Friday, April 28, 2017

Seeds of Imagination #amwriting article

I can't speak for any author other than myself but I find the world ripe with seemingly insignificant scraps of information begging to be nurtured, grown into a story. I look at my ordinary life with the goal of finding hidden adventure.
I'm low vision, functionally blind in most situations. As you can guess, my degrading retinas restrict what I can do in the real world. I love skiing, scuba diving, and a host of other activities I can no longer do, or do how I want to do them. This fighting retreat has been the story of my life since being medically discharge from the Army at the old age of seventeen, following my diagnosis.
Simply put, I can't live the life I want to so my imagination has become my keep. My final impenetrable stronghold, impervious to the ravages of my affliction. I can go anywhere and do anything. It's an escape I utilize regularly.
Maybe it's just me because my mind is so desperate for new material to chew on but I'll grad ahold of a minor piece of information and build an entire universe around it. That's how my latest novel, BattleMaster was born.
Several years ago I saw a short segment on TV about the US Air Force's experiments with craft controlled by a pilot's brainwaves. The pilots were hooked up to simulators but the results were still very interesting. A female subject remarked that initial findings suggested women were better at this method of operation.
The seed had been planted.

That fact whispered in my ear for years and I combined it with others I picked up. Such as, knowledge the female brain is wired to maximize multitasking while males are superior at focusing on a single objective. Both have their advantages and are likely a result of survival demands Datong back millennia. Men hunting and providing protection while woman cared for the young and performed any number of important tasks.
These two bits of information are what formed the roots of BattleMaster. I asked myself, if women are better at multitasking and the future of warfare is drone based, wouldn't they one day reign supreme on the battlefield? My imagination went from there and the story blossomed until it found its way to the page. 
So, pay attention to the world around you. Seeds of imagination are adrift everywhere.

Click here to check BattleMaster Out!

It's a women's army, men are privileged to catch bullets in it.

Private Michael Stanner is continuously reminded of that fact but he refuses to give up. He will fight for victory and the chance to become something more. That is, if he can avoid getting killed on New Calcutta.

Members of the all-female BattleMaster Corps are the elite warriors of the modern battlefield. Their naturally superior multitasking abilities allows them to control teams of drones in combat more effectively than any man through neural links.

The Corps is the cornerstone of the American colonists' decades long struggle for dominance in the Eden System. As three powers fight for control of a terraformed world left vacant by the mysterious disappearance of the Indian colony ship, questions linger about the true motivation for the war.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Military SciFi New Release!

BattleMaster - New Military Science Fiction Trilogy

On Sale Now! - April 20

It's a women's army, men are privileged to catch bullets in it.

Private Michael Stanner is continuously reminded of that fact but he refuses to give up. He will fight for victory and the chance to become something more. That is, if he can avoid getting killed on New Calcutta.

Members of the all female BattleMaster[1]  Corps are the elite warriors of the modern battlefield. Their naturally superior multitasking abilities allows them to control teams of drones in combat more effectively than any man through neural links.

The Corps is the cornerstone of the American colonists' decades long struggle for dominance in the Eden System. As three powers fight for control of a terraformed world left vacant by the mysterious disappearance of the Indian colony ship, questions linger about the true motivation for the war.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Interview w/ Vivienne Vincent, auhtor of Dandelions

Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

Thank you for joining us on Dane's Blog. First off, where did the idea for your novel come from?
Writing and publishing Dandelions will always be a bit weird for me because the story was conceived from the male protagonist’s perspective which I intend to write and publish after a few years.
How did you start writing?
It was the end of November 2014 and I started writing a diary in which I questioned everything I was taught when I was young. I don’t know how, but somehow, it turned into a full-length novel. After that, I started writing whenever I felt like doing it. I think that’s the way it will always be for me.
What does your writing process look like?
Writing seems to be a form of Freudian analysis. It’s like catharsis. I’m not a professional writer and I’ll never be one because I only write when I feel like doing it. The process is very random and sporadic.
Where is your book set?
Dandelions is divided into two parts. Book one is set in an imaginary land that exists only inside my head. In Book two, I have mentioned New York. But to me, setting is not really that important.
Are your characters based on real people?
Yes, all the characters in Dandelions are based on people I know. The hero, in fact the anti-hero, is modeled after someone I look at and wonder what it would be like if he had a conscience. All the characters in my next book are also based on real people.

Did you always want to write?
Never. I also didn’t know my writing will have a dark quality to it.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?
I don’t have one. All the characters are modeled after people I know and when I write, I simply try to understand them a little better.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
I read a lot of non-fiction. When it starts to feel too much, I read contemporary romance.

What are you reading right now?
I’m writing these days and I try not to read while I write because I don’t want my work to be influenced by someone else’s.
10. Dog or Cats?

What’s next for you?
I’m working on a novella. It’s women’s fiction. I really need to submit the manuscript but for some reason I keep putting it off.

Thank you again for joining us and good luck!


“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

Get it HERE

Monday, September 5, 2016

Free Military Science Fiction Novel Dec. 19-23

The Last Hero
4.3 Kindle Stars
4.13 Goodreads Stars

"I was sucked into the story"
"The emotions provoked will pull you in"
"Wow these books are amazing"
Contact with a race of pacifists convinces mankind to lay down its weapons and keep the peace. The last Medal of Honor recipient, Trent Maxwell, trades glory for the comforts of a family after the U.S. Army disbands. All that ends when an alien menace attacks the New Earth colony, which forces a crash mobilization. Trent finds himself reactivated and traveling through space to distant worlds, in order to stop this new enemy. During the century long journey of death, love, and loss, he also deals with the law of relativity that wreaks havoc with his daughter.

Get it now for FREE

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Interview w/ Judy Nickles, author of Susanna's Secret

Where did the idea for your novel come from?
   My newest release, a short read called Susanna’s Secret, began as a story written for a fan fiction site on which I was active for several years. It lent itself perfectly to ‘mainstreaming’.

How did you start writing?
   I’ve written since I could hold a #2 pencil in my fat fist. Unfortunately, my earliest literary masterpieces, “Fishnet” and “Butterfly Net” (think the old television program “Dragnet”) never quite made it to the New York Times Best Seller List (although I can’t imagine why not)!  But after retiring, I ended up with four contracts for full length novels from The Wild Rose Press (a fifth contract is newly signed) and had several short stories published in print and ezine periodicals. Then indie publishing beckoned me for a cozy mystery series, a romantic suspense series, two books of short stories, and a stand-alone novel.

What does your writing process look like?
   I just write--but rarely anywhere except on the computer. I may write several thousand words or only a few hundred at a time. No real deadlines except those impose by editors--and for indie publishing none at all. Hey--I’m retired!

Where is your book set?
   Susanna’s Secret is a western novel--but it could easily be set in contemporary times with a little tweaking. Like my other stories, it’s about the human condition which spans generations.

Are your characters based on real people?
   Not in Susanna’s Secret. However, other novels have characters which combine characteristics of the many interesting people I’ve been privileged to know.

Did you always want to write?
   I guess I always needed to write. As a rather solitary child brought up mostly among adults, writing (like the piano) became my escape from the real world.

Which character is your favorite and why?
   I’m partial to Susanna because I admire strong women--especially women who have risen from being squelched and undermined as individuals. Like Susanna, I found myself on my own after my husband’s death, but I was younger with two children to raise. So I can identify with the struggles of a woman to take charge of her own life.

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
   I love mysteries--Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Margaret Truman, Agatha Christie, and John Grisham among others. They spin intriguing tales and keep my mind busy trying to figure out “whodunit”.

What are you reading right now?
   The Moonstone by Colin Wilcox. It’s an old book with the predictable stilted language and “going around the world to get to the next corner” sort of narrative, but it’s the book assigned for Sleuthers, the mystery book club to which I belong at the local library.

Dog or Cats?
   Neither one, thank you! I love my empty nest, although I often have two of my granddaughters with me. At ages 9 and 6, they are housebroken and don’t demand constant attention. As I write, they are “in office” in the living room, occupying themselves with only brief forays into the study. And I don’t have to board them out when I choose to go traveling!

What’s next for you?
   Well, I have another short read, The Showboat Reunion to submit following Susanna’s Secret. There are two completed novels in the dock waiting for vetting by a second beta reader and a sequel to another published novel which needs to be completed. In addition, probably half a dozen novels in various stages of completion (or incompletion) lurk on computer, not to mention “the great American novel” which I’ve only been working on for 40 years and which may never see the light of day--or the black of print. The positive side is, I can’t die--I don’t have time!

Susanna's Secret, Get it NOW

In a moment of loss and crushing despair, she struck a deceptive bargain with her husband to protect his name as he built his Texas empire. Years later, when he was gone in a hail of bullets, it came back to haunt her in ways she never imagined. Now she must strip away the hatred which has festered over a lifetime before it destroys her. But will the truth, reborn like the Phoenix, sever the carefully forged bonds between herself and her children?  Susanna feels fenced in and ripe for slaughter like the longhorns beyond her window. Damn you, Nathan Kingsley! Damn you for what you did! Damn you for dying and leaving me with the mess you made!

Pre-sale Review
Susannah's Secret is a fast paced tale of human failings and triumphs. It typifies how courage and compassion in the face of adversity works to the advantage of all. The characters are so believable through their human failings but rise above their selfish interests. Readers who have wanted, birthed, raised, or lost a child can especially connect with Susannah and her choices which is what good reads do by pulling us into the story with our emotions.   ~Georgia

Friday, July 8, 2016

Interview w/ Brandon Crilly, author of Science is for Real

Where did the idea for your chapbook come from?
   I went to see Pacific Rim with some friends of mine, one of whom is an engineer. Afterward we talked about how terrible some of the science was in the movie – and then how Hollywood sci fi is usually pretty heavy on the fiction, but light on the science. Then I started playing, and came up with some funny microfiction pieces showing how certain big-budget sci fi films should’ve turned out. There were a lot of ideas, but four made it into the chapbook: The Core, Godzilla, Armageddon, and The Empire Strikes Back.

How did you start writing?
   When I was a kid I mimicked some of my favorite SFF stories – Star Wars and Harry Potter, for instance. I got some great encouragement in school, and my university had an awesome Creative Writing program that (somehow) I was able to get into. A few truly amazing writers – Carolyn Smart, who runs the program, and one of our writers-in-residence, Stuart Ross – showed me what it means to do this professionally, and I just kept going from there.

What does your writing process look like?
   Science is for Real involved a lot of brainstorming, research/consultation with my engineer friend, and multiple drafts to get the phrasing just right. For my short fiction, I’ll make some notes and then go through a few writing drafts; there’s a lot more discovery writing there. On the novel side, I spend a while making notes on characters, world, boil down my major plot points and a skeleton of an outline, and then discovery write to fill in the other details.

Did you always want to write?
   Pretty much. I can remember really getting hooked on stories when I watched the original Star Wars trilogy as a kid (yep, I’m that kind of nerd). I didn’t figure out I wanted to be a professional writer until later, though.

Which story in Science is for Real is your favorite and why?
   Hmm … tough call. If I absolutely had to pick, probably the story centered on Godzilla, titled “Thump … Roar … Thump.” I think it’s the best written of the four (though people are free to disagree).

What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
   Joe Abercrombie, Pat Rothfuss, Jim Butcher, Marie Bilodeau, Brandon Sanderson, Jonathan Maberry, Jack McDevitt, Mary Robinette Kowal … okay, I’ll stop there. It’s brilliant character work and worldbuilding that hooks me, and every author I’ve listed is awesome in that regard.

What are you reading right now?
   I just finished Persona by Genevieve Valentine, which is a great near-future political thriller with an environmentalism slant. Definitely worth checking out. I’ll be starting Firefight by Brandon Sanderson next.

Dog or Cats?
   Cats to own, dogs to play with. I’ll gladly spend time with someone else’s dog, but I don’t want to live with one or train one. I’ll take a cat – a pet that loves you to death and then disappears for a while.

What’s next for you?
   "I'm currently shopping around a fantasy novel called Convoy, and hoping to find an agent, while I write the first draft of a space opera novel. On the short fiction side, I have a sci-fi/horror story titled "Waiting Room" that will be released July 20 in Creepy Campfire Quarterly #3. Later this year I have four more stories slated to be published in Third Flatiron Anthologies, The Breakroom Stories, The 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, and Sunvault."

Visit the author's webpage

An Ottawa teacher by day, Brandon Crilly has been published in On Spec, Solarpunk Press, Nonlocal Science Fiction and other markets. He was a Semi-Finalist in the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future 32. Science is for Real and other chapbooks are available at You can also follow Brandon on Twitter: @B_Crilly.

 Summary of Science is for Real: What would happen if big sci-fi blockbusters didn’t ignore the laws of physics? Four Hollywood films get an overhaul in Science is for Real.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Interview w/ Jim Cronin

1. Where did the idea for your novel come from?
    I have always been a fan of science fiction, especially when it deals with current social issues. The struggle between science and religion and government is something I dealt with as a science teacher, as well as my current work at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, so it was a natural topic for Hegira.

2. How did you start writing?
    My brother was writing a novel inspired by his experiences in the Peace Corp in the South Pacific. As we talked about his novel, the conversation turned to what I might write if I were to try my hand at being an author. One thing led to another and I came up with the idea for Hegira.
3. What does your writing process look like?
    I generally start with a rough outline of the characters and story line, but once I sit down to write it always seems to go best when I let the characters themselves write their own story. I am frequently surprised by sudden shifts in the direction I believed things should go, but then the character takes over and shows me what they would actually do in those circumstances. If I try to argue with these voices in my head the writing bogs down and becomes more of a chore than fun, so I prefer to listen to the voices. So far, they’ve stuck to my writing and not anything beyond.
4. Where is your book set?
   Hegira is set in a distant and imaginary galaxy, on two worlds. The Brin live on the planet Dyan’ta, but not for long. Their sun is about to go supernova and destroy their world. The only hope is to find a new planet out among the stars to relocate their population.
5. Are your characters based on real people?
   Not really. While the situations are not far removed from controversies we face in our world, and the actions of the characters may feel familiar, they are a complete and total work of my imagination.

6. Did you always want to write?
   No. In fact, this was probably one of the things furthest from my mind. The English language has always been a mysterious and bizarre land of seemingly incoherent rules with infinite exceptions. I was a science geek. However, it is possible some of my teaching partners may have corrupted me enough to make me believe writing might be something worth trying. It did take me forever to learn how to write well, and I am still early in that process, but hopefully getting better. I have been receiving many positive reviews so maybe I am learning.
7. Which character is your favorite and why?

   I actually like Maripa the best. She is a powerful female with many skills and, possible spoiler alert, one of the most influential characters as the story progresses into the future of the sequel. I have been surrounded by strong women most of my life (four sisters and many incredible women as teaching partners) so I guess Maripa was inevitable in my writing.

8. What authors do you enjoy reading? Why?
    I love authors from a wide range of genres. Of course Arthur C. Clark and Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven, and others among the science fiction world are some of those I read most. J.R.R. Tolkien, David McCullough, Steven Ambrose, Stephen King, and Jeff Shaara are also high on my list of favorites.
9. What are you reading right now?

   Currently I have three books I’m reading. Blood Star by Nicholas Guild, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and, on audiobook, The Dragon Reborn, book three of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

10. Dog or Cats?
   Dogs… unless the cat is a Bengal Tiger. Tigers are pretty awesome, for a cat.

11. What’s next for you?
   I am in the final editing process for Hegira’s sequel, Recusant. This picks up a few hundred years after Hegira’s conclusion and sends one of Maripa and Jontar Rocker’s descendants on a wild adventure which overturns everything the Brin believed. At the same time, I have begun writing the third and final book of this series which I now call The Brin Archives.

Latest Novel Click Here

I worked for thirty-five years as a middle school science teacher, but am now semi-retired, working part-time as an educator/performer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I have been married for thirty-seven years to the love of my life, Diane. Together, we raised two incredible sons, and now have a beautiful granddaughter to spoil rotten, with one more grandchild on the way.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in Arlington, Virginia before moving to Denver where I attended High School and eventually college at Colorado State University, graduating with a degree in Zoology and a teacher certification. I currently live near Denver in the small town of Parker.

Author Links:

Twitter:  @authorjimcronin