Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cheese and Whine and a Pep Talk

There seems to be a case of the blues going around.  Not sure what's behind it all.  I just know that right now, I'd rather be doing anything else than working.  (As proven by how clean my house is and how my personal to-do list is growing exponentially.)

And suddenly everything on TV is a better idea than sitting here working.

And I spent yesterday morning eating EVERYTHING.  (Okay, not everything, but breakfast, lunch, lunch, dessert, snack -- all before noon was a bit much.)

And I spent yesterday afternoon getting ready for my daughter's potential visit.  In six weeks. Which we aren't even certain will happen yet.

And I've decided to paint the bathroom.  Mine. The one that I've talked about painting for the past three years.


Total motivation breakdown.  Wah.

Why, yes, I would like some cheese to go with that whine. 

So, anyway, I got to thinking last night that this is a business.  And if I look at this as a business, then I am the head honcho around here, as well as being the peon.  If I was the head honcho of a business and a peon was walking around grousing about how much work sucks and how I'd rather be doing anything else (and taking naps in the breakroom), I'd kick that peon's lily-white ass.  Or fire her. 

Since I can't fire her.  I decided to kick her in the ass.  Nobody said this would be a freakin' waltz in the wildflowers.  Nobody gives a rat's furry gray butt if I'm in a funk. Nobody's bringing presents to my personal pity party. The work's still got to get done.  Deadlines need to be met.  People are expecting me to meet the deadlines I set.  Readers are expecting me to keep my promise of having this damn book out in May. 

And the next book out in August - because I gave my word.  And the next book out this fall sometime - because I said so.

Ain't got time for no blues.  "Suck it up, buttercup," says CEO me to peon me.

Which is exactly what I started to do.  I'm edited up to page 20 as of the time I wrote this post last night.  (Which doesn't seem like much, but the way I've been feeling, it's huge.)

Oh, the bathroom will still get painted, but this book will release on time, too.  Even if the Kid will be visiting right smack in the middle of prepping for release.  Even if the house turns into a total mess.  I made a commitment.  And if I have to drag my sorry ass into this chair and sit here kvetching over every freakin' edit under my breath, than I will do so because it will mean it's getting done.

It's not over.  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!

Now, who's with me?  Let's Gooooooooooooo!

And if I fall off the wagon, feel free to poke me in the ass.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Accidental Death is Free!

Happy Good Friday!  Or Happy Spring Solstice!  Or just happy End of the Week!  However you want to celebrate.  In honor of the day, Accidental Death is free today and tomorrow.  If you haven't snagged a copy, go forth and do so.  Spend some time with Dennis Haggarty as he tries to figure out why so many people in such a small town are dropping like flies.

Detective Dennis Haggarty arrives in Serenity, CO to attend a funeral, not investigate homicides. But finding a corpse on the mortuary lawn wasn’t in his plans either. The townsfolk may be willing to ignore the facts, but Dennis can’t avoid doing his job—especially after his instincts tell him it’s murder.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon AU

It's free in other countries, too, but I didn't want to overload the page with links.  I hope you'll look for it in whatever Amazon country you're in.  =o)

Enjoy!  And if you'd like to leave a review, that'd be awesome.  Thanks!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, I noticed someone saying that no matter how interesting a person sounds, they won't 'follow back' if the person isn't engaging with their followers.  I took that to mean doing things like having conversations in tweet form.



Totally not good at that.  Hell, I'm not good at starting conversations with the people I follow on Twitter, let alone engaging in witty repartee.  Sometimes, with friends, I can achieve something like that.  Banter.  Chat.  Whatever. 

I can do that in person.  Sometimes.  Occasionally, 'hey, can I help you reach that?' at the Walmart (because I'm tall and they aren't, or they're old and I'm not) turns into fifteen minutes of conversation.  Yes, I can turn an offer of aid into a conversation if I encounter the right person. 

I can do that via email. 

I haven't yet found a way to do that on Twitter.  I'm wordy, for one.  Trying to encapsulate everything I want to say in a 140 character blurb is exhausting.  And I detest longer tweets that are broken into segments (pt 1 of 3? Do they have a program for that?) because I have a tough enough time following a tweet thread without having to piece together a sentence from disconnected parts. 

I do enjoy chat.  Facebook chat.  Gmail chat.  The problem with that is when someone wants to chat and damned if I don't have something else I have to do right when they want to chat.  I'd chat all day, if I could.  Heh, that's pretty much how I managed to bomb my last year of college - too much time chatting on the mainframe.

Another part of the problem with all the socialization stuff is that I don't want to be a bother.  Or sound stupid.  Or be weird.  If I don't know you that well, I'm less inclined to take the risk of coming off like a total freak.  If I know you well, you already know how much of a freak I can be, and you're either okay with that or not.  LOL

Anyway, I guess whoever that was on Twitter won't be following me back.  And I'm okay with that.  I am who I am.  If you're out there and want to engage with me, I'll engage right back, but don't expect me to start the ball rolling. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be sitting over here against the wall, watching the world go by. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

IN DEEP WISH - Snippet

As I promised on Wednesday, here's the first chapter of In Deep Wish.  I hope you enjoy it.  If you'd like to read the whole thing, it's available at the following etailers:

Barnes & Noble


Zeke’s place resembled a war zone.
The once-lovely mansion could now easily be mistaken for a piece of abstract art. Entire portions had been wished out of existence. I expected the remainder to topple over at any moment. Bits of the debris still smoldered, sending tendrils of gray into the morning light.
Is that gas I smell?
I hadn’t seen or heard from my former lover since the night we saved my corner of genie-dom and, in the process, turned my home into a melted mess. Zeke should’ve at least texted me to come retrieve the bitch who used to be my best friend. Frankly, I’d been relieved to not have to deal with that particular problem, especially since I’d been the one to turn Mena into a dog. Then concern took over and sent me driving to Zeke’s place to check on the man and the pooch.
Only to pull into the driveway of Casa Salvador Dali. All the place needed was a few oozing clocks scattered around.
All of the damage might explain Zeke’s lengthy silence. Or it would’ve, if I hadn’t realized the mayhem couldn’t have been more than a couple hours old.
“Josephine Eugenia Mayweather.” The right proper Basil Hadresham said through the headset pumping sound into my ear. “Love? Are you alright or do I need to send in the troops?”
I’d been discussing my dual antiques business, genie rescue operation with my friend and business partner when I pulled up to the jigsaw mansion. After that, coherent thought left me, and I left Baz hanging on the line. His use of my full name meant it hadn’t been the first time he tried to regain my attention.
“What? Yeah, I’m still here. The problem is Zeke’s not.” I think. I hoped he wasn’t inside somewhere stiff as a door and deader than the knob.
I sniffed the breeze coming off the ruined structure. Zeke’s scent permeated the air—as it should. Nothing in that odor led me to believe his corpse lay inside. And none of it smelled recent enough to lead me to believe he was still on-site.
“I expect he’s at the office. It is the middle of a workday, after all, and a company the size of B.A. Security doesn’t run itself.”
I suspected that the respectable Ezekiel ben Aron, Zeke for short, would ensure his multi-million dollar security firm did, in fact, run quite well without him. But that wasn’t the point. After I described the scene in concise but graphic detail, Basil agreed.
“Any sign of his staff?”
Well, shit. I hadn’t even given a first thought to Hans and Frank—Zeke’s man-mountain bodyguards. Or the cute, little assistant he had whose name escaped me. Or the other genies that had to work inside such a large domicile. Some rescuer of the downtrodden and endangered djinn I turned out to be.
Stepping from my car, I stretched out my senses to locate any signs of life. The only heartbeat larger than a squirrel’s was located somewhere behind the house. I assumed it was Mena’s, and that she was alive and well, unless one of the neighborhood cougars had dropped in for a bite. In the foothills of the Rockies, it could’ve been possible.
I whistled sharply. And was rewarded with my business partner shouting in my ear.
“Oy, love, cut that out! I’d prefer not to have to waste a wish healing my hearing, if you don’t mind.”
“Sorry. I was checking to see if Mena’s tied up behind the house.”
“I doubt that she’d answer. She’s got to still be brassed off at you for transforming her into a dog, I’d think.”
As if I needed him to remind me. It still ached that I lost her to the Efreet menace. When she joined them of her own free will, she left me no choice. I had to turn my best friend into man’s best friend.
I covered the microphone and whistled again. Not a yip in response.
“Enjoying your exercise in futility, love?” he asked when I got back on the line. I ended the call and stifled his British wit. I love my smartass, limey friend, but I was in no mood. He could stew in his curiosity until I figured this out. Which meant talking to the pooch who hated me.
But first things first.
Dipping into my limited well of power, I sent a blast of wish over the dwelling. In no time, all the smoldering parts were extinguished. I shored up the parts that were missing, but they’d have to remain absent. Without blueprints or a diagram, only Zeke knew what was supposed to be where.
With that little task accomplished, I sucked up my trepidation and headed toward the last known location of the ‘mega squirrel’. Zeke had been kind enough to put a fence around a large area of the backyard. Part of me hoped he’d added insult to transformation and left her chained to a little, white doghouse. She’d be easier to find that way, and it might knock some of the holier-than-thou attitude out of her.
As if a change in her behavior now would actually make her a better person. Renouncing the Rules genies have to live by, and becoming an Efreet, was the opposite of what a better person would do, in my opinion. Kind of akin to making Mother Teresa a saint because she mowed down orphans with an Uzi instead of caring for them.
“Mena! Come!”
Silence. I had expected a bitchy bark at least. Or maybe a hip-hip-hooray for the mess Zeke’s place was in. Perhaps a bit of rampant gloating. But no.
I opened the gate and stepped through to the backyard. I didn’t see a doghouse, only gorgeous landscaping to go along with the high-end property. Stretching out my enhanced olfactory sense again, I caught pooch-scented wind coming from underneath the deck. As if she could hide from me.
“Don’t make me come in after you.”
Still no movement. I would’ve been afraid for her welfare, except I could detect Mena’s signature haughtiness. The bitch wasn’t coming out of her own free will, probably to show me how much she detested me. Well, if that was how she wanted to play the game, I’d play it. A simple wish landed a whippet-like creature at my feet.
“Don’t hurt me,” she whimpered. Maybe she was pulling the same ‘hurt puppy’ act she’d played when I tried before to coax information out of her. Could be she was remembering how I had to kick her skinny butt and threaten her with transformation to a less cuddly, more slithery creature. If she remembered anything from that day, she wouldn’t play games. I got me the information I wanted last time and I would get it again.
“Tell me what happened here.”
She stuck her shiny, black nose in the air the way she would’ve when it was pert and light brown and human. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, come off it. You’re not that stupid and neither am I. Up until a minute ago, the damn place was smoking. You know exactly what I’m talking about and you’re going to pony up with the information. Unless you want to spend the next few decades as a garter snake.” She shuddered, most likely remembering the last stream of threats I’d thrown at her. I used to think Mena didn’t fear anything more than being around snakes, until I presented her with the idea of becoming one. Talk about motivation.
Lifting one thin shoulder, she said, “Fine. But I don’t know much. Zeke threw me outside when he got back from an errand. Something about the mess I left on his Persian rug.” Her lips spread into a doggy-grin. “When you force someone to become an animal, you shouldn’t be surprised when they act like one.”
“That’s just nasty.”
“That’s the life you chose for me.”
For a moment, guilt washed over me. Then I remembered this bitch was my former psychologist. She had all the tools at hand to burrow under my skin. After all, I’d given them to her. I couldn’t allow her to use them against me now.
“Oh, no you don’t,” I said, wagging my finger at her. “You were the one who made the choices. I simply reacted to them.”
Unabashed, she said, “The scuttlebutt around here is that you did worse to Amun. Turning him into a book? How cruel can you be?”
I thought about the bastard in question. He was the first Efreet I’d ever seen, and the first that had shown up in so long that the majority of djinn were sure they’d wiped the beings out. If Amun hadn’t decided to spend his time killing genies, I still wouldn’t know what an Efreet was. Now, he was spending some quality time on the shelf in my library. I hoped he was thinking about what he’d done. More probable, he spent his free time plotting my demise. And he had boatloads of free time.
“Amun made his choices, too. Now you can either choose to tell me what you know about this mess, or you can join him on a shelf. I’m thinking somewhere between Somerset Maugham and James Michener. I don’t care what your choice is anymore.” I dipped into my power reserves. They weren’t nearly full enough to change anyone into anything. But Mena didn’t need to know that. Since her current incarnation wasn’t imbued with any genie attributes besides immortality, she wouldn’t be able to sense my dwindled energy on her own.
I let myself glow a little so she could see me powering up.
“Whatever. I’ll tell you what little I heard from back here.” She lifted one paw and rubbed at her ear like a cat. “Some people showed up in a black SUV. The kind with the tinted security windows, so I couldn’t really see who was inside. I got a vague impression of four or five bodies wearing dark suits and dark glasses. Glorified extras from that Will Smith movie. But I don’t think they were government agents.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Djinn? Or something worse?”
She shrugged again. “I couldn’t tell from here. I know I didn’t recognize their voices or their scents, so if they were genies, I’d never met them. Two, maybe three, males got out and headed for the front door. One of them wore too much cologne and another one didn’t have more than a passing acquaintance with personal hygiene. I thought I might’ve caught a third scent, which is why I thought maybe three, but I couldn’t be sure.”
“Okay, a few well-dressed men showed up at Zeke’s door. Not too unusual. And then?”
“I assume they went inside. After a little while, things started to get really interesting. Part of the place blew up. Other parts disappeared. That went on for quite a while, then nothing. After a bit, I heard car doors slamming and the SUV driving away. I don’t know for sure because I was under the porch by then.” She licked her nose and stared at me.
“That’s it?”
“I did hear someone else in the house after they left, but I don’t know who it was. They shuffled around in there, threw some power for a couple minutes, and then they left, too.”
“They were too quiet for that. Teleported is my guess. It’s been a snooze-fest since then. Well, until you got here.”
“What about you? Why didn’t they come after you?”
“Who the hell knows? No one but your friends knew Zeke had a dog? They didn’t think to look back here? Not that they would’ve found me, if they had searched. Once shit hit the fan, I hid.”
“Under the wooden deck. Smart move if the house had burned down.”
“I wasn’t too worried. I got the short end of the stick here, but at least you gave me a form that could outrun flames. If you’d made me like Amun, I would’ve burned alive.”
I didn’t want to think about how literal a statement that would be. Transformed or not, genies can’t be killed by fire. Hell, I didn’t think genies could be killed at all until Amun proved differently. Apparently they can be killed with an ungrantable wish—the unreleased power of it building inside them until they explode into a million bits of energy. They can also be wished dead by their Masters. Light them on fire and all they do is burn. And hurt.
“So basically, you don’t have any useful information and you can’t help me?” I gazed at the dog, wanting to kick her a little for old time’s sake. I’d wasted too much time cajoling her and listening to her while Zeke was somewhere getting into who knew what kind of trouble.
“You’re smarter than I gave you credit for,” she said, grinning as though someone had rubbed her ears.
Ignoring her dig, I considered my options. They were few and far between. “Any idea what happened to Zeke’s staff?”
“Zeke’s staff? You mean a big pole or something?”
She really was cruising for a swift kick. “The people who work for him. Hans, Frank, that gal.”
“No clue. I didn’t see the big boys leave and I haven’t seen the girl since the day you ruined my life.” Suddenly, her back leg started kicking at her like it had a will of its own. “Ah, that’s good.”
“Mena. Focus. The people who work for Zeke?”
“Maybe they’re inside, transformed into inanimate objects by the guys who nabbed Zeke. Perhaps they’re dead.”
“They aren’t dead.”
“A gal can hope.”
Conjuring a rolled-up newspaper, I whacked her once on the nose. “Bad dog.”
With her attitude, she’d never be allowed the chance to be anything else either. Not like my old dog who’d been one of the transformed Efreet from fifteen decades past, but who’d reformed into someone I now called friend.
Speaking of which, I needed to touch base with Basil when I returned home. Someone had better be close to finding my dog… err, the transformed genie… or heads were going to roll. Perhaps literally. Depending on how pissed I was after this encounter with Mena.
I still felt the need to call home. This situation was frustrating as hell. But I didn’t have any more information for Baz than I had before. He couldn’t help me find Zeke anyway. Too much to do back at the warehouse, keeping our many endeavors running smoothly. He really should give himself a raise.
If anyone was going to locate my ex-lover, it would have to be me. Except I wasn’t sure how to begin. My job was rescuing djinn after someone else had already located them. I never had to sniff them out myself.
“Want a hint?” Mena said in her particularly superior tone.
Part of me wanted to wish her to sleep so I could think. Another part remembered how helpful she’d been before she went to the dark side. Her job as my in-house psychologist had made her invaluable, which is partly how she had screwed me so royally. If I could tap into the helpful aspect of her personality, without encountering the asshole aspect, she might move this search along. If she didn’t simply use my need as a means to mess with me.
“Okay. What’s the hint?”
“Scratch my belly first.” She laid in the grass and rolled onto her back. “You wouldn’t believe how much being a dog itches. How any of them can stand being covered in hair is beyond me.”
My jaw dropped. “We don’t have time—”
“I’m not talking until you start scratching. You’re the one holding up the process now.”
I would’ve assumed, after all the years we’d been friends, that wriggling on the ground while I rubbed her stomach would amount to the most humiliating experience ever. But when I dragged my nails through her fur, she groaned in doggy ecstasy. As if the whole thing wasn’t weird enough.
“Alright,” I said. “Out with it.”
“Not yet. Oh, gods, yes. Keep scratching. Yeah, right there.” When her back leg started to kick, I reached my limit of providing poochie-pleasure. “Don’t stop now. This is almost better than sex.”
“That’s why I’m stopping.”
She rolled onto her belly and did her Sphinx imitation. As long as she didn’t start talking in riddles, I didn’t care. “Amun followed you halfway across the world, right?”
“Right, but how did you…?” I remembered a conversation I’d had with Major, my dog who would be djinn again. He told me people say a lot around dogs because they assume their words will never be repeated. I’d never talk openly around a pooch again. “Never mind.”
“From what I heard, a certain would-be lawyer followed him while he was following you.” She sniggered. “I also heard Amun changed him back into a genie. That’ll teach him to try and go human.”
“Get on with it, Mena. You were about to make a point?”
“Fine. But let me tell you, the thought of Amun ruining Michael’s bid for humanity is about the only thing that’s made me smile for weeks now.”
I raised one booted-foot as if I was about to kick her. It wouldn’t be the first time, but I really didn’t want to have to follow through.
“Wait. Think about it. How did Michael follow Amun?”
Now it was my turn to shrug.
“Stavros really should be horse-whipped if you ever catch up to him.”
Her thoughts on my original Master, the genie who stole my humanity and made me the slave, didn’t cool my temper at all. Too bad Mena was right. He’d left out too many details during my training on how to be a genie. Now, ninety-plus years later, I was paying for my ignorance.
“Stavros being an ass is a given. What’s that got to do with anything now?”
A sound like a burp emanated from her. She was scoffing at me. “You can follow a genie if you get a bead on his power signature. That’s probably why they removed Zeke by mortal means. So you’d have a hard time following. Duh.”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “How is this helping?”
“You really are dense sometimes, Jo. You knew enough to ask about Zeke’s goons. Chances are if they were here and then they left suddenly, they were either following the car Zeke was in, or they picked up on Zeke’s trail. Find their signatures and you can follow them. All you need is a good whiff of their power to track them anywhere.”
Great. She’s the dog and I’m the one playing bloodhound. Lucky I know where to pick up the scent.
Walking into the house was a breeze, but it shouldn’t have been. Despite the missing chunks, I expected Zeke’s security to be intact. After all, Ezekiel ben Aron was the founder and CEO of the largest security firm west of the Mississippi. If anyone could design a system to withstand a djinn battle, it was him. Which was another reason why this scene smelled funny.
If Zeke’s alarm systems, both the human kind and the genie kind, were down, then he had to know the people who’d come to the door. He had to have invited them inside. The thought of him letting strange men in CIA attire waltz into his home stank like last week’s hummus. But there it was. Empty house. Full of valuables and practically screaming for a catburglar like my father. And not a single thing to stop even the lamest pickpocket.
Regardless of the damage, I would’ve known by that fact alone something was wrong. Zeke would never leave his place that way. Hell, he knew if I ever caught him with his security panties down, I would harass him to no end.
This was some kind of signal. Or at least I hoped it was.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

IN DEEP WISH is Out in the World

Yesterday was release day for In Deep Wish.  It went pretty well.  I had the most pre-orders out of any of my five books, so I'm happy with that.  Opening day sales got my book a rank of 135,000 out of all books.  I won't go into the specific genre categories.  Suffice it to say, urban fantasy is a full genre out there in Amazon land.  Getting into the top 100 there would take an act of APUG (All Powerful Uber-God*) and he's got better things to do.

The jury's still out on expanded distribution sales.  Apparently, there's a delay there somewhere because I know at least a couple people who bought - one from B&N and another from Kobo - but I haven't seen that yet.  Today maybe. D2D finally updated, so those sales are now official.  Yay.

Anyway, here are the links:

Barnes & Noble

Thanks to everyone who made release day awesome by buying a copy, tweeting about the release, posting about it, blogging about it, etc.  It was really cool.  :hugs:

If you're still not reading the Once Upon a Djinn series, that's okay.  If you want to start, Wish in One Hand is still 99 cents at the major e-tailers. 

Amazon (Amazon UK, Amazon CAN),
Barnes & Noble 

I think that Friday, I'll post the first chapter of In Deep Wish here, to give y'all a taste of what's going on all up in there.  ;o)  

*This is a reference to something said in In Deep Wish.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Once Upon a Djinn - The Facebook Page

So, I mentioned on Monday that I have a new page for my Once Upon a Djinn series.  It's totally new and I have two followers at the moment.  :waves:

My vision for this page is to use it to interact with fans of the series, provide some fun links to things related to the series, use it to announce new stuff and upcoming stuff, etc. 

There will be antiques posts - because, if you haven't read the first genie book yet, the main character owns Mayweather Antiquities - an antiques business and auction house.  She sells the things her genie friends and no longer want or need, and she uses the fundage to keep her real business of genie rescue and rehabilitation up and running.  (Wishing up money upsets the global financial balance, don't ya know.) 

There will be posts about things supernatural - including, I hope, links to paranormal book releases, reviews, etc.

I plan to share links about people who may or may not BE genies or OWN genies - you know, the extremely lucky, the weirdly successful, and the strangely beautiful and.or ageless.  (I think Dick Clark was a genie... is a genie... who couldn't keep up the human act any longer as Dick Clark. His appearance and name are probably altered now and he's working in some other occupation.)

If you have any ideas about what might be cool there, let me know.  If you have any suggestions for genie sightings or interesting antiques that might be appropriate for a Mayweather Auction, shoot me an email at be.sanderson.writer at  Or Facebook message me.  (Talk to me first, though.  I won't open links from total strangers because, well, viruses.)

If you are not on FB, that's okay.  You can still read the page.  You'll still see all the news and posts. You can still interact with me about it.  You just can't interact with me THERE.  No biggie.  And don't worry.  News and updates about my genie books will still be posted here and in my newsletter. 

I want this to be fun.  I'll try to remember to post there often, so you don't get bored.  I hope you'll stop by.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Taking Advice... Or Not.

The common wisdom in the unpublished world is this: You don't write the sequel until you've sold the first book.  Or gotten an agent for the first book.  Or something.  I've forgotten what their wisdom is.  Probably because I thumbed my nose at it.

Let's hop into the wayback machine. A few years ago, I was hip deep in something or other come November, so I couldn't participate in NaNoWriMo.  A friend of mine was in the same boat.  We both wanted to do the 50K word dash, but November was right out.  So we made a deal.  We'd do something in December instead.  I called it HoHoNoWriMo.  (I searched my archives.  This happened in 2012.)

What I wrote in December of 2012 was called Djinn II.  And it's the book I loaded for pre-order on Friday of last week - In Deep Wish.

Throwing all caution to the winds - and because I really wanted to - I wrote Djinn3 in the Spring of 2014.  About 4 months before I made the decision to begin my self-publishing journey.

Why am I bringing any of this up?  Well, partly because I think if you're out there and laboring under all the dos and don'ts of publishing advice you might want to think about doing it your own way.  And partly because having all these books written at least in first draft stage has made it immensely easier to get them out there in the world now that I've made the leap into doing this myself.

I guess my point is that if you believe in your story... really believe... don't let anyone's helpful advice stop you from moving ahead.  Sure, write some other stuff while you're waiting.  In between Book 2 and Book 3, write a different story.  Query that, if you're still trying for the traditional route.  But keep going.  You never know when you might decide to say 'screw that shit, I'll do it myself', and then you might need those other sequels to be ready in short order.  Jus' sayin'.

Anyway, In Deep Wish will hit ereaders everywhere on March 15th.  Up Wish Creek is set for sometime in August.  And I need to get cranking on Books 4 & 5 so I can release those next year, maybe.  Time and budget considerations allowing.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Oh, and if you're on Facebook, I created a new Page over the weekend for the Once Upon a Djinn series.  The link will take you there.  I'll talk more about my vision for that on Wednesday.

See ya then!

Friday, March 4, 2016

In Deep Wish is LIVE

Well, live for pre-order anyway.

The conspiracy to devastate Jo Mayweather’s life is growing like blue fuzz on last month’s leftovers. Her ex-lover, Zeke, is missing. Her friends are under attack. Her livelihood is in jeopardy. But whoever’s behind the turmoil doesn’t realize they’re messing with the wrong genie. Jo will do whatever it takes to blow their plans apart, recruiting the help of old friends and new allies. She’ll even enlist the aid of some crazy gods if she has to. Anything to stop these bastards from their ultimate goals—her death and the enslavement all of djinn-kind.

Barnes & Noble (link coming soon)

The book's official release date is March 15th.  If you pre-order now, you'll have the book delivered to your ereader by the time you get up in the morning.  (I think. Your mileage may vary depending on your outlet of choice and your sleeping habits.)

If you'd like to read Wish in One Hand to get ready for In Deep Wish, it's currently available for 99 cents at all the places listed above.  (Links available here - at the bottom of the page.)


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Simple Book Formatting - Part Two

Okay, so yesterday I talked about book formatting.  And I said it was 'simple'.  Afterwards, it occurred to me that what I find simple might not be simple for everyone.  If you're now flipping me the bird because none of it was as simple as I alluded to, I apologize.

Now, for today.  The snazzier and slightly less simple stuff.

So, you've got your manuscript formatting done up to the point where we left off yesterday.  Now, you've got a readable manuscript that isn't quite as attractive as you'd like.

First up, the title page.  Go to the top of your manuscript - where you probably already have something like...

In Deep Wish
Chapter One
 But you want it to look like...

In Deep Wish
by B.E. Sanderson

Most of that stuff just a matter of font style and font size for me.  I tried setting that as a TITLE in the styles section, but it kept putting weird crap in, so I cut out the middle man.  Simple.  So you do that, and then you put a Page Break after your name. 

On the new next page, you put your copyright info, your acknowledgements, and any other info you want your reader to see RIGHT NOW.  Not too much stuff up here.  Readers don't want to wade through pages of stuff to get to the meat of the story.  IDW has the copyright verbiage, the bit about it being a work of fiction and any resemblance yada yada yada, info about the editor and artist, the acknowledgements, and a new short note about the series - in case people want to read Wish in One Hand first, there's a link to my blog page. 

(NOTE: If you plan on wide distribution, do NOT put links to sales sites anywhere in your book. It's rude to the other sites. I put links either to my blog or to the Goodreads pages for the book.)

Anyway, the above shouldn't be more than about a page worth of information.  Like I said, we don't want readers to have to wait too long to get to the story they paid for.  After all the info, insert a Page Break.  THEN insert a 'Section Break'.  "WTF are those?"  They help Word and other programs to understand that you have a top section with your title and another section with your book - and formatting might be different for each of those.  (This is especially helpful for Print formatting - otherwise your page numbers will be all farqued up.) 

(NOTE: I forgot to tell you yesterday - Ditch all Page Numbering.  Ereaders don't like them and they could make your book squonky.)

To insert a Section Break, go to the Page Layout tab. In the Page Setup section, you'll see a place for Breaks.  Click that. It'll bring up a drop-down list with different options for Page Breaks and... Voila! Section Breaks.  Pick the 'Next Page' option.  You might have to play with it a little if it inserts a blank page where you don't want one. There's a way to do it more easily than hit or miss that I'm too ignorant to explain this morning.  Something about the doohickey that shows paragraph marks and hard enters and page breaks.  If you know where that is, you're golden. 

Now, you should have a title page and copyright page that looks pretty professional.  Time to drop down to the bottom.  After THE END, do the Page Break and Section Break thing again.  On the first blank page, put your About the Author verbiage.  I put a paragraph or two about me (bleh) and links to my blogs, FB page, Twitter account, and my email for contact.  Then I put a line in for 'if you liked this, please review it at your favorite retailer or Goodreads.' 

When you're finished with that, Page Break again, and put your 'Other Books By' stuff or series stuff or special reader note stuff. 

THEN the last thing in your book should be the Table of Contents.  Readers don't need to access that themselves - their ereaders do it for them and it's a standard Jump To point on a Kindle if you've set up your bookmarks properly like we discussed yesterday.

Now, find all your scene breaks.  Some people use *** or ### or whatever.  Here's where you can get a little creative.  Not really creative, mind you.  Because this is often the place where your snazzy formatting meets with Amazon's not-so-snazzy formatter and they clash.  Amazon always wins.  I keep it simple to avoid all that.  Play with Symbols on your computer.  ~^~^~^~ or !!!!! or whatever.  As long as it's obvious to the reader that the scene is breaking, it's kosher. 

I've heard you can put graphics in these places, but that adds to the file size and can make the formatting freak out, and who needs that headache? 

In yesterday's comments, Silver brought up something we all should note - spacing.  If you're like me and double space between sentences, cut that shit out.  LOL.  Seriously, though, you can keep doing it IF you remember to change all the double spaces to single spaces during the formatting stage.  It's outmoded and antiquated and readers don't like it anymore.  I've just been doing it so long, I can't stop.  (And I still like how it looks.  So there.)  Go into Find/Replace/Go To. (ALT - E - F - click the Replace tab.) In the Find What box, put a double space.  In the Replace With box, put a single space. Click Replace All.  Easier than retraining yourself to single space.  Know what I mean?  Even if you're not a habitual double-spacer like me, you should probably do this step because you never know when a pesky double space will sneak in.  Insidious little buggers. 

Okay, that should be it.  Anything I've forgotten?  Any questions or comments?  Fire away.