Well, for any of you readers out there who are curious about what I've been up to, check out the post I just entered on my Journal of Always blog. More news coming soon: http://journalofalways.blogspot.com/2013/03/announcing-breaking-world.html
So here we go folks. The paperback versions of The Gate 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair is now live and ready to be purchased over at the 'Zon. Click here to head over there and pick one up!
Also, it's time to strap in and get the words flowing on the The Summer Son: The Rift Book IV. I'll be starting tomorrow (March 4th), and the goal is to write 10,000 words a week over twelve weeks, which would put the second draft as being finished before the first week of June. I'll be posting updates every Saturday night to let you all keep track of my progress.
So here's where we stand right now:
March 3: 9,828 words
I'll be seeing you next week at this time, if not sooner.
Peace, gentle readers.
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 III
February 15, 2012 - THE GATE 2: 13 TALES OF ISOLATION AND DESPAIR
March/April 2012 - THE FOREVER MAN (working title)(novella)
July 2012 - THE SUMMER SON: THE RIFT BOOK IV
November 2012 - THE GATE 3: 13 STORIES OF MONSTERS AMONG US
January 2013 - THE MIRROR OF SOULS: COVENANT BOOK 1
So 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.
That's right, folks! I got to read a slam-bang horror novel! And it was AWESOME! Here's a link to the review:
Enjoy! It's well worth the read.
Heather Bannon (One Pushy Fox) of the Bewitched Bookworms posted her review of Silas today on the site. It's fantastic, I tell you. This is also the woman who's charged with running my tour, so I'm definitely in good hands. Let's say YAY for folks who love our work!
Check out the review - http://www.bewitchedbookworms.com/2011/08/review-silas-by-robert-j.html
Having played hooky for the day and going through old correspondences, I'm feeling quite nostalgic, which is the reason behind this post.
I've had many people I've considered heroes in my life. My father, my mother, my grandparents, my twelfth-grade English teacher...all have passed along to me bucketloads of knowledge that have helped shape the man I've become. Without them, I wouldn't be a good father, husband, person.
As a writer, I've had many great acquaintances, but only one true "hero", one man whose every word has stuck with me to this day and who I always think about when I sit down at the keyboard and tap out sentence after sentence. "How would he approach this scene," I think. "How would he resolve the issues I've presented? How would he make the transition from this plot point to the other?" Yes, everything I've ever learned about writing has been enclosed in the shell of this man's knowledge.
His name is Ben Duiverman, and though it's been a long time since we've spoken, though we've never met in person, I consider him one of the greatest friends I've ever had and, yes, one of my heroes.
Ben is a writer's writer. His grasp of the English language is second-to-none – which is even more amazing considering it's not his first language. His passion for everything, from the craft to the importance of family to social programs, can make him an intimidating figure unless you have the balls to rise up and meet his challenge. He's amazingly generous and kind, though sometimes ill-tempered, which only adds to his aura. But this is not some fictitious creature. No, the mythology of Ben cannot hold a candle to his reality as a living, breathing human being. And as a creator, he has no peer. I've had the privilege of reading many of his short stories, and even two of his novels, and they are, without a doubt, some of the best writing I've ever come across. And it was his advice to me on how to accurately portray female characters that led to the epiphany that allowed me to take The Fall and make it something publishable. If only a portion of what he can do has rubbed off on me, I consider myself a very, very lucky man.
What Ben probably doesn't know is that for myself and countless others, he is an inspiration. His words and deeds, the way he perseveres in the midst of heartbreaking life events, only makes me long to speak with him again. It makes me want to see his name in lights, to see the beautiful words he's crafted reach the heights they deserve. Because if anyone deserves for the world to take notice, it's him.
I love you, Ben. You'll always be my inspiration.
And, of course, my hero.
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!"
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 I
Paperbacks Sold - 65
Ebooks Sold - 2783
Total Sold - 2848
Dead of Winter: The Rift Book II
Paperbacks Sold - 19
Ebooks Sold - 1276
Total Sold - 1295
The Gate: 13 Dark and Odd Tales
Ebooks (and Total) Sold - 1254
Overall Sales for TRO Publishing, our little baby here:
Well, here we are, folks. If you've been following this blog, you know that the deadline for the competition between Mercedes Yardley and myself has been pushed back to May 1st. However, this obviously doesn't mean that I've stopped working. As of this moment, Silas is sitting at 97,000 words. with my best guestimation, I'd say I have another 5000 words to write, perhaps a bit more. The problem with endings, at least for me, is that I start to fidget. I can see the finish line, and my knees start knocking and my fingers just want to fly away on the keyboard. I actually have to slow down - otherwise the words I put down will be, erm, less than satisfying.
That being said, I plan on finishing this rewrite (and it is a rewrite; much like The Rift, it's a completely different book than what it started out as) by Wednesday, April 6th. With this done, I can set it aside for a few days to hang out with Artwiffy, and then it's full-steam ahead on editing.
It's difficult to describe to you the feelings that go through my body when I'm this close to finishing a novel. It's a strange mixture of confidence and complete dread. One part of me thinks it will be the best thing I've ever written; another part fears it's absolute drek. It's these contradictions that I assume plague every artist in every medium...at least I assume so. I wonder if Stephen King or Clive Barker, upon finishing The Stand and Weaveworld, felt these same emotions. I'd love to one day sit down and talk to them, to my favorite writers in general, and discuss the amount of fear that comes with putting yourself out there.
Does the skepticism ever end? And if it does, are the emotions that replace it satisfying, or destructive? Just like with Silas, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
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 progress, 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.
That's right, fair readers! After much deliberation with my writerly cohorts in the IAM and Kindleboarders, I've finally come up with a couple solid titles for the 3rd book. I feel they definitely capture the feel of the story, the dark and sinister places it goes. To say I'm happy with them - and relieved I've at least got an idea now - would be an understatement.
So what are these titles, you ask? Well here they are.
1 - SPRING IS FOR SAVAGES
2 - THE SAVAGE SPRING
So I'm just curious what all you who live in my hard drive think of these. Which would you choose? Do you think I need to work on it some more? Right now I'm leaning towards #2, but that can change. Please, feel free to let me know.
Also, I took a break from my updates for The Gauntlet this past weekend. I'll be sure to have a new update posted this coming Sunday, however.