Tuesday, December 04, 2018

I'll be in NY tomorrow

Flying to NY for a few days to visit family and some old friends. I'll be hanging around parts of Huntington, Commack, and Lake Ronkonoma for a few days before flying back. I'm in the middle of the next Valens book, #12 - Demon Days and hope to have it out not long after I get back.

For those who have expressed an interest in buy the pack of picture I commission of each of the girls (Roxy, Jolene, Daelyn, Roberta, Peg, and Cali) they're $40 a set and that includes shipping in the USA (outside, email me first so I can find out how much shipping will cost). You can pay me via paypal, just remember to add your shipping address.

I also have a store on Red Bubble now, selling the montage of all the pictures, as well as the individual poses (without background) on all the different things Red Bubble. The link to that is over on the right side of the page under the 'T-shirts and Posters' link ==>

The Valens Legacy series is starting to near its conclusion, which means there will be another POI book soon after that. There are some other works I'm looking at doing next and talking with a few folks about somethings as well. I also need to write the next Wives Tales collection, and see about something for Shadow as well. It's going to be a busy year.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Liftmaster CSL24UL Installation Problems

Okay, yeah, this isn't a writing post. But it's one of those things that there is NOTHING on the internet about, and if there had been, I could have fixed this sooner and not had to wait for Monday to call the company and spend half an hour going over everything. They didn't solve all of the issues for me, but they gave me enough info to solve it myself.

So, you've installed the Liftmaster CSL24UL automatic gate yourself, because you didn't feeling like paying almost five grand to a tech to do it. And now, well, it's not working.

Here is where I was at: No errors on the diagnostics, two sensors installed (I was told two was minimum, but not why. If you hold the open or closed button down, it will move after five seconds, but it will scream at you the entire time. All three input lights on the main board are blinking yellow (and maybe on the accessory board as well).

Well first off, if you have the accessory board, you have to hook your sensors up there. That's why the main board blinks sensor lights blink, because it isn't doing that job anymore.

Secondly you must have one sensor for the gate opening and one for it closing (that's why you need TWO minimum). You won't find this in the instructions.

Third is the edge (get the wireless kit for it, it makes life so much easier). Now the little pictogram instructions with the edge are annoying. Because they don't tell you damn near anything and following them won't often work. The edge has two wires inside. When they touch, it's a short. When they don't touch, well the cap at the far end has a resistor in it. So the unit sees that resistor and knows it's working. An open circuit won't work.

So before you put the edge together, find the two wires embedded in the bumper at either end of the rubber bumper strip (the length of the strip is immaterial btw). The end caps? The way they send them to you isn't the way they work. Take them apart BEFORE you put them in the edge, not AFTER. Why? Because those probes you see in the small cap with the wire? Those have to line up with the wire in the rubber bumper. So you may have to turn it a little. The non-wired cap that goes on the other end has them too, and they have to line up as well. Because that cap has the 8.3K ohm resister in it.

So get an understanding of how you have to put that cap in, before you put it all together. Also, don't put the locking clips on the ends on until you've checked the resistance with an ohm meter, like the little pictures tell you. The edge is supposed to be an opening detector, not a closing one. So another FYI there, it goes on the edge that's leading when the gate opens.

Most everything else is in the instructions, but for some reason, that information was not. And I wasted half a day because of it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

And now for something a little different

I have a friend who lives down in the Bay who likes to write YA (Young Adult) and Steampunk. Now I realize that this is quite a bit different from what I tend to write, but this story (trilogy actually) is really quite good and everyone I've had ask me about a YA story or a Steampunk story that I've pointed to it, has enjoyed it, and told me so.

It's not overly 'Young Adult' for all that it is a YA story, and it's definitely a fun romp. So if you're looking for something a little different, or want a good Steampunk type story, go give it a look. Remember, previews are free!

For Steam and Country: Book One, the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Character pictures from Valens Legacy are now up on RedBubble.

I put up each of the wives' pictures (the ones without a colored background) as well as the large graphic of all six on redbubble for those interested in merchandise.
Will probably add the ones with a colored background tomorrow.

So if you have a particular favorite you can go check it out.
The six packs of prints will still be going up for sale, probably a few days after I get them.

Redbubble Link

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Valens #11, Red Skies, almost done

It's a couple of hundred words from being completed. Then I'll spend a day or two on the re-write and send it off to the editor. Cover art is being worked on as we speak. So with any luck it should be released by next Friday.

Then it's on to the next one!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Days of Future Past

I'm sure most of you recall this trilogy that I finished last year. For me there was some important things in those books. There were a few things that I slipped in there that had actually happened in real life (either to me, or people I knew well) that I filed the serial numbers off so no one would know. I also got to pay a little respect to my (admittedly small) American Indian heritage, and take advantage of the tremendous amount of experience I have from back when I worked DOD and was in the USAF before that.

So when the trilogy died, I was kind of down about it. Sales on the first book were good, the second one was so-so, but everyone was telling me that they wouldn't buy #2 until #3 was done.

So of course #3 tanked. Honestly I was sorry I wasted the time writing it, because all it really did was lose me money and got me depressed with the horrendous sale, (less than a thousand copies).

This year it's been selling at about the same rate as the first two now currently are. Once I get settled in Texas (we move in less than 48 hours, yes I'm counting the minutes - California has just gone horribly ....wrong) I hope to find the time to combine them all into just one big book so I can do the same with the audiobook. Hopefully that'll help the sales.

But the reason I'm writing this is I came across a review on facebook by someone who loved the trilogy so much, he not only told everyone to go out and buy it, but he compared me very favorably to Robert Heinlein. That really blew my mind. Yes, I think it's a good book, of course I do, I wrote it after all. But to be compared favorably to one of my favorite authors of all time? (The other is Roger Zelazny btw, read 'Lord of Light' if you ever get the chance - a little dated, but still a great story).

Now, I don't expect a flood of people to suddenly go and read the trilogy, but it's heartwarming to me that someone loved it that much. It really made my day for a story that I actually was starting to regret writing, because of how much I lost income wise by doing it.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Back in the Kindle Unlimited Program

Effective Immediately I have returned all of my books to KU.
Hopefully they've fixed all of their issues and things will go back to the way they were.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

I may be returning to KU

I'm considering a return to KU, now that the whole mess with MSE has been cleared up. I'm not exactly happy with the way it turned out, but it does seem to have been resolved.
I'll be deciding tomorrow (Monday) if I'm going to be coming back immediately or not.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Still on Amazon, but no longer in KU

As of a couple of hours ago, Amazon took me out of the KU program. It's gonna suck, I suspect I'll lose about half my fans and readers, but I can't afford to be shut down because I got targeted.

Now I have to update my webpage and I guess I should open up accounts with other ebook sellers as well. Not that I expect to make much money there. But I guess we will see.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Leaving KU ASAP. Someone at Amazon is on a witch hunt

Effective immediately I am pulling all of my books out of Kindle Unlimited (KU). Apparently someone at Amazon is engaging in a witch hunt and is shutting down authors, completely destroying their livelihoods.
I'm not talking about small time authors either, I'm talking about the name authors in the genre in which I write. I realize that I will probably be next, and I can not afford to lose my income, that it is far better for me just to take a hit from no longer being in the KU program.

If you are an author, I would highly recommend you drop out of KU as well. Remember, Amazon can not be questioned or appealed to. You can sue them, that's about it.

Now, some of my books will still be in KU for the next few months, because it's a 90 day sign up. I will be contacting them tomorrow to see if I can get everything pulled immediately. Financially, I just can not take this risk.

Friday, July 13, 2018

New Valens Legacy book

Available now on Amazon in Kindle format, soon in paperback:



https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FKVCWGV

Friday, June 22, 2018

What's currently going on...

Things have been incredibly hectic here for the last several weeks. As some of you may know, I'm in the process of buying a house, out of state. This involves a lot of travel, and as the first house we went to contract on turned out to have serious issue (like $50K minimum to fix issues, probably more like a $100K), we had to drop out of that and start all over.

So now I'm in contract on another house, and this one looks fine. But I have to fly to Chattanooga at the end of next week for a convention that I really want to go to (LibertyCon - if you're there, look me up) and as I'm doing a panel, well, I'm gonna be busy some more.

And don't even get me started on the lawsuit I'm about to file to protect my copyrights, against someone who doesn't seem to understand that violating them is a crime. (BTW premier law firms ain't cheap!).

So yeah, it's been busy. I'm hoping to pass the halfway mark on 'Take California' today. I'm also hoping to order the cover at some point today as well. I've got several days of (hopefully) uninterrupted time ahead of me, so I'm hoping I can get the first draft finished here in the next few days. It's just been very very very hectic.

So I haven't forgotten about you, or the next book in the Valens Legacy, it's just been busy.

On the Audiobook front, the next one will be released next week, and Podium Press has indicated that they will be doing books 7 & 8! So now I have to write 9 & 10, so they'll do them too :-)

Thanks to all of you for everything!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Just released this morning, the first installment in a collection of short stories as told by Sean's wives in the Valens Legacy series. This book contains two short stories about Roxy and Jolene.






Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DQHMFJB

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Black Friday on Sale

To celebrate Amazon's fixing of the glitch on Thursday, the first book of the Valens Legacy series, 'Black Friday' is on one of those Amazon 'countdown' sales. It's 99 cents for the next few days, then the price will go up to slowly until it's back to the regular price in about a week.

So if you've put off check out the series, now might be a good time.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

On the Amazon Problem / Glitch

To all of my fans and readers, Amazon is aware of the problem and is working hard to fix it. I suspect once they do fix it, they'll then have the even bigger problem of trying to help all of the authors who got hurt by it.

So, just a reminder, if you are a fan of any particular author, please go check their author page on Amazon, or their website, to see if they have any new releases out in the last week and a half. Not only have I been hit (Jan Stryvant), but so have authors like J.A Cipriano, and Micheal-Scott Earle.

If you are fans of these writers, please take a few minutes to see if you're up to date on their releases, as well as any other author you are a fan of.

Thanks!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Please tell your friends the new Valens Legacy book is out

Because apparently everyone who published a new book between 4/20 and 4/23 got all of the books in their series pulled down from the Also Bought and notifications lists.

Yup, the Valens Legacy series, which used to be in a slew of  'Also Bought' lists on many other author's books has completely disappeared from Amazon. Along with several other series by other authors who published in that date range.

I've written Amazon, but if they fix it, it won't happen until Monday when they're back at work. So a lot of people who would have read this book are never going to know that it's out. And nobody new is going to be exposed to the series for a while.

Which seriously sucks. I was wondering why sales were off.

Last week really was the week from hell. :-(

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Coming Soon






I'll be announcing the on sale date soon. This will be book #7 in the series.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

How to Build a Bass Guitar

Or how I did it at least. I play bass as a hobby, been doing it for years. I also like to build things, and I saw this DIY Steinberger clone kit to build your own bass guitar. So I figured, why not? I'd been thinking of buying a Steinberger Spirit bass, because they're smaller and easier to travel on airplanes with, but no one around here sells 'em.

So I bought the kit and built my own. Took me three weeks or so, because of paint curing and finish curing times. I wrote up the steps and put a few pictures of the finished product at the bottom of the page here:

Link > How to Build a Bass Guitar

Think I'll do a P-bass next. But I might do that without a kit, see as everyone who sells kits are out of stock.

A little comment about something in the story...

In the new book, there's a spot where Will is accosted by the equivalent of the Coast Guard and asked just how he ended up where he is, so he spins them a little story about a rich woman that he heard from a friend. Well, I'm here to say that the story is true.

It really happened. Not to me, but to a friend of mine's brother. He got picked up by a rich woman, who made him all sorts of promises, and then took him traveling with her for several months. She pretty much made him her sexual plaything. Then he wakes up one morning at a very expensive hotel in Florida, all the way across the US from where he started in the Midwest, she's gone (she snuck out earlier) and left HIM stuck with the bill for the hotel. Which he couldn't pay of course, it was a lot of money, and he's got nothing on him as up until now she's been paying for everything.

So he ended up working at the hotel for many months to first pay the bill off (this was in the early 1980's), then to save up enough money so he could travel back home.

He said it was worth it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Book Three in the Days of Future Past is now an audiobook!

So the third book in the Days of Future Past trilogy, 'Future Tense' is now live on audible, Amazon and iTunes. For those of you who have been waiting for it, the wait is over:

Future Tense on Audible

Here's the link from Amazon:


Monday, March 05, 2018

The Valens Legacy Audiobook is out!

For all of you who have been waiting for the audio version of the Valens Legacys series, the first two books are now available on Aubible:

The Valens Legacy

Here's the cover:

Just a general Update and POI #8 Status

So, I realized this morning that I hadn't posted here in a while. So I figured I'd make a general update. POI #8 (working title: On The Border) is currently being written. I'd hoped to have the first draft completed last week, but I had outpatient surgery last Tuesday and I ended up getting very little work done after that. So I'm hoping to be first draft complete by the end of this week. I don't have a target date on release for that one yet, it will be sometime this month.

On the Valens Legacy. I'd hoped to start writing that this week, but odds are that won't happen until next week. I'm still hoping to get that out by the end of this month, but with losing a week that may slip a little.

Black Friday was nominated for an 'Ursa Major Award' so if you want to go vote for me, (or rather Jan Stryvant) I'd appreciate it. True it's not a big award, but I've never gotten an award for writing before.

So that's where things stand currently. Hopefully I'll have some more interesting stuff for you soon.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Few Words on Page Count



A few words on 'page count'.

Page count, the number of pages in a paperback book, is not really much of an indication of just how many words are in a novel. For example, I have one series where I formatted the books at 6x9 and another done at 5x8. Mass-market paperbacks are at I think 4x7.

The difference in the amount of words you can put on a page between just 6x9 and 5x8 is fairly significant, and that doesn't even begin to take into account the size of the gutter (space between the text and the spine) the outside margin and the top and bottom margins. Then, on top of that you have font size and font style. I have seen mass-market paperbacks where the publisher used an 18-point font in order to increase page count, to make a novella look like a novel, or a short novel look like a longer one.

Now for POD (Print on Demand) books, page count is the primary factor in determining the price of your product. So if you want to be competitive with mass-market paperbacks, you need to get the number of pages in your book down. It's as simple as that. So you go for the 6x9 format, you shrink your gutter and your margins, you go with a smaller font size and say a font like Georgia instead of Times New Roman. To make my novel 'Children of Steel' saleable, I had to shrink the font down to a ten-point and squash the margins as much as possible. The book is still very fat in the 6x9 format even after doing all of that, but it let me sell it at 10.99 and still make a quarter (as in 25 cents) on each print sale.

On some of my more recent stories I did similar stuff to keep the page count low. Sure, I could easily push all of them over two hundred, or even three hundred pages, but then I start pricing myself out of competition. People forget that it's how many words are in a book, not how many pages. Words per page can easily vary from two hundred to four hundred fifty, or more.

It's all in the formatting.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What I'm reading

I just started reading 'Lion's Quest: Undefeated' by Michael-Scott Earle. Wow, this is an amazing book. I'm about 2/3rds through it. If you haven't read it, I'd say to give it a look.

Lion's Quest: Undefeated

I honestly don't get to read enough, too busy working. There's a bunch of books I need to finish, along with book 2 in 'Super Sales on Super Heroes' which so far has also been a lot of fun. There really are a lot of good books out there these days.

Monday, January 01, 2018

The new book has been uploaded and should be available later tonight

Okay, I put the book up with Amazon about an hour and a half ago. The status is publishing, which means I have a possible link for it, BUT until it's actually published, that link won't do anything.

So, here's the link, right now it'll tell you that it can't be found, but hopefully in a few hours that'll change. It'll definitely be live by tomorrow.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078RGJ2PY


Again, right now you just get a 'Sorry' page.

Here's the cover, it came out a little more 'fan servicey' than I intended, but unless I hear lots of complaints, I'm gonna stick with it. In my defense I had the flu when I ordered it, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :-)