Freehold Friday: Firestorm released!

Wow—it’s been a while. Well, I apologize for that muchachos but I had good reason (I like to think).

I wrote a new book!

I was finishing up the final touches on my latest book, Firestorm. Which, is now finally available for download from Amazon! I’ve shifted gears now to the paperback version so that’ll be ready soon.

firestorm final smThis book is the closing act in the opening trilogy that encompasses the Wildfire universe. If you’ve read Apache Dawn and The Shift, a lot of loose ends are going to be tied up in Firestorm.

To celebrate the release of Firestorm, I’m going to put Apache Dawn on promotion starting tomorrow—so if you haven’t yet picked up a copy, now’s your chance. They’ll be going for 99 cents for a few days, then increasing to $1.99 for a few days before sliding to $2.99 and back to its full price of $3.99 by the end of next week. This will coincide with a promotional event I’m trying out this weekend, so fingers crossed!

We interrupt this program for a crass commercial break.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask—no beg—any of you out there who’ve read my books to take a moment and leave a review—it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t even have to be positive (although that’s what I’m hoping for!)…every review counts to an indie author like myself. We live and die by these things. The more reviews (especially good ones!) a book has, the better it sells—duh. That’s only partly the reason I’m asking…the main part is the better a book does, the more financial pressure it eases, which means the more time I can spend creating new books….and you see where this goes. More books for you to read, more books for me to write—everyone’s happy!

And now back to the show…

The future looks bright from here, folks. We’re working on the audio book for The Shift and hopefully Firestorm. I’m planning on releasing a box set of the Wildfire trilogy this summer. I’ve got 1/3 of the final book in the AJE series written, so look for that late summer/early fall. Then I’ve got a Kindle World’s story I’m kicking around and the first of the spin-off adventures for Cooper.
Speaking of Cooper and Wildfire, I have a sci-fi book (well, one and a half if you count the sequel that’s not finished yet) that is set in the future—about a hundred years or so after the events in Firestorm. Then there’s going to be narrow-focus books that deal with smaller events around single characters, like Cooper Braaten and the infamous 13.

Thank you all for being so patient with my lack of posts this month—things will get back to normal (if you can call it that) now that the book is finished. I haven’t been completely ignoring the blog though, I’ve been saving up some stuff for when I had time to post. Should prove to be interesting to at least a few of you!

Until next time, muchachos, keep your heads down and your powder dry!

As always, if you want to know before everyone else (even the readers of this blog!) when the next book will be released, any promotions or other cool news, sign up to get the monthly Freeholder Update today!

 

Freehold Friday: Book Updates

Howdy muchachos,

This will just be a quick update to assure you I’m still alive. Been rather busy around the Freehold lately. Between school winding down for Spring Break (three kids in the house all week! Yaaaaay!) and Easter and birthdays and sickness (school is a disease factory, there’s no doubt about it) there hasn’t been a lot of time to crack open the ol’ blog.

But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been up to anything—as a matter of fact, the beginning of March I’ve logged some 75,000 words on the third book in the AJE series, which I’m going to name Dux Bellorum. Fans of my doorstopper books rejoice! Those 75,000 words are only in the Erik and Ted and Brin plotline. I’m thinking their story alone will be as big as Apache Dawn (about 120,000 words or 250–300 pages). I still need to write the antagonist plot, the Brotherhood plot (Malcolm will be up to things too) and the General/Admiral plot line. This book is looking to be the biggest I’ve ever written (possibly necessitating being split into two…we’ll see).

All that and there’s more—my editor and I are finally back on track with the final read through of Wildfire (it’s going a LOT faster than the other books…the process is getting really streamlined now, or maybe I’m getting better at writing, who knows) now that the kids are healthy and the pressures of real life have backed the hell off for a few days in a row.

Oh, and I know today is April 1st, but I assure you the above post is no joke. No, really!

Freehold Friday: News and Cover Reveal!

Howdy muchachos!

I don’t really have the energy to post much today—the little one was up all night (and I mean all night) being sick, which left me with about 3 hours worth of sleep. Despite that, I got up and did my dictation session on the treadmill before getting the older ones off to school so bonus points for me I guess.

Although, now that I look at it, I just gave away part of the surprise I was going to mention. Whatever—I’m tired. I’m working on the sequel to Sic Semper Tyrannis! I know—hot damn, right? Only three chapters into it, but I just finished reading Libby Hawker’s excellent guide to plotting called Take Off Your Pants: Outline your books for faster, better writing (you should have seen the look on Mrs. Richardson’s face when I announced “I took off my pants and plotted”). Y’see, every book I’ve written, I’ve set up the plot in different ways. I keep seeing how others do it and I think, oh, that’s cool, I’ll try that. Then I do, and it turns out to be more work than I thought. Then I lose interest in getting the plot worked and end up pantsing (writing by the seat of my pants a la Stephen King, who just lets the story comet to him). From the reviews of my work, this doesn’t seem to do half bad for me.

That said, I want something repeatable. I couldn’t tell you how I plotted AJE or Apache Dawn—I just know I did it different with each and wasn’t fully satisfied by either method. The last time, with my latest book (more on that in a bit) I tried writing things out on the ol’ whiteboard in my office. This was cool at first, but then I needed to take it with me, which necessitated writing it in notebooks and in my Scrivener file…which got tedious (why didn’t I just do it in Scrivener to begin with?).

But Ms. Hawker’s method…I’m hooked. I’ve been struggling to finish chapter 3 for almost a week now. After reading her book, I sat down, plotted the story from Erik’s perspective (I’ll need to do the same with each major POV character) and within about 10 minutes, I had a layout for his story and a guideline for what to dictate for the next chapter (which I’d been agonizing over for a few days as well!). Outstanding!

So—now you know that while my beta readers pour over Firestorm (the name I’ve settled on for Book 3 of the Wildfire Saga), I’m plowing ahead with AJE 3.

But wait, that’s not all! Before I pass out for a much-needed mid-afternoon nap, I wanted to share with you the other really exciting news: I’ve finalized the cover for Firestorm. Let me know what you think!

firestorm final sm

 

Freehold Friday: Ooops. And good news!

Howdy muchachos!

I have to apologize to you—I had worked up a post for today, prepped it, made it all nice and shiny for you, and then promptly screwed it up. I went to copy and past it into my master blog file and this is what I saw at the top of the screen when I opened the word processor:

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Really?   Yeah.

It’s all still there on my recorder (I dictated today’s entry) but now I have to go re-transcribe it and fix the mistakes Dragon invariably makes (though they aren’t that many anymore). Annnnnd I’m out of time for today.

Awesome.

So I’ll just do the update I had planned for today anyway, and get you the rest of the post at some point this weekend when I get a chance. Sorry!!!

But now for some good news! I printed the book I’m working on (Book 3 in the Wildfire series for those who don’t know) today, so the last few steps are in sight. I just need to read through it now on paper, make any last corrections, while at the same time letting my beta readers tackle a copy, then I can integrate the final changes/corrections and it’s ready for publishing!

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Now it’s time to work on a cover….

Freehold Friday: What’s behind the label?

Howdy muchachos!

Before I jump right in to this week’s ramblings I wanted to share with you some writing related updates! I’m happy to announce that James Romick, the awesome narrator that read Apache Dawn for the audiobook format, has agreed (just this week!) to voice The Shift! For those of you who haven’t checked out the audio version of Apache Dawn, I highly recommend it—James’ talent is clear and he really brings the book to life!

Secondly, I wanted to bring you up to speed on the third book in the Wildfire Series. I finished the first draft last Friday (while watching the coverage of Snowmageddon ’16) and I’m already 10 chapters into the first round of editing. For reference, the way I’m going about the editing of this book is a little different than the last few (hopefully it will speed things up).

I subscribed to an online editing service that thus far is really helping me shape the writing into a more readable, grammatically correct version. Even better it’s doing so at a pace that I couldn’t hope to match by using my eyes alone. So, after I’ve run the entire book through the editor, I’ll print it out, read through it and make any last corrections, then send it to my beta readers. I’m hoping this process will only take till the end of next month (which will be way faster than the 2–3 months the process has taken me for book length works in the past!). Fingers crossed!

Okay, now that shopkeeping is out of the way, on with the post…

Behind the Label

So we’ve talked about my sliding scale of Preparedness, we’ve talked about the labels people apply to those who prepare (survivalist, prepper, unprepared/sheeple). But why do we have labels in the first place? My contention is that those who are unprepared and want us to remain so (think the Hollywood glitterati intelligentsia crowd—they not only have more money than we’ll ever see, they’re smarter than us too). Secretly though, they fear us and envy us.

Why? They have most of the money and power (paid-for politicians) and influence (celebrities and the mainstream media)…what could they fear from us?

Well, for starters, if you’re prepared for the unexpected, you’re much less dependent on someone else (i.e. the government—those people that know more than you about…everything). If you’re less dependent on the powers that be, they become less relevant. And to the people we’re talking about (not your average unprepared citizen, mind you, I’m still talking about the elites from “their side”) relevance is everything.

Case in point, if a movie star (or a musician for that matter) doesn’t have a continuous string of popular hits, they quickly fade from the limelight. This is bad for them—people start questioning their abilities and worth and before you know it, they start getting lower paychecks and end up on QVC hawking flameless candles.

Okay, so that example might be a bit extreme, but you get the picture.

The Hollyweird crowd is vicious to those that don’t maintain the right image (just take a look at the hilarity revolving around the so-called Oscar controversy—and remember they’re arguing and name-calling each other over an award show that glorifies them for pretending…). Most of the country is left shaking their heads at the delusional minds these people possess—as if we care that much about them.

There’s probably other reasons that group would fear people who are prepared (and therefore to varying degrees self-reliant). They don’t have as much influence over you, which means they don’t have as much control over you. They enjoy gaining power and keeping power (just look at Washington, D.C….if you dare).

To sleep easier, they mock and belittle people who are responsible adults and plan for the unexpected. They call us ‘gun nuts’, ‘survivalists’ (luckily, as I mentioned last time, this particular monicker is losing it’s negative connotations pretty quickly), and paranoid. It’s like some sort of time-warp high school—the kids who mock and make fun of others are usually the ones trying to cover up their own inadequacies and fears.

Same thing for their jealousy. The unprepared (by inaction or design) run to the store in an blizzard because they’re out of milk and bread. We roll our eyes and sit back to read a book, knowing our pantry is full and we’ve got a generator should the power go out.

They are the grasshoppers to our ants and they are angry that they didn’t prepare, so they mock us for it and try to make us look silly or somewhat dangerous (after all, we seem to like those evil black guns! Oooooo, scary!).

In short, they want what we have (skills, knowledge, confidence, supplies, forethought) but they don’t want to put the effort in to gain those things like responsible adults. Ultimately, it’s not their fault. They’re trained by the system to wait for handouts, to wait for help, to be unprepared, to follow others.

And so we’re labeled, marginalized and ridiculed by the media…at least until the last decade or so. Ever notice how when there’s an article in a newspaper or magazine that talks about someone who’s more prepared than the average Joe, they’re usually named a “prepper” or “survivalist” and it’s always in quotes like that?

I can just see the reporter with a smarmy look on their face, rolling their eyes and making quotation marks in the air with their fingers. It’s like the media thinks that even though its a lot more mainstream to be prepared these days, they still can’t resist pointing out our scandalous roots by putting the label in quotes. Hey look, they’re okay, but they’re…gasp…different!

So much for tolerance.

Luckily, most of us don’t pay much attention to what the “other side” thinks about us. We’re too busy making sure our families will be okay for the next tornado/hurricane/thunderstorm/ice storm/snowstorm/Snowmageddon/home invasion/carjacking/Zombie apocalypse, etc., ad infinitum. But maybe we should pay more attention to the unprepared among us.

Take, for example, last week’s snow-pocalypse on the east coast. You know what I’m talking about—it was hard to miss news coverage (and I don’t even have cable/satellite TV anymore!).

I watched the nightly news like the rest of the nation, I searched Google, I got the tweets and texts. But I also took notes.

I noticed that 2 days before the snow started falling, people acted…tense. There seemed to me to be an increase in news reports about car accidents on roads that only had a little bit of snow (an inch in D.C. caused hundreds of accidents before the big storm even arrived!). Coming from Texas, where people freak the hell out when it starts snowing, I could sort of understand. Living in Wisconsin as I do now, I laughed my ass off.

The press relentlessly talked up how bad “it could be” (granted, they were right, but no one knew that before the event). People got stressed, drove faster (or more aggressive) and as a result maybe panicked just a little bit easier. People are herd animals (some of us). When we’re driving, a lot (I admit to doing this on occasion) of us look for the “wolf pack” and try to go with the flow, making sure to not be too fast or too slow so as to get picked off by the Police for speeding. Traffic speeds up, we speed up. Traffic slows down, we slow down.

But I digress…

Look at crowds—football games, concerts, you name it—when something gets a handful of people acting together (“doing the wave”), more and more people join in. I love it when crowds chant (usually in Philly) aaaaaassshooole….aaaaassshole….at a sporting event and the TV announcers try to talk louder and faster to cover up the deafening roar of thousands of voices swearing at the same time.

When things start happening the mob takes control and individuals are pulled toward the group like a moon orbiting a planet. It’s inexorable and only those with a sharpened sense of independence (or are determined to not join whatever the hell the group is doing) can avoid getting sucked into things you normally wouldn’t do. There is safety in numbers, hence when things go so, the bad elements tend to coalesce. Go look up riots on Google. Watch some videos of third-world countries rioting in the streets. The cops can’t arrest us all, right?

Back on target…

Anyway, before Snowmageddon ’16, people panicked about their food supplies around 24 hours out and we saw the rise of the Tweets and Facebook posts of bare shelves and empty aisles (milk and bread, baby!) in grocery stores and bodegas from New York to Baltimore. Some of the proud hunters regaled us with tales of what they stocked up on (pay attention here): milk, bread (of course), snack foods and chips, sodas, beer, and cereal. Read this article and look at the pictures. This actually happened.

Are you kidding me? That is the mindset of someone who expects the world to be back to normal in a day or so. As of the time of this writing, it’s now Snowmageddon +5 days and New York is still digging out and showing some attitude.

Am I surprised? Not at all. Most of the people bitching and complaining about the snow removal were probably the ones that emptied the stores of bread and milk and left things like beef jerky, peanut butter, oatmeal, etc., and grabbed the Cheetos and beer instead.

To be fair, a once-in-a-century (oh wait, there was Snowmageddon ’15 too, wasn’t there? Uh…oh, there’s also Snowmageddon ’14…) storm is kind of hard for the average citizen to prepare for.

It’s not all that hard, honestly to prepare for something on this scale, but self-reliant folk are cut from a different cloth (remember that whole pioneer thing I mentioned last time?). It’s nigh impossible for government —city, state, or heaven-forbid the Feds—to prepare for something like that.

Which is why nearly a week later, it’s business-not-as-usual still. Oh, people are open, schools are back (at least some) but it’s nothing like what the world looked like last Wednesday.

Anyway, my takeaway is this: whenever there’s an event that’s slow in developing (hurricane, Snowmageddon, etc.) just watch how the people in harms way react. You have time to get things done and stay gray (we’ll talk about OPSEC and being the Gray Man (or woman) next week). Looks like 24–48 hours pre-event, depending on how much media-hype is attached, is when people start to go crazy.

Oddly enough, it’s when the event is actually happening that people tend to chill out and ‘hunker down’. Give yourself another few days post-event for the tempers to start flaring and watch the cracks in civility start to show.

Now, imagine that NYC or Philly or Baltimore or D.C. (or all or most of them!) had lost power on top of all that snow? How long to you think it would take for the excrement to hit the fan? Remember, it took 4 days for people to start leaving well-thought out snark-o-grams on street corners when they believed businesses weren’t doing enough to clear the sidewalk?

That’s why we prepare. That’s why they mock us. And that’s why we walk away laughing with a steaming cup of coffee or tea back to our sofa in our well heated, well stocked house/apartment/cabin while they’re bitching on Twitter about the corner not being cleared enough for them to walk and text without landing in a snowdrift 4 days after a record-breaking weather event.

Next time: What’s my favorite color? (hint: it’s gray…)

 

Freehold Friday: Gettin’ my groove on…

Howdy muchachos.

This week’s edition of the Update will be a little different. Well, other than to pass on some exciting news about how much I was able to write last week, I wanted to tip you off to what’s coming next. We’ll get to the soapbox later.

It’s a big deal…to me.

First, I want to let y’all know how excited I am. Y’see last week my wife took the kiddos down to visit family and friends and I was left to my devices (and the dog). Normally that would be a pretty depressing idea (the dog doesn’t say much and has to be walked…and it was COLD around these parts) but I used the time to write. And write I did.

Over the course of 72 hours, I cranked out something like 64,000 words. To put that in perspective, November is National Novel Writing Month (you may have seen me refer to it in these hallowed pages as NANOWRIMO) and every year thousands of writers and aspiring writers gather on the internet (I know, it sounds really weird, just bear with me). During the 30 day contest, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I wrote 64,000 in just under 4 days.

How you ask? Dragon Dictation. I know, I sound like a freaking advertisement for Nuance, but I’m telling you, I get no financial compensation from them whatsoever. I just really, really, love Dragon. I hadn’t dictated for a while thanks to the holidays (there were simply too many little ears around to hear me describe fight scenes and vulgarity…so I reverted back to typing) but when I was free to ride my dragon once more, look out! I did a little experiment the first 36 hours and looked at my outline as I dictated. My outline consisted of the following:

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Just a few sentences really. Who’s the main POV, what happens, and are there any specifics that need to be mentioned or what was the resolution? Looking at this, I muddled my way through the chapter on the fly. This is called “pantsing” (short for writing by the seat of your pants…some more refined authors, like Stephen King—you may have heard of him—call this “discovery writing” because you discover what the hell is going to happen at the same time as you write it…it makes for a fun writing session, but can be a bit stressful because you don’t know where you’re going until you get there). I wrote all of AJE and most Apace Dawn this way, so it was like slipping on a pair of old, comfortable jeans.

Then, I decided to try the alternate method for the next 36 hours of my writing retreat (by the way, I used to laugh at the idea of a writing retreat…really? Writing is such hard work you have to escape for a weekend/week, whatever to type? Now that I’ve experienced the unbridled freedom to write whenever, whatever you want free from interruption for days on end…it’s nirvana, man.). Instead of pantsing, I’d try plotting. The opposite of writing by the seat of your pants, plotting involves (here’s a sliding scale) anything from fleshing out a few sentences of the chapter to writing an outline as an almost complete chapter/book, detailing everything done and said (like writing the damn chapter itself) before writing said chapter/book. So I sat down with my modern quill and wrote out a few paragraphs of what I foresaw happening to certain characters in that chapter. Who did what, and then what happens? This method left me free to make up details on the fly and change things, all with the secure knowledge that I already figured out who fights, who lives, who dies, etc., in that particular chapter.

If there was a particular conversation I wanted to take place, I put that in there so that as I walked around the house (or on the treadmill) confusing the hell out of the dog as I talked to myself for hours on end, I knew exactly where I was going, if not exactly how I would get there. Here’s what it looked like with a 2 section chapter:

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Aside from dog confusion (she whimpers and paces when she’s confused, I learned), the plotting method easily won me over. With a clear road map of sorts in my hand, I felt free to roam, knowing I could find my way back to the story. That, coupled with the detailed idea of what I wanted accomplished in the chapter led me to write a lot faster.

The results? See for yourself. The first 36 hour stretch (pantsing) netted me something around 19,000 words. A pretty respectable sum by any standard, I think. Considering, I didn’t write for 8 hours straight. I wrote an hour here, an hour there, in between doing laundry and putting the house back together after the holidays, walking the dog, sleeping and reading, etc.

The next 36 hour shift, I wrote using the plotting method (or my half-breed attempt at it) and brought in around 45,000 words. That is a huge increase in production. I wasn’t keeping track at the time and went back after it was all said and done…you could have picked my jaw up off the floor. I knew it was a pretty big difference—I seemed to move through chapters faster and felt more accomplished at the end of each writing session—but I had no idea it was that big a difference until I tallied everything up.

64,000 words in a little over 3 days or so. If I wasn’t hooked on dictating, I sure as hell am now. That and honeyed tea. Ye gods, my throat got sore over those days!

Why am I so excited over word counts (aren’t books measured in pages?)? Well, partly it’s an author thing. But here’s another bit of perspective: most of my books in the Wildfire series clock in around 120,000–150,000 words (which yields a about 250–300 pages, depending on how it’s published). We’ll leave aside for the moment the doorstops in the Future History of America series (they’re more like 220,000–240,000 words each). What’s the average novel you say? For the most part, it’s a sliding scale, but a good number is anywhere between 40,000 words and up. In the United States, right now average is about 70,000–80,000 words, I think.

A novella is anywhere between about 20,000 and 40,000 words, while anything under 20,000 can safely be labeled a short story (or serial segment) by most people. Again, it’s a sliding scale that is highly subjective, so one person’s 50,000 “novel” may be another’s novella.

Out of habit, because I enjoy doorstop books immensely (looking at you Clancy, Jordan, and Martin), I tend to write longer. A novella to me could be 90,000 words. It depends, honestly, on what the author—and more importantly, the reader–wants it to be.

At any rate, this rather long-winded explanation (see, I told you I write a lot of words) is just to explain to you where the 64,000 words I wrote fits in the greater scale of the world of fiction. I ended up writing a decent sized “novel”–though for me and my readers, it will only turn out to be about half of the 3rd book in the Wildfire series.

What does this mean for you? It means I can bump up my production schedule for finishing Book 3. That means you get to see what happens next in the flu-infested world of Wildfire that much sooner! It means you get to see Reginald and the Council get their comeuppance…or do you? That means I get to jump back into the Future History of America series and see what happens to Erik and Ted and Brin on their long-awaited journey north…It means I get to come up with another Latin name for the 3rd book in that series…

Well, you get the idea.

And now…for something completely different.

Anyway, tune in next time, where I’ll talk briefly (we’ll, I’ll try…me and brief don’t exactly go hand in hand when it comes to fiction) about something near and dear to me, what’s been popularized in the MSM as the “prepping movement”. I have some beef to grind with my axes on that moniker, but it’s a start. Anyway, I just had the idea for the blog post and need some time to mull it over on how best to proceed. Certain events in the country right now are affecting my thoughts so we’ll see how they pan out (if they pan out) and go from there.

Till next time, stay safe, keep your powder dry, and carry on.

As always, if you want to know before everyone else (even the readers of this blog!) when the next book will be released, any promotions or other cool news, sign up to get the monthly Freeholder Update today!

Freehold Friday: Happy happy, joy joy

Howdy muchachos!

I am in fine spirits today, and I hope you are too. The holidays are here and winter is back (there’s no snow on the ground—yet—but it’s winter and in this area of the country, there will be snow). My beautiful bride got me tickets to see the new Star Wars movie for my birthday, what could be better, I ask you?

Well, for starters, the Apache Dawn audiobook is out and selling far better than I expected in the first week of availability! Thank you so very much! Your continued support is humbling and inspiring.

But that’s just the beginning. In the spirit of the holiday season, I invite you to sign up to the Freehold Update. In the next week I’m going to launch a contest to win some free copies of the Audiobook! Details to follow. The first step, though, if you haven’t signed up all ready, is to join the Update!

Freehold Friday: Audiobook news!

I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I know I need to get back on the treadmill…

But that’s not why I’m writing this today. I’ve got some big news! And I’m not talking about Black Friday specials…

I’ve just approved the final draft of the audiobook version of Apache Dawn! James Romick did a fantastic job voicing the characters.  I tell you, this is the first time I’ve done with one of my books and it really makes a difference when you hear the story instead of just reading it.  Cool stuff.  The book comes in at 18 hours and 26 minutes. It’s now off to ACX for final pre-publishing checks. Fingers crossed, it’ll be approved and ready for release shortly.  When it is, I’ll let you know!

To go with the release of the audiobook, I remade the cover to Apache Dawn (my second book and the most outdated of all my covers) and made the ebook and audiobook versions match!

AD ACX FINAL blog
This is the audiobook cover.

AD New FINAL ebook blog
And here’s the ebook cover.

Now to update the print version…

In the meantime, I’m still plugging away at the third book in the saga, tentatively titled Wildfire. I know, not very unique, since that’s the series name, but…meh, it’s a work in progress!

As always, if you want to know before everyone else (even the readers of this blog!) when the next book will be released, any promotions or other cool news, sign up to get the monthly Freeholder Update today!

Freehold Friday: Updates!

Welcome back to another edition of Freehold Friday! I got plenty of updates today…

Apache Dawn Audiobook

First up, I just this week received word that the audio version of Apache Dawn is nearing completion. We think it’s going to come in around 19 hours long! How’s that for some entertainment? That ought to keep you occupied on your way to work for a while…

On that note, my very talented narrator, James Romick has expressed interest in doing the audio version of The Shift as well! I was hoping he’d do so, because I love what he’s doing on Apache Dawn and I think you will, too! I’ll update with more info as the final release date approaches.

Denny’s Return

I’m pleased to announce I finished the first chapter of Denny Tecumseh’s triumphant return to the Wildfire Saga. One of the most requested characters from Apache Dawn is back—thanks to you, my readers! See? Emailing me works! Got a suggestion or gripe or want me to add something? I don’t know what you’re thinking, so tell me! Never know, I might agree…

More 3D Cover Art!

Okay, this is really cool. Gill Dall, the graphic artist I mentioned last time contacted me this week to let me know she decided to do another mock up of my AJE cover. Check this out:

AJE Mock Up 5

How sweet is that? I love the flames in the background. Thanks again Gill! Remember—if you need cover art like this, please see her website. She’s great!

*****

As always, if you want to know before everyone else (even the readers of this blog!) when the next book will be released, any promotions or other cool news, sign up to get the monthly Freeholder Update today!

Freehold Friday: Using Scrivener to Blog…

Yet another post on why Scrivener is awesome.

downloadOkay, so I like the software. I mean I love it. And now it’s getting even better, because I figured out how write this blog in Scrivener and export directly to the Freehold! It makes things easier for me, which lets me get more content to you on a more reliable schedule (yeah, sorry about the missing weekly updates lately, the real world has intruded with gusto) and so on. Trust me, it’s a good thing.
But how do you do this, oh wise writer? (yeah, I can hear you saying that)

Easy: I set up Scrivener with a single project file. Inside the file, on the next folder level, I created a folder for each blog I operate (The Freehold, my woodworking blog, my genealogy blog, and my astronomy blog). Inside each of those folders, are more folders listing years and months, which contain the actual posts. Or will, once I import everything over.

Granted, I haven’t posted anything on those other blogs in about a year because (a) I’ve been so busy with writing and (b) my youngest entered into the phase where he needed constant supervision while awake to ensure his survival to his 2nd birthday. That in and of itself put a pretty big constraint on my free time, and what little I had left, I devoted to my fiction writing. But now, school is back in session, the older kids are gone 8 hours a day and the youngest is entering the independence phase. Oh, he still needs supervision, but he’s getting a little more common sense. A little. Stairs and chairs are still great fun but he no longer flings himself headfirst from the top step (at least not without a little pause to consider if I’d approve or not). He also likes to get out toys and play by himself now, as long as he can see me.
That means at least my writing productivity is heading for an increase. I still don’t have the time or energy to get out in the workshop (a few times for minor projects) or under the stars (almost never in the past year, except for the last lunar eclipse or for comets), but at least I can jot notes for writing in a notebook now.
It’s going to take some time getting everything set up and copying all the old posts into my new project file, but when I’ve got it all set, I’m confident my output will increase, along with the consistency!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this update: My new supernatural thriller serial project is wrapping up Episode 1 (with episodes 2 and 3 nearing final edit stage) and should be ready for publishing in the next few weeks. Be gentle—this is an experiment. I’m still writing the sequel to The Shift and still have big plans for the Wildfire universe (think epic) and I haven’t forgot about Erik, Ted and the gang from AJE. They still have one whopper of a finish ahead of them.

As always, if you want to know before everyone else (even the readers of this blog!) when the next book will be released, any promotions or other cool news, sign up to get the monthly Freeholder Update today!