Friday, February 28, 2014

Indie Rising!

As an indie author, I am often asked if I would rather be with a large publisher. The fact is, being that I am published through small press as well as self-published and have no experience in the matter, I cannot say for certain. All I know is what it would take for me to give up my independence. I mean let's face it - we all have a price - but whether one of the Big Six would meet my demands remains in question. So perhaps I'll never know.

But then, as I watch the self-publishing world develop, maybe that's for the best. Recently, author Hugh Howey has been on a crusade in favor or independent writers, and to tell you the truth, his numbers and statistics are impressive. Our sales are up. Our reader satisfaction is stellar. And the readers don't appear to care who published the book as long as the story is good. In fact, the lower prices of indie works are becoming more and more appealing to consumers living in a world of financial uncertainty. Self-published authors are forcing the industry in a direction that favors the writer and his/her readers over the publishing houses and their profits. In other words the lunatics are stealing the keys to the asylum.

But even without Mr. Howey's efforts I had already discovered that I have been breaking all the rules of publishing without even being aware of it. I release at the wrong times (according to what I've been told). There is very little lead up to each new book. I charge a reasonable price for my work. But mostly, I control my own content. I write the stories I think my fans will enjoy reading and that I enjoy writing. That in itself would be hard to give up.

For me, the indie world's greatest accomplishment is that it's bringing to light a vast number of wonderful talents that would have otherwise gone unnoticed - ignored by agents and publishers alike. Sure there's plenty of "not so great" work out there. But if you had to sift through  a bucket of sludge to find a big shiny diamond, wouldn't you? I would.   

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Can I Borrow Some Talent?

Today I woke up determined to write. I had it all mapped out. So after seeing my son to the bus I finished my coffee, took a shower and sat in front of my computer fully prepared to spend the next several hours working. I opened up the Book Six file and skimmed over what I had already written... and that was enough to drain the life right out of me. I hated it. This is nothing new, however. I often dislike what I write. But this time the level of importance has exceeded my tolerance for my own shortcomings.

For two years The Godling Chronicles has been a crucial and often all encompassing aspect of my life. From humble beginnings the series has elevated me to levels of achievement reserved only for my fantasies. In my dizziest daydreams I never thought that so many people would read and enjoy what started out as a simple father and son bonding project. But it has become far more (though it did bring us very close and for that I am eternally grateful).

With the release of new audio books and the continued success kindles, I am finding that as the series is about to end, I desperately want the final installment to be far and away the best of the lot. This has become an obsession that is driving me to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The fact is, regardless of what I do, I can only write within the confines of my own talent. I cannot magically become Tolkien...and it's killing me.

Though I have the entire story mapped out, I am struggling to write more than a few hundred words per day. I know that I can finish the book in about eight to twelve weeks, but my self doubt and anxiety twists my stomach in knots and causes me to wonder if I can finish it at all.

I tell you this because I want my people to know that in spite of my personal weaknesses, the one thing that drives me to overcome is my fans. They want to read how it all ends and I owe it to them to move forward. I will bear down and hopefully end The Godling Chronicles in a way that I can be proud of.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wrapping it up

As I wrapped up The Godling Chronicles: Madness of the Fallen (Book Five), and began the sixth and final installment, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness. It's been such an incredible journey; with many ups and downs, victories and defeats, thrills and frustrations. In fact the process itself has been an epic adventure worth a tale or two. The people I've met and the lives I've touched have made every word worthwhile and thinking about waking up and not writing the adventures of Gewey, Kaylia, Lee, and the rest is quite unsettling. Though I have another series already in the works, nothing will compare to The Godling Chronicles - at least in my heart.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Moving Forward

New releases can be, and usually are, extremely stressful. This one in particular gave me fits. But, as with anything else, as time passes and tensions subside, life gets back to normal. The nagging questions...well, they stop nagging you. Feelings of acceptance and inevitability begin to replace anxiety and self-doubt. And now that my mind is more able to focus, I can get back to the business of being me. Unhindered and motivated, I am ready to throw myself into my work. I think I have crossed a threshold and on the other side a new and exciting time awaits.

Of course there is no harm in looking back and appreciating the past. In two years, I have seen more change and growth than I ever thought possible for a man of my age. And that I can still grow is comforting and quells my fears. I look at the good I have done and realize that it far outweighs any missteps or bad decisions. And in my wake, I have left the places I've been far better than when I arrived.

Sunday, February 9, 2014