Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Appreciation is hard to express

Thank You,

Publishing a book independently is interesting and there's a couple things that you need to understand:

1) Your book will be published. There's no review or submission process that you'll fail. You're responsible for quality control, no one is going to tell you your book is not good enough for sale. You edit, you upload and, suddenly, your book is for sale.

2) No one has to buy your book. This is the case in traditional publishing as well, but when you self publish, you could get no sales. 0. That happens a lot, actually.

I'm pretty proud to say that thanks to you, our readers, we sold some copies. We actually sold quite a few copies AND we're continuing to sell copies every day. Sarah did some marketing pizzazz, which is an understatement of her mastery in the art of hawking books, but without people willing to put down real money for this book we wrote it doesn't matter how much marketing you do. I'm not going to say the reason we write is for money but when you put something up for sale, it's nice to have it sell.

During the launch week of The Captain of The Monte Cristo, we hit top 5000 books on Kindle. That's out of over 1.5 million books available. For a first story in a series and a first book by an unknown author, that's an achievement.

All I can do is say Thanks and to make the promise that we're not done with this yet; not by a long shot.



John!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Brave New World

Things are changing with my writing. Well, ONE thing is changing. I finished something. Ok, I'm lying. I worked on a project that was finished, my co-writer actually wrote the last chapter and typed in 'The End'. But At this point I'm considering that a technicality. 40,000 + words of completed work, 100% edited and slated to be published through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing on July 30, 2017. There's a paperback copy too. You can buy these things, if you want. Some people are even pre-ordering it! I can say people since there are two, that's plural!



I collaborated with the very talented Sarah Wilson and she is the only reason that this project got enough legs to take off. Check out her other series of books, my personal favorite is 'Fort Rewind' but her specialty is Young Adult fantasy. 

This is a pretty big first step for me as writer and while I have been paid for writing before, it's always been contract SOE descriptions. I once paid for Christmas by writing dozens of product descriptions for batteries. Ya, not really stuff that builds up the soul. This is the first creative project that I've put out there. And it is out there, getting reviews already and garnering attention. We've invested a ton of time, a moderate amount of cap ex and a whole lot of heart. Some people have even shown some interest. It's all very new and exciting and we really hope it takes off.

It is my sincere wish that this book is the start of something more for my writing career. I'm going to be posting more blog posts as this page gets linked with the book and hopefully I can gather a bit more traffic. Someday, perhaps, I'll be getting a proper domain and sorted out that way as well.

For now, here it is. I hope if you read it it entertains.

John, The Writer.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Postcard Series - Old Tigers

Had an idea for some post card fiction. Even I can finish postcard fiction :) Enjoy!

.:Old Tigers:.

Edgar awoke with an ache. Old age and old injury had made sleeping a bitter thing; the hard ground did little to ease the way to rest. Dawn was an idea on the horizon; red and orange freckles only the barest of hints. It was only after Edgar stretched and groaned that he felt the stranger's eyes on him.

"Ah," he rolled free of his blanket and bared steel, knowing where to glare by instinct. "Who're you?"

"I, ah, should have known," the other man said, falling backward and landing on his bottom. "That this would be a bad way to introduce myself. Would you believe, I saw your fire? Wanted to see a friendly face?"

"Fire's been out for hours," Edgar grunted. "And I'm less than friendly."

"Right, yes, you're right. I may have followed you here, from town," the other man bumbled and rose carefully to his feet. "I mean, not that you wouldn't be friendly, if the circumstances were different."

Edgar sheathed his knife, "get away, I can see plainly I have little use for you."

"No no, but you do, I mean you might," the man rose shakily to his feet, hands out and moving slowly. "I'm a bard, you see, Samuel Sang I call myself. I'm compiling the stories of hunters, such as yourself. Heroes without legend I call you, protectors whose stories need to be made immortal."

Edgar chuckled deep in his throat, then bent to start his breakfast fire. "I've got no stories."

"Oh no, I beg to differ. You're littered with stories, see? See, look, that's a basilisk fang on the hilt of your knife. Rok feathers fletch your arrows and, if I'm not mistaken, there is something decidedly draconian about your shield over there. Each one, I'd wager, is a tale worthy of song."

Edgar grunted again, "you can tell all that, in the dark? Quite the eye."

Samuel puffed up his chest, "why yes, I've a good eye. I've studied, in books. Lots of books. But books will only teach so much, my old professor said, so here I am, out in the world!"

Edgar stood, his fire small and hot, and took a quick step towards the man, staring him close in the eye. "True enough. Did you read in your books that a basilisk, in it's death throes, is the most dangerous?" here Edgar touched a deep scar on his cheek. "That the spine on it's tail is best cut off well before you go in for the kill? Or a Rok can see you coming from their mountain perch, no matter how you plan your approach. You're best to let it grab you, and use a spear when it does."

Samuel swallowed hard. "No, I don't believe I've read that before."

"Or have you read how a pride of plains tigers will stalk it's prey for hours in the night but only attack at first light? They do not fear fire," Edgar said and bent to pick up his spear. he pushed Samuel towards the fire and stared out into the night, green eyes reflecting back.

"I..." then Samuel saw the eyes and the great beasts they were attached to, waiting low in the grass and he gave a little squeal, too surprised and choked to be a scream.

"No need for that," Edgar said, standing tall and unflinching. "It seems you may get a story after all."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Something Witty about Saddles

2017 hasn't started out with a bang. I won't rant, but between our project load at work going to about 100% and about 5 people leaving in a month, January and February were hellish months. Those that know my writing, I don't use that word lightly. Then near the end of March I broke my collar bone. Between not having time, not having energy and being physically incapable, writing hasn't been awesome lately.

Between this post and the last one, I had a great run with a story called 'the Call'. Basically its what happens when a bunch of people receive super powers from a phone call. Its first person and I had fun writing it, but it still needs an ending and the middle needs a lot of work. yet another limbo project.

I've started a joint project with this fine Canadian Author: https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-K.-L.-Wilson/e/B0064MSJRE/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Yup, that's an amazon page, she's making a go of it as an indie and making some headway. I meet her on wattpad and at some point in the near future you'll be able to buy something spawned from both of our brains. No hints yet but given my track record with space wizards and her track record with time travelling Nazis, I'm sure it'll be entertaining.

Part of my writing something here is in preparation for our launch, so there you go and here we are. Hopefully this thing I've dabbled in can build some momentum and kick my lazy butt into gear. The goal, my friends, is finished and published. I don't think we'll settle for less.

Oh, and this drops Friday: https://www.theclassiccrime.com/ go to your favorite music outlet and get some of THAT. the singles, so far,

John, a would be writer.


Friday, June 26, 2015

The Definition

I was thinking a little about the art of writing and really was wondering at what makes a writer a writer. It's not the ideas; everyone has ideas. Everyone likely even has one good idea that could be a best seller or block buster or whatever. Honestly, I think anyone's pet dog could write scripts for some of the block busters hitting the big screen lately. So what is it? What makes a writer a writer if not their ideas? I think it has to be the passion for the idea, the driving need to see the idea through to completion, to believe that the idea is something worth sharing and sticking with until it's whole and polished. That's the part that makes writing work. But it's the passion that makes it worthwhile work.


I believe that's what makes a writer a writer.


John, a writer in the making.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Courage

The more of life that I experience, the more I value courage. I don't mean fire fighter type courage, or the kind of courage it takes for a soldier to take up arms in the defence of his countrymen, although I do not want to belittle that courage either! I'm talking about the kinds of courage that make us do things we're not used to, to take risks in faith and actively receive the gifts that God gives us. I fully believe that God works in our lives, providing opportunities and ways for us to improve. The catch is that we need to have the courage to say 'this IS a gift from God, and although I think there could be problems, I don't see the bigger picture. He does and I need to trust that this is what I must do.' Courage, I think, is faith put into action; the best kind of faith.

I would be remiss without quoting C.S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”

I think that sums it up quite nicely.

I don't usually include testimony, but I truly believe that so far 2015 has seen a bounty of gifts and these things deserve praise and exclamation. There is some significant work that needs to be done on our ageing house and I was having trouble figuring out how to pay for it all. The solution arose that we could use equity in our home when we renewed our mortgage. The timing was perfect as our mortgage was due for renewal; we wouldn't suffer any penalties for renewing early. This catch: our payments would increase, no small thing when our budget was tight to begin with. But we went with it, saying 'things will work out'.

Almost out of the blue I was offered a different job (I'd given the company a resume four months previous and had forgotten about it) with a large pay increase, more than covering the extra costs of the new mortgage. It's a great opportunity, a great company and a great place to advance my career. the Catch: it's way across town far from bus stops and we would have to find another car. I took the job saying 'things will work out.'

I found an excellent car last night, a 2008 VW with extremely low KM; it's almost new and so long as the financing comes through, we will probably buy it. The payments are within what I think we can afford and there will probably be a 90 day no payment option that we can take advantage of, just enough time for me to get past my probation period with the new job.

I'm very excited to see what is in store for us next, I can't believe that this is the end of our blessings and all I really want is the courage to take these gifts given us and make good use of them. I realize I'm posting this in a public forum, and that it might be seen as less than helpful in terms of advice, so I will leave with what I think I have learned.

Do not be wary of gifts. Do not be wary or cynical. If it appears to be good and wholesome, it is an opportunity heaven sent. Do not find the small faults that might lead to excuses, these gifts ARE free, even if they don't look like it now, God will not present you with an opportunity only to withdraw all support later to see you fail, He wants you to succeed. That our mortal comprehension can't see past the now shouldn't let us influence the decision in the least. Be courageous, be bold and live the life God desires for you. Receive His gifts in confidence, knowing that his bounty will continue and that success is all but assured if you should only accept.

John, The Writer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mockingjay: How to properly preform a revolution or revolt.

I saw the latest hunger games this past weekend. We'd watched the first two and I had been really impressed with Catching Fire. Great plot, great characters and you could really see how the whole series of events was designed to make Katniss into a 'hero'. Mockingjay: Part 1 continued with a lot of the good character development that we'd come to expect and plot wise it did several other things really well. I really liked how Katniss wasn't forced into being a soldier; just because she survived the games doesn't really qualify her for real combat, she has no experience on a battlefield. I'm sure in the last of the series, that will change but such is life and Hollywood.

What bothered me most was the way the common men and women went about revolting. In both cases the emphasis was on sacrifice instead of a tactical goal and preserving life. While sacrifice is both noble and inspiring on screen, it doesn't make sense in warfare when simple alternatives present themselves. While I can understand that these are simple people, it makes perfect sense for District 13 to have agents planted to help organize efforts. And to supply them. The Dam sabotage scene is a great example.

Let's say that the bombs make sense since they need explosives for their work. Let's say District 13 is taking a hands off approach to helping. Let's just assume that. The people came in mass because they knew most of them would be human shields that wouldn't make it out of there alive. I have no idea what kinds of firearms those white mask guys are packing, but the bullets seemed to be stopped by a human body. Now if it were me and I had an ounce of self preservation, I'd have rigged up some kind of shield, medieval siege engine style. I think that makes sense, right? Stop half those bullets and save a ton of lives. Now if District 13 had supplied them with even small amounts of fire power, then everyone's getting out alive, right? I mean, those poor guys walked pretty much right up to the spillways in the fog before anyone said boo. Rockets launched from under cover would have done pretty much the same thing as their bombs in a box. I saw the District 13 weapons depot, those guys HAVE rockets.

Anyway, it was a very dramatic scene. People dying for their freedom etc, but I couldn't help but wonder if properly led why the Capitol wouldn't have fallen years ago when they seem to be falling now to a bunch of ticked off peasants with death wishes.