I’ve been here before, sitting in the quiet before the end, wondering what lies on the other side of the storm. I am the crazy person who has entered four contests on Inkshares, one of which I won with a group of amazing talents much larger than mine. Four contests in a year. I can mark them like seasons in my life on Inkshares.
The first contest was my introduction to Inkshares as a whole. The Nerdist contest came along at a time when I was waiting for my final edit to return on Shadow of the Owl, when I had already written a book, created a cover, bought my ISBNs and prepared to self-publish. I hit submit assuming many things, not the least of which was that it would easy (not unlike self-publishing on its own).
Next I tossed Deus Hex Machina into the Sword & Laser the Sequel contest, largely because I already had a funding campaign for Shadow of the Panther up on the site and didn’t want to resubmit. I’m glad I made that choice, because while I didn’t win that contest, I did get far enough to grab interest in the project from outside and even eventually get the book a light publishing contract. The outside interest ended up pushing me to write a book while I was funding it (something I highly suggest no one ever do), writing a book I originally thought would never see the light of day. It was at this point that I promised I would never do another contest, by the way.
When the Nerdist Video Game contest came along, I was at the right place at the right time with a group of writing colleagues who wanted to try something crazy -- submit an anthology. The result was a first place win for Too Many Controllers, to which I submitted a story I had been working on for years that is currently titled "Final Boss." I am incredibly proud of that story, mostly because it represents my overcoming a huge fear of short fiction that’s hounded me since I let fear push me out of the fiction side of my creative writing degree at USC.
And now, The List 2016 is drawing to a close. In little under six hours I will be ending my first year with Inkshares the way I began it: Watching a contest end. I find myself introspective (obviously) rather than dejected at the results of this contest. Sitting seventh in a contest that I was invited into is a rather big honor. I have a finished manuscript waiting until the contest closes today, one that I firmly believe is the best writing I’ve ever done. No matter what result happens from this contest, I will be able to look back at this year with Inkshares and smile. I have one book published, two more in production once I send in DHM, and many more projects. I have found a community of disparate writers from around the world, and a strange and wonderful company that links them all together in this crazy publishing fever dream.
What’s next up for me in 2017? I am about to write another couple of short stories in the Shadow of the Owl universe. Once I have those done and published I’ll be planning out the sequel to DHM and then hammering out the next (and final) version of Shadow of the Panther. That book needs to be finished -- it’s been restarted so many times at this point that it must assume I don’t love it. Luckily I have the outline complete on what it’s going to look like, and I think I’ve settled on a premise that will fit the fantasy of the series while still innovating within it.
Two stories, two books, zero contests: that sounds like a great year to me. If 2016 was the year of funding books, I think 2017 will be the year of writing books, and maybe even publishing a couple too. That sounds pretty great to me.
HEY THERE READERS!
As you know (or if you forgot), DAX HARRISON was nominated into a new Inkshares competition known as THE LIST 2016. From now until December 31st, the amount of new readers I acquire will determine if I land a FULL publishing ride (as opposed to the "Quill" light publishing deal I originally reached). That means additional perks like marketing support, physical bookstore distribution, cover design, etc.
Currently, Dax stands in 7th place according to the contest page. Though that number may be corrected in the near future (My actual total reader count stands at 274). Either way, I would looove to see this number go up.
I know it’s been a long ride for those of you who have been with me since this thing started last year. But if you get a chance to do me a tiny favor this holiday season and just take a minute to share this book with another silly sci-fi loving friend, I would really appreciate it. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, in a personal email, smoke signal, telegraph, messenger raven, whatever you like. Just tell them it’s a fun little story with laughs and spaceships and explosions, all for the price of 2 Grande Pumpkin Spice Lattes! (Actually cheaper if you include the tax!)*
*$10 for the ebook, $20 for paperback/ebook bundle
And for those of you who are following this book (there’s over 500 of you total!) but have NOT bought a copy yet, let’s chat a minute.
"What can I do to get you into your own personal copy of Dax Harrison today?" (Imagine that in a sleazy used car salesman voice)
Seriously though, I would love to hear from my mysterious followers. Feel free to direct message me on Inkshares and say hi. Who knows? Maybe I just might be able to convince you to give old Dax a chance. ;)
Happy Holidays everyone! (*slips on plaid blazer, combs hair, adjusts pinky ring*)