I’ve been experimenting with video content for TikTok and Instagram’s Reels for the last few years. No, I’m not doing reaction videos to people cooking or lip-syncing to someone else’s song. I’ve mostly been building off my work with the “Old Haunts” series, aping off the short looping mise en scène style and trying some new stuff that is weird and occasionally creepy. I’ve been calling these experiments “Quiet Corners.”
They’ve been fun to make, and the verticle phone screen is an exciting format, but this work takes time to make. The algorithms tend to favor creators who take weeks or months between posting new content. So it always felt like I was throwing my work into a void. To solve that, I’ve launched a new Reader Resource page specifically for “Quiet Corners.” Check it out here.
From now on, any experimental videos I create will be added there. I don’t totally consider “Quiet Corners” canon the way I do with “Old Haunts,” but they’re all set in Lovat and the world of the Territories, so don’t be surprised if there are hints and details that expand the world a bit more and connect to other stories playing out.
It’s strange to me that in a few days April 2018 will have come and gone and we’ll be moving towards summer here in Seattle. Time—as ever—ticks forward. I realize that for the last few months, April in particular, things have been rather quiet around here. Damn near ghostly, in fact; so I wanted to take a moment to update everyone on what’s been happening.
I’m still hard at work on rewrites and edits for Coal Belly. That seems to be my usual state of being lately. Edits tend to be difficult for me, namely because my eyes see what my brain wanted and not what should be there. Thank goodness for copy editors. That said, it’s coming along at quite a clip, and I’ll be reaching out to my beta readers this summer. Then, once I get their feedback, I go back through it all over again.
The fourth Bell Forging Cycle novel has been in the works for some time now. While there hasn’t been any prose written, I do have a rough outline, and think I know where I want it to go. Now, whether Wal behaves is another matter. So often we writers create characters and then the characters do something wildly different than what we planned. It’ll be interesting going back to it after having written two very different books in the interim.
So that’s been my spring. It’s odd writing posts like these, because while a lot has been happening, it doesn’t always come across that way when you lay everything out. Once that progress slider is full it seems like everything should be done, but in truth, the first draft is only the beginning.
It’s that time of year again. I hear that you’re a super cool person and you want to give one of my books to your friends or family for the holidays! Awesome! How can you do that? When should you order? What’s the best solution for you? Well, let me help you.
🖋 Do You Want Signed or Personalized Books?
I have a store where I sell and ship signed and personalized books. In 2017, the deadline to order is December 10th, which is a Sunday. Any orders beyond the 10th probably won’t get to you in time. Remember, this is for US residents only. Shipping internationally is a bit different, and I can’t guarantee Christmas arrival.
I sign everything from my shop, but if you want your books personalized, make sure to leave me a note in the “Notes or Instructions” field during checkout. That’s it! Just click the button below, and you can start shopping.
📦 Ordering Unsigned Paperbacks from an Online Retailer
If you don’t care about signed books or you need to wait to order after December 10th, the quickest way to get paperback copies delivered would be by ordering through any of the online retailers. The majority of them offer guaranteed delivery by Christmas. Often they ship for free. Links to purchase are below.
Did you know you can give eBooks as gifts? It’s true! There are options available on Kindle, iBooks, and Nook. (Sadly, Kobo and GoogleBooks do not have a gifting option.) So, if there is an eBook reader in your life, you can still send them into the Territories and save yourself a little money in the process. Details for each store below.
1. Select the book
2. Click “Gift this Book” in the drop-down.
I hope that clarifies the gifting options for 2017. If you have any questions, you can always leave a comment, or you are welcome to reach out to me via email: email@example.com. Thanks for your excitement in the Bell Forging Cycle and your interest in sharing Wal’s adventures with your friends and family. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season!
It’s time for a con debriefing! Last weekend, I spent a couple of wonderful days at Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, Washington. This was my third year at LCCC, and like previous years, I shared a table with my good friend Josh Montreuil. This time around the con not only expanded, but it’s now two wonderful days.
Last year, I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right, so I doubled down and brought more with me this time around. Well, Spokane was insatiable, once again I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Yep, all gone! It was incredible. Easily one of the best two-day stretches I’ve had while running a table at a convention which means a whole lot of new readers have begun to experience The Bell Forging Cycle.
Time for the highlights:
Friday night’s LCCC Pro Drink & Draw was great. Met some good people and I was able to circle up with some friends. It was a relaxing way to go into a busy weekend.
Once again (as the pictures prove) Spokane really went all out with the cosplay. Amazing work by everyone participating, you could see the time people had dedicated to their costumes. I took a ton of photos, and it was tough narrowing it down and picking favorites to share. Great work everyone! (Sgt. Slaughter, see below, was a particular favorite, but that’s the Joe fan in me coming out.)
My mom, dad, sister, and my nephew Derek came out to say hello! It Derek’s first convention and it was amazing to see the excitement as he strolled around in his Pikachu costume. He also left with the desire to be a Roader, which I appreciated. Gotta start ’em young. Right?
Likewise, Kari-Lise’s cousin Lou and his son Damon also came out. It was great seeing them as well. It’s nice to have a supportive family in the area. (You can check out a pic of Damon below dressed as a ninja.)
It was good to hang out with Josh. He had a new comic this year, Triceratots, and a load of prints. People were really excited to meet him and check out his work. Especially giant monster fans. I highly recommend you follow him. He’s got big plans for the coming year. If you want to meet him, I know he’ll be at Coeur d’ Con in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho in August. If you live nearby check his stuff out.
The volunteers were fantastic. It needs to be said over and over. Big thank you to them and to Nathan O’Brien for working so hard to make the convention so successful.
Several times I had readers drop by and ask about the status of book four. Knowing there is excitement building gets me excited. I really appreciate knowing there are those eager to join Wal in another adventure. I’ve heard it’s going to be a doozy. After all, “He is coming. Can’t you smell it on the wind?“
Once again it was good to spend time with Matt Nelson, Peter Foglesong, Jennifer Foglesong, and Lars Brown. All our tables were next to each other, and it was great being able to hang out and chat during the downtimes. If there is such a thing as your ‘convention family’ they’re definitely a part of mine.
I also had several readers come up just to meet me and tell me how much they loved my books. It was amazing and surreal, and it’s interactions like that which really made my LCCC experience. Writing is a solitary gig, and when people take the time to come up and say they appreciate the hard work, it makes it all worthwhile.
Since the con was two days, the Post-Con Decompression Dinner became a Mid-Con Decompression Dinner. It was still as great as always. The food and drink hit the spot, the conversation was lively, and it was a pleasant respite in the middle of the festivities.
Josh’s sketch commissions were as wacky and wonderful as always, from Daffy Duck as The Scarlet Pumpernickel to a giant antlered bear armed with a great ax.
I enjoyed seeing all my old friends who came by to say hello, Angie, Curt, Carl, and Mike (who surprised me from behind his King Kong mask.) It was nice seeing them, meeting their partners and children, and catching up a little bit.
I got to nerd it up with a bunch of horror fans. We talked about Lovecraft, Chambers, The Void, Get Out, The Mist, and so much more.
I met some new friends as well. In particular, Rob an illustrator who creates some great Lovecraftian illustrations, Devin who was hanging out across from Josh and me, and Michael another illustrator who ran a table next to ours.
Did I mention I sold out of EVERY COPY of The Stars Were Right? EVERY. COPY. Seriously. I did. (I have more on order.) It’s awesome to see so many people starting their journey into the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. If you’re one of them, I hope you enjoy the ride.
When I got home late Sunday night I was greeted by the nicest email from a reader who had picked up my books and took a moment to drop me a line to tell me she was already loving them. After a long afternoon of travel, it absolutely made my night.
The expansion from one to two days was excellent, and other pros enjoyed it as well. Clearly, Spokane is hungry for a world-class convention, and Lilac City is stepping up and providing. I’ll most certainly be attending in 2018. I would love to see LCCC expand into open gaming and more panel tracks as well, but I am sure both are coming. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.
Thanks for a great con Spokane, I’ll see you next year.
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Apologies to the Weather Girls, but I couldn’t resist that title. (Also, I’m surprised at how literal they went with that video. Damn.)
It’s been a wild and strange week so far and I have some positive developments that I want to share. Documenting the journey of writing/publishing/promoting has always been a mission of this blog, both good and bad, and it’s time for some good.
On Sunday, I launched another promotion through BookBub, my second, in it I discounted Old Broken Road to 99¢. (I also discounted The Stars Were Right, because, why not?) I’m happy to report the promo has been a wild success. More than I could have ever expected. Here is Old Broken Road’s ranking at the height of the sale:
Sales were solid and steady, and as you can see it became a best seller in quite a few categories. I saw a lot of people picking up The Stars Were Right and Red Litten World, which was encouraging. As a result of this promotion, there are a lot of new readers just now experiencing the Territories for the first time. Welcome to the company, roaders. I sincerely hope you enjoy the ride as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I also hit another milestone, one I am quite proud of:
For a few glorious days, I was listed on Amazon’s Most Popular Authors in Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Kindle. Amazon Author Rank a new-ish list that highlights and tracks the bestselling authors on the platform. I got to be one of them, and for a while, I was ranked higher than two of my writing heroes: Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King. It was a surprise, so much so even I had issues with it.
I’m still sorting through my emotions. I am flattered that so many people decided to jump in a read some of my books, I’m humbled to see that you’re willing to give my work a chance, and I’m excited to hear what you think. Please, feel free to drop me a line at any time good or bad. Don’t forget to leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Reviews are what allow me to do promotions like this one.
Old Broken Road will continue to be on sale through next Monday. You can find out more on this postincluding links to all the stores.
I mentioned this on Twitter (follow me!) but I wanted to write a quick update for everyone else. Last week, my novel Red Litten World turned one. To celebrate for the last seven days eBook copies have been on sale for only 99¢ (a savings of five whole dollars!) Today is the final day to nab it at that price from any of the following stores:
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