We’re moving back to Bettendorf! Well, it’s “back” for me, but my family will experience Iowa life for the first time—I’m curious to see how they handle their first Midwest winter. I know they’ll love fall and they’ll eventually get used to the summer humidity, but I pray the polar vortex you guys had last winter doesn’t become an annual occurrence or I’ll be getting some dirty looks in the house from January through March.
Hey all! This past month has been busy-busy, as I’m sure it has been for all of you. The school year is winding down for our family. Some big plans are looming on the horizon, so we’re nervous and excited, but overall hopeful.
Last week, I sent out my first round of query letters to literary agents for my latest manuscript, The Last house. Hopefully, we’ll hear something positive in the next couple of months. You never know. If the right book hits the right agent at just the right time, it could all work out. Kind of like how things worked out for Devils Glen with Kindle Scout.
For those who don’t know, a query letter is basically an email you send out to potential agents describing your book. You tell a brief one or two paragraph blurb-like synopsis, a hook line, author bio, and information like genre and word count. Usually, you include a chapter or two for them to read. If an agent likes what he or she sees, they might request a full or partial manuscript. If not, you usually get a form letter rejection. Most books get loads of rejections before they get even a request for full or partial. It’s a long process, but I think this book has potential.
Hey all! Hope you’re all making it through this crazy winter. Out here in Southern California it’s not so bad, but our friends and family in the Midwest have had it tough. I’m thinking about you guys!
Last House Update—Cheers!
As you know if you’re following me on Facebook, I’ve finished the rough draft of my next novel, The Last House, and am letting it sit on the back burner for some weeks while I work on another project. Those of you who pre-ordered it on Inkshares will receive refunds this week. I only put the book up on Inkshares to enter it in the 2018 Horror Novel Contest.
What’s next? I will get back to working on the next draft by mid-April and I plan to query it out to agents as soon as I’ve got a solid draft ready. It may be quite some time before you get to read it, but I’ve got high hopes for this one.
Just as a painter requires a brush, canvas, palette, and easel, a writer needs specific tools to create a story. These days, authors use a wide variety of programs to improve almost everything about their work—from editing and plotting, to formatting and publishing.
Below, I’ve listed several basic programs useful for any kind of writing.
So, you’ve finished your rough draft and set it aside for four to six weeks, keeping your writing juices flowing by working on another project or the beginnings of a blog, and now you’re ready to go back to your unwieldy lump of clay and begin fashioning it into something recognizable.
However, there is one thing we need to clear up right now. . .
So, you want to write a book?
Come on, you know you do, or you wouldn’t be here on my website reading this blog. You’d be doing something else with your time—something far less frustrating, and probably more entertaining. But here you are, reading this little unmistakably titled article. Heck, several of you have messaged or emailed me telling your ideas. Indeed, future authors abound on my friends list!
Before I begin, let me warn you—I am no expert. I’ve written two novels of arguable and variable quality. That’s it. The only thing that gives me the authority to pontificate on this subject is the fact that I’ve done it, which is kind of like getting advice about professional baseball from a guy who’s played a game or two. It’s better than nothing, but not the same as hearing from a big-time pro.
Still, I have successfully completed two novels and one of them was published by someone other than myself, so my advice is worth something. Just don’t take my word as the end-all, ya dig? I’ll tell you what worked for me and you can take from it what you will. After that, I advise you to go forth and read On Writing by Stephen King.
Anyway, without further ado…
Finally, after almost a year and a half of writing, editing, changing, rearranging and re-writing, Crow Creek is available for your reading pleasure. It feels like I’ve been working on it forever, so it’s hard to believe there’s nothing more to do. Oh, I’m sure I’ll look through it and find a missing period or some other excruciatingly frustrating mistake, but overall I feel like it’s where it needs to be and there shouldn’t be anything major to deal with…though you never know. UGH!
What’s it like to be on the cusp of releasing a book?
It’s harrowing and exciting…but mostly frightening. Terrifying. When you’ve been working and living with a book for this long, you start to lose perspective, if you ever had it to begin with. Still, and I know I’m biased, I think it’s a fun little book and it’s the kind of story I would enjoy as a reader. There are some twists and turns–some creepy stuff, some magical stuff, and some comedy relief. Or at least that’s what I’ve tried to do. Hopefully, you think so too. Let me know what you think, please.
And write reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!
So, order your copy on Amazon today! The Kindle version is 3.99, currently, but if you buy the paperback (15.95) on Amazon, you can get the Kindle version for only .99 cents! You will be able to order Crow Creek at bookstores like Barnes and Noble too, so if your local store doesn’t have it, order it online or ask them to get it.
Crow Creek, book 2 of the Bettendorf Tales, is now available for pre-order for the Kindle version. Get over there to order your copy today, and it will be delivered to your Kindle account on May 29th. It would be great to see a massive surge in pre-sales to drive those Amazon algorithms crazy. Go HERE to pre-order your copy! Spread the word. The more pre-orders a book gets, the higher chance it has of winding up on Amazon/Kindle promos and emails.
Paperback pre-orders will begin within the next couple of weeks. For the time being, Crow Creek is Amazon-exclusive, but I do intend to expand distribution in the coming months. If you are with a library, message me, and we can work out getting your library some copies in the meantime.
I continue to work with my editor on the final finishing touches, and it’s looking good. I think this book moves along briskly with some good action and a nice pace. It really sets up the storyline for book 3. There’s still a bit of work to be done, but I can say I’m starting to get excited about releasing Crow Creek. We’re not there yet but getting close, which is a good thing since I have a deadline now!
DEVILS GLEN .99 CENTS TODAY
Today is the last day to get a Kindle version of Devils Glen for .99 cents! After today, it goes back to 3.99. It’s been a nice promo from Kindle Press with a good increase in sales this past week.
DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!!!
Here it is! The new cover for Crow Creek. I think it fits well with the cover of the first book and looks good. It’s kinda creepy but kinda magical too, which works for this story.
Hey all, I was just informed by my publisher that the Kindle version of Devils Glen will be on a promo beginning this Saturday, December 9th and will run through December 16th, just in time for the holidays. During that week, the Kindle version will be on sale for only .99 cents! Easy gift for any friends or family who are Kindle users. Feels like a million years since my last promo, so this one comes at a great time.
The paperback will remain at its currently discounted price of $13.95 throughout December.
CROW CREEK UPDATE
I’m almost finished with my initial edits of Crow Creek–might be done in a week or two, hopefully. Soon, I’ll have the book out to my beta readers and then we’ll go from there. It’s been slow-going, but the story is starting to take shape, and I’m anxious to hear some objective opinions. This part of the process is harrowing because it’s hard to be sure exactly what you’ve got. Is it good, bad, boring, exciting? When you’re in the middle of writing it, you start to lose sight of the forest.
And yes, I’m still shooting for a March release, but we shall see how it goes.