I had a few announcements to get out to you all, so I took a chance to type up a quick list!
An Unusual Occupation is free for just about another 24 hours. You can download it on Amazon until 11:59 p.m. PDT (which is a bit off from my other scheduled events since I’m on the East Coast). Bob’s Greatest Mistake will go live May 1! You can still preorder that for just 99 cents.
I’m still pleading for help getting word out about the giveaway. You’ve all been so amazing, so I’m asking for just one more day of shout outs, tweets, and shares. How much have you already helped? A historic amount. I currently have 110 downloads! I seem to remember promising to perform a trick if I hit that benchmark, so here you go!
I have offered more tricks, but I need your help to hit the benchmarks to make them happen. I’ve promised to karaoke a song of your choice if I get to 200 downloads. We’re 73 votes of that as of this moment.
I’m happy to announce I’ve finished the beta draft of Repressed, my novella featuring Kaitlyn from Caught. I’m proud of how it turned out, and I hope this Young Adult Paranormal Drama gives those of you waiting for Caught’s sequel something to tide you over until I get that out to you, hopefully in the winter of 2019.
Next up is the developmental draft of Worth of Words, and I work on getting that story and all the Power of Words Anthology stories ready to go. Once that’s finished (Hopefully next week some time. Definitely in two weeks.), I’ll be looking for beta readers. If you like science fiction and clever thieving or heist stories, I’ll be sending out a call for beta readers on that story as soon as I finish this draft.
Once I finish Repressed (one more draft!), I’ll start outlining and drafting Betrayed, Book Two of the Oneiros Log.
Thank you all for the support you’ve shown so far! I’m so grateful! Check back tomorrow to start voting on the April Book Cover of the Month!
Things looked a little grim in late March when I realized I only had a total of four stories for The Power of Words. I had other submissions, but they weren’t right for it. Please know I’m not saying they weren’t solid stories, but some just didn’t fit the theme or genre for the project.
What I did was tally up the word count for what stories I knew I had, and it turns out we have about 67,000 words. It’s certainly not as big as some of the anthologies I’ve seen, but I believe TW, Richard, and Heidiwrote some powerful short stories, and I’m proud of my contribution as well.
When working on an anthology, there’s a lot to consider. One thing to consider is when the best release time would be. We all talked, and we’ve decided our target release time for The Power of Words will be October of 2018. That means a few things have to shift for me. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just news I want to make sure you all get.
So, here’s my release schedule for the near future.
May 1 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Bob’s Greatest Mistake, Part Two of The Journals of Bob Drifter. If you’ve already read the whole book, you’ve already read this part of it. I can’t stress enough this isn’t a sequel. However, if you’ve only read the first part, or if you haven’t yet given Bob a chance, this will be your opportunity. I plan to do some cool stuff here, and I’ll make more announcements on this once I’m done with the formatting and a proofread (because no one can do enough of those).
Aug. 1 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Something Always Remains, Part Three of The Journals of Bob Drifter. By August, readers will be able to try any portion or all of Bob’s story, and I’m pretty thrilled about that.
However, I didn’t want a year to go by without any new stories from yours truly.
October of 2018: The Power of Words anthology. This was the best time for all of us, and I think we’re all pretty stoked to get this story out. For great Science Fiction (well, one’s a Zombie apocalypse story, but it fits) stories from at least three great authors (I feel weird when I try and call myself “great,” especially in comparison to those three).
Some of you may remember I’d announced that Sojourn in Despair was scheduled for release in November. The truth is, releasing a book that quickly after another doesn’t really make a ton of sense unless I have a flock of other stories to release. I don’t. My goal is to release four projects a year, and I can only work so fast. So Sojourn has to get pushed back.
Jan. 1, 2019 (or as close to that as Amazon releases it): Repressed, an Oneiros Log YA Novella. I love Kaitlyn as a character, and as the Oneiros log continues, she’ll have a bigger role. To bridge the gap between book one (Caught) and book two, I wrote this story to show where Kaitlyn is and how the team has progressed in the four years between books.
April 1, 2019 Sojourn in Despair, A Perception of War Novella. Not only will this story come out as an ebook, but I’ll also release a flip book (paperback) putting Elele’s and Kaitlyn’s stories together. On one side, you’ll have Repressed, and Elele’s story will be on the other. This will give me another physical book to sell at conventions and give readers the chance to get two stories at a solid price.
All of those stories are done or close to done. I don’t immediately see any reason why any of those dates should change (God’s will be done). I have two drafts left on Repressed and three drafts left on Worth of Words (that title will probably change soon). When I finish Repressed, I’ll get hard to work on Betrayed, Book Two of the Oneiros Log. My hope is for that to be released by October of 2019. I’m sorry I won’t get the whole trilogy out, but I promise I’ll get the trilogy complete (again, subject to God’s will regarding health and life) by 2020. There’s a short-story series I’m planning on doing as well. I’d like to get the first episode of that out in 2019 as well. I’ve also been mentioning a secret project. That project has been submitted to an editor for a major comic book company. All it is at the moment is a favor for a friend and an opportunity I’m excited about. If it pans out, I’ll be the first to announce it (after I’m done running laps around my condo property shouting for joy). Until then, I’d rather keep it under wraps.
I can’t ever thank you all enough for giving your time and attention to my work. I’m constantly humbled at your interest. I hope you’re as excited about these upcoming releases as I am.
There’s only one month left till the (hopefully final) deadline for The Power of Words update. If you’re interested and want to know the requirements and submission method, please feel free to click here or just send me an email.
I did have a chance to review the submissions that were sent in so far, so I’m happy to announce that three authors have been confirmed for the anthology!
The contributors so far are:
Here’s his bio. Writing is an escape, and an outlet.
The job, the family, the things that make up a normal life — these are no place for wild, dark ideas. And so, in the quieter moments, TW Iain emerges. He taps away on a laptop, or on a phone, sometimes at a ridiculously early time in the morning, and gives these ideas their freedom. When he’s not writing, he’s lurking in the shadows, thinking about the next story.
Maybe he’s always existed, in the school-boy who filled exercise books with stories. Maybe he was there one winter, when a first novel emerged around shifts at a four mill (a first novel, like many, that does not deserve to see the light of day). Maybe. But he came to the fore at the start of 2015, and work on these stories became serious.
Since then, TW has published three novels and other shorter works in the Dominions series of dark Dystopian thrillers, and the first novel in a new sci-fi/horror series, Shadows. He also posts a free short story every fortnight on twiain.com.
TW’s story is called Ghost Stream. Here’s a summary:
In the Citadel, everyone listens to the Voices, and it is Cass’ job to monitor this, swimming in their streams. But then she stumbles upon the mythical ghost stream, and discovers how this can be used to influence the Voices. With attacks to the north, and a silent protest in the heart of the Citadel, those above her are not happy. And when she works out how to add her own voice to the ghost stream, she knows they are after her.
But is staying silent ever an option?
You may recognize the name. His book Expedient was featured in one of my Book Cover of the Month brackets. So I was just thrilled when he sent a submission. His story went straight to the theme of the anthology. I was excited to read the submission, and I’m happy to say I just received his revisions.
Richard T. Drake:
Here’s his bio. Richard T. Drake is the author of the Hollow World series of Epic Fantasy novels.
At age seven, in the dungeon-library of his 19th-century boarding school, Richard discovered the classic fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and became so lost within the infamous ‘Maze of Zagor’ that he needed to draw a map to find his way out. His love of epic adventure and fantasy has been growing ever since.
He graduated from gamebooks to tabletop role-playing where, as game master, he would invent worlds, draw maps, and weave adventures for his friends. As heroes fell and legends grew, Richard discovered a love of epic storytelling.
Over the next few years, he set to work crafting an original fantasy universe, envisioning a vast array of planets and galaxies bound together by powerful magic, ancient covenants, and the schemes of primordial gods. Finally, the Hollow World was born.
When he isn’t writing, Richard keeps busy with the other staples of a heroic fantasy lifestyle: dressing up in superhero costumes, playing MMORPGs, and collecting an absurd number of action figures and comic books. He’s also a black belt ninja.
His submission is called Catalin’s Gambit. Here’s a summary:
In a shadowy tavern in the slums of Syrentium, one meeting will decide the fate of the city.
Catalin Ruic, a young woman raised in the throat-cutting alleys of the docklands, is about to come face to face with the most powerful and dangerous man in the Circle of Kingdoms.
Her plan goes beyond bravery; it is practically suicide.
But the stakes are too high for half measures. Catalin is the last protector of the lives of her people, and perhaps the very soul of Syrentium.
This is a clever negotiation story I felt had great tension and conflict. It’s clever because lots of authors use fighting for tension. It takes a lot of skill to build tension in a simple conversation. Richard has done that. He’s currently working on revisions based on my initial feedback.
This is particularly awesome as Heidi is a friend of mine I met during my online adventures as an author. She and I did a few panels together, and I’m pretty sure she’s a mind reader. We don’t really disagree on much. She heard about the anthology and was kind enough to send the first book in a new series she’s working on. She’s someone I respect enormously, and I’m honestly flattered she decided to join in on the fun.
Here’s her bio. Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Saga, The Clear Angel Chronicles, The Hell School Series and Survivalist Bible series releasing Fall 2017. She also created Royal Prince Vince, Creative Exercises to Inspire, and A Penslinger’s Ponderings. When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her family. You can learn more about her and her work here.
Her story, Survivalist Bible – Genesis, is a fun zombie outbreak tale. Where most zombie stories feature people who are ironically suited for such things, her story features a character with no business surviving such an event. What does it have to do with words? Well, our square-peg-in-a-round-hole main character is writing a journal of events for others to reference in order to survive. This is more in line with the prompt of the title than the First Amendment, but that’s just fine. It fits the theme.
Here’s a summary:
Gabriel Llewellyn is a writer. He’d like to be happily wooing women during the off hours of a writing conference. Instead he’s leaping out of windows and fighting off people who’ve suddenly decided to tear apart anyone near by. However it’s happened, he’s left a message in hopes that people will be able to look back at these events and remember. His first words are:
My name is Gabriel Llewellyn. If you are reading this, then I am probably dead. Or infected. Or maybe I dropped it while fleeing the infected. I suppose it is hard to say. I hope it’s the latter.
He’s not suited for survival in this world, but someone comes along to help him survive every time he’s supposed to end up dead, but how many times can he be saved before he has to step up?
I’ve already talked about my contribution here. I’ve already had a few alpha readers get back to me, and I’m pleased to say they liked it.
That makes four stories so far. I’ve had a few people reach out to me and say they intended to submit. I’ve had some stories I just didn’t feel were right for the project. My intention is to select four more stories, so please feel free to send in something if you think it fits the theme. I’d love to see it.
I’ve been posting about it for a while now, but tomorrow’s the big day (hopefully)! Since it’s the first, and I do the Book Cover of the Month every first, I thought I’d make this post today.
This is the official opening of submissions for The Power of Words.
The Power of Words is a science fiction / fantasy anthology inspired either by the First Amendment or the prompt of the title.
Submissions must be absolutely no larger than 30,000 words. Any entries totaling more than that will be immediately discarded.
There is not limit on the number of your entries. You can submit as many stories as you like. They must be either science fiction or fantasy (anywhere in that range). Please submit the highest quality product you can deliver. While I will be making a content edit on all selected pieces and paying my editor for her proofreading services, I need you to deliver a product you’d stand behind.
Seven entries will be selected to join my contribution. Selected contributors will receive 10 percent of all online sales. They will be allowed to order physical editions through me (Order plus shipping and handling), and authors will be permitted 100 percent of any personal point of sales. Online royalty payments will be made quarterly, on the last day of the month. Please have a Paypal account, as this is the simplest way to make a payment. I’ll try to work something out with each contributor, but life is just far easier if you have Paypal.
All selected authors will be expected to market the book as well. This is important as I’ll openly admit I’m not a good marketer. I’ll do my end on my social media accounts and with book promotions, but every author should do his or her part.
Entries will be accepted from Nov. 1 until Nov. 30. Once submissions close, I’ll post an update on reviews and when people should be notified. Anyone submitting this does not submit their rights to the story. Contracts detailing rights will be sent directly to the seven selected authors.
Entries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please type, “My Power of Words Submission” in the “Subject” line. Please include:
Your name and pen name if applicable.
A brief (50-100 word) summary of your story.
Also please include any titles you currently have published (if any).
I’ll be selecting the contributors. Selected contributions will be determined on the quality of the story and only the quality of the story. For those of you interested in what I find high quality stories, I’ll say I connect best with stories containing sympathetic, proactive characters. All stories will be considered, but I thought it fair to let you know what I find the most value in.
I’ve never done anything this ambitious before. As I’ve said, I’m honestly not sure what’s going to happen, but if one never tries something, one never achieves it. This could be huge; it could fizzle out before it gets started. I fell in love with the idea, so I felt the need to at least try. I’m happy to report I have had some interest, so we’ll see how this goes.
I can’t wait to update you all on how things are going with this effort.