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By Your Side
I'm ecstatic to announce that I will be participating in Local Authors Night at Barnes and Noble in Easton, PA on Thursday, September 25 from 7 to 9PM.   Approximately 35 authors from the Lehigh Valley and surrounding area will be present to sign copies of their books purchased at the store on this special night.

Click here for more details!

If you live in the area and are in search of something new to read, please consider stopping by or at least spreading the word.  Thank you for your support!


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4445 Southmont Way, Easton, PA 18045
(610) 515-0376

About This Writing Stuff...

By Your Side
This week, Dayton Ward offers a gentle reality check for those looking to break into media tie-in writing.   Tom Chalmers prefers quality over quantity when it comes to self-publishing.   The latest round of the Amazon-Hachette battle sees Authors United drafting a letter of rebuke to Amazon's Board of Directors.  Jeremy Greenfield, Clay Shirky, Mike Shatzkin, and of course, Joe Konrath weigh in on the situation with links to many others.

Jami Gold suggests methods for looking at our stories objectively and fixing problems in our manuscripts.  Jody Hedlund clarifies the art of character description and questions the idea of writing only when inspired.   Michelle Mueller likens writing to music and Marcy McKay delves into the writer's fears.


All that and a little more.  Enjoy!


When Dreams Meet Reality by Dayton Ward

Starting From Zero by David Gaughran

Quality Not Quantity for Self-Published Writers by Tom Chalmers

Authors Target Amazon's Reputation in Latest Salvo in Amazon-Hachette Battle by Jeremy Greenfield

Amazon, Publishers, and Readers by Clay Shirky

Big Publisher Bashing Again with Fictional Facts by Mike Shatzkin

Nonsense United by Joe Konrath

Too Close? 5 Techniques to See Our Story Objectively and Feedback: Finding Problems vs. Fixing Problems by Jami Gold

Describing Characters: Moving Beyond Hair and Eye Color and Is Writing Under Inspiration Just a Huge Myth? by Jody Hedlund

Why Every 1st Novel Should Be a Ghost Story by Siobhan Adcock

3 Reasons to Think of Your Writing as Music by Michelle Mueller

5 Facts About Fear for Writers by Marcy McKay

Book Review: Robert Silverberg's Nightwings

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In the distant future, during the Earth's "third cycle of civilization", a group of guardians known as Watchers use portable machines to project their minds into space in search of potential threats from other worlds.  One elderly Watcher in particular has been devoted to that duty since his youth, yet has never found even a hint of the invaders who, according to prophesy, would arrive to conquer Earth at the end of days.

The Watcher's companions include a stocky, bipedal changeling named Gormon who appears as a lizard, and Avluela, a graceful, lovely flier whose wings expand only at night, for the "pressure of solar winds would crush them" should she attempt flight during the day.

Together, the three make a pilgrimage to the ancient city of Roum, once considered the capital of Man in an earlier cycle of civilization, long before the oceans rose to reshape the continents.   Although they hoped to settle there, the trio is unable to find lodging.  The Watcher is advised to seek the mercy of the Prince of Roum.

Inciting Gormon's wrath, the Prince takes Avluela as his consort before granting quarters to them in the Royal Hostelry.  While there, Gorman reveals to the Watcher his love for Avluela and swears revenge on the Prince.   Later, the three visit a structure that houses a massive globe depicting present-day Earth.   The Watcher and Alvuela each find their birthplace and describe the events that led them to meet one another.  When Gormon is asked to the do the same, he indicates that his birthplace is not on the globe, but says no more.

Afterwards, they enter a giant sphere in which they find the Mouth of Truth.  The mouth, lined with rows of sharp fangs, is actually that of a stone serpent carved as high relief into one of the walls.  Each person must place his or her hand into the mouth and answer a question truthfully...or else   A round-robin between them forces the Watcher to admit that his life has been a waste. Avluela confesses her love for Gormon, and Gormon reveals that he was not born on Earth, but is a member of the promised enemy race that is right now on an attack course for Earth!

Through his instruments, the Watcher confirms the approaching fleet and sounds the alarm.  Will Earth's defense forces rally in time to defeat the enemy or will the city of Roum fall once more?   What of Avluela and Gormon? Will the changeling avenge himself upon the prince and steal away with the beautiful night flier?

Nightwings is essentially a story of love, revenge, and betrayal set in a future dystopia when life on Earth has regressed to primitive times, yet has managed to preserve a certain level of technological advancement including the Watcher's machine, energy weapons, and even space combat fighters.   The world-building is exceptional for such a short tale, not just for what is prominently featured in the story, but also for what is merely mentioned (such as Guilds and Rememberers), and what is left to the reader's imagination.  The version I read was a graphic novel published by DC Comics in 1985 with gorgeous, lush artwork by Gene Colan and Neil McPheeters.   Fast-pacing and strong characters make this an enjoyable SF tale from the legendary Robert Silverberg.

Nightwings

The Cake from the Middle of Eternity

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I'm battling a head cold that trying to escalate to bronchitis, but over the weekend, I hosted a party to celebrate the new anthology.  Good times!

We even had a photo cake of the book cover!


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Our anthology is on the shelf at Barnes and Noble at Rowan University!   Flanked by Phil K. Dick' books, no less.  A true place of honor!


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Somewhere in the Middle of Amazon!

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Our new anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is now available in paperback on Amazon!  Kindle version coming soon!

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By Your Side
From now until September 24, you can enter to win one of ten copies of our new anthology!  Our publisher, Firebringer Press, has kicked off a giveaway on Goodreads.

Click here to read more about Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity and enter to win!



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By Your Side
Our new anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, is now available in paperback from Barnes & Noble's website!   NOOK version coming soon.

The book should also appear on Amazon later this week AND we will be kicking off the Goodreads giveaway shortly.  More updates to follow!


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A Slight Delay on Our New Anthology

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We've had a bit of difficulty with the distribution on Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity.  A clerical error at Ingram delayed it from going out to Amazon, B&N, and some other resellers on time, but it's coming!   It's actually available from several foreign resellers now such as Russia, Germany, Norway, and Finland.

Ebook versions will also be available from Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Sony, Kobo, etc.

And right now, you can get it on Smashwords!  Plus, we're about to go live with a giveaway on Goodreads, so stay tuned!




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About This Writing Stuff...

By Your Side
Please note that I will not be posting another edition of "About this Writing Stuff..." until at least the end of September as my schedule has become crushing.  Apologies, but that's life.

This week, Macmillan's subsidiary, Swoon Reads, takes the concept of readers' choice to a higher level, allowing them to vote on the next novel to be published.   Jen Blood explains the various types of editing, the need for beta-readers, and how to find the right editor for your work.  Rachel Shteir succeeds in assuring us that failure is OK and a blunt Julie Butcher Fedynich lists four possible reasons why you aren't published.

From the Kill Zone, Nancy J. Cohen dissects the mystery genre while PJ Parrish expounds the methods for writing effective jacket copy.  Veronica Sicoe examines the parts that make the sum of a novel.   Over at Sarcastic Muse, Amanda Headlee walks in the footsteps of the villain, Michelle Mueller chats about effective repetition, Kirsten Blacketer adds another installment on fan fiction as a writer's training ground, and Robyn LaRue focuses on mission statements for writers.

All that, and a bit more.  Enjoy!


Publishers Turn to the Crowd to Find the Next Bestseller by Alexandra Alter

Elements of a Mystery Plot by Nancy J. Cohen

The Art of Writing Back Copy: Boiling Your Book to Its Essence by PJ Parrish

Concept, Structure, and Transformation: How To Plan a Novel by Veronica Sicoe

To Promote or Not to Promote: An Existential Question by Sharon Bially

How To Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

How to Find The Right Editor For Your Book and Editing and the Writing Craft by Jen Blood via Joanna Penn

Repetition, Repetition: Effectively Repeated Words by Michelle Mueller

Footsteps of the Villain by Amanda Headlee

Fan Fiction as a Writing Tool: Part Deux by Kirsten Blacketer

Mission Statements for Writers by Robyn LaRue

Failure, Writing's Constant Companion by Rachel Shteir

The Four Reasons You Are Not Published by Julie Butcher Fedynich

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Novels by Phil Giunta

BY YOUR SIDE (March 2013)
You're all alone here, alone among the dead.

While haunted by visions of her brother's suicide,
psychic-medium Miranda Lorensen is called to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to investigate a series of bizarre deaths—some of which are also suicides. Miranda and her team of paranormal investigators quickly find themselves confronted by a vengeful spirit awakened thirty-three years after a bloody family tragedy. Miranda realizes that only she can stop the entity before it claims its final victims, but will her obsession for saving lives redeem her for the brother she failed?


TESTING THE PRISONER(March 2010)
A paranormal tale of child abuse and redemption.

Daniel Masenda thought he had made peace with his dark past when he left his home for a better life fourteen years ago. As the mayor of a small, tranquil town along Virginia’s Eastern Shore, Daniel has everything he ever wanted - until a series of haunting visions, coupled with the death of his estranged mother, pits him against two ghostly entities at war with one another. Each has its own agenda as they force Daniel to relive moments from his violent youth and push him to the edge of insanity. As his idyllic life begins to unravel, will he be able to decipher the message behind the hauntings before they destroy, not only him, but the soul of someone he left behind?

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