“Alice never wants to hurt anyone again, but the robots won’t end the experiment.” ~ By Scott DuBar, from the SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Region “Ink to Inspiration” event at Richmond Public Library, 06/20/2015
This past weekend I participated in the SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Region’s Ink to Inspiration event at Richmond Public Library, and had the opportunity to lead the group in yet another rendition of Story Starters, my Mad Libs styled activity where me and the writers/illustrators create a unique opening line by committee.
Once the line’s created, the writers/illustrators have 15 minutes to write or sketch whatever that line inspires. It’s meant to be an exercise in flexibility (you never know what the line’s going to be) and a demonstration that ideas are simply what YOU make them.
Part of the deal with Story Starters is anyone who decides to write a complete story, or finish an illustration, based on our sentence, gets a spotlight here and on my social media.
Behold Illustrator Scott DuBar’s submission which. Is. AWESOME!!!
Scott’s one to watch, and I’m excited to share his work with you. I’m going out on a limb to say this won’t be the last we see of him. Thanks Scott!
According to the Mayan Calendar Guys, this is it folks. The end is nigh. I, for one, don’t buy it. I call ‘World Keeps Spinning’ in the Apocalypse Pool. Since that’s how I’m betting, I guess I should share a little info on what I have planned for the new (not last) year on the 3rd rock.
I’m not calling these resolutions. Any one who’s read “The Track” knows how I feel about those…however, there will be some changes in 2012.
Yes. I’ve got to get this under control. A post a month just won’t do. For the record, I do blog frequently. You can check me out on a regular basis over at Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis and The Lucky 13s. Still, I can’t neglect this blog or you loyal followers any longer. Look for a minimum of one post per week going forward. No themes though…I have to stick to the rules on those other blogs. Here, you’re going to get whatever leaks out of my skull on any given day. Straight, no chaser. It will be fun.
The official L.R. Giles Newsletter will start going out sometime this winter and will continue on a quarterly basis. I know a bunch of you have subscribed (if you haven’t, see the signup form to the right of this post…it’s FREE y’all) and I promise to get you the goods. I’m talking great info, contests, and giveaways. Look for Issue #1 sometime in February.
The blessing and the curse. I’ve written about how episodic TV in modern times can be one of the great teachers for aspiring writers. But, you can have too much of a good thing and I’ve got to get this TV habit under control. It doesn’t affect my fiction, but it probably does play a role in my inability to balance my blogging responsibilities. There will be a TV cut this year. But what should go? Breaking Bad (nope), Big Bang Theory (hell no), Supernatural (probably…sorry Sam and Dean, the schtick’s getting old). This one makes me sad, but if I’m going to finish those TWO NEW NOVELS by early spring, I need to free up some time.
Oops, did I let that slip? 😉 More on that soon…
Happy New Year.
The Epic Fantasy collaboration between myself and Becky Rodgers Boyette is now available in the Kindle Store (Nook version should be live later today). It’s a great book to load on those brand new eReaders that’ll be under the tree this holiday season.
The heirs to the horse kingdoms think an unwanted betrothal is the worst of their problems. Smug Simeon and fire-tempered Faryn have no wish to be wed, not even to unite the tribes. Raj, obsessed with his brother’s fiancé, would gladly take Simeon’s place. But when Faryn’s homeland is attacked by a gruesome army driven by an ancient evil, lovers’ quarrels become a fight for survival. Aided by their telepathic horses, the trio must pull together or perish as they embark on a quest for answers. In a world where friend becomes foe and prophecies read like riddles, the passion of one will determine the fate of all in the final battle between The Serpent & The Stallion…
Check out my interview over at Becky’s blog where we chat about how this project came to be…
I’m starting something new here on the blog. I’m reaching out to my favorite authors, authors I’ve just discovered, and any author in between to participate in a quick Q&A session just for the hell of it…
I LOVE talking shop with anyone who’s willing to listen (most of the time that’s other writers) and I know there are people who like to know more about the process from the inside.
I hope to feature a different author AT LEAST twice a month. Most of the writers I’ve met are gracious, open people who like exploring new forums. Maybe over time, this can become a favorite hang out for notable wordsmiths. The literary version of Inside the Actors Studio.
Without further delay, our first author, Brandon Massey…
LRG: A lot of writers have a goal of getting published. Beyond that they tend to target sustainability. I would say you’ve accomplished both, so what sort of goals do you set for yourself now?
BM: My primary goal these days is keep growing as a writer, and for me, that means writing pretty much every day, reading constantly, and seeking out new life experiences and insights. That last point is especially important. I’ve found that I get my best ideas by ripping a cloth from something that I’ve personally experienced or have some knowledge of, and using that as the basis for a story.
LRG: What has been your greatest accomplishment during your time in the publishing world? What about your biggest disappointment?
BM: Probably my greatest accomplishment is that, for the most part, I’ve always written exactly what I wanted to write, and I’ve managed to find an audience for my stories. That is extremely gratifying. I’ve never paid much attention to following the fads. I write the kind of stories that I’d like to read, and fortunately, a number of people other than myself enjoy them, too.
Biggest disappointment? Definitely realizing that traditional publishing is basically like gambling. Talent and hard work has very little to do with success in that realm. It’s all about the numbers and someone’s subjective (and unproven) opinions of what’s worth publishing.
LRG: eBooks and Independent Publishing…a lot of people make it seem like we’re living in the Publishing End Times. What’s your take?
BM: I don’t think the so-called Big Six Publishers are going anywhere. I think they will adapt to the new delivery models. Furthermore, so long as there are writers who want to be taken care of, who want to avoid the business aspects of publishing, traditional publishers will always have a crop of writers from which to pick.
With that said, I do think you’ll see independent authors continuing to carve out a niche for themselves, simply because the channels have been opened. A few will earn fortunes, a number will earn a good living, and still more will make “hobby money.”
The most gratifying thing of all? Writers finally have options now.
LRG: You fall through a time warp and land at the feet of a younger version of yourself as they type “The End” on the first novel they/you will ever publish. What would you say?
BM: Start on the next book. Immediately. Don’t get hung up on one project. Keep moving and building momentum.
Brandon, thanks for stopping by and giving us a little insight into what you do.
Remember everyone, COVENANT, is the new novel and you NEED to add it to your collection. It’s available in paperback and on your favorite eReader.
This week I’m featuring a taut thriller by a former Green Beret. Yes, I do make some interesting discoveries deep in the Indie Publishing Rabbit Hole. The book is Piety and Murder by Thomas Rowe Drinkard. Available in the following formats: Kindle | Nook.
Description: Mack Brinson has two major problems. He is trying to recover from the long trauma of losing the love of his life—his wife Song. Now, his only family, Song’s mother Huong, is being systematically, and legally, bilked by a sleazy televangelist’s organization.
When Brinson goes to the smarmy preacher’s headquarters in an attempt to stop the thievery, he is physically threatened.
Brinson is a former Green Beret and isn’t intimidated. He goes after the preacher in an attempt to gather embarrassing information. When he gets too close, someone tries to murder him in a running gunfight on the Lake Ponchartrain Bridge.
Along the way, Brinson meets a woman, Pattie, who finally begins to dissolve the emotional walls he has erected. He begins to learn how to love again.
There is an unseen hand behind the preacher’s organization. The face of the antagonist is unclear, but when Huong is kidnapped, Brinson has to call on his old Special Operations contacts to find the kidnapper and rescue her.
The face of the man behind the televangelist finally becomes clear and shocking. Vengeance: slow and awful lies ahead.
My take: This suspenseful thriller, written with prescisely detailed prose, and cast with unique characters, delves into a phase of life rarely covered in other books featuring protagonists that boast membership in the Special Forces. Mack Brinson is retired, Post Mid-life, and shares a Southern home with his dog and dead wife’s mother. Rambo this guy is not, and that’s the strength in this tale of duty and vengeance. While Brinson’s days of parachuting into some jungle warzone may be behind him, there’s still plenty to fight for when a smarmy televangelist threatens what’s near and dear. Timely and telling, Piety and Murder is a nice addition to your eReader of choice.