The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #151: The Five Elements (“Godai” or 五大) and the Imperial Rangers

Episode #151: The Five Elements (Godai or 五大) and the Imperial Rangers

https://archive.org/download/Podcast151_201807/Podcast%20151.mp3

After my brother and I finished the D and D campaign we’d been playing for the past few months, I started thinking about other elements of Thirteenth Hour lore that I’d largely edited out (mostly in the interest of brevity).  This episode is about the Imperial Rangers, the group of 8 special forces soldiers that are specially trained and tasked to find the answer to eternal life for King Darian IV, who nearly gets assassinated in the recent campaign.  While we know the most about Logan, the main character of the book, the others are also important despite having only brief mentions since they serve as contrasts. I did have other scenes planned that I ended up cutting, so the original idea of having each Ranger with a special ability fitting with their unique personality and physical makeup was only hinted at, never really fully developed.

In this episode, we use a bit of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism as an analogy for the explaining the different alignments the Rangers had. I’m not sure that’s what I had in mind when I originally wrote the story (the idea of different elements was definitely there, since it’s referenced in games like Ironsword and shows like Voltron and Captain Planet – I was familiar with those when I wrote the initial draft of the story at age 19.)  But the godai, literally “big five” from the Japanese esoteric tradition (referenced in texts like A Book of Five Rings) sums up what I was trying to convey more accurately.

Below you can see a quick sketch/watercolor showing the eight Rangers. Their names are color-coded to correspond to their elemental alignment. As you can see, there are five categories: earth, water, fire, wind, and void. There are plenty more details about this philosophy in the book Ninja: Spirit of the Shadow Warrior by Stephen K Hayes; however, here’s a quick rundown.

Earth personality qualities are stable, traditional, and rooted. Water is flowing, changeable, and reactive. Fire is energetic, driven, and explosive. Wind represents growth, freedom, and open-mindedness. Lastly, the void is any one of those four elements that best fits a particular situation and typically goes with creativity, imagination, and things in our experience that we understand intuitively but are difficult to explain – such as spirit, soul, and consciousness. There are more details in the episode about the individual qualities of each ranger and how he fits the elemental color coded in the picture, so I won’t repeat myself here. But the fifth element, often (somewhat problematically) translated as “the void” is the most abstract and amorphous, just like how in the book the fifth “corner of the world” was actually the dream world where the mysteries of life and death finally made sense. Logan is the only one of the eight to make it there and due to his particular makeup, is the one most aligned with the formless form that characterizes the void.

Ironically, as the youngest and physically smallest of the group, Logan ends up having trouble with much of the training and has to spend more time on basic skills than the other seven. As a result, he ends up never really having the time to pick up a specialty, though the flip side is that he actually becomes more well rounded at basic ranger skills than his teammates just due to repetition. I’d originally envisioned a ceremony scene where each ranger was presented with his weapon of choice based on his special talent (I guess the soldier equivalent of finding out one’s spirit animal), and Logan isn’t given anything, which disappoints him and gives his teammates yet another thing to tease him about. In the end, I ended up not including that scene (maybe it will become a short story one day), but the essence of it, that having a special sidearm was less important than utilizing one’s inborn gifts to their fullest potential, was hinted at in the book in a few conversations a confused Logan has with the wizard, Wally. For the other seven men, the weapon served as an extension of themselves, but for Logan, whose greatest assets were creativity, imagination, and persistence, none of those qualities really fit a weapon. In fact, one might say another career choice would have made more sense. Or, another interpretation might be that those qualities didn’t need a physical reminder. However, although those are all things an older Logan would have been able to appreciate, I always imagined that the eighteen year old Logan would have been somewhat jealous that his teammates got something special, and he ended up having to do the same old drills over and over 🙂

An Imperial Ranger “class portrait” showing each ranger with his special talent and weapon of specialization

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hourplaylist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #108: Chad Derdowski, Author/Illustrator of Fortune Favors the Bold, Part 2 of 2

Episode #108: Chad Derdowski, Author/Illustrator of Fortune Favors the Bold, Part 2 of 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast108_201709/Podcast%20108.mp3

Today, we conclude our 2 part conversation with author and illustrator Chad Derdowski, who came on the show last week to talk about his book, Fortune Favors the Bold: The Saga of the Scissorwulf.  This episode picks up right after Chad did a short reading from one of the story lines from the book, which if you missed last week’s show, is essentially a tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek R rated Choose Your Own Adventure style with a Conan style hero:

img_1540

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And if you’d like Chad to do a personal reading for you, perhaps in the same faux-English accent, follow the links below to get a copy of the book for yourself, write a review on Amazon, and send proof to Chad on Instagram.  Just for podcast listeners and until the end of September 2017!

Much of today’s episode touches on Chad’s creative process.  If you’ve ever wanted to create a book (or something similarly creative), but have gotten forestalled along the way, you may find quite a bit of motivation in this week’s show.  Speaking of which, here’s a link to the book, Write or Wrong: A Writer’s Guide to Creating Comics, Chad was referring to by Dirk Manning.

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

 

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Next week, Brent Simon!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #107: Chad Derdowski, Author/Illustrator of Fortune Favors the Bold, Part 1 of 2

Episode #107: Chad Derdowski, Author/Illustrator of Fortune Favors the Bold, Part 1 of 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast107_201708/Podcast%20107.mp3

In this week’s episode, author and illustrator Chad Derdowski comes on the show for a two part episode to talk about his book, Fortune Favors the Bold: The Saga of the Scissorwulf, a blast to read and even more entertaining to learn about.  It’s basically an R rated Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style book  with lots of references that former children of the 80s will well appreciate.  If you want a Cliff’s Notes version of the podcast, the main hero, the Scissorwulf is basically as follows:

 = 1uefrazetta-thebarbarian Warduke from Dungeons and Dragons by MassimoAtlas + Darkwolf (Fire and Ice)... + 

Scissorwulf = Conan (by Frank Frazetta here) + Warduke (from D and D, redrawn on deviantart by MassimoAtlas) + Darkwolf (From Fire and Ice, drawn by Frank Frazetta) + Jack Burton (from Big Trouble in Little China)

And Fortune Favors the Bold is basically a mix of HP Lovecraft, comedic parody, pulp men’s fiction, comic book, and Choose Your Own Adventure all mixed in one (plus probably a few other references I’m missing):

AstonishingTales25.jpg + GEORGE GROSS - Nightmare in New York (Executioner 7) by Don Pendleton - 1971 Pinnacle Books + Related image + Image result for hp lovecraft + Image result for shaun of the dead + Image result for choose your own adventure

Chad also does a reading of one of the storylines in the book, so you get a preview of the writing and the beginnings of one of the adventures.

Image result for fire and ice frazetta darkwolf

Dark wolf says: stay tuned for more 80s references next week in Part 2!

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

 

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  To be continued …

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #105: Author/Illustrator Missy Sheldrake Returns Part 2 of 2

Episode #105: Author and Illustrator Missy Sheldrake Interview #2 Part 2 of 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast105_201708/Podcast%20105.mp3

Today, fantasy author Missy Sheldrake returns in part 2 of her interview as we catch up on all the things she’s been up to this past year (find her first interview here).

We spend the first part of this episode talking about podcasting, which Missy was thinking about doing.  Indie author Angela Chrysler (who came on the show back on episode #35) has been doing a youtube storytime reading series.  Putting shows on youtube would probably be one of the easiest way to put out a podcast.  If you are interested in learning more, here is also a quick start guide on producing a podcast quickly and without spending a lot of money that I put together here.

We also talked about making the transition to doing live events and a recent cover commission Missy did for one of her fellow authors, Christina McMullen.  There is a time lapse video of how she created the picture here.

A Space Girl From Earth Kindle Cover.jpg

We talk about our fantasy art influences and bemoan the loss of old-school hand painted covers in favor of the emphasis on hyper realistic, photorealistic digital photo covers that all end up looking the same.

Case in point/aside – take this movie poster/cover for the 80s scifi movie Solarbabies and a more generic photo cover to the right:

Image result for solarbabies Image result for solarbabies

Anyway … follow Missy on Instagram gallery for more pictures and updates on her illustrations.  I’m sure we’ll see more as she works on her fifth book in her Keeper of the Wellspring series.

There’s also a fun little easter egg for those who stick around until the end of this episode!

 

Click on the banner below to learn more about the series on Amazon.  If you haven’t read them yet, Missy let me know that this week, on 8/16/17, the first book, Call of Kythshire, is free, so take the chance to grab a copy!


Thanks again, Missy, for coming on the show, and good luck writing book #5!

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

 

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs and movie soundtracks from that era.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #104: Author/Illustrator Missy Sheldrake Returns Part 1 of 2

Episode #104: Author and Illustrator Missy Sheldrake Interview #2 Part 1 of 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast104_201708/Podcast%20104.mp3

In this week’s episode, fantasy author Missy Sheldrake comes back to the show to catch us up on all the things she’s been up to this past year (find her first interview here).  We spend much of this episode talking about the creative process, how writing takes on a life of its own, illustrating books, and what a shame it is that books for former children tend not to have pictures anymore.

Here are some screenshots from Missy’s Instagram gallery, where she posts pictures of works in process:

tib

This progression is of her character Tib, who was introduced in Call of Sunteri.

guild 0

guild 2

guild

This guild portrait is the one we’re referring to in the podcast (the one that took 59 hours).  Click on the picture above to go to the actual post on IG.

Click on the banner below to learn more about the series on Amazon.  If you haven’t read them yet, Missy let me know that on 8/16/17, the first book, Call of Kythshire, is free, so take the chance to grab a copy!

 


Thanks again, Missy, for coming on the show, and good luck writing book #5!

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  Podcast listeners can still download the album until 8/10 (minus the bonus track) here http://bit.ly/2txyAaM  (access code is on episode 100 at ~31:30).  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

 

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #102: Con’t Conversation with Author, Artist, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 2/2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #102: Con’t Conversation with Author, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 2/2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast102_201707/Podcast%20102.mp3

Jeff Finley is back this week to pick up where we left off.  If you happened to miss last week’s show, find episode 101 here.

Today, we talk about a lot of fun things – e.g. travelling in a new country and discovering not only new cultures, foods, and languages but aspects of yourself that come from putting yourself outside your comfort zone.  Travel naturally does this, as we’ve talked about before, fine tuning your senses and kicking you out of whatever routine day-to-day stuff you have going on.  There definitely comes a point when that gets to be too much of a good thing (as Jeff discusses here and on his blog), but like a spice, sprinkled here and there, it can do wonders for keeping things interesting in your life.

We also get to learn more about Jeff’s long career as a music producer (see below) as well as how he got into bboying.  It’s so rare that I find someone with as many diverse interests that it was such a pleasure to discuss these aspects of creative life with Jeff.

Check out Jeff’s portfolio here.   If you’d like one of this patches for your own, check out his etsy site.

Click on the covers of Jeff’s below to find a copy of your own.

Image result for thread's not dead  Image result for jeff finley astral projection

Social Media Links:

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Just for podcast listeners!  Get early access to a new upcoming EP, called Between Two Worlds, the sequel to Long Ago Not So Far Away.  Go here to download the album:

http://bit.ly/2txyAaM

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

The album will be available for one month (until 8/10/17).  The access code is on episode 100 at ~31:30.

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #101: A Conversation with Author, Artist, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 1/2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #101: A Conversation with Author, Musician, and Filmmaker Jeff Finley Part 1/2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast101_201707/Podcast%20101.mp3

For the next two weeks, we’ll be having a special guest on the show, so please welcome Jeff Finley!

I first came across his work when he and his friends made a little documentary about their friend, keyboardist and bit-torrent user extraordinaire, Brent Simon, back in 2006, when Youtube was just in its infancy.   (Believe it or not, you can still listen to a few of his songs on myspace).  It was a fine example of “day-in-the-life” style indie film making.  Brent was not only a captivating subject, but he was unabashedly himself, much to the delight of the many people who saw the film, identified with his interests (the original PSP, computers, bittorrent, Spacecamp, synthesizer music, etc), and propelled him to stardom.  If you’re interested in any of those things, you can and should watch (or rewatch) the film by clicking on the screen shot below.  Brent, if you ever come across this, know you’ll always have a warm welcome on the show.

Capture

Brent rocks out without looking at the keys.

Jeff served at Brent’s manager while continuing to pursue his own projects, which spanned a variety of fields, many of which we discussed on the show, such as writing a successful book on creating a t-shirt business (see Thread’s Not Dead below) and starting the creation of the Weapons of Mass Creation multimedia art festival (still going on today).

Of course, if you talk to many a creative soul, they’ll often tell you that making art isn’t “work” in the traditional sense.  It certainly can be hard, time consuming, and frustrating – don’t get me wrong – but it’s yours.  The “work” part comes from getting other people to notice and/or care, and for many, the business and promotion inevitably leads to disillusionment and/or burnout with the whole process.  We talked about this, too, and Jeff shared how those experiences led him to adopt a slower pace more in tune with maintaining a more centered existence.

Since the recording went on for about 90 minutes, I’ve broken the interview into two parts since there was a natural transition about halfway.  This week, we’ll focus on Jeff’s filmmaking days, his time with Brent, and experiences starting his own business, writing books, and repairing his mental health by getting back in touch with the important things in life.

AS you might imagine from the title image above, he is a skilled artist in many ways, so check out his portfolio here as well as the patches he sells (click on the picture below to go to his etsy site).  We’ll talk more about them at the start of next week’s show.

Astral Traveler Patch - Metaphysical Fashion Accessory - 3

We’ll also touch on travel, Jeff’s own music, and breakdancing next week, so in the meantime, check out some of his books and music.

Click on the covers of Jeff’s below to find a copy of your own.

Image result for thread's not dead  Image result for jeff finley astral projection

Social Media Links:

To be continued next week!

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Just for podcast listeners!  Get early access to a new upcoming EP, called Between Two Worlds, the sequel to Long Ago Not So Far Away.  Go here to download the album:

http://bit.ly/2txyAaM

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

The album will be available for one month (7/10-8/10/17).  The access code is on episode 100 at ~31:30.

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #87: Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson Returns to the Show!

Episode #87: Dark Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson Returns

https://archive.org/download/Podcast87JoshR2/Podcast%2087%20Josh%20R2.mp3

Today, Joshua Robertson, whose work has been featured a number of times here, comes back on the show to catch up and talk about exciting new developments.  He was last on the show on Episode #32 over a year ago, so a lot has happened since then!  His fan base has grown considerably, and he’s made the leap to being a full time author.

This year, he completed this trilogy of novels:

melkorkaboxset01jpg

The last volume of the series, Maharia, just came out.  Click on the picture of the book below to read a preview!  Stay tuned in the near future as this series is becoming an audiobook trilogy.

Maharia

He will also be a regular contributor to the fantasy site Fantasy Faction with a column on writing, cover design, and many other tips for aspiring and current authors.  (By the way, he recommends the book, The Fantasy Fiction Formula, as a great guide for writing in this genre.)  As with the last time he came on the show, there are lots of great writing tips for aspiring authors, so check out the episode for a listen.  If you are and were a Dungeons and Dragons player at any point, you may also find his take on how D and D has helped his writing.

Here’s how to reach him and find more of his work:

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube videolog/podcast – The Writer’s Edge

Youtube Goblin Horde – Josh and his partner have an unbelievable 9 kids together, and they run a Youtube channel about some of the things they do with their can as well as parenting tips

Crimson Edge Facebook Page and Book Club

He just finished up a gig at this year’s Brain to Books Convention, like last year, and will also be at the Soda City Comic Con this summer and Pensacola Comic Con next winter.

Lastly, he has a novelette available for free on Amazon, which you can download to checkout his writing and get a taste of his Thrice Nine Legends fantasy series (click on the cover to go to the page).

The Name of Death by [Robertson, Joshua]

 

It was great having Josh again on the show.  Look forward to hearing about the exciting things in store for Josh in the next year.

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The ending track, called “Between Two Worlds” was inspired by some of the introspective parts (like this one) from the soundtrack The Crow by Graeme Revell.  Watch for it on bandcamp in the next few weeks.

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #86: Worldbuilding in Scifi and Fantasy Audio From Big Apple Con 2017

Episode #86: How Scifi and Fantasy Authors Build The Worlds of Their Books 

https://ia801501.us.archive.org/26/items/Podcast86AriaBigAppleConPanel_201704/Podcast%2086%20Aria%20big%20Apple%20con%20panel.mp3

Ever read a fantasy or science fiction novel immersive enough to make you want to finish it in one sitting?

Ever wonder how the author created something convincing enough to make you sad when it ended?

That’s what today’s show is about.   It’s a Q and A panel from the Big Apple Comic Con a few weeks ago.  Think of it as a behind the scenes window into the minds of six authors who write a variety of styles within scifi and fantasy.  Some of the topics covered:

-What’s your creative process like: outline? freeform?

-Which is more important?  Characters vs. plot?

-How to create full realized characters you want to read about

-How to create characters that are true to themselves and the world you’ve created for them

-How do you find the time to write?

-Writing through writer’s block

-How much time should it ideally take for a reader to get a sense of your world?

Here are the authors on the panel.  Click on their names to go to their Amazon or GR profile pages and the book cover by their name for a representative fantasy work.

Tabitha Lord

86horizon

Heather Rigney

 86mermaid

Mike Squatrito

86overlords

Sean Faye Wolfe

86elementia

Joshua Blum

13th Hr BookCover6x9 amazon bigger text thumbnail3 500x759

Chris Paniccia

86gridiron

Many thanks to Mike Carbanaro and the staff at the Big Apple Comic Con for inviting us to speak, and thanks to Mike Squatrito for doing the legwork to get us there.

images

If you’re a writer or illustrator yourself (or are interested in becoming one) and are interested in the organization we were representing, you can learn more about ARIA, the Association of Rhode Island Authors, here.

The ending track, a synthesizer remixed version of “Reed Pipes That Echo,” is now out for download or streaming off of bandcamp.  (Music has always been both an inspiration and essential part of the stories I’ve created.  So you could say, it’s one of the ways I “world build.”)

reed pipes remixed.jpg

Next week, fantasy author Joshua Robertson comes back on the show.  It was great to catch up after over a year, and we covered a lot – if you liked what was discussed today, it only gets better next week, so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!

(Image at the top of the screen courtesy of lemerg.com)

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #59: The Thirteenth Hour Soundtrack Preview

Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)

https://ia601502.us.archive.org/3/items/Podcast59_201609/Podcast%2059.mp3

This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.

It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both.  Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there).  There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.

It really ended up being a lot of fun.  In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s.  I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration.  There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.

In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly.  It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover.  I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):

scotland-1564096_1280.jpg

Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture.  I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick.  Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago.  In the end, it ended up looking like this:

cover 80s style_edited-33.jpg

It should be out later this fall.  But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it.  Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones.  You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs.  Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all.  Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #58: George Sirois Redux – The Making of the Excelsior Audiobook

Episode #58: Author George Sirois Returns to Discuss the Creation of His Audiobook

https://archive.org/download/Podcast58_201609/Podcast%2058.mp3

Back in episode #36, fellow author George Sirois came on the show for a great conversation, and today, he’s back!

As you’ll see in the show, George decided that the way he wanted to get his young adult scifi tale, Excelsior, out there as a audiobook was to record it himself.  Way back when I was learning about making covers for The Thirteenth Hour, I came to the realization that when it comes to things like this, it all comes down to money or time.

If you decide to go the professional route and outsource parts of the creative process, you might get a professional product but you give up some autonomy and generally pay quite a bit (that you justify to yourself as an investment in quality and peace of mind).  But if you opt to do it yourself, you have to deal with the sometimes exponentially steep learning curve of cramming years of knowledge into the bare minimum needed to shoehorn yourself into getting the job done.  There may still be significant expense (sometimes due to trial and error), and there’s the significant time sink that comes with what a professional might be able to do more efficiently.

However, one thing debates such this sometimes forget when focusing on practical talking points such as these is simply the enjoyment to be had in simply doing.  As sole proprietors of businesses (as independent authors essential are these days), it pays to understand as many different aspects of the business as possible.  There’s no better way to understand those details than by doing them yourself (at least once).

And that’s what George did to make his ideas into a reality.  There’s a lot there in his story, so like minded souls, take note.  What’s the harm in going for something you want, George says in the interview.  And why not?  At the end of the day, who else is there to give the necessary permission?

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Click on the link to check out the audiobook version of Excelsior on Amazon.

And audiobooks seem to be getting their due after years of being the red-headed stepchild of the literature.  Here’s the full text of the Wall Street Journal on the rise of audiobooks.

George will be making appearances (if you’re local to St. Louis, MO USA) at the following places in the next few wks:

-https://www.facebook.com/WritePackRadio/

-http://www.stlwritersguild.org/writersinthepark.html (now since past, though more good info if you’re a writer hoping to connect with others in and around St. Louis, near where George lives)

Connect with George online at:

blog: http://www.georgesirois.com/

GR profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4103079.George_Sirois

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GeorgeSirois/posts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/georgesirois

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/georgesirois/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/excelsiorbooks/

References George discusses on the show:

No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty, on writing a novel in 30 days

The Stressed-Out Writer’s Guide to Recording Your Own Audiobook by Kirk Hanley

On that note, as always, thanks for listening!

P.S. If you have any interest in getting into audio like George did or wanted to start your own podcast, check out this free guide here.  It’s a guest post I did for fellow author Kelly St. Clare on podcasting as cheaply as possible and has a wealth of info on audio production in general, most of which I learned by trial and error!  Check it out, and start podcasting as more than an amateur!  WIN!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #57: Reading Chapter 1 of Mark Salzman’s Lost in Place

Episode #57: Reading an Excerpt from Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia by Mark Salzman

https://archive.org/download/Podcast57_201609/Podcast%2057.mp3

This week, I’m reading the first chapter of perhaps my favorite book of all time, Lost in Place, by Mark Salzman.  I first read the book as a teenager and still find it hugely entertaining two decades later.  It’s probably not surprising that aspects of Mark’s writing style have influenced how I portray characters in books like The Thirteenth Hour.

He writes about his coming of age with an honest, Wonder Years-style of sardonic narration infused with just enough boyish innocence to capture both the magic and despair of adolescence and young adulthood.  That’s not everyone’s up of tea, of course, but when I first opened up the book, I immediately felt at home.  I imagine if John Huges (screenwriter and director of 80s teen movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club), had written a memoir, it would probably be something like this book.

On a personal level, I suppose it’s extra special since he writes about his experiences in the martial arts and early desires to be an astronaut (a lifelong hobby and short-lived career aspiration that my mother and father, like Mark’s decidedly earthbound parents, humored for years, for which I’ve always been grateful).

Image result for lost in place mark salzman

I found out a short movie clip of Mark talking about aspects of his writing and some of the themes that crop up in his books as well as this clip discussing his first kung fu teacher in action.

As an aside, you can watch a movie Mark wrote and starred in based on his first book teaching English in China while training in Chinese wushu.  Watch Iron and Silk here.

And, if in the unlikely event that this page makes its way across your computer screen, Mark, PLEASE COME ON THE SHOW!

Ok.

I’ve gotten control of myself and will tone down the rampant fanboyism.  Can’t help it.  =)

As a side note, if you hear a sound in the background that sounds like Darth Vader, it’s because I was reading this episode while holding my daughter, who was sleeping.  Just so you know.

On that note, as always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #54: Falling Leaves Don’t Weep

Episode #54: Reading of The Thirteenth Hour Epilogue Short Story, “Falling leaves Don’t Weep”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast54_201608/Podcast%2054.mp3

This week, I’m reading the short story “Falling Leaves Don’t Weep,” the stand-alone short story epilogue to The Thirteenth Hour.  It’s a short tale about how one night of insomnia leads to a surprising amount of insight for an elderly monarch (actually King Darian IV from the novel as a much older and wiser man who is looking back on his younger days with a mixture of regret and embarrassment).  I figured Darian needed an epilogue since we never really found out what happened to him in the story.

I can’t say for sure, but when I rereading this story, I was reminded of the story The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, a book my mother used to read to me as a child, and am guessing it was an influencing factor in the creation of this story.

As an aside, I’m in the process of trying to transition old episodes of this podcast (episode #53 and prior) to a new host.  This is the first one on the new host.  There should be no change for you, the listener, either accessing new episodes directly here or via iTunes.  But after 8/31, there may be some issues accessing old episodes of I’m not done updating the old links.  But in that case, it should be resolved in a few weeks.

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #52: Storytime Reading of St. George and the Dragon 

Episode #52: Storytime Reading of St. George and the Dragon

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2052.mp3

This week, we’re reading an illustrated adaptation of the first part of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queen – the tale of St. George and the Dragon.  The one we’re reading from was illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (check out a tribute and bio on this blog) and penned by Margaret Hodges.  You can find a copy online at retailers like Amazon or you local library.  There are a few pictures and excerpts includes below.  I’d recommend any of the books written and illustrated by this duo if you enjoy fairy tales and/or fantasy art.

The tale is an abridged version for children of the original, which was a lengthy poem.  You can find a summary of the original Faerie Queen tale and a commentary here.  It’s more adult oriented than this version and has more overt allegorical/religious/moral overtones as opposed to this one, which reads more like a traditional fairy tale and mirrors the end of the original poem, a summary of which you can find here.

Personally, I have always wondered why everyone had it in for the dragon, who also fought a good fight, and I kind of felt bad for him.  Here he was minding his own business and … well, I guess that kind of flips the story on its head, doesn’t it.  Maybe someone one day can rewrite the tale from the dragon’s point of view.

But that’s neither here nor there.  Anyhow, I posted a few pictures from the book on Instagram before from the book, which you can find here:

https://instagram.com/p/BDx0pE7Mg4y/

https://instagram.com/p/BDqIyd5sg7d/

Here are some others:

It’s also in these pages that we learn that the name George means “Plow the Earth” and “Fight the Good Fight.”  Georges of the world, take note and take heart.  You have a fine lineage.

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #51: Musical Interlude Piano Ballad

Episode #51: “Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things” – a Thirteenth Hour Piano Ballad

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2051.mp3

For this week’s episode, I’ve included snippets from upcoming Thirteenth Hour soundtrack tracks.  I recently wrote an untitled piano theme that I was thinking would become an introspective musical track on the soundtrack.  There’s a preview of it in its infancy on Instagram.  Then, about two weeks ago, I toyed with the idea of turning it into a ballad with words.  Once I got to thinking about it, lyrics came to me in the span of a few minutes and became the song featured in this episode, which I finally titled, “Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things.”  There’s a a snippet of the final instrumental version and a live performance on the piano included as well.

2016-07-12 23.27.56

Still haven’t transcribed the lyrics onto the computer.  The most I had at the time when the muse hit were a few pieces of scrap paper, so that’s what this “final” version is written on.

The song is written from the perspective of Logan, the main character of The Thirteenth Hour, as he realizes that the friendship he with Aurora, his childhood friend, has changed for both him and her.

logan and aurora together

Final versions of this song, both in instrumental and lyrical versions, can be found in the near future on the Bandcamp soundtrack page.

As always, thanks for listening!

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New Fantasy Release – Fire and Lies

Angela B. Chrysler, who has been featured on this blog a number of times before, has a new book coming out today, just in time for Indie Pride Day and the Fourth of July (if you’re in the USA).  It’s the second in her Norse-inspired dark fantasy series, entitled Fire and Lies:

fire

Click on the picture above to go the the Amazon page

Summary:

Blood waters the fields of Alfheim. War rips across the land of usurped kings and elves. The Fae gods draw near, and Queen Kallan’s strength is tested as she follows King Rune into Alfheim. But the Shadow Beast caged within Rune’s body writhes in hunger, and Kallan’s newest companion, Bergen the legendary Berserk, is determined to end the conflict with her life.

As the witch, the king, and the berserk come together, the truth buried within the past resurfaces. Now, Kallan must master a dormant power or watch her kingdom fall to the Fae who will stop at nothing to keep their lies.

Fire and Lies (Tales of the Drui Book #2) picks up right where Dolor and Shadow left off, concluding one chapter of Kallan’s life as the next chapter begins.

Trailer

She gave us excerpts of the first novel in the series, Dolor and Shadow, in this guest post she did about the psychology behind creating fictional characters and aspects of the backstory behind the creation of the series when she came on the podcast.  You can listen to that show in its entirety here or by simply going to iTunes and looking under “The Thirteenth Hour Podcast, Ep #35).

Check out her site here,  and help celebrate Indie Pride Day by giving one her books a read!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #46: Storytime – Prince Nautilus Reading

Episode #46: Children’s Book Storytime Reading – Prince Nautilus (A Modern Fairy Tale)

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2046.mp3

On this week’s episode, I recorded a story I read to my daughter, Prince Nautilus, written by Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrated by Henri Sorensen.  We recently found it for sale in a small bookstore while traveling and decided to explore this modern fairy tale, which takes elements of classic tales and puts a few modern spins on them.  You can’t see the wonderful illustrations in the podcast, obviously, though I did attempt to describe them to my daughter (since that’s what you do with toddlers).  I’m not sure if the book is still in print, but you can find used copies on retailers like Amazon or Abebooks.

Prince Nautilus: Melmed, Laura Krauss; Sorensen, Henri

Like the storytime format?  Let me know (see email address below), and I’ll do more in the future.

Next week, stay tuned for the start of a massive 2 part interview on martial arts, gymnastics, breakdancing, learning new skills, and more with one of my best friends from college.

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

Author Spotlight – Missy Sheldrake and Her Newest Release

On this past week’s podcast, fantasy author Missy Sheldrake came on, and we had a great conversation.  You can check it out here if you haven’t listened to it yet.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that her newest book is now live!

Call-of-Brindelier-Book-Spotlight

Here are links to the purchase the book on Amazon and learn more about it on Goodreads.

Like an excerpt?  Read one here!

Below, you’ll find a number of wonderful digitally painted illustrations from this new volume.  More can be found on her website’s illustration section.

Excerpt-1-Flitt-and-Azi

Excerpt-3-Dub-and-Celli

Excerpt-2-Undersea-Tower

Author Bio:

Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young. The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.

Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.

Links to the Previous Volumes in the Series:

Call of Kythshire (Book One):
https://amzn.com/B00UVLQWGY

Call of Sunteri (Book Two):
https://amzn.com/B0187IG3HK

Snowberry Blossom (Perma-free holiday short story):
https://amzn.com/B0196P041O

Books-Banner

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

Good luck, Missy, with the launch!  May the fairies bring good luck.

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #43: Guest Author Interview with Fantasy Author/Illustrator Missy Sheldrake

Episode #43: Author and Illustrator Missy Sheldrake Interview – Digital Art, Fairies, Fantasy Writing, and a Hidden Benefit to Video Gaming  

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2043.mp3

In this week’s episode, fantasy author Missy Sheldrake joins the show, so fairy tale fans, authors, and illustrators sit back, relax, and enjoy the one hour plus show!  Missy is unique in that she’s one of the few authors out there who also creates her own covers (see them below) and illustrates her novels.

You’ll find out more in the podcast, but early elements of the series actually came from this game:

(Missy definitely got her money’s worth out of this game, since she got not only a book series from it but a husband and a job – who says playing video games doesn’t pay??? 🙂

Her creations aren’t just 2D – some are sculptures.  Check out her page for a gallery of hand-crafted fairies.

Check out some of her books featuring the fairy world she created below:

missy1missy2

Books 1 and 2 in the series (click on the covers to go to the Amazon pages).

missy3

You can download this short story (which takes place after book 2) for free on Amazon.

missy4

Book 3 is coming this month – click on the image above to check out the pre-order page on Amazon.

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2016-05-24 14.23.41

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Illustration for Call of Sunteri available on amazon.com and createspace.com

Digitally created illustrations that Missy did in the Call of Kythsire (first 5) and Call of Sunteri (last one).  Click on the pictures to go to Missy’s illustrations page.

Thanks again, Missy, for coming on the show, and good luck with the new release!  Learn more about her work below:

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #37: Guest Spot with Author Kelly St. Clare

Episode #37: Prince – In Memory and Guest Q & A with Fantasy Author Kelly St. Clare

https://ia601504.us.archive.org/12/items/13thHrEps16On/Podcast%2037.mp3

Before we get to the podcast today, a note on Prince’s passing.  It took me three tries of recording the intro to not sound totally down in the dumps, so I apologize in advance if I sound more sedate.

* I refer to interviews Prince did in the podcast – they were rare, but you can find some on youtube.  This is part of a thoughtful interview where he talks about mentorship, having high standards held to you, and the value of persistence.  Good talk!  

Prince was one of those people who a true artist in every sense of the word – difficult to categorize, independent, someone who paved his own way.  Though many tried to emulate him later, he was always a hard performer to cover.  There was always such a unique flair to the multi-instrumentalist from Minnesota with such range to his voice and the presence and swagger to pull off wearing heels and ruffled shirts.  So, Prince, truly, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”  He was his own man and showed us what it meant to be an individual in a world where conformity ultimately often becomes the path of least resistance for most people.

So long, thank you, and may the rain color purple coming down from the heavens.

images

#RIPPrince – click on the photo above for an extended live version of “Purple Rain.”

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On a happier note, welcome, Kelly and your readers, to the podcast.  Kelly St. Clare and her books have been featured on this blog a number of times (e.g. see her post on her experiences with Thunderclap).   It was also Kelly who suggested George Sirois, who was on last week, for the show – so thank you.  (That show, which I think is the longest yet, can be found here).  For those of you who may be new to her work, here’s a link to an interview she did to give you more info.

Kelly St. Clare

Click on Kelly’s photo above to be taken to her Goodreads profile.

Click on the books above to be taken to Kelly’s Amazon profile to check out her books.
Website: http://www.kellystclare.com/ – there, you can join her exclusive club (can I call it that, Kelly? =) for updates and well, exclusive stuff you can’t find elsewhere
-Wattpad: http://w.tt/1MJs4hl – get a great introduction to Kelly’s work by reading Fantasy of Frost, the first book in her (soon to be) tetrology free on Wattpad.  You can find more samples of her other books on her website.

-Twitter: https://twitter.com/kellystclare

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The last clip of the song I’m working on now, “Song of an Unsung Hero” (which takes its name from a poem in the novel, The Thirteenth Hour), has lyrics here.  Stay tuned for more info in the coming weeks!

You can find more about The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack on bandcamp or on Instagram @the13thhr.ost.

Thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

 

 

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #35: Interview with Author Angela B. Chrysler

Episode #35: Swords, Flux Capacitors, Norse Myths … Interview with Angela B. Chrysler

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2035.mp3

Angela, the creator of the Brain to Books cyber blog tour, took time out of her busy schedule to talk for an hour.  We covered a vast amount of info: Back to the Future Delorean shirts, why having a flux capacitor is a good life decision, the Moon Patrol soundtrack, how her personal collection of weaponry influences her writing, why all the fuss about book reviews from the point of view of a reader and author, how persistence factors into writing, publishing, and life, and much, much more.

 

 

Email Address: angelabchrysler@yahoo.com

Website:  http://www.angelabchrysler.com/

Author Bio:

 Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats. Read More

Social Media Links

Official Site
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Profile Page

Twitter
Pinterest
Facebook
Google+
Story Time on YouTube – if you ever have have had a desire to create a podcast, consider doing what Angela is currently doing, as referenced on the how to create a podcast post done for Kelly St. Clare’s blog.

Dolor and Shadow (Tales of the Drui Book #1) Official Page

Fire and Lies (Tales of the Drui Book #2) Official Page
Broken Official Page

Books Discussed on the Show

DOLOR AND SHADOW (TALES OF THE DRUI BOOK #1 … BOOK #2 TO BE RELEASED 7/1/16).

 Dolor and Shadow Large

Genre: High/Epic Fantasy

YouTube Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovHqM9cHGDE

Summary:

 

As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But the gods are relentless, and when a twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, Rune obtains a power he does not understand.

From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.

BROKEN

 Broken by Angela B Chrysler 1600x2500

Genre: Memoir/Psychological Thriller/Non-Fiction

Awards: Finalist of the 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards

YouTube Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqfR928fpWE

Summary:

And Death it calls as the stone crow breaks. Streaks of blood malform its face. Death becomes its withered eyes and the shadows whisper, “Lies.”

When a young journalist, William D. Shaw, seeks out Elizabeth, an acclaimed author, in hopes to write her biography, the recluse grants him twenty-four hours to hear her story. What unfolds are events that teeter on the edge of macabre and a psychological thriller.

While toggling the lines of insanity, Elizabeth examines her past filled with neglect, rape, abuse, torture, and pedophilia. The more Elizabeth delves into her psyche, the more William witnesses the multiple mental conditions Elizabeth developed to cope with a life without love, comfort, protection, trust, physical human contact, affection, therapy, or medication.

With the use of existentialism, I wrote Broken in an attempt to philosophical determine what I had become and why. Instead, I found the awareness I needed to seek help. Broken is the road map I took to arrive at “Awareness” and seek medical attention.

Angela B Chrysler BUSINESS CARD back

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Starving Artist Section: where I talk about making a few bucks on the internets!  This week’s app is Nextrack, which pays you (via gift cards, albeit slowly) to work out.  It works via mpoints/mplus points, which is a point system used by a number of other games and apps.  You can only redeem so many per day, but you can also earn free coupons and such.  Nice little bit of positive reinforcement for maintaining an exercise habit.  Available for Android and iOS.

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Schedule for the next few weeks:

4/18/16: Episode #36: a conversation with author George Sirois

4/25/16: Episode #37: fantasy author Kelly St. Clare

5/2/16: Episode #38: knife throwing

Thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and @the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

Brain to Books 2016 Fantasy Book Tour

Welcome, blog tour participants!

I will be hosting you for this stop on the B2B2016 Fantasy Book Cyber Tour, getting you actual snippets to read, view, or listen to for a taste of the participating authors’ works.

Clicking on the names of the authors will take you to their Goodreads pages.  The emoticons below are to highlight the following features of their work:

Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe = Twitter link

= trailer or video to watch

Full size JPG preview: Speaker volume icon= audio clip

= stand-alone sample to download (e.g. a .doc or .pdf file)

= link to Amazon to buy the book (not available for all listings) or for the “Look Inside” feature to preview a book

Let’s start with the fantasy #B2BCYCON organizer, Angela.

1 – Angela B. Chrysler:
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @abchryslerabc

Dolor and Shadow Large

Click on the cover above to read a sample of Dolor and Shadow on Amazon.com using the “Look Inside” Feature.

 Buy Dolor and Shadow on Amazon

 Dolor and Shadow Trailer

Tune into Angela B. Chrysler’s youtube story hour channel to hear her own novel, Dolor and Shadow!

2 – C.L. Schneider
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @cl_schneider

Magic-Price

Click on the cover above to read a sample from Magic Price.

Tune into Angela B. Chrysler’s youtube story hour channel to hear her reading Magic Price!

  Buy this series on Amazon

 

 

3 – Joshua Robertson
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @RobertsonWrites

DyndaerCover

Click on the cover above to check out a sample from Dyndaer.

 Check out the trailer to Melkorka, the first book in this series.

Full size JPG preview: Speaker volume icon Josh has been featured on this blog before.  Check out his interview on The Thirteenth Hour Podcast!

Buy books in the Thrice Nine Legends series and other Joshua Robertson books on Amazon.

4 – Ashley Capes
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @Ash_Capes

Ashley Capes

The Amber Isle (Book of Never 1)

Click on the cover above to check out a sample from The Amber Isle.

 Buy the Amber Isle on Amazon.

5 – V.S. Holmes
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @VS_Holmes

29384713

Click on the cover above to read a sample of Smoke and Rain.

 Buy Smoke and Rain on Amazon

 

 

6 – Marco Marek
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @1MarcoMarek

26021420

Click on the cover above to check out a sample from Hyperearth.

 Buy Hyperearth on Amazon.

Hyperearth Trailer

7 – Aldrea Alien
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @AldreaAlien

AldreaAlien

1TRK

Click on the cover above to check out a sample from The Rogue King.

 The Rogue King Trailer

 Buy The Rogue King on Amazon

8 – Riley Amos Westbrook
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @donttouchmyshi1

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Click on the cover above to download the anthology FREE on Smashwords.

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 Full size JPG preview: Speaker volume iconClick on the cover to read and/or listen to this book FREE.

 Everyone Dies at the End Trailer

**This novella has not yet been formally released.  If you’d be interested in reading an advance copy and offering your honest opinion in the form of a review, please contact Riley.  He’s trying to amass 100 reviews prior to launching the book.  Help Riley get to 100 reviews (64/100 so far)!  See the Twitter link above or message him on his Goodreads page for more details.

 

9 – A.F. Stewart
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @scribe77

A. F. Stewart

Ruined City

Click on the cover above to check out a sample from Ruined City.

 Ruined City Trailer

Buy Ruined City on Amazon.

10 – Tracy M. Joyce
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @TracyMJoyce

Tracy M Joyce 3.png

 The Chronicles of Altaica: Book 1, Altaica, and Book 2, Asena Blessed (coming 5/1/16!)

Altaica_fbcover_2

Click on the banner above to check out a sample from Altaica on Amazon.com using the “Look Inside” Feature.

 Buy Altaica on Amazon

Altaica Trailer

11 – Ed Ireland
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe @Fabsfan1

18282402

Click on the banner above to check out a sample from The Last Ranger of Sarn.

The Last Ranger of Sarn Trailer 

22849973

Click on the banner above to check out a sample from Blood Moon Sacrifice.

Blood Moon Sacrifice Trailer

12 – Adam Dreece
Twitter Icon | Simple Rounded Social Iconset | GraphicsVibe@AdamDreece

Along Came a Wolf (The Yellow Hoods, #1) 23156034  24316301 26247781

Click on Along Came a Wolf to read a stand-alone sample download. 

Click on the covers of the other 3 books in the series to read a sample on Amazon using the “Look Inside” features.

The Yellow Hoods Series Trailer

Tune into Angela B. Chrysler’s youtube channel to hear Along Came a Wolf being read!

Buy books from this series and other stories by Adam Dreece on Amazon.

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Thanks for stopping by!
Head on over to the next stop on the #BYBCYCON train to get access to interviews from the authors above!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!  You’ll become an advance reader and learn about future stories, illustrations, and giveaways first, plus get samples like those featured above.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

Preview of Weekend Festivities

This upcoming Monday, on the podcast, fantasy author Angela B. Chrysler, will be on!  She’s been featured on this blog a few times before, and she’s heading up a huge cyber convention that’s also going on this weekend: the Brain to Books Fantasy Cyber Convention, starting this Friday (i.e. tomorrow), 4/8/16.

b2b

Click on the picture above to learn more about this novel on Goodreads.

There’s a massive book giveaway as part of the convention.  You can see the books here.  I’ll be donating an e-copy of The Thirteenth Hour.  You can enter the contest here.

Speaking of which, I’ll have a “virtual booth” at the convention, as well, which will mirror real life, since I’ll be at a library event on Saturday.

I have a free raffle for both events going on using the same Rafflecopter.  You can win one of the three ebooks:

 

 

See you at one of these events!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #32: Guest Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson and New Song Preview

Episode #32: Live Interview with Fantasy Author Joshua Robertson and Preview of New Ending Song

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2032.mp3

Today, I’ve very pleased to welcome dark fantasy author Joshua Robertson to the show.  It was a fun conversation and a chance to talk about all kinds of things related to fantasy, writing, and the like.

Turns out that we had very similar journeys in writing – he created a fantasy world as a kid (1999) and then re-edited the manuscript for a long time until recently publishing the stories he’d worked on since adolescence.  In fact, his first novel released publicly, Melkorka, he re-wrote 7 times!  Holy persistence, Batman!

He also discusses some of his most recent works, including Dyndaer, which was just released.

thriceseries

If you’re curious about some of the short stories that we read and discussed on the podcast, here are titles and links:

A Midwinter Sellsword – an ongoing short story series based on a table top game world.

Grimsdalr – a retelling of the Beowulf myth

Anaerfell – the short story that introduces readers to the Thrice Nine Legends series – Josh recommends that new readers to his works start here.

Josh’s ongoing story on Wattpad, The Eadfel: Game of Houses, is available here.

The story that I’m trying to turn into a novel, the modern retelling of the sleeping beauty fairy tale, is on Wattpad here.

If you’re an author or considering becoming one, Josh discusses a lot great information I wish I’d known years ago!  To use a handy but one of those annoyingly overused catchphrases of internet marketing, he brings a lot of high value content to the conversation (as well as to the podcast)!  Pay particular attention to his discussion on the importance of listening to your critics, making personal relationships with people on social media, starting the process of building your audience early (before publication – if you recall nothing else, remember this!!), the importance of a mailing list, and what he found most helpful as a young writer.

And … if you’re an author and are interested in publishing a short story through Josh’s publishing company, Crimson Edge, check out this anthology entitled “Maidens and Magic” – still taking submissions until 6/1/16.  Check it out!

Author Bio (links to Goodreads)

Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children. In 1999, he began crafting the world for Thrice Nine Legends, including Melkorka and Anaerfell. He is also the author of the A Midwinter Sellsword and Gladiators and Thieves in the Hawkhurst Saga. His short story,Grimsdalr, is inspired by the tale of Beowulf.

Social Media Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter – look for the #fantasychat

Youtube videolog/podcast – The Writer’s Edge

Crimson Edge Facebook Page and Book Club

It was great having Josh on the show.  Josh, if you’re seeing this, know you’re welcome back anytime!

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Before I go, I’ll leave you with a work in progress – as I mentioned, The Thirteenth Hour is getting an ending song.  Since it’s a book inspired by 80s films, I figured it needed an 80s style ending song replete with synthesizers and electric guitars.  It’s not done, since the vocals still need to be worked in, but I’ve finally finishing recording the instrumental parts, which you can listen to here, on The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack page on Bandcamp.  Look for updates on the soundtrack page on Instagram (@the13thhr.ost).

star glow cover 6x9 front

Amazon giveaway for the children’s book, Your Star Will Glow Forever, is open until 3/22/16!  Stop by to see if you can score a free copy.  Mailing list subscribers find out about future giveaways and days when books go free early!

As always, thanks for listening!

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New Release: Strong Armed by J.C. Boyd

On Monday, fantasy author Joshua Robertson will be appearing on the podcast.  One of his co-authors from the first book in one of his trilogies, Anaerfell, J.C. Boyd, has a new dark fantasy novelette out – Strong Armed, set in the same universe.

StrongArmedCover

Book Summary

Balvoc had always earned his bread with blood on his hands. But when he is forced to protect an amoral merchant to keep his wife safe, he must decide whether his wife’s life is worth the havoc caused by Sin-sim’s greed.

Author Bio

J.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs. He recently earned his MA in English Literature and is working on his debut novel for his own fantasy world. Despite growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and a collection of both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels, J.C. has an abiding love of classics and spends his free time reading anything he can get his hands on.

Author Interview

When did you start writing?

As I recall, my brother suggested we write stories one lazy, summer afternoon. I thought the idea was ludicrous, but being the younger, I followed his lead. The memory still lurks in the back of my mind as one of the best. Over the years, Joshua has continued to push me to write, so it is only fitting that my first published work, Anaerfell, was co-authored with him.

That lazy summer afternoon was in about 4th grade. I started writing my first novel, a horror story which featured kids from my class. Unsurprisingly, I did not finish. A similar attempt with a fantasy novel in junior high brought similar results. Not until my fourth attempt at writing did I finish my first novel, completing it my senior year of high school. The final product still makes me cringe, but elements, themes, and even characters from that book still creep into what I write now.

What motivates you to write?

After I had first put my highly illegible pencil to paper, I never really put it down again. While my brother certainly pushed me, he knows as well as I do that I don’t do anything I really don’t want to and his task would have been fruitless if I didn’t find something engaging in the task.

In the end, what motivates me to write is, well, everything about the process. I love putting down the first words as much as I do the last. I cannot help but getting swept away in the imaginary world I create with the characters I craft to face that world. I enjoy tropes as much as I enjoy turning tropes on their heads—one of my first pieces in the fantasy genre featured an evil Gandalf character, seeking to betray those he was meant to help.

However, the ideas and characters only inspire me as much as the words themselves. In fact, my family still pokes fun at me about reading the dictionary during my high school years. While I, like many of my contemporaries, list Tolkien as a major influence, I like to think I do so from the evidence of his philological background within his works rather than his epithet as the Father of Modern Fantasy.

What genre do you write in and what made you choose this particular genre?

While much of my reading has been in Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, and Sword and Sorcery, I tend to lean (quite heavily) toward Dark Fantasy. I don’t know that I really chose Dark Fantasy. I simply realize that this is the genre in which I write. Because I like to play with certain tropes, I tend to lose traditional aspects that make me a writer of other subgenres. As I mentioned earlier, it is not so much that I dislike these tropes, but I cannot always reconcile myself to them within my stories. I have a desire to have exceptionally flawed individuals and, coupled with my rather morose outlook on life, they generally fail or step on others to achieve their goals. Real heroes are both rare and special. I simply haven’t found one in anything I write.

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I want to write stories I can stand behind with which people can identify. But I want my readers to have to think. I want more than simply a good book. I have read plenty of good books, at the end of which I can exclaim, “Thumping good read!” I then put down the book and never open it again. I don’t want to be in that stack. I want my readers to finish my story and immediately hand it to a friend (or stranger) and say, “Read this and then come talk to me. I need to discuss it with someone.”

Ambitious, I know.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I would like to say that I don’t, but it just wouldn’t be true. I have simply figured out an effective way of dealing with it for myself. When I encounter writer’s block, I usually end up pacing. I walk back and forth in my house and talk to myself. A lot. Usually I talk through the plot, themes, character motivations. And my workout ends with me spouting dialogue back and forth to myself. I have found that the most people deal with their problems by talking and if I let my characters talk to each other, I usually figure out what had me stumped to begin with.

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Start over. I have seen too many authors carrying the same novel around in their back pockets for years, trying to get it published without luck. They edit the piece over and over again, but can’t get it accepted. I am sure there are plenty of people who would like you to stick with your tattered manuscript, but throwing it out and starting over is usually best. If you are married to the story, read a chapter and re-write from memory. Don’t keep editing. You are a better writer at the end of your novel than you were at the beginning, but editing can only do so much.

Please, tell us about your work.

My first published work is Anaerfell, co-authored with Joshua Roberston, in the Thrice-Nine Legends setting. Strong Armed will be released on 08 March 2016 in the same setting. Meanwhile, Joshua and I are working on another co-authored novel, which will take place in a setting of my own creation. 

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!  Check out the links below for more info.

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LINKS

Order Strong Armed on Amazon

Order Strong Armed on Smashwords

Website

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