Blog 2013

Where’s Rhest for the Wicked? (pt 2)

June 20th seems such a long time ago.

At the beginning of the year, it had been the plan that my second novel – Samifel – would be released this past weekend.  But we’re still trying to get Rhest out the door.  The delays are the same – problems with the database, problems with the listing, etc – and they are fewer than before, but they persist all the same.  The timetable my publisher and I had been given proved not to pan out, but because of the nature of the business, there’s little to be done but to try and keep things moving.

Rhest for the Wicked WILL come out.  That isn’t up for debate.  What is, sadly, is a definitive release date.  We’re dealing with an international distribution system with numerous redundancies that have to all be satisfied.  Moreover, my publisher is trying to prepare the book for e-book distribution and availability, so that it can be bought for the Kindle and the Nook and the iPad as readily as in a bookstore.  All of this involves complex formatting and re-formatting.

It seems like it would be simple to do, and on paper it is.  In reality, it can be mind-numbingly complex to gain even a little traction.  And if something doesn’t work, it’s not just a matter of fixing the obvious; we first have to figure out what didn’t work in order to fix it.

And in the midst of all this, I’m once again grateful to my publisher – Haven Publishing – for spearheading this endeavor.  I’ve dealt with struggles like this before in publishing and ‘nightmare’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The first one’s always the hardest.  Once Rhest is out, future books will come along much easier (knock on wood).  But for now, we wait and play a day-by-day game of trying to further the book to completion.

Blog 2013

Straight Edge

Despite the inane delays surrounding Rhest for the Wicked, I am moving forward with other writing projects.  My current project (actually, one of several) features detox and rehab as a theme.  I’ve done a lot of research on these things, and have had friends who have gone through it.  But I never have.

I’ve never been a drinker.  Nor a smoker.  Nor have I done any drugs.  I’ve experimented with all three and never found any of them at all appealing.  Not the slightest thing.  I have friends who are huge alcohol aficionados and more than a few proponents of altered states.  But no experience has given me even the slightest interest in repeating those exposures.

I didn’t really even know the term ‘straight edge’ until the professional wrestler CM Punk brought it to the forefront.  Though that element of his character has largely fallen to the wayside, I still hear mention of it from time to time.  Straight Edge is, simply, an abstinence from chemical inhibition.  You don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, take steroids, etc.  But for many people, this seems to have been some kind of conscious choice, especially within the straight edge movement.  For me, it wasn’t a choice.  It’s just who I am by default.

I’ve lost friends to drugs (both overdoses and as victims of the ‘drug lifestyle’).  And while I haven’t lost a friend to alcohol, I’ve had friendships end thanks to alcohol.  And I’ve been ringside to see the effects of alcohol on families.  Those horror stories were never worth the ‘fun times’ such substances seemed to make possible.

The profession of writing has a long history of substance abuse, whether it being Jack Kerouac, Earnest Hemingway, Hunter S. Thompson, or hundreds of others.  And more than a few people assume that being a writer means, as if by default, a certain level of consumption.  But at least in my case, it isn’t so.

I don’t look down on people who consume.  I don’t think that I’m better somehow.  I just don’t understand the appeal.  And as I research rehab and detox, I realize I really don’t want to understand appeal either.

Blog 2013

Novel Work

I just now (literally, a few moments ago), submitted my third novel to Haven Publishing to begin the editing process.  Said novel, tentatively called RocKaiju (though very likely to change titles), will most likely see publication this winter, maybe in time for Christmas.

“But wait a minute, Robert” I hear you saying because I have really good hearing “what happened to Rhest for the Wicked?”
Good question!

The answer, unfortunately, is complex, frustrating, and involves ogres.  Yes, the kind that live under bridges and eat billy goats.  Yes, I know the story says its a troll.  It wasn’t.  It was an ogre.  It was made into a troll thanks to Gnome racism.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Rhest for the Wicked is still coming.  It’s still on its way.  Haven is a new publishing house and I am (until Rhest), a mostly underground author.  Combine these two factors together and large companies are hesitant to dive right in.  The delays have been mostly at the corporate level, with company A double-checking everything company B did, prompting company B to return the favor.  Lots of little delays that have added up quickly.

But they’re finally smoothing themselves out.  Rhest for the Wicked will be on store shelves soon, potentially as early as this week.  Once I have links, I will go link-o-riffic, don’t worry.

So stay tuned.  🙂

Blog 2013

Where’s Rhest for the Wicked?

On June 20th (last Thursday), my first novel in six years was released…sort of.  Rhest For the Wicked, published through Haven Publishing, was released through all major book retailers.  So then why aren’t there links?  Because the book isn’t showing up on any of the retail databases.  Why not?

That’s a very, very good question.

I’ve been on the phone and emailing the crew at Haven trying to get an answer to this question and the long and short of it is…because they aren’t.  In this day and age, very few companies are handling everything themselves.  Everything gets farmed out to subsidiaries or sub-groups or any number of various compartmentalized factions to manage things more expertly but also from a distance.  The result is that when something goes wrong, just tracking down where the problem is can be a Herculean task in and of itself, nevermind fixing it.  For major publishing houses, this isn’t quite the same problem.  They have their own crack teams to deal with these issues and they have the clout to say ‘fix it’ and everything drops to get it fixed.  With small presses – like Haven – well, stuff can wait until after lunch.  Over a weekend?  Ha.

In short, this has been a pretty disastrous launch.  The Haven team and I have been working to get the problem fixed but there’s only so much that can be done when it isn’t our system that we need to see changes in.  And because Bowker, Ingram, and others have a monopoly on the system, it’s not like we can threaten to take our business elsewhere.

It’s embarrassing.  And it’s frustrating (beyond words).  But it is getting taken care of.  Rhest For The Wicked WILL be available soon and when it does, there will be links galore on this page and many others.  But for now…please be patient and bear with me. ^__^*