Category Archives: Writing

Smashwords epublishing: turning The Nordic Historian into a published ebook

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Yes, I did it again.

I threw in the towel in my search for a literary agent.  As with Witness Tampering, I have decided to upload The Nordic Historian: Battle of the Celts into an ebook for sale.

I utilized Smashwords for the complete publishing this time. I set the price for $.99 for all retailers.  Once you use Smashwords’ styling guide (a good hour or three of investment) you have a document which should convert to any ebook format for any retailer. Smashwords makes the entire process easy and they even give you a Smashwords specific ISBN.

Click here for my Smashwords’ page for The Nordic Historian.

Click here for my Smashwords’ page for Witness Tampering.

To see my last post on The Battle of the Celts, the first in The Nordic Historian series, click here.

Let me know what you think!


The Nordic Historian: Battle of the Celts is completed. Time for the next round of agent queries

My 6th book (3rd novel) is finally completed.  I have the “book jacket” query attempt below, so let me know what you think?   Does it grab your attention? Would you want to see a few pages of the book?

My last post (I know…I don’t put many on here lately) talked about my decision to throw in the towel with Witness Tampering and go to the self-published ebook route.  Sales have not been great because nobody can find it on the websites. I’m pretty sure everybody who has bought a copy so far has got it from my direct marketing.  Oh well, it still is fun to have a book out there.

With that said, this new book is in a more sought after genre and my  hopes are my attempts at getting a agent to pick it up are increased.  I’ll keep you posted (pun intended).  Check out the first part of my query below: 

“Throughout history, power struggles between secret, sorcerer tribes have controlled the rise and fall of world civilizations. Warrior sorcerers, aided by Manipulators, Spanare, and Betrayers, infiltrate society and dictate the fate of nations and empires. 

Only rarely in a century does a tribe discover the most powerful type of sorcerer—a Historian, who can unlock the secrets inside of the tribe’s artifact, the ultimate source of their power. After a hundred years of searching, the Nordic tribe stumbles upon their young Historian with college sophomore, Adam Dietrich. The Celtic tribe, an age old enemy of the Nordics, also learns of his existence, and dispatches two Warriors to murder him and thus prevent the Nordic rise of power. The Celts, experts in controlling nature, attack by morphing blades of grass into flying, edged weapons, and Adam barely escapes with the aid of the Nordic Warrior, Gorin. Gorin then introduces Adam to the underground Nordic city, and reveals the Nordic quest for world peace. At the same time, Nuline, a young Celtic Historian, wrestles with her deadly powers and her tribe’s thirst for unending, brutal war. Her fear turns into rage when she learns Adam is behind the death of her lover, a Celtic Betrayer. Meanwhile, Adam is haunted by visions of past Historians, yet nothing is revealing the location of the Stein—his tribe’s artifact. Time is running out when Adam leads his new friends into a trap, and comes face to face with Nuline and her Celtic Warriors.”

Mystery fiction book “Witness Tampering” for sale as ebook

After 14 months and over 100 query letters emailed out to potential literary agents, I now know breaking into the literary world is harder than I ever imagined.

Yes I realize it could be because my book is not well written, or  the genre is oversaturated, or  I do not have enough “creds” to get attention from literary agents. Whatever the reason, it is clear my book is not getting published anytime soon if I continue the traditional approach.

My first response to this was to rewrite the book yet again to make it better. Check.

My next response was to improve my query letter. Check.

Following that, I began to write a new book, this one is using my old history book I had written and is turning it into a fantasy book (stay tuned for more on that). Check.

Finally, I opted to go with self-publishing the book and selling it as cheap as possible on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for use on the Nook and Kindle. Check.

Below is a description of the book, followed by links to get your very own copy.  And yes, make sure you let me know what you think. I haven’t had anybody guess the ending yet!

“Detective Carl Krieger excelled in his ability to solve even the most serious sexual assault; that was until somebody brutally stabbed one of his victim’s pastors and began to violently terrorize those closest to Krieger.

Most police officers would hate to have a position in the Family Services Team—investigating sexual assaults, child abuse, and domestic violence. However, Krieger enjoyed the challenges that came with those cases, and he readily took on an investigation against William Harper, the host of a conservative radio talk show suspected of sexually abusing a thirteen year old girl. When a mysterious car starts to tail the Grand Rapids detective, he wonders if a satanic cult is to blame. But after a victim disappears and a pastor is murdered, he becomes convinced that William Harper is behind it all. Soon the hired murderer snipes Krieger, stabs his best friend, and eventually even goes after Krieger’s wife. He turns to his partners for help, only to discover that they don’t believe him and that he is on his own. With suspects and betrayal around every corner, he will be pushed to the edge—risking his marriage, his career, and his life.”

CLICK HERE to order a copy for your Kindle

CLICK HERE to order a copy for your Nook

CLICK HERE to order it in most other formats

Don’t “info dump” in your novel

In my last post, I talked about something totally not related to painting. I talked about how I was trying to get a fictional book published and how I made the first hurdle of having a literary agent interested in the book.

They read the first 10 pages and wanted more, so I sent them the requeated 40 more pages and a synopis.  Well…well, they passed on the book. I know. That sucked.

The silver lining here is that I got great feedback from the literary agent. Kudos to the Talcott Notch literary agency for taking the time out to give me some advice. Especially thanks to Kelly the intern. She said something along the lines of how I “overused extraneous details which greatly interfered (or slowed) the pace of the book.”

What the hell does that mean?

Well that was the question I had anyways. I emailed an actual  professional author I know, Kristina Riggle. If you have not read any of her books yet, you have to.  She is awesome. Anyway, she knew exactly what Kelly was saying.

It is called “info dumping.”

Basically it is when amateurs like me have to fulfill our desires to show the reader what the main scenes and characters are like early on. I mean, they just have to know what the hallway in the police department looks like and how tall the main character is, right?

Take the professionals’ advice…don’t do it. Don’t “info dump!” Hell, don’t even describe people that well. Let their dialog and actions describe them. Don’t give all those only-interesting-to-only-you facts about the city or the company you are writing about.

Don’t use all 5 senses to describe a room. Kristina used the example of decribing a newsroom by the sound of the presses and the smell of the ink. That is it. No more info needed.

Unless you are writing literary fiction, don’t do it! I think my problem is that I had been reading books off a list of the top 100 books of all time. Guess what – they are literary fiction. Guess what my book is – NOT literary fiction. I wrote a crime fiction book. You know…plot oriented.

If you are writing anything that is other than literary fiction, do youself a favor and do not “info dump.” Actually I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t “info dump” in a literary fiction book either. 🙂

Believe me, you would hate to go from the up of an interested literary agent to the down of be “passed” over because of it.

Good luck to any of you who are writing or painting or doing anything that is a gift to do. We are truly blessed!