It has been way, way too long since I posted here. I am very sorry. Hopefully my silence did not dim your joys in any way, but life has been distracting me way too much. Bad writer! I will try and be better. That said, I only have a few things to say today, mostly updates (and a little gentle mockery).
Teamups and Crossovers
2016’s book is still in the works, moving forward, getting done, and any other phrase for not done yet. It should have been finished by now and I am never, ever, ever pursuing two projects simultaneously again. (Sigh.) The good news is that two authors (one collaborative, one with an original piece) have turned in two very fun stories. At this point it also looks like the book will also include a new and updated glossary and an extensive background section to make it a kind of resource for series fans who want a deeper look at the world. Current projected publication date: the end of September.
Wearing the Cape: the Roleplaying Game
Also much-delayed, partly due to factors beyond my control. Factors being a euphemism for artists. The upside is that the delay has allowed for a much more extensive review-and-playtest phase than I originally anticipated, and I modestly believe that the result of the extra time will just be a much more awesome game. If I’d known what a pain this project would be before I started it, I probably wouldn’t have started. On the other hand, once it’s finished it will be one of my proudest achievements to date. Because it will be awesome. For those of you who don’t peek at my Wearing the Cape Facebook page, here’s a little sample of the art:
The gamebook itself is going to be a thing of beauty. Not a coffee table artbook, but very nice looking nonetheless.
And the Encouragement.
As most of you know, I am an indie-published author. Since self-publishing my first three or four books, I have been approached by a few smaller presses offering traditional contracts; the drawback being that they couldn’t offer me a level of earnings better than I was already making in straight royalties.
Naturally I decided that my success was because I was brilliant.
However, I had an epiphany today due to a humorous post on Facebook. It was this image:
Warning: NSFW (you will be laughing too hard).
This! This is the golden secret to writing success! What are the three most desired protagonists in romance writing today? Vampires, Vikings, and angels. Also hot: a whole family of unbelievably gorgeous seductive man-cake (perfect for a series). So this inspired author decided that nothing could be better than a family of seven Viking vampire angels! It’s just so, so…I think I may cry.
Seriously (not really), not content with the mind blowing, giggle inducing wonder that is the back cover, I had to research it. The book this back-blurb belongs to is Kiss of Pride: A Deadly Angels Book by Sandra Hill. Behold the cover.
I will not quote from the gloriously insane prologue (please please please use Amazon’s Look Inside function for that, but again, not at work). I will give you the opening lines of Chapter One.
Vika Siggurdson hadn’t had sex in a hundred years, and he was not in the greatest of moods. The last time had resulted in two hundred years being added to his penance, and it hadn’t even been good sex.
This. Is. Beautiful! It promises Vikings, immortal vikings, immortal and sexually frustrated Vikings! Boom!
For one insane moment I considered picking up a free sample of Book One on my Kindle just to keep the giddiness going. However, I regretfully decided that too much exposure to this wonderful insanity would destroy my ability to write even as semi-seriously as I do.
Where was I going with this? Oh yes, my epiphany.
Sandra Hill’s Deadly Angels series averages a 4.6 Amazon Star Rating. The first book in the series rates only a 4.0, but they go up with one of the later books a 4.8 and the latest a 4.7. How in the waking world could this possibly be? Well, Sandra has found a niche. Yes, it’s a Viking-vampire-angel niche, but it practically had to be there. In similar fashion, I stumbled upon the New Adult Superhero Story niche when I wrote Wearing the Cape. Both are underserved niches, so like Sandra, I didn’t have to be a great writer to do well in it. I only had to be a good-enough writer.
Hopefully I have gotten better, but my point for all you aspiring writers out there is this; polish your craft, yes, but there is a lot of competition out there, so if you want to get published while you’re still just good-enough (or noticed when you self-publish) then you need to find an underserved niche. Find your Viking-vampire-angel niche. But, and here’s the catch, you must commit to it. To serve it well, you must cast aside every thought that whispers But Viking-vampire-angels are just silly. So, from a certain perspective, is a teen superhuman who dons a cape and mask and takes a codename.
Now isn’t that encouraging?