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Friday Update 10/20/23

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Friday Update 10/20/23

Short update this week as not a whole lot has changed. I’ve read every Anita Blake book in the series, now, which means it’s time to transition into something else. I’ve picked up two books by Kevin J Anderson, one epic fantasy and one epic scifi, but I’m wondering if I should find another paranormal series to binge and continue my study, there.

This week was full of routine doctor visits, eye exams, and the like, so I haven’t tackled much of the admin to-do list. I’m working on formatting and releasing Enchanted wide. This is a collection of fantasy stories that I wrote at the very start of my career, back when I was only publishing on Amazon. I have a new cover, now it’s just a matter of updating the format.

The website continues to get updates! Several more ebooks were re-added to the store and I’ve started linking the paperback and hardback books from the fairy tales. My print on demand service, BookVault, has a plugin that connects to my store. I just need to make all the links work between the books before they’ll be listed as ‘in stock.’ I’ve also learned all about Child Themes in wordpress, which allows me to make some cosmetic changes to the website that will be retained when the theme updates. All good things.

Finally, words on Fated to the Wolf continue apace.

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Friday Update 10/13/23

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Friday Update 10/13/23

Happy friday the thirteenth during Spooky Season!

It’s supposed to freeze tonight?! I was just dealing with over 100 degree days. Kansas is crazy. I’m working on making hoop covers for my pumpkins and acorn squash before it gets too cold.

This week has been a lot of production work. I’m making daily progress on Fated To The Wolf, which is the prequel story that will feed into both the vampire series and the werewolf series.

I’m continuing to read Anita Blake Vampire Hunter as a focused study of paranormal romance. I started this study with book #16 and I just finished #27, so it’s been a lot of material in a very short amount of time. I’m already seeing great improvements in my writing.

The website is also inching along. Most of the major pages have the new layout, but a lot of the minor pages (like the product pages in the shop or the blog posts) do not yet. I’m continuing to re-upload the books that I lost when I had to roll the site back to March. I’m also making an ongoing list of site edits, so this will continue for a while.

If you get my newsletter you heard all about my latest playstation games: Stray and Control. I recommend both! Stray is short, about 8 hrs, and beautiful. Control I’m still playing, but I’m super impressed with the storytelling in both.

It feels a little odd to not have an urgent deadline. I’m re-learning how my production works when I’m not under that kind of time pressure and I like the results. I’ve always known I work better without a deadline, my recent rash of them is a good reminder.

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Friday Update 9/28/23

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Friday Update 9/28/23

This week has been packed full of paranormal romance research. Years ago I stopped reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter books by Laurell K Hamilton because life just worked out that way, but now that I’m creating this larger paranormal world for my London penname, I went looking for other PNR books in series to binge. I found the Anita Blake books at my library and realized there are a lot of books I’ve missed in the last several years!

First, I had to figure out where I left off. I knew for sure I’d read The Harlequin, but I read the back cover copy on Blood Noir and didn’t recognize it, so I picked up there. That’s book #16. Turns out I think I have read Blood Noir, but I remembered so little of it, it was like reading it fresh. I plowed through the series and I’m now on book #24 Dead Ice, so I’ve read about 9 books this week, taking a lot of notes along the way about how Hamilton handles her relationship scenes and character introductions.

I’ll finish up the books the library has in the next week and that will put me up to the current release for the series: Smolder, which is #30. Let’s hear it for the library!

At the same time, I’ve been expanding my paranormal world, taking a lot of brainstorming notes I’ll need to sort through later, and letting the outline of my next prequel novella unfold. It always takes longer to create something new coming off the heels of a big study session as I try to incorporate what I’m learning into what I already do well. Thankfully this prequel doesn’t have a deadline until next year so I can take my time.

Aside from writing, I’ve figured out that I’m not really the target audience for the Souls-like games. I’m glad I checked Elden Ring out at the library instead of buying it. I also checked out Demon’s Souls. They are just not my thing. The story and controls are fine, it’s the structure of game play that forces me back to the beginning of a level as soon as I encounter a minor boss that I hate. It takes me a lot of repetition to figure out a new enemy sequence/boss battle. Being forced to play the entire level just to have the boss’ first hit kill me three times in a row isn’t my kind of fun.

I also checked out Like A Dragon! But it has combo sequences of buttons to memorize which is also not my thing. I think I need to pull Horizon Forbidden West out of my collection and continue that instead.

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Friday Update 9/22/23

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Friday Update 9/22/23

A lot of admin work has come to fruition this week! The home page of the website is officially re-made and I think it’s beautiful. The rest of the website is still in ugly-duckling stages, so you’re watching it be reborn in real time. I’ve tested said website on mobile and tablet, but if you see something weird, do let me know. I’ll get it straightened out.

The books available in the store are still from March, but getting the more recent publications up and sellable again is climbing the list quite rapidly.
The other big task I’m working on is worldbuilding and outlining for the larger Aliens world. Red Stars Crossed was released for a short time in the Aliens on Earth anthology. The rights to that story have reverted to me and I’m fleshing out the last sublot I just didn’t have time to include for the anthology deadline. But there are more than just Aliens in this world. There are shifters, demons, witches, vampires, and angels too.

My next project is prequel novella that will start both the werewolf and the vampire branches of this world. I already have a prequel for the alien branch. And who knows what will happen after that.

I’m excited to be working on larger worlds. Longer novels. And series!

Stay tuned for the serialization of Red Stars Crossed (once I get that subplot woven in), and more pages of the website makeover.