It has been a little while since I posted on this site, so I felt I better let you all know what it is I've been up to during my absence. For the most part, the answer is writing and working that second job thingy I took earlier this year to help fund my desire to buy a house in the near future, one that may be a bit longer in arriving than I had hoped due to a decision to pay off all my credit card debt first, followed by a surprise letter form the IRS that says I didn't pay enough in taxes on my book royalties in 2012. I may have also screwed up the taxes 2013, which is why next year I'm totally going to hire a professional to do them for me. This is the one downside to making a livable income from my books on Amazon. None of my monthly royalty checks have taxes taken out and apparently, despite following all the instruction that Turbo Tax gave me, I did something wrong when filling in the sections for those royalties. So, now, I have an unexpected payment that needs to be made, one that followed on the heels of throwing several thousand dollars at my credit cards to wipe out the entire debt on one of them, which, needless to say came at a very VERY bad time. Oh, I also may need to buy a new car since the emissions place is unable to read the emissions from my car due to the computer within being broken, one that will be really hard to replace given that I drive a Saturn.
. . . sigh . . .
Anyway! As some of you may know, I've been working on a novel titled BLIND EYE (formally mentioned as FORBIDDEN FRUIT), that I had originally thought would be completed earlier this spring. Instead, things took an unexpected turn in complexity, which has resulted in the novel reaching the 700 page mark this week with probably 100 - 150 pages still to go. I also got blocked a bit while writing this one, which is rare for me, and made it so I spent about four weeks without really getting anywhere. What can I say, it happens to the best of us, right? Now, thankfully, the novel is moving along nicely, and, barring any unforeseen issues, should be finished by next weekend. Of course, then, the real work begins as the editing phase is entered. Once that is completed I plan on hiring a professional to format both the ebook and print versions of the novel this time around since I feel my skills in working with the code for ebooks, and laying out things for the print editions, are not quite where they need to be. Depending on the results and how happy I am with the service I plan to use, I will then have them tackle my back list. This isn't to say my books look bad, I just feel that they are a bit plain when compared to the titles I see my fellow authors releasing, and would like it if mine were on par with the style I see within theirs.
Now, one area that I do feel I have improved quite a bit with when it comes to book presentation is in designing covers for my work -- so much so that I will actually be using my own for the next several releases rather than the artists I typically use. Below are three covers I did this month that I think are going to work nicely. The first one I created is for the upcoming BLIND EYE, the second for STRANDED, which is a short novel I wrote while in college (will need a bit of work before being released, especially in updating the technology people use when storm chasing), and the third is for THE PAIN GAME, which is a novel I began in 2009, but hit a wall that I could not break through around the three hundred page mark. While writing BLIND EYE, I realized what it was that had made THE PAIN GAME impossible to finish, that being the need for the Stacy Collins character. So, once I finish BLIND EYE, I will be able to finish THE PAIN GAME. After that, though I haven't started creating a cover for it since I'm unsure of what the title will actually be, is a novel that I've been tentatively calling THE MISSING KEY.
In addition to the above work, I've been toying with the idea of polishing up some of the screenplays I found at my parents house that I wrote as a high school student, ones that Hollywood showed interest in back in 2001, but ultimately passed on buying. Now, with a few tweaks and a little more insight in how the movie world works, I think I could certainly find a home for those screenplays. First things first, however, I want to get the novels I've been working on out there so that my readers can finally have something new to sink their teeth in to.
I'm also looking forward to seeing the German edition of JIMMY, which I should the rights for last year, which should be released in the near future. More to come on that.