The Red Lands series begins … now!

My newest Novella, Toward Darkness, the first book of the Red Lands series, is now up on Kindle and Smashwords!  It’s a worlds-spanning dark fantasy about a man who walks beyond the borders of our world to find a cure for his ex-girlfriend, who’s in a medically inexplicable coma, haunted by a red shadow.  The series will eventually take Garrett and the other survivors he encounters through the road between, through a dead world, and, ultimately, to the Red Lands themselves, where the threat to Lynette’s life lies.

I’d finished writing it some time ago, but I held off publishing it for two reasons.  First, I was grappling with the second book in the series, really trying to figure out what I wanted to say with it, where I wanted it to go, and I wanted to hold the first book back until I was confident the second would work.

Second, I was never quite satisfied with the cover, until now.  I found a public domain image from Wikimedia Commons of a run-down city street, then modified it heavily to give it the look of a moonless, darkened street lit only by the glowing light of red-eyed monsters.  Here it is:

 

And here’s the promotional text.  Tell me what you think!

How far would you go to save the one who broke your heart?

For Garrett Maines, the answer to that question will take him beyond the ends of the Earth. 

Three months ago, Lynette Collins broke his heart.  Now, she lies in a coma, oppressed by a red shadow that drains her life with every passing night.

To lift her curse, Garrett must step into the darkness and travel the night road across the borderlands of the worlds, braving the creatures of darkness that mark his every step.  In that dark place he finds a small group of survivors, dragged into a nightmare against their will.  Now, he must guide them through the darkness to the Red Lands, where the cure for Lynette’s curse must lie. 

Five unholy knights stand against him, leading dark armies, armed with blood and death and madness.

Will Garrett succeed, or will his lost love – and perhaps his entire world, fall under the curse of the Red Shadow?  And what price will he pay for setting out on the night road and walking Toward Darkness? 

 

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Blood for Blood is UP!

I am extremely excited right now.  Blood for Blood is now up on the Kindle Store!  (you can find it here).  I’m also working on getting it up on Smashwords and Pubit, and hope to have that done by the end of the week.

If you haven’t gone through the process, learning to format a document for Smashwords is a bit of a learning curve.  It’s not bad, per se, but there’s a lot to do, a lot to read, and, if you’ve been using Word or OpenOffice in the “default” way that so many people do (using “tabs” for paragraph indents, spacing with spaces, etc.), you’re going to have to go through and fix some things.  Fortunately, the Smashwords guidebook is very helpful, and is available for free here.

The good thing about formatting for Smashwords is that what you end up with will work for almost any e-publishing site, with very minor adjustments.  It’s been a blast, and I’ve been learning quite a lot about formatting, what works on e-readers and what doesn’t.

I’m also really excited because of the other works I have that are almost ready.  I have pretty much finished up the second book in the Blood Oath trilogy, Blood Guilt.  I’m also working on a “supplemental story” that takes place during the “gaps” in the trilogy.  It doesn’t really relate that closely to the larger conflict, and is hardly necessary to understand the others, but it’s fun.  It’s got a good story, and I’m able to do a lot of worldbuilding that I haven’t otherwise done because of the intense pace of the trilogy.

I have a novella that’s almost ready to publish, called Toward Darkness.  It’s the first in a new series, The Red Lands (which does not involve vampires or the Blood Oath setting.  Instead, it’s worlds-crossing action-horror with post-apocalyptic and Arthurian elements).  The second novella in that series is probably less than 20 hours away from being ready to release.  I’m not sure what to call it, though.

I was busy during the Blood for Blood hiatus, which you can read about here and here, if you haven’t already.

I plan on finishing up the supplemental story I’m working on (right now it’s called Blood Guilt: Knights and Shadows, to let everyone know where it falls in relation to the trilogy), and I plan to finish the trilogy, writing the last Blood Oath book (which I might call Blood Oath, sort to round out the trilogy.  I’m not sure about the title, and I’ve only written a tiny bit of the book.  I’m a little nervous about it, but I think it will turn out well).  I also plan on getting the novellas ready and releasing them.

My plan is to release no fewer than six novel or novel-length works this year: Blood for Blood, Toward Darkness, Blood Guilt, Blood Guilt: Knights and Shadows, the second novella, whose name is still undetermined, and finally Blood Oath, the final book in Benedict’s Blood Oath trilogy.

What can I say, it’s time to let the birdies out of the nest…

Drum Roll Please (Judge a Book by its Cover)

I’m proud to unveil the cover for my first novel, Blood for Blood.  After much angst and drama, I’ve finally reached the point that I’m ready to release it into the wild (by “the wild,” I mean the Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, and Smashwords, which will get it pretty much everywhere else).

Of course, I can’t release the novel naked; it needs a cover.  Viola!

book cover for Blood for Blood

I designed it myself, in part because I like the control, in part because I’m a computer geek, and in part because I want to bootstrap this writing enterprise, doing as much of the work as I can to begin with, keeping my expenses to a dead minimum, at least until I have come money coming in.

That’s something I love about the indie publishing game: you can have total control and no financial risk.  It’s a Dave Ramsey-listening, overconfident, jack-of-all-trades author’s dream.

Blood for Blood Finished! Woot!

Those of you who’ve been following my blog know all about the personal drama surrounding Blood for Blood, the first novel of my Blood Oath series, and the first novel of my “new era” (more on that later).

You know that I trunked Blood for Blood due to ethical concerns over its message, and that I subsequently figured out how to make it work with my personal beliefs (by making it the first part of a trilogy, in which its events can be viewed as a part of a larger perspective, reframes its message nicely. It only “doesn’t work” if it’s the final word on the subject).

Well, doing that reframe required some revisions, mostly in the form of new scenes, and I”m proud to announce that it’s finished!  All that’s left is for my first reader to catch any typos or inconsistencies.  I’m currently working on the book trailer, the cover, and the second book in the trilogy (I’ve actually been working on that one on the side, and so you might see a ‘Blood Guilt Finished!  Woot!’ post much sooner than you’d expect).

I’ll put it up on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other ebook outlets (most likely through Smashwords, which should cover iBooks, Kobo, etc.) as soon as it’s proofed and covered.

Needless to say, I’m very excited, and I’ll keep you posted!

Extra, extra: Read All About It!

I want to formally announce my first novella series, Blood for Blood, is up at Amazon’s Kindle Store.  I’ve got Book One: No Beast So Fierce and Book Two: Innocent Blood up already, and I’m proud, honestly.

It’s not the same feeling as getting a short story published by someone else, that sort of immediate “other-approval” dopamine burst.

It’s not the same feeling as facing a gauntlet of agents, slush-piles, and transoms in order to get into a system that will allegedly take care of you … but we all know won’t, not really. [1]

Indie publishing is a completely different feeling, a sense of complete responsibility for my own success of failure.  There is literally nobody else in the world to blame but myself if this doesn’t take off: I wrote it, formatted it, did the covers, uploaded it, and publicized it.  I wasn’t my own Trust First Reader, but I fixed the errors she found.  There’s nobody taking a percentage for the life of the book, nobody “handling” or “managing” me, nobody pushing the book for six weeks and then yanking it from the bookstore shelves to make room for the next one.

Bottom line, sink or swim, this is all on me.  On the one hand, it’s scary, because it strips away all the excuses, every reason not to do it, every reason to delay or procrastinate.  I have to face my fears or just give up and walk away (no chance).  And that’s liberating.

1]  L.M. May had a great post on writers and learned helplessness. Dean Wesley Smith has been writing about writers wanting to be taken care of for quite some time. Here’s one about agents in the old model.  Here’s another about the future of agency and e-books. Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a great article on trust in the publishing industry that might also apply).

Hello, Hello…

That’s not the title of a Britcom about the French Resistance, a line from a Shakespeare’s Sister song, nor a line from Melissa Etheridge’s “No Souvenirs;” it’s me (or rather, it is I) saying hello to my reading public.

And who am I, you might ask?  Brent Dedeaux, and I write what might best be called “Immortal Fiction.”  You might also call it urban-historical fantasy, because it involves horror elements, like vampires, in an urban fantasy style (ie, they’re not monsters, they’re people.  Some of them are horrible people, but they’re people), and most of the work is set in the past.

I’m not stuck in the past, though. In fact, I’m writing my way toward the present.  My first series of novellas, Blood for Blood, of which book one, No Beast So Fierce is available here at the Kindle Store, starts in 1900 and moves through New Year’s Day 2000.

I’ll be posting here pretty regularly, talking about new material, my writing process, and any interesting links I happen to find.

Enjoy!