Posts Tagged With: Brandon Sanderson

6 Weeks of Insanity

Those of you who frequent this blog know that I’ve been decidedly lax in posting over the last few weeks outside of a few cursory posts about posting more frequently.  The irony in that is not lost on me.  However, today’s post will make up for that – I hope.  It will be long and go over all that has happened since LTUE in February.  I’m deep into writing Book 3 in the Sharani Series, two short stories, and attempting to still maintain my sanity in a day job and at home.  Thankfully, Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out the other day and I’ve watched it 4 times in the last few days.  That has helped.

LTUE

If you haven’t ever gone to the Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) Symposium in Provo, UT you’re missing out.  It is, undoubtedly, the bang for your buck when it comes to introductory writing conferences which focus on fantasy and science fiction.  The symposium is held every year at the Provo Marriot and Convention Center over Valentine’s Day Weekend, but is worth the time and effort.  This year was no exception.

Mass Author Signing with Josi Russell

Mass Author Signing with Josi Russell

This was my third year attending the symposium and my first as a panelist.  It was intimidating and amazing at the same time.  I was able to be on four panels ranging in topic from Plate Tectonics to Fantasy, Monsters, and Horror.  The highlight of my panelist experience was the later.  My fellow panelists included some intimidating figures, notably, Larry Correia, Michaelbrent Collings, Dr. Michael Collings, Steve Diamond, and then me.  Needless to say I felt hopelessly underqualified.  Nevertheless, I’m not one to do anything halfway, so I did my research, took some notes beforehand and went into the panel prepared.  I answered some questions, said some stuff (which I can’t for the life of me remember) and learned more than I brought to the table from the other panelists.

Two things I do remember well though were first, when Larry Correia liked my answer to a question so much he referred back to it later in the panel and second, when – after the panel was over – Dr. Collings wife came up to me after the panel to compliment me on holding my own on such a loaded panel.  I’ll take that as a success, even if she was just being polite.  I was on cloud 7 (I missed Cloud 9 due to being so tired that day bounced off cloud 8 and landed on cloud 7, which was just as euphoric as it sounds) for the rest of the symposium.  All in all, it was a resounding success, including the mass book signing afterward.  Some guy called Brandon Sanderson had the longest line, but we all felt sorry for him since he’s normally such an obscure author and didn’t complain about it.  Good times were had by all.

Two weeks later, I was on an airplane to CA for my first ever (mini) book tour!

Santa Maria & Orcutt California

Let me start off this section by saying that this trip to California was a long time in the making and required some air travel and then a long drive.  I hadn’t flown in close to 5 years and have a mild fear of heights (go figure), so when I was packing I was already nervous about it.  When my wife and kids dropped me off and I realized I’d have to carry on everything I’d originally

thought I’d be checking, I became even more nervous.  After getting stopped at security and having them go through my bag because I had granola bars on top of books in my suitcase that looked like a bomb on their scanners I was even more nervous.  When I realized my publisher and I were in the wrong terminal and we had 5 minutes to get across from the C terminals to the furthers B terminal I was even more panicked and – by the time I made it onto the plane – dripping in sweat, tired, nauseous, and cursing my luck that the only seat left on the plane was between two older women that looked at me like I was insane.

That adventure behind me, we made our connection flight, got the car, and drove the three hours from the Burbank, CA airport down to Santa Maria, California.  I wish it had been light out at the time because I hear the drive itself is beautiful since the road is right up against the beach.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.  I stayed with a host family that night and then spent the next day giving presentations to the Orcutt Academy High School, Orcutt Academy Junior High, and then a book signing later that night.  Somewhere in all that, I ate lunch and had the chance to catch a movie by myself for the first time in over a decade.  It was a full, action packed day.  People had said I’d encounter some resistance from that age group during my presentations, but they were attentive, respectful, and interested in what I had to say.  I had a blast.

The next day, I went back to the schools for small group Q&As, then book signings, then a lovely dinner at a restaurant in wine country and was – literally – on the beach.  The dinner was hosted by the San Luis Obispo Reading Association and both the food and the company (the members of the association and those who had paid to come to the dinner and hear a bunch of us authors speak) was amazing.  I had a great time and would go back in a heartbeat.  If you ever have a chance to go, do it.  Beautiful country and the people are even more so.  From there, it was a three-hour drive to a hotel (we’re talking 1am arrival here) then up at 5 to get on a plane to fly back home at 7am.  Long trip, but totally worth it.  And I SURVIVED!  Phew.

Two weeks after that, I was at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX

FanX

FanX is the smaller version of the Salt Lake Comic Con.  Having now been to both, I think I prefer the larger event, but FanX was a blast this year too.  Three days of signing and selling books, buying trinkets and seeing awesome people in amazing costumes is a bucket of fun topped with ice cream.  I’ve already

Steampunk fan!

Steampunk fan!

mentioned the panels I was on at that event, which included my favorite of all time, the Heroes, Anti-heroes, and Villains Panel.  I seriously wish someone had recorded it, it was that awesome.

What Now?

Well, now I’m back to work on book 3 in the Sharani Series along with a couple short stories.  I work the day job and spend time with my family.  I watch movies now and then and occasionally read a book or two.  That’s life.

If you’ve read this far, I’m assuming you’re interested in my books.  Sign up for my newsletter here to get emails when a new book comes out, chances to win free stuff, and when there’s a signing event in your area.
Categories: Events | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Creativity is a Phoenix: It can be Reborn

Two weeks is a long time to go between posts. In fact, when I visit my favorite authors’ websites and blogs (Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Larry Correia), I get upset when they go for long periods of time without providing any sort of update.  In Sanderson’s case, he might have written an entire new novella in that time and now I’m one book down on the Cosmere’s progression.  So I decided I would not be a hypocrite and I would strive to update my blog roll once a week.  I did really well with this when I had a blog series I was doing, but without weekly topics I don’t do as well.  But I will persevere.

cropped-combined-covers-1.jpg

Click to go to Amazon

I thought, however, that I would take a minute to explain why there has been a lack of updates on the blog and writing front over the last few weeks.  First and foremost, stress has gone up a lot in my daily life.  The day job has become ten times as demanding as it was before as we ramp up mortgages and we’re down one of the three employees (including me) who do mortgages.  Mortgages in general are stressful on the financing end (on any end really) and so that has made it so my desire to write is limited by the increased stress of the day job.  By the time I get around to having writing time there simply aren’t any creative juices left.

Case in point, earlier this week my wife and I were simply too tired to make dinner, so I decided to go get us some takeout from Five Guys.  My wife and I have decided that we need to take each of our children on individual child dates, so I took my 4-year old son with me.  I was tired and just wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.  My son, on the other hand, was so excited to be out with his daddy and in a place where they serve “elephant food” (peanuts) that it was infectious.  We spent a good twenty minutes eating peanuts and just laughing at random, stupid stuff.  It was refreshing, wonderful, and amazing.  It renewed my creative energies and helped me regain my perspective.

Another of the reasons why there has been such a large hiatus between blog posts is that I was upgrading my free blog to an actual fully, integrated website through BlueHost.  It allows me to have full control of content, coding, plugins, and widgets available.  I’ve added a few, including the following icons to the left of this post and (my personal favorite) progress bars on my current Works in Progress.  These will be updated at least

Click to go to Amazon

Click to go to Amazon

twice a week so anyone interested can simply find out where I’m at with any given project.  I will still have the “Current Projects” page, but it will shift to more of a summary of the content of each project than a status of progress (kind of like Sanderson’s “State of the Sanderson” address.  I have also added a page dedicated to my Newsletter Signup, which you should all subscribe to if you haven’t yet.  It will give you email reminders and exclusive content of book releases and the occasional signing event reminder, so go subscribe.  The website will continue to go through some updates and changes as I become more familiar with the new website process and work through various plugins and backups.

Third, I’ve been struggling with which project should receive my focus.  The Sharani Series is doing really really well right now, with Storms coming out only a few weeks ago.  The next book (tentatively called Tempest), will be a little longer, more complex, and deeper in theme and content.  It will take me much longer to complete than Storms did.  Resurgent Shadows is also in need of a sequel, though it is not doing so well in the sales department.  So I should work on that too.  But here’s the thing, I put out three books in six months.  I wrote Storms while I was editing Resurgent Shadows, then edited and released Storms.

Click to go to Audible

Click to go to Audible

My brain is a little burned out on the worlds (at the moment), even though I have a pretty good idea of where I want to take the next books.  So I’m clearing my head by writing a different book (Wanderer in the Progress Bars).  So I’ll be bouncing between the three projects for a while until one ends up taking the larger priority.  So yeah, I’ll be writing, and that is what is important at the moment.

On another important side note, Sands releases on Audiobook on February 9th!  I am very excited for this.  The narrator, Tanya Eby, did an amazing job with it.  You can listen to a sample of Sands on the Tantor Media Webpage here.  Otherwise you can pre-order the recorded CDs here or the Audible Version here or you can just click on the image of the Audible cover.

That’s all for now, but expect to see a new post on the blog at lease once a week.  Some of them may be short, and some of them may end up being vague, but there will be updates.  Read on!

Categories: Musings, Resurgent Shadows, Sharani Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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