Saturday, March 30, 2013

WonderCon Notes and Dreamwielder News

It's almost been a month now since Dreamwielder came out, and as you might expect, I've been a busy bee. I capped the month off yesterday w/ a quick visit to WonderCon, which is essentially ComicCon Lite. I did a quick run through of the main exhibit hall where I witnessed everything you might expect—crazy costumes, a boatload of comic books, and these cool R2 droids—and then it was off to the panel discussion I really wanted to see, "A Story is a Story." Patrick Rothfuss was one of the panelists and he was hilarious and insightful. All in all, it was a good time.

I came home to find that Dreamwielder has moved up into the top 300 bestselling ranks for Barnes & Noble Nook books. This is in large part due to the book's selection as a Nook First Look book, which I'm very proud to be included in. The boost in sales rankings means Dreamwielder is now on page 2 of the best sci-fi and fantasy novels under $4. It's pretty amazing to see my book right alongside major hits from John Scalzi, Robert Jordan, George Orwell, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Writing Groups Part II: The Biscuits

Last week I profiled my spec-fiction writing group, The Inklings II. This week is all about my literary writing group, The Biscuits. This group actually began as a writing contest between author Melinda Combs and me. Yep, you read that right, a writing contest—that’s how nerdy we are. It all started during a camping trip when Mindi and I started talking smack about which of us was more prolific as a writer (copious beer consumption probably played a large role in boisterousness). To settle things, Mindi suggested a competition, and just like that we were off. We came up with an overly-complex set of scoring rules and poneyed up some cash to make things interesting. I don’t even remember who won that first contest, but it sparked a new contest, and then another, and before long we were recruiting new blood and spicing things up with bigger cash prizes and embarrassing punishments for whoever came in last place. (I once had to sing Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” at a karaoke bar, for example, but the joke was on them, as the only thing my singing punished was their eardrums.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Groups Part I: Introducing the Inklings II

Writing is a solitary profession. Apart from your characters, it’s just you and your computer. It’s no surprise then that writers so often form writing groups. One of the main appeals of a writing group is to simply have other like-minded people to commiserate with (“Guh, I received another rejection letter…,” “The agent told me I’m a talentless hack...,” “I accidentally drank an entire handle of spiced rum while working on chapter 3, and then spent next couple of hours on the toilet…,” etc., etc.). More importantly though, writing groups offer up an invaluable luxury to writers: a captive, literate audience to read the early drafts of stories and provide feedback.

I’m lucky enough to be part of two great writing groups, Inklings II and The Biscuits. Inklings II is my spec-fiction writing group. We’re an odd group in that we are spread out all of the world and workshop our fiction primarily online. We can only manage to all be in the same place at the same time once every two or three years (and then spend more time barbecuing and drinking beer than actually talking shop, but that’s neither here nor there). We’re still a highly effective group. So much so, that members Ahimsa Kerp, Craig Comer, and I managed to write The Roads to Baldairn Motte together. More recently, The Inklings II were instrumental in helping me beat Dreamwielder into readable shape.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Acknowledgments (but cooler because they include book recommendations)

Whew! Dreamwielder had a successful launch yesterday, and even got its first review from a blogger, a 4 out of 5 star review from Book Broads that starts off, "I was swept away from the moment I began reading Dreamwielder to the turning of the last page." I'll take it! Now that the book is out, it's time for me to thank all the people who helped make the book possible. First up are the big names--the fantastic authors who were kind enough to write jacket blurbs for Dreamwielder.

Tim Powers is one of my favorite writers, contemporary or otherwise. He's one of the progenitors of steampunk, and an all around brilliant writer who masterfully blends elements of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror along with history, mythology, folklore, and more than a few mad-genius ideas. My favorites of his are Anubis Gates (perhaps the only book I've ever given 5 stars on GoodReads), On Stranger Tides (the inspiration for many of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies--and far better than all of the movies, I might add), and The Drawing of the Dark (a fantasy novel about magic beer!). Tim is a fantastic guy and has always been super generous in offering advice to me. It's obviously a huge honor to have one of your favorite authors write a blurb for your own book, so thank you, Tim!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dreamwielder is Here!

At long last, Dreamwielder is here. The novel is available for $2.99 and can be purchased directly from your e-reader device or online. Click on the image to find links for purchasing the book at Amazon, B&, iTunes, or Kobo. I hope everyone enjoys it!