So over the past month or so I have devoured all the works of a newish author, Travis M. Riddle! I was cruising through Kindle Unlimited, looking or some good horror to read when I came across the above cover (which I think we can all agree is mighty eye-catching). The Narrows had good reviews, so I decided to give it a go.
And sweet mother was it good! The horror elements were great, solid representations of the genre, but what really hooked me was the emotional sub-plot. You could have taken out every horror element, and still have been left with an incredible book about faded friendships, loss, and how you really can’t ever go home again.
So with that under my belt, I just had to see what else he had on offer. And thankfully he has two more books out there:
Balam, Spring is a bit of a slice of life, fantasy, mystery novel. It’s got some poignant moments, and some gut-wrenching loss, but of the three this is perhaps the weakest entry in his catalogue.
Wondrous is hard to categorize. At face value, its a portal fantasy. Only…you come to find out it’s not. What it is, is rich in emotion, with vibrant characters and a neat little bit of world building.
All three books are very, very different from each other. But what connects them is that all three have some of the best, heart-string tugging scenes and lines I’ve ever come across. They leave emotional echoes that resonate with you for days after you’ve put them down, which is powerful, powerful stuff.
So do yourself a favor and click those links and pick up copies of your own!
So Friday I rolled up to Birmingham to attend the awesome Alabama Writers Workshop! I was wore out, but sometimes you just have to bull through the tired, and this was one of those times. I also got to hang with Daniel of Interstellar Ginger Beer, which is always a good time!
So there were some classes and the like, but none of that will interest you most likely. Suffice it to say industry insiders spilled the does and do nots of submitting your novels, and things of that nature. That wasn’t what I was really there for however.
No, I was there to pitch.
You see they had a number of book agents in attendance, and for a nominal fee you got ten minutes with one to pitch your book. It’s ten minutes to sell your novel, no query letters, no missed connections, just straight chatting about your would be bestseller!
So of course I totally botched my first pitch. It went terribly, and deservedly so the agent passed. But my second pitch went fantastic! Instead of trying to recite a poorly memorized pitch I just winged it, speaking from my gut/heart/analogy of choice, and it worked! The agent, who will remain nameless (until she decides to represent me I hope!), asked me to send in the first three chapters! Which is as good as you can hope for!
So keep your fingers crossed for me! Hopefully within the month I will be signed to my first agent!
So I have recently stumbled into the world of one sheet RPGs. Each is a self contained role-playing game that fits on one sheet of paper, and often has a silly premise. Some of the more popular in the genre would be ‘Lazers and Feelings,’ ‘Honey Heist,’ and ‘The Witch is Dead.’
For those who don’t know, small game design was a hobby of mine for years. All through highschool and college it was the hobby of choice when I wasn’t playing DnD or computer games. It lasted until I started writing seriously in fact. Because, in truth, game design can be very time consuming.
But with these…they don’t take that much time! In fact in about a week I have made six. It’s stupid amounts of fun for me, and it really scratches a very particular creative itch of mine. So I have decided that I will have a good number for free on my website, but many will become Patreon Content, or will available from me in person. And maybe if I make a large enough number I will put them up on Drivethrurpg someday. Who knows!
A few dribs and drabs of news to report from here in Bob-land, that I thought would interest those rabid Bob-watchers out there.
First, since season three of the Books, Beards, Booze podcast is going so well, and we finally have it where we want it so to speak, we have taken down seasons 1 and 2. You can still go to youtube and listen to the old episodes, but in the effort of putting our best foot forward we are only keeping up the current season. I also tidied up this blog to remove all those blog posts of now dead links and the like.
Second, have you seen the amazing new shirts coming out of the B-hive? Designed by Creative Consultant Tonya, there is a new line of 5 motorcycle club influenced Lovecraft shirts! Scope them all out HERE.
On the writing front, after wrapping up the sixth Howard Marsh novella I am taking a break from that series to knock out some smaller projects I have been wanting to tackle for some time. A pair of horror novellas, a pair of…quirky, bizarre novellas involving romance, and maybe a little fantasy as well. We shall see. Currently working my way through the first of the quirky novellas, which is possibly the most difficult thing I have ever tried to write. But I am enjoying the challenge.
Anywho, looking forward to the Alabama Book Festival in April, and hype to be pitching my horror novel next month at the Alabama Writers Conference. Til next time, cheers!
So still plowing away at my 52 book challenge (16 deep, hoping to make it 17 before the start of February) and it’s going great. Along the way I have stumbled across a few really awesome books that I think you should check out! Here they are:
Here Be Dragons by David P. MacPherson. If you love a good, heartwarming, funny tale, then this is for you! Do you like stories that leave you feeling better about life and all that after? Like stories that make you laugh? Like amazing donkeys? Then this is the book for you!
“This book is great! Heartwarming and hilarious, I literally laughed out loud multiple times. It has a similar vibe to Kings of the Wyld, being funny, and about an old adventurer knocking the dust off and getting back at it. If you loved that you should love this and vice versa.” – My Goodreads review
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente. If you enjoy fairy tales, and complex stories that weave together, then you will like this. A series of interweaving fairy tales designed for adults, it has left me ever so ready to dive right into the next book in the series.
Teeth Marks by Matthew Weber. If you enjoy creepy horror, then you will love this. The stories, set in the deep south, share a universe and are filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night.
“This is an excellent collection of horror short stories. They were inventive, and creepy, and most of all left me wanting more. The stories had surprising depth at times, and the characters were wonderfully three dimensional.” – My Goodreads review
Nothing too major happening at the moment, but thought I would give a general update as to where I am at on few things.
First off I am halfway done with the sixth Marsh novella. My plan is to finish it, then really dig in on edits for all six. Also to take a bit of a break on writing more in that series to stretch my mind out on a few different small projects. Mostly I just want to crank out these two horror novella ideas I have.
The podcast I feel has really hit its stride. If you haven’t been listening to it, now is the time to jump in and give it a listen! We’ve had a ton of fun recording it, and have sunk a good chunk of time and money into making it as good as we can. I can honestly say I am proud of what we’ve done.
Still reading up a storm. I have been trying to focus a bit more on reading self published works by other authors, and it’s proved very rewarding. I know there is a lot of crap out there, but if you take just a few minutes of time you can find some amazing reads out there.
All in all, everything is moving right along!
So I am trying to get more active on Goodreads (send me a friend request ), and part of that is I decided to take part of their 2019 reading challenge. I set a goal of reading 52 books, which I suspect at the current rate I will reach sometime around the middle of the year. Then I plan to tackle House of Leaves (let me know if you’ve read it, and what you think).
I am also resolving to leave a review on each book I read. As an author I am always desperate for book reviews, and it’s wildly hypocritical for me to not do the same for other authors. And Goodreads makes it so easy to do.
Periodically I will post up what I have read, and if you want to read my typically short reviews of them, check out my Goodreads profile.
1. The Dwarves by Marcus Heitz. Fantasy novel. 3 stars.
2. The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weeks. Fantasy Heist novel. 5 stars.
3. American Hippo by Sarah Gaily. Alternate history novella two pack. 5 stars.
4. Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler. Fantasy audiobook. 4 stars (5 for production, 3 for the book itself)
5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 4 stars.
6. The Sable Quean by Brian Jaques. If you like redwall books, its par for the course.
7. Stephen Fry’s Secret Victoria. Historical audiobook. 4 stars.
8. Emergency Contact by Mary Choi. Y.A….romance? 4 stars.