Friday, April 30, 2010

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

I always take endorsements from babies, my kids say get Pizza for dinner tonight and I do it. A baby tells me to buy on E-Trade I do it, so I might as well do this too.
Next thing you know she'll want to be driving a car.
Yes, but what man could tame her?
Oh, probably this man.
Oh it relieves fatigue now-if only they made them with sugar too.
There has got to be something else.
A pound and a half a day gives me the energy I need for a grueling day of surfing.
I like that its sanitized, I was getting so tired of unclean worms.
Well since doctors do...
Thats enough for now, go on about your business.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Question of Story/Taste

I've been pondering a number of things lately in regard to writing and hence these are my own personal thoughts on story and taste.

No one's tastes are exactly the same (though many are close) nor should they be. Things can be done to help reach a wider reading audience-placement of characters and likability factors but regardless everyone has to write the song the muse gives them. If you force it-you will lose it and everyone will know it.

In matters of taste there are huge blockblusters that I Will Absolutely never read. They may be incredibly successful but they don't light my fire so I won't be picking them up-and that's OK because we should be different.

The other point I am pondering regarding taste and story is since you can't please everyone who should you please? I say yourself-you have to be proud of what you do. In contemplating a variety of comments lately I thought about WHO may favorite authors are-most will be unknowns to you unless you are already a fan or longtime follower of the blog. My absolute favorite writer to just sit and read is Robert E. Howard and he isn't considered a very good writer by literati snobs and yet there is no doubt in my mind whose books I treasure the most, who drives my imagination the strongest in Pict-haunted wilderness's and Stygian sands with malevolent ghosts blowing across the dunes.
Karl Edward Wagner is another as is David Gemmell, John Keel, Hunter S. Thompson, Joe Abercrombie, H.P. Lovecraft, Cormac McCarthy, Bernard Cornwell, and of course Tolkien.

So I pondered IF what I want to do is closer to these guys more than anyone-should I be bothered if someone who doesn't like them doesn't like me?
Should I be bothered if readers that like other authors more than my influences aren't grabbed by me?
Everyone will like what they like and IF my story satisfies me and my taste-why worry about the rest? Write to your passions. Follow your muse and forget the rest.

Tell the story.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Writer & Award Weekend

This last weekend I was the the LDStorymakers Writers conference, got to meet a lot of great authors and industry people, rub shoulders with some greats and some not so greats (I kid because I love).
I especially enjoyed Dave Wolverton/Farlands presentation whether his keynote address or his class-he's great and he always has wonderful advice on craft. I also liked Sarah Eden's descriptive writing presentation-very entertaining and Howard Tayler's winging it Worldbuilding class when Jessica Day George was late. Too many others for me to name right now.

Saturday night, was the 2009 Whitney Awards celebrating the best of LDS literature. I was honored to present along with Rachelle Christensen for Best New Novel by a New Author. Very pleased Dan Wells won with a tie no less with Riley Noehren. My other favorites also won-John Brown for Servant of a Dark God in the Speculative category and Dave Farland for Novel of the year with In the Company of Angels. Speculative was the only genre I read in, remember THIS?.

The Supreme Jaime Theler wielding the sword of justice, or at least borrowing one of my props.
If I seem a little strange well that's because I am. I sensed funny business going on behind Rob Wells (the president of the Whitney Awards) and I-Julie Wright was goosing-she is a serial prankster.
Me and Dan Wells, author of I Am Not A Serial Killer (and winner of Best New Novel by a New Author to whom I presented too)-he tied with Riley Noehren-Gravity versus the Girl.
My wife and I at the Whitney Awards dinner, I like this pic of us.
My wife liked this pic better.
Me and my sword after the Whitney's and ushering the stragglers out.
Rob Wells and I not getting goosed.
Elizabeth Mueller and I at the Whitney Awards
Me, Tamara Hart Heiner, Melissa Cuningham and Mary Gray at the Friday night dinner Why didn't I take more pics with other friends? Guess I'm not sentimental enough to do it just think about it.
Me, Mary Gray And Tamara Hart Heiner
All in all a great weekend and I already look forward to next year-and my nomination wink wink.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ages Undreamed Of vol.6 Weird Artifacts

Decided I may as well do another feature on some of the weird ancient things that have helped inspire my first novel-and there is more strangeness than I have time to post about-but these in particular caught my fancy. While its possible some may be hoaxes, I personally disagree with believing everything is just because it is odd and out of place. The truth is out there. Had this up before but that was a while and a lot less followers ago. Found out in the Utah desert, it was reburied shortly after this picture was taken by the old Native American who found it-Belonged to the Old Ones he said and in the earth with them.
Quite an interesting piece-an ancient bell. Who rung such a thing and for whom did it toll?
I want to visit this one. Just outside Los Lunas New Mexico is a hill, somewhat fortified with stacked stone and at the base of the hill through a gorge leading up is this fallen stone marker. Some have interpreted it to be the 10 Commandments in an archaic Hebrew dialect. According to ancient customs it would be a proper gateway proclamation to the world as it were.
This is a great piece, a horned human skull. Guess all those rumors were true.This glyph is a little odd and I have not seen its like before in anything else in America. It is reminiscent to me of the Nazca lines or perhaps the sign of Jhebbal Sag.
Most of these pics are thanks to the Ancient Treasure Hunter Steve Shaffer who was kind enough to give me a back cover blurb on my novel.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Tale of the Signing

It was a little surreal and in some ways hasn't even set in yet. I have personally shopped at this particular BORDERS since it opened about 12 years ago. And while I dreamt of writing up a big fatty fantasy novel back then I don't think I even believed I would get it into that store until I was a very old man. Back then I kinda thought sure I'll write when I have time-which I don't right now, I am an adventuring 20 something, I have too much living life and gallivanting to do. But marriage and kids change home much more often I got to thinking on how much I ought to get going on this dream of mine. To everyone wanting to do something-You have to make the time or it will never come-that goes for every single thing you want to do in life-you make the time and make it happen.
It took a lot more work and drive than I ever previously imagined to stick it out and even finish a rough draft that people could tell me sucked, and from there the refining fire tempered it until I had something I was proud enough of to submit. 3rd time was the charm, that's pretty darn good from what I usually hear of peoples first manuscripts.

In any case its out there now for strangers to glimpse into my thoughts and workings, my imaginations and barely concealed tales of youth, its out there exposing me to the world and it's what I want to share. Thanks to all the old friends that turned out and here's to all the new ones, may it be the beginning of a lifetime of ink splattered enjoyment for both of us.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Heroes of the Fallen Book Trailer

I wanted to do something different with this and believe I have. To me a trailer is supposed to be a tease and simply tantalize on what is in there.

So now for those wondering, the novel is available.

Oh Thank You very much again to my sister-in-law, Erin, for the art.

Author Pimp Thyself version. 2

Just felt the need to pimp myself a bit more and remind all of you who only drop by to look at the humorous pictures that I have a book about to be released Heroes of the Fallen, and a signing forthwith to be held this Friday the 16th at the Borders in Murray, right off State street and I-215, from the hours of 6 to 8, and then yet again at the Borders in Provo, in the Riverwoods, Saturday the 17th from 4 to 6. And yes it is an awesome groundbreaking book and you want one but don't take my word for it here's a sampling of a few people that gave me some back cover quotes. Now if only that Sanderson fellow would hurry up and get me one too.

"David West’s debut novel, Heroes of the Fallen, will transport you into an epic tale comprised of the haunting historical events that eventually lead to the downfall of an entire civilization. Written with captivating characters and vivid descriptions of a grand culture, the powerful setting and poetic language make this
novel a monumental retelling of the Nephites’ final years of existence." —H.B. Moore, author of Abinadi, Alma

"The world of this novel is so specifically realized that you could drop me into any corner of it today and I would know just where I am and how I should act and to whom the natives are apt to pray."-Th., author of Byuck, The FOB Bible

"Heroes of the Fallen is a Book of Mormon historical that reads like an epic fantasy. It's not often that the LDS market sees something truly new, but West's debut novel really is different. It was a breath of fresh air--and a lot of fun. I read just about every book that comes out of every LDS publisher, and this one feels new. So many Book of Mormon novels get really bogged down in either hyperspiritualism or hyperrealism, and they neglect the one important element: telling a great story. I was impressed." – Robison Wells, author of On Second Thought, Wake Me When Its Over, Counterfeit

"A must read...real and exciting." – Bruce H. Porter Ph.D. Brigham Young University
religion professor, former Church Educational System institute director

"It's a great read,"-Wayne N. May, author of "This Land" series, currently a 4 volume set, publisher of "Ancient American Magazine"

and here are a couple links to some more positivity.
Daron Fraley author of The Thorn gave me 5 stars on Goodreads and his BLOG.
Morgan Deane gave me a shout out on his great blog Warfare and the Book of Mormon.

Thanks all and here's to loads more.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Strange Sights of the Week

And now to clear the palette before all my own stuff comes barreling through-Strange Sights of the Week, odd internet pics I found somewhere.

Loved this one when I first saw it.
If you get it -you get it.
The main character in my Roar of the Crowd story is named after this Tyr.

This why I don't believe in evolution-it doesn't always help things.
Someone gave these boys bad directions.

And lastly here is Jayne Mansfield reminding you all that my novel, Heroes of the Fallen is just about to be released. Thanks Jayne, I appreciate it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review in the Timpanogos Times

I just received a book review from my local paper the Timpanogos Times. And I am most pleased at what the reviewer Marissa Walker wrote. After saying she had just read the book, she opens with...

"I was afraid to read this book."

I don't know why I like that but I do. Continuing, she writes quite a number of things I greatly appreciated such as...

"It begins fast paced and draws you in immediately..."

"I've read the history portrayed in 'Heroes of the Fallen', but I have never felt of its true nature until I read this book."

"it's not predictable..."

"It shows the Gadianton robbers, they honestly creeped me out, but in a good way."

and finally.

"I found myself rooting for characters and even feeling antsy. You know you have a good book in your hands when you feel the emotions. All in all, I recommend reading this book. If you are as picky as I am, you might find out you love it. I did!"

I have never met Marissa and didn't actually know what to expect about her doing the review but I want to publicly thank her for the kind words.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Safety First

Lest anyone think in my zealousness for all things sword I am not careful I give you a wonderful little gem.

I have done a lot of stupid things, but I have never done that.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

News & Links & Such

My launch for my first novel HEROES OF THE FALLEN is at the Borders in Murray, Utah and scheduled for 6-8 p.m, Friday, April 16th. The novel will be available shortly before that, the 13th? 14th? IF you are in the neighborhood please drop by. I will come up with some type of goodies or other.

I guarantee to shout in the store,
"Are you not entertained?"

And on Saturday the 17th at the Borders in Provo, Utah (the Riverwoods) I will be signing from 4 to 6 in the afternoon, if you can't make Murray, I'd like to see you there.

I will also be signing books at the LDStorymakers Conference April 23rd & 24th. Related to that Saturday night is the Whitney Awards and I have been asked to be a presenter for the Best Novel by a New Author Award. It's exciting and about as close to the Oscar's as I feel I'll ever get-besides I have high hopes I'll be presenting to Who I voted for.

Over at Krista Lynne Jensen's Blog she is doing an Interview with me and a book giveaway.

And finally The Cimmerian, a favorite blog of mine, has mentioned me a second time, due to my story Whispers of the Goddess being accepted for publication with Rogue Blades Entertainments anthology collection-Roar of the Crowd. Yeah I have mentioned it before, but I am very proud of a 12K story I cranked out in one week, thanks to M. Gray for helping me edit the rough patches out.

End communication and Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Thorn: A Review

The Thorn, by Daron Fraley
I was able to read The Thorn last year but have had to wait until now to review it. Oh the pains of being an author with friends in high far-off places. Daron’s high and far-off place is the world of Gan.

Now Gan and The Thorn are Speculative writing at its best-why-because you can’t pigeonhole it as anything else and what he has in the book is so compelling.

Faith and a belief in Jesus Christ are paramount to characters motivations but this isn’t a Biblical tale, none of this takes place on Earth. Gan is aware of Earth, this is an important point, but the conflicts affecting the people of Gan are truly their own.

When I first heard about the story I thought it was the genre I call “Sword & Planet”. Gan is a planet with three moons and two blue sun’s, it has a very unusual sword, that is made of a bioluminescent crystal. There are epic struggles between the differing tribes of people jockeying for either power or freedom, but none of this quite makes it Sword & Planet. There are no monsters or magic or far-out gadgetry, and everything is run at roughly a Dark Ages level of technology.

The Thorn itself is the literal symbol of the right to rule and something I really liked about the novel were the roots and influences with classic material. The multiple viewpoints express how different people react to the same situation, in some ways it is a tragedy but there is hope. When things seem their grimmest, the light and guidance of the Other Side can come shining forth. The timeframe of The Thorn was a surprise and yet only gave the novel weight. If you can imagine a cross between Braveheart and the Chronicles of Narnia you may be on the right track, just don‘t expect any talking beavers.

Now this may seem a strange combination, but Daron makes it all work by peopling Gan with great characters, surprising twists and standout examples of courage and faith. No one has written anything quite like this before and that’s why Daron needs to keep doing it.

If you cannot find The Thorn in your local bookstore you can order it Here but check the bookstore first. FTC-Daron is a friend and I had a book before it was ever published.