Showing posts from July, 2016

Paranormal Reality Shows and Shifting Societal Beliefs--And The Profits

No matter where you turn, it seems like reality entertainment based on the paranormal is everywhere. From long-running television shows like SyFy’s Ghost Hunters to Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and Dead Files and YouTube channels run by investigation groups, the options for the paranormal enthusiast are everywhere. And while a segment of the population is strongly skeptical, a Harris Interactive poll indicates that 51% of the public, including 58% of women, and 65% of those aged 25 to 29 but only 27% of those aged 65 and over, believe in ghosts, while a Live Science article from 2011 indicates that 71% of Americans believe they have experienced some sort of paranormal phenomenon. The popularity of paranormal-based entertainment seems to reinforce the empirical evidence. These shows are long-lived because the target audience is growing. And now that science is beginning to make a concerted effort to explain paranormal phenomena, that belief is growing. Whereas once, ghost hunting wa…

EXCERPT--The Asphodel Cycle 4: The Apostle of Asphodel

I jumped in front of Mariol, using my blade to keep the ferocious bird-women away while the mage muttered behind me. Before long, several of the Harpies deduced that I had the shortest reach of any of the attackers and converged on Mariol and I, their talons clicking together as they hefted the long spears to their shoulders. “Any ideas?” I threw back over my shoulder, swiping at a grasping claw. The Harpy screamed and fell back, blood dripping from her scaly leg. Another soon took her place. Mariol didn’t answer me, mumbling under his breath instead. “An idea would be really good right about now!” I said more urgently, blocking a thrusting spear with my sword and reversing the blade, snapping the shaft in two so that the obsidian point fell to the floor at my feet.

Mariol grabbed my arm and pushed me aside. Surprised by the unexpected shove, I crashed to the floor with an indignant yell. Before I could clamber to my feet, a ripple of energy detonated over my head. With ragged screa…

Discouragement Brain--Cheating Authors Prosper on Amazon and This Is How

I have this thing called discouragement brain. 

Musicians, actors, artists, writers, dancers--we're all hypercritical of ourselves. We have to be. Art is a process, not a blast from some supernatural agency waving inspiration over our heads and daring us to catch it. We all edit. And while I edit words, musicians edit notes; dancers, nuance; actors, delivery;  and artists, technique. We have to. In order to create that perfect expression, we must refine until it feels as natural as breathing. 
Discouragement brain happens to everyone in the arts. 
This week has been tough. I've been writing a lot this year. A lot. My current yearly first draft word count exceeded 700,000 words last week. You're reading that correctly. Six full-length novels since January 1. I spend a portion of every day writing, a portion editing, and a portion doing all that other stuff authors have to do. I usually work around sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. Beginning Labor Day weekend, I *might…

Quit Lying To Yourself--It's Theft, Not EPiracy

Stop right now and open up your Downloads folder. Take a look at what’s there. Apps, obviously.  Probably some memes and .gif files – my favorite .gif at the moment is Tommen jumping out of the window, thereby proving how King’s Landing got its name. And then most likely you have music, movie, and eBook files you’ve purchased. But that’s not what untold thousands of people see. Many Downloads folders are full of music, movie, and eBook files that were not purchased. They were downloaded for free, from pirating sites that stole those files from the copyright holders. I chose the word “stole” deliberately. I realize that most people who download from torrent sites justify their theft by thinking, “It’s a big company. They’ll not miss my money. They’ve taken my money for years. It’s not stealing; it’s sharing.” Well, no. It’s not. It’s theft, both legally and morally. And if you don’t think the copyright holder is missing the money, let me tell you a story. I am in the process of self-publi…

Asphodel Meets Modern Fantasy

As I get ready to release the last Asphodel reissue, I'm starting to get excited about the publication of the sequel series. It will be interesting to see how fans of the first series respond to the second. 

Writers mature just like any other professional. As you progress, your writing changes. The Asphodel Cycle was my first fantasy series. The Black Dream is my latest. It was strange, to say the least, to revisit a world I first created as a teenager and wrote in the early 2000s. My voice is stronger, I think, and over a decade as a professional editor has made the writing tighter and cleaner. 
But just as the author matured, so too have my characters. I thought it best to keep the spread of time roughly equal to my own. So my protagonist, who was 18-20 in the first series, is 32-35 in the second, a mother of three, a ruler who's not had to deal with much turmoil since the end of the Ilian War. Fortunately, she's also an Elf so that decade hasn't really aged her all …