I write for my own enjoyment (though I do have a target audience in mind when I write most of my stories) but there are a handful of people I hope to earn the Head Nod of Respect from one day. These are people who aren’t celebrities by any means (though some have audiences far larger than mine). They are creators whose work I have known for some time and whose work I in turn respect and enjoy. I won’t list those people (that would feel like I was begging for attention), but I will list some people who I believe have earned it from me.
You need to check out the stuff these people produce. I’ve sung their praises before, but you can’t say too many good things about a person.
JC Hutchins – He’s one of the reasons I got into podcasting my own fiction. He consistently tells amazing stories in interesting ways. He also likes to try new things and isn’t afraid to set those things aside when they don’t work.
Paul Cooley – One of the smartest horror writers I know. If you like a good scare, you need to be reading his work.
Terry Mixon – I’ve just started reading Terry’s work. Not everything he’s written is my cup of tea, but he knows his ish when it comes to writing.
Christiana Ellis – One of the funniest and most gentle spirits in the world of podcasting. She’s put so much amazing stuff out into the world I just can’t begin to list it.
Mike Plested – He started a podcast on getting published and then worked his butt off to get it done. If you like good YA or heck, just good fiction period, you need to check out his stuff.
Tee Morris – One of the father’s of podcast fiction; Tee has a biting sense of humor, amazing taste in beer, and constantly surprises me with the variety of fiction he tackles.
Jared Axelrod – Seriously one of the most multi-talented artists I know. I can’t say enough good things about what he’s done for me as a creator (whether he realizes it or not).
Philippa Ballantine – Another early presence in the podcast arena, Pip has gone on to be quite the success with her husband and writing partner Tee and on her own.
Skinner Co. – I’m a podcast junky and I know how hard it is to put good work out there on a regular basis. These three people do that and then some. They’ve built a tremendous community and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
Jake Bible – Seriously one of the most thoughtful and hardest working writers I personally know. He’s living proof that horror writers can be sweet, kind, and not at all what you would expect.
Starla Hutchton – A savvy business person, a great writer, and a sharp designer; Starla is a whole lot of talent in one package.
I hope to give more head nods down the line. Please feel free to give your own in the comments and provide links!
I have long been a fan of Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine and I thoroughly enjoy the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Its action, adventure, and memorable characters pull me into the universe with ease. When I tried to think about what I could do to promote the new book I decided that I’d do a contest. I want to give one lucky person a signed copy of all three books. Two people will receive a signed copy of the new book. Three will receive an e-book of Dawn’s Early Light. The new book will be out in Mid March so I’m running the contest for a month. Please spread the word!!
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…
After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.
Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…
Available for preorder on Amazon.
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Between the living and the dead is the Order of the Deacons, protectors of the Empire, guardians against possession, sentinels enlisted to ward off the malevolent haunting of the geists… Among the most powerful of the Order is Sorcha, now thrust into partnership with the novice Deacon, Merrick Chambers. They have been dispatched to the isolated village of Ulrich to aide the Priory with a surge of violent geist activity. With them is Raed Rossin, Pretender to the throne that Sorcha is sworn to protect, and bearer of a terrible curse. But what greets them in the strange settlement is something far more predatory and more horrifying than any mere haunting. And as she uncovers a tradition of twisted rituals passed down through the dark reaches of history, Sorcha will be forced to reconsider everything she thinks she knows. And if she makes it out of Ulrich alive, what in Hell is she returning to?
It’s not too often I run across a book that I feel has something truly original to offer. Much in the world of science fiction and fantasy seems to be someone trying to retell Star Wars or Lord of the Rings (themselves not entirely “original”). Finally in the form of Geist, Philippa Ballantine brings something to my bookshelf that’s a breath of cool, autumnal air. Not to push the comparison too far, while I was reading it there was some summer heat and the occasional slap of winter’s chill. Okay enough seasonal analogies (for serious seasonal analogies I recommend a powerful anti-histamine or possibly handcuffs for the writer).
The story starts off with an intense action scene that does more than just set up the pace for the rest of the book. You also get to learn a good bit about the world, Sorcha, and the odds stacked against her. The book’s not just about her though. It would be good enough if it was, but Philippa also introduces several other characters, each with hidden depths and secrets that go somewhere. Add to that a world that’s as complex as any other fantasy realm (without all the weighty exposition that bogs many of them down) and you have a book well worth buying.
When I got to the end of the book I wanted more and here’s where it gets really good. You can find out more about the world of the Order here. Several writers have pitched in to write short stories set in this world. If you like it as much as I did you can also look forward to Spectyr next year and Wrayth (probably in 2012).
If this is the first you’ve heard of her work then you’ll also want to go to her site and check out the rest of her stories, many of which can be had in podcast form for free.
I give Geist a hardy four and a half out of five Egons. So go buy it!!