One Year Anniversary

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Cover art by @asa_argeus

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of my debut novella Emma’s Story. It’s only a year, but it feels like a very long time ago, and for sure I’ve come a long way since that day.

I’ve published four more books, with a fifth one due out in two weeks. I’ve quit my day job to focus on my writing, and – I believe – I’ve grown a lot as a writer. Perhaps most of all, I’m much more confident in my stories.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts. They’re just not quite as a bad they used to be.

Emma’s Story is where it started though, and the story will probably always be extra special to me. Three years in the making, countless revisions (well, seven or eight or so), and a large number of changes back and forth, while at the same time trying to figure out how to tell a story in the first place.

It did eventually get done though, and a year ago, I published it.

One thing I’ve been asked is if there will be a sequel. The story ends with a few questions unanswered, and people are curious to know what happens next.

The answer is that I don’t plan on writing a sequel to Emma’s Story any time soon. It would be fun to get back to her and write about what happened next, but there are a lot of things I still need to figure out myself first.

That said, I’m going to be rewriting an old, never published, novel called Enar’s Vacation, and in doing so, I’ll have an opportunity to reveal what really happened to Emma after Emma’s Story ended.

I don’t yet have a specific time frame for when Enar’s Vacation will be out, but hopefully I’ll be started on it before the end of the year.

Finally, if you’ve read all this far, you’ve probably also read Emma’s Story already, but perhaps you know someone who hasn’t. This weekend, to celebrate the anniversary of the book, it’s on sale for $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon – here. Please let your friends know.

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Painting of Emma’s horse Ussilago, by @memu_

I’m also running an ad campaign on facebook over the weekend, and hopefully it’ll lead to some more people discovering the book. The horse in the image probably wasn’t intended to be Ussilago, but a friend of mine linked it to me, and it kind of works. The artist was kind enough to let me use her image.

One Year Anniversary

New Website

Looks like it’s been forever and a half since I last posted anything here. In this case “forever” means about a month, or perhaps slightly more. Things have been busy, and the blog here hasn’t received much in the way of attention.

Among other things, I’ve published the third part in the Lost Dogs series: A Freak Among Freaks. It’s available on Amazon, here. I’ve also started work on parts four and five, and part four, Lost Naked Furious, is scheduled to be released on the 27th of November. It’s available for pre-order here.

Perhaps more importantly, I’ve created a new website dedicated exclusively to the Lost Dogs series, here:

LostDogsSeries.com – check it out!

It’s got information about the setting, the characters, and the story. It’s even got a page about me as the author of the books.

My ambition is to do a weekly post for the site, commenting on the world or the stories, or just sharing my progress as I work on the next book. Please head over and have a look. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

New Website

Lost Dogs #1 getting reviews

I received my first ever book-blog review. It’s awesome, and you can read it here.

This all came about due to random internet chance. Someone commented on my previous post about my cover issues, comparing the image in the post with one from an earlier post. Turns out they run a book blog, and that they’d found the description of my book intriguing.

I checked their site, offered them a free review copy of Lost Dogs #1, and they were happy to accept. A few days later the review appeared, and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, it’s four stars instead of five, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the actual review itself.20180811_074056_0001.png

The critique against the book is fair. The reviewer loves MMA and romance, and would have liked to see more of it. It does say in the blurb that Roy (the main character) is a superstar wrestler (or something to that effect), but in the end the story really isn’t about the fighting. There also isn’t much shown of the back story between Roy and Toini (his love interest), but that’s something that’ll come up again in later parts. It’s fair to have been wanting more of those things.

The review mentions some other things as positives though, and that’s what makes me really happy, as those are things that are important to me and that I put a lot of pride and effort into. Again, check it out, here.

Also, I just released Lost Dogs #2: Undeserved Second Chance a few days ago. I’ll write more about that another day.

Lost Dogs #1 getting reviews

Book Published: Lost Dogs #1

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“Werewolf wrestler gets told he has to lose the last fight of his career or he won’t get any retirement money. There are complications.”

Today is the day. The ebook version of Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound, is now available for purchase, here.

It’s a big deal for me, and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m quite excited now it’s finally here. Excited, and a little bit nervous.

I feel good about the book when I read it, and I have read it quite a few times. I just hope it’s good enough people will want to read the next part too, and the part after that, and so on. There will be a lot of parts.

On that note, I’m off to work on Part 4…

Book Published: Lost Dogs #1

Updated Blurb

I updated the blurb for the book. It’s now significantly longer, but I’m hoping it’s also better. Have a look:

Lost Dogs #1 - Back Cover - New Blurb

As you can see, it’s longer, and it’s a bit difficult to read as it’s so much text, and the font is a bit weird. I’ll be tinkering around with the layout for a while, and I’ll update the text on the Amazon page, but I won’t update the paperback cover just yet.

I have a hunch there will be more updates before the week is over.

Updated Blurb

Cover Reveal – Lost Dogs #1

Lost Dogs - Ebook cover - alignedHere we go, I finally have the cover image for my next book: Lost Dogs #1: Last Fight of the Old Hound.

Big thanks to Jess for the art. I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end.

As I’m looking at it now it strikes me as odd that I didn’t include the secondary title of the book on the front of cover. It’s not that I forgot about it (seriously, I didn’t). It just didn’t seem all that important.

It’s a series, and the name of the series feels more important than the names of the individual parts. As I recall, many TV series has a name for each episode, but few of them stick with me for longer than they appear on the screen. Then again, maybe that’s just me?

It also seemed like it might be tricky fitting that many words onto the cover. I’m sure I could have, and I actually tried (a little), but I didn’t work out (and I gave up pretty quickly). Instead it just says “Part 1” now, and like I mentioned, the title is written on the spine, and it says inside as well. It’ll be grand, as they say here in Cork.

Lost Dogs #1 - Back Cover
With a little bit of good will, the blurry shape in the background looks kind of like a human heart, doesn’t it?

I used the same image, but significantly faded, for the back cover too. What mostly stressed me out about that was the blurb – again.

I thought I had a good blurb this time. I shared it in a previous post. Then, today, as I sat looking at it, I begun to feel like there was something off about it, and I began tinkering, and tinkering, and tinkering…

The idea is the same, and the first part is very similar, but the second part has been expanded upon. It’s a little bit clearer what the story is about, which is probably a good thing. Hopefully potential readers will find it interesting enough they’ll want to have a closer look.

Hopefully they’ll find it interesting enough to read the whole thing, and the next part, and the next one after that, and so on. This first book is a self contained story, but it’s also the start of something much bigger. After all, it does say Part 1, and I have a lot more parts planned.

So, when can you read the story?

Well, I pressed the Publish button for the paperback version about an hour and a half ago, and it’s currently in review. The review period can take up to 72 hours, meaning you should be able to order the book on Sunday by the latest. That is, if you want the paperback version. I’ll make sure to share the link once it’s available.

The e-book version is still scheduled for release on the 5th of July. You can pre-order it here (UK), or here (US).

 

Cover Reveal – Lost Dogs #1

Last Fight of the Old Hound

Copy of Lost Dogs #1 - PreviewThe first book in the Lost Dogs series is now available for pre-order. It’s called Last Fight of the Old Hound, and you can pre-order it here (US) or here (UK). The cover image is a temporary one, and the real cover will be revealed once it’s done – in about two weeks.

Also, if you’re interested in checking out a sample of the story, you can download the first four chapters for free, here.

I’m going to try and not rant too much about this release, but rather focus my energy on making sure the next few parts come out in time. I’m still excited to publish a book, but all the advice I’ve heard about advertising suggests that the best way to promote a book is to write a sequel.

Once I have a few books out I’ll start looking into promoting the first one more carefully, and then I’ll have to start figuring advertising and suchlike.

For now though, there’s just the one book. Next one to be released Soon<tm>.

Last Fight of the Old Hound

New Releases – A Pleasant Surprise

TLDR: My book Emma’s Story is included in P.D. Workman’s list of new releases – here. Please check it out. :)


Up until about an hour ago I’d had a pretty bad day.

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The sky this morning was a lot nicer than most of the rest of the day would turn out to be – most…

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately, and this morning was no different – gloomy and miserable. Not a good start, but I was well enough to work so off I went.

Then, once I got to the office, the left side of my neck and the shoulder began acting up – aching real bad, and stabbing pains as soon as I moved carelessly. I managed to get hold of my physiotherapist, and I got an appointment for  lunch. I would have made it back in time for work after, but I decided to take the rest of the day off to recover.

I got myself squeezed and pinched and needled, and I might have been hurting worse after the therapist was done with me. They’ve done good work in the past though, and I trust them. I’ll be fine.

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Sometimes, it’s a dull grey world out there.

Then, I opened my e-mail…That doesn’t mean I wasn’t grumpy and annoyed to having to go through the pain and not being able to write, or work, or anything really. I went home and watched a movie.

An acquaintance of mine, author P.D. Workman, had included my book Emma’s Story in her list of interesting new releases – here. I’d asked her about it months ago, before my book was even released, and in all the excitement of the release it had slipped my mind and I’d completely forgotten about it.

This was not a paid promotion. I’m on the list because I asked, and because P.D. was kind enough to include me. That kind of thing means a lot to me, so please do check her page out.

The mail, and my book’s appearance on the list, completely turned my miserable day around. Sure, my shoulder still aches, but I’m smiling as I’m typing this.

Front Cover - OnlineWhat’s more, I feel like my book is in good company. I went through the list, and I got the impression the majority of the books are pretty “serious” in nature – stories that deal with difficult questions about the hows and whys of life and of growing up.

I’m happy to be a part of it.

Emma’s Story may be fantasy with a bit of a fairy tale feel to it, but it’s also a story about expectations, trust, and the difficult decisions we all have to make now and then.

P.D.’s new release Two Teardrops is about a young woman dealing with some pretty serious issues in her life. I haven’t read it, but I’m inclined to give it a try. The book seems harder and darker than mine, but I get the feeling the themes run along similar lines. If you already read and enjoyed Emma’s Story, I have a hunch you may enjoy Two Teardrops too.

Well, start with the first part in the series: Tattooed Teardrops.

I added it to my reading list on Goodreads (here), and hopefully I’ll get to it before too long. I’ve got the feeling it might give me some good insights for my character Alene in the Lost Dogs series.

New Releases – A Pleasant Surprise

How I Published My Book

My latest article for Mythic Scribes is now live. It’s about what I did to launch and promote my book Emma’s Story, and you can read it here.

IMAG1396.jpgIt’s a fairly long piece that touches upon most of the various aspects of launching the book: selecting a date and setting up preorders, advertising and promotion, formatting for ebook and paperback. The article doesn’t go into great detail on any of it, but rather tries to give an overview of all the different things involved in self-publishing a book – and even then I had to leave some things out.

I’m always a little bit nervous when a new article is going to go live. There are expectations. Mythic Scribes isn’t some little personal blog for just me and my closest friends and family (hi mom). It’s a big site with an active community and tons of daily visitors. I don’t have any exact numbers to share, but the numbers are sky high compared to what I’m getting on this page. On a good day I get double-digit number visitors on this blog.

Front Cover - OnlineRegardless of the actual numbers, the point is that a lot of people will see my articles and read them. Hopefully they will find them useful, and usually I get good feedback, but I still worry. Mostly, my main concern is that I’ll get something significantly wrong, or that I’ll unknowingly express some really controversial viewpoint and cause an uproar.

So far that’s not happened, and it probably won’t. I’m a lot less nervous about it than I used to be, but that little nagging worry is still there. Ideally it won’t ever go away completely. If it does, it’ll mean I’ve lost the respect for what I’m doing, and then I shouldn’t be doing it anymore.

What I’m really going for here is that on Sundays when the articles go live I keep refreshing the site to see if it’s there yet or not. So too this time around, and when it finally happened I was met by a really nice and heartwarming surprise. Our site admin, BD, had found my Instagram account, dug out some of the pictures I’d taken of my book, and added them to the article.

Discovering this made me really happy. It’s that warm feeling of when someone goes that extra mile to do something nice for you even though they don’t have to and you don’t expect it. It’s amazing, and it was great way to start my weekend (I’m off Monday’s and Tuesdays).

Also, price hike

One comment I got on the article was that the price on the paperback version is too low. It’s cheap enough people might think there’s something wrong with the story. This obviously isn’t what I want, so I’ll be increasing the price to 6.99 in about a week.

How I Published My Book

Special Book Offer – For Locals

If you’re in Cork, Ireland, I would recommend stepping into Alchemy Coffee & Books on Barrack Street to check out this fine offer:

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Unfortunately, they’re out of brownies, but I didn’t know that when I made the sign. There’s plenty of other good stuff though.

Alchemy is the place where I wrote almost the entire first draft of Emma’s Story. I went there after work, and I went there during my weekends. I used to sit on one of the bar stools over by the window to the coal yard and write, with my laptop on the shelf and with a coffee and a brownie next to it.

It’s how the story got done.

Sure, I might have done some writing at home, and perhaps in a pub once in a while, but it’s writing in the window at Alchemy that I remember. They’ve moved the bar stools now, and put two small tables and chairs in their place. Better use of space like that. It gets crowded enough in here as it is anyway,

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I need to take more time and be less self-conscious about taking pictures in public. This one got a bit rushed and the sign is out of focus a bit.

I’m very happy to have been able to work out this deal with the staff here. I consider them friends of mine, and they always seem happy to see me. Sometimes I get a free coffee.

I don’t know that I’ll make a killing selling books at the local coffee shop, but it’s a fun little gimmick, and it’s getting me some good attention. That’s the main thing for now I think. If I’d had sequels lined up to release I’d have put more effort into promoting the book and trying a little harder to sell it.

There’s no follow-up though, and my series I’m working on won’t launch until early July. For now, this is mainly just for fun, and to try and learn a bit about self-publishing. In that regard it’s working out great, and I believe I’ll feel a lot more confident once my new stories are due for release.

That said, if you want to have a closer look at the book, you’ll find it here. Also, since sales on the book have dropped off I’ll be raising the price to 2.99 tomorrow morning. I won’t be doing any more promotion for it in a while, and as such people will mainly only find it through word of mouth.

Special Book Offer – For Locals