One Surprise as Promised (from my Patreon page)

As promised here is the surprise.  With some money I got for my birthday, I decided to invest in myself by getting several prints made at the size they should be done.  Not only did I reprint “Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability” at double the file size, I also printed “Universal Eyes – Infinite Sadness” and “Mystics and Misfits” cover without text at double size.  In addition, I tried out different papers.  The new Quiet print was done with premium gloss compared to the old print, which was fine art bright white.  One thing I noted about the gloss print was that humidity affected it more, causing it to hump up.

Mystics and Universal were done on semi-matte.  I like both the fine art bright white and the semi-matte the best.  The matte gives the images just that little bit of pop with the shine, while the fine art make them look more like watercolor paintings.   I admit that I need to make an adjustment on Mystics because the green fog you see on screen at Mystics and Misfits Cover no Typography did not translate as well to the print.  Also, I think having the title will look better because I left a lot of dead space for that reason.

All in all; however, I am insanely pleased at how well these turned out.  You can now see the detail in the tiger’s eye to tell that it is in fact Jupiter and Mars.  I was shocked at how large the Mystic cover turned out to be at double size.  I knew the numbers, but until you actually see your creation in a physical form, you just do not comprehend it.  If you decide to get a print of Mystics at this size, I will direct your attention to the detail of the aliens shirt where I managed to create a really cool pattern.  Also, plan on a later ship because I will ask for a proof on my changes to see how they improve the print before I order it for you.

Finally, here is a breakdown of the prices I will charge for these prints at double size (if you want a double size fine art bright white, I will have to look into it):

Double Size Prints

Mystics and Mysfits Cover No Typography, 1 ” border, Semi-matte – $35 plus shipping and handling

Universal Eyes – Infinite Sadness, 1″ border, Semi-matte – $25.75 plus shipping and handling

Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability, 1″ border, Premium Gloss – $23.50 plus shipping and handling

Note: If you want a double sized Quiet on semi-matte or fine art bright white, the prices with change somewhat.  Also, I think it might be better to have a 2″ border because I was always told, when framing, that there should be a lot of border between the frame and image.  I have found that to work but the print price may go up a bit.  Contact me for more accurate pricing.

Original Size

Quiet Strength – Silent Vulnerability, 1″ border, Fine Art Bright White – $17.50 plus shipping and handling

Villainy or How to be Bad Without Really Trying (from my Patreon page)

Well, … huh.  I will admit that I tripped when approaching this subject.  I was going to say that I try to avoid making cardboard cut out villains, but then I remembered using the devil in several stories.  I also remembered that I don’t normally focus on the villain all that much because I usually delve into my character’s reaction to the villain, which may in some ways be a uniqueness to my stories that I did not intentionally strive for.

My characters universally fit into what I view as my reality.  They are people or aliens dealing with situations outside of their control where the villains are not clear-cut.  The villains most often were created beyond their knowledge base.  For instance, King Hadrian in “Sanity” was a manipulative leader used to being one step ahead of his opponents, maybe a little arrogant and foolhardy because of it.  He felt there was no one that could best him.  Unfortunately, he learns the hard way that the villains of this story can destroy his faith in his own abilities.  However, the story also shines a light on a another villain we all fall prey to, fear.  The Thrall, our bad guys in this one, reach into his mind and play with the fears at the core of his being.

In “Sorrow and Remembrance”, the novel I hope to pull together, the villains are the forces set into motion by overly proud and self-righteous people.  Forces that reach out far beyond the immediate area of conflict to engulf innocent bystanders.  Here the forces spread beyond defeating enemies in a war to steal years of life from some and to force others to destroy beauty to protect those they love.  For me this idea is very personal because of my interest in history.  How many of the problems we face today have been created by the choices of others?  How many decisions that we had no say in have become issues that we cannot afford to ignore?

Another enemy I have written about is ourselves.  I wrote a story for my collection called “Stubborn” which details the hellish world the protagonist becomes trapped in that is an externalization of the darker recesses of his mind.  Through the course of traveling this world, without memory, the character must confront the demons he thought he had overcome.  Demons of self loathing, weakness, and guilt.

Finally, in “The Devil’s in the Code”, the obvious villain, the devil, is actually not the villain.  The true villain of the story is human hubris.  Beelzebub is only the catalyst for our penchant for trouble making.  He leads people where they are so willing to go, such as playing with genetics for profit, and lets them hang themselves.  Hell is full of people who thought they were immune to the consequences of their actions, including a pair of investment bankers now living as crows among more powerful hell spawn.  So, yes some of my villains are not very developed in terms of personality, but they are different from the run of the mill.