Sunday, June 22, 2014

Interview at Airship Ambassador

I'm on vacation this entire week. Work sucks, and I need the break. I'm mentally burned out, so I hope to get my batteries recharged after some R&R.

Some great news! The Airship Ambassador (who also happens to be steampunk-central for the entire blogosphere) has interviewed me. You can read Part One right HERE.

It's an honor to be featured on his site, as The Airship Ambassador is the authority on everything steampunk. Checkout his landing page at www.airshipambassador.com for all kinds of steampunk-goodness.

I hope to catch up with all of you when I get back. Until then...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mythology As Inspiration

I grew up reading mythology. In fact, the very first book I ever read was a Chinese myth called Ma Lien and the Magic Paintbrush. When the original Clash of the Titans came out in 1981, I was so excited to see it. Sure, it was a little terrifying, but I was hooked.

What I love most about mythology is that the stories are both fantastical and so deeply rooted in the human psyche. Their messages are universal, despite the obvious mythical (and often hyperbolic) material surrounding these great stories.

When I was making the rounds marketing my debut novel, Dragonfly Warrior, I was asked so many great questions by my fellow bloggers. Many of them asked, "What inspired you to write this book?" That's easy.

All the great mythology I read growing up.

So I'd like to share just a few of my favorites that I drew direct inspiration from.

King Arthur. These stories are such a part of our cultural knowledge, it's not even funny. And I have no problem giving a nod to Monty Python either! To me, the story of King Arthur is the original "love triangle." The myth of King Arthur is really made up of a bunch of different stories all tied together. It starts out with how Arthur was first conceived (and it ain't pretty), then goes on to tell the tale of how he pulls the sword from the stone, the creation of the Knights of the Round Table, The Quest for the Holy Grail, and of course, the betrayal by Arthur's wife and his best friend.

Throw in some wizardry, Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, and one ticked-off bastard son, and you've got one helluva an epic adventure.

The Odyssey. After the fall of troy, King Odysseus of Ithaca thinks that he's "just too cool for school." Instead of paying homage to the gods, he boasts how awesome humans are. So when he and his crew set sail for home, the gods totally mess with him, and allow him to wander the seas for a good 20 years. He's desperate to get back to his wife and son, and he's tempted with really sexy goddesses and stuff along the way. Odysseus' tale has several themes running through it. It's a morality tale, but it also focuses on how dangerous a huge ego can be. Oh, and there's no place like home.

Masamune and Muramasa. This story is about two legendary swordsmiths. Muramasa challenges his master to a contest to see who can forge the greatest sword. When they're finished, they take their swords to a river. Both dip their blades into the current. Muramasa's sword cuts everything that comes along its path - the fish, the petals of flowers, and even the air.

Masamune's sword, however, has the opposite effect. No flowers or leaves drifted by it. Instead of cutting the fish, the fish swam right up to it. Muramasa laughed at his master for creating such an inferior sword. But Masamune's blade was the finer of the two, as it couldn't kill anything innocent. Muramasa's weapon was bloodthirsty. In fact, the legend says that Muramasa's katana could never go back into its scabbard until it drew blood. The wielder either had to kill someone or commit suicide!  This mythology is obviously about the yin and yang in the universe, the balance of good and evil in everything.

Mulling And The Humans. I had to include one African myth in here! So in the beginning, there were no humans. Mulling and his animals live in peace. One day, a fish finds little tiny humans in his trap, so he brings them to Mulling. The god lets the humans live and roam the earth. Humans eventually grow bigger. They build fires...and burn down some forests. They kill the animals and eat them. Humans are essentially destroying everything, which makes Mulling really angry. So what does this god do? He runs away! He climbs up to the heavens.

Kind of reminds me of the premise behind The Matrix.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer...Time To Kick My Own Ass

My kids are now out of school. Yeah, it went long because of the million snow days they had this past winter. But that doesn't mean I'm getting much of a break at all.

I know last week was a big downer and I was all whiny and stuff, but I wanted to thank everyone who gave me some positive vibes. Quitting is not in the cards for me, but like I said, there's always that little evil voice in the back of my head that makes me doubt myself.

So despite the thousands of starts and stops I go through in my own psychosis, I've got work to do.

The first thing I need to do is let you all know that my debut novel, Dragonfly Warrior, is on sale for 99 cents again. I decided to do this to help break my big slump, and it worked. I know it's temporary, but I needed the morale booster. Going 22 days without selling ONE book was just destroying my confidence.

Here are the links: Amazon, B&N, and iTunes

The second thing I need to do is show you the book trailer for the second book in The Mechanica Wars series, Shadow Warrior. I look forward to giving you more information on this project, but since the novel is going to be published on August 8th, I needed to get the trailer out into the interwebs ASAP.

So here it is:


Finally, I've been working on a secret project with the wonderful Miranda Hardy for a good two years now. It has been an amazing experience collaborating with another author, and it's to the point where together, we make one pretty damn awesome writer.

Our Young Adult paranormal/thriller is called Death Knocks, and we'd like to do a cover reveal the week of July 21st. If you're interested, please sign up below.

This novel will drop September 26th, just in time for Halloween!



Summer is going to be busy for me, but I do hope to squeeze a little vacation in there somewhere. Hope you're being productive too!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June's IWSG

I'm pretty sure you're all just sick of me replaying the same fears over and over again, but my insecurities are tough to shake. They're like demons who just won't let go of me. Since May 12th, guess how many ebooks I've sold across all platforms...

ZERO.

Yes, I know that I need multiple titles and such to help boost sales of my debut novel. I have things I'm working on to build that up, but in the back of my head, there's that little voice that tells me that all of this is a waste of time. A VERY expensive hobby that sucks my time and my money.

Dragonfly Warrior peaked at #12 on Amazon's Bestsellers List for Science Fiction - Steampunk, and has hit the top 50 a couple of times since I published it in December. But it's been sinking like the Titanic the last couple months.

Yeah, it's pretty disheartening.

In the last 21 years, I have started and stopped this whole writing thing so many times. The only thing I've done somewhat consistently has been blogging the last nine years.

So despite some little successes here and there, there's a part of me that wonders if my resources are best spent doing something else. But I know if I quit yet again, that I'll probably end up giving it yet another try sometime down the road.

And I'm no spring chicken!

If you have time, please check out my last post and sign up for my newsletter. I plan to just shoot out quick announcements and contests in the near future. It'd be nice to have somewhat of a captive audience that I know I can reach out to directly.

Also, I'm featured on Nutty's Wednesday Wrtier's Workspace. Take a look where I write my crazy stories. There's even a picture of me playing tennis. That's worth a quick gander right there!

Monday, June 2, 2014

My Pathetic Mailing List and Some Awesome Debuts

One of my marketing plans was to create a mailing list so I could send exclusive content and updates to those who subscribed. But of course, I didn't really mention the darn thing more than once. So I do want to plug it again in the hopes that I at least double my current subscriber list.

Which currently stands at 5 awesome people.

I know. Don't laugh. So if you don't mind receiving MAYBE one or two updates from me about some cool stuff I'm doing (which will include giveaways), could you please help a blogger out? I promise, no junk!

Subscribe to our mailing list

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Cover Reveal!

Carol Kilgore is the fantastic person behind Under the Tiki Hut. Carol is a big asset to the blogging community, and she's always willing to lend a hand to those like me who need to get the word out about their work. So it's a pleasure to reveal the cover to her latest novel, Secrets of Honor...


You can connect with Carol and her books here:
blog . website . facebook . twitter . goodreads . amazon


Reborn Blog Tour

I read Cherie Reich's Reborn, and it's one of the best reads for me so far this year. Highly recommended!

Are you ready to challenge Fate?

To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.

On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.

Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.

Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.

Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.

Available in Ebook and Print!
To purchase: Amazon | Createspace | Google Play | iTunes | Kobo | Nook | OmniLit | Smashwords | Other Retailers
Click here to add on Goodreads.

The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.
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