Cool superhero stuff, namely Batman: Arkham Origins, DCUO: Origin Crisis, Man of Steel TV Spots . . .
Cool superhero stuff, namely Batman: Arkham Origins, DCUO: Origin Crisis, Man of Steel TV Spots . . .
The Axiom-man Saga, so far as I know, is the only superhero saga in the world that is a cross-medium storyline done by a single creator. This is why my superhero series spans across books, comics, short stories and, maybe, other platforms in the future. That said, it kind of has a weird publishing model in that regard and isn’t just as simple as reading books 1, 2, 3 and more.
The storyline started in the novel, Axiom-man, the full-length novels meant to be treated like feature films. In between each one are novellas–or “episodes,” like half-hour shows–and short stories and comics. If you’re a prose person, it’s simple: novel, episode novella, novel, episode novella, novel, etc.
For the completist, here is the entire Axiom-man Saga listed in reading order.
Episode No. 0: First Night Out
Doorway of Darkness
Episode No. 1: The Dead Land
There’s Something Rotten Up North
City of Ruin
Axiom-man Comics, Nos. 1-6
Stand-alone Comic: Axiom-man: Of Magic and Men
Here is the thumbnail version of the above. Each thumbnail takes you to its Amazon page for synopsis and purchase details, except for the second last one, which is only available on the Web right now:
The plan with The Axiom-man Saga is to tell a superhero’s life story as realistically as possible, beginning in a world just like ours with no one with superpowers. But what if one day that changes?
In which we open up a new package . . .
In reply to the wonderful essay on Brian Keene’s website by Weston Ochse entitled, “The Great and Improbable Secret to a Great and Improbable Writing Career,” I said:
Are you true to your craft? Are you doing things to better yourself and understand the craft of writing?
Yes. Absolutely. Won’t claim perfection—who can?—but I write following the writing rules I know, staying true to the ones in stone, bending those that can be bent, and just being myself. I read everything from novels to non-fiction books, to comics and graphic novels, to poetry and news articles, magazines and more. I pay attention to their construction and try and apply those lessons to my own work and that of others when I edit them.
Do you seek out as many edits as possible? Note that an editor has to have some sort of training. Merely calling oneself an editor isn’t good enough.
Yes and no. I do believe in over-editing, that is, where you revise and revise until the whole thing starts coming apart like repeatedly cleaning a garment. The fabric can only take so much picking. But I do have an editing system: first three drafts are by me, fourth is by an editor, fifth is me going over his edits (of which I accept around 95% of them), sixth is another draft by me, then seventh is my wife as first reader who just reads to enjoy but marks down anything that jumps out. At that point, my books are pretty clean, and my editor is notoriously picky and hard to please.
If you’ve self-published, did you do it because it was on your own terms, or was it because you were too impatient for the impossibly slow and laborious publication process?
As a long time advocate of self-publishing—since 2004—I originally did it because I was duped into subsidy publishing via a vanity press in 2003. Was a nightmare start to finish, but ironically I fell in love with the book-making process and since my original goal was to be a self-published comic book creator—think Image Comics style—I simply applied my entrepreneurial spirit to writing and publishing books. It’s worked out well for me and it’s how I make my living, and this was before the Kindle hype and all that nonsense, you know, when the midlist dried up and midlisters self-pubbed out of desperation. Some found success, others didn’t. Now it’s a bandwagon, etc., and, it seems, new writers are self-publishing first before going traditional. Doing it all wrong, mind you, but doing it nonetheless. Some are lucking out and finding success, but most aren’t. I have a book on it coming out in June called, Getting Down and Digital: How to Self-publish Your Book, plug, plug.
My company has dealt with Simon and Schuster and the like. It’s fine, but for my own work, unless a really sweet deal came up, I’m better off going it alone. I also write niche-specific superhero stuff and some monster stuff so I’m not exactly doing mass market material. I was actually a guest at a writer’s conference a few weeks back and got some behind-the-scenes details about certain NY houses and what their writers go through. If anything, for me, it reaffirmed my decision to go it alone. I really don’t want to be a cog in someone else’s machine and pretend as if I’m really a writer staying true to his/her vision as a result. Money’s not my motivator. Whether I made six figures a year or just enough to live on, I don’t care. My goal has always been to support myself with my art, but dollars and cents don’t drive me—as in give me more, give me more—and I’m content with whatever comes my way. Money’s overrated anyway.
Are you true to yourself? Are you writing what you want?
See above. Absolutely. I tried to write to market as an experiment—did a trilogy of paranormal romances—to see if genre would affect sales. It didn’t. The joy of self-publishing is I can fool around like that. Got more stuff on the horizon. Are they popular ideas or sure fire ways to reach the masses and make money? Time will tell. Is reaching the masses and making boatloads of cash why I do this? No. If it happens, it’s a side benefit. If it doesn’t, hey, most artists—and I include writers in that label—have to duke out a living anyway. Publishing is a crapshoot. There is no secret formula. If there was, it would’ve gotten out by now and we’d all be doing it.
Good essay, Weston. Didn’t realize you were all the way up to book thirteen. Congratulations.
Posted this on Facebook today. Thought I’d share here as I think it carries some merit:
The thing I’m grateful for today: my ability to work from home. My wife got a job recently, which puts her on day shift. Our kids are young and I had to recently turn down an evening job due to my SVT and, the main reason, due to the overlap of my wife’s hours and what would’ve been my evening shift hours, we couldn’t get childcare. After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I walked toward home with a guy who has to work opposite shifts with his wife. He only sees her a half hour a day. Having done that myself and having worked three jobs at once at one point, I know from firsthand experience that missing time with family just to pay the bills isn’t worth it. Relationships detoriate pretty quickly; there’s isolation and loneliness, and all you do is become a machine. No paycheck is worth that. So with that said, I’m thankful that our working life isn’t like that. I hope it won’t ever be that way again. We did it for years and that’s not a life. I worked 16-hour days regularly and hardly saw my wife and kids. The only payoff is it eventually paved the way to do what I do, but the cost was ultra high. Thankfully, I had an understanding wife who saw the big picture and my kids were so small that they don’t remember those days now. Had it been a case of no career-goal payoff–and in the foreseeable future, mind you–I wouldn’t have done it.
It’s totally different if you’re single, then you just have you to worry about, but for those with families, it’s hard to juggle everything on the work front, namely families with kids who can’t be left alone at home.
Feel free to chime in. Just throwing this out there as blue collar discussion, especially aimed at families with little ones. Cost of living is super high and the wages out there have not risen with the costs. I also realize I live in the land of plenty so there is nothing I can complain about. Family, food, clothing, shelter. You have these, you have it all. You really do. All the rest is window dressing.
And probably the most inspiring movie I own and one of my all-time favorites:
The first zombie anthology I edited, Dead Science, is on sale this weekend for less than a buck. 13 stories. 13 cool and unique takes on the possible scientific origin of the undead, plus, of course, some good zombie carnage thrown in for good measure. So far as I know, it’s only anthology out there of its kind.
Please go here to download direct to your Kindle or Kindle-reading device.
The human intellect knows no bounds because of them.
We’ve built cities and nations upon them.
We’ve stopped the spread of terrible diseases because of what we’ve learned from them.
Lives have been saved . . . but lives also have been lost.
Now those lives have returned from the grave, seeking revenge.
Sometimes . . . science goes wrong.
Featuring the terrifying tales of 13 authors, Dead Science brings you stories of the undead unlike any you’ve ever read before. Prepare to go behind-the-scenes and learn about the causes of various zombie uprisings and the havoc these creatures wreak upon the living.
Gustavo Bondoni, Eric S. Brown, Michael Cieslak, Lorne Dixon, Anthony Giangregorio, Glen Held, Becca Morgan, Mark Onspaugh, Gina Ranalli, Vincent L. Scarsella, Jason V. Shayer, Ryan C. Thomas and Adam J. Whitlatch.
Like the other weekend-only sales, price goes back up Monday so be sure to jump on it straight away. Thanks.
Being a lifelong DC and Superman fan, this new Man of Steel trailer has made me go nuts over a live action superhero movie the likes of which I’ve never been before. The recent Batman movies were very, very good and I was eager to see them, but they didn’t have that element of the fantastic because they’re Batman movies. They’re not supposed to. As cool as the whole Marvel Phase One project was, being a DC fan, there was still something missing for me.
Now that missing piece is in place. Even if Man of Steel is only as good as this trailer, the future of DC heroes on the big screen is going to be something bigger and grander than anything ever unleashed on the world, and Marvel–whose presently the leader–should take notice and should start to worry. DC is killing it in the direct-to-DVD features, something Marvel has just stepped up to with Iron Man: Rise of Technovore. In my opinion, though DC Comics has fewer characters than Marvel–that I’m aware of–the mythology attached to each is more interesting and more vast, easy content for the movieverse.
Enough rambling. The great “Who’s Better? DC or Marvel” debate is one I’ve been having with a friend for a decade and a half. Soon, I won’t need to argue. Man of Steel, Justice League and the others to follow will put an end to it, if this trailer has anything to say about it.
On a side note: I don’t know if the music in the trailer is the official Man of Steel score by Hans Zimmer or not, but following in the footsteps of the great “Superman Theme” from John Williams is no easy feat and the music in this trailer got me going and says to me one name: Superman.
Getting ready for C4 Lit Fest this weekend where I’m one of the guest writers. Really looking forward to it as it’s been a long, long time since I spent a concentrated amount of time with other writerly types. (Yes, I know, that last bit sounded pretentious.) Was thinking maybe I should wearing a turtleneck, indoor scarf and blazer with elbow patches to look the part just like Michael Douglas did in Wonder Boys? Don’t even know who started that ridiculous writer’s wardrobe, but I’ve seen it in real life and, well, like Gob Bluth says, “Aw, come on!” I should just go in a robe and toque like Douglas also did in Wonder Boys and see how many heads I turn.
Anyway . . . I’m preparing my workshops for the weekend and thought I’d pop in here to say so.
Topics I’ll be covering include:
- writing as a full time job
- Plotting vs Pantsing (co-panel)
- self-pubbed vs indie vs traditional (co-panel)
- 10 things authors have little to no control over (co-panel)
If you can’t come down to the show, I hope to include these in my upcoming how-to book, Getting Down and Digital: How to Self-publish Your Book, as bonus material. While I realize there are quite a few how to self-publish books out there, non save a couple are comprehensive, so that’s where mine will differ. I’m dumping nine years of self-publishing experience into this baby so you can learn how to do it without screwing up like I did and without getting inundated with all the hype surrounding self-publishing now. It’s better to have a single go-to source than seven books that are basically the same.
But if you are in Winnipeg this weekend, come down to the Place Louis Riel Hotel and join us for a weekend of books and words.
The premiere book in my superhero opus, The Axiom-man Saga, is on for just 99 cents until Sunday night/Monday morning. This is the book that kicks off the whole Axiom-man storyline and is, of course, the best place to jump on board the saga and follow Axiom-man on his journey as a superhero.
Axiom-man is available for download to your Kindle here.
This is the story:
One night Gabriel Garrison was visited by a nameless messenger who bestowed upon him great power, a power intended for good. Once discovering what this power was and what it enabled him to do, Gabriel became Axiom-man, a symbol of hope in a city that had none.
One night after a routine patrol, a mysterious black cloud appears over the city. Flying over to investigate it, Axiom-man is stopped short when the cloud’s presence shakes him to the core. An electrifying fear emanates from the cloud and he can barely get near it. Quickly, the cloud takes flight and leads him on a wild goose chase throughout the city, only to flee from him in the end. Almost immediately after the cloud’s appearance, a new hero arises, Redsaw, clad in a black cape and cowl. The people, now enamored with this new super-powered marvel, seem to have forgotten about Axiom-man and all he’s done for them.
Except something’s wrong. That same fear that emanated from the cloud drips off Redsaw like a foul smell and Axiom-man can barely get close to him without feeling ill.
What is Redsaw’s agenda and who is he? And why is it every time Axiom-man gets close to him it feels as if his powers are being sucked away?
As if that wasn’t enough, Gabriel’s day job hasn’t gotten any easier. His co-worker and the woman he adores, Valerie Vaughan, has little interest in him, and his boss has made it clear that one more day late to work will be the day he cleans out his desk. Then there’s the new trainee, Gene Nemek. What is his fascination with Redsaw and why is he never around when Redsaw appears?
From flying over city streets and soaring at dizzying heights, to balancing a secret identity with destiny, Axiom-man must discover what Redsaw’s presence means and how it ties into the messenger’s life-altering visit before the city–and the world–are enamored with an evil that has haunted the cosmos since the dawn of Time.