Archive for October, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Today is not only my favorite holiday, it’s now the day that my lifelong dream of publishing a novel has come true. It’s especially wonderful because I’ve made this journey with a story that I began when the idea of becoming published was almost as unrealistic as being chosen to be a professional athlete or movie star.

Darkness Falling: Soldiers and Slaves

Available Now for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

I’ve learned a lot in the past few months. I’ve learned how to publish an eBook, about images and fonts, and about marketing and branding. Most importantly, however; I’ve learned that it’s not too late and to not give up on myself.

Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and keep chasing your dreams!

If there has one thing I’ve learned in writing (and also in gaming) it’s always save your progress.

The first time I learned this lesson was in 1997 when my uncle attempted to fix my computer and accidentally erased my hard drive. I lost all but the first five chapters of Darkness Falling at that point, which I had in print. In gaming I’ve learned that you shouldn’t just have one backup, but multiples. It’s terrible to be winding your way through a difficult RPG to discover that several saves ago you made an error, but now that save is gone and you can’t go back.

Thanks to these experiences, I averted complete disaster on Thursday of this week.

After a long day of work I came home, eager to continue with my editing. My computer tower sits on the floor next to my desk. I bumped my cup, which I’d stupidly placed above the tower, and tried to grab it as approximately twenty ounces of soda spilled into the fan.

My motherboard is fried.

Luckily, earlier that morning I realized I hadn’t made a current backup of the past few days work. I also decided to backup my cover, just in case. Also, I’m lucky that we have an old computer for the kids and I’m sharing with them to complete my publishing process. Although it didn’t work out for me to publish tomorrow I will be done next week.

This weeks PSA: Always backup your work! 

Have you ever had a computer disaster?

Today is an exciting day! I’m revealing the cover for my debut novel, along with a synopsis.

Without further ado….

Darkness Falling (Book 1)

For over one thousand years the Empire of Sa’Toret-Ekar has sought to conquer the world, but the foundation of their civilization is starting to crumble. When a slave girl makes a bid to escape the abusive heir to the Emperor’s throne, she finds help from one of the Empire’s own soldiers. Together they seek only their own freedom, not knowing they may have a greater role to play in transforming their world.

Cover art concept design is by Allex Styers.

Barring unforeseen delays, I will be publishing on either Saturday the 24th or Saturday the 31st of October.

As always, thank you for reading!

You’ll often see some very common advice when it comes to writing a book: write every day. If you’re a writer, you need to set a daily word goal. Writing everyday is practice, necessary, and the only thing that keeps you from being a procrastinator.

The reality is, this isn’t reality for everyone and it isn’t necessary. This well-meaning advice can quickly turn against you into a looming wall of guilt and frustration.Writing should be treated like a job, that’s true, but just like any job it can lead to burnout. Frustration can lead to depression which can lead to a writer’s block.

Instead of writing every day, I find the better rule to examine my well being. There are days when it is perfectly fine to take a break. Forcing myself to write does not produce quality work. When I go back for a rewrite or edit, I can always tell when I was struggling. Forcing myself to work when I’m attempting to edit is especially bad.

Here are some reasons that you may need a break:

  • You haven’t slept well.
  • There is a stressful situation in your life.
  • You are recovering from illness.
  • You feel like you need a break.

Keep in mind that if your break lasts more than a few days you may need to examine the  underlying cause. Sometimes, however; you just need a break, and you need to forgive yourself for that.

Have you ever had to take a break? Leave your story in the comments.

As always, thank you for reading.

This is my first attempt to publish my work, and that means I have a lot to learn.

With my rewrite complete I’ve began the process of a final edit; combing through each chapter for typos, extra words, punctuation, and awkward sentences. One of my beta readers has also been helpful in this area, without being asked, marking up a printed copy in red. It’s actually not that bad. Being a rewrite some editing has already occurred as I went.

I’ve also began the process of reformatting. This is primarily because I foolishly thought uploading to Amazon would be a simple affair. Silly me. Technology isn’t as advanced as I assumed.

It’s fine, though, because learning is part of the process. Also, needing to reformat helps me break each chapter into its own project which will prevent me from rushing.

I work with OpenOffice. The tutorials I’ve found online are all for Word. That’s fine, because it’s really not that much different. Instead of working with Normal style you instead work with Default. The changes in removing tabs and creating indents via the style sheets are the same. I have both Sigil and Kindle Previewer on my computer and Writer2epub extension added to my OpenOffice program. I downloaded Calibre but I had to uninstall it for now. I’ll just say we weren’t getting along.

In the end, I have confidence in my ability to complete the task, and once I’m done I can write a tutorial on how to reformat from OpenOffice.

As always, thank you for reading. If you have any tips or tricks for editing and reformatting, feel free to leave a comment.