Chop Wood, Carry Water…

The editing continues, little by little. I am beyond the halfway point, so it’s all downhill from here right? Not quite sure how long it will take me to finish it, so I don’t want to give a date to disappoint, but it’s coming VERY soon. Since getting my book to go perma-free on Amazon, I have had a lot more motivation to just crank it out, so hopefully that continues and I can progress faster than I have been.

For any of my new readers who picked up the FREE eBook on Kindle, I hope you enjoyed the book and I hope you are here, reading this, because you are eager for the next installment. Lucky for you, it is nearly ready to be published. I am currently going through the final edits now and am more than halfway done (on page 162 out of 300), so I’m hopeful it will only be a few more weeks before you can continue the journey with Kira and the Gods of Tython.

In the meantime, I hope that all of my readers will tell their friends about my work (if they haven’t already) so that this free Kindle momentum continues on. At the writing of this, I am ranked #332 in the Kindle store over all, and am placing in the top 5 in three separate categories. I’ve had nearly 500 downloads of the book just today, and well over a thousand for the last 4 days, which puts the total downloads of the book somewhere in the range of 17,000 since I published it nearly a year ago.

I am grateful every day that a new reader picks up my work, even if they aren’t paying for it. Just having the privilege to possibly entertain another person with my silly story about Ancient Gods makes me smile. This truly is a work of passion for me, because there is nothing better than getting to write.

Thanks for stopping by, and keep checking back for updates.

-R.T. Edwins
©2014

Bar Date Doom

I apologize for the relative deadness around here, I know it has been a few weeks since I wrote anything. Things have been progressing well with “The Splitting of Heaven”, but at a much slower rate than expected. This, ultimately, will be a good thing because it means that I’m really trying to develop the book to be the best that it can be, but it also means my avid readers will have to wait just a bit longer to read it (sorry, I know, I’m terrible).

Generally speaking, I am spending a great deal of time adding more description to the worlds and environments that the characters are exploring in this novel, which was something desperately lacking in the first two drafts. As my wife put it (after reading through the second draft) none of the worlds were very memorable, mainly because the descriptions of them were severely lacking. Even as I’ve been working through the edits, producing the 3rd draft, I’ve also noticed this lack of world-building and recognized the opportunity to make improvements.

As fate would have it, I’ve also become obsessed with a novel which might have the most compelling environmental descriptions I’ve ever read (it’s called “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova). Never in my life have I been so thoroughly transported to the scenes in a book than during the past two weeks. Sure, I’ve read plenty of novels that have immersed me in their world and their drama, capturing my interest fully, but never with such elegant description as this one. It has shown me, in a relatively short amount of time, what adequate descriptions of the scenes can do for the story as a whole. Instead of boring generalizations about how amazing the planets are in “The Splitting of Heaven”, I’ve discovered (or really rediscovered) that to show is so much better than to tell. Why simply say that the planet is beautiful when doing so deprives my readers of going there themselves, allowing them to determine the inherent beauty in such a place. Why not immerse them into the scene the way Kostova has immersed me in her novel, and allow the reader to take in the grandeur on their own. In the end, each of you will envision the worlds a bit differently from one another or even myself, but that is your right as a reader. You should determine what the world is like aesthetically based on the framework I give; a framework built elegantly and described with care and precision.

As such, I’m sorry (or not so sorry) to say that the release of the book will continue to be delayed. I have completed close to half of the edits made, but have also been making many changes of my own because of this newfound desire to give more description. There is an old adage in the writing world that says in order to be a great writer, you must also be a great reader, and although I accepted this idea at face value, I’ve truly come to appreciate its meaning. “The Historian” has shown me, unequivocally, that I can do better than I have been, and I can give my readers something more worthwhile than what I had previously.

As of now, I’m not going to set a release date because clearly that approach isn’t working. All it does is stress me out when I eventually don’t make the deadline, and makes me look disorganized or like I’m not actually working (I promise, I’m not slacking off, it’s just taking a lot more time than anticipated). As such, I’m going to set a different kind of goal. Instead of saying it will be ready by such-and-such date, I’ve set a goal to work on editing for at least 1 hour every day during the week and at least 6 hours total over the weekends. This goal is much more doable for me, given my stressful working conditions, and will ultimately speed up the process. I hope to have the book ready for you within a few weeks, but I cannot promise that given my track record of delays.

Once I have finished the 3rd draft my wife will read through it one more time to check for any errors or inconsistencies, and may provide some light edits for the final draft. Once the final draft is ready, I have enlisted three of my most trusted friends/fans to read through the book before it’s officially published. The idea here is that three new sets of eyes on the book will likely catch most (dare I say all?) of the typos, missing words, formatting errors, and incorrect punctuation that my wife and I have likely missed or overlooked. The greatest criticism of the first book has been the appearance of typos and missing words (many of which I have marked for when we put out the second edition), so this time around we are taking additional measures to combat that issue.
All in all, I hope that you, my dear and precious reader, can patiently wait a few more weeks for us to really put the finishing touches on “The Splitting of Heaven” before you give up on me completely. I promise you will not be disappointed with the results, and I suspect you will soon be clamoring for the third installment (hopefully enough that you continue to tell your friends about my series so I can start writing full time?? Thereby reducing the time it takes to produce that third novel??? Just saying…)
>;)

Getting Close!

Okay, as I mentioned previously, “The Splitting of Heaven” will not be ready for purchase this week but it is getting very close to being ready. I am now going through my editor’s comments and redlines and should hopefully be able to process these in the next two weeks (going to be a lot of late nights and working weekends for me, I think). My wife is beginning the cover design and I’m formulating the cover blurb as we speak. We have agreed on a Bar Date, so-to-speak, for when the book WILL be published (come hell or high-water) and this is by the third week in March. There is a book club who will be reading and reviewing “Chariots of Heaven” that week, so we are determined to have the sequel available should they decide to keep reading the series (fingers crossed).

I know I’ve been giving all of you launch projections for a few months now and I apologize for the delays. Hopefully the end product will be worth all the waiting and you’ll forget all about the long wait. I’m hoping that maybe this book will do well enough that I can consider writing on a more full time basis, or at least only working as a paralegal on a part time/contract basis in order to reduce time between installments, but who knows. Some authors seem to have all the luck in the world and their books sell like hotcakes despite any lack of effort on their part, while others have to work their butts off to get anything at all. I’m hoping the last 18 months of hard work will pay off and my writing career will start to take off in a bigger way.

I thank you all for your patience and your kind words about my writing. Since I’m just an indie author without much time or money to promote my work, I hope that my readers will continue to spread the word about my writing to their friends and family. I’d like to hit at least 50,000 total downloads of Chariots by the end of this year and hopefully just as many of Splitting, but in order to do that I need your help. The first book is free on iBooks for any of your friends who have iPads or iPhones, so please let them know. There is nothing to lose to download it (except some memory space) so hopefully that will be enough to convince them to take a chance on my story. Otherwise you could always use blackmail… haha, just kidding. I’d never advocate blackmail to get the word out about my writing… never mind those scandalous photos I have over there in that envelope titled “Blackmail photos”… >;)

Okay, enough silliness for today. Thank you so much for stopping by and keep an eye out. I PROMISE that the book will be done in the next month. If it’s not, you can hunt me down and beat me up if you want, I won’t even fight back. =p::

The Best Laid Plans…

For those who’ve been keeping up, I’ve recently announced that “The Splitting of Heaven” would be available the week of February the 17th. It’s looking more and more like that’s not going to happen (I know, you probably want to strangle me). We are making steady progress through the 3rd draft of the manuscript, but we’ve only completed about 1/3 of it because the day jobs just keep sapping more time than expected (working extra hours, bringing work home, snow storms during rush hour, etc.). Which means I need to push the launch date. I’m not going to give an official day at this time, because every time I’ve done that previously, things haven’t worked out. So for now, the goal is to have it published by the end of February. I’m hopeful that we can do that, but as the title suggests: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Please keep checking back for an official launch date, and don’t forget to tell your friends about my writing.

Thanks for reading,
-R.T.

Time to announce a launch date!

I’m feeling comfortable enough with the editing process to announce a launch date for “The Splitting of Heaven.”

The book will be available the week of February 17th (so just a little over a month). You can read more about the details of the editing at my blog: http://worldowtf.blogspot.com/2014/01/are-you-ready-for-it-i-know-i-am.html

Otherwise please let your friends know that the next book is coming shortly. I wish I could do pre-orders online but the retailers still think I’m a small-fry so they don’t offer that option. A kickstarter might still be in the works, in case any of you would like to have a signed copy of the book. I will provide a link for that when/if it happens. Thanks again for reading and for all the support, you guys are seriously awesome!! =)

R.T.

Editing Update 12/27/2013

I am officially 50% through editing the first manuscript and my wife will begin going through the second manuscript material this weekend (while I hopefully finish the other 50%). Now that the holidays are behind us, I think there will be more time to get this book out the door. Please continue to tell your friends about the book, because it really helps spread the word. In fact, a co-worker’s book club is going to be reading “Chariots of Heaven” this coming March all because she told her friends about my novel.

I really do appreciate each and every person whose taken the time to read my work, and for any who consistently come to this website or my blog to read my ramblings. This is truly my dream job and I know this because it never feels like work, it’s always fun and rewarding.

Thanks for checking in! Hopefully by the next update we’ll be working on the 3rd draft! /fingers crossed =)

Splitting of Heaven excerpt II

I’ve posted a second excerpt from the second book on my personal blog. Please come by and check it out at:

http://worldowtf.blogspot.com/2013/12/splitting-of-heaven-excerpt-ii.html

The book should be in a publishable format in about a month’s time, so keep checking back for the official launch dates and please keep spreading the word about my writing. The first novel had somewhere around 12,000 readers pick it up since it was published 8 months ago, but my goal is to at least double that number after the release of the sequel. That means I need my loyal readers (who I adore and love so much! You guys seriously rock!) to keep referring new readers to Chariots of Heaven and keep writing reviews online. If you haven’t reviewed the book on Amazon, iBooks, or Goodreads, please take the time to let people know what you thought, even if you only sort of liked the book. The more reviews, the better the chances of getting a new reader.

Also, don’t forget about the email sign-up. If you want official announcements about the next book’s release just send an email to rtedwin@gmail.com letting me know you are interested.

Sincerely,
-R.T.

Manuscript is complete!!

With extreme relief, I am happy to announce that the first manuscript of “The Splitting of Heaven” (Part I) is complete!!!! Resting at about 140,000 words.

There are definitely some spots I want to work on and even a couple small scenes I want to write in, but I am ready to begin the editing process. This will take some time, as we are figuring at least 3 to 4 rounds of edits will be necessary to get the book into a final/publishable format. Last time this process took about 100 man-hours to complete but it was our first attempt. Since this book is about 50% longer, I’m not sure how long it will take to complete. Editing is actually a lot of fun, so I’m hoping to bust my butt on this and get the second draft good to go.

Also as I go through my edits I think I’ll post a few excerpts for you when I can, if only to hopefully build up some anticipation. =p

Otherwise please keep sharing my book with others, it’s been wonderful to watch as downloads and sales come in day after day. I remember not so long ago, having 0 sales/downloads for like 60 days, so the progress has been amazing and exciting, and it’s all because of my readers. So thank you all! =)