Prime Day and the Joys of Sleep Apnea

So, let’s get the self-promotion out of the way. Prime Day is coming up this 15th and 16th. During that time my first book, “Exile’s Redemption” will be on sale for FREE! If you have not read it, or have someone you would like to introduce to the series at no risk to your wallet, mark your calendar. The actual sale starts on the 14th and goes through the 18th. In addition, the second book “Exile’s Gamble” will be on sale for $2.99 – that’s $2 off, for the same period. And as always (makes puppy dog eyes) reviews are always desired. You can post reviews for any of the books at the following links:

Exile’s Redemption

Exile’s Gamble

Exile’s Legacy

Enough of that. Let me tell you about sleep apnea. It’s a horrible, horrible thing. It’s bad enough always feeling hung over, but it can kill you. I don’t just mean because you fall asleep behind the wheel (which I have done). It can lead to heart failure. In fact, one of my favorite artist/writers, Drew Hayes, died from this very thing. They didn’t catch it on time and the damage to his heart was too great. The man was one of my great inspirations, even if all his girl elves looked like strippers.

And now I’ve been diagnosed with it. I don’t know about elsewhere but here in Central Oregon it takes about six months to get in to see about a sleep disorder. I got in and they agreed my symptoms warranted testing. They told me they’d send a home tester with me. I reached out my hands and said, “Gimme.” No, they couldn’t do that. Seems that despite the huge number of people with issues, they only have a total of four, count ’em, four testers. I had to wait another month to get one. Then I had to wait another two weeks to get the results – extreme sleep apnea. My oxygen levels were getting down into the mid-sixties anytime I managed to get into REM. So, I’m getting CPAP machine. Of course, they couldn’t give me one immediately. The bureaucracy involved is phenomenal. I’m supposed to get it on the 23rd of this month. That means I will have waited an additional six weeks since my diagnosis to get the treatment.

There is good news, however. When I got my diagnosis and was told I couldn’t have a machine right away, I asked if there was anything I could do to help myself in the meantime. Sleep upright, I was told. I’m kicking myself I did not think of that on my own, but oh, well. I am now sleeping propped up by a wedge pillow and two additional “normal” pillows. Overnight my sleep improved. I’m still expecting things to improve more once I’m on the CPAP, but since I’ve adjusted my sleep position I haven’t fallen asleep during the day once. I feel immensely better and my work output has gone way up. I may actually finish book IV before you’ve all forgotten the events of book III.

So hurrah!

Let this go as a friendly bit of advice. If your sleep sucks, get it checked out. Even if you don’t develop a heart condition or drive into a tree, chronic fatigue leads to some nasty depression. It sneaks up on you over time. You don’t even realize it. Just everything becomes a chore.

Take Care, all of you.


Pet Peeves and Good Advice

Fingers crossed the new owner of B&N heeds this fine advice.

Mad Genius Club

As writers, we have to balance a number of balls from the time an idea first forms to the post-publication promotion period. There’s the plotting of our story, the research that needs to be done, the actual writing of it. That’s followed by editing, promotion, finding the right cover, preparing for publication, publication, ore promotion. Then there’s the business end of making sure taxes are taken care of, supplies are bought, receipts are kept, etc. At each point along the way, it’s easy to take a misstep.

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If You Love It, Put A Ring On It

I really needed to read this. Sometimes the entire dream of writing seems so nutty I feel like pitching it and pretending the first three books were written by someone else with the same name. Other times I can’t wait to get back to work and tell my stories to everyone! This article was cathartic for me. Perhaps it will ring true for you as well – even if you passion isn’t writing.

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No, this is not a cover post yet.  In fact, I have a cover I’m fighting, and I’m going to send it to the person whose book it is and saying “Does this stink?” because as always when I’m exhausted I’ve lost the “touch/feel” and in cover art, I don’t YET know how to paint by numbers when that is done.  In writing I do. I’ll do covers probably next week, supposing the con crud isn’t too bad. After that I’m only traveling in October and not far. So.

Which brings me to the topic of your post: if you love it, marry it.  Which is not about marriage but about writing. H*ll about any career, really, no matter what it is. But this is a writers’ blog, and it’s important to talk about this, because people don’t.

No one stays in love constantly. Note I didn’t say no one…

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Jackie Chan on Action Comedy

This is both fun and seriously useful. I’m hoping I can incorporate some of the ideas into spicing up my fight scenes.

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So, you need to write a fight scene? This is how to film one. Think about the equivalents in writing.

The 9 Principles of Action Comedy
1. Start with a DISADVANTAGE
3. Be CLEAR in your shots
4. Action & Reaction in the SAME frame
5. Do as many TAKES as necessary
6. Let the audience feel the RHYTHM
7. In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit
8. PAIN is humanizing
9. Earn your FINISH

Picture credit: Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

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Book Review: Conflict

For any of you interested in writing, this book sounds like it goes a step farther than the usual. I’m looking forward to consuming it.

Mad Genius Club

In the too-many weeks since I’ve been well enough to write (if you’re interested, continual nausea shuts off my creative mind, just as constant pain does to other people) I’ve tried to keep a tiny bit of the Muse interested by looking at books on writing technique. OK, most of them get walled before I’m more than 20% in, usually because they are based on blanket prescriptions that I don’t agree with. But in the most recent survey I did come across one book that interested me all the way through and that inspired me to make copious notes.

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Now Available on NetGalley!

The first book in my series, “Exile’s Redemption” is now available at NetGalley. That means folks who do not have Amazon Prime can read it for free if they get a NetGalley membership. If that sounds like you, or you know someone who this applies to, point them toward:

The overall ploy is to get more reviews for the first book. The greater number of reviews, the more likely new readers are willing to take a chance on an unfamiliar series. Once they read the first book, I of course hope they’ll read the next two. Fingers crossed, they’ll leave reviews for those books as well.

Based on sales and borrows of the entire series, people seem to enjoy the books. It’s a sad truth, though, that only one person out of a hundred readers generally leave a review. The deeper into the series they go, the less likely they are to continue writing reviews. The general feeling is that they’ve already expressed a like for the writing by leaving a review for the first book, it shouldn’t be necessary for them to do follow up reviews for the rest of the series. The fact is, those books are in need of feedback as much as the first book. It shows potential readers that the series has (or has not) maintained a certain level of readability. The more reviews, the more likely Amazon will feature the books in their reader mailings. Also, third-party advertising often requires a certain number of reviews before they will accept the book.

This is a not-so-subtle request for readers of my series to write reviews for any of my books you may have read and have not already reviewed. I have renewed my determination to do the same for the books I read. I have not done well by the writers I admire, not even leaving them a one or two sentence blurb on Amazon and Goodreads. Being a hypocrite is not one of those things I aspire to – changing that as of a month ago. I also plan to go back and catch up on the reviews I missed. Sorta a late New Years’ resolution.

Here’s that NetGalley link again:

Thanks everyone!

Release Day and Events Leading Up To It.

New book out by Amanda S. Green. Check it out if you enjoy strong female protagonists and/or military sci-fi.

Mad Genius Club

Okay, if there was ever any doubt I am mad, as in insane, these past few months should put those doubts to rest. I knew my production had been down the last year or so. I was still putting out books, but not at the rate I wanted to. So, when this year began, I decided to make a few changes to my routine to see if that changed. It took about six weeks for the changes to really kick in. When they did, everything changed and I swear Myrtle the Evil Muse turned more evil than ever. How so? Starting mid-February, the real work on Nocturnal Revelations began. A month ago, the book went live on Amazon, all 120k words of it. This morning, Battle Flight, a prequel to Vengeance from Ashes, went live. That book is more than 50k words. To say my brain is fried…

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Anatomy Lesson

I would love to have the time to do serious research. Just not gonna happen. I did read a few books about horses, so I wouldn’t totally screw them up, and I have referenced images of sword anatomy, but if I went much deeper it would take ten years to put out a book instead of 2-3.

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Talking about swords is kinda difficult. Case in point: last week I tried to give a definition, and ended up skewing off into the weeds of history almost immediately. In discussing this very difficulty with Tom (who has just founded the Albany Study Group of Schola Saint George) he suggested I leave you with the definition with which I started last week, and tell you to go an prosper, under the assumption that suffering produces better art. Now, I didn’t tell him to get bent (I figure his mettle is better than *that*) and I’m not going to let him know his oh-so-clever japes actually helped.

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Free Through the 21st

So the stars finally aligned between Amazon and Book Barbarian, and I was able to run a freebie sale for Exile’s Redemption. If you know of someone who has yet to give the series a try, let ’em know they have a couple of days to snap up the first book at no cost. Lots of folks have already taken the plunge and I’m excited to announce that for the moment, Exile’s Redemption is #1 in the free Kindle store in two categories! With luck it will stay visible for a few days and more folks will discover the series.

Creeping Tyranny

Ye old “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Mad Genius Club

It’s actually not all that common to have the Evil Tyrant take over the land and impose crushing new rules that the Hero and friends spend the book trying to overthrow. No, more commonly the Evil Tyrant replaces the previous Evil Tyrant (meet the new boss, just like the old boss) and changes who’s on the enemies list and the beleaguered subjects do the same as they’ve been doing forever and get on with life in general.

And bruised souls from the compromises that are necessary to get by when living in an abusive regime.

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