Category Archives: New Year

Break’s Over

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year to one and all!

So … I’ve been otherwise occupied. Life and all that. But as we close out 2019 and head into a New Year, I’m getting busy.

Namely, I’m definitely writing again and because I’m writing again, and intend to publish more books, I’m looking to do things a little differently this go ’round. Everything is changing and it’s hard to keep up with it all (no matter what ‘it’ is), so this is a ‘back to basics’ attempt.

Why, what’s that? you may ask. Well, just this. Email. Ummm, huh?

Here’s the thing. I have all these different platforms: this website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest … the list is almost endless. (I might even have a MySpace page, but that’s been so long ago now and I don’t know if they even exist anymore). I almost forgot Goodreads. I have a page there too. As you can see, that’s a lot of social media. So much, in fact, that I end up with a major case of scatter-brain.

I’m simplifying. With email!

I’m starting a new email newsletter that you’ll get once or twice a month. If you to sign up, you’ll get this shiny new prequel short story to Chosen, Book 1 of The Broken Seal (formerly title Guardians of the Word). Take a look!

BROKEN SEAL PREQUEL-flattened-1

 

***

Seeing the future, the past, and the present isn’t enough to stop destiny.

Carryn Adaeryn and her brother, Maralt are orphans and telepaths. Young and eager, each has talents as unique as their personalities. Their skills are needed to secure the future. Their own and the two boys they are charged with protecting.

Except they can’t be seen. They can’t be heard. They can’t be discovered.

The Broken Seal: Prophecy is a short story prequel to the first book of the series, Chosen.

***

Also included is a little misadventure called The Pod Crash. 

Here’s the email sign up link (to Book Funnel – who will give you the book download once you’re confirmed): Book Funnel & email signup

For those of you who’ve read Chosen, I think you’ll enjoy the added backstory. For those you who haven’t started The Broken Seal series, this prequel gives a short taste of the whole. The series is a bit Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. If Dark Fantasy is something you enjoy, this story is right up your alley. (There’s a sprinkling of sci-fi tech, along with a touch of paranormal, and well – a demon, so a wee bit of horror like a cherry on top of your ice cream sundae).

Anywho – please go sign up for my email list and get The Broken Seal: Prophecy. Also, please, please let me know if you have any difficulties. Setting all this stuff up so you get a book with a few clicks is right up against the limits of my mental capacity. I think it’s going to work, but if it doesn’t – give a yell right here.

PS: Some of you are signed up via this website to get an email when there’s a new post here. This is not that. You don’t have to unsub if you don’t want to, or you can if you like. One email subscription is enough in my book. I won’t be inundating your inbox in either case.

So simple!

Peace,

JMH

2 Comments

Filed under new books, New Year, Publishing, Young Adult Books

Goodbye 2011 and Hello to the New Year!

Goodbye 2011

It didn’t start out too great. I’d just lost my job, right after refinancing my very expensive mortgage into a lower rate and lower payments. Ended up getting behind on those payments right out of the gate. Turns out the bank doesn’t like that. I found a temp job that made it possible to exist, but still I couldn’t avoid the threats of foreclosure from the lovely folks at BB&T, even though I’d started paying again and kept them informed the entire time of the situation. Turns out they don’t give a crap about your situation either.

All 2010 I sent my book out to try and get an agent. I went through a couple redrafts on the way the story plays out. Got a couple beta readers to go over it when I got nothing from the agent search, thinking the book was crap or something. The feedback from those readers told me something different and I started hearing in late 2010 about these new upstarts, the self-publishers who were putting their stories up on Amazon and becoming successful. The spark of an idea entered my brain and I started researching the possibility. By March of 2011, I’d decided. No more agent rejections. No more struggling with the properly worded query. Those days are gone! I decided to publish without them.

Meanwhile, I was facing a summer of unemployment again, as the temp job ended in June. I’m a substitute teacher you see, which means I can put up with a huge amount of abuse. More months of just scraping by loom ahead. With some help from family, I manage to make the summer mortgage payments, but it turns out the bank doesn’t care that I’ve been paying, sometimes double to catch up. One day, they take all the money out of my checking account – no warning that I’m aware of. Poof. Every cent, gone. Down to zero. And it’s a Friday so when I call the bank to find out what has happened, they can’t tell me. They don’t understand it either until I finally get a manager on the phone who says I need to talk to the foreclosure office. 

At the same time all this is going on, I’m going forward with the publication of my first book, Chosen, the first book of a series called Guardians of the Word. I’d been working on this story for years and years, off and on, between taking care of the kids and working on the house, getting a divorce, and dealing with a lot of relatives dying almost all at the same time. I finished the 8th and final book a few years back and went back to work on the first one, my problem child, until I got it to a point I felt it was ready. My beta readers enjoyed it, offered their suggestions and edits. Preparing the manuscript for digital publication is a steep learning curve, but with the help of some incredibly kind and giving folks at the Indie Writers Unite FB group, I figure most of it out, and then I hire help when some parts remain incomprehensible. I got into a big rush. Could have figured it out on my own, but the fever had struck. Publish now or die.

I did publish in June of 2011, and then immediately started on the next book of the series. I did a little promo for Chosen, but not much, and so far, I’ve not paid for advertising at all. Sales trickled in. Reviews came and they were all glowing! That is an amazing feeling, knowing that someone enjoyed your work enough to tell other people about it.

I published book 2, Myth at the end of November, 2011, and one short month later, the year that hasn’t been too kind is finally over.

I plan to publish the next three and maybe even 4 books of the series in the coming year. I may write a short story in there, but so far nothing is coming up for that. Stress is a creativity killer, and the ideas have to cut through a lot of clutter to reach the surface where my poor brain can pick them out, which is why I was so excited when I had an idea for a new book about a month ago. There’ll be more books after these for certain.

I know that life will still be hard, and immensely difficult to manage on my own, but I’ll do it. I still have my house and I still struggle to keep it. I will never stop trying there. It’s not an option for me to give up the place any more than it’s an option for me to give up publishing my stories. I do it because I must. I have three passions in this life. My kids. My home. My writing. One day, I believe things will get better. I’ll get a permanent, decent job. My books will sell and maybe one day I’ll make enough to live off creating worlds and lives out of whole cloth.

The only thing I regret about the path I’ve chosen is that I didn’t start down it sooner. Fear of not succeeding kept me from taking that turn down the lane years ago, but no more. I’m firmly on it, forging the way ahead through whatever obstacles attempt to block me. It won’t work. Look ahead. Bring me that horizon. 

Hello 2012!

1 Comment

Filed under New Year