Orren’s news

News and postings relating to my writing life, and sometimes just life.

Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: 5 Girls Book Reviews

February 25, 2016

Another day, another Stinger and Bow blog tour stop! This time a review and an excerpt from Chapter 7 over at 5 Girls Book Reviews. My thanks to Arianna, 13, for reading and reviewing the book, and the whole team at the blog for posting both her thoughts and the review Be sure and give it a look!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: 5 Girls Book Reviews

Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stops: Two new reviews!

February 24, 2016

I’ve missed posting about a couple of tour stops. My bad! But for those of you following along, even if I’ve been too busy for a daily blog, the stops have all been Tweeted/Retweeted. That is one of the strengths of Twitter; it’s so effortless. However, that ends today! I’d like to direct you to two reviews of Stinger and Bow, freshly posted today: First is a review and an interview over at A Page To Turn Reviews.

read more about: Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stops: Two new reviews!

Blog Tour Stop: Candace’s Book Blog reviews Stinger and Bow

February 22, 2016

Another week, another stop on the Stinger and Bow blog tour! This morning I’d like to direct you to Candace’s Book Blog and her review of Stinger and Bow. She gives the most comprehensive review of the novel to date and still avoids spoilers, so if you’re curious please check it out. My thanks to Candace’s Book Blog for the tour stop and thoughtful review!

read more about: Blog Tour Stop: Candace’s Book Blog reviews Stinger and Bow

Another trip around the sun

February 21, 2016

Thanks to everyone who took a moment of their time to acknowledge the conclusion of my most recent journey around the sun, and to wish me well on my current one. Being completely sincere, the acknowledgments from people on social media are nice and welcome. I had a nice relaxing day. I got to tinker with some new toys and wrote the skeleton of a new song, which always makes me happy.

read more about: Another trip around the sun

Blog Tour Stop: A Review of Stinger and Bow

February 19, 2016

Another tour stop I’d like to direct you to: this one is over on Cover2Cover, and it’s a short review of Stinger and Bow. Lina (reviewer) had not read the previous three books first, so I appreciated that she jumped in! My thanks to Cover2Cover for hosting a tour stop, and I appreciate Lina’s thoughtful review!

read more about: Blog Tour Stop: A Review of Stinger and Bow

Happy 2nd Birthday Reilly!

February 19, 2016

Our little Irish wolfhound puppy isn’t so little anymore! Today Reilly turns two years old. Irish wolfhounds, like many larger breeds, develop slowly, so he’s really only just becoming an adult now. He’s reached his adult height—he’s three feet tall at the shoulder (which means depending if he’s hanging his head or holding it up high, he can seem even taller). He’ll probably still fill out over time, he’s a slender 135 pounds.

read more about: Happy 2nd Birthday Reilly!

Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: Bookhounds

February 18, 2016

Here’s the next stop along the Stinger and Bow blog tour I’d like to direct you to: over at Bookhounds, you can read an interview with me. Not a ton of questions but it was fun to do. Thanks to Bookhounds for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the interview a read!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: Bookhounds

Words and Music: My Stinger and Bow Playlist

February 17, 2016

As I’ve blogged previously, when I write, I use music to set the mood, to speak from the characters and to the characters, and to keep me focused. So before I start writing I begin a playlist for every novel. My playlist for Stinger and Bow posed a bit of a challenge. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to read that I don’t share too many musical preferences popular with thirteen-year-olds.

read more about: Words and Music: My Stinger and Bow Playlist

Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: SolaFide Publishing

February 17, 2016

Here’s the next stop along the Stinger and Bow blog tour I’d like to direct you to: over at SolaFide Publishing, you can read a Q & A with me that covers both myself and some thoughts about this novel and The Sedumen Chronicles in general. Thanks to SolaFide Publishing for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the interview a read!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: SolaFide Publishing

Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: Books for Thought

February 16, 2016

Here’s the next stop along the Stinger and Bow blog tour I’d like to direct you to: over at Books for Thought, you can read an excerpt from Chapter 9 of the book. Thanks to Books for Thought for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the excerpt a read!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Blog Tour Stop: Books for Thought

Stinger and Bow Tour Stop: Driftless

February 16, 2016

Here’s the next stops along the Stinger and Bow blog tour I’d like to direct you to: over at Driftless, you can read an excerpt from Chapter 7 of the book. Thanks to Driftless for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the excerpt a read!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Tour Stop: Driftless

Stinger and Bow Tour Stop: Coffee, Books, and Art

February 15, 2016

I said I’d be posting links to stops along the Stinger and Bow blog tour; here’s my first. Over on Sarit Yahalomi’s site, Coffee, Books, and Art, she is hosting an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the book. Thanks to Sarit for hosting a tour stop, and be sure and give the excerpt a read!

read more about: Stinger and Bow Tour Stop: Coffee, Books, and Art

My new novel Stinger and Bow is out!

February 15, 2016

Book 4 in The Sedumen Chronicles, titled Stinger and Bow, is now available!

While this is the fourth book in the series, it is the first book of a new story arc, and a good starting point if you’re new to the series. You’ll get a richer experience if you’ve read the previous novels, but it’s not necessary. Here’s my description of this novel:

read more about: My new novel Stinger and Bow is out!

Valentine’s Day Take Away

February 15, 2016

The whole Valentine’s Day/Anti-Valentine’s Day beef I have is that it puts undo pressure on being romantic/in a relationship—or on making a show of not caring about it, which is in fact just another way of showing you care about it.  If you’re not with someone, that’s okay. Even people with someone today were alone prior, or may be alone again one day. That’s the ebb and flow of life.

read more about: Valentine’s Day Take Away

A new look for orrenmerton.com!

February 11, 2016

My previous site design is from when I started writing The Sedumen Chronicles. With the first story arc trilogy complete, and the second one about to begin, I thought a redesign was in order. I was aiming for an uncluttered look and feel, and a site that was fast on mobile and desktop devices. I also wanted to simplify navigation and search. I think this design achieves all those things.

read more about: A new look for orrenmerton.com!

NAMM 2016—Trade shows aren’t dead

January 27, 2016

This is not about the new shiny I liked at the 2016 NAMM show. For that, see my post on my Ember After page. This is more my impressions of the show. I had long heard, read, and believed that trade shows, at least for tech companies, were on the way out. They were a fossil of the era when the only ways that companies could demonstrate products were to gather in one place, and the Internet had rendered them all obsolete.

read more about: NAMM 2016—Trade shows aren’t dead

Back to the NAMM — 2016 edition

January 21, 2016

It’s that time again—the NAMM show, the big shindig in which the music instrument (MI) manufacturers, marketers, and developers show off their wares to both retailers and everyone else who can score an industry-only badge. I go every year, which is no surprise, considering I work in this industry. I’ve rambled about going nearly every year, so let me just say that this year it almost snuck up on me. I think it’s because what with the new house, new puppy, and all that, it’s been quite a busy period here at Casa De Merton.

read more about: Back to the NAMM — 2016 edition

David Bowie has left the building

January 11, 2016

It is 11:47pm as I write this. I’m in a state of shock. I knew Bowie had stopped touring, but to the outside world, he’d seemed stronger than he’d seemed in years. He released a new album just a couple of days ago on his 69th birthday. But its confirmed: David Bowie died in his sleep today after an 18-month battle with cancer, surrounded by family. It doesn’t seem real, and it seems all too real, at the same time.

read more about: David Bowie has left the building

Lemmy and Me

December 29, 2015

Lemmy Kilmister saved my life. Okay, maybe that’s a little melodramatic. But high school is a pretty melodramatic time of life, and that’s how it felt to me. The situation was this: I was a 15 year-old, sheltered little nerd boy, starting huge new high school. Lockers were assigned alphabetically, and none of my friends had lockers anywhere near mine. As fate would have it, one of the punk rockers had a last name that began with “Mey” so his locker was pretty close to mine.

read more about: Lemmy and Me

Real Places in Firebird Vengeance: Western Medical Center

March 18, 2015

It’s been a while since I posted about Firebird Vengeance, book 3 in The Sedumen Chronicles, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight a major real location I use in the book. Alex and her companions find themselves on two occasions at a hospital. I could of course have invented a hospital but I like to think that by using real places, I help ground the fantasy in a more real environment.

read more about: Real Places in Firebird Vengeance: Western Medical Center

Leonard Nimoy has left for the Undiscovered Country

February 27, 2015

I was five years old when my dad sat me down in front of the tiny TV set on a bookshelf of his home office, and told me that I’d probably like this show called “Star Trek.” I immediately fell in love—I fell hard, and I fell for life. My first real work of art as a six-year-old child was a construction paper, glue, and crayon diorama of the bridge of the USS Enterprise, with Captain Kirk and Mr.

read more about: Leonard Nimoy has left for the Undiscovered Country

Firebird Vengeance: Police Commander Briefing

February 9, 2015

As part of the promotional materials for Firebird Vengeance that I created to promote the book to the YA book blog community, I wrote the text of a briefing given by a police commander to his officers. The idea of this piece is to give people a taste of what sort of events take place in this story, but from outside the perspective of our heroes. I thought you might enjoy it, so I’m reprinting it here.

read more about: Firebird Vengeance: Police Commander Briefing

From the Archives: Do Jews Choose Not To Write Fantasy?

January 16, 2015

One of the great joys of being a writer is when readers engage you about your work. In a discussion about the Jewish elements of Firebird Alex, an article written in 2010 positing that Jews don’t write fantasy was raised. In fact, on my other blog I had written a counter-essay. I am proud of that essay, and it’s not readily accessible anymore, so I thought I’d repost my nearly five-year-old essay on my current blog. It’s a little longer and more academic than my posts these days, so be warned, but if the subject matter interests you, enjoy!

read more about: From the Archives: Do Jews Choose Not To Write Fantasy?

Happy Passover!

April 18, 2011

Tonight begins the first evening of the Passover holiday, upon which we have our traditional Passover meal, called a Seder. Passover is a celebration of freedom, and it is a mitzvah (righteous act) to invite both Jews and non-Jews to partake in the meal—in other words, to enjoy freedom together. Seders are all different. Some have very religious, traditional Seders that take hours. Others have very modern Seders, putting freedom into a completely different context than the original Exodus tale.

read more about: Happy Passover!