Authors & Self-Promotion: Why This Isn’t Someone Else’s Job

delilahThis week has seen a week of self-promotion posts. Not necessarily a week of authors hardcore-pimping their latest book or sounding from the rooftop news about their latest work-in-progress—and it should have been as Delilah S. Dawson released Hit while Pip and I kicked off the fourth season of Tales from the Archives—but a week of writers blogging about self-promotion. Two authors of infinite awesome—Chuck Wendig and the afore-mentioned Delilah Dawson—posted strategies on what to do (and what not to do) when it comes to talking about your own work. Continue reading

A Thank You Note from Tee Morris

20140121-202530.jpgBeen searching for a writing topic of late (and I have at least two “authorly” blogposts that just need a few more words and a spit-polish before they go live) but the start to 2015 has truly been a mixed bag of nuts. I’ve been Vaguebooking a little around it, but it’s February now and I think I’m starting to see daylight again. The past week afforded me a moment to take a step back to take stock in things, and it came to my attention that I did not do something that happens often on social media. You will see those panicked calls to prayer and for support when things go south in a life. These calls happen often, and sometimes when the follow-up’s come, we wish they wouldn’t. Usually, it’s bad news.

Not this time though.

This isn’t my story. This isn’t Pip’s story either. It does involve us, though, directly. Thing is, it’s not my story to tell; but I will say this much: someone in our family went in for what was described as a “common procedure” but things went south. Pip had flown back to New Zealand for what was supposed to be a week of recovery. Her trip turned into a waiting game. “He could come out of it. He could die…” we were told. A far cry from what we were expecting. Pip and I turned to you all—Christians, Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, Atheists, and everyone in between—and asked for your support. Whether they were prayers, blessings, or just thoughts of kindness, you all were there. Each and every one of you.

I know bad things happen; and sometimes, even after people rally around you and shower you with love, bad things still happen. This isn’t me saying “Because of you, everything’s okay!” This is me saying “Thank you for sparing a moment to keep us in your thoughts, hearts, and prayers.”

The dust is settling now, we are all recovering, and things are returning back to normal. We’re okay, and we’re all happy and healthy.

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The support you all showed me and my family reminded me of the same support you all bestowed on me during my job hunt during 2014. Actually, this job hunt started back in 2012 when I had been let go at Intersections. To say “It’s been a bumpy ride…” would be an understatement, but throughout it all you all have been there to keep me going. Sure, I had the writing and the Kickstarter project success to take in and keep me going. There was also a lot of things happening behind-the-scenes that felt like anchors around the ankles. I needed to keep going, keep pushing; and plenty of mornings, I felt lost with no drive whatsoever.

IMG_0450Sometimes, it would be one comment. Sometimes, it would be several comments. Here. On social media. In real life. It would be that support, a moment of positive reinforcement, that would get me out of bed and keep me going. You all kept me, my awesome wife, and my incredible kid in mind, and I don’t know if I ever took the time to say “Thank you” and I apologize for that. It’s been an eventful start to the year, and I wanted to take a moment and give kudos to you. You were there, and you helped me through it all.

Thank you.

Now, I’ve got a book to release, some writing to accomplish, and more days ahead of me. You’ve made it with me this far. I hope you continue this journey with me, together.

Talk to you later.

Google Glass: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

20140917_074443_805_xGoogle has announced they are halting the sales of Google Glass, the highly experimental, highly controversial eye-gear that looks like something straight out of Star Trek. (See “The Game” from Season 5 of Star Trek: The Next Generation.) Synonymous with “Wearable Tech” Glass promised a future seen only in video games: personal heads-up displays (or HUDs) for its users—sorry, wearers. Since its introduction in 2012, Glass won attention for its groundbreaking technology and application; but since then, popularity for the technology turned. Restaurant and movie theatre bans and certain infamous endorsements did little to raise its popularity; and with this recent announcement, tech experts are speculating as to why Glass did not take off:

The cost. Let’s see, I can either buy a new computer, or get a pair of Glass.

The aesthetic. Seriously, I look like I feel. Awkward, but empowered.

Privacy. When wearing Glass, I’m sharing my experience with the world…and that doesn’t need your consent.

I have an idea why: Glass isn’t all that. Continue reading

Writing Is Hard: Not an Excuse, A Challenge

delilahYesterday, the steampunk-romance-let-me-creep-you-out-to-the-edge-of-your-skin dynamo, Delilah S. Dawson, posted on her blog a column about being a writer, about getting off your ass, and about doing what you tell people you do. When I read the title of her blogpost, I was ready to mix it up with Big D because I’ve lost nearly twenty pounds all while editing an anthology, editing the fourth book of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, and writing up a new social media book, specifically geared for writers…

Instead, I read the article, proving that, yes, it is better to comment after you’ve read a blogpost instead of reading only the headline. The best part about Delilah’s blog is that, after meeting her, you can hear her in your head when you read her blog. So now I hear Delilah S. Dawson in my head…

I am terrified. Just so you all know.

Delilah’s a stitch. We’ve broken bread with her, been on panels with her, and she’s one of my literature spirit animals. I say “one of” because I have many. There’s my wife Pip, Chuck Wendig, Myke Cole, Mur Lafferty, Erika Napoletano, Kate Cross…I swear, I am building a Noah’s Ark of spirit animals over here. Thing is, D drops the mic hard in this blogpost when she says: Continue reading

Cover Reveal — Nick Kelly’s Catwalk: Lineage

IMG_4643Nick Kelly is no stranger to this blog. You may have remembered his blogpost back in March when he talked about “crossing the line” in writing. The book he was talking about then was Catwalk: Messiah, his first novel and one I had the pleasure of reading this summer.

Best described as “cyber-noir” or perhaps Blade Runner if Marvel Studios produced it, Catwalk: Messiah follows Leon “Catwalk” Caliber, a former Washington D.C. cop, now hired hit man on the west coast of the United States. You would think being a gun-for-hire in a sprawling megapolis of the future would be complicated enough, but Catwalk is good at what he does on account of the cybernetics that not only keeps him alive but also enhances his physical abilities.

The cost isn’t too bad…until you take into account that every enhancement replaces part of his humanity. Now, Cat has to keep hold of what makes him human lest he becomes what he hunts.

Nick and I have talked a lot about his first novel; and never at a loss for words, Nick and I will probably be talking over a scotch or three about what’s coming soon from his dark, twisted imagination… Continue reading

If You’re Reading This Blogpost, I’m Down Ten Pounds. #ThanksFitBit

chubby_teeFebruary 4, 2013.

That was the last time I really gave a damn about my health.

What happened? Well, if you read that blogpost, you heard my mea culpa on how I had successfully gained all the weight I had lost back in 2007. While pictures, thanks to Photoshop, can lie; it was the steampunk outfit I attempted to get into at the Emerald City Steampunk Expo that did not lie. This was when I returned to MediFast. I blogged on February 4 how happy I was on my progress. Down twenty pounds. I was thrilled.

Then, a week after that post, I went from thrilled to unemployed.

So what did I discover in 2013? Tee Morris, award-winning author, podcaster, and unbelievable beer snob is a stress eater. And yes, it’s a real thing. And yes, I’m really good at it. Continue reading

Unexpected Monday Surprise: A Cover Reveal

steam_teeIt’s been a month.

I’ve been trying to get back into a groove, what with the new job (nearing a month being here and it’s been great!) and how that will affect my writing calendar. We’ve managed to get in a steampunk tea in Shepherdstown, West Virginia (photos from S4 by Bruce Press Photography are available for viewing and purchase) and a fantastic weekend at Steampunk unLimited (thank you to everyone who stopped by and said “Hi!”), all of which has kept me from getting back to the blog. My wife-of-infinite-awesome may need a cooler title, as Pip is keeping me in check with a variety of things, and finally I stole a pocket of time to talk to you about one of them. We’ve got some great news coming down the pike; but last week we were (pleasantly) surprised by our publisher-of-infinite-awesome, Ace/Roc Books, as they revealed to the world the next cover in the adventures of Books and Braun.

I now present to you The Diamond Conspiracy, the fourth installment in the award-winning Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series: Continue reading

A Game of Wait and See: The Hullabaloo over “Hullabaloo”

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I’ve been getting tagged all week on social media platforms about the successful IndeGoGo-finded project, Hullabaloo. I was originally going to respond to this via Facebook, but it started to get too long, and thought this better suited for a blogpost.

First off, this definitely needs to be said — congratulations to the animators and creative team behind this project. After my own experience with Kickstarter, both the positive and the negative, it is always awesome to see brilliant, passionate crowdfunded projects not only hit their goals but surpass them. Well done, Team Hullabaloo. You kicked ass, and even grabbed the attention of io9 in the process. That is tremendous work, and I admire that.

Second, it’s nice that when people think of steampunk, they think of me, my wife, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. We’ve been working hard since breaking into the genre and it means a lot to me that people are curious as to my thoughts on steampunk creations.

So, what are my thoughts? Continue reading

Stranger on a Train XXX: A Perspective on Death

My friend, Patrick, is dying.

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Thing is, he didn’t know he was dying. He wasn’t feeling good so he went to the doctor to try and figure out what was going on.

That was July. It’s now August, and he’s dying. The cancer moved that quickly.

Fuck cancer.

People have been asked to send well wishes to Patrick, to let him know how much he means to them. What I’m seeing on my various feeds have been people struggling to do so.

I just wanted to say that while the reason totally sucks ass, it’s okay to feel pain, like you want to cry, like you want to scream into the Void and give it the middle finger. What you’re feeling isn’t wrong. Cry. By all means cry…

…so long as you take this moment to tell Patrick what you feel.

I didn’t get that chance with my buddy Jon whose funeral was last week. I didn’t get that chance with my theatre mentor, Glyn. I didn’t tell P.G. Holyfield how I truly felt about him when I last saw him at Balticon, when I was surrounded by friends old and new, by people who meant so damn much to me.

I didn’t say it then, but a couple of days ago, I got a second chance.

A moment to say “I love you, Patrick.” presented itself and I took it. He knows. I should have told him sooner, but he knows now.

No, I fucking hate why I had to tell him, but I told him. I wasn’t going to piss away this moment, and the three of us—Pip, Patrick, and me—bore everything. We made this moment ours…

…and we cried.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, you will cry. It’s okay. Cry. So long as you speak your heart. When will you get that chance again?

I love you, P.G. Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for making me part of yours.

When you are done with telling Patrick what you feel, dig deep and give. If you can’t give, share.

We are not losing one of the good ones…

We’re losing one of the best.

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Finding that Perfect Pitch

YSP_003The 2014 World Fantasy Convention is fast approaching (Yeah, I know, it’s not until November but when you think that next week, it’ll be August. The season of pumpkinfying everything will soon be upon us!) and is a very different experience compared to other cons. In fact, calling World Fantasy a “con” is innacurate. Sure, there are panels, Guests of Honor, readings and signings, and even a few fun get-togethers, but this convention is a place where business, serious networking takes place, and where new novels find a home.

Representing your novel, along with showing how marketable your novel could be, you think would be easy for writers. After all, writers can put words to thoughts, weave then into gripping stories and engaging characters, and easily create heroes, villains, societies, and worlds where readers happily lose themselves.

But pitching a book? It might surprise you how many writers can’t do this. Continue reading