7 Minutes about Free Books

Before I start the timer: As of this posting you have about 80 hours left to get Origin of Storms, my epic space opera adventure novel, for free on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B084DH8D5Q

Alright. On with the show.

Origin of Storms is free right now, and I have been doing some active research on giveaways and free copies of novels over on the bestseller lists of a couple Amazon stores. Turns out, even without moving a whole lot of copies, a book ranks in the top 100 as long as the cover is nice and the ask isn’t too big.

I wonder if my ask with Origin of Storms is bigger than most of these free Science Fiction stories.

You see, as I discussed yesterday, the book is set in a VERY odd science fiction universe, one that defies comprehension by most people when I try to tell them how it works.

That’s an obstacle. The same could be said for the fact that book is over 600 pages long. I like a long book, but this one is currently my longest volume, and it’s scifi, not epic fantasy, so the genre expectations are different.

Even so, I’m pleased to see people downloading some copies.

I guess there isn’t much to say beyond that I’ve been told free series starters are dead on Amazon. Maybe that isn’t true? I don’t really know, and the book is only on sale until the end of October, so I probably won’t find out if it would do well permanently free.

For years now, I’ve wanted to do a sequel to Origin of Storms. One is in the works, but it’s far from completion. After I’m done with this post, some dictation is in my future.

Wish me luck, friends.

I like to type. I like to talk. Combine these two, and dictation should be fun, and it often is. As long as I don’t lose sight of my purpose in the moment and second of the process, I do alright.

The clock is ticking down.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll be out of here at the beep.

7 Minutes about why I (Don’t) Write

The basic premise of storytelling is that one shares experience, whether their own or something they invented. My goal with writing is always to entertain. I don’t have that much to sacrifice for this goal, because I will admit I don’t know much about the world.

I knew less when I started writing, though.

I was thirteen or fourteen. That year was rough for me. I was in the process of adjusting to the middle school environment. I don’t remember that much about the time. Most of what I can recall I wish I didn’t.

I didn’t enjoy 8th grade much.

But I started writing back then. I took lengthy breaks during some years, but I’ve never hung up the spurs and six-guns for more than a few months at a time aside from in college.

And yet, I’m way behind. I don’t have series-length works like I’ll need to attract big readers on Amazon, and I’m not sure I have the will to write a mighty series along the lines of M D Cooper, or Michael Anderle, or any of the other giants out there.

What I have is my desire to entertain myself and others.

Got to keep that one in front of me. I tend to forget it’s there.

Lessons are nice.

Escape can be good.

Fun?

Why not.

Taking joy in what I do means telling tales I love and enjoy.

And still I struggle. I guess I want a series that never feels stale. A book like that. A scene like that. I get stuck looking for north too often.

Never fear. I don’t know how to give up at the game.

Let me tell you, I almost wish I could quite sometimes. But then, what’s the point of that?

Oh well. The timer is ringing.

Thanks for reading my rant.

7 Minutes of Typing Rehab

Two days in a row blogging? Could I be developing a new habit?

Kinda.

You see, ever since I switched to dictation for my fiction, I haven’t typed all that much outside of notes for RPGs.

Thing is, I like typing. I like sculpting sentence at slower than breakneck speed. I like retrospectives on my text. When I edit my fiction, I still get that part of the process. And I love it.

I also love getting words down fast. So, the trade-off here could be accomplished by treating the rough draft as the roughest and most bare bones part of the process. That is my current plan for fiction.

However, to get that to work, I need more practice typing. I don’t know if I’ll be posting here daily, but things could work out that way. I definitely want to do more hereabouts.

After all, a lot of you have followed this blog for some time. Quite a few of you can measure the span you’ve been subscribed here in years. I may have started releasing novels somewhere between the time you long-timers signed up and typing this sentence. I’m happy about that. I hope you are too.

The process of writing has always been close to the front of my mind. Not too long ago I chatted with Mal Cooper on my podcast, Alive After Reading. She mentioned to me she hated writing words that don’t end up in a book. Having authored dozens (Maybe hundreds. I can’t recall. The timer is a harsh master for this blog post), she certainly shows strong results from that practice.

Yet, I think if I don’t put down the rules and details of my world at least somewhat in advance I suffer a bit for it. It’s not because I get derailed in the course of the story, but more that I ENJOY thinking about all these aspects and creating these worlds. Without that part of the process, enthusiasm is harder to find.

But that’s 7 minutes of typing. The timer alarm is drilling into my ears through the headphones.

Thanks for reading.

7 Minutes to Check In

We just got the first snow of the season in my part of the world. It was light snow. Nothing stuck.

Sadly, this reminds me of the position my books have been in for the past couple years. Sure, I’ve gotten mostly positive reviews, but I’m simply not putting my books in front of enough people.

I want to share these stories. Yet, I don’t really know how to get people to read them.

Sure, I’m getting better at it. I’ve learned a few things about making book covers and even a little about writing book descriptions. Yet…it never seems to be enough.

Thanks to dictation, I’m faster and mostly better as a writer than I’ve ever been.

Still…

I can’t seem to focus on a series. My ADHD is a serious obstacle at this point. The time is coming to control those impulses, because I can’t keep failing to attract readers forever.

Honestly, this post started out as a bit of whining, but I think there is a good takeaway from my emotional shift while writing the last few paragraphs. I feel better. Maybe, just maybe, I feel better because I’m writing.

Writers, take notice.

You may just need to do the work to feel better.

Today has been a struggle to optimize marketing, at least for me.

Time to go back to the pages, the stories, the characters.

Thanks for reading.

Seven Minutes of Proof Reading

Does the title say 7 minutes? I meant more like 17+ hours.

Yeah, I like proofing, as it turns out. I took the time to re-edit Demon Scroll before I complete the sequel, Shadow Prince because I noticed in some of the reviews there are a large number of typos.

Well, I just uploaded the new edition to Amazon, and it should be out in paperback soon. It’s easy to say this book has never been better, but I’m also embarrassed by simply how many errors remained in the book I launched. Most of those are gone now.

Demon Scroll is my first dictated release, and I am pleased to say the next book won’t have some of the issues that propagated throughout the novel on the sentence and paragraph level, especially.

Thanks to generous early reviewers, the book is still rated pretty well, but I’m finally planning to push the book a little harder now that the story is clearer and cleaner than before.

My other books didn’t have the same level of typos and errors, but dictation is taking me some time to master. Regardless, I enjoyed cleaning the book up. Next time I’ll take this step BEFORE I release the book. Whoops. Egg on my face for that.

Thanks for reading, folks. I made it back here faster than I expected.

Click this link if you care to check out Demon Scroll, or if you have already read it and care to leave a review.

Going 19

Let me start off this blog post by saying, so far, my family and I are fine. My immediate area is not yet fully locked down, but I expect that will happen soon.

I tend to be pretty isolated under normal conditions. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is making my occasions to go out and interact with others even smaller.

I’m working on Shadow Prince as well as on cleaning up a lot of typos I missed before publication in the first book of that series, Demon Scroll. One note about those edits: I regret setting the pre-order too short to allow this level of editing the first time. It won’t happen again, as I’m embarrassed by many of these mistakes.

I hope you’re all safe out there, and I plan to write again soon. Don’t I always say that when I make a post? Well, this time I mean it. Maybe it will be next week, or maybe tomorrow, but I’ll write again soon.

Thank for reading.

(More Than) 7 Minutes About My Developing Process

Hi everybody! Here we go again, another seven-minute blog.

Run while you still can.

I switched to dictating my fiction last July. After six months of dictating my work, I’m still in getting used to the ins-and-outs of my process. I now produce words 3-5 (Or more) times faster than I did when typing.

I can now create stories far quicker than ever before… in theory. My first mostly-dictated release was Demon Scroll, an epic fantasy novel I launched back in September 2019. As of January 2020, I am really pleased with the results of that book, especially with the slight revision to the opening I did post-publication. A lot of older authors could be a little secretive with the process of their work. Personally, I’m grateful for those who are more transparent.

In that spirit, I’d like to explain a little about my process. Hell, this could take a bit longer than seven minutes.

Buckle up.

When I typed, as I did for more than sixteen years, I always maintained a pretty regular per hour and per-minute rate. I typically managed between 20 and 30 words a minute. Only rarely would I attain a words-per-minute rate of more than 30 for any amount of time. My personal fastest as a typist, with very little correction while working was about 40 words-per-minute while composing at break-neck speed, but I only could keep that up for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.

Those numbers are a little slow for how fast my sentences come to me.

Dictation speed varies a little more for me. At my slowest, I go about 75 words per minute when speaking into a voice recorder. Pretty fast, right? Recently I concluded that rate is what I start at when pacing around or walking outside. Sitting comfortably in a chair? Over one hundred words per minute became pretty normal for me last summer.

I’m still learning.

Yesterday, I attained a rate of 138 words per minute for one of my sessions. That is crazy to me. I did nearly 2500 words in 17 minutes. I’m honestly still kind of knocked out by how fast that chapter appeared in my mind. I don’t see the words while I dictate (If I can see them, I slow down to about my typing speed). I make no corrections and create both freely and sloppily while dictating. The result, however, is I can dictate a 100,000-word novel in just 14 hours of chattering into my recorder.

Editing takes a lot more time than that. I can’t edit 10,000 words in 2 hours. The basic clean-up takes something along the lines of 5 hours for that many words. Spending so much more time on editing than rough-drafting is a major change to my process.

I’m a full-time writer, so the project I’m starting this year is to work 7-8 hours each day on writing and editing combined. I think things will shake out to allow me to write and clean-up about 10,000-12,000 words each day. I am excited to start putting my new process to use to get more books published faster.

I should note, my editing process does not end with clean-up but clean-up is the longest leg of the editing journey where I currently stand. Anyway, I hope to be back with (Probably less number-intensive) posts about my work and my process in the near future.

For now, I gotta put the blog away and get to work on fiction.

Thanks for reading.

Boy oh boy, that was more like a half-hour of blogging.

Happy 2020 and stay safe out there folks.

If you want to support me, check out my Amazon author page and give me a follow there.

Until next time.

7 Minutes of Demon Scroll Launch Day

Demon Scroll launches today!

The book is out! After just over 50 days, Demon Scroll has gone from concept to release. The link above will take you fantasy fans to Amazon.com where you can get the ebook for 99 cents US if you get it before the 9th of September 2019.

I loved creating this book and while it was my first (Almost) fully-dictated novel it most certainly will not be the last.

Writing by dictation is counter-intuitive procedurally for me. However, as a tool it cuts down on the time it takes me to write a rough draft by a considerable margin.

I created all the major elements of the book, including the cover and the internal map.

How did I, who until recently suffered from major lack of energy on top of depression and anxiety, amass energy to do all this in less than two months? I guess I owe the result to a stable situation in my life when combined with the addition of a CPAP machine, which I started using in late June. I never imagined the effect the machine would have on my life and my work. I’ve never possessed more get up and go as an adult.

Mentally speaking, I am very happy to add my thanks to Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” for helping me clear the mustiness from my mind each day with morning pages prior to dictating each day during my rough-draft process. Anyway, that’s 7 minutes.

One last thing. The first edition of the ebook lacks a dedication just on account of my hurry to release the novel. Hopefully that’s all I’ve forgotten going into publication.

This one’s for Joe.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

Genre Direction

So, I have been remiss in blogging. Again.

One could assume this is my natural state of being, but given the recent introduction of a sleep aid machine to my life, I have a feeling I may be posting more often in the future, given the additional energy.

I have been considering my next move as an independent author even as I keep writing on various works in progress. I wrote two short stories in the past thirty days or so, and am planning to use dictation to speed my completion of the current novel I’m working on (The Pillar Universe Book 4).

I’ve known for a while now, my first love is fantasy, despite having written predominantly science fiction this year. I know these genres are close to each other in qualities, which is probably why I enjoy them both. However, my particular brand of writing I think lends itself more toward the worlds of fantasy, rather than the more futuristic worlds of space opera or cyberpunk.

I’m still planning on continuing the science fiction series I have out already, but given my fantasy roots and the ease I had marketing my fantasy novella series last fall, I think its time to change course back to what is for me, the core of my genre preferences.

Once this fourth Pillar Universe book is complete, I will make my move to write some more fantasy.

In the meantime, as I wrap up this post, please check out Booksprout and pick up a copy of Storm Fleet for free, in exchange for a review.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll chat at you all again soon.

What I Released this Year in Seven Minutes

Hi folks!

It’s the Holiday Season, and though I’ve been known to grinch it up in my personal life from time to time, I actually kinda like December despite the cold that pervades these parts.

Also, it’s this time of year I look back on what I did in the past 12 months. I’m pretty happy with the progress I made in my writing and publishing career.

First of all, I released Tenlyres III and a new edition of the complete tale. Things get a little muddled for me after that as I worked on Clean/Root Conspiracy Stories which haven’t done very well in attracting an audience. I finished and released four stories in that series, but sadly I don’t think they’re resonating with enough people despite good reviews.

However, I also released six novellas in my Spells of the Curtain fantasy series, and those have attracted a bit of an audience. I’m happy with how they’ve done.

I released my first stab at a military science fiction story in Titan Games: Sacrifice, but I think future stories in that universe will have to be novels just because of how I want to handle things.

Last but not least, I have one more launch coming this year. On December 19th the first book in my Pillar Universe series will release. Entitled “Storm Fleet” I look forward to seeing how it connects with space opera readers, especially.

So, save the date. Have some links.

 

Clean: The Root Conspiracy (Complete Series) – Print / Ebook

Titan Games: Sacrifice – Print and Ebook

 

Spells of the Curtain Series

Book 1: Court Mage – Print / Ebook

Book 2: Battle Mage – Ebook

Book 3: Winter Mage – Ebook

Book 4: Garden Mage – Ebook

Book 5: Traveling Mage – Ebook

Book 6: Fire Mage – Ebook

 

Thanks for reading.

Seven minutes and I’m out. Have a safe season.