Introducing…The Interrobang‽
(A little late in the day for this, but I was busy looking over old writing from four years ago and shaking my head at how much it has changed since I write more professionally now…)
And there were are… The trailing off of the sentence or statement… but the punctuation that Dan Brown in particular cannot seem to live without is the interrobang ‽
Did you see that? Or, should I yell/ask, did you see that‽
The interrobang was invented in 1962 according to Wikipedia, and never really caught on much. I had only heard about it a few years ago from one of my co-workers who eventually moved away and is now a sometimes poster on Facebook. To make the interrobang in HTML, like you can right here at WordPress, you need to press a combination of the ampersand, the pound sign (hashtag) the numbers 8253, and the semi-colon. Or, do what I did and copy it from the Wikipedia site and paste it right into the editor‽
For what it’s worth, I never use the combination of the exclamation point and the question mark at the end of a sentence. I consider it bad form, but it is acceptable punctuation, oddly enough.
This post is a bit of a joke, but I hope I informed and entertained all the same. Got a lot going on next week, starting with Camp NaNoWriMo resuming on July 1, so I’m getting my blogging in for the week. How will I get it all done‽

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 1 comment

Thinking of my Writing Journey, Steampunk, and my Blog, So Far

First off, I have a link here to my very first guest blog post:
K.J. Bryen will be publishing her new book, Lokte in the fall of 2014.
My guest post talks mostly about my writing journey so far and offers some tips that I’ve found are critical to surviving the first months of the self-publishing journey.
However, there is so much more, more than what can be covered in a single post. The entire exercise was quite thought provoking for me. One thought surfaced above all others: I may just have to start another blog!
If I start another blog, it will be dedicated to The Inventor’s Son. Once I start some heavier promoting and get Book 2 out, I’m sure that some readers might want to delve a bit deeper.
I’ve also joined the Google+ community Steampunk Tendencies. Their actual website is
When I see how many people are members of this group, and how elaborate their costumes and artwork is, I’m at once encouraged and daunted. Encouraged because Steampunk really does seem to be taking off and becoming more mainstream. Daunted because, compared to many of these people, my Steampunk resume is pretty thin as of yet. It’s such a fun genre, I’m sorry I didn’t get into this sooner.

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What Keeps Me From Sleeping at Night

There’s a variety of things I do that keep me from going to sleep when I really ought to. Just last night, it was already 12:35 and there was someone I had corresponded with on Twitter (because there’s ALWAYS someone to converse with on Twitter, no matter what time it is) that had sent a reply to a reply I sent her, etc. Before that, I did two very productive word sprints, which has an effect a lot like exercising right before bed.
Other nights, I watch tv, and I am not the type that falls asleep while watching television. And sometimes the show makes me so wound up, like the Game of Thrones finale last week, I can’t fall asleep after that.
Once in a great while, I’ll be out late, but I don’t have a huge social whirl, and all of us need to get up early the next day anyway.
It’s also hurricane season, and once I hear about tropical storms forming off the coast of Africa, I tend to watch for Accuweather updates and the like.
Often, I just have to do things at that hour that I couldn’t do all day.
But I don’t like it. I feel like I could do better if I wasn’t sleep deprived.
(This was posted in response to today’s Post a Day )

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 7 comments

Calling all Cars for the Amazon Police!

The Inventor's Son: The Beginning

The REAL new cover for the “Prologue” book!

I have renamed my “Prologue” novella-length book to The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning.
And I uploaded it and published it to Nook Store. When it goes live, I will have the links to both the Amazon page and the Nook Store page.
I uploaded the new cover, but Amazon has not updated it yet as of now. Now, I have the old cover with the new title… It’s sometimes a good thing that I don’t have all that much exposure on Amazon, because sometimes they are not too quick with their updates. BTW, I saw a review yesterday (not for my book) that gave one star because, while the reviewer hadn’t actually read the book, the author made one of the words in the title with an ‘s instead of just plain s. Not on the cover, thankfully for him. But, really? I wonder if I’ll get a one-star review for my book by the Amazon police because I’ve got the cover transitioning from “Prologue” to “The Beginning.” Maybe I will, and when the new cover loads, that reviewer will look like a moron. 😉
Also, you might notice the extra details on the cover. In a few days I will be reworking the Book One cover and uploading that. I realize these updates about my book uploads and grand plans might be a little excessive, but I know that soon, Camp NaNoWriMo will be up and running (like in a week and a half!) and I want to have all this stuff straightened out by then. I also won’t be able to devote much time to blogging here, and I know you, dear reader, will miss me… Mwah!

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The Inventor’s Son Prologue has been Released!

The Inventor’s Son Prologue has been released in the Kindle Store

This prologue to The Inventor’s Son series begins with a seemingly innocuous meeting during which a promising new technology for amputees and soldiers is demonstrated. However, it is soon discovered that the mastermind who created those miraculous prosthetic limbs has only one true intention. He wants to discredit and then destroy the family of his former student, Marcus Stanwood.
A brilliant but flawed inventor and scientist himself, Marcus knows firsthand how ruthless and pitiless his former professor and mentor can be. He sets a desperate plan in motion, and the fate of his son Ethan will hinge on his success or failure.
The Inventor’s Son Prologue is an introduction to a Victorian London that could have been, and a young boy whose life is destined to change dramatically overnight.

Posted by SB James in The SB James Author and Artist Blog, 0 comments

Living in Dystopia

(Set that title to the tune of “Living in America” as performed by the late, great James Brown.)

Yes, I put the video there, not that it has all that much to do with this post, but it is funny!
Imagine a post-war America where the president must resign before getting impeached. An America where thousands of soldiers, suffering from PTSD, are coming home to a country divided. There are nuclear power plants that leak. It is a country where there are long lines for fuel, and the internet is only for a very select few. Computers need to be built by hand in garages, and the individual is discouraged from trying to own one themselves, being told that it is “unnecessary” and a “toy” and “too expensive.”
Television, if you can get it, is restricted to a handful of channels, and they are never in the schools. Telephones are only attached to walls or to a cord beside one’s bed.
All bread is soft, squishy and white, and no one has any idea what gluten is. The portions of food are a quarter of the size you are accustomed to, and clothing sizes are much smaller as well. To reheat food, one needs to turn on the oven and hope they don’t burn the plate.
Children go outside for recess and take their lives into their hands climbing on monkey bars and the slides are all metal and gray. Their only means of communication with each other is speaking face to face or the occasional, very risky, handwritten note.
Welcome to the Dystopia of the 1970’s. (I’m sure there’s a lot that I missed, let me know in the comments if you want to!)
Hell, even the people in the Hunger Games books had remote controls for their televisions, didn’t they?

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The Joys and Perils of Owning a Paperback Book

UPDATE: As of this morning, I have sold two copies of my book, and had one person borrow it with their Amazon Prime account. Yay! Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. And as you can see, my makeover of this blog is ongoing.

Recently I was looking through my bookcase. It’s a real, raw wood one that I’m not sure you can get anywhere anymore. Over the years, there have been books that have been “keepers” as well as ones that had a temporary place on the shelf until I would trade them in or donate them to Goodwill. One of the ones that I kept, for some reason, was this one:

pearl in the mist book cover

Pearl in the Mist, Book 2 of The Landry Series, by V.C. Andrews

The foil on the cover is a bonus. I don’t think you can get anything like this anymore, even if Pearl in the Mist is actually still in print. One thing you really can’t get with an ebook is this:
inside of pearl in the mist cover

The peek-a-boo cover, exclusively available with paperback books.

Yes, I suppose one could upload two covers… Although I’ve never seen this as an option. Oh, I know, you’d probably insert the picture right into the text of the book. I’m not sure. I’d have to try it for myself. Anyway, I used to LOVE this when I was reading V.C. Andrews’ books, and would go out of my way to find ones that had this kind of cover, usually the first edition in paperback.
But there’s a price to pay for the glitz… I opened the book and was shocked by what I saw:
inside back cover

Look, they even gave you a cool bookmark that you could detach from the back cover for free!

When I did this:
inside back cover opened completely

Terrible acid burning!

I am not certain whether it was only that I kept it in a raw wooden bookcase. For most of its life the book was in a climate controlled (air conditioned and heated) environment, was not put out in the sun… But this is what happens to many of the mass-market paperback books. This copy was $6.50 full retail price back in the day (copyright 1994) so even by 20 years ago standards, that’s pretty expensive! Was this book published with cheaper paper made with a lot of wood pulp? For $6.50 you’d think you’d get at least paper that had the acid buffered out of it.
Now, of course, if I wanted a permanent copy of this book, I’d get the ebook version, fancy covers be damned. The ebook, so long as I own something on which to read it, will be there forever. All my paperbacks will eventually suffer the same fate as Pearl in the Mist.
Just something I thought about.

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My Book, The Inventor’s Son, Has Gone Live!

If you like a book that’s got a Steampunk feel to it, has plenty of tension and some action, geared toward people who like YA, then check it out:

Posted by SB James in The SB James Author and Artist Blog, 0 comments

Here is the Cover for My New Book!

The Inventor's Son Cover

The Inventor’s Son Cover

I was hoping to get a feeling of this being like an old fashioned book cover rather than the ones we see all the time with photoshopped images on them.
I’ve uploaded the book to Amazon. As of right this second it’s still “in review” but I previewed it (to death) last night and everything looked good there.
I hope that from the cover it’s fairly evident that it’s a Steampunk book… I’m experimenting as much as I am writing. I remember years ago when I was in art class, I was working on a project that everyone else was doing. I had started making my sketches different than the other students, and suddenly, I got nervous, so I changed it to make my sketches look like everyone else. When it came time for the teacher to look at what we were doing, he looked at mine and said, “Well, you were going to do something different, but I’m disappointed that you ended up doing what everyone else did.” I took those words to heart.
Sorry if my thoughts seem a little disjointed; I’ve been up all night after hitting that “Save and Publish” button. Gonna make myself some coffee and then start doing my make over of this page as well as my Twitter, Facebook (yeah, just made the page yesterday, sigh) and all that…
If you’ve got any opinions, please let me know what you think!

Posted by SB James in The SB James Author and Artist Blog, 3 comments