Thursday, August 28, 2014

300 publications and counting

With the latest review I did for Buzzy Mag going live today, my total number of publications has now reached 300. That seems like a lot because it is. That is 300 times that I sent in some writing, someone thought it was good enough to put it in their publication, and pay me for it.

As a young writer I was always fascinated by prolific people like Asimov and John Creasy, now I'm becoming one. It is strange to think that a few years ago writing was a cathartic exercise that brought in a few bucks here and there, and now it is looking more and more likely that I can step into the full-time writing shoes in the next 6 months to a year. It is an odd feeling hitting this level of success after having so many years of struggle. Of course success means different things to different people. I'm still a peon in the grand scheme of the publishing world but I enjoy it and being able to pay the bills is always a good feeling.

As far as future plans go, I'm going to keep doing what I do and keep trying to break into new markets. I'm going to keep sending my stories and novels out (though I don't get to write new ones as often as I like) and I'm going to keep reviewing things (which I really enjoy doing). I've gotten way out of my comfort zone this year writing about things like data storage. The experience taught me that I could write about all sorts of things, all the while learning as I go.

For the new writers or ones that haven't been selling as much as they would like, I don't have any secrets to share. It is the same old same old: work hard, send your stuff out, learn from rejection, and read as much as you can.

Other things of interest in my life:

There are a few other successes that I would like to talk about. My son, Dylan, was born 10 weeks early. At first it was a big scare, but he has been doing great. His stay in the hospital made him the almost million-dollar-baby. But the writing money has helped and we plan on having a big chunk of our debt knocked out in the next month or two. And we have been able to upgrade the crap shack some, making it more efficient and saving on our energy bills a bit.

With that comes a decision I've been putting off: Without my day job I'll be able to get more writing in and break into more markets, but the day job does come with some benefits that will be lost switching over to a full-time writer. So I have to decide if I want to stay where I’m at, where it's comfortable, or take a big risk to move ahead.

And finally, I had a bit of a health scare a few years ago and started to take care of myself a little better. Last year I got into the best shape of my adult life and found out that I had an inguinal hernia that had to be repaired. As that was healing I got sloppy with eating and wasn't able to do anything. My son showed up early, which didn't help me eat any better. And when everything seemed like it was getting back on track I found out I had another hernia on the other side. So now, almost a year after the first surgery and six months after the second, I'm just about back into the shape I was in before the surgery.  In total I dropped about 70lbs. and am feeling much better for it. My health is improved quite a bit and I hope I can maintain it better, and that no more surgeries pop up.

In the coming years I aim to maintain or increase what I've started.

Tower Lord review up at Buzzy Mag

The good people at Buzzy Mag have published another review I wrote for them. The review is for Anthony Ryan's new novel, Tower Lord. The first two paragraphs and a link are below. Check it out and feel free to share:

The reluctant hero archetype is used so often in popular culture nowadays it has almost become clich? There is no end in sight of this archetype but it doesn’t have to be bad. In the hands of a talented writer the reluctant hero becomes more relatable and the reader roots that much harder. However it would take quite a talent to fill not only one novel but a trilogy with reluctant heroes we care about.

After seeing the defeat of King Janus’s dream, the greatest fighter of all time, Vaelin Al Sorna, vows never to fight again. Vaelin’s wish to live a peaceful life is short lived as the king’s heir appoints him to the northern tower of the Unified Realm as their new Tower Lord. Before Vaelin can settle in as Tower Lord he learns that the Volarians have invaded the Unified Realm. But the Volarians hundreds of thousands of men aren’t the real threat. The people believe Vaelin could kill them all single-handedly. The real threat is known only as “The Ally,” and he is after more than just the destruction of the Unified Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna finds he must pick up the sword once again and sing the blood song. (more...)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mr. Mercedes Review up at Buzzy Mag

The good people at Buzzy Mag have published another review I wrote for them. The review is for Stephen King's new novel, Mr. Mercedes. The first two paragraphs and a link to the review are below. Check it out and feel free to share it:

Retirement is going to kill us all. Or at least there seems to be a strong correlation between retiring and then dying at some point afterward. For some, retirement means taking away the purpose and reason of their life. Once that’s gone they start looking for a reason to die. But there are still things out there lingering in pre-retirement lives. Things that can cause one to come out of retirement, give a new reason for living, or begin killing again.

On a foggy morning hundreds of people stood in line outside of a jobs fair. Times were hard for this town and these people needed whatever they could get. As they pressed in close to fight off the elements, a large Mercedes came barreling through the middle of them, killing some and crippling others. The driver was never found. Months later, one of the best detectives the city had, Bill Hodges, is sitting in his living room trying to enjoy his retirement. His father’s gun keeps calling out to him but before he can answer, a letter from the Mercedes killer falls through the mail slot. The Mercedes Killer was one of the few cases Hodges couldn’t close before leaving the force. Hodges all of a sudden found a reason to go on. And the killer has found new reasons to kill. (more...)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Traitor's Blade review up at New Myths

The good people at New Myths have published another review I wrote for them. The review is for Sebastien de Castell's debut novel, Traitor's Blade. There is a link below, check it out and feel free to share it:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Echopraxia Review up at Perihelion SF

The good people at Perihelion Science Fiction have published another review I wrote for them. The review is for Peter Watts upcoming novel, Echopraxia. There is a link below the picture: