A Time to Die, A Time to Live, A Time to Reap, The Next 1000 Miles

Balance

As much as I try to stay to a certain day a week to post, I will inevitably have one or two of “these” weeks. Going from so much involvement and interaction with my cover reveal last week, wrapping up two giveaways from Goodreads and getting an updated proofing of my book had me going every direction, with no clear intent mind you.

Planning, as boring as it sounds, is necessary. Knowing when, how, where, and most importantly WHY an author does something is really the cornerstone to moving forward. My lack of planning has been rectified by great friends, family and fellow authors willing to pitch in before I tumble over a cliff.

For anyone not on the Internet last week, here’s a quick shot of the next cover:

A Time to Die

I know what you’re thinking…

Annnnd, you’re right. Thank you…or you’re welcome. Both.

After the week started winding down, I found myself trying not to seek your attention without a real purpose. I love sharing and chatting and liking all the things you do, but I’ll still try to limit myself to a couple posts a week, a few random pics and all the updates on the new book as possible. Otherwise…

…itchies start setting in.

For anyone still reading and interested in stats, I had 1,626 people register to win A Time to Reap and 743 register for A Time to Live. That’s over 2,000 entries!! I was sitting back like…

So, if I see you out there, don’t be alarmed if you get an attack hug.

If you are reading this and want a copy of your very own, there are links on the titles above in two different formats, Kindle and Paperback! Until next time, peeps!


 

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Cover Reveal, The Next 1000 Miles, Upcoming

Cover Reveal

Good morning everyone! With the unfortunate theft of my editing budget, the release date got pushed back. But that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to share! So, today you will be seeing my official cover in the completion to the Legend of Carter Gabel series. It’s been a very fun journey and I’ve met some amazing people along the way. Most that are helping me are linked below, so please go and check them out!

Also, as an added gift, I have my book available for pre-sale on Amazon for only $0.99! So, CLICK HERE and the link will take you to where you can invent less than a dollar for a great surprise in the months to come.

Without further ado…

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Carter Gabel saved his own life, and rescued his city from destruction. But, after the Pirates forced him into hiding, he spent years holed up in Crighton, city of ghosts. Just as he thinks the world has forgotten him, a knock on the door interrupts his life and as he opens it, his next journey begins. An unexpected foe waits for him at the end to challenge everything he knows and all that his future holds. What must Carter do to survive? And what does he sacrifice to become a legend?

A Time to Die

Please feel free to share this post as much as you can and please comment. I love comments!

A big thanks to all who are helping me today!! Click on them to see their sites and all their own work:

Kate M. Colby

Olivia

Lizzy Baldwin

Zachary Chopchinski & Layla of course!

JB Salsbury

Liz

Shannon A Thompson

Heather

Haddie

Tina

Galit

Nina Soden

Jeyna Grace

A Time to Live, A Time to Reap, Conventions, The Next 1000 Miles

Fair Enough… (pun intended)

I’ve had exactly two moments of interacting with book-goers while being an author. One was at my own signing at a local coffee house. The other was at the South Dakota Book Festival a couple of weeks ago. When I thought of it, initially, I was more than a little nervous. As far as extroverted people go, I am not one that falls delicately into that category. In a typical setting, I’ll be the one listening to your conversation, taking in the scene, contemplating what I want to watch on Netflix when I get home and into my comfy pants.

In situations like the book festival though, I turn off that annoying chatter and focus on the people there. I love readers and if I could, I’d talk to all of them that walked by my table. I certainly tried (staying cautiously cool and not pouncing like a car salesman) and in most cases succeeded. Look at me all relaxed…

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…despite all the red arrows and squigglies surrounding me.

A few things I took away from the experience (much in thanks to my wife’s help):

  • People love free candy, hell, free anything. Whatever draws their attention to take another second before passing you. If they pause enough to look at your book cover(s), they might pick it up and read the back or better yet, ask you what your book is about.
  • Table decor helps draw attention from further away.
  • Giveaways are a great method to getting people to stop, although – this can backfire if people would rather wait to see if they win instead of buying it right then & there. But if they’re half on the fence anyhow…
  • Have a good two-sentence synopsis of your book. (I think I was asked 40 times what my book was about and another 40 asking who is Carter Gabel)
    • Have short, concise answers to some major questions about your book(s) like – genre, suitable ages, similar books, pertinent info
  • Shwag is good. Falls under the free category, but if you have bookmarks, put your social media info on there and possibly a list of your works

I met some great people at the Book Festival. Four new author friends and an editor. Given how small of a venue I was at, I was happy to know there was another RC author in my similar Indie World! I listed some of my take-homes from my new author friends who (coincidentally) I’ll get to see at Utopia in Nashville this June! Click on a pic to learn more!

Only $2.99

Only $2.99

Only $.99 ??

FREE ?!

Proof,… see? I got my own!

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What’s everyone reading??



 

The Next 1000 Miles

Who’s With Me??

We live in a virtual world. Most of the people I’ve made friends with over the past year has been online. And since the majority of those are writers… I’m thinking road trip!

So, I was chatting with my good friend, Shannon A Thompson, this past week. Whatever led our convo to talk about conferences is lost now, but the turning point was when we started saying how it would be great to meet other authors from WordPress. *ding-ding*

Of course!! Why not try and find a conference where like-minded people can meet at some point. So I proposed the notion to a couple of other friends, Zachary Chopchinski & Kate M. Colby, and they agreed a road trip would be awesome! Well, why not spread the invite??

Next year, plan on attending the UtopYA Con in Nashville, TN. Pertinent info I have gathered so far is below, but if you think you can swing it, wouldn’t it be great to at least attend and see some of the familiar faces of the authors we see here on a regular basis? I’m going, barring a cataclysmic event or poverty. I hope I can see you all there with us!!

UtopYA Con

Registration date is June 21st, 2015 for the 2016 conference. Vacancies fill up within days, so be ready.

Cost is not set, but a half table (3ft) went for $200 this year and double for the full table. You can request to share a table with someone of your choosing (no set guarantees).

Refunds are given 60 prior to the event if you find out you cannot make it.

Did I mention that I am going?? <— Reason enough right there!



The Next 1000 Miles

Flavor of Writing

I’m going to speak metaphorically here in terms of writing as it relates to food. In this post,writers are cooks, the food is our books and the readers are our dining guests.

As “chefs” we attempt to create an amalgamation of spices to hopefully combine them all to appease and nourish our audience. Nourish in terms of entertain, provoke thought, terrify, stupefy or marvel at the wonder of the dish they just completed.

I think we’ve all had our share of bad cooks that could burn water somehow as well as our favorite chefs that never let us down. We all have a pallet of our own, some dare to try new things whereas others have a strict diet. And let us not forget the comfort foods, oh those genres that satisfy us and make us feel like we’re wrapped under a thick blanket on a cold day.

I think both chefs and diners should try and keep a hopeful eye open to the possibilities of what might be appealing. Something may sound atrocious, but who knows, one day it might just be the thing you crave most. I had mentioned comfort foods before, so let’s try not to forget or overindulge on the desserts. You know the books that can be read in a day and what you actually take away from it is just a spatial lapse in time. Don’t get me wrong, we all need those little jump starts and treats before taking on the next great meal (mine is The Walking Dead graphic novels).

As a chef, I try to mix up my flavor of words and ideas into a story everyone can enjoy. Alas, there are always individuals who will hate your cooking or it’s just not appetizing to them. (Hopefully they finish the meal) That’s not a fault, it just happens. I’m sure they took away something from your words and imagination. Their feedback could also help you refine your craft enough on the next dish to make it even better.

And do keep trying new recipes as a chef and diner alike. No one steps into the kitchen knowing what every machine, utensil and combination of tastes can conjure up. I think at some point we all know when the cook has something good to offer, sometimes we just have to wait for the next time.

Stay hungry and keep creating!



 

A Time to Reap, The Next 1000 Miles

Oh, So You Like Gangbangs?

Sorry, no porn here, but while you’re reading, let’s talk about the poor unfortunate souls known as Reviewers. As an author, especially since I’m an Indie author, reviews are my major form of credibility and advertising.

One site that I was directed to The Indie View. It’s a site that post links to reviewers that are accepting books in various formats and genres and also a place for want-to-be reviewers to go and sign up to get books. Now, this is a great tool for each person.

Authors will hopefully find a reviewer or two, readers will get free books to read and contribute in helping an author step into the light. That’s the general premise.

Here’s the issue: authors will have to search, hunt, and peck through dozens upon dozens of sites. Mostly, to try and find out if the reviewer is looking for their genre, if they’re accepting reviews and the time commitment. I’ve come across sites that were taken down, no longer reviewing, and no longer accepting more than anything. Other sites have such a backlog, they can’t possibly accept all books and because of such, will not respond to let you know if they are even interested. So, for author’s it has promise, but the payout is not really there in my opinion.

For reviewers…oh, I hope you don’t go in thinking “I wonder if I’ll get many books…” because you will. Books will coming flying at you in such rapid speed and succession, you won’t know what the hell you got yourself into. I hope you have lots of free time and can devour a book in a day. If not, they will get crammed in your cram-hole until you have to deactivate your account.

Hint: set up a review email, don’t use your personal one unless you like sorting.

In the spirit of letting those reviewers rest, and to save myself time (let’s be honest), up until the end of the week, anyone wanting an eBook of A Time to Reap that reads this blog, just email me at JL.Fiction@outlook.com and use the subject line Gang Up on Jonas Lee. Tell me your format of preference and I’ll send you a copy in expectation of a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Deal?

This is only going out to my folks on WordPress, no other social media at this time. So, take advantage, read some reviews and lets help each other out!



The Next 1000 Miles

Hit the Gym

See what happens…

Write Club Fight Club

It’s that time, ladies and gents! Approach the center of the ring for your instructions.

Now, fighters, this is all of our first official fights. Remember to start prompting your fans on when to vote for you and the working title of your story. On Fight Day, only your title will be displayed. This way, the casual reader will have an opinion motivated solely by the title and the work itself. Your training is done as of September 20th. After that time, get your stories to me so I can look them over and set them up for Fight Day. NO EDITS will be done by me, only copying and pasting, so train well.

Now…the fun stuff. For your fight (this goes for everyone) you must meet this criteria:

The story must center around REVENGE.

  • The lengths, extent or interpretation of that word is solely up to the writer/fighter.
  • Revenge…

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A Time to Reap, Journey of 1000 Miles

Getting Down to It

This is an update of sorts as well as a reflection and a promotion for upcoming things.

Update:

Proofreading is complete. Formatting should be set up and underway within the week. That means my first Manuscript will be available this month… Breath that in…hold it, THIS MONTH!!

With that in mind, Reflection:

When I was first deciding in my teenage years that I wanted to become a writer, I really didn’t think it would take this long. The majority, if not entirety, of that time was me self-doubting, shuffling my feet, and expecting a sign from the heavens that I was doing the right thing. After realizing it was me or nothing, now or never, I started along this path last fall.

My first book complete, I submitted to agents in hopes that it would immediately get snatched up. A couple dozen attempts later and the air left my balloon of hope deflated. Then, I just started writing. I wrote things on my mind and started a story just for something to clear my head.

BOOM! A Time to Reap stepped forward and told me this is supposed to be fun. Thus my road to becoming an Indie author occurred. From February until now it felt like a graduation I was prepared for. I went through the motions, perfected and tweaked my words and immersed myself in a pool with like writers. Now, the day to walk the stage approaches and I hope I have friends, family and fans getting ready to cheer as I make the journey. The 1,000 miles is rounding marker 999 and my stomach tingles with excitement…and a little trepidation.

Upcoming:

If anyone read yesterday’s passage, you may  have seen the idea for a Writer’s Project this fall. Write Club Fight Club has a page up already and fighters have already started emailing me. If you are interested, please check out the site, email the address listed there and see if you want to train and get in the ring. It is seriously all about fun and I’m excited to see how it goes! Please come on over and join or follow along. Tell your friends. I’m planning on inviting Neil Gaiman and Joe Hill via Twitter. I somewhat doubt they have the free time or want to participate, but hell, no risk – no reward.



 

Scategories

Calling All Writers!

I am certain we have all seen or been tempted by the idea of a collaboration with another writer for ideas or expansion into another genre beyond our wheelhouse. This is not a collaboration. This is combat. Literary speaking combat.

I am looking to those out there that may have interest in being part of a club. We will choose a topic/theme/genre or word and two authors will “battle” by writing a short story or teaser roughly 1500 – 3000 words in length. Fans, readers and participants can vote on which story prevails. Think of it as Epic Rap Battles meets Poetry Slam meets Fight Club with a pinch of Thunderdome in there.

The Club will not start until October 1, but I want to get a potential list going by early September to start pairing writers up against one another (and yes, I will have my hat in the ring as well). I want to find at least 10 interested writers (I have already heard interest from 2 before I started this post) and can take up to 20 initially. Depending on the Club size, we will post a battle weekly if not semi-weekly. We will try to implement a bracket once things start rolling. Each work is not going to be published, will maintain basic copyright laws and is mainly for fun and to get your work/name rotating out there.

All writers are welcome to apply, whether you’re published, unpublished, Indie, poets, bloggers or the occasional writer. Time commitment is up to you, but if it’s your first time, you’ll have to write. Simply email Write.Club@outlook.com with a link to your work, or a portion of your writing (I won’t open attachments, sorry).

Now…Share, Share, Share! Get the word out to everyone.


It’s coming…


 

Journey of 1000 Miles

Variations of Authors

Consider authors to be like meals. They are meant to nourish and feed a reader’s imagination. Variations of authors range from the fancy etiquette of classical and modern day literature to the drive through garbage meant to provide a taste and little more than that.

I offer up that as well as literary authors, we should not forget the other artists who use their words to feed our souls. Musicians, poets and yes, even public speakers.As writers, we all try to tie in a story with emotions. Musicians and their ilk do the same thing in a much more compacted version lasting only about five minutes. It’d be the equivalent of some sort of Jetson’s meal in a pill.

Not everyone’s pallet is the same, so don’t go asking why one person won’t eat your sauerkraut dish when they have a distaste for cabbage of any kind. So, test your dishes out and feed the world. Those who are hungry enough will feed off of your words.