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A question for my readers…

I need to do some promotion work for The Corpse-Eater Saga.  I know that my series is  bit niche, but I’m comfortable that the appropriate audience is out there.  Somewhere.  I just have to figure out how to put my book in front of them.

So my question to you is this: where do you get your book recommendations?

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It’s out! It’s officially AVAILABLE!

I just got the e-mail from Amazon, and Curdled Cuisine has been approved!  The kindle version is available now, and the print version is either available or about to be available.

So stoked!  Please read and let me know what you think!

Now my next big project is getting my mailing list set up.  I know, I know, mailing lists are so annoying, but the good news is, this one will come with short stories.  I’ve got three completed and two uncompleted short stories featuring Walter is a variety of precarious predicaments.  There is a theme to the five stories which I’m looking forward to seeing who spots it first, and I’m planning on releasing them, about half a story at a time, through my mailing list.  Please check back again soon and sign up!

Also, I’m planning on releasing the digital version of Awfully Appetizing for free to try to bring in new readers, so if you can think of anybody who might enjoy The Corpse-Eater Saga, I’ll have a link for you to direct them to, soon.

Thank you all so much!

72 Hours to go…

I know, I know, I’ve been terrible about finishing it up, but this time, it’s official:  as soon as I get final approval from whoever it is that amazon has do this stuff, Curdled Cuisine will be available.  The cover gave me no end of trouble, mostly because I have no artistic skills, but it’s finally done.

I swear, it’s on its way.

And, after I take care of a few personal matters, I hope to start work on book four in… like… two or three months.  So, who knows how long it will be until Delicious Detritus hits the market.

However…

I’ve got a couple of short stories centering around Walter and his ilk that I will be making available over the coming months.  Please keep coming back here so I can tell you how to get your hands on them.  I have to say, I’m very pleased with how they’ve been turning out.

Progress on Curdled Cuisine

So, Curdled Cuisine has been sent to three beta readers.  I took a couple of risks on a couple of scenes, and I’m hoping that the payout will be worth the cost on them, but I’m holding out judgment until I get all three critiques back.  There’s a chance that I’ll have to do some major rewriting on the project, but at the moment I’m hopeful that the scenes in question will play out well, and I’ll be able to do one last minor round of edits in November.  In the meantime, I’m working on a short story collection associated with the Corpse-Eater Saga, and I’m about to start work on book four, Delicious Detritus.

In related news, a friend and I are working on some promotional plans that are scheduled to coincide with the release of book 3.  The short version is that I’ll be making book 1 available for free for a while.  Ideally this will translate directly to people becoming fans and getting the second and third book, but, at the very least, I’m hoping to increase the number of book reviews on Amazon.  I don’t really get how Amazon works, but according to people who understand all of that better than I do, the more reviews a book gets, the more likely it is to show up as a suggested book to people who might otherwise never hear about it.

Anyhow, that’s what’s going on in my world.  I hope everyone out there in the world is doing well!

Hitting the Wall

It’s funny, I remember a time when I thought that I’d eventually get to the point that I didn’t hit the wall anymore.  I thought that becoming a writer meant that I wouldn’t find myself at those points where motivation is lacking, and inspiration is dry, and I sit in front of my computer, trying desperately not to check facebook for the dozenth time, trying not to let myself get distracted.  Trying not to fall flat on my face.

But that doesn’t happen.  The bad days keep happening, the hard times keep rolling in.  The thing that is changing is me.  Not a lot.  I’m still weak willed and prone to let myself wander, but I’m becoming more familiar with my weaknesses.  I’m getting knocked down just as often, but I’m getting better at standing back up.  I think.  Maybe.

Book three is dragging a bit.  I’m well into it, I’d say two thirds to three quarters of the way through the first draft, but I’m having a hard time making myself keep at it.  It feels like it doesn’t matter.  But I’ve felt this way before.  And I know that I’ll feel this way again.

But I also know that I’ll get through it again.

Sorry, I know this isn’t a particularly interesting post, but it’s important to me.  It’s like those epic quest stories you read: the focus is on the battles and great escapes, but I think that every once in a while they should give you a glimpse of the days and weeks of slogging through rough terrain, massaging blistered feet and trying to clean yourself off with the dribble of water from a creek.

Only a Day Away!

No, not an ‘Annie’ revival, the official release of my second Corpse-Eater Book!  Bloody Banquet is currently being reviewed on Create Space, so in twenty four hours I should officially be releasing it out to the world!

Bloody Banquet has been ready to go for a while now, unfortunately I had a little trouble with the cover.  Funny story, it turns out that cover art can be downright expensive!  Thankfully, I was able to come up with a photograph that a friend filtered for me, and made something that… well, it’s not brilliant or anything, but dammit, it’s good enough!

Now, the bad news is that I don’t know how long it takes between when I okay the book and when it’s actually really and for real available, I think it’s a day or so.  I’ll work on that, though, you just get ready to read.  Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Man… I used a lot of exclamation marks on this one.

The Writer’s Role

So, a while back I saw a cartoon on Facebook that really stuck with me.  It’s been a while, so I may have some of the details wrong, but I remember the gist of it.  The title was, ‘the world’s first science fiction stories.’  One of them showed a caveman hitting a rock against another rock, while some other caveman yelled at him:  ‘Thag!  You Crazy!  You destroy us all!’  In the next panel we saw the world splitting in half with a mighty ‘crack’ as Thag did indeed destroy us all.  The next cartoon showed a similar scenario, with one caveman trying to start a fire, while another stood behind him shouting.  ‘Grog gone mad!  He kill us all!’  And in the following panel, well, you guessed it, the world was on fire.

My first reaction was to chuckle because, well, that’s pretty damned funny.  But after that I couldn’t help but think about what was being said.

Science fiction, in this scenario, was playing the role of the fear monger.  It shied away from any form of progress, or really, any kind of change at all.  And it was an accurate depiction of many science fiction stories.  Not all, obviously.  Star Trek’s attitude towards technology tends towards optimism, and according to some television shows, technology is the solution to most of lives problems.

But there are definitely stories that fall into the framework described in the cartoons.  One of the more obvious ones being ‘Jurassic Park.’  An eccentric billionaire figures out how to clone dinosaurs.  He is warned of the dangers, but does it anyway, and the world falls apart because of it.  Or at least, an island falls apart because of it.

So, is there a divide in science fiction?  Fear mongering on one side, and hopeful idealism on the other?

I don’t think that’s the case.  Partly because I enjoy the occasional ‘destroyed by their own hubris,’ story, but also because these stories don’t make we want to hide my head in the sand.  At least, not forever.

I watched Terminator, and I still want us to start building AIs.  I read ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,’ and I still want us to build androids. I read Jurassic Park, and I still want someone to start bringing back extinct species (in fact, I’d very much like to bring back the Dodo bird just to start a fast food franchise).

More than once, I’ve encountered people who treat science fiction as though it were prophetic.  Arguments against the creation of artificial intelligence that amount to: ‘didn’t you see terminator?  Don’t you know what will happen?’

But that isn’t the message that I take from those stories.  To me they exist as reminders that we’re responsible for what happens now.  Throughout much of human existence, when bad things happened, they were external forces which happened to us.  Attacks by wild animals, natural disasters, what have you.  But we have, as a species, reached a sort of puberty, and much of what lies ahead of us is going to be the result of the choices that we make.

In fairness, that’s reading quite a bit into what is, on a very real level, ‘just a story.’  But I think that it is a more valid message than, ‘fear change.’