Worlds

Skyla System

The Skyla System is the fictional universe in which the Gunship series, Fleet series and The Colony take place. It’s a mashup of military science fiction, western and fantasy themes. Orc wielding swords against steampunk vampires? Yea, we’ve got that. Begin the story today:

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Jacento

Fictional city where zombie cowboys like to hang out. It’s our world, two decades after the zombie outbreak. And trust me, anything goes. Begin the story today:

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Heroes

This series is set in an alternative universe which is part fantasy and part steampunk. There’s a bit of magic involved, and one of the lead characters just happens to be a detective who drinks too much. Begin the story today:

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Arcstead

Arcstead City is the fictional world of my series American Superhero. The mayor and his champions fight against Frank Nemesis, who has an army of baddies at his disposal. Shady detectives, lion men, vampires and biker gangs, just to name a few. Begin the story today:

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The Gunship Giveaway.

*UPDATE* Gunship: Reflections can now be found HERE!

 

 

So, in case you haven’t heard, Gunship: Reflections is going live this Monday(5/21). A lot of authors throw together promotions in order to spread the word during a book launch. Giving away Kindles, autographed books or even vital organs. I have pretty much seen it all. And while you may fancy my spleen, I’m pretty sure I need it. So I had to come up with something a bit different.

My promotion is pretty simple, and all you have to do is #RT the book link on Twitter when it goes live. I am going to be giving away TEN sets of autographed photos(pictured above). Each set includes a glossy photo of all three trilogy book covers and they will be autographed as follows. Gunship/Amanda Elizabeth Glimmeria/Scott McGregor and Reflections/myself. You heard right. Gunship will be autographed by THE Sarah Blaine that appears on the cover, Glimmeria will be autographed by THE Adam Michaels who appears on the cover and Reflections will be autographed by the guy who wrote the novels. Sorry, the pictured frame is not included 🙂

How do you win? The TEN people who send out the most RT’s of the new book link from Monday 5/21 to 7/1 win. It’s that simple. Please don’t spam your followers, it’s tacky. And yes, I realize that’s over a month long. Amanda lives out of state and is(out of the goodness of her heart) autographing hers by mail, so it will take until 7/1 to have them ready. I will select FIVE members of my “Inner Circle”(as a thank you to your already dedicated RT’s) and FIVE Twitter followers.

On 7/1 I will contact the 5 members of my “Inner Circle” who sent the most RT’s and the 5 Twitter followers who sent the most RT’s, get their mailing address and send them a collection. I pay shipping, and have even purchased matching Sharpies for the signatures. This way you can frame the art and hang them(that’s what I do), or sell them on EBAY and maybe fetch enough for a Big Mac combo. The possibilites are endless. So get your #RT finger ready everyone, because sometime early Monday morning I will begin posting the official link to Gunship: Reflections!

Why I will never be traditionally published.

For those of you in a hurry, the short answer is because I choose not to. For those reading who have a few moments, read on. I am about to explain in detail why nobody should be going the traditional route.

 

For those of you who don’t already know, the original Gunship manuscript actually got a bit of attention from TOR Books. Did they shower me with candy and flowers? No. Did we sing the “Ballad of Serenity” together over the phone? Afraid not. In fact, we never spoke on the phone. After reading about a third of the story they sent me a single email. Never extended an offer officially, but the fact that it had even been read by them means I beat the odds. You see, for years upon years traditional publishing companies were the gate keepers. They held all of the keys in terms of a career in writing.

It was that very email which sent me onto the path of self-publishing. You see, it was made clear to me up front that a TOR Gunship would include no Dalton James, have no Hunters and Amanda Elizabeth would never appear on the cover. She didn’t have the “right look” for science fiction. It was explained that in order to pull as many sales in as possible, I would have to write the story a bit more on the normal science fiction standard. Reach a larger group of potential readers. In other words, Tor was asking me to change Gunship so we could all make more money.

A couple of problems here. First off, I don’t write for the money. I write because the characters in my head force me to. Second, I can’t do normal. I’m not your typical gator logo wearing author who golfs on Sunday. I am a strange cat, obsessed with the idea that science fiction and steampunk can be mixed with a western theme and still kick ass. I’m also obsessed with Bille Piper, but that’s another story for another day. In other words, I will never water down my product for the dollar(formally known as the all-mighty dollar, but with the economy these days). My readers are not the generic kind, they are intelligent enough to see the humor in Gunship and cool enough to know that whiskey drinking vampires trump little green men in silver spaceships.

I don’t blame TOR for trying to make money, it would be my guess that other traditional publishing houses think the same way. And it’s also a big reason as to why they are falling like houses made of cards. No, my fan base isn’t massive, not everyone can sit down and read the Gunship series and “get it”. But those who do, have jumped in and helped me promote it with zeal. And because of them, last month Gunship: Dual Strike hit the #10 spot in science fiction(Kindle) briefly. That means a lot of TOR authors, in no uncertain terms, got their asses kicked. Some authors feel the need to be accepted, they need a traditional publishing company to pat them on the head and say “good job” while picking their pockets of hard earned royalties. I don’t. You’ll also hear a lot of “buzz” that self-published authors write poorly or aren’t that bright when it comes to marketing. In many cases this may be true.

Of course, there are the rest of us. Self-published authors with the taste of blood. Let this be a letter of notice for the traditional publishing companies across the world. We are coming.

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I was a Tardis virgin, so to speak.

Yes, I write science fiction. I also throw out a blog here and there(just in case anyone reads this drivel). My platform to bitch, point fingers and so forth. However, nothing comes to mind at the moment, so I thought I would simply explain what a crazy couple of weeks it has been.

Doctor Who. Yep, finally took the plunge and began watching this show. I stepped out of my normal comfort zone of Firefly, Battlestar Galactica and Stargate to try something new. I was a Tardis virgin, so to speak. My honest opinion so far, it rocks. The upside to this franchise is amazing. Rose is hotter than forty Hades, the Doctor(season 1) can act his ass off and the intro theme(Tardis theme I think it is) has started to haunt my every thought. Only downside to this show that I have seen so far is less than decent acting by a few secondary characters. I would accuse the guy Rose “dates” of not being able to act, but it’s more than likely only jealousy talking. Her mom on the other hand, cannot act worth a damn. Over half done with season 1, and so the journey continues.

Hope no virgins reading this were offended by it’s title. Everyone gets offended so damn easily these days. Wait, what’s this? Blog material for next time?

A Doctor Who post?

First off, let me just set the record straight. I in no way, shape or form and giving my opinion on Doctor Who(at least not yet). I have landed a lot of messages on Twitter as of late, messages shaming me for openly admitting I have never seen the show Doctor Who. As if that wasn’t shameful enough, I write science fiction for a living. I can’t be a true science fiction fan unless I’ve seen Doctor Who(or so I’m told).

So, based on all of the concerned Twitter folk out there, I took the time today to check out the official Doctor Who website (and in case you haven’t checked out mine, here you go). My first impression is that it looks damn original. I loved the feel of the site, and pride my own writing as being original. It made me want more, so I intend to begin the series this week. I’m starting with the more recent of the Doctor Who series and if that one is as good as I’ve heard, I’m sure I will then jump back in time to the original.

So what exactly is the point of this blog? Great question(you mean you’re still here?). I plan to continue posting to it as I move along in the Doctor Who series. A poor man’s journal entry system if you will. The posts may only come every few day as I am currently finishing up on the third book of my Gunship series, so please bear with me. I just feel that where there is smoke there is usually fire, and when dozens of emails hit my computer telling me this show is great…then it may in fact be.

Until then, if you are out there reading this post and are new to Doctor Who as well, let’s take the journey together. I hope to see some comments here soon. And for any Doctor Who fans out there who have finished the series, consider giving mine a try if you have the time.

Book Report

If you have recently purchased my paperback book Gunship congrats! You now own something very limited, you own a proof copy. Allow me to explain. In most cases, an author will ready his/her book for print and then order a proof copy before sending it out into the world. Not me. I sent it out into the world first, ordering a copy for myself in the process. When sales of the book reach 100, I plan to pull Gunship from print during what I am dubbing the “Re:Launch”. And yes, it has been planned for some time.

I have been working several hours a day on this closely with a graphics artist locally, getting things ready. Want proof? The Gunship: Reflections cover is floating around and making noise. The cover for Gunship: Glimmeria was changed out last night, and the original Gunship cover is undergoing improvements as well. Each book will Re:Launch as it’s own paperback soon.

I wanted my true supporters to own a proof copy of Gunship on paperback. There are still a few left before sales hit 100, but they are moving quickly. I knew from day one that true fans and supporters of the series would jump on the book as soon as it hit print, and owning something truly very limited is my way of saying THANK YOU! If you already own a copy, hang on to it and know that it is the same proof that my own family has for their collection. If not, order you copy now before they are gone. The Re:Launch books will be standard size and mass produced, the version currently offered is a bit more flashy(and includes two books).

Re:Launch plans:

Gunship(standard size paperback) will replace proof version when sales hit 100 as well as ebook format.

Gunship: Glimmeria will go live in standard paperback as well as ebook format.

Gunship: Reflections will go live in standard paperback as well as ebook format.

The Gunship Trilogy will go live in paperback(6×9) and will include several photos, glossed cover and tons of bonus material. Interviews, scenes originally edited out etc. It will also be available in ebook format, replacing Gunship: Dual Strike.

Thanks for taking a few moments to read this blog! Re:Launch is right around the corner.

We are to blame.

You want to know what’s funnier than seeing a long line at the Redbox on Friday night? A long line at the Redbox on a Friday night when it’s raining. As parents, the wife and I often have to visit our local Walgreens. Star Wars candy, action figures, stickers, you know…the basics. Not to mention what our kids might want.

Recently, I’ve started sitting in the car with the windows down while they’re inside, people watching. Some of the four letter words coming from the mouths of people standing in line, I tell you. They blame the Chinese, the Gods, H1N1 Swine Flu and even George Lucas. When the only people to blame are the ones standing in line.

Yes, we are all to blame. Record stores have all but vanished because we stopped going in favor of sitting on our asses and thieving MP3’s. I’m as guilty as anyone, in fact when Napster got shut down I hid for days. Movie stores have all but vanished because of Redbox, Netflix and other garden variety media services. Not bashing Netflix, because I have it and love it. That said, every single time I see some poor elderly lady standing behind a dozen people in the pouring rain I can’t help but laugh. If only you would have went to the local Blockbuster a bit more often, they might still be open. And your jacket! Why do these people never wear jackets in the rain?

The point of this blog is as follows. As society becomes more and more “tech savvy”, we kill off things like the above mentioned. Arcades are gone, movie stores, record shops and the future of newspapers and bookstores is not looking all that bright. While I can appreciate advancements in technology, let’s not neglect the things we may one day soon miss dearly.

Prepper Nation Podcast on: YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Experienced doomsday prepper? Brand new to the art of prepping? Either way, this is your podcast. Bad times are definitely on the horizon and your #1 priority should be protecting yourself and your loved ones. Bestselling author John M. Davis hosts the all-new Prepper Nation podcast beginning September 2020!

Free Books

If you are able to grab one of my books for free, you’re more likely to try me out. Right? It’s the reason I offer free work. I want you to try my stories out in hopes that you’ll enjoy them enough to buy more. If you don’t care for the stories, you haven’t spent a dime. It’s pretty much a win-win situation.

I try to offer the first book of each series for free. I began writing back in 2011 after purchasing several mainstream books that were written well, but simply not entertaining. My one and only goal as an author is to be entertaining. My stories are generally shorter than the norm and read quickly because the action never stops. I hope you enjoy!

(Listed books are also free on Nook, Kobo and iTunes)

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Video Games of the 1980’s.

So many of you have asked me to go ahead and blog about video games and their impact on my in the 1980’s.  So it shall be.  For the new generation, I own a PS3 and play it on a regular basis. Love it. That said, if you were born in 1990 or later the following blog may not mean much to you.  As for the rest of us, it strikes a deep sense of the way things used to be.  Here we go.

I’ll be honest, growing up we didn’t have a lot of money.  Instead of scooping up all of the great video games at the time of their release, I was stuck with wondering what a lot of them were like.  Back in the 1980’s you couldn’t Google or Youtube a game.  You went on the occasional magazine, word of mouth from friends and cover art.  I’ve said in an earlier post that Star Wars was the reason I fell in love with science fiction, and that’s the truth.  My roots in writing, however, began with video game cover art from the 1980’s.

As I said before, I really couldn’t afford to rush out and scoop up the new games when they hit the store shelves.  Instead, I would look at the various covers the entire time my Mom was doing the shopping.  Literally memorizing the cover art.  Once at home, I would sketch it back out(which by the way looked terrible) and then begin to write out a short story based on what I thought the game was about.  I guess this qualifies as a beginning in the field of writing, although I never saw myself doing it as a full-time job.

Let’s face it, Atari 2600 put video games on the map and for the most part they were terrible.  Classics aside, Atari 2600 games don’t stand the test of time very well.  That said, some of the the best cover art to date came from that time period.  Swordquest is a prime example.  The game played terrible, moving a stick man through a maze of colored rooms that looked identical.  That’s putting it lightly.  Still, the cover made you feel as though you were engulfed in a blockbuster fantasy movie.

Nintendo came next.  Doing a MUCH better job with game mechanics, a lot of the classics still compete today.  I own an original NES and play the hell out of it on a regular basis.  Contra, Zelda, Mike Tyson’s Punchout and Double Dragon to name a few.  However, the first game to stand out in terms of box art for me was Dragon WarriorI remember playing that game to the bone at my friend’s house.

Always the last kid on the block to get a game, the entire year of 1989 I begged and pleaded my case for the Sega Genesis.  It hadn’t even released yet, but the Sears Catalog had a preview of it(for a paltry $299) and I had to have it!  I’m pretty sure that based on the promised chores I gave back in 1989, I am still in debt to my mom this very day.  My brother and I were the first kids on the block to own one and it was nothing short of badass.  So many classics in Altered Beast, Revenge of Shinobi, Phantasy Star and Moonwalker to name a few.  However the one that stands out to me(cover art people!) was Golden Axe.  I love that game to this day!

The truth is these very games put me on the path to professional writing and I think it shows with the Gunship series on Amazon Kindle.  It took a long time to write it, but it was VERY important to get the cover right.  I sort of felt like I owed it to the covers which had influenced me to begin writing in the first place.  Of course, there were all kinds of things that eventually got me here.  But deep down, I will always know that without the cover art of the 1980’s I would be doing something else.

I could go on for hours about the goodness of video games in the 1980’s.  Cocktail tables with Space Invaders built in, Tron(great movie btw), the first time I used the epic fail known as R.O.B. the robot on the original Nintendo.  What about plugging in a set of headphones to the Sega Genesis, the Turbo Grafx 16 system or my all time favorite. The Sega Master System!  This blog as been a walk in time for me, and I hope everyone reading stops for a moment to remember their favorite 80’s gaming memory.  If so, comment and share it.  Thanks for reading!

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