Happy Veteran’s Day Potpourri Post

So it’s been a bit since I’ve updated the blog.  I figured I’d hit some of the high points of the last couple of weeks:

Attended the Ozark Book Con down in Fayetteville this past weekend as a vendor.  First year event with all that entails, but had good panels and talks with several good authors.  I recommend attending the event for the professional aspects if you’re in the area.  If you’re coming from out of the town, it’s definitely a “Hey rando friend I haven’t talked to in years, mind if I sleep on your couch?” until it grows some.  Which, given the professionalism and drive on display, I think it definitely will.

On the way back, finally got to meet Acts of War‘s editor, Mary, in person.  In addition to being long overdue, the fact it’s been 5+ years since that book went through her able hands made me marvel at what modern technology makes possible.  Although her current work with medical journals precludes her from working on anything else, I’m glad that a mutual acquaintance said “Hey, I know someone who might be able to help you…” many moons ago.

Speaking of the Usurper’s War series, Against the Tide Imperial continues to move along.  Unfortunately, after getting read the riot act by an author mentor, I’ve had to accept that the Phases of Mars anthologies are 100% my “books for the year.”  Combined with the new day job’s obligations (oh, yeah, I got promoted and changed positions), the process of putting out Those In PerilTo Slip the Surly Bonds, and Trouble in the Wind has pretty much sucked up a lot of available time.  So, rather than put out a substandard product or skimp on marketing, Against the Tide Imperial is slipping to the right again.  The manuscript will get done this year (which means preorders will be up), but the actual _book_ is probably going to be out in 1st Quarter 2020.  *angry author noises*

This dovetails to a professional lesson that I am learning again, but in a different dialect:  Projects are rarely as easy as they may initially seem.  At the beginning of the year, with Those In Peril shooting up the charts, “Suuuure, we can do two more of these this year…” seemed like a good plan.  What I now realize is one can do three books in a year, it just means one probably shouldn’t also do cons and other creative projects if there’s also a fourth book one would like done.  So, for 2020, the lesson will be, “No, I think that timeline doesn’t work for me, thank you…” as I get solo projects back in line.  (Feel free to remind me of this in the comments when my hair is on fire again this time next year.)

In addition, having now done editing three times, I cannot emphasize enough that you should always pay your damn editor.   It’s a whole different animal than writing, and I will issue a blanket, heartfelt mea culpa for some of my past sins to my editors.  In addition, as an author, understand that your editor’s job is to polish up your work.  “Polish” implies that you have done a grammatical read through, researched the technical aspects of the work, and are basically giving the editor a complete story that just needs a set of professional eyes to look upon it.  This goes doubly so for an anthology submission.  Indeed, I’m just going to let John G. Hartness take it away…(language alert…NO REALLY!):

Anyway, it’s Nano (and yes, I’m counting these words), and I’m going back to US CVs about to go to guns with an Italian Fleet.  (Yes, that’s a teaser.)

Fight…for your rights…NO REALLY

A friend of mine shared this news story out of Los Angeles today.  When I saw the headline and preview, I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t The Onion.  I cant’ really fathom who thought this was a good idea to try and fit into an employment contract, even as a negotiation start point.  It’ll be interesting to see if A. this is in the final offer and B. just how quickly it takes for it to result in litigation.  Indeed, part of me wonders if this is a law firm trying to make future work for itself.

Let this be a lesson to would be writers:  Always read your employment contract’s portion on intellectual property.  If you have questions, get a lawyer involved.  A prospective employer can and likely will try to put anything in a contract, to include attempting to claim rights which they would seemingly have no right to.  While this story is in the news, I have a fellow author who had a would be employer try to slip similarly punitive language into his “signing on” contract.  When he (rightfully) called the employer on it, they immediately provided him with a different set of signing papers with the offending language removed / revised.  Needless to say, this immediately colored his view of the folks who wanted to hire him.

As always, keep your head on a swivel.

Guest Blogging, Some News, and a Little Q&A

Sorry for some of the intermittent posting.  I have spent most of the last few days filling out interview questions for my blog tour through Goddess Fish Promotions.  For those of you who do not know what a blog tour is, basically a promotion site sets you up with guest blogs / reviews of your book on several different websites.  This is my first time trying it, so we’ll see it goes.  Even if it doesn’t work for me, successful paranormal / urban fantasy author R.L. Naquin swears by them–so it may be a genre thing.

In other news–I have recently been published in Armor magazine, the U.S. Army’s professional journal for mounted warfare.  You can find the article here:  http://www.benning.army.mil/armor/eARMOR/content/issues/2017/Winter/  .  It’s regarding doctrine, so odds are it may be a little dry without context.

Out of all the questions I got asked (and there were a lot), I had the most fun with the “What is your musical playlist?”  one.  I kept it limited to 15 songs, but here was my answer (with some Metal Monday Alumni):

1.) Dawson’s Christian – Vixy and Tony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjxMieuRPe4)

2.) Husker – Bear McCreary, from BSG: Blood and Chrome (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeCFZ04ggQ0)

3.) Gettysburg Trilogy – Iced Earth (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxkVNYPSups)

4.) The Stars Will Fall – Crom (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky1nY3jlq1M)

5.) One Last Battle – Vic Tyler (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFzpZeSVPRA)

6.) Attack – Hans Zimmer, Pearl Harbor OST (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2p0rVpyxnwI)

7.) Requiem For A Tower – London Music Works (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaioIutcHKI)

8.) Theme from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla—Akira Ifukube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfwLQIE3l4s)

9.) Bottle of Pain—Combichrist (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyFyTHQqIFc)

10.) Freedom Fighters—Two Steps From Hell (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP1QHVNHMAE)

11.) The Bleeding—Five Finger Death Punch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeeWq3hDMCU)

12.) I Love You—Woodkid (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqeBydhpQU)

13.) Long Live the King—Sabaton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rIYMEl_4xc)

14.) When Winter Comes—Miracle of Sound (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDt3jeXGfDU)

15.) Even in Death—Evanescence (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9btPqVRZIlY)

I also learned that a lot of interviewers unwittingly ask the same questions.  I don’t want to steal any of the gracious hosts’ thunder, so I’ll start regularly answering a set of these questions  here on the blog / in my newsletter.  (“Newsletter?  How do we sign up for the newsletter?”  “Click here, my curious friend!”)

“A Midwinter’s Ski” was reviewed by Roses In Ink.  If you liked it as much as they did, pick it up for free on Amazon.

Last month I rode out to San Diego to attend the WEST 2017 Naval Conference hosted by the USNI (United States Naval Institute) and AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association).  The primary purpose was to receive my physical award for winning the USNI’s 2016 Cyberwarfare Essay Contest.  As a bonus, I also got to see a lot of awesome exhibits, visit the U.S.S. Midway, and talk some slight smack to a Class of ’64 USNA grad.  (“I guess we decided after 14 years to finally let your guys experience a victory.”  “_My_ class never lost to Navy, Sir.”).  This is me with the other award winners:

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Here’s what the plaque looks like:

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I’m pretty sure that The Prolific Trek is still muttering about driving halfway across the US to pick up something that would have easily fit in a mailing package.  But, had I done that, I would not have gotten to see the Grand Canyon:

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Or totally fan boy over meeting the amazing Vincent P. O’Hara, author of several naval history books.  The one I’m holding, The U.S. Navy Against the Axis, is probably the best single-volume coverage of the USN’s surface fleet during the Second World War.  While James Hornfischer’s Neptune’s Inferno is my go to recommendation for the Guadalcanal Campaign, O’Hara’s is my choice for a complete series.

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Finally, my next upcoming event is Little Apple Comic Expo (LACE).  It will be hosted at the Kansas State Student Union on 18 March from 10 AM to 6 PM.  Feel free to swing on by to see Anita C. Young and I hawking our wares.

Anyway, that’s it from the Midwest.