Author Rewards

author event II           PSX_20171229_132728          Seattle author event

As I continue the author events for Sea of a Thousand Words, I’m beginning to notice the evolution of my audiences. This past summer saw the typical protocol; introducing the story’s premise, discussing the writing process and answering questions about the motivation of this or that plot device. However, these days as the novel’s readership widens, a larger percentage of audiences are comprised of ardent fans. It is a treat to be met with readers who want nothing more than to tell me how they feel connected with a certain character or how a specific storyline touched them significantly. I find myself talking much less and allowing the readers to share their thoughts and feelings.

My daughter predicted this months ago; before the manuscript was even published she told me to prepare for sharing my characters with the world. “You’re going to have to let them go soon and they’ll become special to complete strangers. Just imagine what it will be like to read fan-fictions based on your book.”

Dot

curly hair or wavy hair?

Since then, I’ve learned the meanings of slang words like, “canon”, “ship”, “OTP,” and “AU”. I’ve heard disagreements between fans about the specific appearance of one of my main characters and I’ve leaned back in my chair to listen as one reader explained to another their personal take on the symbolism of my raven “Monk” and orca “Saka”.

Beautiful.

As I make progress toward the audiobook creation, I’m remembering these instances and taking them to heart. The familiarity that readers develop with favorite stories is intimate and not to be trifled with. (After all, this die-hard Tolkien fan was royally ticked off when Legolas showed up as a blonde in the movie). When I heard Gray Eubank narrate a passage from my book last month, I experienced the story from a reader’s perspective. It was a valuable opportunity.

I’m currently working on the structure for SoaTW’s sequel these days and this knowledge is a powerful motivator, (or heavy burden, depending on the day). I have my favorite characters… I won’t commit to them publicly as I love them all, with the exception perhaps of one or two. I’ll wrestle with their individual fates and plot development as I bear in mind the responsibility I owe not only to my characters but to the readers who’ve come to love them and their story.

This is what makes being a writer such a privilege.

Dot at Massett Bay

Do you have a personal connection with a particular character in this novel? Is there a memorable moment for you in the storyline? Is there something you’d really like to see (or definitely don’t want to happen) in the next installment?  If so, I’d love to hear about it. Just comment below or email me directly at windlinepress@gmail.com

Thanks for sharing

~ Chris

Author Events

Last week was the first author event for my latest book, a speculative fiction novel, Sea of a Thousand  Words. I had a great time talking about the process of writing a novel about the future in this era of such fast-paced changes in our world.

3rd place books event

With important topics ranging from geo-political movements, artificial intelligence, climate change and gene drive technology–not to mention global cyber and drone warfare, I often found myself wondering if I’d get the book published before all this became history!

Quite fortuitously, I relied on the experts while writing Sea of a Thousand Words, and it’s largely due to these passionate, knowledgeable people who took time to educate this curious writer, that the book feels so genuine and realistic. I owe those folks a great deal. The amusing  consistency of all my humble experts was their surprised reaction to being included in the acknowledgement section–they didn’t think their contributions were that big of a deal. If they only knew!

I spent a fair amount of my talk describing the process I went through to organize chapters and sequencing with an ensemble cast of characters in a timeline that at times, flashes back an entire decade. Bringing the storyboard and character scene-graphs really helped to illustrate how I dealt with these challenges. One of the participants noted afterward that my theater background was evident in the complex storyboarding. She may be right about that assessment.

SoaTW

The author’s original storyboard in color-coded chapters.

The question and answer portion of the event was rewarding, as there were some really thoughtful inquiries. Several questions made me consider my motivation and specific choices as to settings and decisions about a few characters. As I explained why I approached certain chapters the way I did, it clarified the themes even more–and made my approach to the subject matter much easier to describe. I’ll remember these points for my upcoming talks.

Author events are a unique public speaking venue for me–a former national speaker on childbirth related subjects. I never had a problem speaking in front of a large audience, but these days, I’ve found that it’s not always easy to speak about my writing. I suppose it’s the personal nature of my art that makes me a little more self conscious about presenting. However, the supportive people who attend these events are making my jitters disappear each time I stand at a podium.

Thanks for attending these readings and for buying my book. author event II

Support booksellers wherever you live!

 

  ~ Chris

 

*Stay tuned for upcoming events (Most of which will happen in the fall when the audiobook is released). To request an author appearance at your book club or local library, please reply below or email me at windlinepress@gmail.com.

 

Preorder your copy of Sea of a Thousand Words

The book is finished at last! I am eagerly anticipating the official email that it’s available through Amazon, Ingram and Smashwords in print and e-publication. While I wait, I am working on a print of Monk the raven.

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Author’s artwork. 4/21/2017

If you would like to own a signed copy of my book and receive a free 6×9″ original hand-cut block print of Monk, please click this paypal link and pre-order yours today.

Print copy–$16.00 plus 4.00 shipping USD

And remember, $1 from every hard copy and e-reader purchase goes to water.org  efforts to provide clean drinking water across the world. So, with every copy ordered, you are helping to find a solution.

 

This novel is a special project for me and I hope that you’ll not only enjoy the cast of characters, but will find inspiration from the story. I look forward to your feedback–(please write a review)!  I depend on you all to spread the word about the book to others. Avid readers and fans are the best marketing platform any author could ask for.

Thanks in advance for your purchase–and happy reading!

07c8c25e-2e38-4388-9946-e232dd5be43f   ~ Chris

*(For purchases after the pre-order deadline, I’ll soon be posting links for where to find the book. Author event schedule is forthcoming).

A Good Omen

1-Front-CoverSeveral months ago, I entered Sea of a Thousand Words into an international book-to-script competition. Earlier this week, I received judges’ feedback. I’m quite pleased that out of thousands of entries, my novel made it into the top 100 candidates for adapting to screen.

Read what the judges said about Sea of a Thousand Words:

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Sea of a Thousand Words

There is a very interesting premise at the heart of this piece, one that seems on par within current industry trends by approaching the subject of immigration through the futuristic lens of climate change and the effects of a world-wide crisis. Set in the very near future, the world’s rapidly changing climate has resulted in one of the largest earthquakes in history, altering the Pacific Northwest coastline and dramatically increasing the numbers of climate refugees pouring into the U.S. and Canada. As a result, HighTower Security is hired to enforce strict border regulations and eventually their leaders go down a dark road and make plans to release a weaponized enzyme into concentrated refugee populations and eliminate the problem once and for all, unless our heroine (Dot) is able to stop them in time.
Considering the originality of the premise and the fact that the subject matter is incredibly relevant to today’s issues and sensitivities, this is a very strong candidate for adaptation. The writing style too, felt very well-defined with vivid, cinematic strokes in the exposition. The only real drawback to the piece is perhaps the familiar dynamic of an unextraordinary heroine who faces off against a superior foe, which is usually some kind of corporation. Still, the story felt fresh and timely in its design and the themes it projects, which could add weight to its adaptation potential. 
                                                                  .   .   .
And now, with publication only days away, I am very much looking forward to hearing back from readers. Please remember to send my your feedback once you’ve read the book–and help spread the word.
Thank you.
                   ~Chris
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turning words into action

The final galley arrived a few days ago, minor tweaks have been made and the novel looks great.Chris and book

As I wait for the e-reader conversion to wrap up, I’ve been thinking about all the necessities of publishing… what to price the book, how best to market it and when to schedule launches, etc., etc…

…And that’s when it occurred to me: Sea of a Thousand Words is a story that speaks to our times, and although it is set 15 years into our future, the crises are very much now.

Global Warming, climate refugees, diminishing water and food… countries closing their borders, depleted oceans and a century-in-the-making earthquake that reshapes an entire coastline. Throw a little genetic-enzyme weapon into the mix and you’ve got the makings of real millennial mayhem.

Because the topics in this story are so important to me, I wanted to do more than just get the book into as many hands as possible–and yeah, that of course would be nice–but I also really hope to make a difference.

So, to that end, I’m now a proud supporter of water.org and will donate $1.00 from every copy of Sea of a Thousand Words sold to their foundation.

Print

Here’s a little information about Water.org:

663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water; 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet. Water.org is dedicated to changing this. Through sustainable solutions and financing models such as WaterCredit, we can provide safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all.

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Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based solutions to provide access to safe water and sanitation — giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed millions of lives around the world, ensuring a better life for generations ahead.

 

I am preparing the pre-order announcement and this week and will post another update on how you can purchase your copy of the book. I am truly grateful to the folks who’ve been so persistent about wanting a signed copy and to those who’ve made the creation of this novel possible. I’m including the acknowledgements section below–take a look at the talented group of people I’ve had the pleasure to work with!

                                                              Acknowledgements

My profound thanks to the following individuals and organizations for their invaluable help in shaping the world of my novel:

George Dyson, author and historian, for sharing his unique sail design for Inuit baidarkas. The stories, photographs and nautical charts of his adventures in Alaska and the Inside Passage provided great insight into my heroes’ journey.

Julie Ross-Buckmaster, Sehome high-school biology teacher, who instilled a passion for the physical sciences in my youngest daughter and helped me to better understand the CRISPR-CAS-9 enzyme—setting me on the path toward Kim Chen’s frightening discovery.

Dr. Chris Goldfinger, Marine geologist and sub-marine seismologist at Oregon State University, who (patiently) answered my many questions about the Cascadia-subduction zone mega-quake. (Our conversations convinced me to research all possible evacuation routes before visiting the Pacific Northwest Coast ever again).

John Gossman, technology architect, for his sage advice on all things computer and technology based—and for an astonishing ability to make a mean Old Fashioned.

Paul R. Peterson, CEO of Volta Volare’ and Executive Director of the EViation Center at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, for taking the time to explain drone technology and the future of flight to a curious writer. Thanks for the personal tour and resources.

Gary Gero, Animal Consultant and bird trainer, whose friendship, support and advice on corvids helped me bring Monk the raven to life.

The language facilitators at Sealaska Heritage Institute, Ketchikan Indian Community and the Museum of Anthropology for editing the phrases used by, and the spirit behind, my Haida characters.

My editors, Mary Gillilan and Norman L. Green, and fellow authors at Independent Writers’ Studio, for their advice and encouragement.

And to Jeffery, for never doubting me.

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Here’s a short video from water.org