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Monthly Archives: December 2011

But what if I don’t have a Kindle?

I have to say, this is probably one of the most asked questions I hear.  And I tell people the same thing over and again: “You don’t need a Kindle to read a book in Kindle format.”  Truth is, I myself do not own a Kindle, nor do I plan on buying one in the foreseeable future.  That being said, how can I expect people to buy a book I am not even willing to invest in the company that distributes it?

The answer is simple: I bought a copy of my own book in Kindle – and downloaded it to my computer with a copy of the PC Kindle App.  There are Kindle apps for just about everything you can imagine: Windows PC, Windows Phone 7, iPhone, Mac, Blackberry, iPad and even an Android app that allows you to read it on other book readers like Nook!  Visit this site for more info:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=dig_arl_box?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

So if all that has been holding you back from buying a copy is that you don’t have a Kindle, then rise above the obstacle because you don’t need to hold yourself back any longer!

And if you still can’t bring yourself to rise to the digital age, there is always the option of buying a trade paperback version of the book, as well.  You can buy a hard copy of the book on the publisher’s website at:

http://www.lulu.com/commerce/index.php?fBuyContent=12253593

So people o’ mine: read and read well!  🙂

Until next time!

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Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What is “The Game”?

When you read One, you will find scattered references to “The Game”.  It seemed a good topic to discuss briefly what the Game actually was meant to represent.  There are some brief explanations inside the story, and more will be developed on the Game in later volumes.  But as kind of an advance sneak-peak into the mind of the author, I thought I would take a moment to provide some additional background on what the Game actually is.

The Game is a tribute to my own personal experience in the real world of customizable (sometimes called collectible or trading) card games (CCGs or TCGs).  In fact, the nonprofit I run (http://GameHearts.org) promotes these kinds of tabletop games as safe and sober recreations for adults.  But as I write One, I realized I wanted to convey what a game like this might look like in a real fantasy world.  With this in mind, I adapted a CCG that I had personally developed (called Quest) into the format of the story (And who knows, if the story takes off, maybe I will someday release the real Game into the market, too).

Basically, in a fantasy world, there would not be printing presses producing cards en masse that would be needed to support a worldwide adoption of a card game.  Some card games certainly must exist, but it is pretty standard that a deck of cards might be bought once, and then played to the point of completely wearing the print off the cards (years of play) before a normal person in such a world would replace their deck.  But a CCG requires constant adaptation to remain vital, and people in a midevil world would not be going to local trader to constantly buy new booster packs.  So there were the first hurdles that I had to overcome to introduce the game: production, distribution and cost.

I overcame all of this, and ended up creating the unique components of the Game, in the same stroke: the cards of the Game are clearly not being produced by a mortal – some higher power is involved.  This higher power has remained nameless, of course, which only adds to the mystery of why he or she is doing it.  This higher power is also responsible for distributing the game cards, and presumably for overseeing the rules of the game, as well.  In spite of its broad reach, for instance, there are no known aceptable house rule systems for the Game – everyone who plays the Game plays, it seems, by the same rules.  So some kind of authority must exist to keep the Game within the confines of the same rules…

But since the New Order denounces the Game, it seems obvious that they are not responsible.  And one of the Gods in the first book, Aerik, seems to reference knowing that a female is responsible, which seems to rule out the Pantheon’s involvement (since the Old Gods are of both their genders, and an Old God generally only reference a fellow in a single sex if in the presence of one at the time).  And so the question is still out there:  who is producing the Game, and why?

One thing that is not discussed in One though (and consider this a spoiler alert – so don’t read further if you don’t want the spoiler), there is a mystic component to the Game beyond just its creation and distribution.  For true players of the Game, the cards are actually part of a sophisticated magical system.  The individual cards act as material components in summoning creatures and people from across the world to be compelled to participate in a duel between players.  Bracken has been shown that a card exists of himself – will there be cards of others in the story, and what impact will this have on future books?  For that part, you will all just have to stay tuned…  🙂

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What kind of Fantasy is “One” closest to?

This evening I was asked, “If you were to compare your story to another one, what would you say it is closest to?”

After a moment’s reflection, my response was, “Possibly Terry Goodkind {Sword of Truth}, but maybe not as in-depth, but more detailed than Terry Brooks {Shanara}.  If I were to compare it to a storyline, maybe a comparison to Dragonlance {Weis and Hickman}, without as many magical races interlaced…”

The conversation went on from there, and I did my best to explain my reasonings – that the story was very human-centric like Goodkind’s series, with only one demi-human, a dwarf, actually in the current timeline of the story (not counting flashback stories, of course), but I didn’t think my writing was quite Goodkind intense, while at the same time, it was a story that involved quests and travelling in search of magic relics, like Brooks’ Shanara series’, yet without the heavy overlay of elves and other races.  I went further to explain that this story was about two rival sets of human Gods, and as such, it needed to be primarily centered around human society.  This did not mean that the other mystical and demi-human races were not in this world, just that I did not feel a need to force them into the story in the first book.  Later books will definitely bring the other races and creatures more into play, but still this will remain a primarily human-centric story, since the other races – for the most part – are not really concerned with the affairs of man, other than how those affairs effect them.  And quite frankly, it matters little to an elf or gnome who humans choose to worship, so long as the object of worship does not compel war upon them specifically.

I thought this was an interesting perspective to share, since it is honestly not one I had given much thought to as I was writing, nor even as I was seeking publication.  As I explained in the course of the conversation, I never felt a need to copy someone else’s style nor story – I set out to tell a story I had imagined.  And though I certainly drew influences from many authors before me, the actual context of the story I believe to be uniquely my own.

I recently saw a forum post that commented that there seemed to be no new fantasies out there that did not have vampires, werewolves or both.  This is in reflection in large part to the popularity of the Twilight series, just as the previous popularity of the Harry Potter books spawned a wealth of teenage wizard/magician series before it.  When I was young, there were maybe a dozen different series trying to follow in the steps of the Hardy Boys by Dixon.  I think this will ever be a pattern in modern story-telling: someone will have a unique perspective, and many will come out of the woodworks to copy it.

Well, that is not my intent.  But I would really enjoy some feedback on this from anyone reading this:  Do you think my style is reminescent of anyone else, do you believe “One” is copy-catting any current theme presently over-popular in the market today, or do you feel after reading it that it is a unqiue story all its own?  Please participate in the survey below, and by all means, contact me directly with any specific ideas or comments…

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Want a sneak peak?

Don’t know what all the hubbub is about?  Why not sneak on over to Amazon and have a peak?  Amazon provides a free sample of my novel’s content – just find the “Click to Look Inside!” graphic at the top of my novel’s image to get a preview of the Prologue, Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 2!  And if you like it, you can buy still it!  🙂

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

One – Available on Amazon!

One – the first volume of the Godslayer Cycle – was released in Kindle format on Amazon on November 28, 2011.  Several web posts have been made, including on the GameHearts website and on YouTube.  Any of these can give the potential reader some basic information on the novel and series, and a preview text is also available on the Amazon sale page.

Please let me know what everyone thinks about the book, and please do not hesitate to comment on what you read.  Remember – this book’s proceeds have been permanently endowed to support GameHearts, a nonprofit safe and sober recreations program for adults.  All purchases therefore will go towards supporting this program and its cause.

 

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized