First, the personal news
It’s been a month since I last posted anything here, so unless you follow me on one of my other platforms (Patreon, my One-th of the Month Newsblast, or Facebook), you might not know that I recently took some time off. The last week of July was the first time in many years that Meloney and I took a real vacation, as in we took some time to travel to a new location and just explore. The last time I remember doing this was when my better half and I added a couple of extra days to one of her business trips more than a decade ago. She had to do some work for her company at their Calgary location, so she added a couple of PTO days, and I tagged along. After a couple of days, she had finished the job, and we drove from Calgary to Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. It was some of the most beautiful country we had ever seen, even though it was mid-May and there was still hip-deep snow in places.
Well, this time we went to Panama City, Florida. Our oldest daughter and granddaughter joined us and we rented out a little townhouse across the highway from the beach. While there, we spent a few days on the beach (yes, I got the obligatory sunburn), took a dolphin tour (though we only saw three, and those from a distance), caught some of the local cuisine, and just generally enjoyed ourselves. And while the dolphins weren’t cooperating, we did get to see some sea turtles, and went snorkeling over an old shipwreck. We had a blast, and I loved getting to spend time with family that we don’t get to see nearly often enough.
Right after we got back (and I mean right after… like a couple of days after) we hurried down Houston way to see the latest addition to the Brackett clan. Zachary Lee Brackett was born a few weeks early, while we were in Florida, and we couldn’t wait to see him. So we got back from Florida, rested for a couple of days, and then drove to Houston where we got to spend three more weeks with more family (our son, DIL, three granddaughters, and our new grandson). It was wonderful and exhausting, and I wouldn’t trade the time with family for all the sales in the world.
By the way, say hello to “Li’l Man” Zachary.
However, between the week in Florida, and three weeks in Houston, I’ve gotten VERY little writing done over the last month. That just means I need to push even harder now that I’m back home… which brings me to the “Writing News” part of this post.
So you already know that Payne of the Past is out. Sales so far are pretty good and I’m hopeful that PotP just might be the fabled tipping point that so many writers claim you need in order to make it as a successful author. Sure, there are plenty of other factors, but getting that first step towards increased recognition and visibility is a big one. All I can do is keep at it, and hope that the increased sales continue.
To that end, I’ve also been working on an upcoming Amber Payne Omnibus edition that puts the first three Payne books under a single cover. Well, it just went live yesterday (August 30. 2022), and now you can get The Amber Payne Collection (Books 1 – 3) for less than one would have to pay for the three books individually. The goal, of course, is to entice more folks to take a chance on getting into the Amber Payne universe. Fingers crossed…
But there was another opportunity while I was in the Houston area. You see, right after I got back from Florida, I sent out Newsblast 017, and drew names for the August winner for the new book. (BTW, if you aren’t already signed up for the newsletter, you might consider doing so. The next drawing is tomorrow.) This time it turned out that the name I drew was an old friend from Houston. And since we were already down there I figured it was a great opportunity to hand deliver a book. So while we were in Houston, we had dinner with some close friends. Matt and Janean Birdsall, Kevin Boggs, and Curtis Miller. Curtis lends his name in the Amber Payne series as the Fixer “CC Miller”, and it was his name I drew as the winner of August’s book drawing.
To be fair, I did draw a second name, since Curtis was a friend, and I didn’t want there to be any appearance of favoritism. But the second person never replied to the email, so…
And a final bit of writing news is that the new series I’ve hinted at in the last few months has been banging on the doors of my imagination lately, demanding that I show it some love. Characters are screaming for me to pay attention to them, and plot points have been jumping to the forefront of my brain. I know from past experience that this is my mind telling me that it’s time to start getting at least some notes written down on the new series, so expect to see some more information on the new project (tentatively titled “Shadow War”) in the next month or two.
And that’s it for now. So stay safe, and I’ll talk to you later.