Boom Boom Satellites - Techno Rock Magic

I love Boom Boom Satellites. If they had a fan badge, I would grab on and put it on this blog.

Ever since watching the first CG Appleseed movie, I've been hooked on the soundtrack, particularly the song Dive For You. The song comes on the movie during a particularly awesome and somewhat twisty fight scene. Ever since then, I had it in my head and on repeat as I thought about some scenes in my current Sci-Fi Romance. The song has a rockin' beat, catchy lyrics and a sound you can't help bouncin' your head to. They have a sound that's distinctly futuristic/cyberpunk and I think that's one reason I love them so much.

I checked out Boom Boom Satellites and noticed they were a group from Japan. Not to mention Michiyuki Kawashima, the vocals and guitarist, was a yummy yummy guy. The band consists of Michi and Masayuki Nakano on bass. Not only did they do the soundtrack from Appleseed, they also did another anime feature length favorite Vexille.

I'm a relatively new fan, but I'm definitely going to be checking out more of their music on their currently released albums. I'm already hooked on their soundtracks!

State of Publishing, Sci-Fi Romance & a Free Kresley Cole Ebook

Okay I know I'm supposed to be taking time off but I came across some good articles on the state of the publishing industry that I wanted to pass on as sort of an index post.

With the news that the digitally pirated editions of Dan Brown's latest has reached more readers than the print version, publishers are up in arms and people are talking about how digital is quickly moving away from niche to the a possible future of reading solely digital works. One school library in Boston already got rid of their entire paperback library as they move into digital format.
“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ said headmaster James Tracy.

Thanks to my fellow writing buddy author J. Hali Steele for link about the Nathan Bransford posting.

And we shall begin.

Agent Nathan Bransford posted earlier this week about if authors will need publisher's in the near future. (Hint: Cloudy with a chance of maybe). Be sure to read the comments because a lot of posters bring up some very good points. Author Mark Terry makes a really good one:

What seems to be missing from your analysis is marketing and publicity. Once upon a time publishers did it, but now they primarily do it with bestsellers. If things shift to e-publishing, that can be a very strong negotiating point for an author (aside from a cash advance, I suppose). "Okay, sure, I'll stay with you guys if you put X number of dollars into print ads, get me a shot on Today, and send me on a 10-city book tour scrawling my signature on the back of everybody's Kindle."

Editorial Assistant Moonrat posted a link on her blog to a detailed insiders overview of how the publishing industry works. Grab a drink before hand.

Financial success in front-list publishing is very often random, but the media conglomerates that run most publishing houses act as if it were not. Yes, you may be able to count on a new novel by Surething Jones becoming a big bestseller. But the bestseller lists paint nothing even remotely like the full financial picture of any publication. Because that painting's most important commerce color is the size of the advance. The second-most important color is the general level of book-buying

E-book distributor Fictionwise is pulling an Amazon 1984 totalitarian situation with yanking books already sold. Their reasoning is that it's outside of the geographical restrictions (think DVDs and their regions) so it was a boo boo on their part for selling them to customers out of the zone. Now they're amending it. Customers are speaking out (check the comments at the Teleread site) and noticing the changes in Fictionwise since Barnes and Noble acquired them earlier this year. Not sure how long FW will be around considering Barnes and Noble opened their own ebook store recently and the acquisition could have been a way to eliminate the competition to level them up to Amazon Kindle/Sony Reader levels.

Word around Readerland is that the upcoming tablet Apple reader will knock out all other ereaders if done well. Considering Apple's ties over Itunes with audio books and music being the primo place for buying both, the same can happen with ebooks like crazy and complete the shift into the digital age. The tablet may pop up before Christmas if rumors are correct. Last month, Apple Insider reported that Apple were evaluating 4-12 inch screens as it gets closer to their entry into the tablet and sub-notebook market. PalmAddicts chimed in with an overview and some very awesome looking renderings of what the tablet may look like. This is one to watch.

See Amazon emerge. Watch Amazon Grow. Now Amazon is selling their own content (a la Costco's Kirkland brand) and it's expected the company may eventually grow into it's own publishing company. Not surprising considering the big NY pubs are owned by larger corporations themselves.

Heather Massey over at The Galaxy Express just posted about a Science Fiction romance feature at Romantic Times Magazine! This is pretty big considering how the magazine is widely read. She gives a full overview of what is included in the spotlight and it's awesome.

She also gives a fabulous list of Print Publishers (Part 1) who are looking for SFR and also Digital/Small Press Publishers (Part 2) who are on the look out for it. Authors get your subs ready!

Whew! And now for your goodie link for getting to the end of the post! ;-)

Bestselling PNR/Historical author Kresley Cole of the Immortals After Dark series is giving away a special edition free (yes FREE) ebook download of her novella The Warlord Wants Forever which kicks off her 'Immortals' series. It's only available a limited time so grab it while you can! Direct download is available here.

And with that.

Have a good weekend everyone!!

When Movies Get it Spot On

Time to take some time off the interwebs again to recoop the ole tired brain. TBR pile here I come! Tomorrow I'm posting at Paranormal Romantics and then I'll be away. I'll probably pop back soon.

Yep, it's been one of those weeks lol.

Does anyone else feel like they should be watching a Zach Braff coming of age movie whenever they hear a John Mayer song?

No? Just me? Okay.

(Even though I do like his music and Garden State is one of my fave films)

Grabbing my pen and paper and wandering off into the void.

Wait a minute, I need some inspiration to take with me.

There we go!

Against the Odds by Jewel Adams

Against the Odds is good ole fashioned romance wrapped in your favorite blanket. I really enjoyed the author's voice in this story and the way she presented the story, although not traditionally romance, was a nice welcome addition to the genre.

As we open, our heroine Raine is getting a divorce from her cheating husband Jerome. She moves to New Mexico, leaving the comforts of her home and her high paying modeling job, to start anew on her friend Caroline and David's farm. As she settles in, she gets to know the farm hands, an easy going life and eventually David's brother Hayden. Although interest is there for both Raine and Hayden, they start out as friends and get to know each other before entering a romantic relationship. As they continue their relationship, they battle people and life as they try to find their own happily ever after.

The trials and tribulations the couple face aren't entirely complex more so than life itself getting in the way. People with a certain viewpoint for how they should live their lives and who they should be with try to deter the couple. And Hayden himself who has been burned and used to living by himself for so long has some trouble breaking down his walls. I loved that he was a complex characters who, although an easy going sweet-natured sexy country boy also had tendencies of a romantic Alpha hero when his family or those he loved were threatened.

The story is written in first person and it reads like a close girlfriend writing you a letter as she gets on with her life. Raine is a character you can relate to with a good head on her shoulders and a good heart. You want to see her finally find the happiness with Hayden who quickly became one of my fave romance heroes as we got to know him. The first person narrative doesn't allow for getting to know him intimately as some romance heroes but Raine does give an idea for his personality and background through her descriptions. I have to say, I adored the ending which doesn't just end at the altar. We get to see Hayden and Raine's family and how Hayden dotes over his children (which is too cute).

If you're looking for a contemporary romance on the sweeter side and gives you a good feeling by the time you get to the end, I recommend picking up Against the Odds. Jewel Adams is another author I'm definitely going to keep an eye on. I'll also be checking out her other works available.

Against the Odds is now available in Ebook & Print formats.

Back in the Saddle Again

The sucky/cool thing about long weekends is you get an extra few days to be lazy and slack off. Woo hoo. But then when those days are over, you feel like Rip Van Winkle and wonder where the heck the past few days went!

Well, I'm wondering the latter and now it's time to get back to work. I've got a YA story I want to write for a call for anthology at a new small press and I need to practice butt in the chair syndrome. Diving in and just writing the darn thing. Of course I'm posting this a few minutes past my bedtime but I figure I'd write it here so I can dream about it and hopefully wake up ready to write like I've never written before!

At least a gal can hope. ;-)

I have a short list of projects I need to finish before deadlines: a fantasy for a Wizard anthology, another YA for an upcoming antho, an academic romance paper and a book to start waay later. I'd rather dip into some short projects first so I don't have to spend too long before hitting the finish line. It's already September and...whoa! I just realized it's 09-09-09. The geek in me is squeeing as we speak.

Anyway, October will be here in no time when edits will start on A Feast of Shadows and hopefully I'll clear my short works before then.

Time to break out the old word count meters!

First I must tackle the books in my reading pile I haven't had a chance to read in the past few days. Looking forward to diving back into them!

Later today starts a new cycle.

Quick News - Where to Find Rae Around the Blogosphere

Hey folks!

Giving you a quick note because I'll be making some appearances for the next few days and I invite you to come on down, check out some of my posts, comment if you like and take a look around my new digs.

First off, I posted about Musings on Writing today over at Paranormal Romantics and chatted a bit about my previous writing formats.

Tomorrow is my inaugural post over at PopCultureDivas. A wonderful place for lots of musings on media stuffs and all sorts of goodies you'll want to check out. I'll be introducing myself and talking a little bit about living in our virtual future, which includes some info on Second Life. If you ever wanted to join or wondered what it was all about, feel free to stop on by.

Speaking about Second Life, Saturday I'll be chatting about theme and character for the upcoming Novel Writers class. Stop by Saturday at 6 pm SLT (PST) and bring your work!

For the month of September, Coffee Time Romance is hosting a Reader's Retreat for Freya's Bower and Wild Child Publishing authors! I'll be joining the fun in the main forum and also my own thread where I'll answer any q's you may have or just hang around for a bit of book chatting. ;-) Come on down and join me and the other authors! You may have some goodies to add to your reading list!

Finally, the September newsletter should be going out next week. The month came upon me quickly and took me off guard so I'm preparing for some big news, a new cover to possibly share and some other goodies you may want to check out. You can join on the front of my site and don't forget to check out the fun questions when you sign up. :-)

That should be it for now. Stay tuned!

September Spotlight on Author Brian Moreland

This month, A Writer's Dream welcomes a renaissance man and dreamer: Brian Moreland. I'm happy to have him at AWD this month to share his work in books, film & video and also a little bit about living the writer's dream. He shares such stories about his journey through publishing on his own blog over at Adventures in Writing (aspiring authors take note) along with a little bit of his background a producer and film/video editor. His portfolio includes editing the documentary Band of Champions, as well as a slew of corporate videos under his belt. I found it really cool that his latest project is a World War II documentary about his grandfather called My Grandfather's Story which he also showcases at his blog.

This month, Brian shares his latest release along with his writing background and influences.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

I started dreaming about being a writer when I was in high school. I loved books. I remember going to the paperback racks at the grocery store and just staring at all the book covers. The artwork inspired me to imagine the stories inside each book. I saw books as parallel worlds you can travel into, escape from every day reality. In high school I wanted to be the next Stephen King. I attempted my first novel, writing by hand on a yellow tablet. My wrist got tired, so I quit after about five pages. My freshman year in college I learned to type on Microsoft Word and that made writing much easier for me. At age 19, I wrote my first full-length horror novel and the feeling of accomplishment was such a rush. It was like this story just poured out of my soul. I had so much fun just letting my imagination run wild and making up this imaginary world. I created a group of characters who were like real people to me, living in an alternate universe. After writing all semester and completing my first novel, I was hooked. A novelist was born. I changed majors from business finance to creative writing and screenwriting. From that day on I was determined to make a living writing and publishing novels.

Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?

Even though I write mostly supernatural horror and suspense, I love writing cross-genre novels that include mystery, romance, and history, as well. My first novel, Shadows in the Mist, which is set during World War II, is very much a war novel interwoven with a supernatural mystery based on the Nazis and the Occult. There are scary moments, as well as an adventure story about an infantry platoon leader and his platoon who have to cross enemy lines to fulfill a top-secret mission. I also included espionage and conspiracy theory to drive the plot, so it’s very complex. I’m a big fan of Dean Koontz who is a master at mixing genres and giving his readers a multidimensional book. That’s my aim, as well. While my publisher categorizes my novel as horror, the story encompasses much more than just your typical horror novel. I’ve been surprised by how many readers who don’t read horror have told me how much they enjoyed the book. I think of Shadows in the Mist as more of an adventure novel with a supernatural mystery and lots of suspense, and hopefully a wider audience that includes men and women can enjoy the book.

Q: Who would you say has influenced you the most?

I’ve already mentioned two of my influences, Stephen King and Dean Koontz. A couple of others are Robert R. McCammon and John Saul. When I was a teen, I read a good number of their books and studied how each of these four authors wrote fast-moving action and scary scenes. I modeled each of them, especially Dean Koontz. I wanted my stories to grip the reader from the first page and not let go until the last page. As an adult I got to learn from John Saul at a writer’s retreat, and when I was struggling to finish my novel, he encouraged me to keep writing, saying, “Just finish the damn book!” John Saul gave me the motivation I needed to stick with my dream of being a published author. I was also greatly influenced by movies. When I was a kid, from age five on up, I used to watch monster movies with my mom every weekend. That was before cable or DVD’s. I remember every Saturday and Sunday one of our local stations aired back-to-back creature features: classic monster movies like Dracula and The Wolfman and Creature from the Black Lagoon, as well as Sci-Fi movies like Day of the Triffids and Island of Dr. Moreau. I loved monsters and the adrenaline I felt being scared. My love for horror movies eventually led me to reading scary books and that opened up a whole new experience for me. Instead of watching people on screen running from monsters, I was suddenly inside the head of a character, feeling as if the monsters were after me. As a reader, I got the full visceral experience of being the hero. Reading novels also activated my imagination, and I began to dream up my own stories.

Q: Do you write everyday? How much time do you spend on your writing?

I don’t write every day. I wish I did, but I’m not a full-time author just yet. I still have another career as a video editor/producer, which can be demanding at times, so I spend some weeks focused on earning the paycheck. Sometimes my personal life can offer it’s own distractions, like the car needing to get fixed. Also, now that I have a novel out, I spend several hours each week focused on book promotion and corresponding with readers. I get a lot more emails than I used to. I also write a blog “Coaching for Writers” which offers tips to writers on how to be more successful. So for now I write in stages. When I’m in between projects, which is every couple of weeks, I focus on my book writing. Some weeks I get up at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. and write for a three hours before work. When not working on a video project, I’ll write all day for a week to ten days straight, writing as fast as my hands can type. On average, I probably write 10 to 15 days a month, just not all in a row. As a part-time writer once said to me, “I write in between the margins of life.”

Q: What will your next book be about?

My next novel, Dead of Winter, is nearly complete. I’ve been writing and doing research on it for two and a half years. It is also a historical horror novel, this time set in Ontario, Canada in 1870. It’s the middle of winter and a remote fur-trading fort is isolated by a series of blizzards. There is something evil in the storm that is stalking the fort villagers and spreading a vicious disease that turns people into cannibals. The novel is based on a Native Canadian legend and an event that really happened to a fort in Quebec. My main character is a British detective from Montreal who teams up with a French priest who is also an exorcist. Both men have past connections with the evil that’s behind all the killings. The epic mystery is very complex with numerous characters and subplots. There are plenty of twists and turns and white-knuckle moments. My goal is to have it in print by late 2010 or 2011.

Shadows in the Mist of Available Now in stores!

and other Venders

Check out more about Brian Moreland and his books on the web