Raw Cover Image for “Bitter Days”

Towers - By Martina Stipan

Here’s a preview of the artwork, called “Towers,” that I’ve licensed for use as the cover of my upcoming book, Bitter Days, due to be published in late October. It’s by Martina Stipan, an artist in Croatia that I found on Deviant Art. When I first spotted the picture, I thought it would make a great wraparound cover for a fantasy story about a poor homeless girl growing up on the streets of a gritty port city.

As is often the case with licensed art, it’s not quite a perfect fit for the story, so some alterations will be needed. The most obvious one is the elimination of some electrical wires, since my story is set in a pseudo-medieval fantasy setting.

Still, I thought folks would appreciate this preview.

Posted in Projects | Tagged | 2 Comments

About the Writing Life

Busy, busy, busy!In case anyone is curious what the life of a writer is like, especially an indie-published writer. In addition to the Day Job, and looking for a new Day Job since the old contact is ending, I’m doing the following stuff for the writing side of the house:

  1. Edits on "Clash By Night," targeted for an October publication in the anthology, The Curator.

  2. Getting ready to staff and run my first table at a convention. I’ll be at Capclave 2018 with Tannhauser Press in Rockville, MD on Sep 28-30 selling books.

  3. I’m on Programming at Capclave 2018, so I’m prepping for four panels, including one that I’m moderating.

  4. I’m putting the final touches on the 2-hour workshop I’ll be conducting at Capclave: "Writing Killer Fight Scenes That Matter."

  5. I’m in the middle of writing a time travel story (the working title is "Time Vortex").

  6. I’m prepping for second draft edits to "Pivot Point," a military steampunk story with airships, elves and dangerous science.

  7. I’m finishing a story called "Death Comes to Town" for publication in an anthology called Outsiders.

  8. I’m getting ready to publish my story "Bitter Days" in print and ebook next month (October).

  9. I’m finalizing the ebook for "The Rooftop Game," which will be published about a week after Capclave.

  10. I’m prepping my story "Road Trip" for solo publication in December.

  11. I’ve started writing a series of “Writing Exercises” for my Writing Group, the Hourlings. These will also be released for free on my web site in PDF form.

So, yeah, I’m staying busy.

Oh, and just for the heck of it, I highlighted in red all of the significant pieces of content I’m working on in one form or another right now. From copyedits to second draft changes to publication prep.

Posted in Creativity | Tagged | Leave a comment

My Capclave 2018 Schedule

I’m proud to be on Programming for Capclave 2018, the DC area’s best SF/Fantasy literary convention. The event is being held in Rockville, MD from September 28 – 30. Here are the details of my schedule:

Friday

Afternoon Dealer’s Room
Manning the table for Tannhauser Press and the Hourlings.
 

Saturday

10:00 AM Blurred Lines: Writing & Marketing Mixed-Genre Books

Sometimes, the book you want to write doesn’t fit into traditional genre patterns. Sometimes, it fits into ALL the traditional genre patterns. Authors who write books that defy standard shelving paradigms gather to discuss the virtues and pitfalls of genre-bending: finding your audience, marketing through genre-specific channels, generating industry acclaim, finding your niche, and more. Join us as we talk about how it really is okay to write that historical fantasy murder mystery in space!

With: David Keener, Jack Campbell (John G. Hemry), Brenda W. Clough, Andrew Fox (Moderator)

Afternoon Dealer’s Room
Manning the table for Tannhauser Press and the Hourlings.
 

Sunday

10:00 AM Author Table: David Keener & Laura Montgomery
Selling (and signing) books at the designated Author Table.
 
11:00 AM Making the Future Work

What things are necessary to make the future successful? What are the jobs and technology of the future? Which jobs are most likely to go away? Which jobs will stay and what will they look like? What should the underlying infrastructure of your future world look like? For example, what should go into planning for the city of the future.

With: David Keener, David Bartell, Bill Lawhorn (Moderator), Joe Stech

1:00 PM Writing Killer Fight Scenes That Matter (Two-Hour Workshop)

Does your story come to a screeching halt every time there’s a fight scene? Do readers think your fight scenes are…tedious…instead of exciting? How realistic should your fight be? Discover how real people react to violence, and how you can use this information to make your conflict more believable. Learn how to craft fight scenes that engage your readers, advance your plot and reveal character.

With: David Keener

4:00 PM Time Travel Storytelling

A discussion of the cultural implications of time travel. Should an author use appropriate to the time language in their time travel and historical stories, or is it OK to use modern sensibilities? Is it fair to readers to give historical figures beliefs that were never shown in their real life actions?

With: David Keener (Moderator), Doc Coleman, Iver Cooper, Alan Smale

Posted in Conferences | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Published: The Rooftop Game

The Rooftop Game My story, The Rooftop Game has just been published and is available on Amazon.

It’s the first story in the Royal Defenders series, which is set in my Thousand Kingdoms universe.

Here’s a description of the book:

Failure Is Not an Option

Lydio Malik is the Royal Bodyguard for the infant Princess Analisa of Salasia. He’s sworn to die before he’ll let any harm come to her. He may just have to.

Despite his position, Malik is ridiculed for his foreign heritage, his unpopular views on protection strategies, and his obsessive attention to detail.

While the King goes to show the flag in the troubled north, his enemies launch a brazen attack against the royal family. Surrounded by enemies, with no possibility of escape, Malik finds a unique and desperate way to protect his charge.

If they want the Princess, they’re going to have to pay the price…in blood.

The Rooftop Game is the thrilling story of a bodyguard who won’t give up, set in a bold new fantasy setting known as the Thousand Kingdoms.

As a bonus, the book includes “Winter Roses,” a short story set in the Thousand Kingdoms universe. It was the first Thousand Kingdoms story ever published, way back in 2015. And you also get a preview chapter of Bitter Days, my next book in that universe, which will be published in October 2018.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , | Leave a comment