Kindle Unlimited

The Bellerophon: Ambush 2nd edition is now live!

Posted on

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

I’m happy to announce that my book, The Bellerophon: Ambush, has gone live…again, but this time as a heavily updated 2nd edition.  I’ve asked Amazon to push the updated version so that readers who previously downloaded a copy will have in their possession a greatly improved version complete with 4-5 thousand additional words of content as well as many (too many!) resolved grammatical issues.  Also, the timeline has been moved to the end of the book as a final chapter under the heading “REFERENCE.” Previously the timeline was at the beginning of the book.   Some loved it.  Too many didn’t.  I’ve also included a short excerpt from my upcoming work Sigma Draconis which can be found after the timeline.  Thanks for the continued support from my readership and the patience while I prepared this 2nd edition.  It’s been a journey to say the least!

Cheers!

To Amazon.com UK Store  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com UK Store

J.W.

 

 

 

Writing update, The Bellerophon 2nd edition update, etc.

Posted on Updated on

J.W. Kurtz update.

I’ve been writing and editing like mad.  Recently I pulled my book from Amazon for a short hiatus as I do some heavy re-editing.  I hope to have the 2nd edition out by then end of January.  I’m about 80% done with this renovation project.  I can promise you this…IT WILL BE MUCH BETTER than the 1st edition plus it will have a snippet of my 2nd book.  I’ll update, tweet, post like crazy when edition 2 is done.  I miss checking the Amazon Authors page daily!

My second book, Sigma Draconis, and just where exactly am I on that?  I’m nearly at 80K-words.  I would say I’m well over halfway through the first draft.  Maybe a little more.  Maybe a little less.  I hope to have it out by the middle of the spring.  I wish writing was my fulltime job but it isn’t…for now.  The sequel to my first book will be started in earnest the day after I finish Sigma D.

In the meantime I hope to post some more movie/show reviews soon.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for checking-in.

Cheers!

J.W.

Star Wars trailer review: Scratching my head a bit, I am.

Posted on Updated on

Okay…so I get up this Black Friday morning thinking that I may browse some of the deals online before I get to work on my daily writing goal.  Maybe while “window” shopping I’ll come across an interesting writing prompt to get me warmed up.  I come across the new Star Wars trailer so of course I watch it a time-or-ten.

My reaction? ( Note: it is vitally important to remember that my personal reaction weighs oh so heavily on the Internet and its ultimate well-being).

My reaction is “huh…”  So it appears JJ Abrams is doing what I expected him to.  He’s turned Star Wars into a grittier world much like another movie franchise…now what was that one called again?  Oh, yeah, Star Trek!  Now just throw in a couple of redshirts (color the white stormtroopers red maybe), warp drive, phasers, and teleporters now because they would not be entirely out of place after seeing and hearing the trailer.  Even the voiceover guy, talking about the “awakening force” and whatnot, sounds very much like it could have been recorded for a Star Trek movie trailer.

We did get to see the Millennium Falcon so that was pretty cool.  What was completely missing was any other recognizable character – unless of course you consider tie fighters, storm troopers, and x-wings characters, which I suppose they kinda are.  Where is Luke, Leia, Han, all the hyped up returning folks?  Where is the wookiee roar! For goodness sake?  Where are the stars of Star Wars!?  Where are the stars for that matter?  Everything takes place over sand dunes, a dark forest (I have to admit the bad guys red light saber looks cool – it has to be difficult to imagine a usable bad guy sword for every new Star Wars movie I suppose), and there are even x-wings screaming over what appears to be a lake.  Nothing in space.  Nothing.

So after viewing the trailer I am neither turned on or turned off (okay…maybe there was a little hair standing up on my arms when the Falcon zipped by – been missing her for more than 30-years!) for the upcoming mega-blockbuster-cashcow-in-waiting.  I left more scratching my head trying to swallow the pill that this is Star Trek with the force and guys sweating like crazy under their stormtrooper armor.  Just not entirely thrilled with the initial feel (love it for Star Trek but it has been done!) and not super excited about the look at all.  Even the stormtrooper blasters look wrong.  And what the heck is with the beach ball droid??!!  I hope that droid isn’t a major player because I have a feeling he could be a mechanical Jar-Jar or something.

star_wars_7_movie_poster

Yes, Disney, I’ll pay to watch it…I’ll pay for the Blu-ray to follow most likely.  But I’m not going to say right now that it looks like I’m going to like it.

Just be prepared for the inevitable Star Trek crossover in the future everyone.  Seriously.

Cheers!

J.W.

To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

NEW PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENT

Posted on

This will be brief.

I only wanted to share that besides the Sigma Draconis sci-fi project and The Bellerophon: Ambush related novella, I will also begin work on a short novel in honor of my dog Sasha who passed away this past weekend.  Upon her departure she left me with a final gift: inspiration.  I miss her very, very much (just going through the motions at work right now) and I hope to honor her memory with a story that will be lasting.  This will be a YA/Sci-Fi story concerning the loss of a beloved pet.

The Sasha!
The Sasha!

If you love golden retrievers…you’ll understand PLUS Writing updates

Posted on Updated on

Author Updates:  SEE BELOW

This is a notice for any of those dog lovers out there that read my posts to please be aware that this one may be kinda sad.  I’ve been off my daily writing goal for some time.  The reason is that one of my dogs, a 5-year old golden retriever named Sasha, has been battling an autoimmune disorder since Labor Day.  A couple trips to emergency vet hospitals, a couple weeks of hospital stays, and weekly blood testing and therapies have not solved the issue.  Her last prognosis (received yesterday when I picked her up from the specialist ER in Seattle) was “Guarded to Poor.”  Fingers crossed and trying to stay positive is all that is left.  She has a chance but it will take weeks to months for her to recover if at all.  Thank goodness I had the foresight to get pet insurance for her because all I can say is her name should be spelled $a$ha as the dollar signs are completely appropriate.  In truth there should maybe be another dollar sign in her name.  Please know that I am still finding time to get some writing done be it in the morning before work, after work as soon as I get home, on the weekends as much as I can between chores that have to get done, and even while in the shower…I won’t go into the details on that one.  Thanks for the continued support through the downloads and fantastic reviews that are both thoughtful and constructive.  It helps tremendously.  And thanks in advance for the positive thoughts for Sasha.  She’s just a fantastic girl.  My wife and I love her very, very much.

UPDATE:  It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of my little girl, Sasha.  She put up a valiant fight but the deck was stacked against her.  The night of the 15th and into the morning of the 16th of November there was a battle fought and lost.  She was brave and as strong as she could be but on the morning of the 16th it was time.  We said our goodbye, held her paw, and watched her drift off.  The tears are heavy and will continue to be so for some time.  I miss my girl oh so very much.  Thanks for the thoughts and prayers.  We were lucky to have her in our life.  We only wish that it could be for just but one more day.

Sasha age 1
Sasha

Update:  Sigma Draconis

Still working hard on this project.  Or trying to.  The illness of Sasha has kept me from this project and I am okay with this.  Very okay because she is so very much worth it.

I’m 54k-words in and I feel it’s coming along.  Wish I had an extra day a week to get this done sooner for everyone.  I took a personal day last week to write and another one the week before that.  Gonna run out of personal and sick days if I’m not careful but I FAR ENJOY WRITING much more than what I do during my regular work day.  FAR, FAR MORE!  A note on SD: if you’re looking for a blow-it-up-explosion-a-second ride…this is just a little different book than my first work for Kindle.  This has a more thorough explanation of the colonial system, corporate future of space, and characterization of the various actors.  Yes there is action.  Yes there is ancient alien stuff.  Yes there is adult language.  And yes it will be longer than The Bellerophon: Ambush.  I hope people enjoy it as much as I’m enjoying the writing of it.

 Update: Captive Galaxy Novella

Sitting at about 4K words on this.  I hope to have this in the 20-40K range and released ASAP.  Kinda a wide range I know but I’m letting it go where it needs to go.  If it’s 20K words then it’s 20K.  I’m not going to needlessly lengthen or shorten it.  It knows what it needs to be and I am just the tour guide of the exhibit.  This novel is more in line with The Bellerophon: Ambush in regards to being a more fast-paced military science fiction work.  Super fun to write it is.  It is written in the first person and is more space marine-ish.  It’s also warming me up for the direct sequel to TB:A because there will be some first person parts in there regarding a discovered journal.  When I put out this Novella it will be released singly and as part of an updated TB:A combined release.

Stay tuned for more updates and more film reviews.  While on sick-dog-watch-duty I get to watch a lot of movies and I really enjoy writing those reviews.  I’m glad folks liked my last one on Snowpiercer.

Thanks for the support and as always…

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

Cheers!

J.W.

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23155762-the-bellerophon

Lots of writing and it’s driving me crazy!

Posted on

Sigma Draconis update:

Sigma Draconis threatens to end me, I swear it!  I’m about 55K into the story and it wants, calls, to be split into a two parter!  This was a project that originally started as a novella mind you so perhaps you can understand my trepidation and concern.  Well…it’ll get done for no other reason than I’m super excited to begin my other projects.  I really wish this is what I did full-time!

Novella update:  I’m aiming for 30K with this one.  A fast, fun, and exciting piece centered around one of the characters of my first book.  It’s coming together.  I hope to have this one done soon before Christmas and then Sigma early into the New Year.  If I could devote the time I want, that it deserves, to this project I’d already be done!  It is what it is…

Thanks to all those that have supported me by downloading my first novel.  I hope to get more out to you soon!

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

Cheers!

JW

Thanks Australia! Writing Update: Sigma Draconis and Other Projects

Posted on

Writing Project(s) Update:

First off I’d like to thank my readers in Australia.  October was a pretty good month for downloads there.  I taught my students the awesome song Waltzing Matilda weeks ago so obviously that news made it’s way from Washington State to the land down-under and thus the uptick in downloads there.  I love that song…perhaps the best unofficial national anthem ever.  The real one, “Advance Australia Fair,” is the official anthem but the one everyone really knows is Waltzin’!  Love it!

To YouTube:  John WIlliamson - Waltzing Matilda
To YouTube: John WIlliamson – Waltzing Matilda

Sigma Draconis is coming along.  Not as quickly as I’d like but it’s coming along.  The trouble is not the writing.  It’s finding the time to do the writing!  Holding down a full-time job with a commute that’s more than an hour round-trip really cuts into my writing and brain-working time.  I’ve changed things up this week writing at home a couple hours before I leave for work.  This worked well for me while I pecked away at The Bellerophon: Ambush last spring.  I tried to change things up this year by writing after work but then people saw my light on which then obviously meant I was there to answer their questions…so I stopped that this past week.  When your door is closed and your classroom lights are off and the only light on is your desk lamp that should say something.  Many are deaf to this however.  So from now on,  when it’s 4pm, I’m out!  If I’m still in the mood when I get home I may be able to put another 500+ coherent words for a current writing project (Sigma Draconis novel, TBA short story/novella) or to outline a new story.  I have dozens and dozens of those.  Writing story outlines is almost as addictive as writing the actual stories!  Perhaps even more so in fact.  Wouldn’t it be great to have an 8th day of the week that was all yours?!  I could go with that.  No wonder folks that work 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 eights are so much happier.

Long story short…the writing update for SD:

Despite the change in writing schedule, a crazy work week, and my brain outlining new projects seemingly every day, I managed to get Act/Part 1 done yesterday.  The draft comes in at 50K words and without looking through it yet (which will change what I say next most assuredly) I’m pretty happy with it.  It is different than my first book TB:A but I promise it’s still great fun.  I’m more excited for this piece than TB:A in fact.  The plan is to start Act/Part 2 tomorrow morning and see where that goes.  What it looks like right now is that for sure there will be 3 overall Act/Parts and possibly a 4th.  If it goes to a 4th Act/Part it will probably mean it’ll be split up into two releases so I can hit my self-imposed deadline.  I’m happy either way that goes.  The only problem is that it may push back the direct sequel to TB:A just a little bit but I promise it will be a month delay at most.  I hope to get that done by this late spring.  Stay tuned for more on that!

Update:  TBA short story/novella

So this is a shorter piece of fiction following one of the crew from the Bellerophon and how he or she came to sign-on with Captain Wray.  I’m experimenting a day a week on writing this.  It looks to be first person which I’m very excited to do for several reasons.  For one it’s great to write in this manner because you get a lot of extra dialogue and character development because you get the internal dialogue and how the character is thinking.  And second it’s my homage to one of my favorite books of all-time, Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.  Finally, I’m exploring this point-of-view writing style because it may return for the direct sequel to TB:A.  At least part of it anyway.

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

Thanks for following and keeping up with my notes on this and that.  I watched Snowpiercer on Halloween night and a review on that film is forthcoming.  Let’s just say I’m very glad I saw it.

Cheers and keep the faith!

JW

If you find yourself in Portland, OR try Via Chicago grab some of the best pizza, craft beer, and sandwiches around.

via-chicago_03
Via Chicago. Alberta St. Portland, OR

New Cover Art! Thanks Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds. PLUS other updates.

Posted on

Good morning Sci-Fi fans.  I’m very happy to display here, for the first time, the new cover art for my first released book The Bellerophon: Ambush.  The original art was done with the cover art maker software on Amazon.com and it worked for me.  For a time at least.  Then I started to see others with nearly the same cover…so it was obvious that I needed something different.

From time-to-time over the years I’ve chatted with the talented Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds, a friend, brother really, for nearly 30-years (I cried at his wedding which means nothing as I cry at all weddings).  We’ve talked about graphic novel work because I love to write, he loves to draw, and we both love to create.  So here is the cover he came up with.  I think it very well evokes the minimalist environment that is the arena for much of this series: deep space.  I immediately thought of one of the original covers of the Greg Bear book Eon and one of the original covers for Rendezvous with Rama, one of my favorite books by perhaps my favorite author, Arthur C. Clarke.

To Amazon.com!  KindleUnlimited friendly!
To Amazon.com! KindleUnlimited friendly!

I look forward to again work with Kevin Reynolds in the near future on more creative projects.  Hopefully he can find time to fit me into his busy schedule of being a husband, father, co-owner operator of the Via Chicago restaurant (ttp://www.viachicagopizza.com) on Alberta Street in Portland, OR, (stop by and have a slice!) oh and he’s a Senior Art Director for Leopold Ketel & Partners (http://www.leoketel.com) in…you guessed it, that same Rose City.  I need a nap after writing all that.  Again, he’s quite the busy guy!

And an update on how things are going on Amazon.com…

For an Indie-writer I’m as happy as a clam with these numbers.  Never thought I’d write “happy as a clam.”  Ever.  Thanks to all you readers out there.  Now to get some work done.  Also, stay tuned for some movie reviews.  I’ve watched some off-the-beaten path films lately that I thinks folks will enjoy.

Have a great weekend and as always…

Cheers!

JW

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the Downloads, oh…and Pizza in Portland!

Posted on Updated on

Still going strong my brother and sister readers and writers!  Thanks for giving my book a look.

Currently there are 2,947,025 e-books on Amazon.com.  And The Bellerophon: Ambush is:

I’m writing more stuff as fast as I can.  Tough to get my words in while I’m trying to teach the 6th grade especially when…don’t get me rambling about that!  Anyway…I’m done with Act 1 of Sigma Draconis (FIB ALERT!).  Okay…half a chapter left and then the draft of Act 1 of 3 is done but I’m over 40K words now so it’s looking like a book kinda!  I’ll also be devoting a day a week (I write 7-days a week I do) to working on a novella to get something in the 15-30K realm done before Christmas.  I’m afraid to really get into this though because that was how Sigma D. started!

If you haven’t already downloaded a copy…here you go.  Help a starving teacher transition into the role of a full-time starving writer.  Shameless I know.

Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com
Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com

Thanks to all my friends in the UK, Australia, and Canada for buying quite a few copies of my work.  Hope you continue to enjoy and tell your friends!

Also, that new cover for The Bellerophon: Ambush is inbound from Portland area artist Kevin Reynolds.  Who, besides being an extremely talented and creative individual, operates Via Chicago which, if you want some good pizza and craft beer (and much more), it’s the place to be in the Rose City.

via-chicago_03

Cheers,

JW

Thanks Readers for a Great October

Posted on

October has been awesome!  Thanks!  This has really driven me to continue working hard.  Reviews are coming in and The Bellerophon: Ambush has been enjoyed by many.  Please, if you have read about the ‘Belle and her crew, and had fun doing so, please rate and write a review on Amazon.com.  I’m busy on another work set in the same universe AND I’m about to begin a novella featuring one of the characters from the first book.  Exciting times!

If you like a story that features fast-paced future combat with power armor, plasma weapons, sarcastic characters, and a building mystery involving an ancient race of technologically advances alien life, then this is the book and series to catch.  This is the first book in a series that will include multiple sequels, spin-offs (SEE: upcoming novel Sigma Draconis), and novellas featuring some of the more interesting characters on the privateer Bellerophon.

KindleUnlimited Friendly!

Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com
Book 1 in the Captive Galaxy Series. Kindle. Amazon.com

Cheers!

JW

P.S. Updated custom cover from artist Kevin Reynolds coming soon.