So it’s been a month since I posted anything here. Wow! First of all, I apologize. I know I told you I would be posting less frequently, but I honestly never intended for it to be a whole month. Still, it’s been a productive month, so I don’t feel like a complete loser. There have been the usual issues around the house. My dad’s been ill, my wife was ill, I was ill… we’ve just been a sickly bunch. LOL.
But I’ve gotten quite a bit done, too. I think my word count on Streets of Payne has increased by about 10k words since I last posted. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot to do on it, but the end is in sight. Yay!!
And I’ve made some decisions with regards to my last post. You know, the one where I threw in the towel and decided I’m going to quit trying to avoid the political infighting? Well, rather than let this blog turn into a long diatribe of politics and bickering, I decided I would dust off my old “Sm1ley’s Musings” page and post my rants there. I’ll link to them from here, but for the most part, this site will continue to be my “business” site, geared specifically to the craft of writing.
And to try to keep on a schedule that lets me write as much as possible, I’m going to try & keep these posts shorter. The majority of my time needs to remain focused on writing. As I’ve said before, if I want this to become a career, then I have to approach it in a businesslike fashion.
So, on that note, let’s see… other writing news….
Streets of Payne – I’ve mentioned before that I was having problems with the artist I hired to do the cover art. I found several months ago that I was far from the only person that was having trouble getting her to respond. There was an entire thread on Kindleboards with various authors complaining about her lack of response (see “Anyone who bought covers from Ana Fagarazzi heard from her lately?“. She initially said she’d lost email service and also been involved in a motorcycle accident. Everyone calmed down, and it appeared for a while that she was getting back into the swing of things. I was happy to wait because the woman is incredibly talented, and I wasn’t in any big hurry. But this long journey with her began back in July, and now it’s mid-February. And once again, she seems to have disappeared. In December, she sent me the cover you see here. I was thrilled! I mean, that is an awesome pice of work. However, there are two minor changes I needed her to make, and I needed her to send me a licensing agreement so I could legally use the cover. I emailed her back, thanked her for the great artwork, and asked for the changes and license agreement. I haven’t heard back from her. Despite repeated emails and PMs in Facebook, she has refused to respond. Additionally, I’ve heard from other authors who contracted with her and she’s not responding to them, either. In one instance, it appears that the cover commissioned by one author was also sold to a second author for use on their book!
So, I can’t use the cover I paid for, I can’t get the artist to respond to any communication, I couldn’t trust her even if she did, and I’m running out of time. So here is the only look anyone is likely to ever get of the cover I was originally going to use. And now I have to step back and punt. I have to find another cover artist and hire them to do a whole new cover from scratch. And because I had my heart set on the one already done, anything else is going to take me some time to wrap my head around. It’s just a really frustrating situation.
Half Past Midnight – Sales have pretty much bottomed out. Last year was a hell of a year for HPM. The novel did so much better than I ever thought it would, and I am so grateful to those
of you who helped me with it. It was my first novel, and I learned a LOT from it. Honestly, if I had it to do over again, there are several things I would do differently. But I figure that’s as
it should be. I will always want to learn more, and I’ll always want to put out the best product I can. So HPM has taught me a lot, and will serve as a launch pad for another book later this year. But that’s for later.
Y12 – The sequel to HPM is still in the planning stages, but it keeps interrupting my flow while writing SoP. I find my conversations with Amber Payne are constantly interrupted by the characters of Y12. The bad thing is, I’m really fascinated by some of what they want to say, and often follow them off on a tangent, leaving poor Amber hanging in the lurch. I think maybe progress on SoP is slower than I would like because she’s pissed at me for ignoring her.
Explorers: Beyond the Horizon – This is the Dead Robots’ Society anthology I was a part of. I wrote a short story called The Burning Land that was accepted for the book, and I am actually quite proud of it. In fact, while I had no input into the creation of the anthology other than that one contribution, I really happy with the book as a whole, and am really proud to have been a part of it. Unfortunately, sales on it have been pretty abysmal. It’s pretty much what we all expected going in – anthologies as a whole simply don’t generally do well. It’s a shame because I think that short story is possibly the best thing I’ve written to date. Enough so that I would like to come back to it in the future to see about further exploring the world in which it takes place. But that’s for another time.
And for writing news, that’s it – except for this one little teaser…
You may recall that I mentioned that I was going to be working on a collaborative novel with Edward Lorn. I had it listed on the books as “EBS”. Well, he and I have decided to table that project indefinitely in favor of another. The main story line is straight from the twisted depths of Ed’s messed up mind (and I say that with love, E.), but the more we discussed it, the more I got drawn into it. By the end of our discussion, Ed had convinced me to try my hand at writing something so dark and disturbing that I honestly think this thing may give me trouble sleeping as we write it. I’ve never written horror before, but this guy has found a story that truly intrigues me. Yes people, Ed Lorn has pulled me over to the dark side. We plan to begin work on the novel this summer, and I think we’re probably going to make a teaser announcement soon, so watch for it.
All right, that’s really it now. For the writing schtuff, anyway. And if you’re interested in the more personal side of what makes me tick (or drives me crazy), keep an eye open for announcements about posts on my other site, “Sm1ley’s Musings“. In the meantime, stay safe everyone!