Tag Archive: Remnants of the Past


Cleaning Up After Myself

A little over a year ago I got my book back from Trish, my editor only to see what a half-ass job I had done writing it. My problem was that I was in a hurry to put something out there. Actually, there were a lot of problems. Things weren’t going so well at work and after years of dealing with that mess, I was just burned out. I could barely see what I had written. It wasn’t until a month or so later when she had given the story back to me that I could see what a screwed up mess it was. I didn’t give Trish a whole hell of a lot to work with.

I spent the next year cleaning up the story. There were times when I thought I was wasting my time. Did the first book in the series need a prequel? Often I asked myself who would read this shit and then other times when I actually thought the story was pretty damn good. But hell, I went through all that when I wrote The Mission. So, with some encouragement from Trish, I hung in there and turned Shield of Health into something she could work with.

The payoff is Shield of Health. It turned out to be a damn good story and addition to my Remnants of the Past series. Apparently, The Mission did need a prequel. And who knows, maybe I’ll visit my own blog a little more than I have in the past. Most of all, I just want Tricia Kristufek to know how thankful I am for her services. You’ve earned a place in the story, Killzone.

Immersion

Since giving the Shield of Health to Tricia Kristufek for editing I have kept myself busy with other things besides writing. I have worked with my Son-in-law, Brad, who by the way plays Birdseye in Shield of Health. I’ll explain in a minute. But anyways, Birdseye was instrumental in coming up with the shield you see being used as my profile pic on FB. I have jumped into a few video games. I do not seem to do enough of that lately. I have also spent time with my family. I always look forward to seeing my granddaughter. Her smile has captured my heart. There was the day I spent with my wife tasting wine.

The series, Remnants of the Past is a story set in a universe dominated by a warrior race of people from the planet Avexia, or the Home World as it is also referred to in the story. Most people on the Home World strive to become soldiers in the Combined Armies. Others forge their own paths and become Mercenaries. Mercenaries use aliases to protect their identities and their families. The crazy thing about the aliases I use in the story is that they are aliases used by friends while playing games online. Birdseye is my son-in-law and someone I have fought alongside with in many games.

During the time spent after handing Shield of Health over to my Editor, I have had ideas for the next book in the series. Right now I call it, Alone I Break. I have even scribbled out notes and played with the first few paragraphs of the story. I have scenes playing out in my head. Sometime after the launch of Shield of Health, I will begin writing and immerse myself in the third book in the series. I will stand on the bridge of a battle cruiser and watch the view screen as we move into orbit around some distant world. I will be there on Valdorion when Andrea meets her grandfather, Casey Evans, for the first time. I will see the good and evil my characters are capable of. I will know their triumphs and their defeats. I will share in their laughter and I will write sorrow that will make my heart ache and bring tears to my eyes. I will experience their loss and feel their pain. I will live and die on the pages of what I write.

 

 

 

I told myself when I was finished with Shield of Health that I would take a break before writing the final volume in my Remnants of the Past series. One thing I have learned about writing is that you do not necessarily have to be sitting in front of your word processor to be participating in the writing process. There is a lot of thinking about it that takes place anywhere and everywhere. That break I thought I was going to take, never really happened. I posted on Facebook this morning the title to the final piece in the Remnants of the Past series. Alone I break.  I also announced that I would be using LibreOffice Writer in Linux Ubuntu 12.04 to write Alone I break. A bold move? you bet, but hey, I am writing this from my Firefox browser on my Ubuntu desktop right now!

So hey, all I have to do now is write the first sentence and figure out that first word.

 

Something Clicked

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the third book in my Remnants of the Past series. There has been something I have needed to figure out. I have final scenes in my head and a lot of ideas as to how I’m going to get there, but there was one piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t put together. Then it came to me during a conversation with a friend of mine today. Since then I have developed a scene that I cannot wait to put in the book. Our young hero will one day return to Valdorion. There, he will discover Remnants of the Past.

 

Get your copy of The Mission!

Vince’s com band created a tingling sensation in his arm, letting him know a call was coming through. He quickly became aggravated with the sensation and wished he could figure out how to make the damn thing just chime or beep. Anything other than the tingling would have been fine. He set his fork down on his tray and raised his wrist up to his mouth. “Yeah, what is it?” he asked, trying to hide the frustration in his voice

Banshee’s voice sounded like it was being transmitted over a cheap toy. She picked up on his frustration. “The tingling thing again, huh?”

Along with her voice, Vince thought he could hear some laughter in the background. “No, Boss. It’s nothing.”

“Grim, I’m going to need you at the weapon’s console.”

“Is there a problem?”

“It’s probably nothing but I think I would like you up here all the same.”

“I’m on my way.” As Vince went to put his tray in the sanitizer his arm tingled once more. “Damn it!” he shouted, trying to rub the sensation from his forearm. He quickly brought his wrist up to his mouth. “What!” This time, the frustration in his voice was unmistakable.

It was Banshee again. “Sorry, Grim. I meant to call someone else.” Not only did she do a poor job of hiding her own laughter but the laughter in the background had been driven to a level of hysteria.

It was then that Vince realized that he was at the butt end of a joke. He took a deep breath to regain his composure. “I’m on my way, Boss.” After closing the channel on the com band, the Grim Reaper made his way toward the bridge.

 

That was just a little something from Shield of Health, my upcoming novel from the Remnants of the Past series.

So, You like being independent, huh? That’s fine. I have a lot of respect for you. You are a real go getter. Words like Maverick and Ambitious are used to describe people like yourself. You have that get the hell out of my way attitude, you blaze trails, go down your own path, and you are a writer?

Now, you are what we call an Indie. An elite group of many. I am in this group. It is made up of men and women, young and old. We have stories to tell and things to share. Some of us find it easier to connect through our writing and others crave the attention a well written manuscript can bring. Some want fame and others want fortune. The truth is, most of us want it all. Oh come on, admit, you want to write something so fantastic that people will bow down at your feet and beg you for your blessings. Okay, maybe that is a bit much.  Or maybe not. Perhaps some of you have reached stardom and stand among those who are great. I bet some of you even have cleaning services come in and clean your homes for you.

And I’ll tell you what I think about all of you great ones, You independent Mavericks selling books left and right, making money hand over fist and driving cars with names like Bugatti and Ferrari. Oh my God, you all must think the world revolves around you. The sun rises and sets at your beck and call. I bet you stay out all night and sleep til noon. You should all be ashamed, Damn it! You all know damn well that I want to Drive a Bugatti and be filthy rich too. Shame on you for leaving me behind. Now go get me a movie deal for my book, please? No, really I’m not kidding. The Mission would be a great Movie! I would really love to own a Bugatti. I have no objections to someone giving me one. And a Movie Deal too. Your Dear Old Uncle Bill doesn’t ask for too much. Just what he needs. And who doesn’t need a Bugatti, huh? I love Being Independent.

The Mission

It’s a Movie waiting to happen.

Sometimes it seems like it takes longer for Your Dear Old Uncle Bill to write a story and get it out there than it should. I began the story I am currently writing, Shield of Health, July of 2011. and by my guesstimate I’m hoping to have it done by July of 2012. A year to write a book? Is that bad? Sometimes I feel like it is but then I look at some of the books I have read in the past and realize that perhaps it is not. It takes Donaldson between 2 to 3 years to get a Thomas Covenant book out. I realize his novels are more than twice the size of mine and I dare not compare the quality of my writing to his, (Donaldson is God like) for I can only dream of being the writer he is, but either way, I am thinking for a self published book a year is not too bad.

So, I’ll give Kudos to those who can put out a quality story in what seems to be no time at all and I’ll have to be comfortable with my snail pace. I received a message from Tricia Kristufek that she has read my first published novel, The Mission, and that she’ll be posting a review for it soon. She told me I did a good job and has even mentioned at one time that she liked my characters. This comes from someone I have a lot of respect for in the business. Not because she likes my book, but because other writers have had good things to say about her work as an editor. But anyways, I guess what I am trying to say is that perhaps the pace at which I write works for me and I shouldn’t be concerned about it.  So what if I’m not the fastest.

As a writer, I drag myself out of bed early, sometimes hours before I have to go to work just to get a couple of pages of something written. Well, it is not always a couple of pages. Sometimes it may only be a couple of paragraphs. Sometimes, the only thing I accomplish is to decide that I didn’t like what I wrote the morning before.

In the past I have been asked about my writing process. Writing process? Process would indicate that there is consistency in what I do but since every story I work on is different, that is kind of impossible. Even the scenarios I create in my stories from chapter to chapter create a kind of chaos that would shoot any real process all to Hell. But if it were consistent, it might be kind of lame. Maybe it is a process; a process of inconsistency.

This weekend, Tomorrow to be exact. Sunday, March 4th I am putting my first published work, The Mission out there as a free download. There was a lot of that chaotic process in this book. I wrote The Mission at 4 in the morning, the afternoons, and the evenings. There is a lot of myself in The Mission and I’m not just talking about the work that I put into writing it. I hope that anyone who downloads my first published work enjoys it.

 

Download The Mission

Download The Mission

The Mission is the first book in the Remnants of the Past series. In this excerpt from The Mission, I introduce Vince Jacobs AKA Grim Reaper. Vince is one of the lead characters in the second book of the Remnants series. At this point I am calling the book,  Shield of Health and hope to release it in March. It is a prequel to The Mission. I hope you enjoy!

 

Drenched in sweat, Darkblood woke to the sound of the battle cruiser’s proximity alarm. Legionnaire stood next to the chamber and appeared to have just opened the lid. “Our sensors must have picked something up when we came out of ATS.” 

Trying to shake the effects of stasis and the horrific nightmare he was suddenly awakened from, Darkblood sat up in his chamber. “What?” he said, trying to comprehend what Legionnaire was saying.

Legionnaire held his hand out to the young prince and with a tone of severity, he said, “We’ll never do stasis again.”

Darkblood took his hand. “You must have had the same dream that I had,” he said, pulling himself out of the chamber.

Legionnaire appeared disturbed and angry at the same time. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Darkblood put his feet down on the deck with a sense of urgency. “Have you been to the bridge yet?” he asked loudly, trying to be heard over the sound of the alarm.

Legionnaire let go of his hand. With a raised voice, he said, “No. I just came out of stasis and the alarm was screaming away.”

“This particular alarm goes off when there is a message being transmitted from an emergency beacon,” David informed him as they both left the hibernation room.

When they arrived on the bridge there was an image playing on the view screen. Darkblood hurried to one of the control consoles. The metal grate that made up the floor clanked under his feet with each stride. Legionnaire remained by the hatchway to the bridge. Looking up at the viewer he immediately recognized Grim Reaper.

Vince Jacobs had not only been a member of the Undead but was also the head of an organization called the Shield of Health. The organization dealt with health related issues throughout the Solar Empire.

Legionnaire was still trying to shake the effects of the stasis chamber and became aggravated when he couldn’t understand what Vince was saying. “Can we do something about the noise?” he shouted.

Darkblood used the keyboard at one of the auxiliary consoles and began typing the command to silence the alarms. “I’m on it!” he yelled. At that very moment the alarms went silent, leaving only the audio from Vince’s message.

After Jonas had released the virus into Avexia’s atmosphere, Vince Jacobs did everything possible to prevent it from spreading. It was a battle he would quickly lose. As the head of the largest health organization on the planet, Vince did manage to convince the senate to put Avexia under quarantine. The Avexia Space Agency immediately sent beacons into orbit and began broadcasting Grim Reaper’s warning of death into the cold darkness of space.

 

It was a big weekend for me. I used some promo days that Amazon gave me when I decided to sell my book through their select program. Basically, for two days I gave away my e-book, The Mission in an attempt to raise its rankings and to just get my story out there to the people. I’m sure that Amazon used the event to get customers to join their Prime program as well. I think it was probably a good deal for both Amazon and myself. If I have done at least a fair job of writing the book, I should see some halfway descent reviews come back. This in turn should help increase sales of my book in the future.

I have mixed feelings about this weekend. Being an author, an artist of sorts, I feel a real need to get my work out there to the people. And even though it would be nice to make some money doing it, it isn’t the most important thing. The most important thing is to get my story into the hands of those who want to read it. There is something in me, that for good or bad, needs to hear how someone else feels about my work. Did you enjoy it? did you hate it? Did it piss you off? Did it make you feel anything?

Well anyways, Amazon has always done a great job of helping people sell stuff, most of all books, for quite sometime now. Amazon’s Kindle select program is a powerful tool that can be used to help promote us authors in a good way. I have taken full advantage of it this weekend myself. But I can also see where it can be harmful to an industry that is currently changing if it is not used in the right way. I am just reminded of an old adage, “Competition is good for you, Good for us all,” and just hope that in the years to come, there will still be healthy competition.

Having said my piece, I just want to thank everyone who downloaded a copy of The Mission. With my book in the hands of so many people, I can honestly say that I now feel like a writer.

Thank You, Bill Talcott

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