’Twas the night before Christmas, and all of that crap
Commander Dax Harrison was caught in a trap
And SAMM hanging clueless in low-power rest
Was no help at all with their unwelcome guest
Dax woke with a daze, head ringing like a bell
Tied up on the bridge and confused as all hell
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a space pirate jackass, perusing his beer
"What the hell is this?!" Dax said in a huff
"A robbery, Commander. I’m taking your stuff."
Dax glared at the intruder and reached for his hip
And the thief gave a laugh that rang through the ship
Dax’s gun rested in a belt near his crotch
And now the rat bastard was taking his scotch!
"Come on man, it’s Christmas. I was saving that," Dax pled
"What for? Just yourself? That’s pathetic," he said
It was true, Dax was all by himself on this night
With not even a Yuletide one-night-stand found in sight
Though he’d never admit it, he felt it to the bone
For all his fame, Dax spent most Christmases alone
"What a dump!" The thief barked, and Dax took offense
To him, the ship was as home as a white picket fence
"Where’s all the shiny? All the creds? All the loot?"
"In banks," Dax laughed. "You think I stuff it in my boot?"
"Enough," said the pirate. "I’m taking your ship!"
And Dax lost all care to reply with a quip
He thought perhaps maybe the thief would see reason
What better time to try than the holiday season?
"Look, take the booze. I’ve got some to spare.
How ’bout we part ways and get out of each other’s hair?"
"How ’bout I space you?" He resolved with murderous glee
But then Dax cracked a smile. "No please, allow me."
As the thief pondered Dax’s sheer lack of defeat
The Commander watched SAMM’s startup sequence complete
"SAMM!" Dax shouted. "WE GOT A CODE BLACK!"
And he grabbed something sturdy as the thief was yanked back
Away through the airlock he flew like a flash,
As the sudden change in pressure made the whole damn ship thrash
The moon shining brightly on the jettisoned pirate’s face
Gave a small twinkling lustre in Martian colonial space
The A.I. worked swiftly and resealed the door
And Dax’s dinner settled after a brief internal war
"Commander," SAMM posed. "Have you tried making friends?
You might spend Christmas NOT dodging untimely ends."
Dax considered this a moment, but concluded instead:
"Merry Christmas, Sammy. I’m going back to bed."
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all! Here’s to a lovely year in books and many more to come! By the way, if you would like to give a humble fledgling author a small gift, a review on Amazon goes a long way! Also, you can now order personally signed copies of the book directly at DaxHarrison.com. (I still have a few extras on hand!)
See ya next year!
Happy Holidays, y’all!
Just popping by to send you some cheerful, festive vibes! It’s certainly been a... year. A weird one, sure, but your support has kept me looking on the bright side, gave me the courage to take the leap and chase my dreams! A year ago, writing about death was a welcome escape from a dreary existence. Now, the project has opened up and become something that looks forward, something optimistic and even comforting. I’m still up the mountain, snuggled against the cold and getting my brood on, pushing to get the revised draft of Terminus to the editor by the end of January.
I’ll be posting more sample chapters and character profiles soon. In the meantime, check out this interview that I did with Christopher Lee for Indie Author Spotlight!
While Terminus finishes basting in editorial juices like a spooky holiday ham, I’d like to recommend some of the already-published Inkshares books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. I’ve met so many quality humans during this process and the vast majority of us are in the same boat – indie authors taking our first steps into the wild world of publishing. It’s all about supporting each other. Check them out and show some holiday love!
Sorcery for Beginners by Matt Harry
A 13 year-old boy finds an easy-to-read, how-to manual for magic. Now he just has to prevent everyone else from stealing it.
The debut novel from my awesome editor. Engaging and expertly paced, Sorcery for Beginners makes use of its unique textbook format to build an unseen world of magic on top of our own. It engages readers in a wholly unique way, following the adventures of a relatable case of characters, while humorous asides add magical context to real world events. I enjoyed it as much at thirty as I would have at thirteen!
The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
It’s the year 2147: a time of enduring peace on Earth. The Last War ended half a century ago. We can cure most ills, the air is pure, and teleportation is how we get around. Sounds great, right? So why does everyone suddenly want to kill Joel Byram?
You may have heard of this one. It was nominee for Goodreads Books of the Year and the film rights have been optioned by Lionsgate! Smart, charming, and fast-paced, Klein’s debut is a hell of a ride! Explores weighty questions of identity through a hero who’s chief skill is quick-thinking humor and an ability to manipulate the service machines that keep our world running. The overall conflict is delightfully twisted, but that would be a spoiler. Can’t wait for the movie, but everyone should definitely read the book!
The Last Faoii by Tahani Nelson
After her monastery is attacked and her sisters slaughtered, young Kaiya-faoii is left alone to fight back against a dark army and darker betrayal.
A great debut! Nelson has assembled a veritable army of sympathetic - and often tragic - heroes, that readers will gladly follow into the darkness. And it does get dark! War, family, mind control, the rift between the sexes, even the gods themselves... Nelson digs deep and the result is extremely satisfying!
The Seventh Age: Dawn by Rick Heinz
Before the age of reason and science, magic ruled the world. Now, it’s coming back and if most of humanity gets wiped out in the process....well, sometimes you have to break a few eggs.
One of the most wonderfully strange and detailed worlds that I’ve visited in a long time. Weaves together strands of legend and history with a distinctly modern voice that left me both fascinated and cracking up.
The Last Machine in the Solar System by Matthew Isaac Sobin
He witnessed the end. Now he has a new mission. Hear his testimony.
This retrospective from a robot that witnessed the end of mankind is bittersweet and beautifully written, a great reflection on who we are.
Of course, I also have plenty of Inkshares books in the giant stack of to-read books by my bed. Can’t wait to crack these in 2018! Devil’s Call by J. Danielle Dorn, A God in the Shed by J.F. Dubeau, Sunshine is Forever by Kyle T. Cowan, and Nemeton: The Trial of Calas by Christopher Lee.
Good stuff! I can’t wait to join their ranks and finally get Terminus into your hands! For now... time to get back to it.
Hope you have a great holiday and a happy new year! Cheers, y’all!
Yesterday was the holiday party at Mysterious Galaxy BookStore in San Diego! And apparently they let just about anyone in there. Look! Here’s some silly sci-fi writer peddling his wares...
Surprise! It’s me.
Many many thanks to everyone who came out, including some very awesome friends and family. Not to mention the dozen or so other authors signing books, mingling, and likely ingesting copious amounts of holiday sugar. Here’s just a small handful of folks in attendance...
Shared a table with these funny guys.
La familia. (Aunt and cousin)
Behind every creative dork is his mom cheering him on.
Even had a few hoodlums from the old day job show up!
I think we all wanted to take that insane tentacle tree home.
Somewhere there is video of me rambling into a microphone for a couple minutes. Perhaps I’ll share that around later. Huge thanks to Mary Elizabeth, David, Kelly and the rest of the Mysterious Galaxy staff for inviting me to join their little shindig. It was super fun, and I’m looking forward to partnering up with them again, hopefully in the near future. (Plans are a-brewin’...)
And finally, a massive thanks to my wife Meg. She not only cooked up a storm and entertained everyone at our Christmas party at home Friday night, but then worked a short shift the next morning, came home, and journeyed down with me to San Diego to support me at the book event. All on little-to-no sleep and fighting a nasty cold. She’s amazing, and probably reading this now, shaking her head at the disgusting levels of exploitative cheesiness. (Them’s the breaks. She knows who she married.) 😁
ONE LAST THING! (There’s always one last thing) Just another reminder that I’ve got a handful of these books left to sell directly to the world. I know I’ve been encouraging everyone to buy from the stores, but if you want to grab a copy from me, I’ll have it personally signed and in the mail for you before Christmas! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It has been a while, but that’s because I have good news! The Knightmares manuscript has been trimmed down to a lean 134,000 words, and has had changes made that I feel improve the story dramatically.
The manuscript has been turned into the team at Inkshares, and I now await my turn to move into the actual editing process, which I don’t anticipate being too long of a wait. I have put in over 200 hours of work into this project since early September, and am excited to finally get this out into the world so I can concentrate on everything from my next story, the long anticipated book of short stories called Grace Falls and my next full length novel, Vexed, as well as marketing and promotion for The Knightmares.
Exciting times ahead!
Also...the cover is done...
Check out this beauty, eh?
Hope you like!
Talk soon, friends!
I’m sitting at my desk this lovely morning, watching the snow fall out the window of my mountainside home and feeling very grateful for all of you. This update is coming a little later than usual, and for that, I apologize. I was waiting to hear back on a few points so that this update could be a bit more substantial than the last few. And, it will be!
I have multiple exciting updates to share with you!
1) Developmental Edit Progress
Since my update at the end of October, I have concluded another round of developmental edit rewrites. The book is now back in the hands of my editor. He is going through one more time (he estimates this will take about two weeks), and then he plans to send the book to a beta-reader to get some third-party, objective feedback. We will then use that feedback to do one more pass before forwarding the book to a copy-editor.
2) Title change
While I like The Walls are Closing In (and we may still use it as a tagline for the book), we have decided that a different title is more marketable, provides a bit of mystery, and is catchier for the future selling of property rights (fingers crossed).
So, without further ado, the new title is:
3) Genre Change
We are making a few changes to the plot and market the book as YA(Young Adult). This will only marginally change the story but will double the audience. It allows us to not only market the book to fans of books such as 1984, Fahrenheit 541, and The Handmaid’s Tale, but also to fans of books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.
3) Release Date!
The book has been assigned a tentative release date and an ISBN number (this second part is probably not exciting to anyone but me).
The Seclusion is currently set to publish on:
October 2, 2018!
This is a bit later than I had hoped, but I am beyond thrilled that there is an official trajectory. Between now and then I will be doing everything in my power to ensure that the launch is a success.
One last note - the first two chapters on the book’s page have been updated to reflect the changes that we have been making. Feel free to check them out!
Until next time,
Hello there fantastic followers,
Production of Beyond the Code is going great and I finally have to time to put all my efforts into marketing my debut novel. Part of my marketing plan has been updating Beyond the Code’s facebook page. This page will be chock full of Beyond the Code content such as news on production, concept art, reviews, interviews, and more. So please, follow the link and follow the page for Beyond the Code updates and content.
For those who have followed Beyond the Code but haven’t yet pre-ordered, please consider joining this club. Just see what these amazing authors have said about it.
Craig Munro, author of Bones of the Past says "Elegant descriptions, endless action and super powers - go check out this urban fantasy"
Tony Valdez, author of Dax Harrison says "Fast paced, action-packed fantasy! I can see the movie in my head already!"
Brian Guthrie, author of Rise says "An amazing concept that you won’t regret supporting"
These awesome authors know their stuff, so trust them when they say that Beyond the Code is definitely worth your support. Help make my first novel as successful as possible before it’s release.
Thank you all for following me on this journey.
Kelsey Rae Barthel
Hello everyone and happy holidays!
The publishing process is moving very fast now. Just finished with Inkshares’ copy editor, and now I discovered Mechcraft is on Amazon!
Still for pre-order only, but this all just got very real! Check it out and feel free to share the link with friends and family:
Have a great week, everybody
Thank you for your patience, everyone. This is a big update, but an important one!