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Vance Kessler

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About Vance Kessler

  • Birthday March 30

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  1. Sorry, I should have mentioned that I saw that forum. I was wondering if there were smaller groups where the members could get to know each others styles and work a little more intimately.
  2. Thanks. I learned a hard lesson with this being my first time I did a book launch. MAKE SURE your advanced copy readers mention they got an advanced copy in their review. I had 3 people tell me they had reviews blocked and they cannot leave another review because they failed to do so. I fear others were blocked and didn't tell me.
  3. Are there any critique groups to join here? I recently self-published my 9th book but have only used beta-readers, so far. I'd like to join a more focused critique group supporting Christian, science-fiction-ish themed books. I have read (and tried to implement things from) many books on writing over the years and think I could help improve other author's work too. Not saying I'm better than other authors but that I might see things from a different perspective. My latest book was just released My First 10,000 Years in Heaven. If you want to contact me privately,...
  4. I just released My First 10,000 Years in Heaven. I'm doing a Amazon promo, so you can get it for free Mon (10/13) through Wed (10/15). I'd love it if you'd grab a copy, read it, and leave a review. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GJRRX3G Description: Would you want to skydive in Heaven? My First 10,000 Years in Heaven is an astonishing tale of one man’s first years in Heaven, exploring the wonders our eternal home might hold. What will he feel when he encounters our holy God and Jesus? How will his mistreatment of his family on Earth affect his life in Heaven? What will he find as he explores God’s vast new creation? How will he interact with the members of his enormous, diverse, new family? What capabilities of his resurrected body will he discover? Which animal friends will he make? What you won’t see him doing is sitting on clouds or strumming on harps. My First 10,000 Years in Heaven is a Biblically-based tale that will increase your desire for what God is preparing for our eternal home.
  5. I hate to say it, but as an author, especially a Christian author, you need to expect negative feedback. Sometimes that feedback is correct and points out things you should change, but it can also be Satan trying to dissuade you from something that will be a blessing to you and hopefully others. I'm not saying your friends are tools of Satan, but he can plant thoughts in anyone's head. It can be difficult to discern whether advice is helpful or is Satan trying to hold you back from doing something worthwhile for the kingdom. I've had more positive feedback on my fiction books than my non-fiction ones. And not just about the story line or how interesting it is but about how it has helped them see God in different or bigger ways. You can touch others spiritually and intellectually through fiction and more people are willing to read fiction. I say move forward because, if nothing else, your faith will be strengthened from this endeavor. My faith has benefited greatly from writing my books even if my wallet hasn't. May God bless your efforts, Vance
  6. Another software developer here trying to do my best at writing. I'd describe myself as an organized pantser. I start with a good idea of flow but often alter that as the story develops a life of its own. For me, I always start with a concept about God that I want my readers to better understand. I feel fiction is a good vehicle for that because I can drive them down some twisty and interesting roads to get them to my main destination without them ever knowing they were learning something along the way. So, I decide what I want my readers to know about God and come up with a situation that would best illuminate that aspect of Him. I then come up with a few interesting possible twists that will make the story interesting. At that point, I sketch out a VERY high level outline of the flow. The next step for me is coming up with characters that would be interesting in that flow, and if necessary, tweaking the flow to better allow the characters to fit in. I come up with quite detailed descriptions of my characters and a life history for all my main characters. A great book to help with this and balancing w/plot is Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke. I then fill in a little more of the outline to have a pretty good idea of the flow, focusing a good bit on the beginning the ending. Sometimes I'll write short descriptions of key scenes I want to take place and what needs to happen in each to move the plot forward. I'll write a quick couple of chapters and then jump to the end and write the last chapter. I know these will be tweaked, but doing this helps me get a feel for how the characters move and breathe and the start and destination of their journeys. The last chapter is where I pull together all the threads to help get the idea across about God that I intended when I started, usually, without explicitly stating it word for word. Writing the last chapter early helps me know what needs to happen in the book to get there.
  7. That's my plan. I am a software developer and wrote my own website. I will add a section for my blog posts, hopefully soon.
  8. With an actual job, writing, and a wife, I don't have time for social media. Besides, does it make a sound if you write words and no one is there to hear it? I might build to that, but I'm trying to maximize the time I spend right now. I am working on recording an author promo for the book and will post that to YouTube (and of course my website). That will be another new thing for me.
  9. I have a website, the link was in my post, but not obvious I guess. https://VanceKessler.com, and a blog http://vancekessler.blogspot.com/.
  10. I'm launching my next book on Oct 1st: My First 10,000 Years in Heaven. This is the first time I've done an actual launch. I just quietly released my previous books. I have emailed 93 folks asking them to be advanced readers and to leave a review on launch day, and 22% said they would, so far. I got that tip from one of the articles I read about book launches. Any other tips you guys can give me for a decent launch without spending a lot of money? Thanks
  11. A meat replacement was my first thought. Many SF authors use meat substitutes to avoid this issue or to account for scarcity. However, it would be more interesting to have cows to throw around when the anti-gravitation mechanism fails.
  12. I just posted a review on Amazon. I liked it. I am messaging you some additional info.
  13. There is no difficulty in writing Christian themed stories or clean stories that contain Biblical concepts. The problem I see is holding to Biblical truths like Romans 6:10 when addressing the concept of intelligent life on other planets and how those beings relate to the death of Christ. It raises questions that can be tricky to address. For me, it is more important to get those aspects correct rather than the science. There are, of course, other barriers like the one you mentioned about agents, as well.
  14. Sorry, I didn't mean you were. I just didn't want you to think I was. :)
  15. I reality, I don't think Jesus lived anywhere other than Earth either, but i am writing fiction. I don't want to get into a theological debate, but personally I believe that made "in Our image and Our likeness" means we are created as loving, creative, moral beings. I do not think we look like God because "God is spirit" (Jn 4:24) and most likely has no physical form at all. Which is another good reason not to try to create an image of Him to worship. That gives us a lot of freedom as fiction writers.
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