Book Review: The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt


A Quick Note of Apology:  Before I get into my review, I’d just like to apologize to Bryan and any of the fans/readers who have been awaiting the next leg on The Worker Prince blog tour.  I live out in the boonies, and have been on the phone with Verizon for 30 minutes after fussing and cussing my new MiFi and not being able to get an internet connection for more than a few minutes at a time for the past three hours!  Imagine my embarrassment when I got the coolest and nicest tech to walk me through all kinds of cool things to get it optimized for my rural area, and whatnot. So, it was bad enough I had to wait until after my day job to post it already.  All in all, this wasn’t professional and not “the way I roll” at all.  I’m sorry guys.  Hope you’re all still in the mood for a really good story by an insightful and creative writer.

This past week, or so, I’ve been reading Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt to be prepared for the author’s blog tour push.  I first volunteered for a spot in the tour a couple of months back.  At the time, I only did it because it sounded like a fun way to help out.  I really only knew Bryan from Twitter and his weekly chat sessions there.   I have really enjoyed the atmosphere on his #sffwrtchat author spotlights and chat sessions.  And the guy did help me come up with the term Slushpimp.  So, I had to help out, didn’t I?  The book blurb sounded solid, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed at the very least.

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Dangerous Hunts: A Zombie Father’s Day Tale “Dead Giveaway” Ebook Contest


Check out my contest lurching your way.  Yep, I’m jumping on the contest bandwagon and giving away a copy of Dangerous Hunts: A Zombie Father’s Day Tale.

The Carters will soon discover that not everything that moves can be killed.

The winner(s) can choose any format available on either Amazon or Smashwords.

Contest Dates:

July 7 – July 31

The standard RULES apply.

Scoring:

+1 Follow me on Twitter  http://twitter.com/#!/Azrael52

+1 (One for each site): Mention this post on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, or whatever other freakin’ social site has popped up this week.  Add the link to the comments.

+1 Follow my blog

+2 Post a comment on your blog

Bonus point just for being you.

As with any of these type contests, you must post links in the comments, here, to be entered.  Besides a link to your blog is a good thing.  (Yes, even here.  I heard that, mister.)

BONUS: I will give away an extra copy for every ten people who leave a comment, so be sure to tell your undead army of friends.

I will post the winner around the first of August.  Good luck!

- Raymond

Mid-life Resolutions, Part 2


My mid-life resolutions strategy can best be summarized like this:

Throw enough stuff at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

  • Network:  Sure, I Twitter, and I blog, and I love the guys and gals over at Gail Simone’s You’ll All Be Sorry forum on CBR, but what about everything else?  There are literally new social media and forums popping up daily.  Why shouldn’t I be out there on them, getting to know people?  These are potential readers, potential employers, and most of all, peers.  It’s a wide-open space out there, and it couldn’t hurt to check it all out.
  • I’m currently auditioning for a slushpile readership.  Who knows if I’m a solid fit for that sort of thing?  Until the ride’s over, I can at least use the opportunity to see how the other half lives.  I have four sample query letters in my inbox as I type this.  I have to critique them and decide whether I would keep or reject them.  I should be able to take away some insight into the proper (and improper) things to include in a query letter/submission.  Also, I get to stand a little closer to the hidden publishing doorway.  My goal: to sneak in when they’re guard is down.
  • For my birthday, I’m getting Manga Studio 4 and a MousePen and tablet set.  Up until I hit puberty and came down with a bad case of the brain-haze, I could actually draw pretty well.  I even won third place in a contest, drawing Doomsday (the creature that killed Superman) when I was around thirteen.  Over time, however, my talent has mutated into something that is better left in the bottom of a storm drain.  It’s my goal, however, to practice, practice, practice on my art until I can at least produce some decent pin-ups and webcomics.
  • As you know, I have an eight-page story coming up in an anthology to be published by Incubator Press.  Since I began writing, I’ve always thought in long-form.  Novels, in other words.  Since I broke down a script into comic book format, it taught me that, hey, I’m okay with the short-form works, too.  In the past couple of months, I’ve had so many short story ideas run me over that it’ll be hard to know which one I want to start with first.  When I do get them all knocked out, you can be fairly certain they’ll be flying out of my outbox and into every inbox I can.
  • My first love will always be novels (Well, ok, besides comics).  Without a doubt, I will never be without a novel in one form or another on my hard drive.  I’m currently working on my second Truth Saga novel, the first in my Grim Wars series, and I just came up with a heck of an idea for a done-in-one thriller.  I’ll be living with these characters for years and years to come.
  • Writing for comics has always been my number one goal.  Even while I’m writing prose, I’m doing it with the hope of being noticed and breaking through that ungodly wall that cuts off the legion of comic fans who wish to be comic writers.  With many thanks to Incubator Press, I now have a spark to flame.  In time, I will start a blaze to ENGULF US ALLLLLLLL!!!!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Twirls Mustache]
  • Everyone familiar with the Kickstarter program?  This is phenomenal.  They help out creative minds that control little to no capital.  If you want to get that indy movie, comic, novel, or song made, but you just don’t have the dough to get it started, you can go to kickstarter.com and set up a project.  Then, you can direct your friends and supporters to your project, and beg and plead for their dollars in exchange for really cool rewards that you set up.  You can give away signed copies of your work, recognition, etc.  Check this out for sure.  Chances are good you’ll be seeing me up there some day soonish.
  • One other idea I’m kicking around is becoming an indy book reviewer.  If I did this, I’d start out with the books of those I know, and try to help them get known.  I just received my first novel for review today.  When I can clear off a little of the ol’ schedule, I’ll test the waters with a little bit of a review on here.  Maybe I’ll ask for yours some day.

I’m also looking into ebooks, modding for a well-published friend’s website, writing a script or two with my friend Terrance, and probably a million other things.  Plus, I have a new ingenious plan every day.  I can’t wait to look back on these upcoming thirty years and see how much of this I’ve been able to dabble in.

Do you have other ideas or opportunities that you’re excited about?  Share.  Yeah, comment away.

- Ray

The Good With The Bad


Here’s another rejection letter.  Maybe I should rename my blog?  The Rejection Section?  What do you think?

Thanks for your interest in our agency. Unfortunately you’ve caught me at a time when the demands of my current clients leave me with very little time to devote to developing new talent and unfortunately in this case I have to pass on the opportunity to pursue this. I’m being extremely, and likely unreasonably, picky so please seek many opinions since my decision may have little to do with the salability of your work. Sincerely,  The Rejection Agency

Still not taking it personally.  This is a form letter.  I’ve read elsewhere that this agent sends these out pretty often.  That’s fine.  It’s not snarky, and it’s even semi-apologetic.  It also points out that I shouldn’t give up.  That’s always a good thing, right?

Besides, my mantra is to keep on keeping on, and get my work in front of people.  This is proof that I’m doing that.  Granted, I need to do it more.  I should have already received feedback from a hundred different agencies. 

Also, I’ve been networking heavily lately.  Do not ever discount the viability and need for an author to network via Twitter or other social media or offline.  Don’t wait for conferences.  I’m pitching a comics anthology this week.  And I’m in the very early stages of pitching a story for an established podcast universe with an established fan base (and I’m among one of their biggest fans!).

I’ll keep everyone posted (pun intended).

Ray

Always the Last


I’m always last to the party.  I’m the last one on the proverbial block to get the latest gadget, adopt the latest fad, see the latest movie, or adopt the latest slang.  In fact, by the time I get to “the latest” I’m already to late.

  • Video Games – Got an Atari when NES was in its prime.  Loved it.  Took a while to realize I “needed” a Nintendo.  When I got one, everyone else was getting ready to retire theirs for a Genesis or Jaguar (heh heh).  I finally got my PS3.
  • Internet – I was dial-up when dial-up wasn’t cool . . . of course, that’s because I was still dial-up long after DSL, broadband, and the lot.  Let’s hear it for living out in the boonies.
  • Message Boards – Put off and put off joining a message board.  When I did, I loved it.  My first one was the now defunct TheDarkTower.net.  Then, I moved on to Comicbookresources.com.  That’s a fantastic site with loads of information and hilarious folks.
  • MySpace – that one, I was late to, and never really clicked.
  • Twitter – Started back at the end of last year.  I’m finding myself steadily getting in deeper and deeper with this.
  • Blogging – here I am.  This is my second attempt, but its my first serious go of it.
  • DVD Player – Now that I’ve got my PS3, I can actually watch Blue Ray.  Can I trade you some VHS?
  • Movies – Can’t go to the theater.  Gotta wait till Redbox, baby.
  • Comics – I get my books a month late to save enough money to be able to actually afford this hobby.
  • A girlfriend . . . er . . .

. . . Nothing to see here.

Signed, The Late Raymond Masters