Book 5: An Ill Wind Blows Cover Reveal and Book Release!

It’s finally done! Book 5 has been edited, the cover is done, and I’m ready to publish!

So, first off, hows about a cover reveal?

Book 5!

Pretty swanky, right? I am right chuffed (as the Brits might say) with this cover. I’ll definitely be using this artist for Book 6 (and probably having them redo the covers to Books 1-4 eventually).

Hows about a synopsis? Well, your wish is my command!

Everyone wants a piece of Eddie Hazzard, Arcadia’s premier private detective and sometimes crime boss. There’s a price on his head, a team of highly-trained assassins on his tail, and now he’s suddenly wanted for a murder he definitely didn’t commit. Not only that, he’s been hired to find the fabled Jewel of Hakido, a priceless diamond, and everyone and anyone knows he’s after it. What will Eddie do? What is the connection between the Seven Ill Winds and Eddie’s ninja leader, Kimiko? Will he find the Jewel in time? Will he survive the case? Or will everything that’s been piling up on top of Eddie for the past several years finally crush him?

Anyway, the book has been submitted to Amazon, and will be live and ready for purchase sometime this week (probably Friday at the latest, I’d assume). I know I’ll be sitting here the rest of the day hitting refresh on the KDP page, waiting for it to shift from “In Review” to “Published.” Both the print and the ebook version are submitted and should be available for purchase soon! I’ll post a link as soon as it’s available.

Books 5 & 6 Progress Report

I rolled over 10,000 words on Book 6 today. Just blew right past it. It feels good to be writing again, to put words on the page that I’m (mostly) happy with. The story is shaping up pretty quickly, and I’ve got most of the book plotted out in my head already.

I’ve also commissioned a cover for Book 5. Yeah, I don’t even have it edited or formatted yet, but I don’t see why I can’t get a cover image figured out ahead of all that. I already knew what I wanted it to look like, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger on getting that started. The plan is to have it ready to publish by the end of November.

All of which is to say: things are progressing. Things are progressing very well, and I’m looking forward to the start of November and NaNoWriMo (when I’ll really kick the Book 6 work into high gear). Wish me luck!

Book 6 Underway

Good morning (or afternoon or evening or whatever. It’s morning as I write this, so “morning” is part of the salutation)! As you may recall, I recently completed the first draft of Book 5, which is fantastic news and gladdens the very cockles of my heart. But did you know that I have already started writing Book 6? It’s true! I’m about 5,000 words into it, which doesn’t sound like much (and, frankly, isn’t actually that much), but this is coming off of a stretch where getting any words to page was a big victory, so I’ll take it!

Book 6 sees a lot of the status quo shaken up. I don’t tend to let things sit for too long in the story if I can help it in general and I’ve been building to this particular book for quite some time. I’ve got a lot of the broad strokes planned out already, and a few fun subplots to keep things interesting while I turn Hazzard’s world upside down again. And all of that leads to Book 7, the culmination of the Hazzard Pay story. Does that mean Book 7 will be the last we hear of Eddie and company? Heck no! Just that the story I’ve been crafting has a definite end game in mind, and we’re moving towards it. In the meantime, I’ve got a dozen or so short stories I’d love to get out there in the world, like Bad Press. I’ll eventually collect all of those into a single volume, too (or maybe two volumes; let’s see how many of them get out there).

All that being said, I’m hoping to have Book 5 ready to go before Christmas. Wish me luck!

Book Five Complete!

Today, I finished up the first draft to Book 5. It’s the shortest book I’ve written, at just about 45,000 words, but it’s all killer, no filler. I talked with my editor this afternoon and have arranged for it to get edited at the beginning of November. That means I should have the finished product ready for release by Christmas! Just in time for stuffing all your stockings.

This has been, in many ways, the hardest book I’ve ever written. Anxiety and depression are much to blame for that, unfortunately, but I feel like I’ve come through whatever block I was experiencing and I’m back in my groove.

In fact, I spent some time this afternoon plotting out Book 6. It’s gonna be pretty epic, and it picks up right where Book 5 left off.

I’m feeling pumped and ready to write more. It’s a good feeling.

On Absence and the Impossibility of Book Five

I’ve been…absent for a while, I know. Missing in action. Lost.

Well, it’s time to blow the cobwebs off the site and get to writing again.

I was…stalled on Book Five for most of the last year. I was about two-thirds done with it, with all the major beats written (or at least plotted out) and how I wanted it to end figured out. “I just have to connect the dots,” I’d tell anyone who asked how it was going. “It’s almost done,” I’d add.

But…I wasn’t feeling it. I wasn’t feeling the urge, the desire, to write, and so I…didn’t. I went several months — most of last year — without putting a word on the page.

Every time I’d open up Dropbox and look at the Hazzard folder, I’d see the file sitting there, daring me to open it and type a sentence. Or a paragraph. Or even, God forbid, a whole page. Can you imagine, a whole page? But I’d open it, and stare at the words already on the page, and I’d come up with…nothing.

Just absolutely nothing, for months at a time. And then I looked and realized I hadn’t written anything here, even, for several months. I’d sort of abandoned all writing, except for my daily webcomic, and even that I took several extended breaks from in the past several months.

I felt bad about it. Really bad. Embarrassed and annoyed with myself and just angry that I couldn’t sit down and finish this damn book, or write a blog post describing why I couldn’t write. And there were an endless number of reasons I couldn’t put words on paper, though most of it boiled down to (1) depression or (2) apathy.

And I feel bad about that, too. Not the depression part — I have depression, it’s something I have to live with, and sometimes I just don’t feel like doing the things that bring me joy. The apathy is probably tied up in the depression, if I’m being honest.

As much as I hate to admit it, though, those are only part of the reason I stopped writing Book Five. I also stopped writing because of reader apathy.

Now, this isn’t an exercise in passing the blame. If readers aren’t flocking to my books, lavishing me with praise and million-dollar Hollywood contracts, that’s probably on me. I don’t do marketing, like, at all. And in the indie publishing game, if you aren’t hustling 24-7, you aren’t gonna find your readership.

All of which is a long way of saying: I was dormant for a long while, but I’m getting back in the swing of things. I’ve added a few thousand words to Book Five, and I’m hoping to have the first draft done in the next few weeks. I’ll try to post more consistently here as well.