Discussion

Hello faithful followers and readers!

I know I haven’t updated you all in quite a while and there are various reason for that, including finishing my first degree, starting a new job and generally being busy. But, I have not stopped writing!

To Live and Die in Avalon has a finished manuscript that has me pretty proud. I have occasionally gone back to tweak it whenever I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat saying "wait...that is a HUGE plot hole! Why did I not see that?!" But, for the most part, it is as done as I can get before being put into the hands of a skilled professional editor. I have also began putting aside notes for the SEQUEL, but it is far too early to even talk about that in great detail. If (and when) Avalon gets a publishing deal, the edits I may have to make with an editor may impact what happens in the sequel. I have written one little scene that I just had to get off my chest and I hope it makes it into the as yet not-fully-formed follow up. I am still considering another campaign, but they require a lot of time and energy that I can’t quite commit to right now. I’m in a very transitional and busy period of life right now and once I get into a steady groove I can perhaps dedicate the proper time needed for a campaign and the other creative endeavors (including my music) that I’ve been wanting to indulge. 

The rest of my writing energy has been put toward the epic fantasy novel I have been wanting to make some headway on. The story has changed so significantly, that I will have to update the details on the draft page at some point. You can check out the very early, rough version of an opening chapter at https://www.inkshares.com/books/aurasong-blue-sword

Finally, a shout out to a couple  of my colleagues and friends here at Inkshares that need the love:

Andre Brun’s Arcadia is currently in first place in the Horror Contest! Support him here:

https://www.inkshares.com/books/arcadia

Ferd Crotte’s Mission 51 finished in one of the top spots of the last Nerdist Sci-Fi contest!

https://www.inkshares.com/books/mission-51

Also, I can’t possibly name every single author I think you should support here, so just go through my follows and followers and check out their work. Every. Single. One of them. Inkshares is bursting at the seams with talent and they are only going to make it with your support. 

Thanks again and if you live in Florida, gather up your books to read and stay safe!

Jason

Greetings Earthlings,

The project page has once again been updated, with a spicy new hook and revised synopsis. The completed draft is sitting on my desktop waiting to be made into a real thing that can be bought and consumed. So, know that if and when the campaign starts anew, you are going to be investing in a complete project, ready to be edited and buffed and shined into full-blown amazingness (not a word, don’t judge me, you get the point).

 

Thanks for your support!

J


098de134cf14fc66a9c66b4f51abf753 Ferd Crôtte · Author · added 12 months ago
I feel exactly the same way! We both  started at the same time, during the Space Opera contest, so I feel a certain affinity for Avalon.
I plan to try again with Mission 51. I’ll be on the lookout for Avalon,  ready to jump in with both feet!
Good luck, Jason! :-)

Hello, faithful readers and followers!

A year ago today I launched my Inkshares campaign and while it wasn’t successful, I did not give up working on the book. At the time I had barely two chapters. Today the current (and nearly final) draft is sitting at 99,000 words and twenty-three chapters.

I have revamped the Inkshares page, took down the old, outdated sample chapters and replaced them with the current prologue and first chapter. I’m really proud of this book and whether I decide to start another campaign or shop it elsewhere, I promise you it will see the light of day in some shape or form...sooner rather than later.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the constant, unwavering support. I feel 200% more confident in the current, almost finished version of the book compared to the rough idea and collection of words I had a year ago and if not for the Nerdist Space Opera contest and Inkshares itself, I’m not sure I would have taken the leap did and finally put myself out there. It has changed my life (no seriously, I’m not even exaggerating). 

Love and all that stuff,

J

Happy New Year everyone!

If you haven’t had a chance to read it, here is a really great post by Inkshares’ CEO that really resonated with me: 

http://blog.inkshares.com/post/155632230065/the-coal-car

When I started working on "To Live and Die in Avalon", it was a spur of the moment decision so I could get into the Nerdist space opera contest. I had one chapter, a rough outline and not much else. Although I managed to hover around 20th place in the contest out of about 100 submissions, I really had a hard time marketing a book that was not done, that was barely realized. When the campaign ended I stepped away from everything having to do with the novel so that I could refocus and come back with fresh eyes and a fresher mind toward finishing and refining a novel worth reading. It has been nearly a year since I entered the space opera contest and the book is miles away from where it was. First of all, it’s a more or less finished novel of nearly 100k words with a lot of big ideas, some personal themes that transcend the sci-fi setting, more fully defined protagonists and villains and the framework to create more stories in a world I’ve spent a lot of time building, breaking down and rebuilding. 

I want my story to be told and the chance to write more stories. I realize now, through this entire experience with Inkshares that this is what I most want to do. I have always believed that the story comes first and my name on the book or even my picture in the back a far distant second. I want people to read this crazy sci-fi story and get something out of it, some thrills, some laughs, maybe some tears and then be ready to see these characters and their world progress into new and exciting directions.  That’s why, no matter what happens, whether I relaunch a successful campaign on Inkshares or not, this story will be told and I will find the tools, the feedback and the support I need to make sure it is the best version of the story possible. Because I’m not in a rush to have a book out there just so I can brag about the fact that I wrote a book. Anybody can write a book, but I want to tell stories, and I’m happy to be among a plethora of authors who want the same.

Thank you,

J

P.S. The current draft has been sent to beta readers for feedback, I will let you know how that goes in a future update!

Happy Holidays readers!

So, I’ve been spending my Holiday break refining the latest (third) draft and we are now sitting at about 94,000 words, twenty-three chapters, a prologue, epilogue and a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve beefed up the novel with more detail, more backstory, and a parallel series of flashbacks that take place in the swinging sixties that’s adds more context to the motivations of the main characters. I also think the addition of a prologue (much like the cold opening of a Bond film) and an epilogue (much like the post-credits scenes we see so often nowadays) really adds a bit more bang for your buck, story-wise as well as leaving the door open for future installments. It’s a constant process, but I think I’m just about the point where I can hand this off to beta readers to get some much needed feedback. 

And what say you, faithful followers, about possibly relaunching an Inkshares campaign? Not now, I’m not at that point just yet, but perhaps in a couple of months after Holiday fatigue has worn off. The novel has evolved so much since I first started working on it over a year ago and I feel much more confident that I can get people excited about it and see it become a reality. Without the pressures of a contest or a crowdfunding campaign over the past few months, I’ve been able to really crack this open and refine it and there’s still more work to be done. Exciting times!

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year!

J

Oh, hey, you’re still here?

 

Well, I’m glad you are! What’s going on with "To Live and Die in Avalon" you ask? Have I thrown in the towel and stopped working on it? Nope, not at all. 

The truth is, that crowdfunding a novel is a very draining thing and I put 200% into it, leaving -100% to work on the novel (sorry, I no do math so good). The point is since the campaign ended I’ve been pouring every free moment into overhauling my book into something I can be proud of and can really market the pants off. Ok, I’m sorry, that makes no sense, books don’t wear pants, but I think you know what I mean. 

The amazing thing that has happened is after walking away from my manuscript for a while and then coming back to it, I discovered a plethora of ways to improve it, to really turn into the combination spy thriller/space opera I want it to be. Compelling characters, a villain that is not a two-dimensional caricature, a plot that spans both the past and present and enough seeds planted to maybe make this into a series.

It was a tall order to put together a completely coherent novel I could be proud enough to market in a handful of months, but now with the extra time, I feel I can really hammer this into something truly special. 

The next question you’re asking is probably either "how long is this update going to be because Luke Cage is on Netflix and I’m sleepy?" or "when is the book going to be finished?". I’ll answer the second question...I’m not sure yet. Sometimes, you just have to bake these things until they are done...or burnt to a crisp (note to self, need better analogy). But, when it is done, then I will decide whether to relaunch a brand spanking new campaign on ye olde Inkshares or shop this baby around elsewhere. Either way, you, my faithful followers will be kept in the loop. If another opportunity lands in my lap, I will be sure to let you know and will not leave my Inkshares brethren without passing on the love to other authors who desperately need it. 

Until then, my friends, I’ll go back to my writing cave to chisel away at a complete manuscript that will be ready for an editor to beat into a finished product. My other project, which is also a draft "Aurasong: Blue Sword" will also get some love when I need to switch gears. Please check that out and give it a follow if you feel so inclined. 

That’s it for now, have a great week, superspies.

J

Well, friends, the campaign has ended and we didn’t meet our goals. If you pre-ordered a copy you should be receiving a refund shortly. 

It is with a heavy heart that I write this update, but I am proud of what has been accomplished since this started way back in February. 

I’ve written short stories, poetry and songs for nearly as long as I could write and even before I knew how to play an instrument. I have always wanted to write novels, but wasn’t sure I could pull it off and was always afraid of failing. I finally put aside that fear earlier this year and decided to try and take one of the plethora of novel ideas bouncing around in my skull and make it into a reality. I attribute a lot of that courage from my incredibly supportive spouse and a couple of mentors in the English department at school who pushed me to reach for something more. What I began working on was a fantasy novel, but I quickly switched gears when the Nerdist Space Opera contest began. I took a character I had made up when I was in high school and was enamored with Emma Peel, James Bond and retro-science fiction serials and put her center stage. 

When the contest began I had a rough idea of the story and all of its beats, but barely enough to make a full novel. I asked one of my best friends, a professional graphic designer, if she could create a cover for me and I began the truthfully draining process of trying to promote a book I hadn’t really finished yet. This was always the part I dreaded, the self-promotion part, but despite my social anxiety issues I went door-to-door pushing my novel, went to comic book stores and coffee shops, messaged every single person on my Facebook friend’s list, began building up a Twitter following, did interviews for podcasts and local news and networked with a lot of brilliant authors throughout Inkshares and Goodreads. The solidarity with my fellow authors is what helped me push forward the most and it is something I’m going to continue cultivating. It really helps to know you’re not alone in this endeavor and that authors of all levels of success and experience are willing to lend a hand or ear when it’s needed. 

I lingered around 19th place in the contest, pretty respectable considering there were nearly a hundred submissions. When it was over, I put the aggressive marketing on hold and worked hard on completing a more polished draft. By the time I had asked for my first extension I had finished the second draft clocking in at about 75,000 words. I can tell you now, that all of the work I’ve put into this book has not been done in vain and despite the outcome of the campaign, I’m still going to continue to polish this book until it is the best it can be. 

I’m not going to sit here and tell you what I think I did wrong or what wasn’t enough. That’s self-defeating and I call this a near-success, not a failure. Ending with 119 pre-orders out of 250 is not bad at all. What I will tell you is that while I continue to fine tune my novel (and the aforementioned fantasy novel) my role on Inkshares and Goodreads is going to be more cheerleader rather than self-promoter. There are still a lot of great authors out there trying to meet their goals and I encourage you to give them a look and help them get where I couldn’t. This is not the end for me or To Live and Die in Avalon by a long shot. My only plan right now is to finish the best version of the book possible before I decide what to do with it next. 

I’d now like to acknowledge some of the Inkshares authors who showed their support for me and I encourage you to look them up, follow what they’re doing and help them reach their goals. Or at the very least, be the cheerleader for them that they’ve been for me:

Michael Haase

Tony Valdez

RH Webster

Billy O’Keefe

Eric H. Heisner

Stephen Carignan

Joseph Asphahani

Thomas J. Arnold

Nell Walton

Mike Donald

Tal M. Klein

Tabi Card

Matthew Poat

James Rasile

RF Martin

Bekki Leber

Seriously, the list goes on and on and if I didn’t mention you by name, trust me, every single person on my follow list for both me as an author or the book itself is important to me. Thank you. You’re all wonderful people for even just caring to see where this book could go. 

A special thanks to Jeremy and the Inkshares peeps, I love you guys. Thanks for providing a platform for fledgling writers like myself to take a chance and put it out there. You’ve opened huge doors for me and I’m eternally grateful for that. 

The story is not over yet. This is not goodbye, just see you later.  

Thank you!

Jason

Twitter Tony Valdez · Author · added over 1 year ago
I’m bummed to see TLADIA back in draft mode. I tried to spread the word! I’ll look forward to wherever this book pops up again in the universe. Good luck sir!

THIS IS THE LAST DAY TO PRE-ORDER!

One final push and then that’s it! We have mere hours left to make it to Quill, please help!

So, what happens if we don’t make it? I can assure you it won’t be the end for To Live and Die in Avalon, but this is our last chance to have it published through Inkshares as part of the Quill collection. Depending on how things turn out I will have another update tomorrow and we’ll talk about where things go from here.

On a whim, I entered the Nerdist Space Opera contest with what was only a rough idea for a novel and I have watched it grow and evolve over time into something I can really be proud of and determined to see published. As it stands the second draft of the novel is a little over 75k words and still evolving. I have learned so much about the process of writing and promoting a novel, made a lot of great friends in the Inkshares community and have seen the plethora of opportunities available for indie authors if they are brave enough to go after them. 

I have a draft for a fantasy novel on the site which I’m debating entering into the Geek and Sundry contest, but contests are an all-consuming endeavor and I’m not sure I’m up to another one at this point in time. But, rest assured, that other novel will grow and evolve into something substantial over time, just as Avalon has, now that I have gained the skills, drive and support network that helped me complete my first book. You can check out that draft here: https://www.inkshares.com/books/aurasong-blue-sword

That’s all I have for now. I will have one final update tomorrow, depending on the outcome of the campaign. Thank you all for your encouragement and support!

Jason