That’s right. I’m still alive. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been here the whole time, and I don’t plan on going anywhere soon.
However, my silence probably deserves an explanation. Hell, even if it doesn’t, I’m going to give you one, anyway. You deserve it.
My mentors (they don’t know they’re my mentors, but I think of them that way — and from what I’m going to say, some of you may figure out who I’m talking about) have a phrase that they use to describe life altering (or interrupting) events. Life rolls. These are things that come up that interfere with your life, your work, your ability to write. They are all-consuming and make getting anything creative done a real difficult proposition.
Where that’s relevant is that, over the last couple months, I’ve been right in the middle of one.
This life roll has roots that go back at least seven years, but the major events precipitating it begin near the end of 2009. You could even say that I’ve been living a life roll since the end of 2009 and only in the last couple months did it reach a state that it interfered with my ability to create.
Since 2009, my wife and I have experienced the following things: four car accidents in the space of one year that were not our fault, job loss, the sole client for my software business giving up on his business and leaving me in the lurch, long term unemployment (we now make a third of what we made before), and hospital stays for more than one family member.
We’re all still alive and we still have our home, but it all took a toll on my relationship with my wife, and we’ve been on rocky ground for quite a while.
In early September, things came to a head, and it forced me to reexamine my priorities, which is what I’ve been doing for the last couple months. I’m still doing it.
But I think I’m getting close to being able to sink my teeth into the stories again.
It won’t be the same, though.
You may not notice, honestly, because the projects I’ve started, I’m going to finish. They may just not get finished in the most timely fashion.
Before this all came down, I was going to try to publish something every four to six weeks. I was going to try to be one of those people that just flooded the market with their books to become successful.
Now, though, I’m not going to focus on producing as many books as I can. I don’t have the time, as I’ve had to take on some contract work to pay off a huge pile of debt. So with the time I have available for writing, I’m just going to focus on producing books that I’m excited about and trust that good things will happen. I’m going to try to live in the moment, as much as possible, instead of pining for a future that might never happen. I’m going to write for myself instead of to a business plan.
Reviews? Who cares.
Sales? Not going to worry about them.
Acclaim? Some of you like my writing. That’s good enough.
I love my wife too much to burn out my marriage in an effort to control something that I can’t control.
So what does this mean for the future?
I hope it means that you’ll see Bloodweave (the third A Wizard’s Work book) in the next year. You should see Minders released before Christmas, and hopefully before the end of November, and you’ll also be seeing the second Grim Repo book in the near future (right after Minders). I’ve got a couple of longish short stories to release at some point, too. Z3 (the third zombie novella) will probably see the light of day next year, too. And then, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll let you see this contemporary story that I’ve been dabbling with (I don’t know what genre it is, yet) over the last couple of months in an effort to get “something” done. Maybe I’ll write something completely different.
Whatever happens, it’ll be because it comes from my heart, and not from other peoples’ expectations.
And really, don’t we all want fiction that comes from the core of the writer’s being?
I hate doing this, which is probably why I’m a writer and not a salesman, but buy one of my books, if you haven’t. There are samples throughout the site (click on any book cover on the sidebar). If you’ve bought one of my books and liked it, buy more. Or if you’re a writer, try out my software at storyboxsoftware.com. My creditors will love you.
When I first wrote Zombies Ate My Mom!, I had planned for it to be a short story of about 3000 words. Of course, when I showed it to my wife and my beta readers, they all said the same thing. “It’s not finished!”
After I reread it, I had to agree, which is how Zombies Ate My Mom! became the novella that it is.
But there was the inevitable question. “What happens next?”
So, just in time for Halloween, Zombies Bought The Farm, the second novella in my Zombies series answers that question. It’s now available from most of the major retailers, and should be available from all of them before the end of the month.
Andrea and her boyfriend Brad, along with their new friend Sean and the young boy Danny, escaped from zombie infested Lynnwood to a quiet, cozy farm. After three months, the zombies seem to have thinned out and the four of them are getting used to their new life.
Except they are slowly running out of food, and they haven’t got a clue about how to butcher a cow.
When a prison bus carrying a close-knit family stops in their driveway, they invite them in for dinner. but soon, they discover the family harbors a terrifying secret.
And Brad still can’t shoot.
|My Bookstore (signed)
After what seems like forever (and a thousand delays), I’m excited to finally announce that Fragments is finished and available for you to read. It’s available in most of the major electronic bookstores except for Apple and Sony, but they should be coming along in the next few days to a week, I expect. The print version is currently available from me, directly, and from Amazon.com. It will filter out among the other retailers over the course of the next couple of weeks as the distributors get ahold of it.
I’m pretty excited about it. It’s nearly thirty percent longer than Shattered, and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks about it.
Six months have passed since Robert proved he completed his apprenticeship by defeating Orliss Kilore, yet the shattered Wizard’s Guild will not admit him to their membership. They claim they are protecting him, but he believes they have some other motive.
The New Academy
Angela has not seen Robert in months, not since the funeral for her old mentor, Monteous Roarke. Her studies at the new Wizard Academy consume all her time. Gerard only seems to have time for Nina, until his Uncle appears at the gate and informs him of his brother’s untimely death, and demands that Gerard return home.
A Wizard Apart
When a wizard long thought dead reappears to take his revenge on the Guild that expelled him, the apprentices must once again rush to find a wizard that can help them. Only this time, he does not want to be found.
iBookStore (coming soon)
First, I want to say that I am very sorry that Fragments is not out, yet. It’s the longest book I’ve written so far, twenty-eight percent longer than Shattered, and it’s taking me time to work through it. Back in May, I started formatting the paper edition, and quickly decided that I needed to do another edit of the book, which took longer than I thought. The book is better for it.
I submitted the files for the print edition last week, and I had planned to release it next week, assuming all went well. Unfortunately, all is not well. I discovered that the font I planned to use on the cover and some of the interior, while listed as public domain, may not have been stolen by the “author” of the font, and thus not public domain at all. There seems to be some question, but if there’s a question, I’m not going to risk infringing on someone else’s copyrights. So, I’ve had to redo the lettering with a font that I DO own a license to, which means I will have to order another proof, and that will delay the book by at least another week. I am going to wait and check the proof that’s already on it’s way before ordering the new one, so that I can catch all the other issues that might have cropped up. That said, the target date for Fragments is now August first, give or take a few days.
This latest delay won’t have a huge effect on future releases. I expect Zombies Bought the Farm to be released around the third week of August, and Minders to release around the middle of September, with the sequel to Grim Repo in October. I’m not placing a date on Reworked, yet, because it’s not finished, and it will need a lot of time to edit. It looks to be about thirty percent longer than Fragments, despite what the word meter says.
Finally, I’m looking for a new tile for The Sacrifice of Mendleson Moony. My wife and I talked about it, and we’ve both concluded that, as cool as the title is, it doesn’t fit the book. The book is a fantasy romance book, and nothing about the title indicates that the romance between the characters is a significant driver of the story. If you’ve read the book, help me out. I can’t, for the life of me, come up with a title that fits. Please send me your suggestions. If you suggest a title and I use it, I’ll send you a free book of mine (your choice).
StoryBox 2 is done. Finally. Eight months of tweaking and rearranging and wholesale changing have made StoryBox into a more flexible piece of writing software than it has ever been. And if you’ve used it, you know that it was already flexible.
My goal with StoryBox 2 was to clean up as many of the dusty corners as I could, and to do a better job at having things organized while still available to use everywhere, including in full screen mode.
With that in mind, I created the MenuBar – a strip along the bottom that takes up no more room on the screen than the combination of the Menu and StatusBar that previously existed, but gives you more functionality, including a Countdown Timer, 6 different word count meters, the clock and session timers, and, of course, the menu. The menu, instead of being text, is now a set of six icons. It takes a moment to get used to it, but once you do, I think you’ll like the fact that they are out of your line of sight.
The next big thing is the new export dialog. It allows you to save Export Profiles for each story. The Export Profiles save every setting, as well as a list of the selected files. I use this to make separate eBook exports for each retailer like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This way, I can customize the front and back matter for the retailers, and if I need to make changes, I don’t have to worry about making mistakes when selecting which files to export. The profile saves those selections.
The third big change is the Full Screen mode. In Full Screen, you now have access to every tool in StoryBox. You can do your outlines in full screen, you can do your Storyboarding in full screen, and you can have multiple documents visible side by side in full screen. You can set a different theme for full screen than you have in Windowed mode, and you can even set up the MenuBar differently.
In the coming months, I’m going to back off StoryBox development, to a degree. I will fix bugs over the summer while I concentrate on getting a Mac version of TrackerBox out, as well as the four books I have currently finished writing, but haven’t published. After that, releases will focus on one part of StoryBox at a time, the first of which will be search features.
There are 114 changes from 1.5 to 2.0, many of them minor, but far more than I could talk about in a blog post. Check them out and download StoryBox 2 from StoryBoxSoftware.com.
It’s May 31st. Yes. I was planning to release StoryBox 2 today. I planned to release Fragments today, too. Neither of them are happening.
StoryBox 2 will go out of beta sometime next week. I had to do some updates to TrackerBox that were not planned due to Barnes & Nobles change over from PubIt to NOOK Press. Now, the only thing holding StoryBox 2 up is fixing up the help file. I’ve already done a bit of work on it, but it needs more, especially with all the additions and changes, including changes that occurred after version 1.0 that never got included in the help. I will work on that this weekend.
Fragments has a different story. I started the formatting (which occurs after editing) last Friday and quickly discovered there were things I didn’t like. These things were there despite having been read by four other people, not including myself. The book was written last summer, and I’ve written a lot since then, so perhaps it’s just me growing as a writer, but I couldn’t let the book go out with things I hated in it. So I’m running through it one more time in an attempt to clean out those things that just bug the crap out of me. I’m sure, if I read it again six months from now, there will be more writing in it that I don’t like, but I feel I owe it to you to at least like everything in it at the time I release it.
So you can probably add two or three weeks to the release date for Fragments. I’m going through it as fast as I can, but I’m not rushing it, and it’s a long book. I think I’ve said it before, but it’s nearly 30% longer than Shattered. Reworked is coming along, but it’s probably going to be another 20-30% longer than Fragments. And, though I had planned it as a trilogy (planned is a loose term, here – imagined is probably better), I have an inkling there will be a fourth book.
This also means Zombies Bought the Farm will be delayed, but since it’s far shorter than Fragments, I’m hoping it won’t be much more than a week later than my original plan.
Today (May 31, 2013) is the last intentional day to get Shattered for $2.99. It’s $2.99 at pretty much all of the retailers listed on the Shattered page.