Do You Have Angst?: April 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

1st Book Signing at Fantasy and Science Fiction Convention

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be attending my first Science Fiction and Fantasy convention over Memorial Day weekend – ConQuest.  I’m really looking forward to participate, and I’m coming prepared.  I didn’t want to just bring a big pile of books, so I have a few things planned.  Booth visitors will be able to:

  • Pose with a full size replica fantasy sword of Chryslaenor, the giant sword from Angst (sorry, no lightning…this time)
  • Purchase a signed copy of Angst with the new cover
  • Purchase a digitally signed copy of Angst ebook for your Kindle or Nook
  • Sneak peek at the upcoming sequel: Buried in Angst

Best of all, my good friend Allie has agreed to be my spokesmodel for Angst at ConQuest! I’m smart enough to realize that, while I’m fun to talk to, she is a lot more fun to look at when visiting the Angst booth!

Please be sure to stop by the show, say hi, and pick up your copy of Angst!  ConQuest 43 takes place May 25-27, 2012 at Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, MO.  You can find out more about attending ConQuest here:

Be sure to visit next week, and I’ll share some of the work that has gone into preparing for Conquest!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Not Enough Time!

One of my favorite quotes from Star Trek: Generations (yes, there is actually a good line or two) comes from Jean Luc Picard.  “Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.”  While Captain Picard is an amazing character, and that line is very well written, I’d challenge him to writing your 2nd book while working a full time job, Captain!

I turned around and suddenly my son turned 18 and is going to college.  My peanut, also known as my daughter, is going to High School next year.  I’m not sure how this can be happening, because I’m pretty sure I’m still in my 20s and am planning on living off of writing amazing books, screenplays, and comic books.  Um, would someone please tell me wtf is going on?  (If you are new here I turn 42 in June)  I feel like I’m being stalked by time, and I’d really prefer that ‘companion’ instead.  

I don’t ever really stop doing stuff.  I spent last Saturday watching movies with my family, which was great.  This also meant I spent last Saturday doing marketing stuff for the book, while watching movies.  (Hopefully I can share some marketing results next week!!!)  My point is, how can time speed by so fast when I squeeze every ounce out of it?

I feel so very behind with the sequel, Buried in Angst; it keeps me up at night.  I somehow calculated quite early on that I'd be working on the third book by now.  My goals are like an empty plate at the buffet line - I'm sure I can eat all that food, and I know I can keep piling on more goals.  People who are fortunate enough to write for a living, often finish one book a year.  I work full time, and shouldn’t expect the same results.  That doesn’t mean I don’t, which is frustrating.

The good news is I think I’m doing it right.  Becky, one of my best friends from college sent me an email recently, after reading an “Alpha Team“ chapter from the 2nd book.  She said “I have to tell you that I have NO changes at this point, and have been completely caught up in the story.”  Not only is Becky an amazing person, and incredibly supportive, she wouldn’t hold back telling me if I broke something.  So it is comforting to know that Buried in Angst is on track and, in spite of my fretting, it’s not bad.

At this point, it’s not about time management; it’s more like time extraction.  I can only hope that it is worth the wait, that patience is a virtue, and time will tell.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A New Cover for Angst!

After I finished writing my first fantasy novel, Angst, there were a few weeks when I had to decide what to do next.   I didn't know much about self-publishing, but I knew that going through an agent or directly to a publisher was a daunting task that included a lot of rejection.  I also hated the idea of someone else changing what I had worked on.  I've read that editors will take out chapters, move them around, remove characters.  Um, no thanks.  Almost everything I've written has a purpose, for now or for later, and even if it isn't perfect, I like my book how it is.

One of the most important things I needed to do after finishing was to thank the friends and family who took the time to edit and critique Angst.  I felt the best way to do this was to give everyone a bound copy.  While Createspace has a great program for printing books, that meant I had to come up with a cover.  I really wanted a traditional fantasy cover with heroes in armor fighting bad guys…yeah, unfortunately I'm not an artist at all.  No matter how hard I tried, everything I put together with people in it looked awful.  After removing humans from the equation, I drew out the map, took a picture of an old sword and wrapped some lightning around it, and voila, I had a serviceable fantasy cover for Angst.

In spite of some nice compliments, I've wanted to update the cover for some time.  As I get closer to finishing Buried in Angst, I felt now was a good time to make the change.  Not only to improve the look of the first book, but for consistency with the second book.  After some research, I found Vuk Kostic.  Vuk, a student in Serbia, has some amazing work on his Deviant Art page.  In spite of a few language barriers, he was extremely patient with me as he worked through my requests to produce this new cover.

One of my favorite things about comic books is how different artists portray superheroes.  Google "Batman Artists" some time and check out all the amazing ways that Batman is drawn, painted, sculpted - it's fun to see the differences.   I have to admit there are a few things in this new book cover I left to artistic interpretation.  For example, the monster in the background isn't exactly how I describe my 'monster' at the end of Angst, but he is so bad-ass-looking that I felt it best stick with Vuk's interpretation.  The grey men in the 'pit' with pole arms are shadowy, which is very much Vuk's style and I feel they add some action without distracting from Angst, Rose, or the giant monster.  I love Chryslaenor, and the red cloak Angst is wearing.  The lightning in the background of the coliseum is pretty cool too.

This has been an incredibly fun project, and one of several things I'm doing to ramp up marketing.  I already have some great ideas for the cover of Buried in Angst and look forward to the day I can share that cover too.  Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out Vuk's other work: