What a long, strange trip it’s been!

My apologies for the lack of updates. Life has been busy for my wife and me as we have been purchasing our first home. My job is going great, and there’s a lot of responsibility there with leading a large group of researchers and students.

I plan to get back to work on writing. Actually, an email from a fan named James started me back up into the editing process for the 57k words currently in Shadows of Our Fathers (feel free to thank James :D). In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting the first three chapters of the draft, as they become “ready”, and you can feel free to comment on them. Believe it or not, I take comments very seriously. I’m still learning my craft, and suggestions I find on Goodreads, Amazon, and other places often find their way into me honing my skills. For this reason, Book 3 of the Primal Patterns is going to be different–as are the other two books I’ve started for the Winter Phenomenon series and the book tentatively titled Our Criminal Future.

Why different? Well, it’s been pretty obvious that the way I had been going about writing was flawed. Even after paying for deep story edits of my book, Lucifer’s Odyssey was fatally flawed by lack of description, internal thought processes, and direction that held back and ultimately thwarted readers from being engaged in the series. The reviews and comments on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, and other places bear this out. The upvoted Amazon reviews that every reader sees (and ultimately result in fewer people purchasing the book or entering the series) have killed almost any chance of the series gaining traction, and the premise of the series (an alternate history of Lucifer and Jehovah) was perhaps too controversial to even be attempted in a first book, before any reader could trust me to deliver a good story. And the truth is that I probably wasn’t ready, as a writer, to bring that story the light it deserved and needed in order for it to have a chance to become more popular. I have zero friends who have finished the book (even friends who loved Zelazny and sci-fi). Even my wife can’t complete the first book. And this means that there has been no one I could really trust to help me become a better writer, so that I can write this kind of epic story properly.

So, I put down Shadows of Our Fathers and focused on other stories. Some of the shorter stories like Elves and Goblins: Perspectives of a Father’s Rebellion were not only attempts to highlight social issues like segregation and universal healthcare, but they were also my attempts at applying what I had learned from comments on Lucifer’s Odyssey, The Goblin Rebellion, and Angels and Demons. Other stories like the one in the Pride Collection were more emotion, expression, description and an attempt at a more understandable story that might reach audiences better. This continued into Hallow’s Ween to try to connect with readers better–though at this point, all of them have stalled as far as sales. But despite these setbacks, I appreciate the comments and harsh words because they help me realize that what I’m doing right now is not good enough. For those who have enjoyed the work I’ve done so far, don’t worry. I’ll keep working at it. I enjoy writing too much to ultimately quit it. My other career requires a lot of technical writing and that has been it’s own reward, but fiction is something I’m very passionate about. I love story telling. I just know that I’m not where I need to be in my fiction-writing ability.

The downside of that rationale is that I realize I have done readers somewhat of a disservice by putting out Lucifer’s Odyssey and The Goblin Rebellion before they were ultimately finished–before my skills as an author had been honed properly. The thousands of dollars I had put into editing and artwork were not enough to save those inadequacies and that’s a truly sobering thought–that no one, even someone who specializes in fixing authors, can save the work but myself at this point. Which means that, ultimately, I will probably have to redo most of Lucifer’s Odyssey or simply move on to other projects. The compromise at this point is to complete at least the first trilogy of the Primal Patterns to give readers some closure.

Of all the stages of the writing process, editing is by far the most arduous. You’ve put your ideas out on a medium, and like taking an idea out of Plato’s Forms, the implementation is flawed because you, the instrument, are flawed. And because you are the instrument of that realization of the idea, you are hopelessly inept at seeing and fixing the flaws. You almost have to have another expert come by and fix your instrument–the mechanism for which you bring idea to reality–or, and more likely in my case, you have to learn how to fix your own process of realization.

Anyway, I’m back to editing right now. The next step will be continuing the story of the Primal Patterns, closing up the trilogy, and moving on to a different story–hopefully one that has some chance of reaching a broader audience.

Updates and Free books!

You just saw “Free books”, and you’re just searching for clicky links in this post without even reading it, aren’t you? Well, I never… Anyway, there’s a couple of announcements that I want to make before you start clickety-clicking all over the page in hopes of finding your scavenged booty. Alright, I’ll admit I’m picturing you with an eye patch and a parrot–which, if you’ll pardon me for being so forward–is a nice look for you. Brings out your… eye…

Lucifer’s Odyssey is finally free on Amazon. This is apparently a two-month delayed anniversary present from me to you. Next year, I guess I’ll send my present with Fedex instead of snail mail or something. Also, Hallow’s Ween was released earlier this month to amazing fanfare. And by fanfare, I mean that my grandmother asked me if I was still writing, and I told her about the book, and she told me that the beans she had earlier that night were making her feel mellow and gassy. Since mellow is similar to hallow in sound, and beans and Ween are practically siblings, I’m pretty sure she was speaking in code about how she had already read the book and loved it so much that she was feeling winded and gassy from talking about it to all of her brutal bridge mates.

And she’s not the only one who gets to read Hallow’s Ween for free, either. I gave away fifty copies earlier this month on LibraryThing (sorry for not posting about it. I’ve been traveling quite a bit this month.) And on October 30, 31, and November 1st, I will be posting another giveaway here, on Facebook and on Twitter for like an infinite of them. Well, it could be a limitless giveaway because I’m not specifying any limits on the coupons and if you can get the 2-3 billion people in China and India to download the book during that time, I would be absolutely tickled pink. Or bright red. Or whatever color I turn when I’m tickled in excess amounts.

So, I have a link here for Lucifer’s Odyssey, which is free. And you can click here for Hallow’s Ween, if you’re jonesing for its awesomeness before it’s free at the end of this month.

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