Monday, September 29, 2014

Odds and Ends...

I suppose last week wasn't a great week to disappear from my blog, but I got buried under new chapters for Blade's Edge and trying to get the Kickstarter campaign to keep trucking.

Speaking of which, the Kickstarter is at 53% funded and only has 8 days to go. If we can get a couple more surges like we had at the beginning it should still be doable, but I really need your help! Please consider spreading the word on social media, in person to people who might enjoy the book, and anywhere else you can think of. (Here's the short link to help you spread the word:; here's a tweet all composed for you to use if twitter is your thing -or you could modify it for use on facebook etc.- "Female badasses overthrowing patriarchal asshattery + #indienovel. Supporting = officially sticking it to the man."

And, if you think you might enjoy the book yourself, please check it out here:

Also, Blade's Edge the webserial is still going strong at Jukepop Serials and has over 330 +votes for September so far putting it at #9 for the month. And it's up to #60 for all time rankings with 882 +votes. That's pretty exciting. A lot of new chapters have gone up over the past week, (chapter 42 went up last night) and the last two chapters will go up today and tomorrow, so if you haven't had a chance to catch up lately now would be an excellent time. The voting for September closes tomorrow night so now is a great time to read and plus vote and help keep Blade's Edge in the top 10!

Ok, so that's Blade's Edge for now.

There are two blog posts that I've had floating around in my head for a while and I can't decide which one to write about, or whether I should save them for later.

One is about why it's important to support independent authors, and the other is about the gripe that people have with YA.  For those not familiar with book category abbreviations YA stands for young adult. They both feel important to me at the moment because a. I'm an indie author and b. Blade's Edge is technically YA.

I say technically because I never wrote Blade's Edge intentionally as a YA novel. It never occurred to me that my target audience would be teenagers, and I'm not sure that it is. In fact, I didn't even realize it was YA until I was clicking the little boxes on Jukepop to categorize it and my husband looked over my shoulder and said, "You should check YA. Aren't the main characters under 18? Doesn't that make it YA?"

Does it?

To be honest, I'm not sure what makes a novel YA. Yeah, Taka and Mishi are both under 18 for the duration of the book, so I guess that makes it YA, but at no time have I decided to write the story differently than I would any other story. Are there people who won't read it because it's YA? Are there people who seek it out because it's YA? Are there special rules to the YA category that I don't know about and am constantly breaking?

I don't know the answer to any of those questions, except the first one. Yes. There are definitely people who will avoid reading the story because I ticked the box that says YA. Which bums me out a bit, to be honest, because I don't even know what YA means. There has been a lot of hype on the internet lately about YA as a category and why it's good/bad/indifferent. Here's an excellent blog post that clarifies what I'm talking about if you haven't had a chance to read any of this. (I hadn't been in on what was happening until late last week.)

Ultimately, the question I keep asking myself is this: if all that YA actually stands for is a target age group then why are we even talking about it? My guess is that many people think it means quite a bit more than that. In my case, it's not even a target age group, it just happens to be the age group of my main characters, and on the thought that teenagers might enjoy reading about characters their own age, I checked the YA box.

But Mishi and Taka are far from typical teenagers, so I don't even know if they're relatable as such.

I guess I kind of went ahead with the YA topic, didn't I?

Well, later this week perhaps I will tackle the supporting of indie authors (and artists in general) and in the meantime I leave you with this:

Fall is here and it's rather pretty.

Also, be advised that on Wednesday I will be guest blogging on the NaNoWriMo Support Squad. I will post the link here when it happens. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are...

Yarrr! Felicitations on a minorly belated day o' talkin' like a pirate. Avast yer landlubbin' speak and join the ranks o' those o' us who talk like we're direct off a plastic ship in a Disney sea.

Ahem. The 19th was international talk like a pirate day, and even though it's after midnight I felt the need to mention it here. *Hangs head for moment of solemn piratey thought*

Moving on.

First off, only 18 days left to preorder a copy of Blade's Edge via my Kickstarter campaign! (Consequently making the publishing of the book possible!)

For those curious about stats (you know how much I love the numbers):

36 = the number of backers as of right now
1810 = the number of dollars raised so far
12 = the number of people I've never met before who have ordered a copy of the book (yay!)
3 = the number of short stories that have been commissioned through the project so far (so excited)
7 = the number of short stories left for people who want them!
19 = the number of early bird specials left to order to book
40 = the percent of total funding so far
18 = the number of days until the campaign ends :-(
2690 = the number of dollars left to raise in order to fund successfully
108 = the number of trade paperback copies that must sell in order to fund on copies of the book alone

Ever onward!!

In other news related to Blade's Edge, the serial itself is having a banner month over on Jukepop. Back on September 1st it was ranked #80 overall on the site and now it's ranked #66! Where Blade's Edge closed out last month with 147 +votes, it already has 188 +votes and we're only two thirds of the way through the month. Right now it's ranked #8 for the month of September. So cool!

Chapter 39 just went up a few hours ago, so be sure to check that out too!

In addition, there are only four chapters remaining in the story (possibly five if one of the chapters winds up splitting, but no more than that). Which means the serial (and consequently the second draft) is almost done! YAY!!

The third draft is going to be awesome, I can't wait to get started.

So, now we reach the bit that caused the title of this post. I did a silly thing the other day, I went where the trolls live and I made some noise...

It's been a long time since I have posted to a forum that was full of people who spend all of their time on the internet waiting to pounce on things other people say. A very, very long time.

An interesting thing about this Kickstarter campaign is reaching into the depths of my internet background and posting wherever I think it might generate even one single backer. For the most part, this has been a pleasant experience. Honestly, there aren't a lot of places on the web that I used to frequent but don't anymore, so mostly it has been a question of posting in communities in which I'm active and where people tend to play nice.

But Blade's Edge is a novel inspired by feudal Japan and I was in Japan when I wrote it, so I thought, "What the heck, I'll log back into some of the forums I used to check when I was going through the whole crazy process of getting to Japan and living there."

I had forgotten just how much time the people in those forums seem to have on their hands.

I knew my post would be lambasted the moment I left it. I even included the following in my original post just to show that I knew what was coming:  "Thanks! Post all questions, comments, hate mail, and trolling in the comments and I'll be sure to answer. "

And I did know what was coming, I just forgot how incredibly ridiculous it would be. The thread exploded in moments. People brought their trolling A-Game. Here are some screen shots of highlights:

First of all, here's my original post: (if you're having trouble reading you can click the pictures to make them larger)

So now let's look at some of the top responses. It's difficult to choose but I'll try to narrow it down.

Though, to be fair that was just a warning

Honestly, that was almost polite.

I'm sure that's a fairly accurate stastic

I like to think that one was in the spirit of sympathy

And of course no trollapalooza is complete without a Game of Thrones reference

There are lots more and plenty of them are funny, but this post is already huge and I think you get the idea. Plus most of the highlights I've left out so far involve lots of cursing. 

When you remind yourself that they do this to EVERYONE (yes, even and especially each other) it makes it a lot easier to simply laugh and move on. Really, you have to keep in mind that they would do this Stephen King if he showed up and said he was promoting a new book and wanted to give them each a signed copy.

I managed (barely) not to reply to any of the trolls and only focus on the ONE SINGLE PERSON replying in any legitimate way to my post. Granted, he wasn't trying to be nice, but he was asking legitimate questions and having a conversation. After a good hour of me and him exchanging questions and answers, and me not replying to a single troll, they all crawled back under their bridges and went back to sleep, or moved on to the next unwitting traveler.

Sigh... It might have been a lost cause in terms of generating any backers, but it did remind me of what a strange place the internet can be. Which I thought you all might appreciate.

I recommend it to all prospective authors though. It's excellent practice for thickening the skin towards negative reviews and the like.

Oh interwebs, you are a funny, funny place.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This Whole Kickstarter Thing... kind of surreal.

**Advisory: what follows is a detailed analysis of first: my more complicated reactions to the whole process of running a kickstarter campaign thus far and second: the math that my brain keeps running through against my will. If you want the quick take away it's this: life is awesome and I can barely believe how fortunate I am. Read on for wayyyyy more details about the ins and outs.**

This experience, one week in, is all over the place.

First of all there's the gratitude. Holy crap. People I know and love (who have already supported me in so many ways) are supporting me again monetarily to make a reality of a lifelong dream? People I've never met pre-ordering copies of the book to do the same? I'm overwhelmed with a feeling of fortune and thankfulness. The fact that we're at 30% funding at the end of week one amazes and humbles me.

Then there's the shame of feeling like I'm asking for money. It's tempered by the fact that the money is actually in exchange for goods and services, but only somewhat.  Part of me cringes, wondering how many people are just backing to be supportive and how many actually want to read the book. All of me is grateful for the support either way. This is, after all, an excellent example of how to support your author friends even if you don't read their genre. Still, this kind of asking is uncomfortable at best.

Then there's the worrying about whether I'm posting too many updates about this kickstarter on social media, or not enough. The fine line between maximizing visibility with people who might actually want to back it, but haven't seen it yet, and spamming the people who aren't interested or have already helped. Yargh...

Then there's the euphoria of watching the first two days of funding skyrocket! And the slow drop to reality (or a slightly more comfortable euphoria) of watching the funding plateau with very small rises.

Then there's the constant numbers game playing in my head. In the first two days we reached 24% funding. If that rate had continued for the entire kickstarter we would reach $16,200 by the end of the 30 day campaign. More realistically, here at the end of week one we are 30% funded. That rate carried out over four weeks takes us to 120% funding or $5,400. Then the pessimistic numbers... If you don't count those first two days, the last five days showed only a 6% increase in funding, and if you take that over the rest of the project you get: $2,610 (and that includes what's already raised).

I hate thinking about it in these terms when I'd rather just think of it in terms of the amazing support I've already gotten, but unfortunately Kickstarter is an all or nothing affair and so my brain can't help but contemplate the chances of failing to reach the $4,500 set goal. (In case you're worried, if I don't meet my goal your money is simply refunded back to you, and it all happens automatically.)

I try not freak out worrying that without another surge of backing the project won't make it to the fully funded mark.

Instead of focusing on those numbers I stick to doing a happy dance every time someone backs the project or likes a post about the kickstarter or +votes Blade's Edge on Jukepop.

And there's a happy benefit or possibly just a coincidence of this project... Blade's Edge has gained a few readers on Jukepop, and some of its previous readers have decided to catch up and plus vote again, so it has been getting a LOT of plus votes this month. It already has as many as it closed the month out with in August, and it is currently riding at #7 for September and #71 overall. That is SO awesome! It is the highest Blade's Edge has ever gotten at the middle of the month, and its held there for a couple of days so far. So, that's really exciting.

It's also really exciting to be getting so close to the end of this draft of Blade's Edge. It's only a few chapters away and will be all wrapped up by the end of September. October will then be dedicated entirely to a full length revision that leads to a proto-final draft (true final draft of course requiring beta readers, copyediting etc.). November will be copyediting and formatting and then we should be ready to print by mid-December.  All of that is extremely exciting.

In summary, the kickstarter is off to a great start, but still has a long way to go. We've raised $1,350 so far but that leaves $3,150 to go. Here's more of the math I find myself doing at random: to fully fund what's left of the kickstarter with just the $25 copy of the book (including the remaining 20 early bird specials that are only $20) I need 130 more people to back the project.

That doesn't seem like an unreasonable number, and with the percentage of people pledging at higher levels so far it may be take way fewer people than that. The whole thing is a guessing game and from everything I've read on various forums, in various articles, and from other people who have done this themselves, it's entirely unpredictable. Remember how I said it feels like I'm in a giant social experiment? Well it's seems quite likely that I am actually in a giant social experiment. Only it's early stages yet and there are many hypotheses as to how it could go.

Crowdfunding is certainly an interesting phenomenon and I am learning TONS through this whole process.

So... I've got more Blade's Edge chapters to write, a kickstarter backer update to get ready, and some of my regular life to lead as well. I should probably say hi to my husband while I'm away from the laptop.

Again, important takeaway? I cannot express easily how fortunate I feel with all of this, and my life in general. I am so very, very, lucky, no matter how this Kickstarter thing turns out. So, hugs all around. And I hope everyone had a great weekend! My mom visited over the weekend and I have some awesome tidbits to share on this site over the next few posts thanks to that. For now, I leave you with this meme I created a few days ago with Artemis' help.

(If this makes no sense to you at all, google 'doge meme' and be mildly amused.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interviews with Indie Authors: Hugh Howey

Well, folks. Today is the day. It's been difficult to keep this interview to myself since last week, because it is very entertaining and I have high hopes that you all will enjoy it thoroughly. I would have posted it sooner, but I was desperately getting my Kickstarter campaign for Blade's Edge together as the launch was Monday. But, now that we're up and running with that, it's time to share this little piece of awesome with the rest of the world.

For those who are unfamiliar with Hugh Howey here's a bit of background: Hugh Howey is a very well known author. He is best known for his Silo Saga and for being one of the most successful independent authors in existence. For those of us who are wading into the self publishing waters he's not only the poster child we all wish to be like, he's also an excellent resource for information on how it's done and how publishing is changing. Here's some info from his about the author page
My first stories detail the life of a character that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. Her name is Molly Fyde, and she draws inspiration from the awesome women in my life. 
My Wool series became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011. Originally just a novelette, the demand from Amazon reviewers sent me scurrying to write more tales in this subterranean world. The resulting Omnibus has spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100, has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film. The story of its success has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Random House is publishing the hardback version in the UK in January of 2013. 
When I’m not writing, I like to go for hikes with my family, take a stroll on the beach, and keep up with my reading. I currently live in Jupiter, Florida with my wife Amber and our dog Bella.

Here's what he looks like: 

And here's what I think of his work (please note that Mr. Howey's body of work is much greater than just the Silo Saga, I just haven't read it all yet): The Silo Saga may be one of my all time favorite series. I found the plots engaging, creative and intelligent. I found the characters vivid and compelling. I found the ending satisfying and appropriate. The whole thing was well done from start to finish. A summary? Inside is safe, it's organized, everyone has their place, everyone has enough. Outside? Outside is where you are sent for the worst possible crimes. Crimes that tear up the community and leave holes. Crimes like wanting to go outside. 

Unfortunately, it's one of those books with a plot so compelling and complex that it's difficult to explain and avoid spoilers and I do NOT want to spoil these books for anyone. So, go get them! Read them! And then come back and read this interview. For those who don't have the time or inclination to follow such sound advice, I will include <@> to mark all spoilers at the front of a question whose answer might contain one -or even just a tiny hint of one. 

Finally, before we start the interview I want to mention that Hugh Howey has some really great advice for aspiring and established indie authors alike. His articles tend to be humorous as well as informative. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Discoverability and Donald Rumsfeld (this one contains one of my all time favorite writing quotes: "Don’t be miserable. Be happy. And nice. And work hard. And get discovered. How, exactly? I have no fucking clue.")

And here's a link to his analytics on indie and traditional publishing sales:

I mention all of these because many of you may be tuning in to this interview in hopes of getting some self publishing gems out of it. I tried to limit my questions to things that aren't covered in those articles so there may not be as many of those here as you wanted, but it's well worth your time to read Mr. Howey's posts.

Alright. Without further ado, (because that was quite enough wasn't it?) I give you: An interview with Hugh Howey (standard warning about me asking silly questions and getting silly answers applies):

1. I've read that you spent some of your early days swashing a buckle or two. I was surprised to find that we have this in common. What's your favorite anecdote form the sea?

Man, it's hard to pick just one. The craziest thing that ever happened to me was the time I left Cuba heading for Panama, and we hit really rough seas. I told my first mate that we'd be screwed if we lost our sat phone, watermaker, genset, and main engine. And then over the next twenty-four hours, we lost them in that exact order. I still suspect he sabotaged them just to mess with my head. We ended up on a small island in the middle of nowhere, a little spit of paradise, where we spent the happiest two months of my life. So it all worked out.

2. If you could send one non-human animal on a mission to mars which would it be and why?

My dog, Bella. I'd be so proud of her!

Ok, getting into the Silo Saga: (if any of the answers to these questions reveal spoilers I will be sure to mark them clearly)

3a. The story feels very character driven, which is something I really enjoy, and you write very vivid, believable characters. By the end of the books it feels like everyone is real and we know them all quite well. How do you accomplish that? (In a nutshell, cause you know, that's not a huge question or anything. ;-P)

I think it helps to be crazy. I had an imaginary friend when I was very young. I've always been good at hearing different voices chat back and forth in my head. You either get locked up for this, or you make a fortune as an author. I lucked out.

3b. Are any of your characters for Silo based on particular people?

Not really. My characters are mash-ups of all the people I've encountered in real life and in fiction (both in print and in other forms of media, like TV and film). Honestly, they appear out of nowhere, fully-formed, like strangers emerging from a crowd. I instantly know their background, their fears, their dreams, what their family is like, all of that.

<@> 4. Of all the characters in the books Thurman is perhaps the most enigmatic. We never get to read from his point of view. Why is that? Was it a conscious choice or just the way the story developed?

It was very conscious. Thurman is the engine behind so much of what befalls humanity. I didn't want to define him too strongly, because I hope readers will see the potential of him everywhere. He's scarier in his potential than he is in his reality. There are so many Thurman's out there, especially in politics.

<@> 5. In the Silo books we start with a very small world view, and as the stories continue that view gets wider and wider. Did you do your world building in reverse? Did it happen that way because it started as a self contained novella or was the world already there in your head and we just got to see more of it as the story continued?

The latter. I have to know more about my world than what I reveal. I heard Jim Butcher refer to this last weekend as world-building like an "iceberg." The reader only sees the very tip. You have to know all that lies beneath. Even if you never show it.

6. Machinery comes to life in your stories and a number of characters have a very important and believable relationship with machines. Why is this? Does it come from personal experience or is it solely an experiment in imagination?

Definitely from personal experience. I grew up around a lot of machinery. My father was a farmer. Later, I got into computers and repaired them for a living. I still build my own. When I started working on yachts, I was responsible for keeping everything up and running. So it's a big part of my life and always has been.

7. If Jules could come join us right now in... let's say New York City... what things would she find the most hopeful, and what things would she find the most horrifying?

She would LOVE elevators. And I think Times Square would terrify her. All those bulbs that need replacing, and all those screens not to trust.

Ok. Back to you, and to independent authors...

8. If you could give a single-sentence piece of advice to every author who is considering self publishing what would you tell them?

There's no reason not to; the stigma is rapidly vanishing; self-publishing will not harm your career, it'll only help launch it—and all things are possible with semi-colons and em-dashes.

9. Let's fast forward 10 years into the future, where do you imagine the publishing industry? (Emphasis on imagine.)

I imagine it on the west coast rather than the east coast. This is almost already true. Technology companies will be our primary publishers: Google, Apple, and Amazon. New York will be down to three major publishers. Barnes & Noble will be out of business, but some other chain will take their place and feature print-on-demand machines and smaller footprints. Book reading overall will be in decline, as more people spend their hours reading on the web. And libraries will be places for writing as much as reading, as they embrace self-publishing and become joints for writing groups, author discussions, and book launches.

10. As a person who cannot honestly identify a place that is home, I find it to be an interesting question to ask others. Do you have a place that is home? If so, where is it and what makes it home?

The sea is home for me. I feel lost everywhere except when I'm on a beach or on the deck of a ship.

11. What's your favorite writing space and why?

My favorite writing space was the conference room in my old bookstore. With the lights off, it was pitch-black in there. I did my best writing in that spot.

12. What is your least favorite form of social media and why? (Please don't say blogs... please don't say blogs... please don't say--)

Facebook. It's the one that sucks up most of my time. I am addicted to checking it, and it's been great for keeping up with friends, family, and fans. But I wish it would come on for an hour every day and then switch back off.

13. If it were legal to own a liger how many ligers would you own?


14. Should one go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line? Why/why not?

Absolutely. But only if you've developed a resistance to iocane. Which I have.

15. Please use the word inconceivable in a sentence.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

16. What book that you've read do you wish you'd written and why?

BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard. The book is pure genius. And if I'd written it, I never would have let that movie get made.

17. What is one fact that no one knows about you? (Or almost no one anyway, we don't need the GPS coordinates of all the bodies you dumped in the Caribbean.)

I'm a crack pool player. I can clear a rack in 8-ball. That's something that doesn't come up much.

18. Who is your favorite visual artist and why?

MC Escher. My mom was a math teacher, and I became both a math geek and a fine artist in high school. Escher was the perfect blend of both.

19. What fuels your writing?

My curiosity and my thirst for knowledge. I read a ton. I read the paper every day, and I consume books like they're chocolate chip cookies and I'm the Cookie Monster. I have so much coming in that I have to have an outlet to release it all.

20. Please complete following analogy: Self Publishing is to Traditional Publishing as __________ is to _____________ . (Can you tell that I used to teach SAT prep classes?)

Expedia is to Travel Agencies.

21. You seem to have a number of new projects on the go, what are you most excited about and why?

Right now it's my children's picture book. Oh my goodness, it looks so amazing. I can't believe how this thing came together. It comes out on November 18th. It's called MISTY: THE PROUD CLOUD. And I just love it.

22. You have provided some incredibly helpful insight into publishing statistics through amazon and other websites. These analytics have been very influential in a number of authors' decisions to self publish (including my own). What made you decide to pursue this information?

I wrestled with the decision whether or not to self-publish. I had a publisher at the time, and the first book with them was going very well, but I saw the future trending a certain way, and I made the leap. It was a blind leap. The more I can help paint a picture of what's over here, the more I can possibly help people feel secure with their decision, whichever way they go.

23. Who is your favorite character from Firefly? Why?

What's "Firefly?" Is that a book?

(I'm not sure if Mr. Howey is mocking me, or really isn't familiar with the amazingness that is the show Firefly -created by Joss Whedon, but after his excellent answers to all the Princess Bride related questions I'm willing to forgive him either way.)

24. The ending to the Silo Saga is one of the best endings I've ever encountered. It's rare that I find an ending so... balanced. I don't want to give anything about that ending away, or even talk about the Silo ending specifically, but I'd like to raise the question in general: How specially do you tend to your endings and what are your all time favorite endings in works that aren't your own? (That might have been two questions disguised as one... oops.)

I have to know the ending before I write very much in a story. I need a destination, one that makes sense and is satisfying. So I really start there, and then I go back and play with how the world and those characters ended up there. To me, one of the best endings in any novel was ENDER'S GAME. Just so many twists and turns in the last fifty pages, all of which were consistent and made perfect sense.

25. And finally, and most importantly, do you celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) and how will you be celebrating it this year? (Because obviously, if you didn't know about it before, you do now, and therefore have no reason not to.)


Well, I can't argue with that. 

So, there you have it folks. I don't know about you but I found that highly enjoyable, I'm kicking myself for not having arranged for an in person interview because I have a feeling the follow up questions, and more importantly their answers, would have been amazing. Alas, this is a blog, and blog interviews is what we do here. 

I don't know about you, but I'm going to go buy some more of Hugh Howey's work because anyone who thinks they can handle six ligers as pets must be crazy enough to write well. And yes, that's a prerequisite. 

**Special thanks to Aurora Wilson-McClain for helping me hone my questions regarding the Silo Saga**

Net Neutrality

Imagine a world in which the electricity in your home only worked for apple products, or it would only work efficiently on apple products. Let's say a macbook would charge in an hour, but if you have a sony laptop it would take ten hours.

That's an approximation of what we'd be looking at if the companies attempting to pass legislation that would allow them to create internet slow lanes succeed. This site would probably still be loading. It certainly has no reason to make it into a fast lane. It's not like I can afford to pay whatever comcast or other companies would charge me to have "fast" access to my site. 

Would you bother reading this blog anymore if it took twenty minutes to load? How many of your favorite sites would be big enough to pay for the "privilege" of fast internet access?

Would you let power companies decide how much electricity each appliance in your house should get based on which companies paid them? 

Don't let this happen to the internet. 

Go to and let law makers know what you think about the idea of internet fast and slow lanes. We have the power to stop it, we simply have to act.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Launchtime!

Well damn. Last week was a bit of a whirlwind: getting the kickstarter page ready and making the video as awesome as could be... it's finally ready. How ready you ask? This ready:

Some behind the scenes info: We (the husband and I) filmed all of the outdoor shots in the park near our apartment (yes, including the ones under the bridge - I'm trying to appeal to all of my troll fans) and we had friends contribute the various "I know what I'm doing" clips. The photos of Japan are all ones that I took while we were living there, and the ones of a woman holding a katana are all me trying to look like someone other than me. I really wish that I had some female Japanese friends here in Winnipeg to help me take pictures of people who actually look like the characters, but alas, no luck. So please pretend your hardest that those pictures are of beautiful Japanese women instead. Thanks.

Woot! In the handful of hours since posting we've gained two backers and $128 worth of pledges! That's awesome.

For those unfamiliar with kickstarter: it's an all or nothing venture, you can go over, but if you raise less than your goal you get nothing. Our goal is $4,500, so $128 in the opening hours of a 30 day campaign isn't bad! In return for pledging to fund the campaign backers earn rewards. In this case the rewards are copies of the book, copies of the cover art, a personalized short story starring YOU! and a number of other cool prizes.

Corey and I spent a good portion of our weekend filming and editing the video, and I've been researching and doing the math on this for ages. If you have questions about the campaign you can let me know in the comments section here, or the one on the kickstarter page. Today is all about spreading the word, so I've been posting like mad to every form of social media that I'm a member of. It's a fine line between self promotion and spamming, let me know if you think I've crossed it (or better yet let me know if you think I'm getting close to crossing it and help me prevent myself from becoming a jerk!).

---That sentence made sense in my head, I swear.

Anyway, I've spent a lot of time making this kickstarter happen (been planning it since back in the spring) and I'm very excited that it's launched and ready to go. So please check it out if you have a moment, and if you enjoy it, I hope you'll share it with others!

A huge thank you to those who helped make the movie, either by contributing clips or narrating for the synopsis (Jeremy Broomfield I'm looking at you). And a huge thanks to those who have already contributed!

In other news, the Hugh Howey interview will go up later this week! It's hilarious and educational, and I can't wait to share it with you guys. So keep an eye out for that, and go read his stuff if you haven't already.

Also, the newest Blade's Edge chapter will go up tomorrow and another on Friday! If you need to catch up before then, go here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What do Kickstarter and Hugh Howey have in common?

They will both be making appearances on my blog!

Well, ok in all fairness, they may have a lot of other things in common since they're both all about independent creative projects and such, but look... That's not my point.

What is my point? 

My point is that a. Hugh Howey has agreed to do an interview for this blog! and b. next week I will be launching my kickstarter project for Blade's Edge

Woohoo!! For those of you who don't know who Hugh Howey is, you really need to google his name. Or head to his website. Or, better yet, go buy the Wool omnibus, the first book in the Silo series. The Silo series being one of my all time favorite sci-fi books (series, trilogy, whatever). You could even omit the word sci-fi from that statement and still have it be true. So, go do that so that you can make the most of his interview when I post it. 

*does happy dance*



So yeah, I'm currently finishing up my kickstarter project page so that I can launch it on Monday of next week. The project will run from next week through the first week of October and if it funds successfully (it's an all or nothing proposition) then I will get down to the final revision and get everything ready for publication through October. WOOT!

**Don't know what kickstarter is? It's a crowdfunding site. Check it out here.

More details about that will be all over the project page itself, so please check that out as soon as it's up. I will certainly post all kinds of links to it here and everywhere else that I can.

All of this is exciting! Look, it's making Artemis dance!

And no, I don't actually take the trouble to make these gifs. My phone makes them automatically whenever I take multiple pictures of the same thing. So... Yeah. Technology is creepy.

Off to finish up that kickstarter project page! 

Oh, and if you didn't catch it already, Chapter 33 (Part Three: Chapter 17) of Blade's Edge is up and ready to read!