Celebrating 10 Books – What I’ve Learned

With today’s release of Tempered, I’ve now put ten novels out into the world. In that time I hope I’ve grown as a storyteller (only readers can be the judge of that), and I’ve learned a lot about what matters to me in sharing my books.

One thing I’m passionate about is this: telling the best story I can is more important than writing toward a particular genre. Self-publishing provides great freedom in that regard, albeit it’s harder for some books to be discovered by readers. Take the Scorched Trilogy… is supernatural dystopian a thing? How about urban dark but take away the vampires and witches and swap in another source of power? As another example, Chasing Blue Dots is absolutely a romantic story, but not a typical romance novel. Even in “science fiction romance” it doesn’t fit the mold, but it’s one of my (and my wife’s) favorite books.

Another thing I’m consumed with is consistent “canon” when creating worlds and settings. Of course, I’m a “maps guy” and always draw out my ships or towns, even my galaxy. I also think very hard about establishing the boundaries of my characters. If they are bad at something, it’s a cheat to make them suddenly good to get out of a jam. Flaws make for great drama, and growth.

Finally, I always work hard to paint the “bad guys” in my novels in shades of grey rather than straight-up black and white. You can’t have a great hero without a great villain and great villains need to be more than simply one dimensional. Hopefully, I’ve carried that tradition into Tempered.

Good stories, consistent worlds, and nuanced characters.  After 10 books, I’ve learned these are the most important things to me as a writer.  If you enjoy those as a reader, take a look at my backlist and discover something new!

Tempered is released today and I always love and appreciate reviews and feedback. I think every independent author thrives on them, so know that any feedback (whether in an e-mail or a review where you bought a book) will always, always be read by me. I hope you enjoy the second part of Kat’s ride in Tempered (the first book in the series is Scorched of course. The conclusion of her journey, Reforged, should land next year.

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