AVIANS Cover Reveal

My publisher sent me a lovely surprise the other day. AVIANS is scheduled for an official launch on August 1st, but it’s available for pre-order now. You can find it at the Five Rivers Publishing website, at Kobo, and now at Kindle as well. Others will follow.

So, apart from pre-ordering, why visit those sites?

Well, at the Five Rivers Publishing site, you can not only see the cover and pre-order the book, you can also click on stuff about me. There’s an author profile, and now there’s an interview as well.

At the Kobo link, you can preview the book as far as the entire first chapter and a little more.

AVIANS will be available as an e-book and as a trade paperback (large format, soft cover).

I checked out the preview myself, because even I don’t have a copy yet. I found a couple more nice surprises. Way back when we were just exploring concepts for the cover art, artist Ann Crowe drew a sketch of Mel and Raisa. It was a very insightful drawing, and although it would have been tough to make it work as a cover, I loved it. I wasn’t sure if we could find a way to use it, so I’m delighted to see that makes an appearance inside the book. So do my little glider silhouettes. Book designer Éric Desmarais incorporated them as scene dividers, and found a font for the titles that complements them beautifully.


Can’t talk you into clicking on any of those links? Here’s a peek for the impatient.

I Hate Clichés With a Passion!

I work hard to avoid clichés when I write, because they can push the reader away. Sometimes I know I succeed, because I spot one during my self-editing process and eliminate it with extreme prejudice with a savage grin of satisfaction. At other times they slip through, or I’m not sure if a familiar phrase has crossed the line and become a cliché. In those cases I take a hard look at what I have written and ask myself if it really conveys my exact meaning, or if I am letting someone else speak for me.

Here are some that make me grit my teeth and throw the book across the room snap the book shut*:

#5: “Deal with it.” This is supposed to make the speaker sound badass or something. Usually it merely makes them sound dismissive and uncaring. And unoriginal. Even anti-heroes should be original.

#4: “You go girl.” Yes. Let’s empower women and girls, and support them when they speak up for what is right. I support the use of this phrase when there isn’t time to say more. Now can we please find a way to say it that speaks to the specific situation? Oh, and please be careful about calling a woman a girl when you are trying to show respect.

#3: “Lock and load.” Acceptable if you are Tom Clancy, or another author that writes dialogue about American soldiers preparing for imminent combat in the present day. Not acceptable in boardrooms, summer camps or literary genres like Western or SF. I write Science Fiction, and I will use this expression in stories about the future when they pry my red pencil from my cold, dead fingers no, I will never use this expression.

#2: “Let’s do this.” Let’s not. Most especially, let’s not pair it up with #3. William Shakespeare preferred “screw your courage to the sticking point.” Now there was a man who could put his meaning into original words.

#1: “Failure is not an option.” I’m pretty sure it is. I’m pretty sure the writer of it is failing as we speak right now. Deserves to be said only by characters who are noticeably stupid. Also deserves to be lampooned. “Computer, turn the air conditioning on.” Mechanical voice: “Air conditioning is not an option.”

Do you have a cliché that makes your skin crawl? you particularly despise? Drop me a comment!

*difficult with a Kobo. Please add this feature, plus smell of old paper. But keep the backlight.