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BloodHeart_3DTook me a while to get around to this. Stop by The Face of the Deep and follow my blog so you can stay up to date on the latest writing news. Drop your name in the form at right to subscribe.

What’s new?

Two book giveaways starting in July.

One for my new released, The Bloodheart — a signed copy of the print book, which includes the original sketch for the flyinglands. That sketch isn’t available in the eBook.

QM_AMD_900The second is for Quantum Mortis: A Man Disrupted. See, you can’t get this one anywhere as a hardcover novel these days. When it was originally published, Marcher Lord Press made it available as such. But now? Limited edition.

The best way to get in line for these is by watching my blog. I’ll be on vacation to a distant land soon, and keep everyone apprised.

‘Bloodheart’ takes flight

It’s here! The Bloodheart is available in e-book form from AmazonBloodHeart_3D

The paperback version is online, too, from Amazon and in the CreateSpace e-store.

It’s been an interesting journey from vague concept to flesh-and-blood adventure. I wrote The Bloodheart in between working on a couple of other projects, and have amassed fond memories of writing key scenes while on work-related road trips and family vacations. Discussing plot elements with a friend was also a highlight.

I should admit that there’s a special bonus for readers who buy the paperback: an afterword that describes the genesis of The Bloodheart, and the original piece of art I drew two and a half years ago that inspired the entire book. Don’t get me wrong, I think e-books are amazing technology, but I’ve always been partial to the real deal.

Enjoy!

(And an alert for readers who squirm at profanity: this is not an explicitly Christian novel, meaning, it would not fit in with the CBA publishing “rules.” As such, there are occurrences of mild profanity, and at least one strong expletive. Let’s call it rated PG-13 vs. the rest of my work, excepting Quantum Mortis, which fits rated R.)

‘The Bloodheart’ Update

I must say, my favorite part of self-publishing a book is getting the proof copy in the mail. It arrived this afternoon, about 24 hours earlier than expected, which is also a bonus.

IMG_20150617_130453_761IMG_20150617_130509_209

The Bloodheart will be available within the next month, though I have yet to set a date. We have a family vacation coming up at the beginning of July, so it’s more a matter of whether or not I want to deal with the release in the weeks prior or the weeks after. Good thing is, I have no deadline.

Special thanks to Kirk DouPonce of DogEared Design for the cover. It’s simply fantastic.

I’ll add a page about The Bloodheart, complete with its map of the Cities of the North, posted here soon. Meanwhile here’s the back cover promo:

The world is gripped by magic. Islands soar. Ships fly.

And whispers abound: the Bloodheart.

Long has it remained dormant, hidden from the dark forces that would tap its power.

Waiting.

Bowen Cord seeks only treasure, and despises his heritage as an ice-summoner. Magic could not prevent his wife’s death. What allegiance, then, should he owe it?

When he learns of a priceless relic abandoned in the ruins of a floating island, he leaps at the chance to earn a fortune. Small matter to take with him an orphan boy who hails from the same isle—yet the boy is a mystery, and from their first meeting Bowen knows not whether his presence is a boon or a curse.

But when a king’s ruthless agent pursues them, threatening his stalwart crew and ship, Bowen is thrown into a quest for something far greater than treasure. He must harness the ice and confront enemies far more powerful than any he’s ever faced.

There is no return from his path. It ends only with the answer to one question:

Who controls magic?

Putting pen to paper

Time for a writing update.

I’ve been fairly quiet when it comes to the Internet, because I’ve spent the bulk of my writing time on the novels in progress. To say I’ve had a productive 365 days — make that 425 days, because I’m counting from last February — is an understatement.

– February 2014 – Finished The Bloodheart, a 70,000 word fantasy novel

– May 2014 – Finished a rough draft of a second Quantum Mortis novel, 74,000 words

– July 2014 – Finished For Us Humans, a 96,000 word sci-fi novel

– August 2014 – Wrote Turncoat, a 5,000 word sci-fi short story (published in December 2014 in Riding the Red Horse by Castalia House and nominated this spring for a Hugo Award for Best Short Story)

– April 2015 – Finished Airfoil Origins, a 150,000 word superhero novel

Whew! After all that, much of the rest of my work has been editing said projects. Okay, it’s not all editing. I tried to set aside Airfoil because I told myself it would be best to let it sit a spell before I leapt into a sequel. That didn’t work. I missed the characters and the adventure immediately, so I’ve put together about 8,000 words over the past few weeks.

I’m also doing some writing for an online gaming project, creating fictional back story at 3,000 words or so a pop. I finished one section a couple weeks ago and have now started on a second.

All this writing took a backseat to a half-week Computers in Libraries national conference in Washington, D.C., the past few days. Best part about going to a giant conference in a large city? (Besides the conference, of course, which gave me a thousand ideas for improving and altering things at our library.) Answer: bookstores. There were three bookstores and a comic book store within six blocks of our hotel. I stopped at every one. Heaven!

‘Turncoat’ receives nomination for Hugo Award

The news is official: Turncoat, my short story featured in the Riding the Red Horse anthology of military science fiction and fact, has been nominated for a 2015 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. You can click on Turncoat anywhere in this post to read it.

You’ll remember Riding the Red Horse was released in December 2014 and has since garnered excellent reviews. My short story chronicles an artificial intelligence that serves the integrated man-machine forces in their interstellar uprising against humanity, set after Quantum Mortis: A Programmed Mind and centuries before the events of Quantum Mortis: A Man Disrupted and Gravity Kills. 

I’d seen Turncoat listed on the Rabid Puppies slate posted by Vox Day, and was pleased to read positive comments from folks who’d enjoyed reading it. Despite feeling confident about the quality of the story, I was surprised when I received the email a couple weeks ago informing me of the nomination.

You can see the full list of Hugo nominees here.

The Hugo Awards will be announced Aug. 23 at the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention or Sasquan 2015 in Spokane, Wash. I plan to be there.

Meet Frank

Continuing my sketching projects, I give you Frank Belasco, mentor and trainer for the main character in my recently completed superhero manuscript. Here’s an excerpt from Frank’s first appearance, as narrated by the hero, Brandon:

The light’s red on our end. Green for the crossing lanes. There’s a white Prius coming from the left and a green Mercury sedan from the right.

Frank arrows us right toward their center.

A silver Suburban comes racing up behind the Prius. I brace my hands on the dash, and get a glimpse of a man with dark sunglasses leaning out his passenger side window, something black in his hands. My librarian’s brain classifies it as an Uzi.

Frank barrels through the cars, tires screeching. Horns explode on all sides of us. The Uzi chatters, cutting over the sounds of drivers yelling and vehicles swerving. He glances sideways, long enough to fire five shots from his gun.

The windshield of the Suburban explodes. It sideswipes the front end of the Mercury, barely missing our bumper as we streak through the mess. Can’t see what happens to the Prius.

frank belasco FINAL

Another ending, another beginning

This past weekend I wrapped up my superhero novel, Airfoil: Origins. It was a very in-depth project that took approximately 10 months to complete, starting last January with several on and off times before I started in earnest last July. It’s a beast, weighing in at 145,000 words (about 530 pages), a length to which I haven’t resorted since writing the original Commissioned manuscript back in 2008 that eventually got split into my first two novels The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed.

Airfoil is also only the second time I’ve written a story that takes place in the present, which, I have to admit, takes some of the pressure off vs. writing sci-fi. I don’t have to go into great detail to describe a certain car, other than color, make, model and such. A starship, however, is a wholly fictional construct, and so requires a great deal more imaginative effort.

But even as this project closes out with my next round of editing, there’s new stories on the horizon. Such as:

– The Bloodheart, my first and so far only fantasy novel, which I’ll be self-publishing. I’ve sent off materials to the cover designer and that design should prove outstanding, based on his prior work

– A 60,000 word military sci-fi novel I may get to write, if my outline is accepted by the company in question. Of course, I have to create said outline first. Details to come later.

– About 3,000 words of fictional background and story for an online game, due the middle of April. I’m about a third done with that.

– Revisions and rewrites on the second Quantum Mortis novel, which has been on the back burner for a while. My publisher and I are both insanely busy.

Something else I’m feeling the urge to do is revisit the world of The Word Reclaimed. To that end I’ve composed an outline and started character creation for a novel that takes place several years after the events of The Face of the Deep set and its accompanying novel Broken Sight, involving a brand new group of heroes but also catching up characters from the original books. I know they’re not real, but in an odd way, I’ve missed them. Ask another author. They’ll understand.

There’s another bit of news I’m not at liberty to divulge, but check back in soon, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I know I am.

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