Friday, June 28, 2019

The Day Before and Yesterday

I'll take pretty much any excuse to get my shirt off!

Crohn’s is kinna a crappy disease to have. It causes inflammation/swelling in the digestive system, which causes bloating, cramping, and pain. At the point where the pain is a real problem you can’t take a narcotic, because they slow down your digestive system, which is your problem to begin with!

While I’m always in some level of pain, it’s usually minor enough that I’m used to it. I don’t really notice it unless someone—like my doctor or nurse—asks about it. It’s just part of the daily grind.

Then, there are days like yesterday.

To be more specific, Wednesday evening through Thursday morning.

When I finally had some relief, my stomach felt like a used punching bag. Not the kind that you can pick up on Cragistlist either.

Broken, bruised inside and out, and in no condition to be of use to anyone.

It’s not the worst pain event I’ve suffered through, but it certainly wasn’t something I couldn’t shrug off. It was one of the times I had to seriously consider going to the E.R.

I’m never wholly sure what the trigger might be. Stress, to be certain. Sometimes foods don’t agree with me.

Either way, it’s not a fun time.

But I’m still here. Yep, I’m still here.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Help Me! - Dragon Awards

Sure, it's pretty enough. But can it fight!?

While awards are both an ego-stroke and ultimately meaningless, they’re still a thing. For smaller writers and publishers, they are an invaluable way to get the word out to potential readers and reviewers. There’s nothing like winning an award to make folk sit up and take notice in an otherwise obscure book.

One of the major awards out there, the Dragon Awards, is completely reader-nominated. It's also a really groovy-looking awards!

This means it requires quite a groundswell of votes just to get onto the ballot, but that's wholly doable with YOUR HELP!

Here’s where you come in. If you liked THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE and would like to see more of this kind of writing, please go to the DragonCon Awards nomination form, and nominate me.  It’s so simple, a caveman could do it, but since there aren’t any cavemen or women anymore (at least that the government wants you to know about) it’s up to modern humans to do this work.

It will only take you a few seconds and some key clicks, but it will mean the world to me:

The Clockwork Detective by R.A. McCandless

That’s all the more information that’s needs.

Thank you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Short, Short Time Ago

It's like all they do is argue!

Perhaps the world is becoming a better place after all. I mean, not immediately an order of magnitude better, but baby-steps toward no longer pulling the overly-patient dog’s ear and gnawing.

Two recent events have given me a new hope.

The First
Yesterday morning at the gas station, half the pumps were wrapped with yellow “Caution” tape and “Out of Service” boots were on the pump handles. This forced me to have to pull forward and then back into the stall to reach a pump. As I was doing so, another truck pulled into the station, and not immediately aware of the situation began to pull in behind me, blocking me from my pump.

I’ll admit, I said a swear.

Several, in fact.

Imagine all the people . . . 
Then, miracle of miracles, the driver realized what he’d done, and started to back out. Even more startling was that the truck was pulling a trailer. This made backing out a bit more problematic, but the driver did it.

He did the right thing.

I walked over and shook his hand.

The Second
Today, while I was running on my lunch, I saw an older couple, perhaps late 80s or early 90s. They’d clearly gone for a walk. The woman was sitting on the ground and her husband was standing over her, holding her cane. As I ran toward them, another couple, perhaps in their 60s, pulled over, got out and went to the woman. I was close enough now, I slowed to a walk, and it was clear that the elderly couple didn’t speak very good English. The husband was nodding and smiling, but he was clearly distressed. The wife seemed confused and didn’t want to put anyone out. The second couple who had arrived before me asked if she needed help getting up, and the husband nodded vigorously, while his wife tried to wave us away.

I felt like a third wheel until the “younger” couple struggled to lift the wife up off the ground. She was unsteady at best and causing them some trouble. I reached down and offered my arms. The woman looked up at me, confused for a moment, but I smiled—which is a thing I do a lot more now since I’ve had my teeth straightened—and she warmed right up.

“Thank you,” she said. “Thank you.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Cover Reveal for Daniel Peyton's REMNANT

Pretty groovy cover reveal from Daniel Peyton:

The year is 2522. Anna is a Remnant—a secret Christian in a world that has banned any form of religion.

She is also an astro-geologist working with her Robot, named Z, for the Planetary Science Commission.

The PSC has worked for 200 years to find alien life on another planet, and finally, after two centuries, a primitive lifeform has been discovered. Faced with the reality of evolved primitives on a forested moon, Anna begins to question all she has ever believed.

Anna and Z travel to the newly-discovered moon in search of answers, but a terrible accident leaves them stranded. Faced with dangerous natives and unfamiliar surroundings, Anna and Z stumble upon a conspiracy that has universal implications.

Will Anna discover the truth about the moon and its inhabitants?

About the Author

Daniel enjoys writers' conventions as well as genre conventions. Connecting with avid readers is a
joy that he never passes up. He has been invited multiple times to speak at local schools about writing and his work. He has been a featured author for several radio and blogtalk programs, and is a returning guest and sometime substitute co-host for the Brian and Sherri radio program, where he helps interview other authors. Outside of writing and promoting his work, Daniel enjoys reading, dancing, music, drawing, cooking, and embroidery. He is a long time member of the Embroiderers Guild of America where he has taught classes in stitching. He plays four different instruments and has sung with the Oklahoma State Universities Presidents Masterworks. He has years of stage work behind him in tap, jazz, and ballet as well as Okinawan traditional and modern dance and music. Each week you can find him teaching classes at his church in Sunday school as well as the Life Development Institute of First Baptist Church of Morristown, Tennessee.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Five Honest Stars

But if my author is a hot mess, why aren't I?

This review of THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE made me laugh and made my morning.  I love the honesty of it all, and she gave me five stars. So I’ve got that going for me.  Which is nice.

The usual caveat applies - Netgalley, free copy, blah blah.

I must admit I was a little surprised by this book. It really sounds like the author has chucked everything but the kitchen sink in, given it a stir, and hoped for the best. There's obvious steampunk (clockwork leg, airships, all the usual suspects), mythical beings in the form of centaurs of the Fae, druids, and a whodunnit!

It really should be a hot mess.

But, somehow, against all odds, it's really quite engaging. It clips along at a good pace, the secondary characters are as well-drawn as the main ones, and it was altogether an enjoyable read.

It's unashamedly 'first in a series', but still holds up well. I look forward to reading the next one.

She isn’t too far off either. I transfer all “hot messes” into my life, in exchange for a piece of my soul.  Thanks Joanne!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how hot of a mess am I?

Friday, June 7, 2019

My First Fan Art

It doesn't get better than this!
Fan art is totally a thing. The documentary The People vs. George Lucas is about 80% art by the fans who love, hate, or love-to-hate Star Wars. Authors also get fan art from time to time, and I’ve always been stunned/jealous of any writer whose readers who were so moved by their experience that they had to express it and share it.

Until today.

Abby, age 11, drew this image of Aubrey Hartmann from THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE, and I haven’t touched the floor since I saw it. It’s just about the best thing I’ve ever seen. The dear steampunk constable has never looked better!

This has everything, right down to Aubrey’s cane!

My first fan art is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Thank you Abby Prewitt, age 11. Thank you so much! You’ve made my entire month!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Author Reading and Book Signing Event - Riverside Library

Mark Your Calendars!

So, here’s the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT:

On Saturday, June 29th at 1pm, I’ll be doing a reading and book signing at the Riverside Main Library. The even will include a ten-minute reading from THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE followed by a 50-minute question and answer period, and then a book signing for all attendees.

If you buy the book at the library, you’ll get $5 off THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE (regular price $20) plus you can get an additional $5 off any of my other books: TEARS OF HEAVEN and HELL BECOMES HER (regular price $10). 

You’ll also be helping out the Riverside Library, as they’ll receive a percentage of every sale.

The important details:

Where:         Riverside Main Library
                     3581 Mission Inn Ave.
                     Riverside, CA 92501
When:          Saturday, June 29th 1:00PM
What:           Author Read and Book Signing

What passage from THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE do you think I should read? Tell me in the comments!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Sick Today - Big News Tomorrow

Dying, but not dead.

Either I can’t shake this cold that I’ve had for three weeks, or I’m rocking back-to-back colds. Either way, I’m not up to properly making the “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT” today. It will keep until tomorrow.

Stay tuned, and give me your home cold remedy in the comments!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Nancy Christie Interviewed Me

Is that your final answer, Mr. McCandless?
Maybe this will remove some of the mystique from being a published author, but here we go.
Interviews are interesting things. Most interviews you read aren’t conducted face-to-face, but rather email-to-email. A series of questions are sent by the interviewer, and then the interviewee has a certain deadline to send their responses. The closest I’ve come to the interviews shown on TV and movies are online podcasts, like this excellent one with Hank Garner.

So if you’re reading an interview with a writer, chances are neither participant heard the other’s voice.

For novelists, this is both wonderful and horrifying. On the one hand, we’re writers, so writing answers should be a cake walk. On the other, we’re long form, and packaging ideas in short, witty, and interesting ways isn’t generally our bag.

I’ve done a good number of written interviews over the past five years since I was published. One of my favorites was with Nathan Hall, because that was more of an Ask Me Anything where we chatted through Facebook’s messenger. It was still a written responses, but it seemed a lot more spontaneous, and I felt I found my interviewing voice.

Nancy Christie offered to interview me, and I have to say it was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. She provided one of the most comprehensive set of questions I’ve ever responded to. We delved into so many aspects of genre, writing, and background. This is the first of a four part series of interviews that we did.

Tell me a little about yourself. What type of writing do you do? If you do more than one kind or prefer one genre over another, what type is your favorite or most satisfying?

I was born at a very young age, but grew rapidly from there. I’ve always been interested in writing. In grade school, when we were assigned vocabulary words to write into sentences, I used the opportunity to tell a full story.

I’ve been writing in multiple sub-genres, starting with fantasy, but also urban fantasy and steampunk. I’ve dabbled in a few others, writing some science fiction and horror shorts, but mostly I find that I prefer my main genres.

I find it most satisfying to create a world that is at once fantastic and believable. I appreciate any reader who is willing to suspend their disbelief long enough for me to tell the whole story.

The remaining three parts will release on June 10th, 17th, and 24th respectively.