I stumbled into a big promotional push last month. Followed by a few weeks of great writing.
At the end of January, some ads I had forgotten about had a big week, sold a handful of poetry paperbacks. Crazy. I never sell paperbacks online.
Then the freebies kick in. After years of fighting it, I decided to make my books one and my side story free, permanently. So yes, if you don't have them, go get Cast in Sand and Children of Atlas. It won't cost anything. I dipped my toe into advertising and the ads did...not bad.
Gave away a ton of copies. The two freebies seemed to keep each other afloat, even after the ads ended they remained popular. People started finishing the other books and I got some sales of book two, a couple of reviews, even a couple of science fiction paperback sales.
I'm not sure I made all of my advertising money back, but it was close, and little sales keep coming in. the real benefit has been to the readers. I've logged a few new chapters, in multiple series, reformatted one of the paperbacks and proofed them, so they're prettier than ever, and fully up to date. The second nautical fantasy series is about half finished, which is very encouraging. I might have to start thinking about publishing book one soon.
All of this is to say thank you for your patience, it has been a while since I published anything new, but when it happens, there will be a lot to look forward to. So please, please, please sign up for my newsletter, you don't want to miss this new stuff.
If you want a fast-paced fantasy read, start with Cast in Sand. It's a standalone novella and it takes place at the same time as the rest of the series.
Sometimes you don't know how much you are thinking about a thing until you go to a bookstore and accidentally pick up five or six books on the subject.
Not just poems, but fables, and limericks, and all sorts of unusual narrative styles.
Even Black Crescent, which came out a few years ago has elements of lyrical and fables. Writing the second in the fantasy series.
My subconscious realizes it will have to write poetry to go along with it. And my subconscious is right. Book one in the fantasy series (still unpublished as of Jan 2019) has five narrative poems that go in between the chapters. So I guess it's time to roll up the sleeves and dig out a little more verse.
Fans of the Atlas series are going to have to wait a little longer to get the third book in Atlas Cycle.
As you may remember, I finished the first book in a nautical fantasy series earlier this year.
Now I'm seeking beta readers.
I've also done a massive rewrite of the first book in the Atlas Cycle. Yes, that's right, I spent almost a year revising Children of Atlas. It's still the same book, but reads so much better. And I made a few minor plot changes, though not anything that will mess up the experience for old readers.
Anyway. If you want to be a beta reader for either of those. Follow this link: sign up for my Advance Reader list. Then when you get the automated welcome email, hit reply, and let me know that you want to start reading right away, and which books you want.
It's late 2018 right now, but I don't plan on publishing until 2019, so you've got some time. Here's the link. www.atlasturns.com/advance-readers.html
2018 is halfway over and I hardly talk to anyone about my writing. So you're probably wondering where I'm at and what's been happening. I'll fill you in a little bit but you really want to stay on top of things I'm a little more open on my artist page facebook.com/portapoetry.
Three things happened at the end of 2017: I launched Cast in Sand, I accidentally participated in NaNoWriMo, and Hurricane Irma hit the Keys.
The hurricane hit first, and one good thing that came of it was that I had a lot of time to sit around and wait for the storm to end, time spent putting the finishing touches on the book. There was a lot of rebuilding after the storm of course. But the biggest thing that messed up the launch of the book was NaNo.
I don't regret it. I took the whole month off, from most everything, and in the course of thirty days I wrote an entirely new story. Something totally different, an epic fantasy on a tiny island in a world of water. Nothing new about that idea, but I put my own spin on it. And that is what I've been doing instead of writing the sequel to Black Crescent.
I'm still on track to put out a book this year, but it will likely be this fantasy novel.
But I'm on track to start writing a lot more. My two side businesses: editing fantasy novels for other authors, and selling paintings in the Florida Keys, are both picking up. It means I have less time for writing now, but will be able to take more time off of the day job in the future.
So that's the story. I've been working hard and keeping my head down. I can see when people buy my books and am happy that a people are still working their way through the series. Every time I get a sale of book two, I wonder, how long will it be before book three comes in. Right now, I think it will take another year and a half, but there will be a few fantasy stories that come out between now and then.
By the time book three comes out, I'd like to be making art and writing full time again, like I used to. Then I'll be putting out two books a year. If you'd like to see that happen too, go find my book and review it, if you haven't already. Not only does it help me sell copies, it gives me motivation to work faster.
Thanks for checking in, and if you'd like to get an advance copy of the new fantasy, you should use the contact form on my website to send me an email.
At some point, in writing book two, I got a serious case of writer's block. Now I've come to see that writer's block really just means I'm trying to make my characters do something out of character, or forcing some part of the story that, based on everything that has already happened, really shouldn't happen.
So while I took time off to think about that, I picked up a few other projects. I wrote a few poems for my growing collection of Alabama Gulf poems. I dawdled over the Cook's Forest Fog which is the working title for my strange little, pensylvania woodlands cyber-mystery romance/fishing novel. That one has been going on far longer than any other book I've got in the works, and will likely never see the light of day.
Then finally, I started in on this one. Here's what I wrote for the front page, then I'll follow with a little more about Cast in Sand:
It has body jumping, sword fights, deserts, epic architecture, pretty exciting stuff. The plot itself is driven along by forces largely beyond Edwina's control, and the conflict, the real, meaningful conflict comes from her reaction to her circumstance.
Cast in Sand is a much lighter read that the main book, faster paced, relatively easy to understand. It is my hope that it will introduce a whole new group of readers to the world of Atlas. And as you can see at the bottom of the image, this is part of a colelction. I say collection and not series, because it is my hope with all of the Shattered Vessels books, to write standalones. I'd like for readers to be able to pick up any book in the collection and read it FIRST.
That means I have to introduce Atlas again each time. It's a challenge, but it think you're going to enjoy it. I certainly am.
As far as WHEN does it come out...I'd say less than six months from now. In theory I could be finished and onto my third round of edits by next week, but I've got just a few plot wrinkles to work out first, and the last time I was struggling with that...I would up starting this book. So I've learned not to put a timeline on things until I have a second draft in hand.
There will be updates, and my email list will be the first to know when it's ready to read.
Today is the first promo of book one. It's been out for a while, but I haven't really pushed it. I didn't want to get a bunch of readers only to disappoint when there was nowhere to go.