My Acquisitions Page

I added a new page to my blog: Acquisitions.

I realized a lot of agents and editors have a page where they post credits for books they have been a part of. Although my contribution to these books varies, I feel like it’s been an important part of my literary journey. Some of these books were assigned to me by the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press. Others I found along the way and brought to them. In any case, they are all books that affected me as I read them and I recommend them all.

My Editorial Acquisitions

Wolf Cover

Prophet of the Badlands

Steampunk Story Contest!

It’s almost time for Salt City Steamfest! That means CONTEST!!!

Do you think you can spin a yarn worthy of the Salty Dog? Aye, many of you might. But only one will earn the approval of Captain Wymore and get the saline canine bragging rights. For one exemplary Steampunk, victory awaits!

The Salty Dog
Short Story Contest Rules

The Clockwork
– Only Steampunk stories are allowed. (See definition under “The Cypher” below.)
– No excerpts, previously published short stories, or short stories under consideration by other magazines or publishers are allowed.
– Stories should be between 2,000 and 6,000 words long, submitted as an e-mail attachment in .doc format (only).
– Each entry must be submitted by e-mail to james@curiosityquills.com with “Salty Dog: Title by Author” in the subject line.
– Entries must be in Garamond, 12 point font, 1.5 spacing, and 1″ borders. No page numbering.
– The writer’s name (with optional penname) and e-mail address must be at the top of the entry document.
– All entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Independence Day (Saturday, July 4) 2015.
– The author must attend the Salt City Steamfest in July 17-18, 2015, or the entry is forfeited.
– The decision of the judge, James Wymore, is final.

The Cypher
– While the exact definition of “Steampunk” remains enigmatic, for the purposes of this contest, Steampunk will be defined as:
* Historical Science Fiction
* Historical Fantasy
* Speculative Alternate History
– Character and a good story win the day, but the Judge will give preference to stories set in Utah before 1899.

The Treasure
– The official contest winner will be announced and given the 2015 Salty Dog award at the “Writing Steampunk” panel at Steamfest.
– The winning author will be awarded a contract with Curiosity Quills Press to publish their story in a print and e-book anthology.

Now get those difference engines spinning out some fish tales!

Back to work, Edward!

I know it’s fallen out of favor with Comic Book fans, but I really liked Batman Forever when it came out. I think Val Kilmer’s time as Batman was too short. The best part, of course were the performances of Two-Face and the Riddler. At one point, Edward Nygma attempts to talk to Bruce Wayne. His boss keeps trying to dissuade him by saying, “Back to work, Edward!” For some reason, I think of that whenever I’m supposed to be working and other things have distracted me. Well, not every time, or that would be hundreds of times a day… but sometimes.

The_bookkeeper_by_van_Dijk

Anyway, that’s what I thought today when after weeks and weeks of working on “side” projects, I finally got back to working on a novel. I had a couple of short stories to write, a few anthologies to start, and a role-playing game to flesh out. I’ve been editing, too. Also, I had a bunch of submissions to make for the Comic Book, Sundown. However, I finally got caught up today. So I dusted off the novel I’m working on and looked at it again.

To be honest, I was starting to worry that the novel wasn’t any good. As I took some time away from it, my doubts began gnawing at me. I started to wonder if I’d made a mistake and should just abandon it. So I threw myself in to the side work for months and didn’t face the reality of the situation.

Incidentally, In “On Writing,” Stephen King warns against this very thing. He points out that taking time away from a work almost always sours it, and one should loyally work all the way to the end of one project before picking up another. It would be great if I had the luxury of doing so. However, I have a day job and a family. Not to mention, if I didn’t take care of editing and side projects in a timely fashion, they’d never get done. When I got permission to do the second Actuator anthology, I had to jump on it. When Steven L. Peck agreed to an anthology (different one), I had to jump on that. So I don’t regret my choice, but as Mr. King predicted, I had soured on the novel I’d set aside.

Today, I decided to jump back in and see. I would just read through the eight chapters I had done and see what needed to be hacked and try to fix it. If it was awful, I would know. Luckily, I found I still love it. The characters drew me right back in and the story is fun. I didn’t get much new writing done, but I feel good about where I’m at and ready to push forward. Whew! That’s a relief!

So, now I’m back to writing THUG #1. :)

Friday the 13th

Fear of Friday the 13th is paraskavedekatriaphobia. I didn’t used to think this day was unlucky, but the more I look into it, the more it seems to be legitimately cursed.

Having an unlucky day? I recommend curling up with a good book and reading late into the night. I recommend Exacting Essence or The Actuator 1: Fractured Earth.

Actuator 1 Ebook Cover

perf6.000x9.000.indd

If you don’t feel like reading, I have some death themed comics you can try. Or a game where you play as the Grim Reaper. However you celebrate, good luck.

Grounding Myself

I am grounded. I must ground myself because I was bad.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about me recently: when I am writing more, I think less. Thinking is sometimes bad, because it leads to more writing. So, if I’m writing a lot, I don’t really think about new things to write. The problem comes when I don’t have time to write much, because I starting thinking about things I want to write. Then I want to write them and my list of works-in-progress begins to grow like rabbits on an island without predators.

At this moment, I’m about 25% of the way through two novels (Actuator 3 and Thug #1). I put Actuator 3 on hold because I obtained clearance to do the second collection of short stories in that series: The Actuator 2.5: Armageddon Chronicles. I’m really excited for it!

By the way, in case I didn’t announce it anywhere else, I have a release date for The Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur. It should be out on July 20!

So, in the midst of editing this anthology, I talked with Steven L. Peck about a story he published called A Short Stay in Hell. It’s very deep. We talked about other “hells” and decided to put together a short story collection of different hells along the same line. So now I’m editing two anthologies.

Oh, and I’m in the middle of a multi-author book project called Choose Your Own Apocalypse. Jason King and Holli Anderson are joining me for an experiment based on the game by the same name.

And, just to be goofy, I decided to work on another game: Shroud RPG. On top of all that, I need to write a short story for CQ’s next anthology. I just solidified the idea for something high tech involving a ninja.

So, if you count them, I’m in the middle of SEVEN writing projects. Yay!

And that will be most of the rest of this year. So I’m grounded. Until I get these done, I’m not allowed to talk about any other writing projects. If you see me brainstorming, pontificating, or talking about new ideas, please smack me and remind my I’m grounded. Thanks! :)

CYOA Cover

My Dream Come True

This picture is the literal fulfillment of a 26 year dream. My writing is on the same chart as George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and Kurt Vonnegut. Thank you for helping me make it happen!

Amazon Top Author with Vonnegut, Bradbury & Orwell

#1 for 99 cents

Chronology is now 99 cents, and it’s #1 in several Amazon charts! If you haven’t gotten it already, you should! Draconic King is the first of 24 great stories by many bestselling authors.

Chronology #1