What Makes an Author a Breakout Author?

AISFP_300x300My two part interview series with Zachary Jernigan is now up at Adventures in SciFi Publishing (Part one; Part two).

I recently complimented Zachary Jernigan, debut author of No Return from Night Shade Books, as being a breakout author. He was shocked by this, because he’s humble at times, but also because he doesn’t think he has sold that many books. I told him I don’t see a breakout author as having to have sold a ton of books, but who has leaped ahead of the pack, or at least my expectations. His book is shockingly well written, for a debut novel, and immediately places him among the top tier of the genre.

Whom would you say deserves to be called a breakout author, and why?

My book review of No Return

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AudioTim Podcast Announcement

AISFP_300x300In spite of me supposedly being on a brain vacation after writing “the end” on my novel, within a week I have become the new Executive Producer of Adventures in SciFi Publishing. It’s surreal, because I’ve been a huge fan, and while this is a dream come true, I’m also kind of sad that I can’t be purely a fan anymore.

My goal is to still make the show as if the host is the biggest fan, so expect fun times and continued high quality production. This Parsec Award winning podcast, in the words of its creator, Shaun Farrell, “Has its best days ahead of it.” I will do my best to prove him right. Continue reading

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Book Review: vN by Madeline Ashby

by Madeline Ashby

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

A more formal review will go up on SF Signal soon, but for now, here are my thoughts.

I’m very impressed with this debut novel from Madeline Ashby. She excels at making her A.I. robot perspective feel real, sometimes in humorous ways, sometimes in scary ways and most enjoyably through their struggle to experience love, freedom and responsibility over loved ones. The layout for how the robots iterate (make copies) appeals to the love of technology upgrades and creating superpowers, reminding me of an adventure through a video game and leveling up my characters, but in a story that also touches the heart.

Another way the author impressed me was in how she layers unexpecting conflict after unexpecting conflict, like getting beatup by the Terminator, then Bruce Lee shows up to snap a few roundhouses across your face, and then when you think you can’t take anymore, Chuck Norris walks in and says, “Madeline’s not even halfway done with you.” Sometimes, as a reader, you think an author is going to wait until later in the story to make survival impossible, but this author found new ways to surprise and doom her characters, seemingly, on a page by page basis. Continue reading

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An Author’s Two Favorite Words: “The End.”

The EndSaturday, I got to write these words on the fifth draft of my novel, Kaimerus. This concluded the third rewrite and about 320,000 words that I’ve put into this project. Kaimerus is not done yet, I still need to go through and polish some parts that are first draft quality, but most of the plot holes have been fixed and the ending is what I want. Continue reading

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Book Reviews and Podcasts Off-Site

I’ve been contributing a lot to the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast and SF Signal as a book reviewer. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve delivered recently:

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Tim and Rachel Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Into DarknessTim and Rachel Ward have been married almost four years. They are both a little geeky with their movie tastes. He likes post-apocalyptic movies with quality story and action, and she just wants the girl to get the guy in the end.

Other titles they’ve reviewed: TV show Touch (Season One) and movie John Carter.

SheriffTim: Going to see Star Trek Into Darkness, what were your hopes, expectations, and maybe fears? Continue reading

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Why I want a sequel to NO RETURN by Zachary Jernigan

I recently reviewed NO RETURN, the debut novel from Zachary Jernigan. The short review for those on the fence is that Zachary has thrown down his gauntlet on this Fantasy, Space Opera mashup. His characterization was exceptional, and the combination of intriguing characters and a rich setting is why I’m championing for a sequel. If you’ve read NO RETURN, read on and then share why you think he should or shouldn’t write a sequel. Due to the latest Night Shade Books legal issues, it’s important to spread the word about this book so sales help it get a chance at a sequel.

Spoiler Warning. Continue reading

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Books Received 5/25/13

As a sign of appreciation to the authors and publishers who have shared their stories with me for free, I’d like to start posting covers and synopses to share with you until I’m able to get these books reviewed.

(Thank you to My Bookish Ways for the Interview and Giveaway about Scare Me by Richard Parker. He is doing a giveaway on his website: Continue reading

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SHORT FICTION REVIEW: Ordinary Folk by Kat Heckenbach

Ordinary Folk by Kat Heckenbach

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The like the idea of a woman struggling to figure out why she has rage issues and a sense of smell for meat that is so advanced that it scares her, but her character was not likable enough, the plot was not surprising enough, the description failed to evoke a sensual connection to the experience, and the climax wasn’t extreme enough for this action/horror story. Also, the overall message of being “ordinary folk” did not really move me or make me feel like reading the story was worth the time. Continue reading

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Book Review: NO RETURN by Zachary Jernigan

No Return by Zachary Jernigan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my review fresh off of finishing today. A more polished review will appear on SF Signal sometime in the future.

NO RETURN displays the kind of prose, worldbuilding and depth of characterization that place Zachary Jernigan securely within the top tier of Fantasy authors. The prose pulls you in like a piece of art, forcing you to slow down and observe. The worldbuilding makes you imagine maps, bar room brawls over differences in customs, shop keepers making lists of what supplies to buy from where, kids praying to the god who lives on the moon, women making sex spells, warriors becoming one with their self-controlled, mutating body suits… all in a way that separates the world in NO RETURN from generic fantasy–this world is alive! Continue reading

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