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It Can Be Frustrating

This week, I got my groove back. I know, that’s a horrifying expression, and it gets even worse if you try to picture how it looks if I ‘groove’ to anything… but it’s true. I’ve been hammering Black Sun since the holidays, knowing there’s a story there, but not quite able to break it out. […]

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The More Things Change

I spent this past Sunday afternoon double-checking Iceberg inventory. We don’t have much on hand –– just the left-overs from marketing events we’ve done over the past decade. Because our distribution is handled by Ingram, those are the only books we keep nearby. We’re currently preparing a shipment of old Canadian editions of the first […]

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Soldiers By Reputation

Now that Firebox has been out for a week, some additional historical notes seem in order. But be suitably warned: these notes may contain spoilers about the story, so I’d advise against reading them until you’ve finished the novella. We last spent time with Colonel Robert Adams, Sergeant Eric Turner, and the storied 25th United […]

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Playing with Numbers

A fine pen and paper shop in Cambridge, Ontario –– Phidon Pens –– started tweeting just a couple of days ago. Their fourth tweet, at 4:00 p.m. on February 2nd, announced that they were starting a haiku marathon, with the goal of at least one haiku a week for as long as possible. With a […]

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Friday Favorite – House of Cards

The backroom realities of politics have been done well on screen numerous times now, whether in principled thrillers like Thirteen Days, idealistic masterpieces like the West Wing, or frighteningly accurate black comedies like The Thick Of It. One of the great classic British series, though, is House of Cards, based on a series of books […]

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Virtual Inspiration

A common piece of advice for writers is to pay close attention to the physical world around them. Everything from snippets of conversations heard in a coffee shop line-up, to the fabric of the jacket being worn by someone in a meeting, to the feel of a small beach rock in your hand, to the […]

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Bearcats and Mustangs

Historical notes were featured at the end of every novel in the His Majesty’s New World series, so naturally I’ve been asked whether we’ll be doing them for Champions. Short answer: yes, but instead of including them with the books/ebooks, I’ll do them here as author notes… and this is the first. Some mild possible […]

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12:01 a.m.

At 12:01 this morning –– January 29th, 2013 –– Iceberg released Firebox, the second installment in the Champions series. It’s an exciting milestone for our company. It marks the first release of a title in ebook-only format –– Firebox is not scheduled to be a stand-alone print book. It’s also our first stand-alone novella release, […]

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Finding A Home

I was feeling rather poorly this weekend, and in a bid not to be completely unproductive, I did some drafting on Black Sun… then spent time catching up on email. As part of the latter work, I found myself answering one question more than a few times (prompted, I expect, by my chat with the National […]

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Thank you to the Caregiver

My mother was a nurse –– a white-uniform, white-stockings, white-leather-duty-shoes, white-cap-with-black-band, and navy-blue-cape-with-red-lining nurse. She loved to work in Emergency, or “Emerg” as she called it. But after a gastric hemorrhage when I was five, she moved into nursing education at the same hospital where she’d received her training, before eventually finishing her career as […]

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Cold Snap

This week in Waterloo, Ontario, we’re in the midst of a cold snap, with wind chills dropping to –26 degrees Celsius (that’s around –8 Fahrenheit to our non-metric friends). It’s pretty brisk, reminding me of the weather from my years in Lethbridge, Alberta… a very dry and sharp cold can cut through to your bones, […]

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Lessons My Father Taught Me

During Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in 2003, more than 100 people braved a cold and windy winter night to visit the Land Rover Newfoundland dealership for that province’s launch of the first edition of Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Gift. On the 10th anniversary of that memorable evening, it seems fitting to share some of the lessons my father […]

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Location Scout – Cape Spear

I’ve already explained that the opening scene from Whitecoat was inspired by a place called Green Gardens, in Gros Morne National Park. However, given Lady Alex’s penchant for taking long swims around the island of Newfoundland, it seems appropriate to highlight a stretch of coast with particular significance: Cape Spear is the eastern-most point in […]

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Launching Firebox: The Champions of 1941 – Part 1

“Iceberg just launched a new series, The Champions, which will release novella-length installments as ebooks throughout 2013, a latter-day take on the typical Victorian custom of monthly cliffhangers in magazines. Again, a merge of journalistic strengths — rapid writing to deadlines, and creativity.” – The National Post Canadian writer Kenneth Tam is pioneering a new […]

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Behind Cover

I am sometimes asked about book covers… where they come from. The details of my answer vary depending on the context and the person asking the question, but the essence is very simple: they come from the book. The current edition of Standing Tall: A Daughter’s Gift, for instance, features an image of the ‘old […]

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Before U.S. Hegemony

Looking to the release of Firebox, I want to revive another discussion I first began in the historical notes for The Frontier –– in this case, a conversation about historic U.S. military power… or lack thereof. For many of us alive today, the military strength of the United States has been a consistent truism. As […]

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Friday Favorite – Richard Bode

It’s Friday, and we’ve decided it’s a good time to launch a recurring ‘Favorites’ theme in our Author Notes (we prefer the alliteration of Friday Favorites to the less poetic Tuesday Favorites). We won’t post a Friday Favorite every week, but you can expect them a couple of times a month. One of the first […]

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Black Sun Hints

My recent work on Black Sun has brought a number of questions from Defense Command readers, all interested to know what’s coming next. Here’s the little bit of information I can share so far. The new series will take place after Ken Barron drafted his reminiscences about the Martian War. If you do the math, […]

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“Beam me up, Scotty”

I recently received two emails that reminded me just how much things have changed in the book industry since Iceberg started a decade ago. The first was from Kindle, announcing that its Canadian store was online and providing instructions on how to transfer my account from the .com to the .ca store. Delivery time for any […]

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The Quarterdeck

Anyone who has worked with me knows that, given the choice between sitting and standing, I often prefer to stand. I’m effectively a bipedal horse –– though far less handsome than an equine, obviously. I’m not sure how my strange habit came about, but wherever it began, it clearly influenced the bridges of Defense Command […]

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