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I Finally Did It!

I made a Patreon. It actually wasn’t as complicated as I expected it to be. Jumped through a few hoops, and it had everything I needed for writing serial stories. You can upload a picture with each episode, it’s easy to format, and even though I didn’t have the health to do it correctly years ago, I’m still kicking myself for not making one sooner.

Serial storytelling is more to my natural writing habits than trying to crank out a bunch of complete books, and it’s easier to work through the pain on my flare days without worrying about jacking up something major. It’s so much less stressful being late with a chapter versus a whole book. And if a chapter in one story is giving me trouble, my brain has already figured out a problem for a different story. That’s why despite it looking like a bit much, my Patreon three stories just starting out.

Blood and Lies(M/M, High Fantasy coming of age story for a descendant of Merlin) – This book and its sequel are already written, so my Patreon won’t run out of material for at least a year.

The Groom of the Wolf General(M/M, Fantasy story with dungeon missions) – Smooth writing so far because it’s my personal escape story. It’s pretty plotted out into the first third of the book, so it won’t run into a slowdown for a while.

Family of Lies: James(M/F ,The beginning of the Orwell saga and a Fantasy road trip story) – The problem child because this is the book that is tightening up the rules of the world I created with Sebastian/Kevin while I also avoid changing anything too fundamental that will mess up those two books.

Here’s the site:

The Wonderful World Of Kindle Vella Part Deux

I already caved and decided to upload Blood and Lies onto it. The serial format is the best way to tell that story, and I just don’t have it in me to fool with a Patreon right now. It also frees me up to work on my other books stress-free because editing a heavier Fantasy series all at once just messes with my brain.

So here’s the first few chapters of Knightmages Book 1: Blood and Lies that will be updated on a nearly daily basis.

“Loyalty is the only thing that matters in the Burroughs family who make a living summoning demons for tyrants. When Alex’s father, Nicholas Burroughs, betrays them by not sacrificing his firstborn to summon a demon, they execute him. Shunned as a ‘living crime’ among his family, Alex grows to hate everything about them, including the knowledge that his only future will be helping to bring more misery into the world.

This drives Alex to spite his family in a way no one else has dared before – he escapes from them. Now Alex must train to become the best mage or just like his father, he’ll die a traitor too.”

I will also add content warning for child abuse, and there’s a baby sacrifice in the prologue where the ritual leading up to it is shown but the actual act is off-screen.

Here’s some Kindle Vella tips though for readers and writers:

  • You receive 200 free tokens for now
  • If you have a specific book link, you’re able to easily go to that book and read it
  • Finding new authors is a crapshoot because the tagging system is wonky. Essentially, you’ll mainly find stories from authors who already have readers. It pretty much looks like a beta test for now.
  • I don’t think this is actually on the Kindle for now. You can read Kindle Vella stories from Amazon’s site or iOS app I believe.

The Wonderful World Of Kindle Vella

You may or may not have heard that Amazon is dropping a new serial reading app next week(Amazon is being cagey about an exact date). Some writers are on the fence, and some are looking at it as a second chance to boost their career. I’m one of the latter. For the past year, even after getting my health back to a manageable level, years of being unable to write consistently has definitely damaged my wallet. So I’ve been spending about 75% of my energy doing online surveys to pay my bills, and 25% on writing.

This has been killer on my ability to edit because I can’t just sit down for days or weeks on end figuring out plot problems like with earlier books. I have to stop my work to go make reliable money. Sure I could do Patreon, but honestly, I’m still not at the point healthwise where I can make any promises.

So this is where Kindle Vella comes in. My body is whack, but I can write 800 words to a thousand off and on, and edit them in a reasonable time frame. What also helps me do this is that I’ll be writing these stories anonymously. Other than relaxed editing time, I’ve also been missing the old days of writing off the wall stuff for fun. I’d given Wattpad a go, but after the boards were taken down, my enthusiasm fizzled out.

Being paid for easy work at my own pace with little pressure is the best case scenario to help jumpstart my career again. So we’ll see how this goes.

Almost forgot to add that Veiled Dancer is back on sale for $0.99 until July 13th.

There’s Always Something To Fix

Delay #52 is brought to you by my laptop that went kaput. Luckily I have a desktop which I rarely use and then rediscovered why. When I sit for long periods of time, my foot with the bad ankle dangles at a 90° angle. After a few weeks of this, I wake up barely able to walk and have to carefully and constantly adjust my foot so it goes back to normal.

So I came up with the solution to move my bed closer to the desk. Yes it would be easier to move my desk, but I have too much expensive equipment(computer, monitor, etc.) on it that will devastate me if I drop something and it breaks(very possible given how unsteady my foot is.) The bed and the storage containers beneath it are all very durable and can take a beating. Seriously, if I break my only working computer while moving it, y’all ain’t gonna hear from me for like a year.

While I’m in the midst of doing all of this, several things have broken down around the house, so my time has also been eaten away by repair folks coming to the house. Thankfully, they only had to go into the basement and the laundry area which are right next to outside doors that are easy to air out, and they wore masks.

There have been so many overwhelming things at once, especially during a time I usually get the most work done.

Writing-wise, I’ll be able to finish something if I can just have uninterrupted writing/editing time again. Sigh. This year just had to be so friggin’ cursed. Pushes bad foot outward again.

Oh and since it’s Cyber Monday, my books are on sale.

The War God’s Servant(the start of a gay mythical warrior) is free through Friday:

And Veiled Dancer(Gay Fantasy version of The Bachelor) is $0.99 until Sunday:

This took me forever to write because WordPress’s block editor somehow got worse since my last post.

Blood and Motive Update

After thinking about it this past week and a half, I’ll be splitting the book into two parts. It’s killing my wrists scrolling through over four hundred pages, and I’m just not there healthwise to format it properly. My brain taps out from exhaustion at that point too because I just don’t have the spoons for it either. There’s a solid dividing point in the middle that was always a spot where I took an editing break, so that is now Book 1’s ending.

Book 2 will come out less than a month from Book 1 since it’s written and I just have to get the cover together for it. This also makes me happy because there was a theme I wanted to do with the covers that I couldn’t do with only two or three books, but it will work out nicely with the four books I expect the length of this series to be. Since these will run 70kish words a piece, that means I’ll price them cheaper too.

Of course this wasn’t easy either. Splitting the books was a chain reaction of little fixes. I forgot the ending is dependent on the title itself “Blood and Motive”, so I had to change the first book’s title. The second half of my blurb will also need to be tweaked, but I’ll work on that tomorrow.

So here’s the new book list for what has now been named the Knightmages Series:

Blood and Lies

Blood and Motive

Blood and Legacy

Blood and (I haven’t got that far)

And here’s your cover reveal for Blood and Lies:

My OCD self will definitely tweak the cover later too

“Loyalty is the only thing that matters in the Burroughs family who makes a living summoning demons for tyrants. When Alex’s father, Nicholas Burroughs, betrays them by not sacrificing his firstborn, they execute him. Unsurprisingly, Alex grows to hate everything about his family. His black hair, rare ice elemental ability, and the knowledge that his only future will be helping them bring more misery into the world.

This drives Alex to spite his family in a way no one else has dared before – he runs away.

Knightmages take him in and teach him that real family doesn’t stab you in the heart. These knightmages are fighting to reunite their country, Verlaia, torn apart by years of civil war. A war the Burroughs patriarch, Patrick, instigated to stay in business.

To survive, Alex hides his identity and his magic. He knows one day his family will come for him, so he secretly trains to protect the normal life he’s made. When a demon attacks Alex’s new home, his time is up. He has to reveal his lies to the knightmages, including the one he’s fallen in love with.

Even if the knightmages forgive Alex, their power combined might not be enough to stop Patrick and his demons. If he doesn’t want to lose everything, Alex must seek help from equally powerful elementals; the family who said nothing when his father was executed.”

Now I will go eat my weight in candy.

Finally About To Finish Another Book

It’s been a long time coming, but Blood and Motive’s edits will finally be done in the next eight days. Being near the finish line again feels so good, especially since it felt impossible in this climate only a month ago. To celebrate, I’m putting my books on sale.

Veiled Dancer is $0.99:

And War God’s Servant is free:

The sale ends July 7th, so enjoy.

My Learning Novel

Blood and Motive was the first book I wrote and is constantly teaching me. It was filled with all of my terrible writing habits, and the process of recognizing and improving those flaws in Blood and Motive has been more extensive than in any of my other novels. Instead of shelving it like others do with their first attempts, I stubbornly kept editing it because I always liked the story.

The reason why it’s taken years to get Blood and Motive at this point despite having successfully written four books after it, was that its length at 125,000 words made it difficult for me to read through it in a reasonable amount of time due to lack of spoons. Gaining more energy this past year to read faster while retaining more of what still needs to be changed has been so helpful. Before, I had edited the book in 3 pieces, and as a result, the quality of those parts have been wildly inconsistent.

The energetic me who worked on the first third of that book, put out tight dialogue, satisfactory end scenes, and emotions that can pull in readers. The tired me working on the second part, left a mess of fractured scenes, no emotion to irrational character behavior that creates little impact when they make mistakes or encounter grief, and scenes with so little detail that you can only imagine stick figures talking in white rooms. The slightly more energized me who really wanted to work on battle scenes, got her shit together for the last third of the book but still needs to do another editing pass.

It’s been a trial editing this book, but it really makes me happy how far Blood and Motive has come throughout the years. I guess the point of this post is to trust your gut when it comes to writing, and no advice is written in stone. Yes, my first book was a mess, but thank goodness I didn’t throw it in a drawer forever(that was the major writing rule back then) and decided to salvage it, editing a bit at a time while publishing other work.

Writing Smorgasbord

This is what I’m accomplishing right now: written chapters for a high Fantasy novel, a chapter for a fanfic, a few paragraphs for a Paranormal Romance, an outline for a revenge Sci-Fi novel, and editing another Fantasy novel and Urban Fantasy novel. My brain still wants to be frustrated at how little consistency there is in my work right now, but getting anything done is the victory. And I don’t know when there will be a “normal” again, especially since my country hasn’t hit the worst of this pandemic yet. That’s why I have to repeat to myself over and over again that what little I get done and no matter how hectic, is all okay. If I can’t get any words next week or perhaps weeks, that’s okay too.

Everything is so different, and while most people can wrap their brains around the facts of this situation, adjusting is still going to take a long time. Some day, I’ll be able to sit down and concentrate on one project for days at a time. I don’t know when that’ll happen, but the work I’m doing now and then, will all count.

Writing For Pleasure Again

One thing about publishing is I think it can get your mind too much into a business mindset. I mean yes, I need to make money, but I began doubting all of my writing because none of it seemed good enough. Reading helps cement that no one is perfect and it’s self-defeating to expect that much from myself, but brains are weird.

Lately, I’ve been able to look at my work with a more objective eye because just getting any writing done in this environment is almost a miracle. It also revealed that my writing more than anything comes from a place of comfort. When I forget that, nothing looks good. In the future, if writing is giving me a hard time without anything in the story providing the answer, I’ll remember this.

Distractions From A Pandemic

Writing is going smoothly mostly thanks to the fact I’m used to my life being in shambles, but also because having a long show on in the background is a good distraction. So here’s a list of what’s keeping my mind occupied whenever it wants to stray from whichever Romance novel I’m working on:

Arrow – There are maybe 2-3 seasons before it goes off the rails, but it does have shining moments like this:

Fringe – I didn’t get to finish it yet, but it’s scratches that X-Files itch.

Dark Matter – I appreciate women who would kill for each other.

Killjoys – Because Dutch is everything.

Banshee – This is a bonkers show with zero realism, but it was entertaining(Warning, the ending was trash).

Atlanta – I love how weird it can be sometimes because honestly, Georgia really has some weird stuff go down.

Yes, there are a bunch of great shows to watch now, but some are too pretty to the point that they not only distract me from the pandemic, but also from my work. Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra, The Expanse, and Hannibal are some of those examples.

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