Well it has been a minute!
Greetings wonderful followers!!
We have gone through another holiday season and rampaged into a new year. I hope you have all had a fun and eventful time. Speaking of eventful, things have been happening with Beyond the Code and I want to share the news.
First off, for my Edmontonian followers, Beyond the Code has been included in the Capital City Press Collection. This is a program within the city of Edmonton to include works from local authors into the city’s many Libraries. This year, the books chosen will be featured in the brand new Stanley A Milner Library in the downtown core. See the link below
Secondly, the Beyond the Code audio book has received several reviews through Audible.com and now is standing at a 4.7 rating. Check out what they have to say and if you sign up with Audible, you can get an audio book for FREE! See the link below and give it a shot.
Next thing, Beyond the Code has been reviewed on Onlinebookclub.org. 3 out of 4 stars!! Follow the link and see what they have to say.
And last but not least. This is something I am very excited about. Sometime ago, I entered Beyond the Code into the 2019 Screencraft Cinematic Book Competition and, I am happy to tell you, that Beyond the Code has made it through the first hurdle and is in the Quarter Finals!! Follow the link below if you want to know about the contest and the other Quarter Finalist and wish me luck. They will be announcing the Semi Finalist on Feb 12th.
Thank you all for your continuing support and feedback. If you haven’t already, make sure to give Beyond the Code a review on Goodreads or Amazon. Reviews are the lifeblood of every Indie author plus, I love to hear what you all thought of my work.
Thanks again for all your continuing support and I hope to bring you good news in the future.
Greetings Supporters of Crow’s Gambit,
Seasons Greetings Followers!!!
I hope the holidays have been a fun time for you so far and you are looking forward to a great end of 2019. If you are still filling in the blanks of that lengthy Christmas shopping list, consider a copy of Beyond the Code. They’ll be looking forward to a fast paced, action adventure tale jam packed with heart stopping battles, deep seeded intrigue, and supernatural abilities and light up the imagination. Beyond the Code is available in paperback, digital, AND audible!!! Narrated by the amazing Lisa Beacom. Check it out!!
And if one book of my work just isn’t enough, I have good news for you. My chilling short story "New Suit" has been published in Writing Bloc’s latest anthology "Deception". It’s a fantastic collection of stories written by some amazing authors all in one convenient package. Follow the link to get your hands on that bad boy.
Thank you all for following my progress and helping me achieve this life long goal. I hope you all have a fantastic holiday and wish you all the best in the new year.
Kelsey Rae Barthel
It’s been a while since I’ve updated so I hope all is well with everyone and that you had a nice Thanksgiving.
And now, just in time for the holidays, my novel novel, Celia At 39, has just published from indie Writing Bloc (some names in this fantastic organization you may recognize and why not follow Writing Bloc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You’ll be happy you did).
Here’s the link to the book on Amazon (Kindle drops today; paperbacks shortly and Audible in works).
I hope you will all check it out. Remember, books make great holiday gifts!!
Thank you for the support, people.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The reason I’ve been quiet is because I didn’t have much to say and I didn’t want to bother you. That being said, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. Aside from life doing it’s thing and my full time job, I have been doing some significant amount of writing, which is what I suspect you really want to know about.
Let’s get to it.
(A God in the Shed: Part II)
The bulk of my time has been taken up by work on the sequel to A God in the Shed, titled : Song of the Sandman.
Writing, editing and rewriting this sequel has been one of the most depressing and difficult creative journey of my life. I very nearly quit writing entirely at one point, and writing is one of those things that brings me the most joy in life.
But the storm has been weathered. The book is on the verge of completion. We have a date to go to copy editing, which means a solid release date isn’t far behind. While I apologize for the delays in getting this book to you, I hope the wait will have been worth it.
I do have a little something to help tide you over until Song of the Sandman hits shelves.
Achewillow is a side project I’ve been working on with my friend Amy Frost (winner of the first season of America’s Next Top Podcaster). It’s a ‘cozy’ horror story that isn’t as intense as A God in the Shed, but has a much weirder background setting. I wrote the story, so you can expect some strange characters, old gods and bizarre magics. It’s also codeveloped with Amy who brings a layer of cooking and coffee to the story. Also, she narrates it, which really elevates whatever I put on the page.
Achewillow takes the shape of a storytelling podcast, the first season of which spans 15 half-hour episode. It’s essentially a free audiobook. It tells the story of Miriam DuFour, a young adult who’s life is spiralling into the gutter until she receives a strange envelope. In it, Miriam discovers that she’s inherited a coffee shop from a relative she didn’t know she had in a town she didn’t know existed: Achewillow. From there, she is drawn into a world of subtle magic, baking, demons, coffee and the occasional raccoon.
I’m really proud of Achewillow and I hope you listen and enjoy it. This is the first of a few projects I have in mind to make sure you and I, dear reader, don’t lose touch for so long again. Of course, the more successful Achewillow is, the easier it becomes for me to put things like this together. So, if you do like our little podcast, consider rating it on iTunes, or leaving a review. I can’t overstate how much impact this has on the success of such a project.
The last time I put Arch-Android, the sequel to The Life Engineered, back on the shelf, I was done with a second, mostly satisfying draft. Once Song of the Sandman is out of my hands, I’ll be doing a third draft which will be sent to beta readers. From that point on, we’ll be in good shape to get this book into your hands.
The Life Engineered has always had a special place in my heart and I’m very eager to bring you the next chapter in that story.
That’s it for now. I apologize again for the long silence. I didn’t feel like had much to say that was worth your time, but that’s about to change.
Cheers and much gratitude,
Last month, I took a trip to Europe with my brother Mike to o some research for scenes that take place in Europe in 1945 during WWII. We visited Antwerp, Koln and most importantly Nordhausen, site of the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp and the underground factory known as Mittelwerk where 20,000 slave laborers dug out tunnels in an old gypsum mine and manufactured the V-2 rockets used to bomb London and Antwerp.
While I had done research for these scenes, there is an additional level of verisimilitude that gained from walking the same steps that scientists like Wernher von Braun did when he visited the camp, or where the 104th Infantry rode tanks into town to liberate the prisoners.
I’ve received helpful and detailed feedback from the publisher on the most recent draft. The bad news is, there’s still a lot of work to be done. The good news is, it’s mostly about stripping out a lot of complexity that has grown into the story so that it can be more focused on the historical fiction elements. In the coming weeks, I’ll be re-assembling a new outline before diving back into the next draft of the novel that will be even better than the last.
On a sad note, my co-author Roxie passed away a couple of days ago. We knew she had cancer for the last couple of months and I’m grateful that she had so much energy and enthusiasm right up until the end. The house is eerily silent without her.
This round of edits are done! Just sent back the manuscript to Inkshares incorporating some excellent beta reader feedback. The story definitely got stronger because of it and it gave me a chance to tighten up a few things too.
Looks like line edits then copy edits then we should have a date. Fingers crossed!
To my incredibly patient followers and readers,
Let me begin by thanking you profusely. Thank you for your continued support and interest, for messaging me, stopping me in the office, or spotting me randomly in a store and asking me when the Hell After Death is going to come out.
It makes me feel terrible for the long wait, but it also makes me feel good that so many people are excited to read this novel on which I’ve now spent ten years of my life.
I apologize for the delay. Much of that is simply out of my hands, as I’m merely one of many talented authors whose work is being developed and published by Inkshares, and each of them are as anxious and as deserving of attention as I.
That said, my number has been called. And over several conversations with Inkshares CEO Adam Gomolin — over email, phone, text, and in person — a plan has been hatched to, yes, once again restructure the novel, this time sharpening its focus on the characters of Cara Lindley and her grandmother Meryem Nurzhan.
The character of Icara Lightfeather and her entire storyline is going to be cut from the book. (Boy am I glad I didn’t pull the trigger on that tattoo of the compass from the map of Icara’s planet!)
Let’s please take a moment to admire the incredible work of artist Andy Gouveia, who created the map for me.
To those beta-readers who considered this aspect of the book their favorite part, I can say only that Icara and her world will most certainly one day see the light of day in some other shape or form (these things almost always eventually do), and that I have every intention of cannibalizing the crucial plot elements from her storyline in service of this more honed concept.
Meryem’s backstory will be expanded even further, going into deeper detail regarding the previous outbreak of the plague in Kazakhstan and her life in the years between then and her emergence as the world’s preeminent expert on the Fever.
Some of the novel’s trippier aspects will survive, but will be made far less prominent, and the book will center more on how three generations of one family were affected by a disease, becoming less Cloud Atlas and more Sharp Objects, which — you know what? — is going to be pretty cool and a lot more accessible.
This will take time, of course. Adam’s hope is that further developmental editing will take eight months or so, with our eyes set on a potential July 2020 release date. Whether that comes to pass obviously depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is my own ability to pull it off.
But I am eternally humbled and grateful to all of you who have stuck by me through this, and who continue to anticipate this novel’s eventual publication. It means so much more to me than you can possibly know, particularly at this moment in my life.
In the meantime, please consider picking up a copy of Writing Bloc’s ESCAPE! An Anthology. It’s packed with twenty gripping tales of escape, including my short story "The Grave Ordeal of Jawbone John South," about an 1885 bank robbery gone very wrong when an outlaw attempts to evade the authorities by ordering his gang to bury him alive with the stolen loot.
If you are so inclined, you can also pick up a copy of my short story "The Equestrian," the slim tale of a jockey and his horse, and the night of horror that would bestow upon both an incredible ability and a terrible curse.
I’ve also gone and uploaded a bunch of my poetry, essays, and film criticism to my website, Dan-Lee.net, including my poem "Ode," which was previously published in the Santa Clara Review literary journal, "Incidents in a Traffic Jam," the piece that made me a California state finalist for the National Poetry Slam, and my critique of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which went unexpectedly viral a couple of years ago.
If you have some free time, please do check that stuff out!
You are all so wonderful. And I can’t say enough how much I appreciate not only your support and patience, but that of the friends I’ve made through being part of the Inkshares community. I’ve never met a more supportive group of writers.
I’ll try to do a better job of updating more frequently, but if you don’t hear from me, please be assured that I am hunkered down, doing the work. And that one day in the not-too-distant future, you will find out what happens After Death.