Tag Archives: Charles Yallowitz

Awesome Fantasy Bundles! Get yours now!

From December 22nd to December 26th (8 AM PST) you can get the first 6 volumes of
LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE
for $2!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

*This Book Bundle contains the first 3 volumes of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE fantasy series.*

Every hero must take that first courageous step into adventure. For Luke Callindor, it’s more of a blind stumble. From battling a demonic assassin to facing the family he left behind, this warrior’s adventuring career has been one awkward mistake after another. Most days the only things that keep him alive, yet never unharmed, are his trusted friends and his reckless courage. How long can his luck hold out before the gods of Windemere decide to cut his legend short?

ON AMAZON FOR 99 CENTS!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

*This Book Bundle contains volumes 4-6 of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE fantasy series.*

The destiny of Nyx, Sari, and Luke Callindor has been revealed, but that does not make their lives any easier. With old enemies still on the hunt, a new threat is stepping out of the shadows to indulge his sadistic desires. From battling the magic-devouring Krypters in Hero’s Gate to facing a demonic curse that has befallen one of our heroes, the champions will be pushed to their limits and beyond. Can the arrival of two more destined warriors improve their chances or will it bring them one step closer to failing like their predecessors?

ON AMAZON FOR 99 CENTS!

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Lloyd Tenay drops by Lisa Burton Radio

 

Welcome everyone, on this episode of Lisa Burton Radio we have a really unusual guest. I’m your host, Lisa Burton the robot girl.

Crossing Bedlam is the sponsor of today’s show, and I’ll load all the important links at the end of the show. Let’s all welcome Lloyd Tenay.

“Hello Lloyd, welcome to the show.”

“Great to boob here. Uh . . . eh, close enough.”

“You have an interesting background. Prior to the collapse, which produced the Shattered States, you were in prison. Can you tell us a little about that?”

“The simple story is that I was a totally misunderstood serial killer who got caught. In my defense, the zoo had a new baboon exhibit and those animals are a lot of fun to watch. Oh, I guess I kill people because I wasn’t raised right or have a couple screws loose. I don’t know. It was either serial killer or taxi driver and I hate getting stuck in traffic. Where was I?

“By the way, I think you dropped your pencil and should bend down to pick it up.

“So, I was locked up for a while. Mostly solitary confinement because I rarely played well with others. There really wasn’t much to do besides working out, dreaming up new ways to kill people, and occasionally being brought out to entertain guests. After the collapse, the warden got supplies in various ways, which included hosting a death match. Reigning champion over here. Though I wasn’t allowed to go ‘Predator’ and keep a trophy. Wow. Nice to be able to utter a reference instead of being vague.”

“Do you think all of that is a benefit in the Shattered States? I mean survival can be a brutal business.”

“Seems to be useful. I’m still the newborn babe in this world, but having the ability to end a life without remorse does have an advantage here. Well, maybe I have some remorse at times, but there are a lot of bad guys to take out now. I can be like the Punisher or Venom or that guy with the hit movie whose name escapes me. All I really know is that it’s become kill or be killed out there and I’m a master at the former. How would a master at being killed work anyway? It’s really a onetime trick.”

“Yeah Lloyd, I suppose I can see that in a kind of twisted way. Under these circumstances, there are likely people who need killing. I mean there are cannibals out there, for cripes sakes. Still, don’t you want some kind of normalcy? Maybe settle down with Cassidy and live happily ever after?”

“Those cannibals were really freaky, but my contract states I can’t say anything more than that. I mean, total nutcases that would make Charles Manson question their sanity. Not sure normalcy is a thing here any more and it wasn’t my cup of tea in the first place. At least until I find the right woman who can admire the raw, animal crazy that is me. I’d say magnetism, but I don’t want to scramble your circuits and kick off Skynet. Although, there’d probably be a lot less resistance if Terminators looked more like you than Captain Heavy Accent. So exactly how long are your legs and are you double-jointed?”

“I’m a concept robot, so my legs are adjustable. And just in case, I’m bullet resistant, and a whole lot stronger than you are.

“Moving on, let’s talk about Nebraska. What’s Cassidy so scared of in Nebraska?”

“The kid won’t tell me. I think she has an ex-boyfriend out there or a reputation as some badass stripper with a heart of gold. Maybe it’s all about her father and people will get a front row seat to some teary-eyed reunion. Although she’s really big on saving ammo for Nebraska, which makes me lean more toward family being involved.”

“Lloyd, Lloyd, <snap, snap> I hate to cut you off there, but you have a caller. Hi, you’re on the air with Lisa and Lloyd.”

“This is Cassidy… Where the fuck are you, Lloyd!?

<Beeep>

“You left me in the bar and took the trading bag with you! I had to fight my way out and now we can’t go back. Not to mention I had to beat a gangbanger into the ground to get his phone and call into the show.”

“Thank god you added ‘into the ground’ there. <snick> Ah, the sobering sound of a friend aiming a sniper rifle at my nether region. In my defense, the host is really hot. I mean, insanely hot. They don’t make them like her . . . Are you mass produced because I’d like to order one?”

“You see a pair of tits and leave me behind? What kind of bodyguard are you?”

“The one you broke out of prison and never signed up for the job. You know I’m only in this story to be the crazy, sexy killer and source of comedy. Helps that I have a beautiful smile that the author really should bring more attention to. To be fair, I’d have wandered off for a nice ass, killer legs, shiny knives, a sale on graphic t-shirts, baboons, free samples of those cocktail weenies, and out of boredom. Not to mention, we’re the main characters. I’m safe because the two fans we have love me and you’re safe because you’re more of the focal point when it comes to the plot. Either one of us bites it then the series ends. At least if there is a series. Please buy CROSSING BEDLAM, which is now in paperback as well as the original eBook format for Amazon! Order now for your Kindle and get the book delivered immediately, which is how the thing works in the first place.”

“Shut the fuck up, Lloyd!” <Click>

<Beeeeep. Bu-Bu-Beeeeep>

“Sorry folks, trying to get the timing down on this censor button thingie. So wait a minute. You believe you’re a fictitious character in a book, rather than someone a book was written about? How is it that you’re here outside any book talking to Cassidy and I?”

“Well it makes complete sense. You have two strangers who get together in bizarre circumstances (jail break) and have a strange quest (toss Mama Cassidy’s ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge) and travel across a desolate landscape where they run into an array of odd characters (cannibals, rhino-loving snipers, wandering librarians, Eagles fans, etc.). We have to be main characters in a story with all of that going on. No other logical, totally sane explanation can be made.

“Now how did I get here specifically? Well, I told Cass that <Snick> Sorry, Cassidy that I was going to hit the bathroom, took the cellphone from a greasy guy out back who might have been the cook, and called in after seeing the number on a bathroom stall. So, I didn’t really know what I was calling into, but I gave all my info to this Craig guy. He seemed nice. Do you pay him well?

“Anyway, I tend to wander around when I’m on the phone and thought I was heading back to the Jeep. Um, I think I got lost. Cassidy, can you drive down the highway and look for a guy showing leg to get a lift? Probably won’t be me, but I want to see what post-apocalyptic hitchhikers are like.”

“Oooo Kaaay, I told everyone at the beginning that Lloyd was a bit different. He certainly proved that. Until next time for Lisa Burton Radio, this is Lisa Burton. Please check out the links on the website and consider adding Crossing Bedlam to your reading list.”

***

Crossing Bedlam- http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Bedlam-Charles-E-Yallowitz-ebook/dp/B01BRE7UDC/

Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Charles-E.-Yallowitz/e/B00AX1MSQA/

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter- https://twitter.com/cyallowitz

 

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Weekend review

I return to my paycheck job tomorrow. All told, it was a busy and productive weekend. I posted a promo for my appearance on blog talk radio Friday to drive folks to listen in and participate. I followed this up with a semi aggressive Twitter campaign Saturday morning.

My instructions were to call a telephone number fifteen minutes before the show started. My host, Beem Weeks answered and we chatted on the lead up to showtime. He asked if I was nervous. I told him that I’ve been on radio before, and do a bit of public speaking. I suppose I could have simply answered “no.”

I wasn’t a bit nervous. Then this lady with a British accent interrupted and told us it was ten minutes until showtime. It’s a pretty good way to make sure everything comes together perfectly. Except the countdown lady picks up her pace as the time gets nearer, and she sounds just like this:

Okay, I’m nervous now! It went off without a hitch. All the questions were sent in by members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. I checked the hashtag after the show, but didn’t recognize anyone outside the club. Maybe they had to pay people to show up?

I think it went well, and we had a good time. One fellow said he bought Experimental Notebook while we were on the air. By the end of the day he left me an amazing five star review. It’s a short quick read, and finishing it all at once is entirely possible.

It’s been archived now, and you can listen in any old time you like. You just can’t participate. Here is the link.

We picked up our winterized camper and put it away for the year. We also had them do some little warranty things while they had it. We followed up with date night at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I managed to post the final installment of assessing the promotional stuff. These three posts were pretty well received, but it’s pretty obvious that Amazon advertising got the most interest.

I’ve been playing around with my new apps to make pictures specifically for Twitter. It seems nobody reads the tweets without a picture. This one, for The Cock of the South, performed pretty well.

There is a little bar graph icon on Twitter that will tell you if anyone saw it, retweeted it, or opened your purchase link.

So far, people are opening the link on every post. They aren’t leading to sales, and maybe that’s my blurb not doing its job.

This post for The Experimental Notebook didn’t perform quite as well, but it did perform.

I have several more ideas in mind that might draw some attention. I took a photo of my soup ladle today, and can mention The Soup Ladle of Destiny on my next campaign.

Today, I made oxtail soup. (Why the ladle was out.) I did all this while lurking on an author chat room where we talked about a couple of books.

Charles Yallowitz and I posted our Point – Counterpoint, and I think it was a rousing success. It got a ton of comments, and several people asked us to do it again some time. It’s still gaining comments right now. You can check it out over at Charles’ blog. I’ll tour back through a few more times today and tomorrow and respond to everyone.

That’s about it, other than stealing some time to read a good book. I wish my Apple Pencil would hurry up and get here. I could use it to create images for Twitter. Lisa would look good standing before the flames to promote her short story, Bombshell Squad.

I still need to play around more with PhotoFunia. That’s my other new app, but this image performed pretty well. I used a filter on it, and it stopped a lot of people for a few seconds on Twitter.

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You get a magic sword! You get a magic sword! Everyone gets a magic sword!

Charles Yallowitz and I are doing a blog swap today. I asked him to give us a brush up on writing magical items into our stories. I hold this advice is good across the spectrum of speculative fiction. Upscale science fiction items will run into the same issues. Here is Charles' primer on magic items:


Thank you to Craig who has asked me to write about magical items and give some tips on how to use them. As you can guess, I primarily write fantasy stories and enchantments are classic fare of the genre. So this topic is up my alley and now I realize how often I use these things. Is that a good or bad thing? Well, it really depends.


You see, there are many schools of magic item usage and I’m going to mention two of the big ones. There are Lord of the Rings type worlds that have maybe a handful of very powerful objects and a few more mundane things. For example, The One Ring is a highly enchanted bauble that can rule the world. It’s a rare level of magic for an item since most other ‘magic’ items are swords that are more durable and sharper than normal weapons. Also they glow when orcs and goblins are around as long as the special effects people remember. The second world type is a Harry Potter style where nearly everything is magical. Brooms fly, letters yell at you, time travel is possible, and you get the point. Wonder why they even bothered learning spells at some points.


So you can see two levels of enchanted items here and that can have a heavy impact on an author’s world building. If these objects are everywhere then you need to have characters act accordingly. Not as much surprise or fear like you would see in a world where a person can go their entire life without running into magic. In my series, Legends of Windemere, there is a type of enchanted object called ‘Durable Gear’, which is nothing more than hardier items. They are easy to get, so nobody is wowed by them like they would be with a magic sword that summons a Titan. Even that second object isn’t extremely awe-inspiring to the older locals because I’ve established that Windemere has a lot of magic. That’s an important factor here. You really need to set the rules on how common these things are and if anyone can use them. There are authors who feel that only magic-users should be allowed to use enchanted objects, but I’m not one of them. Why have a wand of fireballs when you know the spell? Just my personal preference though and I’ll touch more on that later.


Keeping an enchanted object balanced is another issue that comes up. A warrior with a sword that does everything and there are no side-effects is a bad idea. If the item is simple and mundane, like a self-cleaning toothpick, then you can get away with no limits. Still, you should do something in regards to activation. The common choices are rather simple and self-explanatory:

1. Activation word that doesn’t always come up in conversation.

2. Limited charges and/or cool down time.

3. Requiring a trance or great focus.

4. Certain times of day or night.

5. Specific movements of the body.


That doesn’t include side-effects like insanity, memory loss, shortened life span, and whatever the author wishes to inflict on the user. For example, Nyx in my series is a caster who gets an enchanted bracelet that attracts an enemy’s blade and releases a stun blast on contact. She says ‘pineapple’ to turn it on and off, but it seals her magic for about a minute. So a knight with heavy armor will still be a problem for her since a groin kick, headbutt, and right cross are pretty weak against platemail. Again, I will harp on the rule that it’s the author’s choice on how to work with these items, which really only have to fit into the world.

Unfortunately, you’re going to find readers who hate whatever choice you make. Some people want high magic like in Hogwarts and others want limited magic like in Middle Earth. You also have many who claim magic items are tropes, clichés, overused plot devices, childish tricks, and what have you. Well . . . they’re right. Just like dragons, elves, swords, medieval settings, horses, heroes, villains, and everything else are clichés of the fantasy genre. I’m stepping into another topic here, but my personal opinion is that you’re always going to have something calling your work cliché. Magical items are a big target here because they’ve been a staple since the days of mythology. So there really isn’t a way to guarantee that you’ll use them in a way that isn’t called a trope because their mere existence can trigger this opinion. How do you combat this? Just have fun with your stories and do what feels right.


So we don’t end on a downer, I’m going to mention the first enchanted item I made for any of my fantasy series. Still on the fence of using it because I made it in high school. To be fair, it’s more than one thing. I designed a warrior who used five enchanted blades that were always strapped to his back. Each one was unbreakable, could reflect magic, and pass through armor like it was air. So, why did he have five? They were talking swords that were twice as smart as the warrior. They would argue about who he would use and the ‘losers’ would guilt trip him after the fight. He had them because he’d feel bad if he didn’t and I think I made them siblings. As you can see, you simply have to have fun with these things.


Author Links

Legends of Windemere Blog

Website

Twitter

Amazon Author Page


Note: I've read a couple of Charles' books and enjoyed them immensely. I recommend his short tale, Ichabod Brooks and the City of Beasts, as a great way to test drive his writing style.

 

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Character Development by C.S. Boyack

Charles Yallowitz and I are doing a blog exchange today. His post was about character development as a way to keep a lengthy series interesting. My post is how to display the character growth over a stand alone book.

Please visit Charles’ blog and consider following him.

Legends of Windemere

The Cock of the South By C.S. Boyack The Cock of the South By C.S. Boyack

Today I have a guest post from C.S. Boyack.  Enjoy!

Character growth is something all authors struggle with. I’m not an expert, but I have some seasoning. There are many ways to weave character growth into a story, but I’m going to limit this to what I know. Maybe we can have some good discussions in the comments.

All of my novels are stand alone stories. I don’t have the length of a series to get to the point. The goal is to give the reader a powerful emotional experience through the character’s growth. In a stand alone story this could be an emotional roller coaster.

Keep in mind that emotions aren’t limited to tears and heartbreak. If that’s your thing, go for it. You could be writing about humor, fear, patience, or other emotions.

I’m a believer in showing the…

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Legends of Windemere

Charles Yallowitz became my friend through WordPress. He’s the author of the fantasy series, Legends Of Windemere. The length of this series intrigues me. I asked him how he keeps the tales interesting over a long series. My own efforts are all stand alone novels, and he graciously offered this advice.

Thanks to C.S. Boyack for giving me a chance to write a post for his blog. My name is Charles E. Yallowitz and I’m the author behind the Legends of Windemere fantasy series. This is a 15 book series and I’ve already published the first 6 books while having written the first 9. It’s less confusing than it sounds unless you’re the one writing it, which is the topic at hand. How does one keep a long series going with an overarching plot and keeping people interested?

SUBPLOTS AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

At least that’s what I use. You see, the overarching story doesn’t get fully revealed in my series until Allure of the Gypsies, which is Book 3. There are hints and whispers in the previous books, but those focus a lot on establishing the world and characters. The hope is that a reader will get attached to the heroes and villains more than the plot, which creates a connection that can be used to continue the series. A character will rise, fall, tumble, soar, and live an actual life with the main plot being more of a backdrop. The best comparison I can make here is how we go through school. Education and graduating are the overarching story/goal while our social lives and experiences evolve us as living beings.

Let me try to show this by taking the first hero to be introduced, Luke Callindor, and show his tale book by book:

1. Beginning of Hero– This is the introduction where Luke lies to get a mission at Hamilton Military Academy. He is pitted against a Lich and a demonic assassin even though he’s an inexperienced warrior. The overarching plot is hinting at the end, but most of this is about how Luke makes friends and steps into the role of a hero.

2. Prodigy of Rainbow Tower– More of the overarching story is revealed through villain scenes and the introduction of Nyx. Luke’s evolution is continuing with him handling a few losses and learning that being a hero is rather unforgiving. This book also introduces several locations, species, and the magic system of the world. So there’s character development, a further blossoming of the main plot, and world exploration.

3. Allure of the Gypsies– You’ve seen him as a hero, but now it’s time to see him as a ‘human’ being. The main story is introduced and events draw all the heroes toward this path. This is also where you learn more about Luke’s past, which is a way to give a character depth, history, and a fresher outlook. His personal subplots get a few twists here too. I recommend avoiding the straight line subplot because real life is rarely so simple. Things that are tend to be boring.

4. Family of the Tri-Rune– When you have a long series and multiple heroes, it helps to give them breaks from time to time. Not remove them entirely, but have them step to the side and focus on a subplot. That’s what happens with Luke here. He still gets his scenes and has a presence, but his role here is exclusively subplot and ‘sidekick’ to the character who is the focus. This prevents him from becoming stale, overexposed, and shows how he works when he isn’t the main hero.

5. The Compass Key– Events from the previous book have left Luke emotionally unstable for a bit. This is where he does some soul searching in the face of the overarching story hitting its stride. An item is needed to combat the main villain and access corrupted areas that he feeds off, which is the focus of the book. Luke and the other champions spend time coming to terms with their destiny and trying to figure out how to work as a team while their enemies have been united for years. From here you can see how a series can get strength from character developing off and around each other. It creates openings for future subplots and, in one book’s case, an entire story revolving around a character’s decision.

6. Curse of the Dark Wind– The most recent book ends up pushing Luke into the spotlight and gives him a chance to shine brighter than the others. Each character gets a book like this, but Luke does get more due to him being around since the beginning. A trick to keeping this interesting is to not always think you need your characters to be the ones doing the saving. Luke is infected by a curse and struggling to survive while the others are searching for a cure. So while the story is focused on him, Luke is more in a ‘defiant damsel in distress’ role. This is another way to keep a long series going. Put your characters into a variety of roles to flush them out and make the reader excited about what you will do next.

To be honest, there are characters with more intriguing evolutions than Luke, but he has the longest running one. As you can tell, I put a lot of faith in this part of the story and the associated subplots. You can even say that the overarching story is secondary and not the driving force of a long series. It’s the characters and how they grow, which will connect to a reader and keep them going. Many stories draw out the question of ‘what will happen to the characters next?’. For a longer series, it might be more beneficial to evoke the following question in a reader:

What will this character do next?

I have Beginning of a Hero on my Kindle app right now. The series intrigues me, and I can’t wait to dig in. Here are some ways you can contact and follow Charles:

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6965804.Charles_E_Yallowitz

 

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