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New Year Resolutions

I believe in setting goals at the beginning of the year.

The SMART method of goal setting works for me. I make my goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I also believe in making goals public so that friends can hold me accountable and motivate me toward achieving them. I admit that sometimes when they do this I think of their encouragement more as nagging, but it does help. So, with that in mind here are my goals for 2019 and a look back at how I did on my goals for 2018.

We don’t have a cover yet for Facing the Storm.

 The Solar Storms Saga

My 2018 goal for the Solar Storms Saga had been to release both a novella and a full-length novel. I released the novella as The Storm Rises, in September of 2018. However, time ran short for completing the next full-length book in the series. That next book, Facing the Storm is now my primary novel to complete in 2019.

 At the end of 2019, this is how I want the series to stand.

The Storm Rises, book 0, released 2018

Through the Storm, book 1, released 2017

Facing the Storm, book 2, scheduled for 2019

You can read more about the next book in the Solar Storms Saga on the projects page of my website.

 The Guardian Knights series.

As 2017 began I had completed the first novel in this series Seekers of Earth, a 39,000-word novella that ends in a cliffhanger. I wanted to finish the second, longer, book, Recall the Earth, and have both available near the same time. I succeeded in this goal. Seekers of Earth was released in March of 2017, and Recall the Earth was released with much fanfare and marketing in April of that year. While both books have had good reviews, sales have been slow.

Then in 2018, the Solar Storm Saga books did very well and this drove me to allocate time and effort to writing and marketing of that series. I had to push back the third book in the Guardian Knights series to 2019, but this is the year that I will finish Return to Earth.

I planned the Guardian Knights as a five-book series and this is my plan for completion.

Seekers of Earth, book 1, released 2017

Recall the Earth, book 2, released 2017

Return to Earth, book 3, scheduled for 2019

War for Earth, book 4, scheduled for 2020

Farewell to Earth, book 5, scheduled for 2021

You can read more about Return to Earth on the projects page of my website.

 Completing both Facing the Storm and Return to Earth will mean writing over 110,000 words. That’s a significant, but achievable goal for 2019.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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The Storm Rises Released!

I’m late, but the book isn’t!

I’m late writing this blogpost, but I got the book out on time! The Storm Rises, book 0 in the Solar Storms Saga was released on September 21st and is available now exclusively on Amazon in both ebook and paperback versions. So far the novella has all five-star reviews and none of the reviewers are related to me by blood or marriage.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, The Storm Rises is a sidequel, or parallel, story to Through the Storm, book one of the Solar Storms Saga. Both happen over the same time period and some characters are in both books. Below is the back cover blurb for The Storm Rises.

 “A Humvee parked in front of his house couldn’t mean anything good.”

 After a camping trip with his oldest son, Major Dirk Franklin comes home to find a Humvee parked in front of his house. His wife, Carol, tells him the news channels are talking about a storm on the sun. Moments later he’s whisked away to a secret military facility in Portland. There, Major Franklin and others struggle to prepare for the coming collapse of society.

 As the world sinks into darkness, Franklin fights to save his family and the last threads of civilization.

 I’m calling The Storm Rises book zero of the series. Through the Storm, which is already available on Amazon, is book one. Book two in the series, Facing the Storm, will be released next year.

 Click on either image for more information or to buy the book.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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I Need Your Help

I’m working on the last two chapters of a sidequel to Through the Storm—but I need your help with the title. If you’re willing to assist me you could win a signed first edition copy of this, as yet unnamed, story.

What do you need to do?

You don’t have to have read Through the Storm, but that would be helpful. You can look at the Amazon page for that book by clicking on the title. Then click on this special contest page link.

There you can read the back cover description of the upcoming novel along with the first two chapters and take the three question survey. That should take less than a minute to complete.

If you leave your name and email address you’ll have a chance at winning a signed copy of the novel when it is released.

Good Luck!


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about contests and giveaways.

Five Stars of Excitement

One more reason to be grateful!

When browsing, customers judge a book by the cover (despite the saying) and by the reviews. That is why I’m so very grateful that readers of Through the Storm have left overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Now I have another reason to be grateful. The Readers’ Favorite organization has given Through the Storm a five-star review.

In her review for Readers’ Favorite, Susan Sewell said that Through the Storm “is a thrilling, action-packed adventure. This superb novel has a gripping plot and outstanding characters. The onset of the storm sets off frightening events that are so realistic; the book is hard to put down ... frighteningly realistic ... a sensational novel filled with perils and acts of heroism, and is the first in what promises to be a stellar series. I recommend this phenomenal adventure to young adults and older readers who love cataclysmic novels with everyday heroes.”

Readers Favorite is the fastest growing book review and contest organization online. Used by publishers such as Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, the organization has received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors.

If you’ve read Through the Storm and haven’t reviewed it, please do. Reviews really do help sales. For everyone who has read the novel and left a review—Thank you!


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Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

The Olympics Got in the Way

It’s not my fault—it’s the Olympics.

Last month I said that I would take some time off to watch the Olympics—but writing will dominate my days. It didn’t quite work out that way. Oh, I did take some time off, but writing didn’t dominate my days.

342px-Olympic_rings_without_rims.svg.png

I’ve always enjoyed the bobsled, luge, skeleton, ski jumping, hockey, snowboarding—okay, I like many of the events, but during these games my youngest son and I both developed a keen interest in curling. The rest of the family found our interest amusing, but it really is a strategic game.

But the Winter Olympics are over now and I’m officially behind schedule on all of my writing and editing projects.

I hope to be done with a sidequel of Through the Storm by the end of March, more than a month behind schedule. In this story, I’m following Major Franklin through the same time period as Neal Evans. Into the Storm is the working title for this sidequel novella which should be released in May of this year.

The full-length sequel to Through the Storm is the other writing project I’m currently working on. This, as yet unnamed, novel will continue the plot of both the earlier books (Through the Storm & Into the Storm) and bring some of the characters together and they struggle to survive. I’m going to work very hard to have the sequel, and the sidequel, ready for release this year.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read more about current writing projects.

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New Year Resolutions

At this time of year, it’s natural to set goals.

Last year I called this blogpost A Janus Look. Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and endings. He looked both into the future and to the past and that’s what I do at this time of year, look back over the past year, evaluate what I’ve done, and set goals for the year ahead. So, here is my 2018 look back into the past and into the future.

Kyle with proof of Through the Storm.JPG

1. Complete a novella and novel in the Solar Storms Saga. I had planned to release the first book in this series, Through the Storm, in May of 2017. The release ended up being in September. However, as 2018 begins Through the Storm is doing very well and I’m working on a sidequel novella. In Through the Storm Neal Evans encounters Major Franklin in Lebanon, Oregon. Much of what I knew about why Major Franklin was there couldn’t be explained in Through the Storm so, after some urging from readers, I decided to write a Novella going into more depth about why Franklin was there and what he was doing. The working title of this book is Into the Storm.  

I also plan to release the second, full-length novel of the Solar Storms Saga in 2018. You can read more about this and other upcoming novels on the projects page of my website.

2. Complete the third book in the Guardian Knights series. As 2017 began I had completed the first novel in the series Seekers of Earth, a 39,000-word novella that ends in a cliffhanger. I wanted to finish the second book, Recall the Earth, and have both available near the same time. I succeeded in this goal. Seekers of Earth was released in March of 2017, and Recall the Earth was released in April.

However, I had hoped to finish the third book of the series, Return to Earth in 2017. Because the Solar Storm Saga books took up much of my time I didn’t complete Return to Earth. However, I’ve rescheduled the release of that book for late in 2018.

You can read more about this series on the projects page of my website.

3. Write 150,000 words in 2018. In order to complete Recall the Earth and Through the Storm I wrote about 110,000 words last year. As I mentioned above, I’m currently writing a sidequel to the Solar Storm Saga and plan to complete another novel in the series along with Return to Earth from the Guardian Knights series. Those plans require that I up my writing goal to 150,000 words for 2018.

4. Do more book promotions. Each year I try to do more, larger and better-coordinated book marketing. This last year I’ve also sought to find new venues where I can promote my books. Because I’ve been successful with marketers like Bookbub, NoiseTrade, and Book Funnel, readers can expect to see more of my books and at lower prices in 2018.

5. Make shorter blogposts. Two years ago my wife looked at my goals blogpost and said, “People don’t have time to read long blogposts.” In A Janus Look, my 2017 goals blogpost, I resolved to make these and other posts shorter. I’m still working on that goal.


Click on the following links to read my author bio, or read all my goal blogposts.

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Through the Storm Audiobook

 

The audiobook of Through the Storms is now in production.

Sean Patrick Hopkins

A few days ago I signed Sean Patrick Hopkins to narrate and produce the Through the Storm audiobook. Sean is a New York-based actor and Audible approved producer. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and his resume includes movies, television, off-Broadway and regional theatre credits.

The normal routine when making an audiobook is for the narrator to provide the first fifteen minutes for approval. This allows the author a chance to ensure the narrator has the voices, accents, and pronunciation correct. Sean did this perfectly and I’m thrilled to provide that clip from the book here. This will be my ninth story available as an audiobook and you can sample all of them on this special audiobook page of the website.

If all the production and post-production edits and checks go smoothly (as I expect they will) listeners can expect to see the Through the Storm audiobook available on Audible in early December. About a week later it will be released on iTunes.

I’m excited to hear the complete audiobook and hope you are also!


Click on the following links to read my author bio or read more about my audio books.

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A Sunday Surprise

 

Sundays I strive to take time for family.

Okay, that can include watching the Seattle Seahawks game, but my wife is also a fan. However, today I had a few story ideas I needed to write down before kickoff. In my home office, I turned on the computer and soon discovered that Through the Storm has risen to #42 on the Amazon post-apocalyptic bestseller list.

Through the Storm reaches the #42 spot on the Amazon post-apocalyptic bestseller list.

Since the release of the novel, the story has risen from the 750 spot into the top one hundred, and then moved up and down in the double digits. But, before today it had never risen above the fifty spot.

Eight places may seem small, but it sure made me happy.  

About those story ideas

At the start of this post, I writing down some story ideas. The success of Through the Storm has prompted me to dive into other stories in the series. This includes one that is called a sidequel. Wiktionary defines it best as, “A type of sequel which portrays events that occur at the same time as the original work, but with different characters in a different setting.”

In this sidequel, I’m focusing on the Major Franklin character that Neal Evans meets on day three of Through the Storm. Readers will see the events that brought them together, but this time through the eyes of the major. I’ll also reveal more about the militia group that raided the park where Neal had spent the night.

I hope to release this as yet unnamed sidequel early in 2018. 


 
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Climbing Higher

 

I’d like to be on top, but I’ll settle for the slow climb.

There is a saying in the writing world that an author is only as good as their latest book. Now with computers and the internet many authors can check their sales and rank in near real time. This can be both a good thing and bad.

On September 25th, the release day for Through the Storm, the novel stood at 750 on the Amazon post-apocalyptic bestseller list. I’ll admit that I felt a bit down. Sometimes the first day or two is the peak of sales and then the book starts a slow slide down to obscurity.

When I checked the next morning the book had reached the 303 spot on the list. A few hours later it stood at 320. I stopped checking.

This morning I needed to view the page for another reason and learned Through the Storm had reached the top 100.

At the moment, I’m thrilled and hope the novel continues its slow climb.


 
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Live on the Air

 

Today at 4:00 pm (Pacific Time) I’ll be live on The Write Stuff radio program with Parker J. Cole of PJC Media and WLUV Detroit to discuss my latest novel Through the Storm.

14612552-1119852001436616-8556293945132524599-o.jpg

In this latest novel, Neal Evans is in Nevada when he hears that an immense coronal mass ejection will soon slam into the Earth’s magnetosphere. Will it cause only beautiful auroras to dance across the night sky or will it throw technology back a hundred years? Politicians and scientists are still debating when Neal decides to act. As night falls, he has ten hours to reach home before the first CME strikes.   

Drake Evans is a happy high school freshman. Conner, his older brother, has gone hunting, instead of watching over him while their father is away at the conference. So now it’s party time!

As the world sinks into darkness, Neal and Conner must confront a dangerous new world on their long journeys home. Drake, alone on the farm, must become a man even before he figures out his teen years.

No matter where you are you can listen to the program live via the internet at http://tobtr.com/10165105  


 
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Through the Storms Released

 

The worldwide release of my latest novel, Through the Storm, occurred this morning—while I slept actually.

Despite my sleeping through the moment, I am excited about this new book. The ebook released today, because of a few logistical problems the paperback will come out later this week and audiobook next month.

Below is the back cover blurb,

An immense storm on the sun has flung four coronal mass ejections at the Earth.

That’s the news Neal Evans hears while hundreds of miles from home at a conference in Nevada. Will it cause only beautiful auroras to dance across the night sky or plunge technology back a hundred years? As politicians and scientists debate, Neal drives north toward home.

On the family farm, Drake Evans is a happy high school freshman. Instead of staying home with his younger brother, Conner Evans has gone hunting. So, it’s party time for Drake!

As the world descends into darkness, Neal and Conner must confront panic, hunger, and fear on their long journeys home. Drake, alone on the farm, must become a man even before he unravels his teen years.

For the first ninety days the novel is available exclusively on Amazon. The paperback will be available in a few days, the audiobook will be released in late October or early November. The book will appear on Nook, Kobo and other platforms with the start of 2018.


 
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