Friday, August 29, 2014

Turkey's #1

It's true, Turkey is the country with the most hits on my blog this week, edging the USA out of that coveted position! Thank you, Turkey! Maybe it's because we had a Masters student in our lab from Turkey, and she has spread the word to her family about my book... if so, thank you! Or maybe you just stumbled here and find my writing diary interesting. That's great, too! Happy to have you aboard. :)

Five books are off to Fan Expo this week! A fellow Guelph writer, Alexander Dundass, has gone there and offered to take a few of my books to spread the love. I'm looking forward to sharing a table with him again at GenreCon later this year!

For fans of A Noble's Quest, you will be happy to know that I am half way though editing A Wizard's Gambit! And when I say that, I mean 1/4 of the way through, because we're still going to do a second pass on the book after this draft to try to catch anything that we've missed along the way.

I'm also working on a "Friends" section for my wordpress site where I'll be listing a bunch of authors I've met over the years to help boost the signal for their writing.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Star Wars: The Whole Force

I'm slowly picking away at my first fan fic. The idea is if I have a few minutes here and there, I can write a few lines for fun... maybe 100-200 words at a time.

It's over on Wattpad if anyone's interested. There isn't a heck of a lot there yet. About 400 words. I'm not going to bother linking to it, other than here, and maybe after it's got some meat to it.

I came up with the idea of the Exuberant a while ago when I pondered the question of WHY the Dark Side is so hard for the Jedi to sense. The answer I eventually came up with was that the Jedi and Sith are quite different, but not true opposites!

Think about this... the Sith are power hungry and ferocious. Is the opposite of that... calm and defensive... or maybe happy and loving?

Instead of a linear relationship, I view it on two axes.

1) Defensive to Aggressive
2) Angry to Happy

The Jedi sit on the Defensive end of the spectrum, but are smack between Angry and Happy because they refuse to feel any emotion strongly. Maybe a true opposite to the Sith would be Happy and Defensive.

So I'm taking the Sith as being Aggressive and Angry, and the Exuberant are Defensive and Happy - they are true opposites, allowing them to sense each other through the Force without difficulty.

I've gone waaayyy back in time, so don't expect to see any familiar faces here. :) 

Without further ado... 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Racing right along

I finished the second draft of Cattle and sent it off to for them to take a look at. I hope they accept it for the anthology, but I know they're starting to build up steam and have a lot of people interested in taking part. So we'll see!

I discovered the ability to make animated gifs from Youtube videos this week and had some fun with that... 

My first attempt was with the A Noble's Quest video that +Harvey Bunda put together for me...

Unfortunately the conversion only works in whole seconds, so I can't cut out that fraction of a second that Eliza shows up in this title gif, and it looks weird if I start it a second later.

I wish I could add an extra half second to this one. I can't quite fit the title and the whole image into 10 seconds. I might just have to live without a gif for A Noble's Quest.

I love the way this one turned out. The scene pans quickly, so there's time for the whole cover plus the title.

In more important news, three more chapters of A Wizard's Gambit are edited.

I'm going to be putting some paper back copies of A Noble's Quest out there at some conferences. There are three that I'm hoping to do... Genrecon is here in Guelph, the Eden Mills Writers Festival is just east of Guelph, and I might be getting some books into Fan Expo, too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Character Cards

My next (and last) Indiegogo campaign is somewhere in the not-too-distant future, and I've been doing some pre-planning with the amazing artist +Harvey Bunda  (check out his website).

He has already suggested doing full paintings of the cover art for the three books - these will be unique paintings, signed by both of us, one for each book.

But I wanted something else that would be unique to the Indiegogo campaign that won't be at such a high price point. So here's my plan:

I need $500 for developmental editing, so I'm going to put that as my "goal." If you reach your goal, you get a higher percentage back. If you miss your goal, Indiegogo keeps more of it.

I will have a stretch goal of $750 for the cover art. For every $100 above my goal, I'll toss in a free character card to anyone who has ordered a perk that requires delivery to a physical address.

I'm not set on which characters will get their own cards yet...
Thomas, Sarentha, and Eliza are obvious choices.
I'd likely do Lord Winston, Ramar Wettias, Ben, and Thurzin.

Beyond that, I'm not so certain. Honestly, 7 characters is probably more than I need. What are the odds I'll raise the entire $1250?

Well, my hope is that now that I'll be finishing up the trilogy, maybe people who like a full series before they start will just order the whole thing through the Indiegogo. I'll be making the whole trilogy available through one e-book perk (probably around $10) and one paper back perk (no idea on the price, yet). 

And unlike the usual "thank you" perk for $1, I'm going to give anyone who donates $1 a background image for their desktops. It'll look like this, except with the third cover finished:

Sunday, August 17, 2014


Heading to the Ranch was supposed to be a simple job. But when Kyp arrives to pick up one head of dairy cattle, she is faced with a moral dilemma; she fears the animal might be sentient despite scientific claims to the contrary.

The sci-fi short story is sitting a little over 8600 words right now, and I'm going to leave it for a bit before going through it for my second draft. 

This is the short story I've been working on for the past few weeks for One of their next Theme-Thology anthologies is The Lost Episodes, where readers will get a sampling of all the themes that have been covered so far: Invasion, Day I Died, New Myths, Real World Unreal, and Mad Science.

Editing on A Wizard's Gambit is coming along nicely.
I got chills reading the end of Chapter 5 while going through it.
I am up to Chapter 8, continuing to hit my goal of editing 3 chapters per week. 

I got my first beta reader feedback on Demon Invasion, and I've got some work to do (not really surprising). It's great to get feedback so I can zero in on the problematic bits.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

And the winners are...

Winners of my 2000 followers contest are, in order of drawing:

+Bruce Demaree
+Kimberlynn Kelly
+Lisa Cohen
+Amber Rausch
+Anthony Fournier
+Micha Fire
+Will Reed
+Megan Reed
+Belinda Hughes
+Jack Turner

I have started contacting the winners to see which prize they would prefer, in the order drawn. There are a total of 5 copies of A Noble's Quest and 5 copies of Theme-Thology: New Myths, and I'll start giving choices to those who were drawn first.

Thanks again for playing! I appreciate all the support in reaching 2000 followers.

And don't forget, there's a sneak peek for the upcoming sequel, A Wizard's Gambit!
I'm going through the editing notes as fast as I can, and am up to Chapter 5 for my 4th draft.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

2000 followers achieved!

 Thanks to all of you, I have reached 2000 followers on Google+! Thank you!

The winners will be announced on Saturday Aug 9th, with 5 lucky people getting an e-book copy of A Noble's Quest, 5 others winning an e-book copy of Theme-Thology: New Myths with my short story 1100 BGW and several other short stories by some talented authors!

If you want to take part, it's not too late. Even though I have hit 2000 followers, the contest continues until Saturday. For the full rules, go see the original post!

As promised, the sneak peek at A Wizard's Gambit is below!

Warning: If you haven't read A Noble's Quest but plan to, there are spoilers. I cut out almost 200 words of text to avoid giving anything really big away, but seeing the start of book 2 will always give away at least some of book 1.