Peeking Out from the Writing Cave

Photo cribbed from FB

Time for a progress report and other good news.

I made very good progress on the final revisions/edits on Blood Curse this weekend, which was a pleasant surprise. Last weekend, I made absolutely NO progress, and it was a long weekend. I sometimes think I perform better under pressure (self imposed) and time constraints than I do when there’s plenty of time available.

Anyway, I have less than 100 pages left to edit of the manuscript. In its current format, it is 304 pages. That page count will vary between the draft, the ebook, and the print versions.

I did correct a minor detail this morning. I originally had Viktor saying to head south from Dorada’s island to reach open water. However, I changed the location of her island from the Caymans, which weren’t rocky enough, to Islas de Los Roques, which are just north of the South American coast, back before original publication. Neither I nor my editor caught that I didn’t correct the statement of direction when I made the change. Now he orders the ship northeast instead of south.

I realize this old mistake didn’t really hurt the story, but it bothered me to find it. I truly want to keep any Real World references as accurate as possible. I feel I owe it to my readers, especially the ones who WILL fact check me, and to myself to maintain the best quality I can.

In other news: I have even more incentive to finally carve out some time to do some promo videos. I’ve been interacting in the comments sections of several BookTube videos lately. This has already garnered me some promotion space on one of the channels I follow. The Brothers Gwynn have a unique way of announcing premiering books each month by showing a compilation of authors pitching their books and giving release dates.

I will be participating in this once I’ve nailed down a specific release date for Blood Curse rather than the vague “sometime this Fall.”

I also need to create Instagram and Twitter accounts for the purpose of querying some of the reviewers who run the various BookTube channels. Most of them don’t use FB.

I’ve made significant progress on 1st round edits of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe seasons 2 and 3. At this rate, I’ll need to start drafting season 4 before long.

The most enjoyable part of all this editing, both on Blood Curse and The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe is re-reading and re-familiarizing myself with manuscripts written a few years back. In the case of Blood Curse, the original draft was started in 2006, and the first publication (in ebook) was 2011. I think it’s a good thing for authors of series to go back and read the earlier books again periodically. It helps them see where they’ve been and better visualize where they’re going, both in their writing skills and story continuity. While some may bemoan the skill level of their earlier works, they can also look back and visit with old friends with a fresh perspective and, hopefully, fondness — and then whip up freshly revised 2nd editions to hook new readers. (Insert mercenary grin here.)

Alpha Away!

The last two chapters of Hunting the Dragon are finally typed up and will be sent to my alpha reader by this evening. I also have feedback from her on several previous chapters waiting in my inbox.

Progress on what I hope is the last revision/proofread round on Blood Curse 2nd edition (which will be a sort of 10th anniversary edition if I can get it out this year) is slow, but well worth it.

I went into this one originally just to fix my punctuation snafu mentioned in my previous post, as well as insert accented letters; something the free Word app either doesn’t do, or I haven’t figured out how to do with it. It’s turned into line editing and seriously tweaking the prose one more time. I’m really enjoying it, even though I’m only 15 pages in.

My biggest problem is fighting off the impatience and wanting to do ALL the book things at once. I blame my newest addiction for this enthusiasm which must be bridled: booktube channels. For those yet to discover them, YouTube has a couple of genres which truly feed an author’s needs: booktube and authortube.

Booktube channels are primarily collections of videos about book reviews and sometimes book clubs/fans. Many of these channels can give books a wider audience than just promoting on social media and at conventions.

Authortube seems to consist of authors’ channels or videos with publishing and writing tips. For me, especially last year after so many conventions were canceled, these filled my need/desire for writing and book promoting panels. Plus, it gave me fresh perspectives beyond the familiar ones from the conventions I’ve been haunting for years.

I do have plans to revive and bulk up my own channel eventually.

Some day.

Oh! Before I forget, I recently took part in the recording of a panel for the upcoming virtual LibertyCon. The title of the panel is Very Vocal Vampire Voices. Look for it when LibertyCon goes live the last weekend of June. Since it’s virtual, it’s FREE and without an attendance cap.

Welcome to Organized Chaos

Oi.

I have plans, so many plans. Time, however, is an issue. Been working a lot of 6-day weeks, but that might calm down a bit in April.

I’m waiting for all the info from the game developer so I can do a promo video for Dragon Poker. They were going to launch it at LibertyCon this year, but the convention had to change to a virtual format this year. The online version of the convention will be free and open to all, rather than have the membership cap of the physical version.

I’ve been watching a lot of author-tube/book-tube videos lately. This has had the effect of putting my planning mode into high gear. I want to create a good bit of content for my YouTube channel to promote my books. I want to re-release Blood Curse later this year, and building interest beforehand will hopefully boost sales and pre-sales. I’d like to put some of the things I’ve learned to use, so that hopefully this second edition will take off and do better than the first time around did.

Still, time remains the crucial factor. Wish me luck. Thanks.

Coming Up for Air

I think everyone out there already knows what a crazy, fly-by-night carnival roller coaster ride 2020 was, so I won’t dwell on it.

I hold hope but no expectations that 2021 will turn out better. It’s already off to a rocky start. Still, there is some promise. (Just try to ignore the ongoing political $#!t storms. Hurricane season has nothing on U.S. politics.)

Time for a personal progress report.

ART: I’m almost done with inking the Dragon Poker card art. Just 2 of the 17 left to ink. There has been some discussion of making a top tier version of the game available with color accents on the face cards (not full color). I will probably add those digitally. Antiquarian Boardgames plans to debut the cards at this year’s LibertyCon, provided it doesn’t get postponed another year or go virtual.

I will be putting some sort of promotional video for the cards on my YouTube channel later this year.

WRITING: I’ve made some progress on Hunting the Dragon, but not much lately. I’ve been concentrating on the Dragon Poker art during the longer winter shutdown of my day job. I do have plans to attack reformatting Blood Curse later this month. This is a necessary step before contracting for a new cover. The reformat may change the page count, especially since I haven’t decided whether to stick with the trade paperback size of 9×6 or a slightly smaller page size. The page count determines the thickness of the spine and is required data for most of the cover artists I’ve researched.

I also plan to have new cover art for the episodes of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe as well as The Girl Who Fell from the Sky done prior to publishing episodes of season 2 later this year. I apologize for the extended delay of the serial, but I’m still learning the tricks of self-publishing and the marketing of such.

YOUTUBING: Yeah, I think I have been a little over ambitious with my plans to revive the channel in relation to actual available time for all this. I’m not giving up, just not gonna promise a lot of content in a short time period. The new videos will be added as I can manage.

CONVENTIONS: So far, LibertyCon is the only regular convention I’ll get to attend this year. Chattacon is virtual this year. My dealer table/membership is supposed to roll over to next year. I do plan to check out the online program content, but I won’t be presenting any this year. ConNooga is canceled this year due to COVID. I have no plans for any other conventions at this time.

That pretty much sums up my updates for now. See you here again soon, hopefully.

Happy New Year!

Looks like Mr. Grimm wishes to give a New Year’s greeting of his own.34

(Image “borrowed” from one of the many FB pirate groups I haunt.)

While my writing has stalled out a bit lately, I have been working on an illustration commission. Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series will really like this one. That’s all I’m at liberty to say at this point, until I get the clearance from my commissioner.

I will be at Chattacon January 24-26. Click on the link for location and other details about the convention. I will have a table in the Dealer Room and will have copies of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe Season One available for sale. Just placed my order this morning. If you’re in Chattanooga, TN that weekend, please stop by. It’s a fun con to attend!

Your Attention Please

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First: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: The Adventuires of Pigg & Woolfe Season One is now available to purchase on Amazon. This volume will be a print-only book, as the individual episodes are ebook only. Inside, you will find episodes 1-12, an in-between-the-episodes vignette which is a bit …steamy, a world building monograph on ghosts-of-the-sky, and the line art of the original episode ebook covers offered as coloring pages.

List price is $12.95 USD.

PLEASE buy one for yourself and another for a friend! PLEASE

Second: A brain hurricane hit me Wednesday on how to flesh out the final third of Hunting the Dragon, Waves of Darkness book 8. Naturally, the ideas came flooding while I was WORKING and unable to write them down, or begin incorporating them. Still, they are fresh in my mind, and the weekend is ahead.

Third: I am researching character details for a potential illustration commission. I still have to touch base with the person who proposed this deal to work out some specifications and the actual contract. For now, that is all the info I’m willing to divulge. I don’t want to jinx things.

Thank you for your attention.

Productivity

So, working a split shift has been beneficial for me, if not the greatest financially speaking. (It has seriously curtailed my overtime.) The longer home time in the mornings allowed me to finally finish taking the tree apart and putting it away until Fall.

On the writing/publishing front, I’ve transcribed the early draft of Ghost of Honor and transferred it to my desktop for further editing before I submit it.

For my Waves of Darkness fans, I’ve also made good headway on chapter 2 of Hunting the Dragon.

AND … I finally did the line art for the cover of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 8 Chance and Fortune. It is scanned, cleaned up, and transferred to the tablet for coloring.

Now I need to get the gumption to redo the flooring in the cats’ room. Uh-huh.

Oh, before I forget: I will be pushing books at ConNooga this weekend in the Chattanooga Convention Center. I do NOT have a table. Just look for the old pirate wench with a roller bag full of books. I have copies of Demon Bayou, Silent Fathoms, Black Venom, Hell’s Dodo, The Daedalus Enigma, and Maelstrom of Fate.

While I’m sold out of book 1, Blood Curse, I’d be more than happy to email a free .doc copy to anyone who buys one of the other books.

I currently don’t have a newsletter service and will NEVER abuse or sell anyone’s information.

Update!

I’ve finished chapter 2.

Covers Revealed

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Double Jeopardy has been added to the The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe page under the menu heading for Books and Short Stories.

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Season 1: Episodes 1-6 has been uploaded to Kindle and should go live no later than Friday.

I finally have a working title for Waves of Darkness book 8. Hunting the Dragon. I’m already three handwritten pages into it, which isn’t bad considering that was written during 10-minute breaks at work.

Last but not least, fellow author, D.A. Adams has finally released his fifth and final installment in his Brotherhood of Dwarves series, The King of Dwarves. I’ve been waiting for this book for a few years now. Although it is currently only available as an ebook, I hope some day it is made available in print. I’d dearly like to complete the set on my bookshelf. I’m looking at YOU, D.A. !hairy eyeball

 

Bloody Vik Brandee Returns

I have finished the first draft of episode 36 of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe. Now I am ready to seriously work on a plot for the 8th Waves of Darkness book (as yet untitled).

I have several good story and scene ideas already. I just need to work out what order I want to stage them in.

Over the holiday break I also plan to work up covers for TAoPaW episode 7 and the mid-season omnibus. Look for both to hit Kindle in early January.