For a change of pace for my readers…Fryeburg Maine & NaNoWriMo!

A longtime friend of ours from our old home in the mountains has released a  second book in a series that starts during the Revolutionary War Era.

The Fryeburg Chronicles is set in rural Fryeburg, Maine. June O’Donal has lived there with her family for many years and you can see how much she loves it through her writing.

Book One: The Amazing Grace, published in June of 2011, is set during the Revolutionary War.

Book Two: A Secret and a Promise takes place from 1792 to 1806.

Both are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble & Xulon Press.

So for anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction…go there! Buy them! Read!

A day and a half to go til National Novel Writing Month. 50,000 Words in 30 Days.

I am NOT ready. I have a plan, but haven’t finished my outline yet…

As a NON- Seat-of-the-pants Writer, this makes me verrry nervous.

But here is my plan: Write…Really Fast! And A Lot! Whew! Okay here’s the REAL plan: The One year out of Six that I finished 50K I chose 10 empty chapters and wrote until I had 5,000 words in each. I think that 50K is too vague a number for me. It might as well be a million. But just five thousand? That seems to be a chunk I can wrap my brain around.

I am going to try it again this month. I may take two unfinished sections from Dagger (Book 2) and wrap them up then take 8 from Book 3 and hammer them out. I have some details to wrangle but, as it is the 31st, they will just have to be fixed on the other side of November.

I will try to update here weekly with progress,  maybe with some ranting and screaming, maybe with some raw footage of Book 3.

Wish me luck! Going into radio silence until December.

To all the Insane Authors joining me: Godspeed, Wordsmiths!!

 

 

Well, lookee what we have here…

I found this link to a site in the UK listing HUNTSMAN for paperback. I assume it goes through Createspace, but it’s the first I’ve found for anything beside the Amazon overseas sites so I was tickled!

Book Depository.

So, let me list a few others:

iTunes, Sony Readers, Kobo Readers.

And remember, I have a $2.00 off Coupon Code (G8EG4CX2) for the paperback version of HUNTSMAN at Createspace!

In other news…I am giving National Novel Writing Month a try again. I must must obey the exhortations of my soul!

Or…I am a Masochist! I am not sure which.

The way I figure it…the more I write the better and November’s contest of attempting 50,000 words in 30 days is a good spur. I plan to put a good sized hole in Book Three of the Hunted Mage Trilogy…

I will keep this blog posted with updates once a week and hope to have a link to a widget that will show my word count progress.

If anyone has any ideas to keep me on target post a reply.

Interview with Author Karina Fabian…

Karina Fabian is an award-winning fantasy, science fiction and horror author, whose books make people laugh, cry or think—sometimes all three. Check out her latest at http://fabianspace.com

See my Book Review of “I Left My Brains in San Francisco” here.

Q: You took a different approach in I Left My Brains in San Francisco in that your protagonist, Neeta Lyffe, isn’t the big hero of the day. Can you explain?

A: Neeta lives in Los Angeles, but is in San Francisco at an exterminator convention when there’s a huge zombie infestation that covers both San Francisco and Richmond, California, which is across the bay. In addition to city-wide attacks, there is a huge, coordinated zombie attack on a refinery. So zombies on a massive scale in an area Neeta isn’t familiar with, but where she’s surrounded by experts in field of the zombie extermination. It didn’t make sense for her to come charging in and take over.

While Neeta does have the brains and experience to coordinate a large-scale defense against the zombies, she is by nature a doer. She’d much rather be in the fray, chopping off the heads of the undead than in a command center coordinating and worrying about her friends. Plus, you have to admit that chopping off zombie heads is more exciting to read about. In addition, she didn’t have access to all the pieces of the mystery to put everything together, but others did, so I let them take the natural lead.

Besides, I really liked the idea of the teamwork, multiple heroes each contributing to the success of the mission. That’s how it works in real life.

Q: But Neeta was so kick-butt in Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator! Isn’t this a demotion for her?

A: I think it’s a more realistic character progression, actually. Neeta never wanted glory; she just wants to do her job as an exterminator and keep people safe. She also has a lot of baggage she’s working through, part of which was learning to depend on others.

But never fear! She gets a lot of opportunities to kick zombie butt—or more to the point, slice zombie heads.

Q: Tell us about some of the other heroes in the book, then.

A: Two of my favorites are Tess and Earnest. Tess, I think, is a little like me, in that she does not consider herself anything special and certainly not strong or heroic. She fangirls over zombie exterminators, yet is sure she could never compare to one. In the end, however, she’ll put herself in danger to save her friends. Earnest, on the other hand, has been living to be a hero. He reads books on how to be a hero (and takes a lot of crap for it, too) and in the end, his dream comes true.

Q: The big zombie crisis at the end , however, is solved by teamwork?

A: Yes! Scientists will piece together the purpose of the infestation (which is really an attack), and Storm Mattherson, the pompous commander of Richmond’s Z-Mat department, coordinates the hundreds of exterminators battling zombies. Then, you have heroes like Tess and Earnest handling things on a local level, and of course Neeta and her partner Ted are in the fray taking out zombies. There are lots of smaller interactions, like with Marcel. Marcel is kind of a slimy character who created a video on home zombie defense to make a buck, but that video gives an elderly woman enough knowledge that she can save a young woman who has a key piece of information the scientists need in order to determine the end goal of the zombie attack in time to alert Richmond.

Q: What about the next book, then: teamwork or clear hero?

A: I guess I’ll have to wait and see—the next Zombie Exterminator novel with Neeta will take place in a casino, and I may do another one based on Marcel and his season of Zombie Death Extreme, the reality TV show he won which led him to make the video. However, the next story is “Shambling in a Winter Wonderland,” and will have Neeta and Ted as clear heroes. It goes live Nov 19 at http://skizombies.karinafabian.com, and is to raise funds for Operation Homestead.

 

PS from Karina: “Are You the Next Zombie Idol?” singing contest! Damnation Books and I are looking for someone to sing the theme song I wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco. I have the words and the tune; but we need a singer. We are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book. Hurry! Contest ends Nov. 1st. The details are at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html

My Book Review of “I Left My Brains in San Francisco”

I have been working my way through “I Left My Brains in San Francisco” as part of Karina Fabian‘s October Blog Tour for the release of Book Two of her Neeta Lyffe series.

I am both pleased and dismayed!

I have a growing fascination for Zombies (Hey! Who doesn’t? Don’t you judge me!) and the Neeta Lyffe series has an interesting take on them: If the world DOESN’T end…who’s going to clean up this mess?

Zombie Exterminators! Terminex ™…for the Undead. It all makes perfect sense and Karina adds a level of wit and sarcasm that makes it entertaining as well.

What Jasper Fforde did for literary classics with Thursday Next and Douglas Adams did for alien invasions with Arthur Dent; Karina has done with Neeta for zombies. She’s made them fun!

Here’s a bit that tickled me during Neeta Lyffe’s interview with a blogger:

 “Just since 2023, when the United States first started tracking statistics, zombie sightings have been cut in half. How do you feel about working yourself out of your job?”

 Neeta laughed. Didn’t she and Ted just have this conversation?

 “Actually, it’s closer to sixty percent. Really, that’s been thanks to preventative efforts like mandatory spine severing before burial. Zombie exterminators only handle the problem after it’s become a problem…”

It’s the work-a-day world aspect of the conversation above that amused me.

“I Left My Brains in San Francisco” is interspersed with bits of documentary, radio broadcast and video blog clips that help prevent an info-dump in between scenes with the main characters. Those short chapters help fill out the world Karina is building without slowing down the pace.

There are revelations about the cause, effect and possible curing of zombie-ism but no spoilers today!

Well…maybe just one…The Love Triangle. A strangely passive-aggressive Love Triangle that leave me wanting to knock some heads together with cartoon-like coconut sounds.

And yes, despite the massive zombie assault they get this mess all sorted out.

Neeta is suffering from a little post-traumatic stress after the events of Book One and is truly not on her A-game for a bit during these goings on. She has taken a hit to the confidence and plays the Passive side in this triangle and is waiting for someone to make their move.

Ted Hacker, Neeta’s ‘partner’ takes both a passive AND aggressive role in our affaire du’coeur. He has done everything he can to make his feelings known to Neeta…everything but actually saying it!

His words to her during an argument are perfect to describe Ted: “I’m messy. I’m the raw footage, the cherry-flavored goo, the stuff that never fits back in the box. Maybe you need to think about that.”

Marcel Chelemas is our Just-Plain-Aggressive side of the triangle. Winner of the Zombie Death Extreme reality show (the Bayou Season) this full-of-himself charmer has set his sights on Neeta as a trophy and does everything he can to take her and set her on his shelf. (He has infomercials advertising his Zombie Survival Training Course…I shouldn’t have to go any further with this! Infomercials!?)

But I will…tomorrow. I have an interview with Author Karina Fabian about the book and hope you will come again!

Find I Left My Brains in San Francisco at:

Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727643

Amazon:

http://amzn.to/Nzm01L (paper)

http://amzn.to/OBBmkL (Kindle)

More about it at http://zombiedeathextreme.com

PS “Are You the Next Zombie Idol?” singing contest! Damnation Books and Karina are looking for someone to sing the theme song she wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco. She has the words and the tune; but needs a singer. They are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book. Hurry! Contest ends Nov. 1st. The details are at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html

 

On tomorrow’s agenda…

I am parts 20 and 21 of a Blog Tour!!

Yes, exclamation points at the end of that sentence. Since becoming a blogger, there are still those days where I can say: ‘First!’ and this is one. I have never been part of a blog tour before and I am kinda excited to host Karina Fabian and her newest novel in the Zombie Exterminator Series “I Left My Brains in San Francisco”.

Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem) and a Global eBook Award for Best Horror (Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), Karina Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her–and her fans–amused. Nuns working in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches writing and book marketing seminars online.

This combines my love of reading with my quickly growing fascination with Zombie Apocalypse.

Tomorrow I post my Review of “I Left My Brains in San Francisco”.

And on Sunday I have an interview with Karina about the book and what’s next for Neeta Lyffe!

Find Karina at: (Seriously…go FIND her!)

Website:  http://fabianspace.comhttp://dragoneyepi.nethttp://zombiedeathextreme.com

Blog:  http://fabianspace.blogspot.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/karina.fabian

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/KarinaFabian

Google +:  https://plus.google.com/103660024891826015212

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10981939-karina-fabian

Just another instance where words become Magical…

Roots of a fallen tree…or the Gateway to the Naughty Queen of Mushrooms Land?

My wife , daughter and I were on a few ‘practice hikes’ in town to prepare for an outing to Mt. Monadnock last week when my daughter starts telling us a Story.

I could tell it was a ‘Story’ instead of a story from the way she spoke and walked while she was telling it. (If you are unsure what I mean ask any kid about their favorite superhero and listen carefully. There is s definite capital S in a child’s telling)

The Story:  There is a good Queen in the forest. The Queen of Leaves and apparently the Queen of Mushrooms, the naughtiest of the forest queens, has been stealing the Leaf Crown and other items of a magical nature from the Leaf Queen!

There are other naughty queens: Pine Cone, Pine Needle and Bramble who aid Queen Mushroom in her quest to control the forest. They have an undetermined number of fierce lions at their command as well.

The Tree Hall of the Mushroom Queen

But that’s okay! Because the Queen of Leaves has the Good Queens of Flowers, Sticks and Grass to help HER. And there are Scary Dragons on their side.

I have about 15 minutes of her beautiful words recorded on my cell phone from that practice hike. My wife and I were held captive by the narration as we walked.

Everything we passed came into play during this epic tale of the forest realm: the mossy traps the Mushroom Queen set on the rocks to make us slip, the face someone had painted on a barkless part of one tree that became the guide to steer us in the right direction, and finally…the Key!

I didn’t see anyone else out there on our little trek, but at the end of our path, clean and shiny at the crossroads lay a Key. But it was not just ANY key. I when I asked my Story-Teller, she determined that it must be the Key to the Mushroom Queen’s Treasure Box. Well…now we had a Problem!

I was due into work in under an hour and we had just been presented with a Quest. Knowing, as we did, that the Mushroom Queen had been stealing the Leaf Wand and Crown and many other Magical Items from the Queen of Leaves all summer we had some serious choices to make.

Clearly, we could NOT join the Mushroom Queen in her naughtiness. So we had to find her lair and use this Key to steal the Magical Items back!

A Watery Lair!

She asked the Tree Guide about it and learned that the naughty Queen’s hideout was very far away. We decided to find it on Mt. Monadnock!

These photos are all from that Adventure. The ground was covered with red, orange and yellow maple leaves that became Leaf Shields, a special gift from the Queen of Leaves to protect us on the journey! Very kind of her!

I have been mulling on our adventure for a week now trying to get to the blog and send it out into the world. Because I am amazed at the Power of Story. Whatever happened along our path, this girl weaved it into her tale with complete faith that This Is How It Is! My Author’s Brain was thrilled with her creativity.

Armed and Dangerous!
Creeping in for a closer look!

(There was only a time of two when I offered a suggestion when she seemed at a loss for ideas. This was her Story and we were along for the ride!)

In the end, it became too Real. After this        ===>

our courage failed us and we decided to just let the Queen of Leaves know exactly where this naughty Lair was located.  She, after all, has many Scary Dragons and who better to attack a castle than a squad of flying reptiles. Discretion is the better part of valor.

My Small Bard was very tired after all this adventuring and we turned back with no shame!

“Adventures make one late for dinner!” ~Bilbo Baggins

**UPDATE** I got an e-mail from an author’s blog that I follow: Writing is Hard Work ! I loved it! Roger has a fledgling WordSmith as well.  Our sprouts watch us and they learn from what we do.  How easy is it to forget that? Happy Writing to your daughter Roger! I feel your pride!

 

New 4 Star Review For Huntsman Paperback!

4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale Exceptionally Told, October 10, 2012

Michael did an excellent job weaving this tale. The characters are so well rounded and compelling they drag the reader along as they stumble through their troubles. I find myself unable to decide who to root for, but I desperately want to know what happens to all of them.

The book is divided into three parts, with many years passing by between acts. I found myself a bit confused with certain details at the beginning of new sections, which interrupted the easy flow of the story. But these were mere bumps in an otherwise smooth ride that is a fantastic tale.

Any fantasy enthusiast must add Huntsman to their collection. I know I have and will definitely buy the other titles to complete the set.

I simply can’t wait to see what happens next.