22 May 2015

SFFS: A Snippet From ALL GOOD THINGS

Whew! It's been four whole months since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday. But since SFFS is turning four years old this week, I figured I'd get moving and post something.

But what?

I don't have a new novel out yet, my upcoming short story collection The Dirty Dozen is nearly ready, but most of the stories I've already covered in past snippets. I've done several snippets from my latest novella Fallen (shameless cover art plug) already...and if you haven't picked it or my other novella Seeker up, both are available this weekend for free on your Kindle.



Well, I did just finish the first round of edits on my latest Aston "series" novel. It's also gone through yet another title change (from Resurrection to Life and Death and now I'm contemplating using a new title, All Good Things).

So, while trying not to duplicate any snippets from the past versions, I've come up with the following for your enjoyment:
“How do I know you have enough of this supposed death cure to bring her back?”

Elijah rattled a tiny chain around his neck as he pulled out a small medical dispenser. “It’s right here.”

“That could be anything. Show me it works, on her.”

He laughed, loud, a painful beating upon my ears. “Nice try, but you know the deal. You help us, and we bring her back.”

I focused on Leah’s face, imagining her smile once more, trying to remember her voice as she conveyed her desire to leave the twins. The decision to make was clear; I had no choice.

“So, what do you say? One more mission, to bring her back to life?”

I placed my head on the clear plastic, knowing that I was selling out to the devil on this one. I had to, for her sake as well as my own. “I’ll do it.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be able to get through subsequent rounds of edits in the near future, so that I can have the whole thing ready for public consumption before long...

18 April 2015

Insomnia Time

Just sitting around on a way-too-early Saturday morning...going to be heading to an event here in a few hours. Noticed it's been around three months since my last post, so figured I'd post a small update.

I have editing I could be doing on my latest Aston novel, but I really don't feel like it. I find myself constantly thinking, why bother?

I have a short story collection all loaded up for release, just waiting on me to determine what cover art I should ask for, but I really don't feel like messing with that either. Again, why bother?

Truly, my motivation and desire for writing anything has disappeared.

I have folks in my circles who have suggested that I try to write something in another genre (since most of work has been for the Aston stories). I've sat down and attempted to brainstorm other stories I could write, and again, the motivation and desire just isn't there.

Maybe this is what the end feels like?

16 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet From FALLEN (now published)

Well, even though I posted a snippet from a first draft short story last week, I decided to take it a different direction for this week's Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

As I mentioned last week, my new Aston novella Fallen is now available for your Kindle devices (or with the Kindle app). Thanks to the always-amazing TK Toppin for the awesome cover art. The paperback copy is currently in process, so I'm hoping to have that one available for an upcoming convention in February. Stay tuned!



So, even though Fallen has had several snippets posted here in the past, all of those were draft copies. I'm going to go ahead and post one that I haven't posted before (I hope), and this from the final published edition. So, enjoy this snippet from my new Aston novella Fallen for your enjoyment:

She took the first bowl, grabbing a long cylindrical wooden pin from a nearby shelf. Then she smashed the sweet Roiyo into a liquid pulp, tossing the powder and the flowers into the concoction, working it over like a mad woman. Although I smelled the sweet Roiyo at first, the aroma was quickly overpowered by the flower and powder. I crinkled my nose at the foul, bitter odor.

Her father smiled at my reaction. “Not to worry, my daughter is highly skilled in the healing arts. It may not seem the most pleasant, but it will get the job done.”

“I hope so,” I told him.

Eve ignored us both, concentrating fully on blending the light gray mixture before her. Only when it formed up into a smooth and creamy paste did she set it on the table. Then, she turned to me with a stern tone on her lips. “Off with your clothes.”

Oh my!!! What has Aston gotten himself into now?

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle next week...

09 January 2015

SFFS: A Snippet from "Ridealong"

Whew! It's been forever since I posted a snippet for Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday and with the new year, I figured it was time.

Since last we saw ol' Aston in the SFFS gauntlet, he's been a busy boy. His new novel Life and Death is finished (at least the first draft), his short story collection The Dirty Dozen is all ready pending completion of the cover art, and his novella Fallen is coming out soon (update: it's now available). See its beautiful cover art?


However, here's the issue...I've already posted snippets from almost all of those (even if Life and Death was previously titled Resurrection...links above take you to them)!

Heck, Fallen itself had several snippets over several months in 2013 (yikes!):

SFFS: Snippet 1
SFFS: Snippet 2
SFFS: Snippet 3
SFFS: Snippet 4
SFFS: Snippet 5
SFFS: Snippet 6
SFFS: Snippet 7

So, what's an author to do?

Well, go to the new WIP file, of course.

So, here, hot off the first draft presses, is a snippet from my new Aston short "Ridealong" for your enjoyment:

It had been quite a while since I’d seen Diedra Caine in the flesh. There was no mistaking the chocolate-skinned woman as she approached my ship in her business attire, a dark gray jacket and skirt, with a pale blouse. Around her neck, small golden heart dangled on a chain.

I stepped off the hatch’s staircase onto the black landing pad as she approached. She smiled slightly, a few lines appearing on her smooth face framed by short, dark curls. She’d progressed beyond simple handshakes and gave me a hug. “Aston, it’s been too long.”

I smirked, deciding not to delve into the fact she could have contacted me at any time to set up another job. “Yes, it has.”

She kissed me on both cheeks, which I thought was odd, but went with it. Turning, she motioned with her index finger. “Follow me. We have some cargo to pick up.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle for a few more installments in the coming weeks...

01 January 2015

Writing Goals for 2015

Well, now that 2015 is upon us, it's time to start putting together a list of the writing goals I'd like to accomplish this year. Granted, since many of my goals from last year ended up falling short, this list is going to look pretty familiar...

So, here goes:




1. Publish my new Aston short story collection, The Dirty Dozen.

Everything is finished with this one but the cover art. I anticipate completing this one in the first quarter. It will be good to have a second companion collection to my first, Dead or Alive...





2. Publish my new Aston novella Fallen.

The first draft of this one is complete, and it shouldn't be difficult to get some cover art put together. I do have a short story collection that's setting out there, so Fallen may have to wait until the second quarter or so. But, Seeker is patiently waiting for another novella to enter into the stable alongside it...



3. Finish and publish my new Aston novel Life and Death.

Those who've read Friends in Deed and Death Brings Victory know that a lot has happened in the Aston West universe (and if you haven't read them yet, get moving!). Building off of the events in my non-Aston novel The Cure, you can likely guess what's going to happen, but part of the fun is finding out how the story transpires.



4. Publish another Triple-Shot.

I currently have four triple-shots out there, and I'm hoping to keep up the trend of publishing one of these collections each year (my original hope years ago had been to publish one a quarter...how quaint!).


5. Finish the next novella in the Max McCannor series.

Lyndon Perry and I published the first in this series, Escape, a year ago now. The goal is to at least finish (although we're hoping to have them published) the next one by the end of 2015. Although I don't normally like to set goals that depend on other people, I'm hopeful that we can get this done.



All in all, it's going to be a busy year. Thanks to everyone who's purchased a copy of one (or all) of my books, and I'm looking forward to bringing you even more great stories in the near future.

31 December 2014

2014 In Review

So, it's now the end of 2014, and time to look back at my goals for the year, and see what it was that I completed...

1. Finish and publish my new Aston novella Fallen.

Fallen has been finished, and once we have some cover art nailed down, it should be published in the first quarter (I'm hoping in time for my excursion to ConDFW in February). Sadly, didn't quite make it this year.

2. Finish and publish my new Aston novel Resurrection.

Only finished the first draft on this one (now titled Life and Death). Perhaps I can get this expedited in time for my (hopefully I'm going, but still haven't heard from the organizers...) trip to ConQuest in May.

3. Publish another Triple-Shot.

This is one of the goals I actually did finish in its entirety...and if you haven't already picked up a copy, be sure to check out Payback and its companion stories.



4. Finish the next two novellas in the Max McCannor series.

Lyndon Perry and I have both been neck-deep in other projects for most of this year. Although I've been able to get the next installment, tentatively titled Runaway, started, it hasn't gone anywhere so far.

All in all, didn't get a lot completed toward the original goals, but hopefully 2015 will be a bit less hectic on the personal front, and I can get some momentum going. Looking forward to setting up a new post for 2015 tomorrow...

30 December 2014

Sales Update - December 2014

It's been another six months since my most recent sales update in June, so I have some updated numbers. Here goes:


Heroes Die Young also recently went into self-published status after contract termination, similar to Friends in Deed. Like that title, I'll stick with the total across both version in future updates, but will be separated for this one. The previous version sold 1 copy since June (the transition happened around September or so), while the new version has sold 12 copies, for a total of 480 sales (print and e-book total), which means 13 copies have sold since June (for a total of around 2 copies a month over the past six months). This compares to 25 copies sold in the December 2013 - June 2014 range, so sales are a bit down. September was the six-year anniversary of its release, so just under 80 copies per year.

Friends in Deed is chugging along at 134 copies (print and e-book total), which means that 9 copies have sold since December. This compares to around 25 copies during the previous reporting period (which also includes some of those self-accounting issues on the original version). January marks the five-year anniversary of this one, so the average is just over 25 copies per year.

Seeker is struggling along at 97 copies (print and e-book), so only 5 copies have sold since the last update (compared to 8 copies during last June's update). December is the 4-year anniversary for this novel, which means we're running just under an average of around 25 copies per year).

Dead or Alive has sold 101 copies, which means 3 copies have sold since June for a total of just 1 copy every other month over the past six months, compared to 15 copies over the previous twelve months. This title came out in February 2011, which means that we're seeing an average of about 25 copies a year.


The Cure has now sold 108 total copies (print and e-book total), so 1 copy has sold since my past update, compared to 14 copies during the previous update (a significant decrease over the past year, even). This book has been out over 3 years (the anniversary is in July 2011), so I'm seeing around 35 copies per year.

Death Brings Victory was released three years ago this past March, and 70 total copies have sold, meaning 6 copies have sold since the last update, compared to 4 copies during the previous update. This puts it on track with most of my other novels, at just over 25 copies per year.


I now have four Triple-Shot collections out, with the first having been released in November 2011, the second in July 2012, the third in September 2013, and the fourth in August 2014. 107 copies have sold, so 21 copies sold since my last update (versus 9 copies from the previous update). Breaking this down, 56 total copies of the first have sold (7 since the last update), 28 of the second (4 since the last update), 18 of the third (5 since the last update), and 5 of the fourth.


I also have my collaboration with Lyndon Perry, Escape. This title has been out a year now. I haven't gotten an update from Lyndon on all of his sales, but counting the last numbers I had from him and including my own personal sales, 16 copies have sold, so 2 copies have sold since June, for an average of just over 1 copy per month.



Now for the analysis of this latest period:

Since my latest update (June, except as noted above), I've sold 60 books compared to 114  books during the previous update for an average of 10 books per month.

And so I have a statistic when people ask (and quite often they do), the latest "total sales" number now stands at 1113 copies (counting all titles). I wish I could say I was glad for this number, but comparing it to other authors I know (which they say you should never do), it just makes it obvious why my motivation has been in the toilet as of late. Such is life, I suppose.

So, until next time, enjoy the statistics, and good sales to us all!
Thanks for stopping by!