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A Sneak Peek into The Carnivorous Forest

 Been so busy on my work in progress, I haven't had time to make new blog posts, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. Here's a sneak peek into The Carnivorous Forest - the upcoming book two of the Avenging Glory diptych that begins with The Human Template. Towards the end of book one, Glory was rescued by a group of travelling musicians and given shelter in the home of Kemp, the tuba player, and his adolescent daughter, Kasha. As book two begins, the friendship between the girls has continued to grow deeper. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Three of The Carnivorous Forest : As Glory and Kasha transformed from children into young women and heard stories of the technological miracles being reintroduced daily in the great city on the far side of the Carnivorous Forest, Glory came to trust that her friend would instantly be able to comprehend every half-considered lyric coming out of her mouth, or at least pick up on the tone, and then elaborate so eloquently that

Dreams of Flying Aren’t What They Used to Be

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I dreamt last night that I could fly. When I was young, I used to regularly have flying dreams and they always made me feel good – even excited – about the coming day. I moaned for years never having these dreams any more. Their return should be a cause for celebration! You’d think. This dream was, however, a far cry from those youthful dreams. Whereas I could once soar over the trees and telephone lines and cross a city or country in the blink of an eye, my dream last night was more of a ‘levitation dream.’ And I really don’t need anyone to interpret it for me, because this dream wore it’s meaning on its sleeve. Photo from dreamdictionary.org My wife, Laura and I were guests in a huge mansion. Standing at the sink in the large and very empty communal washroom in some distant wing of the building, I was thinking the floor wasn't as cold as it had been a few moments earlier and I looked down to see that I was no longer standing on it. I watched breathless in the mirror as I dr

Nina Munteanu Guest Post: The Writer-Editor Relationship

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A few months ago I announced my intention to invite some guest bloggers with insights that could help people make their way through the self-publishing journey.  Nina Munteanu's ninth novel (and fourteenth book), A Diary in the Age of Water was published this past year by Inanna Publications to very good reviews.   Fourteen books! Here's someone who knows a bit about finding the right editor - Nina Munteanu. Part One: Five Things Writers Should Look for in an Editor   As indie publishing soars into new heights and successes, writers are looking more and more to freelance editors to help them create works of merit that will stand out in the market. Whether this process is seamless and productive or fraught with difficulties relies on the relationship established between editor and writer—at the outset and throughout. The writer-editor relationship—like any relationship—works best when communication between parties is transparent and clear. What ultimately drives misunders

A Novel is a Shapeshifter

  A novel is a shapeshifter – it can be anything. A ravening monster or a demure and innocent child. A brassy concubine or a devoted spouse. A bomb A hedgerow that perfectly conceals the Body of the dead school-teacher, An alien A lover A novel is a shapeshifter. Start shaping. 10 am Feb 23, 2021

Learning to Write by Sculpting - Getting Down To Details

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  Life After ADD The problem with proverbs is that they become trite through sheer repetition.  I probably heard the phrase “God is in the details” a dozen times before I really thought about what it means. “The Devil is in the details” is more cautionary and probably does a better job of getting to the point, ie: the details can fuck you up. Lack of attention to detail can condemn your work – your entire oeuvre – to the Devil’s eternal slushpile. I was born before Attention Deficit Disorder was coined, but over the years, I have figured out why the word ‘disorder’ is contained in the description. I used to feel proud that I couldn’t read any given book or see a movie more than once. I convinced myself that my low boredom threshold was a good thing. It kept me looking for the new and unique. My “Imagination above all things” philosophy is almost certainly what drove me to read and write science fiction. The prevalence of ghosts and vampires and werewolves in horror is almost certainl

The Carnivorous Forest is Coming for You

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After putting The Human Template to bed in early summer 2020, I thought that finishing book two of the Avenging Glory diptych would be a simply and straightforward task. After all, the book was pretty much complete when I decided to break off the first 45 pages and expand it into a full length free-standing novel. I had plenty of good reasons for that decision – given how hard it is for a previously unpublished novelist to sell a book in excess of a quarter of a million words, and given that my main protagonist didn’t make an appearance until almost halfway in. I needed a character strong enough to carry the book up to that point.  I had deliberately structured the story that way as opposed to doing it through oversight or lack of control.    My objective at the time was to allow Raine to fully mature/develop into the force he would become  after  he became part of the BioGrid. As he became more a part of the computer I wanted the BioGrid to become more human – thus creating a nicely

Not all artifacts were created equal.

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 Not all artifacts were created equal. Some have artistic, anthropological or historical significance, but often our most valued artifacts are items that are only important to you. Souvenirs, keepsakes and memorabilia. Souvenirs are markers. There are mass produced souvenirs like tiny pewter Eiffel Towers or spoons with country flags and tiny illustrations and place names on them. There are bigger souvenirs like T-shirts and hats, velvet paintings and hand carved masks and figurines. The most common, personal and valuable souvenirs are often photographs that you took yourself – they’re generally not very original – with loved ones standing in front of historical monuments or graduating, getting married, holding a new baby; or simply doing something that is typical and reminiscent of them. People create scrapbooks, photo albums, and Facebook profiles full of these. Most of our vacation photos are not valuable to anyone but us. If you are a professional or dedicated amateur photo