Olde School

All posts tagged Olde School

Calling readers and reviewers!

Published October 5, 2016 by admin

 

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Hey, remember that awesome book I wrote, Olde School? It’s currently up for grabs on the Juniper Grove Book Solutions Review Library, so if you request it you can read it for free in exchange for an honest review (Don’t let Clyde influence you. Please feel free to be honest).

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Maybe not this honest

I’m still plotting out what comes next, but I’m extremely proud of that title and would love the word of mouth to keep going! So if you’re a book blogger, reviewer, or a reader who’s into quirky fantasy with a touch of horror, check it out!

All the info on how to request the title can be found here!

 

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More reviews makes my characters stop shilling for me, I swear

 

Calling all Readers and Reviewers!

Published September 24, 2015 by admin

There are some upcoming opportunities for readers, reviewers, bloggers, et al!

Want to read for free? Heck, want to read Olde School for free?

Seventh Star Press is looking for honest reviews for their Read to Review program. Basically, fill out a form, choose a title, read it, post your honest review, then you get to choose another title. For a full run-down of how the program works, as well as the submission form, check out the link!

But you should totally request Olde School first. Just sayin’.

Also…

Tomorrow Comes Media is looking for reviewers and tour hosts for some upcoming titles. Click the links for full synopses and tour info:

Born of Swords by Steven Shrewsbury (Sword and Sorcery)

Codename: Knight Ranger by John F Allen (Urban Fantasy)

Hellscapes vol 2 by Stephen Zimmer (Horror)

Heart of a Lion by Stephen Zimmer (Sword and Sorcery)

Guest Post: Inspiration for Losers and the Lazy by Ippick Bonecrusher

Published August 29, 2015 by admin

So, I promised I’d let some people guest post a little bit more on here, and I use the term people loosely. Since we’re talking about creativity and process off and on, I wanted to hear a little bit about how others approached things, so today we’ll be hearing about the role of inspiration.

I’m so sorry. Please think a few hundred times before even considering following his advice.

***

Inspiration for Losers and the Lazy

a guest post by Ippick Bonecrusher

Seems to be a rash of creative types moanin’ an’ whingin’ bout not havin’ the best idea or not gettin’ there ideas right when they go to write ’em down. While I don’ straight make a livin’ off writin’, meself, I do get hit up for advice columns when certain someones is feelin’ a might too lazy t’be doin’ their own work. I don’t get what’s so hard ’bout it all, really. All’s ye need is a decent mechanical quill and some inspiration.

But Ippick, ye ask, what if I’m sufferin’ from writer’s block or just don’t know what to do with an idea or even how to get one?

There’s yer mistake. Yer sittin’ there makin’ up excuses and waitin’ for some made-up muse creature to zap an idea into yer noggin’. I’ve met my share of otherworldly creatures and believe ye me, ye don’t want them crammin’ anything into yer head cuz’ it won’t be anything what you expect. So stop sittin’ round on yer rear like a lump and go out there and get ye an idea! Go fer a walk. Go read or talk to people. Punch someone in the face and see what they do and what colors they turn. Chase some ducks or take someone’s ice cream and really look at it. See how it makes ye feel and what the rest of the realm does when ye do somethin’ unexpected like that. Then go write about it.

People and Folk make writin’ sound like blasted hard work, but it’s all just words, ain’t it? Words strung together to get across an idea. It don’t have to be good – that’s what editors are for. Besides, Fate knows there’s always someone out there who’ll like the dumbest things, Sit ye down with some paper and mechanical quill or a laptop and pound out some words! Even if it’s just t’get ye goin’, at least it’s somethin’! ‘Sides, ye may start a new genre or end up with somethin’ all literary only arrogant smartypants think they understand.

Ye don’t even hafta try hard! Look ‘ere and I’ll show ye:

Once Upon a time there was a right brute of a mutt named Herbert. He lived in a bookmobile and wanted more than anything t’own a bookstore but he couldn’t cuz he was a dog. Since everyone knows faeries have no magic no more, he instead looked up an antique-lookin’ tome filled with mumbo jumbo and did cultic rites to the Olde Ones that no one believed in anymore, even though the smart ones know they’re still kickin’ round. He did this for three months until he was ready to run outta sacrifices and other things needed to do those weird rites like certain herbs, copper dust, bones, ice cream, mead, mutton chops, and turnips but not the rotten ones the market lays out at the end of the week. Then he went to the post office, picked up his dry cleaning, paid his rent, and performed the dark rites all orderly an’ neat, hopin’ against hope he’d finally be listened to.

Now lookit, see? Yer intrigued cuz dogs don’t have wills of their own…or do they, cuz we all know there are some sneaky animals out there. It makes ye wonder what else is goin’ on. Besides that, when I got stuck I just threw in me grocery list and errands I had to run and ye didn’t even notice cuz I did it all sneaky like!

Ye don’t have t’be lazy and wait fer inspiration, is all I’m sayin’. Just lower yer standards and write out some words, an’ it’ll all work out for the best.

ippickIppick Bonecrusher is a mean sonofadragon who resides in Kingdom City, The Land. A real estate agent by trade, he also occupies many odd jobs to make up for his poor people skills. Although this is Ippick’s first attempt at freelance writing, he is very prone to giving unsolicited advice. You can find him in Olde School, book one of The Kingdom City Chronicles, which can be found in Print, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

 ***

Thankfully, Ippick tends to stay in Kingdom City. Paddlelump Stonemonger likes to travel, though, and he and I both will be at Oldham County Comic Con on Sat, August 29 from 9:30-5! Come visit us at table 116!

Olde School in Preditor&Editor Reader’s Poll!

Published January 9, 2015 by admin

2014 was definitely a mixed bag for me personally, but one thing that came out of it that I’m so proud of is Olde School. So I’m surprised and pleased to find it’s been put on the 2014 Preditor & Editor Reader’s Poll in two categories – Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Young Adult! Things like this may seem annoying because the links pop up a lot and everyone is sharing them, but they’re important because they keep indie and small press titles under people’s noses. Reader awareness is so important these days in a world where new titles are flooding the market all the time. So even if you don’t vote for me, vote for your fave and share the inks in honor of these great titles and the authors who have worked their butts off to bring them to you!

Young Adult category link

Sci-Fi/Fantasy category link

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CYBER MONDAY SALE: Olde School (and others) for 99 Cents!

Published December 1, 2014 by admin

All right, kiddies – no beating around the bush because we’ve got limited time here. Love books? Love your kindle? Want to stock up on titles you’ve been eyeing or feel like discovering new ones?

Then today is your day.Seventh Star Press has thirty titles on sale as Kindle Downloads for 99 cents all day today – but hurry! Once Tuesday hits, you’ll have missed your window.

If you’re curious and looking for recommendations, might I suggest Olde School for those wanting a different sort of fantasy title….

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Get it for 99 cents! (Cyber Monday only)

Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians

Curious about the other titles you could get? Then look no further – I’ve got help. Plus, if you get involved now (and check out the SSP blog for info, you could also get in on a contest to win a Kindle HDX. And don’t forget to check out all of these books that are marked down as kindle downloads for today only!

 

Or see the full list and information here!

WeWriWa: Olde School

Published October 19, 2014 by admin

It’s been a while, so I decided to participate in Weekend Writing Warriors this week! This week’s eight comes from the first chapter of Olde School. Ippick, Uljah, and Paddlelump are at lunch at Trip Trap’s Diner, and Uljah and Paddlelump discuss the finer points and frustrations of owning a bridge…

The Eight:

“Ye get all the travelers, the idiots that lose their way in the forest, all the traffic from the ‘burbs, the shepherds, the flower and herb fanciers—”

“The blasted sheep and goats,” Paddlelump grumbled. He glanced up at Uljah’s amused chuckle. “They bite!”

“Oh, I feel so sorry for you, boyo. You can exploit any stragglers not accounted for by their shepherds for wool and meat and make a pretty profit. Out of all of us, you’re set for life.”

Want more snippets of some great fiction? Check out Weekend Writing Warriors!

Want more Olde School? Check out my Kingdom City page for book info and free shorts!

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Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles

Kindle       Amazon Paperback     Nook    B&N Paperback     Kobo

Cross-Genre: Fantasy, Fairy/Folktale, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror

Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians

Finding the Familiar in the Other

Published October 15, 2014 by admin

One of the things people notice right away about Olde School is that the bulk of the characters are nonhuman. I’ve done panels on writing the “other” recently, and it kind of shocks me that there has to be a “way” to go about writing these characters.

I’ve seen probably two distinct uses of nonhuman characters in fiction. Either they’re mindless adversaries (usually monstrous or huge in number) for the protagonist to go up against, or they’re a somewhat-more developed character. Sometimes this is limited to showing that the faeries are conniving, the vampires political or sexy, the werewolves aggressive – usually in a lot of short urban fantasy. There’s nothing wrong with that. They fill their use and the parts of the story they’re in well. In the really good fiction, though, they’re more well-developed and play pivotal parts of the story.

For me, though, it was important to retain the parts of the characters that make them “other,” but also give them realistic personalities. Who they are affects the story as much as what they are.

As Olde School developed, it was very important to me that things not be gimicky. Sure, a lot of the book is silly, a lot of it is quirky, but I didn’t want things to be a one-note joke. I wanted there to be a full-bodied world with a lush history, and I needed full characters to inhabit it. For me, this meant questioning what these creatures were versus who they were.

Why does a troll have to be dumb and mean? Why can’t he be a compassionate, yet somewhat passive, businessperson? What challenges would he face if he had that sort of personality? How could he carry a story? That became the basis of Paddlelump Stonemonger and the source of many,many frustrating late nights of editing.

Could trolls carry on decent friendships even if they were a little more traditional and crotchety? Where would they hang out? What if they were old men types hanging out in a diner? Thus began the lives of Ippick and Uljah.

What kind of an occupation would an ogre have? How about a pixie? What if they didn’t look quite like we’ve become accustomed to seeing them? What if they had their own motivations and personalities that weren’t quite simpatico with what we’ve been led to believe?

How about the humans? Are all princes handsome and valiant in Kingdom City? (short answer: bwahaha, no.) What do modern princes and princesses do? Would they still be connecting with each other for a love connection? What if there was a princess who obeyed the rules of older stories and went out to seek her fortune, but didn’t have the pristine motivations that her ancestors might have? And what about the non-royal humans? What if you were a waitress or a schoolgirl? Would you be bitter about your lot in life? Would you keep your chin high and be proud of your work ethic? Who would you associate with? What if you had secrets of your own?

And, of course, what would magic be like if it manifested in a world like this? Are talking animals always helpful? Are rituals and curses what they seem to be? What if they’re controlled by something else that’s vaguely close to the rules of the Fae, but far more terrifying in its true form?

And, of course, what if dwarves were heavy metal rock stars instead of holing up in mines all day?

Can these types of characters be as confused about strange situations as we would in our own lives? What about their daily, mundane lives? What are those like? How do they interact with each other? What’s their history together in the city like?

Yeah, I like to play with things, but these questions really got me started looking at the full range of possibilities in the characters. I like a lot of different types of stories, and I was intrigued as an adult discovering the work of Holly Black, because she does have some nonhuman side characters that hold their own. That really, really inspired me to push myself as hard as I could and see if I could populate the majority of my cast with nonhuman or Folk type characters and have people identify with them. Is the casing really as important as the heart?

It’s pleased me that a lot of people have gotten behind Paddlelump, Flora, Clyde, and even Nobody to really explore what makes these characters – and Kingdom City, itself – tick. There’s a lot more to show and discover, and embracing the “other” quirks and characteristics and using them in new ways while still giving the characters a sense of integrity is important to me. I’m glad to see that so far it seems to be fun for others, as well.

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Book One of The Kingdom City Chronicles

Kindle       Amazon Paperback     Nook    B&N Paperback     Kobo

Cross-Genre: Fantasy, Fairy/Folktale, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Horror

Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians