Beginning of June update

So it’s the beginning of June already, and it’s starting to feel like summer here in Iowa. Because it’s so flat, the sky stays light F O R E V E R, which is kind of neat. Lots more time to go on walks, which is where I work out plot points and other stuff.

Patriots in Retreat
Phase:Draft 1.0
Due:17 hours ago
77%

In any case, Patriots in Retreat (my current WIP) is coming along well. It’s turning out to be shorter than I’d expected; there’s only three chapters left, and it’s not quite 20k words. Will probably come in between 3ok and 25k, making it one of the shorter Sons of the Starfarers books.

Middles are tough, even for short novels. I have no idea if this draft is going to turn out clean or not. But I am trying to cycle through as I write, to minimize the number of drafts I need to do. If I can master that technique, I can double or triple my production.

The Sword Keeper is just about finished, only a few more touch-ups before I send it out to my editor. Need to get back in touch with him. We’re definitely still on track for a release this fall, and I’m super excited because I think this is one of the best books I’ve written. Look out for a WIP excerpt later on this week.

There’s a couple of short stories I really want to write, but I’m so swamped with the other stuff that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to it. I’m not behind (yet) on my current WIP, but I need to keep a steady pace of just under 3k words to meet my deadline, which is going to take some effort.

I haven’t started writing Gunslinger to the Galaxy yet (the sequel to Gunslinger to the Stars)… well, that’s not quite true, because I have written the first line:

My name is Jane Kletchka, and I’m here to set the record straight.

…but in any case, I’m starting to get a bunch of great ideas for that one. Will probably start working on it sometime this fall.

Publishing-wise, I’ve got a ton of stuff to work on but not enough time to juggle it. Most of the stuff falling by the wayside is marketing stuff, which isn’t good, but sales seem to have picked up in the last month so hopefully that isn’t too much of a problem. Still waiting for some reviews to roll in for Gunslinger.

Major items on my publishing to do list include:

  • Write the author’s notes for “The Open Source Time Machine” single and short story bundle.
  • Compile the metadata for “The Open Source Time Machine” single and short story bundle.
  • Format and publish “The Open Source Time Machine” single and bundle.
  • Send The Sword Keeper to Josh Leavitt for editing.
  • Write the book description for The Sword Keeper.
  • Find a cover artist for The Sword Keeper.
  • Rewrite all short story descriptions.
  • Make a new cover for A Hill On Which To Die.
  • Upload all books to DriveThruFiction.

Not a small list—and that doesn’t include all the maintenance-type stuff!

So that’s the big challenge: making time for all of this while working the day job. It’s only 5-6 hours a day, but it adds up. I am saving money, though. My goal is to turn around at least $100 from my writing profits each month into investments. It would be really cool to start investing in space technologies, and the research for that could tie into my writing projects very well. Virtuous cycle and all that good stuff.

That’s what I’m up to these days. Peace, love, and penguins y’all. Thanks for reading!

Free & 99¢ books for June!

Hey guys, just a heads up about this month’s free and 99¢ books. If you’re looking for a way to get into my books, this is a great place to start!


Free

Jane Carter of Earth and the Rescue that Never Was

Jane Carter of Earth and the Rescue that Never Was

Free!
Jane Carter never thought she'd be the first human in the galaxy to be sold an alien slave auction. Only one man can rescue her, but he's the last man she wants to see. Thankfully, there are alternatives to being rescued. More info →
Buy now!

99¢

Genesis Earth

Genesis Earth

99¢ sale!
Michael and Terra never thought that they would be the first human beings to set foot on an alien world. What they discover forces them to re-examine their deepest, most unquestioned beliefs about the universe—and about what it means to be human. More info →
Buy now!

End of May update

So it’s the end of another month, and I’m happy to report that things are going well. Gunslinger to the Stars has had a decent release, and seems to be on its way to grow into its natural readership. I don’t want to push it too hard just yet, better to wait until a few reviews and also boughts come in. But I can push the short story, “Jane Carter of Earth and the Rescue that Never Was.” Will be interesting to see whether that garners interest in the novel.

On the writing front, I’m making good progress on Patriots in Retreat, my current WIP. The plan is to finish the last four Sons of the Starfarers books in quick succession, in order to release them one after another in the beginning of 2018. The covers are all done, and the editing shouldn’t be too expensive, so if I can knock all these books off over the summer, I’ll be in good shape.

The goal is to write each one of them in four weeks, with a week-long buffer between each draft. I’m trying out a new writing method—actually, a method I used to use when I was a kid but laid aside when I wrote my first novel. Instead of writing several distinct drafts, I’m cycling through the previous day’s work in order to produce a more clean first draft.

When I wrote my first novel, the goal was just to finish the thing, so instead of trying to fix all the problems with it as I went along, I prioritized getting to the end. Needless to say, that hot mess of a novel will never see the light of day. But for some reason, I’ve stuck with that method of writing ever since, sometimes to great detriment. Heart of the Nebula took several years to complete because the first two drafts were full of plot holes, worldbuilding inconsistencies, and totally useless characters.

Of course, back then I was a much less experienced writer and needed some emotional distance in order to figure out how to fix my own work. But now, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle of it. So we’ll try out the cycling thing with these books and see how it goes.

I did recently reread the first book, Brothers in Exile. Have to say, it’s not my best work. Not that the story itself is bad, but the writing is pretty poor and needs a good polish. Also, some of the character reactions are off. There’s a bit more melodrama than I’d like, and not enough consistency.

Again, nothing in need of a complete overhaul. Just a touch up. And maybe this is more just a recognition of how much my writing has improved over the last couple of years (at least, I hope that’s what it is). But once the last four books are done, I plan to take a couple of weeks to really touch it up.

In other news, The Sword Keeper, my first fantasy novel, is just about finished and on track for a September release. There’s a couple of issues my first readers have pointed out, but it’s more a question of patching the sails than bringing her into drydock and building a new hull. The next big step after sending it off to the editor is to find a good cover artist. I’ll probably post a classified on Deviantart, see who bites.

I really want an illustrated cover, not one of these photo-realistic things that all tend to blend together (or worse, copy the same stock photos). Those do tend to be a bit more expensive, but for my first fantasy novel, I’m willing to pay a little more.

On the publishing side of things, I’ve got a short story single and a short story bundle lined up for June. It didn’t seem fair to release the one story as a single only to release it a couple months later in a bundle, so I’m doing them both together. The cover is pretty spiffy—I’ll be sure to do a reveal later this week.

And that just about does it. Lots of things to do on the publishing side, lots of stories to write on the writing side, but it’s all coming together and I think you’ll really enjoy how it turns out. Take care!

Out Now: Gunslinger to the Stars!

Great news guys! My latest novel, Gunslinger to the Stars, is now out!

I really believe that this is the most entertaining book I’ve written to date. Definitely the funnest one to write. In some ways, it’s quite a bit different from my previous fare, but I think my readers will enjoy it nonetheless.

If you do get a chance to read it, I would greatly appreciate if you’d take the time to post a review. Now is the most important time for reviews to be posted, in the days and weeks immediately after release. It will also help me to decide whether and how soon to turn this into a trilogy If you can’t, no worries, but a huge thanks if you can.

Other than that, thanks for reading and enjoy!

Gunslinger to the Stars

Gunslinger to the Stars

$3.99
Sam Kletchka here, freelance gunslinger and interstellar privateer. This, my friends, is how I went from being stranded in the armpit of the galaxy to becoming the luckiest human being in the universe. More info →
Buy now!

Gunslinger to the Stars — excerpt 8

“Oh my heck,” said Jane, still trembling.

I holstered Kindness and reached down to help her to her feet. Her face was pale and her arms were trembling, so I figured it was a good time for us both to leave.

“Barkeep,” I said, pulling out a credit chit. Behind the counter, Ivosh rose unsteadily to his feet.

“My apologies,” he said, cracking his neck. Though the rockadillo grunt had punched him hard enough to break some bones, he looked none the worse for wear.

“You okay?” I asked.

“I’m perfectly fine,” he said, walking around the counter.

“Are you sure? That blow you took—”

“For members of my species, the physical form is less of a liability than it is for yours. Emotional energy does much to revive us, as I’m certain you can tell.”

He gestured to Jane. Her cheeks were still pale, and she was gripping my arm as if to never let go. I had no idea what was running through her mind, but it was clear to us both that I had just saved her life. Apparently, her relief was enough to make Ivosh regenerate.

“Let’s get out of here,” I said. “Can you take us to your place?”

“Certainly,” said Ivosh. “Come, let’s go.”

I left the credit chit on the counter and followed him out, Jane by my side. The fact that no one else seemed fazed by the gunfight told me everything I needed to know about the Gorinal Cluster. This place was going to be tough.


Gunslinger to the Stars

Gunslinger to the Stars

$3.99
Sam Kletchka here, freelance gunslinger and interstellar privateer. This, my friends, is how I went from being stranded in the armpit of the galaxy to becoming the luckiest human being in the universe. More info →
Buy now!