Monday, March 2, 2015
*A Quick Note*
I won't be on FB very much for the next two weeks. I have a 10-12 page advocacy paper due a week from this Friday, as well as a group presentation for another of my classes.
So I won't be around much, but I hope to visit from time to time until everything gets settled.
Needless to say, I won't be getting much of my own writing done either, so there won't be any updates on "The Door", so sorry to everyone who's waiting for word on that book.
All this being forced to put aside so much is making me have some serious second thoughts about the path I'm on at the university. Will be giving this a lot of thought in the next two weeks.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Don't trash that crappy first draft!
Oh it may be full of grammatical errors that would send your high school English teachers into hysterics but that's not reason enough to throw it away. And maybe the plot line may move like a 1920's Model T going backwards up the crooked mile, still is it truly worth destroying? And perhaps most of the characters may be as shallow as a puddle, and probably deserve to be drowned in one, but do not throw that draft away!
Instead I want you read every last word, even if it's hard as hell to get past the first few pages, keep reading! Do not stop until you've read the entire thing.
Why? I hear you ask.
Because, that shitty first draft may be the most important one you ever write.
I'm being serious here folks. And no I'm not going to be going on about how every journey in writing starts with a first draft, or something like that. What I am going to tell you is that first drafts, even the lamest ones, have value.
When I first started writing "The Door", it was going to be the second book in my Para-Earth series. Mainly because it was going take up exactly where the first book "The Bridge" left off. I thought there was no way I could possibly put another story in between the two, even though I really wanted to focus on the second lead couple (Cassandra Elliott, and Julie Cloudfoot) and their blossoming relationship. My original plan was to develop their growing love in the second book, but things were getting too complicated. Too many characters, too many subplots, I had to scale back. So after writing almost 70,000 words in "The Door", I said enough and set it aside. Instead, I followed some "bread crumbs" I'd left myself (see my blog entry from January 31st http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2015/01/follow-breadcrumbs.html) back in "The Bridge" and found an opening.
I had clearly stated that a month had passed between the climactic battle and the events that happened in the epilogue. I had also sent Julie and Cassie over to the west coast. I had plenty of room for a story in between that would involve just the two of them, as well as leading them back to witness the events that took place during the epilogue of "The Bridge". Thus, "The Ship" was born.
But even after I finished "The Ship" and published it, I was not ready to back to "The Door". Instead, a new character had captured my imagination and I began work on "The Vampyre Blogs", hoping to release it next, before returning to "The Door".
However, after finishing the first draft of "The Vampyre Blogs" I realized I wanted to release it around Halloween and the time had passed. So I sent it off to my editor for corrections, even though it was a first draft. I know it will go through many more changes, but in the meantime, I needed to get back to "The Door" because it had to come before my vampyre's first tale. I needed to finish the underlying story arc that was running through my first two books. It's turn had come and I needed to finish it.
By this time it had been over two years since I last looked at it, so it was with experienced eyes that I pulled it out and started to look at the first few pages. Originally, I thought it would be easy to insert just a few scenes and continue the flow I had started, but it didn't work out that way.
Thanks to "The Ship" so many plans and ideas had to be scrapped. And my writing style had changed. A number of people told me how much my writing had 'matured' and now I could clearly see it for myself. So much had to be changed and rewritten. At times it almost seemed too much.
I began to doubt myself and wondered if I was really up to the challenge. Could I really make this story work? Time and again, I kept running up against ideas that no longer fit, and characters who needed to be removed from the story entirely. I began to question myself and ask, "Should I just trash this and start over from scratch?" But then I'd run across scenes that were perfectly fine and still flowed beautifully with the new stuff I was creating. In fact, it felt like what was I creating now was way better than what I'd originally done. And at the same time, the overall storyline was still following what I had wanted all along. In fact, I'd found ways to improve it.
But I was still running up against obstacles and areas where I just wasn't sure what to do.
Then by sheer chance, I was scrolling through the new draft which was being built on top of a duplicate file of the original first draft. But I overshot where I had left off and found a scene I had completely forgotten about. Pausing I re-read my words and was taken aback by the power of the scene and the beauty I'd created. This scene HAD to stay, I told myself. Then I began thinking, 'Are there other scenes like this one I've forgotten?'
So I did the unthinkable...
I stopped work on "The Door" and took a few steps back. Instead of writing, I decided to read every word and every page of the original first draft.
It hasn't been easy at times, but I've been unearthing scenes that to me are absolute treasures. I've also been cutting and removing other scenes and characters who no longer have any place in this book, but might be good for another story down the road. I've saved those sections and preserved them in a separate file folder. Those who've been following this blog know I always urge writers to do this. What may not be working in your current book, might be just the thing you need in another one down the road.
As for the scenes I'm keeping, I am breathing a sigh of relief. Some of them are better than I anything I might have tried to replace them with. New ideas and ways to move the story forward are opening up to me. But I still have to finish re-reading that 'shitty first draft' before I start writing new scenes.
There are more scenes and ideas I've forgotten about, of that I'm sure. I may not want to keep all of them, but I suspect even if I don't keep any of it, they will give me knew ideas. So don't give up completely on that first draft. Save it, learn from it, and build from it. You might even want to preserve certain scenes from it.
All stories start with a first draft that can be more than a little rough around the edges. But without a first draft, you can't begin your story.
Until next time, take care of yourselves my friends, and keep writing.
Friday, February 6, 2015
How are things coming along with your next novel, "The Door"?
I've been hearing that a fair amount lately and I can tell you that last weekend I added another 2000 words to it. This brought the total word count to just shy of 19,000. A pretty good number, don't you think? I'm proud of it.
Unfortunately when Sunday arrived so did something else, my Fibromyalgia.
It flared up with a vengeance and at first I wasn't even really sure it was the Fibro acting up. I thought I might be coming down with a bug a or something. But as the day progressed and became Monday I knew better. There were no other flu or cold symptoms, just fatigue, pain and severe clumsiness which erupted when I least expected it.
So I was forced to take a few steps back and slow down on what I could do. I knew from experience that I'd have to budget my time and energies so as not to wipe myself out each day. I stuck to the most important tasks such as attending classes and doing homework, as well as taking care of the usual tasks around the house. Normally this would have allowed me to have some energies to call upon for being creative. However, life had other ideas.
Almost every day there was some new crisis for me to contend with that I had to use what little reserves I had available, which left me severely depleted and frustrated.
Even typing this entry is taking a bit out of me, but I felt it was important enough to let you all know what's been happening. I hope to get at least some writing done this weekend, but that partly depends on how much schoolwork is dumped on me before today is out.
However I remain optimistic that I can make some kind of progress on the story. I don't know how much, but damn it I need a little victory like that sometimes. I'm surprised the Fibro is being so relentless this time, usually it calms down in a few days, but I seem to be in 'Flare' which may last a couple of weeks.
So please bear with me if I don't post as much, I'm trying to save what energies I have to do the most necessary things. I'll be okay in the end, I always am. I only ask for your patience.
Thanks again and please take care of yourselves and keep writing.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Recently I went through another bout of Writer's Block.
Actually, I hit this particular wall some months ago. It was while I was still working on the original 1st draft of "The Door" when I encountered the block and it was a doozy. No matter what direction I tried to take the novel in, things just seemed to get more complicated and confusing. Too many characters, too many plot points and subplots going.
In the end I wound up working on "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" story. I had a pretty clear vision of where I wanted to go with that one so I worked on it instead. I did this partly in the hopes of having a breakthrough with where I'd left off with "The Door", but in the end I never got past it.
Even when I completed the first draft for "The Vampyre Blogs" I wasn't any closer to getting past my block with "The Door". Now anyone who's dealt with a severe case of Writer's Block will tell you that it can be a real pain in the butt. Especially when you can't seem to find a way around the bugger. No matter which way you turn, forward, left, or right, you can't seem to get past it.
Well, I finally decided to go back the way I came and see if I could find another method by going over my old tracks (or in this case my previous novels).
This actually worked for me because "The Door" was directly connected to my two previous novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship". Most of the same characters were involved so I had something to work with. While going over the previous books I started to notice little details I had just thrown in here and there for flavor or setting. And it was there I found that I had inadvertently left a trail of breadcrumbs that I could follow, which I did. Soon I saw a whole new direction that I could take "The Door" in that I had never even considered before. What made it even better was the fact that it was a path that was very clear, at least from a writer's point of view. I could plan out little twists and turns to take the reader on, while at the same time still see exactly where things should land up.
Again these details seemed minor when I first put them into the previous novels, but now they were giving new life to the story and it was exhilarating. Who might have known who? Was one of the breadcrumbs I'd left behind in the first story. The audience knew a relationship had existed between these two characters, but the 'leads' in my story were totally unaware of the connection. Upon realizing this I got an idea of how that information could be learned, prompting whole new scenes and plots for "The Door".
Another little crumb came from yet another 1st draft that I plan on getting back to next year. A portrait that hangs in one room was to play a part in that story. But then it occurred to me that the portrait could be used now in a way no one would've expected. An alteration was made to it that will become a huge revelation for my heroes in "The Door".
So right there, an unfinished subplot along with an innocuous piece of setting suddenly provided me with the means to start racing along with the story once more. I still have a ways to go, but at least I feel more on course with the book.
Now this does not necessarily work with all cases of Writer's Block, but you can add it to your writer's toolbox. And it doesn't necessarily have to involve other works you've got going. There might be a piece of scenery or a character quirk inside the story you're working on. Look around see what you've done, you never know when you'll find you accidentally left a trail of breadcrumbs in your wake that might lead to a breakthrough in your story.
So until next time, take care and keep writing.
Thursday, January 22, 2015
This week I started a new semester of classes over at the California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB). I'll be going here for at least another four semesters after this one. I try to keep to just 12 units at a time which allows my wife and I to qualify for campus housing. CSUMB has what they call East Campus Housing which is more like a duplex than an apartment. Being a family we have the place to ourselves rather than having to share our space with others.
The rent is reasonable and our gas, electric and cable are all included. So you can understand my wanting to stick around here for a few more years while my wife Helen (who just earned her Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics) finds work and we can start building up our savings again. BTW, if anyone knows any good job openings for a Mathematics wiz in California please let me know. She's sending out resumes and applications like crazy and is eager to find more opportunities.
Anyway, what does all this have to do with anything. Well, taking classes eats into my writing time so I may not be as productive some days as I'd like. However, I'm going to try and keep things going as much as possible. I will be aiming for at least two blog entries a month, but I'm hoping to do more. Especially when one of my classes is a Professional Writing course.
Before anyone gets excited, I'm not talking professional writing for novels, or short stories. This writing class is about writing in a 'professional' environment such as business, non-profit agencies, and professional journal magazines.
However, I'm finding the class and what I will be facing rather interesting. Although the tools of the trade are very similar (good grammar, formatting, editing, research, etc.) one must use a different type of mindset. For instance, I'm going to have to choose a topic and do research on it (sounds familiar so far, right?). But I have to use peer-review journal articles, respected websites (no wikipedia), as well as non-fiction books. From there I have to create a proposal letter, an oral presentation, then a 10-12 advocacy report (single-spaced). This paper will involve a lot of research and rehashing of information that has already been done on the topic while also trying to add some new insight about the topic. I will have to use the APA style formatting that is required of professionals, as well as have certain number of citations and a reference page. After that I have to create a "Letter of Appeal" calling for action/support. Then in the final steps I will have to condense my 12 page report into a one page Executive Summary. I will also have to create a e-portfolio and visual presentation for the class.
I am also expected to have a separate blog just for my class and create 15 blog entries over the course of the semester talking about my topic, or my class itself.
Doesn't sound like too much for one semester right?
But never fear, I'm not going to let it get to me. Instead I'm actually gaining ideas for blog entries about the differences between the types of writing and how I have to change gears mentally from one to the other.
I'll also be posting about my work on the novels and what's going on in my head. I won't be neglecting those kinds of entries.
So stay tuned, have a great weekend, and keep writing.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Hello everyone, today I want to give you all a little insight into how things are going with my latest novel.
Some of you may know that I had started working on "The Door" some time back, but then set it aside to work on "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home". I did this originally, because I'd hoped to get the vampyre book out last October, but of course that didn't happen. My classes at CSU Monterey Bay got crazy with the workload so I couldn't finish in time.
Now, the vampyre book is set around October so I wanted to keep with the whole Halloween timing, so after finishing the 1st draft I've set it aside and gone back to "The Door". This is actually beneficial since "The Door" will temporarily wrap things up for the heroes of my first two novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship". So by going back to "The Door" I can have a sort of trilogy to put out as a box set come Christmastime.
With this in mind I dove back into my first draft of "The Door" which was about 2/3's done. And below you'll see how I felt about this at first...
But then something happened. I'd forgotten where I started that book out and who was where when I completed my second novel "The Ship". Originally I just had Alex and Veronica in the scene at the end of "The Bridge", but at the end of my second novel "The Ship" I had my other two major characters Julie and Cassandra showing up on the scene seconds later.
Now, I figured adding Cassie and Julie would be easy and I wouldn't have to change too much of the scene I'd written for "The Door". Oh there might be a few details here and there, but nothing too major, right? That's what I kept telling myself two weeks ago...
This is how I feel now...
I swear it feels like I'm rewriting just about every sentence, every word, even the commas and periods! Why? Because I wanted to have my four main characters back together right away and so did my audience. In doing this, I changed the entire dynamics and course of events that followed. The main story is following close to the original plan, but the dialogue and actions changed dramatically.
Furthermore, I've also had to remove other characters and events I had planned from later parts of the book as well, because they don't fit anymore. Yet, I'm not disappointed or sorry to see them go. The story I has had it going originally was becoming too complicated. I needed to simplify things a bit. Plus, thanks to "The Ship" I was able to introduce certain new characters there who would be appearing in this third installment, thus simplifying some of the upcoming scenes.
There's still plenty of intrigue and mystery in store for my readers with "The Door". But it's taking a slightly different form than what I'd originally envisioned, which in my opinion is for the better. There's still a long haul ahead, but sometimes you need to walk away from a book you're working on in order to get new ideas and a fresh perspective.
But if you do this, be prepared to be flexible and ready to jettison parts or even entire ideas, chapters, or characters from the story. DO NOT DELETE them though. Save those fragments and put them in special file on your computer. Just because they're no longer useful for this story, you might find they have a life of their own that may give birth to a whole new idea down the road.
Rewriting may not always be fun, in fact it can be downright infuriating at times. However, it can be a very effective tool to help you create a much better product for your audience.
Until next time, take care and keep writing.
Thursday, January 1, 2015
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
If you're reading this I'll take it that you survived 2014 and are a glutton for punishment because you're still reading what I have to say here. Bless your hearts.
With that said, I'm going to try and start the year off on a good note here by posting the opening section of "The Door", which will be the third book in my Para-Earth Series. This time Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie are back together to face threats old and new.
The white-haired man known only as Z has returned, along with the fragment of the creature our heroes helped destroy in "The Bridge". For those who read book 2 "The Ship" we saw Z and his companion help protect Cassandra from the threat that arose from the deeps, but it wasn't out of kindness. He has plans of his own for her and now they're about to bear fruit.
But the girl is guarded by her friends Alex and Veronica, as well as her lover Julie. Plus of course there's the ghostly Brandon who has watched over the girl since the day she was born. However, Z has allies of his own. Betrayal and danger await from the most unexpected quarters.
With all that said, allow me to post the first preliminary sketch for the cover, along with the opening sequence of "The Door". I hope you enjoy, but remember one thing, 'You enter at your own risk...'
The door stood in a hillside near an open field. Grass and weeds had long ago swallowed the stonework that surrounded it, leaving just the portal itself visible. The dark wood looked strange and sinister. In the grain one could almost see contorted faces crying out for release.
Few people came here, if ever. But now tall figure appeared with a long cape of jet black approached. He had long white hair and wore a black frock coat. He strode up to the door and halted. After studying the vegetation around the edges, his eyes fixed on the portal itself. A smile slowly crept over his hawkish features as he turned away.
Strolling along the slope he continued to study the plants along the way. The changes he’d noticed around the doorway were getting more prominent the further he moved away from the portal. Eventually he reached one section where the flora had become almost sinister in appearance. “Oh yes,” he whispered and listened closely to the silence that seemed to have settled in this area.
Suddenly, his cape began to billow and flap even though there was no wind.
The man stiffened and leapt some fifty feet straight up. The folds of his cloak spreading like gigantic bat wings as he descended onto a thick branch of a neighboring tree. Landing with the grace of an eagle, he bent his head and stared downwards.
Smoke-like hands had shot out of hillside itself, reaching and grasping at the space he’d just vacated. With growing satisfaction he watched the ghostly appendages waved about in an almost pitiful manner, knowing their quarry had eluded them yet again. Finally, they slowly sank back into the dried leaves that covered the ground, and disappeared from sight.
Stepping off the branch he landed nimbly and proceeded to move away just in case the offending appendages tried to make another attempt to accost him. But nothing happened, much to his delight.
His cape fluttered briefly in the still air.
“Yes, they have become much weaker,” he murmured as if answering a question only he could hear. “We’ll start keeping closer tabs on the girl.”
Once more the black fabric moved of its own accord as if in response.
“Yes, keeping watch over her would be difficult for us. The son of Jerome has been watching her more closely than ever after that business on the other side of the continent. But I have other allies who will keep us apprised of her movements,” he told his garment. “They are already in position as a matter of fact. Thanks to them I know Cassandra is in Connecticut right now, visiting the very friends who helped kill your parent.”
This time the ebony shroud did not move.
He was not surprised. The being was primitive in many ways. Loyalty to its progenitor was not part of the creature’s nature. Then again, it wasn’t his either. After all he did share a lineage with his intended target. He’d even orchestrated her birth, but only to make sure the bloodline was as close and true to that of the original ‘key’.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
First off, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year's Eve. We've gotten through another year, and I hope that whatever you do to celebrate tonight, please be safe.
This past year has been another interesting one, especially with the release of the second novel in my Para-Earth Series. "The Ship" has gotten a number of 5 star reviews and has been hailed as better its predecessor "The Bridge". Although both are connected, each novel stands on its own and can be sampled for free at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. For those wondering, I've made the first 30 pages of each novel available for sampling (that's right, I don't skimp).
I also created a new blog titled "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition" (link: http://thevampyreblogs.blogspot.com/), which serves as a preview of my next venture into the Para-Earth Series. On this blog you can meet my first vampyre character, who shares many strengths and weakness of the creatures of legend, but is decidedly NOT undead. I've been posting short story entries on that blog to help introduce him and several other characters who will appear in the novel itself. However, none of the entries on the blog will be appearing in the novel.
Looking forward to the coming year, one of my goals is to release book #3 "The Door" which will reunite the characters from my first 2 books as well as placing them all in new dangers from old foes they thought vanquished. Underlying mysteries and loose threads from the first two novels will also be addressed as one character's entire life will be explained and changed forever. I'm hoping to release "The Door" towards the end of May.
Also planned for release in October/December of 2015, will be "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", the first in that part of my Para-Earth Series. *Note: I will continue to also release short stories which will act as supplemental material, on the blog site itself.*
I am also currently trying to decide whether or not to try placing "The Bridge" and/or "The Ship" into the Kindle Unlimited program. Neither has been doing very well in sales for the past few months in spite of all my advertising. A part of me is getting the impression that people are unwilling to take a risk on a little-known author. Whereas in the Kindle Unlimited program, people can 'borrow' as many e-books as they like for a set yearly fee. The author's get a percentage every time their book is 'borrowed' earning more money and gaining new readers.
But the downside would be I'd have to remove the books I place into the program from Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and other non-kindle places. So I really could use some feedback from all of you as to whether or not I should take such a drastic step. Therefore I ask you all to leave your thoughts and feelings in the comment section below. You are my audience and are very important to me. I don't want any of you getting short-changed because of any decision I make.
I'd also like to hear from any authors who are already in the program and wish to share their experiences.
Anyway, this is all I have to say for now as we all get ready to close out 2014. I look forward to hearing from you all in 2015 as I continue to share my knowledge and experiences on this winding road of book publishing.
Take care, stay safe and keep writing everyone.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
What's in a name? A novella or novelette is just a short story that is rather long and falls short of a full-length novel right? Well according to my research, this is only partly correct.
Length or word count, is the key to what defines a short story, a novelette, a novella and of course a novel. I admit I was rather surprised to see that there was a difference between a novella and a novelette. I always presumed they were just interchangeable terms for the same kind of extremely long short story.
Why was I even interested in finding out about all this in the first place you may be asking yourself. Well I'll tell you. If you hadn't heard already, I decided to do a short story that involved my vampyre character Nathaniel Steward (who will be getting his first full-length novel around October 2015) and several of my characters from my first novel "The Bridge". I did this because I was hearing from more and more readers about how they'd missed Veronica, her boss Roy and a few others who did not appear in my 2nd novel "The Ship".
Now I had already been thinking about doing a short story for Nathan, to help fill my ongoing short tales involving him over at my other blog "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition." The entire purpose of that blog is to build an audience for Nathan in advance so I could hopefully have a large group of people eagerly awaiting the release of his first novel. After all, unless you have a name like Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, or J. K. Rowling, you really have to work to get your name and novels known to more people.
So then it occurred to me that since Veronica and company live in Connecticut, it gets awfully snowy up there which would be a great setting for a Christmas tale. However, I realized I had to be careful not to let any short story interfere with the current storyline running between "The Bridge", "The Ship" (my second novel), and my upcoming novel "The Door" which I hope to release in May 2015. So how could I do a crossover with these characters?
The answer was simple. Since Nathan is already over a hundred and fifty years old, he has a lot of room for past history. Whereas Veronica, and her boss Roy Petersen, are 45 and 60 respectively, in the novels. So of course they also had room for untold encounters with various people. So there was plenty of room for these three to have met some time int he past... and thus my story was born.
So I set my story to take place in 1999, which allowed me to bring back another beloved character Jason Cloudfoot, as well as his niece Julie De Luca-Cloudfoot who continues to play a major roll in the novels. Only in this tale, we would get to meet Julie as a little girl who is just starting to demonstrate some of the shamanic powers that define her today.
Now I had my cast, a setting, a time frame and an idea. What happened next is what always happens to me when I write. My short story kept growing and growing. I kept getting more twists and turns to throw in and the ideas kept flowing. Before long my word count grew and grew. When I finally finished my 'short story' was weighing in at 13,700 words, which came out to be twenty-five single spaced pages.
I really had to sit back and wonder at that. Had I actually created a novella instead of a short story? So I did my research and learned the average length of a short story was considered to be around 7,000 words.
Obviously I had almost double that number so I checked further. This was when I learned that a novelette was not the same as a novella. The word count for a novelette ranged between 7000 and 20,000 words (which is where my tale fell into). Looking ahead I discovered that a novella averaged in 20,000-50,000 words. Anything beyond that was of course considered a full-length novel.
So why does any of this matter? So what if I wrote a novelette instead of a short story? Simple, the difference comes in when you try to publish the piece and market it to your readers. Tell people you're offering a short story and they say, "Oh how nice... and you want how much for it? It's just a short story. I want to get my money's worth..."
But once you tell them its small novel of sorts, then they might become more willing to spend a bit more to read your tale. I've seen people offering short stories that are less than a 1,000 words long for $2.99 or $3.99, and wonder why they're not getting many takers.
You have to offer the audience substance and value for their money. So labeling your work properly is very important.
Well, that's all I have for you today. If anyone would like to see what a 'novelette' looks like here are the links to all the installments of my winter holiday tale below. I broke it up into six parts so more people could enjoy the story without needing an e-reader:
"Home For Christmas: A Para-Earth Holiday Tale"
Until next time my friends, enjoy the holidays and keep writing...
Thursday, December 25, 2014
****MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE****
Both my books "The Bridge" and "The Ship" are 1/2 off from now until January 2nd, 2015. So take advantage and grab some 5-star tales for you new Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, I-Book etc.
Each novel is only a $1.49 instead of the usual $2.99. So you can get both books for the price of one. Enjoy and spread the word to everyone you know. Book 3 will be coming out in mid-2015, followed by my first vampyre novel in late October.
Apple and other readers (including PDF for just a regular laptop/desktop computer): https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383
Monday, December 22, 2014
I had planned on releasing a special short story on Christmas Day for all my readers. The original idea had been to make it available for FREE on Smashwords, so everyone could have something to download on their new Nooks, Kindles, I-Pads, etc. Unfortunately, due to a heavy last minute "cram-everything-into-the-last-few-weeks-of-the-semester" by my professors at the university, I never got to do a cover and several other things that needed to be done to the story before it could go up on Smashwords.
So instead, I've been releasing the story in chapters on my other blog "The Vampyre Blogs - Special Edition".
What makes this story so special is that it involves not only my vampyre character Nathaniel, but several other familiar faces from my first published novel "The Bridge". I also set the story sixteen years in the past so as not to conflict with the events that took place in "The Bridge".
I'll continue to release more chapters each day up until Christmas where the story will reach its climax. Depending on the response I get, I hope to do the same thing next year with a brand new story.
At the same time, I'll be releasing the current story in its entirety for Kindle, Nook, and other e-books with but with an original artwork cover, proper editing, and possibly some illustrations (fingers crossed).
In the meantime, let the holiday reading begin. I'm providing links to Parts I and II just below. Tomorrow I'll post the link for part III and so on until Christmas day. I hope you all take advantage and enjoy the story. Please leave feedback here or over at "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition".so I know what you all thought of the story and your opinions on my releasing it installments.
"Home For Christmas: A Para-Earth Holiday Tale"
Sunday, December 21, 2014
For those who didn't know, today will be the shortest day of the year, as well as the longest night. It is better known as the Winter Solstice.
It has also been referred to as Yuletide in some places.
A lot of the more well known customs such as the Yule Log, Wassailing, Mistletoe and the Yule (or Christmas) Tree are directly associated with this time of the year. The basic idea being to help preserve life by keeping green things alive inside your house so the sun will return after the longest and darkest night.
*I know this is a very simplified explanation, but I only have so much room in this blog. I hope to go into deeper details next year.*
So to all my Pagan and Wiccan friends I wish you both a...
Saturday, December 20, 2014
For the next few days my blog will be dedicated to wishing people, from many different faiths, holiday wishes. I'll do my best to cover as many as possible, but if I overlook anyone, please let me know.
And now I'd like to kick things off by wishing all my readers who celebrate the miracle of oil and lights...
A Happy and Blessed Hannukkah to you all.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
How about one or even two trade paperbacks signed and personalized by the author?
That's right, you can get signed and personalized copies of books one and two in my 5-Star "Para-Earth" series for just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination).
*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*
Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they're to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).
You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:
Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas. If there's a rush, let me know and the shipping price will be adjusted accordingly. Also, with the holiday approaching the sooner you order the better, so I can get it to you in time. Or if you like, I can mail the book(s) fully gift-wrapped to the recipient if you wish.
You can take a sneak peak inside both "The Bridge" and "The Ship" at:
Just click on each title and you can read the first 20 pages for free.
Hoping you're all enjoying the holiday season, take care and keep writing.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
"Okay, so where do I go next?"
That's the question I've been asking myself a lot during the week-long break I had from my studies at CSUMB. I managed to finally put the 2nd draft of "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" (the new official title of my 1st vampyre novel) and am currently reading it aloud to my wife Helen. I'm already seeing areas that definitely need more work and rewriting, but her reactions to most of the scenes have been very positive. Plus she's also providing me with some feedback on one of the characters who she actually created. There will be a third and possibly a fourth draft before I unleash anything on my beta-readers. Luckily I've got time since the book isn't going to be released until next fall at the earliest.
In the meantime I really want to get back to "The Door" which is the third book of mine that will feature Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie. This book will wrap up most of the unanswered questions from "The Bridge" and "The Ship". We'll see the final showdown with the mysterious white-haired man who tried to defend the creature inside the bridge and then followed Cassie and Julie all the way to Santa Cruz. I will also reveal the ghostly Brandon's secret and why he has watched over Cassie all her life. The mysterious return of Rachel's baby will also be explained, considering she was dying when we last saw her. But I will also be sowing seeds for future books as well, so expect some new characters and mysteries to be unveiled.
However, for now I must think mainly about my studies at school. I've been taking four classes this semester and three of them do NOT have finals, thank God. However, my Statistics class has a cumulative final which more than makes up for the others not having final exams. I must get a 65 or better on the final to pass the class even though I've already got a "A" grade in it for all my other work. I hate classes that have that rule. It puts so much more pressure on a person.
Anyway the exam is scheduled for December 15th, so less than two weeks away. So I'll be doing a lot of reviewing and studying, as well as wrapping up the other classes which also have assignments due before the next two weeks are done. So as you can see I've got quite a lot on my plate already.
I still hope to put out a Christmas short story involving Nathaniel (my vampyre), Jason Cloudfoot (yes this story is being set in the past so he's still alive), Police Chief Roy Peterson, his new second-in-command Veronica Ross, and a very young Julie. Expect ghosts (perfect for a Christmas story), mystery, and some touching moments.
Until then, I'll be posting when I can and probably running holiday sale or two. So stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the season and keep writing everyone.
Monday, December 1, 2014
You read correctly. You have only hours left to get one or both of my 5-STAR paranormal/mystery e-books "The Bridge" and "The Ship" for $.99 Cents each. That's 2/3's off the regular price folks. Tomorrow, both books will be going back to their regular price of $2.99.
So take advantage of me... I mean... this sale to give yourself or someone you know who'll be getting a Kindle, Nook, Smartphone, Ipad, laptop or a new desktop, something they can enjoy right away. Ghosts (which is appropriate at Christmas), psychics, mystery, love, and heart-pounding excitement await await you all in these two novels.
And if you've already gotten copies for yourself, thanks so much for your support. I only ask you please help spread the word to family, friends and everyone you know so they can take advantage of this sale.
We've got all the e-book formats, just click on the links below to get the one that will fit you or that special someone who's going to be receiving that e-reader so they have something exciting to read as soon as they open their gift.
*NOTE: You can read samples both books for free as well as buy copies at the following links:
BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/allan-krummenacker
NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS:
Friday, November 28, 2014
****GOING ON NOW AND LASTING UNTIL MIDNIGHT MONDAY****
All e-copies of my 5-star paranormal/mystery books will be available for just $0.99 cents
Whether you have a Kindle, a Nook, a smartphone, or even just a laptop or desktop, there will be a format available for you.
"The Bridge" Book 1 in the Para-Earth Series
Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen year. But with with scream of tires and twisting metal, all this changes.
When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross , is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned. But upon learning that both the driver and passenger of the vehicle in question, had been dead for almost twelve hours before the incident, he knows what he must do...
"THE SHIP" Book 2 in the Para-Earth Series
Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet. She's also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things.
In fact just two weeks ago she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot survived a terrifying experience. Fighting alongside their friends Alex Hill and Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, they faced creature from a parallel reality, where evolution had taken a decidedly different turn.
As a result of that encounter Cassie and Julie have come to Santa Cruz, California to bury Julie's uncle who fell to the creature. They've also come to see if their new romantic relationship will work out. Unknown to either of them an old adversary has followed them.
A white-haired man in a flowing black cape is lurking inside an old wrecked ship. He has plans for Cassandra and will need her soon, but until then he must keep her safe. However, a new threat appears, a legendary ghost ship arises from the sea and marks the girl as its next target.
Soon the two women find themselves fighting not only for their lives, to be keep from being separated forever...
***You can find and sample both books for free at the following links***
BARNES AND NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/allan-krummenacker
NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS:
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
For just about all writers, the choice of voice or perspective to use is always a challenge. Although many write in the third person voice, there are two options. Do you do 'limited' where we only know what's going through one characters mind, or do you use the 'omniscient' version where the readers get to know what's going through everyone's mind at the same time, even if the characters are not sharing all their thoughts with each other.
I did the 'limited' third person point of view in my first two novels. However I kept changing who's head we were inside with each chapter, giving a nice build up and differing points of view. So in the new novel I'm working on "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" I wanted to try 1st person perspective, but still do multiple points of view. So, with my wife's advice, I chose the same method Bram Stoker used to write "Dracula". He did 1st person from many different points of view by using letters, journal entries, diaries, etc. and it worked.
In my case, I went for blog and e-journal entries to tell my story, as well as some newspaper clippings to help supply background information for the reader. Now, I know I've said all this before, but I wanted to repeat it for the benefit of anyone who had missed those earlier entries. What I did not count on was dealing with Present Tense vs. Past Tense in the First Person.
I realized I might have a problem after I started the 2nd draft of the novel and started noticing that some entries were in the past tense, while others were in the present. Sometimes I kept going back and forth within the same chapter. So then I had to decide between which one to use. After careful consideration, I decided past tense made the most sense, since when one is doing a blog entry about an event they are reflecting back on what happened. It is not happening there and then as they write.
This of course gave me a much larger task of rewriting the 2nd draft.
However, I have prevailed and am just about done with the 2nd draft. But now I am growing concerned about another issue. "Telling" vs. "Showing". Am I just having my characters 'tell' a story or am I managing to bring my readers into my characters memories so they can 'see' it as it happened? I'll be going over the entire novel again and after some corrections, send it out to some beta-readers to get their opinions on the piece.
I never imagined how intricate this particular novel was going to become. It's been a lot of work, but I'm rather enjoying the challenge. If I do pull it off correctly, I think my readers will be very pleased and clamoring for more of Nathaniel and company. But only time will tell.
Anyway, that's all I have for now. If anyone has had more experience with these issues I'd love to hear about them. Please leave comments down below so not only me, but others can learn from your experiences.
Until next time, keep writing.