Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day

There are three things that I really like being. I like being a husband. I like being a writer. And I like being a dad.

So, for you on this Father's Day, a dad story.

The girls are adorable, as usual. Dad not as much.
I mentioned in a previous post that we recently made a quick trip to Kansas City for a family wedding. It was a great trip. Lots of fun. But also lots of time in the car and getting the girls in and out. One of those times I was buckling Ellie in and she was asking about rain. She's asking about rain and weather a lot lately. We have some theories as to why, but we do a lot of calming her when we get thunderstorms (and thunderstorms are a big part of spring in Texas).

So we are in the car and she asks me "Why does it rain, daddy?" And I immediately start trying to remember all I can about evaporation and clouds and the water cycle. It's old information learned years ago. It's not in any mental instant recall files that I'm desperately trying to access.

Gina is across the seat from me getting Haddie situated, and I am guessing she's sensing my very modest panic. She pipes up with "God's just watering the plants so they can grow big and strong." Ellie says a simple "Oh, God's watering the plants."

Sometimes I may make this dad stuff harder than I need too. I'm just thankful that God made kids, at least my two, resilient, funny, loving, and curious enough to ask questions that make me think.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Digi City is out now. Plus ... DEALS!!!

Today's the big day. Publication day for Digi City, the latest story out of New Eden, and the first story from what I'm calling the In-between. I hope you've already pre-ordered your copy. If not, it's OK. Go ahead and get a copy here today. It's finally available for immediate download.

But that's not all. As a way to celebrate the new release, I've dropped prices on all the other books in the New Eden series. From today until Saturday, you can get Chasing Filthy Lucre for free. That's the series starter at no cost.

Finding Faded Light is just 99 cents instead of its regular $2.99. That means you can get all three books in the New Eden series for less than $2. Quite the deal if you ask me.

And I apologize for how much this sounds like an infomercial. 

Get your copy of Digi City here.
Get your copy of Chasing Filthy Lucre here.
Get your copy of Finding Faded Light here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Digi City: Creating familiarity

We just got back from a quick trip to Kansas City for a family wedding. It was nice to get up there for a happy event. The last two trips have been up-and-back affairs for funerals. Never enough time to get quickly reacquainted with my hometown.

This time, though, we had a little bit of extra time, and I got to show the girls the houses I lived in, the school I attended. Ellie even got to play at the park I played at as a kid. It was fun.

The thing that was somewhat remarkable to me, as it was the last time I was up there and was able to see some old familiar places, was just how much I still knew the are of the city that I grew up in. I could find my way around. I could find landmarks without the help of a map, or much help at least.

I've been thinking a lot about book stuff lately. Honestly, I think about book stuff often, but it's more often now that I have a book release imminent (Tomorrow, in case you didn't know.). When I created New Eden I knew that it was a place that held a lot of stories, a lot of stories that I wanted to tell. To do that you need to create a world that people want to spend a lot of time in. Hopefully, I've done that. But what makes people want to spend a lot of time in a literary universe? To my thinking, and really that's all that I've got to go on, it's familiarity. It's a place that feels comfortable and familiar but leaves you with the want to explore more.

Familiarity through character

Some authors create that comfort and familiarity with a character. Think Jack Reacher or Harry Dresden. Or, if you're a movie person, think the Mission Impossible franchise. There are plenty of other examples. If these stories the settings change, but you have characters who are essentially the same throughout the series. Reacher is Reacher. Dresden is Dresden. For the most part, you know what you're going to get. Even when you're away from a series for a while, you can pick up a new release and settle into it quickly. That character is familiar.

There's nothing wrong with these types of series. They are obviously popular. I've read several of Lee Child's Reacher novels. They are very entertaining. Ditto for Dresden.

Familiarity through setting

The other route is creating familiarity through setting. What this is should be obvious. The players change, but the place they are playing doesn't. Larry Niven's Ringworld series is a popular example.

In the New Eden series, New Eden is the constant. Even though we've so far focused on just two main characters — Rexall and Berger — there are plenty of other stories that can and will take place in this world. That puts it on me to create some place that readers will want to spend a good amount of time. It has to be full of interesting people and interesting places. It can't, in my estimation, be a place where just Rexall and Berger and the people connected to them live and act. I need a cast of characters bigger than that because New Eden is a city that's bigger than that. That's what I'm starting to do with these Stories from the In-between.

It's a bit like concentric circles. If Rexall and Berger and their New Eden is the center, then the new characters I'll be introducing are those rings that pulse out from there. In Digi City, we get more on Jensen Miller, the Roma agent who is chasing Rexall and Berger in Finding Faded Light. He's a first ring character who has his own New Eden. He spends time in places that are familiar for anyone who has read the first two New Eden books, but he also has places that are his own. By reading Miller's story, readers get to learn more about not just him but the city he calls home. And hopefully, it's learning about these new places that will help New Eden become a place that readers will want to come back to  often and will feel familiar when they do.


Digi City publishes tomorrow, but you can pre-order your copy now so it'll be on your Kindle or Kindle App when you wake up. Click here to do that.

Still not sold? Get a sneak peek at the first chapter here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Digi City: Pre-order your copy of my newest book before Wednesday's release

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you've seen this news. If you follow me on Twitter you've probably seen it more than you care to. But, it's not something I've shared here yet, and I really should have.

I've got a new book, and it's coming out on Wednesday. What? Wednesday? Yes, Wednesday. It's the next in the New Eden series, and it's called Digi City. Technically, it's a novelette if you are keeping score. That's the cover over there, although it may not be for long. I'm playing with another idea. 

So, something to explain. While this is the third book in the New Eden series to be released, this is not the third book in the series chronologically. The New Eden story has always been bigger than Rexall and Berger for me. There are other people populating this world with tales that need to be told. This is the first of those stories.

Put the New Eden stories in chronological order, and Chasing Filthy Lucre and Finding Faded Light are one and two, respectively. Digi City is the first of four stories that falls in between the end of Chasing Filthy Lucre and the end of Finding Faded Light. So, if you were to number Digi City, it'd be book 1.2. 

This book follows Jensen Miller, the Roma agent who chases Rexall and Berger to the Outer West in Finding Faded Light. He was always a complicated character and more interesting than he got to be the first time we saw him. Digi City fleshes him out, and, hopefully makes the world of New Eden a little less black and white.

What's it about? Here's the book description:

Jensen Miller has a new daughter, a beautiful wife and a relatively stable life in unstable New Eden. The fallen government and increasing number of data addicts have the city crumbling. When a group of terrorists sets off a series of explosions at the docks, the population comes together to rebuild. But a rising power, Roma Corp, uses the distraction as an opportunity to strengthen its ever-tightening grip on society.

Relying on Miller, the company's top security agent, Roma starts hunting down those it fears may be working against the company. For Miller, that hunt starts in Digi City, the place most of New Eden's data addicts go to get their fix.

What Miller finds there will change how he sees Roma, these data addicts, and even himself.

Intriguing? I hope so, although writing the description is always the hardest part. If you thought you wanted to read more, I've put the first chapter up for free here. Click that link and check it out. 

If you're thinking this is a story you'd like to read, you can pre-order Digi City before it's Wednesday launch by clicking here.

Thanks for your support in advance.