Do You Have Angst?: August 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bringing some Angst to Minneapolis Metacon

We are bringing the party up north for our final convention of 2013! To wrap up our con season, we have a little extra fun planned for Metacon! If you are attending, be sure to stop by the booth and...

  • Meet Angst spokesmodel Cristi on Saturday and Sunday!
  • Wield the full size replica fantasy sword Chryslaenor, the giant sword from the Angst novels!
  • Get your free Angst bookmark, we will be giving them away all weekend!
  • Purchased an autographed copy of Angst - the first 50 people who purchase a copy will receive a chainmail bracelet and a poster!
  • Sign up for a free daily T-Shirt drawing!

I will also be hosting a panel on being an indie writer at 10:00am Sunday in Panel Room 2

Be sure to come by and see us at Metacon!

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota
August 30th - September 1st
Program Guide

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When I'm not writing I do a little of this..

I know I'm supposed to write every day, and when someone asks me about how to write a book that's the advice I give them. The truth is, it doesn't happen. There are days my muse is whispering sweet somethings in the ear of another (bitch). It happens, but that doesn't mean I stop.

Writing should be about 95% of what a writer does, it should always be warm and sunny for my birthday, snow should melt the day after Christmas. You get the idea. Being an indie writer means that the other 95% of my time is also spent marketing, brainstorming, and making every grassroots effort I can plant to find my audience and keep them around.

In addition to my daily writing session which I never miss ever ever, except for maybe yesterday, I do something to promote my books almost every day. Whether it's finding my audience on Twitter, writing a blog post, looking for new venues to promote through, or planning for a con - it doesn't stop after the last page.

I did some writing last weekend, but not much. (Insert guilt pang here.) On the other hand, I started working on my revised Chryslaenor sword prop (Mark III ...heh) for conventions. The current one is a little beat up, and I've gotten teased enough about my 'surfboard' and 'pizza flipper' to change up the design a little. No, this isn't writing, but believe it or not it's good marketing. There have been a lot of pictures taken with the last sword and it's fun!

We will be attending Metacon in Minneapolis at the end of the month, and I'll have some cool new signage for the convention.  (Thanks to great advice from fellow indie writer Daniel C. Nielsen - be sure to check out his blog here: ) I will also have a LOT of Cristi bookmarks to hand out.  All marketing materials I've put together this month.

Two weeks ago I created a mailing list for a newsletter. (The template I made looks pretty cool, I look forward to using it!) If you enjoy Angst and want to keep up with my book releases, please sign up! I call it a monthly newsletter, but honestly I'll only be sending it out if I have relevant book release news or something else incredibly cool comes up. Be sure to sign up here!

Finally, I've also been testing the waters with advertising through various newsletters and ebook websites. Nothing too crazy, but I've been wondering about other ways of finding readers without bribing Oprah or running a full page ad in the New York Times. (I offered $5.00 and they said no! Where's the love?) The best results I've had so far is with - great looking email newsletter, definitely not spammy, and they throw in a nice personal note to help you promote.

The time I have to spend as an indie writer isn't always spent writing, even if it's supposed to be. I do believe the best way to build and keep an audience is to write a lot of books, but between the day job, family, and naps - when writing just isn't going to happen, I feel that a little time promoting Angst every day is time well spent.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I need to tell you about my muse

In spite of having written only two fantasy novels (okay, 250,000 words is not only), I get asked why I write? What makes me do it?  Or even…How do I write? It's a big question that always surprises me. I consider myself green enough that I'm not sure I'm even budding yet. I'm far from the 500 books that Isaac Asimov wrote. (I know, right?) or the mere 12 books J.K. Rowling has penned :). Maybe I'm asked because I'm accessible. I always do my best to answer.

How to write is pretty simple. Sit down and do it. I hate telling people that. I feel like I'm giving up the magic trick, that the rabbit was actually behind my back. No matter how much flourish and courtesy I can inject into that answer, books happen when I take the time to write. They do not happen when I spend time marketing, playing video games, eating cake, flirting with girls, watching movies, or surfing the web. Sure I hit roadblocks, I take time out to outline, I run out of rum (I come across all sorts of problems) but it doesn't happen if you don't put words on paper.

Why I write? What makes me do it? That's a bit more complicated. (Not quiet Carlos Danger complicated, but there have been moments...) This is hard to admit, but I have a muse. Every day I'm shocked at how supportive she is, and how insatiable she is. Most days I'm amazed that my muse ever noticed me, but she did. It will probably not be a surprise, but she is Kate Upton gorgeous, with the grace of Anne Hathaway and unabashed like Rihanna. Oh yeah, she's all of that and more. Beautiful and bright like my friend Cristi, while loving and lovely and patient as a long summer day like my wife. I can't image anyone being more encouraging or supportive than my muse.

My muse is well read, and appreciates all things geek. He's chubby, like me, with unflattering glasses and sometimes gets winded walking up too many stairs. She works IT, spends too much time on Twitter and Facebook, is socially awkward and gets along well with everyone. She is a student of medicine, of history, of philosophy. He makes bad cosplay armor out of duct tape and is an entrepreneur at heart. She takes karate and teaches. He goes to college. She plays Magic: The Gathering and is in the band. She acts, directs, and produces. He works security and has a busy kid.

Sometimes my muse has been the day job, that often convinces me I was meant for something more. Or John and Ray who have made supportive comments to me on Twitter for years, and were the first two to read and review Buried in Angst! (Yeah, my muse has a mustache). The other day my muse was Virat, a med student in North Carolina who posted a review to Amazon.

My muse has been my wife, who tells me how proud she is of me then gives me an afternoon to hide. My muse has been my oldest friend Matt, who is on the alpha team and asks for more chapters all the time. A few minutes ago, my muse was the thoughtful person who posted to my blog to tell me they enjoyed my books and wanted to know when the next one is coming out. (Really, that's what made me write this post.) I've actually been asked what does it mean to be my muse? It means you want more.

I truly believe that every writer needs a muse, I know I couldn't write without each and every one. Whether you are a young writer or old, you have to find your muse - embrace and revel in every moment they inspire until you reach the dregs. Then, take a deep breath, and find another - inspiration is out there. My first book, Angst, was truly inspired by my life and experiences. Every book after that has been inspired by people excited about Angst and wanting for more. If you've read Angst, read Buried in Angst, and now find yourself here, guess who you have become.

So yeah, people ask me why I write? I write because of my muse.