Archive for the ‘My Work’ Category


The Black God's War (Novel)Writing isn’t nearly as much fun without loud music in my face. I need your help so I can rock (or groove, or float) on.

I recently asked my homeys on Facebook and Twitter to recommend just one song for my next music playlist. These are the songs I’ll listen to as I write my next book, The Gods Divided (sequel to The Black God’s War, which comes out on August 1st). There’s still time to recommend a song (only one, please). I’ve listened to all of the current suggestions (thanks, y’all!), and here are the ten songs I’ve approved so far.

In no particular order:

Map of the Problematique, by Muse (from @AlexJKane).
Crystal, by New Order (from @RinnFalconer).
Call me When You’re Sober, by Evanescence (from @MumofBabyDavros).
The Last of the Mohicans, from the soundtrack (from @Strassur).
Timshel, by Mumford & Sons (from @charlotte_abel).
Roads, by Portishead (from @I_Pagan).
Sigur Ros, by Sæglópur (from Corey Podwinski)
Angels, by Wax Poetic featuring Norah Jones (Alexandra Geraets)
Sign of the Southern Cross, by Black Sabbath (Eric Kent Edstrom)
Remembering, by Karen Thurber (Karen Thurber‘s MySpace)

(I’ll keep adding songs to this list as I approve new songs.)

New songs added since I published this blog post:

Philosophia, by Guggenheim Grotto (@_MoniqueMartin_)
Anywhere on This Road, by Lhasa de Sela (Sarah Bartsch)
For Prayer, by Wye Oak (@iamfantastikate)
Blow Me Away, by Breaking Benjamin featuring Valora (lexcade)
Escape Artist, by Zoe Keating  (Timothy C Ward)
Threads, by This Will Destroy You (bennylol)
A Song for Starlit Beaches, by Yndi Halda (Machine_Gun_Jubblies)
Solitude is Bliss, by Tame Impala (MunkyAU)
Lobby, by The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble (thepaganapostle)
Welcome Home, by Coheed and Cambria (Barry Napier)

Feel free to comment with a song suggestion, and leave something like an email address or twitter handle in case I add your song. The first 20 selections will win paper copies of my book. EDIT: I’ve just reached 20 songs, but feel free to suggest a song if you’d like a chance to win a free ebook edition of The Black God’s War.

My taste is eclectic, and I like variety in my playlists. Thanks for your help, and check out the links to the songs above if you’re looking for a good time.

A really cool thing happened to me last week. John Mierau (one heck of a good interviewer) talked with me about The Black God’s War, my process, and indie publishing. Here’s the interview.

I’ve conducted a lot of interviews with best-selling science fiction and fantasy authors over the last year. So it was terrifying interesting to be on the other end of the Skype connection.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the new map for my novel, here it is. I’ll probably blog about it soon.
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I’m goofy-excited to announce that my debut novel is scheduled for release on August 1st, a few days before my birthday. (EDIT: The book is out!)

The Black God's War (Novel)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling abandoned by his god, he forces his son Caio, the kingdom’s holy savior, to lead his army. Victory ought to come soon.

To counter Caio’s powers, Pawelon’s prince enters the conflict. Rao is a gifted sage, a master of spiritual laws. He joins the rajah to defend their citadel against the invaders. But Rao’s ideals soon clash with his army’s general.

The Black One tortures Lucia nightly with visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and her nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well. He entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

The Black One watches, waiting to see Lucia confront an impossible decision over the fates of two men—and two lands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you all for witnessing the journey!

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The Black God's War: A Novella Introducing a New Epic Fantasy

Free at Amazon! The Black God's War: A Novella Introducing a New Epic Fantasy

Want to win a free kindle e-reader (or a $100 Amazon or B&N gift certificate) just for tweeting or sharing this blog post on Facebook? Or win $100 for your favorite non-profit charity in the U.S.? The details are below.

I’m feeling blessed. Around midnight on Tuesday night, Amazon made my novella free for the US and the UK. It was downloaded about 3,000 times during the first 24 hours after this change. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly half the total downloads I’ve had over the first 9 months since I released the book (across all e-bookstores). In just 24 hours.

I’m a lucky guy.

To celebrate this and to thank the ebook gods, I’m giving away a free Kindle 3 -or- black-and-white Nook (the winner chooses either the Kindle 3 or the B&W Nook). You’re welcome to enter my drawing for this prize. I’m also going to choose another winner, who will be able to choose a registered non-profit US charity; I’ll donate $100 to the charity of that person’s choice. You can enter multiple times, and here’s how:

Kindle 3

1) Share this blog post on Facebook. You can use the “Share on FB” button at the bottom of this post. As long as your FB account has at least 50 friends or fans, this counts for at least one entry. If your FB page has 500-999 friends or fans, this counts as two entries. If your FB page has more than 1,000 friends or fans, this counts as three entries. You can collect double points for posting this twice, as long as your two FB updates are at least 24 hours apart.

Btw, here’s the link to this blog post, in case you need it:

http://bit.ly/kOUmUO

2) Retweet this blog post using the button in the top right, or RT one of my tweets about the contest. If your Twitter account has 25-499 followers, this counts as one entry. If your Twitter account has 500-999 followers, this counts as two entries. If your Twitter account has 1,000+ followers, this counts as three entries. You can collect double points for tweeting this twice, as long as these tweets are at least 24 hours apart.

3) Write a blog post about this giveaway on your own blog. This counts as two entries.

4) Sign up to get email notifications of new blog posts, using the sign up box at the bottom of this post (even though it will give you an error message when you sign up–but if you get that error message you actually signed up correctly). This counts as two entries. If you’ve already signed up for these notifications, then you can state that to get two entries.

5) Digg this blog post using the button at the bottom. This counts as one entry.

6) Share this blog post using Reddit. This counts as one entry.

7) Share this blog post with StumbleUpon. This counts as one entry.

Nook

Many folks tweeted about my free novella earlier on the 11th, before this blog post was written. Each of those kind people will also get a free entry, and these people are welcome to enter again using the methods above (they can also tweet twice more to get extra entries).

Enter as many times as you’d like (following the above guidelines). The only other rule is that you have to add a comment to this blog post to let me know how you got your entries. For example, you could add a comment that says:

“I tweeted this twice to my followers (my account has 300 followers), wrote a blog about it, and shared it via Reddit. I think that counts for 7 entries. Laterz, I’m going square dancing.”

If you don’t add a comment to claim your entries, your entries won’t count in the drawing. I’ll draw for the two winners either a few days after Amazon’s free promotion of my ebook ends or on June 15th, whichever comes first.

You’re also welcome to check out my free novella, The Black God’s War from Amazon US or UK (my upcoming debut novel by the same title, The Black God’s War, should be out sometime between June and August). Of course, the novella is free on Amazon for now (I don’t know how long that will last), and if you’d like another version for a different e-reader, the best place to get the most recent version of my novella is at Smashwords. I wouldn’t recommend getting the current version from B&N or iBooks (or Kobo or Sony or Diesel), because the versions they have are older. Amazon and Smashwords are the best places to get the latest version. If you read it, then of course you’re welcome to write (or not write) an honest review at Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, or anywhere else.

Thanks a lot for reading this and for participating (if you’d like to)!

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Earlier today I read a question on a message board for writers, the Writer’s Cafe at Kindleboards.com (one of my favorite online haunts). The name of the thread was “Personal Glory or Commercial Success?” and the first post asks this:

Ideally, we’d like to be able to write books that are both meaningful to us as well as popular in the consumer market.  Realistically though, it’s extremely uncommon to have both.  If you had to choose, would you rather write for personal fulfillment even if it doesn’t attract much in the way of sales or write what will more likely appeal to the masses and give you some amount of decent profit?

Definitely both.

But I’ve come to a soul-searching moment with my book. Mine is at a point now where I think it’s finally in good enough shape to publish it, after working on the book for 21 months. If my top goal was to make money, I’d probably release it now and get to work writing another one so that I could try to have a second release before the holidays.

But I’ve found I literally can’t do that. I’m still poring over the book, making every detail as good as I can possibly make it. I’m trying to root out every weak instance of ‘telling’ in the cases where telling isn’t the best choice, and trying to make every sentence concise and clear. I want every piece of dialogue to ring true, and every character to work and feel real. I want every part of the story to be logical and to function with maximum emotional impact. These are some of the goals, anyway. I’m doing the best I can with them.

By doing all this, instead of releasing my book in May like I’d hoped to, I might not be able to release the novel until June at the earliest and probably August at the latest (I’ll guess July). And I know this might cost me some money because it’s slowing down my current and future release schedule (or maybe make me more money in the long run–it’s hard to say).

But when I’ve looked really deeply at it, I’ve decided that if people are going to spend some money on my book and, more importantly, hours of their lives reading it, I can’t feel good about that unless I know that I’ve given everyone my very best effort. That’s what I want from any author I read, so that’s what I have to give.

I’ve realized that my #1 goal, literally, is to write the very best book that I can, however long that takes, still absolutely with an eye toward commercial success–but regardless of whether my release schedule helps or hurts me in terms of generating an income from writing. I’m living off some of my savings to do this, but in the end, I want to know that I gave everyone the very best I had to give, and I think that’s worth more to me than commercial success. Then again, maybe this is the best way to have longterm commercial success. But I’m okay with or without commercial success as long as I know that I didn’t cut any corners just to make more money. That’s not saying anything about anyone who has that goal–it’s just not my top goal.

I want some people who read my book to feel like it’s one of the best reading experiences they’ve ever had. I want my book to be one that stays with some people for years, one that they want to re-read some day. Even if it’s just a small percentage of people that feel that way, that’s what I value most, the qualitative experience that those readers might have, not the numbers in my bank account.

Writing this book (and then hopefully more, similar books) is literally my top personal (selfish) desire, for my life. After this, my top goals are to be the best dad and husband I can be and eventually to focus more on charitable projects. This is why the writing of the book is more important to me than the money. This is just how I feel. I’m not comparing or contrasting myself to anyone else, and I know I’m very lucky to be in a position that allows me to approach writing this way. Then again, I’ve worked hard at other things so that I could do this some day.

Thanks for asking a great question. Sorry if I gave you more than you bargained for  😉

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If you want to succeed, hang out with unsuccessful people. Er, am I remembering that right?

If you want to get somewhere, don’t ask for directions. Wait, that’s not how it goes.

If you want to master something, don’t learn from the mistakes of the masters. Hm. That just sounds wrong.

Because I don’t subscribe to the above philosophies, I’ve attended two of the Superstars Writing Seminars. I went there to hang out with some bestselling science fiction and fantasy authors to soak up their best advice about the business of writing. These events last three full days, and they’re chock full of great information.

I could never do justice to everything there is to learn from these seminars in one blog post, but here’s one thing I learned.

Successful writers don’t just write, they write their ____ off.

Brandon Sanderson writes a few books a year, making time to squeeze Wheel of Time tomes into his schedule. Kevin J. Anderson dictates his stories into a digital recorder while hiking the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He also rents hotel rooms to get away from everyone (p.s. if my wife is reading this, I love you, Honey!) and write his ____ off. Eric Flint writes in binges that last for weeks and during those times, he is dead to the outside world.

Kevin J. Anderson says something obvious, but powerful: The top professionals in any respected field (medicine, law, you name it) WORK real, disciplined, long hours at their jobs, and then enjoy the fruits of their labor. When you have a ‘real job,’ you keep a schedule and you punch that clock. Serious writers shouldn’t expect to do any less. Kevin recently talked to the Writing Excuses guys about this very thing.

David Farland (Dave Wolverton) is also a Superstars’ presenter. In addition to hanging out with Dave at two Superstars seminars, I also attended his “Writer’s Death Camp” last November. What I’ve learned from Dave is hard to summarize in a flashy bullet point. I’ve learned from him so many fine points on the craft and business of writing, little things that can make all the difference. If you subscribe to his free Daily Kick emails, you’ll see what I mean.

A funny thing happened in one of Dave’s Daily Kick emails last week. Out of the blue, he said some exceedingly kind things about me and my work in his Daily Kick about “The Dangers of Self-Publishing.” Yep, this was a nice surprise. Now the following quote lives at the top of my ebook’s Amazon page:

“Moses is a fine writer and is deserving of success, and I think that it will follow … maybe his project will turn him into the next Amanda Hocking. Personally, I really enjoyed Moses’s work.”
–David Farland, NYT Bestselling author of The Runelords

Though this came as a surprise to me, this quote would’ve never happened had I not made a decision to hang out with some successful authors, to appreciate what they had to share with me (p.s. thanks, Dave), and to just be myself around them.

Here’s another cool thing I lucked into. At the end of the first Superstars seminar, I was hanging around the nearly empty conference room when I saw Brandon Sanderson reading the first few pages of someone’s manuscript. So I walked over to listen to the advice Brandon had for (someone who is now my friend) Joshua Essoe. Brandon asked if I had something he could read.

Uh. Yeah?

So he did. He gave me some great feedback on my first chapter, told me the story was strong enough that he’d continue reading if he was an editor, and then helped me with a technical issue I was struggling with at the time. I can’t tell you how how helpful his comments were.

Then at the second Superstars seminar, I got to sit and have dinner with Brandon and a handful of other seminar attendees. I got to pick his brain about which editors might be a good or a bad fit for me at different publishing houses, and again I learned a lot (thanks again, Brandon).

I also interviewed Brandon, Howard, and Dan from Writing Excuses at the recent conference, as well as Sherrilyn Kenyon (that interview will be up any day now at Adventures In SciFi Publishing), and I got to film a couple episodes of Writing Excuses (thanks, guys) that featured Mary Robinette Kowal and David Farland.

If there’s a takeaway from my ramblings, maybe it’s to spend time with writers you emulate, whether it’s at workshops, seminars, conferences, blogs, or even on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t do it with the mindset of getting anything from them, other than an education. Be yourself, be positive and grateful, and something–hopefully whatever you need most–will definitely rub off on you.

Oh yeah. And if you want to be a writer, write your ____ off.

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If you don’t subscribe to David Farland’s Daily Kick, a free email service that shares outstanding advice about the business and craft of writing, what are you waiting for? (look for the sign-up box on the right, through that link.)

Here’s today’s installment. I decided to mention it because, well, you’ll see. He mentioned me. This will give you an example of a wonderful free service Dave offers. I may write a blog post later this week to add to some of the points Dave made.

Everything below the following line is from David Farland’s Daily Kick, 2/14/11 (and not written by me):

________________

David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants—The Dangers of Self-Publishing

Friday I wrote about Amanda Hocking’s tremendous rise to becoming a bestseller through self-publishing her e-books. I’ve heard from a lot of fans lately who want to give that a try, and by all means, if you think that you’ve got the chops, give it a try.

But let me warn you of the danger first. Unfortunately, you are not your own best critic. Nor is your spouse or your mother or your neighbor your best critic. As a result, when you think that you’re ready to publish, in most cases you’re not.

Time and time again, I find writers who are almost delusional. They’re like the singers that tried out in Hollywood last week on American Idol. They were by far the worst that the country had seen. For some reason, Hollywood attracts delusional people.

Because writers aren’t their own best critics, we often hear stories like the one told by Raymond Feist recently. He got a knock on his door, and when he answered, the fellow at the door said, “I’ll be you’ve never talked to a real author before!” Ray, who has sold millions and millions of books, just laughed and said, “Buddy, I think you’ve got the wrong house.” But the fellow persisted and showed Ray his two self-published novels. They were printed to a high quality, which showed that the fellow had some taste, and so Raymond bought them and the fellow went off to schlep his works door-to-door. Raymond then read the first few pages of one and said that it was one of the worst novels that he’d ever seen.

I’ve done that same experience on more than one occasion, picked up a self-published novel only to see a dozen horrible mistakes—everything from typos to misspellings and just genuinely terrible prose—all within two pages.

So I’m worried that in the rush of self-published authors this year, we’re going to see a lot of people embarrass themselves. More importantly, you might actually hurt your career.

Let’s say that you put up a book that isn’t quite ready, and it gets twenty reviews on line, and most of them pan your book. How easy do you think it will be to sell your next book, or the one after that? Those negative reviews will never go away, and they’ll dog you. Indeed, they’ll destroy the name that you’re trying to create for yourself.

So don’t rush to publish in e-book format.

Please be aware that I’m not saying “Don’t publish.” I’m just urging you to be careful.

Last year I won the Whitney Award for Best Novel of the Year with a book that I self-published. When I won the award, Howard Tayler, the self-published author of the famous Schlock Mercenary cartoons, said, “You know, Dave, you’ve just done a world of damage. You self-published for all of the wrong reasons: your mother begged you to do it. You didn’t want to take your regular publisher’s advice. Then to top it off, you sold all of your stock, got great reviews, and won a major award. I keep telling people not to self-publish, even though I’m making my own living at it, and now you come along and just reinforce the wrong message.”

Howard is right of course. Both of us were publishing to small market shares, where self-publishing made a little more sense, and we both succeeded, just as Amanda Hocking is succeeding, and some of you are succeeding.

One of my friends and past students, Moses Siregar, I just found out, is at the top of Amazon’s sales charts with his epic fantasy THE BLACK GOD’S WAR. Moses is a fine writer and is deserving of success, and I think that it will follow. But Moses also knows the risks. I recently heard some other New York Times bestselling writers tell him, “Moses, don’t self-publish!” They pointed out the risks. I then told him, “You know, Moses, I hate to say this, but I think you’ll do it. You’re savvy enough to know what you need to do in order to self-publish well, and I think that you should go ahead.” Now, four weeks later, he’s doing great. So go check out his book at:

http://www.amazon.com/Black-Gods-War-Introducing-ebook/dp/B003Z0D2HK

It will only cost a dollar, and if Moses gets the velocity he needs, maybe his project will turn him into the next Amanda Hocking. Personally, I really enjoyed Moses’s work.

Oh, and don’t self-publish! For every one who succeeds, there will be hundreds who will destroy a potential career. Recognize that when you self-publish, you might just be gambling with your career.

Announcing:

Ken Scholes will be speaking to us next on the Farland’s Author’s Advisory Confernce Calls and you are invited to attend at no charge, as always. Mark your calendar, the date is Thursday, February 24th, 9:00 p.m. EST.

Ken is the author of LAMENTATION, and the topic will be “Self-Awareness: an author’s first best tool.”

To get on the call, dial 1-218-862-7200. When the line picks up, dial the calling code, which is 245657. The call is free, long distance charges apply.

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22
Oct

Red Adept Reviews My Work: 5 Stars

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: , ,

I found out that Red Adept–who is THE Kindle indie book reviewer–was going to review my novella last Saturday. She wrote me to let me know that she would be posting the review on Tuesday, and she sent me a letter that initially had me wondering if it was going to be a bad review, even though it should’ve been obvious that it was a form letter. For example:

“My actual rating in the review is final … While I am happy to listen to any issues you have with my review, please understand that a review is just an opinion, in this case, mine. Therefore, I will not engage in any “debates.”

After thinking about it, I knew it was a form letter, but since this was my first big review by a major reviewer, I felt pretty anxious until Tuesday morning when I woke up and pulled this up on my screen:

Red Adept Reviews

I received The Black God’s War: A Novella Introducing a new Epic Fantasy, by Moses Siregar III, as a Review Copy from the author.

Description: Set in the middle of a ten-year war, this novella is the story of Lucia, who is being tempted by the “Black God” and her brother, the savior of her people.

Overall: 5 Stars

Plot/Storyline: 4 3/4 Stars

I enjoyed this novella from its opening chapter to its gripping end, which left me wanting more, as all good stories do. As just a fantasy tale, it provided plenty of entertainment. However, I found further enjoyment on another level.

I found this novella to be an interesting metaphor for religion in the ‘real world’, both historical and present. One faction is fighting for the right to worship and follow their own gods, while the other faction is fighting to spread their “religion” (although it’s never called that in the book) and force the first faction into submission. The biggest difference was that in the book, the gods’ existences are undisputed. By that, I mean that no one is saying they don’t exist. They do. They are evident and visit certain people. Therefore, it was more of a war between the gods than a war between people; although it was the people who suffered.

However, it did appear that the people had some free choice. They chose which gods to worship, how to wage war, or even whether to not wage war. The gods didn’t force them, just nudged them a little.

The novella is mainly about Lucia, the main character, her interactions with the black god and her country at war. Upon reading the first chapters with this information, I developed a real empathy for her and her people. Amazingly, the author managed to turn that completely around with just a short section told from the viewpoint of the other faction. I went from empathising with the first faction to being horrified at their actions. What a difference viewpoint can make!

My only criticism stems from the dreams that Lucia experiences. Afterward, she has trouble telling reality from the dreams, but she eventually is able to divine truth. Unfortunately, one dream toward the end is so vivid that I got a bit confused for awhile, making me stumble a bit in the reading process.

Although this is a “prelude” for a future series, I found it to be complete with a satisfying ending. There is even a little romance thrown in for good measure.

Character Development: 5 Stars

For the format, the characters were sufficiently well developed. I assume the author will be developing them further in his first book of the series, but this was a great introduction to them.

I enjoyed Lucia very much. I hope that in the full book more is disclosed regarding her childhood.

Lucia’s brother is the “messiah” of his country. I was treated to a small taste of what he felt about his “calling.” This is another character that would be fun to see developed further.

Writing Style: 5 Stars

The writing style of this novella immediately put me at ease in the setting. The opening chapter is told from the viewpoint of a child, and the voice was perfect. The descriptions were rich and vibrant.
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This is Moses again. I also answered some questions at the end of her review.

Thanks, Red Adept, for your very kind review!
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The site: Our house, in the middle of our street.

The date: 10/18/10

The event: Opening the box with the first proof copies of my novella (an intro to my novel), which I will use as review copies and bring to WFC.

If you’re interested in a very, very limited edition copy, I’m selling a small number of them for $20 (including shipping).

"Oh, crap. Oh, crap. Oh, crap."

Come out and play, my precious.

"Heh heh. Heh. Hehe. Heh."

"I made this."

"Look at that awesome comma I used right there. Wow. Breathtaking."

"Hey, baby, it's bigger than it looks right now."

Where it all begins ...

With some love for Jillian Sheridan and Rich W Ware

With some love for Jillian Sheridan, Scott Nicholson, and Rich W Ware


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Kindle Nation Daily is the biggest and best Kindle blog on the planet, and I feel blessed today to have a six-chapter excerpt from my novella up for free on KND.

Check out the excerpt here … if you dare. It includes my favorite battle scene from the novella, and also focuses on the relationship between Lucia and the black god.
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