Announcing PYPER-MAY-NIA!

Hello friends!  Welcome back!!

I feel awful because it’s been a few weeks since I gave a real, actual blog post – what with the cover launch of The Stranger and then last week I was away at a work conference for most of the week!  I’m doing a full blog post today, for a few reasons. I won’t have time tomorrow with a few odds and ends I need to finish up at work, Thursday I work away at a satellite clinic so won’t have computer access and Friday I’m off for Easter.  So today makes sense and I didn’t want to skip it for three weeks!

So this week’s blog will focus on two main parts.

The first is the directly related to that picture/banner posted there!

This May I’ve decided to celebrate my Favorite Author – Mr. Andrew Pyper.  You’ve all probably seen my admiration for him on social media.  I could go on and on about why I love Andrew’s work, but I think at the core of it he speaks to in a way most other authors can’t.  His Canadiana, if you will, runs underneath his prose and I always feel a connection with his words.  Even when it’s set overseas (The Demonologist, The Only Child) I’ve felt that undercurrent running through his stories.

The other reason I truly adore his writing – is that I’ve never found his work to be complicated for complications sake.  Andrew writes thrillers and cross genre’s like a DJ mixes musical styles.  ‘The Wildfire Season’ is a blistering work about a forest firefighter battling inner demons but also the wrath of Mother Nature in a small town.  It had so many elements interwoven – simply stunning.

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(My completed collection of Pyper’s physical releases! The Wildfire Season, The Only Child, The Homecoming and both copies of The Demonologist are personally signed by him to me!)

So – this brings me to May and my anointment of the month as PYPER-MAY-NIA!

I’ve read a number of his works already – The Demonologist, Lost Girls, The Damned, The Wildfire Season and The Only Child.

For the month of May – I’ll be reading the rest, in this order; The Homecoming, The Guardians, The Trade Mission, Killing Circle and Kiss Me.  I’ll be updating you as I go along and will review them each on their own Pyper-meter!

I’d also love it, if you haven’t, to check out one of his works in May.  If you need a starting off point I’d recommend any of the books I’ve already read haha!  Although – The Only Child is my all-time fav book, so you could start there.  I don’t do group-read along’s, I just don’t function that way, but let me know if you are going to be joining me in PYPER-MAY-NIA!!!!

As a massive bonus – Andrew has agreed to do an interview for the celebration!  I’m beyond excited.  The questions have been submitted, so once the answers are returned I’ll get it set up and let you know when to watch for the feature!

Can’t wait to celebrate and maybe even introduce some of my book friends to Andrew Pyper’s work!

Now the second part – The Stranger.

I’m actually pretty blown away by the early response already.  We had the cover reveal two weeks ago over on Kendall Reviews, and comment after comment, message after message about how awesome the cover art was, was very cool!

The Stranger Cover

So – because of that, I’m entertaining an idea and I need to gauge peoples interest.  If you haven’t read the synopsis yet, you can pop over to my Novels tab and take a look, or check it out here on Goodreads;

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45134451-the-stranger

Now the response as been such that I’m considering looking into doing a very limited edition hardcover run of this release!

It would be slightly different than the ebook and the paperback version of The Stranger.

  • It would open with the short story ‘The Tooth Collector’ which directly leads into The Stranger
  • It would then have the normal novel approx 230 pages
  • It would end with a new story specifically written for this release and will probably never seen the light of day otherwise!
  • I would also be numbering and signing each one
  • I would also do a new hardcover edition foreword that would accompany this edition only, while still including the normal foreword.

Now – I’ve always been an upfront, open and honest writer for you all.  I talk about what a lot of people don’t discuss – sales, costs etc etc.

So – to do the hardcover, I’m looking at each book retailing for $35 US + $15 for shipping and handling world wide.  Charging a flat rate is far easier because Canada Post has a small box for shipping that is $15/flat rate world wide!  That would be a total of $50 US to order one.  From all of that, I’d be looking at making roughly $2-$3/book in profits.  So on my own, really not a big money maker, but hey – that’s typically what I make on ebook and paperback sales already!

I’m looking at doing 20 copies of this edition, maybe 30 max, if the interest is there.

I really don’t have a time line for this to be launched as I want to gauge the interest and see who would be looking to get one of these.  Ideally I’d be looking at having them ready to ship out closer to release date (June 1st) with people wanting to purchase one sending me the money via paypal or etransfer.

So if you’re interested, please DM me, email me, text, whatever!  And let’s make this happen!

What I’m Reading;

Little Black Spots – John F. D. Taff – still making my way through this fun collection of short stories!  About 55% done and it’s a collection I think most folks should check out!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41100259-little-black-spots

The Bledbrooke Works – John F. Leonard – big fan of John’s and this is another companion piece/continued piece in the world and mythos he’s building.  30% in and loving the set up.

Woom – Duncan Ralston – also 30% into this story and so far it’s just starting to ramp up.  Feel like horrible, horrible things are happening and I can’t wait!

 

So I’m going to wrap it up here.  I’ve already submitted Tunes From the Crypt Episode #2 to Gavin over at Kendall Reviews, so watch for that coming up!

Otherwise, I’ll see you all here next week!

Cheers!

Steve

 

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Apologies – no real blog post this week!

Hey all!  Apologies – I didn’t do my normal blog post last week due to the cover reveal of The Stranger over on Kendall Reviews!

This week I’ll also not be doing one.  I have a work conference in Vancouver, BC which I’ll be attending from Wednesday until Saturday, arriving home very, very early Sunday morning.

So – I figured I’d offer this up as a quick bit of news!

I made it a priority to get it done and I did!  About an hour ago I finished the final read through of The Stranger, created the review Mobi files and emailed them off to the normal folks who are always so kind to check out my stuff and promote it/review it!

If you’re not on my normal list and would really like to check out something – drop me a line – DM, contact form here or email (stevestred@gmail.com)  I’m pretty easy going!

The reception for the cover art for The Stranger has been staggeringly amazing!  I hope you all dig the tale within as well!

So – I’ll be sporadically around on social media the rest of the week!  Take care of yourselves and I just saw I hit 800 followers on Twitter!  WOWSA!

Next week I’ll be doing a Wednesday blog post, as Thursday at work at a satellite clinic and Friday I’m off work for Easter!

Cheers

Steve

COVER REVEAL!

Cover reveal time friends!

Over on Kendall Review, they’ve kindly hosted the cover reveal for my next novel The Stranger, which will be dropping on June 1st, 2019.

For full details about the cover, the synopsis and the gorgeous artwork – click the link!

http://kendallreviews.com/cover-reveal-steve-stred-returns-with-the-stranger/

I won’t be doing a normal blog post today.  Today is dedicated completely to the cover reveal.

Next week I’ll be away at a work conference from Wednesday to Sunday, so I’ll be doing a double blog post on Monday and Tuesday.

And because I feel guilty about not sharing a bunch of stuff with you today – I’ll be sharing something really exciting at the start of the week.

It just … might … be ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another cover reveal.

🙂

Book Review- Tesla: Obliterating the Deep State Series Book 1 – Jason Walker

I admit it.  I’m a massive fan of conspiracy theories.  I love the alternative history stuff for a number of reasons, but mostly for the unknown.  The what-ifs?

I came across this book on Net Galley and the synopsis and cover had me intrigued.  It was a fast read, and for the most part a very fun read.

The story is split into two parts.  The main bulk of the story follows former SAS officer Darren Mathews and his wife/soulmate Anna Mathews.  Darren met Anna on a top secret mission and they fell in love.  They have a daughter Dana who, throughout is discussed but never has dialogue.

Darren’s story is a good one.  He’s in charge of recovery operations.  Working now for a classified division of the CIA, Darren heads to remote locations and helps archaeologists and anthropologists etc retrieve things found at newly discovered sites.  The majority of the sites throughout the book are pyramids deep underground or crashed UFO’s.

The other split in the story is a systematic fictional look at Tesla as he attempted to develop a few of his experiments.  I have to admit, the parts with Tesla were done well and added some intrigue to the story, but I didn’t find it necessary and a bit of me found it taking away from Darren’s part of the story.  I wanted to get back to his stuff whenever Tesla’s side came up.

The ending of the story was a fun romp through some underground tunnels, and at first I found it a bit of an odd twist, but knowing this was “Book 1” I let it slide and hope we get to see deeper down the stairs in Book 2.  I also felt like the ending of the Tesla story line left a lot open for Book 2 or further.  So I’ll patiently wait.

Two last bits here, and its two bits I normally never discuss in reviews.

Firstly – the foreword.  It was one of the few forewords that I enjoyed and I think it really worked to warm me up towards where the author was coming from.  He did make note of finding ‘others’ on Fivrr and it has me wondering if this was some of his stuff and some ghost writer stuff.  At the end of the book, I’m still not sure.  I found some stylistic changes occurring throughout, as though someone wrote it and sent it to someone else to finish a section.  It wasn’t jarring, just something I noticed.

Second – the editing.  There are a lot of issues with misspelled words etc throughout.  I’m easy going about it and normally I wouldn’t even bring any of it up… BUT one of the key parts of alien lore was misspelled and it irked me.  I constantly was googling stuff on my phone.  Like I said, I love conspiracy theory stuff, and there’s plenty of mentions throughout.  One thing that I’ve heard of before was ‘The Greada Treaty.’  This is proposed meeting between Eisenhower and Aliens about their technology.  It was spelled The Grenada Treaty.  I felt annoyed that something that important in the alien conspiracy theory world wasn’t spelled correctly.

Saying that – I did receive this through Net Galley and while I didn’t see that this was created as an unedited advance copy, I’m taking it to be that.  I’ve also not knocked any marks down or anything due to these issues.

Overall, I did enjoy this tale and I’m looking forward to the series continuing.  This is a fun, fast read for conspiracy and alternative history fans, and as I mentioned before, you’ll be googling and researching a number of things that the author brings to light!

Thank you to Net Galley and the Publisher for an ARC to review!

4/5

I’ll never be a best-selling… and that’s OK.

Happy Friday friends!!

Yesterday was the one month release anniversary of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees!!  I have to say, the first month has been a dream for Steve-o!  The reception to this dark tale has been so humbling, but it started well before the ‘official’ release date.

My normal process once I believe I’m done is to get feedback from my beta’s/street team.  I also send it to David Sodergren who copy edits my work, for his feedback as well.  Sodergren has his pulse firmly on the horror world and I know he won’t sugar coat anything.  When my beta’s and David both raved that they thought it was my best yet, I smiled.

Then I did a scary thing!  Actually two!  The first was, I asked Gavin at Kendall Reviews if he’d be willing to write a foreword.  He lives and breathes horror but we never really hear his horror why?  So I approached him and was delighted when he agreed.

The second was even scarier!  I put together a list of folks who I respect and who interact with me a bunch and approached them about pre-reading before release date.  I’m no tyrant, so in my approach I said (para-phrased) if you have time and can read it before then, fantastic, if not – no worries!

Every single person I approached said yes and even more surprisingly, when the official release date came around, 85% of them had read AND reviewed it on the Goodreads page!

I took a bit of heat by another author about how far out my pre-orders were, but I purposefully set it that way.  As the reviews started being posted to Goodreads (I set up the Goodreads page well in advance to the release) I saw a pattern emerge.  People would leave a review and I’d see a few pre-orders, and it just kept going.

Now a month later, it’s my little engine that could.

And this is where I talk about something most authors don’t (and I’ll expect one or two messages of anger at some point about it, and that’s fine).

I’m going to discuss sales numbers.

Now as you all know – once I found out that my friend Justin M. Woodward’s mom was diagnosed with Cancer, I pledged to donate all of the pre-orders from TGWHITT to their Go-Fund Me, which I already have.  So – none of these numbers I’m listing are related to the pre-orders.

Since it’s release date on Feb 28th – I’ve had 49 sales of The Girl.

40 ebooks and 9 physical copies.  49 sales in 30 days!  That equates to 1.6 sales per day!

Now look, I’ll never be a best seller.  And that’s OK.  For me it’s about releasing works I’m proud of, stories I want to read and ultimately, hopefully, having a moment in the future where my son sees my books on our book shelf and thinks ‘that’s so cool that my dad did this.’  But sales are also nice!

I’m also a writer who WANTS you to read my stuff.  And frequently for new/newer indie authors, price can be a barrier.  So this is why I will frequently offer up a few freebie days.  It gives me a sense of if people have interest in my works, but also how well I’ve done “promoting” myself.

Guess what?  Yesterday was also a freebie day as a thanks.  So I offered up my novel Invisible and my first collection of shorts Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery.  So how’d they do?

Free downloads

Invisible – 63 downloads

Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery – 45 downloads.

So that means yesterday 108 downloads occurred.  For me that’s a fantastic number!  If I assume that a single person downloaded both at the same time, that’s 54 new potential readers!!  That’s just me estimating.  I know for a fact some folks only snagged one or the other as they’d either already purchased one or got one before via a freebie day.

I had a moment a recently in a grocery store.  I’ve received a few rejections lately (two shorts and 6 poems) and while I try to be positive, it was a bummer.  I stopped at Safeway to grab something and went to the book section, as I always do.

The section is small and crammed there – shelf space a priority.  I glanced at the authors they stocked.  I was at first shocked to see no King or Crichton books, those always are volume movers.  I wasn’t surprised to see a bunch of Patterson and Ludlum.

But then I looked closer and saw that most of the books had a fine layer of dust on them.  I grabbed a few out to make sure I wasn’t seeing things, and sure enough – dust.

Now – don’t get me wrong, I’d love a 6 figure upfront and a movie deal and etc etc.  But for the type of books I write, that’s a pipe dream.

And so, while I stood staring at these books that looked to be forgotten, I had a moment where I was happy with my relationships with my readers.  Where I get pictures sent of my books being purchased and where the reader knows that they’ll be getting a thank you back.

I’ll never be a bestseller, but I’ll always be a real human, and I’ll always say thank you to each and every person that messages me saying they bought one of my books or leaves a review.  Means the world to me.

And if you’re wondering about my royalties from the 49 sales of THWHITT – I keep my prices low purposefully.  I want to be accessible.  I make $2.07 off each ebook and $2.55 off each physical copy.  So that’s $82.80 from ebooks and $22.95 from paperbacks for a total of $105.75 in one month.  For some, seeing that number will make you laugh with hilarity – “THAT’S ALL HAHAHAH!!” for others they’ll see that and think “WOW!  I HOPE TO MAKE THAT MUCH OFF MY BOOKS!”

Either way – just know I’m beyond proud of the $105.  That pays our cell phones and some pizza for dinner tonight.

So thank you to each and every one of you, who’ve purchased it, read it, reviewed it, marked it as ‘to-read’ on Goodreads.  It’s meant the world!

And thank you to everyone who’s reading this blog post.  I really appreciate it!

 

Now – let’s do some of the normal stuff yeah?

What I’m Reading;

Second Lives – PD Cacek.  Just started this one and already I’m intrigued!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42789381-second-lives

Fangtastic Tales of Werewolf Savagery – Toneye Eyenot. Steve likes his werewolf stuff!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44149576-fangtastic-tales-of-werewolf-savagery

Tesla: Obliterating The Deep State – Jason Walker.  Full on conspiracy theory stuff.  Really fun.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43892014-tesla

Little Black Spots – John F.D. Taff.  My first go around with the King of Pain.  Good stuff!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41100259-little-black-spots

What I’m Working On;

I’m always busy.  Always haha!

The Stranger – GOT THE ARTWORK! OH MY GOD!  Can’t wait for the reveal.  I’ve also received the beta read feedback from my sensitive reader and I’m pleased to hear I didn’t overstep.  Coming in June!

Ritual – I’m currently 25% into my last batch of edits.  Cover done.  October release.

I’ve actually started working on two releases for next year as well!  More details as they come!

My Music This Week;

First off – this week has been all about the new Rammstein song and video.  I read a rumour it was coming Thursday and it did.  Their new song ‘Deutschland’ was fantastic and the video is stunning.  I’m not sharing it here today, as Youtube has deemed it necessary to confirm your age to view, so I’ll let you check it out on your own.

Bury Your Dead – Collateral

As I’ve said before – I LOVE HARDCORE!  Bury Your Dead have had a few singers and its been 11 years since we’ve last heard from them, but holy hell did they storm back!

This song is viscous in the best way possible!

Dimmu Borgir – Mourning Palace (Live)

I love Dimmu and have been fortunate enough to see them live.  There most recent release has been a mixed bag for me.  Saying that, they also recently released a live offering with a full orchestra and choir.  I love this tune and this version is stellar.  Also the best part is the one violinist who appears to be a fairly massive Dimmu fan as well!

 

Tiesto – Grapevine

As you know, I listen to a variety of stuff and I really enjoy the good vibes and sunshine lifts of EDM.  I’m actually not a big Tiesto fan in general, but this song is a big exception.  Fun stuff!

 

Amon Amarth – Raven’s Flight

This is one I’m on the fence about, and I’m actually leaning towards a dislike.  Amon Amarth are a big fav of mine, I even have an Amon Amarth tattoo.  Saying that – their new song was released and it was awesome on listen one, but now I’m finding it a big boring and underwhelming.

Take a listen and let me know your thoughts.

 

Life stuff;

Nothing much on my end.  It’s been really nice out, so we’ve been able to enjoy being outside a whole bunch!  I’m at a conference in a few weeks in Vancouver so Amanda and Auryn will head up to Fort Mac for a couple weeks!

Otherwise, life as usual!

Take care friends!

See you next week!

 

Free Thursday!

Tomorrow – yes tomorrow marks the 1 MONTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RELEASE OF “The Girl Who Hid in the Trees”…. ahhhh!

The response has been amazing and thank you so much to each and every one of you who has bought it, read it and reviewed it!  So appreciative!

Haven’t snagged it yet?

 

As a one month thank you!  Tomorrow, Thursday March 28th, 2019 will be hereby dubbed Free Thursday!

Tomorrow the ebooks for my novel Invisible and my first collection of stories Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery will be free all day!

Please go snag them, read them and review them!

 

 

Enjoy all!  And I’ll see you Friday for my normal blog post!

Steve

Winner, winner!!

Well how’s about this for a nice Friday blog post!

My contest had fantastic engagement and I was able to break that 400 page like barrier on my Facebook Author page!! So as promised – I drew for TWO winners to receive a signed and personalized copy of The Girl Who Hid in the Trees!! WOOT WOOT!!

 

SOOOOOO….

I’ll announce those at the end of the post! (haha!  come on, I still want you to read a little!)

I’ll keep this brief!

What I’m Working on;

I’ve potentially got some insane and stellar news about my impending June release of The Stranger and the artwork.  Fingers crossed this works out!  I’ll keep you posted.

Otherwise I’ve been grinding away on a bunch of projects!

What music’s been on;

I listen to such a variety, but this week I’ve been listening to one album a bunch.  The Ghost Inside was involved in a horrific accident a few years back.  The members have all had to endure multiple surgeries, amputations and it was never looking like they’d do anything again.  Their drummer lost a leg, but has since designed a system that let’s him play still.  And recently it was announced that they would perform a single concert in 2019.  Because of that I’ve been listening to their last album Dear, Youth a bunch.  It’s a really solid bit of metal, and lyrically, with what they’ve overcome, it couldn’t be more fitting.  Here’s a playlist of the entire album;

 

What I’m reading;

Isle of Savages – T. Briar.  It’s ok so far.  I’m hoping it picks up.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35560338-isle-of-savages

Little Black Spots – John F. D. Taff.  Just read the first story The Immolation Scene.  Gonna be a great collection.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41100259-little-black-spots

Remains – Andrew Cull.  I’m beta reading this and holy hell is it stunning.

What I’m up to;

This week has seen me living the bachelor life as my wife and son were up in Fort Mac helping my In-laws start to get ready for their move.  So I was able to watch a bunch of movies, which I posted about on my various social media accounts.  I’ll try and watch two more movies tonight then pick them up tomorrow!  Can’t wait to see them!

 

Contest Winners!!

Ok, ok here we go!  I apologize – I honestly didn’t feel like going back through and numbering everyone who commented, so I just wrote all your names down with the number of entries you got and then did the ole number generator to pick two!

Winner #1 – Jennifer Sullivan!  Congrats, congrats!

Winner #2 – Carissa Lynn Lovold!  Congrats, congrats!

If you two can kindly message me so I can get addresses etc!

Thank you to every one who entered and I’ll be doing a few more contests coming up soon!

Enjoy your weekend!!

Steve

Contest Time!

Contest Time!
This will be open today (March 20th) and tomorrow (March 21st) with a winner being announced here on my Friday blog post!

Do you want to win a signed and personalized copy of my latest and darkest ‘The Girl Who Hid in the Trees’?

To enter all you need to do is;
– go to my Facebook author page (facebook.com/stevestred)
– sign up here to follow my author website/blog if you haven’t
– comment DONE on the Facebook post once both have been completed!!

As a bonus – I am currently at 384 likes on my author page! If we get to 400, I will give away a 2nd copy!

This contest is open internationally, not affiliated with FB blah blah, all the usual jazz!

So – like my page, sign up to follow my blog, and once complete, comment DONE!

Good luck and I’ll announce the winner on Friday!!

(amazing photo by the fantastic Miranda Crites)

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