Parasomnia Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

parasomnia ebook cover

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

A lot of work goes into a book cover, especially if the author has input and is picky. This cover took a lot of work from the wonderful Caro at Renaissance Press and I think it looks great.

parasomnia ebook cover

At the Aux-Anges Institute, nestled in the woods outside of North Bay, they study and treat parasomnias, or sleep disorders. Ashley suffers from night terrors, Terrance sleepwalks, Kiri sleep-eats, and Paul sets fires; they are there for treatment. Adelaide took the job as a counselor to discover why she still has an imaginary friend.

When they discover the secret hideout of an old club called the Dreamers, they are shocked to find that the five of them are connected through more than just the Institute.

You can Pre-Order the book from Renaissance Press’s Website. 

The book will hopefully have a few early copies ready for Montreal’s Queer Between the Covers.

What do you think of the cover?

Later days,

Éric

The Main Characters from Parasomnia

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Hello My Imaginary Friends,

My publisher and cover designer asked me to send an ideal cast for my characters from Parasomnia.

I figured if I was going to do the work I could cheat and make it into a post.

Disclaimer: Authors do not cast movies. If this were to become a movie, I’d have no say on who plays these roles. Also, most of these actors are now much to old for the characters.

Parasomnia is the story of a group of people in an Institute dedicated to sleep disorders and the fantasy world they go to in their dreams. It’s their journey to accepting themselves and realizing that sometimes, it’s OK to be broken.

Adelaide

christina-hendricks-firefly-i0

Parasomnia: Imaginary Friend

Actor: A young Christina Hendricks

She’s dedicated her life to discovering why she has an imaginary friend and why that imaginary friend can see and experience things independently.

She’s actually a group counsellor and not a patient at the Institute.

Kitty

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Parasomnia: None

Actor: A young Christina Hendricks as a catgirl

Kitty is Adelaide’s imaginary friend. She looks exactly like Adelaide but more cat like. She’s curious and playful. (Also the reason fans of this blog are named Imaginary Friends.)

Ashley

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Parasomnia: Night Terrors

Actor: A young Vanessa Hudgens

She’s the queen of geeks and uses her fandoms as a way of both filtering the world and making it easier to deal with.

Kiri

Auli'i Cravalho

Parasomnia: Nocturnal sleep-related eating disorder

Actor: Auli’i Cravalho with a shaved head

Kiri suffers from two eating disorders. In her sleep she’ll eat anything, but awake she suffers from the reverse. She’s slowly trying to become her own person despite her mother.

I had pictured someone else while writing the book, but the moment I saw the actress I knew she was perfect.

Terrance / Tara
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Parasomnia: Sleep Walking

Actors: Spencer and Abigail Breslin

Terrance has been verbally and physically abused by their hyper conservative family. They are terrified of who they are and it comes out as awkward machoism. In the dream world they are Tara, a strong and cable knight of the realm.

If I was really casting, I’d want this role to go to a Trans actor, but for visual reference I thought these two worked well.

Paul

lucastill

Parasomnia: Pyrosomnia

Actor: Lucas Till

Paul is from a military family and wanted to serve, but due to his epilepsy, he couldn’t join the police. Instead, he trained and became a security officer. When his partner was killed in the line of action, he couldn’t forgive himself.

Bonus 1: Nurse Michael

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Actor: Percy Daggs III

An extremely compassionate and hard working nurse, Michael takes care of the patients as if they were his own family.

Bonus 2: Prince Icelus

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Actor: Nicholas Hoult

The mysterious and flirtatious prince in the dream world. He doesn’t seem to have an equivalent in the Institute.

EEP! Still Busy

Cold Coffee

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I’ve made headway on my to-do list. It’s now… *Goes to check on list and adds three more things* less than ten items. I got a lot of stuff done yesterday, but it felt like I was walking through molasses. Everything took three times longer than it should.

My publisher is moving full speed ahead with Parasomnia. They sent me a mock-up of the cover and it looks great. I can’t wait to see this book in print! I’m going to send them back the edits soon.

I’m still fighting with this cold. Mostly it’s at night where I go from feeling OK to unable to stop coughing. I hate coughing!

I think I should probably go quality test the coffee I roasted on Tuesday. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it.

Cold Coffee

Later Days,

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

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

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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

Allergies and Updates

allergies

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Call me ridiculous, but I hate this time of year. June is one of the worst times for my allergies and the tail end of convention season. Put it all together and it leaves me feeling drained and lethargic.

I’ve had a supremely good 2016 so far and I’m not complaining, but if you see me and I look a little haggard or gruff it’s not you.

allergies

I’m sure you’re all wondering what’s going on in both my and Jen’s lives right now. So it’s update time.

Blush

Last I heard, the boxes had arrived and they were working on the extra questions for the game. I’m really proud of my wife and I can’t wait to see this game in person.

Writing

A Study in Aether

The final set of edits are done and we’re waiting on the lazy-no-good-layout-artist (me) to finish the layout before it gets double checked.

The big release party will be in October.

Parasomnia

The book has been accepted by the publisher but needs a lot of work. We probably won’t start work on it until fall.

Everdome

I’m midway through finishing the epilogue for Everdome. Then I’ll put it away for a while before trying to edit it.

Coffee

I’m currently struggling with a way to expand our production and reach. I have developed a new flavour, but more on that on Thursday.

FADDS

My role playing system has been playtested a lot in the past year. I’ve had a group of very patient and awesome gamers. The current playtest ends this month. I’ll then need to do a large edit of the document before getting it ready for submission.

Baby Dragon

Everything seems great with Baby Dragon. She’s growing and kicking (a lot). We’re sorting through all the amazing stuff people have given us. (Seriously our friends and family are the best!)

We’ll start truly planning her room in July.

I’m both excited to meet her and nervous at the same time.

 

We’ll that’s about it for now.

Later days!

Éric

Details on the publishing of my books

Renaissance Press

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Publishing my Books

This month I’ve received two publishing contracts for books I’ve submitted. They will be published by Renaissance Press!

Renaissance Press

Check out their website and like their Facebook page!

You’ll hear about any updates as I get them. I’m ridiculously excited!!!

They are a local Ottawa press that has existed for just under 3 years old and have roughly half a dozen authors in their catalogue and have also been publishing card games.

I’ve been constantly impressed by their professionalism and I look forward to working with them.

A Study in Aether

Release Date: 2016

This is the first book in the Elizabeth Investigates Series or Baker City Chronicles (Series title to be discussed with the publisher.) I’m hoping they’ll be interested in publishing the next ones in the series.

The Series will hopefully consist of:

  • Memories of Faust (Completed Second Draft),
  • A Case of Synchronicity (Completed First Draft),
  • The Hounds of Bakerville (Completed Outline),
  • The Camp of Fear (Completed Outline), and
  • 2-4 more untitled novels.

This is all hopeful thinking. The publisher has only picked up the first one and I’ve only written the first three.

Parasomnia (Working Tittle)

Release Date: Hopefully 2017

This is a stand-alone book and needs some serious re-writes which the publisher has gratefully offered to help with.

Serial Story

You have until 11:59 tomorrow night to cast your vote for this year’s Serial Story.

What story should move on to the last round?

  • Wargrave Island (38%, 3 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (38%, 3 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (25%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

Loading ... Loading ...

The stories listed below with their first paragraphs.

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Scifi
Inspiration: Neverwhere

The café was full. Sandra had placed her backpack on the chair next to her pretending that she was saving it for someone. She had her headphones on, she had her phone on the arm of the plush chair and she had a paperback book in her hand. She wanted to be left alone to drink her overpriced and unpronounceable coffee. Her headphones were wireless and she wasn’t listening to music.

Read More

Wargrave Island

Genre: Murder Mystery
Inspiration: And Then There Were None

“Best Party Ever!” yelled Jonathan. His hair was thinning and starting to go grey, but he was unmistakable.

“Remind me why I came?” Riko asked her partner Ethan.

“Because this is your ten year high school reunion and you’re the youngest person to make Inspector in Ottawa police history.” Ethan smiled proudly, looking at the quickly approaching island.

Read More

The Ruby Child

Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Inspiration: Firefly

It was the middle of the night and darker than Mac was used too. When the clouds covered the stars in the rural islands there were no magical or electric lamps. It wasn’t the first time he’d wished he could use a magical torch or those fancy darkvision glasses but magic didn’t work on or around him. He just kept following the speck of light ahead.

Read More

 

Thanks for reading!

Éric

More Great News and something about fish

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Lots of stuff to talk about today. Let’s get started.

More Great News!

They say news comes in threes. At least my Mom used to say that my grandfather said, “Never two without three.” (I’m never quite sure if he actually said those things or she made them up)

Blush

A few months ago my wonderful Wife received a contract to publish Blush, a card game to open communication channels about sex.

Learn more about Blush.

Ask an Anonymous question.

A Study in Aether (Formerly The Mitten Wizard)

Last week I signed a contract to publish my first book. Hopefully to be released this year.

Parasomnia

Today I’ll be signing a contract for Parasomnia. It’s with the same publisher, an awesome small press, as A Study in Aether.

I’m still in shock at how close the two contracts came in.

After almost 7 years of writing seriously and trying to get published I get two contracts? I feel extremely thankful and I little bewildered.

Fortune Cookie

At a party this weekend I got a fortune cookie. It said, “Wisdom comes not from age but from experience.” It’s right but boy did it make me feel old and unwise.

I haven’t lived the most adventurous life but I’d like to think I’ve learned to be wise… maybe just a wiseass.

I will smack you in the face with fish

I read this article this morning and found it to be overall condescending. Maybe it was meant as tongue in cheek… Maybe not.

Either way, be warned, I’m extremely proud of the stuff I, and my wife, make and sell so you’ll be getting smacked in the face by fish… a lot.

Serial Story

So the serial stories aren’t attracting a lot of votes but they do attract a lot of readers. This makes me think I’ve given you too many choices.

You have until Wednesday midnight to vote on which story you’d like to proceed to the next step. The story with the lowest vote count will be eliminated and I’ll put up a new poll.

The poll:

What do you want 2016's Serial Story to be?

  • Wargrave Island (57%, 4 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (29%, 2 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (14%, 1 Votes)
  • The Cosmic Cuckoos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

Loading ... Loading ...

Please Vote!

The stories

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

The Cosmic Cuckoos

Wargrave Island

The Ruby Child

 

Hope you’re having a great day!

Éric

Can-Con Report 2015

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

If you hear loud snoring coming from downtown Ottawa, know that I’ve fallen asleep at my desk. Between conventions and various stresses I haven’t slept much and when I have, it’s been filled nightmares.

I know what I’ve been stressing about and I’m dealing with it; both from the “let’s get this done so I stop stressing” and the “must learn to deal with stress” points of view.

One big stress, which shouldn’t have been, was Can-Con. Between selling, attending, and pitching novels, I was wired the entire three days.

Panels

Since I felt guilty going to panels when I should be selling, I only went to eight panels. Here’s a basic rundown:

Backstories and the Development of Villains

This panel mostly revolved around the difference between Villains, Evil-Overlords, and Antagonists. A lot of good advice on how to avoid creating cardboard cut-out villains.

It’s a great panel for someone who wants to write Bond or Adventure Fantasy.

“Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.” – George R. R. Martin

Preparing to Pitch Novels

This panel prepared me for my pitches, but I didn’t learn anything earth shattering.

Whether you pitch or submit, always remember:

  • Read the Guidelines
  • Follow the Guidelines
  • Present yourself professionally
  • Don’t beg, threaten, or cajole.
  • Be passionate about your story because if you aren’t, no one else will.

Serialization Past and Present

Everyone agreed that Serialization isn’t a fad and is probably here to stay. It’s also something that is changing quickly.

There are two major ways of serializing, distributing a finished and edited project, and writing it as time goes by.

The panelists agreed that the second way was less desirable because it meant less ability to edit and a higher chance of writing yourself into a corner.

I like the challenge of writing a serial novel/story as you go. If you don’t believe me, ask Felix Felicis, or Rachel of Only Human. However these aren’t stories that I’m writing for publication. I’m writing them for practise and enjoyment.

The Frontiers of Young Adult Fiction

This panel spoke a lot about normalization and the dangers of not giving social issues enough consideration. It’s not easy for someone like me (Cis-White-Male) to fully understand anything but my own experiences, but the panel seemed to think that with proper research and editing it’s important to have a diverse cast of characters.

This was something I already try to do as much as possible.

Advice to Aspiring Writers on the Craft

My wife and I both went to this panel, but I barely remember it. It must have been Saturday. The one thing I remember is the panellists explaining that there isn’t one way to write. All those “Rules” are really just suggestions and tools that you can use.

There seems to be only one golden rule of writing and that’s to finish what you start.

Fantasy Novels: A Readers’ Panel

The panel was mostly the panelists geeking out on their favourite authors. There were a lot of book names and author names bandied about.

It was very skewed towards Epic fantasy, Dark fantasy, and Literary fantasy; with little to no mention of a lot of the other subgenres of fantasy. I don’t think this was the panelists’ fault so much as the fact that they all wrote and read in those sub-genres and didn’t know that much about the others.

I was extremely happy to have Tamora Pierce mentioned in the positive.

Two things that seriously annoyed me were the lack of mention of Terry Pratchett and one panelists’ utter disdain for Urban Fantasy and Supernatural Romance.

Hopefully, there will be a better mix of expertise in future years. I would love to be on this panel.

Police Procedure: Busting Myths and Preconceptions

Wow! This was by far the most educational panel I went too. The presenter was engaging, fun, and informative. It helped me separate the major fiction of police dramas with real life.

I really hope they have him back next year, maybe for a double length panel.

Crowd-Funding

I considered crowd funding a book, but it seemed like more work than self-publishing it. I eventually dropped the idea because of the cost of editing. Trust me, a good editor is worth it. REALLY worth it! I love my beta-readers but it’s just not the same thing.

The panel did give me a few ideas for a crowdfunding project I have in mind for spring. Don’t worry. You’ll hear about it Ad-nausea in 2016.

More Panels

Check out S.M. Carrière’s write up of the panels that they were on and attended.

Parasomnia

This year’s Resolutions had submit Parasomnia to 3 agents and 3 publishers. I half accomplished that already.

I had three pitches to three different publishers and all three agreed to read my book. Two were extremely excited. Now it’s a waiting game. I’ve decided to skip the agents – I don’t need them.

So if you’re counting, that’s 2 novels with publishers right now. Hopefully I’ll hear by March if any of them will publish my books.

*Keep your fingers crossed*

Coffee

One of my thrills for the weekend was seeing authors, editors, publishers, and people, whom I greatly respect, loving my coffee.

So far most people love the coffee I’ve been roasting and it makes me really happy to hear. It’s been a little over a year since I started roasting my own and almost a year since I started selling.

After Pop-Expo I will sit down and see if it’s been financially worth it. If it has, I will consider expanding my operation. If it hasn’t, I’ll see what I can do to make it profitable without sacrificing quality.

Overall

This is one of my favourite Conventions. I love it so much!

I’m still not sure if I want to be a vendor, pitch a book, and attend panels next year but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be able to add panelist to the list…

 

If you like speculative or genre literature, this really is the Con for you.

Thank you to the organizers and see you next year!

 

Éric

Can-Con 2015

CAN-CON 2015 Poster Sep 28

Hello my Imaginary Friends,

Tomorrow is tue first day of CAN-CON: Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature!

cancon-logo-history-333x390

It’s a great weekend for anyone who is a fan or writer of genre books.

CAN-CON 2015 Poster Sep 28

What’s Awesome about Can-Con

This convention is special for its sense of community. Some of the attendees will be hopeful authors, others will be publishers, and there will be multiple award winning giants of science-fiction and fantasy. All with an atmosphere of love for speculative fiction.

It feels like a family reunion. I feel welcomed and accepted.

I unfortunately also invariably say something stupid. Mostly its small things like when I told Matt Moore (One of Ottawa’s master horror writers) I liked his reading when he’d only been the MC.

Then there was the time I told Tanya Huff (The legendary Fantasy author) and Linda Poitevin (The amazing Urban Noir and Romance author) that I preferred writing female protagonists because women are simpler to write. *Facepalm* *Blush* *Dies of embarrassment* What I meant was that I tend to understand women better than I understand men which makes it easier for me… sigh

Hopefully everyone I say something stupid to will forgive me after getting a hearty laugh from my crimson painted face.

Pitches

Speaking of the possibility for embarrassment… One of my new year’s resolutions was to submit Parasomnia to 3 agents and 3 publishing companies. I’m getting the 3 publishing companies taken care of at Can-Con. Effectively I’ll have 5-15 minutes to sell them on the concept of my book. If they’re interested they’ll take either the whole book for review or the first few chapters.

My like of what I’ve written goes up and down. Mid way through Parasomnia I hated it. When I was done I knew it was the best thing I’d ever written. When I edited it I was convinced it was crap.

I just looked over all the comments from my amazing (Seriously you guys rock) beta-readers to make sure I’m not delusional to think this book should be published. They all seemed to enjoy it. They used words like “Enjoyed” and phrases like, “kept me interested” YAY!

I’m pitching to two publishers I respect a lot and one I’ve only vaguely heard of and I’m sitting here trying not to panic.

Dealers Room

Last but not least the Dealers Room will be filled with amazing authors, publishers, and bookstores. JenEric Designs will be there, with a brand new button and more coffee than even I could drink in a weekend.

This will be your last chance to get the Great Pumpkin (Pumpkin Flavoured) coffee at a convention until next fall.

The vendors room is FREE so even if you’re not at the Con feel free to drop by the Sheraton downtown Ottawa (150 Albert St) and say hi.

 

Hope to see you there!

Éric