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First Day Back

Yesterday was my first day back. To running, that is. I’ve had some swelling and pain in my ankle that I just couldn’t shake for several weeks as I hobbled around the house.

Finally, I had a few pain-free days where I could get around reasonably well. I wore an old pair of running shoes with some great support and the pain disappeared. I guess the shoes I was wearing around the house were giving my much of the lingering trouble.

So yesterday I went for a run after about a month off and actually got in a sold two miles at a pretty good pace. I’ll take it easy and see how my ankle responds all week but I expect to get back to my normal mileage next week which is a nice change.

The weather was great for a run today – very mild for Alabama. I didn’t arrive home feeling like I’d gone for a swim instead of a run.

Today, young cat, Minou, is off to the vet for THE surgery. He was a foundling stray as many remember with part of his ear missing. We don’t need more stray cats in the area than we already do (no thanks to people dumping pets) so he gets the trip. He’ll be back and no worse for the wear in a few days. Then he gets put to work hunting all the chipmunks and field mice in the area.

I’m working hard on all my writing projects as mentioned over the last few weeks. I’ll share more about print on Thursday but I’m making progress on my new, top-secret novels as well as beginning work on some short stories that will make the rounds to some pro and semi-pro markets.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The White Arrow is selling well and just got a nice 5-star review over on Amazon and has started getting several ratings over on Goodreads. That’s quite a nice start. Thanks again to all the readers!

That’s all for today. There’s just too much going on with writing to linger here much longer. Thanks for stopping by today, please leave you thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you.

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Author Commentary: More About Withlings

With the publication of The White Arrow last week, readers get to find out more about the world of Denaria, dwarves and even Withlings. I don’t want to give anything away about the book or what’s to come in The White Arrow, but I thought I’d share a little bit more about Withlings today as a bit of commentary.

Withlings are a mystic order who serve their deity, Eloch. Magdronu is in conflict with Eloch and, by extension, with the Withlings as well. These mystics practice their faith in service to Eloch by learning to remain in communion with this deity. As such, various wonders can and do happen around them as seen around Hastra in The Bow of Destiny. However, Withlings do not have magic powers so they can only do as they are instructed – or not.

As is often spoken by Hastra in the books of The Bow of Hart Saga, “What is need is given.” The opposite is also true – what is not needed is not given. Hastra is known for being tight-lipped. She’s aware of certain things but cannot speak of them because this could change things for the worst. In such cases, Hastra, and Withlings in general, ponder these revelations, pray and wait to be of assistance as instructed. What is given to the Withling is usually done. So at this point, it should be well established that Withlings can be used to do some sudden and astounding things. However, Withlings cannot fix everything or know everything. With this in mind, they are as fallible as anyone else.

In An Arrow Against the Wind, more of the history of Withlings is revealed through Hastra. However, while she does know some things will happen, she does not know everything – even when she does do something amazing. She’s not super-human or a magic-user and she’s certainly not all-knowing.

Events unfold in An Arrow Against the Wind that require a higher intervention. After all, the arch-villain is taking a personal hand in events too. But these miraculous changes do not mean that things are so easily resolved for the characters. It is well established in both books that there are some wild-cards on both sides that can make things happen. So what happens in the newest book should be interesting twists that may mean more in The White Arrow rather than be simple resolutions to situations in the present book.

What you think you know from these unfurling events is only seen through the eyes of the characters and nothing more. They happen not as easy ways to get out of a corner but more as a bigger construct within the greater conflict and sets up what is to come and nothing more. The interventions through what is given is not for simple escapes from plot corners on my part but what is needed for the characters to reach the end of the quest and their appointed tasks. I haven’t written these for mere ease of getting in an out of things but to show that there is a bigger plan within a bigger conflict. What readers see through the characters  as they consider events don’t just happen for a happy ending but, instead, because what is needed by Eloch is given for his purpose.

Self-Scouting: How My Release Day Went

Introduction

Self-publishing means that most, if not all, responsibilities for publishing a book lie squarely on the author. Here’s my take on how I did with the release of my recent book The White Arrow.

The Plan

I had a simple plan to share the release blog which you can view. Additionally, I planned to share tidbits on the blog post all day long and direct visitors to the ongoing (it’s still going) blog tour to register for the gift card giveaway (you still can today: Indie Wish ListSpunky N Sassy). Also, were links to a Facebook post and a Goodreads discussion where I also planned to post updates on various announcements and news. I even planned a few promos and had The Bow of Destiny on special for 99 cents. My email subscriber list received news about the release and I announced the event to friends on Goodreads. Finally, I scheduled a Thunderclap to announce the release of The White Arrow. I added a twist where visitors could go take a short quiz about the series to find out what character they were most like.

What Happened

Most everything went off without a hitch. I made updates all day long and shared news about going to print with the series (hopefully beginning later this month with The Bow of Destiny). I’m low on funds so I shied away from spending on much of anything and just stuck with what was in my wheelhouse for my limited budget these days.

The quiz was well received so I plan to do more of these in the future.

What I’d Do Differently

I’d run the Thunderclap much earlier so that the announcement would go out in the morning. Because I was rushed, I hesitated to schedule the campaign until late in the game meaning I had much less time to get the necessary 100 supporters. Since the campaign neared the minimum for a free campaign, I was forced to set the time for the message back several hours until 4PM instead of noon. The campaign did get 106 supporters but the message was very late in the day. I’d prefer to have that sent out much sooner to get attention. At least it was sent and that’s a plus.

Also, I’d do more to invite individual people I know to the blog, Facebook or Goodreads venues. Many of my Thunderclap supporters ended up being friends so I should have invited them to the event as well and gotten them the chance to register for the giveaway. Silly me, I thought they would just come to the event but I should have been more direct with the invitation. Again, next time, I’ll send out more notices sooner than I did to friends.

What I’d Really Like To Do

I’d like to run a series of live event sessions via Hangouts which feeds into YouTube and can be embedded into social media like Facebook and Twitter. However, this requires some big planning and a fair number of visitors in order to get interaction. Next time, I’ll work on planning something this ambitious further in advance and make sure that I get visitors to the scheduled sessions so I can interact with people. This also gives me a chance to add videos to my YouTube channel.

Also, I might try using more PR, contacting appropriate media outlets and possibly hire a service to handle the plans. But for now, I remain low budget.

Conclusion

Overall, the release went well. The White Arrow has now sold several hundred copies and continues to sell well. With the series completed, I’ll continue work on other projects as well as adding print to the mix within the month – more news on this last item in the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll have time to put my big ideas to action on the print release!

You can find more information about The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind and The White Arrow at their pages. It’s a great time to dig into the series if you haven’t already!

Share your thoughts and ask your questions in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

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