Enduring Chaos cover reveal and giveaway! October 11, 2013Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, writing.
Tags: art, book, cover, ebook, fantasy, free, giveaway, new, novel, reveal, trilogy, win
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Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to present the cover art for my next book, Enduring Chaos!
Cursed with fearsome eyes and a dangerous gift, any chance of Damian Sires having an ordinary life was dashed the moment she was born. All her life, she has hidden her abnormalities and fought for acceptance behind the shadow of a veil and her respected merchant father.
When Damian’s power spirals out of control and casts her out alone into the world, she finds herself caught up in plots as old as the gods themselves. Bitter exiles, deposed nobility, clandestine knights, and a divine being with an ancient grudge all close in on the unstable power radiating from Damian.
Desperate to keep that power contained, she sets out with mysterious allies in an attempt to find someone who can help her in a world that fears magic. Yet the source of Damian’s ability is far more deadly than she imagined.
View Enduring Chaos on Goodreads.
In addition to the cover reveal, I am offering a giveaway to win a free e-copy of Ruins of Change by J. R. Dwornik, the first book in the world of Elderra! Simply comment on this post by October 25th and you will automatically be entered into the giveaway.
Word on the Street September 21, 2013Posted by thejinx in conventions.
Tags: book, event, festival, literacy, literature, queen's park, toronto, word on the street
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Just a quick note to say that I will be at Word on the Street in Toronto tomorrow! Look for Brain Lag in the Fringe Beat section, just south of Wellesley St. on Queen’s Park Crescent East. Hope to see you there!
You have your entire life to write your first book, and six months to write your second September 2, 2013Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, halcyon, writing.
Tags: book, completion, editing, fantasy, improvement, novel, story, writing
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Someone told me that quote once. I don’t remember to whom it is attributed. It is undoubtedly a comment on output, as one will quickly lose readers, as well as publishing contracts, if one does not continually produce more books.
To me, however, it is a matter of completion. When you are an unpublished author, you can spend forever editing and tweaking your manuscript. Once you have submitted it and it hits the presses, however, it is final. It cannot be altered any longer.
Any good writer will constantly improve. As a result, likely many look back at their earlier works and see things they would have done differently. That is, if they don’t revisit older work with revulsion.
I recently reread Halcyon, possibly for the first time since publication. While I still enjoy the story and even felt better about my writing after revisiting it, I now see some things that I would change if I had the opportunity. It is inevitable and I am discovering more and more that distance is the key to seeing a work with some measure of objectivity.
Enduring Chaos is very much distant from its origins. It has been fourteen years since I began writing the first draft of this story. Aside from the core concept of the story and some of the main characters – in name and appearance, anyway, and even those have changed somewhat – nothing is the same from that original draft. The current revision is not even very close to the original third draft, which is how I have, increasingly inaccurately, been referring to this revision.
The ultimate result of so much time passed and so many changes to the story is that I am more comfortable with altering this story, even parts of it I like. I might also be maturing as a writer, but I am not crediting myself that much yet.
What I find interesting is that as I start on my final edits to the story, I find myself more willing to accept corrections and make changes after only a couple months of letting it sit while I waited for feedback from beta readers.
It is the distance. Distance is important. Do not be in a hurry to get your fresh new novel out into the world. Take a step back, let it sit for at least a few months, perhaps even a year or more, and it will be easier to look upon the manuscript more like a potential investment than as one’s baby. And you want to be able to do that, because of course, every writer wants to put out the best novel one can create.
Because once a novel goes out into the world, it is complete, and anything you might notice later is impossible to change.
Help me bring Enduring Chaos to life! June 13, 2013Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, writing.
Tags: book, crowdsourcing, fantasy, fundraiser, indiegogo, live action, novel, publishing, trailer, trilogy, writing
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I’ve been keeping it under wraps, but the cat’s out of the bag now: I’m producing a live action trailer for my next book Enduring Chaos! I’m very excited about this. We already have a great crew gathered together and things are starting to come together for what looks to be a dramatic and exciting book trailer.
But I need your help! Please visit the crowdsourcing campaign on Indiegogo to help us fund the project and bring Enduring Chaos to life. Any amount you can contribute and any way you can spread the word about the trailer will help. And I’m offering pre-release ebooks starting with $10 contributions, and paperbacks from $35!
Please contribute today!
Expanding horizons June 10, 2013Posted by thejinx in writing.
Tags: attitudes, beliefs, book, fantasy, novel, opinions, sex, worldbuilding, writing
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Trying to write a well-rounded and thoroughly developed fantasy world can really open one’s eyes to points of view and beliefs one might not give much credit otherwise. There are different sides to every conflict and whether one can objectively classify one side or another as wrong, each side fundamentally believes in the validity of its stance. And if it is portrayed right, there should be sympathetic or at least understandable reasons for those sides to feel that way, even if the actions that arise from those beliefs are vile. This can, of course, result in moral ambiguity even on the author’s part, which isn’t easy to address, but is a fact of life.
I’d like to think I’ve become fairly good at opening my mind to other ways of thinking as a result of this. I don’t like to write conflicts as black and white and I don’t want to create a villain as a plot device for the heroes to overcome. People and conflicts are complex. Generally, my desire to portray that in my writing has made me at least want to be more open-minded to other points of view. I’ll admit I still have a hard time coming to terms with some things I come across, but my guiding philosophy has always been ‘to each his own.’
Some issues and the way we feel about them, however, are so ingrained into us that trying to think outside of that norm involves a huge jump in ideology.
Case in point: sex.
My thoughts on this topic can pretty much be summed up by saying that I don’t really like to talk about it. At least on a personal level, which is more or less the focus of this whole rant.
But that’s the issue. For many or most people, it seems, opinions about sex are such fundamental and strongly held beliefs that often, if not usually, one cannot discuss it without it turning into a political or religious issue. These are beliefs that, even if one is not religious, are ingrained into us since birth, and many people believe in them and defend them so powerfully that challenging what is ultimately a subjective subject can lead to hostility. While I try to be more open-minded about the topic, I admit that I am still heavily influenced by the way society views sex. In fact, because of the way I have been raised – consciously or not – to look at it, which is likely the reason I generally don’t like to discuss it, I found it quite difficult just to write this much on the subject. This is just the way life is and stepping outside my own beliefs on the topic is very difficult.
But I must if I am to write a story and world the way it should be, not the way I might like it to be. Sex is a fact of life and it comes up within the world I created. More to the point, I am about to introduce a people who hold fundamentally different attitudes toward it. And being such a basic part of life, these attitudes have a far-ranging impact on the society as a whole. Ultimately, this means thinking a lot on the subject.
Sometimes, it just feels weird. It helps that there is historical precedent for beliefs like this that I can look to, but it’s still so very different from what seems the entire modern world feels that it can be discomforting to look at this fictional culture adopting attitudes that most people, perhaps even most of the people who will read this, could find distasteful or even offensive.
It is easier to address the issue in an unbiased manner in my own thoughts, however. And ultimately, whether I agree with their beliefs or not, this is the way this society works, and I must learn – and have, I think – to get into their world and their heads, to leave my own preconceptions behind and understand what it is like to live in their world.
… but I still don’t want to talk about it.
Has anything you’ve written challenged your way of thinking about a subject? Have you written something that needed to be written the way it did, even though it made you or someone else uncomfortable to do so?