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


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!


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…


…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 ??


Proof,… see? I got my own!


What’s everyone reading??


The Next 1000 Miles

Where Are You From?

I could really use your help on a project. I’m looking at creating a map of the world. I’d like to know just where my book may have made it. So, if you’ve read my book, have a copy (ebook or paperback), looked it over, put it on a wish list, etc. Comment or email me your location. I’d like to look into cities or if you’re uncomfortable with that state/country. JL.Fiction@outlook.com

Rapid Citians need not respond. I’m home base. All the strings will come from there. But I know I have some great reviews from all over the world. The UK, Austria, Malaysia, the Philippians and more. This is my attempt to find out from you while my numbers are small. Also, it saves me stalking you…


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!


The Next 1000 Miles

What to Get Your Author for Xmas

Hint #1: It’s Free!!

Answer: A Review

It may not seem like much, but to Indies, it’s almost better than currency. A review or a rating on places like Amazon, GoodReads, a blog or any venue of social media is like seeing the storm clouds part and sun shinning directly on us. As an Indie, my name is not out there; I can’t get into chain book stores; and I have a fan base that consists mainly of friends and family for the moment. The only thing that will help me continue my passion is having more people interested.

Think of a new restaurant that’s opened in your town. If you went there and the food was somewhere between good and great, would you tell others? If you don’t, how will they know? Same goes for books on an almost secret society scale. There are so many to choose from, no one will ever see them without guidance or persistence. We need our readers help or we’ll surely wither away.

So, for Christmas, rate the books you’ve read. Save a writer!