An Island in the Sea of Madness

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It is clear that life and the world as we know it have drastically changed in the last few weeks and days. It is also clear it will quite some time before any semblance of normalcy returns, if it ever does. It would not surprise me if our definition of “normal” is forever altered because of the current pandemic.

That being said, I realize it will probably be sometime next year before I get to reune with my tribe at any conventions, as I foresee all such gatherings getting cancelled possibly into fall or beyond. For those whose livelihoods depend on such events, this year will be particularly rough.

As a way to mitigate this problem, I invite my readers and followers to visit my Smugglers Cove and Hucksters Haven page and it’s satellite pages.  There, you can find everything you would encounter at a convention dealer’s hall as well as authors and artists of many genres. I’ve recently updated and added listings to every page in this set.

For those of you new to my site, I collect business cards and contact information at every convention I attend and post it in my little virtual dealer’s hall. I do not receive any compensation for this, monetary or otherwise, save for possibly more traffic on my site. No, I do this to support the community of creators and businesses I’ve come to call my second family.

New Additions!

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Been doing some catch-up on updating site pages. So far, I’ve added more authors to all three Author’s Alley pages. These are gleaned from business cards I’ve collected at conventions as well as additional links discovered on Google. Different people put or omit different info from their cards. For all concerned, any phone numbers, mailing addresses or email addresses are gotten from the cards or an author/artist/business’ website. In other words, if they didn’t make it public, neither did I. 

This latest lot are from cards collected at Chattacon 45 and from LibertyCon last summer. Yeah, I’m a horrible procrastinator.

As I get time, there will be new info/listings added to most of the other pages under the Smugglers Cove and Hucksters Haven heading in the menu.

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Where do I start?

Work

First, I need you, dear readers, to know I’ve been managing to do all the following stuff despite pulling 12 + hour days at work for the past 2 weeks. (Last week I logged 60.25 hours on the clock.)

I still haven’t figured out how I’ve kept up any productivity on my site management or writing or publishing.

Maybe I’m a Time Lord and don’t know it.

Speaking of site management …

I’ve worked through all the business cards I’ve collected at conventions so far (LibertyCon is just around the corner), and I’m working through the book marks now. I’ve also gone back to some of the older postings in the Smugglers Cove & Hucksters Haven and added links I Googled as well as corrected out of date links for dealer who’ve changed their websites.

After I finish with the book marks, I plan to go through the post cards.

Dealers, authors, artists, and entertainers put their swag out to promote themselves. I figure it’s good form to give ’em a signal boost.

Writing and Publishing

My process for writing Hunting the Dragon (Waves of Darkness 8), which is experimental for me, is to write the rough draft, type each chapter on my phone as finish it, then upload and paste it into the manuscript document on my desktop for later editing. This seems to be working nicely.

I’m typing chapter 9 currently.

There are only two episodes to go on season one of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe.

I have them ready to edit. Hopefully I can get the covers done and get both published by early June. I need to start putting together the file for the Season 1 omnibus, which will be print only. It will have the original line art for the episode covers as coloring pages, a between the episodes bonus scene and a world building monograph as bonus material.

I do plan to do a Season 1 B mini omnibus with episodes 7 through 12 and the line art in ebook format as a companion to the one I did of episodes 1 through 6.

I am verifiably and functionally insane, as proven by the content of this post.

On that note, here’s something to enjoy.

That is all.

Housekeeping

If you’ll check the menu bar, you’ll notice a new drop down menu for Smuggler’s Cove & Huckster’s Haven. The page was getting burdensome to sift through, so, with the exception of a couple of categories, I built sub-pages for the various types of vendors and businesses listed to make browsing/shopping easier. As always, the listings are from business cards I’ve picked up at conventions over the years. If any of the links fail to work, it probably means the vendor has either gone out of business or changed domains. (I started collecting these cards around 2010.)

I have also been adding a few new links along. If you haven’t visited the Cove recently, you might want to go check it out.

Another Episode Within a Week? Shocking!

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The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 4 Chase the Lightning went live on the Kindle Store today!

Do not expect this level of productivity on a regular basis, however. This was only possible for me because of a small shutdown at my day job that gave me 7 days off from work. Yes, I’ve written episodes for nearly three seasons of this serial. Only the first season has made it to second draft on the computer (first drafts are all handwritten). Also, the art for this cover had far fewer fiddly bits to color than the previous ones. On top of that, I’ll be working an average of 55 hours a week or more starting around the end of September and going through the end of the year. That will not leave much free time to work on editing, rewrites, or cover art.

Still, I will strive to get episodes out more frequently than I did with the start of this serial.

I’ve decided to permanently keep the price at $0.99 per episode, by the way.

Looking at the success of some of my fellow indie authors, I really need to start recruiting a “street crew” to help with promotions. I do have a few loyal fans already spreading the word, but I would love for this serial to really take off. I’ve had as much fun writing it as I had writing my Waves of Darkness series.

Oh, and you can always find the covers and purchase links under the Books and Short Stories tab in the menu. There is only one link per title with The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe steampunk serial since I am publishing them through KDP.

I will continue to search for an agent to help me re-launch Waves of Darkness. Viktor has been much on my mind lately, and I may start plotting book 8 when I finish up with drafting season 3 of TAoPaW.

The Truce Cover Reveal

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I just uploaded the second episode of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe to KDP! It should go live by this weekend. I’ve also finally created a page for the Steampunk serial under Books and Short Stories.

I will be posting a report on LibertyCon31 later this week.

Viktor and Crew Are At Sea for Now

As of April 2018 the Waves of Darkness series of books are unavailable for sale (with the exception of a few copies of each title I still have for conventions). I have ended my contract with Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

I will be re-releasing the books at a future date, as yet undetermined, as self-published works. They will have new covers, and I plan to do some minor revisions/re-edits prior to that time.

This comes at about the same time I plan to launch the first episode of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe, also to be self-published. Plus, I’m about to enter a period of extensive overtime with my job. So I ask for your patience. I want to do this as quickly as possible; but I want to do it right and give readers the best quality.

Thank you for reading. Viktor Brandewyne WILL be back.

Interim Post

Sorry for my irregularity in posting lately. Not sure how long it will be before I get back to a regular schedule with the site. There has been a major change in my job responsibilities and work schedule, plus still getting my new house in order.

However, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve opened my Smugglers Cove and Hucksters Haven as a showcase for the various vendors, authors, artists, and other enterprising convention attendees I’ve met over the years. Look for new content and updates on the page at least once a month.

Captain’s Log: Chattacon 43

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Author D. Alan Lewis (Blood In Snowflake Garden) tries on a yarn Krampus hat from Spinner’s End Studio (Joy Wandrey, knitnick@gmail.com).

Chattacon 43 turned out quite enjoyable and much more cozy at The Chattanoogan hotel. While the space for the Dealer Room was a bit snug compared to the space we had at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, it was still plenty of room for a wide variety of vendors. For the first time since I’ve attended this convention, all of the book vendors were individual authors; no travelling book stores. Artists, crafters, costumers and leatherworkers, jewelry makers, memorabilia and collectibles dealers, steampunk prop makers, and a t-shirt vendor rounded out the group.

Programming covered literary and writing topics, art, film, costuming, fandom, and gaming. I picked up several ideas and pointers as well as offers of future advice for my plans to go  into self publishing some of my works from some who have already made forays into that aspect of the publishing world. I hope I was able to offer some useful tips to the budding authors I met who are just now entering this often frustrating and occasionally rewarding world.

I only attended one room party (Libertycon’s party) Friday night and none Saturday. I’m not sure how many there were, but I don’t think the hotel management really wanted any of them. Room parties don’t mesh well with hotel security features. Convention security had to maintain a person at the elevators in order to enable them. One cannot make the elevator go up from the lobby in this without a room key card. This is great for keeping someone from off the street gaining room access for burgling, but it makes for an inconvenience for convention goers wishing to enjoy the tradition of circulating among the room parties.

Thanks to convention staff for running a con suite at this con; a tradition I hope never goes away. If not for them, some of us would have gone hungry. The main restaurant in the hotel was NOT what I consider affordable; a sentiment I heard echoed frequently by the second day. This may also have played a factor in the low sales in the dealer room. Does one buy books and nifty stuff or something to eat? (I only sold 4 books; even authors with better sales said the numbers were lower than what they were used to.)

On a side note: I plan to set up a page on this blog dedicated to sharing links from business cards, post cards, and bookmarks I’ve collected at conventions over the past few years. These are for your use at your discretion. If I’ve actually purchased from any of the vendors or authors linked, I’ll give my recommendation; otherwise, it is purely free signal boosting for those who’ve worked the cons I’ve attended.

So watch for it.