Friday, January 20, 2017

Two novels written back-to-back / Happenings In The Outhouse 20-Jan-2017

As the headline states, I am writing two novels back-to-back.  These would be books two and three in the Shadowkill Trilogy.

As an aside, I am also working on a nonfiction book--okay, writing three books at once, but the nonfiction book won't take that long to complete and I will work on this in the off-hours.
I am currently around the 10,000 word mark in book 2 (I have the title, but I'm holding off on sharing it for the moment in case it may change).  It's going great.
To prepare myself for these final two books, I re-read book 1: KillzoneIt's a fun read (and I'm not just saying that because I wrote the damn thing), and it was a great landing point to start headlong into the next two books.

Why two books back-to-back, you may ask?  I had written Killzone in 2014 and it has steadily grown in sales month by month.  My original plan was to write more in the Central Division thriller series, but I want to close out the trilogy first and even put together a box set of all three.
Also, there is a new form of fiction out there called LitRPG.  For those who have read Ready Player One, it blends gaming into the fiction writing element.  Now, the Shadowkill trilogy isn't technically LitRPG, but rather a technothriller with a flavor of LitRPG.  Instead of the characters living through an online MMO world, the gamers are powering real-life robotic soldiers through virtual reality (VR) helmets.
Now, back to writing the last two novels back-to-back.  How am I doing this?  Well, instead of finishing one book and then editing it, when I complete book 2, I'm jumping in right with book 3.  When the two books are done, then I'll start the editing process.  The plan is to have them published by summer 2017, and that is a goal I'm positive to hit.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Christmas in January / Happenings In The Outhouse 13-Jan-2017

On December 30th, 2016, I finally published The Christmas Letters.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Meet the Wilkins. The typical busy American family.
But when Grandma Wilkins passes away, they discover her old Christmas letters in a shoebox. Molly, the youngest grandchild, soon decides to start where her grandmother’s legacy left off, writing about future events, no matter how unrealistic they may seem at the time.

The Christmas Letters can be found at the following e-retailers:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Why 2016 did NOT suck / Happenings In The Outhouse 06-Jan-2017

I've noticed a trend as 2016 wound down about how the year sucked.  Whenever a celebrity, be it singer or actor or whomever famous, died, people would get enamored by how much the year sucked big time.

If you look at Wikipedia, there is a recent deaths section.  Every single day, someone dies.  It's natural, all part of life.

How one looks at the year, and how one treats it, is based largely on one's attitude--and I have a feeling that the majority of the noisy people who are shouting from the mountaintop that 2016 just sucked, had more to do with the results of the 2016 US election than deaths.

Get over it.

Move on with your life.

Do something to improve your life.

2016 was a spectacular year for me.  I published 3 full-length novels, a short story, and a novelette.  Two were books 3 and 4 in the Central Division Series:

The last novel published was The Christmas Letters:

Friday, December 30, 2016

Failure, a new book, and the death of a princess / Happenings In The Outhouse 30-Dec-2016

First off, the big news: the death of Carrie Fisher.  AKA Princess Leia.

As a youngster, the picture above was my first vision of Princess Leia from the original Star Wars.  A bad-ass with a gun who had no troubles standing up to Darth Vader, the evil dark lord of the Sith.  Even when her home planet was destroyed by the Death Star, she didn't cry in the corner and whine about her safe place.  She was even more determined to destroy the Galactic Empire once and for all.  And, to top it all off, the final scene in the new Rogue One, which had me in tears (honestly!) skyrocketed her character into a path of hope for the galaxy.

Secondly, also earlier this week, Dean Wesley Smith published a blog post that pretty much sums up my publishing career.  It's called Failure must be an option.  Read it when you get a moment.  So many indie authors bitch and whine when they only sold a few hundred copies of their book in a given month and seem to focus more on selling than writing.  Dean teaches that one should just keep publishing and the sales will work itself out.  No, I will be honest when I say I have never (yet) sold a few hundred copies of a book in a single month, aside from Guest of Honor when it was free.  But sales of my books have gone up over time.  Give Dean's post a good read with an open mind.  If you tell yourself it can't be done, stop yourself and ask yourself . . . what if you did?

Lastly is The Christmas Letters.  The book is complete.

Here is the Amazon link to the ebook.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Accomplishments for 2016 / Happenings In The Outhouse 23-Dec-2016

The other day, I reviewed how many words I've published since 2012.  If my calculations are correct, I will publish more this year than any previous year.

In 2012, I published only 1 for 6,500 words.

In 2013, I published 3 for 105,000 words.

In 2014, I published 3 for 88,000 words.

In 2015, I published 10 (most were short stories) for 86,000 words.

In 2016, I have published (keep in mind, this includes The Christmas Letter, which as of this date still is in the editing phase) 5 for 171,000 words.  This year alone, I have published 3 full-length novels.  Although, if The Christmas Letter doesn't get published until after the new year, it will still be over 2013's total with 119,000 words.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Where am I at for 2017? / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-Dec-2016

In October 2015, I posted a blog in regards to my goals through the end of 2017.
My focus has still remained the same: publishing more.

Seems simple.  But what am I publishing?

In reviewing where I want to be in twelve months, I have enhanced the vision for my publishing empire.  There are three components:

1) Publishing

2) Educating

3) Marketing

First, let's tackle publishing.  In Q1 and possibly Q2, I am going to finish the last two books in the Shadowkill Trilogy.  From there, I want to start on a superhero book or two, a nonfiction book on travelling for type one diabetics, the fifth book in the Central Division thriller series, and even put together a novel that incorporates those involved in my successful novelette Guest Of Honor.

But that isn't all.  I have a number of books I've written and would like to do a complete re-write to bring them to a publishable form.  What do I have?  Two horror novels and a fantasy epic novel.  I do have another horror novel (a deer hunting horror story), but I'm not quite certain about that one.

Okay, on to educating, the second leg to the empire.  And before you ask, no I am not doing the educating.  I am furthering my education.  As I mentioned last week, I am going on a podcast fast.  This will still continue into 2017.  There are a few choice podcasts I will still listen to, but even those will be far and few between.

So, what am I educating myself on?  First is reading fiction.  I find myself late to the party on many great books/series, and will continue to read these.  Not that I haven't read books, but this time I will be taking it to the next level while cutting back on other needless activities.  Next in the education category are web-based training like James Patterson's Masterclass, Dean Wesley Smith's WMG workshops, and David Farland's Story Doctor training.  These are fairly inexpensive ($99 for the Masterclass is the most of the three) due to a limited budget.

The third part of my publishing empire is the marketing leg.  Or the dreaded M-word.  First is to capitalize on the Central Division series by making the first novel free and offering other freebies.  Others include creating better covers, enhancing product descriptions, and even reviewing keywords.  Then, I will be looking into some paid advertising.

As you can tell, I'm still keeping it simple.  Publishing, educating, and marketing.

What are your plans for 2017?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Question everything, asking why, and podcast fasting / Happenings In The Outhouse 09-Dec-2016

As you may (or may not) know, I listen to a fair number of podcasts.  Several I have listed in this blog.

But, from time to time, I find the sheer number of episodes daunting.  Other tasks seem to take a back seat just so I can listen to them--and typically the shorter the episodes the better.

I've cut the number of podcasts/episodes from time to time.  Now, I want to cut it back so much that I literally go on a podcast fast for a month.  It may not be a complete fast, but if there is a podcast episode I want to listen to, it must really be an important one.

Why the fast?  Well, first of all, I listen to most of my podcasts in the car.  And, right now, there are a number of fiction audiobooks I want to listen to--honestly, there are days when I feel like I'm late to the party when it comes to many great books, even some of the classics in science fiction/fantasy--so the podcasts are going on hiatus.  I'm currently listening to Frank Herbert's Dune.  I remember going to the movie as a kid, but never read the book.  Again, late to the party.  And it's about time.  I'm also starting to slowly read Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series.

Lately, I've also been asking myself why I do certain things.  Why listen to this, why watch that show, why read that book, why read this blog . . .

Asking myself why I do things has really opened up new channels of thinking.  I start to question everything.  During the latest political race, I've gotten to the point of questioning everything I read.  Just because a headline or article says something doesn't mean it's the truth.  And, speaking of politics, certain publications are obviously slanted left or right, and especially in those cases I would question the "truth" of what one reads.

Open your mind.  Question the source.  Ask why.

Then, if you answer something with, "because I've always done it this way," stop doing it.  I'm positive I won't miss much from the podcasts I normally listen to.  It's not that I don't like learning--I love learning new things--but one can learn while you work.

Try it.  Stop doing something you normally do "just because."  See what happens.  Pretty sure the sky isn't going to fall.