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New: Writing Advice, Interview, Poll

All sorts of goodies for you today.

First up, new writing advice for the month of June HERE. I’m doing things a little bit differently this month by answering a slew of questions in shorter form. Among the topics: overcoming self-doubt, agents and online publishing, and brainstorming.

Second, I’ve just completed an interview with the excellent Shawn Speakman of It’s all about book covers: The Blinding Knife cover, how it came together, and some of my favorite book covers out there today. Go HERE for the interview.

Last but not least, I’ve got a new poll at right. (Not that I’m taking orders here, but I’m curious to see what you’re most curious to see.)

Cage Match Finals: Kylar vs. Moiraine

Well, I don’t know how we did it, and at least five other authors don’t know how we did it either, but Kylar has made it to the finals in the Suvudu Cage Match. Suvudu is Random House’s official SFF blog, so you don’t get to the finals by flying under the radar. 64 fantasy characters entered this year, and Kylar has faced characters from more beloved series than he has any right to (Gimli from J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling, Julia from Lev Grossman, Erevis Cale from Paul S. Kemp, Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett).

And now, in the finals, he’s facing Moiraine from my personal favorite, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

So if you’re going to go down, it’s good to go down to someone you love! But if you’re going to go down, I think Durzo would say, “It’s best to go down swinging.”

Click HERE to read Suvudu blogger Abyss’s take on how the fight will go. And don’t forget to vote!

My thanks also to David Pomerico and to Suvudu for giving Kylar the chance to be seen by other fantasy fans. A lot of hard work goes into putting these together, and in doing the write-ups, and I really appreciate it!

(You may also have noticed that there isn’t a new writing advice post this month. Between copyedits for my next book and a short vacation, I haven’t had time to write that yet. But it’s coming soon!

A new poll is also at right.)

Cage Match: Kylar Stern v. Julia Wicker

Sadly, I wasn’t able to write this week’s Cage Match because I have one week to turn in my copyedits for The Blinding Knife. However, Suvudu wrote up the fight between Kylar Stern and Lev Grossman’s Julia. Check it out HERE and vote for who you think would win!

(Also, a new poll is up!)

Kylar Wins! Next Up: Harry Potter

First, the good news: Kylar Stern won Round 1 of the Cage Match! Sorry, Gimli.

Thank you to all you fans who voted.

Now for the even better news: Kylar’s next fight will be against Harry Potter.

That’s right folks: the Boy Who Lived will face off with The Boy Who Kills. And I’m writing up the conflict like never seen before. It goes live this Monday, March 12, HERE. Apparently, Hermione is laying down the ground rules.

Imaginary Friends, Real Friends, and Friendlier Web Pages


Why, you might ask, is Brent featuring the cover of another author’s book on his webpage? Good question.

If you’ve read  The Night Angel Trilogy, you’ve seen the amazing blurb that Terry Brooks gave me, which was a great push right out of the gate for a new guy just scrapping to make it. Terry has been tremendously gracious to me, personally as well as professionally. It was Terry who introduced me to Shawn Speakman, his long-time “web druid”, who in addition to being a writer himself, runs Suvudu and the Signed Page. Shawn has also become a friend of mine, and he was recently diagnosed with cancer.

It looks like Shawn’s going to be fine once he finishes his treatment, but, hey… cancer. Expensive. The writing life is great–but the benefits stink! So Terry Brooks is listing his short story, Imaginary Friends, for 90 days at $2.99 as an e-book download, with all of the proceeds going toward Shawn’s medical bills.

Imaginary Friends is a short story that has been out of print, so you’re not only doing something nice and getting a steal, you’re reading something people haven’t had access to in years.

You can check out more details at Terry’s webpage, including how to download a Kindle app for your computer if you don’t have one. I hope you’ll all consider buying a copy of the story — I know I will! Imaginary Friends is available on Kindle, Nook.

And as a side note, I wanted to let you all know that we’ve updated the Writing Advice page to make it friendlier for all you aspiring writers out there. We hope that we’ve made navigation a little simpler (one extra click, but much less scrolling!). There’s also a special link at the top of the page to direct you to the newest content quickly.