Friday, August 29, 2014

It's Easy to Believe in Magic When Nature Puts on a Show...

On Tuesday night I took the dog out to pee and fortuitously found myself staring into space. Space was kind enough to entertain me with the crazy skydance that is the aurora borealis.

I tried to take a picture with my phone, but of course I failed utterly and completely. Below is a photo that I ganked from someone else's website (citation below) that shows an even more awesome display of aurora than the one I witnessed Tuesday night. The one I saw didn't have any purple or blue in it.

(photo borrowed from

The sight left me awestruck, and made me think of what it must have been like to see such phenomena a few hundred years ago without the necessary science to understand what was happening. Even today looking at such a thing and knowing that it's the interaction of ions from solar wind with other ions in our own atmosphere does little to diminish the conviction that some kind of magic is taking place. 

I have a short story in my head now, involving the aurora and a fantastical reason for its existence. (Not planning on ripping off His Dark Materials so something other than 'dust,' but something cool and not super scientific.)

You've been warned.

Today is Friday, and as such it is a day for Blade's Edge chapters to go up. Today is a special day, because there are not one, but TWO new chapters going up. The reason for this? Chapter 31 is pretty short, and leaves you wondering WTF. Chapter 32 answers the WTF and takes you to the next super duper cliff hanger. So there you go. Two chapters. You're welcome.

And now, after writing/revising/rewriting two chapters worth of material plus this blog post, I am beat. See y'all next week. Happy Weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Artemis Learns to Canoe, and Other Stories...

So, the weekend (which was a beautiful extension of my birthday celebration of rock climbing and sushi) saw us disappear into Northern Ontario for a wee bit of car camping and canoe day tripping. It was a lovely break from being in the city, even if we did have to contend with the occasional thump of Daft Punk coming from the other side of the lake (please note that I love Daft Punk, just not when it's blaring over speakers when I'm trying to enjoy the sounds of wind in the trees, squirrels chattering at me, and quiet conversation with friends). The highlight of the weekend for me though, was confirming something I had long suspected: Artemis is the chillest dog in the world.

I should start by explaining that learning to canoe in Northern Ontario is a longstanding McClain family tradition, so it was only right and proper that Artemis' first canoe experience take place in that same region. It's almost strange that I haven't really gone canoeing at all since I got Artemis (almost nine years ago), but for various reasons (a number of them associated with living in the desert) she's never been.

Since moving to Winnipeg it has become increasingly clear canoeing is going to become a big part of my outdoor activity schedule. I hope to get out on some multiday trips in the not too distant future. But in order to do that, Artemis needs to be canoe ready. So this weekend was an excellent opportunity to see if she was going to be able to relax and enjoy the ride. Seems like the answer is yes.

(She actually lay down for most of the trip, but whenever we got closer to land she would sit up so that she could see what was going on.) 

It was great to find out that she would be totally fine spending the whole day in a Canoe. I have high hopes for this dog and our Manitoba adventures to come. All I need to do now is find her a doggie PFD. 

In other news Blade's Edge has earned a hundred plus votes this month! It's at #22 for August so far and #83 for all time, and it's gone over the 500 vote mark, which is pretty exciting to see. There will be a new chapter going up tomorrow and another one on Friday. I am still planning to launch a kickstarter in early September to turn the whole thing into a proper a novel, so stay tuned for more about that. 

Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned it over here yet, but you can now "like" me as an author over on facebook. For those who keep up with facebook you'll be able to find links to this blog, Blade's Edge, my books on amazon and other random things, but do not fear, this blog will remain the center of my internet presence. 

Alright, I'm off to keep working on the final Gwendamned revision and maybe bake some bread. I hope everyone out there had a lovely weekend. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Interviews with Indie Authors: AE Marling

Today on the blog AE Marling joins us to talk about his Lands of Loam series. Four out of five of the Lands of Loam books follow the Enchantress Hiresha on her journeys through the lands of loam where she is beset by blood sorcerers, feasters, deities of varying degrees of malevolence, humanity, and, worst of all, drowsiness. The series is full of vibrant characters, locales that come to life before your eyes, and imaginative plot twists that keep you turning pages. I have read all of AE Marling's currently published works and have enjoyed them all. 

You can find all of his works listed on his Amazon Author page.

For a bit of background on the author himself I will quote his author bio from his website

A.E. Marling wrote his first fantasy novella after his freshman year in high school. In college, he found nothing gave him a greater urge to write than science lectures, and he sat through a lot of ‘em. He has yet to repent his fascination with fantasy and is intrigued by its grip on the human imagination. 
Both ambidextrous and word-voracious, his diet ranges from Arthurian legends to Jane Austen. He denies being a running addict, though he has to shout it over the noise of the treadmill. He dances as directed by demons. And, yes, he partakes in fantasy-related gaming. His best writing ideas pounce on him when he would rather be sleeping, thanks to insomnia. 
His current lair is in California, in the namesake city of element 116, Livermorium. His thoughts touch ground there between flights.
This is what he looks like:

And here are some of the beautiful covers to his stories:

If you haven't had a chance to read his work, I really do recommend it. 

 **Please be warned that if you are highly spoiler sensitive there are one or two teeny tiny spoilers in the interview, mostly in regards to book one. Questions and answers that contain anything remotely spoiler like will be marked with<>** 

And now, without further ado, the interview (same disclaimer about silly questions as the last interview) as a nod to Hiresha's preferences all answers are written in purple:

1. What is your name? No, really. Do your friends call you AE or what?
My friends call me Alan, but I was named Alcatraz Eventide Marling, after the place and time of my conception. My parents are real kidders.

2. You have chosen to write female protagonists in all of your published books to date. Is that coincidence or is there a particular reason for that? If there is a reason, do tell. Also, do you expect to ever write a male protagonist?
The Hobbit had no female characters, and the Lord of the Rings featured scarcely more. Those pillars of fantasy were written last century, but even in the recent movie Guardians of the Galaxy, the male heroes outnumbered the woman four to one. When only a single woman is present in a story, she may suffer from a tokenism effect. As the only representative of her gender, the author might write her without fault, inhumanly beautiful and badass.
Though I loved all the stories mentioned above, I see no reason more male-dominated tales need to be written. My goal is always to feature heroines who triumph in spite of their faults, with a supporting cast of characters which also include at least as many women as men.

3. You have created a very intricate world in the Lands of Loam. Which came to you first, the world or the characters that populate it?
The characters have evolved multiple times over the years as I changed the world beneath their feet. In this reincarnation, Hiresha is less supreme with more human weakness in her invisible illness. Her sleeping disease only makes her more impressive when she nonetheless emerges victorious.

4. You are an independent author, yet you have amazing cover art, excellent ebook formatting (presumably excellent print formatting but I've only ever read your work as ebooks so I wouldn't know), as well as quality copyediting: How did you accomplish these feats of publishing?
I find my stylus-wielding champions through Deviantart, searching for illustrations of similar tone to my writing. My friend is a merciless graphics designer, and he does the right thing in ignoring my advice and following his own artistic sense. I laboriously format my own text. I hire freelance editors, and I update the eBooks with new additions when any wily typos escape into print.

5. May we talk to Hiresha for a question or three?
Very well. As her humble scribe, I will record her answers.

6. Please ask Hiresha to use her dream lab to revisit her state of mind before her less than pleasant visit to Morimound a few years ago (ie the beginning of the series). From that perspective, if she could choose an animal companion, what kind would she choose?
She sees no point in any animal companion, but if she has to choose one, it would definitely not be a fennec fox. All that yipping and chirping would only distract her in her lucid dreaming. The golden-tailed vermin would no doubt try to gobble down her jewels at first opportunity, and its ears are indefensibly large.

7. When Hiresha says that purple is objectively the best color, how does she take into account that one cannot be certain that all humans perceive colors the same way?
She was of the opinion that most people perceive scarce little of anything, and anyone incapable of seeing the superiority of purple should not be taken seriously.
In her later memoir, Dream Storm Sea, she learns the value of alternate points of view. She has some incentive to change her mind, as it is required to overcome a multi-tentacled mastermind that would’ve otherwise stopped her escape.

8. And finally could Hiresha tell us who the very first enchantress was? What was her name and how did she discover her abilities?
There are pernicious rumors that the first enchantress was a harem slave captured from the Viper Sands, and she was noted by how her jewels glowed while she slept. Hiresha would like everyone to know this is untrue. The study of enchantment has always been practiced by the most reputable ladies from well-mannered families.

9. And, is there any chance we could talk to Tethiel for a bit?
Very well, but he’s likely only to answer ridiculous questions. Only the dull discuss anything of importance.

<>10. What was Tethiel's favorite food before it lost all of its appeal?
In those days he was most interested in fermenting sour wine from good intentions.

<>11. Could Tethiel inform us as to whether or not animals can become Feasters? I only ask because his horse seems suspiciously calm in the presence of him and his "children."
An astute observation. Eye-Biter is quite the nefarious steed. I may just be a scribe with minor knowledge in the arcane sciences, but I suspect that the animal might indeed also draw power from the fear of others. Such monsters are generally called ‘dire.’

12. What does Tethiel fear?
That someday he may be caught wearing a wrinkled jacket with a poorly chosen buttonhole. People will forgive murder so long as it wears a handsome coat.

13. Alright, back to Mr. Marling. Mr. Marling, what's your current/next project? How many enchantress novels do you expect in the series? (Ok yeah, I totally snuck two questions into one there.) 
I am currently editing a middle-grade manuscript for younger readers and those who prefer a few less loops of convolution in their stories. It is called Magic Banquet, and Lord Tethiel features as one of the guests. I will soon begin the second draft of another story, this one for young adults, and to get a sense of it think Vikings in Yosemite National Park. The next story I plan to write will feature both Lord Tethiel and Enchantress Hiresha, and that, her fifth, may be the last where she plays the part of the protagonist. In each story she changes as a person and most often innovates new ways to use her powers of enchantment. By now it's difficult to find plots that challenge her as a character.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Funny Things, Final Revision, Things Happening Next Week, and a New Blade's Edge Chapter

First of all, for the impatient, here's the link to the newest Blade's Edge Chapter.

So, on Tuesday of this week a humorous thing happened to me in the world of the interwebs. This whole full time writing gig has meant getting a lot more involved in social media, something that I'm not sure I like, but certainly see the benefit of, and occasionally even enjoy. I am now on twitter (if you're on twitter too you can find me @gwendamned). There are many things that I do not like about twitter, but one of the things I do like about twitter is that Neil Gaiman is on it. Neil Gaiman is one of my all time favorite authors and he spends far too much of his time on twitter, which is nice for those of us that follow him on twitter but perhaps frustrating for those that spend time with him in person. I wouldn't know, I've never had the pleasure of hanging out with him in person.

But on Tuesday morning I was checking my twitter feed while lying in bed (yep, there are some definite perks to being self employed) and I saw that Mr. Gaiman had posted the following:
About to try and have a Mac that stays at home and a Mac that goes on the road with me. Is there an easy way to sync them? Or sync an ID?
So, I looked at that and thought, oh hey, I could actually say something useful on the topic so perhaps I'll reply. But, before I replied I thought, you know, probably a lot of people have already chimed in. I'll just check and see if someone already said what I was going to say. And, apparently, a few hundred people had already given their two cents. So, instead, I wrote the following:
I was going to reply with useful information, but I see that the entire internet already beat me to it. 
And I patted myself on the shoulder for being cute and went about my morning. Then, I picked up my phone a few minutes later to see if I had any new messages and found that my inbox had no fewer than 15 updates from twitter in it.

Mr. Gaiman retweeted my tweet (for those that don't use twitter, here's a lovely article on what all of these things mean) to his 2.5 million followers and then my internet exploded. At least it did for me. Keep in mind that being fairly new to twitter, and not spending that much time cultivating followers (for example, I don't follow people back automatically) I have only 50 followers, and anything I am likely to do on twitter is unlikely to reach that many people unless it gets retweeted by someone else. So, Neil Gaiman retweeted my tweet, and then a bunch of his followers favorited it, and some of them retweeted it, and at least ten of them decided to follow me. Oh, and did I mention that I actually had 40 followers before that whole thing happened. So yeah, one retweet from Neil Gaiman resulted in a 25% increase in my twitter power. Dang.

So... That was amusing. Another funny thing? ('Cause the title does say 'funny things' after all.) Here's a picture of my dog licking peanut butter out of a jar.

Wow, that's really not a great picture is it? Hmm... 

How about this video of me taking the dog sledding?

Well, anyway, funny things aside. I have finally strapped myself in to doing the final revision of Gwendamned (really it's the write-in of the final revision, I did the bulk of the heavy lifting a while ago). Which is really very exciting because when it is done I will, for the first time ever, have taken a full length novel all the way to completion. That isn't to say that if some editor tells me I need to do something to it that it won't change once more, but this revision is the one at the end of which I say, "It's done. It's a book, not a draft. Let it go out into the world." When I finish I will be sending it out to the publisher who originally expressed interest in it and we will go from there. Yay!

In the meantime, I have suspended work on all other projects (don't worry I front loaded a bunch of  Blade's Edge chapters first, so I'll still post them on Tuesdays and Fridays and you'll still read them as normal) but I already wrote them so that I can just focus on Gwendamned until it's done.

So, things happening next week: I will be posting an interview with the talented, independent author AE Marling. AE Marling is the author of the Lands of Loam Series. A very entertaining fantasy series with some wonderful characters and intriguing plot lines. You can find whole series over at and the first book in the series, Brood of Bones, is free for kindle. Next week you'll get to read all about the author and the series itself.

And finally, with slightly more fanfare than at the top of the post: NEW BLADE'S EDGE CHAPTER!!

After her plans get thrown into fast forward Mishi must find a way to to get to Katagi before the Elder Council does...

Chapter 27, aka Part Three: Chapter 11, is up and ready to read.

I'm going to go back to my revision cave. See you all next week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blade's Edge Progress

I noticed today that for anyone who keeps up to date on my Blade's Edge chapters from solely this blog, I have been remiss about posting them here. In fact, the last chapter that I posted to this blog was Chapter 23. That was THREE chapters ago!

So here are the links to all of the most recent chapters, just in case you're behind.

Chapter 26 went up today and Chapter 27 will be up on Friday of this week. 

Also, just a reminder that you can buy Rain on a Summer's Afternoon in ebook format for just $0.99. Or get it for free with Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime.  

Phenomenal Comic Power!

...Itty bitty living space.

Yes, the spelling change in the title of this post is intentional. For those of you who don't recognize the title and the first line of this post they combine to make a quote from Aladdin. The genie (played by Robin Williams) is talking about the restrictions on his existence. (The original line is "Phenomenal cosmic power, itty bitty living space.")

The spelling change is a nod to Robin Williams apparent suicide and just how small our worlds can become when we suffer from depression.

In a timeliness that the universe occasionally finds apropos, last night I went to the opening of an art gallery that features artists living with mental illness and forms part of a collective that works to educate, help, heal, and support those with mental illness and the people who love them. In addition they work to educate the general public about mental illness and work to remove the stigma surrounding it. For anyone interested, you can check out their website here.

Of course, when I went to the opening, I had no idea that Robin Williams was dead. It was just what we were doing with our Monday night. Corey was playing music with friends there and I was going to watch and mingle with new people. We had a lovely evening, went for a drink afterwards, and then came home and read the news.

I'm not normally much affected by celebrity deaths. It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't know them. If I don't know someone personally how can I mourn their passing? Sure, I feel a pang of sadness for any life lost, and even a small sense of loss for their talent no longer being part of the world, but I don't generally get upset when strangers die.

Heath Ledger was probably the last celebrity whose death really felt like a loss to me, which I think was in large part due to the fact that he was only three years older than I am. We would have been in high school at the same time, university at the same time... he played a senior in high school in the movie Ten Things I Hate About You that was released during my senior year of high school. I had always enjoyed his work, had a bit of a celebrity crush on him, thought he was really starting to come into his own as an actor and then... He was dead. That hurt.

Robin Williams' death hits hard as well albeit for slightly different reasons. He wasn't a contemporary that I had a crush on, but he was an actor and comedian whose work I had enjoyed for years. He was always one of my favorite actors. I used to spend hours watching Comic Relief in the 80s and 90s just to see the bits with him, Billy Crystal, and Whoopi Goldberg. I loved 90% of the movies he was in. If you ever asked me what living famous person I would want to meet, he was in the top five. Now I'll never get the chance.

I suppose the thing that's most striking about Robin Williams' death is the idea that someone who brought so much joy and laughter into the world could feel so isolated and low that he felt the need to take his own life. It's not that I can't envision how someone with so much going for him could be depressed, it's all too easy to see how it could happen. It's just that he brought so much happiness and humor into my life through his work, that it feels like I must have let him down by not returning it.

I didn't really have a master plan for this post. I just wanted to share that I'm sad. That I wish any of us could go back in time and do something to keep Robin Williams from taking his own life... Then again, who knows what demons he was dealing with? Is it possible he's truly more at peace now? Who am I to tell a man to live when he no longer wants to? Suicide seems so wasteful, but I've always thought people have the right to decide when and how they should die. Since I didn't know the man, I'll try not to judge him for how he decided to die.

I suppose the best we can do is to help those of us that remain. Hug your loved ones, be kind to strangers. Do those things every day, and not just because a famous man who we all thought was wonderful killed himself, but because appreciating what you have and trying to share that joy with others is just a good way to be.

Here's the suicide prevention lifeline number for the US:


And here's a picture of Robin Williams as Peter Pan in the movie Hook.  

Second star to the right, and straight on til morning. I hope we'll see you in Neverland, Robin.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A personal note...

"I feel sorry for the boy who tries to take advantage of her." 
- Tom McClain, my father, when asked if he really thought it was a good idea to let me go on a weekend ski trip with my boyfriend my sophomore year of high school.

This. This, this, this. 

My dad told me about this conversation about week after it had happened. Somehow the topic came up with someone at work, and when that person questioned my dad's fatherly judgement, his response was perfect. He told me about it, chuckling, and we both had a good laugh. 

That quote exemplifies all of the things that I think my parents got right when I was growing up, which I happen to think was a lot. I am, of course, a bit biased.

Allow me to elaborate.

My dad grew up with a sister, she was older than he was by a few years, and my grandfather, in his younger days, was quite sexist (a facet of his personality that he appeared to have been cured of by the time I was born). According to both my father and his sister, they were never treated equally and my aunt always resented it. She resented my grandfather, and she resented my father.

Fast forward to my birth. I am the youngest of four, but my two oldest siblings are half siblings and so don't enter into this particular equation. My full brother is two years older than I am and the equation is simple: everything my brother gets = everything I get. A standing order of equality no matter what. Since my half siblings are quite a bit older I don't know if they had the same kind of deal, and I never asked, but when it came to my brother and I my dad was adamant: We would have the same opportunities at everything. 

He was as good as his word. Of course, my mom was on board with all of this and in fact was the executor of most. I can't remember all the earliest examples. In fact, all of the examples I can remember are in retrospect because while this rule was in place my whole life, I never found out about it until I was in college. Examples that stand out in my mind are the following: I am 5 years old and my parents sign us both up for soccer and t-ball;  I'm 10 years old, and my brother is twelve. My brother wants to learn Karate. I say "ooh, that sounds fun. Me too!" So we learn Karate together; In the same year my brother wants to learn to play lacrosse and sign up for a rec league in our town. "Me too, me too!" So we sign up for lacrosse. At first I play women's lacrosse, but quickly realize there is no body checking. I decide that's lame. I want to play men's lacrosse. So my dad signs me up for my brother's team and we play together; I am thirteen and my brother is 15. My dad sends us both to Wabun, a camp where teenagers canoe in the Canadian wilderness for six weeks straight. We are always assigned the same house chores, and afforded the same allowance, there is no distinction made based on gender, and I grow up thinking that I am just as tough as my brother.

We won the championships that year! :-)

My mom leads by example. She is a beautiful woman, and has always cared about her appearance, something that I have rebelled against my entire life... but she is also strong, intelligent and empowered. She was the highest ranking female executive at TWA before she left it to go run Hertz Rent a Car. She was always the person at home who fixed things, built things, and painted things. Her favorite thing to say is, "How hard can it be?" Nothing is impossible to her. 

My mom, looking impossibly beautiful the day I was born.

Both my parents always told me that I could be anything, that I could do anything, that there were no restrictions on who I was based on my gender or any other part of my identity. 

Consequently, every encounter that I've ever had with sexism my whole life has always come as a bit of shock. Though, I'm sad to say, I've grown used to most of it by now. Still, it doesn't generally occur to me to worry about going out at night because I'm a woman. Or to feel uncomfortable in a man's presence because he's larger than me. 

If you tell me I can't do something, that makes me all the more likely to try it.

Granted, much of that can be attributed to the fact that I spent hours of my childhood kneeing a six foot tall and half again as wide, grown man in the balls as he covered himself with a cup and pillow yelling at me to do it harder. No, that's nothing kinky, that was my sensei teaching a stick thin blonde 10 year old how to defend herself in a way that would matter. I'm proud to say he eventually let me stop because I'd finally kneed him hard enough to hurt him.

It could also be attributed to me playing men's lacrosse from age 10 to age 18 and gaining countless hours of experience laying guys my own age flat on their backs with nothing but my own momentum.

My point is, my parents let me do all that. Not only did they let me, they encouraged me. I once hit a guy so hard in a lacrosse game that he went flying out of bounds and they had to him help him walk off the field. It was a perfectly legal check too. No penalty. I felt bad, of course, because I'd hurt the guy, but I think my parents were secretly proud of me. They cheered their heads off until they realized the guy was injured.  

For anyone concerned that I must have been some kind of behemoth to be able to take out all of those boys playing lacrosse: this picture was taken the year I started both lacrosse and Karate.

So, when my dad told his colleague that he felt sorry for any guy who tried to take advantage of me he meant it. He and my mom raised me to be able to take care of myself, and they trusted me to be able to do so. They also trusted my judgement.

My favorite thing about that quote is that it implies that it's my choice whether or not a guy is "taking advantage of me." If he is I'll take care of it, and if he's not that's my decision. Would any of my dad's colleagues have gotten their panties in a bunch if he'd told them his son was taking his girlfriend on a weekend trip? Possibly, I suppose, depending on how prudish they are, but far less likely, and certainly for different reasons.

It's such a beautifully executed plan when you think about it... Raise your daughter just like a son, treat her like a human being who is capable of taking care of herself, and then trust her to actually take care of herself. 

I can't recommend it highly enough. 

Thank you, mom and dad. Thank you.

Friday, August 1, 2014

New Blade's Edge Chapter, and the Last Day to for a FREE eBook

Blade's Edge Chapter 23 (Part Three: Chapter 7) is up for your reading pleasure.

We made a great run at the top 30 for July, but we didn't quite make it. I almost wrote "but, sadly, we didn't quite make it" but it's not actually sad at all. I was amazed by the flood of support from all of my readers. It was lovely to witness and be on the receiving end of, and I'm not the least bit sad about how Blade's Edge is doing.

In other news, today is the last day to get Rain on a Summer's Afternoon for zero dollars and zero cents! As of tomorrow it will return to being $0.99 on amazon.  Of course, if you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free at any time, and if you have amazon prime you can find it in the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, also for free.

This whole offering it up for free amazon thing was a test run to see what that kind of thing does for exposure. The results are very promising.

*Warning: if you have no interest in the back end of book sales please skip to the bottom of this entry.*

As you can see from the chart I'm not selling a ton of copies of the book regardless (as I did virtually no marketing leading up to its release and haven't spent a dime on getting it reviewed or anything else this is not surprising). But here we can clearly see that there was a large spike in purchases on the day the book was released (those were all people I know -almost guaranteed). Then we have two hits on the KU/KOLL bar over the next week. Those purchases may or may not be from people I know. Then a week of nothing. Then another few purchased copies between July 21st and 24th. I'm almost certain that most of the paid copies went to people whom I know personally or who are friends of people I know personally. However, on the morning of July 27th I woke up and saw that four free units had been 'sold.' I am 99% sure that these went to people I don't know for a few reasons: 1. I forgot about the five day free sale that I had set up on KDP so I hadn't told anyone that I know that it was happening at that point. 2. When kindle starts a free sale it tells people about it so you get a quick boost of free marketing. 3. Most of the people I know who have ebook readers had already purchased a copy by then.

Then I posted the free sale to social media and more copies were 'sold.' As you can see, since the day that the free promotion started I have not gone a single day without selling a copy. I also used this free promotion as a chance to get some reviews and more exposure and I posted the link to some groups in goodreads that I have recently joined.

I did get a review from an actual human that I don't know personally on amazon. Yay! It was a four star one at that. :-)

So, I deem that experiment a success, and I will now be curious to see how well it does when it returns to the $0.99 price point. As you can tell, Rain on a Summer's Afternoon is not a money maker, and that was never the intention. It is however, an excellent test drive of the whole self publishing model, and I have learned just as much from my mistakes as I have from my successes.

What of the paperback edition, you ask? I've sold a few copies of that too, but not nearly as many. For those of you who prefer the paperback format don't forget to order a copy here. International friends: you can find it on,,, and as well! Just search the title Rain on a Summer's Afternoon, or my name.

Whew. Sorry for the flood of technical information, but I felt like that might be useful to some, interesting to others, and hopefully not too hard to skim past for everyone else.

To lighten things up here is a picture of a crazy marmot in a tree that I saw on a walk with Artemis the other day.