Under Strange Stars – out the door.

UNDER_STRANGE_STARS_final_rgb_flatten_6x9inchesThe next installment of The Clar1ty Wars is now available at Amazon for Kindle and other flavors of e reader.

UNDER STRANGE STARS picks up where One Bad Apple left off: Seeb in hiding, detectives Lynch and Sarin chasing a trail of bodies that is only growing longer, a series of vicious terrorist attacks suddenly leaves Drop City reeling.

Both the Corporations and the Du-li independence movement maneuver in the shadows, forging deadly alliances in the fight not merely for supremacy, but the future of the entire Kepler22 system.

Pick up your copy now.

Thanks,

Patrick T.

SOZO free this weekend

Sozo (Original Cover)“A powerful and startling short story…”

Finishing up “Under Strange Stars” but wanted to let folks know my short piece ‘Sozo’ will be FREE at Amazon this weekend. So it’s yours for nothing if you want it.

Thanks.

ps – speaking of Amazon, I had to buy replacement keyboard stick-on letters for my computer, I’ve worn down so many keys.

That’s a good problem, right?

Assumptions about my Audience

Had one of those recurring writerly conversations about my “intended audience”, and realized I make several assumptions about them:

1. They aren’t necessarily Christian.
Or if they are, they probably aren’t your typical ‘Evangelical’. Said it before: I don’t write Christian stories as much as stories with Christianity in them. It’s on the table for sure, but the plot doesn’t take you by the nose. There are a lot of people who have given up on religion but not necessarily on God. In my fiction, I demand any faith/spirituality be organic to the characters or storyline. Otherwise, it’s little more that religious propaganda.

2. They can swim
Sci Fi, Fantasy, Horror/Supernatural, they are genre-savvy. I don’t need to start them in the kiddie pool and lead them slowly deeper into Spec-Fiction with constant reassurances and explanations. They been here before. They get it. I won’t waste their time or intelligence with remedials.

3. They are detectives
Or archeologists, if you disdain the crime-scene analogy. They can hold things in abeyance. They are willing to excavate, assemble clues and piece things together. They’re smart like that. My job is to make sure the clues and cues and authenticating details are present and internally consistent.

4. Sizzle ain’t steak
Which isn’t to say they don’t want to be entertained. They do – that’s mostly what fiction is about. However, they prefer a story have substance, to be rooted in real-world struggles, facts, or perspectives. Even if they are different or challenging. The movies Avatar and District 9 came out around the same time. Give me D9 any day, all day long.

So there they are. I know what they say about assuming, but I think I’m erring on the better side in this instance.

Have a great day.

To Agent or not to Agent…

that is my question.

whether tis nobler in the mind of the writer to suffer

the slings and arrows of Amazonian inundation,

or to take arms against that sea of troubles

and by professional representation, end them?

To deadline, to outline,  to write

and no more; and by write, to say we end 

the awkward vagaries of incessant self-promotion

and the thousand natural downers

that effort is prone to.  Is it a consummation

devoutly to be wished?

Looking past the next Clar1ty Wars installment to two full scale projects, as well as considering application to this year’s Viable Paradise on Martha’s Vineyard, I’m teetering on the edge of this question yet again. Will it aid me in my pursuit of writing full-time? Or is it genuinely possible to take ‘the road less traveled’ and achieve the same?

Anyone have any experiences transitioning from indie to agented, or the reverse? Or recommend an agent that won’t shy away from my kind of fiction? I’d love to hear.

Thanks.

Shift Complete + Free Excerpts

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The shift to Shift Tense is complete: all three novellas are now compiled in a single volume. Thanks to everyone for their support and encouragement.

Apologies to you print book lovers; at present, my status as a writer combined with the reader demographic for spec-fiction doesn’t make it worth the extra ISBN, effort, and cost to do POD. If anything, it gives you late-adopters another reason to buy an IPad or Kindle.

Speaking of which…part one of both Running Black and Shift Tense are available in PDF here on the site. Scroll down past the Amazon links on the right sidebar, then click on the Incursion and/or Red Flags covers. Free stuff to give you a taste of the novels and my take on Biblical perspective spec-fiction. (notice I didn’t use the phrase ‘Christian fiction’) Hope you enjoy.

Next up: Clar1ty Wars, book 2: Under Strange Stars

No free rides on the Amazon?

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Trying to offer the first portions of the Eshu International novels Running Black and Shift Tense for Free at Amazon. (The Shift Tense serialization doesn’t work as intended, so Red Flags, Soldier Dreams and Angels would be unpublished, then rolled into one complete volume.)

However, I can’t work around KDP’s minimum .99 pricing.  It seems Amazon no longer lets you offer books at no cost. (why should they, I guess)

So should I…

1. Price them at .99, then use the Amazon Free Book Promotion as often as possible?

2. Leave everything as is.

3. Bin the Free Excerpt idea. Just release Shift Tense as a complete novel and move on.

Any thoughts or experiences on this? Thanks.

***

By the way, Under Strange Stars is still on schedule for late March.

CLAR1TY WARS 2
CLAR1TY WARS 2

“Sozo” release day

Cover2 The short story “Sozo” is now available at Amazon for Kindle, IPad, or whatever your flavor of eReader. Set in a fictional near-future, it is a redemptive story focused on a combat vet who faces hard choices instead of easy answers. A hair under 5K words, it’s only .99. All the proceeds for Dec/Jan will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project.

Amazon Link

Thank you and happy new year.

– p.a.t.

ps. if you enjoy it, please tell a friend and/or fire off a quick review. Much appreciated.

‘Sozo’ Release Notes

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First off, thanks to everyone who takes a chance on my books, wanders by the blog, takes time to comment or review. Your interest is inspiring, your feedback invaluable. I can’t express my appreciation enough.

So here’s ‘Sozo’, one final title for 2014.

I’m encouraged by this short story. I had a sense of breakthrough when I finished, as if I’d I’d some how, some way, transitioned to a different place in my writing. Now this particular piece uses a rather dark palette, but I gave myself permission to write it the way it needed (wanted?) and feel I found the story’s voice. There’s a renewed sense of confidence as I look toward next year’s projects. (More on them below)

As long as I’m being honest, ‘Sozo’ might be one of those I recommend some folks not read. I’ve always maintained ‘a story is not a sermon’, but the distinction is quite severe with this one. Set in a fictional near-future America, it centers on a combat-scarred vet who returns to a nation in turmoil and finds himself caught up in a human trafficking ring. Definitely not typical evangelical family-friendly fare.

I make no claims to definitive theological, political, or psychological truths here; ‘Sozo’ is simply a story about a broken character in a ugly situation, about hard choices, and a facet of redemption. Edmund Burke’s famous quote on how evil triumphs rang in my mind every phase. The story unfolded steadily from the initial image to it’s climax.

‘Sozo’ will be available for Kindle and e-readers on Saturday, Dec. 27th. You can order it HERE.

Given the protagonist, I’ve decided to donate the proceeds from the first month’s sales to The Wounded Warrior Project. I don’t know how much that will be, but I can’t do nothing. By all means, skip the story if you want and donate directly. The men and women of our Armed Forces deserve our support.

Upcoming releases and writing projects include the next installment of The Clar1ty Wars, “Under Strange Stars”. I just received the files for the cover from Michal Oracz, and they look great, as usual. After that it’s the Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy “The Grim Fall”, as well as a novel set in mythical ancient China, working title “The Proud Cloud Racer.” On the Eshu International front, I have outlined several short story, back stories; Tam and Jace during the failed invasion of Taiwan, Poet9’s childhood in the slums of Mexico City, and the Triplets during the first African Civil War. I’m debating releasing them separately for .99, or including them in a single volume “Shift Tense”. Up in the air, that one.

Again, thank you all. May you have a peaceful and prosperous holiday and an inspired, productive new year.

Best Regards,
Patrick Todoroff

Thanks to the schoolyard bullies


I was a bit surprised when a fellow Christian author blogged about bullying recently. Not that he’d been bullied, no surprise there. It seems to me it’s one of those ubiquitous kid things like zits. And not that I’m making light of his experience. Far from it. I was hit by a car when I was a kid, damned near killed in fact, and grew up with no memory before the age of 7, a nasty limp and a damaged eye. Dealing with disability is the only life I’ve known, really. So I get being bullied, and all the condescending rubbish that goes with being ‘disabled’. The surprise comes because I always figured an unhappy childhood was a prerequisite for being a writer. (or a serial killer. fine line, there)

I mean what else jump starts a person’s defensive mechanism of escapism and fertilizes the imagination quite like being taunted, mocked, shunned, ignored? A nice layer of creative mulch, that festering rotten crap. And who else can lay it on quite as stinky and thick in those crucial formative years as the jocks, teacher’s pets, and cheerleaders?

Forward is the only direction God has given us though, and I’ve learned over the years it’s not what you can’t do that counts; it’s what you can do. So decades later not only am I still married to the same beautiful woman after 29 years, have three great kids and three wonderful grandchildren, but when I’m not doing stained glass work, I get to write stories. Stories that people buy and read. Some of these readers even enjoy my stories and come back for more.

So thank you, schoolyard bullies, for forcing me to take that ‘less-traveled’ path, for laying the groundwork to my spec-fiction projects. It’s working, thank God. And you know what the really beautiful thing is?

I don’t remember your names.

Have a great day.

Something for the bullied and the bullies