My Readers, Their Friends And I

This report about what my readers have been up to is somewhat hampered by the fact that half of them seem to have wittlows which have prevented their finishing things.

The most creative excuse is from CF who was rescuing kittens and therefore can’t write.  (Um… don’t you rescue kittens too, Sarah?  Yeah, but I often also don’t write.)

So, I’ll start with the ones that have stuff, you know, actually up and for sale.  So:


Karma’s Beach,  in the Family Influence series


Finding time

(Sarah note – your title should be larger and your name must be larger on that cover, Steve.)


To Carry The Horn.

And, being an overachiever, Karen reports on her endeavor, also:

Just published my very first novel (actually, my very first work of fiction), the first book of a fantasy series. Landing page here:

Took five months, morning before work (I was on a mission). I’ve been ascending the very steep learning curve and, while I have a lot to learn, it has actual architecture and I’m content that it’s good as I can make it at this point in my experience. Did all the cover and formatting work myself (I’m a techie, but Smashwords just about killed me.) Hard-copy proof arrived last night — what a rush! — should go up in about 2 weeks.

What I’m crowing about is that the very instant the book goes live on Amazon this week some kind person buys it. But even better, the instant it’s up on Smashwords, someone not only buys it, but reads it immediately and writes a 5-star review which cites a meaningful aspect of the book. In other words, someone paid me money and when he read the book, he “got it” in some basic way. Whoo-hoo! Better than drugs!

I haven’t announced it yet to my initial prospects, waiting for the hard-copy (they’re by-and-large Luddites), and who knows how it may chug along at just a few sales until the next few books in the series come out. But I couldn’t be more pleased to be rewarded with an intelligent and satisfied reader right out of the gate.

(And don’t worry Karen, Smashwords annoys everyone — Sarah)


The Faith Box Book One: Peaceweaver (TheFaith Box)

She also reports:  Peaceweaver, my 973 Wales book my agent said would never sell, came out last month from Desert Breeze. Working on its sequel and my first try at indie-work: Hello Again, a contemporary romance, will release as soon as I figure out this formatting thing.


For The Fragile Muses


Ulterior Motive Lounge: UML, 80s Flicks, and Bunny Slippers

Sense of Wonder

The Mother Anthony

It ALSO comes with a report (for one the links above are kindle, but he has them in other formats as well:

My two self-pubbed stories are now on B&N and Smashwords as well as Amazon (where they’ve been all year).

“The Mother Anthony” tells of a teacher on a starship in peril, and the sacrifices she makes for the sake of her students.

“Sense of Wonder” tells of a Lunar geologist and the price he pays to do science on the Moon.

Kim Du Toit:

(In the interest of keeping Monsieur Du Toit from kicking the cat again, I’m adding links received via email which I was remiss in not posting — besides, if he kicks Greebo, he’ll withdraw a bloody stump.) for the one-stop shopping experience; or, if you’d prefer the links:

Prime Target

Creative License

Vienna Days

Family Fortunes

Then there’s those that have stuff, but not for sale, yet:


  1. I’m revising my first novel “The Powers of the Earth”. Without false modesty I’m a pretty decent NON-fiction writer (I’ve sold something like 7 out of 7 articles I’ve submitted to national magazines), but fiction is new to me, and there’s SUCH a juggling act with plot, characters, dialogue, fore-shadowing, and so much more.

I started work on this libertarian-rebels-on-the-moon-vs-socialist-Earth-government (yes, yes, I know Heinlein did it first. …and better. novel about two years ago (1 Jan 2011). Since then I’ve

* written the first draft (160,000 words)
* revised it to make the plot coherent (220,000 words, split into two novels)
* and am now 40% of the way through revising it again

I hope to finish this pass (draft 3) in another 50 days or so, take a two week break for the holidays, then work on draft 4 (the FINAL draft, I pray!) for the first 3 months of 2013. Then off to copyediting.

Details, in case anyone is interested:


The Tiny Publishing Bidness just signed two clients this week, and I’ll have to be working on their books over the next two months – so I went all-out this week on my own next book: working title “The Quivera Trail” . It’s about an Englishwoman who marries a Texas cattleman in 1876; think of it as Mrs. Gaskell meets Zane Grey. I’ve posted sample chapters, and put together a list here: I’m about three-quarters through. I think. Something may come up, plot-wise. Settled some of my Christmas schedule: three days at the Weinachtsmarkt in New Braunfels, and a Saturday at Christmas on the Square at Goliad, the first Saturday in December. And there was also a bit of the usual blogging, and an excursion into the Hill Country by back roads, which produced some marvelous photographs.
And yesterday, we went to the BMT graduation parade at Lackland, to support the son of a neighbor of ours, whom we had encouraged and helped to enlist in the Air Force.
Busy week, all told.


I am posting a novel on my blog called Perchance to Dream. Plus I you can find some of my shorts there. Come on by and tell me how I’m doing

Perchance to Dream is about three protagonists talking in their own voices. I don’t usually use first person.

Then my readers pimp their friends:


But please put in a word for the free serial Ilona Andrews is running at their website: It’s urban fantasy but with Andrews’ distinctive flavor, so even if you’re tired of UF or would never give it a try, well, give it a try


Also you said friends – Shelly Arkon at her blog is doing a free drawing for her newly released book Secondhand Shoes. She has two dogs helping with the drawing and also does interviews of authors on her Nosh Tuesdays.


I recently Kindleized (probably not a word, but should be) a friend’s amusing fantasy novel, Aluvir and the Circle of Twelve. Old-school gamers should get a nostalgic kick out of it. Sean Rhoades, the author, was active on the gaming scene and wrote for Cosmic Encounter and Earthdawn. I’m also pleased how the cover came out, as I have minimal artistic talent; just took some photos and used Microsoft Picture It to apply some filters:
Aluvir and the Circle of Twelve
Reading your recent comments and articles, I’m going to have to raise the price soon from $2,99 by a buck or two!

The synopsis is: “The formidable mercenary guild known as The Circle of Twelve had perfected a simple, lucrative business model: Orc Exterminators Incorporated. Their latest job clearing caverns of dungeon vermin was supposed to be routine. But soon they were caught up in a web of ancient intrigue involving dark elves, daimonic possession, and nothing less than the dragon apocalypse. Would anyone be left alive to pay their wages?”

I’ve also been working on improving the formatting, redoing the covers and adding NCX to some early Kindle books I put up, which were vanity projects to publish the posthumous poetic works of my grandfather, chief among them the Gospel of Demetrius, which in 400 verses purports to explain where God came from, where the Universe came from, where You came from, where your Brain came from, where your Soul came from, and why Atheists are definitely wrong. With a full description of Life after Death!
Gospel of Demetrius

So much content to format, so little time…

Then I pimp my (family and) friends:

Cat’s Paw, by Robert A. Hoyt

Written when he was 13 but NOT a YA.  Not even though all that stands between the humanity and the end of the world is an alcoholic stray cat.  The Gods Must Be Crazy meets Aesop meets The Terminator.

ConSensual, second in Kate Paulk’s vampire at SF conventions series

Vampires, succubi, incubi, werewolves AND my entire family tuckerized in the bargain.  (Lies, all lies.)

Nocturnal Origins first in the Nocturnal Lives Series by Amanda S. Green

If you like it, try the second, Nocturnal Serenade, too.

Then there’s Lawyers of Mars by Pam Uphoff – which is insane.  No, seriously.  It makes Cat’s Paw seem sane.  Try it!

And if you don’t mind mysteries with gay main characters, give C. S. Laurel’s B. Quick a try.  It’s the first of a series.

Next week I shall try to have some of my stuff up for free, and maybe I can get one or two of Dan’s stories up as well.  I’m trying to get him to rewrite his space opera for NANOWRIMO.   I put up an excerpt here.  Maybe I can get help with the nagging?

63 thoughts on “My Readers, Their Friends And I

  1. Thank you for demonstrating more forcefully than you could articulate that my name was too small on the cover of Finding Time. It’s spelled Poling, with only 1 ‘L’.

    I seriously considered omitting title and name altogether much like Seth Godin did in some of his titles. Thanks for the head’s up.

    1. Don’t do that. Right now, it smacks of lack of professionalism because TONS of people do that through not knowing better. And sorry. I do double letters that don’t need it. Fixing.

      1. Could you attend to mine again, as well? One M.

        As I wasn’t the only one, I won’t count this as “coincidence”. Still at happenstance. 😉

      2. You may recall last summer that the discussion of whether to include Title/Author on the cover was a most passionately argued dispute.

        Though the text tends to make the cover less “iconic” and is often redundant, they are SO customary and expected that their absence can be interpreted as amateurishness. I’ve taken your advise to embiggen the text and have asked my artist/designer to make it so.

    2. Since I’m waaaaaay overdue in posting my review (I thought I posted it a month ago, but I don’t see it now), let me just note that Finding Time is a fun, upbeat time travel romp with a couple of great protagonists.

      1. How do we feel about Gothic SF? Or, for that matter, Goth SF?

        Now as I think upon it, I’m tired of Urban Fantasty; it has been waaaay too long since I read any Urbane Fantasy — maybe I should dig out Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy for rereading, or some of James Branch Cabell’s or Thorne Smith’s novels.

        1. I can see a market for Urbane Fantasy, especially this election year. But then I once had a crush on Lord Darcy, so I’m probably not the “average for marketing research purposes” reader.

        2. OK, now I have to get working on that gothic SF parody I’ve been thinking about. A lonely castle on the Scottish moors, the dark-haired heroine brought unwillingly by an older man with a dark past – and the two of them and his raven familiar proceed to kick tail and take alien (or mad scientist) names while somehow not offending every dowager in the receiving line.

      1. LOL Cyn… imagine a villain who traps young, helpless women in his mansion, then reads them Victorian love poetry before killing them. The hero (who goes to rescue his love from the villain’s clutches) is a handsome but tortured soul who identifies more with the villain than with the heroic archetype. Once he has killed the villain, he is about to untie his love from her bonds, but then feels a strange compulsion to make love to her first.

        And then we go to Chapter Two.

        1. Good think I didn’t have a coffee cup in my hand just now because coffee would be spurted on the monitor. Oh yea– lots of fun 😉

          So does he never untie the fair maiden, and then starts the poetry reading after lovemaking? It does have promise ROFL. You would have to have a real man finally rescue her and she will swear off SNAGS (Sensitive New Age Guys).

          1. Cyn, in modern Gothic fantasy, the villains are the only real men in the tale, and the “heroes” are the SNAGs. (Think: that twerp Robin Pattinson in the vampire series.) Which is why I refuse to write it. My heroes are (mostly) manly men who bed the girls lustily and kill the bad guys.

            No wonder my stories don’t sell. 😦

            1. Well you could turn Gothic Fantasy on its head lol… Actually I complain that mine don’t sell either. I like to have men who are men and not mini-girls. Plus I need to look for more of your stories– I had fun with the last one.

              1. Turn Gothic Fantasy on its head? Like make the villain the SNAG and the hero a, well, hero? No way! 😉

                1. My friend Rebecca Lickiss and I had at one point planned a series where all the villains were SNAGs who just ACHED with sensitivity which led them to kill… it was inexplicably rejected by the publishing houses. Eh.

                2. Well – if you look in Romance category, the males are alphas. Most of the women like alphas in books even though they are told that they like SNAGS in real life.

              2. Cyn, allow me to recommend Vienna Days (see main entry above for link). It starts with a funeral and gets progressively more gloomy until the tragic ending. It’s as close to Gothic as I’ve ever written.

                1. Kim in your description use the term Romantic elements 😉 That might help sells. Romance– the story is centered around the relationship. Other genres– the story centers around the situation. If there is a relationship, you have “Romantic elements” 😉

  2. Sarah, I hate to tell you this, but _nothing_ can make Cat’s Paw sound sane.

    _However_ , I have added two more novellas to _Lawyers of Mars_ and sold the whole to Naked Reader. I don’t have a release date, but I thought I ought to point out that it still has to original Martian Ecological Nuts, even though I have added a Time Traveling Mad Scientist, and Barbarian Dinosaurs sacrificing virgins to the volcano gods.

  3. But none of the cats are named “Wittlow” — nor is The SO. In fact, there is absolutely nothing named “Wittlow” in any way involved in this mess.

    So be nice, or I shall send you more Not-Your-Cats. >:)

    1. This is from a book we read long, long ago, in which the character was throwing a long fit about his illnesses and ended with “and I have a witlow.” Dan and I read that book, remember nothing else, but used “witlow” for years when the kids were making phoney excuses. “So, you have a witlow?”

      1. Spelled with only one “T”, it looks like it’s a claim of having one’s wit at low ebb.

          1. Sheesh. I always do things like that. Looked at the first time it was used, with two “T”s and thought I would be funny.

            Maybe I’m the one with the low wit. 😛

  4. Don’t any of you know the difference between subjective and objective case, and when to use which with the personal pronoun?

    1. Um… depends. Sort of. I know in this case my commenters, their friends and I are showing off our stuff — if it were “we are being shown off” then it would be me.

    2. Haven’t got a clue. Never did quite figure out what all those grammar terms meant. Which probably explains the amount of editing my manuscripts need.

    3. Not in English, sorry. All my grammar is Latin or German. (Which may explain why all my English teachers took early retirement . . .)

      1. OK, “subjective” is the nominative case, so it requires he/she/it or who. “Objective” case is for direct, indirect or prepositional objects (aka dative and accusative cases) and takes him/her/it and whom. Note, these came from the Grammar Monster website and I disclaim any responsibility for the correctness of the information.

        Latin grammar terms are so much easier to remember, IMHO.

          1. I’ll stay out of this, because I’m a grammar Nazi (grandma nasty?). I have only one beef with current style parameters, though, and it’s a big one.

            It’s the American fetish with putting the period or comma (and only the period or comma) inside non-conversational quotation marks.

            Thus, when one is talking about the “global warming” scare, for instance, one sees nonsense like this:

            a.) This could mean the end of “global warming.” (US style) instead of “This could mean the end of “global warming”. (everyone else) The period ends the sentence, not the expression, so it belongs outside the quotes. Note the next example.

            b) This could mean the end of “global warming”! (US style) Note that the punctuation mark now falls (correctly) outside the quote.

            This nonses causes endless trouble when a phrase is enquoted within dialogue:

            c.) “This could mean the end of ‘global warming,'” he said. (US style, where the comma falls within the single quotation marks, thereby forcing the single- and double quotation marks together, which causes the single to disappear.) If we were being consistent, we would write the above as “This could mean the end of ‘global warming’,” he said. (English style, see above.)

            [200 lines of further exposition deleted in the interests of saving space]

            1. Well the period inside the quotation marks has been an American rule of grammar since I went to elementary school and before (1966+). I think we can blame Websters and others who tried to simplify and change grammar and spelling.

              1. I find it generally prudent to avoid conversations involving where people have their periods. Jus’ sayin’.

            2. Also a peeve of mine. My solution: I ignore it. I write the way that makes sense to me, and they can all jump in a lake. I don’t write for academia anymore, so who’s going to complain?

    1. I used to teach English as a Second Language. I knew all this stuff BEFORE I taught it. The problem is that some of my students’ confusion passed on to me. THANK G-D for copyeditors.

      1. I know all that stuff. I have suppressed the memories as “not generally useful” and conducive to pedantic and stilted communication. It is exactly the sort of nonsense up with which I do not put.

        1. My SAT English scores were high enough that I didn’t have to take any college level English. No doubt requirements have changed in the centuries since then, but I have all the advantages and disadvantages of zero advanced grammar lessons.

          1. I had advanced grammar starting at 12th grade. I only understood some English grammar when studying German, all the same. And now I don’t remember the names for anything.

            As I said, though, my title comes from everyone in that title being the subject of the sentence “we’re going to pimp books.” I know I wouldn’t use it if it were “We’re being pimped” — but note there are no books of mine in that 😉

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