It’s the end of September and that means a new short story just went out to my newsletter subscribers. This blog post will be a companion to the newsletter.
This month’s story is called Words That Were Left Behind. It is a glimpse into the lives of Mick and Yvonne in the near future. Here is the blurb:
Mick and Yvonne’s difficulty with communicating to each other spell for troubled waters on their relationship front. Frustration leads to anger—anger leads to abandonment in this mild science fiction tragedy.
The story has an unforeseen conclusion that leaves you wondering if there are words that you should say now before it’s too late. The story came in around 2,300 words, and as with everything else that I write, could easily be developed into something more. But, it is a standalone story at this time. Now, if you’re a subscriber and have read it, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
October’s short story is well underway and it has yet to be titled. It is a paranormal story about two siblings that have a much stronger connection than just their familial ties. As soon as more of the story develops, I will write the blurb and start working on a cover. If you want to be in the know, be sure to get subscribed before the last Friday of October and you’ll get to read it when it’s complete.
Now, I’d like to get some input, if you don’t mind. I have a brand-new trilogy that I’m currently in the very early stages of developing. It’s going to be a dystopian kind of story and will revolve around two or three main characters. Actually, the story begins in the current timeframe. Things are going to be normal for the characters and then possibly around a third of the way through the first book, some catastrophic event will occur. I’m still working out all the details yet and I don’t want to share too much. But, I’ve been thinking about going back to Kickstarter and opening up the development to some readers. I’ve run two other Kickstarter campaigns and they both funded successfully. Since then, I’ve been asked many times if I was going to continue using Kickstarter for the remaining parts of Linear Shift. Because of the delay between parts two and three, I didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. I had already developed so much of that storyline, that by that point it didn’t seem like a worthwhile ordeal for either one of us.
But, for this new trilogy project, I am so early on in the planning stages that I think people might enjoy participating in its creation. My thought is this: offer up multiple levels of contribution, and in return, I will give you naming and creative license to help sculpt and mold several characters of the book. As planning has it right now, I’m looking at ten to fifteen characters that would be up for grabs, along with some fictionalized city locations. There will be a handful of other items that might be available too. This is all still in its infancy, so nothing has been determined. If this is something that you would be interested in, please let me know in the comments below.
Right now, my target publication date for book 1 of that trilogy is the first quarter of next year. This new novel will not at all interfere with my writing of Shifted Realities, the first sequel to Linear Shift. I am far enough along with that novel that it’s still going to publish in the first quarter of next year as well.
I just remember the fun the supporters of the previous campaigns had when they helped create a number of the characters. Like I said, I’ve been asked about doing this again, and here’s your chance. Let me know your thoughts below and will see if I can make things work out.
That’s about it for this month. I want to thank you all for your continued support, I truly appreciate it.Read More
Today is a special day. Three years ago, today, I published my first book. It was Linear Shift, Part 1, and although it was a short start to the overall novel, it was motivation enough for me to keep going.
Now, today, I have a total of 18 independently published books and am included in 5 anthologies. One of which is an amazon #1 Best Seller. And if I have me way, the next three years will be even more impressive!
So, without further ado, please celebrate with me. For today, September 20th, and tomorrow, September 21st, nearly ALL of my books will be free or specially priced. The two or three that are regular priced are out of my control to change and I apologize. Grab them now if you haven’t already. Let all your friends know, because FREE is a pretty good price to discover a potential new author for them. Just click on the images below and you’ll be swept off to the Amazon page to take advantage of the special.
And why does the special run onto tomorrow as well, you ask? Well, Tomorrow is my birthday, and why not extend the celebration over to tomorrow as well? Right?!? I only turn a year older … well, once a year, I guess. But still. Celebrate!
After taking my daughter up to college at the end of August, my attention had shifted to Fantasy Football. I take my fantasy team (Meat Popsicles, thankyouverymuch) very seriously. Our draft was on Monday of this week, and I’d spent a fair bit of time preparing for it. It was a blast, and my top secret software (not really a secret) projects me the winner! Ok, ok. It predicts me the winner every year, and last year it would have been right if I hadn’t made a few bonehead roster moves throughout the season. But, I digress…
So, now that I’m relatively distraction free, it’s time to regain my focus on writing. The last quantifiable project I worked on was Perplexia, A Crystal Medallion Story. It was my August’s newsletter story, which was read by hundreds of my subscribers for free. Since then, I’ve been bouncing around on various writing projects: namely, September’s untitled Newsletter story, A Wool (Hugh Howey) short story that will be included in an upcoming Chronicles anthology, and Shifted Realities (a Linear Shift sequel).
After I had finished The Hunted Assassin back in May, I had planned on diving right into Shifted Realities, but life has a funny way of side tracking life. My wife Cheryl had a stroke in mid-May which derailed my time devotion for the next novel. So, instead, I shifted gears and decided to slow down that process and work on some short-term focus projects instead. Hence, the reintroduction of the monthly short story! It’s all good, though. Really, it is. Cheryl’s doing much better now.
If you’ve been following my writing for any amount of time, you’d know that the Newsletter short stories were going on back in 2014, and then were combined into an anthology in July of that year. I had plans to continue that process in 2015, and then again in 2016, but my focus drifted to novel writing instead. It’s kind of tough doing both, and working a day job at the same time. So, the Newsletter short stories got shelved. Only after writing two more (still unpublished) in early 2015. They were titled Departure and Hunter/Hunted. My goal was to write six shorts and combine them with the first part of Borrowed Souls for my next anthology.
So, with all that said, a new Anthology is in the works! I’ll combine those two 2015 shorts, along with four from this year and publish in December. Perplexia was in August, and the remaining three (September, October, and November) have yet to be titled, but all have been started. The Anthology is planned for a December 27th publication, but you can read the stories as they come out each month. Naturally, you’d need to be subscribed to my newsletter to do so. So, what are you waiting for? Click HERE and subscribe today!
That brings up my next project. The Wool Chronicles! I was invited to write a new short story for this anthology a few months back, and after a fair bit of back and forth with Amazon, it’s actually going to happen! My story is in the early planning stages, and should have a first draft ready to go in about a month.
Finally, there’s Shifted Realities. I’ve completed the outline and am working (slowly) through chapter summaries. There’s a bit of a twist to this novel – there’s a story within the story – that’s proving to be a bit of a challenge. It’s going to be awesome, but it’s like I have to write two separate stories, and then intertwine them into a single, cohesive novel. If I’m successful, it will be an awesome tale. Fingers crossed!Read More
No, it’s not a pill you take. It’s August’s FREE Short Story! Well, it’s FREE to those that are Subscribed to my Newsletter. Are you?
Perplexia was something that I started writing many years ago but never finished. I remedied that through July and August, and now, it’s ready for some readers eyes. Here is the cover and short synopsis:
Lost and disoriented, a man with questionable origins finds himself trapped in a most unusual place, and in an even more peculiar way. His identity is a mystery, and besides the need to discover his very existence, there’s nothing that he wants more than to break free from his unforced confinement. His only obstacle: fear of the unknown … and his lack of clothing.
If you all remember, back in 2014, I was writing and sharing new short stories with every monthly Newsletter. In continued that on until early 2015 when I decided to put them on hold so that I could finish up Linear Shift. I ended up leaving it on hold from March of 2015 until now. In that time, I was able to write and publish the conclusion to Linear Shift, as well as The Borrowed Souls and The Hunted Assassin.
Now, as I am about to gear up for a four-month writing adventure on Shifted Realities (the first of two sequels to Linear Shift), I’ve decided to resurrect the short stories for the months of August, September, October, and November. Then, I’ll combine those four stories, along with the two that I wrote in 2015 that have not been published yet, and publish a brand new Anthology of Short Stories for the Winter of 2016. It’s going to be glorious!
Three of the six short stories are already written, and two of the other three are started but not finished. The final story to be included is still a mystery to me. Maybe I’ll write a mystery!
Anyway, be sure to stay subscribed to the Newsletter through the end of the year, or Get Subscribed if you haven’t already. It’s free and painless, and you get a free ebook when you signup. I promise not to spam you. Pinky-swear, promise.
Lastly, feel free to share your reviews here if you’ve read it. Seeing as this won’t be available on Amazon until late December, it would be good to let new readers what to expect.
Thanks for all you do, readers! You make all the magic possible.Read More
Now that I’m two weeks past the launch of The Hunted Assassin, it’s time to start thinking about the future. What are my long and short term goal? What is the next writing project? I’m a big planner and very goal oriented, and I like to at least make an attempt at some realistic projections. As an example, I’ve set a goal to write every day this year (again-I’ve done it the last two years), regardless if I’m writing on a story or just laying down garbage words. Another goal is to write more than 700,000 words this year. Last year, I hit a little over 600,000 words, which blew my goal out of the water. I’d love to surpass the goal again this year.
But, for the time being, I need to get rolling on my next writing project. Back when I was finishing up with The Hunted Assassin, I’d slated the sequel to Silo Saga: Recoil to come up next. And until just the other day, I had been working in that direction. Then something happened. I realized that there are far too many of my own stories and worlds to explore – so many in fact – that I don’t think I’ll ever get to them all. So, why should I continue to spend time writing in another authors created environment? If I spend the next three to four months coming up with a sequel to Recoil, it’ll be just that much longer before I can get back to my other priorities. Besides, Hugh Howey is doing just fine without my added revenue to his bottom line.
So, any Silo Saga: Recoil sequel is indefinitely on hold. This will free me up to work on my own stuff. As I wrote The Hunted Assassin, my mind constantly jumped ahead to what kinds of series sequels could fly in that new world. In fact, I’ve already outlined the next two Jaxon Rasner books. They are going to be a blast to write. But, Jaxon will not be back in action until next year. January, specifically. Between now and then, I am going to work on the sequel to Linear Shift!
Linear Shift is special to me. It was my first published novel and is what kickstarted this crazy new career path, albeit the second career that it is. Since finishing Part 4 back in February of 2015, I’ve tinkered with multiple paths for its sequel. Writing in a time travel world, where an alternate history is now established, the sky is the limit. I have a ton of wild ideas on where to take the series. But first, I need to address some immediate issues that I’ve left dangle at the end of Linear Shift. This first sequel novel will mainly focus on Peter and how he’s coping with the changes in his new world. Inevitably, Peter will have to climb back into Epson’s travel box again. From what I’ve brainstormed just this morning, Peter will be thrust into yet another action packed adventure. Obviously, the kernel is all that exists at this point, and I plan on working through a detailed outline over the next two to three weeks. Actual writing will begin no later than August 1st.
Beyond the next Linear Shift novel, I’ll most likely roll back to the next Jaxon Rasner novel beginning in January. After that, I’m thinking about a sequel to The Borrowed Souls, then back to Jaxon Rasner. That’s what I’ve got planned for 2017 at the moment.
Now, in addition to all that, I do plan on writing a few shorter novels based on a number of new story ideas that I have. They won’t be novellas-short, but they will certainly be shorter than the 128,000-word behemoth that Linear Shift became. James Patterson is onto something with his new BookShots, and I’d like to write a few of them interspersed with my longer novel works.
So, get in, sit down and buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride!Read More
Finally, after more than five months of blood, sweat, and tears, The Hunted Assassin is ready to go!
My trip through the halls of Kindle Scout (KS) was quite a learning experience and one that will stick with me for quite a while. My campaign ended on June 11th and had been in evaluation ever since. Today that all changed. I received an email from KS, telling me that they’ve chosen not to publish my novel. Obviously, I was let down, but I’m moving on without a second thought.
From the very beginning, I’d planned on running the book through KS but completely expected it to get rejected. It’s not because of my lack of writing chops, oh hell no. It’s just that there are so many books get submitted, and they accept so few. That would mean my book had to outshine so many other awesome authors. I love the book I wrote, but I felt from early on in the draft that it might not be to their liking. Seeing as it’s a mash-up of Science Fiction and Thriller, it’s a tough one to market.
So, here I am – Moving ahead with the self-publishing thing once again. The Hunted Assassin is formatted and uploaded to Amazon’s site. It’s available for pre-order, and will be priced at .99 cents from now until it’s official release date of June 28th, and on through the end of the month. On July 1st, the price will increase to its regular price of $3.99. I’m offering this initial price special as my way of saying “thank you” for all the support through the first half of the year. It’s greatly appreciated.
I’ll also be offering a print version of the book, but it won’t be ready for a few more days yet. It should be available by the official launch date, and the price will be $12.95. Not a bad deal at all. Obviously, signed copies will be available in a few weeks.
Also, early reviews help so much in a book’s success. Please help me make The Hunted Assassin HUGE so that I can afford to write many more adventures in the series.Read More
I’d first like to apologize for not updating on my latest novel progress. I first got into the rhythm of writing and shut everything else out. Sometimes you have to do hard things to reach the finish line. So, without further delay, here’s where things sit!
I am through the first draft of The Hunted Assassin, a Spi-Fi novel, which I will be submitting to Kindle Scout next week! I already finished the first draft on April 9th and have been working through several rewrites ever since. As of right now, I am 71% through the final rewrite and will have it ready for submission on time. My goal is to submit sometime around Wednesday or Thursday of next week. That would be May 11th or 12th for those keeping score with a calendar.
As soon as I get things wrapped up, I am also planning on sending out a half dozen “beta copies” to advanced readers for initial comments. The manuscript will have gone through several editing passes, but final line editing will not have been complete. I’m submitting it for that final exercise once I have the novel submitted to the Scout program.
Now, for some numbers on the project, if you’re interested. I had my first inkling of an idea for this story on January 6th and began brainstorming efforts on January 8th. Once I decided that I had a decent idea, I started outlining in earnest on January 13th, with the actual writing work beginning on January 31st. My initial goal for the novel was 48 to 50 chapters, with a total word count of around 60,000 words. I sort of blew past that just a titch, ending up with 89,830 words across 68 chapters. Yikes! At my current spot thru rewrites, I’ve been able to reduce things a bit, dropping a little more than 2,200 words, or around 4%. I was hoping for a 10% drop in the end, but my scalpel isn’t as sharp as I’d like. If I maintain this pace of word removal, I’ll end up around 86k words. All in all, I’m okay with that. There’s just a lot of back story that needed to be added to make the story work out.
In the end, I hope the story will be received well, and a contract will be put forth. If it does, I’m already planning on the first of many sequels in the series. If it doesn’t get an Amazon contract, I’ll finish the editing process and publish on my own. I’m still planning on carrying the series on, but I’m playing with the idea of writing something completely out of my wheelhouse, and activating a new pen name!
So, I have options. I just need to finish this story up first, and then we’ll see. I do plan on blogging about the Kindle Scout process throughout the 30 days it’s in the program, as well as a few posts after the story gets accepted of declined. I’ll most certainly revise my writing goals for the rest of the year about that same time. But for now, please enjoy the cover for The Hunted Assassin!Read More