It's Alternate History, as in "What if...?"
by Mary Woldering
The next person I'm presenting is another Historical Fantasy author, Brent A. Harris.
Brent A Harris is a Sidewise Award nominated author of alternate history. He also writes science fiction, horror, and fantasy. He resides in Southern California, where he's become convinced that Joshua trees are in fact, real trees. When not writing, he focuses on his family, shuttling children around as a stay-at-home dad.
2. How long have you been a writer?
As early as I can remember, I’ve written stories. Dinosaurs and historic figures filled the pages of my first stories. Not much has changed since.
3. Are you Traditionally or Indie published? If not yet, what are you considering?
A Time of Need is traditionally published through Insomnia Publishing. However, they are a small, Indie Press, which means I face some of the same challenges in marketing and publicity that self-published authors tackle.
by Mary Fan
The very first book I ever wrote was a space adventure. I was 12, going on 13. I'd recently discovered the delights of sci-fi (thanks to the Wishbone book Unleashed in Space, an adaptation of Jack Williamson's classic Legion of Space, which led me down a rabbit hole of old school sci-fi). I wanted nothing more than to partake in the intrepid journeys across the stars, so I did what any creatively minded tween would do: I wrote self-insert fanfic. Except in my head, it was original because, of course, my ship had a different name, and my crew was unique. The main character was, of course, a brave renegade of a commander. And the second most important character? His clever tween daughter, along for the ride. Hence the self-insert.
Except something funny happened on the way to sci-fi-land: I whitewashed the character who was supposed to be me... I whitewashed myself. The commander, of course, had to be a chisel-jawed white guy who bore a strong resemblance to Kevin Sorbo (I'd also recently discovered Hercules on TV). And his daughter? A dead ringer for a tween Natalie Portman. I cast a white girl as myself (yes, I know that Natalie Portman is Jewish... at the time I thought she was white-white, and that's part of the point of this post). Heroes were white. Protagonists were white. So if I wanted to come along for the space ride, the fictional version of me had to be white. I thought nothing of it... This was just the way things were. Girls who actually looked like me? They had no place on starships, and I accepted it. I didn't even realize I was accepting it... it just was.
Continue reading ...
Thinking about Martians
by John Hoggard
Today I went to see The Martian at the cinema with my eldest daughter, Milly. I have to say that I was impressed. There was always a chance that the film would be swamped by the vast Martian Landscape but it never happened. The focus was almost entirely on Matt Damon’s character, stranded, but resourceful Astronaut, Mark Watney. When we weren’t with Matt Damon’s pieces to camera then we moved carefully between the different characters back on Earth in NASA and the JPL, who are working hard to get their man home. Often the scenes reminded me of Apollo 13, focused, determined panic…
I’m telling you this not because I’m reviewing the film, because I’m not, but because I was impressed that the characters were the focus and the drivers behind the story. I was pleased to note that Andrew Weir, the author of the book on which this film is based is co-writer for the film. I think it shows. What of course is particularly interesting is that Weir originally self-published this novel (in 2011), it wasn’t picked up by Crown Publishing until 2014 (when, I guess, the film option was in the offing). Weir has a background in physics and computer science (just like me!) so there’s hope for me yet.
I’ve not read, The Martian, but I will, it’s on my wish list now. Continue reading ...
Sales Model of an Indie Author (part 1)
by Assaph Mehr
One of the worst aspects of becoming an author, is marketing your own book. I mean, if I was some kind of extrovert, I wouldn’t have chosen to sit alone in a dark room for hours, typing by myself – would I?
But this is the life of an indie author. And, increasingly, of traditionally published authors as well. Unless your last name is Rowling, King, Martin etc., you just don’t get “little people” to do it for you. Most publishers actually would prefer you come with fans, before picking your title up.
This post is about reaching an audience – namely, my novel sales model, both current and planned.
It’s going to be a tad lengthy, but I hope it’s going to be useful for anyone who’s ready to progress from closet writer to published author. It might be useful to other indie artists as well.
New Releases from our member Knights
- The River of Time by Lyra Shanti
- The Rose Thief by Claire Buss
- A Steampunk Christmas Carol by Angelique S. Anderson
- Vengeance of Snails by Chrys Cymri
- Alienation by S.E. Anderson
- Expedition by Ralph Kern
- Hell Hounds by Andrew P. Weston
- Cooking for Halflings & Monsters by Astrid Tuttle Winegar
- The Marunkoff Equation by Victor Acquista
- Irresolute Amber Eyes by Christie M. Stenzel
- Dreamtime Dragons by various including Mary Woldering and Nils Visser
- Hair by A.M. Rycroft
- The Extraodinary Case of Bliss Carter by Anthony D. Faircloth
- Last Flight of the Acheron by Rick Partlow
- Unfathomed by Ralph Kern
- The Lazarus Men by Christian Warren Freed
- Sentient by Victor Acquista
November 3 - November 9
Meanwhile, planets ready for battle as the fight for plasma and galactic domination continues. Ohr will stop at nothing to take complete control while Kri and Deius join forces to thwart the power hungry Prime Minister, Kurin Vax.
In a race against time to save the Un Galaxy, Ayn must face the deadliest foe imaginable. Will he succeed? Or will he fail, never becoming the prophesied "Bodanya" of legend?
Lyra Shanti is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter who currently lives in Florida with partner and spouse, Timothy, and their two insane cats. A lover of nature, animals, anime, music, theatre, movies, myths, and of course, great books, Lyra seeks inspiration from everywhere possible!
Author of the award winning sci-fi series, Shiva XIV, Lyra is a dreamer of worlds far away. Further information about Lyra's stories, music, and more can be found at:
November 10 - November 16
Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor's roses. But that's not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It's up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn't exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?
Claire Buss is a science fiction & fantasy writer from the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict, Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her dystopian novel The Gaia Effect and set her writing career in motion.
Connect with Claire at the following links:
November 17 - November 23
Angelique S. Anderson
In book three of the Dracosinum Tales, A Steampunk Christmas Carol, Professor Langdon has taken over Octagon Inn, and the lives of those around him. Selfish and greedy, no one can do right by him, and he even goes so far as to cut the wages of those working at the inn.
Lord Adrian and Lady Wylie are still mourning the loss of their friend, Professor Cornelius, and are sure that the dreams Adrian had for his esteemed steam-powered carriage setting the precedence for transportation in 1850’s New York, are a thing of the past. As Professor Langdon has his own agenda with Adrian’s carriage.
Can a down-trodden ghost and three of the celestial beings known as the Immortal Ones, along with a feisty dragon, change Langdon’s heart and mind, in time for the Christmas season?
Find out in this fun steampunk twist on a classic tale!
Angelique S. Anderson is a lover of adventure, and all things steampunk. A fan of Chronicles of Narnia growing up, and an avid song and poem writer, she wrote her first novel in November of 2013. In it, her passion was born, and she went on to write the second and third to what would become a young adult fantasy series. Unable to quell the desire to write after the fantasy series, she went on to write an award winning sci-fi novel, Eden’s Serum. Always an advocate for foster children, she followed that up with her personal story of abuse and neglect in Award winning Little Lost Girl: The Complete Series. Her recent releases The Dragon Lady, The Phoenix Lord, and A Steampunk Christmas Carol play up fantasy aspects with a mix of steampunk. She enjoys reading indie authors, making new friends and cosplaying. You can follow her on Facebook at:
Connect with Angelique at the following links:
November 24 - November 30
‘How can I?’ My pen drew an outline of a shovel on my notepad. ‘I killed her with a gardening tool.’
Life certainly hasn’t been dull since my first visit to Lloegyr, a magical country which parallels England. My household now includes a family of cat-sized gryphons and a hymn-singing snail shark, and I’m visited regularly by Raven, a darkly beautiful dragon. And I enjoy the excitement of planning our wedding day with Peter, my handsome fiancé.
But Lloegyr offers danger as well as wonder. My brother is recovering after being hunted by a pack of gryphons. I was dismissed from my dream position as minister of a church in Lloegyr. And something non-human seems to be stalking Peter.
Then there’s the mystery of Clyde’s true identity. Is he just a large carnivorous snail who loves beer and children’s TV programmes? Or does his unusual shell point to a far greater destiny, one which could threaten everyone who knows him?
Priest by day, writer at odd times of the day and night, I live with a small green parrot called Tilly because the upkeep for a dragon is beyond my current budget. Plus I’m responsible for making good any flame damage to church property. I love ‘Doctor Who’, landscape photography, single malt whisky, and my job, in no particular order. When I’m not looking after a small parish church in the Midlands (England) I like to go on far flung adventures to places like Peru, New Zealand, the Arctic, and North Korea.
Connect with Chrys at the following links:
A Chilling Horror Tale
Meet the author: Brhi Stokes, author of urban fantasy Caligation
Build Your Tribe
Are you sitting on a mail list consisting of friends, family, and critiquing partners? I was, until the beginning of the month. Then I invested about ten hours of time and nineteen days later, I’m talking to nearly four hundred (and still growing) people who volunteered their contact info in exchange for a short story that has been free on Smashwords for well over a year!
Will this work for anyone? Nearly anyone. There are prerequisites and some up front investments in time and your precious intellectual property, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Are you writing your first story now? Put promotional stuff on pause, tuck yourself into your rough drafting safe haven and write your story. Then show it to other writers in the Roundtable critiquing group. Personally, I didn’t want to begin marketing until I had written three novels and an anthology. However my critiquing pal, the person who taught me how to grow my own tribe, Guy Reissen, is using his short stories to grow an audience for his upcoming first novel! Continue reading...
An Interview with Jon Cronshaw
Where to start? I’m inspired by people who are trying to push the possibilities of their field -- authors like William Gibson, Margaret Atwood, Charles Yu, Ursula Le Guin, Haruki Murakami, Anthony Burgess, Kurt Vonnegut, China Mieville, Paulo Bacigalupi, Junot Diaz, Connie Willis, Liu Cixin, Roald Dahl, Yoon Ha Lee, Geoff Ryman, and Ted Chiang.
Tell me about your book / series. Wizard of the Wasteland
- Give me a one-line ‘hook’ line: A reformed addict and a travelling showman team up to save a group of enslaved children.
- Tell me more: My Wasteland series is a character-driven story about finding hope in a hopeless word. Abel, a reformed addict joins with a self-proclaimed wizard who travels the wastes with his show, passing off pre-apocalypse technology as items of magic and intrigue. When they stumble across a group of children enslaved by the brutal drug gang The Family, Abel and the wizard use their ‘magic’ to mount a rescue.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have one full novel that will never see the light of day and two novels where I got to around 20,000 words and abandoned them.
What’s your opinion on the practice of ‘banning’ books?
Pointless. Ideas always find a way out. The best way to kill a dangerous idea is to engage with it.
New Releases from our member Knights
- Inheritance - Jeremy Schofield
- Akrad’s Children - Jeanette O’Hagan
- Dying for a Poppy - E.M. Swift-Hook & Jane Jago Coming on October 28!
- Tallis Steelyard: The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and Other Stories – Jim Webster
- Tragedy on the Trailblazer – John Thornton
- Desert Runner: Book One of Puatera Online – Dawn Chapman
- Royal Tournament - Richard H. Stephens
- Rise of the Fallen: Second Death book 3 - Brian Rella
- Hunting Darkness - Ian Bristow
- Brittle Riders - Bill McCormick
- Antholgy Askew: Askew Communications - Rhetoric Askew
- Tales from the Underground - Inklings Press
- The Quantum Soul - Sci Fi Rountable
September 29 - October 5
Bill McCormick began writing professionally in 1986 when he worked for Chicago Rocker Magazine in conjunction with his radio show on Z-95 (ABC-FM). He went on to write for several other magazines and later transitioned to blogs. He currently writes a sports blog at Jay The Joke, as well as a twisted news blog at World News Center. The latter provides source material for his weekly radio show on WBIG 1280 AM, FOX! Sports. Yes, you read that correctly, he does a show about anything other than sports on a sports radio station.
In 2011, Bill started submitting some fictional short stories to various publishers. Much to his surprise, and the consternation of linguists everywhere, they began publishing his efforts. Bill has expanded his repertoire to include comic books, graphic novels, and full length novels. He has currently penned everything from dystopian nightmares to cuddly children's stories.
Bill is a big fan of nicotine, vodka, music, and this rambunctious redhead (formerly a bottle blonde) who keeps waking up in his bed.
Connect with Bill at the following links:
October 6 - October 12
Jessie and her army massacre the military, turning battalions of troops into soulless savages. A madman and his demon horde devour thousands of people in New York City. The war between the Watchers and the Fallen is here, and the world is on brink of destruction…
The time for training the Chosen One is over. The fight for the land of the living is on, and the world will descend into darkness under the Fallen’s rule unless Frank Bishop and the Chosen One can stop them.
In the West, Jessie and her army cross the desert, destroying everything in their path to find the Stone of Serr’rah and free Nalsuu from the Second Death. Together, they will rule the Earth as King and Queen, and reshape the world in their dark vision.
But a madman has his own plans for world domination. His demon horde takes a huge bite out of the Big Apple, and there’s no way he’s bending his knee for some wannabe king and his queen bitch.
Rise of the Fallen is Book Three in Brian Rella’s action-packed horror and dark fantasy series, The Second Death.
Brian lives in New York with his wife, who is far too good for him, and his two vivacious young boys who challenge his light-saber skills daily. Most of his writing is done on the train to the cube farm where he works so he can buy stuff and support his family while he pursues writing fiction as a career. He published his first book in 2015 and hopes to write from his beachfront property overlooking the Mare Tranquillitatis one day.
Connect with Brian at the following links:
October 13 - October 19
Driven by the death of his sergeant, Detective Inspector Hunter Davis sets out to solve a case they had closed the previous year. Soon he will discover that not all realities are explained on our terms, and sometimes the path we are so desperate to travel can lead to realms beyond our comprehension. Full of secrets from an ancient past, mystery and magic will collide in this captivating Urban Fantasy.
Ian C. Bristow is the award-winning author of the Conner’s Odyssey trilogy. He is currently preparing to release his first standalone novel, Hunting Darkness, and has started working on another title. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys creating works of art and playing music (good food and a few beers with friends doesn’t hurt his feelings either).
Connect with Ian at the following links:
October 20 - October 26
They call it an elevator pitch - but this elevator is going straight down. Down to the depths, down to the dark, where all manner of wonders, and horrors might dwell. Tales From The Underground captures 12 stories from writers exploring the world beneath our feet. There is fantasy, there is horror, there is science fiction, there is wonder. Come join the authors, down here, in the dark.
Connect with Inklings Press at the following links:
October 27 - November 2
In a world ravaged by dust storms and poisonous rains, Abel has survived feral dogs, raiders, and drug addiction...but he’s done with just surviving — now, he wants to start living.
When Abel stumbles across a boy suffering from the same addiction that almost killed him, he takes the kid under his wing and offers him a new life...a life free from drugs.
But when a brutal drug gang comes after the kid, Abel must risk everything to keep him safe and end The Family’s reign of terror, or die trying.
Set a generation after the fall of civilization, Knight of the Wasteland is the follow-up to Jon Cronshaw’s gripping debut, Wizard of the Wasteland.
For fans of The Road, Alas, Babylon, The Stand, and One Second After, if you like emotional post-apocalyptic stories with thrilling action, vivid dystopian landscapes, and unforgettable characters, you’ll love Knight of the Wasteland.
Jon Cronshaw is a British science fiction and fantasy author based in Morecambe, England.
He is the author of two novels and three short story collections. His debut novel Wizard of the Wasteland was released in June 2017.
As a freelance features writer, he has had work published in local and national newspapers across the UK, including the Metro, Yorkshire Post and the Guardian.
He earned his PhD in the history of art from the University of Leeds in 2011, focusing on the life and work of Anglo-American sculptor, Jacob Epstein (1880-1959).
He's a voracious reader, guide dog owner, ex-gamer, and certified geek.
Connect with Jon at the following links:
I am doing a special weekend extra interview this week. This time I am interviewing Adam David Collings about his latest novel Jewel of The Stars. This brand new release hits home with me as we are both writing about adventures that take place on a space cruise.
Jewel of The Stars is an episodic series of novellas. There will be six episodes in a season, and I have four seasons planned, with one epic story arc that ties it all together. I plan to release “season boxsets” in paperback form. It’s a long-term project, but an exciting one.
What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?
My original plan was for the cruise ship, Jewel of The Stars to be in the middle of a picturesque nebula. That’s how they avoid getting destroyed in the alien invasion. Since most of what I knew about nebulae came from Star Trek, I thought I’d better do some research. I was a little disappointed to learn that the gasses in a nebula are so sparse that if you were inside it, you’d see nothing. It’s only when you are a very long way from it, that it looks beautiful. My character, Braxton White, encapsulated my disappointment when he says “Scientific reality often spoils the romanticism of ignorance.” In the book. This discovery required some minor changes to the plot.
My clients usually have hopes. When one contacts a detective, they have certain expectations, an anticipation of resolution to their problems. The young woman sitting in front of me this morning, however, appeared devoid of emotion, resigned to her fate. Twenty-two, I thought, twenty-three at most. Pretty. Well dressed, with a cultured accent.
“I was married three times already,” she began. “The first was when I turned eighteen, as custom dictates. We were engaged since I was a child and he was just a young army cadet. A political alliance between our families. We were married in the old style, conferratio, as befitting our families. He was just elected as a quaestor and was assigned to the army of that year’s consul. He left on campaign right after our wedding, and never came back. Died en route from dysentery.
“I was again married a year later. ...
That doesn’t happen a lot for me. I mean, I love a good space marine romp. Maybe there are MECH suits, maybe there are fancy plasma weapons. (I just finished Halo: The Fall of Reach, which was exactly like that and interspersed with some spaceship battles too.)
And then there are books which are a cut above:
- Grunt Life by Weston Ochse
- All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
This blog is run by Stephen Hunt and is the blogging outlet for Inklings Press.
You will find posts on: Book Launches, Book Reviews, A bit of current events
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