Category Archives: Writer Tips

Way of the Warrior: Conduct

Art Work by Eric Guerrero
Art Work by Eric Guerrero

Interesting fact: The longest bronze-age sword measured out at seventeen inches. Longer swords used on foot left the  warrior open to attack in close quarters.  DC

Way of the Warrior
: Code of Conduct  (Author Unknown)

Way of the Warrior: Content - If these sound like the Boy Scout Rules of Conduct, you wouldn't be far wrong. If the warrior in your novel has no flaws, he or she wouldn't be very interesting. Bring depth to your character by giving the warrior failings to overcome. While the warrior may strive to improve, he or she may not. DC


Be acutely honest throughout your dealings with all people. Believe in justice, not from other people, but from yourself. To the true Warrior, there are no shades of gray in the question of honesty and justice. There is only right and wrong.


A Warrior has no reason to be cruel. They do not need to prove their strength. A Warrior is courteous even to his enemies. Without this outward show of respect, we are nothing more than animals.


Rise up above the masses of people who are afraid to act. Hiding like a turtle in a shell is not living at all. A Warrior must have heroic courage. It is absolutely risky, It is dangerous. It is living life completely, fully, and wonderfully. Heroic courage is not blind; it is intelligent and strong.


A true Warrior has only one judge of honor, and this is himself. Decisions you make and how these decisions are carried out are a reflection of whom you truly are. You cannot hide from yourself.


Through intense training the Warrior becomes quick and strong. He is not as other men. He develops a power that must be used for the good of all. He has compassion. He helps his fellow man at every opportunity. If an opportunity does not arise, he goes out of his way to find one.


When a Warrior has said he will perform an action, it is as good as done. Nothing will stop him from completing what he has said he will do. He does not have to "give his word." He does not have to "promise."


For the Warrior, having done some "thing" or said some "thing," he knows he owns that "thing." He is responsible for it, and all the consequences that follow. A Warrior is immensely loyal to those in his care; to those he is responsible for, he remains fiercely true.


Cover Artists Series - 1

Cover Artists Series - 1

I've often seen posts on various social media asking for advice on getting a book cover done. I will showcase artists who will produce a cover for up to $700.00, as this artist will do. Some artist charge less. The main purpose of these posts is to show artists' work in different price ranges so the writer might make an informed decision on what is available to them within their budget.

The first artist is Trevor Smith. (  He is an award winning artist, highly educated in art and who not only does book covers using 100% digital techniques, but is also a Fine Artist specializing in nature and landscapes, although those pieces cost much more.

Trevor did not do my covers.

As always, it's my desire that this series will provide value to my fellow authors. Dameon

Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith
Trevor Smith


These tend to be on the dark side of books. Of course, Trevor can be light and airy depending on what is needed.


Warfare for Writers - 2


I attended the World Fantasy Convention 2014 and I was fortunate to attend a presentation by Timons Esaias on Warfare for Writers. He graciously agreed to allow me to use his material for this blog, which covers ancient to modern eras. Timons is a great speaker and he is well known as an expert in the field of Warfare. I can’t thank him enough for his kindness and help. I hope he doesn’t mind my placing a few comments in the material.

The main classifications of military units and warriors

[These are the common types as they have existed in the "gunpowder era", which is roughly the last 700 years. Some of these types are already fading into history, some (like infantry and cavalry) have existed almost since war began.]

Land Units

Type Definition What individual is called
Infantry (Army) Infantry is the name for warriors who fight on foot, and generally arrive at the battlefield on foot, carrying their own weapons. ("Mounted Infantry" ride to battle, but fight on foot.) infantryman, soldier
Cavalry Warriors who arrive at the battlefield, and also fight, on the backs of animals (horses, camels, elephants, etc.). We now use the name for units using light, fast vehicles, including ("air cavalry") small helicopters. trooper, cavalryman
Dragoons Warriors who are both cavalry and infantry. They are trained to fight both mounted and dismounted. trooper, dragoon
Artillery Warriors in the artillery fight using projectile weapons too large for one person to carry.   They work in "crews," hence the term "crew-served weapon." They are not (generally) extensively trained to fight without their specific weapons. artilleryman, cannoneer (if using cannon, of course), artillerist

 Naval Units

Navy Warriors who fight at sea, aboard boats and ships sailor; seaman; also sometimes distinguished by the type of vessel, as in submariner
Marines This is a special unit of navies, basically infantry that is carried on board ships. They operate first as the police force for the ship. They can defend the ships in ship-to-ship combat and board enemies, or can also go ashore for land engagements. Marine (but NOT soldier)
Naval Infantry These are sailors trained to fight as land units, generally to man and defend coastal fortifications or port defenses. This often puts them in the role of artillerists. (They differ from Marines in not being trained to fight on ships, or to police ships. If moved by sea, they travel in transports, not warships.) sailor

Air Units

Air Force Warriors who fight in airplanes and helicopters, and sometimes zeppelins. Also includes the considerable number of people who provide ground services for this effort. (Most members of any air force don't actually fly in combat.) airmen

And Then There's

Coast Guard Many nations have them, but what they are varies considerably. In some countries they are people who protect the coastline, from on the shore. Often they are not an armed military unit at all. They may also rescue wrecked ships. In the US, they are another Navy, charged with rescue operations, drug inspections, buoy maintenance, river patrols, and ice-breaking. In WWII they drove landing craft, and in Iraq they patrol the Shatt al-Arab.

Nota Bene: These definitions are NOT absolute. I can think of a long list of exceptions to every single one on this chart, but they work in general. A reason for these "exceptions" is that units and forces tend to mutate over time, like the cavalry no longer having horses, even though that was once the very definition of that term. Everybody likes to try to do everything, too, so the US Army, for instance, has its own little navy, and its own air force. The Navy has an air force, and the Marines, though really part of the Navy, have their own air force, too, and bits of their own navy.

These terms are sufficiently generic (in English) that you could get away with using most of them in whatever culture or time you are portraying. But it's best not to assume too much, and to actually do the research to find out how things were done, and what they were called, in that culture. The permutations may amaze you ... and give you colorful details to employ.

This list also doesn't include the endless list of units and jobs with names like gunner, sapper, engineer, grenadier, bombardier, vedette, hussar, airborne and on and on.



Tips for Writers - Biggest Mistakes on Amazon

These are a few comments to help market your book on Amazon. Short, and I hope, sweet Tips for Writers.

  • You need an Author's Page, Amazon Author Central.
    • Get your own Author URL
    • Bring in Twitter
    • RSS Feeds
    • Update your bio and your picture
  • Describe your book
    • Use Keywords and phrases a reader might search on
    • Keep it a blurb on your book, not other things like reviews.
  • Reviews
    • Don't hide your reviews where they don't belong, like in your book blurb
    • Use the Review section of your Author Central page
  • Let readers see your work
    • In a book store, you can leaf through a book, use the search option for that purpose on Amazon
    • Don't overlook this selling technique, - it works
  • Get real reviews
    • Don't use a poorly written review, use pro quality
    • The friends' and families' ultra short reviews don't get it done