Sunday, September 27, 2020

More Updates

With the release of "Shards" fast approaching, I wanted to post a few, new updates. As with my similar post earlier this year, I'm going to divide things up into categories to call attention to specific items but by all means, have a look at everything as there's a bit of crossover this time.


As those of you who've already checked out the pre-order for the Kindle Edition of "Shards" may have noticed, that book is going to be available to read for free via Kindle Unlimited upon its release. As part of that process, I've had to remove my novelette, "Academic Displacement," from the Google Play and Apple Books stores since it is part of the "Shards" collection and one of the big requirements for inclusion in Kindle Unlimited is the content being exclusive to Amazon.

I definitely have some mixed feelings about this as I'm a big fan and supporter of competition in the business world, and the choices and benefits that such competitions often create for consumers. That being said, it's no secret that the vast majority of my book sales over the past three years have been via Amazon, which would seem to indicate that readers in general, or at least my readers, tend to prefer that platform when it comes to eBook purchases. As a result, I'm hoping this change will end up being a net positive for all concerned, making the story more easily and inexpensively available via the most popular venue.

Along those lines, I'll be looking very closely at the sales numbers for my first two novels over the next few months to determine if a similar arrangement would make sense for them. As many of you know, I recently updated "The Big Men" as part of an effort to improve the printing and binding of the paperback edition to make it more compact and less expensive to print, which in turn allowed me to lower the price of all editions of the book. For that project and for the time being, I decided to keep the eBook editions available on all three stores but that could well change in the future if participating in Kindle Unlimited has the effect I suspect it might.

I should also mention that a similar printing/binding update for "309" will be available soon, which will allow me to reduce its price as well. I'm hoping to have this done in time for the release of "Shards" but it may occur a bit later as I'm not quite as far along with that process as I'd hoped to be at this point.

All things considered, I'm still very happy with where things stand at the moment regarding my efforts as an author and I am beyond excited for everyone to finally get the chance to experience "Shards" when it's released on October 2nd.


I'm also excited to note that my YouTube channel has officially passed 200 subscribers! As you might expect, I'll soon be making a video about that and what I'm planning to do with the channel moving forward but for now, be sure to check out the two most recent "Why it's Awesome" episodes I've released since my last update if you haven't seen them yet.


Sadly, I've once-again made the difficult decision to stop regularly streaming on my Twitch channel after completing the 25th episode of my "Sunday Funday" live show earlier this year. As much as I enjoy doing that sort of thing, the views, both of the streams themselves and the VoDs after the fact, just weren't consistent or high enough to justify continuing with the project.

Moving forward, my plan for Twitch is to use it exclusively for special, one-off live events such as musical performances, interviews, and coverage/commentary of other presentations. Basically, I want to refocus my efforts on that platform to really emphasize the things it does well and the things I do well on it but that's admittedly going to take some time, and likely some more trial and error, to suss out completely.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Today, I'm excited to announce that the Kindle Edition of my first-ever, short-fiction anthology, "Shards," is now available for pre-order from Amazon!

The book, which contains seven, new stories in addition to my previously-published novelette, "Academic Displacement," will be released on October 2nd, 2020. It will also be available as a paperback via Amazon at that time.

As you might imagine, I'm absolutely thrilled to officially announce this collection, which directly ties in to various aspects of my previously-published novels and sets up several elements that will be referenced in future releases. New readers should note that "Shards" does all of this while simultaneously existing as a self-contained work in its own right as has been my tradition since publishing "The Big Men" back in 2017.

A lot will be happening between now and the new book's release, starting with the launch of my @shotterwriting Twitter feed today. Be sure to "follow" it for all the latest information about my written works, including announcements, giveaways, reviews, and more! Best of all, this new feed will be 100% focused on promoting my efforts as a writer, which will allow me to make more frequent tweets, specifically targeted at my readers. Ideally, this will eliminate the need to occasionally saturate my personal feed with marketing and self-promotion posts as I've sometimes felt compelled to do in the past, and should also help to focus and improve my overall presence on social media.

As always, a huge thanks to all my readers, who've helped to make this moment, and my continuing evolution as a writer, possible!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A Few Updates

Hi, everybody!

I wanted to take a few minutes to let you all know about a few recent developments, and talk a bit about some things that will be happening later this year. For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to divide this up into categories of information but by all means, do check out all the items as you may find something fun and interesting in each section that you weren't expecting.


As many of you know, my main writing project for 2020 is a short-fiction anthology that I'm planning to release before the end of the year. Work on that project started back in 2019 and I'll absolutely be making announcements regarding the new book throughout the year as I hit various production milestones.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to check out Jeyran Main's new review of my latest novelette, "Academic Displacement," the first story from the anthology, which I released early back in 2019.

Also, be sure to check out my recent interview and guest post at Meghan's House of Books!


Here, I really just want to thank all the new subscribers to my YouTube channel. It's always exciting to see that number steadily climbing, despite not being able to post new content as frequently as I'd like. That said, I have managed to release a new "Why it's Awesome" episode in 2020 and I'm looking forward to doing more there as time allows.


I've started streaming again over on my Twitch channel. The project is basically a little variety show called "Sunday Funday," where I play games, noodle around on my guitar, or do whatever else seems fun on a given day. I've done six episodes so far, which are all available as VoD's on my channel, or you can catch me live on Sundays, starting at 2PM EST for the foreseeable future.

That's it for now. As you might imagine, with everything else that's happening, I don't think I'll have much time for additional blog posts here this year but as I've said in the past, sometimes, the best way to convey a particular idea is through a blog post, so it's certainly not out of the question. In any case, as always, the best way to keep track of the things I'm doing is to follow me on Twitter as everything gets posted there pretty much as it happens.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

My Favorite Games of 2019

After much consideration, I've decided to make this my final, annual "favorite games" list for this blog. More on that in my next post. For now and as always, a game's absence from this list should not be taken as an indication of its quality.

Before I get into this year's PC games, I want to give a quick shout out to the one Nintendo Switch title I spent considerable time with in 2019, "Fire Emblem: Three Houses," which is quite excellent, and definitely worth a look for any SRPG fans out there who aren't already aware of it.

Without further ado, let's do this crazy thing one last time!

#10 - Hot Lava

At its core, "Hot Lava" is a very simple game about running and jumping one's way through a variety of obstacle courses and environments while the floor is literally covered in hot lava. Think first-person "Ninja Warrior," with a lot more fire!

#9 - RICO

With its arcade-style, first-person shooting, and 1980's, action/buddy-cop movie esthetics, "RICO" has a lot to offer those seeking a fun, co-op friendly experience that can range in difficulty from a casual romp to a challenging rampage.

#8 - Anthem

I know it's extremely fashionable to hate on this game, and I would absolutely agree that it spectacularly failed as a "live service" title in 2019; however, looking back on "Anthem" in terms of the fun I had playing through it with friends, I have to say that I found the overall experience enjoyable, despite its brevity and lack of staying power. I'm also genuinely curious to see what (if any) future "Anthem" may have as I do still find the premise and core mechanics of the game interesting and compelling.

#7 - Need for Speed: Heat

Prior to playing "NFS: Heat," I hadn't truly loved a "Need for Speed" game since 2010's "Hot Pursuit." While it comes up short of recapturing the glory days of the series in my opinion, I see "Heat" as a significant step in the right direction, and the most fun I had with a racing game in 2019.

#6 - Half Dead 2

I really enjoyed the first "Half Dead" when it was released back in 2016 and "Half Dead 2" improves on that effort in every measurable way. If you've ever wondered how your social circle would fare if deposited into a randomly-generated, puzzle maze of death, look no further than "Half Dead 2."

#5 - The Pit: Infinity

Procedurally-generated, rogue-like RPGs are a dime a dozen these days, but there's something about the way all the bits and pieces of "The Pit: Infinity" come together that make it one of the best, most fun games of that sort that I've played, particularly given its support for up to three players in co-op.

This game had a bit of a rough start when it was initially released out of Early Access, with copious, game-breaking bugs; however, its developers have really rallied in recent months to address those issues and bring the game much closer to its full potential. As of this writing, it's not quite there. Still, I now feel it's close enough to warrant its position on this list.

#4 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

As big fans of "Ghost Recon: Wildlands," my friends and I were all extremely excited for the release of "Breakpoint." Sadly, despite ultimately proving itself to be a fun, content-rich, and fulfilling experience, a slew of technical issues, some inconsistent and occasionally sub-par narrative elements, and a general lack of polish in certain, key aspects of the game such as its UI keep this one out of my top three for the year. "Breakpoint" is definitely a good game, especially now that it's been patched up a bit. For me, it just falls short of true greatness.

#3 - Remnant: From the Ashes

"Dark Souls" with guns, proper co-op, and randomized elements, you say? Yes, please!

I would have liked to have seen a bit more sophistication in this game's melee combat system to make it a more viable option in certain scenarios but that's honestly my only significant gripe with this one. If you haven't played "Remnant: From the Ashes," I'd highly recommend giving it a go, particularly if you've got a couple friends to help you attack the darkness.

#2 - Tom Clancy's The Division 2

Sometimes, the best thing you can say about a game is that it's the game its predecessor should have been. In a disturbingly-predictable fashion akin to the difference between "Watch Dogs" and "Watch Dogs 2," Ubisoft's "The Division 2" finally makes good on the original game's premise in a variety of meaningful and compelling ways. I haven't played enough of this title to say that it's a complete slam dunk from top to bottom, but the non-trivial amount of time I did spend with it in 2019 felt genuinely worthwhile and has left me wanting more.

#1 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

As a big first-person shooter fan, I've found the pickings a bit slim in recent years. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I haven't been truly blown away by the experience of playing any FPS since the glory days of "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" back in 2010. It's therefore no surprise how the 2019 reimagining of "Modern Warfare" took the number one spot for me this year, having completely captured my mouse-shaped heart, and the bulk of my gaming time over the past few months since its release.

Bottom line: If you love first-person shooters, this is one you should definitely play. If you have friends to play it with (or against,) all the better.

In closing, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who's made a habit of showing up for these lists over the past eight years. At this point, I think it's really unlikely that I'll be continuing this tradition in 2020 and beyond as my available time for gaming continues to shrink. Having said that, as with my YouTube and Twitch channels, gaming will always have a home here and you shouldn't be surprised to see occasional posts about games and my experiences with them on this blog in the future.