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.

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!

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!

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!

June 2013 Update

Not much to report this month.  The Killing Vision is still selling well.  May 2013 was my best month for book sales ever.  I appreciate everyone who bought the book or downloaded the e-version.  If you read it and enjoyed it, please do me a big favor and leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Goodreads is easy, because all you have to do is rate it using the star system – no writing required!

Dead Awake is coming along very well.  In fact, I’m very near the halfway mark.  I’ll be taking a week off from the day job in July, so I’m expecting to finish it then.  Keep watching the blog, Twitter, and Facebook for progress reports!

In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line!  I’m always happy to answer questions!

May 2013 Update

Things have really been moving and shaking here on the writing front!

The Killing Vision was released at the end of April, and it’s selling like hotcakes.  In fact, May looks to be my biggest month for sales EVER.  Thanks to everyone who downloaded it or bought the paperback.

Work on my new book, Dead Awake, is progressing nicely.  Last weekend I was lucky enough to get a whole day of uninterrupted writing in and pounded out 5,500 words.  If I can keep up the momentum, this book should be ready to release by early fall.  It’s going to be more of a horror novel, but still character-driven as is most of my work.  There are zombies involved.  Really.  I’ve got some dynamic characters I can’t wait to play around with, and I look forward to how they interact with one another.  Especially when they get to the island.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As always, keep watching here, on Facebook and on Twitter for the latest on what’s happening with me, and feel free to drop me a line.

Don’t forget to head over to Goodreads and enter to win one of three signed copies of The Killing Vision.  The giveaway ends May 31.

Happy reading!

The Killing Vision cover reveal!

As promised here is the fantastic cover for my new crime thriller, The Killing Vision, by the talented Kit Foster.  I’m really thrilled with how this came out.

The Killing Vision is now live on Amazon for Kindle.  You can buy it right now for $3.99 or *sshhhhh!* wait until next week and it will be free for three days.

Print edition will be released within the next week, so stay tuned!

THe Killing Vision Front (Small)

April 2013 Update

Things have certainly been busy here in the past month!

As I noted in my last post, I have a new short story collection out called The Human Condition.  I was excited to put this out, as it was something I’d been wanting to release for a while.

In other news, I have just finished up the final edit of my new novel for adults, The Killing Vision.  This is a murder mystery/crime novel with just a touch of paranormal thrown in.  I’ve been working on this one for a while, and I hope to release it within the next month.  I am working with the talented Kit Foster on the cover design; I’ve seen his preliminary sketches and I’m really excited to see more.  I will reveal the final design in the next week or so, so watch here for details.

My new still-untitled middle grade novel has been fermenting for the past few weeks, and I expect to start rewrites this week.  I’m very happy with how this book turned out, and I still intend to go the traditional publishing route with this one for now.  The reason is that self-publishing is still an iffy thing for children’s books.  The important reviewers that most “gatekeepers” (teachers, librarians, and a lot of parents) follow are still closed to self-published books.  I encountered this last fall with the release of The Movie House Mystery, which I did not even submit to any publishers or agents.  Adult books seem to find an audience more easily, especially in genre fiction such as horror and mystery.  Anyway, we’ll see what happens.  I don’t expect to even have the new book ready to send out until summer.

That’s it for now!  Even the wheels of self-publishing turn slowly at times.  If anyone has any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you, either through the comments here, my contact page, or through Twitter or Facebook.

As always, if you like what you read, by me or any other indie writer, please remember to leave a review or rating on Amazon or Goodreads.  Reviews and ratings are important especially to indie authors as they affect algorithms which determine how often our books “pop up” as suggestions to potential readers.  And it’s all about reaching as many readers as possible.

Until next time, keep reading!

Cover Woes

I am having a horrible time with the print cover for Drum.  When I received the first proofs, the image was too dark and the face was hardly visible, even in bright light.  I have been fighting with it ever since.  Over the weekend I scrapped my Photoshop file and began fresh.  I finally ended up with an image I liked, but it weighs in at a hefty 80 MB – twice the limit for cover image files at CreateSpace.  I worked with it a little more, and ended up with a 35 MB file, but when I saw the results this morning, it was again a disappointment.  Guess I have no choice but to work with it some more tonight and hopefully get the image lightened up AND under the 40 MB mark.  It would be easy to just slap something on the cover and be done with it, but that’s not how I roll.On a lighter note, the proof for Movie House Mystery came in today.  Hopefully it won’t suffer from the same issues and it can be put out fairly soon.  I know my illustrator, Cindy Loy Crider, is anxiously awaiting seeing her work on a printed page, and I can’t wait to have a physical book to offer to people who have enjoyed this little book.  Stay tuned!

Brock Ford Progresses

I am working with a great illustrator right now named Brian Bowes on the new paperback editions of the Brock Ford series.  Brian’s still doing rough sketches right now, but I have to say I am extremely happy and excited with everything I have see so far.  I can’t wait to unleash the updated Brock on the world!  I will post more updates when I have them.  In the meantime, check out Brian’s website at http://studiobowesart.com/.