Well, so I’m going to be taking a crack at this Marketing thing. Of course, that’s bit like asking a monk advice for picking up girls; he might know in theory but his application is going to really bite wind. I mean, I’m the guy that in job interviews of many years past actually volunteered what I wasn’t good at before saying anything about my possible qualifications. As far as the writing of a story, crafting a killer plot, and so on, I’m probably about an 11. People have compared Maldene to The Wheel of Time series and me to the likes of Homer (of Iliad fame- the old Greek guy, you know) in terms of degree of epic writing (I really cherish that last comparison- I mean, Homer was the man!). I can write a 300,000+ word novel in 3 months, fully edited, can plan out a plot several books deep with dozens of characters (the Maldene series as a whole has around 250 in total), and get the reader to feel whatever emotion I want. I’m not bragging, this is just simple fact.
But when it comes to PR, marketing, and selling myself, I’m probably about a negative 3. I can’t sell a heater unit to Eskimos, I’ve always had an enormous problem with lacking in self-confidence (trying to fix that, though), and I stutter when I try public speaking (which for me would involve more than 5 people when not standing in front of a microphone, or more than 3 when standing in front of a microphone or podium). But, I’m still going to take a crack at it and now I have a guy (everyone needs a “guy’ or “people”, right? You aren’t successful unless you can say “I’ll have my people get back to you”, or “My guy will call you.”) to help me out. I’ll be honest, though, it’s going to be a bit scary; at least from my point of view. So bear with me while I take the plunge.
I’ve had many false starts (heck, I’ve missed the race entirely most of the time) and setbacks- 150 agents contacted in years past, one no-goodnick “publisher” that did me more harm than good (Publish America, or whichever name they reformed under now), advice from people that seem to know less about social media than I do, got held up a bit when my Mom passed away and the resultant 6 year probate (yes, I know it’s only supposed to be one year, but my sister is certifiably insane), and every time I bump into someone that can possibly help me out then ridiculously bad stuff happens to them (they get sick, lose their job, divorce, go from bringing in more money in a week than I’ve brought in my entire life to declaring bankruptcy and going on food stamps, their barn burns down and cow dies, you name it). At this point, most people would have gotten the message and given up by now; just thrown it all in for a radish farm in Pennsylvania or something.
So why don’t I?
Well in short, because I know what I have. Remember that lack of confidence issue I mentioned? Besides making for great editing skills (“No, I need to look through it just ONE more time to be certain”), it makes for a good benchmark. If I, the person with zero self-confidence, can read something that I’ve written by my very own hand and look at it and say, “Wow!” every time I re-read it just to make sure I wasn’t imaging it, then there’s gotta be something there. Think back to the very best book that you’ve ever read. The one that made you laugh and cry, the one that gave you goosebumps at a page turn, the one that had your blood pumping and on Cloud 9 for three days after finishing. Do you know that feeling? Now imagine, that instead of reading such a story, that you’re the one who’s written it. There wouldn’t be anything you wouldn’t do to keep trying to get that creation of yours out there. You’d want to share it far and wide. And that money you’d make? That just means you could stop worrying about ghostwriting to pay the bills and be able to get back to writing up the next epic and recapture that same feeling… again and again and again. (That’s sort one of my goals here- you guys make me a best seller so I can get back to another bout of epic storytelling and recapture that Cloud 9 feeling).
Okay, so maybe it’s time I shared exactly what I’m sitting on. This is probably the first really public declaration I’ve make of just how big the world of Maldene really is. Volume One and Two are just the two halves of the first full novel, so with that in mind, the total summary is as follows:
- Maldene is a series of thirteen novels.
- 5.2 million words.
- Has some 250 characters.
- Probably about a hundred main plot lines.
- About 10,000 pages of printout (8X11″ with 9-point font)
- All the appendices you’ll be seeing at the back of each novel are taken from my world notes (which is a small book in itself); enough details to make you believe this place just might exist.
- Spans a few thousand Earth years equivalent in time.
- Travels not only the entire world of Maldene (itself several times larger than Earth) and its three moons, but many other worlds, dimensions, and far across the multiverse.
- And let’s not forget- the baddest villain of them all (read and you’ll see why).
Starting to get the picture? When I say there may be nothing else like it, I am not exaggerating. Eight years to write (taking most Summers off) and 15 years before that planning. And this isn’t counting the 2-book prequel that a friend urged me to write, nor the other non-Maldene stuff I’ve written since (my Inspector Flaatphut series, and the Cyberdawn series you guys haven’t heard of yet). I got blood, sweat, and tears in this thing, so I ain’t given’ up now. Or ever.
I got the dream, I have the passion, the creativity and intelligence, but please pardon me if the one thing I lack is some of that real-world stuff (always been an introvert, which makes for great writing skills but terrible social skills). So take this as an announcement (or warning) that I am getting up from the field of battle once again to face that most terrible enemy of mine, that monster with the red eyes and gleaming teeth: Salesmanship. Spread the word (please?), check out my novel, and see if you don’t get drawn in.
A small warning though: While the first two-volume novel equates in length (and probably nearly scope) to the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, it is indeed but the introduction to what comes next. There’s some pretty incredible things up ahead, so please stay tuned.