So I curated a story bundle at StoryBundle

 

I got approached a few months back to not only participate in a horror bundle but to curate it as well. Seeing as I’ve never done bundle curation before, I found the task somewhat daunting at first. Where do you even start? We received dozens of submissions, some of them amazing, many of them difficult to choose from. We managed to narrow it down to these nine books, some of them by authors you’ve no doubt heard of.

http://storybundle.com/horror

All Covers Large

A couple of great things about storybundle is that the books are all DRM free, meaning you’re free to move them from device to device, or share them with friends–though it would be awesome if they bought in as well. The bundle also gives you the option to donate a portion to charity, which makes everyone feel good about capitalism.

 

So swing by if you want to take advantage of it and get yourself some really great books.

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A new review for A LATENT DARK

Patricia Eddy of Author Alliance gave ALD a 4.5 star review, which makes me feel all fuzzy inside. Or it could be the whiskey.

Read it here if you like.

In other news, things are moving along. The space opera novella (currently titled PATCHER) is due to be back from beta readers and into the hands of editors in the next few weeks, and ALD2 is heading off to an editor hopefully by the end of the month.

In other other news, this current project is killing me. KILLING. ME. I am at the point now where I see very clearly that I will need to once again, re-outline and rewrite from the beginning, perhaps throw out the current world as well, just like I did with BLOOM at around revision 8.  I’m on the third revision of this one, and yeah, I can see the signs. So no I’m torn between the feelings of “I have to finish this no matter what” and “I know now what I have to do to make it better, so do it.” And it’s not a fun place to be.

This book also covers a lot of familiar tropes as well, which I think, is part of the problem. I don’t want this to be “another science fiction book about X that reminds you of that other book that did it better.” I want to break some new ground on this, and that birthing process is often painful and destructive. But my wife is gone all this week, so I might find myself with nothing to do but write. Which could be fun, assuming I can stay away from the video games. Maybe I’ll play DISGAEA and just call it research.

WIP for 2014 and some updates

I’m cross-posting this here from Goodreads, since my blog activity is all over the map lately.

 

 

So I’ve got a couple of projects I’m hoping will come to fruition this year, the first being the second LATENT DARK book, titled THE UMBRAL WAKE. It’s set about two years after the events in A Latent Dark, and after this latest revision and beta round, I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Second is a completely new book that right now is only in it’s rough draft phase, but the topic is exciting and I plan to start revisions soon. It involves video games, AI and graphene. I managed to finish the rough draft just under the clock for 2013. This is a big deal, since 2013 seemed determined to prevent me from completing anything.

Thirdly, I am finally back on the horse with a space-opera novella I had written the rough draft to over a year ago. It also has yet to be named, but I plan on this being a series, as there seems to still be plenty to explore in the universe. First revision should be done pretty soon, assuming I can get over the hump I always run up against when I reach endings

Oh, also I wrote the dialog and tutorial text for the Robocop Mobile game coming out this year (under a different name). So whether you like the movie or not, you should check out the mobile game, because it will mean you love me.

That’s about it for me right now. What’s everyone else working on?

Update in case you thought I was dead

I’ve been doing a lot of work on the new book, gutting the middle, adding stuff here and there. It’s been dominating a lot of my time, but I am almost done with the first real revision. That leaves only… thirty or so left to go.

Progress!

I do miss the flash fiction and I promise to have more available soon. In the mean time, I invite you to check out my free to download novel.

The book I am working on right now is not a sequel to this universe. I do have a prequel to THE HEAVY DARK in a rough draft form, which I will definitely get to soon.

I’m finding that when I am focused and sufficiently drunk I can crank out about 4400 words in a sitting. Now all I have to do is limit the distractions, google reader, reddit, cats riding Roombas and I should be able to make some real progress.

Cat's are sort of dicks.

Cats: Total dicks.

A few things I learned after I wrote a novel

A bit of a rant since I am feeling surly this morning.

A little over a year ago I decided to write a novel. It was to be a fantasy story with horror elements mostly to entertain me and my wife. As time crept by and the novel put on weight, I learned a few things.

Word count matters. It is important to write ever day to keep the thread alive in your head.

First drafts are crap. Your first draft will be crap. Accept it and get to editing.

Your second draft will probably be crap too.

Your third draft might be readable. If you are smart, nobody but you has seen anything up until now. Maybe only show this to your spouse or best friend. That’s it.

Your tenth draft is probably when other people can start reading it.

Writing is a lonely process. You want to tell people about your project but you can’t because you have to show them. In order to show them, you have to make a compelling story that makes them give a shit.

Your spouse will probably start to hate you. When I told my wife I wanted to write a novel her first reaction was “Cool! My husband is going to be a writer!” A month later and she was rolling her eyes and telling me I was an asshole since I started writing.And it was true.

This is because writing is frustrating. You are putting your thoughts down and they have to be just right. Your thoughts are a reflection of you, so of course you want them to be non-crappy. But this sometimes takes a lot of introspection and sulking to make happen. Oh, and booze.

Other writers will hate you or laugh at you. I won’t lie. Myself included, most writers are sort of jerks. If they are successful, they get about a dozen emails and comments on their blig from “aspiring writers”. If they are unsuccessful, they will see you as a competitor. Hell, even if they ARE successful they will probably see you as a competitor. There are only so many readers out there and unlike movies and MP3 garage band songs, books take weeks to appreciate the completed work. If someone is reading Harry Potter, they won’t be on to your book for another month, assuming they don’t get sidetracked by some other author. You know. Someone who is published.

Did you finish your novel? Is it awesome?

Nobody cares. Well, not really. Your friends and family will care. or at least they will act like they do. You will get congratulations on finishing it. They will tell you how they never knew you had it in you. They will tell you about how they had always thought of writing a book. etc.

They don’t really care. They may be impressed that you wrote something, but most of them are not really readers or are not your target audience. A lot of them prefer TV and movies. But still, grats on that.

Nobody cares, especially if they barely know you. Sharing with a coworker or acquaintance that you wrote a novel will usually result in a nod and awkward glance. Congratulations. You just came off as a pretentious prick.

A lot of people write books. You’ll find this out the more you spout off on how you wrote a novel. “Oh yeah, I am working on a book.” “Oh, yeah I wrote a book a long time ago just to see if I could.” “Oh yeah, my friend writes crappy fantasy novels.” The best one I got was from a friend on Facebook who said “I don’t have time to read your shit.” I applaud him for his honesty at least.

Everyone will ask if you are published. And you will have to tell them you aren’t. All this means to most people is that you threw 150,000 words of pure garbage between two covers with a beginning and an end. if you aren’t published, save yourself the pain of telling people whom you hardly know.

It is damn near impossible to get published. I have mentioned this before, but most agencies get about 10,000 queries a year. They end up choosing about a dozen books to  represent out of that stack. Of those dozen, maybe one or two will actually be sold to publishers. Save yourself the trouble and tell people you won the lottery, because if that happens you have experienced the only thing harder to do than get a book published.

Why don’t you self-publish? You will get asked this a lot. With the Kindle and everything else out there, it seems obvious that everyone should be self-publishing. Screw the middleman! I had three friends send me the recent article about a girl who MAKES MILLIONS selling her novels on Amazon.

Most self published novels are terrible. And I mean super terrible. Without the feedback and support of editors, publishers and agents, you can quickly be the subject of this article on Why Your Self-Published Book Might Suck A Bag of Dicks. Because most self-published novels are so bad, they have created a stigma for any decent self-published book out there. Anyone who has seen examples of these books will probably give you an uncomfortable giggle and run away as soon as you tell them you are self-published.

So take this advice. Congratulations on finishing your novel. No really. Buy yourself a bottle of wine, watch a movie, get to know your spouse again. You deserve it, as do they. But be careful who you tell about it, because that novel is your best kept secret.

Success in writing is largely subjective, but I feel that it falls into two groups: recognition and money. If you have achieved either of these in a volume ending in three zeros, then by all means, tell the world. Otherwise, shut the hell up and get back to writing.

That twentieth draft isn’t going to write itself.