Summer 2015 Update

I know it’s been a while since I posted any updates, and I apologize. Life has a way of stepping in sometimes and showing you who’s boss.

I’m in the middle of a writing workshop right now, this one on building a career, and I’ve just been accepted into a Publishing Master Class workshop that will be held in Oregon in October. Really excited about that one, as it will be taught by Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch, both of whom I have learned a ton from over the past couple of years. And I also have to admit to being a bit intimidated by being around all those other writers, some “pros” and some not, but all immensely talented. Should be a blast!

Work continues slowly on The Novelist, and though it’s progressing at a snail’s pace, I’m really happy with what I’ve got so far. I’m hoping the rest of the novel goes fairly quickly, as I know where the story is headed now and I look forward to seeing how it ends. No kidding. I had no clue what the ending would be when I started. That’s called “writing into the dark” or “pantsing” as some writers refer to it, meaning you’re flying by the seat of your pants. This has been somewhat of an experiment for me as I’m usually an outliner. And although I did outline the first third or so of this book, I kinda veered off course, so now the story has taken on a life of its own. I love when that happens! However, the downside of that for me has been that the writing has gone slower. My outlines have run that gamut from orderly and tidy to messy and illegible. When I was writing The Killing Vision I used a typewritten outline that I actually cut apart and assembled on my office floor; even though I sort of had an idea of what was happening, I needed to adjust things for a specific timeline. (And to be honest, until I assembled my Frankenstein monster outline, I had no clue who the killer was going to be. None.) In any event, the new book is moving forward and that’s all that matters.

Until next time, happy reading, and remember you can find me on Facebook and Twitter and always right here as well.

Spring 2015 Update

Greetings to all my faithful readers!  It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog and I wanted to touch base with you and let you know what’s happening in my world.

I’m continuing to plug along on The Novelist, and I’m quite happy and surprised at the turns the book is taking.  I will be honest; this book has been a struggle for me and at times it has been very difficult to put myself in “writer mode.”  I have considered working on other projects at times, but I feel the need to finish this.  I’m enjoying how the story’s structure is developing, and I’m eager to share it with you.  And frankly, sometimes knowing there are people out there waiting for my next book is what keeps me going in this crazy endeavor.

The Turkish translation of The Killing Vision is out now.  I’ve not received my copies yet, but the translator generously sent along a shot of the cover.  Looking forward to holding it in my hands, even though I won’t be able to read a word of it.

We’ve had a long, snowy winter, and I know everyone is ready for spring.  Our area saw the biggest one-day snowfall in decades – 21 inches.  Nothing compared to what the poor folks in the northeast have experienced, but to us those are crippling numbers.  As I write this I’m looking at the sun in a cloudless sky and hoping we’ve seen the last cold weather for a long time.

As always, keep watching here and on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and news of special sales or announcements, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Until next time, happy reading!

December 2014 Update

My goodness what a difference one year can make.

Since my December 2013 post I’ve released all three Brock Ford books in paperback, Devil’s CatacombsMoon Shadow, and the audio book versions of The Killing Vison, The Island  and The Movie House Mystery.  I’ve also had a short story appear in the anthology, Light in the Darkness, and I saw The Mummy’s Tomb walk away with a silver medal in the Florida Authors and Publishers Association awards.  We also had a grandchild!

Whew!

Quite an eventful year.  2015 will most certainly be as exciting.  I fully expect to release The Novelist in the first quarter, and due to popular demand, the sequel to The Killing Vision is back in the works.  The fourth book in the Brock Ford series, Ghosts Along the Amazon, may also make its appearance, along with at least one more horror novel.  I have lots of writing to do in the coming year, but I will always try to update my faithful readers at least once a month.

Today I finished the Ideas to Story workshop with Dean Wesley Smith, and I must say that I was left with a great deal of inspiration for future projects.  The whole point of this workshop was to show how story ideas can be triggered from a wide variety of sources – objects, people, places, etc. – and how these triggers can be built upon to create stories, novels, or entire series.  It was fantastic working with Dean, as always, and I highly recommend any of his workshops to writers who want to better their skills.  The workshops are a little pricey, but they’re well worth it.  If you’re serious at all about being a writer, you understand the importance of constantly learning how to improve your craft.  Great writers aren’t born, they’re made, and if you stop learning you’ll grow stale and wither into obscurity.  I advise anyone who wants to write to constantly strive to learn from a variety of sources; your writing will only get better for it.

I want to thank everyone who in the past year purchased one of my books, sent me an encouraging email or Facebook post, or stopped by in person to visit.  You are the reason I love doing this.  Without readers a book is a dead thing, a lump of ideas and dreams and words.  You are what brings them to life, what keeps them alive.  I feel very fortunate to have a dedicated group of readers who always ask, “When’s the next book coming out?”  It’s a constant reminder that I’m not sitting here working away for nothing, that people really do enjoy reading my stories, as twisted as some of them are.  (The stories, not the people.)  Thank you again for all your support, and I hope to keep entertaining you as long as I can still put words on a screen.

I hope this holiday season you are all surrounded with peace and joy and love.  Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a wonderful, exciting, and promising 2015!

November 2014 Update

Autumn was short-lived here in Kentucky this year, and it seems we have gone straight to winter.  As I write this we are under a winter weather advisory for this evening, with one to two inches of snow predicted overnight.  It’s always pretty to look at, especially with the holidays just around the corner, but it sure makes for a treacherous commute.

Work continues to progress on the new horror story, tentatively entitled The Novelist.  This is a book I wrote in the ’80s but which I have decided to rewrite and give a horror twist.  The original was just literary fiction, and focused on a best-selling author suddenly stricken with writer’s block.  If you’re a writer, you understand how truly terrifying that is.  I’ve decided to up it a notch, and throw in some hints of the paranormal and out and out horror.  However, it won’t be ready for a January release as I’d first hoped, but look for it in the spring.  More details to come.

I’m taking another writing workshop from Dean Wesley Smith this month.  This one is all about moving from idea to story.  I’m really hoping to get a lot out of this one, as I tend to have lots of ideas, but sometimes have trouble generating a real story from them.  Anyway, Dean is the best, and I’m sure I’ll get more than my money’s worth.  I hope to one day attend one of his in-person workshops out on the west coast; immersing myself for a week in nothing but writing and learning with other authors sounds like heaven.  And to do it on the beautiful Oregon coast is the cherry on the cake.

I still plan to have a book special during December, so stay tuned for more information.  Watch Twitter and Facebook for the latest.

That’s it for this month.  As we head into the holiday season, I hope everyone stays happy and healthy and is surrounded by family, friends, and love.

Happy reading!

October 2014 Update

This has been a month of traveling and work, and not much writing I’m afraid.  Some months are like that.  Real life unfortunately gets in the way of pursuing our passions, and it’s up to us to grab onto the reins and take control. I’m hoping as we move through the holidays and back into the winter other obligations will fall away and I’ll have even more time for writing.

I’m always excited to share freebies and sales with my readers, so watch here, on Facebook and Twitter as I hope to have some special deals for the holidays.  Not sure at the moment what will be offered, but rest assured it will be something you’ll like.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading lots of good books.  If you follow me on Goodreads you know I religiously document everything I read.  I review very little, but I always leave a star rating, and if I feel a story has touched me in an exceptional way, I try to send a note to the author.  I’ve made some great friends over the past few years by just reaching out to other writers.  Call it fan mail if you wish, but sometimes the best ego stroke we authors can get is a personal message from someone who has enjoyed our work.  It’s like proof from the cosmos that we’re not working in vain or sending our stories out into the ether to fade into oblivion.

Some of the books I’ve read this year that I can highly recommend:

Willy by Robert Dunbar

Lineage by Joe Hart

Nightmares: Bedtime Stories for the Wicked by Mark Souza

Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon

Any of these books are worth a read, especially with Halloween coming and the desire to have a chill running down your spine.

That’s it for this month.  Until next time, happy reading!

September 2014 Update

Fall is definitely in the air!  Shorts and flip-flops will soon give way to sweatshirts and jeans, and the crisper air is perfect for cozying up around the firepit with a hot beverage. Here at the Overby house we’re planning our autumn getaway, which will be to Florida this year.  Looking forward to catching up with my old friends Mickey and Goofy and enjoying a spin through the Haunted Mansion.  This will be our first trip to Disney in twenty years without the kiddos, so it should be interesting.

My short story “Ink” will appear in the anthology Rocking Tales of Terror due out some time in October.  It’s a horror tale about a new tattoo that turns out to be more than the protagonist bargains for.  I had a lot of fun with this one!  Keep watching here and the usual places for more information on the anthology’s release.

Work continues on the latest novel, although I took a break to work on “Ink” and various other projects.  Now it’s back to business as I hope to have the book ready for a January release.  We’ll see how it goes.  Some things you just can’t rush.

The Silver Medal Edition of The Mummy’s Tomb will hit store shelves this month.  I’m going to retire the first edition, so if you have one of those, hang onto it because it might be worth a fortune one day.  The new version will include a reproduction of the FAPA medal on the cover, although Brian Bowes’ wonderful cover art and interior illustrations will stay the same.  A small tweak, but important nonetheless.

Also this month, the paperback version of Light in the Darkness will be released from Ivy Media Press.  Look for it in all the online stores or at your local independent book seller.  Don’t forget that all the profits go to Literacy for Incarcerated Teens, a non-profit organization based in New York.

That’s it for now!  You can find me on Twitter or lurking about on Facebook, so don’t hesitate to drop me a note.  I’m always happy to hear from friends and readers!

Happy Reading!

August 2014 Update

Wow!  Hard to believe the summer is nearly over!  Here at the Overby house we’ve enjoyed cooler temperatures but little rain. Today as I write this, it appears we may get a few drops before the weekend’s over.

The Mummy’s Tomb walked away with a silver medal in the 2014 Florida Authors and Publishers Association Book Awards in the Children’s Fiction category. I’m astounded!  This is the first competition I’ve ever entered, and to soar so high in my first outing is both humbling and validating.  I can now truly call myself an award-winning author.  I want to thank writer, illustrator, publisher and fellow Dawsonian Mark Wayne Adams for giving me a heads-up for the awards and pushing me to enter.  Mark is a fantastic voice for independent writing and publishing, and I expect more great things from him.  If you’ve not picked up a copy of The Mummy’s Tomb and your 9 to 12-year-old is looking for an adventurous read before school resumes, head over to Amazon right now.

The YA anthology Light in the Darkness that includes my short story “Touch” was released on August 11, and all the contributors were part of a great online launch party hosted by Amber Garza of Lady Amber’s Reviews.  I’d personally like to thank author Tabitha Short for inviting me to be a part of this project and S.K. Whiteside and Ivy Media & Press for providing editing, formatting, and production.  I also want to give a shout-out to Airicka Phoenix for the wonderful cover design and my fellow authors who contributed their hard work for this worthy cause.  I was able to read some of the other stories in the book, and let me tell you, they are all worth a read.  And don’t forget, your purchase is a donation to the Literacy for Incarcerated Teens project.  Great fiction and the joy of helping others at the same time – what more could you ask?

In the meantime, work is progressing on my short story contribution to a horror anthology called Rocking Tales of Terror that we hope to have out by Halloween.  A lot of the writers working on this one are really in their element, and if the stories are anywhere near the quality of work in Light in the Darkness you’ll be in for a real spooky treat.  I’m excited to read everyone’s work, and I just know I’ll have to sleep with the lights on a night or two.

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes for Granddaughter’s birth. She is certainly growing and changing every day.  My wife and I had to privilege to go visit recently and though it was a long drive, it was certainly worth it.  Grandchildren are the best!  I’ll happily continue to provide updates and granddad stories until you kindly tell me to stop. 🙂

That’s it for this month.  If you enjoy reading my work (or that of any other author), please leave a review on Amazon or a star rating on Goodreads.  Those things sell books, and selling books gives writers the incentive to provide you with more stories and a wealth of entertainment.  Happy reading!

July 2014 Update

Baby Nora is here!  She was born June 20 weighing 8 pounds and measuring 21 1/2 inches.  Everyone is doing fine and we appreciate all the well wishes.  She is going to be one spoiled little girl!

After a lot of agonizing I have decided to put the sequel to The Killing Vision on hold for now.  After about 12,000 words I was just not getting into the story and I wasn’t satisfied with the direction the plot was moving.  Maybe at some point in the future I will revisit this project, but for now I’m going to continue to focus on horror, which is my true love.  This of course presents a setback in my schedule and also my long-term plans, but I can’t see the value of working on something I just don’t have a passion for.  It’s unfair to both myself and my readers.  In the meantime, I’ve already got another book project underway, and I’m feeling really good about it.  There will be more about it in upcoming blog entries, so stay tuned.

The cover for the anthology which will contain one of my short stories will be revealed on July 28, with the ebook to be released on August 11.  Watch Facebook for more info including where you can get your copy.  It really has been a great experience working with so many other talented writers, and I hope to do it again really soon.

If you happen to be in the Dawson Springs, Kentucky area on July 25, I will be signing books at the annual Barbecue Festival, along with my mother Rebecca Solomon and suspense novelist Tabitha Short.  We’ll have a booth set up from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM, so please drop by to say hello!

Until next month, Happy Reading!

June 2014 Update

We’re still on baby watch here in the Overby household, hoping for our new granddaughter to make her appearance any day now.  I know her parents are more than ready, as well. But, babies take their own sweet time.  Don’t want her popping out until she’s done. I’m sure there will be pictures aplenty on Facebook when the big day arrives.

The anthology I’m part of has finally chosen a name for our book:  Lights in Darkness.  I like it a lot.  The story I’ve contributed is called “Touch” and has a bit of the paranormal in it. No horror, though, since we all wanted our works to have an upbeat and inspirational feel. I’m really happy with the way my story turned out, and beta readers have given it a big thumbs up.  Watch here and the usual places for news on the release of the anthology.

The audio book version of The Island is in the can and is heading to retail.  I’ve listened to the whole thing and Gary Tiedemann’s narration just really knocked my socks off.  It should be released any day now, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I said it before when The Killing Vision audio book was released, but it’s still a real thrill to hear someone else’s take on your work.  Gary’s reading really makes the characters come alive, and his voices are spot on!  The audio book will be available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.

Speaking of The Killing Vision, I’m still plugging away on its sequel, A Vision of Murder. It’s a bit strange settling back in with characters from the previous book, especially now that so much has happened with them in the interim.  In a way, though, it’s like visiting with old friends, and I’m looking forward to delving deeply into their backgrounds once again.  Creating characters is one of the most fun parts of writing fiction and when you get it just right and readers tell you how much a certain character resonated with them, there is not a better feeling in the world.

If you have not yet read the new novel, Moon Shadow, head over to Goodreads and enter to win one of three signed copies of the book.  The giveaway ends on June 22, so you still have a few days left to get your name in the pot.  If you’re not a winner, fear not! Amazon will have the Kindle version on a “Countdown Deal” July 1 – 6.  For those of you unfamiliar with these sales, the book will start out at 99 cents on the morning of July 1 and gradually increase in price over the next several days until it’s back up to its regular price of $4.99. There are some other books going on Kindle Countdown Deals over the next few weeks as well:

The Killing Vision, June 18-24

Brock Ford Adventures box set (Books 1-3), June 23-29

There may be some more promotions toward the end of July, so keep checking back here for details, or sign up for my newsletter and be among the first to hear about specials as well as new releases.

Hope everyone is having a blast this summer.  Until next month, Happy Reading!

May 2014 Update

Greetings!  Here at the old homestead winter is still putting up one last fight.  And depending upon what you hear we’re in the middle of Blackberry Winter or Catalpa Winter, or some other such made-up season.  Whatever.  The blackberries are in bloom so I’m sticking with that one.

Moon Shadow has been released and is now available in paperback and for Kindle.  I’m getting some great feedback from early readers, and that’s always good news.  I’m glad to finally be finished with this project and ready to move on to the next.

The audiobook version of The Island continues its progress toward completion, and hopefully it will be released within the next few weeks.  Keep watching in the usual places for all the details.  What I’ve heard so far is fantastic, and I can’t wait to hear the rest.  As a reminder, audiobook versions of The Killing Vision (read by J. LaLonde) and my kids’ book The Movie House Mystery (narrated by yours truly) are already available through Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.  More will be forthcoming in the months ahead.

I’m still hard at work on my contribution to the anthology to benefit incarcerated teens.  “Touch” follows a special little girl who has the ability to heal and the joys and burdens that accompany the gift.  The anthology should be available in July, and I will keep you informed as I learn more.

All three Brock Ford books are being released as an ebook box set this month.  These are, of course, the new versions with the beautiful illustrations by Brian Bowes.  The price for the box set will be $5.99, which is a bargain.  Watch the bookstore page on my website for availability.

Thanks again for all your support.  As always, please feel free to drop me a line anytime.  I’m happy to hear from readers!

Until next month, Happy Reading!