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

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

 

Who is J.G. Gatewood?

 Writing

Good news! Book 2 in the Keepers of the Orbs Series is about 95% of the way through the editing process.  I will be looking for beta readers in the next week or so.

I started thinking about it today, and I created this blog almost a year ago, and as of yet, I haven’t actually blogged.  Sure, I released my short story here, and I also released all of my book reviews, but actual blogging?  Nope!  So, I decided today I would change my ways, and actually use the tools at my disposal.

I know my fan-base is small, but I still get asked to know more about who I am, how and why I write, my processes, etc.  So I am going to use my blog so people can get to know me better.

I have been married for twelve years to my lovely wife Sarah. We have two sons, Branden and Evan, and we live in Parker, Colorado.  I met Sarah in High School, in nearby Highlands Ranch.  After several on-again, off-again relationships, we finally got married after she graduated from college.  I myself, had too much fun partying during my first year of college (haven’t we all made this mistake) and considering I was paying for it myself, I decided college wasn’t right for me.  That is until 2009 when I was laid-off from my IT job of ten years. I found it really difficult to find a job with the U.S. in recession and decided to go back to school while I actively searched for a new job.

This period of unemployment made me realize something; I had a story and I wanted to tell it.  While I couldn’t rely on this as a steady income (being new and all with no books to sell) I continued my education and my job search.  My wife was nothing but supportive (as she remains today).

I wrote the first book in the series—The Unknown Man—in four months.  I loved every minute of it and knew this was something I wanted to continue doing.  While writing my debut novel, I was in school full-time, continued my job search (with entirely too many interviews) and also was hired by my in-laws to finish their basement.  Oh, and did I mention Evan was born during this time too?

Anyway, I finished The Unknown Man and started the query process with agents and publishers.  After getting nowhere, I finally landed a job, in a new field, with a chance to re-invent myself.  I continued to work on the first book by editing and refining the story.

I decided to self-publish it in 2012 and posted it on Amazon.  A couple of points here.  Looking back now, it was nowhere near ready for the market.  I had no idea what I was doing and I can see now why I wasn’t getting anywhere with an agent/publisher.  Given its weak points, I sold a number of copies, and received several reviews (good and bad) to which I am grateful for.  These have helped me to refine the story further, and have helped me to become a better writer (I think anyway).

One of the questions I get asked the most often is when is book 2 being released, and why it is taking so long.  As you can see above, book 2 is close. As for the second part, let me explain.  About the time I started writing book 2 in 2012, I finally found a new job, was still going to school full-time, and we had a very colicky and stubborn infant.  Finding time to write became secondary so I could focus on everything else going on.  So I put my writing on hold, which was a good thing considering how difficult my classes had become.

In October of 2013, I finally graduated with a BS in Business Finance (with honors, not to brag).  I took a couple of months off to just relax and recharge, before I got back to my writing.  Although I hadn’t been working on book 2, I was still actively working to improve Book 1.  I trimmed it from around 213k words, down to 130k, and I really like the flow of the story now.  In 2014, I hit the ground running and began my work on book 2 (and other projects too) although I still had limited time to.  I started off by reviewing what I had already written (about 30k words) and I wasn’t at all satisfied with it, so I scrapped it and began fresh.

It took my about ten months, but I finally finished the rough copy of book 2, The Rising Past.  After several read-throughs and revisions on my own, I handed it over to my wife to edit.  She is an elementary school teacher (for ten years now).  Her Bachelors is a double major in Communication and Journalism, and she has a Master’s in Education.

This is just a little background on my first novel.  I plan on blogging at least every couple of days, and hope to have more information to release soon.

Unknown Man small

While you are waiting for Book 2: The Rising Past, get a copy of The Unknown Man Kindle Nook Smashwords

Get more information from my website