RavenCon AAR

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RavenCon

Hey Space Cadets, I hope you’re doing well!  I just returned from RavenCon, where I spent the weekend.  I thought it would be helpful to give an AAR (After Action Review) of the convention, since I did the same thing last year.  After the convention ended, I spent a night in the hotel with my lovely bride and we enjoyed some time without the kids because we both have the world’s best parents!  A leisurely breakfast, a road trip home and then I got to tackle life at home.  Somehow, whenever the wife packs for anything my house looks like someone dropped a bomb on it.  Now that the adventure is done, it’s time to jump deep into the writing trenches and write book four of the Sleeping Legion Series.  If you missed it, Operation Breakout was published last week, go check it out!

 

Hotel: Overall, the hotel facilities for the convention were clean and well maintained.  Our rooms were clean, spacious and the bed was comfortable.  Had to talk my wife out of kidnapping the mattress.  Unfortunately, the staff left something to be desired.  I missed two panels sorting out my room, not because they lost my reservation but they just didn’t clean the room before our arrival.  We got there at 1PM and finally checked in by 4PM.  I missed the first panel, got my wife into the room and resting before I then went to the classes I’d planned on attending.  Then I snuck out of the opening ceremonies and carried in our luggage before my wife and I went down to order dinner from their restaurant.  The food was good, though we waited an hour for it to arrive.  Another panel missed.  Overall, at the rates I paid I would expect more.  Since I didn’t reserve my room in time, I paid full price for my suite and expected better.  I guess I thought the name Hilton meant the hotel staff would be nicer.  Oh well, I only have to go to this hotel once a year for RavenCon.

 

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Con Organization: These guys were like a well-oiled machine and I was thoroughly impressed.  They could teach some militaries a thing or two about logistics!  I was impressed, the attendees seemed to be impressed and the overall experience was enjoyable.  They arranged several classes with the famous Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, arranged for other interesting guests and panelists, and put out one heck of a spread in the Con Suite.  If conditions permit, I would attend RavenCon again. Seriously, it was a top-notch performance.

 

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Panels:  I have to be honest, when I attended RavenCon in 2016 the whole shebang was so helpful to me as a yet unpublished author.  I believe that it has helped me reach the level of success I’ve had so far, and taught me a lot.  I went this year expecting the same, but I’m not the same writer I was a year ago.  The panels were still great; however, they didn’t do it for me.  I was past the point with writing where they could offer me what I needed.  The convention offers you a wide range of options; editing, marketing, social media, world building and so much more.  All seemed focused on the writing, or the fandoms.  I also saw the difference an awesome moderators can make on a panel.  Some of the more successful panel moderators I saw were; Chris Kennedy, Mark Wandrey, Nancy Northcott, and Charity Ayers.  I was able to contrast this against some of the less adept panel moderators, who made efforts but couldn’t corral the shenanigans of the outgoing panelists.

 

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Cos Play: My goodness, the amount of awesome costumes this year was unbelievable.  I won’t gush too much, but just check out some of these pictures!  I couldn’t capture all of them, because I only took pictures if the person consented.

 

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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 used on the Fair Use Doctrine.

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Book Review: Cartwright’s Cavaliers

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Hey Space Cadets, here is the next installment in my series of book reviews.  As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m working on book four of The Sleeping Legion Series.  Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes or something!  I will hold what I made in book three; loads of action, some surprises and a lot of exploding goodness.  Don’t believe me?  Read it for yourself, Operation Breakout is live!  Now I’m working on the last two novels in The Sleeping Legion Series and outlining my next project.  It’s based off of one of my twisted dreams, I think it’s gonna be the next big thing in science fiction.  It feels like a winner, but you’ll have to wait and see!

 

But enough about me, onto this specific review.  After I read book two in this series as an ARC, I knew I wanted more.  So, what did I do?  I bought book one of course!  Now let’s get to it!

 

Title:  Cartwright’s Cavaliers

Author:  Mark Wandrey

Price:  $3.99 USD (Kindle Edition)

Obtained:  I bought this story and audiobook off Amazon after loving another book in the series, Asbaran Solutions.

Pages:  473

 

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Rating:  5/5 Grenades

5 Grenade

 

 

Summary:

First, let me say that none of what I’ll say in this section couldn’t be found on the back copy of the novel.  I wanted to provide a spoiler free review, so here goes nothing!  Ultimately, this is a family saga, a tale of redemption and one man’s journey to acceptance.  The main character, Jimmy Cartwright, was the only son of the owner and commanding officer of Cartwright’s Cavaliers.  Heir to one of the leading “Four Horsemen” mercenary companies, he was all set to inherit the family business.  Except he had one little hurdle.  His mom bankrupted the family business, running off with the money and he was too fat for field work to remake the family fortune.  He wasn’t just chubby, he was morbidly obese and not fit for field work.  Lucky for Jim, his predecessors were smart, they’d created a charitable endowment that left outdated equipment Jim could use to complete the next contract.  And then, just maybe, resurrect the company. It’s up to Jim to find the people he needs to operate the machinery of war, train them, and lead them to victory. But the company will only be saved if he’s good enough.
 

Characters: 

There are two main characters in this story; Jim Cartwright and the Cartwright’s Cavaliers mercenary company.

 

Jim Cartwright:  He is the main character in this story, on a quest to save his birthright.  Jim comes to his majority just as his mom robs the family company blind, making a series of bad business decisions.  We suspect she embezzled from the company, though this isn’t spelled out in the text.  The author, Mark Wandrey, is good like that.  He writes layers, like an onion.  With nothing to lose, Jim uses a few corporate cast offs to rebuild the company.  By saving the company, he can prove his worth to the long line of Cartwright’s who’d made the company great.   At first, I didn’t know what to make of the character the author created.  He laid it on thick, talking about the largeness of Jim’s girth.  He didn’t go for chubby, or a few extra pounds, but truly morbidly obese.  Okay, that is believable but then the overall effect was a character that was more YA than Mil SciFy.  I liked him because I know how hard it can be to struggle with your weight.  But it felt a little out of place for a military science fiction action hero.  As time went on he grew on me even more.  He was a Brony, which also felt too YA for my tastes, but the story was too fast paced to make it an issue.  Overall, Jim had a definitive character arc, was flushed out and thoroughly described.  You never felt like he was a blank shell, he was a character all on his own.  I liked that with the loss of his parents, through death and abandonment, Jim made his company his family his priority.  I deeply respected him for it.  Jim’s love of his new family, Cartwright’s Cavaliers, was the best feature of the child thrust into manhood amid a legacy at its lowest point in living memory.

 

Cartwright’s Cavaliers: This is the company that is at the heart of the adventures of Jim Cartwright.  This company serves as Jim’s new family, and the story is about saving it at all costs.  It’s a connection with his heritage and his forefathers.  The company personifies special time he spent perched on his father’s shoulder learning about the galaxy and the mercenary life that Earth provided to the sentient species whom inhabited it.  With its mere existence, this company drives the plot and serves as the invisible puppet master pulling all the strings.

 

Plot: 

Like most of the military science fiction I love to read, this was an action-packed novel.  Heck, maybe it was even more action-packed than some?  The beginning was a bit of a flashback, and we get to watch Jim grow up into the adult who reaches his majority as the company fails.  I wasn’t able to read this book from start to finish in one setting because of its length but I wanted too.  I believed that the tactics worked for the novel, especially the mechanized ones.  The action on the ground was believable, given the world building the author created.  I loved all of the bad assed mech like their CASPer’s, the main mech toy for the human merc companies.  With this workhorse of the mercs you can get away with a run and gun strategy.  No need for too much sophistication, it’d feel out of place.  When you’re King Cong, you don’t sneak around.  Why would you?  The story flowed seamlessly from one plot point to another, which made it easy to read and follow.

 

World Building:

This is the second book I’ve read by Mark Wandrey, but between his first book (which I loved) and solid reviews I was sold.  I wasn’t disappointed!  Hell, I’ll probably check out more of his books across his universes.  This world was very flushed out, and left you curious about the larger universe.  I can’t wait to read the rest of this series, and see where else the universe expands too.  While this is science fiction, and you definitely need to have some suspension of belief for the aliens Mark Wandrey invents.  However, within the universe he builds they’re totally believable.  Cartwright’s Cavaliers definitely had shades of the Prodigal Son, just like the other book in the series.  Unlike other authors, Mark does everything with a metric butt ton of death and explosions.  The one part I wasn’t thrilled about was the concept of Earth evolving into a system of the mercenary corporate planet, without any nation states, but it is a common trope in science fiction.  Overall, this didn’t dissuade me from enjoying this story and I’m aware that many people LOVE those kinds of universe set ups.  In a nut shell, the world building gets an A- from me, but only because of the lack of explanations on HOW we became a planet without nations.

 

Description: 

This book was chalk full of visualization, and you could definitely imagine yourself in this world.  It felt very flushed out, and there were times where you could even smell the aliens.  I love it when a book is this immersive, where it takes you deeply into the world.  For me, if a book isn’t described enough that I can imagine myself into the story.  If a story is truly good, I often find myself imagining what happens when the book ends.  That doesn’t work in books where the world wasn’t flushed out.  In this category, Mark gets an A+++!

 

Overall:

I really loved this book, though the Brony thing seemed forced and unnecessary.  Also, there was an unspecified romance (spoiler free remember) that felt forced and unnecessary.  It didn’t serve the plot, though I’d concede it could come into play in later books.  That aside, the novel was awesomely written and the cover was amazing.  The cover art was awesome, heck I even hired the artist for my No Marine Left Behind novelette.  And the plot was everything a science fiction fan will love, definitely 5 out of 5 Grenades.  Mark Wandrey had me hooked from the beginning, and kept it going throughout the whole novel.  It’s an amazing adventure, a look into Mark’s twisted imagination, and leaves you wishing that his therapist had a therapist.  This is a book I would happily recommend, and an author I will definitely read again.  Heck, I would even recommend that you buy the novel!  But hey, it’s easy to spend someone else’s money!

 

 

If this book sounds like it’s right up your alley, check it out, you won’t regret it!  Well, unless it motivates you to develop your own mech goodness.  So you take loads of science classes, and graduate from college.  Your mom will be so proud, you’ll be so proud and then you’ll get a job so you can play in cool labs.  And since you’re so proud of your achievements, you rush through looking for the next one.  After handing your buddy your drink, you say “I’ve got this, hold my beer.”  But it doesn’t go as planned.  BOOM!  You’ve blown up not just your lab, but the entire city you live in.  You become the most hated person in your state, and the fodder for a generations of internet memes.  Well yeah, I guess this could be bad for your health.  But hey, at least you got to see your house from orbit as you flew into the air, seconds from death.  On second thought, be warned, fanboy/fangirl syndrome MIGHT kill you.  Be wary, you were warned and if you have to go out like that at least enjoy the view from up there!

 

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 used on 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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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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SciFy Shenanigans Author Interview: Mark Wandrey

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Hey Space Cadets, how’s everyone doing today?  I’m doing amazing, writing the opening salvo in the main battle of Operation Breakout. There isn’t a whole lot to say, since I’ve got the nose to the grind stone.  Now, let’s get right to the point of my latest blog posting!  Yes, I’ve gotten bit by the interview bug!  I’ve started the Warrior Weekend Series, the Family Friday Series, and now the ‘SciFy Shenanigans’ series that only serves to talk with other authors of science fiction!  Here goes nothing!

 

The plan here is to create a template to talk to authors about their latest books and their process.  They’ll be able to pitch the other stuff too, of course, but when authors have deep back catalogues it’s hard to get into the weeds with them.  Those weeds have grown too high, so I took a weed whacker to the mess.  Here’s the final results!  Now grab your popcorn and enjoy the ride!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages,……

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First, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I’ve written my whole life. Since I was about 8 years old and read my first SF. The Rolling Stones, by Heinlein. I didn’t try making it a career until about 17 years ago, and not seriously until the last 5. My day job is a US Customs broker. I have a wife, an 18 year old son, and live in Rural Tennessee, not too far from Nashville.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’d always dreamed about being a pilot. But since I was built like the hero in my most recent novel, that wasn’t going to happen.

I’ll go out on a limb and assume that if you write books you also enjoy reading them.  What other genres do you enjoy reading, and how have they affected your writing?

I love the post apoc genre. From the 80’s men’s adventure like The Survivalist and Ashes series, to modern ZA like Day by Day Armageddon by JL Bourne. It influenced me enough to write a ZA book myself. It was the first one I wrote with any modest success.

Who are your biggest writing influences?

Robert Heinlein (as previously mentioned), Ayn Rand, Alan Dean Foster.

Who are your favorite authors and books?

All of the above, but include Greg Bear. He doesn’t influence my writing as much as serve as motivation. Favorite books include Alas Babylon, Lucifer’s Hammer, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Monster Hunter International.

What is your preferred writing style?

3rd person semi-omniscient. I’ve been working on a 1st person book, but it’s still in development.

How did that lead you deep into the weeds of the writing life?

I can’t honestly say. I’ve just always wanted to be a writer.

When did you get serious about your writing?

As previously mentioned, about 5 years ago. I was getting older (pushing 50), and decided; if not now, when?

What is your current novel?  Tell us a little bit about the premise?

My newest novel is Cartwright’s Cavaliers, Book One in the Revelations Cycle. I’m co-writing this with Chris Kennedy. He writes one, I write one. Four books.

Cartwright’s Cavaliers is obviously a series, where can we expect it to go?

The series will have 4 books, each about one of the Four Horsemen mercenary companies from earth. These are the decedents of the only 4 merc companies to survive the first off world contracts 100 years ago, just after earth’s first contact with the Galactic Union.

Where did you find the inspiration for Cartwright’s Cavaliers?

Fat kid does well. It’s a bit of me in there. That and 99% of military sci-fi is full of perfect people doing perfect things with perfect results. I think there is a hunger for reality.

Your characters from Cartwright’s Cavaliers are sent into a gladiatorial death match. Who wins?

Depends who they’re against. Jim Cartwright is a leader, he’d pick the right one to help win the battle. If he had to fight it himself, he’d fight. Until the end.

What do you listen to while you write? Or do you prefer silence? 

Two Steps from Hell, on YouTube. I let it roll.

What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve looked up in the name of research – or what do you think the government has maybe flagged you for?

How to hijack an A-380, and ways to make it do things it isn’t supposed to do. I did that for A Time to Die, my zombie book.

What was your favorite part of writing Cartwright’s Cavaliers?

The chance to create a deep, and immersive mil-sf universe to play in. I’m looking forward to writing dozens of books here. It is literally a limitless playground.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing your main characters from Cartwright’s Cavaliers?

I don’t honestly think any actor I know of could play a fat 18-year-old computer gaming geek. I think you’d need to find an unknown.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

Every. Chance. I. Get.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

No, I just write. Some days 100 words is all I can manage. I do hope to do at least 2,000 words a day. My sweet spot is 5,000.

When you develop your characters, do you already have an idea of who they are before you write or do you let them develop as you go?

No, they evolve. I never force it, not even on essential characters.

How did writing Cartwright’s Cavaliers differ from your writing your previous novels? 

This was written for a specific genre, and to create a new universe. Also, made for others to write in it as well (Chris Kennedy. I’ve never done it this way before, and it was a challenge).

If Cartwright’s Cavaliers had a theme song what would it be?

O Fortuna, Carminal Burana.

Cartwright’s Cavaliers is full of many amazingly talented characters and I imagine it was really fun to create some of them, but which one was your favorite and why?

Hargrave is one I like the most. He’s Jim’s mentor. A badass old merc with more than a few tricks left up his sleeve. I think writers will be more than a little amazed at what comes out of him before the end.

What advice do you have for writers who are just starting out?

Write, every chance you get. Finish it, don’t stop and edit. Listen when more than one person says something is wrong. Don’t use personal friends as test readers.

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I hope you enjoy this little conversation, and if you want to find out more about Mark Wandrey then follow the rabbit trail to their warren in the internet!  If they don’t like it, beat ‘em with a carrot and keep on truckin’!

 

 

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 shots taken by JR Handley and used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

–> Some of these interview questions were inspired by my good friend TeacherofYA, and are used with her permission.  If you have kids who love to read, she’s the girl who’ll make the literary introductions!  You should check her out, after a lifetime of reading, your kids will thank you.

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