Wednesday, August 5, 2015

IWSG Wednesday: In the Editing Cave

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

I finished editing Provex City and sent it off to my proofreader. I expect to get it back over the next week. I've also finished editing Le7el and SUSY Asylum. The next items on my agenda is to get all my covers finalized. They all need blurb rewrites and spine adjustments. I also need a cover for Le7el, which should be completed by the end of the month.

I'm excited to have finished my edits of Provex City, Le7el, and SUSY Asylum because I made quite a few tweaks and changes to match up with the last two books. There were a few scenes and details I'd forgotten about in the early books that never went anywhere. I specifically targeted those types of scenes and details to make the stories as tight and fast-paced as possible. I had been nervous about splitting Le7el and SUSY Asylum since I had to completely rearrange the stories. Now that they're both done, I'm happy and more than a little relieved. This is the great thing about ebooks and self publishing--the ability to easily change stories that have already been released.

I feel like I've accomplished a lot over the past month, but I still have a long way to got to get this series fully released. But I can see the end of the end of the tunnel, which is encouraging. I'm itching to start a new story, but I have to stay focused and get this series released before moving on. It drives me to work that much harder.

My biggest insecurity right now is what will happen once the entire series is released--an insecurity that grows with each passing month, the closer I get to finally releasing the last books. I'm not worried about negative reception, but of not reaching an audience with the ever-growing ocean of new releases. Discoverability isn't getting any easier. But I'll get back to focusing on the tasks at hand and let future Mike worry about that.

A new band I've gotten into over the past two weeks is X Ambassadors. I've liked the song Renegades since I first heard it on the radio, but didn't look into the band until recently. And I'm sorry I waited so long because they are amazing. X Ambassadors sounds like a fusion between Imagine Dragons and The Fray, but I like X Ambassadors much better than the other two bands. It was hard choosing a song to post here. I'm typically a sucker for acoustic versions of songs, so I finally decided on a live acoustic version of Unsteady. As an aside, their beautifully emotional song Litost was on The Host soundtrack (another writing song I'd highly recommend). Who knew?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

IWSG Wednesday: Finding Your Voice

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

June flew by way too fast. I wish I had more to report, but I'm still just wading through revisions. Archanum Manor is now in the hands of my editor and I'm excited to receive feedback over the next couple of weeks. I've been in contact with my proofreader and scheduled to start sending her manuscripts by the end of the month. I still have a lot of work to polish up Provex City, so hopefully I can make some good progress over the holiday weekend.

It's interesting, but after writing four books in Oliver's voice, I think I finally found it. Five years ago, with only Provex City committed to the page, I thought that Oliver's voice was authentic. But I've now realized that I didn't truly find his voice until Archanum Manor. He's grown throughout the books and I've grown as a writer. I spent so much time on Provex City compared to the other books (well over a year writing and rewriting), and I thought it was my most polished story. Now I feel it's the least and needs the most work. It's interesting looking back at it now. I still love the story, but the writing's different. It doesn't feel as natural as its successors. So I'll be working hard to remedy that over the next few weeks.

Oh and from last month, there were a few questions on how to pronounce the title of my new novella, Le7el. I think it looks cool spelled that way (to me it has a NIN vibe), but it's simply pronounced Level 7. So simple it's probably underwhelming. Sorry, but I still like it.

Another great writing album that came out last month was Of Monsters and Men's Beneath the Skin. So far, Empire is my favorite song from the album, and like many of my favorite songs, I can listen to it on repeat for an hour or more (which I've been doing for the writing of this post).

If you're in the U.S., then have a safe and happy 4th of July. If you reside elsewhere in this shrinking world, then I'm sure you can find some reason to celebrate. Do you really need a reason to spend time with friends and family and have a few drinks? I think not. And once your head clears from one too many drinks, then it's time to get your butt back in the chair and write. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG Wednesday: Introducing Le7el

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

I am elbows deep in revisions. I have more work than I originally thought, but I'm excited for the final products. An idea came to me a few weeks ago and I'm running with it. I had been concerned that SUSY Asylum was so much longer than the other books in the series. I had thought of splitting it into two books for a while, but didn't know how...until I explored the idea of splitting it into one novel and one novella. I didn't know if it would work until I began reorganizing the story and I think it's working quite nicely. Now I'm  not so worried about cutting. I'm actually having to write a few more chapters to fill in some newly created gaps.

So the new novella will be titled Le7el, Book 1.5 in the Lorne Family Vault. I don't want to deceive people that have already read the first edition of SUSY Asylum, but since I didn't promote it much, I don't believe it was read by many people. So I'm not worried about angering a whole lot of readers. Ultimately, I think this is a good decision for the series. It's creating more work for me right now, but I think it'll be worth it in the end.

As I get back to work, I want to share what I've been listening to while writing this post. Florence + The Machine's new album came out today (still Tuesday as I'm writing), "How Big How Blue How Beautiful." Their albums create such great mood music for my writing. I'm not too familiar with this new album yet, but the song Delilah caught my attention immediately. Florence + The Machine never disappoints. Enjoy!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blood, Boobs & Carnage Blogfest

Hosted by

Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh & Heather Gardner

I just finished watching Season 5, Episode 6 "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," and it's funny, because it's probably one of the only episodes that doesn't fully fit with the theme of this blogfest. But almost every other episode epitomizes the the theme of "Blood, Boobs & Carnage."

The HBO original series, Game of Thrones, as with the book series it is based on, A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, are the first things I thought of when I learned about this blogfest. Martin created an expansive, brutal world and HBO vividly brought it to life. It combines the violence of The Walking Dead, the sex and dysfunctional shock value of Californication, and the superb acting and production value of Breaking Bad. What more could anyone possibly want?

The show is so awesome it that it has the best opening credits (which doesn't have any blood, boobs, or carnage, but it's still Star Wars caliber awesome) of any show out there. I typically fast forward through opening credits, but not for Game of Thrones.

There are so many twists and turns, so many secondary characters, so much detail put into the world, the history, and the storyline that you need to watch it numerous times (and even then, you won't catch everything). It's easy to get distracted by the blood and boobs, but you need to concentrate if you want to keep up with the multiple interwoven storylines. And don't expect the good guys to prevail. All men must die.

Below is the Honest Trailer of Games of Thrones and shows exactly why it is perfect for this blogfest. But be warned, it does include spoilers from seasons 1-3. If you don't mind the spoilers, the trailer is pretty hilarious, especially for people that know exactly what the narrator's talking about. Enjoy!

Thank you to Alex and Heather for setting this up and use the list of links below to visit other people participating in this blogfest.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Precipice (Backworlds, Book 6) Release Today!

Today is the official release date of M. Pax's sixth book in the Backworlds series, Precipice. Please join me in congratulating Mary on her newest release and go check it out on all the major online retailers at the links below. If you haven't yet started the series, the first book in the series, The Backworlds, is free to download on Amazon.

In the far future, humanity settles the stars, bioengineering its descendants to survive in a harsh universe. This is the sixth book in the science fiction series, The Backworlds. A space opera adventure.
The Backworlds hang by a Quantum string, a thread about to snap. Annihilation is coming if Craze can’t stop it.
The genocidal alien he had trapped breaks free, destroying a ship belonging to the Backworlds’ oldest enemy, the Fo’wo’s. The murderous alien wants to overtake the galaxy. The Fo’wo’s want another war.
The Backworlds’ best chance to survive is to overcome a century of hate and forge an alliance with the Fo’wo’s. Because of his history with the alien, Craze is recruited to represent his people. Now he’s the most hated man in the galaxy.
The looming war will be a holocaust unless Craze can stop it, knowing salvation comes at a price.

Buy links: Amazon / B&N / iBook / Googleplay / Smashwords / Kobo / Other

About M. Pax:

Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers, and one of her cats has a crush on Mr. Spock. You can find out more by visiting her website:

One question interview with Craze:

The main character in the Backworlds series is a bartender named Craze. What is the most expensive drink in the Backworlds?
Craze:  Hot chocolate. A tiny bar of chocolate can buy you a spaceship in the Backworlds. Not a top of the line deal, but a working spaceship all the same.

Excerpt 1

Commander Hunninger tapped an icon on her tab and jabbed it in Craze’s face. “You really want to say no to this?”

The screen was too close. He grabbed the device from her manly fingers and brought the image into focus. A brand new, state-of-the-art, mini city docking facility. Pardeep Station had never seen finer and probably never would. Better protection from the dust storms was a necessity, and folks had to get out of the cold. Craze tired of the stench of the sick. “How much is it goin’ to cost? Everyone on this moon barely has three chips to jangle in their holey pockets.”

“No chips.” She smiled. Her wide mouth contained a lot of very white teeth.

Three good sucks on his air hose and Craze knew he wasn’t dreaming. He narrowed his eyes. “There’s still a price.”

Excerpt 2

Until he knew for certain whether he dealt with one genocidal alien or two, Lepsi couldn’t think right. His thoughts refused to stand still, stuttering and churning.

The hatch slid fully open. He sprang off the cargo ejector, sailing two kilometers into the ether. He tumbled in the black for precisely twenty-three seconds then engaged his thrusters to journey the remaining twenty kilometers over to a spacecraft-sized mass of debris. The bits clumped together forming a weird metallic planetoid.

He traced along the char marks and the mangled pieces of hull. The answers he needed wouldn’t be found in this trash, yet he was closer to them here than anywhere else, unless he joined up with the horrid alien again. His limbs shuddered and his lungs struggled for breath. He never wanted to see the cloud-like ship again. He couldn’t. He’d crack into a billion unrecoverable pieces. Just like the rubble of the Fo’wo ship around him.

Excerpt 3

Engaging the thrusters on the jetpack strapped to her back, Rainly steered herself through space. Its vastness terrified her. Her skin prickled. The man in the white robe jabbering in her head overwhelmed her, blocking out all until she found herself back on the Sequi opening the box she had retrieved. She had hoped answering the man’s summons would end her blackouts.

“I don’t want to know what I did,” she whispered, her teeth chattering and limbs quaking. She couldn’t take much more of this.

The size and dimensions of a coffin, the box was also a ship. One more sophisticated than the Sequi. Using a control paddle, Rainly maneuvered a dolly under the box, then she wheeled it into the living quarters. Her sister had moved the couches, creating ample space.

Her hands clapping, her sister beamed. “Let’s meet our master.”

Together they pried open the chamber per instructions pulsing in Rainly’s head. The flood of data had to be making a clamor in her sister’s mind too, because she moved in the same ways.

Inside the box lay a brain in a sac of goo. Nothing like Rainly expected. “Is it a Fo’wo?” she asked her sister.

“Not yet. We have to reboot him first.”

Rainly had to wonder whether she and her sister had gone insane.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

IWSG Wednesday: The New Face of the Lorne Family Vault

Happy Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday. Thank you again to Alex J. Cavanaugh, the creator of the group. The first Wednesday of every month is dedicated to this group of supportive writers. If it's something you're not familiar with, then please click on Alex's link above for more information and to sign up!

April has been a blur. I'm sure quite a few of you can relate, especially those of you who participated in the A to Z Challenge. I am in the deep waters of editing. Right now I'm trying to finish my initial rounds of editing Archanum Manor so I can hand it over to my editor and he can sand down all the rough edges.

And now that the first draft of my final manuscript in the Lorne Family Vault series is complete, I'm finally ready to reveal my new covers. I will be re-releasing Provex City and SUSY Asylum before finally releasing Doria Falls and Archanum Manor. I've been sitting on these covers for a few months now and I'm so excited to finally share them with you. All four covers were created by Karri Klawiter. She did a great job of capturing the visual essence and tone of my novels and she was so easy to work with every step of the way. Also, her prices are very reasonable. If you're looking for a cover designer, then check out her website and see the many other beautiful covers she's created HERE.

Now, I should get back to editing so I can get these books finished and published...and begin a new project.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The End is Here! & Indie ReCon

I know many of you are in the middle of the April A to Z challenge, so I'll keep this short.

Just a quick update on my novel progress--I finished Archanum Manor! I wrote "the end" last week and the final installment to the Lorne Family Vault clocked in at 81,000 words. I also finished my first read through two days ago, so it's on its way to the first round of beta readers. But there's no time to rest. I'm now plunging back into editing Doria Falls.

So it's back to work, but before I go, I wanted to share that the virtual indie author conference, Indie ReCon, will be taking place April 15th - 17th (that's right, it starts today). This is the conference's third year and should be packed with the latest self publishing information. Find out what the best-of-the-best are doing right now and what changes are taking place in the constantly evolving self publishing landscape. Click the icon below to be taken to their official website. Be ready to take notes. Enjoy!
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