Monday Morning Randomness

I lieu of actual inspiration, I think I’ll start a couple ‘features’ here on ye olde blog(e). I’ll start with a Monday morning news/recap type of thing.

  • In 3024AD news, I just sent Series One out for final edits, and will hopefully have that turned around within the next month. I’m going to hold off on a firm release date until it is 100% ready to go, so stay tuned.
  • Staying with 3024AD, the site will be re-done and re-purposed. Instead of posting the drafts of short stories, it will serve as sort of a wiki for the universe. There will be some shorts available for download for free, but for the most part, it will serve as background for the universe.
  • Outside of that, did you know I write a column once a month for Nerds Feather? Because I totally do, and you should read it. It’s all about indie books and publishing, so if you’re an indie author or publisher and there’s anything you want me to ramble about, let me know.
  • You already know that JJ Abrams is directing the next Star Wars, and if you’re freaking out about it, I offer the same advice I did when the Disney news broke: Chill the eff out. Star Wars is already commercialized. There are already horrible prequels. It’s not going to get worse, and Disney and Abrams are the best (new?) hope for bringing it back to glory. So let’s let it play out.
  • I have been playing The Old Republic again, and I still find it a blast to play. Hardcore gamers won’t, but for a casual gamer, it’s a great MMO. Am I alone, however, in thinking that Stargate would make for an awesome MMO? Someone get on this. If you need a writer, call me.
  • I feel like I should have some sort of conclusion here.

Kickstarter Journal: Hours

So the Kickstarter has now reached the point where is counts down hours, not days.

That’s not nerve wracking or anything. About that: Help my nerves by backing now! It’s like you get to be a doctor!
What, you want content, not me beating you over the head to back the Kickstarter? How about both?

Writing 3024AD is pretty much the funnest thing right now. I love sitting down and immersing myself in this universe. It’s just so fun to connect all the dots, see how story lines intersect and how characters and events are related.

This first collection of short stories serves as much as an introduction to 3024AD as anything. The main character of Digger, he of the mysterious past and malicious intent, ties the whole thing together. Connected to him- sometimes directly, other times, not so much- are characters who he crosses paths with who have their own stories told. A couple are disconnected, according to the proper of this collection, from him, but connect much later.

I also say introduction because some of the most influential events are not even described- but will be later, because it takes place directly in another story. The reams of notes I have are aching to be written, and I can’t get them fast enough. Series Two of the shorts starts in November, and the novel will be done by years end.

This is just the beginning folks. Thanks for coming along for the ride.


Kickstarter Journal, Supplemental

At or very near the top of my “people I have met online because of my silly little stories who I will someday buy a beer” list resides one Brian White, whose Kickstarter ended about an hour ago (as of this writing). 12 seconds prior to that, the goal was reached. 12 seconds. Talk about cutting it close, right?

3024AD is on a similar path right now, with a shade over two days left to raise 60% (or $1,790), but as Brian demonstrated, it is doable. So if you haven’t backed it yet, please- do so now. $5 will get you the ebook, plus an exclusive desktop wallpaper. $35 will get a character named after you in an upcoming short. There is much more- take a look.


Kickstarter and Con Journal: Three Days To Go

I never get the urge to sing Three Days Grace, because they are horrible.

Isn’t this the best table ever? No? Shut it.

As I talked about, Saturday was the Bellingham Comicon. If you are/were in the Pacific Northwest, I hope you swung by, because it was a smashing good time. The only downside was that I was at my table pretty much the whole time and could only look longingly at a lot of the stuff from afar. There seemed to be a lot of really talented artists there, and a card game I can’t remember that they were demoing on my way to the bathroom. If that is you, contact me. I want to play it!

I was next to Troy Svennes, who hooked me up with the awesome V that had been tempting me all damn day, and Mark J Smith, who I got the clone and jump troopers from, and were great fun and didn’t beat me after hearing me talk about my book for the five millionth time.

V bobblehead. My life is complete.

Also got to hang out with the folks at Larsen Geekery. You should check out their cool stuff. They were super nice and all kinds of excited about 3024AD (Hint: be excited about 3024AD and I will probably like you).

About that. Got to talk to so many people about 3024AD and the response was great (even if people still need to throw more money at the Kickstarter). People really seem to respond to what I’m trying to accomplish with these stories. Hopefully that continues to grow. I certainly look forward to hitting more cons in the coming year.

The real Batman and Loki would have agreed to a cage fight.

Of course, I’d be incredibly remiss if I neglected to that Eric Burris for putting the whole thing on. I can’t wait for next year.

Kickstarter Journal: Doing it Right

Nine days to go! If you haven’t yet, back 3024AD for great SciFi!

Today I thought it would be fun to take a look at a couple project that have done a good job on Kickstarter. There are some obvious ones, Project Eternity being the most obvious at the moment, that have blown their goals (and some records) out of the water. But if you’re looking to run a campaign, you probably aren’t making a massive video game with an established reputation behind you already,  so I won’t beat that particular dead horse (if you want to read a great analysis, though, my friends over at Caffeine Forge have a great write up).

My friend Devin Michaels just had her Kickstarter for her comic Destiny’s Fate successfully funded at just over double her goal. What helped her succeed? From the lady herself:

“Success is a group effort. I was fortunate to have my creative team and a great bunch of people on Twitter and Facebook who pushed my project. Without them, my project would never have been funded. “

Certainly sage advice. A couple other quick notes: The comic art is front and center, so you get an early feel for it. There is also an excellent overview that outlines the story. I love the reward tiers- I talked about this the other day- but there are lots of opportunities to back, in $5 (or less) increments up to $40. Not every project will be able to do to this, obviously, but it underscores the value of making rewards valuable and accessible.

Next, we turn to my twitter nemesis and punching bag, Brian White (and one of my favorite all-around people on twitter). Brian is on his third issue of the Kickstarter-funded short story magazine Fireside (the first two were already successful), so he certainly knows what he’s about.  Brian also emphasizes the social aspect:

“One big thing that I think is important during a Kickstarter campaign is keeping engaged with your backers throughout the time you’re raising funds. Kickstarters live and die by word of mouth, and the people who’ve already backed you can be the most important in helping spread the word farther. They’ve already voted with their dollars that they like your idea, and they will fight hard to make it happen.”

In a lot of ways, Kickstarter acts like a social network unto itself, and is certainly tied to the big ones. It’s easy to see what people have backed and created, and people who are active backers can exert a huge influence on what others back. One other thing worth noting about Fireside if you are doing anything serial is the ‘catch up’ pledge- where you can get the back issues. If you are Kickstarting the third book in a series (or expansion to your game, or…), make sure people don’t have to go looking for the first two!

Another thing worth pointing out is that there is nothing wrong with seizing opportunity. Like any marketplace, there are things that are popular on Kickstarter. Look no further than The Official Settlers of Catan Gaming Board. At almost 600% of its goal, it’s trending towards almost $600,000. Catan is wildly popular, and certainly among people who frequent sites like Kickstarter. If you have an idea that is built on something popular, why not? Glance through publishing and you’ll see it’s littered with Steam Punk and Lovecraftian horror. It’s popular. It sells. Kickstarter is about selling things, so take advantage of it if you can.

And, of course, if you like to read science fiction, there’s my short story collection for your backing pleasure!