Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Discount from SmashWords

To celebrate the new year, my book is available on Smashwords for a 30% discount from the cover price. Use coupon code "WD54U" when purchasing to receive the discount. The coupon code is only good until January 31, 2010. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Article Publishing

I have published another article on about writing SFF titled "How Can Writers Finish What They Started?" This article is about how to finish a novel and complete a writing project.

This will probably be my last post in 2009. Here's what happened in 2009.
  • I saw 1801 hits on my novel website, Time of the Heathen which is good if you consider I did almost no site promotion until November 2009. What I must figure out in 2010 is how to turn many of those visits into Ebook sales.
  • My book went on sale at Amazon Kindle 10/12/2009 and at Smashwords 11/19/2009.
  • I made 35 submissions to literary agents outside New York and 13 to agents in New York. I am still awaiting a first response for 27 agents, but expect no response means no interest. So, I plan a new submission plan in 2010, probably to small presses.
  • I have to decide whether to have a P.O.D. printer create 100 copies of my book for sales through my website or to send as review copies to book reviewers.
  • I have begun writing articles about writing on and have joined several book clubs.

It's been a good year. I completed the novel (Vol 1 of 2) in July 507 8-1/2x10 pages about 112,000 words and have been planning Vol 2. I will also try and turn Vol 1 into a screenplay. We shall see what the future brings.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Article Publishing

I have published an article called "Science Fiction and Science" on The article discusses how authors develop the scientific ideas found in SF/F stories. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pagan Worship - Mother Goddess

Of special interest is how goddess worship was handled in pagan societies. In my story, during the worship of the White Goddess, the pagan priestess explains to worshippers why girls require special training for life in the goddess culture:

"Of course, both boys and girls must be weaned away from parents and assimilated naturally into the life of the group. Yet for a girl this requires a greater sacrifice and more careful teaching and, especially, example. For a girl has loved her parents, especially her father. She needs to be rescued from this unreal love that requires an exclusively virtuous affection. As a child she has been provided for and protected. Her trial of strength, the trial of Adreyenne [the new initiate], is to awaken to erotic love and accept animal man as he is (he is a beast)... She must redeem herself, with our help, from her girlish image of the masculine, that would repress the new life she has awakened to. She must learn to trust her love, her heart, as the center of her soul combining both spirit and nature in her creative power of mastery."

While this teaching sounds romantic, goddess worship is anything but. Later in the story, at the wedding of the Oak King to the Black Dove priestess, the story reveals the extent of the violence required by nature religion.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Writing/Technical Writing/World at Peace

Just came back from a job interview for a large software producer in Tucson. They may hire me to write about a software accounting tool. I would relocate for 6 months and maintain 2 residences for that time, but it could be worth it. However, I'm worried that my fiction writing will suffer as I focus on the 8-10 hour days of technical writing.

Now that the first volume of my book, Time of the Heathen is published as an Ebook, I want to finish the second volume to complete the story. But my follow-up is difficult because it contains a section where I need to describe a world and a set of characters living without violence, war, and strife, and where most human failings are (for a time) minimal. Of course, all the 'niceness' doesn't last for long; nevertheless, it is very difficult to describe human interactions without the presence of any conflict. Perhaps that is why no one ever writes about life in 'heaven'.

Still trying to locate early readers for volume 1. If you have an interest, contact me at

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dialogue and cursing

Just finished reading Spider Robinson/RJ Heinlein's YA novel "Variable Star" (pub 9/2006). The story had some good ideas, like Relativist who make starship engines run near light speed by thinking, telepathic twins for instant communication between star systems, intelligent design by less-than-omniscent beings.

But do YA readers need the f**k word used in the book to express adolescent frustration? Twain didn't use it, neither did CS Lewis and most other YA authors of previous generations.

Robinson's language selections for his Joel Johnston 18-year old hero seem aimed generally at a slightly younger group of male readers. Expressing the angry and frustrated side of human emotions without resorting to strings of epithets may be difficult, but precisely because of the nature of the YA audience, it should be a writer's goal. If the dialogue is only a reflection of the way the writer believes his audience actually speaks, that still isn't an adequate reason for limiting vocabulary.

Even Christian writers might sometime need to include a cussword in story dialogue, but a constant stream of vile invective is never necessary.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quotes from book

The story opens with one of the major characters, the Flagman, ruminating about revenge. He says,

"It was a moment to seize power, your god was victorious, theirs was defeated and humiliated, every act was worship, the assaults were sanctified, the plunder was sacred, every pain was consecrated, every act was worship."

The Flagman's morality at the beginning of the story stands at this point. How he reached that place of religious violence from his beginning as a university graduate student forms the content of the mythic adventure he and his companion Alysa experience.