Victoria A. Jeffrey's authorly doings. . .

Friday, January 25, 2013

February Blog Hop Coming Soon!

I will be participating in the coming blog-hop in February! It starts February 11th and lasts through February 14th! For this special time I will post an excerpt from my latest novel. Schisms - a chapter that has not been posted here or on the website. Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in the blog hop as well (there will be a link list) - some authors may be doing book giveaways during this time! Look for it on February 11th!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Greed and Ebook Prices

This is a subject that I've written about before but I think it deserves attention. What is that subject? It's ebook prices.

Now, for this particular post I'm speaking primarily as a reader, not a writer. I think its a great thing that we authors are able to determine for ourselves what our prices will be and how much we want to make. However, I see prices that are so outrageous that "gouging the customer" comes to mind. I still think that $9.99 and up is too high for an ebook. Even $7.99 seems expensive. I mean, really, I can go down to Powell's bookstore and find a paperback of the same book or a similar book for the same price. So I think to myself when I'm browsing Amazon's Kindle store: "Why on earth would I pay this price for an ebook?" And usually what happens is that I pass on the book and look elsewhere.

I have no plans to charge such high prices for my own books. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not against making money, (else I wouldn't have started my own publishing company) and I do not like the whole $0.99 ebook craze either. After all, writing a full length novel is a tremendous amount of work. I think it should be more than a buck. However, there aren't the costs associated with ebooks that there are with paper books. So why charge so much? I think the the root problem is greed. Greed is why the economy collapsed and greed, I believe, is why I see these outrageous prices in ebooks. People will often try to get away with charging whatever they think people will pay and legally they are within their rights. However, ethically I think it's wrong to charge $12.99 or $17.99 for something that can be bought as a physical product cheaper or for the same price.

But that's how people are these days. It's all about the money which is why the world sucks sometimes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Serialized Short Fiction

I come up with ideas every now and then and while listening to the Questcast podcast I was thinking about writing some more short fiction. I just released a collection called Keeping Strange Time and I am planning a science fiction series in 2014 that will start off with a short story, just like the current one I'm working on.

But this will be a little different. I have so much material from years past that I want to use, some of it not much good but some of it is good. So this is what I'm thinking, a series of story vignettes, or serialized fiction in short bites. I'm not sure what it will be or look like. Much of the material is already written but I will be adding and changing it to create these new stories. Will it be science fiction? Will it be fantasy? I think it may be somewhere in between and I will purposefully not use an outline for this project. This will be interesting since I usually always use an outline for my stories. I'll be free-wheeling it folks! It will be featured on a new blog. I'm excited. It's so cool when you have the freedom to share your stories with people.

The new blog is called blueshift ( The link is in the sidebar to the right. Look for work there in February.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Concepts and Ideas In The Red World Trilogy

Now that I've gotten the first story of this trilogy out of the way I wanted to revisit the idea of antiquitypunk: modern-like technology created during ancient times. However antiquitypunk is really a veneer over the actual story's concepts. The real concepts run deeper and explore issues of Right and Wrong, religion, valor and forthrightness versus hypocrisy and corruption, belief and the role of technology. I've found a way to add this idea into the fabric of the story and I will explore it further in the next two books. One of the huge influences on the story is Frank Herbert's Dune and in that book one of the major issues brought up in the saga is the problem of technology. How it is abused and eventually banned by society through the Butlerian Jihad:

"Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a man's mind." 
"Thou shalt not disfigure the soul."

The ban is nearly fanatically religious in nature. I wrote a similar concept in my own book, where the story takes place after the fall of the great kingdom of Hybron and the destruction of its capital. Hybron under the Red Kings was technologically advanced while still retaining many ancient, traditional ways. After the Destruction, tech is banned for the terrible problems imposed on society, resulting from greed and power and I plan to explore this time in Hybron's history further.

In a time of water wheels, sundials and water clocks and uses of animals for transportation how do you explain surgery, cyborgs, star stations, giant floating air machines and genetic mutations of animals and humans such as animal-human hybrids? What would these things look like and how would they work? During the height of Hybron's glory people and animals are eventually used and abused by these experiments and some try to use the air machines as a means for military weaponry, like spreading toxic poisons or dusts in the air over enemy lands. These things contribute to the ban on advanced tech in certain lands on the planet.

I think it brings up the question: how do we use technology in a way that does not abuse one's fellow? Difficult since in real life technology is often used to abuse or harm others as well as help them. How does society deal with it? I suppose the core question is the nature of Man himself. Anything can be used to corrupt and harm others if the ones using it have ill intent. Motivations of the heart, I suppose, are the real issue and how technology is used comes out of that soup.

There will be an important plot point that is related to one of the themes in the story that surrounds this very idea and it has to do with the kinds of people forced to serve in certain kinds of slavery. Slavery is another issue in the books that I will be tackling because it is closely tied with the problem of technology use in the story.

Anyway, please forgive the rambling. I am thinking out loud here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back and What's New!

We have entered yet another new year. I always enjoy looking back on what I've accomplished over the year and I must say that 2012 was just as exciting for me as 2011. Last year right at this time I had finished writing and published The Winter Wolves - in my opinion one of the best books of the Secret Doorway Tales series. In fact I believe it is the best one. I was also working on a book of poetry, Half Light, I believe it was. I had also found the Middle Earth Network and I was over the moon. It's an internet community where I really feel at home. In march I created my publishing company Epistle Publishing and I've got big plans for it. I also began writing my first full length novel in years, Schisms. I started writing it in September and I just finished and published it yesterday. I also became a content producer for Middle Earth Network.

It's always good to look back on what you've accomplished and what you want to accomplish over the year ahead. I've got great things in store. There will be the second and third books of the Red World trilogy coming out this year and then I shall begin writing up a rough draft of the first in yet another series, a steam punk science fiction series. There may also be a few stand alone books written in the Red World universe too but I don't know if those will come out this year or next year. I will also be producing more content for MET as well as they are moving and growing in leaps and bounds.

One more goal I have, the ultimate goal and that is to start making enough from my writing that I can eventually quit my day job. That may be a few years out but things are moving forward at a good pace. Lot's of new and wonderful things will be happening in 2013 if God is willing.

And before you forget, my new fantasy novel is on sale for $2.99 at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords!

Description:  A queen in peril. An outsider priest. A young girl who dreams of adventure.

The land of Hybron, once the cultural center of the Red Planet, has fallen into an abyss of political and religious strife that have kept it embroiled in conflict. It has floundered in a dark age for centuries, the former grand kingdom falling into a collection of city-states. An ancient prophecy has reappeared, a prophecy that promises to deliver them from the corruption and increasing violence that permeates the land. However, there are those who have their own plans and “savior prophecies” only get in the way of the more pragmatic concerns of acquiring power.

The ancient capital, Assenna, has been in ruins for many ages and the line of kings that ruled from it are nearly forgotten. The very words, Red Kings, have become a curse and it is forbidden to even speak of them but it is precisely the blood of this kingly line, it was foretold, that would rule Hybron again and raise it up to its former glory. The Ainash priesthood, a powerful and ruthless faction in Jhis have fallen in power after a barbarian warrior has overrun the city-states, making himself king of the land. Under his rule Hybron has once again been reunited under one power. Is he, a wild tribesman of the desert, the future Red King of prophecy? As the kingdom remains embroiled in corruption and violence it does not seem so and his queen, a devout woman of the Aishanna-La has borne him no heirs. She has her own schemes that put her at odds with everyone at court: the priesthood, who seek to regain power and the king, who plans to carve out a great name for himself in the world. The queen becomes embroiled in a controversy that will have long-reaching effects on the fate of the kingdom and her own.

Ilim, one of the Ainash, is thrown out of the Golden Temple. Afterward, he has a prophetic dream with a commission to tell a dire message that most people do not want to hear, least of all the Ainash priesthood. His new spiritual path leads him back into the desert among the tribal peoples. He believes it will lead him to the answer that will save the kingdom from ruin – but, disappointingly, it leads him, not to a great warrior and a holy army but to a little girl at the fortress city of Gamina. 

Visions are never straight forward, paths are perilous and the grand purpose of prophecy seems impossible, yet many are now seeking it; some strive mightily to make it come about while others are working just as powerfully against it and there are those who seek to insert themselves in it. All are caught in the river of Destiny and Purpose. Some will rise and others will drown. Who will triumph?