Sunday, February 27, 2011

Flank Hawk's Most Recent 5 Star Review

"I really enjoyed this book. It was well written, the characters are interesting, and the story never dull. Not to mention the fascinating underlying concept of Nazi technology being introduced into a world of swords and sorcery. I'm definitely looking forward to a sequel." --Volpot

I saw this after spending a few hours working on the sequel (Working Title: Blood Sword).

Beyond that I noted that recorded sales of both the Kindle and print versions of Flank Hawk. Sort of a Hat Trick. :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Erica Hayes Article: Chapter Breaks and Pacing

I came across this article by Dark Urban Fantasy author Erica Hayes on writing. She discusses some insights into chapter breaks and pacing throughout a novel.

Although it's something that concerns writers, readers might find it worth their time to check out--see what's going on and how authors "manipulate" a reader's sense of time and urgency.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Featured Writer: Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine

Cool News!
I will be the Featured Writer for Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine's Summer 2011 Issue in which my short story "Accelerated Justice" will appear.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Almost time for the State Plant of Ohio to Appear

In the Spring they magically begin to appear along roads and highways. At first by the dozen, then multiplying into thousands and tens of thousands and more--certain to remain in full bloom until well after the autumn leaves fall.

They inch along their migratory path over the roads and highways, slowing and halting traffic.

Maybe, with the slow economy here in Ohio, there will be fewer this year. Nevertheless already, with the thawing, refreezing, thawing cycle in full gear, potholes are emerging (if that's the right word). Those, however, rarely require even one of the orange barrels. But, like the retuning songbirds of spring, the potholes are the harbinger of the dreaded ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) Orange Barrels of Doom.

Monday, February 14, 2011

If You Love a Book and/or Author and Want to Help Spread the Word

"I loved your novel! What can I do to let others know about it too?"

I've heard avid readers ask this question, or a close variation, occasionally about Flank Hawk but with respect to other authors they enjoy reading as well. I suspect that this question crosses a reader's mind quite often, but they're simply at a loss as to what they can do.

I have a few standard suggestions and all of them fall within the scope the 30 ideas that an article at provides (see link below). But, instead of the article just providing a list, each suggestion is accompanied by an explanation. Some are common sense, such as 'Buy the book and encourage others to do so.' Other suggestions are not.

Give the article a look and see what you might be able to do. As I'm always happy to receive a little help, I'm more than confident other authors, whether debut or bestseller, would appreciate your assistance in spreading the word.

I will add that I am forever grateful to those friends, readers, and fellow authors who've helped me out so much--reviews, interviews, telling friends, giving me a heads-up for events, and more. You never know when or where a good deed will appear. The picture above shows a cookie given to me by Susan Swinehart, an investment professional who helps me and my wife out with our IRAs and other retirement investments (we're minor clients at best). Although I only see her twice a year, when she found out about Flank Hawk being published, the cookie showed up at my place of employment. Beyond that, I know she she spread the news about my novel, as a person from her office soon after showed up at a book event specifically to obtain signed copies for gifts.

Hopefully I've helped other authors out a fraction of how much I've been assisted, and I will continue to lend a hand where I can.

By the way, I've begun a project for this blog to interview authors. If you're an author (or know one), contact me so that we might put something together.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Story of Survival: Physical & Spiritual

The survival story ("A Glimpse of Eternity") told by Ian McCormack himself, is compelling to say the least. It's one so well told, I suspect I'll never in my writing ever be able to match it.

It's a gut-filled to the core struggle for survival filled with episodes of courage and despair, uncaring cruelty and indifference, racism and loyalty, and so much more, including a glimpse of Heaven and shaft into the dark depths of Hell.

If stories with even a hint of religion aren't your thing, don't let that keep you from listening. Thus, if you find the beginning a bit hokey or scripture isn't your thing, skip into the video about four minutes. Sit down and relax, maybe with a handy beverage, and listen. Video: A Glimpse of Eternity

Or, if you prefer a written version which is much the same, here it is: "A Glimpse of Eternity"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Better than the Super Bowl's

Sure, Super Bowl XLV had some funny commercials. But in my opinion, none came close to matching this one:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Freedom vs. Security: Demoliton Man

A few weeks back, a late night movie caught my attention. You might guess from the title of this post, picture to the right, and video clip below what movie that was. It certainly wasn't the first time I'd seen it. It won't be the last time I'll enjoy it.

Although Demolition Man isn't exactly a classic, it's solid entertainment: Action, Conflict, Humor, and an underlying Question: How much freedom would you be willing to give up for a sense of security? In other words, are you willing to cede power to governmental authority for the promise of security, peace and tranquility?

What must the authorities do to keep such a promise? Can such a promise be kept? How much would liberty and individuality necessarily be restricted (or eliminated)? And once such freedoms are traded, could they ever be regained--and at what cost? Finally, how does risk, consequences, and personal responsibility fit into the balance of Freedom vs. Security?

All of these questions form an underlying theme to the action flick. Next time you get the chance to see Demolition Man, do so, while thinking about what you would give up for a supposed utopia and the resulting consequences.

Although nothing really new, such is the stuff of good Science Fiction, whether in written form, in film, or both.

Beyond that, it's a question citizens across the globe faced yesterday, continue to face today, and hopefully will have the opportunity to face for many tomorrows.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Short Story Contract Signed and in the Mail

Signed and sent off a contract yesterday after work to Strange, Weird and Wonderful Ezine for my SF short story "Accelerated Justice."

It should appear in the Summer Issue (July 1, 2011).