Preparations for Formatting

I plan to use this version of my Waves of Darkness logo as an interior embellishment in the print books.

No, I have not actually started formatting Blood Curse second edition yet. Necessary rearrangement of furniture pretty much kept me offline all weekend. I did manage to download copies of IngramSpark’s and Smashwords’ file and style requirements this morning. I used to have the Smashwords one written down somewhere, but haven’t seen it since I moved to my house back in 2017. I still need to see what Google Play Books requires. I already have a copy of Amazon’s from publishing The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: the Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe, season 1.

I did a survey on FB and Plurk on what trim sizes to use. 5″ x 8″ won. I would’ve loved to go with 5″ x 7″ or 4″ x 6″, but the number of pages that would change the book to makes those sizes cost prohibitive.

I managed to finish reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King and start The Drawing of the Three over the weekend. It’s been about 2 decades or so since I first read his Dark Tower series, and I never finished it. I will do so this time around, even though it means buying the last 3 books. Like I need an excuse to buy a book.

I need to contact my author/convention friends about the best route to get my books into audio. Some use ACX and Audible, some use Tantor, and there’s a few other audio book publishers out there to check out, as well.

TIP FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS: Find other authors and writing groups, even if they’re not in your genre. Experience is the best resource to tap for advice. Who knows; someday someone may even ask you for advice.

That is all for now.

Fixing the “Oops!”

Nothing like going through first edits on a rough draft written a few years previously and spotting gargantuan plot holes. In case you haven’t guessed, or are new to this blog, I have returned to working on my steampunk serial, The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe.

I’m finally getting episodes 13 through 24 (aka Season 2) ready for publication. I’m also seriously entertaining the thought of having a new cover done for the Season 1 omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, as well as doing new illustrations for it.

“Why?” you ask. Mainly because sales have been all but non-existent, and I never really got marketing off the ground the first time through. This will mean pulling all the current versions down and republishing.

Yes, I am a masochist. I must be to intentionally put that much on my plate.

Meanwhile, back to why I started this post. I’ve found myself trying to keep supposedly intelligent characters from unintentionally looking like bumbling idiots. In other words, I originally wrote some scenes which turned into “wait-a-minute” moments. So, I have to figure out why I had a character do something a certain way, when an obviously better way was available.

Specifically, why did a character LEAVE a communications center to deliver a message rather than send it via a secure means already available to them. It would’ve been quicker to use the system rather than leave the building and head into a subterranean system of tunnels and lifts to reach a place deep underground.

Not to worry. I did find a plausible excuse.

Messages sent through that system, while secure, have to be entered in the log if they originate from the communications center itself. The character didn’t want this message to be discovered by her supervisor, so she feigned illness to be excused from the rest of her shift. She also didn’t encounter any message stations along her route before encountering other major characters.

Plot hole plugged.

Chugging Right Along

The latest news on the re-release of the Waves of Darkness books: I’ve chosen 5 or 6 potential cover designers from Fiverr.com to contact. My next step before doing that will be to revisit my original manuscript and reformat it for print with possible revisions and at least a new forward. The designer I finally pick will need the actual page count in order to get the spine the correct size.

I will probably pick one of the designers who offer an ACX version along with ebook and print cover sizes. I really want to get the books out in audio format, too.

My art commission is almost done for the 1st phase. I’m shading the last pencil sketch. Next up will be inking them. Color may or may not happen. That has not been decided yet. I will ask my commissioner if it’s okay to reveal what this project is. More on that later.

Watch for It

The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 12 Castle in the Clouds should be available on Kindle early next week. I’m working on the cover, trying to get it finished this weekend.

Next up is putting the season one omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky together and edited, and designing the cover for it. I may or may not have copies available at LibertyCon, depending on how quickly I can get it ready for publication, and what shape my finances are in then. My overtime pay has pretty much dried up recently, unfortunately.

Once again, I’m seriously thinking about starting a Patreon page as well as a Deviantart page for commissions. I need a semi-profitable side hustle.

Bizzybizzybizzy

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.

Holiday Progress Report

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As you can guess by the image above, Viktor Brandewyne has been invading my head space again. This is a good thing.

I have gotten a few more agent queries out, which will hopefully help speed the return of the Waves of Darkness books to publication. I have also started brainstorming on the next books/story arc in the series. I currently have about 4 pages of scene ideas and questions which I need to answer for plot development. This will expand.

I am currently writing on the final episode for season 3 of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe. It will take me a while to finish, since I want to get the emotional impact just right. (Also, my work schedule plus the holidays are forcing my writing time into a catch-as-catch-can situation. I’ve even developed a lovely pure white streak on the left side of my head near the crown.)

I have edited episode 7, Double Jeopardy, and am pondering the cover illustration. I expect to release the episode sometime in early December. I am also contemplating doing a virtual box set of the first six episodes. I still need to come up with a cover for that, as well. I also need to check into whether or not KDP supports internal illustrations and what’s involved with that. Some of this research will obviously go toward the eventual production of the Season One omnibus.

In non-writing related events, I have encountered for only the second time in my life a rather irritating and bemusing phenomenon. The first time this happened was a few years ago in the same county but on the opposite side of the Tennessee River from my current residence.

I had to work last Sunday, so I didn’t get out that morning to pick up a newspaper. When I did get by a store after work, there were none to be had. I asked at the counter and was told someone had come in that day, as well as the day before, and bought all the papers. The same thing had happened at all the other stores nearby which carry the local paper. I cannot figure out why someone would do this. According to my husband, it continued to happen every day up to Thanksgiving this past week.

The other time I encountered this, whoever did it also stole one convenience store’s allotment of papers from their front sidewalk before the owners arrived to open up.

If they were doing this to amass coupons for Black Friday sales, I would think the limitations on the coupons would work against them. Also, it’s very inconsiderate to people who just wanted the blasted newspaper and comics. I do NOT engage in shopping as a sport. as for why I don’t subscribe to the newspaper, I did shortly after moving in, but more missed deliveries than made deliveries within a 2 month period led to the cancellation of my subscription.  They might have retained my business if they’d offered to have a paper redelivered instead of just offering credit for the missed delivery.

Okay, that’s enough venting for now, and I didn’t let myself lapse into language worthy of one of my pirate characters. Sniff

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.

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.