Roxanne Bland

Just your everyday fugitive from reality.

Going For The Gold

The pre-publication reviews are coming in for The Moreva of Astoreth.

One editorial reviewer wrote, “Bland may very well be the Alice Walker of science fiction.”

Other reviews so far have been just as praiseworthy.

Fuck it. I’m going for the Nebula in 2022. The Nebula Awards are sponsored by the Science Fiction Writers of America. This is no pissant group–you can’t be a member unless you’ve sold a minimum of $5K worth of books. That’s a hella lot of books. Nebulas and Hugos (sponsored by another organization) are THE top awards for speculative fiction. Like winning an Oscar. So you know competition is fierce.

I’m going for the 2022 Hugo, too. With enough support, an author can win both for a single work.

If I win one or the other or both, my black ass will be on the freakin’ MAP. Authors who’ve won in the past have seen their book sales skyrocket internationally, and Hollywood, Netflix, HBO and others have come a-knockin’.

Got a lot of work ahead of me, getting the book in front of the right people.

I’m pumped.


Christmas Horror

It’s become a thing again, you know.

The British Victorians were big on it. Christmas was for ghost stories. Gather ’round the roaring fire, gas lamps on low–okay, maybe the lamps off for effect. Drawing room drenched in gloom, shadows thrown by the fire, wind moaning through the eaves, mice scurrying in the walls…

I suppose the only Victorian story that has really survived into modern times is Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Now we have Krampus. An obscure, Alpine creation–Victorian era, maybe–that has hit the big time. Sweeping bad children into his sack and then flying off to hell. Their parents probably didn’t miss them. One version has it that Krampus and Santa travel together. Santa brings the presents, Krampus the coal.

Pretty sure I’d have been swept into the sack.

The Moreva of Astoreth drops in less than 2 weeks. Twelve days, to be exact. Files uploaded to the sales platforms, copies out to ARC readers, now uploading to review sites.

It was a trip through hell to get to this point, though. In the middle of editing the galleys, my computer decides to head off to tech heaven. Rush to buy a new one (there went my December ad budget), get it set up. Up and running now, I go into the directory to find the latest TMOA files didn’t transfer. No .docx, no .pdfs, no .jpgs, no .mp4s, no nothing. Go into Dropbox, discover I hadn’t backed up in quite a while. Shit. Go into OneDrive.… Continue reading

The Show Is Over. Loser!!

The Loser.

You know your shit was bad when people around the world are dancing in the streets because you lost the election. The entire world–glad to see his ass gone.

This has been the craziest post-election bullshit I’ve ever seen. Then again, until now, there’s never been this kind of post-election bullshit. Par for the course for an overgrown toddler who’s got delusions of grandeur. Gonna run in 2024. Uh-huh. He’ll be as old as Biden is now. And Biden’s in much better shape. At least we’ll have a real government again. Speaking of government, my bet is that Harris is going to be the driving force, and Biden will do the politics. He’s very good at that–he knows how to play the game. He didn’t spend what, 35 years or whatever in the Senate for nothing. And don’t forget–he’s has the Obama aura. Biden might not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s smart enough to surround himself with very smart people. He won’t be led by the nose, but he’ll listen. And that’s what we need.

So now the “healing” begins, Biden says. We must forgive and move on. Ha! In a pig’s eye. Fuck that noise. Why the hell would I even THINK about forgiving these fools when they’re still spitting in my face and slinging death threats? Extend the olive branch. Riiight. These motherfuckers will just snatch it and rip it to shreds. They’re not interested in peace. They’re interested in remaking… Continue reading

Up, Down, And Spun Around

Feels like it, anyway.

So here we are, a few days away from the final two months of 2020. January 1 of this year feels like a lifetime ago. January 1, 2021 feels like a hundred years from now.

Keep on truckin’. Showing my age, there.

Nervous about the election? Me too. For the first time, I didn’t go to my polling place. I voted early. And dropped my vote into the ballot box. No shade on the Postal Service, but what with that asshole jacking around with mail boxes and such, I wasn’t taking any chances. I haven’t heard about any shenanigans around my way. Just because I haven’t heard doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, though. That Barrett woman has been confirmed to the Supreme Court. Like there was any doubt. It’s the height of hypocrisy. Four years ago, it’s “oh, we can’t confirm a new Justice before the election!” This time, it’s “we gotta get somebody in stat!” Last night, I dreamt Court was in session, and that woman was trying to explain something or other. Justice O’Connor was still on the bench, and rolling her eyes like Judge Judy. I was sitting behind the bar with my housemate. I leaned over and whispered, “the one time in my life I wish Scalia was here. He’d shut that bitch down in a New York second.” I still don’t understand what the hell is the matter with the Trumpers. They call the rest of us “sheeple.” They think themselves… Continue reading


Year-end coming soon.

So. I’ve finished my edits to The Moreva of Astoreth, and have sent the manuscript off to a real editor. I should have it back around mid-November. Assuming I haven’t fucked up too badly, I’ll plug in the edits (if I agree with them), and then send it off for the next stage in the production process. That would be the galleys. I’ll go over those and send it back to the formatter with any changes I may have made. Then they’ll make the book. And then…

PUBLICATION!! That’s scheduled for January 5.

Now. One part of the marketing process is to have people read Advanced Reader Copies and post reviews on the day of publication. Sometimes they’re called a “street team,” a term left over from pre-internet days. See, the way it works is the more reviews a new release has on the day of publication, the higher it gets ranked on Amazon. The higher the rank, the more exposure Amazon gives, like putting it “above the fold” on it’s New Releases page. Most other sites work this way too, but Amazon is the 800-lb. gorilla in the room. That’s why us author types ask that readers post reviews on Amazon.

If anyone out there is interested in being an ARC reader/reviewer, hit reply. The target dates for distribution is 12/15-20/20, and the review posted on January 5. The book will be available in all e- formats. I’m including the link to the Amazon page description.… Continue reading

I Read A Book!

No, really–I did!

Honestly, I can’t tell you the last time I read for pleasure. Day job, writing, marketing–there just never seems to be any time. And I used to be quite the reader. My to-be-read pile is a mile high, both in print and electronic. It’s said that you can’t be a great writer if you don’t read. I don’t know about that, but I see the point. I don’t feel guilty about not reading. I do feel left out when others talk about these great books they’ve read, and I can’t join the fun. Well, when I think about it, it’s not quite for “pleasure.” I look at the writing style. I think about the story, and the way it hangs together. Or not. I learn something about the craft. Hm. I wonder if the books I buy counts as a tax deduction. Be nice if I could pull it off. Don’t think I’ll try it, though. The IRS is pissed at me enough as it is.

So the book was the Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Science fiction author from China (as if you couldn’t guess by his name). Absofuckinlutely brilliant! He writes hard sf, which is a subgenre where the story is based on the known laws of physics. My books–the science fiction parts–are classified as science fantasy. Like faster-than-light travel. Life forms made of rocks. Which is a discussion in itself–if it doesn’t have a central nervous system or the equivalent, can it be… Continue reading

Been A While

Hey, y’all! Remember me?

Busy, busy, busy as a bee. Spent most of July getting ready to launch my pre-buzz campaign for The Moreva of Astoreth. Creating ads, doing test runs on BookBub, stuff like that. I also created ads for The Final Victim and ran those. Picked up about 25 new subscribers to the newsletter. Of course, some did unsubscribe. That’s fine, but it made me wonder–why bother subscribing when all you wanted was a free book, especially since you had the choice to get the book and not subscribe? Just seems like a waste of energy–you choose the book, get my welcome letter, then take the time to unsubscribe. It’s a little thing, yes, but it doesn’t make sense. Then again, a whole lotta stuff in the world doesn’t make sense right now. Like 160,000 Americans dead from COVID-19.

Started work on the 3rd book in The Underground series, Song for Mage. I’m also working on the sequel to The Moreva of Astoreth, When Gods Die. Yeah–2 books at once. The plan is to alternate weekly. If I can pull this off, maybe I’ll have both books ready to launch by next spring. When Gods Die has been sitting on my HD for 3 or 4 years. Got about 10K words into it when life’s bullshit started smacking me around. Still smacking me around, just not quite as much.

Joined a sf/f writers’ group that started on Discord. It’s cool, but I gotta learn… Continue reading

Author Stuff

Finished the 2nd pass for The Moreva of Astoreth. Waiting a bit longer to hit the 3rd and final, to let it simmer and then go over it with “fresh eyes,” as it were. After that, it’s on the to copy editor. After that, it’s done, and ready for publication. I’d scheduled to let it loose on the world in December, but had to push it back to January. Didn’t plan that part of the production process well enough. I know how to cure that, but it means I have to give myself self-imposed deadlines. Gaah. Then again, it gives me more time to generate “buzz,” the jargon for hype. Ads, blog posts, and all that. That’s kicking off August 1. Three venues lined up, ads created (I luurve BookBrush!) and more to come. That month, I’ll also start advertising on Amazon, maybe Goodreads (but they’re expensive), B&N, and more.

I’ve started work on The Underground III (no title yet), and I’m pleased to say that one character’s dilemma is scientifically feasible. I love it when that happens. I’ve been researching acoustics, and wanted to know if the sound of tones, as in notes on a piano, would change if the atmospheric composition was different than what’s on Earth. Yes, it does. An experiment with songbirds showed their songs sounded different when the atmospheric content was changed (but still breathable, of course). In this experiment, the notes were an octave higher. I’ll be playing around with it, but the basic… Continue reading

Happy Birthday! Fuckin’ Not!

My phone’s been pinging like a pinball machine. Friends on Facebook or text messaging to wish me a happy birthday.

I’m not responding.

Fuck that noise.

I do not want to be 60 years old (I want to be dead, but that’s another story). I want to be younger. Much younger. Like 45 years younger. It’s not about eternal youth, shit like that. It’s about life choices. Every year, every day, I’m reminded I should have taken the left fork, the road less traveled. I took the right instead, the superhighway that rushed me to exactly the place where I didn’t want to be.

When I was a teen, I remember telling myself and others that I didn’t want to work however many years at a job I hate until retirement. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. It’s funny–not long ago, someone told me I’ve had a good career. Brought me up short. I thought, “career? What career? I’ve had different jobs. I don’t have a career.” Then I realized. I’ve been doing this shit for longer than some people have been alive. And I’ve hated almost every minute of it. Almost, because there were fun times, times I enjoyed, but those were few. Mostly, I wished I was anywhere but here.

So here I am, nearing the end of my “career.” Every day, I wake up with the feeling I’ve wasted my life. Wasted it doing shit I don’t want to do, and not what I wanted to do.… Continue reading

Gag Order

This blog is about to get boring.

Got a company-wide email last week about the death of George Floyd and the protests. We were cautioned that regardless of our personal feelings, we should not express them on social media, not even on our personal accounts. That goes for blogs, too. To maintain credibility, to maintain the magazine’s reputation of non-partisanship, we have to be impartial in our writings. Everywhere.

I’m a journalist. I write a weekly column for the magazine. About taxes. Yep, you read right. Taxes. State taxes, to be precise. What that has to do with my personal political opinions (aside from that I don’t like to pay taxes), I’ve no idea. But the boss man said it, and until I can figure a way to make a living off this author gig, I need my day job.


So…what do I talk about? My books, yes. Books I’ve read, yes. Cosmology? Have to brush up on it, but sure. Maybe stuff I’ve seen on YouTube. Like, how to build a working car out of Legos.

Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a nice kitty.