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The Wælcyrie Murders Update

March 23, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

Due to editorial issues, I am here to sheepishly announce a (another) small delay in the publication of book 2 of my science fiction series, The Wælcyrie Murders.

In that light, I have acquired a new editor who will reevaluate the manuscript and do an extra line edit. She is doing this now. With the awesome power of the internets and the convenience of Facebook chat, I was able to secure just the right editor for this book and series in a speedy and thorough fashion. I’ve spent time and effort (and in some cases, money) expanding my indie book network and here it paid off.

Since the manuscript was already line edited, this should be a short exercise.

I apologize to the fans who are waiting for this book. The year-long pause between releases  is not to my liking either, but I refuse to bend in any direction that results in a manuscript not up to my standards. In the future, I want to release a Lexus book every six months, in addition to my other book projects waiting for their attention (some with finished manuscripts).

There are some positives (besides making sure the novel is up to reader quality standards):

  • The audio book production will start as soon as the Kindle version appears on Amazon
  • We’re going to dump the large paperback format and offer a hardcover instead (the cost increase will be minor, too)
  • The cover-artist completed the cover art long ago and the new  graphics designer is simply waiting for the last template to finish the cover (the template is only generated when I have the exact printed page count)

Thank you every one for both your continued patience and interest in my science fiction book series. It’s a genre I love to read and publishing a science fiction book is a dream come true.

TWM cover art (web)

All My Graphic Design Belong to Kate

March 20, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft  0 Comments

Here at Deep Mountain Studios, we deal in graphics. Print book cover design. Kindle cover design. Audio book cover design. Cuts for Amazon’s Look Inside feature.

You’ll notice Deep Mountain Studios takes great pride in offering high-quality art. In the past, I’ve hired the artists themselves do the cover layout and lettering in addition to placing the artwork on a template. I have no complains, but, I’ve learned, this has a cost in flexibility.

I’ve decided to “normalize” the graphical design for, well, everything I do by hiring a graphics designer separate from the artist.  I feel the cost is well worth it. Not only does it add to a common visual appeal (brand), but I can now do things like change the size of the book without bugging the original cover artist with annoying changes like putting the art work on a slightly larger template for the printer. (which, some of them charge for).

This is a win-win in my publishing workflow for everybody, really. When I commission book cover art, the artist now only has to produce a high-resolution graphic file. They can focus exclusively on the artwork with an eye towards the elements needed on a book cover  (such as the right to left flow of a wrap-around artwork). They don’t have to worry about getting the right template, lining up all the text, picking the right font, dealing with OCD authors (cough), etc., etc. All they have to do is do the thing they love.

I admit it, I’m a cover slut.

I’m having Kate Strawbridge of Dwell Design & Press do all my graphical design. Kate is a talented professional and I love her eye for style and focus on enticing visual impact. Highly recommended.

Now, some of you are going OMG Anthony you only have one book out where are the others?

They are in the pipeline, my friends, in the pipeline. I’ve done a major quality push, and that push while slowing things down will speed things up in the long run. Trust Uncle Anthony.

And if you need a graphic designer, check Kate out. She does entire covers, too.

dwell design and press

Signed Hardcover Edition of Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold on Amazon

March 11, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, Characterization, Plot, Setting, The Craft  0 Comments

Freehold by Michael Z. Williamson is his groundbreaking debut while at the same time, the definitive libertarian science fiction genre reboot. That it came from the publisher Baen is just icing on the cake.

As most of my 32.5 readers know, I’m huge fan of eBooks. I do, however, buy hardcovers on occasion both as collector items and to share with other people. I bought the the Limited Edition Hardcover edition of Freehold the moment it went on sale. You can get it from Amazon here.

I consider the two great libertarian sci-fi works to be The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Freehold. Check it out. You can also get the Kindle version on Amazon for the nice price of free.

I read Freehold once a year. It is my go-to book for a libertarian sci-fi fix. It’s that good. It’s way less preaching and way more action than many books before it examining the same topic.

Click to buy on Amazon

Click to buy on Amazon

Armageddon’s Princess Audio Book by Anthony Pacheco & Read By May Ling Su

February 27, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft  1 Comment

A Science Fiction Mystery Now as an Audio Book!

Deep Mountain Studios is pleased to announce the audio book for Armageddon’s Princess read by May Ling Su is available via Audible and iTunes.

Click here to purchase the book on Audible

Click here to purchase the book on iTunes

Click here for the Amazon audio book page

All three places have an audio sample.

I believe there is an untapped market for science fiction on Audible. Initially, I was willing to spend some money (half the production cost of the print and Kindle versions, but a big chunk of that was the cover art) in order to validate that. Is the story what listeners want? We think so.

However, when  the book came back from May Ling I was floored. This is not simply a dramatic reading of something I wrote. May Ling turned the book into an intensely personal emotional journey for the listener. The first-person present-tense narrative coupled with May Ling’s talent presents you with Lexus in all her conflicted, broken, righteous, sexually charged, glory.

I’m totally sold on the format. There will never be a Lexus Toulouse Sci-fi Mystery book published without the audio book following as fast as my wallet and May Ling’s schedule will allow. I consider it part of the package, and thus, if you come to this page searching for science fiction audio books, especially ones with a mystery and tailored for adults, I pledge to fully support this format.

Enjoy, and please leave a review where you bought the book!

Armageddon's Princess ACX Cover

My Awesome Query Letter WORKED!

February 11, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, Characterization, Plot, Setting, The Craft  3 Comments

Letter:

Dear Tony,

I outlined a kick-ass near-future urban fantasy over the weekend. It was a lot of effort but I believe you will be pleased with the story: a cross between Supernatural and Dexter featuring a man who likes lots of guns, sharp pointy things, explosions and wizard spells. Wizards spells, you know, that would give him an edge against the devil, demons, urban wizards, witches and other malcontents. He works for Death as a trouble-shooter. For those times when a normal death won’t do. Lots of series potential.

Let me know what you think!

Best Regards,
Anthony Pacheco

Response:

Dear Anthony,

Oh fuck yes.

Best Regards,

Tony
Deep Mountain Studios

Deep Mountain Studios

Armageddon’s Princess Audio Book in Final Production

February 09, 2014 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft  0 Comments

The audio book, Armageddon’s Princess, is in final production. Deep Mountain Studios will exclusively publish it via the ACX platform, which is Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.

I finished listening to the entire book today. It is exquisitely intense and May Ling Su’s reading is wonderful and an emotional journey.

This is all rather surreal. If you would have asked me two years ago if I would have an audio book for my novel I was wrapping up, I would have laughed. But with some time, some effort and a lot of hard work on May Ling’s part, here it is.

The ACX platform is easy to use and a focused on quality. I determined that there is an underrepresented market for science fiction on Audible. I believe the expense and effort is well worth it and I’m now a big fan of the audio book platform.

Stay tuned for release details. I don’t have an exact date, but the changes we need to make are small.

Hold on to yer butts’, folks. I’m just getting started!

Armageddon's Princess ACX Cover

 

A Memory of Scent

December 24, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Anthonyisms  0 Comments

The house smells so wonderful.

My penchant for Scrooge-like feelings during the holiday season has slowly been replaced by warm memories of my children’s joy for the season. For children, yes, Christmas can be a lot about presents. If you are a good parent, if you can overcome the bombastic rampant commercialism, there is an underlying simplicity about the season that can pull at the heart like no other time.

Yes there are the presents. But then there is the smell of the tree. The gingerbread house. The decorating. The Christmas cookies. The story of Christmas. Family. Daddy’s Christmas Day roast. Santa. The music. Friends. The warm fireplace and the happy dog.

Long after those presents are gone, the memories of our close family during this time will linger on. One day my sons will be walking in one of the great national forests around here, and after the morning rain, smell the fresh scent of grand firs. And it will smell like Christmas.

And that will be magical, always magical, even in the dead of summer, it will be Christmas magic.

Forest Memory

Anthony Pacheco’s Eggnog Recipe

December 21, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, Not Exactly Random  1 Comment

This is an eggnog recipe perfected by me. It is a cooked eggnog recipe.

Now, many consider cooked eggnog blaspheme. And I would tend to agree. However, I would assert that people just get sick on the holidays. This way, they can’t blame your uncooked egg yolks!

Hardy-har-har. Actually, adding heat into the process departs a nutty flavor that is delicious. The egg whites remain uncooked, so exert caution and only use Grade AA, whole eggs.

Anthony Pacheco’s Libertarian Eggnog

Makes 10 to 14 servings.

8 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 pints whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, with some nutmeg added later
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated cinnamon, with some cinnamon added later
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
8 egg whites
18 ounces of Kraken Dark Rum

Carefully separate the egg yolks and egg whites.

In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk until slightly lightened. This is a non-frothy eggnog recipe, so cowboy up and use a wire whisk. Do not over mix. Once the yolks have turned a slightly lighter color, gradually add the 2/3 cups sugar. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Now add the milk, the heavy cream, the nutmeg, the cinnamon, the ground cloves and the vanilla and almond extract.  Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Pour the yolk/milk/cream/goodness in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and bring to a mild boil. Do not overcook and burn the milk. The flavor of the eggnog will also change if you bring to a hard boil and not in a good way. Pour into a large measuring (mixing) bowl and refrigerate until cold. Set the egg whites aside in the refrigerator.

Once the eggnog yolk half is cold, it is time to mix in those egg whites.

In a clean mixing bowl, add the egg whites and brown sugar. Simply beat with a whisk until mixed. The goal here is to mix the whites and the sugar. Forget about peaks, froth, what-have-you. Just mix it, Baby!

Now whisk in the egg whites/brown sugar mixture to the rest of the eggnog. Serve chilled.

Serving Instructions

This recipe adds the rum after the fact, and also adds extra flare for both presentation and taste. For the kids, skip the rum.

In a glass, add the eggnog and 1 ounce to 1 1/2 ounces of Kraken rum. Stir until mixed. For a strong  drink use the 1 1/2 ounce option. Adding more will change the flavor of the eggnog and mute the complex flavored goodness you just created.

On top of the eggnog, grate fresh nutmeg and less of the cinnamon. You don’t want to overcoat it, but you do want to add a punchy nutmeg flavor to the top. If you do not want to add nutmeg to the top of the eggnog. then change the recipe to 2 teaspoons of freshly ground nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

But I do not recommend that. Because this recipe will rock the socks off. Serve to family members and 17 to 22-year-old nubile Christmas Girls standing under the mistletoe.

Merry Christmas!

Eggnog Martini

The Happiest Couple in the Bar

November 23, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random  0 Comments

I am a people watcher. Everyone is to some extent; people are fascinating don’t ya know. Most writers start watching and listening to people almost in a Mr. Stalker McStalker way. I am no exception. I started to hang out in bars during lunch and happy hour just to absorb it all.

When my writing started in earnest in 2006, I also embarked on some heavy-duty gender studies after an epiphany about men and women while doing guerrilla just-in-tie research on Hurricane Katrina.

These two events (people watching and hurricane epiphany) intersected. I became attuned to a certain vibe women were giving off (hey I told you–Stalker McStalker). These women were single and in play but how they went about dealing with the opposite sex was not what I was expecting.

Some men, to these women, were literally invisible. There  were not unattractive men, either. Some men caught their eye and they responded with obvious “approach me!” signals. When approached by someone deemed attractive they smiled and went into Girl Mode at the flick of a switch. But even when approached by someone they did not send cues to, they responded positively if the man  was simply being friendly in a warm way. So on and so forth. I could go on and on but the gist is these women were intense. How they responded and whom they responded to was a complex formula their brains processed in real-time about as easy as breathing.

It was at this time I recalled something very interesting a friend of mine said to me when we were discussing some movie I have since forgotten. Betty (named changed to protect the guilty) told me “You can’t lie to a woman in her zone; she might let you get away with it, but she’ll know you lied and will use that against you at an opportunistic time of her choosing.”

So I went back to Betty. Betty, why do single girls treat talking to men with the intensity as if their life depended on it but at the same time with the ease of super computer chomping on data?

Betty laughed. “That’s the woman’s burden,” she said.

Wut?

“The woman’s burden. The single girl’s life does depend on it. ‘It’ being attracting and falling in love with the right man. Because if she’s wrong, not to long ago, she was dead. Even with the extended families of old, the wrong mate meant the best parts of her life were over. Not only was she in a precarious position without the proper man at her side, she was saddled with a child from this defective father.”

Ah, I said. I get it.

“So she’s got girl powers. She is simultaneously aware of everything and nothing because knowing everything is a burden and things like avoiding dying are instinctive. The woman’s burden.”

Now about this time I was thinking Betty was amazingly wise but also full of shit. That’s not a burden, I told her. That’s amazing! Amazingly beautiful.

“Whatever (eye roll).”

Betty was a pessimist. I put distance between Betty and I, despite her providing an enormous shortcut to my understanding of the human condition, as I had become wise in my own way and was dissociating with negative people. People whose goal in life was to passive-aggressively drag everyone down with her terrible brand of narcissism, for it is a narcissistic trait to reduce people to your level to ease your own troubles.

And we come to the heart of this post, which is not about what women do, but a certain type of woman. Over the years I have met Bettys aplenty. It takes a soul-crushing discord to turn something amazing as a girl in her zone and call, and worse, believe, it a burden. What, I wondered, and whom, was the counter to Betty?

Enter the libertarian girl. Think about the enormous will power, discipline and principles needed for a woman to become a libertarian, a philosophy and way of life that runs counter to the herd mentality in so many ways as to almost defy belief.

I’ve watched these libertarian women (again, Stalker McStalker) and have come to realize intrinsic girl powers coupled with the libertarian non-coercion principal is an amazing feminine trait. The women fill the room with the presence and smile at a whim. I’ve witnessed them charming everyone they meet while at the same time repelling negative people as if they had a can of Fuck-Ups Be Gone in their hand. She is simultaneously aware of the beauty in people when you don’t force them to do what you want either directly or by proxy and yet not aware of it at the same time. Her life game dominates her girl game.

Paired with a man funneling his masculinity into the libertarian goodness of live-and-let-live and his own disburden of the removal of zero-sum games in his thoughts, the libertarian woman and the libertarian man are the happiest couple in the bar. For they have each liberated themselves beyond their gender while at the same time basking in it.  Everyone in that bar, to this couple, is good until proven otherwise, and coupled in liberty in deeds and thoughts even at the wet-ware level, they are truly the happiest couple in the bar because, really, how could they not be?

The Happiest Couple in the Bar

Reaching for the Stars

November 17, 2013 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: The Craft  0 Comments

In my day job, I get paid to do what I am supposed to do when I said I would do it.

I’m super good at that.

Obligatory Whining

I try very hard to be that good with my writing career, but this is an intellectual endeavor in which I am both providing the content and building the machine to produce it, and woo wee (woo wee being a technical term), it’s a bit difficult.

While we are here, that lone sentence above is really all I can drag out of myself in boo hoo land. I cringe when indie authors go on post binges on various woes, and to be blunt, cowboy up princesses and get’er done. In the interest of status for those who ask, I only went there to provide context to the below revelations.

Where We Be

All my original estimates are off because I took The Wælcyrie Murders and embarked on a slow process to improve my prose. And it worked. Where we last left off, I delivered a revised manuscript based on the (soul devoting) editorial letter my editor handed me. Based on that letter, I returned a substantial revision and Sofia is now doing the line edits. After I receive those, I’ll go through all the edits and produce the last revision that goes to the copy editor. The (new!) copy editor then checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation issues. When I accept the copy editor’s changes, then post production starts were we put together the book in quick order.

Where We Be, The Meta Discussion

It is my keen desire to put in a well-oiled machine where the above 270 word status never has to grace this blog again. That takes effort and time. I am building Team Anthony. Team Anthony is rocking right now. We’re pulling out all the stops; the quality bar for The Wælcyrie Murders is super high.

And that is good. I promise the results will please you and the positive impact will easily carry to book 3, Death by Lingerie.

Deep Mountain Studios is approaching 100% fully operational status.

Unforeseen Goodness and Resultant Publishing Date

My marketing plan was never designed to kick in until The Wælcyrie Murders was out. It’s not that I shrugged and moved on, it makes sense for me to put most of my effort when my published list has more than one book.

What I did not foresee were opportunities made available by Armageddon’s Princess publication in 2013. I can’t go into details right now, but the result is if I had the finished and produced manuscript in my hands right now, I still would not push the various  publish buttons until after January 1st. Deep Mountain Studios will publish The Wælcyrie Murders in early January 2014 or close to it. Hold on folks, I’m reaching for the stars here, and I appreciate everyone asking what the publishing schedule looks like.

Yours Always,
Anthony

Reach for the Stars