Quick Editing Update

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Hey Space Cadets, just wanted to give you a quick update!  I’m still alive, I’m just deep into the final edits with Operation Breakout.  It’s looking even better than I’d hoped after Corey got his teeth into the story.  Until then, enjoy this awesome interview of one of my favorite authors, Terry Mixon.

 

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!

brown_bess

JR

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Marine Monday: Stork Class Shuttle

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Hey Space Cadets, how’re you doing today?  I’m sucking wind, trying not to self-destruct from a Daylight Savings Time gone horribly wrong.  Tell me again why this is necessary?  Sigh, back to other more pleasant things.  I’ve finished the developmental edits of No Marine Left Behind with my editor, Corey.  Now the piece of literary excellence is off to Thomas and his Red Pen of Doom for a final copy edit.  I hope to have more information about that one to you soon.  My editing team’s also deep into their edits for Operation Breakout, and I should be publishing it next month.  More updates and publishing news to come soon.

 

You can still get the prequel novella, The Demons of Kor-Lir, by signing up for my newsletter.  Also, Boss Man has a new short story coming out for free if you sign up for his newsletter and I recommend it!  I’ll be sending out a newsletter soon with more information, but until then let’s move on to today’s Marine Monday.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy the journey!

 

Today I was leaked, by our friendly neighborhood LegionLeak source, the official vehicle stats of the Stork Class Shuttle. Enjoy the read, but please remember to destroy this message after reading it so the anonymous source can live long enough to continually feed us excellent intelligence!  Without further ado, here is the leaked document!

 

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Hopefully you enjoyed this sneak peek into one of the most prolific classes of shuttles in the Human Legion.  If you did, stay tuned for next week as we anxiously wait for the latest documents smuggled our way!

 

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry! 

brown_bess

JR

 

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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World Building Wednesday: Cover Art

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Hey Space Cadets, how are you doing today?  Things are good here, the interview with The Dead Robots Society Podcast went well.  As soon as I know when it’s going to go live, I’ll spread the word.  I tried not to sound like too much of an idiot, but you’ll have to be the judge of that.  And on the writing front, I’m half way done with my short story for the Four Horsemen Anthology.  I’ve also started the outline process for book four, which we’re tentatively titling Maternal Vengeance.  I don’t know the date book three, Operation Breakout, will go live but I’ll keep everyone posted.

 

Now, on to today’s World Builder Wednesday!  Today we talk about cover designs!  I’m no expert, and I’m actually colorblind, so this is a hard one for me.  My friends Corey and MLS Weech are actually much better at this part, so you should check them out if you want an expert opinion on the topic!  To my way of thinking, there are several steps you have in picking the cover for your next best seller, and I’m sure I’m missing a few. So rather than tell you this is the way, let me just say that this was my way. That’s right, the Burger King of cover designs.

 

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The first step in picking out a cover was to figure out my genre, since I know each genre and subgenre have their own idiosyncrasies.  Once I knew where my book would fall in the pantheon of fictional greatness, it was a simple matter of looking at other well received covers in that genre.  I found out what expectations they created, trying to get a general feel for my own design.  This step is the most dangerous, as you could spend hours drooling over art and lose yourself so completely that your wife and kids send out the hounds and form a search party.  Be warned, never browse covers alone!  Seriously, that’s my PSA for the day!!  Don’t do it, you’ve been warned!

 

Once I knew what I wanted, overall, I started to figure out designs for my own book.  How could I come up with a cover for my own book that fit within this niche?  You want to do two things; show your reader what type of book they’re getting, and not create false expectations of your own book. You don’t want pictures of spaceships on your novel if they’re planet bound.  Nor would your cover have some half naked beefcake if you’re writing lesbian erotica.  The cover HAS to show the potential reader what they’re likely to find inside.  For me, this meant considering the overall theme of the book and scenes from within it.  How you choose to go about it is largely dependent on the book you write, but you have to have a starting point for any potential artist you hire.

 

After you pick the general idea you want for this masterpiece, you begin the second most dangerous part; browsing the portfolios of cover artists.  This is another phase that can suck you in, and still your soul.  You could lose days, weeks, maybe even years rousing the artistic awesomeness of the various cover designers out there.  Don’t be that guy, be disciplined and direct.  After all, you have to get this done an expedited manner so you can write the next great American novel there’s always more books to write, so you can’t afford to get sucked into the outer trappings.  I was lucky for this stage, I had another author, Chris Kennedy, lend me his cover designer.  He made it easy by serving as the middleman, but I know this will always be the case and don’t need to learn to stand on my own.  My advice, at least for finding good cover artists, is to start searching now so when you’re ready you just have to reach out.  And find several you like, as you never know when they’ll be available.

 

Just to show you an example of my process for my pending short story, “No Marine Left Behind.”  This story tells Sashala’s journey during Phase Guinshrike of Tim C. Taylor’s Renegade Legion, into Lance’s world in Fortress Beta City.  For this story, I told the artist to give me space Marine’s in bad assed power armor.  I wanted them to be in some burning woods after a shuttle dropped them off, and I wanted the dying Beta City in the background.  This is the progression of the art in question.  Hopefully this helps clear up my muddy explanation of the process!  If not, least you get pretty pictures!!

 

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Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry! 

brown_bess

JR

 

–> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Marine Monday: Tirunesh Nhlappo

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Hey Space Cadets, how’re you doing today?  I’m doing good, coming down from my editing high.  Corey and I just spent four hours reading through the first 14 chapters of Operation Breakout, with another longer session planned for tomorrow to get through to chapter 30.  Tomorrow I also have an interview with The Listeners of the Dead Robot Society, one of my favorite podcasts!  I’ll share before it goes live, though I won’t know the exact date right away.  And I’ll try not to look too much like an idiot, I promise!!  Finally, I’ve made good progress on my submission for the Four Horsemen Anthology.

 

Now, on to today’s Marine Monday!  For today’s chat let’s talk about what was leaked to me by our friendly neighborhood LegionLeak source!  We have the official bio of Field Marshal Tirunesh Nhlappo.  Now the important parts!  Remember, destroy this message after reading it so the anonymous source can live long enough to continually feed us excellent intelligence!  Without further ado, here is the leaked document!

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Hopefully you enjoyed this sneak peek into our favorite bad assess official dossier.  If you did, stay tuned for next week as we anxiously wait for the latest documents smuggled our way!  And if you wanna drop a little into the LegionLeaks tip jar, they wouldn’t mind one bit!

 

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry! 

brown_bess

JR

 

  –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Book Cover Concepts

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Hey Space Cadets, today’s blog will be pretty short.  I’m just started my first draft for my Four Horsemen anthology submission.  Well, is it a submission?  I was invited to submit, so I guess somewhere in between?  My story in this universe is about a bounty hunter, sort of Barney Fife meets Judge Dred.  More details will be coming, both here and on my co-author’s website.  Finally, today I received the rough sketch of the “No Marine Left Behind” short story.  It’s set between The Legion Awakes and Fortress Beta City.  The cover has an extra Marine but is otherwise pretty close to what I expect to see for the final results.  And yes, you’re not wrong to notice the similarities between The Four Horsemen covers and this one.  Chris Kennedy is sharing his super-secret artist.  I was blindfolded on the way to the bunker, so all I know was that the artist MIGHT be human!

 

Take a look!!!

 

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Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!  

brown_bess

JR

 

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Marine Monday: Zempi Milisyen-Hoia

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Hey Space Cadets, how is everyone today?  I’m great, I’ve finished my first Sleeping Legion short story and am starting another in the Four Horsemen universe before jumping into book four. I’ll be co-writing with Corey Truax, my current editor, and fellow author and Mesopotamian Veteran. This story is the tale of an intergalactic bounty hunter, with loads of shenanigans and insanity to follow.  If this co-writing works out, Corey and I will write a new series, which we’ve titled “The Odera Chronicles.”

 

Okay, so on to our regularly scheduled Marine Monday! Today I was leaked, by our friendly neighborhood LegionLeak source, the official bio of New Order Janissary Zempi Milisyen-Hoia. Now the important parts!  Remember, destroy this message after reading it so the anonymous source can live long enough to continually feed us excellent intelligence!  Without further ado, here is the leaked document!

 

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Hopefully you enjoyed this sneak peek into our favorite Janissary’s official dossier.  If you did, stay tuned for next week as we anxiously wait for the latest documents smuggled our way!

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!  

brown_bess

JR

 

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Bromancing the Editor

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Hey Space Cadets, for today’s post I wanted to do some general house cleaning.  My third novel, Operation Breakout, is with my editing team.  I’m 11k words into a short story, chronicling Sashala Kraevoi’s journey between The Human Legion series and my own.  She has been a lot of fun to write, and I think you’ll get a kick out of it.  Boss Man is releasing the rights to publish it so we can practice the process, preparing us for life after my current contract.  I appreciate this, but I don’t know the specifics as my minions are handling those details so I can keep writing.

 

So, let’s elaborate my plans for life after The Sleeping Legion Series.  I have one short story, “Civil Unrest,” which was submitted to an open call for an anthology with Tickety Boo Press.  I was also invited to write in an anthology being organized by Chris Kennedy.  It’s set in the Four Horsemen Universe, which currently has a four-book series written by Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy.  It has been a lot of fun to prepare for, and I’ve already laid out the story, as Corey Truax wrote about here.  Then we have two universes we have started outlining, with the potential for our anthology to turn into a series as well.  I know, I know, everything I’ve written seems to scream SERIES to me.  When I die in 100 years, I’ll likely still have stories I want to tell.

 

So, how did this collaboration happen?  It started with a short story I wrote to practice my craft.  It was for an anthology, but I missed the deadline and couldn’t get it under the 5k word cap.  My editor, Corey Truax, had so much fun editing it he crossed the line from developmental editor to co-author.  He rung me up, and said we could go one of two ways.  The traditional editing process, or… we could play in the same sandbox and see what happens.  Well, with the hive mind the genesis of my story was more exciting and dynamic.  It went from MY story, to OUR story in no time flat.  Our main character, Alexis Monroe, was more 3 dimensional and compelling.  Our wives demanded we give them this story, one where the female lead was a real person who just HAPPENED to be female.  I didn’t think that was as big of a deal, I mean I try to do that with all of my stories but when your wife orders, the smart husband obeys.  Hey, I like Corey and all but I wouldn’t wanna bunk up with him cause our wives kicked us out!

 

What can you expect going forward?  Great stories, and hopefully a continually engaging blog.  As we develop this process of co-writing, ironing out the wrinkles, we will blog about our process.  Some of this will be posted under the World Building Wednesday blogs.  Let’s face it, most of my process has already be written so I will only add to those posts if it is something new and exciting to read.  I will maintain a blog schedule of at LEAST every other day, and use the leeway to write more stories, and troll more blogs.  Because we are self-publishing Sashala’s story, I will have my wife/mother team write a few posts about that side of things to keep everyone abreast of the comings and goings in the Handley Trenches.  This includes choosing cover art and all the other minutia that both scares and excites me!

 

Now that I’ve bored you to tears, I’m proud to say that the next round of beers is on Corey!  Honest, would I lie?  I mean, I am SURE he would LOVE to buy everyone beers!!  Cold beers, just as the gods intended.  Sorry Boss Man, but someday I WILL convert you!

 

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry!  

brown_bess

JR

 

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are screen grabs taken by JR Handley for use under the Fair Use Doctrine.

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