Over a year ago I posted to this blog to tell you that I’d been struggling with my health, but that I thought things were looking up. I’m sad and humbled to come back and tell you that feeling of well-being was overly optimistic and... it didn’t last. I continued to wrestle with fatigue, weakness, lack of concentration, and brain fog.
It’s hard to describe accurately. It’s deeply personal. And I don’t think there’s any need to go into all the details, but I’m sure you can imagine that it was difficult to write under those conditions—the fear of producing an inferior product that would ruin my career was very strong and very real. I continued to seek answers with my doctors, but with symptoms that vague it can be very difficult to find answers.
I do see light at the end of the tunnel now, however, and it seems to be lasting.
The good news is that I received a new medical diagnosis in January. I am receiving treatment that has helped a great deal. Since January I’ve been slowly seeing my concentration come back, my problems with finding words slowly receding, and the general feeling of malaise easing. This new treatment has made a world of difference.
I am writing. It’s slow-going, however I’m hopeful that I can deliver Convergence in early 2021. I’m still not fully recovered. I’m still pursuing further diagnosis and treatment, but I’m able to write again.
Now, to the plea...
I’ll cut to the chase and just be honest: If I’m not publishing new books regularly, I’m not making money. We’ve put on our grown-up pants and cinched up our belts, but it’s becoming rapidly apparent that is not enough. If I can’t find a way to generate some income I will have two choices: sell my house or get a job outside the home. Both options would be disruptive to my health, my family life, and my writing.
If you’re here, it’s because you’ve enjoyed my books. And I know there are other readers out there who would enjoy them too—they just haven’t heard of me yet! I’m going to ask you to help me find them… in a rather round-about way.
(The direct way—telling friends and family—is always welcome too!)
I’ve created an omnibus of the first three books in the Confluence series, plus the three related short stories. It's called Confluence Codex 1, an Omnibus of the SciFi Series, Books 1-3
(Click here if you reside outside of the US--this smartURL will redirect you to the Amazon store in your country.)
It’s well over 1000 pages of content, some of it never published outside of anthologies before. Perhaps some of this is new to you!
Normally, I will sell the digital version of the omnibus for $7.99 US (less than the cost of my first three books combined), but for a short time—just 48 hours—I have marked this collection down to $0.99 for my most loyal readers and I really hope that you’ll consider buying it while it’s set at that low price.
I know you probably already have all three of these books (Fluency, Remanence, and Inheritance), but you may not have read the related short fiction: “The Fall of the Percedus,” “Carindi,” or “The Grove.” And I believe that 99 cents is a very fair price for roughly 100 pages of story about some of the concepts and people you’ve come to love in my universe.
I have never set up a Patreon page because I felt that fulfilling monthly pledge requirements would take away from my writing time. But now I’m asking you to support me. I’m asking you to buy this book while I have it on sale for 99 cents.
How will such a small sum help me? Two ways.
First, it will tickle Amazon’s algorithm. It will show Amazon that there is interest in this book so that the Almighty Zon will start showing it in search results. If that were to happen, the effect could snowball, and when the omnibus returns to full price, it could continue selling well on its own—helping me find new readers who will hopefully go on to buy more of my books over time.
Second, I’m also hoping that you’ll find it in your heart to leave a review (an honest one, of course!). I’d like to be able to advertise this omnibus as soon as possible—but the best marketing I can buy requires that the book has enough reviews to display a kind of social metric. I could wait for those to populate organically, but honestly if this gambit is going to work, I don’t have the luxury of waiting months and months for that to happen.
So, if you can, please help me out and spend the 99 cents on this omnibus. Then consider leaving a verified review about the collection. I’ll do the rest. And I’ll keep working away at bringing you Convergence, which I believe will surprise and delight you.
It’s not easy for me to ask for help, but I hope you’ll consider it—but only if you can. Times are tough all around right now. If you’re struggling too, please put your family first.
99 cents. For you, the price of a candy bar. For me, if enough of you choose to help, the chance to keep working on my dream—writing more books for you to enjoy.
If you can’t help—I still thank you. You’ve purchased my books in the past. You follow my social media. You’re curious about me and my life. That’s more than I could ever have asked for. I know these are hard times. I’m grateful for each and every reader.
I wish all the best for you and your loved ones during this troubled time and I sincerely appreciate your support.
Convergence in 2021!
I haven't been posting to social media. Or this blog. I've been completely MIA.
What the hell is going on with me?
Well, I honestly don't know, but I'll do my best to parse it for you here.
I've been in some strange mental space where time just slips through my fingers. After the stress I've been through in the last few years--a failed marriage, the separation, divorce, dating (hell in and of itself), moving to another state, all of this along with struggling with both my depression and my chronic fatigue syndrome flaring up again recently,
--and all of this with children, I might add--
I just shut down.
I seemed to spiral inside myself for a while and be... well... utterly selfish for a change. I indulged in things I wanted to do. Things like playing video games with my kids and my partner. Watching YouTube with my 10-year-old. Doing crafts of many types--everything from knitting, to making friendship bracelets, to kumihimo, to drawing, watercolor, and gouache. Learning to spin yarn on a spinning wheel I've had stored in my garage for almost a decade because I never felt I had TIME.
In essense, I took an unintentional sabbatical to refresh and recharge. It wasn't planned. It just happened.
Now, this isn't something I haven't done before--I always take some time off after launching a book because I'm exhausted from the struggle of it all. This time it just lasted a lot longer.
Before you take up arms against me: Yes, I enjoy writing, don't get me wrong, it is one of the greatest joys of my life!
But writing takes a lot of mental energy. And I just didn't have that anymore.
And what you may not realize is that there is such a PUSH to get the next book out all the time. I constantly get emails, messages, and social media posts from people, even within 24 hours of a book release, asking when the next book is going to launch. And I get it--you have enjoyed the book! That makes me incredibly happy and I'm ecstatic to be so successful in my endeavors!
However, that constant sense of pressure also created, I think, some small sense of rebellion inside me. It's a lot stress to keep pushing so hard for so long. It's hard to be creative in that headspace. And I was tired. I felt worn out. Depleted. Like I wasn't even myself anymore. I was a ball of tension and I was unhappy.
Add to that, thanks to the way generic drugs are formulated in this country, (that could be a whole blog post in and of itself) I have been struggling with depression. And my chronic fatigue syndrome has been intermittently flaring up. There are days when just taking a shower is so exhausting that I have to rest for an hour or two afterward before I can continue on with my day. This is just the state of energy within my body. It's not something within my control. Please--no unsolicited advice on this, I'm under a doctor's care, I've researched my illness to the point of distraction, I'm doing everything I can in this vein.
Now, none of this was something I thought about much on a conscious level. But I was definitely avoiding what I saw as work. Once I gave myself that little bit of permission to do something fun... it got easier and easier to indulge myself. I let go and let myself do things I enjoyed for a change instead of constantly checking email and social media and worrying about what I was writing and how fast I was writing and whether what I was writing was good enough.
That said, there has always been guilt. Lots and lots of guilt. We don't get away with being a grasshopper for long when we've always been an ant.
Previous to this, I didn't even let myself have fun on weekends. I didn't have any work-life balance. I believed that I had to keep the momentum going every single day. That I had to write something. Or plan something. Or advertise something. That I had to stay on top of social media.
I had burned myself out.
During this sabbatical, I decided to write 3 short books in another genre with a pen name to try to clear my head, but that didn't work. They were supposed to be short and easy and then I'd get right back to the Confluence series. They weren't.
It was still hard.
I made a committment to other people to finish those and I honor my committments. They are half done. I can't even tell you the release date for the next Confluence book until that project is finished. Otherwise, I'll be setting myself up to go right back to that spiral that led me here to begin with.
So, where am I now?
My mental space feels unfettered, uncluttered... I'm supremely happy for the first time in a long time. When I write, I feel full of joy. I catch myself smiling to myself, and having the words get away from me instead of constantly glancing at my word-count targets as I grind through the words. In other words, I'm in a much better place, thanks to this time I gave myself.
I've been slowly getting back into the hustle, but trying to find work-life balance.
I'm trying not to be the hermit in my office staring at a screen all day and NOT being a part of the world too. I want to read, watch tv sometimes, laugh with my kids, have hobbies I enjoy, but still be proficient in my work.
So I set myself to getting back to everything about 3 or so weeks ago. Things were going fine and then whammo! The universe hit me (and my entire family) with the nastiest common cold virus I've ever experienced. I'm still coughing. So that "reset" ended up being a soft launch. But I'm back in the game now.
So yes, there will be more Confluence books. They are coming. Bear with me. I'm sorry I can't give you specifics or dates. But they are in me, planned, plotted, sorted. They will be coming.
And yes, I'm suffering the financial consequences of not writing much or releasing a book for a good long time. We're in full-on frugal mode here at the Wells ranch in Pennsylvania. So, tell a friend about my books! ;D
(Update on the audio book of Vengeance: it seems my narrator is going through something similar to what I've described in my life. It's my understanding that the book is nearly done being recorded. Stay tuned on that and I'm sorry for the delay, but it's been out of my hands.)
So, that's it. That's me being vulnerable.
Look, I realize we ALL have our thing that challenges us, that makes our lives difficult. I'm not special. In some ways, we're all grinding our way through our lives. I'm not even saying I coped with my own challenges well (Clearly not--I'm in financial distress because of it.). I'm just telling you what happened and how I got to where I am now, hopefully in a way you can understand. I'm not asking for sympathy, just understanding.
Since I'm getting so many emails asking me what is up, well, I thought I'd better 'fess up.
And I hope that if this post gives you any insight, it's that we all need to find the things that make us happy and make time for them. All work and no play... makes for very grumpy folks.
I'm back on track and production of more content is under way.
May you find joy in the things you love.
The paperback is up! It will take a few days for Amazon to get the ebook and paperback up together on the same page, so here's the link for now, if that's the version you want: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720035776
Still working on getting the ball rolling on the audio book.
More details on the ebook in the post below.
You've waited a long time for this and it's finally here. Book 5 in the Confluence series. VENGEANCE is available for Kindle.
We're powering ever closer to the big finale when Jane and Darcy come together to fight their ultimate foes. But there is still an important story to tell before we get to that point. And this is it.
This book was a labor of love for me--I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed crafting it.
Five years have passed since Darcy Eberhardt left Raub for dead on Ulream.
Darcy and her ragtag multispecies crew have used those years well, searching for her lost love, Adam, throughout the disreputable fringes of galactic society—though the odds are stacked against them.
Along the way, they liberate the vulnerable and accumulate allies, some of them dubious. Meanwhile, Darcy continues to master her newfound powers in secret.
A cryptic message raises a ghost from the past to haunt her, forcing her to a crossroads that could lead to a reunion with Adam, or keep him forever beyond her reach.
As always, I'll remind you that I'm an independent publisher. That means a variety of things. For one, I don't have a big marketing machine behind me to ensure my success. I do what I can, but in reality I depend on you to spread the word about the books you love. Research shows that people take word of mouth book recommendations far more seriously than any other form, so tell your friends, families and coworkers about all the books you love, including this one, if that ends up being true.
It also means that I just completed the work on the several layers of professional editing on this book. It became a final product when I hit the publish button late last night. That means the audio book has yet to be begun. It will begin production as soon as I get all the particulars lined up with the professional narrator. I'm hoping to get the same narrator for this one who performed Inheritance (previously titled The Druid Gene).
The work on formatting the paperback of this book is still underway. You should see that appear on various sales sites and available to small bookstores within a week or so.
That's it for now. More updates will follow as they are relevant.
I've been getting lots of emails and messages asking:
WHEN WILL THE NEXT BOOK BE READY???????
So I thought I'd take just a moment for a quick post to let you know what is going on over at Chez Wells. Scroll to the bottom to find out what I've been reading myself lately as you wait for the next book to drop.
VENGEANCE, Confluence Book 5, is in the final stages of production and should be ready to sell by the end of August.
I'm currently working through the notes that my developmental editor has given me. These are story-level changes that strengthen the story. Jeff (contact info on the page: Author Resources) reads and analyzes my story and looks for areas that are my blind spots. He makes brilliant suggestions about what I can do better. It's wonderful to have a skilled mind on that task because I work on these books mostly in a vacuum. I bounce ideas off my partner, but that's not always enough to get them right. A professional resource is needed to keep my work in the un-put-downable zone!
Later this month I will be getting the cover art for the novel from artist Galen Dara, Hugo and World Fantasy Award winning artist.
I have a deadline at the end of this month to complete the developmental edits. That's when the book is due to go to the copy editor. He will have the manuscript for about 10 days or so and then it comes back to me with errors highlighted in MS Word track changes. I will then work through those changes, format the book, and put it up for sale.
In other news, my free time is being spent training our newest family member, Nieve, an 8 month old Great Pyrenees we just rescued. She's a doll. She's also a puppy. (@__@) So my partner has been treating her like a full time job while he's off teaching duty for the summer. When he's got her sufficiently worn out, he leaves her with me while I work, so he can do something else for a while. Lots of walks and ball playing going on to keep her tired! A tired dog is a good dog!
I'm also working on developing my art skills--I enjoy doodling, experimenting with watercolors, and I'm in the early stages of trying Copic and Prismacolor markers. I currently draw like an 8-year-old. I'm okay with that and am hoping to keep improving steadily though I don't get as much time to draw as I'd like.
And of course I've been spending as much time as possible with my kiddos who are enjoying the freedom of their summer break--both of them taking advantage of the free time to play with the new puppy and video games.
I've been wanting to get back into knitting more (it used to be my primary hobby) and I just ordered some yarn to make a small decorative everyday silk scarf.
You may know that I'm also a bit of a gamer. I don't really watch much tv or movies any more. Just an occasional anime. I really enjoy playing MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games). Lately I've gotten a bit bored with WoW (World of Warcraft) and started playing Rift until WoW launches it's new expansion in August. I like leveling in Rift so much, WoW is really going to have to be amazing to lure me back.
Leveling is my favorite part of game play. Endgame level content just doesn't hold my interest due to its repetitive nature. I like a challenge and I love reaching goals. As a consequence I have 4 characters at max level in WoW--I've been playing about 2 years now. My first main was a Draenei monk, then I leveled a Gnome hunter, a demon hunter, and finally a Worgen druid. I also have many lower level characters, my fave currently being a Lightforged Draenei priest. It's been fun experimenting with the different class types and play strategies. I always play a DPS role.
In Rift my favorite character is a Bahmi rogue Saboteur named Keilauf. Damn. I love blowing shit up. I'm addicted to playing instant adventures with this character and consistently finding myself at the top of the DPS charts! RAWR! She is nearing level 50 after several weeks of nightly game play. I've found I prefer the Bahmi body type. I also have a couple Kelari characters but I don't enjoy playing them as much. They don't look anything like me. ;D
The house is a mess. Tufts of white fur everywhere. Cluttery. But we're all healthy and happy here. My work is a pleasure and I'm so happy to be able to do something I love to support my family!
What I'm reading now...
Generally I read for an hour or two before I sleep every night. Here is a list of my favorite books that I've been reading lately.
That's it for now. Just a casual sort of update. Hope you found something herein to interest you. Let me know in the comments. I can try to do more of this if you find it worth my time.
As ever, please leave reviews for the books you read, good or bad--reviews legitimize an author and help them get a foothold in a competitive market. You can make a difference in an author's livelihood by just taking a moment to type up a few words about what you liked or didn't like about a story.
And keep reading! There's so much good stuff out there. There's no reason to be bored in this day and age! Tell your friends, relatives, and neighbors about the books you love--get them hooked too! A lot of the stuff we do as modern people will pass the time, but nothing will expand your mind like a good book!
We both know that you enjoy my books, but hey, it takes me 6-9 months or more to write, edit, and bring one to market...
and then you read it in less than three days.
I bet you're looking for some other authors to fill in those gaps.
So, I've got something special for you today.
You may or may not be aware that I'm a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA--pronounced sif-wuh), the entity of peers that organizes the Nebula Awards, among many other important works in our industry.
Well, today SFWA has teamed up with StoryBundle to bring together 18 different Authors in a massive twenty-book bundle to warp the space-time of readers everywhere. ;D
Featuring New York Times Bestselling authors Michael Cooper, Mike Shepard, and Felix R. Savage, USA Today Bestselling Author Kevin McLaughlin, International Bestselling Authors Glynn Stewart, Craig Martelle, Terry Mixon, Amy DuBoff, MYSELF, and more!
StoryBundle is a way for people to discover quality books written by indie authors. They take a bunch of great books and group them together to offer as a bundle. Then you, the reader, take a look at the titles they've chosen and decide how much you'd like to pay. They mean it; you set the price that you pay!
Link to this StoryBundle
Space Carrier Avalon by Glynn Stewart: Carriers clash and starfighters duel in Glynn Stewart’s epic far future novel of a cold war on the verge of turning hot.
Fluency by Jennifer Foehner Wells: An expedition to a derelict alien ship spirals into chaos and linguist Jane Holloway must decide if she can trust an alien’s help to survive. Fluency won the Gold in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of the 2015 eLit awards.
Rita Longknife: Enemy Unknown by Mike Shepard: The war is over, so why are merchant ships still vanishing? Is it pirates, or is humanity no longer alone in the galaxy?
Rika Outcast Micheal Cooper: Rika is mech-meat, a cyborg killing machine, created by the Genevian military and cast aside when the war was lost; she wants to build a new future for herself, but hope doesn’t buy repairs, and Rika will find her fighting another people's war just to stay alive.
Cygnus Rising by Craig Martelle: From space they came, to space the returned, humanity searching for a way home.
Storm Divers by Terry Mixon: Adam Hale thought diving deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere was the most dangerous thing he could do, but that was before a beautiful spy that hated his guts came looking for him.
Troubled Space by Amy Duboff: Aspiring smuggler Jack Tressler is subscripted into a pirate gang where ambitious heists, poor planning, and food-related distractions are a way of life in this farcical space opera adventure.
Crapkiller by Felix R Savage: Elfrida just graduated from the Space Corps. She was expecting a holiday on Ganymede, but instead she's roped into a vermin hunt that plunges the new Space Corps graduates into a dangerous world below the ice.
Accord of Honor by Kevin McLaughlin: A retired admiral and a young spaceship captain are all that stands between a defenseless Earth and those who would take total control over all of humanity.
Tomorrow Log by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: Master Thief Gem ser’Edreth’s first mistake: refusing to steal what the planetary crime boss wanted. His second: stealing it anyway.
Ithaka Rising (Halcyone Space, book 2) by LJ Cohen : After a reckless young computer programmer resurrects the damaged AI on a long dormant freighter, she and her accidental crew blunder into a galactic conspiracy forty years in the making.
A Rose From Old Terra by Don Sakers: A group of far-future librarians travels to a distant part of the galaxy to save civilization.
The Dark Between by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime: A dark mystery lurking on a derelict spaceship leads to a desperate fight for survival.
Compete by Vera Nazarian: The Asteroid is coming... Your two options — die or Qualify...I am Gwen Lark. Nerd, klutz, loser, awkward smart girl... Somehow, I will save you all. Compete is the second book in the series. Book 1 is available for free from your favorite ebook retailer
Some Distant Shore by Dave Creek: Two star systems are colliding, and Mike Christopher of the Earth starship Asaph Hall is rushing to unlock their mysteries, even as two alien races on the journey are keeping their own potentially deadly secrets.
Nothing Left to Wish For by Andrew G. Schneider: Step onto the deck of the skyship, the Pirate Queen and join first mate Esmeralda, Prince Sasha, and the genie Sting on a spectacular voyage across the Endless Desert.
The Dream Guild Chronicles Three-Book Set by David Bruns: Lost in Space meets Big Brother in The Dream Guild Chronicles. Experience time-bending space travel and exhilarating first contact adventures among alien civilizations set against the backdrop of one family’s struggle for survival.
Two blog posts in one week?! What is actually happening to me?!
It's finally here!
I just got the word that the Valence audio book is live on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible! <--those blue words are links. :)
As you probably know, I'm an independent publisher, which means that as soon as a book is complete, I put it up for sale. That means that the audio production team doesn't get the book until then. So the audio of my books tends to lag behind by a few months. Since most of my readership is ebook, that makes sense.
But the wait is finally over! Susanna Burney and Marcia at SicSound Studios did a wonderful job with this book! It's definitely worth the wait. Happy listening and read on!
Call for questions:
Do you have a question about writing or publishing? Ask them in the comments or shoot me an email through my contact form. I'm planning an upcoming blog post to cover my process. What do you want to know? About me, my process, how indie publishing works? I have the answers!
UPDATE: The problem has been fixed. Inheritance is once again available and all on one page here. Thank you to everyone who alerted me to the problem and patiently waited for the book to come back online. You're the best!
I've been going bonkers for about three days.
As you may know from my previous post, I retitled The Druid Gene and stuck it in the Confluence series since there will be two books total devoted to Darcy that converge (or conflue) with Jane's stories.
Confluence, as planned, will be six books total. Book 5: Vengeance, is what I'm working on right now and this book is about Darcy. The events in Book 5 will be EXTREMELY important to Jane in Book 6: Convergence when the two women finally meet, put their heads together, and have a really big adventure. I planned all this stuff out ages ago. It's awesome. That's all I'm saying about that.
So. Yes. I retitled The Druid Gene. It's now called Inheritance. If it was going to be in the Confluence series, it needed to follow my naming convention for that series. Honestly I don't think the title was really working well for the novel anyway. My friends told me it wouldn't. But none of us seemed able to come up with a better name. <Sigh>
Luckily, says I, publishers rename books all the time. Amazon even makes it easy. I just change the name on this little form. Change a few things in the books. Make new covers. Contact the audio book narrator and ask her to record new intro/outro.
Yeah, it was a lot of work, folks.
And now… a new challenge of sorts.
I kept the Amazon identification code ASIN (pronounced ACE-in, I'm told--not the other way, never the other way!) for Inheritance the same--so that anyone who ever bought Druid Gene would be alerted that they already owned it and wouldn't buy it twice. I even put a line in the description stating that "this novel was formerly titled The Druid Gene."
Apparently this was not enough. Amazon tells me it has taken the novel down because, and I quote:
Error Category: Wrong_Content; Comments: Your title, cover and content seem to belong to different books. Because this affects all of your readers, we have had to temporarily block your book from sale. Please make the necessary corrections so that we can make your book available for sale again.(Book contains The Druid Gene)
It's been down for probably 3-4 days as of this writing. That's when I started getting dozens of emails, tweets, facebook messages, and messages through my website--all from people who want to buy and read this book.
You know what? I want you to read it too!
I immediately contacted amazon. I got an autoform reply that said someone would contact me within 24 hours. The next morning I was given the quoted message above. It was clear that they didn't understand the situation.
I've checked the book. Only about 10 times. It contains the proper content.
What has happened, I suppose, is some very confused customers complained to Amazon that Inheritance is a repackaging of Druid Gene without realizing that Druid Gene is no longer available for sale except for a few used paperbacks floating around.
Again, I'll restate that it should be nearly impossible for them to be duped into buying the book twice because of the name change. I asked some of my readers to check the day Inheritance went up for sale--they were immediately alerted that they already owned the book. In fact, for most customers, Druid Gene magically transformed into Inheritance on their kindles without them doing a thing.
So I immediately replied to this email from Amazon, explaining everything in detail. This was well over 24 hours ago. No reply about why the book was taken down or how we can fix it. I did get a reply saying they finally put the ebook, paperback and audio book on the same page. Yay?
They ignored me today, completely. Not a word.
I tried calling Amazon today through Author Central. The call absolutely would NOT go through. I tried for over an hour. By the end I may or may not have been frightening my neighbors with random screams of frustration. I ended up sending another email to that team, essentially begging them for help.
I'm losing sales, but even more than that, I'm disappointing readers. The scores of people that contacted me are probably only a tiny percentage of the people that actually wanted to buy that book over the last three+ days.
All I can say is that I'm doing everything I can short of hopping a plane to Seattle and bopping Bezos in the nose with a wet noodle.
Stay tuned, gentle readers. I plan to let every single person who contacted me know as soon as I find out the book is back up. Personally. That's how I roll.
The day is finally here!
I uploaded VALENCE late last night and it went live sometime in the early hours. It's available on Amazon here. I also made a SmartURL that will direct you to the Amazon site in your neck of the woods (13 countries represented): VALENCE.
Paperback is still in progress but should be available in a few days--and within a week the two pages will be merged.
Will you look at that cover? Another stunning beauty from Stephan Martiniere.
I will be emailing the audiobook narrator today and production will begin on the VALENCE audiobook as soon as she has an opening in her work schedule.
I also need to email my Russian publisher because they are ready to publish this work as well!
In other news...
I've made some changes to my oeuvre. ;D
I've always maintained that the reading order for my work should include The Druid Gene, but people don't seem to know it exists or that Darcy's storyline intertwines with Jane's.
I am rebranding The Druid Gene as INHERITANCE and making it Confluence Book 3. Therefore, VALENCE is moved to slot #4.
I asked Galen Dara to rework the Druid Gene's cover so that it would fit well with the other books in the series to get it ready for a relaunch. I couldn't be happier. It's beautiful.
There are two more books to come in this series. Another book about Darcy and a 6th book where all the two storylines converge. CONFLUENCE. It was how I planned it all along, but it's been difficult figuring out how to package it. I hope this new labeling system works better.
Now I get to catch up on sleep. I've been burning the midnight oil AND the candle at both ends for what feels like months. After US Thanksgiving I will begin on book 5--can't wait!
Don't hesitate to leave questions. I'm trying to keep up with social media today, but it's all very busy. I'll get to everything, I promise.
Finally, a word about book piracy. I'm a independent author. That means I am a self-contained publishing house. I hire all the same cover artists and editors that the big publishing houses do and I have to pay the same prices for that work as they do. I'm not a big conglomeration. I'm trying to make ends meet just like you are.
Piracy is illegal. It's dangerous (most sites have malware and viruses). And it does not reward an author for the time, energy, and money it takes to produce a quality work of entertainment. A latte is approximately the same cost as one of my ebooks. I deliberately price my books fairly, so that people can afford them, without devaluing the work that goes into them. You get quite a few more hours of enjoyment from a book than a coffee. Just saying.
I've been hearing reports of authors being dropped by publishers because they aren't selling enough books as a direct result of piracy. Some authors are leaving writing behind them altogether out of frustration. Please support authors (and artists, and musicians)--no matter who publishes them. Our world is richer for their work.
As always, READ ON!
Readers want to know:
Readers of my infrequent posts know that I didn't manage to make my summer deadlines (I moved from Indiana to Pennsylvania over the summer which proved to be too much for me to manage with finishing and editing a book). So, what's the scoop now? When can you expect Valence to arrive in the Amazon store?
As you read this, I'm finishing the story level (content edit) revision with notes from my developmental editor. That means I am working around the clock. No tv. No video games. I'm doing a little social media and drawing/watercolor with my kids for breaks. The manuscript goes to my line editor next, in 11 days. He keeps it until October 3.
When I get it back, I make corrections based on his flags in Microsoft Word track changes (typos and other errors). This can take a few days to a week depending on how many errors I've made (my manuscripts are quite clean compared to most authors, I'm told).
Then I format the book and upload. This usually only takes a day, unless I hit a technical snafu.
So… all that said… it's looking like mid October for final release.
Why no hard release date, like other authors?
I'm independent. I basically run my own publishing company. So while I go through all the same steps as big traditional publishing houses, I do not do this with hundreds of books at a go, just one. Big publishing houses sit on books for a year minimum, normally, after an author submits their draft in preparation for editing. They project release dates far into the future, though a book may be ready much sooner.
I see no point in doing that. I publish my books when they're ready and that can be unpredictable, at best. You never know when you'll hit a snag. It's a creative piece, organic, and sometimes things go wrong. You may realize you made a continuity error or a character reads differently to a beta reader than you planned and has to be reworked. Or you get sick. Lots of things can happen. Life happens.
Mid October, though! Yay! I'm so excited to have you read this. My editor tells me this is my best work yet. I absolutely love this book. I sure hope you will too.
In other news of my life, my children are settling into their new schools quite well and both boys seem much happier where they are now. My two cats are having a turf war with my partner's crotchety aging cat which leads to midnight screeching fireworks. I've gained a new fluffernoodle (canine person) in my life. You'll see a pic above left. She makes a very snuggly writing assistant. She's good people.
Link, five-pound fluffernoodle of my heart, is still trying to get everyone to play, though no one of the non-human variety will cooperate, so he compensates by leaving his toys on the stairs to see what will happen when the humans race up and down.
We're all settling into the new house quite well. I love Pittsburgh. LOVE. Though I miss my friends in Indiana dreadfully. I'm sure in time… when I have free time again… I will get out and meet lots of new people to hang out with.
What's that behind Emma, you ask? Why, it's a 25 foot wall o' books. This is what happens when a scifi author and a literature professor (who teaches scifi) mate for life. They breed books.
(This was an inexpensive setup consisting of Hemnes bookshelves from IKEA. Lighting also from IKEA. No sponsorship given or implied.)
So, until I have more news, Read On, my friends! Get your vitamin R!
Jennifer Foehner Wells
I'm an author of the Space Opera variety.