The Day I meet Raymond E Feist.

This day has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, obviously meeting Mr Feist was a high point, while that dip was heading into the bookstore by the name of Pulp Fiction. Being attentive to Raymond’s Q & A today reminded me to stick to my guns and continue to write and create.

After leaving the Gold Coast for Brisbane, I continued to listen to Kevin Hearne‘s book Hounded: Iron Druid Chronicles, narrated by Christopher Ragland. While listening to the audiobook and I had a plan before heading to Mr Feist’s Booked Out. First was to go to Book Face Orion then to Pulp Fiction, to see if either bookstore would stock my books on their shelves.

The trip was long, but I was glad to be distracted by a humorous and enjoyable story by Mr Hearne (and I love that Irish Wolfhound!) Once I arrived at Book Face, it was a simple exchange, and my books were picked up by some incredible people; just love people being friendly. Book Face being my third bookstore stocking Lake Merrin and FableLands Interrogation was terrific.

On a high, with my books being taken and later heading to the event I thought it would be perfect that Pulp Fiction would be the fourth. How wrong I was!

At this point was my drop from sky-high to the darkest pit of despair. Now people might think, ‘you need to have thick skin.’ Surprisingly the retail representative at Pulp Fiction told me as such after ten minutes of berating me with why I wasn’t a real author, as I am independently published by Ocean Reeve Publishing.

I won’t go into what he said or that he wanted me to buy a book about the 42 reasons why you will never be an author and the 11 that would. All I could remember that I was asking if he would grab my book, and he was rude and disrespectful to me. I used to love this store, now it is dead to me.

Now I was angry and sad by the ignorance of this retailer, who wanted to lecture me on the subtler points of publishing. Which he has little or no idea, and with his own words doesn’t have the attention span or skill to be a writer himself. They say ‘those who can’t do, teach’; I wish to differ now, those who can’t do, bully those who can.

Being at my lowest for the last few days, which was a feat with my mother in the hospital. This was remarkably changed when I stood in line outside of Brisbane’s City Hall waiting breathlessly to listen to one of my favourite authors, Raymond E Feist.

Being in the presence of Mr Feist, showed me that this was a master of the written word. His casualness of being an author of a book series that spans thirty novels was wow! When he talked about writing, all I could do was nod dumbly to his every word. It was fantastic and what happened before was just a fleeting memory.

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His start in the fictional word was similar to the writing of Lake Merrin, started as a Role-playing game and evolved into a fantasy novel. The number of rewrites you need to do and the ability to cut away things to make sure your story is strong.

Then I lined up for him to sign my book, and while waiting in the line, I happened to start a conversation with a fellow fantasy fan named Jeremy. This became the most amusing thing of the evening that he was wearing a Machine Head’s shirt and as we approached Mr Feist, I was dumbstruck by him, Raymond notices Jeremy’s shirt and goes off on a chat about the band and then reminisced about a concert with the main attraction The Who. I just didn’t care as he was looking at me and I was a part of a conversation with RAYMOND E FEIST!

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All in all, it was a great day, minus the encounter with that bully of a retailer. Now I will send off a signed copy to my sister in Canada, as that was my last goal for the day.

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Update For Samuel Colbran; The Creative Side.

Hello all, it has been a while since I have written a blog. Most time I can’t think of anything compelling. There are so many fantasy authors out there, and I am just a drop in the ocean. So I am using this to update everyone, go figure.

So what has been happening in my personal, professional and creative worlds?

Let us start at the creative, I mean I love my creative life, as the stories come to life and blossom into incredible books. I have finished my companion novella to Lake Merrin; it is called The Great Spoon Heist. Pretty much, two weeks have passed since the conclusion of Lake Merrin, and the Rejects realise that Klaus Handwerk, a lumber trader gave them a job. So this is about them discovering the mystery that WayWocket found out in Lake Merrin.

 

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Lake Merrin, love writing this!

 

It was a significant bit of fun writing this, as Lake Merrin is in the present tense and it’s POV is the stream of consciousness, it was hard to go beyond the perspective of Lone Solo. As I wrote this book in past tense and third person, it allowed me to explore my main characters and how Lone’s mindset did not squint their personalities.

I had one of my friend’s model the cover for me as WayWocket, it going to be awesome. He is thinking while licking a spoon (if you want to know why, you have to read Lake Merrin, no spoilers here.) I am going to have him cosplay this character at a future Oz Comic-Con, it will be radical to see my character to come to life.

 

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Here is a basic mockup of the probable cover.

 

I am also working on book two of Journal of an Adventurer; I am about 10k words in. After finishing this first draft, I will be starting FableLands Fugitive; the first novella will be called Jamila and James: Ardor. This novella will be following the conclusion of Interrogation, as the Arcs split up to escape Doctor Hamill, they find out the police and agents of BPResearch are hunting them. Can Jamila and James find a balance between uncontrollable emotions to survive this organized search of the Arcs of FableLands?

 

 

My next one will be talking about my professional life.

For the links to my books head to either www.samuelcolbran.com or Amazon.com.

 

Review for Bootstrap’s Journey by Chris Johnson

Bootstrap’s Journey is a time travel science fiction book; it is set in 2042 and 2017. The main character is Anthony Nowlan, the inventor of a time travel device.
I love this book, my fantasising with time travel made this book appeal to me. Chris gave a lot of thought to the paradox of moving through time, and the way he presented it in the book was marvellous.
The book itself is quite short, which makes you be whisk away by the narrative. I enjoyed myself reading this book, as I nearly did it one sitting. The characters were well explored, and I hope there might be a sequel in the works.

5 out of 5!

Review for Off Axis by D.D Scarlet

I just finished Off Axis, and still reeling from this complicated story Ms Scarlet created. I gave the first book four stars, but this is a five star all the way. The richness of the world of the modern Vampire is layered, layer upon layer of intrigue and complexity.

In this book, D.D expanded the pov to other main characters. Off-Axis opens the reader up to the mindset of very primal creatures. Mars is still the main character, and his emotional range is impressive.

Ms Scarlet has taken the trope of Vampire and made it feel like it is real in this world. Then she shows you how entirely broken that world is

Becoming a Plot Snob.

The thing about becoming more experienced in writing is that you start to notice things in other books or media. Some authors can spot grammatical errors from a mile away or be very forward in pointing out spelling mistakes. I have been finding, that I am not a Grammar ‘Nazis’ but a Plot Snob.

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Most of my life, I have been a roleplayer, either pen and paper or computer games and I love watching movies and exciting television programs. Lately, I started to see plot holes in the premise of said work, and when beta-reading, I can see a loose thread quite quickly. Which brings me to my next dilemma, how to ignore it.

When I realised that I was becoming this snob of plots, was when someone in my gaming group was pitching ideas for upcoming games. I can understand that it is just the foundation but wow they were all boring, and I could see the direction the ‘story’ would have gone. Of course, I said no, I am not interested, but I like hanging out with my mates.

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My issue is that I start to think, how can I improve this story or can I tell it differently to make it enjoyable. I haven’t found too many writers that I have that opinion, some are not my cup of tea while others are marvellous. Seeing substantial plot holes in a television show, especially police or crime shows. I use to love watching these shows, but now they are just so by the formula.

So at beginning of the show, crime happens, police or investigators question people to the point that they might push their civil rights, but as long as they find the ‘bad’ guy, it is all good. Then some very obvious clue takes them to a bad guy, and then the interrogation happens. After a few threats/questions with no lawyer present, they confess to everything! Boring!

If you keep walking down that well-trodden road, you’ll find that people become bored. I’m not saying I am perfect, but due to this train of thought, I will always try to improve my storylines to make sure they are not formulaic.

Becoming a Quality Quantity Author

A post just went up in a group I am a part of, and the question was, are you a Quality or Quantity Author? After my disaster at the beginning of the year for my debut novel, Lake Merrin (and many weeks of depression) I realised that you need to become more than just a four-novel a year author, you have to produce four books but at high quality as well. Hence, becoming a Quality Quantity Author.

There were two articles for each argument to this, one by Lorraine Devon Wilke and the other by Dean Wesley Smith. Each has good points (links below), but being a fantasy writer and also talking to successful published authors like Kimberley Clark and Nick Earls, I came up with a different approach.

Producing four full-length novels (around 100k) would be hard, and yes the quality will drop but what about short stories or novellas?

By the end of this year, I will have published seven ebooks and three paperbacks, two of which are novellas. These short stories/novellas range between four thousand to 21 k each, some taking a week to write and others a couple of months. What this does is create a reputation as an author.

Each short story ebook cost me around $200, that is a cover artist and editor.  The novella cost me another $150 for formatting and my new cover for the book $120. So three months of releases, 200 a month (600 in total) and in the fourth month a paperback another 270. The grand total (excluding printing) $870!

How much will it cost me to produce a novel, that could fluctuate between people? So far (minus my lousy choice of editor at the beginning of the year) it has cost me 4 to 5 thousand dollars.

I am not a rich man, but I do have an imagination that can think and produce many different story arcs, so if I produce one novel and at least twelve short read ebooks which will make around 4 novellas a year, why not?

At Oz Comic-Con, an author of four books commented on my novella; FableLands: Interrogation Part One, as breaking all the rules. It because in one book, I have three short serial reads in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person and the first three chapters of my book Lake Merrin coming out in December. I responded ‘I became a writer, so I didn’t have to follow any rules except for the ones I deem important to my own creativity.’

The argument with taking your time with your writing will produce a good book, that is determined by your readers. I have raving reviews for my short reads, but if it all was based on one novel, I am not sure that I would have a similar following.

The more you write, the better you become. The more you push your boundaries, the more you can be creative. In the end, do what you want to do, not what the creative industry dictates you should do.

 

Links:

FableLands: Interrogation Part One, Website or Amazon

Dear Self-Published Author: Do NOT Write Four Books a Year by Lorraine Devon Wilke.

Don’t Be a Wuss, Write Four Novels a Year by Dean Wesley Smith.

What is happening?

It has been a while since I have written a blog. Some of it was due to the lack of motivation to write one, being distracted by either my writing or groups that I am a part of. Even typing this seems to be a little hollow and passing the buck. Just need to harden the truck up and do some blogs!

I have thought that Thursday will be my blog day, need to do something once a week. If I can’t do that, then why have a blog!

So what has been happening in the world of Samuel Colbran?

First off I now have a paperback of a superhero fantasy anthology which includes Kayla, Briana and Ciro with an addition of the first three chapters of the newly updated Lake Merrin! I have been ecstatic about this. Soon I will have a book in my hands with my name on it. It will be like book-crack for me!

This came about because I was invited to go to Oz Comic Con in Brisbane! Even a few of my author friends are going to have tables as well. They are Melissa H North and Karen Tyrell. It will be the first time I will have met Melissa, it going to be indeed fabulous!
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There is one version on Amazon of FableLands: Interrogation, but you can buy off of me, a special edition of the book! Find out more at www.samuelcolbran.com.

My current working on a short story connected to the history of Favinonia (the country Lake Merrin is set in), called Rise of the Green. It delves into the rise of the fictional religion of Favinonia, in where the first saint rose, Saint Mela of the Green.

Saint Mela—the plague-ender; life-giver; and first saint—represents the Green Aspect. People who follow this aspect give thanks to the first saint for bringing the Trinity to Favinonia.

Discovering her story has been a highlight. It will be the first of three, under the title ‘The Trinity’ from the series Tales From Favinonia. There are about twenty stories to be written under this series name, some of the heroes of the past. A few of these stories will be about the political arena of Favinonia. This is mainly to expand the world of Amsul.

So that ends the first of, (fingers crossed) my Thursday blogs. See you next week!