Monday, September 29, 2008

Tagged by Becky and the Cap



Another game of tag in the blogosphere?

DrAt! I’m IT!

Christian spec-fic associate-compadres of mine, Caprice Hokstead and Rebecca Miller, who blog at Queen of Convolution and A Christian Worldview of Fiction respectively, picked on a slow-moving handicapped guy, and tagged me.

Here are the rules for those I’m tagging. Check the list after my 6 GROOVY HIFALUTIN' THINGS to see if you’ve been tagged.
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six-ish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

As sans tech-savvy as they come, methinks even I can manage six Random things.

1. I married my sweetheart of an editor whom I met ONLINE! (The secret is out, Frank Creed mosied on into the 21st century and became a really hip guy)
2. My twelve-year old daughter is the most adorable kid on the planet. Don’t even think about debating this point.
3. I’m founder of the
Lost Genre Guild for fans and writers of Christian and Biblical spec-fic, and head literary critic at The Finishers.
4. I’m convinced that the USA is currently like the British Empire in its decline, and that we’ve had, since the 1960s counter-culture, all five signs of a failing culture noted by Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
5. We have six cats, and are currently feeding and attempting to cat-burgle a large white neighborhood stray.
6. A rabid Packer fan of 32 years, I’m really angry with the IdIoT mopes in the front office of my beloved Green Bay Packer’s front office who let the NFL’s greatest QB ever go for a FOURTH ROUND DRAFT PICK!!! Therefore, I’m now a New York Jets fan until the aforementioned mopes (president and personnel director), have either been assassinated, spindled, and/ or mutilated.

Here are the bloggers too slow to outrun a tagged cripple:

1) M.L. Tyndall
Cross and Cutlass But I refuse to take up my favorite living author’s fiction time with silliness, so I’m not notifying MaryLu, and I need a seventh.
2) Grace Bridges
Graces' Blog Sweet mother of squirrel, Grace has already been tagged—I need eight!
3) Karina Fabian
DragonEye PI Dang, Karina’s been tagged too, I need an NINTH! Grrrr . . .
4) Robi Ley
Robi's Blog
5) Sherry Thompson)
6) Deb Kinnard)
Just Tell the Story
7) Terri Main
Wayfarers Journal
8) Paulette Harris
Writing by Faith
9) Karri Compton
Fiction Fanatics Only!
10) Scott Sandridge
A Work in Progress
11) Jeff Gerke
Where the Map Ends boards

Oops—too many. ShUtUp: I’m a writer not a mathematician.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Book Signing Mt Vernon, OH

Grab your babies and kittens, Mt Vernon, Ohio
Frank Creed and Flashpoint are coming to town.

If you happen to be near or in or around Mt Vernon
Saturday, October 4, from 11AM (man that is EARLY) to 3 PM,
mosey on over to Sips Coffee House and
Meet the Authors:

Brenda Nixon
Stephanie Reed
Cindy Thompson
Janice McCament

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Flashpoint: Pluto Award Finalist

Alas, Flashpoint, Book one of the Underground didn't win the 2008 Pluto award, but I am still chuffed that it finaled. Congratulations goes to Jana Oliver for her book Virtual Evil.

Read the press release below for more details.

Source: PRLog.Org - Global Press Release Distribution

Jana G. Oliver Wins 2008 Pluto Award

By KitchenSink Entertainment Group
Dated: Sep 02, 2008

Jana G. Oliver's Virtual Evil made the cut to become the winner of the 2008 Pluto Award given out by Yellow30 Sci-Fi Review of Books

RADFORD, VA-Yellow30 Sci-Fi, an online speculative fiction review, is proud to announce the winner of the second annual Pluto Award. This year's award goes to the second book in the Time Rovers Series by Jana G. Oliver. Ms. Oliver's Virtual Evil is a masterfully crafted book about time travel that intertwines a good gothic mystery thread throughout.

Mark Randell, the new editor at Yellow30 Sci-Fi, states the award committee had a hard time this year as the contenders for the award were some of the best books reviewed in the past year. Frank Creed's Flashpoint and Christopher Hopper's The Lion Vrie made the judges job very difficult to say the least.

Ms. Oliver can be proud of the fact that this is the second time she's won the Pluto Award. Perhaps we're seeing the rising of a new star in the science fiction writer's world.

Virtual Evil won an Honorable Mention in the ForeWord Awards for science fiction and tied for the Gold Medal in the Independent Publishers Award for science fiction.


Y30 Sci-fi is a speculative fiction review site that highlights books respectful of Christian values, and their authors. The online journal emphasizes new names in the publishing world, but it also reviews works from established authors.

Category Entertainment, Publishing, Books
Email Click to email author
Phone 540-921-7619
Address 203 Berkley Street
Radford, VA 24141
City/Town Radford
State/Province Virginia
Zip 24141
Country United States

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Steampunk, Hmmm?

The Junkbots of Stéphane Halleux*

I’m a lifelong cyberpunk fan and those novelists who have influenced my own writing are the likes of Nyx Smith, Mel Odum, and Michael Stackpole. Of course, the gaming I’ve done over the years has informed my writing as well. Following last year's publication of FLASHPOINT: Book One of the Underground, I’ve just finished the second book of the Underground (War of Attrition, due for release sometime in 2009) and already have the outline of book three. Cyberpunk and its possibilities fascinate me, however, recently I’ve considered writing Steampunk or clockpunk.

Steampunk, for anyone unfamiliar with the genre, is essentially cyberpunk that takes place in the past and utilizes technology available at the time but not used to its potential—what an article at wired. com refers to as retro-futuristic. As the name indicates, the technological inventions use steam-power.** The punkish attitudes of the protaganists towards authority are evident in Steampunk while the stories are set in less-extreme dystopian societies (—though a trend has developed to set Steampunk in utopias).

Some well known examples of Steampunk: H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, Jules Verne’s 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Machine, Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the Will Smith movie, The Wild Wild West (previously a tv series).

The whole premise of steampunk is fascinating—and certainly worth more research and consideration for a new novel or series.

* The Junkbots of Stéphane Halleux
The work of Belgian sculptor
Stéphane Halleux gets described as "Tim Burton meets Jules Verne." Halleux uses lots of found objects and pieces of junk to create exquisitely detailed, surrealist mashups of organics and machinery that are simultaneously humorous, dark and filled with fairy-tale charm.

**Although many people include inventions using clock mechanism within the SteamPunk subgenre, purists set it apart as ClockPunk.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Castle pictures up for Richard's Castle!

Drop in over at and click on the link that says Visit Richard's castle.

Richard does like to show his place off so don't disappoint him and not take a look. There are only a few pics now but more to come! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sue, will you be at the ACFW booksigning?!

Sue, will you be at the ACFW booksigning?!

Ummmm . . . no. And yes, I get asked this question quite a bit. I considered it the first year I was a member because all I had to do was ship the books in and show up, or so I was told. The reason I didn't attend is because I didn't think I'd sell enough books to justify going.
The second year, since I had so many readers from the market ACFW cators to, I thought I'd give it a shot. I was told then that I had to pay for two days of the conference just to participate, maybe it was one, nevertheless, the price was steep and lessened the opportunity for me to even break even.

I don't attend the ACFW conference because, for the price, there is nothing for me there. Most, if not all workshops and speakers are representing the CBA/ECPA whom they write for or are associated with, the very unique and targeted core market CBA/ECPA were set up to protect. I don't limit myself to writing for any specific market of Christians so attending would just be something I'd do if I had some money to throw away, which I don't.

It's sad for me too because so many of my readers are CBA/ECPA market readers and are eager for me to show up and sell my books. But I can't afford to and, since I don't follow the content restrictions and guidelines CBA/ECPA use to protect their core market, I hardly see the point. 99.9% of attending authors will be CBA/ECPA affiliated. Most of the buyers will be CBA/ECPA core market readers. My books would most likely offend more people than they would appeal to.
Doesn't make for good sales. LOL

I did consider doing a book signing the same week end at Northwestern Christian book store around the corner, thinking that because they were Independent and didn't pull stock specifically from CBA and ECPA, I might stand a chance of getting one set up. But ACFW authors started expressing an interest in doing sattelite booksignings and I was out. CBA's influence in Chrisian bookstores, Indpenedent or not, is incredibly strong.

I tried though. :)

BTW this post has nothing to do with Michael Hyatt!!!! *gasp* :O
(for those paying attention, I only mentioned the name Michael Hyatt because he google's his name and will sometimes post when he deems it necessary. He hit one of my blogs the other day because I posted a short blurb about the Christian Book Expo (another hotspot for Mr. Hyatt, I guess.) Anyway, I didn't want him to feel left out. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Shack by William P. Young

At least by the definition I've come to know-Fiction written by a Christian. But to avoid the confusion of one unique market exclusively claiming this label to define their unique brand of fiction, I'd have to say that The Shack is simply fiction written by a Christian.

What's important to point out about The Shack?

The Shack was written for the general market (which includes readers who are Christians.) Clearly, based on sales and astounding reviews from readers of this market, the book does an absolutely wonderful job of appealing to the Christians in this market.

Way to go William!!!

The CBA and ECPA, two gatekeeper affiliations set up to determine what goes into affiliated Christian Bookstores (95.5% of all Christian bookstores) wouldn't touch this book at first because they were afraid it would offend their core market of conservative evangelicals, the market they were set up to protect. Certainly within reason they would do this as they do an excellent job of protecting their core market.

But based on some of the post and comments I've seen, it seems CBA was right. Based on the fact that The Shack now tops the CBA best-seller's list, it also seems they were very, very wrong.

So why didn't CBA stick to their guns and not carry it?

I guess because The Shack was selling so well everywhere else. They wanted in to. So they added the nifty little warning, Read at your own discernment and now let affiliated bookstores carry it if they wanted to.

The Shack now tops CBA's best-seller's list--along with topping many other best-sellers lists.

Mr. Young, according to what I read in an interview, has even been approached by several CBA affiliated publishers who want him to write for them and their conservative market of evangelical Christians even though they wouldn't look at him before.

To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Young said, no thanks. :)

A fine example of someone who knows his market!

What an interesting risk CBA bookstores are taking by allowing a book in that is so controversial to their core market when there are so many non-affiliated Christian books that would work so much better and cause far less problems. I guess this is one of those times when money wins out and we have to apply the CBA is a business first and a gatekeeper for a paricular market second.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Christian Book Expo and how it affects authors who are Christians.

Well, it doesn't help all authors who are Christians. Only those who are CBA and ECPA affiliated.
It seems Thomas Nelson, CBA's biggest publisher has decided to avoid CBA conventions altogether and Book Expo America as well. You can blog to see Thomas Nelson's reasons. Mr. Hyatt does a far better job of explaining this than I could ever hope to do.

I have to admit, I'm a little surprised. Thomas Nelson is still CBA affiliated according to Michael Hyatt. And the code of ethics I've read, which CBA posts on-line, pretty much says you support CBA if you're affiliated. Don't know how not attending CBA conventions and starting your own, in a market that is already stretched thin can be called support but I'm not privy to all the information.

It's an interesting move I think. CBA made Thomas Nelson what they are and now Thomas Nelson is pulling out of their conventions altogether to create their own CBA convention errr . . . Thomas Nelson Book expo . . . errrr Christian Book Expo. *aye, my head is spinning* Perhaps this was the only way Thomas Nelson could corner the label Christian for the CBA/ECPA market and have it applied to their conventions. Maybe not. Either way, we slide deeper into the land of confusion.

If you attend the Book Expo and you're a Christian publisher or author but don't attend the Christian Book Expo because you don't serve the very targeted CBA/ECPA market, can you still call yourself a Christian publisher or Christian author?
Of course you can silly but you still won't get your work into a Christian Bookstore because they only select books from CBA and ECPA affiliated authors.

So what publishers and authors will benefit from the Christian Book Expo?

CBA and ECPA affiliated Christian publishers.

Addendum - Since Mr. Hyatt took the time to comment, I'll feel obligated to add this. Please follow the link he provided by Mr. Hyatt for more information on Christian Book Expo. This post is simply meant to address which Christian authors stand to benefit from it. :)

And for those of you who don't know me, when I say Christian authors I mean all Christian authors, Catholics, Baptists, conservative, radical, non-denomonational farrrrr too many to list.

Death of Christian Bookstores

I found this while googleing! (yes, happy birthday Google, 10 years old today. Woo hoo! *like I care.* LOL)

Death of Christian Bookstores

It is very interesting, and I left a comment myself, that this blogger laments the fact that if Christian bookstores go, there'll be no safe haven for Christians without addressing the fact that by Christians he means a very unique and select group of Christians and not all Christians in general. To him, it seems, it's either a Christian bookstore or secular.

Since I write for the general market (as a Christian) and don't write for the conservative market Christian(not meaning all Christians) Bookstores serve, I really have no dog in the hunt, (as some Christians have so nicely told me.) Still, I wonder if acknowleding who their market truly is wouldn't save them.

Anyway, go to the link if you'd like. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Horror Writer Sue Dent on Christian Fiction

My publisher, The Writers' Cafe Press, is a Christian publisher but they're not affiliated with CBA(Christian Booksellers Association) nor are they a member of ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.) Therefore when I use the term Christian in regards to my writing, I'm talking about my Faith not CBA or ECPA.

I'm simply a Christian who writes for the general market much like Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon who does the same.

I do have many readers from the very targeted niche market CBA and ECPA serve but I do not specifically write for them. If you're a hardcore CBA reader of Christian Fiction please DON'T read anything I write. If you do, just know you'll find something very different than what you're accustomed to. But I write beyond what CBA/ECPA will allow so you'll need to be careful.

God Bless,
Sue Dent

Friday, September 5, 2008 old same old.

Continuing discussion on this matter prompted an excellent post from Caprice Holkstad author of The Dukes Handmaid and Nor Iron Bars a Cage. Below is what she had to say and what I said in return:

Actually, the second edition (black cover) and the second book (Nor Iron Bars a Cage) are with Lulu, but the one with the green cover (very first) is at Xulon. Yes, Xulon actually IS a member of CBA. I attended a CBA convention (paying my own expenses) the year I published. They had a booth, though it wasn't as big as Zondervan's.

When I spent over two grand (over 5 years ago) getting published with Xulon I was told that my book was going to be listed in Spring Arbor AND Ingram. Of course, I thought it meant I had a chance to be in the STORES (why else did I spend so much attending that convention and GIVING away copies to store owners?) or at least be able to have signings, but that was a misconception on my part. Their listing has proven completely worthless. Sure, you can FIND my book at that website (I had never heard of it before), but no one is BUYING it there.

Lulu is much more upfront about things and a WHOLE lot cheaper. I know my second book is not on that, but I didn't waste a ton of money on false hopes. All I paid for with the second book was an independent cover artist, and then a very small fee (5% of what I paid at Xulon) for the ISBN and Ingram listing.

Thanks for your nice comments. Flattery will get you everywhere.

Caprice Hokstad

Sue's reply:

Thank-you so much for posting that Caprice. It helps solidify my point. There is a process by which on-line Christian bookstores choose the books they wish to list. I was told they pull from Ingram/Spring Arbor but clearly there is more than goes into it than that. Xulon is CBA affiliated that's why your book showed up and mine didn't. doesn't serve nor list books simply distributed by Ingram/Spring Arbor, (BTW neither does any other on-line Christian bookstore as far as I know.) They simply list those books published by a CBA affiliated orginization which are distributed through Ingram/Spring Arbor.

Is that a problem? Yes. Because they say they sell Christian books when they primarily only sell CBA published Christian books. What's that say about the other Christian books being distributed by Spring Arbor, Ingram's Christian arm?

*shaking head back and forth* Sad, very sad.

Please note, that they will list non-CBA affiliated books like Shack but not automatically as they should if in fact they simply list books distributed by Spring Arbor/Ingram.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Never Ceese Reviews

The Writers Cafe Press didn't publish Never Ceese and the original publisher barely did. LOL But TWCP has been most understanding and has allowed me to post some of the better reviews from Amazon. :)

*whispers through cupped hand* Hey, TWCP, it is okay, right? HA! That's what you get for giving me your password. Oh, I just kill myself!

Over there on your left silly. Do I have to tell you everything?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Galley Cover

Forever Richard's full cover:
Front and back

Forever Richard

The cover for Forever Richard old same old.

As an author, I try to make my book available to those who seem to want to read my work. When I started getting a lot of overwhelming responses from Christian readers, I began to seek out being listed on websites that favored posting books for authors who were admittedly Christian.

Right away I learned that CBA Christian publishers had this market wrapped up as well. Every on-line Christian bookstore typically only list books published by CBA affiliated Christian authors. No Christian writing for the general market has any hope of showing up without a LOT of work that they shouldn't have to go through.

I contacted to find out how they selected the books listed on their site. I spoke with a Customer Service representative who told me this is what she was but that she could explain what I needed to know. She said they get their books from Ingram.

Well, that's nice. "Of course," I said, "you mean Spring Arbor, Ingram's Christian arm."

"Yes," she replied.

Why then, I wondered, are my publishers other books which have been out for some time not listed? They're with Spring Arbor.

I got no explanation. I was told I could e-mail customer service and direct the e-mail to Kevin, no last name.

Oh, well. Simply another Christian book site where you won't automatically be seeing my work. Sorry folks but it seems that's the way the ball bounces. You'll only see my books here on when it sells so much elsewhere that it can't be ignored.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Okay so it's tomorrow and--

I have a release date. That's right BUT you have to go somewhere else to see it.

Official Release Date of Forever Richard