Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Death in the Hallows ARCs!

I'm running behind this month. If the last few weeks are any indication of what the summer will be like, I am NOT READY. However, I'm happy to announce that I'm almost done with edits on Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre: Death in the Hallows. The paperback ARCs went out last week and I hope to start sending out e-book ARCs (quite a bit more polished than the paperbacks) this weekend. Which brings me to the point of this post:

If you want an advance review e-book, EMAIL ME NOW. You can reach me at JamieSedgwick @ sbcglobal.net (remove the spaces). You can also use the contact page on my blog or website. Contact me early and I will put you on the list.For those of you who subscribe, I hope to have a newsletter out later this week  with more news about Hank Mossberg and also about Breeze.

That's the news for this week. With school letting out and all of the special half-days and events going on, I probably won't have time to post again this week. Here's wishing you all a wonderful summer!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cover Reveal: Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre: Death in the Hallows

Well, it's that time. The new Hank Mossberg novel will be available in June. A Goodreads contest will begin this week for paperback ARCs (I'll link to it, of course) and those of you who suscribe to my newsletter should keep an eye out for your opportunity to get advance copies of the e-book.

Now, the moment you've been waiting for:

Hank Mossberg, the world's first ogre private eye is back in action. Hank is throwing a bachelor party for his best friend and deputy-dwarf Butch O'Shea, when he gets a phone call from an old friend, a wood-elf journalist named Flick Hunter. Flick begs Hank to meet him in the seedy undercity neighborhood known as the Hallows. Hank agrees and travels to the undercity -the magical home of thousands of fae creatures hidden in a cavern underneath San Francisco- and arrives just in time to find Flick murdered. Hank finds the magical sword known as Excalibur driven through Flick’s chest and into the stone beneath him.

The undercity's chief detective warns Hank to stay off the case and out of the way, but for Hank, it’s personal this time. Hank promises Flick’s widow that he’ll bring the killer to justice but little does he know that while he’s investigating the illegal black market of enchanted weapons, the undercity’s most powerful citizens are looking to end Hank’s investigation permanently. Crooked cops, power mad elites, and goblin gangsters are just the beginning of Hank’s troubles. He’ll stop at nothing to expose the killer, unless the killer finds him first. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anyone Can Cook (or even write!)

Spoiler Alert!

Those who read this blog already know that I'm a wine lover, and that I have my own backyard vineyard here in Sonoma County.  It should come as no great surprise that I'm a fan of the movie Ratatouille, which revolves around the story of a young chef who inherits a french bistro - and the rat who teaches him to cook. I love this movie. I'll admit up front that no film is perfect and I can find as many flaws in this one as reasons to love it... but ultimately, I still love it.

Yes, part of it is the fact that I'm a wine and food lover. Part of it is the fact that I spent nearly ten years as a professional cook. Part of it is the -as always- breathtaking animation by Pixar. That still doesn't account for the fact that this movie has a certain "X-factor" which makes it one of my favorites. In a recent viewing, I've realized yet another reason to love this great film. That is in the humbling speech of the of famous restaurant critic Anton Ego who seeks to destroy the hero, but ultimately comes to the realization that who or what the hero is doesn't matter, even if the hero is a rat. What matters is that the hero can cook:

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read, but the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations; the new needs friends.

"Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking, is a gross understatement: They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more." -Anton Ego

In the USA we have a long tradition of rooting for the underdog. It's hard not to love Linguine, who hasn't the slightest idea how to cook, and yet suddenly finds himself not only a chef but the owner of his own restaurant. Even when Linguini is a screw-up, we still root for him. But in the end, when the famous critic eats his own words and swallows his pride, we find something that any Indie writer or publisher can appreciate. This is the humility of Ego, who realizes that in the long term, even those subjects he eviscerated in print may outlast his criticisms. Ego is the jaded professional who suddenly remembers what he loves about the subject matter, and realizes that what he's been doing has not been out of love, but narcissism. In doing so, Ego takes a risk himself by promoting the new and different. In this clever turn, the antagonist himself becomes a hero.

It is an unusually profound moment for a G-rated Disney film. The vulnerable and exposed artist in this case is a rat-chef, something nearly as distasteful as an Indie writer, or at least I'm sure it is so in some circles. And the unexpected hero is the venomous critic who sets out to ruin and expose him, but is ultimately converted by the passion and talent of the artist. We should all be so lucky.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A little news...

The last two weeks have been trying for me. Seasonal allergies have kicked in hard this year, and at the exact same time that I've apparently caught a cold. I can't tell from moment to moment which of these ailments is making me miserable, but both of them seem to be doing the job quite nicely. I'm suffering from a lack of sleep and I can't think straight half the time because my head's in a fog, so if this post doesn't make much sense, you know why. 

In the midst of all this, I've been doing revisions on the two novels I wrote earlier this year. I recently finished a major revision on book two of the "Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre," series and I'm currently revising "The Tinkerer's Daughter" book two. I've also managed to put together and publish a new short story. It's not technically "new," though, the fact is that I wrote this story in 2008 and it was originally published in Mindflights that year. I'd been considering republishing this story for a while, but it wasn't until recently that I found the time to do so. I had also been struggling with the concept of the cover art. The story is a bit unusual, sort of a time-traveling fantasy romance. The time travel aspect doesn't have anything to do with science fiction or actual traveling through time, though. You'll have to read it to see what I mean. 

Anyway, after several attempts at finding the right cover, this is what I ended up with: 

Here's the description of "Worlds Apart":

Sarah knows better than to talk to the "crazies" at the mall, but there seems to be something familiar about the old man who often sits nearby, talking to himself. He seems nice enough, even if he does believe he’s talking to the ghost of his dead wife. Sarah can’t help but think that the old man is completely harmless. Then he invites her to lunch, and what Sarah learns may not only change her understanding of the nature of reality, but even her very destiny.

5900 words (short story)

"Worlds Apart" is now available at Amazon.com HERE.

I don't have much more in the way of news. Revising goes on, and I'll hopefully be back to writing in the next week or two. This summer I plan to publish the two aforementioned novels, possibly a third, and hopefully return to writing a few short stories. I'll have a clearer vision of all this once school gets out and the allergies clear out of my head. As always, I'll update soon!