Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Beta-Readers Needed

Book one is selling well. After an initial surge from the promo, it has settled in a steady 32 a week.
The sequel is written and line-edited. Weston should be adding his pass soon.
If anyone is interested in beta reading "Dreams of the Fallen" (pre-release), let me know.
I'm looking for folks to tell me what parts are too long, confusing, or don't work for whatever reason.


The Holy Mountain is burning. Tashi needs to find what's wrong with the world, so he turns to the Fallen for help. Book two of the epic sword and sorcery the Temple of the Traveler, written in the tradition of the Belagriad and the Game of Thrones.

Civil war breaks out between the gods, and their humans are caught in the crossfire. The Fallen take sides against the established pantheon while the City of the Gods burns. Heroes march north, some to restore the Obsidian Throne, and others to close the final Door to Eternity—the way magic leaks into our world. Tashi can handle the death warrants, trolls, dragon, and panther-headed demon. However, even the Imperial council fears the vampiric High Priestess of Sleep, who has taken the appearance of Tashi's former lover. With the Door closed, she can't transform back to her own shape. The problem is: Tashi's starting to like her.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Updates -- Dreams, Miracle, and Free Stuff

 First an update on "Dreams of the Fallen." Line editing is done and proof-reading/high level edit starts Monday. Renee of theCoverCounts has a great draft cover for me already. I saw it and went WOW. (left) I think the only thing missing is the "Book 2 of Temple of the Traveler" and I'm not convinced we need that. Book one (Doors) has sold over a hundred copies in two weeks.

I'm well under way on the sequel to "Jezebel's Ladder", the first five chapters of "Mira's Journey" are complete (out of an estimated 40). This is just a working title for now. It tells the story of Miracle ""Red" Hollis, Jez's daughter, and her efforts to get through paranormal astronaut school and land on the alien artifact that her mom located. Throw in a little teen conflict with her aunt, international espionage, kidnapping plots, and geek romance, and stir. The characters are already making me smile.

I updated my pitch for "Foundation for the Lost", put it one Amazon's premium plan the day it dropped from B&, and scheduled a give away for this Friday and Saturday. I'm already bouncing up and down with anticipation.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How to Stay Married as a Writer

This one is in honor of Valentine's Day.

Your spouse can be your hobby’s biggest supporter or detractor--you can influence which. Realize that writers can obsess over their projects. When you're in the zone, you stay up late, ignoring the world while you type one last page. Is your wife complaining she's a computer widow? Do you have fights about your writing time? You need to be creative but she's angry. I'm not an expert, but I've been married seventeen years and there are a few ground rules that might help.
1. Don’t quit your day job. In any genre, you can probably count the number of people on one hand who make a living by writing it. Write because you enjoy the hobby, not because it's the lottery.
2. Agree on boundaries with your spouse. Let her know writing isn't just a phase and it's not going to go away. However, you can agree on limits. Every couple is different and everything is negotiable, but here are some examples:
+ I can type when the kids are at school or in bed.
+ If she watches the kids so I can type on Saturday, I watch them so she can sew Sunday.
+ No computer time with a newborn. They’re only young once.
3. Find out what her passions are and support them. In the movie Phenomenon, they refer to this as "buying her chairs."
4. Pay attention. They call it that because it costs something. If she's upset about something (silent or out loud), ask and listen. Repeat what you heard back to her.
5. Be present. When she's home, be in the same room with her, even if you have to get a laptop. Don’t turn your back. If she asks you a question, put the keyboard down. If you're on a date, don't look at your smart phone.
6. Find reading-related activities to share. We read YA fantasy, Nora Roberts mysteries, and Sue Grafton to each other in the car. My wife has offered to make one of my books into a podio recording with me.
7. Let her know how much you value her opinions and rely on her. Let her be the first reader and first to see sample covers. Mention her in the dedication!
8. When you hit a milestone -- celebrate! When you finish a novel, the hundredth sale on a new book, when you get a 5-star review. Take a moment together away from the computer.
9. Consideration. Learn to write notes by the light of alarm clock numbers. When you get up at one AM with a brainstorm, don't wake her up.
10. Use your writing powers to send her romantic notes from time to time. Hallmark makes nice packs of miniature blank cards, perfect for lunch bags and pillows.