Archive for the ‘News – updates on books, events, appearances, etc.’ Category

Fab Readers, Time to Make Your Voices Heard

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 22nd, 2014

Whitney-logoEvery April, the Whitney Awards holds a gala to announce the year’s best LDS novels. But how do they find and select the novels to consider?

They start with you, dear reader.

The Whitney committee  asks the public to let them know about novels by LDS authors they like. A panel of judges reads those novels that receive 5 or more reader nominations and select what they feel are the top 5 in each genre as finalists. Then the Whitney Academy, a group of “industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others,” vote on those finalists. The winners receive a Whitney Award. It’s like the motion picture Academy Award, but for LDS authors.

Back in 2009, readers nominated my debut, Servant of a Dark God. The judges made it a finalist. And it won its category!

(And there was much rejoicing.)

This year, I released Curse and Servant, books 2 and 3 in that series. Both are eligible. If you liked Curse, nominate Talen, Sugar, Harnock, and the gang  to be considered for the Whitney. If you liked Servant, give the characters another chance and make a second nomination.

Don’t delay. The more nominations the better. You only have until December 31st! 

Here’s to hoping the Dark God makes another appearance.



Awful Intent: Draft 3 of Outline Done!

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 20th, 2014

Mysteries, reversals, zing, stunts I’ve never seen in any thrillers, a bit of romance, and lots and lots of action. All set in the amazing landscape of Southern Utah’s Grand Staircase.

The backstory summary is 6 pages. The outline of events is 10, single spaced.

I’m feeling it, folks. This sketch of the story has got the goods.

One more pass to tighten up plants and make sure I’m hitting the progression points for the A and B stories, and it’s time to write. Just in time for the big Christmas break.

Speaking of that, merry Christmas to all my blog readers!


Awful Intent Update: First Draft of Working Outline

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on December 15th, 2014

On Saturday, with the arrival of a little gang of delicious insights, I finished the first working outline of Awful Intent. I can’t wait to dig into the writing. There will be one more draft of the working outline, and then I begin to write. I expect to be into the prologue by Wednesday.


Awful Intent update: the villain’s goal and motive

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on November 24th, 2014

Some may be wondering why my progress bar on Awful Intent isn’t moving.

It’s not moving because I don’t yet have a goal and motive for my villain that I both care about and believe in.

Thrillers are driven by the villain’s goal. Here’s how they work. Bad Guy wants something and goes after it. That something always poses some threat or nastiness to someone else. When thinking about THOM types (see my Story Turns presentation), the core story drivers for thrillers fall squarely in the threat category, often with a lot of mystery thrown in, but the threat is driving the plot. Sometime after that, Good Guy comes along and can’t just walk away, either for moral (a kid has been abducted), professional (it’s my job), or physical (I’m on a boat and can’t get away) reasons. But the Good Guy has no reason for acting or setting goals without the Bad Guy’s plan.

So no villain wanting to do some dastardly deed, no story.

I know the immediate thing the villain wants to do. But why? To what end?

Sure, I could supply the most common reason, but that, in this case, isn’t zinging me. I need a twist.

I’m being vague about all of this because I don’t want to give any of it away. The bottom line is that I’m working on it, practicing a bit of zing hunting and creative Q&A.

For me, knowing basically where I’m going and caring and believing in it, is the key. I don’t need to know everything. Just a sketch of the general motives, goals, and plots, characters, setting, and then the awesome zings that pique my interest. When I have that, the machine hums with electricity, and I can write, write, write. But I don’t always have it all. I’ve found it comes in waves. Or, if you think about it as a journey up some mountain path, it comes in legs (as in leg of the journey).  So I develop, get the insight which shows me the way ahead, write to the end of my invention, struggle, get another insight, then write to the end of that bit of invention, etc. Sometimes the struggles are small, sometimes larger. Sometimes the ground covered between rough patches is long, sometimes shorter.

BTW, went to Southern, Utah to do a bit more research on the area. The action is going to take place in the area of Alton, Glendale, Orderville, and Kanab, Utah and points eastward of that line into the Staircase wilderness. Here’s an idea of what that area looks like. These are the cliffs just south of Orderville.

If you click on the Google link above, you can see more photos of the area.


New Release Sale for Raveler!

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on September 8th, 2014

RavelerCoverEbookThe War with Mokad Begins!

Folks, I’m so happy to announce this. First, I love the cover. As you can see, no big-bosomed, bikini-clad, fluff bunnies need apply here. Click on the image to take a gander at what’s reflected in the sword and then the symbol she’s etched into the collar of her armor.

Next, I get to share Harnock, who was a blast to write. And the woodikin they call Chot. There are revelations, wasp lords, battles, a poignant scene with Argoth I’ve been waiting since Servant to write, plus plenty more.

To celebrate, we’re putting the book on a huge discount Tuesday and Wednesday.

Big trade paperback + free ebook: $9.99!

(normally $18.98 if purchased separately)

Big paperback edition

I double-checked the price. When I posted this, it was $9.99 on Amazon. Get it before Amazon dinks with the price.

Ebook: $.99 cents!

(normally $3.99)

Kindle (USA)
Kindle (outside the USA)

Happy reading!


PS To get the free e-book with your paperback, purchase your paperback, then go to the top menu bar and select Shop By Department > Kindle E-Readers & Books > Kindle Books. Click Kindle MatchBook in the left sidebar, and then the Find your Kindle MatchBook titles button. It should list Raveler along with all of the other MatchBooks available to you.


Salt Lake City Comic Con!

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on September 2nd, 2014


This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I will be at Comic Con at the Salt Palace Convention Center. I can’t wait. There’s going to be a huge crowd (100,000+) with lots of great panels, events, celebrities, and artists, including Bruce Campbell, Danny Glover, Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), and Patrick Warburton (the guy who played Kronk!)

It’s going to be a blast.

Here’s my panel schedule.

Time Thursday, Sept 4 Friday, Sept 5 Saturday, Sept 6
A.M. 11:00 a.m. How to Write Great Science Fiction & Fantasy
P.M. 3:00 p.m. Katniss Revealed: A Closer Look at The Hunger Games on Film and in Print 1:00 p.m. Build a Story 1:00 p.m. How to Win Writers and Illustrators of the Future Competition
Evening 7:00 p.m. Writing Suspense

The rest of the time I’ll probably be at my booth in the Artist’s Alley, chatting with folks and selling and signing books.

I’ve invited two other awesome authors to join me in the booth. Eric James Stone is a Nebula award-winning science fiction writer. Cheree Alsop is a paranormal and urban fantasy indie.


Please feel free to come by and say hello.