Monday, October 3, 2011

New Directions

I've decided to take this blog in a new direction. Instead of mirroring my web site's blog on this site, I've decided to make this more like the blog's subtitle already suggests. So, expect quirky things about the workplace, odd things I learn in class, and each and every bump in the road to self-publishing success.

Or something like that. I suppose I'll see how it goes.

Now, I won't be offended if all you followers don't want to follow this blog anymore. No worries. If you just want to keep up on the professional side of me, head on over to my website and stay tuned over there.
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sample Sunday: Meese

Oops! Forgot it was Sunday. My how time flies.Well, I still have 4 hours left of it, so here's an excerpt from the novel I'm working on, Meese.

*

The door banged overextended on its hinges and nearly hit her when she stormed out, trailing a laughing Rachel.

“Dude, come on, it was funny!”

Mieshka’s face was beginning to resemble Mieshka’s hair, except pinker. She walked faster, an act which had more effect due to her excessive leg length.

“Oh, come on man, it wasn’t that bad.”

Mieshka didn’t know where she was going. She was storming blindly, but she was definitely storming. She was glad she didn’t have any school books, not on the first day. She broke into a run.

“Mieshka! Hey!”

She sprinted, and when she reached the corner, she turned and dug in. She went lower, and directed all her current sentiments about Rachel into her feet, which pounded the pavement and pushed her forward.

“Wait!”

Rachel’s voice seemed farther away now, though that was more due to Mieshka’s rage and hurt than any physical distance. Rachel was, after all, also on the track team. But Mieshka didn’t stop. Time slowed down, like it did in races. She strained for speed.

But she paused when she ran into what she’d thought was a park but was really a dead end. It took her a few seconds to realize this, though, and by the time she’d hit the middle of what appeared to be a courtyard, she’d slowed to a walk. Her face felt hot, and the walls of the yard were concrete with some designs on it. She recognized them from somewhere, but she couldn’t say where.

“Oh shit,” said Rachel, who had entered in after her, had realized where they were.

“What?” Said Mieshka, whose anger was slowly being replaced. Running had always calmed her down. The strangeness of the square was odd enough to hasten on the process. Unfortunately, her anger was being replaced by a distinct edge of unease.

“We gotta get out of here,” said Rachel, “this is where the Fire God’s ship fell.”

Mieshka turned just in time to see Rachel’s eyes widen as they moved to her. Mieshka looked down and, for the first time, saw that she appeared to be standing in the middle of a spiral formed by lines in the brick mosaic. The lines, she noticed, were starting to glow.

“Run!”

Rachel hadn’t needed to shout. Mieshka had no delusions of courage. Mieshka caught up to Rachel at the gate, and they both bolted across the street and back up the way they had come. They didn’t stop until the courtyard was out of sight.

“What,” asked Mieshka between heavy breathing, “the fuck was that?”

Rachel laughed. It was more like a small shriek, and it had some kind of hysteria at its roots.

“I guess the stories are true,” Rachel, too, was struggling to breath. But the pause between her sentences seemed more for effect. Breathing was just an excuse. Mieshka thought she heard another strangled laugh. “They say he likes redheads.”

Meese frowned at that, not understanding. But when she did understand, she stopped breathing.

“Are you fucking serious?”
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sample Sunday

Well this is a rather late cross-post. This is part of the sample sunday twitter thing: here's the link. It's from my short story in progress that will probably be getting a new name soon but is called "The Memory Thief" right now.

Warning: There is violence to a woman here.

*

She was running and, so far, she hadn’t been caught. She knew she couldn’t win—she’d already seen how much faster he was. But he was toying with her. Keeping her just close enough that she could hear his breathless laughter. Once, he’d jumped forward and brushed her shoulder with his hand. Twice, he’d thrown her down and let her scramble back up.

So she knew he was just playing with her. But, she thought, that might work to her advantage.

Which was, probably, exactly what he wanted her to think. And now she’d hit a dead end.

The street ended with a low wall, and behind that wall was a three story drop. But, across the gap there was a two story building, and the street below was a narrow alley. She was already eyeing the distance when she heard his laughter turn the corner. She didn’t look back.

Maybe she’d make it.

She didn’t think too hard about it. There wasn’t much of a choice for her. She hadn’t been running from him for fun. The malice in his laughter promised things much worse than a three story fall.

Besides, maybe she’d make it.

He began to speak, his shoes softly scuffing the ground as he approached. She repressed a shiver, held her breath, and jumped. She didn’t make it.

He watched her fall. On the way down she scraped her arms on the brick wall across the way, and struck the fire escape with her head. Blood pooled on the concrete from where she landed. In an instant, he was beside her.

She died. Too quickly for his liking.

A seagull watched him.

“Why do they always run?” it said.

He looked up. It was on the fire escape she’d hit. He hadn’t noticed it arrive.

“Because they’re smarter than you, Gull.” He bent down and drew a finger through her blood. It was already starting to cool. If he waited too long, the fear would fade. Her hope was already gone. He suspected it had left when she’d hit the wall.

“Do they ever make it?” asked the bird. The man sighed. Seagulls were never quiet around mealtime. Ravens, he thought, were much better. But the ones in this city weren’t like the ones back home. They avoided him.

“One did,” he said, “but I got her in the end.”

She still lived. And, he thought, she seemed to have forgotten about him. She never replied to his messages. Perhaps it was time to change that.

“Gull,” he said, although he winced at his messanger-du-jour, “why don’t you go find her?” He licked another finger of blood.

“Me, sir?”

“Yes. You. Her name is Kitty. Find out where she is.”

“Yes, sir!” the bird’s voice broke into its natural cry, and it took off. But not, he noticed, before leaving a calling card where it had been perched.

Ravens, he thought, at least had class. Crows even aimed. He had neglected to tell Gull about Kitty’s unique electrical abilities, but perhaps she’d do him a favour. Maybe the bird would die in a misplaced storm. He didn’t think too deeply. Gull was gone and he could enjoy his meal.

*

Three nights later, in another alley, Gull unfortunately returned.

“The crow said she’s in Teremain.”

He never had understood the crows of this country—why they chose the trickster over darkness. They still had a hand in death, didn’t they? He looked over, took in the bird, and almost raised an eyebrow. There was blood outlining the bird’s front. He could see it had congealed around the edges of the bird’s mouth and dried in a nice muddy-rouge shade.

“What happened?”

The seagull puffed up proudly.

“I ate its heart.”

The god of darkness smiled wickedly. Finally, a bit of luck. From what he did understand about crows, he wouldn’t have to deal with Gull for much longer.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quick Update

You might not have noticed that I bumped the release dates for both Meese as well as the series back a couple of month. (The release dates are on my website here) I have a couple of reasons for this.

First, I'm working a lot. Two jobs, 13 hour days, yada yada. No time to write, hence... the need to bump back. I don't want to send out a shoddy, rushed piece of work. Just think of the havoc that would wreak on my nerves! Oh, and also how disappointed the readers would be.

Second, I want to try a release system. I figure that, if I finish three serials in time for school to start, and have Meese's cover (which, by the way, is being done as I type!) and Meese's draft well into the final stages, I can work at promoting them without having to worry about putting out another title until December. And also get good grades, because I'm awesome.

Oh, and if anyone's interested, I've set up the blog to post a sample of The Memory Thief on Sunday. So, even I forget, the blog won't.****

****This is for my other blog, at http://kgorman.ca/ . I have no idea how to make blogger do that, so... you'll have to go there. Don't worry, I'll crosspost it when I can.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Writing Tips & Tricks: Cursive

Just a quick post. I'm still alive. I will be trying to post biweekly from now on. As well as participating in the Sample Sunday thing that's going on on Twitter.

In other news, I have made contact with a cover artist. Hooray!

Onto the post:

I'm one of those people that has yet to get the hang of typing a story. Odd, considering how much time I spend (or, nowadays, wish I could spend) on a computer. I prefer to plot out my stories with pen and paper, usually making a huge mess and scribbling it out. Once I'm going, I can keep going fairly fast. My writing gets all loose and wild like a lot of how-to-write articles tell me it should. Freewriting and all that.

My only trouble is getting to that free-flowing bit. Like many people, I lead a busy life. When I finally sit down and pick up a pen, I find my mind usually has not followed. I can't think. My mind drifts on that problem-solving curve by plotting out and planning random bits leftover from the rest of the to-do list. There is no focus.

The secret to getting focus, for me, is to start writing in cursive. I know this may not be for everyone—I know people who absolutely loathe cursive writing. But I find it works for me.

Why does it work? My theory is that, since it requires more focus for creating the letters, the mind quiets down to focus on this task and then, indirectly, to the task of what is being written. Kind of like focusing on your breathing to focus on your meditation, if you're the meditating type.

And it has the added bonus of making your page look pseudo-elegant, if you write anything like I do. Or a complete mess, which is also kind of elegant—just pretend you're an old alchemist or something who's too busy being brilliant to bother with pretty writing. If you're a fiction writer, I'm pretty sure you're good enough at make-believe to make this work.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back!

Just a quick post to let you all know that I am back home from Europe.

Lookie what was spamming up my inbox: http://www.kobobooks.com/touch. Looks all nifty and slightly pertinent to the content of this blog.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Away

I will be out of the country until the 22nd, but I will have access to my e-mail if anyone needs to contact me. Unfortunately, due to bad scheduling and an unforeseen battle with a printer, I have not set up any blogs to pop up while I'm gone. Sorry.

When I get back, here's what to expect.

Reviews of:
Dead Dwarves Don't Dance by Derek J. Canyon
Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker
A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay (like this needs any more reviews, right?)
Shackled by JE Medrick

A short post regarding cursive writing.
A post on the mobile work space.
A few interviews.

And that should keep me going for a bit. See you when I get back.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Dragons Saga: Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J.F. Jenkins


Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he's loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn't even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she's going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.

When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.
(Taken from the Amazon product description)

I'll start this review by saying that Young Adult is not my preferred genre. However, that doesn't mean that I hated the book. In fact, I think this book has an excellent idea—first, the emotions of becoming a sacrifice in and of themselves are immense. And, when she doesn't die, what then? What comes after the point Tai thinks her life would end? I once read a graphic novel that dealt with similar themes. Korean, I believe.* It really caught my eye. The idea of being put, unwilling, into such a situation is quite compelling for a story. Definite conflict there, and the plot of the series hasn't even started yet.

Unfortunately, I felt a little disjointed by the characterization. I found myself questioning how Darien could love her so much when he had never spoken to her. I'm also not entirely sure why Tai was, ah, that forward with him when they first met. Even if she didn't know who he was. I think that could have been clarified a bit more. Another thing I would have liked to see expanded on was the description—the story takes place in a world a lot like our own, but I didn't figure that out until she had moved to the city. Even after then I had a hard time picturing it.

That being said, I did like the story. It provides all the necessary elements of a story. There is conflict, both internal and external, and, through their struggles with the conflict, the characters change. The world is complex and large, and I think the twists at the end lead nicely into what I assume will be a continuing YA saga.

tl;dr? comme ci comme ├ža, but there are plenty of reviews on the amazon product page that negate me.

*It's called Bride of the Water God if anyone's interested.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Travelling Author Stomp: Interview with JE Medrick

The Twelve Worlds Anthology is on Smashwords now. Go check it out! Today I have an interview with fellow Twelve Worlds author, JE Medrick. JE Medrick is the author of the Icarus Helix series, as well as Shackled. As someone also trying to write a series, I thought I'd pick her brain on how it's going—and I'm sure others will want to know, too. In addition to writing awesome stuff, she is also an active blogger and the founder of the Travelling Author Stomp Tour.

So, JE, first: what got you into writing? Tell us about yourself.
It's hard to imagine a life where I was not a creative person. Before I wrote, I blabbered stories, usually to myself because I was an only child without many kids in my neighborhood. In a vain effort to make me more girlish, my mom bought me Barbies - I used to tell dramatic stories about He-Man abandoning them and going to live in the sewers with my Ninja Turtles and How Much Fun They Had without those Stupid Girls. I didn't see sidewalks and a single tree in my yard. I saw forests, jungles, wildcats, Amazons, dragons and giant "Heroics Needed!" signs everywhere. I think my world has always been more colorful. Even as an adult, I tell silly little stories to myself wherever I am. Sometimes I pretend my car is a spaceship and the highway lanes are star lanes.

So I answer you question with a question - How could I -not- get into writing?

When did you decide to self-publish? Why? Have you submitted works before?
I decided to self-pub, or Indie Pub (as I prefer) around last November. I'd picked up stories for my Kindle I saw a big name author (whom I will refrain from naming) making ridiculous sums on terrible shite I wouldn't line my cat box with and went, "Really? I can do better than this..." So I drug one of those longer stories up from the murky abyss of my imagination and sat down and wrote my first fully-finished novel in about 3 months. It's titled "Shackled" (link:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004OEINV6) and I think it's a pretty good time. The feedback I've received has been amazingly positive. Lots of people have a hard time putting it down. I think it may start a little slow, however, so the conversion from sampling hasn't been as great as I'd like.

As for submitting to "Legacy Publishing" (LP) as I guess all the cool kids are calling it now... no, I haven't. It's a depressing cycle of which I didn't want to be a part. It's not just the fear of rejection - it's the endless waiting. I'm probably not best known for my patience.

Besides, my stories are my own. I'm fiercely independent. With both of those in mind, mix in my BBA (Bachelor's in Business Administration) and it just makes sense for me to take the plunge on my own. I have control over where the stories go, what the cover looks like, the title, and if I ever want to quit selling (as opposed to being prematurely pulled like many short-term-vision LP's do.)

How are you finding self-publishing?
I find joy and success in every single sale I make. The real-time results (or 3-day lag results COUGHB&NCOUGH) are immensely gratifying. I can also write on my own schedule, or even decide to do something episodic, like my Icarus Helix series.

The Indie community is absolutely amazing, though I find a shocking number to be very... innocent, shall we say? It's not as cut-throat as, say, the beverage industry, but there is a certain amount of competition for the consumer's dollar. I worry about the "Race to $.99" as lots of new authors sacrifice their first baby to the altar of Indie pubbing, all for the sake of trying to build rank...

I am also sadly aware that Indies will never completely lose the stigma of bad writing, precisely because there aren't any hoops like in the LP world. All I can do is write my best and hope people give me a chance.

Also, my sales in March were 225% of my sales in February, by units. Is that not incredible?

But overall, I love it. I absolutely believe it was the right decision for me. If I were offered a big print deal, would I take it? Well, it would certainly be hard to say no, but I would have to think very seriously about what I expected from that deal before jumping in.

What made you decide to write a series?
Wait, you can write just single stories???

I almost always read series (as in, my book cases are full of them, only rarely broken by single stories), and most of the ideas that I have are epic in proportion. I am only recently mastering the craft of the short story. I think "Insomnomancer", my piece in the up-coming Twelve Worlds Anthology was the second short story that I finished and actually felt proud of - like the story was OK to end right there. The first was 9 years ago... I wrote a story the other day in 90 minutes that I have tentatively named "Hooded". It's about 2400 words. I literally danced around my room when I finished it. I was so proud to finish a short piece like that. I think it ends a little better than "Insomnomancer", because I condensed Inso... down into a short story from a novel idea. I'm proud of both.

I have a couple of motivations for the Icarus Helix series. Some are selfish - such as, there is a rumor going around that more "e-Shelf Space" has a chance to increase your readership (makes sense). A series that drops an episode each month will target a voracious audience. They'll know it's coming, they'll anticipate it. Hopefully, they'll spread the word. I have more titles, more exposure.

It also lets me break this ENORMOUS idea (Synopsis: 140 kids injected with an experimental genetic compound gain Super Abilities, shenanigans ensue) into little, manageable bits so I don't overwhelm myself. I can't write 140 stories at once. I CAN write 1 at once, with a timeline that keeps everything in order when they make guest appearances.

It also keeps me writing, which is the most vital lifeblood of the dedicated author. You should write every single day, even if it's only ten words - make them the best ten words you can possibly squeeze out of your brain. You cannot perfect a craft in which you never practice.

Can you tell us about the Icarus Helix series? Will the episodes—can I call them episodes?—revolve around one character or, as I intuit from the first bit of the description on Cheat, many?
Yes, they are episodes, and yes they focus on one character at a time. Right on both counts! The Episodes are also broken into Seasons. Season 1, Episode 1 (01-01), Cheat (link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004RR0WQO), dropped on March 13th. 01-02, "Liar" drops on April 15th (ahem, it's available. I guess when I was supposed to post this interview. My bad -KGorman). 01-03, "Coward" will release May... can you guess about which day? That's also the first time I've publicly announced the name for 01-03. You're welcome :)

As well as super powers, the kids have to deal with YA issues, as it is a YA series. Peer pressure, lying, friendships, the three D's (divorce, drugs, drama), et cetera. It's interesting because so many kids go through these things, but each one has a different tolerance, network of friends, family support and so forth.

Here's a little bit of a spoiler on the set-up:
Episodes 1~3 cover three characters who interact in each episode.
Episodes 4~6 cover three OTHER characters with a relation.
Episodes 7~9 cover three OTHER OTHER characters...
Episode 10 covers the story from the Bad Men perspective.
Each Season of IH has 10 episodes, so the Bad Men part will be the Season Finale, if you will.

By carefully spying out the wordcount meters on your blog, I see you shoot for around 20, 000 words per episode. How did you come to that length? Careful experimentation? Animal testing? An odd game of darts?
I'm writing an episodic series with a bit that drops every month. Anything longer than 20k would probably explode my brain... but no, that's not the entire reason.

Here is what I asked myself:
What is shorter than a novel? (A: A novella.)
How long is a novella? (A: About 20k words.)
What is a price the YA audience can afford month to month? (A: About a dollar?)
Do I feel comfortable charging $.99 for this length? (A: Yes)

So far, I've found this a truly ideal length. I get in a few major plot points for each character - things that define them and who they are, so you can become attached to them. You can decide if you want to root for them, or if you don't like who they are/are becoming.

The audience can pick up the episode for a dollar. They can read it, probably in a day, a complete package. They can stew on it for a month until the next episode comes out :) (They can hopefully tell their friends about it!)


How long does it take you to write an episode of the Icarus Helix?
I'd like to answer this with a little insight on my thought process for the schedule of IH. I first decided I wanted to write an on-going episodic series. I decided to release on a monthly schedule, novella length. I considered how long it would take me to write 20k. At a writing goal of 1k/day, 20 days, or a little under 3 weeks. That would leave me enough time to edit before release, assuming a 4-week month.

But the truth is, if I wrote one story for the rest of my life, I would quickly become bored and depressed with it. My actual goal is to write the episode in about 2 weeks (My thinking here: If screenwriters can write a whole new script every week, I can do 20k in 2)... giving me a week for editing (and with overlap) two weeks for "other" writing.

I'd like to say "It takes me 20 days to write an episode". It actually takes me 6 or 7 GOOD days of about 3k/day. Sometimes I blow out 5k because the story is just right at my fingertips. Sometimes I drag a few days between writing. I can say - I never stop in the middle of a chapter. I always finish my thought before moving to a different project or stopping for the night.

So first draft, I would say, it takes me about 20 days, but I don't write all of those days (but I may still edit.)

My English teacher said that Icarus is a symbol of young, male rebellion. The whole "going against authority and, more importantly, fatherly advice" thing. Is this what you were going for in the name? More importantly, how did you come up with the name? It's awesome!
Since I was in grade school, I have always been fascinated with Icarus. He had all the freedom in the world... but did the ONE THING he was told not to, and lost everything. I was a really good kid growing up. Before sixth grade I only remember disobeying my mother once - and I was caught, and severely punished.

Icarus stands for choice, for me. In the story, he flies too close to the sun and melts his wings, falling in the ocean (and maybe dying, depending on the version). But, what if that was just one of those stories they told kids to keep them in line (like the Boogeyman)? What if his wings held, and he actually flew away, never to be seen again, free as free could be?

Everyone has to choose their path in life. The kids in my story have extraordinary trials because of their altered DNA - a double helix with radical pairs of proteins. Maybe they'll be quiet and hide their powers, never to fly. Maybe they'll fly, their wings will melt and they'll come crashing to the earth.

Or maybe, just maybe, they'll transcend the sun and dance among the stars in an ecstasy of exploration and discovery.

That is the power of the Icarus Helix.

Liar comes out April 15th, correct? Are you excited?! **It's out! I'm just late in posting this! Click here for the Amazon link!
I am so excited. Out of the blue, the book bog Man Eating Bookworm reviewed "Cheat". He really liked it and is anticipating "Liar". Just KNOWING someone out there wants more... it brings waterfalls of joy cascading through my soul.

I wasn't actually planning on releasing "Liar" until May. I had "Coward" (01-03) slated next. But, "Cheat" is a boy's story. There was worry I would lose a lot of the female crowd with 2 boy-heavy first episodes. I moved "Liar" to 01-02, as it centers on a girl. It's been a little hard to write because I had "Coward" in my head and had to switch gears to "Liar". I've drug my feet a little, but it's almost finished and looking really good.

Anything else you'd like to say about the Icarus Helix?
I would absolutely encourage anyone of any age to give it a shot. Worst, you're out a dollar. Best, you've found a new author/scheduled release story to look forward to. And, when it becomes wildly famous, you can say you were in on the ground floor ;)

Please consider giving it a shot and I appreciate the support!

I would also like to throw out a shout to my amazing cover artist, Jeroen ten Berge (link: http://jeroentenberge.com/). The covers he's made for the IH series are absolutely stunning. He also did "Shackled" which is very creepy and perfect. He's been a blast to work with and I'm very grateful for his artistic support!

Moving on: What made you decide to join Twelve Worlds, our awesome 80, 000+ words-for-$2.99-author-profits-go-to-charity-science-fiction-and-fantasy Anthology?
It IS awesome. At first, a little bit of selfish-awareness - I wanted more e-Shelf Space to pimp my work, more exposure. I also followed Derek's blog and numbers closely. I thought if anyone could bring in some good readers, it would be him. Plus, it was another chance to test my limits and write - the dreaded short story!

Your story, "Insomnomancer"—what's it about?
There is a stalker, who follows a man. But what glitters isn't always gold, and he stalks for a very singular purpose. The target develops insomnia, the stalker collects points and it all leads to a startling conclusion that may leave you shocked!

What gave you the idea for "Insomnomancer"?
A question: What if insomnia was created by monsters who ate your sleep?

I know you had named your story "Sleep-Eater" before, what made you change the name? (Other than to make me think twice about the spelling of "Insomnomancer"?)
I felt Sleep-Eater didn't have the power I wanted. It doesn't sound scary, or particularly monstrous. I needed something magical, other-worldly and dark. Insomnomancer fit those criteria.

Anything else you'd like to add about "Insomnomancer" or Twelve Worlds?
I think Twelve Worlds will be an amazing romp for the shocking price of $2.99. The buyers are getting a real bargain, if not just for big names, like Derek J. Canyon's story! Plus, it all goes to a great literary charity, which I fully support. Insomnomancer is more of an adult piece. If you're not interested in my YA series, consider picking up my novel, "Shackled", an adult work.

So. Now what?
Now I get back to work on "Liar" and everything else I'm doing. Oh, and video games, because life is duller without them. And books. Yum, reading!

Blog: http://jemedrick.blogspot.com
Release Blog: http://jemedrickbooks.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/J-E-Medrick/183974841649360 (new)
Contact: jemedrickbooks@gmail.com
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Monday, April 18, 2011

The Twelve Worlds Anthology hits Amazon!


That's right, the anthology the world has been waiting for (at least, my world...)! The Twelve World's Anthology went live on Amazon on Sunday and, as of this writing, is #5801 in the kindle store! Although, I like the #8 bestseller in Science Fiction Short Stories list better.

So, what is the Twelve World's Anthology? It's over 80, 000 words of a wide variety of science fiction, fantasy, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, a dash of romance... all for $2.99. Twelve stories from twelve authors (plus two bonus stories from two bonus writers for a total of fourteen stories!) for $2.99.

And, as if that wasn't good enough, all author royalties go to Reading is Fundamental.

My story, "The Star-Eater," is set in the future, on a spaceship. Here's the little blurb on it: Karin wakes up one day on her starship, realizing her sister has been killed—but not before her sister cursed the murderer. Now she's got a man to kill. And her boss is starting to suspect that she's a little more than human...

So, if you are at all interested (how can you not be interested? There are amazing stories in here!), I encourage you to check out Twelve Worlds on Amazon (soon on Smashwords, too!). If nothing else, you'll be contributing to a great cause.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Twelve Worlds Anthology Cover




Here is the cover for the upcoming anthology, Twelve Worlds. It was generously designed by Les Petersen. Les has a lot of experience with designing book covers. If you are looking for an artist, I would definitely recommend him.

Twelve Worlds is over 80, 000 words of short stories—science fiction, cyberpunk, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, romantic fantasy, and more. Author profits from this anthology go to a charity which will be announced before the release. It will be available for $2.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

My contribution to the story is “The Star-Eater:”
Karin wakes up one day on her starship, realizing her sister has been killed—but not before her sister cursed the murderer. Now she's got a man to kill, and her boss is starting to suspect that she's a little more than human...


This anthology will be the only place you can find this story. I'm already working on a sequel, although both stories can be read as stand-alone stories.

Anyway, this anthology is a great deal for its price. And for a good cause. It will be available in early April, so stay tuned!

The structure of this post was taken from Derek's blog at http://derekjcanyon.blogspot.com/. You should check it out. He has a lot of great information on ePublishing.
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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead.

(Taken from the Amazon product description.)

This book made me late for class. It kept up most of the night, too, but a lot of books do that. It takes a good book to make me miss my bus.

I first read Lindsay Buroker's writing in her short story, Ice Cracker II (Free! Check it out!). It takes place after the events in The Emperor's Edge, but does nothing to spoil the story. I was hooked. It was like getting a really good cookie, and then wanting the rest of the package. At only $2.99, The Emporer's Edge was well within my starving-student budget.

I'm one of those writers who believes it is the characters, more than the plot, setting, and action, that drive a story. Buroker has developed her characters to the point all authors should strive for: they are real, unique, and develop well through their interactions. They drive the story like they stole it. In addition, Buroker's description is laced with humour and clever witticisms, and the plot is well-researched and developed. She has paid much attention (but not too much!) to the political motivations within the story. As a major fan of history, I really appreciated the details.

tl;dr? Thumbs up.

In addition to Amazon, the book is also available on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

*

Lindsay Buroker is a wonder-woman who runs two blogs, a facebook, a twitter, a newsletter, and still finds time to write good books. You can find her at E-book Endeavors, Kindle Geeks, and her Twitter.

And, for good measure:
Lindsay Buroker's Amazon Author Page
Lindsay Buroker's Smashwords Author Page
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where did all that time go?

Whew, all five of you loyal followers must be wondering where the hell I've been. Right? Well. Let's just say school's picking up its feet and booting my backside.

Anyway, here's what you can expect in the next couple weeks:
-A book review of Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge.
-A blog on the mobile workspace.

But for now, here's a sneak peak of the web serial I'm writing starring Kitty:
She was running and, so far, she hadn’t been caught. She knew she couldn’t win—she’d already seen how much faster he was. But he was toying with her. Keeping her just close enough that she could hear his breathless laughter. Once, he’d jumped forward and brushed her shoulder with his hand. Twice, he’d thrown her down and let her scramble back up.

So she knew he was just playing with her. But, she thought, that might work to her advantage.

Which was, probably, exactly what he wanted her to think. And now she’d hit a dead end.

The street ended with a low wall, and behind that wall was a three story drop. But, across the gap there was a two story building, and the street below was a narrow alley. She was already eyeing the distance when she heard his laughter turn the corner. She didn’t look back.

Maybe she’d make it.

She didn’t think too hard about it. There wasn’t much of a choice for her. She hadn’t been running from him for fun. The malice in his laughter promised things much worse than a three story fall.

Besides, maybe she’d make it.

He began to speak, his shoes softly scuffing the ground as he approached. She repressed a shiver, held her breath, and jumped. She didn’t make it.

He watched her fall. On the way down she scraped her arms on the brick wall across the way, and struck the fire escape with her head. Blood pooled on the concrete from where she landed. In an instant, he was beside her.

She died. Too quickly for his liking.

A seagull watched him.

“Why do they always run?” it said.

He looked up. It was on the fire escape she’d hit. He hadn’t noticed it arrive.

“Because they’re smarter than you, Gull.” He bent down and drew a finger through her blood. It was already starting to cool. If he waited too long, the fear would fade. Her hope was already gone. He suspected it had left when she’d hit the wall.

“Do they ever make it?” asked the bird. The man sighed. Seagulls were never quiet around mealtime. Ravens, he thought, were much better. But the ones in this city weren’t like the ones back home. They avoided him.

“One did,” he said, “but I got her in the end.”

She still lived. And, he thought, she seemed to have forgotten about him. She never replied to his messages. Perhaps it was time to change that.

“Gull,” he said, although he winced at his messanger-du-jour, “why don’t you go find her?” He licked another finger of blood.

“Me, sir?”

“Yes. You. Her name is Kitty. Find out where she is.”

“Yes, sir!” the bird’s voice broke into its natural cry, and it took off. But not, he noticed, before leaving a calling card where it had been perched.

Ravens, he thought, at least had class. Crows even aimed. He had neglected to tell Gull about Kitty’s unique electrical abilities, but perhaps she’d do him a favour. Maybe the bird would die in a misplaced storm. He didn’t think too deeply. Gull was gone and he could enjoy his meal.

*

There was a whoosh of wings nearby. Unfortunately, Gull had returned.

“The crow said she’s in Teremain.”

He never had understood the crows of this country—why they chose the trickster over darkness. They still had a hand in death, didn’t they? He looked over, took in the bird, and almost raised an eyebrow. There was blood outlining the bird’s front. He could see it had congealed around the edges of the bird’s mouth and dried in a nice muddy-rouge shade.

“What happened?”

The seagull puffed up proudly.

“I ate its heart.”

The god of darkness smiled wickedly. Finally, a bit of luck. From what he did understand about crows, he wouldn’t have to deal with Gull for much longer.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

1000 Words a Day Challenge

1000 words/day


Yep. Gonna do it. And I did it. I completed the challenge today, and I intend to keep with it.


You can, too! Here's the link: 1000 Words a Day Challenge


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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I changed the faceplate on my phone for the occasion. Actually, it was mainly because it was two in the morning and I'd just re-found all the other faceplates and was thoroughly impressed since the heart one was all holographic. Oddly, the hearts seem to rather tattered.

I think I've fallen in love with my phone again. I bet none of the new phones can change their faceplates! Well, maybe they can, but I doubt they'd let you take them apart to do so.

I have to write a poem about love for poetry class tonight. Wish me luck! Maybe I'll write it about my phone.

Progress report:

I've documented all the scenes in the first part of Meese that I need to write/rewrite. Gonna get right on that.

I hope all of your Valentine's Day is more exciting than a different design on your phone!


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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Now I even look professional!

Oh boy, my own website. (http://kgorman.ca/)

So this is love.

Just working on individual pages. I've put up two short stories, and you can find them in the "Freebies" or here:

A Different Kind of Magic (pdf) - A very short short story.

Cat and Meese (pdf) - A short story in which Meese meets Kitty.

I took the liberty of cross-posting "Cat and Meese" in Freebies, Kitty, and Meese. Because I can.

Speaking of cross-posting, all blog entries I do will be cross-posted on both this blog and my other blog at http://kelly-gorman.blogspot.com/ .

To the right you can see some links I've added (on the web-site). More to come as I get settled in.


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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sick As a Dog

Don't you just love asthma? The way it partners up with a chest cold to make nice little death rattle when you breath is absolutely lovely.

Oh well, I'd like to think I've had some productivity during this time. I mean, I wrote a whole 700 words for Meese! I feel so special. I've even edited two-and-a-quarter things so far.

So, updates.

I'm getting a website. A real website to call my own. Chatting up the web-designer about it, but so far the plan is to have a blog-style website like Cherie Priest, Lindsay Buroker, and Kevin O. McLaughlin--but fear not! I will be cross-posting blog entries to here as well.

I got my first rejection! I feel so special--like a real writer now!

Is there really only two-ish months of school left this term? Holy shit! How has it gone by so quickly? Soon I'll have to work on the term-paper. Maybe this time I won't wait until the week before to start it.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Guy Gavriel Kay

Tonight I have come to a decision. It has little to do with this blog, but I thought you all should know about it.

I've decided who my favourite writer is. It is Guy Gavriel Kay. Now, in my small, insignificant brain, the battle for favourite had been going on between him and Charles De Lint. Both amazing writers and, for the icing on the cake, both Canadian.

I'm sure Neil Gaiman can fit in somewhere, but I've only read one of his books and I've read at least three each of the others'.

Now, what caused this sudden shift for supremacy betweek Kay and De Lint in my head, all zero of you ask? Well, since I don't mind talking to myself I'll tell you!

You see, I realized tonight that it's Kay's books that I think about more. In comparison to De Lint, I've only read three of Kay's books (I've read about 7-ish of De Lint's) and they still have me thinking about them. I finished Tigana months ago, and I still find my mind wandering to it.

Of course, now I'll probably go read another of De Lint's books be so stunned at it again.

It's my dream to be able to write as good as either of these authors. Being realistic, it's my goal to write about a quarter as good.

Anyway, I have to go do my homework. I've left it 'til the last minute again.

PS: Working on three short stories right now, just because I feel one isn't quite adequate enough. Fear not, Derek, I've got one main to finish. The other two are just back ups in case something goes horribly, irreparably wrong with the main.

PPS: Stay tuned for some changes to the blog layout next week. And by next week, I mean around February 1st and after. Maybe I'll even come up with a decent title!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Oops.

Apparently my foresight is rather lacking at three in the morning. I'd forgotten that we were having someone to dinner Thursday night and that I work Friday night. Oh well. I'm sure I'll be able to plug out at least another 5k words. Right?

C'est la vie.

It has also occurred to me that I should probably Follow the blogs I lurk around and have bookmarked. Seems rude not to, especially when I'm hovering around them so much.

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trading Stories

Derek J. Canyon's Blog on Trading Short Stories is a great idea. It's like the Girls With Guns Anthology but without the Girls With Guns theme. The intent, anyway. A bunch of short stories by a bunch of different authors so there is a sampler out there that people can download and enjoy—and then of course buy stuff from the authors in there.

Maybe someone could start up a free trade forum or something, although that probably already exists.

Normal books—print books—have samples in them, too. I had this idea where, at the end ofMeese, I’d include that short story I wrote for Girls With Guns—since it is kind of a sequel to the book. It would go between Meese and that wonderful book I have on my mind that’s the realsequel to Meese, which I will now call Meese II for simplicity’s sake. It’s a wonderful book. All in my head, of course. Just like most of Meese.

Except, of course, for...

12010 words of it!

The word count meter says I’m 17% done it now, which is nice, except this blog post isn’t about Meese at all. But how could I go one post without a shameless plug for Meese?

Please excuse me. It’s somewhere after 3am.

Go check out Derek J. Canyon’s blog. It’s better than mine. All four of you.



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Resolutions and Revolutions

Why hello 2011. I was watching a Marx Brothers movie when you came in. I do seem to recall neighbours banging pots and pans to bring you in, though. When I’m spending time with Dad, festivities fall by the wayside. The closest we got was muting A Night At The Opera to listen to the banging (of pots).

I’m sorry I didn’t bring you in properly. I know. I suck.

But I’m willing to make it up to you. I propose a deal.

I know, I know. Tonnes of people make deals with new years. Resolutions, they call them. I’d call mine a promise, except—as this blog proves—I really suck at keeping promises.

A deal, then. A few, actually.

  1. I will finish, revise, rephrase, rehab, and publish Meese.

  2. I will market Meese.

  3. I will finish, revise, rephrase, rehab and publish a collection of short stories.

  4. I will market them both.

I may also do well in school, on the side. Because I shall be that amazing.

Actually, I want Meese's first draft done by Friday. A bit of a silly deadline, but one that will make me lose enough sleep to get a fiar chunk of words in. Er. Wait a sec. It's Thursday now. Make that Saturday morning. I have a driving lesson that morning. There's no way this could go wrong!

I'm currently reading 10 Days That Shook the World. That's where the "Revolutions" part of the title came from.


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