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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Star Train -research phase

Trains have fascinated me for a long time. Steam powered trains, in particular, with their style and raw power. The trains of the 1800s opened up the western states to settlers, entrepreneurs, and fortune hunters. Without trains the United States of America would have continued to rely on rivers, canals, and lakes to transport people and goods over great distances.

Steampunk is a genre of fiction defined in this way: A subgenre of science fiction and fantasy featuring advanced machines and other technology based on steam power of the 19th century and taking place in a recognizable historical period or a fantasy world.

I have always loved science fiction and at last I have an idea for a book series that works and I am totally consumed by! 

Star Train is going to take you on a wild ride! It is future earth in Kansas, USA. After the heartbreaking loss of his space yacht and its pilot, Dallas Applewood starts a summer project with his grandchildren to restore an 1800s steam train engine to its former glory. But the project expands as they transform the train into a space-worthy vessel capable of ferrying tourists from planet to planet. Someone else wants the project to succeed, too, but not for honest purposes!  

I am over 20,000-words into writing this novel; almost a quarter of the way finished. I am in the research phase, reading a book on steam locomotive history and doing various other research. The pictures included in this post I selected to give you an idea of the style of train that I am going to make fly through space. The picture at the top of this post is almost exactly how I picture it... albeit with technological advances attached to it! Expect the first book to be written by end of this summer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why the dark and the light?

Fantasy fiction has been widely criticized in the Christian community, and I think this is justifiably so. Much of the fantasy published by Christian companies is little more than an attempt to do one of two things: 1) sell to fans of major phenoms such as Harry Potter, or 2) make fantasy friendly to readers who don't care for the genre. I would like to quickly focus your attention on the second point because in the last few years I have found that most would-be-authors are writing something that is either too generic or too watered down.

In writing my stories, especially in creating The Sword Of The Dragon series, I make the good as bright as I can, and the evil as dark as I can. Why? Because in the contrast of these, readers find the power to move outside of the 'gray' moral area and become the heroes and heroines they wish to be. Light shines brightest when seen against a dismal background.

It is my hope that, when reading my books, readers find themselves drawn to Specter, Ilfedo, Oganna, and other heroic characters. It is my hope that readers cringe in the darkness, then thrust it aside with a cry of "I will not be vanquished!"

Which examples of heroes (or heroines) gives you the courage to stand for God?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Expanded storyworlds

Some of the best examples of expanded storyworlds are science fiction series such as Star Trek and Star Wars, as well as fantasies such as Dungeons And Dragons. These series have been expanding from their original storylines for many years. For the purpose of this post, let's focus on one of the best examples of an expanded universe: Star Wars.
Star Wars at my last check has 6 feature films, 4 television season, and over 200 novels. That doesn't even touch video games, book series for kids, guides, etc. This is an impressive record. It tells fans "Star Wars is a classic. Star Wars is here to stay."

The success of The Clone Wars series on Cartoon Network is now bringing in the next generation of young fans to Star Wars. Not only is an expanded universe smart from a business perspective, it is also a whole lot of fun!

As an author, I consider the potential in my stories for expanded universes. My series The Sword Of The Dragon has a lot of expansions in-the-works, and my newest project Star Train has similar potential.
Expandable storyworlds are important to readers and pivotal to establishing a loyal and growing fan base. In my next post I will discuss the expanded universe of my series The Sword Of The Dragon.
What expanded storyworlds do you follow?


"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.