Site Update

Well, it’s 2017 and as I have already mentioned in my goals, I am working towards more Science Fiction this year. With the switch from primarily fantasy writing to more Science Fiction, I thought that a change of site design was in order. Also, I let go of my other site, djmorandauthor.com. So, if you are looking for it, I’m sorry. I think most of my readership is here anyhow.

This is just a short note, let me know if you like the new layout or if you think it should change again. Until next time folks.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,

DJ Morand

Why I Never Grew Up – Part 3 of 3

Self-examination. This compound word has different meanings for different people. For some, it is something to be abhorred and avoided like the plague. For others, this is a literal examination of their physical self. Yet, for those who practice this art, it is a categorical tool that allows oneself to revise their world view as well as revise their self-view. 2016 has been a year of Self-examination for me. In late 2014, I wrote my first novel, by mid-2015 I had written four novels, only two of which I published. By the end of 2015, I had written a monster one-hundred-fifty-thousand word novel that would be the start of a new series, and decided to scrap it. I spent most of the first half of 2016, revising the second novel I published (Atlas) and writing short fiction. I released one short story each month starting in February through November. Then I published an Anthology of those short stories last week.

Yet, for those who practice this art, it is a categorical tool that allows oneself to revise their world view as well as revise their self-view.

During all of this writing, I began to question what kind of writer I wanted to be. I recreated myself several times over the past year. Deciding I would be a purely Fantasy author, I created the world of Vandor and poured all of my darkness into its stories, but in pouring out that darkness, I found light. I realized that I am not the dark person I thought I was. I have dark thoughts, dark moments, like anyone else, but that darkness does not consume me as I thought it did. I mentioned last time that horror had become an outlet for my darkness. That the stories I found as a youth cried out to me regarding their kinship to my mind and heart. I found – as I began to write these dark thoughts down in the very dark world of Vandor – that I am not so dark of a person.

During all of this writing, I began to question what kind of writer I wanted to be.

Fantasy and Science Fiction are therapeutic for me, a release of my inner struggles into print. My own Pandora’s box as it were. This brought me to another realization, I love reading dark things, I love reading about hardship and sorrow, but I also need it to come to a fruitful end. It doesn’t have to be a happy ending, but there needs to be an ending that doesn’t leave me feeling darker than when I began. The same has come of my writing.

I love reading dark things, I love reading about hardship and sorrow, but I also need it to come to a fruitful end.

Science Fiction and Fantasy opened a door for me. The door stood open to a hallway of options. My initial response was to run for the darkest door I could find. I opened it and leaped into the unknown reveling in the excitement and adventure of it all. That led to many stories, settings, and ideas that lay dormant for years. When I emerged to write my first novel in 2014, I decided I wanted to write a Space Opera like Firefly and Star Wars. I’m proud that I finished the novel, but I feel that it is short of the grandiose I reached for. Still, the euphoria of writing a novel, and subsequently publishing a novel, was too good to let pass into oblivion.

I opened it and leaped into the unknown reveling in the excitement and adventure of it all.

I’ve struggled this year, I published my second novel in June, but again it did not have the same feel I had hoped it would. This led me to believe that maybe, I wasn’t cut out for Science Fiction. Which led to my inevitable turn to Fantasy. The feeling of remorse that my first two novels were not as grand as I hoped reignited that dark flame in me and I grasped onto it, holding fast in hopes of having that inspiration originally given to me in my youth. What I found was therapeutic to be sure, but the outpouring of my dark flame reminded me of my love for Science Fiction and the reason I write both Science Fiction and Fantasy.

What I found was therapeutic to be sure, but the outpouring of my dark flame reminded me of my love for Science Fiction

Fantasy is an outlet. It is my go to for short fiction with a dark twist that allows my creativity to flow when I look at the page. Fantasy will always be second though. It is, for me, a place where I can escape my fears and worries about tomorrow by returning to yesterday.

Fantasy will always be second though.

Science Fiction is my light. It is the place where I can speculate about what is to come, what I want to see, and how I will overcome fears of the future. So, why did I never grow up? Because I love the dark, but sometimes I need a little light.

Science Fiction and Fantasy are my two opposing forces that drive me forward and help me to evolve. I didn’t grow up, because growing up means leaving things behind and I’m not ready to leave behind the make-believe. Until next time folks.

Your Friendly Neighborhood Author,

DJ Morand

“Buy My Book Now,” said The Clueless Author

I just needed to share this. C.S. Wilde rocks!

C.S. Wilde

Why do some authors release a bland post when their book’s out, saying, “My book is out. Available on Amazon. Buy now!”

“Buy now?” Seriously?

I hate posts like that so much that I literally lose my shit over this (by the way, the misuse of ‘literally’ here makes for a super gross mental picture, doesn’t it?)

Why would any reader invest on you because you’re TELLING them to do so? How do they even know that they like you as a writer?

Engage with your readers. Don’t tell them to buy your book, SHOW them first how awesome your stories can be.

Then once your book is out, you can write…

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MARKETING FOR THE INDIE AUTHOR

I absolutely love C.S. Wilde, she is just a gem. I shared Part 1 of this series, now for Part 2. Read it! No really read it! It is the best.

C.S. Wilde

In case you missed part 1, here you go.

Read it? All right, let’s continue.

  • Social media.

This basically translates to engage with your audience.

For that, WordPress is A-okay. Just make sure to follow the tags that are pertinent to your genre and engage with people who might actually be interested in your work. For example: this post is bad business for me, because my audience isn’t built of indie writers. So why am I writing this?

Beats me, buddy. I guess I just want to help. Which brings me to: watch out for your content. No one likes a whiner or someone who’s always with a negative attitude. Write fun, attention grabbing posts that provide some kind of value to your reader. Also remember: don’t write long posts, people don’t have time for that crap (yes, I can appreciate the irony. Yes, this post is huge.) And…

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Video Music

So I was able to find some Royalty Free music on http://www.bensound.com I am thinking of using one of these four tracks for my facebook videos. What do you guys think of these? Which is your favorite?

Until next time folks,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Author

DJ Morand

New Video Advert

I still need to add sound to it, but this is my first Facebook Video Advert. I’m not quite ready to put it out there, but I thought I’d share it. Enjoy!

Useful Stuff for the Indie Author Part 1

Because this is awesome and not sharing it would be a crime.

C.S. Wilde

As an indie author, I focus most of my budget on editing. One, because I want to get a FANTASTIC book out there, and two, indies in general have a bad reputation. And that bugs me. Some of us put really terrible stuff out in the world, I won’t deny it. But then again, so do many trad publishers.

Anyway, putting a high quality book out there means my budget for everything else is quite…restrained. And making a book is not JUST about writing and editing, oh no, my friends. I wish it was.

So here are a few things that you, as an indie on a tight budget, will need to take care of(besides writing a great book):

THE TECHNICAL STUFF

  • The basics: Writing an enticing blurb, your copyright page, your back matter, dedication, acknowledgments, about the author, etc
  • That was the easy part. And no…

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