Three Tacos

I’m not sure exactly how this works in my head, but I have to think of it from a character point of view.

In some ways, money I earn isn’t real to me. The numbers that I see don’t quite make sense as numbers. So, my brain starts trying to figure out ways to break the amounts of money down.

Rent payment.
Half a dozen trade paperback comic books.
Groceries from Costco for the next two weeks.

And, of course, my favorite…


Namely, the Chicken Chalupa Supreme from Taco Bell.
(Does it tell my age that I remember when you could have three different kinds of Chalupas from Taco Bell? Or steak was a valid order option? Share your opinions in the comments…)

Each one of those works out to about $15 (Northern California, blame Sacramento for the fiscal horrors of this state). So, if I’ve sold enough books to buy a taco, I’ve sold about $15 worth of books, or about five books in total.

I went to check my KDP this morning to see how my sales for Solist At Large and The Winter Solist are doing…

And I’ve got three tacos waiting for me when I get my payment from Amazon.

It’s at the rate of taco money, not rent money (that’s about $350 or so a month, storage unit rental fees)…but it means that there are some people that are actually reading what I’m writing. That means people care enough about what you make to spend money on it.

And as an artist, that’s probably number three or so on the validation queue. (Number two is the Hollywood deal that gives you that most beloved of all things-residuals on a massively successful TV or movie franchise that won’t die. First is a muse that you can afford to live with you on a regular basis. And the Zeroth validation-patrons that keep you in reasonable comfort as long as you’re working.)

And that, for an artist, is massive motivation. It means we can eat on a regular basis, pay our bills, maybe get medical insurance, and have the space to create more stuff.

On that note…

  • A Solist In Rome is coming along extremely quickly. I suspect that my first two books in any series are going to be the big uphill slog, as I’m still establishing the rules of where I am. This one will have Adelaide and Deborah explore Rome, learn more about parts of the magical world, make friends, and solve a problem that happened in Solist At Large.
    (And punch out a Chad. Punching out Chads is almost an obligation at this point.)
  • An Ethical Succubus is getting harder to write, because I’m just not quite getting where I want to go. Might go in the files for later, I might just pick at it when I’m needing something to do. Who knows?
  • Untitled Space Opera Novel is taking a little more effort to get going than I expected. It’s the same problem I had with my first to Last Solist novels-getting the world working right in my head before I can go out and really see what’s out there. It is also in third person, so I’ve got to get that set of voices right…but it is coming along.

And…I’m back hunting for a job again. Mom is home from the hospital (again), and I really need to have something that puts…well, puts taco and rent money in my pocket and lets me do things I would actually like to do.

More news as it comes up.

“The Winter Solist” Is UP!

My second novel is done and now it’s up and running!

The Winter Solist is the sequel to Solist At Large. Between the world building, the character studies, and explosions, I think there’s quite a bit of good story content in there.

It also leads, very directly, into the next novel, A Solist In Rome, where we get to learn more about Adelaide, Deborah (Adelaide’s newest companion), and an exploration into some of the other major factions in this world. And Rome, we get to explore Rome-both on the normal side and on the magical side.

Just as an aside…I’m running a sale on Solist At Large-$0.99 for the next 30 days. If you want to give my story a try…there will never be a better time.

This is good news, and it might earn me some real taco money…

It’s Close Enough To Done That I Can See It From Here

Here’s where I am-

  • I have written nearly 130,000 words of novel. It comes out to about 298 pages in Word in 12 point Arial font.

    Which means that The Winter Solist is done. What’s next?
  • Editing and a clean-up pass. This is done by myself (I can’t afford an editor on taco money), by going through the whole book…in reverse. And it’s scary what you catch when you’re looking at your book that way…
  • Then, I get everything ready for publication. Fire up Kindle Create and put the book together. Get it up on Amazon.
  • I’m going to tempt people into reading Solist At Large by dropping the price to $0.99 for a month after I release The Winter Solist. We’ll see if that does anything.
  • I’m seriously thinking about actually doing some paid marketing for the book. Not much, but enough to maybe see if I get any returns on it (i.e. I get back at least $1.50 for ever $1 I spend in marketing). Probably Facebook marketing.
  • And, I’ve gotten the Amazon blurb written for The Winter Solist. What does the blurb look like?

Adelaide Taylor has survived her first semester at school and as a Dawn Empire Solist. She’s found her first Companion, Sayuri Suisha. Sayuri’s grandfather wants to meet his only grand-daughter’s new friend. In Japan, just before New Years. Along with that, she’s gotten a warning-one of the High Fae is hunting her and is planning to ensnare Adelaide in her schemes. 

There’s a girl in her school that has been set up as a tethered goat for Solists.

Her local and very Catholic high school is putting her into places that shouldn’t happen at a Catholic high school.

And there’s a monster eating prostitutes in Queens.

Nobody ever said being a Solist would be easy

The Winter Solist
  • Then, I’m looking for a new job. Writing A Roman Solist and a new series.
  • My goal is to get more reviews-and more sales-on my novels. Why? Because the more reviews and sales the novels have, the better the chances that Amazon’s algorithm will catch your book and get people’s attention. And that moves your book higher in their marketing queue.

    The more people that pay attention to your book, the more sales you get and around and around the mulberry bush we go.
  • I’m allowed to worry about AI writing programs, because the last few “writing jobs” that I’ve applied for have been “we want you to six other jobs and write as well.” Most of the jobs are front-facing customer support and service jobs, and that is not my exact wheelhouse.
    And I’ve tried some of these programs and I’ve gotten…wallpaper paste. Not even good wallpaper paste. Completely lacking in creativity or even any real spark of innovation.
    Might be a blog post in there, because I have this idea for a movie script and I want to get it out of my head..

Hopefully more news-and more good news-in the near future.

We Have Covers!

If I haven’t thanked Sarah Hoyt enough for the help her and her groups have given me in the process of writing, let me do it again, in big, bold letters…


She helped me out by making my first cover for Solist At Large, and now with The Winter Solist coming up, I asked if she could do a cover for me.

I was hoping for just a cover…and not only did she give me a great cover for The Winter Solist

-she gave me one for Solist At Large, which is going to get swapped with the book when The Winter Solist comes out.

My only complaint? I now wish I had written a novel that was this awesome for the cover. I’m definitely going to need to step up my writing game.

Other that that, I’m now inspired to write FASTER so I can get The Winter Solist out for publication soon.

I just want people to see the cover…