JM Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.



Howdy all,

Just wanted to let you guys know that over the weekend I shot my little promo video for the upcoming newsletter. All that is left is to edit the video into some sort of coherent and trimmed whole (I tend to ramble) and adjust the audio so my voice comes out clear. It was darn cold outside, and I also shot the video in a public place, adding to the ambient noise.

But if you want to know where the video was shot, you’ll have to sign up for the newsletter by joining my little RABBLE! The letter should be done and sent by the end of the week.

In other, vaguely related news, Amazon just announced that author and proof copies are now available through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I’ve been expecting this for some time, but am a bit surprised at how fast it’s come. It was just a month ago an Amazon service rep told me, not so warmly, that only a few authors selected to join a beta program would be able to buy discount copies. But now it’s here for everyone. This is, in my opinion, all part of Amazon’s plan to kill CreateSpace for good. They bought out CS a while ago and are now transferring over all the good stuff to KDP.

What this means for me is that I can now get bulk copies of The Adventures of Iric, and anything else I self-publish in the future (I am thinking a collection of my Storm Hamilton stories for the next one). This will allow me to sell them at conventions, though Korea doesn’t have many, and more importantly, start working some deals out with local bookstores! This is great news if you are already on KDP, and reason to come over if you’re not.

Well, time to get back to it. Today is going to be rather torturous, as I don’t really care for the sound of my own voice (even though I recorded an album once!) nor do I like watching video of myself. But you do what you gotta do, eh?



Newsletter Delays


If you’ve been following this blog as of late, you’ll know that I’ve been saying for a couple weeks (few weeks?) that I will soon send out my next newsletter. This will conveniently hit about a three month mark, establishing it as a quarterly, which I think is a good fit for me.

If you’re wondering what’s taking so long, the reason is that I still need to shoot the video. But there is good reason why this part is delayed. I will be making my little video at a special location! Just a little something to reveal a bit about myself and where I live. It’ll be fun, I promise. But I needed a free weekend to do it. Luckily tomorrow is free!

I also want to show you how the print copies of The Adventures of Iric came out. SPOILER ALERT, they came out really nice. I will explain why, and how I did it.

If I shoot the video this weekend, I should have the newsletter out sometime next week. But the only way you’re going to see it, is if you join my little RABBLE! The sign-up is on the right side of the page, or on the pop-up.

On an unrelated note, this morning has been interesting. I’ve got some encouraging news about In the Valley of Magic, that I am just waiting for confirmation for. The book might have finally found a home.

I also read an interesting article by Chuck Wendig about book turn-offs. I am not a fan of Wendig–I tried reading his Star Wars novel and was immediately put off by the narrative voice. But the advice here is good.

Here’s one of my take away quotes:

“If it’s sci-fi, it’s loaded for bear with bewildering sciencey stuff, or if it’s fantasy it’s all funky names with magical apostrophes, or if it’s horror it’s more interested in soaking the pages in raw, red gore and horror tropes. Context is king, yet again. Character is everything. Root me in the character. Make me care. Then layer in the genre elements. It’s like a cake — it’s easy to make icing taste good, but too much of it is gross.” – Chuck Wendig

I’ve peer review a lot of SF/F work that is like this, obsessed with its genre-nature rather than the story and characters. And nothing turns me off from a fantasy story faster than apostrophes everywhere, particularly in the names of main characters and locations. I think a lot of people don’t realize that those things actually have a specific function in Tolkien. The old man was a linguist; he created entire languages from scratch. All those marks have rules. They aren’t just thrown about arbitrarily.

Well, that’s my writing tip for the day. Time to get back to work. Thanks for dropping by!