Renamed Blog, Refreshed Design

Attending WordCamp always gets me thinking about ways to improve my website. With Tuesday’s release of WordPress 4.7, I decided it was time to apply a fresh lick of paint to the site. And here you have it — cleaner, darker… classier. And it looks good on mobile, too! I keep finding little things to tweak, but have a look around and tell me what you think!

I’m also excited to reveal a new and shorter web address for the blog: watchadam.blog. That’s right — no www, no dot-com. Isn’t that easy to remember? (Don’t worry, adambenderwrites.com will still get you here!)

Just for fun, here’s a list of names that I’ve called my website over the years:

  1. Adam Bender’s Cool Stuff – I’m not entirely sure, but I think this was the name of the pointless website I made as a kid in the ’90s on Angelfire, which was a free website making tool. It had a hits counter. ‘Nuff said.
  2. Adam Bender Interactive – During high school, I got into game development pretty hard with Klik & Play (and later iterations of Clickteam software). Anyway, my “company” was called AB Interactive.
  3. Stridersoft – I later found people to make games with me (but I don’t think we ever actually released anything as a team). A guy on the team pitched this name and I thought it sounded cool. Didn’t realize it was a Lord of the Rings reference at the time.
  4. Faded Wave – Once I figured out the game dev team thing wasn’t working out, the site became Faded Wave, which also sounded cool, but refreshingly wasn’t a LOTR reference. I started talking about all my projects, including a little novel called We, The Watched.
  5. Adam Bender Writes… – The most recent iteration. The idea really was to bring my name back into it, because people were all like, “Faded Wave? Is that a hair style for balding men?” NO! IT’S NOT!

Anyway, hope you enjoy the new look!

Time keeps pushing me on now

So here’s an end-of-summer jam you may not have heard. It’s “El Matador” by the band Semisonic. Yeah, those guys who did “Closing Time” and “Secret Smile.” This one is off their severely underrated follow-up, which was their final LP as a group.

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end. Also hard to believe this was my first full American summer since 2011. My wife and I moved to Australia at the start of summer 2012, which meant that it was winter there. We came back at the end of (American) summer 2015, got a lick of the sun, then dove straight into the autumn leaves.

I’ve had a productive year since returning to Philadelphia. After regaining my bearings (I can order a “coffee,” and no one asks what kind!), I spent the first few months doing freelance work for Technical.ly Philly and a few other places. I made a brief sojourn to India (and wrote a tech story about it). In March, I got a full-time gig at Communications Daily as their Philly-based states reporter.

On the creative side, I finished writing my third novel, had it analyzed by a Bat-editor and started pitching it to agents. I’m really excited to have you read it and hope to have a better idea of the release date by the end of this year. In the meantime, I wrapped up a screenplay of We, The Watched and a few new short stories. Speaking of my debut novel, you may have seen that I received an excellent review from Kirkus. And then an even better review of the sequel, Divided We Fall. That was pretty cool.

Lately, I’ve been looking with anxiety at my long-sleeve shirts. Soon I will get/have to wear them. We’re racing toward winter and the year 2017. I don’t know exactly what the new year will hold, but my aim is to make it a big one. As Semisonic sings in their end-of-summer classic: “Time keeps pushing me on now, and I’ll ride this wave to the end.”

P.S. If you like my novels, check out the show Mr. Robot. It’s a tech-fueled dystopian rush.

Kirkus Reviews: Divided We Fall Delivers on Promise of ‘Riveting Debut’

I’m excited to announce that Kirkus Reviews has followed up its rave review of my novel WE, THE WATCHED with a stellar review of the sequel, DIVIDED WE FALL.

You can check out the full critique over at Kirkus, but here’s a quick taste:

… a gripping dystopian narrative … Bender’s sequel is a worthy delivery on the promise of his riveting debut.

A novel about a scheming president offers an excellent read for those who love thrillers or 21st-century history.

KIRKUS REVIEWS

If you haven’t read DIVIDED WE FALL yet, check out this page for a list of stores where you can buy it in digital ($3.99) or paperback ($13.99). You can also get WE, THE WATCHED for FREE by joining my mailing list! And check out “Fire Eyes,” a short story that ties into the series.

DIVIDED WE FALL picks up on the events of WE, THE WATCHED. With the nation under attack, Agent Eve Parker must find and arrest her fiancé, who has lost his memory and become a revolutionary named Seven. However, when Eve learns more about the President’s plan to broaden citizen surveillance, she begins to question just who is right.

I hope you enjoy the book and look forward to reading your review!

Bender Novels Featured in SELF-e Indie Pennsylvania

Now free at your library!
Now free at your library!

As a local Philadelphia author, I’m thrilled to announce that SELF-e is now featuring my novels WE, THE WATCHED and DIVIDED WE FALL in its Indie Pennsylvania collection.

SELF-e is a curated collection of self-published works by Library Journal and BiblioBoard, and is available to participating libraries across the county. Because I’m from Philly, my books will be featured prominently in the Pennsylvania Indie collection. When you visit a library in any state that has BiblioBoard, you can access eBooks of my novels on library computers or on your personal mobile devices by downloading the BiblioBoard app from the Apple, Google or Amazon app stores. Since you’re getting them through a library, the books are free to borrow, though the app includes a Buy link if you’d like to add the eBook or paperback to your personal bookshelf.

I’m excited to make my books available to new readers! If your library supports BiblioBoard, please let me know your experience finding my book. And if your library doesn’t have it, ask them to look into it!

And don’t forget, you can also get WE, THE WATCHED free by joining the Underground, my monthly mailing list for fans.

On pitching my Dystopian Western to literary agents

Cowboy with two guns
Philly Writing Workshop
Philly Writing Workshop

What a rush! On Saturday, I pitched two literary agents on my next novel, The Wanderer and the New West, at the Philly Writing Workshop. I also learned a great deal about the query process in a series of talks by Chuck Sambuchino from Writer’s Digest.

I’m excited to report that both of my pitches with agents went well, and I will follow up with them soon. While I can’t say for sure what will happen, it’s encouraging to get such a positive response to my novel’s concept.

Doing all that pitching forced me to hone my one-sentence pitch (a.k.a. “logline”). The Wanderer and the New West is a 100,000-word Dystopian Western about a gunman seeking redemption in a future America where the government has strengthened the Second Amendment and individuals make their own justice.

Hey, I’d read it.

Oh, and I guess this is a good time to tell you that editing is finished! Following two rounds of content editing, my editor Rachel sent me the final technical copy edits. And let me tell you, this thing is looking polished. If you are a writer, I cannot recommend enough the value of a good freelance editor.

If you want to keep up to date on the new book (and get my first novel for free), please join the Underground, my monthly mailing list for fans of my work. I can’t wait to share my new novel with you!