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12 April 2016 @ 03:18 pm

Today is Launch Day for ATLANTIS FALLEN, first of the Heartstrike Chronicles! This is a book of my heart, with a long and sordid history; it’s undergone major revisions, and I still basically love it and hope you all will too. :)

Without further ado:
ATLANTIS FALLEN for Kindle!
ATLANTIS FALLEN for Kobo!
ATLANTIS FALLEN for iBooks!
ATLANTIS FALLEN for Nook!

ATLANTIS FALLEN can also be found on Scribd and Inktera if you don’t buy from the above links. It might be available other places, too, I don’t know. :)

The Nitty Gritty:
At the moment, ATLANTIS FALLEN is an e-release only.

Like everything I’m doing right now, it’s self-published. That means in order to have print copies I have to pay a book designer and cover artist for the interior layout and the cover. Right now I don’t have the money to do that, but believe you me, I want a copy of this book on my shelf as much as you do.

People have already suggested Kickstarter for a print edition, and that’s a brilliant idea that I will almost certainly be pursuing. The thing is, I’ve got the unfulfilled REDEEMER Kickstarter to finish, and I’m not comfortable running a second Kickstarter until I’ve got that done. So for now, ATLANTIS FALLEN is e-only, and I apologize to those of you I’m taunting with a new book that won’t be available in print for a while.

Oh, and for the audiophiles among us, I’m pursuing an audio book! I don’t know how it’ll pan out, but I’m workin’ on it!

Atlantis Fallen: Book 1 of the Heartstrike Chronicles
Atlantis Fallen: Book 1 of the Heartstrike Chronicles
</p>

A city hidden for five thousand years.

A man so ancient his early history is lost to time.

A woman who has nothing to lose…

Lorhen, oldest and most ruthless of the immortal Timeless, put aside the sword long ago for a quiet life. But peace doesn’t last forever, especially for a man whose age can be counted in epochs, and the mortal life he’s built unravels as the Keepers, a society of historians who record Timeless lives, learn that he’s been hiding in their midst.

Then an archaeologist’s claims of finding Atlantis brings back millennia-old memories, and Lorhen is drawn unwillingly into intrigues aeons in the making—and deadly enough that he may yet face the heartstrike blow that will unleash his power on the world….

Atlantis Fallen
The Heartstrike Chronicles: Book One
Out Now!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
11 April 2016 @ 03:23 pm

Picoreview: The Huntsman: Winter’s War: even worse than I expected. I said that to Mom, that it was worse than I expected and I went in expecting to be disappointed, and she said, “I’m glad there was SOME surprise!” *laughs out loud*

You can tell it’s bad before the credits even really get rolling, because Liam Neeson starts doing a completely unnecessary voiceover, and he keeps at it periodically throughout the film.

I believe that if they had given Charlize Theron a piece of furniture she would have literally chewed it; I commend her for her absolute commitment to the role. If she and Eddie Redmayne’s character from Jupiter Ascending got together it would be epic. There were a couple of guys sitting next to me. One of them kept pulling his hoodie over his head and flailing during the most impressive bits of the scenery-chewing.

There are some good things. It’s very pretty. The costuming is rather wonderful. The fight scenes are pretty good. As far as I can tell (having only seen the first film once, several years ago), they largely avoided the massive worldbuilding mistakes that plagued the first one. They are therefore to be admired for making a whole new host of shiny fresh mistakes, the first of which (I mean, besides Liam’s voiceover) is overwhelming and uncircumventable given what they did, so I will now make a spoiler cut behind which It Will Be Spoiled.

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
08 April 2016 @ 07:57 pm

I actually brought my camera out to the zoo the other day. It’d been almost a year since I’d used it. *wince* Anyway, among other things, I kind of randomly decided to set it to RAW format, because, well, because.

I will never go back to shooting just JPG, OMG.

I mean, I knew RAW was supposed to be swell, but I did kind of assume it would be difficult to learn to manipulate the format. It’s not; there’s a Photoshop thing that opens up to deal with it automatically, and there’s almost certainly more that I can do if I put some effort into learning. But OMG, the differences in the SHADOWS, the depths of black! Those alone are worth it! So exciting!

Anyway, on top of that, the sloths were out eating corn and I got the best picture of one I’ve ever gotten. :)

kitsnaps_twotoedsloth

I need to get my eyes checked, though. Or get different contacts, because I was not having an easy time focusing the big lens, which is the one lens I have that isn’t autofocus and which I have a hard time with anyway because it’s just a little too heavy for me to manage well and at least half my pictures with it are out of focus. But this was worse than usual, and anything in focus was more luck and the assumption that it really had to be in focus rather than my ability to see that it was.

But at least the sloth turned out. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
07 April 2016 @ 08:32 pm

I cast on! I cast on! I don’t know what to do next, but I cast on! (I’ll figure out what to do next tomorrow. I felt casting on was sufficiently impressive for one day. It only took three tries and watching a video 15 times. :))

caston

I’m terribly proud of myself. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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kit
06 April 2016 @ 03:42 pm

A city hidden for five thousand years.

A man so ancient his early history is lost to time.

A woman who has nothing to lose…

Lorhen, oldest and most ruthless of the immortal Timeless, put aside the sword long ago for a quiet life. But peace doesn’t last forever, especially for a man whose age can be counted in epochs, and the mortal life he’s built unravels as the Keepers, a society of historians who record Timeless lives, learn that he’s been hiding in their midst.

Then an archaeologist’s claims of finding Atlantis brings back millennia-old memories, and Lorhen is drawn unwillingly into intrigues aeons in the making—and deadly enough that he may yet face the heartstrike blow that will unleash his power on the world….

Atlantis Fallen
The Heartstrike Chronicles: Book One
April 2016

atlantisfallen_small

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
05 April 2016 @ 07:41 pm

It’s taken me about two weeks to do the fourth Elfquest graphic novel coloring book page. I reckon at the rate I’m going, I’ll do about one issue a year, and be finished around 2036. :)

I hadn’t posted page three yet, so here you go. I also hadn’t figured out how to manipulate the levels with Photoshop (or possibly I didn’t have photoshop installed) yet, so the color in it isn’t as representative of the TRUE BEAUTY OF MY WORK as I might like. :)
eqgnp003

For page four I had Photoshop for sure and the levels are therefore manipulated and this is actually very close to the colors. I’m going to need an entire box just of green pencils to get through this issue!
eqgnp004

This is the best coloring book ever. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
03 April 2016 @ 10:34 pm

So it turns out that in a lot of ways the ATLANTIS FALLEN revisions instigated by my cover artist weren’t as overwhelming as I thought they would be. I revised two chapters completely, retaining necessary information but basically presenting it almost entirely differently, and a third chapter…almost that significantly. Not quite. But almost.

Another 5-7 chapters had much less significant revisions, although in fact the last thing I did tonight was flag five of those chapters in a project notes file to make myself go look at them with absolutely fresh eyes over the next couple of days. They do what they *need* to right now, but the result of the early revisions is I feel like I’ve gone a little soft ball on the later ones and that they could be improved to the considerable betterment of one particular character’s development. I’d just done too much work today to try dealing with any more.

But holy cats, to lend wind beneath my wings, said problem-causing (no not really :)) cover artist sent the rough draft of the ATLANTIS FALLEN cover, and I believe my squee may have been heard around the world. AF is going to be an e-only release at first, the print edition will come later, and I got the cover and went AAAAAH I WANT THE PRINT EDITION *NOOOOOW*!!!!

Ted saw the cover and said to me, “…are we *sure* we don’t want to do the print edition simultaneously?” I was like THAT WAS WHAT I THOUGHT!!! But no, we don’t, and it’s simply a matter of costs: hopefully the e-book will *pay* for a print edition, ideally before the end of the summer.

In the meantime, there oughta be a cover reveal before the end of the week, and it’s looking like things are probably on schedule for a mid-April launch. Yay!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
01 April 2016 @ 12:03 pm

My To-Done 2016 (Work Version) thus far includes finishing the REDEEMER rough draft, revising ATLANTIS FALLEN (twice, and am partway through a third), launching MAGIC & MANNERS, writing 3 short stories, and revising one short story.

Somehow it doesn’t seem like very much when I write it down like that, and that just seems unfair. It’s felt like a huge amount of work. It’s BEEN a huge amount of work. It just doesn’t…look very impressive.

Anyway, that really is quite a lot to have gotten done, isn’t it? (Please, she said pathetically?) April will see launching ATLANTIS FALLS, writing another short story, getting REDEEMER polished up to first draft status and submitted to the editor, and…and whatever bits and pieces I’m not thinking of right now.

Tell you what, though, my big plan to clear the bookshelf of everything that hadn’t been read by the end of the year? That’s going to have to get put on hold, because I’ve read one…two? Books this year. Because I’ve been working so much, and coloring when I’m taking down time, instead of reading. (I find reading, especially new fiction, really difficult when I’m working. My brain is committed to a book already, basically, and it’s very hard for me to engage with something new.) And it’s not fair even to myself to say “to the used bookstore with you!” about the TBR shelf when I’ve been working this much instead of reading.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit
30 March 2016 @ 05:19 pm

I apparently have some kind of conviction that I’m going to knit something, because I keep stopping and staring avariciously at yarn. I don’t knit. I mean, I knitted something once. A scarf. It turned out well! But…I don’t knit.

Despite that, today I came across this really pretty inexpensive dark blue sparkly yarn and…folded. I bought four skeins and two of black sparkly yarn and I have vague thoughts of a matching hat and scarf. And then since I was on the road to hell anyway I got some chunky red yarn to make a scarf for Indy, who immediately suggested we get some blue, too, and I could make a STRIPED scarf. *laughs* I said I wasn’t that good a knitter and maybe we could try that later, a suggestion to which he was amenable. :)

yarn

I got needles of appropriate size for the yarns and since the whole essentially incomprehensible purchase ran €11.50, I feel that I can probably afford the bonkersness of it. Especially if I actually knit something.

So the first thing I need to do is learn to cast on. Easy peasy. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
kit

I’d quite deliberately handed ATLANTIS FALLEN over to beta readers who didn’t know the world the serial numbers had been scraped off, in order to see if the worldbuilding held up! Because that was my big concern!

Except I also sent it my cover artist, who did know the old world, and she emailed me in the middle of reading it and said “So how come you didn’t do X with this instead of sticking with the Y you had in place?”

…well, because I didn’t think of that. God damn it.

She said, “You can tell me “No no no, that’s a terrible idea, I am not revising the manuscript, why do you hate me?” and I will not be offended!”

Well, it is a terrible idea. It’s an absolutely terrible idea because it would mean having to revise a quarter of the manuscript. Possibly a third.

Unfortunately, it’s a terrible idea that solves a problem that I’d looked at early on, been unable to come up with a solution for, and had thought, Well, no, I mean basically that’s going to be okay….

And know what? I’m right. Basically it is okay. The beta readers haven’t had an issue (beyond some *very* minor, easy to fix problems) with the thing that flagged bright shiny red for the person familiar with the old version of the story.

But god damn it, it’s a better idea. It’s a better solution. It will be to the book’s betterment. There is a lot of better involved here.

But god damn it, there’s a lot of revision, too.

Honestly, if it didn’t solve that problem I’d been unable to come up with a solution for, I would leave it alone. But it does, dammit, and…this better be a great cover, is all I’m sayin’.

Dammit. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)