Friday, November 17, 2017

The Prodigal Girl is done

Greg Owen #3, The Prodigal Girl, is done. It's available for pre-order right now and releases one week from today, November 24th.

If you haven't, ahem, had an opportunity to meet my latest character, Greg Owen, here's your chance. These books are fast and fun, just as character-driven as they are plot-driven. People have told me they're actually funny too. I do try. Below are some passages that readers have written me about.

SOME BAD LANGUAGE BELOW (you've been warned)


Let’s get this out of the way.
My name’s Greg Owen.
At least two of these three things are true—I’m:
Tall.
Dark.

And handsome.


It takes forty-five minutes to reach Johnsonville and then another five to find the state penitentiary. It’s a little after noon now, so I call the pool hall just to make sure Wally and Roy haven’t burnt the place down.
“Greg Owen’s Den of Inequity,” somebody answers.
“Who the hell’s this?”
“Oh, hey, Greg. It’s Bernie.”
Of course Bernie, the freeloader with about eighteen tabs all across town, manages to show up the one day of the year I go with the honor system. 


I head back in, my head swimming. Becca and I share a nice dinner with good conversation, but I can’t stop thinking about Denise and Nick and the past and how Denise and I are falling right back into our old patterns of behavior. I’m the guy she comes to when she has a problem. She’s the girl for whom I inhabit that weird intra-space between friend and more than friend.
But hey—
That doesn’t stop me from inviting Becca back to my place.


Let’s get this out of the way—
My name’s Greg Owen, and there are three kinds of people in this world:
Those who are good at math.
And those who aren’t.


“You know, Greg,” Bernie begins, taking a break from his book, “boys and girls mature much more quickly these days than—”
“Shut the fuck up,” I say.
Bernie shuts the fuck up.


“Hey, guys,” I call out. “This is Lucy Hale, soon to be an Olympic athlete.”
Roy and Wally put down their cues and meet us at the register. Bernie’s jaw is still slack, his mouth wide open. He is in awe of this woman.
“Hi,” Lucy says, a touch shy.
“This is Roy and this is Wally.” I gesture at the two. “They fight like they’re married. But don’t let that fool you. They actually love each other.”
They smile and shake Lucy’s hand.
Roy says, “Greg has a lot of faults.”
“Gee, thanks, Roy.”
Roy continues, “But being oblivious isn’t one of them. You’re in good hands here.”
Wally nods. “He doesn’t eat well, or dress well, and his businesses leave a lot to be desired, but Greg is a good guy.”
“Stop selling me, guys,” I say, laughing.
Roy and Wally keep up with the jabber, so much so that Lucy is in stitches. Bernie’s mouth is still open, like a Venus fly trap.
“And this is Bernie,” I say. “He’s hard at work on a novel.”
Lucy smiles and offers her hand. “Nice to meet you.”
Her physique and pretty smile have robbed Bernie of the power of speech. Miracles do happen. Completely flustered, he shakes her hand.
Before his gaping mouth and wide eyes get even weirder, I say, “Hey, Bernie, could you get Lucy a bottled water?”
“Red or white?” he asks, and we laugh at this. Bernie hasn’t even realized what he’s said.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

11/15/17 Update - NANOWRIMO 2017

I blogged daily about my progress in The Bastard's Refuge. I haven't been doing that with Wyetgerd's Ax, mainly because I don't have many new things to say about the process. I'm plugging along at a good clip. As of last night when I stopped working, Wyetgerd's Ax was up to 49,581 words. The manuscript has reached the halfway point, and I know what the 3 or 4 major turns left in the story are. That book will be done before the end of the month, then I'll switch gears to another psy thriller.

I started NANOWRIMO late this month and will end up taking 3 days off during it to finish editing The Prodigal Girl. After 8 days, I've written almost 50k words. I'm very happy with that considering I'm also trying to edit another book in a very different genre at the same time.

The universe within Wyetgerd's Ax keeps getting bigger and bigger. I have an idea for a prequel now, which will be a shorter work that I (maybe) give away for free as part of my mailing list. That one is tentatively titled Skodan's Blade and I'm chomping at the bit to write that book. But first things first - you always have to finish the thing you're working on. If you stop before it's done and go onto something else, the odds of you completing the first project drop drastically.

I call it the artistic cliff.

I'll keep updating, just not on a daily basis. And hey, if you haven't signed up yet, you can still get the free preview of The Bastard's Refuge over on Instafreebie.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

11/9/17 and 11/10/17 Updates

In the last two days, I've written ~12,000 words. Total word count is 19,634.

I was trying to get to 20k last night but just got too tired. People have asked me what the secret is, and like with all magic tricks, the secret is kind of a let-down once you know what it is.

Finishing a book simply comes down to making the time. Ass in chair. The more your ass is in that chair, the more you write. Sounds too simple to be true, right? But that's how it works. Some days I'm more productive in 2 hours than I am in 4 hours, but for the most part, the more I'm in front of the computer, the more I will get done.

There have been days where I feel like I have nothing left to say, but still I sit down in front of the computer. If nothing comes, I think about the story in general. My mind usually drifts to the 3 or 4 really big scenes I've already planned for, and I grow excited and want to get back to work so I can get to those scenes. Sometimes all I have to do is ask myself how I can make the next part of the book the most exciting chapter ever. I resist the urge to put the laptop away or turn on the TV. Eventually I start writing and once I start, it's easier to keep going than it is to stop.

Wyetgerd's Ax is coming along nicely. The hero has "accepted" the call to adventure (right now he's doing it for the wrong reasons) and his decision will get him involved in a much larger conflict. From there, his problems escalate and, somewhere along the way, he truly accepts the call to adventure.  This change of character from reckless, self-destructive youth to young man willing to stand up against evil was one of the things that drew me to the story. The other was the initial hook.

The more I think about it, maybe that's all I need to get excited about an idea. A strong hook and a character that develops over the course of the story.

Sounds too simple to be true, right?

***

Thanks to everybody who downloaded The Stalked Girl during the promotion on Thursday. I hope you all dig it. Please make sure to tell 10,000 of your closest friends about the Greg Owen series.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

11/8/17 Update

My first day of NANOWRIMO was yesterday and I logged 7,807 words in Wyetgerd's Ax, my latest heroic fantasy. Since I'm just starting out this novel, I was very happy with yesterday's production. I'd love to get 10k today, but I am transitioning into the 2nd act of the story which sometimes is difficult. We shall see.

***

If you haven't read the first four chapters of The Bastard's Refuge yet, hop on over to Instafreebie. If you're into heroic fantasy, this book is right up your alley.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

NANOWRIMO 2017

NANOWRIMO is upon us. If you've never heard of that, it's the time of year where many writers try to crank out an entire book in one month. 

I'm game ;-)

I finished the first draft of The Prodigal Girl (Greg Owen #3) yesterday. That book drops very soon on Amazon.

I'll divide my time this month editing TPG and working on a new heroic fantasy novel. This one is (tentatively) called WYETGERD'S AX. It has series potential, but I'm not getting ahead of myself. I'm focused solely on making it into the best book I can and telling a complete story.

So that's the plan for NANOWRIMO 2017. Edit and release TPG. Get a first draft of WYETGERD'S AX done, which I think will be between 90k and 100k words.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Greg Owen #3 - The Prodigal Girl

This morning I begin work on the third mystery in the Greg Owen series, this one’s called The Prodigal Girl.

I’m keeping all plot details to myself, because I consider just about everything that happens in the book to be a spoiler.

The Greg Owen novels tend to run 60K and this one will be no different. I’ve got a high-level outline prepared and am feeling good about the story and character arcs.

I think I can write the first draft in 7 days.

Now that goal comes with a caveat. I have jury duty on Thursday. Because of my legal background, one or both attorneys on the case will want me nowhere near the jury box, so it's unlikely I'll get selected. But still, I will probably spend a chunk of the day Thursday at the courthouse, during the time I would otherwise be working. In the unlikely event I am selected for jury duty, then my goal of writing this book in 7 days goes completely out the window.

Either way, I’m off to the races again. It took me 3 weeks to write (not edit) a fantasy novel, so you might be wondering why I think I can write a Greg Owen book in 1 week. Here are some reasons why it’s do-able:
  1. I don’t have to create a whole new universe. Greg Owen’s stories take place in a world that’s exactly like ours. No magic, no strange creatures, no people/clans/lands/religions, nothing like that I have to give serious thought to and invent myself. He owns a pool hall, has a daughter, and is trying to make a living in a real-world setting. All things I can relate to.
  2. This book will be half as long as The Bastard’s Refuge (TBR).
  3. I’ve written a ton of mysteries already, so I understand the formula on a more intuitive level. TBR was my first heroic fantasy novel.
  4. I know who Greg is. I know who the supporting characters are. With TBR, I had a general sense of the characters before I sat down to write but the first draft was as much about discovering who they were and what they would do as it was telling the story.
  5. The Prodigal Girl is already up for pre-order! Now if that’s not reason enough …



Time to get cracking.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Latest Insane Idea

Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. It carries none of the sentiment other holidays do. People get to act wacky and break from the routine of being their "normal self" for the day. That character from that movie I've always loved? Tonight I get to pretend I'm them for a few hours. It's a lot of fun. And I love a good scary movie too, though good scary movies are difficult to find.

Anyway, I'm toying with the idea to write a horror novella and release it on Halloween.

Yes, today is October 20th and I have not written a word of it, nor do I even have an idea of what it would be about, so it's an absolutely, utterly ridiculous idea.

But, ohhhhhh, is it tempting.

I love giving myself random challenges like this. And in this new world of indie publishing, I could do it too. It's possible to write, edit and release a novella in 11 days on Amazon.

Could I do it?

I think so.

Should I?

That's another question, with probably a different answer. Or at least, a much more nuanced answer.

Going to give this a lot of thought today ...