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Showing posts from 2017

First Impressions: Guilty by Association by E.A. Copen

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adult Trade
Author: E.A. Copen
Kristan's Rating: Wait until I'm done reading it!

Okay, sit down and listen for a minute here.  Are you looking for your next read?  I mean, the next read of a century?

And I'm not talking about Game of Thrones which lost me with all the incest.

Let me introduce you to a book series about a single mother who chases the supernatural in a federal agency that polices said supernatural.

Seriously!  And by seriously, I mean seriously good.

Take a bit of Supernatural, a bit of NCIS, and a bit of Murder She Wrote.  Shake together... and you get Guilty by Association.

Have I piqued your interest yet?
That's good, because I can't put this book down.

Now, this is when I sit down and get into the real meat of this book.

Now, I'm only five chapters in, which, in a book of 30 or so chapters isn't really that far.  It's a thick T-bone steak of a read and not a light snack like some others I've read (hmm, going to …

Druids and Rangers... Oh my!

There's this article making the rounds lately. It's about a man who had to cut down a 30-year-old tree by a city council. He swore revenge and then got that final revenge by planting seeds of sequoias. One of the said seedlings even ends up in the mayor's front yard. Now, I'm not here to debate the authenticity of the article. I'm just here to tell you about another conversation I had with one of my betas after we both read the article. Have patience here, this is a post that will have numerous roleplaying and D&D references. Never F*ck with a Druid or a Ranger. Some love to throw around the saying, "Never screw over a Bard, because they will do as Bards do."
Why is that?

Let's look at the historical account of what a Bard was (and thus did). You'll note that there are many similarities between the Bard and the modern journalist, with a little bit of rockstar and storyteller thrown in.  They won't actually do anything to you but your …

The Zen of Inbox Zero

What most people don't realize about me is that I'm incredibly organized.  
I have to have a clear and clutter-free desktop (both on my computer and physically) and even my emails have to be cleared from my inbox.

I don't mean deleting them--I mean the zen of having a place for everything and filing it away to its place like you would with your various papers in life and your office.  This has a few benefits to me, and others who subscribe to the philosophy.  First off, to move an email to its corresponding folder means you've dealt with it and if you need to deal with it again later, it is easily found in the folder.  Mind you, using Gmail also has another benefit which is the search utility, but I still like to organize it all into the various folders and sometimes even subfolders because I like knowing... just knowing... where things are.

To open my inbox and only see emails that I haven't dealt with (or none at all) leaves me with this sense of peace that I hav…

Are Credit Checks Legal When Looking For Work?

Short answer: Unfortunately, yes.

Long answer:  This is an area where things get a bit gray.  
Certainly, it seems a strange thing to look at and perhaps it starts to broach a little close to the discrimination based on socio-economic situation and background.

Actually, no, I take that back.
It definitely steps over that line, in my opinion.

While some companies will toe a corporate policy line and plead "risk mitigation" all they want, it still comes down to one word -- Discrimination.  If the reason you have decided not to hire someone is because they owe money to varying places due to being out of work and those bills they had to "let go" for a few months, even a few years (who cares at this point, because the fact is they could not afford to pay them because they didn't have work) and you won't hire them because of it you are assuming that they will not make a good employee based on the fact that they are too poor for your liking.

That is, in my book, disc…

How I figure out pricing for books at cons and shows

I get asked how I can usually (*not always) escape with charging the US price for a book when Chapters and other stores clearly stick closer to the Canadian price for them.  Yes, they do get the same warehouse discount as I do, but they also usually have far more overhead.

Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with buying books from the stores or bowing to their wishes in trying to get your books (if you've been published) into the stores.  The people there are trying to make a living and they've always been great to me.

But the stores don't supply your stock for cons and shows and they aren't usually there to deal your books for you.

Your publisher (or your POD) does supply them, and it the case of a con or show, it's your job to act as both book dealer and author.

Forgive the length of this blog post - I have quite a bit of information to give you and one post to do it in.
But how do you walk that fine balance between giving your readers a reason to …

Stereotypes: Why they're worse than just a sign of lazy writing.

This is a very touchy subject for some people, so as a warning you might find this difficult to read especially if you have fallen prey to stereotyping in your writing.

Full stop here:  We all do it, even when we don't think we are.  It's a matter of fact however that doesn't make it right nor does it mean we should continue.

First, let's take a look at what stereotyping is.
A stereotype is defined as an often unfair and untrue belief that many people have about all people or things with a particular characteristic (Miriam Webster Dictionary).  This can be how we see someone of another gender (ie: how men see women or women see men... or even how cisgenders see transgenders and vice versa), what assumptions we make about people of other races, economic situation, where they are from in the world, or where or how they were raised, what faith they are or are not and then assuming how that affects their personalities and choices in life simply based on it.

I'm pretty …

Have a seat and sit right there, let me tell you about the time Derek Moss didn't even exist in the Kingdom of Walden

Yes, seriously.

At first, the only mention of him was when he was "Steve", which may or may not be the name of the person I based him off of (it is) was during an aborted phone conversation. In fact, the first sign of trouble (ie: the end of civilization as we knew it) was that Terrence's conversation with Steve was cut off because the phones went dead... and then we never heard from poor Steve again.
Flash forward to me having the first draft done, or almost anyway, as I was in the middle of writing it during NaNoWriMo 2012 (yes, After Oil is a NaNo novel!). Steve calls our house somewhat late at night to share the fact that he had managed to sign a pretty fantastic deal (Derek = Steve, remember... completely). Shortly after, he asks the Big Question, which was, "So, what are you up to?"
I answered, and it took awhile to explain it, and he asks if he's in it. I answer that other than for a few seconds, no. He was so upset that he was left out... and I mean…

Ghostwalker - Book Four of the Kingdom of Walden Series - On Shelves April 21st, 2017

The fourth book of the Kingdom of Walden Series, Ghostwalker, on shelves everywhere April 21st, 2017. Again (almost a flashback here to October when Between Silence and Fire came out) a certain retailer is already selling it (Kindle) but, again, you have one last week to wait if you want the hardcover.
Now we're five years after I wrote the first book, After Oil.  Five years and three years since After Oil was first released way back during Anime North in May 2014.  Now, we're four books in and I have something else to tell you.
Ignore the acknowledgments in the back when I say Ghostwalker is the last book...
... There at least two more books.  (What?  What? WHAT?!) You read that correctly.  Two more books! So, the list is now up to six:
After OilThe Last Iron HorseBetween Silence and FireGhostwalkerRed SailsWhispers on the Wind
I will have more news as things happen, but don't forget about these two events coming up:

Next weekend I am hosting a massive online release party …

A Frequently Asked Question - How I Decide On Which Character is a Main, and Which Character Is Not

There's a question that gets kicked around often.  It's either asked in a writer's group (or two) and other times it's asked by readers.  That question is:

Kristan, how do you come up with realistic characters, and how do you choose who among those characters will be the main or primary character?
That's a many headed question, but since it is related I feel very comfortable in answering... I have no idea.

Seriously.

None.

Characters are like real people (and in some cases, particularly in The Kingdom of Walden series, they were based on real people) to me.  Every single last character I write has a complete backstory, history, and personality as well as a job... outside of being a character in a book.  Even the minor characters have that same detail and care poured into them.  If they have a name, they have a certain degree of realness--the same potential as a main character to have their own story written about them.


So, why don't they?

Firstly, that would make…

Why Libraries are Critical to Authors and Readers

I'll be flat out honest here:  This post is mostly geared to my fellow authors and those who just love to write in general.  Granted, readers will also love to note why these halls of knowledge are literal lifelines to anyone involved with writing.

They're our social centre.

I'm dead serious here.  A writer is not, by nature, a social creature.  We spend much of our time in front of whatever device it is we prefer to use slamming down words onto that device that we rarely poke our heads up and into real life.

This is a problem because, perversely, we need to keep connected with real life in order to be able to come up with things to write about.

As a side note, this is why my blog tends to have roller coaster moments of activity and then death.  I've run out of things to tell you outside of begging you to either sign up to my mailing list or buy my books.  Frankly, I don't like spamming people so I stop blogging until I find something (anything) to write about.

My…

Are we ready for the fourth book of the Kingdom of Walden Series?

I know it's barely been four months since the previous book came out, but considering that Between Silence and Fire and Ghostwalker were supposed to be the same book it's only fitting that there isn't as much of a gap between these two books as the others.

There will be a book five, but we'll talk about that in another post.

So, back to Ghostwalker.

Ghostwalker sees Derek back in Garson.  Yes, he's made it back there after everything after all... but I wish I could say it was something he wanted to do.  I won't spoil the end of Between Silence and Fire for those who haven't read it yet, nor will I spoil a single moment more of Ghostwalker either, but I can say that this book is the final chapter for everything going on in the downtown core.  If you were wondering what had happened or why things happened the way they did in After Oil regarding Harnet, his people, and where they even came from I can say I answered those questions for you in Ghostwalker.

Now t…