Archive for July, 2019

FAQ: Wolf’s Search

July 31, 2019

Blue Wolf With A Blue-Eyed Wolf

Wolf’s Search, the seventh novel in the Firekeeper Saga, has been an official release for two weeks now.  In those two weeks, I’ve been repeatedly asked several of the same questions.  Here are both Questions and Answers.

1) Will I be able to order a signed copy directly from you?

The answer to that one is “Yes,” but the details are complicated.  Read on!

At least for now, Wolf’s Search will not be on my website bookshop’s list of available titles.  I am considering revamping the form I’ve been using, because—as some of you already know—it has quirks.  Until I have the time and money to mess with the website form, this book needs to be ordered via e-mail from jane2@janelindskold.com.  (See below for more about this.)

Price will be $18.99.  This includes shipping via Media Mail, handling, and autographing, including personalization upon request.  (Hey, lots of fans pay extra for movie star autographs.  It’s worth thinking about.)

You can pay via personal check, but I will hold the order for two weeks from date of deposit to give time for the check to clear.  You can also use money orders, cashier’s checks, or PayPal.

If you use PayPal, any refunds will have PayPal fees deducted from the return.  Send PayPal payments to jane2@janelindskold.com.

As indicated above, my business e-mail is jane2@janelindskold.com.  Please note: My web host has been having difficulties, so your e-mail may not get to me.  If you don’t get a reply within a couple of days, e-mail again or Message me on Facebook or Twitter.

I will get your book in the mail as quickly as is feasible, but I usually reserve one day a week for trips to the post office.

2) Can I order other of your books directly from you?

Yes, you can.  Most of my books are available via my website bookshop.  When possible, I offer hard cover first edition, first printing.  However, not all of my books are available, nor are they all hard covers.  Check the details.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

As above, shipping is included in the price.  See above for other details.

3) What if I already have bought a copy?  Can I sent it to you to get signed?

Yes.  You can, but you need to include return postage.  Also, if you want to send a large order, be sure to let me know.  I am not equipped to handle massive boxes.  If you want me to sign your entire collection, consider attending a convention or bookstore event.

Package the book in reusable packaging (because I firmly believe in “reuse, recycle.”  Enclose the book with any instructions for signing (Ex. “Signature Only” or “To Jessie.”).  You can also include a note saying something like, “This is a birthday present for my spouse, Chris.  Can you say something special?”

Include an address label for the package addressed to you or whoever you want to have the book.

Remember to include return postage or your book will have found a new home with me.

4) Is Wolf’s Search available as a hard cover?

No.  However, I’ve been asked this often enough that at some point I may produce a limited edition hard cover version.  If so, I will probably do a Kickstarter to judge how serious interest is.

5) Is Wolf’s Search available as an audiobook?

No.  This is not because I am not interested.  As a devoted audiobook junkie, I most definitely am.  However, I have not been approached by any vendor who is interested in doing the work.  If you want a Firekeeper audiobook (or any of my works as audiobooks), I suggest you contact the vendor or vendors of your choice and alert them to your desire.  They actually listen to purchasers!

6) Is it true that there is going to be another Firekeeper book?

Yes.  The working title is Wolf’s Soul and it picks up close after Wolf’s Search.  I haven’t quite finished writing it, and then it will need to be polished and proofed and produced, but the nice thing about my using indie publishing is that as soon as it’s ready, I’ll put it in your hands.

7) Now that you’re writing sequels, are you going to write another Artemis book?  Or “Breaking the Wall” book?  Or athanor book?

Maybe.  I talked about plans for the future last week.

8) I’d love to have you do a signing near me.  Is that likely?

It’s more likely if the bookstore contacts me and offers to defray my expenses.  The same goes for conventions.  I don’t live where I can just hop in the car, drive a few hours, and come home again.

9) As of this moment, there is no Number Nine.  Feel free to ask, though, and I’ll answer either in the comments or next week!

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FF: Giving the Muse Treats

July 26, 2019

Ziggy Under the Lucky Tree

Now that Wolf’s Search is out, there have been a lot of questions about how soon will Wolf’s Soul be available.  Several people have begged me not to “do a George R.R. Martin.”  If by this you mean, “Don’t be insanely successful”, well, that has more to do with you than me.  If you mean “Don’t make us wait too long,” then I’m doing my best.  Sometimes the best way for me to transition from editor mode to writer mode is to read something good.

Oh…  If you missed my announcement about Wolf’s Search being out, I just gave you a link.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

What are you reading to help you beat the summer heat?

Recently Completed:

An advanced copy of something I’m not allowed to talk about yet!

In Progress:

Alpha and Omega by Harry Turtledove.  From the acclaimed Master of Alternate History, a book we’d better hope is alternate history, because it’s about the end of the world.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Julius Caesar has been assassinated.  Mark Anthony and Octavius are beginning to rumble.

Also:

Methodically finishing some back issues of Smithsonian, Archaeology, and American Archaeology.

Want More?

July 24, 2019

Keladry Lounges With Blind Seer

When I decided I was going write a new Firekeeper novel, I’ll admit, I was scared.  Not about writing the novel.  I was ready and eager to return to Firekeeper and her world.  What scared me was the investment in time and expense I was going to make in the hope that people would buy another Firekeeper novel.

When I shared my apprehensions with a variety of people, I was amazed at how many said something like “You should do a Kickstarter” or “Sign up for Patreon or Drip.  Everyone is doing it.”

I’ll admit it.  I balked, but not because I didn’t think I would finish the novel.  I’ve written many novels based on a proposal or even just a verbal pitch.  As long as I have an idea I’m enthusiastic about, I will write the story.

No.  I balked because I didn’t have any idea how long it would take me to write the novel. Asking people to fund me for an indefinite period of time didn’t seem fair.  I’m relatively new to indie pub, but the one thing I’ve learned is that, if you’re going to do a good job, the process takes time.  Indeed, as I revealed back in January, the writing of Wolf’s Search didn’t follow the path I thought it would.

So now Wolf’s Search is completed and is available for sale.   You can acquire the ebook at the following on-line retailers: Amazon; Barnes and Noble (Nook); Kobo; Google Play, and iTunes.  The trade paperback is also available at Amazon.  I talked more about the story itself last week, so I won’t repeat myself here.

What can you do if you want more original works by me?

Buy Wolf’s Search.  Don’t search around for a pirated copy.  Don’t pirate.  Let me know if you find someone who is selling or even just giving away a pirated version.  Pirates are only romantic and dashing in the movies.  In reality, they are just petty thieves.

Don’t buy one copy and share it with your five closest pals.  Sure, I appreciate the compliment, but I can’t make a living from shared copies or used copies.  This may be a shock to you, but libraries don’t pay me when you take my book out.  I only get paid for the one purchase – and institutions usually buy at a discount.

What else can you do?

Write on-line reviews and post them at the vendor of your choice.  Although many people think it is disgusting when writers request on-line reviews, while writing is an art, publishing (which enables writers to make a living) is a business.  Especially when a book has been independently published, the author doesn’t earn a single penny until you buy the book.

Still with me?

Tell your friends about Wolf’s Search.  Feature it in your book club. Word of mouth—or of electron—is still considered the best way for the word to get out about a book

Another thing you can do, if you haven’t already, is sign up for my mailing list.  That way you can be first to hear about special offers, contests, or get a sneak peek at the cover art for forthcoming works.  You can sign up from my website or by using the link on the left side of my Facebook page.  I never share my mailing list information, and I post only occasionally, so you don’t need to worry about weekly spam.

Let me be completely honest.  Whether or not I can afford to publish more novels, as well as how quickly those novels become available, is in your hands.  With your backing, I can afford to concentrate on writing, because I can hire help for the mundane business details.  Without your help, there’s only me acting as writer, editor, marketer, art director, and all the rest.

Not a fan of Firekeeper?  That’s okay.  Some of you have asked if I’ll be writing more novels in some of my other universes, such as that of the “Artemis Awakening” series, the “Breaking the Wall” series, or the athanor series.  I definitely have some exciting new sequel projects planned.

Even better, I also have some new, never before published, works in progress.

However, whether I can afford to pursue these projects, as well as how quickly they become available, depends on you and your support.  If you don’t want to buy a Firekeeper novel, then consider buying one of my other novels or my short story collection, Curiosities.  Have all of them?  Buy one of my books as a gift.

Don’t buy used.  My website bookstore offers many of my novels in hard cover first editions.  The bookstore page will be undergoing revision and expansion, but you can always e-mail me if you are wondering about the availability of a certain title.  Contact information is on my webpage.

Many of my older titles are also available as e-books.  More will become available as I have time and finances to produce them.

Thank you for your enthusiasm for the Firekeeper Saga and my other works.  I hope you’ll be part of making sure that my stories – both your old favorites and new material – remain available in the years to come.

Now, off to do some business stuff, but soon I hope to be running with Firekeeper and Blind Seer again soon.

FF: Is It Okay To Remind You?

July 19, 2019

Kel Contemplates The Empires

Wolf’s Search is officially released.  I’m mentioning this because I know that many of you show up on Friday to see which adorable member of my non-human family is posing with what book.  If you want to know more about Wolf’s Search, here’s a link to my announcement.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones.  Final book in the Dalemark Quartet.  If you’re willing to try a series that’s going to break a lot of your expectations but  pay off in the end, then I really, really recommend this series.  Diana Wynne Jones shows another side of her talent in this excellent series.

In Progress:

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  The Roman republic is beginning to slide.  We’ve left politics to look at art and drama.

Also:

“Buffalo  Dogs” by Lawrence M. Schoen.  Short story.  If you like stories about con men, space stations, weird aliens, and even weirder alien animals, you can try this tale as a free e-book.  Not as sophisticated or thoughtful as his Barsk, but still fun.

Search No More: Wolf’s Search Is Available!

July 17, 2019

Take Flight!

That’s right!  Wolf’s Search, the seventh book in the Firekeeper Saga, is now available as both e-book and trade paperback.   You can acquire the ebook at the following on-line retailers: Amazon; Barnes and Noble (Nook); Kobo; Google Play, and iTunes.  The trade paperback is also available at Amazon.

As of this moment, Wolf’s Search will not be available in most bookstores.  Eventually, I will have copies of the trade paperback available directly from me, but I’m not set up for retail by mail of this title at this time.  On the other hand, you can still get hardcover copies of most of the earlier books in the series through my website bookshop.

Important note!  Wolf’s Search begins about six months after Wolf’s Blood.  However, it is not necessary to read the previous six books to follow the events in this one.  Readers new to the series will, of course, experience some spoilers, but Wolf’s Search does not require detailed knowledge of prior events in order to enjoy the story. In other words: No Homework Necessary!

Still with me?  Want to know what Wolf’s Search is about?  The best spoiler-free option I can offer you is the cover blurb:

Transformative Journey

Blind Seer has run at Firekeeper’s side since the wolf-woman first crossed the Iron Mountains into human-held lands.  Now it’s her turn to run alongside the blue-eyed wolf as he sets out in search of someone who can teach him how to use his magical gift—on his own unique terms.

The pair’s search will take them to the far side of the world in the company of allies who include a young woman scarred by war, a falcon who believes himself a traitor, and an old friend… or possibly enemy.  Together they will fight battles from before they were born, climb mountains, cross badlands, eventually unveiling a threat that will reshape not only Blind Seer, but his belief in what he most desires.

Wolf’s Search’s cover art is by Julie Bell.  You can purchase a print of her original art here.  Her “Andre” doesn’t have Blind Seer’s blue eyes, but is still gorgeous.

If you’d like a little backstory about why the publishing format of Wolf’s Search differs in some ways from the earlier books in the series, you might want to read this post I wrote back in January.

I guess that covers the basics.  Feel free to ask questions.  I ask you to be considerate about asking questions that contain spoilers.

Wait!  I can anticipate one question at least.  Yes.  There will be another Firekeeper novel.  Its working title is Wolf’s Soul.  I often slip progress reports into my Wednesday Wanderings and Friday Fragments posts, so keep checking in to be among the first to know what’s going on.

FF: The Proof Is With Persephone

July 12, 2019

Persephone Is Proud To Protect the Proof

The photo above is of my cat Persephone with the print proof of Wolf’s Search.  That proof is one of the things I’ll be reading over the next few days.  Fingers crossed but, at a quick look, it seems to be in good shape.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

I enjoy hearing what you’re reading, by the way…

Recently Completed:

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones.  Third of her Dalemark Quartet.  This is a very odd series.  This book takes place so far in the past from events in the first two books that it’s not even a prequel.  The mood of this one was folktale/mythic, rather than the high fantasy adventure of the prior two books.

In Progress:

The Crown of Dalemark by Diana Wynne Jones.  Mitt from Drowned Ammet and Moril from Cart and Cwidder.  Then came a girl name Maewen who seems to be from the Twentieth Century?  I know I read a couple of these earlier, but I think I missed this one and  maybe even The Spellcoats.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’ve taken a look at the Etruscans, and Rome has just solidified its hold on the Italian peninsula.

Also:

Wolf’s Search in various forms.

Take Flight With Wolf’s Search

July 10, 2019

Back and Front Cover!

As you’ve probably guessed, the image accompanying this post is the official cover for Wolf’s Search.  The art is by Julie Bell, who gave her talents to the art for the first six books, and let me use her “Andre” for the cover of Wolf’s Search.

Many readers of Fantasy and SF are already familiar with Julie Bell’s art, but did you know that doing the covers for the Firekeeper books brought her to doing wildlife art as well?  You can read all about her journey—including the ups and downs along the way—here.

If you’re interested in seeing the original of “Andre,” here’s a link to the proper page on Julie Bell’s site.  You’ll see that her image is just a little different from the one on the cover, but it’s still magnificent.  Even more fascinating, Julie Bell’s painting actually perfectly fit something I’d planned for the book long before I started looking for art.  There is such a thing as serendipity.

Wondering what Wolf’s Search is about?  Let me spare you trying to read off the photo and give you the blurb here!

Transformative Journey

Blind Seer has run at Firekeeper’s side since the wolf-woman first crossed the Iron Mountains into human-held lands.  Now it’s her turn to run alongside the blue-eyed wolf as he sets out in search of someone who can teach him how to use his magical gift—on his own unique terms.

The pair’s search will take them to the far side of the world in the company of allies who include a young woman scarred by war, a falcon who believes himself a traitor, and an old friend… or possibly enemy.  Together they will fight battles from before they were born, climb mountains, cross badlands, eventually unveiling a threat that will reshape not only Blind Seer, but his belief in what he most desires.

As I write this, I’m waiting for the print proof for Wolf’s Search to arrive.  It’s scheduled to get here tomorrow.  Proofing that is the final Big Step before the book is ready for release.  Depending on whether any new errors cropped up in printing, Wolf’s Search could be available as both e-book and trade paperback within a few weeks.

I’ll announce when Wolf’s Search is available as a Wednesday Wandering.  If you can’t wait even a moment, sign up for my Mailing List, since I’ll post the information there as soon as it becomes available.  You can find a link to the mailing list at my website.  My mailing list is only used for important announcements, and I never share the list, so you don’t need to worry about being inundated except by the sort of news you want!

Now, off to see if the proof has arrived.  I know it’s a day early, but I’m very excited!

FF: A Fifth of July

July 5, 2019

Drowsy Keladry

July is here and I hope to have a lot more time to read!

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Let me know what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Robert Harris.  The best parts were Cicero’s speeches.

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We finished with philosophy, then a concluding summary.  Excellent.

Drowned Ammet by Diana Wynne Jones.  Second of her Dalemark Quartet.  A little harder to get into because her protagonists are confused and angry.  The ending is quite interesting, though.

In Progress:

The Spellcoats by Diana Wynne Jones.  Third of her Dalemark Quartet.  Just started.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Just started.

Also:

Various magazines that arrived with the beginning of the month reminded me I have a backlog, so doing a fair amount of reading there.

Blue Sky Writing

July 3, 2019

Blue Sky With Hawk and Clouds

I’m going to start this post by saying that I know I’m wrong, and by thanking James, Emily, and Paola for making statements that converged in this Wandering.

Not long ago, I saw a series of posts where an author was providing step-by-step instructions to his readership how to buy his forthcoming release so as to put it on the bestseller lists.  Something in me cringed.  Not because he was wrong, but because I have a lot of trouble doing that sort of thing.

Last weekend, I had an e-mail from a very nice reader asking me why she couldn’t pre-order Wolf’s Search.  I explained that I was still in the last stages of polishing, so it wasn’t up for pre-order.  When it was done, I’d simply post it for sale.   The fan was very nice about that.

However, a lot of current publishing lore, both traditional and independent, would tell me that I am wrong.  My job is not to write the best book I can and then get it to my readers pretty much as soon as it’s ready.  My job is to hold onto the manuscript, build up “buzz,” then release the manuscript at the optimal time to maximize initial sales.

In case you hadn’t heard, initial sales—or in some cases orders or pre-orders—are what “bestseller” lists measure.  Most bestseller lists don’t measure actual sales.  Most don’t measure reader excitement.  Most don’t measure reviews.  What they measure is hype.

Once upon a time, for the majority of books and authors, this was not the case.  Books did not need to hit the bestseller list to be considered worth reading or successful.  Yes.  There were exceptions.  Ever wait to buy the hardcover of your favorite Big Name until it was deep-discounted at the local Big Box Book Store?  Those books were part of making that book a bestseller—books that were pre-ordered but never bought.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been told I’m wrong and old-fashioned in my approach to publishing.  I was late getting into social media because I’m basically shy.  I’m not comfortable itemizing every minute of my life.  I’d feel funny posting eight or ten pictures a day of my cats or the birds in the yard or the toad that was heading off to bed this morning as I got up.

This isn’t to say those people are wrong or crass or anything.  I actually enjoy some of those sort of posts, even if I can’t post that way myself. Time I spend thinking about shouting out or worrying about the latest marketing trend is not only time I don’t spend writing, it’s also time I spend being anxious, upset, and afraid. And when I feel that way, I don’t write.

I found this definition of blue sky thinking on-line: “Blue sky thinking sessions are open to all creative ideas regardless of practical constraints.”  I guess that makes me a blue sky writer.  I look to the mountains east of Albuquerque (the Sandias) and end up putting dragons there.  This makes for an interesting life.  Perhaps more important to you, it makes for the stories you read.  (The dragon in the Sandias was featured in my short story “Spellsword” in the anthology Spell Fantastic.)

Once upon a time, a writer’s job was to create; now many view writing as just one part of the job.  I know I’m wrong.  I get that the world has changed.  But writing is what I do. Am I wrong not to cultivate the lists, to try to be a bestseller, to build my fan base through something other than writing the best stories I can?  Maybe.  But if I want to write, for me, I’m right.