Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Writing The Good Word - Seminar Preview

Today marks the beginning of my friend and colleague, NYTimes Bestselling author Tracy Hickman's signature writing workshop, the Scribe's Forge.  I'll be attending the inaugural class of his ambitious project, and though I won't be giving away any of the course material, I will be posting here to chronicle my personal journey through the program.

As some of you may know, I am using the Scribe's Forge publishing system to offer Book One of the Sword of the Christ trilogy online. Scribe's Forge is Mr. and Mrs. Hickman's personal imprint and will cover an array of services including their seminars, workshops, turn-key publishing method, and the online and print versions of their Dragon's Bard series of novels.

Tracy and Laura Hickman have been writing and publishing fantasy fiction for over thirty years. They've accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and are now offering themselves as teachers and role-models to a whole new generation of writers. To be honest, the chance to learn from such an accomplished duo, to open the door to their experience and insights, is a practically invaluable opportunity.

Having attended the Hickman's writing workshop at GenCon 2010, I'm confident in predicting that this intensive seminar will be well worth it's modest price tag. Not only do Mr. and Mrs. Hickman offer a unique and refreshing perspective on the publishing industry, the couple also showcases their deep understanding of the principals and philosophy of professional writing.

Whether you are a wanna-be author, a "just-published" nubile, or a seasoned veteran of the New York publishing trenches, you'll find valuable advice from the Scribe's Forge system of seminars and workshops.

Visit the website below, watch the preview, and join these bestselling authors (whose novels are found on every nerd-bookshelf in America) on the their journey to forge, from the molten fires of a combined SIXTY years of experience, a new generation of well-read, well-informed authors.

Scribe's Forge Writing Workshops

-E. St. Sinn

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Childhood's End

Well, apparently I'm doing book reviews now. Never thought I'd ever be the one doing the reviewing, but I guess the time has come to weigh in on some of what I'm currently pouring into my brain.

I recently read Childhood's End, a classic science fiction by Arthur C. Clarke. This snappy little book hearkens back to an era when sci-fi was dark, brooding, and taught lessons with every ending. Stories were set in truly alien world and conveyed a strong sense of the unknown. This little gem is a perfect example of the height of such work.

Mr. Clarke's style is refreshingly old-fashioned, with huge blocks of exposition separating chunks of rambling dialogue. Don't get me wrong, Clarke isn't the easiest author to read, but his work is honest, imaginative, and full of exciting twists and turns that force readers to take a hard look at where we are in this world, and who we are in relation to the akashic, cosmic unknown.

As a writer, I think this book will help to enrich my sense of sub-plots. The main plot of Childhood's End is primarily moved along by the numerous sub-plots that take the readers through the three stages of the book. Each portion of the novel revolves around one or two minor plots, happenings of the ever-advancing timeline, and the effect creates a cascading story whose ending crashes together with a grace that must be unique to classic Arthur C. Clarke.

On the whole, I'd put this novel on the suggested reading list for any speculative fiction writer. It's an excellent trip through a future-world that only an author of that classic past could imagine.

-E. St. Sinn

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Standard Subscription Sale: Now only $2.99!

Our Standard Subscriptions are now on sale for a one-time-only payment of $2.99! If you've been considering reading the first book in the Sword of the Christ trilogy, now is your best opportunity to own the e-book, audiobook, and access to the secure discussion forums!

I'd like to personally invite anyone who is open minded and searching for the next great read to give my book a try. You'll experience high adventure, fantastic landscapes, and follow iconic characters through a coming of age story of biblical proportions! I promise, you'll never see the characters of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, or Joseph the same again!

Please, visit the site, and take this opportunity to support a new branch of online publishing!

Read the Book, JOIN the REVOLUTION!

-E. St. Sinn

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

500lb Guerrilla

In writing the Sword of the Christ series, and using the Scribe's Forge publishing method, I have realized that marketing and promotion are what is really going to set this story apart.

Most writers write, -Of course they do!- but what "most writers" don't realize is that they're job doesn't stop once their fingers leave the keyboard and they cease spouting line after line of pretty purple prose. After the story is done, then the real work begins. Marketing, the means of putting your book's title, cover, and logos in front of your readers faces as often as possible, is really the responsibility of the writer.

In today's publishing world, the sad truth is that publication houses really don't want to waste their time on something that doesn't sell, or something that they don't feel they can get a lot out of with minimum investment in promotion capital. So, now that the days of having our hands held through the process of becoming a success, we writers must take up our pens and our telephones, start sending out inquiries, media kits, and advance copies, and really put the "work" into writing.

If we want to get our stories read, we must do more that write them. We must market them. What's the best way? How do you go about marketing something that barely exists with no money, no contacts, and no help? Easy! Go out and get yourself a book called Guerrilla Marketing for Writers by Jay Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen, and David Hancock.

The book deals with all the questions of the nubile author, the unpubbed, the self-pubbed, and the wanna-be-pubbed.  Within this slick tome, you'll find a wealth of information on the deeply shrouded processes used to create a marketing success with low-cost or no-cost tools that are available to every writer. If you do more than read this book, if you USE it, you're almost guaranteed to push your book into the limelight. That's what we're attempting to do with SotC.

If you'd like to help us, please, tell everyone! Shamelessly plug our website! Write reviews, call your bookstores, subscribe, get vocal! We need your help! Come, join our "Ministry" of readers who are willing to help us spread the good word about the Sword of the Christ series!

If you'd like to market your own material, then visit www.gmarketing.com to check out the books!

-E. St. Sinn

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mary Magda-who?

She's been a harlot, a disciple, the purported wife of Jesus and mother of the bloodline of Christ. Mary Magdalene, the woman behind the throne, has been a figure of intense debate for time out of mind. Her eternal mystery has inspired books, movies, and countless tons of hate-mail to authors and biblical-archeologists around the globe. Thanks to Mary's mainstream appeal, the general populace has become aware of, if not intrigued by, her story and her now infamous influence over the life of Jesus Christ.

Who, then, would Mary Magdalene be if seen through the eyes of a fantasy author with a penchant for literary mischief? That's exactly what we're going to find out...

In writing Sword of the Christ: Book One, I've had the most trouble (though it's really been more of a challenge than a trouble) with the development of Mary Magdalene. I've pretty much known where Jesus was going to go, what he would do, and who he would be since the inception of the story-seed, but Mary has been as elusive a figure in my mind as she is in the Bible itself.

The Roman-Catholic church has officially stated that Mary was NOT a harlot, a prostitute, or a woman of the night, and has been misrepresented for all these years. Unfortunately for her reputation, Ms. Magdalene will once again be branded a hooker, and for good reason too.

I really wanted to see Mary's character change and evolve over the course of the first book and the series that follows, but I knew that she should be a person that readers will instantly relate to and want to know more about, and maybe befriend in the darkest corner of some dusty Arabian bazaar.  And so, through the book, Mary will transition from a proud prostitute into a role that readers might find a little more stable and endearing. I do make the promise that she'll never lose her fierce sense of independence and her need for equality. I'm sure she'll make a hell of a role model.

For those of you who may be interested in some deeper, secret, hidden meaning behind the book and the characters, well, I'll go ahead and hit you with it. Mary is, at least in part and maybe not yet this part, designed to symbolize the Mother figure of the sacred feminine: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. Anyone want to take a guess as to where the other two phases of the female cycle will show up?

Thanks for reading, and remember, if you'd like to actually read this epic novel, this biblical bonanza, this blasphemous tome, then visit www.swordofthechrist.com and JOIN the REVOLUTION!

-E. St. Sinn

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Capital Offence

Some may think that what I'm doing is blasphemous. Maybe. Some think that it's downright wrong. Probably. To be honest, from my point of view, the story of Jesus is as fluid and changing as any other tall tale. It's been passed along from one gospel-writer to another, from one version of the bible to another, and each person who reads the story of Christ will take away something personal, something unique from the story.

Everyone has a different point of view, but I decided to write mine down. I'm in no way saying that my version of the story is better, more accurate, or more spiritually sound. I think I could get away with saying that my Christ is more relate-able, more human, and the story might be more entertaining than the original. If, by saying that or by writing this novel,  I've offended anyone of the Christian persuasion, well, I can't spend the rest of this life apologizing. 

Please, dear readers, consider this your only warning. Keep an open and adventurous mind as you read Sword of the Christ: Book One. If you don't, you might end up critically offended.

-E. St. Sinn

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hallelujah! The Blog of the Christ is Alive!

Thank you for reading the "Blog of the Christ", the online diary and discussion of the writing and publication process of the fantasy novel series, Sword of the Christ.

My name is El St. Sinn, and I'm about halfway through the writing of SotC (Sword of the Christ):Book One. The series will consist of three books, each detailing a different portion of the life of Jesus, the Christ. These books are written for those with open minds, and are not necessarily of a christian slant.

Book One begins with the nativity, and brings in the fantasy element in a very big way. I believe that Christ's story, the story of Jesus as the son of God in the flesh, the savior of mankind, lends itself to a fantasy retelling.

Jesus, the chosen prophet of Judea, battles demons, performs miracles, and learns about himself and his world as he makes the transition from a troubled young man to the sword-wielding Son of God.

Please, follow along with us on this biblically epic journey.

Visit www.swordofthechrist.com and JOIN the REVOLUTION!

-E. St. Sinn