Alexander Louis Leloir, Jacob Wrestling With the Angel, 1865

Friday Link Pack—End Of The Year Edition (2014)

This will be the last Link Pack for the year which means it’s time for the End of the Year Edition! I compile the best loved links I’ve shared over the year into one big post! As always, some of these I’ve mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know! All right, let’s see what you liked:

My Most Popular Posts Of 2014:

Building A Better Book Cover
I wax poetic on cover design, what makes a well designed cover, and I offer tips on how to improve your own covers.

A SpoCon Debriefing
Pics and stories from my first convention. I had a blast at SpoCon and I am looking forward to the conventions in 2015.

Old Broken Road Cover Reveal
The post where I reveal the cover of my latest novel Old Broken Road. I love doing these. Expect a reveal for Red Litten World coming very soon!

Most Clicked Writing Links Of 2014:

The Two Most Powerful Behaviors Of Successful Writers
It’s no surprise that San Francisco writing coach Lauren Sapala shows up as a most-clicked. In this post Lauren discusses two behaviors—focus and boundaries—used by writers to get things done. Invaluable advice, both are tough to master but critical for personal success.

Designing A Book Cover Is No Laughing Matter, Okay It Is
In my post Building A Better Book Cover I reference this TED talk by acclaimed cover designer Chip Kidd. It gets a lot of love, and for good reason, Kidd isn’t only a great designer he’s a fantastic entertainer. Easily one of my favorite TED talks.

Do Not Despise These Small Beginnings
I loved this piece from composer Royal Teague on creation and the creative struggle and you did too! It’s very much worth a read.

5 Reasons I Switched to Scrivener For All My Writing
It’s no secret I love Scrivener. It’s my go-to software for all my writing. In this post, author and speak Michael Hyatt goes into details why he switched to Scrivener.

Most Clicked Art Links Of 2014:

The Art of Kuldar Leement
I’m a huge fan of Kuldar Leement’s concept artwork, so much so I featured him as a Visual Inspiration post. He has a great sense of composition and it really helps carry his vision.

Portraits by Dave Bastian
Design and illustrator Dave Bastian does portraits, but they aren’t your typical portraits. (If you’ve seen my twitter profile image then you’ve seen Dave’s work, but his Instagram account really shows off his incredible imagination and skill. Check out my portrait here.

Einstein’s Camera
Adam Magyar takes stunning motion photos using custom built cameras. The results are shockingly beautiful. If there’s one link you click today, make it this one. (Thanks to Erik Hedberg for the tip.)

Most Clicked Random Links of 2014:

Famous Paintings Of Jacob Wrestling With The Angel, Ranked By How Much Their Actions Resemble Slow-Dancing
I love the internet. (Thanks to Gus for sharing this way back when.)

David Foster Wallace Was Right: Irony Is Ruining Our Culture
My friend Ray Frenden shared this Salon article way back in April, I liked it then and so did you! It’s real good. An honest look at irony’s effect on our modern culture.

The Seattle Archipelago
Jeffrey Linn, a campus planner at the University of Washington, has created a fascinating map showing what my hometown would look like based on a 240′ rise in sea level should all of the world’s ice sheets melt. Someone should write a book about this… hummm…

One Of The Solar System’s Largest Volcanoes Is Right Here On Earth
Tamu Massif sits about a thousand miles off the coast of Japan and it rivals even the mighty Olympus Mons on Mars. Solid work Ring of Fire.

Lovecraft Story Of The Year:

At The Mountains Of Madness
It’s no surprise this was the most clicked Lovecraft story. Not only is it one of the most famous, it’s also one of the best. So settle in and follow the doomed Antarctic Expedition as they explore what lies in the mountain range beyond the ice. When you’re done I recommend checking out Thug Notes’ analysis, good stuff.

Animated GIF Of The Year:


Old Broken Road

Friday Link Pack 10/17/2014

Old Broken Road launch week draws to a close. That means it’s time to share a few interesting links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know! All right, let’s get to it.

Old Broken Road:

Old Broken Road is out now!
Both eBook and trade paperbacks are available now! You should go buy it. :D

Traveling The Broken Road: An Author Interview With K. M. Alexander
Thomas Fowler and I discuss Old Broken Road, advertising, design, book marketing, indie publishing, and more.

Listen to my Dungeon Crawler Radio Interview
Last night I was interviewed by the guys over at Dungeon Crawlers Radio. I had a lot of fun and recommend giving it a listen.


Here’s Why H.P. Lovecraft Matters More Than Ever
The Wall Street Journal talks Lovecraft, his racism, his views on science, and his resonating effect on popular culture.

Study Reveals: A Trip To The Library Feels The Same As A $2,282 Pay Raise
Well, there you go. Clearly we all need to go to the library more.

5 Things Beta Readers Should Know Before They Agree To The Task
Great post by Lauren Sapala on beta reading, what it takes, and how we as readers can maximize the help we provide. (This would be a good one to send to any new beta readers you are working with. hint. hint.)

Got Workflow? Step by Step To Better Books
J. W. Manus gives some practical advice for laying out and formatting your manuscript for publication. I see a lot of new writers completely ignore layout and it’s incredibly important.

Thing You Should Know When Writing About Guns
Good advice from Wendig about how guns work, what parts of guns are called, and how to use them effectively and realistically in your own work. (This isn’t a post about legality, it’s about using weapons in fiction.)


Nine Eyes
Strange and often surreal images found on Google street view. You can see a lot more at (Thanks to Sky for this submission.)

An amazing short film. Wandering a dark forest, a solitary creature encounters something unknown with only curiosity to lead the way.


The Crazy Bi-Level Buses Of The North Coast Lines
A photo essay on a very particular kind of bi-level bus that was produced in the Pacific Northwest during the 1920s. Some awesome stuff. It was strangely inspiring for me.

The World’s Biggest Submarine
A photo essay of the Typhoon/Shark class of Russian subs. I knew these things were big, but I didn’t realize they were this big. Makes me want to go watch The Hunt for Red October. “One ping only.”

Film Psychology: The Shining, Spatial Awareness & Set Design
Nice little doco on how Stanley Kubrick used spatial awareness on the set of the Shining. Make sure to watch Part 2 as well.

Equal Population Mapper
How many counties of the midwest does it take to equal the population squeezed into New York? LA? The coasts? This fascinating interactive map allows you to compare density across the US.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Lurking Fear
Strange things are afoot in the Catskill mountains.

Gif of the Week:

You're going to like the way you look.

Friday Link Pack 05/09/2014


It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!


25 Book Covers by Janusz Stanny
Here’s a collection of beautifully designed vintage covers from Polish designer Janusz Stanny. There’s some really unique approaches with his style, would be interesting to see some of it used today.

Get the Scoop on Fair Image Usage
A good post from Writers Helping Writers covering the ins and outs of using images you find on the web. This is a good one for the self-publishing/indie crowd.

The Number One Reason Writers Give Up
My friend Lauren Sapala explores the real reason why many writers abandon their work and give up. Lauren is also a writing coach, and editor, and an excellent beta reader (she read Old Broken Road). If you’re looking for help I’d highly recommend her.


New York City photographed with the Game Boy Camera in 2000
My friend Peter shared this with me. A fantastic collection of photographs of New York taken with an old Game Boy Camera.

“She had a good good heart. She was beautiful.” A haunting little video from Gemma Green-Hope for her grandmother.


Stanford study finds walking improves creativity
Hit a snag in your own creative endeavors? Go take a walk.

In Deep: The dark and dangerous world of extreme cavers.
Fascinating piece in The New Yorker following a group of people who spend much of their time in some of the deepest caves in the world.

Embarrassing dad at electronic music festival
This guy is just the best. Seriously.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Dreams in the Witch House
A creepy old croan and an even creepier Brown Jenkins.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

And it goes on and on and on...


Going to the Moon, BRB

Starting tomorrow my blog will be on temporary hiatus. I will be traveling to Australia to accompany Kari-Lise to her solo show “Here Amid the Wild Woods” in Melbourne. Afterward we’ll be hanging around the city for a few weeks. There we will eat good food, drink good drinks, hang with good friends, explore the city (and surrounding Victoria.) Calling this a hiatus is probably bit disingenuous, I may or may not post depending on time/muse/weather/etc but my first goal is to unplug, not blog.

Friday Link Packs will still be posted! Fellow writer Drew Gerken will be picking up the slack in my absence. So make sure you head over to his blog on Fridays for the next three weeks to get your weekly fix of fantastic links.

In my absence there’s also four other blogs I’d recommend you check out:

The Shatzkin Files
Mike Shatzkin is by far one of the best sources for opinions and news on the publishing industry. It doesn’t matter how you publish, you should be reading his blog. Lots of insight.

Dave Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants
Tips and trick on the craft. Farland is a speculative fiction veteran with a lot of solid advice. I’ve called out specific articles in the past but I’d recommend you visit him on a regular basis.

Lauren Sapala
My friend Lauren is a writing coach based out of San Francisco and she offers a lot though on the process of writing. If you’re looking for encouragement look no further than Lauren.

The Passive Voice
News, quotes, and opinion pieces collected from around the web. The Passive Voice is to writing and publishing what Engadget is to technology. A fantastic resource.

I’ll see you all in March.

Friday Link Pack 11/22/13

Pause by Kyle Thompson
“Pause” (2013) by Kyle Thompson

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! I’m always looking for new stuff so if you have any suggestions, let me know.

Note: Due to travel and American holidays I won’t be posting a link pack next week. So I have made this one extra big.

Philippines Relief:

As with last few week I want to keep the focus on providing aid for the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. Please take a moment and donate what you can to the Red Cross disaster relief or find another relief charity of your choice. Any help you give goes a long way.


English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet
I love following the evolution of language. It’s fascinating to see how to words we use on a daily basis change over time, especially when influenced by something as profound as the internet.

The One Thing You’re Doing to Block Your Writing Success
Lauren Sapala discusses how not personally recognizing what you do is a hindrance to success as a writer. You can replace “writer” with anything: designer, chef, singer, it doesn’t matter. If you have a passion recognize it and be proud of the work you’re doing.

The 8 Most Influential People in E-Book Single Publishing
HuffPo compiles a list of CEOs, editors, and reporters who make up the world of E-Book single publishing. If you’re an indie author, this is good info to know.

C. S. Lewis Reviews The Hobbit, 1937
“For it must be understood that this is a children’s book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery.”

Write What You Love, or Write What Sells?
Speculative Fiction author Chuck Wendig answers a question posed to him by a reader about writing to the market. As usual, I agree with his answer. (NSFW language, but you should know that because it’s Wendig.)


The theme this week is photography. To start things off…

The Surreal Photography of Kyle Thompson
I really like the mood evoked by Thompson’s work. It has a fantastical and ethereal quality a lot of photographers strive towards and few ever achieve.

“Air Drive” Series by Renaud Marion
One part classic cars. One part futurism. One part elegant photography. Mix.

All the Queens Men: Photographing a Man’s World in NYC’s Outer Borough
I love photojournalism. This series by Katie Murray examining the male blue-collar residents of Queens, New York is a stunning picture of modern Americana.

Fan Art Pinterest Board!
I have a new board up on Pinterest where I am displaying the fan art surrounding my stories. It’s awesome seeing different artists take on my worlds. I love seeing this stuff and I love sharing it with everyone. If you have a piece let me know!


Snakes Wearing Tiny Hats
Exactly what it says, it’s snakes wearing tiny hats. Why, because snakes.

Apollo Spacesuit Cutaway
This old Apollo A7L Space Suit cutaway is really interesting. I love the level of detail.

8 Ruined Cities That Remain a Mystery to This Day
io9‘s list of ruined cities is not only fascinating but also a great way to awaken your inner Indiana Jones. (Like your inner Indiana Jones was ever asleep anyway.)

Timelapse of the Imperceptible Effects of Aging Created from Family Portraits by Anthony Cerniello
We have seen these sort of things done before, but I don’t think I have seen it done as well. Watch the whole thing. All the way through.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Alchemist
Lovecraft’s first short story told in the first person and following the last surviving member of a long family line that is staring death in the face.

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

Good ol' Ford__________________________________________________________________

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Reading Recommendation: Blogroll #1

Yesterday I saw a tweet where someone asked “What blogs do you follow?” Great question—’cuz I follow a bunch—but it’s tough to recommend my favorite blogs limited to a 140 characters. So, I figured I should do a Reading Recommendation and cover some of my favorite blogs!

Lauren Sapala
Lauren Sapala is a friend of mine and is an awesome writer, editor, and writing coach based out of San Francisco. On WriteCity she dispatches honest, encouraging, and frank advice and updates often. It’s a great read. Put this at the top of your RSS reader you’ll thank me later.

UPDATE: Lauren has moved her blog to—all links have been updated.

Marc Barros: One Entrepreneur’s Perspective
Marc and I used to work together. I’ve always found him to be an incredibly intelligent, candid, and really passionate guy. As a co-founder of a successful startup Marc shares his experiences—both positive and negative—and along the way shares some great advice. Even if you’re not interested in tech, there’s a lot of lessons to be learned here for all walks of life.

Dave Farland’s Journal
Another of my go-to blogs, best selling author Dave Farland, shares his own brand of writing advice in a fun and friendly manner. Good stuff.

The Passive Voice
I have actually done a post regarding The Passive Voice before. If I had to describe it I’d say it is to the publishing/writing industry what a site like The Verge is to tech. It’s a nice distillation of news for the author, publisher, or agent, and sometimes a good source of writing related quotes as well.

The Bookshelf Muse
Descriptive tools galore! The Bookshelf muse has some great posts on everything from weather, body types, settings, and character traits. The author’s book: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression is also quite handy as well covering a wide range of emotions and the bodies reaction both mentally and physically. Really great stuff.

* * *

You’ll note I have numbered this #1—I read a lot of blogs—I figure sooner or later I’ll do another Reading Recommendation: Blogroll so why not prepare myself for that eventual outcome.

How about you? What are your go-to daily blogs? Write up a post similar to mine and post it on your own blog, then come back here and leave a comment below linking to it! I’d love to see a little network of great blogs for folks to explore and visit (including your own.)