Speculating Canada interviewed Éric

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

You may remember a few months ago that Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see her interview on their website.

Well I (Éric) was interviewed last week. It was a lot of fun, and Derek is a fantastic interviewer, steering my hectic mind in a semi-coherent direction.

Go watch the interview on their website.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises – Characters

The text, "Red Day, Ere the Sun Rises: A Sun Speaker Story" over a red sun.

Characters | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


I was told the sheer quantity of characters was a little intimidating. I started to understand as I made this list. Hopefully this will help keep the characters straight.

Hal the Sun Speaker

Hal

Born 825 Post First Earthen Emigration. A prophet called the Sun-Speaker, he gets visions from the god Sol that lives in the sun. He was raised on Venus from the age of ten.

Rose

A doctor who was part of Hal’s crew. She is currently in hiding, raising the future King of Mars with her wife Sofia.

Sofia

Former special forces in the Mars militia, she was dishonorably discharged for saving Hal’s life against orders. The first time she met him, she also beat the crap out of him. She is his former bodyguard.

Gwinevere the Second, High Queen of Venus

As a child, found Hal hiding in the luggage of the royal ship. They dated as teenagers. When he was ex-communicated from the church, she broke all ties.

Princess Lenay

Princess of Venus. She was born with an immune disorder like her mother but both were healed by Hal.

Thomas the sixth, Ruler of Mars

King of Mars being raised in exile on Earth. He was kidnapped as a child by the Venetians.

The Assassin

Suzie (AKA Helena)

Former assassin with the Maidens of Antichthon. Hal helped her uncover the corruption in the organzation and she joined his crew as his new bodyguard. They eventually developed feelings for each other and are now dating.

Samantha

The assassin trainer from the Maidens of the Antichthon. Disgraced, she was tortured and implanted with cybernetics and sent to fight in the arena. Hal healed her and the expelled cybernetics became their own person. Currently both are in charge of the The Mederei Alpha, a former gladiator ship which is now a home for refugees.

Seren Plentyn and the Secret of Hokulua Station

Seren Plentyn

An adventurous twenty-something archeologist and linguist. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Captain Jan Ng

A stern but fair life-long miliary soldier. They are the captain of the MOAS (Mother of all Suns) Warship Ennill.

Annie Musa

Wife of Seren and ace fighter pilot. Annie is sarcastic and loyal. Member of the Children of the Stars.

Mother of All Suns

The last remnants of an ancient civilization downloaded their minds into a great machine. Its power source was a sun and that sun’s consciousness merged with the people.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

Janet

Plutonian who discovered the secret to eternal youth. Despite looking 18, she is a brilliant doctor and scientist.

Adric

Computer and engineering genius. Helped free Callisto from mob rule with his hacking skills. Currently the engineer on Hal’s ship, the Hey Sunny.

Travis

A Mercurian pilot. Hal served as a medic on his ship. To save his life, Hal had to leave him on a pirate ship to be tortured.

Caro

The system’s strongest telepath and precog. Former member of Hal’s crew currently living on Xanthus.

Gladiators in SPACE!

Henrick Al-Mer of the house of Mers

Royal instructor to the kings and queens of Mars.

Aly

Martian-Barsoonian adviser to the King and former leader of his people.

Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist

Diamond Stars (AKA Garnet)

Former Black-Sun operative who went rogue. Current incarnation of the Robin Hood style character Diamond Stars and captain of the Revenge. Also a recent Sun Speaker of Sol.

Onyx

Doctor on the Revenge. Boyfriend of Diamond Stars.

Sphene

Younger sister of Onyx. Weapons expert and gunner on the Revenge.

Ghost Ship Robinson

Fry

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Died on the Robinson

Hoff

Ex-soldier and mercenary. Bioscience expert on the Hey Sunny.

Teddy

Former engineer on the Hey Sunny. Died on the Robinson.

The Suns of War

Nessa Muldune

Captain of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Feline Martian who has a strong love for her crew, knowledge, and justice.

Alexandre Crowley

Senior science officer of the ISS Galahad. He’s a Serpant Tyrite who values logic over emotion.

Tanya Brook

Lieutenant weapons officer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a Sapian Martian. She’s tall, muscled, and looks like she’s been in plenty of fights.

Em Frechette

Master Sargent and communications officer of the ISS Galahad. They’re a Sapian Tyrite. 

Peri Anson

Doctor of the ISS Galahad. He’s an older Sapian Martian. His interest lies in his crew and their health above all else.

Bart Shelby

Lieutenant and pilot of the ISS Galahad. He’s Canine Arisian with plenty of years as a fighter pilot.

Arzure Pendreicht (Zuri)

Head Engineer of the ISS Galahad. She’s a young Sapian Martian, the reincarnation of King Arthur, and a Sun Speaker for Sol.

Writing is hard… still

Hello Friends, Family, and Fans;

Have you ever read, listened, or watched something and had no one to talk to about it? Have you ever tried selling something you’re proud of and no one be interested? Have you ever posted something you thought was super witty on a social media and no one commented?

If you have, you know what it’s like to be an author. The books I have written, and co-written, are my passion. I love the stories, the characters, the world, and would love to chat about them more. Most people get a glazed look in their eyes when I start.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started publishing. Fame? Fortune? Fans? Respect? Acknowledgement? I really thought that it would be easier after I got published. I also didn’t realize the amount of work an author has to do after the book is out. Marketing and selling are not my strengths and it’s discouraging.

The books I’ve written with Jen have been selling well. Mostly because she’s rocking the marketing material. I’m honestly in awe of everything she manages to do and still have time for writing.

I’m starting to understand that it’s more about selling yourself and less about selling your book and unless you go viral or best seller you restart with every book. Sell yourself to the agent/publisher, then the reader, then repeat… It’s exhausting.

I just want to write my stories and improve my craft but I also have to learn to be an editor, graphic designer, artist, creator, copy writer, marketer, sales person, public speaker, and a hundred other things. It makes me tired and it makes me wonder if it’s worth the time and effort (which is definitely not enough) I put into it.

I’m sorry for whining. I’m lucky to have the financial freedom to write, the privilege of being published, and the platform to complain.

One thing I know for certain, is that I love writing. Everything else, not so much.

I think it might be time to re-think what I want from writing and what I need to do to get there.

Sorry for the slight downer of a post.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric


Doubt is Still There…

Hello Family, Friends, and Fans;

I think I can say that I’m a moderately experienced author at this point… (2 unpublishable novels, 7 solo published novels, 2 co-authored published novels, 2 co-authored unpublished novels, 10 years of serial stories, a dozen or so short stories, and over 15 years of blog posts)

I’m currently 2/3rd of the way through a novel, in the last stages of a TTRPG system, writing a serial story, and writing a novel with my wonderful wife. (I’m tired just thinking about it all.)

I have a giant secret to tell you… come in close… closer… hey, stop licking your screen…

It doesn’t get easier

The mechanics get simpler, once you understand how to use quotation marks and construct sentences. I’ve heard wild tales of authors taming commas but I’m sure that’s just a tall tale.

The actual writing doesn’t get easier. You try your best to put one word in front of the other and stay coherent, and in the end you have a pile of them that have to be cleaned and organized into something resembling a story. All the while, there’s a little voice that says, “Can you really do this? No, probably not.” Even after writing 11 novels, I still hear that voice and it’s hard to ignore.

That doubt is something I’m told all authors live with (if it’s just me, please don’t tell me. Leave me to my delusions) and it’s one of the greatest obstacles.

Having finished something does give me the extra little confidence to say, “I did it before, maybe I can do it again”. It’s not enough to silence the doubt but it does help.

Whether it’s your first or your hundredth writing project, you’re not alone. I understand.

Now, go write something,

Éric

Speculating Canada interviewed Jen

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see the interview on their website.

It’s a great interview and gives you a great insight into how she works and does so many fantastic things.

Jen says:

I was interviewed for Speculating Canada yesterday!! It was so much fun.

We discuss Queer writing, the interrelationship between craft-making and writing, writing with a community, and writing with a partner (specifically my husband).

It’s a long interview, about 50 minutes, so get comfy!

It certainly made me blush from all the compliments.

Go listen to it.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

The State of Éric – November 2023

Hello Family, Friendns, and Fans,

A lot of stuff is happening so let’s do this rapidfire:

Queer Christmas Craft Fair

As we mentioned in a previous post, we’ll be at Queer Christmas Craft Fair tomorrow (Saturday November 25th) from 10-2. Come get your coffee!!!

Writing

Jen and I are writing the next book in The Gates of Westmeath series and it’s awesome. The only thing keeping me from binge writing right now is that we’re doing the first pass at editing Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests (Coming June 2024). As much as I love writing, I despise editing. Like everything else in the writing process, it’s much easier to do with Jen.

Renaissance has Copper Tarnish, Stories! The First Unexpected Collection, and Faymous and I will hopefully hear in the new year if they’ll publish or pass.

Work

I’ve been acting (in government that means I’m doing the job but it’s not permanent) at a higher level as a Web Accessibility specialist. It’s pretty much an evolution of my old job as print and PDFs fall out of favour, but it’s a promotion.

This week I signed my papers to make it permanent. It’s better pay and duties that are no longer 10 years antiquated. So yay!

Health

I’ve seen a neuro-opthamologist and had lots of tests including another MRI. Everything came back clean except for a loss of vision in my left eye and the fact that my left eye dilated slower than my right. He thinks I had some sort of nerve issue and he’s sending me to a neurologist and has set up a follow up for June.

Yay nothing serious and that he believes me but boo I didn’t get any answers.


That’s about it now.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

We’re Writing Again :-)

Hello Friends, Family, Fans, and Readers,

It’s happening again! AGAIN! Jen and I are writing another book.

This is the third Gates of Westmeath book and I’m absolutely loving writing and reading it.

I absolutely love writing with Jen. It’s like having a super-fan to pump you up for writing and like getting to read your favourite book as it’s being made!

This going to be book 3, and book 2 Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests will be coming out spring 2024. We’ll post pre-order links as soon as we get them, and stay tuned for the cover reveal and other sneak peeks!

I’m so excited to be writing this book and I can’t wait to see what happens.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

Random Updates from Éric

Hello family, friends, and fans,

Some weeks are hard. This was one of those weeks. I’ve been working through a lot of emotions. Among them is the fact that I’m still in pain. I know that a new physio for two weeks isn’t going to fix everything, but I was secretly hoping.

Let’s break this down into categories:

Writing

I’m currently finishing the longest running project I’ve ever had (started in 2016) and I’m really hoping to be done by summer. It’s going slowly, mostly because of pain, and I worry it’s crap but at least I’m having fun writing it.

Family Life

I’m trying my best to be a good father and a good husband. I know that I haven’t always been perfect; I’m a little whiny and I over explain and analyze everything but I’m trying. This week I’ve felt like I’m not enough and that’s really frustrating.

Work

I have a similar issue at work. I think it’s time for me to find something new. I’m fairly certain that within a year, my position will be cut and after 15 years, it’s time to do something new. The problem with that is because of my health issues and lack of return to full time work, it’s not easy for me to convince anyone to hire me. So I feel a little trapped.

Health

I’m seeing a team consisting of a physiotherapist, kinesiologist, and occupational therapist. They are trying to help me get back to work.

While they’re doing that, I have an MRI for my head, neck, and back set up for mid July.

Dad

My father’s birthday was earlier this month. He passed away at the age of 47 from brain cancer.

He was 40 when he was diagnosed. Considering my health issues, it’s hard for me not to worry about this year. (I’m turning 40 in July.)

It’s one of the reasons I’m really glad that I got that MRI. At the very least we’ll know something. The MRI should be able to detect brain lesions from MS or brain tumours. Hopefully there’s nothing to find.

Mental Health

With all of the above I’m struggling, but my occupational therapist is helping me find coping mechanisms and to rationalize instead of spiralling. That part is helping and I’m trying to be kind to myself.

How have you been?

Be kind and stay safe,

Éric

Going Home in a Writer Sort of Way

Hello Readers,

I’ve started re-reading The Copper Tarnish. I started the novel in November 2016 and took several breaks from working on it. I’ve finished six books since then. I’ve worked on it a little here and there, but it stalled when Pegasus was born and I devoted myself to finishing The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (Elizabeth book 4, coming this fall.)

The big issue with not touching a book for nearly three years (whoa Pegasus is going to be 4 soon!) is that I forgot the story, the characters and the voices.

That meant I needed to read the unfinished book, something I’m not good at. I haven’t been reading very much lately, mostly because it’s hard on my arms, but my wonderful wife inspired me. I loaded the document in Word and used the feature where it reads it to me. I set it to fast and read along. It’s really helpful and I think it’s helping me to re-connect with the story and characters.

I’m also really liking the story and the pure snark of the characters.

The Copper Tarnish is my attempt at a monster movie style story. It’s also a little more personal, being about a bisexual in Northern Ontario. Although I never had to deal with zombie people, green goo, aliens, or rogue goverment agents.

A lot of the book is set in a fictional town that’s an amalgam of the towns where I grew up, and re-reading feels a little like going home. Everything feels smaller and doesn’t fit right.

It’s weird reading something I wrote and it feels like someone else did it. I think once I get back into it I’ll feel like it’s mine again.

I’m hoping to be done writing this by the end of summer (more realistically the end of year) so I can submit it to my publisher. I only have about 20 thousand words left to write.

Thanks for reading,

Éric

Finally Finished Something

Hello Readers,

Last year, before my pain became too worrisome, Jen and I wrote a book called Faymous. While writing it, we added a character who showed up in flashbacks. The further along we went, the sillier her actions became, each of us adding every flashback.

The idea was that I’d write a short story at the end that would explain everything that had happened with the character, but then pain and worry about hurting myself got in the way.

I wrote it slowly, 200-500 words a session, writing 15 minutes here and there.

I was told by my occupational therapist that I could write a little more as long as I took breaks and listened to my pain levels.

So after ten months and almost 7000 words, I finally finished the story. It’s called New Year’s Eve… on repeat, and it’s another time loop, because I apparently like the challenge.

It was fun to pull together all the threads that we’d randomly spread through the novel.

We’ve received three very nice rejections for Faymous. That means I have no idea when it’ll be published, but I’ll let you know.

We are looking for beta readers. If you’re interested, let us know!

Thank you for reading,

Éric