Category Archives: Fiction

Branch & The Wheel of Time

my birthday gift to myself just arrived! #wheeloftime
I popped over to Branch this morning to check it out and posted this. I’m embedding it here with the embed code that Branch provides, but it doesn’t seem to be working:


I’m waiting to see if anyone else just naturally responds to it based on me tweeting it and posting here without having to invite someone specifically to the conversation.

In any case, I pre-ordered the hardback of A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time (Tor Hardcover)), the 14th and final book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and now by Brandon Sanderson who has been concluding the series after the author’s death). I had sort of stopped ordering any paper books for the past year or so, going all digital all the time (at least for all non-art books), but with my birthday happening on Friday, I thought I should go ahead and indulge in this book. Every book in the series has been close to 1000 pages and I’ve read all of them. This is the 14th and final. I started reading them back when I was in high school, I believe (or maybe it was early college). I was a different person back then than I am now. The book is different too and I thought it would make a good topic to discuss on Branch and get feedback from others who have been reading these books for more than a decade. We’ll see.

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My talented wife, Kristin Sample’s new book, North Shore South Shore

When Kristin and I moved to LA back in 2007 while I was working at Mahalo, she left her dance instructor job, started blogging for TV Squad, became a Lead Blogger for TV Squad shortly thereafter, and one afternoon when I returned from work said, out of the blue, “I think I’m going to work on the novel I’ve been thinking about writing for the past 5 years.” She then pulled out a yellow note pad that was filled with character descriptions, notes, etc. I asked her, “Where have you been keeping this?” Her: “In my head. I just filled this out today.” She then spent the next year writing and rewriting the full extent of this novel. She workshopped the rough drafts of the novel with the Mahalo Writer’s Group (an after work group of Mahalo employees who liked to write fiction and screenplays).

Then we moved back to New York in 2008, I started with Crowd Fusion, she started back teaching English in the Bronx, we had Jackson, and things were very very busy for a few years. Over this period, Kristin kept saying, “I need to finish rewriting my book this summer” and “I need to finish revising my book and we just need to publish it on the Kindle.” Kristin decided to stop teaching at the end of the Spring semester so that she could spend more time with Jackson, and as soon as summer started, she started revising her book and attacking it like it was her job full force. She contacted multiple agents, started a Facebook page, started promoting the book, and finished revising it. She’s had multiple requests for samples and multiple requests for full manuscripts and multiple responses to her manuscript that were positive and included positive feedback and notes for improvement, and Kristin, like the amazing professional she is, took the criticism to heart and went to work rewriting the novel yet again with their feedback.

We will be publishing her novel, North Shore South Shore (you can read a few chapters online now), on various ebook formats this fall and we’ve just put together and launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish a limited run of the novel to trade paperback. Here’s the video that we put together this past weekend (make sure you watch the bloopers at the end):

If this sounds like your type of book, please contribute. If you know someone who this book sounds like it might be their type of book, please tell that person about it. If you just know me and bothered to read this far or if you enjoyed the video, please spread the word. All help and good vibes appreciated. I’m hoping this is a huge success for Kristin. She deserves it.

Bibliotech: Mark Jeffrey speaks with Otis Chandler, Goodreads founder and CEO

My good friend Mark Jeffrey, the CTO of Mahalo and author of The Pocket and the Pendant, is hosting a new online video show about books and technology: Bibliotech.

On the first episode, he speaks with Otis Chandler, the founder and CEO of Goodreads, which is a great social networking site for people who love to read. If you sign up for it, make sure you add me as a friend, so we can compare books. The show is interesting, because they not only talk about books, but they talk about emerging publishing models of ebooks, new technical innovations like the Amazon Kindle, the rise of e-ink readers, book piracy, and how the rise of online media has removed the power once held by the New York Times Book Review to make a book an instant best seller. The first episode of Bibliotech is embedded below:

Mark, you should be a guest on Let’s Talk Lit! and discuss your books and things like the recent announcement that Scribd will be getting Simon & Schuster titles.