Accentuate Writers Forum

It's Raining Good Things

chrisstevenson - 6/12/2012 at 08:03 PM


Just lots of good things happening lately; I'm a little overwhelmed by it all: won a publisher novel contest for my latest YA, offering pub and an advance. Of course I had to tell my agent; it was a fluke sub on my part.

My new werewolf thriller should break any day now. I have yet to see the artwork, but everything is finished and ready to hit the online stores.

Have a R & R from a publisher as a result of an agent sub, so this one is very important, and I'm waiting for the re-write outline. Funny thing is, my MFC and the acquiring editor are both paraplegic, so this book could really benefit from some personal insight and authenticity. It's my adult thriller, and I'd thought this book had gone its course on the agent sub train.

I put in my app to become a team writer on a 12 to 18-volume SFF series, and this is very close to a book packaging deal but only for multiple books, and the pay is mid-line to good. Still waiting on the app request.

I'm promoting my latest SF release and becoming more and more proud of its rank and sales--it went from dead stop to flank speed, and now is leveling out in a nice and steady sales wise performance. I expect the second prequel tie-in short story to appear on Amazon any day now, the artwork and formatting is finished.

I'm really hankering to write some new words on something but haven't decided yet. It could be a SF sequel, more short tie-ins, or a sequel to the prize winning YA story. This will all be determined in the next three weeks or so. I expect I will be tied up in the revision for the thriller, and that alone will keep me at the desk.

ETA: Can't believe my blog is doing this well. It's fairly new but I expect the page views to eclipse (in four months) my stupid little website, and the website has been up for six years. I can't figure out why I hadn't started a blog in the first place.

flyingbird65 - 6/12/2012 at 08:16 PM

Congrats on your successes. Keep going

chrisstevenson - 6/12/2012 at 08:22 PM

Thanks, flyingbird. I feel like your sig line, even after just waking up.

chris

Michy - 6/12/2012 at 08:32 PM

Chris, it sounds like you're well on the right track. Yes, blogging has opened so many doors for me as well, not the least of which is having an outlet for personal venting sometimes, where I feel like at least someone might listen and I'm not just screaming at the walls.

You're successes are awesome. Keep the good momentum going!

Definitely share with us where to find your work too.

chrisstevenson - 6/12/2012 at 08:59 PM

Thanks, Michy,

I love this little writing site. Can't figure how I missed it in the past seven years.

Yeah, I have a lot of juggling and decisions to make right now and it's wearing on me, but in a good way. My agent and I are actually stalling the award-giving publisher because I came to find out that agent wants to give it a quick read and probably send it out to the majors. I had thought she read it months ago and put it on the back burner, allowing my other three books sub time. She says this is special circumstances and she's not afraid to have four books out there at the same time--luckily they're all different genres and categories.

I'm new to the blog scene, and feel like you about letting it all hang out--frustrations and all. My blog will eclipse in page views and comments in four months, compared to what my stupid little website has accomplished is six years.

chris

Nancy G. - 6/13/2012 at 08:01 AM

Congrats on your sucesses. Things like that inspire us all, and lord knows I need some inspiration these days!

Skwerly - 6/13/2012 at 09:18 AM

Welcome and congratulations! Sounds like things are all right on tack. :)

chrisstevenson - 6/13/2012 at 09:39 AM

Thanks, from the both of you.

Nancy, if I can encourage in any way, I'm here for you. Don't let the processes of this business get you down and out. We all rebound, and sometimes good news is just right around the corner.

chris

chrisstevenson - 6/30/2012 at 12:02 PM

The werewolf thriller, The Wolfen Strain, has just hit the market. Not up on Amazon yet, but you know how they can take their sweet time in getting it posted. I'm not really in love with the cover--it's large, in charge and really in your face. They didn't even query my opinion on it--just slapped it together. It just might appeal to the younger crowd, or somebody that thinks, "Oh, pretty eyes?" Anyway, I'll save myself the embarrassment of hogging up pixels with it here and link to some of the sites where it can be perused and/or (God willing) purchased.

Dorothy Dreyer's interview at We Do Write:

http://we-do-write.blogspot.com/2012/06/author-update-chris-stevens...

My blog post on it:

http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/2012/06/wolfen-strai...

BookStrand:

http://www.bookstrand.com/the-wolfen-strain

My Publisher:

http://lachesispublishing.com/proddetail.asp?prod=TheWolfenStrain

ETA: Okay, it landed on Amazon and began getting some traction:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wolfen-Strain-ebook/dp/B008G0PE2U/ref=sr_...

ETA #2: Just got Journey Interrupted up on Amazon. It's a prequel short story to the original Plane Janitor:

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Janitor-Journey-Interrupted-ebook/dp/B...

Phew! That is all....
Chris

[Edited on 7/7/2012 by chrisstevenson]

Skwerly - 6/30/2012 at 12:35 PM

Hey, that sounds like one helluva groovy tale.

Michy - 6/30/2012 at 01:15 PM

I used to edit for Lachesis.

Can I ask a blunt question? Did your agent place you with them or was this a direct submission?

chrisstevenson - 6/30/2012 at 01:32 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
I used to edit for Lachesis.

Can I ask a blunt question? Did your agent place you with them or was this a direct submission?


Wow. What a small world. You've might have been there when I was but a weed-hopper in their slush pile.

Lachesis had their breakup problems awhile ago--lost some damn fine talent. But I came into their life way before that. My submission, then contract offer, to them was after my second agent exhausted all subs to the majors. So I sold it myself. Problems occured. They let me lapse, breached contract, lost an editor on me, pushed my production back, no arcs, no pre-orders, yada, yada, yada.

In all fairness, they didn't start out that way at all. They had a good name, still do, I guess. I'm the faithful type that hangs on and weathers the storm.

Ironically, I just hit #1 for Thriller and #2 for Horror at BookStrand. But you know, it all falls on the author. Without us, publishers are nothing.

chris

Michy - 6/30/2012 at 01:42 PM

No, I wasn't faulting you for being with Lachesis... but more wondering why you'd pay an agent to place you with them, because I don't think they have ever published an agented book.

BUT... I got with Lachesis because I had edited for LBF, with one particular author, and then the lady who owned Lachesis bought LBF... well, I didn't get paid my royalties, by LBF or Lachesis, but when I contacted them, discovered they had been bought out, the new owner, the ones who run Lachesis, were very agreeable. They paid me the royalties that they felt they were responsible for... I wish I could have gotten the royalties from before that, when LBF should have been paying me, but I guess that's not really their fault... still sucks.

Anyway, I edited a couple of books for them, but mostly, I stopped editing for all small presses that next year. There's just no money in it for editors. They don't pay them anything in advance, and only pay them percentages... I have one book I edited for LBF that has netted me a whopping 64 bucks over the course of four years... I will NOT do that again.

So I started working only for upfront payment, and they refused to pay upfront, so I moved on to smoother waters...

Anyway, I was reading your blurb when I noticed it was them, and thought it was interesting. Did you write the blurb or did they do that too? The cover looks all right. It's not what I would have done, but you know... it's not awful. I don't like the second paragraph of the blurb though. It's not punctuated properly and there are a couple of grammatically problems with the blurb too... that just bugged me. But I'm sure I'm only being nitpicky. I edited my son today when he was griping at me, so it's just kinda where I'm at today....lol

chrisstevenson - 6/30/2012 at 02:41 PM

No, they actually did the blurb too. And really, I feel like you do about it--meh. I would have rather the blurb come from my hand. I dunno, just something off with them that I've never experienced with other small presses.

And good for you about taking leave of editing for the little guys who are in it for the % only. It just doesn't pay you what your worth--too much time and effort. You should charge per project or by the page.

chris

Now my curiosity is up--gonna check out that blurb more closely.

Michy - 7/2/2012 at 12:24 PM

It's not horrible or anything... the dashes are wrong...

Mostly, it's just that I prefer to work directly with the author. With Lachesis, I worked with another editor, not the author, and so frequently, I wasn't sure if my suggestions even made it to the author or were actually incorporated, but then my name was put on the book. Guess I like more control over what my name goes on.

chrisstevenson - 7/2/2012 at 12:28 PM

Yep, I think the dashes are misplaced, misused or not even necessary.

I was surprised that they didn't consult me on the cover. First time that's ever happened.

chris

chrisstevenson - 8/4/2012 at 10:11 AM

More good things:

FIRST AND FOREMOST, A GREAT BIG THANKS AND APPRECIATION TO FARAH EVERS WHO CRAFTED THE COVER FOR THIS BOOK. SHE IS DULY ACCREDITED WITH ITS DESIGN AND CONCEPT. I SING HER PRAISES, ALONG WITH THE WONDERFUL FRIENDSHIP I'VE RECEIVED HERE AT ACCENTUATE WRITERS FORUM.

Welcome to The War Gate, a paranormal romance/thriller that will leave you breathless from it's scope and pace. It's now available on Amazon for the reduced price of $2.99. Enjoy the extended three-chapter sample now.

http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Gate-ebook/dp/B008SDVEQU/ref=sr_1_5?s...

“This was a solidly written tale with a trace of fantasy and complex thought used in defining the concept of leaping from one time gate to the next—excellent job of structuring.”
Terrie G, Bitten by Books, 4 out of 5.

“The War Gate is a captivating book. Mystery, magic and the paranormal blend together in a perfect mix. I would thoroughly recommend this book to fantasy enthusiasts who also like romance.
Orcid, Aurora Reviews, 5 out of 5.

When the reincarnated Avy Labrador is kicked out of her stepfather’s house on her 18th birthday, she has no idea that the man who raised her framed her mother to cover his murder so he could acquire a major software empire. Now, years later, with the help of her magician boyfriend, Sebastian, Avy is about to discover that her birth was otherworldly and for a purpose. The ancient Roman God Janus was so appalled by the heinous murder of Tom Labrador by his brother Drake that he opened up a War Gate. Avy has received half of her mother’s soul light and half of a God’s essence. Her mission is to put the real killer behind bars. The only catch: she must learn to “Gate-Walk”, that’s time traveling to the layman. She soon finds out that she is a drunk driver on the space/time continuum super highway.

War Gate Author's Note: The antagonist character, Wax Man, is not for the squeamish. I warn you ahead of time that he is the most disgusting, vile creature/human you're ever likely to read about. You will literally smell him off the page. Not for younger readers under 13.

[Edited on 8/4/2012 by chrisstevenson]

[Edited on 8/4/2012 by chrisstevenson]

[Edited on 8/4/2012 by chrisstevenson]

Skwerly - 8/4/2012 at 10:56 AM

That cover really, really pops. She knows how to make them stand out in the sea of other covers, doesn’t she?

I picked up a copy but it’ll be a little while before I get to it. I have to read other stuff for reviews and all that in the meantime.

Congrats on going this route, and with such a handsome looking book! :)

chrisstevenson - 8/4/2012 at 12:13 PM

Thank, skwerly. I have no doubt that the cover change is going to breathe new life back into it. It portrays an inter-dimentionality to it.

Michy - 8/4/2012 at 12:16 PM

Yeah, I sing her praises too.... I just got a review on my Dream Walking, which is actually up for a cover art award, because the person was drawn in by the cover Farah Designed. She said the cover alone sold her on the book--fortunately, once inside, she loved it too... I'm grateful for that! But what a fantastic testament to her cover work. This cover is up for an Ariana award for ebook cover excellence. I hope she wins!

I loved the cover she made for your book, Chris. I have this one on my Kindle Fire, in queue to read... just have a few in front of it for my review site. I AM looking forward to it!

artfirms - 8/4/2012 at 02:11 PM

:blush: Oh boy! Thank you, you guys! I am speechless. :smilegrin:

chrisstevenson - 8/8/2012 at 04:57 PM

THANKS FOR THE COVER, FARAH!


Welcome to The War Gate, a paranormal romance/thriller. IT WILL BE LISTED ON AMAZON FOR FREE, STARTING AUGUST 9TH AND LASTING FOR TWO DAYS. Reviews will be greatly appreciated!

http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Gate-ebook/dp/B008SDVEQU/ref=sr_1_5?s...

“This was a solidly written tale with a trace of fantasy and complex thought used in defining the concept of leaping from one time gate to the next—excellent job of structuring.”
Terrie G, Bitten by Books, 4 out of 5.

“The War Gate is a captivating book. Mystery, magic and the paranormal blend together in a perfect mix. I would thoroughly recommend this book to fantasy enthusiasts who also like romance.
Orcid, Aurora Reviews, 5 out of 5.

Tag Line: Through a miraculous conception, Avalon Labrador must give birth to herself before she is executed, to solve her husband’s murder and her own wrongful conviction.

When the reincarnated Avy Labrador is kicked out of her stepfather’s house on her 18th birthday, she has no idea that the man who raised her framed her mother to cover his murder so he could acquire a major software empire. Now, years later, with the help of her magician boyfriend, Sebastian, Avy is about to discover that her birth was otherworldly and for a purpose. The ancient Roman God Janus was so appalled by the heinous murder of Tom Labrador by his brother Drake that he opened up a War Gate. Avy has received half of her mother’s soul light and half of a God’s essence. Her mission is to put the real killer behind bars. The only catch: she must learn to “Gate-Walk”, that’s time traveling to the layman. She soon finds out that she is a drunk driver on the space/time continuum super highway.

Just when she believes she has too much on her plate to contend with, she learns that she’s pegged the wrong man as the killer…her boyfriend is not who he appears to be…and Janus, the so-called God of new beginnings, doorways and gates, just might be the biggest conman and liar she has ever met.
The War Gate has a heavy mystery structure, as well as paranormal/magic and romance elements.

War Gate Author's Note: The antagonist character, Wax Man, is not for the squeamish. I warn you ahead of time that he is the most disgusting, vile creature/human you're ever likely to read about. Not for younger readers under 13.

C.Lee - 8/8/2012 at 09:37 PM

Quote: Originally posted by chrisstevenson  

Just lots of good things happening lately; I'm a little overwhelmed by it all: won a publisher novel contest for my latest YA, offering pub and an advance. Of course I had to tell my agent; it was a fluke sub on my part.

My new werewolf thriller should break any day now. I have yet to see the artwork, but everything is finished and ready to hit the online stores.

Have a R & R from a publisher as a result of an agent sub, so this one is very important, and I'm waiting for the re-write outline. Funny thing is, my MFC and the acquiring editor are both paraplegic, so this book could really benefit from some personal insight and authenticity. It's my adult thriller, and I'd thought this book had gone its course on the agent sub train.

I put in my app to become a team writer on a 12 to 18-volume SFF series, and this is very close to a book packaging deal but only for multiple books, and the pay is mid-line to good. Still waiting on the app request.

I'm promoting my latest SF release and becoming more and more proud of its rank and sales--it went from dead stop to flank speed, and now is leveling out in a nice and steady sales wise performance. I expect the second prequel tie-in short story to appear on Amazon any day now, the artwork and formatting is finished.

I'm really hankering to write some new words on something but haven't decided yet. It could be a SF sequel, more short tie-ins, or a sequel to the prize winning YA story. This will all be determined in the next three weeks or so. I expect I will be tied up in the revision for the thriller, and that alone will keep me at the desk.

ETA: Can't believe my blog is doing this well. It's fairly new but I expect the page views to eclipse (in four months) my stupid little website, and the website has been up for six years. I can't figure out why I hadn't started a blog in the first place.


WOW WOW WOW! Congrats. Good things, indeed. :thumbup:

Michy - 8/9/2012 at 01:56 PM

Chris, sounds like some fascinating things are happening for you! Don't get overwhelmed! go for it and with it! This is all awesome news and I"m so happy and excited for you!

Yay!


chrisstevenson - 8/11/2012 at 12:33 PM

Okay, I hit overall Amazon rank of 654 for free downloads, which tabulates to over 500 freebies. It hit # 87 in mystery/thriller for the free genre category. I went paid today and dumped the price to $1.99.

There must have been a brand-name author brick wall at # 654, 'cause I couldn't better it, no matter what I did. Made four sales after going paid. I know for a fact that one or two of those sales came from HERE!

Unbelievable. How tiny and yet how mighty Accentuate is.

Farah, if you're reading this, your wish was my command. You have a review on your Graphic Design Book. I got first-hand experience with your quality and expertise. I hope the review is fitting.

All is right in the world...for now.

chris

Michy - 8/11/2012 at 12:42 PM

We're a pretty amazing little board, eh? There's actually over 2000 members who are active at any given time--some don't post, but many lurk. I would imagine there are far more who lurk than post these days.

I'm glad we're helping you some!

Skwerly - 8/11/2012 at 01:03 PM

I try to keep quiet and to myself.

Wait, what? :lol:

That’s awesome, man! I’m so glad you are having a blast with this. I had a good feeling about you the second you posted your intro. Yer good folks.

chrisstevenson - 8/11/2012 at 01:26 PM

Awe, shucks. I belong to some massive groups as a senior member. The difference here is, the people respond to each other with kindness and actions, whereas words and promises fly like tired June bugs in July at the others. I've always believed that small and tight is right. There are no egos here or flames. It's managed well.

Another thing, there is no condemnation of anyone who has published with the small press here. You can't imagine (or maybe you can), how segregated and clickish the others can be. You just don't cross into other threads that celebrate Big Six publishing victories. Your comments are ignored or glossed over when your literary rank will not bear legacy scrutiny.

chris

Skwerly - 8/11/2012 at 01:37 PM

You know, a buddy and I just had this conversation last week after band practice. The amount of hate on the net is really disconcerting. It’s ‘go with the best or die like the rest’, and that attitude is 100% WRONG. Here are a few examples.

1. I’m on a Jeep forum as I’m heavily into trail driving and whatnot. The consensus there is that if you don’t pay top dollar for something, it won’t work for you, and that is complete bullshit. I paid just over $700 for my lift and do you know how many asshats with a $2500 lift I’ve yanked out of tight spots? I can’t count 'em, that’s how many.

2. On gun forums, this or that is always bashed, while a few brands are almost never bashed. Again, the feeling that we must ‘take sides’ is prevalent. For the same reason you can’t be both a Ford AND a Chevy fan at a car show, you can’t like both Kimber and Rock Island on a gun forum. They’ll burn you at the stake for such.

3. On the welding forums, it’s all about red vs. blue, Miller clashing with Lincoln. But I’ve never heard anyone complain about either, so why is one bad and the other good? It’s crap.

I do budget stuff and I go a lot farther than some others with their name brand junk. I don’t go nuts over sports teams, I don’t really care which country wins a political war, and I don’t think you need to go with the absolute best or nothing. That’s all hype.

Now, I’m fortunate enough to own some really nice stuff, NOW, but it wasn’t always so. I’ve fixed cars with one-dollar wrenches the same as I have with fifteen-dollar units.

Attitude, baby. It’s all attitude.


**Side note: Small and tight is right? Baha, I, ummm, didn't think anything but pure stuff when I read that. Seriously.

Michy - 8/11/2012 at 01:43 PM

Chris, that was one of the reasons I left that other big forum and didn't stick around. I realize the attitude is changing some now, but back when I first published, in 2006, I was with a small press and then another book came out with a different mid-sized press, but that press didn't pay royalties--they paid a lump sum flat rate upfront--and I was torn apart for that. I got more money from my lump sum flat-rate payment than I did from the small presses meager advance and royalties. They paid me 7k for the book upfront. I was happy with it. I won't do it again, but at the time, it was the right choice for my career. I was told it wasn't a REAL publisher because of how they paid. Seemed like a real book and real money to me.

Anyway, I promised that when I started this forum, every form of publishing was welcome. I don't choose to self publish my novels. I want a big publisher for that. So I will find the right agent, the right publisher, and I will wait and go through the system. But I fully understand why someone else might not want to do that, and their method of fulfilling their publishing dreams isn't any better or worse than mine.

The only thing I make sure is that the people who choose to go away from the traditional route of publication are aware that there are other options and are CHOOSING the path they are on and not going there because they don't know any better. I've met some people who truly believed ALL authors paid to be published, that even King and Koontz paid to have someone publish their books, but that they were just lucky enough to sell so much more. They had no clue!

So this board is about education and then supporting choices.. we have so many different types of writers here, and I think they all have a legitimate career... not every writer wants the same things or measures success the same way!

Michy - 8/11/2012 at 01:54 PM

Derek, it's not just about brands and choosing sides... there's hatred in other areas too. For example, you would assume, by reading comments on some posts and articles, that fat people aren't even human. That they are worse than animals. The degrading, horrible things that are said.

Or how about the gold medal all-around black gymnast who was lambasted for her hair not being 'nice' when she had just won a freaking gold medal?

We are a judgmental race, we humans are... it's really sad.

On another note, every time I see the title for this thread, I think of this song:


Skwerly - 8/11/2012 at 02:18 PM

At least she wasn't fat AND had fouled up hair. Imagine it!

artfirms - 8/11/2012 at 02:20 PM

Quote: Originally posted by chrisstevenson  
Okay, I hit overall Amazon rank of 654 for free downloads, which tabulates to over 500 freebies. It hit # 87 in mystery/thriller for the free genre category. I went paid today and dumped the price to $1.99.

There must have been a brand-name author brick wall at # 654, 'cause I couldn't better it, no matter what I did. Made four sales after going paid. I know for a fact that one or two of those sales came from HERE!

Unbelievable. How tiny and yet how mighty Accentuate is.

Farah, if you're reading this, your wish was my command. You have a review on your Graphic Design Book. I got first-hand experience with your quality and expertise. I hope the review is fitting.

All is right in the world...for now.

chris


How come I'm always late to these parties? LOL I didn't see these recent posts.
Oh, Chris, you ROCK! Thank you endlessly and eternally. :) You made my day. What a lovely review and a lovelier surprise. :bouncy:

artfirms - 8/11/2012 at 02:33 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
We're a pretty amazing little board, eh? There's actually over 2000 members who are active at any given time--some don't post, but many lurk. I would imagine there are far more who lurk than post these days.

I'm glad we're helping you some!


I lurk much, but this board changed my life. I am very grateful for that.

Skwerly - 8/11/2012 at 02:41 PM

Yep, M, the brands was just a real easy example. The style you wear, the color of your hair, any kind of views you may or may not have, the music you are into (or not into), the people you socialize with (or don’t), etcetera. Everything in this life is an open arena for others to attack, and I just don’t get it.

Michy - 8/11/2012 at 02:41 PM

((HUGS)) We love you, Farah!

artfirms - 8/11/2012 at 02:43 PM

Awww... don't make me tear up now.
(((HUGZ)))

Michy - 8/11/2012 at 02:43 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Skwerly  
Yep, M, the brands was just a real easy example. The style you wear, the color of your hair, any kind of views you may or may not have, the music you are into (or not into), the people you socialize with (or don’t), etcetera. Everything in this life is an open arena for others to attack, and I just don’t get it.


Me neither...

chrisstevenson - 8/14/2012 at 02:28 PM

Just picked this one up this morning. It's funny how you think that reviewers have just stockpiled your book and forgot about you. Not always the case.

Planet Janitor review in SF magazine Tales of the Talisman

Posted on 14 Aug 2012 by Alexis

Planet Janitor was reviewed in the science fiction magazine Tales of the Talisman - Volume 8, Issue 1. Here is the full review:

There is something so satisfying about a truly well-done piece of science fiction. A good Sci-Fi tale gives the reader a glimpse into a possible future. Plus, not to mention, science fiction is fun. This is a perfect way to describe Chris Stevenson’s novel, Planet Janitor Custodian of the Stars—satisfying and fun.

Zachary Crowe, “Zaz” to his friends, is Captain of the Shenandoah. Along with his crew of misfits and outcasts they are a sort of outer space Jack-of-all-trades for hire. They tend to be a bit accident prone, but always seem to get the job done. Zaz and the rest of his crew at Planet Janitor have a sketchy reputation which is all the more reason for surprise when Orion Industries hire them for the job of a lifetime.

When Orion Industries discovers a new planet they see immediate profit potential. However there is a biological mess which needs to be “cleaned” before the planet can be utilized—enter Planet Janitor. Though the trip to the new planet is a 12-year jaunt, Zaz and crew take the contract as the payoff will be more money than they could ever hope to spend.

The job gets off to a rocky start however as the Shenandoah crashes on the new planet leaving the crew shipwrecked. The mysteries start to deepen as the crew discovers the remains of an apparent genocide. They must also fight off genetically engineered creatures and the alien masters who created them all the while dealing with the disappearance of crew members, the hardships of an extreme climate, psychological trauma of being stranded, and simply trying to get along with each other as they merely try to survive.

Chris Stevenson’s novel, Planet Janitor: Custodian of the Stars is highly entertaining. The technology is believable and really grounded in science. This is always an important factor for solid Sci-Fi. The characters are well-developed and their individual storylines will suck the reader right in. There is enough action, humor, and even a touch of romance mixed in to satisfy even the casual science fiction fan. This makes Planet Janitor Custodian of the Stars an easy recommend.

—Shawn Oetzel
Tales of the Talisman — Volume 8, Issue 1.
You can purchase a copy of the book here.
Or check out the Planet Janitor website.

[Edited on 8/14/2012 by chrisstevenson]

artfirms - 8/14/2012 at 02:36 PM

It's all one big tease to me. How about starting up a Smashwords account? I'm really interested in reading this one.

Michy - 8/14/2012 at 04:25 PM

Farah, you can buy it on Kindle and read it on the Kindle for PC app.

Chris, great review.

And please don't think reviewers forget you. We are all soooo inundated with review requests, it literally sometimes takes months, but we really do all work hard to get the reviews out as quickly as possible. The most popular reviewers have stopped accepting review requests, and the rest are sometimes as much as 8 months out. I'm running way behind myself, but I will always eventually get the review up--and late reviews can really help refresh a stale title too. never underestimate the power of a late review!


chrisstevenson - 8/15/2012 at 02:45 PM

I was invited to write a guest blog at Coffee Time Romance, for the Wolfen Strain. I talk about the danger of reversing the Beauty and the Beast theme, writing a romance in a male POV and using a non-alpha male main character. You can click on the link below.

Please, ladies, tell me what you think and if my reasoning was sound and convincing.

http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/when-is-a-werewolf-book...

artfirms - 8/15/2012 at 03:22 PM

I liked your take. It's certainly original. The role reversal works well from how you described it, and "she" sounds interesting. I also like your thought process on how you drew inspiration from the dormant DNA. Very cool concept.

chrisstevenson - 8/15/2012 at 03:51 PM

Thanks, Farah. The dormant (human)gene was the most difficult scientific aspect of the book used as a suspension of disbelief. Of course, such a thing is not possible even if you believe "you are what you eat." So I blamed it on the scientist's mysterious protocol 421, just to cover that base. Going into any further explanation would be tempting some really intelligent and justified opposition. Technically the book is straight thriller with romance and horror elements. Most werewolf books are straight UF or horror. The word "werewolf" is not mentioned anywhere in the 100,000-word text.

chris

Michy - 8/15/2012 at 07:37 PM

I left a comment on the blog... it sounds interesting. My comment is awaiting moderation.

chrisstevenson - 9/23/2012 at 08:04 PM

THE WAR GATE, a paranormal romance/thriller will be FREE on Sept 25th and the 26th. This is a super-length, back-list title. If you enjoy time-travel, magic, horror and romance, it's for you! Amazon Link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-War-Gate-ebook/dp/B008SDVEQU/ref=sr_1_5?s...

Hah! We must resort to these tactics when we can't sell 'em!

chris

Michy - 9/24/2012 at 01:53 AM

I've got my copy and it's on my reading list--I love time travel. I just haven't caught up yet from being in the hospital to dig back into my reading list with gusto yet. Soon, promise.

Skwerly - 9/24/2012 at 10:11 AM

'Tis on mine, too. Aye.

chrisstevenson - 9/24/2012 at 03:30 PM

Oh, that's neat. What support!

chrisstevenson - 9/28/2012 at 09:45 AM

Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
I've got my copy and it's on my reading list--I love time travel. I just haven't caught up yet from being in the hospital to dig back into my reading list with gusto yet. Soon, promise.


Michy--you get well and rested. Then, later, you'll have time for teleportation to a new world.

And yes, don't be afraid to enter any contests. You never, ever know what the results are going to be. My entry was pure fluke and a surprise to me.

chrisstevenson - 9/30/2012 at 11:45 AM

Farah, if you're out there, I tried to reply to your email message this morning but it keeps bouncing back. I used this one: info@farahevers.com. I get a delivery failure. If any AW reads this, would you pass this on to Farah? I don't know how else to get a hold of her.

Farah, here's the link that you need for the War Gate blog post:

http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/2012/08/debut-war-ga...

And on the other hand, I just received an email from an independent film producer who wants to see a copy of The Girl They Sold to the Moon. So I sent that off. He's talking about an option. Apparently, he did a lot of digging around the internet and read a lot of my scribblings.

Received a book contract offer from a small press. I think I'm going to decline this--the warnings and history on them don't look very good. I should have researched them more thoroughly before submitting.

Anyway, nice little downpour on a quiet Sunday.

[Edited on 9/30/2012 by chrisstevenson]

Michy - 9/30/2012 at 12:08 PM

Want to tell me in private who the small publisher is? I'll let you know if I have anything on them... if not, that's cool too. I try to keep a little private log in case folks ask.

artfirms - 9/30/2012 at 12:12 PM

Oh! Thanks, Chris! Why the heck are my emails bouncing? I'll have to look into that. Thanks for the link though.

chrisstevenson - 9/30/2012 at 12:28 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Michy  
Want to tell me in private who the small publisher is? I'll let you know if I have anything on them... if not, that's cool too. I try to keep a little private log in case folks ask.


Gak. I'm such an idiot--there's private messaging here. Yes, Michy, I'd like to know what you think about this publisher. I got some negatives (quite a few) on the AbsoluteWrite forum. I'll PM you.

Yah, Farah. Glad it went through. It's probably something on my end. Apparently is was a false message in the email, if it did in fact, get to you.

chris

[Edited on 9/30/2012 by chrisstevenson]

chrisstevenson - 10/12/2012 at 12:47 PM

I had an indie producer contact me last week about my YA distopian, The Girl They Sold to the Moon. He wanted to discuss a film option deal. He said he read some first chapters, which threw me, because this book hasn't been published. Then I thought, Chris, you idiot, you've put chapters up on Booksie and Wattpad. So that solved that riddle. He came out of Stage32, and I guess he was following one of my conversations. So far he checks out, having some relevant experience in the agency. I finally decided to hook him up with my agent. At first, I thought I should feel him out a little bit before sending him the full manuscript. Then it dawned on me--I'm woefully inept in discussing anything to do with the movie industry.

I'm glad I didn't stick my nose into this. I nearly did, but backed off in time. My agent is currently handling it, and they're communicating back and forth.

Motto: curb your excitement and enthusiasm. Let a professional handle things.

chris

Michy - 10/12/2012 at 01:54 PM

Yeah, that's what agents are for, exactly.

chrisstevenson - 12/8/2012 at 03:33 PM

Just a heads up reminder that The War Gate will go Free on Amazon starting tomorrow (9th) and stay on the free list for three days. But I have to thank all of you from AW for already taking this opportunity before--probably one of my largest writing group participations ever.

chris

Morecoffee - 12/17/2012 at 09:18 PM

Congrats on your successes! :)

chrisstevenson - 12/18/2012 at 11:21 AM

Thans you, Morecoffee. Congrats on your new release, which I see is today!

chrisstevenson - 12/28/2012 at 08:11 PM

Well, I thought that my thriller The Wolfen Strain would never come out in paperback, because I had nightmares that I hadn't sold enough e-copies or the publisher stopped printing their authors or some such awful thing. I just got word that it came out in paperback. Finally. The publisher apologized and said it got hung up for two months at the printers--actually lost. So I'm happy for that.

And I can't believe I just started the sequel to the SF book. It's been a year since I've written any fiction. My publishers is the one who championed this edition and begged me to write it. I gave in three days ago and I'm not at the 7,000-word mark, in Chapter 2! I can't believe I'm really doing this.

I still have to make a living, so before I even splash a pixel on the page for PJ, I have to write for TB, DMS, and Dollar Stretcher magazine. But it's worth it!

melinda - 12/28/2012 at 08:13 PM

Congratulations! That's wonderful to hear. :-)

chrisstevenson - 12/28/2012 at 09:02 PM

Thank you Melinda. I'm not afraid to step away from this horrendous promo and marketing campaign that I've been on for the last year. Just been so afraid to see my ranking slip any time, that I always wanted to get to its aid and fix it. I can't believe the time I've wasted, fretted and suffered anxiety attacks over my marketing efforts.

But the best advice, and certainly the oldest, has been to "write another book" and don't beat yourself up about ranks and sales. I have control over that. At least.

chris

Skwerly - 12/29/2012 at 02:03 PM

Awesome! Wow! How cool is that?

artfirms - 12/29/2012 at 03:46 PM

You go, Chris! :)

chrisstevenson - 1/6/2013 at 09:31 PM

Well, over 17,000 words into the new WIP. I don't know how long I can keep it up. I MUST find content writing to do, and right now it's reaaaaal slow at three of my sites. TB, for 3-stars, is useless lately. I'm finding nothing at WA and DMS. Gak.

Michy - 1/6/2013 at 09:36 PM

Have you tried Constant Content or Y!CN?

chrisstevenson - 1/6/2013 at 10:38 PM

Not Constant Content. But I'll look into that one. What is Y!CN?

Michy - 1/6/2013 at 10:45 PM

It was Associated Content--it's now the Yahoo! Contributor Network.


chrisstevenson - 1/6/2013 at 10:46 PM

Okay, gotcha. Thanks.

chrisstevenson - 1/9/2013 at 09:37 PM

New Blog Post in Guerrilla Warfare For Writers:

Nudging Brick Walls

See siggy for latest Post. Man, I got depressed looking at my submission spreadsheet. Alas, though, I did manage to nudge five publishers. We'll see what happens. Hope it rains good things.

The Wolfen Strain just came out in paperback after a long, lost trail. I think I mentioned that, but I just goot my first contributor's copy. It is a beaut, gotta say.

[Edited on 1/10/2013 by chrisstevenson]

Michy - 1/9/2013 at 09:50 PM

If it makes you feel any better--I learned from a major polling agency that even the very best of writers only sell about 40% of what they write. That means 60% gets rejected.

So if you're not one of the 'very best' but are only 'very good and the best', then your percentages might even be a bit lower than that--but that means that if you're pushing 60% rejection, as long as your writing is really quality writing, you're that much closer to making a sale!

Morecoffee - 1/9/2013 at 10:10 PM

Quote: Originally posted by chrisstevenson  
Thans you, Morecoffee. Congrats on your new release, which I see is today!


Thanks! Yes it was. :)

chrisstevenson - 2/16/2013 at 08:40 PM

Check out JOURNEY INTERRUPTED from the PLANET JANITOR series--IT WILL BE FREE ON AMAZON SUNDAY, 2-17!
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Janitor-Journey-Interrupted-ebook/dp/B...

The crew of Planet Janitor Corporation are on the tail end of a salvage mission in the asteroid belt when they encounter a ghost ship. Faced with a volatile substance onboard, the crew race against the clock to commandeer the vessel before it reaches the Exon Refueling Station. What they find on the ship will stress their abilities to the limit, and put their lives in imminent danger.

chrisstevenson - 2/17/2013 at 11:33 AM

Just a last minute reminder: Check out JOURNEY INTERRUPTED from the PLANET JANITOR series--IT'S FREE TODAY, SUNDAY--2-17-2013!
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Janitor-Journey-Interrupted-ebook/dp/B...

BTW; this was like writing a Star Trek episode--not as easy as you would think. And I sure didn't get to cram all of the characterization I wanted to into it. So I'm sorry for that aspect.

chris

Sadie - 2/17/2013 at 11:56 AM


Your link here isn't working for me, but you are easy to find by name on Amazon. :) Anyway, congratulations on your work--looks like it will be interesting.


Michy - 2/17/2013 at 03:33 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Janitor-Journey-Interrupted-ebook/dp/B...



That link should work.

Chris, the publisher has a 'stripped book' warning on the legal page for a digital short story--they don't put paper covers on digitals, so that warning looks kinda silly--it can also hurt you in contests if you get entered for a short-story contest for ebooks/digitals, because it will make people think the book isn't an ebook but was a print book. You might mention that to them.

The illustration at the top of the first header is kinda a cool thing... the short is well presented!

Sadie - 2/17/2013 at 03:54 PM


Yep, that one works. Smooth as butter now! ;)

chrisstevenson - 5/24/2013 at 07:57 PM

Well, just got another contract offer. This time for Screamcatcher. Both my YA titles have received a total of nine offers in the past three months. My agent and I have declined the last eight because we're shooting for a slightly higher advance. Keep in mind that these have been very legit and reputable small press houses that pay and some have distribution. My agent has one of the books making the NYC circuit at the moment, and we're really hoping for a hit there.

I'm still kind of flabergasted that the YA titles have beat out the adult thriller and the UF/ghost book. We're very close to a major hit right now. I've lost most of my fingernails and hair as a result. Fingers crossed on this one--lots of hail Marys, salt over the shoulder and copious amounts of holy water.

artfirms - 5/25/2013 at 12:44 AM

That's awesome, Chris! Maybe YA is more in demand? Anyway, the important thing is that you have something big coming, so good luck!!!

chrisstevenson - 5/25/2013 at 01:05 AM

Thanks, Farah. Dunno, maybe I just write the YA with more ease (feels like it anyway) or it is maintaining its popularity in the industry. I keep thinking of Hunger Games, and use it as an example to goad me along to try more ideas.

Nancy G. - 5/25/2013 at 06:36 AM

Continued success, Chris! Hope you hit it big!

Skwerly - 5/25/2013 at 10:12 AM

I just think it's neat that young adults read at all. The ones I know don't, lol. Congrats, man!

chrisstevenson - 5/25/2013 at 10:49 AM

We certainly have to thank Harry Potter, Rowling's extravaganza, for a lot of things. Like pulling in a whole new generation of readers at a time when we/they needed it the most.

Michy - 5/25/2013 at 04:08 PM

My daughter always has a book, iPod or phone around with books pulled up on it... she reads all the freaking time. I can't get her out of the bathroom or to wash the dishes sometimes, 'cause she's got her nose stuck in a book. My son, he doesn't think to read, but once I put a book in front of him and he gets into it, he will read it until it's over, even if it means staying up all night and falling asleep reading.

I absolutely love that my kids both love to read. I taught them both to read when they were young, before they started school, and it definitely gave them both an advantage in school as well, I think. I think one of the reasons for that is that I always had a book when they were growing up. They never saw me without a book on my nightstand, one in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen---yes, kitchen. I would read while waiting for food to cook. Stirring a sauce? I can get a few pages in before it's done...

I realize some of it is personality and the individual, but I do really think a parent has a lot to do with a child's desire to read too. Most parents (though certainly not all) who I know are readers, true readers, have kids who grow up to be readers too.

My son was in the accelerated reading program in school--his best motivation to read? The little girl he had a crush on was the top reader in the district and he wanted to sit with her and be in her same class--he finished that school year as the second top reader in the school below her and third top reader in the district--all for the love of a girl! LOL

MaryL - 5/29/2013 at 12:30 PM

Teens read like crazy now. Wishing you a quick sale, Chris!

chrisstevenson - 5/29/2013 at 12:58 PM

Thank you, Maryl. I just received my sixth offer on a YA title, while the other YA has pulled four contract offers. I've handed all of it off to my agent, hoping she can juggle this mess to our advantage. I think I'll include a post I wrote a few days ago to some group friends to explain what's going on. It's a happy time, but very confusing.

The Girl They Sold to the Moon has just received its sixth contract offer, two of them in the past week--all of them within three months. There are still 8 to 10 fulls out there, plus a number of partials from my end, and my agent has her subs out to the biggies. The offers have come from advance-paying small/independent presses. This is the same book that took a grand prize win in a YA novel writing contest. Oh, and a film option offer.

I've handed everything over to my agent, almost reluctantly, 'cause this has the hallmarks of a growing swarm and I just can't imagine all the juggling she'll have to do with this mess. Truth be told, I couldn't even begin to negotiate this without really pissing off publishers and confusing the issues, terms and intricacies found in a contract. Nor would I have the diplomacy to deal with everyone in a calm, professional manner. So I don't envy her a bit. She says that we might have a good chance of using these offers as leveraging for the higher up houses, especially if this keeps up.

The irony: This book has never been special to me and I always considered it a fluke, and still do. It's a stupid little thing hung on a mildly intriguing premise. I wrote it fast, without a great deal of care toward plotting or theme. The double irony is, that perhaps therein lies its response success--I was relaxed, having fun, amusing myself and got it out of my system and just tossed it out there like a bad penny. I'm wondering if that mindset is really my perfect comfort zone for producing/writing something that's simple, easy to understand and/or appealing to so many people.

In the past I struggled to knock out really intricate plots loaded with red herrings, exotic locations, diverse characters, multiple POVs and a huge emphasis on voice/style.

Well, Mr. self-proclaimed stylist, you suck because your masterpieces never got this type of attention, anywhere, at any time from anybody. So I think that's what I can take away from this--that nobody has a gun to my head to produce the next big blockbuster and when you try to overachieve it backfires on you in a big way.

My other YA title has pulled four contract offers in the past four months and it's still out there too. It's become glaringly clear, that if I don't park myself in the YA genre from here on out (my experimental niche), I'll need my head examined and deserve to have my computer lit afire.

Triple irony: If this had happened within the Big Five environment, I'd be sitting in Auction or Preempt city by now. Got fingers crossed for a miracle.

Cheers and Happy Memorial Day!

Chris--bemused, bewildered and bedazzled.

MaryL - 5/30/2013 at 11:56 AM

Wow! That is fantastic. I've never been given longer than 72 hours to accept or decline a pub offer. Keep us posted on how it goes down. Very exciting.

chrisstevenson - 5/30/2013 at 12:24 PM

Yeah, decision times vary greatly, but they are all within a week or two tops. The problem with the smaller presses is that sometimes mention of an agent scares them off and some of them have never worked with an agent before. That became glaringly obvious after a few of them admitted that they'd prefer an wasn't involved. This type of stance is not shared with the large NCY publishers who actually prefer dealing with an agent, to keep things on tract, calm and reasonable. There are exceptions: I remember that Jim Baen was quoted as saying, " I do not suffer agents well, especially after the fact. I detest having a gun held to my head." Or some such.

chrisstevenson - 9/11/2013 at 12:16 AM

Well, I can finally announce that I've signed the contract with Intrigue Publishing and just sent it out in the mail today. The negotiation process between my agent and publisher took 39 days of back and forth, about the advance, term, royalties, all the sub-rights and a mess of other things. I have to say that I've never had a small publisher fork over a high three-digit advance before, especially a newish one. But the CEO was so very cooperative and agreeable that I would have taken less. Well, maybe not, but it was our last gasp. NY didn't even raise a brow. The irony of it, wot?

The other young adult title just got it's fifth offer and we're holding out just like we did with the first one. Agent has bombed NY with it, so I've got to sit back and wait. But I'll soon be deep in track changes and I have to remember how to manipulate that program for editing. It's been awhile.

I can't explain what's happening in the small and indie presses and their ravenous attraction to YA titles, mine notwithstanding. The ghost fantasy and adult thriller didn't pull this kind of attention at all. Can't figure it.

Peace out,

chris

I haven't been around so much because I'm really scrambling to pick up TextBroker articles and get these important bills paid. That, or it's no internet.



[Edited on 9/11/2013 by chrisstevenson]

artfirms - 9/11/2013 at 02:16 AM

Congratulations, Chris! I'm always thrilled to hear your news! Glad you'll get a good pay from this, as well as the recognition you deserve. Kudos! :)

Nancy G. - 9/11/2013 at 06:37 AM

Good news, Chris! Congratulations. So glad it all worked out for you.

Skwerly - 9/11/2013 at 11:01 AM

Is this a novel?


Congrats! :)

chrisstevenson - 9/11/2013 at 10:06 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Skwerly  
Is this a novel?


Congrats! :)


Yes, it' a short YA book--dystopian.

Skwerly - 9/12/2013 at 11:47 AM

I guess a three-digit advance is pretty good for a small house.

chrisstevenson - 9/12/2013 at 12:32 PM

Yeah, particularly in an environment where we're seeing mostly royalty only from the little guys. And the reality of selling more than 100 copies or more during its lifetime is unlikely unless you have a very popular title in a popular genre with a brand-name publisher like Samhain, Elloras, Liquid Silver, Loose I.D. or other. I like the advance because its almost a guarantee that the publisher is going to assist in the promotion and marketing. They stand to gain just as much as I do. This publisher in particular wants to use this book as their lead YA title, so the push is going to be substantial, or at least above average. And that's a nice departure from my past dealings.

Skwerly - 9/12/2013 at 08:29 PM

Yes, very good points! Congratulations. :)

Michy - 9/12/2013 at 11:27 PM

First, congratulations!

Secondly, I'm curious though--this publisher doesn't require agented submissions. Why would you go with an agent to a small press, where you're unlikely to get much of an advance or royalties in total, and then give up part of your income to an agent for that, when it's not necessary?


chrisstevenson - 9/13/2013 at 10:57 AM

These were my submissions after the agent exhausted all submission fronts to the larger houses for this title. It involved two sub rounds, totaling about 19 rejections over 14 months. It's at that time when I step in with my own pro-active campaign, searching (first) for the highest paying independents who carry distribution and provide bookstore placement. It doesn't mean my agent stops completely, but it means that she is now limited to the small houses which are not exactly profitable for her. I start at the top with the best offers and work my way down. I was lucky to hit a few who offered something substantial.

My agent fires the big guns. I'm mop-up at the end of the line. That's the way I have it arranged in my dealings with her. That way I don't have to shelve a book.

chrisstevenson - 10/13/2013 at 09:32 PM

Wow, talk about a major computer crash. For some reason I picked up some nasty viruses--spyware, malware, Trojans and all that good stuff and my computer was just going bonkers. I had pop-up ads from the left, bottom and right margins, anchor text and God knows what else. My nephew, who is a computer whiz bang, suggested I do a complete wipe and get rid of Windows Vista and replace it with Windows 7. It's taken me about six hours so far re-installing my usernames and passwords to about 50 locations (sites). Well, it's raining good things now. Computer is faster than ever and I got my first copy of MS Word Office Premium, and I'm just starting to figure out how to use it. Thankfully, all of my favorites were stored and re-displayed.

I'm just glad to be back.

Oh, latest blog post (which I found hiding in a draft file) is "Don't Sub Until You See the Whites of Their Eyes:

http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2...

Skwerly - 10/14/2013 at 01:12 AM

Crashes like that are what convinced me to try Linux--but you won't be disappointed in 7. It works, and well.

Glad to see ya back!