On December 13th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, I will be signing books at Half-Price Books in Clearwater Village on the north side of Indianapolis. Books make great Christmas gifts and I will be happy to sign and personalize any of my novels for you or your loved ones. I write fantasy novels appropriate for ages 16+ and science-fiction appropriate for ages 10+.
Work has begun in earnest on the third book in the Zack Jackson series: Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra. I anticipate releasing this book in late Q1 or early Q2 2014. In this installment, Zack and his Junior Ranger troop take a trip to the Valtraxian homeworld, Valtra. While there, Zack will have to learn important lessons dealing with the up and downs of friendship and how important those ties are when things are at their worst. That description makes it sound like a “Very Special Episode,” doesn’t it? We’ll have to see how it turns out when I’m finished!
Sadly, this means work on my next World of Calliome novel (Scars of the Sundering) has stopped. Frankly, I was having a difficult time with this novel. I just couldn’t get into the characters the way I needed to; I wasn’t believing in the story. I thought it was best to step away and work on something else. Hopefully I’ll find my muse for it again.
In the meantime, I will be having a book signing at the Half-Price Books Outlet in Bloomington, IN this Saturday (November 16). If you’re in the area, stop by and say “Hi!” I’ll have copies of all of my novels for sale.
So, in all the excitement I forgot to mention that Underdiscussion: The Undergopher Podcast interviewed me at Gen Con. You can listen to the episode here: http://undergopher.com/blog1/2013/08/16/ud128-gencon-hans-cummings-interview-and-day-1/
Actually, I think there are TWO interviews with me in that episode. One deals with me as an author, and the other with my position as ENnie Award Submissions Coordinator.
There will be another podcast coming up, Genretainment on SciFi Pulse Radio. I don’t have an exact date yet, but I will link to it when it goes live. That one will be very interesting to listen to, because I’m fairly certain I not only put my foot in my mouth regarding one of my favorite characters, but I chewed it to a bloody pulp in the process. I was so embarrassed, and I don’t think it’ll get edited out.
In other news, I’m still scheduled for a book signing at the Half-Price Books Outlet in Bloomington, IN in the afternoon of Saturday, November 16th. Come on down and see me!
That’s right, I will be doing my first public book signing on November 16th at Half-Price Books Outlet, 3120. W. Susan Drive in Bloomington, Indiana. I’ll have copies of all four of my books for sale. I’ll be in the store from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
If you want me to sign a body part, you’ll need to bring your own permanent marker. :p
If you’re looking for a gamer’s perspective, see here.
While I am only semi-recovered from Gen Con, I think I can be coherent enough to tell you all about it. Let me get something out of the way first. This is my reaction to the amount of books I sold while sitting at my little table on Author’s Avenue in the Dealer Hall:
So yeah, it was a successful con for me. I met with a lot of new readers and sold books to both people I knew and complete strangers. I truly hope everyone who bought one of my books enjoys it. I made some contacts with people who might try to get the Zack Jackson series in elementary school science classes (making an effort to use real science in those books is paying off) and I spoke with a representative from the local library system.
I did not sell out of my Gen Con-exclusive limited edition omnibus of The Foundation of Drak-Anor; I sold just over half of them. I’ll hang onto the rest of the until next Gen Con, but I won’t be printing anymore because I stand by my assertion that it was a LIMITED EDITION. I printed 50 copies and 50 copies there shall be.
Now that the convention is over, it’s time to get back to work on my next book. I have a short story called “Forgotten Dreams” that is going to be in an anthology. “Forgotten Dreams” takes place in a new science fantasy setting I call “The Seven Galaxies.” I’ll reveal more when the anthology is officially announced and more things are locked in; we’re all still in the editing & peer review phase of our stories. My next book, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, is called Scars of the Sundering. It is a fantasy novel taking place on the World of Calliome (which you may remember from Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs), but we’ve moved further south, to the once-prosperous mining town of Curton. It is now five (five, five plus…still working that out) years beyond the events in Iron Fist of the Oroqs and we’ll see that a magical world like Calliome cannot be sundered and then healed without a few problems occurring in the deep places of the world. You’ll see what’s become of Tasha Galperin, though the novel focuses on a wayward transmuter and enchanter named Vasco Dragonblade from Maritropa and on the Constable of Curton, Knight-Commander of the Royal Order of the Shield, Aveline Durant, a woman whose family immigrated south from the coastal port of Vlorey to settle among the miners and mudders of Curton in a more prosperous time.
I will try to update this blog more often, but despite my success at Gen Con, I still feel like I don’t have a whole lot to say about my craft that isn’t already being said by folks more experienced than me.
If you’re going to Gen Con (August 15-18, 2013), you can find me most of the time in the Dealer Hall at my table on Author’s Avenue. It’s table AA, near the back of the hall across the aisle from Stan! and the Media Guest of Honor Autograph area.
I will have paperback copies of all of my books there, as well as a hardcover Gen Con-exclusive limited edition omnibus of my fantasy series, The Foundation of Drak-Anor. This edition is limited to 50 copies, so you should get it as soon as possible. I will also have CDs with electronic versions of all of my books in three formats (epub, mobi, and PDF).
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Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy is now available for sale in the Kindle store! Boot up your AI companions and get into your environmental suits! The adventure continues as Zack Jackson goes to Venus to attend the prestigious Cytherean Academy. He’ll find being marooned on Bestic was a piece of cake compared to starting a new school. The print edition has been uploaded and is going through the system. There will be another announcement when it is available.
In addition, Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos has been updated with a new cover design. It’ll take a few days for the changes to filter through Amazon’s system, so here’s a peek at the cover so you can see it now!
Some indie publishers think just putting their work “out there” is good enough. They wrote the book, proofread it, and they’re done. Buy it. Maybe they hired someone to edit it. Maybe they found a stock image (there’s nothing wrong with stock art, but there’s a time & place for everything) for the cover and put some text over it.
I always buy original art for my covers. I just think it looks better and it lets me show exactly what I want. I designed the cover for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos myself and thought it looked pretty good. In retrospect, and this became particularly clear when I tried to use the same style for the second book, it was really amateurish. So, I hired a professional graphic designer. The results speak for themselves (the border is actually squared off in the first cover; WordPress makes the edges round). Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos has been redesigned to match the new style, as well.
I was unsatisfied with my attempts to design the cover for Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy, so I hired an actual graphic designer to do it for me. His preliminary work was so good, I’m having him re-do the graphic design for Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos, as well (although, the cover art will remain the same). Other than that, Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy is finished. I’m ready to upload the file to Amazon, but I still need a product description/blurb, so that’s holding things up. I’m really horrible at writing those. It’s more challenging than one would think to condense a 92,000 word novel into a couple of paragraphs and making it sound enticing without giving away all the juicy bits. It’s not something they covered in any of my writing classes.
Anyway, it’ll be available as soon as I’m satisfied with my blurb. I’ve asked for some feedback on it from the “usual suspects,” so I hope to have it finished today. Then, I’ll get it to my designer and hopefully have the cover within a few hours. After that, it could be 24 hours before it’s available on Amazon. I’ll definitely make an announcement when that happens. In the meantime, if you haven’t picked up Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos yet, it’s still (and will remain) 99¢. The Kindle edition will automatically get the new cover even if you buy it with the old one. If you want a new cover on your print edition, I’d wait, however.