All the King’s Men blog hop stop

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to the mini blog hop celebrating the release of All the King’s Men, happening tomorrow! I’m glad you could join me today to talk about cyberpunk stories and romance.

My novel is a cyberpunk science fiction romance. I know, it seems like those genres might be at odds with each other, but I wanted to prove that they’re really not.

Science fiction that is cyberpunk usually takes place in cyberspace, a reality of the mind that is connected to other minds or has a theme of technologically enhanced humans. Cyberpunk also usually has a theme of dystopia, in which darker themes are explored, such as government oppression, and what makes a person human. Some other examples of cyberpunk are the movie The Matrix, the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson, the anime Ghost in the Shell and the TV show Dark Angel.

All the King’s Men takes place in the mindnet world of the Cerebrum, a place much like the internet. A person projects their own idea of what they look like using the power of their mind, and they can travel the Cerebrum with a simple thought.

My main character, Fox, describes the Cerebrum this way:

Some said that traversing the Cerebrum looked different to everyone, and that made sense to Fox. Every individual who linked into the mindnet thought differently. To him, it looked blue, with bright points of light and wispy interconnecting trails of mist. Apparently, psychologists could tell what type of person you were by the way you described it, but he couldn’t understand how his psyche could be interpreted like that. Then again, he was literally looking at his own thought process, so maybe what they said was true.

Cyberpunk can be a very dark genre, so I think it’s important to introduce the theme of love and romance. Sometimes, I think that gritty realism goes too far, and leaves the reader with nothing to uplift them.

Fox and Seven both have a hard journey ahead of them, and it seems like it would be impossible for love to blossom in a place like the Cerebrum. But somehow, they struggle their way towards it.

Thanks for coming to the blog hop and reading about the Cerebrum! Don’t forget to visit the next stop on my blog hop at Hearts on Fire!

Fox is a mindnet hacker, and works for the mysterious man known only as King. He spends his time uncovering dangerous secrets and releasing them to the public.

But those who cause trouble are bound to attract it, and despite their precautions King is taken prisoner by an unknown government. And if Fox is going to save him, he’s going to need help—help that comes from the very last place he expected to find it.

Alex Powell is an avid writer and reader of sci-fi and fantasy, but on occasion branches into other genres to keep things interesting. Alex is a genderqueer writer from the wilds of northern Canada who loves exploring other peoples and cultures. Alex is a recent graduate of UNBC with a BA in English, and as a result has an unhealthy obsession with Victorian Gothic literature. Alex has been writing from an early age, but is happy to keep learning to improve on their writing skills. Feedback and comments as well as any questions are appreciated! You can reach Alex at aa.powell.author@gmail.com and at their website alexpowellauthor.com.

Comment below for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three book market and a signed print copy of All the King’s Men! The draw will take place on July 31st. Please note that the draw includes all posts on the blog hop!

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All the King’s Men Cover Reveal!

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Hello everyone!

I have a couple of announcements to make.

The first is, I just received my cover for All the King’s Men, and I am super excited about it! Check it out! All the King’s Men will be released July 27th, 2016 from Less Than Three Press.

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As usual, Less Than Three Press has done an excellent job, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. All the King’s Men is long enough to have print copies, so I will be getting four amazing author copies in the mail in the future with this amazing cover. I love having physical copies of my work.

The other announcement is that my story that I wrote for the Gay Romance Northwest Magic and Mayhem charity anthology has been accepted! I don’t have a title yet, so I’ll have to brainstorm one up. I’m also very excited that my short story was accepted, because that means I will be an Attending Author for GRNW 2016.

Other than that, I’m still working on the sequel to Far Patrol. I haven’t gotten my editing mitts on for Far Patrol yet, but I’ll probably be working on it over the next few months. I really need to plan out the series arc for this, which I’m finding challenging. I haven’t written a series before, so it’s certainly an interesting learning curve.

I accidentally started writing on a story that’s been kicking around in my head which is about a trans lesbian detective named Louisa and a bisexual prostitute named Maggie who are trying to solve the murder of Maggie’s best friend Beth. I say “accidentally” because I haven’t started world-building or planning out the story arc yet. It just couldn’t be contained. Oh well, now I have to go print out a map of Victorian London. I’m going to make the world greenpunk, which means that this world’s Britain started using sustainable green energy instead of steam and coal power.

Anyway, that is what I’m doing right now. I hope you’re all doing well on your current projects, whatever they may be.

Release date for ATKM

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Good news everyone!

I have a release date for All the King’s Men! It’s July 27th, which I think is a great time for a book to be released, during the height of summer. I’m obviously really excited to have something to look forward to in the future.

My cover art for ATKM is coming next month, so I can share that with everyone soon. I’m always really happy with cover art from Less Than Three Press. LT3 has some pretty amazing artists.

In other news, I’m still slowly working on some other projects while also getting the hang of the bookstore business. If you hadn’t already heard, I now own a bookstore, and I have a new kitten who will be my bookstore kitty. He’s already gotten in a lot of trouble knocking over stacks of books and climbing tokitten1 the top of racks. (I’m also shamelessly going to include many kitten pictures in this post.)

I have one mini project in the works, which is the anthology for Gay Romance Northwest. Their call for this anthology is called Magic and Mayhem which is a charity anthology to help GRNW with their various programming and book donations. The call is for either stories with a pairing of mage/cyborg or soldier/tattoo artist. For those of you who’ve attended the conference in the past, this is from the fun Character Type Love Match game that readers played during the last two years.

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I’m going with mage/cyborg, mostly because I’m a fantasy and sci-fi writer generally. I’m just about 8000 words into it, and it probably won’t be more than 10k words long. That’s due March 31st, so I will be working on that until the end of the month.

My tentatively titled “Far Patrol” ace aro dragon novel is still out on beta. I expect that to take a little while because the novel is almost 60k words long. It’s a pretty hefty one for me, my longest novel to date. The sequel to that is on the back burner while I work on the Magic and Mayhem story.

 

kitten3As usual, I have plot bunnies running amok, and there’s all sorts of story ideas going every which way. But I’m glad to be back to churning out the writing.

 

A New Start

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Hey all, it’s the New Year, and although I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions regarding writing, I’m still making progress.

I have three different things happening right now on projects.

I’m on the editing stages on All the King’s Men, which is a cyberpunk novel. I just finished my second round of edits, so hopefully I will have more news soon on progress for that novel. This novel has been in the works for me for a long time, and it feels like quite an accomplishment to have it progressing.

Secondly, I have finished writing a dragon fantasy novel and I’m having it beta read by a few different amazing people. I’m letting that one be for a while before I start revisions and line editing. I wrote this one for 2015’s NaNoWriMo and it won. I’ve tentatively called it “Far Patrol,” although that could possibly change.

I’ve started writing the sequel to Far Patrol, and I’m only a few thousand words into that so far. If I’m writing a series, I want to have as much written as possible by the time I submit the first novel. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, because Far Patrol is nowhere near ready to submit.

Lastly, I’m writing a short story for the Magic and Mayhem anthology, which is a charity anthology being written in order to help fund future Gay Romance Northwest initiatives. As I have attended all three meet-ups, I am definitely submitting something to help.

So those are my projects for this winter, so it should be a fun few months.

Another short announcement that I have is that I recently purchased a bookstore business called the Final Chapter, and of course, I am looking for LGBTQ titles so that I can make an LGBTQ section in the store, as it was sadly lacking one when I purchased it. I have a few books that I can donate as I’ve read them already, but hopefully I can get even more!

So that’s it for now, folks! I’ve been a bit busy, but hopefully I can get some more blog posts going now that all the kerfuffle of Christmas and bookstore bargaining is over with.

GRNW 2015 is coming!

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It’s that time of year again! Officially less than a month away from the Gay Romance Northwest conference in Seattle!

I always make a big deal out of this, because I love going to this conference. It’s only in its 3rd year running so far, but already, the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up is growing and changing. I’m so glad to be a part of this conference about LGBTQ+ romance and fiction. 

As usual, there will be a pre-conference meet-up the evening before and a book reading at Hugo House! Last year was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to meeting everyone there! Once again, the conference is at the Seattle Public Library, which has hosted for the previous two years as well. There’s going to be lots of fun panels and activities for readers and writers, including a Pitch session with publishers and a reader meet-up!

Afterwards, there’s going to be a book festival at Hotel Monaco

This year, I’m an Attending Author and have been invited to be on a panel. I’ll be driving down with my friend J.K. Pendragon and their boyfriend Laurence. J.K. is also going to be on a panel this year, which is exciting news for both of us. We’ll both also have booths at the book festival, so come visit us! I think we’ll be sitting at the same table, so it will be easy to visit us both at the same time.

If you love LGBTQ+ romance, then you’ve got to check out all the other Attending Authors as well! There’s lots of amazing authors attending, as well as publishers, editors, and cover artists! 

Gay Romance Northwest has opened registration already, and their early-bird deal is on until August 31st, so hurry and register early for the best deal! I’m ready to go, and there’s still a month till the conference.

Hope to see you there!

Rangers on the Read

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Hey all,

I’ve decided to start a project on social media called “Rangers on the Read.”

What is it? It’s a project in which I give my book Rangers over Regulus to one person that I know, and they will read it and pass it on. Sounds simple, right? It really is, it’s a project with no real parameters except curiosity. Where will my book end up?

I’ve left a message on the inside cover with instructions. You can read them below:

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If you’re looking at this message, one of your friends has given you this book to read.

This book is starting out with one person, and that person is going to read this book and pass it on. I want to see where this book ends up. Call it an experiment of sorts.

I’d like to try to keep track of it, so if you receive this book and feel like updating where it is and who you are, just send me a message, maybe a picture of where it has ended up this time.

#rangersontheread is the hashtag I’ll be tracking on social media.

You can PM me on Twitter @aa_powell or Tumblr alexpowell-writer.tumblr.com

or even email me at aa.powell.author@gmail.com

Or you can just read and pass it on.

Seems pretty straight forward, right? Just read it, send me a message if you like, and pass it on to the next person. I want to see where the book ends up. I’ve decided that I’ll start with just one book for now, and I’m starting it in Prince George, BC, Canada, which is my hometown.

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In case any of you readers are wondering where the heck that is, I’ll tell you. Prince George is a town of about 72 000 people in the middle of the Caribou Central Interior of British Columbia. It’s near the west coast of Canada, and is the largest city in northern BC. It’s an hour flight to Vancouver or Edmonton, and a ten hour drive by car. Two major highways run through PG, one running east to west and another running north to south. We have a small university, the University of Northern British Columbia (not to be mistaken with UBC, which is far less awesome).

If I had to take a guess where the book is going to end up, I’d say probably the university. But I can’t say that I’d be surprised if it ended up anywhere else.

My book might just circulate around Prince George for awhile and then end up in a garbage somewhere, missing its cover. Or it might end up on the other side of the world.

I guess we’ll wait and see. I might try this again with my starting point in Vancouver later, if this turns out to be a success.

Thanks everyone, I’ll keep you updated on its progress.

Summer Writing Projects

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I’ve gotten a bit behind on my writing projects of late, which makes me a bit sad. Apart from being a writer, I’m also a student trying to get into Grad School. That’s going well for the moment, so I’m returning to writing projects I need to get done. I’ve included a couple of pictures of my hometown in the post, just so you have an idea of what type of place I’m writing in.

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Top of UNBC hill in Prince George

 

  1. My cyberpunk novel is actually finished being written, revised, and beta-read! It took almost forever, and right now I’m on the editing stage. As you know, I find editing tedious but necessary to the final project. The novel is at 58K words right now, and I will be submitting it as soon as I finish my editing rounds. As I’ve discovered, I really like putting unnecessary words like “started to” and “began to” at the beginning of sentences and have to take them out. It is time-consuming, but I’m hoping to be done editing by mid-May.
  2. My ace dragon story is already outlined at over 40k words, and these types of things have a tendency to get away from me. So I’m guessing that it will probably end up around 50-60k words by the time I finish. As I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done this summer, I’m hoping to have the writing bit finished by the end of July.
  3. I keep saying I’m going to write for collection and anthology calls, but the things I write end up being longer than expected. So I’m going to try and fit in a short story for the Bisexual anthology call Enchanted Soles with Less Than Three Press. I find short stories the most difficult to write, so hopefully I won’t get carried away!
The road at the bottom of UNBC hill

The road at the bottom of UNBC hill

As usual, I have plot bunnies running around breeding profusely inside my head as well as projects I put on the back burner. I’ll try and stick to my guns and get everything finished. Summer writing projects are fun. Two summers ago, I was in Vancouver, and I managed to finish off Hakusan Angel while writing in posh cafes. Prince George is slightly less posh, but hopefully, that won’t curtail the writing flow!