Monday, August 3, 2020

Moving on to Ch. 13 - Superstition?

Welcome everyone!

Chapter 12 is now edited, and I'm on to Chapter 13. Chapters 11 and 12 were both combat chapters, and I find those take the longest to edit. I have to go over them and over them to make sure I have all the characters in the right places with the right weapons against the right enemies. There's a lot of fine details in fighting, and a good reader will notice instantly when something is out of place. It takes an enormous amount of time and concentration to get those chapters right.

Anyway, Chapter 13. I know some authors like to do special things for certain chapters. The thirteenth chapter will often have something bad befall the character, or to deconstruct the motif, have something good happen! Other authors make sure chapters like 3, 7, 9, 11, 16, 21, 25, or 33 have something notable happen in them as well.

I'm not that way. First, I'm probably not skilled enough as a writer yet to contrive certain plot points to take place in specific chapters. I'm just trying to tell my story. Second, I think it gets cliche', even when an author tries to subvert the trope.


Personally, I just want my story to flow as well as possible. That means, I don't worry about chapter numbers at all. In fact, with both The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire, my rewrites required rearranging chapters, splitting chapters, and in one case, eliminating one chapter altogether. So, trying to do something special for a certain chapter number is way too difficult in my estimation.

So on with the edits! Thank you for your support, I'm looking forward to sharing more with you soon. Take care of each other out there.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Reading with my Offspring

Welcome everyone!

One of the things that really keeps me motivated to be a writer is sharing books I loved with my child. I read to her almost every night. It's been easy during the virus shutdown, but I know that these moments are going to become limited in the future.

She's getting old enough now that she's getting interested in sports and friends, which means less time for old dad. I'm fine with that, in face, I'm excited she's starting to pursue her own interests. I want her to.

I'm just thankful that I've gotten to share so many books with her. We've read a bunch, but recently we just finished The Hobbit. Before that, we read the whole Chronicles of Narnia. Right now, my wife is reading The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland with her.


I hope she cherishes these books as much as we have. And if not, I hope she finds her own books to love and shares them with her (future) children.

To any parents or peeps who think they'll become parents one day, please read to your children. Share with them the stories that you love and that have helped you become the person you are today. There are few things better for a child's character than the stories handed down from one generation to the next.

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Now Working on Chapter 12!

Welcome everyone!

I spent some time with family and friends over the July 4th holiday season. As a result, I didn't get much work done on Book 3 of the Hunter's Rose Series.

However, I've gotten back to the grindstone this morning, and have already made it to Chapter 12! I resolved all the issues with the combat scene I was struggling with earlier. Hopefully, I'll have some smooth sailing for a while.


Anyway, I hope your summer is going well. Stay safe and take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Struggling to Rewrite a Combat Scene

Welcome everyone!

**WARNING, LIGHT SPOILERS FOR BOOK 3**

For the second time in Book 3, I'm struggling to rewrite a fight scene. The first time, was at the beginning of the book. It turned out really well, and I'm happy with it now. We'll see what future beta readers say, though.

Anyway, with this second scene, I'm struggling ever harder. In this one, I introduce a new monster-type. It's not something major, just something you would expect to find in this setting. None-the-less, I am not happy with the ending of it.

I'm wondering if I should just cut it altogether. The purpose of the scene is to introduce the creature, but I wonder if it even needs an introduction. Book 3 is the longest yet in the series, and it might be in the interests of brevity to cut it.

I'm not sure what I'll do at this point. Wish me luck!



Peace,

-Troy

Friday, June 26, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-06-26

Welcome everyone!

This weekend, it's more revision work. Next weekend, I won't get anything done. I'll be celebrating Independence Day with my family, so I definitely need to redouble my efforts now. Here's what I hope to accomplish:

  • Get two Book 3 chapters revised
  • Get one Book 2 audio recording edited
If I can do all that, I'll have a productive weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Not Half Way But Close

Welcome everyone!

Just a short update today. I've finished revising chapters 9 and 10. I'm almost half way! I think by the end of the weekend, I'll be there. That's still a lot of work left to do, but I'm feeling really motivated. Thanks for checking in with me. Hope your week is going well! :)



Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Setting is Bigger Than You Think

Welcome everyone!

One thing I've been thinking about lately is expanding the map you see at the front of my book. For reference, it currently looks like this:


If you notice, there are mountains to the north, west, and south, but not the east. That's because there's a whole 'nother half of the valley in that direction. I didn't have the artist draw the complete valley because all the action in the series takes place in what you see above.

However, as I begin to think about the last two books and how I will end the series, I've been wondering if I need to expand the map. There are places further east where it might be interesting to have the characters go.

I've already told you about some of those places like The Golden Fells. Anyway, as time for books 4 and 5 get closer, I'll make that decision. I might just do a few more posts about the eastern part of the valley in the future just to see how I feel about it. Let me know if that would be interesting for you!

In the meantime, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, June 22, 2020

5 to 9

Welcome everyone!

I hit the revisions hard this weekend. I finished corrections to chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8! Now I'm working on chapter 9.

Getting so much done is both exhilarating and tiring. It's exhilarating because I'm getting closer to my goal. It's tiring because of just how much there yet to go. So much in fact, that even my kitty seems pooped:


Today, I have have non-writing work to do, so I probably won't get anything done on my book. Tomorrow is a new day, though, and I'll be back at it then.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, June 19, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-06-19

Welcome everyone!

This weekend, I hope to press ahead with revisions for Book Three in the Hunter's Rose series. Here are my goals:

  • Get at least two chapters revised
  • Sketch out at least two illustrations for Book 3
  • Finish current chapter of my audio book
Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Vids I like #7 - Basics of Dialogue

Welcome everyone!

Writing strong dialogue is something all writers want to achieve but struggle to create. I've found several videos that have helped me get better at my craft. I'm going to share one with you today:


If you're thinking about writing, I hope this video is helpful to you too.

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Chapter 4 is Revised!

Welcome everyone!

I have finished my corrections on Chapter 4. It's a shorter chapter, but it marks a major change in the main character's life. I don't know if I'm happy with the end of the chapter yet. I'll need a few more beta readers to tell me what they think. We'll see what happens.

On that note, let me just be clear: these revisions are not for the final draft. This will be the third draft of the book, and I anticipate having to do three or four more drafts before it's finished. I'm not even to hiring an editor yet. This is all just feedback from one of my primary beta readers.



So on to Chapter 5!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

First Artwork for Book 3 is Finished!

Welcome everyone!

I am excited to announce that the first artwork for book three in the Hunter's Rose series is completed and now in my possession!

Since I am still revising much of my work, it wouldn't have made sense to get the landscape pictures like the one from The Huntsman and the Vampire below:


If I couldn't do a piece of artwork like that, it only made sense to get the roses done. So they are! All five roses for Book 3 are now finished, and they look AMAZING! Unfortunately, I can't share them with you yet. I'm saving them for the promotional period prior to launch. When I do, though, I'm sure you'll love them as much as me.

Just as a refresher, here are the roses from the first two books:



Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Chapter 3 is Revised!

Welcome everyone!

Well, I got Chapter 3 of Book 3 revised yesterday. I added a significant amount to it, which is not something I normally do. I try to keep my books on the shorter side, since that's what I prefer to read. However, there was no helping it in the third chapter.



WARNING, MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD:
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

So, in Chapter 3 there is a meeting amongst several of the high ranking huntsmen. It sets up the rest of the book. Each is given a specific role to fill due to the circumstances that ended The Huntsman and the Vampire.

In order to set that up properly and to lay the groundwork for character growth in Tristan, I really had to make sure all the details were correct. It took a long time to cross-reference all the information. It also required reassigning several chunks of dialogue and even a name change for one of the characters! There was a lot to do.

All in all, I'm happy with how it's turned out. Now on to chapter 4.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sales Data for March/April 2020

Welcome everyone!

Today I have some great news to share with you. I'm going to cover sales data from earlier this year then discuss how things went in my first year. So these are the raw numbers for both The Huntsman and the She-Wolf (THATSW) and The Huntsman and the Vampire (THATV):


Mar/Apr - THATSW eBook: 0
Mar/Apr - THATV eBook: 0

Mar/Apr - THATSW Audio: 1
Mar/Apr - THATV Audio: 0

Mar/Apr - THATSW Online Paperback: 1
Mar/Apr - THATV Online Paperback: 3

Mar/Apr - THATSW Online Hardback: 1
Mar/Apr - THATV Online Hardback: 1

Mar/Apr - THATSW In-Person Paperback: 33
Mar/Apr - THATV In-Person Paperback: 2

Mar/Apr - THATSW In-Person Hardback: 1
Mar/Apr - THATV In-Person Hardback: 5

Mar/Apr - THATSW Kindle Unlimited Pages: 697
Mar/Apr - THATV Kindle Unlimited Pages: 832

Total Books: 50
Total Pages: 1529

Clearly in-person sales have been better for me than online sales. And just as clearly, ALL those in-person sales came in March. With the lockdown in April due to Coronavirus, I haven't been able to pitch my book in person. Still, 50 copies in two months is fantastic. If you convert the KU pages read, that's another 7 copies sold.

BUT here's the really great news: When I started this project, I made a goal to sell 300 books total in my first year, and 500 books total by my second. When the launch anniversary for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf came around, I had sold 329 COPIES!!! If you include Kindle Unlimited pages, that would be another 40 copies on top of that. So I easily surpassed that goal.

Looking to the year ahead, I currently stand at 402 actual copies sold, plus an additional 45 if you convert Kindle Unlimited. So, I am not very far from achieving my goal at all.

I owe everyone a HUGE thank you for all the support you've given me. With out the fans, friends, and family helping me out, I never would have gotten close to reaching my aspirations. THANK YOU SO MUCH, AND I LOVE YOU ALL!

Be safe and healthy out there. Take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, June 8, 2020

Working on Chapter 3 Revisions

Welcome everyone!

My weekend went well. I got most of my work done, but Chapter 3 is requiring more attention than I first suspected it would.

For one thing, I introduce or re-introduce a good number of characters in this chapter. I'll avoid spoilers for now, but needless to say there's a lot going on.

Not only that, the characters are all doing different things. I have to justify each of their tasks and make sure each character's actions and reactions all line up with their motivations and long-term plot-arcs. It's quite difficult, as a result.


I'm about sixty percent through the chapter now. If I gut it out, perhaps I'll finish today or tomorrow. I'll be sure to let you know. Also, sales numbers for March and April are almost ready. I'll post about it this week of all goes well.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, June 5, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-06-05

Welcome everyone!

The week turned out so much more busy than I expected. So that means I have more to do this weekend. Here are my goals:

  • Continue Editing, hopefully get Chapter 3 Done
  • Finish current chapter of Book 2 audio book
  • Get some home improvement projects done around the house
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, June 1, 2020

One Difference Between Book 2 and Book 3

Welcome everyone!

I've finished editing chapters 1 and 2 in Book 3 now. Hooray! I'm on to chapter 3. The editing is going well, but it's difficult. For one thing, Book 3 three is the most personal in the series. This book is truly the story I want to tell. I'm not obsessing over proper structure, dialogue tags, adverbs, or any of that stuff. This is me just expressing my setting and characters. As a result, changing anything is tough because I love every word so much!

Second, editing is more difficult because Book 2 flowed so easily. The amount of time it took me to actually write Book 2 was less than half of Book 1. I never got stuck, never got discouraged. It just came out of me, and it fits the strictures of storytelling perfectly. Of all the books in the series, I think The Huntsman and the Vampire will be the best as far as nailing proper writing techniques go. Not only that, it required very little editing. Mainly just proofreading. So, as I go through Book 3, it is a bit discouraging to see so much work that needs to be done.



Mild Spoilers Ahead!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Let me give you an example. In Chapter 2 of Book 3, there is a battle. I remember writing this scene. I was just starting out and I was rusty from taking off from writing to deal with publishing. The battle wasn't all that vivid or dynamic. In fact, I would say the action was quite confused.

Fixing that took me all of Friday and most of the weekend. And here's the thing, I'm going to have to give it another pass. It's still night right.

By contrast, every battle that you read in THATV is pretty much exactly how I wrote it originally. In fact, I can't think of a single major occurrence in any of those battles that wasn't in the first draft.

Book 3 will be different. It's going to take a while to get it into shape. That's fine. I like revising. I know what I have to do. Now, I just have to do it. And in the end, the book will be better as a result of the tough choices and sacrifices I make now.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, May 29, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-05-29

Welcome everyone!

So at the moment, weekends aren't all that much different for me than weekdays. However, I still like to change things up so I don't get stuck in the doldrums. So this weekend, I have some plans. Here they are:

  • Enjoy the beautiful weather we're forecasted to have
  • Resume work on Book 2 audio book
  • Sketch artwork for Book 3
If I can do all that, I'll have a productive weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book 3, Chapter 1 - Revised

Welcome everyone!

Yesterday, I completed my revisions of chapter 1. That's a big step toward completion, but I don't want to overstate its importance. I'll explain.

One of the best pieces of writing advice I ever got was, "Write what you want to read." One of the things I don't really care for in novels is really long first chapters. When I examine a book and Chapter 1 is 10 pages longer than any other chapter, I just put it back on the shelf.

To hold my interest, an author has to grab my attention right off, introduce the conflict, major characters, and emotional hook ASAP. My first book, I believe, does this very well. In the paperback, it's just 10 pages long.



So, now that I've finished revising chapter one of Book 3, I can feel accomplished BUT it's not all that big of a deal. The first chapter is short. The second one isn't all that long either (again, that's my reading preference). However, all steps - big or small - get me to where I'm going, and I am super excited to be where I am.

And now, for some potential mild spoilers.

SPOILER ALERT!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

You might be wondering what issues I faced in revising that chapter. Well, Tristan is going to be a bit older than when we left him at the end of The Huntsman and the Vampire. Nearly a year, I think. He's got to show more maturity.

One thing that shows a lack of maturity in writing (but not in real life) is asking a lot of questions. Tristan had far too many in the opening pages. He needs to speak in statements, not queries. So, I had a lot of those types of things to fix.

Other than that, though, I am thrilled with the first chapter. I have a touching emotional moment, a mystery, and it finishes with a bang. There isn't much more I could want out of an introductory chapter.

Today, I'm on to revising Chapter 2, and maybe 3 as well. Wish me luck! I can't wait to tell you more.

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pic of Book 3 First Draft!

Welcome everyone!

It was so good to see how many of you visited my site yesterday when I made my brief post. I was shocked and delighted by the number of reads that entry had. Thank you so much for sticking with me, even though I had a long layoff.

Well, all that said, I was able to keep my commitment. Book 3 is now completely drafted and ready for revisions! As proof of life that this thing exists, here you go. A printed copy:


I like having a print copy to read and mark up. It makes the process more real, I guess. It's also a landmark - tangible proof that I passed this particular test. I have printed drafts of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire still stacked neatly in my closet. Maybe someday I'll show a pic of all three drafts at once.

Anyway, I have a lot left to do in order to get it published. It's a massive process, and I'll be taking you with me as I traverse it. So, here's the near-term plan of action:

  • First Revision
  • Round 1 of Beta-Reading
  • Second Revision
  • Round 2 of Beta Reading
  • Third Revision
  • Editing
  • Fourth Revision
  • Proofreading
  • Fifth Revision
We'll see what the book needs after that. For now, I'll be diving right in to fixing Chapter 1. I'll update you on how it goes and also in the near future about book sales data from the last two months.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you are safe and well. Take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

That Was a Nice Long Break!

Welcome everyone,

I am nearing the end of the journey on drafting Book 3. I should have it done by TOMORROW!!! So, if that happens (and it should), I'll be back with more details then. Expect more to come, and I'm glad to be back with all of you.


Peace,

-Troy

Monday, March 16, 2020

Be Well Everyone!

Welcome everyone!

Like yours, I have no doubt, my life is changing a bit. With the natural upheaval that comes with a once-in-a-century pandemic, I'll be working from home in the near future. My first priority will be to safeguard my family, and my second will remain with my day job.

However, I'll be able to get some work done on my book as well since I won't have to drive my commute every day. So, I'll be able to get more adio book editing done AND more work done on Book 3.

Please take good care of yourselves during this time. Here's a good, reputable site with some recommendations.

I'll be in touch via this blog and social media. Be well!



Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Signing A Book is a Touching Experience

Welcome everyone!

I had a young person bring me a copy of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf to sign yesterday. She was so bashful and nervous. But I was extremely happy to do it for her.

It strikes me as funny that I get regarded as a person of importance or celebrity. People will sometimes say, "You're a real author!" And yes, I am, but I'm also the same person I've always been. Just a regular guy holding a regular job in a very regular part of the world.

People look at me differently, but I don't feel any different. It's something I'm getting used to, but not all the way adapted to yet.

The encounter with the young lady was short but still very sweet. She complimented the cover and blushed when she said thank you as I handed the book back to her. I'll always cherish moments like this. I really hope she enjoyed reading it.


Peace,

-Troy

Monday, March 9, 2020

A Fairly Productive Weekend

Welcome everyone!

The weather was nice outside, and I got a lot of work done inside. Trying to get back on a regular schedule, I pulled out my audio editing gear. I was able to make more progress on the the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I need to do more, but I'm happy with the quality I'm producing.

I also made more progress on Book 3. I can tell I'm going to have to work a lot on the dialogue. Some chapters are pretty heavy with it in this one. Right now, I'm just trying to get the story out of my head and on to digital files.

Anyway, I hope you have a productive week. Spring-forward is always a tough time for me. It's kinda funny how changing just one hour can have such a difference. May your Monday go smoothly for you!


Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, March 5, 2020

February Sales Numbers - A Massive Blowout!

Welcome everyone!

Wow, I have some great news to share with you today. I'm going to release the sales figures for February, 2020 for both The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire. These figures are out of this world!

eBooks:

THATSW: 33
THATV:    06

AudioBooks:

THATSW: 01

Online Paperback Sales:

THATSW: 01
THATV:    10

Online Hardback Sales:

THATV: 08

In-Person Paperback Sales:

THATSW: 16
THATV:    18

In-Person Hardback Sales:

THATSW: 10
THATV:    17

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read:

THATSW: 447
THATV:    127


Totals:

Print Books: 80
Electronic Copies: 40
KNEP Pages Read: 574

When it comes to copies sold, this is the best month I've ever had. It's not even close. The launch of my second book (THATV) really helped the sales of the first book. I saw a massive uptick in sales in the weeks leading to launch. Also, I ran a brief sale in that time which undoubtedly helped as well.

447 Kindle Unlimited pages read in a month is my fifth best monthly total so far. Putting both books together gets me 574, which would be my third best total in a month. 

When I published my first book, I set a goal to sell 300 copies of it in the first year and 500 copies by the second year (including my second book). I still have most of the month of March to accomplish that goal, and I am short by only a small handful of copies. 

I feel confident I'll be able to hit both my goals by the deadlines I've set.

I've had some difficult times on a personal level here lately. I won't bother you with the details, but to be able to report to all my fans and followers just how successful my books have been and how amazing their support has been, fills my heart with gladness. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! You've really helped me through some hard times.

I'm still trying to get organized enough to get back to regular posting. I can't promise that I shall, but I want you to know I'm doing my best. Love you all very much.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

About My Recent Absence - Getting Back Into the Habbit

Welcome everyone!

It've not been updating my site much lately. My house has been stricken by illness, unfortunately. Both my daughter and I have fallen ill, and I've missed quite a bit of work as a result.

We're on the mend, though. The fevers have gone away and now we're just dealing with the leftover chest congestion. As a result, I hope to get back to regular updates soon.

I have some very exciting news about the month of February to share with you this week. Expect that on Thursday or Friday. We'll have really cool something to celebrate together.


I hate falling out of the habit of making daily posts. Writing is the same way. If you establish a routine, it makes doing the work easier. Due to sickness and other unforeseen circumstances, I've fallen out of the habit of writing anything. That's not good.

It remains doubtful I'll be able to make a post tomorrow. Work is tremendously busy at the moment, and I have a good deal of catching up to do since I've been out. Wish me luck on that! We'll talk soon.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Motifs I'd Like To Use #10 - The Labyrinth

Welcome everyone!

I think mazes are fun. When I was a kid, I used to get books of mazes and have a blast trying to figure them out. One of my most favorite Atari games (yep, I'm that old) was Maze Craze. I used to play that against my friends and cousins all the time.

So, it would be really gratifying for me if I could include some kind of maze in one of my future books. Mazes offer a lot of really cool possibilities for traps, information gathering, and characterization. There should also be something at the end worth obtaining.

The biggest challenge to introducing a labyrinth to a story is to make it seem like a natural part of the world. These things don't just grow on their own; they have to be built for a purpose. If you can't find a good justification for it, the maze will just seem forced.


But that's a challenge for me. Hopefully I can overcome it. Wish me luck!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 24, 2020

My Favorite Pictures

Welcome everyone!

One of the most gratifying things that I get to experience as an author is getting pictures like the following:


I absolutely LOVE seeing books in people's hands. Any book. Now, when I see one of MY books in their hands, it's doubly exciting. When people send me pictures like that, it makes all the free time I sacrificed and all the emotional stress I endured worth it.

Writing The Huntsman and the Vampire took a lot of out me. 2019 was a tough year at times, and 2020 hasn't been any easier.

Thank you so much to everyone who's sent me pics like that one and like this one:


And this one:


You guys keep me going. You really do!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, February 21, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-02-21

Welcome everyone!

This weekend, I'm back at the grindstone with the audio book. Also, starting up work on Book 3!

Here's my goals:

  • Edit more chapters in the audiobook for book 2.
  • Continue early work on Book 3.
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Vids I Like #6 - Worldbuilding

Welcome everyone!

One thing I'd really like to accomplish with Book 3 is world-building. If you've read The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire, you've learned a lot about characters such as Tristan, Thaul, Mersha, Mikhelena, and Leo. But what about Vitalba village itself? Or Everpass Hold? Probably not much.

So, what I want to do is take more time to build the history and culture of my setting in the third installment. As a result, I'm doing some researching in that area. Below, I'll share an interesting video I found on the topic. If you are working on your own world, maybe you'll find it useful too:


Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Site Updates are Rolling Out

Welcome everyone!

I've been busy updating my website. I've gotten links to The Huntsman and the Vampire and the Hunter's Rose series all fixed up on the right hand column now. I'm really happy with how it looks. I can't wait to have the whole series over there. It'll be amazing when it's done.

Also, I'm still going back through all the old posts on this site and adding tags to them. This way it'll be easier to search for various topics. For instance, if you wanted to find all the posts that have the character roses on them, you could just click that label at the bottom of one and the site will generate a list for you.



It's a slow process since I'm also working on the audio book and my health has been less than perfect lately. However, I'm getting things the way I want them and I think that will improve everyone's experience when it's all done.

Be on the lookout for more updates down the road! Exciting things are coming :)

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 17, 2020

SOLD OUT!! - But Not Really

Welcome everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend. I got some work done on the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire on Saturday despite coming down with a pretty severe chest cold. I haven't recovered fully yet, but at least my fever broke Sunday night.

Anyway, if you go check out the Paperback or Hardcover for THATV on Amazon, you'll notice it says "Temporarily Out of Stock." If my memory serves correctly, the same thing happened with my previous book.

That out of stock issue should be resolved in a matter of days as Amazon orders some copies for its warehouse distribution centers. My understanding is that they prefer to distribute books themselves rather than rely on my printer (IngramSpark) to do it for them. Of course, it's still listed as "In-Stock" on other sites like B&N and BAM.

It is kinda fun to see "Sold Out" by your name. It gives the impression that your product is in high demand, and relatively speaking, THATV is! But it's not really out of stock and people can still order it and get it in a timely fashion. The shortage is due to Amazon's own idiosyncrasies. Haha!


Happy Presidents' Day. If you have the day off, I hope you feel rested and rejuvenated by the end of it. :)

Peace,

-Troy


Friday, February 14, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-02-14

Welcome everyone!

Happy St. Valentines day to you. Perfect day to BUY A ROSE, don't you think? Haha! Anyway, this weekend is marked by a time of transition.

Print and eBook editions of The Huntsman and the Vampire is officially released, and now it's on to the audio book and also Book 3.

So here's what I plan to do:
  • Edit and Master at least 3 chapters in the audio book
  • Outline and begin drafting the inciting incident for Book 3
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too! :)

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Book Launch Was a Huge Success!

Welcome everyone!

The launch party I mentioned last week for The Huntsman and the Vampire was a HUGE success! The turnout was fantastic- we packed out the library. I got to sign so many books, in fact, I'm pretty sure I did nothing by write messages and sign my name for an hour strait! It was awesome.

For those that came out for it, I really appreciate it. The weather was terrible. We had torrential downpours at times and even some lightning, I think. It was pretty nasty day outside, but inside it was a tremendous party.

By the time I made it home, I was physically drained but my mind was racing. I got to shake the hands of 40-50 attendees, interact with young people interested in writing, and spend time with friends, colleagues, and fans who all wanted to wish me well. Everyone was absolutely wonderful.

Nothing makes an author happier than getting to put the written word into somebody's hand to read:


Well, now that the party is over, where do we go from here? First, I'm still promoting the launch. The first month is the most critical in drawing readers, and I can't wait to report how February goes. I think it will be my best month ever.

Next, it's time to get the audio book finished. I'm already into the editing and mastering. So expect that in the coming weeks, depending on how long Audible takes to get it done.

Finally, it's time to get to work on Book 3. A writer's job is never finished. I'll telly you more about that down the road. A whole lot of outlining, writing, and revising are ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Hunter's Rose Book 2 is OUT!

Welcome everyone!

The Huntsman and the Vampire is now launched on all major online retailers! This moment is the result of two years of hard work and support from all of you. Thank you so much for helping me make this day happen. You guys are the best.

Here is a list of the places you can now find THATV:

Once again, thank you so much for all your well-wishes and encouragement. I couldn't have gotten this done without you. Love you guys!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Book Trailer for The Huntsman and the Vampire!

Welcome everyone!

Here it is, the beautiful new trailer for my latest fantasy novella - The Huntsman and the Vampire:




Don't forget, The Huntsman and the Vampire launches tomorrow!

Peace,

-Troy




Monday, February 10, 2020

New Book Trailer Coming Tomorrow!

Welcome everyone!

Tomorrow I have a bonus reveal for The Huntsman and the Vampire. It's a brand new book trailer!

I love book trailers. There's just something invigorating about a visual presentation that a cover and summary (while beautiful and informative) can't add. They bring me into the world a bit more and spark my imagination in a whole different way.

Anyway, I am extremely happy with the book trailer for THATV. The same people who created the first one last year made this one as well. I can't wait to share it with you tomorrow. Until then, here's a reminder of what the trailer for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf looked like:



And don't forget, the launch is this WEDNESDAY, and I'll have having a launch party at the MCHS Library from 3:30 to 5:30pm. If you can make it, I would love to see you there!

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 6, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* An Audio Sample of Book 2!

Welcome everyone!

For the last Thursday Reveal for The Huntsman and the Vampire, I present to you the first chapter of the audio book via Sound Cloud:

Click Here to Listen


How's that for an opening? An uncle's mystery, a new location, the leader of the Lodge in a strange mood... Intriguing! Hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to pre-order tour books HERE!

Peace,

-Troy


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

One Week From Today - THATV Comes Out!!!

Welcome everyone!

The days are counting down. Seven more to go until The Huntsman and the Vampire will be released into the wild for the world to enjoy!

When I launched my first book, The Huntsman and the She-Wolf, I felt more frustration than anything. Learning how to coordinate my printer, distributor, and vendors was difficult at times. Setting up my eBook was intimidating, even though Amazon does try to make it easy.

This time, though, I feel nothing but excitement. I am very confident going into this that everything will go smoothly.

And to top it off, interest in my first book has spiked just before the second one launches. Check out the graph below:



To be in the top 25,000 books on ALL OF AMAZON is a tremendous accomplishment. It's the highest ranking I've ever achieved, and I am humbled by it. I want to give a shout out to all those who've purchased my book in one form or another. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So what's going to happen between now and launch? Well, we have one more Thursday reveal to go. I have to work really hard to get it ready tonight. I'll be doing updates as we get closer and closer to launch day, and don't forget about the Launch Party that I posted about earlier this week.

Once again, thank you to everyone for your fantastic support. This has been a tremendously exciting time for all of us. You guys are awesome.



And if you haven't ordered your book yet, you can still get it by launch day if you order on Amazon. I'll be back with more tomorrow! :)

Peace,

-Troy




Tuesday, February 4, 2020

I'm Having a Launch Party!

Welcome everyone!

To kick off the release of my second novella, we're going to have a party! Bellow is the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marion County High School Library of Lebanon, Kentucky has invited Troy M. Costisick to celebrate the launch of his second fantasy novella, The Huntsman and the Vampire on February 12, 2020. A student session will be held in the library from 2:30pm until 3:30pm. A second party for the public will follow from 3:30pm until 5:30pm.

Costisick is a teacher at MCHS as a member of the English department. He has worked in the field of teaching since 2002 and has served at MCHS for the last 15 years both as an English teacher and an ECE collaborator. 

His first novella, The Huntsmen and the She-Wolf, was launched just last year to resounding success on March 26th. The launch of his follow-up work extends the story of Tristan DeSavoie as he endeavors to reclaim his family home from the mysterious powers that forced his father to sell it.

Copies of both books will be available for purchase and Mr. Costisick will also be available to answer questions and sign copies (at no charge). Copies will be available in both hardback and paperback. 

The Huntsman and the Vampire officially launches on February 12th, 2020 and is available with numerous online retailers including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, www.troycostisick.com, and more. 
If you're able to make it, I'd love to see you there! Don't forget, if you can't make it to the party, you can currently pre-order my books in eBook, paperback, and hardback from Amazon HERE.



Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 3, 2020

I Did it!!!

Welcome everyone!

I did it! After weeks of trying, I was finally able to finish recording my audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire. Whew, that took longer than expected.

There are 24 chapters in the book, and each one takes me about an hour to record. Editing and mastering is about another hour each. Then there's the uploading and formatting for Audible. The whole thing is a massive endeavor.

So, the first step is done. Now it's on two the second: making it sound nice for everyone.

The audio book will not be available on launch day with the print and ebook versions, but it will be there eventually.



I'd also like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been supporting me lately. Getting Book 2 ready for sale has been hard at times, and the words of encouragement have really helped. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Love you guys!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 31, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 01-31-2020

Welcome everyone!

This weekend I will have a good bit of time to myself, so barring any unforeseen circumstance, I should be able to finish recording the audiobook for The Huntsman and the Vampire!

Getting that part of the process over will be a huge load off my mind. Then, I can start the editing and mastering process. I'll be glad when it's all done.

Anyway, here's my goals:

  • Finish recording the last two chapters of the THATV audiobook
  • Begin mastering the THATV audiobook
  • Plan launch day activities
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 30, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* - Sample CHAPTER from The Huntsman and the Vampire

Welcome everyone!

We are only THIRTEEN days away from the launch of The Huntsman and the Vampire! This week, I'm going to share an entire chapter with you.

When I originally planned this reveal, I thought I would share the first chapter. It makes sense since that chapter provides the hook for the story, but the more I considered it, the more I decided I didn't want to reveal that just yet.

You see, there are several surprises in chapters 1 and 2 that I appear on the first page I revealed a few weeks back. I still want to keep those a secret for now.

So instead, I have prepared for you Chapter 3: Attack on the Lodge.

You don't need to have read the first two chapters to understand what is happening in the third. The chapter is strong enough to stand on its own.

However, there are a lot of subtleties in this passage. Look for the smallest details. Note who appears and who does not appear. Make a mental note of where the characters stand and where they go, and also, note what objects are desecrated or destroyed. These will all be important later in the book.

This is one of my favorite chapters in Book 2. There's a lot of action, intrigue, and even a little romance. It's also the first time the vampires (also called bloodborn) appear on-page. I hope you like them. Let me know what you think!

Here is the link to the passage: The Huntsman and the Vampire: Chapter 3



As a reminder, Amazon has the eBook, Paperback, and Hardback available for preorder right now! If you want to receive your book on the day of the launch, order soon!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Vids I Like #5 - Women in Armed Medieval Combat

Welcome everyone!

Today, I'm going to share a really great video with you. In my series, men and women fight side-by-side against monsters of the dark. I've gotten some questions over the last year asking if it's realistic to have women fight with the same proficiency as men.

The answer is yea. One reason is that in the setting of my story, monsters can only be hurt by weapons made of as certain substance: Eldanar. The mystical properties of Eldanar strengthen whoever wields it enabling them to do battle against creatures many times stronger.

However, that's not the only reason men and women fight along side each other. Another reason is because they can.

Recently, when the Witcher series came out on Netflix there was a bit of a controversy on whether or not the show depicts combat realistically. One of the criticisms was how women could out duel men. It turns out that in armed combat, the differences between men and women are largely negated by the equipment.

I could try to explain it myself, but I'll let the host of this video do it for me:



Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 27, 2020

Motifs I'd Like to Use #10: Signposting - A Literary Technique

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about "signposting." If you've read many book series, then you probably know that that is even though you've likely never heard it called that.

Signposting is when an author leaves the reader a clue about what time of year it is by observing some kind of recurring momentous occasion. This can be anything from holidays, birthdays, seasons, to celebrations.

For instance, many of you have probably read or or watched the Harry Potter series. In most of the books, Harry has to get to school. The start of the school year is a signpost that tells the audience how much time has passed since the last installment. She also usually includes something about Christmas. That's another signpost that lets the reader know how much time has passed within the story.

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Bilbo share the same birthday. Those days are observed in the story to let the reader have an idea of how much time has passed.

Signposting is an important technique because the reader will often have a hard time keep track of days, weeks, and years during a story. Just think about how hard it is to keep track of stuff in real life! And also, it's kinda lame for an author to just come out and say "It was two years since the events of the last book..."

My books will also use signposting. Tristan's birthday is a big one. Also the change from summer to fall and from fall to winter will be used. However, there may be times I just have to come out and say, "Two weeks later..."

Each author has to make that decision. Signposting is preferred to plainly stating it, but it's not always a feasible technique. Plus, it's a fun way to celebrate tradition. People love traditions, and revisiting a holiday or celebration will bring back fond memories for the reader, which is always nice. You can even subvert those fond memories by having tragedy strike at a time that is normally associated with happiness.



Anyway, there's a little peak behind the curtain of writing for you. Don't forget to come back on Thursday for a HUGE reveal. It's going to be wonderfully exciting for you. I can't wait!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 24, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-01-24

Welcome everyone!

I have a busy weekend with personal stuff this week, but I still hope to make progress on the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire.

This weekend's goals:

  • Get one or two chapters recorded
If I can do that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* Audiobook Cover!

Welcome everyone!

For the last few weeks I've been going on about the audio version of The Huntsman and the Vampire. I'm down to the last few chapters and hope to get the recording phase finished very soon. After that, comes the editing and mastering.

Editing and mastering fit my schedule much better. I can do a few minutes at a time and just need a pair of headphones. When recording, I have to get my whole apparatus together, and it also needs to be pretty quiet. I often have to turn off the heat or air condition, in fact.

So, once I get the recording done, it should come along more quickly. You can check out the audio version of my first book on Audible HERE.

Anyway, you don't care about that. You're here for a reveal, so let's get to it:
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


Naturally, it resembles the full cover. Audible requires a square format that resembles the old CD cases audiobooks used to come in. Regardless, I think it's beautiful, and I'm proud to have it represent my work.

Until next time, take care of each other!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Vids I Like #4 - Making Good Villains

Welcome everyone!

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is making good villains. Mine are often too remote, flat, or abstract for the audience to relate to. Sometimes, that's okay. You don't need a nuanced villain if you're setting up a fun adventure story where good and evil are black and white.

However, for a deeper, more hard-hitting story, a villain the audience can sympathize with is far more preferable. Below is a video explaining how a popular comic book movie is both sympathetic and objectionable at the same time. It's a brilliant vid, IMHO, and one I'll refer to often in the future:


Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Upcoming Changes to My Site

Welcome everyone!

I'm working on several changes to my website. I hope these will improve the experience for everyone who comes here.

First, I'm going back through all my posts and adding tags to them. This will make it much easier to sort and find entries on a specific topic. I should have done this when I first started, but alas, I didn't think about it. So in the future, you'll be able to type "Phen" in the search bar and pull up any post about him. This will be useful for myself as well.

Second, I'll be updating the sidebars with links to my new book. That'll change the appearance a bit, but in a good way. I love my new cover and can't wait to feature it more.

Third, I'll be looking for more widgets to add that will make my site more entertaining for you. I want this place to be informative and fun at the same time.


Finally, don't forget that The Huntsman and the Vampire is available for pre-order. If you order now, it will be on your doorstep on launch day, February 12th. And, since I've been talking so much about my audio book lately, I think I'll make something from that my Thursday reveal this week. Make sure you check back then!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 20, 2020

Just 3 More Chapters to Go!

Welcome everyone!

I've had a great weekend. I want to celebrate with you how close I've come to finishing the audiobook for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I'm down to recording the last three chapters!

I had 8 chapters to go when the weekend started. I really knuckled down and made a strong push to get the book done. Alas, that is too many chapters to fit into one weekend, but I did try.

I hope to get it all finished by the end of next weekend. If I do, one of my upcoming Thursday reveals will be an audio copy of the first chapter.

Anyway, aside, from that, it looks like I'll be able to share some other exciting news this week. I just have to firm up a couple more things to be certain.

Until then, take care of each other!


Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 17, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-01-17

Welcome everyone!

This weekend I have a pretty simple task: make more progress on the audio book. Last weekend went well, but it's still an agonizingly slow process. I'm close to 70% done recording, which is great. But that still leaves hours and hours of editing and mastering to do. Blah.

So here's my goal:

  • Try to get at least four chapters recorded
If I can do that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do to.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 16, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* The First Page!

Welcome everyone!

Today I reveal the first bit of text for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I thought about just posting a screenshot of my own final draft that's in a Word document, but the interior of my book is so beautiful that I wanted to post the actual thing for anyone to see.

If you get the paperback version of THATV, this is exactly what it will look like. I love the work my layout artist does. It's amazing.

This is also the first for-really-real spoiler of the season. I'm not overly concerned about posting the first page. Once my book is launched, Amazon will put the first two to three chapters up for everyone to read in its "Look Inside!" feature. So I'm not **really** spoiling anything that would get spoiled by someone else regardless.

The first page begins, however, with a surprise, so if you don't want to be spoiled, don't look any further down below.

Last warning!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


So, there we have it! The book begins with an ending. I felt it would be poetic. We're saying goodbye to the adventure of the first book and hello to the adventure of the second. Every beginning requires the ending of something else, even if that ending means going from non-existence to existence.

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak. I'll be back next week with even more! Until then, take care of each other :)

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Toss a Review To Your Author

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about reviews. Many who read this blog love books. I love them too! And one thing I've discovered since first starting my writing journey is that small-time authors thrive on reviews.

Websites like GoodReads, Amazon, Book Gorilla, BookBub, Barnes and Noble, etc. make decisions about a book's visibility (how prominently to display a book) based on the number of reviews that book has gotten. It was something I never thought about when I was just a consumer, but those reviews are lifeblood for a fledgling author.



The more reviews a book gets, the more likely it is that the book will be featured higher in searches, showcases, and newsletters. Crossing thresholds like 100 or 200 reviews can catapult a title from obscurity to fame. No joke.

One of my colleagues in the indie-author biz has a book with over 250 reviews on Amazon. He is constantly getting sales for his eBook even though he does littler advertising. Another colleague has 33 reviews and she sees very little engagement with her title despite using her full advertising budget each month. Those reviews matter.



Unfortunately, leaving a review is more complicated than just smashing a like button on YouTube. Readers often have to go the trouble of logging in or creating an account to leave a review. Other sites, like Amazon, require you to have spent a certain amount of money in the last 12 months in order to be eligible to review a product. It's a pain, I know.

The reasons for those requirements, though, are simple. Authors can be a desperate lot and in the past have created burner accounts to leave reviews or have employed bots to mass review their works in order to jump up the visibility ladder. Thus, these websites have taken great pains to make sure that doesn't happen. Their integrity and the customer experience depend on it.



So if you can, please leave your favorite authors a review on whatever platform you prefer. It will mean a lot to them and you'll help improve the overall customer experience for everyone.

Now, I wouldn't blame people for pointing out that this post might be self-serving, but I'm not directly asking folks to leave me a review per se. Although I will greatly appreciate every review that I get, I'm a long ways from any of the key thresholds. Instead, I just want to put out there how important reviews are to book lovers and book writers alike. If you love the books you've read, the best way to ensure you get more titles like that is to leave a review. This will encourage that author to continue writing AND show other authors what kinds of stories people want to see.



It's a virtuous circle that keeps feeding itself.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for a really cool reveal. I'll see you then!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Setbacks Are a Part of the Game

Welcome everyone!

Any project that takes years to complete will suffer setbacks. Publishing a book series is no different, and I am now confronting several setbacks that I'll have to solve.

With the release of The Huntsman and the Vampire less than a month away, I've turned my attention to Book 3 in the Hunter's Rose series. I've contacted all the artists, editors, and creators I've worked with for the first two books in the series to inquire about their availability. Sadly, some will likely not be available.

The artist I used for the landscapes and architectural designs in my first book is no longer able to produce. I covered that in the past, but there's been no change, unfortunately. I really liked his style and his promptness, but in the end, he won't be returning. I'll be very interested to hear what people think of the art produced by his replacement in Book 2.

Also, the editor I used for The Huntsman and the Vampire has left the industry. This was a particularly hard blow for me since I admire her work both in the editing field and the writing field. She's the author of Unanchored, a pirate-historical fiction novel that I personally think is quite enjoyable.


In addition to that, the folks who have done the cover and interior for my first two books have gone radio silent. They haven't posted to their social media since August and are no longer returning my emails and PM's. I do know that they have suffered some serious health issues lately, and I sincerely hope that there has not been a relapse or sudden change for the worse.

I want to be clear that I'm not disappointed in any of these people. Real Life comes up all the time. Family, illness, burnout, whatever can all change a person's course in life very quickly. I'm nobody special. They don't owe me anything, and if they aren't able to do the work, I wouldn't want to pressure them into it.

But this illustrates one of the challenges, maybe the biggest challenge, of being an independently published author: you must rely on other independent people to make your project happen.

The great thing about being independent is you get to decide everything for yourself. There are no schedules, no commitments beyond what you're willing to make. But that's a two-edged sword when outsourcing elements of your book. All the other independent artists get to make decisions for themselves too, and if they can't or don't want to work with you anymore, then there's no real recourse. Author's writing for a publishing company don't have to worry about such things.

Perhaps it was naive of me to think I'd get to work with the same people for the entire series.

Thankfully, I have plenty of time to sort this out. I'm a person who prefers to plan ahead and make sure doubly sure before I set out to do something. Now that I know that certain contractors won't be available, I don't have select someone in a hurry. I can take my time to evaluate and choose new ones based on their track record.

Anyway, I'm just keeping you in the loop and warning you about one of the potential pitfalls of indie publishing. Take care of each other out there.

Peace,

-Troy