Here is the official press release from Seventh Star Press:
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2013
Seventh Star Press is proud to announce that Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy is now available in eBook format, with print availability in trade paperback on Wednesday. Featuring contributions from a sensational list of writers such as Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harry Turtledove, Joe Haldeman, and many other top names in genre fiction, Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy is a highly valuable contribution to the speculative fiction community developed by Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Michael Knost.
Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy is a collection of essays and interviews by and with many of the movers-and-shakers in the industry. Each contributor covers the specific element of craft he or she excels in. Expect to find varying perspectives and viewpoints, which is why the reader will find many find differing opinions on any particular subject. It is a book with something to offer all levels of writers, from those seeking to get published for the first time to others who have numerous releases to their credit.
Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy features essays and interviews with:
Orson Scott Card
Ursula K. Le Guin
Alan Dean Foster
Kevin J. Anderson
James Patrick Kelly
Gordon Van Gelder
John Joseph Adams
Lucy A. Snyder
Nayad A. Monroe
G. Cameron Fuller
This edition also features several original illustrations from award-winning artists Matthew Perry and Bonnie Wasson. In addition to their own illustrations, a special collaborative piece created by the two artists is featured in the book.
Available by mid-week in trade paperback format,Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy is now available in eBook format for the Kindle and Nook at the following links for just $4.99
For further updates and information about Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy, please visit the Seventh Star Press site at: www.seventhstarpress.com
Contact: C.C. James
Public Relations, Seventh Star Press
ccjames (at) seventhstarpress.com
Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher of speculative fiction located in Lexington Kentucky
I must admit that when I was offered this book to review I was only too glad to accept. You see, I have this thing about dwarves in fantasy. I really don’t care if the races: orcs, goblins elves and all the others are the same as they are in every other fantasy, it’s what the author does with them that matters. It is in this area that D.A. Adams pulls off a great character driven story. There’s no ground breaking, genre shattering new ideas just a well-rounded story that leaves you wanting to read more.
The lead character, Roskin, though of noble descent sets out on a gap year to find a fabled statue, so it’s a quest. There are only so many basic story types and this is one of the simplest – so get used to the idea. Too many people are quick to tear new authors apart for their lack of originality, well it was once written ‘there is nothing new under the sun’ and that was over 3000 years ago. With that settled I’ll get back to the story, or will I. You see, I’m not one for giving the story away, after all I’ll see it differently to you as much as you will the next person. So instead, I’ll just say that I found it to be a commendable first novel. The story moves along at a good pace, is filled with background history that adds richness and depth to story, and gives something to set future stories against. It was long enough to enjoy without ever becoming a hard slog. More words do not make a better story.
I’ll round things off by simply saying that I will go on to read the others in the series in the simple hope that they are at least as enjoyable as this one. Most writers improve with practice, I can only hope that D.A Adams does, that way I will have even better stories to look forward to.
I will be hosting an interview with the author on 12th March 2013 on my website www.theonesaga.com
To see the original review, please follow this link: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/529258550
This was a fun fantasy story that focused mostly on dwarves, and specifically on Roskin. He is on a year long adventure in the outside world prior to taking on his role as the next ruler of the Kiredurk nation. He has decided to set himself a goal to obtain a lost dwarven piece of art called the brotherhood of dwarves, thinking it will bring him recognition and adventure. But the journey isn’t easy, and he encounters many setbacks along the way.
While I enjoyed the premise of the story, I found the execution a little rough in the beginning. The story starts with an encyclopedia-like description of dwarves, and the various dwarf nations and histories. It then had an overview of Roskin and his life and only really became a true story after Roskin left his home. Prior to that, and even at points after, it felt like I was being told about the story instead of experiencing it first hand.
I found the story picked up the further into it I got, especially the ending scenes. I felt those scenes and wished the rest of the book had the same level of reader involvement and interaction.
While Roskin was the main character, I felt that Crushaw was a much stronger, well-developed character. He stood out as flawed and realistic, and his story was quite touching. By comparison, Roskin felt wishy-washy and under developed. When I look back over the descriptions from the beginning of the story to his actions at the end, it doesn’t feel like the same character, and not just in a growth sort of way, it’s more a fundmental change.
Overall, this was a quick pure fantasy, quest-style story that is worth reading, once you get past the info dump in the beginning. I would guess that based on the quality of the story in the later part of the book that subsequent volumes in the series will be better executed than this one, and will make reading this one worth it.
To see the original review, please visit: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/524534843
Brotherhood is about Roskin, a prince and heir to the throne but his mother was his father’s first wife, a wild elf making Roskin heir, but different than everyone else. He has always felt his difference and when he is told he gets a year of travel as a poor shlub before ruling, he decides to start a fairly uninformed, half-formulated quest to retrieve a statue called the Brotherhood of Dwarves from a fortified castle in a neighboring kingdom. His plan is to convince an aged, retired general to help him.
As soon as Roskin no longer has his insignia he is pushed around, beaten and treated like the lowest of the low, before even leaving his own kingdom! This is one young dwarf who has a long road of growing and understanding of the world to gather. Roskin is completely niaive and does ridiculously dangerous things, both brave and foolish and kind of falls into his quest, with good intentions, but truly no clue.
I had a bit of a hard time adjusting to the book, I am not one who typically goes in for this type of fantasy, dwarves and war and those long crazy names you only find in this stuff, but it grew on me, just like Roskin. He was one of those teenaged characters who thinks they know what is going on but don’t, that kind of irritate you until eventually they realize what a bone-head they have been, have some angst and then grow up. Roskin really grew into himself and began to “get it” after a bit. He has to go through some trials and make a few friends. But he does finally grow and develop. Yay!
I really was enjoying things a lot as the intensity of the finale hit and folks pulled themselves together to do what needed doing. Roskin’s quest is by no means over at the end of this book, though it might have changed…but I am going to have to read book 2 to really find out where he is going. And luckily I have it!! :) It started as a 3 star book for me, but ended as a 4 star, so I guess I give it 3.5+ stars carved in the handle of a sword.
Here is the link to the review on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/551949488
I feel a cultural movement brewing. For a few decades now, all of our music, books, and movies have been controlled by corporations more concerned with marketing and bottom-line profits than quality. Much of my generation was locked out, not because we didn’t have the talent but because we didn’t fit into tidy marketing pigeonholes, and we languished for years, wondering if we’d ever get our shot. Meanwhile, a new generation moved onto the scene, and many of us felt as if our moment had passed. All our study, all our hours of practice, all of our passion, all of our dreams seemed wasted. Some grew bitter and drifted away. Some became consumed by demons and succumbed to addictions. Some trudged onward. Some of us did all of the above.
But something amazing happened with the burgeoning of the internet and computers. Suddenly, we no longer needed New York and LA to pursue our dreams. Suddenly, the corporations could no longer lock us out because as long as we had internet access we had a potential audience of millions, so many of us started our own labels, presses, and production companies. Sure, at first we struggled. As we wobbled on unsure legs, our early efforts might have seemed like bad parodies, but we learned from our mistakes and pressed onward. We polished our chops, grew our networks, and expanded our base. We survived our early stumbles and the Great Recession. We banded together. On our own, we created new channels to reach more people and studied online marketing trends. We learned and grew and shared information and encouraged each other. Most of all, we survived.
Today, the movement of independents gathers momentum every day. We’ve gained market share and established our reputations as serious artists in our given fields. Through efforts of arduous determination, we’ve moved the mountain enough to be noticed by major media outlets as a legitimate force. The amazing thing about this movement is that most of us are over the age of 35, and we’ve done this while juggling jobs and families and lives. We’ve endured sacrifices corporate executives can never fathom, just to pursue our passion, just to chase our dream, and while we may not be there yet, we’re making great strides to that destination.
The cultural movement of the independents is upon us, and we’re here for the long-haul.
Sometimes it’s easy to let the naysayers bring you down, and believe me, there are plenty of naysayers in this world. For my part, I’ve always struggled with a sense of legitimacy and often find myself allowing negativity to create self-doubt, even when that negativity is dis-proportionally small. For example, currently on Amazon I have 80 total reviews for all four books combined. Two of them are 1 star; one is 2 stars; six are 3; and the rest are either 4 or 5. On Goodreads, I currently have 76 ratings with a total average of 4.2 stars, with four 1 and 2 star ratings but twenty-eight 4 and 5 star reviews on book one. Rationally, I look at this and understand I should be proud to have so many positive reviews, but that part of me which feels phony fixates on the bottom end. The self-doubt creeps into my consciousness and ignores all the positive. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. Neil Gaiman, Bruce Sprinsteen, and Hugh Laurie have all spoken of it.
I think part of why this sense of illegitimacy affects so many creative people is the fact that artistic expressions are so subjective in nature. Mathematicians know for certain whether or not their formulas work. Scientists can prove or disprove a hypothesis, and their results can be tested and repeated by others. Business people can always look at the ledger sheet for validation of their ideas. But for artists, it’s so much more difficult to measure quality or define success. Works that are often commercially successful aren’t always the most well-crafted pieces. For instance, Fifty Shades of Grey made buckets of money, but few people consider it a well-written book. A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the best books ever written but was considered unpublishable during John Kennedy Toole’s lifetime, which in part contributed to his suicide. To get an idea of how maddening it can be for a creative person, just go look at the reviews of any famous work. Even revered classics will have scores of negative ones often filled with disparaging remarks that sometimes get downright personal.
Any creative person is trying to create something new where nothing existed before. There is no secret formula for how this happens, and often we are pulling bits of this and dashes of that from various disciplines and molding them together. Every generation or so, a paradigm will emerge that espouses the one and only way to create the proper way, and anything that doesn’t fit tidily into the dogma of this paradigm will often be dismissed initially as drivel. However, truly creative people typically reject dogmatic approaches because of the inherent restrictions, and this can generate backlash from the establishment. For someone such as myself, this backlash contributes to the feelings of self-doubt. Even though I know in my heart that my writing is solid, my characters are compelling, and my plots are intense, when I read a review that calls my writing “poorly written” because I “don’t follow the rules of a basic writing manual,” part of me rejects that outright but another part, the insecure, vulnerable part, questions my ability. These two parts of me, the bold and the insecure, are often at odds with one another.
The bold part of me, the part that had the courage to self-publish long before it was easy or hip, usually wins out. It does this by reminding me that I’ve survived much worse than anything a narrow-minded, so-called critic can throw at me. As a child, I developed a blood disease from a tick bite. At one point, I weighed about forty pounds and to this day have no memories for about a three month stretch of that spring and summer, but I survived. At sixteen, I was struck in the head by an eight pound shotput and not only lived to tell about it but walked off the field, albeit with a little assistance. If an eight pound cannonball didn’t end my life, the opinion of some piss ant sure as hell won’t. On Christmas day, my now ex-wife told me she wanted a divorce as I played with my sons. If losing custody of my boys didn’t crack my soul, there’s absolutely nothing some smug know-it-all can sling my way that could ever touch me. I’ve endured my share of real hardships and am still standing, still creating works that the vast majority of readers love, still growing my reader base.
I’m working on getting beyond my own insecurities and having more belief in myself, and for the most part, my confidence remains relatively strong the majority of the time. However, sometimes the weak part rears its head and makes me question whether or not I’m on course. Knowing I’m not alone in having these kinds of self-doubts helps. If people far more successful than I am deal with the same emotions, then I can accept their presence and forge ahead with conviction. While the external naysayers will always be present in some form or another, their opinions do not have to influence my internal fortitude. My voice is real. My voice is valuable. Not that I need this for validation, but I have forty-five 5 star reviews on Amazon to prove the worth of my creativity. And I have that calm center deep in my heart which whispers softly that what I’m creating matters, that my stories are good, that success is insignificant in comparison to authenticity.
That’s all for now.
When I was at Connooga at the beginning of the month, I gave a brief seminar outlining the writing process. It was an adaptation of the material I teach at the college, tailored for creative writing. Overall, the presentation was well-received, and several people complimented me on the content. Running the seminar reminded me what I used to love about education, sharing knowledge with people who want to learn, and it got me to thinking about possibly setting up my own writing retreats. There are pros and cons, of course, and I’ve not fully committed to it yet. So today, I’m asking for some input from my friends, fellow writers and readers. What do you think of the idea of me hosting a writers’ retreat and teaching seminars about various writing related topics?
Here’s my biggest hold up. While I’ve worked as a writing instructor for nearly 15 years, I’ve mostly viewed myself as a writer first, teacher second, and I purposefully eschew creative writing manuals, workshops, and writers’ groups because in my experience they end up being ego-fests. I have no interest in battling egos with anyone. Also, I’ve long believed that with a few rare exceptions, the people who write the majority of creative writing manuals do so because their own writing isn’t good enough to earn them a living, so they sell writing manuals to aspiring writers. Part of me feels like if I pursue this path I’m in part being a hypocrite but also in some way giving up on my own writing. Not that I would quit creating but more like waving a white flag that I’ll never be successful as a writer.
The biggest pro is that I know I have a great depth of knowledge to share on this subject, and I truly enjoy teaching. I like to think I could inspire others to create fantastic works, and it could potentially help me move away from the system, which at this point is damaged beyond repair. If there’s a market for this, I want to pursue it so that I can continue to teach without being shackled to the system. Also, I think I could do a pretty good job of developing one hell of a weekend retreat, one that could be truly beneficial to aspiring writers and maybe even some seasoned pros.
So please, give me your insights. Do you think this is a marketable idea? Would you be interested in attending something like this, if the price was fair? What kinds of topics do you think have the most demand? Let me know what you think.
The final two stops on the blog tour occurred over the weekend. I’d like to thank everyone who participated, from the hosts to the readers to the organizers. I had a blast on the tour and hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Hopefully, I’ll do another one down the road.
A review of The Brotherhood of Dwarves on Jess Resides here: http://frellathon.com/2013/03/16/d-a-adams-between-dark-light-book-tour-review/
A guest post about small press publishing on Breath of Life: http://breathoflifebookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/03/author-guest-post-by-author-da-adams.html
An excellent review of Between Dark and Light at WTF Are You Reading: http://www.wtfareyoureading.com/2013/03/seventh-star-press-presents-between.html
Spotlight at Beagle Book Space: http://mylittlebookspace.blogspot.com/2013/03/tour-spotlight-between-dark-and-light.html
A guest post about the importance of confidence at Urban Fantasy Reviews: http://www.ufreviews.com/2013/03/da-adams-guest-post.html
A little self-satire for Fourth Wall Friday at the Cabin Goddess: http://cabingoddess.com/2013/03/dances-with-dwarves-d-a-adams-fourth-wall-friday/
Spotlight on John F. Allen’s website: http://johnfallenwriter.com/2013/03/11/between-dark-light-blog-tour-with-d-a-adams/comment-page-1/#comment-294
Review at Spellbindings: http://www.spellbindingsblog.com/2013/03/between-dark-and-light-book-tour.html#.UUCWt9a9auJ
Review at Workaday Reads: http://www.workadayreads.com/2013/03/the-brotherhood-of-dwarves.html
Spotlight at Celtic Lady Reviews: http://celticladysreviews.blogspot.com/2013/03/between-dark-and-light-by-daadams-2013.html
Interview for Horsham Writers Circle: http://horshamwriters.co.uk/visiting-authors/d-a-adams
Review at The One Saga website: http://www.theonesaga.com/the-brotherhood-of-dwarves-book-1-by-d-a-adams/