Small wins

I’ll make this one quick, but I wanted to share two things that make me happy this week. First, my pseudonym writing has netted me a small cash prize, something I celebrated over the weekend by buying – in typical Cam fashion – cheese popcorn and cherry Danish-style things from Winco. I’ve also been seeing a sharp uptick in KU numbers this month, which will be nice.

Second, Beast was called “real old-school horror” in a positive review on Amazon, which I particularly loved since that’s exactly what I was going for. Been a while since I had a text review on one of my books, so I had to share that.

Hope everybody’s doing well. Getting a lot written, not much to talk about.

Goodbye to Ariama

I have unpublished Journey of the Caged, and that breaks my heart. But it’s not up to the standards I want.

To Nao, Gavrien, Lennox, and all the rest, I love you so much. You rode in the back of my mind for a decade and change, and I’m thankful I finally got a chance to tell your story. I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you deserve.

Today sucks.

Of monsters and love

There’s a story in this upcoming collection I keep going round and round with in my head. It’s called Pumpkin, and it’s a relatively simple short story I won’t spoil here, because I’m drawing closer and closer to the release. But I’m comfortable saying this – it’s not so much an actual horror story as it is a story about fear. Not fear of monsters (though there is one), but of putting yourself out there and trusting someone with who you are. It’s not a terribly complex story, but it’s a good one.

And that’s something I’m struggling with, weird as it sounds. My brain tells me it needs to fit better with the collection thematically, but my heart is telling me it’s the perfect go-home story, and that’s probably where it will land (I’ll want some reader opinions on the order first, as I have ideas but it’s not set in stone).

End Pieces will be a strange collection. The title will be deceptive, but there’s a purpose to that, I think. Right now, it’s looking like three novellas and two short stories.

After that, I don’t know what comes next, except that I’m really itching to try my hand again at the story I used to call the Extraordinary Ordinary until I realized someone had a novel already titled that. It’ll be written under a pseudonym but I won’t hide who it is. I just think it’s the sort of thing that is different enough to garner a whole different audience, and I don’t want them to confuse the good nature of that book with my more adult work.

Forever Lands forever gone?

I keep thinking about removing Forever Lands from being offered on Amazon. I don’t know why, except all the times I roll over that novel when I’m looking through my sales figures, it sorta depresses me. I think that book and its failure to invite any readership whatsoever was the start of my current two-year long bad mojo.

I don’t know. It doesn’t really hurt anything being in circulation, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Let’s face it starting off a book with a child being transformed into a monster probably wasn’t the smartest move. And I seriously misjudged people’s desire to read a fantasy novel that was both a little different and a whole hell of a lot slimmer. Plus, it’s also just kind of bad.

In any case, if you want it, grab it now. I keep leaning in the direction of taking it down, and I think I’m one bad mood from doing it.

Second why of the day

Why oh why in Mare of Easttown are the chief and the sergeant sitting around talking about details of the case like the other wouldn’t know the missing victim was a drug addict? They’re both obviously very well aware of the specifics.

Just start the show from an earlier point. Or have this conversation with someone who is new to the case. Or… literally anything other than this strange exposition dump.

Twenty thousand words under the sea

Sometimes, you know it isn’t going to work out, but you try to stay together for the scenes. You know it’s going to hurt them most of all, but still, you just can’t take any more nights being disappointed by the plot. And you will be disappointed by the plot, no matter how much you wish it was otherwise.

Okay, horrible jokes aside, this one sucks. I thought I had enough meat on the bone to flesh out a novella/novel thing and it just doesn’t work. I think the characters are strong enough I’ll keep notes on them, but the plot stinks. It keeps wanting to stray into areas that aren’t my wheelhouse, namely art theft, and the things I need to research (alarm systems, pressure plates, etc.) aren’t exactly things I can just search out on the Internet. Maybe someday I’ll be famous enough that me asking experts about this will seem less criminal-minded and more eclectic, but let’s be real, this thing needs to be tossed in the garbage. Or in reality, backed up in my usual spots, then I can hopefully start clean and change it into something different.

What are you going to do?

Visibility without Twitter and Facebook

One of the things I worry about not being a part of social media is book visibility, but this last week has, if not proven, at least provided a good sample of evidence that I don’t need it. Sales are up, KENP numbers are up, everything seems to be good on that end and I’m a lot less stressed about people being… well, people. Win-win.

I’ve also been watching Harley Quinn in small fits. It’s a great show, sort of along the lines of something like Archer or It’s Always Sunny in terms of its humor and crassness. It throws jokes out so rapid-fire sometimes that the misses don’t really matter, and the hits are pretty damn great. The voicework is top notch too, with Kaley Cuoco as the headliner being a fantastic choice for the role.