Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Monday, October 02, 2017
Friday, September 29, 2017
I now have -two- #1 best sellers on Amazon.
AND.... Perfect Strangers is #58! I've -never- had a book in the top 100 before, I'm actually closing in on Steven King's IT!
Heady times, I tell ya. I really need to get my head back in the game and finish book #3, which I was planning on finishing the first draft for, today.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
It's even climbed into the top 200 overall ranking on Amazon. I'm pretty amazed and happy to see that.
Book two, the sequel to 'Black Friday' comes out this Friday, it's already got quite a few people signed up to buy it, which has also made me pretty happy. Book three is underway, I'm about a third through it and hope to be mostly done with the first draft by Friday. I'll set it's release date sometime after 'Perfect Strangers' goes out.
Now, if only I can get past Steven King and his book about bad I.T. organizations to get that coveted #1 spot!! :-)
(what? you say it's not about I.T., but about evil clowns? Hey, haven't you ever worked with I.T.? Evil clowns sounds about right... )
(apologies to all you IT folks, but hey, I live with one. So if I'm murdered in my sleep tonight, now you know why...)
Saturday, September 23, 2017
But when what you get paid for your work changes, well that ads a layer of complication that makes things even more frustrating at times.
You see, back when I started out I realized that in order to do 'okay' (and by 'okay' I mean make what I consider to be a decent living as a writer) I needed to sell an average of one hundred books a day. This was a daunting task for someone who felt lucky if they sold a hundred books in a month! But, I set out to achieve that goal, by trying to write stuff people would enjoy, and by increasing my 'catalog' of books, so I'd have a steady level of income off of that 'backlog'.
Which I do. With every new book I see a sales bump as I pick up a few new readers who work their way through my backlog, on top of the sales of the new book of course. And after several years of hard work I'm now to the spot where I actually do sell, on average, about one hundred books a day.
(and it's a big BUT, hence the size of it)
But Amazon came out with kindle unlimited and two thirds of my customers moved over to it. Add to that Amazon's dropping of the price per page that they pay, and I'm making a third of my normal sale price on those books (about a dollar). So, do the math: I'm making 1/3rd what I used to on 2/3rds of my sales. Which works about to about a fifty percent decrease in take home pay.
So now I need to aim for two hundred sales a day! If you think aiming for one hundred is a daunting task, aiming for twice that is even more so. Add in the fear that the rules of the game will change again if I get there (or should I say when I get there, always pays to think positive) and sometimes I wonder if I'm really in the right business. But this is why I've thought of ditching kindle unlimited, yes I get two-thirds of my sales through it, which is huge. But how many of those people would still buy my books if I wasn't in the program? Would it be enough that I'd make more money, or less? Also being in the KU program means my books climb up faster through the ranks because of all the borrows and page reads I get.
Yes, I've lost sleep over this, because making any changes that could lead to financial hardship are what you want to avoid as a writer. So honestly I think my only choice is to try and increase my sales. The only way to do that is to write more, and try new things (hence the new pen name and the new 'brand' - I can't afford to alienate any of my readers because I started writing stories with sex in them, which apparently is still a touchy subject for a lot of people, hell, a simple F-bomb in a book can lose you percentage points!)
And of course, as always, you'd think book companies would be interested in an author who sells over 30K books a year without an advertising budget. But you'd be wrong.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Here's a few pics from the weekend.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Honestly, I'm both happy and a little shocked, and very grateful.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Apparently not a good idea, as a LOT of people really aren't buying or reading books right now. Honestly wondering if I should have delayed the launch of this new series until maybe November.
Friday, September 08, 2017
If you're interested, check it out: Black Friday, by Jan Stryvant
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Why? Well, Interregnum, that I was bothered by quite a few people to write, only took in $500 in total sales after I paid for the cover. That's right, I made $500 for almost two months of my time. That's less than a tenth of what the average book I write earns me. It's kinda hard to live on less than a hundred dollars a week income, when you have a mortgage, food, and the rest to pay for.
Mind you the book wasn't a failure, best I can tell there were several thousand pirated copies out there, because I found them on every furry site in the world with people telling everyone to spread it far and wide. They all talked about how much they loved it, how great it was, and how everyone should read it, but to date only TWO people have come forth and donated to me a few dollars to cover having read the pirated version.
So, the third book in that trilogy will never be written. For that matter, I don't think I'll ever write in that universe again, despite it being one of my favorites (because it was my first). I'm even thinking of taking down the facebook group I made for it, and when the paperbacks I have on hand run out, I don't think I'll be dragging them around to sell at cons anymore.
I did put up on my patreon that if I got to a certain level of donations, I'd write it, a chapter a month, and post it for all my patreon subscribers, so they could at least read it. That didn't work, so after a year I pulled that reward down.
At this point, the only way I will write it, is if I get at least $5000 in cash (no promises, cash in hand only) up front. Then I'll write it. As for those people saying I should do a go fund me or some such, sorry, not going to waste the time or effort. I don't think I'd get the money. If you want to do one, and promise to send me all the money from it, if it meets or beats the goal, go ahead and knock yourself out. But I just can't afford to waste the time on something that not only isn't going to make me money, but is going to cost me. It took a year for Interregnum to make enough money to cover the cost of the book cover. It's been out over two years now, and is one of my worse earners, ever. Even 'Lost Souls' has made more money and is still selling reliably well.
Yes, it's sad when you have to give up on one of your babies, but such is life.
Monday, September 04, 2017
Saturday, September 02, 2017
I really hope everyone likes it, I like Dusty's take on it, and he's finally hitting his stride, so if this one does well, I'll commission him to do the next one, which I think he could very well have done by Christmas. Now that he's got an actual studio to work in and has mastered the editing console, he's really picked up the pace.
So everyone keep your fingers crossed, and hopefully it'll be up for sale before I leave for the air races in twelve days.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Anyone know of any artists off hand I should check out? This is a three to four week project, so gotta be someone with a history of producing. Not looking for fancy stuff either.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Friday, August 11, 2017
This one will also have LitRPG aspects to it, because I got complaints with the Shadow book because I took out the bits that explained how his powers progressed. The current plan is to publish the first book before the end of this month (I'm hoping to have it finished next week) and then follow with a new book every three to four weeks (the first book won't be pubbed until the second book is done, and so on). I'm actually head down and writing hard, 7K to 10K words a day.
Right now I'm thinking the story will go out under the Stryvant pen name, because yeah, there are some sex scenes, and yeah, definitely gonna be harem. I just hope people like it, I know I'm enjoying writing it.
Friday, August 04, 2017
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
And for the truly observant, that's Riggs on the cover this time.
Friday, July 28, 2017
And lately? Lately I've been seeing a lot of stupid. And a lot of people who should know better getting taken advantage of. I see the most incredibly stupid statements being issued by people who should know better, and who if they spent ten minutes looking up just how that worked out the last time, would realize that they're being stupid. Or being taken advantage of. Or just plain being used.
History repeats folks. Especially for those too dumb to learn from it the last time around. Everyone has an agenda (mine is to sell more books so I can write more books). Everyone does EVERYTHING in their life because they get something for it. Even if it's just a 'good feeling about themselves'. No one does something for nothing. We're opportunists, it's in our DNA and you can put all the lipstick you want on that pig, but it's still a pig.
Government is not here to help you. Ever. Government is here to help the people in power, period. That's why you want to keep it small.
People who run 'rescues' or 'sanctuaries' are nine times out of ten just trying to get you to pay for their hobby. And if they throw out a line about how only THEY should be able to do this one thing, they're tying to get your government to also pay for their hobby while they con stupid people out of their money. Look at every occupation that requires a license. Yes, some of them should, but most of them? No, not really.
Look at most charities these days. They exist to pay the people who run them lots of money. There are so few charities that actually engage in real charity anymore, that it's pathetic. And the same can be said for a lot of these 'new' churches and religions. Yeah, say what you will about the Catholic church, but I didn't see anyone else out there taking care of all the AIDS patients in SF and other cities, without asking them for money! Same for lepers and a lot of other diseases. And I can make that same statement for a lot of other big organize religions that have been around for a good while. I've seen the Mormon Church shell out some serious money to help its people. Same for a lot of the Lutheran Churches.
But these rich multi-millionaire pastors in their fancy churches and fancy cars? These TV people? Yeah, don't see them spending all that much.
And then there are the people who brand something, with a particular fad or religion and prey on those who wish to better follow their beliefs.
Or a political party that says the most inane and provably incorrect things if you could only remember back more than the last month. Or who claim to only be watching out for -insertgrouphere- yet they're always ignoring or jettisoning those people when the time to represent comes around.
Or rich and famous rock bands and actors! They'll tell you one thing, but they sure as hell won't do it themselves while they're taking your money. Al Gore is perhaps the world's biggest hypocrite, he's got a carbon footprint equal to large town, yet he rails at the rest of us to do that which he refuses to. (I wonder if he still owns that oil company his daddy left him?)
Ever seen the movie 'Little Big Man?' Those scenes where they're doing the whole snake-oil sales routine? Yeah, millions of people are STILL falling for that shit. STILL!! We got quacks telling you to do stuff that in any righteous society would be getting them tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail! Just because you saw it on TV or read it on the internet, it doesn't make it true folks.
Whenever someone tells you something, the first thing you should ask is "What's in it for HIM?" That'll give you a good idea as to why they're telling you it in the first place. Everyone has an agenda, and some people are just plain nuts or stupid or psychotic. Some folks get joy out of seeing you get harmed. So the last thing you should be doing is listening to what these people are saying without a little critical thinking first. And again, just because the government says it or backs it, doesn't mean it's smart, right, ethical, or healthy.
Remember, that whenever anyone asks for your money, to help others, or for power over you, that they're probably evil. Because they're not doing it to help YOU. They're doing it to help THEMSELVES, and they really couldn't care less about what happens to you. Or the children.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably isn't.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
In two weeks (!?) the town (ie the garbage collection I pay taxes for) will show up to take away the pile of wooden refuse. If I don't haul it off myself first. They make it incredibly damn hard to schedule a pickup, you have to do it online, you can't call in, because they won't talk to you, ever (damn 311 system is a waste of taxpayer's dollars), and when you finally do find the well hidden place to schedule a pickup, it takes two weeks! Which is insane, it should be 4 days max. Glad I won't be having anything to do with the useful entity known as the city of Sacramento after this.
I did take the time to write my city council rep there and give him a piece of my mind over his complete failure as a councilman. Told him he was lucky I was selling or I'd be down at his office bitching him out in person, like I did with his predecessor over the crap job -they- had been doing. Kind of sad that downtown gets all the money and attention, and the people who represent the outlying areas are all okay with that. But grab a bunch of people and go and have a little talk with them, and suddenly they realize that their plum of a job is on the line if they don't perform for he people who vote for them. I doubt I'll hear from him however. He knows I'm leaving, so why would he care?
On the writing front I need to bust my butt and get Future Tense finished. Just need to do the re-write, then engage my Beta readers (if I still have them) and commission the cover. It's possible I could have it ready to go out next week. I'll just have to see. Dealing with the house took about a week longer than I originally thought it would, so I'm behind schedule.
I just hope it sells fast, and I don't end up owing anyone money after the sale (like the Feds with all their new taxes). Doing all the work on the house was not cheap, even if I did most of the labor myself. If only I was one of those rich authors we always see on TV and in the movies! Then I could have just hired someone else to do all the work.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Fixing the back fence required dropping a tree first, then tearing down most of the ruined fence and putting up a new one.
Then there were various sundry tasks inside the house that had to be done. The last major house task was finished today, when the door between the house and the garage was replaced (I needed a code approved firedoor, and this being california, they're super special here with super special extras that serve no purpose at all beyond making them more expensive). Tomorrow I have to paint it and the trim, but once that's done, all I have left to do is fix/rebuild/replace sixty-eight feet of fence along the north side of the house.
The house is already on the market (went on yesterday), but it's not open for people to come inside until Friday. As the door showed up sooner than expected, I'll probably let the realtor know people can start going in on Thursday, but I don't think that's really all that big of a deal. But I've been spending almost every day from 9AM to whenever I get tired working outside on the house in hundred degree weather since the 7th. By the time I get home it's usually dinner time and after a shower I pretty much just want to veg out.
But damn if it doesn't look nice.
I'm hoping to have all the fence work done by Thursday, I need to see about renting a nailgun. I'd buy one, but the good ones are like three hundred dollars and this would probably be the only job it ever got used for. Sixty-eight feet of fence in the summer is a seriously pain in the butt job, as well as expensive. I'm already afraid to add up all the bills from this project. It hasn't been at all cheap.
I just hope it sells quickly and that I actually make some money on the deal, so I can pay off all the bills incurred fixing the house up to sell it!
And I think I'm starting to get too old for this kind of stuff. Definitely starting to feel it in the mornings. That never used to happen.
Sunday, July 09, 2017
I'm going to be spending most of this week outside cleaning and painting a house, as well as rebuilding a section of fence, cutting down a few trees, and getting those cut up and disposed of (along with the old pieces of fence) and all in 100 degree weather. So not sure just how much re-writing will get done this week. Might not be up to it when I get home.
Giving lots of thought to what comes next, as always.
Friday, July 07, 2017
Now my Tenant was very thankful for my taking a chance on him, and renting to him, because when he came to me, his credit was completely shot. He had run up a bunch of debt, and the company he had started working for to clear that up went out of business leaving him in a bad position, and with a family to support. So what did he do?
He joined the military. Full time California Army National Guard.
Now, all things being equal, I was ALWAYS rent to a member of the military before I rent to anyone else, for two reasons: The first is because I know how the military works, if there is ever a problem, I just have to call his first sergeant, and they will take care of it immediately. The second is because I'm ex-military. True I never got deployed overseas, and I never saw any combat (though I did draw hazardous duty pay for a few years), but I still have a lot of respect for my brothers in arms and will always help them out if I'm able.
Now that he and his family have moved out, I'm going to sell the place. The market has come back enough that I can do that and not end up owing anybody anything, even if I'm taking a loss in the process. Honestly I do not enjoy being a landlord, even though my last three tenants have all been good and responsible people (the first one was a gang-banger. Moral of the story, property management firms suck - fired their ass when all was said and done).
Last of all, he is deploying to Afghanistan this fall. So if you are the type that prays, please say a prayer for my now former tenant, and his company. May they all come home safe and healthy when their tour is done.
Tuesday, July 04, 2017
At LibertyCon, which is a literary convention, it's all about the writing, and there are a lot of name authors there, as well as the mid-listers and the independents like myself.
It's also nice getting a little recognition from others in my industry. I've never gotten that before, but I got that this weekend, and yes, it felt good.
There were a lot of learning opportunities as well for me, because I did get the chance to talk to some of the more famous and successful published authors. I also got to talk to the head editor for one of the big five publishing companies, and that was incredibly worthwhile for me.
Had a lot of good food, made a lot of new friends while off having lunch or dinner with people I'd only just met, and really just enjoyed the hell out of being there, meeting people, meeting fans, and talking business. Definitely want to go back next year.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
I leave the house here at noon, I arrive in Nashville at midnight, then drive a couple of hours to get to the con.
Why am I doing this again?
Anyways, I hope to make some new friends and maybe meet a few old ones. Time will tell. I just hope as trips go that the traveling part of it doesn't suck. I remember when flying used to be fun. Sadly everyone has done everything they can to wring the joy out of it.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Monday, June 26, 2017
What I missed however is that there are some things in that chapter that I should have explained for those readers who haven't read the previous books. I missed it because I wrote that chapter when I was about halfway through the book and I realized I needed a different opening than I had, because it didn't 'flow' the way I wanted it to. I wasn't thinking 'new reader' at that point, and I should have been.
So I think I'm going to go back and re-write the first chapter. Oh, not a major rewrite, I suspect I'll add less than two hundred words to the entire chapter. It won't change any of the story, however I think there are a few things that I should have Will or Nikki make comments or asides to, so new readers aren't left dangling about certain aspects of the story, the characters, and especially the world.
Another little thing on the list of a thousand little things, to keep in mind for the future.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
He just moved onto this claim like a year ago, it's back on a creek he used to prospect on many years ago, him and his dad were the first people to get leases from the owner, something like 40 years ago. So the owner gave him what he thinks is one of the best spots. And seeing it and the other spots around there (the owner owns the entire valley, probably a couple thousand acres) I have to agree he got a really excellent spot.
I do like this a lot better than his previous claim (which he'd been on for over a decade), it's a lot bigger, a bit closer, and there's more room to set up a campsite. He's planning on putting in running water, a kitchen, a shower, and a bathroom. The water tanks he's got are huge, he's got pumps, a filtration system he built, solar panels. It's already looking pretty nice, will be nicer still when finished.
I don't know if I'll do any gold mining there myself, it's a lot of work and the amount you get is usually in the grams, there have been prospectors on the land there for over a hundred years so all of the 'easy' gold is long gone even if you do get the winter floods washing more down each year. It's mostly a hobby for him these days anyway, though he did do it full time once, many years ago. I might give it a go one day just to say that I did it, but not a big fan of panning, and in the end, everything you get has to be panned to get the gold out of it. Unless you're doing a big operation, with all of the money and equipment that takes, you don't find nuggets anymore.
Still was nice spending a day in the mountains, and some time swimming in the creek. It's still up pretty high because of the runoff from the snow melt.
Last picture is of the camp from way on the side of the ridge.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Went out and bought a box of Ritz Crackers today (the old big box ran out a while ago) and tried one. Hey! That's not a Ritz, it's not even a cheap imitation of a Ritz. I look at the box, yup, made in Mexico too.
So in order to save a few bucks, they totally destroyed the value of their brand. I can buy much cheaper alternatives that actually taste better now. I guess they were tired of being in business, cause they just lost mine, for life. And I've been buying their products for decades.
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Monday, June 05, 2017
I learned from being a vendor that I pretty much have everything I need. I did borrow one rack from someone for doing displays, I will need to buy one of those, and a cashbox (borrowed one of those as well). Otherwise, I have what I need.
I learned that (as I suspected) furries don't read anymore, so sales sucked for me. I was the only author selling at the con, and I was the only vendor selling novels (sorry, graphic novels don't count, they're just overgrown comic books. Porn doesn't count either, they're not novels, and again, pictures). So I won't be selling at any furry cons, ever again.
I also won't be attending any furry cons anymore. While BLFC was very well run (a rarity among furcons these days) I realized that there was absolutely nothing there of interest for me anymore. No one is interested in writing, or reading, anymore. There are no writing tracks, there is nothing for authors.
I've got zero interest in fursuits, or some of the kinky sex fetish panels (of which there are now quite a few). The fandom has now diverged completely from those things that once interested me (and well, I know more than enough about kinky sex that I don't need to go to any panels on it!) Also I no longer contribute anything that the fandom is interested in (writing, lectures on training and caring for big cats, the bar) and while I still know a lot of people there, that's hardly a reason to go to a convention where they're all too busy to be social anyway. So the truth of the matter is, I'm done with furry.
Instead I'm going to start going to regular scifi and fantasy conventions like I used to, as there is a lot more appreciation for authors, writing, and things science fiction and fantasy there. The whole reason I started going to conventions in the first place. I just need to start finding out which ones are within a reasonable traveling distance.
So yeah, busy weekend (it started on Thursday), but not a fun one.
Sunday, May 28, 2017
As someone who used to own a black leopard/panther, I can tell you that anyone who tells you differently really doesn't know the subject.
But still, you'd think people would at least investigate before going off on an author? But then, people are completely ignoring the warnings about what the book contains and then are complaining about the lack of warnings that the ignored. Too bad I'm not allowed to address reviews under the pen name. Or I'd point a few of these things out :-/ Then again, it's probably better that I don't.
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
If someone likes a book, they'll write a review 1 percent of the time. That's right, one in a hundred people who like a book with stop to write a review about it.
You'll tip people for good food, good service, for all sorts of things. But you won't take 30 seconds to tell an author that you liked his book. A book that you only paid a few dollars for, but which entertained you for hours.
No, I don't get it.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Sunday, May 14, 2017
California threatens to shut down book signings and therefore small booksellers
That's right, it's illegal for me, an author, to sign the books I write here in California, unless I meet a whole long laundry list of demands. The MINIMUM fine for messing up or not keeping records for -7- years?
Thirty Thousand Dollars. ($30,000)
This being California, if you think there aren't people out there just waiting to take advantage of this situation to screw over authors they don't like, or to make a buck, you're dreaming. When the ACA passed we had a guy making millions going around suing every place that didn't have a suitable wheelchair ramp.
This is what happens when you put evil people in office.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
What is it with these morons who don't know grammar and their complaining about indy authors needing editors? Really? WHAT IS IT? Cause I hired an editor for that book!
So I went through the entire book and looked at each and every single case of it's and I found -1- (one) that's it, just ONE wrong usage. Which of course I fixed immediately. All of the rest were either contractions for 'it is' or 'it has'. Every Single One.
I don't know what it is with these people. I'll put my editing, before I hire an editor, up against -any- publishing company out there. Because I've seen worse in paperbacks by the big 5 that I have bought, than in my own average story. This is also why I fired my editor. What is the point of hiring an editor to fix your grammar mistakes and typos when these yahoos who do not know grammar at all are going to complain about it no matter what? I could have perfect grammar in a book, totally perfect, but they're still going to complain. I guess so they can feel superior or something.
Look, we all make mistakes, it just happens. And I appreciate those who do find them and send them to me in an email so I can fix them. But those folks who write reviews where they crow about 'all the bad grammar' and then don't supply the examples? Yeah, those people are full of it.
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Today is the first day I haven't spent more in bed than out of bed, which is nice, because I usually don't get sick for more than a day or two, so being down for like four in a row was complete misery (and I felt it too).
Now I can get back to work!
Monday, April 24, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
And they've only been writing since last year, and they don't really have that many reviews on most of their stuff. Now the story wasn't bad, really, it was just all action and not much plot and minor character development. We just go from action scene to action scene, and the book is probably about 55K words long, so it doesn't get to the point of actually being too much action.
But still, I'm looking at this going, 'how did this person make both of those lists?' Especially when they don't say which of their books made the list.
Well some internet searching and I found it. They got into this huge mega box set deal, and there were some good authors in the set (over twenty authors in the box set total). The entire set made the bestseller lists. So yeah, technically he's a bestselling author now.
I would never have thought to put something like that down.
It's like all of those authors who write their bios in third person like someone else is talking about them, or who go through their reviews on the page, pull out a few, and put them up in the 'editorial review' section. Hell, I've gotten reviews from third parties, completely unsolicited, and I've never put them in there.
I really do not understand marketing for ebooks, or just books in general, I guess.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
And yes, I'm sure there are people who are going to hate me for writing it. Again, different name, so they can just ignore it and not worry about stumbling on it by mistake.
Anyway, here's the link for it on Amazon: Shadow, by Jan Stryvant
Let me know what you think, and if you like it, write a nice review and tell all your friends.
I may make a gmail address and possibly a blog page for that author name, so if people want to talk about it, they have a place to go. Without having to know my real name.
Right now we are seeing a lot of unrest in the country I live in (the USA). It's not the first time this has happened in my life (I was born in '59), I remember the riots and the terrorists we had in this country in the 60's and 70's. These people murdered others, blew up things, did all sorts of very heinous crimes, even if some of them are now 'celebrated' people, you must remember that they are murderers. They did in fact kill people, and it's only because of really bizarre political dealings that they are not now in jail. Though some of it I think is due to certain people wanting to 'forget' and 'put it all behind them.'
Well, I hate to say it, but the truth of the matter is that we are heading back to those times, and probably worse. The 'Battle of Berkley' wasn't an aberration, it was a sign of things to come. None of this has peaked yet, far from it. Now that those being preyed upon have woken up and started fighting back (and winning) you can expect the people leading the attacks to start bringing nastier weapons than the bricks, pipes, bottles, and clubs that they have been using since last summer.
In most of the state I live in, the government has already chosen a side in all of this, which is why when the violent types crash the rallies and the protests, the police disappear rather quickly, or just watch and don't get involved. People are noticing that, and they're not very happy about it either. After all, we pay the police to stop these things, not to encourage it.
I would tell all of you this summer to rethink any travel plans you may have. Especially for when the weather gets hotter and tempers get shorter. Go look up what months we had the worst riots in the 60's and 70's, and what kinds of places they were in. Look at where they are now as well. If you live in one of those kinds of places, you might want to think about moving. And if you're planning on visiting any of them, I would change those plans.
There are very dark clouds on the horizon. If you don't want to get sucked into this against your will and become a victim, now is the time to start thinking about it.
Sunday, April 09, 2017
I've now given it to a bunch of folks to read (and hopefully they'll get back to me soon) because I want their opinion on it. It's hard to step back from something you wrote a long time ago and be sure it's good enough to put out. And as this is long (it weighs in at almost 150K words) I suspect it will be a few days before I hear anything, (well one person finished it and said they loved it, so I'm hopeful).
And yeah, it's a harem type story. The story is about a guy who suffers something terrible as a child and develops super powers because of it. He then uses his powers to hunt down and punish those people and others like them. Until one day he starts to wonder about life, and the meaning of his, and decides maybe it's time to start over.
The prologue covers that, and is the set up for the rest of the story, as he decides to go learn about all of those things he's missed. Of course, because of who and what he is, it isn't going to be easy, and while he's not evil, he's not exactly good either. If you're a big fan of the 'super hero code' that the comic books use, you'll probably hate this story, because this guy isn't like that, and neither is his story.
If I get enough thumbs up from folks on it, I will publish it. It will be under a pen name, which I'll mention here. The reason for not putting it out under my name is that it isn't exactly the kind of thing I'm known for writing (and people these days don't like you straying all over the map), so using a pen name will signal everyone that it's something different and not to be shocked at the blatant sex and swearing and violence.
For now, I'm just waiting to hear what people say about it, while I go to work on another (and somewhat) different one. Then I'll go back to working on the stuff that I said I'd be doing. If the harem stuff does well, I'll do more of it. For now it's just a question of wait and see.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
I know the POI books are considered to be 'Harem' by some, and I can see that it sells really well.
So, how many of you would like to see me write some basic harem type stuff?
Just curious here.
It's a futuristic sci-fi story where Earth's biggest economy is its Mercenary companies. It features Mechs, and some other aspects of futuristic warfare, as well as some space combat. Plus you have a very out of place kid who inherits his father's Mercenary company, who happens to be something of a brony and Anime fan.
It's a fun story. Check it out.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Writing short stories also teaches you a lot about writing. Pacing is more important, and in a short story anything that does not advance the story must go. Must. There are no exceptions.
Novellas of course are the bastard children of short stories and novels that result from drunken liaisons in dark alleys. Really! They are! Just ask one about their parents some day.
But lately, I haven't really been able to write one. And it's sad because there were two anthologies I probably could have gotten a short story sale in, but I just couldn't shift my mind into doing it. I suspect this is because I've been on a novel grind. Everything lately has been about the novels I've been working on, and want to get done this year. I've been so focused on trying to get that done, that when I'm writing, if it's not part of either the book I'm currently writing, or one of the ones on the roadmap for later this year, I'm just not interested in putting any of it down.
I'm not really even interested in thinking about it.
I guess I've just been very 'tunnel vision' about things for the last six months or so. Especially writing. I think some of that has gotten a little worse lately as I'm behind schedule on my plan for this year, I've barely started my second novel that was planned for release next month, and here it is the end of March already. It's hard to focus on something that isn't the 'primary job' when the primary job isn't going well. My mind keeps wanting to go back to the thing that's not going right so I can get it back on track. A lot of that has to do with the way I worked as a consultant. I always got my work done ahead of schedule, some times weeks or months ahead, and then I'd just sit on it while I waited for the other groups to catch up. This way last minute changes were easier to deal with.
Those kinds of things are easy in technical work, which often isn't very creative. But in an endeavor that is 100 percent creative, not so much. And it has been frustrating. I know my plan this year was to write six novels. One published every two months. But I've already realized that I'm probably not going to be able to do that, because you can't publishing anything within about 20 days of Christmas (a lesson I learned last December when I put out a book ten days before Christmas and its release got totally lost in the holiday sales).
The big thing right now is that I need to get POI #8 (Working title: Playing the Game) into heads down and writing mode. Then I need to do the last DOFP book. After that, probably more POI. Maybe I should just consider writing a POI book that is a series of shorts and novellas to fill in a bunch of the gaps and side quests that are part and parcel of Will's life? That would definitely let me flesh out a few things you normally don't see in the novels. Then again, I don't know if you'd all be interested or not.
But it all comes back to being on this runaway treadmill that really requires you to publish every sixty days or so, if you want to stay relevant on Amazon, and keep people seeing your works, and keep selling. I took too much time and money back in January to try and improve my Marketing and expand my fanbase / reading pool. It was, unfortunately, a very big waste of time and money. I even hired someone to help and sadly, that didn't work. It seems that most of you discovered me due to Amazon, not any other outside channel. So I should have been just writing the next novel, not wasting my efforts elsewhere.
I also spent too much time and mental energy trying to land a publishing deal. When they said they weren't interested in my current story lines but were impressed enough with my writing that they would take me on, if I came up with a new line just for them, I should have just turned them down. Instead I spent two months trying to come up with something for them. It takes me a very long time to come up with the idea for a series, or a world. A very long time. While I do have some ideas 'lying around' none of them are really in a final state to write about, or I already would be.
So, if the next POI book does well enough, and I can get both it and the DOFP book done in quick order, maybe I'll have enough breathing space to pick up on writing some short stories again. That or I'll have to find a 'real' job again. Or maybe switch over to writing uber-females in vampire military scifi engaging in galactic conquest :-p
Monday, March 20, 2017
Think about it.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Stuff like that.
Now when it comes to instant messengers, I have all the old ones, AIM, Yahoo, a few others. Because that was what other people used, because they only used what came with their service. But now everyone I used to talk with over these things have moved onto a dozen new instant messengers, all brand new ones, with all sorts of things I hear them complaining about.
Why did they move?
Absolutely no reason at all. The services aren't any better, in many cases they're actually worse (in that they raid your private information and use it to try and get others to join - among other things). They just moved on like a flock of birds I guess. To the new 'better' thing. Hell, I don't even use skype anymore, it's pointless to me 99 percent of the time, I give people my phone number and tell them to call me. But amazingly enough, people still use Twitter, even though there are better services out there that don't censor a quarter of their users, and which don't inspect all posts for passing some kind of political litmus test.
Yeah, just don't get it. Must be getting old or something.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017
Friday, March 10, 2017
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Not sure what I'll do tomorrow. Thursday or Friday I'll do a grammar edit, I suspect over the weekend I'll hear from my beta readers.
Maybe I'll do some plot work on POI #8 while I'm on the couch relaxing tonight. I need to get kicking on that here real soon. I wanted to put that out next month. Don't know if I can hit that target now, as this book took longer than expected, but why not try, right?
Monday, March 06, 2017
Hoping tonight I can get back on the the re-write so I can finish that and send out to my beta readers.
Cover has been commissioned, but I see the terms have changed slightly, so not sure how soon the turn around will be now. But with being sick, I'm already a bit further delayed than expected. So not sure it will matter.
Sunday, March 05, 2017
For those of you into audiobooks, book one of the Hammer Commission series is now available in audio format on audible / ACX:
The Hammer Commission, Book 1
Book 3 should be out by month's end (Book 2 is already out).
Also, Portals of Infinity, #3 is currently in audio production. I'm hopeful we'll see that one next month.
Friday, March 03, 2017
Thursday, March 02, 2017
The next novel in the que is POI #8, however I may write the first few chapters of 'Days of Future Past #3, Future Tense,' before I start on that. Primarily so I'll be able to get back into that world faster when I go to write that book, which will be after POI #8 comes out. Right now I'm cruising along at 4 to 5 thousand words a day (which is still less than I'd like to be doing, but it's a good number), so if I spent a few days on Future Tense, I could get 20K words down on it fairly quickly.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have an aggressive publishing schedule this year, I want to put out six novels, and several short stories as well. I have a lot I want to write about, in the series that are already underway, and if I can keep myself going at my current pace, or better, I think I should be able to do all of that. Present Tense did present a few problems, not the least because of a seasonal funk that I'm sometimes subject to in the winter, but also because the world is a different and new one that I'm writing in, and sometimes certain things have to be developed, often things the reader never even sees, because if the foundation isn't solid the house will fall down and sink into the swamp.
I'm hoping to do several cons this year. I'll be at Liberty Con in Chatanooga (end of June), BLFC in Reno (start of June), another I can't remember the name of in Modesto (August), and possibly some more. I want to try and start selling at some of these, and see what that does for me overall. I also want to try and make it to NY this year to visit family, but we'll have to see how that all goes. If I can combine it with a business trip, for a con or something, then it would be a lot easier to do. Because time off is going to be at a premium this year (see above about aggressive publishing schedule) so on a lot of things, if it isn't directly work related, it's not getting done.
So please, tell your friends about me, get them to buy all my books and call Hollywood and tell them they need to option me for a movie or three. Because I could use a little time off! :-)