Monthly Archives: August 2012

FanFiction – Where Do You Stand

My post for Guild of Dreams

Guild Of Dreams

As Indie/Self-Pub Authors continue to gain traction, a topic that I’ve seen covered more frequently of late is the question of FanFiction.

For the uninitiated, FanFiction is when someone takes the settings and/or characters from an established world and put them into situations that didn’t happen in their original setting. This ranges from completely new characters and plots that just happen to use the world-building of an existing franchise, to more adult-leaning erotic pairings of characters that never got together in their original environment.

Opinions on FanFic run from completely enthusiastic and even openly supportive, at least one author over on KindleBoards has suggested that he’ll be opening his tech-bibles and worldbuilding information so that people can write FanFic in his universe. The other end of the spectrum includes authors that don’t want anyone “diluting” their worlds with FanFic.

I got my internet start with FanFic. While I started my…

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Blog Tour Information Added

I’ve added a new page to the site to cover blog tours. If you click through, you can find all of the upcoming blog-tour stops for The Cerberus Rebellion!

Link

Branching Out (Other Vendors)

So after some thinking, I decided that I wanted to branch out with the availability of my works. For right now, because I have The Cerberus Rebellion in the KDP Select program, it’s just going to be my short stories, novellas and any non-Griffins & Gunpowder works that I put out.

The Sithean Betrayal, The Gathering Storm and The Red Dragon’s Gold are now available on Barnes & Noble for the Nook and on the Kobo e-Book store.

Head over to the Products page to see the new links!

Upcoming Blog Tour

Starting next Monday, September 3rd, The Cerberus Rebellion will be featured on a month-long blog tour every weekday in September (assembled and hosted by GoddessFish Promotions).

The first week will be a blurb blitz where The Cerberus Rebellion’s blurb will be posted. Week 2 will involve a run of 5 stops on a Review tour where different sites will review The Cerberus Rebellion. Finally Week’s 3 and 4 will be a hybrid of interviews and guest blogs.

I’ll be posting a comprehensive list of stops sometime this week, as well as providing links to the sites.

Guest Post – Excerpt from Crown of Ash

Josh’s Note: Steven Montano released Book 4 of his Blood Skies series, Crown of Ash, today. Below is an excerpt!

A behemoth city of pale rock and sea stone appeared in the wasteland of grey sand. Rickety bridges made from petrified sinew connected iron towers that looked shoved into the ground like wayward spears. Rings of blasted sandstone surrounded deep pits, and flags stitched from whale flesh flapped in the breeze. There were no streets, just sandy walkways that wound between rugged towers and houses thatched together with rope and metallic netting. Drifts of sand covered the buildings like metal snow. The Ebonsand Sea was just beyond the city, and it reflected the radiant light of the melting sun.

Large walrus-like beasts shuffled outside the city perimeter and left lines of acidic glue in their wake. More of the grey-skinned humanoids rode the slug-tailed creatures. Skiffs docked on rusting metal planks next to crashing ocean waves. A number of ATVs and dune-buggies drove in and out of a network of tunnels beneath the city.

Cold ocean air blew in from the dark sea. Kane tasted salt and engine oil.

The vehicle flew close to the ground. Something appeared over a dune just south of the city.

It was another skiff. It flew in low over the dune bank, and was also bound for the city. The vehicle was equipped with fewer guns and a wider deck than the vehicle Kane and the others rode, which meant there was more room for the dead and wounded on board.

There were at least two dozen of the grey-skinned humanoids. They bled green or were missing limbs, and had been flayed open or turned inside out. Their grisly wounds were crudely bandaged with wraps of linen. Some of the wounded thrashed about violently as they clawed at some imaginary threat. Others couldn’t stop screaming, or bled constantly from both eyes. Several others had decaying appendages turned to stumps of clay or ash.

The two crafts drew to within a hundred yards of each other. Kane heard dissonant whispers in the wind, a gritty chant made by gargling and guttural voices. It took him a moment to realize that what he heard was a chorus of the wounded. They all spoke jointly in a vagrant and sibilant tongue. Their eyes were blank as their mouths moved without their knowledge.

What the hell…” Kane whispered.

Anarchotech,” Jade said.

Bless you,” Kane said as he looked at her. Her face was pale and her eyes were wide.

And what the hell is ‘anarchotech’?” Ronan asked.

It’s Ebon Cities experimental magic,” she explained. “They fuse chaotic energies with captured soul power to create a new type of energy. It’s unstable. And it’s incredibly debilitating towards living creatures.”

Why don’t they use it all of the time, then?” Ronan said with a grim laugh. “And why haven’t we heard of it before?”

They just started experimenting with it recently,” Jade explained as their skiff drew closer to the city. “It’s still in the early stages, I think. Most Southern Claw mages know about it, but they haven’t spread the word.” She shrugged. “I guess your military doesn’t want a panic on its hands. I understand it’s dangerous for the vampires, too…it’s just a lot more dangerous for living creatures.”

So what does it do?” Kane asked.

It destabilizes you,” Jade said. “Melds you with other possibilities, or something to that effect. No one knows just how powerful it is.” She looked back at the ship of the wounded.

Hopefully we won’t find out.”

It looks like someone already has,” Kane said.

Crown of Ashes is available on Amazon and Smashwords

 

Guest Post – Release Announcement, Crown of Ash by Steven Montano

 Josh’s Note: Steven and I are members of the Guild of Dreams Fantasy writer’s collective. His most recent novel released today, so I offered to let him take over for a day to announce it. I’ll be putting up a second post later today with an excerpt, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Crown of Ash is available on Amazon.com and Smashwords!

Catch up with the rest of the serieson Amazon.com!

About the Author

Steven Montano is a full-time accountant and the author of the Blood Skies series.

He enjoys dark music, depressing cinema, cooking, hiking, and spending time with his crazy family. He lives in Washington, where he desperately prepares for the vampire apocalypse.

Visit Steven’s official website, bloodskies.com

Quick Note: Site Milestone

I just wanted to take the time to celebrate passing 1,000 views all-time.

I just want to say thank you to all of those that have visited the site since I launched it and continue to read my posts going forward. Thanks!

The Problem with Sequels

I recently joined the website Scribophile. Essentially, writers gather there to critique and be critiqued by other members of the site. It works on a sort of tit-for-tat system where you get “Karma” for doing critiques and then spend that “Karma” to post stories for critique.

I’m 23,000 words into The Hydra Offensive; Book 2 in the Ansgari Rebellion Series. I didn’t post The Cerberus Rebellion on this site so as I start posting The Hydra Offensive, I’m running into the issue of bringing new readers to my world.

At first, I thought of this as a problem. Why would someone start with Book 2 in the series? Then I remembered, that’s how I started the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. I bought Ashes of Victory (Book 9 in the series) because of the cover art; I bought Books 1-8 and the 3 Honorverse anthologies because of the writing.

I came to the realization that you have to hook readers at the beginning of the book whether they are invested in the series already or not. I need to make sure that the beginning of the book keeps moving, without bogging down with backstory and infodumps.

Have you ever started mid-series and gone back and purchased all of the previous novels? What caused you to do that?

When Is Good Enough, Good Enough?

I was having a conversation with a fellow writer the other day when he asked “Do you ever get worried that your writing might not be good enough?”

The question isn’t something that’s new to writers/authors. I think that self-doubt is something that just naturally comes when you are creating something and putting it out there for people to read/see/hear/etc.

Everyone has to work through this period of self-doubt in their own way. For me,    I had a moment after a read-through of The Cerberus Rebellion. I had written, revised, revised, sent to a beta-reader, revised, sent to my editor for a substantive edit, revised, sent to my editor for a line edit, and finally revised again.

I realized that at this time in my life, it wasn’t going to spontaneously improve itself out of thin air. The work is only going to be as good as the writer that I am today. But in a year? Two? Ten?

Exhibit A: CommonScape

This was one of the first pieces of writing that I posted on the internet. It was fanfiction crossing the worlds of Andromeda and Farscape. I first published it in April of 2003, nine years ago.

Reading through the 55,000 words of this fanfiction now, I see so much that could be better. The plotting, the characterization, the setting. And that was with two worlds that I didn’t even have to create for myself.

If I go further back, 15 years, to the notebooks that are stored in my basement, I find stories that wouldn’t even make it to the Save button before I erased and revised.

“You can’t please everyone.” It’s a phrase that everyone says. It’s very similar to “You can’t account for taste” which is something my dad has said since I was a little kid.

I came to the realization that you don’t need to worry about pleasing everyone. You need to worry about pleasing yourself and realize that at some point, your work isn’t going to get any better right now.

So when you start doubting yourself, realize that at some point you need to let your baby go.

Giveaway #2

So since my last giveaway was marginally successful, I figured that I’d do another one!

This time, I think I’ll take to Twitter for this one!

So here are the rules. From Monday 8/13/12 to Saturday 8/18/2012 any comments or likes on this post will receive an entry.

Additionally, follow me (@authorjkjohnson) and tweet this:

I want to win a #GunpowderFantasy Short Story! http://bit.ly/P3GzSc

To receive an entry into the contest. On Sunday 8/19/2012 I’ll figure out the winners. Depending on the number of entries, I’ll give away the Winners’ choice of Griffins & Gunpowder Short Stories (Read the descriptions here). Winner’s choice of .pdf, .mobi and .epub for their file of choice!

Get tweeting!