Tag Archives: Sean Harrington

Blogging in arrears

I missed my usual Friday night post. The beta reads for The Enhanced League are pouring in, and I kind of want to jump right into my modifications. Experience has taught me not to do this, but the heart wants what the heart wants. It's better to get them all and look for the similar comments and address those first.

To distract myself, I turned my efforts to Lisa Burton Radio. I had several in various stages, because of my trip to Kentucky and all the catching up from being gone. I'm happy to be all caught up on that front, and Lisa's Thursday show is all scheduled.

Sean Harrington delivered the last poster for The Enhanced League, and they all look fabulous. I'm sure Lisa and I will need to have a discussion about proper baseball footwear, but I already know what she's going to say. Robot girl legs are probably more resilient than human legs.

Speaking of Sean, I sent him a fresh new inquiry about The Yak Guy Project. I haven't even started editing, and it needs some time to ferment, but it pays to plan ahead.

We're going to Guardians of the Galaxy II tonight, and I'm pretty stoked about it. My next project will be a paranormal adventure, but it's going to have a lot of fun/cranky banter. GoG has some of that going for it, so if I call it research, are my movie tickets tax deductible? Maybe I ought to dig up my last tickets to Ghost in the Shell, since it will help with my Grinders novel that I'll start in 2018.

Memory lane moment. This is what I did to my name tag at a conference last year:

It gave me a nice option to those tags that say, “Hello, my name is:” I used to write… Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

I still need to get started on my short story for the anthology, and I have some reading to catch up on. This is on top of getting two books ready to go, and keeping my blog active. It's probably good to stay busy.

Today and tomorrow are my only real chance to get things done. Then I have one more hell week at work, and that event is over. I don't see any big-picture writing projects happening this weekend. There are a multitude of small ones though, and I probably ought to get to them… right after I add a new Otto video to Facebook. Old What's Her Face got one of those promotional plastic footballs yesterday. Otto thought it was scary, and took his time making it safe for all of us. (It's in pieces now.)

33 Comments

Filed under Writing

Keeping up with my blog responsibilities

The blog tour is off and running for the Second Experimental Notebook. You probably noticed the reblogs around here. I think it's important to support those who are supporting me. I will say that every stop on this tour is custom written, and not a simple post that is moving from site to site. I did that to keep it interesting, and also to show my hosts a degree of respect.

I've been circling back and participating in the comments on those posts, and will be doing that for the next couple of weeks.

I've noted here before how I think a blog is more than just a place to reblog whatever I find online. I owe it to my followers to produce some original content at the same time. While all of this has been going on, I have been keeping busy behind the scenes.

Like most weekends, I started with a task list. I won't bore you by typing it out again, but here is a selection of what I've worked on this weekend. I made my first post over at Story Empire. This is the collective effort I posted about a few days ago. The post is about my use of living documents, if you want to check it out.

I assembled and scheduled three posts for the next few days. There are so many authors in my circle with new books coming out it's pretty exciting. Some of them will be visiting here to tell us about their projects. I also worked on various passes of three different Lisa Burton Radio posts.

I got a couple of requests for review copies of the new book and got those sent out. Helen Jones, who is hosting me today, was the big winner of the blog party contest from last week. I figured out how to send her the Amazon Gift Card and got it sent out too.

Sean Harrington is sharing the other Lisa Burton poster on his DeviantArt site today. I think the world of this artist, and encourage you to visit him and check out his gallery. He's interested in doing more cover work, and is affordable and versatile.

My wife and I managed a simple date night at a new place we haven't tried before. Very nice experience at Barrel 55 on Eagle Road. They also had a pumpkin beer on tap, so happy happy. Part of date night involved a trip to the Boise Co-Op where I grabbed a few different pumpkin beers to try.

I made a tour through various social media, and shared things as appropriate. When I finished I wound up with a few hours to myself.

I opened up the short story I've been working on, and added a thousand words on Sunday. Today I finished it with about 1500 more words. This one is called Welcome to the Freak-Show, and came in at about 8600 words. This is on the long side of what I consider a short story, and I think there is room to make it bigger. This is part of my Enhanced League project about a baseball league that doesn't care about performance enhancing drugs. (Still debating the hyphen in the title.)

I also wrote another piece for this collection. It came in at 530 words. To tell you the truth, I don't know what it is. It's kind of a monologue where the speaker is talking to you. It isn't exactly second person point of view, but it's close. It's almost an anthem kind of piece, and I shudder to think it might be like spoken word poetry. I avoid poetry like the plague. I have no idea whether it will stay or go, or whether it has any merit at all. I almost need to have someone who doesn't know baseball check it out to see if it motivates or not. I will say that I heard Tommy Lasorda's voice repeating the words as I typed it.

I kind of want to write another one, but think I should do some editing on this one first. Not too bad, approximately 3000 words of new fiction, several blog posts, and a bunch of other work finished.

Aside from that, there was Otto play, and I picked some of my Asian Pears. They were green and bitter about ten days ago. They are so juicy and sweet today. In fact, I think I should go have another one right now.

I'll be supporting my hosts for the rest of this tour, and there will be a Lisa Burton Radio post this week. I also gathered enough info for another Idea Mill post. I may hold back on that until I get to the middle of the month.

There are five reviews on the New Experimental Notebook, and I hope to get some more by the end of this week. I probably don't have to tell you how important reviews are to authors. If you liked the Second Experimental Notebook, or any other author's book, a simple review means the world. Even if it only includes “I liked it” in the comments. This is because Amazon's machine doesn't read them, it only counts them up. When we get enough reviews, Amazon will push it out to more people.

It was a great weekend. It wasn't as busy and manic as the last one when I was trying to get the book out. I got to visit with more bloggers and even found a few hours to write. Back to the paycheck job tomorrow.

26 Comments

Filed under Writing

An Executive Decision

I pushed my iPad away and rubbed my eyes. This task list was long and difficult, but it's nearly complete. I crossed the room and opened the windows to let the Raven of Doubt outside for some sunlight and air. Lisa Burton* was just finishing up waxing the formerly haunted biplane.

She came inside and put her gear away. “I'm ready to go, whenever you give the word.”

“That's great, but I need you at the big party on Wednesday. We can't start the tour until September.”

“I have Lisa Burton Radio on Thursday. I'll leave after that.”

“Yeah, um, sounds good.”

She placed a hand on her hip. “What's wrong?”

“It's the posters, to be honest with you.”

“Don't you like them?”

“I love them, but I'm struggling with letting my blog hosts reveal them, or doing it here first.”

“It might be fun for the hosts, I suppose.”

“Yeah, but Sean Harrington and I drive a lot of traffic to each other. It's hard for me to drive him traffic when the artwork appears on someone else's blog. He's open for commissions and does a great job. It's the least I can do to help him out.” I clicked on my iPad. “I mean, look at that great cover. It's a completely different style than your posters. That's versatility.”

“I agree. It's a beautiful cover.”
“The pre-sale is almost over. I need six more sales to equal the first Notebook. I'd like to feel like I'm moving ahead with each project.”
“I'm sure the big party and the blog tour will move some copies.”
“It will, but it won't be during the pre-sale.”
“How about this then? Reveal the posters, talk about the stories they represent, and maybe you can move some more copies before the book delivers.”
“Makes sense, I suppose. I mean, nobody's asked for any kind of exclusivity or anything. I just thought it might be fun for my hosts.”
She sat on the couch and crossed her legs. “When you go on a blog tour, the hope is to reach new readers, right?”
“Of course.”
“There is always some overlap among friends, but you get the book in front of new folks too, right?”
“What's your point?”
“Well this is a blog too. You have readers here they don't have… So why not share them with your readers too?”
“It sounds like good advice.”
“Alright, let me explain it how you'll really understand it. Who paid for the posters?”
“That makes a lot of sense. There was the expense of sending you to see Sean, not to mention your wages, printing, shipping and handling, wardrobe expenses,–“
“Stop. So what are you going to do?”
“I think we'll share the posters and talk about them.”
<Squee> Lisa ran from the room to retrieve her leather map tube. She ran back in and took off the cap. Look at this one, it's my favorite.

“That's just because you're obsessed with the rocket-pack.”

“In part, but I like the whole Barbarella feel to it. I think it captures the pulp science fiction vibe you used in the story. Plus, there's my swag deal to consider. I got a new mirror, a Kindle, a new brush, and a blow drier. According to my contract, I get to keep the rocket-pack too.”

“Oh yeah, that's part of the deal isn't it?”

“That's right. I can make quick trips to the spa now, followed up with some Paris shopping, and still be home in time to feed Bunny.”

“Are you going to want the yak when we finish up The Yak Guy Project?”

“Don't be silly. He's a sentient being, you can't own him.”

“Oh yeah, how could I forget. What else do you have?”

“Check this out.” She spread the other poster across the desk.

“Wow, that turned out really cool.”
“I know, right? I think it captures some of the pulp horror vibe. Plus it makes a non-specific political comment too.”
“Yeah, I appreciate that, especially this year.” I smoothed the corners out to make sure it stayed flat. “So are we going to be housing that thing down at the beaver pond?”
“No, but I can use the bolero jacket, shoes, and bracelets again. I might wear the dress somewhere too.”
“So those are the stories you settled on. Fifteen stories boiled down to two. You could have milked that swag deal on Holobarkers. It would be a street scene with lots of cars.”
“I didn't want to get greedy. Besides, I took the old Airstream with the radio equipment you used in Night Bump Radio.”
“Well, the biplane is all ready. The tour spots are locked. You have your posters, and we revealed them here first. I have two critiques to mark up, and I've completed my task list for this weekend.”
“I picked up a growler of pumpkin beer too. When you finish those, just whistle and I'll bet the enchanted beer horns are excited.”
“You're a good personal assistant.”
*Lisa Burton is my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories. She's also a robot.
The newest Notebook is available on pre-order right now. Don't forget to come back Wednesday for the big party and a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card. Then follow Lisa and I as we take the Second Notebook on our blog tour.

 

32 Comments

Filed under Muse, Writing

We go Spying With Lana, on Lisa Burton Radio

 

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I'm your host, Lisa the robot girl, and we're having a little difficulty getting through to Hogwarts. Maybe we'll play some music while we wait. I have a Runaways album that's pretty awesome.

Wait, we have a caller. “Hello, You're on the air with Lisa Burton.”

“Hi, this is Lana, calling from an empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere. First time caller, long time listener.”

“Lana, as in Spying with Lana?”

“Alas, yes.”

<Squee> “Spying has to be such a glamorous lifestyle. Beautiful locations, pretty clothes, hanging out with high rollers. Maybe knocking down the casino at Monte Carlo.”

“That's what they tell me. I'm still waiting for the glamour part to kick in. I wonder if the Agency is giving the glamorous missions to someone else behind my back…..”

“Where are you now, and what's involved with this mission?”

“Your guess is as good as mine. Today I was in a warehouse waiting to meet some guy, but he never showed up, so now I'm in a warehouse not waiting for anyone. Sean probably doesn't even know where this story is going, which he really should, since they're pretty repetitive.”

“It must be a really important mission, or the Agency wouldn't have sent you.”

“Of course! Once I battled a team of assassins on a mission to get a refund for the Chief's defective laptop. And there was the time he accidentally sent me into the middle of a rebel uprising when I was supposed to be on vacation. He also once sent me undercover to take down an arms dealer that turned out to be an employee of the Agency, but that's hardly worth mentioning.”

“Sounds to me like you're under appreciated. Still, you get to wear all those cool outfits. You know, until they get destroyed.”

“Yes, unfortunately the wardrobe department has suffered a lot of casualties on my missions. While I have been known to, er… misplace a few clothes here and there, most of the time it isn't my fault! It seems like every time a get a cute new outfit, it ends up getting ripped, shredded, or torn right off! Oh well, I suppose that as long as I stay in one piece myself on these ridiculous missions I shouldn't complain.”

“Doesn't running around naked distract you from completing your mission?”

“Oh, one get's used to it, and on some missions it can be quite helpful, as you can imagine! Unless the mission is in someplace really cold, then… well, you can just imagine that, too. Or maybe not? Being a robot, you probably don't get cold; of course, you probably don't run naked through the snow with guard dogs chasing you very often, either.”

“I'm going to order some sexy spy clothes. I could totally pull off a Lana cosplay at the next convention I attend. If it's in Vegas, maybe I'll take down a casino in your honor.”

“Wow, really? I'd be flattered! I'd be even more flattered if you'd take my place in this crummy mission while I go to Vegas, but never mind that…..”

“It looks like we have a caller. Hello, you're on the air with Lisa and Lana.”

“Hey Lana, this is the Chief with an update on your mission. You're going to get a good laugh out of this, but the guy didn't want to meet in that warehouse after all! His name is Ware and he wanted to meet you at his house! I rescheduled the meeting for tomorrow since it's about a 12 hour bus ride to his house from where you are.”

“How long would it take to get to where you are and strangle you?”

“Oh, don't make such heavy weather over such a minor mistake. Besides, the nearest bus stop is only an hour's walk away! You'll be there in no time.”

“More like three hours with all the snow outside, but what's the difference, right? It's already a lousy day.”

“That's the spirit! And don't forget, the secret password is 'Sasquatch'. Don't let anyone know.”

“This isn't a secure line, you know. It's a radio show being broadcast all over the world.”

“Really? Oh… Well, I'll call you with a new password tomorrow.” <click>

“He's going to call the radio station tomorrow isn't he?”

“Yeah, most likely. But don't worry about it. It'll probably be the wrong password anyway.”

“I heard some of your old missions have been collected into a graphic novel. What can you tell me about that?”

“I'd rather forget about most of my missions, but Sean keeps collecting them in graphic novels. The latest one is called Sweet Dreams, and it contains some of my craziest missions yet. It even has some new pages and scenes in it that readers have never seen before (and I hope I never see again)! It sometimes irks me that Sean profits from my misery, but he doesn't profit very much so I suppose it's okay.”

“I still think it sounds glamorous. Cute shoes, pretty dresses, catsuits.”

“Yeah, I'm living the dream. Say, can you wire me some money for a bus ticket? I don't have any pockets in my outfit. Actually, I don't even have my outfit anymore. It's a long story….”

“Um, yeah, no problem. I'll collect your info off the air.”

***

Sean Harrington is an extremely versatile artist. He creates all the Lisa Burton art for me. He also has some cool art deco pieces, and does great motorcycles and cars (and biplanes).

He made the covers for Wild Concept, and The Playground. Check out the GTO on this cover:

Lana

Spying with Lana is a funny webcomic. I'm still laughing over the time she flipped a tank; who flips a tank? It has some mature themes, and occasionally takes spy sexiness a degree further. I love all the perspective, reflections, and blur in this Lana image. The gun is pretty cool too.

You can pick up a copy of Sweet Dreams at this site. He says right up front that it's for mature readers, and it is.

This is Sean's Tumblr, for those of you familiar with that platform.

This is the site where you can hire him for book covers. He's interested in doing more, and I've found him to be reasonable, reliable, and fast. I hadn't seen this new site until now, and was pretty excited to see Wild Concept among his promo pieces.

Every artist needs a DeviantArt site. That's where I found this Art Nouveau piece. Maybe something like that is more suitable for some genres.

Keep Sean in mind if you're shopping for a cover artist. If you would like one of your characters to be on Lisa Burton Radio, check out the page of the same name at the top of my blog.

54 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Sometimes, ya gotta try new stuff

We authors tend to all try the same things to promote our works. We blog, we tweet, we sign up for paid promotions. It all works to a degree, and there is no magic spell that will help us stand out from the crowd.

I've been known to try some crazy things from time to time, and today is no exception. I see that adult coloring books are all the rage today. Sadly, I don't have any of those. Still, maybe an old school trick still has some life in it.

My regular readers know that Lisa Burton, the robot girl, is a recurring character on Entertaining Stories. I recently promoted her to 'Official Spokesmodel' for Entertaining Stories.

Lisa takes her job seriously, and when I'm writing she really gets into it. She uses alternate voices to read back my dialog, calls me out for too many coincidences, and dresses for the part.

I recently sent her over to Sean Harrington's studio to pose with some of the outfits from my novels. Sean designed a paper doll sequence and you can have it for free. Those of you who've been lamenting a Lisa of your own, can now have one.

She's pretty helpful too. Just stand her next to your computer and read out loud to her. She will miraculously help you spot difficult passages and weak dialog.

The doll is Lisa in a classic James Bond pose. It clearly shows off what she did to $20,000 worth of GMO human skin.

I chose to print my doll on card stock. She stands up better when you dress her up.

Some of you may be happy with simply the doll. She's just as helpful as when she's in costume.

While the doll represents Wild Concept, there is an outfit for every novel.

If you prefer chasing the dreaded demon, El Chivato, through the Panamanian jungle, there is an outfit for that.

Maybe you want to delve deeper into witchcraft in your story. The outfit from Will O' the Wisp is there for you. Here are a couple of examples:

The Cock of the South

With the hat, which Lisa knitted herself, she filled in for Argon the cyclops. Without the hat, she assisted with any number of characters, from the Southern Dwarves to a Remsian nobleman.

Arson

Maybe you prefer Lindsay Pennington, from Arson. I still say this little pyro is the most fun supporting character I ever wrote.

Of course you can go absolutely crazy and mix them up if you like.

The whole kit is absolutely free. I've made a new page at the top of my blog. Click on the printable PDF files and go to town. Make as many as you want. Spread them around town. Give them to friends, with my blessing. I'm sure Lisa would be proud to serve as your bookmark.

A big thank you goes out to original cover artist, Sean Harrington. This project wouldn't have been possible without him.

Another big thank you to everyone who reads Entertaining Stories. Your comments are what keeps me motivated. Who knows, maybe one day I'll offer up a small Muse to put on the other side of your computer.

60 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Muse, Writing

I Swear, it happened just this way.

I finished my editing with Lisa* and went home. I stayed up late doing some final work.

Tuesday morning, I loaded my cover art onto a thumb drive and flew to the writing cabin. I had a hard time keeping it from Lisa. She’s a walking talking computer after all. I handed the thumb drive to her, and she plugged it into her umbilical port.

She jumped up and down and hugged me.

“Um, fragile old person here,” I said.

“Is this me? Is this really my cover?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think we’re about ready to go with Wild Concept.”

She paced back and forth across my office. It looked really odd with a thumb drive in her navel. I logged onto Amazon and followed the instructions. Everything said a Word file worked best, so I saved the manuscript to my desktop and jumped right in.

Doubt** the raven, croaked the entire time, and Lisa’s rabbit hid under the couch. I don’t know what he’s worried about. I’ve seen full grown dogs that are smaller than he is.

When it said to upload my book it was a total failure. It looked like a vertical line of old fashioned typewriter strike overs. This is where I lost it a little.

“There has to be something online that tells me how to try again,” I said. “Can you figure out how to do this?”

“Sorry, Chief. These are real world keystrokes. I can’t do them for you,” Lisa said.

“Maybe I’m rushing all this. Maybe I should have hired someone. Maybe I should have had this up last year. What do you think?”

Lisa said, “I think you’re letting that raven get to you. There comes a time to ignore him and move on.”

I saved my manuscript as an ePub document and just loaded it again. When I hit the review button, it looked great.

I think I hyperventilated a little bit, but I managed to set up my tax document and electronically signed something or other.

I turned toward Doubt and stared him down. He stopped all the racket. Bunny poked his head out from under the couch. I took a deep breath and stepped away from the computer.

“Here, Lisa. You’ve waited a long time for this. It’s just one button, and we’re online. This button belongs to you.”

She kissed her finger and pressed the key. Everything worked. It went into a review process that took several hours. Then it went into a publishing process that took several more hours.

We celebrated with beer and left over chicken and dumplings. Today, you can buy Wild Concept as an ebook through Amazon. Here’s the link: Wild Concept.

I’m really grateful to Sean Harrington who did my cover art. Check out his other stuff at Spying with Lana.

Here’s the cover art once more:

Wild Concept

Wild Concept

I’d appreciate a heads up if any of these links fail to work. I’d also appreciate a few book sales. Check it out. Tell your friends. I hope people enjoy it, and I have more on the way.

* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot, and helps around the writing cabin these days.

** Doubt is a Raven. He was a gift from my Muse, and yesterday he was a pain in the rear.

3 Comments

Filed under Muse, Writing