The Clock Man

Check out this new book from a great story teller friend of mine.

Eric Lahti

The Clock Man started with a single idea: what if you could meld the fantastic Chinese martial arts and mysticism with American steel? It would be kind of like Steampunk but without the Victorian underpinnings. Rather than brass and bronze and the analog details that make Steampunk so interesting, what if you had a world that was powered by magic? What if – like the stories in Kung Fu Theater – martial arts were an important part of that world?

Thus was born Aluna.

In all fairness, I think I should point out that Aluna (at least the name) was my son’s creation. He used to tell us stories of the wars and things that happened on Aluna; it was his planet and he was populating it with all manner of high technology and fantastic creations. I took the name and used it for a different world – with his…

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The Digital World

This was the most enjoyable article I’ve read in quite some time. It brings back a lot of memories tied in nicely to writing and the ebook revolution. Coincidentally, I’m reading one of the author’s books right now. Check out this post, and it you like it as I’m sure you will, try his books.

Eric Lahti

Like a lot of kids growing up in the 70s and 80s I had a shit-ton of music on cassette tapes.  For those who are wondering, a shit-ton is slightly more than a short ton, but less than an full ton.  Each cassette held between twenty and thirty minutes of kick-ass music per side.  Some cassettes went up to sixty minutes per side, giving you a full hour of rockin’ before you had to flip the tape.  If you were really cool, your cassette deck would auto flip for you and you could listen to the same 120 minutes of awesome all day long.

They were dope.  They were boss.  They had tiny album notes and lyrics printed in 6pt type.  Iron Maiden’s Live After Death (may it forever be remembered as the best live album ever) almost had more paper in the fold out than cassette tape in the case.

liveafterdeath Imagine…

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Book Review – Paralyzer by Silas Payton

Check out this awesome review for Paralyzer!

Eric Lahti

First up, let me give the official full title:

Jack Daniels and Associates: Paralyzer (Kindle Worlds) by Silas Payton

It’s a little long to look good on my blog, especially if you’re reading on a mobile device, but that’s the official full title of Paralyzer.  It immediately begs a few questions: who is Jack Daniels, who are his associates, and what is Kindle Worlds?  Well, for starters, you’re wrong.  Jack’s a woman (Jacqueline) not a guy.  That still doesn’t answer the question and I hate it when people point out I was wrong.

So that still leaves the three questions, all of which can be answered quite easily.  Those answers will make this kind of a special review because while Payton’s story is really cool (and creepy as hell), what he did is also really cool (and not creepy as hell).  So, we’re gonna break this review down into a few…

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Which Book Promotion Services Work?

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

FBT 110About a month ago I posted a piece on trying out the various book sale promotion sites that are available, and promised to report back on progress. Here are some preliminary findings, as well as an example of one I have running today at Free Kindle Books and Tips so that you can get an idea of what one looks like (perhaps you might want to invest $0.99 while you’re at it).

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An Interview with Nico Laeser, Author of Skin Cage and Infinity

Reblogged from the website of Andrew Updegrove: an interview with friend of mine Nico Laeser. Please enjoy.

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

Nico Laeser 120A month ago, I posted a review of Nico Laeser’s excellent novel, Skin Cage, a novel written in the first person from a most unusual perspective. The choice of that viewpoint, as well as the degree to which the author succeeded in accomplishing what can only be described as a challenging task, left me more than usually interested in conducting an interview. Happily, Nico said yes.

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My Shot at Outlining as I start Paralyser: a Bill Roberts Novel

I officially started on the next book in the Bill Roberts series this past week. At the 6000 word mark and very excited to see where it is taking me. The preliminary title so far is Paralyser. Between getting caught up on accounting for tax time, a few run-throughs of Going Under, and working on cover ideas, I haven’t written anything new in about a month. It feels really good to be back at it.

I am trying something new for this book — outlining. I usually go where the book takes me and if I have a rush of ideas, I’ll list a few points for upcoming chapters but I have read a lot lately on how outlining can increase the writing speed. I didn’t want to start this book until I had dealt with the housekeeping issues above, so when I had a few free minutes, I’d work on the outline. I laid down points for 29 chapters and I must say it was sort of fun. It got me thinking ahead of time of how it will all piece together. As well, I was able to look at where the big plot points points were.

One of my concerns of outlining was that it would take away some of the enjoyment of the writing process. My favourite part of writing is seeing where the story takes me. I go to bed at night thinking about what’s happening in the story and often come up with ideas as I’m drifting off. It is much like when you are in the middle of reading a great book and can’t wait to see what happens next. I didn’t want to lose this from the writing process with outlining.

What I have found so far, six chapters in, is that I have been sticking roughly to the outline, but am still having a lot of fun with add-ins, changing plot details and creating the dialog. There have been a couple points that I had put in the outline, but decided to leave out because I didn’t feel they fit at that point and I have been bolding them to add in somewhere else.

So far, I have been pleased with the outlining process. I must give a big thanks to Alexandra Sokoloff at at and K.M. Weiland at for their posts on story structure and plotting.

What is your preferred writing style — are you an outliner or do you just see where it takes you?