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Saturday, October 29, 2011

HowlSage: a review

I met Brock Eastman at the International Christian Retail Show this year, and was aware that he had a few books coming out. He asked me to consider writing an endorsement and sent me his book HowlSage.

Being a particular reader, especially when it comes to fiction, I warned Brock that the content of the book didn't sound like something up my alley. The story follows a youth in his earthly battle against demons coming out of Hell... literally. It sounded too dark for me and, as I began to read it, the opening of the book was slow.

However, after the first few chapters the story began to roll. I began to enjoy the characters and the developing plot, which moves along at a nearly-perfect pace. Not so much action that I felt exhausted, but enough to pull me to the next page, and the next.

I heartily endorse HowlSage. It is original and, though the themes are very dark, the light of redemption in this story is just as bright!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Identifiable Characters

Powerful story-telling requires identifiable characters. The reader needs to relate to the experiences and/or reactions of the protagonist(s), and they need to find themselves repelled by the antagonist(s). For an author this can be tricky, but I think one key to identifiable characters is focusing on the character's life experiences.
You could say that I place a lot of emphasis on history; in this case, fictional history; those background details which provide character motivation and enhance the story-world. In life, our experiences shape us. But, depending on our reaction to them, they can improve, strengthen, weaken, mold us. Or, if we are a steady individual of pure logic, such as Spock, our experiences will leave an impression but change us little.
In my recently-released novel, The Sword of the Dragon: Offspring, I had a lot of fun with the characters. In particular, I enjoyed Caritha, Rose'el, Specter, and Ilfedo. I have come to know those characters better and thus their stories are proving easier to tell. Again, characterization, the best kind, is all about history!
The sketch above was original artwork by Amber Hill for Offspring. It beautifully conveys the friendship of Oganna and Vectra (who you'll read about in Offspring)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 1: Fort Wayne, IN

Today was a very quiet signing at Family Christian Store in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I only sold four books, but I feel that the sales I made were valuable ones because I really connected with a couple of people. The young man pictured above with me and my son, was one of the few purchasers. But he reminded me of a couple of good friends of mine, and, as I always say: Even if I sell only one book and make one new fan, that trip was worth it!

The store manager was very friendly and we discussed a Christmas tour idea that I am very excited about. More to come on that later.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Off to Northern Indiana (again)!

Sorry, dear blog readers, I have neglected to update you in a long while! But that is because I've been busy finishing up a long series of signings at gas stations, and, more recently, setting up my Fall book tour. Signings at the gas stations went very well. I sold a lot of books.

But with my second novel shipping from the printer October 10th, it is time to really get the ball rolling on promotions. There is something to be said for the fact that I lost momentum when I signed my book to AMG because of the time-gap until its re-release, and that I had really nothing to sell in the meantime. But there will be no more breaks like that.

Take a glance at the list of signing events I have lined up thus far for the next couple months. (You can locate the events' list either on the sidebar in this blog, or on my facebook fanpage). I ordered a banner for an upcoming library signing (pictured above). It turned out really nice. Also, I created a new bookmark that I'm sending out to the bookstores ahead of my events (pictured below with By Sword By Right copies). Various Barnes & Noble locations, as well as Family Christian bookstores, and a couple independents, are slipping these bookmarks into customers' bags in the days leading up to my signings. It is my hope that this will increase foot traffic into the stores, customers looking specifically for my books.

This weekend I'm heading to northern Indiana, again. It is a real hot spot for my books, with more opportunities I still need to take advantage of at a later date.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.