Category Archives: Book Stuff

Aubrey’s Beautiful Crown now available.

Erika’s latest children’s book is now available on Amazon!

From the author, Erika Gardner:

People have been telling me for years that I should write a children’s book, and I finally decided to give it a shot. My 3 children loved having stories read to them when they were small, and though many of the books they loved were great and fun to read, there were always some that left me shaking my head and hoping I wouldn’t have to re-read them very often. I am a big fan of children’s books that rhyme. I love reading books that are entertaining and can be read with a fun rhythm. Colorful and cute pictures are also important. I am writing books that I wouldn’t mind reading over, and over, and over…which hopefully will be the case. I decided to have these first 3 books each have titles with ABC in them, partially because then I could have a book for each of my amazing children and also because I liked the ABC concept. I got really lucky that my husband was able to find an absolutely incredible illustrator to create the pictures for my books. I am SO EXCITED to see the finished products. It’s like the artist saw right into my mind and drew exactly what I wanted. This is a really fun undertaking for me and I hope to continue beyond the initial 3 ABC books, with holiday books and then whatever pops into my crazy mind after that.

Aubrey's Beautiful Crown Alyssa's Blank Canvas Anthony's Blue Crayon


See you at CoKoCon!

CoKoCon is a traditional science fiction/fantasy con in Phoenix, AZ which will be held over the Labor Day weekend in 2018. We’ll be at the Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North at 10220 N Metro Parkway E, Phoenix, AZ 85051.

Regulars of the blog already know that I’ve been a fan of Harry Turtledove for several decades. I’m totally excited to be on an alternate history panel Saturday with my literary hero. There will be a limited amount of my novels and collections on hand – sold by Duncan’s Books and More. Copies of all my current novels (Champion Standing, Days Until Home, Score of Silence, Sixteen Sunsets & War of the Worlds: Retaliation) should be available, plus the discontinued story collection, Warmache and Other Stories. I’ll be signing books Saturday at 4pm, and Sunday at 1pm. I’ll be on the Alternate History panel with Harry Saturday at 12:30 (H. Paul Honsinger & Sue Martin as well), and a Space Opera panel at 6:30pm with author friend, David Van Dyke. (H. Paul Honsinger & T. L. Smith will be there too!) I’ll probably be heading back up north around 3pm on Sunday.


New Children’s Book series!

From Erika:
People have been telling me for years that I should write a children’s book, and I finally decided to give it a shot. My 3 children loved having stories read to them when they were small, and though many of the books they loved were great and fun to read, there were always some that left me shaking my head and hoping I wouldn’t have to re-read them very often. I am a big fan of children’s books that rhyme. I love reading books that are entertaining and can be read with a fun rhythm. Colorful and cute pictures are also important. I am writing books that I wouldn’t mind reading over, and over, and over…which hopefully will be the case. I decided to have these first 3 books each have titles with ABC in them, partially because then I could have a book for each of my amazing children and also because I liked the ABC concept. I got really lucky that my husband was able to find an absolutely incredible illustrator to create the pictures for my books. I am SO EXCITED to see the finished products. It’s like the artist saw right into my mind and drew exactly what I wanted. This is a really fun undertaking for me and I hope to continue beyond the initial 3 ABC books, with holiday books and then whatever pops into my crazy mind after that. Thank you for taking the time to consider backing my project and I can’t wait to share these with the world!
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Sundered Rock now available

Hello, all! My latest short story is live on Amazon. It’s a 7000-word prequel to Days Until Home. It’s LGBT, and I wanted it out for Pride Month. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, then it’s free. Here’s the description of Sundered Rock:

The only way Adelaide can provide for her family is by doing what she does best: keep a ship’s engine running in the black of space. Sapphire would rather starve together than be separated from her soulmate.

When Adelaide takes a job on the long haul space freighter Sundered Rock against Sapphire’s wishes, can their family survive the separation, or will everything that matters to Sapphire and Adelaide be torn asunder?

Sounds cool, right? It’s enrolled in the StoryTellerUK2018 contest, so getting the word out would be wonderful. You can pick up a paperback of it, but at $9.99, it’s not really a good deal. After the StoryTellerUK2018 contest is over, I’m going to have it in a short story collection like Warmache. Warmache and other storieswill be priced at $14.99, and will include all my novellas and shorts published under my pen name, M. A. Gardner, including the first Brass Automaton, and Nala’s Story.

I’ve decided that once I move through my current supply of novellas, I’m going to stop bringing paperback versions to shows and events. $9.99 is a lot for a 140-page paperback, and if I combine them into a collection, then I’ll sell them for $14.99. So, Payson Book Festival and Fandomania will be the last opportunities to get the old paperbacks.

So, starting in September, Sundered Rock and other storieswill include Body Rentals, Forlorn Hope,Escape, and Paradox. I’m still deciding on if I’m going to keep producing multi-language editions like Escape. I may only have those available in the UK and Europe.


2018 Phoenix Comic Fest

I’ve been slacking a little bit lately. There’s an Italian translation of Warmache that needs review and approval along with English audiobooks for Brass Automaton and Days Until Home. I’ll definitely have all those projects completed and ready for sale for my appearances at the Payson Book Festival and Fandomania July 21st and 28th.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know the reason for my slacking: I’ll be at Phoenix Comic Fest (formerly Phoenix Comicon) for Memorial Day weekend! I’ll be with Florida-based celebrity bookstore Bard’s Tower in the lower level exhibitor’s hall just inside the doors to hall six at booth 1566/1568. Here are the other great authors that I’ll be sharing the booth with:

Jody Lynn Nye
Mercedes Lackey
L.E. Modesitt
Melinda Snodgrass
Larry Dixon
Alan Dean Foster
D.J. Butler
Brian Lee Durfee
Christopher Husberg
Kevin Ikenberry
Amity Green
Kuta Marler


 

I’ll be doing a panel on writing accurate military in scifi called “Marching Orders.” It’ll be at 1:30PM on Friday in the north building, room 126C next to the food court and stairwell. Fellow veteran and booth dweller Kevin Ikenberry will be with me on that panel, along with Sylvain Neuvel, John Scalzi, and Melinda Snodgrass.

Like last year, I’ll be at the “Drinks with Authors” event in the North Ballroom Friday at 8pm. This is a Phoenix Comic Fest “Signature Event,” so the entry fee is $10, only adults 18+ will be admitted, and the event supports Kids Need To Read. The photo here is from the 2017 event.

Other than those events, I should pretty much be at the Bard’s Tower booth. I’ll be playing in a couple Magic: the Gathering tournaments on Friday and Saturday. Depending on how well I play, I could be gone a few hours then, plus, I gotta get Peter Clines to sign my hardcovers and visit a few other authors here and there. It’ll be a fun respite from the daily grind, and I’m super stoked to be there.


Updates Galore!

Hello everyone! I’ve been absent the last few weeks. Hardly noticed, eh? *raspberries*

 
Score of Anyway, I’ve been super busy assisting Amber Cove Publishing with getting Score of Silence ready to launch on Tuesday the 27th. There’s an early launch party on Saturday the 24th at the Verde Valley Comic Expo. I’ll have collector’s editions of Score of Silence that are numbered and stuff. I even have a handful of unedited versions that I had printed when I was shopping the manuscript. (The same one that was on Kindle Scout.) The audiobook will soon follow, and I’ll likely do a Kickstarter to get the funds to do a hard cover edition. I’ve started negotiating the non-English translations, so keep an eye out for those.

Silence wasn’t the only reason I’ve been absent. I’ve had a pretty nasty bug. Erika had it too, and we’re just lucky the kids didn’t get it. Erika went to the nurse practitioner that our insurance covers, and he thinks that it’s viral gastroenteritis. In a word, yuck! I think Erika is almost back to baseline, and I’m not too far behind her. I expect that I’ll be close to 100% by Saturday for VVCE2018.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it already, and quite frankly, I’m too lazy to scroll through my own blog to check, but here is my updated 2018 itinerary:

  • Verde Valley Comic Expo – March 24th
  • Phoenix Comic Fest – May 25th – 28th
  • Payson Book Festival – July 21st
  • Fandomania – July 28th
  • Prescott Comic Convention – September/October
  • Prescott Comic Convention was a lot of fun last year, and I’ve been invited back for 2018. Details are forthcoming. PCF is a soft commitment. After being uninvited by the new talent coordinator for PCF, I was invited by Bard’s Tower to be in their booth, but that’s second quarter, and they’re still hopping with their first quarter events, so hopefully, the dialog will start once Q1 is over in a few weeks. I’ve got a request in for a press pass, but the procedure has changed, and I’m just not sure if/when I’ll know if it’s approved.

    I really want to go to Tampa Bay Con August 3rd – 5th, but wrangling an invite is difficult. I’m hoping that Bard’s Tower will be so happy with my presence at their booth at PCF, that they’ll invite me to TBC. After all, Greg Dragon, L. Fergus, and Bree Salyer all live in the area, so it would be the bomb to meet up with them, plus a bunch of Florida authors I’ve met through various writing forums.

    Anyway, I hope to return to my regular blogging schedule once VVCE2018 and my stomach flu are over.


    Writing, Contracts, and the New Year

    2017 has been a whirlwind year for me in the writing world. The blog updates have been a pendulum swing from posting every day to posting nothing for weeks. I’ve done a few appearances here and there – mostly radio interviews and small book-related events. I had such a great time at the 2017 Phoenix Comicon, where I got to hang out with fellow authors, many of them writing books, comics, and games that I play or read. While hanging out with the wonderful people at Bard’s Tower, I met someone who is making a game based on The War of the Worlds, and he was using, among others, mine and John’s War of the Worlds: Retaliation. I participated in some charity events, and helped raise money for getting books into kid’s hands. I even had an interesting encounter with Dick Van Dyke. I met my long-time writer hero, Harry Turtledove via Twitter, and we chat from time to time. Harry has even agreed to blurb War of the Worlds: Firestorm when it comes out in 2018. Severed Press picked up the distribution rights to Retaliation, and Firestorm back in March. I was nominated for Best Historical Fiction Novel at the eFestival of Words, and even got a vote for a Hugo award consideration. I didn’t win at eFestival, and if I’d gotten a Hugo nomination, you’d’ve known about it because the post here would’ve had exclamation points and all caps and stuff. I even got around to finally finishing my undergraduate degree in Human Behavior, and my certificate in Community Development and Sustainability. So, already, 2017 has been a great year for me.

    I wrote Score of Silence about two-and-a-half years ago. The sequel, Lady by the Window, I finished up the first draft eighteen months ago. Score of Silence has had so many people in the writing community help in one way or another; I’ll have a three-page acknowledgements section. The failed Kindle Scout campaign was a bummer (but not really, since the acceptance rate is less than 5%), but I’ve never been shy to self-publish if I couldn’t license the rights to a manuscript. Many publishers passed on John and my War of the Worlds sequel before Severed Press picked it up. I’ve had a few rejections for Score of Silence, but I wanted to be persistent – especially since I couldn’t let down all the awesome people who helped make it happen. Well, I started talking to Amber Cove back in October, and am pleased to say that we’ve reached an accord for a two-book contract. Obviously, Score of Silence and Lady by the Window are those two books. With the contracts signed, and the advance cashed, I can let you all know about it. There’s going to me a minor rewrite of Score of Silence, and then after a proper edit and proofread, the book will be published – probably in the first quarter of 2018. Lady by the Window is still super rough, and it’ll need rewrites and revisions, and a date with a developmental editor. A release in early 2019 is totally doable. I have ideas for at least two more Tupper Jones novels, but that’s a bit down the road.

    John and I are still plugging away at War of the Worlds: Firestorm. We both haven’t written anything in November. Me, because November is full of birthdays and other family stuff; and for John, because he was working on getting his latest non-fiction sports book out the door. We may have the first draft hammered out by the end of the year, but with Christmas and other holiday events, it’ll probably be the end of January before we type, “THE END.” After a revision or two (my chapters are weak compared to John’s), we’ll send it in to Severed Press. About three or four months after that, we could see it hit the shelves summer 2018. John and I have ideas for a third book, but with each of having individual commitments, and very busy schedules, I don’t think we’ll work on a project like that unless a publisher offers a substantial advance. You never know. Maybe after the first book is turned into a movie, there might be enough interest for a third book.

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