Thursday, July 3, 2014

Facebook Contest- Win an ARC copy of Flight of the Valkyrie

So, I'm gonna take a page from Kendall Grey and invite you guys to do some fancasting! It's no secret who I'd like to see playing Tolen or Rehel *cough- Tom Hiddleston- cough*, but what about y'all? Head over to my facebook page. Then pick any character from the Valkyrie series and post a picture of your fancast in the comments. You can enter as many times as you like, but you must use a different character or a different fancast. I'll chose a random winner at midnight (central time) and they'll get an ARC copy of Flight of the Valkyrie. How easy is that?! If all goes well, I'll do another contest Monday, involving characters and what's on their ipods

And for those of you wanting to make this a drinking game, every time someone posts a pic, you must take a drink! I've got my whiskey and coke ready... and GO!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Let's Kill Off Some Characters!!! (with Dr. Krieger)

At first, I'm all like "Let's DO this!!!"

But then, it's time to get your hands a little dirty. "Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead."

And when it's all said and done, you may feel bad about all the murder and whatnot. "Why!? Oh, God! What have I done?!"

But more often than not, it ends a bit more like this:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Growing up on Books

Re-posting from my Facebook for you guys who missed it there =)

I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. Not the kind you see at reunions and Thanksgivings though. I’m thinking of my literary family. Those individuals whose books shaped my writing in the same way my biological family shaped, to some extent, my character.  I’ve never met my literary family in the flesh and that is a shame. All of them are dead now, you see, and some of them died before I would even realize how great an impact they would have on my life. But I will always have their books to guide me and comfort me. I can re-read them at will, just as one might flip through a family photo album and reminisce about birthdays and Christmases past. So let me introduce you to my literary ancestors.

Isaac Asimov: He is in many ways the Grandfather of modern Science Fiction, specifically because of the three laws of Robotics. But he is my literary Grandfather for so much more. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, publishing more than 500 books on almost every topic imaginable. He wrote a guide to the Bible and to Shakespeare; he wrote fiction and nonfiction, he penned books of limericks even. He was a lifetime learner, as was my real Grandfather, James E. Skinner, who remains the greatest man I ever had to privilege to know. It was from both of these men that I learned what I believe is the most important thing in one’s life: never stop learning (and never, ever, stop writing). Asimov died when I was only ten. It would be two more years before I began my study of science fiction. I’ll never have the chance to shake his hand, to have him autograph one of the many books I own of his, and I’ll never get the chance to tell him how he inspired me. My grandfather passed away in 2008, during my first year as an English Grad student. He never got to read the book I wrote for him. I never got to show him the dedication to him in the front of the book, and I don’t really know if he ever realized just how much he meant to me.

Andre Norton: Like my biological Grandmother, Louise Skinner, Andre Norton was a woman ahead of her time. She wrote science fiction when it was still very much a boy’s club. And she wrote it damn well. She never let her gender hold her back and neither did my Grandmother. The folks that worked at People’s bank in the 1950’s were borderline afraid of Mrs. Skinner I think. She demanded a job well done and if you failed her, she’d see to it that you fixed it. She managed the money for her and my Grandfather’s business. She didn’t let her gender keep her from marching in that bank and confronting the board members themselves if she had to. Both these women taught me to never let society’s preconceived notions about gender keep you from doing what needs to be done. Science fiction is still predominately written by men and for men (though it is getting much closer to an even balance), which is why strong female protagonists are to this day far less common than their male counterparts. I write books with female leads. I could probably sell more books if my protagonist was a man and my female characters were limited to sidekicks, bad guys, sisters, wives, girlfriends, children, damsels in distress, or overtly sexualized in some other fashion. But I’d rather write what I want to write, than what will sell the most books any day. (On that note, I dare you to find a SF film, tv show, or book that the cast is half female and half male. You will find few and most will be a work of Joss Whedon- we all know he is trying).

Robert Heinlein: Heinlein would be the elder cousin I grew up with and adored in adolescence. Then he got older and weirder and sudden I realized I didn’t like him so much anymore. I have an analogy in mind from my own biological family, but I’ll keep that to myself. I grew up with Heinlein’s young adult series. Books like Double Star, Farmer in the Sky, and Have Spacesuit will Travel. The older Heinlein got, the more I found his books were not to my taste. Maybe it was the brain tumor, or maybe it was just me. Books like Friday, I had a hard time finishing. Despite all that, his books were there for me in my childhood, which lacked siblings (and for a while the internet). Like my cousin, Heinlein was ultra-cool and by extension so was I. Then I grew up and I realized he had changed his style and it didn’t seem so cool anymore. Heinlein still taught me something very important: there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned adventure in space.

I could make a few more comparisons, and so many other authors and texts have been critical in my development (Doyle, Austen, Poe, Dickens, and Burroughs to name a few), but these remain the big three for me. They are the core of my literary family. I’d love to know what writers make up your literary family as well.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Children of Ymir Free Promo!!

Just a quick update: Sept 18- Sept 22 Children of Ymir is free on the Kindle. I've never tried an Amazon promotion before so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm still typing away on Book II, but I'm also considering the release of another SF story through Amazon. It's a little flash fiction piece I did and since it's so short I've never considered releasing it until now. It's not really part of the Valkyrie Trilogy, but there are some similarities in the versions of Earth. I suppose if I wanted to tie them together I could say this new piece is a precursor to the Earth we seen in the Valkyrie books. It's called "Alley Cat". I'm still not sure if I'll release the story or not, but I'll post an update about it here and on my Facebook and Twitter. For now, here's the link to the Children of Ymir page:

Hope you're week is full of awesomesauce!!

K. S.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Finally back to writing.

This house hunting/relocation processes has been killing my creativity for like two months now. Today is a new day though! We made an offer on a house and found out this morning it was accepted. So, I can cross that off the bazillion things I still have to do. However, that one item was a big one. Sure, we still have to sell our current house, hire inspectors, sign papers, move stuff, and completely renovate the new house, but just taking that one thing off my stress-out list has got me writing again. Look! I'm doing it right now!

I worked on book two this morning, and after I am done here, I'm gonna work on it a little more. Then it will be back to the reality of cooking dinner, folding laundry, and painting the rest of the trim and doors so it's nice and purdy for prospective buyers. Life is good, the coffee is strong, and the keys are smooth...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prequel Short Story for The Valkyrie Trilogy

The prequel story for the Valkyrie Trilogy is almost ready for release and may be out as soon as next week! To celebrate, here's a sneak peak!

* * * * *

     “We have to destroy him.”
    “And then what? Destroy the other hundred or more Gen F models to be safe? I’ll not do that, Job.”
     “Keeping it here any longer is too dangerous,” the man pleaded. “Please. The government will get wind of this and the whole facility will be shut down. We’ll all be jailed, or worse, and all your robots, not just the Gen Fs, will be taken.”
     “Fine,” Robespierre said, pushing past him.
     “I said fine.”
     “So…you’ll be putting in the decommission order then?” Radfield asked cautiously.
     “No. I’m changing its status to domestic. Have it transferred to my home immediately, and I’ll resume the inquiry on my own time and at my own risk.”
     “You can’t do that, Maria!” he shouted as he ran after her.
     The woman abruptly turned to face him. Radfield skidded to a halt just inches from colliding into her.
     “My resources. My research. My facility. I can do whatever the hell I want.” Robespierre was a full foot shorter and a decade younger than he, but the venom in her voice combined with the sudden closeness of their proximity made him flinch and take a step back.
     Robespierre resumed her departure.
     Radfield couldn’t stop her. She had always been an eccentric woman, treating these robots as if they were almost human. But now, he was quite convinced she’d gone mad.

* * * * *

Monday, April 15, 2013

Valkyrie Tunes to Jam Out to

I've always been inspired by music. I hear a song on the radio and it reminds me of a character or situation from a book I'm working and it gets me pumped up to write. So with that in mind, I've decided to work on playlists for a few of my Valkyrie characters. Yes, it's me procrastinating, but it also gets me back into the writing mood, which has been very elusive because of real world stresses these past few weeks. The playlist will allow me to in some fashion be productive while I work through other things that stifle the writing process (such as relocating and house selling and buying, etc) It's also a way for fans to contribute to the Valkyrie world, because I want your input. So, what do you think Vladia would list to in her down time? What do you think Rehel is jamming out to while logging repairs? What's Tolen humming as he conspires? You tell me and I'll add it to the list!

Here's what I have so far, created via Spotify. Just click on the character name to go to their playlist if you want to rock out:


01 Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace
02 The Kill - 30 Seconds to Mars
03 Man Down - Walk Off the Earth
04 Monster - Skillet
05 Rose - A Perfect Circle


01 I Don't Care - Apocalyptica
02 Metal Heart - Garbage
03 Limp - Fiona Apple
04 Untouchable - Garbage
05 Mouth - [The Stingray Mix] - Bush
06 Supremacy - Muse
07 Mudshovel - Staind
08 I'm Not Calling You A Liar - Florence + The Machine


01 Riot - Three Days Grace
02 Dark Paradise - Lana Del Rey
03 Loser - Beck
04 Wonderwall - Oasis
05 Shimmer - Fuel

Tolen Malthus

01 12 √Čtudes, Op. 10: No. 12 in C Minor, "Revolutionary": Allegro con fuoco - Chopin
02 Uprising - Muse
03 Fantaisie Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66 - Chopin
04 Finale: Presto, Non Tanto - Chopin
05 Country Song - Seether

Isobel Falis

01 #1 Crush - Garbage
02 Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie
03 Howl - Florence + The Machine