Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hello all. I’ve been away for a while and I hope this blog finds everyone doing well.

So, let’s see. Where should I start? As most of you already know, late last year Rhemalda Publishing closed their doors. That little development knocked a bit of wind out of my sails, to use an overused cliché. For over three years I lived, breathed, ate, and dreamed about how to help Rhemalda grow into something special, which in turn would have boosted my career as well as the other Rhemalda authors at the same time.  That kind of relentless focus and drive over a long period can take something out of a person and I’m no different. The disappointment of the closure of Rhemalda forced me to step back and completely reevaluate my writing career.

After rereleasing my books under my own imprint of Epertase Publishing, I ended the year fairly exhausted and with a published writing future looking rather bleak. I realized I was back right where I had started. You know, query letters and manuscript submissions followed by the soon-to-receive rejections and heartbreak of my next story not being “quite what we’re looking for at this time.” I stood back and wondered if it would even be worth it to start over and if it was did I have the energy to try. The answer was no.


Not yet, anyway.

I decided to do something drastic. I decided to leave the writing world completely for a while and see if it recharged my batteries at all. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t write a blog or Facebook post about my decision. I didn’t do anything except walk away. Heck, I haven’t even looked at my current WIP since last December. And promotion. Forget it. I’ve done nothing. Zilch. Nada. And do you want to know what happened? It was the single greatest thing I could have done. Sure, the sales of my books have ground to a near standstill, but I couldn’t care less anymore. Here’s why.

After seven months, I am missing the actual art of writing. I mean I’m really missing it in a I-love-pizza-and-can’t-have-it-anymore kind of way. I don’t miss the bullshit that comes with trying to be a published author, but I do miss the writing. Leaving the writing world allowed me to look at what was important and realize that critical reviews, number of sales, and that sort of garbage doesn’t really matter. I had never planned on a writing career as being my financial way of life (I run into burning buildings for that), so why the hell should it matter how many books I sell. Don’t get me wrong, people don’t typically do things in hopes of failing, and I’m no different, but what is success really? I’ve sold a respectable number of books for being a nobody. Is that success? I’ve signed books at Barnes and Noble, been interviewed on the local news and in papers, and have even had a legitimate Hollywood production company show interest in Tamed (still ongoing but I haven’t heard from them for a while, so my hopes aren’t real high for that anymore.) So, is that success? I don’t know. The point here is why should I care? I started writing because I had stories to tell.

The other day I got out my current WIP and started toiling away at it. I loved working in that world again.
I plan to move forward with my current WIP. Once it’s finished I’ll write something else. In the meantime, I might try a query letter again and send it off to see what happens but if it doesn’t work out then that’s life. I’ll just put the book out on my own and write something else. It’s good to be back. I hope everyone is having success in whatever you do.

Starting Anew

The long, frustrating query process for an agent or new publisher of my new dystopian fantasy begins. Aaarrgghh. I should really self-publish it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday blowout sale for Epertase

Got a kindle or kindle app? Looking for something to read? Check out the biggest blowout sale ever for my fantasy trilogy, The Light of Epertase. For under 3 bucks you can own the entire trilogy for your kindle or for the kindle of someone you love. This is a one day only sale so get it now. Enjoy

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Free Death Alarm

That's right. My horror short story collection, Death Alarm, is free for the kindle this week. No strings attached. Just click here and download it to your kindle. It includes three stories as well as a 3-chapter preview of Tamed. Also available as a paperback. Here's the cover by the incredible Steve Murphy:

Remember to leave me a review. I personally think the story Skelwaller Lane is the best of the three but I'd like to hear your thoughts. Remember to leave a review at Amazon.
Death Alarm is Douglas R. Brown's twisted tales of the macabre. In this three-story collection, Douglas explores the devastating depths of mental illness, the evil that burns within men who kill, and angels who aren't always what they seem.

In the title story, Death Alarm, Douglas uses his real-life experiences as a career firefighter to explore the consequences when those who go to the rescue become those most at risk. When pure evil battles the noblest of professions, the blood will flow like water from the very hydrants that firemen use every day.

Following the title story is a psychological tale entitled Janitor. Working the nightshift in a run-down factory, Jeb quickly realizes he may not be alone. What does the man dressed in black want with him? And can Jeb keep his sanity long enough to find out?

Closing out the collection is a brutal story titled Skelwaller Lane where sometimes even the most horrible behavior can be justified if only you listen to how the true story begins.

In addition, Douglas has included an exclusive 3-chapter preview of his break-through novel, Tamed, where werewolves are sold as pets. Recently called, "the Jurassic Park of werewolf stories," Douglas is excited to give you a peek with this free preview.

In the Death Alarm short stories, Douglas grabs you by your arms.

And then he chops them off.
Sensitive stomachs need not continue.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Reviews

I imagine authors don't typically like to show brutal reviews of their books but I'm going to show one anyway. I'm going to show you a recent 1-star review for Legends Reborn as well as a 5-star review, because I think it demonstrates the point I'd like to make for this blog. Everyone who has ever put something creative into the world will already know what I'm about to say. Art is created with the best of intentions and whether someone likes that art can go any way imaginable. One person might enjoy short chapters while another person may despise them. One person might like deep character descriptions down to the chipped front tooth, while others quickly scan those long, descriptive paragraphs just to get to the action. If an author spends too much time world building, he/she might be criticized while an author who doesn't build the world enough might be equally trashed by someone else. That's what makes art great. For instance, I watched the movie World War Z this week and loved it. Some of the reviews I've read haven't been so kind.

These opinions can often emote a visceral response. If that response is, "This is the greatest thing ever and I need to tell the world," that's what the artist had hoped for. On the other hand, if the response is, "This is the crappiest piece of crap I've ever read and I need to tell the world," well, you understand how disappointing that would be. I once heard someone a lot smarter than me say, "If you believe the great reviews, then you must believe the bad ones." (That might not be the exact quote but you get the point.) I believe that quote but it doesn't dull the edge of the bad ones.

Let's look at my most recent 1-star shellacking.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ohio Comic Con 2013

Well, another successful comic con has ended and I'm exhausted. I don't feel this comic con had as much traffic as the last two that I've attended, but I managed to sell 85 books. A little less than previous cons, but still pretty good I'd say. Special thanks to the talented Steve Murphy for all his help.

Continue to see pics from the con.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lemons into Lemonade

As I begin the re-launch of my books (see my announcement about Rhemalda closing here), one of my first orders of business is changing the covers in my Epertase trilogy a bit. Thanks to Steve Murphy, I couldn't be happier with the results. Here is a look at Epertase covers 2.0.

Next, I will be getting the ebooks up and running so that I can keep the reviews and rankings at Amazon and others. I'm also using this re-launch opportunity to revisit Legends Reborn and tweak it a bit, because I feel my writing has gotten smoother in the years since I wrote it. I'm like George Lucas except that I'm making my trilogy better. (Yes, that was a shot across the "Greedo shoots first" bow.) Legends Reborn won't change much, just some of the flow. I'm also fixing a couple minor inconsistencies that had been missed during the first run.

Short of the covers, I'm not changing A Kingdom's Fall or The Rise of Cridon at all. I'm happy with them. The paperback versions of all my books should be available in a month or so.

As far as Tamed goes, the cover will be identical minus the Rhemalda logo, but I may tweak the interior a bit on it as well. That'll be next week's project. I'm overwhelmed with work, but once it's finished it'll be worth it. Keep an eye on this space for more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A New Beginning

I have a bit of news. Not life-or-death news, just disappointing news.

Sometimes a door can close when you’re least expecting it. And when it does, you have to roll with the punches because that’s just how life is. Once a door closes, you have a couple of choices. You can give up and move on, or you can push onward. Sometimes, the door that just closed needed to close in order for the next door to open. I’m hoping this is one of those times. In fact, I consider myself an optimist and, therefore, choose to believe that this is one of those times.

If you follow Rhemalda Publishing or any of the other Rhemalda authors then you probably already know my disappointing news. If not, read on. It is with regret that I relay the announcement from Rhemalda Publishing that they are closing their doors effective October 1st. I am officially a free agent. There are several factors that contributed to this decision by those in power at Rhemalda, but let’s just leave it at this: The publishing industry can be a tough business and the headwinds against small press publishers have grown too strong. In addition, the Internet has made it possible for authors to print their own books with a quality that had previously been reserved only for publishers. Even the big publishers are struggling to compete in today’s environment.

As a company, Rhemalda started their business with the goal of being author friendly at all costs. As far as I’m concerned, they have consistently made good on that goal. Also, Rhemalda set out to release a high-quality product, and if you've read any of their books over the years, I think you'd agree that they have succeeded. In the end, I consider myself fortunate ...