They Lost Roddenberry’s Brain!

By Nathan On September 18th, 2014 | 7 views

I wanted to write about this last week, but busyness and September 11 joined forces to make me write a timelier blog.

Anyway…

ST_TOS_Cast

 

September 8 marked the 48th anniversary of Star Trek. I’m a Trekker. (I prefer that term to “Trekkie.”) I’ve loved the Star Trek franchise since I was three years old and watched reruns of the Original Series on a local Fox affiliate with my Dad. I’ve watched almost every episode of all five TV series (ST: The Next Generation, ST: Deep Space Nine, ST: Voyager, ST: Enterprise) and I own all the movies (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is my all-time favorite film). The franchise helped inspire me to become a science fiction writer, so it’s near and dear to me.

new-trekkie-photo1

I was sad to see Enterprise get cancelled when it finally found its space legs. For several years, I thought the franchise was dead. Then J.J. Abrams revived it with his epic reboot/prequel/remake/whatever. I liked its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, even more (despite having a title that would’ve been improved with a well-placed colon).

However, there was always something about Abrams’ version that bugged me. I wasn’t sure what, though. It got many things right: the characters and their dynamics, the adventure, the “personality” of the ships, the optimism, and the music, among other things. It didn’t dawn on me what the issue was until last week. Truthfully, it’s something I think I always knew—and had even heard fans discuss—but it didn’t hit me until then.

They lost Gene Roddenberry’s brain.

Mr. Roddenberry, who died in 1991, created Star Trek as a serious science fiction TV series that addressed mature themes and issues. In other words, it was cerebral science fiction. This was something seen in books and magazines but not on television in that day. It was ahead of its time.

That’s what “Nu Trek” lacks. It’s fun. There’s plenty of space-faring action and adventure with great characters played by wonderful actors, but it isn’t as cerebral. Yes, it plays on themes like friendship and family, but it doesn’t have big sci-fi ideas like the franchise did at its peak. There are no Cold War allegories (the Klingons in TOS), no questions about individuality vs. collectivism (the Borg in TNG), or observations about the effects of religion in people’s lives (the Bajorans and Sisko in DS9). Abrams did exactly what he said he wanted to do: inject some Star Wars into Star Trek (he always preferred the former, hence why he’s directing Episode VII). It wasn’t just in terms and style, though. The story and themes play out more like a Star Wars film.

I’m not saying this is bad. I love Star Wars, but for different reasons. While fans argue which is better, the truth is that they’re apples and oranges. Each is distinct and does what it does well. But with these new films, Trek has veered more in the direction of Wars. I’m not opposed to a new style. Far from it. Any franchise can benefit from a fresh perspective, even from someone who hasn’t been inundated with its lore (Nicholas Meyer wasn’t a fan when he landed the job to direct Wrath of Khan, though he did do his homework). But this isn’t quite the Roddenberry’s vision.

Think of it like this: old-school Trek was the class valedictorian while “Nu Trek” is his fun-loving classmate. Sure, he probably gets all B’s in his classes, but he obviously isn’t as smart as the former. Likewise, the valedictorian knows how to have a good time, but he isn’t as much of a party animal.

This is why I’d like to see Trek return to television. It’s easier to tell cerebral stories in a television format. I’m glad Star Trek is fun again, but it needs to have substance, too.

That would please the Great Bird of the Galaxy (Gene’s nickname) and he would bless the franchise even more.

What do you think?

Bookmark and Share

But I Digress…, Episode 26: How to Write Speculative Fiction, Part 3 – Major Subgenres of Fantasy

By Nathan On September 18th, 2014 | 5 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

Now that you’ve learned the “rules” for writing speculative fiction, it’s time to learn about the types of stories you can tell. Knowing this will help you focus your writing, ascertain what your audience’s expectations are, and and know how to market your stories.

Here’s Part 1.
Here’s Part 2.

Please comment, subscribe, and share!

Bookmark and Share

September 11: What Do You Say Now?

By Nathan On September 11th, 2014 | 58 views

september-11-pictures-images-graphics-commentsI’ve written something about September 11, 2001, every year that I’ve had a blog. But now after 13 years, I’m not sure what to say. Indeed, what more can be said? It’s not that the tragedy of the day means nothing to me, because it certainly does. I remember what I did that day quite vividly. The world itself drastically, and so did my little corner of it. I was a child when the Cold War ended. Then at the end of my relatively carefree adolescence did a new enemy—extremist Islam—rear its ugly head. To go any further than those statements would mean getting extremely political, and I’d rather not talk about politics on this solemn day. The events of that day and what has happened since have already been over-politicized, and I refuse to do the same.

The truth is I don’t know what else to say about today that I haven’t already. Yet I feel I must say something so that I don’t forget that day. It would dishonor the lives of the people murdered in those attacks, both the victims and the heroes. They deserve better than to be relegated to a page in a history book. I visited New York City a few years after the attacks. I saw massive holes where the World Trade Center once stood. I visited Washington, D.C. just a month after the attacks and saw the Pentagon with its huge breach. I imagined what it was would’ve been like to see a low-flying plane crash into the building. In many ways, those imaginings still seem more like a movie than real life.

We shouldn’t just September 11, 2001, for the lives that were lost, but for the people we were that day and the months that followed. That is my prayer. It’s times like those when we’re at our best. Complacency is the enemy of greatness.

Perhaps even I have been infected. The fact that I don’t know what more I could say 13 years later might be a sign I myself have become complacent. I truly hope that isn’t true and that it never becomes true.

And may it never be true of you.

Never forget September 11.

Bookmark and Share

My Influences for ‘Pandora’s Box’

By Nathan On September 3rd, 2014 | 72 views

In the latest episode of the “Derailed Trains of Thought” podcast hosted by my friends Nick Hayden and Tim Deal (which if you aren’t following, you should), they spoke about the lesser-known stories that have influenced them. Nick mentioned that he could easily name most of the influences in the first 50 pages of his first novel, Trouble on the Horizon (one of which is “Pokemon”!?).

This made me think about the literary influences that came together and—by their powers combined!—became my first novel, Pandora’s Box. So, just for fun, I decided I list them and explain what they contributed. You may be surprised by what I include and how they affected my writing of that book.

(NOTE: I’m excluding the personal experiences and experiences of others that contributed to its creation. I’m also excluding [most of] the research I conducted and the “soundtrack” I compiled as I wrote it. As I said, this is focused on literary influences. I make little references to other literary works, but I’m not including those because their influence is minimal).

In no particular order…

hesiod-works-and-days-243256-1-s-307x512

Works and Days by Hesiod

This is an obvious but obscure influence. It’s a lesser-known epic poem by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod. Why is it here? It details the best-known version of the Pandora’s box myth (to my knowledge there are two). Honestly, it’s a terribly boring read other than that story. Not to mention misogynistic. Hesiod, from what I remember, blames most the world’s misery on women, and uses the story of Pandora as one of his bits of evidence. When’s he’s not bashing the fairer sex, he’s giving instructions on farming. Seriously. He’s no Homer.

starshiptroopers

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

I was writing a military science fiction novel, so I had to read the all-time great of the subgenre. A friend in college highly recommended book, saying the popular but awful movie was a slap in the face. I loved every page of the book. Heinlein’s futuristic military, in particular its unmerciful training methods, influenced how I created the Vanguard. Its influence is strongest during the bootcamp chapters of Pandora’s Box. True confession time: My sexist drill instructor, Sgt. Barak, is modeled after that novel’s drill sergeant, Sgt. Zim (my favorite character). Just read the boot camp chapters of both books and you’ll see the similarities. This was by the most influential on the writing.

51vzVcRTMbL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ - Copy

Friday by Robert Heinlein

Another Heinlein book had a more indirect influence. I read it because it seemed similar to what I was endeavoring to write: a science fiction adventure story with a female lead written in first-person by a male author. However, I quickly learned that Heinlein’s titular character had little in common with mine. Friday’s morals are looser; she has a mellower personality; and she spends most of her time thinking she isn’t a real person. Also, there wasn’t as much action/adventure as I expected. It’s not a bad book, though.

51YQRBW6N7L._SY300_

Halo

I wrote Pandora’s Box as the Halo video game series made it meteoric rise. I didn’t own an Xbox, but I played them often with my friends and brothers. I include it because I modeled the Vanguard’s cyber-armor somewhat on Master Chief’s armor. Some of the Vanguard’s other weapons and gear were inspired by items in the games. My book’s action sequences also have a bit of a Halo flavor, particularly the shoot-outs. If I was going to cosplay as a character from the book (which I’ve considered), I would use designs for a Master Chief costume as my starting point.

khan-poster

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

It’s my favorite movie, so how could it not play a part? When I listened to director Nicolas Meyer’s commentary, he said he told the late great Richardo Montalban that he was to play Khan like he was King Lear. “Madmen are scarier when they’re under control,” he said. The audience never knows when such characters will snap or what will set them off. Despite being a megalomaniac, Khan is a man who cares deeply for his followers (a side Benedict Cumberbach displayed when he played Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness). He’s a three-dimensional villain. Hearing all that inspired my characterization of Erebus the Overlord. I presented as a cold, calculating dictator who, it seemed, was trying to liberate his oppressed people. I enjoy complex villains.

28 days

28 Days Later

I hesitate to include this film because I felt like the movie stole my idea when I watched it (I’ve since learned it wasn’t the first. Heck, I just watched an episode of the original Star Trek that had an element similar to this). Regardless, at the time I thought this was a unique take on zombies. These weren’t reanimated corpses with an appetite for flesh. They were victims of a disease that acted like a nasty strain of rabies. Despite feeling like my idea was stolen, the film influenced how I presented the Morlocks. What the film didn’t steal was the moral dilemma I injected: are they monsters or simply ill people? That was an angle I never saw any zombie story. That was the part I was glad wasn’t “stolen.”

51-WIs+cb4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Into the Crucible: Making Marines for the 21st Century by James B. Woulfe

This is a nonfiction book I read as part of my research for the novel. It describes the 54-hour exercise trainees must endure to become Marines. It inspired not only many of the bootcamp exercises, but it also gave me my heroine’s name. It briefly recounted the legend of Lucy Brewer, who disguised herself as a man to serve during the War of 1812. I took her surname for Pandora. The Vanguard has its equivalent of the Crucible, the Highway to Hell, which is mentioned once. Perhaps I’ll write a short story about that. (Hmm…that’d be a nice addition to next year’s edition of Missing Pieces).

Aliens-poster_clean1-645x1024

Aliens

James Cameron Aliens is an epic military sci-fi tale with incredibly good pacing. My own writing has often been complimented for great pacing and suspense. More importantly, the film features a strong heroine. Ripley has much in common with Pandora: she’s a woman in a male-dominated field; she’s tough yet compassionate; and she can carry her own against the boys. I have a feeling Ripley and Pandora would be best friends if they met.

Honorable Mentions:

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990): I always thought Shredder had an awesome entrance, so I used a similar one for Erebus when Pandora finally meets him.

-The Last Letter of Sullivan Ballou: A letter written by a Civil War soldier to his wife on the eve of the Battle of Bull Run, where he died. The man’s sentiments inspired the characterization of Dante, Pandora’s boyfriend.

-Alien: Nick Hayden was my beta reader for the horrible first draft of the book. One thing he said that stuck with me was that I made excellent use of silence during the action sequences to create tension and atmosphere like Ridley Scott did in Alien.

What are some of your literary influences?

Bookmark and Share

My Top 5 Favorite Robin Williams Movies

By Nathan On August 28th, 2014 | 345 views

With the recent death of comedian/actor Robin Williams, a treasure has been lost. There never was a talent like his before, and I doubt there ever will be again. Television and the Internet have been full of many great tributes to the man, so I won’t bore you on details of his life and legacy. I’ll simply mention how he affected my own life while the topic is still fresh.

Mr. Williams was one of my family’s favorite actors. Generally speaking, we were quick to watch a Robin Williams film, even the bad ones. He always made us laugh. Or cry. Or both. What follows are my five favorite Robin Williams films.

5. Good Will Hunting

good-will-hunting

This was one of the first films that showed Robin was a more-than-capable dramatic actor. In fact, he won an Oscar for his performance in this film. He plays a tough yet sensitive college professor who mentors Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a brilliant but troubled young genius. There are several powerful scenes where he drags Will’s horrendous past out of him, all the while telling him, “It’s not your fault!” The best scene is the one where he tells the story of meeting his wife by skipping out on a world series game, to explain that he doesn’t regret his marriage.

4. Hook

936full-hook-poster

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve watched this one, and it’s considered to be one of Steven Spielberg’s weaker films (unfairly so, I think), but I have fond memories of it. Robin plays a typical over-working father who neglects his family (it was such an overused trope in the 1990s). The twist: he’s actually a grown-up Peter Pan who left Neverland, and now his archnemesis Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) is seeking revenge. I argue this marked the first time Peter Pan was played by a man, er, boy on screen (not counting the classic Disney version). Robin is perfect for it since he’s always seemed like a boy trapped in a man’s body.

3. Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs.-Doubtfire-movie-poster

Gender-bending films had been made before, but this one had a potent story. Robin plays a recently divorced, impractical actor who can’t stand not being able to see his three kids. So, he concocts an elaborate plan where he masquerades as an old British nanny in order to see them. What makes it work are the uncanny make-up and Robin’s incredible performance. It’s easy to forget the titular “character” is actually a man in disguise. It also avoids stereotypes like having the parents get back together at the end. Yes, I would’ve wanted that, but it acknowledges that such reconciliation is difficult and often doesn’t happen in real-life. Yet it still has a happy ending.

2. Aladdin

aladdinposter

I couldn’t leave this one out. It was my favorite Disney movie as a kid. Robin technically isn’t the star of this film, but I doubt it would’ve become a classic without him. He plays the hilarious shape-shifting Genie who grants three wishes to the titular character. We see all the things that made Robin such an incredible talent: he ab-libs, he sings, he tickles your funny bone, and he tugs at your heartstrings. This film was more or less my introduction to Robin (although I vaguely remember seeing an episode of Mork and Mindy late at night, thinking he was a superhero), so he’s one of many reasons this one holds a special place in my heart.

1. Dead Poets Society

deadpoetssocietyposter

You were expecting Death to Smoochy? :P

I’m a writer. This is a writer’s movie. Robin plays an inspirational English teacher, and teaching is something that interests me. It’s a movie that celebrates literature and writing poetry. Let’s not forget Robin’s catchphrase in that film, one so good it was included in AFI’s 100 greatest movie lines: “Carpe Diem” (“Seize the day.”) That is infinitely cooler than YOLO.

Robin plays the kind of teacher I would love to be. He inspires his students not only to write well but to live life to the fullest. They love him so much that they go to the wall for him. When the school board fires him for false accusations, his students boldly stand atop their desks reciting, “O Captain, My Captain!” by Walt Whitman. Such a powerful scene.

One last thing. I watched Doug Walker’s tribute to Mr. Williams, and he mentioned a stand-up routine where Robin played himself forty years in the future. Robin spoke of a “spark of madness.” In other words, a way of thinking that was different than anyone else. Why? Because why would you want to think like everyone else? Be unique.

I plan to live like that.

Thank you, Robin Williams. Rest in peace.

Bookmark and Share

Dwarven Tavern interviews me at Gen-Con

By Nathan On August 27th, 2014 | 38 views

The video podcast Dwarven Tavern interviewed me during Gen-Con. Here’s that interview:

It’s actually a follow-up interview from the one they did of me last year. Sadly, I never found it until during recently. Here’s that one:

Bookmark and Share

The Obligatory Gen-Con 2014 Blog

By Nathan On August 23rd, 2014 | 145 views

It’s been a week since Gen-Con 2014 ended, and as usual, I miss it. Not only does Gen-Con have a great Authors’ Avenue where I can sell books and a great Writers’ Symposium where I can attend seminars, it’s one of the few places I can be an unbridled nerd and nobody judges me.

If you follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t, you should), you saw my almost up-to-the-minute updates while my brother Jarod and I were at the four-day convention. There’s a lot I could write about, but for now I’ll focus on a few highlights not mentioned in those posts. UPDATE: More photos from Gen-Con have been posted on my Facebook page!

Want to see photographs from the convention? I recommend checking out my Facebook page. Until I figure out how the new photo gallery plug-in I downloaded works, that’s where I’ll be posting photos from signings and such. Sorry.

First, here are the fans/readers I met while I was at the con, both new and old.

My first sale of the con! A gentleman named Scott Blankenship purchased "Destroyer" and "The Day After."

My first sale of the con! A gentleman named Scott Blankenship purchased “Destroyer” and “The Day After.”

Here I am with fellow kaiju fan Tom Tancredi after he purchased "Destroyer."

Here I am with fellow kaiju fan Tom Tancredi after he purchased “Destroyer.”

My first "Chidlren of the Wells" buyer! His name is Sean Steele (which sounds like the name of a hero in a book).

My first “Children of the Wells” buyer! His name is Sean Steele (which sounds like the name of a hero in a book).

I convinced my buddy Darrin Ball to buy "Destroyer" and "The Day After" since he purchased "Pandora's Box" from me a few years ago. He's still the HeroScape champ to me! ;)

I convinced my buddy Darrin Ball to buy “Destroyer” and “The Day After” since he purchased “Pandora’s Box” from me a few years ago. He’s still the HeroScape champ to me! ;)

This is Ben and Ashley Davis. I befriended them through Facebook (mostly), and they stopped by and bought "Pandora's Box." Wonderful people!

This is Ben and Ashley Davis. I befriended them through Facebook (mostly), and they stopped by and bought “Pandora’s Box.” Wonderful people!

Joe Stichmeyer (I hope I spelled that right), anotehr fellow kaiju fan, bought "Destroyer" from me and "Mammoth Monster Madness"--an anthology I contributed to--from Ed Russell.

Joe Stichmeyer (I hope I spelled that right), anotehr fellow kaiju fan, bought “Destroyer” from me and “Mammoth Monster Madness”–an anthology I contributed to–from Ed Russell.

A Rogue cosplayer named Alyssa who bought "The Day After."

A Rogue cosplayer named Alyssa who bought “The Day After.”

I met Alyssa VanderGalien (I hope I spelled that right) at the FFC/CGG worship service that morning, and she stopped by to purchase "The Day After."

I met Alyssa VanderGalien (I hope I spelled that right) at the FFC/CGG worship service that morning, and she stopped by to purchase “The Day After.”

Here I am with Patricia Gore.

Here I am with Patricia Gore.

This was Jarod’s first time at Gen-Con, though it wasn’t his first convention. He’s gone with me to several others this year as attendees. We made prints of the illustrations he’s done for my short stories and the titles cards he’s made for my YouTube show, “But I Digress…”. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, we weren’t able to sell any of these. I was shocked. Conventions seemed like the places where people would eat up his artwork. Perhaps it was because we were in the authors’ section and not the art show area. Regardless, he did manage to get a pair of commissions: one for a steampunk pin-up girl a guy wanted for a restaurant he wants to start called Pandora’s Lunchbox (he told us about it because of the title of my novel), and another for a con-goer who wanted little pictures of Wile E. Coyote and a Digimon for a Magic: The Gathering card. Jarod also drew a few random sketches during our downtime, especially when things were slow on Thursday, including Maleficent, a ballerina Dalek (no joke), and a ninja Elsa. He gave the last one to a Jedi Elsa cosplayer, who inspired the artwork.

As for my book sales, they were slow again this year. I took fewer books with me assuming I’d sell out, but I didn’t. I got a few bits of advice from my fellow writers on how to improve that:

1) Get new signs. I’ve been using Jarod’s handmade sign for three years now. It’s time I upgraded. It’ll help me look more professional.

2)  Have more books. For whatever reason, people will be more interested in buying books when they have more choices. I thought the opposite was true, but I think it would diversify my appeal and show people I’m still writing.

It didn’t help that the new books I wanted to take—Children of the Wells, Volume 1—didn’t arrive in time, so I wasn’t able to sell them until Saturday. Even so, that was a bit of tough sell since I wasn’t in that collection (but I’ll be in volume two).

However, I think my networking was much-improved this year. I talked with more of the writers there and shared my business cards with them. I think I even found a publisher interested in seeing Ninjas and Talking Trees. J Hopefully, in the coming year, that will all pay off.

As usual, while other vendors were too tired to enjoy the convention after the exhibitors’ hall closed, I was still running around with boundless energy like the Doctor. (In fact, I cosplayed as the 10th Doctor while I was there on Sunday).

I've harassed this Dalek every year, and I was excited to do so this time since I had a real costume. But his batteries were dead. He must've been so scared, he shut down. :P

I’ve harassed this Dalek every year, and I was excited to do so this time since I had a real costume. But his batteries were dead. He must’ve been so scared, he shut down. :P

I attended many writing seminars since many of the other events I wanted to attend were sold out. (I waited to sign up since I was on the waiting list for months and wasn’t sure I’d make it to the convention). Regardless, I was still able to participate in an “Ultra Street Fighter IV” tournament Friday night and see the Five Year Mission show Saturday night. I wasn’t able to play any board games, though.

Overall, I don’t think it was quite as good of an experience as last year’s convention, but I still want to return next year. That, sadly, is uncertain since the organizers didn’t allow writers and artists an early sign up at the end of the convention like they usually do. I have no idea when tables will be available. On the bright side, I could have as many as three new titles to sell at next year’s convention if all goes as planned (more on that later).

See you next year, Gen-Con!

Bookmark and Share

But I Digress…, Episode 25: Our Review of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

By Nathan On August 14th, 2014 | 69 views

“But I Digress…” Hosted by Nathan Marchand

After narrowly escaping the Comic-Corps at my local comic shop, my brother Jarod joins me to review Marvel’s latest film, “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Is this quirky space opera as awesome as “The Avengers” or as awful as “Iron Man 3″? Watch to find out!

Please comment, subscribe, and share!

Follow me on Facebook!

Bookmark and Share

Teatime with Elopus (a GISHWHES story)

By Nathan On August 11th, 2014 | 127 views

safe_image

Author’s note: If you’d been following my Facebook page (and if you haven’t, why not?), you’ll remember I was commissioned to write a 140-word short story for a friend participating in GISHWHES. Well, now that the contest is over, here’s the story! The requirement, besides the word limit, was that it had to involve Misha Collins, the Queen of England, and the Elopus (the mascot for GISHWHES). Enjoy!

Teatime with the Elopus

By Nathan Marchand

Misha Collins kicked open the door to the Queen of England’s chamber, cocking his shiny magic shotgun. The elderly Queen dropped her teacup in shock, as did the half-elephant, half-octopus creature sitting across from her.

“Never fear, Your Majesty! I’m here to kill that unholy abomination!” Misha said, aiming his shotgun at the creature.

“But you’re just an actor!” replied the Queen.

“I’m a real-life monster hunter. Where do you think the Supernatural writers get their ideas?”

“Enough! You’ll do no such thing! The Elopus is my friend!”

Misha stopped. “That…spawn of Cthulhu…is your friend?!”

“How dare you call him that!”

“My apologies, Majesty.”

“Not all strange creatures are soul-eating monsters. Such prejudice!”

The Elopus huffed in agreement.

“Now go before I feed you to him!”

“But you said—”

“Be gone!”

“Yes, Majesty!” Misha said, stumbling out the door.

Bookmark and Share

See you at Gen-Con 2014!

By Nathan On August 7th, 2014 | 131 views

Talk about last minute!

Gen-Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aug. 14-17.

Gen-Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aug. 14-17.

I’ve been meaning to let you all know that I’ll be returning to Gen-Con in Indianapolis August 14-17—as in, next week! I haven’t mentioned it before because I was busy with my IPFW class, but it was mostly due to being on the waiting list for the exhibitors’ hall. I didn’t have the money to pay for a table at the end of last year’s convention, so I decided to wait until applications for it opened in February. But they sold out in less than 24 hours! Hence why I ended up on the waiting list. I didn’t get in until June, I think.

I’ll be at table N. (How appropriate, right?)

However, you won’t just see me at the convention. My brother and artist extraordinaire Jarod will be joining me. He’ll be selling prints of the artwork he’s made for my short stories and videos, including new illustrations I’ve yet to post on the site!

What books will I be selling? Some copies of my mainstays (Pandora’s Box, Destroyer, The Day After), as well as copies of Children of the Wells, Vol. 1 (I didn’t write any of the novellas included in that, but I want to promote the series).

Here’s a trailer for it:

I had hoped to have at least one more new book to sell here, but things don’t always go as planned in the writing world. In fact, they rarely do.

downloadBut I will be featured in two short story collections at the con. The first is Missing Pieces: Vol. V edited by C.E. Rocco. It’s a collection of stories written by authors who attend Gen-Con. The catch is it must be a story that ties into a book they were selling at the convention. So, True Believers, you will once again read a tale set in the world of Pandora’s Box. My story, “Agony in the Dark,” will help bridge the gap between that novel and the upcoming sequel, Hope’s War.

10557505_720808297985703_134042956122729818_oThe second collection is Mammoth Monster Mayhem edited by my buddy Ed Russell. It’s a collection of giant monster stories, so you know I had to jump at it. My story is entitled, “Defying Scylla,” and follows three young siblings as they try to escape their ruined city while being pursued by a giant beast purported to be a god. Unfortunately, Ed is scrambling to get it done, and there’s no guarantee it’ll be ready by the convention. Keep your fingers crossed!

I’m only cosplaying for one day this year. When will it be? Who will I be? Come find out!

(Wow. That’s a lot of links and multimedia. Overwhelmed?)

SEE YOU AT THE BEST FOUR DAYS OF GAMING!

Bookmark and Share