Friday, December 28, 2012

My First Blog Tour

I know, I know. I should've had one years ago, but better late than never! As 2012 was a year of learning what I've been doing right and wrong with my writing career, here's another one of those right instances that all authors, especially indies, should take a shot at.

With the help of the Masquerade Crew, I'll be hosting my very first blog tour in February, promoting "Prossia." During the tour, I'll be discussing numerous subjects such as the motivation behind Prossia, the "humanity" in my alien characters, and the creative universe that keeps expanding with time. On top of that, there will be a book giveaway leading into the week of the tour, and an Amazon Gift Card. Be sure to mark your calenders! I can't wait to see how this turns out!

Monday, December 24, 2012

My "Next Big Thing"

If you're an author, I'm sure you've heard of this "Next Big Thing" . . . um. . . thing happening. I won't lie to ya, I actually had no intent of doing this. . . but then my buddy Lee Stephen of the Epic Universe saga basically said, "Hey, I'm doing the Next Big Thing, and you're doing it to." :P LOL! So, here we go!

1) What is the title of your next book/work?
My next book is still under "pre-title" of Operation: Sand Gnat. I also got another big story I'm working on the side called Operation: Pirate Bee. Both are sci-fi, with Sand Gnat being the prequel to my first novel, "Prossia."

2. Where did the idea come from for the book/work?
People have been wanting another story in the Prossia universe for a long time, and I have regretfully taken way too long to answer that demand. So, this summer, I wrote out a quick origins-story of sorts for my protagonist in "Prossia," Aly. This prequel will shed some light on Prossial readers and give me a little extra time to work on my other numerous projects, like Pirate Bee.

3. What genre does your book/work fall under?
Whoops. I'm getting ahead of myself! LOL! As I said, Sand Gnat is sci-fi, Middle Grade sci-fi to be exact. "Prossia" is a YA, and given the subject manner and age of the key characters in Sand Gnat, I tried to make the story a little more accessible to younger eyes. Still, the people who've read "Prossia" will feel right at home with the underlying message and action. ;)

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
People suuuuuuure do love asking that question, don't they? ^_^ I wrote a book, not a screenplay :P. I like to be ambitious, but I'm a realist too, so there's no point in fantasizing about silly things like that. I got real issues like planning blog tours and stuff like that before something crazy like movie talks could happen!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young alien girl tries to prove her worth to her tribe by preparing for a dangerous assessment that will test the skills her people naturally have, even when she lacks the most vital one.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Power to the indies! LOL! Nah, I'd love to get published by an agency if they're willing to grant me a little bit of the freedom that I enjoy as a self-published author. In the meantime, I definitely want Sand Gnat to be published on my own since I seriously doubt an agency would be thrilled about the thought of me giving away a free book. :P

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About 2.5 months and 75,000 words later. I'm now just getting myself into that type of writing speed. I went to this seminar in Vegas that encouraged me to speed up my writing process.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
"Mehhhh." I'm really not the type of person to tell someone that my story is a mix between such and such. See, in my opinion, while every story known to us has been inspired by many others, we writers are encouraged to make old ideas our own. Still, whenever people see the illustrations of my character, they always say they think of Avatar. . . 
Even though I started writing "Prossia" and designing its characters YEARS before the movie came out. Grrr :P

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book.
That awesome power of youth. Young people these days get a lot of bad rep for being lazy and expecting everything to fall in their laps a la Generation Me. But that's not the type of people that amazed me when I stepped out into the real world for the first time. I saw young people, even when it seemed like life just had it out for them to fail, kept their tears to themselves, endured, and on top of that, encouraged others to do the same.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
People are pleasantly surprised when they find themselves in a galaxy that doesn't have any humans, but they still relate to the characters very easily. Oh, and people love the areas on the web where they can dwell into the Prossia Universe even more, especially the art gallery filled with characters. That area slowly but surely increases over the months. Granted, there hasn't been a lot of updates to it lately since most of the artwork I'm doing now is exclusively for Sand Gnat, so I can't post those images.
There you have it! Now, if only I could find some people to tag. Hmmmmmmm. . . >.>

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What.Is.This??? Part 2

So the pic, of course, has been done for a while now since I showed its first part wayyyyyy back before Thanksgiving. Still, I'm liking the once a month update on it. In case you don't remember, I did this pic while I was waiting on my pre-edit feedback of Operation Sand Gnat to come back. Not too much has changed in this part since I estimate that there wasn't a lot of time between this part of the illustration and the last part. If you got a good eye though, you'll notice the slight attention to lighting  given here and there. Can't wait to show odd the rest of it! It should be visible just in time for another project I'm working on (Spoilers).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Star Wars In Real Life Anyone?

Hey there! We haven't seen an article like this one in a while, now have we? But I had to cover this after watching the video on Youtube. Those guys at DARPA sure do like to make a lot of fancy toys, after all, and the V-bat drone is the latest project that has a lot of people, like IGN, thinking this when they see it in action: 
Imperial Probe Droid from Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back 
"Using a stereo vision system in tandem with GPS, the drone is capable of delivering one-pound payloads to various targets -- without the aid of human input." For the most part, the entire video to me was pretty "meh" . . . that was until I saw its claw. Oh, and the drone can carry at least a pound-worth payload of presents the bad guys probably wished could be returned if they had a receipt. Yeesh. "Merry Christmas," indeed. . .  

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Seminar of All Seminars For Writers

If you've read my posts before, you know that I'm always plugging in something about the Superstars Writing Seminar I went to this year in Las Vegas, and for good reasons. In case you couldn't tell by my DM3W articles, I've made tons of amateur mistakes since I started to take writing serious two years ago. I've tossed my money into false hopes, marketed to uninterested audience, and waited for things to happen while I just sat back, watched, and hoped for the best. Yeah, I've made mistakes, many horrible mistakes. . . but going to the Superstars Writing Seminars is the first right thing I've ever done for my writing career.
Me in Vegas with new author friend, Sean Young, & the inspiring James. A. Owen

After meeting the awesome Kevin J. Anderson at DragonCon in 2010, and discussing how he became the successful author he is today, he recommended that I go to the seminar. Unfortunately, I was too busy losing money to a book that kept getting reedits since I didn't invest in a good editor the first time. So I brushed the suggestion off.

A year later, I came back to DragonCon, desperate to meet Kevin again since my writing career wasn't working out the way I had hoped. Hehe, if I recall, I think I got up around 5:30 in the morning to make sure I'd catch him at his booth so I could talk to him, realizing I needed this guy to know that I was serious about my writing along with knowing my name. To my pleasant surprise, he actually remembered me thanks to my hair :P. After chatting with him about the seminar and telling him about my current writing experiences and struggles, he explained exactly what SWS could do for me. So, a couple of months later, I found myself in Las Vegas with a room filled with authors from all avenues of life.

Some were indie, some were traditional. Some had published, while others were aspiring. Then there were agents, editors, and even artists like me. Some were around my age, while others were more seasoned. Some were just starting out, and others were either New York Times Bestsellers or some of the best indie authors around. 

Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flint, David Farland, Dean Wesley Smith, Brandon Sanderson, Moses Siregar III, and James A. Owen. Wow. Respectful titans in their own respect. Not only did these people talk to us at panels, but they sat down with us during lunch time, at the bar, or even while we were seeing the sites of Vegas. 

And what did I walk out with once the dust had settled? Sound knowledge on the business, an arsenal of networks, and amazing people I can't believe I can now call friends. If you are struggling with selling your books, or if you simply want to know how to be better at the lifestyle of an author, this is the seminar for you. Now, this isn't the sort of seminar that dwells on developing characters, plot placing  and better story telling. No, this is all about the business aspect of being an author, a subject matter that's in dire need of discussion. 

Like any good thing, SWS is something that will require some serious planning due to the cost. Buying plane tickets, a hotel room (typically discounted due to the seminar) and the seminar itself will indeed require some bucks. However, this seminar is an investment on our career, and the best investment I've made in mine.  Before the seminar, "Prossia" only had 2 people that listed it as a must-read on Goodreads without a single review. Now. . . lemme see. After the seminar, I currently have 213 people who list is as a must-read and 5 reviews. I'm pretty sure that's not a lot by other people's standards, but considering where I came from, that's huge!  The book was published way back in 2010, but it feels as if its true potential has only been realized since I came back from Vegas. And even though SWS only covers the business aspect of being a writer, my confidence in my creative craft has improved greatly because the seminar taught me how to find the right people who could make my stories stronger.  
Dean Wesley Smith, David Farland, James A. Owen,Brandon Sanderson, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta
In short, the Superstars Writing Seminar will not disappoint. I am very excited to see how my first post-seminar novel, "Operation: Sand Gnat," does since it's a product of the four days I had in Las Vegas. If one can't go to 2013's seminar, then now's the time to prep of for 2014's. See, every writer should feel the way I did as I boarded my plane back home after the seminar: rejuvenated, excited, and ready to write the best story ever.