Song of Simon: Current Status

The bad news: A couple of weeks ago Caliburn Press, the current publisher of Song of Simon, went out of business. This left SoS up in the air and me struggling to get the publishing rights back. I did get them back when Caliburn took SoS off of Amazon.

The good news: I have the rights back and can now self-publish it. I’m tired of publishers that don’t care and I’m tired of unscrupulous agents.

The heckin frustrating news: I have to reformat it, re-edit it, and buy new cover art. This is all time and money, and I’m strapped for both. I also lost all of the reviews connected to it. I want to finish the 3rd Watchmage novel. I have short stories to write and bardic stuff for the SCA. I don’t know when I’ll have time to get SoS done again.

SoS Practice Ad 1

My question to you, good readers: Do I drop everything, but the current cover art, and republish SoS right away, or do I do a full re-edit and then buy new cover art before I publish it? It needs a re-edit. I’m a much better writer now than I was 6 years ago, when SoS came out. People seem to love the book, but I know that it can be better.

Maybe this is my chance to write the other 2 books in the planned trilogy.  Maybe it’s meant to be. I love writing Watchmage, but I’ve been working on those books for 6 years now. I need a change.

Change is good, right?..Right?

doge in space card redux

 

Peter Blade Cover Reveal

Good morning all. I am lucky to do a cover reveal for my friend Y. Correa’s new novel, “Peter Blade.” She’s a fantastic writer and I hope that you check the book out when it drops.

Peter Blade Cover

Peter Blade
Author: Y. Correa
Genre: Psychological Drama

Release: October 31st, 2018
Available: All major book retailers
Autumn 1970, Manhattan, New York

“♫ Life gives you surprises but Surprises give you life, oh Lord … ♪”

A single night can carry both contempt and horror.

The notorious Peter Blade is on the hunt … just like many nights before. Adhering to his father’s words, “You’ve got to get deep into the gut, that’s how you’ll be able to bleed the animal. It’s the only way to get him clean …” Peter ensures that every hooker he kills is bled to pristine flawlessness.

Dancing with the phantasms of a murky past and the reality of an ominous present, Peter Blade trades places with his victims for the foreboding remembrances which cometh after dark. This night is entrenched in the unexpected and Peter finds himself contending with life and death. From dusk to dawn, Peter Blade is inescapably haunted but to what end? Which could be worse, living the terror or dying by its hands?

Countdown to “Cold Iron”

Get excited people! The Cold Iron presale begins next week!

Cold Iron Cover

It is 1856, and New York is burning.

When a series of devastating fires tear through Manhattan, Nathaniel Hood, Watchmage of New York, finds himself battling against a weapon beyond even his considerable power. Both Nathaniel and his police detective son, Jonas, scramble to catch the culprit, only to uncover a deep conspiracy mired in fanatical politics, greed, and a blood-soaked grudge. Is it a rebellion of Veil Dwellers, supernatural creatures trapped in our world and under Nathaniel’s charge? Is it renegade magelings seeking power beyond their control? Or is it something altogether different, unknown, and far more deadly?

Cold Iron is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Watchmage of Old New York. The price of failure is higher, and the moral choices for both Nathaniel and Jonas threaten to change both them and the city forever. New York is as cruel and unyielding as iron bars, but in the Watchmage’s world, even iron can burn.

Watchmage’s Sequel Almost Good to Go

The final proof is done. The Layout is almost done. The cover is almost done. Cold Iron, the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New Yorkshould be here by the end of the summer. Here’s the backpage blurb to get your metaphorical mouths watering:

It is 1856, and New York is burning.

When a series of devastating fires tear through Manhattan, Nathaniel Hood, Watchmage of New York, finds himself battling against a weapon beyond even his considerable power. Both Nathaniel and his police detective son, Jonas, scramble to catch the culprit, only to uncover a deep conspiracy mired in fanatical politics, greed, and a blood-soaked grudge. Is it a rebellion of Veil Dwellers, supernatural creatures trapped in our world and under Nathaniel’s charge? Is it renegade magelings seeking power beyond their control? Or is it something altogether different, unknown, and far more deadly?

Cold Iron is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Watchmage of Old New York. The price of failure is higher, and the moral choices for both Nathaniel and Jonas threaten to change both them and the city forever. New York is as cruel and unyielding as iron bars, but in the Watchmage’s world, even iron can burn.

Btw: Watchmage is 99 cents right now, so now is the perfect time to buy it. Get in on the story just in time for the sequel. Every purchase is a big boost to a struggling artist like me. If you like my writing, 99 cents is a worthwhile investment.

Watchmage black

Watchmage Update, or The Joy of Editing

On Saturday I got my edits back for The Watchmage of Old New York. There are cross-outs, critiques, and suggestions all over the place, and I couldn’t be happier.

watchmage small

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been sensitive when critiqued. That was knocked out of me by my first writing professor 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve learned to find the most ruthless, nitpicking, evil people to edit my work. I want someone with enough heat in them to burn out all of the impurities. If your editor isn’t ruthless, the product won’t be pure.

So far, Watchmage has been edited as a short story, a serial, and now a novel (each serial story arc gets its own novel. this is the first one). I think these are the last edits…maybe.

I love editing. I love revising. I love looking back at old work and thinking “man, I can do so much better now.” It means that I’ve leveled up, and I have a new xp total to reach.

excited space cat

Never fear your editor. Never get upset or discouraged by the red pen. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good, it means that you have room to get better, and this is how.

Enough with the rah rah philosophy. The update is that Watchmage is coming also smoothly, and I plan to release the first novel, The Watchmage of Old New York, this fall. Oh frabjous day, callooh callay!

Like my posts? Follow my website or “Like” my facebook fan page and/or follow me on Twitter. You can also purchase my debut novel, Song of Simon, at any online bookstore or a real one (they both exist). Song of Simon currently has a 4.7/5.0 rating on Amazon, so it’s pretty damn good. If you’re looking for something FREE, you can read my serial (soon to be an expanded series of novels) The Watchmage of Old New York. Though it ended in February, 2014, it remains one of the most popular serials on JukePop OF ALL TIME!

doge in space card redux

“Watchmage” Novel Update

I was planning for a May release of the novelized version of The Watchmage of Old New York. That isn’t going to happen. My editor is working very diligently on it, as is my cover artist. Neither will be ready for a while.

I’m ok with that. I’d rather put out something late, but of higher quality, than something rushed and faulty.

In the mean time, I’m working on the sequels, and some short stories for an anthology.

The short stories are affecting me. I have professional level stories going back fifteen years, and many have been published in magazines or journals. That’s great, but to me they are examples of how far I’ve come since those first trembling words. They take me back to a place I once was, but will never be again. Once I was full of hope. I thought that by now I’d have a major publishing deal and would be a true success. Instead, I let my madness overwhelm me. Writing has become less a dream and more a necessity. Writing keeps me alive, and it’s the closest I get to “happy.”

I am miserable by nature, and that is not going to change. I’ve found that I can’t even talk about my past anymore without triggering depression and/or anxiety. My anxiety is getting worse. I’m not a success. I’m a writer trying not to die.

Yeah, I know that I’m bitching and moaning. I also know that if you don’t have bipolar syndrome, any comment you make about “sucking it up” is ignorant and presumptuous. Live in these shoes. See how they fit. Take my meds and suffer the side effects. Suffer the twitches and ticks. Suffer the failing endocrine system. Enjoy living on a disability check, not because you don’t work, but because without Medicare, you are dead. I dare you.

Yet I still manage to work part-time. I still manage to scape out a living. People say that if you’re on disability, you’re lazy and sponge off the government and honest tax payers. Be thankful that you don’t have to.

By the way, I receive 800 dollars a month from disability, and 150 dollars from food stamps. Can you live on 950 a month? In one of the richest counties in the world (my rent for a studio apt is 1150? And be trapped here because you are so entrenched in the system? Try it. I dare you.

Or shut up. They both work.

This post took an ugly turn. Here’s a meme to make you happy.

cosmic-cat tripping balls postcard

Interview for examiner.com and a short excerpt

I’m a starting what the hep, hep, people call a “blog tour” to promote Song of Simon. My first interview was with Casey Harvell, the NY Books examiner for Examiner.com. You’ll have to forgive the formatting (examiner can be weird to format sometimes, I know from experience). Here is an excerpt:

Please welcome author Craig Sanders! C.A.Sanders is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His short fiction has been published in many magazines–both electronic and print–over the past 10 years. His stories span genres from literary and humor to fantasy/sci and horror. His first novel,Song of Simon, is set for release on Sept. 1st, 2013. His serial, The Watchmage of Old New York, is currently available with FREE registration at jukepopserials.com

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

That’s a tough question, I know so much stuff about myself, but not necessarily stuff I want other people to know. I’m thirty-six, a former special ed teacher, now writing full time. While I did like working special ed, it’s a very stressful, physically demanding, and occasionally messy, job. I grew up in the Bronx and then Rockland County, NY, and non-New York accents hurt my ears.

This is not something that I usually confess, but I have Bi-polar Syndrome. I take my medicine and have it under control, but it’s such a large aspect of my life that I feel it is important to share. I think that being set apart from “normal” people by this disease helps me to write from a more objective perspective. It’s up to the reader to judge if this is a good thing.

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I go on to discuss SoS and Watchmage, along with favorites, motivation, and some of the little quirks that make me the crazy bastard that I am.

Press Release for “Song of Simon”

 

I thought that would put my press release up here.  I’m going to make a new page for Press and put it up there as well.  Feel free to leave feedback.  Any bloggers that would like to do an interview or review, let me know.  I’m pretty flexible, and will plug the hell out of it.

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Press Release Announcement: Song of Simon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: C.A. Sanders, casanders77@gmail.com  www.casanders.net

Debut Author C.A. Sanders Explores the Callous Use of Violence in Fantasy With Song of Simon

songofsimon_200x300_dpi72-small

Debut speculative fiction author C.A. releases his first novel, Song of Simon, a fantasy coming-of-age with a concept rarely seen in the genre.

In Song of Simon, Sanders examines the way that violence is used in fantasy, and the psychological trauma of such so often ignored in the genre.

“I am annoyed at the way authors gorge themselves on gory, splatter-house battles.  That’s all well and good, but what about the aftermath?  What about the shattered minds and souls left behind?  To counter this, I took a soft, American boy and plunged him neck deep in violence to see what comes out on the other side.”

Song of Simon is a Dark Fantasy about a suburban teenager, Simon Kale, who travels to a bloodsoaked, mysterious land, when God has been imprisoned by the priesthood.  He falls in with a renegade priestess, Ilyana, who believes herself the Messiah and Simon the key to her victory.  Through brutal encounters, death, despair, and many mistakes, Simon grows to be a man.  Will he be the hero that Ilyana believes him to be, or will he succumb to the shadows of despair that surround him?

“I worked for many years as a Special Ed teacher, dealing with children and adults that have suffered horrible abuse.  I understand the trauma that violence can cause to both a young mind and an old.  I only hope that I do it justice in Song of Simon.

About the Author

C.A. Sanders is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. In addition to Song of Simon, he writes a popular and award winning online serial, The Watchmage of Old New York, hosted at JukepopSerials.com. He formerly covered music for such sites as Relix, Examiner.com, and Suite101.com.

C.A. has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz, and a Master’s degree from the City University of New York.  Born in the Bronx during the dark decade of the 1970s, he currently lives in the New York suburbs.  He remains confident that this is the year the NY Jets win the Super Bowl…he says this every year.

Visit his website www.casanders.net

Buy Song of Simon at your favorite e-book store, LSI, Amazon, FictionWise, Borders, Kindle, available in digital, ebook and paperback.  Also available from Damnation Books

Novel Updates and more Comic Book Questions

Hi everyone. I decided that I am going to update every Tuesday and Friday. I’ll try, anyway. Sometimes I get so caught up in other work, I forget to update here.

I just finished writing the first 5 chapters to the currently unnamed Watchmage novel, which is a retelling of the serial that I’ve been working on since november. I expect to have the first draft done by the end of the Summer, unless I get a life. My serial, on the other hand, is going strong. It recently moved into 8th Place. If you haven’t VOTED, you really should. We emerging artists need your help.

Song of Simon is still at the editors. I recently submitted all of my author info, including my dedication and acknowledgements. I dedicated it to my Mom and to Valerie. There are some people that might be surprised that they’re in my acknowledgements. If I leave anyone out, I apologize in advance.

My publisher would like me to make a video trailer for SoS. I know nothing about that kind of thing. Luckily I have several filmmaker friends, that I can arrange something with (hopefully). I might even be able to get original music. I like getting my friends involved, so they could get some credit and exposure too.

Now about comics: i was thinking about DC the other day. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam (Captain Marvel) all have connections to Greek Mythology. WW is an Amazon and the daughter of Zeus, AM is King of Atlantis, Shazam draws his power from several Gods/ heroes. So why hasn’t there been a WW, AM, and SZ crossover. As they all have connections to different gods (give AM to Neptune), it would be easy to turn a conflict between the gods into a conflict between their proxies. Both WW and AM, when they are at their best, are flawed heroes (as the best greek heroes are). Put them in a story with Shazam, who has always been portrayed as the purest of heart of all the DC heroes, and you are bound to find sparks.

I heard that the new Shazam isn’t quite as heroic as the one before the reboot. This really pisses me off. The whole appeal of Captain Marvel is his innocence and unshakable devotion to good. Sure, it makes it hard to carry a series like that, but as part of an emsemble, he’s fantastic. In fact, all three of these characters work best in an ensemble (IMHO). Put them together, see what happens.

Earth's Mightiest Mortal...I still think he can take Superman