I’ve noticed that quite a few more people have signed on to follow my blog page, and I can’t thank you enough for that. I also can’t apologize enough for not having some fresh material to post here for so long. My last post was the big news that Rocking Horse Publishing had picked up the paperback & eBook rights to “Excelsior,” and that the first of my trilogy – “The Excelsior Journey” – will be re-released in November of this year. That was March 1. It’s now May 16.
Yeah, it’s been a while.
So please allow me this time to shake off some of the blogging rust and fill you in on what’s been happening in my life – both personal & literary – ever since I posted the news about Excelsior’s new home.
First of all, last year, I started writing the occasional post for Booktrib.com, a website geared toward book lovers, and originally concentrated on films that had been adapted from books and discussed how they differed from the original books. It was a fun column, but I could tell something was... a little off with me as I wrote it. It felt more laboring than when I wrote Scene Anatomy 101 and The UBS Evening Movie News for 411Mania.com. Maybe writing for that site for all those years had me feeling burnt out on writing about movies.
When I started writing for 411Mania in 2004, the only fiction I had done at that time was “From Parts Unknown” in 2002. And when I took my month off in June of 2008 to write the first draft of “Excelsior,” I announced that number 200 would be my final SA 101 post not long after coming back. A year after, I put in my two-week notice for my news report and officially retired from being a weekly columnist for the site. Of course, one year later, the webmaster Ashish Pabari invited me to join the news staff and doing that kept me going financially until I started my current job in August of 2012. So with all that, plus with the love of writing fiction coming back to me, it had been difficult for me to go back to what I used to cover.
However, while participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this past April, I had an idea to occasionally write for Booktrib about the process of working on a new book while preparing for the re-launch of “Excelsior.” So in the weeks and months to come, you’ll be seeing me there a lot more (and writing a lot less words since I want to keep my posts there between 300-600 words, just to get into the habit).
Now, what’s the “new book” I just mentioned? Well, it was what I started last April, the first of two “Excelsior” sequels. This one is called “Ever Upward: Part Two of The Excelsior Journey” and I’m more than 30,000 words into it. Instead of just jumping into the first draft like I did in 2008, I took over a month to write an outline in January and I’ve felt the writing going a lot smoother this time around and it’s been refreshing to have some kind of map that I could use as a guide while not being committed to every twist and turn I had written a few months ago. And if my editor’s reaction tells me anything, it’s that you guys are really going to enjoy this particular story. I even got my mother interested in maybe – just maybe – reading it for herself. (It’s alright if she doesn’t, though. She’s not a big sci-fi person.)
As 2013 continues to unfold, you’re going to see a lot of changes around here. I am planning on giving this website a full overhaul to make it look more appealing, I’ll be re-doing my Pinterest pages to get more traffic there, and I’ll be using my new Campaign Cartographer software to create some maps of Denab IV to post on the site. I also just started an ask.fm account, so if anyone wants to ask me anything regarding my writing, upcoming stories, characters, etc., you can feel free to ask. I’d like to set it up so that I can post some video answers to give the site more multimedia, but we’ll see how that goes in time.
I’ve also been researching various ways to turn a book signing into an event, and those ideas have me incredibly excited for this November. I know I’m with a publisher now and part of their appeal was that I won’t be alone when it comes to the marketing, but having gone through the self-publishing life before – and possibly doing it again when “From Parts Unknown” is finished – I don’t want to let everything I’ve learned go to waste. Besides, Rocking Horse Publishing is taking a chance on me, and I will never forget that, so I want this not only to be an event for me, but for them. I want everyone to be familiar with RHP, with All on the Same Page Bookstore, with indie bookstores in general. To put it mildly, I want to blow the shit out of this book signing. I want a packed store, I want people who are excited to be there, I want people buying other local authors’ books in addition to mine, I want all of that and more!
But before November, I’ll be dancing! Some of you know that I’ve fallen in love with West Coast Swing dancing, and last year, at the Meet Me in St. Louis event, I took third place in the Jack-N-Jill competition (Newcomer division). Not only will I be trying again for the first place trophy, but I also just received an invitation to dance with one of my teachers – the ever-awesome Dawn DeGrushe – in the Pro-Am competition (Novice division). So this year, I have two chances to bring another trophy home. Therefore, I’ll be getting back into gear with dancing so I have more than just my limited moveset (As it is right now, Hulk Hogan has more moves than me). Plus, I’ve seen how I look on camera so if there was ever a good motivation to lose more weight, this is it!
So, let’s recap. I got a sequel to finish, I got the original book to prepare for its re-release, I got a website that needs a full overhaul, I got a lot of ideas to apply to the site, I got a lot of ideas for materials to use for the upcoming re-release, I got weight to lose, I got dancing to do, I got… let’s see, what else…OH YEAH! Moving into the new house next month, keeping up with my day job, simple stuff like that. All I ask is that you guys just bear with me while I figure the rest of this year out, and I guarantee you, the rest of 2013 will never have a dull moment!