Thursday, August 7, 2014
I'm not sure how this happened.
When my son was about 6 years old, he said he wanted to go around the world. My wife, in an attempt to put him off said, "You have to be at least ten years old to go around the world." People, let me tell you, kids REMEMBER that stuff. And so, in the few years that followed, something my wife had said casually, somehow became a "plan."
So when the time came, I used the "multi-stop" option on websites like Kayak and Orbitz to see what airline tickets would cost to get us around the world. The result: There was NO WAY we were going to be able to afford this trip. I finally started pricing each leg of the trip one leg at a time. One way tickets to Paris from one site. One way tickets to Venice from another. Then to Tokyo. Then home. Doing it this way literally cut the cost IN HALF. We were back! This was doable.
Time was also a problem. Originally, London and Prague were on the itinerary, but with time and money a consideration, we had to see what cities we could visit and enjoy on our budget and wrap the whole thing up in two weeks. So ... Paris, Venice, Tokyo.
The downside: Anything airport or airline related was flat out sucky. I mean, nothing particularly went wrong. I just hate flying these days. It stinks.
The rest of the trip was awesome.
In Paris, we did the obvious tourist things: Museums, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, etc.
In Venice we arrived at our hotel in style via water taxi. Our hotel was right on the Grand Canal and it was cool for the boat to pull right up and let us off. We saw a bunch of historical stuff which was fine, but really, I liked spending my time in Venice as follows:
Tokyo was a big stop for my son as he likes anime and manga and all that whatnot.
And we finished the trip in ... Mexico?
Kidding. The above picture is from the Indiana Jones ride at the Disney Sea theme park in Tokyo. We had half a day to kill before our night flight home, and some Disney fun was a great way to cap things off.
Then home and some world record jet lag.
And while I will be sending my next 500 paychecks directly to the credit card, it was worth it.
Although it's great to be home.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Amazon has made my epic fantasy novel INK MAGE super cheap for people with Kindles or a Kindle App. Only 1.99. This is a "daily deal" so grab the bargain before time runs out. Click HERE.
Guys, I don't have a crystal ball or anything like that, but I get the vibe we might me close to impressing the publisher enough for a sequel. If you like sword stabbings and magic and whatnot, give it a try.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
For a limited time, get some Kindle fiction for the super elCheapo price of 99 pennies.
For a limited time, There Are Aliens Behind Uranus, Mr. President is on sale for 99 cents. One of my favorite authors is Kurt Vonnegut and I always admired his alter ego Kilgore Trout. In a similar vein, I created Emerson LaSalle. This is probably the pulpiest most over the top thing I've ever written. Sex and violence and craziness galore.
I've also permanently lowered the price of Three on a Light to 99 cents. These tales of private eye Dean Murphy and his encounters with werewolves, witches and vampires represents some of my earlier writing, and I've lowered the price to encourage more readers to give it a chance.
To the Devil, My Regards has always been 99 cents. This is the crazy hardboiled novella I wrote with Anthony Neil Smith. A fun game: try to guess which chapters are his and which are mine.
So ... cheap. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
So, my fantasy novel INK MAGE is still going strong, a steady seller for the Kindle. Pick it up HERE if you haven't already.
At the time of this blog post, there are 246 reviews for the novel. Most of them are positive, a fact for which I'm grateful. Once a book starts getting a lot of reviews, you can start to see trends. Something that confuses me slightly is the whole notion of "young adult" or YA. I mean, what exactly makes a book YA? Is it the fact that it is marketed toward a certain age group? Or is it simply that some of the characters in the novel are of a certain age?
In INK MAGE our protagonist is 19 and a few of the other main characters are of a similar age. I specifically wanted to make these characters young, but in no way was I setting out to write a YA novel, and frankly I don't think I did. But if you read only the reviews, you might get confused. One reader cautions, "this is a good read but there is a lot of sex and violence and this is definitely not a YA novel." (In spite of the quotation marks, I am paraphrasing.) Well, uh ... who the heck ever claimed it was a YA novel? Not me. Other reviews say something along the lines of "Obviously more for the YA crowd." Really? So which is it? Definitely YA or Definitely not?
You see my confusion. Both can't be true. Right?
Possibly some of the confusion stems from the fact that "coming of age" is one of the categories Amazon has used to market INK MAGE. I don't know. All I know is that I am curious about how people categorize things and how they arrive at my novel being YA or not. I don't think it is. My wife is an associate professor at a large university and YA literature is one of her areas. You'd think some of her knowledge would have rubbed off on me. It didn't.
So I ask ... what the heck is YA anyway? Not the most original question, but since I am now applying it to my novel specifically I am at last paying attention. If you know anything about YA then chime in. And if you happened to read INK MAGE, let me know your opinion. YA or not YA?