SF&F Book Bonanza

Hello, there!
Dean F. Wilson has pulled together a massive sale of science fiction and fantasy books: all on Amazon, each for just $0.99!

He has graciously agreed to include my own new release, Shadow Captain, in this sale. You can find it under the space opera heading, when you click on this link to check out all the discounted books! Happy Shopping!

Currency of Settled Space

In the Star Master universe, Settled Space is inhabited by humans who were abducted from Ancient Egypt by noncorporeal beings several thousand years ago. The people of Ancient Egypt used barter instead of currency, but they seem to have expressed the value of barter-items in terms of quantities of gold (and later, silver).

Unlike its parent culture, Settled Space has actual currency and coinage, backed by gold. Even so, it’s worth noting that most money in Settled Space moves around digitally through bank accounts, debit cards, etc. Two of the major currency unit, the deben and the qedet, are derived from Ancient Egyptian weights. The smallest unit, the bajat, may be derived from the Egyptian word for bee. Below, you can see the values for the deben, qedet, and bajat expressed in imperial ounces (oz.) of gold. You can also click on this link to see the current price of gold per ounce, which will give you a better idea of what debens, qedets, and bajats would be worth in the currencies of our world.

Deben90 oz. of gold
Qedet9 oz. of gold
Bajat0.0001 oz. of gold
Currency Units of Settled Space

Kindle Unlimited Showcase!

Happy New Year!
Dean F. Wilson has curated a large collection of science fiction and fantasy books: all on Amazon, all free with Kindle Unlimited!

I am new to the Kindle Unlimited program, and Dean has graciously agreed to include my own new release, Shadow Captain, in this sale. You can find it under the space opera heading, when you click on this link to check out all the discounted books! Have fun picking out a few things to read!

End of Year Wrap-Up

This year, the writing and publishing went fairly well. With the help of some family members who graciously became my beta readers/proofreaders, I finished, polished, and published a new book in a new (for me) genre, and finished NaNoWriMo2020 in spite of some setbacks. I cut severely back on my marketing costs, which had gotten out of hand in past years, and only got back into active marketing at the very end of the year, coinciding with the new release. So far it’s going better than I had any reason to expect. The modest royalties from my book sales and pages read in Kindle Unlimited to date, would almost cover the costs of my test ads on Bookbub and my low budget ad spend on Bookbub and Amazon. We’ll see how long this moment of almost breaking even lasts.

My hope was to finish and publish my first space opera, start working on the sequel while I was polishing the first one, and maybe write the second half of the sequel for NaNoWriMo2020. I didn’t manage that, and given the extra time that the Covid shutdown bought me, first during administrative leave and then with telework, I feel like I could have done more. But it took me a long time to feel my way through the second half of the first space opera, and a moderately long time to clean up the initial complete draft of the book. I finished that cleanup/polishing process only a few days before NaNoWriMo, and it left my creative energies kind of drained. I’ve found at least three short scenes and two longer sections that need major reworking in the second space opera, before I proceed anything further with it.

Still I wrote 100,000 more or less useable words over the course of the year (second half of first space opera+first half of second space opera), polished and published my longest book to date, created its cover, and constructed a wallet-friendly promotional campaign for its launch.

Plans for next year? Try to have Star Master Book 2 published by the end of 2021; refresh the Ancestors of Jaiya series (proofreading and new covers) somewhere along the way. Write as much as I can of Star Master Book 3, and keep daydreaming and outlining that high fantasy idea that keeps popping up. We’ll see how all that works out.

New Novel Release!

His one chance to escape slavery could trap his brother in a terrible fate!

Jetay has been on the run with his brother for a long time, hiding his psychic powers from the evil Red Knights. Living as a slave on a star freighter, Jetay dreams of freeing himself and his brother, and of wielding his powers openly.

On a frontier planet, Lady Lanati of the Partisan Alliance seeks his help for a secret mission. It will take him across the stars to the edge of a black hole, with a Red Knight chasing him every step of the way. He might even get a chance to use his powers for good.

But the price of that chance may be too high, putting his brother in grave danger. Can Jetay save himself and his brother without sacrificing Lanati and her friends? If he can’t find a way to save them all, the battle against evil may be over before it begins….

Shadow Captain
, the first book in my new space opera series, is now live, and free with a subscription to Kindle Unlimited. You may know me from my clean fantasy romance novels in the Jaiya series and the Ancestors of Jaiya series. My new space operas, called the Star Master series, have less romance, but still combine adventure, mysticism and fun characters, while avoiding harsh language and graphic violence and sexuality. Shadow Captain was written with fans of Star Wars, Firefly, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda in mind.

If Shadow Captain sounds like it would interest you, feel free to check it out on Amazon now!

And 50149 words

So, I’ve completed one more NaNoWriMo successfully. I still have a long way to go on the second space opera; I’m only about halfway through, and I already know some of the scenes I’ve already written will need some reworking. I am not entering my totals on the official NaNoWriMo website for the first time in a long time; I’ve not been happy with the direction the official site/organization have taken over the last few years, and I don’t expect that will change.

I’ve made some interesting discoveries, such as the fact that description, exposition and basic banter between established characters are the easiest things for me to dictate, while more “choreographed” elements (action scenes, high-drama conversations, etc) are easier to type. For dictation, my preference is to do seven minutes at a stretch, then clean up punctuation and misheard words for seven minutes or less, and then repeat the dictation/cleanup cycle.

If you’re curious, here’s what my wordcount totals by day looks like:

DateWords Per Day
11/1/20203332
11/2/20202575
11/3/20201444
11/4/20200
11/5/20200
11/6/20201257
11/7/20203174
11/8/20201805
11/9/20201432
11/10/20201920
11/11/20201668
11/12/20201441
11/13/2020952
11/14/2020593
11/15/2020612
11/16/20201845
11/17/20202026
11/18/20201927
11/19/20200
11/20/20202004
11/21/20201120
11/22/20202940
11/23/20201576
11/24/20202440
11/25/20202119
11/26/20201950
11/27/20201933
11/28/20201957
11/29/20203264
11/30/2020843

Just crossed 26000 Words

Got a little bit behind earlier this month and now I have to do 1900 words per day to finish on time. I tend to have fairly predictable “stallout” timeframes:

-The first one tends to be in the first week, usually 3-5 days into November if I push myself too hard in the opening days. I could blame my failing to write during November 4 and 5 on the issues with the US elections, but honestly, if that hadn’t distracted me, something else would have. I was right on schedule for a crash after getting ~7300 words in the first three days.

-Somewhere in between 20000 and 26000 words. This year, I started dragging badly at the 20000 word mark, which I reached on November 12. I think I went through a period of feeling tired/unwell roundabout then. I tend to need more sleep now than when I first started doing NaNoWriMo, about a decade and a half ago.

-I sometimes have another stallout around 30000-35000 words, and one in the 40000-45000 range. I hope I don’t get that this year. I don’t think I can afford another delay like the two I’ve had so far.

Once More, We’re Gonna Do What They Say Can’t Be Done

Cleaned house. Paid bills. Set up excel spreadsheets. National Novel Writing Month starts tomorrow, and I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. This will be the sequel to the space opera novel I started for NaNoWriMo2019. I would really like to get my 50000 words done during the first half of the month, so I can focus on prepping for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the meantime, I found yet another variant on my unofficial NaNoWriMo theme song:

A Prayer for Stressful Times

I am in pretty good spirits right now, in the afterglow of completing a polished draft of my longest work ever. However, I was seeing some mopeyness and doom and gloom elsewhere on the web, so I thought I would post this prayer. It is not original to me: even Wikipedia allows that it dates back to the fifteenth century. This prayer, and the Lady it is addressed to, have always been helpful to me.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.