The Gore so far and update on The Tree Readers

Thanks for the great comments!

Thanks for the great comments!

I just wanted to post a quick update on The Gore.  Sales are going well for an indie guy like me.  I don’t have actual numbers to make an adequate comparison, but I think it’s doing better out of the gate than any of the other books that followed The Takers.  That tells me that Oz has picked up some loyal readers over the years, and I’m extremely appreciative of their support.  I would also like to thank those who have sent me feedback via email, Facebook, this blog, and Amazon.  Your comments have been encouraging and well-received.  Thank you!

On to the next R.W. Ridley book.  My plans are to finish The Tree Readers.  I’m not posting chapters on Wattpad as often as I had been the last six weeks or so for one simple reason.  I caught up to the point where I had stopped working on the story before I got sidetracked by a couple of other projects (including books 5 & 6 of the Oz Chronicles).  I had 78,000 words in my pocket when I started uploading to Wattpad, and I added a few more chapters as time permitted and the inspiration hit.  Now that The Gore is out of the nest, I’ve been putting more time into adding new chapters to The Tree Readers, and the word count now stands at a little over 100,000 words, and I’m probably about two-thirds of the way done.  This figures to be the longest book I’ve ever written, and I’m purposely structuring it with short chapters that average around 1,000 words (In fact, as it stands now, I have exactly 100 chapters). And it is hardcore science fiction with some fantasy elements thrown in for good measure. I think Alan Dean Foster’s influence may be shining through on this one.  I am not a “message” writer, not purposely at any rate.  What I have found is that “messages” usually find their way into stories organically, and that is definitely happening with The Tree Readers.  It’s hard not to examine the state of humanity when an alien race has made it their mission to exterminate humans.  Are we worth saving?  What purpose do we serve in the universe?  As the writer, I can’t help but address those questions.  It’s possible I won’t like the answer.

That’s it.  Again thank you all for your continued support of Oz and the gang.

BTW – I’ll have an update on The Takers audio book soon.  Stay tuned!

The Takers Facebook Ad

I’m getting things in gear to prepare for Book 6 of the Oz Chronicles to come out.  It’s still some time off, but it’s in the best interest of the entire series to build some buzz about all the books before I release Book 6.  I will do the free Kindle downloads like usual, but I’m also considering doing a Facebook Ad.  I’ve done them in the past, and I’ve had modest success with them. 

Here’s the problem.  I have to come up with a catchy headline and then ad copy that is no more than 80 characters.  It’s really, really, really tough coming up with an effective ad with those parameters.  So hard in fact, that I’m looking for some input from you, the readers of The Oz Chronicles.  Any and all suggestions are welcome.  In fact, I’ll send you a free signed copy of Book 6 when it’s published if I use your idea.  Feel free to comment away here or on Facebook.  

The Last Creyshaw: Book Six of the Oz Chronicles – daily word count

As usual, I am off to a bit of slow start, but the pace will pick up. I have 5,000 and 6,000 word days ahead of me if the past is any indication. And remember, this is a rough draft at the moment. As I’m writing, a little voice in my head is saying, “Oz wouldn’t say that. You would, but Oz wouldn’t.” So, it will take some time to work myself out of the process.

Lou’s Diary – Entry 7 (Text version)

I cannot tell you how much I hate the wind.  After what seemed like hours and hours of trying to force myself to get some sleep, I finally dozed off.  I could feel myself drifting down into a place where my brain doesn’t think about everything and nothing all at once.  I was just starting to feel at ease when, BAM!  I heard a noise outside on the deck of the fire tower.

I was going to let it pass and get back to my struggle with sleeping, but it came again only this time it was followed by the door of the cabin flying open.  Snow shot through the doorway like smoke escaping a chimney.  By the time I made it to the door, the floor was covered by the white stuff all the way to the opposite wall of the room.

I bundled up and stuck my head out the door.  Looking to my right there was nothing, all I could see were the tree tops fluttering in the wind.  To my left, there were two thick tree branches lying on the ice covered deck.  The trees beyond the deck were doing a little more than fluttering on that side of the fire tower.  They were practically bending to their limits.  I heard a crack and watched as a smaller tree branch hit the railing of the deck before falling to the ground.

I was relieved that it was nothing more the wind shaking dying limbs from trees, but I was also furious that it was nothing more the wind shaking dying limbs from trees.  I could have been sleeping.

Walking back to my “bedroom” corner, I noticed something on the floor that I hadn’t seen before.  I’m not saying it wasn’t there before.  I’m saying I didn’t notice it.  It could have been there all along.  It had to have been there all along.  It must have been there all along.

Far from the pile of body parts, was a hand with about three inches of jagged bones extending past the blotchy, leathery skin at the wrist.  I stared at it for several seconds, feeling the blood rushing through my body.  My mouth went dry.

I was being silly.  It was there before.  There had just been too much going on to take notice of it.  Plus, there was so little light in the room.   I could have walked past a whole other person and not notice.  I was just letting being alone in totally creepy world get to me.

I found an old broom near the row of lockers and pushed the hand over to the pile of body parts.  I did my best not to look at it.  I was afraid if I did I’d ruin any chances of getting sleep in the near future.  The hand jammed against the other bits and pieces of people, I ran to my sleeping corner and quickly sat down, pulling my legs in tight and resting my forehead on my knees.  I was hoping if I wrapped myself up tight enough I’d eventually disappear.

What I wouldn’t give to just disappear.

Oz Chronicles T-Shirt?

The following comment was posted by Laura on the blog last week.

This just came to me as I was reading this entry. I would SO purchase an Oz t-shirt or sweatshirt if it looked really cool. Have you thought of creating them? At the very least, what about CafePress…put your web site on it…OH! Make it like a concert t-shirt, with the names of the books on the back!! And a cool picture of the Oz gang on the front…or the monsters…

I attempted to do t-shirts years ago, but I wasn’t happy with the way they turned out, so I never really promoted them.  But, Laura has planted the seed in my head that I might need to give it another try.  Here’s my first design attempt for the front pocket area.  What do you think?

Possible t-shirt design

Also, Laura suggested putting the titles of the books on the back.  That’s an idea, but if you have any thoughts, let me know.