April 2014 Update

Greetings from the Overby house on a beautiful spring morning!

Moon Shadow is complete and is awaiting some edits before I release it out into the wild.  I have not been entirely happy with the ending, and after talking with one of my beta readers I have decided to rework it slightly.  I think this will make much more sense character-wise and will give the book a more satisfying conclusion.  I am expecting a release in early May, so watch here for more details.  In the meantime, Kit Foster has created a wonderfully eerie atmospheric cover:

 

Moon Shadow SM

In kids’ book news, The Movie House Mystery is now an audiobook!  This was my first foray into book narration, and I have to admit that though it was a lot of work, it was still fun. I’ve always wanted to do voiceovers, and producing my own audiobooks will give me the chance to do that.  The Movie House Mystery is available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  Expect more audiobooks from me in the future.  I’m planning on recording the entire Brock Ford series and the remainder of my backlist novels.

And now for something completely different.  I have signed on to contribute a short story to an anthology to benefit Literacy for Incarcerated Teens (LIT).  This is a group that provides books and hosts author appearances for detained teens.  I think it’s a great cause.  The anthology will be available this summer, and I’ll provide more details as they become available.

That’s all for now.  Until next month, happy reading!

 

March 2014 Update

Here in Kentucky the grip of winter seems to have broken.  Just here in the last week we’ve seen the temperature hit close to 80 degrees.  Believe me, it was welcome.  It’s been a long, long winter.  I don’t recall a harsher one in recent memory, and I’ve heard a lot of people compare it to the deep freeze of ’77.  I remember that because the schools closed around here because the temps hovered around twenty below for a few days.  Thankfully we haven’t seen anything of that magnitude this year, but it’s a reminder that things can always be worse.

The audiobook version of The Killing Vision is in the can, and it should be up for sale at Audible, iTunes, and Amazon within a couple of weeks.  It’s been an amazing journey, and working with voice personality J. LaLonde has been a dream.  I’ve had a chance to listen to the whole book, and J. brings a vibrancy to my prose that I couldn’t have imagined.  Watch for more information here, and I’ll announce the release as soon as it happens.  In other audiobook news, actor/voiceover artist Gary Tiedemann has signed on to read the audiobook version of The Island.  We’re shooting for a late spring release for this one, and I’ll keep everyone posted as the production moves forward.

I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel on Moon Shadow, and I expect to finish it within the coming week.  Kit Foster will again design the cover, and he’s already got me on his schedule for the first week of April.  I’m really excited about this one, and I can’t wait to release it.  I have really enjoyed working on this book, but it has taken me six months to complete, which is almost three times as long as I had anticipated.  For one thing the characters took on a depth I hadn’t expected, which is always a good thing.  For another, the story hit an unexpected twist and I was forced to look at the book from a different perspective.  I love when a novel takes on a life of its own, but I have to admit, this one has really worn me out.  I will be glad to start working on something new.

As of right now, that something new looks to be the sequel to The Killing Vision.  The working title for the moment is A Vision of Murder, but that may change as the story develops.  I’m still in the “gathering information” stage, which my long-suffering wife recognizes as “those times when I sit and brood.”  Anyone who has known a writer or artist personally will understand this.  It’s just part of our genetic makeup.  A writer spends a lot of energy digging things up from inside, and it’s exhausting.  I remember finishing up The Island last summer and spending a few days recovering because I just couldn’t think anymore and I felt I could sleep for days.  I don’t expect that level of exhaustion this time, but at least I’m prepared for it just in case.

I also have big news in my personal life.  We’re expecting our first grandchild in June!  We’re all very excited, but my wife and I can’t help feeling we’re still too young for this.  Does anyone ever feel old enough for grandkids?  Probably not.  But rest assured this will be one spoiled little girl when she arrives.  She’s already amassing an extensive wardrobe, and Granddad is looking forward to sharing books and stories.  It’s going to be a fun time!

Finally, you may have noticed a couple of changes to the website.  I’ve added a bookstore link where you can purchase my books directly from Amazon.  I’ll probably mess around with it a bit more to add more categories and functionality, but you get the idea.  And as you can see I’m sporting a new headshot for 2014 courtesy of my neighbor, photographer Josh Morgan.  I think Josh did a decent job of making me look cool.  Which is no easy task, believe me.

Until next month, Happy Reading!

February 2014 Update

Hard to believe it’s been a month since my last update.  Here in Kentucky winter has kept most everyone indoors since Christmas.  Lots of snow and ice and freezing temperatures and a good dose of cabin fever.  As someone I know used to say, the only good thing about February is that it’s only twenty-eight days.

-AqeyXA5

In Brock Ford news, The Mummy’s Tomb is now finally out in paperback!  It has been a long haul getting these three books in print, but it has definitely been worth the wait.  Brian Bowes, whose wonderful illustrations grace all three volumes, sent me a gift.  A coffee mug.  Now, wonder what made him think I like coffee?  Hm.  In any event, it was a thoughtful gift, and I’ve been using it every day at work.  It’s a great conversation starter.

Moon Shadow is still progressing, although the book seems to be growing.  I’m now looking at April for the release.  Once again Kit Foster will be designing the cover, and I can’t wait to see what he has in mind.  Watch here, on Facebook, and on Twitter for details.

I’m really torn about my next project.  Originally I had another horror novel planned, but I’m thinking of shelving that for a little while longer to work on the sequel to The Killing Vision, which is still selling quite well.  I have a good idea how I want the story to go, and I feel like I should work on it now while I feel the momentum of inspiration and also while reader interest is still keen.  We’ll see.  One project at a time.

Devil’s Catacombs will be arriving in paperback within the week, and should be available on Amazon in other outlets before the end of the month.  It will retail for $13.95, or you can download the Kindle version for $3.99.  I have spent today formatting and uploading and will be relieved to have that project finally finished.  It always feels good to move on to the next thing.  Or in my case, the next three or four things.

The Turkish publisher handling the translation of The Killing Vision has expressed interest in The Island  and Drum.  My foreign agent is handling that right now, so we’ll see how it goes.  I am so curious to see the Turkish version of The Killing Vision, and I wish I could read Turkish so I could appreciate how my words are being translated.  I’m sure there are going to be some differences.

Until next month, Happy Reading!  Let’s hope spring arrives early!

January 2014 Update

Lots of exciting news this month, so let’s jump right to it!

First and foremost, Devil’s Catacombs will be released within the next couple of weeks.  Once again I’ve enlisted the talented Kit Foster for the cover, and I think you’ll agree he has come up with something amazing.  With the story taking place at an old abandoned tourist trap, I came up with the idea of using a worn billboard for the title.  Kit liked that idea and ran with it.  It’s a very atmospheric graphic, one that immediately evokes the feel of the story.  Keep watching here for the release date, or subscribe to my newsletter and find out before everyone else.  The story will definitely appeal to you horror aficionados and shows the turn my fiction is taking.  I have to admit, I’m having a blast writing again, now that I’ve given myself the freedom to write what I want.  I think my enjoyment shines through with this one.

Moon Shadow is progressing rapidly.  I wrote last month about researching the ’80s.  I’ve moved into the ’90s now, and it’s been quite a ride seeing what’s happened to my characters over a decade of their lives.  It’s a little bittersweet, seeing what’s become of their high school dreams and plans for their lives.  I’m close to halfway finished, and well on track for a March release.

The audio book version of The Killing Vision should be ready for release within the next few weeks.  It’s read by J. Lalonde, who is a comedian and voiceover artist.  I really like what I’ve heard so far, and Mr. Lalonde gives a whole new depth to my words.  I think you’ll like it, too.  I’m hoping this will only be the first of my books to be brought to audio.

The Killing Vision has also been picked up by international publisher Harf Eğitim Yayınları who will be bringing out a Turkish translation later this year.  Yes, I said Turkish.  This will be the first of my works to be translated into a foreign language, and I’m really eager to see how it turns out.

I’m also in the very early planning stages (i.e., going over things in my head) for a sequel to The Killing Vision, which will again feature the characters of Mike Halloran and Joel Roberts.  I’m excited about this one and can’t wait to get more into it.  I might even rearrange my schedule to start on it sooner.

Well, that’s it for this month.  Stay tuned to the usual channels for updates in the interim.  Happy reading!

December 2013 Update

I hope everyone is enjoying this time of the year.  It’s the middle of the holiday season as I write this, smack dab between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And while we have a tree up this year we don’t have any ornaments displayed or gifts under it.  That’s the reality of living with cats sometimes.  Last year we didn’t even set out our tree because we knew we’d have a kitten using it for monkey bars.  Now he’s way too fat to climb, but still enough of a youngster that ornaments would be too much of a temptation for him.  He also likes to chew on wrapped gifts as we unfortunately found out the hard way.

Anyway.  I want to wish all my readers a wonderful season of joy and love, no matter whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or the winter solstice, and to thank you for your support over the past year.  2013 saw the release of four new books, and 2014 is promising to be just as fruitful.  I can’t wait to share new characters and stories with you in the coming year!  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list so you’ll be the first to hear of new releases and other announcements.  You can sign up by clicking here.

And now for the big news!  The Lost Treasure of Kilimanjaro and The River of Gold are finally available in paperback form with the gorgeous illustrations of Brian Bowes.  These editions have been over a year in the works, but I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they have been worth the wait!  Unfortunately there’s been a delay with The Mummy’s Tomb due to some permissions issues, but I fully expect that to be resolved before the end of January.  Brian has been great to work with and very open to my suggestions and always willing to answer my questions.  Check out his online gallery at http://www.behance.net/StudioBowesArt.  Brock Ford should also be back for a new adventure some time in the next year, so watch here for more details.

In other writing news, Devil’s Catacombs is with beta readers and should be released in January.  If you enjoyed the horror elements of The Island I think you will enjoy this new book.  No zombies this time, but dark caverns, a shapeshifter, and six unwitting college students should keep you plenty entertained.

Moon Shadow is coming along nicely and is clocking in right now at around 24,000 words. I’m very happy with how this story is turning out.  The characters have made a great transition from my original 1983-84 manuscript and have developed a depth I didn’t know they had.  One thing about writing this that I never expected — having to research the culture of the mid-’80s.  After all, I lived it; shouldn’t I have all that knowledge store away somewhere?  Unfortunately, no.  I keep finding myself looking up pictures and old TV schedules and other tiny details that had long left my brain.  For instance, I had forgotten that cars of the era had two keys – one for the door locks and one for the ignition.  How could I forget something that was such a part of everyday life back then?  I’m sure purists will find some something else I’ve missed, but to them I say see my previous post on perfection.

So until next month, I wish you the best.  Enjoy the holidays!

November 2013 Update

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perfection.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a wonderful blog post last year about how the pursuit of perfection can actually harm your writing.  Her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, also a great blogger on the business of writing, says (and I’ll paraphrase here) that you have to reach a point where you call the work finished and then stop caring about making it perfect.  Unless you are a writer, you probably don’t understand how difficult that is.  We’re taught from our earliest school days to strive for perfection.  Personally, I was never satisfied with myself in school unless I was making A’s.  B’s were like the ugly step-sister – good, but certainly only second-best.  C’s made me feel as though I was already failing, and anything below a C was just plain devastating.  College was the same, and I remember ripping open the envelope with my grades after my first semester at college, seeing all A’s, and bursting into tears in relief.

So going to a mindset where everything doesn’t have to be perfect is almost like telling me I can sprout wings and fly across town.  What if someone reads my story and finds a major flaw in the plot?  What if one of my characters says something in Chapter 2 and then completely contradicts herself in Chapter 10?  What if the sentence structure in that one paragraph on page 170 is stilted or awkward?  What if, what if, what if?

You know what?  The world’s not going to end.  I’ve had these fears lately about the newest book I’m about to unleash on my beta readers.  There was a lot of research involved, and naturally I’m afraid I’ve missed something.  If I have, hopefully my readers will catch it before it goes to final edits.  Even if they don’t, all I can do is remind myself that I wrote the best possible story I could at that point in time.  Then move on to the next book.  It’s a learning process.

You see, the time to care is when you’re writing.  When you’re creating story.  That’s when you have to do your best.  But caring about your story isn’t the same as trying to make it perfect.  It will never be perfect.  I look back on August  and Drum and think, sure there are phrases or details I could rework, or sections I could rewrite, but I won’t.  Because I’ve moved past those stories.  I did the best I could when I was writing them.  That’s all anyone can do.  Ten years from now I’ll look at The Island or The Killing Vision and think the same thing. Once the book is out, it’s finished.  No more rewriting.  Move forward.  Or as Dean says, stop caring.

In reality, that’s an incredibly hard thing to do.  It’s also a very freeing thing.  The pursuit of perfection can stifle your creativity.  It’s impossible to allow the creative side of your brain to take control if the critical side is constantly acting as overseer and second-guesser.  And if you can’t let go of a story you can’t go on to the next.  I’ve really worked on that all through 2013, and I have written more in the past twelve months than I have in the prior ten years.  Stopping the critical voice while I’m in creative mode, knowing when to stop finagling around with the plot or details and send the story out into the world – all of that has unleashed a tide of creative juices.  It’s been a great ride.

In book news, the illustrations are now finished for Brock Ford.  At least two of the paperbacks will be released before Christmas.  I’m eager for my readers to see these handsome drawings Brian Bowes has created.  I think you’ll agree, he has really brought these stories to life.  Stay tuned to the usual places – here, Facebook, and Twitter – for more info on release dates, etc.  Also, join the mailing list on my Contact page and be among the first to learn about my new books.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you next month.

 

October 2013 Update

I admit to being a little overwhelmed.

As of this writing over 6,000 free copies of my new novel The Island have been downloaded. That’s a lot of books!  It’s been enough to propel the book to the number 1 spot in both Occult Suspense and Occult Horror categories and number 45 overall in the Kindle Free store.  I don’t think I could have asked for better results than that!  Thanks to everyone who downloaded a copy during this free promo.  I plan on more freebies in the future, so watch the usual locations for more details.  If you’d like the chance to win a paperback copy of the book, head over to Goodreads and sign up for the giveaway there.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Island by Will Overby

The Island

by Will Overby

Giveaway ends November 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

I wrote the last word for The Devil’s Catacombs today, making it my third completed novel of 2013.  It still needs a lot of work, but while it’s mellowing like a fine wine, I’m getting ready to start the next book, Moon Shadow.  This is the novel, you may recall, that I began my senior year in high school, and it’s been almost 30 years since I visited with it.  My plan is to take the basic idea and modernize it, certainly rewrite most of it, and see what happens.  I’m really looking forward to working on this story again.  I fell in love with these characters back in 1983, and they’ve never left me.  It’s always bothered me that their story never was completed, and now I’m going to take the time to do just that.

I love this new modern world of indie publishing!  I follow several writing blogs, and the one recurring theme I see in all of them is that you must keep writing.  Never give up.  I admit to going through several years of being discouraged, a long haul in which I was trying my hardest to get discovered through traditional publishing routes.  During that time it seemed as though my creativity had all but dried up.  It’s easy to say “keep writing and don’t give up,” but it’s very different to actually do that when you’re getting absolutely no encouragement at all from the powers that be.  Now the only powers that be are you, the readers.  The writing process is a lonely one at times, and for the most part you are never sure your work is even being read, let alone appreciated. I am thankful for every review (good or bad), for every Twitter follower and Goodreads fan, for every email I get  because I that means someone is reading my drivel and mostly enjoying it.  And that, my friends, gives me all the encouragement I need to keep going.  To keep writing.  To keep putting those words – those pieces of myself – out there for all to see.

Thanks for the encouragement!  See you next month.

September 2013 Update

Lots of writing going on in the Overby house these days.

The Devil’s Catacombs is coming along, although a bit slower than I had hoped.  I am probably right around the halfway point, so I’m a little behind schedule.  I really had hoped to finish this book by the end of the month, but it’s looking a little doubtful right now.  My next project, Moon Shadow, may be pushed back a couple of weeks.  That actually may be all right, since it is basically an update of a novel I began during my senior year of high school.  I’ve always had a special spot for that book, as I can really tell my talent started to mature during its writing.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  First I need to finish The Devil’s Catacombs.  One project at a time.

The Island will be released at the end of this month.  I’m getting some good feedback from beta readers, and I’m doing the final edits right now.  Watch here, Twitter, and Facebook for updates and release dates.  Once again the multi-talented Kit Foster is designing the cover, and he’s come up with a sophisticated look that we hope to carry through the next few books – part of my author “branding.” Anyway.  More details to come.

I finished up the Pitches and Blurbs workshop with Dean Wesley Smith.  I truly learned a lot during these six weeks.  I’m going to be revisiting all the blurbs for the existing books and most likely tweaking them or completely rewriting them.  It’s amazing all the flaws you can see when you know how to spot them.  Additionally, the assignments forced me to come up with a ton of ideas for new books and stories; I now know what I’m going to be working on for the next year at least.  But the best part of the workshop?  I paid for it with money I earned from my writing.  That feels really good.

So. . . staying busy.  Weekends are full of writing projects now and look to be that way for quite some time.  Which I love.  I really feel like I’m hitting my stride and I’m having so much fun and even making a bit of cash, too.  That’s all anyone could ask for.

See you next month.

August 2013 Update

In case you haven’t heard, my new middle-grade novel is out.  Zach Ziegler’s So-Called Middle School Life hit shelves on July 21.  This was a story I had wanted to write for a long time, and there is a lot of myself in it.  No swashbuckling adventures or hidden mysteries, but there is plenty of middle school angst.

The Island will make its debut next month, and I’m eager to share it with my beta readers very soon.  I have put off writing the cover blurb as I am right smack in the middle of a pitches and blurbs workshop taught by Dean Wesley Smith, and I want to make sure I use everything I’ve learned and get it right.  The next step is editing and cover design, and those are always fun times for me.  (I know, who enjoys editing?)

Work is progressing on my latest excursion into horror, right now called The Devil’s Catacombs.  I’m about 10,000 words into it and really enjoying creating the characters and their situation.  I have decided that writing from now on is going to be all about having fun. I’m no longer going to brood over and second-guess myself on every word and sentence; as I have learned, writing and editing are two separate things, and it’s hard to let your creativity flow when the critical side of your brain is trying to filter it.  As a result of this “revelation” I am writing more and finishing projects quickly.  And I’m having a ball. I find myself really looking forward to my weekend writing sessions and not dreading my time sitting in front of the computer.  When it ceases to be fun is when I’ll stop.  And I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Because of this new creative renaissance, I’ve mapped out some goals for myself for the next six to eight months.  They’re lofty goals, and if I had written them down this time last year it would have terrified me.  But now I believe they are not only doable but practical. You see, my goal is to one day financially support my family with only my writing, and to do that, I’ve got to keep putting new work out there for readers to discover.  So that’s what I’m doing – writing the best stories I can, packaging them up in the most professional manner possible, pricing them correctly, and getting the word out.  I am so glad to be living in this time of independent publishing in which it can happen.  And thanks to you, my readers, for helping make it possible.

July 2013 Update

The first draft of the latest novel is finished! I was able to write 22,000 words during the week I was on vacation, and now I am exhausted. Writing takes a lot out of you, physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is something about working from deep down inside yourself that is draining, and I’m using this week to recuperate. The title has now changed from Dead Awake to The Island – A Novel of Terror. As the story evolved throughout the writing process I discovered that zombies that were originally the focal point of my idea were only a minuscule part of the plot; the story was really about the island, its culture and secrets. I’m going to let it set for a while and mellow, but will tackle it again in a few weeks for rewrites and edits. I hope to have it out by autumn.

Meanwhile, my new middle grade book is back with me now after being on submission for a couple of months. There was no interest in this story from agents at all. None. I can’t hide the fact that I’m disappointed, but I have to say I’m happy to still have it under my control to be indie-published before the summer’s over. Here is the blub:

Zach Ziegler’s mom says he’s “big-boned.” His grandfather referred to him as “strapping.” His dad, whom he never sees much, calls him “Sporto.” No one uses the F-word: fat. But Zach’s arch-nemesis, Trevor, doesn’t mind pointing out the obvious, and Zach is horrified when Trevor christens him with a new nickname in front of the whole PE class. If that isn’t bad enough, the science fair is coming up, and Zach and Trevor are paired up on a project. But while working together, Zach and Trevor begin to learn things about each other that neither has revealed to another soul, and they come to realize that maybe they aren’t so different after all. This is the story of an unlikely friendship – of setting aside misconceptions and labels and finding the true heart underneath.

As usual, I’m stuck on a title. The working title just didn’t feel right. My beta readers have been stymied as well. I may have to resort to using the online title generator. Worked well for The Killing Vision, after all.

On the Brock Ford front, my illustrator has taken some time off to work out some personal issues, but we are now shooting for a Christmas 2013 release of all three books in print. I’m really looking forward to sharing Brian’s great work with all my readers. It has been a long, arduous process but when you see the results I’m sure you’ll agree it has been worth it.

That’s all for this month! Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for more frequent updates and don’t forget to drop me a line. I’m always happy to hear from readers!