Monthly Archives: October 2013

500+

I hope I don't get sued

I hope I don’t get sued

Much to my surprise, it appears that I have reached the 0.5K Facebook likes milestone earlier this morning.

Woohoo!

Like I promised, two of my Facebook fans will receive a free autographed copy of The Scriptlings.

To keep this fair, I have exported all my followers into an Excel file (thank you Facebook for making it so complicated!) and I now invite you to send me two random numbers between 1 and 517, using the comment section.

Don’t forget, you can always receive a free eBook copy of The Scriptlings, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Thank you all so much for your support!

 


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2013: A Stellar Collection

2013: A Stellar Collection

2013: A Stellar Collection

Dear geeks and geekettes,

I have warned you a while ago that this was coming, and now it is finally here. 2013: A Stellar Collection is a collection of short stories contributed by each and every member of the AEC Stellar team. The eBook version is totally free, so you should definitely take advantage of this.

The collection includes The Mating Season – a story that I wrote last winter, based on an idea suggested by my friend Claire Seybold.

Here is how it happened:

We were playing Settlers of Catan at a friend’s place when she announced that she had an idea for a story. It might have come to her in a dream; for Claire has the strangest, most inspiring dreams, as if Neil Gaiman writes them for her.

“There’s these people,” she said, “who only have sex at a very large interval.”

“Married people?” I remember commenting.

“Sorin!” she chided me in her properly-brought-up tone. She added, “They’re having sex during a specific season, like animals. That’s what I meant. I don’t know why they do it, and what it means to them, but I think it will make a good story.”


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The Out Campaign

One of my social media heroes interviewing one of my all time heroes. Sweeeet!

Reminds me of this awesome drawing:

Closet


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Interview: Garret Robinson (part 2)

Garret Robinson

Garret Robinson

Welcome to the second part my interview with Garret The Awesome Robinson.

If you missed the fist part, click here.

If you haven’t done so already, do check out his first book, Midrealm, which is on sale right now on Amazon. You can also pre-order the second book in the series at therealmkeepers.com

 

Sorin: Paperback, eBook, audiobook. What do you think is next in this industry?

Garrett: I tell you, if I knew the answer to that, I’d be trying to secure a patent on it. I have always considered myself an artist, not a techie, even though I’m pretty savvy with computers and stuff. In my opinion, there are artists and then there are the people who develop tools for the artist. Rarely do the twin meet (when they do, hellooo trillionaire).

Ebooks, audiobooks, all that—they’re just tools. They’re just ways and mediums for art. I am perfectly content to let other people develop new and better tools for distributing art to people, and then adapting what I do to work within those tools, those mediums. My viewpoint is this: it doesn’t take me very long to learn a new method of distribution or art, and it’s one more avenue. So why not do it? Why not experiment with new ways to get my stories out there, whether it’s the books I’m writing or the films I’m directing?

I really see a future in cross-platform storytelling. People have tried it over the years, but I think it’s gaining new ground now that Whedon is on board with the Avengers franchise, now in film and on TV. Where else could that story be told? Why couldn’t there be an online game set in the same universe, where the storyline would actually be swayed by what occurs in the films and TV show, and vice versa? Why not make the storytelling every bit in legit in every medium it’s told in?

It’s an exciting time. As I’ve often said, if you’re an artist, there’s never been a better time in human history for you to be alive.

 

Sorin: If you had a … for every time you … you would …?

Garrett: If I had a fan for every time I had someone download one of my free books, I’d be J.K. Rowling. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But while I recognize the value of free book deals, it does annoy me how many people download free books and never read them…)

 

Sorin: Kobolds or goblins?

Garrett: Goblins. Kobolds annoy me. I was brought up on Tolkien and Warhammer.

 

Sorin: What’s your favorite euphemism?

Garrett: I’ve always liked “mashing uglies,” for some reason.

 

Sorin: Would you care to share an excerpt from any of your books?

Garrett: One of my favorite scenes ever is the scene in Chapter Two of Midrealm when Greystone shows up. Here’s one of my favorite parts from that chapter:

 

I groaned and started to push myself up, but a funny thing happened. I felt the stone courtyard under my fingers, and it sort of…tickled. I ran my hands across the ground and felt the rough surface of the stone. It felt comforting. Warm somehow. Like…the thought seemed ridiculous, but like hugging a cousin that I hadn’t seen in years but had always been really good friends with. For some reason, the stone felt alive. I didn’t want to break contact. To my right I heard Calvin breathing deeply in and out, chuckling every time he did.

Then there was a POOF, and an old, gruff voice said, “Well, now that that’s over with.”

I leapt to my feet and whirled around. Just outside the circle of stone pillars, in the direction of the doors I’d been planning on making a run for, stood an old man. Not just old—this guy was ancient. His face had more wrinkles than a shirt after it had been slept in overnight, and his bushy white eyebrows jutted out like the wings of a bird. His crazy white hair stuck out in all directions, immediately making me think of Albert Einstein. He was wearing an old, faded grey robe and clutching a gnarled wooden walking stick that was a little taller than he was.

I jumped in front of Tess and Calvin, who were both climbing slowly to their feet. I felt Miles step in on my left and Blade on my right, the three of us forming a wall in front of the smaller kids. Raven stayed off to the side a bit, staring at the old man, unsure.

“Who are you?” I asked.

The old man scoffed. “Who am I? Listen, girl, I’m not the one with anything to prove. You’ve got big shoes to fill, child, and you look barely old enough to ride a horse, much less save the world.”

“Ride a…save the what?” I asked, utterly confused. I could understand what he was saying, but a part of me was aware that he wasn’t speaking English. Even understanding his words, though, he wasn’t making sense.

The old man sighed heavily. “Always with the new ones,” he grumbled. “It’s always ‘what are you talking about?’ and ‘who are you?’ and ‘why are these people trying to kill us?’”

“What?!” I shrieked.

“Hey man, where are we?” Miles asked. “What’s with those rocks?”

The old man sighed and peered at all of us instead of answering. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Miles and Blade look at me. Like I was supposed to know what to do. It looked like the old man saw them, because his eyes narrowed and focused on me.

“You,” he said. “What is your name?”

I glared at him. “Why?”

“Come now. You’ve asked me for my name, despite my being your elder, but you do not offer your own? Give me yours, and I will give you mine, and then I will hear from the rest of you.”

My brow wrinkled as I thought about it. All of this was so bizarre, I didn’t know what to think. But there was something about the man. Something in his eyes. He sure seemed to be a crotchety old guy, but I didn’t feel like he actually meant us any harm.

“I’m Sarah,” I told him finally. There was no way I was going to give him my last name. “Now, for the last time, who are you?”

He snorted. “‘For the last time.’ Such bravado.” He thrust his staff out to his side and bowed low, holding his hand over his middle. “I am Greystone the wizard, and I am, most unfortunately for all of us, at your service.”

“A wizard. Right,” said Blade sarcastically beside me.

“Cool!” cried Calvin. He pressed forward between me and Miles and stared at Greystone with a wide grin. “What can you do?”

Greystone looked at him with disdain. “Oh, you’re one of those.”

 

Don’t you dare forget to follow Garrett on Twitter and on his website 🙂


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Game of Thrones reloaded

Okay, two posts in a single day – not kosher, but this is really hilarious:

I’ll be posting the second part of the interview with Garrett Robinson tomorrow. It gets even better!


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Interview: Garret Robinson (part 1)

Garret Robinson

Garret Robinson

I’m splitting this interview in two parts, not because Garret is a chatty fellow (which he is), but because I have come to learn what a bite size really means on the Internet.

I met Garrett while seeking reviewers for The Scriptlings. Having sent messages to a ton of people that day and having got no answer, I was understandingly excited when I got this message from Garret, barely two minutes after writing to him:

I tried to read this all the way through, but about two paragraphs in I was like, “gimme, gimme, GIMME!!!”

Garrett Robinson is one of those artists whose creativity spans more than just one form of art. Here is what I had to say about his hilarious novel The Ninjabread Man:

This book is so funny, that I was L-ingMAO while still reading the dedication and authors’ note. It only gets better from there.

If you’re a Terry Pratchett fan, then you will be thrilled to find a winged species of Feegles amongst the main protagonists – swearing, debauchery, recklessness and all. They are so well integrated that their presence smashes the borders of mere fan art. Indeed, I daresay Pratchett himself would approve of it.

On top of finely crafted (or baked, in some cases) characters, The Ninjabread Man stands out through its impressive cinematic quality. Since one of the authors is a movie director, that should hardly come as a surprise.

What should surprise you, though, is the fact that the authors somehow contrived to include a ton of witty references pointing back to the story and characters themselves. For a relatively short story, this is an amazing feat of wordsmithing – seeing as you would normally expect this kind of fine literary device in a sequel, rather than on the original work.

Before we delve into the interview, please be advised that his first book, Midrealm, is on sale right now on Amazon and you can pre-order the second book in the series at therealmkeepers.com

 

Sorin: How does being an author compare to being a co-author?

Garrett: There are good parts and bad parts to both. I’m a bit of an admitted egoist, and so not having the final say as a co-author grates on me occasionally. I’m able to put aside my personal feelings and come to a compromise for the good of the story, but it doesn’t get less annoying each time—which is totally illogical, because every single time we compromise, I look back on it in retrospect and go, “Oh, yeah, that was totally the right decision.” Having a good co-author is like having a fantastic content editor. You catch each other’s gross plot inconsistencies, out-continuity, and generally weak story ideas. You also get two different viewpoints on any story problem, so it’s easier to work through each one. And you only have to do half the work on thinking up the next twists and turns in the story. It’s a really, really great way to work.

That being said, there are things I like working as a solo author. They don’t outweigh being a co-author or vice versa; it’s just different. I like having full control. I like being able to go places that a co-author won’t necessarily go. There’s something freeing about being the only one responsible for where a story will take me.

After Realm Keepers is done, I’m embarking on my solo fantasy series, the one that’s been building in me for years now. It’s very adult, very epic, and very fun. It’s important to me that it’s the best thing I ever do, so I’m probably going to write it and then sit on it for a while—maybe years. I don’t know. It’s not coming out until it’s perfect. But I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned about storytelling while working with Z. C. Bolger and applying it to a solo project.

 

Sorin: Some people think that fantasy and humor should not mix. What would you like to do to these people? I promise I’ll help.

Garrett: I want to pat these people on the head like the little simpletons they are. Anyone who says fantasy and humor are incompatible is woefully ignorant of the genus of all modern fantasy, which is of course Tolkien. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are absolutely saturated with humor (The Hobbit more so). The antics of the hobbits, and occasionally of Gimli and Legolas, are often hilarious, both in the books and in the movies. Humor isn’t the focus of the series, but it’s an integral part. Without an occasional moment of levity and humor, the series would be a much less rich, satisfying and real place for us to spend our time.

Also, two words: Terry Pratchett.

 

Sorin: Then I guess I won’t be needing this crowbar… Is there any type of scene you will not apply humor to?

Garrett: Basically, I won’t apply humor to my own personal “cardinal sin” list. Most people have a list like this. It’s the things that are absolutely, totally unforgivable. Bad acts you can’t come back from.

Some authors won’t write scenes from their cardinal sin list at all. Famously, Johnny B. Truant of the Self Publishing Podcast won’t write scenes where children or animals are harmed. I don’t take it that far. Nothing is off the table in my fiction. But I won’t apply humor to certain scenes.

Rape is definitely one of them. At the end of Non Zombie, Cliff’s wife is nearly raped. Non Zombie is a humorous book, but I couldn’t have made that scene funny. It would have made me feel ill to try.

The death of parents is another big one. Many characters (in all fiction and in my own works) lose parents. It’s not a funny thing, and I’d feel terrible trying to make a joke about it. I lost my own mother a few years back, and nowadays I can’t even stomach “yo momma” jokes.

 

Sorin: Like I said before, The Ninjabread Man is, to a certain extent, Discworld inspired fan art, but I believe there is so much more to it – enough for Terry Pratchett himself to love it. Did you get any kind of reaction from him or from fans?

Garrett: My God, if I’d heard anything from Terry Pratchett I would have shouted that across the internets. We did get a lot of love from fans who recognized the inspiration from The Wee Free Men. It was important to me that we were very open about them in the dedication. If people enjoyed the Scotts, I hope we funneled some of them to buy Pratchett’s book.

Fortunately, we haven’t gotten any flak for the Scotts. I was afraid people would accuse us of “ripping off” Pratchett. It’s a dicey line to walk, but I see it as akin to the hobbits, or orcs. Hobbits and orcs basically didn’t exist before Tolkien, and yet now everyone uses them in their fiction. Are they ripping off Tolkien, or did he install a new creature in the collective consciousness of human art that we can all make free use of? I believe the latter.

 

Sorin: Did you ever meet your fans? Any juicy story you want to share?

Garrett: I’ve never met a fan in person—not in the way I think you mean. My roommate reads my books ravenously. She’s one of my biggest fans. But I knew her well before I started writing, so that doesn’t really count. And I did a live event recently at my old high school, and some of the kids there bought Midrealm. But they weren’t fans before that, so that’s different.

I came so, so close to having a beer with a reader in Florida, but his wife got ill right at the last minute. Other than that, it’s all been online interaction. Which is fantastic in its own right. I think people are freer and less inhibited on the internet, even if they’re NOT hiding behind anonymity. A person can reach out to me via email or on my website, and even if they’re a little shy or introverted in real life, they can gush about a book. It’s great. I wonder if, when Z. C. and I start doing conventions next year, we’ll have people as engaged in real life as they can be online.

 

This concludes the first part of the interview.

In the meanwhile, don’t forget to follow Garrett on Twitter and on his website.

 


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Interview: Lord David Prosser

Lord David Prosser

Lord David Prosser

Today I’m interviewing Lord David Prosser, author of My Barsetshire Diary: The Daily Events of the Gentry Recorded for Posterity, The Queen’s Envoy, and many other brilliantly funny stories.
Here is what I have to say about his first book:

David Prosser’s wit is like a good piece of cheddar: sharp and full of flavour. But what really makes “My Barsetshire Diary” stand out is the author’s penchant for infusing each and every sentence with humour.
I have not seen such incredibly well sustained humour since Wodehouse, and it is not for lack of trying.
If you ever have a chance to meet David Prosser in person, please do us all a favour and kidnap him, then force him to write some more.

Sorin: What has humour ever done for us? Besides the aqueduct, the sanitation and roads…
David: Humour is the best diet in the world. Just think how much exercise you get with belly laughs. If only we could harness all that energy.

Sorin: If only we could… Speaking of which, if you had three wishes, what would you do with them?
David: I’d arrange for a little mass hypnosis, so that at a given trigger word, everyone would buy one of my books, and at a second trigger word they’d want the set and beg for more. Then of course I’d have to opt for world peace since no-one at war has time to read. Lastly I’d appear on ‘Oprah’ and make sure people understood that Indies are good writers too, and make a few book suggestions. Stephen King, John Grisham, Terry Pratchett et al are probably rich enough already.

Sorin: Deservedly so, I might add. As we are talking about famous writers, people have likened you to P.G. Wodehouse, more than once. How do you think he copes with the pressure?
David: You mean apart from being dead? I didn’t think we were getting a necromantic interview. Hmm, the pressure of having me compared to him, I’d hope he was glad I wasn’t around when he was, but be happy the tradition of tale telling carries on.

Sorin: Necromancy, you say… All right, since you brought that up, what would you like to have inscribed on your tombstone?
David: “He Was Funny and He Was Nice” would be ideal, though I suppose having my name there might help in case there are pilgrimages to my gravesite.

Sorin: Duly noted. Why would a perfectly sane person read your books? What about the not so perfectly sane?
David: The perfectly sane would read them because they can read situations they’re probably been in or at least seen many times during their lives, except for the second book of course where only super-secret James Bond types would have been in those particular situations. The im-perfectly sane would read them because they want to become perfect of course.

Sorin: Makes imperfect sense! Here’s a tough question for you: Elves or Orcs?
David: It has to be Elves, of course, since Orcs have no magic. An Elf could magically give me a shave after a rough night; the Orc is more likely to stop me from needing a shave on a permanent basis. And, be fair, they have faces only a mother could love, you’d never get to speak to a pretty woman again with an Orc at your side.

Sorin: If the Barsetshire Diaries were made into a movie, who would you like to play you?
David: I’m thinking the ideal person would be me, but lacking an equity card I guess that’s out. Hugh Laurie would be very good though maybe Ioan Gruffudd but he’d have to get rid of the stretch arms first and his outfit for the Royal Navy.

Sorin: My mind was set on Stephen Fry. It could be his next project, after the TV series Kingdom. One last question: what is your favourite word, in any language?
David: Hiraeth. Since you didn’t ask what it means I’ll assume everyone already knows and keep schtumm.

Sorin: Diolch i chi, Ewythr!

 

Here is an excerpt from My Barsetshire Diary: The Daily Events of the Gentry Recorded for Posterity, which I particularly enjoy, probably because it has a parrot in it:

I was greeted by pandemonium in the shape of Lady Julia in her riding gear descending upon me at speed.
“He’s gone”, she cried, “you must have left the door open!”.
At which point I had visions of someone nipping in and kidnapping her doddery old papa while I was out. Instead I just responded “Slow down, dearheart, who’s gone?”.
“The bird has”, she said, and I swear I heard her add “Silly old fool”. Now Joey is my territory. The little rogue has been with us for years and a more entertaining budgie you won’t find. Nor a richer one probably as he usually steals and hides my loose change and anything shiny he can hold in his beak. Even today no one has been able to find his hoard. Probably intends to retire to the sun one day. Anyway, I digress.
Panic stricken to lose my only ally, I dashed into the house so fast the rubber tips on my crutches started to smoke.
I went into the drawing room where Joey usually holds court and started calling him. At first there was no answer and I had visions of spending my afternoon shouting up at all the trees in the village. Then I heard a strange grating sound that seemed to echo round the room. Unable to recognise either the sound or the source, I started looking round the room until eventually I narrowed the sound down to an old copper swan-necked jug on the piano. There the little blighter was, right at the bottom, crooning to himself and enjoying the echo. Gently I laid the jug on its side so he could get out. Out he waddled drawing blood from my hand affectionately as he went by.
All was calm again.

You can and should connect with Lord David Prosser on Facebook, Twitter and his blog.


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In My Life

Yesterday I went to see the Cranberry Festival in Fort Langley, accompanied by Adrienne, our resident outdoor enthusiast friend.

There were, it pains me to say, surprisingly few instances of cranberries at the festival. Food trucks – yes. Stalls, selling everything from beeswax to pieces of glass – yes. Cranberries – not so much. I did buy a spicy cranberry ice wine confiture which went amazingly well with some thin slices of Gruyere cheese, so I can’t really complain.

Anyway, because I didn’t take any pictures of cranberries, I thought I’d share a couple of fabulous smiles, both coming from the same source. This street musician was playing “In My Life” by The Beatles on his electric guitar, and I must say he is as passionate and talented guitarist as he is a smiler.


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Narration Facts

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Alright, so because I claimed that the paperback edition is high in fiber, the FDA insisted that I should provide full nutritional information about The Scriptlings.

I thought I would fly under the radar, what with this government shutdown south of the border, but they zeroed in on me like a flock of bureaucrat vultures.

I do hope they won’t make me stick this label on the back cover of every book I sell, but I guess anything is better than going to jail. It would just be embarrassing, you know, when real criminals ask me what I’m in for.

Get it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Scriptlings by Sorin Suciu

The Scriptlings

by Sorin Suciu

Giveaway ends October 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

What Goodreads doesn’t know is that I am going to pimp out the two prize books before sending them to their respective winners.

Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Custom Tiki bite marks on the particularly juicy pages;
  • Dirty/nerdy dedication;
  • Authentic illegible handwriting.

Don’t forget to like and share.


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In Memory: A Tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett

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