The 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.
Happy 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:
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.
Last 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I stopped sending out an email newsletter a few years back. The interactivity of social media and blogs made a newsletter seem outdated. As a writer, I didn’t see the point.
As a reader, however, newsletters make a great deal of sense to me. There are several authors whose books I’ll read on the day of release. Not all of them have newsletters, and I wish they would. I don’t always remember–or have time–to check for new releases, and would love to get a heads-up when a new release is on the horizon. To me, the ideal newsletter would be short and infrequent. Its primary focus should be upcoming releases, but I’d also like to hear about new projects and work in progress.
So. On the theory that you should write the sort of things you want to read, I’ll be starting a newsletter this spring. It will be sent via MailChip, so your contact info will be secure and spam-free. If you’d like to receive an occasional email newsletter, you can sign up in this post or on the Contact page.
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If you’ve been thinking about picking up this anthology but wanted to get more info first, this detailed, story-by-story review ought to do it. Here’s a link.
The reviewer commented on the anthology’s diversity. This is a hallmark of Jim Lowder’s projects, all the more impressive when you consider the ven diagram suggested by TWO very specific themes: the Cthulhu mythos and the Orient Express luxury train.
Looking forward to Jim’s next project, whatever that may be!
In many ways, 2014 was like the second book of a trilogy. The year had its own narrative arc, but its primary purpose was to move the story forward to the point where Important Stuff Happens.
Nevertheless, here’s a few highlights of 2014.
- Walked over 2000 miles, approximately the length of the Appalachian Trail (minus the mountains and black bears…)
- Started hiking the network of trails in southern New England. Climbed Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire, walked part of the North South Trail in Rhode Island and part of the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.
- Daily exercise has, for the first time, become a firmly entrenched habit.
- Nonfiction: Read stacks of books focusing on the the science of habit formation, wrote a considerable amount of web content.
- Fiction: Published 2 short stories, 3 poems, and the foreword to a poetry anthology.