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Episode III: A New Beginning
In an effort to improve my marketing platform (what little there was of it) I am in the process of restructuring my websites. The Nakota Publishing site may go dormant for a while, as I attempt to focus on name recognition, yada yada. My blog can now be found under "Blog" on the main menu. Here on the home page I shall provide brief snippets of what's going on. Watch this space for frequent updates, and please share them with your friends who enjoy science fiction and fantasy.

 

I'm currently working on a series of steampunk stories with a female protagonist, Professor Ione D. She's bright, charming, and independent. As the stories take place around the beginning of the 20th Century, this sometimes places her at odds with the society around her. Ione is a complex character in a rapidly changing world. As a man, writing from a female perspective is challenging. My partner and collaborator, Arlys Holloway, has been an indispensable help in this regard. First up will be a story about Ione in her late teens, before she became a professor, as she explores the ancient Mayan ruins of Guatemala. We'll keep you posted on our progress toward publication. As this is steampunk, we are scheduling its release for Victoria Day, May 24th. Watch this space for news and updates on our various projects.

I'm pleased to announce that my short story “Ghost Writer” has been accepted for the anthology “Flash

Liberty 2016,” published by fellow sci-fi writer George Donnelly (See his page at http://georgedonnelly.com). This collection of very short liberty-themed stories by many different writers is sure to be awesome. I'll keep you posted as the publication date approaches. My entry is a unique twist on conspiracy theories. If you're an "X Files" fan like me, I know you'll enjoy it.

Ione D with Glasses

 

Our new book, “Miss Ione D and the Mayan Marvel” is scheduled for release in e-book form on 5/24. That's less than two weeks away! The e-book will also include a sneak peek at the first chapter of the Ione D sequel, “Professor Ione D and the Epicurean Incident,” which we hope to publish later this year.

On that topic, I've finished converting Ione's first adventure from its original “Libre Office” format to e-book format, using Kovid Goyal's handy e-book application “Calibre.” It's actually a general-purpose program, which allows you to catalog your e-books, read them on your computer, and synch with your e-reader device. Best of all, it's available to download free of charge, and it works on Linux (also Windows and Mac by the way.) For those using Microsoft word, here's a link to a tutorial that explains how to create e-books from DOC or DOCX files. One bit of advice: if you're going to use Calibre's table-of-contents generation tool, make sure to format all section and chapter headings with standard styles (i.e., Heading 1, 2, or 3.)

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Ione D Book Cover

In preparation for our upcoming Ione D novella, "Miss Ione D and the Mayan Marvel," I did a web search of sample steampunk book covers. I was surprised to see how modern most of them looked. They followed the 21st century style in which the entire cover is a photograph, some of them showing bodice-ripper type scenarios. It's true that steampunk is a mix of the old with the new, but sadly, these concepts didn't seem the least bit Victorian. So instead of following one of these formats, I consulted my antique book collection to find something that looked more appropriate. What I found was my grandfather's hymnal from 1918, which provided a design that was ornate but not excessively so. As always, I used the GIMP, the open source Photoshop equivalent that runs on Linux to create the finished product. The attached image is our preliminary version, which features my collaborator Arlys' daughter, Arlys Endres, in the role of Ione. By the way, the font I used is called "Arizonia."

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We'd like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our readers and site visitors. I'd like to note that this year, Hanukkah begins at sunset on December 24th so for a change the two holidays coincide. So for once I won't be late in wishing a Happy Hanukkah as well!

A.D. 2016 has been a year of challenges and surprises for all of us. The one upside of these last few years of economic hardship is that they cause us to pause in our pursuit of material things and focus on more important things like relationships with friends and family. Even for those who don't accept the literal truth of the Christmas story, it can remind us to be grateful for what we have, and inspire us to live better lives.

Here's hoping that 2017 sees America and the world back on the path to peace and prosperity.