Monthly Archives: August 2011

How I published A New World: Chaos with Smashwords

 

I had a story to tell and had to put it write it down as I wanted to share it with others.  I wrote the series with one thought in mind – What would I actually do in the event of an apocalyptic event?  This story and series being true to the actual skills and experiences I possess. No super heroes or someone possessing miraculous abilities, just a normal person seeking to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

Months later, the first book in the series was complete.  But not my feeling of completeness as it wasn’t being shared with readers.  The thought of getting it published was daunting.  First, because I had heard the stories of how hard it is to get published.  Second, because I was stepping into completely unfamiliar territory.  But, I was determined and really wanted to share what I had written.

Rejection after rejection came from agents.  And then, I happened across Smashwords.  The ease of getting published with them was mind-blowing.  And they have a fantastic distribution channel allowing me to get my book out to all of the major distributors through one outlet.  I found that I don’t have to manage a lot of sites at once.  Their guidelines are easy to follow and adopt.

I only had to read their ‘how to publish’ document How to Publish and Distribute with Smashword  and follow the easy to use style guide  Smashwords Style Guide.  I was and still am amazed at how easy it was to get my story out and the response has been overwhelming.  I read about and talk with other authors, who are either finishing their books or have finished them, who worry about getting published.  I tell them the success I have had with Smashwords and how simple, easy, and quick it was to get my book in front of readers.  I would recommend this to all who read this blog as well.

The one tip I can give is to follow the style guide line by line and letter for letter.  I did this one step at a time with my manuscript and my book was accepted on the first try.

Get your work out so you can continue your writing rather than spend time worrying about publishing the one you finished.  Keep writing and have a great day!

Rough Draft Completed

Hello and good morning everyone,

I finished the rough draft of the second book in the New World series on Friday.  No, not the baseball game unless you count the games as an apocalyptic event.  Which I am sure some do.  I am currently a little over half of the way through the first pass edit.  I tell you, this is the hard part and not the most exciting by any stretch.  Rather boring at times to be honest.  And after that will be the design of the cover art.  I am hoping to have the book “A New World: Return’ published and available to the eBook world by the middle of September.  I will be setting an exact date here shortly.

My mind is a little fried after the marathon of writing to finish it but I am rather pleased with the result.  There were some twists I didn’t expect and one part I thought would be in this one that will have to be carried to the next as it didn’t quite fit in with the flow.  As I said in earlier posts, I don’t think I am actually writing the book as much as I am a conduit through which the story flows.

I am excited to be finished and to be able to get it out.  I hope those that read it will enjoy it as much as the first and as much as I enjoyed telling it.  I am off to the never-ending editing – Oh Yay!  I hope this day treats you well and it is an enjoyable one for you!

Winding Down

I haven’t written much on the ‘ol blog lately as my writing has been concentrated on the book the second book in the New World series.  This one will be titled ‘A New World: Return’.  The story has been pouring out of me and onto the screen to the point where I should finish the rough draft today provided I don’t procrastinate too much.  That does have a high likelihood of happening.

There is only about 5,000 words remaining to the end and I am quite happy with the story and flow.  I didn’t think it would be as good as the first in the series – ‘A New World: Chaos’ – but as the story went on, I am just as, if not more, happy with the result so far.  A few stuck moments but I am ahead of the time line I set for myself to be done by the end of the month; much to my surprise.  I am hoping to do the rewrite and editing quickly in order to have it out and published by the middle of September.  Then, it is a possible very short break plotting the ideas for the third book and back to the keyboard once again.

If anyone does happen to get any of the eBooks most places eBooks are sold, feel free to leave a comment or review.  Your support is very much appreciated.

I hope this day treats everyone well!

Lazy Sunday!

Well, made it to the two-thirds point yesterday evening.  The frenzy of words flying across the screen has slowed down somewhat.  I am coming up on having to plot the next series and not really wanting to as there is a tremendous amount of information to impart and not quite sure of the format I present it with.  Once I do get it down, the words should flow once again until the ending of this part in the series.  I am still on track to finish the rough draft by the end of the month which is a surprise to me.  I would like to get the finished book out by the middle of September.

I spent the morning updating the product description for the first book in the series – A New World: Chaos – on Amazon and Smashwords as well as updating this web site.  Writing shall commence shortly but I think I will find a nice coffee house to hole up in for the day with the laptop.  Or maybe I will just leave the laptop there and the story will can write itself.  Maybe not as I do like seeing the story come together but am very much looking forward to the rewrite, meaning, the draft will be done.

Okay, the caffeine has had no effect this morning and strongly suspecting that my coffee beans have been secretly replaced with decaf.  So not cool!  Enjoy your Sunday everyone!  I’m off do to that writing thing.

A New World: Chaos Premise

The basic premise for the New World series is really not that far-fetched.  We have seen several pandemic scares come along in the recent past that could have threatened our survival as a species or at least brought about death on a large scale.  As the virus’ mutate and adapt, it is really only a matter of time before one comes along that does just that very thing – creates a pandemic that mows through the world’s population.

As for the vaccine creating changes, well, that is not that far-fetched either.  Just look at the ads for the drugs on the market now.  They create more problems than they supposedly fix.  I mean, who wants to be bleeding from various orifices just to relieve a headache.  I can say for one that I don’t.  And the pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing illnesses to match what new drugs they create can fix.  The plausibility of a vaccine rushed to market in the event of a quick spreading virus is real.

So basically, today is just speculating on the basic premise of the series before I dive back into the story for the day.  The survivors of the apocalypse await as they are poised on possibly finding some information they need to survive in the long term.  I don’t know where today’s part of the story will lead, but I am excited to find out.

Enjoy this gorgeous day all!

Midway and Rolling!

I reached the half way point yesterday after a few days or furious writing.  Some of it the ‘bang your head against the wall’ writing but, for the most part, it flowed along.  I started last Monday with 20,000 words and finished last night with just over 50,000.  And, that was taking two plays days so I am extremely pleased with both the progress and story.

I really enjoy writing because the story is created right before me.  Sure I have a story line and a general direction, but when I get into that trance of hammering away on the keys, the story just takes off on its own to some degree.  I just let the action and event happen right before me and sometimes it’s just as new to me as to you first reading it.  I have the start and end result in mind and then let the story take shape between those two points.  Living the moment of the book.  It is a living entity to me.

I will be at it again today but perhaps not as furious as in previous days, but, you never know.  I am on pace to finish my goal of having the rough draft completed by the end of the month, hopefully releasing it by the middle of September.

I with everyone a great day and hope it’s an enjoyable one for you!

A New World: Chaos Excerpt

The one closest to the door, and hence me, opens its eyes, staring back at me through the light.  Rising with almost lightening speed to its knees, its mouth opens and lets out an ear-blasting shriek of alarm.  I pull the trigger and the gunshots join in this sudden escalation of noise, the flash of my rounds giving a quick strobe-like quality to the room and hallway, affecting my vision only slightly.  The burst of rounds stitch across its body from the chest upwards, hurling it back into the huddled mass; its scream changes in mid-shriek; from alarm to pain to nothing.

The smell of gunpowder wafts in the hallway as time seems to stand still for a moment.  The only sound that of the empty cartridges bouncing metallically on the floor.  The stillness ends with an explosion of activity and noise as the things all seem to rise instantly and as one, the shrieks from them deafening as they charge for the door.  Two more bursts lift the two in front off their feet and into those behind as the others streak for the door.  I am going to have to reload before I can take them all down therefore allowing them to pour into the darkened hallway.  With this in mind, I start backing down the hallway toward the stairway focusing on the room’s entrance and thumbing the fire selector to ‘semi.’

The first one appears at the door.  My round enters its head just beside the left eye, rocking its head backwards.  The back and side of its head explodes outward, coating the doorjamb with blood and bits of bone and gray matter.  It falls forward to the ground onto its chest and face, its momentum carrying it forward further into the hallway.  A second one appears leaping with a shriek over the body falling in front.  Another strobe of light and popping sound of a round leaving the chamber fills the hall.  The body is thrown sideways in mid leap from the round slamming into the side of its chest cutting the shriek off mid-way.  Hitting the floor, it skids across the linoleum, coming to rest against the hallway wall.

Three more enter into the hallway at an almost full run, turning toward me as they exit.  Three more rounds fly from my barrel, sending them all to the ground; the one on the right flies backward with its feet over its head, slamming head first into the floor with a meaty smack.  By the time the last one has fallen to the ground, five more have poured into the hall and launch themselves toward me.  I continue backing toward the stair door with the smell of cordite strong in the air.  I fire once at the one closest, bringing its forward momentum to a sudden halt.  It just stands there as if its body doesn’t believe it has just been shot in the sternum.  Unable to continue forward, it slumps toward its final resting place.  A movement brings the next one in line with my barrel as a loud, metallic crash erupts close behind me.

I’m so outta here, I think turning to bolt towards the fire door that stands between me and the stairs.  Racing to the door, my light catches the aftermath of the metallic crash.  An upended aluminum cart lies on its side at the hallway juncture.  Shards of glass on the floor glitter faintly in the light.  A beaker rolls in slow circles amidst small metallic shapes scattered about.  Three more of the things have rounded the corner running in my direction, the one on the right shrieking loudly.  I hear footsteps pounding behind me mixing with those that have now entered the hallway in front of me with more sounding from the hallway around the corner.

I reach the steel fire door at a run, throwing it open and race through it on the fly with those things right on my heels.  I can almost feel the warmth from their bodies on my back and hear their breathing seemingly inches away.  Launching down the stairs, I keep my light focused on the stairs themselves.  This would be the absolute wrong time to trip or stumble.  Rounding the corner of the landing and using my hand on the railing to help my turn, one of them enters into my cone of light just ahead on the stairs, having apparently jumped over the railing from the flight of stairs behind me.  Too close to bring my M4 to bear for a shot from the hip, I duck my shoulder and head and slam into its chest knocking it backwards.  It flies off the stairs and lands almost to the bottom, close to the second floor landing, hitting with the small of its back on the stair, sling shotting its head backwards to smack into the concrete landing with a sharp, meaty crack.  Blood spurts outward from where its head was introduced to the concrete and it slides backward into the concrete brick wall with another, slightly smaller, wet, meaty crack, coming to rest face up.  Blood immediately begins pooling outward around its head.

The impact slows my momentum.  I feel the brush of a hand against my left shoulder as my feet continue their flight down the stairs, the thing reaching over the stair railing directly beside me.  Leaping off of the second stair from the landing and over the prone body, I turn quickly in mid-leap facing both the next flight down and the flight I just traversed, thumbing the selector to switch to ‘burst.’  My light flashes to the stairs coming down, my direction reversed.  The stairs are completely filled with an ashen gray horde barreling toward me, a few scant feet away.  Just before my feet come into contact with the landing, three rounds exit my M4 at the nearest one sending it backward into its companions as the steel jacketed rounds pound into its chest and neck, spraying blood outward.  I feel a few warm splashes hit my cheek and forehead.  Flashes bounce off of the concrete brick walls as my feet contact the landing and gunshots echo in the stairwell, overwhelming the growling emitting from the horde.  My second burst slams into the next ghoulish thing setting foot on the bottom stair, spinning it to the right and into the arms of the one behind, gaining another foot of separation.  I launch forward, tearing off down the stairs toward the first floor.

I hit the magazine release button before reaching the third stair down, the magazine clattering down the stairs, its clatter mixed with the growling right on my heels.  Clearing the bottom of the upward flight of stairs, I grab the hand rail with my left hand and vault over to the final flight, concentrating on landing square on a stair.   Hitting a stair edge could cause a trip, stumble, or twisted ankle and that is something I can’t afford right now.  Several shrieks fill the enclosed space as I land with bent knees and race to the fire door.  Reaching into the vest pocket, I withdraw a fresh mag and slam it into the receiver.  I hit the door at a dead run, slamming into it with my left shoulder and spin through the opening.  Planting my right foot out, I shift my momentum toward the emergency room lobby and exit.  The first of the many things streaks out of the still opening door before I have even taken my second step.

The lobby opening just ahead, the glare of the light outside pouring through the glass doors.  I feel something swipe across my back and am jerked backwards slightly, the back of my flight suit in the grasp of a hand for a split second before being released.  Fucking A!  These things are faster than I am.  This may not end well, I think focusing every bit of energy into my legs.

I sweep into the dim grayness of the emergency room lobby, the light growing brighter the closer to the exit I get. Almost across the lobby and to the doors, I slide down to my knees, do a 180 across the linoleum, and face back toward the hallway as I slide to a stop bringing the M4 to my shoulder.  The roar of seemingly a thousand shrieks fills the room.  The ghostly outlines of gray faces mill agitatedly at the edge of the radiating light.  I fire a burst into the milling crowd, concentrating on one face that is thrust toward me, its mouth open and emitting a loud, shrieking roar, and watch its head explode as it falls backward into the darkness beyond.  “Motherfuckers!!!  Come and get some you assholes!”  I yell back into the gloom.  Adrenaline-rushed fear seems to refocus itself towards anger in me once a situation has stabilized to a certain extent.

I rise to my feet and step toward the darkened hallway, firing another burst into one of the dimly outlined bodies only to watch it too launch backward into the darkness.  More popping sounds combine with the roar of the crowd beyond as I continue stepping toward them squeezing off bursts.  The cordite smell once again fills the air, mixing with and then overwhelming the previous stench.  My barrel makes slight alterations in the air as I focus on one target after another, cartridges clinking as they bounce across the tiled floor.  I reach the halfway point in the lobby and a single, unified shriek sounds out.  The ghostly faces disappear seemingly as one.  The only sounds are growls and pounding footsteps as they run away down the hallway, diminishing in volume as the darkness swallows them up.