Friday, May 16, 2014

The Early Nerd Catches the Earworm…

Who Killed Cock Robin? – John Anster Fitzgerald, c. 1855–1860
I've somehow gotten a mashup of Huey Lewis and the News and an old nursery rhyme stuck in my head. Now I've got this echoing in the thought chamber:

"They say the heart of Cock Robin is still beatin'.
But from what I've seen, I don't believe 'em!"

I guess it was that or John Lithgow grilling the Gingerbread Man about the Muffin Man, who lived on Drury Lane.
Yeah, I'm such a nerd…

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour is a series of linked blog posts by various authors about how their writing process works when creating a new story. Fellow author, Heidi Garrett, popped up with an invitation to other authors to join the tour and I gladly accepted.
The idea behind the tour is each author answers four questions (listed below) about their writing and then lists three authors to visit on the tour. Not all the writers on the tour link to three, but it makes an interesting thread to follow. It will give you an idea of how each writer works out their stories and produces them.
Now, I actually have two writers before me in the Blog Tour. There was a last minute scheduling snafu, so I switched slots so we could continue a proper flow.
The first writer before me on the tour is Cat Amesbury, writer of contemporary fantasy who just released her first book on April 6, 2014, The Guests of Honor: Tales of the Virtue Inn (Book One).
The second writer before me on the tour is Michael Patrick Hicks, another first time writer with his book, Convergence, published in February, 2014. Michael was also a nominee for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novelist Award. That should say something about his book.
The hardest thing for a new author is getting noticed by the readers. This is difficult for established authors, too! So I urge you to take a chance and read their books. You might like them. Ebooks cost less than a coffee at Starbucks, they are more entertaining and they last a lot longer. So buy their books, give them some stars in their reviews, and watch out for toasters with bad attitudes.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Looking for a Cover Artist

I have a placeholder cover for Dragon. Now I have to find an artist who can do the real cover. Unfortunately, that's been a difficult search; the queries I sent out have gone ignored. There is a pretty big demand among independent writers for good cover artists.
Test Cover for Dragon.
First off, I have to find someone whose style I like. I found a few, but as I noted above they weren’t interested. The search continues.
Second, I have to find someone I can afford. As an independent writer, I don’t have the fantastic budgets that large publishing companies have.
The second point is probably the bigger issue. I wonder how many artists have been screwed over by self-publishing wannabes. There is another side to that coin, where a lot of self-publishing writers have complained about artists who disappear upon receiving payment.
I’ve been looking at artists on But the response rate to my queries has been poor—non-existent actually. So, I need to find other collections of artists to peruse. I’m also considering giving Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) a call to see if they have any students doing work in this area. Might be a good opportunity for a student to break into the industry.
My primary requirement for the covers of my books is it MUST reflect a scene in the story. That means that any artist wanting to do a cover for me must read the story.
The search is on. Hopefully I’ll be able to find someone soon, as none of the current artwork I have can be used for print as it is too small.
If anyone has any suggestions or knows someone who is up to the challenge, I can be contacted here.
Pity I can't afford an artist like Michael Whelan.

Progress on Dragon

There’s something exciting about looking at the progress bar and seeing a visual representation of how far along my work is and seeing just how close it is to the goal. It’s nice to be able to say, “Oh, yeah! Almost there!”
The time it took (so far) to write Dragon is about one-fourth the time it took to write Nobody. It’s an accepted notion that the first book always takes the longest to write. I find I have to agree, based on my own experience. I am definitely writing faster now; perhaps I can say I’m writing smarter.
Yet I can still see I could do much better.
I’m already looking ahead to Oracle and considering a spring-2015 release, putting that five to six months ahead of schedule. Part of that effort is just a matter of better time management. While Dragon is out for editing, start work on Oracle.
What makes this possible is that I’m writing Dragon differently from how I wrote Nobody. The first book was written in separate pieces and each of those pieces was edited individually. Dragon is being written as one solid manuscript and will go out as such. Because of that, I won’t have anything to be hammering on during the edit. I may as well turn my attention forward and get started on Oracle right away.
On Monday, I’m posting my entry in the Writing Process Blog Tour. That actually got me thinking on just how it is I go about writing. The mistakes I make, the places where I need to change or be more disciplined, and what I’m doing right. It’s a good thing to look at how you work and to analyze it on a regular basis. I know I can work better and by looking at what I’m doing in a critical way, I can see the mistakes.
With that being said, time to put my nose to the grindstone and my fingertips to the keyboard and get back to work.

Monday, May 5, 2014

SFWA and Self-Published Writers

The Science-Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a professional organization for professional authors of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres. They offer professional services and courtesies to members of the organization including contract guidance, emergency medical assistance, and a community of peers with whom to touch base. It is also an organization where writers can meet peers and discuss issues they face among people who understand.