Archive for the Fiction Category

Rey Clark Interview

Posted in Fiction, Interview with tags , on May 15, 2020 by boccobsblog

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Tell us about your new title.
My lasted work released at the end of March.  Age of Redemption is the sequel to Dawn of Genesis in the Titan Code Science Fiction Series.

Still on track for this year:

  • Second middle grade fantasy book, Legends of the Weirded Ways
  • New historical fantasy series set during World War II.
  • Coming soon the Realm of Thraul collaborative project with artist Rich Kunz and three other authors.  The playing card suit reimagined.  I will be writing for the diamonds.  Think Asian Steampunk.

How has the current Covid-19 crisis affected your process?
Normally I write or edit on my lunch hour, but with work being so crazy busy I haven’t had a lunch since January.  I work in the financial industry and serve on the bank’s Pandemic Response Team, so we have been outlining contingency after contingency.  My desk is currently swamped with folk needed loan payment deferrals or mortgage forbearances so that has taken the front seat as a priority.  Now time for lunch.  I’ve moved my writing time to the evenings and weekend and have tried to move forward in large chunks.  Right now, I’m still on schedule.

How much of yourself do you put into your protagonists?
I try to diversify my protagonists to keep them fresh, but of course some of myself bleeds through.  I don’t fashion them all in my image otherwise they would all be the same.  Each one does have a piece of me.  I tend to be bold and straightforward with a sarcastic tone so many times that is reflected in my protagonists.

What is the greatest challenge currently facing self-published authors?
I think recognition and exposure are the two largest challenges facing self-published authors.  There is still a stigma that self-published work is inferior to traditional published work, but I’ve read some fantastic indie work.  There is unfortunately crap out there in the market too, but I believe that the good stuff will bubble to the top.  Self-publishing offers a wide variety of diversity in writing rather than a few major publishing houses deciding what you want to read.  Indie publishing gives the reader more to choose from.

The other issue is exposure.  There is so much content on the market right now its difficult to gain any traction in the marketing arena.  Finding readers can be a challenge.  Conventions work best for me to get my name out there. Specifically, gaming conventions for my genre.  Super bummed about Lexicon this year (stupid virus), I was on target to release Age of Redemption there.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
Whiskey, lots and lots of whiskey.  All joking aside, I plot out my books course before I ever start writing.  The rough plot line helps me outline my chapters, so I know what’s happening where and when in the story.  If I always know the next event in the story, I can’t have writer’s block.

Sometimes inspiration doesn’t strike in the moment I sit down to write but I move forward regardless.  If I write and dull lifeless chapter, I’m sure to pick up on that during the editing process.  That triggers a re-write and corrective course for the tone and plot of the story.

If you could do psychedelic mushrooms with one Supreme Court Justice, past or present, who would it be?
Hands down, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  She’s one bad ass woman. I’d love to get inside her mind for a minute.  I’ve not met her but last year I did sit in the main chamber of the Supreme Court.  Spoiler alert: Its not the highest court in the land.  The basketball court above the chamber is the highest court in the land.

You’ve recently started to add your books on Audible, how is that going?
First book in the Path of Ascension Trilogy went live in December and the narrator is currently working on the second book, Fire Forged.  It’s been a painless process.

You and Katniss step into the ring, who struts away in triumph and who limps away in shame?
Since it is a boxing ring and I am a kickboxer and Katniss would be up close and personal rather than using her bow, I’m going to say that I would kick her ass. 

About the Author
Rey Clark is science fiction and fantasy author from central Illinois. Her desire and motivation to inspire others does not stop with the readers.  Rey works in her community to foster creativity and spark new writers to explore their own creativity.

Path of Ascension Trilogy

  • Flames of Valor
  • Fire Forged
  • Inferno Rising

Titan Code Series

  • Dawn of Genesis
  • Age of Redemption
  • Final Legacy (2021)

Legends Chronicles

  • Legends of the Vale
  • Legends of the Weirded Ways (Fall 2020)
  • Legends of the Phoenix Flame (2022)

All books can be purchased on Amazon in either print of ebook.  Flames of Valor is currently available on Audible.  Fire Forged & Inferno Rising should be available on Audible by the end of 2020.

Other projects include:

  • MurderHobos Inc Live tabletop RPG gaming on YouTube.
  • Titanholm Gaming – A new world to explore through 5th edition D&D.  Titanholm is a world of high fantasy and steampunk.
  • Realm of Thraul – a fantasy world with four unique kingdoms locked in a power struggle.  The cultures are interpretations of traditional playing card suits.  The project involves Rich Kunz as the artist and four authors.  Rey is developing thee world of diamonds, an eastern inspired culture with elements of steampunk.

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Learn more at reyclark.com.

 

Sorry for the ads but I’m saving up some new nunchucks!

The Theory: A Twisted Sci-Fi Series

Posted in Comic Books, Fiction, Interview, Kickstarter with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2018 by boccobsblog

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Today we sit down with the creator/chief mischief-maker at TPub, a British indie comic company. TPub is probably best known for creating Twisted Dark, Twisted Light, Tabatha, Tortured Life, Turncoat, Theatrics, and The World of Chub Chub. They launched in 2012 with a mission to bring more readers to comics.

What can you tell us about TPub?

TPub is my publishing company. Our mission is to get more people reading and creating comics because we love the medium. We also believe it is a great gateway into getting people to read more books.

What is the deal with the Werthers Originals?

ARGH!!!  Werthers!!  OK, so at conventions abroad I normally buy these British sweets called chocolate eclairs at the airport to give people at conventions. However, my team of volunteers find it really funny to hide them on my person. I find them in my pockets and shoes etc. One chap in Canada called Ian was so bad at hiding them (I always caught him), that he started to get the fans to give them to me as I was signing their books. Somehow it morphed from eclairs to Werthers and since then, I swear they have gotten so good at it! I order food in a restaurant and it arrives with a Werthers in it. A 4 year old girl will tap my leg at a con and then as I look down, her smiling face she will produce a pack of Werthers from behind her back. I have even found a bunch in my pyjamas at home! This has become a thing!

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You currently have a Kickstarter campaign: The Theory: A Twisted Sci-Fi Series, tell us more about it

I think it’s the best comic I have done so far. It is about an astroarchaeoloigst who is working to save our future and a time traveller who is working to fix our past. If you like Black Mirror or the Twilight Zone, or just stories with twists, I suggest you give it a shot. But I do want to stress it is not an anthology. All the stories do tie together into one big story. (Learn more here)
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What exactly is spotted dick? (Follow up query, is it really cooked in a sock?)
If it’s cooked well, it is a delicious dessert. . Like Jam roll-polly or sticky toffee pudding or banoffee, it is a classic pudding, but you don’t see it on the menu all that often.
As for being cooked in a sock – NO! This isn’t the 1800s anymore! We have ‘horseless carriages’ here in the UK too now. (I love how you answered that question by comparing it to three equally arcane-sounding British desserts!)

What is your upcoming convention schedule?

Too many! I love them but my wife is increasingly unhappy with how many weekends I’m away, especially considering we have another child on the way.

Where can people buy your titles?

We always recommend comic shops, then book shops, but if you are struggling to find it then Amazon. But if you want a signed copy by me as a gift, then we sell them direct from our website www.tpubcomics.com 
A big thank you to Neil! Be sure to check out TPub, and visit their Kickstarter before Nov. 24th

Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil

Posted in Fiction, Interview with tags , , on October 17, 2018 by boccobsblog
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Today with sit down with author Mary Fan to discuss her latest novel, Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil.

Does the Rising accept middle-aged out of shape gamer dads? (asking for a friend)
Hah! Of course! The Rising is this scrappy little underground rebellion that could use all the help it could get… and they’re banking on ordinary folks rising up to join the fight against tyranny when the time is right. So anyone who’s brave enough (and reckless enough) to take on a regime run by those who use magic and control supernatural beasts is welcome.
The Lord if the Underworld escaped about 100 years ago, so what year is the book set in?
Approximately 100 years in the future. The premise is that the Lord of the Underworld unleashed his beasts in the equivalent of present day, and the story takes place about a century after that.
Does the Lord of the Underworld use spray tanner and spend a lot of time on the golf course?
Let’s just say that in his heyday, he had plenty of followers that didn’t care if he was steamrolling the earth with monsters… they just wanted to be on the side with power 😉
Abaia are creepy! What was the inspiration?
Abaia were inspired by a magical giant eel by the same name in Melanesian mythology — and they actually didn’t make it into the final cut of the book! I created a list of creatures I wanted the characters to encounter while I was still editing, but some got left on the cutting room floor. But there are two sequels coming, so there’s plenty of time for them to read their heads… muahahaha….
What can you tell us about Brave New Girls?
Brave New Girls is a series of YA sci-fi anthologies about girls in STEM, and its goal is to get more girls interested in STEM subjects. All the stories feature girls who are into some kind of science, tech, or engineering… hackers, tinkerers, chemists, etc. By casting the nerdy girls as the heroes rather than the sidekicks, we hope to encourage girls to explore these fields in real life. Proceeds from sales of the anthologies are donated to the Society of Women Engineers scholarship fund.
You have an impressive number of titles. How many books have you written?
Thank you! I’ve written a total of 10 manuscripts so far, 5 of which are published books (2 are coming out next year). Since I started actively writing in 2012, I’ve managed to write 1-2 a year. Ideally it would always be 2 a year but with short projects and edits and such, it’s not always possible.
Any tips for aspiring authors?
Write what you love. Because there are no guarantees in this industry… you could think you’re writing to a marketable trend, only to find it’s over by the time you’re ready to submit. So write for the joy of it so that at the end of the day, if nothing else, you have a manuscript you’re proud of.
Where can fans learn more about you and your books?
All the info is on my website: www.maryfan.com. For real-time updates, follow me on Twitter (@astralcolt), Instagram (@astralcolt), and Facebook (Facebook.com/mfanwriter).

Dungeons and Dragons: Endless Quest Series

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Fiction with tags , , on September 7, 2018 by boccobsblog

Wizards of the Coast and Penguin Random House have released a new series of children’s choose your own adventures books entitled, Endless Quest. According the website:

In the Forgotten Realms® Endless Quest® books, you don’t just read a fantastic tale set in the most popular Dungeons & Dragons® world of all time. You become the hero! Answer the call to adventure, and choose your own fate!

The series contains four novels:

Escape the Underdark
“You awaken in an underground cell, stripped of your armor and your sword. Your fellow prisoners inform you that you’re trapped in the Underdark, soon to be taken to the great drowcity of Menzoberranzan and sold off as a slave. But word is that demons are stirring in the underworld’s depth. Perhaps you can use that to break free, fighter.”
(Also available in paperback)

Big Trouble
“When evil giants attack your home in Ardeep Forest, your parents think you’re dead and they go hunting for your missing little brother. You wake up and set out after them, helped by a giant wizard who lives in a flying tower. You don’t know where they’ve gone, but you know that if you don’t find them, you’re all in big trouble. Wield your magic wisely against the giants, wizard.” (Also available in paperback)

Into the Jungle
“The Harpers have lost one of their own, a legendary adventurer named Artus Cimber, keeper of the artifact known as the Ring of Winter. They’ve hired you to travel to the jungle-clad land of Chult to find him. If only you can manage to find Cimber before the frost giants do — or the zombies that infest the land get you first. You’re in the jungle now, cleric.”
(Also available in paperback)

To Catch a Thief
“When you tried to pick the pocket of a civilar in the night-shrouded streets of Waterdeep, you never thought she’d catch you — and you never dreamed she’d force you into her service. Now you must find the baby griffon stolen by the beholder Xanathar, leader of the city’s powerful Thieves’ Guild. And if you should fail . . . you can count on spending the rest of your life behind bars, rogue.” (Also available in paperback)

About the author
“Matt Forbeck is an award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author and game designer with thirty novels and countless games published to date. His latest work includes the Rogue One junior novel, Dungeonology, Halo: New Blood, the Magic: The Gathering comics, Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger, the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels, and the upcoming Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game based on his novels. He lives in Beloit, WI, with his wife and five children, including a set of quadruplets. For more about him and his work, visit Forbeck.com.”

I look forward to reading these books with my children. I still remember long hours reading the Rose Estes choose your own adventures books in the 80s. (The trick was to never remove your thumb from the last page so you could hop back quickly if you died.

 

That’s What I Want

Posted in Fiction with tags on September 3, 2018 by boccobsblog

 

The stage was set up to resemble a bank. The back of the stage looked like an open vault with loads of paper money and gold bars inside. The host, a used car salesman lookalike, cheap suit, slick black hair, came walking out from the vault over to a contestant, a wide-eyed, eager typical middle-class American guy, standing at a miniature version of a teller’s counter. The host in his best radio announcer voice said, “Welcome back to That’s What I Want, the game show where we find out what’s more important, money or anything else. Now, Kevin, the last round you won five thousand dollars playing Money Matters, and rather than donate those winnings to childhood cancer research, you decided to gamble it all and spin the prize wheel, which landed on Dollars behind Doors. That brings us to our final round. Kevin, are you ready to play Dollars behind Doors?”

“I sure am, Chuck,” the contestant said, grinning from ear to ear.

Finish the story here: That’s What I Want

If you like what you’ve read, consider picking up one of Thomas’s novels here: https://biehlsnotebook.wordpress.com/books/

The Latest

Posted in Fiction with tags on August 30, 2018 by boccobsblog

Like what you just read? Consider picking up a copy of Thomas’s novels at https://biehlsnotebook.wordpress.com/books/

Wander & Wonder

alcohol alcoholic background bar Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Boral Chernon, swineherd of the seventh plain of Arengoth, walked into the Waning Moon Tavern, tired from a long day. He sat at the bar, ordered a stout ale, and had hoped to to enjoy his drink in peace and quiet.

Not long after the bar keep had sat the amber liguid in front of him, though, Frunek Gerswogon took the seat next to him. Big, burly, smelly, and loud mouthed; Frunek wasn’t exactly an ideal companion.

“Good day, Boral,” Frunek said.

“Good day,” Boral replied, hoping simple greetings were all the blacksmith had in store.

“So, have you heard the latest,” Frunek asked. Boral felt his yearnings for a simple, solitary draught evaporate.

Boral took a long drink of his ale before he said, “No, what’s that, then.”

“Our Duke has become a Lich they tell me,” Frunek said with emphasis.

“No.”

“Yes.”

“What…

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