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I swear there are days I wish signs like this would appear so I can prepare myself…

I’m sure the image above speaks volumes of what’s been happening with me in the last week or so.  Too many distractions and problems to deal with and very little of me to go around.  I won’t go into great detail but I had a financial crisis thanks to my old health insurance (no I wasn’t sick or injured it was a premiums issue) that is finally getting resolved.  My finances are very thin at the moment but will improve shortly so now I can breathe a little easier again.

I also wound up making a major decision on the university front.  I’ve changed my major from Collaborative Health and Human Services to aiming for a Business Degree.  I’m leaning towards Marketing because there’s a much better demand for that field, as well as getting better ideas of how to market my own works in time.

So slowly but surely I’ve been weathering the storms that have been hitting me left and right.  But all this chaos also slowed down my writing considerably.  Just dealing with all this nonsense left me physically and emotionally drained to the point I had very little left in the tank.

Plus I was having a really hard time trying to decide where to take the next scene in the story.  I had several options but none of them were really going anywhere.  They seemed more like unnecessary side streets that did not lend enough to the main story.

Finally I did the one thing I keep reminding everyone else to do…

Instead of trying to force the story along I listened to what my characters were saying.  They told me where they needed to be in the next scene and I went with their idea.  Suddenly, the story is moving forward again and new tension is building as a result, adding new excitement and mystery to the piece.  So tomorrow, I think I can really settle in and do some serious work on the novel.  I really want to get this first draft completed before the end of the summer so I can get the 2nd draft and editing under way.  Then after a third and maybe fourth rewrite, I’ll unleash it on some beta-readers.  I’m still planning on trying to get “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” out by Christmas as well, but we’ll see how things are going.

For now I just need some down time to recover from all this recent stress.  But I feel like on my path again.  That’s all for now.  Take care everyone and remember to keep writing.


Wait I’m the one writing this story!  How did I wind up here?

Did you ever lose track of where the book/story you were writing was headed?  If the answer is no, then all I have to say is, “I hate you, now will you teach me your ways oh Master Jedi?”

Okay, all kidding aside, this happened to me just recently, and the sad thing was I didn’t even realize that I’d lost my plot until I was about third of the way through the first draft. Now, I don’t know if it happened because I was writing part of a series and was trying to remember details from the previous books, or because I got too caught up in the characters (both old and new), but I still managed to lose my original plot which was quite embarrassing.  I mean I could’ve sworn I left on the kitchen table next to my keys, but when I went back the plot wasn’t there.  Neither were my keys for that matter, but I’m going to worry about that later, first things first.

Up until the point where I realized I’d lost the plot, I thought the story was moving along just perfectly.   New characters were being introduced in just the right time and place, fallout from the big final battle from the first book were being addressed, issues of love an coming out to family were being covered, etc.   Yet somehow, the new threat to the characters had somehow fallen off the radar for the most part.  There was a distinct lack of growing menace for the audience to see coming that the characters were completely unaware of…

There very little hint of the approaching storm that was looming on the horizon, which left the reader with a severe lack of growing tension.  This was especially frustrating to me since some of the new characters were in league with my main villain.  Furthermore, the villain of the piece had appeared in both the previous books as as added menace.  There is a huge mystery surrounding him and this story was to be the BIG REVEAL!  We’d learn not only his secrets but that of several others, including that of a ghostly figure who watches over Cassandra, one of my main characters.

Even more irritating to me was the fact that I have this huge climactic battle that will take the readers to places and introduce concepts you never saw coming!  But I still lost that air of growing tension and menace.  Plus, the path the story was on seemed to be veering further away from my intended goal.  Luckily I knew exactly what to do.  After all, this is my story and I was the one in control of where it needed to head.  The path was mine to alter and move as I saw fit…

So what did I do?  Did I go back and dump most of what I’d already written?  The answer to both those questions is a simple ‘no’.  There were a lot of interesting scenes taking place that had a good amount of tension and intrigue that simply needed a little tweaking or an added cutaway scene.  That’s right, all I had to do was cut away from an existing scene and slip in another one involving my “Big Baddie” which clearly had some connection to what was happening in the existing scene.

In a few other areas all I need to do is remind people that ‘certain people’ aren’t who they appear to be and are actually in league with the villain.  This part is a little trickier because I added a number of new characters and I’m trying to keep the identity of the ‘traitor’ hidden from all.  This can be a challenge at times since I’m keeping everyone wondering who the double-agent really is.  Some writers like to make it obvious, while others like to keep the audience guessing.  I side with the latter, but even if people figure out who it is I still have a major surprise for them regarding that person.

But enough of that, I’m starting to lose the point of this entry.  It’s very easy to lose your way while writing.  The characters and what’s going on in their lives can become so interesting at times that we get swept up in those parts of the stories just s easily as our readers can.  But every so often you need to stop and read everything you’ve written up to that point and see if there are any problems.  Some writers will plow on ahead and complete an entire first draft and then go over it to look for issues, which is perfectly acceptable too.  There is no one right way, there are multiple ones.  The main thing point is to make sure you didn’t lose your plot somewhere along the way.  And if you did, make sure you correct it and get things back on track.  Don’t just do a first draft and declare your work done and rush to publish it as is.  You’ll regret it later.

Until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.

PS: I found my keys, they were in my pocket all long.  Now if I could just remember where I put my glasses…


That’s right, my second novel “The Ship” is now free for for all Kindle users.

This 5-star paranormal/mystery continues the story of Cassandra Elliot and Julie Cloudfoot, the two young women who fought alongside Alex and Veronica in my first novel “The Bridge”

These two young ladies have fallen in love and have come to Santa Cruz to see if their new relationship can work, as well as bury Julie’s uncle who had been guarding the bridge as part of his duties as the family shaman.

But there are new problems. Julie is finding out that the shaman mantle has been passed to her, but she things there is nothing to guard against as the being that had lain hidden inside the bridge is no more. However, another evil from another para-earth has arisen and has marked Cassandra is its target.

Now the two will have to fight against a new threat that threatens to tear apart them apart before they fully begin.

Once again ghosts, psychics, and shamans await you in this new story, along with a terrifying ghost ship and a familiar white-haired villain from “The Bridge”

So click on the link below and grab your copy now. And don’t forget to spread the word to everyone you know so they can take advantage too:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ship-Every-navigator-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B00K3A7XG6/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1VQJ8YHE6VPSKFT1TWKV


akrummenacker:

I’ve been seeing a lot of people panicking over the new royalties deal Amazon is rolling out. This article may help straighten out some of the misconceptions a few have out there. I hope it helps…

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

ChickenLittleAre you scared yet? Because you should be scared. Something really bad is about to happen. It affects all of us.

Our livelihoods are at risk. The ability to support our families. It’s just over the horizon. It could happen any minute. It’s coming for all of us!

WE ARE DOOOOOOOOOMED.

Ahem.

I’ve been around for long enough to know that authors can be a skittish bunch. Probably something to do with our over-active imaginations, with an assist from that old writers’ favorite: the whiskey brunch.

More seriously, we are going through a period of unprecedented change so it’s perfectly normal for people to be a little fearful. I think the disruption we are all experiencing is greater than that which has been faced by similar industries. In fact, I think the transition from print book to e-book is akin to going straight from vinyl to MP3, with all that…

View original 1,112 more words


Some months back, I talked about Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited and how I did not feel comfortable about having my e-books available exclusively in Kindle form.  For those unfamiliar with what was discussed, here’s  a quick explanation.  In order to be part of Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited, your book cannot be available in any other e-book format (Nook, Sony, Apple, etc.).  This of course means your the e-version of your book cannot be up for sale through Smashwords, Nook, and other e-formats.  This did not rub me the right way at the time, but since then there as been no activity for either of my books through Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or other outlets besides Amazon in spite of a lot of promoting on my part.

But then another disturbing trend began to appear.  I started seeing my books selling on Amazon and I began hoping this meant a growing trend in sales.  However, there was a problem.  In spite of the sales I was not seeing any royalties, which puzzled me greatly.  After waiting a few days and seeing this continue to happen, I delved further into the matter and discovered that ALL the recent sales were returned either the same day or the next day.  Wondering how this could be happening I quickly learned that a number of individuals have been purchasing e-books, reading them in one day, and then returning them for a full refund.  In short, turning Amazon into a sort of  ‘library’ where they could get a good read and then return the book without paying a cent in the end.

Now, I fully understand that sometimes people can buy a book that turns out to be nothing of what they expected and would like their money back.  This is something Amazon and other companies do allow.  However, to abuse this privilege and claim ‘It’s my money and I’m entitled to a refund…’ repeatedly is a real problem.  Every author I’ve seen on Amazon makes a portion of their book available for free so prospective buyers can get an idea if the book is something they’d like to read.  I myself make about 16% of my book available as a sample so people can decide if this is something they want to buy or not.  Yet, a number of people have instead turned Amazon into a revolving library that they don’t have to pay for.

Having lost out on a number of sales, I decided that if my book was going to be treated as if it was part of a library, I wanted to get something for my efforts.  So with no sales happening on all other fronts, I took my books down and enrolled them exclusively with KS and KU.  Now once you’ve enrolled in KS, your book is also available in KU where you earn money every time your book is borrowed and people read it.  However, starting July 1st, this is changing to paying the authors for every page read, which benefits those who right longer books instead of putting out a bunch of really short works which had been the case before.

Now I’ve only joined recently and have yet to see much activity, but I’m hopeful.  I think a lot of people have held back because I advertised a “FREE” weekend where almost 400 people grabbed their own Kindle copy of “The Bridge”.  This coming weekend, I’ll be offering “The Ship” for free as well.  From there, we’ll see how the ‘borrowing’ goes and if there’s any increase in paid sales.   I’m hoping that as a result of all these giveaways will increase the reviews for both books and will lead to actual purchases or paid borrows through KU.

I don’t know if this approach will help or hurt, but sometimes you have to try something different.  As for those who do not have a Kindle, I do have e-copies of my books in E-Pub and PDF formats and will sell them to you personally.  The price is the same as at Amazon $2.99.

*Final note: Amazon has been starting to flag and shut down some of these serial-returners.  But there are a great number of them out there and decent authors are suffering for it.  Hopefully an answer will present itself and I can put my novels out there in other formats for you all.  In the meantime, my contract with KS and KU is only for three months.  If I don’t like what happens I may pull the books out and put them back up on Smashwords and other places, we’ll see.

I hope my experiences here are providing you all with insights of what to watch out for as you decide what format to put your own books in.  There are many pitfalls and unforeseen issues, but hopefully being warned about what could happen will help you navigate and avoid them.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.


*FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW FOR AMAZON KINDLE*

“The Bridge”, book one in the Para-Earth Series for FREE for ALL Kindle users through Amazon.

That’s right, you can enjoy this 4 and 5 star tale for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription. This paranormal/mystery will introduce you to ghosts, psychics, and a whole new vision of parallel realities unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

So grab a copy for yourself and tell everyone you know so they can take advantage of this 2-day opportunity, they’ll thank you for it.

Book 2 in this series will be available for FREE next weekend so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy “The Bridge” and see what happens next.

Click on the link below and enjoy yourselves everyone:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0XQ3F748RYGVT4VFBH5E


*IN CASE ONE BOOK WASN’T ENOUGH, HERE’S ANOTHER SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR KINDLE UNLIMITED SUBSCRIBERS*

The Ship © 2014 Allan Krummenacker

You can now get “The Ship”, book two in the Para-Earth Series for FREE through Amazon. That’s right, you can enjoy this 5 star tale for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

This paranormal/mystery continues the story of Cassandra and Julie, two young women who fought alongside Alex and Veronica in my first novel “The Bridge”. The two have fallen in love and have come to Santa Cruz to see if their new relationship can work, as well as bury Julie’s uncle who had been guarding the bridge as part of his duties as the family shaman.

But there are new problems. Julie is finding out that the shaman mantle has been passed to her, but she things there is nothing to guard against as the being that had lain hidden inside the bridge is no more. However, another evil from another para-earth has arisen and has marked Cassandra is its target.

Now the two will have to fight against a new threat that threatens to tear apart them apart before they fully begin.

Once again ghosts, psychics, and shamans await you in this new story, along with a terrifying ghost ship and a familiar white-haired villain from “The Bridge”.

So why not check it out today and enjoy a really exciting summer read. And remember, you can find book one in the series “The Bridge” which is also FREE to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

Click on this link to start reading:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ship-Every-navigator-Para-Earth-ebook/dp/B00K3A7XG6/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1Z1J12WT1JS8PB0KQX5G


*SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR KINDLE UNLIMITED SUBSCRIBERS*

You can now get “The Bridge”, book on in the Para-Earth Series for FREE through Amazon.  That’s right, you can enjoy this 4 and 5 star tale for free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.  This paranormal/mystery will introduce you to ghosts, psychics, and a whole new vision of parallel realities unlike anything you’ve ever read before.

So why not check it out today and enjoy a really exciting summer read. Plus when you’re done you’ll find book 2 in the series, “The Ship”, is also available through Kindle Unlimited.

Just click on the link below to get started, and please help spread the word.  Thank you and happy reading…

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-Para-Earth-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TXXNAMPAYHW47GCQ7C1


The band called the All-American Rejects, wrote a song called “Move Along” which has always stuck with me.  It did so even more when I saw the video which at one point involves a member of the band falling backwards into what appears to be an empty swimming pool.  But just as he’s in mid-air, the scene shifts to a side view where we see a bunch of hands rise up out of the empty pool to catch and support him.

That’s what a lot of you have been doing for me since my last entry and I want to say a huge “THANK YOU!”  So many of you encouraged me saying, “You’ll find a way forward…” or  “Are you absolutely sure there’s no way to unite the two ideas, it sounds awesome?” These comments came to me here, on FB and over on Google+.

After reading all this feedback and dwelling on the problem I finally realized I was dealing with another “Rubik’s Cube” (For those not familiar with what I mean by this, here’s a link to an entry I did a while back about writing and Rubik’s Cubes: Writing and Rubik’s Cubes).

So I took a few steps back and gave the problem some thought…

Okay, I gave it a LOT of thought…

Eventually, I came to a realization…  I thought I had only two paths because both led to storylines that I already had planned.  In short, I had become paralyzed by my own vision of what I wanted to have happen in my series.  But those stories had not been written yet, nor were they cast in stone.  I was still in command.  The Para-Earth Series was mine to create, and design however I wanted.  The important thing was to make the journey interesting and entertaining for my readers, which many of you have told me repeatedly I do very well.

So instead of choosing either of the two paths I had before me, I did something else…

I grabbed the road I was already on and took it in a whole new direction which allowed me to marry the two ideas and make them work.  It took a lot of thinking on my part but I’ve done it.  The mysterious carnival people and Nathaniel will be appearing in “The Door”.  There will still be many unanswered questions about both, but in Nathaniel’s case a lot of those will be answered in December.  As for the strange people from the carnival, their time is coming as well.  You will see more of them in upcoming books before meeting them personally.  But meet them you will my friends.  They’re story may actually become an anthology of short stories written from the point of view of one who will join their ranks because it will be the only place he can be safe.  You will also learn how the carnival’s origins are connected to the ghostly Brandon, who watches over Cassandra, and will have all his secrets revealed in “The Door”.

There are plenty of surprises in store for you all within the pages of this novel in progress.  So stay tuned.

But for now I want to say, “Thank you everyone, for supporting and believing in me and my abilities as a writer.”  I will always do my best to create stories that will take you places you never expected, and make you laugh and even cry along the way.  But always, I’ll try to deliver a good product that leaves you feeling elated and full of wonder at the end.

Until next time… take care of yourselves and keep writing.

And one more thing.  For those who are interested in checking out the music video for “Move Along” I’m adding the link just below.  I find the song very helpful and uplifting at times and I hope you do as well.  Enjoy…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XleOkGsYgO8

What to do? What to do?


University is done so I’m free to write once more, my computer is running nicely, and I’m full of ideas.  “So what’s the problem?” I hear you ask.  Well… remember that blog entry I recently did about a certain ‘whale’ I had to let get away… (For those who missed that entry here’s the link: https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/the-tale-of-the-whale-who-got-away/ ).  Well, I’m finding myself in the same position once again.  And since it’s happening in the here and now, I thought I’d share my thought processes and reasoning with you all, in the hopes it might help you should you find yourself in a similar dilemma.

So I stand at a crossroads, trying to weigh my options about whether or not to cut a scene I truly love and think is totally amazing?  I have this wonderful scene where one of my four lead characters is involved in a wreck down in the subway tunnels of New York City.  She was targeted by a mysterious stalker who has been following her through “The Bridge” and “The Ship” and is now finally making his move.  But even after slaughtering an entire train of people, he manages to incapacitate her only to lose her to a mysterious ‘carnival troupe’ whose old-fashioned train and cars are somehow appears on the scene inside those same subway tunnels.  Driven off before he can take his prize, the mysterious folks of the ‘carnival’ take his prey to safety under the watchful eye of the girl’s ghostly ancestor.  Sounds great right?  Plus it raises so many questions like “Why would an old-fashioned circus train (without animals) be traveling on the subway lines in the first place?”  Furthermore, we would’ve seen these strange folks who look more like relics from an old-fashioned “Freak Show” demonstrate unusual abilities and talents.

So why would I want to remove such a powerful and intriguing scene?  Because this would be the only time they show up in the book.  I didn’t have anything else for them to do later on.  Furthermore, they would not show up again until 2-3 books from now.  What good would that do my audience?  I’d be leaving everyone hanging and I don’t like that idea.  Oh I could easily beef up their role and have them reappear several times in this book, working behind the scenes to aid our heroes, but it would wind up being a more complicated story to follow, unless I was very careful.

That is one path at this crossroads that I could follow.  The other path, would lead directly into my next novel “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  How would this happen you may ask.  The answer is simple.  Last December, I wrote a short story in my other blog “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition”.  It was a six part story (I prefer to use small installments on blogs) which added up to a novelette which I may release one day down the road.  Within that story I took several characters who appear in my first two books  (namely Veronica, Julie, Roy and Julie’s uncle Jason) and set the clock back some fifteen years ago.  In that story they met two men who aided them in finding a very young Julie who had become lost in a snowstorm and was menaced by a strange creature.  One of the two men was Nathaniel Steward, my vampyre, who as you all know will have his own book coming out this December.  Since he is already known to several of the characters in “The Door”, I started thinking about introducing him in this novel to play a supporting role to my heroes.  This made more and more sense to me since I could see him helping from the shadows at times, as well as having a scene in the epilogue which would lead him directly into his own story.  This is something I’ve done in the previous two books.  I always have a plot that leads directly into the next book, so this idea makes more and more sense to me.

However if I used Nathaniel it would mean…

…cutting the train scene beneath the streets of New York City.

Why is this so hard?  Because I put so much research into laying that scene out.  I checked time tables, routes, where the nearest hospital would be in relation to where I had the action taking place… the works.  Yet, try as I might, I could never reconcile those mysterious carnival people with the rest of the story.

You see, I actually started “The Door” two years ago BEFORE I started “The Ship”.  However, I kept running up against problem after problem with the story.  Which was why I put it aside and decided to explore what happened to Cassie and Julie over in Santa Cruz.  That story came fast and easy by comparison and produced good results.  But even after coming back to “The Door” with a whole new load of information from what happened in “The Ship”, I still couldn’t really see a clear path forward.

But then I thought of Nathaniel and things seem to be clicking into place.   Not everything is perfect mind you.  By adding him in I have to create entire new scenes, but I feel like the road is a little more clear for where the story should go.

As you can tell, I’ve pretty much made up my mind where I’m going.  It’s just really hard to let go of that “train wreck scene”.  But I’m going to anyway.  I thought about combining Nathaniel and the carnival people, and have him appear on board that mysterious train, but his presence there is too much of a coincidence.  It makes more sense to have him appear at Jason’s old house since he has a history with the deceased and has come to pay his respects.  Plus it gives me more room to have him interact with Julie who has known him since she was little and is now wondering why he hasn’t aged  at all in fifteen years.  Will she learn the truth that her late uncle knew about Nathan’s true nature?  If she does how will she react to this revelation?  And what part will he play in this story before all is said and done?  You’ll have to wait and see.

And for that matter so will I.  The thing about writing is sometimes there’s not a road or path before us.  So we writers have to make one ourselves, one that is right for us and our creations, which makes the journey so much more interesting.  So until next time, take care of yourselves and keep creating those roads that have not yet been traveled my friends.

  P. S. : If any of you missed that short story involving Nathan, Julie, Jason, Veronica and Roy, here’s the links:

Part One: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-one/

Part Two: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-two/

Part Three: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-three/

Part Four: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-four/

Part Five: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-five/

Part Six: https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/home-for-christmas-a-para-earth-holiday-tale-part-six/

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