Review: Beren and Luthien (J.R.R. Tolkien)


I feel like an idiot for not having really leapt into Beren and Luthien before now! There are shadows of LOTR written all throughout the book. I have had this book since it released and only now got around to reading it after intending to pick out the passages from the Silmarillion in the past.

This is the show that they ought to be making for the upcoming Amazon series!

Everything about this story increases the intensity with which one reads the Lord of the Rings with (for instance, how Elrond feels about Arwen’s devotion to Aragorn—Elrond is the son of Tinuviel/Luthien who gave up her immortality for Beren.) Continue reading Review: Beren and Luthien (J.R.R. Tolkien)


State of Writing


I just got back from my vacation last night, hence the late post. I didn’t have much for internet connection and didn’t spend a lot of time writing… it wasn’t the time (or especially the place) for it. I have trouble writing when away from home unless I’m alone and have access to a good chair. Still, I did get a few thousand more words and I’m firmly in the climactic final moments of Dekker’s Dozen 3: Austicon’s Lockbox. I would be greatly surprised if I did not finish it as I travel to Gencon this week. I tend to write a lot when I’m flying solo at cons… and that puts me on target (or just a few days over) from my goal to finish the 1st draft by the end of July. It’s really my only goal: to finish DD3 before saturday evening. If you’re in Indy and doing the con, come and say hello and maybe do some game demos at the SFR gaming booth (they manufacture the old TSR game Dragon Dice which is still alive and kicking!)

Why Whitelisting Matters


We writers can live and die by our mailing lists. I wish I’d have known years ago what I know about them now—I would have started building and maintaining mine right away! But a mailing list is only good if people read your newsletters/posts.

I could talk all day about crafting content that matters or how to engage with/acquire new subscribers (you can search through my archives for more) but there’s a little key that you ought to know about to improve visibility: the whitelist.

Continue reading Why Whitelisting Matters

State of Writing


I did two things this week that were huge in the way of increasing my productivity. 1. I left my phone in a different part of the house during my writing time. 2. I brought my laptop to the county fair with me to write while in my booth. (I run a nonprofit and was starting conversations with our target demographic, but that still leaves lots of downtime… I had power but no wifi, so I got tons of writing done in those random pockets.)

Last week was my group’s biggest fundraiser of the year and so I was swamped and my writing ground to a near halt. This week I rebounded quite a bit so I’m pretty happy. Hoping to split the difference this week when I go on vacation on Wednesday. I’ll do some writing, but also hope to spend a bunch of time with the family.

Sidenote: art is in progress for Dekker’s Dozen 3… and Wolves of the Tesseract 3. DD3 is roughly 3/4 complete in its first draft. ARC?Review team, that’s your cue to expect something in the coming weeks 🙂

How to Use StoryOrigin to Grow Your Email List


Perhaps you’ve heard of BookFunnel or StoryOrigin. These are two similar services that do a similar thing: handle direct distribution for your book giveaways and reader magnets (a book you give away in order to gain a reader/fan’s email address and add them to your newsletter.) I won’t delve into why you should be doing this and will assume you’ve already made decisions to do this as part of your marketing strategy.

Services like these have built-in, collaborative features that allow you to join bundled giveaways so that when a reader from John’s newsletter checks out the bundle (or Jills, or Jack and Jerry’s,) they will see the shiny covers from all of the offered books and have the option to join a list in exchange for the book(s) he or she likes.

I will focus my how-to-guide on using Story Origin. Continue reading How to Use StoryOrigin to Grow Your Email List

State of Writing


It seems like I’ve been slacking, I know. I haven’t posted a wednesday article for a couple weeks now. some of that has been me pulling away on purpose. I’ve been trying to funnel more of my spare energy into fiction writing. I finished something like 3 chapters this week while at MN’s largest convention (beginning on the 4th of July–it’s almost been a mini writing retreat, except I’m worn to the bone on the sales floor and hitting some of my highest sales numbers in my home state and meeting lots of new people.) I think I’ve gotten past the half-way point in Dekker’s Dozen 3 and on the business side of things I’m looking at some great new release ideas (possible rapid release and a solid launch for my upcoming comedy.) More coming soon, I’m going to try to put down 3 chapters per week until this next novel is done (crossing fingers, I’m looking at about 1 month)