Sunday, January 29, 2012

All Relative

Someone was reading one of the Olympus Union books and remarked that I hadn't included any romantic relationships. He wondered about something happening between Galia Ivanov and Jeremy Hunter. Asked me if Jones Oden and Anat Meron had "a thing" - or ever did. He even wondered if I'd go bold, and put a homosexual relationship into the story line. My response to all three was a truthful, but boring statement: nah

To be more elaborate, I just haven't thought of that so much. I might play on the Hunter / Ivanov angle when I write his book. Thing is, that's about him personally. The other OU story arc, at the moment, is about political upheaval, rebellion, and the like. Romance just doesn't figure in. Maybe one day, but not now. It just doesn't make sense yet, and throwing it in just to throw it in seems silly. So for now, you'll need to look elsewhere for the lovey dovey.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Red Scythe

In every frontier, in every revolution, you need some people who are just simply out for themselves.  The The Past Repeated we meet Kro.  He's a mercenary, and he's a little bit unconventional, but he man adds spice to the conflict.  In Drawing Battle Lines we find some folks who have chosen a side... but really see it as a vehicle for personal glory.  Thing is... it can't hurt to have a pirate band now and again, so I present to you The Red Scythe!  No, they aren't nearly as goofy as Johnny Depp (and probably won't be quite as suave), but they are every bit as outside the law.  No side but their own, just the way it should be!  While I don't have a logo worked up just yet, we do have a first short story that depicts an introduction to the fellows.  You can read "Waiting and Watching" for free on the Olympus Union short stories page.  Either read it on the web or download an epub copy for your Kindle or Nook.

To make it a little more fun, the three characters mentioned are named after real people.  Hyde Fellows and Tudor Lom are the stars of this particular short (just under 1,000 words, a quick read).  They are allusions to Brian Tudor and Scott Hyde, two gents from ScienceFiction.com that are tremendously worth following (links are to their Twitter accounts.  Scott runs hydeandgeek.com as well).  The two characters have decent enough interplay to suggest a solid partnership, if not necessarily a friendship.  These find gents haven't provided any photos that they're willing to mark themselves as space pirates, but the year is young, so just maybe...

The third member of the band to be mentioned is also a member of the Sciencefiction.com crew (and, no, I don't have any affiliation with the site, just worked out that way).  Bryan Hardbarger takes on the simple moniker of "Hardbarger" (I'm amazingly creative, it's true) and is noted as the ring leader of The Red Scythe.  These pirates are living and preying out in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and he's the man who decided to put them there.  The founder doesn't make a true appearance, but we can understand that he's pretty bright from the first statements.  Our next installment will take us to actually meet the boss man, hopefully appearing today if the trade winds blow favorably.  I've actually no idea how trade winds will affect my available writing time, but I feel like it's something that a pirate would care about.

So what's next?  First, go ahead and check out "Waiting and Watching" for yourself.  Possibly follow those three gents on Twitter, or at least gawk at their stellar writing on ScienceFiction.com (various types of articles from comic book reviews to movie thoughts and beyond).  Then, well, join me in begging them (because, honestly, I don't do demands too often) in providing photos - together or apart - as The Red Scythe pirates!  Aren't you just a little curious how that would turn out?  I am... well fellas?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Running the Gamut

Before I get into the topic I intended to blog about, let me say that I did spend time trying to decide if I would write something about Dr. King today.  The problem was, I didn't live through a lot of what he did for this nation - I was born in the late 70s.  I do know, however, that if it weren't for Dr. King, life would be very different these days, and we are quite better off for everything that he's done.  So, to avoid insulting his legacy, and embarrassing myself, let me just say thank you very much.

Now, back to the science fiction, because I've spent a good portion of this weekend working on it.  You see, I've got five brand new Olympus Union short stories written.  At the moment, I'm working on a brand new Short Stories section of OlympusUnion.com, which will hopefully go live on Tuesday (or, at worst, Thursday).  The goal, thereafter, is to have a new, free short story in the Olympus Union universe go live once a week.  Want more?  Well I won't just make it so that you need to read on the site.  Why, I'm going to start converting them to ePub format. That way, if you have a Kindle or Nook, you can download them and load into your e-reader.  Simpler reading, right? Absolutely.

Then there's this other research that I'm going to start doing.  I figured, what the heck, maybe it's time to try and start writing an Android app. Oh, don't get too excited, it'll take me some time to pick it up. After all, I'm balancing the writing of the book 3 outline, the Jeremy Hunter book outline, the short stories, and coding on the website... but still, we'll get it done.  We'll get it all done, and then we'll make it even easier for you to enjoy.  So, why don't you go ahead and keep an eye out for all of this good stuff!

Friday, January 13, 2012

JLA the Movie... if I made it

Back in November I blogged about a character named Jeremy Hunter.  Jeremy is a vigilante of sorts that I had created a while back, re-hashed for Olympus Union, and making his first appearance in "Olympus Union: The Past Repeated" which first landed on Amazon in April of 2011.  Lately, I have come to the conclusion that Jeremy Hunter will get his own novella (a book of 40-60 pages, most likely), and part of the reason that "Olympus Union: Drawing Battle Lines" does not feature the vigilante.  Of course, with so much thought about him, and heroes, mixed with a lot of reading regarding the DC New 52, has left me with heroes on the brain.  And, so, I have decided to cast my own Justice League of America movie!

Now, some background and rules.  First, I have no idea if they're making a JLA movie.  I think they should, especially with the Avengers movie coming out, just without making too many of the other lead up movies.  Now, I definitely want to see a movie of The Flash made, but I'm also going to break my own rules multiple times... because the key rule is - I'm always allowed to break my own rules in the blog.  That said, I'm also not using any current Hollywood versions of the characters (partially because one has just ended, and partially because I don't like the other two castings).  Here are the heroes that I'm using: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman & Martian Manhunter.  No clue why they have Hawk Girl in the animated series.  Since I haven't read any of the new comics, I'm going off the old universe.

Superman
Might as well start with the biggest gun.  I'm actually going to use the only actor who has any actual connection with one of the heroes.  My choice is Smallville actor Tom Welling.  Despite the fact that the series ended a little on the "odd" side (not sure how I felt about that last season and a half), Tom has a great look and presence that fits for Superman.  Not everyone has always fit, in all facets, but I truly believe that he could carry this off.  As it will be an ensemble cast, he wouldn't need to carry the movie, either.  Welling does a good job with pulling the "I need to save everyone and be the hero" crossed with "I'm still naive and think that there's good in everyone" gimmick.

Batman
Mr Nolan and Bale are retiring from the Caped Crusader business.  That leaves me in a unique position.  My favorite Batman, at this point, remains Michael Keaton, simply because he managed to pull off the two different personas so well.  Christian was a decent Batman, but not so much Bruce Wayne.  The actor I fell on is Nathan Filion from Firefly and Castle fame.  Now, I know this ruins the thoughts of anyone reading this as another hero role (I'll cover that when I get to him, have no fear).  Nathan has easily shown, however, that he can play the goofy, silly, buoyant role of Bruce Wayne.  He also has a gruff side that we've seen with Mal, and I truly believe that he has the range to take on Batman's dark side.  Wayne also needed to be a little older than Kent, I felt.  It adds to the mentality of Batman as the true leader of the JLA, which most people overlook, but is reality.

Wonder Woman
The last piece of the holy DC trinity needs to have a ton of presence, charisma, and believable command.  Wonder Woman is on equal terms with Superman and Batman, and Olivia Munn has a presence and sense of command that fills the need.  She has shown some athleticism on her guest role on Chuck, which is important because the Woman is a bad ass. With equal importance, however, she needs to be absolutely beautiful.  That's what makes Wonder Woman so impressive, honestly: she is stunning, she is powerful and she is a leader.  After all of the years that I've heard about the complaints of Wonder Woman as a role model, I truly believe that a change of costumer would eradicate the complaints.  I hope that my little cousins grow up to command the room, be as sharp and intelligent, as WW.

Green Lantern
First, I'm going with Hal Jordan as my Green Lantern.  I know that the kids know John Stewart from the cartoon show, but I know Jordan the best, and feel that his personality is the best fit (although, I might re-cast a GL Corps movie one day, and play with the interactions; Hollywood would cast Will Smith but I wouldn't).  Ryan Reynolds would never have been my pick for GL - even as a super hero, he seems to play himself a little too much in movies these days.  I've grown tired of it.  I'm also incredibly aware of the Nathan Filion mock GL trailer but Christopher Gorham has shown, on Covert Affairs, the proper range for Hal Jordan.  He can be serious, he can be a wise guy, and he has great determination.  He's even fairly cut up, as they've shown him shirtless lately, presumably to draw in the young female demographic to sync with the male demographic being so easily drawn in by the enchanting Piper Perabo.  And I did, in fact, resist the urge to cast Piper somewhere.

Flash
My casting for the Flash - Barry Allen, specifically - is shared with Brian Tudor of ScienceFiction.com fame.  Although we'd love to see Neal Patrick Haris showing up as Wally West, we're sticking with the originals.  Ryan McPartlin just seems to scream Barry Allen.  Despite the "Captain Awesome" moniker on Chuck, his character (and McPartlin himself) has the ability to come off quite intelligent.  He also clearly can ooze a sense of humor, and Barry Allen is not the same grim character that Bruce Wayne is.  While Allen is no where near the goofball that his nephew is (hence NPH casting), he needs to have a light side as well.

Aquaman
This one was actually incredibly difficult.  Adrienne Grenier from Entourage might have been a great gimmick add, but I'm not that lazy.  The problem is that Aquaman isn't really a front-and-center player.  He needs to be willing to play the back seat role, yet to be able to shine on the screen at a moment's notice.  Tough to pull off, for certain.  I was incredibly tempted to go with Cary Elwes (Westly from The Princess Bride) but he's aged past this movie.  That led me to Garrett Hedlund.  After some lackluster priors, it was his work in "Tron: Legacy" that convinces me he could pull this off.  The man had to swap between star of the screen, and supporting Bridges. He's also pulled off enough action sequences to make me believe the man could stand up to the obligatory fight scenes.

Martian Manhunter
It just doesn't feel like a Justice League without Martian Manhunter.  Kudos to the people who recognize that.  (nope, no links, you're resourceful!)  Because of the makeup (I'm assuming the round, not oblong head, but either way he's very green), the voice was more important to me on this one.  The more that I tried to play the dialogue in my head, the more I heard Morpheus.  It was perfect.  Laurence Fishburne even has a nice round head (I love Nathan Filion but he looks a little blocky)!  He's clearly got the acting range, and his original Matrix version of Morpheus could really fit the MM character on the whole.  As with Hedlund, he's had to share the screen with other star power (Reeves) yet can move to the forefront and the background without much difficulty.

So there it is.  That's my justice league.  I'm not talking about what crisis I was thinking of, no other characters that I could bring in (although I could have fun with Green Arrow, Red Arrow, Elastic Man, Blue Beetle... and of course, Yvonne Stahovski is Black Canary).  Just who I would put together as my ultimate super team.  Not a bad cast, enough "name" power to make a commercial, and people who can work as an ensemble cast without too much trouble.  Alright, so who wants to make this movie for me?  I've already done the hard work, people...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sketching the Future

I've finally managed to lock down some of the decisions regarding the future of the Olympus Union series.  It was a terribly mind bending experience, honestly, as I drafted and sketched and crumpled and deleted.  And then, in the shower this morning, it all clicked into place.  The moral of the story is probably that warm water battering your brain casing makes for great inspiration and clarity.

Now, for one thing, as I had mentioned in my last post, the original set of novels will be a trilogy.  This wasn't something that I decided on lightly, but really made sense.  In fact, the more that I worked on the outline for the latest novel, the more I became certain of wrapping everything up in one more book.

As you'll see below, I'm also going to work up a stand-alone story based on Jeremy Hunter (although, it will likely be a novella).  It might be built up in concert with the third book in the original trilogy, however, so they might come out close to each other.  The story lines will be quite independent, though.  It might overlap all three books.

This is what I'm expecting things to round out as for the next couple of years:

The Jovian Wars Trilogy
   "The Past Repeated" (Out now)
   "Drawing Battle Lines" (Out now)
   "The Future Reborn" (In production)
Olympus Union: Jeremy Hunter
Ares Elite Duology
   "Constructs of War"
   "Pawns of War"
Saturn Trilogy
  "Manifest Destiny"
  TBD
  TBD

There are, as you can see, plans for a full six more books after the Jovian Wars trilogy has come to completion.  "The Future Reborn" and the Jeremy Hunter book will both look to release in 2012 (I'm trying to push to hit June on the former).  This will possibly be the longest of the three books, but will bring in some resolution.  For now, I don't plan to have Kro appear in that novel, as it will focus mostly on the Jovian System itself.  We'll be wrapping up the struggle between the Jovians and the inner worlds of the Olympus Union.

The Ares Elite books will be focusing on Ares Elite members that you have not met before.  Justin Brand and Avinoam David will still live on in the world of Olympus Union.  You can expect them to make a definite impact on the Saturn Trilogy.  What they won't do, however, is appear in these Ares Elite books, because it's not about them.  The idea will be to follow the process as a new class makes their way through to become super soldiers.  Meet the volunteers, watch them undergo the procedures that have been alluded to in the first novels, go through training... and then make their way out into the field.  It will be an interesting look into the life of the Ares Elite, which isn't as easy as it might sound.

As for the Saturn trilogy... well, we'll tackle that another day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Third Time's the Charm

After some debate, I've decided to make the original Quartet of the Olympus Union series into an original Trilogy.  I've got some books planned for later on into the series (including either a duology or trilogy for later on), but this is how everything is going to wrap up.  The third book is about half outlined as of this evening.  No, I don't have a title for it yet (but should by the end of the week).  I'll push out some new explanations on the concept later in the week.  My hope is to have the outline finished by Friday and to start writing the first draft by the weekend.  With a little inspiration, motivation and luck, the third installment will be on digital book shelves by June.

Still need to pick up the first two books?  Start with "The Past Repeated":

Move on to "Drawing Battle Lines" next (just out on shelves):

Coming very soon, I'm going to start releasing short stories as well.  They'll be free, and show up on OlympusUnion.com for your pleasure.  I finished my third new short today (and brings in all new characters, taking you to an entirely new region of the Olympus Union).  A great deal of new content is on the way!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Join the street team

During my life I have been many things, sometimes simultaneously.  One of the mainstays of my life has been music.  Yes, if you've seen "Lighting the Dark" out on the web, or even the iTunes page, I'm that same guy.  One of the things that I learned from promoting music - live concerts, albums, videos and so forth - was the establishment of the street team.  Essentially, fans (like yourselves) who are interested in getting involved to further the cause.  I'll be honest, while I enjoy writing - just like I enjoyed recording music - you're much more willing to go through the time and expense to put it out when it feels like other people care.  So, hopefully, there are those of you out there who care.  And who'd like to join me.

What am I looking for?   People to use Twitter (do you follow me on Twitter yet?) and blogs; Facebook (are you a fan of the Olympus Union Facebook page?) and email.  I want assistance in spreading the word.  Tweeting and re-tweeting, assisting me with drumming up interest in book readings (or just attending and bringing a friend or two), reaching out to different message boards and listservs to talk Olympus Union.  While I've got a loose plan that I'd be happy to share, the basics are that I want to generate buzz.  To be perfectly honest, it's a lot easier to do with a few friends!

So how can you get in touch with me if you're interested?  Those of you who are close, personal friends and know my regular email (or friends on Facebook) be my guest and email me that way.  Aren't already a Facebook fan?  Go ahead and join the fan page (direct URL: http://facebook.com/olympusunionbooks) and pop a comment on the board that you'd like to be involved.  Tweet me: @gbbloom (I might change that one soon, though).  If you're interested, I'll even set you up an OlympusUnion.com email address (of which, to be honest, I don't even have yet.  Think I'll have to do that this weekend...) so you can be an official emissary!  Looking forward to working with you on this.  It'll be fun!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Upon Further Review

This might be a bit of an understatement, and it might be something that you already know.  All the same, what I've discovered is that writing a book isn't actually easy.  This concept of coming up with a whole universe to work in, one that's outside of our normally known universe, it actually isn't too simple either, strangely enough.  Now, managing to create a universe that's based on our existing one, but projecting forward a hundred years or so, while fabricating a new political structure... that's pretty tricky.  The really hard part, however, and possibly the most important one, is getting other people to actually like it.  That's what makes it even more special when fellow authors not only enjoy your work, but are willing to use their precious time to review it.

So this blog is dedicated to my two fellow authors, KaSonndra Leigh and Wyatt Davenport.  KaSonndra's review hit Good Reads over the weekend and digs deep into the setting of the story.  She seemed to have enjoyed it.  Wyatt's review focuses on the difficulties that I  mentioned in the first paragraph, and actually credits me for getting it right.  It really makes me feel fantastic when I read that.

Now, then, let's give a little plug to these two fine authors, shall we?  You can follow Ms. Leigh at KaSonndraLeigh.com where she discusses her writing.  She has written "When Copper Suns Fall" - available on Amazon for $0.99 - and is already sporting a 4 1/2 star rating!  As it says, the book is urban fantasy with a dystopian twist, and a remarkably interesting concept.  It's highly recommended to go give it a read.

Wyatt Davenport has created the Lunara Series, a science fiction adventure not unlike Star Wars itself.  The series is set into the future, of course, following disaster on Earth.  A post apocalyptic tale of hope and rebirth, the first book - Seth & Cloe - is available on Amazon for $0.99 as well.  The second book in the original trilogy, Gwen and Eamonn, is also available on Amazon for the same price.  The third book in the original trilogy, Parker and the Protector, is on its way.  Something fairly cool that Wyatt has done, which is inspiring me to take a new look at my series, has been to list out all of the books planned in the series.  I'd advocate taking a look at LunaraSeries.com and giving it a browse.  He lays out not just the original triad, but the plans for the following duology and concluding trilogy.  It's quite impressive.  I'm actually going to put out my layout for the new books shortly.

Here's to KaSonndra and Wyatt, two fantastic authors who were kind enough to donate some of their time my way.  Hopefully you'll take a few moments and give them their due.  And maybe, just maybe, you'll follow all three of our writing from here on out!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The New Olympus Union home page

OlympusUnion.com just got a face lift.  There is a new layout, a new home page, and a couple of links that will take you to both books, off to the t-shirt store and back here to this blog.  It's also just a beginning.  Coming shortly (most likely this week), I'll be adding a deeper description page on the books themselves.  Something to flesh out the explanation a little bit.  Eventually, I'm expecting that page to also contain a map to outline the upcoming books in the series as well.

Thanks in large part to Feedburner, I've also managed to get some text from the blog to show up right on the website's home page.  Yeah, you'll still need to click through to the articles to read them in their entirety, or come here directly for the full set of archives, but at least you can get a taste of what's going on from that home page.  Need more convenience?You can also now sign up to receive this blog emailed to you via the box on the right.  That's right, you can go ahead and get Olympus Union in your inbox!  Don't forget that you can also follow via Twitter by adding @gbbloom so do that today.  But that's not really what this blog posting is about today.

What I wanted to do with this new site is provide a platform off which I can actually expand what is being offered.  At the moment, I'm working on a handful of short stories that will come out of the Olympus Union universe.  The first that will be coming out, and headed to Never Met Press and Stories in the Ether is set towards the middle of "The Past Repeated" and should be out soon.  I've got at least one other story planned that will take place within the confines of that book. There are also a couple that will be meant to bridge the first novel to "Drawing Battle Lines" for some nice transition. Finally, I've got a list of stories that I'm outlining which aren't directly related to either of the books.  What's best about these? They'll be completely free.  I'm even looking at setting up epub versions of the short stories so that you can read them directly on your Kindle or Nook (and, yes, iPad too).  There is a lot coming for this website, and it's coming sooner than you think!

If you'd like to be an Admin in our upcoming Wiki, go ahead and drop me a line on our Facebook page!