Final Book 3 Update!

Final Book 3 Update!

So as you all may know, I finished the draft of American Rebirth, edited it once, and gave it to my Beta readers. So here’s the news:

The Bad: I just got back the book from my Beta readers, and I do need to make some changes. A bit more than I expected, maybe.

The Good: All things considered, it’s mostly tweaks and alterations, only one chapter needs to be overhauled, as far as I can tell.

The VERY Good: I have this week and next week off for Easter break. So I’m going to ballistic editing this thing. I have no doubt I can have it finished by then. I’m goin’ into grindmode, muddertruckers. Furthermore, I am really, really excited about the changes I’m making. I am very happy overall with the quality of the draft and how much my Betas enjoyed it, and I think after these edits it’s gonna be BALLIN OUTTA CONTROL.

Or at least, that’s the plan.

TL;DR The book is nearly done, I should have it completed by the end of the first week in April.

Next time you hear from me, the book should be out.

GET HYPED!!!

-Evan

 

 

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HOOD on Sale for 0.99$ In Honor of BOOK 3 Upcoming Launch!

HOOD on Sale for 0.99$ In Honor of BOOK 3 Upcoming Launch!

So I finished the last few touches on my first edit of AMERICAN REBIRTH, Book 3 of the American Rebirth Series, and gave it to my beta readers.

Soon, very soon, Book 3 will be live for all you wonderful maniacs to read. Depending on how much I have to edit on my second pass, it could be here within the month.

In Honor of that upcoming release, I’m putting HOOD, Book 1 of the American Rebirth Series on sale for 0.99$!

So for all you new to my stuff, here’s a chance to check out my style for a buck. That’s so cheap I kind of want to arrest myself.

Oh, and for those of you new to my site, you may be here because of your signup for the BookSweeps post-apoc Ebook giveaway. So welcome!

Alright, that’s it y’all. Short and sweet. Is it Friday yet? Tomorrow I’m going out to queens and I’m gonna drink many beers.

-Evan P.

Click here to sign up for my newsletter for sales and updates!

Mulling over Title/Cover Change…

Mulling over Title/Cover Change…

So I’m considering changing the title and cover for WHISKEY.

Truth be told, I like the cover and the title as it is… but I’m concerned it isn’t “connected” enough to HOOD so that the casual observer who sees it will recognize that it’s the sequel.

Maybe I’m overthinking things. But I’ve been toying around with covers to satisfy my meandering mind. Arguably, I’m not a digital design artist so my skills are pretty damn limited…

But I need some input from you, the reader/casual observer. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter…

Here’s the original cover:

whiskey-cover-final-42

And here’s the new one I’ve been playing with:

whiskey-cover-final-green

So, what do you think? Do you prefer the old one or the new one? Perhaps a mix of both? What do you think of the potential title change? Or the change of coloration to be more like HOOD?

Truth be told, things like title, cover art… these are just marketing tools. And I want BOOK 2 to feel as much like a spiritual successor to HOOD as possible.

 

Thanks peeps,

Evan Pickering

BOOK 2 is COMPLETE!

BOOK 2 is COMPLETE!

Well, you know. Complete in the sense that I have finished writing all the chapters. Now comes the editing process, and then formatting, and then BAM! Soon it shall be in the Amazon book forest and I can’t wait to get it into the hands of readers. GAH I WANT TO PUBLISH IT TODAY!

93cb69d561ac733c62c4773c04f33162

Behold, the might of Stormwind. I mean– the glorious green bars of Scrivener target goals.

It blows my mind that just three months ago or less I was staring at 5k or 10k words thinking “man, so much farther to go.”

But you just keep writing every day and that shit adds up.

Considering I didn’t really write at all in May–after I finished my semester I took the weeks thereafter to storyboard and outline–it only took me about 2.5 months to write the first draft.

75,000+ words in about 75 days. 1,000 words/day (no calc needed), that’s not too shabby if I do say so myself.

Hold tight, readers of HOOD. The second installment is just upon the horizon!

 

Hearts and huggles,

Evan P

Excerpt #4 HOOD American Rebirth Book 1

Excerpt #4 HOOD American Rebirth Book 1

Well, I’m almost home.

I don’t think I’ll have it published by the end of this month like I’d hoped. I’ll probably have edits done, but I’ll still need to do Kindle formatting along with everything else that goes into getting it as polished as I’d like. If it all goes well I should have it out by January.

I can live with that. I’m varying between anxious and excited about being on the home stretch. I don’t think it will feel real until I’m staring at it on Amazon.

It’s been joyous, exciting, painful, growth-inducing, and humbling writing and re-writing this book. I’m glad to say some early version readers have had some very positive things to say about it. Any writer will tell you, that means the world and beyond.

My goal has always been to make an entertaining, enjoyable, page turning story. I think I’ve come a long way to doing that. For all you reading this, I hope you give my story a shot when it’s done.

And with that, here’s the excerpt. Fittingly, I’m ending with the beginning–it’s the opening to the book. Enjoy!

Evan Pickering

HOOD COVER FINAL 1

The iron sights of Hood’s AK-47 lined up perfectly between each other, trained on the dark-haired man in the muted blue of predawn light. Hood’s heart picked up speed, his chest rising and falling with hasty breaths. The Kaiser knows we’re here. The purposefulness of the man’s search was proof enough. A lone wastelander would’ve kept his distance from their camp. How many more are coming? The image of a host of the Kaiser’s soldiers waiting in the dark mountain woods set his mind ablaze. Focus. The man hustled to the next tree and crouched down behind it, leaning over to peer around the mossy bark towards the campfire up the hill. No one else followed behind him. Maybe he’s just a scout.

The man’s chest rose and fell quickly as he closed his eyes, pistol in hand. He switched hands on his pistol as he wiped his palms on his pants. He doesn’t want this. He’s just like you. The thought surged into his mind unabated. Hood tried to cast it out, focusing on keeping his aim true. Just turn around and go back, Hood pleaded. He had a perfect shot from his flanking position up in the tree, but his finger stayed still on the trigger.

If you don’t shoot him, he will kill someone you love.

Hood chewed on the salty pull string of his well-worn hoodie, breathing in deeply and holding the air in his lungs as he squeezed the trigger on his rifle nearly to the firing point, keeping the sights steady.

It’s a Long, Long Road

It’s a Long, Long Road

Man, that kills me every time.

Writing, like in life, you’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself–Not take everything so seriously. As writers, we usually take our writing pretty damn seriously. It means all that and a bag of chips and salsa to us.

But at the end of the day, we do it because we love it. Because it’s fun to create. Because we were the kids that loved to play pretend in the backyard. Because we love storytelling, we love stories, we love new worlds and experiences, and we want to share our own with the world.

Me, I know I’m obsessed with storytelling. Reading books, watching movies, playing video games, writing stories. Maybe too much so 🙂

It’s a long, long road. With writing and with life. You’ve got to be able to enjoy the process. If find myself recently  (both in writing and life)getting so caught up in the goal that I’m not enjoying the process.

HOOD COVER FINAL 1
New Cover!

I’ve been fixated on finally publishing my novel. I keep saying “after this edit, it will be done!” But I’m still learning, I’m still improving. I know the work I’m doing in the editing process is making it a more complete, better story. I have to honor that. I told myself I’d have this thing published by the end of the year.

It was my new years resolution, if I remember correctly.

I hope to be able to do that. But if I can’t, to hell with the resolution. I’d rather tell my story right then hit an arbitrary deadline. After all, I’m working for myself.

It’s fun in a sick way, working on editing a book. There will be a day when I look back on this experience with this book fondly.

So take a deep breath, wherever you are in your life or in your writing, accept there’s a long road to be traveled yet. Enjoy it.

-Evan Pickering

 

Getting Out of Your Own Way

Getting Out of Your Own Way

Sooner or later (and probably repeatedly) we all manage to tie our own proverbial shoelaces together before we sprint after something.

Most of the time, we don’t do it on purpose. We usually think we’re doing the right thing or making the best choice.

That is especially true in writing.

Writing a novel can be such a huge undertaking. You’re building your whole world and portraying a select few journeys through that world, all while trying to grab your reader’s attention without being garish.

I know that I struggle with too much subtlety. Or at least, what I see in my mind as subtlety. It’s probably more accurate to call it a failure to inform your reader (lol).


So here’s my lesson for today: Yes, you want your book to have subtlety, but there are important things you have to find a way to convey to your reader. You can’t raise the stakes with scene (action) and sequel (down time) if your reader doesn’t know exactly what the stakes are.


If you fail to properly build the intensity of the focal points of your story, you’ll end up with one of two things happening:

1.) Conflict and climax that the reader isn’t fully invested in the outcome of.

or

2.) Conflict and climax that the reader doesn’t fully understand.

Both will completely pull the teeth out of your story. The best and most gripping stories are ones we care about the characters and the outcome, and ones where we understand the dynamics and forces at work (at least, the important ones. In mysteries this is not the case, but your reader is expecting not to understand, and to eventually discover)

Book Cover 11

I am now undertaking what I hope to be the final round of editing for my novel, Hood, Book One of the American Rebirth Series. (Though I feel like I’ve said this before.) I find that as much as I try to make concepts clear, I’m still working on smoothly informing the reader of important aspects of the story. I know that I tend to be overly subtle, hoping the reader will read between the lines. My lesson to myself is relax, the reader will do that on his own. You don’t have to make his or her job harder by not telling them what they need to know.

Hopefully, I’ll have the book out next month. But I’m endeavoring to not rush the process. I’d rather it come out in its best possible form than just push it out because… well, I can’t wait to get it out there 😀

-Evan Pickering