ANTHOLOGIES GALORE

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Hey Space Cadets, how’re yall doing today?  I’m doing good, just took my son to the Children’s Museum of Portsmouth! He loved being able to touch science, and we followed that up with a nice brewery and a stroll along the waterfront. So besides having fun, I wanted to bring you some good news to share!  Two of my short stories were accepted into anthologies!  Wanna know more?  Let’s break it down!  Continue reading

WARRIOR WEEKEND: KYLE CISCO

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 Hello, Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES. Kyle is an Air Force Veteran, a husband, father, a student, and now an Author. When he isn’t slaving away at the keyboard creating fantasy worlds. You can usually find him reading a good book at the pool with his kids, or working on the next short fiction piece for his portfolio. When Kyle got out of the military, he moved from New Jersey to Florida in the hope he would never see snow again. Never one to settle for okay when he could be exceptional, he began attending Full Sail University to gain an MFA in Creative Writing. His hobbies include reading, writing, and getting walked by his German shepherd Eddy all over the neighborhood in the wee hours of the night. Recently Kyle had a flash fiction piece accepted to Down in the Dirt Magazine, the piece will be featured in the Jan 2018 issue of the Magazine.

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WARRIOR WEEKEND: Sandra J. Yearman

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Hello, Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.  I am knee deep in rewrites on book four of my Sleeping Legion series.  I really hate all that red ink.  Other than that all is moving along well in my life.  They figured out most of what was up with my wife – now they just have to figure out the treatment.  The only other thing on the agenda is to take my son out tomorrow to see the eclipse – since I have nothing else to add lets talk about today’s featured veteran.  We are talking to author Sandra J. Yearman.

Sandra YearmanSandra J Yearman is a native of Wisconsin, where she currently resides. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Sandra was a member of the United States Army Reserves for over twenty years. She retired from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office in Madison Wisconsin as a sergeant.
Sandra is a cancer survivor. And it is on this journey that she says she found her voice and began to write. She established Seraphim Publishing LLC in 2008. Sandra has spent decades supporting and working with rescued domestic animals.

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WARRIOR WEEKEND: Rick Partlow

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Hello Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.

 

Rick Partlow is that rarest of species, a native Floridian. He was born in Tampa in 1966, the son of a Baptist preacher. His dad was in his early 40s when he was born and had been the nose gunner on a B24 bomber in WWII—he had been shot down over the Ploesti Oil F

Needless to say, his father’s stories had quite the effect on Rick as a child, as did the tales of Robert Heinlein, whose “juvenile” novels shaped his adolescence. He fell in love with science fiction early, giving his library card a workout from age 8 on.

He attended Florida Southern College on an ROTC scholarship and graduated with a BA in History and a commission in the Army. He served as an Infantry platoon leader with the 25th ID in Hawaii before getting out and bouncing around from one job to another for a while before settling on teaching.

And through that whole time, he was writing. He wrote his first novel in 10th grade and his second as a senior in high school. They were both written longhand on notebook paper and he held his nose as he threw them in the trash can sometime while he was in college.

It was in college that he began writing his first science fiction novel. He began writing a story I called Rituals, which later, after many, many years and many revisions became Duty, Honor, Planet. At the same time he came up with a plot for a book that would later be the basis for the characters of Glory Boy and the Birthright trilogy.

 

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Without further ado, let’s get this interview cranking!

Tell me a little about your military service?

I was in college Army ROTC and also served as an enlisted man in the National Guard while I was in college.  After I graduated, I was active duty for a couple years in the Infantry, serving as a platoon leader in the 25th ID in Schofield Barracks, HI.  I got out early due to the post-Gulf War drawdown and was in the reserves for a few more years to serve out my obligation.

How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?

It definitely gave me the background and familiarity with tactics and mindset I needed to write military science fiction.

Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books?  If so, how?

Infantry small unit tactics have made my military SF more realistic since they apply whether you’re using M16s and artillery or Gauss rifles and orbital kinetic kill strikes.

When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?

I’ve done that twice.  First, back in the late 1990s I buckled down and finished two SF novels:  Duty, Honor, Planet and Birthright.  I signed with a literary agent and we tried our best to find a publisher but after a couple years we both gave up.

Then when I discovered self-publishing on Amazon for Kindle in 2011 and those two books sold 10,000 copies the first year, I got serious about writing again.  I was still writing seat of the pants style and it took me a year each to write the two sequels to Duty, Honor, Planet, and then a bit under a year each for the two sequels to Birthright.  After that, I began taking outlining more seriously and finished Glory Boy in three months.  The first Recon novel took two months, the second a month, and the third also two months.  I hope I can keep up this schedule for the fourth book.

Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?

I think that has to be Honor Bound, the second book in the Duty, Honor, Planet trilogy.  That book more than any seemed to write itself, and it honestly surprised me how it wound up ending.  That whole series was a lot of fun to write, mostly because it was all done seat-of-the-pants, not outlined much.

How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?

Most of them were created during college, so most were inspired by friends from college and the cadre at my college ROTC unit.  Several of the NCOs there were Vietnam veterans and the Professor of Military Science was former Special Forces.

How many of the specific scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?

Not specifically from my service, but some were taken from the experience of other soldiers I talked to.

Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you?  Has it helped you process your military experiences?

I didn’t see combat, since I got out in the early 90s, so the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me was getting my ass chewed by a full Colonel promotable.

If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Definitely Jason McKay.  He’s solicitous of his people, not a by-the-book martinet and he’s also very

lucky.

If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Probably Cal Mitchell, since he’s very hard to kill and tends to get into situations where the conventional troops around him get killed and he survives because of his augmentation.  Imagine a Navy SEAL with superpowers…

If you could serve in any of the worlds you created, which one would it be, and why?

During wartime, it would have to be the Republic of Duty, Honor, Planet since they have better leadership.

What are you currently working on and when do you expect it to be ready for publication?

I’m currently outlining the fourth book in my Recon series.  I just released the third book, A Battle for the Gods, less than a week ago and I expect the fourth book to be out my sometime in September.

 

How can people find you?

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If this convinced you to find out more, look up Rick Partlow.  I hope you all had a great time getting to know about Rick. Don’t be afraid to say hello here or on https://www.facebook.com/DutyHonorPlanet/.  If s/he doesn’t respond quick enough, glitter bomb them!  Mwahahaha!!

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WARRIOR WEEKEND: Katie Cross

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Hello Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.  This one will be slightly different, as Katie is an Army wife, rather than a veteran.  Those who stayedKatie Cross at home, managing the hearth fire also served in my book.  I know it isn’t the same, but to me they’re the ones who ran the daily affairs that let the warriors do what warriors do.  I couldn’t have been as effective while serving at the tip of the spear if I didn’t know that things were solid at home.  My wife gave me that peace of mind, so I know it has intrinsic value.  Further, I’ve seen what happened to soldiers with crappy spouses.  To keep this blog as clean as this old grunt is capable of, let’s just say it didn’t end well.

So without getting lost in the weeds, let’s talk about today’s subject. Katie’s an amazing author, wife, mother to a crazy feral child that is almost two years old. She likes to climb mountains, hike with her dogs, and eat a lot of cookies. In that order.

When Katie’s the next big thing, we can all say we knew her when!  And hey, maybe she’ll slip us a free latte!  OR she could pimp our books so we can be as cool as her too!   “Do you fancy my book? Awesome, then try JR’s book in a totally different genre!”

Bam!  See how it’s done?  Take notes Katie, seriously!

If I’ve perked your interest, keep reading as I interview this lovely Army wife.

 

Without further ado, let’s get this interview cranking!

Tell me a little about your time as a military spouse?

It’s filled with LOTS of chocolate, yoga breathing, and writing—and that’s not even including deployment. 😉 JK. Being a military wife is intense, but a lot of fun!

 How do you feel that your affiliation with the military has influenced your writing?

In huge ways! I’m far more likely to plan global war because I can ask my husband to help me at any given point, and there’s nothing like a deployment to get me ready to write sappy love stories.

Do you think your military lifestyle, and more specifically your meeting all kinds of people, adds to the realism in your books?  If so, how?

I think so, just because military life forces people outside their comfort zone, which is something you have to do if you write good books. I mean, what Main Characters goes through a good story totally comfortable and living the dream?

 Do you feel like there is any bleed over from your husband’s work, into your books?

A little bit, for sure. Not that I ever planned it that way, but once I looked back, I could definitely see it!

 When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?

Right after marrying the Army. 😉 We moved so often the first 2 years that I couldn’t always work as an RN, so I found something else a lot more flexible.

 Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?

Definitely my YA fantasy series, “The Network Series.” There’s something intoxicating about magic and being able to make anything happen.

 How many of your characters were inspired by your exposure to all things military?

At least 4 of them. My MC is a teenage girl with a father that is gone a lot and a mother who has to often raise her on her own.

How many of the scenes you wrote were inspired from your experience as a military spouse?

At least 8-10? Most of them are the moist poignant scenes I’ve ever written as well.

 Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you?  Has it helped you process your experiences?

Absolutely. Writing is a huge escape for me when deployments are getting intense. In the beginning when I was getting used to it, it gave me something I could control and feel good about.

If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

It would be Derek, my MC’s father. He’s a Protector, which is a highly-skilled witch that is basically a spy doing all kinds of undercover work. He’s brilliant with magic and a fantastic leader. I modeled him after my husband!

If you could pick one of your characters to be your husbands battle buddy, who would it be and why?

Definitely Derek!

 If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Camille. She’s a very giggly, happy, but naïve teenager. I’d want her to stay that way, and wouldn’t want to expose her to those things.

What are you currently working on?

A book about dragons! It’s titled the Dragonmasters and is part of a duology that will hopefully release next year! I’ve also recently started working 1:1 with indie authors that need someone to help point them in the right direction with their business and their platform, so all the strategy sessions have been keeping me super busy!

 How can people find you?

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If this convinced you to find out more, look up Katie and become a fanboy like I did!  Hey, I’ve yet to read her books, but if it’s as awesome as she is it’s gonna be AWESOME!  Just wait until the next novel takes the literary world by storm, we can say we knew her first!  I hope you all had a great time getting to know about Katie, don’t be afraid to say hello here or on her plethora of social media platforms.  If she doesn’t respond quick enough, glitter bomb her!  Mwahahaha!!  Wait, the little birdie tells me she might’ve already used this evilness in one of her books.  Send her fake books, just to tease him/her?  Would that be cruel enough to motivate contact?

 

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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WARRIOR WEEKEND: Chris Kennedy

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Chris Kennedy Book Reviews

Hey Space Cadets! Not much happening on the home front, except more writing.  So as I have nothing to add to the equation, let’s talk about today’s featured veteran!

I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.  You might remember him, I’ve previously interviewed him about his publishing house but today we focus on him, not his business.  The introduction will be the same, because Chris Kennedy hasn’t morphed into someone else in the interim but for those of you who missed his earlier interview, check it out here.  If some of this is repetitive, then your memory is longer than most people’s online these days!  Kudos to you!

To help you appreciate why I chose to interview him, let me tell you more about Chris.  He is a bestselling Science Fiction/Fantasy author and speaker.  Chris Kennedy is also a former naval aviator (we forgive him for not going Army) and elementary school principal.  Chris’ stories include the “Occupied Seattle” military fiction duology; “The Theogony” and “Codex Regius” science fiction trilogies; and the “War for Dominance” fantasy trilogy.  You can also get his free book, “The Death of Atlantis,” at his website.

 

Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy

Chris has been called “fantastic” and “a great speaker,” he has coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists (including yours truly) on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions and writing guild presentations.  He is the author of the award-winning #1 bestseller, “Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores,” as well as the leadership training book, “Leadership from the Darkside.”  You can find out more about having him talk to your group here.

Chris lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his wife and family.  He is currently working with the Navy to help shape Navy training processes for the year 2025.  He is the holder of a doctorate in educational leadership and master’s degrees in both business and public administration.  On a more personal note, like so many in the Indie Writing Circle, Chris is very willing to mentor new writers (though they all likely regret accepting my friend request!) through his social media presence.  He’s an overall decent fella, the kind you’d enjoy doing business with.

Now for the man, the myth and the legend to speak for himself!

 

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Without further ado, let’s gzet this interview cranking!

 

Tell me a little about your military service?

I am a retired naval aviator who spent 20 years in the service. About half of my flight career was spent flying A-6E Intruder attack jets off the carrier and half was flying the EP-3E ARIES reconnaissance aircraft. I have over 3,000 hours of flight time and over 300 arrested carrier landings. Even though I’ve retired from active duty, I’m still closely tied to the military, as my day job is managing the curriculum for enlisted sailors learning to maintain the FA-18 Hornet fighter jet.

How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?

Having spent time in two communities, I have a good feel for how a number of services operate, and have worked closely with a number of organizations in each branch of the military. While I certainly know and can write aviation (including space fighters!), I’m also passingly conversant on other military specialties, as well.

Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books?  If so, how?

Absolutely, it does. With me, you get authentic actions and communications, as well as knowing what it’s like to have to “embrace the suck.”

When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?

I started about four years ago. Writing wasn’t something I’d always wanted to do, but something that just kind of happened. One day, I had an idea that I thought would make a great book or two, and rather than throwing that idea away, I pursued it to its conclusion (it turned into Red Tide and Occupied Seattle).

Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?

I don’t know that I have one story that is my favorite, but lots of little parts of each. If I had to pick one, I would say, “Terra Stands Alone.” It showed I could bring a series to a successful conclusion (I think so, anyway), and I also got to use A-6E Intruders in the story.

How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?

I’m sure all of them have at least a little piece of someone I’ve known in the service, as I draw upon lots of people I served with when I’m writing.

How many of the scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?

I don’t know how many actual scenes were inspired by my service, but the interactions in all of my scenes, how people relate and talk to each other, definitely are inspired by my service.

Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you?  Has it helped you process your experiences?

The only negative I took with me from my service was how I felt about a couple of the leaders I served under, and choices they made which I knew were wrong. Certainly the leadership book I wrote was very cathartic in letting some of those things go.

If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

I think that Shawn Hobbs and I would get along well together. In addition to serving with him, I’d also love to have a beer with him, too. That Dan Knaus guy is all right, too, but then again, he’s a red shirt of someone I actually served with.

If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

I don’t know that I could keep up with Master Chief O’Leary, and he always seems to be getting into the kind of “life-or-death” situations I always try to avoid.

What are you currently working on and when do you expect it to be ready for publication?

I am working on an anthology in the Four Horsemen universe called “A Fistful of Credits” which has some great names in it, like Brad Torgersen, Chris Nuttal, Terry Mixon and Doug Dandridge in it, among others. It will be released on June 30 and is going to be great! I also have a full length novel in the series, “The Golden Horde,” which will be released about six weeks after that.

How can people find you?

 

I hope you had a great time getting to know Chris. If this convinced you to find out more, look him up—he’s a heck of a guy!  If he doesn’t respond quick enough, bombard him with stories about nonsense!  Mwahahaha!!

 

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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WARRIOR WEEKEND: Chris Winder

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Hello Space Cadets! Today, I wanted to introduce you to another author from my WARRIOR WEEKEND INTERVIEW SERIES.  Chris Winder – Winder like wine, not like wind.

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Without further ado, let’s get this interview cranking!

Tell me a little about your military service?

I served just over eight years in the US Marine Corps, first as a field wiremen, then as a Field Wire and Switchboard Operator instructor.  Basically, I dug ditches, made sure the commanders had telephone service and sat around a lot cleaning cables and waiting for something to break.  My last for years were spent in Twentynine Palms, California where I actually got the privilege of teaching young Marines, and some older Lieutenants and Captains, how to install telephones, program switchboards and run cryptographic equipment.

How do you feel that your military service has influenced your writing?

Though I haven’t published a book about space Marines yet, I’m fairly certain that when I do, I will be able to make them pretty convincing, especially for fellow military.

I’ve also learned to stick to things until the end.  Even when it seems like a grind, finishing a 55k book is worth writing, if you can stick with it.

Do you think your military service, and more specifically your training, adds to the realism in your books?  If so, how?

I never saw combat, so the combat training I had was Marine Combat Training school.  I think that gives me a solid foundation to write about space Marines kicking butt so long as I don’t get too technical, or I can explain why they are doing whatever it is I have them doing.  As for the field wire training, not really.  Our equipment was pretty simple, though I guess that does come out in Admiral Eeekbo’s controls on his ship in Space Trash.

When did you start pursuing your writing more seriously?

It’s only been about five or six months.  It’s an urge I haven’t quite been able to put my finger on until now.  But now that I’ve discovered that I can do it, life and I’ve done it several times, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life.  I want to write.

Of all your work, which was your favorite to write?

My favorite so far is my first publication, Space Trash.  It started out being the most insulting SciFi book ever written, and during the rewrite became hundredth or so most insulting SciFi book ever written.  Who doesn’t love writing about aliens, fast cars, a crack whore, a dirty politician and rednecks?

How many of your characters were inspired by your military service?

About 30 or so.  But that’s all in one story, so that one needs a rewrite so I can cut it down to five or so.  Of that, four will be inspired.  Three were friends, one was most definitely not.  Spoiler: The aliens get the last one, and it’s ugly.

How many of the scenes you wrote were inspired from your service?

Probably ten.  For those who don’t know, the military in peacetime is a whole lot of sitting around and trying to look busy, unless you’re working in Admin.  During the down-time there’s a lot of tomfoolery and all kinds of injuries we try to explain-away so we don’t get busted when we go to medical seeking treatment.

Do you feel like your writing has served any therapeutic value for you?  Has it helped you process your experiences?

I’ve discovered that with my current work in progress.  I can still remember the faces of a lot of Marines I trained at the Marine Corps Communications Electronics School.  I must have put 3000 through my classes.  Of those, I’m sure most were sent to Afghanistan.  I have no idea how many I lost.  I have no idea how many remember me.

I do know that one promised me an alligator steak, which I still haven’t received… lookin’ at you PFC Peacock…

I also know a little of what it means to have PTSD.  I know the thoughts, the sleepless nights replaying things in my head over and over.  I know the burning, sick desire for peace, for quiet, for a calm experience.  I know the regret.  I know what it means to have survivor’s guilt, and I understand that my experience is only a very tiny fraction of what others feel.  Writing gives me a way to relive events in my life and play them out differently.  It also helps me to objectify events and step away from them far enough to see what really happened, rather than what I felt happened.  I think that’s one of the main reasons I write… for the therapy.

If you could serve with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

It would be Corporal Davis, a character in an unpublished book I’m rewriting.  He puts duty first, protects those in his charge and still manages to be human.  He tries to keep a strong presence, tries to avoid showing that he’s scared, and it’s not for his sake, but for the sake of those who are counting on him.  He’s also a badass, tough as nails and likes killing aliens… a lot.

If you would want to avoid serving with any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Cletus and Cooter from Space Trash.  They don’t have good weapons discipline, don’t practice the basic safety rules and have no ambition besides getting enough money to earn beer or take a cousin on a date.  I don’t hang out with people who have no ambition… I don’t see a point.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a story, likely a novel about a boy who grows up and discovers that the fantastical stories his grandmother used to tell him were absolutely the truth.  Dragons are real.  Fairies are real.  Little invisible men whose sole purpose it is to tangle your hair when you’re asleep if you’ve been bad are real.  And a “curmudgeon” is a thing, not an attitude… though the attitude was named after the thing.

How can people find you?

If this convinced you to find out more, look up Chris Winder.  I hope you all had a great time getting to know about Chris Winder. Don’t be afraid to say hello here or on their own Facebook page.  If they don’t respond quick enough, strafe him with criticisms about his beard!  Mwahahaha!!

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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