Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hero's Best Friend

I have been developing the fictional setting of my Galahad's Doom stories for years. But My Brother's Keeper is not the first time this setting has appeared in print.

Beating it to publication by a mere three months, is a short story of mine called Wind of Change that appeared in Hero's Best Friend from Seventh Star Press. It is an anthology themed around animal companions.

When I discovered the open call for submissions for this book in February of 2013, I knew immediately which character I would want to use if I could think of a story.

Two of my favorite supporting characters in the novel are a Native American-type warrior and his red-tail hawk companion. And I had been keeping my ear out for open calls that might inspire me to write some ancillary short stories related to my novels.

Clearly, I had the perfect character on which to base my story. But I didn't have an idea. How could I write a story based on Kaja, the hawk, without reducing it to some sort of cartoon with the hawk capable of speech or at internal dialogue?

How could I match the tone of my novel?

More importantly, could I somehow keep a spiritual bent to it that would resonate with the theme of my book?

Months passed and an idea never came. The deadline was June 30. On June 16, it came to me. I wasn't trying to think of it, it just popped in my head. I would tell a prequel story. An origin story of how my Native American-type warrior and his hawk sidekick first met.

Then a couple of other ideas quickly fell into place. This story would be where their bond was explained, where their limited ability to communicate would be explained. And when I realized there was already a ready-made way to introduce the spiritual aspect of things to the world of a hawk, I had my story.

I finished it in two days. It is very short, barely reaching the required minimum of 2000 words. But I am very pleased with how it came out. It hit all the marks I wanted it to hit and I was able to write the hawk story without making him anthropomorphic in any way.

Hero's Best Friend is a thick volume of about twenty stories by various authors, told in various styles.  It was published in February 2014 and earned the right to be known as the world debut of the Galahad's Doom setting.

And speaking of hawks, the week my novel was published I had a close encounter with one. I was fortunate enough to have my camera with me.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Successful Debut for "My Brother's Keeper"

I see from my tracking numbers that I've had quite a few visitors to this blog. First, thank you and, second, keep checking back. I do plan on keeping this blog active. It was dormant for a couple of weeks while I have endured an insanely busy stretch. We have been short staffed at my day job, requiring extra effort from us and I have been blessed enough to pick up some extra moonlight assignments. I'm happy for it, but it does leave me out of contact with the rest of the world.

But I'm back, so let me tell you a bit more about debuting the book at the Alabama Phoenix Festival.

The convention was a success. I sold a moderate, but satisfying, amount of copies.

The best thing about doing the convention was the chance to spend time with fellow writers and meet indie publishers. Bobby Nash, Sean Taylor, James Palmer and Tommy Hancock are all writers I respect and hope to get to know better in the years ahead. I also met Jonathan French and look forward to reading his Exiled Heir series.

This picture has Bobby Nash posing with Van and myself. Bobby is a much more accomplished and prolific writer than I'll ever be. In fact, I believe he writes full time. The support and acceptance he's shown this little newbie writer is much appreciated.

The indie press world, particularly those working together under the New Pulp banner, seem to be a tight-knit and very positive community. It's inspiring to spend time around so many creative people. I plan on interviewing them on this blog, to get word out about their projects and hopefully gain some insight to their process.

I haven't seen the first reports from Amazon yet, but I know I've sold quite a few copies. I've sold others directly outside of APF. To each of you, again, I most humbly thank you.  I truly hope you enjoy it.

I encourage (plead for) feedback and dialogue. I hope to find readers eager to discuss the story and the characters with me. If you like the book, please let me know. And, if you really want to help, leave a positive review on Amazon... and if you don't like the book, then it is time for quiet contemplation.

Readers of "My Brother's Keeper" can email me at galengriffon at gmail dot com. I don't want to type the actual address as that will create spam. But I'm easily reached.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Debut And An Interview

First, Sean Taylor was kind enough to interview me on his blog and allow me to go into a bit more depth about my book.  Please check it out.

Also, I debuted "My Brother's Keeper" this weekend at the Alabama Phoenix Festival. White Rocket Books gave me a bit of real estate on the corner of their table and I enjoyed a moderate but very satisfactory level of sales.

This included my own brother Nathan dropping in and picking up a copy. I signed it "I am not your keeper!"

If you are reading this and you were one of the people that bought a copy from me this weekend, I just want to repeat a very heartfelt Thank You. It was truly a pleasure to meet and talk to each one of you and I really hope you'll reach out online and want to talk about the book with me. I look forward to being able to talk about the story with readers (who enjoyed it!).

I particularly enjoyed participating in the last breakout session of the show for me when I sat in as a panelist for a discussion of "Faith In Fiction". I wasn't originally scheduled to appear as a panelist, but I felt the topic spoke directly to my book and I approached the program director and asked to be added.

Let's just say it was a wide-ranging discussion with the six panelists providing wildly differing perspectives. And let's just say I'm glad I was present.

Here I am with White Rocket Books publisher Van Plexico. We're each holding copies of our latest books and they both boast the artwork of Mark Williams.