Thursday, December 22, 2011


I am happy to announce that my werewolf book, Tamed, is now available for preorder. Following is the cover copy (short synopsis that appears on the back of the book for those who didn't know). I'd love to hear what you think of the premise and I'd love it even more if you gave the book a try. Tamed releases Jan. 26, 2012. It will also be available as an ebook for your nook or kindle.

Barnes and Noble

Werewolves are real.

And they make excellent pets.

Owning one of the legendary creatures is the latest fad. The WereHouse insists their werepets are loyal, docile, and 100% safe, but what happens when these gentle giants turn on their masters?

While on a routine EMS call, paramedic Christine Alt is attacked by a rogue werepet. She escapes with her life, but the encounter leaves her with more than just scars. As her body begins to change, she discovers the WereHouse is hiding a terrible secret, and they will stop at nothing to keep her from exposing them.

Tamed is a werewolf tale with a twist from the author of the The Light of Epertase trilogy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

J.S. Chancellor

Today my good friend J.S. Chancellor is hosting a Twitterfeed where she will be answering any questions you may have about her or her newest phenom of a book, Icarus. Use #icarus to join in on the fun. Just follow @Rhemalda or @jschancellor and ask away. Let's go join her and give her some love. She is a wonderful and talented writer.

Icarus is a vampire book that you must read. If the following description doesn't grab you, I don't know what will.

Book Description:
“Don’t get me wrong; immortality does have its perks. Take dieting for example—kind of hard to do when you’ve only got two choices: fresh blood and slightly less fresh blood. The media makes it all out to be glamorous. Romantic, even. But the books, movies and witty television shows have it wrong. Especially the ones that make a big to-do about not being wrong (you know, the ones that spell vampire Vampyr, like it’s original).

And don’t think for a second that I was turned in some amazing, soul-binding, body-meshing way either. I don’t think my libido is damaged enough to forget that kind of rendezvous. Though, to be honest, I don’t recall anything about it. As soon as you’re turned, as soon as anyone is turned, the powers that be rush in like witness protection agents and whisk you off, never to see your family or friends again. Your life changes in ways you never imagined that it could.

Like the fact that I was kidnapped last night. Totally didn’t see that coming. Not being the Covenant-level assassin that I am (did I mention that already? I didn’t get much of a choice in that either—the profession I mean). Oh, and get this … the creeps who grabbed me claim that my mentor/should-have-kept-it-professional boyfriend Trinity is the vampire equivalent to the anti-Christ.

Nice. And to think it’s only Tuesday.

But wait, it gets better. See, there is one fact about vampirism that everyone gets correct—our bodies can’t biologically process natural light. Past that, all I know is that if I don’t partake of my usual dose of Icarus every seven days (provided via injection by the powers that be), I’ll lose my existence as I know it. It allows me to bask in the sunlight, keeps us from exploding into flames and I’ve heard rumors that it’s what makes us immortal. You know, little things.

Now, since Head Creep removed the dosing disc from my arm, whether I had anything to do with it or not, I’m guilty of betraying High Coven. This fact not only sucks (pun intended), it means I’ve been condemned to death.

An assassin … condemned to death. Seems like kind of shitty deal if you ask me.

I don’t care that Head Creep is hot enough that he gives Christian Bale a run for his money. He claims that Icarus is part of some massive conspiracy, that vampires are a perverse mutation of beings from another universe, and that Trinity (along with some dark army he’s supposedly in charge of) plans to exterminate the human race. Of course, he says this will occur in less than a week. And damn, wouldn’t you know he’d kidnap me on day six of my dose?”

You can purchase Icarus at all online bookstores or get it for the cheapest price here at Rhemalda.

Also, check out this wickedly awesome trailer.

So come on over and join J.S. on twitter. You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interviewing You Answers pt. Two

Thanks to everyone for participating in my Interviewing You blog. For those who didn't see my original blog, I asked a series of questions and let you, the reader, give me the answers. Here are your final answers. Enjoy.

7.) What is your favorite movie?
Debra A. Kemp- The House of Pendragon: The Firebrand
- I have two that hold equal place in my affections: Camelot because it got me started writing (see above about the command) and Doctor Zhivago for its utterly beautiful cinematography.
Scott Poe - Book reviewer
Transformers 1 as it is the first movie I watched with my wife.
M. Edward McNally- The Sable City
The Fisher King
Betty - Groundhog Day
Robert Chazz- Author Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You're High (though you don't have to be high, it just makes you a better audience.)
Tough one: a tie between Lawrence of Arabia and Fight Club.
Candace Bowen Early- Spur of the Moment. Available through Rhemalda 2.1.12. Squee!
Hands down, Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley.
Rossandra White- Blade Runner.
Roy Mauritsen - Jaws.
Rachel Summerhill - Writer
Probably one of the Lord of the Rings films.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- There Will Be Blood (formerly Apocalypse Now).
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Author
Santa Sangre
Walter Rhein- Author of The Bone Sword and Beyond Birkie Fever
The animated version of the guy's answer for question 2. (Here was Walter's answer for #2- The guy who answered question one with the response: Sexual Reassignment Surgery at Home for Dummies.)
Shay Fabbro- Author of The Chosen
I would have to say a toss-up between The Dark Crystal and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Michael Young - Author of The Last Archangel
My recent favorite has been the mind-bendingness of Inception.
Franz McLaren- Author
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Douglas Brown- Author of Tamed, The Light of Epertase
Original Star Wars Trilogy, Braveheart, LOTR, Saving Private Ryan I know that is more than one, but this is my blog so na-na-na-na.
Emmaline (Rhemalda Publishing)- Pride and Prejudice
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Author of Thorgil Bloodaxe
13th Warrior
My mom- Phantom of the Opera
Cas Peace- Author of King's Envoy
I don’t see many movies but I loved the Star Wars films and also The Lord of the Rings (I know – same old, same old – sorry!)
Bobbe Ecleberry- (Editor)- The Sound of Music

8.)What is your favorite band?
Debra A. Kemp- Rush, is there any other band?
Scott Poe- I honestly haven't been listening to much music lately, I'll just call out RadioU since they play a lot of good stuff.
M. Edward McNally- The Pogues
Betty- Rubber bands are fun. Head bands look nice. Wedding bands are...
Robert Chazz- Another tough one: Dire Straits for consistent excellence; Eagles just for Hotel California.
Candace Bowen Early- Avalon Landing
Rossandra White- Right now, Bon Iver.
Roy Mauritsen - Yes; with honorable mention to Sigur Ros & Afro-Celt Rachel Summerhill- As I think The Wall is the best rock album, probably Pink Floyd, though I also like Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains. (BTW, Rachel, The Wall is my absolute favorite Album of all time. I saw Roger Waters perform it a few months ago and I'm going again in June. Great show.- Doug)
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- The Sword (contemporary), and Led Zeppelin (classic).
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Black Sabbath
Walter Rhein- The elastic one currently holding up my underwear and giving me a gentle hug.
Shay Fabbro- Oh hell... this would be a toss-up between Poison and Def Leppard. "is my 80's showing?"
Michael Young - Probably Coldplay, though that’s only for bands. I have many other musical groups who are not bands that I would put before them like The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the King’s Singers, and The 5 Browns.
Franz McLaren- It's a tossup between rubber or wedding.
Douglas R. Brown- Nine Inch Nails
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- Aerosmith
Thorgil Ragnarrson- CCR
My Mother- The Beatles.
Cas Peace- Has to be the folk band Fairport Convention; although members have come and gone, they’ve provided the music of my life so far.
Bobbe Ecleberry- The Beatles

9.)Authors- What do you think works best when promoting your product? Readers- What type of promotions gets you to buy a product?
Debra A. Kemp- Still trying to figure out that mystery.
Scott Poe- Great cover art accompanied by a strong blurb.
M. Edward McNally- Review bloggers who love it.
Betty- Still out on that one.
Robert Chazz- Engagement I guess. I started a podcast with the same name as one of my books and I'm full of arrogant, stupid hope.
Candace Bowen Early- Internet utilities like Facebook and goodreads. Rossandra White- Author--I wish I knew.
Roy Mauritsen - Authors- hard to say, but my book is being promoted with convention appearances, a lot of concept art, also a CD of songs... oh, and I'm making another book trailer.
Rachel Summerhill- As a reader I like things that sound interesting and visually catch my short attention span, so that’s something I should think of employing as a writer.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- First and foremost, write good stories, and then provide a well designed, well promoted, regularly updated, entertaining, and well trafficked blog, with a linked Facebook presence, of course.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Intrigue, humour and originality work better than shrillness, hackneyed blurb phrases and being on message non-stop.
Walter Rhein- Having your books listed in any standard dictionary under "Awesome."
Shay Fabbro- Throwing in something catchy that makes people want to click on the link.
Michael Young - Networking. Letting others spread your message for you while you help spread their message. Get out on the Internet and meet people.
Franz McLaren- Social networking, without trying to sell. It seems that most interest in my books has been generated when I meet people on line and just chat with them. Of course I do tend to share my big writing events with them but only as a "hey this is great news" kind of thing.
Douglas R. Brown- Writers- Developing personal connections by putting yourself out there. I don't mean shoving your work down someone's throat, but meeting people whether in social media or at book signings and letting them decide to check out your work on their own.
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- Authors- What do you think works best when promoting your product? Word of mouth, telling everyone you can about your book. Carrying business cards and goodreads lists and discussions. Readers- What type of promotions get you to try a product? The best way to get me to buy something is for a friend to recommend it.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Word of mouth with a solid fan-base
My Mother- Cute & colorful
Cas Peace- I think connecting personally with readers and encouraging word of mouth promotion works best, both for creating fans and for gaining new readers.
Bobbe Ecleberry- Freebies

10.)If you had a million dollars, what would you do first?
Debra A. Kemp- Go to England for as long as possible and research!
Scott Poe- Pay off mine and my families houses.
M. Edward McNally- Pay down some debt.
Betty- Hide... there are relatives you know.
Robert Chazz- Get better locks, change the phone number and prepare for the onslaught of "friends" and "family."
Candace Bowen Early- Take my extended family on a trip.
Rossandra White- I'd rent a villa in Italy and invite my entire family, including extended and all my friends for a month then I'd buy HarperCollins.
Roy Mauritsen - Travel, there's a lot of new places to experience. Rachel Summerhill- Probably give some away.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- (Re)Marry my wife in a certain Gothic church of which we've claimed ownership, with a select list of guests, then travel the world for a few months on a belated honeymoon, with a couple of blank notebooks in my pack.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Put enough in a bank that I could buy myself out of all the trouble I was about to get myself into spending the rest...
Walter Rhein- Buy 4 million twenty-five cent gumballs (they don't have the one cent gumballs anymore do they?).
Shay Fabbro- Nuild a castle complete with trebuchet and moat.
Michael Young - Build an awesome house with the ultimate writing room.
Franz McLaren- Retire and only write for a living.
Douglas R. Brown- I'd give a lot of it away. I'd also promote my books and my publisher. A lot of best sellers are only best sellers because of the amount of money behind them.
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- I would increase the number of books that Rhemalda publishes each year and launch a huge marketing and publicity campaign for all of the Rhemalda titles.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- pay off the mortgage on my house.
My Mother- Give, Give & Give more
Cas Peace- Faint.
Bobbe Ecleberry- Send in resignation letter to husband's company, then payoff some family members' debts -- student loans, mortgages, etc.

11.) Firefighters or police officers? (Remember, I'm a firefighter before you answer.)
Debra A. Kemp- Both are heroes to me. God bless both!
Scott Poe- Firefighters.
M. Edward McNally- Depends on if my car is on fire, or has been stolen.
Betty- who can resist a smoky firefighter.
Robert Chazz- Firefighters. The cops are after me.
Candace Bowen Early- That's tough because I respect both, but I would say firefighters. In my opinion, it takes someone special to enter a burning building when the first instinct must be to leave it.
Rossandra White- Firefighters, seriously, cops can have attitude sometimes, firefighters, never.
Roy Mauritsen - It takes a lot of guts and I respect both, but fire fighters have something extra in them.
Rachel Summerhill- If my house is burning, firefighter. If I’m being robbed, cop.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- Firefighters, and they're always on the scene to save, not hassle the citizenry about a bunch of nonsense.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Librarians.
Walter Rhein- Do you have enough pressure in your hose to knock my handcuffs off?
Shay Fabbro- Firefighters (and I didn't only say that because you're one).
Michael Young - Firefighters. I grew up with this weird phobia of the house burning down, so they have always been high on my list.
Franz McLaren- Firefighters (unless I'm being robbed).
Douglas R. Brown- Police... Just kidding. Firefighters rule.
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- Anyone willing to risk their life to save me, my children or loved ones.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Police Officer; I am a retired Correction Officer with 20 plus years.
My Mother- Firefighters
Cas Peace- Oh, firefighters, definitely, every single time… ever see a policeman rescue a cat stuck up a tree?
Bobbe Ecleberry- Firefighters

Visit the sites of everyone who contributed to this interview. Show them some love. Great job, everyone. Thank you.
Debra A. Kemp- Author of The House of Pendragon: The Firebrand
Scott Poe- Book reviewer Http://
M. Edward McNally- Author of The Sable City
Betty - Author and blogger
Robert Chazz- Author Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You're High (though you don't have to be high, it just makes you a better.)
Candace Bowen Early- Spur of the Moment
Rossandra White- Monkey's Wedding (YA paranormal--not yet published)
Roy Mauritsen - my novel, a fairy tale epic fantasy adventure titled Shards Of The Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder will be published 1st quarter 2012.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- a horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy/weird fiction author, with dreams of finally finishing my high fantasy novel one of these moons.
I'd like to promote my work in general, which can be read in about a half dozen currently or soon-to-be-released anthologies, which are detailed in various stages of coherence on my blog, The Cosmicomicon ( ), and my upcoming collection of horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy short stories, which will be released in late 2012 by a major (and still unnamed for a few more weeks) publisher of Mythos and speculative fiction and RPGs.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Walter Rhein-
Shay Fabbro- Author of The Chosen
Michael Young- Author of The Last Archangel
Twitter @mdybyu
Franz McLaren- Author
Douglas Brown- Author of Tamed, The Light of Epertase
Emmaline- Rhemalda Publishing
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Author/Creator of Thorgil Bloodaxe
My mother- Mother
I'll just promote my son
Cas Peace- Author of King's Envoy!/cas.peace

Monday, December 12, 2011

Interviewing You Answers pt. One

Thanks to everyone for participating in my Interviewing You blog. For those who didn't see my original blog, I asked a series of questions and let you, the reader, give me the answers. Here are your answers for the first 6 questions. Enjoy. (I hate working in blogger so if your link doesn't go where it is suppose to go, email me and I'll fix it.

1.)What book would you say is your biggest influence?
Debra A. Kemp- The House of Pendragon: The Firebrand
- Le Mort d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory, so much would not exist without it.
Scott Poe - Book reviewer
-The Kinshield Legacy by KC May is the book that inspired me to start my blog.
M. Edward McNally- The Sable City
-The Hobbit
Betty - Author and blogger
-The Wolf and the Dove
Robert Chazz- Author Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You're High (though you don't have to be high, it just makes you a better audience.)
-The Color of Light by WIlliam Goldman, for the twists.
Candace Bowen Early- Spur of the Moment. Available through Rhemalda 2.1.12. Squee!
-Without a doubt, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss
Rossandra White- Monkey's Wedding (YA paranormal--not yet published)
-Annie Dillard was my FIRST biggest influence
Roy Mauritsen - my novel, a fairy tale epic fantasy adventure titled Shards Of The Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder will be published 1st quarter 2012.
-Alice in Wonderland
Rachel Summerhill - Writer
-Stephen King’s Dark Tower series (and The Stand also), Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and the Chronicles of Narnia
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- a horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy/weird fiction author, with dreams of finally finishing my high fantasy novel one of these moons.
-The Hobbit, or any of the AD&D books written by Gygax
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Author
-Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
Walter Rhein- Author of The Bone Sword and Beyond Birkie Fever
-Surgical Procedures that Can Be Performed at Home with a Microwave Oven

Shay Fabbro- Author of The Chosen
-The Lord of the Rings
Michael Young - Author of The Last Archangel
-I was great influenced by Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. It left me with a sense of astonishment that I want to instill in my own writing.
Franz McLaren- Author
-The Dictionary
Douglas Brown- Author of Tamed, The Light of Epertase
-On Writing by Stephen King
Emmaline (Rhemalda)-
-I think A THIEF OF NIGHTSHADE by J. S. Chancellor has the deepest underlying theme with the possibility to influence people, their lives and actions that they take to protect themselves and or a friend or loved one that may be in a vulnerable position. Personal influences - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and True Colors by Kristin Hannah
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Author of Thorgil Bloodaxe
-Books based on mythology
Cas Peace- Author of King's Envoy
-Has to be the Oxford English Dictionary, even though I know that makes me sound geeky!
-Bobbe Ecleberry
- The Bible

2.)Who is your favorite author?
Debra A. Kemp- Too many to mention.
Scott Poe- Currently tied with Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson
M. Edward McNally- Thomas Pynchon
Betty- Catherine Woodiweiss
Robert Chazz- William Goldman, for delivering said twists and surprises at every turn.
Candace Bowen Early- That's a tough one, but I would have to go with Stephen King.
Rossandra White- Right now, Anna Quindlen.
Roy Mauritsen - Dr. Suess, a childhood influence I've never truly outgrown.
Rachel Summerhill- I’ll give you my top three new finds in the past year and a half: Suzanne Collins, George R.R. Martin, and J.S. Chancellor. (Don’t feel left out, Doug, because I really like Epertase, too!)
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- Hunter S. Thompson, although H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard rake at his liquor soaked heels.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Vladimir Nabokov; pathos, satire, humour, darkness, light and wit - he has it all.
Walter Rhein- The guy who answered question one with the response: Sexual Reassignment Surgery at Home for Dummies.
Shay Fabbro- J.R.R. Tolkein, author of the above series.
Michael Young - I don’t know if I can say…I know so many of them, and enjoy their writing. It would be like choosing between your brothers and sisters.
Franz McLaren- I assume you mean other than me – Bentley Little
Douglas R. Brown-
Stephen King
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- All the Rhemalda Authors. Personal - Kristin Hannah and Jane Austen. They are so close that I cannot choose between the two.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Robert E. Howard
My Mother- Douglas R. Brown for sure
Cas Peace- Not found anyone to top Stephen Donaldson yet, although there are some pretty close contenders.
Bobbe Ecleberry- Douglas Brown

3.)How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?
Debra A. Kemp- Some mysteries should never be exposed, otherwise it might lose its power.
Scott Poe- 1437
M. Edward McNally- The owl says three.
Betty- Too many just bite it.
Robert Chazz- I lick only under special circumstances. Mostly, I bite and crunch.
Candace Bowen Early- Three, of course (Now I'll be quoting the owl for the rest of the day).
Rossandra White- We never had them in Africa, can't say I've ever eaten one.
Roy Mauritsen - 3 (according to the owls.)
Rachel Summerhill- Mr. Owl says 3.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- Zero, as I'm a biter.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- I have never eaten a tootsie roll pop.
Walter Rhein- I only ever have to lick anything once.
Shay Fabbro- Never actually tried it but I would guess 1,327
Michael Young - It depends on who is doing the licking. I say the question needs more qualifying info. For me, I’d say the answer’s about 42.
Franz McLaren- 69 – No wait, can I say that here? Is this a family friendly site?
Strike that. Let's see…
Damn! (Okay I'm not starting that again. I'll fake it and no one will ever know)
532! Yep that's definitely it.
Douglas R. Brown-
Of course, since I asked the question I know the answer. But I'm sworn to secrecy.
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- I don't like Tootsie Pops.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- 3
My Mother- 75
Cas Peace- Argghh! I have no idea, I have never had one.
Bobbe Ecleberry- 2,000

4.)What is your biggest goal in life at this moment?
Debra A. Kemp- Replace the empty box of tissues on my desk.
Scott Poe- I'd really like a better job.
M. Edward McNally- Keep the demons at bay.
Betty- Just finished it today release 99 cent ebook
Robert Chazz- Used to be world domination, Pinky...but now just to get people to read my twisty whimsies.
Candace Bowen Early- To make it on a best sellers list
Rossandra White- be a good person, okay, I'm dorking with you: to get published.
Roy Mauritsen - It used to be "publishing a novel I've written", but I can check that off the list! Now it's cage diving with great white sharks (see also #7)
Rachel Summerhill- To get my novel Into the Blind Darkness finished, then published.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- To finish and sell a full length novel.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- To have enough good material to start pitching a short story compilation in late 2012.
Walter Rhein- To perfect my mystical warlock powers and attain the ability to shoot fireballs from my eyes/mouth.
Shay Fabbro- To sell one of each of my books to Denise Crosby (Lt. Tasha Yar in Star Trek: Next Generation) while at the GalaxyFest 2012 conference!
Michael Young - To land a literary agent and break into the national market in writing.
Franz McLaren- To get started on a new book.
Douglas R. Brown- Raising my son
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- Grow Rhemalda books and authors.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- publishing my second book of Thorgil Bloodaxe and seeing the red-haired Viking on the silver-screen.
My Mother- weight loss
Cas Peace- To find the answer to question 3; I simply cannot rest until I solve this perplexing puzzle...
Bobbe Ecleberry- get enough $ so husband can retire without us being destitute.

5.)What kind of books do you write or read?
Debra A. Kemp- I write Arthurian fiction because King Arthur commanded it of me. I never know what I like to read until I pick up a book and start reading.
Scott Poe- I read mostly fantasy, but I'll read pretty much anything.
M. Edward McNally- Read History, write Fantasy
Betty- Romance better known as bodice rippers
Robert Chazz- I read everything and write suspense because bad acts suit my worldview.
Candace Bowen Early- Romance, suspense and horror are my favorites so I usually incorporate all three in my writing.
Rossandra White- Everything from Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight to The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to Angle of Repose.
Roy Mauritsen - I write and enjoy reading epic fantasy adventure, and fairy tales
Rachel Summerhill- Fantasy, horror, and sci-fi.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- Well written books, collections, and anthologies by modern Weird/speculative fiction authors, anything by the Pulp Three (Lovecraft, R.E Howard, C.A. Smith), and those Weird fiction authors who influenced them (Blackwood, Machen, Dunsany, etc.).
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- I read almost anything that is challenging and honest; I try to write the same, but my chosen genre is weird fiction.
Walter Rhein- Pick up the dictionary, go to the entry for "Awesome," you'll find the ordering information for my books there (I assume that answers the question).
Shay Fabbro- Mostly fantasy with some scifi thrown in for good measure.
Michael Young - I write mostly fantasy and science fiction, but I also dabble in a bit of historical fiction.
Franz McLaren- I write Fantasy. I read Horror and Mystery.
Douglas R. Brown- When I write, I write fantasy, urban fantasy, and nonfiction. I read fantasy but I love nonfiction
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- I read everything. Personal - Psychological suspense and Literary Fiction.
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Sword and sorcery fantasy-adventure
My Mother- mysteries
Cas Peace- I can read most things that are well written, but I don’t like explicit horror or violence.
Bobbe Ecleberry- fiction, non-fiction, biographies, humorous, self-help, mystery/romance, oh, and, fantasy recently

6.)Team Jacob, Team Edward, or Team _____? (I can't stand Twilight, but I look forward to the answers I get)

Debra A. Kemp- Team Lin ferch Arthur from my House of Pendragon series.
Scott Poe- Team Shoot Me in the Face.
M. Edward McNally- Team Edward (McNally). Team Me.
Betty- ditto... I don't like Twilight that makes a total of two..
Robert Chazz- Team Buffy. She knew what to do with emo vampires.
Candace Bowen Early- Hmmm...a sparkly, hard, cold dead guy who never sleeps or a wolf. I'll go with Jacob.
Rossandra White- Seriously?
Roy Mauritsen - Team Lestat
Rachel Summerhill- If I had to stick with the Twilight motif, I’d say Team Volturi (though Jacob does make a really pretty dog :p), or sticking with vampires I’d say Team Charity Black, from my soon to be published short story The Inquisitor’s Handmaiden, and there's definitely no romance there!
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- Team Curb Stomp on Wussy, Sparkling, Shirtless Supernaturalites.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy- Team Follow A Better Franchise
Walter Rhein- I'd kind of like Jacob to hook up with Edward and leave that little cheater to the evil vampires as an appetizer.
Shay Fabbro- Team Khal Drogo because he would kick both their asses with his braid.
Michael Young - Buffy…she should slay them all.
Franz McLaren- I suppose this means something to most people but it confuses me. I watched a part of a Twilight movie once but it was not my cup of blood. So, I have to say that the team I generally prefer is the Steelers.
Douglas R. Brown- Team Blade
Emmaline (Rhemalda)- Team RHEMALDA
Thorgil Ragnarrson- n/a
My Mother- Team Angels
Cas Peace- I guess this is a Twilight question then, and as I haven’t read or seen any, I’ll have to give it a miss!
Bobbe Ecleberry- Team Edward

Join me for the last 5 questions in a week or so. And visit the sites of everyone who contributed to this interview. Show them some love. Great job, everyone. Thank you.
Debra A. Kemp- Author of The House of Pendragon: The Firebrand
Scott Poe- Book reviewer
M. Edward McNally- Author of The Sable City
Betty - Author and blogger
Robert Chazz- Author Self-help for Stoners, Stuff to Read When You're High (though you don't have to be high, it just makes you a better audience.)
Candace Bowen Early- Spur of the Moment
Rossandra White- Monkey's Wedding (YA paranormal--not yet published)
Roy Mauritsen - my novel, a fairy tale epic fantasy adventure titled Shards Of The Glass Slipper: Queen Cinder will be published 1st quarter 2012.
Ted E. Grau (T.E. Grau)- a horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy/weird fiction author, with dreams of finally finishing my high fantasy novel one of these moons.
I'd like to promote my work in general, which can be read in about a half dozen currently or soon-to-be-released anthologies, which are detailed in various stages of coherence on my blog, The Cosmicomicon ( ), and my upcoming collection of horror/sci-fi/dark fantasy short stories, which will be released inlate 2012 by a major (and still unnamed for a few more weeks) publisher of Mythos and speculative fiction and RPGs.
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Walter Rhein-
Shay Fabbro- Author of The Chosen
Michael Young- Author of The Last Archangel
Read Now
Twitter @mdybyu
Franz McLaren- Author
Douglas Brown- Author of Tamed, The Light of Epertase
Emmaline- Rhemalda Publishing
Thorgil Ragnarrson- Author/Creator of Thorgil Bloodaxe
My mother- Mother
I'll just promote my son
Cas Peace- Author of King's Envoy!/cas.peace

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interviewing You

Ok. I'd like to try something a little different today. Though it has probably been done before, I haven't seen it. I enjoy reading interviews with people, but sometimes I get a tad bored with long-winded answers. Yes, I realize that my interview answers are often long-winded, but I'm trying to ignore that for today. What I would like to do is the following. I am going to ask a series of light-hearted questions for you all to answer. Everyone is welcome to join in on this, not just authors. If you are an author, this is a chance to expose your work to new readers. If you are a reader, this is a chance to find new authors to try out. If you don't care about either, hopefully, the interview will simply be fun to read.

So, here is what you do: send me an email at (do not post your answers in the comments of this blog as I want to put the questions and answers together and present them all at once in a week or so. Again, I will not be approving the answers in the comments. Comments about the blog, however, are welcomed and appreciated.)

In you email, answer each question with a single sentence. (And I don't mean a 300-word run-on either.) if your answer is so great ( and I mean the world is truly missing out by it being only 1 sentence) then I suppose two sentences would be alright. And yes, I realize I have probably just opened the door to every answer being 2 sentences long, but I hope not. With your answers, you are welcome to be as clever as you'd like or simply answer straight up. It is truly up to you. Just a heads up, we love witty answers here on this blog. Just please don't go blue (unless the question is about your favorite color and it happens to be blue, of course).

Also, in your email, include your name and the name of the work you would like to promote. At the end of the email, provide 1 link to any one site that you would like to promote (FB like page, blog, Amazon, etc.). If someone likes your stuff, they can find out more from there. If you have nothing to promote, then just leave it blank and enjoy yourself.

Do not worry about typing the questions as the question number will suffice. In a week or so, I will repost the questions with everyone's answers and links. I'd like for this interview to be fun, so I am asking you to not only participate, but to share this blog with your friends so they can join in. The more the merrier. Also, be a sport and follow my blog if you don't already. I'd love to have you as a guest.

Now, here's the questions.

1.) What book would you say is your biggest influence?

2.) Who is your favorite author?

3.) How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?

4.) What is your biggest goal in life at this moment?

5.) What type of books to you write or read?

6.) Team Jacob or Team Edward or Team _______? (I don't like Twilight, but I look forward to the different answers I'll get)

7.) What is your favorite movie?

8.) What is your favorite band?

9.) Authors- What do you think works best when promoting your product? Readers- What type of promotions get you to try a product?

10.) If you had a million dollars, what would you do first?

11.) Firefighters or police officers? Remember, I'm a firefighter before you answer.

Alright, that is my first series of questions. If I get a good response, I'll do it again with new questions. Remember, email your answers to and come back in a week or so for the answers. Come on, everyone. Let's make this fun. (Yes, I am especially looking at you, fellow Rhemalda authors ;)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ever Talk to Three-hundred Sixteen-year-olds?

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would speak to seven classes of sophomores at a local high school about writing. I agreed and two weeks ago Friday was the day. For the weeks leading up to it, I spent most of my free time putting together what I had hoped was an interesting presentation. I felt pretty prepared. I used a mix of writing tips, stories about why I write, and a fire department tale or two in hopes of having something that everyone in the class could enjoy.

I'm not going to lie to you--I was pretty nervous about the whole situation. OK, so I wasn't as bad as the kid in the video, but you get my point. After all, I'm a firefighter/paramedic/author and nowhere does that say public speaker. Not to mention, I wasn't given any direction as to what the teachers wanted me to cover. All I knew was I had 45 minutes to fill.

The first class was for about 60 kids. In hindsight, I think I prefer the bigger classes because there seems to be more participation. That first class went pretty smooth and I thought, This is going to go better than I thought.

And then the second class of about 25 students entered. One kid put his head on his desk before I even started and slept through my entire presentation. None of the other kids participated and I was stuck on an island. About half way through my spiel, I was ready to quit. I was stammering my way through while they could care less. At the end I asked for questions and heard crickets instead. I was ready to run screaming for the door. With five more classes I was a wreck. But I stuck with it and started building confidence with each class.

By the last few classes, I was joking and interacting with the kids and felt a lot better, if not slightly fatigued. The teachers repeatedly complemented my presentation and thanked me for discussing topics that they struggle to get through to their students. You know, show, don't tell and revise, revise, revise--those kinds of things.

So, the question becomes, would I do this again? My short answer is yes. (It has to be, since I am scheduled to give my presentation to one-hundred and fifty thirteen-year-olds next month.) I guess you'd like to know if it was worth my time and effort. I suppose I'd have to say yes. First of all, anytime you do something out of your comfort zone, I think you grow as a person. And second, there are now 300+ teen-agers who have met me and have been exposed to my work.

Financially, I only sold six books, but my Amazons sales spiked a bit in the days after, so who knows if that was the reason. Overall, six books after speaking to 300 kids was a bit of a disappointment, but it quickly became obvious that my presentation wasn't the problem. If I had to put my finger on why I did poorly in sales, I'd point to three reasons. For one, they are teen-agers. Money is a rare commodity and at 16 years old, I doubt their parents were shelling out much cash for their teen-agers' entertainment. At sixteen if my parents gave me fifteen bucks for a book, I'd probably put it into my gas tank or something else. My second guess is that fantasy has a very particular and specific fanbase and doesn't appeal to everyone. In fact, a lot of kids showed more interest in my coming werewolf story than the fantasy I was there promoting. And the third reason for poor sales would be peer pressure. If several kids lined up, I think it would have been contagious.

I have heard that children's book authors do extremely well with school presentations, but it didn't seem to translate to the older kids. I'm hoping my presentation next month to the thirteen-year-olds produce better results since those kids might be more likely to be excited about meeting an author.

We shall see. I've got my fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. Try to enjoy your families and leave all of your stresses behind for this one day. (Unless you're a turkey, of course. In that case I say, "Ruuuuunn.) To all of my firefighter friends working today, stay safe and enjoy Turkey Day with your second family.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reacting to Negative Reviews

(Yeah, I know. The video is more about editing than it is about reviews, but I'm invoking creative licensing here. You get the point, right?)

If you write or paint or do anything creative, and you put your work out for people to see, you are bound to get a poor review or two. My first book has received many good reviews but it has also received bad ones here and there. Let's talk about the bad ones today and how you handle them.

Let me start by giving you the advice my publisher and my friends Michelle Davidson Argyle and J.S. Chancellor gave me. DON'T READ REVIEWS. That's great advice. And if you are one of those people who can take that advice, you can stop reading now. But if you are like me and just can't go on not knowing what people think of your work, continue reading.

I used to read every review I could find. Now that my book has been out for awhile and my next book is coming soon, I don't seek them out as much anymore. I'll still read them if I see them, but they're not on my mind as much anymore. That's because I have learned what other more experienced writers have learned already. Two different people like two very different things. Simple as that. For example, some people complain about how I jump from one character to another throughout my book while others remark at how much they like that very element. Some people complain about my style while others say they love it. I have found that when it comes to books, if an author's voice doesn't jive with the voice in the reader's head, it doesn't matter how good the book is, it'll be hard for that reader to enjoy. There is nothing I can do as an author to change that.

But, back to why I started this blog. I really want to know how you handle negative reviews. Before you answer, here are a couple potential reactions and why such a reaction is or isn't a good idea.

The first is anger. "That person just doesn't get it. How dare they?" That's a natural reaction and I'm not going to say you are wrong in feeling this way. Where this reaction causes irreversible consequences is if you express it in any public way, especially on the web. You might remember not too long ago when a blog review site went viral because an author lashed out at the blogger's negative review of her work. I felt bad for the author and her subsequent verbal beating on that site, but I also knew she brought it on herself. You should never argue with someone about why they don't like what you've created or why they don't get it. It is simply unprofessional.

Another reaction, which I'm sure everyone who has been criticized has had at some point is sadness. Again, that is a normal reaction, but one I don't think should be expressed to the reviewer. If you feel you must say something, I guess you could tell them you are sorry they didn't like your work, but even that probably isn't a very good idea.

Now, I'm going to say something that creative people might not like at first. Bear with me for a moment and I'll explain myself. Those negative reviews, the ones that tear out your soul and stomp on it, for the most part, are right. OK, OK, don't come down on me yet and just hear me out. What I mean is it is right for that person. If a reviewer doesn't have a personal vendetta against you and their review is that they didn't like what you've created for one reason or another, it is their feelings therefore they can't be wrong. I hated the movie "300." Some people think I'm crazy, but I'm not wrong because they it is my opinion. If the reviewer didn't get my book or your art, then they didn't get it. So, take it with a grain of salt and move on.

This brings me to my next reaction and the one I think you, the artist, should consider. If you insist on reading the reviews, like I do on occasion, you should try to put equal weight in the bad ones as you do in the good ones. I know it is easier said than done, but you have to try. Read the negative reviews, set them aside and mope around for a bit if you must, and then forget them and move on. You shouldn't contact the reviewer or trash them on your blog or god-forbid allow their words to steer you away from your own vision in the future. Just take their words, tell yourself that they have their own opinions, and get back to creating. That's what I've learned.

Everyone gets bad reviews. It's what happens when you open yourself up to strangers in the form of art. My most brutal review was given to my book on its actual launch day. Talk about letting the air out of someone's sails. But I got past it and have went on to create more work that I am proud to have created. I can guarantee the person who gave me such a negative review will hate my next book, because I haven't changed my style in any way. There are no hard feelings and I'm actually sorry the reviewer didn't like my story. After all, I create to give enjoyment.

So, what do you all think? How do you respond when your hard work is decimated by a critic? And what is the harshest comment you have received? I'll start. The harshest comment I've received is when a reviewer said that my two years of hard work could have been thrown together in a weekend by any other author. Yikes.

(Quick note. If you have tried to comment in the past and have been unable, I think I have fixed that problem. I've heard from a lot of people who wanted to comment and couldn't so I've changed a setting. I hope that helps. Send me an email if you are still having trouble commenting and I will try again to fix the issue again. I want to hear from you. )

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mid Ohio Comic con 2011

Here is my booth at comic con this weekend. Fun time, met lots of great people, and sold a few books.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today is a special day

As a teenager, I worked with a girl who was three years older than me and way too pretty to be in my league. I was rather shy and focused more on getting my work done and keeping to myself than talking with someone who I had no chance of realistically pursuing. In fact, I didn't talk to her at all. That is, other than her daily harassing of me about not wearing a hairnet when my hair was almost as long as hers, if you could call that talking.

Hey, she was a cook and I was just a dishes guy anyway.

Fast forward to a couple of years later. I had graduated from high school, cut my hair, and started working as the facility's night watchman. In the evenings, as I was coming into work, she was leaving and we began talking a bit more often. Over a few months, we became pretty good friend and shared our problems with each other like good friends often do. Well, actually, she usually shared and I usually listened. ;)

I no longer looked at her as just some pretty girl who I was too shy to approach, but started seeing her more and more as a friend. She began coming over to the building where I worked and talked with me for a couple of hours as I did my night-watch duties.

As we talked, I never once considered someone so pretty could ever be remotely interested in me in any way other than the friendship we already had. No, really, that was how lacking in confidence I was. I'd had girlfriends in the past, but something about this girl tied me in knots.

One evening before she left, while I was on the telephone, she did it. She strutted up to me, pressed her lips against mine for a moment, and then left with a sly grin that said, "What do you think about that?"

I was floored. I truly had no idea that she saw me in any way other than a friend. I'm sure the signs were there, but as we have already established, I was far from Casanova. In hindsight, I'm actually glad to have been so clueless, because I probably would have tried too hard in my "wooing" and blown my chances before anything ever materialized.

You see, the reason I tell you this story is because five years later, I married that girl. And, today, I celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary with the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

Angie Brown, I love you now as much as ever. Happy anniversary and thank you for being my soulmate.

...that is, until Beetlejuice stole her away from me. Curse you, Beetlejuice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cover Unveiling

A few weeks ago on this blog I asked if you have ever wanted to own a werewolf. Today, I am excited to announce why I asked that question. A couple of years ago I wondered, if werewolves were real and could be tamed, would people own them. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that people actually would. After all, Mike Tyson owned a tiger. If I could somehow convince the wealthy public that a werewolf was just a seven-foot tall, perfectly docile, cousin to the wolf, I had no doubt that people would consider the prospect.

With that idea, I started writing "Tamed" in between working on my Epertase trilogy. My goal with "Tamed" was to take what is cool about werewolves and give the reader a unique spin on the creatures. I hoped to do for the werewolf genre what True Blood did for vampires in telling a story about familiar creatures in a way that isn't so familiar. I think I have accomplished that goal.

In May of this year, I finished "Tamed" and, shortly thereafter, submitted it to Rhemalda. They offered a contract and we started working on getting my werewolf-novel-with-a-twist ready for a winter release.

And now I get to unveil the cover and the working back synopsis for the first time. I am so excited.

I can't wait for you to read my story.

Feedback would be phenomenal.

Werewolves are real.

And they make loyal pets.

Christine doesn't care that owning one of the docile creatures is the newest fad, or that the WereHouse insists their product is 100% safe, she hates them just the same. But her job as a firefighter/paramedic and the increasing popularity of werepets make encounters unavoidable.

While on a routine EMS call, she and her partner stumble onto the scene of a rabid werepet massacre of its owners. The wounded creature attacks Christine, infecting her with his blood before she narrowly escapes with her life.

Over the coming weeks, something changes within her. During emergency calls to werepet-heavy neighborhoods, the male only creatures become aggressive when she is near and some of them break their tames.

The WereHouse takes notice.

Christine's very existence threatens to expose long hidden secrets about the company. If the hunters sent by the WereHouse find her, they will kill her. But if she escapes, she will bring down the entire werepet industry and change the world in the process.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Barnes and Noble PA announcement. Sweet

Here is the announcement that Barnes and Noble made at the start of my signing. That's cover artist Steve Murphy in the video. Barnes and Noble said 8 books sold is what they considered successful. I sold 14. Woo-hoo.

Next stop, Mid Ohio Comic Con on Oct. 22-23.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Firefighters are the Enemy in Ohio

I have been in the fire service for 20 years now and what is going on here in Ohio shocks and hurts me in ways I can't explain in words. And I'm an author. I have dedicated my life to helping people and risking my own life in the process.

Unfortunately, my career has come under attack this year. Let me take a second to explain what has happened for those of you who don't live in Ohio and then I'll tell you why it is hurting firefighters along with teachers, police, and all of Ohio's public servants. I will speak mostly about how it affects firefighters since that is what I know best.

Here in Ohio, Governor John Kasich passed a bill in the spring called Senate Bill 5. By all opinions within the fire service, it is a terrible bill for our future safety and for our future in protecting the public. The initial backlash to this bill was incredible with 1.3 million Ohioans signing a petition to have the bill go up for vote in November. Voting no on Issue 2 (as Senate Bill 5 is now known) will repeal the bill.

Because the governor has a high political stake in this bill, he and his wealthy supporters have poured millions of dollars into getting the support of the voters on Issue 2 in November. It is unfortunate that their constant barrage of ads on TV have started swaying some of the public into disliking their local firefighters (along with police and teachers). For example, Issue 2 supporters have ads showing how public employees pay less than the general public for their insurance in hopes that the voter will want us to pay more. People seeing that ad might think, "Hey, that's reasonable," and so they decide to vote for the bill. But that's the problem. Insurance and pension contributions are only one aspect of this flawed bill and it ignores all of the points that the majority of firefighters are against.

With that said, let me get to the point of this blog. Here is why I am so shocked and disheartened by what is going on in these months leading up to the vote. Supporters of this bill have campaigned to make firefighters and police and teachers look like overpaid mooches on society. Their ad campaigns and public speeches have portrayed us as the reason the country is having such economic woes. To people struggling, they are giving a face to their misery. The opposition's rhetoric of blame and anger at public employees has created a hostile environment toward us, which is something I never thought a politician could or would do.

In the last few months, I have been called a parasite and an idiot because I'm a firefighter. Other firefighters have been followed and video-taped while working so that our opposition can "catch" them making mistakes. We have been confronted by people hoping to get us to respond negatively so they can portray us as being rude, or angry, or whatever helps them prove that we are, in fact, your enemy.

Never in my career could anyone have convinced me that people would be so against us as many people are right now. But here we are. Now, you might say that I'm exaggerating and that people can't hate firefighters and cops and teachers here in Ohio. Well, all I can say is that Issue 2 has a good chance of passing despite our pleas that it makes us a lot less safe and efficient.

Most people who support the bill like a few of the key points and I understand that. The problem is that Governor Kasich and his supporters have included several articles within the bill that endanger firefighters and the public in general in the long run. Things like stacking the deck against the firefighters during negotiations by giving final say to the politicians in every aspect of the contract. Most people don't realize that our safety is part of our contract negotiations and, yes, increased safety sometimes means increased cost. For more on how the bill affects our safety, I have included links to two of my previous editorials if you want to learn more.

In the meantime, the point of this blog is to, yes, vent a little, but also to give readers a small glimpse into how the demonizing of firefighters affects us personally. I go back to work tomorrow. At any moment, my life could be at stake. In saying that, I can't believe that I am involved in a situation where I am trying to convince the general public that firefighters aren't the enemy. I can't believe that so many people are trusting a member of Wall Street-turned-politician over the very people who teach their kids and save their lives.

As an added note, the governor has excluded his own office and politicians in general from the bill. If it is a good bill, and he is a public servant, why do you think that is?

I'm sorry if you are for Issue two and are offended by my comments, but I ask you to look at everything this bill does and vote with what you think is right. I have never felt so attacked by politicians and I hope Ohioans come to firefighters' defense in November.

If you live in Ohio, please vote NO on Issue 2. Thank you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ever want to own a werewolf?

I am excited to announce that Rhemalda Publishing has accepted my werewolf novel with a twist. More information coming soon. If this intrigues you, sign up for more.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Your Name as a character" contest winner

Congratulations to Thomas Paul Barczak on winning my "Your Name as a Character" contest. Thomas is the author of "Awakening Evarun," part one of a six-part serial available on Amazon here:

Thomas' name was drawn from a pool of entrants and he has been given the option of naming a character in "The Light of Epertase, Book 2; A Kingdom's Fall." Thomas has given me two names to choose from--Orin and Vacha. I have decided to use both.

I want to thank everyone who entered.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Is FaceBook Worthless for Marketing Your Book (and other related questions)?

My friend, J.S. Chancellor, once asked me if I have ever purchased a book from another author I met on FaceBook. I thought it was a good question and one I should open up to everyone.

For my answer, I have to say, rarely. I have so many books waiting to be read and so much writing that I still need to do, I don't have a chance to check out everyone's work. On occasion, I'll buy a book from someone I have made a personal connection with during FB chats, but I never buy a book just because someone friended me and then posted a link to their book on my wall. Maybe some of you have, which is why I'm asking the question. Hey, I'm not knocking trying such a tactic, as we have to do everything we can to sell books, I'm just wondering if it ever works.

After all, I post links to my book and book-related stuff all of the time. But does it actually sell books?

Even with my earlier answer of rarely, as to the question of buying books from new FB friends, I have to say that overall, it doesn't work. Wait a minute, you say. I said rarely, so that must mean it works sometimes, right? Well, not exactly. I have 900+ friends on FaceBook. Out of those 900 friends, I'm guessing 50-100 of them are friends of mine from the "real" world. Then, another 30-40 have become people I enjoy talking with on FaceBook because we've taken the time to engage in conversation for whatever reason. That leaves a lot of authors that have friended me or I have friended who are simply promoting their work, which is the same thing I have done. But out of all of those numbers, I'd say I've purchased 3 books. Yeah. Three.

Does that make me a jerk? Or selfish? I sure hope not. When I started acquiring friends here on FB, I had every intention of checking out their stuff while hoping to find avenues of promoting my own work. I do share other author's stuff on occasion, but only if I was particularly interested in what they had said or if they had made some kind of personal connection with me.

So, that brings me to my next set of questions. In saying all of this, does it mean that FaceBook is worthless for authors? That answer for me is still a resounding "no way." First and foremost, I have made friends on FaceBook and I enjoy chatting with them quite a bit. Second, and more to the point, I do think things I have written have spread by this medium. Blogs, for example. This blog, even. If you are here participating in this debate, I am willing to bet you found it from Facebook, Twitter, or through some other social media. Does that mean you are going to rush out and buy my book now? No, of course not. I've learned that everything doesn't have to be about selling books. I am happy you are here regardless of whether you read fantasy or have any interest in ever paying for what I've written.

The fact that you're reading this and (hopefully) commenting, hint, hint, is enough for me to continue being active on FaceBook and Twitter and such.

Really, I wish I could buy all of your books and you could all buy mine, but that just isn't reality.

Which brings me to my final series of questions today. What is your purpose for using FaceBook as a way to market your work? Is it simply to throw your latest book at the FaceBook wall and hope something catches on? Is it to make friends and build relationships with other authors? How about name recognition? For example, if you've seen my book title a few times and then you are searching WalMart or Barnes and Noble or wherever for something to read and you come across my book again, will you give it a try? Does that ever work?
I'd love to hear your opinion. Have you found something different in your FB marketing? Have you found a place where actual readers go looking for your stuff to read? Like Goodreads, for instance? Maybe you have a different goal or maybe you ARE one of the ones who uses FaceBook to find your next read. I'd like to hear your take.

Oh yeah, and if you are using FB to find your next read, do I have a suggestion for you ;)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Scene of the Crime

On Saturday, August 6, 2011, an unspeakable crime was committed at a local comic book store in Newark, Ohio. Here are the facts as we know them. A 38 year-old male snuck into the Comic Shop Plus in Newark, armed with boxes of books, bookmarks, and possibly door "prizes." This individual, along with a rogue gang of friends and family, proceeded to set up tables, give out beverages, and sign books that he eventually sold to the unsuspecting public. This is a strange crime indeed and one that police believe could become an ongoing phenomenon. There are already rumors of this so-called "author" making an appearance at the New Albany street fair on August 20th, between 2-4 PM. Please keep your eye out for this man as, if you get too close to him or his accomplices, they may lighten your wallet of $15.00 in exchange for some made-up story. Please watch the surveillance video below closely as this "criminal" unloaded 56 books before he vanished without a trace.

If you know one of these people, be sure to like Epertase on Facebook, or hurry over to Thank you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Launch Day... Eh.

Last Monday was the official launch of my book, "The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn." In celebration, I... well I... uh... worked at the fire house. I know, kind of a letdown, huh?

When I arrived at work I was told that a brand new, first-day-out-of-the-academy, rookie firefighter was going to be on the truck with me. What's that mean for a lieutenant? A lot, actually. It means, among other things, on emergencies I have to keep a close eye on what he is doing in addition to my regular lieutenant duties. It also means that I need to sit down with him and explain what I expect on fire scenes, EMS calls, and around the station in general. Sure, he has had wonderful training in Columbus' fire academy, but it's a little different doing it for real.

Unfortunately, I only had an hour with him before I went to a meeting where I discussed my new position as a training officer for battalion four. But in that hour with him, we pulled some of the hose off of the truck for practice (called advancing hoselines) because different stations load their hose in different ways. And then I went to my training meeting.

After my meeting, I met with the rookie again, only this time the battalion chief joined us so he could lay out what he expects of new guys (and gals) at the station. As I went through the day with the new guy, I was careful to remember my own first nervous day and I tried to make him as comfortable possible. By that, I mean as comfortable as one could be with the imminent threat of a life-or-death situation weighing on them for 24 hours. I remember how my mind was racing on my first day and I wanted to give him a sense of calm. If you are excited and high-strung before a call comes in, then when the actual action starts, it'll inevitably get worse from there.

You ever played that game where you hold your hands out palms down and someone else holds their palms upward against yours? You know the one, where they try to smack the top of your hands before you yank them away. It doesn't take long before you are flinching at every subtle movement that the other person makes. Now, imagine that feeling throughout your entire body for 24 straight hours and I think you can understand how on edge he probably felt. The trick to the first few days at the fire house is to get past those feelings and to stop jumping at every crack of the PA speaker. He will; it'll just take time.

Between the calls and the paperwork and the rookie, you can see how I spent most of my launch day, far too busy to think much about my book. Does it sound like the air has been let out of the launch day sails a little? Yeah, probably a bit, but that's OK. My celebration will actually be on Saturday when I have my official launch party. In preparation for that, the local newspaper did a story on me (see blog here: ), I did a radio interview on Tuesday, and flyers have been posted in stores everywhere. So, hopefully, the launch party will be highly successful and a tad more fun than my actual launch day. We shall see.

But my launch day did end better. When I came home from work the next morning, my wife had left me a gift on the table next to a chocolate chip cookie cake as a congratulations. I ask you, what could be better than cake?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Awakening Evarun

My friend Thomas has released part one of a 6-part fantasy serial. I wanted to share my review.

Thomas Barczak writes fantasy like fantasy is suppose to be written. Thomas has a talent to his words and a voice made for the fantasy genre. Passages like, "Talus pulled his knees close and drew the veil of the dying over him" is a perfect passage to highlight Thomas' flair for story-telling.

I can't say a lot about the story as this is the first part of a 6 part serial, but let me just say wizards.

And then there is Thomas' art. Each chapter is highlighted by a sketch from Thomas' pencil and, at times, I found myself anxiously reading through his wonderful prose in anticipation of the next piece of art. Not that I wasn't enthralled in the writing, but I love his art. Thomas is talented in both writing and illustrating and anyone who likes high fantasy would be well advised to give Thomas' serial a read.

Here's a link to pick it up for $2.99 on your Kindle:

Monday, July 25, 2011

My Local Newspaper Gives Me Some Love

My local newspaper recently did a story about me, my writing, and being a firefighter. Here are a couple of my immediate thoughts.

First, after doing the interview and having a few photos taken, I realized that I had no idea what the theme of the article was going to be. The anticipation started to feel like torture. After all, I had given him an ARC copy of the book, so the article could have been about how crappy of a writer I was. For all I knew, he could have written that he hoped I was a better firefighter than I was an author. OK, the article probably wasn't going to turn out that way, but that's my point-- an author can’t help but feel vulnerable in this situation, even though rationally he knows it’s a good product.

Also, I'm not a professional speaker, so in any interview I do, my words could easily be misconstrued or the wrong parts emphasized, and I’d look like a tool. (Heck, I talked quite a bit and even I don't know everything I said.) Our interview was probably 15 or 20 minutes long and then we spoke again casually on another occasion for a bit longer. What if I had come home from a bad day at the fire house and said, "Man, I hated work yesterday?" The entire story could have been "Firefighter Who Hates His job." Or "Fireman Complains of Hard Work." See how easy it is to misinterpret?

Here is another potential pitfall in speaking to the press. As you talk to reporters, because their job is to be good listeners, you quickly forget that everything you say is on the record. Like a good friend, they don't cut you off after you make your point either. They will let you drone on and on and on for as long as you want to talk. Because he listened so well, I found myself unable to resist the urge of elaborating on whatever I had just said when there was actually no need.

I'm reminded of President Obama saying Chris Brown was a "jackass" to a reporter after the singer assaulted Rhianna a couple of years ago. And then I remember the president's immediate backpedaling as he realized that he wasn't talking to friends off the record, but to the media. Now, after doing my interview, I can see how that can happen. Though, I didn't call anyone a jackass...

I don't think.

Most of these fears, I admit, are fairly far-fetched, but, hey, it could happen. Overall, I don't think that I said anything too awful and, in the end, the final article turned out to be pretty cool. Here it is:

What do you all think? My thanks to Chad Klimack of The Pastaskala Standard for his professionalism and accuracy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Book Launch Party- Newark, Ohio

If you are in the central Ohio area on Aug. 6th, 2011, please join me at The Comic Shop Plus, 235 s. 21st street between 1:00 and 4:00 to celebrate the launch of "The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn." I will be there along with cover artist, Steve Murphy, signing copies of the book. Come on by, I'd love to meet you. And bring your family. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Local Firefighter Reactions to my Book

Now that "The Light of Epertase: Legends Reborn" has started to make its way into readers' hands, I thought I'd tell you how my firefighter friends have reacted. Although the book's official release date isn't until August 1, 2011, and Amazon have started sending out their orders. Plus, I have received my allotment from Rhemalda and have broken my own release date (please don't tell them).

The first reaction I'd like to mention was from my good friend, John. John and I have a rather unique friendship in that we spend most of our time cutting on each other. It can be quite comical as well as quite brutal, especially when others are around. In fact, if you read the acknowledgements in my book, I thank "everyone at station 22 except for John." I was excited to be able to actually dig at him in print. Let's see him top that.

Anyway, in front of a bunch of firefighters, and might I add potential buyers, John asked me how much I make per book sold. Mistakenly thinking he was genuinely interested, I told him. He said, "Then can I just give you a couple of dollars and not have to buy your stupid book?" Everyone thought that was pretty hysterical. It was, after all, the first funny thing John has said in the 11 years I've known him. ;)

Now that I've received copies of the book that I can sell, I've sold them to about 20 or so firefighters. Overall, the reaction has been better than I expected. (No, John still hasn't bought one.) The surprising part is in who has bought them. I have had three firefighters buy my book just to support me with no intentions of reading it, saying that they weren't much into reading. Here's the cool part. All three of them decided to try a chapter or two (probably so they would have fodder for their coming wise cracks) and all three of them finished the book within a couple of days. To me, that is a great sign when people who aren't big readers are unable to put my book down once they start. I'm beyond thrilled.
Having said all of that, they are still firefighters. My friend Roger read it at work while I was doing paperwork in the office. He found a small overuse of a particular word and proceeded to announce over the PA every time he came across that word. Just what I wanted to hear, an announcement to everyone what he perceived as a mistake. Arrrgghh.

In telling you that, I suppose you'd like to know what my overused word was. Well, you'll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself as I don't want to taint your reading of it. BTW, no one else has complained of the same, so I think it is just Roger.
But, let me tell you, I'll never overuse that word again just in case.

I've had other firefighter friends ask me what the book was about and I've told them a brief synopsis while adding, "You wanna buy one?" To which they've replied, "I'm not buying that crap."

I've even tried to convince one or two of them that my book comes with 384 pieces of kindling to no avail. Oh well, you can't win them all.

So, there you have it--my firefighter friends' initial reactions to one of their own releasing a book. In reality, 99.9% of my coworkers who have read Epertase have enjoyed it so much that they have called me at home and asked to preview book two so they don't have to "wait an entire year to find out what happens." That's pretty cool. If they were simply being nice, I don't think they would have taken the time to call me at home.

Though John did call me one night to tell me he was at a bon fire and needed something to burn. I told him he could burn as many of my books as he wanted...

As long as he paid for them first.

That damn John.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Fun Firehouse Good-bye

Since I was promoted, I have been spending quite a few shifts at station 15 on the near east side of Columbus. If you have read my past blogs then you might recognize 15's as the station where I spent my first day as a promoted lieutenant. (See blogs here: AND part 2 here: As you can see from that blog, the guys and gals can be pretty rough.

Anyway, one of the long-time station 15 firefighters (we call him Pup) has recently decided to transfer to another station. This is relatively common on Columbus Fire as firefighters decide to try new stations for one reason or another.

So, I was at 15's on the day that the newest transfer list, which revealed Pup's departure, was released. Let me say up front that everyone at 15's is going to miss Pup and no one wanted to see him go, but those aren't the feelings that firefighters express in most cases. Here is how they did express themselves.

The first thing I noticed was when I went to fill out some paperwork on totally unrelated matter. I scanned the roster to get Pup's ID number and saw that his name had been blacked out completely. The news of his leaving was less than an hour old and someone had already removed his name from the station roster. I thought it was harsh (and funny) but that was only the beginning. You see, Pup still had to work three more weeks at 15's before he started his new assignment at station 8.

A little later in the day I asked one of the guys what he thought of Pup leaving and he answered, and I quote, "Who?"

I said, "Pup."

He said, "I don't know this 'Pup' whom you are speaking of."

Meanwhile, Pup laughed along with the jokes as the crew jabbed him all day. He was called a quitter for "abandoning" the station, an idiot, and many other names that I won't put into print as to not offend anyone. But he knew it was all in fun. Firefighters are rough, I'm tellin' ya..

He didn't get much of a break from his future crew over at 8's either. A few days later, the crew at 8's sent station 15 a painted wheel chock (see pic) and was told it was part of the trade.

According to them, fifteens got a wheel chock and 8's got a Pup, hinting that all Pup was good for was being shoved under a truck tire so the truck doesn't roll backward.

But all of that was in fun. As I write this blog, we are at Pup's last day at 15's. You'd think his friends would buy him a farewell cake and a card or something, but if that is what you think, you haven't been paying attention. You see, a cake was purchased, only it was purchased by Pup for the rest of us. That's right. Pup's farewell cake was his responsibility and we ate every bite. Then we proceeded to tell him how terrible his cake tasted.

On a serious note. I won't see Pup as much anymore because he will be in a different area than I usually work. And do you know what? I'll miss him. (Even if he is a quitter and can't handle the pace here in Battalion four ;) So, I'll see you around... uh... um...

Who are we talking about again?