2.0 FTW!

I’m super psyched.

Since coming back from the writing workshop back in March, I’ve been using Vellum to format my ebooks.  Because it’s awesome, and freaking easy.  And awesome.

While I was up in Oregon, some of the people there, who have an in with the guys from Vellum, told me they’re coming out with a new version that will format print books as well.  That is part of the reason I jumped on it then, because I wanted to learn the program before it changed.  Well…version 2.0 is just about here!  Sweet!

I have been using Scribus (an open source program that works like InDesign) to format print books.  It works well, but it’s a bit clunky and there was a learning curve.  Vellum, for ebooks at least, is easy and produces beautiful products.  If they’ve done as good a job on the print side, this is going to be ridiculously sweet.

I can’t wait to give it a try.

🙂

New Release – Facilitated Interrogation

In accordance with my plan to release a new title every month, on Monday, 15 May, I released a novelette called Facilitated Interrogation.

Doctor Luisa Melendez works for the FBI, specializing in a revolutionary facilitated interrogation technique that renders a suspect unable to tell a lie, without causing injury or trauma of any kind. Though initially controversial, the technique passed every test and has now become completely mainstream.

She never dreamed the technique might be used for nefarious ends. But after her colleague disappears, evidence of a high-order conspiracy to conceal the truth about facilitated interrogation puts her square in the path of danger, as she struggles to decide what to do next.

Facilitated Interrogation is a 10,000 word science fiction novelette, about 30 printed pages in length.

You can find it pretty much everywhere for $2.99.  Alternately, if you support me on Patreon or become part of my Advanced Reviewer Program (via my newsletter), you can get a copy for free.

Enjoy, amigos!  Until next time.

May 2017 Patron Support

Hola amigos.

I posted the monthly short story, in print and in video, to my Patreon page as the monthly gift to my Patrons.  This month’s selection is Lords of the Remnant.

Aliens strike at the Centauri colony, overrunning it completely. Then, sooner than anyone imagined they could, they arrived at Earth to continue their conquest. An infantryman, certain resistance is futile, nevertheless deploys with his unit to fight against the first wave of invaders. As his comrades die around him and all hope seems lost, he finds the courage to fight on, but is confronted with a choice that will not only affect his own future, but that of all mankind as well.

The Story Time video will go live on YouTube and the other video sites in a few days.  If you want it earlier, and want that free story each month, go become a Patron.

I’ll love you long time.

🙂

Batman in a White Hood

A little while back I told you guys that my friend Blaze Ward was putting together a Superhero Anthology, and he invited me to participate.  I submitted a story and he accepted it, and I fully expect to catch all sorts of hell over what I did.

A little background.

I am a big fan of The Dead Robots Society podcast.  It is on my short list of podcasts I listen to every week, without fail, and wish they would put out more.  Great show; check it out if you are interested in writing and publishing, and enjoy irreverent joking around in between a multitude of cogent points.

Anyway, about a year ago, maybe a year and a half, the guys were having a discussion about what makes for a good protagonist in a story.  They discussed the notion that the protagonist has to be sympathetic and, correctly imho, dismissed it in favor of the following: the protagonist must be interesting.  Big, and important, difference.  A good protagonist doesn’t have to be a good person, but he must be compelling.

At some point in the discussion, Justin Macumber, one of the hosts at the time, stated that there were limits to that proposal.  For example, a Ku Klux Klan member could never be a good protagonist, because evil racist.

I perked up when I heard that and thought, “Bullshit.”  Not because I approve of the Klan or anything it stands for, but because I am grown up enough and, not to toot my own horn too much, thoughtful enough to realize that membership in that group, and holding the opinions that membership requires, is not the sum total of the person, any more than my status as a Naval Officer summed up my entire being.  That person has a family, a job, challenges to deal with, and legit (in his mind at least) reasons to believe what he believes.  The only reason he couldn’t be a good protagonist is Political Correctness, that is to say the refusal to even consider a point of view other than that which is in accordance with accepted and approved dogma.

The modern Social Justice Warrior shares many things in common with the ancient Pharisee, or Inquisitor, or Witch Hunter, or not-so-ancient Brownshirt.

But, you know, there’s no point arguing with a podcast, so I shrugged and went about my business.

When Blaze invited me to his anthology, titled Hiding Behind The Cowl, I flashed back to that discussion and my disagreement with Justin’s assertion, because cowl…hood…

I really wanted to write something else, but nothing else seemed nearly as intriguing.

So I wrote a story about a super hero who is a Ku Klux Klan member.

Blaze describes it as Batman in a White Hood, and I think that’s fitting.  Hats off to him for not turning his nose up at the protagonist.  Many others in today’s world are spineless around this kind of subject matter.  I really appreciate him rolling with it, and I think it speaks volumes about the story itself that he did.  After all, if the story sucked, it would have been extremely easy to say no, right?

No doubt there will be people who cast dispersions my way because of the story, willfully ignoring the fact that the story is not the writer is not the story.  I really don’t care.  Because I’m a grown up.

Anyway, mine isn’t the only story in the anthology, and let’s be frank I am far from the best writer featured in it.  Even if my story sounds like nothing you ever want to consider looking at, the other stories are awesome.  It’s totally worth your time, and it’s out in just a few hours.  Official release is tomorrow, 2 May.

Go grab a copy and see for yourself.

It’s available just about everywhere books are sold.  Enjoy!

Release Day!

Hi friends.

It’s April 15th.  Tax day in the United States (most years).

And more importantly, it’s the day The Falconer’s Stairs (Glimmer Vale Chronicles #5), has finally released to the public!

Jared Tolburt twice almost cost Raedrick Baletier and Julian Hinderbrook their lives: once when he turned on them while they were fleeing the Army, and again when he unwittingly led a group of bandits into Glimmer Vale. While fighting off the bandits, Raedrick and Julian found a cryptic, magically protected letter that hinted at the location of a great treasure. Now, with help from Melanie Klemins, Lydelton’s resident mage, Tolburt intends to claim that treasure for his own.

The treasure is hidden far away from Glimmer Vale, and guarded by both physical and magical obstacles. With Raedrick unable to travel due to his wife’s pregnancy and Melanie eager to assist Tolburt in his quest, Julian has to do the last thing he ever wanted: travel with and help the man he trusts least in the world.

Far from their home and beset with dangers of all kinds, Julian, Melanie, and Tolburt will have to depend on each other even to survive, let alone succeed in their quest for The Falconer’s Stairs.

But Tolburt already sold Julian out once when the going got tough. What’s to say he would not do it again?

You can get it for $4.99 pretty much anywhere ebooks are sold.  The print version will be out in the next week or so.  Normally we do better at having print and ebook ready to go simultaneously, so apologies for the delay there.  Couldn’t be helped on this one.

Read!  Enjoy!  Leave a review.

See you next time.

Story Time With Michael Kingswood

I decided to try something new tonight, in between the final proofreading for The Falconer’s Stairs and doing various family things.

I made a YouTube video.

For a while now, I’ve pondered doing a video series called “Story Time With Michael Kingswood,” where I’ll read my short stories, blurbs for my longer stuff, and maybe entire novels a chapter at a time or something like that.  It seems like it could be fun, and a way to maybe get a bit more visibility for my work.  Also, my kids have bugged me for months, “Daddy, why don’t you make YouTube videos?!?!”  Now, they aren’t thinking it would be great promotion for Daddy’s books or anything.  They just like YouTube and, amusingly enough, me.

But hey, they have a  point.

So tonight I, on a sort of whim, hunkered down and cranked out a video.

Now, as you view this bear in mind I’ve never tried to make one of these before, ever.  And I’ve not really done much reading of my stuff in public either.  So given that, I think this turned out ok.

I’m curious to know what you guys think of it.  I’m fairly inclined to keep doing these, because it actually was a fair amount of fun to do.  And I’ll incorporate them into my Patreon rewards.  But I guess we’ll see what really happens now that I’ll be starting my new job next week, and after the novelty of video making starts to wear off.

For now, at least, it was pretty fun.  And I think it turned out ok.

What do you guys think?