Well, the critics have weighed in and the near unanimous opinion is that FORTRESS FRONTIER is better than CONTROL POINT. That’s a dream come true for a writer of novels in series, whose performance normally declines from book to book. In fact, this pattern is so consistent, there’s a term for it: “Sophmore Slump.” I seem to have avoided that, which of course raises the pressure mightily to have BREACH ZONE be even better. I’m wrapping up the 9th draft of that book this weekend, and am hopeful this is the version that will clear my agent and get sent on to the publisher. When I say that the pressure is intense, I mean soul-crushingly intense. Like, not sleeping intense. Novel writing is not for the weak.
So how do I deal with intense pressure? By having a giveaway contest, of course!
Let’s see. So far, I’ve asked you to create a Coven, a school of magic, and a magic item. Now, let’s try something different:
The SHADOW OPS series focuses almost entirely on the US military. In FORTRESS FRONTIER, you get a glimpse of the Indian military. If you read through the epigraphs (and snatches of the narrative), you’ll see I give some clues as to how magic is treated in Sweden, China, Taiwan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Sudan, France and other countries as well. In BREACH ZONE, you’re going to get a better look at magic use in Mexico and Quebec.
Here’s my challenge to you: We know the regime in the US. How is magic used in other countries? Do people in Bhutan embrace Latency? What is Cameroon’s relationship with magic? Remember, the response to magic in any given country does NOT have to be military. There *are* countries in the world that have different reactions to the Great Reawakening. I want to know what you think that reaction is.
As always, BIG bonus points to those entries that include some kind of visual: Flags or unit seals, images of counsels or governing bodies, pictures of individuals. Hand draw or use photoshop. Hell, glue macaroni to a piece of cardboard if that’s your thing.
Feel free to extrapolate from the hints I’ve given in the text, or strike out in an entirely new direction.
Once again, I’ll give three prizes. This time, I think they’re going to be pretty cool. Each winner will get a signed copy of FORTRESS FRONTIER (US or UK edition, your choice), but I’m going to add something special to each one.
I recently did a blog post showing the Shoulder Sleeve Insignia (SSI) for each magical school in the SOC, including the Probe schools. I now have stickers for these.
2nd and 3rd prize winners will get a sticker for the school of their choice on the inside cover of your book.
The 1st prize winner will get the sticker of their chosen school *and* a set of Alan Bookbinder’s dogtags.
Submit your entries to me by email to myke (at) mykecole (dot) com, or in the comments section below.
There’ve been so many amazing entries over the past three contests. Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with.