The Three Hundred and Ninety-fifth blog post: The One That Will Not Get Me the Howard Tayler Award…

Howard Tayler is a webcomic artist and a panelist on my favorite writer’s podcast called “Writing Excuses”. His webcomic Schlock Mercenary has been continuously updating once a day, every day from June 12th, 2000 to July 24th, 2020.

My record is…less than stellar.

However, I have been working on the sequel to Valentina’s Feast and I’ve been doing something a little different. At random moments, I’ve been asking myself ‘what is the worst thing to happen right now?’ It’s really led me to a couple of moments where I’ve had to write myself out of a particularly deep hole. It’s also illuminated some things about my characters that I never really considered. Valentina’s disturbed by violence to the point of vomiting at the memory of stabbing someone, but when she flips out, she’s utterly sadistic. I recommend it sometimes when you think you’re stuck in something. It makes it fun.

I’m about halfway through the novel, and I have to start working on the weakest part – the romance. I’m not a particularly skilled romance writer, so I’m trying to take my time with this and get some of it right the first go-round.

Another piece of advice to writers: take your time. I know it’s hard to say in the face of the era of ‘nanosecond gratification’, but your fans (in my case, all three) will thank you for it.

The horror should be the main focus of this book, but the romance is there and it’s something I’m going to have to write. Thankfully, most of this book is from Valentina’s plot of view, so I can squeeze in a cartoon reference when things slow down.

This is going to be a little short because I’ve run out of things to say (sorry) and I want to get this back up to updating on Thursdays again. With that being said – I hope everyone has a good day and I look forward to hearing from you all at some point.

The Three Hundred and Ninety-Fourth Post: The One Where I Draw a Line in the Sand, In Spite of the Oncoming Wave…

I‘ve submitted my work to the editor on June 1st, as of the writing of this blog post (July 31st), I haven’t heard anything yet. In the spirit of ‘I’ve got to do something’, I am going to release Valentina’s Feast under the pseudonym of Kellas Donovan (because it’s horror) on October 29th, with pre-sale orders coming two weeks beforehand. I need to make one more change, then I am going to call it done and let it go out into the world.

Am I nervous about it? You bet, but I have to let this out soon or not at all. Does it feel done to me? Nope. I can sit here and fret over it until the heat death of the universe and never let it see the light of day. That’s not progress, though. It has to be released, it has to be out and I have to put it out into the wild and take my lump so that I can grow as an artist.

It’s a good story, but I feel that there are better people to tell it. This is the big problem I have: self-confidence. I feel good, but I never think I am going to progress beyond ‘interested amateur’. In spite of the sales I’ve made, in spite of the reviews I get, I never feel good enough.

But that’s not why we’re here. I have already started working on the sequel, and hopefully I will get that out in time to capitalize on any goodwill generated from the first book. Given that I wrote over a thousand words so far today and I’m in the fifth chapter (promise, no spoilers). This is a good sequel, and I am making really good progress in it!

I may not be good, but I will be prolific. Can’t dazzle them with brilliance? Baffle them with bullshit.

Speaking of brilliance – head over to the right side of the screen and check out some of my books, and books written by people much, much better than me. Have a good day, and I’ll see you in the next one.