2. December 2013 10:33
My ebooks from Apocalypse Ink Productions are on sale for $0.99. If you get the physical copies, all domestic shipping is free. It's a pretty good deal.
If you prefer Amazon:
Caller Unknown, Karen Wilson Chronicles, Book 1
Children of Anu, Karen Wilson Chronicles, Book 2
Industry Talk: : An Insider's Look at Writing RPGs and Editing Anthologies, non-fiction
2. September 2013 10:37
Dylan Birtolo is a great friend of mine and I have had the privilege of working for him several times. This time, I do have skin in the game. It is my company that will be publishing the Sheynan trilogy. The Kickstarter (5 days left) involved is already funded with extra books coming from Apocalypse Ink Productions. Dylan is here to tell me who his fictional hero is and why.
We all have heroes when we are growing up – people that we respect, admire, and want to emulate or even become. As you can imagine, I was a very imaginative child and grew up with a lot of science fiction and fantasy, for which I am immensely grateful. Heck, I am told that the first book I “read” was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The story I have been told is that I had it read to me so many times that I memorized the words and “read along.” Needless to say, there were a lot of opportunities to find heroes.
The one that rose to the top was Buckaroo Banzai from the cult hit The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Why was he my hero above and beyond all of the other stories I read or watched? I had Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia and more to pull from – a very competitive lineup. Quite simply, he did everything. He was a scientist, a race car driver, a neurosurgeon, a martial artist, a rock star, and had his own comic book. He was everything that you could possibly be. I guess when I was a child and my parents said I could be anything I wanted, I took that to mean that I could be EVERYTHING.
With writing, I get a taste of that. For me, writing is a form of wish fulfillment. I get to create worlds and characters that can do anything, where anything is possible. I have the opportunity to write the stories that I want to read. There are characters and worlds in my head that I want to explore, and “what if” questions I want to see the answers to. Writing is a way to do that. Not only that, but it also lets me share those ideas with others.
This is especially true because I write a lot of fantasy. The idea for my first novel, The Shadow Chaser, was born from a very simple wish. I wished that I had the ability to change into an animal. That got my brain going. What if I could? What if I wasn’t the only one? How would it work? What if there were hundreds of people living in this world who can do it, and we just don’t know about them? That was the seed that grew into this novel.
While I may not be able to do everything (although I am making as good a stab at it as I can), being a writer lets me emulate Buckaroo in my own way.
Right now I am in the tail end of a Kickstarter campaign to rewrite my first two novels and write the third in the series. I’m excited about this. It is an opportunity to revisit one of the first worlds I created with all of the writing skills and knowledge I have now. I have gotten to the point where, while I am proud of what I have done with my first novels, I cringe a little to read them because I know I am a much better writer now. With this project, I will be able to go back and give this world another turn so I can share it again with people.
Because let’s face it – a world where some people can take on the shape of an animal sounds like a lot of fun.
27. August 2013 16:56
Charity: CALLER UNKNOWN by ME is included in the BUNDLE OF HOLDING +5 to benefit Defenders of Wildlife and the Wikimedia Foundation. Only three days left to get an awesome bundle of ebooks and help out two charities.
Announcement: "Dreams of a Thousand Young" will be in Jazz Age Cthulhu. Yes I know I'm late on posting this.
Funded: The Sheynan trilogy by Dylan Birtolo, to be published by Apocalypse Ink Productions, has been funded. New stretch goals have been plotted out.
Kickstater: Broken Eye Books has a kickstarter that now includes a critique from me: $75 level - BROZEK CRITIQUE: Everything included in the WEIRD LOVE reward, plus you receive a critique from Jennifer Brozek of either a story up to 5,000 words of text or a novel synopsis and query. 1 of 2 is already taken.
30. July 2013 13:44
First up, I was interviewed on Alethea Kontis’ website for her MoAA Interviews series. It was a fun little interview.
The Cascade Writers Workshop was a really good small writers conference. About 100 people in total—I believe. Admittedly, I was a second stringer with all my lectures competing with the likes of Cameron McClure and Nisi Shawl. Still, I really enjoyed the lectures and panels I did. This conference was a relax-a-con for me over all. It was, basically, a writers workshop for introverts, by introverts. Low impact and everyone understanding when someone ran back to their room to “work.”
The highlight of the conference for me, as always, is the people I meet—both new and familiar. On the new side of things, I got to meet Tor Books Senior Editor Claire Eddy, Donald Maass Agent Cameron McClure, and Evil Girlfriend Media President Katie Cord. All three women are delightful and great to talk to. I think I have found an evil twin in Katie. There are already plans in motion. Keep your ears open about a forthcoming project or two between me and Evil Girlfriend Media.
The other hat I wore was my small press publisher hat as JayWake was hosted in the same hotel Saturday night. Jay Lake and Apocalypse Ink Productions decided that JayWake would be the perfect place for a book release party and a JayWake limited edition of his Process of Writing book. We had 50 hardback copies and they all sold out. We have 1 held back for a official release date contest along with a JayWake pin and a smooshed penny.
I must admit, it was a hard, weird, good evening for me. I was so happy to see Jay so tickled pink. I was happy so many people loved the book. But, at the same time, the reason for the party was hard. Really hard. I’ll admit to hiding behind my wall of table and books and just listening to the laughter of the roast… and not much more.
19. April 2013 11:11
Mena is home now, in her blue cape. She keeps trying to groom but fails. This is good and bad. Right now, all of the cats are randomly hissy at each other. First it was Mena. It’s the drugs. Now, it’s mostly Isis and she’s hissing at everyone. I’m pretty sure it is a dominance thing. Plus, Mena’s cape makes her look bigger than she is.
Thank you everyone who helped raise money for Mena’s surgery. You all helped raise about $400. Between that, my extra hours, and my patron, we’re squeaking through. We’re still hoping to sell the bar to cover the rest and the follow up visit.
We’ve decided to keep the Apocalypse Ink Productions book sale going through the middle of May. Partly as a “thank you!” and partly in prep of the release of CHILDREN OF ANU. I’m really-really glad she’s home.
17. April 2013 14:17
Just got back from visiting Mena at the vet. They need to keep her another night to make sure her pain is managed and to make sure the surgery wound is healing as expected. Mena is on serious drugs and is feeling no pain. At the same time, she really, really wanted to be with me but also wanted her box (aka the litter box—I can see why they leave so little litter in there and clean it immediately).
She knew me as soon as I came in and was both very meowy and purring. She couldn’t get comfortable but was happy to see me. She insisted on having me hold her from time to time and kept trying to rub her wound on me. This freaked me out. I mean, I’ve been dealing with an open leg wound since February and the idea of rubbing is just… not gonna think about it.
Mena will be on a pain patch for two weeks. I’m glad. That surgery wound looks awful to me. It’s open down the side of her face. The skin is suppose to close and the hair is suppose to camouflage the surgical scar. But, everything is reacting as expected.
How you can help.
16. April 2013 10:07
This morning I dropped Mena off for the first of two surgeries she needs to fix her ears. She has congenital stenosis of the ear canal in both ears and I wrote about it here. I’m pretty freaked out about it all. My kitty’s in surgery. My pet insurance won’t cover it. The cost of this first surgery with its follow-up appointments is estimated at $2000. It could be more. It could be a little less.
As soon as I found out about this, I went into crisis problem solving mode. I wrangled more hours at my pays-the-bills job and we decided to sell our marble top bar (Seattle area). Then, unexpectedly, a patron stepped forward to help us out financially. I’m so grateful. Things aren’t nearly as dire as they first were and I can focus on Mena.
The Husband and I decided that we were going to do an Apocalypse Ink Productions book sale to supplement our funds, to say thank you to our fans, and to put CALLER UNKNOWN, the first book in the Karen Wilson Chronicles on sale since CHILDREN OF ANU, book two in the series comes out in about two months.
Apocalypse Ink Productions is having a 30% off sale for everything in the AIP store. Just use the code MENA. We also added a choose-your-own-level donation product if you just want to help out. We’ll keep the Mena page updated with pictures and progress.
If nothing else, good vibes and prayers for my broken kitty are appreciated.
19. December 2012 11:34
What is the working title of your book?
The Children of Anu, Book Two of the Karen Wilson Chronicles.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This being the second book in the series, I wanted to write about the concept of a lesser evil keeping a greater evil at bay. When that lesser evil was defeated in the first book, what greater evil rises to take its place?
What genre does your book fall under?
Dark Urban Fantasy.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
There are only a few actors I had in mind for the characters. Most of the visages of my characters are based loosely on people I know.
Karen – 20’s brunette Jennifer Lawrence
Aaron – 20’s Michael Shanks (SG-1)
David – 20’s Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miam)
John Corso – 30’s Johnny Depp
Luke Coleman – 30’s Gary Cole
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When one evil falls, another one takes its place and threatens the city of Kendrick itself and all of the supernaturals within it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published. It will be published by Apocalypse Ink Productions (my company), edited by John Helfers, with cover art by Amber Clark of Stopped Motion Photography who did the cover of Caller Unknown.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
As it was originally a serial short story collection told over twelve months… it took about ten months to write the thirteen stories in this book.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d like to say Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series… but there’s not enough fairies for that. Or the Kat Richardson’s Greywalker series… but it’s not detective enough for that. I think it is closer to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files with all of the different creatures, supernaturals, and secret societies… but there are no vampires in the Karen Wilson Chronicles at all. I mean… none.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The story inspired me. The idea of a continuing storyline told in a collection, a mosaic novel. This being the second in the series, its theme is “Consequences.” The first book’s theme was “Revelations.” I wanted to tell the story of what happens after the heroes win. All actions and revelations have consequences. I wanted to see where that would go now that places were set, secrets revealed, and deeds done.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Children of Anu is a book about the bad guys doing what they planned to do and the heroes trying to figure the plan out. The heroes don’t know what’s going on. Not every ally is good. Not every villain is evil.
Also, Kendrick is rich in conspiracy, hidden worlds, and supernatural creatures. This is the kind of story that could be going on around as you walk out your front door. The Karen Wilson Chronicles is my love letter to the supernatural Pacific Northwest.
Caller Unknown is available now.
The Children of Anu will be out in August 2013.
I'm tagging: Ivan Ewert, Erik Scott de Bie, A.E. Marling, Lily Cohen-Moore, and J.L. Doty
18. December 2012 14:24
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I will not be at Norwescon 2013. The good news is that’s because I will be one of the Guests of Honor at GothCon in Gothenberg, Sweden. I will miss going to Norwescon but… Sweden!
More good news is that I will be one of the guest speakers at the Cascade Writers Retreat in Portland, OR in July 2013. I will be on four panels. One group and three solos. There are spots open. This is going to be a great workshop. Lots of industry talent there.
Caller Unknown is out and getting good reviews. I just received a very nice blurb, "Brozek gives us the world the way it should be - full of hidden pockets of magic, ancient evils, and supernatural creatures - along with a heroine fully capable of dealing with all of the above." - Cat Rambo, author of Near + Far and A Seed Upon the Wind
Ya’ll know that me and the Husband own Apocalypse Ink Productions. We now have an announcement-only Googlegroup. Sign up and hear what all we are doing.
Finally, I was interviewed by The Geek Girl Project. I do a lot of talking about The Lady of Seeking in the City of Waiting.
10. December 2012 13:30
For my birthday, the Husband took me to the King Tut exhibit in Seattle. We took the audio tour which was well worth it. Having seen them with my own eyes, I now understand why men would kill for Egyptian artifacts. They are really amazing to see. Beautiful craftsmanship and gorgeous to gaze at. The history, the age, of the artifacts can be felt. Ryan told me that walking through the exhibit would give me story ideas. And he was right. If you get a chance to see the exhibit, take it.
After the exhibit, the iMax movie, and dinner, I came home to a whole passel of good stuff. First was a confirmed pro story sale. Then was an interview request. Next came an email from the anthology committee verifying one of my anthologies was eligible for a Stoker—which means nothing more than someone nommed it and they have to make sure everything is all good—but I’m chuffed someone thought so well of Dangers Untold to nom it. Then another bit of awesome news dropped that isn’t finalized yet but soon. And finally, I had a about a bajillion Facebook birthday wishes to read. That was a really nice surprise.
Lastly, a reminder that Mastication is my birthday gift to you. Get it free on Apocalypse Ink Productions webstore.