Monday, July 29, 2019

Approaching The End of Book 2 Process

Welcome Everyone!

Today I finished ordering the last illustration I need for Book 2 and working on the last edits for Book 2. As a completed work of fiction, it's almost done.

This is the part where I get really excited. My part is just about finished, and soon all the work will be on someone else's shoulders. That's a nice feeling. The pressure is off!

I feel that this book will be even better than the first book. I can't wait for everyone to start reading it. You're going to have a lot of fun.

Very soon, I'll start revealing details about the book itself and my methodology for creating it. Until then, I hope you continue to help me promote the Drive to 25 Campaign.

We're trying to get to 25 copies of the Book 1 audio book sold by November. Currently, we're at 19. Please help by sharing these blog posts or sharing links to my audio book.

You can find it in the following locals:
And if you want to start an Audible account, you can get my audio book for free by signing up HERE.



Friday, July 26, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-07-26

Welcome everyone!

This weekend is busy for me, but I think I'll still be able to get quite a bit of work done. I'm wrapping up my work on Book 2, and I'm getting ready to build my marketing campaign for it. These are both important steps in publishing the sequel, and I'll be honest: I am a bit nervous about it all. It's funny, you would think I wouldn't be since I've been through the process once already. But I am!

Anyhow, here are the goals for this weekend:

  • Finish proofreader's corrections
  • Review marketing plan template
  • Create a calendar for marketing for Book 2
If I can do all that, I'll have a great weekend. I hope yours is productive and refreshing as well! 



Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blogs I like #2 - K Lamb

Welcome everyone!

In my last installment of this series, I talked about how much I've benefitted from KM Weiland's blog: Helping Writers become Authors. Today, I'm going to highlight Kristen Lamb's blog.

Lamb is the author of Rise of the Machines and Downcast but is also well-known for her seminars and articles on the writing business. She covers a wide range of topic from branding, to social media, to writing contracts.

One of the key features for her blog articles is her humor. She's hilarious! Lamb loves to crack jokes using pop culture and her experience in competitive martial arts (she's a high-level blackbelt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu).

Another thing I like about Lamb is how much she focuses on genre fiction. Genre fiction is stuff like fantasy, sci-fi, horror, romance, mysteries, etc. Basically, anything that's outside the normal human experience. That's very useful for someone like me who's writing a fantasy series.

So if you're interested in learning more about writing and also the business side of creating fiction, I highly recommend Lamb's blog. It's entertaining and informative at the same time.



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

I Enjoy Editing The Best

Welcome everyone!

I've reached the half-way point with my proofreads. That's a great feeling because the end of making a sequel is within sight.

As I've worked my way through the chapters, I've realized that editing is much easier than writing something from scratch. And not only is it easier, it's more fun. I imagine that most people think that worldbuilding and writing action scenes are the best part of writing. They aren't.

With editing, I have so much direction in my writing. I don't have to experiment or wonder if what I'm putting on the page is going to work or not. I know what's there works, I just have to make it better.

When writing new content, I have to consider a multitude of things all at once. 1) Is this the direction the story should go? 2) Is this what the character would sound like/act like in this situation? 3) Am I building tension or deflating it? 4) Have I recently used this word/expression? 5) Is this the proper place for narration, description, or dialogue? 6) Am I following my outline? And so on and so on.

That's exhausting. When I edit, I just have to fix what's right in front of me. It's easy and fast.

So what can I or you learn from this? Easy: just get something down on the page! The first draft is going to be ugly, messy, and non-sensical. All those problems can be fixed in editing later. Just get the raw story down, so you can move on to more manageable chunks of writing.

I guess that's what it really comes down to - breaking up the process into more manageable chunks. That's how I work best in other areas of my life, so it's no surprise that my writing follows the same pattern.

And that's your writing tip for the day!



Monday, July 22, 2019

Well That Wasn't So Bad

Welcome everyone!

So I spent most of the weekend working through the feedback from my proofreader. Guess what. I got a third of the way through my book!

It actually wasn't too bad at all. She's very perceptive and noticed a lot of errors I would have never seen. I'm very impressed with her work.

When I listed out my planned expenses for Book 2, the proofreader was the one I was the most iffy about. "Can't I just read it myself or get someone I know to proofread it for free?" I asked. The answer is "No!"

She's a professional, and it shows. So, there will be a lot fewer errors in Book 2 than there was in Book 1. Thanks to a large number of interested fans, most of the mistakes in Book 1 have been corrected for the eBook version. I don't think I'll have to go through that with the sequel. So, there's that.

Anyway, edits are coming along great. I should be done by the end of the week which is WAY before I anticipated. That means I'll be able to get started on the audio book for Book 2 a month ahead of schedule!

Which reminds me: don't forget about the Drive to 25 Campaign! We're trying to get to 25 copies of the Book 1 audio book sold by November. Currently, we're at 19. Please help by sharing these blog posts or sharing links to my audio book.

You can find it in the following locals:
And if you want to start an Audible account, you can get my audio book for free by signing up HERE.



Friday, July 19, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-07-19

Welcome everyone!

My plans for the weekend are pretty simple. Just one thing!

  • Begin making corrections from my proofreader
I'll let you know on Monday how far I get. Wish me luck! I'm gonna need it LOL.



Thursday, July 18, 2019

Motifs I'd Like To Use #4: The Fun House

Welcome everyone!

In continuing this series (you can catch #3 HERE), I want to talk about Fun Houses. You know, those crazy things from cheap carnivals that always sound better than they really are?

The idea of mirrors as portals or revealers of truth intrigues me. Ray Bradbury's classic story "Something Wicked This Way Comes" puts mirrors and duality to good use. It even employs a "house of mirrors" for good measure, which lines up nicely with what I'm talking about.

But a Fun House can be more than just mirrors. I picture rooms moving and teleporting all over the building to disorient hapless victims trapped inside. Mirages delighting both the mind and the senses in order to capture those who ordinarily would resist such visceral charms.

I suppose the best part of a magical Fun House would be the lack of limitations on me as an author. I could mix and match, rearrange things as the story needed. I wouldn't be bound by conventional geometry and physics.

Sometimes it's so easy to get bogged down in minutiae. Fun House freedom seems awfully nice when I'm still struggling to decide where all the buildings in Vitalba village might be.



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Latest Audiobook Review

Welcome everyone!

A new review for my audio book was posted to Audible today. It's fantastic. Reading stuff like this really encourages me to keep going with my work, even though I'm doing some of the toughest parts right now. I'm going to post the review just below so everyone can read it.

The review entitles it "Refreshing new take on 'Monsters'" (which I love!):

I picked this up on audible and was first drawn to the artwork of the cover. I am picky about my audio books because some narrators just don't keep my interest. What I really appreciated about this narration, was the fact that it was done by the author. Since it was his work, I knew that when [there] was an emphasis on certain words or phrases, it was intentional. Sometimes I feel the hired narrators miss the mark on that and often I wonder if they are reading things into the text. 
I won't tell too much of the story, as to not give away the plot, but I loved how the author developed a unique monster "lore". I am a huge horror fan, and pretty much know the ins and outs of "creatures" in fiction. The cover here alludes to werewolves and, boy, to have something new and different was wonderful. It kept me tuned in to see where he was going with it. 
I can't wait for book 2. 
I love also that this is something I feel confident giving my 13 year old to read because it is written without adult language and overt sexual overtones. Notice, I said I read horror - so all of that is in all of the Stephen King and Joe Hill books I read, and yes I am being a hypocritical parent- I don't want to pass that on over to my kid -at least not yet lol. 
This is a good fantasy book, with its own author developed lands, origins, battles and tribulations. It is a refreshing new take on the fantastical monster stories of the past. I recommend you pick this up. Give a new author a try.

I want to extend the reviewer a huge thanks! Every review helps elevate the visibility of my book, so this sort of thing is immensely helpful. If you're interested in getting my audio book, you can find it in the following locals:
And if you want to start an Audible account, you can get my audio book for free by signing up HERE.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Proofreads Are In!

Welcome everyone!

My proofreader got my book back to me, and now the final stages of writing take place. I have a million corrections to make, but after that, the drafting Book 2 will mostly be done.

I do have two people reading the most recent draft, and they'll let me know if there are any major problems left in the overall plot. Hopefully, all the story edits are done, though. Once I'm all finished with the corrections, it will be time to start a marketing plan for Book 2. I can't wait!

So that's where I stand with the sequel. Putting that aside for a moment, Amazon has dropped the price of my hardback AGAIN. They've already paid me for the stock, so it's theirs to sell however they wish. They'll be taking a loss on them, though, as they've marked them down to $17.

That's cheaper than I sell them in person! So if you've wanted a hardback version of my book, this is probably the best chance you'll get to buy one at a discount. Like I said, I've already been paid for these, so I'm not mentioning this to put dollars in my pocket. This is all about Amazon giving customers a great deal.

And as always, my books are available on ebook and audio as well.



Monday, July 15, 2019

First Success on the Drive to 25!

Welcome everyone!

I've got some great news. Last week I started a Drive to 25 Campaign to help promote the audio book The Huntsman and the She-Wolf. Making an audio book is hard and very time consuming, so I wanted to make sure costs were justified. I put out a call to all my readers for help in promoting this campaign, and already, you've come through!

We are now at 19 audio books. Just six more to go!  I want to extend a thanks to all those who've reshared my posts about the Drive to 25 Campaign and encourage you to keep doing so. The deadline is November, and a postermap of Celandine Valley (the setting for my series) will be given away one lucky winner who helps me promote my audio book during this time.

As always, you can find my audio book on:

And if you want to start an Audible account, you can get my audio book for free by signing up HERE.

Once again, thank you so much for your help. I am excited to already see results. Let's keep driving toward 25!



Friday, July 12, 2019

New Artist Found & Making Progress

Welcome everyone!

A few weeks ago I announced that the artist I used for Book 1 would not be available for Book 2. I was severely disappointed about this, but several readers sent me suggestions and leads for a replacement.

Good news! I've found a new artist I really like. His style is different from the first book, but matches the artist who does my roses much better. I've already received a few pieces back, and I am thoroughly pleased. I can't wait to share them with you.

Anyway, I'm making solid progress toward the sequel. Wish me luck in finishing it. I've got a lot left to do!



Thursday, July 11, 2019

A Boring but Useful Writing Tool: Spreadsheets

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to share a tool I've used over and over as I've been writing the books in my Hunter's Rose series. It's probably the last thing you'd associate with a creative writing endeavor: a spreadsheet!

If you're like me, your associations with spreadsheets probably are along the lines of that thing your dad used to do to balance his bank accounts or the feeble attempts of middle school math teachers to teach you basic coding skills in Excell cells.

However, spreadsheets are really wonderful organizing tools. It's amazing how much having columns and rows will help you keep very complicated information straight in your mind. Let me show you what one of my spreadsheets looks like:

This is my "Character Bible" as some authors call it. In the first column I list my characters, then in the next is their role in my story. Very often that's some kind of archetype.

The biggest block is the description. Here, I type in a brief portrait of what the character is like and what he or she might do. It's sorta like describing a person to a friend that doesn't know him/her. Some entries are really big, others are kinda short. I just typed in whatever I felt was appropriate.

The next two columns are primary motivation and secondary motivation. Characters will seem more real if they actually want something, and EVEN MORE real if they want more than one thing. Listing their motivations here on this spreadsheet helps me keep their personalities consistent when I'm writing.

After that, is the Flaw. All characters need a flaw. They can't be perfect people. No one wants to read about that. Even the sappy, shallow, but still very somehow entertaining Hallmark romance movies have characters with flaws. So I made sure my characters had them too by including this column. Now, a flaw doesn't have to be major. It just has to be important to that character, AND it must come up in the story. That's key. I repeat: it must come up in the story.

After the Flaw, I have the Superpower. Now, these aren't really superpowers. I just used that term as shorthand. Really, it's what makes that character special. I asked myself, "What can this character do better than anyone else in the setting?" That became their superpower.

Finally, I list the quirk. All of us do something weird. Some people chew their nails, some wear red socks, some squint really hard whenever they blink. All kinds of weird stuff. Your characters will seem more real if they do something that's kinda odd but not over-the-top: something you could picture people in real life doing but is still different, annoying, humorous, or memorable. Again, the quirk just adds to the character's relatability and believability.

I know that might seem like a lot to remember when it comes to making a character, but making a good character is hard. There are a lot of things that go into making some fictional person realistic enough for a reader to care about and want to learn more about him/her. So anyway, here's how I try to help myself do it. Maybe it will help you too :)

Also, don't forget my Drive to 25 Campaign for my audio book. We're trying to get to 25 copies sold before November, so please spread the word about that and link people to the audio version of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf HERE.



Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Update On My Proofreader

Welcome everyone!

I got some good news today. My proofreader is nearly finished with Book 2, and I should have her corrections by this weekend. I'm already doing quite a bit of my own self-editing, but you can never really edit your own work. You gotta have a second set of eyes look at it.

Anyway, this is big news for Book 2! A first quarter release next year is looking more and more likely! I can't wait to start revealing things about it this fall.

Also, don't forget my Drive to 25 campaign for my audio book. We're trying to get to 25 copies sold before November, so please spread the work about that and link people to the audio version of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf HERE.



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Drive for 25 Campaign!

Welcome everyone!

Today I’m starting a campaign for my audio book. It’s called the “Drive to 25” and it will run until November.

Producing an audio book requires an immense amount of work. To begin, I read each chapter before I record. That takes about 20-30 minutes unless I have corrections to make. Then it might take longer.

Next, I have to record each chapter. My chapters range between 2000 and 4000 words, and counting mistakes and re-reads, it takes me anywhere from 40-70 minutes to read a chapter into a microphone.

After that, I have to edit each chapter. I am very particular about the editing process because Audible has such high standards for audio books. Every time I breathe in, sign, smack my lips, or swallow, the microphone picks up that sound. I have to manually remove that sound from the raw file. It takes me anywhere from one to two hours per chapter, and sometimes more.

The last step is the mastering. It’s a for step process that essentially gets the file ready to play on any device. It isn’t hard, but it is time-consuming. Each chapter can take 15-20 minutes to do.

I estimate it took me 70-75 hours to produce my first audio book. I get $4 per copy sold, and so far, I’ve sold 18 copies. That’s $72 pre-taxes, or around $1 per hour of work. To be truthful, that’s not worth the effort. That’s 70+ hours that could have been spent writing or revising rather than recording and mastering.

That doesn’t mean I’m abandoning my audio book program, though. Several of the 18 souls who purchased my audio book have contacted and told me how much they loved it. I know it means a lot to them, and it would also mean a lot to anyone who listens to it.

I think audio books are fantastic. They've changed the way people consume literature, and anything that helps people consume more books is great with me. In fact, if you haven't tried an audio book before, check out these advantages it has:

  • You can listen to it on your commute to work or school
  • You can do your chores around the house while listening to a great story
  • You get to hear the voice inflections and emphasis which add a whole new level of immersion
  • All the pronunciations of names and terms are perfect, you don't have to wonder
  • If you're visually impaired, you can still enjoy great books like everyone else
  • Audio books are great listening just before bedtime, I'm even told I have a soothing voice

And that's just scratching the surface of why audio books are so popular. So what I want to do is to make recording my audio book to be worth my time. I want to get to 25 copies of my audio book sold by November. That’s what it would take for me to feel good about doing it. I just need to sell 7 more copies. This is what the Drive to 25 is all about.

And that’s where you come in. I have only a limited reach in social media and word of mouth. I need help. Your help! So if you could, please share this post and tell your friends and family about my audio book.

My audio book is available on Audible HERE or on iTunes HERE or on Amazon HERE.

If you do not have an Audible account, you can sign up for one HERE.

When November rolls around, I will be giving away one signed postermap of the setting for my book, Celandine Valley, to one random person who helps me promote the Drive to 25 campaign. It’s a sweet poster in full detail of all the sights and locals my characters visit. I have one myself, and I love it!

So let’s work together to reach this goal! As always, I’m appreciative of all the support and encouragement I get. You guys keep me strong!



Monday, July 8, 2019

Gearing up for a New Campaign

Welcome everyone!

Tomorrow I'm going to announce a new campaign for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf. I'm really excited about it, and I'm putting the finishing touches on it right now. I'm going to need your help to see it all the way through, so be on the lookout for it tomorrow morning!



Friday, July 5, 2019

Goals for the Weekend 2019-07-05

Welcome everyone!

With all the trips, holiday celebrations, and author activities I've had lately, I haven't had a chance to do Goals for the Weekend in a long while. So, let's do this!

  • Get some actual writing done (not done any in a long time)
  • Continue proofreading Book 2
  • Evaluate marketing plan


Thursday, July 4, 2019

Want to get my hardback cheap?

Welcome everyone!

Amazon has marked down my hardback 33% to right around $20. That is a great sale, IMHO! This discount was not initiated by me, this is all Amazon. So if you'd like to pick up a gorgeous book with a really great story inside, please check it out HERE.