Fireteam Freelance: Thoughts and Feedback as we Near the Season Halfway Mark

Hello readers! So last night, I finished up episode seven of Fireteam Freelance, titled Missing Persons.

Those of you that are following along with each episode as it goes live may note that the last episode you read was number five, Catch Your Breath. That’s correct: I’ve managed to get a little ahead of the uploads by having the interviews interspaced with each episode.

Which means that yes, this Saturday will see the uploading of episode six, Mandatory Takeout, in which the team is asked to make … a supply raid on a UNSEC logistical center?

Bits and pieces coming together, folks. Bits and pieces.

So, seeing as you’re about to get the halfway mark of the season, and I’m starting episode eight today (Last One Out), I figured now would be a good time to talk about my thoughts on the series so far, as well as invite you readers a space to make your own responses (or just comments in general on the series so far).

Hit the jump to see what I’ve made of my creation so far. Then leave your thoughts.

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Colony is a Hit, Guys!

Well, it’s been three weeks, and in that time, Colony has continued to be an absolute hit. At this point, it’s no stretch to call it my most successful title yet. since its release, it’s sold on average two copies per day!

And it keeps selling!

And that’s just sales. Colony is on Kindle Unlimited, and I’m also seeing a number of reads there. How many? Enough that I’m seeing an average of 720 pages read per day. One day hit almost 3,000 pages read.

Yeah, this blows Unusual Events out of the water. As it does One Drink and Dead Silver. None of them are even coming close to this level of success.

Of course, sales mean nothing if the readers aren’t happy, but thankfully I can report that this is not the case. So far, Colony is sitting at a glorious 4.8 Star rating on Amazon, and solid 5 Star rating on Goodreads, and with some pretty glowing reviews to match.

Colony is making a mark on Sci-Fi. A small one in the larger scheme of things, but with clear space to grow.

But there’s only one direction for Colony to go from here. And that’s UP! Which leaves us with only one final question:

Have you read Colony yet?



Well, this last weekend was interesting. My post questioning when ethnicity and sex became the most important thing out there was met with a lot of responses, views, and even some shares. It was interesting watching the ticker rise and seeing the comments and replies pile in from various corners of the globe.

And there were replies, both here and elsewhere, both good and questionable. Quite a few responded with resounding agreement, some even nothing their own negative experiences with this growing behavior, while others simply agreed that there was no place for it in the writing world. To those who chimed in backing my decision to pull out of SPFBO 2016 or to voice similar disagreement to the growing trend of downplaying or penalizing a book based on the sex/ethnicity of the characters or author, thank you. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s noticed this behavior, nor finds it distinctly unappealing.

To those who disagreed with me but saw fit to do so in polite, even terms, I also thank you. We may not agree or see eye to eye on the issue, but a polite exchange of the reasoning behind various positions, even if it ends in a respectful “agree to disagree” conclusion, is still fruitful and beneficial. Especially on such a topic so ripe for more *ahem* juvenile forms of “debate,” honest back-and-forth with a bit of respect between the parties is still good. So, thanks for keeping cool heads and for being reasonable and keeping a level head.

And then there are those other replies. The ones that, despite the rage behind the keyboard, mostly had me shaking my head. To those who attempted to “debate” my points by misquoting or selectively omitting parts of my post, I hope you understand that such a tactic only works in two places: Politics and the schoolyard. Nowhere in the real world does a lawyer get to ask a judge to dismiss evidence on the grounds that it is “highly relevant and makes my client look extremely guilty” and get away with it. On The Simpsons, maybe, but not in the real world.

But I must say, my absolute favorite negative reply, the one so outlandish I had to share it with those around me (and will now share with you), which read to a full round of laughs, several discussions, and more laughs, was the accusation by one individual (and echoed by a few others) that I pulled Unusual Events out and made the post I did because I “felt threatened” because I was a white male who could ‘only write white, male characters.’

I wish I’d taken a screenshot of it before it got wiped/edited, because it later vanished. But of all the negative feedback I got, that was the one that made me laugh out loud. Not only did they completely miss the point of the article (likely because they simply posted without reading it) but the also made a hilarious and wildly inaccurate claim about my writing. Only white, male characters? Sands, I wrote a 300K word fantasy novel starring a female griffon (pretty far from both male, and for that matter, the human species). I’ve written stories about characters from just about every continent on Earth. Characters with backgrounds and lineages stretching all over, because those are what the stories ask. Of all the comments I got, this one was the most hilariously ludicrous and misinformed. It also was good for quite a few laughs, so of all the negative comments, I thank this one, because wow, did that bring some unintended levity into my day!

All in all, however, I don’t regret my decision to pull Unusual Events. I still stand by my comments: Rating any book above or below another strictly on the ethnicity and/or sex of the main characters and author is wrong. It is bigotry, I disagree with it, and I will not support any site that stands for otherwise, arguing that one’s skin color makes one better than another. That is wrong, and I will not back down on that.

I’m also glad I’m not the only one out there that feels that way.