Mesh – Ready for Launch – New Portal Page

Mesh - Ready for Launch - New Portal PageToday in the ‘big happy news department,’ I’m excited to tell you that Mesh appears to be ready for launch/book agent queries! To help facilitate that process, I’ve created a new portal page for the book to tell newcomers what Mesh is about and help drive it forward to representation.

So if you’re interested in learning more about Mesh – the scifi novel I’ve been working on since 2016 – please visit the new portal page for information about the book, a quick synopsis, and how to get in touch with me. This is another step forward in the journey toward Author Success, and I hope it connects me with the tribe I am looking for.

Visit the Mesh Portal Page

Chilling at the Station: Scifi Concept Art

Happy to say that I have completed a new piece of concept art for Mesh. Hope you enjoy this new scifi digital painting that I call ‘Chilling at the Station.’

Part of the story takes place in virtual reality, and the main school VR construct is a Victorian station that branches off into many cyberpunk-y areas. I decided to visualize that for this piece of concept art and show you some of the steps I took in this Imgur album.
I use photo-realism by using stock photos as my guides to paint the scene with photoshop and a digital tablet. In this case here, I started with a kid who looks like my protagonist and a Victorian building – in this case it’s the British Museum of Natural History in London.
Gradually, I paint over the scene – I’m a writer, not an artist – until I have a competely-drawn digital painting of the overall structure. I can’t use the complete picture because that wouldn’t fit with the story. In this case here, the Station is a massive place – almost endless in some areas – and the room above is too small to capture that.
I hope you enjoyed walking through the process of me painting the pictures in my brain. Let me know if you have any questions!

Mesh – Submitted for Coverfly

While I’m waiting for feedback from other beta readers, I submitted Mesh for consideration in a Coverfly competition that offers feedback from other editors.

At best, Mesh gets discovered and this is the small step for an author, one giant leap for Mesh-kind. At worst, I’ll get some more feedback on how to take the story to the next level. Submitting Mesh to Coverfly forced me to write a better log-line for the book, too: Set in the near future, a group of supersmart kids come together to work on a secret project. The question is: are they saving the world or destroying it, and what will they do when they know the truth?

Imma keep working, but wanted you to know what the story about the story is, for now.

The Rocket – Now Available for Free

You’ll be happy to know that I’m now including The Rocket in my list of titles available for free over at Free Stuff. The Rocket, of course, is my Twilight Zone-esque tale of a man confronting his absent father, right before humanity’s extinction. Not a bad read, according to people other than myself. Here’s the description:

In the last few hours before life on earth ends, a young dad has a chance meeting with his estranged father. Will this be a moment of reconciliation, or recrimination? How can you communicate with someone who refuses to listen? Mike Crane takes one last shot to save his father’s life before he boards THE ROCKET.

Get The Rocket For Free Now

Sunday Night Nerding

Hard at work doing a few nerdy tech things for the website. Retooling the automation behind this blog post and I’ll post an updated how-to later on.

Additionally, updating the graphics around the site to reflect our scifi heritage. Hope you enjoy them.

Getting all this stuff done so I can go work on Mesh tomorrow. Nighty-night.

New Short Story Submitted – ‘They Did the Math’

New Short Story Submitted - 'They Did the Math'Pleased to say a new short story popped out of me. I submitted ‘They Did the Math’ to Terraform on Saturday, a short story about the discovery of time travel.

Although most people will think ‘Back to the Future,’ let me assure you that I went a different direction. Like the discovery of fire, or atomic weapons, a working time travel technology would have broad implications for humanity and I wanted to explore those ideas.

Now we wait to see if Terraform likes ‘They Did the Math’ enough to buy it. If they don’t, I’ll be submitting it elsewhere. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

“The only truth is music.”

I took the title of this post from a Jack Kerouac quote. He’s absolutely right, sometimes only a song can really explain how you really feel. I’ve spent my life searching for that truth, and writing Mesh is part of that journey.

With that in mind, I started thinking about music and how it’s an integral part of this novel. People should be able to hear what I listen to when I write, or use music to take them into the universe of Mesh. That took me onto the Internet to research how I could share music with other people and of course, Spotify.

So … I’m happy to announce the following new page which you can access below, or via the widget page (->). I’ll be adding and updating this page over time, as we discover new areas of Mesh and music that helps make it live and breathe.

Check Out the Music of Inkican

In the meantime, Mesh feedback is still floating in. Can’t wait to see what you think of it! 🙂

Mesh Update – New Draft is Finished

Posted this update on Instagram first, but I’m saying it here, too: Mesh is finished, the new draft is complete. After two years and 91K words, I’m happy to say that my YA scifi novel is finally done.

Eighteen months ago, I started out to tell a story with fun premise:

“My name is Roman Diaz. One day I was a nerdy kid. The next day I’m on the run. Everyone thinks I’m a terrorist. I just wanted an ‘A’ on my science project.”

Fourteen-year-old Roman is on the fast track to nowhere, as a wheelchair-bound nerd in a dead-end school. A prestigious technical academy offers him and his geeky best-friend Zeke a way out. How can they say no?

Miramar Technical High isn’t just another magnet school: it’s an incubator for the next Elon Musk and Albert Einstein. Their new principal, Doctor Gray, has created a strange community of geeks, gamers and geniuses. Roman and Zeke are addicted to the weird, techno-anarchy of a campus filled with tough, smart kids. Pranks, hacks, and androids are only the beginning.

The stakes for success are high: Roman and Zeke join the Snow Foxes, the top talent at Miramar, to build a tool that will not only win first prize at the Titan Conference, but will also change the world. Everything changes when they learn the truth about Project November, and their techno-god principal. Friends become enemies. Truths becomes lies. Rockstar students are criminals … that’s what it says on TV, anyway.

Roman is now the most hunted kid in America. What is he going to do? Miramar created a secret weapon that the bad guys didn’t count on: The Mesh. It’s a secret project, something nobody cared about. Is it really the only thing standing between the forces of good and evil? 

MESH is the first novel in a science fiction YA series that will appeal to readers of Ernie Cline’s READY PLAYER ONE and binge-watchers of STRANGER THINGS.

I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to do what I started out to accomplish. Now Mesh, with a few bumps and thumps, will be in the hands of my Beta Readers. After that, I plan to send it off for sale to some professionals in the print business.

With the success of Mesh will come my contribution back to the scifi genre I’ve been living, loving, and learning since I was a child. Science fiction is truly growing and changing, and I want to be a part of that growth and change.

Taking a couple of hours to rest, and celebrate. One part of the job is over, now the next part (editing and polishing) is about to begin.

Blast Off On The Rocket – New Scifi Short Story

Blast Off On The Rocket - New Scifi Short Story

Got something new for you to read! ‘The Rocket’ has been published to Amazon and all your other favorite e-reading websites. Click below for a link to each store and then Blast Off!

What’s The Rocket about? Read below for a quick description:

In the last few hours before life on earth ends, a young dad has a chance meeting with his estranged father. Will this be a moment of reconciliation, or recrimination? How can you communicate with someone who refuses to listen? Mike Crane takes one last shot to save his father’s life before he boards THE ROCKET.

My inspiration for writing comes from scifi giants like Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury. When I tell a story, I want to take some ideas out of the box, and play with them for a while. Don’t make it difficult, just enjoy the tingles of emotion and curiosity they bring up.

The genesis of the story comes from, you guessed it, the Internet. As people become increasingly fractured and polarized, how do we reconcile with each other. Along with that idea came another – what if a comet was heading toward Earth? Would we accept the danger and save ourselves or would people call it ‘Fake news?’ Bingo – new story idea!

I wrote The Rocket and sent it out to the usual suspects. Now it’s out on Amazon and everywhere else! Along with writing the story, I decided to continue practicing digital painting and I made the cover as well. I took a couple of days to play around with different visual concepts. Eventually, I realized that I couldn’t improve on an Unsplash photo, and used it as a template for the cover. My digital painting version is now a wall-paper for you to enjoy:

Blast Off On The Rocket - New Scifi Short Story

Creativity is a discipline, and The Rocket is something I’m proud of. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I look forward to your feedback. Thanks for checking it out! 🙂

Board The Rocket Now

Apple Barnes & Noble Kobo Blast Off On The Rocket - New Scifi Short Story Blast Off On The Rocket - New Scifi Short Story Blast Off On The Rocket - New Scifi Short Story

Free List of Scifi Magazines That Pay For Your Work

Scifi Magazines Accepting New Fiction Updated - Free Author ToolQuick announcement – If you’re like me and you’re looking for every Free Author Tool on the planet, you’ll want to pay attention to this. I keep a log of scifi magazines that actually pay for your work. My list has been updated again – it’s at the bottom of the Free Author Tools page.

There’s no secret sauce to the Free Author Tools. I hear about things from time to time, and I want to pass those along to other people just like authors pass things along to me. The only way we’re going to succeed is if we help each other.

Lots of love!

~J