Tag Archives: Author

Why I Can Never Compete in NanoWrimo…

Okay, this is a personal confession, although I am an author I have never competed in NanoWrimo. For those of you who do not know what this is it is New Novel November Month. Pretty much you write an entire novel in one month. I know, as an author, I feel ashamed for admitting the fact that I’ve never competed or done this, but I want to explain the reason why this has been out of my particular reach. Since it is now December I feel as though this is the perfect post because, alas, I did not compete this past November 🙁

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s my writing process. Especially for new novels. I am not sure if this is unique to me or if lots of other authors do it, so I am interested in hearing other people’s viewpoints on this. For first drafts of novels I HAVE to write it out freehand first and then go back and type up everything. I don’t know what it is, but that is how it is done for me. When I finish with a whole notepad of chapters, I plop it down in front of me, turn on my Pandora music and then type them all up just listening to music. The whole process is actually very relaxing for me. But, with this process comes twice the amount of work, I know. Trust me I have tried writing it all on the computer first, but it’s hard. I think this happens for a few reasons:

  1. With writing online comes all the distractions of online too. Too easily do I find myself checking my Facebook, or if someone posted a new comment on my novel on Wattpad.
  2. Staring at that blank screen just doesn’t appeal to me. The cursor blinking me and mocking me for having no thoughts to jot down. Something I cannot handle.
  3. With a pen in my hand I feel more of an author, you know? I see the pad I need to write and thoughts just come to me. It allows me to organize my thoughts better and rearrange ideas if need be by simply circling the passage in question and drawing an arrow to where I need to place it.

 

On top of my crazy writing process, I feel as though I shouldn’t be starting a new novel. I am honestly floored when I hear other authors who are working on 3 – 4 books at once. For one, how do you have that much time? And Secondly, how do you have that many ideas? It’s craziness. For me as being a series writer and currently working on the second novel in my series of either 4 or 5 books, I just couldn’t imagine starting a new storyline when I still have one unfinished. I know I’ll need a new idea eventually and I actually do have another idea for a story once this one is done, but I just can’t start writing a new novel when I should be focused on what is here and right now.

Now, although I do not participate in New Novel November Month, it does not mean I do not write constantly. My original goal was to have the first draft of my second novel done by the end of November. However, I was lazier in October than I should have been so now I am pushing that to end of December. For the past couple weeks in November I have been consistently writing one chapter per day in my second novel and am less than 20 chapters from finishing it (I think anyways).

Personally, that is what writing is, persistence. I really do appreciate what NanoWrimo does in encouraging authors to start a story, but here is where I think the program goes wrong. By encouraging to someone to write a whole novel in a month you are pretty much telling them “do not have a social life” or have less of one. That is the quickest way to get burnt out and when you get burnt out at writing you are officially done. You won’t want to come back to the keyboard or pick up the pen again. That is why, in my opinion, slow and steady wins the race. I make it kind of a goal to get a chapter done per day, even in revisions. If you did that you would have a great polished novel done by the end of a year. (With taking breaks too.)

By simply writing a chapter per day, you ease your workload and still can have a social life which is very necessary for authors—we are people watchers after all. It’s like when parents tell their children they can’t play video games until they get their homework done. For me, I can’t go out with my friends until I get at least one chapter done, and as long as I do that I know that I will have another piece of work coming out in a decent amount of time.

What do other authors think about these things? Do you have a certain process you take while writing? What is it? Do you participate in NanoWrimo? Have you been successful in it?

All pretty interesting questions that I would love feedback on. Take care and keep writing!

Happy Thanksgiving Shout Out

thanksgivingSo, as I’m sure many bloggers are doing this on Thanksgiving I wanted to make sure I take some time and thank everyone who has made an impact in my life over the past couple months. Below is a list of everything I have been thankful for as of late. This list isn’t all inclusive, just the ones that come to mind.

 

1) My family: I couldn’t be more thankful for them. Minus a small portion they have provided the means for me to make the dream of publishing my first book come true. Don’t get me wrong, I am still in so much debt that sometimes I have trouble sleeping at night but they considerably reduced it and are always my personal salesman always telling people about my book.

2) My friends: Over the past 2 months now I have gone through a large transitional phase in my life and I think it’s only going to continue to grow and no one has been there more for me than my friends. They have been reassuring me that the choice I made was a best course solution and have helped me cope with loneliness and have done many things to get my mind off of the past. Not only that, but they have supported me in my book endeavors too and, although I’m not sure if they are actually interested in hearing me rant all the time, they listen to me rant about the struggles of me self-publishing a book and the financial strain I feel at all times.

3) My readers: For those of you who have supported me and actually bought a book from me, thank you. For those of you who have not only bought a book, but have read it as well and have helped me get the momentum rolling with the book, an even bigger thanks. I truly hope you enjoyed it, and for those of you who haven’t read it yet, but have it, well I hope you like it. It was a project six years in the making and it’s always really scary pouring your heart and soul into something and then giving it to the public to judge and hope they like it. So far (knock on wood) it has gotten good reviews, but there is never any such things as too many good reviews. So, if you finish the book and enjoyed it please please please rate it on Goodreads and on Amazon and give it a good rating.

4) My future roomies at Whitewater: Although I haven’t officially moved in there yet, I am super happy of the place I have in Whitewater. It is perfect location to everything. As any transfer student is I’m sure living with random people you always wonder “Okay, are these people just going to stick around their friends, or be inclusive?” Well, I am super happy that my roommates are the latter. They are super inclusive and I think that is awesome and it only helps me get acclimated to the Whitewater community that much faster. I can’t wait to move in at the end of December and am even more excited to start the pursuit of my new career in English education when school starts again in January.

5) Supporters of my new career path: Speaking of being excited to start school again in January, I am also excited to see so much support I have gotten as I switch career paths. I am not saying marketing isn’t right for me, I love marketing and it’s been a blast really having first hand experience in marketing my own book, but marketing is a very hard field to get into right now. I am not saying education will be any better for me come Fall 2015 when I look for jobs, but I think I will be able to find a job. All of the people who I’ve told about this career path have told me that I would be an awesome teacher and it makes me reaffirm my faith that this path in my life is definitely the one I want to go down.

6) Finally, I guess I’m thankful for my book: I know, it sounds weird. But, let me explain. I am thankful for my book and everything that it has taught me in my life in the past couple months. A big saying in the book is “The Toughest Trials Test You Truest” and nothing has been a tougher trial for me than to take this large financial risk and publish a book. I think what is even tougher though is knowing that this is only part 1 in a 4-5 book series and that I continue writing. And, when you couple in the fact that I haven’t had as much support as I intended with this first book from FB friends or college friends it is really hard for me to continue writing and even think about launching the second book in 2015 (which is my goal currently) considering I’ll still probably be in debt with this first book if sales do not go the way I intend them to in the near future. Another important lesson my book offers, though, is the fact that nothing is impossible, only you decide what is possible and what is impossible so when you are feeling low, which is what I feel sometimes, you just say to yourself “I’m Possible” and continue pushing through. That is what I’m doing and hopefully it all works out for me.

Anyways, that is everything I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. If you are one of these people, you know. I truly appreciate every ounce of support I get whether that be in my career change, my new path in life, or my book. Thanks to you all and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Book Launch Party!!!

Here are the photos from my Book Launch. It was an awesome event and my proudest moment! I had a group of 50 people there or so and there were events planned throughout the entire night so there was never a dull moment.

Feel free to look around at the gallery! I can’t wait to support my other fellow author friends at their book launches. I am finally happy to have my book out there. The book comes out December 10th of this year, but if you can’t wait and want to get a preordered copy, visit www.guardianofthecore.com.

Before You Start Reading

Hey everyone!!!

So, yesterday was the big day, I had my Book Launch party. Boy, was I nervous. I shouldn’t have been though, it was an awesome turnout. I will get more into detail about that in a different blog post though. There is so much happening in my life right now that I will be blogging a lot more regularly and so this is the beginning of a 2-3/week blogging spree. So, get prepared.

Anyways, even though the book doesn’t officially get released until December 10th of 2013, I had my Book Launch party in November where people could buy the book and/or free a free book through a series of events (again, a different blog post, be looking for it though). But, I figured before anyone starts reading the book, I wanted to share this with everyone again (I say again because it is on my Facebook Page for my novel “search: Guardian of the Core”). This is my confessional where I explain what spurred me to write the novel I’m writing now, and why I think it’s important to write and what I hope readers will gain via reading it. Take a look at the link below! Also, while you’re there, you can subscribe to my newly created youtube channel titled after my publishing company, “Writer’s Block Press”.

Author Confessional

Thanks everyone for the support and the continued support. I appreciate it. If you end up purchasing the book great, if it speaks to you and you can really resonate with it than that means I’m doing my job as an author which is my greatest delight, not that you bought it. At the end of the day I want you to be able to relate to some aspect of it, regardless of the fact that it is a fantasy novel.

Interviews!!! Or, the beginning of them.

Hey everyone,

So, I finally just had my first interview come out! I managed to find a few bloggers from Goodreads (which is a great resource for other authors) and so I managed to peek his interest and he sent me over some questions to which I answered. So, if you are interested in reading more about me, my authorship, and my book, then click on this link below 🙂

http://www.michaelscifan.us/interview-giveaway-author-mike-thies/

This is pretty sweet because this upcoming Saturday (November 2nd) I will be having another interview but this one for a public television channel on a show called “Meet the Author.” So, this is some good practice and good exposure. Better believe I will be posting the video when I get it!

On top of that, I will be giving a few interviews in the upcoming weeks all in an effort to spread publicity for my upcoming book. You can help me out by sharing the posts. Or, be patient and you will see a blog post that shows all the small ways you can help make my book a success.

I know I’ll be busy in the next few weeks because I plan on reading a lot more and be more active with my blogging. No one said success comes easy 😉

Until next time, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me and my book in the interview.

Review #4

Hey everyone,

So, here is another review that came on about my book, compliments of “Teresa” on Goodreads. She received my book from the NetGalley system. For the most part pretty positive! She didn’t like the fact that it’s not a “complete” book and that there is bound to be a second one, but I suppose…it is a series after all. Wouldn’t be without other books. Anyways, here is the review!

 

“SPOILERS WITHIN:
This is a science fiction story involving magical powers, technological advances and one all powerful guardian. In this portion, the applicants have applied and eight are chosen to compete for an apprenticeship with Eska, the current Guardian of the Core. Should they survive the contests, they will have the opportunity to answer questions for approval from the ruling families and with the required votes begin the apprenticeship for a 200 year position which will require the person to remain single, childless due to the potential transfer of the power.

This portion is well written and the author has well developed story line with the different locations. I could relate to the characters as I was reading the story, not to mention some of the technology used in the story. The places, people and events had excellent descriptions. The reader is able to get lost in the storyline and wonder where the time is gone when he arrives to find, what is to me, a disappointing ending.

Like so many stories being published these days, to me, this is merely part one of a story. From the way the story ends, it is clear there will be more but instead of creating one novel they’ve broken it up into parts so that more money can be made. ( )”

 

She gave it a 3/5 stars. My lowest one yet, but still overall a good review I think considering what she wrote above. Thanks for reading along and hopefully you’ll get the chance to review and read my book soon enough.

Review #3

And the positive reviews continue to roll in. Here is what Betsy Harrison said about my novel on Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/730582546. Otherwise here it is below!

“The Guardian of The Core is reaching the close to his 200 year term as Guardian and must seek out a replacement. Letters arrive at different places to assemble the best of the best for the competition to see who will be chosen as the apprentice. Prince Hydro, Eirek, Zain, Zakk, Gabrielle, Prince Evber and Cadimar are the contestants for the apprenticeship.

“The trials would sort the strong from the weak. Nothing else matters.” These are the thoughts of Guardian Eska as he finally meets those called to attempt the trials.

Through a series of four trials they will be tested for knowledge, strength, survival and more with only one spectator allowed to witness the trials, Senator Numos. After each trial, some will be dropped while others continue on until only two are left. These two will compete in the final Trial with the winner to become the new apprentice and eventually the new Guardian.

All of the contestants want to win, but at what lengths will they go to to be the final person left? Rivalries and friendships. Which will it be?

Totally unique and very interesting story line, plot, setting, and characters. The author does each person justice by not focusing on just one or two but spreads out the developing plot between them all. This story has me awaiting the next book to see if the characters and story go the way I have developed them to go in my mind.

I gave this book 5 stars. Actually, I’d give 6 if I could.

(I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.)”

Thanks Betsy for enjoying the book.

As An Author…

This is a poem I made up. I haven’t done poetry for a while, but this one just came to me so I figured I had to write it down. WordPress is being stupid and not allowing me to tab so that is why the bullet marks are in there so that I can indent, so just imagine that you are reading the poem without them in there.

As an Author…

I survey the scenes our senses savor

  • Causing us to sniff and salivate

I am trained to paint pictures

  • Not tell tedious tales

I create charismatic characters

  • But only by observing others

I notice the nuances that make you, you

  • And make them, them

I might obfuscate observations

  • Or, I may dissect definite details

I can orchestrate the Swan Song

  • And may compose a crescendo
  • As captivating as Casanova’s charisma
  • Or as drawl and dilapidated as death

 

But, for it to be anything at all

  • Ostentatious or otherwise

 

I need sky-shattering support

  • For I am an undiscovered underdog without it.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find it enjoyable and relatable (especially if you’re an author).

MY SECOND REVIEW!! :)

Hi everyone,

Alright sooo I finally got a second review in now and it comes from a reviewer who requested my book over NetGalley. Speaking of which, if you want to read it and review it before it comes out on December 10th, sign up for a NetGalley account and I can send you a link to download it on your e-reader.

Anyways, here is the review. It comes from reviewer, Duchovney Osborne. He says….

“I don’t normally put a synopsis of the book on my site but this book is so good, I’m making an exception in order to peak interest and hopefully introduce you to a great read you may have overlooked. The synopsis below is taken from Goodreads.
{ As Edwyrd Eska approaches his two-hundredth year as Guardian of the Core, he must find an Apprentice to train under him. His title and role compels him to safeguard and govern his universe, Gladonus, as each Guardian before him has done and those after him shall continue to do until relieved of such duties by will of the Ancients. Prince Hydro Paen, Eirek Mourse, and Zain Berrese—amongst other contestants—receive invitations to compete in a quest of Trials intended to determine who becomes Eska’s Apprentice. An old adage goes: “the toughest trials test you truest” – and these events challenge their fortitude through tenuous partnerships, intellectual rivalries, and battles of weapons’ mastery. Along the way, each contestant must attempt to overcome personal demons that haunt them. In this tale of ideal dreams and lucid aspirations, these competitors find theirs threatened by deceit, betrayal, sabotage—and even flesh—as all become vital to success…}
My thoughts in short I really enjoyed this book. All the characters, world building, action and intrigue you would want in a book, well its in this one.
My recommendation this book is worth grabbing a copy. I think this is a book that will pick up steam purely from word of mouth.
I received a copy of this book in ARC form from the publisher. This does not change my opinion in any way.
4 out of 5″
Thanks Duchovney for the review. You can check out his blog at http://bookcoffeereview.blogspot.com/
I hope to get more positive reviews as the publication date draws nearer.
Thanks for reading everyone and for the continued support I receive. It means a lot to me.

Pre-Activate to Activate

Hey guys,

So, when I’m not writing I like to workout. One of the best DVD’s I’ve ever worked out to is TapoutXT2 in the first 60 days of this workout I lost 18 pounds. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to work out and lose weight and just get in shape. Anyways, I want to say that because building your audience, building your platform as an author is kind of like working out.

In any workout you don’t go into a bench press and put on 200 lbs, you put on 150, 175, 190, and then maybe 200. The thing here is you need to Pre-activate, to fully get your body ready for activation. You can’t just go in and expect. That is a line I like from TapoutXT2.

Anyways, how does this relate to writing and building your author platform? Well, you need to build a sense of community with your followers. Comment on their posts, on their blog, and then when it becomes time to lift that 200 pound bench press (the need for book publicity) they are going to be more inclined to help you out. Sending out queries to bloggers without building a solid relationship with them first isn’t the best way of doing that (although it certainly is less time intensive, but who said publishing a book and marketing it wasn’t going to be?). Communicate with others in your industry: authors, agents, publishing houses, editors, etc. Immerse yourself in that environment, and do it fast! Preactivate yourself and your platform, so that when it comes time to activate (when the book is coming out) you can and you can do so efficiently.

I recommend an hour a day if you have the time. This would be spread out between a multitude of mediums like your blog, facebook, and twitter. Respond to people, engage people, all of this will cause people to notice you more and as a good advertising adage says “there is no such thing as bad publicity…except an obituary notice”. I am going to start doing this more because I know this is something I definitely lack in right now, and I realize this now.

Where does one find the time to do all that?

There is 24 hours in a day. Most are at work from 8 – 5. That is nine hours in a day taken up. You sleep for another eight hopefully that leaves 7 hours left. Let’s say commute and dinner take up another 2 hours. So, there should be 5 more hours in your day to work with. To help you save time, I would recommend installing HootSuite on your smart phone and programming it to post stuff on your Facebook and Twitter for the whole week starting Sunday when you have a day off. This will save you time and will cause you to be more efficient.

Anyways, hope this helps, and I hope the analogy makes sense. Pre-active your social media presence to activate the potential that social media holds for anything you do in building a reputable author brand.