26 April 2013

SFFS: A Snippet from "Ever Dark"

So, for those who haven't been following along the past few weeks on Facebook or Twitter, I've had my first Aston West Triple-Shot available for free, at least over at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords (and possibly other spots linked via the cover above...though I haven't checked personally). So, this week's Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday snippet is taken from one of the three stories in this freebie. To set up this excerpt, Aston has just been surprised by a freighter coming out of hyperspace.

“Freighter’s status?”

A few moments passed as Jeanie gathered information from the freighter’s computer. “Original destination was the Triton system. The ship is out of fuel.”

“Triton? I’d say the crew is having navigation problems. We’re not on any shipping route to Triton.”

“The crew does not have a navigation problem.”

“How’s that?”

“I find no life signs to indicate a crew.”

Enjoy the excerpt? Head over and get the full Triple-Shot for free. And if you have a Kindle, tell Amazon about the lower price...because I would have figured they'd price-match by now, but no such luck.

19 April 2013

Get a Little Taste

Just wanted to post a tidbit, in case you missed it through my sporadic posts on Facebook and Twitter...but two of my e-book titles are currently available for free (unfortunately, Amazon hasn't yet followed suit).

Aston's faced the law many times, but now they have a secret weapon that could bring him down for good in my novella Seeker, available for free over at Barnes and Noble and over at Smashwords (and maybe others...click here to check the other formats). 

In this first of a new series of collections, Aston West is featured in the following stories:

"Ever Dark": Aston goes with his instincts, only to get more than he bargained for.

"Samaritan": No good deed ever goes unpunished, as Aston discovers in spades.

"Dead Man's Forge": When all hope seems lost, sometimes you just have to give your all anyway.

Pick it up at Barnes and Noble or Smashwords.

16 April 2013

Piling on the Projects

So, how many projects should a writer take on at one time? A writer could write on a project until it's completely finished, and then move on to the next project. But how long will it take to complete? If it takes you three years to write and finish a novel, that's a lot of time between releases. Readers forget, publishing trends change, and what you may have been successful with back then may not work now.

But what if you work multiple projects...how many can you write on at once, and still expect to complete in a timely fashion? On the flip side, if you can finish projects on a staggered schedule, you can release intermediate projects while readers wait for your next novel.

As an example, my first novella Heroes Die Young came out in 2008, after being accepted the year before. In that year between signing the contract and release, I began writing short stories and getting them published. In the span of that year, I had two short stories published in Ray Gun Revival, giving readers a glimpse of what they'd see with the upcoming novella.

But at the same time, I was also finishing up my second novel Friends in Deed. That one was accepted and then published in 2010. In the meantime, I continued writing short stories, and had several of them published along the way. At the same time, I was also working on two other projects, my novella Seeker and my novel The Cure. And somewhere in there, I also started and finished the third Aston novel Death Brings Victory.

And so on and so forth...I always have at least two or three projects going on at the same time. Currently, I'm working on the fourth Aston novel Resurrection, another novella Fallen, and a screenplay for Heroes Die Young. In my opinion, multiple projects at the same time are the only way to keep your brand fresh in the minds of readers and fans. If not, people will read your work, and most likely forget about you by the time you have another novel come out (assuming you can't write a complete novel from start to finish in the course of 3-6 months).

But what do all of you think?

12 April 2013

SFFS: Terribly Wrong (another FALLEN snippet)

Two weeks in a row? I think it's starting to become a pattern again...time again for reading your weekly dose of Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday posts, everyone. Once again, we're watching Aston's latest excursion in Fallen. Aston's just faced the natives of the planet for the first time, and now Life has been a bit down in the dumps lately. When we last saw Aston, he had a disintegrator cannon in hand and was ready to meet his new visitors. So, thanks in advance for all of your comments, and be sure to go visit all of the other writers through the link above.

Gazing around the area, my selections for the demonstration were limited, but I narrowed it down to the closest tree, sitting alone in the sand. Unsure of how it would fare against a disintegrator cannon, since I’d only used it against living, breathing targets before, I fired off a single shot at the top.

The broad, green leaves atop the tree all burst into flames, falling toward the ground. Unlike my past targets, the tree burned straight down its trunk, leaving only a collapsing remnant of ash until only a stump was left, barely sticking out of the ground.

I stood there, even finding myself impressed with the display. Chuckling under my breath, I turned back to face the natives. Figuring they’d followed their friend, so I could get off this planet, I was dismayed to find that not only had they not fled, but that they’d dropped to their knees.

Perhaps this would be harder to do after all.

And then they uttered some sort of obnoxious incantation, and at the same time, began bowing down to the ground and up again, before repeating the process over and over again.

Something had just gone terribly wrong.

Now don't everyone act surprised at that last line...

While you're waiting for next week's snippet, be sure to check out my other novels and novellas.Or even better, buy a copy of all my books (and those of folks I know) from Amazon through the promotion board to the right...

05 April 2013

SFFS: Another FALLEN excerpt

Sorry for the long delay between Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday posts, everyone. Life has been a bit down in the dumps lately. When we last saw Aston, he had a disintegrator cannon in hand and was ready to meet his new visitors. So, thanks in advance for all of your comments, and be sure to go visit all of the other writers through the link above.
“Open the hatch,” I told Jeanie while climbing back to my feet. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, as the gears ground in echoes around me. I had the advantage – a first for me as far back as I could remember – being in possession of superior firepower. Yet even with this cannon in hand, I wasn’t prepared for the sight before me.

A handful of deeply tanned natives, one man and four women, stood in absolute astonishment, wide eyes taking in my ship. I stepped out onto the hatch’s first step, which broke their intense concentration. One of the females screamed and ran off toward the sparse treeline of lonesome palms.

I put on a broadening smile. This was going to be easier than I thought.

And you can almost say it with me...Aston, have you learned nothing? Thinking anything in life will be easy...ha.

While you're waiting for next week's snippet, be sure to check out my other novels and novellas.Or even better, buy a copy from Amazon through the promotion board to the right...

02 April 2013

Finding One's Calling

With each passing day, I find myself less and less motivated to write. It could be any number of things going on in life, both professionally and personally. It could be none of the above, and just general malaise about writing and publishing. Sales (or the general lack thereof) haven't really helped my motivation any. And of course, it's a vicious cycle that churns...not writing prevents new titles which eliminates the possibility of additional sales, which then stifles motivation, which keeps a person from writing.

That said, I've spent the past several days working on a screenplay version of Heroes Die Young. It's been great to get back to the old tales of Aston from yesteryear. And to be perfectly honest, my mind has always come up with all of my short stories and novels in terms of quick, action sequences with characters that jump off the page (in my humble opinion). I guess that's why I find it so easy to write in screenplay format.

So, then, maybe the question I should be asking is whether or not writing novels is truly my calling...or perhaps I've been wasting over half my life in that pursuit when I should have been taking a different path. One never truly knows, I suppose......