Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Guest Author, Chris Kennedy

I met Chris last month at Marscon. He monitored the most helpful panel I've ever been to on author marketing/promotion. I bought his book Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores, which I discussed on my blog two weeks ago. As well as being a wonderful writer, Chris is an extremely nice man. I'm glad to have met him.

1.      Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a former naval aviator and elementary school principal, now turned bestselling science fiction author, speaker, and publisher. I have 10 novels out, including stories in the "Theogony" and "Codex Regius" science fiction trilogies and the "Four Horsemen" military scifi series.
I am also the author of the award-winning #1 bestseller, "Self-Publishing for Profit: How to Get Your Book Out of Your Head and Into the Stores.” I’ve coached hundreds of beginning authors and budding novelists on how to self-publish their stories at a variety of conferences, conventions, and writing guild presentation.
My latest endeavor is as a small press publisher, having published six authors under various imprints of my Chris Kennedy Publishing house.
People have asked and it’s true…I don’t sleep much.
2.      Tell us something about how you write? i.e. are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have any weird or necessary writing habits or rituals? 
I am a huge pantser. While I can see how plotting can be an effective tool for some people, part of the fun of writing is discovering what happens. Twice, I’ve been deep into a book, only to find that good guys were actually bad guys! No one was more surprised than me.
I love going different places to write. One of my favorites is Chik-Fil-A. I’ll have lunch and then write for a couple hours (and yes, I’ll get a soda or something so I’m not a complete freeloader.)
3.      Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book?
My book takes place about 100 years after First Contact with the Galactic Union. Unfortunately, the human race only has one thing of value—people who are willing to fight and die for money. As most of the races in the galaxy won’t fight, Earth’s citizens become mercenaries as a way to make a credit. The book, “Asbaran Solutions,” is about one of the leading mercenary companies.
4.      What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
My biggest surprise was finding out the more I learned, the less I really knew. When I wrote my first book, I thought it was great. I went back and read it a couple of years later and wondered how people could read it—it was awful! I’m a lot more humble now, and I try to work hard and learn more about being a better authorpreneur every day.
5.      Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer?  If so, what do you do during the day? 
I do have a day job, at least until my kids are out of college (I currently have THREE kids at George Mason University.) I manage all of the curriculum for sailors learning to maintain the Navy's F-18 Hornet. 
6.      What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
Most books don’t fail because they’re bad; most books fail because they’re poorly marketed, especially for first-time authors. That’s because first-time authors wait until the book is released to start marketing it; in reality, the best time to start marketing a book is 4-6 months prior to release.
7.      Tell us a little about your plans for the future.  Do you have any other books in the works?
I am about ¼ of the way through the next book in my military scifi series. This book is called “The Golden Horde,” and it looks at another of the mercenary organizations as the clouds of war gather for humanity…
Where can we find you online?
Website: (Get the free book, "Shattered Crucible," here!)

Asbaran Solutions

Nigel Shirazi was first in line for the chairmanship of Asbaran Solutions, one of the prominent “Four Horsemen” mercenary companies. First in line…until his drinking and temper caused him to fail out
of college and get disinherited by the family.

Now he leads the life of a playboy, enjoying a stipend from the family to stay out of the way. But someone is out to get his family, and Nigel is all that stands between the hidden enemy and the destruction of Asbaran Solutions and the Shirazi family.

Nigel will have to learn to control himself if he’s going to take the reins of the company, figure out who’s behind the vendetta against 
Asbaran, and work out a way to stop them. But they’ve taken his sister hostage, and that makes him a very, very angry man!


Hanger Two, Blood Drinkers’ Base, Bestald
Let’s go!” Mason transmitted as he waved his troops forward. He spared a glance at the group of Tortantulas as they skittered off to the left toward Hangar One and flinched as one of them launched a claw-held surface-to-surface missile at something it saw inside the hangar. The missile detonated with a ‘wumpf’ and blast of heat Mason swore he could feel from several hundred yards away. The Tortantulas chattered happily over their assigned frequency, and a second missile ravaged the interior of the hangar. The Tortantulas advanced, spraying fire indiscriminately throughout the hangar and joking happily over the radio. They seemed happiest when they were blowing things up.
Hey, Breetar, keep ‘em somewhat under control, would you?
They were promised wholesale slaughter,” the Flatar replied from his position on the back of Zzeldar. “I don’t think that’s going to be possible.
Well, do what you can, okay?” Mason shook his head and focused on his target, refusing to be distracted by the explosions that continued to the left. The command hangar was right in front of him. If they were going to find what they were looking for, it would be there.
Jammers on?” Mason asked.
Since we hit the ground, Top!” Sergeant Sam Bush reported. The platoon’s intel specialist, he ran both the jammers and electronic exploitation. “Jamming all frequencies except the ones we’re using.
Good, keep it up!” Still no movement in the hangar. Damn it. “Murph! Horsey!
Yes, Top?” replied Staff Sergeants Donald ‘Murph’ Murphy and Dean ‘Horsey’ Wynhorst.
Murph, take your squad around to the left of the hangar and look for a way in through the front. I think they must be setting up a welcoming party for us since they haven’t come out to play. Horsey, take your squad around the right side of the hangar. No one goes inside the building until I say so.
Got it, Top!” The two squads split off toward the ends of the hangar.
That left Mason with the XO and the 20 effectives from second platoon. As they approached the enormous hangar, he realized just how thin the force was and regretted sending the two squads from first platoon around to the front. He entered the shadow of the building and slowed to a walk to give the other platoon time to get into position.
Remember, there may be a human female here we’re looking for named Amanda Spivey, so make sure you mark your targets.
The hangar was nearly empty, which emphasized just how vast it was. A dropship was the cavernous building’s only occupant, located nearly a quarter of a mile to the left with its port engine partially disassembled on the ferrocrete next to it. Aside from the dropship, there were a few stacks of parts and some boxes scattered around, but very little other cover available. Mason could see why the Besquith weren’t waiting for them out here—they would be much better able to defend themselves inside the office space portion of the building…where they could also set traps for his men.
Mason wished they’d been able to bring the CASPers; if they had, the unit could have waltzed through the hangar as if they were at a Sunday dance. All of a sudden, his laser rifle felt woefully inadequate.
A trooper to the right fired, then all hell broke loose. He dove forward behind a large crate, looking for the target. Glass shattered in a number of places as it hit the floor to the front of him and laser beams scorched in from the sides. “What have you got?
Movement up high in the windows,” Sergeant Todd Salter replied. “There’s at least three or four of them up there!
Mason looked up from the shattered glass and saw a series of small windows about four stories up. There was no way for the humans to get up to them; however, they were also too high to make effective sniping platforms. Anyone who wanted to shoot down at them would have to lean way out the window, exposing themselves to return fire.
Nuisance fire from the right!” Staff Sergeant Jamie Howe reported. “Looks like two or three of them were hiding behind some pallets of shit, but they’ve run off.
About the same over on the left,” Staff Sergeant Jill Cox added. “Looks like three Besquith. Corporal Vitali is hit, but not bad. The Besquith we saw just took off; they’re gone.
Mason shook his head. He hadn’t even noticed the windows up there. He had been too busy looking for ambushes in the crates that he had forgotten to keep his head on a swivel. Damn, he was getting too old for this crap. What else could go wrong?
Hey Mason,” Colonel Shirazi transmitted. “Can you send out a couple of squads when you get a chance? We need help capturing the frigate.

You can buy his latest novel here:

And if you're an author, I again highly recommend Self Publishing for Profit.

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