J.G. Gatewood VLOG 9/29/17

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The Final Offering – Kindle Scout

I decided to try out the Kindle Scout program for my most recent novel. If you have a moment, I would truly appreciate it if you could follow the link and check it out. I really need all the nominations I can get. It is a Young Adult Fantasy Book, and I am really excited to share it with the world.

Stop by and nominate me HERE

kindle_cover-the-offering

As a young Haloti fairy living on top of a maple tree, Thula is counting down the days until she reaches adulthood. Her whole life changes when a Grimmox fairy breeches the long-standing peace treaty by crossing their border. Thula isn’t content to watch the destruction of her world, and volunteers for a new military program to counter the incursion. But once at training, she learns the program isn’t about defense at all. It’s about war, and all of the Haloti people are at risk of annihilation.

Update – May 11th Edition

It has been awhile since my last post (man do I have to get better about this) so I thought I would put an update out.

I’m still shopping Elves of The Sugar Maple to agents, but there is nothing to report yet. This is my Young Adult fantasy novel that mirrors many of the religious/racial issues our world currently faces.

I completed The Saukarian Children. I currently have the book in the hands of a couple beta readers and am awaiting feedback. This is my Sci-Fi story that I am very excited about it and think it has a lot of potential.

I recently realized the process of querying my work as the only means of attracting a potential agent is absolutely ludicrous. As such, I joined the RMFW (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers) and have joined a critique group. I also plan on attending several conferences as they become available. I also plan on entering both the above titles into the Colorado Gold Writing Contest at the end of this month. The finals for this contest will be held the beginning of September. More than anything, I am looking for feedback and for areas where my work could use improvement, although if I actually final with either of them I would be over the moon J. As a result, neither of these are flagged for Self-Publishing at this time.

With my other projects completed, I recently returned to the world of Nithor with my friends Raythum, Liniana, Aglina, Matt, Jaeden, Milenthia, and let us not forget the despicable man name Lutheras. The third book in the series is currently at right around 50% complete and I am still hoping to have this released by the end of the year. Since the first two books in the Keepers of the Orbs Series are already self-published, this will go directly to Amazon (more news to follow).

Yesterday, I had a hard time concentrating on anything else as I recently had a new idea for another YA Fantasy novel. I think this idea could have a lot of potential and I am currently just writing down notes and creating the characters/building the world. I hope to start writing it in the near future and will update when appropriate.

I won’t be writing at all this weekend as my wife and I are off to Wisconsin to celebrate my grandparent’s 66th wedding anniversary.

While you wait for my upcoming work, you can still get your hands on the first two books in my series.

I am running a free promotion on the first book, The Unknown Man. You can get a free copy through this Saturday May 14th
HERE

And the second book, The Rising Past, can be purchased HERE

Interesting Point in Life

So, my wife and I have reached an interesting point in child rearing. I should preface this by saying, neither my wife nor I are extremely religious. As we prayed tonight before bed—as we do every night (more on that in a moment)—our ten year old started crying. We go to church all of maybe 3 times a year (we used to go much more, but at the current stage of our lives we seem to go less) and we discussed how we were going to go tomorrow to celebrate Jesus. Now, one would expect a child who had not been forced to go to church for much of their life, would be okay with this. Not my 10 year old. He had many questions about religion and God,. We totally respect this and foster an environment where we are supposed to ask questions. But at the same time, he expects candy and all the “finer things” of Easter, and as such doesn’t understand why we have to go to church. I don’t think we are totally out of line. In our day, we were expected to go to church. It was a given. In fact, my dad would regularly drop my siblings and I off for Sunday school so my mom could sleep in (whole different story). But at the same time, I myself don’t know how I feel about religion. I tend not to believe in  an all powerful being, but at the same time I believe in the spirit of what religion teaches us, and the various holidays we celebrate. Isn’t everyone a bit happier around Christmas? Don’t we all want to give to our fellow man? Isn’t the idea of someone dying on the cross to forgive us our sins a little more powerful than some bunny hopping around handing out candy?

I tend to believe the best of human nature, more than maybe many give us credit for. Maybe it’s the nature of our environment and everything that is going on around us. If you’ve read my writing, you may have noticed a theme. I tend to believe in the betterment of our species. I see each new generation progressing a little bit further. I believe in a world where color, race, background, or upbringing has no bearing on how we view each other individually, and I pray for the day where we can finally forgive our differences and recognize each and every person living on this planet as one thing, and one thing only. We are all HUMAN. Sure we may have a difference in beliefs, or may have different skin colors. but that is what makes us all unique. It is what makes us all individuals. It is what makes all us human. It is these differences that define us, and each should be celebrated.

Anyway, long story short. I don’t want to force my beliefs on my own children, but am I out of line for making my children accompany me to church on this holiday? I believe in the idea of such religions as way more powerful than what may be preached. But isn’t that the point? We’re supposed to come together and love one another. To respect what is being said, more than the historical implications of what may or may not have happened. I believe we are all allowed to love who we want love. Be it gay, straight, Muslim, Hebrew, Christian…whatever. I don’t care. As long as we are happy. Isn’t that what Jesus died for? If we welcome him into our heart (or any other being in my opinion)  does it matter?

On this Easter holiday, I’m thankful for the people I surround myself with. I love my wife, and I love my children unconditionally. I love them all for what they believe in and I respect their decisions. I love this world for the differences in belief and look forward to a world where we can all live in harmony. I love the idea of Jesus and everything that may or may have not happened. I believe in the spirit of Jesus, and all that he sacrificed so we could live  a better life. I don’t think we’re out of line for making him go to church with us. Thoughts?

 

I made a decision today

So, as anyone who has been following me already knows, I have been working on the third book in The Keepers of the Orbs Series while also writing a standalone Sci-Fi book at the same time. I’m about 50% complete on the next KOTO book, but my focus lately has been on the sci-fi book as I am over 83% and looking to wrap it up.

I know, you’re asking “so what’s the big decision”? Well, I have struggled with the way I was planning on ending The Saukarian Children (that’s the sci-fi story). This was always intended to be a one book thing. That was it. Write it…and move one. The only problem? I don’t think I can. I have fallen in love with the characters, but at the same time I don’t think a happy ending is coming their way. Don’t get me wrong, the three MCs are the heroes of the story and they will get the credit they deserve. But I can’t just leave it at that.

Along those lines, I am changing how the story is going to end. I still have 5 chapters to go, and the way I had intended for it to end when I sat down four months ago, has been scrapped. Without giving too much away, I just don’t think the human race would ever accept the Saukarian Children for what they are. There would naturally be some form of prejudice and hatred coming their way and I think it just makes sense. Then again, it also leaves it open for me to write additional stories down the road 🙂 which is never a bad thing.

Anyway, the story hasn’t even been released yet, but I know there will be some hatred coming my way for the ending and I just wanted to explain myself ahead of time to calm the storm. Not everything can end like a fairy tale, and I think this just makes more sense. If you hate the ending, blame me for falling in love with my characters, and for not wanting to give the final farewell.

 

Writing Update

It has been a while since I posted, and I figured it would be a good idea to post an update. I initially planned to take a week or two off during the Holidays to unwind and enjoy my family (immediate and extended). We got a bit of a surprise when a couple days after Christmas, my wife’s grandma passed away unexpectedly. I took some extra time to support my wife and her family during this difficult time, and haven’t written as much as I expected lately. Only complicating matters, as am I writing this I’m expecting a message any time now that my grandfather has passed away. He has somehow survived for four days without his feeding tube and IV, but it’s only a matter of time (he always was stubborn). He has accepted it and is at peace with it, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the rest of us though. Needless to say, it has been a crappy end of 2015/start of 2016 so far. I don’t expect to do much writing in the next week, but you never know.

It hasn’t been all bad, though. I released Book 1 in The Keepers of the Orbs series, The Rising Past on December 1st, and I broke all of my previous records for single day downloads during a free giveaway. Let’s hope it leads to some additional sales. I’m currently waiting on four reviewers to give me their feedback (in process), but the first few I have received have all been positive. The most recent came in today and can be found HERE.

I am currently about 40-50% through writing the next book in the series and I expect to have it available on Amazon by the end of 2016, with a plan for the final book near the end of 2017 or early 2018.

My editor is currently done with 50% of her final review of another fantasy novel that is unrelated to my series. The title I’m working with is Elves of a Sugar Maple. I am excited by this story. It was originally an idea from my wife about a species of tiny beings who call a giant tree in our backyard home. I took the idea and ran with it. I incorporated many of the issues our society is currently facing (race, religion, sexual orientation, etc) and I’m quite satisfied with how it all came out. I should have it available mid-spring.

I’m also writing a serialized novel for Channillo.com. It is a Sci-Fi story and is an idea I have had for several years now. I’m releasing a chapter a week on Channillo. Currently there are 9 chapters available to read. I plan on making the full novel available on Amazon this summer. If you have a subscription through Channillo, you can access the story HERE.

That is all for now. I continue to squeeze in as much writing as I can as often as is possible.

You can get a copy of The Rising Past for Kindle HERE

The Rising Past Cover

Or  see how it all began by picking up a copy of the Prequel, The Unknown Man HEREAmazon Prequel Cover

Remember, do an author a favor by leaving a review 🙂

 

The Saukarian Children

Saukarian Cover

Several years ago, I had an idea for an Alien/Sci-Fi story. I’ve been so focused on The Keepers of the Orbs series, that this story has been placed on the back burner. Well, I was approached last month by people at Channillo to see if I have ever considered doing anything serialized. I decided to take a chance and submitted a proposal for this little story. They accepted.

I’m very excited by this series. So far, the first chapter was released last week, and Chapter 2 will be posted tomorrow. If you are on Channillo, I would appreciate if you checked it out.

The story is set on Earth during current times. It will follow three Human children (all around the age of 18, coincidence, I think not :)). The Saukarians, who hail from Alpha Cassiopeiae, have lost the ability to procreate. They instead alter the DNA of less advanced species to further their own race. They arrive at Earth intent on decimating the planet, and the current population to survive. What they don’t account for is the innate desire of the Human race to survive at all costs. The Human race rests in the hands of a small number of teenagers who must decide between saving Earth, or joining the Saukarians.

If you’re a member of Channillo, you can check it out Here. If you’re not a member, it would require creating an account and paying a monthly fee. If you select the cheapest plan ($4.99 per month) you will get access to not only my series (if you decided to follow it) but 9 others as well.

Also, please check out my fantasy series, The Keepers of the Orbs. The prequel can be found Here. The first book will be released December 1 on Amazon.

An Update

Things have been busy for me. During the day, I work as a Subject Matter Expert and support a sales staff around the globe. We are all focused on the upcoming Q1 (starts Dec 1) as our CEO believes if you have a successful start of the year, the rest will fall in line. Considering Oil companies account for a large portion of our business, the upcoming year is looking sketchy at best. So, I’m working extra hours to help in any way that I can (basically doing a whole bunch or research as to how we can grow accounts).

I know, you’re wondering how this is important to my writing. Well, the extra hours have limited the amount of time I have to write. Of course the wife is back teaching after the summer off, and my oldest is busy with his final year of elementary school, which is also cutting into my writing time.

I started querying THE RISING PAST, Book 1 in the Keepers of the Orbs series about ten days ago. As I am sure some of you are aware, this in itself is time consuming. I have a list of about 110 different agents I am querying (have only sent out a portion of those so far as I am trying to space them out). From my first wave, I have only received 3 “not interested” so far, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Tonight I finished my second read through/edit/cut/update of THE ELVES OF A SUGAR MAPLE. This is not part of the Keepers of the Orbs series and is actually based on a tree in my backyard. It is one of the features of our house that sold my wife on the purchase twelve years ago. I’m very excited about this story. I love the way it came together and I feel like my writing is really starting to come into its own. I am now giving it to my wife to edit, but unfortunately she still has about 25% left to edit on a paying job, so it has to take a back seat for a couple more weeks. But I know she is just as excited as I am for to get her hands on it. The idea after all, was hers. In the time we have lived here, we have had many conversations and musings as to what creatures may live on this tree. She had initiated the idea that it was a race of Fairies and we talked about it at great length. I felt the whole Fairy thing has been overdone, so I changed them to Tree Elves, and I then let the keyboard guide me as I discovered this little story. It’s 70k words, so it’s shorter than my other books, but I feel like it is a wonderful little story and I have high hopes for it. So stay tuned for further information.

That means, tomorrow I am returning to the next book in the Keepers series. I started on it back in March, but had to put it down as I was unsure of a couple of things in THE RISING PAST that I wanted to have nailed down before I continued. With those loose ends tied up, I am exited to dive back into Raythum’s world. I’m very excited with the direction of the story and can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

In the meantime, feel free to grab a copy of THE UNKNOWN MAN, the prequel to The Keepers of the Orbs series by Clicking Here That’s all for now.

Amazon Prequel Cover

TIme to move on

So, I finally realized it was time to move on. Those who have been around for a while, know I self-published my first book, The Unknown Man. I had no idea what ramifications would come from this small action. The Unknown Man was the first book in what I planned on being a 4 book Fantasy series. It has always been my goal to pursue traditional publishers, but too many agents will not accept work that has been previously self-published. So, I did a bunch of research and found a dozen or so who represent fantasy that are also interested in self-published works. I queried them all and after three months it is time to start plan b. I just don’t think I had the sales they were looking for to be considered. Two different editors said my query letter was solid, so at least that is what I would like to believe anyway 🙂

Don’t misconstrue any of my words above. I completely understand where the agents are coming from. I get it. In my haste to get my work out there, I put a roadblock in my own path. Then again, I still think it was the best thing I ever did. I don’t think I would have made the strides I have made with my writing had I not put The Unknown Man out there. And as another point, I now know the book was nowhere near ready for the market. I was naïve and truly had no idea what I was doing. These things I would never have learned had it not been for self-publishing. It is a tough business, but it is truly the thing I love most (next to my wife and my kids of course). I only hope that one day I can make it my career 🙂

Anyway, on to plan b. When writing The Rising Past (what was supposed to be book 2) I had a feeling I had painted myself into a corner. So I wrote it with the idea that one day it may have to be book 1, and that is exactly what is happening. I am re-branding The Unknown Man as a prequel to the Keepers of the Orbs Series. It is being published on Amazon as we speak and I have decided to give the KDP Select program another chance, which means it will be exclusive to Amazon again (had it in the program for about a year previously, before putting it out for all formats).

Unknown Man Prequel COver- High Resolution

Above is the re-branded cover (I like it a lot better than the original). I completed The Rising Past (will now be the start of the series) in December, and it is 65% through the final edit. My hope is my editor will have it complete by the end of the month at which time I will begin querying it. So far the story has gone over really well with about 20 beta readers, so I am very excited, and hope this can set me up well with potential agents/publishers.

To give an update of what I have been working on. I edited The Rising Past for January, then spent several months refining The Unknown Man so I could query it (as mentioned above). I started writing the next book in the series, but hit a roadblock (needed to make a couple of final determinations on The Rising Past before I go any further). So I put that down in the middle of May and have been working on another piece ever since. I hope to have that story wrapped up and to the editor by the beginning of August, at which point I will start concentrating in the series again.

I know things may be moving slowly (The Unknown Man was originally completed in 2012) but as I indicated, I had no idea what I was doing and basically spent two years refining it. I also work full time, was going to school full time, and have a wife and two young boys, so it doesn’t leave a lot of time. However, I am carving about 3 hours a night out for writing after the rest of my family goes to bed. The Rising Past took 10 months (120k words), my current WIP will be written in 2 1/2 months (70k words), and I hope to have the next book in the series written by the end of the year (January at the latest, 100-120k words). So I really feel like I’m hitting my stride.

Anyway, that was a long update, but I wanted to let everyone know how I was re-branding and my plans for the future of the Keepers of the Orbs.

Keep writing and keep reading 🙂

Get a copy of The Unknown Man

And feel free to check out my Website