Thanks and August Numbers!

First, a big thanks to the last week of blog tour volunteers:

Tracy Carrig

Rosie Amber

Jade Reyner

Marie Ann Bailey

Linda Hill

Nicholas Rossis

Elaine Jeremiah

Jo Robinson

And here are the final numbers for August.  Not a full month out, but we’ll see what happened with The Compass Key:

Sales- 506  (met my debut month goal of 500!)   Borrows- 162   Returns- 6

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

  • #81 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
  • #90 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

The best for this book is #57 on the Sword & Sorcery eBook list.  Beginning of a Hero even got into the 80’s on that list too.  I haven’t seen much of a change with the other books, so I don’t know much about the theory that Book 5 starts something off.  Then again, it’s still summer and next month can change things.  I’m hoping the marketing that crops up in the next 2 months helps.  I haven’t been able to do much during August beyond the tweets and FB posts.  Hopefully I can find some ways to boost everything . . . I’m really out of ideas and just want to write.


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Returning to Work Soon

The above is the closest to getting to a theater for the one weekend re-release.  No babysitter can be found and I don’t think bringing the 5-year-old to this movie would be a good idea.  For him and the other members of the audience.  Come to think of it, I don’t even know if I have this movie on DVD.

Anyway, not much happened outside of fatherhood this week.  The novels will remain unedited until Tuesday night/Wednesday.  School starts Wednesday, so I’ll be tackling the massive editing run at that point.  Beginning of a Hero, The Compass Key, and Curse of the Dark Wind were finished prior to the ‘break’.  That leaves me with Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, Allure of the Gypsies, Family of the Tri-Rune, Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue, and Merchant of Nevra Coil before I can tackle the 9th book.  All of this is cleaning up like removing my earlier habit of repetition and seeing if I can remove some dialogue tags (still trying to master this part).  Nothing that will change the plot and characters . . . that headache involves the books I haven’t written.  One character has done a major alteration to his/her story, so I have to rethink this.  Read The Compass Key and you’ll get an idea of who that is.

Honestly, I just want to get back to work.  I was hoping to get stuff done at night, but that never happened.  I was always left exhausted and irritated by a few things.  I’m hoping things get better when school starts because I still need an hour or two every night when I’m writing new stuff.  Not even just the writing, but I haven’t been on the bike since early August. I really hope to get back into a routine.

Goals for the week:

  1. Get son into school routine.
  2. Return to the bike.
  3. Begin the massive editing run.
  4. Maybe work a bit on a few other ideas if nights continue to be hit and miss.  3 new ideas popped into my head over the last two weeks, so I need to jot them down.
  5. Make a 1-month update tonight on The Compass Key numbers.  Technically, it’s first month will be September 7th.  I have a shot of hitting 500 before the end of the weekend without counting the borrows.  The best so far in regards to rankings of Top 100 Lists is #57 on the Sword & Sorcery list.  So it doesn’t look like this book will beat Family of the Tri-Rune or get into the 20’s.  Not unless I’m underestimating September getting a post-summer surge.

That’s really it for the week.  A little more rant-y than I expected, but I’m in a mood after these last 2 weeks of non-writing.  Hopefully things improve and my demeanor can take an upswing.

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New drawing for $25 Amazon gift card #contest thing

Charles Yallowitz:

Book review contest!

Originally posted on Gwen Bristol:

Prizes for The Night ones Legacy contest

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card! by reviewing the Night Ones. (See below for details. :)

I’m so excited about this!

While I wait for the final book cover for The Night Ones, I decided to host another $25 Amazon gift card drawing. (Some of you may remember when I did this a few years ago. I’m really happy to be doing it again.)

Here are the rules:’

1. Read The Night Ones, by Gwen Bristol

2. Post a review of The Night Ones on Amazon–here’s the link:

3. Send me an e-mail at letting me know you posted a review. If you win the drawing at the end of the month, I’ll contact you by e-mail to get a physical address so I can send you the gift card.

Here are a few more things to…

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Re-release of The Night Ones

Originally posted on Gwen Bristol:

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see picture below)

The Night Ones is a re-release of The Night Ones Legacy (see the picture below this post ).  This book cover will hold the place of the final book cover, which is coming soon.

Early this summer I finally began working hard on a sequel to The Night Ones Legacy and decided I really needed to re-release the first book to prepare for the release of the sequel in December. I used the month of August to gather feedback and re-edit the book. Yesterday I re-released it as The Night Ones  with another place-holder cover.

I finally bit the bullet and hired a designer for the book cover, but it wasn’t ready yesterday and I didn’t want to wait on the re-release. I’m thinking about hosting an official launch party when the book cover is finally finished. For now, I’m sending the new version out quietly into the…

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Influenced by Anime: Long Influence List

Last Saturday I mentioned some of the video games that inspired me.  Today I’m moving on to anime, which are Japanese cartoons.

This is a longer list since I was introduced to anime around the same time I started creating Windemere.  Though I watched Sailor Moon before high school since it was the only thing on in the morning for a kid without cable.  I got into Dragonball Z, Tenchi, and the others that Cartoon Network had in the late 90’s/early 2000’s.  Then I moved on to the videos that my friends and I could find.  One incident resulted in us discovering the darker side of this hobby, which is an event that still lives on in infamy.  Anyway, here are a few of the big ones.

Rurouni Kenshin had swords, action, and was a lot of fun.  It also had a habit of switching times and disappearing from the lineup when it was on TV.  Kenshin influenced many of the noble and goofy heroes that I use.  Since he is a character who tries not to kill his enemies (Trigun too!), I found him interesting.  This inspired a future character because I think writing a hero with the power to kill and the desire not to kill is a challenge.  Especially in a world where slaying your enemies is common.

Somehow Greg and I got involved in the manga of this one and then the anime.  This is called a ‘Harem Manga’, which means one male character surrounded by female characters.  In this case, Keitaro is clumsy, kind of dumb, and cursed.  So he isn’t the typical male lead, but ‘Harem’ tends to revolve around a guy who you typically wouldn’t think is interested in women.  The inspiration here affected some of the female relationships because there’s a strange openness between those of Love Hina.  A common event in anime is all the female characters bathing in a hot spring and goofing off.  I guess you can see this a lot in the Sari/Nyx friendship.  This series also helped me realize that my male heroes can be flawed and still work in the story.

I guess this is where I fess up that many of the series that I was initially shown were chosen by a girl.  This one is a strange series and I’ve yet to revisit it because it’s really long.  I think part of my concept of destiny came from this because it’s a big factor in the story.  Also, I gained a love of supporting cast and strove to work on fleshing out those in my books.  (Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach affected that too.)

Great Teacher Onizuka . . . I kept trying to design a school-based story and it never worked.  Main reason for this one on the list is because it made me want to give substitute teaching a try.  That didn’t go very well, but I still love this series.

That one is there only because it’s another favorite.  I can really keep going with videos, but I think I’ve done enough (one more at bottom though).  The list keeps going here.  Outlaw Star, Louie the Rune Soldier, Neon Genesis Evangelion (make that two at the bottom), Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop, Saber Marionette J, Samurai Champloo Vampire Hunter D, Jing, and I’m really only reading off my DVD shelf right now.  Heck, I just finished watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex this afternoon, watching FMA: Brotherhood when the wife is free, and Trinity Blood is on deck as my background noise for tomorrow.  So I guess this anime/manga is the core of my influence in several ways.  Now for the two videos I mentioned:

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Kindle Countdown Offer – The Initiate

Originally posted on Daily Echo:

A Kindle Countdown price promotion will be running from 30th August to 5th September on Amazon UKand

The Initiate:

Adventures in Sacred Chromatography

The Initiate is the first book in the Triad of Albion series, an adventure in the landscape of the sacred heart of England… Albion… a place where giants dance in stone, where trees whisper secrets and ancient sites are layered deep in the earth.

“We are… without question…going to get locked up!”

BookCoverPreviewinitiate forntA trip to the ancient White Horse at Uffington, carved into the chalk in millennia past; a track, five thousand years old, that through the mists to a magic of Wayland’s Smithy and the gnarled stones of the circle at Rollright… overhead the hawks wheel… it is just supposed to be a day out in the landscape for Don and Wen.

But a chance visit to a medieval church leads the friends to…

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What is the Law of Influence?

Kratos and Ares from God of War

Kratos and Ares from God of War

The Law of Influence is mentioned several times in the blog and the books.  This is the one rule of the gods and it was created when a mortal nearly destroyed them.  Prior to this event, the gods toyed with mortals and got involved in events much like those of Greek Mythology.  When Zaria ascended and saved the gods, she helped create the Law of Influence.

The law is simple: “Gods and goddesses are not to get directly involved in mortal affairs beyond visions and casual visits with important followers”.  For example, Cessia can meet with Sari to check in on her and fish for something while accidentally finding the gypsy’s missing footlocker.  Cessia cannot appear, grab the footlocker, and tell Sari all about her destiny and exactly what she must do.  As you can see there is some flexibility in terms of minor meetings.  Also, Gabriel as the God of Destiny and a few other gods have more leeway because there role requires mortal manipulation to some extent.

What’s the punishment for breaking the laws?  The god or goddess will be put on trial and sealed if found guilty.  The severity of the actions determines the length of the punishment.  So it can range from a few years to eternity.  The latter is hanging over Yola Biggs’s head, which is why she’s on the run and hiding under the power of Baron Kernaghan.  Now sealing involves being placed in a pocket dimension where nothing happens.  Their senses are still active, so they are aware of time passing.  This is why the gods obey the law.  They enjoy living life and watching mortals, so the idea of existing without stimulation is terrifying.

There are other loopholes in the Law of Influence that have come to pass.  One is that the gods can step into events if another god has gone mad and threatens everyone.  They can only battle that deity and must return to their distance once the battle is done.  Another is that a powerful chosen that grows too strong and threatens Windemere can be removed by the follower’s god or Gabriel.  This has only happened once and it is a major plot point of the Mylrixian stories.

Well, that’s the last of the Windemere questions.  I had fun explaining this stuff and hope people got more of an insight into the world.  Now you can go back to reading The Compass Key and enjoying the adventures.

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