If you’re getting an iPad or iPhone this holiday season, Jak Phoenix makes a great read. Available on iTunes through the iBooks store, this ebook is a fast paced space adventure written in a light hearted tone.
Here’s a bit of what Feathered Quill Book Reviews had to say:
“Above all, what makes Jak Phoenix a good book is the pacing. Williams brilliantly balances action with plot and character development throughout the book. There is never a dull moment, whether Jak and his friends are outmaneuvering attackers in space, boarding an enemy ship, fighting robotic soldiers, or outwitting captors.”
– Eloise Michael, Feathered Quill Book Reviews
Hopefully you’ll enjoy it too.
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Fantasy author Tracy Falbe found the time to answer a few questions about her new book and life in general. Take a read – her answers will show you why she’s a writer…
MW: When we spoke last, I found out you had an adventure of your own this spring with a certain natural disaster. Would you like to share a bit about that experience?
TF: On May 29th a severe storm with 100 mile per hour winds hit Battle Creek, Michigan. I personally believe there were tornadoes in the storm but I don’t know if that was officially confirmed. My neighborhood was badly hit. Battle Creek is an old town and most of the neighborhoods are filled with glorious mature hardwoods. In a matter of minutes hundreds of them came crashing down as the storm tore a swath of destruction through the city, smashing homes and taking out utility lines. On commercial streets without the tree cover, businesses lost roofs and many signs were bent over and torn apart. Everyone is amazed and grateful no one died. A person caught outside in the flying debris could have easily been killed.
I think everyone heeded the sirens because of the many tragic deaths farther south this spring. The storm I experienced came incredibly fast and hit like a hammer. The storm did not so much as blow in as come down straight from the sky. Everything went white outside and I could not see beyond my yard as I rushed my kids into the basement. There was a massive roaring sound and I did not hear what must have been the terrible noise of huge oak trees crashing across my street. The storm plastered my house with chewed up leaves and small branches pierced my yard like spears, but otherwise my property was lucky. Four very large hardwoods, two oaks and two maples, directly threaten my home, but bless their woody hearts they stood firm while many of their mates succumbed all around.
What influence will this event have on your future stories? Are we likely to see some reference creep in?
The colossal power of Nature has always had a presence in my writing. I know that my puny humanity and technology are nothing compared to the chaotic might of a living planet. I’ve beheld the towering darkness of an oncoming dust storm in the Mojave Desert. I’ve endured the choking despair of wild fires while ash rained on my home. I’ve been saved from drowning by a stranger when he pulled me from a rushing river. I’ve watched funnel clouds go by and now I’ve cowered beneath one, so, since you asked, I probably should throw a tornado into a story.
This bad storm has also made me reflect on luck. You really can get lucky for no reason. (And doesn’t a hero in an adventure novel need that?) My home was unscathed. Elsewhere in my neighborhood I saw a property where three tall oaks came down and somehow managed to miss that man’s house AND boat as if a loving god were juggling logs for his sake. Across the street from the same place, vehicles were smashed and one house was about cut in half by falling oaks. Anything can happen and there is not much you can do about it.
Rys Rising: Book I is launching my second epic fantasy series. The story is in the same world as The Rys Chronicles but I have gone 2,200 years back in time. I’ve created the ancient civilization of Nufal that was an extinct ruin in my first series, and I’m detailing the early days of the rys and the rise of Onja and Dacian as that race’s Queen and King. Much of the action also involves the western tribal kingdoms and the human character of Amar. This epic was a challenge for me to write because it has three races and two civilizations. Also there is a rivalry between religious sects in Nufal to further complicate things. I’m styling the Rys Rising series as a complex epic told from many angles. It also has a greater emphasis on the bad guy. The fantasy genre for me is about having fun and exploring facets of society even if they are deviant. Rys Rising: Book I has a big focus on outlaws, like the main character Amar. My husband even insists that Amar IS the hero despite his lack of good deeds.
Where does this book fall into the chronological order with the rest of the Rys Chronicles?
Rys Rising is a prequel series, so it is the beginning. Because rys and tabre can live for thousands of years and hibernate, readers will get to meet some of the magical characters from the first series and see their original adventures.
Why did you decide to release this in the weekly serial format?
In addition to making Rys Rising: Book I a free ebook download at my websites, I decided to serialize it chapter by chapter to help market the novel. Every time I post a new chapter it gives me something new to talk about in my marketing efforts. Instead of constantly saying “download my free ebook” I can also say something fresh like “go read this chapter.” I also want to make it easy for people to check out my fiction. Reading a blog post is basically effortless compared to downloading an ebook. People like to read excerpts before committing to actually downloading a file.
I’m also hoping as time goes by and more people read the novel that the blog novel version will serve as a place for readers to comment and discuss the content.
Can you give us a hint of what to expect in the next volumes of the Rys Rising series?
Maybe these hints are best expressed in a tag cloud….adultery, awesomeness, bachelor party, betrayal, burning idols, dancers, drummers, duel, dungeon, enchantments, execution, funeral, magic, monsters, politics, religious war, sacrifice, siege, slaughter, swords, vengeance, wedding…Is this epic enough for you?
What kind of a timeline are we looking at for a release?
I can confidently say that Savage Storm: Rys Rising Book II will be published in October. I wish I could commit to getting New Religion: Rys Rising Book III published in time for Christmas, but realistically it could be January. Book IV that is untitled right now should be out in the last half of 2012. It’s half written.
What kind of format will the next installments arrive in?
Ebooks will be the format of first publication. By far I reach the most readers with ebooks, so digital is my priority. After publishing the ebooks I will develop print-on-demand paperbacks and hardcovers at Lulu.com. I just made the hardcover of Rys Rising: Book I live at Lulu http://www.lulu.com/product/hardcover/rys-rising-book-i/17146690 and the paperback version will be live as soon as I examine a proof copy that is en route to me.
What are you enjoying about your independence in the publishing world?
I love most that I am building a business around my dearest creative passion. I love also that I am writing stories straight from my soul and reaching an audience. This is infinitely better than trying to attract the interest of a publisher, which I wasted four years (2000 -2004) doing. Life is too short to leave my dreams in the hands of others.
Are you writing full time now?
Well, writing for me is not a 40 hour a week thing. If I actually write for two hours in a day, it’s a good session. So maybe that is full time for me. I try to write everyday although right now I am immersed in reading, editing, and proofreading Savage Storm and New Religion. I need to get those two novels fine tuned before I can return to writing the final part. This process allows me to absorb the middle of the epic and ponder the nuances so I can draw everything together in the conclusion. I know from experience that finishing an epic is very hard. Writing The Borderlands of Power: The Rys Chronicles Book IV was very challenging. Plus with every subsequent novel I write I push myself to do better. Although readers will make their individual judgments about each novel, I must always be satisfied that my latest novel is my best yet. An artist must always strive to improve.
What else have you been up to?
I have a ridiculous range of interests. I grow and preserve a lot of food for my family, so I’m busy in the garden and the kitchen. I’m always researching organic gardening and experimenting with plants. My goal is to make my yard as productive as possible, and I’m enjoying a good deal of success with that. I’m also an estate sale addict, which means I go shopping in dead people’s houses. Through the winter I plan to start making some upcycled décor from vintage items. I even have a quilting project.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for the interview and I wish you much success with Jak Phoenix.
Free ebook Rys Rising: Book I http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/free-fantasy-ebook-rys-rising.html
Also 99 cents at these retailers:
Amazon Kindle http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005FYSSSC
Tags: authors, books, deals, ebooks, fiction, fiction authors, fiction writing, free ebook, ibooks, ibookstore, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, interviews, ipad, Jak Phoenix, novels, paperbacks, publishing, Rys Chronicles; female fantasy authors, rys rising, smashwords, Smashwords.com, The Rys Chronicles, Tracy Falbe, writing
Look up top…you’ll see a “Characters” tab! Check it out for an appetizer on the main characters in the space adventure novel, Jak Phoenix by Matt D. Williams. As always, a super thanks to Jeff Thomason for his character artwork! Or click here http://jakphoenix.com/characters/
Posted in Announcements
Tags: art, artists, authors, books, characters, comic art, ebooks, fiction, fiction authors, fiction writing, ibooks, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, ipad, Jak Phoenix, jeff thomason, novels, paperbacks, publishing, sci-fi books, sci-fi ebooks, science fiction, scifi, sf, sf books, sf ebooks, sf novels, space adventure, space adventure ebooks, space adventure novels, space opera, space opera books, space opera ebooks, space opera novels, writing
Smashwords.com is once again sponsoring “Read an eBook” week, which runs from March 6th to March 12, 2011. Many of the great authors I’ve featured here on Jakphoenix.com are participating so I thought I’d throw together a list of some of their included works. Now is a great time to check them out for next to nothing!
Jak is a space pilot who would rather kick back with a cold drink than stick his neck out to save the galaxy. But, as we all know, life often gets in the way of these ‘big dreams.’ In the spirit of space operas of old, comes a light hearted, action packed novel following the exploits of the best low quality pirate in the galaxy, Jak Phoenix.
An all new Jak Phoenix space adventure, set before the events of the first novel! Jak and Baxter are asked to pull off a seemingly simple grab – for a big payout. Unfortunately, shady dealings frequently end in space shenanigans.
Air Force pararescueman John Paxton is commanded to lead a team on a dangerous mission—supposedly to rescue the pilot of a stealth fighter. Yet, nothing is as it seems. As the mission goes from bad to worse, Paxton uncovers a deadly plot that threatens National Security. But to fight this enemy, he must also risk the lives of the people he loves the most.
‘This is a remarkable thriller – chillingly violent, full of tension and with a very original ending.’ Publishing News. Self-interest or selflessness? This is the dilemma at the heart of The Defector – can Martin Cormac turn his back on his ruthless past as a currency trader, a player, and do the right thing? Not when he’s looking for answers in a succession of sleazy bars…
‘A real ripping yarn… begging to be made into an all-action film.’ Qantas in-flight magazine. Drug warlord Janac has turned to piracy to fund his battle for control of the Australian narcotics trade. Attacking the MV Shawould on an evil night in the South China Sea, it seems Janac has also found the perfect next victim for his psychotic games… sequel to The Defector.
What if music could do more than affect your mood? What if a song not only got stuck in your head but in the rest of your body as well? What if music became addictive? Someone has discovered a new melody that is more addictive than any drug and is selling it on the streets. Teenagers are hooked with one listen. Only the intervention of a silent wanderer can save the town from an invisible snare.
He’s done it! Brent Jakes has discovered the Unified Field Theory, the Holy Grail of Physics! It will provide unlimited energy, new medical breakthroughs, and other advances only dreamed of before. There’s just one on catch: it’ll cost three men their careers– science is not immune to the corruption of greed and politics. Only the intervention of a silent wanderer can stop them…
Has anyone ever told you to stay out of an argument because it doesn’t involve you? Do private disputes really stay private, or do they have a larger effect on the world around them? What if a domestic disturbance caused a ghostly disturbance? Mike and Angie are just another couple on just another Friday Night date having just another argument. But this time it won’t stay between them.
The epic begins as Dreibrand Veta and the conquering Horde of the Atrophane Empire reach a mythic Wilderness that beckons with a magical call to glory. But Onja, Queen of the rys, a race far more powerful than the greatest human state, guards this land. She has the power to imprison souls and her genocidal rage is legendary. Everything is at risk for her desperate enemies, the union of renegades.
Tags: artists, authors, books, deals, ebooks, fantasy authors, fiction, fiction authors, fiction writing, free ebook, free ebooks, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, ipad, Jak Phoenix, jeff thomason, john paxton, Mark Chisnell, matt d. williams, novels, publishing, read an ebook week, robert capko, sci-fi ebooks, sf books, sf ebooks, sf novels, smashwords, Smashwords.com, space adventure ebooks, space adventure novels, The Rys Chronicles, Tracy Falbe, writing
Jeff Thomason was good enough to make another series of character sketches, this time adding his touch to Baxter, Cyan and Murdock. Here is a posting he put on his blog:
So Matt, the creater of Jak Phoenix, liked the drawings I did so much, he wanted more. And I was glad to draw more. I’ve been interested in this kind of space opera style scifi for a while and have wanted to do something in this style, but I never had a good reason for it. Until now.
The characters were again drawn with a brush dipped in Sumi ink on Strathmore Drawing Paper (the yellow cover), then scanned into my iMac on a Canoscan printer, and digitally colored in Corel Painter X. I really liked the end result. This may be the process I use for all my art for a while.
Awesome work Jeff!
From left to right: Baxter, Jak, Cyan & Murdock
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The amazing Tracy Falbe has chosen Jak Phoenix, the space adventure novel by Matt D. Williams, as her monthly ebook giveaway in March 2011. All you have to do is sign up for her reader list and you’re automatically entered for the draw.
So drop by this link: http://www.falbepublishing.com/braveluck/monthly-giveaway-details.html
While you’re there, download her free ebook, Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I and check out her other work!
Good luck in the draw.
Tags: authors, b&n, barnes and noble, books, Brave Luck Books, ebooks, falbe publishing, fantasy, fantasy authors, fantasy books, fantasy novels, fiction, fiction authors, fiction writing, free ebook, giveaway, ibooks, ibookstore, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, interviews, ipad, Jak Phoenix, matt d. williams, novels, paperbacks, publishing, Rys Chronicles; female fantasy authors, smashwords, Smashwords.com, The Rys Chronicles, Tracy Falbe, writing
Finally you can hold the latest adventure of pararescueman John Paxton right in your hands. Robert Capko’s action/adventure thriller SAY GOODBYE is now available in paperback.
Available in paperback for $8.80 or for the NOOK for $2.99 at
And for your iPhone or iPad through Apple iBooks.
Or ask your favorite bookseller.
What others are saying about SAY GOODBYE:
“Great fast paced book. Seemingly realistic and accurate due to the author’s real-life US Air Force experience. I’d also recommend this to any fans of classic Tom Clancy. Looking forward to The Long Road Home!”
- Matt D. Williams, Author of Jak Phoenix
“After 28.5 years in the Air Force (24.5 active duty, 4 years as a civilian), seeing these super heros in action, I’m so glad to see Robert Capko’s new book SAY GOODBYE hit the streets and pay homage to the–until now–unsung heros of the Air Force. I remember first hearing about PJs when I came into the USAF back in 1982. They’ll go places other services’ special operators won’t! These super Airmen know no fear, and John Paxton is the perfect example. My advice…get a lot of sleep the night before you read the book, because you’ll be going to bed late the day you start reading it…you will NOT be able to put it down!”
- Chief Master Sergeant (Retired) Bill “D”.
“Finally a great military thriller that highlights the exceptional talents of the finest special operations operators, the U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen. The adrenaline was pumping with each page and the many twists and turns keep you speculating to the very end. Military and National Security drama enthusiasts have found a new hero in MSgt. John Paxton. From life and death at 50,000 feet to door busting close combat, from cloak and dagger mystery to raw human survival this book has something for everyone and you will not want to put it down.”
- CHON GANN – Medical, Security, and Intelligence Professional
Robert Capko writes Action/Adventure Thrillers including the John Paxton series. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and lives in Florida where he is working on his next thriller THE LONG ROAD HOME. More information can be found at his website www.robertcapko.com, join his fan page at http://www.facebook.com/robertjcapkofanpage or follow him on twitter at http://twitter.com/robertcapko
Posted in Checking in with Other Authors
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Today, Matt D. Williams, author of the Jak Phoenix space adventure novel, is speaking with writer, broadcaster and sometimes professional racing sailor, Mark Chisnell.
MW: Hi Mark. Can you tell us about yourself?
MC: I was brought up on the east coast of England, close to both the sea and an inland network of lakes called the Norfolk Broads, so boats were everywhere. I started racing sailing dinghies, got a degree in physics and philosophy and then worked in a factory for a summer to buy a ticket to Australia, with a vague plan to see some stuff and write a book.
By the time I got home I’d published some travel stories in the New Zealand Herald and the South China Morning Post, and I’d broken into the professional sailing circuit via the British America’s Cup team that was racing in Australia at the time. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between those two things – writing and pro sailboat racing – ever since.
The Defector began as an idea from my philosophy classes – the Prisoner’s Dilemma is a Games Theory concept that was dreamed up by the RAND corporation, the people who brought us the MAD theory (Mutually Assured Destruction) during the Cold War. I wanted to make it more personal than that, and had in mind a game played for life and death stakes, involving a love triangle. The basic idea immediately makes it a genre book, a thriller, and I went for a classic chase story. The psychotic drug smuggler, Janac forces the hero, Martin Cormac to make a succession of escalating, nightmare choices in his struggle to get free.
It took me about three years to get from the idea to a story with characters and a plot, and to get a first draft down on paper. It took another four years to rewrite it and find a publisher. Random House brought it out (called The Delivery) in 1996 in the UK. Then it was republished as The Defector by Harper Collins in New Zealand and Australia – I was living down there for a while for a sailing competition. And it is now available as an ebook via Smashwords and for Amazon’s Kindle.
I had a couple of ideas after The Defector was done. The first was a simple way to fake GPS signals – much simpler than the one used in the James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, which came out while I was writing The Wrecking Crew. I’m a navigator on the sailboats, so I was very familiar with GPS. The idea was that spoof differential GPS signals could be used in the same way false beacons were lit in the eighteenth century, to lure unwary ships onto the rocks where the crews were murdered and the cargoes stripped.
The second was another moral dilemma which was not uncommon in the age of sail: men in a lifeboat, days from rescue, and nowhere near enough water for them all to make it. Do you share the supplies evenly and keep your fingers crossed for a miracle, or do you ensure just a minority survive for as long as possible… cannibalism and perhaps even murder to survive?
The key to making those two ideas work together was The Defector’s anti-hero, Janac. And as I liked the idea of a sequel that followed the bad guy rather than the hero, that’s what I went for, and The Wrecking Crew was the result.
Where did your inspiration come from when writing this series?
It’s hard to escape from the moral dilemmas, they are an important part of the inspiration in both stories. The books are entertainment, I don’t think anyone is going to mistake them for grand literature – but that doesn’t mean that the reader can’t be left with something to think about afterwards.
Is there an impression or moral that you want to stick with your readers after they finish these books?
It’s not as strong as taking a moral from the story, I’d rather people were left thinking about the character and their decisions. And perhaps thinking about what they might have done in that same situation – the extreme choices in the books do still reflect on things we do every single day.
Is there a third title planned for this series?
Not at the moment, although I do have another idea for Janac that I might one day come back to…
Which authors or other creative types do you look up to?
I guess there are three or four writers that I loved when I was younger, whose influence I can now see in my own work. The first two were Ian Fleming and Alistair MacLean. The latter is almost forgotten now, but he was a hugely successful thriller writer in the 1960s and 1970s, and I could inhale one of his books in an afternoon when I was a kid.
When I was a little older it was books with ideas that took more of a hold – George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm stopped me in my tracks for weeks, I couldn’t think about anything else. And then there was another largely forgotten book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig – that was the one that got me studying philosophy as well as physics, so it had a pretty big impact on my life.
You mention that you’re also into sailing and it seems you’ve even written some nautical non-fiction. What have you written in that vein and where can people find them?
After the travel stories I started writing for sailing magazines, and that led to books about sailing. Initially they were technical books, but the more recent ones have been narrative non-fiction about some of the great sailing adventures. The most recent, ‘Spanish Castle to White Night’ was about the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, and won a prize for the Best Illustrated Book at Sportel Monaco in 2009. I’m hoping to bring out text-only versions of them as eBooks.
There are links to all the books from my Amazon page:
What else do you have in the works?
I have another couple of novels that are close to being finished, I hope to get one out as an ebook this year, and the second in 2012. The first is historical fiction, a spy story set in 1936 and based around a true incident involving Sir Thomas Sopwith, who built fighter planes and racing yachts. The second is about a snowboarding expedition into the Himalayas – and there are no boats at all.
Finally, I have another sailing book due for publication in the UK in 2012, and that will be about the Olympics.
Where can people follow you online?
I have a website with a blog and background on my work and writing the novels, and links to all the ebook retailers:
And of course I’m on Smashwords:
I’d love to hear from people on books, writing, sailing, anything!
Thank you so much for speaking about your work today Mark. Do you have anything else to add?
Only that I hope people will try the books and enjoy them – and many, many thanks for asking me along, keep up the great work, and go the Indie revolution!
Check out Mark’s amazing work on Smashwords, where it is already quite well reviewed!
Tags: action adventure, amazon.com, authors, b&n, barnes and noble, books, crime, crime adventure, ebooks, fiction, fiction authors, fiction writing, free ebook, ibooks, ibookstore, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, interviews, ipad, Jak Phoenix, marine, Mark Chisnell, novels, piracy, pirate, publishing, sea, sea adventures, smashwords, Smashwords.com, The Defector, The Wrecking Crew, thriller, thriller novels, writing
- Great Jeff Thomason art in the top corner.
- My name is now Matt D. Williams, a huge change from Matt Williams. I’ve decided to start using my middle initial (stands for David) in my work to avoid confusion with other authors named Matt Williams. Not that big a change, but enough to isolate my books from other similarly named authors.
- I’ve finally added a review snippet at the bottom from Feathered Quill Book Reviews.
It will take weeks for this change to spread out to all the retailers and I will be changing the printed book cover in the near future. I’ll let you know when I do.
Thanks for your support!
Tags: art, artists, authors, b&n, barnes and noble, books, Brushes, character sketch, characters, comic art, ebooks, fiction, fiction writing, ibooks, ibookstore, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, ipad, Jak Phoenix, jeff thomason, novels, paperbacks, publishing, pulp art, sci-fi books, sci-fi ebooks, science fiction, scifi, sf, sf books, sf ebooks, sf novels, smashwords, Smashwords.com, space adventure, space adventure ebooks, space adventure novels, space opera, space opera books, space opera ebooks, space opera novels, writing
Jeff Thomason was kind enough to create a couple of amazing Jak Phoenix character sketches – and I love them! He was able to perfectly pin down the character and I am very impressed to say the least. Here is a post from his website where he discusses his excellent work:
Character Sketch: Space Opera
It’s been a while since I’ve put up a character sketch, so I thought I’d put one up. This one was commissioned by Matt Williams, the author of Jak Phoenix, a fun space opera available from Smashwords.com and other fine retailers. Matt has even released a short story that is currently free so you can check out his universe.
I tried something a little different for this one. I used my usual brush and Sumi ink, but instead of drawing it in my sketchbook, I used Strathmore 70lb Drawing Paper which gave me a cleaner line than the sketch paper. I like a textured line, but the one I’ve been getting was a little too rough. This one was much cleaner while still having some character. I had a few sheets left over from drawing One Thing Right by Colin Shanafelt, a children’s storybook which should be released in the next couple of months. I colored these sketches (and One Thing Right) with Corel Painter X on my iMac. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
I’m not sure if Matt is though.
The original article can be found on his site at http://atouchofjeff.blogspot.com/2011/02/character-sketch-space-opera.html#links
Needless to say Jeff, I am ecstatic about how they turned out!
Tags: art, artists, authors, b&n, barnes and noble, books, Brushes, character sketch, characters, comic art, Corel Painter, ebooks, fiction, fiction writing, ibooks, ibookstore, independent, independent authors, independent publishing, ipad, Jak Phoenix, jeff thomason, novels, Painter X, paperbacks, publishing, pulp art, sci-fi books, sci-fi ebooks, science fiction, scifi, sf, sf books, sf ebooks, sf novels, smashwords, Smashwords.com, space, space adventure, space adventure ebooks, space adventure novels, space opera, space opera books, space opera ebooks, space opera novels, sumi ink, writing