The Best Thing

Banana-2

In the middle of all this madness, I get a new review for my first book.

And, as I’ve learned, my core demographic is 11 years old.

austin2What I liked about Spell/Sword is that when Rime and Jonas get of jail and fight the crystal frog and I also liked when they fought the grey witch and the assassin also that there’s a sword that is magic and can take away Rime’s magic also when she uses magic it damages her health and her power is unstoppable and Jonas on the run for murder.

Austin Sigman – Age 11

Yup. That’s what I like about Spell/Sword too. I can’t wait for him to read The Riddle Box and AMOD.

I’m being very terse because this took a kind of crappy stressful day and made it awesome. I don’t wear happy well.

Thank you so much for reading, Austin!

Addressing the Troops

in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.

in: Schweizerische Monatsschrift DU, August 1948.

[I wrote this as a backer update for my Inkshares campaign of Asteroid Made of Dragons — and I kind of liked it. I’m always trying to express my goals in some fashion or another, and I liked the word-shapes I came up with this time, so here you go.]

Good afternoon you feckless rabble, you hard-hearted convoy of bright-eyed adventurers.

We’ve picked up quite a few new followers – shamans, bladewalkers, puppeteers, guys named Chuck. My army grows with potency and I sip from a goblet of purest obsidian in vile pleasure.

Because this is the secret – this is the thing that books do, the invisible machinery of Purpose. It brings human minds together – across space and time and race and rhyme. It brings them together like little fireflies – little droplets of human energy floating in the dark. The more we gather the brighter that light becomes – doubling and redoubling like a dynamo, like thunder rumbling its way across the heavens.

The big Books? The ones out there with thousands or millions of readers – they burn like tiny suns, whole skies full of fire. Flame that sings across memory and dreams, powering the machines, turning the drill.

The drill? What drill? The drill that turns, breaking down the wall between our old gray world and the brighter worlds on the Other Side.

That’s my job, every author’s job, really. To walk along the edge of this world, tapping at the wall. And when you find a crack – when you smell something sweet or dark or evil or bright – some color on the other side you put your hand on it. You put your hand on it and you start to holler. Because you don’t want to lose it! Anything but lose the scent, the tiny little weak place in the dimensional barrier. And then you write – you write what’s on the other side, and if you’re very very lucky – readers come. With the real power, the real human energy — and if you get enough of them, you can break through.

We can break through. One day… one day. The Other worlds are out there and I can see mine — one day we’ll break on through and slip away.

Maybe this is a weird goal to post here? Chuck looks like he’s having second thoughts.

So thank you – is what I’m kind of saying – thank you for this small bonfire that we’ve built. May it guide others to our banner.

Have a great El Seis de Mayo! If you were unaware, it is officially the Greatest Day of the Year.

Sic Semper Tyrannosaur,

Derek

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Two Free Books and One Asteroid (Made of Dragons)

I’m giving my books away this week – in hope that you will think about helping me reach my dreams and pre-order my new book. I put out the first two all on my own – now I’m working with Inkshares.com – a crowd-source publisher and their Sci-Fi / Fantasy Contest sponsored by Sword and Laser. Normally I would have to get 1000 pre-orders to get my book published – but in this contest the top 5 campaigns by the end of May all get published. For a raggedy self-publishing scamp like me, it’s the chance of a lifetime.

So here we are! I’ve gone through my friends and contacts online and begged, lied, pleaded, wept, and cajoled. And, almost unbelievably,  so many of them have stepped up to support me. But now I have to convince you – total stranger – to take a chance on my new book Asteroid Made of Dragons.

So I want to meet you half-way — I want to give you my first two books for free.

Kindle Version – FREE – May 4th – May 8th

spell_sword_cover_final

front_cover

There they are – the fruits of my brain garden – please take them.  You can learn more about each here and via the reviews on Amazon. The short version is: if you are a huge dork, well I pretty much wrote these books specifically for you.

And now, your part of the bargain! Because we have entered into some sort of bizarre internet blood-pact – bang a gong and summon the lukewarm spirits. The link to campaign page for the third book is below. Take a look! It’s another adventure for my heroes Jonas and Rime – but fret not! I write episodic fantasy – not epic – like any good episode of X-Files or Sherlock Holmes investigation, you will be provided with the minimum required knowledge to enjoy the adventure du jour. There are a couple of sample chapters already up of the third book, but if you enjoy those FREE BOOKS I JUST GAVE YOU – the third book will not disappoint.

Asteroid

ASTEROID MADE OF DRAGONS – PRE-ORDER ONLY 8.99!

  • Pro-Tip: If you sign up for Inkshares itself, they give you a $5 credit – which you can use towards my book!

Well – I guess that’s it? I don’t know quite what else to tell you, stranger. You are on my blog now, so there’s a metric ton of my other ramblings, short stories, and other errata – plus I just GAVE YOU TWO FREAKING BOOKS.

This is always where I come a little unglued at self-promotion. You have no reason to help me – but I hope you do! Even if you decide not to pre-order – maybe you know some people that would like some free books – or maybe people who would really like to help a book about a nuclear winter caused by a meteor crammed full of mythological creatures get published.

There are those people, right?

Leave comments here if you have questions, concerns, or burning rages — or come burn me down @gderekadams on Twitter.

Here’s a picture of a banana:

Banana-2

Tweet Poet

Design Sketch - Mike Groves @poopbird

Design Sketch – Mike Groves @poopbird

So here’s a thing I did on Twitter this afternoon. Yes, I am very weird.

Check out ‘s Asteroid Made of Dragons on : Would you be so kind, Twitter? Must I convince you?

Okay – – here’s the deal, written in words heavier than steel.

Books have I written, two by the count. With goblins and wizards of no little amount.Asteroid

Of Jonas and Rime, squire and wild mage, two travellers filled with stupidity and rage.

I wrote them myself, tap tap at my desk, then sent them to fly on a self-published quest.

It was fun, it was grand, my fiction did sizzle. But the slow creak of Time makes my energy fizzle.

I stared at the walls of Publishing’s grove, to climb it seemed worse than Plath’s head in a stove.

Patience and skill you need to make it for reals, I’m twitchy and tricksome, no match for these wheels.

Then one day did tell, a miraculous new site both potent and fell.

A place called , cute name all in all, they had a new way of brick-breaking the wall.

If enough friends I could trick, wheedle or sell, then my third book would be published like casting a spell.

Crowd-funding! Pre-orders! Kickstarter but more! Guaranteed results like robbing a store!

So to those who read these couplets that rhyme, could I perhaps wheedle a bit more of your time?

Take a look at my book, I hope you adore – and if I’m quite honest , I hope you’ll do more.

Click the button, bang the gong, let everyone know! Asteroids are coming with mother fucking dragons in tow!

So here is the link, thank you for reading. I hope you can find your wallet despite your eyeballs both bleeding.

Nothing is tagged and my followers few, perhaps these lines could get a RT or two?

Time Must Needs

Artist: Pavel Kolomeyets.

Artist: Pavel Kolomeyets.

You say that it has been six years. And I nod.

The wheel turns and April 25th comes again and I am thankful for the rain. It should always rain. It was sunny then, that day was beautiful. That day is beautiful – sun-yellow and sky-blue. I say is and was all mixed up because time must needs move backwards. But it will not. If only my will could make it so.

Maybe I am making it rain. Maybe it can always rain. So easy in my mind to go back, why can not I compel Time to come with me? Why not pull Time back with me when I go and cover that day with Rain? But it will not. That day is sun-bright, will always be beautiful. I go again and again and the sun still shines.

Time must needs. Must needs move. Backwards. But it will not.

It only moves forward. Like a river it only moves downstream. I get farther and farther away past other days and graves and waves and love. I learn and forget and dream and wake. You tell me that it has been six years and I nod.

Time must needs. I must needs. Must needs move backwards.

Time is not my servant as much as I write it. No magic or will can bend the river into a better shape. It helps to pretend that the Rain comes at my bidding, so today I will have it so.

So today I say I love you. I say it with grey clouds and black skies. I say I love you all with Rain. May it fall until this day is over.

Asteroid Made of Dragons – InkShares – Sword&Laser Publishing Contest

pow-hi

In a haze of stress neurons, I’ve done something rash. I’ve been lurking in the digital bushes around InkShares, a crowd-source publisher, for a few weeks now. I really like their model – if you meet your goal, the book gets published. Professionally edited, cover design, release in major markets, the works. But I was hesitating – partly because I wanted to wait until I had a little more open headspace – partly because I’m a little bit chickenshit.

But then I got an email about this contest.

In the words that I myself reverently uttered upon reading, ‘Bug Jesus.’

The top 5 sci-fi/fantasy novels in the contest get published. The five books with the most pre-orders by the end of May get published. Even if they don’t hit their funding goal. My book’s goal is 750 preorders for ebook / 1000 for paper – but it doesn’t matter. If I can get enough pre-orders to stay in the top five, I’m in. It’s just too good an opportunity to pass up. All I want is that 5th slot – Asteroid of Dragons in the finals with a bullet!

The grand prize is even better – being the first Sword and Laser Collection novel published by InkShares and getting interviewed on the podcast. Finally, Veronica and Tom will know the clever things I say about the month’s book that I’ve been saying in my car. [!]

So, now the hustle – which connotes the amount of work I need to put in, but also the slight tinge of a scam. I NEED people to pre-order the book before the deadline. I’m going to start by plowing through my Friends List, of course, but I’m not going to make it over the hump without – gulp – strangers.  I’m going to update the InkShares page regularly, I’m going to update here more, and be much more active on Twitter and FB. I’m going to be obnoxious. That is my vow. I have just over 45 days to convince as many people as possible to give me 9.99 – to extend faith in what I’ve written before, and take another leap in a book called Asteroid Made of Dragons.

Eep. Very eep.

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/asteroid-made-of-dragons

That’s the link – the starting line of this race. Help me win. Tell me how I can win. If you follow the link and don’t pre-order, come tell me why so I can FIX IT.

Much more to come. Just think, if this works – some responsible adult will be in charge of marketing and I’ll be left to write weird sonnets about sentient pickles. Won’t that be grand?

dtroubadour

Book Review – Deadly Troubadours

dtroubadour

Full disclosure:  The author of this book is one of my closest friends. I’ve written plays with him. We’ve have swung imaginary swords together in many strange lands. I have eaten his mother’s chewy ginger-snaps. Whether that makes me meaner or nicer is best left to your judgement. From a writing standpoint, our worlds are kissing cousins at the very least – linked by Pratchett’s ‘consensus fantasy universe’ and a shared wavelength of universes touched by the Fall of Gilead and the breath of the Red Wizard. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, Brent does.

Non-spoiler Review:

 Absolutely top-notch world building and character work. Strong dialogue, clean action scenes. Brent has a patience that I lack, really drilling down into the core of his world — each location breathes, the thought and care put into each is delightful. It’s a fantasy where most travelers will feel at home, and that’s no easy feat. Also, really badass, involved descriptions of some magical rituals and arcane machinery – that may be a ‘writer’ sort of thing to say, but those things are a beast to write and way too easy to make boring. Brent keeps them engaging throughout, and any writer that can make logistics interesting is one to wear in your heart’s core.

Our Heroes are a ragtag band, but not of misfits. Misfits suggest a lack of competence, or a fringe status in this world – nay, they are perfectly shaped. Though I quickly found myself favoring Kestra over the other characters – your reaction may differ. I like stoic gladiators, perhaps you will prefer the wily thief-mage, Demetrius or the scholar, Talbert.

The narrative structure flips between the present, where our group has embarked on a quest of more than usual danger and foolhardiness — and the past, where we learn more about the three main characters in a series of ‘Origin’ chapters. Taken as their own, the flashbacks provide the novel’s strongest writing – but the chapter order was one of my main complaints, especially early in the book. You go from the present, to the recent past, to a flashback, to another character’s flashback, then return to the present. It was like Brent kept handing me different action figures – and let me assure you I wanted to play with each one! – but just as I would start having fun with them, he would knock them out of my hands and push another toy at me. I found myself wanting to sink deeper into each story only to be jerked out too soon. This could just be a ‘me’ thing and may not bother other readers, but by the end of the book I was only nominally interested in the present-day plot  [and there’s a fucking dragon in it!] – I was much more looking forward to the resolution of each of the Origin plotlines.

This is rock-solid fantasy writing – and I have no problem saying it holds together much better than my first attempt.  You all need to buy this and love or hate it – but support the writer. I want to read the next one, the next one’s what it’s all about. There’s some dark, beautiful things in that head and we’ve only gotten a glimpse.

Spoiled Review:

This is mostly ‘inside-baseball’.

Your heart is in the past, Brent. Those Origin chapters are so fucking good they shamed the rest of the book.  You are at your best when your characters are growing, changing – in pain, in woe, in transformative joy. You write the hi-jinx stuff fine too, but it doesn’t have the resonance, it doesn’t have the ‘THIS MATTERS’ bell that goes off when you read something real. I want to read further adventures of the DT, but I’d love to see you sink your teeth into a single protagonist YA. That’s what the Origin chapters and half your novel really were.

I liked most of the one-off characters, but Carradam just didn’t work well enough for me as a villain – maybe he’ll be better if he comes back as more of a Zenigata-type for the team. But he didn’t hold a candle to the witch, or Pho, or Tate’s avaricious mentor.

Loved the ‘interior’ dragon chapters, I wanted to experience the battle a little more from her perspective.

So get back to work and write me another book.