2021 release of… something!

Pictured above are some hardcopies of my first trilogy. The last book in the series, Immolation, was published in May, 2017.

That’s four long years ago.

Since then, I have been busy. I have written in shared universes, and I’ve created one of my own, an alternate history.

The shared universes are exactly that, they are shared. They do not belong to me.

Long time readers know my publisher went belly-up a couple of years ago. This may have been a left-handed gift because if they were still around, I probably would have released my alternate history in a knee-jerk fashion.

News flash: I would have lost money on it. Unfortunately, that seems to be the cold hard truth for 99.9% of indie authors.

You will lose money.

It’s so easy to look at the sheer volume of the competition out there and get discouraged. At times I want to throw up my hands and say the hell with it, that this is a fool’s game and a massive waste of time.

But then I read through some really positive stuff that some people have had to say about my work, and it makes a difference.

Years ago, after my first book, I had sold something like fifty copies. The thing was going nowhere. It embarrassed me, my thoughts were “hey, I did this. I said I would. Now it’s done and no one wants to read it. I’ll never do this again.”

I walked away.

But then a curious thing happened. First, I was contacted by a fan who said he really liked the book. He asked me when I was going to write the sequel; I told him I hadn’t really thought about it.

But then I did. Then I heard from an author I was in occasional contact with, John Birmingham. He told me the book was a good read. I was blown away to hear this.

So I sat down and I wrote the second book in what became a trilogy. By May of 2017, it was done.

Then I got involved in a bunch of projects, lost my publisher, and finished another trilogy.

By now, April of 2021, the dam is about to burst.

I want to release my alt history trilogy so bad it hurts.

So I come back to what has sustained me throughout the years, my readers and friends. I have a question to pose to you. A series, really.

Here are my dilemmas.

First, I don’t want to go thousands of USD into the hole again. But I also don’t want to publish an inferior product. So the pure indie route isn’t that attractive. Sorry, Amazon, but for most Indie authors you are a money sink, not a revenue generator.

Second, selling the trilogy is still a possibility, and it’s by far the most preferred one. I consider my current trilogy to be locked up in this process for the time being. However, one must always have a back-up plan.

Here it is.

I really admire John Birmingham’s Patreon page.

This. This seems to be a sure-fire method of getting my work out to you all, and I would be paid some small amount per month to do so.

I take this question to you readers directly: would you be interested in paying a few dollars per month to see my latest and greatest? What would you like to see? How much would you be willing to pay?

Hell, how many of you would actually cross the threshold and join the Cool Kids Club?

I need answers to these questions.

Something I could do is begin work immediately on a NEW TRILOGY, one that’s not tied up in commitments. A new sci-fi universe, just for my readers.

You.

At least once a week you would get a new chapter to chew on, and we could hang out and talk it over. At the end of each book, you’d get a complimentary e-book copy.

What do you think?

This is something I’m interested in.

But who cares about me.

The question is: are you interested?

I’m all ears.

The Battered Helmet

Hey, readers. Welcome to the North American spring, boy, am I glad that the better weather is finally here.

Well, with good weather comes flea markets and what are known as “garage sales,” sometimes I go to those. You never know what you can find. I attended a large one in this area recently on a sunny but cold day, and what do you know, I found this battered helmet for sale. The price was reasonable, so I decided to add it to my collection.

Kooky, I know. During the lockdown things got a little weird. I wrote A LOT. Plus, I spent tons of time on the internet. At times I made purchases; I decided to start collecting helmets.

Now, I already had a small collection. There were a few I had inherited, plus there were a few that I got in the service.

See below.

I see the helmet as a signature clothing item for a soldier; a piece of protective wear that signals what it is that you do for a living.

In this case, the helmet protects against flying bits of metal, blunt force trauma, and under the right conditions they will even stop a bullet.

The US has eighteen million living veterans, so that means that there is a lot of this type of junk to be found at yard sales. Much of it has a story, good or bad. The helmet I found a couple of days ago had obviously seen hard and long service, it was produced by McCord in late 1944. It was covered in several layers of brushed on ugly green paint, and what was cool was that in places traces of the original WW2 paint was visible.

This helmet has a story. To make things even better, a soldier’s name was carved in the paint on the inside, along with the name of a tiny town in Tennessee.

I googled the name, the gentleman is still alive. He is of the Korean War generation.

This. This is history. The price of admission is low, a couple of twenty dollar bills.

Maybe it’s odd, but I find this sort of thing to be fascinating.

This interest in history translates into writing; it blends well with science fiction. Mix it up, then puke the words onto the page and you get an alternate history trilogy.

My chief goal for 2021: Get the trilogy’s first book published, no matter what.