As anyone who follows this site knows, I've both been friends with and a huge supporter of Amanda Hocking. For anyone who doesn't know, Amanda was a self-published author just like myself, and through drive, risk, and oodles of talent, she catapulted her books into the bestseller lists. This led to a lucrative deal with St. Martin's press, with whom she will be publishing a brand-spanking-new series, as well as re-releasing her most popular titles to date, the Trylle Trilogy.
Switched, the first book of this latter trilogy, was released this week. It showed up in bookstores everywhere, and it was with immense amount of glee that I shuffled on down to our local Barnes and Noble to pick up my copy and support her in whatever small way I can. As proof, I offer you these two pics:
And then add to this the fact that I open up the first couple pages and read the acknowledgments, I get a nice little surprise. Check out the third paragraph below:
That's right. Amanda, a fellow part of our little writer's group, went out of her way to thank us and promote us.
Let's just say, I'm flabbergasted, respectful, honored, excited, and more than a little bit humbled by this. This is not something Amanda had to do. She did not have to mention anyone in her notes, as her success is her own, and she should be proud of it. And yet she did, which only goes to demonstrate the quality of character this fine young woman possesses.
To the mind of your humble author here, there is no one who deserves more respect than Amanda Hocking. She is a bastion of kindness, of the theory of never forgetting your roots, and it is amazing that with all the kudos that have come her way, she hasn't changed.
In other words, Amanda is awesome. So buy her books. Make her even more of a success than she already is, because a world where people like Amanda find their way into the public conscience is a world that is a much better place.
Peace, gentle readers.
Well, in a way, anyhow. The ebook - without illustrations - has gone live at Amazon, cover and all. It will stay the way it is until the grumpy artist finishes the interiors and the paperback is made available - sometime in the middle of next month. Until then, enjoy book 3, and here's a link to the Amazon page and a sneaky peek at that cover.DEATH SPRINGS ETERNAL AMAZON PAGECOVER:
Pretty, ain't it? I thought so.
Till next time,
Wow. It's been almost two months since I've posted here. TWO MONTHS! Can you believe that???Anywho, since it's now closing in on the end of November, I figured it's time to come at y'all with some much-needed updates as to what's going on in the world of TRO.First of all, I've had three short stories appear in different anthologies over the last two months. The first is a tale called CHORUS (inspired by one of Jesse's drawings), that appears in J.L. Bryan's DARK TOMORROWS alongside Amanda Hocking, Joel Arnold, and S.W. Benefiel. The second is one of the favorite
tales I've ever written, a little ditty called 39 DAYS
, which leads off the Daniel Pyle-edited UNNATURAL DISASTERS
compilation, including the likes of the fantastic Scott Nicholson, William Meikle, and J.A. Titus. And finally, I wrote a disturbing short titled ONE GOOD TURN
that is included in the Holiday Special Ebook Edition of SHOCK TOTEM MAGAZINE.
In this issue it's the staff who gets to shine, as the editors and reviewers (moi!) steal the show, our voices heard loud, squishy, and (mostly) clear.
In other news of a more US
variety, I'm right now putting the finishing touches on the 3rd Rift book, DEATH SPRINGS ETERNAL.
From there it's on to editing and proofing, and Jesse then has to get his ass in gear with the cover and illustrations. This is both an exciting and nerve-wracking project, as it's so different than either of the first two books. However, I'm confident it's still a good book - I'm thinking it's the best of the bunch so far - so we'll see how that plays out. The release date is (fingers crossed) January 5th.After that, it's on to the second installment of THE GATE. For this one, I've collected stories from 10 fantastic writers - a few carryovers from the first issue, plus some rather exciting additions. The
tentative release date is February 15th, though with the unexpected snowfall at the beginning of the month setting Jesse back a bit, it might end up being closer to the end.This is a REALLY busy time for us. Personally, my schedule is jam-packed with projects, which means my partner's is, as well. Interested to see what my plan is from here on forward? Here's a list of what I have
slated to be released through January 2013:January 5, 2012 -
DEATH SPRINGS ETERNAL: THE RIFT BOOK IIIFebruary 15, 2012 - THE GATE 2: 13 TALES OF ISOLATION AND DESPAIRMarch/April 2012 - THE FOREVER MAN (working title)(novella)July 2012 - THE SUMMER SON: THE RIFT BOOK IVNovember 2012 - THE GATE 3: 13 STORIES OF MONSTERS AMONG USJanuary 2013 - THE MIRROR OF SOULS: COVENANT BOOK 1So there
you have it. That's six planned releases in a span of 12 months. Too ambitious? We'll see...Peace, folks, and we'll chat soon.RJD
Here we are, everyone. May 1st. This date means something very special to me, so I thought I'd post about it right here, right now.The Fall first went live in paperback on April 21st, 2010. That means that Jesse and myself ave been going at this little thing called publishing for a year now. This is as good a time as any to get everyone up-to-date on how the experience went for us.As I said, we released the first book on April 21st. In the last nine days of that month we sold 15 copies of the book - exclusively to family and friends. I watched our rankings drop and thought, "well, this is how it's gonna be. We're a hit!"Then...reality struck.Sales dropped in May, and we saw little to no movement. In that time I decided we best get into this burgeoning ebook market. On June 5th we released The Fall on the Kindle, and again I thought things would just take off. I sold a grand total of 5 ebooks that month. However, this slow progress didn't deter me. I kept plugging away at other projects while constantly updating our books with new corrections and edits. I started my review blog, "Journal of Always", in July, and started to gain some exposure. By the time October rolled around, when I took part in Amanda Hocking's "Zombiepalooza", her dedication to Halloween, things really started to take off. In November we broke 100 sales in a month for the first time, along with releasing "The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales". We were on our way.So here we are now, with three books out there and one more to be released this coming June. Our sales have been relatively consistent and we've made some more-than-significant progress. Reviews have been (mostly) good and the reception has been greater than I would've hoped.I know some people only believe numbers, however, so here you go. This is how our books - The Fall, Dead of Winter, and The Gate - have
fared over the last year:The Fall: The Rift Book IPaperbacks Sold - 65Ebooks Sold - 2783Total Sold - 2848Dead of Winter: The Rift Book IIPaperbacks Sold -
19Ebooks Sold - 1276Total Sold - 1295The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd TalesEbooks (and Total) Sold - 1254Overall Sales for TRO Publishing, our little baby here:5397Boo-ya!Peace, folksRJD
I just want to take a moment and show some appreciation for all the awesome people in my life...
To Jess Torrant, Artwiffy, for being smart, supportive, sexy, and downright fantastic...
To my parents, who've dealt with my quirks all my life and still love me...
To Jesse, who's been more than a little bit of an inspiration to me and is never afraid to tell it straight...
To Mercedes Yardley, whose own talent and overall awesomeness remains a driving force behind my own work...
To Jason Letts, who's always there with a joke to ease the tension...
To Dave Dalglish, who gives me more entertainment than I could ever wish for...
To Dan Arenson, whose ability to craft an intriguing story is only surpassed by his ability to rant...
To Mike Crane, who's always on my side no matter what...
To Sean Sweeny, who's got this way about him that's just lovable...
To Amanda Hocking, for giving everyone the example of success not going to one's head...
To David McAfee, for being an inspirational figure as one who's doing it...
To Caton Easton, who's always been there as my biggest supporter even though he's across the pond...
To Steven Pirie, for writing some of the best books I've ever read....
To John Skipp, whose words of support helped give me the confidence to make tough decisions and stick to them...
To Walter Mathis, who's been as constant as anything for me over the last 10 years...
To Pat Bukowski, whose ability to sing sometimes goes to his head...
To EJ Stevens, who's the best friend a writer of the paranormal could have...
To Heather Bannon, OnePushyFox from the Bewitched Bookworms, for just being fucking awesome...
To Sharon Rosen of Pixel of Ink, who's doing her best to further the careers of so many struggling writers...
And finally, to anyone who's ever bought and read our books, whether you loved or hated them. It's you we do this for, and I hope we've entertained.
Okay, that's enough sap for today...
So who's in the mood for some music?It's now April second, and I'm sure there are a few intrigued souls out there who are now wondering, "Where the hell is the singing? The bongos? The unabashed, falling-on-your-knees worship of the winner?Honestly, it's going to take a little while for this to happen...or for a winner to be chosen.The last 40 days have been quite interesting - which, if you ascribe the the old Chinese parable, isn't necessarily a good thing. Mercedes and I have had massive sickness and personal
trauma, suffered from exhaustion and walleye from staring at a glowing monitor for much too long. Writing 2500 words a day for 40 days definitely seems doable when you start out, but when life intercedes, things can get dicey. And not all of us are as prolific as Amanda Hocking. Woe is us.But before anyone goes
and thinks I'm starting a pity party, I'm not. All I'm trying to say is that because of these outside (and inside) stresses, the fine Mercedes and I have decided to push our Gauntlet deadline back to May 1st. But that, my friends, is final. There will be no more extensions after that.Now, there will be one (self-imposed) revision to the rules, however. Due to the extension, the fact that I've made some FANTASTIC progre
ss, and the reality that I don't have to deal with the added stress of a child growing inside me and the complications that can arise from that, I now have to not only complete the full manuscript, but also a pair of edits. In other words, if Silas
isn't in the hands of my betas come May 1st, I lose. As for Mercedes...I'm not holding her to anything but getting her novel and essays finished. If she wants to add more stress to the mix, it's all up to her. Personally, I think she has enough to deal with. But in all honesty, she probably thinks the same thing about me.
Check up on her blog, A Broken Laptop
, if you want to hear what she has to say about it.So there you
go, folks. I know it's disappointing that you have to wait another 30 days for the satisfaction of observing out utter embarrassment, but hey, we gots to do what we gots to do.
Well, today's a day I've been excited about for some time now. That's right, The Fall
has been reviewed by Pushy Fox over at Bewitched Bookworms, a fantastic blog run by 5 magnificent ladies! Now Pushy (Heather) has been quite complimentary about this particular book, which goes to show that she 1) is awesome, and 2) has a lot of good taste. And just to have our little slice of fiction reviewed alongside the likes of Meyer, Pittacus Lore, Amanda Hocking, JL Bryan, and the rest of the paranormal fiction crowd is really quite exhilarating.Oh, and as an added bonus, the review comes complete with a giveaway of both The Fall and Dead of Winter! So head on over there, write a comment with your email address, and wait a little bit for your chance to win actual hard copies of our first 2 books! This is a great day, folks. We're ron-a-roll, and we're not about to stop here.Read the Bewitched Bookworms review of The Fall here.
As I've said before, I count myself extremely lucky that I've been able to get to know and converse with a great many accomplished and upcoming authors. These are my friends, advocates, and support system. They help lift me up when I'm feeling down, and they also enrich my life by allowing me to get lost in the worlds they create. So I'd like to take this opportunity to help give a few of them (and their recent news) the props they deserve.AMANDA HOCKINGI consider myself quite lucky that I've gotten to know this wonderful, talented, and supportive woman. She's a great author and an even better
person. If ever I need advice or simply to shoot an idea off of her, she's quick to reply and assist, even though she's busier than hell. As for news, Amanda's Trylle Trilogy series has been optioned to be converted into screenplay by Terri Tatchell (she of the team that wrote District 9, quite possibly the best movie of 2010)
. What, you say? An independent author having an Oscar Nominated Screenwriter
converting her work? This is fantastic news, and I'm super-pumped about it. Amanda deserves every iota of success she gets, and I hope she gets tons more.To read this announcement in Amanda's own words, visit her blog.DANIEL ARENSONRecently I had the privilege of reading his book, The Gods of Dream.
Dan is an author I've come to know well over the last year. I love all his work. Even if it doesn't completely mesh with me, I can still see the natural ability he has as a writer. He's another one of the most supportive folks I know, and his talent needs to be out there. As for The Gods of Dream, I reviewed it on my blog, Journal of Always. Go check it out, and then buy it. It's a fantastic book, and I put my reputation as a reviewer on the line in saying I guarantee you'll get something out of this special work of fantasy that you might not have expected.E.J. STEVENSE.J. is another talented and compassionate writer. She runs a very popular blog dedicated to everything paranormal, From the Shadows. She is an ally to all writers, constantly filling her site with author interviews and book reviews - something very time-consuming, especially for one with their own books to write and promote.
She's also a super-sweet person, and yet another willing to take time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions or be an ear if I need one.Her good news is this: E.J.'s publisher recently discounted the ebook versions of first two books in her series
, She Smells the Dead
and Spirit Storm
, to $2.99 and $3.99, respectively. I can personally vouch for both books (I read SStD, and am almost finished with Storm). They are beautiful bits of escapism and innocent, otherworldly charm. And at that price, they're a bargain. I suggest them to anyone with a soft spot for paranormal romance or young adult fiction. Good work, written by a spectacular person...and one who needs our support.Well, that's all for now. Look out for more shout-outs on this blog next week, 'cause I'm thinking of making this a staple feature of the TRO blog.Peace!RJD
There are a great many advantages to self-publishing, as long as you're willing to put in a ton of work and are able to develop a vast amount of patience. However, once you obtain even the slightest morsel of success, you end up developing a certain mindset that can quite literally cause mind-numbing obsession. And this mindset is...
The sales of our books have skyrocketed (comparatively) of late. For the last week or so, we've been selling right around 40 a day. But on this particular Saturday, things have ground to a halt. Our sales rankings are climbing higher and higher, and along with that goes my level of panic. I have a great fear that one day everyone will look at my work and say, "Oh, that's right, he's no good," and everything I thought I've built will crumble. It's a dangerous thought process to have. I've been checking the KDP feed obsessively and pulling my hair out trying to figure out HOW OH HOW I will get everything on track. My stress levels are through the roof.
The thing is, deep down I understand that this is nothing but a hiccup, that if I simply take a deep breath and forget about the immediacy of success, everything will even out. We've put out a damn good product, after all, and I've always lived by the theory that the cream rises. And we're that cream. But this doesn't stop the fear, doesn't stop the self-doubt from infiltrating my every waking thought.
I've wondered recently if this is something that will ever leave me. I've wondered how I'd feel if (hell no-when!) I ever reach Amanda Hocking or JA Konrath levels of success. Will the doubt leave then? Will I finally be able to settle down and not constantly wonder if the next book will finally be the one that sends me down the eternal shitter where all failed authors land? Will I stop looking at my life with a soul-crushing fear of failure?
Somehow I doubt it. And there's that word again.
It keeps cropping back up.
For anyone who hasn't known, I, Robert Duperre, have been maintaining a review blog (Journal of Always Reviews) since this past July. I've read a great many fantastic books over the last six or so months, and it's been a pleasure to dive in and see what kind of obscure meanings I can gleam from the text. In truth, this does as much to improve my own writing as it does to help the authors who've created some fantastic, imaginative worlds.Recently, after perusing Youtube and seeing the varying video game and movie reviews done through the venue of video,
I became obsessed with creating a video review of my own, for a book, no less. I decided to choose (author of The Trylle Trilogy
and My Blood Approves
) Amanda Hocking
's Hollowland -
firstly because it's in a genre I love (horror), and secondly, it's just a fantastic book.Here's the video:
So enjoy, folks, and then go pick up the book. Along the way, you might want to also pick up one of ours.