October is the season of Halloween, sugary treats, things that go bump in the night, and — the release of Childhood Rites, my new horror tale that will raise the hackles on your flesh and have you double checking the locks on your doors.
From the story description:
“When Eric Deal answers a knock on his front door, the last person he expects to find is Justin Findley, a childhood friend whom he hasn’t seen in years.
But Justin isn’t there to swap pleasantries. He’s searching for Stan Whitman, the hard-partying final member of their old trifecta, who recently disappeared from their hometown after meeting a mysterious woman.
Soon, Eric and Justin are navigating the East Texas piney woods in pursuit of their friend, where they will discover that the truth of what happened to Stan is more terrifying than anything they could conjure in their darkest imaginations."
Perfect for reading over a couple of chilly fall nights.
Buy it here.
Most authors who take the Kindle Scout challenge will tell you as an aside that the third week stretch is the most difficult part of the month long competition.
You’re not new anymore and you’ve yet to hit the final few days where numbers tend to rise again You’ve emptied the pockets of your social media contacts and turned them upside down looking for change. You’ve contacted everyone you know including the local ice cream truck driver and your Aunt Petunia’s estranged hubby who ran off to become a NASCAR Driver. Obsessive thoughts of asking people in line at your local burrito shop to vote for you skitter through your mind.
No matter how many people you flog or share your book with by week three you begin to see diminishing returns. Along with that, comes a drop in morale (I talked about this last week) and invariably a slide off Hot and Trending for a few extended periods. Every insecurity that you’ve harbored since you were a kid afraid of creepy crawlies in the dark, passes through your besotted mind, weighing you down with anxiety and a feeling that your Kindle Scout campaign will end in doom.
When those feelings come (and they will) be sure and remind your self that this too will pass. It’s only a competition after all and life will go on after Kindle Scout one-way or the other.
Even if I lose I’ve learned a lot about marketing and promotion and got a look under the hood at how many fantastic authors are self-publishing and trying to follow their dream. My suggestion is don’t put additional undue pressure on yourself and those feelings will fall away as you focus on getting through the long slog and finding new and increasingly creative ways to get eyeballs on your book.
As I hit the seven-day remaining mark, what else can I say about the past week? I dipped out of Hot and Trending for almost a whole day once, while other days I was in it only in it a few hours longer than that.
After depleting my social media contacts I reached out to online groups I belonged to who were kind enough to share the link to my book. I also stepped up my Twitter game and reached out to people through LinkedIn. Also, not everyone will nominate your book as soon as you send your message. I’ve had several emails from people in the past two days that I contacted last week.
For the last 48 hours I’ve managed an extended run in Hot and Trending, we’ll see how long I can keep that up. The book is currently evenly split this between people voting from the Kindle Scout homepage and those coming through a direct link. By far my biggest source of traffic comes from Facebook.
If you haven’t had a chance to nominate my book there is still time! Also, if you’d like to see exclusive illustrations for the print edition of The Shadow Of All Things sign up for my monthly email blast.
digital copy of the novel. Okay, that sounds like a better deal, you say, so how do I vote for your book?
Easy. Click on the link here and you’ll go straight to the page where you can vote on my book.
So what is this The Shadow Of All Things book that you keep talking about?
It’s the first in a new science-fiction/urban fantasy series about the Elyuum, otherworldly, spectral creatures. If you like alternate universes, conspiracies, monsters, horror, action, adventure, mystery, and a sprawling cast of richly-developed characters fighting against ultimate evil, you’ll enjoy this book.
Here’s more from the back jacket:
When a man in a torn trench coat warns college-student Evelyn Cheng that something evil is coming down the subway tunnel where their train has stalled, she is ready to write him off as crazy until the lights flicker and the terrifying creatures appear.
Through him, Evelyn discovers she is a seer and that a battle between good and evil is raging in New York City among her kind and the mysterious, otherworldly Elyuum, who seek to tighten their grip on the city.
Spanning multiple universes with a sprawling cast of characters, Evelyn and others must stop the Elyuum before they conquer all existence.
If you liked my Nightfall Gardens series, I’m sure that you’ll be intrigued by my latest project.
So click over to The Shadow Of All Things page on Kindle Scout and give it your thumbs up.
The competition runs through May 6, please share with friends and family as well as come back here for updates.
Thanks so much, dear readers.
the scenario imagining a young Asian punk rock girl standing against one of the doors, head phones on, tapping to her own rhythm as something appeared out of the dark in the glass behind her. That image lingered after the subway started back up. Who was that girl? What were those creatures? The first chapter took shape in my mind.
Almost two years have passed since that happened: two years of tumultuous upheavals, big and small, in our little corners of the globe and around the world. There’s never been a period in my life that so much change seems to be happening to so many in such a short period. The Shadow Of All Things was written in that whirlwind and I’ve tried to do my best to write an entertaining story that also touches on the fear permeating our times.
I’d like to thank the artist Colleen Stiles for her patience as we navigated this long strange trip. I missed several deadlines and we went back to the drawing board on the cover and illustrations (that I’ll reveal in the not far future) several times before we settled on the one you are looking at now. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. The cover pays respect to NYC and also captures a foreboding, anxious quality in the text.
Thanks so much to my family, friends and of course, the readers of my books for bearing with me. The Shadow Of All Things will be coming out in late May. Stay tuned for more details including an autographed copy of the book, illustration reveal and more.
Yesterday, I tackled a project that I’d been ignoring for eons — paring down some of the several hundred books I’d collected over the last two decades.
The final straw came when I looked around my living room one day and noticed that the bookshelves were overflowing and mysterious piles of fiction had sprouted on my kitchen table, writing desk, and other available flat surfaces.
Fellow bibliophiles will understand. There is nothing harder than culling your book
collection. Each has a backstory or overpowering impulse behind its purchase. The
copy of Religions of MesoAmerica you bought at a secondhand bookshop in Chicago
where the owner chain-smoked and drank Coke out of a can, causes a tangible pang
when you think of getting rid of it, even though you haven’t cracked it in five years.
Besides, you never know when you will need to know more about ancient Mayan religions … at least that’s the way I justify it.
Once I realized I was running out of places to sit, the reality sank in that no matter
how unpleasant the task, I had to do something at last. So, on the first day of spring I set to work, culling my collection into two piles, the books I’d keep and
those that would be donated.
The process was relatively painless, once I was honest (Did I need three copies of
The Windup Bird Chronicle?) and set ground rules: 1.) Was the book a gift or did it
have some meaningful attachment 2.)Would I reread the book? 3.) Was the book by
a favorite author or did it have “literary” merit? 4.) Would I read the book if I hadn’t? 5.) Did I want to keep the book … just because?
Four hours later, I had cleared out almost a hundred books, not as much as I wanted, but not a shabby start. While I was cleaning I ran across several novels that had been given to me as a teenager that had made a favorable impression.
My grandmother on my father’s side fostered an early love in reading by giving me Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines as a kid and later introduced me to Ed McBain,
Agatha Christie, Issac Asimov and others. While I was cleaning I discovered a couple of battered copies of Michael McDowell’s Blackwater series she had passed along to
me. McDowell is probably best known now for writing the screenplay for Beetlejuice.
For anyone who hasn’t read the series, imagine William Faulkner gothic ambiance combined with the horror of HP Lovecraft. I moved those books to my keep stack
and plan on hopefully digging back into them at some point. I see that the entire series is back in print including the volumes I was never able to get my hands on.
All of this got me thinking about great books that have fallen through the cracks, never attained the status that they should or aren’t widely known. Are there any books in your collection that you wish were better well known?