Consider this an Announcement

Dear readers, I took longer than expected (Don’t I always…) but I can finally say that Beloved of Death, Twisted Gods book 2, is coming out next week! Editing this little book really punished me for a while, but I ended up with a fast-paced book I love a great deal. Hopefully that book will be out by Tuesday the 21st of September.

In the mean-time, I have a sale for those of you who haven’t picked up book one of the series, yet.

The Forgotten Mask is on sale for 2.99 USD on Amazon.com right now. I’ll be up front with you. If the book does well at this cost, I may reduce the price to 3 dollars permanently, and the equivalent world-wide.

Anyway, I’ll be back with more about the book soon.

I have a book description and author’s note still to write. Then all that’s left is to input the proof-reads.

Thanks for reading.

Immersion for Authors – 7 Minutes of Thoughts

Lately I’ve been trying to solve some of the problems that regularly crop up during my writing process. Yesterday I got a piece of advice from Terry Mixon during one of the Dead Robots’ Society podcast’s live patreon recordings.

I asked him how he made a project the center of his focus.

His answer?

Immersion. He immerses in the book and then it takes his attention as a creator for as long as he can give it.

I like that answer (I only paraphrased it here), and am thinking immersion has become a greater and greater challenge for my personality as I’ve aged.

My early books were easier to get lost in while writing them, but only because I was more desperate to not be in my life. Well, I may be happier, but let me be candid: I’m not happy with my life. Yet, I’m more invested in the real world than I’ve ever been.

What an awful state, but I can remedy it. On my recent vacation I read a coupe of different novels to the end just to survive long hours in the car. I can use the same principle to separate myself from my current living situation, in mental terms, by escaping into the books I’m writing.

I need to immerse myself in fiction, now more than ever.

I don’t know if this will be helpful to every reader out there, but it won’t hurt to pay more attention to your work.

That can only improve your writing quality and productivity.

And if you want to immerse in another author’s story world first, mnay I suggest you check out my books here.

Thanks for reading. It’s an honor that your eyes follow these humble lines.

If you like reading this blog…

…you’ll probably enjoy reading my stories and the author’s notes associated with them on Kindle Vella.

Let me back up.

I’m told a lot of folks don’t know what Kindle Vella actually is.

Okay. Let me stretch my fingers.

Kindle Vella is a program over on Amazon.com, so yes, it’s all based out of the same company as the rest of the Kindle store. Vella is new, though, and it’s a platform for publishing serial fiction. The first three chapters of each story are free, and everybody reader who logs in to vella gets 200 free tokens to purchase additional episodes.

The upshot here is that, as an author, I plan to test the waters on som of my series (The ones that are currently unpublished elsewhere) and explore other concepts to see what people like.

I’ll be posting the status of each new story in the updates at the end of each episode or chapter, like miniature blog posts.

If you want to follow my writing process and get some commentary as well as story, check out my stuff as it drops. Currently I only have 1 I’m really working on: Warrior Online, but that’s changing. I’m editing my older works to produce more serials, that will eventually be novelized (As allowed by the Vella program).

So, give it a shot. Here is a link to my current Vella Story. It’s a lot like many of my stories: Science Fiction with a bit of romantic tension and a weird twist to it. It’s a good time if you ask me.

Thanks for reading.

Temple Theater

Hi folks,

I’m writing even more briefly than usual today. I have a couple new stories out in this series that you can read right now.

Temple Theater Book One: The Forgotten Mask is out on Amazon in ebook format, and all print-on-demand stores online. It’s a great place to start this story of lazy gods, heroic mortals, and mechanical foes.

You can also get War Machine, a little prequel short story on Amazon, or for free if you click here.

I’m doing a lot better mentally than I expected this summer.

I’m short on time today, but please check out those books, and I’ll writer again soon.

Stay safe and thanks for reading.

7 Years to Remember

Hi.

It’s been a bit since I posted, but I’m back for the moment, and I have a new book out!

The Forgotten Mask” is the start of a new series, called Temple Theater, but it’s also one of the oldest books I’m publishing. I wrote most of the novel in 2014, but only finished the draft in spring 2021.

Why is that?

The book didn’t take seven years of WRITING time, and no, I didn’t revise it completely at any point, though I’ve done so with other books before.

Why leave a book on the shelf for so long?

This first book of Temple Theater and the premise of steampunk fantasy really interests me. Gods and monsters, magic and machines. I dig that vibe.

I did at the time of beginning the book in 2014 too.

When I started Temple Theater I still planned to submit to publishers, rather than independently releasing books. I wrote 50,000 words and stopped because (If I recall) I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to build up to a huge finale over another 50k, but something stopped me.

That’s the little voice I now associate with my thoughtful side. I don’t consider the voice to be part of over-thinking, it’s about actually having thoughts. I often push that voice away, but when there’s a problem with a writing project it always prompts me to consider what the real issue is, often stopping my progress in making new words.

Well, earlier this year I figured out why that part of me stopped writing the book in 2014.

I’d been closer to the end than I thought.

So if you ever want to see what a book that took seven years to write reads like, here is a link to the ebook on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099X4J3JB. It will be out in print on all major on-demand platforms soon.

In spring I added 10,000 words or so. With some serious editing I tuned the whole novel. And now, it’s done. It’s out, and I’m working on the sequel.

And here I go waxing on, when I should be writng.

Thanks for reading, folks.

Stay safe.

I’ll write again soon.

Tim

7 Minutes Without a Crossroads

Sometimes climbing gets tiring, folks.


Lately, I have neglected posting on this blog (As usual, I suppose) and in the next 7 minutes I want to explain a bit of how things are changing in my life.


First, I have an increased anti-depressant dose, as prescribed by doctor. It’s been a week, and energy levels are up already. I am pleased with those results, and they’re getting me back to the page more often.


Second, I am still hard at work on Well Country. I had to push the pre-orders I had up back by about a month each because of the slowness I’d been enduring before the increase in my prescription.


Third, I am in love with writing again. Hell, I may even be attracted to ACTUALLY reading books once more. I didn’t expect that to happen at all, but with a little of the energy I’m currently overflowing, I picked up my copy of “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell” yesterday. It’s a traveling book I picked up at a convention several years ago and left untouched until yesterday.


I wouldn’t say I regret all my low-energy days, months, years…but I wish I had tried to get this kind of increased help sooner. So, I’m climbing again. I’m off the landing and moving up the staircase.


I’m typing fiction, non-fiction, and role-playing game material a bunch all through the last week. I’m seeing the world with more child-like wonder than I have in some time. While this post is not a PSA for anti-depressants (Everyone will have their own solutions to lethargy) I do intend this as a reminder to all you readers and myself not to leave yourself in lurch. Don’t give up, people.


I thought for years that I couldn’t get better. Much as before I got my CPAP machine, I thought that was the best things could feel. Well, I’m pleased to report I was wrong.


There is the timer. Stay safe and thanks for reading.

No Timer

I’ve grown from dictating books. I conceive of story beats and turns faster than I’ve ever done before learning to dictate “effectively,” and yet.

Allow me a digression, please.

When I was a kid, before I ever typed a word of a novel, I came up with the idea for a universe weirder than any I’ve ever read to this day, at least in the geographic sense. That’s the pillar universe in which the Forces of Empire series is set.

Occasionally, I long for the days when I approached my author career with that kind of insane, child-like boldness. Someone could ask me, “Who needs a story set in a pillar universe where the majority of the physical laws are different?” and I’d be at a loss to answer them.

Sometimes you have to create the thing before you know it’s purpose.

Sometimes art is just a step to a greater piece.

And sometimes the child knows more than the man ever could, though he doesn’t realize it at the time.

I never really tried to mature. I guess the process doesn’t work that way, not really. I actively fought against my own maturation at times, wanting to remain a kid just a little while longer.

I’m a twin. I was born second, and by C-section, due to taking too long to emerge. You might say I’ve always been afraid of that next step.

Still, along the past 20-odd years since I first conjured the images of the towering pillars, the vast mists, and the creatures that plied the icy cold between bright points, I somehow grew up anyway.

Time passes, and we, mere mortals, cannot wait.

I’ve been typing more lately. I think it will be my primary mode of creating stories from now on.

It’s true, dictation produces the rough draft at 3-5 times my old typing speed. Despite my increases in pace after dictating for over a year, I’ve increased my rate at the keyboard so the discrepancy is somewhat less.

I am back at the typing game, regardless.

I enjoy it more. I have the time to change things, and the editing is easier as well as faster. Most importantly, my voice is stronger when I type. I bet you can tell. I hope you can, anyway. I’m happy to be back to typing, because even in my slowness, I’m not waiting around so much now.

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe.

7 Minutes about Free Books

Before I start the timer: As of this posting you have about 80 hours left to get Origin of Storms, my epic space opera adventure novel, for free on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DH8D5Q

Alright. On with the show.

Origin of Storms is free right now, and I have been doing some active research on giveaways and free copies of novels over on the bestseller lists of a couple Amazon stores. Turns out, even without moving a whole lot of copies, a book ranks in the top 100 as long as the cover is nice and the ask isn’t too big.

I wonder if my ask with Origin of Storms is bigger than most of these free Science Fiction stories.

You see, as I discussed yesterday, the book is set in a VERY odd science fiction universe, one that defies comprehension by most people when I try to tell them how it works.

That’s an obstacle. The same could be said for the fact that book is over 600 pages long. I like a long book, but this one is currently my longest volume, and it’s scifi, not epic fantasy, so the genre expectations are different.

Even so, I’m pleased to see people downloading some copies.

I guess there isn’t much to say beyond that I’ve been told free series starters are dead on Amazon. Maybe that isn’t true? I don’t really know, and the book is only on sale until the end of October, so I probably won’t find out if it would do well permanently free.

For years now, I’ve wanted to do a sequel to Origin of Storms. One is in the works, but it’s far from completion. After I’m done with this post, some dictation is in my future.

Wish me luck, friends.

I like to type. I like to talk. Combine these two, and dictation should be fun, and it often is. As long as I don’t lose sight of my purpose in the moment and second of the process, I do alright.

The clock is ticking down.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll be out of here at the beep.

More than 7 Minutes into The Pillar Universe

I like some of the fictional worlds I’ve created. I love most of them.

One I love the best is also among the oldest. I created the first inklings of the Pillar Universe (As seen in the pages of the Forces of Empire series) when I was just a kid, definitely not yet 10 years old.

My thinking at that point was based on Star Wars, the original trilogy, which my parents showed me frequently at the time. Already a big fantasy fan, I fell into space opera or space fantasy (Whatever you call it) with a little more sense of what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to tell stories, and I knew pretty fast I liked originality.

While my feelings on originality have changed a little, the universe I created from the thought of “Star Wars plus something new.” have only increased in intensity as I developed the universe.

When I was a kid, I thought the least original part about Star Wars was the ‘geography’ (In a manner of speaking). I wanted to make a universe unlike any other, and for my hubris I ended up with one.

The Pillar Universe is a space opera setting, far-flung science fiction, without the physical hallmarks of traditional science fiction: planets, stars, even the void of space itself was replaced. In my case, I replaced the planets with pillars.

Pillars, in this case, are infinitely tall cylinders of stone with cores inside that go from light to dark and dark to light based on the passage of intervals of time. People live in caves within them or on outrcps arond the surface of these huge cylinders, but they don’t have gravity (The physical laws are different too, but that’s a longer digression).

Everything would fall into the airy, cloudy, abyss of space if it doesn’t have somewhere to land.

The abyss is breathable atmosphere, mostly. So much for the vacuum of space. But say hello to the wonders of storms the size of our solar system, massive hurricanes strong enough to hurl flying ships from the sky to tumble into the forever of mist below the storms.

But I missed a spot, didn’t I? The stars.

Where does heat and light originate? Well, some pillars are geologically active, but I figured that wasn’t enough. The equivalent of stars in the Pillar Universe come in the form of mighty serpentine creatures that are born in hives within some rare pillars and then fly out to find a new home as they mature.

These critters are called solnas, and they are nuclear generators crossed with dragons. Stars…in their multitudes (Please, pardon the Les Miserables reference). These creatures scan the cores of the pillars, which themselves are naturally occurring rudimentary computer systems, and the solnas use the data they garner to find the next place to start a hive to reproduce.

As you can see above, the geographty of the setting is rather steep.

If any of that sounds intriguing, check out Origin of Storms (It’ll be free on Amazon.com from the 27th of October to the 31st, by the way). Here’s a link.

That was well over 7 minutes, so I’m changing the title. Hope you stuck with me through all of the above.

And thanks for reading.

7 Minutes about why I (Don’t) Write

The basic premise of storytelling is that one shares experience, whether their own or something they invented. My goal with writing is always to entertain. I don’t have that much to sacrifice for this goal, because I will admit I don’t know much about the world.

I knew less when I started writing, though.

I was thirteen or fourteen. That year was rough for me. I was in the process of adjusting to the middle school environment. I don’t remember that much about the time. Most of what I can recall I wish I didn’t.

I didn’t enjoy 8th grade much.

But I started writing back then. I took lengthy breaks during some years, but I’ve never hung up the spurs and six-guns for more than a few months at a time aside from in college.

And yet, I’m way behind. I don’t have series-length works like I’ll need to attract big readers on Amazon, and I’m not sure I have the will to write a mighty series along the lines of M D Cooper, or Michael Anderle, or any of the other giants out there.

What I have is my desire to entertain myself and others.

Got to keep that one in front of me. I tend to forget it’s there.

Lessons are nice.

Escape can be good.

Fun?

Why not.

Taking joy in what I do means telling tales I love and enjoy.

And still I struggle. I guess I want a series that never feels stale. A book like that. A scene like that. I get stuck looking for north too often.

Never fear. I don’t know how to give up at the game.

Let me tell you, I almost wish I could quite sometimes. But then, what’s the point of that?

Oh well. The timer is ringing.

Thanks for reading my rant.