Beautiful downtown Hunter Creek

Two cows and a bull (the black one) keep the grass cut. Arizona is a free range state. Cows freely range where they like, but their owners DO keep an eye on them. 

Coming tomorrow, Scandalous: An Owen Family Story.


(That is a paper printout of the ebook cover.)

More information tomorrow!

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Don’t Drink the Koolade

Some of you know the story of how I came to be an indie-published author (aka self-published). Probably more of you don’t.

The highlights are here:

  • Doctor said to put my affairs in order
  • Initial panic at thought of dying
  • I didn’t want my novel manuscripts thrown out by the kids
  • I sought out the best solution for me
  • I acted on it by publishing my first book
  • People liked the first, so I did the second one, too
  • I was Indie before it was cool
  • The doctor was wrong

That doctor actually did me a favor. I love what being in charge of my writing career does for me.

However, I see new and wanna-be authors making costly, unthinking mistakes in seeking traditional publishing for their book. I’ve done the careful cautions, but can’t save everyone from their dreams. They’ll sign the contracts, get badly burned, then ask around about how they can get out of those hideous contracts. Most times, they can’t. In a fraction of cases, they can, but only because the publisher already breached the contract.

I’m about to the point that I won’t open my mouth anymore. It’s sad.

Yesterday, one of my heroes among writers, Dean Wesley Smith, published a blog post that tells how he feels nowadays. Check it out here.

EDIT: I’ve fixed the link. I’m blaming the error on my fat fingers using the WordPress phone app.

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Downtime Decompression

I recently released a novel, Gone for a Soldier, which took me two years to write and publish. Of course I wasn’t writing solidly for two years, but with intensive research and several drafts, not to mention the publishing side of the equation, traveling to conferences and workshops, and life in general, it was a long two years.

Now I’m in a sort of downtime lull before I begin another work of long-form fiction. I need time to decompress from the stress and focus of the completed task before I begin another like process.

I’ve had people ask me what I do between writing novels. The first thing I do is take a couple of weeks to recover. No writing. Plenty of recreational reading. Sleeping in.

But that can’t last forever. When I’m tired of being a lazy lout, what do I do?

I write shorter fiction. Much shorter, like six thousand words or fewer. I have three stories in the works right now.

Or I write poetry. It’s a totally different discipline of writing.

Or I think. I collect my thoughts. I let ideas swirl around in my mind, mulling over grand “what if’s” for a new work.

Or I analyze and plan. What methods of publicity for my works are best? Should I up my quarterly e-newsletter to six times a year? Should I learn more about using Goodreads? Spend less time on Facebook? More?

Since my books typically come out in the last part of calendar years, a new year is right around the bend, so another thing I do is try to figure out my calendar of projects and travel for the following year: How can I juggle writing and production with traveling to events? What conferences will I attend? Should I make a box set of my novels? What awards will I seek? Will I make the deadlines? How can I make my website more useful? What did I leave undone this year that should be put on next year’s list of projects? Do I have enough inventory of books? Too much? Should I consider cutting back on travel and/or memberships in writing associations? What is my most effective time of day to write? Why am I not on Wikipedia?

Whoa! Enough with the questions. They could take over my life. It may be time to start writing a new novel.

What do you do with your downtime?

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