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07 January 2008 @ 04:10 pm
Well, Amazon.com has me at 4.5 stars after 6 reviews. I think that's pretty decent but admit I don't have much of a yardstick to go by. Other than those reviews, readers at Forgotten Realms sites like Candlekeep and Worlds of D&D are overwhelmingly positive in their responses. Most surprisingly, the Beezer Review named Neversfall the #4 book of the year. Thank you, Andrew.

In other news, I begin a new job tomorrow. It's a sizable bump in pay but more importantly, it's doing something that I think I'll like a heck of a lot more and will let me use my creative side. I'll be writing and building content for an online educational game (an educational take on an MMORPG) for 4th - 6th graders. The educational game is called Quest Atlantis. If anyone knows a teacher for those grade levels, please send them to the site to have a look. It's a pretty amazing game/tool for education. It's focus is not merely a fun way for students to learn curriculum, but also to help kids learn about social responsibility, be that what they can do for the environment or how to help a friend who is being bullied. It's quite expansive and I have a lot of work to do to catch up and begin to understand the entirety of the game. But hey...I'm going to get paid to write quests in an immersive world for kids! It doesn't get much better.

So what are all of you up to this new year?
10 December 2007 @ 04:55 pm
Check out the interview with me that Wizards of the Coast has posted. They were fun questions to answer. I fear I rambled a bit, though.
04 December 2007 @ 08:22 am
My short story, "The Way," is now available on the Wizards of the Coast site. The story is set before the events of the book and focus on Corbrinn, who is a secondary character in the novel, and how he came to find himself entangled in the events from the book.

02 December 2007 @ 10:08 pm
I couldn't be more tickled that the first posted review of Neversfall was by a gentlemen who goes by the name Beezer. He is a prolific reader and reviewer of all sorts of fiction and has been growing his presence as a reviewer as of late. What tickles me especially is that my book garnered a 5/5 stars. He made some excellent points including one of his criticisms about the Durpari troops being largely nameless, faceless background fodder. He's right and it's something I want to remember if I ever writer a large group-cast like that again. Anyway, check out his review here or on the Amazon listing, or on the R.A. Salvatore boards where he was kind enough to post it as well. Thanks, Beezer.

Other news
My beautiful, incredible wife managed to put together a book release party for me last Tuesday on the day of the release. Me and about 15 friends and family members celebrated with a nice dinner. The party was meant to be a surprise but thanks to some friends mistaken about that fact, I found out ahead of time. It was great nonetheless.

Not only did she put that together for me, but she obtained an amazing print of the cover art for Neversfall SIGNED by the artist himself! It's amazing to see the art without the title of the book and my name and such on it. It's bigger, cleaner, and purer than any other image I'd seen of the art. It's really amazing. Did I mention it was signed?! We're still choosing a spot to hang it but I just couldn't be more pleased with it.
30 November 2007 @ 01:12 pm
Well, the first few reports of people's first impressions of the book (Neversfall) are trickling in. So far, I'm pleased to say, they are definitely positive! I'll be doing my best to answer any questions people have in the Book Club sections of both Candlekeep and Worlds of D&D. I'd also be happy to try to do so here if anyone wishes.

The sociologist in me is finding my recent experiences in my place of work interesting. The chair of our program is a really enthusiastic guy by nature and is definitely so about my book. He is telling nearly everyone he sees in the building about it so it's become interesting to talk to people I barely know about the book. Everyone is congratulatory but you can see that slightly condescending "Oh...fantasy/sci-fi you say?" look on several faces. I smile and nod. I like fantasy. I like sci-fi. I also like what they would call traditional literary stories. I like it all.

This leads me to the broader notion of why people seem so set on separating it all. Yes sci-fi typically examines themes that are different than those in traditional literary stories but that doesn't mean they are of less value, does it? I mean ultimately, ALL fiction explores the same thing...us.
27 November 2007 @ 11:45 pm
Readers of this blog who are also my usual circle of writer-friends, be sure to read the acknowledgments page when you check out the book!
27 November 2007 @ 03:38 pm
Well, today is the official release date of my first novel, Neversfall. Lara and I went to both of the major booksellers in town on our lunch break but found no joy. They said it would be in sometime in the next couple of days. Bummer. Anyone spotted it out there? I think I'll have more reactions to the book release once I actually see it on the shelves or hear from others that they have it.

The contest at Candlekeep.com is over. I didn't have as many entrants as I might have liked but I was glad to see some interest shown.

I have a question to pose for those who write or think in terms of character and story (for a variety of reasons). Do you generally think top-down or bottom-up. Meaning, when you start a project, does a character speak to you and whisper to you the beginnings of their story, or does a story idea land in your lap and lead you to it's characters?
17 November 2007 @ 04:41 pm
Following the advice of other authors, I visited the managers of the two major bookstores here in my town to investigate the possibilities of signings and stock signings for my book release. I went in assuming that a stock-signing would be appropriate but not an actual signing due to my lack of notoriety. For those not in the book-world, a stock-signing is where an author signs several copies of their books, the store puts a little sticker on each copy that says it's signed by a local author and consumers get a kick out of it. It helps sales and builds a sense of community. A regular signing is just that...the author sits at a table, talks with readers and signs copies for them.

I first went to Barnes & Noble and found the manager remarkably interested in planning something for the book. She was understanding that I might only want a stock-signing but she was also encouraging about doing a signing. She offered to do press-releases, a book-release party, posters and the whole 9 yards. I left her knowing that I would do a stock-signing and would get back to her about a
regular signing.

I then went to the other major bookstore in town. For the purposes of this post, I won't refer to this store by name but I'll tell you that it rhymes with "Hoarders." First, I had to wait several minutes for the manager to speak to me, after I offered many times to simply email or call at a later time. When he finally did speak with me, I asked if a stock-signing only would be possible. He rattled off a few reasons that in-store signings don't work very well for them or the authors. I reassured him that I wasn't interested in an in-store signing. He seemed confused and I restated that I just wanted to do a stock-signing. He said he had never heard of those. Surprised a great deal, I took a moment to explain it to him. He still seemed uncertain so I explained it a slightly different way. He responded again by saying he didn't think signings worked very well. In awe of the lack of understanding on his part, I simply thanked him for his time and walked away.

The real beauty of stock-signings is that it costs the bookstores nothing at all and their consumers enjoy it (or don't and no skin off anyone's noses). So the fact that this man was unwilling to facilitate this and, in fact, didn't even understand the idea of a stock-signing was shocking. I don't mind that he didn't want to help me out by agreeing to the signing, but his lack of knowledge and amenability demonstrated his poor managerial skills and were quite disappointing.

Oh well. In other news...

Check out the Forgotten Realms novel area of the forums on Candlekeep.com. I have a contest there for a free, signed copy of my upcoming book, Neversfall. See the contest details below. Note that you should only send answers via private messages on Candlekeep.

Original Contest Posting:

The questions for this contest all pertain to my first published short story "Freedom's Promise," which is in the Realms of the Dragons II anthology for the Forgotten Realms setting.

Contest Rules:
Please send a private message to me here on Candlekeep (no emails please) with your answers to the four questions below by no later than 12pm noon (EST) on Monday November 26, 2007. Please only enter once.

A grand prize winner will be randomly drawn from those who answer all four questions correctly (if more than one). The winner will be announced Tuesday November 27th. I will contact the winner and arrange for delivery of a free, signed copy.

Contest Questions:
1. Name the imp summoned by Aniolon Gruanthe.
2. Who is Ronatsinaderin?
3. Who edited Realms of the Dragons II?
4. List all the authors published in Realms of the Dragons II?
14 November 2007 @ 09:03 am
Thank you for visiting my website. Due to some technical problems, the original site is down. In the meantime I'll be using this journal to keep people up to date on my writing and life.


My book, Neversfall is due out in 13 days! The big news is that I received my 6 free author-copies last night. It is a strange feeling indeed to hold your own work in your hands. The artwork of the cover is even more wonderful than it appeared in the e-file I had received. The texture of the cover is inviting and pleasant to the touch. I enjoy the summary blurb on the back, presumably written by my editor as well as the map of both the location of Neversfall and a map of its interior in the front cover.

Many thanks go out again to Paul Kemp and Elaine Cunningham for donating their time to read Neversfall and offer blurbs. Paul's can be found on the back cover while Elaine's is inside the front pages. I am honored and fortunate to have such fine authors and people in my corner, as it were. They've been helpful, kind and encouraging the entire time I've known them. That's really something.

To many of those who read my site, I think you'll be pleased by the acknowledgments. My wife gets the dedication, of course, but several friends get mentioned in the acknowledgment.

Delightfully surprising is the fact that one of the ads in the back of my book is for the book of a close friend of mine. Jeff LaSala's Darkwood Mask gets an ad inNeversfall!

In life news, I have a job interview tomorrow. Funnily enough, it's at the same place my wife works and where I worked just before coming to my present job. My current boss here, a really supportive man, joked that I should take the new job for a few years, learn some new things, and then get hired back here. He figures the two places can just trade me back and forth every few years. The job would be a considerable boost in responsibility and income. I'll let you know how it goes.

More to come soon. Thank you all for your patience during this time of troubles with my site.

P.S. - Special thanks go to Harley Stroh for plugging my book shamelessly and frequently on his own site, with as much enthusiasm as possible. For anyone who knows Harley, this means a lot. The guy will crush you in a bear hug over a good cup of coffee, so you can imagine what really be enthusiastic can mean for him.