STEAMPUNK GOES MAINSTREAM…and other things for geeks to panic about. Again.

First off, I’m sorry everybody. It has been far too long. Where in the name of clocks, gears, and cogs have I been?

Let me drop a few quick teasers as to what has been going on in my life:

  • Got a new job. Social Media Coordinator. And the best part, it’s very close to home with telecommuting thrown in as a bonus.
  • After a month, got a promotion at the new job.
  • Then, conducted interviews for the job that I was originally hired to do. (Being on the other end of the interview table? Woah…)
  • Got a new car. I’m driving a Nissan LEAF right now. LOVE IT!
  • Jumped back on to the Medifast train. My weight was out of control again.
  • Christmas.

Some of these things I intend to talk about later on this blog. (Stop laughing. Seriously. I am!) I also have to keep in mind, though, I have a novel to finish. I’m still on board with a steampunk reboot of MOREVI, so Rafe Rafton will be returning to the oceans this year.

It is this very subject — something that, I’ll admit, people are coming to me more and more about for an opinion which feels pretty good — from where this rant finds its core. So let’s turn back the clock to January 15, Tuesday, 10 a.m. At my new day job, a friend sends me a link to AdAge about IBM’s fascination with steampunk. I ran the article on my Facebook page as this truly was the convergence between my day job and my writing career. IBM is tracking “steampunk” in order to find patterns between trends and fads. I also posted it on the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Facebook page and between the two, I got a whopping 6 shares. So maybe it wasn’t as cool as I thought.

Continue reading

Being Kenneth Branagh: 11 Tips on Filming a Book Trailer (Part Four)

And here we are — the final part of the mini-series blogpost! (See? Aren’t you glad I broke this up into segments?)

Now as I mentioned, I have saved the best tip for last; but before getting to what I believe is the most imperative thing you can do in planning out a book trailer, let’s quickly recap those previous 10 tips from Parts 1-4:

  • Know what you’re shooting. You’re shooting a book trailer, the emphasis on trailer. Not book.
  • You don’t have to understand the process, but take time to understand the process. A book trailer doesn’t just happen in your basement one weekend afternoon. There’s steps to follow and processes to adhere to.
  • For your first book trailer, keep it simple. You might want to go full-on epic for your first book trailer. Don’t. This is your first step. Think smart.
  • Set up a budget. Best way to avoid going broke.
  • Figure out ways to stretch the budget. Did I mention “avoid going broke” earlier? Yeah. I did.
  • When the trailer needs artwork, imagery, or music, make a financial investment. When it is time to spend money on your trailer, particularly in stock audio and video, do’t flinch or take shortcuts. Do it.
  • Be patient and understanding with your talent. Cast and crew. Especially if they are giving of their time and talents, roll with the challenges and make things work to the best of their abilities.
  • Make sure your cast and crew understand their responsibilities. Remember though that your trailer is the top priority, not hanging out or chilling out. That happens after the work is done.
  • Trust your editor, especially if he or she has a track record. Sometimes the toughest thing is to surrender your work to an objective party, but it also the best thing you can do in order to make it shine.
  • Never forget: It’s YOUR trailer. Don’t let others render your vision so blurry that it’s no longer yours. It’s your book’s first impression. You make the final call.

It’s all been leading up to this one key piece of advice I’ve been sitting on since Part One. You all have been patient and (for this, I am really thrilled!) attentive on what makes a good book trailer happen. Now comes the most essential thing you need to know before making that jump from the printed word to a visual medium in order to help your book sales reach a wider audience.

Are you ready? Continue reading

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

“You Can’t Give Up. You’re Not Allowed.”

I never like seeing friends stressed out. Whether it is intensely stressed out or just out of their groove, it just kills me. It is amplified more when I feel the bumpy ride of Life’s rougher patches. Last week, snapping back from what can only be described as an “emotionally charged night” between me and the World, I read up on a writer and friend I admire and hold dear. Turns out he was also hitting a rough patch of road.

Phil Rossi, the multitalented man with the flowing hair of awesome, began a series of posts called “Paralysis.” He’s working through a writer’s dry spell; and in “Part I: Stranded,” he went “All In” like the rock-and-roll badass that he is:

“Another truth–I’ve never been in this place before. I don’t recognize the countryside.  The air here is different—heavy and overwhelming. Talk about a wrong turn. In the past, I’ve been able to work through any creative block. This is different.”

It was in this passage from the second posting in this series entitled “Part II: Patience” where I felt like I clicked with Phil on the raw fear now gnawing away at him: Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Tee Morris on Blog Talk Radio’s Breakthrough Business

I’m starting to get my groove back (like Stella) in producing ideas, writing (seriously), podcasting, and playing with Sonic Boom. This road has been difficult (and no kidding, a blogpost is written, but I am not ready to drop it just yet. Bear with me…), but I’m taking everything one step at a time, one day at a time…

One of those positive steps is getting back into the interview circuit. Recently, Que Publishing contacted me concerning All a Twitter. The book is being featured again in Barnes & Noble Bookstores everywhere, and Que is hoping to get the first Twitter guide written from a user’s perspective (and when my byline says “written by Tee Morris” it means it!) into new readers’ hands. They asked me “Whatever you can do to get the word out…” and so I sent out a query to my Twitter networks.

Meet Michele Price. She queried me before I tweeted!

Michele is the host of Breakthrough Business, and on her BlogTalkRadio show we talk about Twitter, about my job at Intersections Inc, and about approaches that go against the grain of the marketing books. We talk about how “old school marketing” just doesn’t work with Social Media, and how businesses need to understand that Twitter (and Social Media, on a whole) is about people.

We had a blast on this interview, and there are more slated for the month. The geekier ones I’ll feature here, but if you want to hear more about the Social Media, take a trip to Imagine That! Studios for the full blogosphere-podosphere interview tour!

Litopia Daily: Tee Morris Staves Cabin Fever via Podcasting with Peter

The day after the Great #Snowpocalypse of 2009, I felt the walls closing in a bit…and the twins inviting me to play with them really wasn’t helping. Fortunately, saving the day was Peter Cox all the way from Central London when he rearranged his schedule to sit down, open up the mics, and talk with me about podcast fiction. Seems that Litopia has opened a floodgate in talking about podcasting, Social Media, and the modern writer, and Peter wanted to sit down with the guy that started it all.

If you don’t know Litopia, you should. Lipopia is  run by writers for writers. It’s a podcast, it’s a blog, it’s a forum. It’s an inside look and a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry, and what was supposed to be a fifteen minute podcast…well, we went a little longer…

Enjoy this bit of time travel through the history of podcast fiction, and looking at the present day and possible tomorrows of Social Media in the publishing industry.

Listen. Comment (here and at Litopia). Share.

PREVIEW: Books & Braun (Recorded LIVE at World Fantasy 2009)

readingI admit that my blog (both of them) have been a bit quiet since taking on the Day Job and working through a busy October, but hopefully this sneak peek at what I’ve been up to will make my pockets of quiet worthwhile.

Recorded before a live audience at World Fantasy Convention, award-winning podcaster and award-nominated author Philippa Ballantine and I unveiled (with the blessings of our agent) our work-in-progress now working its way through submissions: Books & Braun, our Steampunk take on The Avengers. This is the first time that we have revealed to the public any selections from the work (apart from the odd quotes and teasers in our respective tweet streams), and we had a blast with this presentation. Our plan is to eventually podcast it in this fashion: Pip and I supplying the respective narration, a “few” (HA!) production elements, a musical score, and artwork featured by Carrie Seidman. We hope you enjoy this listen at what we have cooking in the creative kitchen.

BLOGGERS & PODCASTERS: We are releasing this reading under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Both Pip and I encourage you to syndicate this episode and point your subscribers to this endeavor of ours. We also would love to hear your feedback on this preview both here and at Pip’s website. Thank you for giving us a bit of space on your mp3 player of choice, and we will keep you posted on what happens with our daring duo from the clandestine organization that is The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

The Dwarf Detective is on the iPhone, waiting for your call!

Hey, everyone!

New Singing Sword Cover

cover artwork by J.R. Blackwell

While you all know that the dwarf detective is one for the low-tech solutions like Beatrice and a good battle-axe, you may not know that the award-winning The Case of The Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery is now available for the iPhone! Sure you can download Billi on the iPhone and iPod Touch in audio but now you can pick up a copy of Billi’s first big case as an iPhone application. Along with The Case of The Singing Sword, the Fey Trickster is also causing (double) trouble at the iTunes Store with Chasing the Bard also available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Take a look and show the love. Let iPhone and iPod Touch users know that Double Trouble has now hit the iTunes Application store.

And yes, The Case of The Pitcher’s Pendant and Digital Magic are both en route. Stay tuned…