Thursday, April 30, 2015

A to Z Challenge – Z – Cult Classics: Rob Zombie, Zap Gun, and More! Plus may Preview – San Andreas, Challenge Reflection Post, IWSG, and Ninja News

Last day of the Challenge – we did it!

A to Z Challenge– Cult Classics –Z
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

This bizarre post-apocalyptic film was written, produced, and directed by John Boorman in 1974. It features star Sean Connery in the worst outfit ever.

Music –

Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe
His best-selling album to date, Rob’s first solo album away from White Zombie went Triple Platinum. Giving homage to horror films, the album featured such hits as Dragula and Living Dead Girl.

Science Fiction Book –

The Zap Gun by Philip K. Dick
This 1967 novel was originally published as a serial and was one of his earliest works.

Blogger –

PK Hrezo
Want to follow someone who is multi-talented in writing and in art? Follow someone with a genuine heart, compassion, and passion for what is right? Then you need to be following author PK!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

Defined at ‘great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.’ While Aden’s pursuit of a command and the queen’s daughter is more dogged and methodical, Ensign Pavott’s pursuits are more heartfelt and passionate.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Ninja News

Next week will be the A to Z Challenge Reflections posts. Post your thoughts on this year’s Challenge anytime Monday-Friday and then add your direct link over at the A to Z Blog.

Don’t forget next Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day!

Reedsy is a great site for authors with tips and more, connecting writers with other industry professionals. They just started a new feature for authors to create a profile and integrate their social media, goodreads, amazon and blogging platform in one place. Get the details HERE.

Available today!
The Dragon Chronicles
Featuring a short story by Ted Cross - Dragon Play.

Cindy Borgne, who blogs at Dreamer’s Perch, has another blog called Good Book Alert. They are looking for indie authors to guest post, plus reviewers. If interested, see the site for details.

The Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blogfest is May18 - movie/show/book that exemplifies the theme. (Or part of theme.) Hosted by me and Heather Gardner.

May Movie Preview

Here is the final upcoming theatrical release for May. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

May 29 -

San Andreas
In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter.
Director: Brad Peyton
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario, Carla Gugino, Colton Haynes
Fissures will open, buildings will crumble, and pecs will jiggle.

Have you suffered through Zardoz? Fan of Rob Zombie? Ready for the IWSG next week? Signed up for the blogfest? Going to see San Andreas? And how do you feel about the end of the Challenge…?
(I am BEAT! I’ll be taking Friday OFF and enjoying Avengers: Age of Ultron and some time with my wife. Catch up with comments on Saturday.)

And if you missed it, yesterday I visited Janice Hardy’s Fiction University and discussed the pros and cons of small presses.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A to Z Challenge – Y – Cult Classics: Yellow Submarine, Yes, and More! Plus More May Movie Preview – Tomorrowland – and Ninja News

Today I have the highest honor of appearing at Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. I’m discussing pros and cons of marketing and the small press. If you want to know more about what a small press can and can’t do for you, then check it out.

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – Y
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

Yellow Submarine
This animated feature capitalized on a psychedelic pop culture and was nominated for a Grammy and a Hugo. Ironically, while the Beatles performed the songs and appeared in person at the end, other actors did their voices during the cartoon segment.

Music –

Yes – Fragile
Released in 1971, the fourth studio album became the band’s biggest commercial success so far and featured the icon song Roundabout.

Science Fiction Book – 

The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker
This 1970 time travel novel won a John W. Campbell Memorial Award and was nominated for a Nebula and a Hugo.

Blogger –

Yolanda Renee –at Defending the Pen
Enjoy a good murder mystery with a little more? Want to meet a supportive author with a wonderful spirit? Then you need to meet Yolanda!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

A year on Hyrath would be longer than a year on Earth, although only by a few weeks. Their division of time is also numerically different, as their days have twenty-five hours. Their months and weeks are also more evenly divided.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Ninja News

NA Alley is holding an auction this week to raise money for this young lady:
Back in 2008, Queena was a vibrant eighteen-year-old with her whole life ahead of her. That changed the night she was brutally raped, beaten, and left for dead after dropping books off at the library. The attack left her blind and unable to walk or talk, requiring around-the-clock care.
PK Hrezo is currently writing a book about this young lady as well.

Available now!
Scattered Seasons by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
Only .99 cents for a week.
Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo

May Movie Preview

Here is the continuation of upcoming theatrical releases for May. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy
For all your tomorrow needs. Off the beltline. Free hotdogs and balloons for mom. (MST3K fans will get that.)

Remember Yellow Submarine? Fan of Yes? (And have you seen them in concert?) Would you want twenty-five hour days? Checking out the auction? And is Tomorrowland a must-see for May…?

Don’t forget to visit Janice Hardy’s Fiction University!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z Challenge – X – Cult Classics: Symphony X, Xenocide, Xanadu, and More! Plus May Movie Preview Continues – Mad Max: Fury Road and Maggie

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – X
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

This 1980 musical fantasy starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly and won the first ever Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director. However, the soundtrack album went Double Platinum and spawned five Top 20 singles for Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra.

Music –

Symphony X – Paradise Lost
Released in 2007, the band’s seventh album was the first to hit the Billboard and many other charts. It’s a concept album, loosely inspired by John Milton’s 1667 epic poem, Paradise Lost.

Science Fiction Book –

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
This was the third book in the Ender’s Game series and nominated for both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1992.

Bloggers –

Since no one had an X name, I decided to go with those who had the X-factor instead!

Want to read some of the most beautiful and flowing poetry online? Want to follow the adventures of Pat and the Cat? Then you can do no wrong following this lovely lady, Truedessa!

Dixie at An Artful Blogger
Like a daily dose of humor? A funny image or comic (or two or three or more…) to give you a smile? Want to meet someone who is dedicated to her friends? Then you need to meet Dixie!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

X Factor
Defined as ‘a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome,’ Dragon of the Stars has several X Factors, both in terms of people and in situations. While the obvious factor might be the Dragon itself, it’s an assortment of smaller variables that make the difference in the story.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

May Movie Preview

Here is a continuation of the upcoming theatrical releases for May! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

May 8 –

Maggie - (Limited Release)

A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side.
Director: Henry Hobson
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin, Joely Richardson
This one is actually getting some good buzz. (Arnold could sure use a good film about now…)

May 15 –

Mad Max: Fury Road
In a post-apocalyptic world, in which people fight to the death, Max teams up with a mysterious woman, Furiousa, to try and survive.
Director: George Miller
Stars: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
It’s a continuation of the story, not a remake, and it looks bad ass!

Agree Xanadu’s soundtrack was better than the film? (RiffTrax needs to tackle that film!) Fan of Symphony X and prog rock? Following those two wonderful bloggers? Eager to learn more about the Dragon and the Kargrandes? And do either of those two films spark your interest…?

And if you missed it, yesterday I visited Jay Noel to talk about the Dragon – legend or myth?

Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Challenge – W – Cult Classics: Wizards, War of the Worlds, and More! Plus May Movie Release – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Today I am visiting amazing steampunk author, Jay Noel. His Challenge theme is World Mythology and I got to talk about a myth in my book.

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – W
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

This 1977 post-apocalyptic science fantasy film was written, produced, and directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film is a mix of war, magic, Nazi propaganda, and adult content.

Music –

Whitesnake – Whitesnake
The seventh studio album from the band produced numerous hits and sold over eight million copies. It won the Brit Award for Best British Group in 1988.

Science Fiction Book –

The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
Published in 1897, this was one of the first books to depict a conflict between earth and aliens. The book has never gone out of print and has spawned movies, radio dramas, comics, video games, television series, and more.

Bloggers –

Brian Miller at Waystation One
Do you want to follow a poet who is a master with words? One who can weave a story that will make you think, all the while bringing it down to where you live? Then you must plug into Brian’s world!

L. G. Keltner at Writing off the Edge
Do you enjoy flash fiction? Enjoy the geekier stuff in life? Then you couldn’t ask for a better friend who is a lot of fun than LG!

Chrys Fey at Write with Fey
Want some of the best writing tips on the Internet? Learn about the author journey and other fascinating things along the way. Then you need to visit the knowledgeable Chrys Fey!

Donna McDine at Write What Inspires You
Do you enjoy children’s books? Want to know about some great author events and festivals? Then stop by and see Donna today!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

Weapons officer
Every ship has a weapons officer and often several. His primary duty is to control the ship’s primary weapons and direct exterior guns. One or two officers man the main station on the bridge, with junior officers manning the exterior guns from remote locations. The weapons officer needs to be precise and able to multi-task at a high efficiency level.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Ninja News

I’m glad my tips for generating names were so helpful! If you missed it, check out Saturday’s V post.

Available today!
Zadekiel, book 2 in the Path of Angels by Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine
Find it on Amazon and Goodreads

Have you signed up for the Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blogfest yet? Movie-show-book that exemplifies the theme. (Or part of theme.)
Hosted by me and Heather Gardner.
Sign up – you know you want to!!

May Movie Preview

Here is an upcoming theatrical release for May. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

May 1 –

Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
The sequel to one of my most favorite movies ever – time for total fanboy geek out!

Seen Wizards? Fan of Whitesnake? What’s your favorite version of War of the Worlds? Following those awesome bloggers? Signed up for Blood, Boobs, and Carnage? And who is going all fanboy this Friday?

Don’t forget to visit Jay Noel!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Challenge – V – Cult Classics: Videodrome, Van Halen, Venus, and More! Plus Tips for Generating Speculative Fiction Names

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – V
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movies –

Directed by David Cronenberg, this mind-tripping science fiction/horror film received mixed reviews and did poorly at the theater. It found new life on video and received numerous awards.

V for Vendetta
This 2005 British film was release shortly after the 400th celebration of Guy Fawkes Night. Based on a graphic novel, the film won numerous awards.

Music –

Van Halen – 5150
The first album to feature Sammy Hagar as lead singer, 5150 debuted at number one and spawned many singles.

Science Fiction Book –

Venus series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Begun in 1934, this four book and one novelette series is also known as the Amtor Series. The stories have made several comic book appearances.

Blogger –

Vanessa Morgan
Are you fascinated by film? Want to know more about foreign films and festivals? Want to see amazing travel photos from around the world? Then you need to visit filmmaker Vanessa!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

Engineer Geld Vardy worked on several systems for the Dragon. Desperate to find the ship, the Hyrathian Council instructed him to develop a way to track it and accompany the team searching for the ship. He and Aden clash though…

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Very Special Gatehaven Release

Melissa Maygrove announced a very special release yesterday – a study guide by her mother!

The Gatehaven Study Guide by Jeanette Pierce

The Gatehaven study guide is a pair of workbooks for students and teachers that is designed for use with Gatehaven, an award-winning novel by Molly Noble Bull. Gatehaven is a gothic novel with a strong Christian message, based on Ephesians 6:11. Set in a scary mansion in the north of England in 1794, Shannon Aimee and Ian Colquhoun battle an evil Frenchman with dark secrets.

Buy the workbooks here: Kindle Student guide, Kindle Teacher's guide, Nook Student guide, Nook Teacher’s guide, Amazon Paperback Student guide, and Amazon Paperback Teacher’s guide

Generating Names for Speculative Fiction

Yesterday, there were several questions regarding naming characters at my guest post with Susan Gourley. How did I come up with the names? I have several different means for generating speculative fiction names.

The simplest is to brainstorm. Write down every unusual word that comes to mind on a piece of paper. Don’t think about characters – just churn out names. Keep the alphabet handy and don’t duplicate a first letter. That will guarantee that all the names are unique.

Apply a characteristic to the names if they need to be uniform. For CassaFire, all the Tgren names needed to begin with a vowel. That was my jumping off point. Maybe all the names need to be two syllables or end with a certain letter.

Look around and pick random words. Now mutate them. The word ‘world’ becomes Wireld. ‘Stars’ becomes Sturess. ‘Rock’ becomes Fock. Anything is possible!

Choose a cultural group of names and alter them. For Dragon of the Stars, I chose a variety of first and last names that were old British. Then I changed one or two letters to come up with names for the Hyrathians. This could be done with any language or culture.

The key is to keep them simple and easy to pronounce. Some of the names I’ve selected were a challenge, but overall I’ve picked simple names that wouldn’t trip up the reader. This is really important for speculative fiction, as readers are already contending with new words in the form of people, places, and things. If those words are complex or difficult to pronounce, the reader might give up.

Have fun with it though. Let those creative juices flow and come up with names that are epic!

Remember Videodrome? Which version of Van Halen do you like best? Want to know why Geld Vardy clashes with Aden? Have you read Gatehaven? And how do you go about generating names for your characters…?

If you missed it, I visited Susan Gourley on Friday and discussed a race called the Utothiaz.