Thank you all so much for the positive reception of City Limits here on SOL. I won't belabor the fact that I put a lot of planning and effort into this book nor will I neglect to thank my team of editors on this project, Kathy, Michele, and Lyndsy. These ladies, representing three different decades of women in editing the story and reining in my tendency toward male-based sexuality so I would have a general audience book, volunteered countless hours reading multiple drafts. One is a professional author and two are professional editors and I was so incredibly fortunate to have their services for this project.
The official release of City Limits to the public was Saturday June 23 with a reception and launch party at Chandler Reach Winery in Woodinville, WA on Sunday afternoon. This coming Saturday (6/30) I will be at the Book and Game Company in Walla Walla, WA for a signing. July 14, I will be at the Sun Meadow Resort in Worley, Idaho for a reception and signing during the Skin to the Wind Festival. (See http://www.nathaneverett.com/events.html)
Over the weekend, I rocketed an order of magnitude into the top 10% of selling authors on Amazon. Yes, I know what an order of magnitude is. I went from number 500,000 to number 48,000 in the rankings. Wow! But let me tell you that it took only about thirty sales to make that jump! This is indicative of the number of books and authors in the market and how poorly books actually sell if they are not written and marketed by one of the massive publishing engines that still control the market.
Nonetheless, I consider the launch a resounding success and will continue to sell and market the book. But I will also leave it here on SOL, not hidden behind the paywall as previously announced, because the thing that is more important to me than sales is readership and I am happy for every one of the more than 3,000 readers who enjoyed the story here. If you are able to purchase the book and leave a review on Amazon, that would be a boon beyond compare, but please just enjoy it here and tell others.
RANT: I try not to be defensive about criticism. A mediocre review and very poor interview with me on a book review blog this week was something I determined to ignore. The interview was an excerpt provided by my publicity agent and was pretty much irrelevant to the topic of City Limits. We've had words. The review was lukewarm. I get that. Not every story is going to hit the sweet spot for every reviewer, and this one had some legitimate gripes. Maybe I didn't wrap up enough of the story threads in the first book, but I've always considered it "Season One" if you will. There's more to the story and I'm working on the sequel. (And thank you to all of you who have suggested it be made into a TV series!)
But here is an excerpt from the review that does irritate me:
Also, (I really didn't think this weird, but I didn't care for it)…. the local Christian pastor is portrayed as an overbearing fanatic, a religious zealot who is also a pedophile, in charge of a kidnapping and child trafficking ring, and makes illegal drugs that he uses with the consent of many of the church to drug not only the kidnapped kids, but the members' kids as well to brain wash them and make them "more obedient". While I know all professions have good and bad people in them, and people running around with the title of "Man" or "Woman" of God have used that label to do much evil through history I still think the silent majority is good. I am getting quite sick of seeing Christian pastors in literature (and movies) portrayed as scheming crooks, strange quacks, and heinous criminals or just plain idiots. I wouldn't mind so much if in the same piece, and opposing good one was presented. With all the focus so much all the time on this twisted view, I think it gives a negative perception of Christianity and Christians in general as greedy, intolerant, violent and mentally ill, which I do take offense at.- https://twogalsandabook.com/city-limits-blog-tour-and-interview-with-nathan-everett/
Okay, I understand people not wanting their religion portrayed in a negative light. As far as I am concerned, I hold the pastor and the deacon to the exact same standards that I would hold a policeman, politician, school teacher, author, corporate executive, or radio pundit. Why would we be upset about the portrayal of a Christian pastor-in fact why would we even give him that appellation?-instead of being incensed that charlatans masquerading as religious leaders are defended by the 'genuine believers' on the grounds that they claim that religion's name?
If I had a conscience and cared about such things, I might have phrased this as follows:
An overbearing fanatic-a religious zealot who is also a pedophile, in charge of a kidnapping and child trafficking ring-has taken control of a church by subtle manipulation, distortion of Christian messages, and possibly even use of drugs. The City Champion and the investigative reporter attempt to awaken the congregation from their blind stupor but such is the hold the minister has that few can break free. It makes me mad that such obvious charlatans can still-and obviously do-deceive and entrap people in the guise of Christianity.
In fact, any criticism that didn't shift the reality by claiming, 'but we're not all like that,'-sound familiar? Read the daily news-would have been acceptable. But whether the religion is Christian, Judaism, Islam, Buddhist, Republican, Democrat, or any other religion, the prevailing modus operandi is to attempt to hush conversation about the offenses being committed in the name of the religion in a misguided effort to preserve its good name.
Until and unless the people of Rosebud Falls and, in fact, the United States and the United Kingdom-who are good people, offended by the acts of these charlatans-stop defending them out of the misguided sense that calling them out would make the religion or political party look bad, their salvation will be left in the hands of non-believers, non-politicians, non-power-mongers who will call a spade a spade.
Of course, I would never put this message in a more public forum than here on SOL. Because God forbid that I contradict a reviewer or defend my work from one. And believe me, my being offended that people of a religion defend the hypocritical practitioners of it instead of purging them would only be considered a defense of my book against an unkind review.
So now I have to give you my first warning about the upcoming serialization of For Money or Mayhem. It's not a happy story. It's a cyber-mystery in a noir world. The virtual world overlaps with the real world as Dag discovers an online predator is a real-life kidnapper. This can't be good. Somebody's going to die and you won't like who.
When I finished writing the first draft of the story in November 2011, I was devastated. I was hoarse from crying in my office with the door closed tightly. To make matters worse, that night I climbed into my bed only to be hit in the face with the reality that my marriage was over. Oh, it took nearly two more years to get through the death throes, but I knew the end had arrived.
A few days later, I began posting my first story on SOL as aroslav, The Art and Science of Love. I wrote that story for no other reason than that after the end of For Money or Mayhem and the end of my relationship, I needed a story with a happy ending.
So, here's fair warning. There's a little romance but no sex in For Money or Mayhem. Remember that is one of the things that differentiates the work of Wayzgoose from that of aroslav. It doesn't have a happily ever after ending. That's another distinction in our work. It comes from some of the darker places of my soul. It's loaded with triggers.
My advice to you is ignore this book and go read The Art and Science of Love. Or better yet, wait for the sex-packed Drawing on the Dark Side of the Brain that will begin nearer to the end of the month (July). On the other hand, if you'd like to read something in the vein of Chandler, Hammett, Larsson, or Dietz but set in the world of contemporary computer forensics, I invite you into my web.
For Money or Mayhem begins on July 13. I'll see you then.
That moment when all the foreplay comes to fruition and everything collapses into a tiny black hole and then a supernova erupts and you see stars before your eyes.
Yeah. Well, maybe it's not quite as good as sex, but it's still incredibly satisfying to have City Limits released this morning in both eBook and paperback. And apparently, worldwide. I've cross-checked the various Kindle sites in the US, UK, DE, FR, and AU. They all seem to be live and print is also available, though it isn't connected to the display of the Kindle for some reason. You have to search for it separately. In English. What I need is a couple hundred thousand copies sold and I'll be able to afford to have it translated.
In case you are looking for the book and can't find it, remember the author name is Nathan Everett, not Devon Layne. Sometimes it even gets confusing for me. So here are the details:
City Limits by Nathan Everett
Paperback ISBN: 9781939275790
eBook ISBN: 9781939275806
The last chapter of City Limits will post here on SOL on Wednesday, just as previous chapters have, so there is no need to rush out and buy the eBook just so you can read the end of the story. I wouldn't do that!
Have you noticed, by the way, that scheduled chapters of serials are now being posted in the morning Eastern Time rather than the evening? Personally, I like that a lot. Thank you, Laz!
Of course, the celebration is just beginning. I drove the 320 miles to Seattle from my camp in Idaho yesterday. Tons of general business to take care of and dinner with daughter. Lunch with family and friends today and then I need to go out and get beautiful this afternoon. I haven't had a professional haircut in three years. Normally, I think of it as a waste of time and money, but I chopped my long lovely graylocks off this spring while I was traveling and spent nearly a month with only bottled water. It was hard enough to keep the short hairs clean.
So, I'm starting the season of public appearances with a pro haircut and a trimmed beard. I even have a couple of disposable razors so I can scrape the exposed skin. Tomorrow is the big day for the launch party. We're gathering at the Chandler Reach Winery Tasting Room in Woodinville, WA at 4:00 to celebrate. If you are in the Seattle area Sunday, stop by and join us.
Then starts the hard work. I'll be headed back to Idaho on Monday, then down to Walla Walla, WA next Saturday for a book signing there. Two weeks later, I'll be at the Skin to the Wind Festival at Sun Meadow to sign books and talk to people au naturelle. I'll be hitting a few blogs during the next week and hope to set up more events this summer, culminating in the PNWA Literary Conference in September. We'll see how that goes. I've been 'invited' to Indiana in August, but doubt I'll try to make that trip for just a day or two. Never can tell, though, what sort of trouble I'll get into this winter.
I will not be moving City Limits behind the paywall as previously anticipated. I have evolved a different method for handling the multiple venues and the story on SOL will not be affected. I'll change the End Note accordingly. You should, however, note that the version on SOL is and will continue to be a pre-release version. I have found a few spelling and punctuation errors that I've corrected but I won't be correcting things of a more substantive nature. For example, in the release version there are some changes in chapter and subsection titles and in a few subsection breaks. These were deemed necessary as we were reviewing the pre-release and fine-tuning it for publication. Those things will not be changed in the SOL version.
So what comes next from Wayzgoose? I have written about one-and-a-half chapters of Wild Woods, the sequel to City Limits. But a writing project like this takes months and won't be ready until next summer. I'm not like aroslav, ripping out a few thousand words a day!
I have, however, decided to release my cyberdetective mystery, For Money or Mayhem, on SOL. I've scheduled Chapters 1 and 2 to post on July 13 with a new chapter every three days thereafter. Here's a little about the new release:
Someone has his fingers in the till.
"I spend most of my time in cyberspace, a world my girlfriend has dubbed 'Nowhere Land.' But the streets I walk are every bit as real to me as the rain-splashed sidewalks of Seattle. And when I find a thief, I'll run him to the ground. I hate thieves and I'm a bad-ass in cyberspace."
Computer forensics detective Dag Hamar has been hired to help a credit card company beef up network security, but are his new co-workers helping him or attacking him? Security video doesn't lie, does it?
Dag is about to get dragged from behind his computer screen-away from the comparative safety of cyberspace-into the gritty streets of Seattle where an online predator has become a real-life serial kidnapper.
For Money or Mayhem was published in 2013. There is a sequel. For Blood or Money, originally published in 2007 that I'll be posting here as well. I'm well into the writing of a third, For Mayhem or Madness, that will have Dag racing around the world to stop a cyber-terrorist. Or is he planning to help him?
Why am I releasing books that have been in the market on Amazon and other venues in both paper and eBook here on SOL for free? I'll tell you straight out, I'd like more people to read my books and I've got a pretty good backlist. I get more and better feedback, more readers, and more joy out of posting on SOL than any other venue. So, as the scam artist I got email from yesterday said, "I'm giving away my fortune and I'd like you to have a part of it."
You don't even need to send me your bank account number and password. I just hope you keep enjoying the stories!
You'll be able to see pictures from the City Limits release party and some of my notes about it on Monday on my blog at firstexit0.blogspot.com. Probably not until late in the day Pacific Time.
I've discovered that I do have a couple of fans out there in SOL-land. I know that is snide. I have and always will appreciate fans of my writing whether as aroslav or as Wayzgoose.
Pre-release orders for the Kindle version of City Limits can be made at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DGMG4SQ and the Nook (ePub) version can be pre-ordered at https://bit.ly/2svnAK7.
Here are a couple of the comments I've received about City Limits.
"A Great tale. Grows on one and becomes more enthralling with each chapter. It has been clear from quite early that much of the town folks' behaviour and reactions have their origin in the Forest and should be read as such. Brought home more directly after Gee ate the nut. Most enjoyable.
"(Have long enjoyed stories by your alter ego as well.)"-moronoxy
"Man you need to sell this to netflix it would make a HELL of a tv show."-XyberDruid
Funny thing you should mention that. When I originally conceived City Limits, I envisioned it as thirteen-episode season one television serial. Of course, I planned a season two, as well. It's nice to hear that others see the same potential.
I'll talk about season two shortly.
In the meantime, I'm happy to announce that I'll be having a release party in Woodinville, WA on June 24. The venue is the Chandler Reach Winery Tasting room in the Hollywood District of Woodinville. If you happen to be in that area, please stop by to taste a flight of wine and listen to tall tales of the story and the road between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. I'll look forward to meeting you.
I'm also planning a blog-tour the week of June 25-29. If you would like to participate as a blogger, please contact us at so, https://goo.gl/forms/l9aoXIHB6FMNf4sh1 to enroll. Interview, excerpt, review, ten questions, travel. You name it, I'm game to talk about it.
I've added an events page to my website at http://www.nathaneverett.com/events.html. You can keep up with where I'm touring and what blogs are participating. I'm working on two other locations in Redmond, WA on June 23 and Spokane, WA on June 30. I'll keep you up to date. It's getting pretty exciting out here on the patio of my trailer in the nudist resort in Idaho!
Now what was that I said about season two?,
I've started writing Wild Woods, the sequel to City Limits. I don't expect it will be released until next summer. No matter how fast I write, getting a book like this rewritten, edited and properly promoted is a year-long project. I managed City Limits in just eight months, but I've been under pressure a good bit of the time.
There is a way to get a sneak peek at the new story if you don't mind getting it piecemeal, irregularly, and unedited. My Fifth Element Community ($10/mo) at www.patreon.com/nathaneverett will have access to the story as I get it written. I'll post complete chapters when the first draft is finished. I expect it will take until the end of the year to finish the thirteen chapters because that pesky alter-ego aroslav has projects he wants to finish as well, including a new almost-secret project that has been begun and is still lying under wraps until his next blog-post. This is to follow his current Sausage Grinder project, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I'll just say that based on reader comments, there is a lot of interest in him pursuing this project.
I had a couple of comments expressing confusion over whether a patron should subscribe to both the nathaneverett patreon and the aroslav patreon. NO! aroslav Advance Release patrons ($5/mo) will continue to have access to anything I post on SOL a week in advance of the posting date, and eBooks as soon before the release date as I can manage, whether they are Devon Layne/aroslav stories or Nathan Everett/Wayzgoose stories. It's Nathan Everett's Fellow Travelers Community ($5/mo) that prefers to turn a blind eye to aroslav's erotic writings and pretend they don't exist. If you are a $10 patron on either site, you can request to be included in both the Sausage Grinder and The Fifth Element. No patron needs to double dip in order to get everything.
If you want to see more about my travel and book tour plans, tune in to my "official" blog at http://firstexit0.blogspot.com/.
I guess that's all for tonight. It's time to light a fire and maybe catch up on the current episode of G_Younger's Stupid Boy.
Well, not full-fledged, run-and-hide-in-a-bottle-of-booze panic. It's too early for that. Just enough panic to make me forget important things I need to deal with, lose sleep, and wake up in a sweat. All because City Limits is supposed to be released on June 23 and I'm still looking for a Seattle-area venue for the release party.
I ate outside last night and left my dishes next to the grill, not even remembering that I'd eaten. I left the windows open on the trailer last night and the space heater on. Woke up at midnight wrapped in my blankets and sweating like a pig. Shut off the heater and tossed off the blankets. Took two hours to cool down enough to get back to a half-sleep. Woke up at dawn (5:00 a.m.) freezing. Grabbed a blanket and buried my head under a pillow for two more hours. No, I didn't get up and close the windows.
And I'm accomplishing things that have nothing at all to do with the release. I've managed well-over 5,000 words in chapter one of Wild Woods, the sequel to City Limits. The 2nd edition printer's proof of For Money or Mayhem arrived yesterday and I've made corrections throughout the book. It will be uploaded to Amazon and Nook by June 1. That's also the date that advance orders for City Limits will begin so you can have your official released copy downloaded automatically on the day of release.
For Money or Mayhem will begin serialization here on SOL on July 13. That means that I've converted every chapter to html for posting, which was a great help to my error-collection-and-correction efforts. I will go to the every three days posting schedule instead of once a week as I did with City Limits.
I have been somewhat concerned about releasing my backlist (and new release) as serials on SOL. Amazon reserves the right to offer the lowest price on the Internet for eBooks. So, if they discover a book offered for free, they can automatically reduce the price of my book to $0.00. I personally consider the serialized version to be a different edition than the eBook. In an effort to assuage the Bezos-gods, all the books I release here on SOL (or any other site where I serialize them) will have a different ISBN than the eBook. That and the clear statement that this is the Serialized Edition. I frankly don't think they are very aggressive about checking this stuff, but I'm doing what I can. Authors make less than half of what Amazon makes off their books when it comes down to tracking everything, even if the eBook royalty says 70% (minus $.50 as a download fee), the paperback earns me $1.23 out of $15 when distributed to the extended network.
So, in keeping with this, I've added a copyright and ISBN statement to the first chapter of City Limits. If you note that the chapter has been updated today, that's all it is.
Today, I need to go to Coeur d'Alene to refill prescriptions, talk to a bookstore, and tank up for my weekend trip to Seattle to see my daughter and make arrangements for the release. Guess I'd better go shower.
And put on pants.
I'm not actually talking about living in a nudist park. This time.
I've been focused on getting City Limits ready for its public release on 23 June 2018. There is always something. My sister got her advance review copy and wrote back almost immediately that she'd started reading and there was a missing word on page one. Sheesh! She was right. That's not the only error that has been found. A reader here on SOL corrected the school name of the orphanage with a nice little lesson about masculine and feminine. So now, instead of Flor de la Día, it is correctly Flor del Día. Every correction I receive makes the release version stronger!
I love to write, either as Nathan Everett or as Devon Layne. I'm good most of the time with editing and rewriting. I'm a book designer for several different authors and love creating beautiful books. Where I fall apart is the business end of things. Getting sales and marketing going is an eternal struggle. But I'm progressing slowly.
I got my new website ready and deployed this week at http://www.nathaneverett.com. This is significant because it includes a listing of all six of my mainstream books with first chapter excerpts so people can read a bit of the story to see if it appeals to them. With luck, the release of City Limits will drive sales of some of my other books as well. There are also four short stories that you can read for free.
Accompanying that site, I've started a Patreon page for author Nathan Everett. https://www.patreon.com/NathanEverett. Originally, I planned to just have one Patreon page that served both Nathan Everett and Devon Layne. That just wasn't working. The majority of the people who read my mainstream fiction don't want to think about the fact that I write erotica, too. That's why I created two names in the first place. So, now I need to drive traffic to my new page without distracting from the old.
One thing about this is that I will be serializing some stories on my new website that will be accessible only to patrons. Those stories may or may not have a future publication elsewhere. I've been writing for over forty years and most of my manuscripts are stacked up in a box under the bench seats of my dining nook. Time to blow the dust off!
I'm also making a concerted effort to maintain weekly posts on my First Exit blog. http://firstexit0.blogspot.com. This is where I post information and pictures from my travels, thoughts about writing, and my own brand of selfish social commentary of which you've experienced a bit here on SOL.
Of course, social media is a big driver for any marketing these days. I'm on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wayzgoose and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Wayzgoose or https://www.facebook.com/Elder-Road-Books-887279807957064/. The Wayzgoose account is my daily short quips and observations with occasional quick photos, while the Elder Road account is strictly publishing. I invite you to join me at any of these social sites.
Part of preparing for my next long adventure is saving up as much of my meagre income as I can. I discovered in 2016 that I could travel internationally as cheaply as I could live in the US. I thought I might repeat an around-the-world adventure in the winter of 2018-19 but have decided I need to put more in the bank before I go. It's as cheap to travel, but it has to be paid for in advance. So I need at least half a year's expenses put aside up front.
So the new plan is to spend six to eight months after my 70th birthday next year backpacking around the world.
That means I've been looking for a cheap and warm place to spend the winter this year. I may have found it-or at least a region where I can find a place. I believe that I will spend the winter in South Texas, somewhere in the Rio Grande Valley. The area welcomes thousands of snowbirds and parking for my rig would cost no more than the site I have here in Idaho. There are interesting things to do, beautiful scenery like South Padre Island, and lots and lots of old people sitting around looking to get into mischief.
I haven't chosen an exact location yet but I'll announce it as soon as I do. If you have suggestions, please let me know!
Tomorrow: City Limits Chapter Seven: The Nut. Gee is navigating the turbulent waters of a new relationship and while dealing with his doubts he seeks comfort in the Forest. Whatever put the idea into his head that he should eat one of the poisonous nuts?