Happy New Year!

Hey everyone. Hope everyone had a great holiday season and has some exciting plans for the new year. I had some big plans halfway through 2022 and then…well…life happened. Again. Sorry for going AWOL a second time. I do still have plans for book releases and I want to update everyone on that. I also will be making a few changes to my blog/website and my writing schedule to make sure I’m getting content to my fans more consistently. Those plans are a bit in the wind right now, but I will let you all know what’s coming in the next couple months. But now for the thing I care about most:

Writing Update

First… I have been writing! My draft of the second book in the Artifice of Power saga is moving slower than I’d hoped, mostly because of issues with my day job and stress from that. However, progress has been made and I hope to have it out to beta readers later this year. That will push back the release until at least mid 2024 (I am very sad about this) but the better quality book will be worth the delay. Closer to now, I had planned to put out my first collection of related short stories, Tales of the Laisian Empire, volume 1 last year. I sent it to a new editor in September and she found a lot of ways to improve the content, so that went back into revisions. That process is closing up, so my current goal is to have that collection ready for release in April or May. Here’s an updated estimate of my releases in this series:


Book
Placement in storyTentative release plans
Tales of the Laisian Empire, Volume 1All content occurs before the beginning of Wake of the Phoenix, book 1 in the Artifice of Power sagaPlanned for mid 2023
Artifice of Power saga, Book 2Direct sequel to Wake of the PhoenixTentatively planned for mid to late 2024
Tales of the Laisian Empire, Volume 2All content occurs between the end of Wake of the Phoenix and the beginning of Artifice of Power saga, Book 2Tentatively planned for early 2025
Artifice of Power saga, Book 3Direct sequel to Artifice of Power saga, Book 2Release not yet planned
Tales of the Laisian Empire, Volume 3All content occurs between the end of Artifice of Power saga, Book 2 and the beginning of Artifice of Power saga, Book 3Release not yet planned
Artifice of Power saga, Book 4Direct sequel to Artifice of Power saga, Book 3Release not yet planned
Tales of the Laisian Empire, Volume 4All content occurs between the end of Artifice of Power saga, Book 3 and the beginning of Artifice of Power saga, Book 4Release not yet planned
Artifice of Power saga, Book 5Direct sequel to Artifice of Power saga, Book 4Release not yet planned
Tales of the Laisian Empire, Volume 5All content occurs between the end of Artifice of Power saga, Book 4 and the beginning of Artifice of Power saga, Book 5Release not yet planned
Artifice of Power saga, Book 6Direct sequel to Artifice of Power saga, Book 5Release not yet planned

What ever happened with SPFBO?

That competition is a lot to keep up with. It is really exciting and I encourage everyone to check it out, but it turns out I didn’t have the time last year. Also, as Mark Lawrence says on his website, it is not perfect. No competition can be. I was a bit miffed, myself, that Wake of the Phoenix got assigned to a blog which promised to post at least a summary review of every book it received and then never posted even a summary review of my book. Did they not get it? Did they run out of time? Was the file corrupted? Did they read the entire thing, hate it, write a scathing review, and then decide to be nice and keep it to themselves? I’ll never know. And somehow it’s a worse kick to know that Wake of the Phoenix was one of only 2-3 books they didn’t get to. I don’t blame the blog, although I wish they’d said something a little less definitive about getting to “all the books they were assigned”, but it was a blow to my self esteem that I didn’t expect. And, full disclosure, that’s part of what happened last year.

To give a quick shout-out to the good things from SPFBO, I met a lot of other writers and made some great connections. Also, Bristolcon recognized the SPFBO finalists last year and all finalists got a commemorative coins. I found a book I love to plug: The Assassin of Grins and Secrets. This is a weird recommendation from me because I haven’t read the entire book yet and it has an element that I genuinely dislike (one of the characters attaches a color to everything she experiences), but the quality of the writing is so good that I have to recommend it anyway. It’s near the top of my TBR this year and I’m very excited to see where it goes.

Are you going to any events this year?

I don’t have my full year planned out just yet, but I am going to San Francisco Writer’s Conference in February and will attend Pikes Peak Writers Conference in my hometown of Colorado Springs in April. I’d love to attend more events, but most likely those would have to be in the second half of the year, after I have some other things back under control.

I never see you on Twitter anymore….

That’s true, and you probably won’t very much. I check it occasionally and respond to discussions that interest me, but honestly, with everything going on, I don’t have a lot of time for Twitter. I wish there was a better place to connect with my readers. Feel free to shoot me a message on Goodreads or Twitter. I will likely see it in either place, but for the next couple months I’ll be pretty busy getting writing ready for release.

A Final Plug

If you’ve stuck this post out this long, first, thank you. Second, I’d like to make a request. This is something I’ll be doing and I’d love to build some support for this movement. In short, the request is: Buy Brandon Sanderson’s “secret project” audiobooks on Speechify or Spotify. I, personally, don’t like audiobooks (the format doesn’t work for me) and I don’t enjoy Brandon Sanderson’s books very much (it’s not a content thing, I just don’t connect well with his writing style), but I will be doing this because he’s placed them on Speechify and Spotify for a reason. That reason is that Audible, the uncontested leader in the audiobook world, is very, very unfriendly to indie authors. As a quick sneak peek into that, the standard, industrywide royalty for a independently published creative work (from video games to e-books) is 70%. Audible offers 40%, and only offers that if you go to exclusive with Audible. If you want your books available on other platforms, that royalty drops to 25%. I know this personally, having released my audiobook for Wake of the Phoenix last year. My narrator did an exceptional job and not only could I not pay him up front, he made almost nothing on the sales of my book. I chose to invest my time into this endeavor, hoping to build an audience, share my worlds, and maybe be able to do it full-time. My narrator is working a job and not getting paid. Brandon Sanderson has a much more in-depth discussion of this issue in a video he released in late December of this year. If you’re interested in hear his full discussion, it begins around time code 7:20 here.

Thank you again for reading this far. I plan on more frequent updates throughout this year and will keep you posted on the upcoming release of my story collection and sequel.

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