Kal’s 2020 Forecast

Hey everyone.  I’m back online after a bit of a hiatus.  I’m finally coming out from under a lot of the “stuff” happening in life, and thank goodness for that.  As a result, I’m writing again and I hope to be posting a bit more regularly here in 2020.

So what’s on my  horizon?  Honestly, digging into all the writing projects is at the top of the list.  I have several WIPs that I need to get edited and hopefully get out in the next couple of months, some that may be ready as early as the end of January or early February.  My goal is not to rush things, though, I want to try to keep the quality of writing solid.

I’ve got two finished novels, both headed to publishers as soon as I can do the edits.  I have an outline for the next Forsaken Valor book and I’m outlining the follow-on series, (tentatively titled War of Valor).  The fourth book of the Eoriel Saga is around 50% completion.  I have outlines for Renegades IV, Shadow Space Chronicles VII, and several other book series that have been on the backburner for a while now.  My goal is to hit 30 published novels by the end of the year.

I’m thinking 2020 is going to be a busy year.  Hopefully it will be a good one as well.  That’s all for now and thanks for reading!

Book Review: The Last Champion

There’s a lot of epic fantasy out there that feels dark, depressing, and populated by unpleasant characters who backstab one another for fun.  The Last Champion is not that kind of epic fantasy.

The titular Champion character is heroic.  The world he populates is under threat, the people he’s charged to protect are under threat, and he does his best to protect them.  Korr is a warrior who does what he does because he’s very, very good at it.  He’s a man who sticks to his customs and ways because that is all he has left, all he has to him, in an almost ronin-esque fashion that provides a gripping story.

There is plenty of action, plenty of character growth.  The characters are vivid, the scenery is epic in scale, and there’s so much potential in the setting that as a reader, I was always hoping for more looks at the greater world.  This really is epic fantasy, there’s a scope to the world that makes it feel big, feel populated, even though we only see a small part of the larger world.

It’s really rare that I can’t put a book down, but the story caught me and I read it in just a few hours.  My only complaint about the book is that it ended and I’ll have to wait on a sequel.  I highly recommend it.

Here’s a link to it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/39Ar4ia

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Movie Review

If you’ve already made up your mind about Star Wars, this review isn’t for you.  Go ahead and move along, because if you’ve decided to love/hate it because of politics/gender/(insert stupid thing to care about with space wizards) then go elsewhere.

I did my very best to leave all my preconceptions of Star Wars, other movies,  Directors, Producers, Actors, Politics/politicians and all the rest when I went to see it.   I didn’t watch the trailers, I didn’t read spoilers.  I wanted to see what JJ Abrams and cast could do.

And I enjoyed myself.

The Rise of Skywalker starts of jerky and comes in a tumbled rush.  The first half of the movie, the pacing is awful, the editing is jerky, and it’s something of a hot mess.  But it’s also fun.  Poe and Fin work well together, and both are given opportunities to put actual character into their characters.

Rey actually has character growth and has to struggle.  It’s a foreshortened struggle, compressed into the too-packed movie, but it’s there and it’s interesting, it made me actually care about her as a character.

The fight scenes are impactful and I had some emotional attachment when characters were in peril.

They make use of a lot of movie cliches and they pay total homage to every bit of fan service they can.  It can be eyerolling, at times.  But it gets back to a central part of Star Wars: hope and redemption.   That people can change the universe for the better and that what you do is more important than where you come from.

It’s not a great movie.   We are not getting the Extended Universe books in movie form that all the die-hard fans (including me) wanted.  But it was an enjoyable night out, the movie closed the chapter on the trilogy, and it’s something I can show my kid and share in his enjoyment, as well.

At the end of the day, that’s enough for me.

Kal’s September Update

Hey everyone.  Sorry for the long time without posting.  Life has been a bit… well, hectic doesn’t really do it justice.  I finished up a four month military course, knocked out a cross-country move, I’m acting as the executor for my father’s estate, and I’ve been trying to help a family member with severe mental health issues.

It’s been rough.  I’ve tried to sit down and write, even a blog post, and the words won’t come.  I try to post mostly positive things here, but most of my positive energy has been focused towards my family.

I hope to get back to writing here in the next week or so.  I’ve got several books that are basically done, minus some edits.  My goal is to get back on track, hopefully with stuff coming out early next month.  Thanks for reading and I’ll try to post here more often.

Kal’s July 2019 Forecast

Hey everyone, it’s July!  For my fellow Americans, I hope you had a happy and safe 4th of July.  For everyone else, well, I ate lots of food and hung out with friends on your behalf.

I’ve just finished off Army Space Corps: Vernian Space Gun, which is headed to a potential publisher.  It was a blast to write and I hope that you guys will be able to see it soon.  The story sort of hijacked my brain and I didn’t get a lot else done while working on that.  On the other hand, I’m finishing off the seventh Shadow Space Chronicles book and I hope to have it finished off soon.

Next up in the cue is the follow-on series that starts after the events of Valor’s Stand.  I’ve got it outlined and as soon as I get The Star Engine finished I’ll work on knocking that out.  Then I have to hop back to the next Forsaken Valor book.  It should be a very busy next few months as far as book releases.

Speaking of busy, I’m moving in the near future.  The move is going to eat up a lot of my free time, so posts may be a bit scarce, but I will be trying to release books and get my writing done.   I am pretty much done with conventions for the year, mostly because moving, starting a new job with the Army, and lots of other life drama.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

Kal’s Spike Con Schedule

Hey everyone,

I’ll be at Spike Con this coming week.  Here’s my schedule:

Thu Jul 4 5:45:pm Thu Jul 4 6:45:pm Cats in Speculative Fiction
Stratus 9 Our feline friends, big and small, have always been in our tales of fear, magic, and even science fiction. They feature as pets, threats, and even protagonists. Come discuss your favorite books with cats in them and what makes a fictional cat believable.
Dr. Karen Purcell Elektra Hammond Gibbitt Rhys-Jones John M. Olsen Kal Spriggs

 

Fri Jul 5 4:30:pm Fri Jul 5 5:30:pm Kal Spriggs Signing
Autograph 3 Kal Spriggs Friday signing
Kal Spriggs

 

Fri Jul 5 7:00:pm Fri Jul 5 8:00:pm Yes, But What Are They Eating?
Stratus 9 World-building requires paying attention to all kinds of details, like government and monetary systems, climate, and more. But while food is something that every reader interacts with every day, it is often not considered during world-building. Our panelists talk about examples where authors have been successful in incorporating dietary habits into their world-building, and talk about what it takes to do it well.
Alastair Mayer K. D. Julicher Kal Spriggs Merri Halma Troy Lambert

 

Fri Jul 5 9:30:pm Fri Jul 5 10:30:pm Injury and Recovery for Character Building
Meridian E The injuries a character can sustain vary widely, as do the impacts of these injuries on the character and how well they recover. A look into reasonable injuries for various settings and how authors can use injuries to further the plot.
Anna Marasco Kal Spriggs Paul Genesse Robert E. Hampson Thea Hutcheson

 

Sat Jul 6 11:30:am Sat Jul 6 12:30:pm Playing Nice With Others: Shared Universes
Meridian E How do various shared universes work? Are contributors’ stories off to the side or integrated into the main plot? What happens when there are competing ideas of How Things Ought To Be?
Bradley H. Sinor Eric Flint Erika Kuta Marler Kal Spriggs Sue Sinor

 

Sat Jul 6 12:45:pm Sat Jul 6 1:45:pm Kaffeeklatsch with The Four Horsemen Universe
HIE Boardroom Kaffeeklatsch: From the German for “coffee” and “gossip”, an informal social gathering at which coffee or other beverages are served while chatting. Join your favorite presenters for all their insights. Seats are very limited so sign up at the Information Desk in the Sky Lobby 8am on the day of the social! Welcome to the world of Human Mercenaries in Mechs, killing aliens and getting paid. A new fandom featuring the works of Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy Publishing.
Kal Spriggs Robert E. Hampson Thomas Coonradt

Kal’s 2019 Liberty Con Schedule

Hey everyone.  I’m going to be at Liberty Con this year, but I’ve  got a bit more narrow of a window, as I’ll only be there Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s my schedule:

Day Time Name of Event
Sat 10:00AM Autograph Session (MJ Allen, Buettner, Del Arroz, Spriggs)
Sat 02:00PM Critters
Sat 04:00PM Chris Kennedy Publishing – The Year Ahead
Sat 05:00PM Author’s / Artist’s Alley (S. Osborn, Spriggs, Swann)
Sat 08:00PM Reading: Cedar Sanderson & Kal Spriggs
Sat 09:00PM Seventh Seal Press & Rob Howell present the Chris Kennedy Publishing combined Room Party and Book Launch for Alabaster Noon
Sat 10:00PM New Voices in YA Science Fiction
Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch
Sun 12:00PM Author’s / Artist’s Alley (Duntemann, J. Hunter, Ibson, Spriggs, Weyand)
Sun 01:00PM Author’s Alley (Q. Allen, J. Hunter, Malone, Spriggs)

If you’re attending Liberty Con, I hope to see you there!