*FREE* The E-book of my fantasy novel Valandra (book 1) will be FREE from July 28 to August 1st. On Amazon.com only! *FREE*
#free books#fantasy#romance#kindle#epic fantasy#mecha
Just a quick heads up. Valandra book 1 will be free from July 28th to August 1st on the Zon.
*FREE* The E-book of my fantasy novel Valandra (book 1) will be FREE from July 28 to August 1st. On Amazon.com only! *FREE*
#free books#fantasy#romance#kindle#epic fantasy#mecha
Castlevania on Netflix is an entertaining start to a solid vampire series. If you're a fan of the video games series or of vampire mythos in general, I highly recommend it.
Also, I'm a huge fan of Warren Ellis. I was pleasantly surprised to see his name on the writing credits. Knowing how he likes to tell longer, involved stories with big reveals, I'm thinking things will get really surprising later on.
The first part of the series is a short four episodes, but I'll take quality over quantity any day! The animation is gorgeous and the voice acting is subdued. It reminded me a lot of the tone of the Vampire Hunter D movies. And there's nothing wrong with that! If it works, no need to fix it. And it most certainly works here as well.
(P.S. The IMDB reviews by whining Christians is too hilarious. Check those out if you want a good laugh of people bellyaching because of all the anti-Christian themes in a gothic vampire story taking place in the "Dark Ages." LOL)
It's true. I use a lot of run-on sentences and comma splices to make extremely long sentences in my novels.
Some people recoil in shock at the appearance of bad grammar. Don't worry, I don't take it personally. I have credentials to prove I know what I'm doing, i.e. English Theory, English Lit, and Japanese History degrees. I've been writing technical English essays for quite some time. I learned all the formal technicalities of "good" written English . Breaking the rules is half the fun though!
In an Open Culture article, discussing the use of run-on sentences and the linking of abstract phrases in famous works of literature by the likes of Samuel Beckett, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald and more, I like how the reviewer puts it when he says:
"Sentences like these, writes Barnes & Noble blogger Hanna McGrath, 'demand something from the reader: patience.' That may be so, but they reward that patience with delight for those who love language too rich for the pinched limitations of workaday grammar and syntax."
It's true, long literary sentences aren't for everybody. Most people find the above works challenging to read and would rather consume the easy to read, white bread, of mundane literature. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Many great writers stick to the beaten path of what works. Many entertaining stories have been told within the rigid confines of a regiment grammar and ordinary syntax. But anyone who has read my work knows that's not me. I write with flourish. My syntax is robust. My writing edges on being perhaps more purple than it needs to be. And my style is to use long, winding, linked phrases.
And as long as I'm in such good company as the above literary giants who dared to break the rules and who paved the way for writers like me, I won't take it all that personally if somebody doesn't like my work because of a few run-on sentences, because, as we all know, there's nothing wrong with writing long sentences--not one little bit--and if you think there is, well, what can I say, it's just not true; long sentences are wonderful and if you can't see that, then, I'm sorry--but I can't help you.
Dominion Rising Box SetHey guys, I want to give a shout out to the Dominion Rising Boxed Set. It contains 22 all-new novels from NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Some of them are folks I know personally and I'd really like to help them get the word out. And better yet, all of these books are sci-fi and fantasy. If you're a fan of my work, then I'm certain that you'll find something to love in this set.
Besides, 22 books at $0.99 is a total bargain!
In one 99¢ boxed set you'll find the talented works of…
NY Times bestselling authors:
Gwynn Roberts White, Erin St Pierre, Margo Bond Collins, DK Holmberg, Felix R Savage, Tom Shutt, Melanie Karsak, and Erin Hayes.
USA Today bestselling authors:
P.K. Tyler, Anthea Sharp, S. M. Schmitz, KJ Colt, Lisa Blackwood, and D.S. Murphy
Award-winning and Amazon bestselling authors:
S.M. Blooding, Timothy C. Ward, Daniel Arthur Smith, Tony Bertauski, Rebecca Rode, Cheri Lasota, Ann Christy, Becca Andrew Wallace, Logan Thomas Snyder, Dean Wilson and Samuel Peralta(named a Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable).
What's not to love about this amazing sci-fi and fantasy collection?
Pre-order yours now!
The pre-order for The 12 Swords of Sabolin is up! This companion book contains pictures, histories, and all the world building to my fantasy series Valandra.
Here's a look at the details on the inside. It's sort of an experiment to see if fans of my fantasy series want more in-depth world building, histories, mythological tales, as well as detailed explanations of the 12 swords and their powers.
A REAL WORLD RANT...ON SEXY INNUENDO & BAD REVIEWS
All my books have sexy innuendo (sometimes sexual but hardly ever sexist--unless one of the characters is deliberately written to be sexist). It never ceases to amaze me though as to how many people are still bothered by even the most basic sexual innuendo. Not even out of place or in poor taste. Far less than, say, George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones, for example. And I make sure it always serves the plot or character arcs (if not plot then certainly the character's arc). That is, I don't think I've ever relied on the enticement of sex to drive any of my storytelling. It's always there, in the background, as in the real world.
Whenever I get a *negative review* complaining about the above average sexual content in my books (I'm not talking smut here--just people having real world relationships--kissing, hugging, squeezing, the occasional petting), I always like to check the geography where that copy of the book was sold. After all, I don't know of any geographic in the real world where people live entirely without sex in their lives. Even the most cloistered, overtly religious, anti-sexual communes usually have sex related scandals. And report after report comes out showing that conservative demographics, the one's that rant the most against sex are, coincidentally enough, also the highest consumer of pornography. Go figure. All you have to do is scratch the surface of people's lives, and you'll find it. It's there waiting for you to either cringe at or watch in dumbfounded amazement. That's the real world, folks.
I suppose if I wrote your typical mundane, non-sexy, material my books would appeal to a much broader demographic (mainly religious prudes and those put off by the idea of sex, which I've always found peculiar in light of how well violence sells in terms of entertainment--but pick your smut, I guess), but at the same time I know that writing "clean," as they call it in the literary world, would make my novels the same old boring oatmeal--or as my grandparents always called it..."mush."
I mean, that would be like watching the original Star Trek without Captain Kirk seducing every cute alien woman he found. It wouldn't make the series any less bad, per se. But it wouldn't make the character stand out as the alien seducing, womanizing, star captain we've all come to grow and love. Personally, I like to have a bit of spice in my stories. At least this way, I stand out with a unique voice. Just as Captain Kirk stood out. Whether that's good or bad, I'll leave it up to you to decide. I agree it's not absolutely necessary, but it's a preference.
It's also interesting to me that if you take away all the "prudish" reviews of my work, there's very little in the way of actual complaints about the story matter.
Sometimes I get dinged for having a grammar or spelling error (or two), but that comes with modern Indie publishing.
I'm going to fill you all in on a little secret. I've been at this writing thing for five years now. Five years as a professional author. And still, mistakes get past me. Heck, when I was still being published by a major publisher, they even got past my editors at that publisher. That's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid. The odd mistake will slip by even after a professional edit and 11 beta readers, such as every one of my books goes through.
And, admittedly, sometimes a silly mistake occurs that probably shouldn't, and a beta copy of the manuscript gets uploaded instead of the finalized manuscript, and sometimes Amazon publishes your pre-order two days earlier than it should (without any notice) thus sending out the wrong book early.
Such as what happened with Valandra 2. I contacted Amazon with screen-caps of the dates to show the error was theirs and they corrected it ASAP offering an *update* for all those who pre-ordered Valandra 2.
So, be sure to check your email and if it didn't come, or got filtered out somehow, be sure to go to your "manage kindle" tab on Amazon, scroll down to Valandra 2 and click on the "update" tab.
This is just the nature of Indie publishing. When you're a one-man band, instead of a 6 person editorial team, things don't always run as smoothly as you'd like. Oh, well. Lesson learned. And that's really all a person can do. I just keeping learning and keep on getting better each time I hit that *publish* button.
Anyway, sorry for the rant. It's just that when I see people dinging me for something that's a trademark of my material it sort of annoys me. If you don't like sexiness and romance, best to steer clear of my novels. They all have it to one degree or another. And I'm sorry if anyone feels I've wasted their time with this rant. Honestly, I wasn't going to send this out, but then I figured, if you don't like a bit of spice in your storytelling, then I should at least do the right thing and give you a heads up--you may want to steer clear of my books--you goddamn Jean-Luc Picard lovers (I kid, I kid!).
Thanks for your time!
In a nutshell, the answer is yes.
The gatekeepers of trade publishing and traditional publishing practices are, by and large, obsolete.
WHY ARE THE GATEKEEPERS OF TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING OBSOLETE?
Please keep in mind that this isn't a criticism of trade publishing. Merely an objective observation of what gatekeepers promise to offer and how this relates to being published.
Now, it is the tradition of the publishing industry to set up middle-men to help make this job easier if not more expedient. This is where agents come into the grand scheme of things.
Of course, the question arises, to what purpose do these middle-men serve?
To help you get published, naturally. But also to make sure that, as their client, that the publishing houses aren't taking advantage of you and to ensure that the publisher is abiding by fair hiring practices and copyright laws, and etc.
So, agents do serve a purpose. But their purpose and function can be easily co-opted into the duties and responsibilities of a self-published author. So, again, they are largely unnecessary. Helpful, sure. Beneficial even. But not a necessity.
They are a nice perk. A luxury. But one can still be published without an agent. Even by a traditional publisher. I know, because sure I did. Get published by a trade publisher without an agent, that is. But it's not recommended to go this way. But it is possible.
(*Note: I say it's not recommended to go this way because the legal rules and regulations of publishing houses is unnecessarily complex and merely makes it that much more difficult for the author to navigate. The reason for this complexity is that traditional publishing has grown from a practice into a business model and, along with it, all the baggage that entails. But this is a discussion for another time).
So, basically, we can all agree that the goal of the agent is to help see that you get published. And the publisher is there to publish you.
The question we find ourselves pressed with is, are these things currently necessary to be a published author? The answer is no. So, the follow up question is why not?
At present, one can forego the middle-man and bypass their preference regarding what they deem as worthy of publication that determines who and what gets published. Frankly speaking, you don't need this arbitrary assessment to be published. If you don't need it, then their purpose of helping you get published and publishing your novel are by definition: obsolete.
In the post-self-publishing world, the fact of the matter is, that the gatekeepers of traditional publishing no longer necessarily serve the function of helping one get published. I mean, they do serve that function, but because of modern technology and the digital format of print on demand publishing (POD for short) they aren't necessary. Not being necessary is the same thing as being obsolete.
So it's not meant as a criticism or a slight when I say the gatekeepers of traditional publishing are obsolete. It's not a value judgement. It's simply a brute fact.
I saw this video online and although I love the book they're promoting, I must strongly DISAGREE with their message about fairy tales.
I read my daughter the original fairy stories. You know, the original Cinderella, where the stepsisters cut off their own toes to cram their bleeding stubs into the tiny glass slippers.
And when she says "Ew!" and asks me, "Why would they do that daddy?"
I tell her the truth.
"They're freeloaders who want a free ride. Don't be like them."
"What about Cinderella, daddy?"
"She's the worst offender," I tell her. "She's a freeloader and she's beautiful, so she gets away with it. Don't be like her either."
That's how you get a rebel daughter.
I do like the book they're advertising at the end though.
But I disagree that reading fairy tale stories is unhealthy. Parents need to be smart enough to provide context.
I still think it's important to read the original fairy stories. They are morality tales for a reason.
Little Red Riding Hood or Rumplestilstkin all make just as much sense with a male protagonist. And so does Hansel and Gretel and many other fairy tales.
In Little Red, a woodsman ultimately saves her, true. But the lesson she learns is not to talk to strangers, and that's a good message for any child.
In Rumplestiltskin, the girl outsmarts the imp and wins the day. And in Hansel and Gretel, they don't learn anything except that adults can be extremely cruel, and even your own parents will sometimes try to kill you (especially the poor, destitute, and uneducated and all around crappy parents). If the witch doesn't succeed first.
That said, fairy tales aren't for everyone. They're violent, dark, and yes--often have strong patriarchal undertones and overtones. There's no escaping the antiquity in which these stories were first created. But they are some of the first folklore humans ever told to one another, which is of some historical relevance, if not culturally profound.
I think that to deprive children of such stories simply to tell them a story about how wonderful Beyonce is is, well, going to deprive the child of an otherwise amazing story by replacing it with the banal story of a woman who got rich shaking her booty.
Yeah, yeah, she can sing too, but people will likely remember her for her booty. So, pick your battles carefully, but maybe pick your heroes & heroines more carefully too.
That said, I have nothing against Beyonce. I listen to her with my daughter. She likes the fact that Beyonce cusses and uses strong language in her latest album. But Beyonce's life story is sort of like the princess stories these authors so decry. But I'm sure there are better stories int he book too. About real women heroes. And that's improtant to learn as well. But not at the expense of depriving a child of the wonder and magic of fairy tales.
At the end of the day, I say: read them both. After all, we want educated rebels, not pampered princesses, right?
Good news, everyone!
Valandra: The Dragon Blade Cycle (Book 2) is available for pre-order right now!
It's only $0.99 for the pre-order, but it will go back down to the regular price after the release week (coming April 21st).
Pre-order and SAVE now!
As an author, it's important to know what genre you're writing in, even if genre classification isn't important to you personally.
The reason you need to keep up on genres is because they are very important for things like promotion, writing to market, hitting all the right beats by mimicking what makes that particular genre popular among fans, or else avoiding it entirely by creating something original.
Either way you look at it, it's important to have a basic grasp of the mainstream genres out there. That doesn't mean you need to know every single genre before writing. Heck, I only learned about the sub-genre New Adult this year. And when I asked my editor if I should classify my novel as "NA" she asked, "What's that? Haven't heard of it."
This has primarily to do with the fact that NA is a relatively new genre. Not only that, it didn't exist before 2009 and it's still flying under the radar of most trade publishers, only to be used mainly by Indie writers who were the first to crack this market niche.
But it does help to know something about the difference between say and adult novel and a young adult novel.
As such, I decided to adapt this handy dandy Wikipedia post on genre lists and write down the basics of genre classification in an easy to digest format. Hopefully it will be useful for those who, like me, need to pick a genre classification for their novels when submitting their meta-data for publication. Otherwise, it's just an interesting bit of history.
NOTE: Genres and subgenres are organic and can change both in terms of their content as well as their relationship to other genres. Also, new genres and classifications are being created all of the time. So don't take things too literally, this is just a list meant to help ease things along.
LITERARY vs. GENRE FICTION
Literary fiction is a term used to distinguish certain fictional works that possess commonly held qualities to readers outside genre fiction.
Literary fiction has been defined as any fiction that attempts to engage with one or more truths or questions, hence relevant to a broad scope of humanity as a form of expression.
There are many sources that help readers find and define literary fiction and genre fiction.
The classic major genres of literature are: Subsets of genres, known as common genres, have developed from the archetypes of genres in written expression.
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.
DON'T BE SCARED