Remember Free Legion Book!

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From December 24th through December 26th, The Legion: Broken Arrows will be free for the Kindle through Amazon.com. If you already have the first two books, than you can get the next installment for free. If not, now would be a good time to get caught up!

MORE Free Books!

Starting today and running for two days, THE CAT PRINCE OF PUMPKINLAND will be free!

From December 10th to December 12th, you can get the book for free on the Kindle or other e-readers.

Download the book here:

It’s a great book for reading to kids or for kids to read on the tablet!

Changing Books, Free Legion Book 3

From December 24th through December 26th, The Legion: Broken Arrows will be free for the Kindle through Amazon.com. If you already have the first two books, than you can get the next installment for free. If not, now would be a good time to get caught up!

I’ve also been giving a lot of thought to what to do with the White Zombie property. The first book was an anthology of short stories based around the theme of black survivors and a world full of zombies. Up until now I was just planning on writing a normal novel about the event but then I realized that I had a better solution right in front of me. 

I am going to serialize WHITE ZOMBIE the same way that I’ve done with the Legion. Each book will contain a self-contained story but also plot elements for larger arcs. This way I can explore the entire world, the dead, the surviving, and the dying. Some books will take place during the outbreak, others at points in the future. I’m excited by the concept and looking forward to getting some blood flowing into the zombies again.

LONDON UNDEAD is coming along well. I should be into the third arc soon and I hope to have it available at least before spring. I am trying, anyway.

Happy Holidays everyone!

The History (and Future) of Humanity

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I read this morning that NASA is planning a manned mission to Mars and I thought this might be a good time for this post.

We as a species spend an awful lot of time looking for answers and explanations. Why are we here? Where did life first come from? These are very human, very important questions but I have a theory that makes the answers to those questions irrelevant.

WE ARE THE FIRST LIVING CREATURES IN THE UNIVERSE.

It was our stories the pushed mankind into the future, turning us into explorers, adventurers and leaders. It was our ability to communicate from the distant past, all the way into the future, that makes us unique.

There was nothing before us and all life in this universe will come from us. Our storytelling ability has given us ways to explain the universe and serves as a means by which we pass knowledge down to our ancestors. Storytelling allows us to plan for the future and predict what could happen, inspiring those who hear the stories to dream bigger and travel farther. One tiny ball of water was able to create life and it is now our duty to spread that life throughout the entire universe. It is our responsibility to have our stories spread across the galaxies, guiding future generations of the human race.

It really doesn’t matter where we came from. Whether or not there is a God isn’t the question we should be asking. The question we SHOULD be asking is how can we better play God ourselves?

There are numerous scientific theories that can explain our loneliness in the universe. We are truly alone.

Stable environments in galaxies that were enriched enough to have planets only became available some nine billion years ago and rocky Earth-like planets and larger super-Earths, only some 7 to 8 billion years ago. And Life had to wait until that time if not later to begin its emergence throughout the Universe. Between 7 and 9 billion years ago, enough heavy elements were available for the complex chemistry needed for life to emerge were in place along with the terrestrial planets with stable environments necessary for chemical concentration.

A whole universe of materials have been laid out for us, to use as we need to bring our dreams to life. We spend so much of our time feeling small and insignificant when we are anything but. We need to accept our place as makers of the future and claim ownership over the many worlds laid out before us. Even if we can’t reach them yet, they are our future homes, our inherited playgrounds.

We need to realize that what we do now is going to be studied by our more highly evolved ancestors and while obviously we can’t be perfect, we need to realize that we will all become stories one day. How do we want those stories to be interpreted? What is it we want and need to say to those future generations?

Once we accept our divine ownership over the universe, a lot of our petty beliefs seem irrelevant. Do we really need to worry about population control or abortion when there are planets waiting to be filled with life? Does racism and multiculturalism matter when there is more than enough room for every culture to be as inclusive, or exclusive, as they wish?

The human race needs to put its animal past to rest and realize what a rare, special, gift our self-awareness is. We need to be better humans, not just for our own immediate needs, but for the future of our entire species.

Claim the universe. It belongs to us.

Bolded text courtesy of: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/02/life-may-be-in-its-very-young-stage-in-the-universe-harvards-dimitar-sasselov-.html

 

 

The Beauty of Influences

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So as I prepare to write SPIRA, my first fantasy novel, I’ve gone back to read some of the first fantasy books I ever read. It’s such a great thing to go back and revisit these and experience them again as a writer. Sure, I’ve picked up an error or two that I probably missed back then when I was a child, but what is important is not how great these books are, but how much influence they had on me.

Everything I write, all that I learned about storytelling and character building stems from one particular series, The Dragonlance Chronicles. When I was first learning to read, I found a copy of The Legend of Huma in the local library. It was a dense read for a young child but the story took place in a totally different world, completely unlike our own. Huma, the reluctant hero, partnered with a renegade Minotaur to stop the evil dragons that threatened the land. All the traditional elements of fantasy were in this book; dragons, elves, dwarves, etc. I had no idea what the Lord of the Rings was and to this day I still can’t read those books. LOTR is too dense, too distracted, too full of itself. Dragonlance was a whole world in one book and it was my second visit to that world that set me on the path to being a writer.

Years after reading the Legend of Huma, I’d read the entire series of books about Narnia and a few other popular children’s fantasy books. I had learned about Dungeons and Dragons knew a lot of the lore of that universe. My young mind was eager for more stories and that was when I discovered the greatest fantasy book series of all time; Dragons of Autumn Twilight.

In that original trilogy are all the seeds I’d borrow for myself. You had a rugged half-elf leading a band of diverse warriors on a quest so big that even they did not understand their destiny. You had Kender, the cute, thieving cousins of Hobbits. There was the brave warrior with a heart as big as his muscles. There was a cleric and her Native American (called Plainsmen) husband, destined to bring back the old gods. There was the stubborn knight, with his rigid code of honor. Then there was Raistlin, perhaps the coolest wizard ever created. I mean what kind of scrawny kid would I be if I didn’t look up to the skinny, sickly, wizard who grows up to challenge the Queen of Darkness herself?? Here was a guy that even his friends didn’t like much, but they respected and feared him. Even though he was arrogant and selfish, he had a tenderness to him that showed he did care for others, much like his twin brother, the giant Caramon.

The world of Krynn was so much more than just a medieval setting with magic. It was a rich and vibrant world with three moons and Gods who often walked among the people.

I picked up the books again because I wanted to immerse myself in the genre, but instead I found my love for books all over again. Reading books that really influenced you is like meeting old friends again.

I highly recommend the Chronicles series, as well as the Twins series. If you’ve never read anything with Raistlin, I highly suggest you fix that immediately.

 

 

ANA COMICS

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So those of you who bought the Legion books might be wondering who ANA Comics are and what the relationship is. ANA is run by a good friend of mine named Anthony Hary who is working tirelessly to break into mainstream comics. When I quit comics, I gave over the rights to the Legion to him to use as he sees fit. He has a small publishing imprint with various different creators working on different things, including a book I co-wrote with him and his wife called The Midnight Raider. His wife was a contributor to White Zombie. I am not sure what he has planned, but I trust him with my Canadian heroes.

The reason I mention it is because I might be working on some of our other collaborations as novels. We’ve created a few heroes and stories that were planned for comics, but might work better as a short novel. We’ll see.

http://www.anacomics.com/

I’ll be discussing some ideas with him throughout the end of the year and then we’ll see what we can come up with for 2015. In the meantime, check out their webpage. They have a lot of interesting books, including a charity book for animals and school children called ARTISTS FOR ANIMALS. Or check out our first collaboration, The Midnight Raider.

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Zero Tolerance Policy

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Recently I noticed a very disturbing trend in modern fiction; the use of certain words to describe women.

In GOTG, one of my favorite films, Drax refers to Gamorra as a whore. In Supernatural, if I am remembering this correctly, a woman character was referred to as a “hench wench”.

Trust me I am not a supporter of our “Offended Generation” and I certainly don’t agree with our aggressive Political Correctness, but I find these words to be played out and offensive. Why can’t they just call her an asshole like everyone else?

This got me thinking as to what more I can do to promote better treatment of women in art and media. So I’ve instituted a zero tolerance policy for my work and my life, removing any and all male influences that might promote negative ideas about women. Using these words isn’t a big deal, especially in the context of film and television, but the words made me realize just how many famous men are able to victimize women and get away with it. Not just with words, but with deeds as well.

So what I am pledging to do is deny the existence of these men, in both my work and my life. Any man who has abused or assaulted women will not be mentioned in any of my books. I don’t care how positive a message they might have said to the public, if they treated women badly in their private life, they will not get any more fame from me.

I am writing them out of the universes that I create. In the worlds where my stories take place and on my blog and Facebook page, these men will not exist.

They are all charming, well spoken men, who have successfully hidden their flaws behind a winning smile and great speeches. I’ve finally seen through the facade and I don’t want keep feeding them. My two boys will never look up to any of these men.

Jian Gomeshi does not exist. He will not leave a legacy behind, he doesn’t deserve it.

Bill Cosby does not exist. His shows should not be in circulation anymore, his name stricken from any lists that might praise his accomplishments.

Gandhi was notoriously misogynist and his views have influenced an entire country. A country that has been in the media almost every week for one violent rape or another. The Western world should forget about him.

Bill Clinton has a history of sexual assault and used his power and influence as President to gain sexual favors. A man with a well documented history of violence against women held the highest office in the country. His name should be taken down, his legacy forgotten.

Sean Penn broke into Madonna’s house, tied her up and beat the shit out of her. He should never be allowed to act in Hollywood again.

The list of men in power with a history of violence against women goes on and on. .

Mel Gibson hasn’t been welcome in Hollywood for a long time, and rightly so.

But what about Tom Sizemore, Christian Slater, Tito Ortiz, etc? The list goes on and on. . from Chris Brown to Jose Canseco. What about Mike Tyson, Eminem, Michael Fassbender, and Sean Connery?

Are these men you want your children to watch and idolize?

If social media is going to go after some of them, why not go after all of them?

This is the time for men to clean house and say “You guys are chumps, we won’t give you another dollar, go find a job in a gas station somewhere.”

Once a man gains power and wealth and uses that wealth and power to harm women, they don’t deserve to have that fame and fortune any longer.

Artie Lange decided to go on Twitter the other day and harass and assault a CNN news reporter who happens to be a woman. This guy isn’t attractive or funny, why the hell are we giving him an audience? Why is anyone listening to his crap? Does the world really need a not-so-funny, borderline suicidal comedian? Is there a shortage of overweight men in comedy?

I tried doing a Google search to fine pro-female male role models. There are some good ones, who can easily fill the void left by the losers.

Good men are out there, men like Will Smith, Ian Somerhalder, Patrick Stewart, Joss Whedon, Blair Underwood, Donald McPherson, Aziz Ansari and hopefully many more.

I have my issues with modern feminists. I don’t like the aggression and shaming tactics that are used in cases where they aren’t warranted. I’m not trying to be an ally. I just want the bad men to know one thing:

You’re finished dude. It’s over, you fucked up. You’re done.Time to start over, somewhere else. Anywhere else but here. Maybe starting over from the bottom will give these men a new perspective.

Fame is not an entitlement, it is a gift from the public to the popular. Those who abuse this gift should have it taken away.

I wouldn’t want these men in my life as friends, I’m certainly not going to help shine a spotlight on them any more.

I haven’t even gotten to the men who have been accused but never charged. . .

Mike Tyson should have disappeared 30 years ago. Now is not too late, we have the tools and the technology. We have the voice and the power. Let’s clean house. It’s not too late.

 

White Zombie

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I haven’t promoted this book in a while so I thought I’d repost it for anyone that missed my first anthology from Raven Studio. It features a lot of great writers and has a unique take on zombie mythology.

A flu-like virus ravages the Earth killing everyone within 24 hours. Only the black race seems immune. This blessing soon becomes a curse as the rest of Earth’s population rises as flesh-hungry zombies. Contains 11 scary short stories by various authors.

Cover by Steven Russell Black.

Publishing Schedule 2015

So here is a tentative list of books I want to finish in 2015. We’ll see how much of this I actually get done, but I heard it is good to set objectives and plan out goals.

LONDON UNDEAD: This will be my next release. I’m just past the midway point and working on it every day. I’ll be really happy if I can release this before the end of the year, but time moves quickly as Christmas approaches. . .

SPIRA: My first fantasy novel. Already wrote the first couple chapters and I hope to get this out right after LU.

Legion Book 4: Need to finish the first arc early in the year. Want the Proletarian storyline done already!

EARTH MAN 2: I really want to get this started in 2015. No idea if I can finish it by then, but I want it done.

PUNCH: Would love to make progress on this. . .

I think that’s all for now. . . .

FAN LETTERS!

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My daughter, Colleen, purchased Earthman at Toronto Comicon and had you sign it

Just finished reading it and want more!!   Wonderful concept of a living universe and multiverse defending itself.

This is one book I will re-read!  It has left me with the same excitement and anticipation I got from Herbert families Dune, Niven’s known universe and EE Smith’s Lenseman

The characters are much more realistic and easier to identify with

I’ll browsing Internet for sequels next week after my back surgery

Well done!  And thank you!!

This guy is getting free Earth Man books for life! In fact I am naming a character in the sequel after him!

Hello,

I wanted to let you know i loved your book the corrupter :) I had a hard time putting it down when i knew i had to get some sleep or had to work lol.
Hopefully I get to meet you again.
Thank you,
XXXX
I can’t tell you how happy I was to receive a letter regarding The Corrupter. It’s a book about a creepy perv who is obsessed with a robot and like LOLITA, the classic that inspired it, it is not to everyone’s taste. My wife is reading it right now and I am dreading it. BUT this fan made my week!

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