Saturday, October 6, 2012

FACS Now Out on iBooks!

It's been a long time waiting, but my 3rd novel, Famous Adventurers Corresponcence School is now available for download as an e-book on the iBookstore!  You can now get FACS to read on your iPad, iPhone, or other compatable device!

I wrote the bulk of the novel during my first participation of National Novel Writing Month back in 2009, and I finished it up over a year ago.  Now, I've finally gotten it published as an e-book, and I'm very thrilled to add it to my growing list of novels. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Show or Tell

There's a little trope in storytelling known as 'informed attributes'.  It's when the story explains to the reader/viewer/listener subjective definitions of a character in the story instead of demonstrating such definitions through the storytelling.  In short, it's when the story (or a character in the story) says that the princess is arrogant or that the vagabond is hilarious, rather than showing those characters to be so through their own words and actions.

Informed attributes are almost always to be avoided by writers, and yet sometimes they are incredibly hard to resist.  The standard rule of thumb when crafting a narrative is "Show, don't tell", but it can be so much easier for the writer to just mention to the reader that the the little orphan girl is clever, rather than trying to contrive a scene to demonstrate her cleverness and hope that the reader catches the insight on their own. 

For secondary and background characters, it is sometimes unavoidable to resort to informed attributes.  In some cases, it can be necessary to simply tell the reader information about the character, and when this information is not subjective, (i.e. that they are tall, or strong, or have a booming voice), it is perfectly reasonable to add such things to a narrative description of the character in order to help the reader paint a mental portrait of them.  Even the subjective descriptions of a character are acceptable, so long as such descriptions of them are coming from another character in the story, so that it's their own opinion of that character which they are voicing, and not the iron-clad truth that it would be if it was the Narrative Voice of Absolute Fact proclaiming that the scientist was as brilliant as Einstein.

Showing or telling of a character's attributes is just another narrative land mine to be navigated as a writer stumbles his or her way through their story.  It can seem so much quicker and easier just to mention what a character is like to the reader, rather than taking time and energy away to contrive a situation where that character is shown to be how you created them.  Still, such clunky little diversions in the tale can sometimes grow into gems of their own, and you never know what you might learn about all of the characters involved, and of the writer's own perceptions of them.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Working Covers

Here's a look at the current versions for the covers of my next two novels, due out in the next few weeks.  Famous Adventurers Correspondence School has been about for a couple of years, but I'm finally getting the opportunity to publish it as an e-book in the very near future.  The hardest part about creating the cover was assembling the necessary props, including a lengthy search for a grappeling hook - I looked around locally, at yard sales, curiosity shops and the karate mart, but in the end, I had to call on the random item wizards at

The other book, a novella based off of the popular web series Voyage Trekkers, is still in progress, but will hopefully be done in time to cap off the series' big fan fiction competition wrapping up at the end of September.  Nathan Blackwell, the series' writer/director/producer, was the mastermind behind this particular cover.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Maps of The Empty Sea

Back to The Empty Sea for a bit, I thought I'd show a few maps and pictures I made in my writing notes in order to flesh out some of the many locations from that book.

I might show a few more later on, and perhaps soon, a few illustrations for the book by the talented cover artist, Gerren Rabideau!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Coming up with Voyage Trekkers

Well, the secret is out that I'm working on a Voyage Trekkers novella, to be released as an e-book this fall.  For those who don't know, Voyage Trekkers is a sci-fi comedy web series I've been a part of since its inception, and it's first season successfully premiered last summer.  Thusfar, it has picked up a lot of positive reaction and production of the second season is well underway, and looks to knock season 1 out of the stars!

In the meantime, there are other VT related features and events that have and will-yet come out before season 2 premiers.  Among them has been a series of multi-day interactive Choose Your Own Adventures on Facebook, starring the Voyage Trekkers crew, where followers can vote from a list of multiple options, what will happen next in the tale each day.  The following day, the story continues based on which of the multiple choice options won the most votes. 

I've been writing each of the Choose Your Own Adventures stories, including the fourth installment coming up next month, as well as several other 'bonus' content for the web series, including the 'Incident on Zaltara' series of mini-sodes, the extended 4-part radio play, and various other projects and appearances in and around the Phoenix area. 

Right now, I'm shamefully neglecting my editing of The Empty Sea in order to write a short novella about the Voyage Trekkers characters as they scramble to survive a harrowing novella-length adventure!  In the story, the crew of the GSV Remarkable is tasked with evacuating a small colony following the untimely death of their queen.  A rival colony is using an obscure provision in their treaty to conquer them, because the queen's only heir happens to be a young prince, who is ineligible to rule the matriarchal society.  But perhaps the courage and cleverness of Capt. Sunstrike, Dr. Rena, and Cdr. Powell can find a way to save the Prince and his lost colony, and learn to love again!

I'm going to be writing this novella for the next few weeks, but once it's done, it'll be back to the editing mines, as I ready The Other Side of the Gate's Second Edition and The Empty Sea for publishing, probably around the same time that the Voyage Trekkers book comes out.  Back to work!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Beyond the Stars!

Cover Photo

Along with my novel writing, I have been a long-time member of a Phoenix-based film company called Squishy Studios, and over the past year and a half, we've been busy with our latest project: a sci-fi comedy web series about the worst starship crew in the galaxy!

The series is called Voyage Trekkers, and the first season of webisodes came out last summer.  It's been a big hit with many crowds, including at the Phoenix Comicon back in May.  The episodes, which generally run between 2 and 5 minutes in length, are about the various misadventures of the inept, but mostly well-meaning crew of the Galactic Union starship Remarkable.  Capt. Jack T. Sunstrike is as bold and daring as he is unqualified for command, while his not-so-trusty first officer, Cdr. Powell is largely indifferent towards his own ineptitude.  The clever and capable Dr. Rena meanwhile, is constantly frustrated by her oddball fellow officers, as well as by the disaster that frequently strikes when she tries to do the right thing.  Along with their much put-upon alien crewmember Lt. Jayda, the crew of the Remarkable gallavant around the galaxy, demonstrating again and again, their uncanny ability to make a bad situation worse!

I've worked a great deal as a writer on Voyage Trekkers, including the first season episode "Formal Charges", where the Captain must reprimand Dr. Rena following yet another diplomatic mishap.  I have also written several of the official 'expanded universe' additions to the Voyage Trekkers world, including a 4-part radio play and several Facebook-based 'Choose Your Own Adventures'-style stories.  I also have a couple of guest apperances on the show, including Sunstrike's arch-enemy from a bygone sci-fi era, General Kang!

Production of Season Two of the series is well underway, and is going to make the first season look like a flaming pile of space dung!  For one thing, we'll finally get to see the vaunted Remarkable in action, flying through space and parking in planetary orbits and such.  Lots of high adventure and action, and it's still going to be funnier than ever.  Seriously, like a big old burning pile of space dung ...

Over the course of the summer, while I'm editing my various books for impending e-book release, I'm also going to be writing a new novella based on the adventures of this inauspicious crew.  Expect for periodic updates on its progress in the weeks to come!  And don't forget to check out Voyage Trekkers Season One and like us on Facebook, because we're really kind of attention sponges and it's your enduring affection that drives us ever forward!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Empty Sea finished!

Well, after almost two years, I've finally finished the first draft of The Empty Sea, the sequel to my previous book, The Other Side of the Gate!  I'm still going to be spending the next several months editing and revising it, but thusfar, it's on track to be published as an e-book sometime this fall.

In addition, there will be a number of other books which will also be released as e-books, including a new edition of The Other Side of the Gate, including some great new cover art.  I also plan on putting out a tablet version of my previously-mentioned work, Famous Adventurers Correspondence School over the course of the summer, as well as an entirely new book based on the Squishy Studios web series Voyage Trekkers, which will also be out in a few months. 

I'll be speaking more about my previous and future work on Voyage Trekkers in later posts, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the very popular first season of the sci-fi comedy online series about the worst starship crew in the galaxy.

My entry into the e-book publishing world should make for a very busy second-half of the year, and hopefully allow more people to enjoy my various novels.  In the meantime, I'm very excited about the results of my last several months of writing, and I'm looking forward to getting TES ready to come out, alongside its predicessor, very soon. 

Stay tuned for further updates in the weeks and months to come...