“Maintenance” illustration and link

Some people will do anything to stay young.  This isn’t that kind of story.

Read now

Maintenance illo

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Free short fiction

Small press publishing companies are popping up all over these days. Once of my recent favorites is Evil Girlfriend Media, which has a beautifully designed website (suitably evil) and a great feature:  They publish free flash fiction several times a month. The entire archive is available on the EGM Shorts page.  If you like very short fiction and are in the mood for a quick story fix, you’ll find a rather wide variety of speculative fiction.

“Maintenance” will be online this Thursday, July 9.  It’s a story I wrote during my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, and it addresses the complications that come with love, memory, and aging.  Long-time readers will recognize a familiar theme in the story twist.

I’ll post a link to the story when it’s online.  Hope you enjoy the story!

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Happy Book Birthday to Dave Gross!

Lord-of-RunesThe latest adventure of Radovan and the Count–who imo are hands-down the best characters in the Pathfinder setting–goes on sale today.

This is the first Pathfinder book to be published by Tor. It’s in trade paperback with gorgeous cover art, and the ebook is available through Kindle. All in all, this is a big BIG step forward for Pathfinder Tales.

Here’s a link to Dave’s blog with more information about the book, details about his Reddit chat tomorrow, and an interview with the cover artist.

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Champions of Aetaltis Kickstarter

ChampAetaltis-Promo1200x1200The crowd-funding campaign for the Champions of Aetaltis anthology is off to a good start!  With 31 days yet to go, it’s over 40% funded.

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter page.

I’m excited about this project, and delighted to be in such excellent company: Michael Stackpole, Ed Greenwood, Cat Rambo, Dave Gross, Richard Lee Byers, and Erin Evans are among the authors who’ll be contributing tales.

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I’m headed for Aetaltis. Want to come with?

Cover, Heroes of ThornwallHappy Book Birthday to Marc Tassin and the Heroes of Thornwall!

This is his first adventure set in Aetaltis, a Pathfinder-compatible RPG setting. It’s classic sword and sorcery, done very well.

Here’s a press release with more info.

 

This is a beautiful book. The art is striking, and fantasy cartography doesn’t get much better than this:

Thornwall mapGreenbriarTavern Map

Champions of Aetaltis

And fiction is not far behind!

On May 11th, Marc is launching a Kickstarter to fund an anthology of tales set in Aetaltis.  If you’ve read shared-world fantasy, you’ve probably heard of some of the contributors:  Richard Lee Byers, Larry Correia, Erin Evans, David Farland, Ed Greenwood, Dave Gross, John Helfers, Steve Long, Mel Odom, Jean Rabe, Cat Rambo, Aaron Rosenberg, Lucy Snyder, Beth Vaughan, and Bill Willingham.

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Madness!

COVER, Madness on the Orient ExpressLast week I receive two author copies, dead tree format,  of the anthology Madness on the Orient Express.  While I love ebooks for convenience, adjustable font size, and lightweight delivery system, a digital publication just can’t reproduce that moment of New Book Bliss.

 

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Technical difficulties

This week I started the process of switching website host providers, and last night I moved the files to the new server.  In the process, all of the media files disappeared, including all the photos of book covers. Reloading didn’t help. Since I plan to rebuild my website in the near future to shift the focus to new projects, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend more time on this right now.

If you’d like to receive a notice when the new site is up, here’s a link to my Contact page. Signing up for my upcoming newsletter is probably the best way to hear about new developments.

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Query letters, demystified

Writing is the art of seeing through another pair of eyes. This is true at every step of the process, from creating characters to describing a scene to understanding what agents, editors, and readers want.  For many writers, putting together a query letter is nearly as daunting as writing a novel. Literary agent Kristin Nelson offered these helpful tips on her most recent newsletter:

Fact #1: Shorter query letters get a better request response from agents and editors.

Fact # 2: Literary agents rarely read the entire query letter.

Fact #3: Clearly outlining in your query letter how your story fits in the market will encourage literary agents to read your entire email letter closely.

Fact #4: A really good title for a novel will catch an agent’s attention.

Fact #5: A really terrific concept in your query won’t save you if the letter itself is poorly written.

Fact #6: If you have to defend that your novel is over 200,000 words in your query letter, then you are not pitching your story from a place of strength. And agents are more likely to pass.

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Review of online resources

Recently I’ve added some internet services to my routines and resources. In descending order of joy and usefulness, they are as follows:

#1  Lynda.com. Wonderful tutorials, impressive range of useful topics. I’m building skills in PhotoShop, Illustrator, web design, online marketing, and illustration. I love this site.

#2 Basecamp.com.  Simple but effective product management tool. It works. I’m also a big fan of the site itself, particularly the hand-drawn illustrations–great match of design and tone.

#3 Duotrope. So far, not impressed. $50 for a year’s subscription, and the first month has yielded no useful leads–at least, nothing I didn’t already know about from other sources. Probably a better resource for people who are looking for exposure-only markets, or, possibly, relatively obscure literary markets. If you write speculative fiction, www.ralan.com is a better resource and a free service.

As always, YMMV.

 

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Affordable swashbuckling

When Brian Thomsen was managing editor at Wizards of the Coast, he liked to say, “If Dumas was writing today, he’d be writing for us.”

I grew up reading Alexandre Dumas and I’m a history geek, so I was intrigued when I saw The Black Count, a biography of his father, Alex Dumas, in a Barnes & Noble. It immediately went on my wish list, but Life intervened and I didn’t think of it again until I received this week’s BookBub update. The Kindle version is $1.99 until March 1.

A few words about BookBub might be in order. It’s a service for people who read ebooks. They curate online deals and send you updates listing reduced-price or free books in your areas of interest, with links to Amazon.com, B&N, and other online booksellers. I’ve not only gotten some great deals on books I’ve been wanting to buy and authors I usually read, but I’ve also discovered some unexpected treasures and a few new favorite authors.  If you’re a voracious reader, this is a great resource.

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