Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blog tour: I interview Midge Highwater

Midge Highwater is a minor character in my new fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. Though his role is small in the tale, it is important.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Instead, I'll let Midge speak through an interview I did with him a while back. The interview is now live over at the blog of fantasy author N.R. Williams.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #81 - Self-Publishing Review

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Self-Publishing Review

From newbie beginners to old pros, today's digital publishing technology is bring more and more writers around to publishing their own works in e-books as well as in print. Some authors are straddling the line, doing a bit of self-publishing while continuing to work with traditional publishers. What an individual writer decides to do is obviously up to him or her, but today there are more options than ever.

For those considering self-publishing, one website they need to check out is Self-Publishing Review.

Self-Publishing Review is an online magazine with a focus upon the self-publishing industry, which includes book, e-books, writers, publishers, editors and everything that goes with self publishing. On the site one can find Interviews with writers and others, Book Reviews, reviews of PublishersNews about self publishing, Podcasts, and plenty of other material helpful to self-publishing authors. There are even Jobs listings for those in the publishing field.

Self-Publishing Review also has an active community, which includes various Groups and the site's Forum.
This site brings so much together in one spot, it's at least worth a few minutes to check into for the self publisher. it's a place to meet peers, make new friends, keep up on the publishing industry, and to learn helpful tips about self publishing.

Fantasy blog tour: Excerpt from "Ghosts of the Asylum"

Pal and fellow writer Steve Goble let me take over his blog today to post an excerpt of my latest epic fantasy e-book novel, Ghosts of the Asylum.

Find out what trouble my Eel character faces in the excerpt.

Thanks, Steve!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Blog tour: I talk religion, sort of

Buddy and fellow writer Clark Goble is hosting me today over at his blog, The Imperfect Disciples, where I chat about my approach to fiction from a sort of spiritual point of view.

Thanks, Clark!

Guest post: Matt from Guerrilla Wordfare on SEO and online marketing

For those of you who don't know him, Matt Edmondson is the IT and search engine optimization guru over at Guerrilla Wordfare, the site for author Lizzy Ford. He is one member of a team working for Lizzy, and he also just happens to be her husband.

When I first became aware of Guerrilla Wordfare, one of the things that struck me was Matt's knowledge and drive for utilizing online techniques for promotions. Everybody knows about Twitter and Facebook, but few fiction authors in my experience are using the World Wide Web and other technologies to the fullest extent.

Here's Matt:

One of the first topics I covered when I started writing articles about SEO for authors was the art of the landing page. I explained that you can really only optimize a web page for one keyword term so rather than trying to choose one term, just make a page for each term. You should still do keyword research to pick good terms but the only real downside to this strategy is coming up with unique content for each page as you want to avoid duplicate content whenever possible.

I created several landing pages for several terms and unleashed them on Google. Some of these pages made it to #1 in the Google results for my targeted term while others couldn’t crack the top 50 results. I had a few people email me saying they had similar results and asking me what they should do to tweak their pages. My answer was always the same: “nothing.”

SEO has two different components, “on page” and “off page.” On page refers to everything that is on your page. The title, the content, the meta data, this are all on page. Off page generally means the links from other pages to yours. On page usually accounts for around 15% of search engine result rankings while off page makes up the other 85%.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you make any page targeting a specific term. I wrote about these in an article on SEO blogging tips, so I won’t go into great details here but once those things are covered towards your targeted term, your on page optimization is done. Don’t think, don’t blink and don’t tweak. In the words of TV pitchman great Ron Popeil, “You set it, and FORGET IT.”

If you want to improve the search engine rankings (and therefore traffic) for that page then you need to focus on off-site factors like link building and social media mentions. My favorite way to demonstrate the power of off site factors is the “click here” example.

Open up a new tab or browser window and Google “click here.” What’s the top result? Adobe Acrobat Reader (the software that lets you view PDF files). Look at their site and you won’t find them optimizing for the term “click here.” So why are they in first place? Because there are millions of websites out there with pdf files, and many of them have statements like the following: You can view PDF files with Adobe Acrobat. In order to download Adobe Acrobat click here.

While that is an extreme example, it’s a great one. There is a digital marketing company called Click Here, with the website of, and they still have to struggle to get the top spot from adobe for the sole reason of a ton of anchor text all over the internet.

One reason that I wanted to cover this topic is that there are a growing number of programs and services out there which claim that they will tell you exactly how to tweak your page to rank at the top of Google. These are often a horrible idea and will do more harm than good. Now that I made that claim, I owe you an explanation.

What these programs usually do is examine the top 5 or so websites for your targeted term in Google and recommend that you tweak your site to be more like them. That doesn’t sound like a horrible idea until you realize that over 80% of those rankings are due to off site factors.

It’s very possible that 3 of the top 5 sites for a particular term won’t use that term in their title or meta data. They could still have those high rankings because they are trusted authority sites that have a lot of back links to them. If you tweaked your title and meta data to be more like them you’re rankings would probably drop quite a bit.

The main point that I wanted to hammer home was to let my fellow landing page building website owners to write their pages using sound SEO fundamentals, and then never think about it again. Spending your time working on building quality, relevant back links to your site will serve you much better in the long run than trying to tweak your content and monitor results.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blog tour rolls on: Author Spotlight at Morgen Bailey's Writing Blog

As part of my November blog tour to promote my new e-book epic fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, fellow writer Morgen Bailey has featured me in one of her Author Spotlight posts. I talk about one of the ways I approach fiction writing from a philosophical point of view.

Thanks, Morgen, for sharing me with your readers!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

S.J. Higbee reviews my novel "More Than Kin"

I have to admit, I am shaken. But in a good way.

Author S.J. Higbee has posted a review to my novel More Than Kin on her blog right here.

Why am I shaken? At the eloquence of the review, and at what the reviewer came away with from my little novel set in small town America. I cannot thank her too much.

Interview with fantasy author Ty Johnston

It's a double-dip Saturday (whatever that means) as I appear at a second blog today as part of my blog tour to promote my new e-book fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum.

This time around on the blog tour, I'm interviewed by author Jason G. Anderson over at his site.

E-book blog tour: Reviews and reviewers

Author J.R. Tomlin hosts my blog tour today. Reviews and reviewers are my subject matter, and I hope you'll check it out, as well as giving my new e-book fantasy novel Ghosts of the Asylum a look.

100 sites for fiction writers: #80 - Author Tech Tips

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Author Tech Tips

Doesn't it always seem for writers as if there is some new website or some new technology that needs to be learned? Every time one turns around, there's a new social networking site or a new e-book format, or something. It can be a bit daunting, and it can feel as if one can never catch up.

But help is available. It's a website called Author Tech Tips.

Admittedly this site is not updated very often, but it still contains a ton of information.

For instance, there are Social Media articles that can help you learn the ins and outs of online networking and such. Then there are Tech How-Tos articles, such as "How to Never Forget a Password Again" and "How to Sync Files Across Multiple Computers Automatically."  Also there are tips for using specific networking sites, such as TwitterFacebook and more. You can even read about Legal IssuesProductivity and Gadgets.

If you want to get extremely technical, this is probably not the site for you. But for those who want the basics covered without feeling like they have to learn another language, then Author Tech Tips might be a godsend.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book blog tour: Black Friday!

It's Black Friday, so get out there and buy some e-books! Preferably mine!

Now that that's out of the way, the blog tour continued to promote my new epic fantasy e-book novel Ghosts of the Asylum.

Today the blog tour takes me over to the site of the popular author BV Larson, who writes fantasy and science fiction and probably whatever he wants. He was gracious enough to give me some space on his site, and I type away about world building for fantasy authors.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #79 - Book-in-a-week

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Are you up for a challenge? And can you spare $3? If so, you might want to look into the website Book-in-a-week.

Book-in-a-week brings writers together in an effort to create support while writing, to give that extra little push to make writers more productive. The main purpose of using this site is to get you before a keyboard and typing.

The point here is just to write, no editing or re-writing. Writers set goals for each week, then check in with the site throughout the week and finally give a total page count of completed work at the end of the week. A writing goal can be as small as 10 pages or it can run into hundreds of pages. Again, the writer sets his or her own goals.

Everyone who reaches their goal is considered a winner, but there are drawings, so you have a chance of winning an Amazon gift card. The $3 I mentioned is an initial fee to join the site.

But besides giving writers a nudge to write, Book-in-a-week also offers much more. There is a listing of Helpful Tools, as well as links to Writers Offering Advice. There are also links to Websites Catering to Writers and an online Community, where writers get to interact with one another and a big portion of the work at Book-in-a-week gets done for the writers.

Keep in mind all kinds of writing and writers are accepted at Book-in-a-week, but fiction writers especially might need a push to get them writing, to get them productive. This site can help.

Books read in 2011: No. 53 - White Wolf

by David Gemmell

Started: November 24
Finished: December 5

Notes: I'm not the biggest Gemmell fan, but I do enjoy reading him. It's been about a year or so since I've read anything by this late author, so I thought it was time I turned to him again. This is a tale of Druss the Legend, probably the author's best known character.

Mini review: I enjoyed the first half of this novel quite a bit, but felt the second half slowed down more than I liked. The end surprised me, however, in that it wasn't one of those let's-wrap-everything-up-in-the-last-chapter endings I've noticed in every other Gemmell novel I've read so far. The characters here are quite strong and memorable. I'll be glad to read more Gemmell in the future.

Happy Thanksgiving from the blog tour

Just because today is Thanksgiving doesn't mean I'm putting a halt to my blog tour promoting my new fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. Oh, no.

Charles Gramlich over at the Razored Zen blog probably has better things to do today than put up with my nonsense, but he has been kind of enough to allow me to appear as a guest poster today. I chat about what I'm thankful for this holiday season.

And, I've said it before but I'll say it again, if you're a fan of Sword and Planet fiction, you must check out Gramlich's Talera Cycle series. I personally enjoy it more than even Burroughs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 52 - The First Dragoneer

by M.R. Mathias

Started: November 23
Finished: November 24

Notes: This indie fantasy author has proven somewhat popular, so I though it high time I got around to reading some of his fiction, though I have read some of his non-fiction. My understanding is this novella is the first part of a longer work. Here goes.

Mini review: The story I thought a little slow in the telling, but when things happen, they happen fast. The writing is clear and easy to read. The characters are very likable. I could definitely recommend this writer to others.

Blog tour: Movies and music that influence me

Fellow Kentuckian and author J.M. Martin hosts my blog tour today, the day before Thanksgiving. Yet again I talk about my influences, but here I skip literature and go on about movies and music that have influenced me over the years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blog touring is a lot of work, but also a lot of fun

Yes, the blog tour continues for promoting my new e-book fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, now available.

Today the tour takes me over to the site of author S.J. Higbee, where I talk about how much work and fun it is to do a blog tour. This is my first blog tour, and I was silly enough to try and do a guest post every single day of the month, but I've also met a lot of new people online.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blog tour: Excerpt from new novel, 'Ghosts of the Asylum'

With the release of my new e-book fantasy novel Ghosts of the Asylum, today the Indie Books Blog has been so kind to allow me to guest post at the site with an excerpt from the novel itself. What you get is a big chunk of Chapter 1, though not all of it. Enjoy!

And don't forget to check out the other reviews and articles at Indie Books Blog!

It's official: 'Ghosts of the Asylum' is released

Today is November 21, 2011, which means it is the official release day for my new e-book fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. Follow the latest adventures of my Kron Darkbow character as he faces down rioters, fights off assassins, and comes face to face with spirits of the dead living within his new home, the Asylum.

The e-book novel can be found here:

Amazon (for Kindle)

Barnes & Noble (for Nook)




Ghosts of the Asylum will soon be available at other sites, such as Sony, Kobo, Apple, etc. This usually takes a couple of weeks, so please be patient.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blog tour at Pure Textuality: Digital vs. print

Jena over at Pure Textuality hosts me today for my blog tour promoting my e-book fantasy novel Ghosts of the Asylum. In this post I talk about my basic take on the never-ending battle between digital and print book publishing.

Thanks for hosting me, Jena!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blog tour: My road to being an indie author

Author Terry C. Simpson was gracious enough to host me today on my blog tour promoting my new e-book fantasy novel Ghosts of the Asylum.

This time I chat about my own path to becoming an indie author, how I made the jump from trying to be traditionally published (and doing so in some instances) and to becoming mostly independent.

And since a lot of fantasy fans are usually the ones to check out my blog, don't forget to check out the works of Terry C. Cimpson. That cover at the right looks pretty nifty, doesn't it? And Terry has some sample chapters available at his site.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review of The Kobalos Trilogy

Jesse Flohrs over at Fantasy Faction has provided a pretty good review of my Kobalos Trilogy, which includes the novels City of Rogues, Road to Wrath, and Dark King of the North.

Thanks, Jesse!

Blog tour post: How screenwriting saved my life

Screenwriting saved my life. Really, it did. Don't believe me? Then you need to follow my blog tour this month over to the site of author Lisa Mondello where I give my evidence that screenwriting saved my life.

And while you're over there, check out some of Lisa's great books, too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free Kindle e-book: City of Rogues

To celebrate the release of my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, my epic fantasy novel City of Rogues is temporarily free for the Kindle over at Amazon.

That's right, I said FREE!

You're currently saving $2.99 and you get a whole novel as well as an introduction to my Kron Darkbow character and my world of Ursia.

Blog tour: Even fantasy writers have to do research

Some writers and readers tend to think fantasy is just "making it up as you go along," but that's far from the truth. I talk about this today over at author Chris Northern's blog during my blog tour to promote my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blog tour: What I try to accomplish with my fiction writing

Author Brian Rathbone was gracious enough to host me today while on my blog tour. I talk about what I hope to accomplish with my fiction writing.

Check out the post right here.

Brian, thanks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blog tour: What is epic fantasy?

Author Lindsay Buroker has been so kind as to host me on her blog as part of my November 2011 blog tour promoting my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. I talk about trying to define epic fantasy and my own conclusions about such.

Fantasy fans will want to check out Lindsay e-books while over at her blog. Enjoy!

Guest post from author Darby Harn

One of the great things I love about my November 2011 blog tour is that I've had the opportunity to meet people I otherwise might have never known. One such person is Darby Harn. Darby is the author of The Book of Elizabeth, a speculative novel concerning Queen Elizabeth I. He also has his own blog called The Phantom Planet. While exploring the blogosphere in search of places for my tour, Darby and I stumbled upon one another and we got to talking a little about world building. Below is a guest post from Darby concerning world building in fiction.

I love world building. I love immersing myself in worlds as real as my own.

I don’t like so much building the world building.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a critical and necessary function of all of my work, whether it’s my novel The Book of Elizabeth, or my work in progress, which takes place on a planet where night only comes once a year.

Everything must be invented. It all must make sense, within itself. Names of characters must sound consistent with each other, if all of a particular culture; that culture must have an identity that must come across as authentic.

Not everything must be explained. Where I may differ with some writers who specialize in world building is in the approach. I love The Lord of the Rings, for example; I wince at the addendums and encyclopedic background material on the histories of characters. My approach is this: give the reader the key to the encyclopedia. Make them the smiths of their own imaginations.

I’d like to expand on something I had been writing about recently on my blog – Hemingway’s ‘Iceberg Theory,’ and how it relates to genre fiction. As he said of it: “If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.”

In 'realistic fiction' (wow, I hate that term!), the reader is able to infer much of the hidden iceberg from their own life experience. Hemingway doesn’t need to stop to explain how a telephone works. In speculative fiction, the author more or less has to explain everything as there is often no frame of reference. So, how can you achieve this effect if you are building a world from scratch? George Lucas uses this approach in the original Star Wars trilogy – no such luck later on – to great effect. He explains virtually nothing. Show, don’t tell, to the extreme. Most of the Star Wares universe, prior to its ‘expansion,’ was left to our imaginations.

I don’t know about you, but I had a pretty big imagination as a kid. Still do. Your mission as a writer should be to create frames of reference that allow your speculative world to have hidden depth. One way to do this is through the use of casual asides - things that hint at dimension beyond what can be seen. Suggest. As I said before – give your readers the keys to encyclopedias they will create on their own. The future of digital fiction may lie here; already there are experiments in authors creating works that they then allow their readers to use as fodder for their own ‘fan-fiction,’ if the term even applies any more.

One thing you must do is build enough of a bridge for the reader to cross. You can't bring up something – decades of X-Men plot danglers, looking at you - and then let it hang out there to dry. Suggest something, sure, but give it enough form to be durable beyond your story. Don't introduce a dozen different plot threads and then never resolve them. Present your characters and their story. Drive them around. As you do, look down that street. See something interesting. Wish you could stop.

Or take the time to stop. Do what you feel works best for your story, within its confines. Endless investigation of every alley of your world isn't going to be satisfying either - at some point, something has to happen. You can never know everything about this world; leave your readers with the impression that even after a lifetime, they still will never fully know all they wish to of the one you created.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blog tour and social networking

For today's edition of my November blog tour promoting my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, I'm appearing over at the blog of author Tonya Kappes where I write about the importance of social networking in relation to fiction writing.

You romance and mystery fans should also check out some of Tonya's books while you're over there. She's got a wicked wit.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #78 - Inkygirl

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Inkygirl is the online home of writer and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi. There are several things I like about this site. For one, Debbie lives in Canada, which brings a slightly different perspective because so many sites about writing seem to have mostly an American point of view. I also like that Debbie's site has part of its focus upon illustrating, which is somewhat out of the ordinary for writing sites. Then there's the fact the Inkygirl site also has some focus on writing for children, which is a growing field but not common to many fiction writers.

But if you are reading this, there is a decent chance you are a fiction writer or at least have interests in fiction writing. If so, you might be asking yourself, why should I check out the Inkygirl site?

I'm glad you asked.

Well, first of all, you can find out about Debbie and her excellent work. You can learn about writing for young people and about illustrating. The Inkygirl site also often has news related to writing, publishing, illustrating and picture books.

At her iPadGirl blog, Debbie also writes quite often about digital publishing in relation to writers for young people and illustrators. With more and more e-reading devices going color and expanding on the formats they can use, illustrations are likely to become much more common in e-books, so Debbie's knowledge could be quite helpful.

Obviously, the information at Inkygirl is not for every writer or fiction writer, but it just might open doors to new ideas for you, especially concerning illustrations.

Blog tour interview with Christine Senter

Christine Senter was kind enough to interview me as part of my November blog tour promoting my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. Christine is a writer, blogger, mommy, wife and more; I don't know how she has time to fit it all in.

Don't forget to drop by and say "hi" to her!

Christine Senter's Blog

Friday, November 11, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #77 - Evil Editor

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Evil Editor

With a title like Evil Editor, this might seem to be a blog writers would want to stay far away from. But that's not the truth. The truth is the Evil Editor blog can help writers in several ways.

First off, this blog allows writers to send to the editor either a query, a synopsis or the first 200 words of a writer's novel or short story. The editor then reads the submission and writes up comments about the submission. This is all done sort of tongue-in-cheek, and can be harsh at times, but it can also be very instructional to the writer.

Let me add this right here and now. If you are a beginning fiction writer, you need to learn to check your ego. Not every word you write is golden. You don't know everything. You probably don't know as much as you think you do. More than likely most of what you write will be crap. That's the simple truth. You need to deal with it. Only by stuffing down your ego and continuing to write will you actually have any chance of ever getting anything published or building an audience of readers. Becoming a good and/or professional writer takes time, and you have to be willing to put in the work.

Okay, back to the Evil Editor blog. What might be hardest for submitting writers is that the editor of this blog makes his comments public, and allows for the blog's readers to comment. Hilarity often ensues, and sometimes so do hard feelings, but hard feelings never accomplish anything.

Of course submitting writers can also comment themselves, and this can lead to better understanding and better writing if the right approach is used. In general, this website is light hearted, so don't become too worked up if you happen to be the butt of a joke on any given day.

Writers also might find helpful the regular Book Chats.

The blog's writer also has a book store if you want to check out some of his books and DVD, and don't forget to look around for some of the other odds and ends offered at the Evil Editor.

Books read in 2011: No. 51 - The Con Man

by Ed McBain

Started: November 11
Finished: November 18

Notes: My reading has been a little heavy of late, so I thought it was time to break it up with something fun, short and light. McBain usually serves the trick, especially with his older 87th Precinct tales, like this one originally published in 1957.

Mini review: As expected, another easy, fun read. However, the title is a little misleading. As often happens in McBain's 87th Precinct novels, there are several plot lines, usually with one being the major plot. Here there are a couple of plots involving con artists, but one of those artists is also a murderer, and it seemed to me the murders overshadowed the con artist portions of the plot. Not meant to be a complaint, just that I noticed this element.

Sometimes heroes have to do bad things

Okay, I promised two articles in one day for my blog tour, and here goes. My article "Sometimes heroes do bad things" is now available over at the Rogue Blades site.

While you're there, you might want to consider purchasing a few of the collections the publisher has to offer. There's some fine heroic action-adventure fantasy to be found in those anthologies.

Blog tour: My love of villains

No blog tour appearance yesterday, but mix-ups happen. I'll be making up for it at some point with more than one blog appearance in a day.

But for today the blog tour has me talking about villains, and how much I love writing about them. I'm over at The Eagle's Aerial Perspective, and you can check out my post here.

100 sites for fiction writers: #76 - Publishers Lunch

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Publishers Lunch

I have said before and I'll say it again, fiction writers need to keep up with the news in the publishing world. Some seem to think this is unnecessary, that they sit at home and write in a vacuum while the publishing world goes on doing whatever it does without them. This thinking is incorrect. What happens in the publishing business can affect each and every writer, even those who work independently, and a writer who is well informed about such information can sometimes head off a disaster, or better yet, turn information to their favor.

But how to keep up with all the book publishing news? Simple. Go to Publishers Lunch.

This site gathers publishing news from print and online venues, then offers the basics for free online. For a fee of $20 per month, members can join Publishers Lunch Deluxe and receive exclusive and detailed daily news e-mails, e-mails about deals, access to databases about those in the publishing industry, and more.

Also for free, Publishers Lunch allows for access to the Publishers Marketplace, where you can find information about publishing professionals.

One of the elements I personally enjoy about Publishers Lunch is that, unlike many other publishing news sites, it is updated several times a day and throughout the day. Most days there are a half dozen or so stories about what's going on in the publishing industry. Admittedly, some of this news is insider information not much important to me as an independent writer, but often enough the news is important.

If you're a fiction writer not following the news in this industry, you are being left behind. Do yourself a favor and catch up. Give the Publishers Lunch site a try.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Blog tour continues

Who are some of your favorite fantasy authors? I have mine, of course, and a number of authors have influenced me as a writer over the years. Want to find out who some of them are? If so, head over to the blog of Brent Nichols to check out my latest stop on this month's blog tour to promote my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Guest blogging about Operation E-book Drop

David McAfee, he of 33 A.D. fame, has been gracious enough to host me today for my November blog tour to promote my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum. Instead of writing about myself, this time I thought I'd write about Operation E-Book Drop.

For a direct link to my post, go here.

100 sites for fiction writers: #75 - Kindlegraph

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


In ye olden days, readers and fans would attend public appearances by authors to see the author speak, maybe to buy the author a drink, and also to get him or her to personally sign a copy of a favorite and/or newly-purchased book.

With the advent of digital publishing, for a while it seemed as if this ancient interaction between authors and readers might go by the wayside.

But fear no longer.

Now there is Kindlegraph.

At Kindlegraph, Kindle e-book authors can join and add a list of their e-books, then readers can go to the site, do a search and send the writer a request for a digital signature. At that point, the author gets a note in his or her e-mail asking for the digital signature. All the author has to do is go back to the Kindlegraph site, sign-in and go the the list of requested signatures. With a click the writer is taken to a page with a couple of windows, one in which the writer can type a personal message, then another where the writer can sign his or her name by typing it in or through utilizing their computer's mouse (or whatever control device you have). When the writer is finished, another click sends off the signature to the reader's Kindle, and the next time that reader opens the writer's e-book on the Kindle, at the beginning will appear the personal message and digital signature.

Hopefully all that made sense. It's a lot easier than I've probably made it sound.

One thing I'd like to point out is the readers and writers don't have to create a special membership for the Kindlegraph site, but must use their Twitter account instead. This is both good and bad, depending upon your viewpoint. I didn't have a problem with it.

Just to be clear, authors must add each of their e-books available for the Kindle separately. That way readers can get a different signature for all the author's books, or at least the ones available.

To my knowledge, there is not a site similar to Kindlegraph for other e-reading devices, such as the Nook or any of the tablets out there. My guess would be that this will change eventually. For now, digital signatures are only available for the Kindle, but maybe that's one more reason to have a Kindle.

Monday, November 07, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #74 - Poets & Writers

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Poets & Writers

For more literary writers, the Poets & Writers, Inc., nonprofit organization has offered plenty since its creation in 1970. This group is probably best known for its nationally distributed Poets & Writers Magazine, but it has served writers and poets in many different ways throughout the years.

The website itself for this organization offers plenty of potential, from its Directory of Poets & Writers to extensive information about Literary Magazines and JournalsMFA ProgramsLiterary Agents and more. There is even a national literary Calendar of events, and a Forum.

And all of that is just the website.

The Poets & Writers organization itself also provides Readings & Workshops throughout the U.S. at all times of the year. If you need to work on your writing skills, or just want to brush up, one of these workshops could be right for you. Or you could attend a reading to hear some fine literature being read by an author. Find out more on Readings & Workshops at the FAQ.

Also, this organization hosts a number of awards, including the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the Amy Award for women poets, the Jackson Poetry Prize, and the Writers for Writers Award and the Editor's Award.

As if all of that were not enough, the Poets & Writers organization does much, much more, such as working to connect writers with the literary writing community, fostering writers and poets, championing those who use the pen for literary purposes, and ... I could go on.

Seriously, if you have serious dreams of taking your writing to the literary level, the Poets & Writers organization is worth your considering. Registration is free for the site.

Blog tour: My influences as a writer

Today the blog tour takes me to the site of author Christopher Bunn. I talk about influences upon me as a writer. I mention literary works, as can be expected, but I also talk about music, movies and family.

Here is the direct link to my guest post.

Christopher has several novels available online, so don't forget to check those out.

Ghosts of the Asylum novel now available

My new fantasy e-book novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, is now available for $2.99. The official release date is still Nov. 21, so I might do some (very) minor editing yet, but the novel is now available at the following sites:


Barnes & Noble




Once the file has gone through the usual process at Smashwords, the novel will be available at other sites, such as Sony, Kobo, Apple, etc. This usually takes a couple of weeks, sometimes as long as a month.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Blog tour: My magic system

The blog tour brings me to the online home of author Moses Siregar III, he of The Black God's War fame.

In this guest post, I go over the basics of how magic works in my world of Ursia, the home to my Kobalos Trilogy and the new novel Ghosts of the Asylum.

Here is the link to the post.

And if you've not read anything by Moses yet, you are missing out.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Blog tour appearance at Guerrilla Wordfare

Today my blog tour takes me over to Guerrilla Wordfare, the blog of author Lizzy Ford. Lizzy's blog is more than just a book or writing blog, however. Lizzy has a team behind her, one member of which is her husband, Matt. Matt also blogs at Guerrilla Wordfare, his focus being upon online marketing and promotions tips for writers.

My own guest blog post at the site is a very basic look at some of the online tools writers should be using to help their career. That being said, Matt covers this subject in much more depth and style on the site, so do yourself a favor and read further than just my own post. Online marketing tools and tips are utilized every day by thousands (if not millions) of online content providers and other writers, but too often are overlooked by us fiction writers. That needs to change, and my guess is that it will, slowly, eventually. Fiction writers too often seem so afraid of promotions.

Kron not part of the 99 percent, nor the 1 percent

Just for giggles ...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Blog tour 2011 rolls on

Today for my November blog tour to promote my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, Paul R. McNamee has allowed me the privilege of appearing on his blog for the day.

Here is the link to read my most personal guest blog post yet.

Paul, thanks for the honor.

A goodbye to Chloey

I just wanted to say goodbye to Chloey, to leave some mark upon the world for her, for others to know she existed and was loved.

Chloey was a rabbit. She died recently, and she went out in a lot of pain, crying out in the night and thrashing about. It was heartbreaking to watch, to be able to do nothing more than be there with her.

Little girl, you are missed. I wish I could have done more for you, especially in the end, especially because you were such a good girl. I do not know what lies beyond this life, if anything, but I do know your pain is gone. My hope is you are in good hands. If everyone from over the years is there with you now, please tell Porthos, Zoey, Antonio, Gracey and Cranberry they have not been forgotten.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Blog tour: 10 reasons to read my new novel, Ghosts of the Asylum

My blog tour continues, and today I am over at the blog of author David J. West. The topic? 10 reasons to read my new fantasy novel, Ghosts of the Asylum.

You can read the post right here.

While you are over there, David has some fine novels of his own you'll want to look into.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

E-book blog tour continues

Today for my blog tour for my new novel Ghosts of the Asylum, I appear over at the website of V H Folland, author of Fire Season. I talk about changes in fantasy fandom over the years, at least from my perspective.

Check out the post here, and don't forget to check out Holland's blog and books.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November blog tour kicks off

My November blog tour to promote my new fantasy novel Ghosts of the Asylum kicks off today over at the Indie Book Blog. Each day this month I will be appearing as a guest on a different blog, so please follow along. Some of my guest posts will be serious, others funny, some informative and hopefully never boring.

In today's guest post, at the Indie Book Blog, I question my own sanity at trying to write an epic fantasy series that could be as long as 40 or more novels.