I’ve Started the Alpha Draft of Betrayed!

I’ve Started the Alpha Draft of Betrayed!

 

Greetings all,

caught-front-cover
You can buy Caught (the first book in the series) on Amazon or Audible

Betrayed is coming along. I’ve started the Alpha Draft, which is the draft I do after my alpha reader (in this case) has had a chance to look at it.

 

First thing’s first. I want to take a moment to thank Grace for taking the time to read this rough draft and provide the feedback she did. For us self-published authors, finding readers is hard enough, let alone finding a reader who’s willing to read a rough draft.

Now is the time I take her feedback into consideration and do another chapter-by-chapter pass on the book. This cleans the mechanics of the story up, but more importantly it gives me a chance to locate plot holes and timeline issues. This trilogy spans something in the neighborhood of seven years, and there are a lot of things that happen that have to time out correctly.

The other issue is character development and plotting. Kaitlyn and Kira in particular have some critical areas of growth. There are a lot of foreshadow elements that should pay off in Discovered. So while I work on this draft, I’m looking for ways to establish critical character development aspects without being heavy handed.

kaitlynI felt a touch of discouragement as I started the Discovery Draft exactly a year ago (as you read this Dec. 7). The truth is, writing is a war of endurance. When it’s not full time, you sit down and take what time you can. I’d expect to get through the Alpha Draft sometime in January. Then it’s off to Sara for the Developmental Edit. Assuming she gets it back to me in two weeks or so, I can start that draft in March. Then it goes off to Beta Readers.  They get a month to read it and provide feedback, so I should work on my Beta Draft in June. That means I get Sara another crack at it for proofreading in July, and so September or October 2020 is a likely neighborhood for the official release.

Things could go faster as I get time here and there, or they might slow down if finances make it hard to send the book out to Sara for either of her two rounds of edits. I feel confident that those dates are pretty solid.

While I’m waiting for feedback, I’ll keep plugging away on Discovered. I’m still outlining it at the moment. Using the timeline above, I think I could maybe get the Discovery Draft done around when Betrayed comes out.  My math says there will be about two months where I can’t move forward with Betrayed because I’m waiting on feedback. That’s way less certain than Betrayed’s fall 2020 release.

I know this is a big slowdown from the eight titles I’ve released in the last two years, but a lot of those releases were portions of other projects. I have other projects that are further along, but I’ve been trying to get the Oneiros Log finished for years now, and I owe it to those readers to get that finished before I start bouncing around as I’m want to do.

I promise I’m working as hard as I can, and I’ll keep putting out the best stories I can in hopes that you will find them entertaining.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’ve Finished Plotting Discovered!

I’ve Finished Plotting Discovered!

Greetings all,

caught-front-cover
You can buy Caught on Amazon or Audible

As promised, I’ve completed the plotting for Discovered, which is the final book in the Oneiros Log.

I don’t know that I’ve ever announced that I’ve finished plotting or not, so this is a good chance to tell anyone interested what that is.

When I’m working on my process, I always start with Character Generation.  Once that’s done, I plot out the stories of the main characters. For this, I ask myself what type of plot this character is going to have (or plots), and I ask myself what sort of character journey that character is on.

Then I type out brief scenes and moments of that journey. This lets the discovery writer in me play while still getting organized. For instance, in this story I gave a lot of thought to who would survive the story. This book ends in a pretty big psychic showdown (a few of them actually), and it’s hard to imagine a conflict going on like that without any casualties.

In stories, it’s one thing to know the plot points (what happens), but an author also has to know what’s going on with the characters. What do they learn? How do these events change them?  When I plotted Betrayed, one of the characters makes a very important decision. That decision impacts how things develop in this book as well.

Betrayed introduces two very important characters (not just those two, but two you’ll want to know about).  I can’t tell you about one (spoilers), but I can at least name the other. Mariana is critical to the trilogy. She’s a great counter to Kaitlyn because there are also similarities. Mariana only has about one chapter in her point of view in Betrayed, but she plays a prominent role in Discovered as one of the main characters. You will also get to meet Daniel, whose story I love.

Hopefully, Discovered brings the story to the place I’ve always imagined it, opening a new world with endless possible stories. Will I write them? Probably not. If I’m being honest, I have far too many other ideas I want to play in. My honest hope is a Netflix or Youtube or Hulu will take what I built with the Oneiros Log and decide it might make an interesting super hero series.

kaitlynIt does close out the story of Oneiros though. Other main characters for Discovered are Sal (of course), Kaitlyn (of course), and Kira. Where Dom got the love in Betrayed, it’s time to show the story from Kira’s point of view. Given how important these events are to her, it would have been unfair to take her moment in the spotlight away. Though this story has been (and will continue to be) pretty brutal to her.

I’ve started the outline for Discovered, which is when I take all the plot lines and weave them together in a much more traditional outline. This gives me the main thread before I start my discovery draft. I don’t imagine I’ll finish the outline before I start work on the Alpha Draft of Betrayed, but having the plotting done is probably 40% of my work on any story.

I have every hope that Betrayed will be out sometime in 2020, though when has more to do with finances and book sales (you all can help with that) than workflow. If I can’t afford the editing and art fees, I can’t move forward. It’s my sincere goal (especially now that Discovered is plotted), to finish the saga in that same year.

That will mean I can jump back to The 1,200 and start working on Mercer (my little procedural cop show with a Harry Potter twist). Then I’ll get to work on the rest of my to-do list.

As always, I just want to thank you all for the help and support you’ve given. I think that while my readership is small, you all are so loyal and supportive. It gives me hope that this readership will only continue to grow.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Greetings all,

It’s a bit harder to share reviews for audiobooks because there aren’t any direct links to just those reviews (or at least I haven’t figured out the trick). However, I’ve gotten a number of reviews for a lot of these audiobooks, and so I wanted to take a chance to share some of the comments.

Caught_ACX_CoverCaught:  Caught has two ratings and one text review.  It has an average 4.0 rating (again only two ratings) at the moment.  The text review just kindly said that the reader loved the print version so much that they wanted to listen to the audio version while I work on Betrayed.  The reviewer also took a moment to praise the plot twists, which I honestly think is the greatest part of the book.

 

 

The Power of Words: The Power of Words has four ratings for an average of 4.3 overall.  It also has two text reviews.  The most recent reviewer said the stories were entertaining. He appreciated the range of genres, which I was actually concerned would be a problem. He took a moment to praise the narrators on this (and I think Lisa and J.M. are indeed worthy of praise.  This reviewer concluded by acknowledging that short stories don’t have the depth he typically looks for (“…they’re usually over before you can really get into them.”)

The older text review focused again on Lisa and J.M. The reviewer did say the collection “lives up to the title.” I appreciated seeing that.

Repressed_ACX_CoverRepressed: Repressed has one rating and text review.  The reviewer had issue with the tone and target audience of Repressed vs Caught (Repressed, as you may know, is based on Kaitlyn from Caught).  I honestly accept this criticism and respect it. I had to make a choice on what to do here. I wanted so desperately to give Kaitlyn her own short story, but when I did that I had to gauge the content against those most likely to read it. So it’s completely fair and just to have this thought. My hope is, those who love Kaitlyn will appreciate this story. Those who love the darker, more horror driven aspects of Caught, it’s fair to say, won’t enjoy this.

The reviewer also took a moment to compliment Jennifer on her reading. I always felt she had the perfect voice for Kaitlyn, and I’m glad this reader agreed. My hope is Repressed get’s Jennifer plenty more offers.

And I think that has me caught up with the reviews for my work so far.

If you’ve read any of my work, I humbly request you take a few moments to toss up a rating and review on Audible, Goodreads, Amazon, or all of those above. I can’t tell you how much reviews help in so many different ways. Even if you hated it, feel free to spend however many thousands of words  you feel you need to express your discontent. It’s still valuable feedback.

If you’re interested in any of my audiobooks, and you don’t have a credit you want to spend on one, just send me an email, and I’ll send you a free promo code for whichever (or all) you want.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

A 5-Star Review for Repressed!

Greetings all,CoverLayout

These are my favorite blogs to post. I’m sharing this 5-star review for Repressed, which is part of the Oneiros Log

One of my goals with Repressed was to stay true to the character without limiting who can enjoy the story. I didn’t want the fact that Kaitlyn is a teenager to mean older readers wouldn’t enjoy her story or her struggle.

This review is evidence that I was successful in that. I certainly hope more people feel that way. Reviews have been far and few between lately. (I’d really appreciate one if you’ve read some of my work. Even if it’s bad.) So getting a review that is positive was big boost.

I’m hard at work editing Betrayed right now (10 chapters into the review), and I’m pretty happy with how the story looks so far. I’m glad Kaitlyn’s adventure is helping pass the time.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

A Pretty Successful Debut! Repressed Is Off To A Good Start!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutIn my last post I mentioned a bit about how Repressed had a solid start.  So I thought I’d try to keep the momentum going while sharing some insight for those trying to get their journey as authors started.

Social media posts and word of mouth helped me get my third-most pre-sales ever. Before anyone start to think I’m quitting my day job, I had eight pre-sales.  The Power of Words had the most ever (17). Caught came in second (13).  This might seem terrible to some. It sure didn’t feel like much to me, but those numbers compare pretty favorable to a number of the authors I speak to on a regular basis. Some of them are stable, full-time authors.  It’s certainly not a ton compared to those best sellers, but at the level I’m currently climbing toward, it’s a good place. People, especially new authors, should focus on goals and those goals should be based on data and expectations established by people in a similar situation. If I compare myself to Brandon Sanderson, I’m going to cry and never write again. However, if I keep my eyes on people with a similar number of titles released, in a similar genre, and with a similar marketing budget, I notice that I’m doing well, and that’s my point here.

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 12.00.09 AM.pngThe other thing I’m happy to say is that Repressed’s ranking in it’s category,  Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Social & Family Issues > Bullying.  I don’t exactly remember how high Caught got, but Repressed was pretty great.  This title made it as high as #38 on the best-seller list and is still in the top 300.  I’m particularly happy that I stayed in the top 100 for its entire first week.

How’d I do it? Well, married life is still something I’m adjusting too. I only had time for social media efforts. I posted probably once every other day. I used hashtags to draw interest and little tag lines. I made sure the cover was everywhere too.

kaitlynFor my next title (Sojurn in Captivity is coming in April!), I expect to have my newsletter back up and running. I intend to run a FB cover reveal as well as a release party. I’ll run a few more newsletter campaigns, and we’ll see if I can’t set up a blog tour.  I’ll be interested to see how those things affect my next release, but I’m happy with what I think are great results when accounting for a minimal marketing campaign.

What I’m hoping for now is to start seeing reviews pop up. I’m honestly excited to see what readers thought of Kaitlyn’s story. If you were one of the people who picked it up, please consider a rating and review on Amazon and or Goodreads.  Even if you hated it, I truly want to know. Like with every project, I try to stretch and do something new. I hope you were as charmed as I was with Kaitlyn, but even if you weren’t the feedback will still be invaluable.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

Repressed is Live! Get A Copy Today!

Repressed is Live! Get A Copy Today!

Greetings all,

Last year, I set a pretty high goal. I wanted to publish four titles in the year. Today marks the fulfillment of that goal. Honestly, I count it both as the end of one year and the first of the next. I’m simply so excited to hit “publish book” so many times.

CoverLayoutI’m proud to present to you all Repressed: An Oneiros Log YA Novella. I put that in the title so fans of Caught wouldn’t be too jarred. This is a YA story with YA themes and style. That means it’s a different feel than Caught. The characters are there, and you do get to see where they are between Books One and Two of the main arch, but this is all about Kaitlyn.

She’s one of my favorite characters overall, so when this idea took hold, I figured it’d be something nice to give fans of Caught to tide them over while I get Betrayed set up (I’m 14 percent through the discovery draft of that book by the way).

I’m thankful to those who preordered the book, and I hope any seeing this decide to give it a try. It will remain 99 cents until the 15, when it goes to it’s regular price of $2.99.

Here’s the official blurb:

Some girls grow up watching cartoons of princesses and unicorns. Some girls grow up wearing pretty dresses and dreaming about meeting a nice boy. Some are even tomboys, taking more active roles in sports or getting their hands dirty with the boys.

Kaitlyn Olhouser didn’t have any of those options. She was a long-term experiment that resulted in becoming an empath. She was rescued by her now adopted family, a team of people each gifted with psychic powers that calls itself Oneiros. She has abilities just like them. She’s even more powerful than all but one of them, but she’s 16, and her caretakers seem more interested in making sure she graduates high school that letting her use her abilities to join the team.

A short encounter with some bullies inspires her to find her own opportunity to be the hero she knows she’s destined to be. But being a hero isn’t exactly what comic books make it out to be. Her actions put an Oneiros mission in danger, and her antics in school create more problems than she could imagine.

Kaitlyn must embrace what it is to be a hero to make a real difference, not in the war against bad guys, but in the lives of her friends.

 

(END BLURB)

kaitlynSo there it is. I’m proud of this story for a number of reasons. First, it’s a new title, and that’s always an achievement. Next, I wrote outside my comfort zone. Most of you who follow my blog know I’m not a YA fan. Sure, I liked the Divergent series, and I think the Chaos Walking Trilogy was extremely underrated, but on the whole, I’m just not a fan. So I wanted to think critically about what I liked and didn’t like and put my money where my mouth was. The Audible version is under production now. I think the story is charming. Most importantly, I think it covers some very important issues, primarily racism and bullying. I sincerely hope you’ll give it a try and offer a review. I’d be thrilled if I had 20 people pick up a copy today. It would honestly help me so much with the Amazon machine, and simply knowing 20 people gave my work a try would be a great way to start off the year.

You can click the above link, or this link here to purchase your copy.

Thanks for reading,

V/R
Matt

Repressed is Available for Preorder!

Repressed is Available for Preorder!

Greetings all,

CoverLayoutI’m happy to announce that Repressed, an Oneiros Log YA Novella, is officially available for preorder!

The novella goes live Jan. 1. It’ll be 99 cents from now until Jan. 15, when it’ll go to it’s regular price of $2.99.

Repressed was an idea that came to me on a flight home from Yuma. I was already thinking about ways to keep fans of the Oneiros Log getting content, and Kaitlyn is a character a really cool character.

Fair note: While Caught is absolutely a Paranormal Horror novel, Repressed is absolutely a YA novel. There are some moments that tie back to Caught, but they’re very different tones, which understandably might make fans of all the blood and gore in Caught angry. Honestly, Kaitlyn is 16 (as of this novel). As a supporting character in a very intense situation, it made sense, but I don’t think it made the same sense to have her as the main character is a plot like Caught, especially given the rest of Oneiros.  If I’m continuing my honesty, I’m more worried YA readers who like Repressed will pick up Caught and read content they may not want.

The bottom line is I write the stories in my heart. My hope is that if I’m honest and blunt about things, readers will seek out the stories they want, and they’ll know what to expect from each of my stories.

Now, if you’re looking forward to more high-action stuff from Oneiros, I’m almost done with the outline to Betrayed, and that book will have plenty of cool psychic fight scenes.

Here’s the blurb for Repressed:

Some girls grow up watching cartoons of princesses and unicorns. Some girls grow up wearing pretty dresses and dreaming about meeting a nice boy. Some are even tomboys, taking more active roles in sports or getting their hands dirty with the boys.

Kaitlyn Olhouser didn’t have any of those options. She was a long-term experiment that resulted in becoming an empath. She was rescued by her now adopted family, a team of people each gifted with psychic powers that calls itself Oneiros. She has abilities just like them. She’s even more powerful than all but one of them, but she’s 16, and her caretakers seem more interested in making sure she graduates high school that letting her use her abilities to join the team.

A short encounter with some bullies inspires her to find her own opportunity to be the hero she knows she’s destined to be. But being a hero isn’t exactly what comic books make it out to be. Her actions put an Oneiros mission in danger, and her antics in school create more problems than she could imagine.

Kaitlyn must embrace what it is to be a hero to make a real difference, not in the war against bad guys, but in the lives of her friends.

END BLURB

kaitlynI hope you’ll choose to give it a shot.  I think this is a great little look into Kaitlyn and how she’s grown from Caught to here, and a great peek into where she’ll be as a character in Betrayed.  It also foreshadows some of the plot lines that are fulfilled in Betrayed.

The link is both above and right here.

I’m so thrilled to have another story published. The idea is just keep writing and keep publishing. Each time I write, I want to get better. I hope to meet new readers, satisfy the readers who’ve supported me thus far, and increase the number of titles published.  You all help to make that possible.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Writing Update: I’ve Just Finished the Developmental Draft of Repressed! A Call for Beta Readers

Writing Update: I’ve Just Finished the Developmental Draft of Repressed! A Call for Beta Readers

Happy Day, everyone!

kaitlynJust a few moments ago, I finished the developmental draft of Repressed, my Novella featuring Kaitlyn from Caught. If you’re curious, a developmental draft is when Sara (my editor) makes her comments and I apply them during revision. This is more about plot wholes and character, structure, and arc.  I’m proud to say Sara was pretty happy with this one.  She did give me some insight about procedural things and the workings of a teenage girl’s mind.  This draft felt like it went quickly for me, but I’m still proud of how the story turned out.

Now I need opinions of those who read the genre, so I’m calling out for Beta Readers. What I look for from Beta Readers are responses to surveys I send them.  This is really me measuring the progression of character, description, dialogue, exposition, and world building. If that looks familiar, it’s because it’s how I review books. They can feel free to add whatever they want, but I’m most invested in what they think of those aspects of the book. I also need Betas to tell me how they like the story.  So, if you’re a fan of YA paranormal dramas, I’d appreciate it if you took the time to read the story and tell me what you think.  Here’s a summary:

BEGIN SUMMARY

My name is Kaitlyn, and I have superpowers. No really, I’m an empath. About three years ago, I met some people, and well all have powers now. The five of us who survived the day we met, not all of us made it, live together. The thing is, they think that because I’m a teenager, I’m not ready to help them save the world.

* * *

When Kaitlyn decides to protect a new girl from bullies, she gets a taste for using her abilities and secret training like the heroes of the comics that she loves to read. But as she starts to do more, she learns her powers don’t work exactly the way she thought they did.  Things get even worse when she learns that hero work isn’t as easy as the comics make it seem. When hatred and ignorance come to a boil, Kaitlyn has to decide what it really means to be a hero, and her decision puts the lives of three other classmates at risk.

END SUMMARY

I’d appreciate it if Betas could commit to getting their comments back to me by Feb. 12. Email me if you’re interested. This will be the last draft where I look for issues and development. Essentially, it’s this next draft (what I call the Beta Draft) and the Proofreading Draft. Then, It’ll go onto the release calendar for early (I’m hoping for January) 2019.

What’s next for me? Well, I owe T.W. Iain one more pass on his story for The Power of Words anthology, and I also have to apply the feedback Alpha Readers gave me for that. So I hope to do both before Beta Readers get feedback on Repressed back to me.

There’s a lot of news fixing to come down the pipe. I’m going to be busy! First up, I have Animorecon! I’ll be there selling and signing books, and it’d be great to see you all there. However, I meant what I said about lots of news coming. Stay tuned, and, as always…

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Writing Update: The Alpha Draft of Repressed is finished!

Writing Update: The Alpha Draft of Repressed is finished!

Greetings all,

kaitlynAs the title indicates, I met my goal and finished this draft of Repressed. I’m happy with how it turned out. Before I go over some administrative notes, I want to make sure I thank my Alpha Readers.

First is Ben. He’s always first. He’s my best friend, and reads every first draft I throw his way, even while working a full-time job and helping my sister raise two wonderful, but active, children. Well…the Senior is all grown up, but I digress. Ben pointed out a few of the logistical conundrums this story had, and offered some advice I’ll account for when the book is completely finished.

Next is Grace, who I met at a convention. She liked Caught and wanted more. She was kind enough to not only send some general comments, but she also sent a document that highlighted some of the more egregious typos. She could have just sent an email, but she took time out of her life to give something I wrote a degree of detail I felt was above and beyond. I can’t thank her enough.

Whenever I write something, I try to stretch my abilities.  I knew that since this book featured Kaitlyn, who’s 16 at the time of this story, the novella would fall into the YA category, which I’m honestly not a huge fan of. But art and entertainment can do so many wonderful things. I’ve always believed that not liking a person or thing has more to do with understanding it than it being bad. So trying to write this story was a way of approach the genre. However, I’m not going to pretend I know everything about everything. I reached out to the Slush Brain, and Chess DeSalls answered the call. She was my “YA” expert, and I was very happy with her feedback. She’s a successful YA author, and I’ve even reviewed one of her books.

caught-front-coverPeggy has not only read every book I’ve published, she’s also helped me sell more books than anyone else. She read my call for alpha readers, and decided to get some advanced reading done. Peggy, Grace, and Ben were particularly helpful because they’ve all read Caught, which I’m honored to say spent a few days on the Top 100 for its category (psychics) for a few days this weekend, and I was very concerned about keeping these elements together.

The reality is anyone can write up a book and get it published. I don’t want to just throw crap on the digital wall. I want stories that inspire and entertain. I want to write stories people enjoy. These alpha and beta (two drafts away) readers are critical to making that happen. They provide honest, direct feedback that lets me make the stories better.  I can’t do this without them.  Thank you!

So what’s next? Well, I’m going to take the rest of this weekend to watch football and read Oathbringer (probably not the whole book, but a LOT).

Monday, I’ll begin the First Draft of The Worth of Words, my contribution to The Power of Words anthology (Happy to report I’ve received yet another submission by the way). I’ll update you all via Twitter and Facebook on my progress there. Sara and I have began talking about how long she’ll need for developmental edits. If I finish the First Draft of The Worth of Words, I’ll start world building and outlining Betrayed (Oneiros Book 2).

That’s what I’ll be up to through December. Again, I want you all to know what a blessing it is to have anyone even remotely interested in my ramblings. It’s amazing! I’ll keep working hard to believe blogs you enjoy and books you can’t put down. As always…

Thanks for reading,
Matt

Writing Update: The First Draft of Repressed is Finished! A Call for Alpha Readers!

Writing Update: The First Draft of Repressed is Finished! A Call for Alpha Readers!

Greetings all,

kaitlynI’m happy to report that I finished the first official draft of Repressed. I noticed a few things that I wanted to tweak, and I always like to do a pass or two for structure and grammar, which reduced the workload later on down the line.

I’m proud of this story and how it helped me grow as an author. Mostly, I’m proud of Kaitlyn, whom I’ve been blessed to watch grow through two stories now. But there’s still some work to be done. I need some help.

For me, Alpha readers are those who address specific needs. I’m looking for plot holes and continuity errors. I’m also interested in readers who’ve already read Caught, as this is Book 1.5 in the Oneiros saga.  Please remember though, this is absolutely a YA Paranormal story. Also, this story features a character who is Muslim. I’d be very grateful to anyone of that religion if they could help me be sure I’m true to that culture, especially since this story features the need for people to be less ignorant. I wouldn’t say this story is as closely related to the region as Sojourn was, but I want to be true to it.

I posted a semi-summary for the story here.

If you’re interested, please feel free to shoot me an email. I’m asking for Alpha Readers to have this back to me by Oct. 24. I’m always grateful to those who give my work a try.

BobsGreatestMistakeIn the meantime, I have the edits for the 2nd edition of The Journals of Bob Drifter back. So I’ll be able to get that going and headed to the printer ASAP. It’s a much larger story than the others, so it’ll take some time, but it’ll be worth it to have the control I’ve lacked so far.

The edits for Bob mean The Worth of Words is going to wait a bit longer. If I’m lucky, I’ll get Bob edited before the Alpha Readers for Repressed are done. If that happens, then I should be able to take another swipe at WoW after I do the Alpha Draft of Repressed. I SWEAR, I mean stop start working on Oneiros 2 as soon as I can. My hope is to start that in a few months.

All of your support means a lot to me. Even as small as my little corner of the world is, every person who sends me an email or message means everything to me. I can only hope that I continue to provide you stories that keep you engaged.

Thanks for reading,

Matt