Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Blood Requiem Final Draft

Just got editorial notes for Blood Requiem back from my editor yesterday. I have to say, I'm very excited about the final draft of this book. I've already gotten some great feedback from my writing group on a few of the sequences in the book, and looking at my editor's notes, I think it will all synergies very well. Book 3 will coalesce into something pretty awesome, I think.

I'm back to the point with book 3 where I'm excited about and proud of what is going on, which is always a good place to be as a writer. Like most writers, I inevitably go through phases with each project where I'm alternatingly excited about, bored with, horrified/embarrassed by, excited about again, and ultimately proud of a given book. It's nice to be in the positive swing of that once again.

I'm aiming to get the final revision done by 12 March. That should be doable. After that, it'll go through copy edits, and before you know it I'll have ARCs in my hands!

Anyway, all this is to say that I generally enjoy and like what I write, and I think that's a good thing :-).

Monday, February 26, 2018

If you've got a mo, give me a vo!

Ya'll!

I didn't find out about this until recently, and then was too busy with Pensacon to post anything, but apparently my book Dark Immolation on the long list for the David Gemmell Legend Award this year!

Go here to vote for me, if that strikes your fancy.

I ever-so-brilliantly coined the phrase "if you've got a mo', give me a vo'" (because vo = vote, right? it's now my campaign slogan for all of that extensive campaigning I do, you know...)

And, while you're out there vo-ing (getting ridiculous now), might I also suggest Dave Butler's Witchy Eye for the Morningstar Award. It's awesome.

Anyway. I'm up against some pretty awesome authors, so my hopes aren't too high, but it's an honor just to be on the long list! 🙏 🙌


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Pensacon 2018

Hey ya'll! I'll be at Pensacon this weekend in Pensacola, Florida! It'll be my first time attending this con, and I'm particularly excited. I'll be there chiefly as part of the Bard's Tower traveling bookstore with some other fantastic authors:



But I'll also be on a couple panels! Check them out:

Friday 23 February 2:45 - 3:30 PM - Professional Geek (Pensacola Grand Ballroom C)
Join authors Jim Butcher, Dan Wells, Christopher Husberg, and Andrew Gaska as they discuss what it takes to make the passions pay the bills, overcoming challenges and reveling in what makes it all worthwhile.

Sunday 25 February 2:45 - 3:30 PM - The Future is Now (Saenger Theater 2nd Floor Room A)
Join Claudia Grey, Dan Wells, Joshua Vogt, and Christopher Husberg as they discuss the influence of future and space on literature, movies, and games. From immersive gaming experiences like "The Void" to why we keep coming back to franchises like Star Wars.

So, if you're in the Pensacola area, come on by!

Monday, February 19, 2018

#metoo makes it to Publishing

The #metoo movement has started making waves in the publishing industry, and you can find all sorts of opinions on it.

Janci Patterson, author and all around awesome human being, shared her experience, and it is worth reading in every way, no matter who you are. She doesn't just share her experience with harassment, but also through the process of healing. I'm grateful for her courage and the change posts like this can bring about in the writing industry, and in the world. This kind of thing heals, and helps us be better.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Don't Break the Chain

I have a 2018 Buffy the Vampire Slayer calendar. That's important later on in this post, but I wanted to let everyone know up front because it's awesome.

I've got a new productivity philosophy I've been trying out, and I'm going to tell you about it because, so far, it's working out pretty well for me.

I've always been a streaky writer. When I'm on, I'm on, and words spring forward from me like Athena from Zeus' skull. When I have the right combination of momentum, positive peer pressure, and atmosphere, I can churn out five, six, sometimes more than ten thousand words in a day. Those streaks are pretty fantastic, and I love how productive I can be when I'm on.

There's one major downside to this condition, and it doesn't actually have much to do with "off" periods--even when I'm not "feeling" it, I can still achieve at least 1k words, usually a minimum of 2k, if I go full bic-hok. It's more effort and takes a lot more time than the periods when I'm "on," but I can still put the work in.

No, off-periods I can handle. What I've realized, after a few years of writing full time, is that the most disruptive thing I can do to my writing schedule is take a break. (🎵 "take a break!" 🎵)

For a long time, I'd take a much-needed, and usually well-deserved, break after I finished a draft of a novel--typically two or three days, or at least that's what I'd tell myself. But two or three days would turn into a week, and a week would turn into two. Eventually I'd start a new project, but starting a project usually involved outlining character arcs, structuring the story, research, and other pre-writing. This takes anywhere from a week to a couple months depending on the scope of the project and number of characters.

A little insertion, here: there's a big difference, at least for me, between composing, or writing first draft prose, and pretty much every other part of the writing process. Composing is why I write; it's the part of the process I find most interesting. I think it's the most fun. And I love it. Pre-writing and revising, while each are very different in their own rights, both have more of an industrial, day-to-day grind feel for me. I enjoy them, but not nearly as much as composing. For me, composing is the heart of writing. Taking what I've planned in the pre-writing phase and forming it into prose is what it's all about.

So, after my three-day to two-weeks long break, I have another period of time, sometimes as long as a few months, where I don't do much actual writing, which for me is composing first draft material.

(And that doesn't even include holidays or vacations, where I usually take a break from writing as well.)

Trying to get back into composing--into the literal and, in my opinion, purest shape of writing--after that long of a break is very. very. difficult. It's sometimes so difficult that I've spent weeks (and, once when it was at it's worst, and combined with a number of other psychological, existential, lifestyle-ish issues, months) paralyzed as I stare at a story I either haven't started yet or haven't touched in a bit too long.

I've tried a few things to deal with this problem, but nothing has really stuck--until now.

My new goal: Don't Break the Chain.

Anecdotally, this advice is attributed to Jerry Seinfeld. That's a pretty reasonable suggestion, if you ask me, because Jerry Seinfeld generally knows what he's doing. Supposedly, when asked what his pre-eminent advice to an aspiring stand-up comedian would be, it was to write new material every day, and that, more or less, i what I've been trying to do.

The basic gist is this: My goal is to write new prose every day--to not break the chain. Every day I write, I mark an X on a wall calendar I recently purchased for my office. As I start to accumulate a "chain" of unbroken writing days, I get this positive motivation to keep that chain going. This consistency accomplishes, chiefly, two things. (1) I'm writing every day, and I'm only going to get better at it when I'm writing every day, and (2) I'm solving my re-starting problem--by writing every day, I'm keeping my momentum going and always staying more or less in the zone.

Now, to be clear, I'm not writing 2k words every day. 2k is still my baseline goal on weekdays, and I'm happy to write more than that when I can, but on weekends the drops to a mere 250-500 words, and honestly, I think that's enough. I don't need to kill myself on the weekends to get an extra 3k words in/week; I'm not worried about my quantitative output, but I am focusing on consistency. 250 words takes me between 5-15 minutes to write, and that's something I can do on my phone right when I wake up, or on my computer right before I go to bed, or whatever.

One drawback for me: when I missed two days after about a 70-day chain from September-November (my current streak started on the 21 November, marked below), my gut reaction feeling was shame--it felt like I was an addict who'd lost his sobriety, if that makes sense, and I don't think that's a healthy way to approach this (aside: I have strong opinions on shame, basically that it is never, ever a positive thing). Fortunately I recognized that feeling pretty quickly and was able to acknowledge it was silly and get over it, but still. There's that risk, I suppose. That said, whenever I do wind up missing another day in the future (which I imagine will happen; it'd be a pretty amazing, but unlikely, feat to end up writing every day for the rest of my life), I'll hopefully have a better emotional approach to the whole thing.

But, generally, it's going very well! I don't know how many days I've racked up at this point, I'm not really keeping track other than x-ing them out on my calendar, but it's been about three full months' and I think that's pretty cool. Productivity is on the up and up, and I see myself pretty much sticking with this Don't Break the Chain concept for the foreseeable future.


You can see I wrote all the way through December, which included a two-week trip to see family, the holidays, and my birthday. There were a lot of smaller word-count days in the second half of December, but getting back on the horse in January was so much easier--because, basically, I'd never gotten off the horse to begin with.


Wrote every day in January. Also, bask in the awesomeness of Giles' page on my Buffy calendar.


February is going well so far, too. Still unbroken. Also: Spike.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 Schedule

As usual, here's a list of all of the conventions and events I'm planning this year! This list will likely expand in some areas and possibly contract in others, but this is a pretty solid listing of everything I'll be doing this year. If you find yourself in one of these locations, by all means grace me with your presence! I think it'll be an exciting year.

15-17 February  |  Life, the Universe, and Everything  |  Provo, UT

23-25 February  |  Pensacon  |  Pensacola, FL

24-27 May  |  Phoenix Comic Con  |  Phoenix, AZ

5 June  |  Blood Requiem Release Party!  |  Salt Lake City, UT
(more details TBA)

Blood Requiem Book Tour! (more details TBA)

21-23 June  |  Fyrecon  |  Layton, UT

14 July  |  Alaska Book Signing  |  Anchorage, AK
(more details TBA)

2-5 August  |  Gen Con  |  Indianapolis, IN

16-20 August  |  Worldcon 76  |  San Josa, CA

6-8 September  |  Salt Lake Comic Convention  |  Salt Lake City, UT

1-4 November  |  World Fantasy Convention  |  Baltimore, MD

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 10ish: Fun Times

I did something cool! I suppose these count for #AuthorLifeMonth "non-author photos," which would be day 10. (Like I said, since I already did the whole #AuthorLifeMonth thing last year, I'm doing it again this year more as motivation to just get back into blogging again.) I went to a full-blown masquerade, tho. It was cool. You know, the "hide your face so the world can never find you" type. Proof:

We looked pretty good tbh.


To a prosperous year, and a new chandelier.


Take your fill and let the spectacle astound you.



Monday, February 12, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day Whodunnit: Chaos Queen Theme

Back when we were working on the book trailer for DUSKFALL, we had some original music commissioned for the project, and the composer recently put it all together into a full theme and it is AWESOME!

Huge thanks to Mark Hoy for producing such amazing music, and to Garrett Gibbons at Cosmic Reach Media for putting together an amazing book trailer.

Check it out!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 8 (kind of, I'm bouncing around a bit)

So I'm sort of going to kill two birds with one stone here because (a) I'm a bit behind and (b) they actually haven't changed much in the past year.

Day 5 was actually "Comp Covers," and I covered that funny story last year. Since then, each of my covers have been pretty phenomenal (seriously, I love love the Blood Requiem cover), and I'm quite happy about them.

Day 7 was "Writing Music," and that too hasn't changed much since I wrote about it last year. A couple new Audiomachine albums have been released, and they're still ruling my headphones during writing time. I've also been enjoying some music by Giles Lamb, one particular song I raved about at the end of last year.

And there you have it! I think tomorrow or soonish I'm going to post another not-so-AuthorLifeMonth related, and I'm actually looking forward to that; it's been pretty formative in my writing lately. 'Til then!

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 5ish: Your WIP

So obviously I'm not being super orthodox about the whole Author Life Month thing this time around, and I'm okay with that. I've missed a few days, and I posted my list of 2017 films the other day and that was fun. But I would like to keep plugging along with the thing, so let's talk about my current WIP!

Book 3 of the Chaos Queen Quintet, Blood Requiem, is currently with my editor. I should receive editorial notes from her any day now, and when I do I'll hit that last revision hard and get it ready to go into ARC production. So that should happen soon.

But for now (and for the past couple months), I've been making some nice progress on Book 4 of the CQQ, tentatively titled Fear the Stars.

I have to say, this book is coming together very nicely.

It's an interesting, and actually pretty unique, feeling. You see, I've felt very confident about all three of the books I've produced so far. I think they are very different books from one another in a lot of ways, and each have different strengths. But Book 4 feels very good so far. I think I might have something special, ya'll. Only time will tell I suppose, and I'm sure there will be at least some people who will not enjoy Book 4 as much, but at least for now I am very excited about it. Some really cool things--things I've been writing towards since I first conceived of the CQQ world and characters--are finally happening on the page. I'm writing scenes that have driven the narrative for almost a decade, and that is really cool.

So! That's what I'm working on right now. While it's difficult to tell, I'd estimate that I'm about 30% through the first draft (while Book 3 is shaping up to be slightly shorter than the first two, I think Book 4 might end up being slightly longer), and my goal is to have it finished by the end of March. Fingers crossed.

A little snapshot of my process as I write Book 4.

Monday, February 05, 2018

2017 Films

So! Between the various streaming services I subscribe to, online rentals, airplane movies, and most significantly the fact that partway through the year I purchased a MoviePass (still have it, and I'm loving it), turns out I saw quite a few movies last year. Partway through the process I got to ranking them, and I figured I'd share my list, just for fun.

A note on my ranking system: I generally considered typical qualities of each film--mainly the writing, directing, acting, and story--and, for the most part, this list adheres to those criteria. But after everything was said and done, especially when some films were too close to call, the ultimate decision factor basically became "how much would I want to see this film a second (or third, or fourth) time?" Put another way, how much did I genuinely enjoy the experience? While receiving high marks in my typical criteria usually translates to me enjoying a film, there are other factors (genre, music, relevance, and yeah, sure, my mood, etc.) that contribute as well. So, while this list is definitive for me, and I welcome anyone's comments and dissensions, don't you dare tell me I'm wrong. This is my list. If you want a definitive list, go make your own, yo.

I'll start with the worst and make my way to the best, because drama.

45. Ghost in the Shell
I wanted to like this movie, which maybe is why I hated it so much. I'm not familiar with the source material at all, which likely contributes to how much I didn't like it. But yikes.

44. The Circle
I only rate this one better than Ghost in the Shell because (1) I had no expectations, and (2) Emma Watson.

43. Geostorm
I'm a sucker for disaster movies, but not even the genre saved this one. It was bad.

42. The Dark Tower
I really wanted to like this one, because (1) Stephen King--I mean, I'm a big fan, and this is his epic fantasy series which is the genre we share, so yeah, but also (2) Idris Elba, who is perhaps my favorite actor in this day and age, and to a lesser extent (3) Matthew McConnaughey (WOW is that difficult to spell). Elba made it palatable, barely, but otherwise this was an abysmal film.

41. Split
I don't know what is going on with M. Night Shyamalan, but ever since his initial wave of decent films (The Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable) it always seems like he's trying either too hard or not at all. This one was the former.

40. The Mountain Between Us
I found the writing particularly uninteresting in this film, mainly--once again, despite the presence of Idris Elba. Dude needs to get into some better movies! (Actually I saw him in Molly's Game earlier this year and not only was that a decent film overall, but Elba was pretty good in it, too.)

39. The Foreigner
It was cool to see Jackie Chan on the big screen--it had been a while for me. Other than that, however, this one was pretty forgettable.

38. My Little Pony
Saw this one with my two-year-old daughter, and it easily had more story than every film above it on my list, and probably a lot of films below it, too. In short, it was pretty decent. The only reason it ranks so low on my list is that it just isn't my particular taste.

37. Flatliners
I like Nina Dobrev. I really like Ellen Page. Neither could really help this film. Flatliners had some semi-decent scary moments, but that was about all it had going for it. Very little in the plot and character department.

36. Kong: Skull Island
This is probably the first movie on the list where the enjoyment factor (barely) outweighed whatever negatives it brought to the table. I thought it was fun. Not much beyond that, but it was fun.

35. F8 of the Furious
Meh. Another day, another F&F film. Needed more Dwayne Johnson (doesn't everything?).

34. Justice League
Yikes. My expectations were high (for a DC film, which is to say I hoped it would be coherent), especially after Wonder Woman (which you will find much MUCH later on my list), and, what can I say, I was disappointed. Steppenwolf was the biggest problem with the film. Ezra Miller's the Flash was maybe the best part of it. The schism between Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon's visions was painfully obvious. It was rough, and probably deserves to be lower on my list, but, well, Ezra Miller/Gal Godot I guess?

33. King Arthur
This one almost certainly belongs lower on my list, but hey, I just really enjoyed it. It's my genre, first of all (or at least it is sometimes, it sort of wishy-washes its way around a few different sub-genres but whatever), so I sort of felt like I had a stake in the game, and it did have a number of cool elements. Acting, writing, and general story were whatever, though, to be honest.

32. Alien Covenant
Thinking back on it I honestly cannot even tell the difference between this and Prometheus in my head, other than that Prometheus had more of the big Engineer dudes. I think? I don't even know. I find the character of David tedious, too. It did have some good action sequences, however, and it was pretty cool to see some legit xenomorphs in action with modern effects.

31. The Void
A decent attempt at a modern Lovecraftian tale, but the Lovecraftian aspects were really all it had going for it. It didn't have much to say, which disappointed me (and I find one of the more compelling aspects of Lovecraftian stuff--even if the thing a work is trying to say is that it's pointless to say anything, if you catch my drift--but none of that here).

30. Murder on the Orient Express
I enjoyed this film. A bit lacking in story and character, but the acting and visuals really engaged me.

29. Beauty and the Beast
Again, because I'm a fan of Emma Watson, I wanted to like this one a lot more than I did. It was a lot of fun, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure why I'd ever go back and watch this over the original animated Disney version. (Particular disappointment: the grandeur of Belle singing "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere" was completely lost in this version.)

28. Baby Driver
Such a fun movie. Good acting, great action sequences, good writing. But, to paraphrase a friend, it was utterly inconsequential. I haven't thought of it once since seeing it except when I've seen it on this list in passing, as I compare it to other films. I didn't find anything of lasting value in it, and that's why it's relatively low on the list. That said, while Kong marked the point in the list where enjoyability started to outweigh bad qualities, Baby Driver I think marks the point where I think pretty much everything from here on out is a strong, and (usually--see mother!) enjoyable film.

27. Life
Combine slightly better versions of Alien Covenant and The Void, and you get Life. I really enjoyed this one, especially the surprising-but-inevitably ending.

26. mother!
Thought-provoking, disturbing, horrifying, and super-weird. I don't know what else to say about it. Though it is sort of in the middle of my list, which means I thought it was an okay film, I would only recommend it to a select few people. You probably aren't one of them, so don't bother.

25. Ingrid Goes West
A quiet, under-the-radar film, but a decent take on social media. Sort of a mild, movie-length version of a Black Mirror episode. Solid performances from Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen.

24. Happy Death Day
Groundhog Day is one of my favorite films, and I have a special place in my heart for movies the take that trope and run with it (particularly Edge of Tomorrow, and ARQ, just off the top of my head). Happy Death Day does a surprisingly decent job with that trope, too. Not a perfect film, but I found it very enjoyable.

23. Atomic Blonde
This one would rate much higher on my list if it weren't for the entire first half. The second half was surprising, brutal, and crazy in all the best ways. The first half wasn't really any of those things (maybe a bit brutal I guess, but that's it). I was one of the folks who was skeptical of the fight scenes in this one based on the trailers, but turns out I really enjoyed them, particularly the ones toward the end. It was exhausting to watch, and I loved it.

22. It Comes at Night
Some great acting and character work here, along with good writing and story development. I...liked the ambiguity, but not as much as I've loved ambiguity in other things. That probably makes no sense to anyone but me, but there it is. It was quite good, but not quite great.

21. The Last Jedi
Yikes. This was maybe the most problematic film for me to place on this list. The first time I saw it, I really enjoyed it, despite some pretty clear flaws--so I couldn't put it too high on my list. The second time I saw it, I hardly enjoyed it at all, despite some of the more interesting parts--so I couldn't put it too low, either. So here it is. Having seen it twice, the aftertaste I feel is mostly just underwhelmed.

20. Spider-Man: Homecoming
A decent superhero movie, and one of the better MCU solo films that has come out in the last few years, in my opinion. Tom Holland is by far the best Spider-man to grace the silver screen.

19. Logan Lucky
Channing Tatum. Daniel Craig. Adam Driver. A heist redneck film that was not only hilarious but had a lot of laughs as well. This film was pretty great.

18. War for the Planet of the Apes
The Planet of the Apes remake in, what, the early 2000's?, was not great. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was mediocre. But Dawn and War have both not only been decent niche sci-fi films, they've been genuinely good films in general. Great writing, great story. Fantastic acting, including some of Andy Serkis' best work. But you don't just get that, you get it with anthropomorphized apes on horses welding machine guns riding through fire. This was an awesome movie.

17. The Big Sick
Just a really solid, well-acted, well-written relationship comedy. A lot of fun.

16. John Wick: Chapter 2
Delightful, over-the-top fight scenes, with compelling character work to boot. I think I liked it even better than the first chapter.

15. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
This was perhaps the biggest surprise of the year for me. I went into this expecting a pretty mediocre comedy, the best parts of which I assumed I'd already seen in the trailers. I'm happy to report I was wrong. Not only was the film even more hilarious than the trailers intimated, it had its fair share of heart as well. I'm not ashamed to admit I got emotional at some of the ending parts. Also Dwayne Johnson.

14. Only the Brave
I'm still not quite sure where to put this film. So here it is, I guess. Don't get me wrong, it has many good qualities. It certainly tells a compelling story. But man, that ending...unless you're familiar with the real-life events on which the movie is based, it's a real gut-punch. I am glad these stories get to be told.

13. Dunkirk
Christopher Nolan's World War II epic doesn't quite make it into my top three Nolan films, maybe not even into my top five if I'm honest, but even if it's number six, that's still pretty great company, and still a very, very good movie. As good a WWII epic as anything that's been released recently, I suppose.

12. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
Not as good as the first one, but still one of the better superhero films out there. And Yondu steals the film, ya'll.

11. Blade Runner 2049
I'll be honest, I didn't love this film as much as a lot of my friends, and a lot of critics, did. That said, it was still a phenomenal movie, and it's evidence that some people in Hollywood are still interested in telling compelling tales. Unfortunately, it's also evidence that audiences aren't necessarily drawn to compelling tales.

10. The Greatest Showman
Here we are, going into the top ten! The Greatest Showman, objectively speaking, should not be this high on my list. Nevertheless, here it is. It didn't matter to me that it was not only wildly historically inaccurate, it was historically absurd. It didn't matter to me that the character development fell flat at times, and that there were some significant plot issues. I'll be honest: the music was too good. The dancing was too fun. The acting was pretty solid. I'd see it again in a heartbeat, and the soundtrack has been playing almost nonstop at our house. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I loved it.

9. Wind River
From what I know of hunting, it's basically a bunch of long, slow waiting periods interspersed with very brief bursts of intense action. I think that describes Wind River to a T. Don't misinterpret me; the long, slow waiting periods in this film were still great stuff; good character development and dialog, good structuring. And the intense sequences...well, they're crazy. It was a great film.

8. The Disaster Artist
Hilarious. Brilliant. Weird. Awesome. Franco bros. Oh hai Mark. Etc.

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Compelling story. Fantastic acting. Delightful writing.

6. Lady Bird
Lady Bird sports everything I listed for Three Billboards, plus one thing more: early 2000s high school nostalgia. The country-themed high school dance where they're dancing to Bone Thugs N Harmony was EVERYTHING, ya'll. Everything.

5. IT
After the disaster that was Dark Tower, I was worried for Stephen King flicks in 2017. But IT pulled through. I've never been a huge fan of the original miniseries (other than the Tim Curry factor), so my expectations weren't high going into the remake. But I loved it. IT takes a page (successfully) from Stranger Things by hitting the heart and nostalgia notes hard, but it also manages to be a pretty frightening film in its own right. I cannot wait for part 2.

4. Wonder Woman
What can I say? This film blew me away. Gal Godot is amazing and an incredible Wonder Woman. Honestly, Wonder Woman might actually be a better film than the next two on the list--and really, they're all neck and neck--but I personally enjoyed the following films just slightly more.

3. Thor: Ragnarok
I was actually surprised that three of my top five were superhero films, but when I look at which three films made it, I can't think of them being anywhere else on the list. Ragnarok is easily the most fun I've had watching a superhero film, and that includes both GotG movies, Kick-Ass, Spiderman 2, and everything else I can think of. It was hilarious, it was exciting, it had great action sequences, and it used Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" impeccably well. Also, all hail Taika Waititi!

2. Logan
To be honest, slots 2-4 are almost interchangeable. What puts Logan just a smidge ahead for me is the fact that it offers what no other superhero film has yet dared to offer: an ending. And it's an emotional, satisfying, believable ending at that.

1. Get Out
If you haven't seen Get Out, go see it. It was, definitively, my favorite film of 2017. Thrilling, relevant, hilarious, terrifying. Impeccably (and, often, creepily) acted, deftly written and directed, brilliantly put together. Ya'll. Go see Get Out.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 3: Last 5-Star Read

Technically my last 5-star read was Misery by Stephen King. It was actually even better than I expected it to be; with the exception of one uncomfortable description towards the end of the book, I thought it was not just a great yarn but also very well-written. But I've already talked about one of the things I enjoyed about Misery, so I'm going to take this time to give some shout-outs to some other recent 5-star books I've read.

The first is The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. I've been studying story structure recently, and one of the methods I've been studying is Shawn Coyne's Story Grid. Coyne gushes about how good The Silence of the Lambs is, so I finally got around to checking it out. I can certainly understand why it's help up as one of the finest thrillers of all time; it delivered on all fronts. I enjoyed it even more than the film (the same can be said for Misery--and neither is a small claim, they are both very good films.

The second is Mother's Milk by Rachel Hunt Steenblick. This was a more unconventional read for me--it is a book of poetry inspired by the author's ongoing relationship with deity, particularly a female, motherly deity. It was beautiful, and absolutely a five-star read.

The third book I'll recommend is Long Dark Night by Janci Patterson. This book has one of the best, most harrowing takes on vampirism I've ever seen packed into a fast-paced thriller. If you want the anti-Twilight (in every good sense of the phrase), check this one out for sure.

Friday, February 02, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 2: Author Photo

Well, I mentioned last year that my photo needed to be updated, and that is still the case. My hair is long. I am sans beard (usually). But, hey, I do still wear scarves and leather, so I've got that going for me at least.



Yep, still rocking this as my go-to author photo--mainly because it does the job quite well (thanks to my cousin who takes fantastic photos--check out some more from the shoot), and I don't feel the need to fix what ain't broke. I also love the castle-y background.

WILL I EVER GET A NEW AUTHOR PHOTO? Only time will tell.

Also, yes, absolutely, one day I will.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

#AuthorLifeMonth Day 1


Author Life Month is back! I'm excited to be doing it again, and hoping that it will jumpstart my blogging habits this year.

I'll be going through (most of) these prompts in the month of February (I'm not yet aware of any fan art for my books, for example, so I'll either skip that one or do something else). Some of the responses will be similar to what I did last year, but I'm looking forward to running through it again and seeing how things have changed.

So, to get things started, let's check out my books. And wouldn't you know it, I have one more book available than I did last year--Dark Immolation was released in June of 2017--and I have three more on the way this year! (Er, don't get too excited--two of them are translations of my work being released in other countries.)

The three of my books that are available right now are Duskfall and Dark Immolation, books 1 and 2 of the Chaos Queen Quintet (a dark epic fantasy series), and Frostflamme, the German translation of Duskfall.
The German translation of Dark ImmolationFeuerstunde, will be released in Germany on 2 May of this year.
And of course Blood Requiem, book 3 of the Chaos Queen Quintet, will be released on 5 June of this year!

Also, Duskfall will be translated into a third language: Polish! That version should be released later this year.

I think it's going to be an exciting year. Blood Requiem in particular is shaping up very nicely, and I can't wait until it reaches the masses in June!