Tag Archives: fantasy

A Recommendation

Greetings all.  I hope your Autumn is going well.  There’s something I want to show you.

A very good friend of mine has recently published the first two installments in his new series, The Seven Virtues.  When I say ‘a good friend,’ I don’t mean some random author from the dark corners of the interwebs, either–I mean that I actually grew up with him.  We still talk a good bit.

In fact, I drank him under the table from a thousand miles away the other night.  Mention it to him sometime.

We share a lot of the same tastes when it comes to books, and I guess it only makes sense that we both aspired to be fantasy authors.  His name is Jacob Peppers, and he’s no joke.  He has an English degree, and has been writing for at least as long as I have, if not longer.  He published the first installment in his new series, a novella called The Silent Blade, and the first full novel in the series, A Sellsword’s Compassion, just two days ago, and they’re already getting some good reviews.

If you’re looking for something new to read, maybe to hold you over until The City Under the Mountain drops (cough cough…because it’s so late) then hop over and give his books a read.  Like mine, they’re free to read for Kindle Unlimited members.  While I won’t say that you’ll find a story like mine in The Seven Virtues–even though the series names are similar–what you will find is an author that was forged in the same environment that I was.  Jacob, me, and our brothers all played Dungeons and Dragons together growing up, and shared a love for all things fantasy.

We also did Jiu-Jitsu together.  Told ya he was no joke.

The next installment of The Ballad of the Outrider is coming in the next two weeks, and more updates to follow on The City Under the Mountain.  As for Jacob’s work, I’ll let one of the recent reviews posted on his novella speak to what you’ll find if you decide to take a dive into his world.  Much love and respect to you all, and I’ll talk to you soon.

On The Silent Blade

Apparently a chronological prequel to the first actual book in the “Seven Virtues” series, this novella tells a short-but-dense tale that leads to plenty of characterization of this one fellow in particular (no surprise, given his feature on the cover). Peppers really nailed the length, here — this is no appetizer or prologue and instead describes a complete story arc on its own, without any cliffhangers or other nonsense. A brief word from the author promises more of this guy in the first novel proper, and it’s nice to both get a feel for a character in a shorter read and still get resolution to the events of the story.

I haven’t read “Sellsword’s Compassion” yet, so the setting here was new to me. It’s a kind of darker fantasy, urban grit kind of setup, with plenty of seedy underbelly and stalwart holdouts. It works well for the kind of tale going on here — plenty of conflict, loss, action, and self-interest — and compliments the main character nicely. It doesn’t really have that shiny plastic feel I associate with a lot of more whimsical fantasy — it feels a lot more visceral, which again works with the character. It gives the feeling that Peppers really thought through what kind of world he’s talking about, and this was an effective peek into it. I’ll be reading the next one for sure.

~Posted by one Matthew Palmer on Amazon.com.

Check out The Silent Blade
US  |  UK 
Check out A Sellsword’s Compassion
US  |  UK
***Those are not affiliate links and will not collect information from you.  They are direct links to the product pages on Amazon.

If you’re interested in reading more about Jacob, you can visit his website HERE.

Important Announcement for the Conclave

Alright, everyone–there’s a bit of foolery incoming.  I’ve just gone through the tiresome process of migrating all you wonderful Conclave members over to a new service provider, and also upgrading the book delivery process.  What does that mean for you?  More security where your information is concerned, and top-notch customer support for the books that I send you.

Here’s the thing–the moving process is dirty, and it can leave a few people behind.  Information gets dropped between providers sometimes, and we all know the fickle nature of software.  Here’s how to make sure you end up on the list:

If you’re a current Conclave member, as in you subscribed before the date of this posting (September 26th, 2017) then you should be alright.  There’s an email incoming, just hang tight, click on the proper links in the email I send out to you, and you should be golden.  If you don’t receive an email by September 27th, 2017, then follow the instructions below.

NOTE:  The old list will be deleted (this is to protect your information) and if you don’t get an email, make sure you take action.  Otherwise, your email could be lost in the sauce.

If you subscribed either ON or AFTER September 26th, 2017, then here’s how to ensure that your subscription went through.

*First, head over to the Conclave Signup Page, re-enter your email, download your new copy of The Ballad of the Outrider, and all will be well.

Most importantly, if you feel you were unsubscribed from the Conclave by mistake, or through software demons, shoot me an email at authordwhawkins at laconic.press, let me know what happened, and I’ll add you manually.

Much love to you all, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Child of the Flames: Last Chance

Alright guys, the sale for Child of the Flames ends today, so if you haven’t downloaded your copy yet, go to it.  The world depends on you.  Pretty sure something awful will happen if you don’t.  Perhaps the beaches will be invaded by laser wielding alien frogmen…perhaps nothing.

Do you really want to find out?

BUY TODAY.  TELL YOUR FRIENDS.

Child of the Flames: ON SALE TODAY

Don’t forget, little monkeys, that Child of the Flames is on sale today though Friday for $0.99 (£0.99 in the UK).  Head over to Amazon and pick up your copy today, or share this with a friend so they can do it.  You wouldn’t keep this from a friend, would you?

How could you?

GET YOUR COPY NOW

US  |  UK

Ask Me Anything Tomorrow!

Hey all.  Just a quick note to let you all know–as I probably mentioned before–that I’ll be r/Fantasy’s Writer of the Day tomorrow over at Reddit.  You can come to the website, and submit a question to me about absolutely anything.  The books, the characters, the setting, the nature of the quantum vacuum…whatever you want.

If you don’t have a Reddit account, it’s easy.  No uploading pictures, no selecting preferences, just enter your email and you’re ready to post.  You’ll need an account to ask me a question, but Reddit is a pretty interesting place even without me, so you can thank me later.

Go HERE to register a Reddit account, if you don’t have one.

HERE is the site where I’ll be answering questions.  I’ll be sending out a link directly to the Q&A to all my social media, so just keep your eyes open for it.

I’ve carved out the day from 0800-1700 to talk with you guys, answer any questions, or just BS with one another.

So come down tomorrow and talk to me.

Spam Comments, Episode II: Revenge of the Cialis Superworms

Today I’ve got a pair of little gems at which you can all snicker.  Without too much introduction, let’s get right into it.  First up is a confused spammer who can’t decide whether he’s looking to buy some boner pills, or sell some boner pills.  Also, he seems confused on the appropriate place for this activity.

“cialis 20 mg can i buy tadalafil can i buy tadalafil

tadalafil over the counter

cialis online where to buy cialis cialis no prescription”

*edited to remove hyperlinks

I think what our friends needs is a little advertising consultation.  Let’s rewrite his ad and help him out.

“Tired of your member flopping around like a bag of water in a sock?

Never fear!  You can buy Cialis right here from shady overseas suppliers!  Is it really Cialis?  Is it powdered mouse bones in BPA capsules?  Who knows?!  Who cares?!  What you need right now is an erection so strong that it will make you pass out whenever you watch yoga videos on YouTube!

When the Romans sacked enemy cities, they didn’t bring a flaccid hose to bust down the gates.

NO!  THEY BROUGHT A BATTERING RAM!

And now you can, too.

So get your Cialis overseas today, because fuck you.

#YOLO”

I think that works a bit better.  Next, we’ve got something kind of weird.  Has anyone ever heard of “superworms”?  I hadn’t.  Apparently they’re the larval stage of some sort of beetle, and people feed them to their pets.  I got this random comment and was curious enough to watch the video.

“The best is How to Breed Superworms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLNH92q0YWg

The only thing I have to say about this is…how strange.  I was waiting for something wild to pop up, maybe some attack worm bred by the Russians during the cold war to burrow under enemy fortifications and come up from the inside, eating everything in sight and spitting acid vomit over its enemies.  Instead, just some weird dirt-worms people breed to feed to their pets.  It was the most disappointing risky link I’ve ever followed.
My question  is this–why spam this link?  I mean, spam doesn’t just appear from the shadows of the internet the way we all think it does.  People pay shady internet marketers to push their products, so was this from some superworm supplier that’s looking to break into the big-time by advertising on wordpress sites?  Was it superworm lovers who know that the best, and healthiest, option for their pets is a mouthful of crunchy beetle larva?  Maybe they eat the worms themselves.  Maybe it’s some conspiracy by the trans-dimensional Illuminati demons.
Fuckin’ Illuminati.
Time to make some Blue Apron.  Talk at you guys soon.
~D.W.

The Knife in the Dark: UK Sale

 

 

 

 

Amazon has selected The Knife in the Dark for their Kindle Monthly Deal in June in the UK store.  It will be discounted to £0.99 through the first of July.  Most of you probably have it already, but if not, it’s a good time to pull the trigger.  One could get the first two books–Child of the Flames and The Knife in the Dark–for £0.99 apiece.

If you’ve got friends who might be interested, feel free to do a man a solid and share this post with them.  Sales are always a good time to start reading something new.  It will be a good lead-up to the release of The City Under the Mountain at the end of the summer.

So go ahead.  Bring your friends to the Dark Side.

The Old Man of the Temple–Now in Paperback

Hey all.  Just a quick note to let you guys and gals know that The Old Man of the Temple is finally available in paperback.  If you’re interested, head on over to Amazon and pick up your copy today.

US  |  UK

ML&R

Proof-Filled Pudding

In the world of indie publishing, there is a metric ton of advice out there for authors on everything from crafting a professional manuscript to “gaming” the algorithms of Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and on into the sunset.  Much of it is good.  That’s the great thing about indie authors–they tend to offer a hand down to those climbing the proverbial ladder once they’ve seen a measure of their own success.  Check out the nonfiction section of Amazon and you’ll probably see a lot of titles about marketing ebooks, or how to leverage this site or that to push your titles to the next level.  It can be very confusing, especially considering that there are lots of people out there who offer the “tried and true system to push YOUR books to the next level!”

I’ve read a lot of it.  But me being me, I’ve never been able to keep a long list of tactical tricks in my brain for marketing purposes.  Keeping up with the changes in Amazon’s business models, or the way that Facebook pushes your author page to people, has never been my strong suit.  I’ve never been a PR wizard, or an SEO specialist.  I’ve never worked at any internet firms or anything like that.  I’ve been a mechanic, a musician, an artist, a soldier, a writer–but never anything PR-related.  I abhor social media on general principle, and don’t spend enough time on any website to get a deep understanding of the way they work.  Maybe I’m kind of a dinosaur.

I can barely manage my website.  Yes, it’s that bad.

When I first published back in 2011, I adopted every trick I could find.  I was new to the scene, and had no idea what I was doing.  I got easily bogged down in minutiae, and taken in by the advice of this writer, or that.  Some good, mostly bad.  My first book (with no comments on the horrible quality) did alright, but fell eventually into the mists of internet obscurity.

When I decided to revamp my writing career, I didn’t count on having any great amount of success.  I decided that instead of listening to the endless parade of advice from authors who were offering it, I would instead adopt a few simple principles, and take a page from the books of some of the great generals in history–Strategy is by far more important than tactics.  A tactic is a short-term thing designed to get you through the moment.  A strategy is a plan of action for the long haul, and I made mine simple.

Concentrate on writing good books, get good-looking covers, and worry about the bullshit later.

I thought about the way that I look for a new book when I want something to read.  I don’t listen to Facebook or Amazon, don’t click on ads, don’t participate in giveaways or contests (though I know some people do).  What I do is probably what most of you do–I ask my friends.  I read descriptions, I read reviews from other readers.  I figured that for my own work, the best thing to do would be to try and write a good book.  If it was good enough, people would want to read it and recommend it.  It’s true that this is a more slow-burn type of strategy than landing an ad somewhere, and it might not net me a million downloads in a few days, but the people who did discover it would probably enjoy it more than if it had been shoved in their face by a pop-up on some random website.

I decided that I didn’t need to be the next George R.R. Martin, I just needed to write something that a few people really enjoyed.  I wanted to be accessible as much as possible, and treat people like people instead of assets to push a product, or ticks on some line graph.  What I wanted was a small group of fans with whom I can talk, joke around, and have a good rapport.  I just don’t have it in me to be anything but generally irreverent, snarky, and completely unprofessional.  I’m just a guy with tattoos.  I could never be some untouchable, suit-draped elitist who looks down on others as a waste of his time.  It’s just not me, and never could be me.  When I think of authors doing book signing events, or live book readings, etc, what I would much rather do is just go out to a pub and have a beer with people.

I never counted on having much exposure, or a legion of fans.  I figured a few people would like what I was doing, but it was probably going to be a niche crowd from the get-go.  Since I changed my business model, so to speak, I’ve not purchased any ads, done any podcasts, promoted posts on Facebook, or joined Twitter hashtags.  The closest thing I’ve done is Fantasy Writer of the Day on Reddit, but that’s totally free on my part, a niche crowd in itself, and it’s an AMA-style interaction between me and subscribers to the subreddit rather than an ad campaign.  Which, by the way, I will be doing again on July 24th.  Look for me there on that day if you want to ask questions, or just hang out and bullshit with me.

Somehow, along the way, the books have picked up some steam on their own.  I say it’s down to you guys–the readers.  You’ve read, recommended, shared, or whatever it is that you’ve done, and slowly but surely something pretty awesome has happened.

When I logged in to check my numbers this morning, I saw this.  I was floored.  There’s a lot of jostling that happens in the Amazon bestseller rankings, and they change from one minute to the next.  One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that all three of my books have slowly clawed their way into the top ten.  For the last six months or so, Child of the Flames and The Knife in the Dark have stuck there consistently, and since The Old Man of the Temple‘s release, it’s been right there beside them, and featured in Amazon’s “Hot New Releases.”

So thanks.  Thanks to all of you who have shared, recommended, talked about them with your friends, or left me reviews.  Thanks to those of you who haven’t, but have purchased and read them all the same.  The past two years I’ve worked hard on them, especially this past year, and it’s wild to see them climbing to where they are now.  I can’t even describe the feeling, and it’s all down to you guys.  I should be studying for my finals next week right now, but I’m cracking a Guinness Nitro for all of you out there who are riding this train with me.  All I did was write them.  You guys did this, and I fucking love you for it.

Much Love and Respect to you all.

~D.W.

Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom

I see you guys out there.  You’re all awesome.  My gratitude is yours.

Guess I’d better get cracking on that next book.  Much love and respect to you all.

~D.W.