- Received my first ever interview request. It is from www.yadudebooks.ca, a site that focusses on YA books that are written more for a male audience.
- Got a shipment with 20 copies of the paperback version of The Last Saxon King! The book is actually alive now! No more Word documents, PDFs, or ARCs. I now have the actual, official book that will be out there for the public!
- Managed to actually get some work done on Book 7, Ragnarok. The story wasn't sitting right with me for the longest time. I kept feeling that it was a bit bland, and that it just wasn't moving at the pace I wanted it to move at. But, after way too many rewrites, I finally found its path. (There are two versions of Chapter 1. Three versions each of Chapters 4 & 5, and the latest version of Chapter 5 has a new ending. I've never had this much difficulty getting a story moving.)
- Arranged the time and date for my book launch! Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge will be hosting me on March 25th from 2-4pm. I'm so excited to have finally nailed down a venue. Now, unfortunately, comes all the planning to make the event humongously successful.
- Signed the contract for Book 3. The Mongol Ascension will be storming into bookstores around the summer/fall of 2024!
- Began going through another edit of Book 5, The Orleans Ordeal. I completed this one in mid 2019, so it's been a while since I last read it. Let's see what mistakes I'll catch.
- Audiobook of TLSK went live on NetGalley. The first reviews speak very positively of the author's voice.
- Updated my website to add more sections (e.g. News, separate Books page), and to make it easier for me to change things. (For coding geeks, that means I shifted over to PHP). I still have a few more tweaks to go.
- Sent the latest version of Book 3 (tentatively titled The Mongol Ascension) off to my publisher. If everything goes well, and all the contracts are signed on time, this one should come out in the summer of 2024.
- The Royal Historical Society elected me as a Member. Yes, I wrote 'elected'. At least, that's how they phrased it. I'm not sure how much thought went into my 'election', but I still had to fill out a form with my historical credentials when asking to be a member, so it's comforting to know I passed that test.
- The ARC of TCD went live on NetGalley! The first reviews are 5s, which is great to see. I'm sure it can't last forever, but it's great while it lasts.
- Listened to the audio book version of TLSK to identify any deviations from the text or mispronunciations. Most of narration was spot on--even with the Anglo-Saxon names and phrases.
- Wrote a study guide and a reader's guide for TLSK. This was not a fun exercise.
The last thing I wanted to do was write down all these questions about my book for people to ponder. But it's all part of the marketing strategy to schools, so away I went!
- Sent off another round of edits for TCD to Maya. The book is almost there. Just minor things now.
- Final(-ish) version of TCD sent to Imbrifex. Whoo hoo! Book 2 is out the door!
- Marketing brainstorming session with Imbrifex. The target market seems to be schools, which makes sense based on the age range, and the fact that my books are very history heavy.
- Sent next version of TCD off to Maya.
- Received third round of edits for TCD.
- Final version of TLSK is ready for review. This is the one that incorporates any changes after the ARC, and will be given to the narrator for the audiobook. I don't think anything changes after this one.
- Received second round of edits for TCD.
- TLSK is live on NetGalley! Now I get to sit here, constantly refreshing the page, while I wait for the entire world judge me.
- TLSK is live on the Imbrifex site. There is a great video that goes with it. Everything is looking sharp!
- First ever review for TLSK comes in. It starts with "Be still my beating heart, this book was phenomenal!", and gives it 5 stars. What an excellent way to start off my journey!
- Received first round of edits for TCD.
- TLSK is live on Goodreads. (And then I have to fight for about a week to prove I'm the author of it.)
- Amazon author page created. Now I'm really starting to look official.
- Had my headshots taken. My photographer, who was confusingly also named Andrew, was a true professional. He only does headshots and is used to working with actors and models. Unfortunately for him, he got me--an author/computer geek. He managed to extract some pictures of me that are actually good, though--even without Photoshop! That is a true credit to his professionalism.
- Began the process of choosing the audiobook narrator. There were about ten to choose from, and all of them read the same three random chapters from TLSK. Oddly, some even chose to use English accents when doing the Anglo-Saxons, as if the language of a thousand years ago was even remotely close to the language of England today. After much time spent listening and re-listening, Mark Sanderlin was chosen.
- Wrote and narrated the pronunciation guide for TLSK. (This is where I realized that I put in a LOT of Anglo-Saxon city and people names.)
- Began the process of going through all my headshots to pick the ones I like best. Managed to settle on 5 at the end.
- Travelled to Las Vegas for Imbrifex event. I've never been to Vegas, so it was great to see all the sights. (Well, some of the sights. I don't think it's possible to see everything in just a few days.)
- Began looking for a headshot photographer. Now I'm a very reluctant photo subject, so me having to search for a headshot photographer is like having to search for my own executioner. Thankfully, my wife finds one. (A photographer--not an executioner)
- Reviewed the ARC version of TLSK before it went to the printer.
- Received 4 different variations for covers for TLSK and TCD. One set clearly mops the floor with the other three. And everyone who saw the set all picked the current TCD cover as the best.
- Booked tickets to Vegas for Imbrifex event.
- Received the proof for the bookmarks that I'll be handing out at the Vegas event (and to anybody else after who shows the slightest bit of interest in my books, reading, or is just basically conscious).
- Sent the next version of TLSK off to Maya. This version had a lot of edits from me because of some historical inaccuracies that I caught. (Clearly the Andrew who wrote the original version was not paying attention to some things.)
- Received third round of edits on TLSK from Maya. Almost there now!
- Sent final(?) version of TLSK after adding dedication and Acknowledements.
- Started an Instagram account. (Not somethng I was overly excited about. But, unfortunately, part of being an author is to also have a public face.)
- I began the hunt for endorsers for my book. This involves basically contacting anyone who might be influential and knowledgeable about the subject and ask them if they would like to read a copy of my book and potentially provide an endorsement. Basically I have to ask strangers if they want to spend a bunch of hours reading my book, and then say something nice about it. Needless to say, I'm not overly excited about this.
- Professor Michael Lewis, co-author of The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry: Unraveling the Norman Conquest agrees to read my book!!!!!
- A large number of people from the Anglo-Saxon Language and Literature group on Facebook agree to read TLSK.
- Sent revised version of The Celtic Deception (TCD) to Imbrifex after viewing all the edits on TLSK.
- Received second round of edits on TLSK from Maya. The book is really starting to become polished now.
- Had an incredibly weird email conversation just two weeks before Christmas with Maya and Imbrifex about which profanity is acceptable for the target readership. So we are dropping profanity left, right, and centre while also wishing each other holiday greetings. BTW - All the violence in the book was fine. None of it was altered in any way--just the profanity. So Dan can watch someone being eviscerated and see entrails falling to the ground, and that's OK, but he can't say "shit". It's totally weird what's acceptable.
- Sent revised version of TLSK to Imbrifex and Maya.
- Sent revised version of The Celtic Deception (TCD) to Imbrifex first round of edits on The Last Saxon King (TLSK).
- Joined the Historical Novel Society.
- Received first round of edits on The Last Saxon King (TLSK).
- Brainstorming session with Imbrifex to create a name for the series. After going through waaaaay too many ideas, "A Jump in Time" was finally chosen.
- I change the working title of Book 1 to The Last Saxon King. When first written, the title was The Anglo-Saxon Revelation. I had chosen this title because Dan goes back into Anglo-Saxon times, and it is there that his entire future as a time jumper is revealed to him. Seemed pretty simple to me. But, when read in another context, that title does give off a certain alt-right manifesto vibe, so I figured it would be better to change it.
- The Celtic Deception (this title has never changed) was sent to Imbrifex.
- Introduced (virtually) to my editor, Maya Myers.
- Received first edits on Chapter 1 of Book 1 to discuss the editing process and to make sure Maya and I are both on the same page of what to expect.
- Introduced (virtually) to the Imbrifex books team.
- Receive schedule of various milestones in the publishing process.
- Contract signed with Imbrifex books to publish books 1 and 2 of my series.
- Deal announced in Publishers Marketplace.