Archives

Categories

Monthly Archives: August 2014

DragonCon autographing and panel schedule

Published August 27, 2014 in Advice - 1 Comment

Rebecca and I have attended DragonCon for about the past 20 years—it is one of our favorite conventions all year.  This year, I’ve got a packed schedule, as well as three big tables in the Dealer’s Room.  Look for us under the listing WordFire.

Here’s my DragonCon autographing schedule for the Dealer’s Room.

Friday
12:30–2:15 PM

Saturday
10 AM–12:30 PM
2:30–6 PM

Sunday
11:30 AM–2 PM
4–5 PM

Monday
10–11 AM
1:30–4 PM

And here’s my panel schedule.  (Don’t miss my reading on Sunday at 10AM, where I’ll read a brand new Dan Shamble story!)

FRIDAY
11:00-Noon Writing Workshop with Jody Lynn Nye  Hyatt: Marietta  (with Rebecca)
2:30 PM  New York Times bestselling authors Hyatt Regency VI-VII
4:00—6:30 PM  Things I Wish Some Pro Had Told Me  Hyatt: Embassy D-F  (with Rebecca)

Saturday
1 PM  Magnificent Men of Fantasy Fiction

Sunday
10 AM Reading  Dan Shamble “Role Model” story   Hyatt: Edgewood
2:30 PM Star Wars EU authors Marriott A706  (with Rebecca)
5:30 PM Remembering Aaron Allston & Ann Crispin Hyatt: International North
8:30 PM  X-Track Anthology  Marriott M106-107
10 PM  Humor in Horror  Westin Chastain ED

Monday
11:30 AM  Ask Me Anything  Hyatt Centennial I

Share

Teaser Tuesday: MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCTIVITY

Published August 19, 2014 in Advice - 4 Comments

I’ve long established myself as a very prolific writer, and I’ve given countless talks and workshops on productivity over the years. Finally, I’ve put together all the most important advice I have to share, in a book just released by WordFire Press, MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCTIVITY.  Available in all eBook formats for $4.99, or in trade paperback for $9.99.

Print
Kindle
Kobo
Nook
All other eBook formats

Life is crazy and hectic for most of us. We’re surrounded with personal and family obligations, jobs, fitness programs, virtual mountains of email, not to mention videogames, TV, smartphones, social networking, and millions of things to check out on the web.
With all those distractions, how does an aspiring author find time to write?
And when you do find the time, how do you make the most of it?

Award-winning and #1 international bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson is one of the most prolific authors in the business. He has published over 125 novels—an average of five novels a year, every year, for the past quarter century. Anderson has taught numerous writing seminars and lectured on productivity, and here he shares his tips on how to find the time to write, and how to make the most of that time.

558Cover

Introduction

Back in the heyday of pulp fiction magazines, when freelancers struggled to pay the bills by writing stories for half a cent per word (at most), they had to produce, produce, produce. Their motto was “Be prolific or starve.” Armed only with manual typewriters and carbon paper, the most popular and productive writers managed to crank out entire novels in only a few days, stories and novelettes in a single sitting.

Today, with an arsenal of writing tools that includes word processors, email, scanners, internet research, lightning-fast printers, digital recorders, and voice-recognition software, it must be easy for modern authors to be even more prolific than their “prehistoric” predecessors. Right?

Life is crazy and hectic for most of us. We’re surrounded with personal and family obligations, jobs, fitness programs, virtual mountains of email, not to mention videogames, TV, smartphones, social networking, and millions of things to check out on the web.

With all those distractions, how does an aspiring author find time to write?

And when you do find the time, how do you make the most of it?

That’s what I’ll show with this book. You don’t have to be manically productive (though some of us consider that to be fun), but you will learn ways to get more writing out of every available moment.

Share

Flophouses and Fourteeners

Published August 19, 2014 in Advice - 0 Comments

Every year for the past seventeen years since I’ve lived in Colorado, I have climbed at least one Fourteener, or 14,000-ft peak in the state. I’ve summited all 54 of them, so now I’m going back to do some of my favorites, climbing from different sides.

This year, I set my sights on Mt. Lincoln, 14, 236 ft, highest peak in Park C0unty and 11th highest peak in the continental US. It’s an impressive-looking peak as seen from Hoosier Pass, just south of Breckinridge. I had climbed it before, but this time I wanted to climb from a different side, on a little used trail.

IMG_3211

In order to get an early start on the trail, and thus avoid early-afternoon thunderstorms, I decided to stay overnight near the trailhead. On previous drives through the area, I had been intrigued by a tiny town right at the foot of Mount Lincoln, Alma CO, population Not Many, with a handful of buildings … something I called a “zombie town”—a ghost town that won’t admit it’s dead.  I was charmed by the handful of “necessary businesses”—general store, feed store, liquor store, and a most intriguing little place called (this is its exact name) Alma’s Only Bar and Hotel.  Of course I had to stay there.

I called ahead, but they didn’t take reservations. “Just come in, we’ll find a room for ya, don’t worry.”  $50 per night. So I drove in, arrived in the middle of the afternoon to find a sign on the closed door of the hotel “See bartender for room.”  I found the bartender, and she rummaged among a tray of keys behind the bar, took my credit card, and said “You have room number one.”  Then gave me set of complicated directions through a maze of doors and staircases to get to my room.  Fortunately, she had two kids out of school who were very excited to have a lodger, and they went off on a great adventure with me to find my room.  Up at the top of the stairs, we found #1.

IMG_3207 IMG_3208

It was a real flophouse, a room not much larger than the bed and a little dresser, torn bedspread, one lamp, creaky floors, and a communal bath.  Even a little more rustic than my usual “off the beaten path discoveries.” But I had my laptop, a cooler with a growler of microbrew IPA, and a place to work. I edited a few chapters in BLOOD OF THE COSMOS that afternoon before wandering off to the saloon to get a burrito for dinner, made a call to Rebecca (with very poor cell reception). When I made my way out of the hotel, one of the other lodgers bumped into me in the hall, a single man who was sharing the room with his two dogs.  He said, “Oh, you’re in room number one–you know that’s the haunted room!  I stayed there for ten days, but I never heard anything.”

After dinner I came back to the room (mind you, it was not much bigger than the bed and the dresser), crawled onto the bed, took out my laptop…and my screen was going crazy. Menus going down and up, random characters scrolling across the screen, cursor blinking.  Huh?  I managed to shut down and restart, but the screen was still going haywire. Haunted room, indeed!  How was I supposed to get editing done?  Of course, I discovered that I had left my bluetooth remote keyboard in my computer case, which was on its side pressing against the keys, hence creating the mayhem on the screen. So much for ghosts. I got another several chapters edited then went to bed—I had a Fourteener to climb the next morning, ghosts or no ghosts.

Next morning, alarm set for 5:30 AM, I got up, took a shower in the shared bath, used the Keurig I had brought along for a cup of coffee (good thing, because nothing in Alma was open), ate a granola bar, filled my backpack with water, and hauled everything out of the haunted room. I drove off through a maze of dirt roads, winding up into the foothills around Mount Lincoln in search of the trailhead. Part of the road was a real horror, the type where you have to stop the car, walk ten feet ahead and figure out the best spots for the tires to go, then drive ten feet, and do the whole thing again. But I got to the trailhead, parked off the road, and started heading uphill.

It was a beautiful hike. Now this was worth it! On the way up I reveled in the scenery, didn’t even do any writing (I saved that for the hike down).  Up winding rugged roads, past mining ruins, higher and higher. This was not at all the standard route up Mt Lincoln, and I had the trail ALL to myself.

IMG_3213  IMG_3221

By the time I reached the summit, however, it was an entirely different story. Crowds had come from the popular Kite Lake Trail, and I shared the top with 28 people.  I didn’t stay long after I got my picture taken.

IMG_3225  IMG_3230

I trudged back down (hard on the knees!), got back to my car, toiled and struggled my way—driving ten carefully assessed feet at a time—back to the main road…and home!  I did manage to write two new inserted chapters in BLOOD OF THE COSMOS, tying up loose threads, all with another Fourteener under my belt.

 

Share

Kirkus and Fresh Fiction review SLIMY UNDERBELLY

Published August 13, 2014 in Advice - 0 Comments

SLIMY UNDERBELLY

From Kirkus Reviews

Dan Chambeaux, zombie private eye (Hair Raising, 2013, etc.), once again juggles a series of cases as deftly as if he were equipped with the same tireless tentacles as his chief suspect. In the Unnatural Quarter, it’s either a feast or an orgy of malefactors. Just as Chambeaux & Deyer’s former client, frog demon Lurrm, is celebrating the opening of the Recompose Spa, his smartly refurbished zombie bathhouse, the competition between Alastair Cumulus III and Chambeaux’s client Thunder Dick over which of them will be elected head of the Weather Wizards Fraternal Order breaks into open warfare, as each wizard stoops to new lows to undermine the other. Mr. Bignome, head of a ring of garden gnomes that robs flower shops, compounds his felonies by stealing the glorious baritone voice of Stentor, the ogre opera star who’s frantic that he’ll get fired by The Phantom of the Opera. Twelve-year-old junior mad scientist Jody Caligari seizes the moment to ask Chambeaux to take on a pro bono case: overturning his eviction from the underground lab he’d rented from fearsome Ah’Chulhu, the demon sewer landlord who’s the richly tentacled half-breed son of a pair of Senior Citizen Gods. Ah’Chulhu, it turns out, has a tentacle in most every one of Chambeaux’s current cases—which may make them easier to solve but certainly doesn’t make them any less dangerous. An appended bonus story, “Stakeout at the Vampire Circus,” reminds you that the best parts of Chambeaux’s waggish adventures are often the early chapters, before the normal zaniness of the Unnatural Quarter gets clogged with criminal mischief. Anderson’s obviously found his niche. Readers who share it will be in zombie heaven, or wherever zombies would go if there were life after undeath.

from Fresh Fiction

SLIMY UNDERBELLY is Book four in Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Zombie PI series. I love this series! I always look forward to a new book in this series because it is always funny, and very entertaining. This book is no exception. Even though SLIMY UNDERBELLY is part of a series, I believe that it can be enjoyed without having read the previous books in the series. Kevin J. Anderson does a good job of establishing characters and background information. This is a great book for anyone who likes paranormal mysteries with a little goofiness and great story-telling.

As with other books in this series, there are a few side stories going on at the same time. Dan works a few different cases throughout the course of SLIMY UNDERBELLY, but a lot of them tie back to the sewers. For that obvious reason, there are some gross bits in the story but nothing that ruins the story. There are some cases that are lighter in tone than others. Some situations border on slapstick. I think it’s because of the sillier moments that the more serious ones pack such a punch. Right after some amusing antics by some paranormal characters, a crime will happen and a character you get emotionally invested in or some innocent bystander might get hurt.

In addition to the cornball jokes, a little social commentary is thrown in for good measure. In SLIMY UNDERBELLY, the villains might be bizarre, gross, or goofy, but I like that Dan humanizes them and considers what made them become a bad guy. This is illustrated beautifully by the storyline involving one of Dan’s clients — junior mad scientist Jody Caligari. He’s a cute little kid who might be too smart for his own good, and aspires to be a supervillain. Dan and company take him under their wing and try to encourage his intelligence, while trying to steer him away from a potential life of crime. For me, there are no stock characters in this series. All of them are full of life and multi-faceted.

SLIMY UNDERBELLY is another in a long line of wildly imaginative and entertaining detective stories. Dan Shamble is a zombie take on Philip Marlowe. I can’t wait for the next installment in this excellent series!

 

Share
1 2 3