Saturday, 30 November 2013

Why did I change the covers?!

So, the new episode of Jane is out! You can pick it up here on Smashwords:

I'm sorry it took me a whole month to get this one done but there were some big decisions to make that I had to chat with my editor about. I had a story for a novel Jane 8086 quite a while back…but then I decided to do this episodic thing. 

So THEN…we thought that if it's going to be episodic…the whole thing had to change quite significantly…because it couldn't ever really end…which actually ended up watering down the meat and potatoes of the plot. 

We decided that we'd go with the original story because "ED" says that she really wanted to see that story unfold…it had much more weight to it than the never-ending episodic version…but we'll still release it in little chunks at a time while I write it. 

This is kind of weird, but it seems to be working. Maybe at the end, we'll be able to take all the parts, smash em together and it'll still be the novel that I'd intended to write in the first place.

Regarding the cover for part 3 - I've been getting some mixed reactions with it. I think of Jane as a good time…it's fun. It's not HARD Sci-fi - it's accessible and light hearted. So, that picture on the cover is in that kind of spirit. That's what I imagine one of Jane's smiles to be like…and maybe her voice is like Tricia Helfer's? 

I suppose because you're giving someone a story and they're all imagining things differently to themselves, it's a little crappy to go and say that "here, this is what Jane looks like." That's not what I'm doing at all. With the episodic thing I was actually thinking about putting a picture of a different girl on the cover for every episode. 

Jane can look like anybody she wants to. So, that's just one way that she could appear. I didn't mean to alienate anybody by stealing away YOUR version of her and replacing it with mine. 

Also, this is a test to see if a cover with a pretty girl on it will attract more readers to the series. So, let's wait and see what happens. :) 

Stay frosty!


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Where on earth is Jane8086?? (Breaks)

It can't be that long since my last post, probably less than a week…however, a great many things have transpired since I've been able to put pen to paper…or rather…finger to keyboard. 

There's the interview that came up on the Friday or Saturday that went by…you can find that here:

And since then I've been saturating myself in the works of Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns and Mark Waid. If you don't know who they are and what they do then I'm not going to tell you :) 

All I'm going to tell you is that they are some of the most entertaining writers around. I think I've probably been reading their stuff for about 12hrs a day…I don't take a break to eat…I perform peripheral tasks relating to the business of living on the side. 

Anyway, the thing is that I'd forgotten what an impact positive work like that can have on a mind. I really do not believe that one MUST suffer for art. Sure, sometimes you have to go to a really dark place to create something that can show people the other side of normal…maybe you're in that place already and having to put that on paper only magnifies it…but I think it's equally challenging to write something with an existing mythology and still find a way to put some of yourself into it AND be positive and uplifting in the process…especially with all the red tape that one must endure in certain industries. 

So…where is old R.X.E. in the midst of all this? I've somehow managed to transport my brain back to a time when I wasn't 'this guy'…and I used to think that anything was possible…when I used to be the 'other guy'. I kind of started remembering that he wasn't such a bad guy to be. Maybe he was better than I am…maybe he was just different…maybe he's always there and I just need to know when to let him out every once in a while. 

I know one thing for sure…that guy had a much more hopeful view of the future. That being said, I'm trying to make some changes with my day to day life. Manual labor is good for the soul. Sitting around writing for 16hrs a day is nice when you've got something to say…but taking some time to WANT to have that time to write BECAUSE you have something to say has its place in the avenues of life too. So I'm going to rediscover my roots…I'm going to invest myself in a little bit of soul exfoliation. 

Where that path may take me, I honestly have no idea…but I know that I'm not going to stop writing. That's been the one staple in my life up to this point. More than anything else in the world, I am first…and last…a writer. I've been a lot of other things too…and the time when I was hammering hot iron on an anvil was one of the most purely rewarding times of my life. I don't want to lose that part of myself and drift so far away from it that it becomes a distant memory. I want to feed that memory and touch base with that guy again. 

Hopefully I can take the best of both these guys and make a whole new guy who's just a little better than either of them. AND - maybe he'll find a whole bunch of new stories to tell…or at the very least - a brand new perspective. 

I'm still going to keep doing the Jane series…I promised I would and I can't just back out of it - I don't want to either. It's not going to be like clockwork but I know everyone will understand and I think they'll probably be better because I'm not rushing with them. 

As for "The Price of Metal" - I can't help being a little shocked…but the popularity…or lack thereof…has certainly cemented what I'd only previously suspected. Most people want to read to go on an adventure and have a good time. I'd never gotten so much positive feedback on anything before but the people that actually WANTED to read that story were about a tenth of the people reading Jane. 

Still…I'll never shy away from putting an idea out there. Having one person read that story and be affected by it would have been enough for me…and it is. BUT - I'm also doing this to entertain my readers and build a following - maybe when that following is big enough, then some of those people will trust me enough to look at the serious stuff too so I can have some marginal effect on the world. :) 

So, that's it for today. I don't know what exactly is going to happen next. I'm going to have to do some serious thinking…but I'll be around ;) 

Till next time!


P.S. Cheers Andy, it's been a real experience living in your head…but every ride's gotta end some time.

Friday, 8 November 2013

It was a dark and stormy night…

It's been quite a while since my last post and today is my first one on blogger. I decided to move over from goodreads. The old stuff is here: if you've only discovered me today :) - Here's my stuff:

Anyway, I had some personal stuff to deal with but I'm back at the computer doing what I love doing most…making my fingers bleed for you! 

I've got a lot to talk about today…first…

As a good friend told me yesterday - "Misery. Best Friend of Le Artiste." I was really depressed about some stuff, I mean more depressed than I remember being in a long, long time. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep…I really had no idea what to do with myself. After pacing back and forth around my dining room table I suddenly got this image of a coin. It was a Roman denarii. I started writing and about twelve hours later I had a story - "The Price Of Metal".

As soon as I put it up I was greeted with an avalanche of positive feedback. Thanks to everyone for that! I needed the pick me up. I think that the good reviews came from the fact that for the first time I may have actually written something that was relevant…pertinent to the world at large. It's not a happy story but I feel great for having written it. So…yeah…being miserable can sometimes be a constructive thing. I doubt I'd be feeling positive about myself right now if I hadn't written that. 


I just read some erotic fiction on smash words for the first time…I'll tell you about it in a second. There are a ton of talentless hacks out there that are stringing together explicitives - slapping on some kind of salacious cover to it and then calling the crap literature...with a price tag of $3.99.

These things are barely 2,000 words in length. Who the F!@# is paying to read this garbage? It's the internet - you can get this kind of thing for free in any dark cyber alley you want to crawl in to. 

The way the HD-DVD and Bluray war was settled was with the porn industry. Porn dictates the direction of technology. Hell, the internet only exists today because of porn. I think tablet sales increased so people could have their naughty stories and nobody would see it on their bookshelves at home. That's fine…in fact, I don't even know why I'm complaining about it…I think it's probably because I'm putting stuff up for free to build a following and get my name out there…while people who can't write worth a damn are actually making money out of this. 

And you know what? I might've even gone down that road - but I can't see myself actually being able to put one sentence like that together without laughing myself to death. "Oooh…" she moaned as his yadda yadda with the thing and the stuff and the whatever…hahahahahaha! Come on!

How can you keep a straight face? But erotic literature is far outselling everything out there right now…which brings me to why I started this little conversation. Today on the new releases of Smash was a short story - 2000 words - free - and it was erotic. I was curious. It was this author's first listing…so I read it. I was pleasantly surprised. This was an actual writer who was telling a story and he told it pretty damn well. I was forced to conclude that this was a serious writer who'd been kicked to the curb so many times that he's just decided to pimp himself out to the system. Make a name for himself and then sell word porn to the world. 

I'm of two minds about this. 

1. Yeah bro - work the system - if you got it - flaunt it. 
2. Lame bro - don't sell out - don't let them stop you from making art!

But I guess option one tends to win more of the time when putting food on the table and beer in the belly starts to become a factor. 

I've only been on Smash for a few months now but it still kind of grates me when I see people putting up shitty drafts of their work and trying to charge the earth for it. You're either trying to scam people or have some serious delusions of grandeur. Start charging when you have a real audience and you've actually bothered to hone your craft. 

Lastly - Jane8086 - this was another pleasant surprise. The numbers jumped incredibly when I put up episode 2. The original idea was a book…then I decided to turn it into a series…but I must admit that I'm having some trouble deciding on what exactly the direction of this whole thing should take. If anyone has any ideas…let me know. 

I've started on episode 3 - but I really don't know when it's going to be ready so I can't give anyone a time frame at the moment. 

I keep wondering if maybe I should try to let the tone of the material evolve…like maybe take a different narrative style to it or something. Maybe make it grow up a little. But…then again - it's working the way it is right now and everybody seems to like that so maybe I should stick with what works?

I've also been thinking about a sequel to Demonicus and full novel for Xyggy. There's so much to do and so little time. I also don't know if I've come up with that one thing that's my signature character or series. So…maybe a new idea…? Anybody….anybody?

Well…I could nag for a little while longer or get back to work :) I'm going to get back to work - stay cool!


P.S. Here…read some stuff!