Monthly Archives: September 2016

Mission Statement

I’m terribly sorry for not putting up a blog last week. I got bitten by a writing bug, and I’ve been on Hemingway (my iMac Mini, located in my cellar) this past week, rewriting Grimaulkin, while I wait for War Mage to get out of the editor’s hands. So far, in one week, I’ve written 20K words  I’m dong this instead of NaNoWriMo. Maybe. I have a story idea for NaNo which, depending, I might do.

Anyway, last week I planned on a blog based on a podcast that I listen to. It’s called Write Now!, by Sarah Werner. She’s refreshing because she has a gentle and encouraging voice, she hasn’t published anything yet, and she wants to give encouragement “to write every day.” Her last podcast (not the “Coffee Break” one) was about developing a Mission Statement. What is my purpose for writing?

I did a little journaling about that. (Which reminds me: I need to somehow burn my journals so that no one finds them after my death.) I came up with something that might sound pretentious, but I think is truly why I write.

I will express what I intrinsically believe through authentic stories.

All of my stories have a theme. these themes are my values. “Home and family is where your heart is.” “Revenge is sweet at first, but eats you up inside.” “The straight and narrow is difficult for any man to follow.” These three themes are for Homecoming, Dark Prison, and Grimaulkin respectively.  These are things I believe. How can I write something I don’t believe in?

This is why I can’t write romance. I don’t believe in it. Why is it important for me to show people what I believe? Because, I think, I never had any validation for my beliefs. What I believe in, my values, are progressively odd according to my family and even my friend.  Somewhere out there, others believe in my values.

The key woard here is “authentic”. This is why I feel guilty for creating Jake Logan. He’s not real. He’s not authentic. L. A. Jacob is. And from now on, I’ll be writing as L. A. Jacob. This is why War Mage has jake Logan and L.A. Jacob, because I’m eliminating Jake from my consciousness. Maybe if I ever become famous–which I doubt–I’ll re-release Homecoming under my own name.

Next week, I’ll be appearing at the RI College (my alma mater) Homecoming Day, in front of the Adams Library. I’ll be signing books and probably writing Grimaulkin while I wait for people to come by. Like the last time, I don’t expect to sell much because my subject matter is not, shall I say, pertinent or interesting to most of the people there.

Comicon is just over a month away!

The Market

Went yesterday to an Author Meet & Greet in Narragansett. I had the best table–right at the door.

I sold nothing.

All around me, (memoir, children’s books) they sold at least 2 copies. I sold nothing.

I’m still depressed over it. But as I was thinking about it on the way home, I realized two things.

  1. The story is too niche.
  2. The market wasn’t right.

The story is about a bisexual wizard, in the US Army, during the war in Afghanistan. My audience is guys who are into the military and fastest on a fringe basis. They like reading military stories, but aren’t into the nitty-gritty.

I’m probably not going to sell anything at the next two places I’m going to, because of the same reason. My market isn’t there.

Makes me wonder if I should write to market, if I’m going to make any sort of money out of this.

I have the feeling too, that my editor doesn’t even like the story. She did two books ahead of mine, knowing that mine needed to be done by November. Supposedly we pushed back the date to October, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. If the second book doesn’t come out in November, then I might as well hang up this series. I’m tempted to say the hell with trying to publish in general.

This third book is a bear because I’ve been stuck every single time on the interrogation scenes. Grimaulkin is stuck on the prison scenes. Why? Because I have no experience in either one of those things. And I’m not going to sit down and binge watch Oz for the prison scenes.

If I go to Comicon and sell nothing there, not only will I be out of $300, but then I’ll know that my story is too niche. And the 50 or so people who has bought it so far either did it by mistake, or that is where my true market is.

So maybe I should write a book for the general market here (my memoir-in-three-parts is still in my head). Nothing I have is really good for a general market. I could pull out Casey and do some historical fiction, or clean up Blood From a Stone. Or do something entirely different.

At this point, right now, I’m too depressed to write about anything. The muses are crying.


Sometimes I can fake being an extrovert.

Next week, I’m going to have to. It will be an appearance in Narragansett, along with about 40 other authors, at a theater by the pier marketplace. I drove by there, being that I’m unfamiliar with the southern part of the state.  I couldn’t find the exact place, but hopefully I’ll be able to get there early enough on Saturday to find it.

I have my dragons, my candy, my books, and books that I’ll be selling for the Press.

This week I sent my novel to the editor. Yes, I know I did it earlier last month, but she didn’t get a chance to look at it until now. And come to find out it was a physical mess. I needed to put it through Word’s grammar/spelling paces (I later found out that Scrivener has a more robust one). After fighting with Word’s choices of grammar (which took two days), I resent it to the editor and hopefully now she’ll get a chance to look at it. Our timeline is to have it soft-launched on October 1, so it’s in time for the big launch at RI Comicon.

Book three of War Mage is coming along slowly. I think I wrote two pages last week, which is pretty sad on my part. I am reading “Make a Scene” which deconstructs scenes, the building blocks of story. I really should stop reading books on writing, because they’re not telling me anything I don’t already know; but I have so many of them on my shelf to read. Go to my Goodreads list and take a look to see what I’ve got there. Way too many writing books.

I’ve put aside Grimaulkin. Part of me wants to dump the whole thing. I’ve been working on it for over 6 years. It’s a good story, but damn, I’m bored with it.