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Counting Blessings

Wow! This has been an outstanding year.

Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure are side-by-side on the Amazon War Fiction bestseller list. Both have been higher on this list, but it is nice to see them together.

In addition to that great news, all the distributors of my books, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, Audible and iTunes, report higher sales for my books in 2014 over 2013.  

The end of the year is a time to count blessings, and I have many. I’m out of the hospital, feeling well and earning a living at my dream job, just to name a few.

Thank you for making this a great year!

Books are in the Mail

Last night I sat at the dining room table and signed books.

Earlier, I had made a list of 39 people that would be receiving one, or more, of me novels. When all the books came from the printer on the same day I decided to just sit down, sign and mail them all.

Kyle Pratt signing books

Twenty copies of Through Many Fires and Titan Encounter were going to winners of two contests I conducted. Other books were going to people who helped create them, such as Micah Hansen, who designs the covers, my editor Barbara Blakey, and beta reader William Childress. Many copies of A Time to Endure were heading for bloggers I've worked with in the past, reviewers, critique partners, and friends. 

Most of the books were going to places in the United States, but some were going to Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. I spent a good half-hour this morning getting to know the postal clerks in Napavine.

So, if I told you that a book was coming your way, I can truthfully say, it’s in the mail.

Not a Fun Weekend

Some of you know that I spent the weekend in the hospital.

 Lorraine, has already talked about some of this on her Facebook account. My vision went crazy on Saturday morning. That is the most concise way to describe it (double vision looking into a fractured mirror might be another). My heart was pounding. Both gradually cleared and an hour later my family convinced me to go to the hospital (stupid to delay, I know, but I’m a guy and like to deny my own mortality).

 The good news is I didn’t have to wait in the emergency room. They seemed eager to get me right in even while I was describing what happened.

 I had the full attention of several of the medical staff for the next 30 minutes. The doctor said I may have had a minor stroke (seems like a contradiction in terms to me), but what they did find out for sure was that I have atrial fibrillation, my heart is beating irregularly, and was beating way to fast.

 Drugs have moved my heart rate to a normal level, but my heart still has no rhythm (just like the rest of me). So this is going to be an ongoing thing with more (hopefully scheduled) visits to doctors in the future. However, I am now back home and back to writing and hopefully will continue with both for a long time.

A Time to Endure Released!

The headline is the story.

This morning A Time to Endure, Strengthen What Remains, book 2, was released in paperback, as an ebook on Kindle, Nook and Kobo and soon on iTunes.

The audiobook is in production and is scheduled for release next month.

As I write this A Time to Endure is already on the Amazon Genre Fiction-War bestseller list, climbing to number 100 this afternoon. The first book in the series, Through Many Fires, remains on the list at number 25.

The third and final (maybe) book in the series will be released in 2015.

Thank you to everyone who has bought the books!

A New Book Trailer

A new book trailer for the new book!

As part of the upcoming release of the second book in the Strengthen What Remains series, A Time to Endure, we have created a new book trailer. Earlier videos focused on the first book, Through Many Fires, but the new one covers both novels.

In just under 90 seconds you hear and see a brief introduction (without spoilers) to both books. I think you’ll enjoy it.

To see all the videos about my books, life in an Eskimo village or on the farm in Washington state, visit my YouTube channel

Goodreads Giveaways

I’m conducting two Goodreads giveaways.

My next novel, A Time to Endure will be released on December 12th and, as part of the celebration, I’m giving away ten copies of Through Many Fires and ten copies of Titan Encounter on Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Through Many Fires by Kyle Pratt

Through Many Fires

by Kyle Pratt

Giveaway ends December 12, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Titan Encounter by Kyle Pratt

Titan Encounter

by Kyle Pratt

Giveaway ends December 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Goodreads is a social media site for readers. With over 20 million members their stated goals is “to help people find and share books they love.”

While I am sponsoring the giveaway, I have no control over who wins the books. Goodreads selects the winners, but entering is free and, like most social media sites, membership is free so login; visit my Goodreads page and signup to win Through Many Fires and Titan Encounter.  

Number 1!

Yesterday, Through Many Fires reached number one on the Kindle Science Fiction Military, Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian bestseller lists. 

During that time, the novel was the number 28th bestselling book on Amazon Kindle. As I write this it is hovering around number 33. This has been the best week of sales since I began publishing my writing.

Such sales are always welcome, but with the forthcoming release of the second book in the Strengthen What Remains series, they are even more appreciated. That upcoming novel, A Time to Endure, starts the same day the first novel ends. Caden struggles to keep his family and community alive as the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse, the dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country.

A Time to Endure will be released on December 12th, but is available now for preorder now on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords. On December 12th the paperback edition will be released and the audiobook will follow shortly afterwards.

Bestseller!

Through Many Fires is again a bestseller, reaching #5 on the Amazon War Bestseller list.

Click to Enlarge

What sparked the return to those lofty ranks is the upcoming release of the sequel, A Time to Endure. As part of the promotion we’ve lowered the ebook price of Through Many Fires to 99 cents and done some advertising. Consequently, Through Many Fires is currently #5 on the Amazon war fiction bestseller list and on two other bestseller lists

Click to Enlarge

In the first novel, Through Many Fires, Strengthen What Remains, book 1, terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union address. Army veteran and congressional staffer, Caden Westmore in nearby Bethesda, watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital. The next day as he drives away from the still burning city, he learns another city has been destroyed, and then another. America is under siege. Panic ensues and society begins to unravel.

A Time to Endure, Strengthen What Remains, book 2, starts the same day the first novel ends. Caden struggles to keep his family and community alive as the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse, the dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country.

A Time to Endure is available for preorder now on Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords. On December 12th the paperback edition will be released and the audiobook will follow shortly afterwards.

I Write Like

I often avoid gatherings where writers read from their work. 

I believe in my writing ability. I can draw the reader into the text and soon they hardly notice the words as they flow with the story, but when I read my own words I get nervous, and often stumble. So, I avoid those kinds of get-togethers. However, last night I forgot to check the agenda for the meeting at the Matrix Coffeehouse and went blindly to it. 

When I find myself in those situations I should just go first and get it over. That’s what I should do, but I don’t.

The organizers asked each author to bring a digital copy of their text. They then read from a nearby platform. When each author was done they used the website I Write Like to analyze the selection. Although we humans were stumped the website came back with names like H.P. Lovecraft and Margaret Mitchell.

I enjoyed hearing everyone read their selection and even enjoyed the comparisons from the website.

Ten or eleven people had gone before my name came up. I read from the only thing I had, a paperback copy of Through Many Fires. Although I was nervous and did stumble, I think I read well, at least for me.

Since I didn’t have a digital copy, my text couldn’t be analyzed by the website so, they asked me to do it when I got home.

Okay, everyone here it is…

  Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut

I input my selection from Through Many Fires into the I Write Like website and. according to it, I write like Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse-Five. Wikipedia says his writing is a blend of satire, gallows humor and science fiction.

The amusing thing for me is, I’ve never cared for Vonnegut’s writing.

I decided to test the website and input a selection from Titan Encounter. Now it said I wrote like James Joyce, another great writer that I don’t particularly enjoy. Next I entered the first portion of Final Duty and the website said I write like Arthur C. Clarke.

The third time was a charm. 

Done with Endure

I wrote the last words of A Time to Endure this morning. 

Except for improving some word choices or making a few sentences clearer, the writing of the book is done and it is now in the editing process. The first twenty-eight chapters are with my editor, Barbara Blakey. I’ll be sending two chapters out for beta reading and two chapters are left for critiquing, but that process should all be done in two or three weeks.

Then the novel goes to final formatting and uploading to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords for distribution.

A Time to Endure is the second book in the Strengthen What Remains series. It begins on the same day the first book, Through Many Fires, ends. In the first novel, terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union Address. Army veteran and congressional staffer Caden Westmore is in nearby Bethesda and watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital. The next day, as he drives away from the still burning city to find loved ones and family, he learns that another city has been destroyed and then another. America is under siege. Panic ensues and society starts to unravel.

In the second novel, Caden is home, but the nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country. In the face of tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, Caden struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing around it?

A Time to Endure will be released on December 12th, but the Kindle and Nook versions are available for preorder now. It is also available for preorder on Smashwords

NaNoWriMo Kickoff!

National Novel Writing Month Began Today at Midnight.

Holly Straw, Paula Gill (Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo) and Kyle Pratt

Commonly shortened to NaNoWriMo (na-noh-ry-moh), the event challenges authors to write 50,000 words of a new novel from November 1st until the deadline at 11:59PM on November 30th. That’s about 1,666 words every day of the month. I’ve written that much in a day before, but not every day for a month. If I take my birthday and Thanksgiving off, I would have to write 1,785 words a day. I’m not sure I can do that, but I’m going to see how much I can write in one month.

The kickoff event for my area of Washington State was at the Matrix Coffeehouse in Chehalis. I arrived at 10:30 Friday night and joined with about ten other writers. Until midnight we socialized and watched the strange people, some in costumes, walk by outside. It was during that time that introduced myself and learned everyone’s name and what they were writing. Unfortunately, when I awoke this morning I couldn’t remember most of it.

Just after midnight we began our writing projects. I wrote about 800 words before I left just after two this morning. That combined with what I wrote after waking this morning brings my total to 1695. A good start, but I’m going to have to do better to achieve the 50,000 word goal for the month. 

An Amusing Email

My wife received this from Amazon the other day.

Even though she is not a big fan of the military science fiction genre, as my first editor, Lorraine has read every line of these books—multiple times. That’s why it was amusing when she received the email from Amazon.

She also checks my reviews, prices and other details, and that is probably why Amazon thinks she would like to read the books but she gets them from me for free. Still, it’s nice that Amazon is trying to help with sales.

The middle cover in the picture is of my latest book, A Time to Endure. This is the second book in the Strengthen What Remains trilogy and picks up the saga of Caden Westmore on the day the story ends in Through Many Fires, the first book of the series. A Time to Endure will be released on December 12th, but is available for preorder now on Amazon and Smashwords and Nook

Two Months Away from the Big Day

Beta readers are already working over most of the manuscript.

The majority of the writing is done. Now it is just tweaking the plot and editing. But there is still much to be done before the release of A Time to Endure, Strengthen What Remains, book two.

The artwork for the cover, spine and back are done and the preorder page is up on Amazon and Smashwords. Please click on the links, view the pages, and order the book. A Time to Endure will also be available on Nook and Kobo on or near the Amazon release date.

So, what else is left to do?

I write because I enjoy writing and being creative, but once the book is done I have to do the part of the business that is mundane—marketing.

I’m not complaining (Okay, maybe just a little) but, now is the time to write press releases, emailing bloggers and scheduling promotions. Reviewers need to be contacted and copies of the book sent to them as soon as it is available. As I write this I waiting for an email from a book promoter.  

A Time to Endure comes out on December 12th. I’ll already be writing my next book.

Preorder A Time to Endure

The exciting saga of Major Caden Westmore continues!

We announced the release date for A Time to Endure on August 12th, and now just over a month later, it is available for Kindle preorder.

In the first book, Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains, nuclear terrorism destroys six American cities. The nation’s economy teeters on the verge of collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country.

In the second novel, A Time to Endure, Caden faces tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, as he struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing around it?

A Time to Endure is now available for Kindle preorder on Amazon. The page count and some of the other data is not yet correct. We’ll be building the Amazon page over the next week. The release date is December 12th, but order now, for your Kindle, while you’re thinking about it.

200 Reviews!

Through Many Fires earned review number 200 on Amazon.

A reader named David left review number 200 on Sunday. The 5-star review for Through Many Fires said the book was “very entertaining” and the characters were likable. He also hoped that the book was not our future. Well, that is exactly the reaction I was hoping to achieve.

Through Many Fires has been well-received with comments like, “The book hooked me with the first chapter.” I’m thrilled that 176 of the 200 reviews are 4 or 5 star.

David went on say that he was waiting for the sequel. Well, David, you don’t have long to wait. The next book in the series, titled A Time to Endure, will be released on December 12th and the pre-order page will be up on Amazon this month.

The Sound of Final Duty

I’ve always thought that Final Duty, the novella that leads off my anthology would be a great audiobook.

In Final Duty, Lieutenant Amy Palmer returns to the Altair star system, onboard the reconnaissance ship Mirage, twenty years after the death of her father during the Battle of Altair. Almost immediately disaster strikes and Amy, along with the rest of the Mirage crew, must face the possibility of performing their final duties.

 Click on the image to buy on Audible.com

Click on the image to buy on Audible.com

I imagined the story as more than an audiobook with at least a female and male voice actor and even some sound effects. It would then be a hybrid, or as it is called in the industry, a multi-cast, more than an audiobook, but less than a full radio play.

However, such a production would be expensive, the story is short, about 15,000 words, and I give away the ebook. It’s really hard to sell an expensive audiobook when you give away the ebook. So, although I thought it would be fun, it was a project that would probably never be done.

But then my sons decided to split the cost and give it to me as a Father’s Day present.

Wow!

We’ve been working on the project since before Father’s Day. We hired Brick Shop Audio, a New York City audiobook company to produce the project and two voice actors, Erin Mallon and Michael Braun. They all did a fantastic job of bringing our script to life.

The project is now complete and you can hear a sample on Audible here or on my website here.  

A Time to Edit

It’s nearly ready. The next book in the Strengthen What Remains series, A Time to Endure, is in the hands of beta-readers.

In the picture on the right I’m about to mail the first sixteen chapters of A Time to Endure to one of the beta-readers.  

Kyle Pratt with chapters from A Time to Endure

In the upcoming novel, the exciting saga of Major Caden Westmore continues. In the first book of the Strengthen What Remains series, Through Many Fires, nuclear terrorism destroys six American cities, leaving the nation in chaos.

In the second novel, A Time to Endure, the economy teeters on collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country. In the face of tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, Caden struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing around it?

A third book in the series is planned for next year.

A Time to Endure will be released in paperback and Kindle on December 12th of this year. In early 2015 the novel will be available on on Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and as an Audiobook.

Standby

The digital age continues to change the creative arts.

Standby was created as a final project by college film student Trey Drysdale. It is a short, seven minute, film about a hardworking college student who, after a severe thunderstorm, loses his computer work when an unexpected power surge occurs. He later comes across a strange, portal-like phenomenon in his computer, but is oblivious to the capabilities that it entails.

The film is an excellent example of the new avenues opening for creative artists and fans. I am certain we will see more films like this as cameras, sound systems and special effects, become cheaper and the internet provides more avenues of distribution.

Release Date!

The release date for my next novel, A Time to Endure, has been set.

The exciting saga of Major Caden Westmore continues. In the first book of the Strengthen What Remains series, Through Many Fires, nuclear terrorism destroys six American cities, leaving the nation in chaos.

In the second novel, A Time to Endure, the economy teeters on collapse. The dollar plunges, inflation runs rampant, and the next civil war threatens to decimate the wounded country. In the face of tyranny, panic, and growing hunger, Caden struggles to keep his family and town together. But how can he save his community when the nation is collapsing around it? A Time to Endure will be released four months from today on December 12th of this year.

A third book is planned, but that is another story.

The front and back cover for A Time to Endure are complete and much of the book is now in the editing process. There is still much to be done behind the scenes, but barring unforeseen problems, the book will be released in paperback and on Kindle December 12th. Shortly thereafter, the novel will be released on Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and as an Audiobook.

Looking Forward

The Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference may be over, but I’m still busy!

I said goodbye to Randy Ingermanson, Ben Wolf and others on Thursday. After song and praise, the OCW Summer Conference concluded and, with Barbara Blakey at the driving, headed north toward home. The four days in Portland were a truly an inspiring and fun time.

However, I’m the kind of person who looks forward, not back, and the next occasion before me is the Southwest Washington Writers Conference. This one day event is scheduled for September 13th, at Centralia College. I will be there listening to great speakers, and also conducting a workshop.

My workshop is titled, “Author Entrepreneur – The Business of Writing” and in it I will discuss the skills needed to manage a successful writing business. I’ll cover things like planning your workday, finding a niche, establishing a platform, product funnels, the 80/20 rule, marketing strategies, and more.

Until the conference I’ll be working hard on completing my next novel, A Time to Endure. The release date is coming soon, but more about that on Monday.