Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Six Things Indie Authors Should Actually (Probably) Never Do

This post is going to be a bit rantier than usual, but as I've reflected on my best and my most stressful times as an independent author, I've realized that there were some key activities that stressed me out tremendously--but that I was told were absolutely necessary to "make it big" in what is, let's face it, a completely insane and unpredictable market where success is never guaranteed.

So I've composed this list as an attempt to help my fellow indie authors who may be feeling as stressed and confused as I once was. If anything on this list sticks out to you as something that's causing you a lot of grief, you may want to seriously reexamine how much good it's actually doing you. 

And if you skim this list and just think "What a load of rubbish! All of these things work great for me!", read number six and all will be made clear. (Hence the "probably" part of the post title.)

Monday, September 25, 2023

I've been trying to do more stuff, so here's a concept sketch for the novel I've been working on. Carnonos is the king of the faeries, who used to be worshiped as gods by the ancient Celts, but during the Middle Ages they retreated into another world and now only rarely interact with the mortal world. Even more rarely do they have dealings with mortals these days, but Carnonos believes that faeries and mortals can get along at least on an individual basis.

However, he's been missing for decades, ever since an usurper took his throne and threw the fae realm into disarray. Now the unrightful queen has gathered her forces and launched an attack on the mortal realm to search for a magical artifact Carnonos hid there before he disappeared. It's up to a quirky family of mortals, an eccentric author, and the king's most loyal warrior to rescue him, retrieve the artifact, and save all of Britain.

In the book, the fair folk come in a wide range of appearances, from almost human to quite monstrous (those are the ones that usually get labeled "goblins"), so I had fun playing around with designs. Carnonos's antlers are actually Irish elk antlers, because I felt that fit his status as an ancient and venerable entity, and because I just wanted to sneak in a bit of paleontology.

Friday, September 22, 2023


First off, as you've probably noticed, the blog has a new look! I just felt like changing things up a bit and experimenting with a new color scheme. I also wanted the graphic design to better represent what my work is all about.

Also, the About page now has a FAQ section, because those are generally useful, and I realized there are some questions I actually get asked quite frequently.

I wanted to take a quick moment to address the infrequent updates lately. I've had a lot going on IRL and just haven't had much time or energy for drawing or writing. Things have settled down a bit now, so I'm hoping to be able to get back to being a little more creative going forward. 

I've also still been trying to sort out some of the career thoughts I discussed in this post. Marketing and overall trying to get my books noticed was just way, way too stressful, like the kind of stress that causes health problems and makes it very obvious that you need to immediately stop what you're doing. I'm still trying to figure out where to go from here without compromising my health again, but I think my passion for storytelling is an important part of who I am, and it's something that I worked very hard to acquire the skillset for, so I want to embrace it and make it my contribution to the world. I appreciate the support of my readers and followers who have the ability to spread their enthusiasm for my work and help me feel like what I'm doing is worthwhile.

Finally, for anyone who's interested, I made some rather extensive revisions to Worth Searching For, specifically most of the scenes involving Terra's and Isengrim's friendship. This is the second time I've revised the story, and while I felt the last revision was a drastic improvement over the original that (rather unfortunately) was the version that got into the Neopian Times, a short while ago I looked at it again and felt that I could do a better job of portraying their evolving interpersonal dynamic, playing up Terra's strengths, and exploring and explaining Isengrim's complicated psychology.

In this version, I wanted to make it clear that Terra gets caught up in a tough situation, but with her wisdom, far-sightedness, and compassion, she's quick to understand that Isengrim is the one who really needs saving. The two are able to connect over the fact that Terra is also a social reject, so she empathizes with Isengrim's Werelupe pack, knowing how it feels to be shunned for being different.

On Isengrim's part, I hopefully made it clear that from the beginning he feels conflicted about his actions and his attitude toward his new owner. His past experiences with other people have made him feel like he cannot trust Terra, but her brave and selfless actions, as well as her unconditional kindness toward him and the other Werelupes, quickly endear her to him despite his best attempts to deny it. When he hurts her feelings during the feast, he decides that he's had enough of his own poor behavior.

I think this version also better shows that after their pivotal conversation, the two become fast friends and truly care for each other not out of force of circumstance, but because they genuinely enjoy each other's personalities and enjoy taking care of each other. As I said, this part of the plot is extremely complicated, but I think these latest revisions handle it much more realistically and satisfactorily. I probably bit off far more than I could chew with wanting to write a story redeeming Isengrim, but I just felt like it needed to happen, even if my first attempts at the details were a little clumsy. He's become a fantastic part of the main cast, though, so I regret nothing. 

(Also, if you like my Neopets work, I've got another story coming to the blog soon, so keep an eye out for that!)


Doodle of White Pearl Cookie from Cookie Run. The Gem Mermaids' designs are fun.