The Ember War Is Live On IndieGoGo!

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This moment has been a long time in the making. I’ve been working on this book on the scripting and project management end for most of this year. We wanted to get to the point where we were more than halfway done with the art to run a campaign for this, and we finally reached that point!

The Ember War, for those who don’t know, is a military science fiction series by Richard Fox, which has sold more than 500,000 units and won a Dragon Award (beating out my Star Realms: Rescue Run for the award, curses!).  It’s an incredible series and I was happy as a fan of the series to be able to script the comic book adaptation.

What’s cool is this marks the first indie science fiction novel to be adapted in this manner. This is an historic event which will open up new markets for many independent authors. It’s a true pioneering of the medium.

The campaign is live now on IndieGoGo, with art by Jethro Morales, my partner from Flying Sparks and a cover by the legendary Graham Nolan. I’ll leave you with a couple of images. Go back it today! 

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Updates Updates Updates

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I don’t really have time to look into a blog topic today, so I’ll give another projects update cuz I’m working my tail off over here:

Flying Sparks is done-done-done. The pages are currently being formatted for print, I think I’ve finally caught all the typos in it. It’ll be nice to get this going. Posters have been printed. T-shirts are in printing process and if all goes right I’ll have all the books and everything at my office and ready for shipping by the end of the month.

The Ember War launches next week, same creative team as Flying Sparks. This one isn’t done, but is something in process as I’ve talked about before. It’s Richard Fox’s epic military science fiction adapted into comic form. I don’t love having to run an Indiegogo before Flying Sparks gets out the door, but we need to get that rolling timing wise for Richard’s schedule.  This is going to be 120 pages. Graham Nolan, the famed Batman artist, will be doing the cover.  Art is 40% complete on the whole project. I’m currently about 70% done writing it. Aiming to get it to people in march 2019.

The Fight For Rislandia – the conclusion to my steampunk trilogy is being read by a couple folk to check for typos. It’s all done should be released around the end of the month.

Alt- Hero novel is in with Vox for editing.

My short story collection is being edited as well. I need to write one more story for that to get that done, anticipate November release.

And I have several other novels and comics on the backburner at the moment. Hope to get to those soon.

For now, pick up For Steam And Country and its sequel The Blood of Giants. I’m excited for the trilogy to conclude! It might be more action than you can handle 😉

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Unplugging – At Least To Some Extent

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Over the weekend I listened to a nice message at church just about interacting with people, being available, demonstrating love by helping people. The topic came to social media, and it reminds me of what NYT Bestselling Author Ted Dekker said once: “Social media is for 3 things: to attack, to defend, and to promote. Nothing else.”

Keeping that in mind, there’s some objectives that can be obtained by attacking and defending, but it’s all too easy to get sucked into a pattern of fighting that’s unhealthy, doesn’t actually help anything, and is very meaningless at the end of the day — as what’s it done to impact anyone’s actual lives?

Most fighting seems to come down to politics, and I haven’t seen a social media argument where it’s convinced one person one way or another. In fact, there seems to be an inverse relationship between people convinced and lengthy twitter arguments. It just gets people to tune out and mad at each other.

And I’ve found that’s a waste of time.

So what I’ve done, is I’ve actually removed the Twitter and Facebook apps on my phone. FEAR NOT! It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting memes and being funny, or even stop some zingers occasionally — but those are all with the intention of fun and funny — and I’m certainly not going to stop promoting my books. But I want to only have these apps in a contained environment where I specifically WANT to use them, not scroll through and look at the drama over the course of the day. I have a special app for DMs and the like so i can talk to people one on one.

I’ll check back in a week or two to see how this 1. impacts relationships with people and 2. helps me focus on work. Maybe it’s a good idea for you too, only way to know is to try it.  If you do make it off social media, check out my book, The Blood Of Giants in that newfound free time. It’s by far my best book yet and book 3 is going to be coming out in a few weeks!

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Projects Update

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I’m keeping myself very busy and got a lot going on. I posted this to my Facebook Group yesterday (join up!) so if you missed it, here’s where everything’s at:

Status updates:

Novels:
The Fight For Rislandia: Complete
Justified: Complete 
Reach For The Stars: First Drafted
Alt-Hero Novel: 35% Edited
Sanctified: 15% first drrafted
The Stars Entwined 2: Outlined

Short Story Collection: Needs 1-2 more shorts written before releasing

Comics:
Flying Sparks: Dialogue revisions done, waiting on last 1/3 for lettering, art done.
Flying Sparks volume 2: needs dialogue revisions, art done.
The Ember War: Issue 2 of 5 in coloring. Issue 3 being pencilled.
Dynamite Thor: Layouts being done. Script half drafted.
AI Wars: 3 pages done, first issue of 4 scripted.
Clockwork Dancer: 2 pages done, first issue of 4 scripted.
Astormancer Pisces Manga: 10% scripted, art concepts done.

Tentative release schedules:
Sept: The Fight for Rislandia, Ember War IndieGoGo
Oct: Alt-Hero Novel, Flying Sparks out to backers.
Nov: Short Story Collection

For now make sure to back Flying Sparks on IndieGoGo. Only a couple of more days to go and we can push this higher!

 

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Leaving The Area For The Weekend

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Unfortunately, due to family health reasons, I’ll be unable to attend further Worldcon related events this weekend. I have to leave the area because of the heavy smoke and bad air quality. Health takes priority.

The protest against pedophilia is still on, and will be happening from 1-4 PM tomorrow (Saturday) and there’s expected to be a sizeable turnout. They have my full support and I hope that Worldcon will be sensible and disavow pedophilia within sci-fi as they should.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and I really appreciate you all being here and reading. The Blood of Giants is my 2nd #1 New Release in a row so I might have to change my brand from “The Leading Hispanic Voice In Science Fiction” to “The Leading Voice in Steampunk” without the racial modifier 🙂

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Pray For My Safety At Worldcon

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Later today, I’m heading to Worldcon 76 in San Jose, the convention that made a proclamation as to my banning because I voiced safety concerns to them, and they decided to make a political statement by disregarding my safety concerns and instead attacked the victim, which has frankly led to my entire career being a danger to my person. From their position of authority, they justified the opinions of a few mentally ill people in the industry who have been rabble rousing about me for over a year.

Over the last few days, attacks have stepped up again in a massive way. Part of this is because I released my new book, The Blood Of Giants, and the industry people are very threatened by the success I’ve had so far. The other is an intimidation tactic to warn me to stay away from a public convention center on city property, to try to instill further fear in me that I’m going to be attacked if I arrive.

In a last attempt to communicate with Worldcon and see if they would act like adults, I voiced concerns again for safety as Mike Glyer posted to File 770 that there were people fantasizing of violence on his site. Worldcon did not show interest in making sure that violent people were kept out of their convention despite on their website having it say “we take all complaints seriously”. Only if your’e the “right” political persuasion, it appears. They refuse to even acknowledge my issues.

This is no surprise given the board member of the convention who voiced that they should be uncivil to conservatives, and made statements positing violence himself on his facebook page.

But it became worse on twitter the last two days. Several authors sent out tweets libeling me a Nazi or worse — and given the rhetoric these folk espouse of “punch a Nazi” and also given the attack on Jeremy Hambly at Gencon, there’s a very real danger to my person for simply showing up and trying to buy a ticket as I’m going to do today.

What I’m doing is the act of an average citizen exercising my civil rights to gather in a public square. I’m showing up to say I will not bow to intimidation tactics. I will not move to the back of the bus because you threaten me. I will not go to a different drinking fountain because you made a proclamation about me. It’s important, and as these threats increase, it becomes more important.

The problem is these people never even see a conservative in their real lives. They unfriended an disowned even their family who thinks differently than them. They have no clue we exist and are humans, and combined with the tendency to revel in fantasy worlds (as these are mostly fantasy/sci-fi types), they’ve convinced themselves they’re in some hero action movie where assaulting someone like me is a noble thing.

I really hope I’m wrong and that some folk will step up and as worldcon’s code of conduct says, “Treat people as you’d want others to treat your sister or brother.”

Will they be able to do that? We’ll find out. But I need your prayers. I’ll be broadcasting later today so make sure to watch my youtube/periscope for further details. They can’t stop the signal.

And make sure to support my efforts in civil rights and in the science fiction industry by picking up The Blood Of Giants, my new release yesterday. It’s by far the best book I’ve ever written. Action-packed, over the top adventure.

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The Blood Of Giants Release Day!

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I’m so pumped for this book. It is leaps and bounds better than my other work and I’ve been waiting to release this almost all year. Zaira’s finally come into her own. She’s learning to command her airship and crew, and there’s so much development here.

You’re absolutely going to love this book. It’s got cool cultures, strange monsters, awesome airship battles and most importantly, epic character development.

If you haven’t read For Steam And Country yet, it’s on sale for 99 cents so you can get in on the ground floor very inexpensively. Knight Training is at 99 cents also. The Blood Of Giants can be read on its own, however.

It’s available now on Amazon. Pick it up. Read. Review. Tell your friends.

Buy the Blood of Giants here.

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Are Literary Agents Useful Or A Hindrance – By R.D. Meyer

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I meant to post this for friend Friday but after receiving physical threats over my attendance of Worldcon, I ended up busy in the morning making sure the police reports were filed and the like. It’s handled now… so let’s get back to business with a guest post by RD Meyer, author of Salvation Day:

I was speaking last week with an old friend of mine named Kevin. Several years ago,
Kevin was a potentially up-and-coming author who’d secured a literary agent for his
book Paws On The Ground. The book is about his time as an MP working with dogs in
Afghanistan, and the title is a take off of the military phrase “boots on the ground.” It’s a
way to say that you have to be in the thick of things and physically present to have an
impact.

Kevin had gone to a writing conference and an agent was impressed enough to sign
him. That’s when he learned that maybe literary agents aren’t the best route to go if you
want to get your message out to the public…

His first agent(I’ll get to why he was the “first” in a second) kept giving him edits and
corrections to make. Don’t get me wrong – if something can be made better, then I’m
totally open to someone pointing out what that might be. What I’m not open to is
someone who supposedly works for me – and yes, literary agents work for the writer,
not the other way around – insisting that his or her suggestions must be taken. I’m the
writer, and I get to decide what works best for the story.

There was lots of back and forth, and tons of new “suggestions,” but the agent never
tried even once to submit Kevin’s books to publishers for sale. Finally fed up, Kevin
fired the guy and turned to a new agent. This one didn’t offer too much to change, and
he sounded like he was enthusiastic about Kevin’s book. Then…nothing. The guy just
disappeared, as if the Earth had opened up and swallowed him whole. Kevin hasn’t
heard from him in more than two years, and he has basically given up on anything
happening with his work.

Those who know me know of my antipathy towards literary agents. I think, for the most
part, that they’re useless. To start with, they’re supposed to be selling your work and
negotiating a contract, but every one I’ve encountered has no background in business
or intellectual property law. Most, in fact, have MFA or English degree and appear to
simply want to be writers themselves without running the risk of putting their own work
out there. No, they’d rather criticize actual writers behind the scenes and then take
credit for what someone else wrote.

Were I to ever decide to go the traditional route for my work(the offer would have to be
really high for me to give up the freedom of indie publishing), I wouldn’t need another
literary critic. I’ve got beta readers and people I respect for critiques. Since reading
taste is subjective, I have to be the final arbiter of whether or not a suggestion makes
sense. What I need instead of another critic is someone familiar with intellectual
property law. What rights do I retain? When do the rights revert back to me? Is the
publisher insisting on a right-of-first-refusal for my next book? What will the publisher
do from a marketing standpoint and what does that publisher expect me to do? MFAs
and English degrees are great, but they don’t credential someone to determine whether
or not a contract offer is to my advantage. And since the main advantage most of these agents offer is access to a traditional publisher, it’s more in an agent’s interest to get
better terms for the publisher than for me so that the agent can stay in the good graces
of the publisher.

Most agents rely on the naiveté of new authors to yoke them into their corral. This had
its merits…25 years ago. However, in the new age of indie publishing, all it takes is
some initiative and common business sense to get what an agent could. If you want a
traditional contract, then get an intellectual property attorney for your contract. You can
hire your own cover artist, your own editor, and market your book yourself. Sure, it may
not have a big-time publisher’s name attached, but a lot of successful books don’t have
that. Remember that The Martian and Fifty Shades of Grey both started off as indie-
published. It wasn’t a literary agent or traditional publisher that made them successful.
They were successful the same way I Am Legend or The Shining were successful –
they captured lightning in a bottle and caught a break(luck and timing are the biggest
pieces an agent won’t talk about, pretending instead that they can make you the next JK
Rowling rather than acknowledge that most books, even those represented by a
traditional publisher, don’t earn that kind of money).

If you want the comfort of having a literary agent, go ahead, but know that you’re likely
making a mistake. Most agents I’ve encountered think they run things rather than that
they work for their client, just like a lawyer or interior decorator. If you want to retain
your freedom and not worry whether or not someone who has an MFA but has likely
never published in their life approves of you, then eschew the agent route and put stock
in your own abilities. After all, you have some control over those.

Check out Salvation Day by RD Meyer! 

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