How to Write That Sci-Fi Novel You Always Wanted To Write

Let’s get one thing straight; sci-fi books are totally badass. They get to explore a place and space that has never been explored because everything – every last little detail – is brewed in the dark recesses of your freaking awesome mind. There is just one Game Of Thrones sized wall to overcome, and that is writing a sci-fi novel ain’t easy.


So, here’s my advice:


1. Never Try To Write A Best-Seller

The reason being, you can’t. It is impossible. Best-sellers are not only subjective and unexpected, they are part of trends that come and go, so if you are trying to write a best-seller that is part of a current trend, well, sorry sweetheart, but you are already behind. Anyway, it’s like we said, no one knows what is going to be a success and every successful author has had to fight for their place.

2. Write The Book You Want To Stay Up All Night Reading

There is one really quick way to failing as a writer, and that is to write a book that you wouldn’t read. There is just no point in it. Writing is a craft that needs love, attention, intrigue and bloodthirsty lust; so only write the things you want to write and the things you want to read. If you don’t love it no one else will. Simple.

3. Sit Down And Start Typing

So many people want to write a book but they don’t want to put in the work. They want to have written a book. Maybe they will try for a bit, before realising how long and arduous the process of writing is. But sitting in a chair and tapping away persistently and determinedly is the only way you’ll ever get that best-seller written. Write, write and then write some more. We get better with every page we sculpt, remember that.

4. Cardboard Characters Will Always Suck

Sure, writing a cool world with loads of cool stuff is cool, but it isn’t enough. What makes a story is the characters, people or things that we can bond with and care about and relate to. They are the main source of awesomeness when it comes to being sympathetic in a sentence, the thing that will get hairs standing up and tears rolling down cheeks and, maybe, just maybe, fists punching the air. If people don’t care about your characters then they aren’t going to care about the cool world you have created.

5. Forget About Anything But Your Writing

If you want to have a best-selling book more than anything then you may find you’ll be disappointed. This is because it is impossible to control all the variables that it takes to achieve that success; the marketing, the timing, the agents and publishers, the media and the landscape. Instead, focus on just one thing; writing a book that is as good as you can get it. Write a book that you are totally proud of. A book that you want to read and that others will want to read to. Forget the best-seller thing, it is out of your control. Just up your chances by writing something amazing.

 

Book Review: “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins

Catching_FireCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lot of people criticize this middle book of the Hunger Games series because they believe it “lagged”, “nothing was happening”, or “Katniss was too whiny”. And it’s true, a great portion of the book (at least the first 50%) is not necessarily filled with the action-packed, high-octane, nail-biting suspense that we experienced and loved in the first book.

But taking the series as a whole, Catching Fire is a perfect middle portion to a saga about oppression, revolution, war… and a frightened teenager unwittingly caught in its crosshairs.

Much of the first part of Catching Fire is spent in Katniss’ head as she witnesses and hides from her worst fear: growing rebellion in the Districts. I think Collins’ portrayal of her fear, angst, and indecision is spot on. Having Katniss feel anything else or act in any other way would have probably come off as disingenuous. Remember, Katniss is a mortal girl. Not an X-Man. Not a superhero. She is very much human, someone who can be tortured, killed, wounded, someone with people she loves, who could literally be annihilated at any point. She is a mouse before the giant that is the Capitol. So she walks a fine line; she understands that her actions now have some VERY far-reaching and painful consequences. As would anyone, for a while, Katniss tries her best to remain still and ineffectual. She wants to placate the Capitol, even though she hates it. But as she realizes that she has already set the match to an already combustible situation, she is finally forced to turn and face her fears. Even THEN, though, we see her wavering. And I love it because it’s just so damned HUMAN.

I think this is what I adored most about Catching Fire, and it’s why I gave it a higher rating than the first book, The Hunger Games. I LOVED Katniss’ humanness, flaws, and fallibility. I love that Collins’ DIDN’T buy into the teen immortality mythology, and that she kept Katniss grounded in a firm reality. This grounding always kept us aware of just how palpable Katniss’ situation was! So when the fast-paced action FINALLY popped off in Act III of the book, I felt emotionally fulfilled and was able to enjoy the action and suspense as it unfolded in the arena (which was brilliantly designed). And just like in the first book, Collins delivered.

Big time.

View all my reviews

Write on, rock on, and READ on,
<3 Colby

Do You Want Free Ebooks, Audiobooks, and a 15-module Online Writing Course this Halloween?

Giveaway Banner!

Well? Do you? 

Well then you should have come to our SWEET “Colors in Darkness” Facebook Party!!

I hosted my hour just yesterday, and guess what? We played games, pitched creepy riddles, learned about transcultural monsters and demons, AND talked about MY all-time favorite survival horror video game franchise, RESIDENT EVIL.

Bohemian Badass School Website ShotWith each game, I was literally GIVING away my entire ebook and audiobook library! AND to sweeten the pot, I was also giving away a FREE 15-module writing course from my up and coming online school, The Bohemian Badass School for Creatives!

colorsindarknessbannerBut if you missed the party, don’t fret! There will be more opportunities to win, win, win as the holiday season comes up.

Still, in the meantime, I’d LOVE if you could join us for the REST of the Colors in Darkness event! More kick-ass multicultural horror, paranormal, and dark fantasy authors will be hosting, playing games, and giving away amazing prizes!

There are only TWO days left in the event, so DON’T MISS IT!

Click NOW to join the party and
WIN FREE PRIZES AND BOOKS!

Write on, rock on, keep it indie, and HAPPY HALLOWEEEN!!
<3 Colby

Last Week of Our HORROR HOP! Vampires and Ghosts and Parties, OH MY!

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YEOW!!

So this week on the blog is going to be just as sizzling as the others, because I’ve got some serious coolness coming up that’ll end this month’s Horror Hop with a BANG, BOOM, POW!!

First up, we have an awesome paranormal-horror comic feature called “Eating Vampires”, penned by the delightful and esteemed scribe, Regine Sawyer.

EverlastingTHEN, we have a feature creature fest with Rasheedah Prioleau, her American Spectre series, and her new horror novel, “Everlasting”.

And FINALLY, to bring us home, we are partying it up at the Colors in Darkness Facebook Party!! All us fiction fanatics  are getting together to celebrate and cogitate on multicultural FEMALE writers of horror, paranormal, and dark fantasy fiction!!

THE GIVEN Audiobook Cover 2400x2400And I’m not only a featured author amongst some other EXTREMELY kick ass scribes, but I’m also a sponsor too!! And I’M GIVING AWAY FREE BOOKS AND AUDIOBOOKS!

OH. EM. GEE.

I mean, really, if you miss this, you’re cray cray. Parties, books, awesome prizes, contests, and exposure to some really great writers with dark souls… what better way to end the Halloween season?

I’ll be there. Looking forward to seeing you all there as well! In the meantime…

Write on, rock on, and keep it indie,
<3 Colby

“Ghosts of Koa” Featured on The Writership Podcast!!

Great news, all! The lovely Alyssa and Leslie at The Writership Podcast have decided to feature and give an editorial review on GHOSTS OF KOA at The Writership Podcast!

If you’re wondering, The Writership Podcast is an online radio show focused on helping indie authors master self-editing writership_podcastskills. Each week they feature a different author, read through the first 5-10 pages of that author’s manuscript, and provide editorial feedback on the work.

They give some AWESOME insights and professional editing advice, so make sure to subscribe to their podcast when you get a chance!

Check out their review of GHOSTS OF KOA!

GOKwritershipIn any case, check out Leslie and Alyssa’s reactions and editorial review of my novel, GHOSTS OF KOA.

GOK got some super positive feedback, but apparently, they needed to “take refreshment” before diving in. 😉

As an important side note: I really encourage you to not only listen to the episode, but to also read the editorial feedback they provide below the episode itself.

They’ve embedded a Word document copy of the Prologue of “Ghosts of Koa” with their questions, comments, and ideas on how to make the manuscript better than it already is. It’s a great lesson in writing, and I highly recommend you tune into their show to make your own self-editing skills better!

Thanks in advance for checking it out! 🙂

Write on, and rock on (and keep it indie),
<3 Colby

100 Book Reading Challenge: Second Book, Second Review!

goodreads2015readingchallengeSo here it is, folks! My second review! That’s 2 out of 100! And I’ve been waiting a long while (specifically for me to have a firm grip on my own series) to pick this up, The Hunger Games. I’ve had a very interesting and emotional writer’s journey with The Hunger Games Trilogy.

This awesome series almost (I foolishly and wrongly thought) destroyed me, and I hadn’t even read it yet! Check out my posts on it HERE and HERE, and find out– like I did– that dystopian YA and NA aren’t zero sum games.

And without further ado, here’s the review!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Tag you’re it! I challenge YOU to join up with the GoodReads 2015 Reading Challenge today! And as always…

Keep it indie!
<3 Colby

Ask the Author GoodReads Event + New Hot Giveaway!

ask-the-authorHey creatives! Today is the kick-off of our FIRST “Ask-the-Author” Event at The Fantasy Portal GoodReads Book Club!

And the first author up to bat? ME!

Join our book club and participate to ask me anything and EVERYTHING you want to know about my writing process, creative inspirations, current projects, future plans, or even some personal stuff, to your leisure!

I’ll be fielding questions all the week long, from Monday, Sept 15 until Sunday, Sept 21!

ALSO, as a warm welcome to both our Book Club and to the Ask-the-Author Event, I’m launching a very special, limited time giveaway!

Check it out below!


September’s Limited Time Giveaway!

Participate in The Fantasy Portal Book Club’s Back-to-School Bash, and Enter to win some AWESOME prizes!

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Giveaway ONLY lasts from Monday, September 15 to Monday, September 22 (until 11:59 PM), so ENTER NOW!

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PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY of The Fantasy Portal!

fantasyportal3DfinalcoverAnother awesome giveaway, guys! And this one’s a real treat. 🙂

Recently, three authors and I have released a four book fantasy bundle called “The Fantasy Portal”, and now, we’re offering you a FREE copy of the Fantasy Portal Bundle in PAPERBACK!

Hold over 1,000 pages of urban, epic, and paranormal fantasy in your hands today!

That’s four weighty, kick-ass tomes for you to add to your physical book shelves.

The giveaway is running from August 15 – November 12, 2014.

There are only FIVE paperback bundles available, so enter as soon as you can!

Keep it indie,
<3 Colby

More FREE ebooks! Digital Book Day has been EXTENDED for another 24 hours!

DIGITAL BOOK DAY has been EXTENDED for another 24 hours!!

DBDFB

 

Apparently, this promotion is so hott and so internet-destroying that we had to extend it just so that you all had more time to get all the books you wanted!

So yeah, again, we 407 bestselling indie authors in the genres of Sci-fi & Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, YA, General / Historical Fiction, and Non-Fiction all got together and asked:

“HM! How do we make our readers even MORE mega happy?”.

And we answered, “FREE STUFF for yet ANOTHER DAY!”

So, yes. 407 FREE books all for your summer reading pleasure, my friends. Check us out by clicking the banner above or clicking HERE, and enjoy!

Time’s limited, though, so get your free ebooks before midnight tonight (07/15)!

P.S. This promotion is so hott and getting so popular that the Digital Book Day website occasionally conks out. Please be patient and keep visiting for your free books!

Happy reading, and of course, keep it indie!
<3 Colby

Free Ebooks for TODAY ONLY!

If you missed the announcement in the side bar…

TODAY is DIGITAL BOOK DAY! CHYEAH!!

DBDFB

 

For the next 24 hours ONLY!

Basically, 407 bestselling indie authors in the genres of Sci-fi & Fantasy, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, YA, General / Historical Fiction, and Non-Fiction all got together and asked:

“HM! How do we make our readers mega happy?”.

And we answered, “FREE STUFF!”

So, yes. 407 FREE books all for your summer reading pleasure, my friends. Check us out by clicking the banner above or clicking HERE, and enjoy!

P.S. This promotion is so hott and getting so popular that the Digital Book Day website occasionally conks out. Please be patient and keep visiting for your free books!

Happy reading, and of course, keep it indie!
<3 Colby