Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Rise of The Rise and Fall

I love it when an entire series is out and available for sale. I like it even more when the books are selling well.  We just noticed that all three books are in the TOP 10 of the bestselling Sword and Sorcery audio books  (#1, #3, and #8).  That made my day! Our thanks to everyone who is reading and telling others about these books.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Two Documentaries are Green Lit!

Indie Author: a documentary 

As some may know, independent filmmaker Adam Grandy is making a documentary about Indie Publishing and Robin and I will be featured in it.

Other authors involved include: Will Wight (Cradle), Bryce O'Conner (Wraithmarked Creative), Delemhach (House Witch), AC Cobble (Merrick Books), Daniel B. Greene (Neon Ghosts), M.L. Wang (The Sword of Kaigen), Phil Tucker (too many books to count), and Travis Baldree (Legends and Lattes).

Here is a little blurb about the project:

Indie Author is a movie for the dreamers of the world. For most authors, writing is their passion, but the odds have always been stacked against them. Enter the underdogs, the people who didn't let anything stand between them and the impossible. They are the daydreamers, the romantics, and the storytellers who found what it takes to earn a full-time living from their craft and have built a community to help others will their fantasies into reality. Through their stories, you might find answers to launch your own writing career. At a minimum, you'll be entertained, inspired, and well-armed with the hard truths and inside facts about "the writer's life."

The plan was to fund through the project through Kickstarter, and their were funding levels for a digital copy of the movie along with a Blu-ray disc version, and boxset (with tons of bonus material). There were even pledge levels to attend the premier and after party (held in Luray and at Robin and mine's house).  A really cool reward was a way to be included in the movie!

Well, as the project neared its end, it looked like it might fall a few thousand short, so we added a second documentary - this was focused on readers of my book.

Elan Unveiled: secrets of the creation process

This will be a spoiler-filled discussion between Robin and myself on all things related to my books.  Here are some of the things we have planned to talk about.

  • What was the seed that started the story, and how did it grow to 20+ books

  • Changes made as a result of alpha or beta reader input

  • Why certain change requests weren't implemented

  • What died on the cutting room floor and why

  • Red herrings and misdirection - if it looks like a mistake it probably isn't - find out what is REALLY going on.

  • Robin's favorite Easter eggs and the implications to the story as a whole

  • Story details that Michael and Robin argued about, and who won each battle (Hint: It's usually Michael, but Robin got a few things in).

  • Most commonly asked inquiries and the answers that might just surprise you. You'll even be able to pose your own questions before filming starts so the answers can be provided as part of this bonus content. 

If you've read my books and find yourself (a) combing the pages for Easter eggs or (b) arguing with others about the meaning of something in particular or (c) just speculating on your own about  various plot elements, then you won't want to miss out on this bonus reward (which is available to anyone who pledges $25 or more to the Indie Author project). Even if you consider yourself to be an expert on Elan or  think you know what Michael has up his sleeve, you probably don't know the half of it - but you will after getting access to this bonus content!

My fans rallied

Robin put the word out and additional pledges poured in.  Within a matter of minutes the project went from $5,000 short to fully funded and it ended up at 146% and raised more than $58,000 from 717 backers.

Missed out? No worries

If any of this sounds like something you'd be interested in, but you are just learning about it now, you can still join in the fun. There is a backdoor known as a "manual add" - which essentially lets you become a backer even though the project is over. Just head over to this link

We hope you'll join in the fun. We think these will be two great documentaries, and we hope others are as excited about the project as we are.


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Free Royce Short Story

 A number of people have asked for a pre-Hadrian story about Royce, and for the the most part, I've not "gone there" because Royce was a less than "happy camper" during those days.  But when Wraithmarked Creative wanted a short story for their "When Swords Fall Silent Anthology" I made an exception. It's called "May Luck Be with You" and the story explains the origin of Royce's name.

If you take the Royal Road route, please follow, favorite, and rate the story - or drop a review to let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Theft of Swords is a Daily Deal - get it for just $2.99

THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

From the New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post  bestselling  author comes a tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

Theft of Swords was originally published as: The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha.

Just $2.99 - Today Only

Amazon | B&N | apple Books | Kobo | ebooks

Friday, October 6, 2023

Indie Author: a documentary for all who dare to dream

Okay, so here's something I never thought I'd be talking about.  I "might" be in a movie. Here's the deal.

One day we got an email from "some guy" who wanted to talk to us about a film project. Usually these requests are from companies shopping for "an option" on one or more of my books.  That's kinda like a reservation. Someone gives the author some money, and the producer gets a certain amount of time to try and put the project together.

This request was not that.

"This guy" — I'll call him Adam from now on because that's his name — had seen Robin and I on someone's YouTube channel being interviewed about something — I think it might have been about Kickstarters. Anyway, he found our publishing history, and our partnership, to be quite compelling. So what Adam was actually approaching us about was making a documentary about us and my publishing journey.

To say that both Robin and I had the same response would be an understatement. We had to suppress our laughs. We didn't want to make Adam feel foolish, even though what he said sounded (at least to us) as the dumbest idea ever.  "Who in their right mind would want to see that," we replied.  Adam tried to convince us there were people who would be interested. We had our doubts. But if he wanted to waste his time on this pipe dream, who were we to stop him.

BTW: For anyone not familiar with the term, a pipe dream is a hope or plan that you know will never happen. Its origins come from the hallucinations produced when smoking opium. Originally these hallucinations were called opium dreams, opium pipe dreams, or pipe dreams. In the 1870s, the term pipe dream became the dominate phrase used to describe the hallucinations a person experienced while under the influence of opium. But I digress . . .

Anyway, after that first call, we didn't think much more about it. We often get "crazy people" with "bit ideas" regarding all kinds of "unrealistic ventures." In almost all cases, it's a single phone call then we never hear from them again, which is fine by us.  

But Adam called back a little while later.

He talked about various ideas he had come up with which led to some other discussions where he learned about my mentoring work to help  a small group of aspiring authors develop their craft, and Robin's endeavors to help authors earn more by learning the ins and outs of publishing. After that, Adam got even more excited.  We still thought his idea was crazy, and again we didn't think anything else would come of it.

 But it didn't end there. 

To be honest, I'm not sure how many total calls there were, but the more Adam talked the more we liked him. In many ways we saw ourselves...a creative person with a story to tell and a dream of telling it. His medium was just a big different. And I liked his passion and tenacity. We still thought it wasn't going to work, but we wanted to make it work - not for ourselves but for Adam's sake.  

That's when lightning struck Robin. Now a bolt of lightning is generally considered to be one of two things:

  • a sudden illumination and the destruction of ignorance
  • or punishment of humans by the gods from the skies, most commonly attributed to Zeus
This bolt might be both. I don't know exactly what Robin said but it was something along the lines of, "Look, I really like your passion, but I can't see how this will succeed, but if you're really serious about it I can think of something that 'might' work."

That's when she went on to talk about all the various indie authors we know and how successful they have become. Each of us has had our own varied path to success, and we all learned a lot along the way. In general, the "indie publishing community" is quite cooperative (much more so than traditional published authors) and we're always sharing information and strategies. So Robin's idea was while "we" weren't enough to make such a project compelling, if we expanded it and included "others," then, there might be something that people would be interested in.

Adam LOVED the idea.

To be honest, we still weren't sure if Adam was goign to actually "do something" or just be a guy with a dream that never quite got it over the finish line.  But the next phone call was to setup a weekend where he and his cinematographer could come out to shoot some initial footage.  

Okay, so we finally understood Adam was serious.

Robin got on the computer and reached out to some authors who she thought would be a good fit for this. She even was able to convince a few of them to drop what they were doing and head to our house to join us for the weekend's shoot.

Since that original weekend, Robin (and our friend Bryce O'Conner - CEO of Wraithmarked Creative) convinced other authors to sign on to the project. Here's a list of some of them: Will Wight, Travis Baldree, Daniel B. Greene, Bryce O'Conner, M.L. Wang, delmach (author of House Witch series), A.C. Cobble, and Phil Tucker. 

There's just one small problem.

Money. Film production is MUCH more expensive than writing a book. Adam isn't rich, and he didn't have the funds, and while we could finance the project, neither Robin or I were convinced of making enough to earn back what we would have to pay out. If Adam and his crew took no income whatsoever, they would still need $40,000 for equipment rental, travel expenses, post production editing, blu-ray production, and paying for a venue to hold a premier.  That is a lot to risk when we still didn't know how to judge the interest in such a project. 

Luckily there's a solution for people in that predicament.

Kickstarter. It's the bastion for dreamers and people with crazy ideas. The concept is simple - tell people what you are going to make, and if they are interested, they pre-order it. If the project has legs, it funds and the thing is made. If it's a dud, then it dies on the vine, no money is transferred, and there's no harm and no foul. To be clear, if this project funds, Robin and I won't be taking any money. Our hope is that Adam won't have to volunteer his time and talents. 

So, since that filming weekend Adam has been working on setting up the Kickstarter and making an introductory video. The project will launch October 10th, and if you have any interest in backing it, you can sign up to be notified when it goes live.  While still a work in progress, here is what Adam has come up with so far.

I do hope (for Adam's sake) that some of you will be interested in this project. You'll hear A LOT about Robin and I - our background - how we do things - all stuff that people seem to be interested in based on feedback from our Author's Notes and Afterwords. Plus, you'll get the same from a bunch of other authors. And especially if you dream of writing your own book someday, you'll learn a ton about what it takes to go from a blank page to earning a full-time living. But even if you aren't a writer, we think you'll be entertained and inspired by these people who did the impossible and made their dreams a reality - and hopefully, if we all pull together, we can do the same for Adam.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Esrahadddon ARC's have come in!

 Are you a book reviewer (website, podcast, YouTube) or BookTok influencer? Would you like to receive an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of the last book in the Rise and Fall series?  Here are some details:

  • For US Reviewers: You can receive a paperback advanced reading copy. It's a monster at 736 pages and 2 1/2 pounds, or you can get an ebook version, or both.

  • For Non US Reviewers: No physical book is available but you can get an ebook of your choice.

NOTE: Review copies are sent "in the hopes of" not in "exchange for" a review. Receiving a copy does not obligate you to writing a review, although we would certainly welcome one.

Books will be sent out daily and while the current hardcover release date is in December, it's likely to shift to January based on current print schedules.

Friday, September 15, 2023

On Sale: Nolyn & Farilane - 63% off

August was the launch month for Esrahaddon (the final book in the Rise and Fall Trilogy). So,Audible couldn't have picked a better time to put the first two book of the series on sale:

For the next 15 days, you can get either title at a 63% savings (just $7.99). That's almost like getting both books for the cost of a single credit.  Listen to them and fall in love with the incredible narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds, and when your done, pick-up the new and shiny Esrahaddon. It's a great deal at 29 1/2 hours for a single credit.

As always, Robin and I thank you for your support.