Introducing “Paradise Lost”

So, I finally got the cover back for my second book, which should be out pretty soon if everything in my ebook formatting and stuff checks out all right. It was a long journey, much longer than I thought it would be. But I learned a whole lot from the experience and my publishing time between books should have improved a great deal as a result. Shoutouts to MNS art studios over at Fiverr.com for another awesome job.

Things to take away from this lengthy experience? Don’t get complacent. You can always improve and should continue to actively do so. And don’t forget that fact, even if you get caught up in all of the millions of things that go into publishing a book. Never forget to keep learning and improving.

To celebrate, I’ll be making my first book free for the five days I’m allowed to through KU. I won’t be tacking on any other additional promo sites, because the best advertising I can do is release the third book, I believe. Seems to be the magic number at which paid promotions begin to start paying off, though I’m considering waiting until the fourth and final book to actually do some promos and stuff. I’ll share the results here.

See ya then!EB (2)

A Farewell to Nano. And also a look at what’s to come.

So, it should come to no surprise to anyone that I completed NaNo this year. I fell pretty short of my personal goal of 100,000 words and only managed 50,361 this year, but a win is a win, you know? Now I have another banner for my collection, so yay!

I remember starting NaNo way back in 2003. Dang, I didn’t know it was that long ago. I only missed two years. One because of teenage angst (I believe I was 22 at the time) and the other because I moved five hours away from my family on that other year. But NaNo was a lot smaller than it is now. It only had a few thousand people participating, and I’m glad I could be part of something that’s grown so large and helped not only other writers, but people all over the world.

So, what’s next? Well, last month I took the liberty of writing down everything I wanted to accomplish on a piece of paper. Filled up the whole sheet too. Crossed off most of the stuff, but I still have to renew my insurance thingy (it didn’t all have to do with writing and stuff. Just most of it.)

So, this month’s paper contains things like getting a cover for my next two books, Paradise Lost and Timeless (Wow, Paradise Lost was my NaNo from 2013. Cool!) actually finishing my first big edit of Timeless (I have like 30 pages that need some love) and finish reading Paradise Lost. I think it’s at a place where I can finalize it by reading it on a Kindle. Well, not a Kindle, but the free app for computers that simulates a Kindle. Once all that checks out, we should be good to go for later this month or around the beginning of January, I haven’t decided on a publishing date yet. But i definitely want to capitalize on all of those brand new 50 dollar kindles that will be floating around.

Then, I have to figure out what to write next. I was gonna do my NaNo next, instead of my necromancer story, but writing it last month left me pretty unfulfilled. It’s missing something, and I need time to find out what that is exactly. However, if my plans all come together, Godspeed the series will be done sometime in the spring. Meaning I have to think of something.

I keep going back and forth on my necromancer story. But Godspeed is sort of the opposite of No One’s Angel (I might still change that title.) since No One’s Angel is supposed to be an urban fantasy. But then again, they are pretty similar. Both YA, as usual. Both in the near future. And Urban Fantasyย  in YA seems pretty hot right now and that trend looks to continue for a little while.

Hmm…that’s definitely on my piece of paper. Decide what my next series will be. Until then, I guess we’ll just see how it goes.

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New stuff all around

Man, has it been two months since I was last here? Time really flies when you’re busy.

Anyway, so I’m trying something a little different. I noticed that the one constant in my stories, asides from the use of teenaged protags, is that there’s always a lot of action. My stories become boring for me to write unless there’s some sort of physical confrontation in there. Like, fighting, explosions, magic spells in the case of my NaNo book (more on that later) and stuff like that.

So, I decided to get a new cover for Godspeed to show that, which is what you see above. While I’ll always love the cover my wife did, I’ve since learned that a cover should have little to do with the inside of your book, save that it’s responsible for giving any potential readers an idea of what genre the story is in. Hey, I think it’s pretty weird and unfortunate, too. But this is coming from people who make six figures self publishing. And, unlike most advice, this is by far the most consistently given advice. So, as you can hopefully see, I went with the action/adventure genre, which I do think is a nice change.

Book two should be out by the end of next month. But now my head hurts from spending all day into the marketing side of indie publishing and I’m going to take a break and help myself to a large quantity of M&Ms.

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You CAN rush good art

So, it’s been a while. Just busy is all. You guys know how it is.

Anyway, the other day I came across a shocking post about not writing fast. Apparently, whoever wrote that stated that it’s impossible to write a marvelous story in anything less than a few years, let alone a few months as we indie publishers do. And not only that, but it sparked a pretty large argument between writers. Now, first of all, I thought that if any group of people would get along with each other, it would be writers. I mean, after all, we’re all doing the same thing; working hard without being paid in the hopes that someone will like our books. But that’s for another discussion.

Of course you can rush good art and it is entirely possible to write a “flawless” book in a matter of months, if not weeks. I won’t bore you guys with the list of great classics that have been written in less than three months, but you’d be surprised.

Now, we all know the expression “You can’t rush good art.” Well, this is the 21st century, and I’m here to tell you that you can. You can rush good art. You can rush great art. You can rush outstanding, marvelous terrific art. You just have to want it. And I have that on good authority, because I married an artist.

You guys will probably continue to hear a lot about how awesome my wife is, but suffice to say, she’s an amazing artist. When I first met her, she was working as a granite etcher. What’s a granite etcher? Well, thousands of people want designs carved into their memorials. My wife etched granite tombstones specifically. It’s a narrow field, but it’s pretty popular. To give you guys an idea, go and google Billy Mays’ tombstone. See his face in the corner? My wife’s former boss etched that over the course of a few hours, I believe.

Anyway, yes, you can rush good art. Because sometimes you have to. My wife had one tombstone in particular going to Alabama somewhere. She calls it the “Stained Glass Angel” since it was an angel on stained glass. Only it was five feet tall and two feet wide. And every square inch of that die had to be etched. My wife did the whole thing in just over a week. Close to 50 hours or so, because the customer needed it NOW. Why? I have no idea. The person had already passed away. She also had to sign a form saying that she’d never etch that pattern again in the same state, so apparently, it was a pretty big deal.

Now, of course this is just one example and that doesn’t prove a thing. But go out and see the story of how Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol in just six weeks and tell me that good writing needs to take years.

I find such a notion laughable, to be honest. However, if people want to publish a book every few years and make a pittance off of it, they are free to do it. But I want make money while doing something I would otherwise do for free anyway, so I’ll be writing as much as a can and hopefully, I’ll get to the point where I can write an amazing book every three months or so. Stephen King even says that a typical novel should take a season to write. That’s three months, and I think he knows more about writing than whoever that lady was that wrote that blog post or whatever.

So, anyway. This boils down to two things. One: I want to dispel the myth that you can’t rush good art. Because you can. and Two: don’t tell people, especially writers, what they can and can’t do. Because a lot of us make our money making the impossible seem possible and the unbelievable, believable.

As a side note, why the stigmata about writing books for money? Of course I do this for money. I also do it because, like I said, I’d be doing it anyway. Why not make a living off of doing something you love to do? It’s like getting paid for art decreases its value somehow. Write for money. Write for fun. Write for art. But most importantly, write!

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You Know Those Feels, Bro? Series Regret.

You know that feel when you’ve finished your series, but your mind thinks that maybe you should’ve written something…I dunno, a little different for your first foray into the indie publishing world? Well, to anyone else out there that feels the same way, I know that feel too, Bro.

I dunno. My first series is in a category that’s seen a lot of saturation and is in the process of receding back to normal levels. And a part of me thinks that the plot is a little to niche. Maybe I should’ve started with an urban fantasy. They’re pretty hot right now and I think the market is larger for urban fantasy than military dystopian survival stories. On a side note, why does every text editor I use flag dystopian as not a word, when it’s been a category on Amazon for years?

Anyway, regret or not, the series is done and I’ve worked too hard to just sweep it aside and write something else. And I won’t really start work on those urban fantasies until the series is completely published, which is a nice motivation for me to go ahead and publish everything. But that editing…I’ll never think I can work on multiple projects like that again, at least until I can hire a real editor.

Besides, maybe the book could trigger a resurgence in dystopian works. Hey, you never know, right?

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Most advice you hear is correct

I once heard a little piece of advice about subsequent drafts while nearing the final draft. I have no idea who said it or where it was said, but the gist of it was “Your draft isn’t finished until you’ve rewritten every single word of it,” or something like that. Of course, that was the case with my previous books, especially the first one. However, since I’ve learned os much about writing, I figure I could get it mostly right the first time.

Yea, that’s not really the case. Nearly 90% of all of my sentences have to be rewritten in some way. Of course that’s normal, at least for me. But it sort of sucks, because I was hoping I could do like a lot of other writers do and produce a pretty good draft the first time. Maybe in a while, but until then, I won’t fight that fact. In fact, I’ll embrace it and I still might speed things up.

My second book is gonna be late, but it’s still on track to be sometime at the end of September. I also hired a really cool cover artist and a cover redesign of my first book is nearly complete. It looks awesome so far, so I can’t wait to see how the rest of the series turn out in the coming weeks and months.

Until then. I’ll just keep writing. And editing ๐Ÿ™‚

I think my writing’s gone soft

So, I’ve been out for the last week, thanks to some weird stomach flu or something. It was everything I could do to sit upright for about 15 minutes, so I spent most of my time suffering in the bed. That’s where I’ve been the last couple of days. But I feel back to normal and there’s a lot of work I have to catch up on.ย  Which sort of brings me to something I discovered about my latest manuscript.

When she wasn’t taking care of me, working overtime, watching Emily or doing chores, my wife was reading my manuscript while I was sick. (Yea, she’s awesome, I know) Now, one of the things I used to always pride myself on was writing that didn’t hold anything back. Descriptions, sometimes violent where they were needed, to a point I thought was approaching excess, but turned out to be just right. Imagine my surprise when my wife then compares parts of my book to an episode of the Care Bears.

The odd part was, I didn’t even catch it. I had no idea that it was going on. Which goes to show that having someone who will give you honest feedback is pretty much a must in this line of work. That means I have a lot of work to do over the next few days, bringing the manuscript up to where it needs to be.

I personally blame all of the kid’s shows that are playingย  in the background when I’m writing. I’m guessing months of My Little Pony, the Octonaughts, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins and the like are taking their toll on me. But I’ve started reading Game of Thrones, now that I’ve found the first book again, so that should help. My wife says I need to listen to more angry music too, but my playlist has worked for over 15 years, so I think I’ll keep it.

Anyway, just a little anecdote before I get back to work. There’s a lot to catch up on and I’m actually pretty excited about making all the changes that need to be made.

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