Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Unremembered Winner!

Congratulations to Michele!

Thanks to Random.org who selected our winner.

Michele will get her copy shipped out as soon as I have the address.  Thank you to everyone who joined.

This was fun.  For all you writers out there... don't give up.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Alloy of Law Launch

If you're a fan of Brandon Sanderson, you probably already know about his latest release Alloy of Law.

It came out early last week and as usual he held the launch party at the BYU bookstore.  I had to go!

Unfortunately I couldn't camp out early (what turned out to be a full week in advance) to get a single digit number so I picked up a number by 7:30 am the morning before.  It was 104.  I actually got book #204 because books numbered 101 - 200 were being held for his next signing in another city.

Brandon's book launch parties are very fun and fan-dom rich.  It proves for an interesting and sometimes odd night.  This one was no exception.  This time because the book store choose a better layout, I managed to get video of the Q&A.  I decided to edit it and post the video up for everyone to see if they wished.  I broke it up into 5 posts to keep it YouTube friendly.

Don't forget.  If you're interested in my give away of Peter Orullian's The Unremembered, you need to enter by December 5th, 2011.  Right now your odds of winning are very good.
Details are linked here!

Here they are:

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Unremembered Give-Away

The Unremembered, by Peter Orullian, a Give Away.

It's O.k.  Get excited!

TOR has graciously donated this copy of The Unremembered for me to give away.  I'll be taking submissions for the give away from now until December 5th, 2011.  (So that if you want to gift this for Christmas you'll have time to do so.)

The point system will be simple and allow you extra opportunities if you'd like to expend a bit more effort for a better chance to win.  (I'll only be shipping to United States addresses for this give away.)

To enter the give away:  Post a comment saying that you're interested in the give away.  This is worth one point.  Bonus points available below.  Share with me your total points in your comment please.
  • One Bonus Point:  Share point.  Use the tags (Twitter, Facebook, etc) below this blog post to tell everyone about this give away.  You can also use any other social network on your own.
  • One Bonus Point:  Referral point.  Did you refer someone who joined in the give away?  Post a comment after their comment to claim a referral point. 
  • One Bonus Point: Bloggers Pet Point.  You can follow my blog or twitter for one point each.  (This is really easy.  Use the 'Join this site' link over on the right sidebar under Followers or 'follow me on twitter' at the bottom of the Twitter Updates panel in the right sidebar.)
*Please be sure to comment about your points if you have any updates so I won't miss them.  
I do need to contact you if you win.  Please click here to fill out the contact form.  If you win I'll contact you for your address.  The winner will need to reply to their award contact with a postal address within 3 days of the award notification.

That's it!  See, really easy.

If you want to know more about Peter, you can click here to visit his awesome website.  Or here to read about when I met him this last summer.  Even if you don't win, I hope you check his book out or buy a copy.

Have you heard of The Unremembered yet?  Let me tell you a little about it.
The Unremembered is an epic fantasy.  Epic fantasy doesn't have to mean big fat fantasy book, but this time it does.  Hooray!  The Unremembered is 669 pages in this hard bound First Edition, that I'm giving away.  It takes place in an original world (Aeshau Vaal).  You'll discover it has it's own powerful life and mood.  It is full of great histories and powerful legends.  If you visit Peter's website, linked above, you'll find teaser videos that will introduce you to the characters in the novel, some history and some vital plot points.
The story begins as a great threat rises through rumor.  The people who would fight that threat pull themselves out of their simple lives, some at a significant cost, to quell it.
Take a journey with me into a world that can swallow you whole and spit you out at 3am in the morning wondering where the night went.  Open the pages of The Unremembered today.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October's Advice

I was able to sit in on the West Valley Library author panel Wednesday, October 19th.  Authors Emily Wing Smith, Bree Despain, and Sara Zarr answered questions and had some great advice.

Sorry about this poor photo.  I showed up late having gone to the wrong library and end up with a seat in the back.

They all shared their 'How I Got Published' stories and they were remarkably similar, which hasn't been the case most times I hear panels answer this question.

Sara Zarr published her 4th novel she wrote.  This was after 10 years of writing with the intent to be published. She thought the whole time she had to know someone to get her in... but really it just turned out she needed to work hard, improve her craft, get an agent, submit and keep working hard.

Bree Despain published her first novel after 9 years of writing.  She decided to be a writer and took all kinds of classes in college.  In one of these classes she met Emily Wing Smith, became fast friends and here they are today.

Emily Wing Smith published her book after 6 years from finishing her first novel.  She went to Vermont college to study writing.  There she wrote her first novel that would later be published.  She met Sara Zarr there who suggested she speak to her agent, she did and after that things started to move more quickly to her becoming a published author.

Sara said that writing is like a sport. You have to work hard at it to develop skills that are valuable enough to market.

Bree commented on choices. Your characters will make them. There are consequences to these choices and pursuing them in your plot will bring out the human story and condition. Depth is in the humanity of choices, rather than injected with some secret writing formula.

Emily said she likes to avoid moral statements, but rather let the whole story tell any lesson learned, else a preachy character will come off sounding cheesy. They all agreed one of the best perks of becoming a published author is meeting with the authors you read and followed as a reader and to be accepted by them as a colleague.

 I did take a few moments to speak to Bree Despain. I asked about writing warm up practices that help ensure her precious writing time was successful.

  • She shared with me that she enjoys a small daily allowance of chocolate to enjoy while writing. 
  •  She keeps a writing space. 
  • A musical sound track to listen to while in certain moods/scenes. 
  • She also uses 15 minutes to get started where she has to be dedicated and writing. However as promised to herself if she's just not feeling it after that time then she stops for a while. Mostly by the time 15 minutes are up she's well on her way and doesn't need to stop. 
The library event was nice and I hope to see more authors again soon. Mean time I'm off to a solid start on my current work. It's taken the longest to write. I've had my struggles and this one is my most challenging story yet. I'm over 60,000 words into it. I absolutely must finish it this year! Wish me luck.

Another book give away!

Coming soon, I'll be giving away The Unremembered by the amazing 2011 debut author Peter Orullian.

The winner will enjoy this fantasy mood rich novel in time for Christmas.

Details to come.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hiking Mt. Timpanogos Doesn't = Writing

Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5th) I joined hundreds, maybe even thousands on one of the several trails leading to the Mt. Timpanogos Summit.  My intention was to hike the trail and use the non-mental time to work out my plots and make some real progress on my current novel.

Insert wammy buzzer here.

New realization.  Hiking such an intense trail requires all my available mental prowess.  Evidently, it's not that much.  Turns out that thinking of my plot when my heart is racing, lungs are heaving and I'm dizzy from the altitude doesn't really work out.  Hiking was such a mental game for me that I rarely even managed the thought process.  Although I promise I tried diligently for hours off and on.

Regardless, I did have a great hike!  It was gorgeous when the sun came up (I started the hike at 2am) and I had some amazing views.  The high meadow was the most photogenic with all the blooming flowers.  The lake (emerald lake I think) was extra blue from all the dye they use on the snow pack.

I also learned a few things.  For one... Kevin J. Anderson is an insanely genius fit superhero to manage to not only hike much higher peaks, but also plot out entire books on these similar adventures.  Not only could I not manage to keep a forward thought, my knees and feet are killing me and my legs are so sore I can barely walk three days later.

I did also learn something more about my self.  Two years ago I tried to summit Mt. Timp as well, but I failed.  I reached the saddle and a tiny bit more, but I couldn't go any further.  I hit my wall.  I had horrid foot wear that tore my feet up.  It took 2 years to heal physically and mentally to be ready to do it again.  But I did.  I learned from my previous experience.  I left earlier.  I got better shoes.  (I still packed in way too much water, a.k.a. weight.)  I tried a longer but more gradual trail.  I pushed past my limits and found success.

I often repeated my mantra on the hike: Relentless Persistence.

Each time I was wore out I pushed on.  Even if it was just a few hundred feet before I had to rest again.  I kept my rests short and under 1 minute.  Just long enough to catch my breath and for my heart to settle down.  Then back on the trail.

I relate this to my writing, because sometimes I'm not very successful, but I never really fail, because I learn from my mistakes.  I get better.  I keep trying and sooner or later I will reach that summit.  I might still be in the lower meadows right now and have one heck of a trail ahead of me, but I know I can make it.  Even if it is one step at a time.

This weekend is the next session of the Festival of Books, held this time at the U of U.  I'll be going to meet Ally Condie, Brandon Mull, Obert Sky and whom ever else plans on coming.  Some times we don't hear about them until it's too late and we're there, but usually more come than the website lists.  I'll see you all there.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

..because I have to show and tell

It's here.  After months of waiting with it on pre-order I finally get to sit down and start enjoying my first Amber Argyle novel.
Here's my brag photo.  I wanted to get a shot up on the hill over off UT-111 with me and then Magna, UT behind me, but as it turns out a storm was blowing in (not all that uncommon).  The dust had picked up and Magna would just have been a big brown splotch so I settled for a front yard photo.

I'm squinting because their are close to 35mph winds and dust was blowing in my eyes.

I'm so glad to have recieved this on the weekend. Now I can slip in a few chapters here and there.

I'm excited.  I'll keep my progress updated on Goodreads if you're interested. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing Advice, The Unremembered and Witch Song

Not unlike myself, new writers are all about this.  It encourages, excites and lets us know we're on the right path toward publication. (A.k.a. Am I doing it right?) 
A really not so odd thing about writing is that it's never done the same way twice.  So the advice we get really comes down to different flavors of the pie.  It's still pie, but the filling of choice is up for debate.

So, I've been reading for the first time On Writing by Stephen King.  I'm a little over half way now and I'm finally getting into the meat or mechanics of writing as it works for him.  I'm finding that a lot of it syncs with me.  I'll have to take a pass to some of his views at the moment, but that might just be my inexperience shining through.

What struck me most recently are his comments about ploting.  Which is the planning in advance on how the story will progress.  Man... this has been a source of no end of suffering for me.  It's caused me to stall, to research and even hunt out 'advice' on the subject through a multiplicity of resources.

That said, I found out that he writes pretty much like I ended up doing on all four my manuscripts so far.  (Reguardless of my attempts to do otherwise.)  I find that I end up muscling my way through plot issues and I wonder a bit.  But I can't plan out my plot for the life of me.  It seems to just be a discovery as I go.  I'm litterally feeling my way through the story as it reveals it'self and I then write it down.  Stephen has a situation, puts in interesting characters and lets them work out the conflicts.  Sure I have a few scenes planned out like he does, but that's all flexible.  I think he writes linearly, and I tend to jump around a bit, but I'm hesitant to wonder much before I feel the need to go back and fill in the details.  I digress.

Anyway I'm enjoying my read.  Thank you to everyone who suggested this book.  Thank you to my wife for making it a lovely birthday gift. 

As far as progress goes with the current story, I've been struggling lately.  However I am committed and in the past week I've renewed my progress and I'm back in the 1100+ word count.  I'm hoping to make that 1300 to 1500 daily by the end of next week.

Stephen gets his daily 2000, so I'm comfortable coming in around three quarters what he gets daily.  He did comment that a writer shouldn't take more than 3 months to write a story, as it would be a sign that the characters would grow stale/cold in the authors mind and would probably be a sign that the author isn't actually writing.  I'd have to agree.  My current story reflects this immensely.  I'm excited to write it, finish the first draft and get back to revising either Lightning Child or Speaker of the Winds.

Photo taken by Cathryn Orullian

Some exciting news, Cathryn Orullian took this photo of Peter and I at his book signing at the Jordan Landing Barns and Noble.  It was so very nice of you to send it to me.  You see I was having camera issues with my 8 year old photographer.  Thanks for bailing me out! 
If you haven't yet, please give The Unremembered, by Peter Orullian, a chance.  I'm really enjoying this story.  To me books are all about how they feel, (maybe that's why I'm the worlds slowest reader) and this one feels like Tolkien's The Hobbit did for the first time when I was twelve.  I'm really getting sucked into his voice and the characters.  His world is such a dusty majestic.... well, maybe you'd better just give it a try.  I'd hate for my insufficient prose to turn you off.

Oh, boy... here's a last second update.  You remember Witch Song, by Amber Argyl.  It's coming out in September, but lucky me pre-ordered and good old Barns and Noble is shipping that baby out to me as of yesterday.  I'm expecting it August 23rd.  So many good books... so little time.

Got to go... I should be writing.
Relentless Persistence.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Peter Orullian and Brandon Sanderson Book Signing

Wow, what an excellent event!  Both of these excellent authors were vacationing in Idaho and decided to take a 'break' from that and do a book signing. 
I learned to respect Peter a little bit more as he admits he gets up at 3:30am to write.  O.k.  You get the uber dedicated writer award!  Wow.  Respect the man.
Not only does Peter write, but he's also an accomplished musician.  Check out his site.

Peter signed my copy of his book, which I add Amazon nearly didn't get it delivered on time.  It arrived two hours before I had to leave to get to the book signings.  To my chagrin, it was on sale at Barns and Noble for about the same price.  All that worry for nothing.  Oh well.

I learned some truly great things from them.  These are of course paraphrasing.

Peter:  Write true to yourself.  Write what you want and what you're interested in the most.
Summed up, Peter related his story about how he wrote horror to meet the needs of his agent, but turns out nothing sold.  Then he just pursued his interest writing epic fantasy and things worked out.

Brandon:  Never give up.  The vast majority of people who want to be an author just end up giving up.  If you persist you'll eventually make it.  He also personalized his book for me with the remembrance that with every book he's written he's wanted to give up as some point, but he didn't.  Stay the course.

I also learned from him recently (just had to add this) that when he writes first drafts he just writes them.  Then he goes back and fixes everything, puts in his 'show don't tell' elements, etc. etc.... which is good to hear because my first drafts are just horrible.  Obviously the timing/pacing is way off.  Even though it's obvious, it's still good to hear that someone who's a most amazing writer still has horrid first drafts and works up from there.

In answer to the question I placed to them both Brandon said the thing he learned the most in writing was to write that second draft.  Revise, revise, revise.  He didn't want to and there was always that next novel pulling for his attention.  I think I can recognize that pull.  There are so many stories I want to write, but I haven't the time, I need to go back and make novel #1 perfect first.
Peter's answer was of course, staying true to you and writing what you really want.  Oh, and your first 1 million words don't count, so keep writing.  You know the old adage, don't let your own lack of experience stop you, because unless you keep going you'll never get the experience you need.

Gentlemen, thank you for lending me your evening.  You are awesome.  Bravo!
To your families who had to be without you during your vacationing time, thank you for your sacrifice, you are equally awesome.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Writing Space Update

I know this isn't exactly about writing more than it is interior decorating, but I thought I had to share.
I've updated my den with some inspirational writings and motto's/themes.
Here are some pictures.
The Relentless Persistence is my theme or motto.  So I placed it right above my writing area.  The rest of the inspirational phrases are peppered throughout the room so I can look them over.  To the left there are some posative affirmations as well.

'Open your mind.'  In a place I should be creating, it's helpful to have that reminder that it's not all coming from me.

I really like this one.  In the morning (because it's dark when I get up to write) I get to see the suns glow build through this window.  That's quite nice.  Then the glow shines up over this one and it looks quite heavenly.
"All things are possible to him that believeth. - Mark 9:23

I was just reading over some of my old blog posts and I don't even remember entering one of them.  I think these 4am writting sessions are starting to get to me.  ;-)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shedding Some Light on 'The Light of Epertase'

Here is my review of the ARC I received from Rhemalda Publishing.

The Light of Epertase, book one in the Legends Reborn series by Douglas R. Brown is due to be released in September 2011. This will be Mr. Brown's first book. His Debut into the fantasy world. I have just finished the ARC and I am excited to share with you what I experienced. I won't follow the storyline. I think you'll find that in both other reviews and in the book itself, so I see it pointless to repeat that or expose you to spoilers.

This is how I felt about the story.

The story: It was fun to read with interesting characters and an ever-evolving cast. The story is a grand adventure with historic heroes imbued with fantastic powers, strength and endurance. Vicious battles in epic scale take place without distracting from the individual character development. This story is definitely about the characters, not about how bloody a battle scene can get, however, be warned it is graphic and I would suggest not having youth read it. That is true with both violence and romantic elements.

Scale: The story is nice that it does span many different viewpoints. However, that being said I found it inconsistent. The story begins following Rasi and feels like a book about just him, then well into the book, a quarter I'm going to guess, it switches to other viewpoints. It becomes a broader book about many characters and seems to jump from an adventure story about one tortured character to a whole nations struggle later on at least half way through the story. I feel this should have been done earlier to integrate all the plot lines and establish at the beginning what type of story this is. Epic Fantasy.
Similar to some Jason Borne (Robert Ludlum) novels Mr. Brown just decimates his main characters. Now as this may be more realistic, the types of damage they sustain is just crazy, especially since they take what seems like mortal wounds and pick up minutes/hours later and carry on. I found it hard to read over those sections, not for the violence, but for the same reason I find it hard to watch Rocky films. I am pleased to report that Mr. Brown's characters earn their triumphs using their established skills. No last second miracles.
I kept tripping over modern words that didn't have a place in the established world that had been built. Example: bone names 'clavicle' and advanced medicine like antibiotics and technology names once the techs come. Also the novel changed genre's half way through going from fantasy to steam punk. It works, but it just made for a speed bump in the reading, as it was such a stretch from the groundwork laid at the beginning.
I think you'll find the Light of Eperase a fun fantasy read and worthy of lightening your wallet a little to do so.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Had To Say

I just had to say...

That I purchase my vinyl sticker quotes from Signz here in SLC.  They are seriously the most affordable place ever for printing!  Especially large format.  Any way, I'm so excited to put up my words of encouragment on my writing room wall.  I'll post pics once I've put them up.

Also I'm about 70% done reading my ARC of Legends Reborn: The Light of Epertase.  Thank you Rhemalda Publishing!

O.k. I'm not the fastest reader out there, but I do read.  ;-)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Utah Festival of Books Fun!

Did you miss it?  Then you missed out!

I attended The Utah Festival of Books this last weekend.  June, 4th 2011.  It was on the BYU campus in Provo, UT.

I've been looking forward to this for months.  Unfortunately a last minute family thing came up and we had to cut our visit short.  However I managed to get in an authors panel and I visited briefly with two of my favorite people.  ( I have a lot of favorite people!)

First was Aprilynne Pike.  She is the author of Wings as you see in my hands.  I followed up with her from her last visit at the Kings English, but stupidly forgot the question  had for her.  So I opened my mouth and said something really intelligent. 
"I have book.  Sign please."  Sorry, fan boy moment.  But I didn't want it to end there so I uttered another word in one syllable.  "Writer. Me."

My wife got a kick out of me going total pre-school IQ in front of the authors yesterday.  That said the police didn't get called and I walked away with a signed and personalized book with advice and inspiration I can look back on at 4am when I'm trying to put words of value to the splattering of words I like to call stories.

Click here for Aprilynne's site.

I also met with Kevin J. Anderson.  I've never met with him before so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Admittedly I was nervous.  However he's this really cool guy who's so willing to talk and answer questions.  I happened to catch him setting up early for his signing time so I got a few minutes with him.  He shared with me some valuable resources for new writers and even pitched me on the Superstars Writing Seminars.  Which sadly is not likely to be in my budget this decade.  If you can I agree, do so.  You'll never get brighter stars to shine on you.

Click here for what I believe to be Kevin J. Anderson's site.

The whole event was really nice.  Great for the family.  Sun was intense and finding shade or an indoor event was mandatory.  I crisped up a bit and resemble a lobster now.  The kids enjoyed the bounce house, hot dogs, icy flavored ice treats and other activities and prizes.  My sweet patient wife enjoyed meeting American Idol pop star David Archuleta, having him sign her CD and listen to the hundreds of screaming teen and pre-teen girls pitch their voices at new deafening levels.
Scary stuff.

This thing runs twice a year.  Don't miss the next one.  Check it out linked here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Winner Announced - A New Cool

Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway for a brand new copy of The New Cool by Neal Bascomb.

Jonnie H

Thank you to Crown Publishing for supplying the free copy to giveaway on my blog.

Jonnie H, I'll reach out to you today for delivery info.

Thank you to everyone who showed interest in my blog and this giveaway.  This was a rough month for me and writing and I really appreciate the support you've shown for my writing.

I want to apologize briefly for the delay in announcing the winner.  There was suprise death in the family that took me out of state for the last few days of the month and then I returned ill.  But all is better now.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Relentless Persistence

I'm completely convinced that anything is possible with relentless persistence.  A person who persists while exercising the humanistic properties of learning and growing is bound to achieve any goal regardless of it's lofty level.  Only death or abandonment can stay humanity from a goal and even then depending on your perspective death is merely a temporary set back.  It's the quiting or abandoning a goal that makes a dream.

I recently heard an accomplished musician speak to me about skills and talents.  She spoke of singing masterfully as a skill that anyone could accomplish with enough effort and persistence.  Her point was that those with a natural born or inherited talent would learn more quickly and with greater ease, but anyone could develop the talent/skill with enough work.

I remember a talk I watched of Bob Proctor.  If you don't know the man or his teaching I highly recommend him.  I think everyone can learn from him.  One thing he spoke of is that everything mankind has learned and will learn has always existed.  Regardless of your belief in god or a higher power this must be true.  For example he said that the Internet and it's technology always existed, however we had not yet discovered it.  Man did not invent electricity or the laws by which it is governed.  This has always existed, it's just that through our persistence we discover these things.  We learn and grow.  We have always learned and grown.  We've have had our speed bumps, set backs and other 'dark ages', but we've never given up.  As a whole humanity has grown to what we are today.

I'm willing to say that if humanity can constantly learn and grow and accomplish great things, then so can I.  In terms of achieving something grand in scope in my life, such as becoming a full time author who can earn an excellent living for my family through writing, then I too can follow this human pattern if I choose to exert myself.

So, did humanity have set backs.  Yes.  Did humanity achieve greatness over night?  No. 

I also can not expect over night exceptional success.  However when humanity exercised wisdom, peace, and what I would call good old American (Memorial Weekend is coming up) Relentless Persistence, then they did grow, develop in leaps and bounds in such small periods of time.  Personally I'd add righteousness and the hand of god in blessings and fruitfulness, but regardless the facts are there to prove it.  I am not so genetically superior to my progenitors that I have greater potential to success, but I will because of the success of my ancestors and my personal dedication.

So I say to you:  Regardless to the immensity of your personal dreams.  Make them a goal and pursue that goal with a Relentless Persistence and one day that dream you had will be your reality.

The difference between a dream and a goal and then achieving the dream lies in quantifying the steps (goals) that it will take to reach your dream and then following the plan by acting upon them.  If you don't give up, you will succeed.

No matter your set backs or personal failures.  Don't give up.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Charming Afternoon with My Boys and Aprilynne Pike

Saturday I took the boys out for a meet the author at The Kings English, a local independent bookstore.  Normally I go on my own to these things, but I'd been missing the little guys all week and mom needed a good pre-mothers day nap time.  So off we went.

The Kings English is located in a residential neighborhood south of Salt Lake City.  It's part of a small smattering of businesses.  If you haven't visited yet I suggest that you do.  The shop is full of charm and is anything but ordinary.  The store is built on different levels and rooms and is very fun just to be in.

LC Piper and Aprilynne Pike
Aprilynne is a New York Times best selling novelist.  She's written Wings, Spells and Illusions.
Aprilynne's reading and Q and A was held in the stores largest space which was very cramped even with only about 30 people visiting for the signing.  It didn't seem to bother anyone and we all enjoyed her company.  She spoke about her writing and the upcoming novels. She also commented briefly on her new series she has started as book 4, following illusions sometime in 2012, will be the last in the series. 

One of the questions answered that I like the best was about outlining.  She explained that she does outline.  Her plot points (in detail on this post linked here) are often just three words, but she adheres to her plot firmly and her characters have free range within those plot points. 

It was funny that there was so little space at the Q&A that the children sitting on the floor in front of the chairs very nearly came to Aprilynne's feet. 

When we met with her in line for signings my boys both had comments for her and were very proud to point out that dad was a writer also.  (Unprompted.)  She even gave them bookmarks and three temporary tattoo's to give to mom holding down the fort at home.  Mom was, of course, thrilled with the gift and is excited to meet her June 4th in Provo, Utah at the Utah Festival of Books.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The New Cool Giveaway!

The New Cool by Neal Bascomb
Here it is, my first giveaway.  Courtesy of The Crown Publishing Group I'm pleased to provide this excellent book giveaway.  Crown recently sent me a copy for review, but they also gave me an additional copy to giveaway... how cool is that?!

I'm keeping this real simple.  Anyone in the US or Canada may enter.  The entry points are below.  It will run till May 31st, 2011.  During that time just post a comment with your total points.  Updates are welcome, just submit the form again with the new points you've earned.
  • Follow my blog.  3 points.
  • Post at least one comment.  1 point.
  • Share a link to the giveaway out on Facebook.  1 point.
  • Share a link to the giveaway out on Twitter. 1 point.
  • Share a link to the giveaway out on another networking site. 1 point.
  • Blog about and link to the giveaway.  1 point.
Click here to submit the form.

6/3/2011... A winner has been announced.... click here for details.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The New Cool, A Book Review - Giveaway coming soon.

Hi everyone,

I thought I'd share with you a book review I've completed about a book I've just finished reading.
I enjoyed this book.  I hope you will also.  Thanks go to the Crown Publishing Group for providing an additional copy for me to give away!
Check back soon for my first book giveaway and win a new copy of The New Cool.

The New Cool by Neal Bascomb.

Written within is a clever story about the Amir and his attempt to change the lives of children at a key place in their education. The book was well written and read easily with professional skill. The voice is clean and smooth.

I found the flow of the book irregular as it frequently jumped a narrative POV from one focused character to the next. If I wasn't expecting it, as I wasn't frequently at the beginning, then it was a bit confusing. However later in the book I became familiar with the pattern and have to admit it was done well and added to the stories interest. Other readers may find this style more natural than I did.

I won't spoil the story for you, but as the title and jacket copy explain this story is about how Amir fought to create a New Cool. Learning and problem solving became key to his students as they prepared their graduating projects to compete in the FIRST contest. Where teams prepared robots in advance to compete a puzzle contest and defeat other teams robots.

The read was interesting and educational. It was eye opening and I found particular interest in it because I've heard of the competition before. The book makes for a good casual read that’s easy to read in bits. It isn't however gripping and I felt it too easy to put down. For those who share interest in technology and problem solving you'll find a good read and an enlightening story in The New Cool by Neal Bascomb.

Friday, April 29, 2011

An Impromptu Question For Brandon Mull. Yahoo!

Brandon Mull and LC Piper
 I received a last minute tweet that Brandon Mull was going to be at the BYU bookstore today (4/29/2011) at 5:15, coincidentally we were visiting Provo. So unprepared and without a book to sign I went shamelessly to ask a writing question.
Gracious as ever he took a moment to answer. Here's how it went.

Do you outline your stories and if so how do you do it? (Insert incomplete sentences, mumbling and stutters here.)

Brandon: We'll actually I think about my stories for a long time. Then when the movie is complete in my head I start writing it. I do write things down just before I start, but it's all worked out before I begin. Outlined in my head.

That of course isn't a verbatim quote.

Brandon, thank you for your time in line.  To all those behind me in line.  Thank you for waiting so patiently!  It was just one question.  :-)
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

8 Elements of Plot

I recently read this article on plot that speaks of 8 elements you need.  Although it's all common sense or so it seems it was rather eye opening to see it spelled out so clearly.  I thought I'd mirror it here in brief.  Here's a link to the page if you'd like to read the article in full.  I suggest you do.  It's from:  How to write a book now.

Why I think this is important.

Building on my study of Aprilynne's comments on outlining, I've been world building in a new way that puts the focus of my world building on character and plot.  Before it was open book.   I'd open my composition pad and just free write.  Which was fun at times, but I'd end up with 7+ full comp pads and fragments of a story.  This new way I'm paying attention to the elements of plot that I need to develop and I'm asking questions along them to get the answers I need to really focus on my plot.
I think it's making a difference and I feel that I'm gaining confidence.

  • Story Goal -
The plot of any story is a sequence of events that constitute an attempt to solve a problem or attain a goal. The Story Goal is, generally speaking, what your protagonist wants to achieve or the problem he/she wants to resolve. It is also the goal/problem that involves or affects most, if not all the other characters in the story. It is “what the story is all about.”
  • Consequence -
Take your goal and ask, “What would happen if the goal is not achieved? What is my protagonist afraid will happen if he/she doesn't achieve the goal or solve the problem?”

The answer to these questions is the Consequence of the story. The Consequence is the negative situation or event that will result if the Goal is not achieved. Avoiding the Consequence justifies the effort required in pursuing the Story Goal, both to the characters in your novel and the reader, and that makes it an important part of your plot outline.
  • Requirements -
These describe what must be accomplished in order to achieve the goal. You can think of this as a checklist of one or more events. As the Requirements are met in the course of the novel, the reader will feel the characters are getting closer to the attainment of the goal.

Requirements create a state of excited anticipation in the reader's mind, as he looks forward to the protagonist's success.

  • Forewarnings -
Forewarnings are the counterpart to requirements. While requirements show that the story is progressing towards the achievement of the goal, forewarnings are events that show the consequence is getting closer. Forewarnings make the reader anxious that the consequence will occur before the protagonist can succeed.
  • Costs -
Good plots are about problems that mean a lot to the characters. If a problem is trivial, then neither the protagonist nor the reader has a reason to get worked up about it. You want your readers to get worked up about your novel. So you must give your protagonist a goal that matters.
One sign that a problem or goal matters to the protagonist is that he/she is willing to make sacrifices or suffer pain in order to achieve it. Such sacrifices are called Costs.
  • Dividends -
The element that balances Costs in your plot outline is Dividends. Dividends are rewards that characters receive along the journey towards the Story Goal. Unlike Requirements, Dividends are not necessary for the goal to be achieved. They may be unrelated to the goal entirely. But they are something that would never have occurred if the characters hadn't made the effort to achieve the goal.
  • Prerequisites -
Prerequisites are events that must happen in order for the Requirements to happen. They are an added layer of challenges to your plot outline. Like Requirements, as Prerequisites are met, the reader feels progress is being made towards the goal.
  • Preconditions -
The last element to balance your plot outline, Preconditions, is a junior version of Forewarning. Preconditions are small impediments in the plot. They are stipulations laid down by certain characters that make it more difficult for the Story Goal to be achieved.

If you're having trouble getting your plot figured out, I suggest reading this article and learning about all the parts.  Even if you have, you might find a few points that you can strengthen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aprilynne Pike Interview and Questions

Interview and questions with Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings.

It was superfun (new word!) and I hope you all join in on the next call.  Wednesday, April 27th. 7pm MDT.
Farland's Authors' Advisory Conference Calls (link here) hosts an original and rare opportunity for you to meet, listen and ask professional authors questions live from anywhere in the world that you can get your hands on a phone.

Aprilynne Pike
 Last night I joined in for the first time live and was given the opportunity to ask Aprilynne Pike several questions of my own.  Listen to it here.
Being that I was slightly less nervous than the others on the line, I had the fortune to ask several.  No points for my performance, but Aprilynne answered them all. 

She spoke primarily on Outlines, which was unbelievably perfect as I've decided that I won't proceed onto my third novel until after I've fully outlined it.  And this time I really mean it!  Currently the Snowflake method, which is actually simple, just isn't working for me.  The method she shared with us was so simple and as of tomorrow morning I'll be starting over just to give it a try.  I won't try to explain it at this time, but give the call a listen and hear a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author explain how she outlines her stories.

I will say that the method is visual and that visual works for me.

Aprilynne also discussed inciting incident, turning points, plot points, sub plots, emotional stakes, love triangles and other elements that are a part of or heavily tie into the outline.

I've listened to all the calls posted on Farland's Authors' Advisory Conference Calls and they are priceless.  If you're an aspiring writer, you need to listen to all of these.  After finding out about the calls I passed up the opportunity for listening to two calls live.  I hope to not make that mistake again.  Join in the fun and ask a few questions.

***Also, for an undetermined length of time you can get Wings (Aprilynne's Debut Novel) for free on Amazon, B&N, Kobo and Sony.  Check that out here, but act fast, this is a limited time thing.  It's my opinion that even if you don't have the time to read it now, or don't have an e-reader now you can still get it and read on-line until you do, then it can port over to your device when you get one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


You've felt it before.  Chances are you feel it all the time, but do you pay attention to it?  Likely you don't especially if you're unsure what to do with it. 
No, I'm not talking about that extra zip in Mayo that makes it miracle whip... I'm talking about the rush or flash of inspiration that enters our mind and sends it on the ubber roller coaster of coolness.  How long the ride lasts and how thrilling the dips and twirls are depends up on our situation, the inspiration and the time we have to stay on.  Regardless of the definition, we all zing.

John Brown
 Author John Brown gives excellent clarity to Zing on his website.  Link here.  I think understanding what Zing is and knowing how to 'hunt' for it will change a new writer forever.  Once you latch on to it, your stories will change for the better.  It is possible to pass your zing on to others.  (Assuming they're compatible to it.)

How does it work?  I don't know, but it does. 
Example:  Trailer Park Elves.
Did that buzz you?  It buzzed me when I read Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International.  When we have a cool idea, it resonates not just in us, but in everyone who's compatible with it.

Larry Correia
 It's taking these idea's and putting them in our writing that takes our stories to a new level.  We all know that the whole point of telling a story is to get an emotional response from the reader. Why?  Because that's why they're reading.  To be emotionally moved.

John Brown suggests listing out all the Zing idea's that we're implementing in our story, then twist them.  Back to our example.  Elves... zing.  Trailer Parks... zing.  Trailer Park Elves... Zing Zing Zing. 

For me, I'm outlining my 2nd quarter novel and I took the idea of sorcerers and energy and I'm twisting them together.  Author Michael Crichton takes technology that Zings his interest, then asks,  "What can make this go wrong/be abused?"

I took Sorcery and Energies and asked, how can science make sorcery real?  It grew from there.

Taking our Zings, twisting/combining them and then asking questions... the obvious or just plain off the wall questions will grow our appeal and magnify the Zing to us and our readers.

I've have a weak novel I'm editing now.  The first one I've ever written.  It has problems... huh, go figure?  I've had to ask my self.  What could make this stronger?  I've decided that I need to go scene by scene and evaluate the Zing it has.  I'm going to review what is there, then twist it and start asking questions.  The deeper it gets (as long as it's not distracting from the story) the better the story will get.  I'm looking at this as re-animating the corpse.  Yeah, it's a body, but does it have a soul?  Is there any life in there?

I'm going to give this a try.  I hope you will as well.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Advice I'll Have To Rely On

I think blog interviews with authors are fun, but some can be disturbing and fun I've discovered.  Check out this link to the interview with Bree Despain (Author: The Dark Devine & The Lost Saint) and The Spork of Doom.  If you think that the name kind-of says it all... we'll you'd be wrong.  The weird runs deeper, much deeper, but I'll leave that to you to explore.

Regardless there is some good advice at the end of the interview that I find very useful.  Bree gives this advice frequently, so I'm going to say if it's good enough for a very successful author, then it's got to be good for me.  Goodness knows I need it.

"Great books aren't written, they're revised."  - Bree Despain.

Aside, I just love the fact she has the word aren't in her mantra.  Although I'm not known for mantra stealing, I might have to give this one a go, because it's so perfect for me.  My first draft of Lightning Child is struggling.  O.k. it's a given that it's my novel version 1.1  (Novel 1, draft 1), so it's bound to be very imperfect, but at this point I've learned just enough to be dangerous to myself.  I see how inexperienced I write, and know where I should be and even have a lot of tools/tips/advice to help get me there, I just need to write more and figure them out.  So mean time I'm editing and it HURTS!

However, now I'll be 'Revising to Greatness', because if it ain't written, it can't be revised.  (I used ain't!  giggle.)  And now I know that all those rough draft words can be revised into something that is great.

I do actually have a mantra, and I suspect it will be mine until the end of time.  'Never give up.'  I know it's not original, but it's been real for me on so many aspects in life.  It's proven true when I adhere to it.  Now I can put another mantra under my breath.  Let's just hope no one at work hears me while I chant these during my breaks.  (That's when I write.)  That could prove to be awkward.

Link here to see the interview blog by the Spork of Doom and enter to win a copy of The Lost Saint.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Balance In All Things

It's time to talk opposition.

Understand it's a part of the fight. If you don't have it, you're probably not doing something right. Opposition to your efforts of goodness is your verification you're on the right path. If you have absolutely no opposition, you're probably not pointed the correct direction. Re-align.

Really at this point you just need to know it's there.  To be able to recognize it.
You'll see external opposition.  That's where it comes from sources other than you.  Then there is the internal type.  Which is pretty obvious, because that's you baby!

The external is pretty easy to deal with.  You recognize it, examine (study) it, develop a plan to over come it, then execute.  Off with it's head!

Internal is more challenging.  Every step is the same, only it's more difficult.  Recognizing could be a big snag.  It was for me.  In general there's a little voice in my head that tells me I'm a poser and only super scholarly types (which I'm not) or complete geeky wanna be's (which I'd rather not admit) are writers.  So how could overage Joe Me be a writer.  Maybe even a really good writer... you'd best stop now.
I've discovered that when I'm procrastinating; you know like writing a tweet, Face Book Update or a blog entry I'm having issues recognizing this internal opposition.
Does this mean I have multiple personalities.  Well yeah, maybe it does to a small degree.  That self degrading put-downer guy is speaking too loudly.  Hey, self bully Bif, where are you when I need you?  Go sock him in the face to get him to shut up.
Now, that's better.

The one surefire thing I can do to overcome opposition to my writing, is to do it anyway.  Where's that Jessie James internal self... there he is.  Rebel with a cause, this way please.  If you try to stop me, I'll just do it anyway.  In secret.  Hiding down in the laundry room, or on my lunch break when I should be in the gym doing bench presses. 

Yeah, that's me the guy who is pretentious and thinks that one day if he doesn't give up he'll be a published author.  He's a real goober and thinks that complete strangers will read his words and say, hey, that's pretty good.  What else does he have?

Hey put-downer, didn't I just have Bif over there sock you one?  Back off!  You can come out when it's time to do the chores.

I first saw this on the wall of a police officers
cubicle in my home town's police department. 
Anyway, it's got to be true.  If you don't quit, then you can't fail.  The harder you work at it, the faster it will come.  So, I'm not going to quit.  Actually I'm going to go do it right now.

Alright Bif, high five.  Let's go pick on gullible for a minute, then we'll go write something.

Word!  (That's funny because I'm a writer and I write them.)


A quote from Bree Despain's March 12th presentation at the library event I spoke of earlier. "Get your 2 plus hours in daily.  You have a right to write." 
I just love that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dum Dum Dum Da Da Dum Dum, Under Pressure

I think Queen (the band) had a bit of this in mind when they sang that song.
We all have pressures on us and our time. When we have something of real value the balance that exists in the universe will attempt to rob that from us.

The pressure is caused when we resist that change.  The building pressure or result of resisting the easy path to nothing is what makes us strong and produces things of value.  When I go the gym I quite frequently drag myself there.  All I want is to go take a nap or read a book or do anything but exercise, but it's the act of winning over my weakness that builds strength.  It's the same with writing.

I often wonder why my best writing comes from the smallest periods of time.   Those last few minutes before my writing time expires is when I get the most value.  The idea's and words flow.  It's not because those last thirty minutes are any better than the first ninety.  I believe it's because I have pressure to perform.  I have a deadline at 6:29am that says your time is up.  If I want something at that point I had better push hard and make progress.  The pressure of deadlines drive us and opens our potential. 

Most days on my breaks at work I try to rough draft some notes about the current story I'm writing or developing.  Not once in the past year I've been doing that have I ever sat down thinking I knew what I was going to write, but knowing I've got ten minutes makes it work.  The first seven minutes are sheer torture, the pressure builds and I fear not getting anywhere.  Then it breaks and for three minutes until I drag myself away from the burst dam of idea's I've gotten somewhere. 
A deadline, even if self imposed, gives us a road map.  We can see and plan out milestones to reach a bigger goal.  Without deadlines there is at best an ambiguous destination.  Essentially there is no path with check points.  Therefore no pressure.  No growth.  Anyone could walk a hundred miles if given an eternity.  But if you've been given 48 hours, you bet you could foot that distance, but you'd have to create specific goals and checks to ensure you don't miss your target.  What is the difference.  The latter provides growth.  If you take an eternity to get there and had no pressure you can't possibly grow.

If you're like me you have many things pulling on your time.  Work, family, religious duties, the growing need to eat or sleep soon.  Don't look at these as obstacles, but as blessed pressure builders.  Carve out your writing time and guard it jealously, but don't abandon your life.  You need those things to make this, your writing, worth while.  You need the pressure they'll give while you struggle to write. 

For me it took making sacrifices I didn't think I could before before I could write regularly.  Maybe it will for you also? 

When you're under pressure, don't give up.  When (not if) you're feeling pressure it's because you're on track.  It's what this life/world is about.  Push past your barriers and create new wider boundaries for yourself.  That's right.  Get your backside in the chair, put your fingers on the keyboard and push those keys.  Eventually you'll be making words, and soon those words will mean something.  Not likely until the last moment, but you'll have something you didn't have before.  And that is valuable.

Happy writing to you.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pop Tarts and Tap water at 4am

It may not be the most desirable way to write, but it's mine and I own it.

You heard it right 4 AM every day, no excuses. I've been on that path since October 1, 2010. It's been a bumpy road at times, but it's mine. I've been wanting to be a committed writer for years, and 2010 was going to be my year. The year I finished my novel or bust! However after struggling seven months with an evening time slot of 10pm to midnight when my mind was shut down and I couldn't motivate myself into anything creative, I eventually decided that if I was going to make a big commitment in my life to write a book I needed to show to my self that I was committed beyond the days left over minutes. I wasn't getting anywhere robbing time from the next day.

The night owl shed his feathers and picked up mornings. Ouch... that still hurts.

I turned to the mornings with vengeance and here I am today with 2 complete first draft novels and I'm fresh into first edits on my number one project, Lightning Child.

Things went very well at first. Then life happened and my 10pm bed time was delayed and I'd wake up too tired to get much done. My high target of 1600+ words a day gets missed nearly every day and then I started struggling to reach my 1200+ target. Baby's get sick or teething and all sorts of things that I let keep me from writing before. Things both in and out of my control. (I'm sure all the mom's out there know just how much infants cripple your ability to write. I've also decided that children only wake up in the 4 to 6:30 am time frame if you are writing.)

I learned that my journey in being a daily writer included several things. First of all I needed the support of my wife with the children during writing times. I must make strong use of my break times at work to write. I need a solid 4+ pages to transcribe in the morning and get me started. If I have that then my morning is at least 1200 words or better. If I don't, it's a gamble.
Some day's I'm so exhausted I can barely keep my hands on the keyboards, so I've taken to standing up and pacing to get the blood pumping so I can stay awake for even just sixty seconds more before I have to pace around again. (I wonder if I look as stupid as I feel when I'm doing it?)

Saturday and Sunday afternoon nap times are my sweet spot. I use them to make up for lost ground in the week. Deadlines are deadlines. If you don't reach them... you're dead meat. I had to create deadlines to keep myself motivated. My wife follows up and asks how I'm doing. Shame, if I didn't meet my goal, is self delivered and in plenty big scoops.

I also have taken to snacking on sugary breakfast pop tarts or their off brand equivalents to keep the blood alive in the early A.M.. Then I wash the stale dry goodness down with some fresh tap water.... yum!

Still when all is said and done, even counting those days when I failed or when children or other distractions hit me hard, I did it. I wrote my book in 2010, and I started 2011 with a new goal to get 4 more before the year is out. 4 completely written novels, including first round edits. Unofficially I want to have book 1 submitted to even just one house or agent, with room for the others to follow. I'm all about those rejections. Bring them on.
I have a plan. This plan I hope to beat. If I keep writing and make my daily goal I'll have 1 million words in less than 2 and a half years. I suspect by then that I will be strong enough to get publication considerations.
I'm also supplementing my deficient ego with inexpensive writing conferences, author presentations/signings,writing pod casts and blogs. I've learned so much speaking to and listening to those who've already walked a similar path that I'm on. I try to be in the community and support it the best I can.

I suppose this is a journey and I'm going to live and love it the best I can. I'm one of those types that Bree Despain spoke about in her recent 'Tips for Aspiring Writers' presentation at the Whitmore Library in Salt Lake City 3/12/2011. I've had my eyes on future events for so long saying 'I'll be happy when...' that I forget to love my life now. Of course I knew this already and my extremely wise and beautiful wife reminds me of this all the time. But it's very applicable to my writing. If I have a tough morning writing, then I need to remember that I love writing. Do what makes it fun, even if it detracts from my word count that day. I need to enjoy my journey.
I'll liken how my writing is to how road trips can be. If you travel from point A to B in as short a time as possible. It's really rather un-enjoyable. If you make stops along the way to enjoy scenic views, historical markers, attractions and other fun things you'll take longer but enjoy your journey. It's the journey in life that we have to love. If I've decided I won't love my journey then I won't and with my eyes only focused on the destination I won't be happy until I get there. If there ever arrives, but that's a conundrum for another discussion.

So when writing has so much to enjoy along the way it would be rather fruitless to not just plan to enjoy the journey.
All journeys are different. I hope yours turns out to be fun and that you never lose the love in writing. If we don't quit, one day we will all get published regardless. May today's destination be two hours of writing fun.

In the mean time I'm just going to sit here at 4am and keep writing. With the occasional pacing, pop tart chomping and tap water chugging... of course.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Day You'll Thank Me

LTUE, Life the Universe and Everything, writing convention was very exciting for me. Writing conventions have always been to expensive for me to even consider, however this one, put on at BYU, was very affordable and worth much more than the meager $25 they wanted to charge me for my visit.

After three full days of excellent panels and lecture I came away with a much better understanding of writing and a whole composition pad of notes to review. I have to admit, that I'll probably forget more than I'll remember about what was presented at LTUE.
One great experience, and bit funny for me was the Key Note address.
James Dashner, guest of honor, presented his Key Note on the third day of the event in February of 2011. I personally loved it's title: "The most boring Keynote Ever!" For which it was anything but boring.

Having attended the previous three hours of panel discussions in the same room I had managed to secure a seat right up front. Which for a fellow with long legs is extremely desirable.

Just before the key note one of the LTUE staff (and I believe she may have been a panelist as well) visited with me. She asked about the seat next to me. At the time there weren't a lot of other participants there so I placed my coat, bag and things on the seat next to me a few hours earlier. Realizing it was there and taking up a seat as the auditorium was filling I apologized and removed them and happily stated, yes, these two seats next to me are open.
The kind woman paused for a moment longer than expected. Not being the sharpest stick in the bunch I hadn't yet realized from the glowing pink badge around her neck that she was one of the LTUE members and was probably asking, without saying it, for me to move.
I later discovered the poor girl was trying to place some VIP's up front, and that I wasn't one of those. ;-)
Turns out she was trying to place Bree Despain and Brodi Ashton. Not being as savvy as I am now I recognized Bree because the day before she was on a panel that I attend and I managed to get a photo with her then.

So this kind woman brought the fine ladies to their seats and as she left she patted my knee and said, "One day you'll thank me for sitting you next to Brodi Ashton."

I said hi to Bree, and spoke briefly with Brodi who sat directly to my left. At the time all she said was that we was a writer (aren't we all, so I didn't press the point with questions) and she asked about myself. I told her in short about my current project and the keynote began.

As it ended I asked her again about her book (Everneath), but saw that they had paces to go so I excused my self, but I did learn that it is based on the Greek myth of Persephone. My memory fades from there, but link here to find out more about it. It comes out winter of 2012.

Thank you mystery lady!
p.s. I've got an idea who you were but didn't want to embarrass my self any further by getting it wrong.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Paths On Hold

I never explained this, but around mid-October, 2010, I decided to put my first novel (series) attempt 'Path Of The Immortals' on hold. I received some great advice that I was way to close to the story to write it. You know the reason, I'd been dying to write it my whole life, but didn't until now and now I'm not just good enough to do it justice so I risk quiting or spending years on one novel. I decided to start Nanowrimo with a new novel in November. So my first novel became, 'Lightning Child'. It was something that I could write, even if badly, and I wouldn't offend myself when I wrote it badly.

I've since moved on to my second novel which is nearly complete, 'Speaker of the Winds'. It's really great, a bit challenging and has some risky decisions. The kind that I hope I don't offend your sensibilities with, but it's just a fun emotional journey.

I'll be wrapping this up in a week or so, putting it aside and working on Lightning Child's first few rounds of edits, so that I can get it out to my Alpha readers. A.K.A. My loving wife and a few friends who dared me.

I've commit ed to write 4 novels this year. That's one written and edited every quarter. (I'm just beginning to grasp just how crazy that is. Oh well, I'm new I can get away with it.)

I'll pick up Paths later probably next year 2012 mid-year. I need to get some of the green out of my gills first.

Today I updated a few things to the blog. Progress trackers (that's cool!), celebrity photo's, and a new banner.
Here is the old one.

I'd like to shift the branding over to my name, since the blog is about me and my writing journey, not the one book, but I'm afraid of my url changing so I'll research that some more first.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Witch Song and Amber Argyle

Hey crew,
Amber Argyle is a local author who I met recently at LTUE (writers conference held at BYU in Provo, Ut yearly).
Her debut novel 'Witch Song' will come out soon. I suggest you check it out. It's available for pre-order and that would be cool for you to support her this early.
She was real lucky and had a publisher who realizes that you need awesome cover art, and she got it. (Linked here to full cover art.)

You can check it out here on Goodreads.

I remember seeing her card around a lot and she's been active in the communities. She has her head on straight. So if she writes as well as she promotes you'll be in for a treat.
Give her a visit, pre-order or just check out some of her cool give aways.
Check them out here.