Monthly Update – May 2018

Greetings from humid Tennessee!

I’ve decided to start doing monthly updates to give everyone an idea of what I’ve been up to. I’ll include things like writing updates, book information, personal thoughts, what’s going on in my life, video games I’m playing, movies/shows I’m watching, etc.

First thing’s first…

RANGER’S FREAKING OATH LAUNCHES IN TWO(ish) WEEKS!!!!!!

Sorry about that. <takes a deep breath>

I’m super excited because this is the debut of my first full-length novel. It’s been about a year in the making (much longer if you include all the dreaming and practice writing I’ve done over the years), and it represents a significant milestone/personal achievement. Not to overhype it, but I am *very* stoked about this. I see it as the first official step in my career as an author, as well as the first paid title in my backlist. For those interested, you can find a synopsis of Ranger’s Oath here. Notice that this link is also my Amazon pre-order page 😉

As far as writing updates go, I seem to be moving at a pretty decent pace. Books 1-4 of the Arc of Radiance series are already written, and I am working on the final volume (Book 5) right now. I currently have some pretty awesome things in the works, but I’m not quite ready to unveil what I have planned. Suffice it to say, I plan on moving away from the YA genre (not forever, though) and into the epic fantasy genre. Be on the lookout for information about a new upcoming series in the next couple of months.

In other news

Things in my personal life are going well 🙂 my wife is about to have our second child, and my son just discovered How to Train Your Dragon. Dragons are kind of his new thing, which I’m totally cool with, since dragons are a central part of nerd culture. Just a few more years, and I’ll be able to start indoctrinating him with Harry Potter novels and hack & slash video games.

Speaking of video games… lately I’ve been playing The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game (pun intended), but in my defense, my video game time has been severely limited since becoming a full-fledged adult. Anywho, this game is AWESOME. Top-notch story telling and super fun action. I love RPGs, and this one is no exception. Makes me extremely excited to play the next game in the series.

Aside from that, not really much is going on. Most of my time is spent working and writing novels, with family and leisure time squeezed somewhere in the mix. Lately I’ve been reading the Paladin Trilogy by Daniel M. Ford. It’s a really interesting story with a unique take on spirituality and religion. Highly recommended.

Please shoot me an email at contact@blakearthurpeel.com if you have any questions, or would like to receive an ARC copy of Ranger’s Oath. I’m always looking to grow my ARC team and my beta readers.

Have a great day, and thanks for reading!

-Blake

April Update!

Hello everyone!

Just a quick update…

I’m still plugging along on the Arc of Radiance series. Book 4 is almost done, just a few chapters to go, then it’s on to the fifth (and final) volume of the series. Excited to wrap this thing up! I have some really cool things in the works, but more on that later. For now, expect Ranger’s Oath to launch early summer.

Right now, I am offering one of my older novellas, Cycle of Blades, for free on Instafreebie. Here is the link to claim a copy: https://claims.instafreebie.com/free/IAEy7blC

Other than that, I’m still working hard to bring my stories to life. Until next time…

Blake

Still pressing forward…

Hello everyone!

Its been a couple months since I last updated my blog – sorry about that! Things have been rather busy with the holidays and with work, but needless to say I have not stopped writing!

Arc of Radiance book 3 has been completed! It is now off to my beta readers and will be edited over the next few weeks. I have begun the process of outlining book 4 and am also working on an anthology of short stories set in another world.

“Ranger’s Oath” is still set for release in the spring/early summer of this year. Once I start hitting publish, you can expect a book out every month or two 🙂

2018 is going to be an excellent year for me in my author career – one might even call it my “breakout” year. With any luck, I will be able to generate enough sales over the next year or two to start writing full time. Once that happens, things will really start shifting into high gear!

My family is doing well, and my wife is actually pregnant with our second child. Huzzah! Very exited about that. We find out the gender next week, and baby is due right about the time “Ranger’s Oath” will be released.

Like I said, exciting things happening 🙂

I will try to do better about blogging over the course of 2018. For those who care, I will include updates about my personal life/family in addition to news about my books. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts (or would like to be included in my mailing list), please shoot me a message. I’m always happy to speak with readers.

In the meantime, I’ll keep pressing forward.

Be on the lookout for cool updates on upcoming projects on my social media profiles 🙂

Excelsior!

-Blake

NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone,

It’s been a couple of months since my last post, but rest assured that I have not stopped writing. Book 2 of the Arc of Radiance series is complete and in the editing process, and I have finished rewriting much of Ranger’s Oath. We’re right on track for a Spring 2018 release 🙂

As many of you know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). My project for this month is Arc of Radiance Book 3 – which will be title War Echoes. I’m already on chapter 4, and moving full speed ahead. It should be finished before the year is over. If you would like to track my progress, I will be giving daily word count updates on Twitter and Facebook, so follow me! Other than that, I will be developing my marketing plan and outlining my next series, a steam punk epic fantasy tentatively titled Nightblade.

Thank you so much for your continued support. It’s positive reviews and constructive feedback that keeps me going 🙂

Anyway, onward and upward. Until next time…

Blake

Update 9/14/2017

Hello everyone!
Sorry that it’s taken me so long to post on here. It’s been a crazy couple of months.

I want to give you a quick update on what I’ve been up to:

No, I have not published Ranger’s Oath. I know… I know… I said that I was going to over the summer. Sorry about that. I’ve decided to change my strategy, and my overall approach when it comes to publishing books. In an effort to make sure that my books do as well as possible, I plan on writing the entire “Arc of Radiance” series before publishing a single book. Why? Because of the nature of the business.

Self-publishing is an extremely competitive world, one that is over-saturated (especially in my genres) and rife with strong competitors. A new author needs every advantage he can get to stand out from the pack. Amazon tends to reward authors who can churn out books quickly (there’s this thing called the ’30-day Cliff’) by placing them higher in their search results, much like using SEO to rank higher in Google. Since I am not a particularly fast writer, I want to make sure I have the whole series done so I can publish them in quick succession – I plan on releasing one a month (roughly). This will ensure that my books are being promoted by Amazon for 5-6 months straight!

Right now, I plan on releasing the series in Spring 2018. Sorry! I know it’s a long ways away, but if you’re really that upset about it, send me an email and I’ll make you one of my beta readers 😊

This weekend, I plan on finishing Book 2, which is titled Bringers of Doom. After that, I plan on diving right into Book 3, which is tentatively titled War Echoes. Remember, this is a five book series, so if I keep up my normal pace, I should be finishing Book 5 around March/April of next year. Also, the Ranger’s Oath cover has been completed, but I am only showing it to my beta readers. So, if you want to see it, you’re going to have to email me to be added to the group.

There are a lot of exciting things going on, and I am excited to finally start getting my work out there for the world to see. Please, if you have any thoughts/questions, comment below or send me a message. I LOVE hearing from people.

As always, I am hard at work trying to bring these stories to life. I have a long backlog of books that I want to write, and hopefully one day I can make that my full-time job. Until then, I will continue doing my best to pump out stories as fast as possible.

Thanks for reading and supporting me!

-Blake

Update – delays…

I wanted to send you all a quick update on the launch of “Ranger’s Oath” and what I have been currently working on.

Unfortunately, I have had to postpone the book’s launch for the next few weeks. Still waiting on a finalized version of the cover and I need some more time for my beta readers to send me their feedback. I promise that I am not being idle 🙂 I am hard at work on Book II in the series, and once “Ranger’s Oath” is fully edited and ready to go, it will be on digital bookshelves ASAP.

Being a new author, there are (of course) some bumps in the road that I’ll have to overcome. Never fear, though! I am still writing, still working hard to make this dream of mine a reality.

I’ll send you more updates as they come. Thank you for your patience with me!!

-Blake

A note to all those afflicted with writer’s block…

To all my fellow writers who find themselves afflicted with the painful apathy of writer’s block (and that’s just about every single writer out there…), I salute you. You are not alone.

For the past six months or so, I have had the glorious experience of writing unencumbered by the crushing weight of writer’s block. I produced a full-length novel, wrote several short stories, and learned the ins and outs of indie publishing, all (seemingly) without taking a breath. Now, about five chapters into book two, I find myself facing a dilemma: I no longer have the energy to write. I no longer have the energy to do anything, really. When I get home from work, all I want to do is curl up on the couch, turn on the TV, and forget about my responsibilities until bedtime.

It’s frustrating.

It’s maddening.

But I know, of course, that I am not alone in feeling this way.

Writer’s block is a very real phenomenon that occurs when a writer gets burned out. Sometimes it even happens before we start writing at all. The trick, it seems, is to just power through it. That seems to be the advice everybody gives, anyway. “Just put your nose to the grindstone, put your fingers on the keyboard, and start writing. After a while the words will start to flow.”

The problem is, writer’s block is just a symptom. It’s not a diagnosis. The root causes of writer’s block can vary widely, and therefore I believe that so should the treatments.

#1 – Inspiration Block

Sometimes we simply run out of things to write about. Call it a brain fart, a lack of creativity, whatever. It is when the idea well simply runs dry and no matter how hard we try, we can’t figure out where to take our story next. That’s when we need to re-inspire.

We are all inspired by something. For me, it is epic fantasy. When I am looking for inspiration, I’ll read a book, watch a movie, or play a video game. Anything to spark my imagination and get the gears turning. Maybe it’s a film that I haven’t seen in a long time. Maybe it’s a video game from my childhood. Wherever your inspiration comes from, go there and spend some time feeding your mind. You’ll find that more often than not, it’s exactly what you needed to jumpstart your writing.

#2 – Lack of Structure

Have you ever sat around on a Saturday, aimless and unable to bring yourself to the computer to write? Have you ever known that you should use this free time wisely so that you can churn out another chapter or two? If so, then you may be suffering from what I call a lack of structure.

If you are a responsible adult, then your work week is likely structured and predictible. Wake up at this time; drive into work at that time; do my job, drive home, repeat. Our lives are this way because we are creatures of habit, and when we allow ourselves to fall into a pattern, our productivity increases. It is important that we take a similar approach with our writing.

If you don’t yet have a method or pattern, make one. Dedicate a time slot, find a quiet room, and write until time runs out. Make it a part of your routine. “I won’t check Facebook until I have at least five hundred words on the page”. When writing becomes part of your life, just like brushing your teeth, you’ll find that writer’s block won’t effect you as often, and, most importantly, you’ll write more book.

#3 – Burnout

Last but not least, we have burnout. This is what I am currently working through right now. It feels like the fire that once burned within me has been snuffed out, and finding the energy to do anything productive at all seems like an impossible task. It is caused by trying to do too many things at once, from pushing yourself beyond your limits, and from refusing to take time to rest and recharge your batteries.

From what I can tell, there is no easy solution to overcoming burnout. I know from past experience (not in writing, but in other areas of my life), that the best way to overcome burnout is rest. Take a vacation. You’ve earned it. Try to sleep a little more; eat healthier. Change up your schedule a little bit. Just like all things, this too shall pass. With burnout, all you need is some time to get your spark back. And don’t fret because it will come back.

Now, none of this is to say that sometimes you don’t need to just power through it. There are days when that is great advice – just sit your butt in the chair and start writing. But I guess the point I am getting at is that a lot of the time writer’s block is caused by a myriad of different things, and so our approach should be more tactical in the way we overcome it.

This is far from a perfect list, and guess what? I’m still struggling through a bit of writer’s block at this very moment. But it is helpful to identify the root cause so that you can hasten your way to a speedy recovery👍🏻

Let me know in the comments if you have any thoughts. Until next time, cheers.

Blake