This is going to be a pretty pug heavy post, so before I get to that, just a few tiny updates. Today, I’m r/fantasy’s Author of the Day. You can check that out here if you want to stop by and say hello.
Also, I’m well into the second book of the new fantasy series I’m working on. I’m thinking I might share a chapter or two of the first one with you guys soon, so keep an eye on the blog for news of that. It’s an epic fantasy series that will be at least three books long, possibly four. I’m still working through how long the story will take to tell. It’s hard to say at this point. Right now I don’t have a title yet, so in my newsletters you’ll see it as Dawn of Dragons/Day of Dragons. I have several ideas for the title that are far more descriptive of the overall story, but I can’t settle on one yet. As you can guess from the temporary title, the series features dragons in a major way. And yes, I am working on The 11 as well. Don’t fret!
Without further ado, the pug that was promised.
I keep meaning to share a little something with everyone and time just keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping… anyhoo. This last Christmas my brother gave me a tiny glass pug. I think it’s too cute. So here, in all it’s glory, is the tiny, peanut shaped pug.
Since my actual pug is also pretty peanut shaped, I think this is a perfect representation of a pug. She tells me otherwise.
Alright, alright, alright! You might notice a little change around here. Last January (2017) I had decided I was going to go all in on my writing career. I’d been writing and publishing books for a few years before that, but I hadn’t been doing it full time or investing a lot of money into it. One of the things you learn as an independent author is that writing is exactly like a small business — you have to put money into it. Sure, there are lucky authors who manage to snag success just by publishing, but success stories like Hugh Howey’s are becoming a lot less common, in part because there’s just more competition out there for reader’s attention. That meant I had to treat my career as an investment.
One of the first things I did was invest in a web presence. I paid for hosting services, registered a domain name and purchased a few themes to customize my website. It looked passable, but I was never thrilled with it, partly because the themes you could purchase had odd restrictions (don’t get me started on static image sizes that nowhere in any documentation was it written what the ideal sizes needed to be) and were extremely inflexible. Add to that the support for the themes wasn’t the greatest. An update to a theme I was using caused me to be unable to add new content to my website for over a month.
Now, I should add, there won’t be technical support in the traditional sense. If authors who want a site like mine say, “it would be nice if …” and it’s something I think is a solid idea, I’ll pass it along and see if it can be easily done. I’ll write up some basic documentation and I’m going to add some free images and theme settings to get people started so they can get an idea of how flexible this theme is and what they can do with it. Authors who are interested would also have to purchase a plugin called Advanced Custom Fields Pro – I got this for about $22. My developer is in no way associated with that company or plugin, he just uses it as a boilerplate element of all of his custom WordPress themes and plugins.
Eventually it will be downloadable from my site, but it you’re interested in jumping on board during the beta, just fire off an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the theme.
Now, onto other news — my new book, Enchanted Legacy, is coming out in less than two weeks! You can pre-order Enchanted Legacy now for $0.99 and, if you’d like to, you can read the first three chapters here. No sign-up is required to read the first three chapters. You might see a few minor editing issues — those have been fixed for the final version.
Enchanted Legacy is a standalone portal fantasy. If you’re unfamiliar with the term portal fantasy, think of books like Through the Looking Glass, Outlander or Stardust.
Enchanted Legacy follows a young woman named Fiona. Fiona is a modern woman living in our world. Her grandmother, the woman who raised her, unexpectedly dies and leaves behind a mysterious letter with a vague request — ride her grandmother’s horse where it takes her and aid her ancestors.
What Fiona thought was merely the mending of a family rift turns out to be something much more magical and dangerous. She is transported to a world where creatures from myth and legend are real. She soon finds she’s inherited so much more than just a quest. She’s inherited a legacy – one she’s not so sure she’s worthy of.
I’ll leave the price at $0.99 for the first week of release. So far my ARC readers have been sending me rave reviews. I’m super excited to release this book. It has some of my favorite characters from anything I’ve ever written. This is also the book I’m planning to enter into SPFBO this year — I’m mentioning that now because I’m really hoping to bring out another fantasy this year, the first in a short series, but more on that later 🙂 .
I hope everyone is having a productive, happy and healthy year so far. I’ll blog again soon when Enchanted Legacy is released!
Independent authors know how difficult it can be to find readers who will enjoy your books. You can advertise to a thousand people (or more) and only find one person interested in your book. The search for readers who would connect to your work can be frustrating, even at the best of times. I try to remind myself, that even though there are authors that seem ubiquitous and universally loved, like Stephen King, in truth, they aren’t. While I really enjoy a lot of King’s works, most of my family has no interest – which makes me a little sad when we have family gatherings, because I really want to talk about the new adaptation of IT.
If even someone as well-known as Stephen King can’t get everyone to try his books, how am I, and independent author with a small fan base, going to reach new readers? It’s a conundrum that all indie authors face, and there are a plethora of services competing for the limited funds indie authors have with the promise of helping readers connect with authors. Enter Voracious Readers Only.
This is part of my Indie Book Review series. For more information about this series and what my background is, go here to the first indie book review. Indie Reviews are tagged as such on my blog. Without further ado, here is my review of Rage of Dragons!
Rage of Dragons – Book One of The Burning
I first found this book while perusing the fantasy subreddit. The author, Evan Winter, had just released it and was excited to show the cover off. It is a fantastic cover. He described the book as Game of Thrones meets Dune/Gladiator. While I don’t really feel this is an accurate description (the Gladiator part is about right), it nevertheless had me curious. I picked up the book and decided to give it a read. I’m glad I did.
Rage of Dragons opens up like a lot of epic fantasy, with an event that happened years before the story and with people who will not be characters in the main story, but will lay the groundwork for the setting. The prologue begins with a battle, which in many ways will never end. The battle quickly immerses the reader in the world of The Burning: there are dragons – which shouldn’t surprise anyone with that cover; there is magic; and there is an endless war between two nations.
There’s a lot to process even in the prologue. Names, ranks in the military, titles of leaders – all will be thrown at you in the prologue, but don’t fret if it’s a little confusing. You’ll have more time with all the titles and ranks as the story progresses. (more…)
First off, after some hiccups with the process, The Arbiter is now available everywhere! Going forward, all my fantasy books will start wide. For now, my sci fi titles will remain on Amazon exclusively, but that should also change starting next year.
If you haven’t had a chance to pick up The Arbiter yet, I have it on sale for $0.99 all week this week. Here’s a universal book link to all the stores that currently carry The Arbiter: https://books2read.com/u/m0xvNY
You might notice this has a different cover than the one you’re used to. After a lot of testing and polling, this is the design that won out among authors and readers alike, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it as well.
In addition, if you aren’t a member of my newsletter, you might be interested to know that Molly’s Tale, a prequel to The Arbiter, is free to members of my list. That’s also the only way you can get it. If you’re interested in that, you can grab it here from Bookfunnel:
I’m so sorry it’s been so long since readers have heard from me. I’ve been away because a family member passed recently. I’ll be updating everyone on my publishing schedule as I resume all the things that were put on hold while I took time to be with my family. I have a couple of posts I’m going to work on over the holidays for you, one a new Indie Review of a book I’m excited to tell you about, and another for indie authors about a service I’ve recently used that I found rather helpful for finding new readers. I’m also close to finishing my giveaway for the Of Gods & Mortals trilogy, so look for that to be announced soon. Have a terrific week, readers!
There’s a moment in Stranger Things, Netflix’s brilliant, creepy, nostalgic gem of a show, where I knew it was going to be one of my favorite things ever – something so wonderful that I’d be able to watch it time and time again without feeling bored. No, it wasn’t the title sequence, a thing so immediately recognizable as 80s that I dubbed it the most 80s thing ever as soon as I saw it. No, it wasn’t the music, which was undeniably awesome and synthy and made me want to buy the score before it was even available. It was a sheet. Yes. The sheet in this picture. (more…)
This is part of my Indie Book Review series. For more information about this series and what my background is, go here to the first indie book review. Indie Reviews are tagged as such on my blog. Without further ado, here is my review of Beneath the Silver Rose!
Beneath the Silver Rose – Book 1 of the Shadyia Ascendant series
Beneath the Silver Rose is a strong start to what promises to be an exciting series full of mystery and action. Shadyia is a courtesan, but she’s not just any courtesan. She’s feisty, loyal and tough. The book opens with a terrible choice for Shadyia, either she allows a noble to humiliate and beat her as a petty revenge toward a rival noble who enjoys Shadyia’s company, or she strikes him down and endangers the lives of all the sisters she lives and works with. What she chooses to do in this moment will have lasting repercussions throughout the entire first novel in the series, repercussions that effect not only those who work in the Silver Rose, Shadyia’s place of employment, but also other players in a far more deadly game for power.
When I was getting close to releasing The 13, one of my readers asked what inspired that story. I’ve gotten a lot of comments about the names of the ships – the Nimoy is a favorite – and where the idea came from. The answer is a lot of places.
When I went to college, I thought I was going to be a doctor. I took all the classes: the five credit hour chemistry that met every day of the week including a three-hour lab slot, the biology course in the giant lecture hall where I personally believe they were doing something meta and trying to make you feel like an insignificant individual cell in a giant living organism, the calculus courses – because we all know that there’s a lot of calculus involved in determining an illness ;). I did all of it for a year before I had to stop and take stock of what I really wanted. (more…)
Just a quick note to say we’re on track for releasing The 12 on September 6th. I’m already starting to get comments back from ARC readers and everything looks pretty great so far! I’m super excited to bring you the next book!
In other news, you’ll start seeing more of my books on other outlets, like B&N, this weekend. This is a bit of a trial run for me. I’ve had most of my stuff exclusively on Amazon for a while now, in part because exclusivity is required to be a part of the Amazon Select program. For those who don’t know, (more…)
Hello all! This post is for those who are interested in the publishing process – maybe because you’re curious, maybe because you’re looking to publish. Either way, I hope it’s informative. The next post will be back to stuff about my books. Happy reading!
Vellum. For those independent authors out there, you’ve probably heard about this software. Maybe you even own it, but aren’t sure if the upgrade is something you need or even want. I’m going to take you through some of the benefits of the software and my reasoning for my own upgrade. (more…)