What a way to end the year, catching the plague. Yes, on Friday, December 31st, I tested positive for COVID despite being double vaccinated and boosted. The vaccines may not have stopped me from catching the virus, but they do seem to have kept my case to a mild annoyance rather than anything remotely life threatening. Still, could there be a more fitting end to 2021? Here's to 2022 (which I've already heard lovingly referred to as "2020 Part 3") being better!
I have high hopes.
This year, I'll be publishing my first fantasy novel, An Ocean of Others, as well as my sci-fi serial, Grave of the Waiting. Those are two stories I've put a ton of work into, so I'm exciting to finally be sending them out into the world this year! A quick update on their status before I get into the meat of what I want to cover this month.
In early December I sent the fourth draft of An Ocean of Others to my editor for additional review. Our plan is to get through this round of revisions toward the end of this month, then start working on the formatting and proofreading while simultaneously beginning production on the audiobook. I believe I'm still on pace to publish this before June this year.
Grave of the Waiting hasn't seen much movement since the end of NaNoWriMo, but my goal this month is to hit 50% in the draft. It's an ambitious goal since I'd have to write about as much as I did during NaNo to achieve it. But it'd put me in a good spot to begin publishing the story even before the fantasy novel is released. So wish me luck!
For the rest of this newsletter, I want to give you an update on our premium memberships, which have been available since I started this newsletter but which haven't felt very... premium. To anyone who's paid for my subscription, you've got my eternal gratitude, but you've gotten little else out of the deal. That's going to change.
To begin, I wanted to give our premium memberships a fitting name, such as patrons, backers, or supporters. After deliberating for a while, I hit upon the perfect name:
If you've read an early draft of An Ocean of Others, you'll know that term comes up often in the book, but it's a title not often conferred to people these days. If you don't know already, a benefactor is defined as someone who gives help, monetarily or otherwise, to someone else. That's perfect, because I'm not just interested in money – I want your help building a community of readers and guiding the direction of my writing career.
The term benefactor comes from the Latin bene facere, which translates as "do good (to)". From my perspective, you'd certainly be doing good by supporting me and my writing, so I also want to return the favor and make sure being a Benefactor has plenty of upsides for you too.
First things first, everyone who's paid anything thus far will have their money completely refunded. (Refunds through Stripe have already been sent out. If you haven't received anything within 14 days, please let me know!) I want to specifically thank everyone who's been an early supporter.
The first 50 people who sign up to the newsletter will automatically be upgraded to Benefactor status.
So, what does being a Benefactor get you? Given that my subscription prices are $5/month or $50/year, I want to make sure there's some significant value to the benefits. Here's what I'm thinking:
- Free eBooks for all my published works
- Access to serial chapters and short stories one month before everyone else
- Exclusive discounts on paperbacks, hardcovers, and other merch
- Your name included in the acknowledgments section of my books
- Access to our Benefactor Discord server
On our Benefactor Discord (which is of course totally optional to participate in) we can do all kinds of things, including:
- Access and feedback about early drafts, so you can help shape the stories we craft together
- Virtual chapter readings
- Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, where I'll answer any questions you may have (and RAFO a few!)
- Sneak peeks at cover art and other commissioned materials
- Book clubs, reading and discussing books that we vote on together
Those are my ideas right now, but I'd love to hear your feedback as well! I put together a short survey to gauge the interest in these perks and to hear more from you. If you have two minutes to spare, please consider filling it out here:
I can't wait to hear from you! Hopefully we can turn this place into a little community of people who are excited about stories and storytelling as I am. If you've already subscribed, thanks for helping me make that happen. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic New Year. Next month, I'll be back with updates about Benefactor perks based on your responses and news about Grave of the Waiting. Until then, thanks for reading!