Monday, June 17, 2013

How the Spiral Slayers became a quadrilogy

As promised, I'll explain how The Spiral Slayers became a quadrilogy. 

In 2005 I switched from attempting to start a company that created animated book trailers ( to writing my book. Actually, I had started writing another one of my stories in 2001--'The Tale of the Blood Rose Mantis' and had made significant progress when my hard drive went out and I lost all of it. I was not doing backups. This disaster hurt so much that I stopped writing for over three years.

The Spiral Slayers was suppose to be a single book however, when you start on something new it is easy to make the simplest of mistakes. I had the entire story planned out and was about 20% through the story when I had a thought...'word count', I wonder what the word count is supposed to be for a new sci-fi novel. This detail hadn't even crossed my mind so I Googled it and found that 120,000 words was the limit. I checked my word count and saw that it was over 200,000 words! Whoops.

For three months I struggled with a solution. First I tried to reduce the story but the amount I needed to reduce it was too much. Then I wrestled with trying to divide it into three parts. Finally I gave in and settled for four parts. This meant that I would not be able to send it to an agent or publisher--no one was going to look at a new author offering a quadrilogy.  So, I considered switching to a different story but I was so in the groove on this one. Once I decided I was just going to have to continue with a four book series and self publish it, I then had to divide the story into four books which took another month.

Live and learn.

My next entry will explain how I created extensions to the (quantum) standard model and cosmology to create the Spiral Slayer universe.

Rusty Williamson

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Spiral it happened...

Hello,                                          [I doubt that anyone is reading this...if I'm wrong let me know.]

My first novel--actually a four book series of which I've finished book one and am working on book two--came about in a strange way. In fact, I'll start with how I became a sci-fi fan.

I was medevaced  home from Vietnam in 1972. After getting out of the hospital I did the easiest thing, I moved back in with my parents. The first night I was there I saw Star Trek for the first time and became a sci-fi fan.

I can vividly remember the first time I came up with a sci-fi story idea. It was 1978, I was married and had a three year old daughter and a new born son and we'd had our first house. I was in the garage stoned and I came up with a fantastic story idea called Net World. It really was way ahead of its time.

Over the years I've come up with exactly one dozen story ideas and I hope to be able to tell all of them.

The primary idea for 'The Spiral Slayers' came to me in 1992. This was a monumental year for me. My title was Systems Programmer and I had just finished a six month project to completely redo GE Retail Systems' computer room. I did this in a single weekend and got a special award and a new title for my efforts. Newly promoted to System Administrator my first job was to visit each department head and compose an estimate of the total HW/SW expenses for 1993. This effort would lead to yet another title--Manager of Internal Systems.

 I was lying in the sun next to the pool in the buildings Fitness Center day dreaming and bingo! Can't tell you what I came up with without ruining the story but I can tell you that it was both at the quantum and cosmic level.

It evolved for over ten years before I started writing the book.

In my next blog I'll explain how it became a quadrilogy.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My progress with Marketing my book...

 I love my wife Denise (40 years next month!)! After the Kirkus review she agreed to help me do the marketing for my book so I give her my to-do list and forwarded her a dozen articles to read. She's smart and lazy (the best combo) so she said 'shit on all that!' and decided to short-circuit the process--after work today she's going by the library to research getting a literary agent who will do all that promotion stuff so I can write and she can spend. If I don't tell her all the reasons that won't work she'll probably find a way to do it! Anyway I have to keep on marketing until then so... BUY MY BOOK DAMN IT! THE PAPERBACK IS ON SALE SO DO IT RIGHT NOW! I'LL EVEN GIVE YOU THE FRIGGIN LINK! (how am I doing?)

My next blog will be something more interesting: How I extended current cosmology and the standard model of quantum physics to create the Spiral Slayer universe. You don't have to be a science nerd to understand my book, however the a part of the plot is mostly based in these areas (if I say the universe is ending you don't need to know what particle is decaying to understand, right?).


Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Promotion: Initial 'to-do' (or task) list


Continuing from my last post... Now that I have a framework to put and sort tasks I need to figure out what those tasks are. I know a lot of them so I just enter those with no regard to order. Then I search the sites I know of--Direct Publishing and CreateSpace--and also go to their community forums and post there asking basically 'what do I do' and ask the same question of support. There are 'how to' ebooks and blogs on marketing your book and I read through these. Along the way I'm adding to my list. When I see I'm reaching the end of what I can consult right now I then fill in the 'sort' column using 0-9, 0 being the items I'll do first. In assigning these numbers I consider importance as well as how long the item will take to do.  For instance 'adding the Kirkus review to my Amazon book detail page' won't take much time but 'add kirkus review to trailer' will take perhaps two weeks so I will put this off while I knock out quick and easy stuff first.  After filling out the sort column I sort my list.

My list now looks like this:

I'm showing about half the list to save space. Notice the item near the bottom 'Visit Syfy bookstore w/books and…' . Here I've placed sub-tasks which are intented. When I reach a task that has a lot of steps I create these sub-tasks mainly to remind me where I'm at with the main task. I often jump around multi-tasking and find I need to leave a task for an extended length of time so this tracks where I'm at when I return to it.

I'll get better at blogging as I go, promise.

Rusty Williamson

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I'm a digital kind of guy...


I often consider it a character flaw but, it's just who I am. I settled into my own skin long ago. I'm task orientated as opposed to people orientated and I'm rarely analog. I am a digital kind of guy. I do think, care and do things for others and I try to be spontaneous but sadly, if these things aren't on my 'to-do list' get the picture. My motto is "If it's not on the list, it doesn't exist.."

I always have too many sticks in the fire and those sticks catch on fire and so I add more sticks. Type 'A' personality, over achiever, work alcoholic, jack of all trades-master of none, but that's just me and I find it fun. Concurrently I'm writing book two, storyboarding book two's animated trailer, creating the characters (in a 3D animation program), promoting book one, taking singing lessons, getting back into playing guitar, starting a blog, etc. Each one of these projects has a "to do" list because...if it's not on the list...

So naturally I approached the project of promoting my book like I approach all things; digitally. I first opened EXCEL and in cell A1 I typed "Book Promotion TTD". The TTD stands for Things To Do. Made it bold. Then a blank line then entered 'sort', 'stat' (for status) and 'description'. I added some formatting; reduced the width of the first 5 columns, bold/Italics/size-down for the headings and added some grid lines.

My framework to catch stray ideas established I stare off into the distance taking a puff of my V2 ECig and a sip of imported Italian Roast coffee and try clear my mind of all the things on  the previous ttd list entitled 'Writing' of which 'Promote Book One' was just one line item and, try to forget my main ttd list entitled 'Master TTD' of which 'Work on Writing' was just one of dozens of items. This is a bad move I often take because I totally fail. The shear volume of things I want to accomplish over load my brain I remember that I must also check my Outlook calendar and make sure there's no appointment I need to be at. So my eyes slowly close and...I decide it's time to take a nap.

To be continued...

Monday, June 3, 2013

For the benifit for Emo

It was a busy weekend, Saturday we went to a benefit to help a friend with his medical bills from open heart surgery. We paid the optional $10 a person fee to get we entered someone handed me a string of tickets which I didn't give a second thought to and stuck them in my shirt pocket. I had no idea there was a raffle. We stayed and danced to the live R&R bands that played then left a little early. Later that night a friend called to tell us that we had won $550!! Sunday we did our usual thing and went to The Kraken which is dive-biker bar we love located in Cardiff by the Sea on Hwy 101. The person, Emo, is the bass player in the band that plays there every Sun night. He is also the same person the benefit was for and he had our money. He handed it to us and we handed right back as a donation. It was all good fun.