Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Quotes of the Week

 “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” 
-Stephen King

“Writing is an act of discovering what you think and what you believe.” 
-Dan Pink

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” 
-Thomas Mann

“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.” 
-W. Somerset Maugham

“In short, you may actually be writing only two or three hours a day, but your mind, in one way or another, is working on it twenty-four hours a day — yes, while you sleep — but only if some sort of draft or earlier version exists. Until it exists, writing has not really begun.” 
-John McPhee

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” 
-E. L. Doctorow

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” 
-Elmore Leonard

“Your job is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas you collect, the more you can choose from to be influenced by.” 
-Austin Kleon

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” 
-André Gide

“Reading good nonfiction is an opportunity “to watch somebody reasonably bright, but also reasonably average, pay far closer attention and think at far more length about all sorts of different stuff than most of us have a chance to in our daily lives.” 
-David Foster Wallace

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

It's Book Blurbin Time!

I just sent my latest novel to the editor, and my next task is to write the book blurb.  

Hook the Reader: Start with a captivating opening line that grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to know more.

Highlight the Main Character(s): Introduce the main characters and give a glimpse into their personalities or motivations. This helps the reader connect with the story.

Convey the Conflict: Clearly convey the central conflict or dilemma of the story. This creates intrigue and makes the reader want to find out how it is resolved.

Keep it concise: Keep the blurb short and to the point, focusing on the most important aspects of the story. Avoid giving away too much information or spoilers.


By following these tips, I hope to create a compelling book blurb that entices readers to pick up my book and dive into the world I have created.

Friday, January 26, 2024

5 Sci-Fi Tropes readers love but are done badly over and over...

I submit these tropes that I have read in books and seen in movies. We LOVE them if done well but HATE them when they are not done well.

  • Alien Invasions: While alien invasions can provide thrilling storylines, they have become a predictable and overused trope in science fiction. It's time to explore new and original ideas beyond the one-dimensional invasion narrative.
  • Time Travel Paradoxes: Time travel is a fascinating concept, but its portrayal in science fiction often leads to confusing and convoluted plotlines. Avoiding the cliché of time travel paradoxes can allow for more coherent and engaging storytelling. Done right, they can be my favorite.
  • Mad Scientists: The character of the mad scientist has been portrayed countless times in science fiction, creating a repetitive and stereotypical image. It's time to move away from this trope and explore more nuanced and diverse representations of scientific minds.
  • Dystopian Futures: While dystopian futures have been a staple of science fiction, they have become overused and predictable. Exploring different futures and more optimistic and utopian visions of the future can bring freshness to the genre.
  • Artificial Intelligence Takeovers: The idea of artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence and taking control has been explored extensively in science fiction. While it can be thought-provoking, it has become a two-dimensional trope that lacks originality. Exploring alternative narratives of human-AI cooperation can provide new perspectives.

--What is your favorite or least favorite Trope?

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Best Free Marketing Ideas for Indie Authors

Are you an indie author looking to promote your book without breaking the bank?  In this blog post, I will share some of the best free marketing ideas that will help you increase your book's visibility and reach a wider audience. 

I will begin by saying, the best marketing is to write a book that doesn't suck. Have a great cover and great blurb. Then repeat. A lot!

1. Leverage the Power of Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest ,and even LinkedIn offer a great opportunity to connect with readers and promote your book for free. Create author profiles on these platforms and share engaging content related to your book, such as teasers, behind-the-scenes insights, and snippets. Use relevant hashtags to reach a broader audience.

2. Start a Blog (like this one!)

Starting a blog is an excellent way to showcase your writing skills and connect with readers. Create a blog and write engaging posts related to your book's genre or themes. You can also share updates about your writing process, book release dates, and upcoming events. Engage with your readers by responding to comments and encourage them to share your blog posts.

3. Collaborate with Book Bloggers

Reach out to book bloggers and ask them to review your book or feature it on their blog. Many book bloggers are happy to promote indie authors and provide honest reviews. This can help generate buzz and attract new readers to your book.

4. Utilize Email Marketing

Building an email list is crucial for indie authors. Offer readers a free chapter or a short story in exchange for their email addresses. Send regular newsletters to your subscribers, sharing updates, book recommendations, and exclusive content. ConvertKit and Mailchimp are popular email marketing tools that offer free plans for beginners.

5. Participate in Online Communities

Join online communities and forums related to your book's genre to connect with potential readers.

This is just fore starters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Quotes of the Week

William Gibson
"The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed." 
- William Gibson

"Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself." 
- Ray Bradbury

"The story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator'. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside." 
- J.R.R. Tolkien

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" 
- Isaac Asimov

"Science fiction is the literature of ideas that change the world." 
- Arthur C. Clarke

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." 
- Arthur C. Clarke

"A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return."
 - Ursula K. Le Guin

"The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space." 
- Carl Sagan

"The function of science fiction is not always to predict the future but sometimes to prevent it." 
- Frank Herbert

"Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it." 
- Lloyd Alexander

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Author Photos, Get a good one!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for authors, it could be worth even more. In the digital age where personal branding is paramount, having a captivating and professional author photo is no longer a mere accessory—it's a strategic tool that can enhance your credibility, connect with readers, and leave a lasting impression. So, let's dive into the importance of a remarkable author photo and why it's a must-have in your literary arsenal.

In the age of digital bookshelves and ever-expanding author platforms, an exceptional author photo is no longer an optional extra—it's a vital tool for success. It conveys trust, authenticity, and professionalism, leaving a lasting impression on readers. I know readers who will not buy a book based solely on the author's photo. So, take the time to invest in a remarkable author photo that reflects your brand, engages your audience, and sets you apart from the crowd. Remember, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but in the world of authorship, it has the power to inspire millions of readers to embark on a literary adventure with you.

--The photo is even more important when you are as ugly as me!

Saturday, January 20, 2024

SciFi Movie of the Week!

So much nostalgia is wrapped around this movie for me. 1977 was the Year of Star Wars and DAMNATION ALLEY!

--"All the dead are dead - and the living are dying."

Friday, January 19, 2024

The Hilarious Struggles of Penning Sci-Fi Masterpieces


Greetings, humans! Today, we gather to embark on a journey into the whimsical and sometimes bewildering world of science fiction writing. As a self-proclaimed expert on all things hilariously challenging, I'm here to share the absolute rollercoaster ride that is crafting mind-bending tales set in galaxies far, far away. So buckle up, grab your warp drives, and let's dive into the cosmic comedy of writing sci-fi!

1. Naming Conundrums:

Ah, the joy of naming characters, planets, and spaceships in the vast expanse of the universe! As a sci-fi writer, you find yourself concocting names that sound convincingly futuristic yet don't resemble a cat randomly walking across a keyboard. You may have characters like Zxyr'klorp or planets like Xultron-9. Just remember, readers should be able to pronounce them without sounding like they're choking on a fishbone! I, on the other hand, tend to use names like Dave, Cobb, Barcus, Jimbo, Jade, and Tom. 

2. The Technobabble:

Science fiction wouldn't be complete without a healthy dose of technobabble information dumps. It's a language only sci-fi readers truly understand. Who hasn't struggled to explain complex concepts like quantum entanglement, wormhole navigation, artificial gravity, AI, or the intricacies of a hyperdrive? And let's not forget the obligatory "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow" line, which solves everything. Just pray that your readers don't actually start believing you're a quantum physicist.

3. Time Travel Troubles:

Ah, the time travel paradoxes! I have a Time Travel novel planned this year. Writing about time travel inevitably leads to brain-melting confusion. Do your characters alter the past or create alternate timelines? Can they meet their past selves or will that cause a rift in the space-time continuum? And how do you explain it all in a way that doesn't make readers question their sanity? Time travel is like trying to untangle earphones after they've been in your pocket for ten minutes—frustratingly impossible.

4. Alien Encounters:

This one I have not Published. Yet. Watch for an upcoming anthology titled: FOREVER HOUSE. Creating extraterrestrial species is an otherworldly experience in itself. You can go the classic route with green-skinned humanoids or get wild with beings that communicate through interpretive dance. But be warned: writing alien dialogue can be as tricky as learning a new language. Can you imagine trying to decipher "Klaatu Verada Nicto!" without a universal translator? It's a linguistic puzzle that may leave you feeling more lost than an astronaut floating through the void.

5. Creative Worldbuilding:

Building an immersive sci-fi world is a delicate balance between scientific plausibility and artistic imagination. You want to create a universe that captivates readers without making them question the laws of physics. But hey, who needs realism when you can have floating cities, artificial-gravity sushi bars, and talking all-terrain-vehicles? As long as you have a consistent set of rules, you're free to let your imagination soar like a rocket ship fueled by pure quirkiness.


So there you have it, intrepid writers and sci-fi enthusiasts! The challenges of writing science fiction are as vast as the universe itself, but they come with a side-splitting dose of laughter as you write. Even if you kill millions of people on the first page of your first book (yes, I did that.) From navigating the treacherous seas of technobabble to tackling time travel paradoxes, every step in creating a sci-fi masterpiece is an adventure filled with joy, confusion and a whole lot of "what in the multiverse did I just write?"

So, my fellow cosmic readers and writers, keep your pens charged, your ideas flowing, and your sense of humor intact as you journey through the vibrant cosmos of sci-fi storytelling. The universe eagerly awaits your tales of wonder, absurdity, and the occasional alien stand-up routine. Happy writing, and may the force of laughter be with you! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

WAM - Weekly Accountability Meetings

The Writers Group I am a member of all read the book: The 12 Week Year.

Amazon Description:

Most organizations and individuals work in the context of annual goals and plans; a 12-month execution cycle. Instead, The 12 Week Year avoids the pitfalls and low productivity of annualized thinking. This book redefines your "year" to be 12 weeks long. In 12 weeks, there just isn't enough time to get complacent, and urgency increases and intensifies. The 12 Week Year creates focus and clarity on what matters most and a sense of urgency to do it now. In the end more of the important stuff gets done and the impact on results is profound.

  • Explains how to leverage the power of a 12-week year to drive improved results in any area of your life
  • Offers a how-to book for both individuals and organizations seeking to improve their execution

One of the parts of this book I like best is the Weekly Accountability Meeting (WAM). This is a scheduled gathering where individuals or teams come together to review progress, set goals, and hold each other accountable. We have found that Zoom is perfect for this. 

The purpose of a WAM is to provide a structured platform for discussing achievements, challenges, and action plans for the week ahead. Participants typically share updates on their tasks, projects, or personal goals, highlighting what they have accomplished and any obstacles they may have encountered. WAMs foster a sense of responsibility and commitment, as participants are encouraged to support and motivate one another. By regularly discussing progress and sharing goals, WAMs help individuals stay focused, track their performance, and make necessary adjustments to achieve desired outcomes. 

--I'll talk about my use of the 12-Week-Year in a  future post!

Friday, January 12, 2024

Friday, January 5, 2024


Blood Heretics is now on sale in Kindle, Hardback, Paperback, and Audio editions!

Tons of people have already purchased copies! Thank You!

Please take a minute and leave an honest review on Amazon. Even just a rating helps. Reviews activate the Amazon Algorithm! Reviews help with sales! It's a great thing you can do for an Indie Author!

Did I mention how great you look today?