I’ve done a strange thing. I’ve been thinking for a while now of getting my own #Patreon page for my #writing, so two days ago I began compiling one, writing soberly about my intentions with the page, about my lack of time due to factors most of us struggle with, and my aim to complete all my projects this year if the page generates sufficient support. I even had fun writing up the various rewards for the different pledge levels. You should actually go read them just for the entertainment value alone.
Also, I made a video clip of me talking and it's excruciating to watch, so go watch it.
My subscribers already saw the cover for my upcoming Collective SF story, Hameln-13, and yesterday at the Halloween party I had my official cover and synopsis reveal.
Just to give you some quick background info for those who don’t know, The Collective SF is a group of authors who write in a shared universe where slave-scribes toil tethered to a seemingly immortal entity known only as the God-Machine. Their duty is to record newly created histories and chronicle the past. Only something is horribly wrong. Instead of factual history, the God-Machine is mistaking fairy tales and lore for historical fact.
And this is where The Collective SF comes in. We take existing fairytales and legends and re-imagine them as historical fact. We give them science fiction settings and we inject the stories with a substantial dose of Embrosis.
My scribe, Wifelier Docht, is tasked with recording the legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, but in his augmented reality the legend is known as Hameln-13, named after the outpost planet where the events took place.
And here is the cover:
Xavier Granville designed the cover and I tell you, it’s an awesome thing when you plan a story and someone shows you the packaging that makes out part of your book. I love the cover because it embodies the tone I imagined for the planet Hameln-13.
As for the synopsis:
After their spacecraft tumbles from orbit, a small group of scientists, engineers, and soldiers is left stranded on a planet in a remote galaxy not yet fully mapped. With resources quickly dwindling and unable to communicate with Earth, they are forced to venture further out into the unknown alien landscape in search of alternative resources.
They should never have done that. Hameln-13 hides a terrible evil for underneath its surface the Murr patiently wait to feed. And they are hungry. They have not eaten in over a century.
Let’s call this a teaser for now. I’m still writing the story and I don’t want to spoil anything should the tale decide to go a different route. Suffice to say, I’m aiming for a Lovecraftian finish. Oh, and the “Pied Piper” in my story is a freaky alien called Decan Lude. There is some significance to my choosing this name. I bet you can’t figure it out.
The release date is officially scheduled for January 2016.
Lastly, I have one more surprise for you. If you subscribe to The Collective SF newsletter here, you’ll get access to our Starter Library–for free. The library consists of six books, including The Seals of Abgal. Yes, that is correct. You’ll get The Seals of Abgal free when you subscribe to the Collective SF’s site.
It’s not a bad deal at all. Damn, I’m giving all my books away and have nothing left to sell. I guess I should write more and faster.
(Originally posted on woelfdietrich.com on 25/10/2015)
I have interviewed people in my professional capacity as a lawyer and I have given author interviews about my work, but I have never interviewed another author or artist for my blog or anywhere else for that matter. Of course, I’ve toyed with the idea and I may have mentioned it once or twice on here, but somehow, with all the looming projects and the unpredictability of life, I never took it any further.
Today all of that changes.
Today’s post features my first interview with another author. And it’s not just any author. He is a fellow member of The Collective SF. Apart from being a talented writer, he is also a musician, a filmmaker and an artist. Known for his sense of humor and his ability to steer from on-topic to off, and let’s not forget his utter obsession with all things Doctor Who, I am proud to have the privilege of working with him. Please welcome Canadian author, Xavier Granville.
Xavier’s début novel, Dinosaur Noir: Curse of the Diamond Heart, is so off the wall different to what you’d usually get in a hardboiled noir type tale, I had to find out his reasons for writing this story, which is apparently the first book in a planned series.
Also, Xavier designed my cover for Hameln-13 and he’s designing the covers for the rest of the books coming from The Collective SF. Clearly the situation begged for an interview. I wanted to know more about this hybrid of talent and why he writes what he writes. Check out the interview here!
I’m busy with a novel called, Hameln-13, for The Collective SF that will come out either in December or January next year. This is another shared universe setup, but with a slight difference.
On The Collective SF’s blog, we have log entries from various “scribes” tethered to an entity known only as the God-Machine. Their duty is to record newly created histories and chronicle the past. Only something goes horribly wrong and instead of factual history, fairy tales and lore are mistaken for historical fact.
Hameln-13 is my retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, but in this version the setting is a remote alien planet in a star system not yet fully mapped.
Which brings me to the reason for today’s post: The Collective SF is hosting a pre-Halloween Halloween party. We’ll be revealing some awesome stuff, including covers for our forthcoming stories.
Here is my latest log entry for Wifelier Docht over on The Collective SF:
“My Embrosis-ladled brain keeps me a prisoner in my body. Not that it matters much for I’m physically tethered to the innards of a living machine. I am slave-scribe to a supernatural entity known only as the God-Machine. I have been its captive for over 300 years.
I once attempted escape by pulling at the cable fixed to the back of my head. I should not have done that.
In the spark of a nanosecond, I found myself immersed to the waist in a pit of filth. The putrid stink of it burned my nostrils and made my eyes water. My body revolted against the hellish miasma and bile pushed up my throat. Red flesh-eating worms crawled from the primordial soup of shit and slithered across my arms and chest boring into me, ripping through my skin and gnawing their way to my intestines. I clawed at them with desperate fingers, yanking one after the other, but for every one of these vile creatures I pulled two more drilled into me. The pain was unbearable and I screamed.”
Please read the rest of the post here.
Yesterday turned into an interesting and wholly fulfilling day. I finished proofreading my story “The Last Devil” for our forthcoming anthology (Kōsalogy) Interspecies and added a crucial scene and submitted the story to fresh eyes for scrutiny. It goes off to the editor after that. The latest changes pushed the word count over 25k. but I’m sure the editor will cut it down to size in due course.
There is specific news that I am dying to share, but it’s not yet ripe for public consumption. If it will make you feel any better, I am really battling to keep it under wraps. Just know that it is art related.
As you know These Broken Worlds is a precursor to Interspecies. We published the collection to introduce readers to our shared universe and to give you a taste of what we have in store for you. Our stories span the spectrum of tastes and interests and I just know that whatever your flavor may be, you’ll find something of worth in this Kōsalogy to enjoy.
The synopsis for “The Last Devil” will be released in a few weeks, but what I can tell you is this: it’s my first foray into military science fiction and there is a lot of action and even a little romance. Researching future technologies and real-world implications of a nuclear fallout turned out some interesting tidbits, but I probably said too much.
Originally posted on WoelfDietrich.com
A while ago I briefly mentioned that Woelf Dietrich is a pen name. I took it from Wolfdietrich who is a German hero of romance. I thought it apt given my primary writing interest. Also, there is a hotel by the same name in Austria, but that is another story.
I discovered the history of Wolfdietrich about four years ago and liked the premise so much I adopted the pen name, albeit slightly altered. One of the reasons for choosing a pen name was that I did not want to write under my birth name in case I ever return to practicing law. The other reason dealt more with not wanting to embarrass myself if my writing sucked. The embarrassment factor still prevails, but having become more involved in the writing community, I now realise that my fear is not unique, and that in order to find any measure of success, I should write through that fear.
Getting back to today’s story, I have now grown quite fond of my adopted name. I also love that it is not some random thing snapped out of the air. The hero Wolfdietrich first appeared in the Middle High German poems of Ortnit, eldest brother of the Haddingjar, called Das Heldenbuch. Wolfdietrich was the son of Hugdietrich, emperor of Constantinople, but life did not start out well for our hero whose father repudiated his existence, believing him an illegitimate child.
He was left to the wolves in the forest, but fortunately, the emperor’s retainer, Berchtung von Meran, found him and cared for the young noble until he grew into manhood. Even then, luck did not favour our hero, for when his father died and he became heir to the sovereignty of Constantinople, Wolfdietrich’s brothers drove him from his inheritance, forcing the young warrior into exile.
After an extended period spent at the court of King Ortnit in Lombardy and enjoying many splendid adventures that include falling in love, meeting a giant woman, and killing a few dragons, Wolfdietrich returned and liberated his kingdom.
This is, of course, the abbreviated version.
You can read the rest of the post here
From Inkshares' website:
"In continuation of the success of our first Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest, Inkshares will publish the top five science fiction and fantasy projects submitted after August 15 with the most unique reader pre-orders by 12:00 p.m. PST, September 30th. Nerdist will choose their favorite from that five and include it in their new collection on Inkshares.
The book selected for the Nerdist Collection will receive promotion from Nerdist, Nerdist branding, an exclusive excerpt feature on Nerdist.com, and an opportunity to develop their work into other media such as movies, TV series, and digital productions. All five winners will have their book published and distributed into independent bookstores, Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble."
The Mercy Giver is standing on seven pre-orders, which is nice, but it'll need to move faster. Thus, my friends, if you would be so kind, please visit and show some love. The novel is begging to be born.
The idea for The Mercy Giver came out of nowhere, really. I started writing randomly one day and as I wrote my words an idea formed in the back of my mind. At first, I intended the story to be just a straightforward crime thriller about a psychopath on the loose with a warped sense of destiny, but then I wondered how he would deal with his demons if ever faced with what he had done, but in a way that would make him feel something. What if he discovered that life is only the beginning of the journey and there are far more terrible things lurking in the afterlife?
I’ll admit, here Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, partly inspired me. Thus, my plan is to let my protagonist arrive in a dusty little Mexican town where he will meet a man dressed in black with a top hat and long white hair, and this man will introduce himself as Death. And Death will take our protagonist on a supernatural adventure he will never forget. Maybe not even survive. At this stage it is unknown even to me what will happen, though I do have an inkling.
I've submitted the first chapter for The Mercy Giver to Inkshares. If enough people support it, Inkshares will produce and publish the story. Please check it out if you have a chance. Like it if you find that you do. Share it if you want to. (Preorder it if you feel like it. *Hint* *Hint*) Whatever you can do, trust me, I’ll appreciate the heck out of it.
If this goes well, I might consider submitting The Dead God and even The Spirit Bow. Oh, and don’t mind the current cover for The Mercy Giver. It’s only a placeholder I put together until a proper one can be created.
So, if you’re in the mood for a modern tale, loosely based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, where, instead of a bitter old miser, you’ll get to meet a murdering psychopath, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s with a smile in my heart that I announce the official release of These Broken Worlds. This is Kōsa Press’s first publication, making today a significant event in our label’s short history.
These Broken Worlds introduces readers to a universe where a war between humans and aliens has decimated the Earth, leaving only Australia and New Zealand habitable. The rest of the planet is a burned up stew of toxic waste. This mini-kōsalogy lays the foundation for a new science fiction series, Interspecies, Kōsa Press’s flagship kōsalogy (what we call our shared universe anthologies) which will be released later this year.
We have a new release surprise for you if you click on over. Check us out!
The scribes over at The Collective SF have not sat still, not that they have any choice. By their very nature, they are obligated to write and so they have. Below are the latest log entries from five more scribes.
As you’ll note each scribe’s experience is different. Their realities subjectively opposite and as diverse as the planets and galaxies in our universe. Each one tethered to the god-machine, enslaved and forced to feed a supernatural entity with data so it may create life.
So what happens if that data becomes corrupted? What manner of creation will the god-machine spawn as a result?
You can read these entries here.
I had the good fortune of critiquing Burnt Edges by Dana Leipold during a writer’s workshop and then later received a copy to review. People who know me know I don’t write reviews for stories I don’t like. I’m just not a professional reviewer. A story needs to move me to get me to write a review for it. And that brings me to my decision to review Burnt Edges.
It is not an easy story. At times it was difficult and painful to read because of the subject matter, but that says more about the author’s ability in conveying the protagonist Laurel Page’s story, in sketching her emotional evolution, than anything else.
I thought this was a really well written story that keeps you reading despite your own attempts not to, especially when some of the things happening to the main character becomes too much to bear. It forces you to stay in there with the character and endure with her. You stay with her to the end because you want to know more, you want to know what happens to her and how her childhood will shape her future and her life as a mommy to be. You will fall in love with Laurel’s strength and character. Trust me.
The author has a sobering voice that is clear and precise with the rare ability to convey much emotion with very little ornamentation. This is not a story filled with purple prose, but a gritty, emotionally raw exploration of childhood trauma told in plain language.
Five stars indeed.
Oh, man, I’m excited.
Today I’m revealing the cover for a mini-kosalogy Kōsa Press is releasing in middle July. It’s called “These Broken Worlds” and serves as a precursor to “Interspecies”, the anthology (or Kosalogy) that Kōsa Press is publishing closer to the end of the year.
The idea behind the mini-kosalogy stems from our wish to give readers a taste of the shared universe we have created for “Interspecies”. To create expectation of what is to come by sharing with you scenes from worlds within this universe.
From Kōsa Press:
These Broken Worlds features stories by Woelf Dietrich, Pavarti K. Tyler, Jessica West, and M. J. Kelley, depicting a shared universe where humans aren’t alone.
A war decimates Earth, leaving only Australia and New Zealand habitable. The reason for the war? Drilodytes–an alien species forced from their home planets by an ancient evil. In desperation they sought refuge on Earth, but never stopped searching the stars, watching, waiting to see if they were followed. Fifty years later, the strain on natural resources reached a peak, and the Drilos were asked to leave Earth. Their refusal resulted in a global war spawning new factions, new enemies, and leaving most of Earth a toxic wasteland in its aftermath. Now leader is pitted against leader, race against race, lover against lover, and daily survival is uncertain. Yet hope lives on in many who want peace, although some still would die trying to prevent it.
We’re thrilled to reveal the cover of our very first publication “These Broken Worlds”, a mini-kosalogy of flash fiction available July 15th, 2015. Cover design by Kōsa’s creative director Pavarti K. Tyler.
And here is the cover:
Working alongside these great and talented authors in preparing this mini-kosalogy was truly an awesome thing. Yes, the goosbumps-inducing kind of awesome. I feel privileged, and today’s occasion once again reminds me how wonderfully special our writing community really is and how things just happen when we get together and brainstorm. I have found a renewed zest for collaboration.
So my dear readers, feast your eyes on our cover. Read the words describing our created universe and imagine what exciting adventures awaits you. “These Broken Worlds” is an hors d’oeuvre to “Interspecies”. In fact, you might even call it a gateway. A Stargate of sorts nestled in that part of your brain that constantly searches for escape to far-off worlds.
You’ll see. I’m not wrong…
It is normally chaotic in the mornings here, but this morning progressed into a completely alternate reality. My daughter had a friend sleep over because, you know, it was her birthday yesterday, and Vanesse had to prepare for her trip to Europe, so this morning felt like a star going supernova.
Why you ask?
My wife is, as I’m writing this post, on a plane on her way to Zeist in the Netherlands. She’ll be away until the end of June on business.
And I am terribly surly at the moment.
We’ve been married for ten years, almost eleven. In fact, when I asked her to marry me we barely knew each other a month. We got married nine months after that. She is my best friend.
The longest we’ve been apart was two weeks and that only happened twice.
Her being gone feels weird. It will be rough on her and the kids being separated like this for so long. I’m not looking forward to June much.
There is a slight silver lining. I’ll have more time in the evenings to lose myself in my writing and get things done. Being involved in both Kōsa Press and The Collective is keeping me busy as hell. And I’m not complaining at all.
So, because of my low mood I discounted The Seals of Abgal and Bullies and Soggy Soup Bones (Bullies from $1.99 to $1.00 and Seals from $3.99 to $1.99). It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions. I mean, why not? I’ll probably leave it like this until my wife returns and then it’s back to normal pricing.
Please read the rest of the post here.
I want to update you guys on the projects I’m busy with this year, which I haven’t really done, apart from cryptic mentions here and there.
Last year I wrote a proposal for a game I called, “The Dead God”. I based the premise on Slavic lore and it featured a hero named Krakus, veteran soldier of the 100-year war. Unfortunately–or maybe fortunately–it got rejected, and so I’m now developing the proposal into a novel. More on this later.
I’m also busy with a novella, tentatively titled, “Pied Piper 2.0″. It is a retelling of sorts based on the legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. It will release either the end of this year or early next year. I’m working with a bunch of other talented authors on this collaborative project and we are collectively known as the…er…well, The Collective.
You can read the rest of the post here.
Indie Author Review has an interview up in which I answered a few questions, which is usually what happens when you do an interview (You’re probably thinking, “You don’t say!”). I talk about past and current writing projects, including my very first and overly ambitious attempt at historical fiction, which I never completed.
Please read the rest here.