Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pre-Order The Temporal Element

Even before the final deadline is punched, it's time for a special offer!

Those of you who have contributed to The Temporal Element will have to wait a while before I can give you your deeper discount, but for readers who want to reserve copies ahead of time, I am pleased to offer a special discount.  Reserve your copy of this thrilling anthology for only $11.50, USA shipping included.  The projected retail price will be $12.95, but I'm knocking it down for those of you who are interested enough to buy early.

To order at this special price, visit the order page, or just send me an email to mtiediting (at), and let me know how many copies you'd like to reserve at this special price.  I'll reply with payment instructions, and you'll be all set to receive one of the first printed copies.

The official release date for The Temporal Element is April 1, 2013.

Last Call for The Temporal Element

This is it.  Time sure flies, doesn't it?  Here we are, January 31st, and that means we are about to see the final deadline for submissions to The Temporal Element anthology.  There are a lot of really good stories already sitting in the collection, though there are a couple of people I was hoping to see submit who haven't found the time or the right story.  Perhaps they'll sneak in under the wire sometime today or tonight.

This is a momentous occasion, the first deadline for any Martinus Publishing anthology.  Rest assured, this won't be the last.  As we close the door on one set of submissions, another collection is being planned!  In the coming week, I'll be announcing several exciting new projects, and share our first Hit of the Month, giving you the chance to read the first sample of The Temporal Element.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The First Review of The Curse of Selwood

Yes, the word is beginning to circulate about The Curse of Selwood, and the first review has been posted on  This one comes from a loyal fan, Kevin Finnegan, who has been reading my stuff since Virtual Wiles.  This is a man who has a lot of integrity, and he gives honest reviews.  Have a look at what he has to say about The Curse of Selwood:

Just finished reading this and I must say the author has written a terrific story. I've read all his other works, and while "Rogue Investigations" has always been my personal favorite this latest work may cause me to revise my list. The major characters of Selwood are fleshed out in this 2nd installment and their personal struggles and character traits add depth to the story.

When I compare the "Selwood" stories to "Rogue Investigations" and "The Guns of Mars", it's quite clear how Ingham is growing and developing as an author. Those earlier stories were good but the characters were not as fully developed as in these latest efforts. Ingham takes the time to include some personal history of each character in order to show what drives them. Because we see this we are made aware of their individual strengths and personal flaws and so come to care about them. That's what makes me want to keep turning the pages - I care about the people in the story and I want to find out what happens to them.

I don't know of any other stories that involve sword and sorcery imagery and are set in the Wild West. It's quite unique. Ingham makes reference to some well-known historical figures and events, which helps the reader fill in the details of the Selwood universe from his own imagination. That too, makes it a "fuller" world.

Ingham includes some detailed information when describing various firearms used in the story and it's obvious that he has a great deal of personal knowledge on the subject. He takes many opportunities to describe some aspects of these weapons in the story; describing some element of their construction, their use in the field, their relative strengths and weaknesses and how their owners actually feel about them. To me, a pistol is a pistol and a rifle is a rifle. I don't own a firearm and I've never given much thought to using one on regularly. But many of the characters in the story have very strong preferences about firearms. It has piqued my interest in them to some degree.

There's a lot left to explore in the Selwood universe. I'd like to see more stories involving these characters, and even some of the minor characters, like the bartender, are quite intriguing and their involvement in future stories can only enhance the series. Thankfully, Ingham sees no need to include immoral content or offensive language, so his stories can be enjoyed by younger (teenaged) readers as well.

Now, go out and get your own copy of The Curse of Selwood, and see if you agree with this 4-star review.  If you're really generous, think of sharing your own opinions about this work, as well.  Spread the word, and keep the story alive!

Kindle Version
Print Edition

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Temporal Element—Last Call

We're nearing the end of the submissions process, but there are still a few days left.  You have until Thursday night to get your time-travel-related story to me for inclusion in this anthology.  There are still a few slots open if the right stories come across my desk.  As it is, there are enough stories currently accepted to make this a good-sized collection, but there's always room for more!

I know there are a few of you who are waiting for the last minute, and that's perfectly fine.  Do not be discouraged by the late date.  Don't think "There's no point submitting, since he's probably got all the stories he needs already."  If you have a story, send it in, and you'll have as good a shot now of getting accepted as you would have had four months ago.

Give it a try.  It just might be your lucky sub!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

National Chevy Association

I'd like to take a minute to mention a company that I've done a lot of business with lately.  National Chevy Association specializes in 1949-1954 Chevrolet car parts, and they do a fantastic job.  They are an invaluable resource for anyone who owns (or is thinking of getting) a 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, or 1954 Chevy.

Other than having the largest selection of replacement parts for the aforementioned vehicles, they also send out a monthly newsletter for members.  Anyone who places an order of $85 or more receives annual membership, though you can also buy a membership separately.  The newsletter has special offers, and interesting articles, including many from fellow NCA members discussing their cars.  I plan to send them an article about my 1954 Bel-Air when I have it finished.

Getting back to the parts, National Chevy has almost every part you could ask for; anything that is available, they've got it.  They also have the cheapest prices in most cases.  Their service is excellent, and they ship things quickly.  Having purchased a lot of things from them, I can attest to the quality of the goods and the efficiency of the staff.

There are, of course, a few things that are not quite perfect, though that is the nature of buying parts for old cars. You run into a few aftermarket items that aren't quite right, such as the trunk carpet I had to trim (see article), but it's nothing I would complain about too much.  These old cars weren't made exactly alike, and some models have slight variations.  If you want everything perfect, with no adjustment required, you probably shouldn't attempt to restore old cars.

National Chevy has made my restoration project much easier than I first thought it would be.  It's very nice to have a company that specializes in the parts I need, and it gives me comfort to know that I'll be able to get whatever I need.  It gets me thinking about restoring another Chevy from this period.  Perhaps someday, after I'm done with the '54.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Temporal Element Cover Revealed!

We're less than two weeks away from the end of the submissions period for The Temporal Element anthology, and as we near the completion of the story-selection process I'm pleased to reveal the recently-designed cover, illustrated by the talented Paul Milligan:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have half a dozen story submissions to review.

For those who are still interested in submitting, you have until the 31st of January to get your story to me.  Check the Submission Guidelines for details.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another One Bites the Dust

Well, it's time again for some bad news.  Pill Hill Press, publisher of "The Guns of Mars," and several of my short stories in different anthologies, has closed down.  Yet another market fades to black.  It is another sad affair, for certain.

I'm not sure what this means for The Guns of Mars yet, though I should be getting a letter soon about the rights.

This is a sign of the times, as well as the fluid nature of the publishing industry in general.  People no longer have the time or money to indulge in the "hobby" of being a publisher.  It's really going to be hard for aspiring writers in the future, as more and more of these small markets vanish.  Fewer venues will mean a lot of good books will never see the acceptance they deserve, nor have the editorial revisions they may require to become true gems.

I want to assure everyone that Martinus Publishing is here to stay, and with all of these small presses shutting down I'll be here to pick up the slack.  If anything, this may give me cause to expand, and become a true force to be reckoned with in the book publishing world!  I will rage against the dying of the light, so to speak.

Even though a shrinking marketplace may provide opportunities for my publishing company, it does have disadvantages for me as a writer.  First it was Hall Brothers Entertainment.  Now, with Pill Hill Press shutting down, I find myself with virtually all of my books "in house."  While it may be convenient to have all of my books under the Martinus Publishing banner, it will put a black mark on my credibility as an author. 

While Martinus is a legitimate publishing company, I fear that most industry professionals will consider my books "self-published," and therefore consider my works "invalid."  There is still a bias against self-publishing, even more so today where virtually anyone can "publish" a book for almost nothing.  The bias isn't wholly unjustified because of this ease of modern publishing.  There are a lot of books being released that have not been edited properly, and are not ready to see the light of day.  With so many unqualified manuscripts floating around the self-publishing world, the works that are good and worth reading are maligned and marginalized amidst the slush.

So, it's back to the drawing board.  The works that have already been "published" by other presses that are now defunct will have to be released by the Martinus Publishing line, because it would be next to impossible to find another publisher interested in putting out a "second edition."  Maybe I should resume the search for other publishers to release my previously unreleased works, though the marketplace is contracting, making it even harder to get anywhere.  Besides, it seems the only editors who ever understood my writing have gone out of business.  Damn my infernal irrelevancy!

Well, I have a company to run.  2013 is already shaping up to be one rough year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Once More unto the Breach

Well, it's that time of year again, and another Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest is upon us.  I've been an entrant in all previous ABNA contests, and once again I am stepping into the fray, seeking to pit my words against those of my fellows in a painstaking battle of prose.

In ANBA #2 (2009), we saw The Guns of Mars as a semi-finalist, one of only 7 Science Fiction novels to get that far.  In all years since, I haven't even made it out of the pitch phase, and the "finalists" for those years were pretty dry stuff.  I know I'm not the only one who noticed that Sci-Fi stories were basically being shut-out of the running, and the stories that Penguin Publishing wanted were more akin to what Oprah's book club was after.  Now that Amazon is sponsoring the contest themselves, that may be about to change.

For the last 3 years, I have politely urged Amazon to revise their contest, to allow those of us who write genre fiction a genuine shot at winning.  At long last, they have heard my plea (and those of many other writers), and they've changed the contest accordingly.  Now there is a unique category for Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror in the contest, and there will be a guaranteed finalist in this category.  This gives so many writers hope, as we now have a sub-category within the contest which assures that we at least have a chance, even if it is still a longshot.

So, as I said, I've entered again, but I have no illusions.  I know that if I can break through the pitch phase that my entry will have a very good chance.  Yet, the pitch phase itself is a very subjective process, and previous years have taught me to expect nothing.  How ironic it would be, to finally get what I've asked for (an ABNA with a separate Sci-Fi category) and to still fail at the first stage.  Somewhere, somebody will be laughing for sure, so I'll give them less satisfaction by knowing my chances and accepting the probable defeat.

The next argument I'll have to push is a change to the "pitch" phase.  It really is a subjective process, and it doesn't necessarily facilitate the advancement of the "best" entries.  There are plenty of people out there who can throw together a 300 word "advertisement" that'll make any editor's mouth water, but their manuscripts are hardly ready for prime-time, if you catch my drift.  Including the first page of your manuscript along with the "pitch" would make things a lot better, as the initial reviewer would have a sample of each writer's work upon which to base their judgment.

All right, I've nagged and lamented enough.  Win or lose, here goes another shot at the fantastic dream of my life.  Once more unto the breach...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Hit of the Month

As Martinus Publishing moves forward, I'm hoping to start some new promotional features to help draw interest to the website and expand readership.  One major feature I'm hoping to start is something I'm dubbing "Hit of the Month."  Basically, I'll be picking a short story to display as the "hit," something that has piqued my interest and entertained me.  It will be highly arbitrary, and it's not to say that these "hit" stories are superior to anything else that's coming across my desk.  It'll just be something I liked, and decided to share as a promotional tool for Martinus Publishing books.

This is something that I hope to start as early as February, and the first story will be one that has been accepted to The Temporal Element anthology.  Most of the "hit" stories will likely come from anthology submissions, but in addition to the hits we'll also have a special preview run of shorts from the anthologies prior to their release.  Those will come out one per week for four or five weeks.  I anticipate those to start sometime in March, assuming all goes well.  This way, people will have the chance to sample what they'll be buying.

Yes, things will come together for Martinus Publishing.

Friday, January 4, 2013

What a Croc!

This Christmas, I had the opportunity to sample a few new things.  Among the varied holiday goodies, there was a different kind of cheese tossed into the mix.  Old Croc, an Australian import.  There are quite a few tasty things that come from Down Under, and as it turns out this cheese is one of them.  I was thrilled by the extra sharp taste of their cheddar, and I would highly recommend this stuff to any cheese connoisseur.  It's among the best cheddar I've ever sampled.

They should have Paul Hogan do an advertisement for them.  That's some Croc!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Check Your Email

This is a problem I've run into over the years, and it grows more prevalent as I venture forth into the Publishing industry.  Many of the email contacts I have for writers are secondary "free" email addresses, ones that the authors in question may or may not check on a regular basis.

I'm often left wondering if my emails are getting through when I send something to certain people and they never reply.  When I fail to get any kind of response to my messages, I can't tell if they've failed to get the letter, or they are just ignoring me.  It's entirely possible that some people have no interest in talking to me, or giving me the courtesy of saying "no thanks" to a particular invitation, but it's also a great concern that they may be missing out on something because they've changed email addresses, or forgotten about a certain inbox they set up way back for special purposes.

I'm sorry to say I've also lost a few email addresses over the past year, including some belonging to distant cousins I was talking to about our shared ancestry.  If you haven't heard from me recently, feel free to drop me an email, and let me know how you're doing.  I've still go the same earthlink email, if you're wondering (I'd particularly like to hear from a certain Counts cousin whose email was lost in my last computer crash last year).  Note to self: In future, keep a written record of email addresses in case of disaster!

The moral of today's blog post: check your email, and please respond if you get something from me, even if it's to say "stop writing me, you freak!"  It'll help everyone involved.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Stuff for the New Year

Here we are, the year 2013.  We're almost a quarter of the way through the twenty-first century.  Oh, what amazing future times we live in.  Even without flying cars, magical food dispensers,  and personal jetpacks, there are many marvels to behold.  Of course, there's still a lot of work to do, and plenty of innovation to come, assuming we don't fall off into a new dark age due to societal mismanagement.

With that being said, I'd like to make a few predictions for 2013.  Some of these are dead serious, others are tongue-in-cheek.  Either way, they're all possible in some reality.

1:  Chevrolet will begin to make money again after the US Government sells off their interest in the company.  Meanwhile, Chrysler will fail to gain market share with a new eco-friendly vehicle called the Squirrel, colloquially known as the "Squirt."

2:  The price of milk will go to $7 a gallon, but gasoline will stay around $4, while Gold will climb to around $2,000 US per ounce.

3:  Scott Brown will win another Senate race in Massachusetts, this time claiming the seat vacated by new Secretary of State John Kerry.

4:  New gun control laws will fail to pass the Congress, but President Obama will sign an executive order, bypassing the House & Senate, in order to further restrict gun rights in America.  NRA membership will surpass 6 million members.

5:  Proof of Aliens visiting Earth will not come to light, leaving conspiracy theorists and Coast-to-Coast AM listeners dumbfounded.

6:  Hollywood will continue to ignore my works, failing to turn West of the Warlock into a hit television series (millions of dollars fail to materialize for all parties who could be involved).  Tv scripts continue to gather dust on my hard drive.

7:  Maine will make headlines as it becomes the first State in the nation to legalize Polygamy.

8:  The Oscars will hit an all time low for ratings.

9:  Queen Elizabeth II will continue to live, despite an unexpected health scare.

10:  Mick Jagger will be arrested for something.

11:  A Martinus Publishing author will be nominated for a Hugo award.

12:  The world will continue to suffer as both Star Trek and Stargate fail to come back on television with new series.

13:  Doctors will create a viable embryo for a human/dog hybrid and bring the fetus to term, producing an unholy beast with an uncanny resemblance to the 1980's tv character Alf!

So, out of these 13 wild predictions, are there any predictions on how many will come true?  Time will be the judge...