Archive for February, 2015

So, that series guide I was thinking about in my last post. It probably won’t be something to put in a future newsletter after all. It might just be right here on this blog, with links added in the ebooks.

There’s already a good deal of information about the world of the Dual Magics series right here under the Worlds tab. Now, that could definitely use a bit of reorganization.

Right now, there’s a lot of the world building information about each of the different cultural groups in the story and a map. And more could be added to it.

Some of that would be new information, like a version of those synopses that have been bothering me, so that anyone who wanted to update themselves on the major events of the previous books could find that information here. Maybe even a brief history of how the Dual Magics world got to be the way it is at the beginning of the series answering questions like:

  • Why do the Dardani fear magic so much?
  • Are the Valson and the Fasallon really related and why did they separate?
  • And, for that matter, where did they come from and why did they leave?

Now, I’m still thinking of writing some prequel stories–possibly novellas–about that history. But . . . well, we’ll see.

And everything could be livened up with some images that show what I was thinking about when I wrote that part. Like, for example, this photo which is what I think Thekila looks like.

© Aksakalko | Dreamstime.com - Portrait Of Young Beautiful Red-haired Woman Photo

© Aksakalko | Dreamstime.com – Portrait Of Young Beautiful Red-haired Woman Photo

I’m liking this idea very much. Stay tuned.

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This is a fun idea brought to my attention by fellow writer Donna K. Weaver, based on something she’d seen another author do recently.

Create a little guide, probably .pdf, of the series. It could include extra materials on the world building and history along with images of things that were part of my inspiration. Maybe other fun things, as well, like deleted scenes.

It seems to me that a newsletter would be almost a necessity to distribute something like this. That’s something I keep saying I’m going to do and somehow never get around to. Maybe this will be the kick in the pants I need.

At any rate, I’ve had some fun this drizzly morning looking up and collecting images that reflect what I see when I’m writing these stories. Like this one:

© Prometeus | Dreamstime.com - Aborigine Photo

© Prometeus | Dreamstime.com – Aborigine Photo

That’s a pretty good image of my concept of the shaman from THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. Right down to the raven mask. (But less the heavy eye make up.) So good, that for a while it was a contender for the cover. Might have made it, too–if I’d been able to figure out what I could do with the other covers to unify the series.

That’s not as much of a sidetrack to working on the first draft of BEYOND THE PROPHECY as it might seem. This kind of inspiration can also help to recharge the creative batteries. I may have to do some more browsing later.

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Now that I can see the remainder of BEYOND THE PROPHECY so clearly, I’m getting impatient to write the climax. I think it’s going to be good. And take a couple of (hopefully) unexpected twists. And, of course, take the main character’s inner journey further, too. His character arc may sometimes be subtle, but he has a long way to go to complete it in the fourth book and last book of the Dual Magics series.

However, as a discovery writer, I find I really need to write (mostly) in order. I can’t skip around the way some writers do. Oh, I’ll sketch out a future scene if I, say, wake up with it in my head. But even then, I usually find that it changes significantly–or maybe doesn’t happen at all–by the time I get to it.

So, now what I have to do is channel that excitement about the climax into these next few chapters that will get me there.


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Remember Wednesday when I gave a rough estimate of 58 chapters in BEYOND THE PROPHECY? Well, I decided to rough out what I thought those chapters might be. (I won’t call it an outline, because I don’t do those.) It came out to 46 in the first draft.

That may or may not be accurate. It’s perfectly possible that I’ll discover some events that require more than one chapter. And I’m pretty sure that I’ll be adding at least a couple of chapters in the first round of revisions. (That’s not particularly unusual, by the way.) But, yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be 58 chapters.

That means I might finish this first draft in as little as a month. It might take a bit longer than that, though, because there are at least three fight scenes in the last part and they do take more planning and a little longer to write.

So, I’m definitely making progress and getting more confident with the idea of a September/October release. Though a lot could still happen to change that.

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Three Chapters a Week

That’s approximately the pace I’m on right now. (Actually, it’s closer to 3 1/2 chapters.) I can see fairly clearly all the way to the end. There will always be some surprises along the way for a discovery writer. That’s what makes it fun.

Now, I don’t have all that broken down into chapters the way a plotter might. However, I’m just about to start chapter 31. And the other two books in the series have run to 63 chapters (The Shaman’s Curse)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????and 53 chapters (The Voice of Prophecy)

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? I think this one will likely be closer to 53 than 63, but let’s split the difference at 58 chapters. At this rate, I’ll finish the first draft in about 8 or 9 weeks.

Now, that’s a rough draft. I already know there are things I’ll need to change or fix. It’ll need to rest for about a month so I can come back to it with fresh eyes. Then  a couple of revision passes before it’s ready for my beta readers. Those tend to go much faster than the first draft. I’m thinking I might get it to my beta readers around June, which usually takes about another month. Then final revisions and a polishing edit.

Beyond the Prophecy might be published as early as September.

Don’t quote me on that yet, though.

In the meantime, I have a Dual Magics short story to prepare for publication.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????(That’s on the schedule for that month when the first draft is resting.) I’d hope to get that published sometime in May or June.

I also have another novel which was completed before I started the Dual Magics Series, that I’ll likely go ahead and publish somewhere in that time frame.

And there are at least two more Dual Magics short stories to work in there somewhere.

Busy few months ahead.

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Okay, my $0.99 promotion for THE VOICE OF PROPHECY finished on Friday. The results were mixed.


Now I should say that I didn’t have enormously high expectations to begin with. I knew I was going with a relatively new site. (That’s why it was free, after all.)  Also, part of it was my fault. My first tweet of the promotion had the purchase url wrong. Can’t expect people to buy something if they can’t find it, now can you?

Now, there are two things I hope for from a promotion.

  1. Enough sales to pay for itself
  2. Most importantly, more people aware of the book. This is the single hardest thing for an indie author.

I don’t have any way of assessing the second. I suppose time will tell. For the first, well since the ad didn’t actually cost me anything directly, the only costs to recoup would be the decreased royalty from the price drop. I would have needed approximately three times as many sales as normal to offset the drop. That didn’t happen. Well, I’ll qualify that. I did break even in the UK, but not on Amazon.com.

My sales are still down a bit, but that’s to be expected following a sale. Hopefully they’ll rebound quickly.

So, what did I learn?

I probably made another mistake in promoting the second book in the series, even though it’s the new release (and this was a new-release promotion). It probably would have done more good to promote the first book–or to promote both together. I’ll try that next time.

Will I use SciFiFantasyFreak again?

Yes. Of all the promotion sites out there (that I’ve found so far) it’s the one that aims right at my target audience. The bigger and better-established sites are all more general, though the best of them do at least allow subscribers to choose their genres of interest instead of being bombarded with a lot of titles they’ll never buy. (Hint: There is no point in marketing a spy thriller to me. If I’m in the right mood, I might invest a couple of hours in the movie–for free on tv–but I’m not going to buy the book.) And I do think that as their subscriber list grows SciFiFantasyFreak will only get better.

Next time, though, I will try harder to combine that promotion with one of those other sites. That’s something I definitely haven’t mastered yet.

I subscribe to several of these bargain e-book sites. (Sometimes, I even buy something that’s advertised. Mostly, I consider it market research.) I often see books that turn up on more than one of the sites on the same day or within a day of each other. I don’t know how those authors manage that level of organization–while working, writing the next book, and trying to make at least a swipe at all the things that need to be done around this house. I need to figure that out.



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So, I’m nervous right now. I’ve got a promotion going this week. (It started yesterday afternoon and runs through Friday.) It’s a $0.99 Kindle Countdown deal on The Voice of Prophecy.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The promotion is on SciFiFantasyFreak. Not one of the big promotion sites, but at least hopefully targeted to my main audience. (And within my price range.)

I haven’t done a lot of promotion for my books. Not very good at it, though I know I need to learn to be. And my record for what I have done is kind of spotty. Some have worked pretty well. Some have fallen flat and actually hurt sales. Here’s hoping this falls in the first category. I’ll let you know on Sunday.

Any help getting the word out would be greatly appreciated.

Writing is the fun part, but people have to be able to find the stories, too.



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I’ve now reached a point in BEYOND THE PROPHECY where my characters are moving in different directions and I have to keep the story moving in three (maybe four) different places.

There was some of this in THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, basically before the characters came together in the first place.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????But, once I got them together they basically stayed that way in THE VOICE OF PROPHECY.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Now, about half-way through BEYOND THE PROPHECY, they’re splitting up again. Not as in breaking up the team–or the couples. Just, events require them to be in different places, whether they like it or not (most of them don’t). Things are beginning to heat up toward the big confrontation in book 4 and they just can’t cover all the bases if they stay together.

I admit, it’s more complicated balancing the story between characters this way and not letting the pace get bogged down. Things are going to be a lot more exciting in one area than the others, but what happens elsewhere matters to the whole plot, too. I have to try to balance that so readers aren’t tempted to just skip over chapters to get back to the action. (I know I’ve felt that way in some books.)

Still, there are parts of the upcoming plot I’m excited to get to. There’s going to be some fun stuff ahead.

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