Tag Archive: writing



Sorry for the delay in posting this second section, but I’ve been having issues with the Kindle version of my first novel “The Bridge”.  Amazon has been alerted to the problem and are working hard with me to get the problem resolved.  I’ll be creating another post here sharing what happened and how we got things resolved shortly.

In the meantime, back to our discussion about working and juggling multiple stories…

silhouette of a man juggling in spiral form

So where was I?  Oh yes, why finding that I could work on multiple stories was such a big deal for me.  Anyone who is creative will tell you that when you have that creative mindset going it gives them a surge of satisfaction that’s like no other.  Our minds love to be active and focused on something.  But for artists, writers, musicians, anyone who’s got a creative mind, not having the brain working on something can be frustrating.  You start to feel stale, or like you’re not doing your part somehow.  This is a big part of why writer’s block of any kind, can be so frustrating.  We get that adrenaline rush and excitement when we’re creating, so to find ourselves stuck can actually be devastating over time.  The more you’re in a rut the angry you become with yourself.  So in my case, having multiple stories to work on means I’ve always got something to keep the old noggin busy and have that adrenaline flowing.

Plus there’s a genuine excitement to coming up with a new idea/concept, new characters, and situations. Mind you, you can get too caught up with generating new ideas and scenes without getting anything down on paper or your computer.  Even if you do manage to get the ideas down if you’re too busy just creating and generating, you may find you wound up doing nothing with all those fantastic ideas and have nothing to show for it in the end.  So watch yourselves.  Been there and done that, so I know of what I speak.

Furthermore, finishing a piece can be every bit as exciting as creating so don’t deny yourselves that pleasure.  Even if it’s just a short story, completing one can really raise you spirits and keep the creative juices flowing.

Why do I keep harping on keeping those creative juices flowing?  Because in my case, any victory is important.  As someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia, I can tell you any victory, however small helps.  It can be a daily battle to accomplish even the smallest tasks during a Flare-Up, and keeping your spirits up while fighting great pain is essential.  So every victory, no matter how small, counts.

Brain Firing

But just as important is the fact that we’re training our brains to think and operate a certain way.  When I hit a roadblock on a piece, working on something else for a while actually gives one part of my brain time to rest.  I’m not worrying about the story I’m stuck on, I’m problem-solving another one.  Then when I go back to the piece I’d been stuck on I come at it with fresh eyes and a more open mind.  I’ll look back to see where I got bogged down.  And since my brain has been solving other problems, my mental muscles are up for the challenge and may come up with something totally new that blows the writer’s block away.

Does it always work?  No.  I may have to come back to a piece multiple times before finding the way forward, but it does happen.

Mind you, at this stage of my writing career, there is one drawback to working on multiple projects, it takes me a long time to get one completely finished.  Yet, there is a bright side to this.  You see, several of the works I’m currently involved with are over halfway done already.  And since I don’t like to release more than one book at a time, this means I will soon have a number of finished works that I can parcel out over a period of  2-3 times a year.  This of course satisfies the readers’ cravings for more…

Shut-up-and-take-my-money

While at the same time I get breathing space to build up more pieces for later release.  For me, this is one of the biggest benefits of working multiple stories.  In the short term it can seem a bit of a slow process, but when looked at in a bigger picture, it means you’re building a reserve for yourself that can help keep your audience happy and allow yourself some breathing room during those slow productive periods.

Well, that’s all I have to say for now.  Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.


When I started out on this writing journey, I never saw myself as someone who could a whole bunch of writing projects going at the same time.  That kind of thing was reserved for some of the great prolific authors like Isaac Asimov, who was notorious for working on multiple projects on a regular basis.  The man insisted on having a portable typewriter or two wherever he went.  And if he couldn’t get his hands on a typewriter, he’d pull out a pad of paper and a bunch of pencils/pens and wrote the old fashion way, long hand.

But me, I could never picture myself even thinking about working on more than one story at a time.  In fact, the very first novel I started working on was set in the early 1800’s and I had gotten about 2/3’s of the way through the tale when my wife pointed out that a historical piece would be harder to market.  On hearing this, I gave it some thought and put the story aside and began a whole new piece which eventually turned into my first published novel “The Bridge”.

After finishing that book, I thought about going back to the piece from the 1800’s, but wound up moving forward with my current characters, one of which had connections to the family who were featured in my unfinished work.  However, moving forward was still difficult.   I was taking college classes which of course made excessive demands on my time.  But that was only natural.  School had to come first, however when we moved to Marina so Helen could attend CSU Monterey Bay, I took two years off from studies and focused more on my writing.  Which in turn led to my finally finishing “The Ship” which I released back in 2014.

From there I began work on a third book with those characters, which is still underway at this point and time.  What happened?  I was having difficulties in building the story, things were getting too complicated.  Too many characters, too many ideas, it was turning into something too unwieldy.  Yet I still wanted to be writing, so I wound up putting it aside and started up “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

With that book I had a more clear idea of where I wanted things to go, who the characters were, and how it would end.  Plus, I had a co-author, namely my wife Helen who had been my consultant on the first two books.  Mind you it still took another 2 years before this book was ready to for release, however I didn’t mind it so much.  Why?  Because I had started up another blog, called The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition  https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/, where I was regularly writing short stories involving different characters who were to appear in the novel.  The idea behind this was to  build an audience for the book before it was released and create a loyal following.  Yet by doing this, something wonderful happened.

I wound up training my brain to think about more than one story at a time.  Writing all those shorts, was a great exercise and now I find myself thinking about multiple storylines on a regular basis.  Now why is this such a big deal to me?  I’ll tell you in my next entry.

I know, I know, I’m cutting things off just when things are getting even more interesting, but this post is getting pretty long and I still have much to say.   So please be patient and I WILL have the 2nd installment up in a week.  Until then, take care and keep writing my friends.


With the holidays coming fast, I thought now was the perfect time to cover a topic I’d hinted at many times: Print books vs. E-books.

I will be the first to say that when e-readers came out I was more than a little skeptical.  I really didn’t think they would take off the way they had.  Online newspapers I could see, because for one thing it was a great way of lessening the amount of paper going into landfills (in spite of the fact that me and great number of people out there try to recycle).  However, I also saw it as a chance for less trees to be cut down because let’s face it, a number of them were being taken down in spite of all the paper recycling (yes I’m very much into ‘green’ living and recycling).  But I digress.  At the time I really did not see a lot of benefit coming from making books electronically available.

Besides, I was already in love with bookstores.  They’re like a magnets to me and my wife Helen.  And the books inside are like mint to a cat (catnip for those who don’t get the reference), we go bonkers over books.  So you can understand why the concept of electronic books did not really capture my fancy… at first.

However, things began to change when I tried my hand at writing.  I went the traditional route, looking for an agent, getting rejected, and so on and so forth for three years.  During that time I was told time and again I had something unique and interesting (i. e. my Para-Earth Series), BUT it was too unique.  I had crossed too many genres to the point that even agents who were interested had no idea who to try and sell the idea to.  Most publishers have been quite strict about genres and from what I understand still are.  So I had to take a few steps back and have a really long think about what to do.

I could go back and whittle certain elements out and make the story a more traditional horror, or a mystery, a paranormal tale, or a work of pure science fiction.  But none of that appealed to me.  The people who had read or heard about what I was creating were fascinated BECAUSE I had created something entirely new and different.  To lose any of those elements would be tantamount to killing the entire series before it began.

Meanwhile, Helen and other writer friends had been talking about going the independent author route and use Createspace or some other print/electronic publishing system.  I’d be responsible for my own marketing, but as I found out through research, most traditionally published authors were responsible for their own marketing these days as well.  Unless you had the power of Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, or some other mega-star author, most publishers don’t help out as much as they used to.

So I took the plunge and “The Bridge” saw the light of day.  As expected, I soon found e-sales rocketing while traditional paperbacks were only so-so.  This disappointed me in some ways, but I found the benefit of still having paperbacks available a benefit.  Because there are no substitutes for owning a SIGNED edition of a book in the eyes of even the most devoted e-reader fan.

Still I did not invest in any e-readers.  Oh from time to time I thought about it, just to see how my own works appeared so I could see if the formatting held up to the transition (I’m very particular about my work looking right for my readers).  But I still bought paperbacks and haunted used bookstores left and right.

Then last Christmas something unexpected happened.  Helen and I were given a Kindle by her mother as a gift.

Helen took to it right away for its photographic capabilities, while I was pleased but slightly hesitant.  I guess a part of me was afraid just touching it would lead to me falling out of love with my beloved books.  But over time I found the internet function useful, but still I resisted trying to read a book on it.  The screen ‘felt’ too small and I didn’t like not being able to see how much was left to read in each volume.  (I’ve since learned how to know the # of pages left)  But still, I held back.

Then some of my fellow writers online were offering free copies of their books for an honest review in return.  Some had done this for me and I wanted to return the favor.  Plus, with our finances being so tight, a free-read seemed acceptable.  (also in one or two cases, they only had e-versions of their books) So I began downloading a couple of freebies and proceeded to read.

I soon became quite comfortable with using the Kindle and even found my reading speed increasing, much to my surprise.  Eventually I started actually buying some new e-books every so often.

Now, I suspect you’re all thinking “That does it! He’s hooked. Good-bye paper, HELLO Electronic!”

To find out, you’ll have to tune in next week when I complete this two-part entry.  Please understand I’m not just doing things this way because I’m hoping to really boost my numbers.  This topic is lengthy and I don’t want one entry to become as long as the classic “War and Peace”.  So please sit tight and I’ll be back next weekend or sooner to finish my tale about print vs electronic and what the results turned out to be.

Until then, take care and keep writing!


In spite of all the excitement of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” being released this October, I keep hearing people ask “Whatever happened to “The Door”?  Are you going to finish that storyline with Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra?”  Of course I’m pleased to tell you all the answer is a resounding YES!  I am working on it as we speak in fact.  In fact I’ve been working on it for quite a while… a really long while… like over two years…. (groan)
SMLXL

“What happened?” I hear you ask.  Well it’s quite simple.  I’ve spent the last 24 months with a serious case of too many ideas.  What does that look like you ask?  Here, let me show you.
SMXLL

I keep getting new scenes going that help move the story along but after a while these new ideas wind up derailing the main plot of the story and I have to pull them out again.  And when that happens I end up hitting the infamous “Writer’s Block” and find myself unable to move the story forward.  This has happened a number of times.  Of course, some people will suggest that you have an outline to follow and stick to it.  This is a great idea, but unfortunately in my case, a number of my characters wind up with ideas of their own that are often way better than what I had planned in my outline and things end up going in a completely different direction.  And quite often those new directions are way better than what I had originally had in mind.  So I mainly work with a ‘loose’ outline.  There are some scenes and ideas that I have nailed down for sure, and then areas where I’m still finding a direction to head in.
However, in the case of “The Door” I had a number of scenes that were so solid there was nothing that could make me budge from using them…  and I wound up hitting wall after wall.  I’d go as far as to introduce new characters such as my vampyre Nathan, who makes his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, at one point.  By adding him I created a bunch of new scenes that really helped the plot along, but also wound up sending the word count skyrocketing.  How did this happen?  By adding Nathan I had to introduce him to the audience, then the other characters, blah-blah-blah… too many words.  But by keeping certain scenes he inspired and giving those scenes to existing characters, I moved the story along much quicker and made those characters more interesting.
Furthermore, when I write a story keeps evolving.  I have a good idea where it begins and ends, but the in between stuff gets fuzzy sometimes.  As I mentioned earlier, my characters sometimes go off in better directions than what I had planned which leads to other problems.  Remember how I mentioned I had certain scenes planned for the story that I was going to use no matter what?  Well, some of those became stumbling blocks and it took me the longest time to come to terms with the fact that they no longer fit the story as it was developing and I had to edit them out…
SLXLM

For me this was hard, because I really fell in love with those planned scenes.  However, as I’ve told many other writers, those scenes will not go to waste.  Instead, I saved them in another file folder on my computer where they will one day see the light of day in another book, where they will fit in just perfectly.
So what shape is “The Door” in now?  Much trimmer and faster-paced than in its previous incarnations.  The story is tense, exciting, full of mystery, with a growing sense of menace that I hope will keep you all on the edge of your seats to the very end.  Certain friends you’ve met before are starting to have an air of menace about them, and will make you wonder if they can still be trusted.  While newer characters will keep you guessing about their allegiances until the very end.
At this point the story is sitting at 50,000 words, and will probably wind up at about 110,000 or less by the time I’m finished.  Many unanswered questions from the first two books “The Bridge” and “The Ship” will be answered.  Furthermore, the fallout from the battle scene with the police at the end of “The Bridge” will be playing a key part in this novel.  I hope to have a completed first draft before the end of the year.
Finally, I’m also working on two collaborations as well.  One is with my wife Helen who co-authored “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  The other is “The Pass” with one of my best friends from high school Richard Caminiti.   He and I hope to have a completed first draft by the end of this year or early next year.
I’m also hoping to have each of them do some blog entries here so you can find out their thoughts on writing and having to put up with me.
Until next time, take care and keep writing my friends.

Always Writing…


Recently I was on one of the buses that I regularly take to get to my university.  As I was riding I was taking in the scenery and smiling to myself.  A girl who had taken the seat next to me noticed and said I must be having a good day.  I responded by telling her I was observing the scenery and thinking about some of the trees.  In particular I drew her attention to the Spanish Moss growing on several of the trees.

“Is that what’s growing on them?  I’ve heard of Spanish Moss but I never saw it before,” she told me.

I nodded and replied, “Now picture that stuff moving on its own, maybe reaching down and grabbing a someone as they’re walking by.”

That freaked her out a bit as she looked at me with wide eyes and said, “That’s creepy!  You must be into horror movies and such.”

At that point I explained that I was an author who had two books out already and a third coming in December.  From there she relaxed and I told her about my Para-Earth Series.  By the time we arrived at the university she said, “I always wondered how writers come up with so many ideas.  You must be thinking about stuff all the time.”

Smiling I said, “That’s true.  Even when I’m not physically writing, I’m always writing.”  As soon as I said this I started really thinking about what I’d just said and realized how true it was.

While I can’t speak for other writers, I can safely say that no matter what I’m doing at any given time my mind is always pondering story plots, new characters, places, what if situations, you name it.  I could be bowling….

And find myself thinking about what goes on behind the scene where the machinery is gathering up the pins and resetting them.  (Note: I have actually been behind that area thanks to my older brother Ernest who worked on the machines.  He took me back there with him a few times to show me what he did)  After thinking about it, I pictured various scenarios like when the pins are brought down by the machine, what if a human arm was set upright among them?  Or what if the machine where your ball comes back instead you get around bomb with a fuse lit. What would you do?  How did it get there?  What’s going on?

Other times I could be wandering among the trees and just listening to the sounds of the leaves rustling under my feet.  I also try to make a mental note of what the air smells like at that moment and how peaceful the area is around me.  In moments like that, I’m trying to take a mental photo of  everything I’m seeing and feeling, so I can try and rebuild it with words for a scene in a story.  And then I find myself asking what might happen in such a scene?  Will a unicorn show up among the trees?  Or will a strange little figure appear from inside a tree and start talking to one of the woodland animals or a child who happens to be in the neighborhood.

Ideas sometimes come when you least expect it.  Even when you’re just kicking back and maybe shooting a game of pool to pass the time, a thought or an image may come that sets your mind on fire. Sometimes it might even be the atmosphere of your surroundings that may be the spark that sets you mind alight with ideas and possibilities.

As writers, our minds are always working on ideas or stories, even when we’re not aware of it.  And i find this idea to be a great comfort to me.  There are times when the old “Writer’s Block” comes to visit and I find myself staring at my computer screen for hours or even days.  I want to write something but nothing comes.  On days like that I’ll try working through the block, or exercising, or bouncing ideas off other people… all to no avail.

But then I’ll decide to get out and about for a while.  Sometimes I’ll go to a mall, or do some shopping, or wander down by the beach.  I don’t always find the answers I’m seeking and after a while may even stop trying.  However, I do so knowing that sooner or later, something is going to fire my imagination up and I’ll be ready to get back on my computer and finish the story I’d been working on.  Why?  Because I’m always writing… even when I don’t realize it.  I hope the same is true for all of you.

Until next time, take care and keep writing everyone!


Don’t trash that crappy first draft!

Oh it may be full of grammatical errors that would send your high school English teachers into hysterics but that’s not reason enough to throw it away.  And maybe the plot line may move like a 1920’s Model T going backwards up the crooked mile, still is it truly worth destroying?  And perhaps most of the characters may be as shallow as a puddle, and probably deserve to be drowned in one, but do not throw that draft away!

Instead I want you read every last word, even if it’s hard as hell to get past the first few pages, keep reading!  Do not stop until you’ve read the entire thing.

Why? I hear you ask.

Because, that shitty first draft may be the most important one you ever write.

I’m being serious here folks.  And no I’m not going to be going on about how every journey in writing starts with a first draft, or something like that.  What I am going to tell you is that first drafts, even the lamest ones, have value.

When I first started writing “The Door”, it was going to be the second book in my Para-Earth series.  Mainly because it was going take up exactly where the first book “The Bridge” left off.  I thought there was no way I could possibly put another story in between the two, even though I really wanted to focus on the second lead couple (Cassandra Elliott, and Julie Cloudfoot) and their blossoming relationship.  My original plan was to develop their growing love in the second book, but things were getting too complicated.  Too many characters, too many subplots, I had to scale back.  So after writing almost 70,000 words in “The Door”, I said enough and set it aside.  Instead, I followed some “bread crumbs” I’d left myself (see my blog entry from January 31st https://akrummenacker.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/follow-the-breadcrumbs/) back in “The Bridge” and found an opening.

I had clearly stated that a month had passed between the climactic battle and the events that happened in the epilogue.  I had also sent Julie and Cassie over to the west coast.  I had plenty of room for a story in between that would involve just the two of them, as well as leading them back to witness the events that took place during the epilogue of “The Bridge”.  Thus, “The Ship” was born.

But even after I finished “The Ship” and published it, I was not ready to back to “The Door”.  Instead,  a new character had captured my imagination and I began work on “The Vampyre Blogs”, hoping to release it next, before returning to “The Door”.

However, after finishing the first draft of “The Vampyre Blogs” I realized I wanted to release it around Halloween and the time had passed.  So I sent it off to my editor for corrections, even though it was a first draft.  I know it will go through many more changes, but in the meantime, I needed to get back to “The Door” because it had to come before my vampyre’s first tale.  I needed to finish the underlying story arc that was running through my first two books.  It’s turn had come and I needed to finish it.

By this time it had been over two years since I last looked at it, so it was with experienced eyes that I pulled it out and started to look at the first few pages.  Originally, I thought it would be easy to insert just a few scenes and continue the flow I had started, but it didn’t work out that way.

Thanks to “The Ship” so many plans and ideas had to be scrapped.  And my writing style had changed.  A number of people told me how much my writing had ‘matured’ and now I could clearly see it for myself.  So much had to be changed and rewritten.  At times it almost seemed too much.

I began to doubt myself and wondered if I was really up to the challenge.  Could I really make this story work?  Time and again, I kept running up against ideas that no longer fit, and characters who needed to be removed from the story entirely.  I began to question myself and ask, “Should I just trash this and start over from scratch?”  But then I’d run across scenes that were perfectly fine and still flowed beautifully with the new stuff I was creating.   In fact, it felt like what was I creating now was way better than what I’d originally done.  And at the same time, the overall storyline was still following what I had wanted all along.  In fact, I’d found ways to improve it.

But I was still running up against obstacles and areas where I just wasn’t sure what to do.

Then by sheer chance, I was scrolling through the new draft which was being built on top of a duplicate file of the original first draft.  But I overshot where I had left off and found a scene I had completely forgotten about.  Pausing I re-read my words and was taken aback by the power of the scene and the beauty I’d created.  This scene HAD to stay, I told myself.  Then I began thinking, ‘Are there other scenes like this one I’ve forgotten?’

So I did the unthinkable…

I stopped work on “The Door” and took a few steps back.  Instead of writing, I decided to read every word and every page of the original first draft.

It hasn’t been easy at times, but I’ve been unearthing scenes that to me are absolute treasures.  I’ve also been cutting and removing other scenes and characters who no longer have any place in this book, but might be good for another story down the road.  I’ve saved those sections and preserved them in a separate file folder.  Those who’ve been following this blog know I always urge writers to do this.  What may not be working in your current book, might be just the thing you need in another one down the road.

As for the scenes I’m keeping, I am breathing a sigh of relief.  Some of them are better than I anything I might have tried to replace them with.  New ideas and ways to move the story forward are opening up to me.  But I still have to finish re-reading that ‘shitty first draft’ before I start writing new scenes.

There are more scenes and ideas I’ve forgotten about, of that I’m sure.  I may not want to keep all of them, but I suspect even if I don’t keep any of it, they will give me knew ideas.  So don’t give up completely on that first draft.  Save it, learn from it, and build from it.  You might even want to preserve certain scenes from it.

All stories start with a first draft that can be more than a little rough around the edges.  But without a first draft, you can’t begin your story.

Until next time, take care of yourselves my friends, and keep writing.


 In case you hadn’t heard, I started attending the California State University at Monterey Bay in August and the workload had been fairly manageable, until recently.  Things are heating up and I have less and less time to work on my novels, including “The Vampyre Blogs”.  I had planned on getting the latest draft finished, edited, beta-read, etc. so I could have it out in time for Christmas.

Unfortunately, that is not going to happen.  I’ve said before I will not release a book until it’s had all those things done to it.  Currently, I’m still trying to finish the 2nd draft and I’m still not entirely happy with the piece.  Plus I haven’t even started on a cover for the book.  I have one that I made with the computer.

However, I’m not totally sold on this version really.  I’d prefer to try and do a soft pastel piece and then super-impose this image on top of the scene I create with the pastel.
Furthermore, with the holidays getting closer and closer, there’s not way I could expect any of my beta-readers to go over the book and give me their feedback on the eve of major cooking and shopping.
So I’m putting things off until next year.  Mind you, I’m still going to be posting more mini-stories of my vampyre Nathaniel and his friends over at The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition.  If you haven’t checked them out yet here’s the link:
At this point I want to let you all know you won’t be without anything new from me this holiday season.  I’ll be putting together a short story that I’ll release through Smashwords just in time for Christmas.  Smashwords carries e-books for Nook, Kindle, Sony, Apple, or even PDF for those who don’t have an e-reader so you can enjoy it on your regular computer, laptop, or even your phone.  This will be a holiday tale that will involve a crossover of sorts.  My vampyre Nathaniel will be interacting with several characters from “The Bridge”.  Who will appear, I won’t say at this time.  Just be assured you’ll be seeing some familiar faces within the pages of that story.
Finally, I want to also let you all know that you won’t have to wait until October or December of next year for my next novel.  As soon as I get a break from university, I’ll be getting back to work on “The Door”, which will star Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra.  The story will take up where both “The Bridge” and “The Ship” ended and will answer a number of questions that have been hanging over both novels, including the secret of Brandon and his white-haired nemesis.
Where will I go with my Para-Earth Series after that?  Well here’s a list for the next 2-3 years and what they will involve:

Mid-2015 “The Door”

Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassandra face a new threat which is connected directly to Cassandra’s family dating back over three hundred and fifty years.

October/December 2015 “The Vampyre Blogs – Homecoming”

  In 1862 Nathaniel Steward was only sixteen years old.  He left home to fight in the Union Army, knowing the experience might change him.  He had no idea how much it would.  Now, 150 years later, he’s finally coming back to what he thinks is an empty manor.  What he doesn’t know is someone has been waiting, and some ‘thing’ is following him, a being that does no belong in this world.

Mid-2016 “In The Shadow Of The Door”

Cassandra’s ghostly protector Brandon has always been an enigma to many.  Now, we get to hear his story which will lead directly up to the events that took place in my third book, “The Door”.

December 2016, “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties”

Nathaniel is back and he’s not alone.  A mystery involving a member of his family has arisen, but so has an old enemy.  New dangers arise that threaten not only those he loves, but his entire hometown.  Like any soldier he will fight to protect his place of birth, but it may cost him his very existence.

Mid-2017 – No Title Yet

Brandon’s story continues as he and his uncle continue to struggle with the family curse that everyone believed was over.  The threat has been thwarted but not ended and time is running out.  Soon the door will be reopened and nothing will be able to stop what will come out of it if they don’t seal it for good first.

December 2017, “Harlequin House”

When Alex was only twelve he entered inside the most haunted place on the planet with a team of paranormal investigators.  Most of the team died before his very eyes and he barely got out with his sanity intact.  Now, twenty years later, he’s going back.  Will he be as fortunate this time?

So there you have it folks.  That’s my plans for the next couple of years.  Most of this will depend on how much time I have to write in between my studies of course, but I’m going to do my best to keep to this schedule.  I hope you like what you’ve seen here and look forward to the books as they come out.
That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading and take care of yourselves.  And as always, keep writing.

A Forgotten 1st Draft…


For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll remember I’ve mentioned a number of times about saving your work on Google Drive, or on a Memory Stick, or even a CD.  I’ve also suggested that when you edit your work, if you’re going to cut a scene to save it in a special folder.  I say this because even though the scene, or even a character, doesn’t fit in the story you’re working on you might be able to recycle it for another story down the road.

The thing I forgot to mention is that occasionally you should go and look through that folder every so often.  Especially if you’re looking to start a new project, or have hit a bad case of writer’s block.  Something in that folder may be just the thing to help you get your scene going again.

I also have another special folder that holds works in progress that are unfinished.  Or in some cases, are pretty much a complete first draft... (said under my breath while looking away in embarrassment)

You forgot you had a completed 1st draft?

“Yes, I’ did.  I got caught up in other things,now be quiet Roscoe!”

As I was saying, yes I found I had a complete first draft in that file folder.  It needs reworking of course, but the entire story is there.  Unfortunately, it will be a while before it sees the light of day.

Why?  Because it is a historical period piece that involves Brandon Elliott, one of the major recurring characters in my Para-Earth Series.  His spirit appears frequently in order to watch over Cassandra Elliott, his many times great-grandchild.   However, her story is not finished yet and I cannot tell his tale until hers is finished (sort of).  The two are intricately connected in such a way I have to finish telling her secrets, before I can reveal his.

However, this will be resolved soon.  Cassandra’s secret will be revealed in “The Door” which I hope to have ready in May 2015.  Then after releasing the second installment of “The Vampyre Blogs” in December 2015, I will aim to release Brandon’s story in early 2016.  His story is so big it will take at least two or more books to do it justice, but I’m looking forward to doing it.

Anyway, getting back to my original point…

You actually forgot you had a completed 1st draft?

“Yes Roscoe, now let it go please… sheesh!”

As I was saying, the practice of keeping special folders and backup copies of my work has helped me on a number of occasions.  I’ve even got a 50% finished first draft of “The Door” waiting for me to get back to.  Like the other works I have on the back burner, having some of it already waiting for me to get back to it, actually gets me eager to return to it.

So remember, save those parts you edit out and keep checking the folder you put them in. You never know when you might find a treasure in those folders that can totally turn your work in progress into something fantastic.

Until next time…

He actually forgot?  Oh that is rich!

(sigh)  He is just not going to let this go is he?

Until next time take care and keep writing.


Okay, you’ve written your latest masterpiece.  It’s finished.  You’ve got your cover ready, the editor has done their work, the proofreading is finally over, you got a back cover blurb, dedication page, table of contents, etc.  In short, your baby is ready too be published.

You’ve only got one thing left to do, make it available.  So you go to Smashwords, Kindle, Lulu, whoever you use to publish your precious labor of love, and you start getting asked a bunch of questions.  What’s the title?  How many pages?  The name of the author?  Do you have a synopsis ready?  A blurb?  Then you reach “What genre is your work?”  “What label do you want to put it under?”

Now, if you have an agent…

No not that kind, the other kind, the ones who represent books.  Curse you Marvel!

Anyway, if  have an “literary agent” you already know what genre you were working in, because one of the key elements in finding an agent is knowing what genres they represent.  In turn, your agent would’ve shopped your work around to a publisher who specializes in that genre.  So you should be okay.  But what if your an Indie Author?  Then this question can become more problematic for you.  Not always mind you, but sometimes.

I for one am finding myself slowly falling into that latter category.  Why, you ask?  Simple, I’m one of those authors who crosses genres sometimes without even meaning to.  My Para-Earth series covers mystery, horror, paranormal, and even science fiction, all in one book.  But it doesn’t stop there!  Oh no!  I brought in a gay couple into my work and now I have another section of audience I might miss if I don’t label the book correctly.  In fact, I’ve had to use a few different labels for “THE SHIP”, as compared to the ones I originally put “THE BRIDGE” under.

You see, I emphasized the gay aspect of the second book because of my main characters were a lesbian couple.  Now they appeared in the first book and played a large role in it, however they were the second lead couple and the focus was not as fixed on them.

So even though both books are part of my Para-Earth Series, and the characters were recurring ones, the focus had shifted thanks to who was the lead couple this time.

But this is only the beginning, my friends.  The more I’ve researched genres, the more I’ve found things have changed.  What was once horror, may now be considered Fantasy, or Paranormal.  Thrillers can be set in modern day or in the future (wouldn’t that be sci-fi?).

This is not a new issue folks.  I’ve seen this going on for decades.  HP Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos, is a prime example for “What genre did he really fall under?”  Many consider him the master of the macabre and automatically put him under Horror.  Yet, a number of his creations like the Old Ones, or the Elder Things from “The Mountains of Madness” were beings from outer space.  Outer space?  Doesn’t that fall under Sci-Fi?  I’ve found him in books stores under both Horror and Sci-Fi (a fair solution).

But what if you find yourself telling a love story, which is impacted by a huge mystery, that involves ghosts, psychics, and beings from an alternate reality?  What do you call that?  Horror?  Mystery, Paranormal Mystery?  Some people suggested a genre called “Dark Fantasy” which seems to combine these elements under one label.  Great solution right?  Wrong!

When you go to Smashwords, Kindle, Createspace, etc.  you don’t see Dark Fantasy as one of your choices to answer the question “What genre is this book?”  Instead you get: Horror, Gay/Lesbian, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, etc.  You don’t get ‘blended’ options.’  Oh you get offered sub-genres which will let you add some of those, but the main genre you place your book under is the first label people will see when they do a search.  And if that label doesn’t fall into their usual reading choices, you probably won’t even get them giving your book a ‘sampling’.

Determining the genre of your book is a huge thing.  But there are other problems.  Even within those “main” genres, there’s a lot of disagreement about what falls under them.  Which is going to be the subject of my next blog entry, because I’m running out of room on this one.  And the topic is a big one that a lot of writers struggle with and I want to give it equal and fair room for discussion.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to share their thoughts or experiences in dealing with how to define your book by genre, please leave some comments down below.  As I’ve stated many times in the past, the purpose of this blog is so we can all learn from one another.  As readers and writers, we’re all in the same boat, so pooled knowledge can be a powerful tool for us all.

Until next time, take care all and keep writing.

 


Greetings everyone.  I wish to make a couple of announcements.

First, after careful consideration and evaluating where things are at, I’ve decided to aim for releasing the book in time for June. This way people can enjoy it as part of their Summer reading.

As a result of this decision I’m declaring the Kickstarter a failure and ended.  Mind you, I am not angry or upset by this. In fact I think it may be a blessing in disguise.  I will have more time to rework the book and possibly have some Beta-testers read it to get a better idea how my unpaid team and I do at getting it edited as best we can. If there still seem to be a lot of problems, then I may try another Kickstarter or find another way to raise the money for a professional editor.

I’d like to take this moment to thank everyone who did pledge to the Kickstarter.  The Kickstarter was not going to succeed, but I do appreciate your belief in me and your support.

Remember “THE SHIP” is still coming. I am not giving up on it. I’m just giving myself more time and breathing space to get it in the best shape possible. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks.

ALSO: I will be appearing in an anthology being printed over in England soon, so I’ll keep you all appraised about that as I hear more on that front.

On a final note, I will also be releasing another book later this year. “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” which is destined for a Christmas release, since that will be the time frame of the story.  In the meantime, you can read entries by the characters on my blog that is dedicated to that novel. Keep in mind, the entries you read online will NOT be appearing in the novel. They are merely to help prospective readers become a little more familiar with the characters and their histories, before the book comes out.   After all, I can only fit so much into one book. (grin)

Thanks for your attention and support. Take care and keep writing everyone.

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