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Two Books

Heyo again,

I’ve got two books coming out this summer. I think I’ve got The Bone God to the publisher, so look for a publication announcement soonish. The Bone God is a continuation of my Irish Fantasy series, started with The Broken Man and hopefully completing in The Serpent King.

Pure Poison is completely different than The Bone God. It is an Urban Fantasy and it completes in Immaculate Corpse, which will hopefully be out by Dragon Con.

Dragon Con will be a busy weekend, so I hope I see everyone there.

Hawk

 

Lost and Found by J. M. Beal

Lost and Found by J M Beal

One of the joys of going to conventions is finding relatively unknown authors. Some of those authors aren’t very creative and just produce fan-fic of whatever series is doing well. In Urban Fantasy, you see a lot of Laura K Lite (Vampire Porn), Monster Hunter-esque (Gun – Porn), and Supernatural-ish (Homosexual porn) writing.  You have to hunt far and wide to find the gems in the pile. Lost and Found is one of those gems. Here is Beal’s elevator pitch:

Author’s Burb

“Grace has a weird life. Even before she accidentally finds a werewolf that’s not a werewolf on the way home from work, she has a weird life. If it stopped at ghosts and werewolves it wouldn’t be so bad. At least the people who hunt these things know how to deal with those.

Nate’s had an entire life of supernatural crap, but he’s got no idea why Grace keeps exploding in white light every time she’s in trouble. But, surprisingly, they make a good team. If there’s suddenly a little more mystery in his life than he’d like it’s worth it. Even when it’s a lot more mystery, and witches, and psychics, and just mess it’s still worth it.”

This isn’t porn and there aren’t a lot of gun scenes. Frankly, it doesn’t feel derivative of any other novel or movie at all. The dead or magical creatures, of which there are a variety, are mostly of a different sort than the usual fodder of the Urban Fantasy canon. There are werewolves, but we are spared the usual “pack dynamic” discussions. I don’t mean to dismiss other author’s takes on these things, but I’m happy to see someone NOT fall back on the standard archetypes.

This is a story about people, wounded people. The focus in this novel is the long-term damage taken from a lifetime of dealing with monsters. Nate and his mother are definitely Exhibit A in the museum of “People Whose Lives Were Destroyed By Monsters”. Grace’s principle damage is from the less-magical monsters. In fact, a major examination in this book is whether people should be hunting monsters at all.

NEGATIVES:

Honestly, I’d like a bit more development to Grace and Nate. The story focuses on them pretty well, but it doesn’t dig deeply into their motivations most of the time. You get the impression that they aren’t particularly motivated, which sells them a bit short. Still, they are fun to follow around and have a lot of ‘cute’ interaction.

More gun porn would be nice…

POSITIVES:

This is a real gem of a novel. Very light and friendly. I think it is stirring up some good concepts and it stands a good chance of working them out in future books. I don’t agree will all the author’s choices, but I think they are developed solidly enough. I enjoyed picking up the novel and will pick up the next one.

SUMMARY:

I don’t know if this is Beal’s first novel, but it has that vibe to it. There are some concepts that I think are great and some that fall a bit flat. I think she doesn’t develop the interaction with the merfolk enough. I think she needs to link the damage caused by human and non-human monsters more explicitly. (It doesn’t really connect till toward the end of the book.) I’d say the win on this novel is that it was very easy to pick up. I do recommend this book and give it four stars.

Hawkings Austin

J. M. Beal

 

The Serpent King

The serpent king gets me further along my trilogy. Unfortunately, my trilogy is on its third book….I’d like to say that it was the conclusion, but it looks like I’ll need four books in this trilogy, maybe five. Well, we all know I can’t count. Still I get another cool picture. I can live with that.

National November Writing Month (Camp Nanowrimo)

So, as you might expect. The newbie writer is trying Camp Nanowrimo.

What is Nanowrimo? Well, every November we write for 30 days to get 50,000 words. It teaches you good habits and a few bad habits, but you get your story onto the page, which is the first hurdle.

Camp Nanowrimo is a self-directed month where you pick a project, like editing your last mess, and go to it. The nice part about Camp Nanowrimo is the texting in your own cabin. We’re always talking smack, giving encouragement, etc. I really like it.

If anyone wants into Cabin Sablehawk, give me a shout and I’ll bring you in. @sablehawk on twitter or just comment here. I’m going to open it to everyone come Sunday, but I’ll give people a couple days if they are interested.

I’ve got two projects sitting on my desk. The edits from The Bone God are coming in, and the Outline for King Serpent is starting. I really want to do both…but I’ll probably wimp out and do my edits like a good boy.

In mid April is Ravencon, which I’m also attending. I hope that anyone who wants to talk writing gets with me there I’d love to chat about writing.

Back Online

Sunday I bought a computer. SO, now I’m back blogging.

There has been a lot going on in the last couple years. I’m going to stick to mostly talking about books and writing from here on out. I may drift into science occasionally, but I have to get approval for … stuff … so I’m going to try to stay out of my professional field.

I know, I’ve promised that I’d blog and didn’t before, what is changed now?

I have a book. I just published a book with Superversive.

Check out “The Broken Man” by Hawkings Austin.

 

Suicide Squad – Movie Review

I took the wife to a movie last night. It was a really good time, partly because the movie theater business is dying. This is a really nice theater in a good part of town watching a hot movie only a week after premier. There wasn’t 50 people in there. Of course, I spent 27 dollars on tickets plus a few on coffee. Not bad, but equivalent to buying the blue ray pack. Well, I don’t much like crowds, so this was fine. We had a nice night.

Suicide Squad is a great movie. I understand people’s quibbles, but they are wrong. Well, let me be more clear. The Marvel superhero movies are good. Character development is a bit scanty in them, character arcs are fairly underdeveloped. Lots of fun action and snarky comments. Critics hate them, people hate critics, it all works out in the end.

Suicide Squad is somewhat different. At the end of the movie you will know a lot more than you ever wanted about Deadshot and Harley Quin, Diablo and Flagg also get a good treatment. I admit that I spend most of the movie hoping someone would blow Boomerang’s head off. Croc was a bit shallow, but he had a character, they just didn’t look at it. Enchantress scared me, really, made me think Horror Story from first look. Amanda Waller is the Devil. Not sure I remembered anyone else. Joker showed up, was scary crazy. Katana was central and boring, sorry.  In an extended version, they’ll probably add 30 minutes of Joker, which won’t really improve the movie. It was good, tight even, at two hours. Lots of action, but it isn’t complex. It is mostly smashing weird looking things on the head.

I’d just say that this movie felt a lot more adult than Avengers or Spiderman. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d say that they aimed the age of viewer in the 20s at least, not the usual teenager. It hit this nearly 50 year old in the feels. I liked it a lot.

Recent Activity

Ok, so more of an explanation than an excuse. Work changed the security settings and now blogging is impossible. Sure, impossible means I could figure something out and cheat, but I won’t. They clearly don’t want us blogging from work. Blah. I just spent the money to extend this website for 2 more years, so I’m just going to have to get a better interface at home.

Sorry for the long absence.

Camp Nanowrimo

So, everyone knows (or ought to know) that I am a major failed writer. I’ve not been published by most of the big names out there. I have a regular spot in the nanowrimo competition, which I also fail at.

I do have a book waiting for a read at BAEN, but it may be a century before the editor actually looks at it. Slush piles ain’t fun. So, I recommend everyone give up. (that should lessen the slush pile enough that I can get another book in.)

Nanowrimo is a book writing challenge in November. Camp Nanowrimo is in July. Not exactly the same challenge, but a good one. I’m planning on knocking out some good chapters, cleaning up some of my interludes, building a good book II to my unpublished book I.

I’d appreciate some help, comment. Maybe an edit or two. Mostly, just comment on here if you want to play with words. Set up a nanowrimo account and we go from there.

Oh, and don’t overthink it.

optimization

That bit of content is from XKCD.COM

Pandagators – The long joke I promised you.

So, the Pandagator joke takes a good long while to unwind, and no pictures, so relax and sit back. Several years ago, we had an “Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow, whether you like it or not” panel at Dragon Con. For those of you who have never been…why are you reading this? … it is a lot of fun. If anyone has pictures, I’ll post them, but I don’t have any at work.

First, imagine down at the bottom of the hill of Dragon Con, 2pm on Saturday in the Hilton Atlanta, downstairs in the Crystal Ballroom, 600 people in the audience, four guy up on stage. There was a range of personalities on the stage, but I was the regular, Dr. DNA was a regular, everyone else was there for a few years. We had a flock of assistants in lab coats making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, my big DOOM Box in the corner, flashing sparks and smoking lightly, JonnyX and his cattle prod. People screaming. It was a hell of a show.

On that year, we had a PhD Neuroscience guy (Evil Brain), a PhD Bio Chemist (Dr. DNA), a PhD Physicist (Evil G), and a Nuclear Engineer of no particular merit. (Me). Pardon me if I don’t get everyone’s degrees right, I can never remember my own, much less everyone else’s. Just remember that they’re much smarter than me. The fun of an hour variety show was that we each had a time slot where we took over the panel, did a few power point charts, some comments, a joke or two.

Well, to get to the joke, we had talked the previous year about “evil plots to take over the earth.” My plot, I think, involved black holes. Evil G was using a beam of charm quarks directed at your hometown.

“If the effects are good, send me money, I’ll keep it up. If the effects are bad, send me money, I’ll quit. If you’re not sure, I’d advise sending me money anyway, as it couldn’t hurt.”

So, for his presentation, Evil G brought it up again. He had a slide show for this year’s work.

“SO, Last year I talked to you about taking over the world using a beam of Charm quarks. I have since decided that using physics to take over the world is too hard. I’m using something easy this year, DNA Splicing.”

The two guys with PhD’s in biology, head desk simultaneously. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I wish I had his power point. It had a variety of predators made by sticking together pictures of animals. an example is the EEL gle – an eel head with eagle body. The Apex Ambush Predator was the Panda Gator – Looks innocent from the bush, but when it jumps you, its got a big bite.

Vacation: I got hit by a tornado

Gulf Wars 2016, Lumberton Mississippi

Ok, it sucked. I got in one war point, some nice fighting there, but then we got hit by a tornado and pretty much folded the show. Sucked. Water everywhere. Horizontal rain. Plastic tents were all blown down, many destroyed. Most of the heavy canvas ones did well, but may need repair/dried out. Rough week.

I drove 2000 miles and spent a thousand bucks to sit under a damn tornado. well. maybe better luck next year.