Archive for December, 2013

A WOLF IN WOLF’S CLOTHING now available


The latest Winston & Churchill story, A WOLF IN WOLF’S CLOTHING, is now available for 99 cents on Smashwords. It’s the sixth installment in the series and the mid point of the twelve stories that I have planned that constitute what I guess could be called, god help me, season one of the Winston & Churchill Case files.

Those of you have followed the series will no doubt notice that at the end of the last story, (A SHADOW UPON THE SCENES, still available at better eBook retailers) it stated that this would be available in June. Obviously that didn’t happen. If you’re just hearing about the series now pretend I didn’t say anything about it.

We’re getting back on track, I promise. I’ll spare you the “stuff happens” speech because everyone has stuff and it’s always happening. What I will say is that one of the things that makes writing this series difficult sometimes is that we’re still struggling to find an audience. Sales on the individual stories have not been great, although NEVER LET GO (the first story which is still free on Amazon & Smashwords) averages a download a day.

I know I’ve got to do more outreach & marketing, but it’s often pretty time consuming and fairly intimidating. The internet is big, y’know? Now subtract the people that read things digitally and then subtract the people that would be interested in reading supernatural private investigator stories. Where do those folks hang out?

I’ve tried not to worry to much about Lexie & Henry’s “marketability.” That way lies madness. Yes, paranormal and urban fantasy stiff is big, but a lot of that tends to have a pretty strong romance component. I’m not saying there’s no room for romance in their lives, but that’s not going to be something we focus on a lot. So outside of that, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of things out there like this, with the exception of the Dresden Files. Here’s the part where I disappoint people by saying I’ve never read them and only saw a smattering of the the TV show.

Maybe the fact that I’m working in a bookstore again has gotten me thinking about this again. Either way, I need to do better to find an audience for these stories. I like them, I like their world and I’d be content to wrote about them for a very very long time. Right now I’m the only person who has a say in that, which is great. But I also want writing to be my sole source of income and I’m a long way from that.

So let’s go out there and change that, hmmmm?

20

12 2013

Holiday Fiction Sales!

This holiday season I’m running some deals on the stuff that I write. For the month of December my novel, SHADOW OF THE PAST, is only 99 cents on Smashwords (which means it’s available in every eBook format there is).

shadowofthepastcover

Mark Watson thought high school was hell enough as it was, but when he starts seeing visions of a young boy from the 50’s that was kidnapped and forced to watch a series of grisly murders, he’ll find out that the supernatural force behind those killings has plans to show him that there are worse hells than bullies and gym class.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to him. Everything has always been against Mark. He’s poor, unpopular, orphaned to an uncaring uncle and with zero prospects for the future. It seemed like that was going to change when he literally runs into Christine Baker, a new girl at school who doesn’t know anything about Mark’s embarrassing past and begins showing interest in him. He’s falling in love for the first time, his bullying nemesis at school is out for blood, and his best friend is eying his new girlfriend and the few loved ones he has are being picked off by a supernatural force of darkness and fire. There’s no peace anywhere he turns, and that looks to be exactly where the resurrected killer wants him: broken, alone, and facing his end in the house that saw the deaths of four children and still holds a terrible evil waiting to be reborn. Cover by Zane Reichert.

You can read a sample of SHADOW OF THE PAST and you can buy it for $2.99 on Smashwords.com or Amazon

Through December 16th the first collection of the paranormal private investigator series I write, the Winston & Churchill case files, is 99 cents on Amazon. The first story, NEVER LET GO, is always free on Smashwords and Amazon and the stories themselves are normally 99 cents and come out about once a month, with a new story about to be released (in the next week or so).

Lexie Winston & Henry Churchill are private investigators who specialize in paranormal and occult phenomenon. From people that think they or their loved ones are the victims of black magic to finding missing people that have had a run-ins with all manner of supernatural creatures to exorcisms to mystical artifact retrieval and disposal. This pair of mismatched detectives is ready to face anything the secret world of the supernatural can throw at them…for a price. Even if it’s their souls.

NEVER LET GO (Winston & Churchill #1) When Lexie and Henry are contacted by a man who’s worried about his wife after the loss of their son, they realize some people will go to any lengths to be reunited with the ones they love. Beyond murder, beyond sanity and into the realm of pure evil. Cover by Jason Knize of The 11th Hour. Available for free on AmazonSmashwords and Goodreads. Rate it on Goodreads.

A LOVE SUPREME (Winston & Churchill #2) A young woman’s father hires the two private investigators after his daughter goes missing, last seen in an underground nightclub dazed and drugged out of her mind. To get her back they’re going to have to shoot, kick, stab and magic their way past a small army of thugs and their boss, a man with blood red eyes, razor white teeth and a voice that can make anyone do anything he wants. Cover by Jason Knize of The 11th Hour. Available for 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords Rate it on Goodreads

HEART OF SUFFERING (Winston & Churchill #3) When a young woman is stalked by her ex-boyfriend who’s taken to magic as the means for revenge over a heart break, Lexie Winston & Henry Churchill have to divide and conquer against two threats that jeopardize not only their lives but their souls as they face demons, danger and desperation. Available for 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords. Rate it on Goodreads

AN EQUAL SHARING OF MISERIES (Winston & Churchill #4) In the aftermath of a botched immigration raid, a supernatural force that preys on the living is released. Lexie Winston & Henry Churchill must figure out what it is with the help of a grief-stricken ICE agent out for revenge. Can they save an man’s life from being devoured while protecting an innocent victim while facing the doubts and lack of trust creeping into their partnership? Cover by Jason Knize of The 11th Hour. Available for 99 cents on Amazon and Smashwords

Any help spreading the word about these sales would be great. It’s been kind of challenging lately finding new avenues to promote my work and I’m trying not to send the same messages to the same people over and over again. If you have read any of the stuff above please consider leaving a nice review so that others may be inclined to check them out if they stumble across them. Ideally I don’t want folks just stumbling across them but seeking them out, so if you know someone that likes horror and supernatural adventure fiction then please consider pointing them my way. If there’s something about them that you don’t like or don’t think works, feel free to send me a message. I’d love to hear any constructive criticism you’ve got. If there’s something I can change, the beauty of digital is that it’s easy to do so!

Running sales on creator owned, self-published stuff is tricky since you’re trying to get new folks in the mix and generally there isn’t that much of a leap from 99 cents to $2.99 but every little bit helps. Getting reviews from book bloggers is nice but generally they’re quite backed up and take several months to get the word out there. That’s fine and I’m willing to play the long game for these, but finding bloggers that fit my particular niches can tend to be a little rough. People who’ve read SHADOW OF THE PAST often comment to me that it’d make good young-adult horror…if it wasn’t as gory or violent. I get that (and also the criticism that Mark is a bit hard on himself. I wonder where he gets that from?) but that’s a big part of the story for me. Those could be toned down, but then again I’ve read (and still do) plenty of things about teenagers as an adult and read more than my share of Stephen King when I was a teenager.

With the Winston & Churchill series I wanted to try my hand at a serial and while the individual stories, for the most part, stand alone they are all part of a larger narrative. I’ve been doing the smaller collections as a way to bundle up stuff in one quick and easy to buy package (and at a discount once the second collection comes out), but I think when I’m done with this first years worth of stories I’ll work on the novel length ideas I’ve got for them. I’ve been trying to reign myself in word-count wise on these (the first draft of the latest story was 15,657 words and the second was about 11,600), but with them averaging 10,000 words a month a 120,000 collection of the first years stories would be quite hefty in print. That is, of course, if we get to print. I’d like to do that for both of these things one of these days, but that opens up a whole new kettle of fish.

So yeah, rambling aside, those are some deals I’ve got going on. I need to push myself a lot more on the business aspect of writing in 2014. I’ve got some comic book stuff lined up but that tends to take quite a while to get produced. I’ll be running a Kickstarter for the ROBOZOIC AGE in January and perhaps another one for another project after that (we’ll see how things line up).

Thanks for reading. Anything you’d like to see from me or ideas you may have or help you can offer I’m happy to hear what you have to say. 

12

12 2013