Boxes

Still too much happening. But I’m getting bored of numbers, so let’s talk boxes.

 I move house at the end of the month. One of the logical consequences of that is spending time in garages and lofts, rummaging through boxes and bags of stuff, working out what you can throw away, and realising almost none of it. If, you know, you’re me.

 In the garage, damp has worked it’s dark and transformative magic on the cardboard boxes containing moderately intimidating amounts of books and comics, so re-boxing has become a particular pleasure. There’s the inevitable sadness – such at the fact that while I do still have all six parts of Stephen King’s Green Mile book in their original release format, the cover of part one and the back cover of part six have been damp-stuck to the box they were in, and are now ripped. Also a large format copy of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Eric’, complete with many lovely illustrations, which was damaged beyond repair.

 Overall, though, I got off light. And of course, you find things you’d forgotten about, that jump out and fill you with joy, unlocking whole worlds of memory that have remained unvisited for years. Like the two screen ‘Game and Watch'(tm) Donkey Kong Junior that I played solidly for at least two years between the ages of eight and ten. Or the program my dad bought me from the first big rock show I ever saw – Guns and Roses at Wembley Stadium in 1991.

 Such are the pleasures of the hoarder.

 And then there’s the books. Actually and specifically, the kids books. Books my mum had read to me when I was little. Not big hitters. Nothing world famous. No ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ or ‘Goodnight Moon’ or ‘Where The Wild Things Are’. The four books I found – I doubt like hell you’ll know the names. They are not great works of children’s literature. They’re just fun, quirky, sweet stories my mum used to read to me.

Last night, I got to read them to my four year old daughter, as she stared at the pictures and told me off for the felt tip scribbles I’d done as a child, some impossible number of years ago. We sat close, my voice finding the words that had been indelible to me as a child, then untouched by memory for over twenty years, now alive agian, fresh and familiar, my daughter hearing them brand new, absorbing with that amazing brain of hers, building them into her own childhood.

 I’ve had worse days.

 Kit Power

 PS – Book news – Sci-Fi anthology ‘Do Monkeys Dream of Electric Kettles?’ featuring my own short story ‘Reverse Engineering’ is avialable NOW from the good folks at MonkeyKettle books via Lulu – see http://www.lulu.com/shop/monkey-kettle/do-monkeys-dream-of-electric-kettles/paperback/product-21392940.html for all your information and ordering needs. If you order a copy today, it should arrive prior to Friday’s launch event, which would be a good opportunity to get me to sign it! For event details, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/555669011187052/

 Please also remember that you now have only FIVE DAYS to pre-order my debut e-novella ‘The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife’ for a discounted price – you can do so here:  http://www.blackbeaconbooks.blogspot.com.au/p/shop.html

 In relation to that, please see my recent interview for The Bookie Monster website, where I discuss this book, inspiration, and my writing process: http://www.bookie-monster.com/2014/01/interview-kit-power.html – they are a great site and do a lot to promote new authors.

 In band related news, blogging as Kit Gonzo, I’ve announced some important Disciples of Gonzo related information this morning:  http://www.disciplesofgonzo.com/D.o.G_Blog/Entries/2014/1/20_Farewell%2C_Rob_Gonzo.html

 Finally, as you’ll have noticed, it’s all go. To make sure you are kept up to date, I urge you to email kitpowerwriter[at]gmail[dot]com to sign up to my email list. This is the best and most direct way to be kept informed of my upcoming activities, releases, appearances and news. as well as exclusive offers. I will not spam you, and I will never share your address with anyone.

 KP

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The week in links

Insane. Insane, crazy week. Too much. Far, far too much.

Here it is, eight days in links:

Wed 8th – I final table but fail to cash in the Wednesday night poker tourney here.

Thursday 9th – I secure a gig booking to play on Sunday night with my band The Disciples of Gonzo here, supporting these guys.

Friday 10th – A blog post, featuring an exclusive short story of mine, never before published, goes live on The Disciples Of Gonzo website. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Saturday 11th – Childcare, mild packing.

Sunday 12th – Took 4 year old daughter to her first panto, then gigging in the evening with the reliably awesome Disciples of Gonzo.

Monday 13th – My blog post reflecting on the previous evenings show goes live on The DoG website. My work website also runs a story announcing my e-novella release and pre-order offer. <–time is running out to take advantage of these exciting pre-sale offers!

Tuesday 14th – Receive and accept and invitation to this event, where I will be celebrating the launch of the anthology ‘Do Monkeys Dream of Electric Kettles?’ which features my short story ‘Reverse Engineering’ AND performing as part of the acoustic outreach arm of my band with The Gonzo Street Ministry. Also completed an author interview…

Wednesday 15th – …which is published here and features some insights into how the stories in the e-novella came to be.

Pretty goddamn exciting stuff. Bubbling under are e-novella reviews, emailing lists (if you want to sign up, drop me a line to kitpowerwriter@gmail.com ), producing some more D3’s following critical reader feedback and then circulating for sales, and more interviews.

And at some point, I’m going to do some more writing. Theoretically.

The story so far… in numbers

Hey,
Happy New Year, y’all. Let’s get to it, shall we?
So 2014 is already a landmark year for me. On a personal level, I’m almost certainly moving house at the end of the month, following a long period of employment uncertainty, and whilst in the short term this means I’m entering a personal hell of boxes, packing paper and scotch tape, in the medium and long term it is unequivocally A Good Thing.
And of course professionally, my first three pieces are being published. Which is nice.
So this seems like a good time to reflect on my writing career so far, and maybe just do a little bit of thinking about what comes next. I’m going to start with the numbers:
  •  Folder entitled ‘Stories’ created in my Dropbox account on 13th August 2012 (I’d started work before this, but this must have been the day I realised I needed good back-up storage for my work)
  • File entitled ‘Lifeline D1.wps’ created 24th August 2012. ‘D1’ designation is only attached to completed stories, so this is the date I finished D1 of Lifeline, my first story.
  • From then to today, I’ve written 22 short stories and 1 novel to at least D1.
  • 12 of these short stories are now at ‘final’ status, indicating they are ready for market submission. Of the remaining 10, 2 are awaiting final story edits following critical reads, 1 is currently with critical readers (so at D2), and the remaining 7 (including the novel) are at D1.
  • Of the 12 stories at ‘final’, 9 are currently ‘at market’ – i.e. collecting rejection slips. So far, I have made a total of 50 submissions to markets for consideration. I have received 38 rejections (5 personal), with 9 currently pending.
  • 3 of the above 12 have been accepted for publication.
For my first 18 months, I think that’s pretty good going. My production rate could be higher – will be, once I’m in the new place and have more space. But given I have a full time job, yeah, not too shabby. Also, I’m being published.
This is insane. To be getting acceptances, and acceptances this early on, is nuts. It’s a huge confidence booster, sure, but there’s also a weirdly nervous component to it. I have a complicated relationship with success. I can handle rejection. I expect rejection. This is helpful in many ways. It means I’m not fazed by getting told ‘thanks but no thanks’ for the 38th time (and counting) – I just shrug, look for the next market, and send it back out there. Also, as long as this thing is just a hobby, I’m 100% free to write whatever the hell I want, without any worries about expectation. Crime thriller? Cool. Sci-Fi? Go for it! Friday night at a casino poker table? Hell, why not?
I get a cool title or concept, I can just write it, see what happens, where it goes. It’s endlessly entertaining and liberating and I don’t want to stop.
On the other hand, I want people to read this stuff. That’s kind of the point. And yes, specifically, I want people to pay me to read this stuff, because I’m better at doing this than I am at doing anything else, and because I love doing it.
Which means sales.
So here’s where I am. My debut e-novella ‘The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife’ (plus short story ‘The Debt’) goes on general release via Amazon on 25th January. It’s being published by Black Beacon Books. The release price will be $1.99 ASD, which will be a little over £1 on amazon.co.uk.
I want people to pre-order this story, because I want good week one sales. It’s important. It tells the publisher I’m serious. It demonstrates I have an audience. It helps build my profile, increases chances of better exposure which in turns means more people are likely to want to read, my piece, which means… all good things. The bandwagon effect, driven by positive word of mouth. It’s pretty well the only shot small indie publishers and authors have, for obvious reasons.
So that’s what I want, and what’s in it for me. What’s in it for you? Well, for starters, if you pre-order before release date (25th January, remember) direct from the publisher ( http://blackbeaconbooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/shop.html ) you will be charged only $1.10 ASD – which works out around 60p – and you will receive the book by email on the day of release. So you’ll get to feel great about supporting my work, AND get it way cheaper than the people who stumble in late to the party. Also, the 25th, 50th, 75th and 100th people to place a pre-order will have that order fulfilled straight away – that’s right, those lucky people will actually get the book IN ADVANCE of general release. You’ll need to be quick though, as that 25th order will be placed any day now… 🙂 Finally, if 100 pre-orders are made, one lucky UK resident will receive a signed copy of my band’s debut album in limited-to-100-pressings CD format, and I will sign it with the dedication or inscription of your choice.
 I’m doing what I can, everything I can, to try and make this a success. I’ve sent queries or review copies out to 75 book review bloggers over the last week. I’ve hassled every writer friend I know, and dropped ‘no obligation’ review copies into in-boxes. Some of those critical notices will be coming in before the 25th, and you can bet I’ll be yelling it from the rooftops when they arrive. I’ve spammed Twitter ( @KitGonzo ), Facebook ( http://www.facebook.com/kitpowerwriter ) and in the next day or two, my band blog and emailing list. You have my apologies, and my gratitude for your forbearance.
But I need you. I need you to ‘like’, and ‘share’, and ‘retweet’, and ‘+1’ and all of that shit. I have 100 friends on FaceBook, and 90 twitter followers, with  a fair amount of overlap. It’s unrealistic to expect every one of them to buy a copy. So I need you. I need you to help me, to tell anyone you know that owns a device that can read Kindle format books (which, by the way, is anyone with a SmartPhone or iPad or PC – so, everyone) who likes thrillers, crime stories, non-supernatural horror, who likes writing with passion and blood, writing that sucks you in and makes you think, every single one of them, and ask them to take a flyer, and put 60p on a hungry up-and-coming author friend you know who is trying to make something happen.
Oh, yeah, and buy a copy yourself. I promise you won’t regret it. I’m proud of these two tales, and I want them out in the world.
This is not the last time I will be published. But it is my only debut.
Thanks for being here at the beginning. It means the world, and I will not forget.
Kit Power
@KitGonzo
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