C. S. Boyack

Cover Reveal: Grinders by C. S. Boyack

I’m here to reveal my newest cover and talk a bit about Grinders. This time, I’m tackling a cyberpunk world. It’s one of those worlds where the Internet and being connected too much controls our lives.

One of the things I like about science fiction is the ability to project current events into the future. I call this, “Poking things with a stick.”

I poked a lot of things in this book, but most of them are in passing. Some of them show up in advertisements, which are invasive in this world. Others might just be a news blurb. There are times when I dive a bit deeper, and not everything is negative. Here is a small list of things that show up in the story:

  • Global warming
  • Plastic pollution
  • Helicopter moms
  • Cyber shut-ins
  • The energy crisis
  • New ways for package thieves to operate
  • Police who can’t carry guns until they are five-year veterans
  • Homeowner associations

There are a lot more, and most of them are pretty subtle. Cyberpunk is not known for deep plots, but I wanted one anyway.

Grinders is set about a hundred years in the future, in San Francisco. The main characters are cops assigned to the Grinder Squad. This is the duty nobody wants, and you almost have to screw up to get this assignment.

Grinders exist today, but I ramped them up for this story. These are people who surgically modify themselves, or each other, in basement surgeries, beauty salons, and tattoo parlors. Real world examples are those who implant chips under their skin to allow themselves to unlock doors or start cars without a key. There has even been one who injected dye into his eyeballs in an attempt to see in the dark. In that example, it actually worked but the results were temporary.

My story involves the downside of these modifications, why they’re illegal, and most of them are a bit more extreme than the real world versions. For example, you’ll meet Brandi, who has moth-like antennae implanted into her forehead. They aren’t just cute, they allow her to taste virtually everything. She’s almost like a bloodhound, only using the sense of taste.

Grinder Squad rarely ever does anything, but the new girl on the squad, Jimi, wants to bust a grind shop in the worst way. She feels like it could be her ticket off this crap detail and on to better duty.

One of my silly goals was to release the book in time for Chinese New Year. I’m not going to make it. I still need to finish my final pass, send it to the formatter, and get my promotional posters. It’s going to need a blurb, too.

I targeted this date because in the story, it’s the Year of the Rat. An important part of the story takes place at San Francisco’s annual parade. There are even a couple of rats in the story that play a pivotal role. Aside from that, I was born in the Year of the Rat.

Readers won’t actually care about my silly target date, and it’s more important to give everything the final polish. What I did get in time was cover art. So Gong Hei Fot Choi, everyone, and enjoy the cover. The story will be available before you know it, and I’ll announce that on my blog.

Find C. S. Boyack at these links and be sure to follow his blog for more details about this upcoming book release:

Fantasy Authors Unplugged New Release Special: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

Greetings to the Archer’s Aim readers today. I welcome C. S. Boyack back to the bog with his new release: Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take it away, Craig!


Thanks for having me over again, P. H. You’re always welcome at my place too. I’m here today to hawk my new story, Voyage of the Lanternfish. Lanternfish is a pirate fantasy all the way. It differs from classic fantasy in that gunpowder is involved. This story has cannon and muskets to go along with it’s swords and sorcery.

It’s been a few years since I wrote an ensemble cast into one of my stories. Someone may teach this somewhere, but I kind of came up with the recipe myself.

On a tall ship there can be hundreds of men that make up the crew. (Even more on a pirate ship.) The main task is manning the sails, but it doesn’t require everyone. Most of them are needed for battle. In reality, you need at least three men per cannon, plus there could be some fancy sailing going on during the battle. As pirates, you’re going to need plenty of boarders too. Sinking ships isn’t profitable. You have to take them and loot them.

I decided to break down my cast this way. What I’m trying to do is solve a writing logistics problem.

  • My main character.
  • his best friend
  • Named supporting characters.
  • Named third tier crew members.
  • Nameless crew.

In reality, everyone has a name and a story, hopes, dreams, etc. In a book, this would be maddening for readers to keep up with.

Obviously the trick is to make it feel like an entire crew of pirates, without getting into too many details about most of them.

My lead character and his best friend drive the story. They have a common goal here. The captain’s fiancé is the best friend’s sister. She’s being held captive as insurance to force them into starting a war with a neighboring country.

The named supporting characters are fleshed out, and help give some idea about how a ship functions. It’s obviously an easier sell to stick with the officers, because they give more insight into the functioning of a ship. You’ll meet the surgeon, the quartermaster, sailing master, and more.

Those third tier characters add a bit of color to the story. You’ll meet a talented man named Stuttering Lewis, old Chappie who has horrible dental problems, and Biscuit Bill the cook.

This tier system gives me the ability to focus on the main character and the story, and after things are established, readers will assume the Sailing Master is keeping the canvas adjusted according to the prevailing winds. They’ll also assume he has random crew up in the rigging to do the job. Bill keeps the crew fed, but behind the scenes.

There is also an international flavor here, because it’s true to the age of sail. This story takes place on a fantasy world, but there’s no reason not to make things like this realistic. I’ll save my “leaps of faith” for things like root monsters and Big Boogah. (You’ll have to read the story for more information.)

Readers will have to decide if I pulled it together, or not. I hope you’ll take a chance on Voyage of the Lanternfish. I think it presses all the pirate buttons, but takes things in a different direction than some of the more recent stories.

This is one of my stories, so it’s filled with monsters, mayhem, and magic. There are even a couple of artifacts involved. I hope your readers will take a chance on Lanternfish.

How about it, you authors out there? How do you deal with an ensemble cast? I’d love to learn about it in the comments.


Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Congratulations to Craig on his latest book release. I’m currently enjoying Voyage of the Lanternfish. Take a look at the book and more about C. S Boyack at the book page.

The Bow of Destiny on Lisa Burton Radio

Reblogging on Archer’s Aim – Have a look at a character from The Bow of Destiny being interviewed on Lisa Burton Radio!

Entertaining Stories

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Now broadcasting at one point twenty-one jigawatts across all the known galaxy, alternate realms, and into the future and past. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl.

Our guest today is Limbreth, a young woman, on a quest to recover a stolen book and find the Bow of Hart.

“Welcome to the show, Limbreth.”

“Greetings from the Forest of Auguron, Lisa Burton.”

“My bio says you’ve joined this quest with a Withling named Hastra. Who’s leading this quest, you or her?”

“Hastra’s in charge but gets a lot of advice from Gweld, an elven ranger and these two dauntless dwarves, Tordug and Makwi. Hastra knows the most about our foe and the Bow of Hart. But these feckless Rokans stole her book, back in the City of Auguron using this magical creature she calls a Bane.”

“Dwarves! I love dwarves. We had…

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