Category Archives: blog

Under a curse

Category : blog , Book , Recommendation , Reviews

So, I go through this cycle when I start a new project.  I think of it as my very own personal creators curse.

  • Step 1 is “Wow, this is a really good idea!”
  • Step 2 is “This is just so much fun! I love this idea.
  • Step 3 is “Huh. Hm. Well. This is a good idea. Well, I mean, I like it. But…”
  • Step 4 is “OMG, why do I even think I can do this! This is the WORST IDEA EVER!”
  • Step 5 is “Okay, I’ll just finish this draft and that’s it. No more.”
  • STep 6 is “Well, this isn’t so bad. I mean, with a little work…”
  • Step 7 is “You know, this is actually pretty good. Not amazing, but…yeah…”
  • Step 8 is “I AM SO SICK OF LOOKING AT THIS THING! Whatever! It’s done! I don’t care!”

Right now, I am firmly in Step 4.  The “creative doldrums” usually hits me in the outline stage. And I’m right in the middle of the outline stage. About two weeks ago or so, I really loved this idea.  Now that I’m working it out, I’m less enamored.  I know from experience that I go through this every time. What it takes to get out of this slump is to keep working on it.

I just gotta power through it.

If I switch to working on a different project, I will end up in the same place with that new project. So, I know it’s best to keep working on this project.

There’s a lot to be learned every time you complete a book. You get better at creating sell-able ideas. You get better at writing.  You get better at finishing. Being able to finish writing a book is an incredible valuable skill. There are an endless amount of books that have been started and never finished.

No one buys an unfinished book.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I have a book to go finish.

TTy’allLater.
~W.H.


Obsidian Son (The Temple Chronicles #1)

Category : blog , Book , Recommendation , Reviews

3 star rating

3 out of 5 stars

 

cover image

#1 Nate Temple series

I’d be remiss if I criticized this book for having an unlikable protagonist.  My protagonist, Jack Story, is designed to be unlikable.  However, I do have to say that the protagonist in Obsidian Son is unsympathetic.

A lot of people think that you have to make your protagonist likable for the audience to root for them.  You don’t.  Two examples right off the top of my head are the MCU’s Tony Stark and Mel Gibson in Payback.

Tony, despite how charming RDJ’s performance is, is not likable. He’s rude. He’s a jerk to his friends. He only keeps people around based on how useful they are for him. His treatment of women is deplorable.

Mel’s character in Payback is a straight up bank robber. There’s nothing likable about this guy.

But we root for both of them, finding them sympathetic, because they do what we consider to be “the right thing.”  Sure, Tony is all those things I said he was, but at the end of the day he straps on the Iron Man suit and goes up against the forces of darkness.  Mel’s character just wants his cut of the money from the bank he robbed. Not all of it, just what’s due to him.

Things we think we would do in that same situation.  Thus we find them sympathetic.

This isn’t the case with Nate Temple. He’s got a Batman Origin, his parents were murdered. He’s a billionaire. He’s got magic at his disposal. But unlike Batman, he doesn’t do the sort of things we think we would do in that situation.

Imagine if you had magical power and essentially unlimited money.  Now add in the certain knowledge that your parents had been murdered. How would you spend your days?

Hunting down your parent’s murderer or would you run around collecting rare books for clients?

Exactly. Nate  doesn’t do that. He isn’t Batman. He is living his life as if no tragedy had touched him. And has a rare book store.

But there are some good things about the story. The use of the Minotaur from Greek myths is fun. The bookstore sisters are interesting. The action is fun. But I found Nate to be unsympathetic.


2 Weeks Later…

It’s amazing how exhausting launching a book can be.  I’ve done it 5 times now, and each time it is an emotional rollercoaster.  It’s pretty much impossible for me to get any solid writing done during the whole time.

And this was the most successful launch I’ve had to date.  An “average” book will sell 200 copies in the first year.  Over a 10 year lifetime, they sell about 2000.  The Concrete Goodbye, on its first day, sold 61 books. On day 2, it sold 33.  in the first week it sold 175 copies.

It made it to the #1 spot in Pulp and Pulp Mysteries.  And #21 in Noir.  Not too shabby, huh?

Of course, that only lasted for a day or two. It eventually started to slide, and settled down to #6ish of Pulp and well further down in the other genre’s.  And with it the emotional high that comes from selling books.

And now comes the hard work of reaching out to reviewers, my mailing list to see if they can leave a review. On a recent Book Bub post, and an Amazing Insights post, it’s been proven that reviews- verified or not- are 90% as good as a purchase. The more a book is reviewed, the more Amazon bumps it up in the rankings even if there isn’t a sale to go a long with it.

Of course, I’ve also got to get cracking on the next book, The Nightingale’s Song. So, cheers, y’all!

I’ve got writing to do.


Book title slider

Time for a cover!

Howdy, y’all!

You may not know this, but a few weeks ago I had a problem.  I got together with my cover designer Christine, and she came up with a couple of cover designs that were pretty cool. But she came up with 2 of them that were really kick ass. I couldn’t make up my mind.  So, I decided why not put it up to a vote?  So, I asked all the readers who have subscribed to my newsletter to vote on which cover they liked better.

The results were surprising!

And wow did you all vote!  There were around 480 votes cast. One cover dominated with over 78% of the  votes! That’s an amazing and decisive victory for one the two candidates.   You know, at this point I feel like I should draw this whole thing out and maybe post a video to a Rickroll on Youtube, but let’s cut to what’s important.

Without further ado the cover for The Concrete Goodbye and the synopsis!

 

cover of book

The cover

Greed, Sex, Murder, and Superheroes

 Blackmailing the world’s first superhero can be deadly

Jack Story is a Private Detective in a city full of superheroes.

Aging WWII super solider Major Victory is being blackmailed. The Major’s granddaughter, the apple of his eye, is an unwitting star of a sex tape.  If the Major doesn’t pay up, the world gets to see what his little darling gets up to at night. The Major wants Jack to make the blackmail stop. Preferably with lots of pain being inflicted on the blackmailer.

Jack takes the job.

But when Jack starts digging into the case things turn deadly.  There is an explosion downtown that levels a concrete building and kills a young superhero. The grand daughter insists the bomb was really meant her and not her best friend.

That same friend shows up in Jack’s office hours after the explosion, claiming she was the target all along.  She demands that Jack find out who’s responsible before disappearing into the night.

Can Jack find who is behind the blackmail and the bombing before others die?  What if it’s the granddaughter behind it all?

Sometimes being a detective in a city full of superheroes can be Hell.

 

Lemme know what you think. I’m super excited about the book, and the cover only makes it more exciting!