Category Archives: All That Remains

Let The Good Times Roll

(J.D McPherson reference!)

Well, I promised a big announcement in January.

First of all, I’ll note something that’s not really a surprise, it’s a question of simple math: I published Welcome to Newtonberg in 2012.  So 2017 is the fifth anniversary of that book.

Has it been a success?  Financially, no.  I mean, I’m certainly not out any money since it cost little to publish it. I did all of the file preparation, design, and editing myself (along with a small group of beta readers looking for both typographical errors and continuity problems).  But any profit to speak of is minimal.

However, I’ve always said the entire process was more about getting the books out there: getting the stories told.  And in that respect, it’s been successful.

But 2017 doesn’t just mark the fifth anniversary of Welcome to Newtonberg: it actually marks 25 years since I wrote the first Newtonberg story.  “A Tear for Billy” was written one afternoon in 1992 in the computer lab at Buffalo High School in Buffalo, Texas.  It was written on an old IBM PC Jr (remember those?) using whatever word processing program was available (it might have been WordStar, but I honestly can’t remember).

“A Tear for Billy” wasn’t a great story, but it established the town, and over twenty years later, it served as the springboard for All That Remains.  For these reasons, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for it, no matter how pretentious and horrible it may have been.

I can hear you saying to yourself now: “Great.  Wonderful.  What’s the announcement?”

There are two, really:

  • Announcement #1: In Fall 2017, I will release a special “25th/5th Anniversary Omnibus Edition” of The Road To Newtonberg, a one-volume collection of all three Newtonberg stories. While there won’t be sweeping changes to the content, I will take the opportunity to correct a few errors that I’ve found, clarify a few plot points, and set everything up for…
  • Announcement #2: I am currently outlining/researching my next book. I can’t promise it will be published in 2017 as well, but I’ll try my hardest.

    While not set in Newtonberg, it is connected: it involves Ray Murchison. Who is Ray Murchison? He’s Rick Murchison’s younger brother, and Stu Murchison’s father. I won’t give much away in terms of the plot, but let’s say it involves first love and a lot of 1980s pop culture references in the small town of Schaefer, Texas (about 75 miles from Newtonberg).

    (For those of you have been following this site for a while, you might remember a vampire book in the works at one point.  Turns out I don’t do supernatural well.  While getting the characters established for that book, I found out that the main character, Ray, didn’t really want to go fight vampires.  He had another story to tell — this is it.)

What’s that I just heard?  A collective sigh from readers silently complaining to themselves that they’ve already paid for three separate books and now I’m asking them to pay again for a one-volume edition?  Well, actually… no (and yes).

If you downloaded the eBooks, I will also be updating the eBook files on Amazon and SmashWords.  So you can go back to those sites, log into your account and download the latest version for free. (In fact, if you bought it from Amazon, you can log into your account and go to “Manage Your Content and Devices”. It will let you know there that an updated version is available.)

If you bought the physical books, I’m afraid I can’t offer free copies of those.  I will be updating the text files at CreateSpace so all subsequent printings will have the same corrections/updates that are in The Road to Newtonberg.  However, if you purchased the print books and want to read the corrected versions as eBooks, contact me through my email or Facebook and I’m sure we can work something out.

Still, if you are considering upgrading your collection to the one-volume edition (or if you only bought one or two of the books originally), I plan to offer the print version of The Road To Newtonberg at $14.99 retail, which is only $5 more than one book in the series on its own.  The eBook will likely be $3.99, which is only $1 more than Back to Newtonberg on its own, and $1 less than buying All That Remains and Back to Newtonberg individually (since Welcome to Newtonberg is always free for download from SmashWords)

So there you have it: my big announcement for 2017. To quote Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters (the original, good version from 1984 — not the remake):

“I love this plan! I’m excited to be a part of it! LET’S DO IT!”

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, The Road to Newtonberg, Welcome to Newtonberg

Money Back Guarantee

(Pigeon John reference in the title!)

It’s my birthday! And once again, I’m giving YOU a present.

If you haven’t read my books yet, here’s a special offer: until December 31st, all of my eBooks are FREE on SmashWords.

Welcome to Newtonberg is already free, so there is no special code needed for it.

To get All That Remains free, use coupon code UC98V at checkout.

For Back to Newtonberg, use coupon code LE86N at checkout.

Thanks again for all of your support this past year. Feel free to share this post with everyone you know to help get the word out about the books!

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity, Welcome to Newtonberg

No More Mr. Nice Guy

(Alice Cooper reference).

First, a warning: this entry will probably sound like sour grapes. But it’s not, honestly. It’s just me giving voice to my frustration because I feel that my book wasn’t given a fair shot.

Local ReviewA local magazine published their review of Back To Newtonberg. It wasn’t a good one. (The review is included on the right, but I will not reveal the name of the magazine.)

I’m not upset that the reviewer didn’t like the book. What I am upset about is that based on her review (in which she got the name of the book wrong for a start), she didn’t read it. Or if she did, she didn’t pay attention to what she was reading.

I don’t claim that the Newtonberg books are great literature. Although I admit the influences of Garrison Keillor and Jan Karon, I do not pretend that I am even near their league as an author.

But I do know that I told the story better than this review makes out.

The reviewer’s plot synopsis bears no similarity to the actual plot of my book. She says “most of the content centers around Madge and the mysterious document she had received…nothing clues the reader in about what the document is.”

Um… Madge is DEAD. Has been since book two. The reviewer even points this out in one of the later paragraphs. And the document is her story (which makes up the bulk of All That Remains) that MIKE received and is shared with Nikki. And furthermore, it is a very small part of this book. The manuscript is referred to briefly in the first few chapters and that’s it.

The whole tone of the piece is very condescending. Maybe she didn’t mean it to be taken in such a way, but I read “OF COURSE the people of Newtonberg embrace her whole-heartedly” and “The Good Father Nichols” as if being said in a very snarky manner.

Look, I understand that not everyone will like the books. And I take to heart her comments about adding depth to characters and developing the plot a bit more.

But please — make an effort to at least present the facts correctly. Even Roger Ebert gave a fair review of the content of films he hated. When he reviewed The Brown Bunny, he said he disliked the film, but at least his readers knew the basic plot when they finished reading his column.

Being that this review might be the only exposure some people in East Texas have to my book (not to mention Galveston — where I have found out these reviews are reprinted as part of their local magazine), I hate to think that what they are reading isn’t true.

Rant over. I’m off to plan my next book.

A little down, but not out by a long shot.

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity

Who Me

(Buckethead reference in the title!)

It’s my birthday! And once again, I’m giving YOU a present.

If you haven’t read my books yet, here’s a special offer: until December 31st, all of my eBooks are FREE on SmashWords.

Welcome to Newtonberg is already free, so there is no special code needed for it.

To get All That Remains free, use coupon code CH79H at checkout.

For Back to Newtonberg, use coupon code UQ22Q at checkout.

Thanks again for all of your support this past year. Feel free to share this post with everyone you know to help get the word out about the books!

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Publicity, Welcome to Newtonberg

My Little Town

(Paul Simon reference!)

Lots of important news!

First of all: November 1, 2014, is the launch date for Back to Newtonberg.

On that date, it will be available as an eBook from SmashWords and Amazon. Over the next few weeks, it will make its way into the Kobo store, iTunes, and other online retailers. It is already available for preorder from Amazon & SmashWords.

Both the regular and large print books will be available from Amazon and CreateSpace immediately, and from Barnes & Noble and other retailers after that. Your local bookstore should be able to order it for you if you don’t want to order it online.

Secondly: the large print versions of ALL of the Newtonberg books will now be available from Barnes & Noble and other retailers. Up until now, they were only available from Amazon and CreateSpace.

And last of all: eBook prices have changed at SmashWords. Back to Newtonberg will still be $2.99. The cost for All That Remains has been reduced to $1.99.

And Welcome to Newtonberg is now FREE.

That’s right — FREE.

No discount codes. No coupons. No nothin’.

Gratis.

F-R-E-E.

Now for the caveat: THIS IS ONLY AT SMASHWORDS. Due to their restrictions, Amazon will not allow me to set the eBook price at their site any lower than $2.99. So if you buy any of the eBooks there, the price is still $2.99. I can’t do anything about this unless I give them exclusive distribution of the title, and I won’t do that.

So there we have it, folks. Just because I’ve been slow in updating the blog doesn’t mean I’ve been bone-idle. I’ve been busy. Working to bring the new book to you a month ahead of schedule. And in the immortal words of Bryan Adams: “Everything I do, I do it for you.”

(I’m not sure if I apologize for that bad song reference or not.)

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Filed under All That Remains, Back to Newtonberg, Notes from the Author, Welcome to Newtonberg