Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Dark Reflections Short Story "True Believer" is Live!

It's been a hectic three and a half weeks since my last post, so I've got a few things to update everyone on.  First, I've finished the rough draft of the third book in the Guadel Chronicles.  So far it weighs in at a little over 73,000 words.  By comparison Broken was nearly 128,000 words, Torn was about 89,000 words, Frozen Prospects was just under 65,000 and Thawed Fortunes is a tad over 75,000 words.  If you disregard about 5,000 words which I wrote months ago before I got busy with all of the audio book work, I wrote this most recent book over 17 working days across 21 calendar days.

I do outline before I pick up a book, but I never know exactly how all of the pieces are going to play out when I start so it's always a little bit of a leap of faith every time I start a new book.  We'll see what I think when I go back and start through my editing passes on Guadel #3, but so far I'm reasonably happy, with how everything turned out, and I've worked through a couple of points in my head that were outstanding question marks as far as how I was going to go about doing book #4.  For now I've set Guadel #3 aside; I'll need a month or so of space before I can go back and have a hope of being objective when I start editing.

Last week I finished reading through 'Lone Wolf' for the first time since I finished up the rough draft.  It weighs in at a tad over 50,000 words (I think Splintered was about 40,000 words if I remember correctly), so it's a relatively quick read, but I'm likewise happy with how it turned out overall up to this point.  I think I probably will end up adding in at least one more scene before all is said and done.  It would give me a way to demonstrate a little more of my female lead's strength and would mix the settings up a little, but I'll need to think it over a little bit before I open the manuscript back up and start making changes to it.  It always seems like those types of changes are some of the most challenging to write because you have to make sure that as you transition to the new scene that you don't lose anything else that you needed and that you don't duplicate something that you've already got in there.  As you can tell, I'm on the fence a little bit, so in the end I'll probably just wait to see what Katie thinks before I go and make changes.

My 'other' Reflections novel is still out to editing, to be followed by beta readers and then by another round of proofing, but I've pretty much decided to release this one under a pen name.  I'm not going to keep it a secret from you guys here on this blog, but this one is a bit darker than the other stuff that I've done in the Reflections world so far and I don't want it to catch anyone by surprise.  I guess I'd say Reflections so far has been PG-13 lite, while this other book is PG-13 still but on the heavier end of the scale.  I'll keep you all posted as it gets closer to a release date so that you can each decide whether or not you're interested in reading it.  It won't feature Alec or Adri, instead introducing a number of new characters, one of which will make a brief appearance in the next Alec and Adri book (big hint, the character in question is a pretty central individual as far as some of the later novels go, but I'd better not say anything else because I'm not quite sure still how quickly I'll develop this character).

I lost a hard drive in my desktop a few days before I finished up Guadel #3, which was incredibly frustrating in that it means that I'm working on my laptop instead (much, much, slower), but I was able to avoid being forced to entirely stop working because I use  Dropbox  and  SugarSync  to keep my files synched across multiple devices and backed up in 'the cloud'.  Katie always tells me that I have more computer problems than anyone else she knows, which I don't think is entirely fair, but I have to say that this round of problems has, so far, been much less painful than the preceding rounds.  At the risk of veering too far off of topic, some of you may want to check one or both of the two programs above out.  They both provide several gigs of free storage and then as you need more than that you can upgrade to a paid account.  Full disclosure, if you sign up through the links above I'll get some free storage (I don't really need it as things stand right now, but now that I'm writing full time and getting into alternate channels and formats, you never know how fast I'll start filling up my hard drive.)  I'll do another post in a day or two around how I've got my backups setup so those of you that aren't interested can just skip over it.

Did my announcement that True Believer was live in the headline keep you reading until now?  I didn't actually set out to write the post that way, but all of the other things that have been happening just kind of bubbled up to the top of the post.  Without further ado, True Believer is now live.

Here's the Setup:
Thrust into a supernatural world populated by shape shifters, werewolves, and even darker things, Adam no longer knows who he can trust.

Alec Graves saved his life and thereby earned his service, but Adam continues to worry that Alec is no better than the things he claims to be fighting.

Adam’s been assigned his next job.  Alec claims that the target is a ruthless group of vampires, but Adam isn’t so sure such a thing really exists.  He’s either about to gun down a bunch of innocents or walk alone into the home turf of a group of creatures that could easily rip him in half.

Neither option seems particularly smart, but Adam’s not entirely sure Alec’s minions are going to let him pass on this assignment.
True Believer is another Dark Reflections short story and you can currently get it on:

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Still to come will be Apple, Kobo, Sony and Diesel.  I'm still planning on going direct to Kobo and Apple at some point in the near future, but my understanding is that going direct to Kobo isn't going to work very well for short stories, and I'll need to have an Apple computer to go direct to Apple.  I'm working on that last bit, but it's probably going to take a while before that happens.  I'll definitely be pushing to check that off though before I put up Guadel #3 and the next Alec and Adri story.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Guadel Chronicles #3 has been started!

Honestly I can’t believe another two plus weeks have already passed!  I’ve got a few updates; the first of which is that Torn is now available as an audio book!  You can get it from Amazon, Audible or iTunes.

Torn is narrated by Clifton Satterfield and I have to say that not only is he extremely talented, he was also a real pleasure to work with.  I’m very happy with the way that Torn turned out and am looking forward to seeing the Broken audio book go live in the near future.

I’ll probably be pausing the commission of additional audio books for a little while.  I’m anxious to eventually see all of my work available as an audio book; but despite the fact that the narrators are doing all of the heavy lifting, it still ends up being a pretty hefty time commitment for me to review and approve the audio files.  If Broken, Torn, and Frozen Prospects all sell well as audio books, I’ll push getting additional audio books out higher up the priority list.

Anyone that has happened to click on the Frozen Prospects product link here on the blog will have noticed that it’s now available at some new retailers (XinXii, Vook & DriveThruFiction).  Somehow I thought I’d pretty much exhausted the places that I could easily get to as an Indie author, but it turns out I was incredibly wrong and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve got a list of eight more retailers to go out and investigate, which is incredibly exciting to me because each book at each retailer represents another hook out there by which I can hopefully bring in more readers.  Unfortunately I’m seeing that getting all 15 of my titles up at each retailer is going to require a sizable chunk of time.

In other news, it looks like Broken has now dropped out of the top 200 free books at iTunes.  It’s been a great ride, literally for weeks and weeks; and while I would have loved to see it continue to stay up there for months to come, I’m really gratefully to all of you who helped keep it there for so long.  As I’m writing this Broken is still number 36 in the top free Children’s Fiction, and Torn and Splintered have bounced in and out of the top 200 paid Children’s Fiction.  Splintered is currently #128.  Again, thank you to everyone that has helped spread the word about Va’del & Jain or Alec & Adri.  My being able to ‘write’ full time is mostly due to you all telling friends and family and I’m overwhelmed at having this chance.

It’s now become clear that if I’m not careful, I could spend all or nearly all of my time doing stuff that needs done but which isn’t the creative writing that my current fans are after and which they rightly deserve.  Because of that realization, I’ve pressed forward with book 3 of the Guadel Chronicles and have decided that all the rest of the stuff on my to-do list each day will simply have to wait until I’ve managed to get my daily quota of writing in.  I’ll leave an hour or so each evening to progress the non-writing side of things (like capitalizing on new retail channels, progressing the print copies of Frozen Prospects and Thawed Fortunes, and edits of the next two Reflections books (neither of which are Alec and Adri stories specifically-sorry, I really am hurrying every chance I get)), but please be patient it if takes me a bit longer than normal to get back to your e-mails.

Katie might kick me for saying this, and there is more than a little risk that we aren’t going to be able to hit this, but she and I have a goal of getting out True Believer, both of the Reflections novels, Guadel Chronicles #3 and the next Alec and Adri book in time for Christmas.  It’s going to be tight, especially if I let myself get very distracted with some of these other projects, but we’re going to try very hard to meet that goal as we know there are thousands of you out there already waiting with hundreds more coming onboard each month, and we’d like to be able to progress both of our major series such that you can relax with some of your favorite characters over the holidays.

As always thank you for all you do to help spread the word and for joining us on this adventure!