Fun with Space Opera

StarFall – The Dalea Chronicles

“Only when you were to have found yourself in the most remote and darkest depths of space where you can clearly hear yourself scream while no one else can, does the true terror and reality of your situation fully set in while you choose between fight or flight where neither may be available.”
–  Bob Sellers JR, StarFall

After having watched many podcasts and read much about the rather oddly named genre of Space Opera, I began to consider developing one or more of my own while I continue to craft the next books of my ongoing Weird-Wild-West series.

Most if not all fans of space adventures are clearly well aware by now that in space no one can hear you scream, that is unless they happen to be on the same communication channel which undoubtedly would be far worse than not having heard you at all as you fade away to the utter cold and darkness of space.

What initially got me going with my Weird-Wild-West series was that few if any had ever really written about the paranormal during that particular time in history while I’ve considered much of the same about thousands of years into the future where they undoubtedly would still be around.

It was rather ironic to have discovered along the way that Western movies indeed played a part in the definition as well.

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare , melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance , and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space , it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons , and other sophisticated technology . The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms ” soap opera ” and ” horse opera “, the latter of which was coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies.

So I have opted to begin my space opera adventures with a pair of twin sisters who are also witches of a very different sort between them who inadvertently find themselves in a situation that quickly becomes catastrophic along with an odd plot of sorts that although it does not initially involve them directly, quickly pulls them into a web of intrigue and danger even further from home than they would have liked to have been otherwise.

During their journeys they will discover an interesting cadre of aliens who will help them understand perhaps what and where they are along with why and how it was that they may have gotten there.

It has become as fun writing about what may be available in the future as it is with what technological wonders were available in the mid to late 1800’s while I map my own technological path.

As linked from images above and below you can find my Work In Progress as it is built, although beware of splinters and possible rewrites as the story progresses.

One additional benefit for my Weird-Wild-West series is that when I develop something in the future that may need of a history of sorts I can play into it in the past in some situations where it may have also been around in the Weird Wild West.

Bob Sellers JR

Now also available is Dead-Men Hanging as well.

Nooks & Two Covers

While I was able to publish a book with two covers in both print and e-book for Amazon and other retailers through Creatspace, apparently Smashwords does not allow such to occur…

Go figure, right?

So if you are looking for both versions of the cover for your nook or other device that is NOT a Kindle, unfortunately there will be only one version at a time as I would have to unpublish one and then publish the other which undoubtedly might cause issues with their terms and conditions.

E-Books and Ultimate E-Book Creator

Thanks to a new tool that I recently discovered, Ultimate E-Book Creator, I was able to create and publish the e-book versions of Blood-Spatter in a far more timely fashion than I originally expected.

I really enjoy this tool as it makes it a one stop shop for file format conversions whether its epub or mobi.

If and when you consider publishing your first or next e-book, consider trying this tool as it made my efforts much more enjoyable than they had been previously.

Web Page and Updates

Web pages (and blogs for that matter) can be as much fun  as crafting a story, although to be honest there are just way too many ways that things can be put together along with the opinions that abound on which way is better, one over another.

Fortunately WordPress makes it fairly easy to organize and present whatever someone may want to present and how they can do it.

Recently I’ve come to realize just how complicated, albeit initially well intended, that my websites had become, so that I was able to simplify and organize both of them to present a whole lot better on both a computer screen as well as on my phone and other mobile devices.

Many people who start out designing websites forget (much like I did to some extent) how important it is for a website to fit on that itty-bitty screen. The advantage of course is that when you want to access something quickly and you’ve designed it properly it works much better than it would have previously.

That being said, I’ve adopted the same format (Twenty-Sixteen) within WordPress for both my Author website as well as my BBQ website and hope that going forward it will present both itself and what tools that I hope to list as suggestions for others who might also find them useful in either place.

While I had become partial to and preferred the format and layout of the Zombie Apocalypse theme, the process of keeping things organized between them became far more work than it was worth and it did not present as well as I would have liked on the small screen.

Websites should never become stale for very long and mine will continue to grow and get better as it is tweaked and updated.

Book Updates

Speaking of growth, I’ve held off on publishing the e-book versions of my short stories while I work to complete the next two books in my Weird Wild West series so that I can then focus on the e-books together at the same time.

Blood-Born is nearing completion and I’m hoping to have it published this Summer with Dead-Men Hanging following not that long afterward.

Figured I’d give an update to keep my Blog fresh as well 8)

Back In The Saddle

Well, after an overly extended break where I took the time to retool parts of the next books, I have finally managed to come up with what will be the end of book four which had been nagging me for over a decade.

That being said, the book of short stories are now in the process of being massaged and edited for release sometime in the next week or two.

More to come as the break is over and the work is begun once again 8)

The Holidays are Here!

One of the most difficult time to find time to be creative is during the Holiday season that starts just before Thanksgiving and lasts through New Years.

Why? Well, for starters – family obligations, Black Friday and the preparations for Christmas that are and can be a LOT of work for everyone involved.

And not to mention the New Years fun.

Which brings up yet more fun: what does one want for Christmas this year?

For myself, I found a great option using my Amazon Store to give a central point for tips that family could visit as a starting point should they need one.

The best thing one could have is family, friends, and of course fans who enjoy your stories. Without any one of those there wouldn’t be an ability to be creative.

Hopefully this holiday season finds you and yours healthy and wise and safe among your family, friends and fans as well.

How to backup your Amazon aStore and why.

storefront1One particular benefit of the Amazon Associates program is the ability to create your own on-line store that contains links to Amazon products of your choice.

Having access to such an on-line store can and does greatly benefit both you and those that you may list through purchases that occur when people who visit your store choose to purchase the products listed therein.

While you won’t earn a percentage of each particular sale from your store directly, you will manage to earn a small percentage of sales in their entirety each month that your store is open and available.

You can spend countless hours, days and even weeks creating a layout that contains links to products categorized and organized as you wish along with how you want them to be presented to those that may visit your website.

wp1WordPress even has methods to incorporate your store into their various themes that allow them to seamlessly integrate into your website.

Once you are done your store can add much content and opportunity to your website.

backup1At this point it may be a good idea to consider making a backup of your links, just in case.

Of what, you may ask?


closed1Well, in the event that you happen to run afoul of the terms and conditions of the Amazon Associates program, there is a good chance that your store account will be terminated and you will no longer have access to your store.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that your store is gone, it simply may mean that you no longer have access to modify or update it.

Once the dust settles as to why you may have incurred such a closure, you will need to create a new store to replace the old.

Backing up your store as you create or update it will make this process much easier as you can load lists of ASIN numbers quickly and easily to rebuild a category should you need to.

Within the aStore console you simply do the following:

  • select a category
  • select ‘Add products’
  • select ‘Upload a List’
  • select the second tab, ‘View All ASINs’
  • select ‘Highlight ASINs’
  • right click and select copy
  • open a file of your choice – I happen to use text files – paste the list and save the file.

At this point you now have a backup of that particular category. Should the need arise  you can import that list and have it look the same as when it was backed up.

It should also be pointed out that if you were to add or remove items, you should also update the backup file(s) accordingly.

A second method, should you find your aStore closed but still available, would be to go through each link within a category of the old store and paste the links into a file.

Each link will have the ASIN number at the very end where you can trim each line and have the same list that you would have had were you to have gone through the previous backup procedure.

storefront1While many may scoff at the necessity of such efforts, should you find yourself in the situation that I recently did — it will pay dividends as you work to recreate your store.

When Amazon closes an aStore, it is not possible to reopen it and you have to reapply and create a new one.

wordpress-backupHopefully now, should you happen to have an aStore, you will know a couple ways to make a backup and feel more confident that you won’t have to start from scratch if the occasion should arise that you were to lose access to it.