Who Says What

Certain characters will speak in certain ways, say certain types of things; that’s universal for any good book. What I thought I’d do here is go a little bit through my thought processes of how I decide who says what types of lines. Does Eldar say it? Sabu? Mauklo? Consider this little flow chart that goes through my head as I type. Enjoy.

  • Is it something flippant: Eldar says it.
  • Intellectualizing and possibly borderline neurotic: Give it to Sindar.
  • REALLY intellectualizing to the point of ignorance of current circumstance: Sabu, of course.
  • No more than four words to a sentence, and none of it grammatically correct: Blag-ak, the ogre.
  • Brave-sounding, wisdom beyond one’s years, and lacking in the concept of knowing humor: That desert kid, Kilgar.
  • Sounds like it got barfed up from a dictionary on forgotten Buddhist wisdom: Shiel-Bor(h).
  • Sounds kinda crazy: Give it to Eldar again.
  • Sounds REALLY crazy: Hey, Po-Adar gets to make a guest appearance!
  • Sinister, possibly threatening with double-meaning, and it’s NOT our favorite bad-buy Miro: Mauklo.
  • All the really good lines: Mauklo again.
  • Sounds like it came from a man-crazy battle-whore (Okay, so maybe just SHONG-crazy): The straw-haired Triplets.
  • Something your good-natured beer-swizzling, borderline womanizing, Conan-type might say: Bronto.
  • Does it sound heroic, shy, and humble all at the same time: Shong.
  • Is it something really mysterious to the point of making most mysterious people sound the exact opposite of tight-lipped: That gold-skinned gypsy soothsayer whose name you don’t know yet.
  • Does it sound like something that should be expressed at the top of one’s lungs while invoking a higher power: Candol.
  • Do I need someone to serve as translator for Blag-ak, and able to slap him around without getting killed in the attempt: Quickfoot.
  • Do I need someone to point out that the world seems intent on making even well-aimed arrows useless against anything:  Lindel.
  • Do I need to advance some sinister aspect of the plotline: Mauklo monologuing to himself.
  • I need a monkey wrench: Po-Adar one more time!
  • Do I need someone to point out how utterly amazing some of these characters are even for THIS world: Starke.
  • Do I need a good behind-the-scenes thing: Either that gold-skinned gypsy again or the rare scene with Miro.


Nearing readiness for the Big ‘PUSH’

Well, it’s getting close. I just have to make sure I got the ad right before I start splashing it around everywhere, so this is where you guys come in. I’ve got it down to what you might call a one-sheet ad wrapped into a pdf for ease of posting. I’ve pasted it in below, so by all means give me feedback. think this one will work? Does it need some tweaking? Or is it fine as is. Please comment here on maldene.com, on the Maldene Fan Page on Facebook, or in the mailing list; anywhere you can (constructive criticism is appreciated, random name-calling is not).

Maldene one-sheet ad

Maldene On The Market

Well, so I’m going to be taking a crack at this Marketing thing. Of course, that’s bit like asking a monk advice for picking up girls; he might know in theory but his application is going to really bite wind. I mean, I’m the guy that in job interviews of many years past actually volunteered what I wasn’t good at before saying anything about my possible qualifications. As far as the writing of a story, crafting a killer plot, and so on, I’m probably about an 11. People have compared Maldene to The Wheel of Time series and me to the likes of Homer (of Iliad fame- the old Greek guy, you know) in terms of degree of epic writing (I really cherish that last comparison- I mean, Homer was the man!). I can write a 300,000+ word novel in 3 months, fully edited, can plan out a plot several books deep with dozens of characters (the Maldene series as a whole has around 250 in total), and get the reader to feel whatever emotion I want. I’m not bragging, this is just simple fact.

But when it comes to PR, marketing, and selling myself, I’m probably about a negative 3. I can’t sell a heater unit to Eskimos, I’ve always had an enormous problem with lacking in self-confidence (trying to fix that, though), and I stutter when I try public speaking (which for me would involve more than 5 people when not standing in front of a microphone, or more than 3 when standing in front of a microphone or podium). But, I’m still going to take a crack at it and now I have a guy (everyone needs a “guy’ or “people”, right? You aren’t successful unless you can say “I’ll have my people get back to you”, or “My guy will call you.”) to help me out. I’ll be honest, though, it’s going to be a bit scary; at least from my point of view. So bear with me while I take the plunge.

I’ve had many false starts (heck, I’ve missed the race entirely most of the time) and setbacks- 150 agents contacted in years past, one no-goodnick “publisher” that did me more harm than good (Publish America, or whichever name they reformed under now), advice from people that seem to know less about social media than I do, got held up a bit when my Mom passed away and the resultant 6 year probate (yes, I know it’s only supposed to be one year, but my sister is certifiably insane), and every time I bump into someone that can possibly help me out then ridiculously bad stuff happens to them (they get sick, lose their job, divorce, go from bringing in more money in a week than I’ve brought in my entire life to declaring bankruptcy and going on food stamps, their barn burns down and cow dies, you name it). At this point, most people would have gotten the message and given up by now; just thrown it all in for a radish farm in Pennsylvania or something.

So why don’t I?

Well in short, because I know what I have. Remember that lack of confidence issue I mentioned? Besides making for great editing skills (“No, I need to look through it just ONE more time to be certain”), it makes for a good benchmark. If I, the person with zero self-confidence, can read something that I’ve written by my very own hand and look at it and say, “Wow!” every time I re-read it just to make sure I wasn’t imaging it, then there’s gotta be something there. Think back to the very best book that you’ve ever read. The one that made you laugh and cry, the one that gave you goosebumps at a page turn, the one that had your blood pumping and on Cloud 9 for three days after finishing. Do you know that feeling? Now imagine, that instead of reading such a story, that you’re the one who’s written it. There wouldn’t be anything you wouldn’t do to keep trying to get that creation of yours out there. You’d want to share it far and wide. And that money you’d make? That just means you could stop worrying about ghostwriting to pay the bills and be able to get back to writing up the next epic and recapture that same feeling… again and again and again. (That’s sort one of my goals here- you guys make me a best seller so I can get back to another bout of epic storytelling and recapture that Cloud 9 feeling).

Okay, so maybe it’s time I shared exactly what I’m sitting on. This is probably the first really public declaration I’ve make of just how big the world of Maldene really is. Volume One and Two are just the two halves of the first full novel, so with that in mind, the total summary is as follows:

  • Maldene is a series of thirteen  novels.
  • 5.2 million words.
  • Has some 250 characters.
  • Probably about a hundred main plot lines.
  • About 10,000 pages of printout (8X11″ with 9-point font)
  • All the appendices you’ll be seeing at the back of each novel are taken from my world notes (which is a small book in itself); enough details to make you believe this place just might exist.
  • Spans a few thousand Earth years equivalent in time.
  • Travels not only the entire world of Maldene (itself several times larger than Earth) and its three moons, but many other worlds, dimensions, and far across the multiverse.
  • And let’s not forget- the baddest villain of them all (read and you’ll see why).

Starting to get the picture? When I say there may be nothing else like it, I am not exaggerating. Eight years to write (taking most Summers off) and 15 years before that planning. And this isn’t counting the 2-book prequel that a friend urged me to write, nor the other non-Maldene stuff I’ve written since (my Inspector Flaatphut series, and the Cyberdawn series you guys haven’t heard of yet). I got blood, sweat, and tears in this thing, so I ain’t given’ up now. Or ever.

I got the dream, I have the passion, the creativity and intelligence, but please pardon me if the one thing I lack is some of that real-world stuff (always been an introvert, which makes for great writing skills but terrible social skills). So take this as an announcement (or warning) that I am getting up from the field of battle once again to face that most terrible enemy of mine, that monster with the red eyes and gleaming teeth: Salesmanship. Spread the word (please?), check out my novel, and see if you don’t get drawn in.

A small warning though: While the first two-volume novel equates in length (and probably nearly scope) to the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is indeed but the introduction to what comes next. There’s some pretty incredible things up ahead, so please stay tuned.

Book links- Amazon
Maldene Volume 1: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BA4K2UI
Maldene Volume 2: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XZZXW66

The Scope of Maldene (or, How Much Story Are You Getting For Your Money)

Ya’ know, I probably should have mentioned this a lot earlier, but hey I’m a novelist not a salesman, and it’s much easier to see how big a print book is than an electronic one. Anyway, it occured to me that I haven’t said how long the first book is. I mean, most ebooks being put out nowadays that are being proclaimed as “novels” usually top out at around 60,000 to 80,000 words, with many being much less. But this makes them novellas at best, and some of the shorter ones are little more than short stories. Novels start in at around 100,000 words. That doesn’t make the shorter efforts any less good, I’m just trying to set the stage here. That’s why most ebooks cost a buck; they’re usually about 30,000 to 60,000 words.

Okay, so where does Maldene stand on all this? Well, the first novel– that is, Volumes 1 and 2 combined– is 330,000 words. To put that into perspective, that’s equal to the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy Combined! Both in length and scope of plot. And this is just the first novel… there are 13 novels in all, and most of them are even bigger.

Then there’s the appendices. Like any good epic, the end of each novel (in the case of this first one, that’s at the end of Volume Two) has some extras. An alphabet, dictionary of local words, and some added notes about the world of Maldene that vary for each novel. Things like the Maldene calendar, the local visual spectrum (Maldene has some colors not seen by the eyes of Earth), and more (there’s even a Maldene Tarot that comes up in one of the later books).

So you see, when buy a copy of Maldene, you’re really getting a lot of story (And that’s not counting the re-readability factor of my stories).

Review: Dead Men Tell No Tales

First off, I loved it (espeically after #4).  It had the humor, the ridiculous situations, and while we didn’t see too much of Orlando Bloom or Kierra Knightly, the plot does coem full circle to wrap things up for those characters.  Now, for those haters that want to pout and complain that this movie disappoints, may I point to the bani robbery bit at the beginning where Captain Jack Sparrow robbed a bank… without spoiling anything, this comes out a bit more literally that you might first think (I saw this bit once in an old cartoon when I was a kid but never since).  Overall I found myself laughing, applauding, even getting a bit misty-eyed towards the end.  has some of this been done before?  Sure, and it’s no replacement for any of the first three, though it builds upon them, but it’s still enjoyable.  I just thought it was a really fun movie.

Oh, and stay all the way through the end credits because there is a little something at the very end.

Maldene- The BOOK TRAILER!

Yes, I’ve finally gotten a trailer done for the first book of Maldene.  You can view it right HERE or see it on YouTube!

It has begun…

Article In Newswire About Yours Truly

It seems as some thoughtful or very impressed person has seen fit to write up an article about me and Maldene. Give it a gander at Newswire.

Looks Like I Need a Book Trailer

Lately I’ve been trying to get more organized in coming up with a gameplan for more properly marketing Maldene, and I’ve naturally concluded that it comes down to the first step being a good book trailer. Well, as you might guess, I’m pretty good with writing the words and imagining what imagery would be required, but graphic art is not my thing. I wrote up a script, found a one-minute piece of music that’s perfect, but… I can’t draw, nor can I really afford to shell out any money for some artwork to insert into the video.

Which brings me to my request. If there is anyone out there who wouldn’t mind doing some graphics for a book trailer for little more than some exposure or perhaps a promise and a prayer, or anyone who has an idea or two or knows someone who knows someone, then by all means contact me. Anywhere you see this post echoed just make reply, or go to the original posting at www.maldene.com and say something in the comments section to this post.

Thank-you ahead of time.

Reviewing Assassin’s Creed

Never played any of the games this movie is based on, so lowly me I actually have to look at this thing purely from the poiont of view of a movie goer. Okay then, here goes.

Basically, this film is about a guy who gets kidnapped just when he’s being put to death so he can play in a multi-billion dollar video game machine to revive his inner-assassin. In that same facility are a bunch of other people who have been in the same big game machine and already have their inner assassins revived. It all has to do with a rather weak wrap-around plot… but being as how said plot ends up being rather inconsequential, I’ll just be moving on. Anyway, guarding this facilities full of assassins that are being kept prisoner against their wills are a bunch of keystone cops armed with nightsticks; not so much as a taser amongst them. Now, you would think that since they are guarding a bunch of potentially threatning prisoners that the’d be far better armed, but it gets even worse, becauser you see they have a bunch of ancient assassin’s weapons on display in glass cases. This is apparently to stimulate those inner assassin memories, which I suppose is why they’re actually within reach of said assassins.

You can see where this is going, can you?

Our “hero” finishes playing with the big video game, then he and his cohorts grab hold of their ancient “useless” weapons- you know, swords, knives, explosive stuff- make short work of the keystone cops, then escape to retrieve the Apple of Eden (that’s the weak wrap-around plot) from the big bad Templars (who have somehow been responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, while the cult of assassins apparently originated from the Muslims conquoring Spain and are somehow the good guys espousing freedom- History lesson: The Pope appointed the Inquisition to take care of the rampant tide of blasphemers, while the Templars had a falling out with Rome and were actually ambushed by Vatican-backed forces though I don’t know in which year). Oh, we never actually see the Apple do anything more than act like a nightlight- the assassins get it, escape, then end of movie.

Now, the whole plot revolved around some ancient assassin trying to keep the Apple away from the Templars, so he tries to hide it by giving it to someone about to cross the Atlantic Ocean (it’s 1492, so you can probably guess which sailor). Now, me, if this was something I wanted absolutely no person on the planet to have, I’d just wrap a big heavy boulder around it and drop it somewhere around the middle of the Atlantic and be done with it. Of course, we’d have no movie then, which brings up the main problem with this flick: everything is forced. Nothing about this plot flows as a natural result of something. They HAVE to make the guards inept and leave edged toys around to be grabbed, then HAVE to have a weak wrap-around plot, they HAVE to force every single bit of this thing to make it go anywhere.

So, what’s good? Well… the fight sequenceas are good, but then again you could probably just break out a copy of one of the Assassin’s Creed games without the need of the multi-billion dollar game machien they used on the guy in this movie.

RIP Carrie Fisher

I don’t do obits or any of that entertainment magazine type stuff, but my God there are just some things that just call you to say something about it and I might as well do it here. The year 2016 has called several big names to their eternal rest, but it seems the year was not about to bow out without taking away one more really BIG one.
On a recent plane trip, at the age of 60 actress Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack that proved ultimately fatal. Now for many years I’d heard rumors of possible drug and alcohol problems on her part, and looking at her in the Force Awakens one can easilty believe her to be at least ten years older than her actual age would warrant. For myself, I’d hoped I was wrong and that my eyes were playing tricks on me, but it seems that whatever she did to abuse her body caught up with her many years too soon. Maybe this could be a lesson to others to take better care of themselves, but that’s another subject.
She was one of the legends of Star Wars, an ingrained part of our modern age and pop culture, one of those people that we thought we’d still have for many years yet to come. Everyone remembers the defiant edge she gave to Princess Leia Organa, we all smile every time we think of that slave-girl outfit (and the ever-burning question of the time, did she have any underwear beneath it), and any convention she showed up at the house would be packed.
I leave it to the pros to review her career and life; I’m just here to mourn her passing. Carrie Fisher is one with the Force now, and may we ever remember its light that we saw shining through her.

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