Monday, April 27, 2015

A to Z Challenge – W – Cult Classics: Wizards, War of the Worlds, and More! Plus May Movie Release – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Today I am visiting amazing steampunk author, Jay Noel. His Challenge theme is World Mythology and I got to talk about a myth in my book.

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – W
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

This 1977 post-apocalyptic science fantasy film was written, produced, and directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film is a mix of war, magic, Nazi propaganda, and adult content.

Music –

Whitesnake – Whitesnake
The seventh studio album from the band produced numerous hits and sold over eight million copies. It won the Brit Award for Best British Group in 1988.

Science Fiction Book –

The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
Published in 1897, this was one of the first books to depict a conflict between earth and aliens. The book has never gone out of print and has spawned movies, radio dramas, comics, video games, television series, and more.

Bloggers –

Brian Miller at Waystation One
Do you want to follow a poet who is a master with words? One who can weave a story that will make you think, all the while bringing it down to where you live? Then you must plug into Brian’s world!

L. G. Keltner at Writing off the Edge
Do you enjoy flash fiction? Enjoy the geekier stuff in life? Then you couldn’t ask for a better friend who is a lot of fun than LG!

Chrys Fey at Write with Fey
Want some of the best writing tips on the Internet? Learn about the author journey and other fascinating things along the way. Then you need to visit the knowledgeable Chrys Fey!

Donna McDine at Write What Inspires You
Do you enjoy children’s books? Want to know about some great author events and festivals? Then stop by and see Donna today!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

Weapons officer
Every ship has a weapons officer and often several. His primary duty is to control the ship’s primary weapons and direct exterior guns. One or two officers man the main station on the bridge, with junior officers manning the exterior guns from remote locations. The weapons officer needs to be precise and able to multi-task at a high efficiency level.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Ninja News

I’m glad my tips for generating names were so helpful! If you missed it, check out Saturday’s V post.

Available today!
Zadekiel, book 2 in the Path of Angels by Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine
Find it on Amazon and Goodreads

Have you signed up for the Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blogfest yet? Movie-show-book that exemplifies the theme. (Or part of theme.)
Hosted by me and Heather Gardner.
Sign up – you know you want to!!

May Movie Preview

Here is an upcoming theatrical release for May. As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snarky comments by me.

May 1 –

Avengers: Age of Ultron
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.
Director: Joss Whedon
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
The sequel to one of my most favorite movies ever – time for total fanboy geek out!

Seen Wizards? Fan of Whitesnake? What’s your favorite version of War of the Worlds? Following those awesome bloggers? Signed up for Blood, Boobs, and Carnage? And who is going all fanboy this Friday?

Don’t forget to visit Jay Noel!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Challenge – V – Cult Classics: Videodrome, Van Halen, Venus, and More! Plus Tips for Generating Speculative Fiction Names

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – V
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movies –

Directed by David Cronenberg, this mind-tripping science fiction/horror film received mixed reviews and did poorly at the theater. It found new life on video and received numerous awards.

V for Vendetta
This 2005 British film was release shortly after the 400th celebration of Guy Fawkes Night. Based on a graphic novel, the film won numerous awards.

Music –

Van Halen – 5150
The first album to feature Sammy Hagar as lead singer, 5150 debuted at number one and spawned many singles.

Science Fiction Book –

Venus series by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Begun in 1934, this four book and one novelette series is also known as the Amtor Series. The stories have made several comic book appearances.

Blogger –

Vanessa Morgan
Are you fascinated by film? Want to know more about foreign films and festivals? Want to see amazing travel photos from around the world? Then you need to visit filmmaker Vanessa!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

Engineer Geld Vardy worked on several systems for the Dragon. Desperate to find the ship, the Hyrathian Council instructed him to develop a way to track it and accompany the team searching for the ship. He and Aden clash though…

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Very Special Gatehaven Release

Melissa Maygrove announced a very special release yesterday – a study guide by her mother!

The Gatehaven Study Guide by Jeanette Pierce

The Gatehaven study guide is a pair of workbooks for students and teachers that is designed for use with Gatehaven, an award-winning novel by Molly Noble Bull. Gatehaven is a gothic novel with a strong Christian message, based on Ephesians 6:11. Set in a scary mansion in the north of England in 1794, Shannon Aimee and Ian Colquhoun battle an evil Frenchman with dark secrets.

Buy the workbooks here: Kindle Student guide, Kindle Teacher's guide, Nook Student guide, Nook Teacher’s guide, Amazon Paperback Student guide, and Amazon Paperback Teacher’s guide

Generating Names for Speculative Fiction

Yesterday, there were several questions regarding naming characters at my guest post with Susan Gourley. How did I come up with the names? I have several different means for generating speculative fiction names.

The simplest is to brainstorm. Write down every unusual word that comes to mind on a piece of paper. Don’t think about characters – just churn out names. Keep the alphabet handy and don’t duplicate a first letter. That will guarantee that all the names are unique.

Apply a characteristic to the names if they need to be uniform. For CassaFire, all the Tgren names needed to begin with a vowel. That was my jumping off point. Maybe all the names need to be two syllables or end with a certain letter.

Look around and pick random words. Now mutate them. The word ‘world’ becomes Wireld. ‘Stars’ becomes Sturess. ‘Rock’ becomes Fock. Anything is possible!

Choose a cultural group of names and alter them. For Dragon of the Stars, I chose a variety of first and last names that were old British. Then I changed one or two letters to come up with names for the Hyrathians. This could be done with any language or culture.

The key is to keep them simple and easy to pronounce. Some of the names I’ve selected were a challenge, but overall I’ve picked simple names that wouldn’t trip up the reader. This is really important for speculative fiction, as readers are already contending with new words in the form of people, places, and things. If those words are complex or difficult to pronounce, the reader might give up.

Have fun with it though. Let those creative juices flow and come up with names that are epic!

Remember Videodrome? Which version of Van Halen do you like best? Want to know why Geld Vardy clashes with Aden? Have you read Gatehaven? And how do you go about generating names for your characters…?

If you missed it, I visited Susan Gourley on Friday and discussed a race called the Utothiaz.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A to Z Challenge – U – Cult Classics: U2, Uglies, and More! Plus Civil War and Daredevil News, New Releases, and the Utothiaz

Today I am visiting Susan Gourley and helping her with the letter U – Utothiaz. Who are the Utothiaz? (Not to be confused with What Are the Kargrandes?) Hop on over to find out!

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – U
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movie –

Universal Soldier
This 1992 film spawned three film sequels and two made-for-television sequels. Directed by Roland Emmerich, it was one of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s most notable roles.

Music –

U2 – Achtung Baby
This 1991 album debuted at number one and went on to sell eighteen million copies. It re-launched U2’s career, spawned many singles, and won a Grammy.

Science Fiction Book –

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
The first book was released in 2005 and followed by three sequels. While the series has received mixed reviews, it has a huge following and is in development for film.

Blogger –

Carol Kilgore at Under the Tiki Hut 
Do you like crime fiction with a kiss? Want to learn more about the author journey and about Texas? Do you like the beach? Then hang out with the awesome Carol under the Tiki Hut!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

One of the eight races, they are aggressive and stealthy… To learn more, visit Susan Gourley today!

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

New Releases!

Pat Hatt has been a busy man! He has three new Tarsier Man releases this month:

Foes in Rows

Food with Attitude

Pick of the Sidekick

Ghost of Death by Chrys Fey

Amazon, Amazon UK, and Nook

Movie News

Daredevil season two is coming! Actor Charlie Cox, who plays the lead, talks about the Defenders and what to expect at JoBlo

The lineup for Captain America: Civil War continues to grow. Scarlet Witch will also be joining the film alongside the Captain, Iron Man, Black Widow, Falcon, Hawkeye, and Black Panther. Read more at Blastr

Production begins on Ash vs. Evil Dead! Read more about it at JoBlo

And how much money has Furious 7 made now worldwide? 1.1584 billion dollars! It’s now the seventh highest grossing film ever, and with the pace it’s setting, will likely be number four when it’s over. (Behind Avatar, Titanic, and The Avengers.)

Seen Universal Soldier? Fan of U2? Have you visited the Tiki Hut? Confused by Kargrandes and Utothiaz and Dragons? Picking up some new books? And what movie news excites you…?

Don’t forget to visit Susan Gourley!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge – T – Cult Classics: This is Spinal Tap, Tremors, Triumph, The Time Machine, and More! Plus Divinity: Original Sin Review and Judges Needed

A to Z Challenge – Cult Classics – T
Movies-Music-Sci-fi Book-Bloggers-Dragon Term

Movies –

This 1990 film harkens back to the classic monster movie. Starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and Reba McEntire, it spawned three sequels and a series, and became a huge hit on video.

This is Spinal Tap
Directed by Rob Reiner, this rock mockumentary debuted in 1984. Selected for preservation by the USA National Film Registry, it became a huge hit, and many musicians said it hit close to home. The IMDB ranking for this movie was adjusted to eleven in honor of the film.

Time Bandits
This quirky 1981 British film featured an all-star cast, including Sean Connery and John Cleese. Directed by Terry Gilliam, it was the first of the director’s Trilogy of Imagination.

Music –

Triumph – Allied Forces
The fifth album from the Canadian trio, it was their first mainstream success. It featured the hits Magic Power and Fight the Good Fight.

Science Fiction Book –

The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
Published in 1895, Wells established the idea of a time machine. It’s inspired numerous movies, radio programs, comics and more. It’s likely inspired more works than any other story.

Bloggers –

Tara Tyler
Want to learn some fun stuff about marketing, organizing, kids, and everything in between? Need some tips, advice, or just a friendly smile? Then you need to follow the delightful author Tara!

TB Markinson at Making My Mark
Enjoy a variety of genres? Want some tips from authors who have gone before you? Then visit English lass TB today!

Teresa Powell Coltrin at Journaling Woman
Enjoy spiritual reflections on Sunday? Want to follow the adventures of Millie the dog? Get some writing tips? The you need to check out the wonderful Teresa!

Tonja Drecker at Kidbits
Want to learn more about the author journey? Learn about life on a farm? Meet someone who is uber-supportive? Then visit the joyful Tonja today!

Dragon of the Stars Term –

One of the oldest battleships in the Hyrathian fleet, the Tarquin saw the Dragon in action. Her age does not help her when the other races declare war against the Hyrathians though.

Dragon of the Stars is out now!
Check out the site What Are the Kargrandes? for clues as to how they tie into the story.

Calling Speculative Fiction Authors!

Last fall I got to judge a short story contest for high school students and it was a blast. (Bold New Worlds is available now.) Well, judges are needed for this year’s volume of the anthology.
Charity Bradford states:
I'm ready to start looking for the 2015 Judges. Judging will take place during the month of November. During the contest your photo, bio and links to books and webpages will be up on Bold New Worlds. You'll also be listed in the 2015 BNW Anthology as a judge.
If you are a speculative fiction author, see her site for details.

Computer Game Review

Divinity: Original Sin

This computer game was funded by a Kickstarter campaign.
It’s a cross between Icewind Dale and Dungeon Seige. It’s old school – a free roaming with turn based combat RPG. You have the traditional three-quarter view looking down on your party of four and it can be either single or multi-player.
The main quest has dozens of side quests. When you add them all up, there’s at least a hundred hours of play.
If you have the patience and aren’t all hack and slash, you can get lost for months with this game.
A lot of fun – highly recommended!

And have you signed up for the Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blogfest yet?
Sign up – you know you want to!!

Fan of Spinal Tap? (This one goes to eleven.) Remember Triumph? (No, not the Insult Comic Dog.) Met those bloggers yet? Interested in judging for the anthology? Played any good computer games lately? And are you sad or excited the Challenge ends in one week…?

And if you missed it yesterday, I visited Donna K. Weaver and talked about building a strong online presence while maintaining privacy.