Tuesday, May 22, 2012

So I Found A Topic After All...

It's been a while since my last post and although I would love to say it's entirely because I've been busy, there is a touch of neglect to blame as well.  Unfortunately in all my inactive blog time, I have not managed to wrangle up a great topic so this post will be of the catch-up variety.  While there is always a chance I might end up writing something pithy or inspiring, I don't want to get your hopes up.  So, if you have no interest in what I've been up to, you can click away and wait for the next post.  I will only be mildly offended.
 The classroom portion of my year long upgrade from Firefighter/EMT to Firefighter/Paramedic is coming to a close.  It has gone by much faster than I thought it would thanks to some great classmates and instructors.  If I'm being honest, and I usually try to be, I'm going to miss hanging out with the guys in the class.  It's been a good time and I couldn't have asked for a better group with whom to learn.
I've been able to put down another twenty pages on the third book in the Scarlet Hopewell series after a mild hiatus.  I'm really excited about how it's turning out.  The world of Satorium and the post apocalyptic world are expanding into characters in and of themselves and are serving as a fantastic playground in which Scarlet, Brennan, Delfi and Dakota have truly come alive.  The suspense and action are being ramped up quite a bit in this installment and on a much grander scale.  The magic, which in the first two books was still being introduced, has become a more natural part of the story.  It's a book that I think I would really enjoying reading and assuming I'm not really weird, I think my fans will too.
Some of you may have noticed that the price of my e-books increased to a more "normal" price in terms of other fiction.  While I realize that this might affect how many people ultimately purchase my books on amazon, nook and ibooks, what I'm hoping is that the fewer number that do download my work will be actual readers.  I have certainly appreciated the support many of you have given me by responding to free promotions and 99 cent pricing, sending my books to near the top of the free lists on Amazon.  However, from the relatively few reviews versus downloads, I'm afraid that the majority of downloads never get read, which is ultimately my goal: to be read and share my story.
Writers put a lot of passion, hard work, dedication and time into the books they write and while it is certainly an endeavor that many of us love, our passion doesn't make it any less valuable.  I certainly understand the temptation to inflate the stats with numbers, I've been doing it since November, but in the end I have to believe in my worth as a writer.  I believe that I have some fantastic stories to tell and whether I reach only one person a day or a thousand, as long as those people read what I have written, the words will spread. 
A small bit of inspirational after all for those independent self published authors out there: just because your books, short stories and poems don't have a Random House logo on the spine, doesn't mean your work is of lesser value, less literary or isn't a hell of a story.  Many of you, I'm sure, have experienced the disheartening rejection letters and once the self publishing e-book world became mainstream you jumped at the chance to see your writing reach an audience.  And maybe be you felt that since you didn't have a publisher, your books weren't equal to those with big names to back them.  The truth...maybe they aren't that good.  Maybe you don't write very well.  Not everyone can and not everybody does.  But at the same time, don't sell yourself short.  A great deal of getting published in the traditional since is luck.  Right time and place and all that jazz.  Believe in your work, write what you love, and write the best you know how.  If you've got it, it won't matter who adorns the spine of your book, your stories will spread.  Are you or I the next J. K. Rowling?  Maybe.  That should be for the readers to decide.  And I for one would rather have one person who bought one of my books because they genuinely wanted to read them, than a thousand who downloaded them because they were free or cheap.
So I'm going to make a pact with my fellow writers out there.  With the conclusion of my class next month, I'm going to choose a book by an independent author, at least one a month.  I don't care what the price is, I'm just going to search for stories I find interesting.  On my blog I'm going to start a "what I'm reading," and I'll tell you what I think.  By all means, feel free to send me suggestions, whether it's your book, or someone else's.     
Okay, so I guess I found a subject after all.  As always, thank you to those who have allowed me to entertain you with my novels.  As much as I value my own worth, I value you the limited time you have to spend on reading and am honored you have chose my work to spend it on.  Until next time...  

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Scarlet Hopewell