Getting Back to It

Friends,

I hope this week has much in store for you, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your own brand of success and happiness! Let’s get to this week’s news…

The Faces of the War Collection

This week has seen some minor progress in writing for the final two books of the collection. I plan on working ahead in my school tasks so that over the weekend and into Monday (Presidents Day) I can write more. I’m excited for the new challenge these last two plots will offer me! Being that it’s early on in the process, it’s hard to give you any real report on my progress, but the coming months will certainly be interesting.

If you haven’t check out my first three books – Resistant, Unguarded, and Imminent – you can find them on Amazon in print and on the Kindle.

The Short Story Collection

I’m slowly piecing together the first story of three in my next volume. I’ll give you a little hint as to story detail: the time setting is the late 1600s. I’ve slowly accumulated research material that I intend to apply where I can to help improve the storytelling. The other two stories are planned…I just won’t divulge any details yet!

YouTube

For a couple of weeks, I had inadvertently taken some time away from posting new videos. I explained in the most recent vlog as to why, and you can check it out here if you’re interested. I am making it my goal over the coming weeks to be better about recording, despite my reasons for not doing it. After all, what would vlogging my experience be without showing the experience, right?

You can subscribe to my channel – where I talk about my writing life as well as teaching and travel – here.

Writing Tip: When editing your manuscript, reading aloud (to yourself or anyone willing to listen) really helps you identify typos, cadence, and tone, which can help improve or remove parts of the story that need it.

That about does it for news this week. It’s not much, but I thank you for reading it and keeping up with me anyway. Thank you for taking this time to do so, and please – pass the word along to a friend about my work. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and it’s something authors truly and genuinely appreciate.

Until next time,

-Eli

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Back to Writing

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well! I have a few bits of information for you today, so let’s get started…

The Faces of the War Collection

I finished my post-release read-through of Imminent and updated the ebook file with current links and amended formatting errors. Like I said in my last post, a few more errors than I would have liked slipped by me, but all have since been fixed. It was nice to read through the story again after letting some time go by; this was the first time I’d read through the story when I wasn’t focused on any major writing or editing. Along with the amended file came the aforementioned price change: the Kindle book is now up to $3.99 to match the others in the collection. The print remains at $8.99. If you haven’t yet checked out my new book and would like to, you can find it on Amazon!

I haven’t moved forward to much with the new book because I wanted to complete this read-through and update the Kindle file, but in the coming weeks I hope to see more consistent writing on my new project.

Writing Tip: Writing a little every day, even if it’s a few sentences here and there, can truly work wonders for your long-term writing habits and repertoire. 

The Short Story Collection

This past week, I worked a little on one of the three stories in the upcoming volume. It’s an interesting premise, I think, and has led me to do some research of a topic I normally wouldn’t research. But that’s part of the process – to sometimes do what you normally wouldn’t, and to see where writing can take you! If I can chip away at these short stories at a good pace, then my intended release of summer will be the time of release. However, the Faces project comes first, so I will play this project by ear. If you haven’t yet checked out my short stories – Volume 1 and Volume 2 – you can find them both on Amazon exclusively for the Kindle!

That’s all I have for this week. My teaching job has taken up some time that I would otherwise use to write, but making adjustments like that is part of being a writer. I thank you all for your continued support, encouragement, and patience as I pursue one of my passions. I’d really love to connect with you, whether you’re new or have been around for some time, and the best way to do that is through my mailing list. I send a monthly newsletter out with the inside scoop on my work – which means more details than I give away in the normal weekly blogs. Hope to connect with you!

Until next time,

-Eli

In Imminent’s Wake

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready for a new week ahead! There is very little this week in terms of writing news, but there are some other cool things going on, so let’s get to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

When I published Resistant, and then again with Unguarded, I downloaded the ebook to my Kindle app and read through the story. The purpose of this type of read-through was to make sure the formatting looked how I wanted it and also to find any typos or other errors of the kind. I did the same thing with Imminent since its release on January 8th, and I have to say there were a few more errors (both formatting and spelling/grammar/diction) than I would’ve liked to have upon release.

Even after a handful of read-throughs, which I normally do every time, there still managed to be some things that slipped through the cracks. It just goes to show that even when you think you’re careful as a writer, you can’t be too careful. But I’m not taking this as a negative; rather, it’s a positive thing that’s resulted from my devotion to the storytelling and desire to produce a sharp book. Could I have waited a few more weeks to release the book? Perhaps. But at your core, when do you really know for certain when your story is “ready” as opposed to when you think it is?

Currently sitting at around 60% of the way through the story, I can say that I should soon finish my post-publication read-through in the coming week or so. The good news for you, my readers, is that the ebook price will remain at $2.99 until that time comes. For when I finish the read-through and edit the manuscript file in order to re-upload it, that will be when I up the price to the normal $3.99 (which is the price of the other ebooks, except for Resistant which is $0.99).

Aside from the fact that this read-through seems mostly focused on finding errors, another reason I do it is for the sake of improving my craft. If you’ve watched some of my YouTube vlogs before, you’ve heard me talk about this and how important it is. I may not take copious notes during this read-through, but I do take stock of issues that I can try to amend through writing habit in projects yet to come. That’s part of why I enjoy writing, because it gives me something to work on, results to strive toward, something that’s more than a hobby to be passionate about.

In the meantime, I’m also working on the beginnings of my other two books in this collection. I’m honestly focusing more on the read-through of Imminent for the time being until it’s done, but I’m also going over my story notes and ideas to see what can be developed and how the story can go. This is another exciting aspect of the writing process!

Writing Tip: If you release an ebook (no matter the platform), it’s good to download a copy in order to check the formatting. Even when it looks good before you hit that Publish button, it might look differently when it comes down the pipe on an actual e-reader with the actual book file others will download. Plus if you purchase a copy, you get royalties. It’s a win-win!

Other News

As part of my teaching occupation, I recently was asked if I’d like to spend a day at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH for a school event that’s coming up. I’ll be just one of many staff members there who will not only help run a program for current students, but I’ll also be available to answer questions of prospective students and parents. If you’ve been with me since at least last April, you’ll know that I went to the same base after completing a book fair in Dayton the previous day. It was an awesome sight, to see planes and other pieces of history on display there. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted on that visit, so hopefully I’ll catch what I missed this time around.

That about does it for this post. Thank you so much for reading and following my work. If you’re new, please feel free to browse around my website to see what I’m up to. You can also join my mailing list so you can receive my monthly e-newsletter; it’s where I give more of an inside look at what I’m doing – more details than what you see in the blog posts, essentially. I hope you have a great week, and thanks again!

Until next time,

-Eli

Reflection: Writing Imminent

Friends,

I hope the New Year continues to go well for you in these first weeks, and that this post finds you in good health and spirits! What I write to you today is my reflection on the writing and publishing process of my newest book, Imminent.

The planning was first completed in the early fall of 2014 with the writing beginning in earnest in that December. I completed the Prologue and Epilogue first before moving to the body of the book; this was mostly because the story that takes place in these parts envelops the story that comprises the book’s body, so it made sense to write it this way. I completed these bookend story parts before New Years Day 2015.

cover_6

Cover of Imminent, designed by Ilian Georgiev

I then spent time writing and re-planning, then rewriting, the main body of the book, where the meat of the story takes place. There were a few major changes that took place in the first 6-8 months of 2015, most of them the result of my attempts to refine the story that came from my initial planning. I wanted to make this one unique in its own right yet familiar and relatable to the others before it, in a way to link the stories together in an abstract manner. This is one of the primary challenges with each book because it’s something that I want to get right, but can at times seem rather difficult to accomplish.

Once July had come and gone – a month where no new writing had taken place – I found myself refreshed and recharged to continue chipping away at my desired word count. Keep in mind, I advise that it’s not good to let a desired word count dictate the creation of the story in the strictest sense, but that it’s good to have a word count for which to aim when writing. The books in the WWII historical fiction collection are considered novellas, so I want them to not exceed 50K words. As a point of reference, my first book (Resistant) was just shy of 38K words, my second book (Unguarded) came in at just under 48K words, and Imminent is just under 47K.

As the process drew to its closing in the late fall and early winter of 2015, I finalized the cover design based on ideas I had from 2014. Most of the final covers that you see are very close to my original design ideas, if not the actual designs themselves. After a handful of revisions, we landed on what you saw above in this post. There is reason behind how the cover was designed, which I’ll detail in another post in the near future. I then finalized my manuscript and submitted it to Amazon with a few days to spare before my pre-order deadline of December 28.

I’d like to give special mention to one of my writing friends who edited the story for me, and who also gave me some great insight into writing and editing, as well as some much needed tips. At her request, I came up with a ghost name for her: Bella Migliorare. Here’s a little fun fact – in Italian, bella means good or nice, and migliorare is the root form of the word improvement. Since she made a “good improvement” to the story, the name made itself. So to my editor, I thank you!

As of this post, the Kindle and print versions of the book are available, so if you’re interested in this story or in my work in general, I encourage you to check it out on Amazon – the Kindle version is currently $2.99 and the print is $8.99. Don’t tarry in picking up your Kindle copy, for the price will go to the normal price of $3.99 soon. And I’d very much appreciate a review when you’ve finished, if you’d be so kind. With this project completed, it is time to move forward with the next one: Book Four in this collection should be started in the coming week or two, and I’ll continue to post details of its progress in the coming months.

I thank you for taking time out of your day to read this post. Your encouragement and support mean a great deal to me. If you aren’t yet on my mailing list, I encourage you to subscribe to get the inside scoop on my work and my writing life. I’d love to connect with you and share my journey and experiences with you.

Until next time,

-Eli

Details All Around

Friends,

I’d like to start off today’s post by remembering the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this day in 1941. It’s the event that acted as our catalyst for war, resulting in our involvement in both the Pacific and European theaters of the war. Without our entry, things may have turned out very differently. So please, take a moment and think about how this day 74 years ago changed the course of history, and be grateful for the victorious outcome our country achieved in its aftermath.

~ * ~

I’d like to thank you for reading this post, and to welcome you to my blog. If this is your first time reading, you’ll find information in my blog posts related to my writing projects, as well as to other things going on in my life such as teaching and traveling. If you’re not new, then you already know! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

In my WWII historical fiction collection, I’ve made some good progress on my third book, titled “Imminent.” At the moment, I have about 13K words remaining in the manuscript that still need edited and placed into the final draft file, so things are progressively coming to a close. I got a good chunk of work done yesterday, and I’ll continue to chip away at it over the coming weeks. A reminder from last week’s blog post: the new release date (more than tentative but not 100%) is January 8. If not then, it will be around that time (like the following Monday the 11th, for example). I am wrapping up communication with my cover designer this week, so you can expect to see a reveal next week. There will be other book/story details given at that time as well, so keep your eyes open!

If you haven’t yet checked out my first two books, you can find them on Amazon in both Kindle and print formats: Resistant and Unguarded.

Writing Tip: A piece of advice I was once given stated that when writing, don’t be too liberal with the exclamation point. The person said, “If the character isn’t on fire, don’t use it.” If used too much, it can take away some of the urgency or emotion in the dialogue, which can negatively affect the story.

The Short Story Collection

I’ve said recently that I plan on developing the next volume of short stories simultaneously with the fourth book (writing begins in January), and that I hope for a summer release. I currently have the three story ideas in place; I just need to plan them out in detail. From there, the writing could take anywhere from 2-6 months. My focus, however, will be on my WWII projects, so the short stories will be tended to here and there.

If you haven’t yet checked out my first two volumes, you can find them available for the Kindle on Amazon: Volume 1 and Volume 2.

Writing Tip: When writing story text (dialogue or otherwise), don’t include too many commas in any one sentence. In most cases, those lengthy sentences can be broken down. Having too many commas can lend to reader confusion. 

YouTube

I’d like to thank those who have subscribed to my YouTube channel and who’ve watched my videos. I make these videos to document my life – writing, teaching, traveling, and personal – because I want to share my experiences with those who will listen. We all grow in our own way, but having a part of that growth be in the form of connecting through an amazing platform as YouTube is pretty awesome, and I want you to join me on the journey!

You can subscribe to my channel here, where you’ll find weekly videos posted about my writing projects, my teaching life, my travels, and certain aspects of my personal life. And if you’d like a more detailed look into my work, as well as to connect with me and fellow readers, I encourage you to join my mailing list. You can email me at elikale.author@gmail.com with a quick “hello” letting me know you’d like to be added to the list. I welcome anyone and everyone!

That will do it for this week’s blog post. Be sure to check out next week’s post where I’ll reveal the book cover for Imminent and detail book/story details.

Until next time,

-Eli

Imminent Release Date

Friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this past week, and that you were able to spend time with friends and family. And if you’re a reader who doesn’t celebrate this American holiday, I hope you had a great week nonetheless! Let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I sliced into Part II of my WIP last week, editing about a quarter of the text. Today is another day off for my Thanksgiving Break (for school), so I intend on editing much more of the manuscript. Despite this progress, things aren’t where I want them to be timeline-wise. Therefore, I am pushing the release date back to January 2016.

Here is my reasoning for doing this: I have always said that I won’t be tied to a timeline, releasing a book on a given date no matter what state it’s in, because that’s not what writing is about. I will release the book when it’s ready. And today, November 30 – the original date of intended release – the book is not ready. With a January release date, I can finish the work over my Christmas Break. There is also a continuity factor in all of this. Based on the release years, the collection looks a little more uniform. Here you can see what I mean:

Resistant (2014)
Unguarded (2015)
Imminent (2016)
Book Four (2017)
Book Five (2018)

I’ve previously stated that I am going to work on my final two books simultaneously, and release them together (or at the very least, one right after the other within a 1-2 months), so this plan will help facilitate that end. So here’s the new release date, which isn’t quite 100% (because ya never know) but it’s more than tentative: Friday, January 8. After I get this week’s worth of editing done, I’ll see where I am and whether I deem the story close enough to being ready for the cover reveal and pre-order to take place…so stay tuned!

Writing Tip: By using action tags in dialogue and doing more “showing” than “telling” with regard to your characters, you can develop what is called “deep POV” which really helps connect your readers with the characters.

That’s all there is to tell in the way of major news, so check back over the coming weeks for information on my next book, Imminent, and the cover/details reveal. As always, thank you for reading this post and for your support of my passion. It truly means a lot!

Until next time,

-Eli

 

November Rain

Friends,

I hope this post finds you in good health and good spirits, striving toward achieving your goals! If you are someone who tends to have trouble in this area, here’s a tip: just do a little at a time. Set small, attainable goals that lead to bigger ones. From there, you should be much more able to get where you want to go.

Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

The progress of Imminent is coming along great! I am about a third of the way done with finalizing the manuscript, and I hope to keep up the pace into the coming weeks. I have applied the tips and advice given me by my editor, and have really taken to make it part of my writing habit. It will be very interesting when I start on the next book and can implement those pieces of advice from the beginning of the process. That leads into what I’d like to say next.

My plan for the post-Imminent time period, at least for the immediate future, will involve working on the final two books of the collection simultaneously. As of yesterday, I’ve developed the story and supporting details for the first third of each book. Once I complete the skeleton outline of the story, writing can begin. I’ll stick as closely as I can to my writing plan of 1,500 words a week, and see where that takes me come spring. My overall plan, as of now, is to work on the writing of both books so that “hard part” is done sooner, allowing me to use my creative flow to my advantage and work in the phase of editing as a whole, later. It’s a new approach to my writing, so I’m excited to try it out and see what happens!

Writing Tip: It’s good to try new things in writing, especially when it comes to the method of creativity. You never know what might work better for you than what you’re currently doing.

I’ve noticed something peculiar in the past week, and then by extension the past many months: for some reason, I work more efficiently when it rains. It’s now November (crazy!) and we recently had a short spell of rain. During that time, I felt more “in a rhythm” with my work, and I ended up getting quite a bit done. On the same token, I’ve noticed the same trend in the past. There have been times before where I work extremely well and am very productive while it rains. Weather or not rain is the reason, I don’t know…it’s just an observation. (You see what I did there?)

Other Work

In planning the coming months, I realized that I may not have much time to devote to other projects. I really want to focus on completing my WWII collection because it’s very important to me. I wouldn’t feel good about working on other things, because I’d be taking time away from my main project. Like I’ve said before, I don’t want there to be a large lapse in time before I complete Faces. With that said, I don’t know how it will affect progress of The Short Story Collection, and I definitely won’t start one of the newer, bigger projects I have planned for development. I’ll simply focus on Faces.

Writing Tip: It’s good to have some sort of plan in place for your writing. Look at what goals you want to accomplish and turn those into an action plan with quantifiable milestones.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you so much for reading and supporting me! If you aren’t a follower of my blog, click that Follow button, and be sure to check out my social media pages and subscribe to my mailing list (just email me at elikale.author@gmail.com)!

Until next time,

-Eli

Imminent Nearing Completion

Friends,

It’s crazy that November has arrived! I hope the fall season is treating you well, and that this post finds you in your quest to accomplish your goals. The main bit of news this week is in regard to my WWII historical fiction WIP Imminent, so let’s get down to it…

The Faces of the War Collection

I am happy to say that things are coming together for my current WIP, Imminent. I received all of the edits back from my editor, and have already begun to revisit the manuscript after taking a week off.

Writer Tip: Take some time off between read-throughs or edits of you manuscript, as it will help you catch errors and fill in story gaps more effectively.

The Prologue is the closest to being in its final form, and I’m working on the Epilogue as I write this. I’ve gone through the body of the text with the “Find” tool in Word and fixed minor issues here and there. I plan on getting to the more involved editing of the body next week.

If you haven’t seen my most recent YouTube vlog, then you may not be aware of what I’m about to tell you. I have thought about the book I’m currently working on and what I should do about its publication, as well as looked ahead to the next two books in the project. Weighing my options, I’ve decided to focus on finishing Imminent and only refine the plans for the next two books in my spare time. Once this book is off my desk and published, I’ll write the next two books simultaneously.

Based off the publishing pattern I’ve established with the first two books, one would expect me to write Book Four within 11-13 months and then publish it, and move forward with writing and publishing Book Five. Instead, I’ll write both stories – maybe alternating between the two over time, or I’ll write one and then the other – and edit them together. When they’re both ready to be published, I’ll release them together and thus complete the Faces of the War collection. The reason for this is twofold: one, because I don’t know what my personal life will bring in the next two years and I want to be sure to finish the project I’ve started, and two, because it’ll lend itself to a different marketing tactic that I’ve never tried before and I’m interested to see what will happen.

As for a cover and book detail reveal, that will come sometime later this month when I’m closer to completing the book and will know for sure when the release will be. If all goes as originally planned, I’ll do the reveal when the book becomes available for pre-order around Thanksgiving, but keep your eyes open for a specific post about it.

Writer Tip: When setting up your book for pre-order on the Kindle, be sure to have your final book file (front matter, manuscript, back matter, etc.) submitted to Amazon KDP no later than ten days before its release.

I think that will do it for this week’s post. If you notice, I’m not doing a separate section on Indie Writing Advice in this post; instead, I’ve tried something different with the little tips spread throughout the post itself. Let me know if you like it! As always, thank you for your support and encouragement as I pursue my passion. And please, follow my blog if don’t already, check out my YouTube channel or social media pages, and subscribe to my mailing list for early bird details about my projects. All you have to do is shoot me an email at: elikale.author@gmail.com!

Until next time,

-Eli

Fall Is My Favorite

Friends,

Autumn is in full swing here in Ohio, with the trees turning colors and the temperatures getting cooler. It’s probably my favorite time of year! Let’s get into this week’s content…

The Faces of the War Collection

The editing process continues for Imminent, with everything still on track for a December release. I’ve decided that once I receive the edited manuscript from my editor, then I will reveal the cover and book details. It’s easier and way less stressful letting out that kind of information when you have the story back in your own hands versus still waiting to receive it – mostly because you can’t control it if you don’t have it. I’d hate to reveal the cover and details and then find out there’s a snag in the editing or I need to do a major rewrite, thus prolonging the book’s release. That wouldn’t be fair to you, my readers!

Teaching Life

My new teaching job is going well, with my second full week beginning today. I teach through an online program, educating about 200 students across the state of Ohio. I’m currently teaching one class – Modern World History – three days a week. And yes, I’m working the other days of the week as well. When I’m not teaching, I’m planning lessons, creating presentations, and answering emails, among other things. It’s an exciting new endeavor in my life, not to mention the profession for which I went to college!

YouTube

I capture aspects of my everyday life through the lens of my digital camera, and upload that footage to my YouTube channel every Friday. I talk about indie publishing and the progress of my writing projects, as well as teaching in this new position. I also touch on travel here and there in my videos. If you’re interested in any or all of those topics, come on over to my channel and check out what I’m doing from week to week!

Indie Writing Advice

As a writer, you should also be reading. It’s good practice to always have a book ongoing, whether it’s in physical form or on a reading device. I actually have a few books that I’m reading right now, each of them different from the others. “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran touches on his experience in the self-publishing world; “The Craft of Intelligence” by Allen W. Dulles covers the author’s experience as an intelligence officer in the Cold War; and “On Hitler’s Mountain” by Irmgard Hunt.

The first book is one I’m reading for knowledge, because learning about how the indie publishing world works is vital to being an indie writer. I’m reading the second book for research purposes, because some of what I’m learning about here will apply to what I’ll write later. And the third book is my “just for fun” book, because reading shouldn’t always be business. So if you don’t have a book cracked at any given time, then get on it! Reading books helps make one a better writer of them.

That’s it for this week. Thank you so much for your interest in my work, and for reading my post this week. I encourage you to follow this blog, subscribe to my mailing list, follow me on social media, or even subscribe to my YouTube channel – any and all of those things will help keep you informed on what I’m doing, and will help us connect with each other.

Until next time,

-Eli

Read-Through Editing Complete!

Friends,

This week, we’ll be getting into October! It’s crazy how fast these last few months have flown by, and how quickly the autumn and winter seasons are approaching. I hope that with a new season upon us, you are able to have a renewed opportunity to work toward achieving your goals and seeking your ambitions. Let’s get into today’s material…

The Faces of the War Collection

I recently finished the read-through editing of my manuscript for Imminent! Upon completing the first draft, the manuscript was just shy of 43K words. After this first read-through, it is just over 45K. This is right where I originally wanted the story to be in terms of word count, so we’ll see what changes end up being made once I get the returned manuscript from my editor.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, you can expect a cover and synopsis reveal probably around Halloween. I’ll give more details regarding the reveal as the next four weeks press on. I want to be sure that I have the manuscript back in my hands completely edited before moving forward with the reveal. The point is, you can surely be excited in the anticipation of it!

I alluded to something in my most recent vlog that has to do with my next project. It is going to be the next book in the WWII collection, the story of which is already planned out and ready to be written. I am excited to get Imminent off the ground, but I’m also excited to continue writing into the next project! More details about that will come in due time.

Indie Writing Advice

I have learned through writing my first two books, as well as during the writing of Imminent, that a good habit to have is to be conscious of the characters you write. When it comes to writing main characters, you must make them relative and understandable to the reader, for it is those characters that the reader experiences the story. The story line should differ from book to book, and so the character’s experiences should be unique to their circumstances.

In a series or collection, like what I’m writing, it’s okay to reintroduce familiar themes or motifs across different stories, because it helps the reader understand the world they’re reading about and the characters within that world. We draw on preconceptions of places or things if we come across them in reading multiple times, and so that can be used to help establish a better understanding of what’s actually going on in the story and where. However, you don’t want to fall into a habit of writing what is known as a flat character – someone in the story who lacks a dynamic personality or who doesn’t really change through the course of the story. In the same way, you don’t want to have a flat story line, either.

So if you are new to writing, don’t be afraid to explore your world and your characters, and on the same token don’t be afraid to revisit places or people in an effort to help keep a newly formed story familiar to the reader.

That’s about it for this post. There’ll be more in the coming weeks as Imminent progresses through the publishing process, so stay tuned! Follow my blog or join my mailing list (by emailing me at elikale.author@gmail.com) to stay as updated as possible on this project!

Until next time,

-Eli