Thursday, March 29, 2012

What's inside 'The Box'?

A mysterious artifact is uncovered in the desert. It is metallic, perfectly cubical, covered in strange writing... and older than human civilization. Four strangers are brought to a secret laboratory to unlock its secrets, including a codebreaker, a linguist, and a young prodigy physicist. What is the box? What secrets does it contain within? Finding out will send the team on the greatest adventure of their lives... and could mean the end of everything they know.

"The Box" is now available, exclusively on Amazon!  I have to admit that after uploading yesterday, I pretty much checked the status of it compulsively until it went live.  Amazon takes a few hours for ebooks to go on sale once they've been uploaded, and I was being my usual impatient self.  It finally appeared on the site at about 7 pm, and I immediately shared it across all my usual networks (I'm heavily into Facebook and Google+, so be sure to 'like' me on Olympus Mans and circle me on G+).  

Then, of course, I couldn't get to sleep last night.  Too excited.  It's a blast seeing your name on something that's for sale on a huge site like Amazon.  I'm not sure that'll ever become old hat for me.  At least, I hope it doesn't.

Now, about that novel...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pushing the button

Well, that's that - I uploaded 'The Box' to Amazon today, and enrolled it in their KDP Select program.  As soon as it's live on the site, I'll be posting links and updating the My Books page.  But mostly what I want to say in this post is that it feels good to hit that button.

When you get to the point where you know that continuing to work on something you're just spinning your wheels and overdoing things.  There's that saying that art is never finished, just abandoned - and there is truth to that.  At some point, you just say, 'Alright, it's time to get this out there.'  And that's just what I did today.

And it feels awesome.

Current Soundtrack
"Amaryllis" by Shinedown

Monday, March 19, 2012

A picture worth a thousand words

As an artist and a designer, I like to make my own covers.  I've made DVD covers, I've made posters, and I designed the cover for "Show Me the End of the World." That one came to me fairly easily... I recall my thought process being simply that I wanted an image of the world on fire and the text to have a fairly simple treatment and this is what came out:

Pretty solid, eh?  I mean, I dig it.

Now I'm designing the cover for my short story "The Box" and I'm running into a little bit of a snag.  Initially, I came up with this:

But honestly the more I look at it the more I think it just looks kinda cheesy and dumb.  In my opinion, the cover for "Show Me the End of the World" looks somewhat classier, and I think that's mostly because of my type choices.  I had a couple ideas for "The Box" where the type woud be box-shaped in some fashion to play off on that whole idea.

But then I started thinking more along the lines of the concepts at work in the story and about taking things a bit less literally with the cover.

This one has its own obvious problems.

I like the treatment of the text on this one, but otherwise it seems far too plain.  There obviously needs to be something else of a graphical nature on this version, but I'm a loss as to what.  I thought perhaps some kind of blood spatter, but where should it go and how should it interact with the type?  It's a conundrum alright.

Current Soundtrack
"Superman Returns" by John Ottman

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Editing Phase

So as you may know from previous posts, I've been working on a new story that I'm rewriting from an old one.  It's called "The Box."

Wellllll it's pretty well done.  Clocking in at just under 16,000 words, I'm steadily going through it now making sure all the i's are dotted, all the t's crossed.  I've had a couple people read through it and got some positive feedback on that end, as well.

On that note, I'd like to mention that editing a document in real-time with another person on Google Docs is pretty awesome.

But this story is nearing the finish line.  I can't wait to get it out there.

Current Soundtrack
"Tomorrow Never Dies" by David Arnold

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reviews, reviews, reviews

Well folks, "Show Me the End of the World" has garnered a couple of reviews up on and!

First up, a five-star review from the US site:

And then a four-star review from the UK:

I am, understandably, quite psyched.

Current Soundtrack:
"The World is Not Enough" by David Arnold

Monday, March 5, 2012

Moving along

Crossed the 12,000 word threshold on "The Box" tonight.  We're almost there, folks.  This one's going to go through some editing and then it'll be available.  It seems to be going a little smoother now than it was a couple days ago.  I actually chopped almost an entire scene that just wasn't working.  It was introducing a new element into the story too late, and I just realized I had no idea where I was going with it.  And remembering what I wrote about being lazy and covering up that laziness with action, I decided to do the harder thing and simply ax the entire scene and go in a different direction.  It feels good having done that; even though I liked that new element, I simply didn't know where to go with it after it was started.  Maybe if this were a different project - a novel instead of a story - I might have been able to get away with it and incorporate it into the larger narrative.

But here, there's simply no room for it.

...Which sounds funny when I think that this "short story" is going to end up being twice the length of most of the stories in "Show Me the End of the World."

Current Soundtrack
"Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" by Cliff Eidelman