Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Do you feel insecure over NaNoWriMo?

It's time for my IWSG post. You can join or follow other writers in our group: HERE

I decided to post this a little early because last time I forgot to post it until the evening when everyone was done with IWSG. *rolls eyes at self* 

Seeing as it’s National Novel Writing Month, I thought I’d talk about the insecurity surrounding it. For those who don’t know, NaNo is held in November and it’s a challenge to write at least a 50K word novel (or at least finish that much of your novel.) If you complete this task, you are a NaNo winner. The fun part is that you can get in on a lot of mutual support among all the struggling writers. Visit the site for more information.

I completed this once back in 2009 and found it to be a good exercise in letting go of that internal editor. The biggest fear for many is that they are writing crap and it's all going to be for nothing. Well, the truth is most likely you are writing crap, BUT...there is no such thing as wasted writing. Even if your story turns out to be a muddled mess, you are still gaining in characterization, ideas and world building (for us SF/Fantasy writers) So even if you can’t use your NaNo novel once this is all done, there is going to be something good that will come out of it.

People who have detailed outlines before November have the best chance of writing something more useable, but even if you don’t something valuable will come form it. 

In my case, I didn’t end up using a lot of my Nano novel, but it did bring out the ideas and later resulted in the sequel to my Vallar series. Of course, I had difficulties with my Nano novel too. Did I ever learn how to push past plot holes whether it made sense or not. Anything to keep up the word count! Also the funny thing that happened at the end was I had momentum and was turned into some sort of writing machine that took a long time to slow down. Sort of like a race horse taking a long time to slow down at the end of a race.  *whinny*

I know everyone is thinking why didn’t you do it this time? I'm working full time now and I'm in that sandwich generation where the middle aged person (me) is taking care of everyone both young and old. But now that I recall that momentum..well….maybe next year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meet Nathaniel Danes Author of The Last Hero

The Last Hero: I had to write it.

I never thought I'd write a book. Heck, for most of my life reading beyond page three of any school writing project felt like a Herculean task. However, the difference between now and then is that my writing doesn't feel forced. Maybe that's the difference between writing what you want as opposed to what you have to.

Thinking about it now, it almost feels as if The Last Hero grew itself organically rather than having been written. My over active imagination, love for military history, science fiction addiction, blindness, failed military career, daughter, and more were filtered through my fingers onto the page. It's a nexus where several pieces of my life came together. Believe me it sounds far easier than it was.

I've always used my imagination as an escape hatch from life. As far back as I can remember, I'd bolt from mundane situations in my mind, transporting myself to excitement and adventure. I'm sure most kids do this, but I've never stopped. I do this as a coping mechanism. I'm losing my sight to a genetic disorder. This is the reason for my failed military career, and I find it relaxing to drift off into worlds where I don't have that limitation.

These fantasies were always content to live inside my head until I read The Forever War. That classic sparked something inside me. Science fiction has always been my preferred genre for TV and movies, but as far as books go, I used to only read military history. After stumbling upon The Forever War everything changed. I couldn't read enough military science fiction and those stories in my head started to become restless.

I also can't understate the importance of my daughter's birth in helping to shape the story in my first novel. There are a select few things I truly love in his world, my wife for one, so the feeling isn't foreign to me. However, I wasn't prepared for the body blow of raw emotion, of pure unconditional love I felt the second I held my baby girl for the first time. From then on, I couldn't imagine a universe that she wasn't a part of where that incredible connection didn't exist. Her presence in my life enriched and brought depth to my fantasy worlds. She brought meaning and purpose to them.

Literally bursting at the seams, I had to get the stories out. So, I started to write and write, then I rewrote and rewrote. Before I knew it, a few years had pasted and I'd written four books. Finally, I decided to try and get one published. Fortunately, Solstice Publishing saw fit to give me a chance and agreed to release the The Last Hero.

If you read my book, I hope you enjoy and feel the passion that went into its creation. It will be the first of many because I don't have a choice. The stores have to come out.

Author Links:


Book Links:


Thanks for being a guest on my blog to day, Nathaniel. It's always interesting to hear what inspires an author. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

New Guest Reviewer Program at Good Book Alert.

When I first started Good Book Alert, we had several active reviewers. I appreciate all the ones who have freely given reviews. But the honest truth of the matter is doing something for free over and over again gets to be eventually impossible for anyone. 

The initial idea was to help others gain reviews, and while many reviews were done, Good Book Alert has slowed down a lot. To get things moving again and help other writers, I have decided to start a guest reviewer program. I’m looking for three reviewers to do one review. In return the guest reviewer will receive one guest post on the site. In both posts, your book/bio information will be posted as well.

Here are the rules and guidelines:

1. Any book you review can’t be a book where you were involved in the publishing process, such as editing, critiquing, or even book cover design. Ideally, I’d prefer it was from someone you never met. GBA is about helping the little guy, so we only review Indie and Small Press books. (Also..we don't review erotica)

2. I will send you submissions until you find one you like well enough to give at least 3 stars. Please reject books you feel are only 1 or 2 stars. We don’t give less than 3 stars and are looking for quality books.

3. Write the review and your guest post. Send both to me in an email (use above email with the subject: Review Complete), along with the book cover image. Links to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc are helpful.

4. Your guest post will go first. Of course, make it on a topic related to your book. It would be good to add a little suspense about whatever you reviewed and why, but keep it vague. Then the review posts on the next day. Usually posts will be during the week (not weekends.)

5. Please share on all social media possible: Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, etc. The more followers we get the better in our efforts to help books get some exposure.

6. You can be a guest reviewer once every two months.

7. Regular reviewers are still welcome and will have priority in being posted, but keep in mind…it’s free voluntary work.

8. I will post the reviews to our GBA Amazon account. We don’t have any other accounts (Goodreads, etc.), so feel free to post your review there and other places.

How does this sound? Are you interested? Any suggestions before I launch this on the world?

Interested people, please email me at: goodbookalert@gmail with the subject “Guest Reviewer”

If I get enough guest reviewers, submissions will open on GBA again.