Exciting news!!!!!

Standard

I’m lifting my head above the writing and publishing trenches for a few moments to share some exciting news about an imminent new Sleeping Legion book launch, a new audiobook deal, and more. If you follow JR Handley’s blog, you’ll already know about a novellete he’s been working on called No Marine Left Behind. Well,…

via No Marine Left Behind: a new Sleeping Legion novelette — The Human Legion

Book Cover Concepts

Standard

jr-handley-header

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!!!

 

no-marine-left-behind-cover-sketch-1

 

 

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.

newsletter-banner

Story Prompts: Closets (#1)

Standard

jr-handley-header

Hey, Space Cadets. I hope this fine Tuesday finds you well!  I’ve hit an impasse on Operation Breakout. Namely, managing this blog takes more of my time than I really have.  While I love the collaboration, writing stories needs to be my top priority. Soon, if I can’t find a solution, I might cut back to every other day posting.  Either way, for today, I wanted to try something different.  I’ll be doing a series of writing prompts, and today’s will use the image below as the starting point.  My goal is to improve my ability to write shorter works, and you get to be my lab rats!  I hope you enjoy the insanity that follows! Feedback is welcome. Negative, positive, grammatical, whatever you want to post. Ultimately, a writer grows by seeing their flaws and honing their craft.

 


Custom_closets.jpg

 

She opened the door to her storage closet and braced herself for the horror that would come.  Her normally ruddy complexion turned an ashen white as a hoarse voice whispered to her, imploringly.

“Just let me explain.”

It wasn’t how she expected to spend her Saturday morning, after a glorious Friday evening with her friends.  She’d met up with members of her Imperial Space Fleet Academy graduating class, to reminisce about old times.

With long deployments, spread across Imperial Space, she hadn’t seen several of them in years.  Many of them had exited the Navy, and entered the private sector.  Enjoying lucrative jobs in the Imperial City, which allowed them to meet with their classmates.

The rest, well their time in service meant most were ready for their own class on ships captaincy.  It was only their return to attend the Ship’s Captain Course, after so many good officers died in the insurrection that just ended, that brought them all together.

After so long apart, she’d just gotten through telling them how happy her marriage was.  Droning on about how they’d stood the test of time and were still together after all these years.  College sweethearts even.

What she didn’t expect was to go into the storage closet to find her husband joined in coitus with her best friend.  The fact that he was wearing her high school prom dress and ‘that woman’ was wearing a tux only added fuel to the rage that followed.  She knew she only had a few seconds to decide her next move.

Is the prison time worth killing them?  Would it be better to take a picture, humiliate them both?  What do I do?



 

Hope you all enjoyed this science fiction short, and I’ll try to do more of them in the future! Again, feedback is welcome. Heck, if I get an idea doing this that I like, I might just turn it into something more. If your feedback helps make that happen, you’ll get a mention in the acknowledgements. Or, I’ll make you a redshirt in the book and you can meet death with glory (in the story, of course).

 

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 images owned by JR Handley.

newsletter-banner

Tickety Boo Forum

Standard

jr-handley-header

Hey Space Cadets, just a quick note to tell you that the gracious people over at Tickety Boo Press Ltd. have given me some space in their forums.  It’s designed to be a place for readers and writers and everyone in-between to chat about books and their love of the written word.  Pop over and say hi, leave a comment and join us in the usual shenanigans!!  Now, if you haven’t finished your gift shopping or wrapping… what are you doing in front of your computer?  GO!!!  Otherwise, click here to join us in the forums to talk books!

 

Also, check out the SciFi Explorations if you’re looking for science fiction deals.  It’s a mailing list that sends deals and recommendations to your inbox of the stories you know you’ll love.  If what I write is up your alley, then they’ll have many more recommendations.  Most of them, at least while they’re in the mailing, are on sale at a steal of a price.

 

SciFy Explorations.PNG

 

newsletter-banner

 

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

brown_bessJR

 

 –> As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are owned by JR Handley.

 

Marine Monday: Basil Terloar

Standard

sleepinglegion_logo_nov2016_02_blackbg

Hey Space Cadets, how are you this fine Monday?  Still feeling the effects of the New Years Hangover?  I’m sober, and even have some blood in my whiskey stream.  My wife is out of town, so I spent a quiet night writing after the kids went to bed.  The Legion Awakes and Fortress Beta City are continually surprising me and I have you guys to thank.

 

First, let me give you a little bit of backstory about Fortress Beta City and Operation Breakout.  Those two stories started as one novel, until Boss Man caught on that I was about to write a Tolkien worthy novel.  After we split the two, Fortress Beta City became the story of the Marines of the 6907th TAC RGT struggling to survive in a doomed city.  The next half of what I plotted became Operation Breakout, where two task forces must fight to secure the continent of Serendine from the New Order.

 

I felt like the build-up in the second book made a lot of promises for the third, so I want to deliver.  Operation Breakout will be as high octane as I can make it, and then my editor will help me add on some dynamite for that little bit of something extra.  As I developed these plots, one of my secondary characters, whose whole purpose was to show how the lost Kalino City was different from Beta City and Detroit City.  The Auxies were treated a bit better and the culture was different, which likely led to Kalino City being lost to the ravages of time.  One of those characters was Auxiliary Technician Basil Terloar.

 

Basil was a cowering wreck, a pacifist in a world where the gun ruled.  He wasn’t like the other boys and girls, resulting in his being shipped off to the Aux Pens (slave pens) to be tasked with the manual labor needed to keep the cities alive.  That is, until that fateful day he met Veteran Sergeant Lance Scipio.  For a sneak peek into him, a look at how the sausage is made, here is his character sheet.

 

newsletter-banner

 

basil-terloarbasil-terloar-2

 

I hope you found this peek into my process enlightening, and the character compelling.  If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask!

 

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.

Mental Health Matters: JR Handley

Standard

jr-handley-header

Hello Space Cadets, how are you doing today?  Things are going well here, my recently published books, The Legion Awakes and Fortress Beta City, are hopefully entertaining those who were so kind as to give them a chance and the year is winding down.  I’m still in awe at well the books are doing, but it just goes to show what you can do when you have a strong support team on your side.  I’m pretty blunt in my about me section that my books are a team endeavor as we compensate for the residual complications from one too many blows to the head.

 

Published Books.PNG

 

With the passing of such a staunchly outspoken advocate for those suffering from mental illness, Carrie Fisher, I decided to do a series of interviews with other authors struggling with their own woes.  As I find candidates, I’ll send them the questions and post their replies.  Obviously, this won’t be a regularly scheduled event.  The first advocate for the mentally ill I’ll interview in this series is myself.  I use this term ‘advocate’ loosely, but I’ve also made no bones about the fact that I suffer from PTSD after my time spent in the Late Unpleasantness in Mesopotamia.  I’ve long admired people who were open about his struggles with their own issues, people who use their own personal example to show that you can adapt and overcome your inner demons.

 

Without Further Interruptions…

 

  1. I know you’ve been very open about your struggles with mental health, would you feel comfortable giving a brief overview?
    1. In a nutshell, I suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq from getting up close and personal with one too many IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). Also, with exposure too one combat parties.  Apparently, it’s a tradition in some parts of the world to welcome unwanted guests with lead shot and shell?  Why wasn’t I given the memo, for crying out loud!  On a happy note, those demons pepper the pages of my novels.  See, sharing is caring!!  Now you can stay up at night with bad dreams!
  2. How have these issues affected your working life?
    1. The TBI requires me to write with a team and lots of lists. I forget a lot of stuff and a get my words mixed up.  My mother and wife go behind me, helping me get it into English the non-aphasia world can grasp.  I won’t bore you with the technical details of the diagnosis (Read: I forget those details too), but it has made the process infinitely more difficult.  However, through adversity comes triumph and every chapter finished becomes an even bigger reason to celebrate.  In a nutshell, wow I really like nuts, my issues mean I have to accept help and face the fact that I can no longer be an island.  Now my process involves a village.
  3. Have you had to adapt your writing style in any way to accommodate your mental health issues? If so, how?
    1. I’ve had to become anal about the use of outlines and detailed notes. I maintain a series bible that is almost a novel in its own right as well, my very own Human Legion Universe Encyclopedia.  For you younger ladies and gents, those are books where facts were listed and described.  They were basically the dictionary of life and history.  We had them in these buildings called libraries AND sometimes we bought them from poorly dressed door-to-door salespeople.  I’ve also had to constantly tweak my writing times, so I get my brain when it’s at its best.  I get about 5 good hours a day; the rest of the time things are too foggy to produce.  During the funky foggy time I tend to write my blogs and do my daily housewifery chores.  When my writing triggers my PTSD issues, I force myself to go for a walk and use my coping skills.  I’ve learned them at the VA hospitals, where they are hounded into you.  They’re viewed as the be-all, end-all to therapy by overworked doctors who would prefer to pump you full of pills and push you out the door.
  4. Have you made any mistakes along the way, and if so, what have you learned that you could share?
    1. I have, tons of them. If you ask my wife, MILLIONS of them!  I’ve learned not to push too hard and to pace myself.  A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint.  I’ve learned that if I get lax in my physical health, the mental health suffers which causes my writing to suffer.  Basically, I’ve come to realize I need to treat my body well so it can treat me in a hopefully reciprocal fashion.  Also, I’ve learned the value of schedules and just sitting down and working.  No magic muse comes down from the heavens and inspires you, you have to crack the whip and force that wench to work for her supper.
  5. What is your biggest continual daily struggle?
    1. My injured hands; one too many broken fingers paired with some muscle damage makes JR a slow typist. I’m forcing myself to cope with this by fitting the Dragon into my daily routine.  The second biggest struggle would be my memory.  It was caused by a combination of the severe, chronic combat related PTSD and the TBI and is a pain in the arse.  Note to readers, don’t get blown up in Mesopotamia.  The free t-shirt just isn’t worth the price of admission!
  6. What advice would you give other authors struggling with mental illness?
    1. Seek help, seriously it’ll save your life. Talk to someone; your priest, doctor, wife, ANYONE.  Don’t fight this battle alone, call in the heavy hitters to stand by your side.  And don’t be ashamed, there is nothing wrong with being human and struggling.  Then I say pour your demons onto the blank page, it helps to neuter them!
  7. What support system do you have to help you write through it?
    1. I have my wife and my mother who help do my first line editing or alpha reading. They also translate out the erroneously used words, missed descriptions and general shenanigans.  They help keep my universe consistent and help edit my blog posts.  You can’t see it, but my mom’s standing over my shoulder punching me and waving at you!!  Say hi to my mom!
  8. Do you find your writing to be therapeutic?
    1. I do! Writing as therapy was the very avenue I took onto the road that is authorship.  It works, whether you write in a journal, fiction or non-fiction.  Give it a shot!
  9. Since I’ve got you here…. Let’s talk books! What’s your current work in progress?
    1. I’m currently writing Operation Breakout, the third in the Sleeping Legion Series. I’m also working on two short stories and the beginning of a new series, The Odera Chronicles.  I’m making The Sleeping Legion Series my priority and the other stuff is going on in the background as secondary projects.
  10. If the readers are interested in finding out more, where can they find you?
    1. If you’re here, then you found me!! But I’ve an author page on GoodReads, Amazon and a Facebook page.  That’s it, I’m too much of a technological troglodyte to be anywhere else online.

 

I hope you find this post to be inspirational, but mostly if you struggle I hope you realize that you’re not alone.  At the end of this post, I’ll list some resources you can reach out to if you’re in need.  Be well, you got this!!  And if you have any other mental health resources I should link too, send me a note and I’ll add them!

 

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.

 

RESOURCES:

  1. NAMI
  2. Suicide Hotline
  3. VA Suicide Hotline
  4. Crisis Text Line
  5. UK Suicide Prevention
  6. Trauma Support Group

Christmas Update

Standard

sleepinglegion_logo_nov2016_02_transbg

Hey Space Cadets, today I will postpone my usual Marine Monday for a Christmas recap!  I spent the morning opening gifts with my kids, enjoying their reactions to the gifts; ours and Santa’s.  My youngest is thrilled with the Master Chief Helmet from the Halo Universe, and given the difficulties required in wrapping it, we let Santa claim that victory.  We also got him several Halo 12-inch action figures, which were also a hit!  My oldest got a plethora of art supplies, as he is gifted at turning nothing into something with paint, crayons and the like.  My wife got the usual, clothes and boots.  What can I say, she has an addiction!  And I, I got one of the best-worst gifts ever!!  Skyrim for my Xbox One!!!  (Pardon me, book three will not be postponed until 2020!)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

My other favorite gift, given to me by the wonderful inhabitants of the Amazonian Jungles, was that my debut novel, The Legion Awakes, has been in the top 40 of the Hot New Releases in Military Science Fiction (Space Marine) since it was launched.  It was even ranked number 97 overall for a brief 12 hours!!  I feel like it has to be a dream, but I don’t want to wake up.  Book two, Fortress Beta City, has also been in the top 50 of the Hot New Releases in Military Science Fiction (Space Marines) as well which is mind blowing.  Not sure whether this trend has legs, but even if this is the pinnacle of my writing career I can die happy.  It’s official, I’m an author and have two published novels.  This, I believe, is as close to immortality as humanity might strive.  We last forever in the what we leave behind; paintings, pictures, words and music.

 

So truly, I’m humbled and I will strive to make every book even better than the one before it.  I will commit to working as fast as possible to get book three, Operation Breakout, finished in January and off for the pre-publication reviews.  I’ll bribe my editor, Corey, with the naval equivalent of Scooby Snacks so he works fast enough to keep you happy!!  Oh, and I’ll also gift his lovely wife the coffee to sober him up when he over indulges in his snacks!!  Hopefully we can keep this war wagon trucking down the path to world domination with a loyal army of Space Cadets toasting us into oblivion and beyond!!!  FORWARD TO VICTORY!!!

 

 

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.