Space Opera

Get hooked on a new Space Opera series with all the action and adventure you crave.

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Scratch Built Models

Watch me build the next cover model for the Star Saga novels using the same techniques that Hollywood employed before CGI took over.

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Using Plume Creator

I write all my fiction on Ubuntu and I use a fabulous Open Source writer's program called Plume Creator.

Swept Up Review

I don’t read too many Romance novels; they’re just not my thing. But sometimes a good story and great characters can suck me into just about any genre. Such was the case for Swept Up by Kayla Dawn Thomas. I picked up Ms Thomas’s book at the Seven Devils Lodge while on vacation this summer. Always one to give local Idaho writers a try, I was pleasantly surprised by this charming first novel. Come to find out later, Ms Thomas grew up on the same ranch where the lodge resides and much of that attention to small rural town details comes through in her novel.

Swept Up is the story of a street sweeper named Web and Kara, the woman he nearly runs over on their first meeting. At first I was a little dubious of a story about a street sweeper, but Web is an interesting and caring man who has a knack for rescuing women who are down on their luck. This story moves along at a decent clip, never letting you get bored and never taking the easy path to get to the eventual required happy ending. The prose is clean and to the point while keeping a distinct voice that’s a pleasure to read.

Kayla Dawn Thomas has a new novel out this week on Kindle called Narrow Miss. It looks like the new story is more of a Woman’s Fiction/Mystery, either way, you can’t go wrong with this talented new Idaho author.  You can find Kayla at her website: http://www.kayladawnthomas.com/ and follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kayladawnwrites.

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Star Saga Series Covers

I’m going to be redoing the cover for Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga. The coin cover is just not working anymore. I don’t really think anyone gets it and it’s not a part of the story as much as it is for Starstrikers. So I’m moving the coin to the back of the paperback and adding exploding spaceships to the front. I’ll keep the saga banner and book number at the top, very much like the cover for The Rising. But yeah, we’re going all starships and exploding things, which are images that scream Space Opera and let’s face it, they’re cool. The above image is on the back of the paperback right now. The cover art will use those same models with an emphasis on action.

Look for a post or two on the process of redesigning the cover in the months ahead.

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Thoughts On The New Theme

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the new website theme. Which is good, because I don’t really have the time to mess with it much anymore. I’ll update a few of the pages here and there and might tweak the slider images depending on what’s happening. But overall, I’m done with it. Nobody has flooded my comments with opinions, so I’m guessing everyone loves the theme and is just too busy to mention it.

Kudos to Bill Blohm for showing me how to darken the background images in GIMP, for the slider. It makes it much easier to see the white text.

The new progress bars are now circles on the main page and still bars on the actual book’s page. Two novels are underway at the moment and if you go their pages, from the top menu links, you see the old progress bars.

The theme software underneath WordPress is kinda buggy but it is getting better. Eventually I’ll be able to clean up odds and ends to make the site easier to navigate. At this time, I wish I could display images in the partial blog posts on the main page, since there is no regular just a blog page anymore. But if you click on the post from the main page, you get it full width and with images.

I’m trying to focus the content on the blog to be mainly about my books and my models. There will be posts about other topics now and again, but I’d like to steer the reader to those areas with the third being the fact that I don’t write on Windows or Mac. I think there are so few writers on Linux these days that any attention I can draw to how I actually write on the platform can only be a good thing. I realize that writers on other platforms don’t give a flying fig that I use Linux, but for that one percent that does, let them flock here for solace.

When I can get the time, I’m going to be revamping my webstore to include more formats for all my novels. Specifically, PDF. Initially, I’ll only have PDFs for those books that are available in paperback. Because to make the paperback version, you have to use PDFs.

I’ve never had advertising on my website but that doesn’t stop all manner of folks from contacting me about advertising. I have nothing against web ads, other than I find them annoying. This is my world, I prefer to not corrupt it with whatever you’ve been browsing for on Amazon.

 

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The Next Model Underway

I’ve gone back to the Dual KIV-3 Trainer model to finish it up.  Already started adding details to the top of the center wing section and more skin to the fuselages. I hope to knock this model out in the coming weeks so I can use it to do a possible cover for The Blood Empress and then repaint it and the smaller 1/72 scale KIV-3 to the standard green or maybe a rust/red color same as the warships.

The dual starfighter is based on the WW2 fighters that were often made with two fighters bolted to a center wing section. Sometimes this was done to extend the range, other times it was used as a trainer. In this case, it’s more of a trainer. This model is 1/48 scale. The nose cones are slightly different between all the various versions of the KIV-3, mainly because I do what’s easiest for me to make but also because I think it suggests diversity in the imagined universe.

I’ll update the build page in a week or so.

 

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Starforgers Perma-Free on Kobo

Now you can sample the Star Saga novel that started it all. Starforgers, Book 1 of the Star Saga is FREE on Kobo, permanently. It doesn’t take that much space on your reader and it looks cool sitting there unread next to all the other Sci-Fi ebooks on your digital shelf. Then, one rainy day when you’re absolutely bored and you’ve read all the other ebooks you own, you might chose to read Starforgers. If you do read it, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it. Which means you’ll come looking for the next book in the series. And that will be when I snap my line and hook you right in the wallet. You’ll buy the next book and read it right away and then you’ll be back for more. Before long you’ll have read all the novels in the series and then you’ll be sending me hate letters because I can’t write the next one fast enough for you. I’ll have to devote long hours into the night to keep up with the demand from rabid fans. I’ll start to miss my family, my heath will start failing, I’ll get fired from my day job and eventually wind up living in my car, down by the river.

On second thought, don’t read it. Just download it and let it gather digital dust on the lowest shelf of your reader. You will be the better for it and so will I.

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My InkShares Novel Project Now Live!

So I went ahead and did an InkShares project for my novel, The Blood Empress. If it funds, InkShares will take the book on like a traditional publisher and it will get edited and published by their team. If it does not fund it goes back to me and I’ll probably put it out myself. So with nothing to lose and a bit of time savings to gain, I went ahead and started a project. It’s now live and you can go to the web page and pledge whatever you feel is appropriate. It has 47  days to be funded before it gets dropped.

The Blood Empress

You can read about what inspired this novel and what it’s about on the funding page. The Funding window will close on October 27, 2014, right before Halloween.

If you’ve read my work in the past, please consider pledging for this new novel. It’s already written, so if this is funded it will go to press much faster than if I had to write it first. The Blood Empress is about Empress Nykostra from the Star Saga series. It takes place chronologically between Books 2 and 3. The book stands alone as its own story, so it would be a great introduction to the Star Saga universe for anyone interested in reading Space Opera.

Here’s the premise:

The Blood Empress is a space opera novel about a galactic empress coming of age in a war torn galaxy. The twist of this story is that Empress Nykostra is actually the villain of the Star Saga universe. I was intrigued by the possibility of writing a compelling protagonist who is in fact, not on the Good Guy’s side of a galactic war.

You can read chapter one of the novel to get a feel for the story and my writing style. If you decide to back my book, please spread the word to your friends. The more people I can make contact with the easier it will to get funded and the quicker this book will be in your e-readers.

Thanks!

 

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Inkshares Publishing Experiment

I have this book that I wrote last year, The Blood Empress, and so far I have not done anything with it. It’s a gap book taking place between Book 1 and Book 2 of my Star Saga series. Today I got a cold call email from Inkshares Publishing a new crowd funding start-up publisher. Their program works like Kickstarter in that you have 40 some days to raise the funds needed for them to print your novel. If you pre-sell enough copies of the book, they will have it edited and cover the design costs and then market the book much like a publisher would do. Meanwhile you keep all the rights and get 70% of the profits made after it launches.

Having no real plans for this book, I decided to go ahead and try them out to see what kind of an audience I can muster. My expectations are low, considering nobody knows who I am or what I write. But if this program funds and sales do okay, it could rise the tide and carry my other books along with it. If it does not fund, I get the book back and I go ahead and release it myself at a later date. Nothing lost.

 

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Votainion Warship Build Part 6

In this post I finish detailing the bottom of the model and begin prepping for painting. Below we see the major detail pieces in place for the main body of the model. The clear area to the right is where the flight deck will go. In this model, I have opted to show the normally open deck in the closed position.

Below we see the larger pieces in place under the engines. Some of the details are from a tank and one of them is space bar from a computer keyboard. There are lots of pieces from computers on this model, especially on the bottom.

The bottom of the neck is mostly straight pieces of plastic

Here is an overall look at the whole bottom of the model. All the details are in place save the launch bay and the bottoms of the wings and canards.

The bay area is now tackled using strips of plastic and lots of tiny details culled from tank models.

 

After completing the details on the bottom of the wings and canards, the model is given a light gray coat of paint so I can see if the details are working.

These images were taken against my wooden floors for greater contrast. The next primer coat will be flat black.

A look at the side of the model after all detailing is over.

More shots of the model with light gray primer.

Another area I took care to detail was the stern where the engines will go. You can see some of the new pieces as they are white.

One final pass in attack mode. I’m liking this angle for the ship.

The engine area is airbrushed with flat black Tamiya paint.

Then the painted engines are put in place to get an idea what they will look like.

The base coat of flat black on the engines really makes them look sinister. I used Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black on the engines.

All the tools I need to paint finally arrived this week and this image shows them.

The engines are detailed further with plastic strips. The goal was to make it look like each engine had panels removed for maintenance during a long space voyage. So each engine is slightly different and one has the exhaust funnel removed.

Here is an engine getting some strip plastic detailing. The work is a bit tedious as it has to be done to all four engines.

The engines are installed for a quick look to make sure we are on track.

The engines are lined up to see if they still fit after the extra details are added.

The final base color will be Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown. I may add some flat red to this to ensure more of a barn red color. We’ll have to wait until the final post to see how that went.

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