Weekly Roundup NEW RELEASE! Traitor’s Moon

Weekly Roundup is an update on what’s going on in my world. Welcome!

Traitor’s Moon, book 2 in the Gladstone Shifters series, went live on Amazon as of Monday! If you’ve been following my blog, you know how long I struggled to finish the manuscript. With the help of some wonderful beta readers, the book is in great shape and I am very proud of it. It’s a shame I will be unable to market it effectively.

It’s probably safe to assume most indie authors do not enjoy the business side of writing, and marketing is a large part of the angst. It requires computer savvy, money, time, and comes with no guarantee it will work. Will readers buy the book? Will they like it? Will I recoup my expenses? Will I get some great reviews? The only way to find out is put it out there and see what happens. Scary. Risky. Discouraging. Exciting. Uplifting. Rewarding. it’s really a mixed bag.

The hard part for me is not wondering if my book is any good – I truly believe it’s a wonderful story and it represents my best work to date. The difficulty is knowing my marketing efforts will be largely ineffective in reaching my potential readers. Why? Because I lack the know-how, money, and time to do it “right” if I go by all the articles I’ve read. I’m left with doing the best I can with what I have and hope it sort of works out in the end.

So do I continue or throw in the towel? I could give up, but I’m not going to yet! I truly enjoy my writing, and over time I hope to build up enough titles to start bringing in sufficient income so I can hire a marketing professional. What if it never happens? Then I will still have a hobby I love and the pleasure of creating great stories. My dream is not to become rich or famous, simply to earn enough to quit my day job.

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As soon as the promotions for Traitor’s Moon are in place, I can get busy writing again. I wish I could crank out a book every four months, but if the pattern holds true, it will be the fall before the next manuscript is ready. Meanwhile, I have lots of great ideas simmering on the back burner.

I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker this week, after finding out he was an avid reader. I don’t know him very well yet, and I had him pegged as the kind of guy who loves nothing better than to park himself in front of the television and watch sports – preferably with a can of beer handy. It was a pleasure to find out I was wrong, and he thought my assumptions were amusing. I told him he was like an onion and I was just now learning things as the layers are peeled away. I enjoy the instant connection with people who love to read – even virtual strangers!

Just a reminder – both books in the Gladstone Shifters series will be on/off sale over the next several weeks, so check my website or book listing on Amazon if you want a good deal.

Weekly Roundup 10-03-18 What’s the rush?

Weekly Roundup is an update on what’s going on in my world. Welcome!

This ever happen to you? The book you are reading has been enjoyable from the start, but as you get close to the end things begin to change. The pace of the action picks up considerably while the characters begin speaking and acting strangely. Suddenly, the book is brought to a whirlwind conclusion and you’re staring at “The End”, wondering how you got there.

I’ve encountered this phenomenon many times and it’s always a shame. For whatever reason, the author enters a race to finish the book as soon as possible – and it shows. Perhaps they were tired of living with the characters and simply wanted OUT. It may be their editor slapped them with an impossible-to-meet deadline, or maybe the author simply got lazy and declined to put as much thought and care into the end of the book as they should.

As a result, the readers are left disappointed, having been cheated out of the carefully crafted ending they deserved. How unfair! I didn’t pay for the “lite” version of the book, and you better believe my displeasure will show up in the review. What happened to pride in a job well done? Did the author truly believe no one would notice?

If nothing else, incidents like this remind me of my responsibilities as an author. Readers deserve my best effort from start to finish, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because I want them to keep reading my books into the future. As my father used to say, “If you’re not going to do it right, don’t do it at all.”

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I have missed you the last couple of weeks! The move went as planned, almost, and I’m as settled as I can be. The idea was to find a place to live while I was here for my son’s wedding, but instead I’m camped out in his living room. By the way, the wedding was lovely and a good time was had by all! It was great to see some of my family in attendance, and I enjoyed being together with both my boys for the first time since 2011.

Anyway, as it turns out the rents here are high and there are few units available – I simply couldn’t find anything before I had to return and pack up the truck. My stuff is all tucked away in a storage unit for now, and I am busy searching for a job. Once I secure employment, I’ll begin the search for an apartment. I’m getting too old for this nonsense!

Needless to say, my writing has taken a back seat, and I am eager to resume working on Traitor’s Moon. I actually did get a little bit done on Chapter nine, but nothing significant to report. Hopefully, by next week I will have a job and will have made some progress on the manuscript. As I said, hopefully

Reader Roundup 5-30-18

Reader Roundup is a weekly update on what’s going on in my world. Welcome!

Current Manuscript: Traitor’s Moon – Gladstone Shifters Book 2

  • Word count: 2086
  • Now writing: chapter one
  • # of new characters: 3 (this number will grow as I write)

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On the sharing of sincerely held opinions:

The news is full of colorful characters from all walks of life who insist on exposing the rest of us to their thoughts. Those who find themselves in the public eye, and therefore command a ready audience, have a greater responsibility to share their views with caution – yet many seem to feel it is their right to smack the rest of us over the head with what they think.

We all have opinions on things, whether it be politics, religion, entertainment or sports. The issue is knowing the correct time & place to share them and when to keep quiet for the sake of peaceful co-existence. Obviously, some folks just don’t get it.

Personally, I avoid sharing my opinions on divisive issues as it relates to my life as an author. I am a  private person, and too much sharing makes me uncomfortable. This is one reason I do not and will not have a Facebook account. Besides, my readers don’t really want to hear what I have to say on current topics, and I prefer not to antagonize or offend them. If at all possible I want them to have a relaxing and enjoyable experience while reading my books.

Does that mean I will avoid all controversial topics? No, it simply means that if I decide to share my personal thoughts and opinions, I may do so using one of my characters and let the reader agree or disagree as they see fit. I get the chance to share a lot of things this way, yet my readers don’t need to know it was “me” and not a made-up character in a story.

Purposely or not, I believe all authors do the same thing. In fact, it would be almost impossible NOT to allow personal thoughts, attitudes and opinions to leak into the narrative while writing fiction. Every one of my books contain snippets of the real me, making the characters and situations I portray more believable. When not using my own experiences, I borrow from the people I have known or read about over the years.

If the story is a good one, the reader is unlikely to stop and wonder if certain elements came directly from the author. In the end, it hardly matters where the inspiration came from for a particular character or situation, as long as it rings true for the reader and conveys what the author intended. This is part of the mystery surrounding each author’s style and storytelling mojo.

So, if you really want to know, feel free to contact me. I may tell you, but then again, I may not…

When Readers Get it Right

I’m sure you have heard the tired old proverb “The customer is always right.” Having worked in a retail environment for many years, I can unequivocally say – THAT IS NOT TRUE! Everyone has an opinion, but many opinions are lacking a factual basis, common sense, or even common decency. It’s not wise to argue with a customer, of course, as the employee usually ends up in trouble no matter how the encounter ends.

Book reviews are similar in many ways. Writers often find themselves on the receiving end of mean-spirited, unjustified, or ignorant opinions – left out in the public eye for all to see. Authors have to develop thick skins to protect their fragile ego’s and stave off discouragement.

Fortunately, there is some good along with the bad. Many readers share their heartfelt admiration, with encouraging words which affirm and delight. Even better, there are a select few who understand your story so well, you can honestly say “They get it!” Finally, there are those rare gems who go beyond “getting it” to seeing things the author may have never even considered.

It will continue to amaze and humble me when my readers teach me things about my own books! Would it shock my readers if I should admit they found something in my work I hadn’t even noticed before? No, no, that would never do. One has to maintain a certain all-knowing mystique after all…