Tag Archives: Charles Gannon

Rob’s Update: Tacos, Talons, & Talismans, Oh, My!

Week 38 of 2021

Greetings all

Tuesday! Yes, I mean the next one. October 5th. Talons & Talismans will be released to the public. There’s so much you’re gonna love in this and I can’t wait for you all to get a chance.

Talons and Talisman I
Talons and Talisman I

But what about tacos? Hey, I gave you the book. I suspect we all have our favorite taco place where you can get the tacos of your persuasion, pull out your copy of Talons & Talismans, and you’ll soon be in your happy place.

Speaking of happy places, I have just found out today is International Podcast Day. Happy Another Day of Being Awesome to Ian J. Malone, Kevin Steverson, and our awesome fans on Dudes on Hyperspace. I’ve been so pleased to be a part of this. Thanks for having me!

This was not my most productive week. I don’t often get sick, but Friday and Saturday were complete losses and much of Sunday. Feeling better and I’ve gotten lots done the last few days, but it’s catching up.

The big thing this week for me was to really get into gear with The Door Into Winter. I’m trying something new, and it’s a modicum of plotting. (Don’t fall over dead of shock, Quincy J. Allen). Actually, it’s more like Rich Weyand’s theory of river crossings.

Todd Fahnestock pointed me to the book Save the Cat Writes a Novel. Basically, it lays out 15 beats that all good novels need and this week I built myself a beat sheet for The Door Into Winter.

In one sense, I’m doing this to fix a particular thing. I always struggle getting from 50-75,000 words. Somewhere between there, I have a huge slowdown as I don’t know what to write. This will help.

In another, it’s because I’m getting close to leveling up again. In general, my way of doing things has been to jump in, screw up a lot, learn, get better, find new mistakes to make, get better. Lather, rinse, repeat until I feel like I can actually understand the thing enough for manuals and instruction stuff to be really effective for me.

One could say, it’s part of my transition from journeyman to master. I can’t really understand the stuff until I’m a journeyman but I can’t be a master without understanding the stuff. I’m in that point where I can work on that process with my writing, and it’s exciting.

Also, from a pantser’s perspective, this process is actually surprising useful so far. I’m simply jotting down ideas, and I can already tell nothing on the Beat Sheet is locked down. However, I have already realized how mutable and adjustable it is as I discover how I can make the novel better.

That’s why I’m a pantser, by the way. I always find ways to make a novel better during the writing process that can change my entire story. This allows for that, so I’m giving it a try.

Speaking of which, I’m going to go write!

What I’m Listening To

Happy people at Brewbakers. The music is wretched, but for some reason people seem to be really enjoying their conversations today. Honestly, that’s usually the case here, but for some reason it’s the dominant vibe I’m enjoying here today.

Quote of the Week

In honor of today’s international holiday, I’ve decided to give you a quote from Dudes in Hyperspace.

“Man, I totally screwed that up.”
– Me, in just about every show 🙂

There is, fortunately, a response every time.

“Don’t worry, I can edit that out.”
-Ian J. Malone, which is why my quotes are in the outtakes 🙂

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Have you downloaded your copy of Here There Be Giants? Five free micro-stories and you get signed up for the Eldros Legacy newsletter. You can find it here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

New Mythology Works in Progress

Current open anthology calls:

The House Between Worlds, fourth in Jon R. Osborne’s Milesian Accords series, goes out to advance readers this weekend. Email me at rob@chriskennedy.com if you want to be a part of the advance team.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Door Into Winter (7,717)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week we have more great stuff in Charles Gannon’s Terran Republic universe entitled Watch the Skies. This is a braided novel that includes the great Gannon himself, Kacey Ezell, Kevin Ikenberry, and William Alan Webb, which is a heck of a lineup. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09GW3CJM7.

Out this week on audio is an anthology I contributed to, Gates of Hell. It’s another 4HU anthology and my story follows-up with Rick Blaine chasing down those who’ve attacked the Queen Elizabeth’s Own Foresters. You can find it on audio here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087T7FW9M.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 332.0

Updated Word Count: 283,858

Shijuren Wiki: 797 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Founder in the Eldros Legacy series

Weekly Update Archive

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Rob’s Update: Terse? I Can Be Terse.

Week 6 of 2021

Greetings all

This was one of those weeks where I went to bed every day quite happy with my productivity, but it’s hard to quantify. These kind of weeks make weeks with a number of things going out the door happen, but I can’t talk about it all just yet.

Songs of Valor Cover
Songs of Valor Cover

The big news is that the Songs of Valor cover was released. I might have mentioned I’m excited about this project, and every cover makes authors know their work is about to be real.

I cut out some of The Ravening of Wolves, which is a step back, but then had three good days of writing. The cut stuff will probably show up later when I find the right place for it, but in the meantime I am really having fun with this story.

I sent my edits off to my first accepted novel. You’re really going to like getting a little Responsibility in your life. More to come soon.

I’m already starting to figure out how to be efficient with slush pile stuff. That being said, I think it’s incumbent on me to provide some sort of feedback to authors.  It’s extra work, but I know that’s what I want when I have people read my stuff. Anyway, I sent a couple of those back this week.

Side note, I’m getting faster at reading again. I used to devour books, but since I started writing it’s been a challenge to read new stuff. When it’s for work, oddly enough, I find I’m enjoying just reading again.

Anyway, I’ve got a busy weekend planned so I’m going to stop here.

What I’m Listening To

Won’t Get Fooled Again by the Who. Such a great album.

Quote of the Week

We’ve been watching Firefly again, so you get another Firefly quote.

“Terse? I can be terse. Once in flight school, I was laconic.”
Wash, Firefly, War Stories

New Mythology Works in Progress

The next release from New Mythology is the third of Barbara Evers Watchers of Moniah series, which will complete the trilogy. That comes out 1 March.

Then Songs of Valor on the 19th.

Following that, Kevin Steverson’s Accepted, sequel to Burnt, is on the way, though there’s no set date. Then there are two awesome novels in the pipeline, both of which will come out hopefully by the end of May.

Man, this is fun.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (42,577)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

This week, we see Mike Massa’s Shakes, first book in the Murphy’s Lawless series, is $0.99 on a Bookbub promotion. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0861F23KH.

Next, we have an anthology in the Charles Gannon’s Caine Riordan series entitled Lost Signals: A Terran Republic Anthology. You can find it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Lost-Signals-Terran-Republic-Anthology-ebook/dp/B08V4MYT4L.

Today’s Weight: 346.2

Updated Word Count: 5,869

Shijuren Wiki: 729 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works

Nick Patara, PI

  • Silent Knight (Nick Patara, PI, Book 1)
  • Under a Midnight Clear (Nick Patara, PI, Book 2) (Forthcoming)
Four Horsemen Universe
The Phases of Mars
Short Stories

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Interview: Robert E. Waters

This week’s interview is with Robert E. Waters. As you’ll see, he’s also interested in using history to shape his SF, something I mention later myself.

Interview Questions

What is your quest?

Robert E. Waters
Robert E. Waters

I strive to write fun and engaging stories. Do I always succeed? I do not know, but the effort is well worth it. My early influences were Clifford Simak, Robert Silverberg, and Stephen King, an odd mix, I admit, but each of these authors brought a different perspective to my own writing.  I figure, if I can model my work around “the spirit” of what these three authors have accomplished in their lives, and if I can achieve a fraction of the skill and success that they have accumulated, then I can die a happy man.

What is your favorite color?

I’m a plotter, not a pantser. I don’t feel comfortable starting a story until I know how the tale will end. All the details in the middle can evolve as I write the story, but the big strokes of the narrative need to be firmly in my mind before I crank up the ol’ Word and get going. Most of my writing also has a decidedly historical bent, and so, I firmly recommend that if research is involved in the telling of a tale, that the research be done prior to starting the writing. I have found that I can get lost in the weeds of a narrative if I stop too often to research while I’m writing.

What is the average flying speed of an unladen paint brush?

Patience. To be a good author, and more importantly, to be a published author, one needs to accept the molasses pace that often plagues the publishing industry. You must remember that there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people out there trying to get their stories and novels published just like you, and it can take a long while for your submissions to get a response. So, don’t be an ass like I was on occasion in the early days and harass editors about making a decision on your novel/story prematurely. If you push too hard, they might make a decision that you do not want them to make.

What are the powers of your personal Holy Hand Grenade?

I think I write combat and battle scenes very well. I’m no expert on such scenes, mind you, but I’ve been able to work in my knowledge of historical warfare with a kind of frenetic pace that showcases the chaos of battle. I once wrote a 14,000 word rolling battle sequence that took nearly two full weeks to write, but in the end, it made the story.

Lightning Round

  • Favorite Muppet? The Count (assuming he is one and not just a Sesame Street construct)
  • Best Present You’ve Ever Received? My son, Jason.
  • Favorite Sports Team? Miami Dolphins
  • Cake or Pie? In a pinch, pie
  • Lime or Lemon? Neither
  • Favorite Cereal? Captain Crunch
  • Favorite Superhero? Iron Man
  • Favorite 1970s TV show? Sanford and Son
  • Best Thing From the 80s? The fact that we survived it, with the threat of nuclear annihilation present for a time
  • Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall? Summer
  • Favorite Pet?  Bandit, my dog for 15 years; died because he had cataracts so bad he didn’t see the car to get out of the way
  • Best Game Ever? Hard to say, but with a gun to my head, Fury of Dracula
  •  Coffee or Tea? I like both, but coffee
  • Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Sci-Fi
  • Brought to you by the letter R

What question(s) would you like to ask me? 

What would you consider to be the “definitive” science fiction novel written in the last ten years? And why?

Rob’s Answer: Man, this is a hard question to answer for me because I don’t read as much new stuff as I should. The definitive SF novel to me is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. It’s got everything an SF story should happen, with fantastic pacing and an ending that’s only partially happy. The good guys win, but not all survive. I can’t not cry at the end.

As for recent stuff, I’m going to lean towards David Drake’s Lt. Leary series, of which I can’t pick one book. It’s strong work, solid all the way through, filled with action and strong characters. As a historian, I also love the way he uses historical events to shape the story. I just mimicked that process with my short story for the anthology We Dare, which comes partially from the Finnsburh Fragment.

Tell me again where we can find your stuff? 

Currently Available

Coming Soon

  • The Swords of El Cid, book 2 in the Cross of Saint Boniface series, publication date August 2019
  • The Last Hurrah, media tie-in novel based on Mantic Games’ Dreadball universe, publication date TBD
  • 1636: Calabar’s War, co-authored by Charles E Gannon, set in Eric Flint’s Ring of Fire series, publication date TBD

And where can we find you?

Do you have a creator biography?

Robert E Waters is a technical writer by trade, but has been a science fiction/fantasy fan all his life. He’s worked in the board and computer gaming industry since 1994 as designer, producer, and writer. In the late 90’s, he tried his hand at writing fiction and since 2003, has sold over 60 stories to various on-line and print magazines and anthologies, including the Grantville Gazette, Eric Flint’s online magazine dedicated to publishing stories set in the 1632/Ring of Fire series. Robert is currently working in collaboration with author Charles E Gannon on a Ring of Fire novel titled, 1636: Calabar’s War. Robert has also co-written several stories, as well as the Persistence of Dreams, with Meriah L Crawford, and The Monster Society, with Eric S Brown.

He has also written in several tabletop gaming universes, including Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy series and in the Wild West Exodus weird tech/steampunk universe. He has also dabbled a bit in Warlord Games’ Beyond the Gates of Antares milieu, writing about assassins and rescue missions.

Robert currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife Beth, their son Jason, and their precocious little cat Buzz.

For more information about his work, visit his website at www.roberternestwaters.com.

Final question for you: What should I have asked but did not?  

You should have asked what my favorite music is so I could tell you I love smooth jazz. All the greats: Gerald Albright, David Sanborn, Steve Cole, Grover Washington Jr., Euge Groove, etc. etc. I listen to it every evening. It relaxes and inspires me.

Thanks to Robert for taking the time to answer my questions.

If you have any suggestions or comments about this interview format, let me know so I can keep tweaking it.

Also, thanks to you for reading. If you’re interested in any of the other interviews I’ve done, you can find them all here: https://robhowell.org/blog/?cat=326. If you are a creator, especially an independent creator, and you want to be spotlighted in a future interview, email me at rob@robhowell.org.

Finally, if you want to join my mailing list, where I’ll announce every interview, as well as what’s going on in my life, go to www.robhowell.org and fill out the form (Name and Email Address) or drop me an email and I’ll add you.

Have a great day.

Rob Howell