It's coming along a little slower than I had expected. Life has been getting in the way of my writing. Curse you full time job and family responsibilities!
So far we have in store, in no particular order:
A mysterious forest where people go in, but never come out.
A distant evil that drains the life out of everything in sight.
A desert monster that sees humans as its next meal.
A warrior from another time and another place.
A minor demon (oni) that has taken to kidnapping children and wrecking havoc.
Bandits, healers, Tengu and sentient/enchanted weapons with bad attitudes!
Sure, there's more to come, this is merely what is written now. If I had to guess, I am probably about 1/4 of the way done with the writing. I'll hopefully be 1/3 or more by the end of the week. I'd like to get this book out by early July, but we will see. Remember: this book is a standalone from the previous trilogy, but if you've read the previous books you'll have slight edge over those who don't. Not enough to matter though. BWHAHAHAHA! Yeah....I don't know...the end, goodbye.
For those of you who don't know, I have a 2 year old son. He's like any other 2 year old: he runs, he plays, he throws giant erratic tantrums about things that make no sense and he goes on these tangents where he wants to watch certain things over and over again. Six months ago it was Diego, 3 months ago it was Cars 1 and 2, now it's Godzilla movies. Don't worry, we make him watch Sesame Street and edumacational programming too. Anyways, earlier today we were watching some Godzilla movie on Crackle and I had a thought: if this were real, how long does Japan have before another wave of Godzilla destruction?
To date, not counting the crummy American versions or anything NOT from Japan, there are 28 Godzilla movies (per Wikipedia). The first one came out in 1954 and the last one, "Final Wars" came out in 2004. I hear there's another coming out soon, but let's ignore that for the time being.
If you go off of those numbers for a time line, Japan gets destroyed every 1.78 years. Granted, that's not entirely correct. Godzilla movies aren't exactly linear and since I haven't seen them all (I'm betting I've seen most of them) I had to dig around and try to come up with a reasonable number for an in-movie timeline.
One movie popped in my head as a good point to work with, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. In it, these people from the future (2204) come back and bla bla bla stuff happens. What's important is that by 2204 Godzilla has long ago destroy Japan completely. Can I pinpoint the year? Maybe if I watch the movie. For the purposes of this silliness, I'll simply go off 2204 as an end date.
If Godzilla started doing his thing in 1954 and stopped in 2204, then Japan gets a beatdown every 8.9 years. That's right, even if I go out as far as 250 years, it's still 1 Godzilla rampage per decade. Friggin ridiculous. So, that leaves me with one question; why the heck would you live there?
Today through Sunday, Chronicles of M - Book 1 is free. Books 2, 3 and the Trilogy set are still the standard price. If you pick up the first book and want the rest, I'd suggest either clicking the links in the first book, or searching for my full name (Nicholas Forristal). For some reason if you type in "Chronicles of M" book 3 and the trilogy set do not come up. No clue why, as they are labeled like book 1 and 2.
By the way, if you didn't know the trilogy set is slightly cheaper than buying the books separately and it comes with some bonus content. At the least, here's the links for Book 1 on amazon in your area.
I would like to talk to you about Jobu (Joe-Boo). Jobu is my friend. I've known him for about 6 months now and he's everything a friend should be: loyal, always there for you and willing to listen to whatever is troubling you.
I was introduced to Jobu by my wife, she brought him home from Bourbon Street in New Orleans one day during a trip to visit her sister. Apparently, my wife found him in some random store that I've forgotten the name of, immediately liked him and thought that him and I should be introduced. It was good that she did.
He ended up coming back with us to Kansas City, he never once complained about the idea. I knew he couldn't just sit around my house all day so I took him to work with me and that seemed to be fine until recently. Now, he sits around my house all day, staring at my computer and basically doing nothing. That being said, he's still a good friend and good company, just lazy.
Jobu is an interesting fellow. He has an unusually shaped body that seems to be full of sand, as he can sit comfortably on most any surface. His teeth somewhat bother me, being rounded at the top of each tooth and with gaps in between that are far too large. I should probably get him to the dentist. I bet some braces would do him wonders. I may either need to get him to an eye specialist, or perhaps get him off whatever psychedelic he may be on, as I have never seen with his eyes NOT dilated and yellow. Yes, D
The most bizarre thing about Jobu is his choice of head accessories. I don't know what compels him, but he ALWAYS wears a black makes that fits more like a tube top around his face and a series of brightly colored feathers on the top of his head. Truly odd.
By the way, did I mention Jobu is a little Tiki doll my wife picked up at the store? Yup, no clue what compelled me to write this blog posting, but whatever. I hope you enjoyed it's silliness. Perhaps Jobu should make an appearance in a book. Certianly seems like something Dixie would have had on her desk...
For the second year in a row I went to Comicon here in Kansas City. It was a fantastic time. I met a bunch of indie authors, illustrators and will hopefully make some good connections with them as time goes on, but this isn't why I am writing this post.
Next year I plan to rent a table and sell some paperbacks. I would have this year, but the idea of getting a table didn't occur to me until it was too late to prep properly for the convention. To be honest, I simply didn't think I'd be able to go at all. My stories are more in line with a comic series, but since I can't draw much more than a happy face, they are in a novel format.
It's a 3 day event and here's what I'm thinking of taking so far.
30 copies of book 1 (maybe more)
10 copies of book 2 and 3 (each, I suspect not that many people will buy the trilogy at once, if at all)
30 copies of Hitori (its a standalone, should sell as well as book 1)
Based on my usual writing speed, books 4 and 5 should also be out. I will not be bringing them.
Of course, I will sign my name on whatever I'm asked to :P
Bizz cards (via Vistaprint)
Bookmarks (same deal)
Large banner to go across the front of the table (cover of first book)
So here's the point of this blog entry: I'm looking for more ideas. As a person going to a comicon, or really any convention, what do you like to see in terms of freebies and purchasable items. I had the idea of getting some t-shirts made up, but I truely wonder if it's worth it. I'm a pretty unknown author (that's slowly changing, thanks!) so I doubt anyone would buy a shirt unless it was completely silly. Any ideas or thoughts?
This blog post is in no way asking for reviews to come my way, but merely a general statement about why someone should review products. Prior to writing, the concept of reviewing something online never crossed my mind. On a few occasions I think about, and in some cases actually began work on, building sites for movie, or game reviews. Never had it crossed my mind to review anything else.
To be honest, I never really thought about how much some of my purchases are driven by reviews, whether it be on Amazon or a specialized site, like one that handles computer hardware reviews. It wasn't until I started writing that I realized how much reviewing, well, everything could matter.
Books for example; I never considered reviews. I generally read the blurb on the back (or on the web, as it were), maybe flip through some pages for writing style and decide on the purchase right then and there. Even now, I only go through the lowest reviews and skim them for consistent complaints. If it's a serious complaint, I may shy away from the book. If it's something that I can tolerate, I'll probably go ahead and buy it. My thought process and research goes far more in depth when it's something more expensive, like computer parts, or a car.
That being said, book reviews need to happen a lot more than they do. I had no clue how much people relied on those to make their choices. As an indie author, I am pretty much a no name person in a sea of no name people. I rely on my own ability to advertise, which is lacking due to minimal funds, and on reviews. Reviews drive my sales. Basically, it's printed word of mouth. I've had several sales where I've been told that if it wasn't for the reviews they would have never picked up the first book...which followed with the 2nd and 3rd book. The biggest reason, for me, that reviews make all the difference is the blurb of my books. If you've read them you understand fully why I say very little in those blurbs. My books are non-stop, story driven craziness. Even small things that seem like nothing end up being something more later down the road. Because of that, it's very difficult to write a blurb that doesn't ruin some aspect of the books.
I am not saying that you should only write 4 and 5 star reviews. Bad reviews are just as good. It helps the author know what people dislike, as well as potential buyers. However, if you don't have a real critique then please don't review. I've seen several now where someone simply said, "I didn't like it, it's not my type of book." Okay, that's not the author's fault, that's yours for buying something you shouldnt have.
Another one, and I've had this happen to me, is make sense with the review. I have one (I won't say where b/c I really don't want to get this poor person beat down by trolls) that I think the person may have been drunk when they wrote it. They start off talking about how they loved it and couldn't put it down, then flipped talking about not caring for the characters and story....but couldn't wait to read the next book. I've had several other people read that review incase maybe I was misreading it. I was not.
In short, review stuff, be honest, be to the point, don't say crazy things and remember this is for the sake of other people: the author and the potential customers. Thanks, eat cake, be happy.
Questions for anyone willing to give an opinion:
What I have going on right now is essentially 2 sets of stories. The Chronicles of M and the History of Mai. My plan is to write/publish a trilogy of CoM and then release a single book of for Mai that will be a trilogy of its own - so 9 CoM books, 3 Mai. The Mai books are essentially a standalone set, BUT will eventually wrap back into CoM series, thereby making them back story and a tie in for the main series. To clarify, each of the 3 Mai books are standalones and will simply address different portions of her very, very long life. I'm trying to think of a comparison to pull this together, but all I'm coming up with is The Simarillion.
That all being said, and hopefully understood, what I cannot decide is if I should somehow tie the titles all together. So, something like "Hitori: a Chronicles of M story" or "Hitori: More stories from the Chronicles of M"...something along those lines, of course, from the colon on would be in a smaller font. Honestly, I just want to make sure that when someone sees this set of books they understand that Mai's trilogy is part of the CoM world. Suggestions? Thoughts? Nude pics of.....nevermind :P
I usually ignore these sorts of things, but lately this topic has been in my face a lot lately. For those of you who don't know, Amazon recently purchased Goodreads. Goodreads (GR) is a website designed for readers to interact with each other and post reviews of any books they read. Some books you can buy directly from GR, others you can get via links to Amazon, B&N, etc. Either way, it's MOSTLY designed for readers. Authors can get on there too and post their books and advertise (for a price)...bla bla bla doesn't matter. If you're an avid reader, I'd suggest checking out the site, it's pretty solid.
As an author, I have to deal with a lot of info being thrown at me about the business. Lately, because of this acquisition, all I've been reading/seeing is "OMG Amazon is going to ruin GR and monopolize the book industry!" You know what, they might. They might also leave GR the way it is, allow people to enjoy it as they always have, and profit off an already successful site. In either case, who cares.
Why am I saying this (and bothering to blog it)? Mostly, because I'm tired of this sort of constant worry I have to see everywhere. Writing, publishing and everything in between is a business. Some things you control, some things you don't. I cannot control what Amazon does with GR any more than I can control if their KDP select (that's how books become free on Amazon) is going to be around next week. So, why worry about it.
In business, as in life, you roll with the punches. As Bruce Lee put it, be like water. I cannot control what Amazon, or anyone else does. All I can do is either go with the flow, or find another way to do business. Seeing as Amazon sort of dominates the book industry right now, I suppose it's in my better interest to go with it.
I did not get into writing to be famous, to be rich, or to take a stance against big and/or corrupt business practices. I got into it because I wanted to see if people liked my ideas and to see if I could handle such a challenge. Readers, for the most part, don't care what's going on behind the scenes of these companies. All they care about is getting a quality product with as little headache as possible. So, to my fellow authors, I simply ask this: can we please stop all this unnecessary banter about business practices and concentrate on what's really important; your stories and the readers who love them?