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Happy New Year

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I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

 

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

The New Covers for The Inventor’s Son… Revealed!

I may have mentioned that I’ve been working on new covers for my books. I think today would be a great time to do the new covers reveal. They’ll be in the stores probably next week.

 

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The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning is my prequel book. I felt it needed to appear different than Book 1.

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And now, compare the cover I’d had for The Inventor’s Son since last year to the new one…

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I’ve always wanted to make it clearer that these books were not only about Steampunk science fiction but also emphasize the paranormal aspects of the story.

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And now, the transformation of Book 2…

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This was the cover I had so much trouble with last year. One of the original concept designs had a vial, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work and look well with the covers the way I was doing them.

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Needless to say, this is a big departure from the original covers! I’m really happy with them. What say you? Should I have kept that “old textbook” feel of the other covers, or do you think that the more contemporary treatment makes them more attractive?

 

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

A Quick Note About My New Tumblr!

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A quick note about a move I made earlier today: I started a new blog on Tumblr! I decided to use Tumblr to do my Steampunk themed blog, however, I may decide to reblog either here and/or at the Goodreads blog if I decide the post is worth doing that full-blown treatment.
This does not mean that I won’t have my own website, it just means that I believe, in my ongoing efforts to seek out an organic audience for my books, Tumblr and Wattpad have the potential for finding those people.
I will still be blogging here about the same topics I’ve really been blogging about in this past year. Many of my readers here are fellow authors, and I think the focus of this blog is really going to be more about the writing life and process than the Tumblr blog is.

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 3 comments

Holiday Traditions of Mine, Past and Present

I had a dream last night about the Christmas Eve open house party I used to go to every year when I lived “up North.” I dreamed that I got there late and all that was left over was already on ice except for some great Italian bread that was freshly baked and still warm. What does this dream mean? I have no idea. But I thought about things I’ve done during this holiday season as compared to holiday seasons in the past. What do I do now that I used to do then? What have I dropped, and what have I picked up?

I decided to make a list of things that, for me, make this season special. Some of them are things I still do, some are things I just started this year, and others are in the past and I might never get to do them again…

  1. Driving around neighborhoods to see everyone’s decorations.  When I was a kid, there was someone two blocks away that always had Santa and the sleigh and the reindeer on the roof, lit up so everyone could see them at night. It was extra effective if it had snowed, and the light could reflect off the white on the roof. This, among other showcases, was a tradition. When I got older, we’d drive along Route 35 along the Jersey Shore, past those huge houses in Mantoloking, and a lot of them (if they hadn’t closed up for winter yet) would put on quite a display. Then, once I moved down to Florida, and started living in apartment complexes, I thought I wouldn’t get to see much in the way of holiday decorations. Boy was I wrong! It’s amazing what people can put out on a lanai to make it look like a store window!
  2. Christmas music. While I worked in that used book store, there was one of the ladies there that would bring her CD player and a lot of her holiday music albums and play them while we worked. For this reason, and no other, I’ll be nostalgic about Amy Grant’s “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” She had it all: Mariah Carey, Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Manheim Steamroller, The Radio City Music Hall album, and eventually, Kenny G and Celine Dion’s albums as well. When I moved down to Florida, I was introduced to Frank Sinatra’s album as well as Jimmy Buffet’s.  Now, thanks to modern technology and Spotify, I can play any Christmas song I want and avoid “Christmas Shoes.”
  3. Philosophy’s Have a Cherry Christmas Bubble Bath. This little set was an Ulta doorbuster for Black Friday. It has a small gel and a lip gloss. And it will take the place of Bath and Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple in the future, unless I can’t get it for some reason.
  4. The Griswold Family Christmas. It’s not Christmas without this movie. Bingo! This is the movie that inspired so many people to get vanity plates for their trailers that read UNCL ED.
  5. Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.   Ah yes, Starbucks… One of my newer traditions, especially this year since I was getting spammed with extra bonus stars every time I got one.
  6. Going to eat Chinese Food on Christmas Day. I started this about two years ago, when I was feeling a bit under the weather and the rest of my coworkers were getting full blown flu. I went there for the big pot of tea and the won ton soup. Now I take my mom there and we plan to go again this year.
  7. Edel-Marzipanstollen from Trader Joes. This blog post covers just about all the Xmas goodness from Trader Joes, including the stollen. The blogger, as I do, appreciates Trader Joes unabashed use of dark chocolate (not on the stollen, just on everything else)!
  8. See the Christmas tree in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This was and still is a big deal for a lot of people visiting NYC this time of year. I haven’t been able to visit it in a long time, but I do hope to be able to get back to the city for the holidays someday.
  9. Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas Coffee. I have a k-cup waiting for the right moment, but it’s just not the same as it used to be when I was shopping in the mall and stopped for a cup at the Barnie’s Coffee place.
  10. McDonald’s Eggnog Shake. It’s not the same as it used to be either, especially since now they have right on the sign that the shake is 680 calories. Jeez, isn’t that what we make New Year’s resolutions for?
  11. Latkes and Hanukkah Gelt. Yes, Trader Joes has latkes as well. But nothing beats home made potato pancakes with applesauce or sour cream. We can even get fancy with this recipe from Food & Wine. And Trader Joes has the Hanukkah Gelt chocolate with world coins, but I remember these, because these have the menorah on the coins. Though they are milk chocolate, nothing quite tastes the same as these foil wrapped chocolate coins do. You can get these at Amazon, the bane of my existence  Earth’s Biggest Selection.

I’m sure there are more things I do and have done that I didn’t post about yet, but maybe I can make a part 2 to this post. What kind of traditions do you have that you miss, or have you started to take place of others?

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 0 comments

Speculative Fiction Blog Hop

The Inventor's Son

The Call of Agon, Book one of The Children of Telm Series

The Call of Agon, Book one of The Children of Telm Series


I have agreed to take part in what we’re calling the Speculative Fiction Blog Hop. The post prior to this one was on Dean F. Wilson’s Blog. Dean is a fellow Steampunk author, as well as the author of The Children of Telm, an epic fantasy series. Continue reading →

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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:
http://plungingintothenovel.blogspot.com/
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 http://www.steampunktendencies.com/
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.

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 4 comments

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 http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/sleepy-time/ )

Posted by SB James in Older Blog Posts, 7 comments