Tuesday, November 16, 2021

*Hacks Through The Door With An Axe* HERE'S JOHNNY!

It has been three months since my last blog post, which is fine by me, but I'm sure you all are patiently waiting for something from me. Possibly an update to one of my unfinished fanfics or maybe even a book. Luckily, I have been doing things, but y'all won't be seeing any of these things until 2022. However, with me doing things it means I'll have a backlog of already written things. They just need to be edited, which is a whole different animal on its own.

One of the things I've completed is updating my website. The updated version isn't going to be live until the beginning of next year. I want to make sure I've covered myself on all fronts. The updated site is going to have a store and checkout will go be processed through e-junkie. I originally was going to have transactions go through Gumroad, but they changed their pricing with their plans and it wasn't worth it for me. I also thought about Ko-Fi, but their store is crap. It's a cluttered hot mess, and I don't know if you all are anything like me, but I hate clutter. You can have multiple items up but you can't group them or anything, so I said nope. Another factor was cutting out the middle man. While Ko-Fi doesn't take a percent at some point it'll change. Always does when a company grows. In the shop, there will be a shopping cart option, and I've added a donation link for those who want to throw a penny or two my way. Donations are processed through PayPal until they piss me off. I'm planning a special newsletter for monthly supporters once I get my ducks in a row. I had a list some where, nut I'm sure I'll never find it so I'm going back to the drawing board.

Y'all wanna talk WIPs? All righty, here we go. I've finished the first story of my novella series this past weekend. I'm going to send it off to a good friend of mine who is going to read it and tell me what crap it is and what's missing. Thanks, Anna. While that is happening I'm going to get serious about editing Adventures of Swift. I'm going to start with the first six episodes then send those off to my editor--who probably thinks I'm dead--then finish the last six episodes. It'll be a trade off until I'm happy with it.

For this next subject, I'm going to be as contrite as possible, but let us remember: writing is a process. 

Fate Unseen, also known as the second book in The Last Pureblood series. I've talked about it and talked about it and fcking talked about it! At some point you would think I'd have nothing else to say about the damn story, but guess what? I'm going to talk about it just a little bit more. Fate Unseen has been postponed until 2023. Why? Because I need to get back into a groove. There is a cyclic rhythm to writing and putting books and stories. I have to find my rhythm again then I'm just going to throw it into the rotation and see what happens with it. Pandemic and life changes have thrown me all off, but I'm going to get it edited and out to you all as soon as the constellations align and Pluto is once again a planet. Like I said, it's a process.

It's funny because it's true 😂 | Writing humor, Writing ... 

Lastly on my WIP train is book two in the Detective Miller series. I'm still plotting it out, but we'll see what happens. I've got to do rewrites because boy did I fudge up a big chunk of it, but I'm not too worried about it. It might become a late 2022 release. We'll see what the Fates have planned for me.

So, there you have it. Got a new website coming and I'm going to be putting out new work in 2022. I've been doing a lot, but there is a timeline for it all. Any way, I hope you all enjoy the rest of the year because I know I will. I'm not going to post anything in December, with that being said, I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season and I'll catch y'all in 2022.

Until next time...

DJ Small

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Struggle Bus

 I know we've all heard about pandemic "burnout" and all that jazz, but is pandemic inadequacy a thing? When it comes to my writing, I have felt so inadequate about it since the start of the pandemic. Like I've been trying to edit the second Avery Lawson book for the last year and some change, and I've barely made a dent in it. I've been working on it in starts and fits, and when I am able to get into it, I get maybe three or four pages done. This is why I'm getting bummed out because I know I'm able to write, edit, and publish a book in a decent amount of time. I mean in 2018, I put out two books, one of which was outlined, written, edited, and published with quick turnaround. So quick, I fcking impressed myself, but I'm seriously having a hard time putting the pedal to the metal on this second Avery Lawson book.

This feeling of inadequacy is wreaking havoc on my confidence as a writer, and I've been questioning if I even want to continue with being a writer. Most of the time, I come to the conclusion that I'm going to write regardless if I "quit" or not. It's just in my nature to always be writing something. It's an ingrained habit I can't seem to just let go of. So, since I've decided I'm not going to quit, I've been trying to work on some other projects like outlining the next Detective Miller book or even some of my unfinished fanfiction, but even working on any of those seems like a chore than an exciting escape I can get lost in. So I'm sort of floating in this mindless abyss where I'm highly aware of what I should be doing writing wise, but unable to focus or do anything with it.

At this point, I'm just trying to find something that will not only enthrall me but also excite me enough to where I want to share it with the masses. The Adventures of Swift actually gives me that feeling, but I also need to edit it. Perhaps I'll work on that, see if it gets my writing engines going again, then I'll jump back into Avery Lawson. Who knows lol. I'm just hoping for a miracle or something. 

Anyway just wanted to type out a quick blog post to let everyone know I am alive and kicking, but on this struggle bus. We'll see what the rest of the year brings since I'll be heading back to the office at some point between September and December. 

Everyone stay safe, and remember to rate and/or review the books you read/listen to. Especially those by indie and self-pubbed authors.

Until next time....

-DJ Small

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Oh, dear. It's the end of May....YIKES!

Greetings from the depths of where ever the hell I've been residing. I thought I would fire off a quick May post since I am working on the blog anyway. As you all can tell, I've changed the background on it and fixed some minor cosmetic things that have bugged me since I did the clusterfck I caused in what I want to say February, so that's one less thing that annoys me. But there are more things I want to do with it, and I shall since I'm learning code to beef-up my resume and legitimize my coding knowledge.

All right, I am done talking nerdy to you. Website is still undergoing its transformation which is due to me loading everything to Gumroad and Smashwords. Once I have those books uploaded, the book page will go live and I will be ending my newsletter. Updates, news, and all that jazz will be distributed through my Gumroad page, blog, and website. You can sign up here to get updates from my Gumroad page. With Gumroad I have the option of making posts as well as sending out emails to followers when I do post, so it'll be like killing two birds with one stone. For those who are currently on the subscriber list for my newsletter, you will have to sign up for the Gumroad newsletter if you want to keep receiving updates. I'll send one final newsletter before shutting it down.

At some point, I will be starting a subscription service through Gumroad once all this is said and done. It's going to come in the form of a library, where those who sign up for it will have unlimited access to it. I'm still in the pre-planning phase of that, but that's where I'm headed next once the website is updated and everything is live on Gumroad.

I am editing the hell out of Fate Unseen. That's actually what I'm hopping back into once this post is finished. I'm getting closer to the first exciting incident, so I'm anxious to get there. Still a long book, but well worth it. I'm hoping once I get to the middle of it, I can start carving out some non-essential parts. As one of my beta readers pointed out, I'll cut out some of the banter, but none of the spiciness. Looking forward to getting down this first hill of the editing roller coaster because it has been a long time coming.

Still outlining the next Detective Miller book, but I think once I have finished editing Fate Unseen, I'm going to jump back into Adventures of Swift and get that edited. Looks like a year of editing for me. Fcking yikes! But I've been sitting on some of these project for quite some time as some of you know. My B.

I hope we're all enjoying the gradual descent into a post-covid life. While I am vaccinated, I'm still wearing my mask and staying as far as possible from people, but I'm going to make the most of this hot vaxxed summer. Isn't that what the kids are calling it?

Anyway, hope everyone enjoys the rest of May. Don't forget to sign up for the Gumroad newsletter and remember to review the indie and self-pubbed books you read. 

Until next time...

DJ Small

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Things Are....Going. Yep. They're going.

I started typing this up while I was logged into work since I was left to my own devices, and thought it was a good time to blog. Priorities am I right? I know it has been awhile, but with Spring being sprung, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. I fcked up the blog. Fricking blogger changed their customizing page and everything looks horrible, especially with all that Arial font. Psh. Moving on....

Other than that, I would like to say in my absence I have actually been productive. I slowly getting a hang of my chord changes (anchor fingers are key), but more importantly, I have been chipping away at Fate Unseen bit by bit, and I've been outlining the second--and angsty as all get out--Detective Miller book. Can I pause for a moment to talk about this second Detective Miller book for a second? Of course I can. It's my blog. All right, so when I first started this series, I planned for it to be a rom-com that was sort of inspired by JD Robb's (Nora Roberts) In Death series. Something I could work on that would give me a break from the Last Pureblood series, but effin' A y'all. Because I am me, this second book has taken a nose dive right into angst town and it's unintentional but at the same time intentional.

I had to give Eliza and Dax some drama, and man did I bring it. I'm hoping by the time I get to actually writing this part of the story, I'll have figured out a way to make it a little more lighthearted, but it doesn't look like it. Eliza's past isn't the stuff rom-coms are made of, and neither is Dax's, so the best I can do is make sure it doesn't drag on too long. But goodness gracious. Sometimes, when I get an idea in my head, how I execute is so far on the other end of what I was going for that it aggravates me.

Anyways, back to where I was going. I've been putting in some work even though I've been radio silent. I try to post often on Twitter, but I know some of y'all are wondering where I'm at with projects and what my plans are for 2021 since they're always in a state of flux. Fate Unseen, like I said, I'm slowly chipping away at it and I've gotten past a pivotal conversation that happens in chapter 3. Can't say much about the length of it. It's still going to be a long book. I also could be wrong, but we're going to have to wait and see.

I've also been creating PDF, Mobi, and ePub files for the books I don't have these files for. This is part of my effort to use Smashwords and Gumroad as my primary distribution sites. Everything is still going to be on Amazon, but I think I'm going to have delayed releases for my future relases. I'm still trying to figure out how that's all going to flow.

While I've been creating these files, some minor updates happen because if I see something that irks me, I'm going to correct it. Once all those files are created, I'll update them across all platforms, so you might have an update coming to your current copy.

As soon as everything is said and done, the website will be back in action then I can restart my giveaways. For those who have participated in my prior giveaways, they were done through BookFunnel, which I might still use, but I'm thinking about stepping away from them and doing giveaways strictly through my Gumroad page. With BookFunnel it gives me a wider audience to draw in, but I feel some way about it. I'm still ruminating on it, so nothing is set in stone, but I do have to consider my newsletter, which we all know I struggle to put out. If I do come to the decision to end my newsletter, I'll make the strong suggestion for those who do receive it to sign up for updates through my Gumroad page. There's definitely a lot of thinking going on the author-y side of things, but it's nothing I can't handle.

Other than that, I'm just going to continue to eat away at Fate Unseen and we'll see what I can pull off.

In my opinion, I think this was a solid update. If you want to get a jump on everything, hop on over to my Gumroad page and sign up so you can receive updates. You don't have to buy anything to follow me. Now I just need to remember to make posts over there, but that for another day.

As always support your indie and self-pubbed authors by leaving a review, and everyone have a good.

- DJ Small

Monday, February 1, 2021

I Know. It's February.

January came and went. It was pretty wild. The Capitol was bumrushed by terrorist. We got a new president that doesn't look like a bottle of Sunkist gone wrong, and some other things happened, but I cannot recall them. We had some losses too. Larry King, who I didn't know voiced the bar wench in Shrek (thanks for that Tumblr). Cloris Leachman who was always a delight onscreen, and lastly, but certainly not least, the iconic Cicely Tyson. Her most memorable role for me, at least recently, is when she was on How To Get Away With Murder, but that woman was an icon who had bigger and more memorable roles than that.

I know I've been MIA for the last couple of months. I just didn't have it in me to do anything author related. Blogging, the newsletter, writing, editing....none of it appealed to me. Blame it on the holidays, or what, but I just wasn't feeling it, so my holiday break turned into something much longer. However, I did move into my own place at the end of December/beginning of January, so that took up a lot of my time and energy. Seriously the only things I had the drive for was Grey's Anatomy and Sims 4.

With me getting back on the high horse, I've done some author-like things. Website is down because I changed hosting services, but I should have it back up soon-ish. Depends on how much tweaking I need to do to the code. Newsletter is still once a month, but it's going to be used more for announcements and giveaways. My blog and website are going to be the main places to get information this year. It saves me from having to split my focus on a newsletter that usually doesn't have anything in it.

This now brings me to book distribution. Oh, how I would love to not be on Amazon, but it's the larger retailer so it's a necessary evil. I'm going to be doing more sales, giveaways, and name your own price events on my Smashwords and Gumroad pages. Sometimes they'll run concurrently, sometimes one will have something and the other won't. Either way, I would like them to be my primary distribution pages. Might have to come up with something bigger to gain some interest. These events probably won't start until March. I've still got to upload the electronic versions of my books on Gumroad.

I'm guessing it is time to address the elephant in them room...new releases. This year, is going to be the year of Fate Unseen, the second book in the Last Pureblood series. I've started editing again, right from the beginning, and I've decided it's going to be long book. There is no way I can cut out some of the details. If I can tweak something or remove it and put in a later book, then I will, but as for right now, we're looking at a long book. I hope you all enjoy that.

Once that is off my plate, I'm going to be focusing on The Adventures of Swift, which I started editing in December before I fell into a listless state. I know in prior posts I was saying it would be out the first quarter of this year, but since I've flipped my schedule around and decided to bring Fate Unseen to the first half of this year, Swift will be moving to the second half of the year for projected release.

Outside of that, let's just hope I continue on with this train of motivation and get something published this year.

I hope everyone had a safe and healthy start to the new year, and let's cross our fingers and hope we all get some semblance of a social life back this summer.

Remember to review the books you read. Until next time...

-DJ Small

Friday, November 6, 2020

Let's Get Ready To Rumble.....

Hopefully by the time I have posted this the US will have figured out who their president is. I'm sure the number of people that voted for the Orange Stain™ will get swept under the rug and people will proclaim this country has risen like a phoenix from the ash, but minorities like myself will realize that it will be nothing but a crock of shit. I've become bitter about this country, and I would apologize, but why?

All right onto why I'm here—announcements all around! I finished The Adventures of Swift this week. Like actually finished writing it, and not that kind of finish where you still have like two more pages to write, but you say you're done because it's just two pages. No one else does this? Just me? Of course. It came out to 48k words, and hopefully by the time editing is done, it'll be at the 50-55k mark. Each episode doesn't go more than 10k words, and you would think that would cheat the story, but not really. I actually have a little wiggle room in some episodes to give the story some more depth.

I'm going to start editing The Adventures of Swift this weekend, and I think we're still on track for having episodes one and two released during the first quarter of 2021. I've made the decision to make this a Gumroad exclusive. It makes no sense to have people sign up for a subscription for something that honestly doesn't have a schedule. Well it does but it's a real loose one. Like a floozy. I ❤ floozies. In fact, I think all my serials are going to be Gumroad exclusives and I'm going to shut down my Patreon. Again, it just makes no sense for me to have one. I'm going to sit down and explore Gumroad a bit more before coming to a final decision which I should have by the end of next month. I've got other things to focus on.

I inadvertently started writing the second Detective Miller book. I finished reviewing the first one for paperback and it sort of just happened. Murderous Profession got some good traction while it was in the Kindle Unlimited program, and free book day was a hit. For those who are anxious to know, book two starts off three months after book one ends, so Dax and Eliza have been seeing each other for like four and a half months. Dax is preparing to open his own sex firm and Eliza is still trying to make waves in the NYPD. Of course a murder happens, and it's going to test Dax and Eliza's relationship, but so are some other things. We're going to meet some more people from Dax's life, and we're going to dig a little deeper into Eliza's life. I only scratched the surface with her in the first book because that wasn't the focus, but I think it's time we get to know a little more about Detective Legs, right?

Murderous Profession will be a part of the small run of signed books that I will be sending out in January. I'm actually updating the file right now. The polls I conducted in my newsletter and on Twitter we're all favorable, so I'm going to put up an order form on Gumroad, and people can order their signed copies. This will only be for my continental US readers. International peeps I might be able to set something up, but it would have to be like a custom order deal so we can split the shipping costs. Each book will be limited to 10 orders. Anything over will be wait listed, and I'll do a second batch based off of how many people request a book after the initial run. Newsletter subscribers will be notified first of when the order form will be live, and a tweet will go out a couple hours later. This is where I will shamelessly plug my newsletter because if you sign up, you get notified sooner. Click here to sign-up.

For my Last Pureblood readers, Fate Unseen has been moved to a 2021 project. It was too much for me this year. I'm hoping when January rolls around I'll be ready to dive into it and make some serious headway with it.

I'm not sure what else is going on with 2021. I've outlined a couple of stories for a new series that I'm coming up with. This will more than likely be another Gumroad exclusive because I don't think they're going to be long stories. I know I have a stand alone book that's partly outlined that I can work on. I also have my dark and twisted story, but due to that nature of it, it might end up being another Gumroad exclusive. It's kind of messed up lol. It's a bit of a crap shoot. 

I think 2021 will be the year of Swift, Detective Miller book 2, and Fate Unseen. I'm just looking forward to a year of just writing and focusing on my serials. We shall see.

All right folks, that's all I have enjoy your weekend 🙂

Saturday, October 3, 2020

I'm An Idiot

The heading of this post doesn't pertain to all of it, but I just realized something. I have my blog set up on the RSS feeds of my Amazon author and Goodreads pages. Why am I an idiot? Because I don't fcking post. All these people could be coming to the blog and all this jazz, but why come if I haven't posted since Obama was in office ( I miss him.). Any ways, I'm going to set up a schedule and blog more frequently. 

If you haven't read my prior post, Fate Unseen, the second book in The Last Pureblood series has been put on hold. I need to reevaluate my approach with it, or I need to do something differently. I won't go into it, but in my last post, everything has been explained. I'm hoping when I go back to it with fresh eyes the problem will jump out at me and I can fix it. We shall see.

In the meantime, I have been working on The Adventures of Swift, which is exclusively available on my Patreon page and Gumroad. I'm up to episode 11, and I've complied all the episodes into one document for editing. I say look for an updated chapter 1, and chapter 2 around the end of January or February. I've also begun developing a novella series centered around the world of professional women's football. How this happened I'm not 100% certain, but I'm sure boredom while being around my football watching family led to this. Anyways, it's just in development, but I'm excited to start working on it.

Oh, I've also continued my review of the physical copy of Murderous Profession. When I tried to put all my focus in Fate Unseen, everything else went to the wayside and this was one of those things. I'm going to be working on that over the next week or so. If I decide to do a small batch run of signed books, it will be a part of that.

Speaking of, I did a poll on Twitter asking if I should do a small batch run of signed books and all 5 participants said yes. I'm going to do another poll in my October newsletter to try and get a better read. If you're interested, sign-up for my newsletter, and you'll get it when I send out the October one on the 11th.

I did an author-y thing this week. Fellow lesfic author, KD Williamson, has a YouTube channel where she and other lesfic authors talk about their work and a variety of other subjects, including rating hot sauces. She had me on her channel this week, and it was a wicked good time! It was my first time doing something like this, and if I had PR people they'd be like, "We think you did good, but could your ass sit still next time?" My sauce was Marie Sharp's Pure Mango Habanero Pepper Sauce. It's a milder sauce because I am not one for anything spicy. I live my life at a 2. But other than discussing hot sauces, we talked about being queer and black, me being a trans man who writes lesfic, and a bunch of other things. If you want to take a look it's below.

Two more things then I will be done. First thing is, after being out for 4 years, I have made Pool of Lies 99¢ on all platforms it's available on. I'm not sure if this has expanded to Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and other platforms the book is distributed to thanks to Smashwords, but I know on Smashwords, it's 99¢. 

Lastly, Murderous Profession will be a part of Kindle Unlimited until the end of October, and is on sale for 99¢ until the end of the month. There will be a surprise free day on Amazon for Murderous Profession. How will you know when it is? Twitter and my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will know the day before and the day of. 

All right, I actually didn't do too bad for this post. A reminder has been scheduled for 2 weeks from now to post again.

Remember to review the books you read, especially those written and published by indie and self-published authors. And please, please, please, PLEASE! Make sure you're registered to vote and remember to vote, if not early, then on November 3rd. It is crucial. Check your voter registration here. I also implore those who live in states where voter suppression is quite obvious to keep checking your voter registration frequently because things have happened.

Also thank you to the witches and Karma for the miracle you performed 😉

Until next time....

-DJ Small