Undercurrents

My book of short stories, vignettes, and poetry, Undercurrents, should be ready for public consumption in December. It’s being proofread, mostly to confirm that my compilation and formatting didn’t introduce errors.

Some of it is available online, some has been shared with newsletter readers or members of other forums, but this is the first time I’ve created a compilation like this with it all in one place.

Oh, the poetry part? No, I’m not really a poet. There are some bits from long ago, two real poems, and scads of song lyrics which more than one trusted reader has assured me reads like poetry.

It’ll be my first ever digital only book. A stopgap, in fact, to prevent this from being the first year since I started publishing that I didn’t have a book to release.

If it becomes my bestselling book I promise I’ll have it formatted for print, if that matters to y’all like it does me.

Inside My Brain: Phil B and Cheryl C Take a Scary Trip

Today’s stop on the tour is with Cheryl “Burnt Mountain” Campbell.

Cheryl is the hardest working author I’ve ever met. (And, in fact, we have met, when she drove from Maine to Wisconsin to meet the fam. I was touched and impressed. There was Strongbow Cider involved.)

Her books are good and getting better.

Her comments on my revealing psychological ramblings in the post just make it better.

Go. Read. Comment.

Detailed Review of A Still, Small Voice

Faith Blum has written a detailed review of the latest Phil Brennan book.

I would have preferred 5 stars. Her review, though, is done right: some opinion, but mostly, details that will help any reader decide whether it’s right for them.

Read and comment, eh?

Phil Brennan On Tour: A Still, Small Voice Blog Tour

Join friends and I this week on a tour round the web with Phil Brennan’s second story, A Still, Small Voice.

Today, Lia London uses the phrase “flamboyantly unassuming” which I find buoyantly amusing. Give her interview with me a read, and chat in the comments, eh?

Giving Readers Their Money’s Worth

During our year-end sabbatical and post-mortem/planning episode, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to do all I can to separate my art from money matters. This past year related issues brought me closer to abandoning writing than anything ever has in the past.

I’m planning on writing like mad, but I’m planning on giving it all away. Take money, marketing, business out of the equation so I can create without feeling the obligation to give people “their money’s worth” which is a phrase I haven’t been able to get out of my head for years.

Artists who make a good living learn to separate these issues, the art and the business. Great thinkers I’ve followed like Mark McGuinness at Lateral Action, Hugh McLeod at Gaping Void, and Bob Dylan at everywhere, have all managed to do this at various levels. Maybe I’ll get there after while.

For now, anyone who signs up for my newsletter will get every novel I write, free, including those already published.

Pause

tl;dr — I’m taking a break from my online presence

Here’s why.

I registered my first domain name in February of 1999. (It was spinhead.com, the one I use for my web design company and my primary email.) I’d already been designing websites for 4 years prior, and working with computers since I first went to work with my Dad sometime in 1976 or so.

For the past 20 years I’ve spent more and more time online.

And less and less time in the real world.

I’m trading the deceptive ease of online relationships for the messy complications of infinitely more satisfying connections in real life.

More time out in nature.

More time playing music.

More time with Best Beloved and our Little One.

More time sharing meals with friends. And taking my cooking from good cook to creative chef.

More time writing and studying the craft of writing, novels and music.

More time out in it and less time in my head.

Some Things to Note

If you know me in real life, you know how to get in touch. Do so, or wait till you see me later in the week.

Otherwise contact Sue (Sue@Spinhead.com or 715.296.0347) and she’ll know what to do.

Here’s what this is not about:

  • Nothing is wrong. Honest.
  • This is not a reaction, it’s an action. A choice based on deep thinking, meditation, and conversation with those I trust most.
  • It’s not about you. You didn’t offend or hurt me. Not now, probably not ever.
  • I’ll still be writing. A lot.
  • I don’t know when, or if, I’ll resume my previous online shenanigans, meaning posting everywhere, emailing like a dervish, living in social media. But don’t hold your breath.

P.S. from Sue – I fully support Joel in this decision. As his Chief Social Media Officer however, you’ll note that I’ll be managing his social media accounts on his behalf. So if you see his tweets or posts on his Facebook Author page, that’s me behind the scenes. ;)

Post #300

with my Best Beloved on the Sacramento RiverDecember 8th, 2016, if I’ve done this right, my 300th post will go live here at my fiction site.

That would be today. And this would be the post.

I wrote my first blog post in 2002, fourteen years ago. I’ve written a few thousand posts at various blogs. I’ve written 9 nonfiction books, 6 fiction books, and more than 100 songs.

Writers sometimes forget to stop and celebrate just getting stuff done.

Four years of posting, mostly about my writing, while also maintaining my indie publishing website.

I feel pretty good about my writing these days.

I hope y’all feel the same.

Free Copy of the Next Book: Sign Up Now!

The next Phil Brennan book, A Still, Small Voice, will be published digitally by year end. (The print version won’t be ready until January.)

Here’s a few ways you can be involved, and get cool stuff:

  • Sign up for the newsletter before the next edition (it goes out Thursday, December 15th) and you can request a free advance review digital copy when it’s ready. This free offer is only for folks already on the newsletter list before it goes out.
  • Preorder the print version, and get the digital version free.
  • Share my newsletter link with anyone you know who likes my kind of writing. Copy this link, and paste it in an email, on Facebook, Twitter, wherever: http://JoelDCanfield.com/newsletter/

The preorder page will be ready before the newsletter goes out, but you can preorder any time at all by simply sending $12 to PayPal@Spinhead.com (or for international orders, $25) and tell me it’s for the new Phil Brennan book, A Still, Small Voice.

Blog Tour in January for Phil Brennan #2, “A Still, Small Voice”

A Still, Small VoiceTo promote my newest book, A Still, Small Voice, which will be out in December, I’m going on a blog tour in January.

If you, dear reader, would like to host a stop on the tour, I’ll give one of your readers a copy of the book just for commenting. (Oh, and you’ll get one for hosting.) You don’t need a large audience. I’ll take whatever you’re willing to share.

If you know of another blogging author who might be interested in hosting a stop on the tour in exchange for the bribe of 2 copies of the book (one for them, one for a commenter) please point them this way.

Eager to share this one with you. It is my best book so far.

9 Ways You Can Help Support My Husband the Author

Sue L Canfield
Sue L Canfield
Because I’m not only Joel’s biggest fan but also his social media marketing manager, he asked me to share a few ways that you, his other fans, can support him as an author.

  1. Connect with Joel on the following social media platforms.
  1. Share Joel’s social media posts.
  1. Sign up for Joel’s monthly newsletter. Joel sends out a monthly newsletter about his mysteries the middle of each month. It’s the first place you’ll hear about his new books, even before they are published. It always includes links to his previous blog posts which are often short book excerpts. Anyone who signs up for the newsletter gets two free books. One is the first Phil Brennan book, A Long, Hard Look, (which, though each book stands alone, you might want to read before the second Phil Brennan book, A Still, Small Voice, comes out in December.) The other free book, since Joel forgot to remove the download for it and he’ll probably never get around to it, is Through the Fog, an Irish Mystery.
  1. Share the link to sign up for the newsletter. Remember, if you recommend the newsletter to a friend, you’re essentially giving them two free books!
  1. Subscribe to Joel’s blog. You’ll see at the blog in the left sidebar where to subscribe – it says Get new posts by email. Just put in your email address and never miss another blog post. Don’t forget to comment at the blog as well.
  1. Buy Joel’s books. You can find them at his website here and on Amazon.
  1. Buy a copy of one of Joel’s books for a friend who you think will enjoy it but hasn’t yet discovered his books.
  1. Review Joel’s books on Amazon. If you’ve read any of Joel’s books, please provide an honest review at Amazon.
  1. Send Joel an email. He loves to hear from his fans. Whether you want to provide feedback, ask a question, share how you supported him, or anything else, Joel would love to hear from you! His email is Joel@JoelDCanfield.com

Because authors are emotional creatures, and I know from experience this is especially true of Joel, supportive things like reviews at Amazon, comments at the blog, enthusiastic shares on social media and even personal emails help make an author enthusiastic about continuing to write. [And easier to live with.—jdc]

Special Opportunity for Newsletter Members (And You)

Jake Calcutta and the Temporal LisleThis month’s newsletter went out two days ago and included a special offer/request for help with my science fiction adventure work in progress, Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle.

If you’d like to hear about that opportunity, sign up for the newsletter before next Wednesday’s blog post (the date will be November 23rd) and I’ll resend the info, just for you.

Anyone After Audio?

Audiobooks are hugely popular.

I, on the other hand, can’t listen to a book. I have to hold it in my hands. Much prefer print to digital, but even digital is better for me than audio.

microphoneYou might not be me. Yes, I checked. You’re not me.

Are you interested in audio versions of my books?

I have my own recording studio. I have 45 years of training in public speaking and reading just the way an audio book should be read, so I have the wherewithal.

I’d enjoy doing it, and probably will, just for fun.

But is it worth bumping it up on the to-do list, get it done sooner than later?

After all, giving to you is one reason I write.

Big Launch for ‘A Still, Small Voice’

A Still, Small VoicePhil Brennan mystery #2, A Still, Small Voice, will be published before year end. After the 1st of the year I’m going to go on a blog tour, writing short custom pieces for a handful of bloggers who’d be a good fit for my style of writing. There will be lots of free copies of the digital version and as many other surprises as I can muster.

If you are, or know of, a blog that would be a good fit, please let me know either in the comments or by email to joel@joeldcanfield.com if you’d be so kind.

More to Come

Insiders get all the news first. They also get all the best free stuff. Be an insider. Sign up for the newsletter.

Off to See the Editor: A Still, Small Voice (Phil Brennan #2)

AStillSmallVoice-cover20151020e-flat-3DYesterday the final manuscript of the second Phil Brennan mystery, A Still, Small Voice, was trundled off to my marvelous editor Tom Bentley to face the Pain of the Red Pen.

My goal is to have it in your hot little hands by December 1st.

Why Aren’t You Signed Up for the Newsletter?

Did you know that everyone who signs up for my newsletter gets not 1 but 2 free books? And they’re not has-beens or outcasts. You’ll get Through the Fog, my most popular book ever by a wide margin, and A Long, Hard Look, the first Phil Brennan mystery (oh, look, the second in the series will be out by year end.)

My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
My 1st newsletter was a long time ago
You also get the first look at much of my writing, opportunities for even more free books, and the audio versions of my 1-Page Classics absolutely free (they’re 99¢ to the average citizen.)

So why aren’t you signed up?

Tell you what: give it a try. Sign up. Grab the 2 free books. Grab the free audio stuff. Read the next newsletter. If you aren’t thrilled to be involved, unsubscribe. Since I have written multiple articles for business folk about how great it is when casual or uninterested readers unsubscribe from a list they’re not excited about, you know I’m not going to be bothered by it.

But at the very least, give it a try, eh?

Help Me Succeed as an Author

Short and sweet: would you consider sharing my “books” page with a friend?

Just copy this link

http://joeldcanfield.com/my-books/

and send it to them with something like Joel’s books are mysteries that are more about people than puzzles. Here’s his blog, and if you sign up for his newsletter you get TWO free books. How cool is that? Also, he sends you a personal, handwritten welcome note. Also he’s funny.

Or perhaps you’ll find your own wording.

More fans leads to more income as a writer which leads to more writing, which means, you guessed it, more books for you.

Thank you.

Left Coast Crime: Why it’s not for me

I try to keep this blog on the topic of my books, and not the business of selling them. This post is a long commentary on why I’m glad I went to Left Coast Crime in Phoenix, and why I won’t be going again. If that’s not exciting to you, I’ll see you Friday when I get back to some kind of blogging schedule.

As I noted earlier, the short version: glad I did it, wouldn’t do it again.

My first writing conference, so perhaps my expectations weren’t realistic. I was looking for either opportunities to make fans, or information about writing craft. Neither happened.

This conference is designed for fans to meet and listen to their favorite authors. They did give me a 20-minute session in a side room, attended by 3 people. Fun, but not productive.

conferenceLike every convention there were opportunities for people to drink and mingle. I spent the d&m time with my wife instead. (More on that below.)

I heard some interesting panels. But if I’d formulated specific questions and gone looking for the answers I would have found them on the Internet. There is always a certain undefinable emotional benefit to being surrounded by 300 authors and 400 mystery fans, but it’s not worth the $300 conference price to me. (I stayed with friends in Phoenix so I spent $70 in gas and parking rather than $555 for the “convention special” hotel rate.

… more … “Left Coast Crime: Why it’s not for me”

Left Coast Crime 2016: It’s Done, I’m Done

Four days, driving 30 miles through city freeways each morning and evening, sitting all day listening for nuggets.

I am wiped. I am sick.

Short version: glad I did it, but because it is wholly trad-pub centric, will look for an indie-friendly event next time.

More later, including how it might affect my writing.

And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)

ocean-fenceIn my latest newsletter I asked for input about which of these works in progress should get my attention after I finish A Still, Small Voice and Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle. (If you want in on stuff like this, sign up for my newsletter.)

  1. The 3rd Irish adventure — From the Fog (follows Through the Fog and Into the Fog)
  2. A 3rd Phil Brennan mystery — A Short, Sharp Shock (follows A Long, Hard Look and A Still, Small Voice [not yet published])
  3. More scifi/adventure — another Jake Calcutta (follows Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle [not yet published])
  4. More Jesse Donovan (follows That She Is Made of Truth)
  5. The Village Id — a witty cozy mystery set in a small English village filled with quirky characters; very P. G. Wodehouse. Check out the 1st chapter.
  6. Coming of age story — a young teen’s life is disrupted when his family has to move in with relatives; he turns to music for comfort
  7. Anacrusis (a mystery with a female lead) — A woman dumps her unfaithful fiancee and moves to a small town where two men amorously pursue her, while one of them awaits the life insurance payoff from the first wife he murdered.

… more … “And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)”

Another Free Book

I’m changing the reward for signing up for my newsletter. Right now, sign up and you’ll get my very first mystery, Through the Fog.

After the 15th, the free book changes to A Long, Hard Look.

To make it more interesting, sign up now to get one, and in the newsletter of the 15th, get the other. Free. Both of ’em. Because everyone on the newsletter on the 15th will get a free book.

At least one free book . . .