Ottawa Writer’s Circle

12 Sep

Real World Event: I stumbled onto the Ottawa Writer’s Circle the other day and joined out of curiosity. Turns out they had planned a social at a pub in town today (which gave them karma IMHO). I didn’t know what to expect exactly and brought my lovely wife so that we could escape should the social turn strange and uncomfortable. We braved the cold and rain and drove downtown. As it turned out it was time well spent.

Some very pleasant people were gathered. More people had been expected, but the weather turned them away, I suppose. Happily, I met a couple of writers and had an interesting conversation about Blogging and the upcoming CAN-COM event in Ottawa (which I had not heard of). I was given some honest pointers and suggestions on activities I should be considering and soon realised with a smile that what she was suggesting interested me greatly.

So here is the blog idea: I take the world I built in Duilleog and write short stories in that world that will reveal some more of the backgrounds of the characters and world.

So, would you like to hear more about Reeve Comlin and what happens as Reeve in Jaipers?  How about the days when Will was alone in the wild? How did Dawkins end up in Jaipers?

I would like to know, too. So maybe I’ll write it and post it here. For your enjoyment.

Now I just need to find the time. My new position in Ottawa is consuming me. That and my online course have taken all the spare time I normally enjoyed for writing. Craobh is suffering and so am I.



Sales Are Slow

27 Jul

Very Slow Start to Sales

Sales of my debut novel have been much slower than I expected. I won’t bore you with specifics but suffice it to say that my most pessimistic expectations weren’t even close to reality. My previous post outlined the hardships of marketing and I won’t elaborate more on that and bore you. I will say that at the moment I don’t know whether to laugh, or bang my head against the wall.

Some people have read the novel and reached out to me to say well done – and I thank you. It is the resounding silence that is getting to me though. I had hoped to receive some feedback both positive and negative for nothing truly improves your writing than having someone informing you what you may have down fundamentally wrong in your plot, storyline, characters, etc.

I’ll admit that Duilleog is likely a bit different than most books you’ve read. For one, it is in two distinct parts. The first part is all about Will Arbor and the second part is all about the stuff that occurs behind the scenes. Duilleog is in the “first person” point of view of Will. Meaning he can’t possibly know what is happening elsewhere. So, I didn’t want to shuffle between first person and third person and intentionally split it up. This, I suspect, is the ‘out of the box’ part that one of my kind reviewers on Amazon mentioned (“Out of the Box But Original and Entertaining“). Typically a book should alternate between the protagonist and the antagonists. Or, like in A Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones), switch from character to character. These methods give you a little bit of each story thread and pushes the story along. I didn’t do that. Amplification: I consciously didn’t do that. And I may be paying the price for it now.

No matter. I am happy with my story – I truly am. And I am happy that it sets up the next two books. So bear with me readers and know that I won’t disappoint. For those that read the book: please email me at and let me know what you liked and didn’t like. I spent over 18 months writing that book – please spend 5 minutes writing me a note! I won’t bite and I certainly won’t be negative or react poorly. You have my word.

Also, please provide reviews on, and Goodreads. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. Reviews are what pushes books into the limelight.

As always,


Getting the Word Out and Marketing

19 Jul

So Much Work To Do

Getting the word out and marketing your book is hard. This is not a whine. I am merely underlining and highlighting the grief of being an author for you so you have a better understanding. There is so much I simply did not know about writing. I actually thought: I’ll write this, stick it up, and the book will sell hundreds of copies without me having to do a thing. Not true as it turns out. Insult to injury: I have now learned your first book is usually a dud and that it takes a couple of books before you start generating buzz and interest. That’s a jagged pill to swallow.

My euphoria of publishing my first novel lasted about two weeks. Hmm. Maybe three. It was really awesome and I loved it and I rolled in it like a pig in the mud. But nothing that joyous can last forever. Except: my box of trade paperbacks showed up and seeing a box full of books with your name on it rocks pretty hardcore. Anyway: The harsh reality I am getting at is making people notice my book amongst the 4,500 books that appear on Amazon daily is a difficult thing to manage. It is a full-time job just browsing support social media sites. There is so much “help” and “advice” out there you feel like you are drowning. Wheat and the chaff and all that stuff. I am feeling like that pig in the mud but now  wondering how I got so dirty.

So: I have to start focusing on my next novel Craobh and trying to set aside all the marketing effort on the first. FYI: I spend hours every day reading and finding ways to spread the word socially about Duilleog.

I’ve pretty much run out of any new ideas and so Duilleog will sit on Amazon and hopefully a miracle will happen (which if you know me you know that I can’t possibly believe that will happen – ).

So back to blogging and writing and all that other stuff. Craobh is slowly being written. I am currently introducing a new character called Nadine the Herbalist. She’s important to Will Arbor. I really like her. I really do.

One last thing, my family is moving back to Ottawa in only three weeks. I knew it would happen fast but seriously?