Sunday, March 29, 2015

SOTC Cover Art Poll!

Hello friends, I have two things for you today.

The first is a treat. Please allow me to introduce the talented fellow who has been kind enough to take the job of cover artist for my novel "Sol of the Coliseum" (Fall 2015), Mr. Jonathan Guerdrum!

Jon is based out of Fort Collins and is becoming increasingly well known in the region for his whimsical beer art. 

Big Game Double IPA
Peaceful Penguin Sour


Seriously, how great are these? Like it? Check out lots more and buy some on Etsy















But Jon's also a self described "speculative fiction nut" and has a real talent with more fantasy themed pieces like these from his Facebook page:

"Frost"
"Breeze"

 
I'm sure you can see why I thought of him when my publisher generously allowed me a little freedom when it came time to choose an artist for SOTC.

Long story short, I contacted Jon, we talked over beer, he said yes, the publisher said yet, and he and I have been working on the cover over the last few weeks!



I can tell you, if you've never had the pleasure of seeing one of your characters brought to life by a talented artist, I very much hope you get the chance someday. It's pretty thrilling.

So that's the first thing. The second? I would like your opinion on part of the cover for SOTC! The cover will feature Sol, the main character, and Sol's trademark helmet. Jon just sent me four choices for Sol's helmet. Please choose:

Choice 1: Simple helm, tapered spikes.
Choice 2: Crested helm, bladed spikes.

1) Your favorite helmet
2) Your favorite spike design
Choice 4: Rimmed helm, slanted spikes.
Choice 3: Hammered helm, even spikes.

Then post them to the comments! Then tell your friends! You can be part of designing the cover for my book! And I'll love you for it!







Also, don't forget to stop in on Tuesday for another writing tip, this time from the nicest blogger on the internet, Mr. Jeff Hargett!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Writing Tip Tuesdays: Take a Hike

Welcome back for the second installment of Writing Tip Tuesdays!


One of the cool things about the writing community is that we all approach our craft a little differently and we all think of our own creative process in a unique way. I often relate my creativity in terms of an old temperamental faucet.

Side story: When I was a kid, one of the houses we lived in was a particularly old farmhouse with one of those old dishwashers that you'd wheel over to the faucet and hook up to the sink. One night, I got up to get myself a glass of water. When unhooking the dishwasher, I guess I managed to touch the metal faucet and the dishwasher's electric cord at the same time. The shock threw me across the kitchen and into the refrigerator. The thing is, I was so confused and disoriented, I got up and did it again. I guess I managed to stagger back to bed but in the morning, it all seemed so weird that I figured it must have been a dream. That is until I had to explain to my folks why the refrigerator door was dented. They had to replace the refrigerator door panel but we kept the dishwasher. Go figure.

Ok, back to WTT...  

Most of the time, even when I'm trying to keep the faucet turned off (say, when I'm at work crunching data), there's still a drop or two that manages to sneak out (that's what sticky notes are for). Sometimes the darn thing gushes and it's hard to catch all those ideas, especially if I'm previously occupied. But sometimes, as old faucets are wont to do, the thing seizes up and not so much as a trickle will...trickle out. When I'm trying to do something else that's one thing. But what about when I finally carve out a little time and I really want to write? How do I get that faucet to open up?




That's right. My go to faucet lubricant (ok, that sounds a little weird) is a good long walk.


Walking helps get my creativity going. And this isn't just some personal peculiarity. This is SCIENCE:

"Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking."

For more on this, please click here.

So my main tip is this:

If you're stuck in your story, bogged down in your blogging, or cranky about your creative capacity, take a walk!

But we all know it's not always that simple. As with any technique, you'll need to figure out how to walk. I know that sounds silly, but there are things you can do (or not do) as you walk that can help. Here's what works for me:

  1.  Ease into it - At first, don't concentrate on the project or issue your working on. Try to let your mind just kinda flow. Look at trees and people and birds. Enjoy the sun. Hum a tune. Clear your head. Let your brain breath. Then, once you've calmed down, consider your dilemma.
  2. Let your hands and mouth go - It might be a little embarrassing but I find that it helps if I let myself gesticulate and make faces and talk to myself. Sure, I get some looks. But so what? I'm creating! 
  3. Have a medium handy...but not too handy - I've preached before (and will again) about the wonders of a smartphone as a writing tool. Jotting down notes and ideas while walking is a perfect example. BUT, until those ideas come I have to keep the phone in the pocket. If I don't I'll end up on Facebook or checking scores or some other thing that distracts me in an uncreative way. A notebook and pen or some other kind of archaic method will work just as well, I'm sure.
How about you? Do you walk? Do you gesticulate? Have you electrocuted yourself on faulty kitchen appliances?
Please check back next week when we will be joined by the nicest guy on the internet, your friend and mine, the always insightful Jeff Hargett!

Also, if you want to get involved with Writing Tip Tuesdays, please shoot me an email at adamgaylordwrites gmail com.

We have great tips from a bunch more great writers coming up so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Writing Tip Tuesdays: What To Expect When Writing Collaboratively by David Powers King

Welcome to the first installment of Writing Tip Tuesdays!



Today we're lucky enough to be joined by co-author of the recently released fantasy novel Woven and ruler of The Cosmic Laire, David Powers King! I asked David to tell us about something that intimidates the heck out of me: co-writing. How do two writers create a single story?

###


Nice lookin' fella, huh?
Ever since my debut novel with Michael Jensen, WOVEN, came out in January this year, one of the most frequently asked questions we've received is: what is it like to be collaborative authors? What is your process like? All fair questions. There is a stigma that writing collaboratively is difficult or impossible if the authors are unable to effectively work together. Breaking this mold by finding a working relationship with Michael has been a pleasant experience, but the difference does make for some adjustment compared to writing on your own.

First of all, you're not writing a story by yourself. There is another party involved. Another worldview. One might like this idea while the other really doesn't. So here's a good rule to remember: these impasses are perfectly fine and should be expected. A better rule to remember is that you can't let disagreements hang up your story. The show must go on. Talk it out until you find a solution, or something better than you both first thought.
Next on my reading list. Very excited.

Secondly, you have another author to rely on. In the same vain, working on a story together comes with its own support system. You'll have a critique partner, an alpha reader, beta reader, and a general supporter through the whole process, which has come in handy when a problem arises. An extra set of eyes can spot problems early on, making revisions a breeze later. 

Lastly (but not at all final), the experiences you can gain are invaluable. If drafting a successful manuscript has taught me anything, it's how to work with others and how to "get over myself." It has made working with professionals in New York an easier transition compared to how I may have conducted myself as a lone author. Because to succeed as a published author, you have to work, and work effectively, with others. Writing collaboratively can help develop this skill.

If anything else, communicate. Always have each other's back and stay on the same page. Who knows what kind of worlds and magic you can create with two heads instead of one.

###

Was that great or what!?! Makes me want to try a collaboration. Seems like it could be very rewarding.

Please check back next week for a technique I use to get over creative rough patches. 

Also, if you want to get involved with Writing Tip Tuesdays, please shoot me an email at adamgaylordwrites gmail com.

We have great tips from a bunch more great writers coming up so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Writing Tip Tuesdays Starting Next Week! Seriously.

Deja vu?

No, I was confused. Writing Tip Tuesdays actually starts next week. I'm gonna blame it on the baby-induced lack of sleep. Sorry. 

Sooooo, here's a repeat:

Starting March 17th, every Tuesday will be "Writing Tip Tuesday" here at Adam Gaylord Writes!



I will be hosting a plethora (I love that word) of great writers, bloggers, and publishers offering up their tips of the trade. I might even throw in a few myself!

And what better way to start this feature than to welcome one of the kings of fantasy author blogging, fresh of the successful release of his hit fantasy novel "Woven" (next up on my reading list):



David has offered to share his thoughts on successful co-authoring (which I've always been very interested in). I can't wait!

Want to get involved with Writing Tip Tuesdays? Contact me at adamgaylordwrites @ gmail (dot) com and I'll throw you in the mix!

This should be fun so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Happens When You Let Others Dictate Your Writing Style?

Writers get a lot of pressure from the outside world about how and what they write. Peers, publishers, and the public all have a say. 

But what happens if you let the talk get to you? What happens if you change who you are as a writer to suit their ideas of what's right?

This little short film explores those demons. Brace yourself...




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Writing Tip Tuesdays Starting Next Week!

Yet another big announcement!

Starting March 17th, every Tuesday will be "Writing Tip Tuesday" here at Adam Gaylord Writes!



I will be hosting a plethora (I love that word) of great writers, bloggers, and publishers offering up their tips of the trade. I might even throw in a few myself!

And what better way to start this feature than to welcome one of the kings of fantasy author blogging, fresh of the successful release of his hit fantasy novel "Woven" (next up on my reading list):



David has offered to share his thoughts on successful co-authoring (which I've always been very interested in). I can't wait!

Want to get involved with Writing Tip Tuesdays? Contact me at adamgaylordwrites @ gmail (dot) com and I'll throw you in the mix!

This should be fun so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Contest Announcement: Blurred Lines

Heads up!

I'm judging a short story competition hosted by Dark Futures Magazine.

The there of the challenge is "Blurred Lines":

One of the greatest characters in fiction is that of “the other”, those nearly but not-quite human characters we see so much of ourselves in. The best monsters, robots, and aliens blur the lines between us and them and it’s that push on the edges of our humanity that helps us understand who we are. Give us blurred lines, pushed boundaries, and others that make us ask, where do we end and they begin?

First place gets $15 and publication on the Dark Futures website as well as the next issue of Phase 2 Magazine. No fees. Awesomely handsome judge.

Click HERE for details.



For those of you keeping track, that's two big announcements this week. But I'm not done! I've got another one for you next week so stay tuned!