Friday, April 7, 2017

Progress Check and our next show!

Good Morning!
   I have been relatively quiet over the last couple of months on this blog, only posting once a month or so to keep people updated on specific events and to share with you progress on Children of the Guardians which is book two in the Harmonic Wars series. Now, I have some very exciting news for you on two major milestones!
   First Milestone: After a marathon writing session, yielding 5,372 words yesterday, I completed the first draft of the last chapter! I will finish the Epilogue this weekend, but that will only be 3-4 pages at most. I say that now in hopes I can keep it there, but whatever!
   Second Milestone: We completed the cover art, and it is awesome! I wanted the cover to distance the story from the stigma of fantasy that the first book has by leaning closer to the SciFi genre.

   So how better to celebrate reaching these milestones that to reveal this on the air? So, you guessed it: I'm going to be on Midnight in the Desert with Heather Wade this Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The show starts at 11 pm CST, and you can listen for free at:
  http://midnightinthedesert.com/

   We will certainly talk about this book, but also how Stonehenge, Jupiter, and Mars all play prominent roles in my SciFi story. The discussion is sure to move on to cymatic experiments and the role that harmonic frequencies play in our everyday life. My research for this series leans heavily toward the idea that sound technology also played a critical role in daily lives of our ancient ancestors. The synchronicity is amazing. I had asked Heather if I could just have an hour on her open lines night tonight, April 7th. She and her producer Michelle Freed Bulgatz countered with the idea of a full show on April 11th. I have to admit, I wasn't sure I wanted to do a full show, but that date kept sticking in my mind. I went back and looked at my show request documents and saw that my first show with Heather was April 11, 2016! This was totally unplanned, and neither Heather nor Michelle realized the significance until I mentioned it to Michelle in our phone conversation when I accepted the offer. There was no way I could pass that up!

   I felt it important as well to update the progress chart on Children of the Guardians. As you can see, the first draft and the cover art categories are now at 100%, and the revisions and overall categories have ticked up a notch. Guardians of the Crystal Skulls, (GoCS) Book One in the Harmonic Wars series was just over 112,000 words, and through the magic of formatting, we intentionally kept the page length down to reduce my printing costs. As an independent author, I have to pay the printing, marketing, advertising, publishing and editing costs up front. So instead of a 350-400 page book, Guardians ended up at 260 pages. The original intent when I started Guardians was to make it a quick short story. So much for that, huh? The reason I wanted to make it a
short story was because I had already been working on the manuscript for Children of the Guardians (CoG). The first draft was over 280,000 words and roughly 850 pages. At that point, my publisher Michelle L Gamble of 3L Publishing cautioned me that it would be tough to market such a large book by a completely unknown author since I had never been published. She suggested that I cut the manuscript into 2 or 3 smaller books.
   I was heart broken. I had lots of time invested in the story and had done nothing but spend money and I still had no product. I had about a year of research (2011) on ancient archeology related to my ideas about this story. But I was not going to be stopped. I had to succeed. I started writing a manuscript in 2012, and in December of 2012 I approached 3L Publishing, and she agreed to publish me. We began editing January of 2013 and stopped in August. CoG had 5 intertwined storylines that I wrote concurrently. How they come out in the book is exactly the chronological order that I wrote them. So if I stopped at page 300, then absolutely nothing was completed for a proper ending or even a decent cliffhanger. I knew I could make at least 3 books from the outlines, which I had created before even approaching any publishers.
   I carefully considered my next move as I put CoG on the shelf. I knew that I had a great story
between Ana and Arturo. His hatred toward Ana was all-consuming and created this incredible conflict between them. She was the last Guardian and the only one who could stand up against his evil. The characters of Shihan and Pressler were already well developed, and the use of the Crystal Skulls, Stonehenge, and Jupiter was already firmly in the story. So, I figured the best way to introduce the storyline was to show the origins of that conflict and why Arturo was so downright evil. I had several dream sequences about Ana's past, including the fact that Arturo had killed the two Guardians Shea and MeNana and had stolen their Crystal Skulls. So the outline built itself and was a quick sell to 3L Publishing who was taking a risk to publish an unknown author like myself. I'm happy to say that had all this not happened, the character of Alana might not ever of happened. She was not in the original manuscript, but her death was unique. Is her return possible?
    I had picked out the name "Harmonic Wars" as the title for my massive manuscript, so in mid-2014 I decided to make the name of the series Harmonic Wars and to release the storyline of the origins of the Guardians and the conflict between Ana and her grandson Arturo. And so, the Guardians of the Crystal Skulls was born. It was publicly released August 20, 2015, on the Caravan to Midnight radio talk show with John B. Wells. I still don't know how I landed that show, much less the next one with Coast to Coast AM. But I did, and my sales improved dramatically.
Several things changed as I wrote Guardians. First, Ana's appearance changed, and her character matured tremendously. This prompted a major re-write to the original manuscript. So, CoG is now sitting at 849 pages and 267,876 words, making up 25 chapters. We'll see what the final totals come out as we continue the editing phases through my publisher. Currently, 3L Publishing is working on chapter 15, and my first line editor (Mom) has completed chapter 23.  So far the responses have been very encouraging, and she does NOT hold anything back when she doesn't like something. She said the flow of this story is fantastic, and she is really excited about the energy and all that's going on. Now she's begging me for the last two chapters, so I better get them through Grammarly to complete some editing on the rough draft.

Guardians of the Crystal Skulls is available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook and iBooks. You can get it for $5 off the regular price only through 3LPublishing.flyingcart.com
Watch for the sequel, Children of the Guardians to be out this year.