This one was simple, and fun. My daughter Katie helped me get the stems off of the grapes. We don’t know what kind they are…they are red, sweet, and seedless. The recipe called for less than usual, which always makes me smile. We substituted lime juice for lemon juice because somewhere between the store and home the lemon I bought disappeared. Probably in the trunk of my car…
Anyway, we will be having pizza, and then doing a taste-testing of this one…hoping for another success, because five of five would be awesome.
In other news (and to come in a later post) received my “Invisible Shoes” today. Will be having a video shot when I first put them on and muck about in them…because the folks who sold them to me asked for it. Also got some light sweat pants and long-sleeved wicking t-shirts to run in…because I will be starting to run again soon. Shoeless Dave…that’s me. No shoes, got pie…
This one is by request. I’ve found that my quest to make a whole lot of pies, many of them slightly exotic, has not brought the enthusiastic family response I’d hoped for. The pies are good, but mostly I’ve eaten them myself, or with the help of a couple of the kids on each one. This time out – fresh pineapple pie, because my eight year old daughter Katie requested it. Hopefully, with Steph still here until Monday, at least three of us will attack this one…fifteen minutes from now when it’s done. I’ll add those pictures later. For now…here are some of the tools of the trade on this one – zester, pineapple princess for coring the pineapple … and the ridiculous horribly sculpted pineapple on top…I am NOT the sculptor guy…PIE, remember?
I recently started a new project. Eventually it will become an e-Book, and it’s a lot of fun. It started because I got disgusted with the frozen pies you buy and heat up on holidays. When I was kid, my grandmothers all made pies. They were pies that filled the pie-pan, puffed up over the top, had sparkling sugar crystals sometimes, and were ALWAYS good. The pies we get no are tiny, thin, and just don’t make me happy – thus the quest.
I will become “The Pie Guy.” I have already scoured the net for a few oddities, and begun the journey, which started when one night I wondered if you could make Persimmons into a pie. You can, and it is WONDERFUL…even if I make it. I have learned lessons. For one thing, the old beer can opener on the end of your bottle opener that no longer opens beer? You can use it to crimp the edge of a pie. The words “just peel and slice the mangos” are code for make a huge sloppy mess, never really SEE a seed and come to hate mangos with a white hot burning passion…
Today, as I write this, pie #3 is in the oven … fresh mango pie. I have already baked a persimmon pie and a fresh pear pie (which was much like apple pie). Next up is either pinapple, grape, or kiwi. When I have 12, I will finish the first book…including lessons, stupid mistakes, out-takes, and more. Here are some shots of the Mango pie prior to being baked.
-DNW (AKA Pie Guy)
We just finished the basic rebuild of the Crossroad Press online store. In early December we lost it to a server crash, only to find that our backups were corrupt. The most recent good backup we had was from 2010, so I just started from scratch.
This time out, things are better. There is an “About us” page, a contact page, and a symmetry to the layout that was lacking before. Instead of audiobooks and eBooks and print books being separated, there is one page per book, and on that page you can purchase whatever formats are available. The books, instead of being organized just by genre, are separated by author now, making it possible for some coupons and sales we hope to try in the New Year.
We remain a DRM free digital publisher. You can read our books on just about any reading device, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out how to get the books ON your device if you need assistance.
Over at the Crossroad Press blog, http://www.crossroadpress.com we are nos serving up news and updates, including the most recent Crossroad Press bestseller list – the top ten from our 78 Audible.com audiobooks.
So check us out at the newly revamped CROSSROAD PRESS STORE … use the coupon code welcomeback for a one-time 25% off savings.
If you don’t see me, I’m writing – I have a Donovan DeChance novel to finish…
Recently I’ve been asked several questions by authors I hope to work with that have actually saddened me. How much will it cost me – directed at anything a publisher should be doing for their authors – gets me every time. It should cost you nothing. If a publisher tries to tell you to pay for your own cover, your own editor, or any part of the process (and this includes scanning and reconstructing a book that they plan on publishing in digital) – they aren’t a publisher. They are in business making money OFF of writers, not for them.
Traditionally publisher paid advances. At Crossroad Press we don’t do that. We have opted to keep our overhead as low as possible and to give the lion’s share of all money made to the authors. We do not charge for covers. We do not expect authors to kick in on anything, in fact. Authors create, and publishers provide that creativity to the public – hopefully to make money first for the author, and THEN for themselves. If this is skewed the other direction, you can pretty much rest assured that the “publisher” has their own interest at heart.
So, just to be clear, there is a message here. If a publisher wants to publish your work, it is THEIR job to get the cover, convert the book, edit the book – not yours. I actually heard today of an e-mail from a publisher who claimed it was no longer the responsibility of publishers to market the works of their authors? Really? How then do you suppose money will be made?
Just as the Internet has created a lot of authors, it has created a lot of “publishers”. Make sure you know your own goals when you approach them. If all you want is a book with your name on it, publish it yourself and keep what little return you get. If you go with an actual publisher, don’t pay them to publish you – that’s the same as doing it yourself, except more expensive with less return.
End very short rant. I guess I just don’t understand greed very well. I recognize it, but I don’t understand it.
I wanted to take a day out today and direct you all to a friend and colleague of mine, Dr. John B. Rosenman. John and I met at a writing group long ago in Virginia Beach. We were two of the members of the group who wrote horror – most of the others were (at the time) fantasy and Sci-fi oriented, and the whole shooting match was led by the talented and (often) wise Mr. Richard Rowand, who eventually edited STARSHORE Magazine and published my first important story.
Anyway…through those years, and all of those between (decades) John has been writing stories and novels and finding them homes. He may be the single most dedicated writer I’ve ever met. He’s always working on a story, reworking an idea, searching for flaws where too many other writers would hit send and move on…and he has produced some remarkable stories. He has appeared in literally hundreds of magazines and anthologies, and has a number of novels to his credit, and I’m hoping this little nudge will encourage you to check some of them out.
I will point you specifically at two Sci-Fi novels that we have published at Crossroad Press. Both of these were previously published, but we were fortunate enough to pick them up. John writes novels on a sweeping scale. There are messages and socially significant sub-themes in his alien cultures, and deep emotional insights in his romance. While they qualify, probably, as space opera, they go beyond that. Here are the two we’ve published to date. Read them and let me know if I’m not right!
Aaron Okonkwo, a Nigerian scientist, travels with a crew in the 24th century to evaluate Viridis, which proves to be a beautiful and fabulous world. There, Aaron discovers a strange, alien species and amazing machines and technology left in a vast underground complex by a mysterious race called the Creators.
Aaron soon falls under the irresistible, seductive spell of Nightsong, a green alien female with ominous and bewitching powers. However, an even greater danger rises. He will be forced to fight for the planet’s survival against a ruthless invasion of many ships to conquer and enslave the planet – just as Africa itself was once enslaved. Aaron knows it’s A Senseless Act of Beauty to try to reclaim his ancient warrior heritage and fight back against such overwhelming odds, but he knows he must try. – $2.99
Killer angels are roaming outer space looking for their messiah. If Captain Latimore can’t make them believe he’s the one, everyone on his crew – and many more besides – will die.
Captain Eric Latimore leads a four-person crew to Lagos to investigate a previous team’s mysterious disappearance. Once there, he discovers that an ominous alien presence is invading their dreams. Each member of his crew has the same dream – huge, seductively beautiful “angels” speak to them telepathically.
The creatures strand his crew on the planet and only Latimore can free them – if he survives. $2.99.
I have been writing about Donovan DeChance for quite some time now. I wrote the novel Vintage Soul years ago during Nanowrimo and it was picked up by Gale / Five Star for their horror fantasy line. Unfortunately, when that line died, and they moved it to their mystery line, something got mixed up…I think a total of 60 copies of the HC sold, and my agent managed to wrangle the rights back out of them. In the meantime, however, I’d written the second book in the series, “Heart of a Dragon,” and the way it played out, chronologically, that second book became the first. When I released them through Crossroad Press, first as eBooks, and then as unabridged audiobooks, Heart of a Dragon was BOOK I and Vintage Soul was Book II. There was one standard wish among readers and fans, and I think (hope) I have made it come true.
Just released is the novella “My Soul to Keep,” the Origin of Donovan DeChance. In this story, we return to Rookwood, setting of the novel Hallowed Ground, in the year 1842, when Donovan was 16. If that is confusing – read the book – all is explained, including how Donovan came to meet Cleopatra, the Egyptian Mau who is his famiilar. Also explained is a bit how Donovan became the man, and mage, that he is – and also a little of how Rookwood, the town, became the setting for Hallowed Ground.
This novella will help tide readers over as I finish up “Kali’s Tale,” which will be the third full-length novel in the DeChance Chronicles.
I hope you’ll read it – review it – love it (I do) – and come back for more. My Soul to Keep is available now at Crossroad Press, Smashwords, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble – and more to come, including the unabridged audiobook.
I started participating in NANOWRIMO – Officially National Novel Writing Month, in 2004. I don’t even want to think about everything that has happened to me since then, or to my career, because it would make my head explode, and nobody wants that. I’m going to concentrate just on what I’ve accomplished during one 30 day period a month over the years. More than 400,000 words of fiction. Of the seven years I’ve completed the Nanowrimo challenge, I have completed six novels. The seventh, Gideon’s Curse, is still on the hard drive, and as soon as I’m certain all of the timeline issues I created for myself have been dealt with, I will complete that one too. This year, this evening, actually, I will add at least 50,000 more words to the pile, bringing the total to just under 465,000 words. Approaching half a million, and most of them published.
I see a lot of writers – and some journalists who like to write about writing but haven’t done much to show they know what they are talking about – go on rampages against Nanowrimo. Rushing ahead, they say, is against the spirit of the “craft”. Not everyone should write a novel just because they can, etc. I say to all of them…Meh. This simple competition with no prize has helped me, year after year, to regain my focus, to produce finished products I’m proud of…and I wanted to take a moment to revisit those success stories.
2004: The Mote in Andrea’s Eye – entire novel completed in November…and sold later that same year to Gale / Five Star. This book went through a hardcover, a trade paperback, and a large print edition with Five Star and is now a successful eBook – soon to be an unabridged audiobook.
Critics said: “Tugging heartstrings with the expertise of a master puppeteer, Wilson, a former naval technician, adds plenty of authentic touches but never overwhelms the reader with details. The clean prose, romance and fantasy elements, heart-pounding scenes of man against nature, and topical currency (thankfully not overplayed) will appeal to a wide variety of readers…” – Publisher’s Weekly
2005: Vintage Soul – which started as the first of the DeChance Chronicles and became Volume II in the digital rebirth. Also sold the same year it was finished to Gale / Five Star. This series is currenly one of the most popular things I write. This is available as an eBook and as an unabridged audiobook narrated by Corey Snow.
Critics said: “This clever urban fantasy is packed with solid writing and filled with crisp details. Wilson is a whiz at painting with words. Below is a description of a ritual gone very wrong when an inept practitioner fails to control the demon he has raised.” – Patricia’s Vampire Notes
2006: This is the yet-to-be-finished Gideon’s Curse, which follows two timelines – an undead uprising on a cotton plantation outside Old Mill, N
C in the 1950s / 1960s – and a preacher, persecuted for bringing his teachings to
the slaves of that same plantation just after the Civil War. While this book has yet to see print, a novella has been carved from it’s bones – The Preacher’s Marsh, which HAS been published as an eBook, and was featured in my huge short story collection from Dark Regions Press, Ennui, & Other States of Madness.
The Critics haven’t said much about it yet….
2007: The Orffyreus Wheel – This is one of several aborted projects I worked on for a previous agent who never, in the end, could get excited about anything I wrote. I wonder if she understands how close she came to killing my career? Anyway…this is another twin-timeline story. It covers the life of Johann Bessler, who invented a perpetual motion wheel in the 1700s, and his ancestor who inherits the secret, and a grim battle to provide the world
with free energy. This is available as an eBook and an unabridged Audiobook.
Critics said: “With the Orffyreus Wheel, David combines the same effortless pace of a good tale as he does with Ancient Eyes, but also manages to interweave two distinct stories – both of which share the same breathless excitement and wonder of their central characters. ” – Reader Review – Amazon.com
2008: Hallowed Ground – written with Steven Savile. This novel, out now in trade paperback and eBook, due soon in unabridged audio, narrated by the talented Joe Geoffrey, is one of the works I am most proud of in all the years of my writing career. It is a good western, I think, complex and layered, and accessible on many levels. I had a blast working on this with Steve, and it was even more fun as we did it over Nanowrimo and allowed folks to
read along – which I’ve done almost every year. This book is just now gaining in popularity, and I have high hopes for it…
Critis said: “Steven Savile and David Niall Wilson have produced a fine entry in the burgeoning Weird Western genre. Elegantly written, bristling with action and drama, HALLOWED GROUND is intelligent, thought-provoking, and highly entertaining. Readers of both Westerns and horror novels shouldn’t miss it!” — James Reasoner, author of REDEMPTION, KANSAS
2009: Heart of a Dragon – Book I of the DeChance Chronicles. Born of a short story written a very long time ago, this is a tale of a young artist, an old Mexican Magician, bike gangs, and of course, Donovan DeChance. I love writing the books in this series – like the characters, and the city of San Valencez that I’ve visited so many times in my work…This book, like Vintage Soul, is available in eBook and unabridged audiobook, narrated by Corey Snow, who will (I hope) remain the voice of the series. Both books will be available this year in trade paperback.
Critics said: “Set in and around the dark and brooding Barrio of San Valencez, this tale weaves mysticism and action with a decided Hispanic twist. From the very beginning, when the rival Dragon and Escorpiones clans fight in Santini Park, you know the tale has far more to it than meets the eye. What brings the tale together is its underlying themes of Honour, Loyalty, Courage and Dark Ambition.” – Reader Review – Amazon.com
This year, I started out doing the next Donovan DeChance novel, Kali’s Tale, which has Donovan and his lover Amethyst looking after the young pack of vampires from Vintage Soul as they journey to The Great Dismal Swamp in search of on of their creators – to destroy him. He is, of course, more than they bargained for – and Donovan will have his hands full. This novel is also the first direct link between the DeChance Chronicles, and the O.C.L.T. novel series. There are cameo appearances from Geoffrey Bullfinch, of novella The Temple of Camazotz, and Rebecca York, from my novel The Parting. Interestingly, this year’s novel was to include a short flashback that told the story of Donovan’s origins – and that blossomed into a 21k novella of it’s own… Today I will put the cap on the 50,000 words for 2011 and will continue on to see how many I can get before the 30th…
This is my thank you to all the folks who encouraged me, Chris Baty (no longer in charge) at Nanowrimo who tempted me and then prodded me and even helped promote me as my novels became successful. Trish, who loves me, my kids who support everything I do, my agent Bob Fleck who has been there through all the Nanowrimo years – my collaborator Steve, and all those of you who have bought and read my books. To the naysayers of Nanowrimo, I again say – Meh. I’d say this post speaks for itself.
I make daily updates on the official Facebookpage about what’s going on with the Nanowrimo writing…but I figured I’d sort it out here at a little more length for those who might be (understandably) getting confused.
THE PLAN: Write the next Donovan DeChance novel – Kali’s Tale. This novel is the story of the young female vampire who was part of Vein’s posse in the novel Vintage Soul. She was brought “to the blood” violently and against her will, and as her rage builds, she is called to perform what the vampires of my little universe call “the blood quest” – in which she travels back to North Carolina to destroy the one who created her. Naturally, these usually go south, as the creator is older, faster, stronger…thus she is not going alone. She is accompanied by Vein, Bruno, and Bones. Still, as it turns out, her creator is not just old … he is nearly ancient. Top that off with a few other secrets he hasn’t shared with the world, and you get classic “imbalance” in the universe… but wait! That makes it a job for…Donovan Dechance.
Donovan and Amethyst head off to NC to sort of look on from the shadows and help when they can. Along the way Amethyst and the young vampires run into a problem in Memphis Tennessee, and Donovan makes a side trip to consult with an old friend, Geoffrey Bullfinch, who has recently become a full-fledged agent of the newly formed O.C.L.T. – thus tying the two worlds together.
That was the plan.
The PROBLEM with the plan was that in the first few chapters I planned a short flashback where Donovan would finally reveal his past to Amethyst – how he became who, and what he is, and why. This, of course, turned into a lot more than a quick flashback. It turned into a 21,000 word novella that I cut OUT of Kali’s Tale and will publish first, and separately. The rough of that is finished, and I’m now 20k or so into Kali’s Tale proper, with all the primary characters finally getting on the road and leaving San Valencez behind.
For those of you worried about it, do not fear. I will be finishing up Killer Green very shortly as well – at least the rough draft – and then (hopefully) Tattered Remnants – a long-time project that has been sitting too long. Somewhere in there I will find time to edit all of these. Welcome to the world where time ran out and we keep going anyway.
At 41,000 words for the month…the end of Nanowrimo is in site.
Which is, for those who care, my day to share with hundreds of thousands of others who served. It’s something I’m proud of…so…that’s my thought for the day. I’m glad my country has a day to celebrate those of us who sacrificed years of our lives…
Currently reading: City of Knives – Unpublished (until I publish it) novel by International bestselling author William Bayer. VERY good book, with tango, and nazi weapons collectors, and mystery in Buenos Aries … good stuff.
Currently listening to : The Sufferer’s Song – by Steven Savile, narrated by Andrew Randall
Currently writing : Kali’s Tale – or I will be after I write the final chapter tonight of the origin story of Donovan DeChance. For those Donovan lovers out there, and those who WANT to be…this is must-read entertainment.
So…back to it. Miles to go before we sleep…