Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Quick Update - SIEGE Revision, New Book Release, New Artwork

I haven't been blogging a lot lately due to being neck deep in revisions for SIEGE: AS THE WORLD DIES for Tor and preparing two other books for publication and supervising the creation of a new cover for THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE.

So here is a quickie update on what is going on.

SIEGE Revision
I'm being rather heartless with the revision.  When Tor bought the AS THE WORLD DIES trilogy, I knew right away that SIEGE was going to have to be chopped down.  When the editor's letter said 60,000 must go, I was like, "Well, here we go."

I've had to step back from the story and look at it critically.  Originally, it was written as an online serial.  I was posting on a fairly regular basis for a long time, but then had a rough patch in my life where it was sometimes very hard to get up the urge to write.  On those days, I would post a scene that wasn't going to be very taxing on me emotionally (it was a time of great loss in my life), so these scenes were usually sidesteps out of the main story.  I'm now looking at those scenes with my red pen poised as I wrestle the online serial into an actual novel. I have already slashed about four of these type of scenes and the story has not lost anything at all.

One scene I slashed in half, because I realized the back story that is told in the scene would make a killer short story.  So slice out half a scene, gain a full short story.

Another scene met the red pen of death because it was very similar to another scene. Same two characters, same topic of conversation.  Slash, gone.

Another scene was kind of fun for world building, but I realized a sentence or two somewhere else would give the reader the exact same information.  Slash, gone.

I'm making good headway, but it's slow going.  I have rewritten a few sections and sometimes I linger over sections as I decide what should stay and what should go.

Meanwhile, SIEGE has made its appearance in the TOR catalog for Winter 2012.  It features the original cover of the book that was later dropped for the new cover with Jenni and Katie.
Final concept for Siege Cover
Original concept for SIEGE cover

I am very happy that my editor and I both agreed that the cover had lost some power by not having Jenni and Katie. The original cover was a good zombie cover, but it did not feel like an AS THE WORLD DIES cover.  I really love the final version.

You can now pre-order SIEGE at


I am so pleased that this book is finally out!  I had planned to release it two years ago, but the series was purchased by Tor.  It took a bit of time to finally get the okay to release the short stories I had written to promote the original trilogy.

One of the stories, Vacation of the Undead (Eric's Story), is a work I wrote right before the release of the self published version of THE FIRST DAYS and posted it on Scribd.  It had a very positive response and many fans asked me to release it in paperback.  Though Vacation of the Undead is a long story, it is novella length at around 40,000 words, I felt it was too short to put out as a novel.  To give the fans of the series more bang for their buck, I decided to add two more short stories to round out the book.

I'm so pleased that it is finally out and selling well.

You can order it for most ebook formats here.
You can order the Kindle version here.
You can order the paperback version at my online store (where I get a better royalty).  I has yet to be listed at other online retailers, but should be within two weeks. Disregard the estimated shipping dates. Those are greatly exaggerated.

Original artwork by Detra

The first cover of the TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE was created by Detra.  I had loved the work he had done on the original AS THE WORLD DIES books and since he's Goth like me, I thought he'd do a great job with the cover of my gothic vampire novel.

When I first saw the artwork, I loved its rich colors and gothic atmosphere.  It also had Detra's fabulous touch and I just loved it.

But I have learned since publication is that a cover that does not appeal to your potential readership may end up being your bane.

Tonight, these are the numbers for the book on on Kindle.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Not shabby at all, but I've been getting these sorts of comments in the reviews.

5.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy cover art, BUT awesome book!August 2, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't let cover throw you off!!!!!!July 26, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars Cover threw me off, But very impressed with the Story!!May 21, 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its coverMarch 3, 2011

When I first saw this book I thought that's a really lamo cover so I didn't buy it 

I couldn't ignore that.  If people judge a book by its cover and they don't like the cover, they're not going to buy it.  I realized I had to put away my own feelings about the cover and commission new artwork.

Philip Rogers has been doing an amazing job with the new artwork.  He has taken the elements of the old cover and created a beautiful new scene.  Check out the "rough" of the new artwork.
Work in progress-new cover by Philip Rogers
I'm very happy with the artwork and cannot wait to see the finished product.


The sequel to THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE is with the editor and Philip Rogers will soon be working on the cover artwork.  I have already heard from a few of the test readers and I'm very excited to get their feedback.  I believe we are on schedule for a release in late August or early September.  I will keep you posted.

In closing, I'm hard at work and hope to bring you new stories in the very near future.

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