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Saturday, October 17, 2015

The reviews are in..ish.

I'm excited! Truly. I'm getting feedback on my newest book Knight and Dex and they're very positive! Surprised? Me too! This series has been a labor of love for me and my editor. He's off touring the country trying to shake it off. He doesn't know it yet, but book 3, Dex Machina, is more than just an outline. Mine is an evil laugh. It's still going to be some time and things went on hold while I'm studying my ass off for a low voltage license. Priorities.

In the meantime, I was happy to see some reviews up on Amazon and I'm also seeing a little love for book 1, Dex Territory. To all those that are reading and to those leaving me feedback, I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Reviews are incredibly important. they don't have to be elaborate, or even glowing. Honest feedback is what most writers are after. We, I, authors understand that not everyone is going to like what you wrote. That's ok. What's important is I have your money, just kidding! But, it's true.

So you're probably asking, Mark how do I write a review? That's a good question. It can be as simple as, I love/like/loathe/hate this book. As an author what I'm hoping to get from a reviewing is: I love/like/loathe/hate this book and here's why... The why is what I'm after, if the reader likes something, I'll probably continue to do that. There are things I'm going to do that the reader may not like, they can tell me why, but I'll probably continue to do those things too. I may not give you everything you want, but I'll give you a complete story and hopefully a thrilling one at that. Let me know if I did my job. It's as plain and simple as that. My writing the next book is completely dependent on how this one performs. I certainly want to tell the tale. Big things are in store for New London, the STF and Rick O'Shea and if he had one iota of an idea what I have in store for him, he'd arrest me and beat me half to death on the way to the Plum Island Ultramax prison.

Stories are filled with near misses. The interesting stuff happens when people fail, when something important comes undone, or an expected result does something unexpected. This is called the plot. If there are no obstacles, there's nothing to overcome. The harder the character has to work, the more interesting the story becomes, with few exceptions. My stories are insanely hard on my main character. Imagine a regular guy going up against the Justice League, even Aquaman would grind him to chum and feed him to the fishes. While my world doesn't have a justice league, it's no less dangerous to a mere mortal. That's fun to write.

Mostly, the elements in the story are there for a reason and writing a book a very much a balancing act. The characters have to remain true to who they are, but they're people and have lives and backgrounds even if the reader doesn't get to know the full extent of them. As a writer my characters have full lives in my head. Like most people they're complex and filled with contradictions, but at the core, they are who they are.

The POV characters are going through a change. The story starts with the change and ends when it's complete. This is character movement, or character growth. It's an important story telling element. Static characters can be interesting as background characters. These characters can often help show movement. I have a fantasy book that I had been toying with for a long time. It's never really gelled for me. I realized that my POV characters LeGarde and L'Orange didn't change, or grow and they're really not supposed to. They do great deeds, but never learn anything from them. They kibitz and are infuriatingly verbose and they're often faced with impossible situations to which they treat in the most cavalier and blasé of fashions and it's really funny, but because they are who they are, they're probably not going to be my main character in the story. Although, they will probably get featured vignettes. If you go back a few blog posts. I have one of their stories posted. It's just a simple meeting gone very awry.

I didn't mean to turn this post into a writing lesson, but it's freeform, so tough it out, Daisy. Its what's on my mind as my thoughts turn toward my next project. Protagonists and antagonists, both characters are moving and against each other. It's up to the writer if they move in straight lines, or through proxies, but the climax of the story is the resolution. It's when the story has built up to the point to which the action only has one choice and that is to resolve. Remember, the antagonist has something to gain too. Unless you're telling a character vs environment story like Any Weir's The Martian, where Mark Watney faces off against Mars, or The Grey, where John Ottway faces off against the wilderness, but I digress.

I just can't help myself to see James Franco in pain.

It's not often that people are good and evil just be so, there are reasons and every character, or person, is the hero of their own story. While we root for the hero, the heroes didn't do so well in The Empire Strikes Back. They escaped, but Darth Vader won. The climax was one of the greatest reveals in cinematic history. The climax wasn't the fight between Luke and Vader, it was the moment when Vader had Luke backed up on the array and *spoilers* they had a father/son chat. If you're like me it still gives you chills even though you've seen it countless times. I also think to myself,
'Luke is whiny little bitch and always has been.'
If he didn't have a lucky shot in A New Hope... Team Solo.

I should be throwing some other authors at you soon. I've been putting together deep, probing questions and devising torture methods to get my fellow authors to give up their writing secrets and talk about their books. Most crack, when I ask, do you want to do this? That part has been a little disappointing, but they've got cool stuff going on and I want to share it. I'm going to kick that off in November.

Keep those reviews coming!!

My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback on, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher has copies also!! They’re who I get them from. 

The release date of the e-book is Oct 31st. It’s a perfect day for the release. Cops, superheroes and the undead prowl the streets in my book. A little like Halloween night.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Let me know if you want an author signed copy. I have ways to get those to YOU!

Where can you find me?

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at: