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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ari's LiveJournal:

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Monday, August 17th, 2015
3:48 pm
August 17, 2015: Tomorrow!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Tomorrow, August 18th, is release day for Hallow Point! The second book in the Mick Oberon series will be available online and on bookstore shelves in all the usual places.

In celebration/promotion, I’ll be doing an AMA over on the fantasy sub-forum on Reddit.com.

What’s an AMA? It stands for “Ask Me Anything,” and it’s basically an open Q&A session. Starting at around noon CST (give or take), I’ll be posting a link to the discussion. It’ll be open all day for people to swing by and post whatever questions they want–and I do mean whatever. Ask me about Hallow Point and Mick Oberon, sure. But you can also ask me about any of my other series or characters. Ask me about my game work. Ask me about my writing process. Ask me about my personal history. Ask me about my taste in movies, or books, or cuisine. My background. My cat. Anything at all.

I might swing by throughout the day to answer a question or two early. Whether I do that or not, I’ll be back around 7:00 pm CST to do a couple of hours of real-time answering. I’ll post answers to existing questions, and I’ll watch for additional questions or follow-up questions. It basically becomes a live Q&A at that point. I’d very much love for to see a bunch of you there at the time, so we can turn it into an ongoing conversation. I’ll wrap it up somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30 (again, give or take), and pop back in the next day to see if there are any lingering/straggler questions that came in after I was done.

Very much looking forward to seeing you guys there. :-)

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015
11:48 pm
August 14, 2015: Geekfest Schedule and Some Reminders

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

For those who’ll be attending Geekfest at Central Texas College in Killeen, here’s my schedule.

Friday, 8:00 PM: Q&A with Gabrielle Faust and me, followed by meet & greet, room 141.
Saturday, 12:00 PM: The Role of Role-Playing Games in Writing Fiction, room 101.
Saturday, 2:00 PM: The Importance of Research in Developing Role-Playing Games and Novels, room 101.
Sunday, 3:00 PM: Methods of World-Building for Fiction and Role-Playing Games, room 101.
All “panels” but the first one are with just me, so I will be involving the audience rather heavily, making these more conversations or Q&A than panels/lectures. (That’s more fun anyway.) Be prepared to participate; I hope to see some of you there. :-)
Also, Hallow Point is out next week!  8-O I’ll be doing an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session on the fantasy sub-forum on Reddit that evening. This is your chance to ask me all those burning questions I like to pretend you have about me and my work, so don’t miss it!
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Friday, July 17th, 2015
8:38 pm
July 17, 2015: ArmadilloCon schedule

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Hey, folks! My ArmadilloCon panel schedule, if you’ll be there:
Saturday, 4:00 PM, Ballroom D: Speculative Fiction as a Mirror to Religion
Saturday, 8:00 PM, Southpark A: Writing for the Gaming Industry
Sunday, 11:00 AM, Dealer’s Room: Signing
Sunday, 12:00 PM, Ballroom F: Performing Major Surgery on Your Novel
Sunday, 2:00 PM, Southpark B: The Magic of Collaboration
I’ll be around a lot more than that, and I’ll be attending other panels as a guest, but that’s the formal schedule as it exists. Really hope to see some of you there.
Here’s the full (current) schedule for the con: http://2015.armadillocon.org/grid
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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
4:06 pm
July 7, 2015: Convention Schedule!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

So, I’m not traveling much this year and it’s mostly smaller venues, but… CONVENTION SCHEDULE:

ArmadilloCon: July 24-26, Austin, TX.

http://2015.armadillocon.org/

Geekfest: August 14-16, Killeen, TX.

http://www.starsatnight.org/geekfest/

GaMExpo: October 9-11, San Antonio, TX.

http://thegamexpo.com/

Be really cool to see some of you there. :-)

Also, important reminder: My art/prose Mick Oberon contest is still open and ongoing. Could win free books, and possibly also get me pointing people to your art or your writing; don’t just sit this one out. :-)

Rules and details here.

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Monday, June 22nd, 2015
2:14 pm
June 22, 2015: Mick Oberon contest!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

So, Hallow Point–book two of the Mick Oberon series–comes out in a little less than two months. And we’re going to celebrate.

How are we going to celebrate? By creating prose and/or art.

Here’s the deal. I want you folks to either draw or write a scene involving Mick Oberon. It can be action-oriented, quiet and contemplative, mysterious, whatever. It can take place in Chicago, or in the Otherworld. If you’re drawing, it can be an original scene or a scene from Hot Lead, Cold Iron. If you’re writing, it has to be something original. Don’t try to tell a whole story. This is a snapshot. One image. Nothing more, nothing less.

The portrayal of Mick needs to be accurate. I don’t mean you have to master the 1930s lingo or anything, I just mean the character has to be reasonably well portrayed. He should be using his wand, not a gun, that sort of thing.

Here are the official rules:

1) The picture or scene must go up online in a publicly visible place. Your web site. Your Facebook page (with the entry visible to the public, not just friends). Anywhere like that.

2) The picture must stay visible until the contest ends, which will be shortly after the book comes out. Pin it, or occasionally repost or link back to it.

3) The picture or scene must also include a paragraph explaining where the image comes from and why you’re posting it. In other words, mention/link to this contest. :-)

4) Once you have posted it, use the “Contact” page here to send me a link to it, and also to how you want your name listed (see below). Please change the Subject line to “Mick Oberon contest”.

5) Entries must be posted (and I must be notified of said entry) by July 24th to be considered valid for this contest.

Prizes and rewards. Everyone who participates–everyone–will be listed on a “special thanks” page at the end of book three.

Two randomly chosen entrants will receive signed copies of book two (Hallow Point).

And finally, a single winner–the person whose entry I like best–will receive a signed copy of book two, as above, but will also receive a signed copy of book three, when it comes out, and will also receive a personalized dedication in book three. (Either to you or to a person of your choice.) Your art doesn’t have to be the best. I’ll be choosing, at least in part, based on what I think best exemplifies the character and the mood of the stories, even if it’s not the most perfect drawing or prose. (Also, I will then post the winning entry on my site, with a link back to you.)

That’s it. Any comments or questions, send ‘em to me using the “Mick Oberon contest” subject line, as above.

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2:14 pm
June 22, 2015: Mick Oberon contest!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

So, Hallow Point–book two of the Mick Oberon series–comes out in a little less than two months. And we’re going to celebrate.

How are we going to celebrate? By creating prose and/or art.

Here’s the deal. I want you folks to either draw or write a scene involving Mick Oberon. It can be action-oriented, quiet and contemplative, mysterious, whatever. It can take place in Chicago, or in the Otherworld. If you’re drawing, it can be an original scene or a scene from Hot Lead, Cold Iron. If you’re writing, it has to be something original. Don’t try to tell a whole story. This is a snapshot. One image. Nothing more, nothing less.

The portrayal of Mick needs to be accurate. I don’t mean you have to master the 1930s lingo or anything, I just mean the character has to be reasonably well portrayed. He should be using his wand, not a gun, that sort of thing.

Here are the official rules:

1) The picture or scene must go up online in a publicly visible place. Your web site. Your Facebook page (with the entry visible to the public, not just friends). Anywhere like that.

2) The picture must stay visible until the contest ends, which will be shortly after the book comes out. Pin it, or occasionally repost or link back to it.

3) The picture or scene must also include a paragraph explaining where the image comes from and why you’re posting it. In other words, mention/link to this contest. :-)

4) Once you have posted it, use the “Contact” page here to send me a link to it, and also to how you want your name listed (see below). Please change the Subject line to “Mick Oberon contest”.

Prizes and rewards. Everyone who participates–everyone–will be listed on a “special thanks” page at the end of book three.

Two randomly chosen entrants will receive signed copies of book two (Hallow Point).

And finally, a single winner–the person whose entry I like best–will receive a signed copy of book two, as above, but will also receive a signed copy of book three, when it comes out, and will also receive a personalized dedication in book three. Your art doesn’t have to be the best. I’ll be choosing, at least in part, based on what I think best exemplifies the character and the mood of the stories, even if it’s not the most perfect drawing or prose. (Also, I will then post the winning entry on my site, with a link back to you.)

That’s it. Any comments or questions, send ‘em to me using the “Mick Oberon contest” subject line, as above.

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2:14 pm
June 22, 2015: Mick Oberon contest!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

So, Hallow Point–book two of the Mick Oberon series–comes out in a little less than two months. And we’re going to celebrate.

How are we going to celebrate? By creating prose and/or art.

Here’s the deal. I want you folks to either draw or write a scene involving Mick Oberon. It can be action-oriented, quiet and contemplative, mysterious, whatever. It can take place in Chicago, or in the Otherworld. If you’re drawing, it can be an original scene or a scene from Hot Lead, Cold Iron. If you’re writing, it has to be something original. Don’t try to tell a whole story. This is a snapshot. One image. Nothing more, nothing less.

The portrayal of Mick needs to be accurate. I don’t mean you have to master the 1930s lingo or anything, I just mean the character has to be reasonably well portrayed. He should be using his wand, not a gun, that sort of thing.

Here are the official rules:

1) The picture or scene must go up online in a publicly visible place. Your web site. Your Facebook page (with the entry visible to the public, not just friends). Anywhere like that.

2) The picture must stay visible until the contest ends, which will be shortly after the book comes out. Pin it, or occasionally repost or link back to it.

3) The picture or scene must also include a paragraph explaining where the image comes from and why you’re posting it. In other words, mention/link to this contest. :-)

4) Once you have posted it, use the “Contact” page here to send me a link to it, and also to how you want your name listed (see below). Please change the Subject line to “Mick Oberon contest”.

Prizes and rewards. Everyone who participates–everyone–will be listed on a “special thanks” page at the end of book three.

Two randomly chosen entrants will receive signed copies of book two (Hallow Point).

And finally, a single winner–the person whose entry I like best–will receive a signed copy of book two, as above, but will also receive a signed copy of book three, when it comes out, and will also receive a personalized dedication in book three. Your art doesn’t have to be the best. I’ll be choosing, at least in part, based on what I think best exemplifies the character and the mood of the stories, even if it’s not the most perfect drawing or prose. (Also, I will then post the winning entry on my site, with a link back to you.)

That’s it. Any comments or questions, send ‘em to me using the “Mick Oberon contest” subject line, as above.

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2:09 pm
Hallow Point

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

 HallowPoint Credits: Sole author.</p>

Cover art by Julia Lloyd.

Notes: Book two in the Mick Oberon series! Uncover the occult mysteries and deepest secrets of gangland Chicago, from the underworld to the Otherworld.

Availability:

• Amazon.com

• Barnes & Noble.com

• Indiebound.org

• Powells.com

• Books-A-Million.com

Or talk about it on Goodreads.

The Spear of Lugh, one of the great and terrible Four Hallows of the Tuatha Dé Danann, is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Those chasing it include an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts—the very last people PI Mick Oberon, exile from the Otherworld courts of the fae, would want getting hold of the spear…

 

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
1:29 pm
June 16, 2015: Welcome to the Lost Citadel!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

“The city is called Redoubt… and so far as anyone knows, it is the last.”

James Lowder​. Janet Morris. Mercedes Murdock Yardley​. Keith Baker​. Bracken MacLeod. Brian Hodge. Malcolm Sheppard. Natania Barron​. Erin M. Evans​. Kealan Patrick Burke​. Damien Angelica Walters​. Joe McKinney​. From an idea conceived by CA Suleiman​, Jaym Gates​, and myself, and also including stories from CA and me.

And those are just the core team. Check out some of the stretch goals.

Artists include Samuel Araya​, Mark Kelly, Chris Malidore, and the Todd Lockwood​.

And it’s finally launch day! Jump on in and help us make this the best book it can be. You’re not gonna go wrong with that table of contents. :-D

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/casuleiman/tales-of-the-lost-citadel-transmedia-anthology

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Sunday, May 31st, 2015
11:34 pm
Spare a moment?

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

It occurs to me, I’m sitting here wondering about various marketing issues–but I don’t NEED to. I have people right here I can talk to. So, take half a minute and help me out, please?

If you have NOT purchased* one of my books (in whatever format) in the past couple of years, would you be so kind as to tell me why not?

*(Or otherwise legally acquired, such as having gotten one as a gift.)

I need real data here, so if your answer is something fairly final, such as “I don’t read fantasy” or “I don’t care for your writing style,” okay. I can accept that. (*sob* ;-) )

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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
11:30 pm
Zero stars

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

I was just followed, on Twitter, by one of those “Buy Amazon reviews!” services.

I blocked them and reported them as spam. And the only reason I didn’t do more than that is that the “Crotch-punch poster over the Internet” attachment I ordered is out of stock.

Let me be clear. Authors rely on reviews. Word of mouth sells more than anything, and reviews are–and generate–word of mouth.

But that only works as long as readers believe that at least the majority of reviews are honest/accurate, at least where the reviewer is concerned. “Services” like this? They’re not helping you. It becomes real obvious, real quick, if a book is paying for good reviews. All you’re doing is damaging the readers’ trust–and not just of you, but of all reviews, and by extension, of all authors.

So, to the folks at the “service” who followed me–briefly–and to the folks at all other, similar services, and to the authors who use them…

Kindly piss the hell off, and stay there.

No love–and sadly, no ability to crotch-punch you via the internet,

 

Ari

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Monday, March 16th, 2015
4:12 pm
Heavy Sulfur

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

OA_cover“Heavy Sulfur” appears in Operation Arcana, a Military Fantasy anthology published by Baen and edited by John Joseph Adams.

Credits: Sole author

Cover art by ????.

Availability:

• Amazon.com

• Barnes & Noble.com

• Books-a-Million

•  Powells

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4:12 pm
Heavy Sulfer

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

OA_cover“Heavy Sulfur” appears in Operation Arcana, a Military Fantasy anthology published by Baen and edited by the John Joseph Adams.

Credits: Sole author

Cover art by ????.

Availability:

• Amazon.com

• Barnes & Noble.com

• Books-a-Million

•  Powells

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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
2:08 am
February 3, 2015: Covenant’s End bookday!

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Noisemakers and party hats for everyone!

Covenant’s End is officially out and available, at all the usual places! Here’s a few of the reviews thus far:

Everything comes to a head in Covenant’s End. If you’re at all a fan of Widdershins, you really don’t want to miss this one.

And if you’re not yet a fan of Widdershins? The first book of the series, Thief’s Covenant, is available on Kindle for only $3.99 for the month of February!

This series has been a hell of a ride. It’s seen me through a lot of years, a lot of ups and downs. Thank you all for riding along with me.

Covenants End

 

 

 

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Monday, February 2nd, 2015
3:55 am
The Alpha and Omega of Widdershins

All righty, folks. One more day--one--until Covenant's End hits shelves and e-readers everywhere. Now that the fourth and (at least for now) final book of the series, now's a great chance to pick up the very first one, if you haven't already.

For the month of February, Thief's Covenant is available for only $3.99 on Kindle! That's, like, a whole lotta dollars off. Seriously, go. Get it. You've never had less of an excuse not to.  ;-)

Oh, and just a quick reminder, for those who missed it, that I'm now offering a low-cost critiquing/editing service. Check it out, see you might find it useful.

Thanks much, folks. See you tomorrow for the CE release!

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
3:21 am
Need your fiction critiqued?
Well, I decided to take the plunge, and I am now officially offering a fiction critiquing/editing service. Take a gander, let me know what you think, and if you're interested, I hope to be hearing from you shortly. :-)
Thursday, January 15th, 2015
4:04 am
An Open Letter to Paramount Studios

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

(Because we all know they read my blog with bated breath on a regular basis.)

I’m not a big-name author. I’m not a scriptwriter. But I have written and published enough that I think I can say I have a pretty good grasp of story. So I’m going to point something out that you’ve probably already thought about.

No matter how good the writers, no matter how good the scripts, you cannot do justice to a five-year mission with movies that come out every three-to-five years.

The third Star Trek movie of the new continuity is coming up. We know that the cast signed a three-picture deal, and we know that at least some of them have already said they’re ready to move on.

So… You’ve had blockbuster movies, films that did better than any prior Star Trek films. And you’re going to have to recast anyway.

Cast actors willing to sign on for a series and bring Star Trek back to television.

You have an audience; the success of the movies proves that. You have a clean slate, to create brand new stories and revisit old ones, as you choose. You can write episodes to satisfy the action-lovers, and episodes to satisfy the more cerebral fans.

A five-year mission. A five-year series. Or heck, do a couple years, then a movie, a couple more years, then a movie… Have your cake and eat it, too.

The fans are ready, the franchise is ready. And it’s the only way to truly do Star Trek–five years of exploring the galaxy–any justice.

Let’s start hearing “These are the voyages…” on a weekly basis again.

Time for the Enterprise to come home. We’re waiting for her.

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Sunday, January 11th, 2015
5:03 pm
Texas Ranger

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

*cough*

Walker1

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
2:27 am
January 7, 2015: Her time is coming

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Happy New Year!

To all of you. Perhaps not to Widdershins.

Four weeks, and counting…

Covenants End

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Thursday, December 4th, 2014
11:09 pm
Linguistic divisions

Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

The news these days has had me thinking, and it finally made me realize something.

You see, I despise the [Whatever-American] terminology for ethnicity. Asian-American, African-American, all those. Hate those terms with a passion. And I’ve finally figured out why.

They’re dangerous. The whole non-racist/post-racial society that we want? Those terms are detrimental to the whole thing.

Why? Because they’re hideously racist. And even worse, they’re insidiously racist.

Because they imply, by definition, that white is some sort of default. “Oh, if you’re white, you’re just American. It’s everyone else who needs to be specially identified.”

That sort of thinking is what keeps “us vs. them” alive, even in the minds of people who otherwise aren’t prejudiced. It’s the sort of thinking that leads to people assuming that all characters in books have to be white, or casting Sigourney Weaver as an Biblical African queen.

When was the last time you heard someone referred to as a Caucasian-American? You haven’t, or at least not often, because the language itself has trained us to think of “Caucasian” as the unspoken default. We’ve already learned, throughout history, that you cannot have “separate but equal.” So how can we possibly reach equality when the language itself works at keeping us separate?

If you’re an American citizen, you should be an American. Period. Ethnicity should have no bearing on it, and the terminology for ethnicity should not draw on citizenship.

There is no “default” except human. Our language needs to reflect that, not cloud it.

 

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