19 October 2013
I'll continue to post appropriate content to Ctrl+Alt+Pub and Dry and Thirsty Land (ChristianWriters.com) as time permits. Thanks for following and God bless.
30 September 2013
No words were ever more music to my ears than when my editor told me of Finding Faith: “Great book!” But you can imagine how giddy I was to hear my publisher tell me that the digital version of the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) would be in my hot little hands—figuratively speaking of course—by the end of the week!
So here’s the deal. I’m going to release free signed copies of the ARC and tip-sheet to the first 10 reviewers who contact me through my website. In the area for remarks, simply write: “FREE ARC”. This will be on a first come, first serve basis. I only ask that if you really like the book you leave a review on your favorite site (Amazon.com, Goodreads, etc.) or tell others why you liked it. Heck… you can even tell me what you thought. I love to hear from my readers.
So don’t delay—go to my website now and sign up for a free digital ARC. I’m promise that based on the feedback I’ve received so far from those who have read it that you don’t want to miss out! The book has received some extremely positive feedback and is the most anticipated release of my career!
I look forward to hearing from many of you!
Note: For those who don’t make the cut in time, I will make sure you get a few sample chapters to sample for your efforts. So everybody is a WINNER here!
14 September 2013
Now I don’t know how anyone else feels but this is awesome to hear—music to ears of most any writer! It also has restored my faith (no pun intended) on a great many levels whereas it regards traditional publishing. It further demonstrates just how great it has been working with Köehler Books and Morgan James Publishing.
On a side note, it’s my sad duty to report that one of the reasons for the delays in other work was the death of my mom. While her health had been declining over the years, her death still came as a shock to our entire family. It also came on the week before my wife had major surgery, exactly one week to the day after the death of my best friend’s father (who was like a second dad to me).
But I’m happy to report that God is faithful! He has been my strength and shield through it all and continues to be there for me during the “rough moments.” Not only has He done this by His Spirit, but also by the overwhelming amount of support and sympathy we received from so many people. It is true the content of the note from Clarence to George Bailey in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life: “No man is poor who has friends.” Reproduced here is the memoriam regarding my mom.
Frances Kay Guenther, 68 of Indianapolis, IN. went to be with the Lord on July 16, 2013. Kay was born in Oak Park, IL on March 8, 1945 to Arther and Ruth Malchert (Manness). She was a wife, mother and devoted member of East Rawles Church of God. Kay is survived by her husband John, son Jon Guenther, daughter Ann German, sister Sue Flanagan and brother Arthur Malchert, Jr. Kay was preceded in death by her parents, son Michael, daughter Linda and sister Carlotta.
Proverbs 3:5 tells us, Trust the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. The Bible also declares that the wisdom of man is foolishness to God. It’s folly for us to think we know and understand better than God. So let me end this post by declaring publicly my thanks to so many of you for the cards, gifts, flowers and merely kind words after the death of my mom. Please know you are greatly appreciated, and you are near and dear to my heart. God bless you all.
27 July 2013
Leanpub is undoubtedly changing the face of self-publishing for authors. In particular, it is well-suited for technical books on programming but also welcomes standard fiction and non-fiction authors. This means I get the best of both worlds, since I'm both a technical author and novelist. After working with other self-publishing platforms before and then using Leanpub's system, I cannot imagine ever going anywhere else for my self-published works. I'm already setting myself up for two fiction works through them this year, and my technical book Focused ASP.NET is currently under way.
So why Leanpub? First, you can publish any select amount of your work and price it as you see fit. Second, the royalty is 90% of the purchase price. Third, the system to set up a book is so simple that even a self-publishing newbie will have no trouble grasping the concept. Fourth, you can produce files in a number of formats that can then be uploaded to other vendors (such as .epub file for Kobo and B&N Nook) or .mobi (Amazon Kindle). Finally, you can insert images, set styles for the book, and publish previews for which the general public can see and on which they can provide feedback.
Here's how it works. Basically, a book is broken into separate chapter files (doesn't have to be but it's recommended) that are stored in a shared folder with Leanpub using Dropbox. Each chapter is written in a plain-text file using a simple text editor like Notepad or Vim or Emacs; no more Word or WordPerfect or Open Office required. You can also use a free program for Windows called MarkdownPad that also has a professional version, which I plan to purchase now that I'm going to be doing so much writing/publishing through Leanpub Markdown is a simple language construct that builds document automation into your book. For example, chapter headings are noted with the use of a hash sign, like so:
# Chapter 1 #
Chapter 1Subheadings (basically h2, h3, etc.) are done using additional hashes. For example:
## Heading 2 ##
Heading 2### Heading 3 ###
Heading 3Italicized words are handled this way: _This sentence is italicized._ Which produces: This sentence is italicized.
Finally, you can bold words: **This sentence is bold.** Which produces: This sentence is bold.
Now that's cool! There's much more information but I'll leave that for your perusal. In the meantime, be aware that Leanpub is an awesome and powerful platform for having complete control over the process of writing and publishing your book. So what are you waiting for, aspiring authors? Get out there and sign up now! And by the way, this blog entry is not sponsored by Leanpub or its staff. In other words, I don't get any sort of bonus for referring anyone. I just believe in it and so I'm doing what I do best with things I believe in. I'm writing about it!
10 June 2013
At any rate, it's time for me to bring all of you up to speed on what's going on and where things are at regarding Finding Faith. First, the manuscript has been delivered and is now in the capable hands of Joe Coccaro and his staff—I'm now anxiously awaiting Joe's feedback on the book. What I can say about the manuscript at this point is I'm utterly satisfied with the final story and characters, and I think you're really going to LOVE this book!
Let me be the first to say that as far as the cover-voting poll was concerned, there were more than 200 votes in all cast between the two covers, which took me utterly but pleasantly by surprise. In the end, and after much debate and the shuck-and-jive that always happens in this process (to some degree), my publisher John Köehler and I agreed on the very best cover we felt would serve the needs for the book and story. The book page has now been officially posted at http://www.koehlerbooks.com/books/finding-faith/ and John has graciously granted me permission to announce it as loudly and proudly as I can.
While I'm waiting for the edit sheets to come back from Joe and friends, I'm wrapping up another book under contract and then I will turn to completing The Quiet Inspector, which I still expect to release this year (my goal is it will be up for sale just prior to Thanksgiving). I'll keep you posted.
So that's an update on where things are at and you can get more up to the minute information through my Twitter account. I find this the easiest way to let folks know what's happening. Of course, you can also follow my blog and if you're into facebook, please go follow my page. And as always, thank you for your interest in my writing.
13 May 2013
Now, to give you the status update that's so long overdue: the manuscript is just about there now, and I've committed to turning it in this Friday, May 17. Once that's done, the editor will go to work and get back to me with whatever changes he and the copyeditors may deem necessary. I imagine that will involve a few rounds of exchange but the process should go quite smoothly. The book will be edited by the inimitable Joe Coccaro who I can attest has the creds every writer dreams of in an editor.
But wait, that's not all! (Is this beginning to sound like an infomercial?) John Köehler has just posted a "Vote the Cover" announcement for the book on their website. Now you, faithful readers, get some potential say in which cover will be used for the final book. This is exciting for me because not only is it a sneak peek of the plot of the book well ahead of the slated Winter 2014 Catalog release (something I've been keeping a pretty closely-guarded secret up until now) but this captures the direct opinions of readers. That's highly valuable information for my publisher. So go now and vote for your favorite! And thank you for your support.
11 March 2013
10 March 2013
And by the way, if you love to read SF&F and would like the chance to get free books, you can submit your interest in becoming a reviewer to the editor of SFRevu.com, Gayle Surrette. Just go to SFRevu.com and click on the Editorial Matters link for details.
02 March 2013
There are exactly two weeks remaining this date to the deadline for my book. I'm furiously writing and rewriting. At one point, I was in a panic because my internal writer began to look at the book in its present state, and I questioned the entire middle act. I asked myself, "Do I have a story here—at least the kind I wanted to tell?" Unfortunately, I got my answer as a resounding NO! and my pre-readers confirmed as much.
What to do? Realizing I couldn't fix this problem on my own—being Mr. Independent is usually how I get into trouble to begin with—I turned to God for help. Three days went by and nothing. I began to worry and panic, concerned I might have to ask my publisher for more time. That's not something I like to do, ever, especially not since this is my first book with them. Then suddenly I had the answers I sought and I've been hitting the manuscript every free moment, tooling and rewriting until I'm satisfied it's back on course.
About two weeks back I was on a conference call with my publisher, John Köehler, and something he e-mailed to me shortly after that call triggered in me a profound memory. This book, like every Christian novel I write, is a race to win as many souls to Christ as possible. Because the obstacle(s) of sin can slow me down, or stop me altogether, and because Satan's fighting me every step, I must turn to Him who can pick up the pieces, put them together and finish the story for me. After all, it's really His work and not mine.
Independence and self-reliance aren't necessarily bad traits, but apart from God I am nothing and they are worthless vanity. Acts 17:28 reads: In Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. If you are to be a Christian writer, run the race and do not falter. God will bless you for it.
18 February 2013
Despite what some might think, I do this neither to sensationalize nor to "sell books." I do it because first, I think it needs doing. I think good writers, especially today, have to be unafraid to stand up for what they believe by taking a side in these issues, and in particular for me a Christian worldview that falls in line with the message God gives me. Sometimes that view is blatantly obvious to my readers, other times it's subtle. Second, I do it because I want to illustrate the love of God in these kinds of things and not in spite of them. That's not always easy to do because I have to assume some things about my intended audience while still trying to break through with entertainment worthy enough to hold their attention until the end of the story.
With my new upcoming novel (working title Finding Faith), I've set the book in the world of human trafficking within the United States. In the course of my research, I recently watched a somewhat stirring documentary on YouTube called Journey to Freedom—produced by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center—that draws a striking comparison between the slave trade in U.S. history and the human trafficking of today. It gave me some fresh material to think about but that's not really my point in this book. You see, the plain fact is that no matter how bad our situation or how cruel the acts that the minions of Satan may dream up for people to visit one upon another, at the center of it all a loving God observes and knows and understands. So I've wondered, long and hard, why God permits these things to happen. Why doesn't He do something? You know what I ultimately discovered? That's not even the question we should be asking. I think the question should be: "Has He already done something about it?" Answer: yes! He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem every one of us to Him (yeah, even the "bad guys").
The veterans of the U.S. military Special Warfare Operations Groups have a catchphrase: "No Easy Day." That's the catchphrase of the Christian life, too; there is no easy day. But there is and always will be victory in every day we live our lives and devote ourselves to obeying His commandments. That takes faith and a lot of it.That will be the point of this book, and I pray many will embrace that point when they read it.