Saturday, October 31, 2009

Men Who Stare at Goats

I'm so tempted to actually pay the afternoon, old-folks movie price to see this when it comes out. Clooney, McGregor, Bridges, Spacey, Goats! What more could one ask for?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Query Letters

All writers hate them. If they don't hate them, then I am highly suspect of their sanity. Anyway, since I rarely have anything cool to say, I'll start kiping stuff from others.

Nathan Bransford's post referencing Janet Reid's notes on query letters

Notes on query letters via Janet Reid's blog

The original post that outlined what Janet Reid said in her class on query letters (most detailed of the bunch)

Ain't the internet wonderful? Now, who knows where the word "kiping" comes from? Trust me; it's a real word, and I spelled it right.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Jessup County Secret

The Jessup County Secret is a realistic look into a fictional depiction of what happens when young hearts collide in this powerful, coming of age story of love, friendship, and finding something to truly believe in. In this story of a sixteen year olds plight to survive a world of physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his father; and, the invaluable pawn he subsequently becomes; in this well kept, secret life of sex, drugs, lies, and murder, hope arises in the most unexpected of saviors. Amongst many twists and turns, join these strong souls on their journey into a world no child should ever experience. You may find yourself questioning whether the story is truly fiction.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Operation Ebook Drop

Now has a nice logo! >>>>>>

If you don't know about this program, check the Smashwords link that explains what it's all about.

The nutshell is that authors can make their ebooks available free to overseas service people either by sending them a Kindle-loving file (MOBI) or providing a link to the ebook with a coupon that provides a free download.
Check the Smashwords blog post that provides a rundown on how this works. Cool logo, eh?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bruce Boston - New Book!

For Bruce Boston fans fans, this is great! Just to let you know, Bruce has won multiple awards for both fiction and poetry. Masque of Dreams contains a full six novelettes and 17 short stories, in addition to poetry.

Check out his website here for his latest book, Masque of Dreams. Cool cover, eh?

296 pages $13.95
Wildside Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-4344091-1-9

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stuff about queries I haven't seen elsewhere

When you're writing your fantasy query, do NOT say anything that will lead an agent's mind to the tired, old, same stuff written by every other newbie fantasy writer.

I won't go into detail, but just say I had an agent comment on my first page. She had EXPECTATIONS about the story because of some of the names I selected. Point is, her expectations were stupid. If she wanted trite and typical, than her expectations were spot on.

Unfortunately, my story is neither trite nor typical. However, I did get the lesson. If you say ANYTHING that has ever been used in the entire history of the world (e.g., dragons, elves, etc.) make sure your query doesn't lead the reader to believe you have the same old trite typical crap. They'll not get past that first dragon or elf mention without expecting you'll have a trite typical dragon or elf. Don't even use the words!

Just leave it at a mystical race of creatures if you're talking dragons or elves. Say 'dragon' or 'elf' and you've typecasted your book into oblivion.

I'm seriously considering taking a pen name of Kassandra. That way, I will tell the truth, but expect to be ignored. Makes life much easier. Mortals just can't help being stupid.

Since nobody reads my blog anyway, it won't hurt to mention that I've been turned down by a lot of (ahem) less than diligent query-readers who jumped to conclusions so fast, you could hardly see them move. FTL agents. Hey, I like that. We could get our rejects before we even send the queries. Saves a lot of time and stress.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quest Now On Amazon

Quest for the Simurgh

Now on Amazon!
Print Edition $7.95
Kindle Edition $1.99

128 pages
ISBN: 978-0-578-00499-0
Texas Boy Publications

The village magician, Wafa, has gone missing. His star pupil Faiza thinks he has left a clue for her on a page of the Magicalis Bestialis. With the page open and marked with an X, she believes Wafa is telling them to seek out the Simurgh, the mythical birds who possess all the knowledge of the universe. She convinces her three classmates that they must seek the help of the Simurgh to find their teacher.

She leads the boys on a difficult journey into the mountains in search of the elusive birds. A strange little man becomes their guide. However, they do not know he is a spirit leading them toward a battle between good and evil. Spirits, gods, and demons confront the four friends, who are being set up by the otherworldly forces for a much larger task than finding their teacher. The students were chosen to take sides in the battle which might spell the end of the world: a battle between the demons and the spirits.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Now, This is a Smart Writer

A Brit named Roland Denning wrote a book titled "The Beach Beneath the Pavement." It's probably not a book I'd read (sorry, Roland), but his website and meeting the agent short robot movies are a hoot.

Check out Mr. Denning's website here. That link goes straight to the movie page, then you can browse the rest and see if Beach is your cuppa tea.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clickity Click

I'd like to know how many folks are interested enough in me to go to the trouble to click through to my website to read a chapter from my latest book.

Go ahead and click here. I'll wait.

Dooby dooby doo, la da da....

Here's the FAQs on the books.

Titled "Scotch Broom," it's the third in a series I'm calling "The Witches of Galdorheim." I'm trying to make each book stand alone, more or less like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. I know I can read them out of order since he provides lots of back info on what happened previously. So, when I skipped from his book 1 to book 3, I didn't feel I missed anything since I hadn't read book 2. Of course, I'll go back and do that, but it was nice to know I didn't need to.

While you were over on my website reading the excerpt chapter, did you notice I had a tab for "Works in Progress?" You can read the blurbs on all three books in the series there. Or right here since I'm not charged by the word:

The Witches of Galdorheim 1 - Bad Spelling: All of Katya’s family are either witches or warlocks, depending on their sex, of course. Katya is sixteen and really ought to be able to turn a rabbit into a toad, but things just don’t work out for her. What she gets is a slimy green hopper. That’s the good part. Unfortunately, it also has long ears and fur. That’s bad spelling. 41K words

The Witches of Galdorheim 2 - Midnight Oil: The further adventures of Katya as she races to find her boyfriend, kidnapped by a forest spirit seeking revenge on her sister air spirit. Katya gets caught up in the war of the elementals. If you like the Loch Ness monster, Selkies, dragons, volcanoes, and other cool stuff, you'll like this book. 47K words.

The Witches of Galdorheim 3 - Scotch Broom: Katya is all set for her Winter Abroad, the trip for graduating witches. She's going to spend Samhain at Stonehenge and couldn't be more excited. However, she gets waylaid into the Otherworld, the magical realm coexisting within the Scottish Highlands. She's trying to find her way out, except a certain evil being is determined to steal Katya's magic for her own. 47K words.

Now, I ask you. Don't these books sound like a ton of fun? Well, agents aren't all excited apparently, so expect these books to go the self-pub route if the last few agents and a few publishers remain impervious to the concept or just don't like my writing. That's why I posted a chapter. Do you think my writing sucks?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Not My Problem

I'm sure you've all heard the story about the Nazis coming for the Jews, and the other religious groups saying it wasn't their problem. Here's another tale of a similar nature. I borrowed (stole) this from Acme Authors Link. DL Larson blogged it. She says she didn't write it, but I thank her for posting it.

Our compulsion to mind our own business reminds me of the following story. I am not the author, merely the one passing it on ...

'A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the barnyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: "There's a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the hosue!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray ... be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There's a mousetrap in the house! There's a mousetrap in the house!"

The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house ... the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife.

The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the barnyard for the soup's main ingredient: chicken.

But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. But alas, the farmer's wife did not get well. She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, please remember the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember the chicken, the pig and the cow.

When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ambrose Bierce Quotes

If you haven't heard the name before, then your education is lacking:

Ambrose Bierce was one of the world's greatest satirists.
Here's his take on the word 'SAW':

Saw, n. a trite popular saying, or proverb. (Figurative and colloquial). So called because it makes its way into a wooden head. Following are examples of old saws fitted with new teeth.

A penny saved is a penny to squander
A man is known by the company he organizes
A bad workman quarrels with the man who calls him that
A bird in the hand is worth what it will bring
Better late than before anybody has invited you
Example is better than following it
Half a loaf is better than a whole one if there is much else
Think twice before you speak to a friend in need
What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do it
Least said is soonest disavowed
He laughs best who laughs least
Speak of the devil and he will hear about it
Of two evils choose to be the least
Strike while your employer has a big contract
Where there's a will there's a won't