Monday, February 20, 2017

Planning for the Tour


Hello Lovelies,

With the end of the public chapter releases for Xenophobia, I want to start thinking towards the future. Whether it be six months or a year down the line, my thought process is now on a) finishing Xenophobia and its respective editing and rewrite; and b) planning how to release and sell the story.

I've done a number of other smaller short stories that have been released simply through the Kindle online store. However, I realize that this one definitely deserves more love than a few random tales (call it maturing as an author from scribbler to writer).

What I'd like instead is to go through the appropriate channels to garner viewership and readers. I've obviously already been getting feedback here and there from readers, but now I want eyes in a different way. Obviously I can do things like paid-for marketing, but I feel there's a much better opportunity through being able to speak to people who care about books and their content. Things like interviews and blog tours in the blogspot writer's community immediately come to mind.

With that said, I wanted to know if any of you have ever done something along that line. Have any of you ever done a blog tour? Or an interview? Or maybe something else that I'm not thinking of? For those that have, did you find them particularly useful or rewarding?

Right now I'm just trying to build a gameplan and I would love to hear your opinion and experiences, particularly from established writers (that's not to say I don't want to hear from our lovely serial readers as well!) Thank you, Lovelies~

- RB

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Xenophobia - Chapter 34



    "Special?" Darrian asked with a lit of interest.
    Illiquina responded with a little nod as she tapped away on her datapad.
    "That seems contradictory to the idea that they were all the same model." Ferris interjected.
    "Doesn't it though?" she quipped back.
    "So why-" he began.
    "Let's call it a hunch." she said before handing the datapad to Darrian.
    Hesitantly taking the little computer, Darrian examined what she had laid out for him. It appeared to be some kind of a spreadsheet. It highlighted dozens of columns of information that made no sense to him, but three specific sets of data had been highlighted.
    'Termination Reason' and 'Reclamation'.
    "So you think the old judge was designed special then?" Ferris asked as Darrian studied the spreadsheet.
    "I don't think it started that way." she responded. "But for some reason, the old robot stuck out amongst his peers."
    After a moment of reading, Darrian understood why Illiquina thought what she did.
    "They cannibalized the others to keep the judge running." he said in shock.
    With the exception of a single DR robot which had been lost due to accidental explosive decompression, every other one of the judge's robots had been used in some capacity to repair him. Some of the units had been lost due to natural causes: mechanical or electronic failures of some capacity. Others had been intentionally dismantled and decommissioned with the intent to disassemble them.
    No matter how, though, the parts of his ten brothers had been used to make the sure judge kept running.
    "But...why?" Ferris asked in surprise as he read through the data himself. 
    "Again, I can't even take a stab at that without the judge's file." Illquina said with a hint of annoyance.
    "There had to be something." Darrian added quickly. "Something he did or said that was out of character. Something that made him stand out."
    "They all had the same purpose though." Ferris thought out loud. "So it must have been something big."
    "And that's why I think it was the Guillae." she shot back.
    In his sleep addled brain, the two ideas didn't connect. He was about to ask yet another question but Illiquina was kind enough to answer it before it could be asked.
    "Of the races in the galaxy," she said coolly, "which do you think would be the biggest threat to the Merrenian's desire for water."
    "The Guillae." Darrian echoed hollowly.
    "Right. The Guillae, at least at the time, were the only species that would have used water. Without their original file, I have no idea if the Guillae were an established race or the Consortium just stumbled across them. No matter the how, the Guillae would have been the biggest threat to their attempts to gather water."
    Darrian stared at her for a long moment, considering what hat just been said.
    "Then you think-"
    "The judge was involved somehow in the Guillae's removal from the Consortium."
    "Makes sense." agreed Darrian.
    "While that's interesting." Ferris said slowly. "This has nothing to do with Earth or the humans then."
    "Probably not." she agreed. "But it still seems strange that he reacted the way he did."
    "It does." Darrian agreed.
    "It doesn't matter." Ferris shot back. "We're speculating enough as it is. We don't need to build theories on top of-"
    KZZZT~
    "-nyone there?"
    They all turned in shock at the disembodied voice. The holographic imager started to generate the transmission from Jin'thun a moment later.
    "Hello?" he asked impatiently.
    "We're here." Illiquina said quickly and getting up from her place at the table.
    Despite his exhaustion, Darrian felt a new wave of energy rush into him.
    "Good. Because it's started." Jin'thun growled. "The Tulgucks have arrived."
    "Were you able to-" Ferris began.
    "We weren't able to do anything." he said gravely, cutting him off. "They've already begun their attack. The Mars colony has been destroyed along with everything in it."
    The room fell silent.
    "We're moving to intercept. But they've come for blood and their ships are faster and better equipped than we anticipated. We've already lost half our forces." he said quietly.
    "Where are they going?" Ferris  asked with horror in his voice.
    They all knew, but he had to ask.
    "Now that they're done with Mars." Jin'thun said slowly. "They're going to destroy Earth."

===

Next Chapter (TO BE RELEASED WITH THE FINAL BOOK!)
Previous Chapter
Start at the Beginning

===  

(Hello Lovelies. I hope you enjoyed because this is our FINAL PUBLIC CHAPTER! From here on in, I will be doing a few things. On the backend, I will now be finishing the story and then re-writing and editing accordingly. The rewrite will make the story a little more cohesive since originally it was never meant to be a novel as well as adding a bit more character development. During this time period, we will be releasing regular, differing content but will also be starting to arrange things we need for the release including coverart and blog tours. the flip side is, you should finally see some different content then just Xenophobia. haha Have a wonderful day!)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Xenophobia - Chapter 33


    "To start, I feel the need to reiterate, these entries aren't directly about the Old Judge." Illiquina stated hesitantly.
    "We know that already." Ferris agreed.
    "Mmm." Darrian with a nod.
    "But it's something." Ferris added. "They were all from the same batch, right? Theoretically they have the same purpose."
    "A reasonable assumption." Illiquina confirmed.
    She let out a sigh and seemed to consider their two expectant gazes.
    "Well, the original batch consisted of a dozen units." Illiquina began. "Much like other robots from that era, they were identical in appearance, if not design."
    "At that time, they were pretty much just referred to by a basic code designation: DR." she continued. "After reviewing the files, I'm thinking that the old judge might have been DR-5. Not that it matters."
    "DR?" Darrian asked.
    "Diplomatic Robot."
    "So they were meant for diplomacy." Ferris observed. "Somehow I expected something a little more vile."
    Illiquina snickered to herself and tapped a few things on her datapad.
    "Diplomacy has many purposes, Rodent." she shot back snidely.
    Ferris begun to huff up at her aside, but Darrian weakly waved a hand at him. He didn't have the patience for their back and forth at the moment.
    "What do you mean?" he asked weakly.
    "I mean that people can use diplomacy for different things." Illiquina repeated.
    "That doesn't..." Darrian began.
    "They were designed to get something from someone." Ferris clarified.
    "Not just someone, but many someones." Illiquina confirmed.
    "You have to remember: this was the very beginning of the Consortium. The Merrenians had just discovered a half a dozen different races, all who had active war machines and armadas that vastly rivaled anything of their own." she continued. "But there was one thing that your species had that no other did."
    "Robots?" Ferris asked.
    "True, you had a mastery of robotics." Illiquina said with a nod. "Your evolution had demanded that for your exosuits."
    "More than that though." she said with a look of mild disgust. "The Merrenians were incredibly cunning and wonderful at wheedling what they wanted out of others."
    "But...what did they want?" Darrian thought out loud.
    "Sounds like not getting caught in a six species war was a good goal." Ferris remarked.
    "Water." Illiquina said simply.
    Darrian and Ferris glanced at each other.
    "Water?" they asked in unison.
    "Goals don't change much do they." Illiquina remarked.
    "Well. We all use water, don't we?" asked Darrian.
    "Now we do. But Merrenains were the first to really utilize water on a mass scale. It served a million purposes. But just like today it was an essential component in the cooling systems for Merrenian robotics and industrial capabilities."
    Darrian nodded softly but Ferris looked confused.
    "Things haven't changed much that way." she added in that way.
    "What's that mean?" Ferris questioned.
    "I means that the Merrenians still hold stakes in seventy percent of the galactic water stakes." she shot back with just a hint of anger.
    Darrian had never considered it before, but figured she must be right. He also doubted that Illiquina would embellish such a fact even with her occasional temper.
    "Ok. We wanted water." Ferris snapped back quickly. "Hell. If I remember my history classes correctly, the discovery of water was what drove us off planet. But what do the DR robots have to do with that?"
    "Because what better way to get what we need than to take it from others?" Darrian said thoughtfully. The words were slow but weighed heavy on his mind.
    Illiquina gave a little nod.
    "And what's better way to take from others?" she said coolly. "Than to have it given freely."
    They sat there in silence for a minute, considering what had been said. Darrian felt like lightning was jolting through his brain. Even with the sludge of exhaustion, the wheels began to turn again.
    "The Consortium's whole purpose...was to steal water? To take it from the other species?"
    "It's not like it says in the file." Illiquina said. "And it's not like the Consortium hasn't done wonderful things. But everything points to that. That and keeping the other species relatively passive to avoid unnecessary cost or wars."
    He couldn't believe what was being said. Thousands of rotations of peace and prosperity. Born of simple avarice.
    It was just too much to take in.
    "Then the old judge is just the last of the DR robots?" Ferris asked curiously. "The last remnant?"
    "Yes." Illiquina confirmed. "But I think it might be more than that."
    "How so?"
    "Well, I can't confirm without the Judge's profile...or the Guillae's..."
    Darrian tilted his head in curiosity at the mention of the plant people.
    "But I think the old judge stood out among his 'brothers'." Illiquina said quietly. "I think he was special in some way the others weren't."

===

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter
Start at the Beginning

=== 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Xenophobia - Chapter 32


    Darrian felt himself begin to nod off but quickly shook himself awake.
    Blearily, he glanced around the big conference table again.
    He felt tired.
    More than that he felt exhausted. Sore. Abused. His attention had fizzled out long before Ferris had shown up to 'relieve' him. Despite this, he didn't even the will to get up and leave. So he just stared at the table.
    "You ok, man?" Ferris asked for what seemed like the millionth time.
    Darrian meekly nodded in way of response.
    "Come on, Darrian. You look terrible." Ferris said with a hint of concern. "Go home. You could use the rest."
    "I'll be here when Jin'thun contacts us." he added quickly.
    Darrian slowly turned his attention towards his compatriot who offered him a friendly smile.
    "Can't." he said shortly.
    That sat in silence for another indiscernible period of time. They had already done this same song and dance several times, but neither had broken their stead. But the outcome had yet to change. Ferris kept gently nudging him and Darrian just responded that he couldn't leave.
    Not that he wouldn't leave. He couldn't.
    Darrian had to wait for the inevitable. He needed to know what was happening at Mars.
    If only they would contact them, he would know what was happening.
    In the silence of the room, it seemed like everything that had happened up til now, that had led up to this, was constantly replaying in his mind. Even worse, a thousand scenarios born of fear and anxiety took heed when he managed to slip free of the past.
    What is the Gorderians and Tulgucks started an all-out war? What if this one conflict, over this one questionable species tore apart the very Consortium? What if despite everything, the humans were destroyed and...
    His mind was a turbulent mess of terror and remorse. 
    If only he knew what was happening.
    "Well..." Ferris began.
    Darrian glanced back at him.
    "Illiquina should be here soon." He offered.
    "Yea." Darrian said in way of response.
    Illiquina.
    That had been the other thing that had been bothering him.
    Did the Old Judge fit into any of this somehow?
    Every time that question cropped up, it was like a viscous black ooze that mucked up his mind even further. In slipped into the cracks of his thoughts and gelled his anxieties together; making him wonder how it might all be connected.
    But each time, he would eventually reject it.
    The Old Judge is nothing. He thought to himself. Just a stupid old robot.
    And so he'd continue stressing in silence. At least until Ferris tried to get him to go home again.
    True to Ferris's word, however, Illiquina showed up shortly thereafter. She walked into the conference room and immediately focused on the weary Darrian.
    "What are you still doing here?" she asked pointedly.
    "Can't get him to leave." Ferris offered.
    "Darrian?" she asked.
    "Can't leave." he said quietly.
    Illiquina glowered at him before turning her smoldering annoyance on Ferris.
    "Hey. I've been trying."
    She approached him and her demeanor softened.
    "Darrian. Go Home."
    "Can't."
    "Why not?"
    "I need to know what's going on."
    "And you will." she offered in probably the gentlest tone the little Cadrax had ever spoken in. "But you need rest."
    He looked at her, but found himself simply staring through her.
    "Please." she said quietly.
    "I'll even walk you home." Ferris added.
    "No." Darrian said shortly.
    Illiquina and Ferris exchanged glances.
    "How long have you been awake?" She asked.
    "Don't know. Cycle maybe? Probably a little more."
    "You've been awake for an entire cycle?" Ferris asked shocked.
    "Yep."
    "Ok." Illiquina snapped. "Go home. You don't get to sit here til you die of exhaustion."
    Darrian glared down at the tiny Cadrax. He was considering just digging his heels in. It's not like she could physically move him. There was Ferris though...
    "Now." she said sternly.
    "What about the Old Judge?" he asked, the thoughts oozing through the cracks of his mind.
    "What about him?" asked Ferris.
    "Wha-" Darrian felt his words stumble. "What didn't you tell us?"
    Illiquina sighed and her tone softened once again.
    "That's what you've been stressing about." she said.
    "One of the things."
    "I was going to wait for everyone." she said hesitantly. "But if I tell you, will you go home?"
    "Mmm." he grumbled in confirmation.
    "Fine." she said as she settled in next to him.
    In an instant, she had her odd looking datapad out and was tapping away furiously. Maybe it was his tired mind, but he still couldn't figure out where she hid that thing.
    "Let's review, shall we?"

===

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter
Start at the Beginning

===  

 (Hello Lovelies. So, I wanted to address something real quick. I know we're going slow but it's primarily related to me wanting to get these final chapters right. On top of this, I've begun the inital re-writing process since, as mentioned before, all posted chapters have been a first draft. That said, I'm only going to do one or two more public chapters. I'd like to leave the climax for the release of the book. Once I've released the last few public chapters, we'll return to a schedule of more random writings, discussions, etc. along with planning for blog tours and things of that nature. 

Sorry about the wait, but I promise more is to come. Hopefully the whole re-write and editing won't take too long, but I know a few good chunks will take a while since now I KNOW the characters a bit more and can make it a more of a cohesive story with strong character arch. See you next time!)