An Interview With an IDF Soldier

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Very excited for the Lunch Stream as we have Yakov Merkin, an IDF soldier who has firsthand experience on what it’s like in Israeli existence. He’s also got a great military science fiction series Galaxy Ascendant and we’ll ask him how his military life informs his writing!  Make sure to like and subscribe cuz it boosts our channel!




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Two Face Finally Came For Me

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It’s been a proxy war for the last 2 months. Ethan Van Sciver — aka Two Face — said platitudes to me for awhile, while he had private chats where he sent people both after me, and he was even so paranoid to think that people were “spying” on my behalf.

This is what happens when someone who’s ill-equipped to lead gets tapped as a leader. Ethan is an artist, used to solitary work, he’s not a person to redefine and change an industry. It’s a personality type, and it was pretty obvious to most of us that comicsgate was going to implode when he grew his audience — not because of comics — but because of bashing Star Wars. A crowd that didn’t care about the products came on, threw money at him and others, and because of the dollar amounts coming in, people thought this was going to be a great ride and hitched their horses.

I’m one of the very fortunate few who was able to run 2 successful crowdfunds with very little help from EVS. My first book, Flying Sparks, I can trace $3-5K of the $31,000+ total to the youtubers promoting it. about 15-20%. A chunk, but not a deal killer. On The Ember War, we’re at $24,000 without a single one of the YouTubers supporting it, mentioning it, or saying anything about me except for negative comments. So I have my own fanbase, which is the good news.

Many of these guys do not, however. They’re stuck. This youtube money was never going to last forever. The whole premise was based on outrage, not actual products, and so these guys have to perpetually stoke outrage — at Vox Day, at me, at Miss Sashi, at smaller creators (Ethan dedicated several shows to attacking a guy who had an indiegogo with less than 20 backers because he spoke ill of EVS), at fans even — who I won’t name to protect them.  They’re using the same tactics as the pros at Marvel/DC that they were originally mocking to get big.

Ethan finally came out and said he didn’t like me over the weekend, told me to “go away”, as if I didn’t have any part of this movement before he even showed up. The hubris in that statement and resentment shows that he blames me for his crumbling empire, even though I have little to do with him (I’ve not been around his youtube crew at all for 2 months now!). Last night, he escalated attacks by coming after someone for following me on Twitter, accusing him of being a “Jon del Arroz acolyte” and promptly blocking him.

He knows he’s messed up, but instead of patching up the situation and working together to build something, he’s going to keep escalating and doubling down, because he can’t admit that this was too big of an animal to wield. Imagine a world where he would have focused on Cyberfrog getting done on time instead of on youtube… we’d probably be having a different conversation right now.

I’d only been kind to Ethan. I wrote him up in the Federalist, promoted him, backed his going-to-be-late comic book, helped prop him up along the way because he claimed he was a Trump supporter and trying to build something new out of the ashes of the industry. But I always got the sense he didn’t like me from day one, and I couldn’t understand why. I think there’s a couple of reasons for it: 1. I can’t be controlled, I have my own thoughts and he didn’t want folk around him who wouldn’t just toe the line and make him feel good and 2. because I’m a writer, and there’s a rivalry between artists like him and writers that date back to the Image Comics early days. Those guys and the people who followed them have an “art is everything” mentality with comics, and when they see a good writer it actually plays to their insecurities cuz they know they can’t put together as good a story as someone like me.

Regardless of the reasons, it’s out in the open now. He can’t be Two Face about me any longer and put on the smiles on one side of the face, while trying to have his sycophants destroy me from the other.  It’s good. I’m going to keep writing, keep making comics and keep winning. I hope the guys who followed him through this thinking there’s a money train don’t dig themselves into too deep of a hole.

My writing wins awards and is a #1 Amazon Bestseller. It all starts in For Steam And Country, my steampunk novel which launched my career and got me the readers that will follow me to whatever I write (and I love you for it!). Check it out here. 


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20Books Final Takeaways

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What a great conference! I’ve rarely felt so energized about writing as I have these last couple of days. What it comes down to is what I’ve always been saying: write more, and become a master of advertising. Those two things are all anyone needs for success.

It may seem a daunting task, but there’s courses out there on marketing. There’s a lot that can be done and anyone can really do it. It’ just a question on if you have a will and a drive to.

For me, this means really upping my game on Amazon ads, fixing my descriptions on my books in conjunction with those, working with Facebook ads, and trying to double my productivity next year.

I’m about 2 scenes from wrapping up the second book in a science fiction trilogy I intend on launching next year. I’ve got a couple of such trilogies in the pipeline as well as several great comics. We’ll see how it goes!

For now, check out my Patreon. That’s where I’ll be launching stuff including full first drafts of books to my top tier backers. Check it out here.

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Sorry about the lack of blog yesterday. Flew out to Las Vegas on Monday night and had to rush to the conference early… and then didn’t have wifi at the conference to post. I’m actually at my hotel right now to write this, running late for day two.

But day one was jam packed with excellent tips and tricks for people interested in the BUSINESS of being an indie writer. There’s a lot more to it than it looks like from ad buys to different content management that folk may not see behind the scenes. I go into it sometimes.

My main takeaway from the conference yesterday was their dissecting of book blurbs by different authors. And my takeaway was I can do better on my amazon blurbs. I’m going to be spending the next couple of days rewriting those but I’ll pass on the basic formula they were saying is gold at the conference for those interested as writers:


Introduce Character

Follow character’s emotional journey

Raise the stakes

Leave the readers wanting more

Ask for the sale.

I may do a periscope stream on this at some point later to explain why this is crucial and why so many amazon listings make a miss here. Here’s a quick one I did for For Steam And Country as a result of this. I haven’t changed it on amazon yet (this may not be my final wording) so you can compare my current to what’s here: 

The Baron’s airship will fly again. 

Zaira Von Monocle could never live up to the epic adventures of her dead father. Rather than follow in the footsteps of the man who abandoned her, she’s resigned to living a quiet life alone on a farm. Her ordinary world shatters when she inherits her father’s airship, The Liliana.

War looms over the horizon, as the the Wyranth empire invade  Zaira’s village in search of her airship, the deadliest weapon Rislandia’s ever produced. Zaira is forced to abandon her home in service of king and country, when she discovers and incredible military secret—her father might still be alive.

Can Zaira take command of the Liliana and rescue the great Baron Von Monocle? Find out by reading For Steam And Country, the first book in this #1 Bestselling YA Steampunk Series and CLFA Book of the Year Award winner!



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On Movements and Moving On

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I have a lot of stuff I want to say, but unfortunately I’m on the move today, headed to the 20BooksTo50K conference in Las Vegas, a conference solely about indie marketing and business building. The real deal.

All I can say is– stay strong. You know in your hearts what is right and where to go. There’s a lot more world out there and we can learn from our mistakes together and build something even better on the next go around. Never give up, never surrender. The culture war was never going to be easy.

For now make sure to check out my Patreon. I’m putting together short stories, comics, novels, drafts, all sorts of content. I just posted an exclusive Flying Sparks update yesterday for all subscribers. Check it out here.

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New Short Story Release: “All Is Fair In Love And Mercs”

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I’ve got a new short out in Chris Kennedy’s new anthology, Luck Is Not A Factor.  

This follows up on my short story “Lost And Found” which details the adventures of the most bad ass scrappy small merc crew in the galaxy, Rosethorn’s Renegades, and their intimidatingly named ship, The Lilly.

It’s a standalone story, so no worries if you haven’t read the first, but if you want to start chronologically, pick up A Fistful Of Credits.  

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Halloween Brings Out The Creative Spirit

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I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but last year I got my first cosplay of Baron Von Monocle (in the form of the elder).  This year I just received some fan art of a character who I don’t see a lot of people talking about uusally, but is one of my favorites, Marina:

Very cool! I love the logo in the background too it’s nice! Love this kind of thing and it makes my day.

If you haven’t read the Von Monocle series yet, make sure to go do so. It’s most people’s favorite works of mine.

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When Science Is No Longer Science

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Dr. Hans Schantz stops by today to talk his discoveries in physics, and how academia has turned scientists into an industry of “consensus” rather than people who produce experiments to try to catalog the results and make conclusions based on their findings. You won’t want to miss this, probably our most important lunch stream yet:

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Make It Happen For Josh Howard’s T-Bird And Throttle

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I just posted a new deal: anyone who backs this indiegogo for $300+ gets written into one of my upcoming novels as a character. Please consider helping Josh out. This is going to be a great book. I’ve read #0 and #1and they’re wonderful. Josh is one of my favorite aritists and we need to help get him funded! 

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