Fan-made Jewelry

Hi everybody! Just a quick one today, but it was too cool to keep to myself. A few days ago Amy, a long time fan and the first to review each of the Deacon books on Amazon, popped by the site to see what sort of new happenings were afoot. After seeing what the rest of you were saying and doing, she shared with me an idea she’d had for a pendant. Then she went ahead and MADE it!

Chosen Pendant, by Amy from Bright Jewels

Pretty neat, huh? And particularly cool for me, because it uses elements from the original cover for the first book. The one that I designed! She calls it a mockup, but I think it is looking pretty good already. You can see more of her designs over at her Etsy Shop, Bright Jewels. Check it out! THEY ARE AVAILABLE NOW! Check out the comments to see how you can get a special fan discount!

UPDATE:
Just so you don’t have to go looking around, here’s the original cover that inspired the pendant.

The Book of Deacon

Read an Ebook Week and other news

Hey folks!

A few things worth mentioning.

First, Read An Ebook Week starts tomorrow! This is a multi-site promotion devised to inspire people to, you guessed it, read an ebook. What does this mean for you? Loads of ebooks at low, low prices! For my part, I am discounting everything in my library on Smashwords that I possibly can. Book 1 of the trilogy, book 1 of the sci-fi series, and Jade will all be free as a part of the promotion, and the rest of my catalog will be half price. That means you can pick up a Smashwords edition of everything I sell for $4.50 total! Order now! Operators are standing by! For those of you who already own all of my books, there are plenty of other authors participating in the promotion, so if you’re looking for some indie books and you are on a budget, March 4th-March 10th is a great time to head over to Smashwords and see what looks good.

There, now that the marketing part of the post is out of the way, let’s see what else I’ve got to talk about.

Last week I posted on the Facebook Fan Page for the book a question about who would play each character if The Book of Deacon were to be made into a film. As usual, I got a lot of great answers. New suggestions are still coming in now and then, but here’s a summary of what we’ve heard so far. I’ve linked the IMDB page of each of the actors who I could find a page for, and the list for each character is roughly in the order of popularity from the Facebook thread.

Myranda

Deacon

Ether

Lain

Ivy

Desmeres

Arden (The beefy partner/competition to Trigorah)

Ayna (Infuriating fairy wind mage)

Oriech

  • That old guy from that Are You Afraid of the Dark.

Calypso

Any one of the Generals

Some really good suggestions. Now, I was also asked who I had in mind. Honestly, I didn’t think about it, with a few exceptions. So I brainstormed a bit and looked through the suggestions, and here’s what I’m thinking, for a few. This is assuming live action for all but the least human characters, though to be honest, I see this more as a CGI or traditionally animated feature.

Myranda: I’m really liking Christa B. Allen or Rachel Hurd-Wood for this one. I’d have to watch a few of their performances to get a decent idea of which wins, though.

Deacon: I could definitely see Zac Efron in this role. Joseph Gordon Levitt is good, too.

Ether: I like Angelina Jolie for this one. I think she could pull off the “chiseled out of marble face of a Greek goddess” look with a baked in sense of smug superiority and disdain pretty well.

Lain: I see both malthropes being done by CGI, so this is a voice casting. Liam Neeson might be the winner here. Hugh Jackman good too.

Ivy: Again, voice casting. I like Zooey Deschanel for this one. For some reason Gwen Stephani popped into my head, too.

Desmeres:  My friend Cary. He was semi-loosely the basis for the character when I was writing it. For his own privacy I’ll forgo a link to a picture.

Wolloff: Billy Connolly. Failing that, anyone who can pull off a good irate Scottish person. Craig Ferguson perhaps?

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

There, now that there is enough content to force this WAY down to the bottom where it is likely to be missed, here’s what I’ve been up to for a while. I’d indicated that writing the Lain book was likely to get me down, thanks to the fact that Lain’s back story isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. I’ve got a lot of good notes, and few pages written, but to take my mind off of things I’ve been plying my hand at art. I’ve had lots of requests for a picture of Myn, so I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring. As is so frequently the case, it was only after gentle prodding from my friends that I grudgingly agreed to share these with the world, since I’m very self-conscious about… everything. But, hey, if I’m going to show off my efforts, I might as well go all the way. It started out like this:

Note the built in self-criticism.

Look at those little bitty wings. After some serious messing around in GIMP, I ended up with this:

She stood up!

Better. The size of that wing was the result too much research for any sane man to do. For those of my level of geekiness or higher, that wing is technically still too small. A bat-type flier needs a wingspan to body length ratio of about 4 or 5 to 1. That wing is only about 2.5. You should see the boat sails she ends up with if she’s realistically equipped. Anyway, after producing that, color was in order:

Red and gold. Just like Iron Man.

I realize there’s no size reference, so just picture her head just about reaching mid-thigh on an average adult. At this point I got a little whacky, and fired up Blender, and put this together:

See? CGI!

And then I thought, “Hey, I’ve got a 3D printer, why not give THAT a try?”

Uh oh! She had an accident!

It turns out her dainty little tootsies were too little to survive the removal of the support material. In theory I could deal with that by printing it much bigger (or giving her bigger feet, or having her stand on a pedestal or something), but at this point I’m through the darkest part of the prep-work for the Lain book. For now, anyway. If I hit another chunk I don’t like thinking about, you might see more dopey stuff like this.

Thanks for reading!

“Unstable Prototypes” has hit the shelves!

Well, the virtual shelves anyway. I realize that most of you found your way to this site thanks to my fantasy books, but I’ve also written some science fiction as well. The first book, Bypass Gemini, was written after I had finished brushing up Book 3 of the trilogy and had released Jade. Basically I asked my friends “What should I write next?” I got the answer “You should write some science fiction.” (It turns out this was a veiled attempt to get me to write something about time travel. Not knowing this, I wrote something that was in no way related to time travel.) Bypass Gemini was released in early May last year. Two weeks later, The Book of Deacon went free on Amazon and my sales EXPLODED. Expecting this to be short lived, I decided a second science fiction book was in order. Having a second series, I reasoned, would give me a fighting chance to cause a second little blip later on.

Now it’s nine months later, the first “blip” hasn’t ended, and the second sci-fi novel is done.

It is called Unstable Prototypes, and it is a unique novel in a lot of ways. First, at a hair less than 160,000 words, it is my longest single novel to date. It also represents the first novel written after getting fan feedback. There are two characters in the first book, Karter and Ma, who were big favorites among the small batch of fans who read the first novel, so I decided to center the story on them. Hopefully I didn’t lose the magic that made them so fun for readers the first time. This is also the first book to debut with fancy cover, rather than starting with a mediocre creation of my own. In order to make sure people know that they are indeed part of the same series, I’ve replaced the Bypass Gemini cover with a commissioned cover, too. I’ve also updated the format of the Amazon file to include a table of contents, by the way.

Speaking of the sci-fi series, it has highlighted a fairly common problem for me. I can’t think of a name for it. You have no idea how many times I’ve spit-balled this with my friends and family, and we’ve yet to come up with a worthwhile name. It is my hope that people will come up with their own, and I can just use that one.

At any rate, Unstable Prototypes is for sale right now at both Smashwords and Amazon, with the rest of the retailers to follow in a few days/weeks.

Just to avoid having a whole post on BookOfDeacon.com without providing any news about The Book of Deacon, I’d like to point out that there are three brand new pictures in my fan art gallery, by a reader named nami. Head on over and check them out!

Until next time, thanks for reading!

More Reviews, and a Fancy Map

Hello once again!

Just a quick update, this time. I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback on the map I was working on, but I decided to brush it up and push it out anyway, just as a placeholder until someone with a greater degree of cartographic skill can come along and tell me what I should have been doing or what I’m missing. I’ve got a topic going in the forum for anyone who wants to make comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc.

This Map is a cartographic Frankenstein's monster.

For those who are interested, the nifty coastline effect was achieved primarily through a method I learned about here, the mountains, trees, and waves came from here, the paper effect came from here, and the font comes from here. The compass rose in the corner is 100% me, though. Many thanks to the respective creators of the respective components for giving me the tools to make art despite a complete lack of artistic skill on my part.

While I’m handing out thanks, I would also like to thank The Akamai Reader for the recent reviews of the books of the trilogy. Head on over to check out her reviews of The Book of Deacon, The Great Convergence, and The Battle of Verril. I’m very pleased that my writing continues to catch the eye and earn the praise of book blogs all over the internet.

That’s all for today. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Technical Difficulties and Facebook Results

A-a-a-nd we’re back!

My apologies for the considerable amount of downtime and other technological shenanigans that have been going on with the site. Something went seriously wrong somewhere on the backend, and it has been wreaking all sorts of havoc with the sites I help run. Brainlazy.com got the worst of it. Hopefully things have quieted down for a while and we can achieve full recovery. Whether this is related to the spam I previously reported may have been going out with a bookofdeacon.com address remains to be seen. (Again, if anyone out there has been getting unwanted emails from me, let me know through whatever means you feel comfortable. A copy of said email would be helpful, too.)

But enough of the tech talk! I’d asked some questions on Facebook, and the preliminary results are in! Naturally you folks can still weigh in for as long as you like, and I’ll take a look at everything you send my way, but for now, I wanted to give you a look at my meager attempts to oblige your requests.

On the subject of what to write next, the clear winner is Lain. Between Lain alone and Lain in combination with Desmeres, he received five votes or so, with Desmeres, Deacon, and Myranda in a three way tie for second place. In response, I opened a file named “Lain Origin” and started writing. Because anything dealing with Lain is going to trend toward the dark and gloomy side of the spectrum, I’ll probably split my time between that project and a few lighter ones in order to keep myself from getting too bummed out. A story about the Entwell wizards or Ivy, for example. An older thread on Facebook was also encouraging me to put out the first book of the “Unnamed Second Trilogy” that I’d mentioned I was working on, but as I said before, I’m not convinced that it would go over too well as is. I might have to touch bases with the brain trust and see what I can do to smooth down some of the sharp edges.

The second question was about artwork, and I can honestly say that I did not get the response I was expecting. I thought for sure that I would get a flood of requests for a high quality image of Myn. I only got one. Instead, I got requests for landscapes depicting things like various ruins or the village of Entwell, or formal portraits of the characters. Primarily, though, I received requests for a map. So… here.

This is scaled down. The original is way too massive to post.

This is the result of an hour or two of reading tutorials and an hour or two of fiddling with GIMP. It is very preliminary, but I’d like to know if I’m heading in the right direction before I invest too much more time on it. If you like where I’m going, I’ll add a few more details, then add in as many place and region names as I feel are appropriate. By the way, don’t think for a minute that I am responsible for either that fancy paper OR those fancy mountains and trees. There is a group called “The Cartographer’s Guild” that has offered up some free tools and education for people attempting to make maps such as these. If and when I complete a map, I’ll be sure to credit all of those who provided tools and advice.

Finally was the merchandise question. I only asked it last night, so there hasn’t been an awful lot of time for results to pile up, but I’ve yet to receive a strong majority for any one thing. So far there has been interest in plushies, jewelry, posters, t-shirts, and paperbacks. Somehow I had completely overlooked the possibility of t-shirts, by the way, and I’m not 100% sure how I’d pull off jewelry or plushies, but it will be fun to investigate. Naturally, before I move forward with any of that, I’ll have to have a word with the artist to talk royalties and rights. Now, as for the paperbacks…

I assure you, it is a whole book, not just a cover.

Yeah, I’ve been working on that on and off for a while, and I’m nearly there. That is a picture of a proof I had printed from Create Space. For those who are interested, it is a 6×9 inch US Trade Paperback, and it runs about 325 pages. If I’m able to make the appropriate changes, that book should become available via Amazon.com and Create Space before too long. There are a few more steps, a few more decisions to make, and then it will be ready for purchase. I’ll be sure to spread the word when it happens. I’m shooting for a price point of $9.99, but circumstances beyond my control might put the kibosh on that.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading.

Kindlegraphs, Questions, and a Price Drop

Hello, all!

A few things have happened that I thought deserved a bit of an update. We’ll start with the newest thing I’ll be checking everyday, Kindlegraphs. I’ve had a few people express interest in getting autographs from me. This is mind-blowing for me, because it means that there are people out there who consider me at least a minor celebrity. (To give you an idea of my glamorous celebrity life, I received the last email that mentioned the word autograph while I was trying to clean dried pancake batter from the top of the stove in my apartment.) Currently I don’t have any physical items to autograph, but I learned about a thing called “Kindlegraph” a few days ago, and it seemed like a great way to fill the need. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Kindlegraph is a site that allows you to request an autograph from any book an author has signed up for the service. In time, that author will receive a notification and deliver a personalized PDF to your kindle with the cover of the book and an autograph. Neat, huh. There is some fine print regarding delivery charges if you receive the kindlegraph in a certain way, but otherwise it is free. The website is www.kindlegraph.com, and my author page is right here.

Next, over on the right side of the page, you may have noticed a nifty little Facebook widget, which at the time that I am writing this is hovering around 183. That, predictably, leads to a Facebook fan page for The Book of Deacon Series. I’ve been posting a few questions over there, regarding where you good folks would like me to focus my literary energy and artistic dollar next. For your edification, the questions I asked are as follows.

Pretty soon it will be time to start writing another Book of Deacon story. I’ve got a few ideas, and at least one partially written tale, but I’m interested to see what you folks think, so I’m going to ask some questions to see what my Facebook fans would like to see. First up, if you could read a book focusing on a single character (or perhaps a small group), who would it be? It can be anyone, minor or major, past, present, or future. (Please try to keep spoilers to a minimum, and if you can’t avoid them, label them.)

And then…

Okay, I got some great responses to yesterday’s question. Feel free to keep contributing, by the way. Today I’d like to talk about art. As you can see from my gallery, I’m a big fan of getting art made for the books. There are images of Myranda, Deacon, Lain, Ether, Jade, and Halfax already. I’ve got a piece of fan art on my site featuring the reader’s vision of Leo, Myranda, and Myn, too. What sort of artwork would you like to see made for the series? Characters, settings, a map, commissioned work, fan art, etc. (As before avoid or label spoilers.)

Well, far be it from me to deprive visitors of my site but not my Facebook page of a chance to weigh in as well, so feel free to comment below. In fact, here’s a sneak preview of the question I intend to ask tomorrow. As you know, right now I only sell digital goods. If you could pick something you’d like to see me offer in the way of merchandise, what would you most like to see? Posters, paperbacks, hardcovers, figurines, plushes, etc. I don’t know the first thing about providing any of these things (except one), but if you people are anxious to see something, I’ll do my best to make it happen.

As a minor aside, I’ve gotten a report of spam coming in with a bookofdeacon.com address on it. I’m looking into this now, but if you’ve had this problem, let me know, so I know how widespread the potential problem is.

Last but not least, I’d originally intended to do one massive round of updates and price adjustments on the same day I published Unstable Prototypes. Unfortunately, for reasons beyond my control, a few of the intended updates won’t be able to happen according to schedule. (I’d go into detail, but some of it is very hush hush, and some of it is a huge long shot that isn’t likely to pan out. I promise to let you know just as soon as I’m able.) As a result, I’ve decided to break them up. That means that Jade, my short novel, is now finally sporting its brand new cover, and is available at Smashwords and Amazon at the brand new price of 99 cents. This isn’t a sale, it is the new permanent price, and it should be trickling out to Barnes and Noble, Apple, et al in the next few weeks.

In parting let me just say that I may have something minor, but pretty neat to show off in a week or so. Until then, thanks for reading.

Two Years Ago Today

Followers of my twitter feed, or just my life in general, know that yesterday was my 29th birthday. (Many thanks for all of the well wishes, by the way!) What most people don’t know is that two years ago today was the day I finally caved in to the pressure of my friends and took the steps to self-publish. It has been a really wild ride since then. On January 27th, 2010, if I suspected anyone but my closest friends (and not even all of them) knew that I’d written something, I would have been mortified. Today I’m eagerly clicking over to my forum and checking my email to see if I’ve got any new comments from people I’ve never met. It has been a blast, and I want to thank everyone who took a chance with a new author and ended up here.

It has become a running theme that, if my friends want me to do something that I don’t want to do, I should probably do it. Thus, last night I decided to dig through storage and pull out a pile of books that one of my friends has been hounding me to find. And here they are.

This represents years of stolen time. It also represents the largest clean, flat surface in my apartment.

That mound of biodegrading spiral notebooks represents The Book of Deacon in its original form. Countless grammar school, high school, and college teachers saw me scribbling diligently in one of these books during their classes and foolishly thought I was taking notes. To be fair, not all of these books are filled cover to cover with plot. One of them has a few pages of notes and outlines, and one or two of them are half empty because I lost them for a while and had to pick a different notebook. Let’s take a look inside, shall we?

Note that this "brief summary" ended up filling nearly a dozen notebooks.

It is worth pointing out that where it says “1st Book,” I don’t mean book 1 of a trilogy. The entire trilogy, in my head, was one book, and it was a prequel to the book I’d originally intended to write. Flipping through the pages of this pile was an interesting experience. I didn’t actually transcribe the book from these pages, for the most part. After I had completely finished the story, I typed it in from memory. My reasoning was that anything I couldn’t remember wasn’t good enough to make the cut. Every now and then I’d flip through and find the exact wording of a scene that I was particularly happy with, but the rest was typed while these were tucked away in a drawer somewhere. As a result, the actual story bears only a passing resemblance to what shows up on these pages. Looking into it now brings back memories of plots I dropped (Myranda had a long sequence involving Tresson soldiers at one point.) or characters who were completely rewritten (Trigorah used to be much more ruthless, and was more of an investigator than a soldier.) or names that had to be changed. (Ivy used to have a much sillier name.)

Also, looking back through these books managed to completely restore my paralyzing embarrassment about them. I quickly shoved them back into storage after snapping these pictures, because I do not want anyone to pick them up and flip through them. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it is a remnant of the extreme lengths I went to in order to conceal them during their creation. For instance let’s look at that top cover again.

Note that I hadn't picked a name at that point.

That big, clear label indicating that it was a book written by me, and that there were other parts? That wasn’t added until had completely filled the book and was ready to lock it away and move on to the next one. Heaven forbid someone see that and start asking me what I was writing about!

I’ve come a long way, I suppose. Now the characters that I carefully cultivated in my brain have gotten loose and are running around in other people’s heads, and I’m constantly thinking up other things for them to do. Since I’ve finished writing Unstable Prototypes, and it is now being proofread by my friends, it is time to dip back into that world and see what I should write next. Direct sequels? Side stories? That book I’d originally intended to write? We’ll see.

 

Art and More Art

After entirely too much time, I’ve finally finished my second foray into the world of sci fi. That is to say I’ve finally finished the first draft, so now I can stop worrying about what is going to happen and start worrying if things happened the way I intended. There is a long list of notes I left for myself in the text about retroactively changing details or making sure different timings work out, but this process tends to go a heck of a lot quicker than the initial writing, so with any luck you folks should see a brand new book before too long. More importantly, I got the finished version of the cover of the book, so those of you who have been waiting to see it, feast your eyes.

Karter and the funk!

That is Karter. He’s a little thinner than most people pictured him, but I’m thrilled with how it came out. If you’ve read the first book, you ought to recognize the furry little guy on the cover as a funk. One of them plays a very large role in this book. (See? I’ve been taking notes. ‘Make sure you get the artist to draw a picture of the cute character.’) Also, on the subject of artwork, I got my first piece of fan art sent to me. You can check it out on my artwork page, at the bottom. It is notable not only because it is the first time a fan has sent me art, but it is the first artistic depiction of Myn. (Okay, technically the second, but once again, let’s not split hairs.) She’s even holding the helmet she spends so much time chewing on!

Now that the good news is out of the way, I’ve got a more irritating announcement to make. Based on a few emails and comments I received, it seems like Amazon might have had a hiccup a few weeks back and distributed an obsolete edition of the book The Book of Deacon with some typos that I had fixed months ago. It is exceptionally difficult for me to know if this is the case, but I plan to take corrective action. Once I release Unstable Prototypes, I’m going to start working on getting the books in the trilogy The Book of Deacon Trilogy formatted for print-on-demand. (Enough people have expressed interest in print editions that I decided it was probably worth the effort.) That will involve reading through it yet again, then uploading a fresh version of each book prior to sending it off to the printers, so an updated version of book 1 and book 2 The Book of Deacon and The Great Convergence should each go up in the next two months. Book 3 The Battle of Verril will probably be later this year.

I guess that about covers recent happenings. Until the next big event, thanks for reading!

UPDATE: I realized that in the original post I switched from talking about the science fiction books to the Book of Deacon Trilogy without indicating it, which was darn confusing, so I made an update to clarify. That’s what I get for writing an update on my commute to work.

2011 Year In Review, And New Art

Happy New Year, everyone! I’ve got one major piece of news, but before I get to it, I just want to talk about some of the more entertaining things I learned as 2011 went out with a bang.

First, I’d like to thank everyone for their recent interest on the site. I’ve seen a huge uptick in traffic, comments, and email, and it has led to some really interesting discussions. That said, more than a few of you have included spoilers in your comments. I don’t want to tell anyone what they can or can’t discuss, but many people visiting the site and reading the threads of discussion haven’t finished the trilogy. I’ll be working on an update to the site that will allow me to conceal any spoilers without eliminating the full comment, but in the meantime here are a few guidelines to help everyone get the most out of the books. If you have a comment or question that might reveal a plot point, I’d appreciate it if you would either email me directly or warn at the beginning of the comment that spoilers follow. Alternately, feel free to join the forum. I’m sure we can rig up a “spoiler zone” for discussions between people who have read all there is to read.

I’ve also been checking out the search terms that hit my site, and there are a few that are really intriguing. First, I’ve seen the term “the book of deacon movie” come up more than once. Thanks for the vote of confidence, whoever you are! There has been absolutely no talk of such things, naturally, but it feels good to know there is interest. (Unless this is another instance of me misinterpreting facts, which I am known to do.) I’ve also seen a few hits looking for Jade Book 2. I hadn’t planned on a sequel to that story, though I never rule anything out completely, but there are at least two characters who appear in that book that do have a place in books I plan to write soon. I’ve seen a few permutations of searches including the books and “wiki.” To my knowledge, The Book of Deacon does not have a wiki or wikipedia entry, but the internet is an extremely transitory place, so by the time you are reading this, who knows what might have happened? Along the same lines, I’ve seen a lot of searches looking for specific characters, or simply “characters” in general. I imagine I could put together a characters page. If I did, what would you folks like to see on it? Descriptions? Pictures? Just let me know and I’ll see what I can do. I live to serve.

Finally, and most importantly, I heard back from good old Nick Deligaris about the latest cover. Those of you who follow me on twitter (@jrlallo) have already seen the nearly complete version of the cover for Bypass Gemini, but I’ve now got my hands on the completely complete version. Check it out.

Hang on tight to that case, Lex!

That’s actually scaled down from the size he gave it to me. In the words of a friend of mine, “Somehow, he has managed to make me more interested in Bypass Gemini after I’ve already read it. How is that possible, exactly?” If any of you have read Bypass Gemini, what do you think? This leaves just one cover to go, the cover for the Bypass Gemini sequel, tentatively named “Unstable Prototypes.” I can’t wait!

UPDATE: Upon reviewing my post, which has got “Year In Review” in the title, I find that I didn’t actually do any reviewing of the year, so let’s fix that, shall we?

At the beginning of 2011, I had published Books 1 and two of the trilogy, and Jade. I had sold somewhere on the order of two dozen books, in total, and wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of my success. On May 16th, I had published the final entry in the trilogy, and my first Sci Fi book, and having made The Book of Deacon free, I’d started to see some decent interest in my books. My total sales and downloads were in the hundreds, and I’d finally earned enough to get my first check, for $10.78! The next day, Amazon agreed to make The Book of Deacon free. Two weeks later I had given away 18,000+ copies, and was starting to see some fairly positive reviews. I found my way to the top ten of free fantasy ebooks on Amazon not once but twice! Though I hesitate to give dollar figures regarding earnings, I will say this: In the month of December, thanks to some cutbacks they’ve made with my schedule at my day job coupled with massive holiday sales, this little hobby managed to earn more money than my actual career.

Now it is the beginning of 2012. At this moment, I have given away well over 60,000 copies of book 1 on Amazon.com alone, and I’ve had reviews by (among others) Pure Textuality (Book 1 and Book 2), Ebook Apothecary (Book 1), Mel Chesley (Book 1), Best O’ Books (now seemingly defunct),  as well as a guest post and an interview. I’ve had hundreds of ratings and dozens of customer reviews on every site from Apple to Kobo. Some were bad, many were excellent. I found and hired a spectacular artist. My books have been read, re-read, edited, re-edited, and in at least one case, professionally edited. I spiffed up my social presence with a nicer site layout and a forum, and I’ve attempted to improve my Facebook and twitter usage as well. In short, I officially graduated (according to my own informal metrics) from “phoney baloney indie author” to “indie author.” Next step? “Professional indie author.” This is all thanks to you out there, so I bow to you, my readers. Hopefully I can continue to produce things you will enjoy reading in the year ahead. And, as always, thanks for reading.

Merry Merry, Happy Happy (And A New Review)

Hi Everybody. Now that the chaos of Christmas has died down a bit, I would like to take this chance to wish all of you a happy holiday season. We hosted the annual get together at our house this year, and aside from a cauliflower-related explosion, things went off without a hitch. The month isn’t quite over yet, but unless there is a flurry of returns, I can safely say that December has been my best month to date for downloads and sales. I’ve already heard from some people who read my book on their brand new eReaders. (You people are quick readers, might I say.) My thanks to all of you who picked up The Book of Deacon and were inspired to visit this site as a result. I trust you enjoyed the story.

Aside from the strong sales, a few days ago I heard from a fellow author named Mel Chesley. Unlike me, she is fortunate enough to have been picked up by an actual factual publisher, so my congratulations to her. She was writing to let me know that she’d picked up the first book of the trilogy and took the time to write a review. You can find it here. I heartily recommend you head over and check it out, and while you’re at it, check out the rest of what she’s got to offer. It is quite a clever and interesting blog, and one that I look forward to reading as part of my regular rotation.

As always, I’ll leave you with an update. Sci Fi book 2 is just about finished. Hopefully I’ll be starting the climax tonight, then it is just a stone’s throw to the ending and a read through to catch as many errors as possible and tie up the loose ends. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I can get this thing done and out of the way soon. I’m itching to start a new project.

Thanks for reading!