of dragons and coincidence

Recently, my younger daughter visited the John Paul II Center in Krakow, Poland, and shared with my wife and me several photos, including this dragon.

dragon1

The image, of course, is from the Book of Revelations, as is the monstrous Beast below it.  I first read Revelations when I was about nine, and it gave me the willies, because I took it literally.  Still, it’s some very cool artwork, done by the same fellow who did the mosaics at the JPII Shrine in Washington, DC.

dragon2
When she saw the photo, my wife immediately said, “Oh my God, it’s your book!”

Continue reading

Posted in dragontamer's daughters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

finally home after 40 years

In the summer of 1979, my mother moved us from Phoenix, AZ to Greenbelt, MD.  I was 12 at the time, and to say that the move changed my life forever would be like saying that the Grand Canyon is a big hole in the ground.

Mind you, I hadn’t wanted to move.  I had just finished 7th grade (which turned out to be the best school year I ever had before college) at Grandview, a great public school that, sadly, is no longer there (the school district tore it down and put up Osborn Middle School in its place). 

I had been in the talented and gifted program and on the student council, and I had lots of friends (including a very pretty girlfriend named Mary).  I loved Arizona and I loved Phoenix.  I didn’t want to live anywhere else.

Continue reading

Posted in 1980s, personal, this wasted land | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on finally home after 40 years

for writers: how to sell books in person

If you’re an author these days, you need all the help you can get selling your books. Whether you write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or something else, you can make money and win lifelong, hardcore fans by selling your books in person, but there’s more–much more–to than just signing copies.  So, how best to do it?

Latest kindle cover
My new guide, Hand-Selling Books: Making Money and Winning Fans, walks you through every step of how to successfully hand-sell books, with lots of do’s and don’ts that I learned from extensive experience.  Among the aspects that I discuss are: 

  • Picking the right venue;
  • What you’ll need to bring;
  • Pricing to make you the most money;
  • Setting up the display; and
  • My  “One-Spoonful-At-A-Time” selling technique that you and your customers will be comfortable with.

Think you’re too shy to meet people and convince them to buy your books?  I’ll show you how to overcome that so you can easily engage with potential readers. 

All the knowledge that I learned and put into Hand-Selling Books, I got from selling my own novels, which you can find here. 

HSB was developed from seminars I gave at recent Bay To Ocean Writers Conferences held by the Eastern Shore Writers Association., but even if you attended those, you’ll want the additional information I’ve included in this volume. 

Don’t wait any longer: get Hand-Selling Books now and make your next book-signing a success!

 

Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults and adults who are still young.  In his latest novel, This Wasted Land, high-school senior Alyx Williams learns that witches are real when one attacks her and her boyfriend Sam, dragging him off to a nightmare world where Alyx must go to get him back.  

3d

Kenton is the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog.  He also wrote Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairiewith dragons!  With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Placea children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

Don’t miss the latest! Sign up for my mailing list, and you’ll know about blog posts, sneak peeks, upcoming releases, sales, special offers, and more as soon as they appear. I will honor your privacy and never spam you or sell your information. And you can, of course, unsubscribe any time. 

Posted in hand-selling books, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on for writers: how to sell books in person

exit the x-men

Dark Phoenix, the latest X-Men movie—and the last to be produced by 20th Century Fox, now that the film rights have transferred to Marvel Studio—is out.  And I couldn’t care any less.

It’s not that I don’t like the X-Men—quite the opposite.  I was a huge fan when I collected their various titles—Uncanny X-Men, Excalibur, X-Factor, New Mutants/X-Force—in the mid-80’s and early-90’s (I stopped when they started to become more like soap operas than comic books).

mshxmen

For several years, I ran a Marvel Super Heroes role-playing campaign, with the players portraying the X-Men: Rogue, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Havok, Wolverine, and Longshot, among others.  They tangled with classic X-Men villains like Magneto, the Juggernaut, Mr. Sinister and the Marauders, and the Sentinels.

Continue reading

Posted in movies, superheroes | Tagged , | Comments Off on exit the x-men

“avengers: endgame”–no ewoks, just awesome

*mild spoilers ahead*

If last year’s Avengers: Infinity War was The Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (because, man, did it feel just as dark and brutal as Empire), then Avengers: Endgame is The Return of the Jedi, with better acting but none of those ridiculous tree-bears.  In other words, Endgame is just all kinds of wall-to-wall, non-stop kick-assery.   

endgame

Continue reading

Posted in movies, superheroes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “avengers: endgame”–no ewoks, just awesome

doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 2)

Lately, I’ve done a few talks for high school students who are writers, or are interested in becoming one.  In addition to disabusing them of the idea that becoming an author is a fast and easy ticket to fame and fortune, I’ve shared with them a lot of tips and experiences, including the core of my rules for writing: the “5 to 10”:

5 big rules + 10 smaller “Do’s and Don’t’s”

In Part 1 of this series, I told them about the 5 big rules.  Here’s what I had to say to them about the 10 smaller rules that follow from the 5:

Continue reading

Posted in dragontamer's daughters, literature, lost dogs, movies, superheroes, the hobbit, this wasted land | Tagged , | Comments Off on doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 2)

doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 1)

Lately, I’ve done a few talks for high school students who are writers, or are interested in becoming one.  In addition to disabusing them of the idea that becoming an author is a fast and easy ticket to fame and fortune, I’ve shared with them a lot of tips and experiences, including the core of my rules for writing: the “5 to 10”:

5 big rules + 10 smaller “Do’s and Don’t’s”

Here’s what I told them:

Continue reading

Posted in dragontamer's daughters, literature, motorcycles, teacher appreciation, this wasted land, writing | Tagged , | Comments Off on doing “5 to 10” for writing (part 1)

“what does the eastern shore mean to you?”

That’s the question I answered this past Saturday, February 16, when I spoke during “A Place We Call Home,” the first session of the Queen Anne’s Council’s Eastern Shore Heritage & History series. 

Historian and novelist Brent Lewis; poet and founder/director of Salisbury Poetry Week Tara Elliott; and I had been invited to give our perspectives. 

feb 16 speak1Here’s some of what I told the audience about how and why I write about the Eastern Shore….

Continue reading

Posted in kent island, this wasted land | Tagged , , | Comments Off on “what does the eastern shore mean to you?”

on beyond “this wasted land”

First off, let me say THANK YOU! to everyone who’s purchased and read This Wasted Land, my young adult dark fantasy novel, that was officially released just after Thanksgiving.  Because of you and readers like you, it’s been a success. 

If you’ve enjoyed TWL, please leave a review on Amazon.  Reviews are more than just pats on the back for the author: they help other people find out about great books. 

3d

Throughout the holiday season, I had several book signings in Chester, Centreville, and Queenstown, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  TWL and my other books–the novels Dragontamer’s Daughters and Lost Dogs, as well as the children’s picture book Our Wild Place–sold well.

Continue reading

Posted in stray cats, this wasted land, writing | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on on beyond “this wasted land”

how it took me 30 years to get “wasted”

On November 26, 2018, I launched my third published novel, and my fourth published book.  This Wasted Land is not your typical teenage-love story.  No, it’s more like:

Boy meets Girl

Evil Witch takes Boy

Girl goes to get Boy back

 

3d

Though TWL just came out this year, its genesis was in 1988, when I was a senior in college, majoring in English Lit.  My initial concept for the story was that a young college student (Alex) had recently been in a motorcycle accident that had crippled him and killed his fiancée Rose, another student. 

Months after her death, Alex sees someone he believes is Rose walking through the snowy woods near their school, and follows her onto a train that takes him to a gray, desolate netherworld.  He soon learns that the person he saw was not actually Rose, but a silver-eyed, shapeshifting witch.  Her master, the ruler of the wasteland, is Ōth, a being of great sorcerous power, exiled from his people, and….

Continue reading

Posted in this wasted land | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on how it took me 30 years to get “wasted”