It’s time! Time for you to see the most impressive cover of the Steam Empire Chronicles series. Without further ado, here it is!
Let me know what you think! What are you most looking forward to?
Good Afternoon Everyone!
For today’s blog post, here’s the entire Prologue of Steel Praetorian, which is on sale on December 1st, only six days away! You can grab your copy for pre-order now. If you haven’t ready Iron Tribune yet, it’s on sale this month only for $3.99! Grab your copy today so you can be ready for all the vicious action and desperate battles of Steel Praetorian. But now, enjoy the first chapter of Steel Praetorian (Those of you with Iron Tribune already have read half this chapter, now enjoy the rest!)
In the 4th of July Holiday spirit, I figured I’d share a bit more of the most recent update to Antioch Burns. In this scene, the Mongols attempt to eliminate the remnants of a Roman patrol on the outskirts of Antioch before they can warn the city….
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Unfortunately, for the people of Antioch in my next novel, this is not a good time to be in town. You see, the Mongolians have invaded….
Enjoy the tantalizing sneak peek at Antioch Burns, my 2nd novella that is still in the pipeline. I hope you like the tidbit.
. Copper Centurion should be out on iTunes this weekend as well. If you like the novels, please rate and review them so that others can join the world of Romanpunk.
*and remember to wear sunscreen!*
The countryside flew by at a prodigious rate, the horses of the auxilia scouting unit eating up the leagues of rolling hills and farmland. The double score of men rode two abreast, sunlight shinning off their glittering scale armor. The detachment of horsemen sent up a thin cloud of dust from the dirt road as they crested a low rise, their leader reining in his steed. Decanus Orestus Flavian reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a map. He traced their route with his gloved finger.
“According to the merchant’s report, he saw the burning homes down this way. He also said there was a lot of easterner cavalry. Pah!” He laughed. “Probably one of those damnable tribal disputes lighting up again. Stupid civilian probably hasn’t ever seen a real eastern horseman in his life.” He quipped to his auxilia. Several of his men laughed. They had been together for some time. Flavian liked to say that he had been born in the saddle. Out here on the eastern border of the Imperial Roman Empire, the massed cavalry forces of the eastern Mongolian Khannates were the main threat, and the Romans had been forced to develop their forces in kind. Flavian was one of the original founders, boys picked from the riding stables of various major cities, given weapons and armor and sent to fight on horses not designed for the job. The fact that he survived the two years of brutal, no-holds-barred warfare spoke to his skill and tenacity. That he rose in rank to lead an auxilia detachment, the ground based eyes and ears of the Roman Army, spoke to his intelligence.
Using this intelligence now, Flavian guided his men off the dirt roadway, to better mask their dust cloud as they approached the supposed scene of the attack. They rode through the field, trampling the high crops with impunity. Finally, the horsemen crested a short rise, and the officer reined his men in.
“In the name of Jupiter…” Flavian’s jaw dropped, gaping at the sight laid out before him.
After fiddling with iMovie and Youtube, I’ve successfully placed the radio interview I did with Global Talk Radio on youtube. If you have a moment, pop over and listen to it!
Also, I’m currently in the hunt for some advanced review copy readers for Copper Centurion. If you’re interested in getting a free book, plus an awesome free digital booklet of all the Steam Empire Chronicles artwork, leave me a message and I’ll deliver it right to your door! If you like it, I’d love for you to review the novel and tell the world about it on Amazon, Apple, B&N, your choice 🙂
As soon as I get word back from my illustrators that the illustrations are ready to be inserted into the novel, I’ll be asking for some people willing to do a book tour (I’m thinking April, so keep your schedules open, te-he!)
I’ll be back with more soon,
Just wanted to share the blurb for Copper Centurion, the latest book in the Steam Empire Chronicles, coming early 2013!
In Brass Legionnaire, new recruit Julius Brutus Caesar and his royal commanding officer Constantine Appius fought to save the city of Brittenburg from total devastation. Now,
in Copper Centurion, Rome looks to avenge the actions of the Nortlanders and invades the north. But saddled with political oversight, inept leadership and a resourcefully cunning enemy, the expedition walks a fine line between glory and destruction. With their technology failing, it will be down to swords and shields in the next novel of the Steam Empire Chronicles, Copper Centurion.
Let me know what you all think! (
Strike through indicates edits!)
So as a reader, I’m a big fan of separating your author blog from your book website. Since I’m planning a series, I put together a website for my series over at brasslegionnaire.com so that people who were interested in the book could check it out. I envision this site growing as each book gets its own ‘branch’ so to speak from the main page. I used Wix to design and host my website
When you first go to the site, you start at a pretty empty page, where you can click on one of two pictures or on the enter button. All the options take you to the same place. As I publish more books, I’ll be able to expand the options and add pages to purchase the book.
Well, to be honest I stumbled across them and started using their website for fun. It’s very intuitive and simple to use. You don’t have to know about HTML code or anything like that. It’s more like Powerpoint, where you drag pictures around the page and you can upload things to post as well. Although I consider myself a relatively technology capable person, I didn’t want to waste my limited funds hiring someone to make my page, when I had a site like this that I could play with enough to make it myself!
You do have to spend some money to register your site for your own domain name and to eliminate their ads, but you also get some nice vouchers for facebook and google ads that you can use to offset some of the cost (What you spend here, you won’t have to spend there)
Would I recommend Wix?
Yes, I would recommend them based on their simple, easy to use site and the way most people can figure out how to do it if you have a basic knowledge of Powerpoint or Word. They have helpful videos to show you how to set up your site and format things. They offer enough different price packages to give you options for most budgets.That being said, if you’ve got a friend or relative who is really handy with HTML code, it might be better for them to do it for you. But being a finicky person myself, I liked the control I had over every step of the process.
The book’s illustrations are now complete! I’ve sent the book and all the other odds and ends back to my format/illustration team and they are hard at work putting it all together for the final event. I’m very excited for you to have the opportunity to read the novel I’ve spent so long in making. It’s been an intense experience these past couple of months. I’ve set a personal goal to publish Brass Legionnaire by mid-May.
Good Evening all!
Just got word from the illustrator that all the illustrations have been conceptualized and they are now hard at work putting the recommendations I asked for in place. I figured I’d share the rough drafts since you’ll have to buy the book to see the final ones 🙂
I’m really liking where these illustrations are going. My illustrators suggested a random edge effect on the final draft (which I’ve seen, and think you’ll like) that breaks up the ‘too neat’ border of the picture. Here’s the end of scene book.
Speaking of that, here’s a sneak peek inside the world of Brass Legionnaire.
It was often said that even the fog feared to tread in the depths of Sludge Bottom. Only the brave, the foolhardy, the desperate, or the conniving dared to venture into that economically stagnant and most run-down sector of Brittenburg, where seedy gambling halls, dank, smoke-filled bars, and automaton-fighting pits in abandoned warehouses were the chief attractions. The operators of these businesses, always tight-fisted and tight-lipped, had tightened their vigilance as well, with the auxilia more active recently. Anyone who seemed a bit out of place or a tad too eager to learn more about their companions at the gambling table was “taken care of,” right along with anyone who happened to develop an exceptionally strong winning streak at the dice tables or during a rigged card game.
Here, Domino Grex ran the notorious Atrium, five stories of every kind of disreputable entertainment imaginable. The building stank of desperation and ill-gotten gains. The fact that it was neither as well-lit nor as well-ventilated as its name implied appealed to the con artists, runaway peasants, prostitutes, loan sharks, and the city’s assorted riff-raff who frequented the establishment. And no one crossed Grex. The survival rate for those who did was zero. Even the auxilia dared not raid the place. Domino Grex had so many illicit connections that his complex was untouchable; any officer who tried to impose the law soon found himself transferred to the city’s Sanitary Division.
Though the private rooms on the fifth floor could provide for any vice or perversion, they seemed to exude the evil, hatred, anger, and violence they’d witnessed over the years. No member of Grex’s staff was assigned up there for any length of time. Too many seemed to disappear, go mad, or simply see things that . . . shouldn’t . . . be there.
One of the largest of these rooms had been booked for the evening. Two muscular street toughs stood on either side of a dented copper door, the verdigris of age belying its well-oiled mechanisms. The men leaned on heavy clubs, and short swords and daggers were sheathed at their belts. The toughs stepped together in front of the door as three cloaked figures approached, blocking their passage.
The cloaked figures each withdrew necklaces from within their cowls to display small medallions with intricately geared moving components. Newly alert eyes lighting up their dull expressions, the thugs nodded to one another and moved aside to let the strangers pass. The leader inserted his medallion into an opening in the wall as if it were a key; after an audible hum, the door hissed open, sliding slowly into the wall. The figures passed between the two toughs, who ignored them—their job was to guard the door; what happened inside was not their business.
With another hiss, the door squealed shut behind the last cloaked figure to enter, and the gaslights blazed in their wall sconces, casting a yellowish haze throughout the room. Two of the figures moved to the last remaining high-backed chairs surrounding a massive brass table, designed in the shape of a gear, in the center of the room. The third figure stood between and slightly behind the two chairs, keeping his face in shadow. Anticipation weighted the air, seeming to make movement a challenge…
More to come later! Ciao!
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Just to get you in the mood:
A clattering sound drew Julius’s attention back to the tower in time to see the tribune hastening down the metal ladder. He waited for Constantine to join them before asking nonchalantly, “So, Tribune, sir, how did reason fare over violence and anger?”
The tribune grimaced. “We’ll just have to reinforce the lesson with a bit of old-fashioned corporal punishment.” A thousand-throat scream of fury and belligerence interrupted him.
He ran back to grab the discarded speaking trumpet. This time he addressed the defenders. “Ready, boys—remember your training! Keep your thrusts short and cover your brothers. Repeaters, I want as much fire as you can place on those rebels. Aim for the leaders if you can!”
The guttural screams rose in pitch. “Here they come!”
The rush to publish is on! Here’s a quick update of the comings and goings during the last few days.
1.) The edited files are being read through as we speak (3/4 of the way through now, making notes to return it to the editor!)
2.) Illustrations are in progress (Saw the first one – looks awesome!) The readers will definitely be in for a treat!
3.) Super top secret awesomeness for the Kickstart Supporters (and later the newsletter sign-uppers) is completely finished! I’ll post the very first draft of it on here to give you a baby clue as to what it may look like.
4.) Finished the book series website, but holding off on publishing it until the book is almost ready.
5.) Upgraded my wordpress to change Modern Papyrus to danielottalini.com – This is now more my blog and author site, rather than the review and thoughts blog it was originally!
Wow, so much done, and yet still so much to do! It’s early April now, and my goal was to have the book published by June, so now that is a very reasonable goal (in my mind at least). Still have an array of things to do before then though. I’ve taken some time to sit down and set up a plan to promote my book.
1. Talk to friends, family, etc. (Short and sweet – they’ll probably get sick of me)
2. Build an online presence on Goodreads (Add me as a friend!) Twitter, Facebook (Coming soon!), and my blog. This is in progress now! For example, the folks over at Indie Book Collective had some great promotional things going down. I’d want to join in on that!
3. Set up and finalize book-website with cross-linking between it and here.
4. Set up a newsletter service through Mail Chimp or Adweber.
5. Get bookmarks, stamps, and business cards through Zazzle so that I can do low-level promoting (leaving bookmarks in books at library, business cards when paying tabs at restaurants, shamelessly self promoting myself in all areas 🙂
6. Set up giveaways on Goodreads and send books to be reviewed by several self-publishing blogs/steampunk blogs. One I’ll definitely be contacting is IndieBookSpot for their author interviews and reviews.
I’m sure I’ll think of more in the meantime, but that’s it for right now. Anything else I missed that should be included!?
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My Brother emailed me with the most wonderful birthday gift (not today, but soon!), a finished audio rendition of my chapter one. “Now hold up” I can imagine many of you saying. “Your book isn’t even out yet, how do you have an audio book component?!” Well my good friends, I’ll let you in on a little secret… Most editors will do a free test edit of your first chapter. If you like what you see, you can send them the rest. In my case, I was fortunate enough to have a great editor in Marg Gilks over at Scriptora Editing Services. Not only was she actually interested in the story, but I carefully reviewed her previous work and found a few books similar to mine. So I hired her.
Back to the main point! I asked my brother, who has lots of voice and drama experience, if he would be willing to read my book. I love his voice, and he is able to make the different voices. I’ll admit, the first time he read it, I got goosebumps! He emailed me the copy earlier today, and I set to work.
Just a brief background – he used his PowerBook G4 with GarageBand to make the audio. He spent a few days locked in his room, recording and fiddling and rerecording. No expensive microphone (he started using a headset microphone I have from Rosetta Stone, but gave up on it after a while and just used his regular computer microphone) was needed. The music comes from Garageband’s ample free library, and I think it fits the mood really well. You can even fiddle around with it to make your own music.
So after I got the files, I simply plopped them into iMovie, imported my cover art, and using a few ‘Ken Burns’ slides and transitions, I was able to make a pretty handy book chapter teaser. I wouldn’t say it is on par with the professionally produced ones, but it doesn’t have to be. I didn’t spend $800 on it either. This way, I get the best of both worlds: A free book teaser with increased traffic and attention, while also doing it quick and easy. Now granted, I used family to help out, but that’s what they are for! He was amply paid in food, and the chance of a free room in my condo/house at some point.
Anyways, the most frustrating part was splitting up the file. It was 22 minutes long, and YouTube only lets you load 15 minutes at a time. Keep that in mind! If possible, record your audio and stop at good points, so that you can split it up easier. I had a hard time finding my split, as the most convenient on was at… 15:05. Seriously. 5 extra seconds was all standing between me and perfection and I could not make it fit. So I cut elsewhere. A little bit rougher, but it still works.
The thing I like best was that I could upload it direct to Youtube. A click here, there, and poof, it’s online! Don’t forget to make sure you tag your video with appropriate tags to grab the right people’s attention! Another cool thing is that eventually, it will be the start of my audiobook as well if I don’t get it more professionally done.
By the way, FUN news! My Kickstarter project was actually funded! Hurrah! I’d honestly given up hope, but sometimes it just takes one person to make a difference. If you’re still interested in helping out, you can contribute for another two days here. Please consider contributing, each extra dollar helps me get more cool promotional things and keep the cost of editing the book down.
Here’s the second part of the trailer for your viewing benefit! Or read the entire thing here -> Brass Legionnaire Chapter 1