Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde
Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Slush Pile: The Online Home of Elizabeth Mock

I'll be honest, Elizabeth is an online friend of mine so I'm a little biased but I've always respected her opinion where it came to my work and even where personal matters were concerned a couple of times.

That's why, when she started publicly writing a short story online at http://mockslushpile.blogspot.com/ I had to check it out. It's true, it took me forever to get around to it, but I finally took an hour to read The River, a short urban fantasy piece that I liked quite a bit as it turns out.

Here's my comment on The River:

"
I just finished reading it and I have to say I honestly enjoyed the experience. It's a good short journey well suited to short story telling and perhaps an episodic style if you plan on writing more.
The texture and description in this piece is well balanced with the acts and plot pacing and the story is compelling. Your characters are coming to life here, and the style of dialog adds to the distinctive flair each brings to the story.
It's hard to find anything seriously wrong with what I've seen, if anything you might have the same problem I did with commas, a few too many, but I understand the need for an occasional indication of dramatic pause.
If this is a story you want to continue in some way I think you have the start of the necessary mythology you'd need to do it well.
If there's more, I'll be reading it.

Favorite character this time around: Gabriella"

Honest truth, I suggest this for anyone whose into Urban Fantasy, a genre seeing a lot of attention these days. It's a funny thing, but I bought Twilight over a month ago and have barely gotten past chapter 4, but if I had four hundred pages of what Elizabeth is doing I'd probably want four hundred more.

RL

Go take a look http://mockslushpile.blogspot.com/ and leave a comment when you're finished.

The Call Center Survival Guide: This Isn't the Book You're Looking For

Early last year I wrote a little self help book somewhere between Limbo and Starfree Port just to see if I could do it. Well, obviously I could.

It's sat on my shelf for months missing the last chapter (which contains sections entitled; "Quitting Suddenly" and "Getting Fired"), and yesterday I finally dusted it off, edited the entire thing and released it on MobiPocket with a temporary cover.

Now, I realize that there are a few hundred people waiting for the next part of Spinward Fringe, but the unfinished task of completing this dry, over descriptive book has been nagging me like crazy all year.

The result of my labors is a self help book that is really only written to help Call Center employees. More specifically, Call Center employees who expect to run into trouble socially or professionally and need a little advice on how to prevent such problems and need tips on how to deal with them when they happen.

To be honest, if you don't work in a call center, or you do and your career is in good shape, you don't need this book at all. I know, if I had a publisher they'd slap me silly, duct tape my mouth shut and toss me in a closet for saying that, but I'd rather be honest so no one mistakes this for a comedy and buys it for a laugh only to discover it's actually a self help book.

Somehow writing this reminded me of an instructional film made in the 40's or 50's, which actually made it a bit of fun. I'll also write a comedy screen play based on this book someday when I have a week or two to spare just for kicks.

Now that this is all finished (with the exception of a cover, which Marcus Froment will be illustrating this week), I'm going back to work on Spinward Fringe Fronline. Time to go back to what I really enjoy: writing fiction!

RL

Coming soon: 2008 in review!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

SomaCow Interviews Randolph Lalonde

I'm a regular live listener to SomaCow, I'll admit with no shame (okay, maybe just a little), that their fearless humour and many of their opinions fit right in with what I really enjoy in a talk radio show.

Ross, Geoff and myself had talked about doing an interview, but I was really just calling in to say; "hello, merry Christmas and a happy new year." Geoff, being the effortless pro that he is, picked up the unplanned call and just peppered me with questions about self publishing, being and indie writer, about the crazy cold weather us Canucks were having that night and it was great fun.

I've done interviews before (years ago), and as always there are a few things I look back on and think; "God, I really should have said this, that, or added this or the other to a particular statement." That's natural, and thanks to SomaCow and their generosity I may get another opportunity to talk to Geoff and the guys (that would be J, Mickey and Ross), but none of the blanks I think I missed really need filling in, except for one.

There's a point in this interview where Geoff asks about what kind of advice I have for budding indie writers. My response is correct, except for one thing: I actually forgot to mention that the most important part of any budding writer's career is to continue improving your craft. There are other points that pertain to independent and represented writers, and they're mentioned.

Go on over and listen to the interview, I'm sure there's something in there for you to enjoy! Sadly, I didn't get to talk to J so much...

RL

Oh, and when you're finished, take a moment to leave a comment.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays! Spinward Fringe Triton Gets Thicker!

Spinward Fringe Triton has undergone its final edit just in time! My plan was to finish all this editing before Christmas and add two chapters from the next book: Spinward Fringe Frontline as a Christmas gift to everyone on MobiPocket who has been reading all my science fiction work so far.

I managed to not only complete my editing, but to edit the chapters I've added as a preview, so if you update Spinward Fringe Triton you'll have a bigger chunk of the following book. I hope you enjoy the preview, I'm looking forward to finishing work on Spinward Fringe Frontline.

Have a safe, happy holiday season!

RL

Books by Randolph Lalonde: Editing Complete!

From the very first science fiction book I started writing on January 1, 2008 to the most recent one all six of the novellas and novels have been carefully reviewed and edited.

In retrospect I'm proud of the stories I've told, how my writing craft has grown, and I have to say that I am truly proud of what I've done with both the First Light Chronicles and the Spinward Fringe Series.

As many of you already know, the First Light Chronicles are over, but the Spinward Fringe Series goes on.

The first book I'll be releasing in 2009 is Spinward Fringe Fronline and I can't wait to dive back in after taking a couple of days off for the holidays! This book is already half finished, so you could imagine I've been chomping at the bit to continue working on it.

I'm happy I'm not taking this journey alone. My editor, a couple of proof readers and hundreds of people have been reading everything as it comes and once again I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

There is so much more to come just in the Spinward Fringe series, but as ussual, I can't go into details yet. We don't want to spoil anything, now do we?

NEXT: Details about the Spinward Fringe Triton final edit.

RL

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Final Edits and Other Strangeness

While I was wrapping up a day of editing, a thought occurred to me; my readers might not understand or like the idea of me editing work that they've already purchased.

I also realized that I completely understood where people of that opinion were coming from. The best I can do to ease that frustration is to explain why these edits are even happening, why they might be necessary.

At the beginning of the year I started writing science fiction, and to be honest I was a little rusty as a writer and I was doing some research as I went. I also didn't have the editor I do now, who has been good enough to go back and do a pass over all my work this year. Even after that was finished, I still wanted to go back and smooth out some rough edges, make sure all the science in my fiction was as spot on as this sort of speculative writing can be, and that there was very little (if any), flat dialog.

As a result, the First Light Chronicles are much improved, and the first two Spinward Fringe books are in much better shape. It's all much more enjoyable to read now that those rough edges have been buffed down.

Until recently I've been lucky and most of my readers aren't ordering print versions of the books, so when a new version comes out they can update their files for free. That softens the blow a great deal. In early 2009 I'll be offering all my books through Amazon.com in print, however. That changes things.

This editing process that I'm wrapping up this weekend will help me determine the best way to move ahead, to make sure that in the future anything I put out there will be the final, no more edits required version. For those of you who don't know, I'm independent and when you're doing this stuff with very few people to work with it takes time to determine the best process for pretty much anything. Thankfully, after a year and this extra edit, I feel that that process is finally down pat.

It may take a couple extra weeks to get each book out there, but at least this way you can be absolutely certain that each release is the final release. You'll see a much higher initial quality each time and that'll just make everything you read with my name on it that much more enjoyable.

As a side note, this edit from the First Light Chronicles Freeground all the way to Spinward Fringe Triton has given me ideas for the future, renewed my enthusiasm for the stories that have not yet been told, and strengthened my feel and tie to each character. In short, I feel a lot better going forward.

Thank you again for following my characters on their journey, to date Spinward Fringe Triton has sold 101 copies. Those sales (which may seem modest to most of you, but in truth are quite decent for an independent Ebook), and your emails tell me that you've enjoyed the journey so far and want more.

In early 2009 I'll provide in grand fashion with Spinward Fringe Frontline. After that I plan on producing more books in the Spinward Fringe series, since there are so many stories waiting to be told.

RL

See you in a day or two when I announce the end of this editing business and some other news.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spinward Fringe Awakening: The Final Edit Is Complete

I have to admit, going through Awakening again after not so much as touching it for months was a lot of fun. There were amusing and dramatic moments in this part of the Spinward Fringe series and I enjoyed giving it one final edit.

There was a little cleanup to do, I'll admit, but I benefited a great deal from the look back. As the sort of middle child in the Spinward Fringe Series (at least for now), it got a little neglected. After reading it over again I couldn't help realizing how important some of the events in here are and how well it leads into the next book, Triton.

Now that this final polish is done I've updated all the versions available (MobiPocket, Lulu.com, and the upcoming Amazon.com versions), and once more I can reassure you that there were no plot changes made. The decisions I made the first time were the right ones, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed reading this book over again.

So, update your readers (if you use MobiPocket), by revisiting your online library and give it a read if you have the inclination. You don't have to read it over again, however, as I said before, most of the changes were gramattical and cosmetic. These final edits are being performed so I'll be ready for Amazon.com in January and so I can get a refresher before finishing Spinward Fringe Frontline.

Now I move on to edit Spinward Fringe Triton, the largest and most significant Spinward Fringe book so far. I get the feeling I'm about to get sucked in all over again and I love it.

RL

Monday, December 15, 2008

Californication: The Last Good Season


Drinking and driving, sex, rock stars, wannabe porn stars, plagiarism, drugs, and a writer who is not at all about the work but into all of the above. I couldn't have been more resistant to liking this show if it starred Big Bird and Freddy Krueger. Actually, that could be fun, bad example.


Suffice it to say it was the show I started watching not sure what I was seeing at first, then I just couldn't look away, and before I realized what was going on I was hooked. Hooked for two whole seasons. It's hard to say, but I'll miss this show.


A few people out there know that there's another season coming, and they're asking; “Randy, why are you mourning the passing of this show when there's going to be at least 13 more debaucherous episodes on the way?”


Well, if the rumours of David Duchovny checking into a sex addiction clinic are true (and the therapy sticks), it really looks like the fun is over. I know, that's insensitive and Dave gets a lot of flack for confessing his sex addiction but I mourn the passing of this terribly offensive show because I can't picture the third season being as edgy, funny, juvenile and adult (yes, it's both), as the first two. With David Duchovny recovering from his addiction, being the star and a member of the production team I see things taking a turn for the tame.


This is one of those situations where I'd love to be proven wrong. I think season three will be crap compared to the wonderful experiences of seasons one and two (that left me feeling dirty and used once a week), and yes, I want to be proven wrong. I want them to maintain the high quality low standard humour that made me laugh out loud at least once per episode.


Until then, if you missed Californication entirely and have a deeply rooted case of guttermind, you'll love this humour. Go rent the dirtiest DVD outside of the curtain, or buy it if you have the cash lying around. Then tune in for season three and see if they took the hard out of the core as I suspect. If I'm wrong, well, I'll be the first to raise a glass.


RL



And THAT my friends, is what happens when someone sends me an Email asking; "I miss ur reviews, why don't u do them ne more?"

Spinward Fringe Resurrection: The Final Edit Is Complete


Spinward Fringe Resurrection: The Final Edit Is Complete

Spinward Fringe Resurrection was a much closer match to the science fiction novel I dreamt of writing a little over a year ago, and after running it through the final edit I have to say that the quick character development, rich colour I found in the dialogue was surprising. As with the First Light Chronicles Omnibus I didn't make any plot changes, so no one has to go back and re-read Resurrection.


This fresh final edit is really just a cleanup and a chance for me to look back before going forward. The foundation of the Spinward Fringe series is set in this and the following two books; Awakening and Triton. So far I think the three books are strong enough to support another six, and for those of you who have followed authors before for many many books without conclusion, this isn't the kind of series that completely closes off.


I actually plan to leave something open at the end of every book, especially when most of the plotlines are resolved. The Spinward Fringe series will never be tied up in a neat set of three, six or nine books unless people stop reading them, and as it stands more people are buying the most recent book; Triton. That tells me that there's still an interest, so the fourth Spinward Fringe book; Frontline is more than half finished and there are plans for a fifth as well as a sixth. If I do my job well people will keep following me on this journey and they'll tell their friends about it.


So far, after doing the final edit on Spinward Fringe Resurrection I can tell you that there are so many stories to tell, so many interesting things for these characters to do while they survive in my imagination and on the page that this series could go on for thirty books. I do not exaggerate. Consider that in the space of one year I was able to write six novellas in this universe and it feels like the whole year just whipped by.


I'll post a little more about what I'm thinking going forward once I've finished the final edit of Spinward Fringe Awakening, but until then I thank you for your support and encourage you to keep spreading the word, sharing my work and enjoying the adventure.


RL


All I have done is nothing compared to what I intend to do.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twelve Months and Twelve Days Later: The First Light Chronicles Omnibus

A while ago I promised that there would be an Afterword added to the First Light Omnibus. It's a little late, but after four drafts I've decided on which one to include. The Afterword is called Twelve Months and Twelve Days Later, An Afterword by Randolph Lalonde. The significance of the title rests in the fact that I started writing Science Fiction twelve months and twelve days before the final edit of the First Light Chronicles was complete and the afterword was added. On January 1, 2008, this journey began as I wrote the first chapter of Freeground. For more details on that journey and the two novellas that followed you'll have to read the afterword, available to anyone who has a copy of the Omnibus in their MobiPocket library or who orders a printed copy of the book.

As I completed the editing and polishing work on the First Light Chronicles Omnibus I was happy to place the Afterword right at the end. Sadly, only people who own the Mobipocket rights to a copy of the book and people who purchase a printed copy from Lulu.com or Amazon.com in the future will have access to it.

Polishing the three books in the Omnibus was a great look back, and now that it's all finished I've updated the individual novellas as well; Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port. The afterword isn't included in any of those volumes, however.

Now I'm moving on to the Spinward Fringe Series, it's about time I finish taking a look back before taking a great big step forward and finishing the next novel in the series: Spinward Fringe Frontline. This whole review process takes time, and I thank you for your patience with reassurances that taking a look back is crucial to doing a good job on the next two books.

This is a great universe to write in, you're fantastic people to write for and after taking this look back I'm ready to push forward and expand it once more.

So, if you've got a copy of the First Light Chronicles Omnibus in your MobiPocket Library, go ahead and update it. Even if you don't plan to read the whole thing over again (since I didn't change any plot points, you really don't have to), you might want to take a look at the new Afterword.

Thank you for reading along, the road ahead promises to be longer and more interesting than the one behind.

RL

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The First Light Chronicles Omnibus: Final Edit Complete!

Here are the facts:

When I started writing this series at the beginning of 2008 it had been almost three years since I had done work on long fiction.

I was more of a technical writer, every sentence had a period and thoughts were rigidly separated.

I didn't expect anyone else to enjoy the material I turned out for practice at the beginning of the year (First Light Chronicles Omnibus), but I had great fun doing it.

Here's what happened:

I loved the storylines that sprung out of the three novellas contained within the Omnibus so much that I started the unlimited series; Spinward Fringe. To my surprise people enjoyed the First Light Chronicles so much that they wanted more and enjoyed Resurrection, Awakening and Triton.

So MobiPocket took me on as an independent publisher and people started reading these high technology science fiction novellas on their blackberries, other cellphones, ebook readers and laptops. Now that's a happy irony! These books are perfectly suited to small devices as far as I'm concerned. The books have sold quite well for something available mostly on a fringe market (eBooks are still quite unpopular compared to the printed, tree wasting kind), and I'm so happy to have an audience for more Sinward Fringe novellas/novels so I can easily justify more novellas and novels.

The problem:

It had been almost a year to the day since I started writing this series and I needed a refresher. I remembered what happened in the First Light Chronicles, don't get me wrong, but I needed to go through the books once more to clear up some vagaries and make sure I wasn't leaving any minor plot strands dangling loose.

Even though my editor has been through the First Light Chronicles, I also wanted to make sure that there weren't any rough edges left. You know, sentences and paragraphs that were correct, but not smooth. So, another read through / edit was required before I moved on.

The result:

I've enjoyed re-reading the First Light Chronicles, and yes, there were a few squarish sentences and points that needed a little more explanation. I'm happy to say that those have been all rounded out and expanded. Have there been major changes? No! The worst thing I could do is go back and make sweeping (or minor), plot changes that would chance the universe and stories I've already told. The edits I made were actually quite minor, and I can honestly say that I've done everything I wanted with these books.

The Future:

I'm going to take this week to revisit the Spinward Fringe Series; Resurrection, Awakening and Triton. I know Resurrection needs some polish and there are some details I absolutely need to have straight before I go on and finish my work on Spinward Fringe Frontline.

About Fronline:

Spinward Fringe Fronline, simply put, takes all the charm, excitement, characterization and plot craft that you've seen in the First Light Chronicles and the Spinward Fringe series thus far and draws from it. Everything that was exciting and compelling about those novellas (all six of them), is getting pressed into this book just so I can tell the story contained in Frontline properly. I'm not finished, I actually had to take a break at page 166 so I could take this backwards look then make the next mighty leap forward.

I'm hoping to have Spinward Fringe Fronline (the seventh book), completed by Christmas, but if I miss my date it'll be on MobiPocket in January 2009. It's been a great year, and reviewing it this way is a fantastic method of preparing to write in the next.

Amazon.com?

After all that's finished I'll be sending all the books to Amazon.com, where they'll offer copies of the printed book for sale. They're going to use their own presses to print copies as people order them and apply the same specials / shipping savings to my books as they do to everything else they offer on their site. Everyone will finally have a good, trustworthy, well known online store to order printed books from, maybe even in the UK!

So stay tuned, there's more Spinward Fringe news to come!

RL

Oh, about the Afterword that will be added to the First Light Chronicles Omnibus; it's with my Editor and THAT will be out before Christmas. I know, it's not much compared to another Spinward Fringe Novel, but it's the best I can do at the moment, unless someone manages to add an hour or two to our restrictive 24 hour days...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Books by Randolph Lalonde: Six Steps Back To Take Six More Foreward

The First Light Chronicles Omnibus has spent over two months in the top spot on the MobiPocket Science Fiction section. That's huge for me, it's exposed this book to hundreds of people, and every few days I get an eMail from someone whose enjoyed it and moved on to Spinward Fringe. I couldn't be happier that people enjoying my work, especially since I want little more than to entertain people for a living. I'm so very close to living that dream, to continuing my efforts full time.

That's why I'm taking a short break from working on Spinward Fringe Frontline (I know, that's not what you want to hear), to look over all the previous books and ensure that they're exactly the quality and style I need them to be before going forward into 2009. No plot points will be changed during this final edit. Frontline is still on track to be finished by the end of the year, regardless of this break, but looking back before going forward is especially important at this point, partially to ensure the quality of the plot and characterization in the new book and partially because everything will be submitted to an Amazon.com subsidiary company so all the books will be available in print for competitive cover price early in 2009.

2008 was an amazing year for me. On January 1, 2008 I started writing an unnamed science fiction novella, and eleven months later I'm working on my seventh. A few hundred people have found my work and find real enjoyment in it. There are so many possibilities from here, and there are projects under way that involve the Spinward Fringe Series that I still can't talk about.

For the few out there who heard that our family just suffered a loss and there were some personal issues, I'm very happy to reassure you that the storm is over and everyone is going to be fine. I'm back to work and we're all set to have a great couple weeks leading up to the holiday season. My editor is also very, very anxious to dig into Spinward Fringe Frontline, so you can trust there will be no delays there!

Thank you all for the bounty of support during 2008, things are looking fantastic for 2009!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Announcing: Spinward Fringe Frontline

Am I excited about this book? I honestly can't express how insanely enthusiastic I feel about this Broadcast. It's the fourth book in the Spinward Fringe Series, and I know I've said this before but EVERYTHING COMES TOGETHER IN THIS BOOK!

If there was a unified theory to the Spinward Fringe Series it would be found in this book. The questions some people have had since the First Light Chronicles Limbo (the second book in that series, included in the First Light Chronicles Omnibus) are answered. Think Eden IV, think characters working to come back together for the first time in hundreds of pages, think universe changing.

That's what you'll see in this book right along with some solid characterization from characters I know for a fact fans have been looking to see. I get emails every time I release a book, and positive or negative I listen. The emails I recieved after releasing Spinward Fringe Triton told me one thing more than any other; The great big risks I took with the story in Triton paid off. People are thrilled with the latest release.

When will Spinward Fringe Frontline be released? I'm doing everything I can to get this out before the end of 2008, but I have to warn you: I'm a little over half way finished and it looks like this book will be longer and more intricate than any that has come before.

Triton set a new scene for many of our characters, and now that I've expanded the universe and moved to a whole new sand box with the story I'm going to tell a bigger tale that comes with a solid dose of creative dialogue and character interaction that I'm enjoying so much that I've once again completely lost my objectivity.

Enough going on about this book, it's time I get back to work.

I have to send out a big thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far, I greatly appreciate everyone who follows me on this journey. Remember; you, the readers weren't there, I'd still write this but it would take a lot longer to complete each edition since I'd have to split my time with another endeavor. You guys keep me writing full time, and not a day goes by that I don't love singing for my dinner to this crowd.

RL

Will Spinward Fringe Frontline be the last book in the series? No.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Early Adopters: Books Are Available From Lulu.com


Since the beginning of 2008 I've been using Lulu.com as a printer. Over that time I've noticed that so many people dislike them strongly enough even to avoid the free editions of PDF books (First Light Chronicles: Freeground so far). To be honest, Lulu.com isn't the best distributor out there, they can't sell a book to save their lives and I normally just use them to get hard copies that I send out to reviewers (SomaCow is a great example), and to fans who have donated or specifically requested hard copies. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the readers I have a lot of trouble keeping copies around. There are a few people locally that have been waiting for months for copies because they sell out before I actually have a chance to meet with them. Reserving copies (according to several local people), just isn't an option.

Something that people don't really know is that you'll get the same books from Lulu.com as you will from Amazon when they're available in the new year through that outlet. If you're in the US it's a good option, so I've made sure that the selection of my books at Lulu.com is up to date and ready for anyone who wants a copy of something. I wish I had an outlet for the UK, and they'll ship there, but it'll cost you, the same goes for Canada.

The good news is, real hard copies should be available shortly through Amazon in the UK and Canada, so you won't have to pay a ton of money for shipping if you just want a hard copy. The bad news is that I have no interest whatsoever in locating my books in book stores. That end of the industry is very backwards in its thinking, the production delay would be at least four months and it would take a great quantity of cash to get the books out. Not to mention the long courtship I'd have to go through for the release of each book. Just imagine waiting an extra four months for each Spinward Fringe book just because book stores don't want digital copies made available before they have printed ones in store? I know I'm not that patient...

I'd rather set up with Lulu.com and Amazon.com and offer my friendly fans editions that I've proofed personally. That way they can just hop online and use plastic or paypal to grab a copy and that's that, after a couple days the book is in their mailbox.

So you see? If you're an early adopter of my work (and I thank you for that!), and you want a hard copy shipped to you in the US, I can actually recommend Lulu.com. They've treated everyone on that side of the border quite well.

RL

Hang in there for more info and release info on the next Spinward Fringe Broadcast!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Spinward Fringe: There Will Be No Omnibus

The Spinward Fringe series is just that, a series of novels and novellas. Just as the title says, I won't be collecting two or more parts in one edition for eBooks. There are a number of reasons why, the first of which is that the novellas are already continually on sale for a reduced price. Another point on this is that the Spinward Fringe series contains novellas and novels.

There are other creative reasons, like Triton being such a stand apart novel in quality and story content. That opinion comes from my Editor and Proof readers, who nearly slapped me when I told them I was still considering including Triton in an omnibus. After some consideration I have to admit they're right. There are other factors that influence me and benefit my readers, like being driven to make each book as good as it can be because I know that at any point in time a reader can just stop buying the books if they feel it's not worth it. A publisher would shudder at this thought, but as an independent, all I have is my readers, and if you're unhappy I haven't done my job, I haven't adequately entertained. If this direct accountability weren't enough, leaving each book to stand on its own inspires me to make each volume longer with story lines that run their course under one title as well as plots that run through several parts of the series.

There's an exception to this "no omnibus" rule, and and that is the print editions. Since Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening (Broadcasts 1 and 2), were novella size I'm combining the two of them in one printed volume. This cuts down on the expense for me and my readers and it'll make the books available on Amazon.com sooner, maybe even in time for Christmas but don't hold your breath, Amazon's subsidiary that handles print self publishing accounts is prohibitively expensive and atrociously slow for Canadian customers. Until that mini collected volume is on Amazon, Lulu.com will be carrying it soon and they ship for reasonable rates in the US. Again, the only reason why I'm putting Resurrection and Awakening together in print is because they're small and I want to save my customers shipping charges.

I'd like to thank everyone whose been reading and talking about the series, without you I wouldn't have an audience! If you think this decision is wrong, feel free to EMail me about it. If there's enough of a response I may put a collected edition together for Mobipocket in the very distant future.

RL

P.S.
There will be no changes to the First Light Chronicles Omnibus other than the addition of the Afterword, which is being edited right now and will be added some time next week.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Spinward Fringe Triton: Now Available On Mobipocket.com

I'm proud to announce that the Spinward Fringe Novel (that's right, this one's larger and more well written than those preceding it, moving it up from novella status to novel), is now available. You can download your copy of Spinward Fringe Triton right here.

This book also includes a scene from the book following right after it in the series, we'll call it Broadcast 4 for the time being, since its official title has not yet been announced.

A little more about Spinward Fringe Triton. I started this book with the intention of getting further into the personal details of several characters, expanding the view of the universe and furthering more than one plotline. After my proof reader and editor have both gone through it and given me more praise than I deserve, I believe that I've accomplished that, and more importantly, I've managed to put down a really entertaining piece of fiction. In this book I've taken more risks with the plot, gambles with the characters and even managed to answer questions and wrap up plot lines that have been open for a very long time (one of which started in the prologue of the First Light Chronicles book; Limbo).

I stand behind this book, if a publisher came along and said; "give me your best" this is what I would put in their hands. It's true, you need to read the First Light Chronicles Omnibus and the other Spinward Fringe books, but since this series is written much like I would a television show, I have no regret making that recommendation.

I proudly present you with this experience and hope you enjoy it then talk about it, type about it and maybe even share it if you can.

RL

P.S.
There is SO much more news to come about the next Spinward Fringe Broadcast, the First Light Chronicles Omnibus Afterword, and other things I simply can't reveal just yet. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SomaCow: The Group Review For Spinward Fringe Resurrection


The guys at SomaCow (Geoff, J and Ross), have been closely following the progress of my little science fiction series and providing honest, sometimes generous reviews. Well, I thought they were generous before but they've gone and one upped themselves.

It didn't seem to be enough to the SomaCow folks for Geoff to give the Spinward Fringe Resurrection novella a well spoken, generous review. They had to go back after J and Ross had read it so they could voice their opinions. I'm thankful and appreciate their insight and the time they give me on air. Their thoughts were useful and highlighted points of interest in the story, characters and universe the whole series is set in. [Listen to the episode containing this review here.]

While I'm here, talking about Resurrection again, I have to say that writing that book in particular was a great pleasure. As in any piece of fiction of worth I took risks with it, tried to tell a challenging story while showing them something they don't nessisarily expect. Whenever I take risks I need feedback. My first line of feedback is my editor and any proof readers I've chosen then the fans and reviewers come next. I don't go back and change a thing, no matter what a reviewer or fan has to say, but the comments and advice I recieve is considered for future work.

Taking a risk character and plot-wise happens at least once per book (more than once in the case of Triton), and that's often what makes or breaks the work. The advice from my Editor, proof readers, reviewers and readers often tells me whether or not the risks I'm taking with the story are worth while, interesting enough or cause enough change for the characters and story for the reader to renew their interest in what's going on. Advice gathered from my Editor, first Proofer, SomaCow and a couple of fans helped me put together Triton, and it also highlighted the risks that no one had seen me take, the real turning points in the novel that would most likely become focuses of attention. What those risks are, I can't say. Spoilers are strictly taboo.

Back to this second review, and my point. Hearing more from the guys on this book, in which I take huge risks with characters people became invested in over the course of the First Light Chronicles, only helps that much more. It also makes me all the more eager to hear their opinion on the Spinward Fringe Awakening novella and Spinward Fringe Triton novel. I treat my readers like they're intelligent lovers of action adventure, not like they need to be led by the hand to a predictable, comfortable ending that won't offend. I enjoy entertaining people in a memorable way, and the more feedback I get, the less I'll draw my plotlines from what I call the Vanilla Plotline Playbook. Let's face it, a novel or novella isn't worth the paper it's printed on or data storage medium it's occupying unless it can be considered art, and something isn't art unless it demands interest or evokes an emotional response. I accomplish that by challenging myself and taking risks with the story and characters.

I like going off the map, and SomaCow is located in a nice spot off to the side of the legend somewhere. Give them a listen this Saturday live by clicking on the UStream link to the right between 1pm and 4pm EST. You can also tune in during the week for hour long portions of the live show. It's worth mentioning that this show is intended for adults, sorry kids.

Thanks for the entertainment and the review guys, Saturday is SomaCow day.

RL

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spinward Fringe Triton: Release Date Pushed to the 7th Of November

This wasn't a decision we made lightly, but sadly the release of the third book in the Spinward Fringe series, Triton, will be delayed until Friday, November 7, 2008. It's not that there are problems with the work, it's simply that there's more of it and there are family matters that are a higher priority at the moment.

Sadly, this is the kind of thing that happens when you release a book every 4-6 weeks on average. When things get complicated at home with people who are essential to the work (myself and my editor in this case), things get slowed down. I do apologize, if there was something I could do to speed things up without making sacrifices I couldn't live with, I would.

On the brighter side, the afterword for the First Light Chronicles Omnibus will be coming out with Triton, and there will also be a preview chapter for the book following immediately after at the end of Spinward Fringe Triton for Mobipocket customers.

The final announcement on the title of the fourth book in the Spinward Fringe series will follow soon after the release of Triton, and I'm continuing my work on that book so I don't fall behind. I'm also enjoying the work immensely and believe that the fourth Spinward Fringe book (and my seventh science fiction title this year), is the best yet. Again I'm writing in territory that's new to the series, putting my characters in difficult situations and revealing great big chunks of the various plotlines. This book is fun, interesting, and I think it will be the perfect follow up to Triton.

Again, I'm sorry for the delay, but as a friend of mine reminded me not long ago, normally publishers take between six months to two years to put out a book, so I'm hoping that after eight or more weeks of waiting everyone will still be there, happily digging into Triton when it comes out.

RL

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Triton Cometh: A Release Date Has Been Set!


On November 3, 2008, Spinward Fringe Triton will be released on Mobipocket.com. No other site has provided a better home from these books, so it's only fitting that the most anticipated book in the series is available there first. I also like the fact that hundreds of people are reading these books on their own versions of Command and Control units; their cell phones, PDA's and eBook readers. Now if only someone would build one with a holoprojector...

I believe Triton has the depth of a novel and the scope of a space opera film. Now that a very well respected proof reader has had time to go through it and give me the thumbs up, I feel comfortable releasing it as everyone recovers from their October 31 sweet tooth fulfillment hangovers. This is the most serious book in the series, it answers some questions head on and brings some plotlines to a conclusive end. As those plotlines close out others strengthen, deepen and the epic plans I had for this series finally start coming together.

The little universe I created for this series grows and starts to shake in the most abrupt and violent ways in this book. Just what the story needed.

Thank you to everyone who has read the series thus far, I wish I could tell you more about the story in Trition, but I honestly can't because of all the new readers who have been hopping on board. I'd hate to give anything away.

RL

Thank you for following me on this journey thus far, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mobipocket: Aaaaand We're Back...


I'm just not used to a major website disappearing for the weekend without warning. Neither are other eBook publishers I spoke to. We're all happy to have Mobipocket back up and running again though, and I hope they don't have this kind of difficulty again.

I half expected Mobipocket to be back to work on Monday morning, and I'm glad to see it back up, especially since Spinward Fringe Triton will be released with Mobipocket before any other retailer. I know there are Mobipocket users watching for it and I'd hate to let them down just because their servers are having issues.

Anyway, it's back to business as ussual as they say. This weekend I worked on the Spinward Fringe book following Triton, and I have to say I'm quite happy with it so far. Things keep moving on my end uninterrupted for the most part, so there's a lot to look forward to.

More to come on Triton and the book following it soon!

RL

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mobipocket's Site Is Down! Day 2

First two of my books disappear from the top 400 only to reappear as one of their customer service reps simply say; "Look, there they are, you must have been viewing our site in the wrong language or something," the next morning. (Trust me, I would have noticed), and now their eBook servers, back end and retail sites are all down.

This happened before in 2007 according to many well known eBook forums and news sites, and I hope it's just a hiccup that will be corrected by the end of the weekend.

I'm surprised though, Mobipocket has been a fantastic partner for months now, this last week just seems like one issue after another, at one time I thought that was unusual for a site owned by Amazon.com. Sadly, I've had serious issues with another subsidiary of Amazon.com over the last few weeks, so I'm starting to get the impression that when Amazon buys another company that entity's quality of service takes a dive.

Suppositions aside, I apologize to any of my readers who find themselves inconvenienced by this down time. If you're in the middle of the Spinward Fringe series or were looking for something else to read, be aware that I offer all my books through Lulu.com as well (check the links to the right), DRM free and in eBook or print format. The shipping is actually quite reasonable if you live in the US.

Here's hoping that Amazon and Mobipocket get their act together and we're back to normal by the end of the weekend. I have a book realease coming up and a few hundred people who have been waiting for it...

RL

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sweeping Improvements to All Books!

After receiving a great deal of advice from many of my eBook readers, I've made a number of changes to all the eBooks offered on Mobipocket. Here's a list of the changes.

The First Light Chronicles Freeground eNovella is once again free through Lulu.com. Mobipocket administration has informed me that they don't allow free eBooks to be added to their Freebooks program any longer, so I've reduced the cost of Freeground to $0.10 there.

All of the First Light Chronicles books (including the Omnibus), and the Spinward Fringe books now include links by chapter so Mobipocket readers can easily navigate through them. This is something that wasn't in place before because I honestly didn't expect to do so well in the eBook market. Now that so many of you have proven me wrong (thank you!), the table of contents are in place.
When the Spinward Fringe Triton novel is released there will be a new Afterword added to the First Light Chronicles Omnibus. In the afterword I discuss how the books came about, some of the more drastic twists in the novels and some of the surprises that crept up on me while I wrote them.

In the book Spinward Fringe Triton there's a preview of the following novel, the fourth book in that series. (eBook version only, sorry. I just have to save paper).

I'm also working on getting the First Light Chronicles Omnibus listed on Amazon.com. I'm hoping to make the printed copies available through their site (supersaver shipping, yay!), by Christmas. Other than that I'm looking for popular places to review my work, so word can spread beyond Mobipocket, SomaCow and this site. I love you guys, but for me to make a career out of this I need a few thousand more readers.

These changes and improvements have all come about thanks to you, dear readers, and I'm happy to make them. I've had a fantastic time writing these books and meeting people who are interested in the world I'm creating and expanding. I truly hope it never ends.

RL

Mobipocket: The Spinward Fringe Novels Make a Sudden Reappearance


Just as suddenly as the Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening books disappeared from the top 400, they pop back into the 2nd and 3rd places.

To be honest that's a better result than I expected, much better! I was sure to thank the administration there for adding the books back into the Science Fiction category.

A few publishers have had bad experiences with Mobipocket, but I've never had an issue go unresolved for more than 24 hours, so other than the little hiccup yesterday, I have to say my experience with this company has been very good. Better than a few others I could mention but won't.

In conclusion; sometimes flipping out and bringing your concerns out into the open does actually get something done, but now we return to our regularly scheduled programming...

Later today I'll be posting all about the changes that have been made to the eBooks and some of the print books. Don't worry, the plotlines have been left untouched, but there are a lot of other differences worth noting.

See you then!

RL

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mobipocket Buries the Spinward Fringe Series! A Call To Action!

Over the past few months Mobipocket has been a fantastic channel for me to get my work out to Science Fiction Fans across the globe. Up until this morning I've been very happy to see that the books that sell well climb the science fiction genre charts proportionately and I've been very fortunate that people have discovered and enjoyed my work.

Sadly, that's come to an end it seems. The First Light Chronicles Omnibus still sits in the coveted first place in the Science Fiction section, which I'm thankful for, but the Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening books aren't listed in the top 400. That's very strange, considering both of those books have been selling as well as, if not better than the Omnibus for a few weeks now and they've had places in the top ten for almost as long. I'd understand if something came along and out sold them, moving them down a few places, but it doesn't makes sense that they just disappear.

Here's what really irritates me about all this; the Spinward Fringe Series sells primarily to people who enjoyed the Omnibus, and you're the most important group of people to me, the true fans who continue following the story I enjoy telling so much. It's thanks to you that the Spinward Fringe Series has done so well, your support and your support alone got the books into the top ten. I honestly think Mobipocket his dishonoring that spirit of support by burying the Spinward Fringe series, and if you agree please post your objection on their forums under the topic: Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening gone missing!!

Thank you very much for your support so far, and I hope you stick around for the release of Spinward Fringe Triton and the novel that follows, I'll keep putting these books out for the length of this plotline and longer if the demand is there!

RL

"I aim to entertain!"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spinward Fringe Triton: Update

Triton is twice the size of Spinward Fringe Resurrection, it's also a very different kind of story. It took a while to write, I'll admit. After that it took a little while to edit, and I'm afraid that due to a family emergency things have been set back a bit.

I can say that even though things have slowed down on the finalizing of this book, it's still coming.

While this family matter is going on I'm writing the book following Trition, so once the air clears things should be right back on track.

The popularity of this series continues to rise, and thankfully I had plenty of ideas stored up long before I started writing it in January of this year, so there's more to come. I thank everyone whose supported me, enjoyed reading and donated to the cause or purchased my work. I can't say how much I appreciate your patience, it'll be worth the wait.

RL

Monday, October 13, 2008

True Romance: An Often Overlooked Classic

To my knowledge, True Romance (released in 1993), is the first screen play Quintin Tarantino sold. He didn't direct the film or even visit the set. Directed by Tony Scott, starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, and featuring actors like Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson and other memorables, this is a fun, powerful film.

My recent reviews have been terribly negative, so I thought I would post an article about something I believe to be one of those forgotten classics. A classic that I think should inform the writing choices of many a screen writer, director and performer.

When I first rented this film shortly after its initial release I was beyond surprised. The dialogue didn't just pop, it exploded. The performances weren't convincing, they were downright incredible. The plot wasn't just interesting or funny, it was quirky, entertaining and balanced. To this day there truly is nothing like this movie. Of all of the films Tarantino had a hand in, this is my favorite, which figures since he only wrote the screen play. To me, Pulp Fiction is a close second and another classic worthy of consideration.

Quintin Tarantino's incredible enthusiasm and in your face dialogue is balanced by Tony Scott's directing prowess and with the support of incredible actors this film takes the viewer on a journey though gun fights, fist fights, drug dens, as well as other events and places you might find surprising. I honestly think this film would have a higher status as a classic if the title were different, but on that point the title is perfect. Regardless of the body count, the seedy locations and characters this movie is still about two people in love. The pair are quirky, fun, and colourful, a better duo I've rarely seen. It's a good love story about a fellow who works in a comic book store and meets a very interesting woman on his birthday. The couple try to make things better for themselves while staying together and navigating unfamiliar territory.

The dialogue is incredible, far beyond what you'd see in any typical movie filled with convincing colour and perfect conversation.

I suggest this to anyone who enjoys a good action flick with a real plot and heart. I've also suckered many ladies who were looking for a "chick flick" into watching this, and invariably they find themselves liking it, but then, I typically date ladies who are at least half as nerdy or strange as I am.

RL

See? I don't hate everything...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Somacow: The Spinward Fringe Resurrection Review


Geoff took the time to review Spinward Fringe Resurrection, the first book of that series. He and the other fellows at the Somacow Radio show (J and Ross), have already reviewed the First Light Chronicles series (Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port), and did a good, entertaining job of it.

With the Spinward Fringe series going strong, I'm glad to see that the guys are interested and that Geoff is continuing with the reviews. Apparently, Geoff is very happy to continue them as well, give it a listen!

For the rest of the reviews you can check the links on the right (under Reviews and Interviews) and for more SomaCow as well as other radio shows on the network visit www.somacow.net To hear their show live, report to Ustream and do a search for Somacow between 1pm and 4pm on Saturdays. I'll invariably be in the chatroom unless I'm on a golden writing streak.

RL

Friday, October 10, 2008

Spinward Fringe Triton: Now We Wait

What's with the title you ask? Well, I've finished my editorial pass on the newest book and all of you get to wait on my Editors final word.

Anyone who has read the First Light Chronicles and Spinward Fringe thus far know that I'm the master of answering a (plot) question with another question. That's how I do things in general, give you just enough to feel informed while you follow the characters along on a journey that could take you anywhere. In the end there's always a payoff, however.

Triton is different. The location is different, the story is vastly different, even the main characters we follow around are dealing with things that they've never faced before. I've taken great risks in the telling. The major risks involve answers that don't pose questions. Many of the answers to long running plot lines (even going as far back as the First Light Chronicles), are final and satisfying, or at least that's my intention. My Editor will tell me whether I've accomplished my goals and told a good story.

Triton ties up a number of important plot lines because it's time to move on to the bigger story that's been developing in the background ever since the first page of Starfree Port. In Spinward Fringe Broadcast 4 (I can't tell you it's proper name until my Editor has signed off on Triton), the big picture story comes into play and I can't wait to tell it.

Triton is a much more serious book than anything that's come before, and now that I look back on the story I've told I can honestly say I'm proud of the work.

So, like I said before, we get to wait a few days while my Editor makes her educated, well read assessment of the book. Here's hoping I've done my job exceptionally well.

RL

[While you're waiting you could always check out Fate Cycle Dead of Winter or Fate Cycle Sins of the Past if you're looking for a more epic style of fantasy. They're both available at a reduced price on Mobipocket.com]

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Valentine: Cancel It

I made the mistake of watching the new television show: Valentine the other night.

The only special actress in this show is Autumn Reeser and she plays a relatively minor role. The actor behind the Cupid character isn't bad either, but the lead actress, Jaime Murray is about as diverse and adaptable as a pet rock.

I loved to hate her when she played the mildly insane, obnoxious twisted love interest in the last season's Dexter. In this series she is singularly responsible for completely stripping this show of what very little merit it has. For someone who has a real English accent, it sounds pretty fake. I've met quite a few people from Britain, none of them sounded like that.

Anyway, on to some of the core problems with this terrible hour of television. The show is about a family of Gods who live on earth in a classic Greek style house who get soul mates together. That's about as original as a Night Rider remake. The acting and production quality is barely par with network fare, there's no chemistry between this "ensemble cast" and visually the show is stylistically barren. The set design, costuming, directing and lighting decisions made for each and every scene are boring, standard and I'd love to see what a pair of film school graduates could have done to make this fun to watch.

As for the writing, well. Embarrassing. Aphrodite gives a character an orgasm by touching her (that was the only funny part of the show), but then she goes on to call it "a straight shot of unconditional love." Pardon me, but unconditional love has very little if nothing at all to do with orgasms. I have to give a few of the younger actors credit, by the way, they managed to perform admirably through very wooden dialogue.

Again, things come down to the lead actress, who will be in our faces for the whole run of the show, picking the missions (yes, these love matches the family make are assigned like missions), for the whole gang is a terrible choice. Look, Jaime Murray has a great body (Aphrodite traditionally does, but it would have been more interesting if they had chosen someone with curves, not near anorexia), and her accent is constant enough not to irritate most viewers, but there are literally thousands of actresses that would have been a better choice.

Valentine: Cancel the damn thing, let the few good actors in this series find work we can enjoy them in.

RL

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hey Kids! It's Survey Time!

I know, you're asking yourself; "will the fun never end? Will the excitement never cease? Will they ever make a third Men In Black movie, so we have a proper trilogy?"

Those are interesting questions, and though I can't answer them all, I can answer them with yet another question in the form of an important survey. I'm trying to figure out where all you folks who are buying my books are coming from. I'm very happy you're all here, don't get me wrong, but much like I once wanted to know where babies come from and how many licks it took to get to the center (thankfully unrelated questions...), I'm wondering how everyone heard of my work.

So please scroll down and click one of those options or leave a comment telling me where you heard of my work if it was outside the options provided.

Thanks in advance!

RL

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SomaCow: The Spinward Fringe Resurrection Review Cometh!


The Sacred Cow has received copies of Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening, the first two books in the Spinward Fringe Series. Geoff, J and Ross recently figured out where oh where the copies went and will (time permitting), review Spinward Fringe Resurrection this weekend.

More people who read the First Light Chronicles Omnibus are following through to the Spinward Fringe books every day, and I couldn't be happier. People are really enjoying the story I'm telling with both sets of books.

Knowing that I have something to offer in return for the guys at SomaCow entertaining me every Saturday is also a pleasure. Here's hoping Geoff and his cohorts (yes, I said cohorts), enjoy these books as much as The First Light Omnibus.

SomaCow aires live on Saturday between 1pm and 4pm here: somacow.com for the live video click on the UStreamTV link on the right hand side of the page. If you miss it they do post the three hours as one hour episodes later in the week, so check back.

See you on SomaCow's UStreamTV this Saturday!

RL

For more information on SomaCow and to check other shows on the SomaCow network check out www.somacow.net

Monday, September 29, 2008

Spinward Fringe Triton: Now Editing!

This is the largest Spinward Fringe book in the series so far. It goes into more detail with a few of the characters and takes you much further into the developing plot.

At the same time this answers a lot of questions people have been asking themselves about the First Light Chronicles and the Spinward Fringe series.

Editing isn't normally fun. It's not my favorite thing to do, I'll be honest. The good news is that I'm actually enjoying the job this time. Triton is an enjoyable read to me, I'm happy with what I've done with the characters, the chances I've taken and I hope everyone hooked into this story likes what's between the covers as well.

We're still a week or two away from E-Releasing this puppy though. Like I said, I'm still editing and my Editor, who is eager to dig in, still has to do her pass. Then there's another, hopefully final edit if I've done my job well. If I haven't done my job well there will be another partial or full draft. Let's not think negatively though. I think my Editor will give me the thumbs up on this one.

So hang tight, do the survey, make a comment, and you'll see this on your shelf, pda, PC, palm, cell phone or Control and Command Unit before you know it.

RL

Brown liquid anyone?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Call To Fans

First of all, thank you very much for purchasing my books and supporting me. I don't do this for the money, but sadly I require currency to buy food and such. Real annoying.

That's why, after Lulu.com reporting that I've had no sales (eBook or in Print) to customers through their service, I'm asking everyone who may have purchased something through them in the last 3 months to send me an email.

I'll really appreciate it, since I'm double checking their reporting accuracy. Compared to other distribution services, where I've sold a few hundred books over a time span of less than 3 months, Lulu.com saying I haven't sold a single one is, well, interesting.

Thank you for taking the time, please email me at randylalonde@gmail.com

RL

First Light Chronicles Omnibus: Price Drop


In celebration of this book's number one spot on MobiPocket.com I've reduced the price on this collection of the three First Light Chronicles Books (Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port).

Since the minimum shipping cost from Lulu.com is approximately $5.00 in Canada and the US (It's cheaper in the US, fyi), the total cost of this book is now in line with trade paperbacks you'd pick up in the bookstore. The average trade paperback (measuring 6" x 9"), costs $26.99 Canadian right now without any shipping or taxes.

Again, I'd like to thank everyone who purchased this online, I hope you're enjoying it and the following books.

Work on Triton, the third book in the Spinward Fringe Series is going exceptionally well, I expect to have it in the hands of my editor by Monday. I'll also be rolling over into writing the fourth book right away, since Triton wraps up a lot of plotlines from the First Light as well as the Spinward Fringe Series' I'm looking forward to telling a different story in this wonderful universe I've created.

I hope the reduced price helps everyone who wanted a printed copy of this book but couldn't justify $31.00 after shipping get their hands on one. If not, there's always the eBook version. It's only $7.95, for more information and pricing look to the right. That list of books leads to a couple of online bookstores that offer samples and a synopsis of each one.

Cheers!

RL

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Smallville: Love The Actors, Hate The Writers, Directors and Makeup People

After watching the Smallville season 8 premiere I was in complete shock. Actress Cassidy Freeman is now cast as the Lex Luthor stand in, the regular villain. Not bad, she's a lovely woman and a decent actress.

What had me in utter shock was the abysmal makup job the crew did with her! Maybe the lighting was bad for as well, because for the first time in my entire life I exclaimed; "HOLY SHIT SHE'S UGLY!" It was out loud, I'm sure neighbors heard me. The makeup and lighting people must hate her. I hope her agent is looking for an out clause in her contract and a better job.

I understand the concept of taking a lovely, talented actress then using makeup and lighting to make her look freakish. It's an old, cliche, tired visual device that belongs in films that can actually pull it off like Monster, for example. In this situation the worn out quality of "uglying up" your actress shows in spades, turning this actress into just another example of cheesy visuals. The more brilliant turn in a villain, to me, was taking something absolutely beautiful and demonstrating that the character at the core of that visual presentation is absolutely rotten. Why not challenge and surprise your audience? Smallville has done that in the past and the ratings were fantastic.

These new producers, writers and costume designers fail in such a painful fashion that the premere of this season's Smallville is very near a good example of what not to do with a long running series. Sad costumes, terrible lines for the Justice League folks, and yet another power for Chloe. On top of it all the directing style was like a cross between 24 and Xena Warrior Princess. I love Smallville, I think there is a lot of talent working on the show as well. I hope with the departure of the original show runners this thing doesn't tank.

I expect this will be the last season for Smallville. They should have let the original show runners write and execute the ending. This is turning into a bad ripoff of Lois and Clark (the Superman TV series that came before).

RL

Sunday, September 21, 2008

First Light Chronicles Omnibus Hits Number 1!

The collection of the First Light Chronicles books (Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port) has hit number one on the Science Fiction sales charts on MobiPocket.com. For anyone not familiar with that site, it's an eBook retail outlet online that's based out of France. They're owned by Amazon, and have a good number of loyal customers who use the mobi format for their eBook mobile devices.

This is a big deal. It doesn't mean that I'm selling thousands of copies, but every day new people are discovering this series, and the follow up book (Spinward Fringe Resurrection), is starting to sell as well. It all helps me work towards my goal of writing full time on a permanent basis. I'm no where near that yet, but I'm getting closer every day thanks to the people who enjoy my work.

I can only hope that everyone enjoys the Spinward Fringe (the continuing science fiction series) and Fate Cycle (fantasy) series' as well. If I've done my job right the plot, characterization and overall feel of the books will get better as people read on.

I'm known for liking my own work. That's why I have a good editor, she keeps me grounded. With that in mind, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that this Omnibus has made it to number one, but I am. Frankly I love what I did with the three short books within it's covers, but I have to say in all honesty; you ain't seen nothin' yet. The story continues from this book into the Spinward Fringe Series, and I truly believe Resurrection, Awakening and the upcoming Triton books are a vast improvement over the novels in the First Light Chronicles. So if you're enjoying the Omnibus right now, rest assured the story gets even better and I try even harder to entertain my audience. It's what I live for, after all.

Thank you for your support, as an independent writer you people decide how well or how badly my career goes. I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoyed writing it.

RL

Friday, September 19, 2008

Announcing: Spinward Fringe Triton

This is the third volume in the Spinward Fringe series. I'll tell you a few things about this book while sparing the spoilers.

Triton is a longer book with more attention paid to a few characters you've seen but have remained out of the spotlight until now. As the third book in this new series it ties up a lot of loose ends from all the other books, including the First Light Chronicles.

Here there be answers! The First Light Chronicles and especially the Spinward Fringe series are written as a serialized television show in prose. The very nature of that kind of writing demands loose ends but that doesn't mean that I don't get to give you a set of satisfying endings. I'm happy with how these plotlines wrap up, and I'm working to make the entire book as entertaining and gripping as possible so when you're finished you want more. Not because there are a half dozen unanswered questions, but because the universe between the covers is so enjoyable you need more.

Here's the really important bit, the information I want everyone to carry away once you're finished reading this post: - Spinward Fringe is an unlimited series. - There will be more, in fact as I'm writing Triton I'm writing notes on Spinward Fringe Book IV and Spinward Fringe Book V. Like I said, think of this like a television series and the only people who can cancel it are the readers.

Every day more people are buying the First Light Chronicles Omnibus (That includes the Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port books). A lot of those same people are buying Spinward Fringe Resurrection and Awakening. That tells me that people need the third book, that they're entertained and that's where I get my buzz. There's nothing like knowing that someone's glued to your pages, especially when the story you're writing is such a pleasure to pen.

I'm enjoying writing Triton, I can't write the scenes fast enough and I've never been so invested in a story or the characters who are playing it out.

More on Triton coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy what's already available!

RL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Permanent Price Drop On eBooks With Lulu.com

People like DRM Free content. If you don't know what that means, I'll tell you. That means that after you download your .pdf eBook you can transfer the file between different computers, devices and whatever else you want to stick your file into, even a printer.

So, by using the store links to the right, you not only save $2.00 or more per eBook, but you can transfer the file to whatever you're reading it on or print it out for yourself.

What's prompted the price drop you ask? More people are buying the books! People are reading my work on their laptops, cellular phones, pda's and in print.

I thank you, if things keep picking up I'll be able to do this full time indefinitely. That's my dream, not to be rich, not to be famous, and certainly not to be massively published by some TOR or Bantam or ACE or whatever. I dream of making enough money to write full time, take care of myself and my family and maintain control of my work so no one can stop me from penning the stories I want to tell. I love entertaining you, but I want to do it my way.

So again; I thank you.

RL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sci Fi Channel: Selling Out and Wasting Our Time, Again!

As time passes the NBC/Universal owned American SciFi channel has been disappointing me more and more. They've recently managed to waste a lot of people's time and energy producing a full season of Flash Gordon, which was just embarrassing in every respect. It was like watching a terrible B-Movie every week written by a bunch of geek wannabe's in grade 9.

At the same time they play host to ECW Wrestling, which is really just a soap opera of 10 year olds and the people who can't seem to grow out of their 'muscle men in tights' phase. I laugh inside whenever I hear a 25+ person raving on about what happened last night in wrestling. It's like listening to someone talk about their favorite soap opera only without the sweaty near nude men flying through the air. Oh, and you'll never catch an actor from Young and the Restless saying; "Nono, it's all real man. This is a real sport here." I'm not saying that everyone should grow up and tune out, but I am saying that ECW does NOT in any universe have anything to do with Science Fiction. Don't try to argue with me on this one, I'll just ignore you.

Moving on to the current day: The Sci Fi channel announced today that they are launching Cha$e, a reality television show where people run away from hunters and earn cash for every second of evasion. They're also launching Panic, which puts contestants into a mansion with money and other nasty surprises hidden all over the place. There will also be formulaic challenges scattered around.

Reality television isn't science fiction. They're wasting everyone's time and setting their credibility on fire. The real sad thing is the people who work for the SciFi network might actually see this, the people who make the big decisions above them won't. They're part of the network television corporate structure like everything else on television these days, and these crap shows are just another way to snag more advertising dollars.

I have an idea though, it could actually get some advertisers and have fanboys (and fan girls, hi Liz!), glued. Imagine, you get a few brilliant but untested writers together. Give them a big empty studio with good digital gear and an endless supply of green screen. Hire a bunch of recent film school grads to operate said equipment. Then have them and other fans who have at least a little acting talent play out the content aforementioned writers put together (one shot episodes or mini series). Their friends are allowed to help them make costumes, props and they have a limited budget and a couple of young professionals to polish that and makeup a little. Now, I think this idea could be the cause of a lot of laughs, perhaps some good drama, an exposure point for new ideas, and a chance for these less experienced people to add something to their resumes. As for the fanboys (and girls), they get to play a character in a brand new (if low budget), science fiction episode and have a chance at coming back if the staff there and the fans online (you know forum traffic would be insane for something like this), liked them enough.

Just imagine, one minute you're on your sofa, then you see this fanboy (and girl), call to arms for a new teevee show you can star in if you send your picture and a video tape in to! Start breaking out the spandex and tin foil boys and girls! You're gonna be on teevee! Or not. NBC and Universal would never go for it because it would be too labour intensive and potentially misuse fresh intellectual property they'd rather stack in their script room. Wait, they don't have a script room, they have a great big shredder now, it's used for submissions to their network that don't go through an agent.

Me bitter? Not at all, I think I'll go make a tin foil hat and a cardboard ray gun. Then I'll go storm their headquarters...

RL

Monday, September 15, 2008

Spinward Fringe Awakening: Released!


That's right, the second book in the Spinward Fringe series is now available through a few eBook retailers (Mobipocket and Amazon Kindle shortly thereafter), and Lulu.com in print as well as in non-DRM PDF.
Here's the synopsis:

The crew of the Samson are caught up in the problems of their Captain as his past starts to catch up with him. Just as new allies start to fall in line old enemies come creeping out of the shadows, putting everyone at risk.

While the crew struggles to deal with their own problems, Regent Galactic begins putting a plan in motion that could bring about the fourth fall of man and position their Corporation as the sole savior of the civilized outer fringe of space. Their ambition and greed spell disaster for the bulk of mankind.

The threads of Jake Valance's past start to come together in this, the second part of the Spinward Fringe series. He's at the same time to be the benefactor and victim of a personal history he knows nothing about.
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I try my damndest to top myself with every novel and novella. I believe that if my latest isn't better than the one before it it's either not finished or not worth releasing to the public. I'm fiercely proud of how Spinward Fringe is coming together and of this book in particular. I think the characters really start speaking, you start learning where some of them come from and the plot gets bigger. The momentum will carry you right to the end, and I promise you won't be disappointed when you get there.

I'm working on the next book in this series right now, but I'm so happy to tell you that Awakening takes you somewhere. It's somewhere (plot wise), that I don't think anyone's ever taken you before on television, in movies, or in a book. Enjoy this, I know I did.

RL