Monday, December 30, 2013

Musings About 2013 And This Author's Hopes For 2014...

Well, 2013 was a rollercoaster of a year for me.  There were some great highs but an awful lot of lows that really made this a tough one for me.  

Losing my father-in-law was probably the hardest thing to go through.  I looked up to that man so much and he gave me such great advice and encouragement.  To watch him fight the good fight and then lose to something other than the cancer, was gut-wrenching.  However, to see my wife's family pull together and know I was a part of them, helped a lot.  As did this Christmas.  This was the first one without him and was going to be especially hard for my mother-in-law.  Helen (my wife) and I had her and my brother-in-law over here for the holiday where we decked out the place and managed to create a magical Christmas in which it felt like he was right there with us the whole time.  We all felt his presence, and that made me feel so much better. 

My debut novel "The Bridge" came out and 1477 copies were grabbed up.  Most of these were thanks to free e-book giveaways (about 1370) by my count.  Was it worth doing that?  I think so, because as a 1st time author I needed to get my product and my name out there.  I'm hoping this will translate to a large number of people willing to actually buy the second book when it comes out in March 2014.  Because I won't be doing free promo-giveaways again because in order to do that, I'd have to first release the book to Amazon only for 3 months.  That would leave all my Nook, Apple and Sony e-reader fans waiting on the sidelines.  I don't like that idea, it seems unfair to my audience and I cannot operate that way.  I care about the people that are interested in reading my work.

Foolish? Maybe.  Idealistic?  Certainly.  But that's couple of things that make me who I am.

For 2014 I'm hoping to put out at least 2 new books.  "The Ship" of course in March.  Then I'll be introducing a new set of characters and their first story in December.  "The Vampire Blogs" will be my first Christmas story.  My protagonist will be a blood-sucker with most, if not all, the usual powers and weaknesses and no sparkling.  He will also be a good-guy.  I have plans of starting a blog dedicated to events in his and the other characters lives before the book actually comes out to give the audience sneak preview into the workings of their minds and how life shapes their personalities.  Please let me know if you like this idea in the comments section below.  Most of what will be shown in the blog will probably not show up in the book, so these 'blog' entries will be an added treat for my readers. 

Depending on my schedule in the coming months, I might have a third book come out which will involve Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie once again and take up where both "The Bridge" and "The Ship" leave off.  Little hint for everyone about the final scene coming up in "The Ship".  Hee-hee...

I will be attending more classes at my local Community College starting in Feb., with the hopes of entering University in the Fall of 2014.  We'll see how everything goes and how life is treating me.  The amount of free time I have will have a definite impact on how much writing I get done.  So keep your fingers crossed for me.  I'm dedicated to getting "The Ship" and "The Vampire Blogs" out for certain.

Other goals and dreams for 2014 involve spending more time with my wife and hoping our financial situation improves so we can get out and try more things.  Kayaking, Parasailing, Ballroom Dance and other activities have long been on our list of what we'd like to try or do more of.  We'll see how things go.

So, as 2013 comes to a close, I pray the coming months are kind and treat you all even better than the last 12 have.  More writing tips will be coming soon so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you must travel please be safe and stay well.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL... and keep writing.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Kickstarter Is Not Looking Well, But "THE SHIP" Will Still Be Coming In...

Well, with 2 weeks left, it looks like my Kickstarter is going to fail.  Really bad timing on my part I'm afraid.  I've gotten a number of compliments on the video I did for it.  But, it just wasn't the right time to do something like this.

So what's going to happen if it fails?  Simple, I've assembled some more people I can trust to help me edit the upcoming book ourselves.  My current Beta-readers are telling me they've seen a big improvement in my writing style compared to my first novel.  They say I've matured and the editing problems they've seen are much fewer.  I seemed to have learned a lot from my first go and they are still reading the first draft.  So, that says a lot I think.

One of them is a published author and is going to come and stay with us in January and we're really going to go over the entire 2nd book and do some serious editing together.  I hope the final result will be really pleasing to all.

To the editor I had lined up, all I can say is.  We'll see what happens on the next one.  I still want to work with you, but finances are just not going to let it happen just yet.  Fingers crossed that the efforts me and my team put in help to make "The Ship" a big success.

In the meantime, here's the link for the Kickstarter.  After all there's still 2 weeks left.  If it happens great, if it doesn't, at least you all know I have a back up plan.  Enjoy the holiday season everyone.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/975056676/editing-my-2nd-novel-the-ship


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day!

HAPPY BOXING DAY!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. If Santa left you a nice new Nook, Sony, Laptop, or other nice new toy that allows you to read e-books, here's another gift you can give yourself.
My paranormal/mystery "THE BRIDGE" is still on .99 Cents on Smashwords. Grab a copy for yourself so you can be ready when the sequel "THE SHIP" comes out in Feb/Mar 2014.
However, if Santa left you a new Kindle, you can get the book at Amazon for .99 Cents as well using this link:
Happy Holidays and enjoy yourselves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Simple Update and Some Words of Peace and Happiness To All...

"HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL"

     No updates on Kickstarters, or discount books today gang.  Just a few thoughts on this holiday season.

     This will be our first Christmas without my father-in-law, and I'll admit a part of me is a bit apprehensive about it.  But not all that much really.  There is still going to be the family gathering this weekend, where I will see a lot of familiar faces and a few new additions.  My wife's 'not-so-little cousins' have been growing their families and I will be meeting some of those children for the first time.  There will also be others I have not seen in a long while whose presence will be very welcome.  
   
     Although a lot has changed, the love and closeness we all share will still be there, a lot of this came from my father-in-law.  So in his own way, he will be there too.  And I'm really looking forward to that.  

     I know the holidays can be a rough time for those who've lost someone due to their passing, or just because of distance.  But remember, every person who touches your life with love leaves a bit of themselves with you that cannot be taken away.  That part is yours to keep always.  It's there to help you in good and bad times.  An old joke that still makes you smile, a gift that was given that you still have, or more importantly fond memories.  

   Memories are something we make with others that will always be with us.  Nothing take those away.  We may not always be able to think about them on the spot, because of life's craziness.  But they are there and keep a part of us warm at all times.  

    So this holiday season, try to make a lot more memories... really good ones.  Share love, a laugh, a thought, a dream.  These are gifts not only to yourself but others and can be the most treasured thing you could ever give.

    I don't know if I'll get a chance to do another post before Christmas or not, but there will be more before this year is over.  I'll probably be talking about writing and some new developments on the horizon at that time.  

     Until then, enjoy the holiday season and may you all have blast building some great memories of the season to carry with you always.

    Your friend,

    Allan Krummenacker




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Update On My Kickstarter...

SEASONS GREETINGS EVERYONE!

First off, I hope you are all finding many ways of enjoying the holiday season.  I know things get hectic around this time of year and stressful.  So I hope all of you are finding joy and comfort in family, friends, cartoons, music, etc.

I know there's a lot going on for everyone at this time, which means I screwed up.  This was definitely not the right time of year to have started my Kickstarter.  Unfortunately, three's not turning back because once a Kickstarter's been stared you can't hit a pause button and then restart it at a later date.  Once it's been set in motion you have to let it run its full course regardless of whether or not it looks like it will succeed.

In my case, the Kickstarter is not doing well and looks like it might fail.  I set mine to run 45 days, and with a third of that time already gone I've gotten only 2 pledges totally $30.  My goal for funding the editing job for the "The Ship" is $600.00.  Again, I've only got myself to blame if it fails.  A part of me knew darn well that the holidays are a tough time of year for everyone.  I'm a full believer in families coming first, especially at this time of the year.

However, I'm not despairing just yet.  I've still got 29 days left in my Kickstarter, which means it does not come to an end until January 11th.  With that in mind, I'm still hopeful that I can reach my goal.

I'm just glad that no actual money has changed hands.  That's the way it works with Kickstarters.  Pledged money is only collected at the end of the time frame, and ONLY if the goal is met.  If there aren't enough pledges then no one is out of pocket.  No money is collected and the person who created the project has to go back to the drawing board.  I learned this only recently myself, when I pledged $5.00 to a project that failed to make its goal.  Nothing was charged to my card and all I lost out on was a project gift for supporting them.  

That's one of the nice things about Kickstarter gifts, you get at least something for your investment.  In my case, a pledge is basically placing an advanced order for a copy of the book in the format of your choice.

In case anyone does wish to donate, even just a little to my project, here's a list of the gifts I have for you:  

$2.00 - an advanced PDF copy of the book, several weeks before it is made available to the general public.  This format is great for people without e-readers, because you can read it on your laptop or desktop computer (just make sure your unit can actually read PDF files first though).

$5.00 - 1st edition e-copy of the book in whatever e-reader format you need (Kindle, Sony, Nook, Apple, etc.)

$10.00 - first edition Trade Paperback copy of the book.

$25.00 - signed first edition Trade Paperback copy of the book, plus an e-copy in the e-reader format of your choice (Kindle, Sony, Nook, Apple, etc.)

*There are higher levels of pledges offered which you can find on the Kickstarter page itself if you're interested, I just wanted to post the simpler easier ones here.

I know there will be folks out there who wish to help, but can't even afford to spare $5 or $2, and I say "God bless you and thanks for thinking of me".  If you still want to help, then please just spread the word about my Kickstarter to others and that in itself could wind up making a huge difference.  

The link to the Kickstarter us just below.  Thank you all for reading and sticking with me, and let me finish by simply saying "HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours!"  Enjoy the season and stay safe.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Writing and Rubik's Cubes...

Okay fellow writers, here's a question for you all.  How many of  you find yourselves working and reworking a scene because something just isn't right?  In your mind, you know what you'd like to happen, but something just doesn't seem to be working right.  You make a change here, then a slight a tweek there and suddenly everything goes KAFLOOEY!    You suddenly hit a dead end, or the entire plot has taken a detour to No-wheres-ville.  When this happens to me, I get the same feelings I had whenever I tried to solve a Rubik's Cube.  I know all the parts and where I think they should go, but they're just not in the right spot.  And trying to get them in their proper place can be a nightmare some days.

Now this has happened to me on a number of occasions.  Some people tell me to have an outline, but that never works for me.  Why?  Because my characters start going in other directions by saying or doing things I hadn't originally planned.  Admittedly I let them get away with it, but only if what they're doing seems to be working better than what I originally planned.  Sometimes this works, but not always.  When it doesn't I do one of two things:  I'll delete it completely and try again OR  I'll save the scene in a separate folder on my computer.  You never know when an unused scene can be useful later in your present story, or could wind up being perfect for another book entirely.

Personally, I kind of like it when I can just delete the scene because then I get to point and laugh at my characters saying, "See?  I told you this wasn't going to work... NEENER-NEENER."   Unfortunately, I tend to do this out loud and get some really strange looks from anyone within a 30 foot radius.    It's at this point my unseen characters got to point and laugh right back at me, which is really annoying because they know I still need them and can't kill them off.  Damn, my creations can be annoying at times.

Anyway, getting back to my original point.  Writing a scene can be quite frustrating and difficult at times.  But, there are many ways   of tackling this problem:
-You might change who's in the scene, keep the ones who are most poignant and add someone else from the cast.  This can change the tension levels and the entire feel of the moment.
-Change the location where the action is happening.  Maybe the setting is the problem and you can get more out of a different location.
-Is a major piece of information about to be revealed in this scene?   If so how much of it do you really have to unveil at this moment?  Maybe you should only reveal a portion of the information.  You can whet the appetite of both the characters and the audience with this method.  By doing this your characters can go off half-cocked, which can make for some very interesting scenes as they make any number of mistakes or jump to wrong conclusions.  I personally like this because the character who isn't perfect, and learns from their mistakes, is someone the audience can really relate to sometimes.  On the other hand the characters can aware that something is still missing and we can follow their efforts to learn more which can lead to some very tense and exciting scenes as well.

So, don't be afraid to tear apart a scene that's frustrating you.   Try some really different ways of reworking it.  And if you find yourself still hitting a wall, ask yourself  if the scene is truly relevant in that particular point of the story.  Maybe it can be replaced by an entirely different scene that can serve a similar purpose.    Who knows, you may wind up with something that opens new avenues for your plot that are even more interesting than what you originally had in mind.

What other methods or tricks have you come up with?  I'm sure everyone reading this would be  interested because we're all trying learn from one another when it comes to writing.  So please leave your experiences and suggestions down in the comments section below.

And for the record,I did finally defeat the dreaded Rubik's Cube.  Mind you I did not remove the decals and change them around (which is something my wife did when she was kid).  Nor did I take the cube apart and reassemble it so the colors matched up.  What did I do?  Simple, I spray painted the entire thing silver and used it for a paperweight.  A very creative solution, don't you think?

Monday, December 2, 2013

From Now Until Christmas "The Bridge" Is Just .99 Cents...

****HOLIDAY SPECIAL****

From now until Christmas Day


The e-book version of Book 1 in my Para-Earth Series is available for all e-reader formats at Amazon and Smashwords for just $0.99 CENTS!  Within these pages you'll ecnounter psychics, spirits and an old stone bridge with a terrifying secret.  Mystery, the paranormal and a sci-fi twist similiar to the old Twilight Zone series await you. 

You can find a number of 4 and 5 star reviews can be found at both Amazon and Smashwords as well as get a sneak peak at the first few pages.  so take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the characters before book 2 comes out in February 2014. 

For the Kindle version click on this link: http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1385995458

For Nook, Apple, Sony, PDF file, and all other e-readers click on this link to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613