The Somali Deception – Ep III

The restaurant on the cover is a favorite of mine, Le Caveau du Palais in Place Dauphine. (Don’t worry – no terraces were harmed in the making of the cover)

The Somali Deception – Episode III – The Crystal Watanabe edited edition.

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Mrs. Johnson’s Blues – Let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse

Mrs. Johnson’s Blues – Let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse
My review of Mrs. Johnson’s Blues by Kim Wells
Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 5.03.39 PMThis story is fine example of what can be done with a small canvas and the blossom of an idea – just who was Robert Johnson’s muse. Though the story is short, there are no wasted lines, the pace is quick, the language conversational. This work is an excellent sampling of Kim Wells’s southern tinged magical style. Within a few short pages, Kim Wells introduces an entire mythos that leaves the reader wanting for more tales of the Summer Queen. I read this story over my morning coffee with Robert Johnson strumming on the stereo and took pause to let my mind wander with the imagery Kim gave me. This is that kind of short – the kick start your creative heart kinda story – the kind that energizes the mind and incites the create process, and I highly recommend, let Mrs. Johnson be your Muse.

The Legendarium – A Modern Allegory

The Legendarium – A Modern Allegory
My review of The Legendarium by Michael Bunker and Kevin G. Summers
LegendariumBy combining magical realism, science fiction, and satire into one tome, Kevin Summers and Michael Bunker have delivered a powerful vehicle for metaphor and interpretation. The Legendarium is `a metaphysical library that exists at the nexus of the multiverse, at the point where all stories intersect.’ That means that every story ever conceived or that will be conceived, resides there, and if by chance a story is altered or removed, the timeline in all dimensions is in turn altered. And who do we have to preserve the Legendarium? None other than the imperfect creative writing teacher Alistair Foley, and the bumbling Bombo Dawson.
Not all is subtle in the Legendarium. The work is rife with blatant questions of aesthetics; What makes a work of writing literature? Does a traditionally published work out weigh an indie published story? Questions expected from two of Indie publishing’s best selling authors. Yet these questions are a bait to readers, to mask a greater message, and that is that stories, regardless of label, connect with readers, and without that connection, the reader is the lesser, and in turn the world lesser too.Legendarium Signed
As Bombo and Alistair stumble through the literary works of the Legendarium, we are given a view of a world that could have been. A moral lesson into why no story, indie or otherwise, should be swept under the rug. I give this story five stars, not because this is a great follow up in the Bombo Dawson franchise, (it is), and not because of the long list of literary name drops, (which it has), and not because of the impeccable language (because it has not). I give this story five stars because, through the eyes of two fools and a gentle poke at our literary heroes, we are reminded that throughout history stories have influenced the world, and touched us as well.

Amazing Times

During the ‘after school’ window – when the kids are having snacks, and the chances of writing nil – is when I tackle some of my author homework – Russell Blake’s latest entry has some interesting tidbits – particularly I like the reminder that ‘everyone is supportive of each other regardless of the stage of their career.  One of the reasons might be because we’ve all been alive long enough to have learned that you meet all the same people going up as you do coming back down’ – 2013 was more profitable for me in dollars and rankings – 2014 in relationships I have made and what I have learned, I am excited to see what 2015 will bring.

Click here to read Russell Blake’s end of year post – Amazing Times.

AGROLAND is in the Top 10 in Mystery, Thriller, Suspense on Amazon!

AGROLAND is in the Top 10 in Mystery, Thriller, Suspense on Amazon!

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This new edition Agroland edited by Crystal Watanabe has propelled into the top 20 of several Kindles charts including Dark Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal, Adventure, and others.  Discover the Supernatural Adventure UK readers have made an International Best Seller.

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Crystal Watanabe – A Testimonial to my Editor

I work with the philosophy that the reader is right. Not everything I write—not every word, phrase, or reference—makes the journey to the reader in the first draft, a test being that if I need to explain or justify my clause, then I have failed. As a teller of tales, my task is to convey a story in the clearest possible way, and Crystal Watanabe is an excellent partner in reaching that goal. Her technical prowess alone is a benefit to any manuscript, correcting the commas or those pesky sound alike words the word processors never catch. What I find surpasses her technical skill is her ability to ‘be the audience,’ the beta-reader, my litmus test for what works and what simply does not. Too many hours tapping keys in a void creates a world that is not always clear. Crystal brought polish to my work to ensure that I not only meant what I wrote, but that I wrote what I meant, and that I did so in a way that my intended audience would understand and enjoy. She did not alter my work, instead she asked questions, suggested phrasing, and offered alternative words more appropriate to my target audience, all while treating my work with the greatest respect.

She communicates easily and openly, pairs professionalism with a quirky frankness, and brings enthusiasm along with criticism. She is a true author’s friend.

I initially asked Crystal to leverage her skills to assist me in improving flow, clarity, and pacing, moving toward as polished and professional a work as possible. She has succeeded on multiple projects and I greatly anticipate working with her in the future.

If you’re interested in learning about Crystal and her work with other authors, as well as the fansites jabberjays.net and enderwiggen.net, check out her portfolio, or to pick up a copy of her fabulous cookbook, Yum-Yum Bento Box, head to her site Adventures in Bento Making.

Reaching Best Seller Status

Reaching Best Seller Status or RBBS.com  is an online resource founded by author Melissa VanDover.  The site is composed of a highly informative blog that has tons of tips on successfully navigating the world of writing and publishing, whether through the traditional route or indie.  The site also has interviews with featured authors where they discuss what has worked (and not) on their path.
Recently Melissa interviewed me as a featured author on Reaching Best Seller Status (Author Interview: Daniel Arthur Smith).  The interview was a lot of fun.  She picked my brain and pulled out some great tidbits.  One of the themes she latched onto was the technique of writing weekly serials, expanding them to novels, and then in turn, continuing the series in further novels. She found the path to success so interesting she invited me to write a guest post to elaborate.  (Guest Post: Weekly Serial to Episodic Novel to Series).  As some Cameron Kincaid readers are aware, he first appeared at thecatharitreasure.com in a weekly serial before the novel was published and before appearing in The Somali Deception (and the upcoming Templar Force), so this is a topic close to my heart.  I was happy to put a guest post together and was doubly pleased to receive an extended comment from David VanDyke, author of the best selling Plague Wars series (and all around nice guy).

A note about my rapid speech in the interview. Here is what happened.  The interview came after a long day of driving back to Manhattan in bumper to bumper traffic with my 4 and 6 year old in the back seat.  I was exhausted, so I slammed a few coffee before she Skyped me from Denver – maybe not the best choice.

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