tiger, and Lance becomes a “Brick” named Spartan. This novel explains how the Main Characters become Supers and what the kinds of Supers are. This is always free. Do yourself a favor and click the title to get it for your Kindle.

Black Beast: A Clan of MacAuley Novel and Lost – Two excellent novels by R.S.Guthrie. I reviewed them earlier in the fall. Click here to re-read them, then click the titles to go buy them. You’ll like them as much as I do.

HERO: New Markets – This is the kick ass sequel to Metamorphosis. In this one, Pystar, Black Tiger and Spartan have to deal with the abduction of new Supers. Some villain is selling them as mind-wiped slaves. A fun page turner. Go check it out by clicking the title.

The Emotion Thesaurus: I know, I mentioned it earlier, but I love this writing resource. It is set up so that you can jump to the emotion that you want to write about and see physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses and cues of long-term exposure to that feeling. There are also Writer’s Tips and links to further emotions. For example, fear may escalate to terror. Click the title to go buy it. By the way, I was referring to the digital version of the book. You could also buy the print version.

    Favorite Movies

The Avengers: This was a brilliant culmination of the individual member movies that lead to it. It felt like a superhero movie, something that we’ve not had from DC for a long time. The guys had their issues, but they didn’t whine about them. They settled their problems like comic book heroes should: They beat their differences away. 🙂 The action is epic, and the laughs genuine. Watch it if you haven’t yet.

The Dark Knight Rises – The first trilogy ender that didn’t feel like it crapped on the ones that came before it. The story was decent, if preachy, but it fit with what Chris Nolan already set up. I had a few issues with it, but they are personal gripes. I’m not reviewing the movie, just saying whether I liked it. I do. Go watch it if you haven’t yet.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Fun new take on Spider-Man, but come on! How many times do we have to see his origin story? At least they are sticking a little closer to the source material. Peter dates Gwen, builds his webshooters and sews his costume. Why doesn’t Hollywood want anyone to have a secret identity? That’s irritating.

Expendables 2 – A throw-back to 80’s action movies. It’s a lot of fun. There’s almost everything a guy movie is supposed to have: Explosions, guns, and death. However, it’s missing a few things: Blood, Boobs, and plot. I was disappointed that my favorite character got put on a bus in the first 30 minutes, but, it’s still fun. Go watch it if you haven’t.

    Favorite Timewasters

Facebook – Do I really need to say more? Whether it’s reading friend’s status’, or looking at pics on my favorite pages, one way or another, it’s sucked a lot of my time away. Click the name and send me a friend request.

Tvtropes.org – I love how some of my favorite things are deconstructed on this site. It’s also given me ideas for my novel. It has also sucked up a lot of my time. Click the name and check them out.

Kindle App for PC – The novels are awesome, but the biggest way this thing sucked away my time was looking for more stuff to read. I have more books that I know what to do with.

Chatting with friends – This is by far my biggest time sink. I’ve chatted with my two friends for hours on end without getting any of my work done. Ostensibly, we gather to assist each other with our novels. This happens maybe 10% of the time. The rest of it? (shrugs)

Alright. Those are my lists. Click the links, meet new people and new entertainments. Me? I’m gonna go edit Into the Realm: The Chronicles of Carter Blake. I have to get it done.