Give Me a Gift for my 34th Birthday… please

This is my begging face...

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

On Monday I’ll be turning 34. It’s not old for our modern world but it’s kinda terrifying for someone who has had both parents die before they reached sixty. I’m considering a midlife crisis… maybe buying a couple of DVD boxsets or some more books.

Since I’m turning 34, I’d like you all to give me a gift. Please!

This is my begging face...
This is my begging face…

I’d like you to review my book! If you haven’t read it you can get it on Amazon Canada, Renaissance Press, or even from the public Library.

Once you’ve read it please go review it on Goodreads and/or Amazon (You can even copy paste your review from one to the other)

Reviews on those sites help bring the profile of the book up and have both sites recommend it to others. It helps with sales, name recognition, and building a readership.

I’m not asking you to give it a good review, be honest and write what you feel.

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Thank you!

Éric

Aurora Awards Nominations

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Allow me to be completely shameless. This year I have a book, a short story, and a few projects that are eligible for the Aurora Awards.

Aurora Awards

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The Aurora Awards are awards, “for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy works and activities.” They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

It’s a fan voted award in the vein of the Hugo’s, but with way more awesome people.

You’ll have to join the CSFFA for a pittance of $10 before you can nominate anyone. Once you’ve paid, you can nominate 5 works in each category. You can nominate works from now until May 6th.

The extra bonus of joining the CSFFA is you’ll get a voters package that includes most of the works that make the ballot. That’s 8-10 novels plus a bunch of other awesome stuff.

What do I have that’s eligible

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My debut novel, A Study in Aether is eligible in the YA category and my short story Gladiators in SPACE!  is eligible for Short Story.

Recommendations

Now that I’ve been shameless, here are a few works that I think are truly worth an award this year:

Novels

YA Novels

Related Work

Fan Writing and Publication

Fan Organizational

Other Options

The Aurora’s website has a section that lets you see eligible works. I like to think of it as a shopping list.

 

Go Nominate Works and enjoy the amazing science fiction and fantasy that came out last year.

Éric

 

I’m not busy, I’m temporally deficient

Darthdad

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

When I told someone I was going to take paternity leave, they jokingly said, “Wow! A nine month vacation. Lucky you.” At least I think they were joking. This isn’t a vacation.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the time I’m getting with Dragon. She makes me smile and ache with love every day, but she’s a lot of work. I have no idea how one parent handles a baby on their own.

It might be easier if Jen and I weren’t both freelancers. Working from home takes twice as long with a baby. All of which to say we’ve been really busy both with work and enjoying the little Dragon.

That means there are a few things that I haven’t told you, so it’s update time! WOO!

Darthdad
Darthdad from Vaders Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown. Click the image to go to the link.

Coffee

I’ve been working hard on research and development for new flavours to join JenEric Coffee’s roster. I’ve settled on one flavour that will be debuted at Geek Market at the end of March.

I have another 4 flavours that I’m asking people to test. If you’re interested, check out our Coffee Testers Page.

Writing

I have unfortunately not been writing as much as I should have. Other then the blog, I’ve written half a story and a few thousand words in Copper Tarnish. It’s going to be shorter than my average book, but I’m still only a third of the way through.

I’ve talked to my publisher and they’re considering covers for Parasomnia. I’m really excited to get the next round of edits on this one.

A Study in Aether is eligible for both the Nebulas and the Auroras. Both are fan voted awards. If you feel like nominated it, I’d be very happy.

The Ed Greenwood Group

If you don’t know about TEGG, let me tell you. It’s a new publishing company for games, role playing games, genre novels, and general awesome.

If you’ve played the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons setting, you’re familiar with the breadth of creativity that Mr. Greenwood has shown over the past thirty years.

What he’s done is bring together many amazing creative types to create new games, settings, and stories.

I have the honour of working with them on the book formatting side of things. I’ve been given the title of Print Production Manager, fancy term for layout artist. It’s a freelance thing and I’m really excited to be working with such amazing people.

And Jen, whom I’ve often referred to as “the weditor”, has been given the title of Lead Editor for the Hellmaw line of novels. She is just as honoured and excited to be working with this awesome group.

Secrets

I have two other pieces of news, but I don’t have permission to divulge one, and the other will be a surprise. You should know both next week.

 

Later Days

Éric

Heart Tea Heart

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I love coffee (if you’ve read this blog for a little you probably know that) but I also have a soft spot for good tea. I mean loose leaf, flavourful, and bold tea.

That’s exactly what you get with all the different blends from Heart Tea Heart.

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I’m partial to the Knights of Avalon, the English Breakfast, and for reasons that are obvious in the next picture, the Harvest Apple Oolong.

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Heart Tea Heart has a pop-up location for the holidays and is stocking books along with tea. Including mine.

Books and Tea make wonderful presents.

They’re at the Merivale Mall 1642 Merivale Road, Ottawa, Ontario! Go check them out.

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Also go give them a Like on Facebook, and if you’re out of town, check out their website.

Later days,
Éric

What’s Éric Been Up To?

CON-CreativeOttawaNerds

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a crazy few months. (Yeah I’ve said it before but it’s always true.) Since September, I’ve been posting a lot of pre-written posts, stories, and rants. Mostly what I haven’t been writing as much are updates. So here’s an update.

Baby Dragon

She’s been a joy. Face meltingly cute. I’m sure all parents say that, but I genuinely mean it. She’s also, so far, very mellow and loves to sleep. Recently she’s been babbling a lot, which is cute.

I’m off of my government job and being off work gives me the chance to hang out with her and watch her grow. It’ll be really hard to go back to work.

Coffee

Speaking of being off work. I might be off for my day job but JenEric Coffee is still going strong. (Check out the new store and get yourself a little present.)

We’ll be at two different events in two weeks.

The always amazing

November 26 – Creative Ottawa Nerds Craft Fair

CON-CreativeOttawaNerds

and

November 26-27 – Ottawa Comic Con Holiday Edition

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We’ll have the following flavours at both events:

Yes, those are both on the same weekend.

Books

Reminder that A Study In Aether is available from both Amazon and directly from the Publisher. There will be copies for sale at the two above events also.

I’ve been extremely busy editing during September and October; both Parasomnia and Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust have been sent to the publisher and we’ll start work on them in the new year.

In January, I’ll get started editing Everdome in order to send it to my beta-readers along with working on the edits on Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity.

Currently I’m writing a new novel for NaNoWriMo. It’s moving well but the writing is slow between the baby, freelance work, and coffee roasting. I’m hoping to be done by mid-December but who knows.

Next year is the year of sequels. I’m going to finally, after over three years, return to writing Elizabeth Investigates with the next novel in the series Elizabeth Investigates: The Hounds of Bakerville. If I get through that fast enough I might start work on Paracosm which would be an indirect sequel to both Everdome and Parasomnia.

Serial Story

Wargrave Island is coming to an end, which means we’ll be voting on a new Serial Story in January. Expect a few options to pop up in the next month and a half.

 

Well that’s all the excitement on my end.

Later Days,

Éric

A Study in Aether and Blush (Book and Game Launch)

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My first novel A Study in Aether, and Jen’s game Blush will be launched this Saturday the 29th of October at a Monster Launch (We’re launching books not monsters, but feel free to come dressed as a monster.)

Come by and say hello and get a signed copy and meet lots of amazing Authors.

See you there,

Éric


 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Renaissance Press

Join us for our MONSTER LAUNCH party!

Eight authors. Seven books.

One revolutionary game.

The celebration will be held at the 3 Brewers pub (240 Sparks St., Ottawa)
Saturday October 29th, 2015, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM
.

There will be readings by the authors, prizes to win, special prices and of course, the opportunity to get your books signed. The authors will be wearing costumes, so please feel free to dress up as well!

Blush – A sexual education trivia game by Jen Desmarais

Picture taken by Caroline Frechette of Renaissance Press.

With 250 questions (and their answers!) this trivia game is the perfect tool to initiate important discussions about all aspects of sexuality. With subjects like reproduction, general health, gender identity, and sexual orientation, Blush aims to help parents and teachers approach the topic of sexual health with their teens and pre-teens, and to give kids the opportunity to ask the questions they have in an atmosphere of fun and comfort.

ISBN 978-1-987963-11-3 – Available now!

Bonhomme Sept-Heures by Evan May

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A supernatural suspense which follows Adam Godwinson, the main character of The King in Darkness, as he tries to save the children in a small northern Québec town.

ISBN 978-1-987963-14-4 – Available October 29th!

Life in the ’Cosm by Cait Gordon

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This science-fiction comedy follows the adventures of Virj Ofreesin, a lovesick writer who goes on a foolish adventure to save the half of the bigender being he loves… in all the wrong places.

ISBN 978-1-987963-16-8 – Available now!

M School by Kevin Johns

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A spy thriller which delves into the dark spaces we have within our own souls, all the while taking us on a thrilling adventure which follows an unusual girl trying to solve the murder of the only person she ever really cared for.

ISBN 978-0-9952932-1-2 – Available October 29th!

Making a Living by Caroline Fréchette

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An undead woman, a scared boy who can manipulate machines, a nefarious laboratory trying to find the secret to eternal life… and did we mention zombies?

ISBN 978-1-987963-08-3 – Available now!

Sky Road Walker by S. M. Carrière

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Chased by wraiths of dark smoke, without knowledge of the land in which I found myself or memory of my life and purpose, I became embroiled in a perilous quest to restore the throne of a fading Empire. Little did I know how dangerous a task that would prove to be.
This is my story; the tale of the Sky Road Walker.

Sky Road Walker is the first of the democratically created Your Very Own Adventure books by author S.M. Carrière.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to The Ottawa Caring and Sharing Exchange, a charity which provides relief and dignity during difficult times of the year.

A Study in Aether by Éric Desmarais

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A Sherlock-Holmes-obsessed girl detective, a bunch of disappearances, a witch, and… mittens? Dive into this highly entertaining Young Adult paranormal mystery set in a small Ontario town!

ISBN 978-1-987963-12-0 – Available now!

Wolf Ice by award-winning author Melissa Yuan-Innes

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Wolf ice disinhibits werewolf brains: it makes them act like animals. Lusty, angry, hungry animals. Wolf ice drives Leila straight into the arms (and on to other anatomical parts) of her ex-boyfriend.Wolf ice could slay all Montreal wers–in fact, all wers around the world–unless Leila stops him. Will she fight past the lust in order to save her species?

ISBN 978-1927341520 – Available now!

For more information, please contact Renaissance Press:

819-230-8968

http://renaissancebookpress.com

info@renaissancebookpress.com

Geek Market and other things

Not final artwork

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

It’s been a wild three weeks with Baby Dragon. Here’s a short update to let you know what’s been going on and what’s coming up.

Geek Market

Geek Market logo

This weekend is Geek Market, I’ll be there selling my book with Renaissance Press and selling coffee with JenEric-Coffee. So come by and I’ll chat your ear off about my two favourite things.

Baby Dragon

Keladry is absolutely adorable and sleeping better than most little babies. I’m still really tired but that’s okay since I’m home from work.

Books

Parasomnia

Early this year I received a contract for A Study in Aether, my debut novel. Less then a month later I got another contract for Parasomnia.

It’s a story of five people who are in an institute for dream related disorders, and the fantasy dreamworld they share.

I’ve received comments from some amazing and decorated editors and passed them to my publisher. I’m now working on the edits. I’m hoping to get them done by end of the month.

The Sign of Faust

This is the second novel in the Elizabeth Investigates / Baker City Mystery series. I’m mid way through editing it and I’m hoping to have it ready to send at the end of the year.

Everdome

Another novel that I’ll be editing and hopefully have ready for beta readers by January.

NaNoWriMo

I’ve decided to write my next novel as a NaNoWriMo novel.

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. A month that people from all over the planet decide to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days.

I’m going to be trying to write a classic monster movie style book. I’m calling it The Copper Tarnish. It’ll be the first book that I’ve written that doesn’t connect with the Baker City universe.

Wish me luck. If you’d like to follow my progress or add me as a NaNoWriMo buddy check out my profile.

Not final artwork
Not final artwork

That’s it for now. Later Days!

Éric

Ten Days of Fatherhood

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Just a short break between episodes of Gladiators in SPACE!

I have officially been a father for ten days. So much and so little has happened since she was born. In an attempt to avoid rambling too much I’ll separate this into parts.

keladry-ghostwriter

Birth

A theme this past ten days has been, “I thought I understood what was going to happen, but I didn’t.”

The birth and labour was much longer than I expected and very different. I won’t go into details but despite all our preparation we had no clue.

When I saw the little wriggling baby for the first time I didn’t experience what a lot of people had described. I didn’t instantly fall in love, I didn’t just know, etc. I just saw an adorable baby that vaguely looked like her mother. I instinctively wanted to protect her, but I get that with all babies. There was nothing spiritual or magical.

All the love and the urge to make everything better for her came slowly over time. It started when we first learned she existed and continued to grow. It’s still growing now.

I think even if she weren’t my child, I’d find her adorable. She makes these little snuffling noises, squeaks, and mini-roars that sound just like what I’d imagine a little Dragon would sound like.

Imposter Syndrome

In case you don’t know what Impostor Syndrome is, it’s “an inability to internalize […] accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’.”

It’s most common in artistic people from what I’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how long it’ll take people to realize that it was mistake to publish me. By the way, check out A Study in Aether and leave reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. Ahem…

I’ve found the same sort of feeling with Keladry. One moment I’ll be changing her diapers and the next I’ll wonder when her real parents are coming to take her home. It’s like my brain is unable to fully comprehend that we’ve created a human and are now responsible for her. It’s terrifying.

There’s a disconnect between understanding the principles of making and having children and truly internalizing the information.

I’m told that the Parental Impostor Syndrome goes away eventually. Hopefully the other one will as well, but it’ll probably take longer.

Sleep and Doing stuff

Everyone warned me that once the baby would be around, there would be no time for sleep or anything else. So far we’ve been lucky; she’s sleeping 2-4 hours in a row between feedings. I can’t imagine doing this and going to my full time job, but I’ve been able to do a few little things here and there on projects.

The first few days I felt utterly lost and a little panicked but we’ve been introducing elements of routine into our days and that’s making me feel better.

As she grows older, we’ll try to instill a nice routine into her life as well and we can hope that will prevent us all from going crazier than we already are.

Friends and Family

I’m a shameless optimist when it comes to the human race and the innate goodness in each of us. That being said, I’m extremely insecure and have as a default assumption that everyone dislikes me. (It’s unfounded and silly but my brain is a jerk.)

Our friends and family have been absolutely amazing. Any and all support we need is there and we greatly appreciate it. You are all amazing!

Godparents

We thought long and hard about who and what we wanted for our little Dragon’s Godparents.

We narrowed down the criteria to someone who:

  • was spiritual or had a good academic knowledge of world religions;
  • could teach her things she won’t learn in school;
  • was a good person and role model;
  • who would take the job seriously; and
  • who could be friend and confidant that wouldn’t have an issue telling us if we were being unfair.

In the end we chose her Aunt Lindsay, who’s one of the most good and genuine people I know, and S.M. Carrière, who’s a wonderful person with a lot to share with Dragon. I know both will be there for her and make sure she grows up to be an awesome person.

Read S.M. Carrière’s post about it that made both Jen and I cry.

 

There’s a lot more I could write but I’ll stop there.

Later Days,

Éric

Dear Dragon – Names

Dear Dragon,

In case you didn’t know, I fancy myself a writer. One of the hardest parts of developing a character is choosing a name.

I firmly believe that a character’s name should reflect aspects of their story or personality. Let’s take my first novel, A Study in Aether; there are three main characters and their names reflect who they are.

Elizabeth means “My God is an Oath,” or “My God is Abundance” between the classical definition and the historical, it’s a name for a strong-willed character who is more interested in reaching their goals than anything else.

Jackson (Jackie) means “Son of Jack”. Since he’s Jackson Jr., it shows the strong resemblance (character not physical) to his father. The fact that he shortens it to Jackie instead of Jack shows his stubborn non-conforming streak.

Angela is the female version of Angelus. It’s original meaning being “Messenger” or “Messenger of God”. I’ll be completely honest and tell you I just liked the name. There was a character on Bones, who managed to be both artistic and brilliant with technology. I liked the idea of a character trying to balance two aspects of her life. Balancing two parts of herself is a long running theme with my character Angela.

I almost always name a character based off who they are and what they’ll grow into. That works really well for characters, but not so well for Baby Dragons. (If only I had a time machine.)

We’ve had several names for you chosen for a long time. They’ve changed and moved around, but we never really worried about it. Now that you’re on your way, it feels a little more urgent.

There were a few things we wanted in a name: it needed to sound okay in French and English, it needed to be something that didn’t sound weird for a lawyer, doctor, teacher, judge, prime-minister etc (The Right Honourable Yoda Desmarais wasn’t an option), it needed to be something that wasn’t ridiculously common, and it needed to be something people wouldn’t make fun of.

That’s a high order, but we ended up with five names that we liked. One we sort of lost interest in. Another we told to someone and they reacted so poorly that your Mum didn’t want to use the name anymore. (I’m contrary and almost insisted on the name, but decided that was a bad reason.)

That has left us with three names. Two are relatively traditional but the third is different. It’s still easily pronounceable and follows our guidelines above. I made the mistake of mentioning it to someone (I’m contrary and learn slowly) and they don’t think it’s a good idea because it’s not a traditional name. I’m not sure which we’ll pick. I’m procrastinating by saying we’ll wait to meet you, but that’s just an excuse.

A lot of people, articles, etc. have pushed the importance of picking a name and it’s stressful to think about.

Fortunately, no matter what we name you, you’ll grow into it. It will become you and you’ll become it.

Hopefully we pick well, but worst case scenario you can always change it.

Your Loving Papa

CAN-CON 2016

Can-Con FINAL poster with text - 17 Aug 2016

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

CAN-CON is coming up pretty fast. (10 days) You could say I’m counting down the days until the 9th of September. Yes, we’re crazy enough to be selling at a convention the weekend that Dragon is due to hatch.

The reason we’re comfortable with that is simply that the people at CAN-CON are absolutely lovely and if feels more like a get together of friends than a convention. It’s a warm, inviting, and overall wonderful event.

This year I was invited to be on some panels but I declined so I’d be available in case Dragon shows up. I will however be doing a reading with my publisher and some other awesome writers.

Come see me at 2pm on Saturday the 10th if you’re at the convention.

If you’re not at the convention, feel free to swing by the dealers room and I’ll gladly sell you my new book!

Can-Con FINAL poster with text - 17 Aug 2016
Poster designed by Jay Odjick.

See you at CAN-CON!

Éric