Friday News Pile!

Hello readers!

It has been a quiet week, at least publicly. Outside of the news about the Dog Save the King submission call (which you can check out at this link if you missed it) and Monday’s Being a Better Writer post, it’s been kind of silent these last few days.

Well, that’s going to take a sudden change, because I’ve got news today. I just finished the first draft of the next Jacob Rocke book! That’s right, it took longer than expected, largely because it went about 40,000 words longer than I meant for it to, but it’s done. Now it gets set aside, along with the notes I made, so that in a few months I can come back and pre-Alpha things. And hopefully make some cuts. And some changes to early parts of the manuscript that work better with the later bits that I already made notes for (though the pre-Alpha read will be the first test of those).

Is it going to be the most amazing book ever? Nah, probably not. But it is fun, and there’s a neat little mystery going on that moves more and more into the “How?” angle of things as the puzzle pieces come in. Jacob Rocke isn’t the most incredible character, but he is good at what he does. And the antagonist in this one … Well, let’s just say I think it’s a pretty great concept, and it’s one of those things that’s going to make a lot of people think “Wait, that’s so simple it’s genius. Why have I never seen that before?”

Anyway, I’ll let you all be the final judges when it drops as a complete product, but for now, that’s one more novel done!

Which means … Yes, it is time. Time for Axtara – Magic and Mayhem.

Well, almost. I do want to do one or two more quick shorts before I get started on the next Axtara book. I do mean shorts, by the way. A few thousand words for one, maybe ten thousand for the other. Plus I need to start figuring out my submission for Dog Save the King. I’ve got some ideas, but I really want to workshop it a bit more and mold it into something spectacular.

But yes, I want to start working on Axtara‘s second adventure. Starting with taking all the various plot threads and whatnot that I’ve been workshopping and putting them down in a nice, somewhat neat plan. You guys are going to like this one, I think. Elnacier is growing, but with that growth comes new challenges … and new banking headaches for our loveable Axtara!

Speaking of Axtara, she and Jake, Anna, and Sweets are tied now for reviews and ratings on Amazon. Tied for … second place?

I don’t know the details of what happened, but somehow One Drink nearly doubled it’s reviews and ratings in the span of a week. From just over fifty to nearly a hundred. Word on some forums is that Amazon realized they’d been collecting ratings left by certain regions of readers but never actually uploading them properly, and is now slowly rolling them out, but since Amazon themselves have said nothing on the matter … Who knows?

All I do know is that suddenly One Drink is in the lead for rating numbers. The overall average is still pretty high too. Dead Silver saw a corresponding jump in a single night as well. I did reach out to Amazon, but got a generic “We don’t see anything” response, so I guess whatever’s going on is intentional.

Anyway, that leaves Axtara and Colony fighting for second place, though if Amazon truly is rolling out a bunch of backlogged ratings, who knows what will happen when that rollout reaches either title. Sands, maybe Unusual Events will break past the big 1-0 barrier it never crossed! Who knows?

Seriously, that book sold amazingly badly. Kind of a shame, given it has some great stories in it. But it is funny how badly it did.

Anyway, that’s the news leading into this weekend. Me? I’ve got a church conference to watch, so it’ll be a nice relaxing weekend for me. Which is good. I pumped out almost 80,000 words this month. I’m going to take a breather, get some reading in, and then come back Monday with Being a Better Writer, some shorts … and then Axtara 2.

It’s gonna be a blast. I’m excited already.

Oh, and I do have one last bit of news. As of this week, Twitter has apparently blocked tweets from appearing in feeds unless you pay for the checkmark. So basically, as I understand it, you only see new tweets if you go to the profile, or if said profile shells out $1000 a month. Kind of defeats the whole point of letting people follow people, but hey, what would I know about running a social media site?

Anyway, as a result of this change, Twitter is no longer linked to Unusual Things. I don’t think I’ll shutter the account, just because that means someone else could snipe it … but that’s basically a failsafe of “Maybe in a year Twitter might still be around.” As Twitter was less than 0.2%—not 2%, but point-two percent, as in a fifth of one percent—of all yearly traffic … I don’t think I’ll miss it. Sands, traffic this year has increased enough already that it’s already made up for any loss of not having Twitter.

Anyway, if you were for some reason following this site through Twitter, I recommend using the Discord, the Facebook page, or even just a bookmark to keep up with it instead.

Anyway, enjoy your weekends, people. Max out!

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