Year of The Bruja

As we continue to pour energy into "Mayhem," and getting it ready for publication I'd like to take a moment to look back at 2018, "Year of The Bruja."

"The Bruja" began final publishing phases in late 2017. Copy & content editing were completed, and publisher negotiations had been wrapped up. I was on pins & needles, dreading what would come next. Only two or three people had read the final edits by then and I was terrified. Would my first book hold up to critical scrutiny? Had I written a story worth reading? Did I even know how to write?

I wouldn't know right away either. "The Bruja" was greeted with strong sales out of the gate in January, but very few people read the book immediately. It would be months before the reviews actually came in. If you know me, you know that I am not a patient man.

As of 12/28/18, "The Bruja" has sold roughly 3,000 copies. If you compare that to other modern writers, you might quantify this as a failure. I don't. That's 3,000 readers who are likely to purchase "Mayhem," based on the merit of my writing. Market & sell to another
3,000 people and that doubles my reader base. No, you won't see my name on the NYT bestseller list, and that's fine. I'd rather write good books than popular books.

Another interesting fact -- of the 3,000 "The Bruja" units sold, only 22 are softcover, physical copies. I can confidently say my publisher's emphasis on these traditional copies is both antediluvian and irrelevant. The future of book sales is one-hundred percent digital. I'm happy to abandon the world of traditional publishing in favor of KDP and give you the most, with as little between your experience & my creation, as possible.

In closing, 2018 has been a great year. I learned a lot, and I made just as many mistakes as I earned great successes. "The Bruja" won "Break the Bechdel with Strong Female Characters Award" on Inkshares, topped my publisher's Horror genre charts for 4 months straight, and won the attention of readers worldwide. Thank you all for that -- genuinely and truly. Without readers, an author is just a madman sitting in front of a computer.

I'm looking forward to 2019, and the release of "Mayhem." I hope you'll join me for this new adventure. For now, have a happy New Year!

Day in the Life of a Dead Whore

I decided in early 2018 that all future novels I completed would have their own little novella buddy. This is a luxury afforded by KDP, one that I could never give readers under the ponderous weight of antique publishing. Several other authors I respect do something similar, and I thought that it would be a great option.

Novellas are a great way to bring new readers into the folds of our Collapse world with a minimal investment of time & money. If you picked up “Dread Harvester” for free over Thanksgiving weekend, maybe you decided this was a world you wanted more of and purchased “The Bruja” later. Or, perhaps you’d like more meat on the bones of your worlds. Either way – it’s such a great tool for me as an author, and it’s a win-win for my readers.

Following up the release of “Mayhem” in early 2019, I’ll be publishing another novella-length story on Amazon. This feature will be named “Day in the Life of a Dead Whore.” That may sound a little grim – I hope by now you’ve realized I horror.

“Day in the Life of a Dead Whore” will specifically follow a character that “The Bruja” readers are familiar with – a dead 19th-century prostitute, Marie Holmes. If you’re a native of Santa Cruz, you may have heard of the real Marie Holmes, who committed suicide at the age of 21 by drinking carbolic acid. If you’re unfamiliar with her, look up her story and maybe some flowers and an oily rag (a cigarette,) on her real grave.

We’ll be covering several key canon points discussed in “Mayhem.” One of these will be the nature of ghosts in the world of the Collapse, how they interact with the living, what they can and can’t do. We’ll also be exploring the post-“Mayhem” world and how the ending chapters impact the life for denizens of the greater Bay Area Reach. I want to spend time walking you through this world with Marie Holmes. As an author, it’s a thrilling challenge to mingle the antique English language with an evolving sound and tambour of the Collapse.

To the left is a WIP (Work in Progress,) by rock-star artist Nan Fe. She completed a stunning painting for the cover of “Day in the Life of a Dead Whore.” I gave her total artistic freedom since no photography of Marie Holmes exists today. I’ll be sharing the final cover in months to come, and I’m thrilled at what Nan Fe created.

“Day in the Life of a Dead Whore” will be due out mid-to-late 2019. Look forward to “Mayhem” after the new year. Work continues, full-speed-ahead!