Exactly What Did I Accomplish In 2011?


Well, this is the second annual “Exactly What Did I Accomplish” post. Guess it’ll become a tradition if I remember to do it next year. So, what did I accomplish? As far as actual writing goes, I’m not sure I did too much, really. I did however make a couple of large leaps toward getting my work out there.

I spent the month of February furiously typing out the manuscript for what would become Dangerous Hunts: A Zombie Father’s Day Tale. I wrote it for a specific anthology that, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t make it into. While I’m sorry it wasn’t accepted, I’m equally excited with it. Why? Well, because… (See June’s entry.)

March was the month I found my niche, as it were. Wired.com’s GeekDad blog welcomed me into the fold, and it’s become the perfect vehicle for me to express my geekdom (31 articles!!). March was also the month I left my Professional Fanboy column at Project Fanboy. While I appreciate their helping me into the world of geek news coverage, I’ve really felt like a part of a family at GeekDad. Plus, I’ve been allowed to break several exclusives and interview some of my favorite writers and artists. One of the coolest things this year, also happened in March: David Cabrera finished the artwork for Black Dawg, my short story for Viper Comic’s Cryptophobia anthology. Maybe 2012 will finally see it published. Fingers crossed.

In June, I self-published Dangerous Hunts: A Zombie Father’s Day Tale through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and on Smashwords.com. This was my first time to publish anything, and I was on cloud nine for this 8,000-word story.

August I picked up my first paid job in the writing/publishing world. Where I had been a slush reader for Dark Quest Books, I now primarily do PR work for them. I currently have three authors under my umbrella. I learned a lot about book promotions in 2011 that I plan on building on in 2012. I’ll carry that knowledge over to my own stuff as well.

In November, I began the final edit of Forging Truth, formatting it as I went. The goal was to have it to the printer and in my hands by the end of the year.

On December 21, my 5 proof copies of Forging Truth arrived. They were beautiful. Last night, another 10 books came in, and I have those all spoken for, too. Also, last night, I put the finishing touches on the eBook for Forging Truth. As I mentioned in today’s post, I’m so excited to say it’s now available on the Kindle for $4.95 or through Amazon Prime for FREE.

All and all, it was a pretty awesome year to this guys. So, what goals do I hold for 2012?

I’d like to finish Corrupting Truth and have it ready to publish by June 30.
I’ll probably be doing a Kickstarter campaign to help out along the way, so look for that information soon.
I plan on doing a lot more PR work for my Dark Quest authors, as well as offering my services freelance. (See my Slushpimp page for more details.)
I’d like to wrap up The Coyote and the Spider to submit to Viper soon.
Lastly, I’m hoping to get in with another of Chris Wolfe’s projects, called Project Breakthrough.

Who knows what else waits in 2012? Heck, I didn’t even know most of this year’s goodness was coming.

Happy New Year!

Raymond

Summer Reading Goals


This summer, I’m going to be doing a lot of reading.  That in and of itself isn’t anything new.  But this year is apt to be a little different.  While, normally, my focus is on each month’s comics haul, this year, I have the added responsibility of slushpile reading for Dark Quest Books.  Granted, I began reading for them a year ago this month (Whoa! A whole year!), but this year I have the advantage of a portable reading device.  For an early birthday gift, I picked up an internet tablet (Coby Kyros, if you must know).  I cashed in some points from my credit cart, and so far, I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve already read parts of two different books on it for DQB.

So, if you consider those “assigned readings,” then we can set them to the side and look at my “elective reading list.”

I’m in the middle of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact series.  Plus, I have a handful of various Trek books I plan on reading should I finish those.

I just snagged a advance review copy of Dead 2 that I’ll be checking out from May December Publication.  Look for a review up here sometime this summer.

Plus, my buddy Jason Letts has some very interesting books that I’ve been meaning to check out for a long, long time.

How about you?  Care to share your summer lists?

- Ray

Mid-life Resolutions, Part 2


My mid-life resolutions strategy can best be summarized like this:

Throw enough stuff at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

  • Network:  Sure, I Twitter, and I blog, and I love the guys and gals over at Gail Simone’s You’ll All Be Sorry forum on CBR, but what about everything else?  There are literally new social media and forums popping up daily.  Why shouldn’t I be out there on them, getting to know people?  These are potential readers, potential employers, and most of all, peers.  It’s a wide-open space out there, and it couldn’t hurt to check it all out.
  • I’m currently auditioning for a slushpile readership.  Who knows if I’m a solid fit for that sort of thing?  Until the ride’s over, I can at least use the opportunity to see how the other half lives.  I have four sample query letters in my inbox as I type this.  I have to critique them and decide whether I would keep or reject them.  I should be able to take away some insight into the proper (and improper) things to include in a query letter/submission.  Also, I get to stand a little closer to the hidden publishing doorway.  My goal: to sneak in when they’re guard is down.
  • For my birthday, I’m getting Manga Studio 4 and a MousePen and tablet set.  Up until I hit puberty and came down with a bad case of the brain-haze, I could actually draw pretty well.  I even won third place in a contest, drawing Doomsday (the creature that killed Superman) when I was around thirteen.  Over time, however, my talent has mutated into something that is better left in the bottom of a storm drain.  It’s my goal, however, to practice, practice, practice on my art until I can at least produce some decent pin-ups and webcomics.
  • As you know, I have an eight-page story coming up in an anthology to be published by Incubator Press.  Since I began writing, I’ve always thought in long-form.  Novels, in other words.  Since I broke down a script into comic book format, it taught me that, hey, I’m okay with the short-form works, too.  In the past couple of months, I’ve had so many short story ideas run me over that it’ll be hard to know which one I want to start with first.  When I do get them all knocked out, you can be fairly certain they’ll be flying out of my outbox and into every inbox I can.
  • My first love will always be novels (Well, ok, besides comics).  Without a doubt, I will never be without a novel in one form or another on my hard drive.  I’m currently working on my second Truth Saga novel, the first in my Grim Wars series, and I just came up with a heck of an idea for a done-in-one thriller.  I’ll be living with these characters for years and years to come.
  • Writing for comics has always been my number one goal.  Even while I’m writing prose, I’m doing it with the hope of being noticed and breaking through that ungodly wall that cuts off the legion of comic fans who wish to be comic writers.  With many thanks to Incubator Press, I now have a spark to flame.  In time, I will start a blaze to ENGULF US ALLLLLLLL!!!!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Twirls Mustache]
  • Everyone familiar with the Kickstarter program?  This is phenomenal.  They help out creative minds that control little to no capital.  If you want to get that indy movie, comic, novel, or song made, but you just don’t have the dough to get it started, you can go to kickstarter.com and set up a project.  Then, you can direct your friends and supporters to your project, and beg and plead for their dollars in exchange for really cool rewards that you set up.  You can give away signed copies of your work, recognition, etc.  Check this out for sure.  Chances are good you’ll be seeing me up there some day soonish.
  • One other idea I’m kicking around is becoming an indy book reviewer.  If I did this, I’d start out with the books of those I know, and try to help them get known.  I just received my first novel for review today.  When I can clear off a little of the ol’ schedule, I’ll test the waters with a little bit of a review on here.  Maybe I’ll ask for yours some day.

I’m also looking into ebooks, modding for a well-published friend’s website, writing a script or two with my friend Terrance, and probably a million other things.  Plus, I have a new ingenious plan every day.  I can’t wait to look back on these upcoming thirty years and see how much of this I’ve been able to dabble in.

Do you have other ideas or opportunities that you’re excited about?  Share.  Yeah, comment away.

- Ray