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September In Review: An Amazing Journey

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

September in Review

Stepping out into the land of publishing under your own name, own steam and own imagination is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I guess that is why ghost writing seemed to be so amazing. In the end, changes and edits were made to change modify the novels I worked on. That meant flop or flail, in the end, it wasn’t something I had to worry about because I already had my pay day.

That’s probably not the best attitude to have. In hindsight, I can’t explain the relief of not dealing with the jitters of my first release day.

So… how did September end up? What did I get done? It’s time to find out!

Of the two Vellas that I am working on, with the assistance of Developmental editors David Cherbini and Blue Coutell, I never expected that The Explorers would out perform Exile, an Under the White Moon Paranormal Mystery with twists like fated and true mates.

Normally mysteries with a splash of romance and shifters does incredibly well. Maybe I need to recategorize it? It is, after all, in the end the first part of Eden and Warnon’s love story.

Exile debuted on August 29th. The good news is that the story’s read through rate has been consistent, so I know I haven’t lost readers. It has been recommended that this Vella get a new cover.

I may just need to consider that as readers expect shifter stories to have a presence of the shifting being on the cover.

Episodes for exile will continue to be posted weekly until the start of the New Year where things may be changed up.

I’ve been asked about Eden’s story, what lead her and Philippe to the situation described in the first Episode and since this Vella stemmed from an original short story, I am being put to task. With David’s phenomenal recommendation, I’ll be posting a Prelude to Exile titled Death and Banishment, hopefully in time for the holidays. The plan is 14 – 20 episodes.

I had originally hoped t start posting these episodes the week of Thanksgiving and wrapping them up on New Years Day. This is a very ambitious goal as the original short story needs some work done to ensure I don’t make crazy mistakes, like contradict myself and leaving plot holes the size of Texas in my wake.

Stay tuned to Instagram (for now… there will be a news letter sometime this month. It’s on the plan, I promise!) for announcements and a cover reveal for Death and Banishment.

I have also been asked how long, how many seasons basically, there are currently in this series. Right now there is the prelude, the current season, a series of side stories that go along with it, and two books that are nearly complete that will make up the second and third season.

Eden and Warnon’s Arc of these mysteries looks to span 5 – 8 epic length novels. This could change going forward depending on plot developement.

Finally, The Explorers. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with the Explorers. What I can tell you is that I really did not expect it to take off because it is so hard to perform well outside of romance and romance adjacent genres.

If you look at the top favorites from September, more than half are sprinkled in with romance, just kisses or strait up sex.

The Explorers peaked at 93 on the top favorites chart and closed out the month at 109. This series is not only the first book that I have published in any form, it is also my first best seller and fan favorite. I can’t even begin to tell you how nerve wracking the last week has been.

To celebrate a top favorite placement for most of the month, I released a bonus episode and even gave Explorers a face lift moving from our old map to an image featuring the Wickes Tunnel in Montana.

In addition to closing out the month was well placed as it is, despite the main character being a murderous antihero, the Explorers was Eighth in Mystery and Eleventh in Thrillers.

Overall, The Explorers is a slowly simmering pot of insanity that is going to be boiling over in the month of October. And in honor of all things spooky and creepy, we’ll see bonus episode of this Vella just in time for Halloween with Episode #17 releasing on Monday, October 25th and Episode #18 releasing on the evening of Saturday, October 30th.

I have been asked how many episode I think Explorers will run for. The answer is I honestly don’t know! The original outline was for a first season with 45 episodes. I’ve just hit episode 7 of the original 45 episode first season. That episode 7 rounds out episode #17 discussed above.

Now that those specifics are out of the way, I want to share with you a brief moment that I had when the rankings were finalized today.

I was one of those people that was told that I would never succeed as a writer, never publish, never sell. This was told to me by an English teacher in High School. There may or may not be a tshirt coming along that says something like “I’m a best selling author with a fan favorite story. May my English teacher suck duck eggs through a tiny straw.”

What else is happening in Vella Land? The Horror Authors group is running a scavenger hunt through the first episodes of our Vellas. You can find information about the #HorrorHunt on Naomi Ault’s blog.

You’ll be looking for a baseball bat, a murderous gray cat, jazz hands, a hunting knife, a help wanted ad for a bartender and an old, tattered book.

I think this is not only a lot of fun, but a great way to be introduced to some amazing authors and their stories.

When Vella launched, one thing that the platform needed was a space where episodes could be reviewed. There have been podcasts and in platform reviews on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter.

I started writing reviews because I love reading. I’ve just about hit the end of my fourth set of 1700 tokens. Needless to say, I’m an avid reader.

The best part of these reviews has been the opportunity to get to know the authors while having the chance to gush about their work.

Someone did ask, after reading my FAQ, if I have actually sent out developmental feedback letters.

The answer to that question is yes. I will keep reiterating that a writer shouldn’t be discouraged early in their career when they have a chance to grow. To date, I’ve sent seven of these letters not only because they contain valuable feedback, but because I may be able to come back in the future and offer the author a review.

The month of September saw four complete reviews posted. I’ve also decided that I’ll be doing one off single post reviews that are basically an instagram pos. They’ll also appear here on Kindle & Coffee, unless its a Tapas & Tea take over week.

I receive frequent requests for reviews and recommendations for reviews and with only two exceptions have them scheduled in the order that they’ve been received.

I’m working on a submission form for both authors and readers to request reviews. It should be up this coming week and I’ll make sure that everyone understands that just because a Vella is submitted for review, doesn’t mean it will be reviewed in a timely manner. By timely, I mean that I’m booked out past Christmas.

That doesn’t mean I won’t consider shuffling around the line if I find I’m reviewing the same genre several weeks running. I know I tend to favor horror, thrillers and suspense, but not everyone does.

I’m, considering a Dragons ONLY month of January for fun. Because Dragons. Have I mentioned that I love dragons? I think I have.

For now, we have a review of Elven House of Ivy and Bone by Kristin J Dawson by debut on October 4th and it will be followed up with Kingdom of Links by Sarah Shipley. I can’t wait to tell you what’s coming up after them, but you’ll have to wait for now.

That’s it for this wrap up. I should have more posts coming up about writing, process, editing and our first Adventure Blog which will release on Sunday!

Things for us travel wise won’t be slowing down until the start of the New Year. Living a life on the road has definitely been exciting and fulfilling.,

Until next time, may your adventures be exciting. Just not as exciting as X’s!

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