Friday, July 30, 2010

Dark Arts: A Year Later

A year ago I made Dark Arts: Rising available for free through Smashwords. They distributed it to other eBook resellers, like Barnes and Noble. The reaction to the story there has been largely positive, and after downloads numbering in the thousands, there's one common criticism.

It's too short.

When this short novella was first presented here, it was an experiment. As a result it didn't get extensive editing, and it was only as long as it had to be to present the core concepts and characters. In all honesty, I didn't have time to write this as a full sized novel or trilogy because I was in the middle of writing the Spinward Fringe series.

The same fate has befallen the yet unreleased Sons of Brightwill, which sits half written on my hard drive. Spinward Fringe, and the hundreds of readers who follow that series, took priority. I don't have any regrets, I love writing in that universe and entertaining people.

Back to what's going on with Dark Arts. I wrote that experiment because there were characters, settings and events that I wanted to put down, the fact that I did so in a short cropped manner is really a result of time constraints. 2010 belongs to Spinward Fringe, then I'll be taking a break for a few months. During that break I'll be working on a new Dark Arts project, in which you'll find the characters already introduced. I'll either be expanding what I have into a full novel, or writing something new before or after the events that take place in Dark Arts: Rising.

I can tell you one thing for sure: When I'm finished, the people who are looking for more will get their wish granted in abundance. Ever since I finished the Dark Arts: Rising short I've been looking forward to getting back to it.

I'd like to thank the readers who took the time to enjoy this short, and for reviewing, emailing, and generally making your thoughts on it known. You've spoken, and I've heard you.


Monday, July 26, 2010

On The Shelf - What I've Read, What I'm Reading, And What's On The Bedside Table

Recently, a reader named RandomZ asked about my favourite authors and my response turned into a short hand history of my reading habits.

The last book I read was War, by Sebastian Junger. I haven't seen the documentary that accompanies this book, RestRepo, but I really have to. It's one of the few books this year that wasn't handed to me by someone or recommended to me by a book store clerk. What did I think? Junger was imbedded for the better part of a year with US troops in Afghanistan and he managed to convey more than detail. There were moments where I felt like I was there, and it reminded me of a kind of camaraderie that forms when everyone shares a traumatic period of time in their lives. Did I learn anything that I applied to my own writing? In all honesty, it reinforced some of the character work I'm doing in Spinward Fringe, and led to me re-examining some of the coping mechanisms those imaginary people use. As a result, some of what I had cut from Broadcast 6 was put back in without adjustment.

I'm half way through The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet and next up will be Untamed Time by Susan Plunkett. I read every genre in fiction, and several non-fiction genres. My favourite authors are mostly people I know, like Elizabeth C Mock who just put out a fantastic book I got to preview called Shatter.

When I first started writing long fiction about 18 years ago, I read a lot of Tom Robbins, Clive Barker, Khalil Gibran and second hand university history books. As a kid I loved going through really old encyclopedias (our library had a set from the 40's), and find things that were incorrect using the newest set, which wasn't really that new. Most of the other kids were busy watching Mary Poppins, or listening to an adult read to them. That lasted until I discovered the Occult section. Mom and Dad didn't send me back to the library on Sundays anymore after that...

These days I walk into bookstores and let the clerks pick a book from 3 random genres. It helps that I can go through an average book in an afternoon.

Right, enough procrastination! Back to work on Broadcast 7.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments - Mobipocket Release and Availability Recap

The first place my work was really discovered was on, an Amazon owned site that was once a giant in the eBook world. A lot of publishing companies don't even release there any longer. In fact, Mobipocket no longer accepts new publishers or authors.

Regardless, I certainly owe the customers who still frequent the site a release, so they can find Fragments there now.

Thankfully, that brings my work on this book to an end. It's currently available at Smashwords in every imaginable format, Amazon, and it's on its way to the iBookstore, the Sony eBook Store, Barnes & Noble, as well as Kobo (formerly Shortcovers). It's important to note that all those vendors will be carrying the same documents that are already available at Smashwords, so if you're waiting for the book to arrive at one of the secondary vendors, there's no reason to.

While the new book has been entertaining you, several hundred people have been discovering the first book in the series. Since the re-release of that book on, people have been wondering whether or not Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins (also known as the First Light Chronicles Omnibus), will still be free at Barnes & Noble, the iBookstore, and Smashwords. Well, my constant intention is for Broadcast 0 to be free, unfortunately, does not allow authors to price any book lower than $0.99. It's there so Kindle users who only by from, and there many of them, can have easy access to it. I still suggest people download all the books from (if they haven't already done so somewhere else), since they're the distributor and carry all formats, so if you change readers, you will be able to download a different version for your new device without paying for the books again.

Thank you for making this a relatively smooth and successful launch. I hope you all enjoy the book while I work on Broadcast 7!


Release Links List for Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments:
Print Edition:
eBook Editions:
Smashwords (Most Recommended) (Kindle)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fragments For Amazon Kindle

This arrived much sooner than expected, but I woke up this morning to discover that Amazon had finished inspecting the files for Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments.

A version for the Kindle (from the exact same source file), was already available from Smashwords but I understand why some Kindle owners would rather wait until it's available on That whispernet is awfully convenient.

Here are the vitals for the Kindle version:

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments



Now back to work on Broadcast 7.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments - eBook Now Available!

At long last, Broadcast 6 has arrived for all eBook readers. I'm excited for people to see this book, especially since it isn't what anyone expected so far.

It took a long time to write, and I appreciate your patience and support. I might not have as many readers as a lot of writers out there, but I can say that I must have some of the best.

Now, down to business. Smashwords is offering Broadcast 6: Fragments in all areas right now. Here are the book's vitals:

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments

Ebook By Randolph Lalonde
Rating: Not yet rated.
Published: Jul. 19, 2010
Category:Fiction » Literature » Adventure
Category:Fiction » Literature » Science fiction - space opera
Words: 133,924 (approximate)
Language: English
Available in: HTML, Java, Kindle (Mobi), EPub, PDF, LRF, and Palm formats.
Price: $4.99

I'm fairly proud of this book in particular, especially since I managed to tell more than one story about some of my favourite characters. Some may be short, but several characters go on emotional and physical journeys that move the whole story ahead, and give us a better understanding of them and their surroundings.

I hope you enjoy reading it even more than I enjoyed writing it!


If you happened to stumble on to this post without knowing anything about the series, you can start from the beginning with the free collected trilogy here: Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins

Update: The iBook reader app issue has been resolved and the spacing throughout this release has been improved. Anyone who has a copy from Smashwords can update. Readers who haven't already bought their copy will automatically get the corrected version. Thanks for reporting the problem!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments - Print Release

The title says it all. Just in case it doesn't, the picture says the rest. Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments is on its way onto the Internet, and as it turns out there was a demand for a print version.

One reader spoke up, and a few others followed right behind in telling me that they don't read the series electronically, they order each volume in print. The original plan was to release a print version of the whole trilogy once it was completed, combining all three books.

That plan has changed. Broadcast 6 is almost exactly double the size of Broadcast 5, and if I waited for all three books in the Rogue Element Trilogy (Broadcasts 5, 6 and 7), to be finished, not only would I be neglecting readers who love paper, but the resulting combined book would be about 1,000 pages long in a 6"x9" edition, which is only a couple grams lighter than a hard cover of the same size.

So, for those reasons, and because Lulu has finally started cleaning up their act, I've released the print edition of this book. Here are the vitals:

This book is a long time in coming, and I'm really happy that the release is going well so far. Work on the digital version is complete for some distributors, so keep checking back here and on for the eBook!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Broadcast 6: Fragments Will Be Available On Smashwords July 21

I started writing this book over eleven months ago. Until last week I was still writing new content. In the end over 30,000 words were cut from the book, another 25,000 or so words worth of work never found their way in and a little more material was pushed into Broadcast 7 in the end. This was the most difficult writing project I've ever undertaken, involving hundreds of hours of research into topics like military law, the third world, the definition of 'A corrupt government' before and after WWII, cults and their leaders, Privateering, geology, hydroponics, alternative to alternative power, the three sides of paradise on Earth (hospitality, poverty and politics), and the war in Afghanistan. Will most of it be noticeable in the work? Probably not, they're character driven novels, after all, and the reason why I do so much research is so the setting doesn't step into the spotlight uninvited.

When final editing started, I realized there was more writing to do, and from that point on I had a blast with this book. Watching it come together as a set of linear stories while writing important segments for different characters was like enjoying the best parts of being a reader and writer at the same time. The twists are back, the character growth is better, and a few experimental writing directions may have paid off, at the very least, the story was delivered and things move forward.

I'm enjoying another advantage in this book as well; more help. Thanks to two Allans on different sides of planet Earth (literally), and my favourite cinnamon girl, some extra proof reading is taking place, and I expect this to be the cleanest release (edit wise), yet.

Is this the best book in the series? I don't know, but it's my favourite so far.

On July 21 you'll be able to judge for yourself. Smashwords will get the book first, since they will provide an indexed version of the book that will be compatible with all readers.

Thank you for reading, and for staying aboard.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments Awaits Final Word From Editor

I finished writing the last chapter to Broadcast 6 today. True, I thought I had written it over two months ago, but, thanks to the enlightenment that comes with an edit-draft and the realization that I had to pull the trigger on a plot line high point that I'd been holding in for a while, I decided the book needed to be 42 chapters instead of 41.

The point is; I'm finished. My editor won't have the last 60 pages until Thursday, but I'm 99% sure that she'll agree, this book is done. The only thing I'll have to do is run another spell check, and send it off for proof reading this weekend.

What will I be doing as the proof readers are having their fun? I'll be starting on Broadcast 7 from the beginning. There are a few bits and pieces written, a white board covered in notes, a text file with even more ideas but now I finally get to dig in and write chapters from beginning to end.

Much of what I had written for Broadcast 7 was pulled into Broadcast 6, and the leftovers were tossed with all the directionless stuff that was cut from that book, so I'm looking forward to making Broadcast 7 my full time job.

When will you see Broadcast 6: Fragments? Unless my editor puts the brakes on, you'll see it this month. I'll post a specific date once my editor has read the last page and given me the thumbs up.

Now, for a little other business. A few people have sent me Emails and private messages (via Facebook or Twitter), with regards to finding me a cheap replacement laptop, offering to repair my current HP Mini, or offering me one gratis. I'm grateful for the offers of assistance, but, thankfully, I have it covered.

Thanks to the money I've managed to save over the last 6 months, the sale of my oldest laptop (a 7 pound Toshiba), and the change in the sofa I've picked up a refurbished Macbook. I've only typed two chapters on this thing but I'm in love. It's like switching from Tang to hand squeezed orange juice. Like upgrading from a 1985 Chevette to a 1969 Mustang. Like moving from Podunk Nowhere to New York City. Well, maybe not the last part. I kind of like living in a relatively small city, it's quiet here, and I can count the number of people who read my work in this town on one hand. No one is greeting me on the bus by asking; "So, where's the next book?"

Anyway, back to the point. Writing the next book will be much easier without the space bar periodically falling off.

Thank you for being patient, and for reading my previous books. I can say with great confidence that it won't be long now!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Delay For A Good Cause & I Think I Killed My HP Mini.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments, is less fragmented, and twice the size than I expected it to be. That's good.

The whole book moves like a runaway train, and I love the way it's turning out, but I need more time.

What's more, my editor needs more time, and the beta readers haven't gotten a copy yet because the editor hasn't finished her pass yet. I'm sure some of you will be frustrated that I'm pushing the release off again, but I've rushed to release before, and it didn't turn out well.

I'm genuinely enjoying Broadcast 6, and I want it to be it's best when you finally get your hands on it, so I'm going to take more time with it, make sure I've done my absolute best with this book, and give everyone who wants to make this book great (my editor and beta readers) more time to help. They're volunteers after all, and from what I hear, whip cracking isn't advisable when they're not getting paid or bound in chains.

So, I'm going to do my absolute best to get this book out as quickly as I can while working to a higher quality standard than I have in the past, so when you finally do get it, you'll enjoy it that much more. How much more time do we need? From the looks of things right now, we'll need two extra weeks. When I know more, and can give everyone a firm release date, I'll post it here.

I am looking forward to getting this out to you, especially since, until just recently, I've had to keep all the ideas and occurrences in this book to myself. That's almost eleven months of keeping potential spoilers under wraps. I'm about to explode.

Thank you for your patience, the next helping of Spinward Fringe is still well on its way.


For anyone who might be wondering, it seems the HP Mini 1035 can take about 500,000 words (or a fantasy novel, about 4 drafts of a science fiction novel and 40 blog entries), before the keyboard really starts falling apart. More to come on that in a future post.