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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book 2 Cover Reveal!

I hope this is a feast for your eyes... I love this cover! There may be slight alterations before it goes to press, such as the title text, but I think this is just a fantastic cover. At my recent book signing I had a lot of fun telling people to look for my second book to come out July 15th. This book turned out so well, I can't wait for everyone to read it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Morning Star in Warwick, RI -Success!

Morning Star Christian Bookstore in Warwick, RI first signing event for the AMG Publishers edition of Swords of the Six! The store hasn't had success with book signing events... until today.
The store manager, Joe, was very friendly (in fact the employees were really great). I will be returning to this store in the Fall to a do a follow-up event and introduce readers to my second novel.
They had 25-copies of my book in stock and Kelley and I sold 17... a figure I was thrilled with as the first part of the day was fairly quiet. Andrew (my son) contributed with smiles for every customer (-:
Store manager Joe, myself, and Andrew

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Criticism We Learn From

A recent encounter with an unusually critical book reviewer brought on the longest thread of discussion on my facebook fan page, to date. A few people commented that I, as the author, should walk away having learned from the reviewer’s criticism.

That is an interesting discussion and a question authors should ponder: Whose criticism should we listen to? And from whose criticism can we learn?

The answer to that is twofold (in my opinion) and here is why:

  • · Listen to fans’ criticism
    Some of you might disagree with me on this point because often readers disagree with the professional critics. However, I write for my readers and I am growing a following, so it is for this audience that I write. If you know your audience and, more importantly, are creating your own following, the stories you write are the kind of stories they will read. Ultimately it is your readers who decide if your book sells or fails.
  • · Learn from Peers’ criticism
    This includes editors, and published authors whose work has sold successfully. A good editor knows how to judge a manuscript because he/she has seen what works in writing, and what does not. Published authors have a working knowledge of writing. They’ve jumped through the proper hoops and been judged, and now their work is on the market.

On another vein, is there any criticism that we can not learn from, or that we should take with a grain of salt?

  • · Unpublished writers
    I was sitting in a class under Steven James and he advised aspiring authors not to join a critique group, unless that critique group was led by a published author. He also advised people to avoid taking college fiction writing courses, unless the course was taught by a published author. That was some of the best advice I ever heard given. How can you learn from someone who has not passed under the publishing industry’s scope? That would be like a guitarist learning from John Smith. “If you want to perform in Nashville you need to do this, this, and this…” when in fact John Smith has never made it to Nashville. If, on the other hand, you take advice from Johnny Cash (yes, I know he is dead, but I like his music so he’s my example) you will be on track to learn from his success.
  • · Blog book reviewers
    There are so many book reviewers out there today, most of them on blogs. Some are professional, some are amateurs. Don’t misunderstand me, I have found many good blog reviewers who have never been published. But these are not industry professionals and, as such, we should not take their harsh criticism to heart.

The most valued criticism comes from those who place great importance on reviewing in a charitable manner. If it is a Christian reviewer, I expect them to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit. If they don’t like a book they should say so with honesty, but it should be in a spirit of encouragement and not a tearing down of that author’s style and craft.

I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks on my thoughts!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jill Williamson reviews "Swords of the Six"

Here is a new review of my first novel posted by Jill Williamson, Christy Award-Winning author of By Darkness Hid. I really enjoyed this particular review because Jill was honest and didn't spoil any of the plot.
Anyway, check it out everyone: Novel Teen Swords of the Six review
Thanks to Jill for the review!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The adventures begin!

Swords of the Six is finally available from AMG Publishers! I received my author copies last week and I've already begun selling copies. From this point on I need to focus again on my writing and promoting my books. I am well situated to live inexpensively while still holding a decent hourly job, and writing and selling my books. My third novel in The Sword of the Dragon series is coming along now. I passed 85,000-words and I'm aiming for it to be a bit longer than my second Sword of the Dragon novel (which is coming out July 15th).

I'm looking into writers' conferences and am strongly leaning toward attending the ACFW conference in St. Louis this year. My objective would be to connect with other authors, primarily, and meet some of the editors that interest me.

I went door-to-door in a local neighborhood and handed out a letter to folks, informing them of my book and asking them to check it out on Amazon and at stores. Out of 30 homes, I sold one book immediately and several more said they will check it out online. I think the trip was worth it (about and hour-and-a-half). I'm planning to do it again but this time visit a couple hundred houses.

Good night everyone! Let the adventures begin!


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.