What’s this? Jay recorded something?
After so much waiting, I have finally fired up the mic and recorded Chapter 1 of V&A Shipping 2: Hollow. I know many have waited for years for me to get off my duff and get to recording once again. I plan on dropping more than one episode per week and getting through my entire backlog of books that I’ve not recorded previously.
First and foremost, thank you for everyone who’s shown their support by buying a book, picking up a free edition, or simply commenting and asking for more content. It’s helped me keep pushing forward and getting things going. 2021 was great, 2022 should be even better.
Without further ado…
https://smile.amazon.com/Hollow-Shipping-Book-J-R-Murdock-ebook/dp/B00GT9H4JQ – Grab a copy of your own!
“It’s kind of hard to lose a planet, kid.” Vic stretched and took a seat next to Joey.
Joey frantically pressed buttons to try and call up the display, but everything had gone blank. Not five minutes before he’d pinged the planet with a pulse and it came back right where he’d expected it to be. Now it was gone and he couldn’t figure out where it’d gone. He called Vic because he wasn’t sure why it had disappeared. He hated to wake him up, but this was the first time he’d been left alone in the cockpit. Even Argmon, the big Shathar, had gone off to get some sleep.
“I don’t get it. Where did it go?”
“Did you check to make sure it was still orbiting the ship?” Vic flipped a switch, turned a dial, and brought up a holographic display of the planet. “This is the planet. You didn’t touch anything, right?”
“No. I was just sitting here looking out at the stars and decided to do a check.”
Vic flipped another switch. “When was the last time you pinged it?”
“Probably five minutes ago. I know it was there.”
“June, Argmon. Hate to break the two of you from your beauty sleep, but we need to go hunting.”
“Do we need them on this as well?” Joey hated for everyone to be woken up for his mistake. They still had a couple of weeks before they’d be delivering this planet and he didn’t need them all upset with him.
“Kid, if we’re going to look for a dark planet in the blackness of space, we need all the eyes we can get on this one. In fact, Muffin, where’s the planet. I thought you had something set up to check on it automatically.”
Muffin was what Vic called the new ship’s computer. Its designation was LMSM and he laughed when he saw the little silver box it came in and named it Little Miss Silver Muffin. This got a lot of laughs from the crew, but Muffin still hadn’t taken too kindly to the name.
“If you must call me that, at least don’t expect me to do any more menial tasks. Joey was doing just fine and didn’t need my help.”
“When was the last time you checked on the planet, Muffin? We need to know everything about when you lost contact, which direction it went, all of that.”
“Really? you want me to spend time searching my records to see when the last time I looked?”
Vic took a swig of his beer and winked at Joey. “I need to know the exact moment we lost contact with the planet and what our coordinates were.”
Joey thought he heard the computer make an audible sigh.
“Vic, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, kid. These things happen. That’s why we’re supposed to have computer backup. Muffin should be able to get us back to the right location. Then it’s just a matter of calculating when we lost it, what trajectory it went off in, and pick it back up. Piece of cake.”
He made it sound so easy. Something about towing a planet just didn’t sound like something easy. Sure, he’d been on board when they’d performed the past couple of jobs, but he wasn’t privy to what they’d done to perform the task. He’d been busying trying to study about how this ship worked. There were so many schematics and old wiring plans to go through and he hadn’t even gotten to the propulsion systems yet. Vic had given Joey the title of Ship’s Engineer, but he was still learning after nearly a year on the job. There was only so much you could read about the ship, the rest was all hands-on work.
“What are you boys doing up here? Tell me we didn’t lose another shipment.” June rubbed her eyes and sat on Joey’s lap. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek.
“You two should get a room.” Vic looked away and out into the black in front of them.
June nudged Vic’s leg with her foot. “We have a room.”
They did have a room. They even shared a bed. They had kissed on many occasions, but that was as far as their relationship went. They’d spent some of their downtime together and that had helped them grow closer, but June just didn’t seem interested in being more than they were. Perhaps it was because of Vic, but Joey was pretty sure it was what had happened to Vic that brought them closer together in the first place.
Joey was just happy to have someone. On Earth, the only person he’d been close with was Carlos, his best friend, and for the most part, they were picked on to no end. It took getting off the planet to find someone special. It gave him a little comfort to be able to hold the last woman from Earth. Vic had told him several times it didn’t bother him, but June loved to goad him.
“Yes, I know. I helped the two of you decorate it. Remember? Can we just get back to work? Muffin, where’s this planet? How long does it take an advanced AI computer to look something up?”
“You also asked me to perform calculations and estimations on where it might be. This isn’t like dusting crops.”
“Speaking of dusting crops, why didn’t you alert anyone once you lost contact with it?”
Something beeped twice. “I’ve got your estimates.”
“Yeah, yeah. Now answer my question. Why didn’t any alarms go off? This is an important job.”
“You won’t like the answer, Victor.” Only LMSM could get away with calling him Victor.
“Muffin, just tell me.”
“You didn’t ask me to.”
“Oh, come on now. Are you telling me that after the first couple of times we did this and I asked you to set an alarm, you didn’t take that to mean that every time we drag a planet across the galaxy I want an alarm on it?”
“We’ve never dragged a planet across the galaxy. The furthest we’ve ever moved a planet is…”
“I don’t care.” Vic upended his beer. “Argmon, I’m empty! Grab me a fresh one on your way up here.”
Argmon must’ve read Vic’s mind and handed him a cold can of beer. He then chuffed and motioned for Vic to get out of his seat. The Shathar looked at Joey and shook his head.
“Hey, it wasn’t my fault! I was checking.”
June kissed the top of his head. “It’s alright. Calm down. No one is accusing you of anything.”
“I am,” Vic said with a smile as he popped open his beer.
Argmon took his seat. His two missing left arms had been regrown. Chancellor Verbiddi insisted that all reparations be made and that included getting Argmon his arms back. They’d spent the better part of three months planetside while the SS Acid Rat had been repaired, everyone healed, and Argmon’s arms were regrown. In that time the atmosphere had gone from difficult-to-breath to almost bearable. The tonindrium worked like magic pulling all the excess pollution out of the air. It was the job that had convinced Vic that he could stick to doing legal jobs for a while and perhaps keep the Galactic Police off their trail.
“Victor, your planet should be…”
“Could you just feed the coordinates to Argmon’s display? He’ll turn us around. To be honest, you’re just going to talk gibberish to me and you know I don’t like it when you do that.”
“Always a gentleman.” Muffin beeped twice.
Argmon looked at the display and his four arms went to work. The stars shifted giving Joey a moment to feel dizzy. He nearly dumped June off his lap.
“Easy there. If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were the one drinking, not Vic.”
“You know I can’t drink that stuff like he does.”
Joey had tried keeping up with Vic. Once. That didn’t end well and Joey wound up sleeping in their newly redesigned break room. He vowed never to have a repeat performance of that incident.
“Argmon, you got this all under control?”
“Easy, I was just asking. Hey, where’s Dexter?”
“You only called Argmon and me. I’m sure he’s probably still sleeping. I don’t think you want to wake him up. He was in a feisty mood before going to bed.”
Joey knew that was possibly the worst thing June could say. It was almost a challenge for Vic once he knew one of the crew was in a bad mood. Sure Vic had mood swings and got bored from time to time, but when it came to Dexter, Vic loved playing with fire.
“I’ll be right back.” Vic started to leave.
June fought her way off of Joey’s lap. “No, you don’t! Dexter and I have some work to do with the load we’ve got down there and I don’t want our resident Tri-Ped all worked up and mad.”
“It’s just a little fun. He likes it.”
“Fine, then next time you’re sleeping, I’ll do it to you.”
Joey never really understood the relationship between June and Dexter. For that matter, he never really understood Dexter, the squat, green, three-eyed alien. Dexter was the strangest and by far most dangerous member of the crew. He and June were in charge of the ship’s security. June he had figured out, but Dexter seemed to have his motivations for what he did.
Vic, on the other hand, seemed to derive a lot of pleasure from tormenting both Dexter and June. Sometimes it had comical results, but often Dexter and Vic would wind up in a knock-down, drag-em-out fight that usually ended with Vic bleeding and laughing and Dexter sulking and angry. Joey was just glad he’d always been left out of the fun and games.
“Victor, we have found the planet you misplaced.”
“Hey, I didn’t misplace it. It was right where I left it when the kid took over. Don’t go pointing fingers at me.”
Muffin beeped. “You’re the captain of the ship and therefore the one ultimately responsible for the shipment. Therefore, I found the planet you lost.”
Vic switched between snarling and looking confused. Finally, he said, “Fine, Joey and I are going to go down and hook it up so we don’t lose it again.”
“Wait, what do you mean by that?” Joey got up to follow Vic. June took his seat next to Argmon.
“I’ll keep the seat warm for you until you get back.”
June slapped the Shathar on the arm. “Oh, be quiet.”
“Come on, kid, I’ll show you some more about the way this ship works.”
It was about time. Vic had shown Joey a couple of things, but he didn’t fully understand it all. It would be nice to have someone point things out to him rather than trying to read books and holo-manuals that didn’t explain things in terms he could fully understand. Sure he’d taught himself how to repair a turntable and a radio back on Earth. Those had parts he could make sense of. The SS Acid Rat was literally light-years ahead of anything he’d ever dreamed of working on.
This is it! The Day is here! Thank you all for following along this year. I’m so excited to be dropping this book. I will be doing more blog posts and videos this week. As I always say, it’s an exciting time to be an author! WOO WOO!
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!
Today is the start of a new year. Welcome. As I say in the video (if you don’t feel like watching it), two of my books are currently free. Links below. If you’re a subscriber, drop me an email at email@example.com and I will send you any ebook in my collect to you, free. This is a small way to say Thank You for sticking with me while I figure things out.
Secondly, Harvey, I’ve followed your blog and I’m glad to see you’re back as well. Always good to see your posts in my feed even if I don’t comment often. That’s something else I’ll need to change in the coming year.
I’ve big goals for 2021 and you are all part of that. Growing my audience is the only way I’ll ever be successful. I’ve been neglectful, and for that, I’m sorry. You’re tired of hearing that, so we’ll move on and I’ll get to work cranking out books.
Until Next Time!
V&A SHIPPING 1 & 2! One is free, the other is on sale for only 99 cents! That’s right. You can grab two books for only a buck!
Okay, enough yelling. So I’m have a giveaway and sale on V&A Shipping. Pick up a copy of V&A Shipping if you haven’t already, pick up V&A Shipping 2 for only a dollar. This will help push both books up the Amazon rankings. If you’ve already bought and read both books, consider leaving a review. This helps far more than I can explain. If you do leave a review, let me know and I’ll send you any of my other books absolutely free!
As for the ‘getting back at it’ part of this post. I’m almost done with the editing on Golden West book 2. I’d forgotten just how powerful this book is. It gives me chills as I read it, knowing what’s coming up next. It also gives me chills as I hope to have book 3 completed before the end of the year. As soon as I’m done editing book 2, I’m all about book 3.
I’m also poking away with Jack Kane book 2. You’ve heard about Jack Kane, right? It’s the book I wrote with Mike Plested. You can grab a copy of that one here (http://www.amazon.com/Jack-Statue-Liberty-Michell-Plested-ebook/dp/B00Y4BIY8Q). He and I are working jointly to get this book done. It’s a hoot to be back in Jack’s head. It’s probably as fun for me as it is for Mike to be back in Felonious’s head 🙂 An inept hero versus a psychotic (and equally inept) villain. What’s not to have fun with?
So much writing will be happening. I also plan on getting back to the whole blogging thing. I want to try and do one or two a week. Not much has been happening that I’ve felt like writing about, but it’s time to get back at it.
I’m off to go make words happen.
Until Next Time!
STAY AWESOME! and thank you for all your support!
V&A SHIPPING! STILL FREE! http://www.amazon.com/V-Shipping-J-R-Murdock-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM
I woke up this morning to see that V&A Shipping had reached #42 in free Space Opera! That’s quite exciting! My Goal and hope is to get it into the top 10 of Space Opera! Now that would be something.
But I cannot do this alone. I do need your help. If you have an Amazon account and you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please consider doing so. It will help move the book up the charts and help it gain some much needed visibility. And hey, you get a free ebook out of it. 🙂
I’ve sold a few copies of V&A Shipping II as well as a couple copies of Giant Robot Planetary Competition. This was the goal all along to help get some other titles a little bump while getting this one moving along.
If you’ve gotten a copy, THANK YOU! You’re awesome! If you’ve shared my post in your social media feeds, THANK YOU! You’re even awesomer! If you’d like to help a little more, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or goodreads.com. Both help tremendously.
Again, thank you for all your help and support.
Wait, has Jay lost his mind? Again? V&A Shipping is free?
That’s right. You’ve waited this long to jump onto the series, Now you can jump in for free! Just follow this link (http://www.amazon.com/V-A-Shipping-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM/) and BAM! Free ebook just for you!
If you’re subscribed to Kindle Unlimited you can also read it there. Actually, you can read all my books on Kindle Unlimited now. Well, all my self-published works that is.
So don’t delay! You’ve only got until the end of the week to pick up V&A Shipping for free, then it goes back to its regular price.
For those that are wondering, yes, the events in Giant Robot Planetary Competition take place in the V&A Shipping universe and they take place after book 2. No, you do NOT need to read V&A Shipping to understand what’s happening in GRPC. The gang does make a cameo and that’s all I have to say about that.
If you’ve read (or listened to V&A Shipping) please consider leaving a review on Amazon. You don’t know how helpful these are to selling books. If you don’t have a device to read a kindle ebook, you can still get a free copy as this also helps move the book up the charts. If you have any ‘smart’ device you can download a kindle app to read the book. Need help? Contact me and I’ll walk you through the steps.
Thank you all for your support and your help with making V&A Shipping the success that it is!
YES! That’s right. Big giant robots that like to smash things are coming your way.
July 1st I start a new series. Giant Robot Planetary Competition: Entry Level is the first book in the GRPC series. These will take place in the same universe as the V&A Shipping books. I’m super excited to get this one out there. I’ve had the idea for some time, and now it’ll be in your hands! (or at least on your ereaders).
Beta Readers loved the book with great things to say like:
“What did I just read?”
“You did a bait and switch on me. This isn’t funny at all.”
“I loved the part <deleted> and then things <deleted>.”
“Are you sure you want to release a book like this to the world?”
So yes. You can see there is much excitement about this book already. Is it funny? No, not really. This is a departure from V&A Shipping in that it’s not humorous. Are there funny parts? Yes, but not as many as you’d expect from someone that wrote a short story with Vampire Cows! Is it entertaining? Well, it is giant robots trying to destroy each other. I thought it was rather brilliant.
The book does follow the life of Ravikanth Helio, an orphan, as he’s abducted from an orphanage, put into slave labor as an asteroid miner, and finally used as a pawn in the galaxy’s greatest competition. A competition where one thousand giant robots fight for the mineral rights to an entire planet!
I’ll make sure to shout loudly on July 1st when it’s available! Until then, check out my other books I have available. I’m sure I’ve got something to tide you over until then.
Hey! What’s that? a new cover for V&A Shipping? Why yes, yes it is. (recovering, see what i did there?).
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the cover that Starla did for me. I love all the covers she did for me. But i ran into an issue and it had to do with cost. I have a lot of books and need a lot of covers. So rather than wait until i have enough money for new book covers, i decided that the best thing to do was take a the time needed to learn enough about PhotoShop and build my own. I also took the time to rebrand all the covers so there is a common theme not only for the books in a series, but across all titles. So I’ll be posting all the covers here over the next few days while i get ready to post new titles in the coming year. I have three books done, written, complete, ready to rock and roll. So while I spend some time posting those covers here, I’ll be getting those ready to post for sale.
It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to get these news books out there. I hope you’re excited as well.
Now, for the sale!
For Cyber Monday week (sure, why not. All week long) if you buy any one of my books and email me your receipt, I’ll send you any two of my titles FREE! Just let me know what you’d like and what format, and I’ll send it on over. So what are you waiting for? Get on over there and buy a book!
Until Next Time!