Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, @TheIWSG Anthology Contest, Allen/Olzon – Worlds Apart Review, and Ayreon - Transitus

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


The awesome co-hosts today are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

Well, since I’m clueless as to most of the changes, what I would like to see next is a total guess. More science fiction book reading groups? More ways to reach people online? More people downloading eBooks and audio books? Any of those work for me.


Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open!

Guidelines and rules:
Word count: 4500-6000
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme: Dark Matter
Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Our judges: Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King


Music

Allen/Olzon – Worlds Apart


Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob, Ayreon, etc.) and Anette Olzon (Nightwish, The Dark Element, etc.) team up for a singing duo spectacular.

This prog album not only showcases their vocal talents, but it offers a fun variety of catchy songs. The album seems to build, so that by the time you near the end, the songs have gotten better and better.



This is the official video of the title song:

And here is an album cover only of My Enemy, which is on the second half of the album:


Same with this one of Who You Really Are, the song after it:


Those should give you a good idea on the band’s sound.

Nothing ground-breaking, but it’s a lot of fun.


Don’t forget – the next Ayreon album comes out this September – Transitus. Featuring the talent of Marcela Bovio (lead singer of Stream of Passion and featured on many Ayreon albums), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Tommy Karevik, Johanne James, and others.

It’s available for pre-order HERE




What changes would you like to see? Entering the IWSG Anthology Contest? Fan of Russell Allen?

I will be on break until August 5, the next IWSG post date.

111 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

A most interesting post Alex, loved the reviews as always.
As I haven't yet finished my new book I can't answer what changes I would like to see in the piblishing.
Hope all is well with you.

Yvonne.

Himawan Sant said...

Allen / Olzon album graphics are very cool !.
The music is also good ...

Have a nice week, Alex.

Elephant's Child said...

As always, huge thanks to your supportive self. You really have made/do make a difference.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

New music! Thanks for the recommendation :-)

Ronel visiting for IWSG day A Decade of Writing

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

As you might recall I went through a major symphonic metal phase on my old blog seven years ago. Given that I favor female fronted bands, I came to know and admire Annette. I enjoyed her "Worlds Apart" song with Russell. Along with Nightwish, I also posted cuts on SDMM by Stream of Passion and very much like the Dutch band's Mexican lead zinger Marcela Bovio. I also have CDs by Epica featuring the lead vocals of Simone Simons. It's good to know that Dee Snider is still rockin'. His vocals sounded good and strong on "Transitus."

Thanks for the prog metal entertainment this morning, good buddy Alex!

kaykuala said...

My Enemy · Allen/Olzo is a catchy tune, more towards the youngsters. Cotemporary and delightful!

Hank

Pat Garcia said...

Good Morning Alex,

It was nice starting off my blog visiting by listening to the music. I like it and it reminds me of Bono and You 2.

Have a great day
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

T. Powell Coltrin said...

If we know anything, we know that EVERYTHING changes and the writing industry will, too. Who would have thought that many people forced to work from home (Covid19)could do it even with lousy internet in well worn PJs. :)

Teresa

Cathrina Constantine said...

Good Music!!!

More people downloading eBooks and audio books sounds perfect to me!!

With all the millions of books being distributed throughout the world, it's very difficult to get my books noticed. I'm thankful for the blogging community. Bloggers help greatly!

Erika Beebe said...

They sound a little like the early Evanescence. Thank you for posting and continuing to inspire us all. Happy IWSG day :)

Nick Wilford said...

I'm all for more ebooks being downloaded (and read, of course). It's so easy, so why not!

I'm not familiar with the artists on the album, but I like the sound of it.

Jennifer Hawes said...

People assume I only read "regular" books. My kindle is jam packed with books. I love reading books on my phone or other devices! Hope you're having an awesome summer.

Lynn La Vita said...

I agree, more ways to reach people. Especially young people caught up in this distance learning. Such an incredible challenge for so many.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I like the music.

I'd like to see more opportunities for sci-fi books, too.

A Hundred Quills said...

Some great music Alex... Thanks for the IWSG I've found some great support here. The Anthology...Well I'm still grappling with books for children!
Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

Tyrean Martinson said...

I hope the industry changes like that, too!
Great reviews, Alex. Rock on! :)

Liza said...

So, you've got me listening to music this morning! Thank you. Quite like it.

Joanne said...

good thoughts in these crazy times. And good music keeps us afloat right now. Have an enjoyable, safe, July 4th weekend. Stay cool!

Jennifer Lane said...

That'd be great if more readers downloaded ebooks and audiobooks! Good luck to the anthology writers.

Jemi Fraser said...

I haven't heard these voices before - I like their sound. Thanks for the tip!
I hope to see more diversity in publishing - especially in kids' books

Natalie Aguirre said...

I like your idea of more ways to reach readers. I wish it was easier too. We already spend so much time writing, and it feels like social media can be a real time suck trying to connect to people right now.

Ellen Jacobson said...

The theme for the next IWSG anthology is wonderful! There should be some fantastic entries :)

In terms of what I'd like to see in the future publishing landscape, I'll have to echo what Jemi said - more diversity would be great.

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for sharing the awesome music - something I can listen to in the car with my son turned up REEEEALLY loud! You always have the best suggestions, Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Himawan, someone did an awesome job with that cover.

Thanks, Elephant's Child!

Shady, there are some incredibly talented female singers out there. Glad you were familiar with Anette.

Teresa, that made me chuckle.

Sonia, you can do it.

Nancy, enjoy!

Glad everyone liked my album choice today.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Why am I not surprised to find out you're a prog rock guy? ;-p

joylene said...

The music is very good. Thanks for the reviews. You continue to be my Go-To-Guy for films and books and music.

Pat Hatt said...

I'm all for more downloads. Would be fine by us.

Stacy McKitrick said...

The biggest change I'd like to see is to be able to put my books into KU without being exclusive to Amazon! But that'll probably never happen.

Chemist Ken said...

What I want is software that can read my mind and write my story for me. An electronic ghost writer of sorts.

Unbelievable. I let the first Wednesday of the month sneak up on me again. I'm beginning to wonder if I need to sign up as a co-host every month just so I can remember.

mshatch said...

I had no good answer to the question this month but I like Stacy's idea even though I don't self-pub (yet).

Chrys Fey said...

There are a lot of ways to reach people online. And, in my experience, many people buy ebooks and/or audio books now instead of print. :)

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

I keep trying to write an entry for the anthology contest, but other ideas pop into my head. I go down a rabbit hole and will write for hours on something else! Fun though! Have a lovely day,

Diane Burton said...

Your guess for the future in publishing is about as good as mine. No idea. lol Have a great month.

Debra Renée Byrd said...

I know several people who prefer audiobooks, and I'm always amazed at their ability to not zone out. haha. I can't even listen to podcasts without rewinding at least twice.

Liesbet said...

Hello Alex! Happy IWSG day! No wonder you often have music streaming through your head. :-) I'm wondering, what makes you feature one album/band instead of another? How do you choose who to review? Thanks for being you!!

Jacqui Murray said...

Great choice of music. I confess, Alex, you are my effort to expand my musical taste. I always enjoy your choices.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'd love to see an end of ISBNs, or at least making them much cheaper for what they actually are. There's no reason a single number needs to cost several hundred dollars, and for the price to only come down if you buy a giant block you might never use!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CD, very much so!

Joylene, hopefully I can get back to reviewing movies again on a regular basis.

Ken, I'll send you a reminder before the next one.

Chrys, mine sell well.

Debra, funny!

Liesbet, I try to review all of the albums I download and I'm careful what I select so I don't get a dud.

cleemckenzie said...

As usual, a veritable smorgasbord of entertainment. Thanks, Alex.

Botanist said...

Audiobooks seem to be getting more popular these days, but it's a slow and expensive process to get a voice actor to record a novel.

I would like to see artificial intelligence applied to text reading algorithms that will put realistic inflection and voice into text to audio software. If software can read to you as well as a real person, that would open up the audiobook market to all authors.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

Don't feel bad, Alex, I'm pretty clueless as how to answer this month's question, too.

Sadira Stone said...

Cool music! Thanks for sharing. As always, thanks for all you do for all of us.

Fundy Blue said...

I'm looking forward to Transitus! I need another lightning bolt from the black! LOL Thanks for all you do, Alex!

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

I think I could easily be a fan of Russell Allen ;-) I like your suggestions for industry changes/advancements. It feels as if technology is already leading us into fairly hospitable environments. It's exciting to think about!

I'm sorry to have missed your June 15th post, it was awesome. I loved Galaxy Quest and the trailers you provided. Now I can hardly wait for Never Surrender. Very cool Rock Awards;-) By the way, you rock too!

A Lady Lawyer said...

I’ve never written science fiction but the contest sounds tempting. Maybe I’ll give it a try!
www.nooranandchawla.com

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

The music sounds great. I'm so out of date. I still listen to Elvis. Have a good week.

Toi Thomas said...

I agree with the industry changes you'd like to see.
Not sure if I'll enter the anthology submission but I'm excited about the theme.
I always enjoy when you share music. It gives me a chance to sample something outside my usual.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's powerful music!
Be well, Alex.

Jenni said...

I think we'll see a growth in ebooks and audio books with all that's gone on this past year. I know I'm already reading a lot more on my Kindle due to the library closure.
I probably won't enter the contest, but I do love the theme. I wish I could come up with a story around that. Maybe next time!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ian, clever idea!

Louise, I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Diedre, you have something to watch now.

Lady Lawyer, please do.

J E Oneil said...

I'm never good at questions asking me to predict what's going to happen. My answer would probably be "for stuff to happen." Yeah, I'm that brainless! :D

S.E. White Books said...

Happy IWSG day! Regarding your hopes for more online connection/platforms, there is a sort of makeshift, user driven group movement going on that I've noticed. It's a bit like a snowball, one gritty user notices that a few of their online friends like the same kind of SciFi. Those friends add layers of more friends who also think Era 2 Mistborn is waaaay better than Era 1 and it just gets rolling from there until there's this huge active group dedicated to one sub-genre.

I've seen it particularly on Instagram because that's where I'm most active, but I'm assured that book Twitter has these little pools of interest, too. The best way I've found to encounter one is to search the hashtags for what you want, and then jump in.

Suzanne Furness said...

I wasn't really sure what changes I would like to see in publishing. I guess one change would be if I were able to join the ranks of the published author, fingers crossed. Best wishes to you Alex.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Hi Alex,

I posted today, just a little late. Please don't give me the boot--it's a holiday in Canada. :)

I'd like to see more diverse writers published and celebrated for telling their own stories. There's a place for books like "American Dirt," but not when the people who've lived those events can't get published or still struggle to make a living off their work.

That's the change I'd like most to see.

Lee Lowery said...

Love the Allen/Olzon – Worlds Apart clips! At my age, I don't need ground breaking - just something fun to listen to and sing along with. Being part of the edgy world is a dim memory. :-D

Melissa said...

I'd love to see the big A crack down on people who abuse the system.

Love the cover of that album. You always have something different and interesting on your blog.

Sandra Cox said...

There was a wide variety of great responses to this question that I'd never really thought about.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I love audio books. I wish all books would offer audio.

Olga Godim said...

I'm not in love with most contemporary music, but the cover art of the Worlds Apart album is awesome. Both parts would look amazing as fantasy book covers.
As for the possible changes in publishing - I'd like to see the literary agents switching from selling book to publishers and acting as the industry gate-keepers to selling and marketing books for authors, sort-of publicity and marketing agents, thus freeing the writers to write. That would be a wonderful change, but I doubt it would ever happen. Publicity agent is a tough job.

Meka James said...

Audiobooks are certainly on the upswing these days. It's easier to multitask with them.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Happy July, Alex!!!

Fingers crossed for a great batch of anthology stories!!

Heather

Liz A. said...

Careful about asking for more eBook downloads. You want more *paid* eBook downloads. I hear piracy is on the rise, and that's bad for all authors.

Mason Canyon said...

As someone who is listening to books more, I'm all for more audiobooks being available but I don't want the print books to vanish either.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm thinking I'm probably more clueless about industry changes that you are. I'm pretty clueless about a lot of things. But that might be okay. I'm waiting for that really big change that brings this world to a better place under the rule of the One who gave us life.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Tamara Narayan said...

This month's question was a toughy for me as well. So I skipped it. I'm grateful for services like Book Bub that bring interesting and cheaper books to my attention.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

SE, need to search Twitter hashtags then.

Lee, glad you enjoyed it!

Mary, mine are on audio!

Olga, I'm sure it is.

Lee, I'm with you on that!

Doreen McGettigan said...

I can always count on you for music I haven't heard yet!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I love the cover for Worlds Apart.
I'd like to see those industry changes too.

Juneta key said...

Liked the music.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

The changes in the industry happen too fast for any of us to keep up with them. Thanks for sharing the music.

kimlajevardi.com said...

I'm definitely up for more ways to connect online.

Patsy said...

More diversity would be good, in all senses of the term. I'd like more mid level publishers, more mid list authors and for reading and writing to be something open to all.

dolorah said...

Love the cover for Worlds Apart. Does the graphic novel come with the Transitus Album? Its pretty cool.

I don't really know what I hope for in the publishing industry. More opportunities I suppose. Right now I'm just watching the world fall apart and waiting to see what comes next.

Michelle Wallace said...

From an educational perspective, I’d like to see more of a three-way collaboration with authors, libraries and schools.

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh! Thanks for the reminder about the anthology! I just realised I might have a story after all...

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I completely forgot about IWSG. So posted a day late. Like you even I agree that it will be great if more people download eBooks and audio books. I just want more and more people to read.

Thanks for the reminder about the anthology contest.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, that would be cool if there was a graphic novel.

Deniz, hope you enter!

Rachna, you should enter.

Elsie Amata said...

I still have a soft spot for hardcover books. Well, okay, for me, I like softcover books better than hardcover books. But I just checked my book sales and you're right. Digital sells better than paper these days. Does that mean I'm getting old Alex? Because I like things the old-fashioned way? Oh geez!!

Click link below for my new domain. Warmly,
Elsie

Andrew Leon said...

All of the pictures I've been posting recently were taken back in February.

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

More science fiction reading groups are needed. It seems like there would be more with the genre having gone much more mainstream than ever.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I do love the Worlds Apart art!

Dark Matter! Oh. Wow. I love that. I wonder ....

John Wiswell said...

Good luck to all the contest entrants!

Kalpana said...

Hi Alex! Thanks for introducing me to Allen and Olzon - they have an invigorating sound. I'm inspired by the anthology contest topic. I echo Elephant's Child's sentiment - thank you for all you do.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elsie, you're not getting old.

Steven, you would think!

Elizabeth, please enter then.

Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay said...

Music has helped me stay sane these days. I like this one...

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm always up for listening to new to me music and Allen/Olzon is really good.

J.L. Campbell said...

Alex, so wonderful that writers are getting the opportunity to showcase their talents.

mail4rosey said...

I'm not sure what changes I would want to see, but I'm certain there will be tons. Things are changing faster than I can keep up.

Caitlin Coppola said...

Love finding new music! Have a great week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - enjoy the break ... I just hope the world doesn't turn turtle - while you're taking time off?! That album is pretty powerful ... I know you prefer ebooks etc ... I'm still in the past world ... reading some timber - but gives me time to think and is away from the screen. Take care - Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Changes...I'd like to see more people reading books!

Enjoy your break. :)

Spacer Guy said...

Yeah man enjoy your break and thanks for the vibes, they're cool, I can see the rockers all going wild wherever and like breaking a leg over this and that guitarist got the gift.

T Drecker said...

Love that album cover! Have a nice break :)

DMS said...

That is a good question. I would love to see people reading more than ever and it would be great to have some fun ways for authors and readers to interact.

Enjoy your break! See you in August!
~Jess

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, glad you enjoyed it.

Hilary, what happens if it does turn turtle?

Susan B said...

Thanks Alex for another successful IWSG monthly post. Superdooper songs too.
Have a restful break, see you next month.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

After reading your response to the question, I too am wondering what the next big thing will be with regard to reaching more people. I know some authors who are using the power of Kickstarter in startling ways. But I also don't know if their success is reproducible.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Like the music clips - very catchy! :) Enjoy your break.

Sherry Ellis said...

"Worlds Apart" is a very cool song. I like it!

Blue Grumpster said...

Hi Alex. I change I'd like to see happen is more people reading books!

Birgit said...

I am not much for that music that I know you love even though I can see how talented they are. As for changes..to be honest, I wish more people would buy the actual books...nothing smells better than a book. Have a great vacation, stay cool and stay safe!

kimlajevardi.com said...

Enjoy your break, Alex!

kimlajevardi.com said...

Enjoy your break, Alex!

Murees Dupè said...

Cool album art. Enjoy your much deserved break. Thank you for always being such a great buddy.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hi Alex! I'd like to see lower cost ebooks. In some cases the paperless, don't need to ship, easy enough to sell, ebook costs more than a hardcopy. I'd like to see that change in a much bigger way and more and more ebooks to be lower in price.

Christine Rains said...

I think the publishing world will surprise us all. I'd like to see more sci-fi too. And awesome that this year's theme for the IWSG anthology contest is sci-fi! :) Hope you're doing well.

Weaver said...

Enjoy your time off.

Loni Townsend said...

You always have fun music. Thanks for sharing! I hope you're having a great break!

Sandra Cox said...

The Worlds Apart Album cover is awesome.
Hope all is well in your corner of the world with you and Mrs. Captain Ninja:)
Stay safe. Be healthy.

Jemima Pett said...

Hi Alex
Still catching up here. If you're still looking for cohosts I'd be available for 2 September, or later...

Jemimadotpett at btinternet dot com

Sandra Cox said...

Oh gosh, Alex, love the sound of Worlds Apart. Reminds me a little of Fleetwood Mac and Meatloaf and yes I'm showing my age:)