Archive for the ‘My Work’ Category

28
Aug

I Wrote a Poem Today

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: , , ,

Stopping

Why do I fear the summer sky?
Childhood sweethearts, laying down on the trampoline in her back yard, did not.
That boy Moses walked the moist Georgia grass and removed shoes,
drifted beside an angel and embraced the wispy white.

All this heaven, present, majestic.
Natural, God-lit, Sunday’s best.
To gaze and rest my eyes,
to fly.
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This is a copy of my latest column for GraspingForTheWind.com:

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Twelve days ago, I published my first work of fiction to Amazon and Smashwords. It’s called The Black God’s War: A Novella Introducing a New Epic Fantasy, and it serves as an introduction to my novel with the same title (The Black God’s War). Here’s how and why I dipped my toes into the indie waters.

The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III

Getting a Word document ready for Kindle and Smashwords took a little effort over the course of a day, but after you’ve done it, you realize how easy the process is. The free Smashwords Style Guide leads you through the process, and their guide works for Amazon as well as Smashwords. Once you’re in Smashwords, you can automatically get your ebook into BN.com, the iBookstore, Kobo, and Sony.

Some of the main things you have to do are the following: create universal paragraph indentation (you cannot use the TAB key and you have to delete all tabs); insert page breaks between chapters; single space the text with a common font (12-pt Times New Roman, for example); insert graphics directly in Word; and add a copyright page at the front. You’re ready to upload. It’s easy.

I uploaded my document, book cover, and book description on a Monday morning, and by the early a.m. on Wednesday it was available for sale on Amazon. Total cost to me: $0.00.

Why?

I’ll admit to being confused about the best way to approach publishing today. The world of Publishing is changing fast and there’s a new wave of indie writers extolling the virtues of 70% ebook royalties on Amazon, full control, and no delays. So I’m testing the waters as an experiment. In an average scenario, you can get free exposure and reach some new fans, read more reactions to your work, and make a little money (some indie writers even make a lot).

So far, my book has been read by a modest number of people, and already there’s at least one review on GoodReads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, a review blog, and Smashwords. The reviews have been encouraging, and it’s nice to hear from people that don’t know you that you aren’t crazy (always a possibility). I even got an unexpected email from an American in China who said he’s now “a fan,” and someone I don’t know on KindleBoards called it a “very good read.” Lastly, I had an excuse to be interviewed by the Kindle Author blog.

At this stage in the game, those little things are nice rewards. Additionally, I’ve used the coupon feature on Smashwords to give away free copies of my novella, and it’s nice to be able to link to my Amazon page from my blog. On the flip side, I now see that promoting your work can give you another excuse to procrastinate rather than write.

It’s too early for me to judge the results of this experiment, but if it only achieves what it has so far, it will have been worth it. If I publish the book independently, then this is all pre-release marketing to generate some buzz for the full novel. And if I seek out a publisher (I’m not sure if I want to submit it anywhere, because the indie route looks pretty good to me), then hopefully having some reviews and sales to show them would help my cause.

Well, if you’ve run out of things to read you’ll know where to find this one, and if you’re interested in an electronic review copy, just let me know. The novella is around 24,000 words long, and can be read through in just a few hours.

Moses Siregar III is the author of The Black God’s War, a dramatic epic fantasy novel inspired by Homer; you can sample it for 99 cents at Amazon or Smashwords. He lives with his family at high elevation in Prescott, AZ, and blogs about passion for the writing life at Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar … Learn more about Moses: Facebook or More Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.
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David Wisehart (@DavidWisehart) interviewed me about my recently released novella on his excellent Kindle Author blog.

Here’s the interview. We talked about my journey and process, publishing a Kindle ebook, and what makes a great epic fantasy.
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I am a happy boy. A wonderfully talented artist captured the essence of my major character Lucia and revealed her to me anew. This drawing will appear in the ebook release of my novella for THE BLACK GOD’S WAR, coming to Amazon and other sites this week. Thanks Rich!

If you’re looking for an illustrator, Rich W. Ware is talented, reasonable, and fast.

Lucia, from THE BLACK GOD'S WAR, drawn by Rich W. Ware

Lucia, from THE BLACK GOD’S WAR, drawn by Rich W. Ware

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Today’s my birthday, and just yesterday I got perhaps a not-so-wild idea. As I was re-reading my work, I stumbled upon a dramatic section of the story that I hope will make a great novella. So I’ve decided to get it up and available on Amazon in the Kindle store soon. My goal is to have it up on August 11th (next Wednesday), after getting enough copyediting eyeballs on it (including a professional or two). It will be available for $0.99.

I’ve started working on a description for the novella on Amazon. The description doesn’t focus on both sides of the conflict in my story, since the novella only follows certain characters. Here’s what I’ve got so far, and feel free to offer any feedback or suggestions.

THE BLACK GOD’S WAR: A NOVELLA INTRODUCING A NEW EPIC FANTASY

HThe Black God's Warer father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wants peace. The black god wants his due. She suffers all the consequences.

King Vieri’s war against the lands of Pawelon rages into its tenth year, and with the kingdom’s holy savior, his son, en route to the fighting in the storied canyon, victory ought to come soon. Blocked after every effort and feeling abandoned by his god, King Vieri forces young Caio to lead his army to victory.

The Black One, Lord Danato, tortures Lucia with nightly visions, promising another ten years of bloodshed. Lucia aligns with her brother to bring about the surrender of Pawelon’s Rajah and his mystical sages, for the only alternative is to journey to Danato’s macabre underworld to beg for his mercy: A poisoned remedy guaranteeing heartbreak as compensation for the god’s assistance. Lucia knows the black god too well, ever since he entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

Now Caio must command his father’s army and appeal to his own patron gods for their divine powers. Will the goddess of healing fulfill his martial prayers? And can someone who wants only to heal the world bring himself to kill another man?
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A novella-length story introducing a new epic fantasy novel by the same title, currently scheduled for release in May of 2011.
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My name is Moses Siregar III, and you can email me with comments at mosesmerlin@hotmail.com. My blog is called, “Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar …” and you’ll find it at www.ScienceFictionFantasyBooks.net. I hope you’ll download the free sample of this work and go on to really enjoy it.

One year ago today on August 1st, 2009, I decided to get serious about writing a novel. The basic plot and the major characters came to me back in January of 2009, but other than a few notes scribbled into a notebook and a truly bad first draft of a first chapter, that’s as far as I got. I put the whole project completely aside for seven months.

Here’s a little recap of my journey.

August: I did the 21 Days to a Novel exercises created by author Michael Stackpole. This got me in the habit of working on the project nearly every day and motivated me to create a full chapter outline. At this time, I began reading books on writing fiction at a voracious pace.

September: I started writing the first draft, and forced myself to write every single day for 21+ days to forge a new habit in me little brain.

October – December: I finished the first draft around the first week of December, and it clocked in around 115,000 words. I ‘won’ NaNo with 50K words in November. Then I took the rest of December off, until January 1st …

January: On the 1st, I made a renewed commitment and started rewriting and editing the work.

February: I put the early chapters of the novel up on Authonomy and started getting feedback from dozens (ultimately hundreds) of people. I realized that some things needed to be fixed about the novel, and started doing more intensive revision on the early chapters. Through all this, I grew a lot as a writer.

March: More revision, more Authonomy. My Authonomy feedback became consistently positive, giving me hope that I was on the right track. I also attended the wonderful and very inspiring Superstars Writing Seminar. By this point, I had the first ten chapters in pretty good shape.

April – July: Around this time, I got serious about rewriting the rest of the novel, and I rewrote everything through chapter 35, up to around 50,000 words. This is the end of “book 1” of my novel (it has three sections).

Now: I’m currently editing the first 35 chapters, and by the end of August, I expect to have these 35 ready for beta (early) readers.

The Future

I still need to rewrite and edit the next 50 chapters of the novel, around 75,000 more words. The final total should be around 125K words and 85 chapters. Unless something unexpected happens that prevents me from being able to do this, I fully expect to be able to have this done by January or February of next year. At that time, I hope to share the work with some more beta readers, then get some freelance editors to go over the manuscript.

If I decide not to submit the novel to publishers (I’m still undecided on that), then I intend to have the book ready as an ebook and print-on-demand book (either with CreateSpace or Lightning Source) in May of 2011. It’s good to feel like I can finally estimate where the finish line is. Now I just have to keep running the marathon every day. Or as my old friend Dennis Lindsey would have said, “Every day, every day, every day, every day.”

Thanks to everyone who has supported me along the way. There are too many people to mention!

And if you have any news about your own writing journey, please feel free to share it with me in the comments.

Today I attempted my first ever five-minute flash fiction. It was hard (I’m not a fast writer), but now I’m hooked and I’ll have to try to get better at this.

A writer friend (and a vicious-good critique partner), Leah Petersen (@LeahPetersen) hosts these events on her blog every Tuesday (Twitter hashtag: #5minutefiction).

R.B. Wood (@rbwood), for one, is really good at this, and he’s won the last two weeks in a row (and he’s a finalist again this week).

You can check out this week’s five finalists and vote for your favorite if you do it by 9:30 Eastern.

I also have an account at Liberty Hall, which hosts a lot of flash fiction events. I might have to give them a try too. There’s a lot of science fiction and fantasy writers over there. Liberty Hall’s current open event has a 90-minute time window on it, which would be fun to experiment with.

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I’m taking my talents to South Beach–wait, no, I can’t play with D-Wade because I’m an alpha dog–to Grasping For the Wind. It’s a great site for fantasy and science fiction news and reviews, and I’m thrilled to be a monthly columnist at John Ottinger III’s always fresh blog/site.

He welcomed me to the fold today.

And then–as if by magic–I made my first post, featuring my video interview with Eric Flint on publishing and new writers. I also link in that article to video interviews I conducted with Brandon Sanderson and David Farland.

Do check out John’s site. He reads and reviews books at a brain-breaking pace, he’s reviewed for PW and many leading SFF publications, and he is awesome.
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Changes in version 3.0:

1) The image blends together more, with part of her lip and chin continuing to the left, plus a subtle glimpse of her left eye. I flipped her image and make it 92% transparent. Huge thanks to David Kerschner for that idea!

2) Changed the title (still contemplating that).

3) Made room for a potential blurb (knock on wood).

The Black God's War

If I am able to get a good blurb, I think this could work. Another option would be to make the blurb’s font larger, and my name smaller. Do you think that’s a good idea, or no?

Any other thoughts?

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29
Jun

Mock Cover: Good?

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: ,

If I release my novel independently as an ebook and POD book, is this cover is good enough, or should I hire a professional to design a new cover?

p.s. I may drop the “DEUS EX KARMA,” which would free up some room, maybe for a front cover blurb.

Deus Ex Karma: The Black God's War Mock Cover

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