I’ve know Paul E. Cooley for….gosh, I don’t even know how long I’ve known him. I’m a horrible, horrible person.
At any rate, normally when I pick up a Cooley book, I devour the book instantly. Like, in the first day or two of picking it up. Then I’m anxiously waiting for the next book to arrive. I did that with the entire Black series, and with all the first 3 books in the Derelict series. Same with The Street, but you’re not going to find that book officially for sale any where and I’ve got my signed copy hidden away.
I even support Paul on Pateron where he publishes audio versions of his works and releases short fiction.
He’s quite prolific and you should follow him.
Oh, he’s also one of the longest running hosts on the Dead Robots Society. You should check him out over there as well.
All that said, book 4 of the Derelict Saga, Trident.
Lord, where to start.
I began reading this book the day I bought it. The put it down because life. I restarted it around Christmas with the intention of finishing it before the end of the year. Year, best time of the year to try and read a new book, right?
Finally, this week, I decided this was the book I was going to finish. It’s a doorstop of a book weighing in at nearly 600 pages. Like the Lord of the Rings, you think it’s ending….no, it’s still going. You get a tease of an ending…no, really, it’s still going. You want it to end, but you don’t want it to end.
As I stated early on, I’ve read all of Paul’s work before this one (and I’ve got another to read soon). I enjoy his work immensely.
This book was different. Paul can be very dark at times. Usually overtly so. Reading the end of this book and what Paul dealt with trying to get this book done, you’d never know. But Paul was in a dark place. Perhaps I should have noticed sooner. I’m sorry I didn’t.
Paul put into this book, what I feel, is some of his most intense, personal feelings into each characters and the hopelessness and despair they feel. Each character deals with it a little differently. Some get angry, others accept their fate, others try to hide from what’s coming.
Was the book intended to be a look into the mind of Cooley? I don’t think so. I don’t want to be the type to say “Paul made the curtains blue because he was depressed.” The curtains were effing blue, alright. But it’s difficult to look at the oncoming threat in this book and what Paul wrote at the end, and not make the connection. Intended or not, the oncoming darkness and powerful feelings each character went through was hard to read at times. It was unlike anything Paul had written before, but in the best possible way. Yes, this is definitely his voice and his words, but presented in a way he’d not done in previous works.
As I said at the start, every writer grows with each book they write. Every writer has ups and downs in their career. I’m glad Paul chose to add an afterward. I wish he didn’t go through what he went through. He did. He still wrote and finished this work. I poked him on twitter and he’s working on the next installment. As soon as it drops, I’ll be buying a copy. I will devour it instantly.
Why did I wait so long on getting into this book? It’s the 4th in a series. It’s a dark series. Many events take place to get to this point. At the start of the book, both times I began reading, it felt like a middle or transitional book in a series. Perhaps I felt I’d be left wanting in the worst possible way. Perhaps I’d feel like I was reading just to get to the next book with no hope of things ever wrapping up.
I was wrong.
All the links are at the beginning of this post. I can’t recommend Paul’s work strongly enough. He’s been a great author over the years. This book exceeded my expectations on what he’s capable of producing. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
When I got to the end, the void wept, and so did I.
I’m not opposed to new experiences. I’ve done a lot of things in my life. Most of them fun. Not everything ends up as expected. Some times things go horribly awry.
One change I made this year, with regards to my writing and publishing, was to get on a schedule and stick to that schedule. Write the books, put the books out. See what happens. If you’ve been following for some time, you know I set a goal back in May when all this began. I wanted to make $100 from my writing in 6 months.
That means doing nothing more than my regular social media I’ve been doing all along. Nothing. Write the books, put the books out on a schedule, release it, tell everyone, write the next one. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I won’t lie. I never thought I’d get anywhere close to that. Though I’ve been sticking to the schedule, I had started to lose hope that we’d ever get there. I wasn’t going to let the failure get to me. I mean, we’re only 4 months in. There are 2 more months to hit that goal, right?
So here we are, in August. Nearly at the end of the month. I dropped Almost-Super Heroes this week. As I’d mentioned, I started reading the copy and was 4 chapters in before I had to stop myself. I feel that this is some of my better writing and I’m having a blast with all the characters across all the series. GRPC3 is coming along nicely and I can’t wait to drop this one.
What does all this have to do with new experiences?
I’ve dropped 2nd books in a series before. I’ve given away a lot of books with the hopes people will pick up the next in the series. I’ve been on podcasts talking about my work and tried to get people to read my stuff. Since January 2011 through March 2020, I’d made a grand total of $420 across all my books. Really, I didn’t think I’d ever crest much more with my writing. I didn’t think it’d happen.
So far this month, with the release of ASH2, I’ve sold 10 titles. Yes, I know this is very small, but with ASH2, I’ve sold 3 copies this week and 5 copies of ASH1. On top of that, I have 1000 page reads in Kindle Unlimited (KU).
For those that make a living with their writing, yes, this is small potatoes. Not much to talk about. For some, this happens hour over hour every day of the year. For me, this is a whole new experience. I’m seeing read through! I’m seeing an uptick. I’m seeing sales and reads.
Sure, it’s happened sporadically before. I’ve always known what my failings were. I wasn’t consistent. Since March, I have a slow, steady uptick in my sales. I’ve released work on a schedule. It appears to be working. Since March, I’ve made $65.
Again, yes, I get that this is not a large amount. But remember my goal. $100 in 6 months. We’re 4 months in and I’m two-thirds of the way there. Before this week, I wasn’t even half-way. Like I said, I’d pretty much given up on that initial goal of $100 in 6 months. I didn’t think it’d happen. Though I’d given up on hitting that mark, I didn’t stop putting work out. That’s what’s burned me in the past.
This week has filled me with excitement. Last night I sat down and scheduled 6 of the next 9 short stories that will be coming out every other week. I began formatting Murdockian Tales volume 1. I’ll get getting that one ready to drop soon. That’ll collect the first 9 short stories. My Favorite Daughter did a great job on the next set of book covers.
Coming into this week, I was feeling a bit deflated. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure if all this was worth it. Seeing this bump? I can say I feel renewed and energized. I can’t wait to see what happens over the next two months.
Until Next Time!