Tag Archives: Jonathan Miller

Rob’s Update: A Huge Week

Week 14 of 2022

Greetings all

So much to talk about this week!

First, I had a great time at FantaSci. Here’s the full FantaSci AAR: robhowell.org/blog/?p=2653.

Keen Edge of Valor
Keen Edge of Valor

While there, we released Keen Edge of Valor. Thanks to all who supported the release and participated in its creation. It’s a great anthology and I’m proud of what we’ve done. Get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/.

I also got to make two announcements. First, the finalists for the FantaSci Short Story contest were C.M. DeMott, Nathan Balyeat, Jonathan Miller, and Chris Hepler. Chris Hepler, with his story “The Torturer of Camelot,” was this year’s winner. Here’s an interview with our winner: robhowell.org/blog/?p=2645.

Secondly, I announced the theme for next year’s Short Story Contest. 2023 will be Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with. Specifics on the submission guidelines are below in the New Mythology section.

Deadly Fortune
Deadly Fortune

And now we’re five days away from our next release, Deadly Fortune, by Aaron Rosenberg. This is the next Eldros Legacy novel. It’s a swashbuckling take of pirates, murder, and intrigue and a lot of fun.

Then there was Tuesday night, where I did a fun interview with Cursed Dragon Ship on Twitch.tv. You can find it here: twitch.tv/curseddragonship. Many thanks to Kelly Colby for hosting me. I had a great time.

Now for the fun vaguebook part. My sweetie went on a trip last night and there might be some cool fun changes to our life coming out of it.

What a week.

What I’m Listening To

The Eagle Against the Sun, a War in the Pacific documentary. I’m in a WW2 mood today for some reason, and it’s been exactly what I wanted.

Quote of the Week

A brilliant quote from Gordie Howe today.

“All hockey players are bilingual. They know English and profanity.”
– Gordie Howe

Dudes In Hyperspace

Follow the Dudes In Hyperspace here:
bleav.com/shows/the-dudes-in-hyperspace-podcast/

The latest show includes a review of Batman and some great podmail questions.

Cool Stuff In Eldros Legacy

Get five free stories and signed up with the Eldros Legacy mailing list! Here There Be Giants is at: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/qabsr57lq3+.

Deadly Fortune by Aaron Rosenberg is coming next Tuesday! It’s a fun swashbuckling tale of pirates, murder, and intrigue.

Currently available:

New Mythology Works in Progress

2023 FantaSci Short Story Contest open call.

The theme is Bonds of Valor, and you story must include deeds of valor centered around bonds between characters. This could be a romantic relationship, a buddy adventure, oaths to kings, or whatever you can come up with.

Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point font, 1.5 line spaced.

I’m currently working on The Door Into Winter, my next novel.

Rob’s Works in Progress
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
Upcoming Events
New Releases

So much going on in CKP at FantaSci. First, let’s go with Titans Rising, which is a book on the business of writing genre fiction in the 21st century. It includes stuff by Chris Kennedy, Kevin J. Anderson, Toni Weisskopf, and a bunch of other big names. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W8SV9QY.

Then we have Redacted Weapon, a new Four Horsemen Universe novel by Kevin Ikenson and Kevin Steverberry… errr… I mean, Kevin Ikenberry and Kevin Steverson. By the Kevins! That’s it, that’s what we’ll go with. Anyway, it’s another story about the Peacemakers and you can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W8LYXNJ.

And finally, there’s Keen Edge of Valor, the third anthology in the Libri Valoris, the Books of Valor. You can get it here: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/.

Tracked Items

Today’s Weight: 326.3

Updated Word Count: 129,772

Eldros Legacy Archives: 813 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

Rob’s Ramblings: FantaSci 2022 AAR

Greetings all

I’m home after a great time at FantaSci. This con is in the Research Triangle in North Carolina, so it’s a bit of a hike from Kansas City, but it’s well worth it. To put it this way, I have already bought my pass for 2023.

I got to the hotel on Thursday afternoon, and began the hanging out almost immediately. The best part of cons isn’t really the con, though all of it is necessary for my business, it’s the people.

The first afternoon at cons is therefore a great time of re-connecting. Then, Thursday evening we went to Trali Irish Pub for a group dinner. Then, there was drinking at the bar.

I got to bed far too late.

Friday, I had some errands to run for the CKP Party on Saturday night, then I was back for three straight panels.

Keen Edge of Valor
Keen Edge of Valor

First, we had the release panel for Keen Edge of Valor. In this, we get as many authors who are in the anthology to come to the panel and talk about their story. It’s fun to share all the cool stuff in an anthology, and we had a great time because it’s a great anthology.

Get it here, by the way: amazon.com/dp/B09W91TP24/

Then we had a panel on Killing People and Breaking Stuff, including Mark Wandrey as moderator, Joshua Palmatier, Monalisa Foster, and William Joseph Roberts. This went over how much combat and violence to put in a story. The basic answer is that each of us have to develop a style that works with whatever genre we’re writing in.

Last on Friday night was perhaps my favorite panel on the week, talking about making books into movies. Carolyn Kay did a great job as moderator. Chaz Kemp, Cathy DeMott, and I went over a wide variety of topics and it was a hoot.

Then on Saturday we started with the Chris Kennedy Publishing Year Ahead panel. TL:DR is that there’s a bunch of great stuff coming. For the long version, go to chriskennedypublishing.com.

I had a bit of a break then before going into a panel on podcasting. There weren’t many people in the hall, but that became a good thing as Ian J. Malone sort of turned it into a roundtable. It was a blast, especially because Nicole Givens Kurtz is a hoot, and very, very sharp. Plus there was Kevin Steverson. Really good panel.

Immediately after, we had a great panel on overcoming Writer’s Block with Mark Stallings and Mark Jack Stoumbos. There are tools we can use, but one thing I want to emphasize is that we need to differentiate between those times when writer’s block has to do with the story and times when it has to do with fatigue, frustration, depression, and other things with the writer.

Then I had another panel on alternate history. I didn’t prepare for this as well as I should as moderator because I didn’t find out about it until Saturday afternoon. This is all on me because it was in the program, I just didn’t notice it.

Anyway, I had a Chuck Gannon and Dave Butler on the panel, along with Jason Cordova and Chris Kennedy, so I didn’t have to do much. They just got to riffing on stuff back and forth. At least I’m smart enough to sit back and let them go.

That was my last panel of the day, but then there was a huge evening of socializing. The Four Horsemen Dining Out that FantaSci hosts is unique, as far as I know, and an amazing experience.

Side note: Nick Steverson started the Dining Out off with a bang.

Anyway, then we had the CKP party, which went well as far as I could tell. All I  know is I spent Saturday night chatting and schmoozing until late in the night.

This last part was an issue, because on Sunday morning at 9am I hosted the New Mythology Press year ahead panel. I was really impressed with how many we got to come out on Sunday morning, because I for one wouldn’t have minded sleeping in.

Deadly Fortune
Deadly Fortune

The big announcement was the cover reveal for Deadly Fortune by Aaron Rosenberg. This is a swashbuckling private eye novel with swords and intrigue and pirates.

Then there was time to hang out until Closing Ceremonies. I got to announce the winners of the FantaSci Short Story Contest.

The four finalists were C.M. DeMott, Nathan Balyeat, Chris Hepler, and Jonathan Miller. The winner was Chris Hepler, with his story “The Torturer of Camelot.” A great story that was at the top of my list from the start.

I also announced next year’s anthology theme. It will be entitled Bonds of Valor and while the primary theme of deeds of valor remains unchanged, we’re also adding a subtheme of bonds between characters.

This includes characters in a romantic relationship, buddy adventures, oaths sworn to others, and any other bond between characters.

The submission details are:
Deadline: November 30th, 2022
Word Count: 7-10,000 words
Specifics: Times New Roman, 12 point, and 1.5 line spacing.

Get writing!

As for me, I’m going to look forward to FantaSci 2023. Tickets are available here: fantasci.rocks/

See you there!

 

2021 AAR

Greetings all

2021 was the biggest year of my publishing career, but I suspect I’ll write the same exact words next year with all that’s happening. Nevertheless, here’s what I was involved in that came out in 2021:

2021 Mosaic
2021 Mosaic

This mosaic, by the way, doesn’t include stuff that’ll come out in 2022 which I worked on, such as Quincy J. Allen’s Seeds of Dominion, coming out on Tuesday.

By my reckoning, I put out 384,836 total words in 2021. Now, there are some statistical points to be made, out of honesty.

  • I only wrote 139,340 words of new stuff. That’s 1 novel, and only 6 short stories.
  • I keep track of my blog posts too, as it’s one way to ensure I’m putting out consistent content. That was 49,811.
  • The remaining 195,685 is 1/4 of the words in books I edited for New Mythology Press in 2021, 4 anthologies and 5 novels. I agree I should keep some track of that, as if I hadn’t done all that I would have definitely written more. I’m not convinced 1/4 is the right number. I’m thinking I may go to 1/5 in 2022. We’ll see.

Still, any way you want to stack it, that’s not a bad year. Add on to that I spent many hours helping develop the Eldros Legacy and learning how to do a bunch of new things for New Mythology Press, and I would say it wasn’t a wasted year.

That’s especially true since I only count things I’ve finished in a calendar year. This total doesn’t include, for example, the 70k or so I’ve got written in The Door Into Winter nor the editing I’ve done for The Keen Edge of Valor, as they aren’t yet finished.

I’m proud of all the stories I wrote and helped put out in 2021. This is highlighted, of course, by The Ravening of Wolves. This novel really came together, I think, thanks to a bunch of tales given to me by friends who’ve seen the challenges behind the scenes in the military. Much of what went into that book are inspired by actual SNAFUs, because the main universal truth in military history that I can find is: “Shit happens.”

Of my short stories, I tried a number of whimsical things. For example, Careful With That Axe, E.U. Gene included over 200 song and band references hidden within about 9000 words. The biggest result, of course, is The Incomparable Treasure, which comes out at some point in 2022 as part of Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell’s next SF/F noir anthology, No Game for Knights. This is a huge honor for me, and I’m really excited about it.

I certainly learned a ton with New Mythology Press this year. I can’t thank Chris Kennedy enough for the opportunity and I hope I live up to his expectations.

I would say I earned a B- grade for my work as publisher in 2021. I tend to be a harsh grader, but as I look back I see areas I can improve upon. Now, to be fair, the biggest area I need to improve upon is simply experience, and that’s happening, but I could have accelerated my learning curve in places.

Nevertheless, I did learn and improve as the year’s gone on. I’d better, as I have a bunch of things to publish in 2022, which I’ll talk about in another blog post.

I am most proud of Responsibility of the Crown, I think. It was the first novel I’d ever edited, and I think it came out fantastic. It helps that G. Scott Huggins is a great writer, but I do think I contributed.

It was nerve-wracking for me, in some ways, but the results really fired me up. Like many writers (and now as publisher), I suffer from constant self-doubt and seeing the difference between the original draft Scott sent me of Responsibility and the final draft helps me believe I have some skill in this process. Again, though, it’s not a great story without Scott doing the heavy lifting.

I’m also proud of the Talons & Talismans anthologies. They were a challenge, one that made Chris shake his head and chuckle at my expense a time or eight.

However, those anthologies did much of what I wanted. I got involved with experienced writers I hadn’t worked with before, like Aaron Rosenberg, who I hope to publish a bunch more times down the road. I got a bunch of new writers opportunities, like Michael Gants, who I think you’ll be seeing fairly often in the future.

I also got to rummage around in the process of making anthologies at a much more detailed level. I’d done two prior to Talons & Talismans, but this was more, and I needed it.

On the behind the scenes side of things, I had a couple of hiccups with my mailing list, but I’m pleased with where I’m at now. I started working with the Writers House of Corrections to build that mailing list even more. Long term, I think that list and this blog, not Facebook or other social media platforms, will be my primary forms of interaction.

I learned a ton about how book art gets made. I knew some of it from self-publishing my first six novels, but there’s always more to learn. I’m amazed at what artists like Melissa Gay and Jake Caleb constantly produce.

Most fun of all is getting to know the editing staff of Chris Kennedy Publishing better. Mia Kleve is an amazing bedrock of competence. It was she, in fact, who created the above mosaic of covers, within like 2 minutes. Tiffany Reynolds is incredibly fast and skilled. I didn’t get to work with Beth Agajew as much in 2021, but I’ve had the pleasure before. We brought in Jonathan Miller too. He edited Seeds of Dominion and we have more plans for him.

I also got to interact with the advance readers more. Shawn Carey is a machine. He is an unseen, but much appreciated member of the team. Another is Zach Ritz, who routinely catches a bunch of errors that have slipped past all of our editors, including me. That’s a much less common skill than I think people realize.

A long time ago, I realized writing was about creating a team around the writer. That’s even more true about publishing. If I want to point at any one single thing I’m pleased with in 2021 it’s the creation of a new team around me, one which I’m already blessed to be a part of.

I’m just going to conclude that I’m looking at my shelf of books, the shelf holding books I’ll be selling at conventions. There’s Jon Osborne’s Milesian Accords series, including The House Between Worlds which I helped publish. There’s Khyven the Unkillable, by Todd Fahnestock, first of the Eldros Legacy novels. There are Four Horsemen Universe titles, especially The Ravening of WolvesAnd there’s all sorts of titles produced prior to 2021. There’s a lot of titles there, but a bunch more are coming.

2021 was the start of something awesome.