Whirlwind of a Summer

Friends,

This summer has been one full of change, things to do, and a lot of fun. I haven’t posted on this blog since May, when things in my life were so different, and so I’d like to fill you in on a few things.

Why there were no blog posts over the summer…

You may be wondering why I haven’t blogged over the summer. On some days, I wondered that myself. Part of it was that we spent the first many weeks of summer settling into our new home, which has been quite the experience in and of itself. But the main reason why I didn’t blog was because I didn’t feel the drive to do so. When it comes to writing, not having the drive to do certain things can negatively affect you if you try to push those feelings aside and do it anyway. In this case, it was blogging.

However, the flipside of that coin is a pretty good one: I did have the drive to write out of my mind, pumping out 30K words in roughly 8 weeks, which is something I’ve never done before. So I guess you could chalk up me not blogging to the fact that I was busy writing. I produced text at a crazy rate, which turned out to be the rough draft of my next book. The grand total for the word count currently sits at 46K for the second draft. I intend on keeping it around there as best as I can. Over the next few months, I’ll be getting the last chunks of feedback from my editor and making the appropriate changes around Halloween. Now here’s why…

Master’s coursework beginning in September

I made the decision to start my master’s coursework in September, taking the first two courses of the 15 I’ll need to obtain my MA in History with a Certificate in WWII Studies. These first two courses will last from September 5 until New Year’s Day, then I’ll be taking a break for a few months. I’m getting some tuition reimbursement through school, so that’s a big part of why I’m doing this now. Speaking of school…

My first year was great, and I’m about to start what will hopefully be another

I ended my first year of teaching in June, although classes ended in late May. We as a teaching staff had a lot of things to tend to in June in preparation for this upcoming year, as well as for a few things from the previous year. All in all, it was a great first year and one that I’ll never forget as part of my initial experiences.

With a new academic year ahead of me, I’m excited to be coming back and having the opportunity to teach the year from the beginning (I was hired partway through the fall semester last year). There is also going to be a change: I’m teaching financial literacy and US history this year, as opposed to World History as I did last year. Even though WH is my favorite, I’m looking forward to getting to work in this part of social studies. After all, it’ll help round me out as a teacher and will add to my experience.

There is, and will continue to be, some degree of stress with all of this going on because…

Sarah and I are expecting our first child in January!

Basically, everything that’s been happening since mid-May has revolved around where the subsequent nine months would take us. I made it my goal to finish the bulk of the work for Book Four before the start of the school year (*check) and to plan for knocking out my foundation courses in my MA program before the baby arrives (in the process). It’s a very exciting time for us and we couldn’t be happier that we get to start this next phase of our life together. There’s just a lot going on!

As for the baby, we are having a boy. From the handful of appointments we’ve had so far, the baby is healthy, as is Sarah. The due date is January 5, but you never know – we could have a New Year’s Day or New Year’s Eve, or maybe even a Christmas baby! We’ll just have to see as things move along. But as long as it’s healthy, we don’t care when it arrives 🙂

We have ideas for names that we like, but I doubt we’ll be certain on the one we’ll choose until either the arrival gets closer or the baby actually comes. We’ll just have to see. We’ve started to get quite a bit done with the nursery and gathering things (diapers, toys, etc.) either on our own or from family and friends. I have the feeling that as the school year starts, things are going to go by so fast with all that I’m doing…the baby will be here before we know it!

So where does this leave us at the moment?

That’s a good question. Since I’ve been out of the habit of blogging every week like I was before May, I don’t know how I’ll do in these first weeks of school. With teaching and master’s courses taking a lot of my focus, and because I’m not writing anything new right now, I don’t know how often I’ll be blogging, at least about writing. I have thought about blogging about my education life since that will be more of what’s happening in life for the foreseeable future, but I haven’t decided for sure.

As the final phase of getting Book Four published goes on from now until Christmas (though Christmas isn’t the release date, keep in mind), I’ll give updates and details along the way. But I doubt there will be a blog every Monday. It’s just the way of things at this point. I would like to blog at least once a month, so please do check back periodically for that. The tentative (being 99.99%) release date for the book is January 5, and I plan on having a pre-order period occur before release. Again, I’ll give more details as the next couple of months go on.

That’s about it for this post. I sincerely thank you for reading all of what I had to say, because all of it is very important to me and explains things more clearly for anyone who didn’t already know. Your support and encouragement is greatly appreciated, and I hope that you can continue to follow my work and that I can impact your life somehow, whether through writing, giving writing and education advice, or whatever else presents itself.

Until next time,

-Eli

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Five of My Favorite Books

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and ready to tackle another week! I’ve decided to start writing some themed posts to mix up the regular ones that you read, and today’s post is the first. Let’s get down to it…

Five of My Favorite Books

I’ve read quite a few books in my time, and there will be plenty more to come. However, a handful stick out to me as my favorites, for various reasons, and I’d like to share those with you today. If you’ve read any of these and would like to discuss with me, I’d love to connect with you in that way. If you haven’t read them, then perhaps you’ll check them out if they interest you!

The first book (though not necessarily the most favorite of the bunch) is Stalingrad by Antony Beevor. I read this book in college, in the middle of my initial draw to WWII, and immediately saw the events in the book as part of a very real conflict. The way Beevor describes things – people, places, conversations and accounts – helps put the most significant event on the Eastern Front (and possibly in the whole war) into an understandable and believable perspective. It definitely helped me better comprehend the vast quantity of Soviet troops involved, the efficient tactics of the advancing Germans, and the ideological struggle between the two that manifested itself in the bloodshed at Stalin’s city. This was a very memorable read!

stalingrad

The second book on my list was also written by Beevor, and is essentially a sequel to Stalingrad. It’s entitled The Fall of Berlin 1945 and recounts the Soviet advance from Stalingrad to Berlin, ending with the eventual fall of the Nazi capital in 1945. What stuck out to me while reading this was the vivid descriptions of the skirmishes and battles the Soviets fought en route to Germany, as well as the defense put up by the retreating Wehrmacht. One line I remember from the book was a description of the artillery guns on the Soviet side. During an artillery barrage on the way to Berlin, there was an instance where there was a Soviet artillery piece (of one form or another) about every 4 meters along the breakthrough sector. Due to the sheer volume and pressure of the artillery, the gunner “had to remember to keep their mouths open to equalize the pressure on their ears.” That’s an incredible thing to think about – something so grand and booming that you have to physically change your behavior around it. This is a great read for anyone interested in the fall of the Third Reich.

berlin

The third book on my list is a Cold War book and a memoir. Spymaster by Oleg Kalugin is an account of a KGB general and his experience fighting the secret war against the West, most notably the United States. His story interested me because 1) I had never before read anything like it – memoir or not – and 2) it provides a very unique window into a world that was for so long very secretive and foggy. Getting an inside perspective of the KGB and its views of capitalism, America, and our ideology was very enlightening.

spy

The fourth book on today’s list is Ten Fighter Boys, which is a compilation of wartime accounts by fighter pilots in the Royal Air Force. These pilots flew many missions and sorties, all for the protection of Britain and the prolonging of the conflict. One of them decided it would be a good idea for the boys to write down their accounts of these sorties right after they land, so it’s fresh in their memories. With this being the case, I got a really accurate and clear look into what pilots faced in their position. In fact, this book helped give inspiration when I wrote Unguarded, my second book and a story about a London boy who is affected by the Blitz. It was a very interesting and unique look into something so familiar yet something I knew almost nothing about.

fighter

The final book on my list today is The Napoleonic Wars by Gunther Rothenberg. This was another book I read in college, for an upper level history class. I thoroughly enjoyed it as there were great descriptions of battles, tactics, and behind-the-scenes politics surrounding Napoleon. A good deal of clear illustrations accompanied the text, which really brought the account of Napoleon’s victories and final defeat to life. Before this, I was never really interested in Napoleonic history, but this read changed me. It’s actually inspired me to (somewhat) consider using Napoleon as part of my master’s dissertation research down the road.

napoleon

Well, that does it for this list of favorite books. I hope you enjoyed it! Like I said before, if you’ve read any of these I’d love to connect and talk about them with you. And if you haven’t, then hopefully I’ve introduced you to a new read that you might pick up and enjoy.

In next week’s post, I’ll resume talking about my writing life and how things are going on the home front. Have a wonderful week, and good luck in your quest to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.

Until next time,

-Eli

We Are Moved!

Friends,

I hope this post finds you as excited about something in your own life as I am excited about the move into our new house! This post is brief but great in quality, so let’s get to it…

The Move

Sarah and I are pleased that all of our “stuff” has been moved from our old house and into the new one, with much help from others beside ourselves. Family and friends joined together to help us transition into this new stage of our lives, and we couldn’t be more gracious to them for it. We spent our first night in the new house on Friday night and man, did it feel good to sleep after a busy day! We slowly got things into the new house and fixed up how we want (little things that add up in the end), so this week should see us do more putting away and tidying up than laborious work to make practical things a reality. We bought paint today, which we’ll use in the living room, and we looked ahead at some paint chips that we could potentially use in the guest rooms. There’s so much change that happens, it’ll be crazy to see what the house looks like in a week!

Faces of the War Collection

With the big move this past weekend and classes resuming last week after Spring Break, I was left with little time to devote toward writing. However, I plan on getting back into the swing of writing every week (and every day, even a little bit if I can help it) within the next 1-2 weeks. State testing is going on right now, so I’m busy with that, as well as in-office meetings and training days. But it’s given me a good break from my brain being in writing mode, which will allow for me to bounce back into it. I’ve thought about the story throughout the days of the past few weeks, so my mind is rearing to get those ideas fleshed out.

That’s about it for this week. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support, and be sure to come back next week for more details on the house. I’ll try to get some pictures included to liven up the screen.

Until next time,

-Eli

Special Preview Blog: Book Four Prologue

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and in good spirits! I have something special for you today, and I think it’s something you will like. I recently finished the rough draft of the Prologue to the fourth book in my WWII historical fiction collection. Since I’m feeling good about my progress so far, and because I’d like to try something new and different, I’ve decided to make YOU a beta reader for the opening to my next book! So read ahead and leave a comment telling me your thoughts (both positive and constructive), and keep in mind that the formatting in this post is not the same as what it will be in the actual book…

Prologue

     “You’re sure he’s going to be here?” I quietly asked Benito. I tried to hide my anxiety over the matter.
     “According to my source, he’ll be here…patience, my friend,” Benito softly replied from the adjacent café table. His chair and my chair nearly touched backs; we sat at separate tables for a reason.
     I fidgeted in my seat. “Easier said than done,” I grabbed my water glass and swallowed a refreshing gulp. I looked out across the open circular thoroughfare. A beige, stone fountain was positioned in the middle, its water arcing into the air from the mouths of fish and angels. Five automobiles, all older Spanish or Swiss models, drove around the fountain, the drivers making their way to wherever they needed to go. Three young boys, conversing in Spanish and laughing wildly, walked past our table on the sidewalk. A modestly dressed woman carried a bag of groceries.
     “Your men are in position?” Benito asked, double-checking. He turned the page of the newspaper in his hands.
     I looked beyond the fountain to another café on the other side; Ezra, a tall, unimposing man with a mustache, leaned against a post. To my right on the east side of the thoroughfare sat a man on the fountain’s ledge; Mitchell was his name, and he was a more intimidating figure with his stocky build and booming voice. They both blended in beautifully with the pedestrians that meandered by, minding their own business on that sunny Thursday morning. “They’re in position,” I said nonchalantly, not looking directly at Benito. In our current business together, subtlety was a necessity. “And your men?”
     “They’re where they need to be. Everyone is where they need to be, Mr. Fisher,” Benito assured me.
     “You know, I’m still a little troubled that I have yet to meet your source,” I admitted. “I know we couldn’t meet out in the open like you and I are now, but still…something could have been arranged.” I glanced at Benito from the side of my eye.
     “Mr. Fisher, it would be very difficult to do that,” Benito reminded me, as he had done twice before when we planned this operation.
     Benito was a local businessman who had ties with underground movements against the Franco regime. He also had friends in the Maquis. I met him early on in my posting to Barcelona. Through my position as Cultural Attaché in the Consulate-General, I was introduced to and worked with many individuals of various backgrounds and experiences. But then again, Cultural Attaché was merely a title. A distraction. A cover.
     “I just want to be sure of the source of our information, that’s all,” I sipped my water again.
     Benito turned the next page of his newspaper, pretending to read the goings on of the world. “You are right to feel that way,” he voiced softly, his tone understanding.
     I looked down at the silver watch on my left wrist: 9:37. “Three minutes…” I spoke quietly.
     In three minutes from that moment, a car was expected to pull through the circular thoroughfare – a car transporting a German officer of the Abwehr division in Barcelona. The German intelligence organization had set up camp in this city of Spanish culture, as with other cities around the country, in order to glean intelligence regarding Allied operations and plans in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The German, a Captain Metzger, was the liaison officer for communication between Barcelona and headquarters in Berlin. The operational objective in play at the moment was simple: capture the German alive. The execution itself was nearly impossible.
     I ran over the operation in my head. ‘Car parks at the adjacent café at 9:40, Metzger and two guards get out to buy newspaper and coffee while driver remains in car at 9:41, vendor briefly talks to Metzger about nonsense until 9:42, the three are back in the car by 9:43. No more than three minutes to get the job done.’
     “There’s Diego, right on time,” Benito pointed out. One of his men, Diego’s task was to purchase a coffee at the café where Metzger would get his coffee, then sit outside to await the German when he exited the building. Diego was a strong man, hence his role as a handler in the apprehension of Metzger.
     I looked down the road to my left. Parked by the curb at the mouth of an alley was a black car with its engine off. It was another of Benito’s men, Julian. Once the apprehension took place, he would provide the primary getaway option for the handlers. Benito and I would simply act as unknowing pedestrians, leaving soon after the commotion would end. I glanced at my watch again: twenty seconds before 9:40. Mitchell rose from the fountain ledge and started walking toward the target café.
     A luxurious, black car emerged from between the buildings where the thoroughfare ran through, its engine heralding the coming of an important figure. ‘Here we go,’ I thought.
     “Metzger…” Benito mumbled, still feigning to read the paper.
     As the car circled around the fountain and slowed to the curb, Ezra began walking toward the café as well. Mitchell was already inside buying his coffee. The car’s dark windows kept me in suspense of glimpsing the man who was our target. I knew his face only from photographs taken by Benito’s men.
     I picked up my water glass, the small amount of condensation moistening my already sweaty palm. Looking on, I saw the car finally come to a complete stop; I heard the gear shift into park. ‘This is it,’ I told myself. Ezra and Diego were closest in proximity, and Mitchell was inside waiting to walk out at the right moment. From my seat nearly sixty feet away from Metzger’s car, I looked to my left at Julian waiting in the getaway car.
     Papapapa!
     Papapa!
     I spun around as gunshots rang out through the open space of the fountain thoroughfare. Before my eyes, three German soldiers with pistols shot Ezra, Diego, and Mitchell in their chests! The few locals in the vicinity cried out and fled; I discerned the words pistola and policía from their screams. The menacing Germans stood just a few feet from their car. In the flurry of motion I didn’t recognize any of them as Metzger.
     Benito slid out of his chair and tipped his café table on its side. I did the same and ducked down, frightened I’d take a bullet. Fear gripped me; my hands shook and my body quaked.
     No shots.
     I heard a car door shut, and then another, all followed by the revving of an engine and the receding acceleration of the German car. Still nervous and shaking, I mustered the courage to peek over the overturned table; Benito remained behind his table. His fearful and worrying eyes met mine. “Benjamin…” his broken voice said in a sorrowful tone.
     I stood up and looked ahead on the sidewalk. Three men squirming in pain. I ran to them as Benito rose from the dirty sidewalk. I quickly knelt down beside Diego, the first one I reached.
     “How bad is it?” he coughed, the breath in his lungs wheezing in and out of his mouth and the blood-soaked hole in his chest.
     I examined him, but I was no doctor. “Keep breathing, but slowly. Despacio,” I animated myself breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I tapped his thigh to encourage him to hold on as I stood up to tend the others.
     “Benj- …Benjamin…” Ezra rasped from twelve feet away. A pool of blood had gathered under him.
     “I’m here,” I assured him as I knelt down. Seeing the blood under him meant that a bullet exited through his back.
     “Check on Mi…Mitchell,” he struggled to breathe and speak. His eyes were gray-blue with a hint of red, and he was sweating.
     I examined him a moment more, then spoke. “I’ll be right back.” I quickly stood up and turned toward Mitchell. Benito had since knelt down beside Diego, and Julian joined him after running from the car that was still parked by the alley. I walked a few steps and found Mitchell lying on his left side just in front of the door to the café.
     He lay very still.
     “No, no, no, no…!” Benito cried out louder and louder. He engaged in resuscitating Diego; Julian squatted nearby, helpless. Benito breathed air into Diego’s mouth, then pressed on his chest repeatedly again.
     I returned my focus to Mitchell. Kneeling down for a closer look, I saw that he also had an exit wound in his back. The red blood on his beige shirt showed it. There was also a small stream of blood that ran down his back, but didn’t gather in a pool like with Ezra.            “Mitchell…” I tried gently turning him onto his back.
     “Nooooo!” Benito cried out, tears starting to stream down his cheeks.
     Diego was dead.
     “Boss…?” I heard a voice whisper.
     I turned and saw Mitchell barely moving. “Mitchell!” I immediately helped him turn over and sit up. I could more clearly see where the bullet entered: it missed his lung and clavicle.
     “Huuaaghh,” Mitchell coughed but struggled with the pain.
     “Are you going to be okay?” I looked him in the eye.
     “I think so…just hurts bad. I’ve never been shot before…” he replied softly. He wiped a bit of saliva from his lips, then paused. After a moment our eyes met. “Boss…” he gazed at Ezra.
     I looked as well, only to find Ezra lying still.
     The sounds of wailing sirens approached the grisly scene. Benito’s sobs were the only audible sound in close proximity, and Julian’s state of shock was what my weary and unbelieving eyes rested on as we all knelt, sat, or lay on the dusty sidewalks of Barcelona, our mission far from salvaged and with many questions to answer for the authorities.

I hope you liked it, and also liked the different kind of blog for this week. Again, please leave me a comment with your thoughts so that I can consider my readers’ input in my edits of the story. Thank you for your support and encouragement, as always, and may you have a great week filled with success and accomplishment!

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

New Short Stories Released!

Friends,

I know I’ve said this before, but the autumn season is wonderful! So many beautiful scenes to be seen and smells to be smelled, all before the backdrop of everyday life! Time flies by, whether we realize it or not, and soon it will be a new year. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s get into this week’s post…

The Short Story Collection

After much time of fiddling with different ideas and developing nascent stories, I’ve finally arrived to the point of releasing a new volume of short stories! I originally wanted to publish this ebook shortly after Unguarded came out earlier this year, but I opted to focus my writing efforts on Imminent. At that point I thought, “I’ll get the new volume out by summer.” That didn’t happen. “Early fall, perhaps.” That didn’t happen either. My goal, then, was to release it by my birthday in February.

However, my writing muse intervened and urged me to finish the work and finalize the stories, one of which was already completed. I sent the other two off to a friend for some feedback, which I quickly got back and implemented. After a final read-through, I submitted the ebook to be released through Amazon, and it was done very quickly. I submitted it Thursday night and it went live within a few hours, having the official release date of October 15. You can check it out and purchase it on this sales page!

Cover of Volume 2 in “The Short Story Collection”

Like my first volume, the stories in Volume 2 vary from my larger projects with regard to different aspects, such as scope and story premise. That’s been the whole goal all along: to produce new content that is different and that allows me to experiment with my writing. So I encourage you to pick up a copy on your Kindle (or through your Kindle reading app) and let me know what you think about my new work. I hope you enjoy it!

The Faces of the War Collection

Progress is being made with the edits for Imminent, with everything still on track for an early December release. This story is really coming together as I’m going back through and addressing changes or additions from my editor. The idea is that she’ll complete her work by November (thus allowing her to do NaNoWriMo), which then will give me a month to go through and do my final read-throughs. My goal is to submit the final manuscript to Amazon by November 30 so that it can be available for purchase by December 11. Details regarding pre-order for Kindle and the costs for both formats (print and Kindle) will be given when the cover is released – sometime in the next few weeks. Barring any major impediments, you’ll have another WWII historical fiction book by Christmas!

Indie Writing Advice

Due to Volume 2 being released, I had to take care of the book’s details in Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). There’s a YouTube video that covers this on my channel, so feel free to check it out. I’ll say that it would be good to explore the ins and outs of Amazon KDP before you are ready to upload your book. This way, you are familiar enough with how it works and what all needs done in order to complete the uploading process for publication. That is, if you’re wanting to sell your work on the Kindle platform. Personally, I only sell through Amazon. Everyone has their own reasons for choosing what platform(s) they sell their work through, and each certainly has its own draw. So if you’re in a position where you have a manuscript nearly ready for publication – and you want to sell it on the Kindle – I suggest you log into KDP and get acquainted!

That’s it for this week, but there’ll be more in the coming weeks! Thank you so much for reading this post, and for your support and encouragement of my work. If you haven’t yet done so, I encourage you to join my mailing list (you can email me with a brief “Hey, how are ya? I wanna join the mailing list!” at elikale.author@gmail.com) to get the most detailed and behind-the-scenes information regarding my projects, especially Imminent!

Until next time,

-Eli

Getting Closer to the End

Friends,

A new week has arrived on the calendar, which means that we have yet another opportunity to seek and achieve great things – be it goals, ambitions, passion…whatever you set your heart to! I am in the process of working toward achieving my own goals, and I’ll share some news about those goals with you now…

The Faces of the War Collection

I’ve sent my second round of changes for the book cover for Imminent and am currently awaiting the designer’s next draft as I write this. This is a very exciting part of the publishing process because it’s the first tangible sign that your project is coming to life!

Just last night, I eclipsed the 10K word mark for Part II, and finally completed the writing of that part, with the first draft word count coming to just over 11K. With about 15K more words to go, I am in the home stretch of writing the first draft…and that is very exciting too! Hopefully in just a few weeks, I’ll have the first draft completed and can then move on to the next step: editing.

YouTube

If you haven’t yet subscribed to my channel, I encourage you to do so! You’ll be able to stay up-to-date on my writing projects as well as get a glimpse into my life behind the writing. In my vlogs, I share my thoughts about writing, indie publishing, and other topics, as well as give advice to newer writers based on my experiences in the industry so far. I also have done a series on my writing process, so if you’re new to the game then I encourage you to check it out. Keep in mind that all writers are different, so everything I say or do might not fit into your style of writing and working. But that’s the beauty of it: we can learn from each other. It’s a journey that I want to take with others interested in what I do or who like my work, so please join me and let’s connect!

Short Story

As you may be aware, I submitted a short story to a historical fiction contest on the website Inkitt. The contest ends in late September, but the time to read it is now! Why? Because in order to win the contest, I need votes from you, my readers. But it’s more than winning a contest; it’s about sharing new content with the world and providing good stories for others to be entertained by. I’ve been told my story is a good one, so if you have 15-20 minutes that you’d like to put toward reading a short story, please give mine a look. Don’t forget to vote for it by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the screen!

Indie Writing Advice

When you write your first draft, it’s easy to get wrapped up into trying to perfect it as the words first fall onto the page. Though it’s a good habit to make – editing and reworking the words as you go – it’s not something that should be a make-or-break sort of thing. You should ground this thought into your head as you write your first draft of any project: it’s not going to be perfect.

I’ve published two books and am working on my third, and even now I can think of ways that I could’ve made my stories better. And that’s after I read through the manuscripts each a handful of times, had them edited by others, and gave myself time in between self-editing so as to approach the drafts with a refreshed eye (all of those things, by the way, are practices I advocate in my writing process videos)! So it’s wise to live by the idea that you can always improve a story, so there’s no sense in bothering with trying to make it perfect on the first go.

Just focus on getting the story in your mind onto the page in it’s rawest form, then go from there with a fine-tooth comb to make it better down the road. And if you’re in the same boat with me, you’ll want to write for the sake of writing because you lack the freedom of time, and you know that editing will come later. Take a deep breath. Relax. And write on.

That’s all I have for you right now. Keep an open eye for news of my book cover, whether it be in social media or in next week’s blog post. Either way, it’s coming, and it’s going to be great!

Until next time,

-Eli

New Project Title Reveal

Friends,

It is a new week and a good one so far, at that! Why? Because I have some news for you, as well as some other things. So let’s get started…

The Faces of the War Collection

I am pleased to inform you that things have been moving along well enough with my current WIP (work in progress, if you didn’t know), that I am ready to officially reveal the project’s title. As you know, my current book is the third in my WWII historical fiction project, where the Second World War is viewed through the perspectives of different individuals. I have mentioned before that this third story will be told from the German perspective, and that the character is male. I’ll reveal now that the character is in the German army and that the story line revolving around that fact will be more condensed that the stories of the previous two books in the collection.

The title of this book is “Imminent”. This story has taken me on a different sort of path in terms of how it’s been written and what I’ve had to do to get the story onto the page. Like I’ve said in past blog posts and YouTube vlogs, I am excited to see where this story takes me, because every writing experience has been different for me thus far. It is very interesting to get to experience writing in different ways!

Even though this project title, along with the titles of the other books in the collection, is already revealed at the end of the book, I like to dedicate a post to new titles that I’m working toward publishing, because it gives attention to the fact that I’m producing another story. Getting to see how my creativity manifests itself in a tangible book is amazing, as well as encouraging, and it makes me want to continue writing and networking with fellow writers. It’s a wonderful circle of cause and effect!

Now, you may be wondering: Eli, you’ve done title reveals for your first two books, and usually you include the book cover with the title reveal…where is the cover for this one? Great question! I chose to do the title and cover reveals separately for this book because the writing process is a little more drawn out than with the previous two books. I didn’t want to wait to do both reveals later down the road, nor did I want to reveal them both too early and then force you to wait to get your hands on the book. So this is the middle road – I am hoping to get the manuscript finished and published in the autumn, so you can probably expect a cover reveal around mid-August to early-September. That is the hope, at least.

All in all, I think everything is going well with this book, despite not writing as often as I’d like on a weekly basis. But that’s the nature of writing, especially writing as a secondary or tertiary job: you can’t always write as much as you’d like. But you just have to try to make it work, and that’s what I’m going to do. Like I’ve said before – I’d rather not sacrifice potentially good writing in order to get a book on the shelf. That’s not what writing should be about. It’s about being creative and making it something you can enjoy!

Other News

That’s about it for right now, aside from the regular stuff: YouTube vlogs come out every Friday (you can find them on my channel) and I’m working on side projects behind the scenes, which will be discussed later. For anything else you’d like to know about me and my work, you can find it on my website. Most of all, I’d love to connect with you through my newsletter, which comes out every couple of weeks. Either way, I’d love to connect with my readers. So please, shoot me an email or tweet me!

Until next time,

-Eli

Come On Over!

Friends,

Welcome to a new post and a new week! My hope is that you set out today to accomplish something on your To-Do list, and that you set out with a positive attitude. Now, let’s get down to business…

The Faces of the War Collection

I will resume writing on Book Three today, after this post goes live, and hope to get into another rhythm throughout the rest of this week. I am only about 5,000 words away from finishing Part I, so I’d really like to hit the writing hard this week to reach that mark. I am still very excited to see what this writing experience brings me and where this story will take me!

In other Faces news, Resistant and Unguarded are selling consistently…slow, but consistently. I have been told that Unguarded is a much better book in terms of writing improvement, so I encourage you to check it out! You can find the Amazon sales page here. You can also find the sales page for Resistant here, if you’re interested.

Dayton Book Expo

Speaking of my first two books, I will have hard copies (paperback format) available for sale at my Expo table. There will also be an email signup list for those interested in joining my mailing list, as well as for a FREE ebook copy of one of my books. There is a limited number of spaces to sign up, so once they’re filled, that’s it! So if you’re coming to the Expo on April 25th, be sure to stop by my table for a chance at a FREE book and to chat with me.

The Short Story Collection

I am currently in the process of awaiting feedback from beta readers on my upcoming release Volume 2. If all goes as planned, the ebook will release by the end of the month. However, sometimes things happen so it’s wise to take that into account. I will continue to update you with release details as the time nears.

If you want to check out my first ebook, Volume 1, you can do so here.

GoFundMe Campaign

I am really looking forward to the initial donation to my campaign! Money donated will support the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. I am looking to help make a difference in the world of history by helping to maintain a part of it, and your donations will help! So please, consider it and consider telling a friend about it. Every little bit helps!

YouTube

My videos are slowly but surely gaining more exposure in the YouTube world, and hopefully in the writing world as well! If you haven’t yet seen my videos, you can find all of them on my channel here. My most recent video on writing process can be found here. I will continue to produce these videos, because I have developed a passion for it and it also is something that I think can help expand my author platform.

That’s about it for news on all fronts, but things are always changing and improving. So I will keep you in the loop! BUT – I can do that way better if you join my mailing list, where I divulge more details and reveal more information than here in the blog posts. So come on over!

Until next time,

-Eli

It’s Already March!

Friends,

A new week, a new chance to make a difference, a new opportunity to accomplish your goals. It’s crazy that March is already here! Let’s delve into today’s post…

The Faces of the War Collection

Some more copies of Unguarded have sold in the past week, and that makes me very happy to see! I encourage you to please check out my new book if you haven’t already done so. And pass the word along to your friends and coworkers!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I haven’t put much time toward Book Three because of work and the fact that I’ve been writing my next short story volume. However, I’m not going to fret over this. The book will be tended to in due time. I don’t want to rush the writing just to match the time frame of previous books. It will be written in its own time. Another big part of why writing has taken a hit in these past couple of weeks is because of my launch on YouTube, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

As for Book Three, I am anxious to see where the story takes me and how the process goes along this time around. I’ve said it before – the writing experience for all of my books thus far has been different every time. And I like that. It shows that I am improving my craft and making the stories new and exciting, not recycling the same routine and feel when writing.

In terms of the story, I can’t give out too many details just yet, but they will be coming to you over the next few months!

The Short Story Collection

I have two of the three stories fleshed out and already half-written, but the third story has yet to be figured out. I have a pool of story ideas from which I can choose to fill that spot, but I just can’t seem to land on a solid enough idea. There is still time, though. I don’t plan on releasing this volume until further into spring, and I’m almost three-fourths of the way through the first two stories. If you haven’t checked out my first ebook, Volume 1, I encourage you to do so.

YouTube

The first two vlogs on my YouTube channel launched this past Friday, and they both already have more than a dozen views each! If you missed the launch and what it’s all about, you can check out my post about it here.

I am really looking forward to the journey ahead and seeing where it takes me, and who comes along for the ride. If you check out the videos, please “Subscribe” to my channel. It greatly improves my presence and author platform, and besides – I do this for you, my readers, and also for fellow writers!

GoFundMe Campaign

I recently started a campaign to raise money on GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site. I want to raise money for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana because keeping the history of that time period alive and understood is something important to me. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can check out the link for it here. I’d really appreciate it if you considered donating some money, even five dollars, because every little bit helps and will get me to my goal!

I am very thankful for those who have been following my work since the beginning, and for the support and encouragement you’ve given me. Please pass the word along to anyone you know who would be interested in what I do. I always love being able to share my passion with new people!

Until next time,

-Eli