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Booked

stacks and stacks of books

My latest novel, If Dreams Can Die, launched just last month, but I’m already elbow-deep in The Big Shiny New.

No, that’s not the name of a new book, but an umbrella term for the myriad projects and events currently on my plate. I’ll go into more detail in the months ahead, but for now, here’s an overview of what’s coming next from yours truly.

(Note to self: consider the title The Big Shiny New for a future work.)

Projects

Magic’s Daughter

Who: For fans of sword-and-sorcery fantasy, especially folks who enjoyed The Renegade Chronicles, with a possible skewing toward a female demographic.

What: A novel set in Altaerra before and during The Renegade War starring Selena Nelesti, a young noblewoman who proves knowledge is both power and peril.

When: Magic’s Daughter will be released as a serial (i.e. chapter by chapter) via the Radish app starting in Fall 2019 and as a paperback and e-book in 2020.

Where: https://radishfiction.com

Why: Partly because I want to explore a new revenue stream and partly because the story and intended audience lends itself to the medium.

‘Sir Larpsalot’

Who: For YA readers, especially males age 13-15.

What: A humorous adventure about teen larpers (live-action roleplayers) who must work together to rescue their friend from an all-too-real fantasy realm. Think Galaxy Quest meets D&D.

When: I hope to have my outline done this fall and complete a first draft by the end of the year. Release date could be as early as 2020 but more likely 2021.

Where: the paperback and e-book will be available at Amazon.com.

Why: Sir Larpsalot started as an idea for a comic book character, but over time, the concept evolved into a book with a full-fledged cast of characters (including Elvish Presley and Tom Foolery). I’m looking forward to writing a book my kids can read and enjoy.

New Website

Who: For present and future fans of my fiction.

What: A complete overhaul of this website, courtesy of BrownBoots Interactive (where I work as a content specialist).

When: Sometime later this year.

Where: david-michael-williams.com

Why: My current site is 7 years old, which is equivalent to 97 in website years. I need more functionality than an out-of-the-box, WordPress-hosted website offers—and can’t wait to be rid of the stupid ads that pop up everywhere!

Events

Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market

Who: Fond du Lac members of the Allied Authors of Wisconsin: Mark J. Engels, Thomas P. Ramirez, Christopher Whitmore, and I.

What: We’ll be selling and signing our books at the local farmers market.

When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15.

Where: In front of the Gallery & Frame Shop, 94 S. Main St., Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Why: The Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market is very well attended. Hopefully some of the marketgoers appreciate good books.

Books Books Books Books (Books)

Who: Friends, family, neighbors, and anyone else who loves books!

What: Instead of a traditional book release event, I’m combining the celebration of my new novel with a rummage sale featuring hundreds of used books, fiction and nonfiction, across a variety of genres—all for 25 cents apiece. Earnings support my future writing and publishing endeavors.

When: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

Where: Outside my home, 1122 Carriage Circle, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Why: Cover art, Library of Congress registrations, barcodes, ISBNs, proof copies, miscellaneous marketing efforts—these things cost money, which means I must sell more books.

I’m booked for a few more gigs farther out. The new website will have a page devoted to events, but for now, you can find details on Facebook.

Busy is good. Although I feel fully booked right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more events appeared on my agenda before year’s end.

The writing is on the wall.

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Books, booze, and a bit of blather

Let’s be honest: you probably couldn’t pick your favorite novelist out of a lineup.

Unless, maybe, it’s Stephen King.

That’s because most readers, at best, catch a glimpse of an author’s face while flipping through the back few pages of the book. Some of the top-selling authors might get a second glance thanks to websites, magazine interviews, and so forth, but for the most part, fiction writers retain their anonymity.

Many of us prefer it that way.

When my 10-year-old daughter asked if I was going to get famous after publishing The Renegade Chronicles, I told it was doubtful and that I’d rather sell books than become a celebrity. I’m OK with the fact that “David Michael Williams” is just words on a page for most people.

Except every author is a brand, and boosting sales often requires putting oneself in the spotlight. In the spirit of “selling myself,” I’ve been dedicating time every week toward marketing my books in the form of author spotlights, online interviews, and review requests.

June kicks off the next phase of my book marketing: live events.

Now, I’ve never done a book signing or a reading before. And I can count the number of times I’ve publicly spoken about my fiction writing on one finger.

If my comfort zone as a writer is a few square feet around my laptop, the two events on the horizon are going to metaphorically push me all the way to Madagascar, complete with scary lemurs.

It’s not that I have a fear of public speaking or that I’m not confident in the quality of my writing. I’ve presented on a variety of topics in a professional capacity. I can be an incredibly social guy when I want/need to be and could talk about any topic related to writing for hours on end.

But now I’m putting not only my expertise on display, but also my labor of love and…well…myself.

What passage should I read? How many copies of my books should I bring to sell? How am I going to calculate sales tax on the fly and make change? What should I wear? What if no one has any Qs during my Q&A?

And why ever did I think this event marketing thing was a good idea?

Nerves aside, I am excited about the upcoming opportunities to give The Renegade Chronicles more exposure. If you’re in the area, I encourage you to attend. You can even razz me if you want, though I might have to guilt you into buying a book as payback.

Here are the details:

Downtown Fond du Lac Wine Walk promotional image

Tour the Town Art Walk / Wine Walk

Friday, June 17, 2016
5 to 8 p.m.
Cujak’s Wine & Coffee Bar, 47 N. Main St., Fond du Lac, Wis.

I’ll be the featured artist at Cujak’s Wine & Coffee Bar—a very cool venue—and this month’s art walk just happens to coincide with the downtown wine walk. You can buy tickets for the wine walk, but the art walk is free. I will have all three of The Renegade Chronicles novels on hand to sell, and I’ll sign copies, answer questions, and most likely do a short reading from Rebels and Fools.

Fond du Lac Area Writers Club

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
7 p.m.
Moraine Park Technical College, Room O104, 235 N. National Ave., Fond du Lac, Wis.

I was invited to be the guest speaker at the monthly club meeting of the Fond du Lac Area Writers (FAW). Be sure to attend if you want to learn more about my writing background, the evolution of The Renegade Chronicles from a vague idea to a published trilogy, the publishing process itself, and my future plans as an author and indie publisher.

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