The Frostwalker Audiobook Is Out!

I’m happy to announce, after much struggle and a great deal of effort on the part of the fantastic Jack Wallen, the Frostwalker audiobook is now finished and available for sale!

Let’s just go ahead and get it said: You can grab this great story, read by a great narrator at Audible and Amazon right now. It’s also available on iTunes!

FrostwalkerAudiobookCoverFINAL

Come for the story, stay for the venison!

It’s been a long, sometimes difficult process. While Jack worked quickly and without complaint, he also waited patiently for me to find the time to go over the various iterations of the audio files. As I’ve discussed recently, my current situation has left precious little time and energy for creative pursuits, but Jack was very understanding whenever I was slow on my end. Sometimes, I was very slow indeed.

I also learned a great deal about how one goes about creating an audiobook, and had some great chats with Jack along the way.

So, now what? Now you go get it! But, more than that, I would like to ask my friends and followers, readers and fans (yes, Mom, this means you) to help get the word out. Frostwalker isn’t a new release, but it’s currently my only full-length novel (more on that in a moment). With such a limited catalog available, I need all the help I can get letting people know about my work. If you want to help an indie author out, the best thing you can do is tell your friends about them! Please do so, and thanks in advance!

What else is going on? There’s good news there, as well. First and foremost, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally managed to return to writing – a little. The day job is, frankly, a serious drain on my energy, even when it’s just the normal eight hours. However, the past week has seen slight progress on a couple of stories I started work on last summer.

Beyond that, I’m also still in the early stages of revision on my second novel, A Man With A Gun. There are more (new) beta readers looking at the manuscript. Soon, I hope to begin edits. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that one before, but seriously, the book will be coming out eventually! Heck, if you really want to give it a read, you could always volunteer to be a beta reader and help make it the best book it can be.

It’s been difficult, but I do hope that this recent return to writing will be a long term development. I’ve missed sitting here at my writing desk, putting on my writer hat, and… well, you know! If you want to be a writer, you gotta write!

I hope to begin doing more frequent updates in the future. For now, thanks for stopping by!

Starting 2016 With A Bang – Frostwalker Audiobook And 2015 Wrap-Up

So, it seems that all of the time left in 2015 has leaked out and now we’ve got a whole other year ahead of us. That went fast!

To kick off the new year, how about we start with a major announcement? After two and a half years since initial publication, the Frostwalker audiobook is almost here!

The audiobook will be narrated by the inimitable Jack Wallen. Many of you will know him, either through his own fiction, the numerous audiobooks he’s narrated, or possibly even from his stage career. Principle production is complete and now we’re into the nitty-gritty of polishing up the final product.

While the final release date for the audiobook is still undecided, it shouldn’t be too far off. For now, here’s a look at the audiobook version of the Frostwalker cover art:

FrostwalkerAudiobookCoverFINAL

Looks kinda familiar…

So, that’s pretty cool! But what else is going on?

Well, the short answer is: Not much. As I discussed previously, my employment situation changed and the new job has utterly devastated my productivity. The good news on that front is, I’m beginning to adjust a bit, and I do think I’ll be able to eventually start devoting more time to this whole author thing again soon. It likely won’t be much, but with luck, it will be enough to make progress on my various projects. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Unfortunately, no further progress has been made on any projects since the last time I posted. My final word count for 2015 came to 95,795. If you recall, my goal set at the beginning of the year had been to average 500 words per day. In the end, I only managed a smidge over 262 per day, on average. The first half of the year had seen daily averages well above target, but after faltering during the middle of the year, then getting this new day job, that was doomed.

I’m not sure how feasible setting a goal like that is for this year. With the situation as it stands, I’ve held off on setting a concrete word count goal. But, there are things I plan to get done!

One particular item, A Man With A Gun still needs to be finished up and prepared for publication. Technically, the manuscript is still in the first draft stage, and there are still copies out with beta-readers. The focus for now will be on getting A Man With A Gun through the editing process, and ready for release.

A whole new year is set out before us. A lot can happen in a year, as the previous one has shown. Here’s hoping for a productive and successful 2016!

Update – August 2015 – Good, Bad, and Ugly

Those who follow me might have noticed that I’ve not been nearly as active on Facebook or anywhere else for the past month or so. In fact, while I thought I might be doing updates like this every month, the last “monthly update” was back in May. I’ve posted since then, but not a proper update on what’s going on with my writing. Still, I have at least posted various bits of interest over the past two months, so that’s not so bad, I guess.

So, what’s my current status? Dead in the water – for now.

At the beginning of this month (hey, it’s still August for several hours yet) I started a new job. Gone is the part time janitor gig that gave me plenty of free time to devote to my writing. This is a full time manufacturing job. But, it’s more than that. This is a very physically demanding job, and I’ve never been the most robust of individuals. More, the products we make are in high demand right now, and the company is understaffed – in part because a lot of people work a few hours and decide to throw in the towel. It’s just that miserable. So, due to this high demand and lack of personnel, overtime isn’t just super available – it’s frequently mandatory. In the past four weeks, I’ve had one Saturday off, and several long shifts (10 and 12 hours). I believe only once was that voluntary.

But, there is also good news – otherwise, why would I put myself through it? The big thing is that this new job will finally allow me to meet some financial goals I’ve had for a very long time. It was through necessity that I took on the full time job (the mail-order business isn’t doing what it used to, and the janitor gig was insufficient given some new expenses that have come up). But, this new job will allow me to take on the new expenses and more. So, that’s good stuff. The benefits are okay as well.

But, what about the writing?

So, here’s where things stand on that. My yearly goal of averaging 500 words per day is likely sunk. I was beginning to lag behind last month and this new work schedule has almost certainly put me too far down to catch up. Frankly, the new job has been brutal. The first few weeks, all I could do was go to work, eat a little, and sleep. Just catching up on Facebook was difficult.

However, my body is beginning to adjust. Also, I can feel the creative juices starting to flow again. I hope that’s what those juices are, anyway…

The point is this: Two weeks ago, I despaired to think I might never have the spare time and energy to ever seriously write again. But, in recent days, I’m finally seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel. My free time is still going to be severely limited, and putting in three or five hours at the writing desk in a night isn’t likely to happen any time soon. However, I can see now that my energy reserves are recovering and getting in a few words after work may be a possibility. Hooray for hope!

Those who’ve been following along will recall that I finished two projects early this year. One was A Man With A Gun and the other was an undisclosed novella to be released under a pseudonym. Both of those are still in the first draft stage – more or less.

You may also recall that since that time I’ve started on two new projects, as well as considered tinkering with the longer version of Out After Dark. Those projects are on hold for now. The first sort of fizzled but may be resumed later. The second also fizzled, but remains at the forefront of my mind. As for the long version of Out After Dark… Who knows? It does keep coming back to me, though.

Right now, my priority projects are the two finished drafts. I plan to get those revised, edited, and ready for release before the end of the year. Yes, A Man With A Gun should be out this year if things go as I plan. Cover art for both of those projects is either in the works or almost finalized. I am still waiting to hear from many of my beta readers for A Man With A Gun, but will likely move forward with revisions soon regardless. So far I’ve had a lot of excellent feedback from those who have finished their read-through and it looks like this is going to be a popular read!

Finally, there is some pretty big news coming soon, so stay tuned. I don’t know if things are at a stage where I can talk about it, but I hope to make an official announcement in the coming weeks. I hope that was vague enough for you…

Anyway, that’s where things stand right now. Stick around, and let’s see how this all shakes out!


OH! Just in case you missed it: I was proud to be the first sponsor for Armand Rosamilia and Mark Tufo‘s new podcast, Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast. My spot ran on episode three. Good stuff! A big thanks to Armand for the very kind words!

Authors Input Wanted! Help An Up And Coming Developer Make The Tool You Need!

So, I’ve been talking with a couple of developers in recent months who are working on a new tool for authors to convert their manuscripts to ebook formats.

The basic premise of what the final product will do is this: Authors will upload their manuscript (in MS Word’s .docx format to start with). You then make adjustments, setting chapter breaks, setting up the various sections, and so on. Then, once you have it exactly how you want it, you download the ebook in whichever format(s) you need.

The project is still in development, but they want to hear from as many authors as possible to make their tool the most useful it can be. If you’d like to take a look at a prototype of the interface and let them know what you think, just click this link right here!

IMPORTANT: This is just a mock-up of the interface for testing and feedback purposes. It will almost certainly change as things are refined and as they learn more about how authors want to use the service. The interface shown at the link above is competely non-functional – it’s just to show you how the final system would work, as it stands now. They want to know how YOU would change it to make it work best for your own projects.

If you click on the screen, you’ll see blue boxes flash to show different parts that you can interact with to see how the final product would work. Experiment, play around, and give your feedback to the developers!

After you’ve explored the interface and have some ideas or thoughts to send along, send them an email at typebookfeedback@outlook.com and let them know what you think! Also, visit their landing page at www.typebook.co. At that site, you can see some of the early proposed pricing for the service. They also want to know what you think is a fair price for the service, so send that info along as well. The listed prices are just preliminary at this point. At the bottom, there’s a sign-up box so you can be contacted for follow-ups. Also, if you’re so inclined, follow their official Twitter account.

Now is the time where authors can make their thoughts heard! They want to make this project the best, most useful tool for turning your manuscript into an ebook. But, they need your help to do it! Please consider taking a look and sharing your thoughts with them.

One final note: I’m not affiliated with Typebook in any way. I just happen to know about the project and think they’ve got a shot at creating a really useful tool here. They’ve asked me to help spread the word, which I’m happy to do.

Why You Will Probably Never Make A Living As An Author

A long, meandering post wherein I grind your dreams under my boot heel – and then lift you back up, maybe.

That’s a pretty grim headline isn’t it? After all, so many of us are chasing just that exact dream: Quit the day job and spend all day following our imaginary friends around our fictional worlds – in between rounds of Candy Crush and Peggle, of course. Sitting in your underpants, swilling coffee and slinging words. What’s not to like? Continue reading

the semicolon project

I don’t often reblog things, and usually the things I do reblog are writing related. This is not, but you still should read it. Read it and understand.

hpwritesblogs

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender Today I went to a tattoo artist, and for $60 I let a man with a giant Jesus-tattoo on his head ink a semi-colon onto my wrist where it will stay until the day I die. By now, enough people have started asking questions that it made sense for me to start talking, and talking about things that aren’t particularly easy.

We’ll start here: a semi-colon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semi-colon is a reminder to pause and then keep going. 

In April I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. By the beginning of May I was popping anti-depressents every morning with a breakfast I could barely stomach. In June, I had to leave a job I’d wanted since I first set foot on this campus as an incoming freshmen because of my mental…

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May 2015 Update Addendum – My Writing Year So Far – With A Chart!

As I mentioned in my update a few days ago, I’m currently working on a new project that is still a little vague, but it’s something post-apocalyptic. I also chattered on quite a bit about my goal of averaging 500 words per day this year and how that was coming along. I know I’ve mentioned the Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my daily word counts, and that it has a chart as well. I thought you folks might like to see how that chart looks so far this year. So, here it is, including annotations I added to explain what we’re seeing.

The Road So Far...

The Road So Far…

That is up to date as of finishing up this morning’s writing session. You can click for a larger version. As for the hard numbers, they work out like this:
Total goal for year: 182,500 (500/day * 365 days)
Total so far: 87,315 (95,185 remaining)
Number of writing days left (assuming 500 words per day): 190
Number of actual days left in the year: 217

The past few days have been productive, and it feels good. I think part of it is the excitement of a new project. I also think it has helped having a set start time to each writing session. Due to my nocturnal schedule, and being weird about what day gets credit for my word count if the writing session straddles the midnight hour, I’ve just been waiting until midnight to start actually writing. Having that set time to “clock in” as it were, solidifies the concept that “it’s writing time – now go write“. Also, I get to psych myself up in the time between getting home from the day job and when I start writing.

Another nice thing is that there’s a little less pressure. When the last project hit the wall back in April it was very discouraging. But, I’ve had time to mull it over and I’m not so worried about that now. I know that chances are good that I’ll go back to it and finish it eventually – it’s just not ready yet. However, if it doesn’t ever amount to anything, and even if this new project dies as well, it’s okay. It’s all practice. It’s all experience. I think I do pretty well as a wordsmith, but we’re always working to get better.

The reason I can be so cavalier about the investment of tens of thousands of words that may never see the light of day is because I know that I can produce projects that do make it through. I’ve talked before about how finishing A Man With A Gun was great, not just because it was a new novel finished but because I had proven to myself that the first novel wasn’t a fluke. Once can be luck, but twice is nice. Many authors only have one book in them. Nothing wrong with that, but I want more. Now I know that I have more in me. Lots more.

So far, so good…