Saturday, February 27, 2010

Free PDF Proxies of Fate

Pill Hill Press has been doing a special promotion on Good Reads, we are offering a free PDF of Proxies of Fate to anyone who will review it. This is different than our usual review link becuase you don't have to be a book reviewer to take advantage of this offer. You just have to agree to post a book review on amazon, goodreads, or another online site(this includes your personal blog).

We are only giving out a limited number of these PDFs and the offer expires at midnight tomorrow. (Nothing like waiting till the last minute to remember to post somthing on my blog)

Fill out the request form here: Proxies of Fate
And you will get a free PDF via email!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Today I decided that I am going to try something new with my current novel. When I am writing a novel, sometimes I take long breaks with nothing much getting done. While I write a pile of short stories.

I know this is because I tend want to write new characters with a different feel and a slightly different voice. For example I would never sit down to write a horror novel, I would lose interest pretty quickly but I have more horror short stories than I do fantasy.
To fix the problem I started another novel. So for the duration of God's War I will also be writing Honor Remembered. I am on chapter 7 of God's War and I am 500 words into Honor Remembered. I am hoping that the two novels will give me enough variety to continue writing without writing any shorts.

I need to get to bed, I have to work tomorrow. I only have to work one Saturday a month so it isn't that bad, but I wish I was home writing. I am a little nervous about tomorrow. My boss wanted the library to offer more programs, and when she found out I had published short fiction, she thought it would be nice to do a writing club.
Tomorrow's topics,setting up ground rules, discussing where ideas come from, and how to find a market for your stories. The topics shouldn't be that hard, but I hate talkng in front of people, hopefully it is a small group.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Lion of Solkara

I got an email about the Lion of Solkara. Apprently the publishers spam filter had deleted my attachment. But they liked the synopsis enough that they wanted me to resend the manuscript. This is a giant step forward from the last publisher who told me that he never even read the manuscript because epic fantsy "wasn't marketable".

I am feeling super excited.

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Acceptance

My short story, Barton's Players, will be appearing in the September issue of Moon Drenched Fables.

In other news, I have done another edit of The Lion of Solkara and sent it into a publisher, and I am still waiting on a response for Kingdom of the Dead. Crossing my fingers but I am not really expecting either of them to get published.

Weird Dream

So its 5:26am. I should be in bed but I had a wierd dream that woke me right up like it was some kind of nightmare(which it wasn't). I dreamed that I was in high school weird enough since I am 30 years old. And that my dad had to move to Hyannis Nebraska to take care of grandparents.

My grandparents both passed away before I was in high school so that is strange enough. More weirdness, I have never been to Hyannis, I had no idea where it was until I just used to google maps. I barely knew it was in Nebraska. The only time I have ever even heard the name was when they give high school sports scores on the radio. It is about 114 from where I grew up, in Chadron and about 78 miles from where my granparents lived, in Hemingford. Chadron is only 45 miles from Hemingford.
So why the hell was I dreaming about moving to some place I have never been, and didn't even know where it was?

It was nice to have dream about my dad he passed away back in 2001, so it was nice to see his face but it was such a strange dream, and it woke me up like a shot. But in the dream I wasn't even upset that I had to move. In my dream some of my friends had just moved there, and I thought it was cool to move.
I believe that some dreams can be analyzed, that dreams can occasionally be prophetic, that sometimes they are just random collections of memories and thoughts all bunched together, heck I even believe that sometimes people who passed on can give you messages in dreams, but what the heck is the High School and Hyannis dream about?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The difference between novels and short fiction

Earlier this week Jessy was reading a chapter from one of my novels (Kingdom of the Dead) and said it didn't even read like something I wrote. I thought this was kind of funny. Of the three novels I have written Kingdom of the Dead is the first one she had read, while she has read nearly all of my short fiction.

I have been telling her that I play around with my short stories but really try to make my novels the best product I can. And she finally understands what I mean.
For me short stories are a venue to try out new things, to experiment with my writing. I use each short story to try to work on an aspect of my writing, and then I use what I learn from them in my novels. It is the reason why my short fiction is so varied from parodies to drama I try a little bit of everything, and then pull it all together when I write a novel.

Many of my short stories read very differently. For example the Low Road published in Everyday Weirdness is almost poetry, my stories published in Bards and Sages are fantasy parodies, with my short horror stories I have either tried to work on atmosphere or action. So if you are ever reading something I have written maybe you can spot what I was trying to "play" with.
In a side note I got a acceptance today to Twisted Tongue magazine. They are going to reprint my story from Twisted Legends, Hello Kitty. Both publications had the word Twisted in the title and for some reason I thought it would be neat to say my story from Twisted Legends got reprinted in Twisted Tongue. I'm pretty jazzed about it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writing- Because of Natural talent or hard work

And I started to wonder if I write because of natural talent or hard work. In high school the only subjects I scored lower than a B in were english and speech, and in college I got a D+ in composition, now to be fair to myself 50% of my grade in that class was spelling tests, which as anyone who has read one of my first drafts can tell you, is my achilles heel. So D+ wasn't so bad considering I averaged 40% on my spelling tests.

Unlike the people who responded to Lydia's wonderful blog, I was never told that I was a good writer. My english teachers never tried to get me to write more. I started writing when I was 29. I had a story in my head that I wanted to read. I spent every night writing for 5 months and had a really bad novel(which I hope has gotten better with all the edits I have made to it). Then I wrote some short stories, just to have something to do during my "writing time". I sent these in to publishers without any real hope of getting them published. Two of the three short stories were published. So I wrote some more.
It has been a little over a year since then, and I have written a lot of stuff. But I never thought that I was "working hard" at becoming a writer. It was just something I enjoyed doing so I did it. Like most authors I dream of someday making a living off my writing. How cool would it be to make a living off of something I like doing so much?
Back to the question. Talent or hard work.... uhmm....neither?

I can credit my writing career to my dad. Who gave me a half hour later bed time if I was reading (an awesome deal for a night owl like me). When I didn't have any books I would make up bedtime stories in my head to put me to sleep. This habit has continued all my life.

So I have all these stories in my head, and instead of just thinking "Somebody should write that" I write them. I think I am getting better at telling the stories through writing them down, but I can't really say I work hard at writing or that I am a huge natural talent.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Proxies of Fate

Proxies of Fate is out. I have never written a book review, and to be honest I don't read very many. But I had to post about this novel, and not just because we put the novel out.

I was lucky enough to be taking a turn as a slush reader when this novel came in. I only had to read the first three chapters and tell Jessy if I liked it or not. But when she requested the manuscript I had to get a copy just for me to read (and I really don't like reading fiction on a computer screen). This is a really great novel, Matthew sets up his scenes in such a great way. You can picture everything in the story.

The story is sci-fi, the annotation follows. When you are reading it it is obvious that Matthew loves comic books, the action is awesome, and I love Matthew's writing style. It reminded me of George RR Martin's writing.

The world teeters on the brink of hope and despair during the worldwide Great Depression of the 1930s.

Out of the darkness come the Krush, brutal warriors and destroyers of worlds. Drawn by the Earth's glow, they seek death and conquest. Their genocidal invasion is halted in orbit by the last of the Theria, godlike protectors of the universe. Forced into an unsteady armistice, the two factions agree to a battle by proxy to settle the fate of Earth.

Chris Donner, a jaded Great War veteran, is granted the divine powers of the Theria and strives to understand why he has been given such a gift. Li Chen, an idealistic Chinese peasant, is chosen by the Krush and becomes the fabled Dragon King. Both men irrevocably change history as they are drawn together in a final battle to decide the outcome of mankind.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Writing Habits

So it is nearly 3 in the morning and I am still up with an upset stomach. I apologize if this post makes no sense, I am really tired. I am usually in bed by 12.
I was just sitting here thinking about the changes in my writing habits lately. Since Christmas I have only written one short story. I am still accomplishing my goal of writing one chapter a week in my novel, but I started to wonder why no ideas for short stories have been coming to me, and why I have only been writing one day a week. (Before Christmas I was writing everyday for about an hour after Jessy went to bed)
I have narrowed down the culprits.


Earth Defense Force 2017
Jessy got me this for Christmas as an after thought, she had a little money left over and apparently the game was fairly cheap. When I got it I had not played a video game in months, now I play this game everyday. It is a first person shooter where giant bugs from outer space are invading earth. Which sounds kind of silly, but it is super fun. Especially when you lay out a line of C70 bombs and let the bugs come to you and blow it. Something about the giant explosion that levels a full city block brings out the little Lex Luthor in me and I can't help but laugh manically.


Adobe illustrator. This is the program that I use to make the covers for Pill Hill Press. I have been busy using it for book covers, and promotional items. Also another small press liked our covers so much that they are paying me to design theirs! I am not making very much money but I finally have concrete proof that the graphic design classes I took while getting my Applied History degree were totally worth it.


Oh the dreaded google. Vile lovely mistress that saps away my time. How can I spend two hours on you and do absolutely nothing?


I caught the flu, went to bed early for a week, got over it and somehow caught it again and was sick for another week. How does that even happen?


Okay, so when they advertise Netflix as being cheaper than the video store, they are totally right, but we have seen all the movies we really wanted to see. So we decided to start getting old tv shows that we never saw. Since Christmas we have seen: All the episodes of Firefly (It is awesome! I love the space cowboys!, All the episodes of Dark Angel (Not nearly as good, but Jessy like it), a season of Dexter (We liked the first season, dv-red the third and needed to watch the 2nd to get it off the DVR), and now we are watching Legend of the Seeker(It's not bad, but I can't say it is good). What's next? We're thinking Battlestar Galatica.


Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time book series. I started reading this series when I was in high school. Nearly 3 million words later, there is a new book out. I try to read it and realize, I have no clue what is going on, so I have to reread the entire series. I am on a Knife of Dreams, once I finish it I can finally read the new book. But as I said that means that I have read nearly 3 million words since Christmas, no wonder it seems like I have no free time.
In my opinion it is totally worth it. If you like fantasy and want to read something that is truly epic (and not just in word count) try this series. Someday I want to be half the writer Robert Jordan is, it feels like I know every character in the books, and according to google there were 96 POV characters by book #8 A Path of Daggers. Knife of Dreams, the book I am currently reading is book #11.
So there it is. My List of reasons not to write. But I am finally over the flu. I am 84.3% done with Earth Defense Force, and I only have a measly 400,000 words left to read in the Wheel of Time. I should be done with those by the end of the month. Then maybe I will find more time to write.
I think lack of sleep is making me ramble. I better stop now. Goodnight.

Here are a couple of youtube videos about Firefly
Firefly Opening Credits

A longer remix with more scenes from the show.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reviews of Black Matrix Magazines

Both the magazines I am in from Black Matrix have been reviewed on SFRevu. My stories are mention very briefly, the reviewer seemed pretty happy with the magazines. So if you haven't gotten a copy of either magazine, why not check out the reveiws and see if you're interested?

Encounters Magazine- "A Hunter Hunted" by Alva J. Roberts. Sara is a woman on the prowl at a bar in Colorado when she gets a redneck named Billy to come outside with her. Billy does not get what he is expecting and things don't work out well for Sara either in this horrifying, nasty story. See the Review
Realms Magazine- The "Lord of the North" in the story by Alva J. Roberts is Beorn Hammerhand, fighting the forces of Baltor who are invading his land. Things are difficult, until he gets some unexpected help in this rousing tale. See the Review