To paraphrase Stephen Crane: In the desert, I met-a-mo’pho.
Anyway. That sure took a long time. Sure, I was re-thinking and reconsidering my entire approach to a writing career and everything that goes within and without it, but wow, what a long quiet spell.
I had planned that 2017 would be my most productive year ever. It was almost the exact opposite. I’m not happy about that. I traded progress for making sure it was going in the right direction. I’m not sure it was a good trade.
Nonetheless, I’m going forward again, and it’s time to stand on the throttle. If you see new products appearing in the next few days, you’ll know it’s working. I’m interested to see that myself.
It’s been quiet here, but I haven’t been quiet. Here’s what’s been going on. I’ll try to be brief.
Shortly after my last post, two things rocked my world.
First, I saw an article that distilled the common aspects of mega-successful authors. Details will come later, but the result of the article was my thinking: I can do this! So I modified my plans, broadening my scope and researching the new requirements and figuring out how it would all work together. It went well, and I liked it.
Then, I found Joe Konrath’s latest, self-published book as a featured book in the central library. Holy wow. It was always technically possible, but it didn’t happen in practice enough to warrant the effort to make the dots ready to connect. And yet, here it was. Suddenly, I was modifying not just my plans, but almost everything to be able to follow this path myself. The research and plans and changes took a long time, but they were worth it.
The result has been five significant areas of change.
The kinds of books I’m creating. While I have dabbled in writing children’s books and I’ve always entertained ideas of writing memoirs, I had previously decided to focus only on adult fiction. Though adult fiction is still the main product of my work, I now plan on writing and releasing books for all ages, together with memoirs and possibly other non-fiction.
The content of my books (front and back matter). I’ve extensively researched the front and back matter of successful authors, and I’ve decided to modify my previous minimal approach to use the best ideas of what I’ve found.
The covers of those books. While I love the current design of my covers, I think that the benefits of adopting a more “traditional” look are compelling. Though I haven’t made a firm decision yet, I’m leaning toward adopting all new covers in the style of WMG publishing.
Print editions. The new front and back matter combine with a modified layout to result into print editions for my books. This is also still being finalized, but it’s on the way.
My organization, again. My analysis has highlighted the difference between treating writing as a hobby and treating it as a business. My tools and organization have been trending toward the hobby end of the spectrum, and in adopting a more business-like approach many of them have come up lacking. This is well traveled ground, however, so the migration this time was easy and, hopefully, final.
Now, after more than a couple months, I’m at the end of all these changes. The research is done. The plans are done. The implementation is nearly done, and complete enough for real work. It’s time to turn everything loose. I may not become a mega-successful author, but I’ll have all the pieces in place for it. And I just might.
A long time ago, I listened to “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring, and the lyrics of a “double-crossed messenger” “somewhere in a lonely hotel room” at “2 AM” spoke to me. I wanted to write that story. Around the same time, the lyrics of “Brandy” by Looking Glass spoke to me, and I wanted to write that story, too. After many years, I actually did sit down to write the story of that guy and that girl. At first, with the protagonist the doorman at a topless bar, the story fizzled. On a whim, I changed the protagonist to the bartender, and made that guy Jack Trexlor from The Desert King, and the story began to sizzle. A few months later, it was The Dancing Queen, a sordid tale of sex and drugs and rock and roll.
And this week, you can get it for 99 cents at Amazon. If you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time to get it.
Also, I would appreciate a thoughtful review at Amazon if you can. Amazon sifts through their reviews from time to time for no good reason, and when they do some of mine go missing.
I didn’t think of Taxi Adventure as a time capsule when I was writing it. However, the television lineup always changes, and some of the celebrities mentioned in the book are no longer on television here (that I know of), and even the television station talked about is has been bought out by another. And, a couple weeks ago, I noticed that the houses and buildings where Race stops next to Hance park have been bulldozed, and apartments or condos are going up in their place. Even the adult book store where Race picks up a fare in the first chapter is now gone.
If you’ve read Taxi Adventure before, now is a good time to visit the places mentioned in the story—the Westward Ho, Durant’s, Majerle’s, Char’s Has The Blues, Canyon Records, Cooperstown, Postino’s, and more—before the winds of time blow them away.
And if you haven’t read Taxi Adventure yet, you’re in luck. You can get it this week for 99 cents at Amazon. Get it today!
Also, if you like it, please leave a review at Amazon. I need more reviews to enable promotions on other sites, and every one helps. Thanks!
There are books that I have written but not published. For a long time, I’ve thought of making them public. This week, I came up with a really good reason to publish them and more like them, and I could do it soon. It would mean some changes to the structure of my website, though, because they are unlike my existing books. Today, I got stuck exploring all the options for adding them to my website. I found the Publisher theme and loved it. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out if I could make it work with my existing tools, or clone it. After a while, I broke down what it was doing and found that I am already doing almost all of that, in the way that works best for me. So, lots of running around to get where I currently am. Not a good use of time. I did discover author videos, though, and now I want to do them. Right away. I think I’m also going to publish those books, too. I’ll decide for sure soon, but probably yes.
In there, too, I did get in 10K steps. However, I got stuck in Vampires Versus Comicon in a place where the action and place of the people and plot parts don’t seem to be working. In the end, I still didn’t have it all worked out. Secret Project #1 good some good work in, and I think that’s ready to take off.
I’m thinking that I don’t like these daily posts. I like posting the words and steps, but I think there’s probably a better way to do it. I might switch to making the WIP posts every few days. Although, reporting the daily results is very motivational day-by-day.
I didn’t get on the schedule I’d like to, but I did get some good work done. I spent a big chunk of time cycling through my vampires book, confirming details, adding flavor, whatnot, then another chunk of time putting in new words, which was good. This being a Wednesday, my daughter was home early, and later some political things soaked up some of my time, but all in all it was a good day, though a little short on steps and words.
Another day of writing. Continued to get projects revved up. Wrote words and walked steps. I’m keeping this short because I’m working to do these posts in the evening; early to bed and early to rise and all that.
The day started with walking my daughter to school, which helped me get most of my 10K steps in. During the day I worked to get organized and moving forward, despite some annoying interruptions.
A Brief Detour
During much of the first part of the day, I worked to evaluate a possibility for a Zombies Versus Comicon film project. The deadline for the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival is in six weeks. My best guess is that what I have in mind could be completed in that time frame, so I explored what impact that would have.
My final conclusion was that, as alluring as it is, I will not put more energy into it at this time. The film project would require a significant expense of time and some expense of money, and even then it would have a small chance of success. Plus, it would mean taking time and other resources away from my current book projects, at a minimum delaying them. And they have a very big chance of success. I will have to let it go for now and instead try later this year. If my secret projects are successful enough, maybe I can even produce the whole thing. That would be fun.
You may have noticed that I have five active projects in my sidebar, and I need to get them done as quickly as possible. During the day I worked to get all of them moving, and I made some good progress late at night. It was only about 1K of my 5K goal, but I see that as a good start, with everything rolling again. These are really fun, and a little bit dangerous, and I see them coming together quickly. All I need is focused time with my butt in the chair, Internet off and my fingers on the keyboard.
5K Words / 10K Steps Results
Words: I don’t know for sure, because part of it was on screenplays and that’s still a problem counting. It was about 1K just in the books, though. I’ll take it.