Signing at Marissa’s Books & Gifts

AMNS2ndEd-frontUpcoming signing!

Marissa’s Gifts & Books, a charming local independent bookstore, is hosting a signing of the new second edition of A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk, with its gorgeous new cover, Friday, October 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Located at 5664 S 900 E, Ste 8, Murray, UT 84121, marissa's logoMarissa’s is your home for hard to find vintage and collectable books, as well as new titles from local authors.

Already own a first edition copy of AMNS?

Bring it by, and get the second edition, autographed, for only $10. That goes for Kindle copies of the first edition, too. Screaming deal, right?

Come in Steampunk costume, and get $2 off your copy of the second edition.

Hope to see you there.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Steel & Bone released!

SteelBone_Bookcover

Jump in on a fun give-away for the launch of the new Steampunk anthology, Steel & Bone: Nine Steampunk Adventures!

My novelette-length short story, Sindisiwe, was released by Xchyler Publishing June 27, 2015, in the new Steampunk anthology.

My story is Sindisiwe: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.

Here are the wonderful authors and titles sharing the anthology:

Katherine Cowley, The Clockwork Seer

On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.

TC Phillips, Stand and Deliver

Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to their father’s murderers.

C.R. Simper, Island Walker

Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.

Zanzibar girlKin Law, The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison

Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.

Danielle E. Shipley, A Mind Prone To Wander

Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.

Sarah E. Seeley, Curio Cay

The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.

John M. Olsen, Revolutionary

A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.

Gail B. Williams, The Steel Inside

Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ARC’s available: Steel & Bone

SteelBone_BookcoverAnyone interested in an electronic Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of the new Steampunk anthology “Steel & Bone” from Xchyler Publishing? It’s free in exchange for an open and honest review on Amazon or Goodreads. PLUS…<drum roll please>…I’ll give any ARC reader who posts a review a printed copy when the book comes out in a few weeks.

My story in the anthology is “Sindisiwe”, a story set in my “A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk” universe, the story of giant Zulu mech Shaka’s lost teenage daughter, who is living in slavery on the island of Zanzibar.

Willing and able? Message me.



 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cover Reveal! Johnny Worthen’s “The Finger Trap”

TFTCoverJohnny Worthen’s fun new comic noire, The Finger Trap.

Available for pre-order now! http://tinyurl.com/nka8rtp

Read all about it on Johnny’s site: http://johnnyworthen.com/TFT.html

Posted in The Author Business, Writing | Leave a comment

Author Gail Williams Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

Author Gail Williams and I both have stories in the Steampunk anthology Steel & Bone (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is Sindisiwe: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale. Hers is The Steel Inside: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.

  1. What is your favorite word?

There are so many!  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, rambunctious, rubicon, mischief, different.  Like different a lot.

  1. What is your least favorite word?

Right this second “favorite” is really annoying me, there’s a “u” missing, it should be “favourite”.  I don’t mean to be offensive, and I know that it’s just pedantry, but being as I’m British, American spelling can really grate on my nerves.  It’s something that I’m getting over since the American audience seems more interested in my work than the British one but sometimes I just have to grit my teeth about it.  In all I’m not sure I have a least favourite word, they’re all good in the right circumstances.  I guess thing I hate to hear the most is ‘not listening’, it’s so closed off.  Hate that.

  1. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Good company, good conversation, and if it comes along with good food and wine, so much the better.

  1. What turns you of?

Wilful stupidity.  Having differences of opinions I find really interesting, a good debate is equivalent to a good conversation, but people who are wilfully stupid irritate me, especially when they say ‘I’m not listening.

  1. What is your favorite curse word?

Felgercarb.  It’s the swearword used in the original Battlestar Galatica.  For all I know it was used in the remake too, but I never saw that.  Also really like ‘frelling’ from Farscape.

  1. What sound or noise do you love?

My husband saying “I love you.”  Oh dear, that sounds so sappy, oh well.

  1. What sound or noise do you hate?

Finger nails on blackboards – sorry, think you call them chalkboards.  Or the dentist drill.  Or that really creepy laugh that is supposed to emulate a child’s chuckle for a little kiddies rides you see outside the supermarket that actually sounds like something off the soundtrack from a gore-fest horror movie.

  1. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Writer – ha-ha – only just kidding.  Right now I’m a full time asset management professional, which means I work a lot on spreadsheets and it gets dull quick.  Really prefer to be working with words  all the time, hence the response.  There again, I’m also a freelance editor, which is working with words, so I can’t say I’d like to attempt that as technically I’m already in the profession.  Which I guess leaves police work as the working with people would be interesting and the solving problems would be an intrinsic reward.  This might be why I write a lot of crime fiction.

  1. What profession would you not like to do?

Pathologist.  I think this is ‘dead’ interesting and I watch a lot of pathology programmes and I read a lot about forensic pathology, but I don’t think I’d be much good in the theatre.  I had to remove the heart and lungs from an already gutted rabbit once, I nearly threw up.  The rabbit stew was really tasty though.

  1. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Well last time it was “You’re too early go back”, so I could deal with hearing that again.  Oh and by the way, it’s Saint Peter at the Gates not God (oh dear the pedantry is showing again).



 

Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment

Author John M. Olsen Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

John M. Olsen     Author John M. Olsen and I both have stories in the Steampunk anthology Steel & Bone (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is Sindisiwe: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale. His is Revolutionary: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.
     I asked him the questions of the famous Pivot Questionnaire. Here are his answers:
     1. What is your favorite word? I don’t have a single outstanding favorite, but I will go with veritable, as in a veritable cornucopia of (something).
     2. What is your least favorite word? Literally. Tracy Hickman has a shirt that says “Misuse of ‘literally’ makes me figuratively insane.”
     3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Truth, knowledge, and the application thereof. Learning about principles, which are always bottomless pools of potential.
     4. What turns you off? I get annoyed at those who purposely remain ignorant when they’re given the opportunity to learn. Also poor drivers. I’m waiting for the day when I get rear ended because the guy behind me assumed I would run a stop sign.
     5. What is your favorite curse word? That’s a hard one. There are probably less than ten people who have ever heard me curse, even counting most of the stand-in watered-down words.
     6. What sound or noise do you love? Crickets in the night. If you asked my wife, she would say a purring cat, but I’m sort of allergic to them despite owning one.
     7. What sound or noise do you hate? Curse words. 🙂
     8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I started college as a physics major, and have always been fascinated with astronomy. I also enjoy creating things, whether digital or physical. I do woodworking as a hobby, but would avoid it as a profession.
     9. What profession would you not like to do? I really can’t see myself doing anything out of the high tech industry or related to computers as a profession. To take that on an unusual and non-intuitive leap, let’s say professional gambler.
     10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? So, you remember how you didn’t think you made much of a difference? Let me introduce you to some people.


Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment

Author Neve Talbot Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

Neve TalbotAuthor Neve Talbot and I both have stories in “Mechanized Masterpieces 2: American Anthology” (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is “Nautilus Redux“. Hers is “West End”: A heartbroken Theodore Laurence follows the siren song of steam to Jamaica, where love and law collide with explosive results.

1. What is your favorite word?

Serendipity. It has a sort of tinkling sound to it, don’t you think? Like wind chimes. It convey​s a dichotomy of fate and self-determination: there’s a little bit of magic working ​in your favor, but it’s up to you to capitalize on it. Combine the meaning and the aural stimulation and it’s just shiny.

I’m also particularly partial to “snicklefritz.”

2. What is your least favorite word?

​Fair. Specifically, used in the whine “it’s not fair.” It conveys a sense of both helplessness​ ​and entitlement which I think can be debilitating. Nothing is fair. Ever. Get used to it. Fight for justice and equality.​ Work to elevate others. Strive to fulfill your potential. Don’t sit on your hiney until life suddenly becomes fair. That makes you a victim because it’s never going to happen. You are what you make yourself. Start becoming, especially that part of yourself that reaches out to help others as you improve your own situation.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Emotionally/spiritually: beauty. My family is the most beautiful thing in my life. I find the greatest joy in watching m​y children and grandchildren finding joy in each other, strengthening their friendships, creating unbreakable bonds. I believe people take photographs because they want to capture the way that they feel at that particular moment. My phone is full of pictures of my family.

I also get hung up on sunsets, stormy skies, water, sweeping vistas, tall skyscrapers/cityscapes, the stunning beauty of faces cragged with life experience, and the faces of babies.

Creatively: in all honesty, turmoil and stress. One part of my brain gets so frustrated and closed in, I escape into my head, creating worlds more hospitable, while the other part thinks, “oooo. This would make a great story,” or “here’s a great stumbling block to throw in my MC’s path.” I think I’d be bored to death if life were simple.

4. What turns you off?

​Dealing with business. The sight of a bank statement churns my stomach.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

​Don’t even get me started on curse words. Professionally, I believe good writers put into words those things their reader feels but cannot convey. Since people use curse words​ ​because they lack the vocabulary to properly express themselves, a writer defeats their own purpose when they resort to the same language.

Personally, some things just baffle me, like how did the f-word become an adjective or a noun? How did it become something so pervasive? Do people even consider its definition? I mean, it’s angry and aggressive and violent. It’s the synonym of rape. What if people started substituting “rape” instead? Would society be just as blasé about its use? I’d like to think not, that people would take offense, but something tells me it wouldn’t make a difference.

To me, words both spoken and on the page are objects of power. The words we use create our own personal world. That creation then spreads and co-mingles with the worlds of those with whom we interact, like watercolors on paper. What color do we want our world to be? Bright and clean and clear? Vibrant and alive? Or bleak and muddied and dark?

6. What sound or noise do you love?

Children’s laughter and play sounds. I’m particularly fond of opening doors, followed by “Nana!!”​

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

​​Leaf blowers and lawn mowers at 7 am. I’m a night owl.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

​If I weren’t a writer, I’d like to be an artist.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

​Customer service representative or telemarketer. The work lives of those poor people​ must be miserable.​

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Good job!”

When I envision meeting God, there’s not a lot of talking but immense expressions of love and acceptance. Lots of gratitude expressed. Sometimes words fail.



 

Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment

The new faces of Joanne Kershaw’s “Fated”

Foretold

One of my favorite authors and friends, the Joanneincomparable Joanne Kershaw, has just completed her Vanguard Legacy trilogy.

What’s more, this incredibly prolific author has produced all three volumes, Foretold, Reflected, and Fated, in barely as many years. Believe me, that’s impressive.

She recently played a little game we authors sometimes amuse ourselves with: picking actors with the faces and/or public persoReflectednae closest to what we saw Fatedin our heads while we were writing. Will Hollywood ever listen to us–assuming we land that multi-million dollar movie deal? Doubt it. But it’s a fun game nonetheless.

For our game this time, Joanne concentrated on new characters from the third volume, Fated. 

So here is your peek into the mind of this talented artist–here’s what she sees when she writes:


MarcusMarcus

Elora’s quad leader

He has a little bit of a crush on her (okay, a big crush!), but he’s professional enough to not let it interfere while she is his subordinate. He’s a big softy at heart. Marcus is driven by the work, and takes losses personally. His quiet and calm demeanour means that he counterbalances the craziness inside Elora’s head and it allows her to do her job properly.

Plus, he’s hot, which helps!


ClaraClara

Elora’s new quadmate.

Clara is determined to be the best Vanguard she can be. Like Elora, she has familial expectation to live up to, and she has requested a challenging assignment to allow her to do that. She is an open book for Elora, and they have a lot in common.


patrickPatrick

Another of Elora’s new quadmates!

Patrick seems to have a lot on his plate and Elora often wonders if there isn’t something else going on. He’s the strong, silent type, but he has the best interests of his team at heart. A real man’s man, Patrick can be counted on to make the tough decisions.


AdamssonAdamsson

Elora’s new Vanguard Superior.

He can’t replace the man she lost in the past, but he does a pretty good job! Of course, it turns out that he has a history with her mother, because which Vanguard doesn’t have a relationship with Nina? Right?
Elora looks just like she does on the covers of the books, because no other person can do that now!


Beyond Books Takeover Treasure Trail Question Three:
Q3: How long did it take Joanne to publish the entire trilogy?
a) 4 years
b) 3 years
c) 5 years
Hint: www.xchylerpublishing.com
Now, go check out A. F. Stewart at https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor?__mref=message for question 4!



 

Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment

Author M.K. Wiseman Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

m.k.wisemanM. K. Wiseman and I both have stories in “Mechanized Masterpieces 2: American Anthology” (Xchyler Publishing, 2015). Mine is “Nautilus Redux“. Hers is “The Silver Scams”: A fast-talking confidence man ensnares all of Holland in his scheme to eliminate dikes forever . . . for a price.


1. What is your favorite word?
Fantastic.

Can’t you just hear it? Say it aloud to yourself. Fantastic. It is hard to contain the joy that this word builds to. Getting over that middle ‘t’ is like a bubble bursting, letting out all sorts of good juju. It is a very special word. (You can imagine my delight when the 9th Doctor made the word his own special catch-phrase. Kudos to him for adding an emphatic “absolutely” to it to kick things up a notch.)

2. What is your least favorite word?

Fragment. Okay, I’m not 100% committed to it being my absolute least favorite word but it contains the elements that annoy me. The word hangs, it dies in the middle. Only through sheer will can we get through this word. And we have to dip (see the ‘g’) to do it! So we’re punished for our efforts. Sigh.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Coffee shops. (I ask that you look ahead now to my ‘turn off’, #4 below. Have yourself a chuckle and return here. Got it? Thanks.) I find infinite inspiration in the aromas, the hustle and bustle–sometimes loud, sometimes hushed like a library–and the intrinsic sense of adventure that you get at a coffee shop. Now, if you did look at #4 below, you’re probably wondering “But do you drink coffee?” Absolutely. But decaf. And just a skosh of cream. No sugar.

4. What turns you off?

Caffeinated coffee. I know, I know, this is supposed to be the savior of every writer that ever was. But it just kills my creativity, my productivity, my every-ivity. Caffeine makes me bounce and quiver from one thing to the next, praying that I can just ride out the buzz until I feel like me again and really get some things done.

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Whew. I’ve got a bit of a tie here. First there’s “What in the fairying forest?” –compliments of “Tenth Kingdom”. It’s both satisfying and safe for most audiences. Doesn’t hurt anyone. Yeah, it’s a pretty good curse word/phrase.

Honorable mention: Frack/frak from “Battlestar Galactica.” Not my absolute favorite for its tendency to get confused with the word it is meant to replace. But very satisfying to say at stubborn inanimate objects that you’re beating with a wrench-because-the-directionshaditallwrong— frak!

6. What sound or noise do you love?

The crackle of a camp fire. I could listen to that for hours on end. I think what makes it special is that I have never found a good substitute for the real thing. It is inimitable.

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

Chewing. Yes, I suffer from misophonia. To the point where I cannot stand those KitKat commercials. Really. I turn off the TV, or put it on mute and walk out of the room. I can’t really even see chewing because I know the sound that should accompany it.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I always wanted to be an animator. But as I am educated in that field, that answer is a bit of a cheat. Somewhere in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to pilot something. Tugboats, for example, fascinate me. And trains. And hot air balloons.

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Undertaker. I think that job would get to me after a very short while. I admire those people who can handle it.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Oh, hang on… there was a mixup. You’ve got another good twenty years in you. Go back to earth.” Unless I was the last of my friends and family, In which case I’d hope God phoned ahead so they’re all waiting for me.
Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment

Author D. Lee Jortner Answers the Pivot Questionnaire

dianedinoD. Lee Jortner and I both have stories in Mechanized Masterpieces 2: American Anthology, a collection of Steampunk take-offs on classics of American literature being released February 28, 2015. My story is “Nautilus Redux” (Nemo meets Ahab). Hers is “Payoff For Air Pirate Pete”: A pair of train-robbing outlaws bite off more than they can chew when they kidnap the son of a railroad bigwig.

I asked her the questions of the famous Pivot Questionnaire. Here are her answers:

1. What is your favorite word?

Accepted!  (I haven’t been see that quite as often as I like with my submissions lately, but when I do….Whoopie!

2. What is your least favorite word?

“Can’t” As in I can’t do that!  I can’t find that!  Saying that stops forward motion, and halts creativity.  I try never to use it, and don’t want my kids or students to do so either.

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Finding Connections. I love to find connections whether it is between people, between scripture verses, between reality and fiction, or between God and Man.

4. What turns you off?

I would say a frowning face turns me off.  I love a big smile!

5. What is your favorite curse word?

Dang

6. What sound or noise do you love?

rain

7. What sound or noise do you hate?

New music

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Anything. I want to try them all, but I am starting a little late. I have worked as a secretary, a teacher, a sale representative, and of course, a MOM. I just started three new professions this year: marketer, writer, and publisher of a local a magazine. What’s next? Who Knows?

9. What profession would you not like to do?

Computer Customer service person.  Dealing with technical troubles drives me crazy!

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

I have a special project for you to work on with these interesting people.

Posted in The Author Business, Writing, Xchyler Publishing | Leave a comment