Here is the cover for the third book in my vampire series. The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: The Unborn. Release date: April 1st!
As another year comes to a close it’s normal to look back and reflect on what the past year has held, and what the goals or hopes might be for next year. I know some people poo poo this type of thing, but for me it’s always been something I’ve done. There are good years and bad years of course. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t win ‘em all.’ In 2013, while I certainly didn’t win ‘big’, I feel I had a lot of victories and a lot to be grateful for.
Around last January I started to think about music again. I had been dedicated to the idea of becoming a singer in my earlier years and had spent some time in my late teens/early twenties singing in rock bands. I lived for it. I decided I’d try again, this time with only the hope of finding people to play music with. The feeling of standing in a room making music with other people is not quite like anything else and unless you’ve done it, it’s hard to describe.
Terrified, I auditioned for a band. I hadn’t auditioned in years and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. What did happen was that I shocked myself. Sometimes a person does that. I didn’t expect to get hired but I did, pretty much on the spot too. I can’t even tell you how good that felt. But as good as that feeling was, it didn’t last. I realized over the course of the six or eight weeks I was in the band that I simply don’t feel the way I used to feel about music. I once had a fire and passion for singing and would have done anything and put up with whatever I had to just to be able to get onstage, but as events began to transpire between band members (as they do with all bands, this was not unique to this band at all. All have disagreements and personally I think the biggest thing successful bands have is a group of people who gel. From there you can work with whatever challenges come along) it was evident it wasn’t a happy situation, or at least, I wasn’t happy with the situation.
I bowed out, which I think was the best decision for both me and the band, but became a little depressed. Music, while it’s something I love and can’t live without, is probably not something I’m going to be a participant in, and that’s ok. I came to the conclusion that what I was missing in my life was the act of being creative and so I turned to my other creative passion, which is of course, writing.
I threw myself into it and on March 23rd, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove went up for sale. I didn’t know if anyone would read it or even care. Since that day it’s been downloaded thousands of times and I’ve sold a respectable number of paperbacks, the book’s paperback edition even landing on Amazon’s top 100 in Fantasy books, ranking it’s highest at #74. The kindle version was #94 in the UK paid store as well. During one freebie weekend promo event the book went all the way to #1 in the free kindle store.
People, I’m sure, think, ‘big deal your free book was #1’. I can understand that but if you knew how many kindle books are free on a daily basis, well, let’s say I was really proud that day.
I also had my first book signing, which was an epic hit! Followed by my second book signing, which was an epic failure. I’ve also published three other books and had a setback with my illness. With every year there’s some good and bad. All you can do is appreciate the good, and cope with the bad.
Many, many people have contacted me both publicly and privately to say how much they love Rachel and Gavin. I love hearing that of course, but it’s still a little weird when people talk to me about the books. I lived alone with this story in my own head for so long that it’s still a little surreal to hear other people discuss it, but I love that they love it. As a writer that‘s really what I value. Not the praise, but the knowledge that other people get it. Not everyone has of course and some people are obviously not fans, but that can’t be helped. Nothing is universally loved, but it’s liked enough to spur me on.
As I look ahead to 2014 and the release of (hopefully, if all goes well) three more books and a brand new movie blog that I’ll be launching with my friend Tiffany, I want to say a special thank you to those of you who’ve supported me this year. I may not have won the publishing lottery but I’ve made lots of new friends and accomplished things I never thought were possible for me. All I want is to keep writing and entertaining. At heart that’s really what I am. The biggest thrill I get is being able to take people away from their lives, even if only for a little while. We all need that break from the mundane routine of life, and things like music, books and movies provide that.
So here’s to you, the readers. Thank you for reading and sharing and prodding me forward. Also here’s to the indie community. A year ago I didn’t even realize it existed but it’s proven to be a vast and supportive network from which I draw strength daily.
And here’s to 2014! It’s onward and upward from here.
I wish you the happiest of new years!
Please check out my author page today to see a complete list of my books. And ALL of them are FREE today!
Happy middle of the night to you! It’s 2:40 a.m. and here I sit, after just having finished another book. Therefore, it’s time for a blog post about me finishing a book. Are you sick of these yet? I’m doing it anyway.
This most recent book is a novella and will be part of, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove series. It’s book 3.5 if you will. So here is the order of books that are either available right now or will be in the New Year. The series is as follows.
The Vampires of Soldiers Cove
Book 1: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove (Currently available)
Book 2: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: One Crow Sorrow (Currently available)
Book 3: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: The Unborn (To be released April/May 2014)
Book 3.5: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: Jade (To be released July/August 2014)
Book 4: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: Drown (To be released Nov/Dec 2014)
The title is subject to change on that last one. Now I am leaving first draft mode. Since August I have written three first drafts. Brotherhood of Man, The Devil and the Dirt Road, and now Jade. It’s time for me to flip into rewrite mode. I haven’t been there in a while, but the rewrite of, The Unborn is up next on my to do list. I enjoy writing first drafts because for me, it’s all about the wild creativity in that mode. You just unleash and go. Now I’ll have to be a little more focused, but that’s ok. Rewriting is good too. I enjoy making things bigger, better, clearer.
So I bid you all goodnight for now. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter expect to see lots of status updates about Starbucks in the next little while. If you don’t, but want to, please click the ‘about’ section at the top. You’ll find links to all of that there, as well as the buy links for the books that are currently available.
Thanks once again for your continued support. It seems every day I get a message from someone new who has read and enjoyed the books and I appreciate each and every one of you. It’s been a hell of a ride so far, and with more to come. See you soon!
Hey everyone! So like any writer, especially the indie ones, I like to skulk about on Goodreads. Not just checking to see my own reviews but looking at different books friends have added to their TBR lists to see if there’s anything that might tickle my fancy. Like most writers I’m a huge book fan and as such I’m always on the hunt for something good.
I’ve noticed what I consider to be a disturbing trend among the indies, and also the writers from smaller publishing houses which I want to talk about here today. I may get some flack about this from my fellow indies and please know that I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m a proud indie but what I see happening, I personally believe is something that is not helping our reputation.
What is it? We’re rating our own books! Every time I see this I cringe. We don’t need to be doing this at all. It’s bad for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is how it looks. Do you see Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, or Anne Rice on Goodreads rating their own work? You don’t and with good reason. It’s not because they’re rich and famous, it’s because they know how it would look, and that’s amateurish. “But I am an amateur,” you say. “I’m an indie writer.” No! Amateur or pro has nothing to do with if you’re with a publishing house or not. Don’t believe me? Go read, “Turning Pro” by Stephen Pressfield. He outlines everything a pro writer does that an amateur doesn’t and none of it has anything to do with fame or money. Those things don’t make you a pro. It’s your attitude. It’s your work ethic, and it’s largely your ability to take one on the chin from strangers who aren’t going to like you.
Over the summer another writer asked on her author page whether or not she should rate her own book. The comments were many, and varied. A large number of people said no and an equally large number of people said yes. The reason most of the writers in the yes camp gave for doing it was that they, ‘wanted to show how much the book meant to them’ or they ‘had something they wanted people to know about the story.’
There’s an old saying in comedy and that is, “If you have to explain a joke, it isn’t funny.” I’d take this and apply it to your book. If you have to give a big long tome about the book to preface it before people read it perhaps you need to look at your book again. Your readers should be able to pick up the message you are trying to convey in your book….BY READING YOUR BOOK!
If you do have something to say about your book there are many other avenues you can take without giving yourself five stars in the process. A blog is a great communication tool. When, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove came out I wrote a blog post about why I wrote it and why the book is, to me at least, more than a vampire book. It’s supplemental and people can read that blog post or not. It in no way contains any information you ‘have’ to know before reading it. You can simply pick up the book and have at it with no knowledge of who I am or what I’m all about. In fact it really shouldn’t matter who I am or what I’m all about. The only thing that matters is the reader’s experience while reading it and my own personal experience while writing it.
Rating your own book makes you look, in my opinion, either arrogant (I’m such a great writer I’m giving myself five stars!) or insecure (I’m so afraid nobody will give me five stars I better give them to myself.)
Right now The Vampires of Soldiers Cove is sitting at 3.96 stars on Goodreads. Would I like it to be at least over four? Yes, and if I rated it I might even be able to bump it up there, but 3.96 is pretty standard (go look at Anne Rice’s books. Some of them don’t even rate that high) and it is what it is. I look at the standings but largely, I’m on to the next thing. I’m writing other books that need my attention.
If you are a new writer and you’re saying to yourself, “I wonder if I should rate my own book. Other indies are doing it. What’s the harm?” Trust me, it’s harmful. If I am looking at books to read and see that the writer has given themselves five stars I am much less likely to take you seriously as a writer, in fact, I may even skip your book all together. If you don’t have the confidence in your work to let it stand or fall on your own, how can I have confidence in reading it?
I know there are varying view points on rating your own book and this is just mine. But I would encourage you to think long and hard about doing it. You’ve worked so hard on your book, don’t negate it by possibly making yourself look amateurish right out of the gate. I feel that’s what it does.
Just my two cents of course.