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Red Hair, Black Hair, Blond Hair, Squirrel!

It would seem that one of my characters had a dye-job between books. While reading through the finished portions of Stone of Power¸ I discovered that one of my characters had changed hair color and another managed to change the spelling of her name. How rude! As authors of serial fiction, what can we do to keep the details straight? In this post, I’ll look at the best way I know to ward off dye-jobs. Read more…

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Retro Reads #2 – Great Sci-Fi From the Golden Years

This is the second list of some of the speculative fiction from the golden era, books that have remained classics throughout the years.  It’s not hard to find good science fiction, but there are certain works that we should read or re-read to remind ourselves of the stories that sparked our own desire to write about an imagined future that holds a place in our hearts.  This will be an ongoing series of posts that will spotlight books that influenced the development of thought during my formative years.  There is nothing magical about this list, it is nothing more than a compilation of my own personal tastes.  I hope you find something that piques your interest.  And so, here’s a little Isaac Asimov. Read more…

Retro Reads #1 – Great Sci-Fi From the Golden Years

I thought I would take a moment to list some of the speculative fiction from the golden years, books that have remained classics throughout the years.  It’s not hard to find good science fiction, but there are certain works that we should read or re-read to remind ourselves of the stories that sparked our own desire to write about an imagined future that holds a place in our hearts.  This will be an ongoing series of posts that will spotlight books that influenced the development of thought during my formative years.  There is nothing magical about this list, it is nothing more than a compilation of my own personal tastes.  I hope you find something that piques your interest.  Let’s kick this off with a little Robert A. Heinlein. Read more…

8 Ways to Protect your Data from the Unthinkable

Let me start this post with a little bit about my background.  I graduated from technical school in 1980 as a Certified Electronics Technician.  This led me into the computer industry as a field engineer well before the advent of the PC, and I worked on mainframe and mini-computers doing system builds and installations.  I performed component level repair with schematics, an oscilloscope, and a box full of IC chips, and I also wrote code at the machine language level in octal and hexadecimal, so when I say that I am a computer expert, I am not exaggerating.  I went on to own two different network consulting firms and held the IT position for a major Brokerage house.  In all the years that I worked on and with systems, I never lost any customer data.  Not one byte.  Using this experience, I have developed a system of data protection that has served me for years without any problems.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t wake up tomorrow to find that everything is wiped out, but it would require the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse, and smoke billowing from my Netbook would be the least of my worries.  Here are eight ways to protect your data that should allow you to handle everything from a fat-fingered ‘cut-and-paste’ to a catastrophic system failure and come out the other side with a clean, current copy of your writing projects. Read more…

The Return of Self-Publishing

Indie authors are carrying on a great tradition from the past.  One of my all-time favorite authors, Edgar Rice Burroughs, was self-published.  After being rejected countless times, Burroughs’ son convinced him to self-publish Tarzan of the Apes, and the rest is history. Read more…

Michael Moorcock’s Method of Writing a Novel in Three Days

Michael Moorcock is the author of many fantasy adventure novels including the Elric series. He is one of the most prolific writers in the genre, and he shared his method for cranking out quality novels on a regular schedule.  Here is an abbreviated list of quotes that outline his method of writing a novel in three days. Read more…

World Building 101 – Part 3

World Building gives the fantasy and speculative fiction writers the ability to take readers on a journey into previously unknown realms.  There are very few genres that afford writers the freedom to create a new experience.  World Building allows the author to present an entirely new paradigm in which he can craft a story that presents their ideas in a fresh and vibrant way, if done well. Read more…