Vice & Virtue is Live, but Don’t Buy it Yet!

Ack! I see that I have mistakenly uploaded the backup file when I went to pre-order, so if you buy Vice & Virtue right now, you will end up with half a book!  I submitted the changes, and it already says it’s publishing, so give it a few hours and I’m sure it will all be as right as rain!  Sorry for the inconvenience!


UPDATE: You may now resume giving me your money. 😉  The issue is fixed!  As a special bonus, if you have not yet picked up Showdown (Wyrd West Chronicles #1) then I even managed to fix a minor issue I had with the Table of Contents while I was adjusting the formatting in Vice & Virtue anyway.  If you already bought it, I think you can just download an update without having to spend any more money.

BUT!  Did you know that you can get Showdown for free for signing up to my newsletter?  So seriously, why wouldn’t you? 😉


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“The Guns Above” Author Robyn Bennis on Imagined Technology

I won’t pretend that the technology in The Guns Above was easy to imagine. I spent months working out the details and checking them against real-world analogues. A thousand cool and exciting ideas were cut down in their prime, excised by the cruel blade of reality, because I wanted tech that would pass the test of the hard-fantasy reader. I wanted an airship you could build yourself, with enough money and no more than one or two alterations to the laws of physics.

Read the full article at Unbound Worlds.

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A Space Ship Does Not Blow Up on Page Three

Sometimes in my stories, a space ship *does* blow up on page three.  But even then, my work always has something deeper to say, and I find the dismissal irritating.

Every  science fiction writer has something that drives him or her.   For many if not most writers this is the need to pen a story and have it read, usually by means of publication.   A quick visit to the websites of most literary agents or publishers yields one dominant insight into what one must do to achieve this.  Write an engaging story with believable characters and immerse the reader in the story within the first few pages. This is sage advice, if you want these folks to notice your work.   Often they won’t read beyond the first few pages and what they’re looking for is engagement, a powerful plot and character-driven hook.

Notice what’s missing here.   Rarely are you asked what your book is about.  If you are, what they’re referring to is the story line, the narrative structure of the piece.   What’s not being asked is what the book is about in a thematic sense.  What are you trying to say?  They may ask that question once you’ve passed the litmus test of having an engaging opening to  the book, but it’s not what they’re looking for.  This has created an emphasis in the modern science fiction genre where what the book is about in a thematic sense is not nearly as important is this “engagement” aspect.   Many writers these days have little or nothing to say on the thematic front, but they get away with this because their book clips along at a good pace, has engaging characters and cool tropes.   I’ve had published writers tell me that they never think about theme, and others tell me they try to add the theme in after several drafts.  The resulting books, while they might engage and be fun, rarely leave a lasting impression on the discerning reader.

Read the full article at

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The Therapeutic Benefits of Writing a Novel

By Jessica Lourey

When my husband died unexpectedly in 2001, I’d never heard of expressive writing. And you know what? It wouldn’t have mattered if I had. Three months pregnant, raising a three-year-old, and suddenly a widow, the last thing I wanted to do was spend even one sharp second journaling about how I felt. No offense to Dr. Pennebaker, the founder of the expressive writing movement. It’s just that I couldn’t survive reliving the pain of my husband’s suicide, not then, not on my own. I needed to convert it, package it, and ship it off.

So I began writing fiction.

Read the full article at Writer Unboxed.

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