Do You Have Angst?: 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm bad at this...estimating when my next book will be done

I've been playing video games for years...a lot of years.  I'm not an amazing gamer, I certainly don't have those twitchy reflexes of a 20-year-old, but I'm good enough at some games that I don't get overly frustrated with them.  To me, gaming has always been a social thing.  I put on the headset, grab a drink and a cigar, and spend the evening shooting friends and talking trash.  That little beat-down, whether it is mine or theirs, always makes my week better.

I'm an FPS (first-person shooter) gamer, and my favorites have typically been in the Unreal family, whether Unreal Tournament, or even games built on the Unreal Engine.  I'll play a good game well beyond its expected shelf-life, but the time eventually comes that the guys and I need something new.  So I'm always excited when Epic Games announces a new version of UT - and it always kills me when they release after the deadline.

It seems to be a common thing to do with video games.  Announce it, announce a release date, and then release the game late.  Ahhhhh!!!! Drives! Me! So! Crazy!  Or even worse, a game developer releases a
game 'on time' and the game is full of bugs.  Several patches later, it runs like it should - which is basically the same as releasing the game late.  I’ve never understood this.  I thought it was bad business, even though I still bought the games.  It frustrated me to no end, even though I'd play the games until there was nothing left of my computer but a few smoking chips.  At the time, I just couldn't imagine doing this.

Then I began working on my second fantasy novel, which I'm calling Angst 2 for now.  I was sure it'd be done by the end of the year.  While it's possible that the rough draft will be done by the end of the year, the book won't be ready for release.  How did this happen!!!???  I did the same thing that Epic has done in the past, and I should have known better.  Though I've never given an exact release date, I completely underestimated when I will wrap up Angst 2.

Since there isn't a great way to patch books like they do video games, I'm going to have to stick to my traditional editorial process that worked so well for book one.  As I finish writing chapters, I feed them to the Alpha Team.  When the book is done I compile their feedback, make changes, and give the entire book to my Beta team.  After the Beta team finishes in 2-4 weeks, I take their notes and do a thorough review of the entire book.  I add to, take away, disassemble, and work to clarify anything that needs attention.  After that, I hand it all back over to my lovely wife and editor for one final review.  I make most of the changes she recommends (I do reserve the right to,  make use of poetic license), convert the book to kindle, epub, and print, make the cover, and then tweet that it's ready. And tweet some more.

With all of this in mind, it's nearly impossible to come up with an exact date when the book will be done.  After some late releases, a lot of gaming companies have been reluctant to set game release dates and merely say they will be released when they are ready.  I should have followed this path.  I really pushed to complete Angst 2 within a year of the first book, but this one is going to be a little...meatier than the first.  While Angst (1) could easily stand on its own, Angst 2 is going to be a part of something bigger.  It's exciting, and it's going to be a fun Angsty ride – I can't wait to share!!!  Angst 2 may take longer than I had projected, but it will be worth the wait.  As for when, I guess I have to when it's ready, hopefully soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Everything happens for a reason (very small spoiler for Angst 2)

Far be it from me to seek out the 'wife look' that Angie shares with Angst's wife Heather (and I'm sure many other women).  I find it easier on everyone involved if I completely duck the swing of that sword, dodge that bullet, or try to completely avoid that trap.  Unfortunately this isn't always possible.

In spite of my warnings, Angie was pretty upset after editing a chapter in which Angst gets a surprise kiss from someone that isn't Heather.  Angry enough that it took her awhile to shake off, and only at the end of the day did I receive a brief, "I got over it."  I look at this in two different ways.  First of all, as a loving husband I have no desire to purposefully hurt my wife's feelings.  I realize that she associates many of the characters with people in my life, with good reason, and a stolen kiss would be pretty upsetting in real life.  The second way I look at this is, I'm doing it right.

With Angie, my alpha readers, and my beta readers, I often look for a different reaction than what they would expect.  I've learned from watching movies that everything should happen for a reason.  In film, there is finite time to work with - it's rare you will watch a scene that doesn't mean something.  I try to do the same, which isn't always easy.  Whether it is subtle foreshadowing, a play on words that hints at the ending, or a seed planted for future books, almost all scenes should be relevant.  It's tough balancing a fun story that doesn't take itself too seriously, while at the same time allows character development, an interesting plot, but not too wordy.

So, when Angie tells me that Angst getting that kiss is over the top and she finds it upsetting, I can't help but say to myself 'nailed it!'  When I get notes from the alpha or beta team telling me that a scene brought about frustration, or even "I didn't get that until later", I have to admit I feel pretty good.  I don't feel my story should always be presented cleanly.  It should make sense, but it shouldn't always fit together perfectly.  Life is a mess that tends to come together, eventually, somehow.  I feel the same way about my books.

So, to my lovely wife and editor, my sincere apologies for the kiss that really wasn't, and thank you for the great response.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The best series have an ending

As I’ve been working on Angst 2, I’ve been thinking about endings.  I have always thought that the best stories have an arc – one that was conceptualized before the first word was written.  While it doesn’t always work that way for every story, the ones I’ve enjoyed most carry the reader, or viewer, along a known path, giving out little tidbits that in the end wrap up nicely into a satisfying package.

I don’t think it was really a surprise to anyone how the Harry Potter series was going to end.  The genius wasn’t the finish, it was getting there.  We all know the bad guy is going to die, and the good guy is going to win.  Anything else would be a tough read, or hard to watch, and unfulfilling.  The genius of Harry Potter isn’t only the amazing world that JK Rowling built, the depth of character, the descriptive prose, or the imagination she shared with us.  There was also genius when it was announced that the series would be seven books long.

I’ve been a Star Trek fan all my life, but I think it’s always been a weak point that the original 5 year mission never ended.  We’ve gotten some great stories out of Trek, but rarely have we gotten closure.  I would have to say that The Next Generation episode “All Good Things...” would be the closest Trek has provided to closure of an episodical series.  (Without really closing it.)

Having no ending in mind can go bad.  I loved the first season of Heroes.  The second season Generations was fun, but hurt badly by the writers’ strike.  In the end, the series drug out with no end in sight, until I couldn’t stand watching it anymore.  I don’t think I was alone.  Comic books, which Heroes basically was, are notorious for this.  There are some amazing story arcs by great writers and artists, but eventually good titles peter out to become disappointing because in spite of the amazing build up there is no closure.

Angst was a dream that I spent years pondering and not writing.  I’m glad I finally did.  In spite of a few small cliffhangers, Angst can stand on its own.  There doesn’t have to be a sequel.  But, I love the characters.  I love what the world could grow into.  Angst 1 I really wrote out of necessity, Angst 2 (I know the title by the way.  Neener.)  I’m writing for fun.

It would be easy to make Angst 2 another episode, wait for everyone to tell me they love or hate it, and then maybe write another Angst episode.  I think that’s a mistake.  It’s both irresponsible entertainment, and could even be construed as bad writing.  I can’t write a never-ending string of Angst books.  I’d get burned out, everyone reading them would get sick of them, and I have other ideas that I want to explore.

I’ve given this a lot of thought.  Angst 2 isn’t going to be the end, but I promise I do have an end in mind.  If you like the world I’m creating, then I believe you’ll like what I’m planning.  There is going to be an end, I know what it is, and it’s going to be amazing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Living Angst

We’ve been watching Star Trek with the kids, every episode.  We made it through the original series, the remastered blu-ray edition, and they enjoyed it.  Now we are watching Enterprise, which is better than I had remembered.  Tonight’s episode, A Night in Sickbay, Captain Archer’s pet beagle was deathly ill, he was sexually frustrated, and the Enterprise was falling apart.  I could relate to Archer’s frustration - I live this episode.

At one point he was climbing shelves and knocking over medical containers in a fruitless attempt to capture a bat in sick bay.  Every time T’Pol, played by the attractive Jolene Blalock, would approach him, he could only stutter Freudian slips.  The end result was facing humiliation by wearing some ridiculous garb and having his hair braided while performing a ceremony in apology for something he didn’t realize he had done wrong.  I think he apologized to pretty much everyone in this episode.

While Archer isn’t my favorite Starfleet captain, I experience this episode on so many levels, my wife kept looking over at me with a pitiful “I’m sorry” painted all over her beautiful face.  How many things can go so wrong in one day, in one week, in one life, before you start questioning whether or not you are even doing it right?

This is not a “woe is me” blog post.  I’m not looking for anyone’s pity, and don’t want to seem ungracious for the great support I’ve received.  I’ve got an amazing wife, great kids, a place to live, food to eat, friends to go to…all of the important stuff is more than covered.  But wow, does it seem to be a battle most days.  Between the job and the bills and the struggle of marriage and the balance of friends and marriage and family, and the total complete unmet potential of what I can be…it’s not easy.

I’m a true believer that nobody’s life is easy.  Nobody has enough money, or love, or friends, or whatever it is you strive for.  There are moments, great moments that we experience which supersede all and remind us that it’s worth the effort.  But everything else is life.

So for those days that are filled with broken toilet handles, jammed printers, sad songs at the wrong moment, text messages that friends don’t reply to, tailgating jerks, misunderstandings due to absolutely nobody’s fault, and writer’s block, I say fuck you.  I’m not giving up, but you better deal with my moments of frustration and ANGST as I fret through the little things and big things alike because I refuse to give in to the crap that’s handed to me day in and day out.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wearing Hats

I was recently asked in a Twitter PM what I do for a living.  "Um, I live off the success of my first self-published novel Angst.  You believe that, right?"  Well, no, not really.  I would love nothing more than to spend all of my time writing Angst books and other stories (I have a few ideas), but the family needs to eat, and wear clothes, and sleep under a roof, so I work too.  I've always felt…uncomfortable discussing this on Twitter or this blog.

My wife has said this is something to admire, working a 40-50 hour a week job, being a husband, father, and friend, and writing books too.  I guess for me it's a separation of worlds.  I want to be thought of as a writer.  Well…I am a writer.  I guess it's better stated that I want people to think of me being such an amazing writer that I can live off my writing and nothing else.  This isn't true, I wear many hats and do my best to keep them from blowing off my head.

I posted these pictures of the actor Karl Urban tonight, portraying him in three completely non-related roles. Well, other than the fact that all the movies are for geeks like me ;)  Vaako in Chronicles of Riddick = Eomer in Lord of the Rings = Dr. McCoy in Star Trek 2009. I'm usually quick to pick these things up, but when I read on Dark Horizons that he was going to play Vaako once again in a 3rd Riddick, I had to check out IMDb.  Wow.  That's what I call versatile.  I always thought comedians, like Robin Williams became the most versatile actors.  This is another exception to that rule.

It got me to thinking about the different roles I play.  I draw from a lot of sources in my life to write.  People that I like, people I don't like, events I experience, all feed into my stories.  That slapping scene with Ivan (you know what I'm talking about if you've read Angst) was written after a very, very bad day at work.  I really wanted to do that to someone, and wrote it instead.  Actually, I wrote it without even knowing that scene would make it into the book.  I'm glad it did because I really felt it shows that Angst is not perfectly heroic.

In spite of what I may tell you, I'm not perfect either.  I'm not a wealthy individual, writing in secluded house with a cliff-side view of the ocean, pondering life's mysteries…yet.  I'm everyman, working, fretting, scrambling, and trying my damnedest to find the hat that fits best at any given moment.  And since that feeds into so much of what I do, rather than hiding it, maybe I should embrace it.  Maybe.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Casting Call for Angst the movie... sort of

Much to my dismay, George Lucas did not call me last night with his exciting new plans to make Angst a movie.  Alas, I see it is left to me to post some ideas of who they could hire when they finally do decide to make Angst into a film (*cough* series *cough*).  This way Mr. Lucas will have a place to go for inspiration while surfing my blog. o_O

Lest you think this is a complete ego trip, this little exercise actually stemmed from fun with friends.  And it was more than a little challenging.  I'll admit to thinking about how Hollywood would translate Angst into a movie, but I didn't think about which actors could play the characters.  Thought friends have made some great suggestions, not everyone agrees.  Many who have read the book have mentioned it would make a fun movie...did you have anyone in mind for the characters?

Alan Tudyk has great timing and can also be charming.

A friend recommended Matt Damon, who is certainly versatile enough.  He even looked the part in The Informant.

Dusty Craine and my wife both suggested Jack Black.  I always love it when comedians take on serious roles.  Though Angst is not always serious, he certainly can be.  (Along these lines 20 years ago Robin Williams would have been perfect.)

Holly, my inspiration for Rose, recommended Ellen Page from Juno and X-Men 3.  She certainly looks the part, and who am I to argue?

Princess Victoria:
My friend Allie is certain that Victoria is based on her, and I'm not a brave enough man to disagree.  I've always had Taylor Swift in mind when envisioning her.  (If you question whether or not she can act, check out her Saturday Night Live skits ... works for me.)

A military guy who is a fighter, a teacher, and more than a little cocky.  Jason Statham is my first pick, especially because I love it when a fun action hero who is always cast as the lead is thrown in as supporting cast (think Steven Seagal in Executive Decision).

Liev Schreiber did a great job of going 'feral' as Sabertooth in Wolverine.  He can definitely play 'military' as well.

There is only one guy who I have in mind, and that's Michael Clarke Duncan.  The man is a beast, and for anyone who plays MMOs you know he'd make a great 'tank'.  He's got the size, and looks like he has a great sense of humor.  (He is smiling in most of the pictures I see on the internets)  Tarness needs both.

This part requires someone intelligent, incredibly book smart but at the same time the character doesn't always think outside of the box.  Ed Norton can definitely do intelligent.

I really think that Alexander Siddig could play Dallow very well.  He's definitely the right size, and his time on Star Trek Deep Space Nine shows his comfort with being smart, and at times funny.

He's powerful, arrogant, and gets his ass kicked all over the place.  While I think Alexander Skarsgard would be ideal, my (drooly) wife would disagree.  So, my first choice is Adrian Pasdar from Heroes.  Everything about the character 'Nathan Petrelli' convinces me he would be a great choice.

A friend recommended John Travolta, who can no doubt do a great 'bad guy'.

Hmmm...I struggled with this one.  It's tough to find an overweight middle-age acress in Hollywood these days (huh).  And while my wife is perfect, of course, Heather tends to be not perfect.  (I'll leave it at that so I don't have to spend the next week on the couch.)  Her choice, and I think it's a good one, is Miracle Laurie from Dollhouse.

I also think Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost, V) could do this.  Even in this picture she really has the 'wife look' down.

He's a stoic, nose to the grindstone, stick to the rules (mostly) supporting character.  Neal McDonough always comes across as very sincere in the movies I've seen him in.

Bruce Greenwood (recently Captain Pike in Star Trek) could easily do this. ...and he's the perfect age.

Queen Isabelle:
People hate the Queen.  She is a control freak who doesn't seem to like anyone and then covers that in pagentry.  Jane Lynch from Glee would do an amazing job at this.  She may not look the part, but she could definitely play it.

Alice Krige, the Borg Queen from Star Trek First Contact could easily be an almost-evil queen that everyone tends to dislike.

In spite of being in a limited number of chapters, he's a big character.  Liam Neeson was my too-obvious choice for this part.

I know that Patrick Stewart could, no doubt, do this very well.  His presence would easily fill the role.

Young (sort of), cute, and badgering to the point of annoyance.  She has been cheated of a normal life, and is very needy because of that.  Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) would do a great job in this role.

Kristin Kreuk from Smallville could also do this.

Think smarmy, over the top, and given more power than he should.  After seeing Simon Pegg as Scotty in Star Trek, I'm convinced he would have loads of fun in this role.

Lambert Wilson from the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies would also do an amazing job of being more than a little sleazy.

There are a lot of characters in Angst, and even though Graloon is a 'minor' character, I feel as though he plays an important enough role throughout the books to garner attention.  Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond may just be the right person for this part.

It would be easy to go on with ancillary characters, but I can't make it that easy for the casting director.  Now it's your turn.  Who have I mis-cast?  Who have I missed?  Did you think of anyone that could fill the role?  I'd love to know.  Please leave a comment with your thoughts below.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Changing it up

I've never been a believer of change for the sake of change.  Actually, I'm not a big fan of change at all.  When I went to college, Mom replaced the kitchen plates with new ones.  I almost couldn't eat off of them!  If something works, then I can't imagine why I would anyone would want to do something different, especially when it comes to writing.

I wrote Angst in three places.  The first place started with a walk, I'd spend a half hour every day walking a path at a nearby park.  I would listen to music, typically movie soundtracks, and visualize what I would write about later that day.  The second included going to the local bookstore, sipping on a mocha (either hot or cold depending on the weather), sometimes eating a cookie (shhh) and attempting to hammer out what I thought about during my walk.  Finally, I spent time hidden away in my mad scientist laboratory (office), where I would have a drink, smoke a cigar, listen to more soundtracks, and pace while world-building.

I created some pretty good habits by the time I finished Angst.  This made it almost shocking when I started writing Angst 2.  I brushed broad strokes of outlines and plot threads in my office, went to park to walk through some of the finer points to get to the book store and …nothing.  Some of the worst writing I've done…since the beginning of the first book.  I was at a loss of what to do.  This was more than a roadblock, I honestly wondered if I could make it happen again.  Unintentionally, I made a little change.

(Skip this next paragraph if you are bored by computer stuff)  I've always been a geek (go figure) and have always been a fan of Linux.  (An Operating System, like Windows, but free.)  For years I have configured my main computer to dual-boot both Ubuntu Linux and Windows.  I don't spend a lot of time in Ubuntu because most of the video games I play are written for Windows.  Last week Ubuntu released a new version, 11.04 Natty Narwhal (each release is named after an animal.)  I decided to upgrade my main computer to the new version, and on a whim I also replaced Windows XP on my netbook, the computer I take to the bookstore, with Ubuntu.  My hope was that an operating system without the distraction of my Windows installed games would keep me focused on writing.

After making this change, something clicked.  I went to the bookstore and wrote my equivalent of Hamlet.  Okay, not really, but I did hammer out some pretty solid pages.  Those pages were enough to get my brain thinking of other things that could make the book work.  I found myself up late making notes on my phone when I should have been sleeping, and that's not a complaint.  Installing Linux on my netbook, and using it on my primary computer, was a minor change without completely overhauling the habits that worked when writing the first book.  For whatever reason, I'm inspired to write more.  Maybe it's the fun of something new and different, or some unknown switch clicked in my brain.  Either way, I'm definitely going to have to keep this in mind next time I hit the block, that a little change can bring results.

A quick plug for Linux, you can read more about it on Wikipedia here: .  If you are interested, with a little research you can find out why it's free and what free means in the GNU world.  Chances are you are using Linux now, for example if you have a Droid phone, that's one of the many flavors of Linux.  You can find Ubuntu here: .  The most recent version is beautiful, but I'll admit that I use the 'classic' version with docky on my main computer, and the Unity desktop on my netbook.  There is a great review about the current release of Ubuntu at Ars Technica here:  I'm not a Windows or Microsoft hater by any means, but I'd spend more time using Linux if more games were compatible without having to use WINE.  (Just sayin')  If you are interested in trying Ubuntu, please be aware, DO NOT INSTALL WITHOUT BACKING UP YOUR DATA.  I would feel awful if someone lost their work just to try Linux without realizing it can delete everything. o_O

Monday, April 25, 2011

Angst Is Not For Everyone

Today was one of the most quintessential ‘I hate Mondays’ I’ve experienced in a long time.  If I had written about a Monday like today, most editors would call my experiences cliché.  My son inadvertently woke me an hour early…I couldn’t get back to sleep due to a bloody nose…I was late to the office…no parking spots were available and I had to park two lots over…I left my raincoat in my wife’s car which was at the shop…needless to say it was raining and I got drenched…oh, and I got the first negative feedback on my book.

It’s probably against the rules of marketing books and such, to share that someone in the world hates what you’ve written.  But it’s out there, on Goodreads if you’re looking.  I’ve been fortunate to the point of being spoiled with everyone’s kind remarks.  I’ll admit to a bit of pride in telling my Mom and Dad, “Nobody hates Angst…yet.”  I guess it’s ‘yet’ now.

The review isn’t rough enough to anger me into a frenzy of deep creative writing (that would have been cool), nor thought provoking enough to say, “that reader is right, I should’ve done that” or “I could do that better next time.”  It was empty and indirect enough that it pinched the underside of my arm with a quiet, “I didn’t like.”

I was expecting worse, or better from a negative review.  I don’t admonish the reviewer, that person’s opinion of Angst is every bit as legitimate as those who have enjoyed reading it.  (Enter snarky comment of your choosing here if you disagree.)  But it’s like I told my friend Cristi today, you don’t expect everyone to like what you’ve written, but you still want them to.

The great thing about my ‘writing career’ right now, is that I can write to share me and hope others get something out of it.  Angst is very much my story, an old friend from High School (who DID love my novel by the way, heh) shared that reading it was like spending an evening talking to me.  I felt a great desire to share my thoughts about life, and I still do.  My hope is that others similarly frustrated with how things happen, or irritated with getting older, appreciate the ‘what if’ and ‘grass isn’t necessarily greener’ parts of Angst.  I hope those who ‘get me’ enough to enjoy my sense of humor finish the book with a few laughs and well entertained and maybe even wanting for more.

What I walk away with from the negative feedback on Goodreads is a reminder that Angst isn’t for everyone, it’s for everyone else, including me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Sentence at a Time

Saturday:   Today I'm going to write my blog post…
Sunday: …and then I'm going to work on this great idea of the next chapter…
Monday: …oh, and finally I'm going to squeeze in some marketing time for book 1 and #amediting.
Tuesday:  Where did Tuesday come from, I haven't even finished my Saturday blog post yet.

Shh.  Don't let my calendar know but I'm trying to sneak this post in between meetings, family time, needy friends, exercise, house projects, tweeting and maybe a nap but probably not.  This reminds me of a time six months into writing Angst, I was frustrated for not getting enough done.  Not by anyone else's standards, I simply had a story that needed to come out.  I quickly found it wasn't the instant gratification of winning a video game or an evening out with friends, this novel required a commitment like training for one of my marathons.

Amidst my frustrations, I happened to catch an NPR bit about some established writer (don't ask me his name because I can't even remember where I put my keys yesterday).  The gist of his wisdom during the 15 minute interview boiled down to … it's okay to write just one good sentence a day.  Progress, any progress, counts.  It's really good advice when I remember to heed it.

I get upset when I intend to write War & Peace and Les Miserables in one sitting and end up with a paragraph, or even just a sentence.  But, on those rare occasions when I experience flashes of realistic expectations I remember how important that one good sentence is, I remember that it counts as progress, and I'm a little less frustrated.  A little.  Since this post counts as more than one sentence, I'm gonna throw my cape back on and go fix something.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review copies of Angst now available

I am making a limited number of Angst review copies available at no charge.  These can be downloaded from Smashwords for free by going here: and using the coupon code TF24B.  E-mail me the link of your review and I will gladly share that link on my blog, facebook page, and via tweets.  Thanks for your support!

If you are interested in seeing reviews others have posted, I have included some links below:
Review of David J. Pedersen's "Angst" by J. M. Tresaugue
goodreads reviews:
Amazon reviews:
Barnes and Noble reviews:
Fantasy Faction:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just to make it official...

I am scraping together every second of free time I can find to write Angst 2, and am officially making progress.  Right now I'm working through some of my rough draft mess that @angiepedersen has been kind enough to help clean up with her amazing editing skills.  I hope to have the first 8 chapters to share with alpha readers in the next couple of weeks, I just need to find a great little cliffhanger to leave them at so they are hungry for more ;)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Angst Cover Art Project

I had fun today meeting with my friend Allie (@angst_fan) and Eric Dilday to look over cover sketches he put together for Angst.  Eric shared a few roughed out concepts for review.  I've seen some of his detailed work, and it's amazing!  These pics taken with my iphone on a table, don't do justice to these drawings or his finished work, but they are fun to see.

This very first one of Angst nailed the size of Chryslaenor, and I love the cape (I want, both, a cape and the sword).  He's a little too muscular, not pudgy enough, and Allie requested the hilt to be a little less Thor like.

This second drawing was Eric's favorite.  The hilt looks a lot more accurate, and the rose (which would be marble of course) is a nice addition.

This is closer to what the cover may end up being.  Angst, Rose, and Chryslaenor with a castle in the background.  Eric is going to make Angst the same height as Rose, change up her wardrobe a little, give her daggers, and place the castle further away.

I find it fascinating to see an artists concept of the characters, the sword, and the world of Ehrde.  We'll meet again in a week to view a revised version of the sketch with Rose and Angst, and I'll be sure to share the progress.  Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas, I'd love to read everyone's thoughts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New distribution, new reviews, and maybe a new cover!

This has been a fun week filled with more positive feedback about Angst.  I've been somewhat successful at getting a few distribution chores out of the way, and I'm making good progress on Angst 2.

Angst is now available on Smashwords .  This should place it in the Apple iBook store, Borders, Sony, Kobo, and more.  I also submitted Angst to be included in the new Google ebook store, hopefully it will be available there soon as well.

This weekend @angst_fan and I are meeting with a friend's husband, an artist with some new book covers ideas.  I just ordered a new high quality microphone and hope to start recording the audiobook for Angst early next week.  (I think it should turn out okay as long as I don't sing).  I'll try to post a few minutes of the recording to my blog for opinions (or laughs).

Most important, a quick thanks to some awesome twitter friends!  Thanks to @Bryndled1 for the review on @FantasyFaction site!  @Thesleepingwolf for his kind Amazon review @Mnm_010 and @angst_fan for their reviews on B&N  I really appreciate the support and am truly inspired to work hard on Angst 2.

I think I'll go get the weekend started!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On Writing: The Benefits of Sharing

The best decision I ever made when writing Angst was to share.  I had finished about half the book, further than I had gotten with any other writing project.  I felt good about what I had accomplished, but was insecure as to whether or not anyone would enjoy the story as much as I wanted them to.  I was about ready to take one of those really long breaks that some people call burnout, when I decided to share the first handful of chapters.  My wife was kind enough to edit them before sending so it didn't look like a 1st grade writing assignment, and I doled them out to some nearest and dearest that I knew enjoyed fantasy.

I purposefully gave friends chapters that ended with a mini cliff hanger.  I wanted them to ask for more, call it egotistical, but it worked.  The first day was disappointing.  My closest friends couldn't stop their entire lives, take a day off work, or tell their families to piss off so that they could make me feel better about my writing?  What the heck?  After a very long couple of days, they started sharing feedback.  They seemed really excited, enough so that it felt genuine and not like, "oh, you're my friend so here is a free pat on the back."  Handing out chapters that ended in mini cliff hangers, and feeding off of the want for more, really drove me to finish the first book.

Now I'm starting on Angst 2 (working title by the way), and I find that I'm enjoying a similar trend.  New friends on twitter, and old friends through facebook, are reading the first book.  The feedback and enthusiasm is inspiring, and the main reasons I'm making such good progress on Angst 2.  My sincere thanks to everyone who has read Angst and commented on my first book.  I look forward to sharing more.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So many stories…so little time

I write out of necessity.  Not for money, or recognition, (not yet anyway), but I get a bug that forces me to throw up a story.  My time to write is limited and my list of story ideas is long, but I can only work on one project at a time right now.  So somewhere between family time, social life, exercise, video games and eating, I gently force some time to do this thing called writing.

To add to my long list, I recently came up with some fun short story ideas that take place in the Angst universe.  I would really like to share a new one every couple of months between books.  I like the idea of writing about characters other than Angst, to share more insight and background.  Some stories will take place in the past, and some will be about what happens between the first and second book, but herein lies the problem.   I've been bit once again, and the bug is making me work on the Angst 2 (working title).

This is a good thing, and I loftily hope that my second baby comes out a little easier than the first.  It seems that once I start writing a project, I have to keep working on it until I'm done.  As for the short stories, maybe while I'm steamrolling through Angst 2 I'll be able to sneak them in between chapters.

Which characters would you like to learn more about?