Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Sword of the Butterfly, the second book in my urban fantasy series, will be published soon.  I received the cover concept recently, and I think it is amazing.  I hope you all enjoyed the first book and are anticipating the second as much (or more!) than I am.  I am very excited for it, and I think you will all enjoyment the development as we delve deeper into the tale.

sword-of-the-butterfly-cover-mock-up

 

I think it is an amazing cover that really captures the feel of the story.  Many thanks to the artist, Jeffrey Kosh, for this wonderful work.

If you have not read the first book, please do so.  And as always, thank you.

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Expectations

Posted: January 12, 2017 in Blog
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There is too much expectation out there for free or very under-priced books. It takes authors a great deal of time and effort to write, edit, and publish a book. Independent publishers are also dealing with this. It seems a portion of the general public is shocked to have to pay more than 99 cents for an ebook or $10 for a print book, yet they hardly balk at the prices for coffee at Starbuck’s or the admission for a movie at the theater.

It can take authors years to finalize a book.  For some of us, there is a great deal of research, whether through traditional means such as digging into available resources or through the consulting of those more knowledgeable.  I have done both, and both take time.  The latter takes the time of another and can come with its own cost.  Then there are the many hours for editing, generally which takes the time of more than one person and also has its cost. When it is time to go into publication, the art for the book cover must be commissioned.  I have never tried to quantify the amount of workhours expended for the publication of one book, but I know from personal experience that it is a great deal.  For this, the price of a book is also a great deal.  Why consumers feel the need to blanch at the price or feel entitled to a free one is beyond me.

A book is yours to keep and re-visit whenever you like, or you can pass it along to a friend or family member.  A book opens up worlds that have virtually no scope.  They stimulate the imagination.  These treasures are highly valuable and should be treated as such.

To this end, please consider attending a Facebook even which will feature many, many authors along with their very affordable works.  You may find a door worth opening.

Our Books Are Not Free – Facebook Event

Thank you,
Scott

Hello, everyone.  I would like to invite you to consider purchasing my book (if you have not already).  I also wish to offer a deep, heartfelt thanks to those of you who have.  It has not gotten many reviews, but those that it has have been quite good.

I have been the subject of a few interviews and features talking about my writing.  I have only just begun, as this is my debut novel.  It’s a bit of a frightening aspect, because this is my dream.  It feels like laying a lot on the line, but I’d regret it if I did not.

The book is an urban fantasy, though I might further refine that into magical realism.  I wanted to write a book with paranormal presence that felt like it could be happening in our world.  It’s subtle, it creeps. The book also reads like a contemporary crime thriller as well as a romance.  There’s a lot in there.  It’s a tale of risk and growth, and it is very close and dear to my heart.

So, if you are looking for a new book, a new adventure, a gift, a recommendation for a friend, etc., etc., please do consider my novel.

Thank you.

http://smarturl.it/it8igt – print version
http://smarturl.it/D2D – electronic editions

Here is a teaser of my current work in progress.  I do hope you enjoy.  As always comments, questions, etc., are welcome.


Fog lurks thickly, impeding sight, enhancing sound.  A sibilant cadence shifts throughout like a dissonant orchestra teasing at ear drums.  Some find it calming.  For others it is a constant torture.

“Does the time finally near?” asks one of those here, one who is possessed of voice, fortitude, drive.

“Time is not the same for us,” remarks the other, a rise to the flesh of the brow.

Satariel says nothing.  He, for this one is indeed a male, possesses power in this realm.  As befitting, he also holds wisdom, and such does he restrain his tongue.

“Everyday has its dawn,” she says, realizing Satariel will not speak.  There is still the perch to the brow, the haughtiness, distasteful even if deserved.  “Motherhood teaches one patience.  Who knows more of that than I?”


This is from what will be the third book in my urban fantasy series.  The second is in the hands of my publisher, and the first is available.  Please join me in this journey.
db-wrap

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Feedback Wanted

Posted: November 28, 2016 in Blog
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Authors want reviews. Authors want feedback, comments, communication. It can especially feel like working in a vacuum when you post or publish something and you get little to no response. Sure, many people may be reading and having a positive experience, but without feedback, how do we know?

So, write reviews.  Leave comments.  Please.

Here is where my own “problem” arises. I do not like leaving negative reviews. I have made one negative review, and it was for a very well-established author, so I don’t think it put the slightest chink in his armor. I like the author very much, just didn’t care for this one book, and I left what I felt was an honest, possibly meaningful review for others to read.

I understand the difference between a spiteful review and a negative one that is also constructive.  I understand not to let too much of my own personal desires make it sound like I am objectively naming something “bad”.  Even with this, I don’t like leaving negative reviews.

I have read many indie short stories and books of late, and I have not liked them all. Some were a bit … well, let’s just say I didn’t even finish them. In the wise words of the great James Dalton, “Opinions vary.”  I did not leave reviews for those.

I have read many authors saying to please leave a review, even if it is a poor one. Every review counts and matters. I want to help other authors, but it almost makes my skin crawl to leave a negative review. My approach is that I leave a positive review, or I do not leave one at all.  In this vein, I try to even make a positive spin to a potentially negative review, or again, I don’t leave one at all.

I know this is not the correct attitude, but it bothers me to think of doing something “negative” toward other independent authors.

And here I am asking for feedback and reviews.  It is troubling, I know, and I struggle with how to best leave a review for something I did not like.  It’s so much easier to leave a positive review.

Of course, I do hope you will purchase, read, and review my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  Many thanks!  And feel free to leave a comment.

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Gong!

Posted: November 17, 2016 in Blog
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Elementary school in the district ended at fifth grade.  Middle school, or junior high, was grades six through eight.  I was excited, and not just a little trepidatious, about moving along.  We were also allowed to put on a little celebratory show, the Fifth Grade Follies.  It was to be like a variety or talent show, though there would be no judging.  Just as when I wanted to play Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, I was eager to have a role in this.  I don’t recall whose idea it was – my teacher, my mother, myself?  But I ended up as emcee of the event.

I do recall that my mother suggested I conduct myself in a manner like Chuck Barris of The Gong Show.  I did not know much of Chuck Barris, then, except that I loved The Gong Show.  My mother coached me to come out, doing some odd clapping and changing out outrageous hats, telling crappy jokes.  I even had some assistants who’d walk by with “Boo” cards, encouraging the audience to get in on the fun.

And it was fun.  We had several different acts, many of them were just kids dressing up and dancing and lip syncing to popular songs.  A group of boys were performing to KISS, and they were a bit stoic.  I recall being in the wings during one rehearsal, just jiving and working my little butt off, and the teacher waved me out onto the stage.  I became the example for the fledgling rockers.  This lesson came back in my middle school Drama class – don’t be afraid to exaggerate movements on stage.

I was asked to join the KISS group, and though I really wanted to, I had my emcee duties to fulfill.  I felt a little protective of the goings-on, much as, I suppose, was Barris with his various television “babies”.  It proved a joy all around, and I wish we had it video recorded.

Still, I didn’t end up in a career in theater or television.  I may have been contacted by the CIA when I graduated college, but I really can’t comment on that.

Please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a planned series.  Thank you!

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Wherefore art thou?

Posted: November 3, 2016 in Blog
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I have always been interested in performing.  I used to draw my family’s attention with silly antics.  I even put on little variety shows where I dressed in different costumes and imitated politicians, actors, and musical acts.  One time it was Richard Nixon, another time Johnny Carson, and another Angus Young from AC/DC.  I sometimes wonder how things might be different if I had pursued drama and theater like I did writing, but that is a digression.

When I was in elementary school, I had an opportunity to perform in the play, Romeo & Juliet.  I, of course, wanted to be in it, though I think we all had to play some role, whether on or behind the stage.  I also, of course, wanted to play Romeo.

I sat with my mom, who graciously gave her time to practice lines with me.  We were actually having try-outs, and I wanted to be prepared.  When the day came, three of us wanted the role.  The teacher let us read from the book to recite our parts.  It’s silly, in retrospect, to think she wanted such young children to memorize the lines so quickly, but that is what I had done.  I said, with some boastfulness, I will admit, that I didn’t need the book.  She gave me one, anyway, but it was clear I didn’t require it.

I got the part.

It was a very fun experience, and I was so excited.  My mom even made me a costume, which ended up looking a bit more like Peter Pan, with too much yellow featured, but it worked.  As I recall, I also ended up wearing it for Halloween.  I was super excited, and I tried on the costume and tooled around the house “practicing” with my plastic rapier.  You know, since Romeo has so many sword-fighting scenes.

The funny thing is that I ended up also serving as a line coach, I suppose you’d call it.  Not everyone had studied their lines as diligently as I had.  I recall strategically turning my head at some points and whispering the beginning of Juliet’s lines to her when she’d forget.  I also stood behind the curtain when I was not on stage and did the same to others who might stumble.  I relished it.  I enjoyed knowing it so well and helping others.

I can’t say as I acted all that much, but it was a fun and great learning experience.

If you enjoy my posts, please be sure to check out my debut urban fantasy novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  It is the first in a series, and the second will be published next year.  Thank you!

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I am a fan of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.  I do not much get into the debate regarding his racism, much as I do not much get into the debates regarding other negative personal qualities of artists whose work I may admire.  Perhaps that is a form of condoning, though I’d not support such bigotry.  Maybe a sprinkle of naïveté?  It’s a difficult situation, so I digress …

The point of this post is that I cannot determine when I was exposed to Lovecraft’s works.  I recall seeing an original edition Deities & Demigods book from Dungeons & Dragons, and it had a section on the creatures of Lovecraft.  I was quite young, preteen, and I do not feel like the information was unfamiliar.  I was raised in a conservative, religious household.  I was not exposed to Lovecraft through my family.  I spent most of my formative years in a rural area, so I did not have any sort of regular access to the sorts of stores, libraries, or general groups that may have offered such an introduction.  And to put a finer point on it, the internet had not yet been invented.

So, I am left to wonder – where, when, and how did I learn of Lovecraft?

I also mentioned in another blog post that I wrote a play when in elementary school.  The play was largely influenced by A Boy and His Dog.  To the best of my recollection, I had not read the Ellison book or seen the film.  I wonder where this knowledge comes from.

This also leads me to examining of memory, but not just that, also creativity.  I used to think (and may still do) that our brain is capable of mimicking sensation.  It knows, in an abstract sense, what any stimuli would feel like.  I figured this was how dreams could feel so “real”.  This, of course, easily results in the question ‘how would you know it felt right if you had not felt it before?’ but again, I shall digress rather than delving this post even further into metaphysics.

I have also heard of readers wondering how a writer’s imagination can not only conjure up the things it does, but then how do the words manage to so convincingly convey the situation and accordant feelings?  Imagination is the answer, of course, but there must be something compelling of it, or it may easily be dismissed.

Perhaps it is fitting that I began this thought exercise with mention of Lovecraft.  He wrote of things outside the boundaries of human perception.  Things that could not be properly seen or known by the human mind.  Things that might break said minds and result in insanity.

The generous span and scope of potential human knowledge amazes me, as do its possible limitations.

 

Playing at Writing

Posted: September 8, 2016 in Blog
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I have not just written fiction prose.  I have written many a poem, and I have written plays.  I have even had the pleasure of directing some of them.  The first one was in elementary school.  I find it interesting to look back on.

It was another extra credit assignment, and I was allowed to write a short play.  I was also able to use two other boys as my actors who were also prone to finding “free time”.  The work was a take on A Boy and His Dog.  Now, I was in elementary school, somewhere between ten and eleven years old.  I do not recall ever reading the Harlan Ellison book, and I highly doubt I had seen the film.  I am, to this day, curious as to where my knowledge of the original work came from.  My interpretation was much sanitized, as you may guess, and the play was performed in the middle of an unused classroom.  We moved all the desks out of the way, and the kids from my class all stood in there quite close as it was undertaken.  Theater in the round, to some extent.

I have since written four other plays, though all of those were when I was an adult.  One was my own interpretation of what the play The King in Yellow might actually be.  For those familiar with it, the play is mentioned but never shown.  I decided to write what I thought it might be.  I don’t think my sanity suffered.

Another was a modern, fetishistic remake of the story of Doctor Faust.  The third was based on an urban legend that Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and Jack Parsons had all gotten together and decided to exploit their popularity to try to “invent” a religion.  All part of some grandiose social experiment whereby they might point out the proverbial egg on society’s face if any of them succeeded.  I decided to write a play that depicted just that, taking it from urban legend to the page.

The last play involved the Marquis de Sade and Don Quixote, and it was actually performed.  I got to direct it.  That was an unparalleled joy, and I hope to do it again someday.

Writing fiction prose is my mainstay, but I do enjoy the occasional dabble in other areas.

Book Two in my series has already been written.  It needs editing, polish, and all of that before it is truly ready for publication.  It is somewhat longer than the first, and I have been told it is quite darker.  So, without further ado, here is a “teaser” from Book Two.


“Why did you leave Finland, Lilja?  Did something bad happen?”

A dark miasma envelopes her, though she feels it like a haze, like something on the edges of perception.  There is a solidity here, a convincing measure, even through the dim.

“Did you let someone die like you let those kids die?”

Tension roils, like sutures bleeding into her, too tight, the rough thread pulling through tender flesh, the slow creep of binding pain.

Doubt scratches at her, has done so for many years.  Yet now, it is worse.  It leaves more than marks.  It gets deeper, peeling at scars, pushing at new places, and cracks form.  They feel this like a lure, and they will use it.  They know she is out there.  They know of this new force that defies them, and they want to consume it.  She has eluded them until now, but they have her.


I do hope this has whet some appetites.  As always, please do feel free to leave comments.  And if you have not bought and read the first book in the series, you may find it through my Amazon Author Page.

Thank you.