Recently I read a rockin’ Sci-Fi novella titled Radio Sphere by Devin terSteeg and was awarded the chance to ask him a few questions about his life writing stories and the inspiration behind them.
If you’re reading this – our message has come too late. These creatures – such wonder. We never could have anticipated what we’d find…
Humanity had grown accustomed to 250-year life spans, ceaselessly changing technology, and endless media to consume when nuclear detonations cause an EMP chain-reaction in the atmosphere to destroy most technology, and with it the population severely reduces over a few generations.
In the year 20XX Earth has been changed. Electricity, water, and food have all become scarce. Stubbornly, Elizabeth and George live on.
What do you get when you take a bunch of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, paranormal and steampunk authors and throw them together in hotel conference rooms for a weekend? An extremely awesome writing convention, that’s what.
Recently I was notified that a short story I wrote won a contest and will be featured in an upcoming anthology along with some pretty big names in fantasy and sci fi. Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in.
Hey hey! Have I got some cool stuff to tell you. Pull up a chair and get comfy for there is some really great stuff happening that I’d love for you to read about.
I have been busy with my novel the past few days. I’m so close to the end I can actually see it. Literally, I can see the very last sentence of the epilogue and actually already have it written out. Since I’ve been writing the final climax and have been super excited about it, I’ve been writing WAY more than usual each day. I keep thinking to myself, I’m so close, if I keep writing I might actually get to finish it today. But then four hours of writing later, I’m still not there. CLOSER, but still not there. I’M SO CLOSE IT’S KILLING ME.
My original plan was to have this novel presentable by the time I head to a writing conference next weekend. But after continuous health issues and, well, life getting in the way, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull that off. I should be able to finish the draft at least(I pray), and instead will focus on making the first few chapters as clean and enticing as possible to hand out. Should anyone be interested at the con, they’ll at least get a really well thought out and edited first few chapters. The book is called Initiation and is part of a series I plan to entitle The Black Beetles. I can’t wait to tell you about this story, and as soon as I finish the draft I’ll be writing out the synopsis in a post. I FREAKING LOVE THIS STORY. It’s why I’m writing. It’s so good and it’s only the first book!
Twitter is a strange place. But it can afford some chance encounters that never would have happened otherwise. I was lucky enough to meet two bloggers through twitter who have graciously reviewed my book and written a full post about it on their sites. HOW COOL IS THAT?!? They are kind and honest people as well. Cynthia Austin highlighted every positive and every negative thing about my book, and Hollie wrote out a review for her boyfriend’s blog that is far more flattering than I deserve. I encourage you to check out each of them and take a look at the sites. Cynthia regularly reviews book at her site betweendreamsiread.weebly.com and Devin is a humorous guy that shares a lot of the same likes as me at rimegiant.com. Cynthia is here, while Devin wrote about me here.
I’m heading to SF:SE next weekend, and I cannot contain my excitement. A weekend by myself, in Orlando, nice hotel, three days of mingling with writers, editors, agents and publishers, and tons of panels to improve writing craft. There’s going to be some big names in writing there, as well, and I’m really looking forward to meeting some interesting people.
IN OTHER NEWS, Nonlocal Science Fiction launched their magazine today with my story featured in it! Huzzah! Hooray! Hoorah! Should anyone like a copy of it for themselves, please let me know I’ll see what I can do. If you’d like to check it out, it’s only 2.99 on amazon here and it’s good.
Well, that’s about all I’ve got off the top of my head to talk about. I would really appreciate it if you could sign up for my mailing list via the subscribe button higher up on the page. It’s nothing special, just that you’ll get notified whenever I post something on here, which as you can probably see isn’t often. But it’ll help me reach out to you and its a good way for us to stay in contact. Speaking of, I’d love to hear from you about what you think of my writing or where I’m going in general. I enjoy the feedback 🙂
Anywho, I’ll talk to you all next time. PEACE!
Welcome back to another book review!
I shall be titling all my reviews under the category of In My Opinion, since everything written will be my own opinion. As always it’s done by yours truly, and sponsored by The Victor Foundation.
This post I’ll be covering a trilogy I started over the summer and just finished the other night by the prolific author Brandon Sanderson called Mistborn. Consisting of the books The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages.
The Mistborn trilogy is an epic of epic high fantasies, and regarded as one of the best works of fantasy to come out in the past decade or so by many avid readers of my generation. The story takes place in a desolate world that seems to be at the end of its life and has been rapidly approaching it for some time. There are volcanoes that spew ash into the sky constantly and every night mists creep out into the world and occupy everything. Most people are terrified of the mists, but no one knows where they come from. The world has magic in it, called Allomancy, and in a nut-shell it’s the ability to have certain powers based on “burning” different metals. If someone is able to “burn” pewter, then they get super strength. Burn tin, and enhance senses. Etc. The plot is that this world has been dominated by a Lord Ruler for a thousand years and he’s been doing a pretty awful job at it. He keeps an entire population of slaves handy for a rich society of nobles to use as they see fit.
And that, friends, is where we pick up our story.
The best way I can see to break this down is book by book, so here we go…
Book 1 – The Final Empire: This was a good book. The main characters were awesome, they grew as the story progressed, and they grew on me the more I read. At first a lot of the characters seemed too… cookie cutter? Too… already done before? They seemed like characters I had heard in dozens of other stories before and they had no uniqueness to them. But after about half way through the book, they developed their own personalities and I started to actually chuckle at a few of their conversations.
The plot was good and is pretty much the only thing that kept me going through this series. Assassinations, rebellions, wars, spies, death, betrayal. It was all there and done well. And the pacing of the plot was good, too. It didn’t drag at all, and there were equal parts contemplation by the characters, and action or conflict in the story. All in all, the first book got two thumbs up from me.
Book 2 – The Well of Ascension: This book sucked. Flat out, straight up, no way around it. This book was boring as hell and dragged from chapter four till the end. The plot didn’t go anywhere and took forever for anything to be resolved. I felt like so much time was wasted in reading the second book. The characters were LAME. So many chapters were pointless thoughts and ramblings of characters that were absolutely useless to their development or the overall story. The second book, I guess, opened up the world a bit more and let us see how the characters act when there is nothing to do. Which, you know, doesn’t make for a good story. I was really disappointed with the second book. To the point that I almost didn’t pick up the third. But I did.
Book 3: The Hero of Ages: First and foremost, I have to say that I went into this book with a bad attitude after reading the last one. I was not expecting much, and it turns out I wasn’t disappointed in that regard. The story picked up a little bit, but took a different direction than I hoped for and sputtered out at the end. The characters got better, much better when compared to the second book, and the pacing was actually noticeable in this one. The plot was also good again, which was a plus. But it did drag on in many places, and fell back into the habit of wasting a entire chapter for a character to ponder whether they should do something even though they know they’re going to do it in the end. It’s hard to explain, but pretty frustrating. That said, Brandon Sanderson did a good job bringing a end to the series. The action and conflict was good, the twists that I’d been waiting three books for did surprise me and I enjoyed them. The third book was a much better book than the second, but not as good as the first.
When all is said and done, I honestly probably wouldn’t recommend these books to others, unless they are hardcore readers and looking for a really big world to get into. i.e., if you’re looking to waste a lot of time. And that verdict hurts me, because I took a writing class by Brandon Sanderson and held to this belief that since he was giving awesome advice for writing and navigating the world of publishing, he must be a great writer himself. And though he is prolific as hell, his craft and prose is almost nonexistent. I was pretty let down with this series.
The world, the magic, the plot was so freaking cool. But the delivery was not able to handle it. In my opinion.
You know what’s been really helpful the past few days? People encouraging me in my quest to be a writer far beyond what I expected. I can’t tell you how validating it is to have other writers and authors accept me into their circles with open arms and shower me with advice, words of encouragement, congratulations and spot on tips. It’s an amazing feeling to have something that you put your heart and a measurable amount of work into be received so well. It’s been so great the past couple of days to get emails and messages from publishers or authors talking to me about my work and giving me grand opportunities. I have been so positive recently now that I can see what I am working towards paying off. Just goes to show you, kids; you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.
I am excited to say that a sci fi short story I wrote last year is being accepted into a sci fi magazine and will be published next month. How cool is that? Turns out the publisher, Dan Dombrowski, is a really awesome guy who has an independent publishing company and really enjoys sci fi. He started up a Science Fiction magazine called Nonlocal Science Fiction and has articles, interviews, podcast and tons of other awesome stuff on his site. Needless to say, I was very happy to hear that he liked my story enough to feature it and look forward to working with for future issues.
I was contacted by a readers/judges group that is taking submissions for an anthology about a story I submitted recently giving me some great feedback and encouraging me to stay active in their community. The anthology has the theme of Ecotones with a subtle hint at diversity and is hosted by a website called sffworld.com. The site rocks and has a fantastic forum that I’ve started to write often on. One of the judges wrote back to me about my story telling me the first reactions of the other judges as well as positives and negatives of the story. They offered great advice in a really long email about some subtle changes that could be made which would win over the other judges who were sort of on the fence. So, that was also really fun news to hear. Just that a judge (and author himself) was kind enough to take the time and give some advice on what they thought would give the story better reception speaks a lot to me and shows that the story at least has potential. Luckily, the deadline for the anthology isn’t quite upon us, and the judge encouraged me to make the edits and changes as quick as possible and resubmit to hopefully buy over the others.
Then come the specific interactions with other authors, all of which make my day. Having authors tweet me and invite me to their online hangout spots is so cool. Having my blog liked and commented on by authors who live all over the globe is so humbling. Of all the feelings swirling inside me, I have felt blessed most of all recently.
In order to repay all the kindness and help I’ve received from others the past few days I’ve been doing what I can on my side to, well, be a writer and not let all these people down. I’ve updated lots of the pages on my site, I’ve joined several critique and reader groups, I’ve outlined a few short stories for both Nonlocal and three other competitions coming up, and I peek at my novel once a day. My novel is… daunting. Compared to stories I can write in a day or a weekend, this gargantuan story that is about four times longer than my novella and maybe halfway done is just so big. But, I will continue to bleed ink on the page for those of you who love the written word.