Posted in The Forgotten Years, Writing Process

What Came Next Was Unspeakable

SharakturIllustrationFINAL2The people of Cygil have more to worry about than orcs and goblins. What came after was pure Madness. It threatens to overrun the Realm and consume everything and everyone. It cannot be reasoned with. It cannot be bargained with. It may not even be able to be fought.

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Posted in Writing Process

Progress!

I’ve been quiet here for a while. As I’ve said before, I only talk when there is something worth saying.

However, I also know that periodic updates are good. So here is one!

Descent Into Madness is nearing the halfway point of first-round edits. I’m telling you, this is probably my favorite book in The Forgotten Years series. There is a lot going on and the character development is monumental. Also, if you were missing Dalinil, I think you’ll be happy. I am thoroughly enjoying going back through this book and am even getting distracted reading it for fun when I should be editing!

The Last Available is getting some love when I can spare it. I may focus it down before starting The Forgotten Years, Book 4 [name redacted] because I am enjoying it so much! And, if I’m being honest, I think it might possibly become my most popular book when it’s released. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because I still have every chapter but six yet to write!

It’s been difficult to focus on writing and editing due to several things, but I so badly want to see these books finished, so my motivation is still really high!

Posted in The Forgotten Years, Writing Process

Let the Editing Begin

Two blog posts in the span of one week! You’d think I was taking this whole writing thing seriously!

I figured I’d pop in briefly to say that I have finished writing Descent Into Madness! However, before you pop the champagne and make a terrible mess that I’m going to have to clean up (and no glitter, please), this isn’t the end.

While readers are that much closer to finding out what happens to Cor’il and his friends, there is editing to be done! Yes, it’s a dirty word and I try never to speak of it, but it’s also necessary.

However, this means that there is a chance that Descent Into Madness will make it out into the world before the end of 2018–a possibility that I am very excited about!

Posted in Blog, Writing Process

An Author: What’s It Like?

“Oh, you’re an author? Are you rich yet?”

I have  been asked this question–in jest, of course. I don’t think anyone actually expects me to make millions of dollars off of my writing endeavors. I’m not saying I wouldn’t be happy to do so, but I am saying that it’s not likely.

You see, for a vast majority of authors, writing is a terrible business plan. It’s a trap–a losing proposition. Writing is most often a money sink and you will spend more money on your efforts than you will probably ever make.

But don’t despair! If you know this going in, you won’t be so surprised! Yeah, I know that’s not a lot of reassurance, but you’ve got to know that the Stephen Kings and J.K. Rowlings of the world are few and far between. Plenty of other authors make money off their writing, but they’re not in the same category.

Writing, in and of itself, is free. Pen and paper or word processor or whatever–most people have the supplies needed to write. Ideas are free. Imagination is free. Gumption is free! I’m still not sure what that is, but it’s free! If you have the skills and knowledge to make your own cover, you’re golden! If not…

Fork in the road! But let’s forget the book cover for now.

Go left: Spend no money and spam your message on social media. Show up to free author events with no fancy displays, business cards, or handouts except for your shiny personality. Very doable, but very, very rough.

Go right: Oh what a rabbit hole this is. There are all kinds of independent social media marketers out there, or you can pay Facebook and Twitter to advertise for you. Book stands, table covers, and other display items are good for personal appearances. Business cards and bookmarks are handy, too. Also, most events cost money to reserve a table.

And you’ll want to purchase author copies (if available) of your book to sell at events.

Oh, and before you publish, HIRE AN EDITOR! This isn’t cheap, but it’s absolutely necessary!!! Don’t skimp here, guys.

And how about that book cover? Can’t create one of your own? You’re going to need to hire someone to make you a snazzy cover. No, seriously, you will. Don’t half-ass this

Supplemental artwork like maps or characters? Those cost money.

How much will you make off each book? That’s all subjective, but we’ll say anywhere from $2 to $10. It’s a lot of work to sell books, and you HAVE to be prepared to sink some money into it, not knowing if you’ll ever make it back.

And, let’s say you make that money back.

When’s your next book coming out?

<rinse, repeat>

Posted in Blog, Writing Process

Ho Ho No

The holidays! Oh what a splendid time to catch up with family, be kind and generous and, of course, eat. I enjoy them, I really do!

Except, I also don’t. Now, before you call me a heathen and commit me to a mental facility, hear me out.

The holidays are busy. Even if you don’t think they’re going to be busy (and, if you don’t, you’re nuts), they are an insanely busy time. I’m talking “Crap, I was so busy I forgot to put on pants” busy. And, for me, this starts right around late September.

Because, for me, Halloween counts as one of “The Holidays.” So, at that moment, my thoughts generally become active around whatever holiday is coming up. Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving plans, Christmas shopping, not remembering what happened on New Years…you know, the usual.

And, because my thoughts become generally consumed by the festivities and related planning, my writing and creativity tends to suffer a bit. To say that my output is anemic during this time is to say the Death Star was just some mobile home. But imagine the yard flamingos!

It gets frustrating, though, because I love to write–It’s my getaway. But, during this time and for quite some time after, it becomes work. This means that I am more liable to find an excuse NOT to write and, instead, skip it and waste my time pursuing other activities. And “other activities” DON’T WRITE BOOKS!

And my brain continues inventing new ideas but my fingers aren’t keeping up. It’s like being on an assembly line, building widgets, but I have to go to the bathroom. No, wait…maybe not like that.

Anyway, it’s going to be rough for a while–in all areas, most likely. This is when I have to make sure to stay on task. “Descent Into Madness” isn’t going to write itself!

Not yet, anyway. Once a book can write itself, I’m out of my hobby. 😦

Posted in Blog, The Forgotten Years, Writing Process

The Eve of the Storm

I confess myself nervous.

Not the “I’ve robbed a bank and the cops are going to find me” nervous.

Also not the “I can’t sleep because Christmas!” nervous.

I’m somewhere in between.

Tomorrow, November 8th, my second book will be sent out into the wild. The Coming Storm will officially become real. I mean, real for everyone else. But that also makes it very real for me.

It’s worse this time around.

First of all, November 8th (tomorrow) marks The Call of Chaos’ first birthday, which I hadn’t even realized when I scheduled The Coming Storm’s release. So let’s show TCoC a little love!

With TCoC, there was no pressure. I wrote it, I released it, and I got a largely favorable reaction, for which I am eternally grateful.

So now, the second book. There’s expectation, no matter how small. It’s true, I don’t have thousands of reader fans. Shocking, I know. 🙂 However, readers have read TCoC and will read TCS. With that, there is a certain standard that has been established–a baseline–and I really REALLY want to exceed those expectations.

Am I confident that TCS will leave readers happy and wanting more? Yes.

And no.

I mean, what the Hell do I know? Am I happy with it? Oh Hell yes. I love it. I think it’s TCoC plus about a billion. The only way The Coming Storm could be better would be if it was on fire. And I always write for me first. But, make no mistake, I don’t want to produce a shitty product, and the “what ifs” creep in quickly.

So, on the eve of release, I sit and stew, waiting for readers to hopefully snag a few copies and rake the book over the coals where it will come out on the other side, still shining like a diamond that had been swallowed by a vindictive hellcat and pooped out onto an orc’s dinner plate.

Or not. That wasn’t a really great description. But, I mean, what the Hell do you think I am? A writer?

(Please enjoy The Coming Storm, releasing on November 8th!)

Posted in Blog, Writing Process

My First Book Signing

This weekend, I had the pleasure of being part of the local library’s Local Author Open House. I’m still very new at the whole author game, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The TL:DR version is, I met some really nice people (both authors and readers), and I learned some things about personal appearances.

I had both friends and family stop by to get an early copy of The Coming Storm. I was very happy to see them, and I thank them for supporting my author endeavors.

I did not, however, sell any books to anyone else. Is this a bad thing? No. Well, financially, it’s not great, but I didn’t go into this thinking “Oh man, I’m going to sell out of all my books and this will be fantastic!”

You see, people don’t go to libraries to buy books. At least, not on the spot. Several authors sold one or two copies but, mostly, we talked with readers, gave them our business cards, and hoped they were interested enough in us to look us up later.

I watched other authors and took mental notes, hoping to learn some things about personal appearances–which I did. I used the opportunity as a practice run of sorts–a way to get my feet wet and figure out what works and what doesn’t work for me.

It’s going to forever be a work in progress and I will continuously learn from each event. I’m looking forward to next year’s event as well as any other events in which I participate!

At the very least, I had plenty of practice with my damned elevator pitch!