Saturday, February 28, 2015

Brief thoughts on Leonard Nimoy

I heard about Leonard Nimoy's passing yesterday, but it's taken me a while to process this.

I never had the opportunity to meet him, having grown up in a tiny, horrible town near the Oregon coast, too far away from the nearest convention centers with too little money to afford such a trip. But he and Star Trek were always there throughout my childhood and long after. Star Trek was one of the first TV shows I ever started watching. I don't even remember how old I was. Probably four or five.

I actually started learning how to tell time by noticing where the hands on the clock were when Star Trek started -- 4:00 weekday afternoons on KPTV Channel 12 from Portland. I don't want to give the impression that I had a horrible childhood, but school was often almost impossible to endure because every day I was the target of every bully in sight -- but I could always come home, turn the TV to Channel 12, and be carried away to other worlds, and for an hour I could forget what I'd had to put up with all day.

Star Trek was always there as I was growing up, and Leonard Nimoy was an inseparable part of it. The show, and the character he played on it, just wouldn't have been what it was without him.

He was always there. And suddenly, he's gone. As with the other cast members who have died, James Doohan and DeForest Kelley, the thought of never seeing him again, except in things he's already done, is both sad and unsettling. Each time this happens, it feels like a part of my own foundation has been lost.

But then, to quote a line from The Wrath of Khan, spoken by Dr. McCoy: "He's really not dead ... not as long as we remember him."

Quick Game Over Update

The book has gone live on Barnes and Noble, as well.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Game Over" going live

Got an email from Vook last night informing me that my novelette Game Over (winner of the 2015 Editor's Choice Award at has gone live on four sites, so far:

Google Books
iBooks Store

I'll post quick announcements as it goes live on more sites.

Monday, February 23, 2015

More recommended viewing

If only NASCAR could be like this, I'd actually watch it ...

Promo video for "Mission to Bellatrix"

Talking a bit about how I was brought onboard the Lucky Stars anthology, how my story's protagonist came together in my head, and whatnot:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Moving Forward

A few things seem to finally be clicking into place. Game Over has been accepted by Vook and the process is moving along quickly. I sighed the contract a couple of days ago, and it shouldn't be much longer before the book goes live on various websites.

The kinda-sorta sequel to Game Over has been accepted for the paranormal/sci-fi romance box set Lucky Stars. I turned in the final edit last week, and now I'm waiting for the galley proof. So it's pretty much a done deal. The ebook will go on sale March 17 for 99 cents. There'll be a print version as well, but at the moment I don't know what its price will be.

Here's a look at the cover image for my story.

Things are also coming along with Chaser. An artist has started work on the cover illustration, based on the placeholder sketch I used for Boiler's character profile.

And I recently got back to work on Project: Phoenix. Finally. The chapter ended up going on way too long ... not that I'm opposed to long chapters, but this one got ridiculously long. Had to pick a spot to cut it off, even though it wasn't exactly a good cliffhanger. But at least that gives me a bit of a head start on the next chapter. So I'm going through that now and doing some editing before I see where it goes from here.

Also, I have to admit, I wasn't too clear on what direction the rest of the book should take, but recently a couple of ideas popped into my head that I really like. Bwahaha, there's gonna be some emotionally wrenching times ahead for a few of the characters, plus a minor character from Load who will show up and cross the line in a severe way. But that's all I can say about it for now. XD

And finally, I've got a pretty solid handle on the next plot arc for Freelancers. It'll finally start dealing with the stealth ship and its attack on a geth supply ship in an earlier chapter.

Oh, almost forgot to mention something. Finally started talking about my writing on my Facebook page. Held off for a long time because I just hadn't succeeded at getting my foot in the door until just recently. I'll be posting updates there as well as on my Twitter page, and also using it to promote Mission to Bellatrix and the anthology in general, as well as my other works.

So, just a few quick updates for today. Now, back to work on Project: Phoenix ....

Friday, February 6, 2015

"Game Over" submitted

Having finished one last polish on Game Over, I decided to try actually getting it published before I put it on Kindle Direct, Smashwords, and Kobo. I figured, if the rough draft could win the Textnovel Editor's Choice Award for 2015 in the first month of 2015, then the final draft should have a decent shot at publication.

After looking at a list of publishers and comparing the response times, royalty percentages, and so on, I decided to give Vook a try.

Naturally, I screwed up right off the bat. There was a form for inputting my name and email and then uploading the manuscript. I assumed I'd be sent to a page where I could then add a query letter and the first five pages, as that's what the instructions told me to. But nope, the whole manuscript uploaded and then I got a thank-you for submitting the file. So then I put the query and first five pages in a separate file and uploaded it, and now I'm just hoping my submission isn't disqualified because this made me look like I can't follow instructions.

Still, people make mistakes sometimes, and I hope the people receiving the submission understand that.

And now I cross my fingers and wait for a response.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Character Profile: Boiler

Beornia Hammer, aka "Boiler"
Age: 20
Height: 8 ft
Species: Draconid-type bioengineered anthro
Parents: Jack Hammer (human), Corona (draconid), Taura (minotaur)
Skin: purple, snake-like
Hair: Black, calf-length
Eyes: Red, bioluminescent
Orientation: Bisexual, preference for geeky/nerdy types
Occupation: Fugitive retrieval agent ("chaser")
Story/Novel/Series: Chaser (sample chapters here, here, and here), Load, Fifteen Minutes, Project: Phoenix (rough draft/work in progress)

Bio: Born in a lab after successful mixing of genetic material from her three parents. Inherited her father's personality -- snarky, dark-humored, often profane, always ready for a fight. Nicknamed "Boiler" in school thanks to her quick temper and her ability to hold grudges. Frequently got into trouble in school, usually for giving bullies a taste of their own medicine. Tall, muscular, powerful, and can punch hard enough to shatter a coconut; bullies who picked on her friends rarely risked a second confrontation with her.

She spent two years doing odd jobs after graduating, searching for an occupation that suited her, and chose to become a bounty hunter to satisfy her sense of justice and her built-in need to fight, as well as for the freedom it offered her as an independent contractor. She was accepted into the government-operated Fugitive Retrieval Agency, passed all the training courses, received her license, and succeeded in arresting a particularly vile criminal on her first day on the job.

And that was where things started to go horribly wrong.

Notable quote: "Try that again and you'll end up wearing your asshole around your neck."

Bonus childhood picture:

Sketches by Jessie Fleischfresser