Category Archives: Mindfield

Mindfield Gets a Five Star Rating!

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Mindfield got its first rating on Goodreads and it’s five stars! Thank you Gene Summers. It appears that Gene is an avid reader of space opera. I’m so happy that he liked my take on this genre in Mindfield. When I finish a book, I can’t tell how good it really is. It’s so nice to get some validation.

Incidentally, I hear many authors complain about how tough the Goodreads reviewers are. Fortunately, I haven’t found that to be the case. The star averages for my books on Amazon and Goodreads are about the same. My one wish is that potential readers could more easily see my Goodreads reviews, as Download has only one review on Amazon, while it has ten on Goodreads.

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Filed under Mindfield, Mindgames, Truth-Teller Books

Mindfield and Mindgames Are Available!

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I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’ve enjoying writing them over the past several years.

Here’s brief blurb on Mindfield:

Orphaned at age nine when the alien Harn kill his parents, Cam is driven by an all-consuming need for revenge. Vengeance requires more than bravado. He works hard to become a crack C-fighter and develop tactics to defeat the wily Harn. His opportunity comes when he leads his squadron in  the assault to take the Altos system from the Harn. He gets his revenge, but at a terrible price. His friends and lover are killed, and he’s marooned on a fragment of a Harn orbital. There he discovers there may be more to these aliens and the war than he has been told.  His elation upon his rescue is short-lived, and he’s propelled into a desperate quest for the truth about the Harn, his people, and himself.

Mindfield is space opera with a twist of Blade Runner.

Mindgames follows directly upon the events of Mindfield.

Mardi Rall and Cam are mismatched lovers. She is a Lieutenant Commander for the exiled Hartner regime. Cam is a genetically engineered ‘tuber’ fighter pilot with the NorAm government that helped overthrow Hartner. After the exodus of Hartner’s forces from Earth, Mardi and Cam are light years apart, and each are uncertain of the other’s feelings for them.

Disillusioned by the Hartner regime’s corruption, Mardi joins a plot to overthrow it. Hartner’s ouster will correct many wrongs, but if the coup fails, her fate is, at best, a summary execution.

Meanwhile, the alien Harn request Cam’s presence at a summit with the NorAm government. The Harn claim a warlike species called the Synnax will soon attack Earth. Humankind’s existence is at stake, but why have the Harn offered this warning and what do they want in return? And why do they insist Cam, and Mardi, attend the negotiations?

Mardi and Cam see a chance for reunion. Before that happens, they find themselves in the midst of a power struggle between the Harn, Hartner, and NorAm with the lives of millions, including their own, at risk.

For Mindfield in ebook, paperback, or Kindle Unlimited click: https://amzn.to/2BEq2VO

For Mindgames click: https://amzn.to/2wly6EO

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Writing: A Look Back and a Look Forward

2017 was a breakthrough year for me. Sales of Magellan’s Navigator have been steady and it’s garnered many good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. As a writer, it’s immensely satisfying to see people enjoying my work, like the gentleman from Cebu in the Philippines who recently wrote a review on Amazon.

The sequel to Magellan’s Navigator is outlined and a quarter written. Think Master and Commander on a galley as Albo spars with the Barbary pirates. I just need a title for it.

I wrote enough words for a novel in 2017, yet published nothing. That will change soon when my new science fiction books Mindfield and Mindgames come out. They can be read as space opera, but Mindfield is really about one man’s search for his identity. I hope readers enjoy this book as much as I do. The setting for these books is forty years after my Truth-Teller books. Some of the characters in the latter reprise as secondary characters in the new books.

So I’ll have three books out in 2018. Best wishes to all in the New Year.

 

 

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Filed under Art and Craft of Writing, Magellan's Navigator, Mindfield, Truth-Teller Books

BACKSTORY: INTRIGUING OR BORING?

writing clipartI like to write characters, or read about characters, with a rich backstory. I know writers who construct elaborate backstories for all their major characters. The question is then how, or even if, this backstory is revealed to the reader. I think this is best done slowly

That’s how Brandon Sanderson does it in his sprawling, wondrous Stormlight Archive series. He has two main protagonists Kaladin, an enslaved warrior, and Shallan, a minor noble lady with a gift for drawing. Sanderson’s treatment of them was masterful. When I finished a chapter, I never knew if the next page would carry the story forward, or reveal a peek at Kaladin or Shallan’s past. While I wanted to know what the future held for these characters, I also wanted to know what had led to Kaladin becoming a slave and Shallan who she was.

By comparison, I recently started the first book in science fiction epic series, which will remain unnamed. One chapter consisted of a two-page data dump of the character’s backstory, and then a page of largely forgettable action not essential to the overall story. Soon afterward, I gave up on the book for this and other issues despite liking the co-protagonists. Please, authors, don’t dump backstory on me. Tease me with it little by little.

Backstory fascinates me so much that I made it the crux of my upcoming book Mindfield. In it, the reader and the protagonist will discover his backstory at the same time.

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Filed under Art and Craft of Writing, Mindfield

Looking Back at a Year of Writing

For me 2015 was a good year for writing.

In a nutshell:

Over 100,000 net words written
One book published: Truth-Teller Revenge
One book completed: Magellan’s Navigator
One book in beta edits: Mindfield.

Writing:

2014 was a year of learning how to edit and hone my craft. For this I give thanks to my traditional publisher’s editor. I spent 2015 using my improved craft.
The year started out in a frustrating way. My trad publisher punted the copy editing of Truth-Teller Revenge, so my wife Teresa and I edited it under a tight deadline. That completed, I rewrote my first novel, a historical fiction work about Magellan’s voyage of discovery. That book represented several years of research that I wasn’t willing to flush. Originally, this book was 120,000 words, had multiple points of view, and was too boring. I rewrote the book as an 80,000 word “discovered” memoir of the armada’s navigator and am now proud of it. That took until summer, when it went off to my wonderful beta-readers Dave, Kerry, and Laura. In the fall, I reedited it based on their recommendations. I’m now flogging it to agents as Magellan’s Navigator.
I conceived Mindfield in February, thanks Pam for the title, and started writing a few months later. I had a decent draft by October and edited it through year-end. It’s now in the hands of my beta readers. Final editing will start soon. I’m excited about this book. It’s my best book of the six I’ve written.

Publishing and Promoting:

I made a few baby steps in learning the world of publishing and book promotion. It began in frustration. Truth-Teller Revenge, which as a traditionally published book I have no control over pricing, bombed. I discovered promoting on my blog and to Facebook groups doesn’t cut it. My self-published thriller Download substantially outsold and outearned Revenge even though I had Download at a lower price point.
A glimmer of hope came when an author friend, Ann Roth, got me into an indie publishing Facebook group. What an education. Thank you, Ann. I’m now much better equipped to navigate the publishing world, be it traditional or self-publishing. It’s still a steep mountain to climb, but now I know where the path is and what boots to wear.
This year I’ll write Mindfield’s sequel and get Mindfield and Magellan’s Navigator published. It should be another fun year.

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Filed under Art and Craft of Writing, Download, Magellan's Navigator, Mindfield

NaNoWriMo and tearing words out and rewriting them

While many writers are working furiously to meet their word count goals for NaNoWriMo, I continue to plug away at Mindfield. NaNoWriMo for the uninitiated is where writers vow to complete at least a 50,000 word draft novella in the month of November. That means a very ambitious 1667 words per day. Good luck all NaNoWriMo writers.

Mindfield is nearing the completion of its second draft. When editing I attempt to still do a net 500 words per day, and usually I can do it. Yesterday was very productive…but I did a net minus 200 words for the day. That was despite writing well over a thousand new words. I hate tearing out decent existing writing, but it was for the best. This is one of the climactic chapters and the original version didn’t have enough tension. It does now. Today I did a more normal net addition of 500 words. Now on to the final chapters.

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A Summer of Reading and Writing

It’s been a productive summer for me of reading and writing. On the writing side, I’m nearing completion of the first quality draft of my sci fi book Mindfield after figuring out the final chapters while on vacation. The final proofing of my historical fiction Magellan’s Navigator is in process. Thanks to Laura Henson, Dave Mueller, and Kerry Stevens for their invaluable beta read of this manuscript. I’ll need covers for both these books and formatting both for ebook and paperback. Being an indie author isn’t easy. Equally exciting, I’m part of a newly formed group of serious writers meeting regularly for critiques.

I’ve done a lot of reading this summer, due in part to my discovery of the great deals on Bookbub. (I’ve had to restrain myself lately, as it’s easy to build up a backlog of books.) My favorite author of my summer reads is Lindsay Buroker. While on vacation, I finished her “boxed set” Forgotten Ages. This steampunk set consists of her Encrypted, Enigma, and Decrypted novels. These books have good characters, fast moving plots, and an intriguing world. Most of all, I liked her voice and her use of language. It’s much more alive than that of many authors. And, from her facebook page, it looks like she’s a fellow Vizsla owner!

Whether you’re a fantasy reader or a writer of any genre, I suggest you check out Ms. Buroker’s webpage at www.lindsayburoker.com.  She’s proof that a hardworking writer can make it as an indie writer, and her blog has lots of useful info on the secrets to her success.

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Filed under Art and Craft of Writing, Book and Movie Reviews, Magellan's Navigator, Mindfield