A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Three

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

So in this new “wild west” of publishing everything was changing at a rapid rate. And into this new world with the little knowledge I had I thought the smart thing to do was to take advantage of one of these companies, (companies that converted manuscripts into EBooks) and have them publish my novels. Still, at this point I had hope that somewhere during this process that I’d land or find an agent, and begin the process that led to traditional publishing.

Traditional publishing seemed to be the best way to get known, and maybe in the end produce enough income that I might be able to live off the proceeds. As time went on and as I learned more about this route, I found there was much I didn’t like. In a sense, after all that effort, hard work, time invested, and all that isolation as one worked on that particular manuscript or project, in the end you sold your rights to all of this hard personal work to a company that probably wouldn’t invest much time and effort on the project. And if there wasn’t an immediate return bury it, leaving the writer out in the cold with no recourse.

I didn’t like those odds, and add to it the fact that if I wanted those rights back, I’d had to purchase them. So while having your novel published by one of the big houses seemed to be the way to success, it wasn’t necessarily so. It was then I learned that in this modern world of publishing, much of the work, after the fact, would still fall to you the writer. They, (publishers) now require that the writer have a platform. The writer now had to be on social media, have a website, and in most cases have an active blog. The writer now would be responsible for all the correspondence with fans of his or her works, and in many ways be responsible for getting the word out.

As I thought about this, I began to wonder why I would need a publisher since they were requiring all of this from me. I mean if I was doing this as an independent then I’d be doing very much the same thing. Sure, I understand that with the budgets that publishers have, besides their reach, there is a better chance of becoming known through them. Yet, at the same time that chance overall would be really small.

Going independent meant that I’d be the one in control of everything. Of course this meant that I’d be in control of everything, including the costs involved, the decisions for content, release dates, distribution, announcements, and so many other small details that it might become overwhelming. Especially since I really knew nothing about this industry.

So back to Writers Digest and a webinar on self-publishing I went. After this I did some research and decided that the company I would go with to create my EBooks, followed by the fact they had a great distribution network, was Book Baby. With them you paid for the production costs, and they would then distribute your EBook throughout their network, collect the royalties, handle the accounting, and once your royalties hit a certain threshold transfer the funds into you account.

For me this seemed to be a good solution or compromise. It appeared they had the experience, distribution network, and a system that would allow one to track their books. So my first four novels were originally converted and published by them. Still, as time moved on their prices continued to climb, and with the last one I sent them to convert the costs had risen to well over $400. This was rapidly heading in the direction of unaffordable. And while they did distribute, I really wasn’t seeing much results. Again, POD (Print on Demand) was still in the future, and the small independent print shops where one might get a manuscript printed was well beyond most indie authors as far as costs. This still left the issue of distribution. and how one would get their printed books out to the retailers.

So for me it was time to do some additional research and continue to learn and understand the industry I found myself in. And, of course, this industry was now very fluid and big changes were in the wind and happening almost overnight.

Next week I continue my journey to becoming and indie writer, and publisher. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

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A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part Two

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

As I’ve stated in an earlier post, I thought that once a manuscript was written then it’s done. I guess that was one of the first hard lessons learned. Without editing there is no story. And in a sense even though I hadn’t thought about editing, when I had written book two in the Discovery trilogy, I had no choice but to return to the first one and make corrections. In other words edit the darn thing.

So now what? How was I to get these manuscripts in front of publishers and editors? Well I had returned to subscribing to Writers Digest, and ended up purchasing one of their books that gave lists of agents, and such. So I picked out a few that I thought would work with the genre I wrote, submitted queries, and waited. Every one came back as rejections. And what made it worse was the fact the rejections were form letter rejections, which meant no interest at all.

During this time I became a member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA). Every year they host conferences, and also have a contest tied in with their conferences allowing authors to submit manuscripts, (for a price of course) to be judged. Then at the conference the winner would be announced. Then this winner would have the opportunity to talk to publishers and agents who would be specifically interested in their manuscript.

This was a no brainer. I had to submit to this contest and hope I was good enough to at least reach the finals. Of course the winner wouldn’t be announced until the end of the conference. So I attended the writer’s conference, and I have to admit that it was worth the price of admission. The only issue for me was the price of admission only allowed me to do this once.

The classes I attended added to the knowledge that I lacked, and as far as my manuscript, it didn’t go anywhere. Still, by this time I had written another novel and had brought a query with me, hoping to get the opportunity to give it to either an agent, or publisher. I was fortunate enough to find one who accepted the query. Still, I never heard back. So in the end another failed query and opportunity.

I guess, in many ways what you see here is pretty standard for any unknown. It has been stated that one could paper their walls with rejection letters before finally landing a deal somewhere. Still I continued to learn. And eventually, after taking one of many webinars I learned a little about self-publishing, and the beginnings of the revolution in electronic books. Whether you have a love or hate relationship, it is Amazon that drove this, forcing the other publishers to come along for the ride, kicking and screaming, and fighting this trend.

POD (Print on Demand) hadn’t arrived as of yet. So a few internet companies began to offer services for converting manuscripts into the EBook formats – Epub, and Mobi. Some would do the work for free taking a percentage of the sales as their share for the work performed. Others would require payment up front, and then any sales belonged to you.

In the beginning of all of this one was responsible for the cover designs, and obviously the content, and formatting of that content. It was later that many of these specialty houses began offering services that would  do this work for you, again for a price. Still, if we were to look at some of my early covers that I created verses the ones presently on my novels then it becomes painfully obvious where the talent is.

Next week I move onto my first foray into this new world of self-publishing. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

A Personal Journey to Self-Publishing, Part One

Available now, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction). An adventure dealing with a time where mankind is finally recovering from a major apocalyptic event, and in the first two novels deal with a myth of a great people known as The Ones Before. Yet there is no proof they ever lived. It will be up to the present Head Keeper of the Past to either prove or disprove those myths.

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, (and the link to the webpage for this book: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) is available as a paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5, for Kindle, ASIN: B01N69YCCW, or in the EPub format ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9. This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction)  Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1. Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8, Kindle, ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, and Epub, ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1, are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/science-fiction) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/christian-fiction). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback, ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6, Kindle, ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, and Epub, 978-1-946179-05-0)

* * *

Yes, I’m an Indie publisher, and as such I’m responsible for all of it. And what I mean is, from the writing, to the editing, to contracting for covers, and submitting all materials to a print house, to the final product you find at your favorite book outlet, literally everything. This is a journey that has taken years to accomplish. There were a lot of mistakes made along the way, and a really steep learning curve. Still at this time my novels are available in paperback, and EBook. I haven’t attacked the audio market as of yet, but sometime in the future it may be a direction that I will take. (Also remember that everybody’s path is different, and this is mine.)

And now that I’m looking at reaching an end to most of what I’ve done, I thought it was time to look back and trace the pathways to now. So with this first post in the new series I will go back to the beginnings which began eleven years ago. 2006 was the year I retired, and then moved from where we were living to the great northwest, and all the work that happens when you not only move into to a new home, but add to that a new state, meaning the changing of all your vehicle licenses, driver’s license, and address changes and such. Add to it not knowing anything about anything meant more learning.

So this early time was simply spent on becoming familiar with the area, and the changes that one faces. Still, after this what was I planning to do? I knew, from statistics, that if one didn’t occupy oneself with something productive that life expectancy after retirement would be short. And I wanted time to spend with my wife, who is still working at this time, once she retired, and finally after all the years together to actually have it be just the two of us. That will finally happen in the second half of 2019.

So I thought maybe I should try to write. While I’ve written a short story or two, and when we’d do Halloween haunted walks, create stories to heighten the suspense, I had never tried to write a complete novel. At the time in the past where I’d attempt to write, life got in the way, so it was something that had to be placed on the backburner until such time where I might be able to devote more time to the craft. Decades went by, and between family and job it reached a point where I had to give up recreational reading totally. So for the last years of my career, it was work, home life, no real vacations, and a wildfire close to the end of my career that once again changed our direction, and lives forever.

I’ve never claimed to be anything but a country hick. I lived most of my life on family property that was forty-one acres in size. A two mile dirt road to get there, we are on wells for water, and then in the seventies we finally got electricity and a telephone. Yet, when we made this move from there to where we are living presently it was in a city. The original plan was to only be here a short time while we recovered, sell, and return to the country. Then came the housing crash, and so here we are still living in the city, and that same house twelve years later.

Back when I had begun this journey, decades in the past, the publishing industry was completely different. There were no agents, and in reality there were no classes, internet, webinars and such, to teach one how to create a query, and one dealt with publishers and editors directly. It meant when I decided to pursue a writing career as a second occupation that what we see today was completely unknown to me. Meaning that I went into this as I remembered, not knowing the reality of today and the massive changes that had taken place. Let alone the ones that I didn’t see coming in the future, which is now the past. Even though what is happening today is still changing and growing.

In a sense what we see has led to a revolution in the publishing world. Now anybody who has thoughts of publishing can do it. So this has led to the massive amounts of published material out there making it even more difficult for a writer to become known. And is usually the case there’s lots of this new material that’s really not worth reading. In many ways this is like the old west, it is the frontier, a revolution, and a freedom for any to get one’s book out and into the hands of readers.

So late in 2006 I began my first novel. Still I knew that it was important to set a goal. I mean, was this novel going to be my only attempt, or did I have aspirations to go further? At first I didn’t know, but eventually set a goal of eight novels. Was it realistic? There was no way to know, and if it wasn’t I could always adjust it later. So off into the darkness of the unknown future I went. And the obstacles that was ahead of me were all unknown – which was probably a good thing. I really thought, in my mind that it would be simple. Write the novel, submit it, and see it published.

For any who have tried, they know that this isn’t reality, and this road is a long and hard one. Yes there are always a few who seem to hit everything just right and go to the best seller’s list. But for most of us we end in obscurity and what we’ve produced ends up on our personal shelves to collect dust. Still even to have accomplished this is far greater then ninety nine percent of the ones who have attempted to write only to fail.

Next week I’ll be continuing this final series of posts. Have a great week, and God Bless! (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

Published in: on January 6, 2018 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Christmas Day Wish

God Bless all! It is the time of family, of remembrances, of watching the magic in the eyes of children as they anticipate Christmas morning. It is the traditional time to celebrate the birth of Christ and all that this event represents. It is the reason for the gift giving, for all the traditions that have developed over time, from Christmas trees, to St Nick. And the gift giving is also a representation of the Gift God gave to us that first Christmas.

May this time of year be one of love, joy, and peace. And may the new year, which is only a week away, be one of promise. Again, God Bless! And I’ll close this with a link to a Christmas song from the Piano Guys. F. D. Brant (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/)

 

A Taste of History Past

Available in December, three new novelsThe Ones Before, Discovery, and An Ancient Fire. All part of the Discovery Trilogy. More to come!

Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-12-8 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (ISBN: 978-1-946179-15-9 Paperback, and the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

Before I get into this week’s post and starting this week I’m continuing a tradition here as we enter into the holiday season. In the past few years I’ve been linking my past Christmas stories starting with the earliest I wrote. I began this blog in 2011 and from that time to the present I’ve presented a Christmas short story, and this year will be no different. I’ve been working on it and have it ready. It will be posted the Saturday before Christmas.

Now I have to mention that most of my Christmas stories are different. I feel that there’s many really great “feel good” stories out there and usually this time of year we look to those to help lift us up. Yet, for many such will not be the way of it. And so I thought that I’d approach my fictional stories from this direction. So in 2011 I wrote, A Christmas Story, and then later felt that I needed a sequel and followed this up with, A Christmas Story part 2.  And here’s the link to both if one wants to go back and read the original posts: https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/a-christmas-story/ and the follow up: https://windmillsmetaphor4writing.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/a-christmas-story-part-2/ and now onto today’s post:

A Taste of History Past, or that’s another fine myth you’ve gotten me into, is number seven. I released this one in November of 2011. This is book three of the Survival trilogy and is Science Fiction Adventure. In the first two books the emphasis lay with the remnant of the scout unit, and their interaction with the primitives, as the scout unit tries to find a way to stop an undeclared war between the Cities, hidden deep inside the desolation, and the primitives who have discovered them. And the main story wraps up in the novel, Desperate to Survive, which is number two of this trilogy, and the fourth novel written.

While with the first trilogy that I completed – the Discovery Trilogy – when I wrote that third novel I went back in time to three generations after the apocalyptic event instead of remaining within the same time period of the first two novels. I felt it important, as I stated a few weeks ago, that I go back in time to show where some of the traditions, and such originated.

Yet, in this novel, A Taste of History Past, going back in time wouldn’t make any sense. So instead I headed into the other direction – the future. And this time the story exclusively deals with that present future generation of the people native to this world. In the prologue I bring everyone forward and up to date as to what has transpired since the close of book two. (And if you are reading this then here’s a little insider information: The incident that closes the prologue is witnessed by our protagonists somewhere in the novel.)

And what normally takes place with a culture or a people happens here. If you think about it a culture can disappear, be absorbed into another culture, or advance. And in this novel they have advanced. They still haven’t reached what we would consider the Industrial Age, but aren’t too far from it. So they depend on their animals, and walk a lot. The idea for this novel came from the idea of looking back at the deep past and trying to understand the world as it was, with little or no real proof.

The story revolves around a young married couple, Kal and Jura. He being someone who has lived his life within the confines of the village, and she from a farm. They have a strong relationship, and he admits that she’s better at anything that has to do with living in the country. The story opens with Kal standing out in the open fields trying to decide what he will do about a gift he’s received from his uncle.

And not to give too much away, let’s say that it’s this gift that will lead to all their adventures, conflicts, and intrigues that exist in the story. We do learn of the many changes in the culture since the first two novels. And much of what happened in their world back then is now ancient history. Now it is a world of farms, villages, and trails that connect all of their world together. Below is part of the blurb for this novel. Presently it is only available as an EBook, but I have plans next year on releasing the 2nd edition. At that time it will be available as a paperback also.

Kal was satisfied with his life working in the family business, and being with his mate Jura. He had never understood why she had accepted his offer to be his mate but found that they worked well together. And if he hadn’t received that gift from his favorite uncle they probably would have been happy to live out their lives in ignorance. He was a descendant of K’jor the warrior leader who had been responsible for the first alliance of the clans and tribes. Supposedly a direct descendant, but with what was known of that time Kal and Jura could never figure out how such could be proved.

The world had been tamed since the time of the clans and tribes. The battles and wars of old were long in the past, and during those times the first great alliance was created, with K’jor responsible for making it happen. Even though, in later times, it disbanded, the seeds had been planted and the future that was their present could be traced back to that first alliance. Still modern history stated that much of what had happened during this period of their history was nothing more than myth.

And thusly, why the subtitle of this novel. That gift sets them on a path that will meet those myths head-on, and in the process they’ll run into trouble with the learned who don’t like others who want to mettle with what they know to be fact. Next week it’s onto novel number eight – Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown – a post-apocalyptic stand alone novel.

Have a great week and God Bless!

The Woman in the Snow

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

If you’ve been following these series of posts you know that I’m presenting the novels I’ve written in the order that I’ve written them. And this one is number five on that list. At this time it is a stand alone novel, although later I will talk about the sequel which I’m presently writing, along with another novel that’s also a work in progress. This second novel will be considered a stand alone also, even though it deals with some of the same people from the first novel. I’ve tentatively titled this one as, The Return of the Woman in the Snow, an introspective journey.

So far, with the first four presented, all parts of two trilogies, they came about as a result of recurring dreams that set the storyline for me. So it can naturally be assumed that this  novel came about the same way. And this time the answer would be no, not at all. At the present this is my only Christian novel I’ve written, and truthfully it has sold more than any of my other novels.

Oh just a bit of information here; if one is interested in purchasing these novels pick up the second editions of; Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and The Woman in the Snow. I’ve spoke of how many times I had to go through these novels, other than The Woman in the Snow, to make them viable stories. Well, with the new editions you can now add two more complete edits and revisions to each.

For this novel I originally worked complete edits – beginning to end – eight times before finally putting the novel out into the world to be available. And no, as I’ve stated about the others, this one didn’t come about because of a dream. For this one it was a piece of music. I was listening one day to what is called new age music, which I generally use as background when I write. Anyway when I heard this piece of music the whole story was before me – all of it. So I then wrote it.

A little bit of trivia here, the title of the musical piece became the title for the book. I felt it was only right since it was the trigger for the novel. Of course, even though I had the story, I didn’t have any of the characters as of yet. Most of the time as I write the need for characters presents themselves as the story advances. And when this happens a new character arrives and fills in the blanks. What I mean here is that they arrive, fill out a job application, and if they qualify they are then in the novel.

Well, not really, but it’s kind of like that. For example in this novel, since it is a survival novel, (Interestingly, it seems many of my novels deal with survival) that meant that there would be the need for a search and rescue team, followed by the members for that team. And as in any story it had to take place somewhere, which meant the creation of the area where the incident takes place. Of course we needed our main protagonist, and that led to Cathy, followed by her personality, background, and the reason she was even on those backcountry roads. Below is the actual back page from that novel, which will give you some insight into this novel:

Cathy looked out upon the scene that surrounded her – nothing but forest. That last weak winter storm had left little behind to even state there had been a storm. In her mind it signaled an end to winter. It’s time to be on the road. She missed her fiancé desperately, and with impatience began that familiar route to his home. College finals were winding down and she was eager to be with Keith.

She’d been warned that there could be other storms, but the forecast spoke of a few cold and clear days. And she wasn’t going to miss the opportunity that was presented. Now she only had to travel those backroads through a heavily forested area. She’d traveled those roads so often she could do it in her sleep. Yet . . .

Of course the area and weather are the antagonists in this story, as well as some of the creatures that dwell in such areas. And to add to her problems she has no survival skills. All of these factors increase the tension and the odds of her dying. And as I do in my stories you follow all the characters to the conclusion. You seeing what she can’t see, as well as what the others do not know about Cathy or where she is located. Consider the novel as Contemporary Christian Fiction.

Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

 

Published in: on October 28, 2017 at 7:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time of Isolation

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4, ASIN: B071XWF1WY) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4, ASIN: B071CMNHMQ) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3, ASIN: B071R4SBBL) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

What can I say? I know that I’ve, as of three weeks ago, presented this novel in its entirety on this blog. Still it is the third novel I wrote, and as such must go on this list. After writing the first two novels in the Discovery series I decided I needed to move on and in a different direction. And like the first two novels this came about because of a recurring dream. Again the question would be; is there any resemblance to the novel if we were to compare the novel to the dream? And I’d have to say only slightly.

But before I go into the differences I’d like to talk about some of the processes I go through when I write. No I’m not talking about the mechanics and such. First off, as far as my writing I’m a pantser, or I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline, in fact I don’t like outlining. I keep everything in my head, and usually when I begin a new novel I have the title followed by images in my mind that point me in the direction I’m to go.

Most of the time I have both the beginning and the end, or at least what I suspect will be the end, in my mind. Still, until the words are on the page it really doesn’t matter what I may be thinking. If the words aren’t there on that page then there’s no story – nothing. In the end it’s the discipline to write every day that’s important. Still what is the method used? To start with I always have images in my mind. These images must be translated into those words on the page, and because they do move through my mind rather quickly I need to type. Writing freehand would be much too slow, and I suspect I’d lose a lot of what I see, leaving the story lacking in important details.

And I do have a daily goal for number of words I should write. This is followed by the next twenty four hours where I’m thinking about how the story will progress the next day. I look at each of these days as if it is me who is starting my day. I may have something planned, but the future of this day is unknown until I live it. And that’s exactly how I see my characters as I begin that day’s writing. And I do see my characters in that story everyday. And like a voyeur I watch their lives unfold. And as they unfold, obviously in my mind, I write their story. Here I must add that as the novel progresses I begin to develop a background, a history with the characters and this makes going forward easier.

What I mean here is the fact that when we are around someone for awhile, we begin to know them, their moods, the way they see life, and can begin to anticipate how they will react when a situation takes place. It is the same with these fictional characters. For me they become so real that I do get emotionally involved with them. And then I have to step back and smile reminding myself that they are not real, and only exist on those pages. Still it is important that they do appear to be real, to be living breathing individuals, otherwise they are two dimensional with no substance, and no life, leading to a story that will die.

During this process I always have that final word count goal in my mind of one hundred thousand. And as my story unfolds I always worry that I won’t make it. That I will run through the full story long before I reach that goal. And that fear remains with me until I hit that fifty thousand word mark. At that point I know what’s in those pages that’s been written, and how much story remains to be told.

Then comes the next worry – will it be too long? And that worry usually strikes somewhere around eighty five thousand words. And in a sense that’s what happened with the Discovery trilogy,(at least for the first novel), and this novel from the Survival trilogy. Suddenly I was at that goal, and the story wasn’t complete. So do I push on and wrap this one up at a point where the story naturally ends or continue the story in a second novel? In both I moved the story along to a second novel. And being this is the first novel in what I thought would be a stand alone, I now just faced this same issue as I did from the last two – The Ones Before, and Discovery. Yet here, while I had more story to tell I really didn’t feel like I had enough to create another novel. But I’ll be getting into that with the next post when I talk about the second in this series. Now back to the novel:

In the dream I saw two members of an advanced society discussing the fact that it appeared that the primitives had discovered them and was now making war upon them. In the great distance one saw the hordes like a plague moving in their direction. The vision shifted and I saw what only could be described as a medieval castle with a arched bridge made of stone leading into this place. It was here that the leader of the primitives resided.

In the areas where people would be jailed, down below or what we’d consider the dungeons were women from the advanced society that had been captured by the primitives from the towns and cities they’d both attacked and then destroyed. From this I shifted POV (Point of View) again and saw a sister and brother who were part of a scouting unit that kept the information flowing about what the primitives were doing.

The sister operated a piece of equipment that allowed surveillance and monitoring, working in the background. While the brother actually made contact with the primitives in the role of a merchant. When he would go into the strongholds posing as a traveling merchant, high in the sky, flying overhead was a mechanical device that looked to be a bird. It allowed both visual and verbal communications between the two. His goal was to rescue these women and bring them safely back.

There was more, but this was the basis for the story that became Time of Isolation. And here I need to mention that there was a second recurring dream that became part of the story and came across almost unchanged. Still if you’ve followed the novel as I presented it here in this blog, and then read this you really wouldn’t see many similarities. Yet if one looked closer they would be there. We have the advanced society hiding and living in the desert, and we have the scout unit, with a sister and brother, (spoiler alert) who eventually become the leaders. The primitives are there, and they are destroying these hidden cities. We have initially the equipment that I saw the sister using in that dream. And so there are some of the elements that came over into the actual novel. And here is the blurb or back cover for this novel:

Silence! Silence and static is all that they hear as Sampson and his shift attempt to contact Terra, another City gone silent – gone dark. What’s truly happening, Sampson thought. After all, they’re an advanced society hidden deep inside the desolation for protection – a voluntary Time of Isolation.

It has been this way for at least a millennia or more. At the time when the Cities were established it was to escape a Great War. This same Great War that pushed the ones outside of the desolation to become the primitives they all know and fear.

And now without warning something’s changed. Something ominous is on the horizon, and no one knows the questions to ask let alone find the answers. Is the cause the primitives, or is it something else? With the distances between the Cities too far to travel none can make direct contact – so what should they do? And who should they turn to solve this deadly riddle that is now before them?

In a sense these novels can be considered apocalyptic in nature, but instead I placed them as science fiction adventure. I did this because even as the destruction is happening, we follow the remnant of the scout team as they attempt to escape, moving them further away from their advanced world and more into the world and lifestyle of the primitives. And in the end finding life changing discoveries for them and the cities. And finally, if one is interested in this novel I suggest the 2nd edition that I released earlier this year.

Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Published in: on October 14, 2017 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Discovery

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

If you caught last week’s post you know that I’m presenting the novels I’ve written in the order I’ve written them. And this one is book two in the Discovery Trilogy. Restating what I said last week, and since this is the second, I had just come back to writing. And until I wrote The Ones Before, I had never tackled a full length novel. Looking back it had been years, and I mean years since I had tried my hand at writing, and I found that almost the whole industry had changed.

There was much that I got wrong, and as in anything worth pursuing, I continue to learn and improve. And while this novel is over one hundred sixty five thousand words, (approximately 500 pages) making it long for what publishers want, it continues to tell the story of a future world thousands of years after an apocalyptic event. And what this novel did and it’s the only time I’ve faced this, is to force me to go back to book one, The Ones Before, and rewrite portions of it – again. This had to happen to make the two novels consistent and work together since it obviously deals with the same story.

To be truthful, this second novel was a much better written first draft than the first one. Still I’ve had to do heavy editing and revisions to it also. Originally the story was to be a single novel, but, as in my other trilogy, it became two, and then eventually three. And where book one was originally to end, this happened instead in book two – Not that book one doesn’t reach closure because it does.

All three novels take place in a post apocalyptic world where only the “when” is different. Books one and two take place thousands of years after the event while book three is approximately two hundred years or three generations since the destruction. In many ways book three shows the beginnings of trends and traditions that are part of the societies and the world of the first two books. And book three presents the remnant of the ones who became known as The Ones Before.

Once again this story is a result of a recurring dream, one that left me with images that I wanted to bring to life. And this story, these novels began it all for me. Because once these first two were complete, (not necessarily ready for primetime) I found I had a desire to continue. As I stated last week, I set a goal, at the time of writing these novels, of writing eight. Was it realistic? I didn’t know, but knew, after checking those milestones, I could always adjust that figure if it became necessary. So I pushed off into the unknown.

This journey began at the end of 2006, and I consider 2007 to be the actual time of writing that first novel. And here we are ten years later. So the obvious question is did I make that goal, or did I have to adjust it? And the truth here is yes, (yes what?) I had to adjust it. I had to adjust it higher and changed the goal to ten, which I’ll make and surpass also. And as I stated last week, I found that it takes me a year to produce a novel. This includes the writing, editing, revisions, and rewrites. Yet even then they aren’t necessarily ready for publication as there’s many additional steps that must be taken before any of them will see the light of day and are available.

So book one, within the storyline, ends with success. Yet the ones we are following have a second destination, a second site, and have plans to head there once they wrap up the project where they presently are located – which happens to be the desert. Now I stated that with this series if one wanted they could follow every character and the lands where they live, travel, and work, as I used real lands. No none of the cities, towns, and such exist in the story, but every piece of land is there.

In this novel we continue to follow the six protagonists and their lives. They are a brother and sister, a scout, a cartographer, the Head Keeper of the past, and his wife. And there is a point in the story where all of them finally come together and meet for the first time. Until then they remain separate. Well generally, as obviously the brother and sister are together as well as the Head Keeper of the Past and his wife. And the scout and the cartographer are friends. Still it is an accidental discovery that makes the wheels begin to turn that will bring all of them together and in the end lead to these important discoveries, and the influences these discoveries will make on their known world.

And with Discovery the story actually wraps up. So at the completion of this one they, the novels, went to the shelves where they have remained these past ten years. Again, at the time of writing I didn’t think anything about editing, or the whole process necessary to make the novels and stories work. I thought, wrongly, when one writes nothing else needs to be done.  In fact I felt so strongly and positively about this one that I submitted it to a contest. Of course it failed miserably – no editing and such, no story.

Still, in the end, I love my characters, their lives, and the world where they live. And we really do get up close and personal with these characters, and everything about them. And speaking of their world I think that most of us would find it difficult to live in that world. We love our modern conveniences, our medical advancements, transportation, and such. In this world none of that exists. The world would be closer to the early to middle 1800’s, than the world of the 21st century. Populations are small, as we continue to recover from the event that almost wiped the human race off the planet. And nothing, absolutely nothing from our time seems to have survived. We have started over.

Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

 

 

The Ones Before

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

In the weeks ahead I’ll be presenting each of the novels I’ve written. This is the first. I plan on going into a bit of background on each, what my thoughts were at the time, and the direction the novel was originally to take and where it actually ended. And during this process I’ll present them in the order written. And with the first I’ll be providing an introduction to this overall series of posts.

One would think that for example, trilogies are written as a set, one after another until complete. And I suspect for many writers it is this way. Still, with the two trilogies I’ve written neither were. In both cases the first two were written followed by other novels before returning to complete the series. Again, both of these trilogies are open for additional novels. Whether that happens is an unknown.

In truth, after retiring and then beginning this career as a writer I’m finding that after fifty plus years of working that I’m burning out. Yes, in comparison to the hours I spent working my original career, this is a leisurely journey. Still like any job, it requires time, and while I don’t punch a clock any more, I still must be disciplined, spend each day concentrating on the writing, editing, and things like this blog.

This probably requires more discipline, concentration, and dedication than anything I’ve done. And while it would be nice to see some financial gain for the time, effort, and finances spent, and it hasn’t been cheap, there’s a good chance in the end that there will be no such reward. Leaving my reward to be the actual completion of a number of novels, all that I self-published. I know that many have started such a journey never to finish.

I can say I’ve learned a lot, and know that as far as this industry I’ve barely begun. So much has changed since the time when I first tried my hand at writing. In fact the whole industry is different, and now so much of what must be done has to be done by the writer. It’s no longer write the novel, submit it, and if one is fortunate enough to have it chosen by one of the publishing houses, then from there they’d take over and do everything necessary to get it out to the world. And if you’re a writer you know of what I speak.

And when you consider that there are over a million new publications each year then for an unknown to become known is close to impossible. Statistics say that nine out of ten writers fail. And to be honest this might be even higher. So when I began this journey in earnest these facts were something I was unaware of. Maybe it’s a good thing since it meant that I wouldn’t be discouraged right out of the gate.

Still some of the ignorance remained with me through those first couple of years where I learned how long it takes to bring forth a new work. For me, from beginning to end, and here I’m not referring to actually publishing, it takes about a year to do all the serious work. That means writing the novel followed by serious editing. While it is less than ideal I must do my own editing. For this I have no choice. Financially, hiring an editor, is beyond my means.

Editing, by far, is the most difficult and important part of the process. For me I have a method, as I’m sure most writers do. And for me I go through a novel – first page to last – a minimum of three times. Still with the ones I’m presently editing I can say I’ve been completely through them at least twelve times. Why the difference? It’s simple really. These early novels have required the most revisions, rewrites, and edits. And this is why they have yet to be published. While over time my writing has improved to a point where it requires less rewriting and editing, which I have to admit is really nice, it still must be done. And this novel, as I’ve stated, is the first I ever wrote.

Book length is also important. In the genre I mostly write the word count expected is around one hundred thousand. Yet when I wrote these first two I was unaware of such things as word count. I thought page count was the thing. So both are long, with this one being over one hundred thirty four thousand words, and the second at over one hundred and sixty five thousand. With three hundred to three hundred and fifty words to a page it gives you an idea to the length. And what I’ve learned is that each page you add costs additional money. And by being a small publisher, using Ingram as my producer, and distributor, and by being a publisher of short runs it is expensive, (Now known as POD, or Print on Demand). And because of this the paperbacks produced for sale in the retail market aren’t cheap. If you look up the price of any of my novels you’d naturally think, they must be really good or the publisher thinks they will sell well or the writer has such an ego that he believes that they deserve such a price. As I’ve stated I’m that publisher and writer, and in the end I really only earn, in most markets, less than a dollar per paperback book sold – thusly this is the reality and cost of doing business. And with this it’s time to head into the novel:

The Ones Before came about because of my interest in the past, and in the field of archaeology. In a sense the movie Planet of the Apes where the protagonist discovers, at the end of the movie, that he is on earth sometime far into the future has stayed with me. I still see the images of the Statue of Liberty as a ruin clearly identifying the fact that his world is gone forever.

Another influence for this series, for it is a trilogy, came from a favorite author. His stories always take place in real places. Not necessarily towns, cities, and such, but the lands. So I determined that I’d do the same with this one. So the wild lands, the places spoken of in this novel are real. And if one wanted to retrace the route of the people in this story one can. Although I have to say that those lands in the novel are lacking the cities and towns that exist now. So if one did follow the paths then they would have to imagine the lands without these cities and such.

And with all that I’ve written, in the ten to eleven years of writing, this series is the only one that follows the lands as they exist. Still, as I began this novel, I thought “first person” is the way to write it. After getting to the point where chapter four might have been, (there are eighteen chapters in this novel) I realized that this wasn’t going to work. So I started over and changed the perspective to “third person”. Oh just a small fact here; when I write novels they are all presented as “third person”, yet generally with my short stories I write in the “first person” POV

I say chapter four, but when I wrote this one I had no chapter breaks, nothing at all. So this became another issue as I had to go back and figure out where the chapter breaks should be. And these issues were only the beginnings of problems with this first novel. Issues such as a broken timeline. And others became obvious as I wrote, then came back later (much later) to clean it up. All my novels I now write have those chapter breaks in them as I go along. I can sense, as I write, where the natural break falls.

Did I say, clean it up? Well, that only happened later once I had added chapter breaks and such. I mean when I wrote my first novels the idea of editing didn’t enter my mind at all. I thought – write it, and be done with it. Well, that was another hard lesson. It has been stated that anybody can write, but only writers can edit. So the truth is one doesn’t have a story or a complete novel until the revisions, rewriting and editing is done.

Story – where’d the story come from? This, like the other trilogy I wrote, came from a fragment of a dream. This one, again like the other was a recurring dream. And it intrigued me enough to want to write a story. So when I began this I thought that I must have some type of goal to reach beyond this one novel. So I thought to set my goal rather high. I told myself that I’d write eight novels. Was that a real reachable goal? At the time I made it I really didn’t know.

In this story my original idea was to have one main character who is married and deals with the past. In fact I identified his position as “Head Keeper of the Past”. The other four characters that play an important part in the story were originally to be there as minor characters, ones who would pass on what they had so that the main character would then go forth and solve the mystery that’s before him. But, those other characters demanded more time, and a deeper role in the story, (really?). So instead of one main character I ended up with six. Each and every one critical to the telling of this story.

In fact, other than the prologue where the Head Keeper of the Past is writing, we don’t see him until much later in the novel. Instead we begin with a team that’s mapping major trails. From there we move on to the sister and brother who are trying to survive on family property that has been in their family for generations. And then it is from there we are finally introduced to the Head Keeper of the Past.

In a sense these novels are about discovering one’s past. In the story, The Ones Before are myth. Yet it is a myth that refuses to die, even though nothing has ever been discovered showing they were ever real, had existed, or had lived. Still many past Head Keepers of the Past have tried to solve this mystery only to fail. And this is the overriding theme. The story can be considered post apocalyptic in nature, but only generally. As the event is thousands of years in the past – at least for the first two novels.

Another aspect here in the beginning of my writing lay in the fact that I thought to eliminate conflict. After all, we have enough in our lives, why would I want to include it in a novel? Was I successful? No, not at all. It was later that I learned that conflict is what drives the story. And I learned there are many levels to conflict. From those decisions we make to go one way or the other, to outright war and destruction.

Is this novel available? No not yet. Soon, as I’m having covers designed for the complete trilogy in November of 2017, and hope to have them available by the Christmas season of this year. I have to admit that I love my characters and their interactions with each other and the world they live. And in this novel you truly do learn of their world, their society, and where they are technologically. And I find personally, seeing, reading, and finding a complete living world makes the reading so much more pleasurable.

So I hope that this look inside the process, and the introduction to my path as a writer piques your interest enough that you will want to at least read the back cover of the novel. It, as well as the other two, will be available as both a paperback and in the EBook format. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Sixty Years On

Now available in July, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel. Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. Release date was yesterday, July 14, 2017. Blurb and information can be found on my website (found at the bottom of this page).

The Harsh Lands is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition. Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

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I picked this title from the title of a song by Elton John that he sang back in the seventies. I have to admit that I always liked it. Still in many ways what it reflects is a view of when one reaches those older years. And in my case I definitely qualify. If any of you out there haven’t heard the song here’s the link to one of the versions from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEcafVVUxqk

In a sense what one takes away from this song will be as a result of who and where you are personally. For me it has to do with the title referring to sixty years plus, which is where I am, since I’ll turn sixty eight this year. Others may think about the fact that it seems that every generation have their wars to fight, others who want to see guns disappear will see a possible future where they don’t exist. And still others might focus on the religious aspect, and because of this none of us would agree what this song is about – and that’s what keeps life interesting.

What I am writing here will be through my eyes as I’ve viewed events, and marked time. And if we truly think about it for all of us it is this way. What is being witnessed throughout our lives will always be colored by who we are, what our experiences have been, our heredity, the influences that are around us, and where we are in our own timeline. Nothing we see is what it truly is. It cannot be any other way since we view all things from our inner selves, and our personal senses.

For example, in my case I’m partially colorblind. That means that certain colors do not exist for me and when you remove those colors what I see instead is the color that would be created if that missing color didn’t exist. To explain what I mean, here is what would happen. If you remove red from purple the color you would end up with is blue. And we can say the same thing with brown. Since red is the most common colorblind color then if we remove red from brown we get green. So this would mean that to any of us with that particular color blindness trait those other colors wouldn’t exist, i.e. brown and purple.

By the way, back when you were a kid, and for me that’s a long time ago, did you ever try to mix all the colors with your crayons or colored pencils to get white? Logically you’d think it would work since sunlight is white and we were shown and told that it is created from all the colors.  And by using a prism they prove it. Yet when we mix those colors on a sheet of paper we end up with black – one of those mysteries of life I guess.

Memory or memories can be tricky things. It has been shown that what we remember isn’t necessarily what really happened. Time and distance has changed those memories into something different, yet we believe what we see in our minds is correct. There have been a number of experiments done over the years that prove that memories can be implanted and have no basis in reality. So when I look back on my memories I find that with some there are warm nostalgic feelings that can lead me to smile, while others I’d sooner forget. Are they accurate, I believe so, but there’s no way for me to prove them to be so. If we think about this too hard it can leave us on shaky ground with nothing firm to stand upon. It comes down to do we trust or not trust our personal memories. Personally I’d rather trust them until they are proven to be wrong.

So what’s your earliest memory? Mine, and I’d guess I had to be around three at the time, has to do with a family outing to an observatory, standing on the steps leading up to the entrance. That’s it, nothing about going inside, or about the trip to and from, or any other aspect. There must have been something about that one location that created this permanent memory.

Other memories? Well, there’s the one where we went out to look at property when I was six. We turned a corner and everything to the west fell away and suddenly it was like I could see forever. As a boy scout taking that ninety mile hike we did as a troop, graduating from high school, (fifty years ago) the night I left home on the way to a war zone as a soldier, wild fires, where eventually one did destroy our homes, marrying the woman I love, who brought two daughters into my life and our family, being there for the birth of our sons, and now after all these years going to their weddings. As you can see most of these memories are ordinary and as such could belong to anyone. Yet, each and every one makes me who I am, as the ones you have make you who you are.

Local and beyond memories? The Kennedy assassination when I was in high school, the space race and landing on the moon, an airliner crash that almost hit an elementary school, and further back and personal, a military fighter crashing on the property and almost hitting our home, 9-11-2001, and the resulting wars that we still face today, terrorism and the many tragic losses from these extremists, and I guess I can throw in the mine rescue. In this mix I can add the resignation of a president and vice-president, and the first time we had a president who came to office unelected. And all of these form the backdrop of my and our lives influencing how we see and view our world.

The common factor in all of this is time. And for all of us time is the limiting factor. We are only given so much of it before we die. And it’s surprising how fast that time approaches. It seems like yesterday when I graduated from school and while I was in school it seemed like it was forever. Now fifty years later I’m returning from that reunion celebrating a half century since graduating. Yeah this means I’ve been out of school much longer than I was in, and that time between has more than flown – leaving me to wonder what happened

It is here at this time in one’s life that they realize that much of their lives are over, and whatever dreams and goals one had are no longer obtainable. It is sobering when one realizes that all the chances are pretty much used up, and are part of your past. Still I can say that once I retired that it allowed me one more chance at one of those life goals, and here it is right before you. I always had a desire to write, and in truth I never knew if I could be successful or not. I guess, in the end, I can say yes. When I seriously began to write, (after retiring) I set goals, whether I’d ever reach them I didn’t know. I honestly didn’t know if I could write a book or novel and finish it. Yet, in the end, I did reach those goals, surpassed them, reset those goals and will reach and possibly surpass those new ones.

Still, time is piling up, burying me under that weight, telling me that soon those creative juices will probably dry up. So next year as I work on two new novels,  they may be my last. Still I’m happy with the results of my writing. In the end I’ll have written twelve novels, plus one of short stories that I’ve presented over the years on this blog. And when I do look back on my life I see many twists and turns, dead ends, failures, and a few successes now and then. Still overall I have my health – more or less – and a loving family. I believe in God and would love to see a peaceful world. Still, I’m realistic enough to know that this will probably never happen. It still doesn’t mean that I hope to be wrong. We are still a world of tribes and have that tribe mentality. And until that changes nothing ever will.

In conclusion, all I can say is to keep reaching. Keep yourself active mentally and physically. Set those goals, and reach for them. If you don’t make them, at least you tried, and in a sense that’s the bottom line isn’t it. It has been said many many times, it’s the journey, the road you travel. Even though that road will have many unexpected turns, dead ends, and branches that will completely change your life and direction, you only fail when you give up. And unlike the games we play we cannot go back and start a level again. In life we get one chance, and it matters not whether you have the experience to make an educated decision, we must decide and then live by where that decision sends us.Whether my novels become more than a hobby only time will tell. Still I’m happy to have traveled down those many roads, and I love following my fictitious characters through their lives, and must admit that I’ve enjoyed their life stories and journeys as they unfolded. And if I want to admit to it I think I would like to meet many of them personally. Of course this is impossible since they’ve never lived except in my mind and on the pages of those books – still, they are real to me. Remember –

Don’t be afraid to reach high and to seek the impossible. Who knows, you may be the one who makes the impossible possible. God Bless! Have a great week, and learn from all the mistakes we all have a tendency to make. It is only then that we grow. (http://www.fdbrant.com)

 

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