Signing at Gen Con

Next week, I will be at Gen Con. On August 14 – 17, I will staff my table on Author’s Avenue (table AA) whenever the Dealer Hall is open. I will have copies of all five of my novels, as well as a limited number of copies of Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction. I also still have copies of the Gen Con Exclusive Omnibus Edition of The Foundation of Drak-Anor (21 copies to be exact). Once these book are gone, I’m not going to print more! The Foundation of Drak-Anor collects Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs into a single volume. I will also have free Galactic Confederation Junior Ranger patches for everyone who buys a Zack Jackson novel!

One thing I will be doing at Gen Con is free giveaways. That’s right; you can get a copy of Wings of Twilight for free, if you’re lucky… Watch my twitter feed (@hccummings or @jedisoth) or the hashtag #GenCon for giveaway times. I’m only giving away one book per day, and you’ll need to speak the secret passphrase to get a chance to roll my four Vesuvian Lava Fate dice (yes, they’re really carved out of lava from Mt. Vesuvius). If you beat my roll, you win a book! Four plusses wins the hardcover Omnibus edition (subject to availability–a tie means we throw out that roll and roll again) and earns another lucky person a chance to win Wings of Twilight.

If I’m going to sell and sign books at a gaming convention, I may as well make a game out of it, right?

Categories: Iron Fist of the Oroqs, Publishing, Wings of Twilight, Zack Jackson | Leave a comment

Best of Indy – Best Local Author Honoree!

BOI-Logo2013REVHonoreeThanks to the support of readers like you, I was chosen as an Honoree in Nuvo’s Reader’s Choice 2014 Best of Indy — Best Local Author! I was beaten by John Green and Dan Wakefield, both of whom have their own Wikipedia pages, so I don’t think I did too badly at all. Thank you all so much for your support.

Don’t forget I have a book signing coming up at the Breadloaf Book Shop in Lake Geneva, WI next Saturday, August 2nd from 1pm – 4pm. If you’re local to the area, or just passing through, I hope to see you there.

I’ll also have a table at Gen Con in the Dealer’s Hall on Author’s Avenue. Gen Con run from August 14th – 17th and I will be there all four days. In addition to having copies of all of my books available to purchase, I’ll have freebies and giveaways!

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Book Signing, August 2nd, Lake Geneva, WI

If you’re local to Lake Geneva, WI (or if you just want to come up for the day), I will be having a book signing at the Breadloaf Book Shop in Lake Geneva on the afternoon of August 2nd. I will have copies of all five of my novels, and possibly a limited number of the Sojourn anthology in which I have a short story.

For those of you new to this blog, I have two series available. The Foundation of Drak-Anor (Wings of Twilight and Iron Fist of the Oroqs) is a fantasy duology told from the point-of-view of the “monsters” as they struggle with finding acceptance in a world who just wants to kill them and take their stuff.

The Zack Jackson series is on book 3 of a possible 6-7 volumes. It’s a YA series (though suitable for all ages) set in the 43rd century as the Earth-Alpha Centauri Alliance considers membership in the Galactic Confederation. It follows Zack Jackson, a young boy from Wyoming as he goes on Junior Ranger trips to alien worlds, goes to school at the prestigious Cytherean Academy on Venus, and learns of a galactic conspiracy to ensure a defeated enemy is wiped out of existence. Things are not always what they seem, of course, and Zack discovers sometimes the defeated are not always the bad guys.

Hope to see you there!

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Categories: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Interview at UnderDiscussion

I was interviewed this weekend by the fine folks at UnderDiscussion: The UnderGopher Podcast. We talked about Zack Jackson, my other novels, and gaming. Of course, since I’m bad at off-the-cuff things, I forgot to bring up a few points about the Zack Jackson series that I knew I should talk about.

I spoke about how part of my inspiration for Zack Jackson was Star Trek and the optimistic view of the future it has. I wanted to write about a future I felt was cool and would actually want to live in. A big part of the Zack Jackson universe is the wide-spread acceptance of, well, just about everything. I make an effort to show how diverse and interesting life and people are, and if a character doesn’t understand or is just being exposed to something for the first time, I use it as an opportunity for character growth. I’ve found that to refrain from beating readers over the head with a message of acceptance and diversity, the best thing to do is just mention such things briefly and have the characters accept it without a word, as though it is the most natural thing. After all, diversity is natural and we should be accepting of it because that is the way things should be.

Categories: Interviews, Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra now available in Print and for Kindle!

Zack Jackson Book 03 front cover smallThe third book in the Zack Jackson series, Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is now available on Amazon! You can purchase it for your Kindle for $3.99. The print version is $13.99, and if you buy the print version from CreateSpace or Amazon, you receive the Kindle version free.

The Zack Jackson series follows a 43rd-century student as he joins the Junior Rangers (think Boy/Girl Scouts in space), learns about Earth’s place in the greater galactic community, and explores the diversity and dangers of the universe. This volume follows him as he goes on a trip to one of his friend’s home world, the jungle world, Valtra. Even as his friends’ lives seem to fall apart around him, Zack learns not everything is as it seems, even on founding worlds of the Galactic Confederation. Helpless though he feels to help his friends with there personal problems, that doesn’t stop him from poking around ancient ruins and discovering an old adversary’s interest in Valtra.

 

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Zack Jackson is coming!

Zack Jackson Book 03 front cover smallZack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra will be available for Kindle e-readers on Friday, May 30th! The print version will be available to order through Amazon or CreateSpace as soon as I get all the files approved; it might be on or before May 30th depending on how long CreateSpace’s queue is. It will follow in other formats on August 27th, after the Kindle exclusivity period ends.

From the back cover:


 

Life can be complicated even while on school break, especially when one is nearly a hundred light-years from Earth.

After a challenging freshman year at the prestigious Cytherean Academy on Venus, Zack Jackson is excited to embark on the Junior Ranger trip to his friend’s home world, the alien jungle world of Valtra. As he explores high-tech arcologies, ancient ruins, and makes friends with species from across the galaxy, Zack encounters clothes-eating insects, oppressive bureaucrats, and natives with bad PR. Yet, despite his excitement, he feels helpless as the lives of his friends unravel before him when they receive bad news from home.

Dire tidings can’t disrupt the Junior Ranger trip, though, and while he and his friends explore abandoned ruins, an unexpected discovery brings an old adversary into Zack’s life once more, and he uncovers the secrets hidden – in the hives of Valtra.

Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra is the third novel in the Zack Jackson series of science-fiction stories for all ages.

The Zack Jackson Series includes
Zack Jackson & The Cult of Athos
Zack Jackson & The Cytherean Academy
Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra

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Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction – Author Interview Series

This week, my interview is with Laura K. Anderson, author of “Foresight” and one of the editors of the anthology.

1. Where did you get the idea for your story?
It was actually a question I wanted to explore: Do we have any inherent legal right to our future?  It was a discussion I had with my husband one day.  After all, if someone can see our future and take it for their own, how many lawsuits will there be?  I didn’t fully explore the idea in “Foresight” because that was a lot about exploring the world and learning about the drug, though.

2. Do you plan to write more stories in that setting or with those characters?
Possibly.  I’m not entirely sure yet.  I really like the setting, and I want to actually examine the idea of people having a legal right to their future.  I’m not sure I’ll use the same characters, but I will probably use the setting.

3. What was the appeal of Sojourn for you?
Working with the community.  My primary role in Sojourn was as editorial director, and my love of the Fear the Boot community was what prompted me to get involved in with Sojourn.

4. What was your favorite part about writing for the Sojourn anthology?
I have to choose a favorite part?  Ryan was a fantastic editor who offered some great advice.  But more than anything I had fun using my knowledge and skills to help the authors.  Freelance editing is a part-time job for me because my favorite part about editing is working with authors who have no idea what they’re doing.  I like it so much because I’m helping them learn about writing, learn about editing, and learn how this whole business works.

5. Did you learn anything while writing your story, if so, what?
I learned that I really enjoy science fiction.  I used to think about science fiction and kind of grumble about it, imagining space ships and aliens.  But I realized that science fiction encompasses more than space opera and that I could find things about science fiction that I enjoyed writing.

6. Is there any trivia or behind-the-scenes information about your story you would like to share?
The earliest drafts of this story were actually written for a class I was taking on writing science fiction.  It was such a struggle for me, because I typically wrote only fantasy. This was a huge learning experience for me.

7. What was the biggest influence on your story?
Philip K. Dick.  He’s my favorite science fiction writer, and he’s one of the authors who made me realize just how much I actually love science fiction.  His stories are very different from my own, but he really helped influence my ideas of what science fiction is.

8. Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Write for us!  I can promise you, there is something exciting about holding that book in your hands for the first time and seeing this thing that you helped create.

Categories: Interviews, Publishing, Sojourn | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for me at Gen Con?

Gen Con event registration opened this past Sunday. Since I didn’t submit any events, you won’t find my name in the event catalog. You can find me at Gen Con, however, because I have a table on Author’s Avenue. I will be in the Dealer Hall from open to close all four days (unless I’m on a food run). I do have to leave early on Friday to do some work for the ENnie Awards, but otherwise I’ll be at my table selling and signing books all weekend! Table assignments haven’t been set yet, but once I know exactly which table I’m at, I’ll let everyone know.

In addition to having shiny new copies of Zack Jackson & The Hives of Valtra, I will also have official EAC Division Junior Ranger patches. I can’t sell them at Gen Con because of merchandise restrictions on Author’s Avenue, but any one who purchased one or more Zack Jackson books will get one free! I will also have copies of Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction for sale.

Categories: Writing | Leave a comment

You Can Still Vote!

Voting is in its third week.

Please don’t forget to vote for Hans Cummings for Indy’s Best Local Author.

http://nuvo.secondstreetapp.com/2014-Best-of-Indy-Voting/Ballot/ArtsandEntertainment

Categories: Writing | Leave a comment

Sojourn: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction – Author Interview Series

Today’s interview is with Chris Hussey, author of “Unknowing Agents” and one of the hosts of the Fear the Boot podcast.

1. Where did you get the idea for your story?
The idea actually came from an idea I had for a role-playing game a long time ago. I liked the idea of creating characters who would infiltrate different genres, acting as agents in this grand scale fight against evil. I never really got around to developing the game, but I realized it made for a great fiction idea.

2. Do you plan to write more stories in that setting or with those characters?
Probably not. I certainly could. The storyline and the universe lend itself to the idea easily, but I viewed this really as more of a one-shot piece. Of course, I’m kind of a “never say never” person.

3. What was the appeal of Sojourn for you?
For me, it was all about seeing Fear the Boot move on to that next level. Dan’s built something very impressive and has really wanted to move it forward. I love the podcast and community for many of the same reasons the rest of the community does, so doing my part to help out was a no-brainer.

4. What was your favorite part about writing for the Sojourn anthology?
Working with the editors. Laura and Ryan are very good at what they do, and it was a breeze to work with them. They made it easy, yet still challenged me as a writer.

5. Did you learn anything while writing your story, if so, what?
Tough to say. I think the biggest thing I learned is that I now need to learn more about the publishing process. I’ll be doing that soon enough myself, and I can tell I have a way to go.

6. Is there any trivia or behind-the-scenes information about your story you would like to share?
The character of ‘Ben in the story is based very loosely on one of the members of my current game group, who has since departed. He is directly named after him, however. Also, Deckard is the name of one of the PCs from my old group. My friend Shayne played a character named Deckard. The character himself is not based on anything Shayne ever did with his Deckard.

7. What was the biggest influence on your story?
I have an unhealthy desire, for some reason, to do all manner of stories and such about tabletop games and the people who play them. I’m not really sure why that is.

8. Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
To key off the previous question, I’m currently working on a couple of projects in that vein under the broad title of  Table Tales, which is sort of an umbrella channel name for that gamer media. The first is ‘Gamers Behaving Badly’ which is an audio show about a group of tabletop gamers who play RPGs the way they weren’t meant to be. The second…, well you know what? Rather than bore you with my laundry list, I’ll just push you over to the site. It’s http://www.tabletalesseries.com

Categories: Interviews, Publishing, Sojourn | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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