Month: August 2015

If You Like It Then You Should Have Glued Some Gears On It


Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that I have a rather uncomfortable relationship with the concept of genre.  On the one hand, I really, really don’t like it, on the other hand, I absolutely hate it.

Genre has always struck me as the lowest sort of pseudo-intellectual caste system, a hierarchy based on superficial characteristics.  It shoehorns stories into stereotypical circles.  If you write a Science Fiction story, then you must write about Science Fiction characters doing Science Fiction things in a Science Fiction world.  It’s a one-dimensional systematization  driven by a marketing paradigm that internet shopping has made obsolete.

Lately the tendency has been to increase the numbers of genres without altering the basic linear structure of the concept.  Speculative Fiction gets broken down into Science Fiction and Fantasy, then Fantasy splits into Epic and Modern, and Modern Fantasy gives rise to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal…

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MInterville Series

Jessica Wren Fiction

After publishing my debut novel, Ice, I felt the need to tell the entire story of Minterville and its most important characters. Currently, Ice is the only published title, but there will be more to come. Specifically, the sequel, Shivers is in the planning stages and scheduled for publication next year.

About Ice: In Minterville, Georgia, the residents live in relative seclusion, partly to keep crime out of their small, tranquil community, and partly to prevent the world from finding out about The Minter, a form of telepathy that interconnects them and gives them a sense of unity.

Then The Minter, which cannot function in the presence of evil, stops working. Mayor Tom Watson suspects that two families who had recently moved to town have ties to Manuela Escribano (known as the Ice Queen), a prolific drug lord who, unbeknownst to the rest of Minterville, has a deadly score to…

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Who cares about your characters?

Roz Kay

By Roz DeKett

At the Writer’s Digest 2015 Annual Conference in New York City, Talcott Notch Literary Services President and Executive Editor Gina Panettieri spoke about developing compelling characters. Here are my notes from her talk.

You’ve heard it before, right? There are no small parts. And it turns out this applies as much to your book as to the theatre.

Any character in your story should be there for only one reason: to move the plot forward. So make them meaty, have them influence the story.

But the main character, of course, is the protagonist. How do you make your protagonist authentic and compelling, somebody your reader wants to spend time with?

Nobody loves perfect people
Well, there are no perfect people, but we wouldn’t love them if there were. And that applies to your protagonist too. If your reader’s giving up hours and dollars to spend time with your…

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The 11th Percent by T.H. Morris

The Minter Book Reviews

  1. Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal and Action/Adventure
  2. My Overall Rating: Five Stars
  3. Grammar and Proofreading: 5/5
  4. Linguistics and Stylistics: 6/5
  5. Character Development: 5/5
  6. Plot Development: 5/5
  7. Plot Pacing: 5/5
  8. Age: Recommended for ages 16 and up due to violence and occasional profanity. No sexual content.

The 11th Percent is a fast-paced fantasy/action novel by T.H. Morris. The title is based on the theory that most people only use ten percent of their brain power, but Morris suggests that there is a subset of the population with an extra one percent. These so-called Eleventh Percenters have a high level of creativity but are plagued with self-doubt, experience emotions more strongly, and can communicate with spirits.

Jonah Rowe works at a boring job with an overbearing boss, struggles with writer’s block while attempting to complete manuscripts for his novels, lives alone and has few friends, and is still grieving the death of his beloved grandmother. A conversation…

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Talking about the book: Inceptio

Charlene Newcomb

InceptioTitle: Inceptio (Roma Nova I)
Author:  Alison Morton

A tidbit about the author
The author admits she’s been a Roman ‘nut’ since the age of 11. She served in the military in a special communications regiment in one of those jobs where you don’t talk about what you do, see, or hear.

The story
New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe.

The scene that made you laugh out loud or cheer
There are numerous places in Inceptio to cheer for the good guys, to celebrate Carina’s successes. You won’t believe the obstacles the author has created for her main character. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride and hold on to your hat!

The place where you wanted…

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Cover Reveal: Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord!

Mirror World Publishing

Sol of the Coliseum by Adam Gaylord launches September 17th!

Meet Sol, a slave turned Gladiator and the heart of the Astrolian Empire’s great Coliseum! This first novel by Adam Gaylord is an action-packed fantasy adventure you won’t want to miss.

Here’s the cover art by the talented Jon Guerdrum of Guerdrum Art:solcover1

Survival is an act of defiance

Deep in the bowels of the Coliseum of the mighty Astrolian Empire, the orphan, Sol, is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed Gladiator in all the land. Alongside K’nal, his giant Frorian fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. But when an oppressed populace transforms Sol into a revolutionary folk hero, the Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to put an end to the uprising. Sol’s only chance is to…

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The Father of Sword & Soul and an Elated Author talk Steamfunk, Sword & Soul and Racism in Role-Playing: Charles Saunders Interviews Balogun!

What is “Sword & Soul”

Chronicles of Harriet

 The Father of Sword & Soul and an Elated Author talk Sword & Soul, Steamfunk and Racism in Role-Playing: Charles Saunders Interviews Balogun!

Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed by one of my idols – Charles R. Saunders – the father of Sword and Soul and creator of the Imaro and Dossouye series of novels, as well as the incredible Pulp novel, Damballa.

The interview – along with other awesome blog posts, interviews, book reviews and other Blacknificence – was originally posted on Charles’ website at


Balogun Ojetade is the Master Instructor and Technical Director of the Afrikan Martial Arts Institute, a school that teaches indigenous, West African martial arts. Born and raised in Chicago, he was educated at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Columbia College in Chicago.

At Columbia, he majored in Film, with a concentration in screenwriting. Balogun wears many hats…

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