Category

Comms

Free Story – A Place for Heroes

By | Comms | 15 Comments

Anyone who knows me has heard me say that I neither read nor write short fiction, except when I do. What I mean by that phrase is that I *rarely* read or write short fiction, because long form is really where my heart is. I try to live by the military axiom “you fight like you train.” If I want to be a great novelist, then I need to be writing novels. That’s the advice I give to aspiring writers. It’s fine if you *want* to write short stories, but viewing them as a means to success in long form is like practicing archery because you want to be a better shot with a pistol. But there are times when I have an idea that just doesn’t suit long form, and that’s the case with my SHADOW OPS novelette, WEAPONS IN THE EARTH, which will be published in the forthcoming John Joseph Adams’ OPERATION: ARCANA. Thinking about this, I reviewed one…

Read More

On diet, fitness and giving yourself a break

By | Comms | 47 Comments

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests for diet and exercise advice. Staying in shape is a job requirement for me. Every few months, I get a new sailor into the unit, on average 10-15 years younger than I. Part of my job is to make sure that they meet physical fitness standards for our Search-and-Rescue (SAR) and Law Enforcement (LE) missions. It’s a cut above what the rest of the guard has to qualify for, and I cannot accept anything less than the standard requires. Because if you’re not in proper shape when you get out on the water, then you can’t do your job. And if you can’t do your job, then someone could die. And that’s on me. I absolutely flog myself on physical fitness. Because I can’t tell these new sailors to meet a standard, I can’t discipline them for failing to meet a standard, if I don’t meet it myself. I am the head…

Read More

Getting PTSD Right

By | Comms | 15 Comments

I’ve written before about how PTSD is a phenomenon that’s poorly understood. More recently, I wrote about how the impact of killing of not only the killer, but every ancillary participant in the process several layers out. Both pieces were criticism, pointing out what we get wrong, both in the medical and speculative fiction communities. But, it’s got me thinking, and the truth is that there are some people getting it right, and I wanted to point that out here. I figure the main reasons people read this blog is because they’re fans of my work and want to know more about me, or because they’re writers and want to see how the sausage is made. In service of the later group, I want to highlight some characters (and by extension, some authors), who I think portray PTSD well in the manner I understand it. Keep in mind: I don’t see PTSD as a pathology. This position alone puts me at 180…

Read More

On Killing

By | Comms | 126 Comments

There’ve been some recent forays into writing combat scenes on some blogs lately. A few fans reached out to me and asked why I didn’t join the conversation. That got me thinking, and not in the way you’d expect. I’ve said in many interviews that nobody owns the military experience. My being in the military doesn’t make give me any more authority over a military story than anyone else. The same is true for writing combat. One doesn’t have to be a veteran brawler to write a great fight scene. But I do feel like the end result of fighting, namely, killing, isn’t often treated in a way that resonates with me. I can count on one hand the number of writers who get it right. Joe Abercrombie springs to mind as one of them, a tiny band of authors, and I do not count myself among them, who evoke the consequences of killing in a way that feels authentic….

Read More

Guest Post – Jon Sprunk

By | Comms | 8 Comments

Jon Sprunk is a friend and agencymate who’s enjoyed great success as a fantasy novelist. I had Jon on the blog back in 2012 to promote his third novel, SHADOW’S MASTER. Today is the book birthday of his fourth novel, BLOOD AND IRON, out from Pyr. So, once again, I’m going to step aside and give Jon the floor: The Origins of Blood and Iron Hello. I’m Jon Sprunk, a fantasy writer living in central Pennsylvania. Thank you all for this opportunity to tell you about my new series, Book of the Black Earth. The first book, Blood and Iron, comes out this month (depending when this goes live, it may already be in stores.) The Book of the Black Earth series is set in the same secondary world as my Shadow Saga, but in a different region far to the east of Caim’s adventures. It follows three people as they struggle for freedom in an ancient land called Akeshia, where…

Read More
Free High Quality Images Download Free Stock Images Download Free Images Free Stock Photos & Images Beautiful Free Stock Photos (CC0) Free stock photos