Tag Archives: Connie Willis

E-Book Marketing

Image 1The holiday season is barreling down on us, and if you plan any book marketing, you might need to get it in place soon. Selecting how to market is like running through an obstacle course. Each site has different requirements. Most want at least five reviews, which sounds easy except for the new Amazon rules, and if the book is a new release, you may have very few. However, several sites will take a new release if you have other books with fifty strong reviews from Amazon.

Just when I found a book I would consider offering that meet all the criteria, I realized it had no more free KDP select days. I get better results offering one free, and then readers buy the others. Back to the drawing board.

Finally, I got it all in place. I have offered Someone’s Clone free on Cyber Monday November 28 through Booksends, but it will also be free through KDP from November 25 to 29 since I estimate a lot of people will be online looking for deals… And viola, there I’ll be.

Free, free, free.

At least that’s the rationale.

I have something set up for December after Christmas when the commotion has died down and new Kindle and tablets are wanting to be filled. Caught in Time will be free December 26, mainly because Fussy Librarian was filled the other days I wanted.

I’ll let you know how each one performed.

Kathryn Rush did an interesting blog with numbers and math that indicated retail sales across the board were down in October due to folks concentrating on the election. I know mine were. I wondered why. I thought it was because I didn’t do a promotion or much advertising because I was so busy launching A World Too Far.

She said relax. Low sales were not any authors’ fault. Data going back several other election years showed the same trend for October and November.

I feel better.

crosstalkThis week I’m mentioning Crosstalk by Connie Willis. Connie has won numerous Hugo Awards and Nebulas making her a top science fiction author and a favorite of mine. If you ever thought it would be a good idea to be able to read minds, this will change your opinion. If, like me, you feel you are being overtaken by technology, especially the new Alexa, Google, and other devices that are intruding into our homes, in addition to the ever present smart phone, iPad, etc., this will confirm that feeling.

Briddy Flanigan is a young thirtieth professional woman who works at a cell phone and communications company competing with Apple. She is constantly on her phone checking and getting texts, emails, and calls from everyone who knows her business before she even does. Trent, the hot VP at the company, and her obsessively career-minded boyfriend, has convinced her to get an EED. This is an implant that allows a couple to be aware of each other’s emotions and often gotten prior to marriage to bring two people closer together.

So, now everyone in the company is a buzz, thinking there’s an engagement coming… And Briddy is already overwhelmed by communication in her life that includes her intrusive family of a paranoid mother, a younger precocious sister, and a single desperate older sister who constantly falls for the wrong guys and runs to Briddy for consolation.crosstalk-paperback

The high profile doctor who will perform the implant assures her that nothing can go wrong. But this is a story by Connie Willis, so, of course, chaos breaks out.

The book is a biting social satire on what happens when there is too much human communication. Events spin out of control for our heroine, resulting in hilarious situations that proceed at a breathtaking speed. Bundled in all this shenanigans is a touching love story.

It’s a fast-paced, near future read, written with a light heart that asks some deep questions, and one you don’t want to start too late at night.

Also by Connie: Hugo award winner To Say Nothing of the Dog.dog

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Filed under award winning scifi, Best selling author, ebook marketing, Hugo winners, Implanting humans, Medical science fiction, modifying humans, science fiction romance

Time travel in science fiction

IMG_0165With summer whizzing by, I’m wishing for a time travel machine that, come winter, I can revisit these current glorious days.

Time travel is a special topic of mine. My first two books deal with it, and I return to it in the current book that I’m working on called Touching Crystal.

But there are various ways you can traverse or manipulate time if you are of the Tellurian gene line in the Alysian universe.

You can go back to the Medieval past like Rowyna Grae does in  Caught in Time.

You can change timelines or events like Brand de Fyre Elitas in A Dangerous Talent for Time.

Or you could rewind time like Tempest Telluria in Touching Crystal.

I also have a Tellurian who can stop time, and one who travels to the future.

What else? Let me know if you’ve got another good way to manipulate time. See comment space below.

TimesplashIn TimeSplash by Graham Storrs, time travel starts out with underground parties called Splash parties. Splash parties come with wild music and the drug Tempus, and fans cheer on the popular  stars of time travel called Bricks. Three or so are enclosed in a cage with jump gear and oxygen helmet and to wild music, dance and drugs, they are lobbed into the past to make a “splash.”

The most popular of the Brick stars is Sniper who is psychotic and wants to shake the foundations of reality with the longest and most powerful of all lobs. He wants to test the  “Grandfather Theory” by going back in history and killing his close friend’s grandmother.

Of course things go wrong and get wild. People die.

In Storrs’s story, going back and disrupting or changing events, results in  a shake up in spacetime and throws causality in disarray, but eventually events right themselves. However, for awhile, the result is like being on acid as everything goes crazy and gets distorted. The effect varies from event to event depending on how critical or powerful the change is.

A lob lasts only so long and eventually the participants are yanked back into their original present, landing back in the cage they started in. The Bricks: Patty, Hal and Sniper return shaken from the splash and Splash parties are outlawed.

As the technology gets better and better, time splashing becomes more and more dangerous. Terrorists employ it to politically manipulate complete cities, and even countries.

The story shifts into searching for Sniper who has become a terrorist and plans a devastating splash that could change reality. What he plans is a mystery and the reader ponders all the events and people who he might target.

The story was interesting and engaging as the author shows how dangerous time travel can become. Lots of action and believable characters.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie WillisThis concept of time reasserting itself after being disrupted by time travelers is also seen in the Hugo award winning To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.

Where TimeSplash is an action thriller, set in future and past Germany, Willis’s novel is a Victorian comedy that takes place in England. Her characters are sent back into the past to try to figure out what changed in order to reassert the future. However, the harder they try to fix things, the more complicated everything gets.

At one point, I fell off the lounge chair laughing at the crazy twists and turns the story took. It’s a large book, but well worth the read. Very entertaining.

TimeSplash is shorter, but action packed, and also suggests an interesting take on the effects of time travel. Both are a good read if you like time travel stories.

Graham Storrs is an Australian author that approached me with his story a while ago. TimeSplash is his debut novel and it has a sequel called True Path.True Path

A quick note. I reviewed Between Heaven and Hell by Tad Williams not long ago, and a sequel will soon be out on Amazon called Happy Hour in Hell. It will be released September 3. Bobby Dollar, or the angel Dolorial goes to Hell to rescue his demon girlfriend.

Happy Hour in Hell

It’s a chancy career move.

Enjoy the dwindling summer and let me know when or where I can order a time machine so I can get through winter.


Filed under award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Hugo winners, Science Fiction book review, Science fiction thriller, time travel, Uncategorized, WWII