Music Monday: A Classic Gets the Epic Treatment and Some News

It’s the third Monday, and you know what that means–SCORE DAY!

A big trend in trailer music lately has been to update classic, recognizable songs and give them the “Epic” treatment (i.e., soaring instrumentals and drum tracks).  If you can hear the “Trailer Voice” guy narrating your book trailer to one of these songs, that’s kind of the point.  😀

Speaking of climatic scenes, two bits of info.  First, just a reminder, To Slip the Surly Bonds dropped last Friday (print cover shown to cover the additional cover art awesomeness!):

Print Cover

It has been climbing the charts and was #1 on the Historical Fiction New Release Chart last night (Sunday 15 September 2019 in case you’re reading this much later).

ORANGE TAG

Second, I’ll be at the Cincinnati Comic Expo this week!  I will (thanks to the Amazon gnomes getting it done early) have print copies of To Slip the Surly Bonds as well as the first copies of Anita C. Young’s State of Mind artbook!  Stay tuned during the week for location and maps!

It’s Time to Get A Little Surly!

To Slip the Surly Bonds has gone live on Amazon.

Cover Art

This was a long time coming, but all the hard work has paid off.  There’s an exclusive Taylor Anderson short story in here, a whole bunch of award-winning authors, a story from your humble narrator involving P-38s on Guadalcanal…yeah, it’s worth the price of admission.

In addition, if your friends like Alternate History, I’m throwing Acts of War up on sale beginning on Saturday (14 SEP) in the US and Sunday (15 SEP) in the UK.

 

 

Metal Monday: The Last of the Romanovs [sic]

One of the more romanticized hoaxes of the 20th Century was that of Anastasia Romanov.  Basically, for those who are unfamiliar (and don’t want to click on the link), there were numerous women who claimed to be Tsar Nicholas II’s youngest daughter.  While their versions of survival differ, all basically rested on the fact that most folks in that basement besides the Romanovs either died shortly thereafter or didn’t want to cop to having helped massacre a bunch of kids.  (Rule Bolshevik:  Make sure you get EVERYBODY in the line of succession if you’re going to hit the Regicide button.)

One sign of how pervasive and popular the tale was Disney made a movie about it in 1997.  I was only recently exposed to the villain’s song from it.  I, of course, immediately set about finding a heavy metal version…and found Jonathan Young again.  Who, as with last week’s post, once again found a way to make a villain seem far more sinister and creepy than the original.

An Interesting Take on Procrastination

I think procrastination is the bane of most authors.  Having carved out time to write, cleared the calendar, it is all too easy to lose a couple hours on social media or “just one more turn”-ing it through a computer game.

Apparently there’s a study out that shows this may not be “You’re a bad time manager…” but actually “Something is emotionally bothering you.”  I’m certainly willing to entertain the argument–I know that emotional upheaval can be a double-edged sword as far was writing motivation goes.  (“Double edged?”  “Yeah, let’s not talk about the fact the original Will Colfax novel got churned out during one of the most difficult years of my life.”)

So maybe all the advice people give about “clearing your head” before sitting down to write has some merit?  Or perhaps that’s why some people write better inebriated, as they’re too smashed to care about the emotional debris flying around in their head space?  Food for thought…

Metal Monday: Exodus and Metal…

So fans of the blog may remember I’ve mentioned how heavy metal lends itself well to certain historical events.  You know, things like Biblical Plagues.

Well today on Metal Monday, we’re going back to the well.  Folks who were around in the 1990s might remember The Prince of Egypt.  One of the musical numbers covered when Moses showed up in the Pharaoh’s throne room and basically dropped the “Hey bro, good to see you.  God says let my people go…” and Egypt’s senior priests were like, “Uh, which god again?”

Given that it was a family show, the original was more “Oh Moses, you silly man…” and less “Listen here, He Who Rides In Basket, we are RELIGIOUS NUTTERS and are about to hurt you.”  Today’s cover?  Well, see for yourself…

Also, the same duo who did this cover also did a version of The Plagues song from the original movie.

 

EJECT! EJECT! EJECT!

Sometimes old videos make a person look at things in different ways:

 

 

While I haven’t gotten there yet, this video does make me think differently about jet combat in the Usurper’s War universe.  Without giving away spoilers, there will be a pseudo-Cold War in the aftermath of the in universe World War II.  Technology and how it works will play a key part in what characters live and die.

 

Music Monday-Sabaton Rides Again

Sorry I let this lapse—things got kind of hectic in editing To Slip The Surly Bonds.  Which, by the way, has completed editing, is with Chris Kennedy Publishing for layout, and is expected to drop on 13 September.

 

Cover Art

 

Which is why I picked today’s song.

“But wait, wasn’t Those In Peril the naval alternate history?”–Peanut Gallery.

In response, I will simply laugh in carrier and you’ll all find out why next month!  Enjoy the Sabaton!

 

 

 

Constant Scrutiny

So I forgot about this being mentioned in a panel while at Libertycon. Yes, as Cedar says, if you’re in a group that seems at all sketchy, get out most ricky tick. The ‘Zon has been really cracking down on trying to find people gaming their system. From all appearances they may be indeed using neutron bombs on snipers. This is also why your humble narrator doesn’t even joke about quid quo pro for reviews online. One can make their own decisions on whether that’s paranoid, but memory is a fickle thing.

Mad Genius Club

As I was chatting with a fellow author last night, the topic came up of Amazon and their predilection for pulling reviews they find suspicious, or suspending the accounts of authors they think may be gaming the system. It was something John van Stry had talked about on the trends in Indie Publishing panel he and I were on, along with Jim Curtis and Lawdog. (Great panel, I was listening more than talking, and we had almost two hours so we got into the meat of the matter).

The upshot of that conversation, and the more private one later, is that as authors we must avoid all appearance of evil.

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Shapes and Such

So while I’m busy editing To Slip the Surly Bonds‘ entries, here’s something else for your reading pleasure:

Shapes, Part I: The Shape of Airpower

Note that his opinions and experiences with naysaying the airframe reflect many of my own with regards to the F-35.  (Neither the author’s opinions nor mine reflect official DoD policy.  Nor do they mirror those of our respective services or the U.S. government.)

As I’ve mentioned before, very early on in the F-35’s development someone in the other services should’ve said, “Fine, let’s give the Marines’ their jump fighter (or seriously modify the AV-8), and everyone else who needs a power projection platform will take this in a different direction.”  For various reasons (to include the foolish belief that, after the Cold War, great power conflicts were a dead issue) this was not done–and now all the armed services have a fighter that is more F-105/F-111 than, say, F-16.  That’s…that’s not good, and I’m glad to see purchasing additional F-15 platforms is being vehemently discussed.  I’d prefer they were F-22s, but the Eagle‘s inherent growth abilities continue to provide dividends.

Big picture, it’s probably time to also consider augmenting our current heavy bomber fleet with something off the shelf.  How many cruise missiles can you fit into a Boeing 767?  I don’t know, but maybe that’s something Congress should direct the Air Force think about.