Posts from the ‘ramdom ramblings’ Category

Illustrated stories update

Well still working on what I consider Lisa stories lite. The first one is finished in the writing/drawing stage but i am still working. I decided to use the watercolor pencils for yhe images before I did the inking. Like doing an actual comic i needed to go over all the lettering and images with inks. A wee bit harder than you would expect. It taught me a lot about why comics have different peop.e to do letyering, coloring snd inking. 

Sorry I havent posted up yhe pages but neither my camera nor the table capture the oages clearly. I plsn to scan in the finied ages once we get the laptop working again. Yes the gremlins are back at it.

Now due the issues with tech I have staryed other tzles. I have a bu ch of pages of a dragon knights tales I am working on with all my partial dragon drawings.  I need to get more drawing paper to finish this tale. It is looking to be much longer than Elsi’s tale is.

Yesterday I started working on a much shorter fun piece that will be a part of what I am calling Nana’s stories. These are in honor of my grandmother, who wrote daily. This first one will be a sort of what if tale. At the moment it is still in the drawing stage. I have done some lettering and was reminded just why you need to have white out on hand. 

These tales are pretty fair conceptwise from my usual tales. By incorporating the drawings i changed how I usually write. But the big change is I am writing these tales from the images not adding images to all ready written tales. It is both harder and easier. While my drawings are no where near as good as my daughter does but i am stretching my wungs so to speak. Here is hoping they find an audience.  They will be free to anyone who goes to my deviantart page.

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Illustrated stories update

Well still working on what I consider Lisa stories lite. The first one is finished in the writing/drawing stage but i am still working. I decided to use the watercolor pencils for yhe images before I did the inking. Like doing an actual comic i needed to go over all the lettering and images with inks. A wee bit harder than you would expect. It taught me a lot about why comics have different peop.e to do letyering, coloring snd inking. 

Sorry I havent posted up yhe pages but neither my camera nor the table capture the oages clearly. I plsn to scan in the finied ages once we get the laptop working again. Yes the gremlins are back at it.

Now due the issues with tech I have staryed other tzles. I have a bu ch of pages of a dragon knights tales I am working on with all my partial dragon drawings.  I need to get more drawing paper to finish this tale. It is looking to be much longer than Elsi’s tale is.

Yesterday I started working on a much shorter fun piece that will be a part of what I am calling Nana’s stories. These are in honor of my grandmother, who wrote daily. This first one will be a sort of what if tale. At the moment it is still in the drawing stage. I have done some lettering and was reminded just why you need to have white out on hand. 

These tales are pretty fair conceptwise from my usual tales. By incorporating the drawings i changed how I usually write. But the big change is I am writing these tales from the images not adding images to all ready written tales. It is both harder and easier. While my drawings are no where near as good as my daughter does but i am stretching my wungs so to speak. Here is hoping they find an audience.  They will be free to anyone who goes to my deviantart page.

Using character death in Science fiction and fantasy

Now generally I give you pieces of my work in progress but I thought I would comment about this bit of writing. A lot of times when a writer receives reviews one of the things that are complained about is the amount of death in the novel. Now if you think about it writing in these two genres you should expect some. After all quite often these are strongly action/adventure tales with wars or monsters that must be fought and defeated. Expecting every character, no matter how minor, to survive is more a faerie tale than a Disney movie.

Now looking over my novels, I thought it might be a good idea to count up the number of good guys versus bad guys who don’t make it to the end of the novel. The numbers are of course no where near the numbers you get in the average George RR Martin book, but they are not non-existent.

Starting with Endings, the one I have gotten nasty emails about over the past decade it has been up in some form on the net I had six good guys and none of the bad guys going down. Now for a novella length piece this might seem like a lot, but I remind you that this is a dark fantasy piece. In dark fantasy you have to expect character death. From the death of the main character’s parents to losing four of the characters who went on the rescue mission, the deaths were just a part of the story.

Now the biggest complaint was that I had one killed during a battle in a way that one reader said was too offhand and random. Lets understand folks that people die and not every death will be plotted and significant. They happen and being in the middle of a random battle of swords, well things happen. The other death that bugged people was the death of a character off screen. I felt at the time that there was enough on screen violence and did not want to write of a character taking their own life to get away from torture on screen.

When I moved onto the sequel to Endings, Revenge, the numbers change. In this book there was only really one character death on the good guy side. It was an important one of course and to be clear there were a number of important bad guys that bit it in Revenge. From the madams that owned Loralil to the snake mage, I think I dealt with those deaths well.

Moving from those two dark fantasy novels let look at my attempt in the end of the world novel style. Fall Into Nightmares is of course dark and filled with monsters, so there has to be death right? When not counting the unnamed monsters and people who of course are fodder I have a relatively small dead count. With four named characters on the good guy side and three on the bad guy. Now in dark urban end of the world fiction death is not always the end of a character as we know. From the death of the sensei to the final heroic death of the Native american lawyer, each one was important in what happened and motivating the other characters to become heroes.

In To Save Face or Family things were a bit different. More of a spy fantasy in my head, while there was a lot of violence, dark dealings and prophecies, there was not as many character deaths. Only One really died on the good guy side and a few more on the bad guys. This novel dealt more with legends and myths than death.

The Traveler was a typical fantasy. With mostly the bad guys dying and true love conquering all the deaths don’t come till the last chapter. I hope I made them the way people understood. For sacrifice was important to the tale.

And finally for Escape, my science fiction tale. I had only a few deaths in this novel. Bad guys got what they deserved and the good guys survive.

So while character deaths are controversial with many readers, we need to look at the story over all. If you are expecting a fantasy to be light and Disney like…then you are not reading my work.

Whether a character dies as a plot device, a grand sacrifice or simple for being in the wrong place, they happen in both fantasy and science fiction. As a writer you need to weigh the effect that having a good or bad guy die on the story and not so much on the reader. As a reader we have to realize that death is always a part of the story. Death makes the story deeper and more real, when done well.

Unpublishing short stories

As of this morning I will start taking down from Amazon the short stories that are a part of the my collections. Since I have collected the Guardians of the Gate City, Death Walks Through, Echoes of Elder Times and Mythos of Love stories in one volume I decided i need to take down some of the titles. While it is fun having over 90 titles up on Amazon I think it is time to clean up things so I have a leaner field of titles.

Now don’t worry, I will not take down everything. Like a smart author i will leave up the books that have reviews, also the first tales of the series will stay up as a tease. After all we need a tease right? And of course those tales that are not yet in a collected book will stay up. Yes, i will be putting out Worlds Apart and Beyond Realities some time this year but for now dont expect new titles in either of those. Same with Magic and Nightmares and my other series.

So if you read any of the tales and can’t find them to put up a review for (please do review!) You can put up your reviews on Goodreads, B&N, Kobo, Itunes and other places that I will be leaving those titles up. It is just Amazon that I am cleaning up.

Inspiration is on a holiday

Okay I have been very very very off the past month. I have done my editing for Mythos of Love, finished up some editing on an erotic fantasy and tried to work on fresh stories. But mostly I have been tossing around ideas for the cover for Mythos and oh boy….today  I opened up photo shop and started to work…what I came up with was in a word…horrible!  Here see what I mean

mythos-trash-cover I mean really? How bad can I be? Now as I was saving the file to show you folks how awful I was I realized that I had done a simple cover with one of my photographs all read.

mythos-of-love My brain must have been on a major fart or something. I did not remember making this!. Okay yes it could be better….the text should be changed, maybe take the messed up text work from the trash cover and use the image from this one? Who knows? But I have to figure this out in the next two weeks….wish me luck..I have a feeling I will need it this time around.

My work as of the end of 2014

Yup New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and another year is almost over. One of the things I have been doing this month is putting together the spreadsheets that a long time bookkeeper just can’t seem to avoid. I have been keeping track of my sales since I started publishing on my own and while it both excites and depresses me, it it a helpful thing. Well I expanded my spreadsheets to keep track of my flash fictions, of my word totals, works in progress…well just about anything that a writer should think about.

As I mentioned over on my Suteko blog, my numbers are pretty close to what I had last year. As of 8am on December 30th (yeah today) I am within three sales of my totals last year. The difference comes in that last year I mostly sold short stories and this year I have sold mostly novels and collections. So cashwise I have done better.

Here is the list of sales by Title. Now obviously not every title i have had a sale in 2014 but I expected that. In fact out of all my titles there is only one that has never had a sale, Goodbye Daddy, the nonfiction piece I put up under my pen name has never sold a copy. Not that I expected it to. Even if I never sell a copy of those Letters to the Dead, I will still write them and put them up. It is a catharsis for things in my past. But back to what did sell.  Here is my list:

A Bargain made with Fur                     10
A Different Kind of Hunt                     1
A Moving Experience                         1
A Trap of Eyes                             2
All That There Was                         1
An Evening of Note                         1
And Darkness Claims It all                     3
And He Makes three                         1
Beginning Again                         4
Blackbird                             1
Cemetary Games                             1
Cha-cha-changes                         1
Christmas Snow                             3
Death Comes softly                         1
Death Is the Answer                         3
Death Was the Bargain                         3
Death Walks Through                         11
Descents                             1
Echoes of Elder Times                         4
Endings                             9
Escape                                 29
Fall Into Nightmares                         4
From the Snow                             2
Generations of Love                         1
Gaurdian of the Gate City                     5
Guess Wo Is Coming the Tanksgiving Dinner             3
Halloween Pranks and Mischief                     3
Holiday Flashes of Fiction                     8
Hope Everlasting                         1
I Can’t Love You Anymore                     1
Ice                                 17
If Shadows Could Speak                         1
In Space No One Can Hear You Scream                 3
It Jut Might be Gremlins                     1
Love, Loss and Loneliness                     1
Memories of Love                         1
Monsters of the Dark                         1
Never Pack Them Away                         3
New Performaer                             2
Night and Day                             1
No More the Smiles                         3
Not T oth Grave Go I                         1
Not Jst Another Mornig of buiness                 1
Now and Forever                         3
One More all hallows eve                     3
artings                             2
Possibilities                             1
Random Musings of poetic Mind                     1
Rebirth                             1
The Red Ghost Rides                         5
Revenge                             3
Smae Time Nexty Year at the Spaceport Cafe             7
Secrets can be deadly                         1
Shadows on the Wall                         1
Strange Nature                             2
Sudden Disappearances                         1
Surprises and Gifts                         1
Test of Trust                             1
The Dream Wish                             2
The Knight Protctor                         1
The Last Moonset                         3
The Pest House                             5
The Popsicle                             5
The Traveler                             10
The Words that Bring Peace                     1
To Save Face or Family                         8
Twas the NIght                             1
Under the Black Bridge                         1
When Witner Comes Roaring                     4
Where Angels No onger Tread                     11

As you can see some titles did better than others. Escape of course did the best because well, it was released this fall. That helped the numbers get up there after all. Now it is not my biggest seller of course. If I look at the spreadsheet totals certain titles are still up there.

Ice is still my most popular title with 44 sales so far (that is of course not counting and free copies that went out). Next up is The Traveler at 41 which is really nice. Finally is Endings (the first Loralil story) with 39. Now two of the three of these have been up for two years.  Yes I realize these are small numbers compared to so many authors. I have author friends who see this type of sales in a day and I envy them for sure but well I just need to remember that some day I will be discovered. After all some of the most famous authors were not discovered till they were dead! Okay here is hoping I don’t take that long!

Now if you are wondering how many titles I put out in 2014 here you go.

In 2014 I either put out or was part of 22 titles. That is down from 2014 when I published/added to 50 titles but the break down shows why I did less.

Anthologies 3

collections 3

Novels 2

novellas 1

short stories 13

Okay maybe I didn’t write as much. Though to be honest the novels were some of my longest pieces of finished work. The collections have new stories in them of course.

Now one thing i did not list above was the amount of flash fictions I have been writing over the past year plus. See anything under 1000 words I decided needed to be put in a different list. So here goes.

Of the 174 flash fictions I have written, only 43 are from 2013. Most of those are drabbles from when I first learned of the short form. So 141 were written this year. And yes I plan on writing a lot more of them through out 2015. I have of course put up the covers for those collections.

Expect to see a lot more collections this year. I don’t plan on releasing single short stories as much anymore. While I will release the first in new collections, don’t expect a pile of shorts alone. While I am working on revising/editing an old novel and I have started working on a new Flights of Fantasy novella I think that most of my work in 2015 will be short story/flash fiction collections and the next book in my novel series. Have a happy new year!

Five free titles till 12th night

Hey everyone! As a thank you for following this blog I have put five of my short stories under coupon over on Smashwords. You can pick any or all of these up for free and all I ask is that you read them and review them before the end of January 2015! So if you are interested in reading some of my odd tales here you go:

Partings smashword code SG65K
One More All Hallows Eve smashword code BQ44W
Night and Day smashword code HE87G
All That the Was smashword code PF75S
Blackbird smashword code QJ29C

Happy New Years everyone!