Newest Book ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"The Art of Death": Designing an Evil Art Museum

If you're a reader of mine, you know I love to map things.  Not only does it help me plot out the action for a given story, it also helps provide some visual punch to what would otherwise be a boring wall of text.

Since ninety-five-plus percent of the story for The Art of Death takes place in a museum, I had to design it.  I just plain had to.

I'll go into the designs and the basic story behind them after the JUMP.




Thursday, November 19, 2015

Blast from the Past: My First Book

I found a literary coprolite of mine in the closet this week.


It's my first novel.  Click the JUMP for more.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Next Book ... Plus, Choose a Cover!

I've mentioned it before, but I had a dream a few months ago that I was making a movie at our local art museum and it was about Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, the Mummy, etc., being resurrected by relics at the museum and going on a rampage.

In my dream, the movie was called A Night at the Museum.

Obviously, my subconscious mind chose to do what my conscious mind refuses to do.  It forgot about the Ben Stiller films by that name.

Regardless, I will be writing a book about that basic premise (monsters being resurrected at a museum).  In fact, if you've been following me on Facebook and Twitter, you've seen some preliminary designs for that evil art museum.  I'll post the final designs this week

I do have a title for the new book, however.  And I've got a cover.  Well, four of them.

Learn the title and help me choose the cover after the JUMP.


Monday, November 2, 2015

My son and I reviewed dozens of monster movies

Not Godzilla/Gamera/kaiju-style monster movies, mind you.  We already did that.

No, this was a list of seventy-three classic-style monster movies.  Universal monsters, Hammer horror versions of them, and several others in between.  We finished just before Halloween and here's the list ...

Friday, October 30, 2015

"8 Days": DOWNLOAD NOW!



Imagine the end of the world is coming in eight days. What will you do in the time left to you? 

In "8 Days," many people will spend time with their families. But others will party. Others will try to live out their fantasies and lead lives they couldn't before. 

Now, imagine that the world doesn't end after all. How do you feel about what you've done? 

It is a time of crises. Crisis of conscience. Identity crisis. Crisis of faith. Both during the approach of the end and in the frenzied days that follow its miss. 

Follow the stories of several people and the world as they tackle these questions and more in the near-apocalypse novel "8 Days."

Download it from Smashwords (in multiple formats) HERE!

Download it from Amazon HERE!

Download it from iTunes HERE!

Download it from Barnes & Noble HERE!

Download it from Kobo HERE!

Download it from Inktera HERE!

Download it from Blio HERE!

Just 99¢!

5 out of five stars on Goodreads
4 out of five stars on Amazon

"Great read and thoroughly thought provoking. Looking forward to reading more by this author!"
-- Arkync

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"8 Days": Heart-Stopping Moments

Not for the reader.  For me.

Most recently, I realized I didn't do something way back when I first came up with the title.  I didn't Google it.

Idiot.

Imagine my shock when I saw that there were a few 8 Days things out there already.  A movie, a book ...  I panicked for about ten minutes and thought about Eight Days.  Yep, already taken, too.  What about 7 Days or Seven Days?  Of course, those are taken.  What about 9 Days or Nine Days or 10 Days or Ten Days?  Of course they were all gone, too.

Yes, I was considering a rewrite to adjust the number of days.  Once I saw that there was no way to get a title of X Days that hadn't already been taken, I talked myself off the ledge and decided to just leave things be.

The bigger cardiac arrest I had once I finished my first readthrough of the book.  I was done typing, it was organized like I originally planned, ... I thought things were A-OK.

I hated it.

Man, that was rough.  I spent a few months writing and writing and I ended up with 65,000+ words that I just didn't care for.  I had a mild panic attack.  I thought about shelving it and moving on to my "Night at the Museum" idea.  Then I decided to sit down and examine what, exactly, wasn't working.

Originally, the structure was more character focused and not chronological.  It made sense from a storytelling perspective to keep the attention on the core characters for longer stretches of time because, I thought at the time, that they would be lost in the anthologized shuffle if I did things chronologically.

For example, Chapter 1 was random character, 2 was character A, 3 was B, 4 was C, 5 was D, 6 went back to a random character, and then 7 went back to A, and so on.  (It makes more sense when you read it.)  Even though it generally followed a chronological story, the characters were separated from each other in the own islands of story.  Again, for the characters themselves, it made more sense to tell their stories across multiple days in one chapter.

Reading it, however, it made less sense.  It was wholly unsatisfying.  And deflating for me, the writer.

Well, I thought, let me try organizing it day-by-day instead of by character.  Almost immediately I felt the difference in reading it.  Isolating the characters in their own chapters made sense from one perspective, but that isolation didn't always make them feel like they were in the same world.  By mixing them up and structuring things by chronology, I got characters near each other (in the narrative sense) that never were before, which helped provide some interesting contrasts.

There were a few gaps in storytelling that I noticed in the chronology version that I didn't notice before, so I wrote some new sections, bringing the word count up to near 75,000.

I'm happy to say I like 8 Days now.  It's a much better book thanks to me hating it before.

Look for its release on Friday, October 30.


Friday, October 23, 2015

"8 Days": Keeping It Real


Basically, that big "V" word means you write about something like it's real.  You treat it real so that the reader accepts it as real, too.  Obviously, this is a must in science fiction.  Without it, scifi won't be taken seriously.

For something like 8 Days, it's needed in more ways than the obvious.  Since this is a story about the near future (2019), it can't feel too far flung from the present.  And since this is set in the real world, any interaction my characters have with the real world must feel real, too.

Thanks to Google Earth, it's easy for me to pick a route for bank robbers to follow in Des Moines.  I can choose a neighborhood for a family to live in Phoenix.  I can find grocery stores near an old lady's house in Little Rock.  But it's more than just that.

I had to learn a little bit about a steam power plant on the outskirts of Atlanta.  I studied up on the primate population at the Greensboro Science Center.  I know the names and faces of local TV anchors in several markets now.  The layout of the University of Florida in Gainesville.  NASA's Near-Earth Object program.  (The facts and figures laid out in a chapter featuring a Senate committee hearing are all true.  And a NASA director did recently say that Congress shouldn't "pour funds" into the NEO program.  And a lot of what the president and others say about the federal budget is completely true, too.)

Trying to "keep it real" did bite me on the ass, though.  While the president was always going to be a fictional character, I intended to surround him with real politicians.  Speaker of the House John Boehner put in an appearance, too.  Well, that didn't work out so hot.  I decided to go ahead and fictionalize all of the politicians.  (See if you can guess who the senators in the committee hearing chapter were originally supposed to be.)  But all of those TV anchors?  They're real.

Next week, I'll post about the two realizations that made me clutch my chest.  Also, as I wrap up my third and final reading/editing/rewriting session, I may give away the book before its Friday 10/30 release.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"8 Days": Tone

The tone of 8 Days was important to me.  Yes, there's an asteroid coming and the world freaks out.  But how does that feel?

Did I want to show wall-to-wall, drug-fueled partying, a la Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" music video?  Did I want to show masses of humanity, coming together, singing "Kumbaya" until the minutes tick away?  Did I want everyone to be utterly and woefully depressed about the whole thing?

It's easy to fall into any one of those realms, but I decided from the start that this would be an anthologized story.  Meaning, multiple tales involving different characters, but all reacting to the same basic circumstances.  So I can have party scenes with family scenes with depressing scenes.  Yay!

In a way, I took some storytelling inspiration from the HBO series The Leftovers.


Like 8 Days, it focuses on a single, worldwide event and the aftermath.  (In the show's case, it's a Rapture-like event dubbed The Sudden Departure.  Two percent of the world's population just vanished.)  If you've watched the show, it can be a very dour hour.  I mean, ... it can be emotionally taxing.  (But I like the show.  Really.)

It would have been easy for me to go down that same path.  Given the choices that people might make when they believe the world is ending, it would not be hard for the book to feel leaden with angst and strife.  Therefore, I took my inspiration from the show by not going down that path.  Yes, there's some dark shit.  There's some drama.  But I made sure that there was some lightness, too.

For a bit of the lightness, I took some additional inspiration from another HBO show.


You may notice there's some wisecracking in the scenes involving the president.  This, actually, isn't too far from the truth.  It's often said that people in very serious positions (police, doctors, etc.) resort to jokes to help them deal with the stresses of their work.  So I put some of that in here, too.


In the next post, learning about "verisimilitude."  And coming soon, a couple of near-cardiac events I had (one relating to the title, the other relating to the quality of the book).

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"8 Days" for Real

This is some pretty good publicity for my book, I think:



No, for real.  It's the size of a skyscraper and astronomers just detected it a couple of weeks ago.  It'll miss us ... for now.

And check out what it looks like:


A skull.  That's awesome.

Man, I wish 8 Days was ready to distribute.  I could really capitalize on this.  Oh well.  I can have it ready by the asteroid's flyby, I believe.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"8 Days": Theme

Yes, you know that the main plot of 8 Days is that there's an asteroid coming to Earth, people freak out, the asteroid misses, and people have to live with their decisions.  That's not really a theme, though.

The theme is crisis.

Just about every phrasing with that word can be found.  Crisis of conscience, crisis of faith, identity crisis, family crisis ...

Well, not every kind of crisis.

It's a worldwide crisis and of real magnitude.  The phrase "first-world problems" is overused, but most of the issues here are far beyond that.  These crises affect everyone and how people react to these crises will affect everyone, too.

Also, not for nothing, this scene from The Dark Knight embodies a rather prominent theme in the book:


Coming soon, more posts on the book's tone and how I nearly had a heart attack after my first readthrough.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"8 Days": Inspiration

8 Days is my upcoming near-apocalyptic novel.  "Near-apocalyptic"?  Yes.  An asteroid is eight days away from hitting the Earth, people go nuts, and, oops, it misses.  The rest of the book is dealing with people's decisions during that time.

Where did I get the idea?  Oddly enough, a podcast.

Are you familiar with Impractical Jokers on TruTV?  What about the podcast Tell 'Em Steve-Dave?  A fixture on both is Brian Quinn.  His friend (and fellow Impractical Joker) is Sal Vulcano.  Brian and Sal have a podcast of their own, What Say You?

Click to visit

It's a lot of fun.  Anyway, at the beginning of episode 43, they started talking about the apocalypse and what they and other people might do with their limited time left on Earth.  At one point, Q talks about trying hard drugs, and Sal says, "What if you then get addicted to it, the most addictive thing in the world, ..."  And he paused just long enough for my mind to finish his sentence in my head: "And the asteroid misses."  That's not how Sal finished it, but my imagination took the hell off.

In fact, I don't remember too much else about that episode because I was thinking of all kinds of end-of-the world scenarios.  I thought about it all day and, when I got home, wrote some notes down to form a basic outline of a story.

Thus, 8 Days.


The good news is that I'm just about done.  A couple of chapters to finish, some minor restructuring, and then the editing process.  I aim to have it released by the end of the month.

More news and background coming soon.  Thanks.

Monday, July 20, 2015

MST3K, Rifftrax, CT, etc.: Hours of Riffing

As most of you know, I am a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and I help annotate riffs for the website AnnotatedMST.com.  I'm also a fan of many of that crew's subsequent projects, including Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax.


Recently, Rifftrax riffed their 200th film and that got me to thinking: how much time have the people involved spent working on talking over (mostly) bad movies?

So I did the math.

I'm looking at the time spent riffing on movies by the "main" people involved.  Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu, Bill Corbett, Josh Weinstein (now known as J. Elvis Weinstein), Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl.

(Apologies to the other writers, including Paul Chaplin, Bridget Nelson, Conor Lastowka, and Sean Thomason.  I know they've busted their butts, but it was hard enough focusing just on the people on screen.)

A caveat upfront.  Primarily, I went with some rather general times for the various shows.  Since we're talking hundreds of films, there's no way I'm going to look up the length of each movie and catalog it.  I'm not THAT obsessive.

Another thing: I'm looking at this two different ways.  First, I'll look at how much time they spend "on screen" talking at their subjects.  Then I'll examine how many hours of riffing they worked on.  Here's what I mean by that, by way of example: even though Mike didn't start hosting MST3K until episode 513, he worked as a writer since the first episode of season one.  So the first calculation will be Mike's time starting with 513 and the second will start with episode 101.

Here are the different shows as of July 17, 2015:

Mystery Science Theater 3000: 197 episodes, 1 feature film, 4 thirty minute specials.  Since I'm only concerned about the time spent riffing on the movies, I went with a time of 75 minutes for each episode and the film.  (Each show was two hours long, minus about thirty-five minutes of commercials and ten-to-fifteen minutes of host segments, intros, etc.)  The four half-hour specials I added up to be equal to one episode.  (I did not include the KTMA pilot, The Green Slime, because I am unsure of its actual length and the fact that no real riffing at all occurs during the theater sequences.)  I know there were a few other things the guys did, like riffing on a PlayStation promo and for a sports show ... I didn't include those times primarily because I forgot about them until just now, which is after I made the charts.  At most, we're talking about an additional half-hour for a few of the people.

Film Crew: a brief foray into riffing before Rifftrax, there were 4 episodes.  I decided to use 90 minutes for each as the figure.

America's Funniest Home Videos: Huh?  Yes.  Both Trace Beaulieu and Josh Weinstein wrote for the show for a few years, and what else is AFHV but riffing on amateur films?  Obviously, since neither Trace nor Josh were on screen for the show, those figures won't come into play until the second section.  I went with 15 minutes for each episode (since there's five-plus minutes of each with the host and the audience and subtracting commercials).

Cinematic Titanic: 14 different shows were written and performed, though only 11 were released to video.  (Come on!  I have to have the other three!)  I count all fourteen and consider each to be 90 minutes.

Rifftrax: Holy crap.  OK, there are 130 downloadable commentaries; 31 of the so-called "Rifftrax Presents" commentaries (meaning they're Mike-less); 97 downloadable video-on-demand films with riffs (I did my best to subtract the ones that were previously released as downloadable commentaries); 16 live shows; 5 episodes of Total Riff Off (TV specials aired on NatGeo Wild).  For the many, many films, I went with an estimate of 105 minutes ... an hour forty-five seems about right to balance out the shorter films versus the many two-hour blockbusters and the occasional three-hour epics they've done.  Also, I'll add in Total Riff Off as being 45 minutes each, plus there are a few other TV shows they've done and I'll fudge the numbers to 45 minutes on them as well.  (Another note: there are several films that were done multiple times.  For example, Night of the Living Dead.  It was released first with a Mike commentary, then a commentary was released with Mike, Kevin & Bill, then it was performed as a live show.  All three had different content, so I'm counting NotLD as three separate entries.)

Rifftrax Shorts: Seems worthy of being separate to me.  248 shorts.  Wow.  I'm going with 15 minutes each as the estimate here.

"ON SCREEN" RIFFING

(Again, this accounts only for the voices heard during riffing and not behind-the-scenes effort.)

(Click to embiggen; right-click here to download)

Yes, both TV's Frank and Pearl Forrester got a little bit of riffing time in during a couple of episodes of MST3K.  And, yes, Mary Jo Pehl has done a few Rifftrax, too.

A few other tidbits: during MST3K's so-called "Season Zero" on KTMA, there were three episodes in which Trace did not appear; one without Josh; one without Joel (leaving Crow and Servo to riff on the movie alone!); and another where Servo left in the middle of the movie to "bake muffins."

TOTALS (from highest to lowest):
  1. Kevin: 628.5 hours  (26.19 days)
  2. Mike: 581 hours (24.2 days)
  3. Bill: 459.75 hours (19.16 days)
  4. Trace: 205 hours (8.54 days)
  5. Joel: 153.5 hours (6.4 days)
  6. Josh: 61.625 hours (2.57 days)
  7. Mary Jo: 25.5 hours
  8. Frank: 21.25 hours

"ON AND OFF SCREEN" RIFFING

(Again, this accounts for the writers as well as performers.  Despite occasional absences during KTMA episodes, IMDB credits everyone so they all get credit from me.)

(Click to embiggen; right-click here to download)

Other than incorporating America's Funniest Home Videos, the only real changes here are to the MST3K totals.

As I said before, Mike was a writer almost from the show's inception.  Even though TV's Frank wasn't in the theater (except for briefly in Last of the Wild Horses), he was a writer for five whole seasons.  Mary Jo helped write for many episodes before she ever showed up as Pearl.  And Bill even co-wrote a few episodes in season six; years before the jump to SciFi Channel.

I know the process of writing riffs for movies takes far longer than just the hour and change it takes to watch the finished result.  There's no way I could calculate how long they actually spent slaving over Manos or The Room.  The final product will have to suffice for these calculations.

TOTALS (from highest to lowest):
  1. Mike: 689.25 hours (28.72 days)
  2. Kevin: 671.25 hours (27.97 days)
  3. Bill: 464 hours (19.33 days)
  4. Trace: 248.25 hours (10.34 days)
  5. Mary Jo: 180 hours (7.5 days)
  6. Frank: 157.25 hours (6.55 days)
  7. Joel: 154.75 hours (6.45 days)
  8. Josh: 99.75 hours (4.16 days)

IN CONCLUSION:

Why did I do this?  Hell if I know.  Maybe Torgo, Ortega, Norman and Gregory the Skunk teamed up to threaten me ... nah.

Seriously, though, I saw a post by Kevin Murphy reflecting on his time spent riffing things over these last 27 years, particularly since Rifftrax just did their 200th unique film.  It got me to thinking: just how much enjoyment have these people given me?  And, if I use charts and math, can I somehow sap said enjoyment from that effort?  I think the results speak for themselves.

To Joel, Mike, Kevin, Trace, Josh, Bill, Frank, Mary Jo, Bridget, Paul, Conor, Sean, Jim Mallon and everyone else ... thank you.

Friday, June 19, 2015

'8 Days': The first two chapters


8 Days is my next book and I've been working on it for about two weeks.  It's nowhere near being finished, but I'm very pleased with the progress so far.

In case you missed the earlier post on the subject, here's the story in a nutshell: "Imagine that the world is coming to an end in eight days.  What would you do with the time you have left?  Now imagine that those eight days pass and the world doesn't end after all.  How do you feel about what you've done?"

And, after the JUMP, I will post the first two chapters.  (Language warning, I guess, if that kind of thing bugs you.)

Enjoy!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Coupon Codes!

In celebration of my "ety3rd" rechristening, I'm discounting pretty much everything.

My scifi books are growing in popularity.  Displaced, my action-packed time travel novel, is still my best seller.  Use coupon code GX69X to get it for just 99¢:


Diary of a Second Life is a post-post-apocalyptic teen road trip zombie novel.  It's deeper than it sounds and it's just about my most personal work.  Use coupon code FH53F to get it for just 99¢:


I've also written a couple of adult books.

There's Sexcalation, a semi-autobiographical account of married life with the addition of another couple.  Use coupon code GB99B to get it for just 99¢:


Then there's The Red Kick.  A stripper learns the secrets of her city's bad guys then she puts on a mask and a skintight outfit to punch evil in its stupid face.  It's a lot of fun (written a bit like a comic book) and turned out far better than it had any right to.  Use coupon code WV58W to get it for just 99¢:



Of course, my Lords of Kobol series is FREE.  Like always:


Thanks, as always.  More to come ...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Welcome!

First thing's first: my name is Trey and I'm a dork.

A few years ago after watching the end of Battlestar Galactica, I knew there were some things I wished had been explored further.  Though I enjoyed the end very much, I understood that the producers and writers didn't necessarily want to answer every question posed.  So ...

I decided to explore the ancient history of the show.  Since I like mythology, that era had some of my biggest questions.  I pondered it for a couple of months and then I thought I would undertake the writing of that history.  Fast forward a couple of years, I've got three books on the matter, spanning more than five thousand years ... the end of which is set some two thousand years before the show and yet inextricably tied.

First, let me say that if you haven't seen all of Battlestar Galactica, perhaps this isn't for you.  (Caprica isn't as necessary to see for these books.)  Skip down to Displaced and read that non-BSG scifi book.

Next, check out this "video" I posted which sort of sets up the books.  After you've read the books, please know that you can hang out here on the blog and check out all sorts of "bonus materials," almost like a DVD. Pictures, maps, commentary and much more.


"But wait," you're saying, "how do I know these don't suck?"  Well, I appreciate your candor.  Feel free to read this collection of reviews to assuage your concerns.

Lords of Kobol - Book One: Apotheosis can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for FREE at Smashwords here.  Also available at iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.  All for free.

Basic synopsis: introduces you to the gods at the height of their power, as well as the creation and later exodus of the Thirteenth Tribe.

For Book One, here's the post detailing the map in the book, along with a larger version.

Lords of Kobol - Book Two: Descent can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for FREE at Smashwords here.  Also available at iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.  All for free.

Basic synopsis: primarily a flashback to the gods' descent from Mt. Olympus and the beginning of their reign over mankind, strife between Prometheus and Zeus, etc.

For Book Two, here's a post on the map I made for that book and here's one about asteroid impacts.

Lords of Kobol - Book Three: The Final Exodus can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for FREE at Smashwords here.  Also available at iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.  All for free.

Basic synopsis: the end of the Lords' dominion, rise of Cylons, the "Blaze," Tomb of Athena and the exodus of man.

For Book Three, here are a few maps (including the City of the Gods), propaganda of the gods and details on the Book of Pythia.

Trilogy-wise (all with major spoilers), here's a post of deleted scenes, a glossary of terms and, finally, an article to address the questions of how I tied the books to the show.  Here's that huge post on the theology of the show and my books.  It includes Book Four spoilers, so beware of that.

That's the trilogy.  But wait, there's more ...

Lords of Kobol - Book Four: Tales From Ancient Days can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for FREE at Smashwords here.  Also available at iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.  All for free.

Basic synopsis: this is tough.  Essentially, I wanted to explore some things I couldn't in the original trilogy.  This is a completely different version of the story and told in a Tolkien-esque fashion.  There's more mysticism, mythology and so on.

For Book Four, here's the map for this book and here's an article addressing how I tackled certain show-related questions in this volume.

*** For all of the Lords of Kobol books, here's a huge post that outlines the theology of the two TV shows and the four novels.  Please, only read that after you've read the books.  And seen the show.  It's in-depth and addresses many questions.  Very important. ***


Lords of Kobol - Book Five: Of Gods and Titans can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for FREE at Smashwords here.  Also available at iTunesKobo, and B&N.  All for free.

Basic synopsis: we go back to the trilogy with this prequel that details the creation of the Titans and how Zeus and his Olympians overthrew them.

For Book Five, here are the maps, designing the Caesar's seal, the look of Cylonsworld-building with language, mythologyreal-world theology & history, and a glossary of terms.

ALSO (and trilogy-wide stuff is discussed), there's the prequel trap, the problem with BSG, my workspaceBSG theology 1, BSG theology 2, and a finale Q&A.



BUT WAIT; THERE'S MORE.

Not only have I written these four BSG-related books (free to download, I remind you), but I'm in the process of publishing non-BSG works, too.

Displaced can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for $2.99 at Smashwords here.  Also available at B&N, Kobo, iTunes, and Amazon.

Basic synopsis: Baltimore cop wakes up in his car on a farm far from home.  Lots of weirdness happens after that.  (Prehistoric animals, robots ... you get the idea.)  Sci-fi, action packed, kind of a mystery.  Think Lost but set on a farm and with a more solid ending.

For Displaced, here's a post with a map of the farm and here's one with another spoilery map and a size comparison chart for the various animals.

Diary of a Second Life can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for $2.99 at Smashwords here.  Also available at Amazon, iTunesKobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Basic synopsis: three centuries after an apocalypse wrought by the undead (yes, zombies), a teen named Wess Marin decides he must leave his insular community in order to survive.  This book details his attempts to leave the past behind and maybe even cure the evil that has destroyed the world.

For Diary of a Second Life, here's post number one on the illustrations, post number two on the illustrations, the original outline and plan for the novel, an article explaining the science of my zombies compared to other fictional zombies and a post on the real-world geography in the book.


Sexcalation, my very adult erotica novel, can be downloaded in just about every imaginable format for $3.99 at Smashwords.  Also available at Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Basic synopsis: semi-autobiographical account of a guy getting laid, getting married, trying to get laid with his wife and then the couple becoming involved with the sexy couple who moves in nearby.

(Read the Sexcalation blog, the porn-laden Sexcalation Tumblr and Sexcalation Twitter, all of which are basically inactive at this point.)

The Red Kick, my superhero erotica series, can be downloaded in one compilation for $3.99 from AmazonSmashwords, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble.

Issue #1 is FREE and can be downloaded from Smashwords.

Basic synopsis: a masked citizen works as a stripper to learn the evil plans of her city's ne'er-do-wells and then gears up to fight them.  Fun "Batman"-style "BIFF! POW! BANG!" narrative both for the fighting action and the bedroom action.



There you have it.  Please, commence the downloading and then the reading.  Feel free to let me know what you think by leaving comments below, following me on Twitter, following me on Tumblr or by 'liking' my Facebook page.

And, please, whenever you buy and download my stuff, don't forget to rate and review.

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's all "ety3rd" ...


I coined a big corporate phrase for what I'm doing: "brand unification strategy."  Instead of having different names for all of my various accounts, I'm giving them all just one.  "ety3rd" is it.

Website: ety3rd.com
Email: ety3rd@ety3rd.com
Twitter: @ety3rd
Blog: ety3rd.blogspot.com
Tumblr: ety3rd.tumblr.com
Facebook: /ety3rd

Facebook is a tough one.  I wasn't allowed to change the name of the page because I have too many likes.  So I created a new page named "ety3rd" in hopes that I could merge them ... Facebook wouldn't let me because they're not "similar enough."  So I'm asking 'likers' of the first page to 'like' the new one.  It's a hassle, I know.

Thanks for continuing to follow me around.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's Next: More Reading, More Editing

I've finished my re-read and re-edit of Diary of a Second Life.  As with Displaced, it was mostly just some spelling errors, word choices, etc.

If you haven't already, download this awesome, teen road trip zombie book for just 99¢ at Smashwords and Amazon!


I'm re-reading and editing my two adult books, Sexcalation and The Red Kick.  If you're so inclined, you can download them and read with me here.


Monday, April 6, 2015

What's Next: "Diary of a Second Life," etc.

I've finished re-reading and editing Displaced.  Just made some different word choices, for the most part.  If you haven't already, you can get Displaced for just 99¢ here and here (may take a few days for it to filter out to B&N, iTunes, etc.).

Now, I'm moving on to my teen road trip zombie epic, Diary of a Second Life.


If you've already got it, read along with me.  If not, wait a few days and I'll post links to the newly edited versions.  Then you can pick it up for just 99¢.

Friday, March 27, 2015

What's Next: "Displaced," "8 Days" and More ...

No rest for the weary.  Or wicked, I guess.

I'm starting a re-read and edit of my time travel novel Displaced:


It's action packed and loads of fun.  I'm reading it now, so read along with me!

After I re-read the other books, I'll start on something new.  Naturally.


Imagine that the world is coming to an end in eight days.  What would you do with the time you have left?

Now imagine that those eight days pass and the world doesn't end after all.  How do you feel about what you've done?

That's the book.  It's ripe for good drama and good characters, too.

Oh.  And there's one more thing, too.  I'll do it after the JUMP.

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Lords of Kobol" Finale: Questions, Answers & Trivia


This is the end.  My only friends, the end.

As promised, I'll be answering some questions and dropping some last-minute trivia here in this last post related to the Lords of Kobol series.

There will be a few SPOILERS, so just in case, we'll dive in after the JUMP.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Five: BSG Theology 2 - The Song

Continuing from yesterday's post on how Book Five fits in with the Lords of Kobol trilogy and the greater universe of the show, this one deals with the last two or three chapters only.



Heavy SPOILERS.  Everything after the JUMP.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Five: BSG Theology

My SPOILER-heavy dissections of Lords of Kobol - Book Five: Of Gods and Titans continue ...

As the title promises, this is about The One True God, its Messengers and the greater Galactica universe.



Since it is so SPOILER-laden, we'll commence after the JUMP.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Five: History and Theology

(For the record, the "History and Theology" I'm referring to is "real world" stuff; not BSG universe stuff.  That'll come in a later post.)

If you've read Book Five and don't mind having the curtain pulled back a bit and the magic spoiled, read on ...


Everything's VERY SPOILERY so it'll all come after the JUMP.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Book Five: Glossary

Most of these will be items from the Tiberian Empire, since a great deal of focus was on that side of the world.


See the full list of terms and titles after the JUMP.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Five: Connecting to the Trilogy

Suffice it to say, there will be loads of spoilers for Books One, Two, Three and Five in this post.

If you haven't yet, download them all HERE.  (They're free.)

Because of the spoilers, I'll connect dots in the JUMP.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XIV - Long & Strong

... and down to get the friction on.

I've worried that perhaps Book Five turned out to be longer than I anticipated.  After all, my previous Tolstoyian work was Book Three, which maxed out at 123,000 words and 260 pages in Word.  Book Five is a relative Titan (ha) at 150,000 words and 300 pages.

I'm huge!

I was worried about scaring people off with its size, but then I realized that my work is something akin to a dog whistle at this point.  The people who hear it will come.  I'm playing to my audience and they like what I've done so far.  (I'm very appreciative if not somewhat bewildered by the enthusiasm.)

As I wrote, I trimmed.  There were whole chapters cast aside that dove deeper into Larsa's history, particularly the history of the Tiberian Empire and the history of the predominant monotheistic faith.  Some of that info found its way, in tidbit form, into other chapters.

I gave serious thought last week to completely restructuring the first half so we can get to the creation of the Titans that much more quickly.  I went through it all and highlighted what had to go and what had to stay.  I determined that I'd only be able to net about four fewer pages.  Those pages included a lot of good character work, particularly for the Caesar, and some good world-building scenery.  I decided four pages just wasn't worth it.

So, you'll be getting Book Five as I intended it.  It's large, but I think you can handle it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XIII - Myth and "-Machy"

When it comes to writing Lords of Kobol, some of my favorite stuff comes from mythology.  I'm talking about the Greek mythology; not the show's mythology.  I love reading up on these ancient tales and then trying to figure out a way for Cylons to enter the mix.

So it's fun.  It's a good storytelling exercise.  Like making Hades the lord of the underworld.  Or punishing Prometheus for revealing forbidden knowledge to mankind.  Sometimes I like to take the mythology and turn it completely around.  Honestly, the only example of that I can think of would be Hephaestus' loving marriage to Aphrodite.  (In mythology, their marriage was rather loveless and she slept with everyone but Heph.)

With Of Gods and Titans, there were many, many more myths to explore.  This gave me a skeleton of narrative ideas and also fertile ground for creative integration solutions.

Sorry.  I seemed to have gone corporate for a second there.

Basically, there are shloads of good myths about the gods and the Titans and that gave me shloads of opportunities to make cool stuff up.

For most people, they might not notice the connections to real myths.  If you're a Greek scholar or a fan of this stuff, you might even get more enjoyment from it all.  But for the masses, there's really only one Titan story we all remember:

Francisco de Goya's "Saturn Devouring His Son"

Admittedly, it's pretty damned hard to forget that Cronus (Saturn) ate his kids.  Maybe you forgot that Rhea (Cronus' wife) hid baby Zeus and tricked Cronus into eating a stone instead, which later caused him to puke up his other children.  Still, that's the part about the Titans everyone knows.

I won't spoil it, but I will say that I'm particularly proud of how I made this story fit into the Lords of Kobol universe.

But there's a lot more myths to be had.

The war between the Olympians and the Titans is called, in Greek, "Titanomachy."  "-machy" is a suffix meaning "war" or "conflict."  Again, I won't spoil anything, but there are other "machies" involving the Titans and the Olympians.  They are the "Gigantomachy" and the "Typhonomachy."  If you want, feel free to Google or Wiki those, but maybe you'd like it better if you studied up on that biz after you read Book Five.

Still, for my purposes, it's intriguing to think that most people only know the story of Cronus eating his children.  But how did Zeus overthrow the Titans?  It's in the book.

I know I said this is a post about myth, but I won't be getting into the mythology of BSG here, or the whole One True God and its Messengers thing.  I'll save that for a later post about the theology of Book Five.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XII - Retcon Me

You've already read some parts of Book Five.  No, not from the chapters I've posted.  I'm talking about sections in the trilogy that you've already read.

You have already read them, right?

Did I just copy & paste those flashbacks into the new book?  Did I radically change things around?  Did I totally rewrite all of Zeus' back history, meaning I'll need to do another rewrite on the trilogy?

Minor spoilers and answers after the JUMP.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Writing, Again: Part XI - Finalized Maps

This will be a short one.  I thought you might like to see the final maps that appear in Book Five.

Click to embiggen

As I stated in an earlier post, since Larsa is very Tiberia-focused, the map moves them to the center.  Also, much of the world recognizes Tiberia's names for geographical points of interest (Isinnia, Eridia, Badaria, etc.) instead of the more ancient Attican names that Zeus, et al, employed in the trilogy (Galatia, Scythia, Illyria, etc.).

Like previous maps I've made, the place names come from actual geographic features I found on an ancient Latin map of the Roman Empire as well as variations of ancient cities and lands from all around the world.  In the trilogy, I stuck to ancient Greece since Zeus, etc., named everything after Attican sites.  This time around, without a unifying influence, it seemed logical to name things based on all kinds of differing backgrounds and histories.

Click to embiggen

Since much of the action takes place in Isinnia, I knew I'd need a more detailed version so I could squeeze in more names and labels.

That's all for now.  More reading and editing to do.  More blog posts coming soon, too.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Writing, Again: Part X - Prequel Problems

I've typed on this subject before, but as I'm nearer the book's release, it seemed fitting to tackle it again.

There's an inherent problem with prequels.  If characters carry over from the original to the prequel, then we already know how they turn out.  So we have to make things interesting.  We have to do stuff with them that defies (some measure of) expectations.

Trust me, I didn't go so far as this.

Zeus and crew feature prominently in Book Five, of course.  But the Zeus we see is not the same Zeus we find in the trilogy.  There is a learning curve for him.  We get hints of the god who will rule Kobol, but he doesn't fully come into his own within these pages.

The same can be said for other characters that appear in the trilogy, but I won't go into further detail for fear of ruining any potential surprises.

Another problem?  Characters you don't know about and aren't familiar with at all.  Sometimes this isn't a problem and sometimes it is.

Like this guy.  Who cared about him in the Matrix sequels?  No one.  That's who.

Typically, that's a result of poor writing.  If A) the new character isn't intriguing and B) the older, beloved characters appear to be shunted aside in favor of the new characters, then you get audience displeasure.

By necessity, there are new characters in Book Five.  The subtitle alone tells you that the Titans are involved.  Also, as depicted in a Book Three flashback, we know that there's a Caesar, too.  I found Caesar to be a compelling character and I didn't mind dedicating plenty of space to him.  I don't believe the readers will mind, either.

Despite my own enjoyment of Caesar Maxentius IX, I know people are reading this for more Zeus, et al, and Cylons.  I felt duty-bound to get to them as soon as possible, so the creation of the Titans comes fairly early on.  (And the birth of the Olympians shortly after that.)  The bulk of the book is Titans vs. Olympians.  That's the whole point, right?

I was about a month into it when I realized I was falling into the prequel trap.  I was spending too much time with new characters and, as a consequence, the characters people wanted to spend time with were being shunted further and further back.  So I began to trim.  I had to be careful, though, as I needed to build the world.

Book One spends a good bit of time building the world of Kobol in the golden age of the Lords' reign.  When I first published the book, I probably had too many chapters doing that.  In subsequent edits, I removed a few.  It's a tighter book and the world doesn't seem to have suffered.

Book Five is much the same.  The world is very different, though.  It's not a world unified and buoyed by the gods.  I spent too long building corners of the world that could have been taken care of more organically as the story progressed.  All's well now and the book is shorter for it.  (Not much shorter, though.  Frak.  I'll discuss that at a later time.)

But there's a tiger in our faces.  I need to mention it.

I liked it.  A lot.

Caprica had very large shoes to fill, coming after BSG.  Unfortunately, the show seemed to spin its wheels for the first third or so of the season.  They got lost in world building and in character building, too.  They had a hard time getting the characters to a place where the audience truly wanted to spend time with them.  It's a shame, because they began to find purchase and gain ground in the latter part of the series, which, of course, was too late.

How did Caprica fare against the prequel problem?  Well, they avoided having any characters from BSG in it (though they did have the family members of some).  The entire show was made up of new characters, some of whom clicked better than others.  They jumped into it, whole hog.  Props for the attempt.  If the early going hadn't seemed so slow and had "SyFy" treated it better, I'm sure we'd have a few seasons of a good-to-great prequel to reflect upon.

More posts coming soon ... including maps, mythology, and the problem with Galactica.