Archive for the ‘My Work’ Category

23
Dec

A New Release! With my Name on it …

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: ,

I’ll have more on this soon, but here’s a quick announcement about my new release: THE CHILDREN OF WIND AND WOOD, published on December 21st, 2012 just in time for the end of the world! It’s going to be exclusive to Amazon for its first three months, so if you’re an Amazon Prime customer you can check it out from the Kindle Lending Library (I actually earn quite a bit more that way) or you can pick it up for 99 cents. If you read on another device (Nook, Kobo, Sony, etc.), I’d love to send you a free ePub file. Please let me know your email address and I’ll get that right out to you.

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Description

A girl wanders the ancient forests of Andars, peering through misty groves swelling with nature spirits. Idonea hopes to hear whispers from the final resting places of the grandfathers and grandmothers, from the wind and from the trees. The Ancestors lead her to the wand she seeks, but not without great cost–and only after a bargain.

Rezzia’s legions occupy the hills of Andars for the next seven years, even as Rezzia’s war with Pawelon rages on. Yearning to send the Rezzians back to the desert, Idonea’s brother Skye grabs his axe and joins their father at the Hall of the Ancestors. Skye’s father channels his own father’s spirit for guidance, and a Rezzian atrocity is revealed.

A reluctant drummer begins sounding the end of the world.

The primordial Orns, Fidelity, Angst, and Wrath, have seen all of this before. Driven by Andaran suffering, Wrath searches for an instrument … a woman of the wood, a woman of power.

The Children of Wind and Wood by Moses Siregar III

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy this one.

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So I bought a new Kindle Paperwhite, and it’s almost an amazing e-reader (Mostly, I love it, but there are some issues with the “white” part when using the built-in lights–namely, the background isn’t a uniform color). One nice new feature (okay, I lied. It’s actually an older feature even on my trusty kindle2, but I hadn’t realized that until today) is that if you click to “View Notes & Marks” on a book, you’ll sometimes get to see the top ten most popular highlights on the book. Some books show these highlights and some books don’t. And you’ll probably see more highlights on your device than you’ll see on a book’s page at Amazon.

I’m one of the lucky ones, because my first novel does show the top ten highlights. Because I haven’t had any big news in awhile–semi-kidding, although if you want to follow my author news, my Facebook Author page is the best way, or on Twitter @MosesSiregar–I’m going to paste the top ten highlights (selected by the readers) from The Black God’s War here. I’ll list them in order with the most popular highlight at the bottom of the list.

1) “I know know how to fight him. His gods are a projection. They are just as false as this world. I know that. I will win.”

2) “You are a master in a tiny field. The ultimate truth still lies far beyond you. There is no end to evolution, to the unshackling of chains.”

3) [this is one a bit spoilerish] “his domain also includes the dark processes of life, including the balancing of what you might call sin. Our concept is karma. It suggests that whatever we do returns to us because in truth there is no separation between us all. So when we act upon another, we act upon ourselves. Evil acts come back to us, while good deeds bring good karma. As I understand your Lord Danato, it’s as if he is a god of karma.”

4) “The mind is the master of the physical world. The physical isn’t observed by the mind–it’s actually dependent on the mind.”

5) “Introspection, clarity, and creative imagination must come before action.”

6) “It’s the most recent worst day of my life,” she said. “Thank you for asking.”

7) “The descent to Hades is the same from every place.” -Anaxagoras [this is a quote, not my words]

8 ) “A man must act on his conscience. I would rather die than live by no greater principle than my own survival.”

9) “This is why our desires must be questioned before we undertake any great endeavor. If our values are flawed, our actions can only produce imperfections.”

10) “I believe it is not important how long you live, but that you give yourself to living. Live as only you can, with every part of you fully engaged.”

It was definitely cool for me to see what readers have highlighted in the book.

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At the risk of seeming cheeky (don’t mind me, I have a burning secret desire to reside in the UK and drink lots of black tea with the locals), I’m going to post an email that I got from a reader last night. But before I do, allow me to dissect myself and let you know what the different parts of me are thinking right now.

The first part of me is probably just chuffed (there I go again with the UK bit!).

Another part of me hopes to inspire other writers, especially aspiring writers who haven’t yet polished and put their stories out there. Because I’m just a big kid writing stories from his basement, posting stuff on the internet. You can definitely do this too. Believe me, it feels great. This is absolutely so much fun.

Another part of me thinks this is a perfect example of how to send an email to a writer. 1) She blows much more praise in my direction than I deserve (and I love her for that). 2) There’s helpful feedback, which I requested in my author’s note at the end of my book (and I love her for that). Seriously, if you enjoy a writer’s work, you can give back so much to them by writing a review and/or sending an email like this. It makes our days (weeks? months? years?) and gives us wind gusts at our backs to help us put out the next story faster. I can’t overstate that.

The last part of me loves that she recognized two things I worked very hard on (heh, he said hard on): 1) formatting and proofreading, and 2) a lack of major plot holes, continuity errors, and inconsistent/contradictory information. I also love that she is dead on accurate about where I can improve on my characterization. In fact, I’ve already been working on the very thing she mentioned as I’m writing book 2.

Another part of me loves that this reader offered to be a beta reader, and I want to let you know that you too can volunteer to “beta read” my future books; that means you can be an early reader who lets me know where I’ve really screwed up (something I’ve been known to do a lot) so I can fix those issues before publishing it. And if you’d like to beta read, I intend to have a book 2 for you by the end of the year. Know that all good beta readers surely go straight to Heaven.

Alena granted me permission to post her email, so here it is, without further ado …

Subject: Tiny Gods, That Was Delicious!

Hello Moses,

I just finished reading “The Black God’s War” and I’d just like to tell you, “Bravo!” I truly enjoyed reading your book, and will probably enjoy reading it at least 3 or 4 more times. Since you said that you welcome critique, I figured I would shoot you an email (also, I’m REALLY curious about your pantheon, but more on that later).

Ok, so first things first: I think this might be the first e-book I have read to date that does not contain ANY formatting, spelling, punctuation or typographical errors, indie or not. At least I’m pretty sure of that. You see, I read a lot of e-books nowadays (I think I now have ~110 titles), and almost every one has those errors. It’s extremely irritating to be reading and have your groove thrown off by a misspelled word or an error in the format. I’m sure you can understand my frustration.

Now, onto the story: I honestly don’t know where to start. Ok, the pantheon. Wow. I loved the blend of gods, and the world building you did, just in the Rezzian religion, and would liked to have seen a bit more about the Pawelon spiritual beliefs. Also, I don’t believe you ever fully explained the meaning of Lux Lucis, though I gathered a bit from context. Maybe this will come in a later volume?

The characters were very believable, and I liked the way you developed them, but I think you probably could have done a little bit more  By this, I don’t mean to say that you didn’t go an amazing job with character development or on building each individual story line; you did. What I mean is this: Have you ever read a story that was in first person narrative and felt after a while that you were inside their head and could feel their emotions? I feel that, even though your story is primarily in third person, there are tiny glimpses into the protagonists beings. I think you have the skill to make us, the readers, feel like we’re inhabiting that person’s body while we are reading, and thus bring us into the story line, as well.

I loved the rich descriptions you gave about all the settings, clothing, the way men and women appeared and acted, the types of weapons they chose to use. I liked the cultural differences you gave to the two races in battle, and their differing strategies, along with cultural reasons for these strategies.

I would also like to congratulate you on something. When I read, I often look for plot holes or clues or undeveloped threads in the story, and I did not see any. It didn’t seem that you had any contradictory information in your story, nor were there any undeveloped thoughts or places the characters could have grown that just got forgotten.  And that’s kinda rare in a debut, indie novel.  So, good job there, buddy!

There are probably some other things I’d like to talk about, and ask you questions about, but it’s 1:30 in the frickin’ morning, and I have to wake up in a few hours. (OOOH!  The pantheon.  Really curious about how you developed it.) So, I should go to sleep.  It was lovely reading your book, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Cheers,

Alena Markins

P.S. I know you don’t know me yet, but I’m planting this seed in your head now. I would really like to become a beta reader at some point in the future. This is something we could talk about, if you’re open to it. I know that many authors are very nervous about this, so I will understand some hesitancy on your part. However, I do know that many authors like reader feedback from someone who is not just trying to make money off of them and genuinely enjoys a good product. Hopefully, I can convince you to be amenable to this idea in the future. I think you’ve got some great ideas and would like to read more of your work. Plus, I just like knowing secrets, especially if I know I’m the only one who knows them. :)

*****

And that, my friends, is why we write.

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Sasha Siregar was born in January. Here she is in one of her not-so-secret roles:

The Fairy Queen

Sasha, The Fairy Queen

She joined Athens, our 5-year-old son, and now we have the matching set. Becoming a Dad all over again has made me think hard about who I want to be when I grow up.

This year, while searching his soul, Dad has been spending time with son, coaching T-Ball, playing D&D with friends, and making some money.

Head Coach and Leadoff Hitter for "The Purple Spies"

I’ve been asking myself if I’m still committed to the writing dream. Smarter people than I have said that if you can quit, you probably should. But thanks to the people who have read my first book and gone on this journey with me, I can’t. Not today.

This saga that I’ve started (Splendor and Ruin) has another couple of big books left in it. Outside of being responsible to the people around me there’s nothing I want to do more than to write these books. And after I write these two books, I really want to write more.

One critical thing helped me get back on track. Over the last ten months, I’ve sold over 3,000 copies of my novel and given away roughly 20,000 free copies. In March, Amazon matched iTunes’ free price on my novel for six days, leading to 12,000 free downloads. I waited, expecting to get killed by reviews from so many new readers who downloaded a freebie that “just wasn’t for them.” Instead, I got so many kind reviews and many more kind emails. I shit you not one bit, my readers gave me the boost I needed. You told me that I should keep writing.

When I wrote The Black God’s War over the course of two years (the only book I’ve ever attempted), it looked like Mt. Everest. And before I attended my third Superstars Writing Seminar a month ago, book 2 looked just as difficult to climb. But after the seminar, my perspective changed.

I am going to pour all I’ve got into the next two books in this trilogy, but I’m already looking down the road, seeing that these books aren’t huge mountains in front of me anymore. These are books I’m going to write as if they were the last things I will ever get the chance to write, and then–Universe willing–I’m going to quickly move on and write more.

I want to get back into blogging regularly, but if I don’t, I can almost guarantee you that it’s because I’m writing. Because over the last month, I have been totally recommitted to these books. Do or do not. There is no try. And I love the way books 2 and 3 are coming together.

I’d like to get book 2 out by the end of 2012, but that might be too ambitious. We’ll see. I’m definitely giving it all I’ve got, and I’m shooting for mid-2013 at the latest. I want to thank everyone out there who is looking forward to book 2, THE GODS DIVIDED. I know one little guy who can’t wait to see it (especially the map–he loves the maps):

 

My Biggest Fan

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Reddit is pretty cool. It’s a massive online community with countless  forums devoted to different topics.

I’m hosting an AMA (“ask me anything”) in the r/Fantasy forum as an independent author who debuted my first novel this year. Here’s the link to the thread, and you’re invited to participate or just read along if you’re curious about my book or indie publishing. You can also win a trade paperback copy of my book.

So far, I’m the only indie author who has hosted an official AMA in this huge r/fantasy forum. It’s incredible to see my name on the list of AMAs with Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss above, and Robin Hobb and Brandon Sanderson below. One of these names is not like the others. Thanks for your support, r/fantasy!

p.s. 2012 is gonna kick ass. Thanks to Monique Martin for the graphic.


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The Black God's War (Novel)Short and sweet today. My epic fantasy novel, The Black God’s War, is currently free at Amazon UK and at iBooks/iTunes. I’m not sure how long it’ll remain free, so if you’re in the UK or if you use iBooks, please my guest and download a full copy of the novel. Reviews are appreciated, but never expected. Enjoy!
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Welllll, not quite. But the Indie Book Podcast did (in an audio review), and they filled in nicely. Spoiler: Two thumbs up. They talked about The Black God’s War for about 7 minutes, and I really loved hearing their thoughts (I especially loved that Jane liked Narayani, Aayu, and Duilio–three of my characters that don’t usually get as much love as the others). I also found their criticisms right on the mark and helpful.

IndieBookPodcast.com is a book review podcast that focuses on indie/self-published books and news about indie publishing. Next week, their episode will also feature a brief interview with me.

Thanks very much, Jane!

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SFSignal.com melds the minds of science fiction and fantasy writers every Wednesday, inviting authors to answer a new question each week. This week, my brain was invited to the stew. Ewww!

The question was:

Q: What is the role and place of maps in Fantasy novels? Which are your favorites? Why?

In my comments, I talked about my own experience with commissioning a map for The Black God’s War and gave links to some of my favorite maps, including maps from:

Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, Book 6.
Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold
David Anthony Durham’s Acacia
Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn
Kevin J Anderson’s Terra Incognita series
Selina Fenech’s Memory’s Wake
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
And, of course, my own.

I could link to those maps from here, but then you might not see all of the cool things over there. So check it out!

You might’ve seen my map for The Black God’s War:

Map by Jared Blando, TheRedEpic.com

But I haven’t shown the original map that I drew for Jared Blando at TheRedEpic.com (he’s the artist of the above map):

 

Good thing there are real artists in the world, eh?

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The Black God's War (Novel)The Black God’s War has arrived, to my sincere surprise, with some very kind reviews from three outstanding book reviewers.

GraceKrispy from MotherLode is a well-respected reviewer who rarely gives out 5 stars (so far, only four other 5-star reviews on her popular blog this year), but she had this to say at the end of her review of The Black God’s War:

If you follow my reviews regularly, you know I don’t give many 5 star reviews. In my way of thinking, there are almost always things I would have changed about a story. Although I’ve listed a few things I’d change about this story (clarify chapter headings and characters’ thoughts), I find that (hours later), I can’t stop thinking about the characters and their journeys. I find myself contemplating the messages that were delivered (whether overtly or veiled). Overall, I find I really can’t stop thinking about this story. Unforgettable story, intriguing characters, compelling journey with unexpected twists- in short, a very satisfying and engaging read. Isn’t that why we read for pleasure?

Then today a review came in from Derek Prior at IndieFantasyReview. Derek wrote a rather critical review of my previously released novella and he’s not the type to blow sunshine, so this was nice to hear:

The Black God’s War is, to date, the finest example of quality independent fantasy I’ve seen. This is undoubtedly due to Siregar’s willingness to write and rewrite until each chapter feels just right to him … As a reader, I was left with absolute confidence that this writer knows his world and characters inside out …

He’s also no slacker when it comes to presentation of his material either. This book has been professionally and extensively edited, proofed, and formatted. There is a remarkable map and a great cover.

This is what indie publishing is all about and I have no qualms about recommending this great novel.

A third professional review also arrived just today. It’s from Robert Duperre at the Journal of Always. Robert wrote the sort of deep, thoughtful, and thorough review that every author dreams of receiving. Here’s an excerpt from his 4.5 star review:

“… there is a rather brilliant climax that left me grinning from ear to ear …

In conclusion, The Black God’s War is a unique experience. The plot is intricate, the characters even more so, and the message is one of beauty. By the time you flip to the last few pages, I hope you have the shivers just as I did, which is how I know that Moses Siregar is going to be around a long time, and his voice, one of unity, passion, and loving sensibilities, is important – in the world at large as well as literature.

So bravo, Mr. Siregar. You wrote a damn good book. You should be very proud.”

Goodreads:

The Black God's War [A Stand-Alone Novel] (Splendor and Ruin, Book I)


Use the arrow in the bottom-right to turn the page:

Goodreads.com

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Some of you already know that I’m a co-host at the Adventures In SciFi Publishing podcast. Last week, in honor of the release of my novel, my friends Shaun and Brent interviewed, well, me. We discussed my early background, how I got into writing fantasy fiction, my influences, The Black God’s War, and the state of publishing today.

Here’s episode 130 of AISFP. Thanks for listening!

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