Awakening

Awakening. Its my word for the year.

And I’m so excited.

2012 is going to be such a very good year.

So let me go down the list, somewhat chronologically, and let you know what is scheduled to happen.

First of all, Awakening Evarun is moving along quite nicely.

To date Kindle sales of Evarun combined are at 136. December turned out to be my biggest month yet, averaging one sale per day. January is already following suit and I’m hopeful it will do even better.

Today I should finish the rough draft of Part V of Awakening Evarun, and have it ready for upload by the end of January. Part VI, the final installment, will follow suit by early March.

In anticipation and celebration of this, Part I will be available for just .99 for the entire month of January. If you haven’t, please check it out and help pass the word to others. I want to get everyone caught up before the final serial in March, you know.

To say it bluntly, I can’t imagine my life today if I hadn’t done this little illustrated dime store serial project. Its been cathartic to be sure, for me personally, but also creatively, like the cue ball that shatters the rack.

Which leads me to my next announcment:

Veil of the Dragon, the first installment of my epic fantasy trilogy, Prophecy of the Evarun, will finally be released in May, both as a paperback and for the kindle. And it will be fully illustrated.

It’s taken some courage for me to do this one, but its courage that I’ve gained from doing everything Ive done so far. I will keep you advised of the progress and the actual dates as we get closer.

Above is a sneak peak at the cover. Its a mock up only, and still needs alot of work. But it fits the general idea.

And last but not least…I am super thrilled to announce that Ive been invited by Janet Morris to write in her “Heroes in Hell” series.

The writers she has involved in it, and Janet in particular, are phenomenal, both as people and writers, and I feel so lucky to be a part of the project.

The most recent installment “Lawyers in Hell” is already available. So please check it out. Here’s a link for it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lawyers-Hell-Janet-Morris/dp/1937035026/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326033446&sr=1-1

Lawyers in Hell

Ive already gotten a good start on my first piece, a short story. I’ll tell you more about it later, and when it will be released, but for now, let’s just say its about Beowulf, and its going to be good.

With all that said, I bid you farewell,

and thank you. You make me want to write.

God Bless.

Tom  barczak

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Numbers

Its been a big week.

I Finished up Part IV of Awakening Evarun with plans to upload it next week, recieved my 3rd ever royalty check, and just hit my first milestone in number of units sold.

I’ve reached three digits.

100.

It may or may not seem like much, depending on who you are, or what mood I’m even in when I think about it. But for now, I’m gonna go with it being a good thing. And most of all, a great beginning. Because that’s what it is. My first steps into a larger literary world, that at times have been alternately shaky or bold.

But the best part about them is that I’ve taken them. And most of them, well, were nothing like what I’d thought they’d be.

Recently I read a post by a NYT Best Selling Author about her numbers and how they worked out for her. It’s interesting how once you take away the numbers the journey she took is pretty much the same. Here’s hers:

http://www.genreality.net/the-reality-of-a-times-bestseller

Here’s mine:

Awakening Evarun          Sales Totals        12.7.11

J              A             S              O             N             D

I               29           9              10           7              7              1

II                                             9              9              5              1

III                                                            9              3              1

T              29           9              19           25           15           3              100

From those sales I grossed around $200.00 of which I’ve recieved about $110.00 over 3 royalty payments so far.

From those numbers I also learned, from the continued sales of Part I, that I’m gaining new readers as I go, and it seems, and just like I hoped, there may be a snowball effect as I continue to publish the remainder of Awakening Evarun. I also found out I’ve sold one copy overseas. A beachhead, I like to call it.

So thats some of what I know and what I’ve learned. I hope it helps someone who’s standing where I was just a few months ago, and loosens their blindfold just a little bit.

God Bless.

Tom

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Writing Art.

Are you a writer or an artist?

I dont think most writers consider themselves as artists, and I think it’s a shame.

You see, I dont think there’s that much difference between writing, and say, painting, or music, or ballet or any of the other arts. The only difference is in the craft. Sure some person might be more inclined to one over the other, but I’m of the opinion if you can learn one you can learn any of them. You certainly don’t need to. But you can. You just need to learn the craft.

The Muse for every one of them is the same.

But I think it’s escpecially difficult for writers to see this. I think writers as a general rule undervalue their gift. On some level, all artists do. It goes with the territory. But writer’s, we make it extra tough. Maybe its because the creation part of it, for a novelist at least, involves such a long period of time. Perhaps its because writers are trained to believe that if they’re not published they’re work’s not worth anything. Why else do so many feel the need to add the qualifier “Published” or “Non-published” before saying they’re a writer.

Try saying your Muse is Non-Published. I think he or she might leave you, and they should.

I think the ongoing transformation of the publishing industry is starting to change some of that. Like the changes that occured in the music industry. But I think only a bit. I think the real change will need to be in inside one. Inside the writer collective. Inside the hearts of the writers themselves.

But the good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

Your Muse is waiting for you.

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Its here…

It’s here.

And I’m grateful and nervous and a thousand other things all rolled into one. Mostly I hope you like it. I know I really do.

I say that because I believe I’m breaking about a thousand different conventions with the way that I’m doing this. Whether its because its a serial novel, or its length, or that I’m illustrating it, or even sometimes I think just with the way that I write. I don’t know, but I just feel like I’m standing on the edge with this thing. And I like it.

Without throwing out any spoilers I can say that Part II definately threw out it’s own set of challenges. By necessity, with each part I add more to the story, in terms of plot threads and texture both, but, again by necessity, the length and cadence must remain the same. So it was definately harder to write, but because of that, I think it’s even better than the first.

So I hope you like it as well, whether you’ve read Part I or not. And if you haven’t, well then please know Part I is still available on Amazon. And as always, please let me know what you think and do share the link!

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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Butterfly Tears

Product Details

I wasn’t sure quite how to start my review of Monarch, a thriller by Michelle Davidson Argyle, except to say this.

I cried.

I cried because I’ve been there.

Maybe not in a South American jungle, or hanging with a bunch of drug lords, or even being chased by the CIA, but there, in the sublime moments that touch all of us in between. It’s in those moments, those moments that as far as I’m concerned elude so many writers, sometimes even myself, that Michelle Davidson Argyle absolutely proves her gift.

Through all of it, Michelle weaves a fantastic and entrapping thriller full of love and betrayal, innocence and murder, anguish and hope. It’s the story of an ex-CIA op named Nick. He’s on the run and I’m afraid to say much more about it, because for me the plotline, though brilliant, was only the beginning of what was an unforgetable journey. The real meat of it was in the moments in between, where I felt it all, the love, the death, the loss and the hope.

And I cried a little bit, because I’d been there.

With me it was dragonflies instead of butterflies.

Good job, Michelle. Really, really good job.

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Quickened

To start off with I would like to announce I will be giving free Kindle copies of my illustrated short story, Awakening Evarun (Part I of VI), to the first 6 people who email me their request at barczaktom@yahoo.com

Part of my inspiration for this was the wonderful workshop I got to attend yesterday with bestselling authors Mel Odom and William Bernhardt. Learned a lot and as always was charged up by just being around both of them as well all of the other talented and motivated people who had come to hear them.

So decided to crank it up a notch.

Following some good advice from author Mel Odom, I have decided to release part II of Awakening Evarun about a month earlier than planned, which means very soon. The story is done with half of the iillustrations completed. Fortunately, I have already started on the cover design. So far as the rest of the series goes, everything is being pushed forward, which means I will need to write a little faster. And I will.

As for Veil of the Dragon, no real change other than I am proceeding forward with its polishing and revision. At this point, I think its mostly polishing.

I beleieve thats all for now.

Have a great week.

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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On Awakening…

It is said that a battle plan is only good until the first shot is fired. But this doesn’t change the fact that you still need to have a plan.

"Dragon!" From Awakening Evarun (Part II of VI). Pencil on paper.

So here is my plan. Or at least what I am currently working on.

On Awakening Evarun, Part I has been published, and sales are well, I believe excactly what they’re supposed to be. Less than my goal, but when I look at the numbers in terms of the big picture, I am doing just fine. On everage I am selling one a day and it has been out for a month. So 36 copies and counting if you must know the number. It may be 37. It has gotten wonderful reviews so far and I have a feeling in my gut it is just getting started.

Part II has been written, with some of the illustrations completed. It was a hard one to write. Technically, due to the increasing plot threads added and that will continually be added with each part. But also, personally. Basically, I get into how Talus lost his son, and in doing so I cannot help but touch upon the loss of my own daughter, Olivia. No direct parallel I assure you, but on some level, we cannot help but write what we know. I really like the story alot and it will be ready for publication in October.

Part III has been started, and well, I’ll tell you more about it later…

One of the reasons I started writing Awakening Evarun, was to buy some time to get Veil of the Dragon published through more traditional means. After revieving some much appreiated line edit help from my friend, Cas Peace, as well as my writers Group, I have picked it back up again and am about 25% through with edits, and I must say, am doing it with a much renewed appreciation for it. If writing Awakening Evarun is a sprint, then Veil of the Dragon is a marathon, but one with such vistas that I never realized I was missing. It feels good to get back into it again.

So, hopefully, I will be back to querying Veil in about a month or so…

And then there’s my blog, marketing, ect…..

"Wolves of Galadash" from Awakening Evarun (Part II of VI). Pencil on paper.

I think its enough for now.

Hope you enjoy all of it.

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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Ripples of Voices

I just read something that a friend wrote.

Not sure if it was about her, or somebody else, but for all practical purposes, it could just as well have been about me. Not to take anything away from her or what she had to say. I only say that because I understood it so well.

Woman in a cenotaph. From Awakening Evarun. Pencil on paper.

There is something about sharing our commonality of spirit. There is something about sharing our voice, something about sharing our conversation with something bigger than us. Because that’s what it is. A friend once advised me that when I sketched, it was part of my conversation with God. I have never forgotten that, and I believe it is no less true with my writing. I believe it’s true with all of us. An overhearing perhaps of the Voice Divine.

So I write. I get to write.

Sometimes it is a whisper of poetry. Sometimes it is a song. Sometimes it is little more than a list of how I would like to go about the day. Sometimes it’s a sketch. All of them do essentially the same thing, and there are some days when I absolutely depend on them to.

Mostly, lately, my writing has been a balance between composing the subsequent volumes of Awakening Evarun, and editing my novel, Veil of the Dragon. And I have needed them both, just as I think they have needed each other.

Its been interesting and educational this learning curve I’m on. I dont entirely understand it, but I am beginning to see the ripples of the patterns. And I’m glad I get to listen to the voices.

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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Hero’s Quest!

Some stories need to be told.

Light of Epertase, Legends Reborn is one of them.

In this first book by Douglas R. Brown, and published by Rhemalda, we are introduced to the world of Epertase, a world of breadth and depth, a quality that is shared no less so by the characters that inhabit it. It is a wonderful tapestry of fantasy and myth, and even some things that have never been imagined before.

Through the heart of it, Brown weaves the classic story of the Hero’s Quest. Alone, but for the symbiotic tentacles that have claimed him, a warrior, Rasi, must rise against all adversity to save the world and the woman he loves.

But his victory is not without its loss, and so the stage is set, and the threads of the tapestry woven for the rest of what I’m sure will be a compelling and satisfying series.

Douglas Brown is a wonderful storyteller.

I hope you enjoy his gift.

http://www.amazon.com/Legends-Reborn-Light-Epertase-Book/dp/1936850109/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311801992&sr=8-1

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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Things to do.

Not quite sure what to say, so Ill just say it.

Well, there are several things really.

"Dragon and Wizard", from Awaking Evarun, pencil on paper.

First, I am still excited about the release of the first part of Awakening Evarun on Amazon, for Kindle. Its only been a week, so I will probably stay that way for a while. But in that week, I have already learned a lot, things I dont think I would have learned any other way. One of them I seem to keep learning alot about is patience. Hmmmm. All in all, interest in it and sales of it are going well, and so far, it is meeting all of the goals that I set for it. Can’t ask for much more than that.

Second, I have just finished the draft for Part II of VI. I like it alot, and it was surprising to write. Dont get me wrong, I outline, but its no replacement for the Muse. I am going to sit on that for a week or so, ask some people read it for me. Will probably start some of the sketches for it this week.

Third, I am going to get back onto this blog. Regularly, probably with posts on Sunday nights to start the week off. I am also going to be doing more book reviews. I have 2 from Rhemalda lined up, one for Monarch, by Michelle Davidson Argyle, which I absolutely loved, and Light of Epertase, Book One, Legends Reborn, by Douglas R. Brown, which I am finishing up now and am thrilled to get to talk about.

Fourth, I am going to be finishing up revisions to Veil of the Dragon and sending it off again over the next few months. I had set it down a bit to cool, but in writing Awakening Evarun, I know it is time to pick it back up again and am excited to do so.

I think thats all for now. It seems I have plenty to do.

So, if not before, I look forward to talking again with you next week.

"Angel", from Awakening Evarun, pencil on paper.

God Bless.

Tom Barczak

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