Thursday, June 18, 2015

About to Enter a New Realm

Hello, those of you who read my blog. I have an announcement to make about the future of this blog and what's coming next, but wanted to share with you a little tale, which some of you know about and some of you may not.

It was about 10 years ago when I started thinking about ways to expand my writing horizons. I became more interested in reading up on history and thinking more critically about issues that impacted our everyday lives. I went through a period when I was paying off debts and thus spent more time on the Internet and less time watching TV. I found that getting away from the TV opened my eyes a bit more, and allowed me to develop the critical thinking skills I had for some time, but didn't bothered to utilize.

I also rekindled my interest in superheroes. I had always been interested in them as a kid, but back in the 1980s, it was considered to be uncool to be a geek, and I wasn't always certain if I should share that interest with others. Having grown up, I've realized it's OK to share that interest (although it helps that superhero movies have been so popular as of late), and I have no problem admitting I stockpiled on DVDs related to superheroes, and gotten more into graphic novels.

Those two factors got me back into reading books more often, and realize that curling up with a good book is one of the best things you can do with your spare time. It got me to thinking that I should sit down and write a book at some point.

When I decided to dip my toes into the world of book writing, I wasn't sure where to start. I had a bunch of ideas running through my head, both fiction and nonfiction, and ultimately thought a good place to start would be something I had plenty of experience with, that being my work at The Raton Range. I had so many interesting stories I watched unfold during my time there, that I decided to start with a book about them. Hence, Small Town Sports Beat was born.

The unfortunate part, though, was just a few weeks after I self-published the book, The Raton Range ceased publication. I will be honest with you: It broke my heart and it became tough for me to deal with. When I took a job elsewhere, it was hard for me to go about promoting the book, because I was away from the area that would have the most interest in it, plus I was finding it hard to adjust to life away from Raton, particularly when I didn't land in a good job situation.

I am happy to say that I'm in a better job situation now. I hold no regrets about writing Small Town Sports Beat -- and by no means am I planning to pull it from Amazon. It will always be available to anyone who wants to purchase it, even though I'm not actively promoting it. I will say, though, that it was a good experience, because I learned a little more about what works and doesn't work with book writing. In particular, I would not have formatted my manuscript as one-and-a-half spaced, because it made the book more pages than it needed to be, and thus more expensive. The one thing I would have done differently was make it single spaced, and that would have made it fewer pages and available at a lower price while still ensuring a good profit margin.

With all that said, my plans originally had been to sit down and start figuring out what of my many ideas would make for a good fiction book. After getting out of a job that didn't work out for me, and settling down into a better one, I had the time the past few months to sit down and generate some of those ideas into a story. I completed the first draft and had a good friend critique it, then reviewed what she had to say and revamped it.

What I will share to start: I have a planned trilogy, have the draft of the first book finished but will likely fine-tune it some more, and have started work on the second book. I am also reading a book about how to get one published and what to expect, and will be looking at ways to establish a better presence on a blog that will focus more on my attempts at fiction writing. What details I share about the books will depend on how I decide to develop my promotional plans (and promoting is not one of my strong points, I'll admit it) and generate what I hope will be a good following, in hopes that it will give me more leverage when I start seeking an agent.

I can tell you that the book is going to be set in the future, aimed at young adult and science fiction readers, with my own twist on superheroes, and related to topics that are certainly a large part of conversation in today's society. I won't say more than that, other than I got inspiration from other books and TV shows I have watched for the direction to take my work.

With that in mind, I will not be posting at this specific blog any longer. I will leave it up so that people can still find my writings if they wish, and if they so happen to be spurred to learn more about the Small Town Sports Beat book. I am planning to set up a new blog through Blogspot, at which I'll talk more about topics that pertain to books that I have read, shows that I have watched, items that interest me, and general thoughts that will be designed to make people think. I have found that the best books and shows are ones that make you think about the themes, and not just look for something that entertains you. When you look at some of the top books that have been published, their themes are what make them timeless.

I will tell you that I am still going to be posting thoughts about the Denver Broncos and the NFL in general, and those will be posted at In Thin Air, which can be found at I want to contribute to that new community and help build it, and my plan is to put something up there every Wednesday night.

And before anyone asks: No, nothing is changing with my job situation. One piece of advice aspiring authors are given is to make sure you have another job. Besides, I'm just getting started with work at the Kingman Leader-Courier, I like my job, I like the people I've met, and I want to keep doing this for a few more years. The fiction writing (which will be done outside of work hours) I'm undertaking is about testing the waters to see what happens, and if it develops into something bigger, that's great. If it doesn't get bigger, I can still say I experienced it and learned what it was all about. It's something I need to find out if I can do well, because if I don't make the attempt, I'll never know. Paraphrasing Michael Jordan, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.

So in the meantime, I will establish the new blog that will allow me to talk about other things, and figure out the best way to get people interested in my fiction writing, all while I explore what options are out there. I hope to have the new blog up and running by next week, and I hope to post something there every Thursday night. For those who are interested in science fiction, superheroes, or just want to hear whatever happens to be on my mind, I'll get the link up on Facebook, Twitter, and this blog.

For everyone who has been reading here, thanks for doing so, and I hope you're ready to join me as I enter a new realm.

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