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Thank you, Marvel

Like pretty much every other person on the face of the Earth, I will be fortunate enough to see Avengers: Endgame this weekend.  And also just like everybody else on the planet, I’ll have thoughts.  Boy, will I have thoughts.  I obviously already do, which is why I’m here.  My plan is to keep this short and avoid spoiler territory (especially since I haven’t even seen the film yet).  It also just so happens to be National Superhero Day, so let’s get to it!

Now I’m not looking to type up another movie review that sums up the same material and talking points as every other post out there.  (Remember when I said I haven’t seen it yet?  Yeah, a review would be difficult then.)  No, I’m thinking more of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.  This is hardly a new observation, but with Endgame wrapping up this generation of superhero movies as we know them, I just want to look back at the enormity of what Marvel was able to pull off over the last eleven years. Continue reading

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Bookish Gaming: Top 5 Mobile Apps for your Literary Needs

As much as I enjoy reading and writing, I can’t deny I also enjoy a nice video game from time to time.  Now I am by no means a gamer, as I  haven’t purchased a gaming console in multiple years and the last one I bought was based more on the Blu-Ray function than the video game capabilities.  (Yeah, I know.)  I have a long, complicated history with video games, but as a parent to young children, my gaming days are pretty much behind me now.  So I tend to run through the mobile app store every once in a while and see if there’s anything that catches my eye.  I can’t really devote chunks of time to get into games that have story lines and characters, which usually leaves me with racing games, card games, puzzle games, random shooting games, etc.  As fun as those can be in small doses, they certainly don’t engage the prefrontal cortex.  So, in order to make myself not feel like I’m wasting brain cells on mindless games, I’ve put together a Top 5 list of literary-themed mobile games that provide a great justification for playing them – they’re smart, engaging, and thought-provoking.  Sounds good, right?  Then let’s get to it!

 

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Zombie Pirate Publishing – World War Four Press Release

In the continued interest of bringing publicity to all corners of the writing community, I’d like to share a press release I received this morning from the other side of the globe! Coming all the way from Australia is Zombie Pirate Publishing with their latest anthology, World War Four. I’ll have an upcoming feature with more about them in the near future, but for now we’ll start with this:

WORLD WAR FOUR: A Science Fiction Anthology is available now from Zombie Pirate Publishing.

Einstein said: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

 

Turns out he was wrong…

 

WORLD WAR FOUR features twenty explosive short stories from authors all around the galaxy.

 

Plus a brand new, exclusive novelette from internationally acclaimed sci fi author NEAL ASHER!

 

Earth law has come to Godrun, a backwater planet on the edge of hostile alien space where slavery and corruption are rife. It’s up to Polity monitor Logan to clean up this den of thieves, no matter how many massive explosions it takes. Can the hired killers stop him? Or will a military drone named Sting be enough to swing the tide?

It’s an amazing tale, and just one of many in this 450 page, action packed anthology featuring space battles, high-tech jet dogfights, strange aliens and artificial intelligences, awesome weapons, and lots, lots more!

Get your copy today!
Available worldwide from AMAZON: http://a-fwd.to/5Sh6Yn6

To find out more about Zombie Pirate Publishing and available titles visit www.zombiepiratepublishing.com

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Crossroads excerpt featured on Authors Read podcast

Recently, I had the opportunity to record an excerpt from Crossroads for a new podcast called Authors Read, where you guessed it, authors read excerpts from their works.  I think it’s a really cool concept, and I was excited to be selected to be featured.  I’ve always toiled with the idea of trying to record an audio book version of Crossroads in my own voice, since the narrative of the story is essentially told through my point of view and with my own personal speech patterns and quirks.

Luckily, I have a friend who has his own podcast (One Hour Wasted), and has a nice setup for recording.  Even better still, he was willing to assist me with recording my reading.  I read two chapters, and it took three hours of recording/editing before my thirteen minute segment was completed.  The recording quality was top-notch.  My performance on the other hand…yikes.  Overall it was a great learning experience, and the episode was just released!  You can follow the link here to find the podcast and here for the website.  I’m hoping to follow-up with a reading from Crossfire once it’s released, so stay tuned for part 2!

 

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Crossfire Book Trailer World Premier

So it turns out book trailers are a thing.  Now I’m not talking about a trailer full of books.  No, that would be a bookmobile.  Stay with me here – it’s a movie trailer but for a book.  I know, it seems so simple now, doesn’t it?  It also seems kind of silly to create video footage and visuals for an otherwise non-visual medium.  Books are meant to engage your imagination and put your mind’s eye to work, right?  Well there lies the challenge.

Once I was introduced to the concept, it also compelled my hyperactive brain to see what I could come up with.  At the core, book trailers are intended to help build hype surrounding a title that is coming soon or newly released.  Similarly to a movie trailer, you just want to tease your audience without giving anything away.  A major difference between the two though, is casting.  In a movie, it’s all about who is starring in it.  I suppose the same could be said for a book, but in a completely different way.  Fictional characters should be up to the reader to imagine and picture in their mind, so a book trailer needs to be very careful not to provide any distinct, identifying information.  You want to use overly generic footage, or B-roll if you will, so the reader is still free to imagine things as they see fit.  The tricky part then is creating a trailer that doesn’t provide any distinct features, doesn’t give away any details, yet still somehow manages to draw in and captivate the audience.  Suddenly it doesn’t seem so simple, huh?  Well needless to say, based on the title of this post, I decided to give it my best effort. Continue reading

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Coming soon – Stay tuned

Okay, so I may have jumped the gun just a little.  I have been working diligently on my first short-story for at least the past month, and I’ve had the idea bouncing around in my head, gaining momentum, for far longer than that.  I’ve been working out the plot, the characters, and the twists.  As I was confident that I was nearing completion, I was starting to get a little excited to share it with you all, and maybe even a little proud of myself.  I’ve always wanted to give writing a shot, and since the beginning of this year I have started taking baby steps.  I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m excited about the possibilities.  At the same time, that lack of knowledge and experience is easy to spot from a mile away. 

My excitement got the better of me, and I set up this site.  I have already quietly linked to it on several other pages across the internet.  At the same time, without having any substantial content, I have been hesitant to advertise about it.  What good is a site for my short-stories before there are any short-stories?  So I’ve (im)patiently waited, and the time was near.  Almost imminent I thought.

Then I sent out my first preliminary draft the other day to get some feedback.  I got a lot of really good suggestions, and I was excited to hear what somebody else thought of my creation.  It was great.  Then reality sank in.  I have got a TON of work to do still.  The thought has been a little disheartening, I won’t lie to you, but I didn’t expect my first draft to be perfect.  I’m thankful for the encouragement I’ve received and the advice that was given.  I’m anxious to use that feedback to improve this story and make it something worth reading.

My rather simple, easy-way-out solution?  Tell you about the delay.  It keeps the site from going unused, and lets you all know about my progress.  I still hope to have a finished product in the very-near-future.  But for that to happen, I’ve gotta get back to work!

Thank you, that is all.

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Temptation – The root of my evil

I have been a die-hard fiction junky for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always harbored the idea of trying to write my own mystery someday. A large reason for starting my blog in the first place was to get some practice writing, hone my skills, and develop my style. 

Well, as you can tell from the label on the top of this page, it appears that time has nearly come.  A little while back, inspiration struck.  A thought hit me and I got several ideas for some short stories.  The ideas persisted to pester me, and I have decided to begin working on series of short-and-sometimes-not-so-short-stories.

I have thrown myself into more murder mysteries than I can recollect, and I’m starting to think that I may have learned a thing or two from them. With prior life experiences that I prefer not to discuss, my background in criminal justice, and influences such as Harlen Coben, Dennis LeHane, James Patterson, Patrick J. O’Brian, Dean Koontz, and Dan Brown, how could I possibly go wrong?

So turn out the lights, crawl in bed, throw a sheet over your head, grab a flashlight, and immerse yourselves into my foray into “fiction.”  Or is it?

(And yes, I ripped this post off from my personal blog almost word-for-word.  Plagiarizing already…off to a good start!)

Thank you, that is all.

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