THE THREE-YEAR RIDE! — Derek Barton

Anniv Blog

Three years ago, I created this blog and established my site and social media footprint in order to advertise my book and to give my fans a place to reach out to me.  This has been a crazy but fantastic ride!  So thankful to all of you who’ve come along as passengers on my little quest.

Here’s the growth from year one to now:

SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2019 = 70 WordPress, 11 Email & 488 through Twitter & Facebook.
  • 2016 = 11 Email

VIEWS/VISITORS:

  • 2019 = 4,488 — 2016 = 1603 views
  • 2019 = 2,475 — 2016 = 659 visitors
  • 2019 = 61 — 2016 = 19 different countries

POSTS:

  • 2019 = this is the 115th post!! (26 so far this year)
  • 2016 = 37 posts

GIVEAWAYS:  18 Individual giveaways for Book, Audio, Amazon or Metal Bookmarkers!

 

As you know if you’ve been following my goal blogs, I use a bi-montly process that has actually been quite effective.  Here are the goals made and fulfilled from July, 2018 through June, 2019:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days. Now out on Amazon, Audible & Kindle! N4D Revamp 2018c
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors. Was a decent success — this year’s increase in participation & what we are giving away is a nice testament to that!

2019 Indie Book Giveaway Ad

  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance. Did four book signings but due to finances and low turnout I couldn’t justify doing more…but with several books released now, I will be on the prowl for another couple signing spots this year!  Would also like to get into one or two comic-cons, but cannot promise that due to having to usually register months in advance.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  Elude Ad 2019The entire series has been completed, book covers designed then redesigned, and soon to be released in audible format by the end of the first quarter next year!!
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  I have been successful with this and plan on continuing.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  Accomplished this and have published the entire series on Amazon & Kindle!cover
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. Still trying to get through this one. Coming up with the battle plans and the intricate plots is a whole lot more complicated than you’d expect! Plus, with this being the finale, I want to do better than “What-did-you-do-to-my-Game-of-Thrones?!”… UGH!!!GoT s8
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)  I participated in this last November, but my outline had too many holes so it only garnered 26,000 words… However, it’s a good start!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)  This will happen — but trying to make Wyvernshield #3 a priority right now.
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.  Decided to do a Dystopian/Fantasy saga:  Juxtaposed…  Now working on Chapter Four. JX CH 2
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…  I did get this off the ground and have had some success doing covers, editing & proofing for other writers. I plan on continuing this as the work has been sporadic and not too overwhelming so far.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  This has been a success — our final and fourth blogs are due out this month.  Check out Adam’s here!  For my blogs, click here!

 

Thanks again to all of you for your continued help, support and following me along this bumpy road!  It has been the greatest adventure of my life!!

Anniv Blog v2

 

Bi-Monthly Goals for July & August 2019 — Derek Barton

Blog Goal #1

Well…this has definitely been a challenging yet rewarding year. Unfortunately, events have substantially impacted my writing production.

At the beginning of April, I gave you my goals for April & May.  Now, I won’t go into detail or give any excuses, but me and my family had to face and overcome some serious medical obstacles followed by financial hardships. I was so derailed that I lost most of June as well still working things out.

The dust has settled and overall, we are sitting better than where we even started the year.  However, like any sudden change, it takes time to recover and adapt.

I do want to apologize to you, my core fans, and ask for your forgiveness and patience.

My work schedule has done a 360 degree shift on me and thus, my writing time has been severely compromised. One of my priorities this month will have to be to determine when and where to write. As I have stated in the past that I write mainly after 10 PM when my family goes to bed. Now I am working from 8 AM to 4:30 PM versus 11:30 AM to 8 PM  — not too mention the two hours of driving time… But, I repeat, I am not wanting  to give you excuses, only facts which I’ll have to find a work-around.

I promise you: Writing and developing my collection is too important for me to throw away or forget about. Adjustment, flexibility, good attitude and drive will help me find a path through.

Here were my goals and results from April & May:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series — partially completed; more chapters to work though.
  • Complete the outline for the new web saga, Juxtaposed — succeeded on this goal, but need to publish the third installment.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series) — no writing or outlining yet done on this storyline unfortunately.
  • Rework the covers of my books — partial success as I revamped the Elude Series which I’m quite happy with. Still need another artist or somehow figure out what I want for my new covers for the Wyvernshield Series.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! — success as I published the interview (see here if you haven’t had a chance to read it) and have done 3 of the 4 guest blogs with him so far.

And by the way…I recently did an in-depth interview with my voice actress, Laura Richcreek on the Wyvernshield Series. That is in the editing stage but soon to be released. STAY TUNED FOR THAT!  It was fun to do and we get into a lot of the minute details and reasons behind the plot twists in the two books>>SPOILERS ALERT<<  

My Goals for July & August:

The last goal blog, I proposed goals and put some dates of completion with them.  This time I’m going to try putting Priority Levels on them — I will work from the top down which will keep me focused on what’s most important for me to complete.

  • Complete the total outline for the third book of the Wyvernshield Series. Highest Priority.
  • Maintain a two-week production of the chapters for the web series, Juxtaposed. Highest Priority.
  • Develop and begin the Evade Series outline.  Medium Priority.
  • Find a cover artist or design the Wyvernshield book covers myself.  Medium Priority.
  • Develop a book trailer for Wyvernshield Series. Lowest Priority (stretch goal).

 

There are many other things I want to do, but time is very limited so I hope these goals can be accomplished. With luck and with the better financial position, I hope to do more appearances, giveaways, and book signings by the end of the year! Thanks for everyone’s support and I appreciate everyone sticking around to see what’s in store for the future.

 

 

Interviewed by Adam C. Mitchell — Derek Barton

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Check out this great interview I did with fellow writer, Adam C. Mitchell.

 

Having a chat with… Author Derek Barton

I had the privilege to chat with American Horror Author Derek Barton a head of him launching a 4 part guest blog series on this site. Check out his Interview below, my review of his book on the Author Review Page ” Consequences Within Chaos” and his first article on the blog tomorrow…

1. Name

Derek Barton

2. Place of Birth

Small town in Indiana

3. Present Occupation (other than author)

A sales supervisor for a healthcare call center. (snooozzzzeee)

4. Hobbies

Hiking, video games, movies

5. Memberships in Organizations

I am a member to several Facebook groups but nothing outside of that.

6. Current Book Description Just finished my last installment of the Elude series I have been writing. It follows a desperate cat-and-mouse chase between a young ex-con, Vic Vicente, and a sadistic serial killer who keeps placing bodies and blame on Vic. The core of the story is how Vic has to elude the detectives on his case and elude the real murderer using only his wits and street instincts.

Book Blurb: Stepping blindly into a horrific murder scene, a young ex-con, Vicente Vargas, must flee from the police while eluding the real killer who continues to pin more bodies on him in this intricate cat-and-mouse game. Cut off from all friends and family, tried and convicted by the press, Vic must survive on his wits and cunning on the gritty streets of Phoenix, Arizona long enough to clear his name.

7. How did you come to write this book?

I liked the idea of a serial killer who chooses a “patsy” for his crimes only his pawn doesn’t behave in the expected patterns. The killer’s flaw is his own racism.

8. Other publication’s you have out (books listed in order of release:)

A/ Consequences Within Chaos

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LYT2OS9/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

B/ In Four Days

https://www.amazon.com/Four-Days-Horror-Suspense-Novella/dp/1542625556/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

C/ The Bleeding Crown

https://www.amazon.com/Bleeding-Crown-Derek-Barton/dp/1720670226/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

D/ Elude: Part One

https://www.amazon.com/Elude-Part-Horror-Suspense-Derek-Barton/dp/1725798107/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

E/ Elude: Part Two

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books/book-detail-page?ie=UTF8&bookASIN=1728977983&index=default

9. Blogs and Websites (With links):

Author website @ https://rivyen.wordpress.com/

Facebook Page @ https://www.facebook.com/NovelistDerekBarton/

Twitter Accont @ https://twitter.com/Rivyen

and my Patreon Page @ https://www.patreon.com/user?u=16518751

10. Are there any special markets where we can find your work?

Not at this time.

11. Are there any book-stores where we can browse your work?

I am at a local bookstore called Bookman’s Exchange in Phoenix, Arizona. A small selection of my earlier works.

12. Do You have a mailing list?

Yes, I do for a monthly newsletter which I update my core fans with my progress, what book giveaways I am running and where I can be found for personal book signings.

13. Any reviews of your work you would like to share?

Yes, William Bitner Jr, an online book reviewer, read and wrote up a great review of Elude: Part Three. Check it out here: https://booksinmylibraryblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/elude-part-three-by-derek-barton/

14. Do you have any Endorser or specific people you would like to thank for whatever reason?

Yes, I would like to thank and give a shout out to my patrons Susanna Willey, Deborah West & Jon Paul Rai on Patreon.com. Their help and support mean a lot and let me do more for my entire fan base than I could alone.

15. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

What is the first book that made you cry? I remember sitting in my class in grade school reading Watership Down and the character Bigwig was ensnared. I thought he died, and I burst into tears in the middle of class…pretty embarrassing, but I had my own rabbit and it hit a nerve.

16. In your opinion what is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Of course, plagiarism is the worst offense any writer can make, but I think another issue I have noticed is this “writers selling to writers” trend. Professional writers offering “expert” tips, strategies, etc to help less experienced writers and they just pour out the same information found everywhere for free online with exorbitant fees or monthly payments. I am not saying that there isn’t good reference material out there, but it seems like too many writers are profiting and making a big paycheck off the backs of less experienced or successful writers.

17. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

It can definitely do both, but if the thrill of telling a story or entertaining someone isn’t there then you should rethink what you are in it for. I love it where a fan or a reader wants to discuss an event in one of my stories and wants to know the reasons behind my decisions. It means that I touched them, and my story engaged them – it’s such a great interaction and motivation to me. Writing keeps me breathing!

18. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

A trap I fell into was the belief I could do my own editing. It seems easy enough to just go back through and read your work, but editing is a completely different mode of thinking and analyzing. You really need to hire out for it. The other trap I see is the lack of building your email list. Putting your book on Amazon won’t be enough to build your platform. You have to keep shouting in that crowded room of a thousand new faces on Amazon. If you don’t market or make yourself seen, your work will be never noted and go unseen.

19. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Not having an outline. I’m a total plotter. Writer’s block to me is an empty white screen and no notes on the side to follow. In fact, until I really saw the benefit to an outline, I never completed a story I wrote until in my thirties. I would always start strong, peter out and flounder in the middle and never reach the end of the stories. All I had accomplished was a drawer filled with half-attempts.

20. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

No, I haven’t. However, I cannot find time to sit and read. I’m a huge audiobook fan and that is the only way I can get through books now. Too many responsibilities require my time so I make use of driving time, standing in line, working out, and other opportunities to pop on my audio book. It is another reason I have even gotten three of my stories on Audible.com. Consequences Within Chaos, The Bleeding Crown and In Four Days are all in audio book formats. Elude is the process of being made into an audio book.

21. Have you got a pen name you use?

No. I have no use or desire to create one at this time.

22.. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

To me, you have to do a bit of both to be successful. Give the reader what they’re looking for but with a touch of a twist or something unique added.

23. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have my father who was always an inspiration for me to become a writer. I have several friends that are writers (Nesa Miller, Adam Mitchell, Logan Fox, Jon Paul Rai and Susanne Lambdin) that I ask questions or seek advice often. It’s a journey and everyone can learn something new from anyone. And we all become stronger for sharing experiences, sharing services and sharing support.

24. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am definitely trying to build a world of work within the fantasy side of my writing (Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown). My horror stories (In Four Days and Elude) accidentally became linked when one of the surviving characters in In Four Days became a perfect fit for a character needed in Elude. And now, I am working on a new horror/crime series called Evade that will have another big connection to In Four Days.

To read the rest of the interview CLICK HERE!

 

A Must-See Character? — Derek Barton

Character Sketch

 

Have you ever wanted to participate in a book’s story creation?  Watched a movie and thought, I wish they would’ve have done this…or wished they would have taken the story in this direction…or This character is so flat, boring… 

Well, I am offering you your chance!

In an upcoming modern horror/crime story I am developing, I want YOU to tell me what would you’d like to see or read — what character you’d write about!

My only limitation for you is that the story will focus on two patrol officers — I am picturing this character as my main character’s partner.

Should I chose your character, I will send you a Signed Paperback copy of the novel in advance of putting it on the market and give you exclusive credit on my dedication/acknowledgment page for that character creation! Also, you will get an exclusive paperback copy of Elude #3 coming out late March or April with an alternate cover…YOU WILL HAVE THE ONLY SIGNED COPY! 

This giveaway will go to the end of March and you must be within the United States to win (sorry, but International Mailing is just impractical at this time).  Also note, if not enough entries are sent or viable characters to choose from, I may not select a winner for the giveaway.

Use my prior Character Sketch blogs to get a better idea of what I am looking for:

Diving into the oceans of your characters!

OR…

New Character Sketch!

CHARACTER SKETCH

Name —

Gender —

Character Strengths & Weaknesses ==

How old?

What does the character look like? 

Where is the character from?

How does your character deal with conflict? 

Where does he/she live?

Does the character have any unique or special abilities? 

Who else is in their life? 

The character’s current status in life?

What is your character’s goal or motivation?

To participate, Copy and Paste the questions to an email and send your responses to Rivyenphx@gmail.com.  Feel free to add images, short summaries or anything else you want that will bring your creation to life!

Good luck and together we can really write something special!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Dynamic Approach to Achieving Goals — Derek Barton

goal #3

Back in July 2017, I started using a process centered around Bi-Monthly Goals. These were goals set up for a two-month time span.  This worked reasonably well, but the main issue I had was that I was often too open or the goals were too far-reaching.  Without breaking out the hows and steps to accomplish those goals, I had moderate success with them.  With that said, I am ready to see if there are better ways to realize my dreams and goals.

The Bi-Monthly Goal System was introduced to me by a YouTube video.  This new system is again a YouTube video.  I have to say that the site really is a modern-day Oracle.  Almost any question you might have, someone probably has done a video on it! I have been doing a lot of research on marketing and came across this new 90-Day Goal System.

Like the Bi-Monthly, you decide on your goals and work within the designated window of time.  This goal system is introduced by author Sarra Cannon, an author of several romance novel series in which she’s sold over 750,000 copies!  Her method of goal-setting is reviewed and discussed in a video marked How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you breakdown those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Another aspect of her system is to be realistic in your writing plans.  You will have days you are just not feeling up to working or you will have days where you are sick AND you will have days you will not write as they are on holidays.  Everyone has 365 days in the year and there are the holidays in every culture that will interrupt your schedule.  Plan for sick days, mental health days, and even relaxation or celebration days. Everyone has the same amount of time, but successes go to the people that make the best and most accurate plans for their time.

The other neat trick with the system is it gives you a chance to breathe.  You know you want three or four books done by the end of the year.  This method allows you to not worry about the other books and focus on the one — in the back of your mind every time you start to fuss about not getting to that book, you can relax as you know it’s already scheduled in the future and you already have a plan in mind.  A lot of writers try writing more than one book at a time and this can and often diminishes the quality of both works versus if the author took one at a time and made them the best he could.

Two YEAR goals I would like to focus on are increasing site visitation as well as completing three more novels for 2019.

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

  • Write & Publish Elude Part Three

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

Another aspect of Cannon’s 90-day Goal System is to construct a goal reminder whiteboard in her office.  Her follow-up video is How I Create My 90 Day Plan and Use a Kanban Board to Achieve My Goals.  Simply, she puts all her TASK GOALS on a single post-it note and organizes them into a “Get It Done” and an “Awesome Job” section.  She chooses at the beginning of the week the tasks she wants to work on, placing them in the “Get It Done” section.  Completed Tasks she moves them into the “Awesome Job” section — which, of course, is a great way to keep motivated, seeing all the tasks you completed through the 90 days.

I will be writing up a review blog and discussing the details and results of this 1st quarter.  If you have any questions or want to discuss how you develop your goals, feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

From Start to Finish: 2018 — Derek Barton

NYE

As everyone who happens to read these blogs know, I have been using Bi-Monthly goals to keep me focused, motivated and productive.  Now since November, I have been a little non-plussed, to be honest with you. With very little book sales and only a few friends coming to book shows, it has made me question what to do next or what changes I can make to reach a bigger audience.  I am not planning on giving up, just looking for new steps to take.

While I am still researching the internet and watching YouTube videos on marketing, I don’t have any new answers…yet, but in the meantime, I thought I would look back and see just what I have done this year and if I am happy or not with 2018.

Complete Works

Works In Progress — Status as of January 2017

CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS AUDIOBOOK – This was still in the works, finalizing edits and mastering the audio quality.  The final version was released and published on Audible.com on June 25.  This was a fantastic first experience with audiobook production and I couldn’t be happier with the talent and skill my voice actress, Laura Richcreek-Morrison.  She has been currently working on The Bleeding Crown!  Voice actors like Laura and Charles Pendleton for my horror stories have taken my work to a whole new level!

THE BLEEDING CROWN – Four of my bi-monthly goals for January & February were to complete the 2nd waves of edit for the main body of work, complete the subplots for the manuscript (about 25,000 words), set up a marketing campaign (ads, etc) and start working on the book cover.  All was finalized and the completed book was published on June 26th.  (Side note:  I didn’t realize June had been so full this year! ha).  While sales have not been as plentiful, it has gotten a decent amount of 5 Star Reviews on Amazon.  I personally cherish the book as my favorite child so far (Elude is close second though!).  I have written almost 30,000 so far on the follow-up, Swimming In The Ashes (working title).  That might be out by the end of 2019, but no guarantees.

IN FOUR DAYS AUDIOBOOK – In April, I connected with Charles Pendleton and we agreed to work together on my modern paranormal/horror story.  He did a great job on it and we have seen some success with the sales on Audible.  It was released in August. Charles is also already working with me on the Elude series so stay tuned for that!

ELUDE PT #1 & PT #2 – In January I was still working on the first wave of edits for Part One!  As of August 31, it has been completed and published on Amazon and Kindle.  Part Two was published on October 19th.  I am working through the final Part Three and hope to have it published by February 2019.

THE HIDDEN – Released Chapter 7 on January 2nd.  Just this month released Chapter 23. This series looks to be wrapping up in a couple months as a complete web saga.  We, my father and I, will be working to get this put together and finalized for print within the upcoming year.  I have been developing several book cover ideas to start with.

Now to see some stats on the site’s growth:

BLOG COUNTS:

  • 2016 — 14 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2017 — 37 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2018 — 43 Monthly blogs completed (including this one)

NEW WEB SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2016 — 7
  • 2017 — 17
  • 2018 — 24

VISITORS & COUNTRIES VIEWED IN:

  • 2016 — 204  & Countries — 8
  • 2017 — 809  & Countries — 31
  • 2018 — 895  & Countries — 39

4,239 Views in the three years!

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS:

  1. Elude #1 with 72 views
  2. Steps on a New Path (Chapter One Blog for The Hidden) with 67 views
  3. Elude #2 with 47 views
  4. Audiobook Review of Stephen King’s “The Outsider” with 45 views
  5. Elude #3 with 43 views

New Additions to the Site were my Audible book reviews posts and my book giveaways which has been very successful.

So, overall a lot of work still hadn’t been published until the fall of this year — three books and two audiobook versions.  I hope to have two more audiobook versions out and possibly two more novels.  I have also had ideas percolating in the back of my mind for a new horror web saga for this site and a whole new trio of novels starting in Aberissc this time!  What I am saying is that there is a lot more work to be done and coming. 🙂

I also had a chance to get out and meet a few of you that were local at the book-signings in October, November and December.  That was a lot of fun and I do hope to continue this in the coming year.  On January 19th, come see me at:

1-19-19 SS

While I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to and I am still trying to find the right balance to get writing, work and fitness goals accomplished, I do see that the platform is actually growing.  Also, I should be fully recovered from my back injuries from the accident in August by mid-2019, so that should also help with my fitness.

Thanks especially to all that do support me and have taken an interest in my work.  I hope to keep bringing a smile to your face as you do mine!

2018 Bio Blog — Derek Barton

Pics 8-31-18 224

Thought it was due time to give you a little more insight into me as a writer and me as the average Joe.

  1. Do you have any advice for beginning writers?  Be consistent and persistent.  You have to keep pushing and pushing.  I’m seeing slow progress (a steady incline!), but it is definitely not an overnight-success kind of thing.  It takes a lot of work and faith in yourself.  Right now is a fantastic time to be a writer as there are tons of advice columns, writer blogs and mentoring sites out there to get any of your questions answered.

  2. What is your writing routine? How do you discipline yourself to keep at it?  I work on my writing every night — usually between 10 through 2 AM.   It’s become my passion and my stress release, so when I don’t get to it or have no energy to do it, I feel even worse actually.  I have three kids and I do have a full-time day job as a sales supervisor for a medicare healthcare company which occupies the majority of my life.  So those few hours of the day that I can spend on my writing is crucial.  I don’t waste them or take them for granted.  My writing is a lengthy process so if I want to share more stories, then that is what it takes.

  3. How do you begin a novel?  My novels are first outlined and broken down into scenes.  Some people are plotters and some can do it by the “seat of their pants” (called pantsers).  I tried for many years to be a pantser, but it finally became apparent to me that I NEED AN OUTLINE in order to stay on track and not lose my place in the storyline.  Plus I tend to weave subplots within the main story and that can be a very delicate surgery sometimes!

  4. Do you go through a lot of drafts?  I tend to do a very involved outline now (what I call my Bullet Outline) and then I write the first draft.  Then I make another two rounds of personal editing if possible.  My editing skills are nowhere near what I thought they were — you will find real quick what your level of editing skills are when you send it to a professional!  YIKES!  I am trying to get better and now that I see the trends, I try to avoid those mistakes in my initial writing or I will go back through and weed them out.

  5. Where is your favorite place to write and why?  I am not a picky person when it comes to where.  Some writers have to have everything precise and always uniform (same place, same time, same paper or same coffee mug, etc).  I am flexible, but that’s also because I had to learn to be.  I don’t have an office — I write in the living room!  The only thing I really need is isolation — I immerse myself into the writing and focus on the picture forming inside my head to find all the needed details and imagery I can put upon the page.  Other than that, I am good to go.

  6. What is the first book you remember reading?  I read Watership Down by Richard Adams in sixth grade.  It sucked me in even though it was a novel all about the desperate lives of wild rabbits.  From there I read The Hobbit and became addicted to fantasy stories.  Later in my teens (go figure!), I couldn’t pass up any horror novels I found.  Thus, I have an attraction to writing in both genres.  And often times, there are elements of both in my stories.

  7. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?  I am definitely working to have a body of work that has some common connections.  My fantasy stories are all in the same world and same characters for now… But my horror novellas are also linked.  A minor character, a Detective Chad Ellis in the novella In Four Days becomes a key figure and character in my Elude series.  Finding those little threads which bind a story with another always entertained me as a reader so I wanted to give that back to my fans as well.

  8. What was your hardest scene to write?  In Consequences Within Chaos, I found the hardest scene to write for me was the first major battle my heroes faced with the Viestrahl (a beast race intent on destroying the humans colonizing their lands).  I had never had experience writing one and unless you know exactly all the details, you really can’t just write the scene out.  Even though I had an outline and I knew the generalities of what I wanted as an outcome, I didn’t have the specifics.  In other words, who goes where, who comes in later, who gets injured, how do they get injured, who dies, etc.  It is a lot to take in and it daunted me horribly.  I put the book aside for several months before I took the plunge and bulldozed through it.  Once I got into it and learned the process, I was able to take up other battle scenes quicker and with better organization.

Okay… now for a little less serious insight into me!

 

  1. DO YOU PLAY BOARD GAMES? WHICH ONES? Yes.  My wife’s and I’s favorite is a game called Lords of Waterdeep.  We also like games that have links to the Call of Cthulhu stories by H.P. Lovecraft.

  2. WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? When I am in the car, it’s heavy metal.  When working out, it’s techno or dubstep.  When I am writing I love epic classical going in the background.

  3. DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME YOU WERE BORN? Sometime after 6 AM (probably the only time in my life I chose to wake early!)

  4. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW? Make enough book sales to write professionally, but I would also love to have a much bigger fan base.

  5. WHAT’S YOUR MIDDLE NAME? Don’t have one.  My parents hated theirs so they decided I didn’t need to be stuck with one.

  6. THE BEST TV SHOW EVER CREATED? Game of Thrones and close behind it Dexter (hmmm there is that fantasy and horror combo again!)

  7. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK? No.  But I do like to come up with ideas for horror stories while sitting or walking in the dark.

  8. WOULD YOU RATHER BE SMART OR FUNNY? Can I go for both and be a smartass?

  9. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINKS? With my late hours, I  am a double Rockstar morning person.  I know it’s not the best for me, but I don’t drink or smoke so this isn’t such a horrible vice.

  10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING? Hawaiian Pizza baby!!

  11. IF YOU CAN EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Snow Crab Legs or Prime Rib.

  12. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Red Chevy Nova

  13. WHAT IS YOUR FANTASY CAREER? Screenplay writer

  14. ARE YOU A LEFTY OR A RIGHTY? Righty.

  15. DO YOU LIKE SPICY FOOD? Nope.  I have been accused of saying vanilla ice cream is spicy!

  16. WHAT ANNOYS YOU MOST?  Tone of voice.  So easy for people to say stuff “jokingly” but their tone says what they are really feeling.

  17. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF YOUR COUNTRY? WHERE DID YOU GO? Yes. Canada and Mexico a couple times.  That’s it.  Someday I would love to see Austrailia and Scotland.

  18. FAVORITE FOOD? Chinese

  19. FIRST JOB? Busboy at a buffet.  HATED IT!  Only restaurant job I ever worked.

  20. HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN A MOTORCYCLE? Yes, my father and I would go on rides when I was younger.

  21. WHAT TV SHOWS DO YOU WATCH CURRENTLY? Game of Thrones, Criminal Minds, Mr. Mercedes, Face-off

  22. CAN YOU PLAY AN INSTRUMENT? I used to play Alto & Baritone Saxophone in middle school but doubt I would do very well with it now.  I can’t read music anymore that’s for sure!

  23. FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? Sedona, AZ or there’s a cabin rental property in Strawberry, AZ.   

  24. HOW MANY (MORE) KIDS DO YOU WANT? No more thank you… We are a complete family.

  25. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Ugh… I don’t really want to answer this… Fine…  I was named after Derek & The Dominos.  *Shaking my head.

  26. DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SWIM? I can.  Grew up around lakes my whole life.  And now that I live in the desert, I swim in pools on occasion.

  27. DO YOU GET SEASICK? Horribly!  I cannot even play first-person shooter video games due to motion-sickness.  And don’t get me started about the night I went to see Blair Witch in the movies!

  28. ARE YOU MARRIED? Yes, for five years and counting!

  29. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  Warsaw, Indiana — it’s near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

  30. WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE TOYS AS A CHILD? Stretch Armstrong, Army Men and Hot Wheels

  31. DO YOU HAVE ANY TATTOOS OR PIERCINGS? I have one large Tribal tattoo on my shoulder that has three dragon heads circling a Celtic knot.  It represents my Past, my Present and my Future.

I think that’s enough for this year.  🙂

Hope you got a smile at least out of this silliness.