Who’s Ready for a Finale? Black Site Bora Premieres Tomorrow!

Are you guys ready?

Tomorrow the ultimate episode of Fireteam Freelance drops. Black Site Bora, episode 12, goes live at 9 AM, Saturday August 8th, 2020. Seven months after the first episode, Zero, made its debut.

This is a juggernaut of an episode. Weighing in at 23,000 words, Black Site Bora is nothing but action from start to finish as the Adah, Ursa, Owl, and Anvil make their do-or-die raid on a UN black site.

So if you’ve been enjoying the journey of the team so far, this is the episode not to miss. Set your alarm clocks. Get your snacks ready. Catch up on any missed episodes over at the Fireteam Freelance page.

Black Site Bora is almost here.

Hit the jump for more news!

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News, News, and More News!

Hello readers!

I feel I must start this news post off with an apology. I know I haven’t said too much on the site lately outside of the regular Being a Better Writer posts. But there has been a reason for it. I’ve been busy writing and trying to help my ribs heal up as quickly as possible, and between that mess (the ribs) and everything else, site posts have been a matter of “Hey I should write that … after I do this one thing.”

But I hope to make up for that a little today. Because this is a big news post. We’ve got the ribs to talk about, AxtaraFireteam FreelanceStarforge … There’s a lot going on!

So, let me get right down to it, starting with the ribs. Rib updates first! Why? Because in a way it has messed with my writing a little.


So, how are the ribs doing? Actually, pretty well. I’ve been working hard to take care of them, from heating and cooling to sleeping in a semi-upright position in a recliner every night. And only two weeks and four days after the breaks occurred, I’m definitely more mobile than the last time I cracked some ribs, and they’re not nearly as battered as they were. In fact, I’ve even been able to go biking for exercise once more—on flat, fresh paving, mind. Cracks and bumps still don’t feel great (though they’re not as bad as they were even a week ago).

Sleeping upright, adding more calcium to my diet … If there’s something I can do for my ribs, I’m doing it. So where, you might be wondering, does this come into writing news? Well, outside of the general health implications … it has messed with my sleep cycle pretty harshly. Sleeping is not comfy with cracked ribs, and even though they’re doing better, lying down is still uncomfortable at first (and not good for them healing), so I’ve been sleeping in a recliner I have.

I don’t sleep that well in a recliner. I’m managing, but between the awkwardness (I really like to both stretch out and sleep on my side, both major no-nos with rib injuries) and the point of my body going “Hey, you need rest to heal this mess” I’ve been sleeping rather late when I do.

So while I have been hitting my quotas, it’s been taking me a bit more time to do so, and since I’m trying to put most of my energy into Starforge at the moment … Well, it has left me a little pressed for time.

So, that’s why there haven’t been as many posts, but the real important work is getting done! So, let’s talk about that important work. First up, let’s talk about Axtara – Banking and Finance!

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Schlock Mercenary Has Come to an End

Surely the author won’t mind me using the logo of his comic to promote it, right? Right?

If you’ve perused my website a little, specifically the links page, you may have noticed that one of the links I’ve had around since the very beginning leads to the most-excellent webcomic Schlock Mercenary, by Howard Tayler. Schlock Mercenary has been a long-time favorite of mine since checking it out in … 2005, I think (?), after I saw Howard present at a few panels at a convention and speak on two topics, one of which would go on to play a vital part of my future career. The first was about how comedy writing was really hard, which I noted. But the other, the big one, was how to take something independent, like a webcomic, and make a living at it.

‘If you can get 5000 people to be fans who will buy and watch your stuff,’ Howard said. ‘You’ll make it. That’s what you need.’

And he knew what he was talking about. See, Howard had left his middle-management job to pursue being a writer (and artist) in the webcomic sphere full time, selling books, prints, and as he once noted with “dark scatological undertones” … maybe even Schlock-in-a-cup.

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Axtara – Banking and Finance Alpha Now Open, Plus Starforge News!

Yeah, I don’t have a cover for Axtara yet (working on it), so the cover for A Dragon and Her Girl will work as the featured image for now. Especially as Axtara takes place in the same setting as A Game of Stakes, which featured in A Dragon and Her Girl. So the two do connect a little!

Anyway, got an exciting news update for you here, readers! Those of you who can read the title have already deduced it, but I’ll repeat it here anyway: Axtara – Banking and Finance is now in Alpha!

Yep! Invites to previous Alpha Readers went out and replied to. How’s it going so far? Well …

One Alpha Reader finished the book within 15 hours of getting their invite. Yeah. It was almost non-stop.

In other words, I think a lot of you readers are going to love this one.

Second, if you’re a prior Alpha Reader but have not received an invite, check your inbox and make sure it didn’t get sent to spam or promotions or some other folder.

Now, with the influx of Alpha Readers received on this title, there’s not really a need for more Alpha Readers at this point … However, they can’t hurt. If you’re interested in being an Alpha Reader, have Alpha’d before or know what it entails, or would like to do a trial run, get in touch with me and we’ll see what we can do.

Other than that, I’m going to keep working on getting this cover done, and once a few more Alpha Readers get through Axtara, start polishing for Beta! Right now I’m planning on a late summer release, and it looks like that window will be neatly open.

There is one other item of note, however, before we hit the jump. Just an FYI sort of bit, but Axtara is only 122,000 words. So standard novel size compared to my usual far. But this also makes it small enough (hah!) to get a print run.

Surprise! More on that as we move closer to a release date. Now, hit the jump for some news on Starforge.

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First to Fifty

I’ve been pretty quiet this week, as many of you may have noticed. No posts after Being a Better Writer save this one (a few days later), etc. But … I’ve had good reason.

For starters, I’ve been in the middle of the finale for Fireteam Freelance all week. Yeah, the big ultimate showdown. So as you can imagine, if I’ve been writing at all, it’s been on that rather than anything else.

But that’s come with some other complications as well. See, Monday night I started developing a sore throat.

Sands and storms, right? By Tuesday it was especially pronounced, and well … with Covid-19 going around and a sore throat being one of the symptoms, I went into deeper self-isolation (read, I didn’t leave my place) these last few days waiting to see if any other symptoms would appear.

Thankfully, none have, and as of today, the sore throat has almost completely vanished outside of a faint occasional itch showing where it once was. Bullet. Dodged.

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“A Parliament of Wizards” Submission Deadline Extended!

Hey readers! Quick update here! Many of you recall the open submissions for Parliament of Wizards, LTUE’s fourth benefit anthology, correct?

Well, due to the Covid-19 quarantine messing with things, the publisher has decided to extend the submission deadline through the end of May. I only realized this the other day, or I’d have informed you all sooner, but if you’d almost completed a submission before the original April deadline, but Covid-19 pushed it to the back burner … you’re in luck! There’s still time!

The new submission deadline is May 30th. Hemelein’s newly updated post on it can be found here.

Being a Better Writer Topic Call!

Readers! The time is upon us! Being a Better Writer‘s Topic List #14 is complete!

By which I mean that I’ve exhausted it. Every topic on the list has been written about over the last few months of Being a Better Writer posts. The list is now empty. There is no content left to write upon.

Which means it’s time to open up Topic List #15 and start anew. Which means, of course, a Topic Call!

If you’re new to the site or don’t recall, a Topic Call is pretty simple. Being a Better Writer is about exactly what’s in the title: Discussion of writing topics so that all of us can improve. Over the years Being a Better Writer has become a titanic resource for writers old and new looking for advice on various topics. But there’s always more to cover. And so when a topic call comes up, we ask you, readers, to suggest writing topics you’d like to hear more about!

That’s right! If there’s a writing topic you’d like to hear about that hasn’t been covered by BaBW or you’d like to see covered again, we want you to post it below in the comments so we can add it to the list!

Not sure it’s a workable topic? Post it anyway, and we’ll see what we can do. If there’s a topic you’ve always wondered about, a topic you’ve been curious to see BaBW cover and just waiting with baited breath … Now is the time to speak up!

So get commenting! Topic List #15 is here!

New Fireteam Freelance Tomorrow! Plus a Topic Call!

Hey readers! Just a quick heads-up: Episode 5 of Fireteam Freelance drops tomorrow!

That’s right, it’s finally here! Catch Your Breath sees the team once again hired by Commander Castillo’s “old friend” for a job that takes them to the Corporate Dragon Bloc with a very specific goal in mind. What is it? Well, to find out you’ll have to read it. Suffice to say, shots will be fired, and a lot of them.

That said, how are you readers finding Freelance so far? Personally, I still find it a bit different than my usual fare: It’s much more focused on delivering a hit of action with every episode and having less time spent on the character of the team, since there’s only so much space per episode and that action does need to happen. That, and it’s episodic. At this point someone could jump in with the latest episode, I feel, and still enjoy the explosions, gunfire, and action without knowing too much about the overarching narrative or setting (though that’s all still there).

Anyway, while I hope you’re all enjoying it, I do acknowledge that this is somewhat experimental and may be a little different than say, Colony or Jungle. Rest assured, Starforge won’t be following the pattern of episodic style this story is working with. Fireteam Freelance is very much a one-off experiment. Just one I hope you’re enjoying and finally does give a little more glimpse at what life back on Earth can be like … or as close as we get through the lens of a merc company living in the Dragon Bloc.

So tune in tomorrow as episode 5 drops at last! 10 AM EST!

Now, on to the second part of this post: the Topic Call!

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News, All of it Good!

Hey readers! Who’s ready for some good news?

I know, it seems like that’s been in short supply this last month, but I’ve worked my hardest to try and bring you all some good stuff even when there was bad that had to come as well. But today it’s all good news. You ready?

First up, we’ve got a new episode of Fireteam Freelance dropping this Saturday! It’s already in the queue and ticking down the clock! Repeat Performance sees the team journeying to, of all places, Hawaii. The Big Island … though perhaps a little different from it is now. The same client that sent them to Mexico has another strange request of them, but for twenty-five million Euromarks, well … Let’s just say you can fulfill a lot of eccentricity with that kind of money …

So yeah, this Saturday will see the launch of episode four of Fireteam. Free to read, here on the site. That’s good news!


What’s next? Well, I am happy to report that after the terrifying and almost utterly complete slump of sales following the Covid-19 quarantine … Things have recovered! It didn’t last—and there was a very real fear that it might!

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“A Trial for a Dragon” Moves into Beta!

Hello readers! I’ve got news! One specific bit of news, to be precise. A Trial for a Dragon is moving from Alpha to Beta!

Plot holes and missteps have been cleaned up. Segments rewritten, rephrased, or even in some cases cut. And with a ticking clock hanging above it, it’s time for the next phase.

Beta Reading! As before, those of you that have been prior Beta Readers should watch your inboxes, as I’ll be sending you invitations to participate shortly after this goes live. Those of you that are interested in being Beta Readers for the first time, leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with you.

Tomorrow I’ll have a new Quarantine Chat post, just so I’m not totally absent from the site (sorry, been editing).

Again, I know this isn’t much of a post. Just kind of working to keep all the plates spinning. Check your inboxes, Beta Team!

And with that, I’ve got writing to do on the next episode of Fireteam Freelance!