Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Last chance to win a free book

Less than a day left to win a copy of The Bent Sword. Enter now before
bees come down and eat your bones! http://tiny.cc/0kn7f

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Giveaway

We'll be giving away a copy of The Bent Sword one week from today to a randomly selected person from our email list, so if you haven't subscribed to our email list yet, now's the time! http://thebentsword.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Contest Winner

Winner of the Box of Boredom Busters: http://thebentsword.com/site/?p=241

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Launch Party for The Bent Sword tonight

Reminder: The official launch party for The Bent Sword is tonight, starting at 7:00 at 2102 N 80 E in Provo. There will be shish kabobs, swordfighting, books and signings, and all manner of fake British accents! Your attendance is highly desired. And medieval garb is highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A sketch of Lord Bore

If you've wondered what Lord Bore looks like, the amazing Dallin Blankenship rendered this very accurate depiction:

Lord Bore, the dark wizard of boredom

Monday, July 12, 2010

Box of Boredom Busters revealed

For those of you who haven't entered our contest for The Box of Boredom Busters yet, there's only a few days left! As promised, we're now going to reveal what's inside of the prized box for the winner, which is a fantastic book entitled "Fun on the Run!" by Cynthia L. Copeland:

This book, having gotten great reviews, is described as "The perfect antidote to boooring car rides, waits at the doctor's office, restaurant fidgetiness, supermarket meltdowns -- hundreds of super-quick games and activities to roll out at a moment's notice. And no props required!

What better way to defeat the dark Lord of Boredom? To win this awesome book, just tell us about a time you defeated the Lord of Boredom.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Interview With Cedar Fort Publishing

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I am great. Frankly I don’t know anyone greater than me.

Q: Where are you from?

A: You may not believe this, but I’m actually from outer space. I know a
lot of eccentric people make that claim, but I’m telling the truth. And
rest assured, I was telling the truth about telling the truth. I may,
however, be lying about that last sentence, but the odds are that I’m
not. Currently I’m residing in Orem, Utah.

Q: What did you study at college?

A: I have no formal education. In fact I was raised by wolves. And yes, I
did roam around the forest in a red speedo. Though I like to tell
people that I got my bachelors degree in Digital Media from Utah Valley

Q: Marriage?

A: No thanks, I’m already spoken for.

Q: Kids?

A: I’d say that my one-year-old daughter’s cuter than yours, but I don’t
like to boast. You can judge for yourself whether the foregoing
sentence counts as boasting or not.

Q: All the works…

A: Yes, and with anchovies if possible. I prize myself in my
appreciation for all things rare and exotic. Like that Mexican sausage
made out of beef salivary glands I bought a few weeks ago at the grocery

Q: What are your hobbies?

A: Country dancing, watching TV, chatting with my friends on Facebook,
listening to popular music, shopping for clothes, staying up with the
latest trends, eating spicy curry. Only minus everything but the curry.

Q: What is your favorite book, why?

A: The Book of Mormon. Because I pride myself in flaunting my
died-in-the-wool-true-blue-through-and-through-Mormonness. Beyond that,
the most influential novel in my life was probably that dilapidated book
from my parents book shelf entitled “Robin Hood”. I don’t think it even
listed the author. But reading it made me who I am. To this day, I am
Robin Hood.

Q: Do you have an author who inspires you? Who and why?

A: My wife can attest that every time I pick up any sort of literature
by Daniel Pinkwater, I giggle like a schoolgirl until my eyes are red
with tears. He has a knack for non-conventional, left-fielded, totally
innocent young adult comedy with a heavy dose of mind-bending coolness. I
want to write stuff like that.

Q: When did you start writing, or what inspired you to start writing The
Bent Sword?

A: I first learned about the Lord of Boredom while in fifth grade in
Sandy, Utah. He was the dark spirit of all things … school. As a way of
showing off my eccentricities to the girls at recess, I engaged in
imaginary light saber battles with Lord Bore, but just before I sealed
my triumph, the aid would always blow her whistle, and I once again
found myself a prisoner. Soon I realized that it would take a great deal
of dream magic to oppose the dark lord, so one recess I invited all of
my friends to join me in a holy quest, one that would inevitably be full
of adventure, filling us with dream and giving us the power to free
ourselves from our fifth grade oppression. All sorts of invisible
oracles spoke to me and informed us that our final object was to
“conquer the Tupperware”, a phrase that randomly entered my mind.

After battling myriads of invisible skeleton warriors, outrunning title
waves, and surviving the booby traps of ancient temples, the invisible
spirits of improvisation revealed to me that the Tupperware was the
domed monkey bars on the playground. To conquer it, every member of our
fellowship (there were six or seven of us), had to stand on the highest
bars with our hands in the air at the same time. It was a cold and
blustery day, and my friends were antsy to end the quest. I watched
their hands carefully, and though, to appease them, I told them that the
Tupperware was conquered, I knew in my heart that we never quite
achieved our goal.

And so the dark lord lived on. And at the close of my sixth grade year,
he revealed his terrible power, whisking me away from my friends forever
and, along with my family, planting me in the strange land of Provo,
Utah. There I faced a lonely summer, surrounded by mists of boredom,
soon to confront the horror of middle school as a lone adventurer. It
was a world where people were starting to lose their childlike virtues,
allured by the evils of pop culture. I hated it all. But by the time
eighth grade rolled around, I had found new brothers in life and death,
outcasts and weirdos like me, who shared my aversion to all things
grownup. It was during this Renaissance that I remembered my unfinished
quest, of the unconquered Tupperware. I realized that it was none other
than my old nemesis that was poisoning the minds of my middle school
peers, and I had to defy him.

Thus a second quest was born, and this time we could not fail. Each man
took on a new name, giving birth to Steffin of Peaville, Jimbob the
wizard, Mammoth the friendly giant, Sir Him and Garrick, Sir Percivel
Flowermander, and others. To defy the kids around us, who were
preoccupied with sitting around and being cool, trying to forget that
they had ever played pretend, we wandered and ran about the school,
speaking in fake British accents, filling our minds with dream, and
improvising the tales that were destined to become The Bent Sword.

The following summer, I realized that my friends and I had come up with
so many great characters and stories that they needed to be written
down. Other friends had similar ideas, and there was a birth of
TupperWar literature. But in my story, the Tupperware evolved into the
container for the dark lord’s power. The pathetic, cardboard sword
wrapped in duct tape made by my friend Patrick (Percivel), became the
symbol of our satirical, postmodern adventures, and, to avoid trademark
violation, the new name of our epic. And one night, while gazing at the
heavens, I realized just how important our story was. It was written in
the stars!

Many drafts, many years, and many rejection notices later, my dream
became a reality through Cedar Fort. Of course, having become a wizard
of dream magic through my adventures, I always knew that this time would
come. I’m just glad that it came before I was sixty. My hope is that
through reading the book, others will be inspired to join me in my
quest, which is far from finished. And I hope to sell lots of books so
that I can pump out the sequels and have a swimming pool.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about writing The Bent Sword?

A: Creating characters, then watching them come alive before my eyes. As
described in the book, storytelling is a highly magical art and good

Q: What made you choose Cedar Fort to publish your book?

A: Everyone else rejected me ;-). I learned that my home teaching
companion’s wife Jennifer Boss worked at Cedar Fort, and she offered to
personally put my manuscript onto Cedar Fort’s acquisitions desk. Alas,
it’s true what they say about life revolving around who you know. That
being said, I really like Cedar Fort’s values-driven media. And I just
found out that my uncle, Ted Gashler, was also published through Cedar
Fort, so I guess it’s a family loyalty now.

Invitation to Launch Party

Everyone and his dog is hereby formally invited to a spectacular
launch party for The Bent Sword on Saturday the 17th. There will be fun
medieval atmosphere, free food (like shish kabobs), book signings,
games, sword fighting and more! Here’s the official invitation:

Invitation to Launch Party

Friday, July 9, 2010

My experience getting published

I've had friends ask me about my experience getting published, so here's my response:

Getting published was hard, as expected. I tried once to submit my manuscript directly to a publisher but was rejected. Knowing that most publishers don't accept unsolicited manuscripts anymore, early last year I focused on sending my works to agencies that looked for Young Adult Fantasy, as listed on the Writers Market website, which I subscribed to temporarily. I was told by everyone in the business that agents are a necessary evil. Though I sent my query (cover letter, synopsis, first three chapters) to every agency listed, all of them either ignored me or rejected me. Then I learned that a lady in my church congregation worked at a publishing company (Cedar Fort). I talked to her, and she was happy to put my query on the desk of the lady who does acquisitions. This act made all the difference, and Cedar Fort told me that they wanted the full manuscript. So either everyone else hated my stuff, or more likely, they never even looked at it.

To finally read something besides a rejection letter was pretty exciting. I wanted to make sure that my manuscript was polished, so I sent it to some family members who helped me with some edits. But I was naive and was more concerned with expanding the story than polishing what I already had. Not wanting to let too much time go by, I ended up sending a 500+ page manuscript that was so large that it had to be carried in a box, and the story wasn't even finished. Months went by before Cedar Fort gave me their rejection letter, due to the length. Apparently a long novel isn't a good idea for a first time author. Though they told me that if I trimmed it down, they'd reconsider it. So basically I chopped my novel in half (creating a sequel), tied up some loose ends, and resubmitted it. Weeks later, Cedar Fort told me that they wanted to publish my book. Cool.

Cedar Fort requested that I send it to my own editor prior to it being reviewed by their own editor. I asked a friend, and she was happy to take on the assignment. What surprised me the most about both editors was how few comments they had. They fixed a lot of grammar issues, sure, but I was expecting a lot more critical feedback. This still has me a little worried. Though, I guess, perhaps the novel's just really ready to go. Seems too good to be true.

And there you have it. Now my wife and I are working on all the fun promotion stuff. We just set up my first book signing at Borders, which was surprisingly easy to do. Throughout it all, there's the looming dread that my book won't be received that well. I'm reminded of George Lucas throwing up in the bathroom while Star Wars was premiered for the first time :). I guess we just need to have a little faith in ourselves and push our work as if it's the greatest work ever written, because that's how the business succeeds. Hope that helps.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Bent Sword released!

Steve's novel The Bent Sword hits stores today, so hopefully you’ll be able to find a
copy. If not, let your local merchants and librarians know that you
demand this book, followed by a slap in the face and the line “Pull
yourself together, man!” Because haven’t you always wanted to do that?