Tag Archives: milestones

Six Hundred

Six Hundred

This blog is a story in itself. It’s the documentation of a journey. Growing up, I remember my grandmother talking about becoming a novelist. She often spoke of the stories she wanted to share, the memoirs of her life, but she never finished her book. I believe the world is a little less without her words. From the beginning, the intent of I Make Stories was to chronicle my process of becoming a novelist—the good and the bad. As I have shared my experiences, I often wonder: what would have happened if my grandmother had read this blog as a fellow writer? Would she have been dissuaded or encouraged?

On that note, it’s time for a bit of reflection, and hopefully a bit of encouragement. It’s become a tradition around here that every two hundred posts I pause and take a moment and look back at what has happened in the time between. In 2014 I wrote my two-hundredth post, in 2015 I hit number four hundred, and here I am in 2017 looking at number six hundred. It’s been a long trail.

Things haven’t always been easy, but generally, nothing worth doing is easy. Days of discouragement are as common as the days of victory. Even as I write this post, I’ve been struggling through some serious self-doubt. I’ve come to expect it now, it’s a part of creation. Random events interrupt and derail process and progress. Writing takes time and effort, and it can often be a lonely endeavor. It requires a commitment to yourself and often that is more difficult than we realize.


“Milestones are meant to be passed.”


But even with the trials of creative work, things haven’t slowed during the last two hundred posts. Each obstacle has been surmounted and I’ve found successes along the way. I’ve sold a lot more books, many thousands now in total. I’ve hit the Amazon best-seller page multiple times. My presence at conventions has also expanded, and I’ve met some incredible people and new friends along the way.

On the story front, I launched Red Litten World which fans have enjoyed. I’ve finished the first draft of a standalone non-traditional fantasy (the title which I am keeping secret), and I’m nearly done with the first draft of Coal Belly my enormous steampunky riverboat adventure. Then it’s on to book four of the Bell Forging Cycle.

I’d like to think the content on this blog has gotten better as well. I’ve begun to share some of my discoveries in my research and delve into more details in the world of the Territories. There’s also this little thing which fans of the Bell Forging Cycle have yet to unravel. Plus, I have some other exciting plans for the future.

I couldn’t have done this alone. Although she never knew me as a writer, there is something of my grandmother in everything I write and for that I thank her. She might not have told her stories, but she empowered me to tell mine. And of course, there is you; my readers. I couldn’t be here, looking back from post six hundred, without you. Thanks for the passion. Thank you for buying my books. Thanks for reading them, and leaving reviews. Thank you for telling your friends and helping to spread the word. Thank you for the emails and the encouragement. There’s a lot of books out there to read, and I’m so grateful you picked mine.

As before, I won’t dwell here long. Stick with your work fellow creators. Milestones are meant to be passed. Number eight hundred lies somewhere in the distance and who knows what we’ll see in the spaces between.

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The Stars Were Right Print Proof

It’s Been A Good Week

I started this blog to document my journey as I began writing. I’ve have always wanted it to be as candid and honest as possible. So I have made sure to share ups and downs, highs and lows. I have talked about my fear. I have talked about rejection. I have shared my successes. I want to let others out there know they’re not alone, we all struggle through this creative process. Through it all I have trudged forward, writing my strange little novels, and working to create the best books I can.

Well, something pretty amazing happened Monday, and to stay on theme I wanted to share it with everyone here. A few weeks ago I was able to secure a 99¢ promotion with Book Bub—a daily deal promotional site for ebooks. That promotion launched on Monday, and well… I sold a lot of books. A lot. I have nearly doubled my readership and as a result The Stars Were Right took off and began flying up the charts.

Then this happened:

The Stars Were Right hanging next to Hugh Howey's WoolYep, that’s my book sitting next to Hugh Howey’s Wool on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Science Fiction Adventures list. It also ranked pretty high on a few other lists:

The Numbers Were Right
By Monday’s end I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and excited, and flattered, and humbled. It’s incredible that so many folks took a chance on me and my book. I didn’t expect this. Sure, I expected a few sales, but nothing of this magnitude. Since this was a promotion it stuck around for about a day before slowly settling back down, but I had to share even my momentary rise with you.

I really look forward to hearing from all my new readers. I hope you thoroughly enjoy meeting Wal, exploring Lovat, and discovering just a small sliver of The Territories. Feel free to drop me a line at any time and let me know what you thought. There’s a lot more to come in The Bell Forging Cycle and I am glad to have more of you join me on this crazy adventure!