Friday 21 March 2014

Blog Hop - Writing Processes, et al...

I got tagged by my writer pal S.A Check to participate in this blog hop about writing processes and what it takes to shape and produce a book. Oh, boy! Where does one start with a question like that, right? Let's start with some simple questions first...

What am I working on?
At the moment, I'm trying to finish up #7 in the short stories series for To Catch A Marlin, (which was a full-length sci-fi, action-adventure story). Of course, I'm afflicted with numerous distractions and also that proverbial block that keeps smacking me in the head. So, aside from imaginary concussions and wandering-mind-syndrome, I'm plodding along. Hopefully I'll be done before the end of the month. Since this series is also about solving a mystery, sometimes I have to bend my mind and think like a criminal and make sure all the little loose ends are tied up and 'solve the mystery' in a nice, neat package. It's harder than it sounds. So, what's the distraction I'm suffering from? There's another huge full-length novel that I'm trying to finish up. While its 'completed' there's still a lot more work that it needs. It's a monstrosity that I've been working on for the last 3 years. My goal is to finish it by summer.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Uhm, good question. To date, I've written four novels and various short stories, all of which have been fortunate enough to be accepted by publishers who actually wanted to publish them. I'm still kinda wondering how I did that...but they must've seen something worth publishing, right? Going by reviews and reader comments and what editors have told me, they've all agreed that my stories are strongly character-driven and my action scenes written effortlessly. Wow. But, it's true in a sense. I'm enamoured with my characters, enough that I want to tell their stories and make it all about them. Just like I love reading stories about characters with incredible stories to tell, who are unforgettable, I want to offer the same to my readers. While I like to read tech-stuff -- especially if it's a science fiction tale -- I don't like it so much when it goes overboard. I try to keep my tech-stuff toned down. My stories are about the people, their adventure, the tech just helps them along the way.

How does your writing process work?
I blow thought bubbles that float about that pop and sprinkle story-dust inside my head. Nah... Ideas just come and smack me in the face, or worm their way into my head, or join up from other ideas and merge and fester until a new story emerges. Once the idea is there and I like it enough, I'll write a few outline notes and think on it some more. Since I like things done in chronological order, I usually need to see a clear beginning, a middle, and an end in my notes. If I don't 'see' it, then I get frustrated and shelve the idea for a while. Lately, what I've been doing, as a test or something like an experiment, is diving straight in and just writing. It's a different way for me (pantsing, is what it's called, as opposed to plotting), but it's not unpleasant. I think, with a little more practice, I can smoothly incorporate the two methods. What doesn't help in the writing process is that same thing called distractions. Right now, I've got about three stories ideas, one of which is clearly outline and which I'm itching to start. Soon.

So that's about it really. Since my job now is to tag someone else, I'm grabbing T.M. Hunter, whose numerous science fiction tales of Aston West has entertained me countless times. Check out his site right HERE

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Cover Reveal: THE MAN WHO LOVED ALIEN LANDSCAPES - Albert Wendland

What could draw poet, explorer, loner and paranoid Mykol Ranglen away from the relative peace of his own ring-in-space habitat? He has no choice in the matter as one by one acquaintances are murdered or disappear altogether. Propelled by ever changing and deepening mysteries Mykol embarks to uncover secrets which could make people rich beyond their wildest dreams…or tear apart human civilization. The escalating quest takes him through worlds of many dangerous extremes, leading him to confront the deadly alien Fist of Thorns, extinct species refusing to give up their power over the future, and those racing against him to uncover the secret first. But in the course of his pursuit, he must also face his own secrets. And some of these are even more dangerous.

The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes by Albert Wendland Cover Art by Bradley Sharp Foreword by William H. Keith Space Opera Paperback coming from Dog Star Books in June 2014 ~~~ What They’re Saying About The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes

"Mystery, heart-pounding adventure, and the dazzling wonders of far-flung space play significant roles in Wendland's breakout novel, all while gifting us with a mesmerizing tour of alien landscapes destined to get under your skin and remind you of the very reason science fiction exists: Not to escape to other worlds, but to find ourselves within them." -- Diana Dru Botsford, author of THE DRIFT and FOUR DRAGONS

"Inside are alien worlds and titanic space habitats and a brilliant and paranoid hero, all skillfully blended together with long-vanished galactic secrets. Science fiction… good science fiction, by a college professor of literature who loves good SF." -- From the foreword by William H. Keith, New York Times Bestselling Science Fiction Author.