At the beginning of 2014, I had this plan. I had three books I wanted to release about 3 months apart. One was dystopian, one was a zombie book and the third was portal fantasy. The genres are important, you see, because nothing went the way I planned for it to this year. Of the three I had planned, I had the dystopian book already “done” and close to publishing. Except the premise ended up being broken. So I scrapped that idea and sent it to the rewrite pile. That left the portal fantasy and the zombie story. Of the two, the portal fantasy was closer to being done, really. But, I went back to look at the zombie story, and said, “Well, let’s see if I can get this in a little better shape.” I also planned on a lot of other things. Things to do with my website, minor ideas I wanted to pursue. But most of all, I was still writing and still hopeful.
On February 28th, Zompoc Survivor: Exodus hit Amazon. My carefully crafted plan for the year was already scrapped, and I was sitting back trying to decide how to rescue or revise it.
Then, on March 6th, something amazing happened: ZS: Exodus exploded on the Amazon rankings. Suddenly, I was selling more books in a day than I ever had before. 2014 became all about getting the next book out, and suddenly, everything was coming together. It looked like, after years and years of writing, after two previous books, I was (and am) on the cusp of the life I have always wanted, a writer’s life. The one thing I didn’t plan for. I spent the rest of the year playing Xanatos speedchess.
It’s been a year of changes, of losses and gains. We saw family members return home after years away and the birth of a new grandson. I lost friends, but I gained new ones. I was blessed to see friends take the first steps into their own success. I got back one of my old books and released it anew.
Through it all, I think the biggest lesson from 2014 was that persistence pays off. You never know when you’re going to hit that moment where everything comes together. When suddenly, you are standing at the threshold of your dreams, and you realize that nothing is like you thought it would be. Some things are not so glamourous as you imagined, but other things are even better than you dared hope for. There are days in this writer’s life that are hard, when all I seem to do is work on the business of writing. But those are the moments when I stop and remind myself “It’s my business that I’m having to deal with. Not someone else’s. I’m working for me.”
Let me tell you, that’s an epic feeling.
So, as 2014 closes, I have one message for you: Keep fighting for your dreams, because anything worth dreaming is worth working hard for.
Never give up.
Stepping into 2015, I realize that most of the year has already been mapped out for me. Some of it still needs to be refined, but it’s already looking like a good year.
That, I find, makes all the difference. I start the New Year off knowing the following:
I am Mighty. I am Epic. And so are you.
Go forth and do Epic Things! Be a force for the Awesome!
It's finally here. I've been waiting for this moment for weeks, and my new cover is ready to reveal!
This book has a special place in my heart. It was my first. When I first wrote The Demon's Apprentice in 2010, it was a labor of what seemed to be Herculean effort. I started writing it in 2006, after reading Jim Butcher's Dead Beat, the seventh book in The Dresden Files series. It was my first exposure to Jim's work, and even after going back and reading all of his other entries in that series, it still ranks as one of his best for me.
The thing that stood out about that story was the voice. Snarky, smart and most importantly, SMART ASS! I read to the end and remember hearing echoes of my own voice resonating through it. It was the book that made me think I really could have an audience. That maybe, just maybe, I could make a career of writing one day.
Everything about The Demon's Apprentice was backwards. It wasn't exactly the book I set out to write. An agent contacted me to ask for a full read through on it (she passed on it, but still, that was pretty damn cool). My eventual publisher asked me to contact him about publishing it. All of it, delightfully backwards.
I wrote another book in the series, and then decided to try my hand at zombie fiction and self-publishing. Needless to say, the results were very good. So, I got the rights back from my publisher a few months ago and started looking for a cover artist.
Enter my life long friend Angela Gulick. Angie is an artist with a few credits of her own, so at some point, we started talking about what I was looking for in a cover as I looked for potential artists. And then she showed me HER concept and I had my cover artist.