Friday, February 5, 2016

Meet RJ Blain

RJ Blain. The Busiest Writer In the World.

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you Mrs. RJ Blain, the Busiest Writer In the World.
There's a good chance some of you already know her. She has one of the most prolific Google Plus profiles on the web, and churns out quality content at an inhuman rate. After authoring more than ten novels in two years, all of them with multiple five star reviews. Mrs. Blain has turned to the world of crowdfunding to pursue the next step of the journey.

As I present the campaign to you, it's already thirty-three percent funded and that happened within five days. The objective is to bring her well-received urban fantasy series "The Witch & Wolf" to print and she is offering a king's ransom to those who help her get there. Beyond signed copies of the series, she is offering both digital and traditional coloring books to those who help her get there.

This is someone I've had the privilege to both learn from and call friend, and I'm honored to give her a boost here. So I invite you to check out her work, and give a little to make this dream a reality. The campaign is here. Take a look.

Thanks for reading.

From the coloring collection

Yours, when you donate

Indie Authors: Treat Your Subscribers Right

Image Courtesy of Life of Pix. I love the water...

I subscribe to the regular updates of a good many authors. There's always something new to be learned and I enjoy closing my night with my tablet, hot chai (don't judge me) and stocking the next day's to-do list with tasks inspired by the previous' nights education.

I was going through reddit (DON'T JUDGE ME) last night when I happened across an article written by one of the authors I follow.

I have to admit I was a little taken aback. This is someone who's opinion I value, and I look forward to their updates. I enjoyed getting the updates in my feedly before seeing them online. Call it an ego trip, but it made me feel like I was ahead of the crowd.

Just to ensure I wasn't tripping, I went through my RSS feeds and inbox. I had no new email from this person.

This author is far more established than I am, and runs their business as they see fit using a model that works for them. Me, and a lot of us? We're still new. Our email subscriber lists are gold, and don't think anything different. If you don't have a list, you need to get one, and I'll eventually teach how to do that once I get the hang of it myself.

Your email list allows you to communicate directly with those most interested in your work, and the most invested in your success. They don't have to be there and they can unsubscribe any time they like. Never take for granted that they choose to remain.

After reading that article I wrote my subscribers and promised them that they would never read any of my content online before they saw it first. It's the least I can do for their support.

Your ability to succeed as an indie doesn't just depend on your skill as a writer. It's almost more important to keep your readers engaged, and continue to draw in new ones. So as you develop a subscriber list, treat them like gold, and in return, they'll do a lot of your marketing for you. But neglect them, ignore them?

Well, in that case, don't quit your day job.

Thanks for reading.

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation is a dark epic fantasy in the Universal Warrior series that harkens back to a time when our world was under the tyrannical rule of the forerunners to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In "Reclamation", join a betrayed herald and a naive Angel as the two journey to retake what was stolen. Their actions will reignite a war that will decide the fate of our world.

Action/fantasy in the same vein as the Chronicles of Narnia.

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation drops for all e-readers on February 28, 2016 for $2.99.
Pre-order now for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes!

Sign up for the Feral Inception newsletter for writing and self-publishing tips, inspirational stories, discounts and free stuff! Sign up now and get a free copy of Era of the Scourge: Reclamation and a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

May You Fail Spectacularly.

Image Courtesy of Feral Inception LLC.

I mean that.

Not only do I hope you fail, but I hope you fail in such an an amazing manner that you have to step back, look at the endeavor and kind of shake your head. I hope it elicits a wry little chuckle that makes you say, "Wow."

I hope you go through a brief period of humility, where you wonder why how something you devoted so much time and effort to, could end with such disaster.

Then, this is critical.

I hope you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and, after a moment, take a second look at that project.

I hope you pick up the pieces and take a hard look at what happened.

I hope you realize that it didn't go as badly as you thought.

I hope you forage the good ideas that came from it. I hope you analyze your missteps, and return to the project with renewed vigor, because chances are your second attempt will be far superior to the first.

This is the very reason for a first draft, be it an article, book, code, or almost any endeavor. You are human and as such, you're flawed. Unless you're some sort of prodigy, you're not going to get it right on your first try. Your first try is to figure yourself and the project out.

So allow yourself to fail. I look at it as an opportunity to learn and improve. The trick is to not let yourself become mired in failure. Instead, look at it as a chance to rise and become stronger.

So may you fail spectacularly.

And may you rise stronger than ever.

Thanks for reading.

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation is a dark epic fantasy in the Universal Warrior series that hearkens back to a time when our world was under the tyrannical rule of the forerunners to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In "Reclamation", join a betrayed herald and a naive Angel as the two journey to retake what was stolen. Their actions will reignite a war that will decide the fate of our world.

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation drops for all e-readers on February 28, 2016 for $2.99.
Pre-order now for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes!

Sign up for the Feral Inception newsletter for writing and self-publishing tips, inspirational stories, discounts and free stuff! Sign up now and get a free copy of Era of the Scourge: Reclamation and a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Era of the Scourge: Reclamation

Era of the Scourge:  Reclamation 

Era of the Scourge: Reclamation is a dark epic fantasy created and written by myself and the first official story in the Era of the Scourge series. The era itself tells the story of our world long ago; when the name Earth was not yet known, and most of the planet's major races were dying.

Trailer follows.

Drop date is February 28th, 2016 for all e-readers.

Pre-orders are now available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes and Kobo!


You can also Reclaim the Galaxy for your chance to win a free copy of my entire library and a Samung Galaxy Tab 8.0 with case!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy the book!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

**RECLAIM THE GALAXY** Cover Reveal and Contest

So on January 9th, I'm going to be revealing the cover and release date for Era of the Scourge: Reclamation, my first real book. I'm not even slightly nervous about this.

To celebrate the release (and the end of a long saga of getting this done) I'm giving away a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8 with a leather case and my entire library. This means one winner will get all of this;

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 with leather case
  • Era of the Scourge: Reclamation (Kindle Edition)
  • Universal Warrior: The Ring of Asarra (Kindle Edition)
  • The Anniversary (Kindle Edition).

To win all of this awesome swag, all you have to do is this;

  1. Join up at the Facebook event. 
  2. Comment on the event or message me through facebook after you've joined, and let me know that you want a copy of Reclamation for the e-reader of your choice.
  3. Write and publish a review.
  4. That's it! Anyone who writes and publishes a review will be entered to win the Galaxy. The winner will be announced on release day, which will be revealed on the 9th.
  5. I need to have all requests in by February 10th, please, and all reviews should be up and running by the February 27th. 

That's it! This is the first time I've ever done something like this, so I'm hoping for a good turn out. Thanks for reading and hope to see you there!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Life, Writing, and Business Goals For 2016

The Long Road Ahead. Can't wait to see where this goes. That's the dam between Quincy and Wenatchee, in gorgeous Eastern Washington.
2015 was a great year. I got two shorts out, both of them exceeded expectations, and one did well enough to make it into Amazon's recommended reading for a little while. It's a trip when friends are sending you Amazon newsletter and your title is in it. 2015, after so many years of trying, was the first year I really learned that I could succeed as a writer.

I also learned that I could teach writing, leading one person from idea to execution to marketing and publishing. Truthfully, that was a scary moment; realizing that I'd come far enough on this journey to pass on what I've learned. If Ring of Asarra confirmed that I could make it as a writer, watching a friend succeed using advice showed me that I belonged here.

2015 wasn't without its perils, though. I was woefully out of balance, pushing myself in one direction or another with such reckless abandon that I either crashed or became apathetic. I lost entire weeks because I was too burned out or simply didn't care about the story, which had stymied me into oblivion.

So after reading one of my mentor's blog posts on how she plans to approach the year, I figured I'd outline my own path to success for the coming year. Because, for the first time in my life, I can see the top of the mountain.

1). Write Every Day

This is such a hot-button issue and there are valid points to both sides of the argument. Writing every day keeps me immersed in the story, staves off writers block, and makes it so much easier to transition from scene to scene. So my daily goal is between one and two thousand words in whatever world I'm in, seven days per week. 

2). Don't Beat Myself Up For Not Writing Every Day

Yeah, I know I'm a conundrum. I get it.
Realistically speaking I will not be able to put out that many words, every single day, all year. When I've tried and failed, I've basically beat myself up into exile from the world I was living in, making me a foreigner when I return. So I'm telling myself that it will be okay to take the occasional day off. So long as it doesn't become a habit.
My relentless, unyielding, unforgiving whiteboard. It won't let me take too much time off.

3). Return to Fighting Condition

I won't lie; there are moments when I'd love to get back into fighting. Then I remind myself that I'm almost forty years old and I can't take the beating like I used too. Not going out like that. I know I've peaked out.
But one of the best things about looking out for your physical health is it keeps your mind incredibly sharp, no matter your age. Exercising regularly not only keeps my diabetes in check, it means I spend a lot less time fatigued. I sleep better. I remember things better. I can push, physically and mentally, longer than some people who're younger than I am.
Staying in shape makes me a better thinker and a better writer. There are no downsides to this.
Plus it improves my form. I hope my old Kwan Jan Nim is proud.

4). Release At Least Three Books

I slated four for release this year, and I know this is a tall order because it calls for a bare minimum of one hundred and fifty thousand words done in one year. Other people have done more working harder schedules than mine, which means I can do it. This also leads me to my next point

5). Strike a Balance

I started to discover this at the end of last year, the importance of not overdoing any one thing. Not playing too much. Not exercising too much. Not writing too much. All of this led to disastrous results.
But I found that when I moderate myself, maybe devote one hour a day to gaming, one hour to working out, a couple of hours for writing and business, and knowing when to throttle back on each, I wrote almost thirty thousand publishable words in three weeks.

So those are my five main goals for the year. Other smaller ones include;

-Building The Email List
Everyone who ever said building an email list was integral to indie success was right. I have a smattering of followers now, but I'd like to quadruple those numbers at least by years end.

-Release a number of shorts in different genres

-Build My Wattpad Following
Still new on this platform, not sure what to think of it yet.

-Learn How to Create Images Like These
Seriously, how do people do this?! I know absolutely nothing of Photoshop. I don't even have the program.

If you've got goals, comment below; I'd love to read them.

Thanks for reading and may 2016 be epic to you.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

To All Atheists, Agnostics, and Nonbelievers

Hi. My name's Avery. I'm a Christian, and I hope you read this through rather than strike your back button.

I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and that the only reason why I'm here, writing this post, is because of His Grace.  I understand that this is not a belief shared by everyone. I'm not here to change your mind.

In fact, I'd like to take this moment to apologize to you.
I'm serious.
I'm sorry for how we have treated all of you so far. We have been mean, cruel, judgmental, and, well, I'll just say it. We've been assholes, almost all of us.
A lot of us, and I've been guilty of this, are so narrow-minded when it comes to our faith that we refuse to even acknowledge the remote possibility that any aspect of something we hold most dear could be wrong. Most of us don't handle challenge well. This is when we start condemning and saying yergoin ta hail and all that shit.

Before I go any further, I'd like to take a moment to ask all Christians to please stop telling people that they're going to hell.

Please, seriously, we should all stop doing that. We don't know who's going to hell. I don't know. The guy next to me doesn't know. None of us know. We have our beliefs, sure, but none of us actually know who God plans on sending to hell, so we should really stop saying that. It's doing us more harm than good and to be honest, we just look stupid saying it.

I don't blame you for hating us. We've brought a lot of that animosity on ourselves. So many of you actually summoned the courage to come to us with questions and when we could not answer them, or worse, challenged what we had to say, we turned into children and pushed you away.

Again, and I cannot stress it enough, I am sorry for how we have behaved, and how we have treated you. For the most part, we have been poor examples of what God wants us to be.

People have asked me, on numerous occasions, how I can have the attitude I do, or, and I quote, walk as though the world belongs to me. Plain and simple, I believe that I am saved. I know that I screw up every single day and will continue to do so until the day He calls me home, and He chooses to love me anyway. That is tremendously refreshing and invigorating. To know that everything I endured; homelessness, abuse, violence, loss, was to turn me into the man I am today. I know He has a plan for me and I trust it without question.

That is my journey with God. It's not everyone else's. It's not even something I advise. It's just how He works with me.

Everyone's journey through faith is a personal one, one only they can walk. As Christians, we tend to believe we have all the answers for everyone else, and well, that's just not true.

So when people come to me with questions, I do my best to answer them but admit I don't have all the answers myself. If I don't have an answer, I will say so. I confess that I see how God tries to reach so very many people and they refuse to answer, choosing anger instead. I don't condemn those people. I don't pray for their souls because I don't think they're goin ta hail. I pray they find peace in this life.

So as a Christian, in the coming year I will do my best to be better to my fellow man. I will try (and fail, I'm sure, at times) to set an example and answer anything I'm asked as best as I can. I will do my very best to do as my Lord did before me, which is to make those in my life loved and welcomed, regardless of their beliefs.

I will do that because that is what God taught me, and He allowed me to live to write this post and everything else I will write.

Thanks for reading and have a great year.