Monthly Archives: June 2012

Interview with M. Todd Gallowglas


Today’s blog will be a little different than normal.  I have an interview with one of the other Genre Underground authors, M. Todd Galloglas (here is a link to the first book in his Tears of Rage story http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1341078615&sr=1-1&keywords=m+todd+gallowglas which will be on sale during the Winds of Change promotion!) Let me know how you feel on interviews, and if you would like more from the other talented authors of the Genre Underground.

And now … the interview!

1)Tell us more of your background, how you started in Indie Publishing. Was there any specific events or occurrences that pushed you towards Indie Publishing?

I actually resisted the indie book thing for a couple of years. I was in a writers group, and one of the guys in the group mentioned this new online publishing thing. The dream of a “real” publishing deal had been beaten into my head by all the traditionalists, especially as I regularly attended conventions and conferences in my quest for that publication deal. This may have been in 2007/2008 – maybe earlier.

Flash forward a couple of years. I have a degree in English with a focus in Creative Writing. The plan was for me to go into teaching English while waiting for that elusive “book deal.” That plan wasn’t working out so well. The teaching thing wasn’t panning out in the current economy, and I was back to storytelling at Renaissance Faires to help pay the bills. Within a few days of each other, my wife and several friends send me links to a couple articles about some person names Amanda Hawking and how many ebooks she was selling.

One of my performer buddies had this story he’d written that he shared with me about zombies invading a Renaissance Faire. The story was pretty entertaining and funny, but the writing had some issues. We talked about fixing it up, putting it on Amazon, promoting it at our shows, and sit back and watch what happened. We sold over a hundred copies that first month. Not a lot at $.99 a copy, especially splitting it, but enough for each of us to eat a decent dinner together at a fair after the royalty check came in from Amazon.

I was hooked. I had a bunch of work sitting in my documents folder from school and before. I had a medium where I could get it out to people. With my storytelling show, I had a great platform to launch a book career. And now here I am a year later, international bestseller, forming a group of like-minded indie genre writers, and living the dream.

2) In your current series Tears of Rage you have a very dynamic pantheon. This is not a normal good vs. evil pantheon, but there are many different personalities and alliances. Tell us more about your pantheon, both influences and a few details of the key players for our readers.

I’m not a big fan of good vs. evil. Most religions aren’t like that. People aren’t like that. I had so many false starts and hiccups and such when I started Tears of Rage, that I’m not really sure where I decided that the gods would be getting involved, but once I made that choice, I realized they all had to be something more than good vs evil. If we look back on our own mythology, we see stuff like this all the time. Hera was a nasty bitch, but her husband was a cheating bastard, so it’s kind of understandable. I’d also been reading a bunch of fantasy where the bad gods were the BAD god. EVIIIIIL for the sake of being EVIIIIIIL. *yawn* How terribly uninteresting.

Anyway, I thought, what if I make my protagonists the side that’s stuck between Light and Dark. Grandfather Shadow was born. I came up with a sort of creation myth for him (Which you can read a part of that in the prologue to Once We Were Like Wolves). And the pantheon grew pretty quickly after that.

As for divine movers and shakers in the books, right now, we’ve got Grandfather Shadow who is just been freed from a thousand year prison; Yrgaeshkil, goddess of lies and mother of Daemyns, she’s also married to Old Uncle Night, the god of death; and Kahddria, the goddess of Winds.  Others pop up now and then, but these are the deities that pop up on stage most frequently so far. Four of the five greater gods are still imprisoned, but don’t count on them staying that way for long.

3) Your book flow is rather unique, having various sections with its own chapters in it rather than just a standard three act separation or all the chapters in a row.  Tell us more about how you got the idea for this, and why you prefer this setup for this series?

I’m not the only writer who does this. Steven King uses this technique in some of his books, most notably The Dark Tower series. I like the form. I’m not going to use it for everything I write, but I really enjoy it for the Tears of Rage books. I don’t use it for Halloween Jack and the Devil’s Gate or my upcoming books Spellpunk and Team Red Hand series. But I’m probably going to use something like this for Dead Weight. Wow, did I digress.

I’ve been sitting here thinking of how I got the idea for this and why I prefer it, and really the only thing I can come up with is: I thought it was a cool idea so I tried it. I knew I was taking a risk, especially with the opening sections of First Chosen. That’s not the way most people are used to having stories unfold. I think if I hadn’t read Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson, I wouldn’t have had the guts to do this. In the original draft of Julianna’s storyline, the book opens with Grandfather Shadow being freed from his prison and the events that led up to that I planned to seed in throughout the narrative of the series. It was a strong opening, but didn’t sit right with me. I felt the reader actually needed to go through those events that take place over the course of twenty-one years; however, giving the reader those years in the tradition setup, prologue, chapter one, chapter two, etc… wasn’t going to work. Luckily, it seems to have paid off. I’d urge other writers caution before trying something this experimental. Make sure you understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and be ready for it to fail miserably.

4)Are there any particular real world inspirations for the cultures in the book?  I can detect some Italian influence on some of the mortal names but I was curious if there were other inspirations?

I draw a lot from real-world cultures, and not just Italian. I’ve draw inspiration from all over the world.

The four great Houses of the Kingdom are based very loosely on cultures from Earth, and the political structure is based sort of on the Chinese Game Mah Jongg. I took the importance of numbers from Asian cultures and assigned each of the deities a sacred number, and used that to influence the great House that worshiped that particular god or goddess.

As for names… One of the greatest investments I’ve ever made as a writer was in purchasing a massive baby name book. It has over 30,000 names, categorized by culture. Any time I need a name, I go to that book and flip through it. Can’t recommend enough for other writers get something like that.

5)The language and naming of the gods, what inspired them?

Well, Grandfather Shadow’s language was first. I actually invented it before I started working on Tears of Rage. I’m a huge role-playing game nut. I used to go to this big live action role playing event (no, not the one Jim Butcher does) a couple times a year. In this, every wizard, priest, cleric, magic user, etc… had to have a spell book, with all their spells written in it. If another player got their hands on the spell book, they could steal all of your spells…IF they could read the book. I created Galad’laman, the language of Grandfather Shadow, as a way to keep my spells safe. It was a mix of Gaelic, Finnish, and Tolkienian elvish, though 99% of the elvish influence has been weeded out. I stopped going to those LARP events almost 15 years ago, but I had my notes and such on the language, so when I sat down to write Tears of rage and I was looking for something new and interesting to do with the magic, I opened my old spell book and notes.

Looking back, I wish I’d come up with something different. I have a plethora of gods, half a dozen of them at least have their own languages. The biggest pain in the but I have writing these books is translating the damn and bloody miracles out of English and into whatever language as character is using to speak Miracles. I am so dreading the massive battle at the end of book 4 The Fires of Night.

6)You are releasing the books in a format that seems tailored for ebooks, slightly shorter but in rapid releases. Was this because of the ebook medium, or are there other reasons for this?

I think it’s ironic that people think of my books as shorter. At one point, a novel was classified as any book over forty thousand words in length. First Chosen clocks in at just over 60,000 words, and Once We Were Like Wolves is just over 83,000. Arms of the Storm is currently 123,810. (It’ll be different once I get it back from my beta readers and editors.)  Thirty or forty years ago in publishing, these books would have been on the massive side of books, if publishable at all. Now days, even Arms of the Storm is tiny compared to what some people are publishing in fantasy.

So, that being said, you can thank three men for my publication schedule and the size of my books: Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, and Steven Erikson. These three gentlemen are likely the kings of the door-stopper fantasies (though Brandon Sanderson is catching up), and I’ve been following each ones’ huge fantasy epic since pretty much day one. I was a couple of books behind when I got to Ericson’s Gardens of the Moon, but I caught up quickly. When it came time to put out Tears of Rage, I had fourteen hundred pages of a manuscript I called Once We Were Like Wolves, the first chronicle of Tears of Rage. Quite a mouthful, even if just reading in. Oh, AND, I wasn’t even finished with that story. Which with my “I’m going to get a traditional publishing deal” mindset, I felt was okay. After all, those other three guys did it.

By the time I decided to go indie, I realized something: only one of those three guys is putting out books on a regular basis. The other two are taking years and years, sometime even a decade between when we see some of our favorite characters. As a reader, that really ticked me off. Erikson managed to put out all ten of his door stoppers in 11 years, 10 months, 14 days. That’s pretty impressive, considering half of them are over 350,000 words. And I’ve never heard anyone really complain, “When’s that next Steven Erikson book coming out?” At least not seriously. I wanted to be that kind of writer. The one problem is that I can’t do a Steven Erikson level of production, at least not yet. So, my readers get my Tears of Rage books in smaller doses, but they get them a little more regularly. For the Halloween Jack books, they have to wait for October to roll around again.

7)Tell us more about the Genre Underground, both what inspired you to start this, and where you see it heading.

Wow. That’s quite a doozie of a question. I’ll do my best to answer it.

I’ve been a member of several Indie writer groups. While they had some people writing fantasy and science fiction, no one in those organizations was really active in the fan community. I’ve been going to conventions and such since I was eighteen. I’ve grown up as a fan of genre literature. As I writer, I write the books I wish someone else would write so I could read them. With these other Indie writer promotion groups, while I learned a lot about marketing and such, I felt they really didn’t understand the community I’m trying to reach as a writer, mostly because they didn’t grow up in it the same way I did. I also felt they were a bit too much of “if you have a pulse, you should buy my book.” Growing up in the community, I understand that’s not how fantasy and science fiction really work. Not everyone is going to groove on my stuff. I’m okay with that. I’m not a big Terry Pratchett, China Miéville, or Robert Heilein fan, but tell that to anyone who is a fan of any of those three, and the reactions are usually awesome. On the other side of the coin, I’ve seen Terry Pratchett almost cause a riot one year at the World Science Fiction convention when he announced, “I don’t like Tolkien and think he’s overrated.” So, with all that experience under my belt, I’m building the Genre Underground, trying to keep the readers firmly in my head, because I’m a reader, I write for readers, and I really want to make those people who are allowing me the privilege of living my dream the focus of my movement.

As for where do I think the GU is going? We’ll see. I’m already blown away by the interest and support we’re getting. Once we’re on the other side of the Winds of Change promotion, I’ll have a sit down with the other guys I invited into the GU and see how the whole thing went over with the readers and where we all want to go from here. Sure, The Genre Underground is my brain child, but I also don’t want it to become the M Todd Gallowglas show. If it weren’t for A.E. Marling, Christopher Kellen, and R.C. Murphy, the Genre Underground might never have been anything but a dream in my mind. Then we brought Robert Eaton, M.D. Kenning, and Dave Meek into the fold, and we’re getting on toward escape velocity. More writers have expressed interest in joining up. If they bring the same initiative, drive, and dedication to our mission statement, anything is possible.

8)Are there any particular influences on your works in general?  Is it all fantasy fiction, or are there other inspirations at well?

I’ve read lots of Fantasy and a bit of Science Fiction, some Horror. Yes. All of that has influenced me and my writing to the point where my storytelling brain just requires some sense of the fantastic to work. Heck, I don’t even do Science Fiction well.

That being said: Read outside the genres.

I wouldn’t be the writer I am without having read: Hemmingway, Tim O’Brien, Flannery O’Conner, J.D. Salinger, Jeffry Eugenides, and many others. Everyone should read these writers and more. They should also read stuff they don’t think they’ll like. I learned my biggest lesson on keeping my world internally consistent from being forced to read Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” about a bajillion times while taking those few required lit classes while getting my BA in Creative Writing. The story has a huge gaping inconsistency in it. Took me only three reads to get it, and then I ripped it apart in every class I’ve ever had it in since.

I’ll leave with this challenge: Go read the story. If you read the story and catch the gaping inconsistency in the world Walker tries to create but fails, email me at mgallowglas@gmail.com, and I’ll give you a gift copy of Arms of the Storm book 3 in Tears of Rage before it hits Amazon.

Thanks for having me as a guest. And thanks to everyone who stopped by and who supports all the Genre Underground writers.

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Winds of Change!


No I am not referring to the “classic” song by the Scorpions.

Jul y 1st- July 4th a very awesome promotion will take place.  A group of Indie Writers (yup I am one of them) called the Genre Underground have banded together to give quality Indie options of Fantasy, Horror, and Sci fi novels to consumers and during that time many will have free or 99 cent books!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheGenreUnderground this is the group’s facebook page, and they have a more extensive following on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/topic/list_group/70802-the-genre-underground that I can highly reccommend.  Soon you will be seeing interviews from members of this group here.

The Fall of House Nemeni will be free two of those days, and it will be a NEW revised version with additional line editing from a few people and other changes already talked about in this blog.  Newer books of mine I will have more beta readers/line editors but since that was my first book it definitely benefits from the original help.  Not to mention, I am a big fan of using different medium different ways, and this is one of the great things about e-publishing, issuing corrections digitally.

As for The Winds of Change Event July 1st to 4th here are some highlights for you of things you can expect (and remember these books will be free part of the time and heavily discounted when not:

BROOD OF BONES by AE Marling. High fantasy adventure of dreams and mysteries.

http://www.amazon.com/Brood-of-Bones-ebook/dp/B005QQ3H7G

KNIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and KNIGHT TERRORS by Stephen E. Moore. High octane comedy and adventure where “B movie” tropes get blasted at Renaissance Faires.

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Living-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B004YR54LU

http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Terrors-Strange-Knights-ebook/dp/B0069SJIHI

ELEGY and LEGACY by Christopher Kellen. Gritty sword and sorcery from the Arbiter’s Codex.

http://www.amazon.com/Elegy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B005ESFMMY

http://www.amazon.com/Legacy-The-Arbiter-Codex-ebook/dp/B0087TQNCU

STALKER SQUADRON by Dave Meek. In the near future, artificially intelligent war planes set out to start a war between the US and China.

http://www.amazon.com/Stalker-Squadron-ebook/dp/B008B0JQVA

FIRST CHOSEN and ONCE WE WERE LIKE WOLVES by M. Todd Gallowglas. Dark epic fantasy of scheming gods and men, in the first two volumes of TEARS OF RAGE.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Chosen-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B0055I14BG

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Wolves-Tears-Series-ebook/dp/B006OSSF7C

The link for mine is still http://www.amazon.com/Fall-House-Nemeni-Allmothers-ebook/dp/B00847364S

This is a great time to stock up on some fiction, depending upon which genres you like!

One of the things I am really enjoying that I did not know before getting my book out was how nice a lot of the Indie writing sf/fantasy community is.  I have been given a lot of advice by twitter and email, and it has definitely helped chart the course of what I have done, and a lot of the decent exposure my books has been given has been from that.

Considering that many creative outlets in an independent scene treat sales like a zero sum game (if someone buys from Author X they are somehow taking away from my sales) I feel pretty fortunate that it is not that cased with what I have witnessed so far.  Authors are also willing to give not just advice, but shout outs for other books and initiatives, and this camaraderie is a lot of what I look forward to seeing whenever I am on twitter now.

As for updates:

The sequel to Fall of House Nemeni is at about the 18% mark for the first draft.

The too-be-renamed epic Novel (for now we will codename it Nimoa because that used to be its name) is about 2/3rds the way through the first new revision, but this one is going through a lot of hands.  A few blogs from now I will put up more polls having to do with its new name.

Poll:

Just curious in general, what is your favorite genre? I am putting up side genre’s only not, things like general lit, or things that fit in other categories ( for example, YA tends to be some other genre).

1)Fantasy

2)Sci Fi

3)Horror

4)Thrillers

5)Mysteries

World Tidbit:

Not a lot of time/space for a tidbit about my world this time so I will keep it brief.  The Nemeni House was not always a banker house,  Certain of it’s clockwork gadgets (safes for storing money, gear trackers for finding stolen things, armed clockwork guards) were used by other banking Houses frequently but could only be operated by the Nemeni.  The Nemeni eventually realized it would be smarter to cut out the middle man, and become bankers themselves.  They stole many clients from their former employers, including the House Tanello most of all.  House Tanello never forgave them and it became a feud raging up until the beginning of the first book.


Spinning Plates


It feels like both as a writer, and in my actual life the key things I am trying to do is like the vaudeville act where someone would spin a bunch of plates on long poles and try to keep spinning new ones without letting the old ones stop.  In its own right its harder than juggling, because you have to do all these things simultaneously.

Although at its heart The Fall of House Nemeni is a personal tale of a family who’s House is destroyed and their attempt to rise up and survive against all its assembled foes it’s also a sprawling epic.  Many countries are involved, the basic myths of that universe tie into the events and characters from all over the lands get roped into the schemes of a few.  Currently I am trying NOT to add too many POV characters regularly, but certain events that are very important cannot be currently witnessed by most of the survivors of House Nemeni (once you finish the first book, you would understand why).

This has led to secondary characters taking a more important role in the next book.  On one hand as an author I love this, expanding the world and showing how more people live in it.  It also helps flesh out earlier scenes once you know more of what a secondary character is actually like after you take a peek in their head.  On the other hand the main characters people love are the ones they were really introduced to in the first book, so you can’t really ignore them or give them a short shrift either.  My current way to help with this issue is to have multiple character POV’s in the same chapter.  I took care beforehand not to do that, but with the current cast it would be insane to give them all separate POV’s without ballooning the size of the book or turning each chapter into a 3 page mini chapter.

I do a very small amount of that at the end of the first book (tying things in more either geographically or by theme) and I like the way it turned out.  This is not my poll, but I am curious if anyone else has opinions if it’s better to have only one POV per chapter but tons of tiny little chapters, or group them by geography or theme so they are of similar size as the current book.

In real life, I feel like I am doing the spinning plate thing too.  I am preparing for a cross country move before the year is done, wrapping up all the things we want to do before the move, writing the novel, overseeing the editing/release of an older novel, planning outside things having to do with the writing career (twitter, a podcast I was asked to be in, a writer’s event coming up etc) and then trying to write a few short stories for other publications to get my name out to other audiences.  Kind of connected to all this will be my next blog post this week.  For a teaser of what that is about go to http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/70802-genre-underground and join this group on goodreads. 🙂

Needless to say I feel some of those spinning plates are going to crash down soon and since some of those simply can’t be put on the back burner some of the newer things will have to be cut or everything will suffer.  Originally I was planning on doing a few short stories for online magazines, as it felt like a good way to reach more people, and would not be too much of an investment of my time since most of the stories would only be about the size of two of my chapters.

In reality, I am finding the fact that my mind has to switch gears to the different worlds of the short stories causes them to take much longer, and I feel like they are draining away time and mental resources from the main story.  At the same time, they do tend to give a decent amount of exposure for a minimal amount of effort overall.

Today’s Poll

What should I cut so all the Plates do not go crashing down:

1)The short stories.  Save the time and effort for the current novel and rewrites needed from editing.

2)Cut down on twitter/blogs/interviews and other publicity stuff.  Just write the novel and short stories.

3)Cut Both of the above.  You are early in your career and do not need to worry about publicity or short stories at all.

World Info:

In the Allmother’s church there are no sacred written texts.  In modern times and with the modern focus on literature some people are writing them down, but the Church insists they can only be sung or chanted in worship services. This has led to most Priestesses being decently talented signers, except for a few poor churches who cannot be picky.

It also has led to some divisions, as certain islands are definite that some passages are worded different than others, for that is how they have always been taught.  The Allmother’s Daughter and representative in this universe is always the one who gets to interpret what is the “accurate” songs of the day, and this has led to some bitter rivalries amongst island to see who gets to have the official version of the Allmother’s Songs spread to everyone.


Cliffhangers and keeping the Author Entertained!


Some writers have a 500 point outline written before starting a novel.  I tried that once, and I got so bored I could not finish writing the first chapter.  Although I normally have a hazy outline (and sometimes quite a lot if not all of the end hashed out) I purposely let a lot of things remain up in the air as to how they happen.  Sure I might know Character A needs to sometime get to point B, but the journey is often open ended.  Sometimes if the character is fleshed out I may even alter things because Character A would NEVER go to point B, and then small parts of the whole plot move.  The most important part for me is to find the balance between having some of the plot written in stone so I can foreshadow and make logical character growths towards a specific point, and keeping things fresh so I want to write too.

I think this is also why I prefer to write in either pulp inspired or outright swashbuckling genres, the idea of the unexpected being key in both.  There was a particular chapter that was bogging me down in the currently published book.  It had very needed exposition, and a lot of things that moved the plot along and rewarded earlier development in the characters.  The problem was, it was boring to write.  If it’s boring to write, I am betting its boring to read. I went back over the chapter 4 times, and kept re writing it. The chapter was no longer boring to read, but I had run out of the “steam” I had earlier for the chapter. I wanted to move on to the next one, but it would not have made any sense to stop where I was. So what did I do?  I had the character thrown out of a castle.

It actually fits with the overarching plot, and the defenestration was going to happen to that character later, after trust was built.  In the end it was simply more fun to have them thrown out early, and unexpectedly.  I have gotten a lot of positive  (and a little WTF?!?! are they dead?) feedback about this scene, and it rejuvenated my want to keep writing more chapters.  I think that’s one of things a lot of writers do not talk about, the fact that as they are writing it, they are readers also.  Granted it’s different since the writer is more likely to know all of what is going on, but the author is just one more reader that does need to be entertained.

When writing this series and the other larger book I will be rereleasing soon, I felt the excitement the writers of the pulps in the early twentieth century felt and some of the early comic books, too.  Cliffhangers reminds me of the old 60’s Batman shows, that kept kids wanting to return to the “same Bat Time” and “same Bat Channel”, and it does not even have to be at the end of your book.  If you have not read the book however I do of course leave you at the end with a pretty giant doozy of a cliffhanger.

Today’s  Poll

First a little background. I am releasing a new fantasy epic.  It’s being re-edited as we speak, and it will be a big one book door stopper.  Well, electronic door stopper.  Anyway, it’s original title was the name of the island where the whole story takes place. It is certainly accurate.  However, my current book has a jargon name.  When I tell people about the book, and they seem interested they often ask for the title.  After I do I get a blank look, because it’s not the sort of thing they will remember unless they write it down, and there is no descriptiveness to it.  This has made me wonder about whether or not to keep the title name for the new book as is, or to change it.  Without going into specifics, here is the poll

What should I name the fantasy epic that is to be realeased soon?

1)Keep it the name of the island it takes place in.

2)Name it something indicative of the plot.

3)Name it something indicative of the “feel” of the book.

4)Go poetic.  Island in the Sea of Time type thing, but not that one.

As for a world tidbit, in this world the heavier and utilitarian cutlass is being used alongside the thin and more dueling oriented rapier.  Most noble Houses have the nobles themselves using rapiers (for the only time they will normally ever need to defend themselves is in a duel) and bodyguards and soldiers and pirates use cutlasses.  This is not universal, and one of the original Captain Bloodeyes was well known as using rapiers when boarding ships and then challenging the opposing captain to duels.

One shot Muskets are used in the book too, but after they are shot they are useless.  The battles in this universe tend to be up close and do not give one time to reload.  Many soldiers keep at least a pair of muskets loaded before combat for that reason.

Keep thsoe questions coming and by the next blog (or two) I should have something specific to announce having to do with some other great writers!


Perception and Reality: POV


If four people were in a room and saw a confrontation you would probably get four different (sometimes very different) stories of what happened.  Everyone shades what happens through the way they view the world and their own thoughts and preconceptions.  Even specific words might change as people misremember what they or other people said, and body posture and intonation also take on completely different shades depending upon the viewer of a situation.

I bring this up because one of amazing things with writing is that we can show this so easily, how an event can be interrupted in different ways depending upon whose head we are in.  It’s a device used in many of my favorite books.  It ties heavily into the beginning of the Fall of House Nemeni, and used a few other places too.  I have had people write me and say, “Hey how come things looked different in this chapter and the other time it was told.” I then have them go back and look and keep in mind that it was from a different characters viewpoint, and they could see how that heavily altered the perception of an event.

One person recently asked me, “So what is the real story, what is really happening, who is right?”  As a writer, I do have a pretty good idea of what is really occurring, but I would like to think I am biased too.  I see events as how they affect the overall plot, and frankly that is not the full story either.  There are also some passages that let readers know information that is secret, and completely changes the way they read all the dialogue already said.  Personally, I enjoy those moments, when you realize everything said buy someone in the past might have been different then you thought. I talked to a reader recently who did not like those types of things revealed when seeing someone’s viewpoint.  They preferred having things revealed in actions, and viewed from the main protagonists view, than from inside other people’s heads.

Poll Question:

Do you like to have the revelation of some secrets to be from when antagonists or background characters get a POV, or do you want everything revealed in action viewed by the protagonists?

1)Revealed by Protagonist perception only

2)Some reveals by POV can be good

Miscellaneous other things:

On advice connected to a group of writers I am with, I have increased my twitter followers from about 17 to 350+ in a weekend.  We will see how this goes, but so far I have met some really interesting people.  Twitter is still not my favorite social media at all, but it is a neat way to meet a lot of people and learn just a little about them.  The chat on #steampunkchat was tons of fun too!

Someone asked that with floating islands, airships, and pirates, if that meant we would have sky mermaids.  They answered their own question when they realized that would mean harpies, who are much less cooler than mermaids.  Hmm I wonder if people really want harpies in this?


Disregarding Advice


I have for the first time decided directly to go against advice solicited here by the poll results in one case.  I have never wanted them to be binding, just a good indication of what other people were thinking, taking the pulse of my readers.  The more I look at releasing the epic novel (which I have never given a definite name to here yet, which should be a hint of what an eventual poll question will be : ) ) the more it does not make sense to  break it into separate parts.

I was originally focusing on getting it out sooner, but right now the first pass of editing is going much faster than I originally thought it would.  Also, before I was focusing on seeing if I could have new material out every 90 days or so, mainly to get the most out of  how the exclusivity deals work for amazon. Whereas I still like that idea, and I have some long term ways to help with that after the Allmother’s Fire trilogy is done, I have decided for now not to make that my focus.  At a bare minimum I want to get the epic tome out and maybe at least one other thing while I work on the trilogy, to build up a body of work as soon as possible.  Post trilogy, I have some neat ideas to keep that up, but I will make that the topic of a different blog.

Also when I look at this novel which was meant to be one self-contained fiction, it appears to me it will be very artificial if I break it into two books. It won’t follow a normal confrontation -rising action-climax-falling action style if chopped into two books, and I think it’s important in normal series for each piece to feel like its own book.  Therefore due to information I was not thinking about in the original poll, I will probably release this as just one book.

For now with so much of my book time that is not spend on the trilogy looking at revisions that are going on, I am thinking of going against normal advice for a very short period of time.  I have been told with self-publishing about 75% of your time is spend marketing your books, and I have not done so as much recently, and this reflects in sales.  However, in a just a few short weeks I am planning on having a revision of my book out.  Too me, it seems silly to put effort into getting people to buy the book before the new revision comes out, which leads me to today’s poll.

Should I stop marketing my Fall of House Nemeni book until the revision comes out in about two weeks?

1)No, it can hurt general momentum if you stop marketing.

2)Yes, focus on getting the best product into people’s hands.

My next blog may be a little later than normal as I will be busy earlier in the next week. I might still be able to put something up on time depending upon circumstances.

As for specific Nemeni world information, here is a new tidbit:

All of the Houses have tried to do to their element what Lontor and the other Wood based families have done, ie try to make it so the substance they control can float through the air.  Only Cloudwood has ever been able to do that, but there are ancient tales that Artists used to be able to do so with marble and other stones.  These tales are what inspired the floating sky Citadels, even though in current reality there is a Cloudwood structure embedded under and in layers in the marble.  Artists to this day still experiment to see fi one day they can be the artist who finally learns to make stones float.  These artist point towards the islands themselves, and say there must be some way to do it.


“Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.” ~ Oscar Wilde


The above is my favorite quote of all times.  I was thinking about Quotes, and the power they have in writing. There are people who will forgive a multitude of plot sins if they get enough quotes out of a piece.  They do not even have to be Oscar Wilde level clever, just memorable.  I have started the next book, and here are some quotes (one each) from the  first four chapters that I like, but they are not really in the vein of “clever” as much as “memorable” for me.

“When Daisy was annoyed, she hit things. When Daisy was mad, she tried to dismember people.  Daisy was furious, so it was no surprise the deck was clear of all crewmembers.”

“Long forgotten memories flooded back into her consciousness as the two women who were choking each other screamed in the exact same pitch as they fled together into oblivion.”

“It seemed strange to want to shiver when he was located in the middle of a giant ball of fire.”

“He ignored the pain in his chest as he commanded his blood to work overtime and expel the musket ball back out of his body, and at his fencing partner.”

It’s a smaller post today but I am curious how Quotes affect you with books?

How do you feel about Quotes with books:

1) That’s one of the things that make a book stand out for me, how quotable it is. Very Important.

2) I remember more cool things done more than clever phrasings. Not that Important.

3)I don’t care what is being said but more how it is said. Important only if clever

As for current books updates:

The old large novel being re-edited is about1/3 of the way through its first editing pass (but not it’s last).  I am seriously contemplating just releasing it as 1 big novel after all. This will be the first time I go against my polls, but really re looking at it, I am not sure there is a great stopping place as it really was intended to be one novel, and I don’t want any changes like that to feel really artificial and forced.

The sequel to Fall of House Nemeni is pretty much moving long at it’s projected pace, so not much to say on that front other than it is moving as it should.

As for trying to revise Nemeni in time for the July 1st promotions, I am nervous about it, but we will see.  It has been started, and minus the third chapter as per feedback.


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