January Goodreads Giveaway: Por Vida

We are less than 90 days from the release of Hybrid Mechanics! To celebrate, I’d like to get every last soul on Earth reading my previous books. Not only will this prepare them for Book Five in the Vinestead Anthology, it will also generate revenue, increase name recognition, and hopefully, foment a paradigm shift in the basic tenets of civilization. To that end, I’m offering a FREE Kindle copy of Por Vida to 100 lucky sci-fi enthusiasts!

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The Engagement

His fingernails were dirty.

Jane couldn’t stop staring at the stubby fingers her client had draped over the side of his polished dress shoe. Everything about Randall Cochrane suggested a middle-aged man with just enough wealth to afford his bespoke suit and pressed shirts. He had short, salt and pepper hair cut close to his head; wireframe glasses sat atop a slightly crooked nose.

And yet, his fingers… his fingers.

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Why I Moo and So Should You

I’ve been a big fan of Moo.com for a long time, and I’ve dutifully designed and distributed business cards for each of my books’ releases. While this has worked well for years, lately I’ve been dissatisfied with ordering all these cards and barely handing out half. Instead, I’d rather have something that transcends each release, something I can use until they run out. To that end, I sat down and asked myself what do potential readers really need from me?

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Morning Routine

From the day El Matador was born, Dom and I disagreed about how much routine he actually needed. Did he always have to get up at the same time? Did the naps have to be so rigidly scheduled? 19 months later, I can definitively say, yes. Yes to all of it.

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Let’s Make Something Useful

I have a very specific routine when it comes to writing books, and yet I always seem to find myself struggling with the tools at my disposal. You’ve got Scrivener for drafting, Word for revising, MindMap and Aeon Timeline and countless others, but what about the actual planning of the work? The calendars and task lists and things like that? I end up printing out calendars, but I’d rather have a web-based solution. And since I can’t find one I like, I’ll make my own! Here comes WipSnap.com!

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Late to the Game: Horizon Zero Dawn

In this episode of Late to the Game, I want to talk about a game I purchased on sale and loaded on a whim and then stayed up way too late playing for several nights in a row. We won’t be discussing the game itself, but rather the story that drives the gameplay, a story that, if I may be so bold, supports my claim that all great Science Fiction writers should play video games and their wives should let them.

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Read it Again, Sam: Using Text-to-Speech to Proof Your Novel

Brains are unreliable, not that they’d ever admit it. A perfect example can be found in the proofing of a novel. Even on the tenth or twentieth read-through of a work-in-progress, you can still find typos and missing words and the like. And why? Because the brain has had enough of your piddly story, and in an effort to get back to thinking about how that drinking bird toy works, starts glossing over your text and missing the mistakes. Fortunately, there is an answer in technology.

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Mairzy Dotes and Dozey Dotes

I listen to a lot of Children’s music, and it got worse when El Matador was born. Usually, it’s just playing in the background as an alternative to the black silence that will someday consume us all. I’m a big fan of Charlie Hope and Caspar Babypants, but a song that recently caught my ear was called Marzidotes in Pandora. If you stop bathing your child and actually listen to the words, you’ll realize you’re hearing nonsense. And then it gets interesting.

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We are one, We are many

As an author, it’s important to see the characters you create as real people. That may sound like a contradiction, but it’s true: if you don’t consider your characters as humans with feelings and thoughts and motivations, your readers won’t either. I don’t think this is a controversial opinion, but I also don’t think anyone with a normally functioning brain can pull it off. To write multiple people, you have to be multiple people. Forget the duality of man; embrace the infinity of identity.

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Baby Steps

I have become a FitBit. The most important thing in my life right now is counting the number of steps El Matador takes each day. Some days that number is two, or zero, or like the other day, seven. I can’t express how exciting this seemingly mundane task is to me. I know one day he’ll be running circles around me, but right now, this is amazing to watch, and honestly, I had no clue it would be.

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