The Actuator RPG

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At long last, it’s finally finished! The full version of The Actuator Role-playing Game mod. You can use this guide to turn any RPG into a multi-genre campaign. It comes with two free short stories set in the Actuator universe as well. What’s better than that? It’s FREE!

Published by Final Redoubt Press on RPG Now, you can download the entire game here:

THE ACTUATOR RPG

If you want more information, check The Actuator Book Page or The Actuator RPG Page.

Special thanks to Robert J. Defendi of FRP for his amazing help. Tell your friends and family, then get reading!

 

Fractured Earth FREE!

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Happy Black Friday! Today, through Cyber-Monday (Nov. 30) my two time bestselling novel, The Actuator: Fractured Earth, is available for FREE! It’s never been free before. If you read it already, tell your friends. If not, this is the perfect time to get into this fantastic series.

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Just in case that’s not enough to keep you happy, I also have my three stand alone novels: Salvation, Exacting Essence, and Theocracide on sale for just 99 cents! Theocracide is being featured on Scifi365.net for the weekend. Get 20 free books when you sign up and join the mailing list to keep the sci-fi books flowing. 🙂

Is that all the amazing reading a blog can give? NO! Check out these freebies for the four day promotion. The Lure of Fools by Jason King and Five out the Dark by Holli Anderson are also yours for the taking. The fiery conclusion to the Five series comes out on Monday! I’ve already read it, of course, and it’s brilliant. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can get Jason King’s Valcoria for only 99 cents. You might want to pick this one up now, because I have a story in the upcoming anthology set in this world that’s amazing.

Soul-less Grave

Five

“Not enough free books,” you say? Well, check out our publisher’s website… maybe they can find you another dozen or so. Happy Holidays!!!

Return of the Saboteur Review Tour

Readers! My publisher has an INSANE promotion for Actuator 2: Return of the Saboteur. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, they will give you all 3 in any digital format, just for reviewing! That’s $15 and a whole lot of book love. 🙂

It’s how you know I love you. Sign up here, please:

https://docs.google.com/a/curiosityquills.com/forms/d/19RJU5F28PrwLTLczrTR83y8GvjceKjEZ1GfhgPBOWQY/viewform

Actuator 2 Facebook Cover

Brane Theory Notes

LTUE has been such a great time! I hope you will come see me in my panels tomorrow.

This morning in a panel with Mette Ivie Harrison on Faster Than Light and Time Travel, we went into some of the science behind these mind bending concepts. I mentioned a book which I didn’t remember the title for, which explains the science behind these ideas. I promised to look it up and post about it here. The book is:

Warped Passages by Lisa Randall

If you just go to Amazon and search for “brane theory” a number of good resources come up. For old-schoolers, you can get Einstein’s original work here:

Relativity – The Special and General Theory

Sidelights on Relativity

I recently did a few guest posts related to these topics, as well. If you want a shorter discussion you can find them here:

Why Time Travel Intrigues Us

The Science of Time Travel

And for some FREE classic reference literature in any format you want:

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

Finally, if you want my own time travel short story:

Forbidden Future

Thanks to everybody who made it so much fun!

A Million Words

Ray Bradbury said, “Your first million words don’t count.” Actually he said a lot about writing. You can get his entire book FREE on-line here: Zen in the Art of Writing. I highly recommend it.

Why a million words? Ten books of 100,000 words each? Really? The answer is YES!

It takes a million words to find your voice. Before I published anything I wrote over a dozen books. Now I’m up near 15 or 16 books, with only 3 of them published. Maybe there are people that can master it faster than I did. But my experience backs up what Bradbury said. It took a long time to write anything decent. It took me over a decade to learn world building and character development.

It’s probably worth mentioning that some people, like J. R. R. Tolkien, get their million words by writing the same story over and over.

From another source I heard it takes over ten-thousand hours to master any skill. That means an average of only 100 words per hour. That can’t be right! But think again. In addition to writing book after book, any serious author is also going to read books on how to write (see source above for an example) and attend classes and/or conferences and/or conventions. I also recommend The Author’s Tookit, and On Writing by Stephen King. Don’t forget grammar books like The Elements of Style. Here’s The Art of Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Whenever an author finishes a book, they ask what to do next. The answer is, study how to write, then write another book. Publishers aren’t interested in one-hit-wonders. They want to invest in authors who will be producing books for the rest of their lives. When you get there, you can always go back and rewrite (one of the most important skills, and it doesn’t increase your word count at all) the first books. If you love writing, the thought of writing a million words is not daunting– because you know you’ll be writing for the next ten years and then for decades after. It’s been said that everybody has a book in them. I guess the difference between authors and everybody else is that authors have more than a dozen books in them.

Crazy Town

To celebrate and promote the release of my upcoming book, The Actuator 1: Fractured Earth, I am putting a free short story up on the publisher’s website. Here’s an excerpt of a short story set in the world of the Actuator.

Crazy Town
James Wymore

Who puts a school right next to an asylum? I mean, seriously, how stupid can adults be? They put a big fence with razor wire across the top on the nuthouse side, then a canal, then another fence on the high school side. Like that’s going to keep back the crazy people.

“Stop looking at the sanitarium,” my sister said as she caught me staring out the window. Yeah, we lived right by the school. So from my room on the second floor, I had a perfect view of the loonies. Sandy always thinks she can tell me what to do because she’s two years older.

“They’re out on the grass doing yoga,” I said. It was already dark outside, but the facility kept the lights on all night. I’d been up in the middle of the night before and seen people out there wandering around. “I wonder if Uncle Bart is out there.”

“Mom said you’re not supposed to keep watching them.”

“I just wonder which one he is.” Our mom worked at the nut-factory as a nurse. Besides paying the rent, she said she did it so she could keep track of her brother. I couldn’t get a straight story, but apparently he was into some messed up stuff before they put him in there. I don’t know if was Voodoo or satanic or what. No matter how many times I asked, she wouldn’t let me go meet him.

“You’re supposed to go to bed, Danny. Mom said you have to go to bed by ten.” She walked in and stood by me, unable to avoid the same curiosity drawing me in. She hated that I was only a sophomore but already taller than her.

“Relax,” I said. “They probably won’t get out.”

“They did once, remember?” How could I forget? Even the junior high down the street locked down for four hours because some old guy managed to dig out under the fence. Apparently, he was having flashbacks from the war. I had to sit in math class for all four hours watching teen romance movies the teacher had on hand. I almost threw up. Seriously.

“I wonder why mom never lets us meet her brother.”

“I think he did some weird experiments on people. Maybe even killed one,” Sandy said. “Who would want to meet him?” She popped one hip and furrowed her brow like a drama queen refusing to eat broccoli. She flipped one lock of dark brown hair over her shoulder and straightened her pink t-shirt.

“Don’t you wonder what got him messed up in that stuff? I mean, he’s our flesh and blood. What if we all have the crazy in us? Wouldn’t you want to know?”

“No.” She turned and walked back to the hall, pausing at the door. “Don’t pick at scabs. Don’t go looking under rocks at the worms. That’s how insanity sets in. If we do have it asleep in us, we have to shun it. We have to look at the sunshine and listen to good music.”

“That’s what they tell them to do over there,” I said turning back to watch the small people. Some of them were following the instructor and sitting cross-legged on little mats under the starry night sky. Others wandered around as if they were sleepwalking. One lady kept batting at something like she thought she was catching butterflies. “Think happy thoughts and it will all go away.”

“Yeah, well if you don’t stop obsessing about it, you’re going to get your wish and meet Uncle Bart.” Sandy turned and walked down the hall, calling back, “From the room next to his!”

I closed the door, turned off the light, pulled off my shirt, and jumped in bed. It took a few tries to untangle the bedding and get under the blanket. The icy sheets made my skin tingle and all my muscles tensed up. I loved the feeling as cold gave way to heat and my body started to relax.

Just as my mind started to wander and think about seeing Katelyn in 3rd period tomorrow, the room got brighter. The wall next to me sparked with white electricity. It washed over me like a wave and I felt a buzzing go through my left hand, across my chest, and out my right. For a minute, the whole room was brighter than a welding spark and left me unable to see. My ears filled with noise almost as bad as Sandy’s scream-o music. Even though I just brushed my teeth, I could taste pizza topped with strawberry ice cream.

As the sensation faded, I started to feel cold again. I rolled over and realized my blanket was just a thin piece of crinkly plastic. The lights from the asylum reflected off the wrinkles on the shiny surface. My room was different, too. The computer sat embedded in the wall now, with colored lights flashing on and off and strange charts and graphs I didn’t understand. The carpet disappeared from the floor and became metal like the walls. I reached over and touched the cold aluminum. When the survival blanket moved, I saw that my bed had become a cot built into the wall. I jumped up. My shirt was still off, but my pajama bottoms had turned into tight black pants. The floor froze my feet so I tucked them into my shoes, which were now black boots. I pulled on my shirt. It was red with a V-neck and a little planetary logo over my heart.

Then I heard Sandy scream.

read the rest of Crazy Town

Also available on Wattpad.

Or jump ahead and read an excerpt from Fractured Earth, book 1 in The Actuator series.

Happy Halloween: Fatty-Goth

I love Halloween! To celebrate this year, my publisher posted one of my short stories on their website. Haunted houses are my favorite. I hope you love it.

I give you: FATTY-GOTH!

Here’s the beginning…

Daniel Cruz nodded to his homeboy, “Thanks. I owe you a solid.” He closed the door on the low rider and watched the tail lights shrink into distant red eyes. When the thumping bass faded to nothing, the mute night pressed itself into his consciousness. Daniel’s bravery far outmatched the darkness. Standing alone in foreign territory, that was a different matter.

He scanned the old suburban street. The white paint on the picket fences was curling. He could see more than one derelict car from here, slowly rusting to death. A stray dog was nosing an overturned garbage can. Daniel wagged his head. This whole thing was crazy. But he never went half-way when it came to impressing a girl. His new Fatty-Goth was going to flip over this. …keep reading