Tales From Ocherva now in the iBookstore

Tales From Ocherva Volume One is now in the iBookstore, or at least that’s what Apple tells me. But I’m not worthy of being shown what it looks like in the iBookstore, because I only own a Macbook. So if anyone has seen it, do tell.  Or even better, send me a screenshot. Anyway, no sales yet from all those shiny little iPhones and iPads.

What? No iProducts for you? Then head over to Smashwords and pick up the anthology in any format under the sun. Why? Because I like you, that’s why.

In other news, I’m working on some posts that detail the creation of the cover art for TFO. I have some cool screen shots from Graphic Artist, Byron McConnell and even an in-depth interview with him. Stay tuned to this blog next week for those fascinating posts about making e-book covers. Here’s a sneak peek… Eighty-eight with hand gun. Anyone recognize that pistol?

Ocherva now on Scribd

Tales From Ocherva, Volume One is now available on Scribd. You can either read it online or download the PDF or TXT file. Every novel or book that I write will be available for free in some format or another. If you read it for free, please take the time to write a blog post about it, or mention it on Twitter or some other social network.

Reoccuring Characters

Many of the stories in my new anthology, Tales From Ocherva Volume One, feature the same cast of characters. This is intentional. When I started writing short stories a few years ago, I decided that I would concentrate on one particular planet and a handful of characters. I was not completely sure about all of the characters, but as I wrote the stories they emerged.

Principle characters like Devon Ardel, my Ranger captain and her android, Thirty-seven were already known to me because of an early draft of a novel. But new characters like the android Eighty-eight and Cole the programmer emerged as their stories came to life. I wanted to explore the lives of the Rangers and tell many stories about their bravery. They were partly based on the Texas Rangers with some 1940’s pop SF mixed in for good measure.

While I was in Moscow, Idaho on a book signing for the Barren Worlds anthology, I talked with a customer who had read my story, Ocherva. He mentioned that he enjoyed the connection between a physical place and the people who lived there. It got me thinking more about the planet of Ocherva and what made it special to the humans and androids in my stories. Many of my stories have explored that connection between the barren moon and those who live there.

When you write a novel you have more time to develop the main characters than you do with a short story. But short stories can paint a much more detailed picture of your characters if you feature them in many different kinds of stories with various points of view. For instance some of my stories about Devon are from her POV and some of them are from her android’s perspective and a few are from her friend’s viewpoint. That kind of range is not possible in the novel format. But a series of related short stories gives you that freedom.

Over time, you can build up a perception of your characters in the reader’s mind that grows into a complete picture of them. This is only possible with a series of novels or perhaps a television series. Since my medium of choice is narrative fiction, I like episodic short story collections for exploring these particular characters and this particular planet. There will be more volumes to the Tales From Ocherva series. As I complete a dozen or so stories, I will release a new volume. The release schedule for these anthologies will continue to be early summer.

I will begin writing he next novel in the Starstrikers universe this summer. Starforgers will focus on some of the main characters in the Tales From Ocherva stories. But that novel takes place after all the stories in the Ocherva series. So I have to be careful what I have her do and say in writing this particular novel. It helps to have already written about much of her life as a Ranger as I begin telling what happens to her at the start of the Great War. Starforgers tells how the naive Federation is transformed by the events that led to war with the Votainion Empire. It features Devon, her mother and father and her trusty android, among many other new characters. Again, if you have read Tales From Ocherva, you will already have background information for the next novel. Again, I’m building characters and telling a larger story than what is possible with just a single novel.

Cover Art Sneak Peek

This is the latest proof of the cover art for my forthcoming anthology – Tales From Ocherva, Volume One. With this version, Byron is focusing on the coloring of the android and darkening the area around the author’s name. I think he’s got that bit nailed down, as the cover is readable from any size, especially the thumbnail size on most book store web sites. We should have the final version ready to go this week. Comments welcome, last chance to help us improve the cover.

Short Story Writing

I’ve been writing a few short stories this month, trying to fill out the TOC for my upcoming anthology. I’m using the stories in this anthology to flesh out my Galaxy Collision universe first brought to life in the novel Starstrikers. I spent many years developing the universe these stories are set in. Now I’m spending even more time developing a set of characters that exist at one time and on one particular planet – Ocherva.

Short stories are perfect for telling simple tales and using them to develop characters that you may intend to use later in novels. One of the principle characters in the Tales From Ocherva anthology is Devon Ardel.  She’s a tough as nails Stellar Ranger who leads a small band of rangers on the frontier world. When I start writing the prequel to Starstrikers this summer, Devon will be one of the main characters in that novel. If you have read the stories written about her before you read Starforgers, you will have a more complete picture of her and will hopefully also want to know more about her life and times.

The same goes for several androids featured in the TFO anthology. I have multiple origin stories in the anthology one for each of the androids and one for Devon. I’m telling you these things so that you can start saving up a dollar for purchasing the ebook only anthology this summer. I know that times are tough and your dollar could buy so much more than several hundred pages of exciting SF stories. Wait, just what else can you get for a buck these days?  Maybe a bag of chips or a soft drink.  So for the price of a snack, you can read ten interesting and fun stories about androids and rangers. That’s my kind of bang for the buck.

2010 – Year of Sci-Fi

This year I will be releasing three, count them, three Sci-Fi books for general consumption by the reading public.  Thus, 2010 is indeed, the year of Sci-Fi, at least for me.  Oddly enough, I will not be writing any new Sci-Fi this calendar year.  I will be knee deep in drafts for each of the three books I plan on releasing, but as of now, I will not be writing new material in that genre.  Instead, I will be writing the first draft of the next Joshua Jones Mystery, Kill Dash Nine.

The first book out this year will be the Second Edition of Starstrikers, my first SF book.  It’s been edited and expanded and updated and will have a fresh, new cover and interior layout.  If you have not read Starstrikers yet, hold out for this, the definitive version.  The Second Edition will replace all First Edition books in all formats.  Look for Starstrikers this Spring from GB Press.

The next book I plan on releasing will be an E-book only anthology of eight SF short stories.  Tales from Ocherva Vol I, will be available on the Kindle, Nook and at Smashwords in all kinds of formats.  The stories will focus on the planet Ocherva and most of them will be set in the First Generation of the Galaxy Collision universe.  There will be one Second Generation story and one Third Generation story tacked on because they are in some way related to the planet or the Silicant androids.  I may eventually bring this out in print, but for now, E-book format only.  Look for Tales from Ocherva this Summer, from GB Press.

Finally, the big event of the year will be the release of TyrmiaTyrmia is set in the Third Generation of the GC universe and focuses on the planet where the humans and the Votainions first met.  Fans of Steampunk and Fantasy may enjoy this hybrid SF novel.  You don’t have to have read Starstrikers to enjoy Tyrmia, but it couldn’t hurt.  ;-)  I’m really looking forward to getting this book out there for everyone to enjoy.  It is beyond a doubt my best work yet.  Look for Tyrmia this Fall, from GB Press.

I don’t have exact dates yet for these releases, but as soon as I do I’ll let you know.