Announcement Time!

No. I’m not pregnant, just fat, so stop asking.

For the past year, I’ve been working toward publishing The Dark Queen of Darkness. While I’ve had a date in mind for a couple of months, I’ve finally taken the step of looking into my magic mirror to see if I was even close. After he was done telling me all of the things I already know, but don’t really want to hear again (ie: lose some damn weight), I learned that I’m ready to announce the release date.

~ Feb 14, 2020 ~

Right now we’re still working on final cover design and some minor internal tweaks. I’ll do a full cover reveal once it’s ready. As I get closer, there will be giveaways – so keep an eye out for those! If you’re local to Anchorage/Mat-Su Valley, I’m also drafting up plans for a release party or event on or shortly after the official release date, I’ll have more details on that as they become clear to me. In the mean-time, you can still check out Wine Bottles and Broomsticks on Amazon.com, if you haven’t already.

Wine Bottles and Broomsticks

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This is my second ever finished book, and here I am tossing it to the world. You can pick up a copy here: Wine Bottles and Broomsticks To say I’ve learned a lot during this process would be to understate things in the same way calling the surface of the sun hot. While technically true, it fails to grasp the essence of things. I would in no way call myself an expert or even ‘proficient’ at this publishing thing, and I can say with a considerable amount of certainty that I don’t know a damn thing about advertising, in spite of a lot of help from the writing community. The more important thing I learned about myself is the sorts of things that I like to write and I can do reasonably well.

My first (complete) book was high fantasy, with maps, cultures, languages and the whole 9-yards. However, that book sucked. I mean, really. This book, however, doesn’t suck. It was a throw-away project to try something different. I thought that if I tried something different, peraps I could improve my skill. What happened instead is I found where my writer’s voice lived. I wouldn’t call this book the finest example of my writing, but it’s a good indication. Current and upcoming projects have a slightly different voice but stick with the silly caper tone.

I hadn’t actually planned to promote this release. I’d meant it to be somewhat quiet. Really, I’d just intended to launch to learn how to publish myself. It’s a fantastically complicated endeavor that has absolutely stretched my creativity and technical know-how. That said, I’ve now got a bit more confidence to plow forward and do this a bit more often :). In any case, you can look for the next book in the coming months, and in the meantime – have a look if you’re interested.

Something new for the new year

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Happy new year!

Holy moly, I have absolutely sucked at blogging this year. This might be my second or third post? I don’t even know and I’m way too lazy to even bother checking. Anyhow, for the past few new years’ days, I’ve taken a few minutes to ‘burn’ a work that seemed to have died the previous year. I’m not doing that this year. In part because I haven’t actually finished anything new and in part because The Dark Queen of Darkness didn’t die this year. Last year at this time, I was pretty sure that’s what was going to happen. My wife, however, convinced me to just get off my lazy ass and just self-publish the damn thing.

I made the decision to go forward with Self-Publishing back in August as a 40th birthday gift. While this is proving to be a little bit on the expensive side, it’s still cheaper than trading in my car for a faster model or other similarly foolish mid-life crisis activity.

The status so far is that developmental edits are back from the editor (The extraordinary Jettimus Maximus) and I’m working through them. The suggestions she’s sending along are thoughtful, helpful, and very much in-line with my vision for this story. As I write this, I’ve worked through roughly the first hundred or so pages of the book a couple of times. What I’ve got revised so far still needs a lot of work, but I’m liking the changes so far. The narrative does feel tighter.

This is my first time working with an editor for creative work. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the developmental edit. What struck me about it so far is that it isn’t anything like a critique. We’ve all done those and they definitely serve a purpose, but that’s not what this is about. It’s structural and focuses on things like themes and character development, plot and pacing. To be honest, it covers the ground that a typical critique or beta-read is going to miss. Those often recommend suggestions to tighten up your writing or will help you find issues, but won’t necessarily provide you with concrete strategies for correcting the issue or finding larger problems that aren’t obvious.

Sometime in the past, I wish I could recall when or the actual context, I read a blog post posing the question: Do I need a developmental editor? I don’t recall the conclusion, but it seems like it ran something like: It’s a nice to have, not an essential. At this point, I think that my conclusion is that this is an essential cost. No, many of us can’t afford to hire someone. It’s not free, nor should it be, but there are editors out there who will do this for a reasonable price. What’s more, if you intend to sell your book and it’s been well polished, you’re going to sell more copies, thus the cost of editing should pay for itself.

If you’re considering a developmental edit, and you should be, but don’t know who to go to, I would recommend Jette.

In any case, I’ve got a tremendous amount of work still to go on this book, maybe even more than it took to write to begin with, but I’m now convinced that it’ll be money well spent and readers will find this story a page-turner with endearing characters and at least a few laugh-out-loud moments.