Diana Dru Botsford, author of the Stargate SG-1 novels FOUR DRAGONS and THE DRIFT, was awesome enough to both provide a fantastic back-cover blurb for my book and host me on her blog yesterday! Go here to find out how my love of Stargate influenced aspects of STEEL VICTORY.
The official book launch of STEEL VICTORY at Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind retreat was amazing. The mass book signing on Friday night is always a great event for authors and readers to interact. One of the measures of an in-person book sale event is not necessarily how many books you sell, but how many you sell to people who aren’t already your friends. I’m proud to say that while many of my friends did purchase my book, a significant number of books I signed were for people I had not met before that weekend.
(Even better is the number of people who mentioned on Saturday and Sunday that they had already started the novel and were enjoying it!)
A special shout out goes to my friends Chris and Jo for both keeping me from stressing out during the day and helping me set up my beautiful table. Chris gets extra credit for fetching me a napkin when the most amazing part of the night happened: My parents drove 5 hours from Dayton, Ohio, to surprise me! (The napkin was necessary for happy tears.) My father is also a published author and so knew the importance of the occasion and wanted to be there to support me.
So now my baby is off into the world. Part 1 of this journey is complete.
Part 2 of this journey has a few more hours of editing to do before I can send it to my editor.
Part 3 is going to get a full scene-by-scene outline in July.
(I saw a meme a few months ago that being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. SO TRUE.)
I hope you will all be there to continue this journey with me in the years to come.
STEEL VICTORY comes out in less than 48 hours. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
I should be packing for Seton Hill University’s In Your Write Mind conference right now (where STEEL VICTORY debuts at the mass book signing on Friday night), but I’m exhausted from the gym and have a cat in my lap, so I’m not moving anytime soon.
In the meantime, please enjoy this partial scene from the beginning pages of the novel.
Victory led Asaron back around the side of the boat. All the noise came from where she’d left Mikelos. They ducked between cargo containers, dashing through the maze toward the opposite end of the boat.
“Move, and we’ll cut your line. Where’s your friend?”
When she heard the voice ahead of her, she halted Asaron with an arm across his chest. She crouched and poked her head around one of the containers, not wanting to attract attention quite yet. Three men stood at the deck railing with their backs to her. She couldn’t tell whether they were armed.
Then she heard Mikelos. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She recognized that tone of voice. Her daughter used it on her all the time when she tried to act the innocent. Now she knew where Toria got it from.
Mikelos continued, “Your captain made the arrangements for me to ferry a friend out here for him since you weren’t stopping in Limani.” Oh, she knew where he was going with this. She would smack him later, after she thanked him
for stalling so well. “Guess he didn’t want to share.”
Her cue. Straightening, Victory strolled out from between two of the metal containers wearing her best innocent look. “What seems to be the problem here, gentlemen?” She flashed them a charming smile and sauntered toward the railing.
The center sailor sneered at her, revealing few teeth. “Who’re you?”
“Just a visitor. You can check with your captain. He should still be in his bunk.” Ignoring the men, she looked over the edge of the deck down to Mikelos. “Ready to go?”
Mikelos gave a curt nod before pulling loose the rope knot tied to their little boat. When Victory swung one leg over the railing, the man of poor dental hygiene grabbed Victory’s arm. “Not so fast, girl.”
She smiled again at the man holding her arm, this time flashing a bit of fang. He yelped and jumped back. “I’m quite fast, thank you,” she said before dropping down to the boat, landing with a small rock of the vessel. “Take that as you will,
but my husband might be a bit insulted!”
Asaron appeared next to the men at the railing above her. He tossed his rucksack and both swords down to her, then pitched himself over the edge of the boat to dive headfirst into the water.
“See ya,” Victory said up to the gaping sailors. She shoved the boat from the side of the barge when Mikelos revved the engine.
One of the sailors above her drew a pistol from his belt and took aim. “Get down!” Victory dropped to the deck, and a bullet whizzed past her head.
More bullets hit the water around them. Good thing Asaron didn’t need to come up for air.
The small fishing boat drew away at top speed, such as it was. There were a few more shouts from the crew, but they weren’t being paid to keep vampires prisoner. Victory was not inclined to complain when the shots ceased. Water lapped at her fingers, and she raised her head.
“This isn’t good,” Mikelos said.
The second part of my interview series with Dog Star Books was posted on Friday! This focused more on my writing style and habits.
Click here to learn about what made me want to become a writer, how I balance writing with real life, and where my favorite writing spots are!
PS. We are at less than 5 days until the STEEL VICTORY release! Who else is excited?
Yesterday, I participated in the Cast Your Characters feature over at Heidi Ruby Miller’s blog. Go here to see which actors should play my main characters if STEEL VICTORY ever makes it to the big (or small) screen!
I am honored to receive a review from Publishers Weekly for my debut novel, STEEL VICTORY!
I know writers are supposed to adore every inch of their babies and think they are absolutely amazing, but I’m enough of an editor and I’ve taken enough literary criticism courses in my life to 99% agree with the review as a whole. STEEL VICTORY isn’t perfect, but it’s a good, fun read, and I’m glad PW seems to agree with me on that point.
“The innovative combination of genres is appealing, and Gribble’s multiple story lines—invasion, anti-creature bias, and intercity politics—mesh very well together….This is a solid first effort that sets the stage for more installments in an intriguing world with complex characters.”
Honestly, if they’re this happy with STEEL VICTORY, then they are going to love book 2, STEEL MAGIC!
The full review is here.
(By the way, the 1% of the review I don’t agree with is the year mentioned. There’s actually no year mentioned in the book whatsoever, but I’ll take 2094 CE as a pretty good guess.)
(I’m going to go dance around with my cats some more about the fact that I got a review from PW.)
The Goodreads giveaway for STEEL VICTORY is on for 5 more days! This contest is open to all countries. Click here to enter. My fingers are crossed for you!
I almost forgot to add: The book will be signed! By me! (If you want the book signed by anybody else, that is up to you.)
My imprint, Dog Star Books, posted part 1 of an interview series with me today!
Click here to learn about some of the influences for STEEL VICTORY, find out why you will adore my leading ladies, and read a short excerpt from the novel.
Stayed tuned for part 2 of the interview, which will focus more on my writing style and habits in general, coming up next week.
UNVEILING THE RAINBOW
Artist Steven Archer has created a raw, textured cover to match B.E. Burkhead’s gritty, and unapologetic realism. In this poetry collection Burkhead shows readers what happens when they take off their rose-colored glasses and look at the world around them.
Instead of fields of freshly grown flowers, he writes of alleys with broken bottles and hypodermic needles, no happily-ever-afters, just blunt and honest truths, sometimes with endings, sometimes without. Just as life doesn’t hand out answers, Burkhead doesn’t sugarcoat its truths.
COMING IN JULY
You can pre-order this collection now!
“Underside took me on an unexpected emotional journey I relished long after reading. To me that’s the mark of a damn fine collection–and one that will remain in my library forever.” —Jessica McHugh, author of The Green Kangaroos
“There is a blatant honesty, an abject truth in B. E. Burkhead’s words, which is not buoyantly hateful, but bleakly hopeful.”—G. Arthur Brown, author of Kitten
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast. His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. He is the author and illustrator of the children’s book Luna Maris. For more information about Ego Likeness, please visitwww.egolikeness.com. Steven’s solo electronic project can be found at www.hopefulmachines.net.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born dead to a barren woman, B. E. Burkhead is a poet, writer and artist. He lives on the vestigial tail of Maryland with his wife, son and an army of starving cats. The Underside of the Rainbow is his first book of collected poetry.
I participated in the Five +1 Questions feature on author Samantha Holloway’s blog, Herding the Dragon! Go there to learn what words I want stricken from the English language, how I would turn STEEL VICTORY into a television show, and which fantasy series I think everyone should read.
Thanks for having me, Samantha!