my books, all published in the space of one year. I can live with that:)
tedkeller
During this year my humble self and my cynical alter ego Harry F Kane have six books published. ...Not to mention a growing number of short stories.

I decided to become a writer three years ago. Two years went by, years of frantic typing and retyping, submitting and resubmitting, despairing and re-despairing.

And then Baaam!

A watershed was passed, and I could actually whip my existing stuff into shape well enough for it to be accepted for further editing by...editors.

A very instructive year this was.


keller and kane 2012

Sound of Distant Oceans is published! And a six-book cycle is now over.
tedkeller
Well, Sound of Distant Oceans is finally out with Eternal Press. A fitting end to a hectic year, in which I and my sarcastic alter-ego Harry Kane published half a dozen books – this one being the sixth – Sound of Distant Oceans is my very first attempt to write longer fiction, and was the last to find a home.

In 2013 a new stage of my story-telling will begin, but for now Stage I is over, and I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something. This isn’t the beginning of the end, but is certainly the end of the beginning.

Check out Sound of Distant Oceans, written as a naïve rebellion against the endless series of 1000 paged door-stoppers, this is a snappy short adventure of the Moorcock/Farmer type. Although marked as ‘LGBT romance’ by the publisher, for reasons which I hope make sense.

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Sound of Distant Oceans_resized

Courtney Rene Interview
tedkeller
This up and coming fantasy author has been kind enough to give this interview, so: enjoy!

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1. So, how long did it take you to reach today’s level as a writer, and do you feel you are where you want to be?
Being a writer is apparently a continual work in progress. I have been working forward since I was a child (harder now than then) and I personally believe that I get better every day and after every story. I look back at some of my early work and shudder. Yikes. That’s all I can say. Am I where I want to be? No. But…I am getting there. Little by little I am getting there.

2. Do you outline? If yes – how much of the initial outline survives until the end of the book?
Nope. I don’t outline at all. I have a basic idea for a story and I sit down and just write it. It twists and turns and changes along the way, but in the end, the basic idea I had is there in the end. Why don’t I outline? I don’t want to know how the story is going to end, until I get there. I want to be as surprised as the person reading it. Silly? Maybe a bit.

3. How much do you read these days?
Less than I used to, but still quite a bit. I used to read between 300-350 books in a year. I don’t’ read quite that much anymore. Now it’s more like 150-200. I miss the books but since I am creating my own stories now I suppose it’s worth it.

4. How does your writing process go – does it flow from the heavens, or is it a grim struggle against a slowly moving wall?
Sometimes it flows from the heavens (Shadow Dancer) and sometimes it’s a struggle from hell (A Howl in the Night). There are times that I just feel what is going on and other times that I am pulling and shoving and digging out the story. Obviously, I like the easier ones more, but the hard ones have a bit more of my soul wrapped up in them and tend to come out better in the end. I am wishing for a middle ground. Maybe my next story will have that.

5. When you identify your weaknesses with each consecutive book, how do you go about the next one? Do you try to develop the weaker directions, or do you develop ways of compensating them with the stronger stuff?
Well first I have to wince and be shamed by my weaknesses once I see them in the hard light of print. Then I take note and think about how I can make it better. I read a bit from others on the subject that I am struggling with and try to grasp a way to make myself better. A big problem in my early works is that I seem to be hurrying the story along. Now I try very hard to slow down and make the story…more. More descriptive, more vibrant…just more. As I said, we writers are always learning always trying to get better in some way or another.

6. How long does it take you to be able to see your book with fresh eyes?
After I write a book and revise it, I let it rest a good week or two before even looking at it again. Then after going through the editing process and final revisions and all that goes with getting the book into print, I don’t want to look at it again for a good long while. I think it was several months before I could look at A Howl in the Night. By the time I was finished with that story, I actually hated it. Hated with a capital H. Now though, I can pick it up, flip through it, and find myself enjoying the story. I now get captivated by it all over again. So yeah, months.

Brent Weeks's The Blinding Knife - Kung Fu Panda with Gore
tedkeller
There are five reasons for which I would have ranked the novel lower than it deserves, were I a member of the despicable tribe of reviewers who allow personal biases - and even the extent to which they approve or not of the character’s behavior – to distort appreciation of mastery and technique. But, since when Zarathustra sprach, he sprach about me – I am immune to those petty un-Vulcan emotions.
Reasons I would have hated the book were I not Homo Superior:
1. I don’t dig plots about wizard kids in wizard schools with wizard bullies, friends, and love interests. Blah.
2. I don’t dig plots about tough but just drill sergeants making a bunch of trainees manlier and brotherlier and toughier and justier.
3. I don’t dig plot twists based on everyone being everyone else’s long lost son/daughter/uncle/lawyer/butler/grandfather
4. I don’t dig books where all important adult male characters are Magnificent Bastards™.
5. I don’t dig plot rhythms which mirror those of a TV serial. I prefer movie-derivative rhythms if they have to be derivative of something.

The-Blinding-Knife

Well, now that this is out of the way, I can proceed to say that the book itself is a Magnificent Bastard™ child of a number of classics I also grew up on. There’s nothing wrong with that: we live in a postmodern society where original genre ideas last glimmered briefly somewhere around 1970, but have been in decline since 1940. The question is do you combine the pre-existing components masterfully, and do you use quality source material.

Mr. Weeks has done admirably on both counts. The sea battles are wonderfully reminiscent of Wagner’s Kane adventures. The smaller sea incidents, where Gavin whooshes across the sea massacring wights, are a mirror image of Le Guin’s Ged doing the same with a number of dragons. There’s even an evil twin – a real flesh and blood one, not a shadow one – whom Gavin has locked in an absurdly complex system of interconnected prison cells which are a welcome reminder of Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers classic, and the identical shenanigans the immortals there were up to. Oh, Kickaha… ...The hero worship is 100% David Gemmell, and in a good way, like David Gerrold is 100% Heinlein lecturing libertarian worship in a good way.

Big issues are tackled in the book, like slavery and prejudice, and one of the crowd of villains – The Color Prince – is your typical Acid Guru, who brainwashes young idealists like Liv into accepting his psychedelic Marxism that denies petty bourgeoisie morals:

[She blinked, aware of some change in the atmosphere, a freer brush of the wind than a closed tent should allow.
The Color Prince stood outlined against the morning light in front of the open tent flap. He held up a finger so she didn’t speak and wake Zymun. He motioned that she was to come with him.
A wave of shame went through her. She felt like a whore, caught by her father with a boy she didn’t even love. The feelings crested, and she quickly drafted superviolet. It was like the first puff of ratweed in the morning, except the luxin made her think more clearly. The feelings were the vestiges of small-town religiosity. Besides, the Color Prince believed in freedom, free choices. She was young. She could do whatever she wanted. There was no need to feel shame here.]

…with its Mensonite overtones of having to torture and kill a gazillion of people that Helter Skelter and true freedom will finally arrive.

The prose style and character descriptions and behavior are very much a mix of Ender’s Game and Baen-style military fiction of the likes of David Drake, David Weber, Eric Flint, Timothy Zahn (especially him, in moments it was totally Blackcollar/Cobra stuff but with magic instead of cybernetic enhancements) and co. In other words, Mr. Weeks has applied the lessons of battle sci-fi and alternative history to contemporary fantasy, and appears to have done so very much to his advantage.

And the titular Kung-Fu panda: Fat Inept Kid with a Heart of Gold – Kip (who is everyone’s son, uncle, and master simultaneously), is charmingly pulled off, and one actually roots for him all the way.

Bravo to Mr. Weeks for a spectacular genre success, and one hopes that this is just the beginning of a long evolution of the author.

Shadow's End review
tedkeller
Courtney Rene’s third installment in the Shadow Dancer: Shadow’s End

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I’m no stranger to reading books out of sequence. Usually this happens to me with science fiction, for some reason. The first Kevin J Anderson book I read was Metal Swarm – the sixth volume of the saga, the first Peter F Hamilton – Judas Unchained – the second volume of the Commonwealth Saga, and the first Mission Earth book by Ron Hubbard was Fortune of Fear – the fifth volume. I’m a pro in this, is what I’m saying…

Anyway. In Shadow’s End the main protagonist through whose POV we interact with the world is Sunny – a teenage girl who must balance school, relations with parents, and a semblance of a normal life, with being The One in the realm of Acadia, where war is brewing and she must lead an army.

As a shadow walker she can not only travel between the different realms (including the Ice Realm where tiny sharp-toothed blue pixies live, and the Fire Realm – a place of geysers and gingers), but she can also carry about a dozen people with her from one realm to another (ours is the Water Realm, BTW), can throw energy blasts, and can kick dudes she doesn’t like in the nuts.

One such dude is Leif, apparently a manipulative and abusive former love interest, also a shadow walker, who is balanced with current interest Lucas, whom she actually takes to prom. On the way Lucas charmingly masters the art of opening an automobile door, and eating burger with fries, and giving Dad manly handshakes of the ‘your daughter is safe with me, sir’ type.
Sunny’s rebel army is being gathered by Gabriel, who is character who always meets anyone with a variation of ‘why are you late?’

Part of the rebels from Leif’s other rebel army (all going against evil king Gideon, BTW) drift over to Sunny’s (Gabriel’s) camp, but Leif refuses to join forces, as he has a somewhat different agenda, and something up his sleeve. Apart from his nuts after Sunny’s kick.

This book, and the vague feeling of the whole series which it gives, is perfect for a teen TV serial, and I hope that sooner or later someone will see the light and start making it. After all, something needs to balance all the vampires, zombies, cops, murderers, and ‘gritty dramas’. Why not Shadow Dancer?

Brain Storm is live!
tedkeller
Yes, finally. Available on the various Amazons, this tale of a summer holiday turned into summer nightmare is now out with Rogue Phoenix Press. I had fun writing it.
Amazon
Amazon UK
The publisher

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Cover of Sound of Distant Oceans ready - book should be out by Autumn
tedkeller
Sound of Distant Oceans_500x750

Cover of Brain Storm ready - the book should be out by the early autumn
tedkeller

Short story 'Enough With the Crazy' out with Tales of the Zombie War
tedkeller
ENOUGH WITH THE CRAZY

Sam Minitz opened his eyes in that spasm of mobilized desperation which sometimes helps claw back to wakefulness from a nightmare too awful to be borne.

But the tension was still pressing down on his body like an armor of leaden plates; he could hardly move as yet, only groan desperately at the menacing figures all around.

It took endless seconds for his brain to catch up with his waking. When it did, the looming monsters and intruders resolved into mere dark folds in the drapes. He was alone in his room, alone in his apartment.

Just him, tightened like a coil ready to snap.

God, I’ll have a heart attack one of these days, thought Sam, as it became apparent to him that he was indeed awake, that the nightmare had been indeed a dream, and that he indeed was not yet having a real physical seizure.

Although incredibly tired, muscles stiff and powerless, Sam knew that nothing could make him close his eyes again anytime soon.

He groped for the bedside lamp, looked at the display of his cell phone – half past three in the morning – and changed his position to vertical, sitting dazedly on the edge of his bed. He reached for the two crumpled shapes that were yesterday’s socks, pulled them on, decided against dressing for real, and instead threw on his bathrobe and went to the kitchen.

By the table stood a tiny TV set which promised some grounding through advertisement jingles, upbeat voices, fictionalized shootouts, and sexy women. But as he skipped through the channels he was bluntly reminded that only a few of the things offered by the little screen took away from the power of the nightmare – many others seemed to amplify it and to threaten to bring it back to the surface again.

Finally he settled on a harmless drama talk show, leaving the sound at just the correctly low level to be soothing yet incomprehensible.

Sam filled up the kettle and opened the window. Bracing night air helped him get his thoughts together. He fished in the drawer by the stove for a lighter, lit up a cigarette, and looked meditatively at the hulking shapes of dark apartment towers.

Only a dozen windows, glowing white, yellow, and two of them green, for some reason, were alight in the neighboring buildings. Everyone else was asleep.

As the huffing of the kettle subsided and it clicked off, vague far off noises of cars and people could now be heard through the window.

Sam stabbed out his cigarette on the base of the dish drainer, mixed himself an instant coffee with a double sugar kick, and lit the next one.

Even with the help of television, coffee, and nicotine, the terrible visions of his dream had not disappeared completely. Every minute or two they would come around for another bombing ran, making his whole torso tense as he saw again the insane figures tearing at each other’s flesh, screaming and gurgling in an inferno of intertwined pain and desire.

And him there too – afraid, running, resisting – and then suddenly submerging into the same insanity and chasing, biting, tearing.

This has been going on for two straight weeks now, ever since he had stopped taking his prescribed mood stabilizers. Perhaps he had been a bit rash with his desire to unhook himself from the pharmaceutics. Perhaps being a pill addict was better than being a sleep deprived madman.

No, chill out, he tried to convince himself, giving his head a confident shake, that’s just the withdrawal. You’ll be right as rain in another week or two.

Unfortunately Sam did not believe himself even for a second.

Read the rest here http://www.talesofworldwarz.com/stories/2012/07/05/enough-with-the-crazy-by-edward-keller/

Planefall on Albaid is out!
tedkeller
Here it is, on Amazon,http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/B008GUMM7A/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-link
...my little slam-bam alien planet adventure book, hme, hme, hme.




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