Weekly Update – April 25, 2017

The spring New Bedford Book Festival is done and gone, and thank you to the readers who came out and to my wife for covering my table while I was at Robin Hood’s Faire rehearsals. PS: come to Robin Hood’s Faire.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I managed to finally get through an action scene that was giving me some problems. The first draft is now up to 44,000 words.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Second draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: I sneaked in some work on this last week, enough to wrap up the second draft. I’m waiting a while before sending it out to my test readers, who haven’t even finished work on book seven.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

My cover artist Tricia Lupien has launched an official Patreon account. Go check it out and support her!

Weekly Update – April 18, 2017

It’s almost New Bedford Bookfest time! More on that below.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Got some work in, but it’s still slow going setting up for the next big action sequence.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Second draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: I got a little work in on the second draft to keep me going while I puzzled out some stuff on S&L book three.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

Thanks to my sweetie for her little nod to my work with the upcoming as fight director for Robin Hood’s Faire.

Weekly Update – April 11, 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Got a little work in, but I’m heading into a fairly large action sequence and those often take time to percolate in my head before I start writing them down. What did I do to clear my head and stay productive? Well…

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: I finished the second draft of this! It’s going out to my test-readers for their thoughtful analysis and merciless criticism, though I don’t expect to work on this again for a while. Have to finish S&L book three, after all.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

 

Weekly Update – April 4, 2017

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Managed to sneak a little more work in over the weekend. My Saturday was occupied with Robin Hood Faire auditions but I had Friday and Sunday to work, and my word count is now past the 42,000 word mark. My last full writing weekend is coming up, so I hope to push through a good chunk of the story before I have to dedicate myself to teaching people who to pretend to kill each other.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

The final details are still being hammered out, but this summer I’ll be participating in the 2017 Cape Cod Teen Writers Conference, specifically on an authors panel on the final night of the conference. K.R. Conway is putting this thing together and invited me to participate, since I’m a native Cape Codder and need to periodically return to my native soil — or sand, as the case may be — to recharge.

Weekly Update – March 14, 2017

Secret Origins coverFirst, your brief reminder that the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins  is available for free this week. If you haven’t given it a try yet, now’s the time to check it out.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I passed the 34,000 word mark over the weekend and I’m now into the second act.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I want to send out a thank-you to Patrick Hodges of Young Adult Authors Rendezvous for including me via remote in the Tucson Festival of Books in Arizona over the weekend. Patrick asked if I’d send a couple copies of Secret Origins out to sell at the YAAR booth, so I did, and if you look closely at the photo on the right, you can see it sitting amidst the many other excellent titles that were available on that nice, bright, warm, sunny, snow-free weekend (he said without any bitterness as he watches the blizzard happening outside).

I end this week with a quick word of advice to indie writers as they set out to promote their work: be honest with yourself and, by extension, your readers.

I’ve seen a recent rash in indie authors presenting their achievements rather disingenuously lately, claiming “number one best-seller” status for topping an Amazon chart during a free giveaway campaign, employing such vague accolades as “acclaimed author,” or overstating their bibliography, as if their sheer quantity of their writing is somehow testament to the quality of their writing.

Granted, a lot of readers aren’t going to look too deeply into self-aggrandizing claims and take them at face value, but if you can’t back up the hype with a quality product, it’s going to backfire on you, so don’t spend so much energy on Barnum-esque self-promotion. Put that effort into writing the best story you can and let your work speak for itself.

 

Weekly Update – March 7, 2017

Secret Origins coverI open this week with a reminder that the Kindle edition of Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins will be available for free next week beginning Monday, but more importantly, I’m asking fans of the series to grab a copy for a friend or family member and send it to them as a gift. And remember, if they don’t own a Kindle, they can download a free app that allows them to read the e-book on any device.

 

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: I hit the 32,000 work mark over the weekend, so I’m creeping up on the halfway point in the story. While I’m happy with the way the story’s developed so far, I know I’m going to need to massage it a bit in the second draft to really punch up its personality. The series stands out because of its irreverent tone and that’s a bit lacking in draft one.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

I’m going to make the most of my March writing-wise, because next month my weekends go bye-bye because of the Connecticut Renaissance Faire’s Robin Hood Springtime Festival. Rehearsals begin in April and the show runs into May, so don’t be surprised if I don’t have much to say for several weeks.

That said, I’m always happy to hear from readers with questions about any of my books or about writing in general, so feel free to post a comment here on the blog.

Finally, I am working on a fun little side-project with my cover artist, Tricia, that will be of interest to Action Figures fans. More on that as it develops!

Weekly Update – February 28, 2017

Welcome to the “Happy Birthday to Me” edition of the blog.

In two days I turn 47, and this is what I’d like you — yes, you — to get me for my birthday. Don’t worry, these gifts won’t cost you anything except a few minutes of your time.

Your first option: if you’re a fan of my work and you have yet to leave a review for one (or more) of my books on Amazon or Goodreads, go do so. Reviews help entice new readers to try out books they’ve never heard of by authors they never heard of, and positive word-of-mouth is always the best publicity.

Your second option: if you’re a fan of the Action Figures series and you know someone who might enjoy the books, take advantage of the free giveaway for Secret Origins, which begins next Monday and runs all week, by buying a copy and gifting it to a friend. If they don’t own a Kindle, they can download a free app that allows them to read the e-book on any device.

af6-cover-ebook-editionNow that I’ve gotten all that out of the way: Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play is now officially available! The product pages for the Kindle and print editions might not be merged yet — chalk that up to idiosyncrasies within Amazon’s system — so for now go here for the Kindle version and here for the print version.

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered the book and pushed it onto a couple of Amazon Top Ten lists during its pre-sale period.

WRITING PROJECTS

The Adventures of Strongarm & LightfootBlades of Glory: Got a little more work in, and I’m taking a long weekend for my birthday this week so I’ll have a couple of extra writing days this week.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: First draft finished.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins: Audiobook recording in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • NEW! Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, 11 AM to 4 PM: New Bedford Book Festival. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I probably would not be able to do the spring New Bedford Book Festival due to a scheduling conflict, but I will have a presence there after all. My wife has graciously volunteered to represent me at the event, so she’ll be there to push paper on my behalf. I’ll miss chatting with readers, but I’ll make sure there are plenty of signed copies of my books ready for patrons to buy.
  • Saturday, September 16: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire at the Lebanon Fairgrounds, Lebanon, CT.

MISC.

This last bit is aimed primarily at fellow indie authors, so feel free to skip this.

While my CTRF book signing is several months off, I’m spending the lead-in trying to think of ways to motivate the other invitees to talk up the event, because if the last two years are any indication, they don’t do much to promote it on their own. They simply showed up, set up, and tried to sell books, but they never put any effort into drawing attention to the faire in the days and weeks leading up to it.

When my wife was vending at faires, I saw that attitude a lot from her fellow merchants. Veronica talked up the show constantly on her blog and her social media outlets, as did a few diligent others, but so many vendors put no effort into spreading the word, and it’s no coincidence that they were usually the first to gripe when they had a crappy run.

I’ve seen that doing shows as an author as well. The authors think that by paying their fee, they’ve done their part and now it’s all on the host to promote the event.

No. No no no.

Why wouldn’t you talk up a public appearance? You have skin in this game, after all. The point is to connect to potential readers and make sales, right? Well, higher attendance equals greater potential for sales, so it is directly in your best interests to do whatever you can to increase an event’s exposure and entice people to come. Post about it online. Mention it in your newsletters. Mention it to people who talk to in your day-to-day life. Don’t just assume your host is going to magically reach every prospective guest, because they won’t. Even with an aggressive, far-reaching promotional campaign, they’ll miss people — people you could capture through your own modest efforts.

The work doesn’t end when you’re finished writing.