from_ashes: (Default)

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

I just thought I would write a little update as there’s a few things going on in my life and with the writing. I have been busy working diligently on The Book of Revelations: Prophecy, but as several people are asking me about a sequel to Zeus, Inc., I’m considering taking a break in November (if BOR isn’t complete) and spending time on the sequel. I already have ideas for it and Alex Grosjean is never far from my thoughts. Why November? Why, NaNoWriMo, of course! I wrote the first book during NaNoWriMo, so it only seems appropriate the sequel comes out of that, too.

Also, if you’re bored this Labor Day weekend (unfortunately, I’ll be working), go stop by Dragon*Cant. It’s an online convention set up for those who could not attend Dragon Con. Zeus, Inc. is actually part of the Merchants Circle there!

I have been writing a lot for RantGaming.com, as well. So here’s a full list of what I’ve covered so far.

I also did an interview with Jason Chen from StoryBundle for DVICE.

There’s a new review or two posted about Zeus, Inc. on Amazon. I have a few blog reviews coming up soon, too – I’ll post them when they’re live. Being a self-published author is certainly not easy (as I’m discovering), but it’s very rewarding.

Oh, and I’m going to Paris in a week. I’ll probably be posting here every day while I’m there, with photos of food I’m eating (so you can all be extremely jealous), as well as little things that come along that interest me. This will be my third trip there and my fourth trip to Europe, but I’m still as excited as the first time I flew overseas. I will also being taking a great amount of notes as I’m pretty sure part of the Zeus, Inc. sequel will take place there. Like I said, I have ideas!

I hope you all have a great Labor Day weekend. I hope to squeeze in some time to play The Secret World myself. Because all work and no play makes Robin go crazy.

LABOR DAY SALE! Zeus, Inc. available for just $0.99 on Smashwords. Use coupon code FY62Q

from_ashes: (We're all stories in the end)

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

I am proud to announce that Zeus, Inc. is now available for download in the iBookstore. So those of you with an iPad, iPhone or other i devices can now download directly through Apple via the link below:

Zeus, Inc. for iBooks

from_ashes: (Default)

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

My latest feature article for DVICE.com is now up. I would like to point out that I did not even suggest the use of David Tennant photos in the article, but my editor obviously knows me very well.

10 most promising up and coming inventions inspired by sci-fi

from_ashes: (Default)

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

This post was originally sparked by a post on Google+. The original post really didn’t delve into the e-book vs. physical book debate, but many of the responses were negative towards e-books. I’ll be the first to defend e-books because I strongly believe in technology.

I’m an avid reader. And living nowhere near a decent library or a book store (yes, such places exist), it’s very difficult for me to keep reading without going broke and without having books stacked to the ceiling in my house. I already have boxes and boxes of books that never got unpacked from when I last moved three years ago, sitting around and collecting dust. I don’t read books so much as consume them. I have an addiction to being carried away to other galaxies and worlds and meeting new characters. And these boxes stand as testament to that.

I bought a Nook when it first became available. Once I started reading e-books, there was no going back. I re-read many classics, which were available free, as well as other lesser known authors who were selling e-books at lower prices than those available at larger publishing houses. I discovered new works, writers like Joe Lallo and Emlyn Chand, who inspired me while writing my own book.

And so, when it came time to decide to handle my own first book, I knew I would self-publish and go the e-book route.

For those of you who argue that nothing can compare to the smell of a book or the feel of it in your hands, I cannot help but to think of those old, moldy and stinky books that I currently have sitting in my attic. But now I can pick up my tablet (which still does smell shiny and new), and how I can have a new story ready in the blink of an eye! Isn’t that wonderful? It opens up a whole new world of possibilities!

And how many authors have I discovered because of e-books? There are so many of those who did not go the traditional publishing route because they did not want to give in to those large corporations who have a reputation of ripping off authors (seriously, it’s as bad as the music industry, if not worse). This year, most of the books I have read have been e-books by self-published authors and every single one of them has been better than many of the stories that do get published. Readers who refuse to read any e-books (and there are people still adamantly against them) are missing out on some wonderful writing.

There is also the publishing industry, which is as bad as the music industry in many respects. A lot of what now gets published is “pop” literature, things that may not be written well, but that contain themes that are currently popular. Meanwhile, like indie music, other authors are self-publishing via e-books and should be supported in their endeavors. Why let the big corporations determine what we read?

I never did understand resistance to technology. I suppose it’s the same as people not liking change. I’ve always welcomed it, especially if it means that someone like me can publish their first book without a lot of hassle. Technology has been good to me. Without it, my first book never would have been written. Without the support of online communities like NaNoWriMo, as well as other writers on social media, it would have never even occurred to me to finally sit down and write an actual novel. And e-books has given me another dream come true: having a book published and available for sale.

So please, if you swear off e-books on principle alone, I ask you to reconsider. The year is 2012 and that change is coming, whether we like it or not. If only for me, I ask that you check out some e-books (the above two authors I mentioned are great to start out with) and discover new worlds you never could have imagined otherwise.

from_ashes: (Default)

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

The outline for The Book of Revelations series is already underway. I was awake all last night because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This will be my Game of Thrones (and yes, there will be dying characters) because it does look like it will span at least 2-3 books and have a lot more characters than my first novel and a lot of things like war and metal dragons and evil Presidents and 18-year-old girls with robotic cats.

At least that’s what I have so far. There will be much more.

I love it when a story grips you so hard that you can’t let it go. It’s even better when that story happens to be your own. I blame Ridley Scott. After having watched Prometheus, I was inspired. And last night, I watched Blade Runner (the director’s cut) and was inspired x 100. And now these characters are yelling inside of my head for me to write their things down NOW before I forget.

So in what was supposed to be a day off from the computer has been a day of scribbling on little notepads and then setting out notes in Google Drive. And then those notes became an outline and I saw it and I was pleased.

I also think Matt Smith’s Doctor has inspired a character in the second book in the series, too. I can envision him perfectly, bow tie and all.

from_ashes: (We're all stories in the end)
The outline for The Book of Revelations series is already underway. I was awake all last night because I couldn't stop thinking about it. This will be my Game of Thrones (and yes, there will be dying characters) because it does look like it will span at least 2-3 books and have a lot more characters than my first novel and a lot of things like war and metal dragons and evil Presidents and 18-year-old girls with robotic cats.

At least that's what I have so far. There will be much more.

I love it when a story grips you so hard that you can't let it go. It's even better when that story happens to be your own. I blame Ridley Scott. After having watched Prometheus, I was inspired. And last night, I watched Blade Runner (the director's cut) and was inspired x 100. And now these characters are yelling inside of my head for me to write their things down NOW before I forget.

So in what was supposed to be a day off from the computer has been a day of scribbling on little notepads and then setting out notes in Google Drive. And then those notes became an outline and I saw it and I was pleased.

I also think Matt Smith's Doctor has inspired a character in the second book in the series, too. I can envision him perfectly, bow tie and all. 
from_ashes: (Seriously?)
So now while my friends and advance review copy folks are reading my novel, I merely wait. My cousin has been very good about getting me edits as soon as he finds them and it's mostly (fortunately) little stuff: typos, grammar issues and the occasional mis-placed punctuation. So far, so good, right? 

Meanwhile, I saw Prometheus (absolutely brilliant movie) and something about that film sparked my creative juices. I've been toying with an idea for a few months now - a post-apocalyptic (I blame Fallout 3) science fiction novel. And now, I seem to have a general idea of how to start it. I'd already done some small character biographies, but now I'm working on things for the story itself. This involves researching things like synthetic biology and bio-robotics, as well as various religions' theories on the apocalypse. The novel is temporarily titled The Book of Revelations and if inspiration continues to hit, I'm thinking it could be a trilogy of sorts. Something epic. However, that's putting the cart before the horse, as I only have two chapters outlined so far.

There's also the matter of the sequel to Zeus, Inc., but I think I need a break from Alex and her world for awhile. But I want to write, my fingers are itching. I had planned to use NaNoWriMo again for my next novel, but I'm not sure I can wait until November. I suppose we shall see. Writing a book is hard work, especially when I'm also still carrying a day job, which includes writing for DVICE and developing websites (the latter of which I would like to no longer do, if given a choice). 

I also have my vacation to Paris coming up in less than three months now. I was so inspired there last year, that I sort of want to hold off and wait and see what happens this year. 

I'm also currently in rehearsals for "And Then There Was Nun," a hilarious play I'm doing with the Bootheel Community Theatre Group. Two weeks until our first curtain! Eep! 

Life is, ultimately, very busy, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Meanwhile, one of my cats, Karma, didn't want me to watch a scary movie last night:



Actually, I lied. I was watching Community. I have no idea what this was about, but she kept trying to cover my eyes.

Zeus, Inc.

May. 28th, 2012 11:48 am
from_ashes: (Written in the stars)
I decided to spend my Memorial Day finishing up the editing on my novel. Actually, I started with the plan to just edit a few chapters, but I went ahead and did the last four. And with that, it's done. Completely done. The story is done, the words are done, the characters are done and I can now figure out what comes next.

I'm not sure if I want to put it out there for some feedback or not, honestly. I don't want to change a thing. But am I ready to put it up on Smashwords for sale? I don't want to prolong this thing anymore. It just feels like it's complete to me now - I can't describe the feeling.

It nearly took me a year to finish the thing, but I have such an amazing sense of achievement coursing through me now. Even if it sucks, I can now add "wrote a novel" among the things I've accomplished. And being as it's something I never even had on my bucket list or on my radar, as it's something I could never imagining even doing, I can't explain the source of pride I feel right now.

My next course of action is to read the Smashwords style guide and work on formatting what I have. I also need to come up with a cover. I have a few ideas, so it's just a matter of opening Photoshop and running with it, I suppose.

But it all comes back down to this: I DID IT! And I want to thank [livejournal.com profile] nuchtchas for telling me about NaNoWriMo and convincing me to do it last year. 
from_ashes: (Seriously?)

Last night, I dreamed I was eating macarons, in all sizes, flavors and colors. I must have eaten thousands in my dreams. I guess I have a craving for them. If only they weren't so difficult to make! But they do give me something to look forward to in Paris (among other things). September will be here, after all, before I know it.

I also had a dream I was making out with David Tennant. Talk about random. I've managed to live a Tennant-free life for the past month (maybe), and yet, I still have those dreams occasionally. Needless to say, I'm not complaining.

Anyway, today was a squeal-worthy day. Yesterday, I posted on my blog about Brent Spiner's Fresh Hell web series. I feature a new web series every Wednesday and this is one that I've been watching regularly and love (it's so funny!). I sent him a tweet about it and in his lovely person fashion, he sent me a Twitter Direct Message saying Thank You. Isn't that sweet? I'm still reeling from the little Happy Birthday I got last year, but WHAT A GREAT FREAKIN' GUY!

I have to say that the sci-fi celebrities sure seem a lot nicer than other actors/actresses. Most seem to be a great group of people. 

Also, the only Star Trek con I have ever been to and probably will ever go to was supposed to have Brent as a guest. But he didn't show (prior commitments or something - I think he was on Broadway at the time). I'm going to say the tweets have more than made up for that.

I am officially registered for next year's Gallifrey One, as well. I was debating not going, but I knew I couldn't bear the thought of missing it. I have way too much fun. I am dreading the crowd that next year might bring, but I know it will still be fun. And I need a new costume, so I'm trying to figure out what I want to play. I'm thinking if I can find the write striped shirt, with my hair the way it is, I could easily cosplay Susan from the very first season. I'd only have to worry about everything being black & white (since those were the days of B&W t.v.), right? But we shall see. It depends on what mood (and what budget) strikes me.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. I'm getting used to working Monday - Friday now and so have been taking weekends off. So the Memorial Day three-day weekend is going to be something I have not done, probably since I last worked in an office. I have NO plans, except to stay indoors out of the heat, but I think I'll go see Men in Black 3 and watch some movies that have been sitting in my Netflix Q. And I do want to finish editing my novel. I got behind because I had to spend some of my time I set back for writing on two DVICE articles, but now I'm back to it. I'm so close to the end. And still terrified. But some of you, who have volunteered, will have a copy in hand, potentially soon. 

from_ashes: (We're all stories in the end)
I know some of your are Mommies (whether of children or children of the furry variety) so I wish you all a belated Happy Mother's Day. I ended up spending the entire day with Mom and it turned out to be a good day. She was having one of her good days and we laughed and joked and I almost got to forget that she's not like that every single day. 

I sent her some cookies from Mrs. Fields. Mom always complained that flowers die and as she has a cookie fixation, I though that would be perfect. My brother also got her stuff for her sweet tooth and she is set in snacks for awhile. Not if I can just not dig my own hands into them! Eep! I FINALLY got myself back into not eating all that crap and now I'm surrounded by it. I blame the Reese's. I can hear them calling out to me in my sleep.

Also, my cats gave me fleas for Mother's Day. Technically, I doubt they brought them in the house, as they never go outside, but we have a mild case of fleas. Which if left untreated, will become a major breeding ground for fleas. I ordered the first tubes of Advantage for the summer (I usually treat them each summer anyway) and got some Fleabusters powder, which is safe to use around me and the cats' sensitive bodies, but works to kill those little suckers quickly. We had a major infestation in Georgia and a tub of that took care of it. Now I just have to wait until Wednesday when it comes in. Until then, I feel all creepy and crawly all the time! EEP! I also seem to be the only creature in the house that has been bitten by the little assholes. So... apparently, I taste good to fleas.

My most recent article for DVICE.com is currently the most-commented article on the site! YAY! I take great pride in that. I enjoyed writing it and I have already finished the follow-up article the editor wanted me to do.

Finally, being a blogger/writer is AWESOME. I have a really good Klout score, so that means I'm always getting free stuff. Which is awesome. But I'm also getting random free stuff thanks to being a part of the AllThingsFangirl.com Academy (I joined a few years ago before it was exclusive). So last week, I got an awesome The Avengers tee shirt that says "Fan Girl" in The Avengers font. And today, I got a book ("Delirium" by Lauren Oliver - looks pretty darn good). My Mom has started teasing me about all the stuff I get. I do try to take photos of everything and give the companies involved a few mentions.

I'm still pounding away at the novel. I'm trying to get the editing done, but on the days I'm working on DVICE pieces, it gets ignored. NBC pays me too well for me to not make those articles a priority. My goal is to be self-published by August and I think that's more than doable.
from_ashes: (AAAH!)
So I woke up a little extra early this morning as Christina, Amanda and I have a meeting with someone from the Missouri Arts Council around lunch. I was determined to put in four hours of work today, but I had everything on my list crossed out in 2-1/2 hours. I did spend some time looking at some ideas and mocking up a sketch for another site design I was doing, so it's been a pretty darn good day.

About 15 minutes ago, I got an invite email from the SyFy PR team asking me if I would like to attend a conference call Q&A to promote the SyFy movie "Treasure Island." I was like "meh" and then I read the people to be interviewed. One name, in particular, stood out. 

EDDIE IZZARD.

No shit. So of course, I sent an email back to let them know I was IN. Obviously. And I'll try not to squeal like a little girl when my time comes to ask him a question or two. Of course, now I need to research this remake of Treasure Island and see what it's all about. Apparently, Elijah Wood and Donald Sutherland are also in it. But OMG, I'm such a huge fan of Eddie Izzard. I think I've see all of his stand-up specials and I've watched most of the shows and movies he's been in. I adore him. This is going to be awesome and my biggest interview piece to date.

And all for my little bitty blog that I started so that I could express my fandom and geekery to others.

I'm obviously stupidly excited. I've just been tormenting the cats with "cake or death?" And I did a crazy little dance with made my Mom giggle.
from_ashes: (Written in the stars)
Time flies, huh? I can't believe it will soon be the end of March. How did that happen? Time is flying even though I haven't been having THAT much fun! LOL

I had a sort of lazy unmotivated week last week. I just didn't want to do any work and now I get to pay for it. Because I need money for a potential upcoming girl's weekend next month. I didn't do much of anything but play Mass Effect 3. So it was sort of like a mini-vacation with a little work thrown in here and there.

This week, though? I've got to get back into it. I've got to find my schedule again and stick to it. And I have got to work harder on getting this novel done. I'm super close to having the second draft finished. And then I'm going to read the entire thing aloud and make the smaller final tweaks before handing it over to some people to read.

It's time to finish this thing because last night, I took a ton of notes for a new story I'm working on. The Hunger Games (I saw the movie yesterday - it was pretty darn awesome) has inspired me to write a young adult novel during NaNoWriMo this year. But I want to go ahead and start figuring out the characters now and getting some plot ideas organized so I have some structure when I start. Yes, I know November is a long ways off, but if the rest of the year is any indication, it will be here before I know it. I've had this post-apocalyptic world running around in my head for four months now and last night, I figured out why it's post-apocalyptic and how the characters (a girl and her father) fit into that world. And I couldn't sleep until I had taken notes on it for at least an hour before bedtime. I just got struck by inspiration and the story began to show itself inside of my head.

It's starting to haunt me now, that story. So I need to finish up the one I've been working on so this one can consume my time.
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