Friday, May 30, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 30-May-2014 / Closing in

My goal for book 1 of the Shadowkill trilogy was to finish editing by May 30th.  That's today.  Guess what?

I didn't finish it.

I have 7 chapters to go.  In all, I am closing in on the finish line.  Better late than never.

If I could, I'd like to share a Maya Angelou quote: "I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music."  Those who create art can certainly agree.

And you should never be ashamed by it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lessons learned from Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I watched two related movies on Netflix: The Buddy Holly Story, starring Gary Busey and La Bamba starring Lou Diamond Phillips.

I do understand both movies are theatrical embellishments of Buddy Holly's and Ritchie Valen's true life--what movie isn't?  But underlying both are similar themes: each achieved stardom by working hard at what they loved to do--create music--as well as not compromising the visions of what they wanted to create.

Any artist should admire these young singers for what they accomplished in a short period of time.  They saw rock and roll as a new medium of music, and embraced it.  Despite what others said about them.

In other words, work hard.  Don't compromise.  Keep creating.  Expand your horizons.  Try different mediums or genres.  Continuously improve your skills.

Do it now.  Today.

The world is waiting.

(Buddy and Ritchie will be proud that you did.)

**BTW, let's not forget the Kindle Countdown for my thriller BEHOLDER'S EYE.  Still discounted, so be sure to pick it up if you haven't.**

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Starting today, BEHOLDER'S EYE, is discounted!

My first thriller BEHOLDER'S EYE is on sale right now, starting today.

Minneapolis PD investigator Kolin Raynes may be new to the job, but that doesn't stop a serial killer from targeting him.

If you ever wondered about the mysteries of mental illness, about what if those visions they're seeing are real, then check out BEHOLDER'S EYE.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 23-May-2014 / Deadlines are important, even for indies

W. Axl Rose might've said it best when it came to patience.  You need it.  We all need it.  So many times we want to rush projects to market.  Now, I don't mean working on a single novel for four or five years.  That's way too long.

Set a deadline.

Set a realistic one--writing a 75K novel in a week when you've never done it before is completely out of the realm of possibility.  Yet, at the same time, set one that will push you to do something every single day.  Or, at the very least, on a consistent basis--I work best during the week and my weekends, by in large, are set aside for other household duties.

My goal to complete the first Shadowkill novel was slated for the 31st of May.  That is a little more than a week away.

I'm not going to make it.  I'm currently editing chapter 42 and there are 52 chapters in the novel.  At the rate I'm going, I will probably have five left by the end of May.  I'm okay with that.  Besides, I'm going to do one more editing pass--this time much quicker than the first one--to clean things up and then I should be ready to go by late June or early July.

**crossing my fingers**

I'm also planning what to write next.  I have a few shorter projects I might tackle first before the sequel to Beholder's Eye.

Speaking of Beholder's Eye, I have the novel slated for another Kindle Countdown, starting Saturday May 24th.  So, if you haven't picked up a copy of it--shame on you!--now is your chance to do it at a discount.

Here is the link to BEHOLDER'S EYE on the Amazon Kindle store.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 16-May-2014 / Another author's path is not the same as yours

Earlier this month, Seth Godin wrote a post in regards to the origin stories of successful people/companies.  It really struck home for me.  I love to read the biographies of successful people like Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, and how their humble beginnings fueled the fire that launched their careers.

But no one would be able to duplicate their success by following in their exact footsteps.  It's ridiculous.  Create your own success.  Create your own origin story.

And then yesterday, I was listening to the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast when the host Simon interviewed bestselling author Mark Dawson, about how he can write to prolifically while maintaining a full-time job and raising small children.  It struck me that he could've been interviewing me--not only do I have a full-time job, I'm raising three children and being a caregiver for my wife who is recovering from beginning ill three years ago with leukemia.

It's good to know what steps an author--or anyone else who's successful--to become a success.  But choose your own path.  Don't make the same mistakes they made.  Make your own mistakes.

And one day, far down the road, someone will hear about your origin story and will be inspired to pursue their own dreams.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5-Star review of "Day of the Vikings" by J.F. Penn

Right off the bat, in the opening chapter, I thought I was reading a Clive Cussler novel by the way Penn beautifully took us into the past, into the ancient Vikings era.

Then, we are thrust into the modern era and take an interesting tour of the British Museum by Blake Daniel and Dr. Morgan Sierra (heroine of the other ARKANE series).  In a short period of time, there's an explosion, followed by a battle of good vs. evil that is reminiscent of Dan Brown, and Blake also reveals his unique psychic ability.

I highly recommend this book.  It's a quick, fast-paced read that will have you screaming for more--and there is more!  The way Penn skillfully describes the British Museum, it's like you're walking through it yourself, examining this exhibit here and that exhibit there.  Also, I've read many books with psychic powers at the center, and I must say, the power Blake possesses is very unique.  You will not be disappointed.

Be sure to check out J. F. Penn's "Day Of The Vikings"

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 09-May-2014 / Shadowkill becomes a trilogy! And gets a new name!

I've been hashing this around for a few weeks, and I decided that Shadowkill will no longer be a stand-alone novel.  It will, in fact, be a trilogy.

That being said, I spent several days brainstorming on what the title of the trilogy could be.

And here it is: Shadowkill is now Killzone: Book 1 in the Shadowkill Trilogy.

Ironically enough, Killzone was the original title of this book and I changed it when I discovered there was already a video game called Killzone.  Now, Killzone is back with a vengence.

Book 1 is set in the summer of 2006, the bloodiest summer in the Iraq War.  Tentatively, the second book will be more modern times and the third will be set a bit in the future.

As we speak, I'm currently editing chapter thirty-eight and there are fifty-one chapters in the novel.  It's running close to 71,000 words, which is a little shy for a full novel.  Either in the final chapters or in my next pass-through, I'll look for areas to beef up.  I already know how I'll enhance the first chapter.

Then, I need to grow the love interest early on--yes, I'm adding a touch of romance to this as well.

Monday, May 5, 2014

How writing is like preparing for a marathon

"Write everyday, including weekends and holidays.."

"Get those 2000 words written."

Both of these bits of writing tips have always annoyed me.  I understand the meaning of getting the words out of my head and down onto the digital paper, but it can be overwhelming.

My sister-in-law is preparing to run a marathon--she's already run a few last year, and will continue to do so.  I recently read how one prepares to run a marathon.  There are some days you run, others you walk, others you do both, and then there are days you do nothing but rest.

The same goes with writing.  Everyone's writing process is different.  For me, I put in an hour or so in the morning, I write (or edit) on my breaks and lunches at work, and if I have time I do maybe another 30-45 minutes once the kiddies are in bed.

On the weekends, I sometimes sleep in and don't do any writing.  But just because I don't edit something or write the first draft of something doesn't mean I'm not writing.  Even if I'm thinking of a story, that's still writing--in my opinion, that is, and you may certainly disagree with me.

Write at your own pace.

And if you're editing, I believe that's still writing.

But don't forget to rest too.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 02-May-2014 / Editing one chapter at a time

I've been making tremendous progress on my technothriller lately.  Although the process is slow, it's steady enough for me to chunk out 4-5 chapters a week.

My editing process has evolved over the years, and over the past month it has evolved once again.  Before, I used to edit 3-4 chapters at once--chapters that had a similar scene.  I then decided to start editing one chapter at a time.

It has worked.  With my full-time job and caring for my family, this has worked out the best.  I have been able to do a chapter every 1-2 days.  I know for some this may sound slow.  It is.  But it works.

For me.

(I'm keeping this short today.  I do have some news regarding the future of this book.  I gave a hint on this a few weeks ago.  Stay tuned.)