Gyah! Where Did My Cursor Go?

Seriously, I hit one button on my laptop and my cursor shot off to the right like it remembered that it left the stove on . . . for the last week.  It’s back now, but I don’t trust the little guy right now.  Almost as much as the space bar that occasionally decides that it’s on a coffee break.  To be fair, I hit that button enough that you can see discoloration on one thumb tip sized spot.  Might be me not hitting it hard enough either, which is a statement that means this goal post is starting off weird.

I keep saying ‘this has been a week’, so I’m going to try to talk a bit more.  Some things are still a secret such as a lot of work and some personal things.  One interesting thing at work is that a few students found me online.  Not that I’m hard to find since I have 20 books on Amazon, a blog, various social media accounts, and have been doing various author interviews since 2013.  I’d be more surprised if I made it to the end of the year and none of them tried to Google me.  Anyway, this has led to me being asked various questions and getting the occasional requests to put them in a book.  Ah, to be young and not realize that fiction authors are infamous for doing horrible things to their characters.  This does make me wonder if any of them are reading this post though.  Hmmmm . . . In that case:

I hope all of you finished your homework.

I am getting into the schedule and even managed to do a little notebook work during one of my breaks.  It’s not much, but it’s the most writing I’ve done in a few months.  I designed 2 heroes and 1 villain for a Sin story.  (I REALLY gotta name this series!)  My hope is to take the next step towards my creative recovery and get back to editing War of Nytefall: Rivalry.  I got through the first 4 chapters and then things got hectic, so I’m aiming to dive back in.  If I can finish it before the end of the year then I might even start writing the next one.  This is going to be slow going and it makes me feel like I’m not going to be able to do anything more than my core series.  That means Derailing Bedlam will be the end for Cassidy and Lloyd and Ichabod Brooks won’t get another collection.  Not for a long time at least.  Other pieces of my life need to fall into place before I can get the time in.  For now, I would probably be running 1-2 chapters a week at best.  All I have are nights and the occasional weekend, but that’s if I do nothing else.  Dropping from 3-4 releases a year to 1 (2 at best) is rough.

A lot of it depends on me finding a new alpha reader.  This is someone willing to read the book in a month and let me know if it makes sense.  I don’t go along with the ‘kill your babies’ line of thinking, which makes me difficult for many to work with.  Suggesting I tear out a chapter or character is typically met with scowling.  Part of this is because I go through at least 4 planning and outline stages that include the shredding of the overall story and characters.  You might not think it’s the same, but I will spend a few hours pouring over an outline and imagining the path of the story.  Again, this makes me more difficult to deal with and I have trust issues as well.  Geez, no wonder I can’t sell any books when this is how I present myself.  Does this make me a tortured artist?  *hides the medieval rack in the closet*  It was a Passover gift.

Seriously though . . . Where was I going with this?  No idea.  I’m going to finish the February blog post scheduling tonight and might jump into editing tomorrow after the little guy goes to bed.  I’m already trying to make a list of March posts that I can put together near the end of January.  Topics are always welcomed.  Could be an author subject, specific book questions, or whatever you want my opinion on.  Wait!  I remember what I was going to do!

I have a desk now!  Put it together last Saturday and I’ve got pictures that I’m putting in a slideshow.  I didn’t take as many as I planned because the instructions weren’t the easiest to follow:

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Goals of the week:

  1. Work and parenthood.
  2. Start editing War of Nytefall: Rivalry
  3. A little work on Sin story when I have breaks.
  4. Winter concert for son.
  5. Continue biking and trying to eat healthy.  Bought a chickpea salad and a bunch of fruit and veggies that should last the week.  Going to be doing cold cut (chicken or sausage) sandwiches too.
  6. Possibly look over the next Ichabod Brooks collection to consider it as a summer project.  Not sure what that time period will look like, but I’m probably only going to do an April and December release from now on.  Depends on editing and writing ability.
  7. Continue reading ‘Rave Master’ and get to ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ season 3.
  8. Get my head back on straight with everything going on.
  9. Finish February posts.

Hope everyone has a fun week!  Sorry if I’m not as social as I used to be.

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A Thief’s Opinion on City Guards

Cover Art by Alison Hunt

Clyde here . . . For some reason.  I’m supposed to talk about my opinion of city guards since I’m a thief.  That means I’ve run into my fair share of them.  It also means Mab has gone into hiding and probably slipped my name to someone in order to avoid doing this herself.  Lately, I’ve been more warrior than thief while she’s still a burglar to her core even now.  Can’t promise this will be long or coherent and I won’t be giving tips on how to catch someone like me.  Well, the one piece of advice is to get out of my way, which is all you’re going to get from me.

Long ago, I was a thief and that made me the mortal enemy of city guards.  Not my targets, but those who would stand in my way.  There’s no way to specifically define these relationships because they vary from one person to another.  One member of each group might see no problem with killing the other while their friend is more into evasion or capturing.  A person can go through phases too with a thief starting out as someone who avoids notice and then gets more lethal.  Personally, I’d rather not waste my time on mortal guards unless I’m really angry or they don’t give me a choice.  Vampires are something different, but there really isn’t much point in slaughtering mortals when it’s more of a challenge to get by them.

City guards really are the most common living obstacle that you’re going to run into.  I say living only because someone might say walls and doors are more common.  Those aside, you’re bound to bump into at least one guard on your way to an urban heist.  All it takes is one noise to get their attention and then you have to escape.  Even the least talented of their kind can sound an alarm if you give them a reason.  Unlike walls and doors, they’re moving obstacles, which makes it more difficult.  Few things are more embarrassing than thinking you have the patrol patterns down and you turn a corner to slam into a knight who decided to sneak away for a snack.  Since they’re always suspicious of people roaming at night wearing all black, you have to hope you can talk your way out of it.  That’s a skill that many thieves are lacking in these days.

Would my job be easier without them?  Of course, but you wouldn’t have nearly as much fun pulling heists.  What’s the point if there’s nobody to hold the victory over?  Sure, there are bodyguards and rival thieves, but they do it for money.  Going up against guards means you fight men and women who believe in the law and are out for justice.  There’s an odd thrill to defeating them and, at least for me, a level of respect since they are fighting for what they believe.  People like that can be easy to predict at times, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat.  Unlike bodyguards and thieves, these people won’t give up as soon as you leave a heist.  You know they’re going to hound you for at least a few hours and, even after that, you can easily fall back into their sights.  Not that I’m afraid of them.  I just admire the challenge they add to my jobs.

Guess that’s really all I can say about them before I say too much.

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And now for something completely different

Story Empire

Hi gang, Craig here today. We rotate our Friday assignments, and today it’s my turn to share a book with all of you. So far, we’ve shared various novels that we’ve enjoyed, but that streak ends today.

Story Empire is all about helping other authors, and sharing what we know. One of us doesn’t know as much as all of us – that kind of thinking. This means that today I’m sharing a craft book with you guys.

Screenwriting Tips for Authors is not as widely known as some of the other texts out there, but it meant a lot to me. I found it after I’d written several trunk novels, and the timing was perfect. I still use some of the lessons I learned here to this day.

This is where I picked up storyboarding as being preferable to outlining. The author spends quite a bit of time showing…

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Improving the Quality of Your Work

Author Don Massenzio

This is the era of the independently-published author. If we look at success stories like Hugh Howey, it’s important to recognize that this new way of publishing books is gaining ground. I know that statistics show independently-published work still lagging behind traditionally published products, but we are gaining ground.

With that said, there is a lot of competition out there. Some of it is very good work by competent writers. Other work does not make the mark. As an author, you have to strive toward making your work as strong as it can be. Regardless of the genre that your enjoy writing, there are some key things you can do to continuously improve the quality of your work. Some of these things might be time consuming in the long-run, but will save you from putting out work others may not view as high-quality.

I consider myself a perpetual student of…

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Derailing Bedlam: Land of Stewed ‘Shrooms Part 2 #fiction #adventure

As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence.  It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam.  This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started.  Each one is 99 cents!

Cover by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

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Continue reading

Posted in Bedlam Series, Derailing Bedlam | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Thursday – A Little Personal – The Contract at $0.99

Fiction Favorites

Twiggy, Lucy. Bailey

“Excuse me, Dad, but isn’t one of your books on special beginning today?

“Yes, The Contract Kindle version is on sale today through the 15th.”

“UH HELLO. Don’t you think you ought to tell someone about it?”

“Geez, Twiggy. I’ll get to it.”

“You’ll get to it? When?  It’s only three days. After the sale is done?”

“No. I have some tweets out there.”

“Tweets? How about you let your readers know about it here?”

“Always a good idea. Okay here is the link to Amazon. How about we go outside now.”

“Well, did you get through? After all dog food isn’t getting cheaper.”

“Hard to tell Bailey. He is such a nerd when it comes to promotion.”

“You got to him, Twiggy. Look he even put a cover, blurb, and the awards down there. Way to go Boss.”

  Click cover for Amazon

The earth is under the…

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Bill Hope, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Entertaining Stories

Lisa Burton

Hey there, all you sleight of hand experts, pickpockets, and Artful Dodgers of every kind. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you interviews with the characters you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my special guest today is Bill Hope.”Welcome to the show, Bill.”

“How do, Miss Lisa. Glad to be here.”

“My bio says you’ve lived a pretty colorful life. There is a certain romance to being a thief. What is your preferred method of operation?”

“I work the streets and any place where the moneyed gents gather – theater lobbies, shops, horsecars, crowds watching parades and arguments and fights. The easiest hits are country bumpkins in wide-brimmed hats that walk around real wide-eyed staring at the crowds and sandwichmen and traffic with their coat open wide showing a shirtfront with a peach of a spark so when a mob of…

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