Some news!

Well, for the first time in a long time I actually have some news to write about.  Recently, Amazon has started a new service where authors can easily convert their existing books into paperback format.  So, after a few days of tinkering and reformatting, I’ve converted The Most Boringscreen-shot-2017-02-23-at-8-08-37-pm Book Ever Written into a paperback that should be available for $7.99 (USD) very shortly.  I decided that this would be a good book to start with because it’s short, and because it’s still strangely the most popular book I’ve written.   Perhaps people want to have a physical copy of something so very boring?  It took a little while to change all the hyperlinks into page numbers and check all that over (I hope I didn’t miss anything) and soon enough I’ll see just how these Print-On-Demand books look.  Assuming it all ends up looking good, I’ll convert all my other non-choose your own adventure books into paperback form in the coming months.  However, I do not think I will do the same for the other books I’ve written with Daniel.  They are simply too long with too many links that would be far too time consuming to convert.  Maybe some day when I have a lot more time.  And any new books I release, I also plan to concurrently publish paperback versions.  It just feels so much more… bookish.

And speaking of new books, editing of How the World Ends (which is the title I’ve now settled on) is coming along.  I’ve gone through the entire story once, and am now going to focus on making a thorough edit of just Book One, with the goal of having it released on August 14th, 2017 (August the 14th is a significant date in the book).  Assuming that goes to plan, I hope to have Book Two released early in the new year, and then Book Three in August 2018.  These are some long term plans, but I feel good about the time I’m giving myself.  Each book is about the length of The Year We Finally Solved Everything (except Book Three, which is about 40% longer), so short novels of that length should be revisable in the time I’m giving myself.  I hope to get some mock ups of the cover for Book One in the coming months.  I’ll have to email Whitney about that.

Anyhow, there you go.  News.  And it sounds like I’ll actually have more news to write about in the coming months.  Busy year!

Book Three

So the book that at one point I wanted to call The Terror but now feel more secure in calling How the World Ends is now done.  Well, in draft form.  Which means that it’s really, really far from being done.  And I’m not sure how other people-who-like-to-spend-lots-of-their-free-time-writing-fiction* feel about the moment they conclude the final sentence of their first draft of a book.  To me, it’s triumphant–especially in this case at How the World Ends is the longest story I’ve ever written, after almost twenty years of spending way too much of my free time writing fiction.  But I also appreciate that it’s a false triumph.  That last sentence will be changed, along with the previous 175 000+ words.  But it still means something.  An idea–in this case, an idea that came to me in a dream–was able to be put into a complete story.  That doesn’t mean that its a well-written story, or a cogent story, or an enjoyable story… but it’s a story.

What’s it about?  I hate that question.  (Which perhaps begs the question as to why I asked it?)  But that doesn’t mean it’s not a valid one.

So, lets try answering it in fragments.  All movie-trailer style. Lots of details without much context.

It’s about a family.  People all around the world start killing each other in mass slaughters/suicides.  The family survive and have no idea what the hell is going on.  Bad things happen.  More bad things happen.  The family gets glimpses as to what is happening, and yet really still have no idea what is going on.  More bad things happen.  And then the world comes to an end.  Or something like that.

Perhaps a more direct description is this: How the World Ends is a science fiction story about an alien invasion in which the word alien is never used… and in almost 180 000 words of text, that’s a challenge!

Anyhow, next steps.  After a short break, I want to focus all my editing and revisions on Book One, which is the length of a short novel in itself (similar in length to The Year We Finally Solved Everything).  Once I feel ready to publish that, I move on to Book Two, and likewise for Book Three.  I was able to complete all three parts in two years (from the dream that started it all to that last(ish) sentence) and so I’d think two more years just to edit and revise should be doable.  What’s that?  2018 for Book Three and the complete story?  Okay. I can do that.

Well, that’s it.  Now that the draft is complete, I could probably try updating this blog a little more regularly.

* also known as authors, although that sounds like I actually pay my mortgage with this activity.

Book Two

So, a couple of days ago I finished the draft of Book Two of the book that I’d really like to call The Terror but probably shouldn’t.  I was really hoping to get the draft done right around now as my wife is expecting our second child and I don’t see myself getting a lot of writing done in these coming months.

Now I just have to figure out how to finish the damn story.  I’ve always had a soft spot for tense horror movies, but am most often disappointed by their final acts. It’s one thing to come up with a premise, but it’s so difficult to wrap up something that is primarily concerned with being horrific.  I’ve never written a book like this before, and so if nothing else it’s a good exercise.  What to do now…

Anyhow, so far these last two parts have pretty much gone to plan, so here’s the rest of my plan: get to a point where I can begin writing the draft of the final part before the new year.  Finish that by the end of next summer.  Then spend a year editing and revising.  Which brings me to having it all done by 2017.  But once I complete the draft of Book Three, I’d like to focus on the sections one at a time, so perhaps I could release Book One in… well, early 2017.  Or late 2016.

Man, that sounds futuristic.

Five Years to the Day

So, exactly five years ago (tomorrow) I published The Adventures of Whatley Tupper at  I guess I could write a short essay on all my thoughts and feelings about the self-publishing process here, but I don’t want to.  I think I’ve shared my feelings already.  And if I haven’t, then I guess they’re going to remain my own feelings, at least for the time being.

But what I do want to do is, in a sense, throw up the white flag.  To whom?  To Amazon, that is.  Over these last five years, ever since I first clicked ‘publish,’ I’ve also attempted to keep my work available in other formats for other e-readers.  I’ve had an account at Smashwords for the same amount of time and never wanted my work to be exclusive to one corporate entity.  In this age of put-all-your-shit-online-for-anyone-to-read-and-no-one-discover, it didn’t make sense to me to just put all my attention and time into Amazon and their Kindle e-reader.

Well, that’s now what I’m doing.

Amazon has a program called “Kindle Select” that allowed authors to run promotions and marketing campaigns for books that they enrol in this, as long as–and here’s the caveat–their books are exclusively available for the Kindle e-reader.  I didn’t like this idea before. I still don’t really like it.  But as of now, all of my books are exclusively available through Amazon.  No one else.

Why?  Well, first of all, because the vast majority of my sales have been through Amazon.  I’d say around 90%.  Their interface and website is easy to use and works well for authors.  I have no complaints at all about the Kindle Direct Publishing.  No complaints, aside from having to maintain exclusivity in order to use the above mentioned promotions.  But, these promotions seem to work well.  And so instead of having some books available elsewhere and some only available for Kindle, I’m making it simple.  All my books are available here: at Amazon.

Will I change my mind in the future?  Surely.  That’s what makes the future so pleasant.  Things change.  But for now, I’m choosing to go all-in with Amazon and the Kindle Unlimited Select Gold Club, or whatever the hell it’s exactly called.  And, just because it’s so easy to do, I’m making all my books free on August 22, the exact 5 year date from when Whatley was available to the world… even if the world didn’t know or want it.

So, happy birthday.

The Terror

I wanted to name my next novel, The Terror.

I started planning in in the autumn after a disturbing dream I had–or to be more exact, a dream in which I was watching a disturbing movie.  Upon awakening, I kept thinking about this idea and within days it had usurped the plans for a different novel that I’d been jotting down notes for over the previous few months at that point.  A couple months later, I started writing the draft, not having a whole lot planned but enough to get a good start.  And I knew it might be long.  The structure of the story naturally divided it into three parts and I was not sure if these parts all together would be too large for a single novel, or it would be best as a trilogy.  All the cool kids have been writing trilogies these days, as you know.  Well, I just finished (as in within the last five minutes) the draft of the first part, and it’s a nice short-novel length–pretty much the same as how The Year We Finally Solved Everything ended up (although that book started out being almost twice a long as the version that wound up being published).

I wanted to call it The Terror because the book is meant to be a little disturbing, just like my dream.  It’s mean to be dark and relatively devoid of humour, especially anything explicit.  I wanted the cause of the terror to be ambiguous for a long as possible–perhaps for all of it.  And I really hoped that it would end up being terrifying.  Those are lofty aspirations for a guy who’s written several choose-your-own-adventure novels involving janitors, teachers, and pharmacists.   By no means am I saying that I think I’ll accomplish this (and I’m far from being finished), but that’s what I hoped for.  And a name like The Terror seemed perfectly suited, perhaps not for what the novel would be (I won’t know that for another year or more) but what I wished it could be.

And about a week ago I found out that a guy named Dan Simmons had published a book called The Terror some six years ago.  It currently has 551 reviews on Amazon.  So…  I guess that means it’s taken.

Anyhow, I’m now leaning towards a title I used for a science-fiction novel I wrote back in 1999-2000 and never released, called How the World Ends.  What I’m working on has absolutely nothing to do with that plot, but my new story does have elements of science-fiction to it, and the title is stingily appropriate.

Crap!  A guy named Joel Varty has published a book called How the World Ends  some three years ago.  It has 12 reviews on Amazon.  Not as major.  No offence, Joel Varty, but you’re not as established as Dan Simmons.  Maybe I can still use it.

Anyhow, I’ve finished the first part of my next novel.  I’ll probably release it in parts and then one big novel, but I’d like to complete a draft of all three books before releasing anything.  It’s always tempting to publish things as often as possible on Amazon, but that doesn’t mean it’s something anyone should do.

And so until I have something more to say (like I’ve finished the second book), I’ll probably shut up again for a long while.  If you ain’t got nothing to say…

Love is not free, but it is now available everywhere

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So, as of December 23rd, Love is not free.  The price is 99 cents. is available for all e-book readers and retailers.  Follow the links below:

Click here to order from

Click here to order from the iTunes bookstore

Click here to order from Kobo eBooks

Click here to order from Barnes & Noble

Also, the book was recently reviewed at Big Al’s Books and Pals.  Follow the link to read the complete review.

Love will be free

So, Love is not free.  The price is 99 cents. is now officially complete.  I have uploaded the final version to Amazon and as of now, the official version is available for purchase at all fine Amazon sites.

However, if you haven’t downloaded the preview version, you can download the official copy for free from Friday, November 7th through to Tuesday, November 11th.  By late December, it should be available at all other eBook retailers.

It’s been a busy year with finishing two very different novels, and it’s good to have this done.  Since I have no plans for any other CYOA books, it will likely be a couple of years until I publish another novel.  Chances are it will be something completely different.  Like I alluded to in an earlier post, I’m thinking about an idea of a science fiction book.  I will see how that pans out, but for the time being, I’m done…

Love is not free. The price is 99 cents.

So, for 5 days, from September 18th through to the 22nd, a preview version of my latest novel is FREE at all amazon sites

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If you enjoy the book, please consider writing a review for it at the Amazon site in advance of it’s official release (planned for late October at a price of $4.49).  It takes close to a thousand hours to plan, write, and edit a novel.  Reviews really help independent authors gain traction… and they also remind authors that those one thousand hours had a purpose!

Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? (An Interactive Novel)

So, today is the official release of Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? at all Amazon sites.  It will be free for the first week (July 4th through to July 10th).  After that, it’s $3.99 (USD).

If Daniel and I do write another choose your own adventure together, it won’t be for several years.  While we both like the idea of writing a sequel to The Adventures of Whatley Tupper, we both accept that it’s not in the cards for quite some time.

FREE Stuart Henry Zhang this weekend!

This weekend (June 8th & 9th)the preview Kindle version of Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? will be free at all Amazon sites.  This preview version is identical to the official release, but it also includes easy to access cheats that allow you to jump to many of the different plot points, should you choose.


This promotion is a “thank you” to those of you who have enjoyed Daniel and my previous choose-your-own-adventure novels.  Unlike our other books, Can Stuart Henry Zhang Save the World? has 65 endings that all revolve around a single (absurd) plot.  Not only is this the final CYOA novel that Daniel and I will work on (at least for a long, long time), it is the most complex.  When the book is officially released on July 4th, it will retail for $3.99.

Should you choose to download the free version this weekend, please consider writing a review for the novel before July 4th.  Reviews really do help independent authors.