Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You Can't Handle the Proof...

Because it's mine!

 Winter Storm Rocky couldn't stop this book from showing up yesterday. Already the Red Pen of Doom has come forth to mercilessly slay any final typos or comma faults it finds.

As exciting as it is to see something I've worked on for such a long time finally take shape, I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I looked at the first page of Chapter One. It looks so plain compared to the templates Joel Friedlander just released (where were they a couple of weeks ago when I really needed them?)

Before I approve the proof, I'm going to try playing around with the chapter headings some more. I should be able to add some white space without changing the page count. If I can get the drop cap working properly, it would be nice to get that back in as well.

How much attention do you pay to the layout of your paper books? Does it matter to you, or you can't see the page for the words? What elements, if any, do you notice?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Inviting Myself Over to Your Blog....

We're currently between BRoP interviews; the next one starts on Wednesday on Terri's blog. In the meantime, while I wait for the proof of Twinned Universes to arrive, I'm working on publicity for the book. I have a Blurb Blitz tour set up through Goddess Fish for April:

More details will be posted about this tour later. I'm giving away a prize pack of items relating to the book to a random commenter during the tour and will post the links to enter as they go live.

In addition to the tour, I'm setting up guest posts and interviews on other blogs. I have a list of people and sites I want to approach or have already scheduled something, but there's room for more. Anyone interested in hosting me, either for an interview or guest post? I'd be happy to reciprocate. I promise to clean up afterward too. ;) Please comment below or e-mail me (sandraATsandraulbrichDOTcom) for more details.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Twinned Universes Cover Reveal!

I wasn't planning to share the cover for Twinned Universes until next week, but how can I wait that long?

The cover was photographed and designed by Meghan Derico of Derico Photography. She also prepared the cover for Lyon's Legacy, and she did a great job of branding the books to show they're in the same series.

Once I've reviewed and approved the proof for the paperback, I'll format the e-books. There's a very good chance the books will be ready for publication before the "official" release date of 3/17/13. In the meantime, you can find Twinned Universes on Goodreads.

Science of the Week, 2/22/13

If you like robotics and bionics, you'll find plenty to read about this week, along with various other science articles:

Researchers build Quad HD TV chip

Molecules assemble in water, hint at origin of life

Potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify continued R&D

Researchers develop tool for reading the minds of mice

Researchers build robotic bat wing

I hear that! New life-like ears made from 3-D printing

Planet Mercury may have harbored an ancient magma ocean

Harvesting quantum dots: turning waste heat into electricity on the nano scale

The quest for a better bionic hand

And don't forget about Google Glass. Do you think it's a good idea, or will it remove us even more from the world around us?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Back on the Blog Chain: Old Story, New Genre

Margie has a special challenge for us this round:

Pick a book or story and imagine it in a new genre. For example, what would Oliver Twist be like if it was a sci-fi novel. Would Fagin have been a robot? Do you prefer you[r] new creation or the original?

The speculative element is so important to science fiction and fantasy that it defines the genres; any story where you can remove the speculative element without significantly changing the story isn't SF or fantasy. So, naturally, I have to try it. I'm going to translate Anne McCaffery's Dragonflight into a Western. (The link is to a plot summary in case you're not familiar with the book.) Bear in mind I haven't read many Westerns....

Rancher's daughter Lisa is the last surviving heir to the Ruatha Ranch; the rest of her family was killed by the infamous outlaw Fox several years ago. Lisa survived by disguising herself as an old cook. She hopes her awful cooking will drive all the other ranchhands and Fox's henchmen away so she can reclaim the ranch.

After Fox is killed in a shootout by bounty hunter Fair, Fair convinces Lisa to give up her ranch to Fox's son so she can become a bounty hunter herself--if she can tame a golden mare. She does, and as her mare mates with Fair's stallion, so does Lisa with Fair.

So far, so good. But how to deal with Thread and time-traveling dragons? I would replace Thread with another natural nemesis, like wolves. No wolves have been seen in these parts in years, and while the bounty hunters know how to hunt them, there are too few of them. Lisa, who has special tracking skills, finds a group of bounty hunters hiding in the mountains and persuades them that they're needed. They come forth to vanquish the wolves.

Would I read this story? Probably not; Westerns aren't my genre of choice. I read fantasy and SF for a sense of wonder and to escape the ordinary. A Western might take me out of my ordinary world, but it wouldn't give me the sense of wonder I crave. I'll stick with McCaffery's version.

Kate was the first one to try this challenge, and Christine will take a turn tomorrow.

On an unrelated note, I received the cover for Twinned Universes last night and plan to reveal it next Tuesday, 2/26. Would anyone be interested in participating on their own blog? I'd be happy to reciprocate by hosting an interview, cover reveal, or guest post.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blog Ring of Power: P.T. Dilloway

P.T. Dilloway has been following and commenting on my blog for quite a while, so I wanted to give him a chance to showcase his Scarlet Knight series. But first, let's get to know him a little better:

When and why did you begin writing?

The first real creative writing I did was back in third grade.  We were supposed to keep a journal, but I couldn’t think of any interesting real world thoughts to put in there, so I began to write a serialized story that involved toys my brother and I played with.  I don’t think any of it survives today.

When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?

I really don’t consider myself a “professional” writer yet.  To do that you need to make enough money where writing is all you do.  Until I get a six-figure advance with a movie deal I’ll probably never be able to make writing a full-time career, just a lucrative hobby.

What books have most influenced your life?

In elementary school the most influential books were probably the Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander, starting with The Book of Three.  I loved those so much I even tried to write a sequel one time!  Some kids started with Narnia or nowadays with Harry Potter, but I started with those Prydain books.  They really had everything you needed:  action, mystery, adventure, and even romance. 

In high school it was more the works of Timothy Zahn, starting with his Star Wars novels, which were new in the early 90s.  Those were really some of the first “grown-up” type novels I’d read on my own.  Like the Prydain books, I think Zahn does a good job at blending elements together to make for a more well-rounded story.

After college I got into more literary novels, especially the books of John Irving.  The Cider House Rules and The World According to Garp especially had an effect on me.  I’ve read each one numerous times and have purchased multiple copies of them.

What genre do you write?

I don’t really stick to one genre.  I started out writing mostly sci-fi and then moved on to more literary fiction.  I’ve mixed in some other genres, including a series of YA books.  Lately I’ve done more urban fantasy and thrillers.  There are some genres I haven’t tried like a real hard-core romance or erotica or of course picture books since I can’t draw.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

That’s hard to say.  I don’t really have a favorite genre.  I’m not sure about “themes” either because I know someone who had a very stringent definition for themes that I could probably never satisfy.  I do tend not to write about normal, mainstream people.  Most of my lead characters are the outsider types, who are isolated by a physical defect or psychological trauma or something else.  Pretty much any lead character in my books could spend quite a lot of money on therapy, but I think that’s what makes for more interesting characters.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

When I was little I wanted to be a shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, but sadly I think that time has passed.

P.T.'s Contact Information:


Is your book in print, ebook or both?  My books Where You Belong and The Carnival Papers are available in print.  The rest are ebooks only for now.

Edited to Add:

P.T.'s interview continues this week on the following blogs:

The Writing Life--Dean--Tuesday
The Creative Process--Terri--Wednesday
About Your Current Work--Theresa--Thursday
Words of Wisdom--Emily--Friday

Friday, February 15, 2013

Science of the Week, 2/15/13

I have a couple of quick announcements before I post the science links. First, I have a post up today at the Scene 13 blog. It features a couple of excerpts from Twinned Universes, so if you'd like a sneak peek, please check it out. Also, don't forget this is the last day to download a free copy of my fantasy short story, "Letters to Psyche," from Amazon.

Here are some interesting news articles from ScienceBlog this week:

Explosive breakthrough in molecular recognition

 Computerized "Rosetta Stone" reconstructs ancient languages

Neuroprosthesis gives rats the ability to "touch" infrared light 
(this one has a lot of potential for SF stories)

Dogs spot the dog

Newly identified protein blocks HIV, other deadly viruses

Artificial atoms allow for magnetic resonance on individual cells

That's it for this week. Enjoy the weekend, and I'll be back Monday with a special BRoP interview.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

#Shortstory #LetterstoPsyche #Free on #Kindle!

I don't normally use so many hashtags, especially in a blog post title, but this is important news, important enough to justify a double-post day. (My Indie Life post is below.) To celebrate Valentine's Day, my fantasy short story "Letters to Psyche" will be free on Amazon today, tomorrow, and Friday! Here's the link and the description:

When the Greek god Cupid visits Verona, he foresees no problems uniting the Montague and Capulet families. But when Elisabeth Capulet and Giovanni Montague's love ends in tragedy, Elisabeth places a powerful curse not on just the families, but Cupid himself. Unable to visit his wife Psyche, he sends her letters detailing his efforts to undo the curse. Can the two of them save another generation of lovers, or will Cupid and Psyche be forever parted?

Please download it and help spread the word! Thanks!

Indie Life: The Second Time Around

The Indelibles recently started a monthly feature called Indie Life, running the second Wednesday of every month. Even though I'm already part of a blog ring, a blog chain, and a group blog, I couldn't resist adding this feature too. After all, "being indie doesn't have to mean going it alone."

If you've been following this blog for a while, then you may know that I self-published my first novella, Lyon's Legacy, back in October 2011. Since then, I've also self-published four short stories while I revised Twinned Universes, the sequel to Lyon's Legacy.  I'm currently in the final stages of preparing Twinned Universes for release next month. Here are some things I'm doing differently the second time around:

Announcing a release date in advance. Last time, I didn't know how long it would take me to format the story and publish it, so I didn't pick a date in advance. Now that I (in theory) know what I'm doing, I decided to pick a date. Since my main character is pure Irish, as is the man he's cloned from, I decided to go with Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, and see if I can get a little "luck of the Irish." Turns out that's a Sunday, but I since may need to do some last-minute adjustments before hitting the "Publish" buttons, that should work out for me. At this point, I don't know if I'll be rushing to make that deadline or waiting impatiently for the date.

Formatting for CreateSpace first.  I first published Lyon's Legacy in eBook format; I didn't know about CreateSpace at the time and didn't get a paper version of my book out until 2012. Now I'm formatting the paper book before I work on the eBook version. Both versions should be available by the release date.  I figure if I want to tweak wording to avoid widows and orphans in the paper version, then I should do that first and base the eBook on the paper book. I wish I could say formatting for CreateSpace was easier this time, but it still took me over a week to get an "issue-less" PDF. Alternating headers are so much simpler to manage without page numbers, which work better in the footer. I'll do the eBooks after I review the paper proof. What's your biggest issue with formatting, either for eBook or paper?

Adding the book to Goodreads in advance. I knew indie authors could add books when they're out, and I knew publishers could schedule book that aren't out yet, but I didn't know indie author could add unpublished books too. Once I had an IBSN for the paper version of Twinned Universes, I used that to add the book to Goodreads. I'll add other things, like the cover and eBook editions, when they're available. In the meantime, people can already add the book to their shelves.

Organizing a blog tour in advance. With my first book, I waited until it was out before asking people to interview me or review it. This time, I've already contacted a blog tour organizer, and soon I'll e-mail some bloggers who already said they would be willing to host me.

For other bloggers discussing the Indie Life, check out the linky:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blog Ring of Power--Juli D. Revezzo

Happy Monday! (If there is such a thing.) This week, the Blog Ring of Power is interviewing BroadUniverse member Juli D. Revezzo. The interview kicks off right here and continues as shown below:

Part 2 @ Dean - Tuesday, February 12th
Part 3 @ Terri - Wednesday, February 13th
Part 4 @ Teresa - Thursday, February 14th
Part 5 @ Emily - Friday, February 15th

For now, let's learn more about Juli.

When and why did you begin writing?

When? Oh, gosh. I started writing poetry in grade school but I didn’t graduate to stories until my teens? Why? Because in my family, there’s always a story! Hehe. We never just say “I went to the store” there’s always some long twisty line that ends up at the store. :) So it just seemed natural to start writing them down.

What books have most influenced your life?

Michael Moorcock’s Elric series was the one that got me into Fantasy fiction. It also got me dreaming of being a writer one day. Melanie Rawn’s Exiles series is the series that kicked me  to sit down and actually try it.

What genre do you write?

Supernatural fantasy but I also tend to write traditional fantasy and a little romance.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

Anything with a fantasy angle is always a favorite. I’ve tried to write without something fantastic in the mix, I really have, ;) but it never works out. Something weird always creeps in!

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

I think I’d like to be a librarian.

Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world–slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted SummerDark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. She recently released her debut novel, The Artist’s Inheritance.
She also has an article and book review or two out there.But her heart lies in the storytelling. She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Juli's Social Links

Manic Readers:

Trouble only a witch can solve...

Settling into a new home, Caitlin notices changes coming over her husband. When nightmares deepen and ghosts begin lurking--Caitlin knows something's not right, and not just her newfound precognitive abilities. It's the damned chair her husband's carving, she's sure. Could it be just what it seems: a mundane piece of furniture? If so, why is it attracting dark forces--the forces she suspects drove Trevor's siblings to insanity and suicide?

Armed with a handful of allies--a coven of helpful witches--she must proceed with caution against the hellish forces besieging her family. If she fails, she may lose forever the one thing she cares about most: her beloved Trevor.

The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One) is available in both ebook and Print, from Amazon and Createspace as well as Smashwords and Barnes and Noble. The connecting story Caitlin’s Book of Shadows is currently available in eformat at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble

and for Caitlin's Book of Shadows on Amazon


Friday, February 08, 2013

Science of the Week, 2/8/13

I've spent most of my writing time this week formatting the CreateSpace version of Twinned Universes. Not my idea of fun, I can tell you. At least tonight my husband and I get to attend a concert.

Anyway, this week I'm determined to get back to the traditional ScienceBlog links:

When the cell's two genomes collide

Enigmatic "Ribbon" of Energy Explained

Researchers cure Type 1 Diabetes in Dogs

Does probability come from quantum physics?

E-cigarettes could help reduce smoking

Is it magic? Defying the laws of Mendelian inheritance

I hope you enjoy them. Have a good weekend, and I'll be back on Monday!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Back on the Blog Chain: The Balancing Act

In this round of the blog chain, Lisa would like to know how we manage everything in our lives:

The balancing act. How do you balance your writing time with everything else in your life--including, kids, job, book promotion? 

I feel like I need to laugh for a few moments:

Sorry, Lisa, but I'm struggling with that question just like everyone else. I have a full-time job and one child, who is plenty. Sometimes I feel like I have four full-time jobs: my day job, my son, the house, and my writing. I'm not so much balancing them all as I am running back and forth, keeping any one of them from tipping over into catastrophe. This doesn't leave me time for anything else, which is why there's very little personal news on the blog these days.

The key to keeping up, if not actually staying balanced, is setting priorities. For example, with housework, I consider cooking fresh, healthy dinners for my family a priority, followed by keeping up with the laundry. As much as it annoys me to live in a messy house, sometimes I have to let cleaning slide--at least until it gets to the point where I can't stand it anymore. I keep up with writing by making it a priority in my life and by being disciplined. That means I have to give up other things, like watching TV at night or socializing on my lunch hour. I use those times to write instead. Planning ahead--such as preparing blog posts in advance--also helps.

Anyway, I would say more, but I have one book to format and a draft to work on. For more on balancing one's priorities, check out what Kate said yesterday and what Christine will add tomorrow.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Blog Ring of Power--Catherine McLean

Today's BRoP interview is with Broad Universe member Catherine McLean. You can find the previous parts of her interview here:

Part 1 - Wednesday January 30th--Terri Bruce
Part 2 - Thursday, January 31st --T.W. Fendley
Part 3 - Friday, February 1st --Emily LaBonte

Part 5 , the final part of the interview, will appear, Tuesday, Feburary 5th, on Dean C. Rich's blog.

You can probably guess that today I'm hosting Part 4, About Your Current Work. Let's go straight to the interview:

Tell us about your new book–what is it about–and when it is out?
Where can people purchase it?

     I had two books published in 2012. The first was Karma and Mayhem,
which is about a warlock-lawman with two souls, an ex-peacekeeper woman
who is mayhem personified, and a caldron of witches, demons, angels, and
murder done to obtain invincibility. This paranormal-fantasy-romance was
released as an eBook by Soul Mate Publishing.
     I like Tienan, the warlock-lawman-hero of the story. He's a stoic
personality who believes love is more frightening than death. Janay, the
heroine and ex-peacekeeper down on her luck, and who fights demons,
believes love is more powerful than death.
     As to Jewels of the Sky, a fantasy/sci-fi adventure (no romance),
it was released as both an eBook and a paperback. It's available at exclusively until late February, 2013. It's about Indians in
outer space and has a Mayan connection.

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How
is it different from other books on the same subject?

     The unusual and interesting aspect is that in Karma and Mayhem,
Tienan is a Zantharian, a human hybrid who's birthright soul is a
"veed"—an energy symbiote that gives him extraordinary powers—seemingly
magical powers.
     For Darq, the heroine of Jewels of the Sky, she's a Wysotti Indian,
an unpredictable starfighter pilot who always puts duty first. For what
Darq's ancestors did to the Mayan, god has cursed all Wysotti, and now
that curse is coming to fruition. But one voice entreats god to
reconsider the demise of the Wysotti at the hands of an alien fleet. God
decides to test Darq, who has many of her forefather's traits. And so
survival or extinction rests with one woman's choice—Darq's.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

     For both books, it was the opening. I have lost track of how many
times I rewrote both openings. The trouble with Karma and Mayhem's
opening was the prologue. I had to keep it as short as possible and
still get in the most vital information, which could not be foretold in
the book any other way because the revelation of who the second soul was
could not be revealed to Tienan until Chapter 22. But without that
opening information, the reader would be clueless why certain things
happened before Chapter 22.
     For Jewels of the Sky, the original draft was written at a time
before I knew about hook openings and the power of POV-Viewpoint, so
hitting on a good balance of introducing Darq, the heroine, and her
Wysotti world proved challenging (okay, frustrating). However, the
morning I wrote the "painted toes" paragraph, the opening flowed.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

     For Karma and Mayhem, it was the kiss of comfort scene between
Janay and Tienan. This emotional scene takes place in Tienan's home
office where Janay reveals her terror of killing someone with a veed
because she cannot tell the difference between veeds and demons.
     For Jewels of the Sky, it was the scene where Darq and Tokoray (a
Na-ka-ta, an automaton with artificial intelligence) confessed being
branded undesirables. After Darq explained how she was accused of
murdering Na-ka-tas and Tokoray explained how he had been branded a
pilot's jinx, Darq utters my all-time favorite line: "I won't murder you
if you don't jinx me."

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this

     For both books: no. This is because using my project bible, I get
the characters and story plot ironed out long before I write the tale.
Secondly, by the time I go to write the story, I know the characters so
well that they stay true to themselves. And, lastly, despite reading the
manuscripts dozens of times during the editing and publication process,
the stories were never boring.

Contact information for Catherine E. McLean:

(And available at other eBook outlets)
JEWELS OF THE SKY: (Available as eBook and paperback)
Goodreads author page:

Formats available:

KARMA AND MAYHEM: Only as an eBook
JEWELS OF THE SKY: As an eBook and a paperback


Friday, February 01, 2013

Friday Science Videos

I've been so busy this week I haven't had a chance to read through all the Science Blog articles I marked, so instead I thought I'd try something a little different. How about some science videos? For fun, I'll take a trip down Memory Lane with some Schoolhouse Rock:

What do you think? Should I post more videos, the science news links, or a mixture of both?

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