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!

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!

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!

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.

 

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/.