Have you ever wondered about points of view and how they affect narrative order? What about the finer points of space opera and other genres? Listen and watch was Josh Hayes and I completely demystify these and other topics...or at least talk about writing and stuff.
Video blogging is new and mysterious to me. I can't speak for Josh or the audience we had during the live broadcast, but I had a lot of fun. Probably, there will more and better video blogs headed this way.
Thanks for stopping by!
The Forgotten Prince by Josh Hayes
This version of the Neverland stories combines all the things I love in fiction; scifi action with great characters and a bunch of surprises. I like the way Josh Hayes shows the cast of the original story in interesting new ways. Bella is my favorite, but Wendy and Pan have found themselves in roles that promise a lot of fireworks as the mystery of Neverland is explored.
The first chapter sets the tone the book. Hayes uses suspense topped with action to begin his sketch of Hook. I knew I was going to be entertained as soon as I started reading the first scene. Without going into the specifics of the plot, I can say the world building is good. The more I learn about the place where Lt. John McNeal finds himself, the more I want to discover who or what created this alternate world.
I can't wait for book three in this series.
How Not to Launch a Book (or in this case a 19,000 word short story)
There are dozens of things a writer should do when releasing a new book or novella. I know this because, like many modern day authors, I have read all the books on how to self-publish and promote. I know that releasing a new title should be a huge deal with lots of bells and whistles, ARCs flung to all corners of the globe, and swag piled high. There should be pre-scheduled reviews and paid marketing on all the reputable sites for the genre.
Should be, but isn’t. Not this time.
I love the Grendel Uprising universe. Creating it has sparked some of the most fun I’ve had in years. I just can’t wait to share the story, so as soon as I satisfied my editor and did a final proofread, I started the upload process. Blood Royal, Episode 2 in the Grendel Uprising series, is now winging its way through cyberspace toward an Amazon outlet near you.
So let’s review. Proof Death is the first installment. Blood Royal is the second. The third, Heavy Weapons is a work-in-progress. The entire series has been outlined and is under constant development.
So without further adieu, please welcome Blood Royal to publication.
Grendel Uprising: Episode 2: Blood Royal
Loyal servants of the Earth System Commonwealth must pick a side. The assassination of Emperor Dan Uburt-Wesson has thrown civilization into chaos and no interim government will have the strength to hold the galactic empire together. Rumors of betrayal and rebellion spread from star system to star system as the real battle begins in the most unlikely place. Official news sources have (wrongly) confirmed that every member of the Imperial family is dead. The formation of a new galactic order is imminent. The Earth System Commonwealth has outlived its usefulness.
Only a handful of powerful people know that Aefel 70391, a decorated veteran of the First Armored-infantry Lightning Division, has located four juveniles that will change history. Can Aefel and his unlikely allies protect the Blood Royal? Has he chosen the wrong side?
Grendel Uprising: Blood Royal sets the stage for a war of rebellion, domination, and what it means to be human in the age of the Earth System Commonwealth.
The Grendel Uprising series combines science fiction and historical fiction. The setting is at once a world similar to England and Scandinavia during the time of the Danelaw and a pan galactic empire of advanced technology and deadly political upheaval. During a more prosperous time, entrepreneurs developed entire worlds as historical reenactment societies and allowed nature to take its course. Financial disaster took the planet of Grendel completely offline. There are precious few men or women who remember how they came to the alien world. Now they will face the godlike destruction of modern warfare.
GRENDEL UPRISING: BLOOD ROYAL: EPISODE 2
Last night I received the final proofread of Blood Royal from my editor BZHercules. I have used her services for Dragon Badge, Die Like A Man, Proof of Death, and now Blood Royal. With all three levels of the Triangulation package complete--beta-read, editing, and proofreading--I have started my final proofread. I hope to publish the Blood Royal ebook within a few days.
WEAPONS OF EARTH: THE CHRONICLES OF KIN ROLAND: BOOK 3
In other news, I have decided to put Weapons of Earth into its fourth complete re-write. During the revision of the 50k words in the current version, I spotted a major character conflict/struggle that hasn't been used to the fullest effect possible. This means that I will save 3k to 15k of the WIP and write the remained from scratch.
My head is exploding with action and intrigue for WOE. With luck, I will have much of the basic outline finished in the next few days, at which point I will either start writing like a mad man or delve further into the plot, structure, and world building background. This one is gonna be good!
Thursday and Friday are my best writing days, as far as available time. Clearly I have big plans starting tomorrow. In addition to the projects mentioned above I have ideas brewing for what I call my Secret Science Fiction Masterpiece (SSFM). My writing group has been hounding me to get to work on this particular premise, and I will; when it is as ready as it can be.
Last but not least I have about 5k words already complete on Episode 3 of the Grendel Uprising series: Heavy Weapons. This story involves Aefel's buddies from the First Armored-infantry Lightning Division as they chose between a corrupt general and their much loved leader, Aefel 70391. Some of their past exploits and battles are revisited with plenty of action.
Where were you when you heard about Amazon’s changes to the Kindle Unlimited policy? I was having the wind knocked out of me after publishing my first serial short story, Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death. Initial reports of the new payment policy upset some authors and caused others to do the happy dance. The version I first received was that the new KU policy was going to punish writers of short fiction.
I thought to myself, “Good job, Moon. Brilliant time to commit to a twelve part serial. Very nice.”
I did a little research. Hugh Howey chimed in with his opinion on the matter, as he is prone to do. In his blog post, Why KU Short Fiction Still Makes Sense, he makes the argument that quality matters in this payment paradigm. If your book, regardless of length, is borrowed and not finished, you don’t get paid. This is either scary or brilliant. The good news is that readers can put the book down, pick it up again much later, and the author is still paid when it is finished. Mr. Howey also argues that books and stories that are finished are more likely to be reviewed.
A six hundred page novel, read to completion, gets rewarded the same as six one-hundred-page novelettes that are read all the way through. This makes the payment scheme literally six of one and a half dozen of another. Chris McMullen offers a nice summary of the changes that begin on July 1st. (15 Questions & Answers about the new Kindle Unlimited policy effective July 1)
I hope that you enjoy reading short fiction and would consider my newest publication, Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death. This stand alone science fiction tale of adventure is episode one of a monthlies series. GU: PoD was professionally edited using the Triangulation services of BZHercules.com.
After July 1st, I will only get reimbursed for my effort if readers like the story enough to read all of it. :)
I hope this new version of Kindle Unlimited really does effectively reward quality writing and serious authors. This has been my dream for thirty-three years. If self publishing crashes and burns, destroying the great opportunities writers of all walks of life currently enjoy, I will still be writing fiction thirty-three years from now!
Thanks for stopping by.
Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death (17, 000 words)
The longest journey begins with a single step, or a high-altitude insertion from the extreme upper atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong? Aefel 70391, a proud member of the First Armored-infantry Lightning Division, must find the Emperor's assassin on a forgotten planet populated by blood thirsty vikings.
Once, long ago when wealthy adventure tourists finally admitted they could not travel back in time, the Grendel Corporation purchased planet 0473829 for cheap and populated it with historical reenactment volunteers. Expenses soared. Bankruptcy followed. Technology went dark. The Earth System Commonwealth Military slowly withdrew protection from the economically and strategically insignificant project.
Seccon 99991, First General and Chief Strongarm of Emperor Dan Uburt-Wesson, disappeared as thoroughly as a myth after committing regicide. A small, but well informed faction of the Earth System Commonwealth Military believe that he has hidden on the primitive — and privately owned — world of Grendel 0473829.
Seccon must die; this is known.
What is the killer seeking in the last corner of human explored space?
Aefel must learn the answer or face permanent exile in the land time pretended to forget.
Episode 2, Grendel Uprising: Blood Royal, is scheduled for a July release date. Seccon betrayed the Emperor of the Earth Systems Commonwealth. Did he make a mistake? Can he keep the Blood Royal alive when modern commandos want them dead?
During the incredibly rainy month of May, I worked on the first of several serial short stories that have been dying to get out. This has been a lot of fun to write, but has been the genesis of serious distraction. First off, I started to develop a pen name for the project, mostly because I have always wanted to have a pen name. The reasons vary, and are the subject of another blog. Let's just say I doubled my work for the same results.
Like many writers, I have a regular job and a family--lots of important life choices to make. Play with the kids, yes. Pay the bills, yes. Maintain twice as many social media sites, no. Why start over when promoting and marketing is already hard enough? Why not take advantage of the modest success I have experienced thus far as a writer. When I began working with a pen name I realized the colossal amount of work I have already put into this web page and publishing project.
So I decided to publish my short stories under my name, without partitioning each genre to a separate name. The genre of my Grendel Uprising series is science fiction, with a twist. One of my universe building projects has focused on a society where there are planets dedicated to various forms of recreation, like a golf planet or a NASCAR racing planet. The most common theme in this Commonwealth, are various historical reenactment societies. Grendel Uprising focuses on a planet dedicated to an imitation of 9th Century Earth, specifically, the rise of Vikings.
This allows for adventures that feel a lot like time travel without the paradox issues common to time travel stories. It also creates interesting worlds where the historical reenactments have gone off course. Hello creativity, hello fun.
The first story in the Grendel Uprising series (of rather long short stories) is schedule to be released in June. The advantage of shorter works of fiction, is that the editorial expenses are more manageable, since most price schedules are based on length of the work. This should allow me to put out the series monthly while still working on my novel length projects.
I am really excited about this new era in story telling. Please take a moment to visit Grendel Uprising and my bibliography page for my current novels.
No Way to Start a War, the second book in the TCOTU series (This Corner of the Universe) by Britt Ringel is a well thought out military space opera with excellent characters. I enjoyed the first book in the series, but Now Way to Start a War is better.
First of all, the conflict between the Hollaran Commonwealth and the Brevic Republic is heating up. Lt. Heskan and his crew face dangerous enemies as they become part of a new mission and learn to handle a larger ship. New and old battle tactics become important, and Heskan has decisions to make.
No Way to Start a War benefits from tighter control of point of view characters, a high-stakes plots, and some serious moral dilemmas faced by various characters. But one of the biggest home runs in the book is the antagonist. I won’t put any spoilers in this review, but Ringel did an excellent job with one of the primary antagonist, an area of storytelling were many authors, even the greats, often fall short.
My “job” as a book reviewer is to help readers, to tell it all, to shuck it down to the cob as we say in these here parts. I am confidently giving No Way to Start a War a five (5) star review, so keep that in mind when I share my less favorite parts.
Science fiction fans love detail. I marvel at how much technical and operational detail authors like Britt Ringel can put into a book. Sometimes, for me, it is too much and slows things down. Take it for what it’s worth; the detail in this book is very thorough. On one hand, I learn a lot about how a space faring naval force might operate. I believe Ringel's bio says he was an officer in the Air Force. He seems qualified to speculate on how would operate in the future. So if you are the type of science fiction fan that thrives on this kind of thing, the TCOTU series is definitely for you. If you have a shorter attention space and suffer from slow-reading-syndrome (I daydream as I read fiction--entering the story world as it were), then the TCOTU is still very excellent.
I’ve said it before, Britt Ringel’s books remind me of Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey in space. There really isn’t higher praise than that.
Over the last few years, I’ve written a lot of posts about novel writing. Most of these have focused on editing or story structure. For years I used organic / seat-of-the-pants drafting methods with heavy revision and editing, but why talk about that. It’s self explanatory. So to improve my craft, I’ve studied structure and posted what I’ve learned. I write in several genres, but prefer science fiction, fantasy, and a mixture of urban fantasy and horror with a dash of crime fiction thrown it. These are the types of things I like to read. Historical fiction is a also particular favorite of mine, though I have not tried to write anything in that genre yet.
Science fiction contains several subfields of specialization such as space opera, military, adventure, and even fantasy or horror. I never worried exactly which type of scifi my stories fell into, as I was busy dreaming the adventure to life. There are usually aspects of each subfield in my novels. I am, however, aware that readers of science fiction have standards and preferences. For science fiction to truly be science fiction, it must at least start from what is known about the universe. The speculative technology is imagined or extrapolated from that basis.
Recently I began a project to sharpen my skills in this area. I did a Google search for "science fiction for science fiction writers" and was directed to several books on Amazon. I selected numerous titles and put them on my wish list, then started planning when they would fit into the budget. Fortunately for me, I already have of a couple of books on the topic which I read years ago. For the purpose of educating myself in hopes of being a better science fiction writer, I have begun a fresh read of Space Travel: A writer's guide to the science of interplanetary and interstellar travel.
Space Travel is edited by Ben Bova with Anthony R Lewis. As I write this blog and look at the book, I am at a loss for exactly who is the author…such is the way of nonfiction I suppose. Space Travel was copyrighted in 1997 by Ben Bova. Content was edited by David Tompkins and David H. Borcherding, production edit by Jennifer Lepore, design by Angela Lennert Wilcox, and the cover illustration credits go to Bob Eggleton.
If I remember correctly from the first time I read this book, it is a good overview of issues that come up when writing a science fiction novel. Part of my mission to improve my science and thus improve my science fiction, will involve more than just reading books, but this is a good place to start. And I thought I would start with somebody with a great deal of credibility. So let me mention a little bit about Ben Bova.
This is a quote from the about the editor section of Space Travel: A writer's guide to the science of interplanetary and interstellar travel:
About the editor
Ben Bova is author of Mars, Moonrise, and more than ninety other novels, nonfiction and instructional books, including The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells for writer's Digest books. The former editor of Analog Science Fiction and Omni magazines, Bova is the six-time winner of science fiction's Hugo award for best professional editor. He is president emeritus of the National Space Society and a past president of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
This blog post is a book review. It is about becoming a better writer. I've just started reading Space Travel and am learning about rockets and some basics of physics. Other topics that are listed in the table of contents include orbit, living and working in space, space industries, space habitats, the moon, advanced spacecraft, the solar system, the stars, starships, the universe, legal aspects, and military uses of space.
I hope you'll join me in this blog in the future and open a discussion about writing in general and also the genre of science fiction. I'm not someone who has formalized training in science and I don’t work in an industry of the scientific nature, so I need all the help I can get.
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
- The Craft of Writing: 7 Magnificent Books
- Use of Force Myths
- A Really Useful Tool
- Project Rotation