A sadistic serial killer. A young girl. A quick read. The flash fiction story boundless is now free.


The horror novelette Repetition is now available.

Introducing Derrick and Max

This is from the first illustration I did for the first Derrick and Max book. Derrick the Dog was released June, 2013.

My first ArtRage drawing

This was the first original drawing I completed with my Wacom Bamboo tablet and ArtRage, done almost entirely in pencil. Just a little practice drawing, not related to any of the stories I'm working on.

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Precious

Recently, I received a welcome promotion at the ol’ day job.  Shortly thereafter, the following dramatized, condensed conversation between me and my wonderful, beautiful, understanding wife took place:

Miranda looked at me with big eyes and said, “Congratulations, Brian!  You’re awesome!”

WELCOME TO Microsoft®
WELCOME TO Microsoft® (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Twirling my equally awesome, albeit imaginary, mustache, I replied, “Yes, I know.”

“It’s not every day you get a promotion.  We should get you something special.”

My ears perked up.  I made an inquisitive sound akin to Scooby Doo.

“What would you like?”

Ah ha!  This was my opportunity to take one for the team.  I could ask for something that would benefit the entire family, but what?  A nice vacation to somewhere the kids wanted to go?  A night on the town with my lovely better half?  Perhaps something for the house? 

Having actually thought of none of that, I cautiously replied, “A Surface Pro 2?”

“Are you sure?”

Here was my chance at redemption.  “Yes?”

Dammit.  I forged on, “Then, I could be more productive while still spending quality time with the family, like being able to draw while we relax in front of the TV or taking it with us when we go camping.”  Yes, I could work more and pay attention to my family less, even on vacation!

“OK.  Which model?”

Which model?  My wife knows there are multiple models!

“One of the 8GB (RAM) models would perform better than one of the 4GB models.  I’ve been watching them on eBay for awhile, and it looks like most of them are going in the $600-$800 range.”
And by $600-$800, I meant more like $650-$1000.

“If we’re going to spend that much money, you should get it new with a  warranty.”

She clicked away at her keyboard.

“Amazon has the 8GB/256GB version new for $865.  We can get it from there when our income tax refund comes in.”

Much squealing and jumping around like a 12-year-old girl at a Bieber concert ensued.  My wife rolled her eyes and walked away.

Not only did I get the Surface Pro 2 (which had dropped to $749 by the time we got our refund), but the missus also let me get the Type Cover 2, a Bamboo Feel Stylus, a SmudgeGuard 2, and a Manvex leather case.  Although “let” might be a strong word as she didn’t technically know about all of those before I bought them.  Did I mention how wonderful, beautiful, and understanding she is?

In a future post, I’ll break in the new Surface Pro 2 and talk about some of the accessories.  I’ll also do a comparison between the Pro 2 and the Pro 3 (which I have at work) from an artist’s perspective.  It’s going to be great.  If you have any questions, please throw them in the comments, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amazon, Pricing, and KDP Select

Something’s been on my mind for awhile, and after discussing it with my wife, I’ve come to a decision.  If you look in the Library, you’ll see some free ebooks.  I made the decision some time back not to charge for individual flash fiction and short stories.  I just feel like they’re too short to justify charging anything for them.  Through Smashwords, I can distribute to almost every ebook retailer you can think of except for Amazon and Google Play, and I can mark the price as free.  For Google Play and Amazon, I have to publish direct.  Google will let me mark the price as free, but Amazon requires a minimum price of 99 cents.  Since I feel like these are too short to charge for, this presents a problem with publishing to Amazon.

Third generation Amazon Kindle, showing text f...
Third generation Amazon Kindle, showing text from the novel Moby-Dick. Esperanto: Amazon Kindle de la tria generacio, montranta originan tekston el la romano Moby-Dick. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I could put up these stories for 99 cents and wait for Amazon to price match, but I’d feel bad if somebody paid for them in the interim, and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will price match at all, let alone in a timely fashion.  I thought about putting a link in the description, telling people not to pay, but didn’t figure Amazon would appreciate that too much.  So, we went with choice number three:  I’m going to wait until I have a handful of these short tales and then package them together into collections.  I’ll add the collections to Amazon along with the other retailers.  I’ll keep the prices low, commensurate with what’s included in the collection (I charge for novelettes and novellas). 

Why not KDP select, where I can have free giveaway days every quarter and Prime members and Kindle Unlimited members can borrow them for free?  Even if I only released the collections on Amazon, their TOS is pretty clear that if the individual components are available elsewhere, the collection can’t be in KDP Select.  I know there are some who are able to get away with it, but I’m not going to chance it.

It’s not the best solution.  Kindle members who don’t want to bother with Smashwords will have to wait to get the shorter stories (although to be fair, when I release a new book in KDP Select for its first 90 days, everybody else has to wait).  But to make it easier for the less technically savvy readers, until such time as Amazon allows free as an option, I think it’s the best option.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments.