In Dreams…And Nightmares

The nightmares have started again.

If you don’t know, I have nightmares about my late fiance. I was there, completely helpless, when she died a horrible death. I relive it at night. It used to be every night and the day too in the first year after she died. The only thing that has kept the nightmares away is sleeping with someone next to me. But now the nightmares are finding a way through.

Combining that with waking up at 4am (because my brain demands it), means that I’m mentally exhausted all of the time. I also think that this new wake up time is caused by the numerous concussions I’ve received as a special ed teacher. I’ve developed Old Man Brain.

Things aren’t great here, but at least the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York is coming out soon. BTW, it’s 99 cents right now. Pick it up. It’s worth your dollar and more.

Yes, that was a shameless plug, but man’s gotta eat…and sleep.

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Taking the Plunge

Okay, I finally did it. I signed The Watchmage of Old New York up for Kindle Select. It’s only a 3 month contract, but I had to pull the book off of every other site.

I did this because almost all of my sales come from Amazon anyway. I’ve never bought an ebook elsewhere. I doubt that most people have. I’m doubling down on their hold on the industry.

The bright side is that I can now have special promotions, even Free giveaways. I also believe that Amazon pushes its KS books harder than other ones. We’ll see. The sequel to “Watchmage” is coming out this spring. If this works out, I’ll put that on there too.

I’ll keep you posted on any sales improvements. Honestly, I’m not expecting much, but you never know. Because it’s in a niche between fantasy and history, it doesn’t attract much attention. Few people are interested in pre-Civil War New York City, and those that are don’t care for wizards and faeries.

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Holiday Book Sale

Hey everyone. I am having a 99 cent sale on the kindle version of The Watchmage of Old New York. If you like my writing and are intrigued by what I can do with fiction, now is the perfect time to pick it up. Ebooks are the new stocking stuffer. Yes, I know that it doesn’t actually go in a stocking, but the gift of reading, no matter the format, is a gift that you never lose.

Also, I need to pay the rent 😛

If you’re looking for something a bit more personal. I am happy to sell custom signed paperbacks as well. Just shoot me a message on my contact page. I only have a few left before I need to reorder. I’ll also throw in one of the anthologies that my short stories are in (if I have enough).

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If you are a book reviewer and are looking for a historical fantasy during a time period that has rarely been touched, you can contact me for an ARC copy. I’m always looking for more reviews, as they are the best way to expand exposure and let Amazon know that you exist.

I’m done with my plug. Carry on and have a great day! Be brilliant!

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Update on the Watchmage Sequel

It’s been far too long between books. My editor got bogged down with other projects, and I wouldn’t think of using anyone else. As a result, the book release for Cold Iron is tentatively pushed back to next year. I hate having to do that. I’ve lost a lot of momentum, but it’s more important to make it good than fast.

A lot of other writers need to learn this.

Did you know that once a book is accepted by a publishing house, it still goes through revisions and edits? For Song of Simon, it went through three rounds of editing after I signed the contract. I’m not even talking about proofreading. I mean full edits. Major publishing houses do even more than that. The Watchmage of Old New York went through tons of edits, from it’s original short story form, to the contract with Jukepop Serials, to it’s dalliance with Skyhorse Publishing, and finally to the first novel when I got the publishing rights back. A friend of mine has a contract with Random House. They’ve been passing edits back and forth for a year now. That doesn’t include the edits her agent recommended.

Short cuts lead to crap, and they give the entire indie community a bad name. A lot of other indie writers think that I’m elitist about this, but there’s nothing elitist about hard work. What’s elitist is releasing a book without several rounds of edits, thinking that your work is golden straight out of the box. It’s unprofessional, lazy, and self-indulgent. Do the work!!

That said, my editor made some significant comments that I agree with. Unfortunately it will require significant changes to the story. This is why I do so many drafts. It’s vital for a good book.

So screw momentum. I’m going to put out the best book I can, no matter how long it takes. Ten years from now it won’t matter how fast I put the books out, only how good they are.

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Too Many Cooks Spoil the Books

I’m I’m a serious bind with the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York, “Cold Iron.” I was talking to my critique group last week and said that I wasn’t getting any useful feedback, or any at all, from them. It’s true. I bring in a chapter, and everyone just says that it’s great, and I know that it’s flawed.

This is going to sound really arrogant…

The problem is that I’m a veteran writer and writer’s coach of almost 20 years (it’s not skill that makes you a good writer as much as practice and experience), and except for one other person that rarely shows up, everyone else is a dabbler. I’ve been part of critique groups and workshops for 25 years. They’ve been part of 1 or 2. They don’t have the experience to see my work’s flaws. Instead of a give and take, I spend all of my energy coaching them through their writing and even giving mini classes–something I usually get paid for. I need to find a group of more experienced writers, but there are none in my area.

In a blatant attempt to get me to stay, the creator of the group edited the whole novel. Sounds great, but I already have an editor. Now I have 3 different edits for the book (from the group, from this guy, and eventually from my actual editor) and I can’t start revising until I have all three and can integrate their ideas.

Worse, the guy from the group thinks I should expand it (it’s already over 80k) when I want to reduce it. It’s very confusing and annoying. Having more than one person critiquing or editing your book at once is bad news. You end up with too many versions of the same piece. I want one editor per draft, and I was getting that. Now I’m getting a headache.

I hoped to get the book out this year, but I’ll be lucky to get it out next (the first Watchmage book came out in November of 2015). It’s only on the 5th draft, and I’d like to do 5 more. I would rather but out a quality book than a fast one, but I’m under a lot of pressure to get that book out. With a series, you need to keep the books coming at a regular basis, or readers will forget what happened in the previous book. As they say, the best promotion is another book.

I’m basically losing any momentum I had, and I didn’t have much to begin with.

I don’t know who’s more arrogant: me for complaining that I wasn’t getting quality feedback, or the guy that decided to edit my whole thing, suddenly thinking that he can give what I asked for when he couldn’t during group.

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Humble Brag

So the good news is that my blog broke 17,000 views the other day. I don’t know if that’s good or not, but it’s a few thousand more than last year. The bad news is that I was hoping to break 20,000, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to do that. Still, I’m happy.

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Less bragging:

I got my review for The Watchmage of Old New York back from the Writer’s Digest 24th Annual Self Published Book Awards. No, I didn’t win. I did score an average of 4 out of 5 though, but I feel that I could’ve done better. The full review pointed out some weaknesses, some i was aware of, some I was not. I’m considering posting the review. It’s brutally honest. My mood has been pretty shitty for some time now, and the review didn’t make me feel any better. I know that it’s a big contest and a 4/5 is pretty good considering that thousands enter. It just feeds into my insecurities that I’m not good enough. But hell, what good writer thinks they are? If you don’t think that your work is shit, you’ll never try to get better.

The constant rejection from agents has been hurting me too. I’ve pretty much given up.

Man, all of my stuff goes to dark places these days. I’m having trouble writing the 3rd Watchmage book. The second one is still in edit phase. My super secret romance project under a different name (shhhhh!) is almost ready, and the website going along with it is becoming something bigger than I expected. I don’t talk about sexuality here for good reason, but I’m human and it’s a big part of who I am. Like everyone else, I need to be loved…preferably as often and in as many different positions as possible. 😉

Ok, that’s why I don’t talk about it here.  Bad Craig! Naughty, evil Craig!

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Ok, I’m punching out. I’m freaking starvin.

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