Blog Archives

Slow Boil.

A few things tonight.

First off, I spoke with my co-author, Mike Plested, and we’re ready to get started on Jack Kane Book 3. No title as of yet.

We do know some things. We know where the story will start. We also know where the story will end. Much like a Rubik’s Cube, what we don’t know, yet, are all the steps in the middle that will get us from that beginning to that end. Oh, we know some movements. Much like solving a cube, there are certain patterns and known situations. It’s a matter of doing all the right movements and seeing where that brings us next to know what we’ll be doing next. Until we get to that point, we won’t know.

What we’ll know is when the book is done. Much like the cube, there are infinite possibilities to get from a start to an end, but you always know the start, sometimes, you know the end.

Next, Haircut is doing well. I’m honestly surprised. I’ve sold 5 copies compared to the 0 I’ve sold of GRPC2. I expected the latter, I’m surprised at the former. I had thought I’d sell exactly 0 copies of Haircut as well. Not only did I sell copies, I got a 5 star review on the same day. I’m floored.

I’ve said all along, I’m not expecting much in the first couple of months as I get this all started. I’m going slow. Yes, I’m posting all over every platform that I can, but my followings are small. Time. A fraction of what they were when I was podcasting back in the Hey Day of podcasting. It’s going to take time to rebuild. I’m going in expecting this to be slow and I’m ready for it to take time.

If you’re watching the videos, I’m trying out my GoPro as a WebCam. Let me know how it looks.

Finally, My boss announced that he’s quitting. Retiring, really, but he’s leaving the company. He’ll be gone in 3 weeks. Though not entirely unexpected, it’s surprising. Everything he’s had in motion personally, he’s been getting ready for this moment and it jumping while he can.

That said, I’ve been working very closely with him over the past couple of years. We meet twice a week and go over nearly everything the team is working on. We’ll discuss things at length. I know all the moving parts of the team.

But I’ve never been in a leadership position before. Even so, I’ll be applying to be his replacement. This is scary AF. I doubt I’ll get the position for a variety of reasons, but going through the interview process will be enlightening. If I even get that far.

I’ll need to reach out to his boss and find out.

I’ve been in a similar situation before. I took leadership mentoring. Did tons of leadership courses. I’ve got all that behind me. Only thing I don’t have is practical experience. With a team like ours, it might not be wise to put an unproven leader into that position. Cybersecurity is no joke.

We shall see. I’ll keep you posted.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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I’m a reader before I’m a writer.

One thing I don’t like about the kindle tracking my reading progress with my reading goal for the year…or my days/weeks/months reading…it doesn’t take into account the days I read physical media.

I read. Like, I read a LOT. Not just books, short stories, and magazines. I also read news articles. Mostly politics, science, astronomy, and the like. I also read a good number of writer blogs and web comics.

In today’s video I mention Kill Six Billion Demons. I purchased the first two books off Amazon and I’m currently reading the webcomic on Comic Rocket (a website that will remember which page you’re on with a webcomic). First, Comic Rocket is great for, not only discovering new web comics, but also remembering where you’re at in your reading of a given web comic. I know it’s frustrating trying to remember where you’re at when reading a long running comic and not remembering your place.

At any rate, I’ve been reading a lot of older Marvel comics. Lots of old Ditko and Kirby comics. The stories are weak, yes. But then these comics were intended for kids. Villains explain in great detail what their plans are and every character talks…a lot. And then they talk some more. Lots of thought bubbles. There’s never a question as to what is happening.

I’m not reading most of the dialogue. I’m going through and looking at the artwork and being amazed at how many comics some artists were putting out in a given month. Truly amazing.

Back to KSBD. This isn’t a comic for kids. It’s not an adult comic, but it covers some weird topics that, unless you’re a little versed in various religious backgrounds, it’ll go over your head. That artwork is intense and visually strange. I was draw to this one much like all comics I’ve been drawn to over the years. The artwork. Topped off with a fun story, that’s keeping me around even more.

As I said at the start, I read a lot. My kindle doesn’t track all my reading. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes it’s annoying knowing I’ve a far longer streak than the device will give me credit for. Darn it.

I wish I could support every artist I find on the web. I do. There is so much great content out there. I do what I can. When I can’t do anything financially, I’ll do it through this blog with reviews.

That said, what are some web comics you’re reading? I’d love to know. I’ve got so many, that it’d be hard to come up with a quick list. Perhaps someday I will.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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Expanding My Platform.

Let me start with saying…I’m not a smart man. By no means an I tech-tard, but there is so much new technology, that I’m trying to keep my head above water with it all.

Tonight, I decided to stream to Twitch. This won’t be my first time, but it will be the first time I’m talking. I don’t even know what I have on my channel over there. What I do know is that I set up my account to allow me to stream to it. I hooked that key into my OBS software, and, if all went correctly, I was streaming while I was recording.

I know I’ll need to get on a schedule and try to record at the same time each night. We’ll see how that goes.

Why? Why am I doing that?

To expand my reach.

Yes, yes. Jack of all Trades, Master of none. I get that. I’m having fun and still learning. I know Twitch is mainly for streaming games, but there are talk shows over there as well. I won’t be able to compete with any of them, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.

I know everyone consumes content differently. I’m exploring options for content delivery.

To that end, I’m also looking at converting videos to upload to IGTV (Instagram longer videos). I’m looking at doing shorter 1 minute videos for both TikToc and YouTube shorts, possible even for Instagram stories.

There are so many options for getting content out there and much of it I can repurpose. I need to take the time and figure it all out.

Why? Why you ask?

Because I’ve got content, writing content, coming out and I want people to easily find me and what I’m doing. I’ve got a short story coming out tomorrow. So, I’ll mention it in all the right places.

Like here!

I’m LOVING what My Favorite Daughter did with the covers. You may hate it. I get that. What this cover will do is start out in the crowd. When I have 9 shorts out, those 9 covers will piece together to make the cover for the collection of those 9 short stories. And that pattern will keep going! I’m super excited about doing this.

The other thing this will do, for my readers, is give them a visual cue that this isn’t a novel. I don’t want people to drop .99 and be like “Pfft, this isn’t a book.” No, it’s not a book. It’s a short story and it’ll stand out because of that. Hopefully people will get it.

Also, this cover will stand out dramatically when in a huge list of other stories and books. If you scroll on Amazon looking at the top 100 of any category and saw this cover, it’d stand out in dramatic fashion. One of these things is not like the other.

I want people who are scrolling to stop and look and wonder…what’s this? And hopefully click on it, read the blurb and be intrigued enough to buy it.

That’s the plan, at any rate. As always, I’ll let you know how it goes. This is the first of many short stories to come.

I’m off to go study the back of my eyelids.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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Trigger Warning: A discussion about depression.

Because of my foray into podcasting so many years ago, I’ve met a large number of people online that I consider friends. My circle is wide and I keep in touch with as many of them as I can. It’s not always easy and there are times I lose touch. I’m not a perfect person. I do my best and that’s all I can do.

That said, one of those friends was lost last year. I only found out last week. For the individual’s privacy, I will not mention the name or circumstances. The struggle was personal and unfortunately the struggle was lost.

What I will talk about today is depression. Clinical depression.

Let me state here and now, I’m not a professional. I cannot diagnose or help someone suffering from depression. I can offer a ear if you need to talk, but I’m not able to do more than that. If you feel you may suffer from depression, mental illness, or have suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help and get the help you need. If you’re reading this blog, know you mean the world to me and I want nothing but the best for you in all ways.

First off, depression is not sadness. Sadness is what I felt this weekend. I lost my mother some years ago. My wife lost her mother as well. Though I miss them dearly, I’m happy for my step-mom, all my wife’s sisters and my wife who is a wonderful month to our favorite daughter. I feel sadness that My Favorite Daughter is in the process of moving out. Very slowly, but she is moving out. It makes me sad that she won’t be in our house any longer, but I’m so very proud of the woman she’s become and that this was her decision she made with her boy. The two of them will do well.

Depression is a clinical condition. It’s a mental imbalance related to how one’s brain is wired. Not everyone suffers from depression in the same fashion. Most people I know who have admitted to having depression, after seeking professional help, admit they spent years hiding their condition from family and friends. Most are ashamed to talk about it. That’s part of depression. It lies to you and tells a person they’re wrong in the head and undeserving.

I suggest go to Wil has suffered openly with his depression for a long time and blogged at length about his condition. Same with Jenny Lawson talking not only about depression, but her other multitude of mental illnesses. There is such a stigma around talking about metal illness that many chose to hide their condition. Some self-medicate to hide their condition. Others find release in the bottom of a bottle. Others see no hope and seek a more permanent release.

This topic isn’t easy to talk about or bring up. As I said, I’m not a professional. I cannot offer help, hope, or diagnosis. All I can do is talk about this topic openly and hope that others do the same. It needs to be normalized that those who suffer from mental illness are just as ill as people with a physical condition. The difference is those with mental illness can hide their condition easier.

If you suspect someone you know is struggling with a mental illness, don’t push them to seek help. Don’t berate them to do what you think is the right thing to do. Don’t think that just because you would do something about it means they’re capable of doing that. Everyone suffers differently when it comes to depression. Offer to talk with them. Support them no matter what choice they make even if it’s not the choice you would make. I’m not saying let them commit suicide if that’s the path their on, but understand that you’re also (most likely) not a professional and will be unable to diagnose what’s wrong with someone.

Another thing we all can do is to open the national dialogue when it comes to talking about mental illness is all its forms. From Autism, Asperger, Depression, Down Syndrome, the list goes on. People who suffer or take care of someone who suffers, shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it. It’s way past time we open the topic and stop letting people suffer in silence because they feel like they’re broken.

I could continue, but I’d rather do that in the comments. Please, share your stories. If you’re not comfortable doing that here, find a place where you can talk openly without fear. If you’re struggling with mental illness, seek out professional help. Know I care about you.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only:—0132-trigger-warning–a-discussion-about-depression-e10ljoq

Is it worth it?

This isn’t my first time on this merry-go-round. I’ve asked myself this question several times over the years. Is this all worth the effort I’m putting into what I’m doing? I’m creating art, but to what end? Why put so many hours into something only to put it out and watch it fail?

GRPC2 launched yesterday. I sent an email to my newsletter. Put out a blog post. The YouTube video. Put it out on FaceBook. All my other social media.

2 days in, I’ve sold 0 copies.

Let me stop you from going and buying the book right now. Please, don’t buy the book because I don’t want to guilt anyone into buying a copy. I fully expected to sell zero copies. I said when I launched the book, I expected to sell zero copies in the first month of launching the book. This isn’t a surprise.

When I launched Golden West, I sold a couple of copies. Gave away quite a few. Second book, I sold very few. I didn’t sell any of the 3rd. To this day, I think one person has read book 3 in the Golden West trilogy and that’s a completed trilogy. Honestly, I expected to sell some copies. I didn’t think the story would fall dead.

It did. I didn’t fully promote that series. I don’t even know how many people know I wrote it. By the time I’d started publishing those books, I’d already lost a good number of my audience. These things happen. It’s all my fault for having so many stops and starts over the years.

For those that have stuck with me and watched what I’ve done, thank you for being there. Even if you’ve not bought a book and are waiting for audio editions, I still appreciate you being there. You help keep me motivated to keep going and put out more books.

So, is this all worth it?

Honestly, I won’t be able to tell you for quite a while. I don’t know. I’ve invested myself in a 2-year plan. I want to get these 16 books written, published, and out to readers. After those 2 years, I want to work on something else if the sci-fi hasn’t taken off. If, after 5 years, I’ve still not garnered an audience, I’ll have to evaluate if it’s all worth it.

Yes, I’m giving myself 5 years. I hit publish on my first book, Chosen: Astel 1, back in 2011. I’ve been at this for 10 years already. I’ve published in fits and starts and with no consistency in either topic, genre, or schedule. This time around, I’m changing my tactic. I’m on a schedule. I’ll be putting out only Sci-Fi (Space Opera) books until I complete a story arc. I want to give readers a completed story line to follow from beginning to end.

I know I’ve lost so many people because of what I published and how I published it. I can’t change that. What I can change is how I approach my publishing going forward. That means getting on a course, on a schedule, and sticking to it. Getting words down every day to get more books done. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

The only thing that’s currently out of my control is growing my audience. How will readers find me? By me getting more and more content out there. That’s my goal. If I stick to it, over the next two years, I’ll have a dozen new books, and 50 or more short stories. 2 years, over 60 new pieces out there for people to find. That’s how I’m planning on attracting people’s attention.

Well, part of it. I also plan on reaching out to podcasting friends when I get the wheels in motion. I’ll reach out to blogs, send out review copies, find websites that do reviews and see if they’d like a copy. I’ve got plans in my head and I’m reading more books and taking more lessons to help better chart my course. Many have gone before me. Some have been wildly successful.

Let me state emphatically, I don’t feel I’m owed anything. It’s not “my turn”. I won’t succeed simply because I waited long enough and I want it bad enough. That’s not how art works. First of all, art is subjective. What one person hates, another will love. I need to get work out there, and let people find it. That’s all I can do right now.

Is it all worth it?

I simply won’t know for quite some time to come. I’m going to enjoy the ride for all its worth. I’m glad you’re here with me and I hope you stick around to see what happens next.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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To Promote or not to promote…

First off, let me say, I’m tired. Like really tired.

The Mrs went on a week-long trip to Florida to visit family with her sister. All went well until their return trip. There was a major storm sweeping across the country. Their flight out of Orlando was delayed, but they got to Charlotte where all flights were cancelled. They had to get a room for the night, which, thankfully, they did. They were up early the next morning and back home.

Needless to say, I was also up late and up early. Had to do the day job until their plane landed. After work, took a short nap and my brain is goo. You can probably tell in today’s video.

Moving on.

One of the things I’m thinking a lot about lately is promotion. Yes, I need to be better at marketing myself. I’m not good at that. I’ve not studied what I need to do on that end. I’ve got books to read, yes. I need to get to those. Let’s not put the cart before the horse.

I do plan on doing marketing. Later. Right now, I’m concerned with planning and scheduling as well as writing that next book. It does me no good to market if I’ve got nothing to market beyond myself. This is why I’m slowly building my platform. I want those who follow me to see and understand that I’m putting in the hours. I’m doing what it takes to get that next book out.

Also, I want potential readers to show up here, and see “Hey, this guy is busy!” That’s not going to happen over night. Every “overnight success” put in the time. Paid their dues. Struggled to get ahead. I’ve read enough autobiographies to know that famous comes LONG before rich. That’s if rich ever happens.

My expectations have been set and lowered down to reality. I won’t be burning money trying to promote myself until I’m much deeper into the series than I am. I’m planning a 16 book arc across 4 different series. There’s a LOT of work that needs to happen. I’m only 4 books in. A quarter of the way. Once I get to the half-way mark, then I think it’ll be time to start doing more on the promotion side of things.

This isn’t a race. It’s a marathon. I don’t want to spin up a marketing engine, only to have it stall out. I’ll get books out there. I’ll try to catch people’s attention. Quietly sneak up on readers and BAM! Look! Books! WOO!

I kid. Though I have had several people rediscover me recently, and that feels great. Soon enough, we’ll get onto bigger and better things with regards to getting the word out. That is, if the sands don’t shift too drastically. I mention in the video about how some sites and devices may stop collecting user data for targeted marketing. That’s a danger for a small author who depends on those targeted ads to attract new readers. I understand privacy and all that. I do. I just know that the world is about to take a major shift. We’ll see where it ends up.

I’m off to get some rest.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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The Durango Radio Station.

When I was in high school, there was on radio station in town. KDGO. The Durango radio station. It played one type of music. No, not country or western. No, not top 40. It played oldies.

I’ll stop you right there. This wasn’t a modern radio station where oldies were Motley Crue and AC/DC were considered classic rock. Oh, heavens no! This was 1985 and the classics they played were from the 40s and 50s. On a daring day, the might break out a Beatles tune or maybe a Creedence Clearwater Revival song, but it was a rare day that would happen.

My buddy Jeff LOVED music. He introduced me to many bands that I still listen to. Bands I’m sure many of my readers have never heard of. If it was 80s metal, I listened. The harder the better. Though I grew up with oldies and even big band era songs that I’d listen to with my grandpa. There wasn’t an era of music I didn’t listen to growing up, but once I discovered metal, that’s all I wanted to consume.

Jeff? Even moreso. He worked his ass off doing any job he could have have money to buy guitars and records. He was a purist and would only buy tapes if he had no other choice.

Along with Sean, the three of us were the metal-head, long-hairs of Durango. We’d hang out every chance we got and would often be out causing mischief.

One of our friends from school, Bob Cooley, worked at the local radio station. It was located downtown Durango around the corner from where my dad and step-mom had their dental lab. The front was all glass and you could see the DJ sitting there spinning records and waving at tourists.

Bob worked the night shift. His job was to sit and watch the massive reel-to-reel spin all night long on the weekends. Nothing else. Maybe, if he was feeling good, he could pause the tape, play a song, and then go back to the tape. That was a rare occasion. He knew how, but preferred to read, do homework, and let the machine do its thing.

Jeff had petitioned the station manager multiple times to have a spot, even late at night, where he could go in and play metal. It was on MTV. The tourists that were limited to one radio station had kids. He wrote letters. Made phone calls. Pleaded his case. Got told no over and over again. Until one day! The manager ask Jeff to come into the office.

He told Jeff how radio worked. How he was beholden to advertisers and they expected a specific type of music on that station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There would be no new DJs and no new music. He must have gotten tired of Jeff not talking ‘no’ for an answer.

Back to Bob. On the fateful night in question, the three of us parked the car where my dad’s lab was. It was late, probably around 10pm. We had a midnight curfew. We had time to burn and nothing to do. Jeff had a mission. He was going to get metal played on the radio come hell or high water. We stood in front of the class until Bob noticed us. Yes, we could have banged on the glass, but we weren’t jerks.

Bob let us in.

Jeff had an album in his hands. Two if I recall. Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. As much as he wanted metal on the air, he knew the limits and brought something that wasn’t offensive. At least with no curse words.

We spent some time talking with Bob. We were there for over half an hour talking radio, how everything worked. Bob showed us how he would pause an album and play a song, if he wanted to.

Jeff begged. He pleaded. He promised his first born. He did everything to get Bob to play a song.

***If this were a sitcom, this is where the plan would have succeeded because Bob went to the bathroom.

Bob wouldn’t relent. There was no way he was going to deviate from playing the tape. If he would, it would be from a bin of records that sat next to the DJ desk and nothing else.

Jeff didn’t need to be told twice. He set his records down and dove into the bin. He came up with a comedy record. If I recall, it was Funnybone Favorites. The three of us, being Dr. Demento afficianados, knew comedy songs. We loved Weird Al and everything he produced. This was classic funny music predating Al. We picked a song, again if memory serves, Ahab the Arab because Guitarzan was rejected by Bob.

Bob wasn’t losing his job because we wanted to throw some spice on the air.

When the song playing finished, Bob paused the reel-to-reel, turned on the mic, and said he had some in studio guests. The three were giddy. It wasn’t metal, but our names went out over the airwaves.

I’ll tell a story next week about how us three long hairs changed music in Durango. It all started at the talent show.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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7 days out.

One week. How fast we got here. Next Wednesday is May 5th. The day I start dropping content like crazy. It’s something I’ve wanted to do and talked about doing for a very long time. In the video, I do some reflection on this point.

Yes, over the years of me publishing books, I’ve made many mistakes along the way. One of the biggest mistakes was stopping and starting and starting over again trying to reboot something that never got off the ground in the first place.

The other major mistake I made was throwing everything at the wall and seeing what stuck without giving anything a chance to find an audience.

I accept that I did this and I’m moving past those failures. There’s nothing I can do about the bad books I put out or the poor editing I did in those books. What I can do is clean up what I did, and let them be. That’s what I’ve done and it’s time to move forward.

For the most part, the next 2 months of content is already scheduled. I’ve one more upload to do and I need to order print copies so I can verify the print proof. Other than that, we’re on auto-pilot.

In the past, many authors would have a lot of fanfare for what they were doing. Book trailers. All day events and giveaways. Video chats. You know the like.

I’m not doing that. I’m not ready to start shouting to the heavens that it’s all there. I’m doing this, no quietly, but I’m also not shouting from the rooftops. I’ll post across all my social media accounts. That I’ll do. But I’m not going to try and generate a fuss about what I’m doing.

I’m a small fish in a big pond and the best thing I can do is drop book, after book, after book. Let others make the noise for me. Again, I’ll promote to my current platform, but I’m going to do a slow burn. As we get closer to the first 12 books in this major arc out there, then I’ll start to make some noise. Why? Cuz we’ll be getting the something major happening and I’ll have a lot of books for people to buy and read. That’s when it’ll get interesting.

What does that mean? It means I’m ready for many months of slow sales and little movement. I’m prepared for that. Mentally. Before when I launched books, I wanted to ride in a limo lighting cigars with $100 bills. Yes, I’d bought into the myth. I’ve matured since there and I’ve got my head back on the ground and out of the clouds.

Not only have I seen what my mistakes have wrought, I’ve also watched my friends succeed and how they succeeded. What they did to get to the level they’re at. It’s time for me to be consistent and push forward. It’s going to be a tough couple of years getting the ball rolling. I may slip a time of two, but as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I’ll make it up that hill.

I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it, thank you for coming along on this ride with me. It’s going to be exciting!

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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By The Numbers.

My apologies for missing yesterday. Let me say, I’m doing much better today. Thank you for those that asked.

One of the things I’ve been saying all along, I want to be transparent on this blog. I’m going to show you all my behind the scenes numbers as we progress. This post may be dry for those looking for entertainment. It might be interesting for those writers looking to launch their writing careers. I’ll let you decide how it works for you. As always, feedback is appreciated.

The first April number for you is the magical number of 0. As I’ve said many times before, I’m starting from 0. What do I mean by that? I mean my total sales for April were 0. Yes, I sold a few in March and February. For April, that was a normal month. Zero. Nil. Zip. Nada.

I won’t cry over my 0. It’s entirely of my own making. This is where we’re turning this ship around and work on selling books. Each month I will report out how many books I’ve sold. If you really would like me to, I’ll break it down by book, but for the time being, we’re going to use one number for all book sales.

Short stories, also zero. This is no surprise as I haven’t published any short stories. This number can only go up, right?

Now, where am I not starting at zero from? Let’s look at the number of published books I currently have. For books I’ve Indie Published, we’re at 12. Well, 13 really, but one of those will be coming down soon enough. Let’s call it 12. To do along with those 12, we’ve got 2 that are traditionally published. When I report out books, I’ll lump them all together. When I give book counts, that will not include trad pub as I don’t know those numbers. Unfortunately.

Next, platform. Let’s talk all about platform. Where are people finding me and what I’m doing? As of the end of April 2021, here as my counts across all the platforms I’m currently active on (active to any degree).

Facebook (personal)701
Blog subscribers104
Facebook (author page)56

Nothing amazing or astonishing here. Why I post on Tumblr still, I have no idea. I’ve never had a follower and I doubt I ever will.

Anchor is a new platform that I’ve launched on. This is where the audio from my 5 a Day videos goes and gets distributed to places like Spotify (am I the only on that pronounces id Spot Ify?).

The newsletter and YouTube subscribers have grown since I launched 5 a Day With Jay and started blogging daily. To that end, so have the blog subscribers. The first two went from the low teens since August and the blog went from the low 80s. I’m convinced that posting with regularity has caused those numbers to go up all on their own without any effort from me other than doing the posting.

The rest, they’re fairly static. I’ve rarely looked at those numbers. But that’s what I’m going to start doing going forward. Track my Social Media stats and see how they’re growing and if they’re growing. I’ll be doing this toward the end of the month of the 1st day of the following month to get more accurate numbers.

I’m NOT doing this to encourage anyone to go follow me everywhere. I don’t want to flood you with the same notifications over and over again. Pick one, you’ll get a majority of my works. YouTube, this blog, and my Facebook author page are the best places to get publishing news. The others, follow me if you like. I don’t post much elsewhere, yet.

As I’ve said many times and I’m sure I’ll say it again, this is all a learning experience. If I post it here, I’ll be able to refer back to it should I need to clear my head and look to see where I’ve been and where things went right or wrong.

There you have it. The starting point for this stage of my writing career. I’ve had many false starts and it’s time to put my foot on the gas and not let up.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

Audio Only:—0125-evsosm

A journey of 1,000 steps…

After many false starts writing Of Gnomes and Dwarves, I felt I needed to do something different. That world wasn’t ready to be written and my brain wasn’t fully ready for the task of creating such a monumental body of work. I had several things I needed to learn before I’d ever be able to write my great epic fantasy.

One of the biggest things I needed to learn was how to tell a full story from start to finish. I had limitations on word choice and needed to study up on grammar. There were many holes in my education. I understood technical jargon, but when it came to writing a story, I was lacking.

During NaNoWriMo, oh so many years ago, I wrote V&A Shipping. It was, at the time, intended to be a stand-alone book. I had no intention at the time of writing to create more than one story in that universe. Much like Of Gnomes and Dwarves, Vic and Argmon were from a role-playing game we’d played in high school. Other than the characters, the story had very little to do with the game.

At this time, I also thought I wanted to be a humor writer along the lines of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. Only, when I wrote, that humor didn’t fully materialize for me. There are a few funny moments, but overall, the tone of V&A Shipping is a serious story. Far deeper than intended. Yes, I wrote the story, but it went where it wanted to go.

Now, when I say this was a NaNoWriMo novel, I wrote a majority of it during the money of November, but I finished it off in December. The book weighed in around 100,000 words. It was a hefty work, but I’d finished it. I told the story I wanted to tell and I loved it.

Then I did a re-write because as everyone knows, a good book isn’t finished until you’ve done at least one re-write, right! I subscribed to the myth of re-writes and did that a couple of times with this book before putting it aside and working on Astel. Then Billy Barbarian. Then Paradise Palms. Then My Teacher is a Zombie.

I’ll stop here and pause for a second and try to explain what I was thinking at the time. My intention was to write the first book in several series. I would drop those books out into the wild and see which people loved the most. V&A Shipping and Billy Barbarian I did as podiobooks and got those uploaded. They generated an audience. So, logically, the first book I published was Astel.

You can see where I’m going here. I failed many times over. First off, I should have kept writing in the V&A Shipping universe. Secondly, I should have published V&A Shipping first. Eventually I did, but I’d released so much else first. I compounded my errors by not sticking to one series or even one genre. I wanted to write and publish everything.

Nothing sold (of course).

This caused me to completely rethink what I was doing and I stopped writing and publishing. I’d put out 16 books over the course of 4 or 5 years. Nothing stuck. I’ll put numbers out next week and show where this failure happened. It was depressing.

I’m one of those people that was quite prolific and then disappeared. I’m a “what ever happened to?” writer. I’ve done that a few times. I’d pop my head up and drop something, only to fade away again. Why? Cuz I kept failing.

Now, I wasn’t putting a lot of effort into keeping things rolling. I’d write books and keep track. I blogged. But I wasn’t releasing anything. I came up with more excuses than you can shake a stick at not to publishing anything else.

There is a silver lining to all this. I found my way into the story I wanted to tell and how I wanted to tell it. I wound up with a backlog of books in that story and I’m excited with the direction it’s headed. Much has changed in publishing over the years and with my mindset around what I’m doing and planning on doing. I’m excited once again about what’s coming.

I’m not just excited, I’m pumped! I’m eager to start putting books out again and getting this machine rolling. Why? Because for the first time in years, I’ve a plan, a schedule, and a backlog. With this series of blog posts I’ve been doing over the past few months and with the YouTube videos I’ve been doing, I’m excited once again to see what’ll happen.

As I keep saying over and over and over again, I know this will be a LONG slow journey. I’m not expecting to do well out of the gate. It won’t happen. Each time I’d drop a book, I’d anxiously reload the web pages to see what sold. Multiple times per day. I’d be disappointed. I’m not doing that any more. I know my numbers will stink on ice. I’m starting at the bottom. Lower even. I’ve already put out books that went up the charts and rapidly dropped.

My plan going forward it to, once a month, pull the numbers and present them. How are books doing? How am I selling? How is my platform growing? What am I doing to expand my reach? I’m going to do all of this publicly.



I want you to see what I’m doing and know that I’m keeping an eye on things. That I’m not letting this slip again. I’ll even start posting daily word counts once again so you can follow the progress of the books I’m working on.

I’ve got big plans. Everything is already in motion. It’s difficult to explain how excited I am. I almost can’t contain myself.

Until Next Time!

Stay Awesome!

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