Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spinward Fringe Frontline Release Date: Monday, June 1, 2009!

Finally! The final edit is complete and my editor has given me the all important thumbs up to proceed to release Spinward Fringe Frontline.

I'm not waiting long. On Monday, June 1st Frontline will be available on Mobipocket. Since I recieve the most support by far from Mobipocket users I'm more than happy to make it available to them first.

Versions will also be appearing on and shortly afterwards electronically. A print version will be available from Lulu whithin the next few weeks with the Amazon printed edition appearing within the next six weeks.

Spinward Fringe Frontline is my seventh science fiction book to date. Weighing in at four hundred seventeen pages, it's a full blown epic novel with a full cast of characters that originated in the First Light Chronices and Spinward Fringe Series'.

Here's the synopsis!

Set in the distant future, this book takes the main characters into the dark heart of the galaxy, where the fourth fall of man is well underway. What at first seemed to be a chaotic uprising of machine against man is becoming a controlled event, destroying the lives of billions and hurling the known galaxy into a state of utter dischord. The Order of Eden seems to be the only force for order and peace, offering a place in thier new society in trade for a large cash investment and their freedom.

Captain Valance and the Triton crew are finally learning to work as a unit. Oblivious to the grander designs of the Order of Eden and their leaders, they will inevitably be drawn into the center of a galactic conflict over a planet that contains a prized secret that's remained buried for decades. The question put to them is not if they can prevail, but if they can survive.

-End of sysnopsis-

I'm eager to present this, my largest and most ambitious work. I know the wait has been long, but I have no regrets. This is a full blown Space Opera novel that takes the Spinward Fringe series to an epic level. This is my best work, and even though I've been working on this one book for the better part of six months I'm not tired of the story, the characters or the setting.

Thank you very much for your support so far. I've said it before and it's worth repeating; you pay my rent, put food on my table and keep me writing full time. I hope you all enjoy reading this book as much or more than I enjoyed writing it.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Spinward Fringe: Status Report

The road to Spinward Fringe Frontline has been long and filled with obstacles. To write Frontline I typed over seven hundred pages and came out with four hundred and nineteen including rewrites, three prologues that in no way resembled each other (only using one of them), and several other cut chapters that just didn't fit right. A lot of authors go through that, even with the kind of careful planning that went into this book.

The end of that road is in sight. I just finished working with my editor on the first three hundred pages now she's running off with the last bit and we'll be working on it later this week. So far she's been very pleased with the book, in fact she's read some chapters more than once because she found them so interesting and enjoyable. A point of pride for me, you can be sure.

I'm on edge. I honestly love this book. There are layers that call back to historical events, character interactions that play over and over in my head because I love how they turned out and creative bits where I can't help ask myself; "where the hell did that come from?" Imagine something as fast paced as Spinward Fringe Resurrection only its over four hundred pages long. My last pass on this book had me waking up at six am and working on it until midnight, the word driven doesn't begin to describe my mentality. I literally disappeared from the world and am still winding down weeks later.

Since then I've pumped out over ninety thousand words while detailing the background universe of Spinward Fringe, performing character studies and finishing several self imposed challenges meant to improve the quality of my descriptive and characterization abilities. I learn and improve by doing and those thousands of words have done wonders.

Where has the last few weeks (while I've waited for my editor to get through the book), taken the Spinward Fringe series? There's this prologue idea that I've been dreaming of using for the last eight months, like a milestone that has waited way off in the distance. It's explosive, unrestrained, universe changing and it's been written. As I wait for the verdict and notes to come back from my editor on the last quarter of Frontline I've been crafting the fine details of the next book in my head and my excitement has been building. The weeks I've spent working on my skills and distancing myself from the Spinward Fringe universe have taken the series far and I can tell you for certain that there are two more very good books back in the works right now.

Spinward Fringe Frontline is the best book I've written. That includes the Fantasy, Horror and all the Science Fiction I've released and kept to myself over the last five years. When I announced Frontline I promised a lot. At this point I can say that I feel I delivered. Somehow I also managed to include some decent humour in all that drama, which surprises even me.

Frontline is a collosal chapter in exactly the kind of Space Opera I enjoy, it's set my personal benchmark much higher than anything before it and I can't wait for you all to dig in. The next time you see a post here it'll be announcing the final release date and it won't be far off.


Thank you for continuing on this journey with me. It's about to get very interesting.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where Is All That Fantasty??

Do you remember when Lord of the Rings was on screen? There were three years where I had something extra to look forward to during the holiday season. Peter Jackson and his wonderful army of elves (or rather, talented professionals), brought us a tribute to arguably the best fantasy writer of the 20th century.

When they were wonderfully successful I started thinking; "Is this going to be the first of several quality fantasy franchises? Will I be able to see a good fantasy film every summer or holiday season along with the other block busters?"

The answer was no.

I could mention quality television like the Tudors, but that's a historical period drama, not fantasy. I could mention Legend of the Seeker but they did such a thorough job of mutilating and watering down Terry Goodkind's series of books that it's barely a pathetic shadow of the Sword of Truth novels. Am I being too harsh? Thousands of fans would say I've yet to tear off the kid gloves.

Fantasy films like the Narnia series don't count; they're made for children and young teens. They don't count.

Reign of Fire, The Scorpion King, Van Helsing, Beowulf and Grendel, Eragon, and other sad attempts at fantasy entertainment make for a list of moderate to big budget failures that make the Fantasy Genre look like the realm of geeks, nerds and children when frankly, most geeks (like me), won't have any part of them. They're not worth the price of admission and no, the creators don't deserve credit for trying because they obviously didn't set the bar high enough.

There are a few films that were enjoyable, dont' get me wrong. I enjoyed the most recent Underworld prequel, all the Pirates of the Caribean films, 300, Pan's Labyrinth and maybe one or two others, but that's not much considering that's just film, there's been nothing on the television.

These producers who think remaking Dune for the fourth time or think Terry Goodkind didn't tell his story right when he was writing the Sword of Truth books have to face a serious reality check. They have set their bars too low. They have to think J.R.R Tolkien, Peter Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker (ever see Nightbreed?), and look at the amazing, imaginitive fiction they've made for us. Then they have to realize that they need some of those people and others like them (they're rare), and then they have to trust their creative instincts, their imagination and let them entertain us properly. Just look what happened when Guillermo del Toro was given the freedom to work with Hellboy, or when he went back home and made Pan's Labyrinth with full creative freedom? With just a little more freedom and oppotunity he just might be another Peter Jackson, or even better.

I know there's more fantasy coming. George R.R. Martin's fantasy series is being made into a high budget television series right now and as a fan of his work I'm really hoping that they don't botch it like the Sword of Truth Series.

Good luck showrunners, my expectations aren't receding and my voice is getting louder.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Spinward Fringe and Everything Else on IPhone

I fairly regularly receive emails from people who have left because they've traded their Black Berry, Palm or other phone/reader for an IPhone. They just can't find a convenient way to buy my work for their new phone or read their current Mobipocket books on the IPhone.

With the upcoming release of Spinward Fringe Frontline a lot of people want to read it on their IPhone and not purchase their copy from Mobipocket at all. If you're a Mobipocket user and you're wondering what's going on with their promised OS-X (Mac), and IPhone reader, check this article out. It's the best report I've found that summerizes the reasearch I've done that adds up to one thing: Mobipocket has not officially announced the release of a reader for Mac or IPhone and are not interested in liscencing one (there's a freeware version ready, only the creator can't obtain permission to impliment DRM decoding capabilities from MobiPocket).

Sadly it looks like IPhone users won't be able to use Mobipocket which is too bad because I release all my work there first. There's good news for IPhone users, however.

In case you don't already know Amazon has released a Kindle app for the IPhone AND they've been improving it. Upon its first release you couldn't purchase and download amazon books directly to the IPhone, but that changed a little while ago as detailed quite well here. From what I've seen and heard the Kindle App is pretty good, one of the better EBook apps for the IPhone. I know a few people who will be purhcasing Spinward Fringe Frontline when it comes out and trying it.

As far as Shortcovers is concerned, I may not be using their service any time soon since they don't meet the industry standard reporting or usage levels for independent authors. They don't treat us very well over there and that's no surprise considering their parent company (Chapters/Indigo), has never treated me well on the business end either. Since Kindle provides a good reader (I'm talking about their app here, though their hardware is pretty good as I understand it), and all my books are already available I see no real reason to spend hours rebuilding all my EBooks for Shortcovers. Canadian company or not, they don't meet current industry standards for electronic publishing.

So it all comes down to the Kindle App for IPhone as the current choice for getting my work into your amazing little mobile device. I hope that helps some of you out there and I've answered most of your questions!


Where is Spiwnard Fringe Frontline? It's with the Editor, and she's really enjoying it so far. The release of this novel is coming closer and closer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Family Guy: Boring.

So I've literally seen every episode of Family Guy, and I've gotta say it's only getting worse.

I remember when I really looked forward to this show. The style of humour set itself well apart and the show took risks that may have not always paid off but when they did it was truly amusing. Well, it looks like they're still taking risks, and maybe the writers see it that way but their failure rate has gone through the roof.

Instead of taking a few risks with their gags and getting laughs half the time, the risky humour barely ever pays off. It's like they've almost completely lost touch with their own method and we're all watching long, dragged out, tired filler bits and bad comedy.

It's true, writing comedy is hard, but it's sad to see a show that once had me laughing die with a whimper. I think I'll pass on next season.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Quick Review Of JJ Abrams Star Trek

It's no surprise that I went to see the new star trek film. As much as I love Star Trek Generations and I respect the original series, I was ready for something new. When I think of the original series there's this sort of glimmery hazy filter of nostalgia that encompasses my memory, partially because it's been so long since I've seen any of the episodes.

Every time there's a film I really want to see I stop watching the trailers, I refuse to read the early reviews and I try not to think about it until I go see it. Why? Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Meanace, that's why. My hopes were so bloody high for that film that by the time I got a chance to see it there was no way it could have lived up to them, Jar Jar or no Jar Jar.

Back to JJ Abrams' Star Trek. I managed to keep my expectations low and I wasn't disappointed at all. You know that glimmering filter that I see the old series through when I think back to it? Like there was something magical and incredible that the original series had and my mental image of it sort of shines up those old sets and embellishes the performances? Well, it's like JJ opened my head, saw how my memories of the old Trek Original Series looked and said; "Aha! I think I know how I'll direct this film now!"

I shouldn't have been so afraid to get my hopes up, there's no Jar Jar Binx equivalent in this film. I like all the actors he chose and truly hope that they can do another four or five films or even better: make the transition to television. The action in this film (of which there is a great deal), helps tell a story and takes you on a wild ride with top notch directing and special effects. The story answered questions they honestly didn't have to, but the completeness of it connected the film to the rest of the franchise while surprising and entertaining.

JJ Abrams has grown as a director. This film is bold, he took massive risks with the visuals which couldn't be more amped up or exciting to watch. The pacing is fantastic and he managed to present Star Trek in a completely new way while keeping just enough of the old conventions to be unmistakably Trek.

There is a pretty big problem, however. JJ Abrams' direction style in this film is so unique and impressive that I shudder at the thought of another director trying to match or surpass it with a sequel. My hopes are that it's not all downhill from here, that Paramount doesn't hire a Michael Bay wannabe to do a sequel and another Brannon Braga to reboot Generations on television. I honestly think Paramount would be making a huge mistake in rushing to flood the market with Trek. If we can have one movie like this every year or two and a well thought out television series a whole new generation would be hooked and the current fans would have something to tune in to.

I'll take this opportunity to end on a rare positive note. The movie surpassed my expectations and was truly entertaining. I think Paramount may have learned from their past mistakes and in time we'll see a few quality films. Perhaps they'll manage to develop some decent science fiction television.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Light Chronicles Omnibus: 6 Months As The Top Science Fiction EBook

So it's official: The First Light Chronicles Omnibus has been the top science fiction book on for six months.

This is a great landmark to watch as my editor to finishes her work on Spinward Fringe Frontline and I wait for her verdict.

Without the people who have read and enjoyed this book it wouldn't have stayed number one for so long. You read it, posted your reviews and some of you sent me emails. Others actually lent support in other ways. I'd be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to say thank you.

The users on Mobipocket have been simply the best, and I hope that as I move on to and other book sellers that the people there are half as receptive and supportive.

With the imminent release of Spinward Fringe Frontline and the ongoing plans for more Spinward Fringe books, I hope that everyone whose been along so far enjoys the journey going forward. There are only about three hundred people aboard right now which in the publishing industry is less than a few, but to me you are the best core group of readers I could have asked for. I'll do my very best to keep things exciting and to keep everyone entertained.

Thanks again, you'll know my editor's verdict as soon as I do!


Monday, May 4, 2009

The Verdict Is In On Podcasting

The results of the poll are pretty conclusive. People who follow my blog are much more interested in seeing me concentrate all my efforts on writing new material as opposed to splitting my time between that and audio books or podcasting.

There was a little interest in hearing me podcast, so I'm not going to completely rule that out. If I ever have something that would be best presented verbally instead of in a typed format I'll do it, but for the time being you'll have to read what I'm thinking instead of listen to it.

What was surprising about the results was how few people were interested in audio books. Considering I don't have what I see as a good reading voice, I'm not disappointed.

Polls are fantastic, they give me the opportunity to get an idea of what you want and whenever necessary I'll continue to check in and give you the chance to shape what I produce.

The next poll will help me decide which book I'll be working on after Spinward Fringe Frontline is out. I have a few outlines and am doing research on several possibilities, including another 2-3 Spinward Fringe books. I love writing and have a few projects ready to start right after I finish organizing my Spinward Fringe notes and making sure Frontline is as good as it can be before it gets posted on Mobipocket or submitted to

Thank you for voting and for supporting me. Without you I would be working in a call center somewhere instead of writing full time. In return I'm happy to make you all as much of a part of the creative process as is possible!

While you're waiting for Spinward Fringe Frontline to be released, I'm wondering if there are any other topics you'd like to weigh in on. If you have an idea for a (non-spoiler), poll, leave a comment!