September 2016 – Page 2 – Andy Peloquin

Andy Peloquin

I am an artist – words are my palette

Month: September 2016 (Page 2 of 2)

Too Wyrd Front cover

Duel to the Death: Mercy

I, Andy Peloquin, challenge you, Sarah Buhrman, to a duel to the death! But it is not we who will fight, but our characters…

In the black corner, weighing in at 180 pounds, standing a cool 6 feet tall, the Hunter of Voramis!

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Tale of the Tape:

  • Superhuman reflexes, strength, speed–think Captain America, but stronger
  • Thousands of years of weapons training
  • Body has accelerated healing factor–can survive a sword to the heart (can be killed by drowning, iron weapons, beheading, and suffocation)
  • Cannot be killed by anything but iron
  • Accursed dagger that heals him when he kills
  • No magical abilities whatsoever
  • No hesitation to kill if he perceives opponent as a threat/obstacle to his desires–classic anti-hero

In the yellow corner, we have Mercy, the embodiment of Odin’s will and the vanguard of his army.

Too Wyrd Front cover

Tale of the Tape:

  • Carries a bowie knife that transforms into a sword
  • Master of virtually all fighting styles, having been on earth for hundreds of years doing Odin’s bidding.
  • She is a god-creature, an extension of Odin, she has no soul and cannot be killed–she is simply absorbed and re-manifested through Odin.
  • Mercy is protective, determined and compassionate – for a Valkyrie. Mercy is a manifestation of Odin’s empathy for humanity.

Two enter the ring, only one can leave alive!

How would (your character) kill the Hunter? Valkyrie weapons are made of cold-iron, as that is a primary weakness of the Jotun, the ice and fire giants, enemies of the Aesir and of Odin. Mercy recently finished helping Nicola begin her quest, leading her sister-Valkyrie in battle against not-so-good-ol’-Bob and his demons, given to him by Jehovah (at least, they are pretty sure it’s Jehovah). She has experience with demon-kind and with monstrous creatures, and she will simply fight until the enemy is defeated. That’s what the Valkyrie do.

To kill (your character): The Hunter would try to overwhelm her with his inhuman speed, strength, and skill. All he has to do is pierce her skin with Soulhunger, and the dagger will consume her soul. Not even someone with considerable magical abilities can survive Soulhunger’s bite–it was created to kill demons.

Who would win?

Faced with the almighty power of Odin’s messenger, one who wields the cold-iron (the Hunter’s weakness) of the Aesir, the Hunter would grit his teeth and fight until his last breath. With no soul for Soulhunger to consume, he would have no way to heal himself from the iron’s poison.

Winner: Mercy. Not even the Hunter can withstand the power of the gods.

Want to find out more about this Valkyrie who would dare challenge the legendary assassin of Voramis to the death? Click here to read about her…

 

Who do YOU think would win? Did we get the match-up right? Leave a comment below and let me know…

Want to match your character against the Hunter? Click here to enter your protagonist/antagonist in a duel to the death!

 

 

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12 Mistakes that Will Make Your Editor Cringe

Today, I’m excited to bring you something awesome and new!

During the launch party for The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen, I had so much fun with the virtual discussion panels that I decided  to do them on a regular basis. I want to do at least one or two per month, all on topics of interest to readers and authors.

This first one is one that ALL authors will want to check out. The title “12 Mistakes that Will Make Your Editor Cringe”.

In the video below, I sit down with three awesome editors and talk about writing mistakes that will turn any editor’s stomach. Watch it and see for yourself how you can avoid irritating your editor:

Quick Recap:

The 12 mistakes are:

  1. Not reading submission guidelines
  2. Awkward, clunky, or incorrect dialogues
  3. Describing dialogue instead of having the dialogue
  4. Magic without a price/cost, undeveloped magic system or deus ex machina
  5. Deus ex machina
  6. Underdevelopment of romantic relationships — “it’s meant to be” BAD!
  7. Dialogue tags poorly used
  8. Too many big words, especially when used incorrectly. Using the words RIGHT!
  9. Crutch phrases that are lazy writing. “Almost”, “somehow”, “thought to myself”,
  10. Incorrectly used modifiers.
  11. “Who” and “that” used incorrectly
  12. Books with female leads that don’t pass the Bechdel test

The Panelists:

Megan Hannum is a developmental editor and writing coach at Whynott Edit, helping writers refine their words, strengthen their skills, and tell the best possible version of their stories. It’s been said she has “a supernatural ability to see what’s missing,” which she uses to get writers from completed draft to publishable manuscript. Sign up for a FREE 30-minute consultation to kickstart your revision now!

Website – www.thewhynottblog.com

Facebook – facebook.com/whynottblog

Twitter – twitter.com/whynottblog

 

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire. When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her lovely family camping, hiking, swimming, or watching movies.

Website:  www.heidiangell.com

Maura Van der Linden is an expert in both technical and creative writing, and has spent her life helping authors perfect their craft.

Website: http://www.thecontenteditor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheContentEditor/

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Book Review: Worldwaker by Dean Wilson

It’s Book Review Wednesday, and I’m so thrilled to be bringing to you the latest in The Great Iron War steampunk series by Dean Wilson. I’ve reviewed Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and Book 4 in the series, and I’m stoked to see how we’re getting close to the end of the epic adventure!

Worldwaker

Every victory is its own defeat. General Rommond’s efforts to amass technological superiority over the enemy has resulted in the creation of a weapon that could destroy everything, and a faction just mad enough to use it.

The Armageddon Brigade has awoken from its deep slumber, and it seeks to wake the world with it. Attracting the brightest, and most unstable, of minds, this splinter group of the Resistance has become the greatest thorn in Rommond’s side.

worldwaker_cover

The Resistance and the Regime must unite to defeat a foe that answers to neither of them. Yet their deep divisions and long-held suspicions threaten to end the Great Iron War once and for all—by ending everything.

My Review: 4 Stars

As always, Dean sparks our imaginations with his creative use of steam-powered machines. This time, it’s steam-powered airplanes!

I enjoyed the latest adventure of Rommond, Jacob, Whistler, and Taberah, with its high stakes, clever dialogue, well-developed characters, and intriguing story. I was thrilled to see the Resistance finally start getting serious about taking the fight to the Iron Empire. I can’t wait to read Book 6 and find out how the story ends.

That being said, I had a bit of a harder time with this book than with others. While the previous four gave me a very clear sense of location, I found my mind sort of drifting as he described the aerial battles and particularly their attack on the flying bomber. While his previous machines (Hopebreaker, Lifemaker, Skyshaker, and Landquaker) were all described in excellent detail, we didn’t get much description of the bomber airplane. It made it a bit hard for me to visualize what was going on.

But I loved the supporting characters introduced in this book, and the ending was beautifully satisfying. Definitely a good book, but less immersive than the previous ones.

Here’s a Taste:

As the Regime and Resistance planes approached the Dreamdevil, it became clear that there would be another problem. On the giant wings of the aeroplane, men and women walked to and fro, as if they were unaware that they were thousands of feet up in the air. More of them clambered out of a hatch on top of the plane, racing up a small ladder placed precariously at the front of the wings. They all had backpacks on, but they did not contain parachutes. They contained wings.

“Hell,” Jacob said. “And I thought flying inside this thing was bad enough.”

One of the wingwalkers pulled down sharply on the strings attached to his backpack, and the wooden wings unfurled. They opened out like one of the fans used by the royalty of old, thin wooden slats held together with paper. The wings did not look any more durable.

It seemed as though the aerial daredevils were preparing to leap off, but Rommond pushed open the glass canopy of his plane, stood up, and pointed his pistol at one of the wingwalkers. He fired, and the man stumbled backwards off the wing, plummeting to the ground.

Rommond ducked back inside to stabilise his aircraft, pulling the canopy door shut. As he did so, Armax opened fire on the wingwalkers on the other wing, using the monoplane’s built-in machine guns. The bullets struck several wingwalkers, but they also struck the wing and hull of the plane itself.

“For God’s sake, don’t shoot!” Rommond cried. “The last thing we need right now is a spray of bullets flying towards that bomb.”

“But you just—”

“I know what I did, and I know what I’m doing,” Rommond barked. “If you can fire a perfect shot with a pistol, then fire away. Otherwise, keep your gun muzzled, and your mouth too.”

The moment came, and the first of the wingwalkers leapt off. Some dove, opening their wings as they fell, while others let the wind catch their already unfurled feathers, drifting and floating with the aerial tide.

“Here they come,” Jacob said.

One of the wingwalkers raced towards him, but he turned sharply to get out of the way. He could see others heading for the other planes, but his mirror showed that his own attacker was also turning to catch him.

Jacob veered right, then left, but the wingwalker was more agile than his aircraft, following it with ease. While he turned sharply, his assailant turned agilely, and it was clear from the controlled folding and unfurling of the wooden feathers that the Armageddon Brigade had tested them thoroughly.

The wingwalker closed on him, so much so that he could see the man’s grin in the mirror. Then he heard the cheer of Armax on the radio, and saw his comrade fly his plane straight into the wingwalker, crushing it like a fly against a windscreen.

“Too easy!” Armax boasted. “You should’ve made windshield wipers on these!”

As Jacob dove, he saw another wingwalker diving towards Whistler’s plane, but the boy performed a swift barrel roll to avoid it, and it flew onwards to seek out an easier target. Then another came, this time from the side, but Whistler performed another roll, striking the aerial acrobat with the wing of his plane. The man fell, dazed, and his feathers fluttered and broke apart in his descent. Yet Whistler had little time to celebrate, for another wingwalker managed to land upon the edge of his wing. He tumbled again, but the wingwalker held on, and the boy was getting dizzy.

“Hold on, kid,” Jacob said over the radio as he flew down to slightly above the same height. He could see Whistler looking back at him, and looking anxiously at the wingwalker clambering up the wing. He turned sharply on his side, sending the attacker sliding down, but he never tumbled off, always seizing the edge just in time. Yet this constant throwing helped bide the boy some time as Jacob’s aeroplane approached.

“He won’t fall off,” Whistler said.

“I’ll need you to keep it steady,” Jacob replied.

“I’m trying to shake him!”

“Don’t.”

Whistler must have had a lot of trust in Jacob, because he immediately steadied his aircraft, giving the wingwalker a level footing towards the cockpit. The man closed up his wings and ran, but even as he neared the glass canopy, Jacob’s plane flew in, and the wing narrowly passed over the airfoil of Whistler’s vessel, knocking the wingwalker off. They watched as he tried to open his feathers in the drop, but plummeted instead.

About the Author:

Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001.

He is the author of the Children of Telm epic fantasy trilogy and the Great Iron War steampunk series.

Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro, and The Inquirer
Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GK94YYC/

Read his thoughts on his website: http://www.deanfwilson.com

Connect with Dean on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deanfwilson

Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/deanfwilson

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DeanFWilson

 

 

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Awesome Resources for Creative Writing: Social Media Scheduling Services

While most of us authors work hard to excel at creative writing, one area we usually fall short in is marketing.

Yes, the dreaded M-word that every writer hates to think about! We’d all rather bury our noses in our work and let someone else handle the marketing for us. Sadly, if you want to be successful as an author, you have to spend time marketing. But there are a lot of tools that can help you out. I’ve found that social media scheduling services are an AMAZING resource, one that has helped me to have a lot more time to focus on writing.

Hootsuite, Buffer, Everypost, Sprout–these are just a few of the scheduling services around. The way they work is simple: you upload a post (complete with links, videos, images, etc.), input the date you want them to publish, and click “Schedule”. You can go about your business, knowing the service will schedule the post for you.

This is SO handy if you want to spend more time writing and less time marketing. For example, I’ve scheduled 4-5 posts per day:

  • 2-3 posts with resources for writers and authors
  • 1 post linking back to interviews/guest posts/podcasts where I show up
  • 1 marketing post with a link to my book/s
  • 1 blog post (4 days a week)

I’ve scheduled them a week in advance, and the scheduling service will post them to my social media accounts for me. I invest an hour every week, and I’m DONE! It’s quick, easy, and highly effective. Sure, it takes a bit of planning ahead, but it’s fairly easy to get into that mindset. Throughout the week, I’m collecting links to articles and useful resources, so I always have plenty of material to post.

Which service is best to use?

Hootsuite is designed more as a social media management platform, and it makes it easy for you to manage your various platforms and work with other people (PAs, fellow authors, etc.) to manage social media pages. It has the widest range of supported networks, and it offers analytics of your social networks.

Buffer is a content publishing platform, one that makes it easier for you to publish quality content to your social networks. It supports fewer networks, but it provides analytics on your published content.

Everypost is also a social media management tool, one that links to a lot of different networks, allows you to post to multiple pages, and offers a wide range of other features.

Which is best? Everyone has their own preferences, but I’ve found Hootsuite to be the easiest to use. However, check them all out to find the one that suits your needs best!

 

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Duel to the Death: Mitch MacLeod

I, Andy Peloquin, challenge you, Garrison Haines-Temons, to a duel to the death! But it is not we who will fight, but our characters…

In the black corner, weighing in at 180 pounds, standing a cool 6 feet tall, the Hunter of Voramis!

Bucelarii 2 Small

Tale of the Tape:

  • Superhuman reflexes, strength, speed–think Captain America, but stronger
  • Thousands of years of weapons training
  • Body has accelerated healing factor–can survive a sword to the heart (can be killed by drowning, iron weapons, beheading, and suffocation)
  • Cannot be killed by anything but iron
  • Accursed dagger that heals him when he kills
  • No magical abilities whatsoever
  • No hesitation to kill if he perceives opponent as a threat/obstacle to his desires–classic anti-hero

In the red corner, we have Mitch MacLeod!

Mitch MacLeod

Tale of the Tape:

  • Preferred style of fighting is professional wrestling.
  • Described by commentators as a “technical brawler”, meaning he is proficient in suplexes, throws, and submission holds
  • Can also slug it out for as long as he wants.
  • Being a professional wrestler requires mental and physical toughness, which he has in spades.
  • It took an entire roster of monsters and demons just to send him to the ICU and he still delivered his story’s final blow.

Two enter the ring, only one can leave alive!

How would Mitch MacLeod kill the Hunter? Since professional wrestling requires toughness and endurance, Mitch will absorb two strikes from The Hunter’s sword just to deliver one massive superman punch. Once the Hunter is wounded, Mitch can pass through his defenses and perform bone-crunching wrestling moves like the Piledriver, the Body Slam, the Belly-to-Belly Suplex, and even a Texas Cloverleaf submission hold.

To kill Mitch MacLeod: The Hunter would try to overwhelm Mitch with his inhuman speed, strength, and skill. All he has to do is pierce his skin with Soulhunger, and the dagger will consume the wrestlers’ soul. Not even someone with considerable magical abilities can survive Soulhunger’s bite–it was created to kill demons.

Who would win?

Because he can last longer than any opponent The Hunter has ever faced. Mitch could shake the ropes Ultimate Warrior-style and find his second wind, his third wind, and every wind after that until he finally delivers a spine-jarring power-bomb and paralyzes The Hunter like he did to a seven footer named Jack Finnegan.

But not even the mighty fists of the technical brawler can put the Hunter down for long. No matter how many times MacLeod takes him to the ground, the Hunter will get back up. With every taste of MacLeod’s blood, Soulhunger floods the Hunter with strength and healing and weakens the wrestler. Mitch MacLeod may be the greatest warrior to enter the ring, but the Hunter has defeated demons.

Winner: The Hunter. In the end, Soulhunger claims all.

Want to find out more about this fearsome wrestler who would dare challenge the legendary assassin of Voramis to the death? Click here to read about Mitch MacLeod…

 

Who do YOU think would win? Did we get the match-up right? Leave a comment below and let me know…

 

Want to match your character against the Hunter? Click here to enter your protagonist/antagonist in a duel to the death!

 

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Preparing to Be an Overnight Success

Sounds a bit counterintuitive, doesn’t it? You can’t really PREPARE for instant, overnight success. It just happens (and lucky you!), and there’s nothing you can do to be ready for it, right?

WRONG! The truth is that it takes a lot of preparation to be ready for when that overnight success hits.

Think about it: if you write the best book, compose the best song, or paint the most amazing picture, you’ve got a product that could propel to you overnight success. But if you have no way to get your creation into the hands of the masses and no way for people to contact you with amazing offers of a movie deal, record contract, or million-dollar sale price, you are not ready for success

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” That means taking those little tiny steps that will prepare you for that giant leap into overnight success.

Zooming in on authors (among which I count myself), how can we prepare for that instant acclaim and fortune upon the publication of our “next great American novel”?

  • Build an author platform where people can follow you (social media, website/blog, etc.)
  • Continue to produce quality work (the next book in the series, another book, short stories, etc.)
  • Have a way for people to stay in constant contact with you (social media, website/blog, newsletter list, etc.)

It’s all the little things that eventually build up into the big successes!

Most people point to Andy Weir, author of The Martian, as the poster boy for overnight success. But did you know that he actually began posting chapters of his work on his website way back in 2009? Years before we’d ever heard of the Martian!

He built a platform of roughly 3,000 readers, all of whom nitpicked his work and helped him to improve on the concept. By the time he posted it on Amazon (in 2012, priced at just $0.99), he had invested three years of his life into building his author platform. Quietly, subtly, but effectively. Three months later, it was an Amazon best-seller, and the rest is history.

THAT is effective preparation for overnight success. There was that element of “instant fame” (35,000 downloads in three months), but he put in the hard work behind the scenes to be ready for that fame. If you want to be ready for your moment of glory, you have to do the footwork first!

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