Blogs by Our Knights

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.

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Decolonizing Myself

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.
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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.

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