State of the Bookshelf Address – 4/27/16


This was going to be the year that I was going to get a book self-published.

Now it is almost May and I don’t see that happening.

I’m 65,000 words into How the West Was Zombed.  That’s a new record.  And I can surely get that first draft done this year…but now my gut says in for a penny, in for a pound, I might as well write my next two sequel ideas and then edit and package them and put them all out together.

That could take like, another year.  Crap.

I’ll have to see where I’m at when I’m done with Zombed.  Perhaps I could rewrite it, edit it and publish it and then if people seem to like it, I can write the sequel.

Yet, my gut still tells me to write all three at once.

My gut also tells me I might waste a lot of time on an idea no one likes.

My gut is such a two-faced bitch.

There are a lot of things I am pleased with myself when it comes to Zombed.

Gunther and his sassy old-timer wisdom.

Doc the know it all and his mission to educate the world on the curative properties of cocaine (because, you know, he is an 1800’s doctor after all.)

The love affair between Doc and Annabelle surprised me…Anabelle was meant to be a throwaway character without much development and now I find myself more enthralled with Doc and Annabelle’s romance than the love triangle between Slade, Miss Bonnie and the Widow Farquhar.

Sigh.  Zombed was meant to be a stand alone.  A quickie to give me the experience of getting a self published book under my belt by the end of the year.  An experiment in figuring out what can go right and wrong in self publishing.

But now that it is May and the draft isn’t done yet I feel like I blew it.

Yet, I also feel like I’m at a “it will be done” rather than “will it be done?” phase, which is new for me.

When Zombed is done, I think I will turn my attention towards:

A) Writing the Zombed sequel.

B) Writing a stand-alone book.  And I MEAN STANDALONE.  A book with a beginning, middle and an end, a plot worth it enough to keep turning the pages but not so complicated that I have to sit down with a flow chart and a slide rule the way I’ve been doing with Zombed lately.

And basically what I will do is work on Zombed sequel, then when I get stuck about what happens next, work on the other standalone.

And I’ll share it all on the blog for your comments…and I’ll probably work less on all the funny lists etc. to make more time for novel writing.

I’m not sure what the standalone will be about….ironically, it may be a comedy in modern times about one family’s efforts to deal and come to terms with each other’s bullshit…during a zombie apocalypse.

Sigh.  I never set out to be a zombie guy though.  But in my mind the story has a clear beginning, middle and end and no bizarrely complicated plot about a vampire corporation mucking things up.

This has been hard.  I have so many ideas.  And my ideas are like my babies and when I can’t get them all written it is like I’m abandoning my babies.

At the same time, I do intend to some day move forward with Pop Culture Mysteries.  That film noir private detective style is just so, so much fun for me.

I’ll get to Jake’s hi jinx some day, I guess.

And there are ideas I’ve yet to even share.  There’s one so utterly complicated and befuddling I’m not even sure I’m a good enough writer to write it yet but I hope to get there some day.

Anyway, thanks 3.5 readers.  Stats have been breaking 100 the past two days, the search engines are bringing in like 50 hits a day on their own the past week or so.

This is one of few pursuits I’ve stuck with in life because of the ever improving results.

I mean, the results aren’t that great, I only have 3.5 readers…but in 2014 I only had 1.5 readers.

30.5 readers by 2020, baby.

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8 thoughts on “State of the Bookshelf Address – 4/27/16

  1. William Spear says:

    I think you should self-publish this first one, and then each sequel, and then a “collected edition” that has all three.

    But that’s just me 🙂

  2. Don’t wait. Publish. Ask me, I’ve done this 3x already. Ask Wallace, he has, too. For real, happy to help.

    • Who’s Wallace?

      My complaint is I wanted to do a simpler self contained novel and so I got off other projects for Zombed and now it has turned into a big complicated thing.

      Now I fear if I don’t write 3 together they’ll lack for coherence.

      All my ideas end up so big they become unmanageable

      • Sorry – Wallace Cass – I thought you knew each other. Pretty sure I’ve seen him comment here.

        With your book, there’s nothing that says you can’t finish up a main story arc, leave a cliffhanger for the next book, and publish what you have. Or alternatively, finish the whole thing and edit the hell out of it. You may find, upon review, that you have a lot of unnecessary filler. Happens to all of us. My first book was over 110k words – way too long for the genre. I edited it down to 91k. That’s a lot to lose. So take a good look at what you’ve got and see where you can trim. If you don’t find that much to cull, outline what you have and look for natural breaks in the action. See if one of those breaks would make a good spot to pause the story for the sequel. I hope that’s helpful!

      • Oh he might have. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of my 3.5 readers.

  3. John Charet says:

    Great post 🙂 I hope you get your book published somehow. As others have pointed out here, you can always do a trilogy or a series of books. And I too hope you have 30.5 readers by 2020 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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