Saturday, June 25, 2016


Not me of course, I'm not really into the whole zombie genre. But a friend of mine, Mark Wandrey, who writes Science Fiction, got  this sudden urge to write a zombie story a while back. It was kind of interesting to hear him talking about it, and he was asking everyone lots of questions on lots of different technical stuff, you could tell there was a lot of research going on.

So, I bought a copy and read it. Now like I said, I'm not really into the Zombie genre, but I'm actually liking this book. I think part of that is because it's a SciFi based story, it's not horror, so things are explained, science is done, you learn not only about the how and the why of the Zombies (and it's complicated) but you learn about a lot of other things in the process.

Also, the story is a very good reflection of our current society, and all that's going on in it. And there are multiple story lines, this isn't all about one person in one place, we are following a number of people and seeing both the realizations and the issues that they have to face.

So, if you're a fan of the Zombie genre or Zombie stories in general, I'd say to check it out. If you're not, you might want to download the sample anyway, and give it a look. I'm pretty sure its on all of the booksellers out there, but here's the Amazon link, it's called 'A Time to Die':

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Never Take Your Eyes Off the Threat

This is something I learned a long time ago, and which became vital in my days of big cat raising and training. You never look away, you never take your eyes off the threat, you never get distracted. I'm not sure if I learned it when I became a scuba diver, or if it was later in the air force when flying. It might have been sooner than that even, but in the world of animal training, especially wild carnivores, it's vital.

So I have a problem, at times, with plot points in stories and shows where the main character, or maybe a not so main character, gets distracted away from the 'bad <whatever>' at a particular point. Because I don't get distracted, I know where the 'threat' of imminent harm is, and I keep my eyes on it. If I have to maneuver to keep my eyes on two things I will, but I do maintain an awareness of what's going on around me, because what my try to distract me, may also spook or distract that which I'm dealing with. Because you never want to get tunnel vision either. You don't have to focus all of your attention on the 'threat, to still see it, after all. Because anything in your field of vision is still in your vision.

A friend of mine always used to unfocus his eyes when in judo competitions or sparring, so he never focused on a specific aspect of his opponent, instead allowing him to see all of the opponent at once so he could react to all of it, and not be distracted by a hand faint, or a head fake. It's really a very worthwhile technique to practice.

Now, for the average person, yes, I can see them being easily distracted, not paying attention to things around them that are supposed to be important (like say their children :-6 ), but for a trained professional? Well, not if their training was really any good. It's like that bit you see in fake fights in movies and stuff where the one guy turns his back on the other in a fight. Yeah, that doesn't happen, you never turn your back, even when doing any kind of a spinning attack in martial arts, you turn your head as you spin, to keep your eyes on your opponent as long as possible.

Of course it's always easier to write a hero who makes lots of simple mistakes, and it's a lot harder to write someone who doesn't. Because then the mistakes have to be a lot more believable.

Anyway, back to work.

Monday, June 13, 2016

It's Late...

I updated, as in re-edited, three of the books that I published in 2011 and 2012. My first three actually. COS and DM I did a while ago (a few weeks) and reloaded the ebook versions with the corrections, mostly grammar and spelling stuff. Dialene I did Saturday night, because I was looking at it and I was like, "Oh wow, I need to fix this!" It had been a while since I'd last read it (years in fact).

So, for the last several hours, I've been taking all of the changes, first from COS, and then from Dialene, and applying them to the print versions. This can be a royal pain to do, because I have to keep the page numbers the same, otherwise the covers will need editing, and I really don't want to do that. With COS, which is like 350 pages, it was a long job. Dialene is a lot shorter, and should be easier.
So of course, it wasn't. There was some weird bug in there with the way the section breaks were formatted, and it turns out there was another problem with the headers that I'd never even noticed, not even in the paperback versions I have. That's how subtle it was.

And of course a pain, took me like 2 hours to fix it.

DM I will do the updated grammar correction upload to the print version on Tuesday most likely. Tomorrow I am pretty sure I won't have the time.

COS book 3 has been in my mind lately, because book 1 sales have lately been picking up. As I said before, if book 2 sales follow through, book 3 will get written. The thing right now that I need to do in my spare time, when I get some of it back, is to check the list of plot points from the old outline and update/finish it. The book is going to be complicated, because it will have 3 (count 'em - three) main point of view characters, and it will be told in First Person Singular. So everything you change chapters, you're going to be changing viewpoints and jumping into someone else's head.

I'm not going to even mention the minor characters whose heads you will be spending a little time in.

The thing about book 3 is that there are three different people's stories coming together in it. Raj's, Balizar/Jotun's, and Samantha's. Sam never had a book of her own, but she is a key player in the story.

In my never ending quest to put food on the table, I may be picking up a contract job here next month. I'm waiting to hear back from the job, I've worked with some of the people there before, so it looks like a good possibility. This would slow me down from my goal of publishing six books this year (and which I'm in danger of missing right now, so I need to step up the work), but it would allow me to do some of the pondering I need to do on some of the story lines. I do think aiming for six novels this year may have been a bit ambitious, but it's good to have goals when you're self-employed.

I don't have a title for the current project yet, it's a sequel to the hammer commission and I'm 25K words into it. I have to go 'back' and write the bad guy's parts tomorrow, as I have to get him all nailed down on his part of the story, then I can pick back up on the protagonist's part, as their story lines are about to cross.

The next book will be a POI book. I'm actually thinking of writing one about Nikki, then the 8th one about Will. She (Nikki) is actually a rather busy person, seeing as she works for a very busy goddess who is always wheeling and dealing and who has a lot going on. While Will is something of an idealist, and maybe even a bit of a romantic (and still a touch naive), Nikki is very pragmatic and jaded.
And a bit of a hard ass.

I still have that other shrean novel out there to finish, but honestly, I'm thinking of just putting it out under a pen name, and turning it into a shifter PNR novel. I'll tell my fans and readers about it, so they can check it out if they wish, but I think it's different enough from the other stuff I write that I should make a clearer delineation between it and my usual stories. A different byline I think would make that fairly clear.

Anyway, it's after 1am, tomorrow is a workday, and the people tearing up the street in front of the house start at 7, so I really need to get to bed.
Good night,

Saturday, June 11, 2016

To whoever thinks that people always scream: Please Stop

Really, enough with all the screams. Most people, do not scream, most men do not scream, and while I'm not positive, I suspect a lot of women don't scream. Children scream, wimps scream, pussies scream. The average person does NOT, especially not every time something happens, and even if they did the first time, they're not going to do it every single time.
Adding screams in to 'heighten' the action? Yeah, that tells me your movie / anime sucks. That you don't know what you're doing, and shouldn't be doing it. And brave or fearless explorers? Heroes? No, those people don't scream constantly.

They just don't.

So please, quit it with all the screaming. You make me think I'm watching a movie about little girls, little wimpy girls (as again, I think most little girls probably don't scream all that much either). Screaming is what spoiled brats do for attention. Not adults.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Wow, Sales on Children of Steel are suddenly picking up...

This is both interesting, and cool. It's mostly Kindle Unlimited readers, but still, it's a considerable amount. Especially as the book came out 5 years ago (March of 2011). If this keeps up, and if I see enough of the sales carry through to Interregnum, I'll definitely be putting book three back on the schedule.