Tag Archives: Truth-Teller Rebellion

My Truth-Teller Books Are in Paperback!

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Truth-Teller Rebellion and its sequel Truth-Teller Revenge are now available at Amazon in paperback, as ebooks, and free with Kindle Unlimited. Truth-teller Cary and his empath sister Krin use their unusual talents to fight against the dictator Perez…first to survive in Rebellion and then to defeat him in Revenge.

For Truth-Teller Rebellion click http://amzn.to/2gLRTYi.

For Truth-Teller Revenge click http://amzn.to/2h0j6qG.

 

 

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My Writer’s Journey: A Look Backward and a Look Ahead

While life may be a journey, writing has been a plodding trek for me of often three steps forward and then four steps back. I researched my first novel, a historical novel about Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world, for a year. Then I took a year writing the first draft of my novel, after which I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Association summer conference to pitch it. There I sat in on a session on Point of View. POV? I’d never heard of point of view, but after the session I knew I had way too many of them.

My Magellan novel might have worked fifty years ago, when an omniscient POV was acceptable, but modern writing techniques are different from those of my youth. So I rewrote my novel, drastically reducing the POV’s in the process. Tim Joyner, the author of Magellan, which I consider the definitive book on Magellan, graciously agreed to read my novel. He said it was good as history, but since it was historical fiction, why didn’t I use that latitude to make my novel more engaging. He was right. I set my Magellan novel aside and moved on.

I wrote 2 and 20 in 2008. It was a fun novel to write. The protagonist’s marriage explodes, he compromises his principles to keep his job, but his job explodes anyway, he finds love, he almost loses love, but in the end, he regains his love and an honorable job. Problem? I didn’t think about what genre I was writing, which made it almost impossible to market to an agent. Maybe I’ll self-publish it someday.

They say to write what you know. I know finance. In 2008, I wrote Download, a techno financial thriller. It has a little of the attitude of Nelson DeMille, while giving the reader a peek into the world of mathematics and the odd cast of characters responsible for the theories that have made computers, cell phones, and most of modern life possible. A few agents showed interest, but none bit.

They say to write what you love to read. I love to read science fiction. 2010 gave birth to Truth-Teller Rebellion and 2011 to Truth-Teller Revenge, which Champagne Books published in 2014 and 2015.

Once Truth-Teller Revenge was off to my publisher this past summer, I circled back and rewrote and re-edited Download. Then, as an experiment, I self-pubbed it on Amazon this last November.

I wrote five books in five years from 2007 to 2011, and have since published three of the five. However, I haven’t written anything in the past three years. Sad. Sad, but not because I’ve been lazy. I’ve spent the last three years editing, rewriting, and editing, and then getting a blog and Facebook set up, etc. etc. All of this was necessary, but not nearly as fun as writing.

What lessons have I learned while I’ve been on this trek?

* Learn your craft. Read about writing, read modern novels, and then perfect your craft by writing.

* Craft is not enough. Your plot or your characters must be so engaging that the reader can’t put your book down. This is what I find most difficult. As a writer, I become so close to my characters that I find it difficult to imagine what the first time reader will think of them. Writing in the first person helps, I think, and I’m gravitating to that POV.

* Know what genre you’re writing. Yes, you can push the limits of a genre, but ignore the expectations of a genre at your own risk.

* Write, write, write. Even if you only average 250 words per day, that means a full size 80,000 plus word novel at year end.

* Editing is not fun. At least for me. Write books that require minimal editing before publishing.

Resolutions for 2015

* Write. Get back to writing.

First project. Rewrite the Magellan novel as a “memoir.” I started this a month ago, and it’s going well. It’s going faster than I expected because I’m recycling major portions of the original novel.

Second project, a new sci book?

* Write cleaner books the first time, which will then require less editing. I’ve learned a lot about writing from working with my Champagne editors. Combining that knowledge with a little more focus should result in books that require less editing. Less editing means more time for the fun stuff: creating stories, universes, and characters.

Here’s to the future and all the books in it.

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Truth-Teller Revenge is available for Pre-order.

Truth-Teller Revenge is available for pre-order.

Wormhole technology is a reality and promises to be the salvation of mankind. That is, if the battle over its control doesn’t destroy civilization first.

Cary sees a chance to end the war while getting revenge on the man responsible for killing his father and his lover. There’s one problem. It’s a suicide mission. When Krin discovers this, she’s determined to use all her emotion-twisting powers to keep him alive.

Truth-Teller Revenge is available for pre-order for delivery as an e-book on January 5, 2015 at most e-book vendors including Amazon.

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How Much Science Should a Sci Fi Book Have?

The typical sci fi book should have enough science in it to tell the story, and nothing more.

Conflict, and how the protagonist deals with that conflict, drives most good stories. Science interprets the reality of the world around us. By itself, science has no conflict.

Science is a secondary character in most novels. Devoting pages at a time to a secondary character is usually a mistake. I learned this from experience. When I first submitted Truth-Teller Rebellion to Champagne Press, it came back with a rejection, but with the comment that if, among other things, I wanted to eliminate the excess description (science in most cases) I could resubmit it. Thank you Champagne Press for that second chance. An example given was the two pages I had devoted to a detailed explanation of the construction and operation of a solplane. The editor was right. My two pages on solplanes just slowed down a story that already was a little too slow.

Often, a scientific idea is the spark behind a novel. For example, what if artificial intelligences no longer need mankind? That is the basis of The Fall of Hyperion and 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, what keeps the reader turning the pages in these classics is how the protagonist deals with this obstacle, not the science of artificial intelligences.

I recently read Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I admire this book for its originality, but the science of this book slowed it down. Anathem’s thesis centers on the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, MWIQM, which is roughly akin to the parallel worlds that inhabit many sci fi novels. I read the first discussions of MWIQM with care. However, there were more talking head discussions about MWIQM for pages at a time. I skipped over them all. Some quantum mechanics geeks might like these interruptions to the story, but they are a fine slice of the reading public. I suspect most readers will react as I did.

Putting science in a novel in most cases means more description. I like to get poetic with my descriptions. It pleased me that longandshortreview.com said in its review of Truth-Teller Rebellion that “Mr. Schultz’s scenery descriptions are not to be missed.” I was flattered, but that doesn’t mean I should write more and longer descriptions. When I’m writing my best, my descriptions mesh seamlessly with the dialogue and action.

Science is important to science fiction, but unless you want only hardcore science geeks for readers, keep the science short and sweet.

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Truth-Teller Revenge Cover Art

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I just received the cover art for Truth-Teller Revenge. It is fantastic! The artist is Trisha FitzGerald, who also did Truth-Teller Rebellion. Yes, Cary does get off the Earth in Revenge…although, getting back is a bit of a problem. I’m doing the final final edit of the galley right now. Revenge is on track for release in November.

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Krin’s Struggle With Being an Empath

There’s a character blog hop going on! Audra Middleton recently wrote about Princess Willow in her novel Abomination. Then she tagged me. Check out Audra’s blog at http://www.audramiddleton.com/monthly-blog/meet-my-character-blog-hop.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Krin is my favorite character in my Truth-Teller series. In Truth-Teller Rebellion, she is sixteen years old. She’s nineteen at the time of Truth-Teller Revenge, which comes out this November. She’s the younger sister of Cary Bishop, who is the protagonist of Truth-Teller Rebellion. Krin is the co-protagonist of Truth-Teller Revenge.

2) When and where is the story set?

The Truth-Teller books take place around the year 4000, but they aren’t your prototypical science fiction. Not too far in our future, the exhaustion of fossil fuels and global warming helped ignite devastating wars and a partial collapse of civilization. In time, global warming ran its course, but an ice age now grips the Earth. A shortage of energy leaves civilization stagnated, although medical technology has advanced far beyond current day technology.

Rebellion takes place in Washington and Oregon. Revenge takes place in the western half of North America, Hawaii, and in Space.

3) What should we know about Krin?

She’s plucky and not afraid to make decisions for herself. Some of her decisions are good, some could have been better, but she’s always doing what she thinks is right.

Krin is an empath and her personal story is how she deals with this ability. She can instinctively feel another’s emotions as if they were her own. Empaths are rare in her society, but her abilities go even further than those of most other empaths. She can project emotions into the minds of others. Realizing this last ability can be used for evil, she vows not to use it at all.

4) What is her main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Krin sees her father and mother swept in a glacial lake outburst flood in Truth-Teller Rebellion. Afterwards, she’s unaware of the full extent of her and Cary’s unique abilities and she doesn’t understand the reason for multiple attempts upon their lives. She has to discover the truth about her past and her gifts in order to survive.

In Truth-Teller Revenge, like any woman, she’s looking for love and happiness. Instead, her father, the President of Columbia, is assassinated. She falls in love, only to find it’s forbidden. Her toughest decision is when she realizes Cary is intent on a suicide mission to defeat her father’s assassin. Can she help him without compromising her vow against manipulating the emotions of others?

5) What is her personal goal?

To find love, to remain true to her beliefs, and to keep what is left of her family alive.

Please check out Krin in Truth-Teller Revenge this coming November.

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I’m Interviewed on Audra Middleton’s Blog

Audra Middleton interviewed me on her sci fi madness blog series today. I talk about what makes a good sci fi novel, researching Truth-Teller Rebellion, and writer’s block. Check it out at http://www.audramiddleton.com/1/post/2014/05/interview-with-kenneth-schultz.html.

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