Two Bits of Good News and an Apology

A disaster struck and I didn’t realize it.  Those seem to be the worst kind.

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Something completely preventable, yet, it slipped right on by the boards. When people say that your first book is when you work out all the kinks and learn a lot by doing things wrong, brother, they ain’t kidding!

So here’s the Apology Sammich.

First the good news, what has happened has been fixed.  Yep.  The new .epub file uploaded AND those who have purchased it should automatically update.  IF IT DOES NOT… contact me.  Seriously.  I have edited the book one last time, and it has yielded some significant improvements.  It’s now broken into 40 chapters, so they’re more bite sized reads, and not some of the woofers I had before.  There have been a few little bits of exposition or dialogue that bring out a more complete aspect to what I intended to say, and the action sequences read smoother too.  So although nothing Earthshattering changed, the angels are in the details.

But the biggest change has to go with the apology.

I am dreadfully sorry for sending out a product that was not perfect, let alone beneath professional standards.  That said, thank you in advance for any forgiveness.  It was similar to the scene in Elf where James Caan is confronted with the mistake he made with a children’s book.  I laugh only to hide the pain and am still mad at myself.  The biggest sin, which you should be aware of is that chapter 27, “Lost Lambs” somehow was missing.  Yes, and entire chapter somehow got deleted when I compiled the book!  It was an important chapter to boot!  So grumpy with myself on this. I take full responsibility for that.  I don’t know how I missed that, or that it was missed till just now!  Let me tell you I’ve been just sick about it all since learning about it.  Mea culpa.  Mea maxima culpa!

But… It’s fixed now!  I’ll probably beat myself up over this mistake for years to come, so pile on while it’s fresh.

Now, for the last bit of good news.  I am a hop skip and a jump away from having paperbacks available.  There are a few things left to clear up, and once that’s done, I’m hoping to push the “print” button the first week of May…. which keeps it right on schedule for what I hoped to do.  I have not been able to finalize the price yet, which will possibly be in the $12-14 range.  Just know most of that money is not mine, but the printer’s.

So I hope the two bits of good news are enough to satisfy you.  Plus the apology for those who got a sub-standard product.  I hope that my future endeavors will do much to show you that a second chance is worth it.

Thank you.

p.s.  I’m still sorry.

p.p.s.  Really.

Addendum:  It looks like the updated version will not go live for 48 hours after at the earliest.  The longest it will take is 10 days.  I don’t THINK it will take that long since the ‘look inside’ sample has already upgraded, but who knows?  If you do have your device set for automatic updates, and you do not receive the updated book by May 12th, contact me.  I am going to attempt to push the whole thing as of Monday.

Thanks!

Experiencing My Work Anew

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Over the last month or so, I’ve been doing a final polish of my book before I put it out to print.  I was sad to find so many errors in it that I missed on the previous 7 edits, but I blame myself for I did not do the one thing I should have: Read the book out loud to myself.

Well, now that I have, it has been a very different experience for me.  I was given a chance to experience the work from a more detached eye, and see some things that I was unable to before.  It’s been a very nice blessing.

That said, I am happy the job is done, and if all goes according to plan, the Trade paperback will be available on Amazon in a week or so.

Before it goes out, though, the changes will be uploaded to Amazon, and according to their technical notes, you should all be getting update notifications.  Please take the time to upload them.  They’re supposed to be free, so you have nothing to lose there.

What I found interesting as I edited that I was able to experience the characters more honestly I think.  I didn’t have all the internal chatter in my head, and I could see more clearly ways to restate scenes that might have been clunky before.  The content has not changed, but the delivery is far better… except for one scene.

Yes, one scene was decidedly lacking oomph.  It had been weak from the start, and I didn’t know how to deal with it, till a suggestion was given, and I started rearranging sentences to try and get my meaning across clearer.  Then one paragraph became two, then three… and a whole new level of hard fought meaning revealed itself.  I went back over it, and made sure it made sense and held up… and got excited.  I realized that this scene now set the stage better of what was to follow, and made a much deeper impact.

I cannot wait to share these changes with you, and get the book in print.

But, not to fear, Book 2 will now start moving forward again, after I reconnect with it more.  I will be doing a partial edit to reconnect with the characters and then hope to get much of this done.  I’m setting a personal goal for Memorial Day Weekend, just like ALRDW and the first draft of Book 3.  You did remember, Book 3 was already written?  Well the first draft is, and it will be heavily edited, but, won’t be as hard as Book 1.  I’ve learned some tricks and lessons.

Now I can play Guild Wars 2 with less guilt.

Self Reflection Through Current Geo Politics

A bit of a different direction today spawned by several things coming together.  This will have little to do with Book 2 or the print release of ALRDW.

What spawned this little walk down memory lane into the deep dark forest of my youth is this video between Stefan Molyneux and Bill Whittle.  It is very much worth watching unless you are easily triggered or love the Bolsheviks, Stalinism, Maoism or the Soviet Union.  It is a great discussion on history, and the cold war psychology that existed at the time.  Just warning you ahead of time if you’re that kind of person:

 

I am a child of the ’80’s.  I grew up in all things Reagan, played Pac Man, watched “Night Court” and wanted to be Marty McFly.  I listened to Purple Rain, 99 Red Balloons, Rock Me Amadeus and King of Pain.  The mall was the center of my generation’s culture, you could be left unsupervised till the street lights came on and had to come home and never feared being abducted.  It was a great time to be alive in so many respects.

Thankfully the filter of 20/20 hindsight and nostalgia colored glasses help nowadays make things seem better than what they were.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was good as compared to today in so many ways.

But there was also something in that era that really shaped the Generation Xers in ways that the Millenials and burgeoning “Gen Z” can never understand in a real way.  The idea of an impending nuclear holocaust that looked likely to kill every last person on the planet at any time and the emotional scarring that such a pressure puts on a society.  Today?  Pffft.  Sure we have the terror of Islamofascism maybe… possibly getting a dirty bomb, or North Korea splashing a nuke somewhere off the coast of Japan.  But there is nothing… NOTHING… in this world that compares to the psychological pressure that existed in that era and peaked in the 1980’s.

Of course the 1960’s begat all of it with the Cuban Missile Crisis which had a real chance to spark the death of billions of people.  The “Duck and Cover” drills of the 1950’s where everyone practiced sticking their butt in the air from under their desks like dogs scared of thunder were legitimate too.  I’m sure those were just as terrifying.  These were actual, realized existential threats.

The 1980’s were terrorized by the movie technology finally reaching the level where civilians could see ‘believable’ nuclear destruction on film, or the invasion of the US with limited nuclear exchanges.  Movies like “The Day After” and “Red Dawn” burned in our psyche.  Games like Twilight 2000 and Gamma World were toys of the imagination to play in the irradiated landscape pretending we were the next Mad Max.

To this day, I remember being shown the data for what would happen when the missile that was targeting my home town was launched.  The size of the fireball, the instant incineration zone, the debris field, and then the fallout chart.

I was 11 years old.

It scarred my soul.

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An entire generation grew up with the belief, and it seemed a pretty sure thing with what we had shoveled before us by the media, the arms race and the mass media of the happy warriors and blasted remains we all expected to experience before leaving high school.  I did not believe I’d ever see the year 2000 unless I was an unlucky survivor of a nuclear doomsday.

That kind of pressure, I now see gave rise to the nihilism of Post Modernist thought, the hedonism of our parent’s generation and the insanity of what we now know as the Security/Industrial complex.

Even after the Soviets fell and Yeltsin brought a new Russia out of the ashes, none of us could believe it.  Even till today, some of us still are looking toward that far off horizon waiting to hear the sirens in the middle of the night that missiles are on their way.

I realize now how much that shaped me.  How much this belief that I should not bother planning, or thinking about a future still taints my thought process to this day.  When you are sure that somewhere, deep down in your soul, you are going to die at any moment and all those who you love will be ash as well… planning for the future is not high on the priority list.  Why prep when the land will be poison?  Just keep enough money to survive till some maniac thousands of miles away decides it is time for mankind to die.

Just as this mentality was starting to ebb, but wasn’t out the door 9/11 happened.  But even this is not the same as what we felt when we knew that all life could be reduced to radioactive isotopes and shadows blasted forever into rock.

But today, we have a future, and it’s hard for my generation to cope with it.  We who failed to launch in so many ways, because launching was pointless now struggle to deal with the fact that there will be a tomorrow.  Those who were more prepared have already begun to march too and are shaping it into a world that so many of us are angry with.  A world that is based on a hatred of truth, where the moral are ridiculed and derided.  A land of silence through violence, and freedom is only found by obeying those with the faster fist.  Where facts are lies, and feelings are law.

This world we have found ourselves in is just as alien to us as a person coming out of a catatonic fugue.  It is great fodder for a writer, I will give you that.  In fact, there are so many things happening, it is making it very difficult to focus on a fantasy novel series that is focused on faith, history and fantasy.  The truth has almost become too strange for fiction, but then again, reality does not have to abide by the rule that it must remain plausible.

This is what I had to get off my chest.  A lot of personal musing on the memory of what it was like to be a teenager in an era where life could be snuffed out like a candle.  An era that I pray no generation has to fear again.  Global genocide is off the table for now, and God willing forever more.  We have other crazies to fear, that is certain, but a lot of that is jumping at shadows and the phantoms of a people gone mad because there IS no existential threat to all life.  No… no… Global Warming is not a threat when compared to Mutually Assured Destruction.  That’s just fog pretending to be a threat.

But it’s good to remember what it was that shaped my mind.  To remember for a moment that that there are no more missiles aimed at my home with malicious intent.  The freedom and relief that thought brings is paradigm shifting.

Now, back to living in a new, better world.

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The Gold Rush Has Ended.

pexels-photo-67009I know that several people have been wondering why I have not been blogging as much as I had been in the past. This is due to some recent events in how things have been going with my writing, and a failure on my focus to keep writing and moving forward first and foremost in my goals. I became infatuated on focusing on marketing and advertising to drive Book Sales. This is been a big mistake in many ways.

What I have come to discover, is that marketing is an attractive danger. What I mean by that, is that it has a tendency to seduce you, as a writer, to focus on things other then doing the one essential item all writers need to be doing, write the next book.

I got sucked up into the whirlwind of marketing. And I have realized that it is like a Boom Town in a collapsing Gold Rush. Right now online and independent publishing is saturated in many ways. Too many people believe that it is a get-rich-quick paradise.  They think that writing a book is simple. Something they can do in a few days, and come up with a world-class best seller. This is far from truth.

the easy profits have gone, competition is fierce, and only the established authors, like mercantile owners with radically inflated prices who sell junk easily had for free are profiting the most. Those who got in early, are cannibalizing what remains by marketing to all the greenhorns who showed up late to the boom.

I have watched several free seminars and marketing classes comma and discovered very quickly that they are the exact same thing that I experienced when people tried to sell me other network marketing systems. Although they are not having to go out and make a network per se, they are teaching you how to act like a common telemarketer or email marketer rather than a writer.

I just want to learn how to be a better writer. The area that I need assistance with comma is promoting my work so it can get in front of eyes and they know it exists. I know in many respects this is nothing more than the basics of marketing comma it differs significantly from what I keep seeing as ways these classes teach to Market your book.

In many regards this has offended me to the quick. Why would I want to use practices that I myself are offended by? What is worse, is learning that although a single author may use their email list as a great way to keep in contact with their fans, when you have several authors that you follow, that one person is now lumped in with what is now a shapeless blob of mass marketing that overwhelms your emails inbox. In my case, this has caused me to become quickly offended with all the authors that I have pitching me products to separate me from my money, that have no value to me. It’s the equivalent of getting aluminum siding or Lawn Service telemarketers when you live in an apartment. I have discovered I do not want to do this to anyone who reads my work or is interested in what I have to say.

Therefore, I am rethinking what it will take to promote my work. I am seriously reconsidering whether to even start an email list, a Facebook group, or any of the advertising efforts that I actually have tried so far. It is a lot of times or a lot of  effort stolen from that which is best spent  on completing the next story everyone wants to read.

I realized I had to make a decision. Whether to become a marketer, a job I find loathsome at the most kind or to become a writer. I know there are people out there who find the activity of marketing exciting wonderful and a benefit to mankind. I am their antithesis. If I wanted to do that kind of work, I could have easily become a telemarketer in any one of several businesses in my local area. What I do love, is telling you good stories. That is my drive and my passion. I love talking to you either through voice when I am gaming on Guild Wars 2 or through any other methods and which that I have had great conversations about my first novel. I might have to share some of the insights that I have received so far from some of these conversations. It is humbling and gratifying to talk with people around the world about my work and what they have learned or what they can teach me through the conversation. That is the real gold rush. It is personal and it feels my spirit, and hopefully the spirit of those who wish to talk with me on it.

One announcement I do want to make is that I might be getting involved in another social media project that isn’t designed to Market like these programs i juat commented on, and other services are. I am entertaining an idea out there that hopefully in the near future will come to light. We shall see but watch this space. All is not dark period all is not bad. And there is hope of a brighter future to come for me and hopefully for the future of my writing. Don’t worry, I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Surprise Sale!

A Light Rises in a Dark World is now on sale!

Yep, for the next few days, you can purchase the book for $0.99 on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and more.

Get it while it’s hot!

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Buster Sez: Wat ar yu waitings foar?