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:

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

June Is Almost Over....

This means I have to write two blog posts before it ends. Great.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful pride month. Learned some queer history, celebrated yourself, and was defiant by being your beautiful queer self. We are definitely in a period of time where people's perception of the queer community is changing, but there are a lot of things we still need to work on, and we can only do that together. So, lift each other up and fight in memory of those that came before for us, those who are currently here, and those who can't fight for themselves.

Sorry, I got in my solitary feel, but the state of the world got me feeling some type of way. Any-gays, this month has been a wonderful month of progress on book two of the Last Pureblood series. I am near the end, and once it is done, I'll take a break from it. By then my editor will be all set with Murderous Profession, but we shall see.

I am at the point where I'm setting up some new plot elements for book three, and because I don''t want to reveal too much, I'll just say that book three is going to have a faster past than one and two. Not saying book two is slow, but it finishes where book one left off and is the launching point for what happens next. It's a transitional book. There are ups and downs.

Teaser chapters for the second book will probably start showing up on my Wattpad mid- or late-August. I should have a title by the end of July because I am tired of calling this story book two or the second Avery Lawson book or what the hell else my brain comes up wuth. I should also have a release date for Murderous Profession around that time too.

All right, so the newsletter was supposed to come back this month, but my week off wasn't as productive as I had wanted it to be, so the newsletter will come back in July. It will be sent out on July 14th. The reason why I'm telling you this is because if you sign up for the newsletter between now and July 14th, you'll get a coupon code for 50% off Murderous Profession when it comes out. Also when you sign up for the newsletter you get a free book. It's like a double win. You can sign up here if I have enticed you enough.

I have a Ko-Fi page. You have probably seen me post about it once or twice. My Ko-Fi page is going to get a lot of activity since this is where I'm going to be posting my serials. As of right now, I have two serials planned. One is tied to Murderous Profession and the other is a new story. First episode of all serials will be free, but subsequent episodes will available as pay-per-post. If you become a monthly subscriber, you can download the entire season for free upon completion. More to come on that later in the year. I was originally going to sell through my website, but I need to change the way my deliverables are handled.

Last thing, Smashwords is doing their bi-annual Summer/Winter sale in July, which means all of my books will be free for the first week. So, if you haven't gotten one my books that you've been wanting to read that's when you should get it. Alternatively, tell your friends if you don't need a book. Exposure is everything in this world.

Well this blog post certainly got away from me. I think there is one big thing I want to stress, which is signing up for the newsletter. I feel like I'm just going to start giving things away to my newsletter peeps. You guys deserve it.

As always, if you have read any books by a small time author, do them a favor and review their book. Every bit helps.

Until next time...

-DJ Small

Friday, May 24, 2019

Whew....May just flew by didn't it?

I guess that's what happens when you're having fun editing. I just wanted to get in a minor update before the month is out. I hope we're all ready for Summer vacation and the heat! I am not, and I wish I was in the Arctic, but even that is getting a little balmy these days. Moving on....

Who is excited for Murderous Profession?!?!?! I know I am super excited for you guys to read it. My second round of edits will be done this weekend, and then I'll send it off to my editor. The story sort of achieves what I set out to do, which was write a romantic-comedy. But when you're dealing with murder, there is only so much room for humor, however, there are funny bits along with some angst, and a touch of romance. It has a happy for now ending. Will this be then end for Eliza? The answer is no. This is going to be an ongoing series, which will not have a set schedule. Unlike The Last Pureblood series, this one could end next year, it could end five years from now. It's just something to diversify my writing, I guess.

I know last blog post I talked about bringing back the newsletter, which I am going to do, probably in June. Maybe. I'm trying to figure out what direction to take with it. I have some smaller projects I want to get out, but I'm not sure how to deliver them, and I was thinking about using the newsletter, but meh. I've got a lot of thoughts about this newsletter, but it is coming back. I just need to get my shit together.

I vaguely mentioned it, but  I will be jumping into the next Avery Lawson book as soon as I'm done editing Murderous Profession. Am I still feeling ambitious and aiming for a December release? You bet your sweet ass I am. Will that work out in my favor? Experience says no, but pride says it fcking will. Fingers crossed.

I know there are questions, especially after how the first book ended, and to give some relief, I'll divulge a little. The first thing I feel comfortable revealing, is that Avery will have her first change. This is what the first book was leading up to, and I'd be an ass to put it off just for kicks. I'm an asshole, but not that big of a one.

Next thing I'm willing to share, is if Rhea and Avery will finally give into their desire for one another. The answer to that one is no. Sorry kids, but this is a major plot point, and it has explosions. Literal explosions. Also, if you're a fan of werewolf books, and have read a lot of them, I think you can read the writing on the wall about what will happen between Avery and Rhea once they do give into their passion.

Lastly, will we learn more about the war between the Order and the Mongrels? Abso-fcking-lutely. However this will be a challenge for me because a lot of history needs to told before I can just dive into it. Avery is also being a pain in the ass, so it complicates things. But yeah, you're going to learn more about the Mongrels, and we're going to also dive a little deeper into their world.

So there you have it. Murderous Profession edits are almost done, you learned a little more about the second Avery Lawson book, and I'm still insane for doing this, but I enjoy it. Comment or tweet me your thoughts. I enjoy talking to my readers.

Another thing, if anyone would like to beta read Murderous Profession comment on this post or contact me on Twitter.

One more thing before I leave, review, review, review. People can't discover my books, and other indie authors' books, if we don't get enough reviews. I think all you need is five and the algorithm does something weird to bump up a book's exposure. Either way please review, and not just mine, but other indie authors that you read. Takes a minute.

All right, I'm done. Enjoy your weekend, and happy Summer!

-DJ Small

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Hey, you wanna read something?

All right, since I haven't finished editing chapter one of Murderous Profession like I wanted to (there was a massive scene rewrite, and this is after my handwritten edits), I'm going to treat you all to the first two scenes of chapter one. I should have chapter one fully edited on Monday or Tuesday. I'm not going to build it up. I'm just gonna give it to you. FYI this is after two rounds of editing, and it still needs to go to my editor, so it's still a little rough, but I couldn't wait to give you guys something.

Content Warnings: Adult themes, sexual references, murdered sex workers, bad and crude language.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Update Lite

*Rises from the foggy sea like the kraken* it's time for an update. I really need to get that damn newsletter back. Twice a month blog posts seems really pointless when I'm just editing and plotting books and  doing publisher type things.

Murderous Profession edits are going swimmingly, and the handwritten edits should be done next week then I move to updating the document and doing vague editing before sending it to my editor. Still on track for July I feel like, but who knows what could happen. Teaser chapters will be up on my website once I have the main copy updated. If you're interested in getting a paperback copy of Murderous Profession, you can go here to reserve your copy. FYI: physical copies are only being sold through my website for US based readers. International readers can still obtain physical copies through Amazon. I'm only doing this to test out a new book printer, and to see how this process works for me.

Speaking of Murderous Profession, I have decided to do accompanying mini stories in-between books. I plan to do these through my Ko-Fi page and my website. More to come on that when I get a better idea of things, and after Murderous Profession comes out.

Book 2 of The Last Pureblood series needs a damn working title. Hmm...we're going to call it the Inevitable Change until I can come up with a legitimate title for it. It's on pause due to Murderous Profession edits, but the rest of it has been outlined and ready for me type it out. I'm excited because so much happens and we get to get out of this beginning part. I've already started brainstorming the third book, and writing down some plot points. Hopefully there won't be a long gap like there currently is with books 1 and 2.

All right, so that was an update-ish, I'll bring the newsletter back. I'm thinking once a month with a blog post. That should be easy enough. What would you all like to see in the newsletter? Let me know in the comments.

-DJ Small