Progress on City of Sand

Blechh!!!  I’m now trying a different approach with this book, starting with more action than in my (many) previous attempts.  However, this means I need a lot of flashbacks, which are tricky to handle in terms of flow and tension.  Blech!!! X2.

The only good thing about writing so many things I will never keep for the final version is that I know the south of my imaginary land so well, I could conduct tours.  I’d have to have disclaimers though, for I’ve encountered many dangers in my own journeys.  The latest is the pitkiller, a wolf-sized insect that hides at the bottom of a sand pit and ambushes anything that falls in.  I think it is based on an antlion I saw in China many years ago.  That thing was smaller but still scary.  Well, fellow travellers, if the pitkillers don’t get you, there are still snakes, desert panthers, slavers, and more.  And don’t forget: Vinir, Dorict, and Marick really came down here to look for demons.

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Print Copy of City of Masks Now Available

This past month, Tyche Books brought out the print copy of City of Masks.  It is graced by a beautiful cover and interior illustrations by the award-winning artist, Galen Dara.

In other news, City of Sand is beginning to come together, but needs a lot more work before I can send it to my publisher.

In other, other news, I am going to do Blue Pencil sessions at the Creative Ink Festival in May.  If you are attending, sign up for an editing session with published authors who will look at the beginning of your novel, short story, poem, etc., and give you amazingly useful feedback.

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Scary Stories in Time for Halloween

My story, “The Talking Box,” which involves magical boxes, greed, stupidity, and self-vivisection, is out now in EAB Publishing’s, Midnight Circus: In the Age of Horrors, just in time for Halloween!



You can get it for Kindle as well.  I’ve been told it’s creepy.  I certainly hope so.

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VCON Wrap Up

The last day of VCON went by quickly.  The panels on YA Dystopias and Good Villains were fun, and a friend and I were able to hear C.C. Humphreys and other panelists explain what makes a good science fiction tv show.  The best thing of course is how the nerves subside when you realize you’ve completed your last panel.

On the whole, I think VCON is getting better every year.  It is a shame that Spider Robinson couldn’t attend, but I understand he is rescheduled for next year.  I hope the convention continues to grow in popularity and talent.  It is a great place to network and learn.

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Day One of VCON Panels

Three panels today, all very different.  The first was with Julie McGalliard and Joe Haldeman on killing off characters.  It was fun.  There was a big audience and good questions.  I think we all came down on the side of killing characters only if the story needed it.  Gratuitous assassination was frowned upon.

The second panel was on humour in YA and Middle-Grade fiction.  The other panelists were Danika Dinsmore, Jennifer Ellis, and Jennifer Lott.  The audience was smaller, but seemed interested in a discussion on the differences between age groups and how each appreciated humour.

The third panel was one I had been dreading: The Hugo Awards analysis.  I had been worried that some puppy supporters would make things awkward, but we were preaching to the anti-slate choir in this room.  Co-panelists T.G. Shepherd, Jason Bourget, Dana Korra’ti, and Julie McGalliard all brought up important points about the puppies’ lack of logic.  Dana and I competed for the most over prepared in terms of documents spread out over the desk, but she won.  All in all, it was a big transfer of information but no drama.

Tomorrow’s panels are YA Dystopias and Good Villains.  Report to follow.

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First Report from VCON

Well, I didn’t do much today at VCON, but I had fun.  Since I purchased a higher-level membership, I was invited to a lunch with some of the Guests of Honour and the convention’s organizers.  All were charming and welcoming to a stranger in their midst, though the excellent vegetarian dim sum probably put everyone in a good mood.  I had a great conversation with Rick Sternbach and Eric Choi.  Rick did a lot of the design work for the Star Trek franchise from STNG on, and Eric is an editor and author who has worked at NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.  The talk ranged from old movies to the popularity of The Hunger Games among teenage girls.  Amazing time.

After lunch, I went to the hotel and registered, then looked in on the art room and the vendor’s room.  Both looked like they would be an exercise in self control.  Lynn Fahnestalk is back with her whimsical robots made of household and workshop materials. I posted a picture of mine after the last VCON.  It would be helpful if everyone else bought one so I wouldn’t be tempted to get it a friend.

Tomorrow is my first day of panels.  The nerves are starting now.

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New Cover for City of Demons

Since Galen Dara’s cover for City of Masks was so wonderfully creepy, my publisher, Tyche Books, asked her to do one for the first book in the series, City of Demons.  Here it is:


No, that’s not disturbing.  Not at all.  I’ve got to start writing books about puppies.

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VCon Is Coming Up and It’s Panel Time!

Vancouver’s science fiction, fantasy, and gaming conference is next week, October 2-4, and I’m on panels.

Sat. 10:00 A.M.     Killing off Characters (with Guest of Honour, Joe Haldeman)

Sat. 1:00 P.M.       Humour in Teen and Middle Grade Fiction

Sat. 5:00 P.M.      Sad Puppies and Happy Kittens: The Hugo Situation

Sun. 10:00 A.M.    Good Villains: Why Do We Love The Bad Guy?

Sun. 3:00 P.M.      YA Dystopias: Why Do Teens Want the Dark Stuff?

It’s a great event with a well-stocked vendor’s room and many more interesting panels.  Go to VCon to see more.

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An Un-Sale of a Short Story, etc.

I wrote a horror short story a while back called “The Talking Box,” and it has been accepted by Midnight Circus Magazine, a literary, themed quarterly.  It seem like an interesting publication, so please feel free to check it out and maybe read my very creepy story.

On other writing fronts, I have sent off Luck, my odd science fiction comedy novel, for its initial rejection by the cold, cold world.  I can hardly wait.  The sequel to City of Masks is still germinating.  I admit to having trouble finding the proper “voice” for the story.  Voice is the one thing I have to get right before I start.  If I don’t feel comfortable with how it sounds, nothing else works.  Plot, character, magic, all these things can be changed, but the voice has to be constant.

In writing adjacent news, I hope to be at VCon on October 2nd to 4th in Richmond, just south of Vancouver.  With any luck, I’ll be on some panels, or just heckling from the audience.  It’s fun.  You should go.

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The Hugo’s Won

Well, after a nail-biting ceremony, the Puppies of various types were banished to that outer darkness called the internet, and sanity prevailed.  ‘No Award’ is not pretty, nor very useful except in circumstances as bizarre as these (whole categories filled with–in my opinion–low quality work).

So the Hugo’s won, the way Mel Gibson wins in a movie, after much torture and bleeding.  We can only hope there won’t be a sequel.

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