Changing Platforms

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve updated.  I’ve been busy with work and life and that tends to overwhelm me sometimes.

I’ve decided to switch platforms for my books.  CreateSpace, which was where I first started publishing my books in 2016, has been undergoing a lot of changes and there are rumors that it may either be shuttered soon or absorbed into Amazon altogether.  How true these rumors are, I have no idea.

Amazon does have its own print publishing service now, however, and I recently moved all my books there.  This merges my sales from paperback books and Kindle books together so I don’t have to skip from one website to the other to see what’s going on which is a plus.

Moving on, I reviewed some areas while making these changes and I have decided to abandon extended distribution.  What is that, you ask? With extended distribution, online retailers such as Barnes and Noble and Books A Million can carry my books and customers can purchase them through this venue.  Unfortunately, there is a surcharge to this service.  Those outlets must have their cut of money and that is why my book prices were more expensive.  By letting those outlets sell my books, I was forced to price my books at a higher rate and honestly, I was barely making but maybe $1.00 or less on a book when it sold through one of those websites.

I’m not about money, but this is a nice passive income to have.  Every little bit helps and it will also help finance my future writing as well.  I have decided to sell my print copy books from solely Amazon for now.  Sales at the online retailers were slim anyways so I’m not losing a lot. And a lot of customers have personally requested that I sell them a book in person which is more convenient for them and me.

What this means is that I’m able to lower the prices of all my books which is better for sales.  I was able to lower the price of Tainted from 25.00 to 20.00 for instance.  I am also thinking about trying to get a book signing together again. I’m not for sure about the venue or even how to put it all together.  That will be something I will keep everyone updated about.

I will be updating the links on my blog for my books as well as the information.

Thanks for stopping by.


Moving Forward

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me.  I have been working on the fourth book, Beyond the Southern Veil, on and off for months now.  The other night I finished the rough draft of the book.  Of course, I will have to round up a few test readers and do some edits, but the fourth book is almost ready.

I’m a little nervous about this book.  My narrative is not in first person with this book, but third person.  The stories are all short and horror themed.  I felt that I wrote very well in first person and this shift of narrative makes me self-conscious about my writing.

As I ready the fourth book for publication, I am excited to share that I will be in the planning stages of the next book, Serviced.  The premise of Serviced will be about a young adult character who finds themselves laid off during the recession of 2008 and after working several failed attempts at customer service jobs, including fast food and grocery stores, land a job at a….porn store…with hilarious results.  This book will have a comedy theme which will deviate even further from the genre that I created with Broken, Tainted, and Cursed which was more psychological and dark.

For fans of the Bellwood saga, don’t fear.  We haven’t heard the last from Patrick, Logan, and Lillian Bellwood I can assure you.

I will keep everyone updated about the future release of Beyond the Southern Veil.

Thanks for dropping by!

Coming Along

Hello everyone,

Once again, I found myself having to give myself a swift kick in the buttocks to start writing again.  Tonight, I completed three and half more pages of the final chapter of the 4th book, which is all about murder, ghosts, possessions and spooky stuff.

I can’t wait to finish Beyond the Southern Veil and share it with everyone.  It’s a bit different than my last three books.  I will keep everyone updated as I continue to write and finish up this project.

Thanks for stopping by for my small posting.

Writer’s Procrastination

Hello everyone,

I know it’s been awhile since I last posted on my blog.  Luckily, I’m not a professional blogger or I would go out of business.  Anyways, I seem to have hit something of a slump with writing. I guess it was bound to happen.  After all, I produced three rather large novels in the span of just two years. That’s a lot of work!

I’ve almost completed the fourth book.  It’s more of a novella, a short collection of stories about Oak Grove, North Carolina with a touch of horror woven into the narrative. For weeks, I’ve not touched the file and I will admit, I do go through bouts were I don’t even think about writing.  In one way I wish I could write professionally and rely on my craft as my sole source of income.  Alas, I have not gotten to that point so I must work in the real world and it can be tiring to the point that it sucks your creativity right out.

I recently survived the Flu and while I was planning to put my illness time out of work to good use and write the last chapter of Beyond the Southern Veil, I was just so sickly that I couldn’t do much but rest in bed.

In much better spirits now, I have actually opened the file and have started working on the fifth chapter.  I’m just going to start writing and see where I wind up.  Sometimes, it’s difficult to just write. Sometimes, I put too much pressure on myself and it’s not fun anymore. That’s the real reason I started writing and if I’m not careful, I will lose that purpose and do what some authors do: Turn the craft of writing into a grinding job.

I’m not for sure where the pages will go tonight.  But it’s a start. And I would like to see the fourth book released soon.  I will keep everyone updated as I progress toward the release of the fourth book.

Thanks for stopping by.

The End of the Year is Just the Beginning

Hello everyone,

I know I’ve been keeping my readers in suspense with this new book I’ve been working on since forever. I’m pushing steadily along. I finished a chapter that I’ve been stuck on for about 3 months now. I hope to eventually finish the last chapter on this small novella and move on to the book about working in customer service, which is ironic since I decided to reenter the customer service field a little over a month ago.

The last two years have been really interesting for me. When I started this odyssey for publishing my first book, I had no idea where it would take me. And it’s true that I have no idea where continuing to write stories will lead.

Fame and riches were not my main concern when I began writing.  I was more worried about what people would think of my stories than anything. I leave this year realizing where my strengths lie and hoping that I can overcome my weaknesses for 2018.

I will keep everyone updated about the progress of the novella I’m working on and as I close in on a completion date, I will announce this via social media and this blog.

I wish everyone a Happy 2018.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.


The Longest Wait Ever

Hello everyone,

As I told everyone in a previous post, I am taking some time off from writing, especially during the holidays.  It seems like at this time of year, time speeds up, emotions run high, and energy levels are depleted.

I recently changed jobs and with that change comes more flexibility with my scheduling that will allow me to free up more time for writing.  As most of you know, I completed several chapters of the 4th book, titled “Beyond the Southern Veil” which chronicles the dark underside of the small town of Oak Grove, North Carolina with a supernatural twist.

Producing 3 books in two years time is very taxing and so I will be taking my time with the 4th book. I realized after the horrible, scathing review that I received about my first book that I need to take a small break.  I really took the review to heart and it really affected my mood and viewpoint.

No matter how much I psyched myself up for the backlash that I knew I would receive for writing such a controversial story, I still took the horrible review to heart. I feel for major celebrities.  I honestly don’t know how they deal with being in the limelight all the time, always being criticized for the slightest word or gesture.  It’s very taxing being the center of attention, especially when the spotlight is shining in your face and you and your work are being criticized.

Hopefully, my next update will be news that I have completed another few chapters of “Beyond”.  Stay tuned for updates.  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Holidays!


Why Goodreads Is Not A Great Social Plaform for Indie Authors

Hello everyone,

After my ordeal with a horrible reviewer, I did some research into the Goodreads social platform.  While the concept sounds great (readers coming together to review books), let it be stated that these online reviewers can be ruthless and Goodreads will not usually remove a review, no matter how untrue or insidious it is.  Before I go any further, they do state that reviews have to be consistent with certain guidelines (i.e., no hate speech, etc.), but good luck proving your case to those that look at the comments section.

That being said, this reviewer pretty much insinuated that I was writing some sort of horrible porn AFTER admitting that she had not even finished the entire book.  I have to state that even at my worst, I’ve finished a book or movie to the end before forming a solid opinion of the material as a whole.  What is even more shocking about this reviewer is that she is in the position of a Goodreads ‘Librarian’.  Basically, a Librarian is in a position of power on the Goodreads platform.  They can add records, edit records, etc.

What I have found in researching and dealing with this platform is that it’s nothing more than a more open form of the commonly hated and cringe-worthy Topix platform, except the usernames are not anonymous and are linked to a profile. Readers are seemingly encouraged to write horrid reviews and can openly taunt authors without recourse (or so it would seem), much like the forums at Topix bash others.

Which brings me to a crossroads.  If I choose to delete my personal account from Goodreads, it does not delete my books.  Goodreads can add anyone’s book (but not necessarily their cover art, unless you publish under Amazon) to their cringe-worthy database where roving gangs of child-like bullies can have their way with it.

I can take criticism as an author. I know that my books were not edited properly. I know that the plot wasn’t the best. I know that not everyone will like or agree with the content of the books; however, I do have an issue with a reviewer that did not bother finishing the entire book making a half-assed review that is way out in left-field.

I know that I’m not alone in the author Vs. readers struggle on Goodreads.  There are have been several occurrences where issues have escalated out of control on Goodreads such as one rogue author’s group actually releasing reviewer’s personal information online in retaliation.  While the platform is good in concept, the way that Amazon allows the site to be run makes me question their ethics and professionalism as a company.

I did write a message to Goodreads about their site and the setup and how it allows this behavior, but I doubt that anything will be done as many other authors have tried this and nothing has been done to date.  A lot of websites and blogs out there have stated that Goodreads loves the drama their roving gangs of trolls cause on the website and will not follow any recourse on the reviewers unless they are found in some sort of violation of their terms of service (which is very rare).

Needless to say, at this point, the best revenge on scornful critics is to keep on writing. Though I have decided to take a few months off before I finish my next book, I will occasionally post on the blog.  Thank you for dropping by to read.


The Fine Art of Being An Artist

Hello everyone,

Being an author can be tough.  Being an independent author can be tricky (pardon my play on wording) 😉

Navigating the uncharted waters of playing all the hats of multiple people daily (press agent, book agent, editor, media organizer, etc.) can be physically and mentally exhausting, especially if you a work full-time job in addition to your writing duties, such as I do. Having published my first book a little over a year ago, I’m considered a rookie and as such, I will make mistakes from time to time.

According to the industry, it’s frowned upon to ever reply to a review from a reader if you are an author, either good or bad.  I’ve always tried to stay neutral and if I did dare reply to a reader it was for further explanation or to thank them for the their review.

Being new to the publishing platform, I only promote my books primarily through Amazon and Facebook.  There is the Twitter account, but I find that most times, my Tweets go largely ignored, so I usually don’t post a lot on that outlet.  Then there is the Goodreads platform.

I hardly ever notice Goodreads because it’s the 4th option for promotional activities and I’ve not noticed a lot of movement on the board since my first book was added.  I got a really nasty review on Amazon and replied to the reviewer who also happened to be a member of Goodreads.  The reply to the comment was a mistake as I should have remained neutral according to the old school unwritten laws of professionalism and ignored the obvious bait tactic of a provoker.

When I replied to the comment, it caused the provoker to respond in an even nastier post on Goodreads.  I decided to go head to head with the reviewer as she hadn’t even finished my entire book but wanted to degrade the work as a whole.  After a smack down posting war, I decided to calm myself and do some research on the matter.  Seems that Goodreads has been in the middle of a lot of bad publicity lately where readers (reviewers) can gang up on authors and ‘troll’ or harass them.

Since this reviewer was unnecessarily hideous with her review accusing me of misleading the reader by not giving my book a rating or disclaimer (like who even does that with books?), I decided to flag her responses to a moderator (which I’ve researched will probably not be taken down since Goodreads always seems to side with the reviewer, not the author) and I blocked that user.  Goodreads does not appear to be the best platform to be a part of. Unfortunately, it is owned by Amazon and even deleting my profile does not delete your books because any book published by Amazon will automatically be added to their database to be rated and reviewed by their readers.

It seems that the best approach when dealing with the online world is to ignore reviews as an author. I’ve decided to completely ignore reviews going forward.  While the explosion of digital media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) has made it easier than ever to connect with people and for independent authors to share their work, unfortunately, in the same instance, it would seem that this explosion has become a double-edged sword.  It’s now easier than ever to hop online and gang up on an artist, musician, etc. and be comfortably shielded by your computer screen.

I almost let this discourage me from continuing writing, but that would let those detractors have their way.  As a fellow artist (musician) told me today, I’m creating something that will be here when I’m gone.  Those critics are building nothing but a lot of hype for themselves and when their hype wears off or burns out, what have they got to show for it? Nothing, except for the next ‘self-made’ critic that will take their place.

I have decided to take some time off, however.  I’ve steamrolled 3 books out in 2 years while working full-time positions.  That has taken a toll on my body and mind and I need to rest.  Do not fret though.  I’m not quitting.  Just taking a very long, much needed vacation.

I appreciate everyone for stopping by to read my blog.  I will continue to update on here from time to time. 🙂

Cursed Unleashed and Beyond

Hello everyone!

It’s been a busy last month for me.  I finally finished the 3rd entry in the Bellwood series, Cursed.  Albeit, the third book is a lot shorter than Broken and Tainted, Cursed ties the previous two books together and ends the Bellwood family series for now.  I intend to revisit Patrick Bellwood’s family in the future, but for now, I’m moving on to other projects.

Beyond the Southern Veil is my 4th book and will be told from a 3rd person perspective.  Beyond will focus on the town of Oak Grove and the dark secrets that the citizens keep.  There is definitely a horror theme in this book.  I’m a little nervous about writing out of first person perspective.  This will be my first time formally story-telling out of first person narrative.

Alas, as much as I would love to have Beyond the Southern Veil out by Halloween, I’m not for sure if it would be possible for that to happen.  I’ve just finished the first story.  I haven’t determined how many short stories this book will contain, but I don’t want to rush the work out.  I’d like to give my readers quality over quantity.  Too many times, I hear about writers rushing their books.  I don’t want to cheapen the quality of my stories for a deadline.

I will keep everyone updated as I progress on the 4th book.  I would like to eventually get a book signing together.  I’m not for sure where I could hold the venue.  I don’t have any support from the local media, so I would be 100% in charge of my own advertising, etc.  I was thinking maybe Cove Lake State Park as that might be the easiest place for everyone to find me without a lot of issues. Feel free to message me with suggestions.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

Closer To The Bittersweet Conclusion

Hello everyone!

I’ve been working diligently to bring my 3rd book of the Bellwood family series to my fans.  As of today, I have edited/rewrote my way to Chapter 13 of 16. Bringing this family’s story to a close will be somewhat bittersweet for me.  It will mark the conclusion of a story that took shape in April of 1997 and finally formed a cohesive story in 2014.  It’s been an interesting journey for me on a personal and professional level.

Even though this is the end of Patrick Bellwood’s story, this is not the end of my stories.  I intend to continue writing and have already started a 4th book unrelated to my characters from Broken, Tainted, and Cursed; however, the town of Oak Grove, North Carolina, will be the setting for the new collection of short horror stories.

Some of my fans may not like the direction I take the Bellwood series in with the 3rd book.  A few of my fans may not like how tightly packed the story is for the 3rd book as Cursed is shaping up to not be a rather large book.  When I began writing Broken and later, Tainted, I was goaded into bigger, bolder, more, more, more.

I’m realizing that even though more is sometimes better, it’s not always necessarily needed.  The readers have been through a lot with Patrick Bellwood and his family’s story in Broken & Tainted.  I want Cursed to bring both of those books together in a climatic end without adding additional scenes/issues that are just filler.

The third book will tie up a few loose ends, but there is always the possibility that maybe in the future Patrick Bellwood’s story has more chapters.  And that’s where I will leave that point for now.

As the end date on Cursed nears, I will continue to keep everyone updated.  When I post the book for pre-ordering I will let everyone know.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog!