Posts Tagged ‘black armor tales’

Hey everybody! The website’s been pretty neglected for the last few months, but I have remained busy as ever.

Before all that, I have a little business to attend to: book signings. Taking advantage of the holiday rush, we’ve scheduled signings to support Project R on three back-to-back weekends this month starting tonight. It’s¬†short notice, I know, but if you can make it to any of these I would love to see you there even if you don’t buy any books.

  • Friday, December 2nd 2011 from 4pm-7pm
    -Mead’s Corner, 430 East Douglas Avenue Wichita, KS
  • Saturday, December 10th, 2011 from 10am-2pm
    -Hastings Entertainment, 316 North Main Street Stillwater
  • Saturday, December 17th, 2011 from 10am-2pm
    -Hastings Entertainment, 316 North Main Street Stillwater

I love love love hosting book signings. It gives me a chance to interact with folks as an author and really connect with people who enjoy books in general, not just my own. And, writing being a solitary affair, it gets me out of the house every once in a while which I’m told is good for me ūüėČ

Other Projects
2011 has a been a strange year for in terms of writing.¬† It has¬†been a year of starts and stops.¬† I have at least three novel scripts started that I believe are fantastic.¬† I have at least twice as many rough outlines for new projects.¬† On top of all that, I’ve started dabbling with writing comic book scripts.¬† The problem¬†comes¬†from deciding what gets priority, which I prefer to the opposite problem: having no projects to work.¬†

To give you a little background on the script-writing thing,¬†a while ago I wrote a script for a short film that my brother and a few of his friends worked on.¬† While the movie never saw the light of day, writing the script was a nice exercise in a medium I had never tried before.¬† I figured I would give comics a shot for the same reason.¬† That, and I really love comic books.¬† It’s been pretty fun.¬† I’m roughly halfway through a planned 4-issue sci-fi series¬†which I aim to pitch to several publishers of creator-owned works.¬† My brother and I also have our own projects, the first of which I’m hoping to unveil in the early part of next year.

For you Black Armor fans, don’t worry, Book 3 has not been ignored.¬† I have part of a draft finished and, once we get through the craziness of the holidays, I plan to make it my top writing priority.¬† Promise.


I was glad to see folks enjoying the last few blog posts.¬† I hope you guys know that I write this stuff for you.¬† I’d be pretty conceited if I spouted this nonsense because I thought you should live the way I do.¬† My whole focus for writing to begin with is to relay my own personal experiences with things and maybe, just maybe, someone else out there might pick up a nugget or two that will help them as well.

As an FYI, for the next issue we’ll take a break from the book writing topic and pick it back up the following issue.¬† This book-writing series has many facets to it, I want to make sure to still give time to other topics along the way.

The Outline is Crucial, but it Also Isn’t
I’ve read a ton of different books on writing and was surprised to find that the outline seems to be one of the most disagreed-upon topics.¬† I wouldn’t call it controversial because to me the whole argument seems rather silly.¬† From what I can tell, the debate seems to boil down to personal preference.¬† One person will construct a detailed outline¬†before ever typing the words, “Once upon a time…” while another will start with a single thought and just go.¬† Even the heavy hitters differ on this point.¬† Best-selling author Thomas F. Monteleone has never done an outline whereas Ted Dekker¬†will generate a 40-page ‘story document’¬†for each book that describes every major plot point and provides background to every setting and character. (more…)

Some of you may have noticed that the ‘ol website looks a tad different.¬† As I mentioned in my previous post, changes were a comin’ and here we are.¬† The blog has been retooled to serve as my main website on the internet, a virtual hub if you will.¬† All things clicky associated with me and my books will go from and come to this site.¬† It’s part of a new strategy to get my name out there.¬† The side bar to the right has been slimmed down dramatically and the pages completely reorganized.¬†¬†Things are still in work, but overall I’m pleased with the changes.

As an extra cool treat for everyone, I have added a short story set in the Black Armor Tales universe called A Good Bowl of Ramen.¬† This was originally handed out as a freebie to folks who bought the paperback version of The Island of Istburn at our book signings when it released.¬† Well, now you can enjoy it as free digital reading.¬† You can get a couple of ways: 1) From this website by clicking on the link above my avatar or by clicking on the Free Stuff! tab; ¬†2) Via Smashwords for your ebook viewing pleasure.¬† I’ll try to see if I can get it onto the actual services (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.), but no promises at this point.¬† Oh, and if you’re feeling generous, you can get a paperback copy of the short story on and CreateSpace.

Speaking of Istburn, I’ve had some issues with getting the book in wider distribution.¬† Nothing major, just file formatting problems.¬† Those have now been fixed and the book should be available on multiple ebook platforms soon.¬† I will make an announcement when that happens.

It’s an exciting time, folks!¬† Opportunities abound.¬† The internet is changing everything and allowing those of us who really enjoy writing to connect with those you of who really love to read out stuff like never before.¬† I can’t wait to see where all this goes.¬† It should be a fun ride.

Istburn Update

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Writing
Tags: , ,

This last Saturday, I hit a big milestone and finished a complete draft of The Island of Istburn.¬† With this, the book is a scant few weeks away from publication (barring any unforseen problems).¬† I’ve been editing the book as I go so the only areas that may require any heavy rework should only be the last 50 or so pages.

I treat each piece I write (whether short or long) as a sort of experiment.  I like trying new things and finding ways to improve my writing.  When compared to The Thief and the Red Mandolin, everything about Istburn is bigger.  In Mandolin, the story jumped back and forth between two main story lines.  At one point in Istburn, there are four different story lines, but I bring all them together pretty quickly.  This book has a much larger cast than the first and covers a longer span of time.  Heck, the story is even longer than the first.

Finishing a book brings a sense of accomplishment as well as a sense of relief.  On one hand, it feels great to have completed a major task.  On the other, it feels like a weight off my shoulders, because, honestly, there were some nights it was tough to sit my butt down to write.

Finishing this draft also means I move into my favorite part of writing: re-writing.¬† Sounds weird, but I prefer marking and changing up my manuscript to writing the initial draft.¬† So, I’m looking forward to that.

But, enough of about that.¬† When I’m comfortable enough with the first chapter, I plan to post it for your viewing pleasure as a sort of teaser to whet your appetite.¬† I think I may go with Scribd.¬† They seem to have a pretty decent setup and if I like how they operate, I may even put both books up for sale there as ebooks.¬† Keep an eye out for when the preview goes live.

Alright, I think I’m done for the week.¬† My brain’s a little fried from writing all day Saturday so I think some mindless activity like watching stuff on Hulu¬†or playing video games is of the order.¬† Take care, everyone.

The revamp of An Author’s Desk is complete.¬† Obviously, since it’s a website, things will change periodically, but it is now in a form that best fits my intent.¬† You will have no doubt noticed that I’ve changed themes (yet again) in my efforts to keep a clean, simple look that still has a sense of polish to it.

Near the top of the site, you’ll see tabs for each one of my writing projects.¬† As the number of projects increases, I may have to think of another method for organization, but this should work for now.¬† If there is any news about any of my writing projects, I will post them here as well as update the individual pages.¬†

I’ve probably spent way more time foo’ing around with the sidebar than anyone ever should, but it now looks much closer to my ideal.¬† The order of the different segments has been changed around a little.¬† There is a new e-mail subscription option for those of you who do not want to mess with checking Twitter, Facebook, or an RSS feed yet still have the desire to be automatically told when I post something new.¬† I’ve slimmed the “Where to Buy” section to just two links.¬† Amazon now has Author Pages and the link will take you to the one I have set up.¬† Incidentally, the Author Page also has its own section for blogs so to retract what I said in my last post, my blog entries will now appear in three places: here, Tumblr, and my Amazon Author Page.¬† Also, I previously published the book through Smashwords, but apparently something went screwy with the file I uploaded so I’ll need to get that fixed.¬† I’ll announce when that happens (hopefully this week).

Getting back to the sidebar, the links have been cleaned up and reorganized in much the same way that Fortune 500 companies reorganize themselves: some things stay, some things go, and some things get changed beyond all recognition.  

I have yet to take down the FreeWebs website, but that will be on my To Do List for this week.

Black Armor News

With that out of the way, I do have some other news on several fronts.  Today, I officially start my rewrite of The Island of Istburn, the sequel to The Thief and the Red Mandolin.  As odd as it may sound, I actually prefer the rewrite period to the initial first draft period.  The rewrite will take longer and involve tons of reading, research, and re-reading as well as checking for typos, cracks in the plot and subplots, character inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies (sounds weird for a fantasy story, but trust me, they happen), and improving the description and dialog.  And yet, this part excites me more.  Probably because the rewrite is where the story really starts to take form.

I liken it to a sculpture.¬† You start with a block of stone, then chip away the biggest chunks with your heaviest chisel, creating an amorphic blob that might or not look like something lewd and obscene.¬† Then you go over your hideous creation again, this time with a smaller chisel and to your relief it begins to look somewhat less hideous and more like what you envision in your mind.¬† With each subsequent pass, you use finer and finer tools to eventually shape what had once been a piece of rock in the dirt into your own personal statue of David (which is still lewd in some sense, but you get what I mean).¬† A more basic way of putting is that you finally get it to the point where you can say, “Wow, that actually doesn’t suck so bad.”

I’ll spend the next few months hammering out the mansucript until it is in an acceptable form to publish.¬† When it’s done, unless the series¬†gets picked up by a publisher, I’ll self-publish it through CreateSpace and make a big announcement about it here.

Project R and Pentinium

The other novel I just finished drafting is tentatively titled Project R and I will begin the first round of edits once Istburn is published.¬† Also, keep an eye out for announcements about the Pentinium series.¬† The first book is currently in the review phase where I hand it to other folks to read and let them pick apart.¬† Once I get comments back, I’ll incorporate the ones that make sense and make a couple more editing passes before getting it ready for publication.¬† As mentioned previously, my brother and I want to send this to a sci-fi/fantasy magazine first, chiefly the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction with Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show¬†as a backup in the event of a rejection.¬† If neither magazine picks it up, we’ll self-publish it through CreateSpace as a novella and keep on truckin’.

That’s it for now.¬† I have recently adopted such archaic tools as pencil and paper in a desparate attempt to manage my schedule.¬† For some reason, I have never liked tracking schedules and dates electronically.¬† Sounds strange coming from a guy who has a plethora of electronic gadgetry (a good portion of which should be hauled to the recycle bin) and enough spare cables to wire an airplane, but such is the way of things.¬† Anyway, the point is that I’m now planning my minutes ahead of time which should lead to a more efficient work and home life.¬† Let us see how well it works.

I wanted to make a brief blog post to inform everyone that I am indeed keeping An Author’s Desk alive.¬† From December ’09 until now, life got kinda crazy and the blog fell by the wayside.¬† My wife and I went to Europe for the holidays.¬† After¬†we returned,¬†she got really sick for a month and I was kinda sorta sick for part of it too.¬† We got a dog somewhere in there and we let life get away from us a little bit.

But, we’ve regrouped and we’re getting the year 2010 back on good footing.¬† When I lasted reported, I had finished a novella with my brother.¬† It is now with him and mom to review.¬† In February, I finished the first draft for book 2 of the Black Armor Tales as well as the first draft of another book that is not related to Black Armor.¬† I haven’t settled on an official title yet, but once I do I’ll let you know.

I also plan to revamp the blog a little bit.  For a while, I had four blogs going, a website, twitter, and Facebook all to keep up with and it got to be annoying.  Granted the four blogs all posted the same thing, (they were designed to reach different blogging communities) but it was still a hassle to make sure everything got posted correctly on each one (because I tend to be anal). 

From here on, I will have two blogs, this being the main one.  I also have one over at Tumblr, but that sucker is now set to autopilot and will pretty much just contain this blog and my Twitter feed.   I will never make a direct update to Tumblr ever.  Twitter will update automatically when I make a blog post (thank you TwitterFeed, you guys rock!) which in turn auto-updates Facebook.  The website over at FreeWebs for the Black Armor Tales will be shut down.  I plan to redesign this blog to accomodate the Black Armor news and info as well as any future projects.

The content of the blog will remain unchanged.¬† I still want to do the “5 Things” like I did before and talk about whatever big issue jumps into my head.¬† If you were a reader before and have returned, thanks for sticking with me.¬† If you are a new reader, stick around.¬†¬† Something interesting is bound to pop out of my mouth/fingers sometime ūüėČ