Monday, July 28, 2008

A Father's Quest For Justice


It was a good week for me. I almost reached 50% rewritten regarding The Dragon Hunters. It's going really well. I've had several conversations with a friend about the direction of the book and it's all coming together now. This new book is really tense and the characters are in such danger.  I love it. I can't wait to get to the ending.

The other project I worked on this past week was a book called A Father's Quest for Justice. It's written by M. Ilyas Khan, a lawyer in Pakistan. I met his brother, Azher almost one year ago. The book is a true story, an account of Ilyas Khan prosecuting an evil man who murdered a young lawyer. I read it once before and Ilyas asked for a critique. I gave him some ideas and he implemented them, and now I was doing an almost final edit on the book, which is only 190 pages. He also wrote a couple of new chapters, per my suggestion from a while ago and they came out great. He just sent me some more material (this morning) and I'm excited about that as well.

I agreed to edit the book and help with it to honor the memory of the young lawyer, Shakir, who was killed. It's the right thing to do and though I'm very busy right now, I feel that I have to do this project.

I'm also getting excited about going to World Con and Gen Con the first two weeks of August. My goal is to finish the rewrite of book two by the end of August. I know I can do it. Wish me luck.

Best wishes,

Paul Genesse, Author and Editor

Author of The Golden Cord, Book One of the Iron Dragon Series

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dark Knight


No Spoilers below.

I just saw the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight, on IMAX. The film was exceptional. The reviews are right. Heath Ledger was spectacular as the Joker. He deserves a posthumous Oscar for this one. The whole film was tense and scary and tough to watch at times. The terrorism aspect of it was unnerving and I admit that I didn't have a great feeling after watching the movie, but it was a piece of powerful film-making. The director did a grand job. He wrote it also, and I think he's a great writer.

The movie is really a tragedy, though one could argue that point. Overall, I think the movie was true to the feeling of the Dark Knight comic books, which I've read a few of. Christian Bale was amazing again as Batman. The only strange choice was casting Maggie Gyllenhaal. I love her and think she's great, but this didn't seem to be the right movie for her. My favorite scene was when the guy you think will make a certain choice makes an unexpected one. The scene involves a window and an object getting tossed through it. If you saw the movie, you know it's at the end of the film. Cool, eh?

In other news, I managed to get to 40% of the rewrite of The Dragon Hunters last week. I'm doing good, but I always want to be further ahead. I also got word that the book is tentatively coming out in November of 2009--which came with the advance check yesterday.

Yep, lunch was on me today. I was interviewed by Rich Rogers, a book reviewer for a newspaper called The Independent, in Southern Utah/St. George. Getting to hang out with Rich was fun and we could talk forever.

Okay, know I must get to work on The Dragon Hunters.

Best wishes,

Paul Genesse

Author of The Golden Cord, Book One of the Iron Dragon Series

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Book Two Progress


I'm up to 32% rewritten in The Dragon Hunters, Book Two of the Iron Dragon Series. I was at 25% last week. I was shooting for 35% or more this week, but a food allergy--I'm allergic to soy--and somehow I ingested some on Wednesday morning,  which slowed me down right off the bat. Then there was the library visit at Hill Air Force Base Thursday; one night of online promotion; blogging; emailing; preparing and sending off peoples book orders; reading and signing book and short story contracts; web site updating; catching up on sleep; dinner at a friend's house Friday night; quality time with Tammy; and then James Taylor's funeral Saturday. I'm tired just writing that! I have no one to blame but myself for not getting to the writing. Still, it turned out to be a productive week, though I only worked on the book one night. Sigh.


However, last night I handcuffed myself to the computer for a good eight hours, which bled into today, and got some work done. The characters are in that place I wanted them to get to (Pat, you know where they are). It's gotten so much nastier and the tension is increasing dramatically. I think my partner in crime, Patrick Tracy, will like what I've come up with. There are some cool twists and I think that a fairly low tension part of the book is definitely becoming a lot more interesting and dangerous. I'm sure the next pass will increase the drama even more.


I'm still behind where I want to be. I'm hoping to finish the rewrite by the end of August. Originally I wanted it done before that, but I don't think I can make it. You never know.


I think I need a real deadline to motivate me. All I know now is that the book comes out in late 2009. I've been waiting for one from my editor, but you know what they say: be careful what you wish for.


Paul Genesse

Author of The Golden Cord

Book One of the Iron Dragon Series

and author of God Pays in the new anthology from DAW Books, The Dimension Next Door, available now.

The Funeral of a Hero


James Wilkinson Taylor RN, Flight Nurse, First Lieutenant U.S. Army Reserves, husband, and father of three.

The world has truly lost a hero. James Taylor RN, lost his life because of injuries from a tragic helicopter collision over Flagstaff, Arizona when two medical helicopters collided on June 29. James found peace several days later on July 4, 2008 with his family at his side. He touched the lives of countless people and gave his own trying to save a life.

I went to the funeral of my friend, James Taylor RN, earlier today. The obituary is below. I met James when he was hired as a nurse on West 7 (Advanced Cardiac Care Unit) at LDS Hospital. I trained him, as this was his first nursing job. James was a great guy and was a true hero. The funeral was so sad and was packed with people. He had a lot of friends because he was such a dynamic guy.

When I drove to the service there were about forty American flags on poles being held by big biker guys outside the stake center (an LDS church). The bikers are called Patriot Riders. They are good guys and escorted James to the cemetery for interment after the service. The church was filled with people, at least 300 people or more. There were quite a few in military uniforms--all the pall bearers, and lots of other people. I saw a lot of tears and for some reason, I held mine in.

Many people spoke about James: his mother, his father, his sister, his brother, his best friend, two of his three sons, and his wife gave the closing prayer. All of them were courageous and gave excellent speeches. His mom cried a lot during her speech--which made most of us tear up; his sister sang a song that his mom used to sing to him as a child and her singing was perfect; his father gutted it out and made it through his speech--a moving tribute to his eldest son; his brother told some great stories about James as a kid and growing up; and his best friend, an officer in the navy, gave a fantastic speech about growing up with James, holding it together like a true hero.

I saw a few people from the hospital, but no one that I knew by name. I spoke to no one before or after the service, except for James. I said goodbye as they took away his coffin.

James Wilkinson Taylor Jr. " Jimmie", " James Army of One", " Daddy-O" 1971 ~ 2008 Hero, Husband, Father, Son, Brother, and Friend James gave his life while trying to save the life of another. A true patriot, he died on the Fourth of July, 2008.James was born August 23, 1971 in Salt Lake City, UT to James W Taylor Sr. and Diane McAllister. The first child of four, James was a leader from the beginning. He joined the military immediately following graduation from high school. A veteran of Desert Storm, he served as an army medic while stationed in Germany. He continued his education at SLCC where he graduated from nursing school and received a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He was currently serving as a combat medic instructor with the 9th Battalion 4th Brigade 104 Div (IT) based out of Camp Parks, CA. His dedication to his country and the memory of those who served before him was shown in tribute by three successful runs in the Bataan Memorial Death March. He truly loved his country and was proud to serve in the Army Reserves. James married the love of his life on February 18, 1994 in the Salt Lake City Temple. Their family grew with James Mason, Weston Gary, and Jackson Wade. James' three sons were truly the pride and joy of his life. From Red Sox games, to movies, to being outdoors, and just being together, they spent every free moment as a family. As an RN James worked in the emergency departments of LDS Hospital, IMC, and St Marks. His passion for serving others was especially shown when he started his job as a flight nurse with Classic Lifeguard. He loved making the commute to Page, AZ knowing he would fly to save lives. He saw beautiful sights no one else would see, and saved countless lives of those who had little hope. His true dedication was shown when he gave his life while trying to save another. Our special thanks go out to the staff of the Flagstaff Hospital. Their dedication to James was shown by the countless non-stop hours by his side trying to save his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with the six other families who lost their loved ones in the sky over Flagstaff, AZ. He is survived by his eternal wife Traci, his three sons Mason, Weston, and Jackson. His mother Diane McAllister. His father James (Colleen) Taylor Sr. His brother and sisters, Shane (Noelle) Taylor, Laurie (Chuck) Brady, and Tami (Thad) Smith. Many nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Jack and Dorothy McAllister, Owen Fox Taylor, and Dolores Ruby Taylor. Funeral Services will be held on Sat., July 12, 2008, 12 noon at the Murray North Stake Center, 5200 S. 700 W. Family and friends may call Fri. evening from 6-8 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 E. 10600 S., and from 11-11:45 Saturday at the Stake Center. Online condolences at In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been set up for James' family at any Zions bank.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kids, Dragons and Me in the Park




Dianna and James Holland's kids: James (one smart kid), me (Paul Genesse), little Anthony (who has no personality at all), and beautiful Alyssia (who is excited to read the book).




I had a great time hanging out with the Holland family in the park yesterday. I delivered a book them in person, as they had gone to my book signing back on June 6 at the Sugarhouse Barnes and Noble, but we were out of books by then. So, the Holland's went away without one. I promised them I would deliver them a book as soon a new shipment came, and I did.


Really, it was just an excuse to hang out with a great family. The dad, Jim who does pre-paid legal services, is so cool and his wife Dianna, is wonderful. She's an amazing message therapist and I would highly recommend her healing hands.


I got to hang with the kids, which is always a treat and hear stories about James, the almost 12 year old, who was being taught to fly and put the plane into a 2 G dive. Fun times. Anthony managed to find a greasy car part in the grass and was subsequently banned from touching the book. Alyssia (8 years old, I think) started reading the book as soon as I arrived. The book is a little much for an eight year old, but maybe she'll like it. Who knows?


Anyway, James is burgeoning D&D player/DM and I'm going to hook them up with a bunch of my older D&D books on Sunday when they swing by my house. I just think they are a great family and I feel very fortunate to call them friends.


Alyssia, James, and Anthony Holland

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gerrity Memorial Library at Hill Air Force Base

I was a guest at the Gerrity Library yesterday. I did a short reading and then spoke about writing to a few members of the Air Force, their families, and some of the library staff. They were a great crowd and I hope to visit them again, probably in the fall.


I was invited by a librarian I met at a librarian conference a few months ago. The staff were very nice and the library was beautiful. They had a great area dedicated to fantasy novels, which is where I gave my presentation.


Afterward, I spoke with a member of the Air Force and we had a good chat. He told me of getting attacked by mortars and rockets in Iraq while he was in the base. Then he told me that so many people are deployed in Iraq that those left behind now have to do the jobs of several people. He said that being deployed was less work than being back home. I really enjoyed meeting him and his family. His two sons, his daughter, and his wife were present at the speech and I enjoyed meeting them very much.


Going on base and doing a little for the service members and their families was worth the trip. I hope to visit again.


Paul Genesse, Author of The Golden Cord

Monday, July 7, 2008

Brainstorming Book Two


Well, I managed to rewrite more of The Dragon  Hunters this week. I'm up to 25% rewritten. I was hoping for 30% this week, but I ran out of energy and time.


The big thing that happened this week was a critical brainstorming session that I had with my writer friend Patrick Tracy. We spoke for two hours about the book. I'm re-dreaming the dream, that is, changing certain parts to make them more exciting. At this point I'm making a certain segment that was fairly tame into a really nasty part that shows a lot about the world and the characters. I had ideas in my mind already, but Pat helped me refine them and just talking about them was really helpful. When you speak out loud about the ideas they become more clear and concrete. You also see where you need to do more work. I highly recommend brainstorming with a writer friend to improve your work.


The overall story arc has not changed, but how events progress, the setting, and the execution is changing big time. The manuscript I have is old and I was doing a lot of point of view shifting in the same chapter when I wrote it over five years ago. I was writing the third person omniscient then and I've abandoned that to write third person limited. The reader only knows what that point of view character knows. It works well, but with this story I'm needing to break away and show a few other POV characters from time to time. Not that much, but often enough.


I will reveal that the big villain, Draglune, King of the Dragons has a point of view chapter in this book. As well as a few other new characters--at least three more. None of them have a lot of POV chapters, just a little to give the reader a taste of what's going on with them. I think it'll work well.


The story is progressing well and the tension is attaining very high levels now. I was worried about a certain character's motivation, but now I have that all figured out. Also, the villains in the book have had their story altered a little as well, making it even nastier.


This is a very complex part of the series and I'm really into showing the reader in small doses what's really happening. There's so much going on behind the scenes and the stakes have really risen now. The fate of the world is at stake and is being influenced by seemingly small events.


Also, writing a sequel is a challenge because you have to recap a little of what has gone before, but you don't want to overdo it. I think that's going well, and I'm bringing up certain information only when necessary or when a character would really think about what happened recently.


I'm going to plow ahead and go for 35-40% rewritten by July 13. My goal is to have the whole book rewritten by the end of August. I'll get the first part of the manuscript to Patrick before that, then after Patrick is done reading it, I'll get it to my writer buddy Brad Beaulieu. Once Brad's comments are done, I'll do another big rewrite, clean up the text, then get it to my editor. I don't have a deadline yet, but I think it'll be late 2008. I hope.

I'm meeting with my editor the second week of August, and hope to have lots of the book done by then.

Good luck with your own writing and don't be afraid to cut scenes that don't work. Just delete them and start over!


Best wishes,


Paul Genesse, Author and Editor

Author of  The Golden Cord

Book One of the Iron Dragon Series

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Dimension Next Door


The cover of the book with my newest short story.


Dear Friends,

Good news! Today, I officially sold The Dragon Hunters, Book Two of the Iron Dragon Series. It should come out in late 2009. No exact release date yet, but we even have a cover in mind, painted by the same artist who did book one, The Golden Cord, which is still selling really well and is in its third printing already. Thank you all again for your amazing support! Please keep telling your friends about it and post some reviews online.

The other news is that I just had a story come out July 1, in a collection called The Dimension Next Door edited by Kerrie Hughes and Martin H. Greenberg ($7.99 from DAW Books). It’s available in any bookstore or online.

My story,  titled God Pays, takes place on December 21, 2012, the last day of the ancient Mayan calendar . . . and possibly the end of the world. Professor Nina Carreño, a linguistic archaeologist specializing in ancient Maya pictograms and dialects gets some dire news from her doctor. Nina leaves her fiancé and her entire life behind and travels to the place where she remembered being very happy: Lamanai, an ancient ruined city in the Yucatan. She thinks the end of the world idea is totally ridiculous, but her own personal doomsday brings her to a place she never expected.


I really enjoyed writing this and was inspired by a story from my friend Glenn Lee, who visited the Yucatan some time ago and met a tour guide who had a very interesting experience in the ruins of an ancient Mayan city. I’ll blog about the original story sometime.


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