Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apex Predators to Evening's Dawn

This concerns the sequel to Apex Predators and has been difficult to write without giving out too many spoilers about both the first and second book. The second book is tentatively titled Evening's Dawn and is named after Laira Conlan's ship.

So... where do I begin this blog post? Beginnings are hard after all.

It begins with a memory which takes place shortly after the end of the Earth that was. Humanity had just conquered a few limits in their ability to travel in local space.

A very young boy by the name of Paul Jordan had witnessed the end through third hand recordings. War had ravaged the planet. The Greys had carpet bombed and the tectonic plates were shifting. There wasn't much time. The population was doomed.

From that memory certain things will be revealed to my readers: subtle clues and foreshadowing.

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Jaro and the gunslinger - is a section which is partially written which covers the dust up between a legendary martial artist facing down a legendary gunslinger in a bar in Mob Space. The outcome does have consequences for the future.

The Azurian Corporation becomes emboldened by the mob cutting ties with Don Valdez. Don Valdez was the last link they are aware of to getting to Joachim. Investigators, bounty hunters and high priced negotiators set out to track down their missing money and to get vengeance.

Mina makes her way across the cruel and heartless planet Okpara as she pushes forward to try to complete her mission in taking out the Freelancer Legions.

Riana finds out that even her best soldiers aren't like her as her as Markus and Malik both fail her. In an emotion filled show down, Markus makes Riana see that she lacks a basic part of her emotional makeup. She realizes that she is incomplete from life ripping her to shreds and all the pain that she has had to endure. Inside of herself she sees emptiness and this scares her.

Joshua Hughes has his holy war and comes to regret it as he has lost control of his zombies.

Laira's skills at Shaolin Kung Fu are put to the test as she is forced to pay for some of her brother's sins.


Those are the spoilers for now :)

I hope my readers are looking forward to this as much as I am.




Saturday, April 14, 2012

Writing a book: Titles and Teasers


When I first started to write my book, The Freelancer Chronicles Volume 1: Apex Predators, I realized that a proper title for each act and each chapter could work as a great mood and theme enhancer as well as a foreshadowing tool.

Author's advice: If you are writing a book and you end up using this method, just give a public nod to me and we'll be square.

The following are the titles from Volume 1: with a breakdown/teaser of SOME of them.

Act 1: Born through Pain
- There are moments of birth from pregnancies filled with potentials. This act covers the birth of new conflicts from an ancient war which just went into stasis. New heroes and new villains are created or escalated in this act. Pain is the catalyst which sets things into motion and every hero is flawed from pain. Legends are born and the seeds of greatness or great tragedy are planted and sprinkled across most of the supporting cast. 

Chapter 1: Every beginning starts with an ending
- The end of peace, the end of innocence and of a family. This chapter introduces us to Riana Conlan who is an innocent girl with a bright future who is destined to become one of the legends from the pain that the following chapters put her through.

Chapter 2: All about your partners.
- Here we are introduced to the teams of Rusty, Trakel and Schultz and the team of Laira and Dealer. Both are interesting teams with flavor. Trakel's team is a team of criminal scum who participate in pirate like activity as well as work as mob enforcers and goons. Laira Conlan trains in Shaolin Kung Fu at an academy with her specialized droid "3-I's" which she had placed two other artificial intelligences into, including the program which is named "Dealer" who handles her parents who believe Laira is really at a Law Academy.

Chapter 3: Private wars.
- There are already a few legends out and about in this universe. One is Paladin Joshua Hughes and he is dealing with zombies which are referred to as Zom-Becks by the denizens of the galaxy. He has been disgruntled by the church for a while, so it came as no surprise to him that his entire command was outnumbered and out maneuvered on this mission. The nature of his legend was about to change.

Chapter 4: There are nightmares, and then there are nightmares.

Chapter 5: Things are building up.

Act 2: The sky ripped in half, and oblivion poured forth
- The title of this act represents so many things, from the momentary tearing apart of a stratosphere from an extremely dangerous and highly coordinated fleet of ships. To the concepts of heaven and dreams and hope coming apart at the seams.

Chapter 6: Open wars.

Chapter 7: Danger comes knocking.

Chapter 8: Evolution of the pale.
- The Zom-Becks which have been around and noticed by the galaxy for at least the last three hundred years undergo evolution. The pale is of course a reference to death. Zom-Becks were similar to normal zombies due to their lack of intelligence, their re-animated bodies and their shuffling abouts, but the main difference between Zom-Becks and zombies were that Zom-Becks would infect you through contact with their mold spores and would only hold down people to vomit mold dust all over them, while zombies would hold people down to eat them. Things change and the new breeds of Zom-Becks are smarter, faster and no longer decompose from the mold devouring them. The mold spores are no longer capable of breaking down the fatty lipids of life by itself so the Zom-Becks now experience hunger pains as they are forced to break down nutrients for the mold by eating other people. In essence they become super space zombies with different sub-species of mold granting them different abilities.

Chapter 9: Forging the path

Chapter 10: Pirates, Ninjas and Secrets

Chapter 11: Destruction.

Chapter 12: Into the Darkness.

Chapter 13: More Revelations.

Chapter 14: Dangerous Gambits.

Chapter 15: The paths to vengeance.

Chapter 16: Re-alignments in the game.
- Knowledge and necessity dictates changes in allegiances. Some friends become enemies, some enemies become allies.

Chapter 17: Smoke and Mirrors.

Chapter 18: Set in stone.

Chapter 19: The Wayward Kind.

Act 3: A Legend Dies
- But which legend? Is this the death bell for a legendary persona or the death of an ancient belief and myth? Or both?

Chapter 20: Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Chapter 21: Ripples in the pond.

Chapter 22: When there’s no more room in hell.

Chapter 23: The loudest scream.
- There is a place in the Galaxy called "God's Mouth" no one alive or in recent memory has ever heard it speak. It finally produces sound, which its witness likens to a scream. And God's Mouth scream awakens ancient alien craft on other worlds. These alien craft hold deadly secrets.

Chapter 24:  Apex Predators.
- A legendary warrior with the odds stacked against her, makes a desperate gambit against the number one ranked assassin in the galaxy.

Chapter 25: The Martini.
- The Martini is a phrase which directors use to describe the last shot of the day while on set.

Epilogue

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Publishing wilderness

So I wrote a book, and now I have to promote it.

I've read so many articles on "How to promote your book" that I believe that all of those articles are missing a few things. So as to whether or not my expertise will pay off remains to be seen, but I believe those things are:

1). Hard Work: - You have to keep grinding away at things.
2). Promote locally - So far I've dropped off and posted close to 60 fliers at different locations.
3). Pass out free copies. Give them away. Send them out to your personal heroes (put no strings attached in the message) if they like it they'll tell others. If they just thank you, then that alone can be awesome incentive to keep grinding away at things. Besides they are heroes for a reason, and this is a chance for you to give back to them.
4). Make friends with others who have walked that path, whether or not they are authors of books or not and learn from them. I'm an active fan of the underground hip-hop scene in real life, and I can tell you that my favorite performing artists go out and break a sweat every single day to try to reach more fans. And there is no magic formula - sometimes the best get noticed, but too often they get ignored.
5). Keep the basics polished such as your Author's Page, write a compelling book description on your sales page, pay attention to SEO tags for your blogs, etc.
6). Make pages for intriguing characters such as: RianaAt'toock, Chris Quesada,  and Joshua Hughes.
7). Properly target your audience to stand out above the rest. The eBook world is over saturated with Zombies, and Space Zombies, so ask yourself what makes your story stand out?



News articles about me and my book (to be updated weekly):
Here's my first news article to appear and it's on Ohio.com

Other cool news:
The guy who writes Dr. McNinja is reading my book!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

character thoughts: Chris Quesada

This deals with my science fiction/science fantasy eBook -  The Freelancer Chronicles Vol 1: Apex Predators

When I designed the character, Detective Chris Quesada, I needed a mid level character to help with the suspension of disbelief issues when dealing with criminal cartels. In most science fiction/space opera/science fantasy books (I've read), criminal cartels are rarely investigated by the authorities. Don't get me wrong, often times an active military or mercenary force is sent to deal with them, but is that how the problem should be really addressed by the authorities?

In my book you'll find multiple criminal organizations which are handled in various ways:

There are two pirate organizations that are handled by Riana Conlan, who becomes a dominant force on her own. The pirate organizations operate out of secret bases.


There is Mob Space, where I've dropped subtle hints about undercover agents.

And then there is Tyrion Kohari, a successful businessman who happens to also be a criminal kingpin at the start of the book.  Kohari works on a settled and very busy planet outside of Mob Space and the provincial governor sends in Chris Quesada.

Chris has two missions, one is he is supposed to clean up the local police force which is obviously corrupt and the second he is to get close to Tyrion Kohari. During his journey to clean up corruption, Quesada finds that he is way over his head on this operation and he also becomes corrupted.

The governor's chosen investigator and white knight is forced into situations where he knows he loses all rights to call himself one of the good guys, and this begins to bother him. The first offer of redemption comes to him from a fellow cop which Chris Quesada tortured for information.

His path and actions touch upon the lives of the other major players in this book, from Riana Conlan, to Laira, and eventually to the Zombie Lord: Joshua Hughes.

The book isn't about Chris Quesada, so his full tale will get told across all three planned books (the first one is published). Hopefully I can give enough detail and attention to the journey from good guy to bad guy and the possible and hard climb back in the further volumes.

Hopefully everyone will find even the more minor thread which is Chris Quesada an interesting read. It is a hard balance to flesh out a universe in story and to keep the focus and the pacing.