Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bladesmen Lords trilogy available at Smashwords

I've made the Bladesmen Lords trilogy available at for all three novels: Lord of the CityCity of the Lords, and Worlds of the Lords. They're available there with a sample download of the first 20% of each novel if you'd like to try them out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Worlds of the Lords now available to order

I'm pleased to announce that Worlds of the Lords is now available for ordering!

Worlds of the Lords: published October, 2014. Volume 3 of the Bladesmen Lords series. ISBN 978-1502456854. Buy now as a trade paperback from CreateSpace, a Kobo ebook, or as a Kindle ebook!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Events and Distribution

First off, I wanted to say that I greatly enjoyed the signing that Debbie and Jody graciously put on for myself and Giando Sigurani this past Saturday out at Jan's Paperbacks. Thanks! I had a lot of fun chatting with the bookstore staff and the customers who came out on a somewhat damp day.

So... what's next for Worlds of the Lords? I still have a lot of work to do! I need to get the eBook versions (Kobo, Kindle, Nook, etc.) cleaned up and set for distribution alongside the other two books in the series. I need to order more books and get some sent out that have been requested as signed copies. Last but far from least now that the trilogy is complete I need to take another crack at setting it up on a bigger distribution network (Ingram Spark) which is easier for bookstores to order from directly. That makes it a much better deal for larger and smaller bookstores alike (from Powell's on down) to make space for it.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Proof copy of Worlds of the Lords!

I got a present in the mail yesterday:

After a quick review and flip through, I resubmitted the cover (I brightened up the image and shifted everything down a little) and ordered my first batch of copies for the book signing!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Worlds of the Lords is ready!

I am pleased to announce that I've ordered proof copies of Worlds of the Lords, the third novel in the Bladesmen Lords series. It's exciting to complete the trilogy with what I hope is a satisfying story for everyone who enjoyed the first two novels.

The first physical copies will be available in a book signing I'll be doing at Jan's Paperbacks in Aloha, Oregon on Saturday October 18 from 1:30pm to 4:30pm. Join us and get your copy signed while browsing an excellent selection of new and used books. I will have all three novels there available for purchase. If you're struggling to decide on a present this holiday season for someone you know who enjoys fantasy novels, the trilogy would make an excellent addition to their bookshelves!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Schedule locked in for the third Bladesman Lords book!

Manuscript editing is finished, the book cover is lined up for a delivery date, and I'm getting feedback from the people I passed the final copy out to. I will be ordering proofs of the next title by October 1 from the printer, and should have printings of the final product in my hands by October 15th. It will have been almost exactly a year and a half since City of the Lords was released - far longer than I would have preferred, but I like to think that my busy day job and a summer wedding are pretty good excuses for the delay.

I wanted to give special recognition to Sharri Jeffery, a customer at Jan's Paperbacks (a local bookstore) who has come out for every signing I've done there. Since she first read Lord of the City she has eagerly asked when each new installment in the series is coming out, and despite some health problems keeps hanging on waiting for the next book to arrive (whether it's mine or someone else's). An author could hope for no more inspiring a fan than that. To paraphrase her words, she refuses to pass on while there's still that next book in the series waiting for her! Thanks, Sharri, and may you read not only my next book but plenty of others in the years to come!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Out-loud editing

I'm pretty much finished with my second round of edits for the third Bladesman Lords manuscript and wanted to talk about how it works and why I do it this way.

Once I finish a final readthrough of a manuscript and make whatever corrections I can on the screen, I print everything out in hard copy and go through the entire thing out loud (or at least whispered/mouthed). I picked this step up based on advice I read on another blog (sadly, I have long forgotten which one) back when working on Lord of the City and it can be astonishing how much it reveals.

Here's the kinds of things I recognize during this step -

1. Some sentences just don't "sound right" when spoken. The words don't flow well, the syllables get mixed up, or a certain sound might get repeated in an unpleasant way. The muscle memory of our spoken language triggers different perspectives than simply reading words on a screen. Should my books ever get turned into audiobooks, there's a lot of potential ugliness there which can get detected at this stage.

2. Typing and editing in the trade paperback format that I use causes me to miss some repeated words or overused phrases that might not happen to be on the same page. Printing and editing in a different format helps bring these to light.

3. This is the first chance I've had to sit back with the text away from a computer screen. I have an opportunity to read it in a different frame of mind and a different physical stance than I do while writing it or during the initial rounds of editing. Subtle problems can be brought to light which weren't seen on a screen.

This process takes me about 10-15 minutes a chapter, during which I mark up the manuscript I've printed out. My next step is typing up corrections to the items I find, which may range from typos/extra spaces to entire new paragraphs to better explain an idea or rewrites of sentences or scenes based on problems. That step ends up being pretty short, all things told, just a couple of days worth of work. For reference, this third book is 47 chapters long (in three parts just like City of the Lords was), so the full out-loud manuscript readthrough has taken me between 9 and 10 hours.

What's the next step? Distributing my final draft to friends and family to read through. I'll give them a week or two to come back with suggestions after which I'll make changes (if any). The cover should be done by then. Everything is on target to have a proof coming from the printers in the first week of October, and if things work out right I'll have physical copies sitting in my hands within a month of today.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book 3 Progress and more!

The summer has been a busy one! It's gone by in a flash, consumed with writing and wedding preparations. The third book in the Bladesman Lords series has a completed rough draft manuscript in front of me, and I've started the last round of edits reading through the entire thing out loud. The cover art is being worked on by the excellent Jeremy Gregory, the same artist who worked on the first two for me. Great progress and I'm on track to release the book this fall!

In more exciting news, I was asked to be the featured author in the newsletter for Jan's Paperbacks this month. I submitted a short article on my thoughts about how we all need variety in our lives and sometimes it's good for us to push beyond what's familiar. Check the newsletter out here: - it looks like the link hasn't been updated yet but it should be soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Influences by other authors

I've noticed a trend in my writing over the years. Or rather, not my writing so much as my creative direction. After reading a book by another author (a good one, anyhow), for a few days my mind wants to go in a similar direction as that other author. It's something I was not fully aware of when I started jotting down ideas as a teenager, and now looking back at some of those early scribblings I can definitely tell where some of them stemmed from.

While I recognize that this is not an uncommon happening, it's something I have to watch out for as an author. I don't get nearly as much reading time in as I'd like these days, but when I devour a book by one of my favorite authors I need to recognize the fact that it may influence my writing for a short period afterwards. This doesn't mean that I avoid writing altogether, but it does mean that I need to try and inoculate myself against undue outside influence. I do this by reviewing my previous writing longer in preparation for each stint of new authorship, and even just recognizing that there may be an issue there is enough to help inoculate my mind.

This isn't to say that it's all bad, of course! Everyone - author or not - is going to be influenced by their most recent reads. Our creative impulses are all shaped in one manner or another by those who have come before us, whether it's a desire to compete or imitate. I wouldn't want to disregard the influences I've had from other authors, I just want to set aside the immediate impact of any one specific book or series at a point in time.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Looking ahead in 2014

I'm well past Part 1 of the third book in the Bladesmen Lords series. Progress! With that in mind, here's my writing goals for this year:

- Finish writing the third book by mid summer or earlier.

- Complete editing by the fall so it can be released sometime in September or October. This will be impacted by my upcoming wedding in early August for good reason :)

- If possible, I'd like to write a novella in 2014 that I have in mind. It's (maybe?) aimed at young adult, I'm not sure, but I'm not sure it's got a very happy ending. Should be a good little story though.

As always, my main challenge is available time. I never seem to have the time and mindset to write as much as I'd like; if I did, I'd be finished with the third book in less than a month. We'll see how it goes.

I hope everyone enjoyed their winter holidays and has a great 2014!