Tuesday, October 22, 2019

I have some announcements

Just some quick announcements while I'm jotting them down on my notepad while listening to "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner.

First up, and I'm being so serious about this one right now that I've put on my serious face. Okay, here we go, you will want to sign-up for my newsletter. I have a surprise for my newsletter subscribers in November, and it comes in the form of a snippet from Fate Unseen, the next Last Pureblood book. I know some of you have been waiting anxiously for this book, so I'm throwing out a morsel while I continue to gut this story and transform it into something that isn't total shit.

Oh, this also reminds me that the first Last Pureblood book, Avery Lawson: The Last Pureblood, is on sale where ever it's available. This sale will only last until the end of the month, so go get it while it's still cheap.

Next up, is this month's giveaway. It's close to being the end of the month, and if you haven't checked out this free ebook giveaway, which include Reappearance of Summer, then you are missing out. It's features some great lesfic novels written by some awesome indie authors. Go peruse the offerings, and discover a new writer and book

In November there won't be a giveaway because I'm just not feeling any of them at the moment to join, but there will be a sale. To celebrate the first book birthday for Reappearance of Summer, it will be on sale the all month.

I just want to say huge thank you and give a big digital hug to those that have reviewed Murderous Profession. I know it isn't my usual type of writing, and a bit of a gamble, but I'm glad it's being received with open minds and genuine interest. Thank you all for the reviews and enjoying it. It's one of my favorites, and I can't wait to get back to Dax and Eliza, which will probably be sooner than we all realize.

I feel like I had something else I wanted to announce, but I'm not sure what it was. I'm trying to type this out quickly so I can get back to work on Fate Unseen. Such an evil ass story, not literally, but it's the bane of my existence at the moment. Doesn't help that I'm dreaming of other stories. I had a dream last night about a story I'm developing. It was....bizarre to say the least.

All right, I'm going. Remember to go look at the giveaway, grab Avery Lawson: The Last Pureblood while it's on sale, and sign-up for the newsletter; and you have to do it all in that order.

As usual, don't forget to leave a review for the books you read, especially for indie authors like myself.

-DJ Small

Friday, October 4, 2019

Happy Spooky Month 👻🎃

I failed in getting that last September blog post up. I had it drafted and everything, but I never got to posting it. Full stop, I've been in a meh mood lately. I'm not sure if it's because of the weather change or if I'm doing too much, but I think I am getting out of it, and I am making progress.

Before I get into everything, a couple of announcements. First, because it's spooky month, Avery Lawson: The Last Pureblood on the sale the entire month. I know it's not really a scary book, but the themes of it go quite well with the month. Witches, vamps, werewolves....they own October. Go grab a copy if you haven't yet.

Next order of business, I have enlisted Reappearance of Summer in a lesfic/wlw fiction giveaway. I think it is among some great company, and you should check out the other authors' books. Go get yourself a free book. This won't be the last time I mention it.

Okay, I have been editing book 2 of the Last Pureblood series, also known as Fate Unseen, and I am hitting that midway point. Now that I have my motivation back, I'm hoping that I can burn through it, but I have a trip in two weeks, and that might slow me down a bit, but I'm going to do my damnedest to burn through as much of it as I can.

I've been giving editing updates on Twitter. Last night, I tweeted out a line that gave me some feels, and I'm still feeling some kind of way about it, but I think tonight's editing session is going to cause some more excited tweets from me.

For the last couple of months, I have been wanting to write a dark and twisty story, full of irredeemable characters because I miss it. There's something about creating a fucked up situation and throwing equally fucked up characters into it that just takes me to my happy place. It's my own personal drug. Don't get me wrong everything else I write is great and fun, but there is something about a messed up story that really gets my imagination going. Anywho, I have come up with an idea, and I'm still fleshing it out a bit, but if I can get some solid traction on it, it may be a 2021 release. We'll see.

All right, just wanted to give a brief update on the haps and let you know how you can get two of my books for cheap or free.

As always don't forget to review, and enjoy your spooky month!

- DJ Small

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Plight of The Last Four Months of The Year

Is it just me, or does the last four months of the year seem to fly by? We are halfway through September, and this is my first blog post for the month. August ended so fast, I didn't get to post a second one, but I am on it this month. Maybe. I think.

Anyways, despite my inability to grasp the concept of time, I have been busy editing Fate Unseen, the second book in the Last Pureblood series. I want to lock myself in a room until I have it done, but life and work have other plans for me. However, I'm going to focus a lot of my time on getting it done. It is shaping up to be an interesting read.

When the second book starts, there really is no breather from the last one, so if you don't remember what happened in the last one then you'll need to re-read it because I don't do any recapping in the second book. I'm too busy trying to move the story forward lol.

Expect teaser chapters for Fate Unseen in November, and hopefully by the time I start posting those, I will have a release date. Just a friendly reminder, December is no longer the targeted release month. I'm aiming for January, maybe February depending on my edits.

I've officially dubbed 2020 the year of the serials, and all of mine will be available on my Patreon. Doing these will give me a breather from writing novels, and I can put a most of my focus into writing book 3 of the Lost Pureblood series. Also, the serials are supposed to be fun little escapes for me and my readers. They don't require too much thought and energy, and it's just an easy way for me to dabble in something different.

While I'm here, if you haven't seen my Twitter feed yet, there is a LGBT+ Romance Book giveaway going on. I looked through the ones that caught my fancy, and I've claimed them. Yes, Pool of Lies is a part of this book giveaway, but this is also about indie writer camaraderie and I want to support my fellow writers. So go take a look. All you have to do is sign-up for the writer's newsletter and you got yourself a new book. Painless.

Another fun fact, if you sign up for my newsletter through my website or through a random link like this one, you get a free book. However, if you sign up for my newsletter through the above mentioned giveaway, not only do you get Pool of Lies, but I'll also send you another free book of your choosing. I highly recommend signing up that way. Quick disclaimer, Murderous Profession isn't available as a free book, but I've got some plans for it during the Winter months.

Wow, for a blog post that I honestly didn't expect to go anywhere, this definitely got a little long. I guess I will go back to my editing. Before I skedaddle, a shout out to those who have read Murderous Profession, don't forget to review it when you have a chance. Also please review the other books that you have read in support of your favorite indie or mainstream author.

I'm off my soapbox now.

Until next time....

-DJ Small

Sunday, August 25, 2019

August is almost over...whoops.

The month has completely passed me by and I feel like September will do the same. Oh, boy. Thought I'd make a quick blog post before the month finishes out.

Tomorrow, August 26th, Murderous Profession will be out on Kindle and Smashwords! I'm still working on the paperback formatting, but that should be out in a week or two. Between life and work, time just got away from me. Lame excuse, but it's surprising how busy I was in August. But anywhoo, grab yourself a copy of the book and tell me what you think about it. I found it to be a quick read and entertaining, as did my editor. Of all the characters, I have a fondness for Dax and Billy. I had a fun time writing them.

I know some of you are waiting with bated breath for the next Avery Lawson book, and I am actively editing it as we speak, however, I'm taking the tortoise route with it--slowly but surely. I don't want to miss something that should have been mentioned in this one, or I mention something that shouldn't be in this book and is actually meant for the next one. Writing this story is funny because I'm working off of the original manuscript I had finished in 2015, but I'm basically re-writing the story and making it more involved as well as making sure it makes some kind of sense. I know we're working with supernatural creatures and magic and all, but I feel like there needs to be some logic to it.

With all this being said, I don't think I'm going to make the December deadline, but I'm confident in believing that the story should be set for a January release. Everything else has been taken care of. I made the cover a couple of months ago, finally figured out a title, and wrote up a blurb. All that's missing is the inside stuff.

As I'm editing the second book, I will be making my outline for the next book in the series with the hope that it will result in the third book coming out in the fall or winter of 2020. We shall see. I'm sort of getting to a place where I can balance multiple projects and put out two books a year. I failed this year because Murderous Profession was an unplanned project that came to me suddenly and took root, and I couldn't let it go.

I'm sure you all have this question floating around in your heads, which is: How long is the Pureblood series? Six or seven books, depending on where the story takes me. Material from the original manuscript is the blueprint for these first three books. After that, I have to look at my notes, but I can come up with fresh material for the series since I won't be working off of that source material anymore. The rest of the series will probably go pretty quick because this isn't supposed to be long and drawn out story. When I was young and foolish, and by young I mean like four or five years ago, I thought I could have the story told in three books, but the world of publishing works differently than the world of fanfiction.

This is where my head is at on the Last Pureblood series. I hope to have to some teaser chapters up on my Patreon in October.

Speaking of my Patreon, Fate Unseen, also known as the 3rd Avery Lawson book, will be the first book where I will start releasing four teaser chapters, but that 4th teaser will only be accessible by subscribers. Non-subscribers will have unlimited access to the first three like always. You can subscribe as much as a dollar on my Patreon.

This brings me to my next point, granted I'm busy with Fate Unseen, but I will be rolling out my first serial The Adventures of Swift in January on my Patreon. The first episode will be accessible by non-subscribers, and the ones after that will be accessible by subscribers. I'm counting this as my second project for 2020 since I plan to focus on book 3 of the Pureblood series.

The Adventures of Swift is a superhero serial with some fantasy elements. It follows Isabella Delgado, who is the vigilante known as Swift who protects the city of Whitevale from crime. When a jewel thief comes to the city, with some high-powered gadgets, Swift's life gets more interesting, and so does Isabella's, but her interesting comes in the form of the stunningly attractive Ainsley Breckenridge. How Isabella will balance Whitevale's newest villain and a new love interest who happens to be her boss's boss's ex-wife will be something you will have to find out in January. I highly recommend subscribing.

This blog post actually got away from me, and I'm glad it did. I hope we're all stoked for everything I have planned because I know I am. Either way I hope everyone enjoys getting back into the swing of things, may it be going back to school or getting the kids ready to go back. Don't forget to take some time out for a good book, and don't forget to leave a review for it.

Until next time....

-DJ Small

Monday, July 29, 2019

End of July Post

August is, literally, days away. Isn't that crazy? Hopefully everyone had a good Julyate some good food, went on vacation, and enjoyed the AC.

With July ending it means the official countdown for the release of Murderous Profession begins. Pre-orders went on sale on the 7/24 at Amazon. The book is set to be released on the 8/26, so go pre-order your copy and you can have the book delivered to your device at the stroke of midnight. I'm going to redo my pinned tweet because I think it fell a little short. It's a learning process this self-promotion thing. Barring any major complications, like network failure and my computer shitting the bed, the book is set to be released on time. Which is a major thing for me since I have an issue with keeping realistic deadlines.

Paperback copies of the book will probably come a week or two later. It depends on some formatting and printing issues. I always strive to get the best version of the book out to everyone, so I'm not going to put out something I wouldn't buy myself.

I have started working on the first "Muderous Interlude." I think the interludes are going to consist of five little stories between each book, and as of right now, I have five books planned. The interludes are going to run the same as my serials. They won't be longer than 10k, but they'll connect with the books and other episodes. These aren't going to be big plot driven stories. They're just meant to delve further into the characters and learn more about them. If any real drama happens it's only to progress things with them. I'm excited for this because I have a few ideas that I'm really anxious to write because they're different.

Speaking of my serials, that will be a 2020 project. and I'm hoping to have the first two episodes up on my Patreon in January. New episodes will be released every two weeks. Each season will have about 10 or 11 episodes. The Adventures of Swift will be the first series I'll be putting up, but I will have another serial up by the end of the year. I'm toying around with a serialized prequel for Reappearance of Summer, but we'll see.

This now brings me to my next point. I have a deviated from what I was originally going to do. The "Murderous Interludes" and my serials were supposed to be posted on my Ko-Fi, but I didn't like the way their text editor worked, so I have re-signed up for Patreon and everything will be on there. Currently there are no tiers, but I'm thinking about creating two of them. I'm also going to start posting my teaser chapters there to get some traffic and I'm going to drop Wattpad so everything is one convenient location. All teaser chapters will be free on my Patreon, so there are no worries there.

Yes, there are a lot of changes afoot, but honestly it's just me minimizing the number of things I have to think about.

I have some good news, and it's for all you Avery Lawson fans.

A few days ago, I finished draft one of the second book. Whoop-whoop!! I'm currently taking a break from it, so when I start editing it, it will basically be new to me. I'm not sure how long the editing process will be. I want to make sure everything from the 1st book carries over gets resolved while also making sure the story is consistent. I'm certain I screwed up on a few things while writing it, but such is life. I'll get it all ironed out before it comes out. My fingers are still crossed for the December release.

 Okay, so check out my Patreon, pre-order Murderous Profession, and sign up for the newsletter. The first one came out in July and though brief I think we're off to a good start. August's edition will be a crapshoot. I haven't compiled my thoughts on it yet, but I've got some time. I think.

I am done here, and please be a dear and review those books you read from indie and self-pubbed authors like myself. May seem like it does nothing, but it actually does a lot. All right get out of here you wacky kids, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

-DJ Small

Monday, July 15, 2019

It is time.

Who is excited? This guy, and hopefully the rest of you are as well.

After several months of writing and editing, Murderous Profession has a release date. Insert drum roll gif...

Image result for drumroll gif; soure: giphy.com

August 26th is the release date for Murderous Profession. Pre-sales for eBooks will being 7/22 on Smashwords and Amazon. Super excited for this book to come out. Now that we know when it will be coming out, I'll also let you know that there will be a series of standalone stories that to accompany the series on my Ko-Fi.

The standalone stories, which I have been calling "Murderous Interludes," will be—for the most part—light and they'll tackle the in-between moments between books because my main characters are complex people, and I feel like there is much more delve into, but it's too much to put into a single book, hence, the standalone stories.

The first story will be free and the subsequent ones will be available to those that buy me gummy bears. Yes, on my Ko-Fi I have customized it to where you are buying me gummy bears because I don't drink coffee, however, I digress. Monthly contributors will have the option to download each chapter individually. I do have a plan to compile the standalone stories, but I need to see how many I come up with before I do. At the moment I just have two.

Okay, so new book is on the way, and pre-orders start on the 22nd. You can still reserve a signed copy if you are a US based reader on my website up until the book is released.

Obligatory mention of the second Last Pureblood book.

Okay, that's it.

I kid, I kid. I have a title for it! I just need to remember what I titled it because I forgot. Oh!I remember! The title of the second Last Pureblood book is Fate Unseen. I'm in the midst of finishing the first draft because it keeps getting longer for some weird ass reason, but I should have it done by the end of the month.

I'm not sure where that puts us for release wise. I'm still shooting for a December release, but we have to see what happens because it has gotten a bit long in the tooth. Can I use that here? I'm going to.

Okay, so that has been today's blog post. Remember, be a pal and review an indie author's book. Oh, and if you haven't signed up for newsletter, you can do so here. All right, now I'm done.

Until next time....

-DJ Small

Friday, June 28, 2019

Differrent Kind Of Blog Post

Here is June's second blog post of the month. Yes! I did it!

This blog post, however, is going to be a little different because I updated you all a week ago on my writer and book things, and nothing has change there. I'll plug the usual bits at the end, but the meat of this post is something else.

Today, I'm going to talk about the critiquing of fictional work that portrays marginalized communities that is written by a person from a marginalized community. This falls in the #ownvoices category of things if you follow the literary world of Twitter. The idea to write about this was sparked by a tweet I failed to capture, but it provoked an excellent question and I wanted to pose it to my readers as well as anyone else that happens to stumble upon my blog.

I think I'll start this off with my own personal example, and go from there. In 2016, I entered a screenplay I had written into a diversity competition for screenwriters. I knew it was probably crap, but I wanted to do it to get a feel for the process and see if my script could pass muster in regards to formatting, "white space", and being engaging enough. The story itself wasn't anything too deep. It's about a guy who has been in love with his best friend since college, and when this other guy comes into the picture, he becomes an unwilling matchmaker, but it's his own damn fault. It's supposed to be more rom-com than drama. See? Nothing deep.

Now the caveat. My main character is a transguy. The inspiration came from something I didn't go through personally, but a scenario imagined in my head, so the story--to me--could only be about a transguy and his cis-female friend who he is in love with.

When I entered this pile of mush into this competition, I had low expectations and believed it would be cut in the first round. However, it didn't, and the script made it to round two. Kudos to me. The feedback I received from the judge that had read it were some great one. They pointed out areas that needed work, and I actually still look back on those so I don't repeat the same mistakes twice. But in their analysis of the my main character, Jack, they pointed out that him being trans doesn't add more to the story line, and he would be another cis guy in this same situation, which is exactly the point.

Here is the full analysis of Jack for any interested parties

My point in writing this story was to take something that we've seen a thousand times, but gear it to a different audience. This story was never about Jack being trans, he just so happens to be trans and in this situation. Yet, the judge wanted more angst and drama that was rooted in Jack's transness. It could be my fault for not providing enough drama in the story as a writer, but for this post, this situation highlights what I'm getting at

End anecdote.

This brings me back to the topic at hand. When an individual writes a story where the main characters are marginalized in someway, and it isn't used as a source of angst or drama, it doesn't mean the writer has failed in telling a story. It has given depth and breadth to a group of people who are probably starving for something more than the angst driven stories that only end in tragedy or they are some poor imitation of a stereotypes before the character vanishes into obscurity.

And when these types of stories get written by those that come from marginalized communities then it is even better because it's validation, and not as just a writer, but as a person too. I mean, when a black woman writes a SciFi story where the main character is also black woman that becomes the ruler of Earth and saves it from total destruction it's satisfying. But when that story is read by others and accepted as is, then I'm sure pure elation happens. This is a good thing.

Yet, when someone comes out of the woodwork and says they want to see more of the "black woman's struggle" in the story, first, it makes you take pause. What exactly is the "black woman's struggle?" Secondly, why can't this story be about a carefree black woman who has an inner badass? Why does she need to go through some hardship to make the story believable?

In my case why, does Jack's transness need to be a point of drama? Jack is an average guy living his life, but has been secretly pining for his best friend for who knows how long. Why do I need to include a scene of his love interest rejecting him, and then changing her mind because she accepts him as is? I'm spitballing here, but you know what I mean.

Life is hard enough and we use TV, books, and movies as an escape. It's nice when these forms of media not only represent the varying nuances of  life and the world at large, but it's even more enjoyable when the angst and drama isn't borne from marginalized aspect of a character.

In short,what I want to do is challenge people's thinking. If you're reading a manuscript or critiquing a script and find yourself needing drama or angst that is rooted in a character's difference, ask yourself why you want this character to suffer for being different.

That's today's blog post. I'll throw in a couple plugs here

If you haven't already, sign up for the newsletter which re-starts on July 14th. Also, if you sign-up for before the 14th's issue is released, you'll  get a coupon code that will give you 50% off Murderous Profession when it comes out. I actually just got that back from my editor, so I'll be able to give a release date sometime in July.

Oh, here's another tidbit. When you sign-up for the newsletter you get a free book of your choosing, so why not do it for the free book and unsubscribe? Yeah, I just said that.

Almost forgot, July 1st-7th all my books are free on Smashwords as a part of their Summer sale.

All right, I look forward to your thoughts and comments on the post. This isn't a new thing, but sometimes, I have thoughts and need to get them out. Whether anyone reads them or not is subjective.

As always, if you've read a book by an indie or self-published author, take a second to review their work. Help get them some exposure.

Until next time...

-DJ Small