If you’re like me, then the thought of going out into the crowds of Black Friday sounds about as much fun as running a cheese grater across your face. I’ve got the perfect answer for that!
Stay home, read some books.
There’s a few interesting ones by authors I’ve come to know that I can recommend. I haven’t read these yet, but they look interesting and a one of them is on sale:
On Different Strings is only $0.99: https://amzn.to/2Dv8o66
Guitar virtuoso Amy Ziegler ekes out a precarious living as a teaching assistant in the Mays College music department. One day a mysterious older student shows up: Ian Keenan, an engineering professor and closet songwriter. Opposites attract, and music is the language of the spirit.
Each is passionate about music, and each has been deeply wounded in love. Thus a weird yet wonderful friendship grows between the reserved English academic and the outgoing small-town Texan girl who grew up in poverty. Each secretly starts yearning for more, but the world has other ideas. Soon they become caught in a maelstrom between rivals, exes, their own pasts, activists, and campus bureaucrats. Will the rapids tear them apart, or will love and sanity prevail?
This Fallen World is a new one by Chris Woods, a Dragon Award nominee and an all around awesome author: https://amzn.to/2PClzJI
The world has Fallen, but life goes on…
Matthew Kade was a corporate assassin—one of the best agents Obsidian Corporation had. But then the bombs began falling, and the old world ended. Now he must navigate the new world he finds himself in, a world where the strongest survive, and the weaker do their bidding…or die.
Kade was always one of the strongest, though, so when a rich man’s daughter goes missing, he turns to Kade to find her and bring her back. But she has already been gone three days, and in the Fallen World, that is an eternity in which any number of things could have happened to her.
Can Kade—a man with a price on his head—pick up the trail of the young woman and navigate the streets of the city to find her, or will the city’s denizens be the end of him? It will take all of Kade’s abilities to find her and save her life…if he doesn’t lose his first.
A while back, I was riding in a pickup truck. This is notable only for the fact that the girl driving it was consistently using about three feet of the right lane while driving in the left. As a passenger, I found that pretty terrifying and said something to the effect of “Jesus, what the hell are you doing?”
She insisted she was fine, she hadn’t had any issues and seemed to think I was making fun of her driving or calling her crazy. This went on for a bit, her insisting everything was perfectly fine and me growing more and more concerned, particularly as we narrowly missed side-swiping other vehicles and pedestrians.
I finally demanded just why she thought she was centered in her lane. She told me that her driving instructor had taught her to center the white lines on the hood of her vehicle and she’d always be in the center of the road. When I quite testily replied that she’d probably learned to drive in a car, rather than a pickup truck, she went silent. It was a thoughtful silence. After she considered the fact that a truck was several feet higher than the car she’d previously driven and the geometry was therefore different, she shifted over to something rather more like the middle of the lane.
The world and circumstances had changed. Her point of view had shifted, but she’d been operating under the same assumptions as before, not taking into account the changing conditions. It wasn’t that she was stupid, or that she was crazy, or even that she was reckless, it just hadn’t occurred to her that some of her basic assumptions were no longer valid. The paradigm had shifted and that had endangered her and fellow drivers around her.
The Star Wars quote, “From a certain point of view,” applies pretty strongly. Obi Wan spun the truth for Luke when he told him that Vader betrayed and murdered his father. He told Luke what he needed to hear, a simpler “truth” that set him on his journey of change, hoping that Luke would have the resilience and wisdom to understand the full truth as he gained experience. That’s what many teachers do, they give us the basic “rules” and hope that as time goes on, we fill in the blanks, we learn the “why” as well as the deeper complicated details.
It’s something to consider both in writing and in our lives in the real world. Be willing to re-examine some of the facts. Be willing to question those basic rules that you’ve lived by. Be willing to adapt and change. Your characters in the stories you write should learn from their mistakes, but they should also change and grow. Their beliefs and concepts of the world should adapt and grow with them. And perhaps we should hold ourselves to as high a standard.
It’s November already, jeez, where’d the month go? October is come and gone and it’s been a busy month, with not just one, but two book releases.
I’m currently putting the final touches on Lost Valor, the first book of my spin-off YA series, Forsaken Valor, which ties directly into the Children of Valor series. I’m also finishing off the last chapters on Jormungandr’s Venom, the third Rising Wolf book (The stories of Fenris, the AI controlled warship). I plan to have those out this month, but I want to see what my beta readers have to say.
I’ve started on the sequel to The Colchis Job, which I’ve titled “A Cold Day in Hades.” If things go well, I should have it done soon and off to the beta readers (man, they’re busy).
Last month I started my Patreon page and I’m adding more content. I just added the full-length novel, The Eden Insurrection, which is remaining exclusive to Patrons. As a reminder, if you want to have a character named for you, I pull names from Patrons first, so this is a good opportunity, plus it’s a way to help me focus on writing and producing more. The link to my patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/kalspriggs
What have I got planned for the rest of the month? I’m writing the fifth and final Children of Valor book, Valor’s Stand. I’m also back to closing out the seventh Shadow Space Chronicles book, The Star Engine (it was The Lost Heir). I hope to have that one out by Christmas, but I’ve got a lot of work to do to get there.
So, I’m hoping that November is a two-book publishing month. If I can pull it off, you can expect Lost Valor mid-November and Jormungandr’s Venom sometime after that (though that’s up to the publisher). If I can meet my writing goals this month, it’ll make December a two book month, too.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!