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!

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!

New Short Story Collection

Just a quick update to announce my new short story/poetry collection, The Human Condition. The paperback version is available for $9.95. The e-book is normally $2.99, but from April 1 through April 5 it will be free for Kindle on Amazon.com. Most of these stories date back from the late ’80s and early ’90s, and you’ll find some extras from very early in my career, including the very first story I ever wrote! Happy reading!human condition cover

March 2013 Update

The first draft of my new kids’ book is done! Yay! Now, to let it sit while I work on wrapping up a few other projects. I hope to have rewrites done in time to begin querying agents in the early summer.

Brock Ford continues to inch forward. Frontispiece artwork is taking shape, and I’m very excited at what I’ve seen. Still hoping for a spring release date, but now it looks more like late spring. 🙁 As usual, I will post any and all updates here.

New project alert! I’m working on putting together a collection of short fiction and poetry, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Most of this stuff dates back to the late ’80s/early ’90s when my voice was really beginning to develop and I was studying under a tough but talented writer/instructor at Murray State University. I also plan on including some real relics for curiosity’s sake. This collection (which of course at this moment has no title yet) should be out in a month or so.

In the “Color Me Starstruck” department, I got to meet one of my literary idols at a writers’ fair in Madison, Indiana. Michael West is a horror novelist known for his “Harmony, Indiana” trilogy and numerous other stories. Most recently he edited an anthology called “Vampires Don’t Sparkle.” I was lucky enough to be traveling back from Indianapolis the day of the event and took a quick side trip to pick up a couple of autographed books, as well get a picture with him. Did I mention he’s also a really nice guy?

That’s it for this month. Lots of exciting things going on behind the scenes, and I’ll keep you updated!

Meeting author Michael West, March 2013

Meeting author Michael West, March 2013

February 2013 Update

The three Brock Ford paperbacks continue to inch along toward publication. Just this week I’ve seen the rough sketches for the interior illustrations, and I am so excited! My illustrator just continues to wow me. I know choosing Brian for the work was the best decision I could have made. Not only do I have professional covers, but the chapter headings will make the books come alive like never before. I’m still looking at a late spring release date (and hopefully more school visits!), so watch here for more details.

My latest book is currently with beta readers. I don’t even have a final title yet, so I’m hoping one of my betas comes up with something great. (Ryan, are you listening?) I’m eager to get the book edited and out, and that should be a release in the summer. Again, stay tuned to the blog for more info.

The first draft for the current work-in-progress, a contemporary middle-grade, is about 2/3 finished. I’m thinking of going the traditional route with this manuscript and submitting to agents. Why, I don’t know. I guess I feel this latest effort has the potential to catch the eye of one of the Big 6. It’s certainly a story written from personal experience. I’ve taken agent Mary Kole’s advice to “dig deep and tell the truth.” We’ll see what happens.

I’m also toying with the idea of putting out a short story collection. I’ve got several shorts and even a bit of poetry lying around. The time just seems right to put it out there and see what happens. That’s a project for when I finish the first draft of the current WIP, while it mellows for a bit.

So… lot of things going on, yet the wheels turn slowly. Stay tuned!

January 2013 Update

Wow! Has it really been over a month since I last updated my blog? I have been busy, busy, busy!

Right now I’m about a third of the way through my current work-in-progress, a new middle-grade novel. It’s really going well, and I’m hoping this will be the one that finally gets me noticed by the right people. I’ve put myself in seclusion the past couple of weekends and forced myself to write, write, write.

Something I’ve come to realize in the past six months is that my first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. The important part is just to get something down. I can fix it later. That’s what revisions and editing are for. Amazing that I’ve been writing for thirty years and I’ve just discovered that. If I had figured it out sooner, there’s no telling how many more books I’d have under my belt. It’s actually been liberating. I’ve always known on the surface of course that subsequent drafts can fix almost anything, but I would never give myself the freedom to just write in an almost stream-of-consciousness mode. All that changed last fall when I picked up an old unfinished novel and decided to complete it. By utilizing that new freedom, I was able to plow through the remainder of the book in about a month and a half. That book will soon be in the editing stage and will hopefully be out before summer.

On the Brock Ford front, my illustrator plans to work on the chapter headings through February. I’m still shooting for a spring release of the paperbacks. Keep checking back for details!

Now, I like to make a plea on behalf of myself and other indie authors. If you like what you read, PLEASE leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It doesn’t have to be lengthy; 25 or 30 words is fine, and on Goodreads you can just leave stars without writing anything. Reviews are extremely important to indie authors because more reviews leads to more exposure and that leads to more sales. Also, if you enjoy my work, please tell other people; word of mouth sells more books than anything.

Please feel free to drop me a line. I enjoy hearing from readers and I love to answer questions!

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!

With the holidays in full-force now it’s going to be tough to get back in the swing of any kind of writing schedule.  Next week my son will be home from college for Christmas, and I expect a lot of my time will be taken up with driving lessons.  That’s okay, though.  I cherish any time we get to spend together, no matter what we’re doing.

2012 has been a year of decisions.  My choice to stop looking for an agent and go indie has so far been a good one.  I have done more writing this year than in the past five.  I’ve put out three books, finished another, and started two more.  I’ve met some really great folks both in person and online and also began building a pretty awesome fanbase.  I supposed some people would say my sales figures are pretty small, but I’m a lot closer to living the dream than I was a year ago.

2013 looks to be just as exciting as I anticipate rolling out the new paperback versions of Brock Ford in the early spring and probably a paranormal/thriller/crime novel before the year is over.  Stay tuned!  I’ll keep everyone informed of news and events here on my blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Have a great holiday season!

New cover art for The Lost Treasure of Kilimanjaro!

I am excited to reveal the cover art for the paperback version of The Lost Treasure of Kilimanjaro, the first book of the Brock Ford Adventures series.  The painting is by a wonderfully talented artist named Brian Bowes.  Check out his portfolio at http://studiobowesart.com/.  He specializes in pulp, adventure, and children’s book illustrations.  Brian is working on all three of the completed Brock Ford books right now, and the plan is for them to be released at the same time, maybe in time for Christmas.  I think Brian has captured the excitement of the story in awesome detail.  What do you think?

My First School Visit

So this week I experienced my first school visit.  The morning was spent talking to 7th and 8th graders.  We discussed the story writing process and all the elements that go into making a story, including plot and characters.  We also talked about the story arc and how it is universal to writing, film, and television, and I told them about my journey as a writer.  I got lots of good questions and met some really great kids.

In the afternoon, I read part of The Movie House Mystery to the 3rd grade students.  We all had a blast!  The kids really enjoyed the story and wanted more.  I loved answering all their questions and could have talked to them for another hour or two.  I really feel like we connected and that I found my true audience.  When it was over, I got hugs from a couple of students as they were leaving.  That was the best feeling in the world!

Hopefully I will be able to visit again when the first three Brock Ford books are released in December.  I look forward to meeting more young fans!