Books and Shows

June 4, 2014

I might have mentioned, a few times, the importance of stories to me. It might seem like an obvious statement for someone who wants to be a published author, but it goes beyond writing.

Writing is my way of taking all the great stories I’ve experienced and re-working them into something that is uniquely me. Sort of like Lego.

But I don’t love stories in order to write. I write because I like stories. Very important distinction. It means I write because I have a need to write and because I love doing it, not because I’m good at it or because I have to. It means that even if I don’t get published I’ll continue to write.

All that being said, with sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I can help support stories that I think are going to be awesome. The worst thing is when these campaigns fail because I’ve gotten excited about the story and will never get to read it.

Two such stories that I’ve supported lately are Second Contacts by Bundoran Press, and Muzzled the Musical by Matthew Mercer.

Second Contacts

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This is an anthology of stories about what happens after we meet aliens. It will be an open submission for all authors. Bundoran has a great track record for choosing great authors in their anthologies.

The Project will happen either way but this campaign will allow them to pay professional rates and go all out on the making of the book. It means that you’ll get an awesome book with great stories, written by people who will be supper happy to be paid.

What’s in it for you

If you like reading this campaign gives you all kinds of choices. My two favourite rewards are $25 for the actual book and the ebook of the anthology or $100 for a bunch of ebooks, the physical book and story advice from an award winning publisher and author. Hayden Trenholm is a really good writer and I’ve heard great things about his editing but even better, he’s a really nice person.

If those two levels of rewards don’t interest you there are a whole bunch of different choices. It’s a great way to bulk up your ebook library.

Go support them now! You have 4 days and trust me it’ll be worth it.

Muzzled the Musical

This is a web musical that will be 3 episodes, or more if they make their stretch goals, and it’s about singing princesses in a world of magic.

If that’s not enough to interest you, it also has Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), and Juliet Landau. Not to mention a who’s who of Youtube celebrities.

Go check it out.

That’s it for me,

See you soon!

Éric

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Update for May 6th, 2014… No witty title… sorry

May 6, 2014

Hello,

The time has come, the time for us to part. No. Not you and I, my imaginary friend. It’s the time for a character to die. Eons ago I put up this poll asking for your help on whom to kill. This week I’m midway into the chapter that will kill the character. Out of 15 people who voted 5 of you voted for Adelaide.

Now because this novel deals with dreams and alternate worlds, I was sorely tempted to kill off one of the two versions of the character. I’ve decided that would be cheap. My plan is to have the death motivate the characters to stop reacting to the supernatural aspects and start actively trying to save themselves.

I’m not promising that this is the only death. There might be more. Mhuhahahahaha!

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!

Bundoran Press, an awesome publisher from Ottawa, is running an Indigogo campaign to fund a new anthology about what happens when aliens visit earth. They want to pay their contributors at professional levels and have a kickass cover.

For$25 you can get the Ebook and hardcover of the anthology.

If you’re an Aspiring Author like me you might want to get the $100 level that gets you the Ebook, Hardcover, a ton of Ebooks, and editing advice on one story by Hayden Trenholm. He’s the owner of Bundoran Press, an excellent award winning author, and an extremely nice guy.

What are you waiting for go check out their page.

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Second Contacts Indigogo

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/second-contacts

(I might submit a story… Not sure.)

Have a great day,

Éric


I’ll Meet You Yesterday by Tom Barlow – Book Review

December 3, 2013

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I met Mr Barlow at Can-Con (The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature). I unintentionally bought the first copy of his book. He was very nice and signed it for us. I later saw him speak at a panel on mystery writing.

When I bought the book I didn’t read the back right away. I read the title and said, “I want it”. I stupidly thought it was a time travel story. It isn’t but that’s ok, it was a great read.

He is published by the awesome people at Bundoran Press

Below is my review. For more information on how and why I review books read my posts Part 1 and Part 2.

Characters

I liked

This wasn’t a large book, and I appreciated that there weren’t too many characters. I easily confuse characters with similar names or roles.

Not in this book. Each character was well fleshed out and had the weight of implied history behind them. Other than one tiny exception, none of the characters did anything stupid.

I genuinely felt for the characters.

I didn’t like

As much as I know in my mind that characters thrive through challenge. It’s hard to watch them get hurt. The characters made the best of a bad situation and came out stronger but it made me sad.

I guess none of that is a criticism. It works to build pathos and character development.

For characters, I give it 4 out of 5

Writing Style

I liked

Maybe it’s that I don’t read enough mystery but I’ve never come across a writing style like Barlow’s. Some books exhaust me with stress but suck me in. Others don’t suck me in but aren’t stressful. I’d always thought the stress and the interest were a necessary pair. Barlow proved that it wasn’t.

He has a relaxed beauty to his writing. I was still worried for the characters but I never felt stressed or pressed. Everything was smooth and calm. Like the perfect sip of coffee.

I didn’t like

I can’t think about anything I didn’t like about the style.

I give it 5 out of 5.

Story

I liked

The story was a near future science fiction, mystery, love story, with strong elements of a road trip in the middle. It was a refreshing mix of styles.

The story wasn’t complicated. It didn’t feel cluttered and had me wondering what would happen next. It was beautifully crafted and made me feel certain that the author knew where he was going.

I didn’t like

The world wasn’t a nice place. It was also a little too plausible. Neither of them bad things but throughout, I wondered if it was necessary. They added a little background and a few of the plot devices but other than that I could have seen this work in the 1930’s or even modern day.

I give the story 4 out of 5

Fun

I liked

Any time a character does something stupid, like buying drugs, I usually feel like throwing the book away but in this book it just had me mentally yelling at the character. That shows me that the book was too good to get angry at and I enjoyed it the way I enjoy a good cop show that doesn’t telegraph the ending.

I didn’t like

I found the ending a little quick. I would have liked to see a little more but I also see why it ended where it ended.

I give it 5 out of 5 for fun

Overall

I struggled to find things I didn’t like about this book. It was just so good that I couldn’t put it down.

I eagerly await more from Tom Barlow and recommend you get this book and read it, as soon as possible.

Final score is 90%