Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles E. Yallowitz Debuts Today (July 31st)

What book are you reading these days? Have you read any books that left you in awe?

Well, today I’m announcing the next book in the Legends of Windemere saga, Prodigy of Rainbow Tower by Charles E. Yallowitz. The book debuts on Amazon on July 31st. Check it out:

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

Prodigy of Rainbow Tower

The action-packed, humor-filled, dramatic sequel to ‘Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero’.

Battling through a demonic assassin and an army of monsters, Luke Callindor has survived his time at Hamilton Military Academy.  Now, Luke and his friends must leave the safety of the academy to escort Duke Solomon’s heir down the L’dandrin River and into the safety of the city of Gods’ Voice.  Joining them for this journey is Nyx, a powerful caster apprentice of Rainbow Tower. With her talent for combat magic and her short temper, Nyx will prove to be a challenge for Luke and all of their enemies.

Who will survive the harrowing trip down the L’dandrin River?  And, who will be the one to break Luke’s trust?

You can check out Prodigy of Rainbow Tower on Goodreads. If you read any of the novels in Charles’s saga, please leave a review.

Now, I haven’t had a chance to read Charles’s books, but they are on my reading list. He plans to have twelve books total in the series. 

As mentioned in the description the first book in the series is Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, also available on Amazon.

Beginning of a Hero

Beginning of a Hero

Cover art for both books was illustrated by the talented Jason Pedersen.

 

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The Consequences of Time Travel

If you see me standing in line at the market, or in any line for that matter, and I have a spaced out look, chances are this is my thought:

Not only do I never have enough time to write, but my reading list is growing like a geometric progression.  I have to figure out how to slow time, build a time machine, or read faster and organize my time better.

Of course, what’s the easiest of those options? Hint: it’s not the last one.

Consequences

Let’s say that someone went into the local ice cream parlor and left the keys in the ignition:

The keys are in the ignition

Speed Limit: 88 mph

Sweet. Just make sure the time computer isn’t set to 1955. Now you can read as much as you want. Ignore the world.

“Wait, wait, wait,” you say, “You can’t reset the past. That’s not how the DeLorean works.”

“Right, right. Wrong time machine.”

I would have to go back in time, kill my former self, take over his role and that’s how I would reset time.

Or, would going back in time alter the threads of time, maybe creating a new one where I die on the timeline at the exact moment I appear in the past thus keeping continuity?

OK, OK, this is why time travel gives people headaches.

Freezing Time

Not Science Fiction Anymore

Not Science Fiction Anymore

This is the idea I like the most. Let’s say I could exist outside of time? Something similar to an Alcubierre Warp Bubble (not science fiction, by the way). I would still need an energy source, but let’s ignore that plot-breaking problem. Then I could exist outside of time. I could read and write for as long as I want while the world around me is paused.

But, but, but then I would age. My wife and children might notice when I suddenly appear as:

Read list is done. Finally.

Reading list is done. Finally.

Back to the Beginning

Looks like I need an even more improbable confluence of events: a cure to aging and the ability to freeze time. Now there’s an interesting premise for a story.

Back to organizing my life. Or, rather, back to spacing out.

Giddy as a School Boy

I have never been one to be giddy over a television show or series. The one television series I looked forward to every week, the one that left an imprint on my mind is Star Trek: The Next Generation.

All Good Things had to come to an end...

All Good Things had to come to an end…

The series came out in the late 80’s, and every week I looked forward to sitting down and watching the show with my family. But this post is not about Star Trek: The Next Generation.

No, no. Tor announced that Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles have been optioned for television.

As I said on Facebook, “OMG OMG OMG.”

If you have not read these books, stop what you are doing and read them. Immediately. And then revel in their awesome sauce. Really. Bathe in it. And know that you are reading the words of a modern day Picasso of words.

Yes, my middle name is Picasso. Now, back off.

Yes, my middle name is Picasso. Now, back off.

My only fear is that Fox will not do the books justice. I wish HBO had picked up the series. From Game of Thrones you can tell that they know how to translate a fantasy saga to television. Fox, on the other hand, killed Firefly.

Do you think Fox can do the books justice?

Book Spotlight: Corr Syl the Warrior by Garry Rogers

Today I’m doing a spotlight on a new #YA novel by Garry Rogers, Corr Syl the Warrior.

Kirkus Reviews had this to say about Garry’s book:

“A beautifully written YA novel that will captivate environmentalists and sci-fi fans of all ages” Kirkus Reviews (starred review).
Corr Syl the Warrior by Garry Rogers

Corr Syl the Warrior by Garry Rogers

Corr Syl The Warrior by Garry Rogers

When an armed patrol crosses the border into Wycliff District, the Wycliff Council sends Corr Syl to investigate and recommend a response. Corr soon learns that spies have infiltrated his district, and already many lives are at risk. He catches a glimpse of something truly evil, and with no time to spare, must choose between a safe response that might fail, and a sure response that might start a global war.

Wycliff Map

Wycliff District

Wycliff District

Where you can purchase this book?

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Paperback

Createspace

Interview

Question: What have you published recently?

Fiction: “Corr Syl the Warrior” (ISBN: 978-1484989890)
Nonfiction: “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” (ISBN: 978-1480096509)
I also contribute articles on wildlife conservation for my website, local news media, government agencies, and others. For instance, I just wrote a walking tour of a local stream habitat for schoolchildren.

Question: How, and when, did you decide to become a writer?

My middle and high school teachers encouraged me to write. After high school, my education and subsequent careers in science and business required a great deal of writing. I published several nonfiction science books and hundreds of articles in peer-reviewed science journals and scientific conference proceedings. Learning to write fiction has been a stimulating challenge.

Question: Why switch to fiction?

Much of my work in science focuses on desert vegetation. Houses and roads are steadily obliterating the sites I study. As the vegetation habitat is lost, the wildlife declines. In my state, public agencies report that over half of native wildlife species are tending toward extinction. Land use planners could avoid many of the human impacts on vegetation. With a novel, I can reach a wider audience than the scientists who read my technical work.

Question: Where can we find your published writing?

Amazon now, and other bookstores in a few weeks. Google Scholar has a more complete list of my published work, and my website “About” page has an exhausting list.

Question: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Feed the cats, make coffee, write, exercise, feed birds and ducks, do a little landscape maintenance, write some more, read.

Question: What are your favorite characters that you have created? Tell us about them

Corr Syl is a talented young warrior in a society dominated by much older individuals. Wanting to avoid responsibility, but always willing to help, Corr agrees to investigate a murder and a minor invasion by a dangerous species. Corr’s preference would be to go on a long trip with another warrior named Rhya Bright. Instead, he becomes a key figure in a conflict and must see it through. Corr likes to have fun with friends, likes to tell stories, and wants to be a comedian. He has trouble with timing, however, and his jokes tend to elicit groans instead of laughs.

Rhya Bright, a warrior in training, and even younger than Corr Syl, is attracted to Corr. She hides her interest because of pride and determination to form intimate relationships only with equals, not superiors. Among her martial skills, Rhya excels in archery and battle strategy. Rhya has a hidden compulsion to protect weaker individuals. She becomes involved in the same conflict as Corr, and the two become very close as they work to solve a great problem. Rhya is a good dancer and a great conversationalist. I would be delighted to spend all my time within range of her cheery disposition.

I like several of the other characters. I modeled Ralph Mäkinen after a close friend who had a good heart, a great sense of humor, and who was the All City Amateur Golden Gloves boxing champion. Allysen Olykden is the older but beautiful, wise, and sympathetic friend we would all like to have. I also like Aaron Li for beneath a dark calculating exterior, Li is a dedicated humanitarian. And I could go on.

Question: do you find you “mentally edit” other writers’ works as you read them? Does doing this help you or bother you?

I am interested in the methods used by other writers. I am often impressed with the new ideas and techniques they use to compose scenes and handle interactions. For me, looking behind the writing curtain adds an extra dimension that usually enriches the story.

Question: What music do you listen to, while writing?

I like many types of music, but I prefer silence when I write.

Question: What do you eat while writing?

I sip coffee, but take a break when I eat.

Five for Fun:

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Water. Someone said that drinking lots of water would help me keep my weight down. Seems to work.

What is your favourite cartoon character?

Judge Doom the antagonist in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Doom is motivated and witty. But, what does he do for fun. Perhaps he golfs, bowls, or reads?

What is your favourite movie of all time?

I liked the Blues Brothers, but have to pick “The Long Kiss Goodnight.” After both lead characters are tortured, beaten and wounded in various ways, Gina Davis, staggering, dripping blood, eyes black, crawls into a car shakily steered by Samuel Jackson who is just as messed up. As Jackson weaves away, he asks Davis if she is all right, and she manages, “Are you stupid?” My kind of humour.

What do you like to do for fun or just to relax?

I like to chase animals around with my camera, but I also like to go dancing, drinking, and camping. I have read thousands of books. I like movies and plays, and I am a fan of Red Dwarf, West Wing, and Dexter.

Question: Where can we find you on the web?

My Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Page

Google+ Page

Google+Community

Google Scholar

Goodreads

LibraryThing

LinkedIn

Pinterest

StumbleUpon

Twitter

About the Author

Garry Rogers

Garry Rogers has a PhD in Physical Geography. He taught at Columbia University and UCLA, and currently serves as President of Agua Fria Open Space Alliance, Inc. He has published three nonfiction books, and hundred of articles in peer-reviewed science journals and conference proceedings. He is currently working on a sequel to his debut novel Corr Syl the Warrior, and second volume on Arizona Wildlife.

Editing The Tome of Worlds and Writing “Reynolds! Reynolds!”

Yesterday I finished the transcription of the writing in my journal over to my computer, so my month away from the novel officially begins today.

Coincidentally I finished reading The Hemingway Hoax the night before, and now I can read and re-read some of the better books on writing that I have read.

Novel Editing

First up is a book on pruning your writing and squeezing the best out of each scene within a manuscript. Now, I know that there are oodles of books out there on how to prune a manuscript. If you have a favorite, please let me know.

Right now I am reading The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maas. I’m 8% into the book. It starts well. The first chapter shows you how successful authors have made people empathize with the protagonist, because, really, why read a novel if you don’t care about the main character? And even if you can’t empathize with the protagonist, because, say, he is evil and sadistic, maybe you can hook people with disgust? With tension?

The FIre in Fiction by Donald Maas

The FIre in Fiction by Donald Maass

Also, I’m beginning to think of my novel in terms of a story arc though what struck me, after writing my entire novel and not looking at this structure, is how close I am.

Except for number 10, my novel is mapped exactly like this–unintentionally. I believe this proves that I have read just a few Hero Journeys.

Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey:

  1. The hero is confronted with a challenge,
  2. rejects it,
  3. but then is forced (or allowed) to accept it.
  4. He travels on the road of trials,
  5. gathering powers and allies, and
  6. confronts evil—only to be defeated.
  7. This leads to a dark night of the soul, after which
  8. the hero makes a leap of faith that allows him to
  9. confront evil again and be victorious.
  10. Finally, the student becomes the teacher.

How does this structure translate to a short story though? Is the structure the same?

“Reynolds! Reynolds!”–The Death of Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve written numerous stories, but I have never written a mystery or a short story, and by short I mean fewer than 3,000 words, so I decided to tackle both challenges in one fell swoop.

As I talked about in another post, there is a great mystery surrounding Edgar Allan Poe‘s death. He was found wandering the streets of Baltimore, incoherent, not knowing where he was, and in a severe state of distress. To top it off he was wearing another man’s clothes. The only name he mumbled was “Reynolds! Reynolds”, and to this day no one knows who that is.

I started writing the story the day after I finished writing The Tome of Worlds in my journal. A couple of paragraphs in I stopped myself because I didn’t have all of the information.

Thankfully there is a great website on his death written up by The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore.

If you have any interest in Poe I recommend that you check out their website.

I am still researching his death, taking notes, and once I finish I will start over again writing the short story. I have an idea already, but I want to see where the research leads me. I do fear that I will not be able to keep the story short.

Throughout I will have to keep a leash on the protagonist whose name right now is Mr. Snod.

Should be a fun exercise.

 

A Review of The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman

I have read almost everything Joe Haldeman has written. As I have mentioned before, I was lucky enough to have him as a professor for the classes Writing Science Fiction and Genre Fiction Workshop at MIT.

Hemingway Hoax

The Hemingway Hoax by Joe Haldeman

Well, I had read almost everything. The Hemingway Hoax is a novella, which is why I hadn’t gotten around to reading it. Plus, I thought the story would be about Hemingway, and I wasn’t all that interested in reading a story about Hemingway. Still, Joe wrote the story, which means it had to be good, so I gave it go.

What a fast read. True, it’s a novella, but Joe’s writing is simple, crisp and clean. Whenever I read his stories I am reminded of the classic science fiction writers like Heinlein and Asimov who got their point across without too much fluff. Raymond Carver was the same way. They could write powerful sentences with one or two brushstrokes.

From Goodreads:

John Baird had not expected to be killed.

The accepted academic penalty for literary forgery is academic disgrace. Which was why Hemingway scholar Baird, tempted by looming financial disaster and a plausible conman, had not anticipated death at the hands of an interdimensional literary critic. Still less had he been prepared to be pursued and killed through alternative world after alternative world.

The Hemingway Hoax is about Hemingway, but there is much more to the story: time travel, interdimensional travel, beautiful women, and a main character who experiences different possible realities for his life, remembering each and everyone one of them from one reality to the next.

I could see some of Joe in John Baird, and at the end of the novella Joe even admits that one of the incarnations of John Baird is based on himself, but personally I think that Joe is in every incarnation of John Baird.

If I have one criticism, it’s the ending. The story ended in such a way that I had to re-read it a few times in order to understand what had happened, and I become annoyed when I have to do that, especially when the rest of the story has been so engaging. I won’t ding Joe for that because it could just be me being daft. After all, this novella won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novella.

Still, a good, fast, short read. Haldeman’s writing always whisks me along while spinning a good yarn. That’s why I like to read his stories.

If you are going to give Haldeman a try, and I recommend that you do, read The Forever War. It’s a novel, but it’s short, to the point, and deals with a topic most science fiction writers can’t penetrate. War. Joe experienced the Vietnam War, and the grittiness comes through in The Forever War.