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Posts from the ‘Alma Boykin’ Category

Small Worlds: Writing Them

A commentor here observed that the Merchant and Empire books are set in a small world. It’s an interesting observation, and one that deserves some thought, because a lot of fantasy and sci-fi books seem to sprawl. They cover an epic-worth of territory, sometimes by design, sometimes just because it seems traditional.

But not all stories need sprawling worlds. Some books, even novels or series, fit better in a small space, a human or other person sized space. Which is sometimes difficult to do.

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Why read me when there are new books out?

Seriously, you’ve got science fiction and fantasy options for your pleasure!

Alma Boykin just released the long-awaited pre-apocalypse book, Fountains of Mercy, that explains where the ColPlatScki Originally came from, and just who exactly were the desperate original colonists who became beatified and unrecognizable legends all those years later?
Fountains of Mercy: Book 8 of the Colplatschki Chronicles by [Boykin, Alma T. C. ]

When the fires dance in the sky, the great machines will fail, and the people will rise…

Colonial Plantation LTD can’t decide what to do with Solana, also called ColPlat XI. Should it be a nature preserve, a living museum of pre-industrial techniques, or a standard colony? As the bureaucrats wrangle, a solar storm disrupts technology and reveals deep rifts between the colonists and their administrators.

Susanna “Basil” Peilov clawed her way out of the slums and wants nothing to do with the Company. Peter Babenburg just wants to build his water system and stay out of trouble. When the sky-fires come, Basil, Peter, and their families and friends stand between the colony and chaos. Company administrators assure everyone that replacement parts and assistance is coming, will come. Without those supply ships from the stars, everything falls apart and the colony will die. All that people can do is wait and hope for rescue.

The administrators never planned on facing a group of engineers, a crazy farmer and his wives, and colonists determined to protect their home. Hope comes from some unlikely places, and courage takes eccentric shapes.
Get it here!

And Margaret Ball just came out with the second in the spin-off series from her Austin mathemagicians!
Dragon Scales (Dragon Speech Book 2) by [Ball, Margaret]

It’s one thing to meet a dragon in the snowbound mountains of the High Pamirs.

It’s another to entertain him when he shows up at your Austin home, along with his sulky and all-too-human teenage girlfriend!

Linguist Sienna Brown battles a shapeshifting dragon who helps himself to her clothes and demands enormous quantities of pizza, a teenager whose ignorance of American customs doesn’t prevent her from picking up every man she meets, a nosy neighbor, and a group of Russian thugs who are tasked with acquiring the dragon for their own country.

In addition, her boyfriend is terrified that the dragon’s presence will tempt her to use its magical but brain-injuring native language. And he’s not entirely wrong about that…

Get it here!

Stages of Critique and When to Re-write

On Wednesday, Sarah talked about the levels of reworking a story, ranging from minor edits to “keep basic idea, scrap the rest, and move on.” This can be in response to outside critiques, or you as an author growing and changing. It sounds logical and neat, if tedious at times. But it can also be emotionally painful.

There’s a reason I have an unpublished non-fiction work that caused me to have anxiety attacks when I looked at the file: one critique that dang near ruined the book. So there’s nothing wrong with a visceral response when you get feedback. It’s what you do after that’s the challenge. Read more

Writing at Speed: Good, Bad, or Painful?

I tend to write faster than some, slower than some. This isn’t really good or bad, except that in the indie market, quantity helps increase (sales) quality. I wrote 93K words on a novel between July 4 and August 8, with a few days off due to Life. As well as writing most of four short stories, plus blogging.

That’s not a brag, just a statement. My schedule gives me three months (mostly) off, and so I made the best of my time. Most people don’t have that luxury. Plus, as I said above, I can write very quickly when the story moves me.

This isn’t always good. Read more

Apropos of Covers…

The group writing blog, Writers in the Storm, Melinda VanLone recently had a different take on covers. Some of the points underline what Sarah, Cedar, and others have said – covers are not first and foremost works of art. They are tools for selling.

The second point… I’m not entirely sure about, although based on the problem on the ‘Zon with “Just what is Urban Fantasy anyway?”

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Coping with the Past: Or Flashbacks and Infodumps

Traces of a slower time: The horse railroad between Linz and Budweis. (Author Photo)

It’s the middle of a battle scene. The hero is pinned down, comm relay out of order, in desperate need of backup, a plan, and chewing gum (not necessarily in that order). The smell of burning plastics, choking and thick, fills the air and—

Cut to a flashback from childhood of grandpa and the burn pit, and what it smelled like when Older Brother put something with plastic-coated wires in the garbage, and how grandpa reacted, and grandma laughing about boys will be boys and…

Yeah. Story fail.

“But it’s important!” Cries Jane Q Writer. “That’s the foreshadowing that hints that the Big Bad is the hero’s long lost older brother!”

The reader, who has already set the book down (or tossed it against the wall), picks up a different book and wanders away. Read more

Well, That’s Interesting…

Amazon has just signed a contract with Dean Koontz to publish Koontz’s books.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-signs-book-deal-with-dean-koontz-with-free-collection-coming-in-november-2019-07-22

Apparently Amazon has been looking into direct contracts with major authors for some time, but now they have the oomph and distribution power to match [and exceed] what Traditional Publishers have offered.

So, if more major names sign straight to Amazon, will TradPub start offering better contracts to potential Big Names? Or will reversion clauses and other rights-returns disappear all-together and we see greater limits on use of author names.

For those interested in the TradPub option, and in the publishing business in general, it will be interesting to see if the ‘Zon signs up more Big Names before the end of the year, and what the response from the rest of the industry is.

H/T The Shatzkin Files and The Passive Voice