Guest post at SF Signal on Problems Writing Fanfiction

I am by no means an expert fan fiction writer, but I did have to brainstorm for a bit to work through some initial hurdles to planning the five part story of Scavenger. Head over to my SF Signal post to see what my dilemmas and solutions were.

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/09/guest-post-timothy-c-ward-on-the-problems-with-writing-fan-fiction-and-how-to-solve-them/

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Scavenger: New Cover and First 100 Reviewers Program

Three pieces of news to share on my current work in progress.

Scavenger, The Series

First, Scavenger is planned to expand into at least a five part series. The first part, now called Scavenger: Red Sands, is a twenty five page novelette. Scavenger: Blue Dawn, the second part, is four times as long. The rest of the parts are planned out to match part two in length, and by serializing these novellas, I’m able to better afford the editing cost while also hopefully building an audience before compiling an omnibus. I’ve seen different takes on endings for serials; my philosophy is to reward the reader with resolution that also leads to further adventure. In other words, no cliff hangers.

New Cover Art

Second, and possibly better news than the first, is that Shawn King has been hired to make covers for this serialization process. Shawn first caught my eye with the facebook headers he made for Jeff Salyards and the Grimdark Fiction group, then with book covers for Ragnarok Publications and Mark Tufo’s Lycan Fallout. Dude is killin’ it all over the place. Here’s the cover for Scavenger: Red Sands (on sale for $.99):

Scavenger-Red_Sands-Cover-FINALRead the Series for Free

The third piece of news is my taking a page from Nick Cole‘s book on marketing. For the first hundred reviewers of Scavenger, I’ll give you an ebook of the next part for free. Review that and I’ll give you the next, etc. In order to ensure an ease of communication, sign up for my author newsletter so I can email you your reward. The goal is to garner these first hundred reviewers before the omnibus releases. That would make a huge splash.

Lastly, I finished Blue Dawn this weekend, so it’ll be off to the editor after a quick out-loud read and final polish.

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Scavenger Free Monday thru Wednesday

*The free deal is over, but my Hugh Howey fanfic novelette, Scavenger: Red Sands, is still only $.99 on Kindle.

Sold with permission from Hugh Howey, Scavenger takes place in the world of his novel, Sand, and could be described as Dune meets 24. The first installment is the first two hours of my light scifi thriller. The second is halfway done and set to be three times as long.

I’ve joined the Kindle Unlimited program, so for the next ninety days it will only be available on Kindle. If you have any questions on how to obtain this story, leave a comment below and I’ll be in contact.

The gap between Scavenger 1 and 2 was longer than it should be between 2 and 3, partly because I put the time in to research and outline where the story could go.

In a recent 5 Star review, M.H. Page, on Amazon.co.uk said:

This is a story about … in an odd almost magical-realist world best described as “Mad Max 2 with more sand”. Ward gives us a hero who is in almost the worst possible of places professionally (ewww) and emotionally then plunges him into a high-stakes adventure with … as the ultimate prize. A surprisingly intense read, Gemmel does Stephen King. Ward is obviously an author to watch.

Enjoy this limited time giveaway and please share your honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

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Early Reviews for Scavenger and Writing Update

I’m a little in shock right now from one review in particular. Nick Cole, author of The Old Man and the Wasteland and the upcoming Soda Pop Soldier just gave my novelette, Scavenger, 5 Stars:

“Ward crafts a thrilling tale of desolation, desperation and redemption after the world ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this tight little jaunt through a sandy wasteland populated by the damned and the dying and those desperate for a last shot at redemption, or hell. Ward infuses a classic down-on-his-luck scavenger tale with pathos, nobility and a faithful insight into the allurement of temporary pleasures. In short, pick this one up, it’s a strong read that stands on it’s own two feet.” – link to review to vote up

Scavenger by Timothy C. Ward, an authorized fan fiction novelette set in the world of Hugh Howey’s SAND.

***Now available exclusively on Kindle***

 

So there you go, my first famous author to read and review my work. The rest of the reviews have been favorable as well, split 4/4 between 5 and 4 stars. I don’t care if someone posts a lower number star, but I’m glad to see people liking it.

Writing update:

Hugh Howey just posted an article called “The New Top Down Approach” which continues his argument for self-publishing being the favorite option as a starting point for authors instead of a last resort.

My take on self publishing is hesitant because of two factors: I lack the upfront money to hire editors and cover designers; and reputable small presses I follow could give me better guidance and exposure than I could get on my own, while providing the editing and cover upfront.

Michael Bunker has blogged about how many people complain about my first point, and has given advice of getting a second job or minimize expenses to save up for editing and cover costs. I’m looking for a better paying first job, and actually have a second job in running Adventures in SciFi Publishing. It doesn’t pay well though. I’ve tossed the idea of stepping down and getting a second job, but AISFP gives me flexibility to work when I’m not needed to take care of our new baby. AISFP also helps get my name out there for when I do publish, so I’d like to keep that gig.

I suppose I could wait a year or so to save up for an editor and cover artist, but I think a small press could publish me sooner. They’d also save me the money of hiring an editor that isn’t the right fit. Scavenger’s edit helped me, but then with the changes I chose to just read it a bunch of times and hope I caught all the grammar and typos (so far no complaints). I don’t want to chance this with a novel length work, so just editing myself is not a choice I’m pursuing.

*News 8/2/14 – I have turned my novel, Order After Dark, into two highly respected beta readers, but I could use more. I put up a progress bar on the right to chart my progress on making Scavenger a novel.

I could hybrid my stories, with this novel, Order After Dark, going to a small press and my Scavenger stories being self-published through inexpensive editing and cover design. Right now I’m polishing the last few chapters in OAD and brainstorming what direction I want to go with Scavenger Part Two. I may or may not use the same explanation as Hugh has for why the future America is covered in sand.

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New Fiction by Timothy C. Ward – Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale

Hey, that’s my name up there. It is hard to imagine that the past six years of fully focused writing has only netted me two published stories, but I am glad to have waited until I had something I’m proud of. Scavenger is my Hugh Howey fanfic set in his Sand universe. You can read my story without have having read Sand, but I recommend you do both. I don’t mind if you read his masterpiece first, it is one of the best books I’ve read this year (Sand review).

This novelette is a complete story, but can expand into serialized long fiction if readers demand. I have a novel that is 2/3’s through edits, Order After Dark, and once I send that off to either a publisher or an editor, I can get back to this world. I’m inspired by what Hugh did with Wool, and will dream big even though the chances of repeating his success are minimal. I’d even take what some midlisters are doing with their serialized fiction. Michael Bunker recently released his Dunes Over Danvar 3, completing his Sand fanfic story. He has been at this for awhile, building up an audience via his off-the-grid blog, then serialized multiple books, Wick, Pennsylvania, and more. Michael was on the podcast back on Episode 249.

I suppose I’m one of many with hopes of publishing something that will help me get to the point of writing full-time, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, and write as though this can.

ScavengerSo, what is Scavenger? It is about a sand diver who is grieving the loss of his son, and is given an opportunity to move on, but possibly in the wrong direction. The job he is offered could harden his heart enough to forget about his son, but it would also mean the final break between him and his estranged wife.

For me, this story is personal because I just had my first child. Scavenger gave me an emotional experience in writing that almost documents how I’ve grown as a human being since Kai was born, the new feelings I have as a father and husband. As a husband, I’m seeing how spouses can turn against each other when the baby creates tension. Coming from a broken home, my two biggest goals are being a great husband and father, but I also understand the temptation to push people away. I’m an introvert, and sometimes I form walls that exclude even those I love. Sometimes, I wonder if a worst case scenario is forming walls so thick that they become permanent, and in spite of my desire to have a joyful relationship with wife and child, I fail.

Scavenger is the story of someone on the verge of failure in that way.

You can purchase it at:

Amazon Kindle | Exclusive to Kindle for the next 90 days. Free to those in the Kindle Unlimited subscription.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————
Timothy C. Ward
Executive Producer

ScavengerTimothy C. Ward has been podcasting since 2010, first as AudioTim, and now with AISFP. His newest story, Scavenger: A Sand Diver Tale, is available on Kindle for $.99. His novel in progress, Order After Dark, is a Post-apocalyptic Fantasy set in the rift between Iowa and the Abyss. Sign up to his author newsletter for updates on new releases.

Subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast on: iTunes | Stitcher Radio (Android users) | RSS | Website RSS | Newsletter (Subcribers are entered on giveaways)

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Where to Find Timothy C. Ward

AISFP_300x300I took over as Executive Producer at one of my favorite podcasts, Adventures in Scifi Publishing, back in June. Instead of trying to do that and keep posting here, I’m just going to be over there. We have around three or more podcasts a month, interviewing authors in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We also have book reviews and book giveaways and offer sponsorships for authors to advertise. Sign up for their newsletter to be entered in the giveaways.

Subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast on: iTunes | Stitcher Radio (Android users) | RSS | Website RSS | www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Goodreads Group | Pinterest

My only published story is Cornhusker: Demon Gene (A Short Story), available on Kindle. It’s a werewolf-type of story about a teenager who finds happiness right when his body begins to change, threatening to take it all away. If you read it, I’d really appreciate a review on Amazon and Goodreads. More stories can be written in this world if the demand grows high enough.

I’m hard at work on new fiction, and recently created a newsletter (http://eepurl.com/NA__X) to notify you when I release new stories.

I’m active on Facebook and Goodreads, with minimal use of Twitter. I also still review books about once a month for SF Signal.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to see you around!

Tim

(P.S. The fam, with our new addition, Kai, says hi! Follow us on Pinterest for more pictures.)

IMG_3012

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AISFP Book Review: ODD MEN OUT by Matt Betts

Odd Men OutOdd Men Out by Matt Betts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review Excerpt: These characters’ journeys from outcast to hero set in a creatively-built playground made Odd Men Out an enjoyable read and Matt Betts an author to follow. The genre mashup between steampunk, alternate history, horror and monster-catching thriller excited me in their introduction, but often let me down as they faded offscreen for another genre element to show up. The focus of the story is clearly on characters becoming heroes, but the above genre elements felt too quickly used and discarded.

Full review: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishin…

(disclaimer, I’m changing my rating from a 3 to a 4 star because of a recent distinction I will make between the two. 3 Stars have elements I enjoyed, but not enough to make me buy the sequel. 4 Stars are books I will buy the sequel for, but which had areas that took them down from being a 5 Star. As I say in my full review, I want more Matt Betts books!)

View all my reviews

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Coffin Hop Tour at Adventures in SciFi Publishing and its Box of Books

CoffinHopIt’s Coffin Hop Web Tour time again, from now through the 31st. This is the only blog tour I do annually, partly because I have been to these blogs each year for three years now, but also because it’s fun to hang out with other Horror fans. There are giveaways on every site, as well, so that’s fun.

This year they have a Death by Drive-in anthology, which will have its proceeds donated to www.litworld.org.

Adventures in SciFi Publishing (which I run–literally, I’m jogging in place right now) will have daily posts, and each book mentioned in those posts will go into a “box” for two winners to choose from. So far, we’ve had my Top 3 Villains and a book review for Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes Yardley. So far in the box we have: The Wicked by James Newman, Fiend by Peter Stenson, John Dies at the End by David Wong and Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu by Mercedes Yardley.

On Monday, I’ll post the first of two podcast interviews with Ronald Malfi and Kevin Lucia, in which we just about mention every one of Ron’s books, so those will all go in the box too. You can subscribe to Adventures in SciFi Publishing on iTunes if you’d like a reminder not to miss it.

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Another Draft Done: Where to Submit

DSC_0928I finished editing Kaimerus yesterday. This was something like draft 6. Over four years, I’ve rewritten it twice, and this last pass through was a polish after the last rewrite. My plan going forward is turning it in to my editor, Joshua Essoe, in a few weeks and submitting to an agent that asked to see it when it’s ready. Before I go on to discussing other projects (will need another post for that), the two decisions of where to submit in the above sentence deserve attention.

First, hiring another editor. That’s right, another.

I hired C.L. Dyck last summer when my novel had just gone through a major rewrite Continue reading

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Book Review: READY PLAYER ONE by Ernist Cline

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Took a friend’s advice to make this my Audible pick this month because of Wil Wheaton’s narration and am very happy with the outcome. Even though I am a decade too young to have experienced the 80’s in the way it is highlighted in this book, I still enjoyed the sense of a larger than life video game scavenger hunt with life or death stakes. Would I have liked it more if the nostalgia was focused on Nirvana, Final Fantasy III and Jurassic Park? Maybe a little, but not enough to indicate that the character’s enjoyment was lost on me. I was pumped up just like they were for every secret clue, every virtual battle, the solving of riddles and the like. The pacing moves along pretty quickly as our main character plays through a competition to unlock secrets within a virtual reality game before the evil corporation wins and ruins the game for everyone. I enjoyed its conclusion and left the story with a fond memory of the characters and their adventure. Top-notch job by the narrator.

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