Summertime Life/Book Update…

Summertime Life/Book Update…

There’ ain’t nothin’ like Summer, is there?

So I figure I’d give you a guys a little life-update. A window into the world of Evan for just a moment.

  1. I’m diligently working on my new Post-Apoc novel. I’ve posted excerpts from it already, it’s the origins of the American Rebirth series. It’s Rob and Taylor from when the shit hits the fan so to speak. God damn it is so much fun to write.
  2. I’m reading Wool by Hugh Howey. I don’t know how many of you have gotten into this one. I’m very curious to see what happens… but I gotta admit it hasn’t lived up to the hype for me. I’d love to have some questions answered, and I’d love to know more about the world and the state of humanity other than the Silos, but as far as the characters go… I just have very little investment. He keeps changing who the main character is, and it’s frustrating. The original protagonist, Holston, I liked a lot and was totally on board with his desire to leave the silo and try to find his wife. But that storyline, well, it just stops. It’s well written, but I just don’t know if it’s my style.
  3. I got a new day job teaching 11th and 12th grade English at a local high school! I’m pretty excited about it. Teaching is another big passion of mine. It fills a different part of my life then writing does, and often it gets me excited to write. So there’ s a pretty good synergy there.
  4. I’m going up to New Hampshire with some family for some summertime lake vacation. I love it up there. I’m going to hopefully get a lot of writing done and just recharge myself. There’s nothing like raw nature and the smell of mountain air.
  5. I’m going to Thrillerfest tomorrow (friday) in NYC! If anyone is going, stop by and say hi!

I hope y’all are having a good Summer. As per usual if any of you have any questions or want to chat, leave a comment, hit me up on twitter, or Email me at Evanpickering@Evanpickeringauthor.com

Stay safe, wastelanders.

Evan

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11,315 Days.

11,315 Days.

Thirty-one.

It’s hard to believe sometimes. Happy birthday to me, 11,315 days of life. And there’s no guarantee i’ll get any more than that.

I’m grateful for all of them. For all the things that have gone wrong, my life has been pretty incredible. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

I think I’ll list them here.

  • The people I love. Family, friends, the great loves of my life.
  • My books. My love of storytelling, of imagination, of history.
  • My health. I feel young, stronger than I ever have before, and largely unhindered.
  • My curiosity. I’ve been gifted with a love of learning, of enjoying new things, of reveling in growth. It’s made my life a lot of fun and painless in many ways.
  • My pride. I feel proud of who I am, of the light in bring into other people’s lives just by being who I am (I know that sounds arrogant as fuck) and the pride I take in the choices I’ve made and the things I have done. Even the mistakes. Even the big ones.
  • The world. Because it’s gorgeous, endlessly interesting, tragic and beautiful all at the same time. Getting a chance to live life is so incredible.

I was thinking today about just having the chance to live, and how improbable that is. How many people, how many bloodlines died out just to the path of history? How many near misses were there where your ancestors might have died before they could conceive the next generation have their been?

Just our very existence here is a marvel of probability, an incredible gift, a confluence of chance and love.

I don’t plan on wasting it.

Have a good one, everyone. I know I will. Happy birthday to me.

-Evan P.

 

 

It’s Done…

It’s Done…

As of last night, around midnight…

…The draft of American Rebirth is done.

It’s about 90,200 words. That’s sure to change after editing.

I don’t know if all the feels have hit me yet. I don’t think the full high will come until this shit is done and launched. But still, for me… I just gotta take a minute and say something.

I’m truly proud of this series.

It hasn’t always been easy. It’s been mostly NOT easy, to be honest. But seeing the ending of this book, and well this arc of the series (I have a feeling i’ll be writing more stories in the American Rebirth universe.) it’s a hard feeling to put into words.

All three of these books are strongly connected, all a part of one complete narrative about who we are as individuals, as a race, and what the fuck it is to make of this thing we call existence. I’ve always loved post-apoc because it lays that bare. There’s nothing but survival and the things that really matter.

All the garbage priorities we lay on top of our lives living in a functioning civilization gets stripped away. The people at the end of the world, or at least, the people who face the collapse of great civilizations, like those in the dark ages, have to face the reality of what actually matters:

Who are we to ourselves? who are we to each other? Both as strangers, as loved ones, and as enemies?

I wanted to do a lot of things with this series, but ultimately, that’s the biggest picture. I can say having finished book 3, I feel I’ve answered that. In my way.

I really can’t wait for you all to read it.

What’s next: I have to edit it. I’ll give it to a few close beta readers I trust. Then I do one more pass, and then it’s live.

We’re almost there.

-Evan Pickering

Excitement

Excitement

Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for getting excited about something.

Those of you who follow me know that Book 3 has taken longer than I planned to get done. I’ve been working at it diligently, but at times the writing is slow, and I refuse to force it. I want this book to be face-meltingly awesome for readers of the first two books in the series. There’s something necessary for that.

Excitement.

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Someone somewhere once said if you’re not excited about what you’re writing, there’s no chance your readers are going to be. I firmly believe that.

Sometimes you have to embrace there are natural highs and lows to writing. When I feel I’m in sort of a lull, the writing slows down a lot. Because if I’m not excited, then what the hell is the point?

Well, I’m pretty fucking excited about what I’ve got going now. I had a few lightbulbs go off that I think will amp up the intensity of the plot recently, and I think looking back on the book as a whole, it’s moving in a pretty fucking cool direction.

I’m channeling that excitement into more writing. I want to get my ass in front of the keyboard more lately so I can bring this thing to life. After all, it’s about damn time.

I can’t wait to share it with all of you when its done.

Hard at work in the wastelands,

Evan P.

New Cover Reveal for BOOK 2!

New Cover Reveal for BOOK 2!

As promised…

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I’m really excited about this one.

I’ve been working with Jeff Brown with creating new covers for the series. And while it is bittersweet changing the old covers, I’m pretty excited with how the new ones look.

This second one, in particular, is quite gorgeous and does a sick job capturing the scene from the beginning of Book 2. And in general it’s just a gorgeous-looking work of art.

So yeah, I’m pretty psyched. The level of detail and how beautiful the scenery is really just blows me away. I think it also conveys the mood and tone of the book and the series really well.

Now it’s on to book three. All I have to do now is finish it!

Regarding Book 3…

I had hoped to have it released by the end of Summer. Clearly that hasn’t happened. Various circumstances in my life has slowed the writing process considerably for me. I still am determined to get it out as soon as possible, but more importantly…

I want to make sure the book is as good as it possibly can be. This book is tremendously important to the overall story arc of the series, and I don’t want to rush it. I thought I was going to have all Summer free like last year when I produced Book 2, but it didn’t work out that way.

So, I am still writing, I’m happy with how it’s coming out, so that’s really the most important part. But it still is going to take some time until it’s completed.

Feel free to leave thoughts and comments below!

-Evan Pickering

My Words at 30.

My Words at 30.

 

God I still love this song. Such a classic.

I first listened to this song when I was somewhere around the age of 18. Twelve years later it’s still great.

I thought I’d be scared or freaked out by thirty.

But I’m pretty happy about it. I’ve got a lot of reasons to love where I’m at in my life. Looking back at all the things that I’ve done (get it?) brings me more joy than anything else.

There are many various ways to measure how my life has gone, but…

I have so much love in my life. And I have given so much love and happiness to others over the course of my thirty years. Of all the things that I’ve done, that’s really all that matters.

As a thirty year old man, I feel in many ways like a better, stronger, wiser version of my younger self. I’ve grown up in the ways that are valuable, and I’ve stayed young in the ways that matter.

I can’t ask for much more than that.


I think one of the strongest truths that I know now at my age is this:

Words mean everything. 

The words you tell yourself in your head will define you. Positive or negative you will make them real.

The words you say to others about yourself–sooner or later you will accept them as truth even if you didn’t in the beginning.

The things you say to other people and the things they say to you is the fabric all of humanity is built on. Say good things, meaningful things, useful things, funny things–be careful with the hammer that is your anger and frustration. Saying harsh or critical things is necessary in life. But do not make it something that gives you power or satisfaction.

Many people live in fear of saying positive, kind or flattering things to others. They only do so sparingly as if it somehow is a risk that makes us lesser, weaker or vulnerable. It does not. Do not believe the lie that kindness is weakness. Kindness is true strength.

Thank you to everyone that has made my 30th birthday something special. I love you guys. And to those that have never met me or do not know me, I love you too. I hope all’s well.

-Evan

 

The Search for More…

The Search for More…

There’s something inherently human about wanting more, about always looking towards the next goal.

It might just be wired into how we think. It’s the reason why billionaires still want more money, and why many famous people still feel unsatisfied enough to have breakdowns despite what others might see as “achieving success.”

So last week I just got my first Bookbub for HOOD on May 11th. For those of you who don’t know, Bookbub is like the Starship Enterprise of book promotions–and the next closest promotion might be a Hyundai Sonata in comparison.

In short, it’s a very big deal for authors, they’re very hard to get, and it’s been one of the top goals of mine since I launched the book.

When I booked it, I was doing all kinds of shouting and fistpumping and bouncing off the walls of my apartment.

And yet, something funny happens. And it happens to us all.

Mere days later I was looking ahead to what the next steps were. I got the Bookbub I so lustily desired, and now I was booking other promos. I was thinking ahead to when I can have Book 3 done, and maybe having some new covers made, etc.

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The point is, we always chase the next thing ahead of us. Even in the face of great success. Make no mistake, booking this Promo was a huge coup for me. And yet so quickly I push on to the next goal. In many ways, this is a positive thing. Stay Hungry, as they say, and drive yourself to do more and find your own greatness.

But there is a problem with this. We need to enjoy, celebrate and revel in our successes. Our wins in life must feel like wins. Because our losses certainly can feel cruel and horrible, sometimes cripplingly so, can’t they?

If we do not take time to appreciate what we have done, what we have overcome, and bask in the sunlight in the positive things we’ve created in our own lives, whatever they may be, then we are driving our one and only car ragged down the empty road of the wastelands until it breaks down.

It is good and noble to strive for more, to better ourselves, to be in search of our better selves.

But we must not strive aimlessly like an addict in the dark. When we find pieces of our better selves, we must stop to appreciate them.

Maybe–I don’t know–but maybe there’s a point where we need not strive anymore at all?

-Evan Pickering