Update on Life

Just to let everyone know, I am doing OK. I just haven’t done much writing in the past couple of weeks.

My family went for a final campout of the season at my cousin’s golf course at my mom’s request. It was her final camp trip as she passed away on August 31st, two days after returning home.

My mom loved to go camping, even though the last couple of times this summer it had been so difficult for her that she was pretty much limited to staying inside the motorhome, but it was what she loved. Her request was that her ashes be spread on crown land where we go boon docking. So we’ll be doing that next year. May she rest in peace.

With her passing, I’ve done a lot of thinking about life and it has caused me to reconsider the way people live in my Aliens and Cowboys story, and the way that the medical system works. So I will be making some changes and it will affect numerous chapters throughout the story.

I will not go back and edit the chapters on the free sites, but I will be making the changes to the content of the books. In all honesty, my patrons and the free sites are more like the rough drafts of the stories, I give it to the readers on the site and they give me feedback, it’s like having thousands of beta readers. Then I take all their feedback and suggestions and modify the story that ends up in the books.

So if you’re thinking about buying the books, I’d suggest holding off on that as I’m nearly done writing Book 3 and at that point in time I’ll be putting them on the big sites like Amazon and Rakuten/Kobo.

Stay safe!

Runes of Elsewhere

Every writer gets writer’s block from time to time, so my solution to getting around writer’s block is to keep writing, but switch projects.

As a treat for all my patrons, I’ve released the first 5 chapters of the next series I’ll be working on, it’s obviously far from finished and I haven’t run this through any editors yet, so you’re getting the raw uncut version.

No one has seen this yet, so I’m looking for some feedback. Please let me know what you think!

Check it out on my Patreon site.

Writing Resources

I was talking with another new author recently and we got on to the topic of what we use in writing our books. So here’s a breakdown of my writing resources, for anyone curious about the process.

My most important writing resources are my imagination… after all, it creates the stories! Followed second in importance by the patrons that support me, paying as little as $1 for advance access to everything I write, and third is the thousands of beta readers that read the rough second drafts on the free sites and provide invaluable feedback!

Second drafts? Yup, as Terry Pratchett says, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.

Here’s all the technical nitty gritty…

Being an IT guy, I started off using Microsoft Word for writing my book. Then I learned about Scrivener and have never looked back since. It’s just so much better for writing, planning, character development, name generation, compiling and, well, pretty much everything that relates to writing a book! Plus it’s a fraction of the cost!

My main computer is an old iMac, although I also have Windows and Linux computers in my house… hey I’m still an IT guy at heart. The decision to buy an older used iMac was so I could use the original, tried and true Scrivener program. Literature & Latte do have a Windows version, but it’s been in a perpetual beta test for years (I hear they’re finally at the RC or Release Candidate stage).

A big bonus is that Scrivener also works on my iPhone and iPad and they all synchronize via Dropbox. Believe it or not, most of my book is written on my iPhone and iPad, whenever I get a few minutes of free time. I do use the computer for writing as well, but it’s main purpose is editing and compiling. My backups go to iCloud and other cloud storage services.

For grammar checking small snippets, I use GrammarChecker.io, but my primary grammar checker is Pro Writing Aid, because it can work directly with my Scrivener files.

For my Book Covers, I use SelfPubBookCovers.com, they’ve been great and even when I need a cover customized they’ve put me in touch with the original creator and they will give me a quote for the modifications I’ve requested.

For my stunning book advertisements, I use BookBrush.com. They make it easy to create awesome advertisements for pretty much any social platform or application.

For my website, I host with my own hosting company, Hosting Hero (a play on my old Computer Hero IT company) using the Managed WordPress plans. Then for my theme I use Divi from Elegant Themes, a truly customizable page builder for WordPress. For wikis and resources for each of my series, I register the domain names through my hosting company and then redirect them to the social wiki’s I’ve created on Fandom.com.

For all my graphic needs I use 123RF Stock Photography for the major graphics and use Gimp to edit them and if I have to make maps I use either Inkarnate or Wonderdraft.

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