Tag Archive: projects



         Hello everyone… when last I left you, I had promised to discuss some of the writing projects currently under way in the Para-Earth Series, and that is exactly what I intend to cover in this entry.

          Currently there not one, not two but over seven books under construction so to speak.

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          Each is at a different stage of development as far as length, but all are still only 1st drafts.  So there’s still a lot more to do on them, but progress is being made.

I’ll start with the book that will be released this coming November/December.  This one focuses mainly on my vampyre Nathan and his friends.  Before I released the first full-length novel starring Nathan last year, he and his friends had been the focus of a blog I started back in 2014 appropriately called “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition” (You can click this link to see the latest story: http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/).

The purpose of the blog was to introduce readers to Nathan and company in a series of blog, e-diary, and e-journal entries and raise interest for the novel.  After three years there are now over 50 different stories of varying lengths that have appeared on the blog.  However, this also means that there are a lot of pages for a newcomer to try and scroll through to find the earliest tales or even the beginning of the more lengthy tales which can stretch from one to six separate entries.

          This has been a common lament that has reached our ears.  So just in time for the holidays, Helen and I have been gathering some of the earlier entries and are putting them into the first of what we hope will be a number of anthologies.  Mind you, this anthology will NOT just contain old stories.  Brand new tales are being added that have never appeared on the blog before, giving the readers something more to enjoy besides the convenience of accessing the earliest tales.  Some will be written solely by me or Helen, while others will be a joint venture, so you’ll be getting a taste of both our combined and individual styles.  Furthermore, as in the novel, the entries will be written from the points of views of various characters who appeared in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”

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Amazon.comhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDO8SLO/ref=series_rw_dp_sw 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampyre-blogs-allan-krummenacker/1124855249?ean=2940153799605)

And as I mentioned earlier, we are planning more anthologies involving other never-before-seen tales of Para-Earth encounters starring characters from “The Bridge” and “The Ship” as well as brand new characters who may become part of our growing cast.  The first of that anthology will hopefully be coming in 2018, we’ll keep you posted on that front.

In the meantime, what other projects do we have that are currently in the works?

Well, the long awaited sequel to “The Bridge” and “The Ship”, currently titled “The Door”…

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 …stars Alex Hill, Veronica Ross, Cassandra Elliott and Julianna Cloudfoot is currently weighing in at 60,000 words.  This one has been a long project for me because I’ve been expanding the cast and finding the weight cumbersome at times.  As in previous novels, I’ve tried to keep a mystery going, while also playing fair and giving hints to the audience as to what’s really going on.  Furthermore, this book will address certain unanswered questions from the first two books about the mysterious white-haired man who has plans for Cassandra.  As well as provide more insight into Rachel’s baby.  It will also open the eyes of certain characters into past experiences they’ve had and even begin the first major crossover between this part of the series and the Vampyre Blogs characters.

I’m hoping to have the first draft completed and the second under way by the end of this year.  From there my goal is to release it mid or late 2018.  I will make sure the release date will not interfere or overlap with the Para-Earth anthology mentioned earlier.  I like to give each installment its moment in the spotlight, as well as release books more frequently than I have in the past.

Of course, working with two other authors is also allowing the series to build up a reserve of books to make future releases more regular and frequent (a goal I’ve been hoping to see come true for a long time).

The next novel(s) to be released after that will hopefully be “The Pass” and “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties”.  Both books are currently under way, with “The Pass” being the more advanced of the two.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, “The Pass” takes place during the Civil War.  Espionage, intrigue, paranormal, and Para-Earth all come together in this epic tale that draws upon actual historical events to make the tale even more exciting.  My partner Rich has been dutifully scouring history books and maps to make sure timelines, maps, modes of travel and how long the journey from the east coast to the west (before the Trans-Continental railroad was available) are completely accurate.

While most of the characters are original, certain historical figures will be appearing in the book as well as a ‘cameo’ by our favorite vampyre (whose origins are also directly connected with the Civil War).

But wait there are still more projects in the works, which I will cover in my next entry.   Until then, take care and keep writing my friends.


Well, I just got the official word from Kickstarter that my crowd-funding project failed.  No surprise really, not since I told everyone I considered it over already a few days ago. Will I try another Kickstarter down the road?  Quite likely.  It was a good experience I felt.  Also, I got a number of good compliments on the video I made for it, which also pleases me.

For those who don’t know, I began running a Vlog (video blog) about a year or two ago, but haven’t touched it in a long time.  I may start creating more videos just for giggles.  I’ve had several comedic ideas in mind for some time, but just haven’t had the time or inclination to get out and shoot some new material.  For the most part, I tried to make my videos informative (usually about writing or being creative).  But when I look back on what I did in the past, they were very informative, but static.  A guy sitting there and talking at you.  Whereas my Kickstarter video I put a lot more thought into angles, a bit of a script, and even a few visual effects.  Nothing by Hollywood’s standards, but it was definitely more fun to watch.  If I could add some more comedy touches to it, I might have something a bit more fun for people to watch.

The few where I did add comedy were my most popular videos in the past.  And I’ve often been told I have a good sense of timing and comedy, so we’ll see.  I’ve already got one idea for a Christmas video to a very amusing song which I definitely want to put together for this coming December.

But I digress.  I learned a lot from my Kickstarter experience and will probably employ it again down the road.  One of the things I learned was to be more careful about the timing.  Starting one up around Christmas was a BIG mistake.  A number of people wanted to contribute, but times are still hard and they didn’t have much to spare and I understood this.  That was my bad and it won’t happen again.

Do I recommend Kickstarter or crowd-sourcing to other writers and other creative minds who are trying to raise money to help finance a project.  Absolutely YES!  It’s worth a shot and the most you’ll lose out on is time, but you will gain insight about your idea.  Was my book a bad idea?  Not in the least.  I know a lot of people are out there chomping at the bit to get their hands on it when I release the book.  Some of you may be saying, “If that’s the case why didn’t any of them help fund your Kickstarter?” Once more I point to TIMING!  Even when the book comes out, they may not be able to buy it right away, depending on their finances.  But they will buy it eventually.

I’ve noticed books with artwork do pretty well on Kickstarter (children’s books, comics, original artwork books, etc).  I think partly because the contributors can see more of what they’re money would be going into, plus a lot of artists can offer original pages or images as part of the rewards they offer contributors.

All I had to offer were copies of my book in various formats (Nook, Kindle, PDF, signed paperback copies, 1st editions, and even the artwork that became the book’s cover).

Also, keep in mind the levels you make available for people to contribute.  Don’t just aim really high, aim low too.  My goal was $600, if I had 300 people give at $1, then another 60 give $5, I would’ve made it.  Remember, it’s a bit of a numbers game.  Not everyone will be able to donate a huge amount, but a large number of small ones can take far enough to hit your goal.  Just make sure you get the word out there.  Kickstarter isn’t going to spread the word for you.  That’s YOUR job!

I know this is a lot to take in, but that’s why I’m posting it here.  So you can refer back to it again and again.  Part of my creating this blog was so others could learn what worked and what didn’t as I travel this road to become a well known author.  There’s still a lot of the journey ahead of me, so stay with me.  There’s still a lot more experiences I have to share with you.

And remember, if you go the crowd-sourcing way keep in mind the time of year.  You may not want to start one around April 15th when people may be having to find money to pay the Tax Man and whatnot.  Think about what may be going on in the lives of others.  Now the the major holidays over may be a good time to start putting your project together and getting it out there.  Will I re-release my project again?  Possibly.  But it won’t be a for a few months if I do.  I’ve pushed the release date back to late May to try and get “THE SHIP” out there as the perfect time for a nice book to read during the summer, which is when the story is taking place.  They say timing is everything.

So until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.

“Kickstarting” My Book…


Okay, I know right off the bat most of you are going to be wondering, “What the hell?  I thought he had book 2 almost finished.  What’s he talking about kickstarting it?”   Well, what I’m really talking about is Kickstarter.com.  For those who are not familiar with Kickstarter, here’s a quick overview.  Kickstarter is a site where you can raise money for a specific art/creative project by getting people to donate to it.  Now it has to be something artsy or creative, like a comic book, cutting your own music album, an art project, or some other creative work that you need funds to help complete.  Mind you, the monies are intended to go to that project, not for you to take a vacation or go on a personal spending spree.  The object is to be able to get help to make a dream project a reality.

 

In my case, I’m going to be doing Kickstarter to pay for the professional editing for “The Ship”.  Originally, I was going to try and fund this myself.  Unfortunately as most of my regular readers will know this year has been a tough one in a lot of ways.  Well, earlier this week, my car died as we came off a freeway.  It turned out that the timing belt went.  But it didn’t go by itself.  It damaged the water pump and the valves resulting in a bill of two grand.  There went my funds for the editing job.  So, I decided to try a Kickstarter to get the money.

 

Why am I so determined to get the book edited professionally?  Simple, my first book “The Bridge” made a good splash in spite of not having professional editing done on it.  Over 1500 copies have been grabbed up and 95% of the reviews have been 4 and 5 stars.  There were however a couple of 3 star ones, by professional authors and those more familiar with the industry, who loved the story, but lamented the fact that such a good book had not been given that final polish to make it “Great”.  Yes, that word was used more than once.  So I was determined that book 2 would get that extra polish and fine tuning.

 

So how exactly does Kickstarter work and how does it raise money for your project?  It’s pretty simple really.  First you have to have a project and a definite financial goal in mind.  You set up an account on Kickstarter and read the guidelines about what kind of projects they will allow.  Find the category yours fits in and then start working on your pitch.  Yeah, that’s right, you have create pitch just as if your product was already finished and you were trying to sell it to prospective customers.  In this case, your pitching to prospective backers.  You still control the product and its design, as well as all the rights to it.  So you might be wondering, “What do the backers get out of helping you?”  That’s up to you.

 

Here in America, we have channels on TV called PBS or Public Broadcasting Stations.  These are funded by the government and also by donations from viewers.  These stations will do what they call “Pledge Drives” where they ask the public for donations.  They will suggest different amounts of donations that also have thank you gifts for the donors depending on what amount of money they could afford.  You might get a T-shirt, a mug, a pin with the stations logo, or possibly one that is connected to a favorite show of yours they happen to play on a regular basis.

 

My PBS station used to run Doctor Who.  At the time I belonged to a Doctor Who Fan Club and we’d man the phone banks during these pledge breaks, wearing costumes from the show.  I played one of the villains, while the people doing the sales pitch were dressed up as their favorite Doctor, whom I would try to harrass and usually wind up getting abused by a companion or the phone bank people.  Our pledge breaks were the most successful and used to bring in the most donations.  But it wasn’t just the entertainment we offered, but the thank you gifts.  Doctor Who mugs, t-shirts, pins, books  a whole bunch of items.  Depending on the amount pledged a person might get one or several of these items altogether for really high donations.

 

This is what Kickstarter is like.  Only the thank you gifts are based on your product.   You might offer your supporters free copies of your work, some signed or personalized, a t-shirt with a logo, a special handwritten thank you note along with your product.  It all depends on you and what you’re creating.

 

So check out Kickstarter if you’re looking to fund a project and see if yours qualifies.  Just remember to really plan out your pitch and thank you gifts in advance.  Don’t go off half-cocked and not have a clear plan in mind or you’ll fail.

 

Also, you’ll have anywhere from 30-60 days to reach your goal.  Make sure the amount your aiming for is achievable in the time-frame you choose.  Because if your Kickstarter does not reach its goal, your project will not be funded at all.  Even if you got partial pledges, no money changes hands.  This is to help protect your backers.  Who wants to fund a project that may not see the light of day in the long run?  So make sure you’ve really planned things out.

 

As for my goals, I’ll be aiming for about $500-$600 dollars.  I’m still making a list of my thank you gifts which so far include advance PDF and Paperback copies of the finished book, some signed and personalized, thank you notes, mention in the thank you page of the book itself, the original artwork of the cover I designed.  I’m even considering a possible guest appearance in an upcoming book.  Who knows.

 

Now, I haven’t finished putting my Kickstarter together so don’t go wasting your time looking for it.  I’m still planning out donation levels and the thank you gifts that go with them.  Plus, I have to put together my video pitch.  Most Kickstarters have a video and those tend to be more successful at getting funded, so please keep that in mind if you’re thinking of doing one for yourself.

 

I’ll be posting the link to my Kickstarter here, as soon as it is ready to go.

 

In the meantime,  check out Kickstarter at the link below.  Especially if you’ve had a project in mind for some time but couldn’t figure out how to finance it.  Remember, look over their guidelines carefully to make sure your idea will qualify for a Kickstarter.  Also, check out some of the Kickstarter projects others have set up to get ideas of thank you gifts and how to put together your sales pitch.

 

Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Kickstarter Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/

 

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