Pssst… You Want a Couple of FREE Short Stories?

Evolved Publishing has graciously allowed me to share this bit of good news with folks who visit my website, so….

It so happens that for just the next few days (expires November 30th), you can get two of my short stories FREE through Smashwords. All you have to do is click on the appropriate link below, and enter the 5-character coupon code listed. Nice and easy. And don’t worry if you don’t have a Smashwords account, as it’s easy – and free – to set one up.

So here are those links and codes:

Devane’s Reality at Smashwords (Use this Code: NE37A)

Paradox at Smashwords (Use this Code: UY53K)

These stories are similar in theme, if different in basic genre. They each explore the fragility of the human mind. I sure hope you like them, and that you’ll take a moment to post your heartfelt reviews at Smashwords after reading them.

THANK YOU!

Changes Coming at LaneDiamond.com

Now that I have my website back after being hacked, it’s clear I need to make lots of changes — cleaning up old posts that are no longer relevant, updating expired links, updating current info regarding the many projects I’ve been a part of, deleting posts that hackers converted into ads for… well, we’ll not talk about what the ads are for.

As part of this, I do believe it’s time to consider a whole new template and website design, something more modern and appropriate for authors. I fear I’m setting a pretty bad example for other authors here. This will be on my to-do list for January/February 2019.

In the meantime, I shall beg yur indulgence and patience as I once again, at long last, re-engage on my own website. If you’ve stuck with me here, then thank you. You’re amazing! 🙂

I’m Back! A Progress Report on THE DEVIL’S BANE.

I had lost my site for a few weeks, hacked by… someone. Now it’s back, so I guess I’m back. I’ll be posting new content soon, including some more discussions about some recent releases I had the pleasure of editing. In fact, you can drop over to my Facebook fan page at LaneDiamondAuthor and see some of those discussions there. Naturally, I hope you’ll LIKE my page while you’re there.

In other news, I’ve made some additional progress on my second “Tony Hooper” novel, THE DEVIL’S BANE, since last I posted here.

Completed and HIGHLY polished: Prologue-Chapter 10 (27,000 words).
Completed and final polishing pass pending: Chapters 11-16 (11,000 words).
Best guess at final length? 85,000-90,000 words.

It’s a slow go, but I made the decision not to postpone its completion any longer, regardless of my current workloads as publisher and editor. I’m working on it at least 3 days per week, 2 hours per day. So even at just 6 hours/week, I’ll finish it up and have it ready for launch come the spring.

FINALLY! Yeesh… only been 8 years in the waiting room.

NOTE: The cover pictured will NOT be the final cover, but I’ll use it for various marketing efforts.

So all in all, it’s good to be back. I’ll make a reasonable attempt to be a bit more active here at my site. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Some Great New Books Edited by Lane Diamond

Once again, I have been woefully absent from my website and blog. Apologies. I’ve been on the road, traveling with my wife, for the past 3+ months, so work time has been hard to come by. Nonetheless, since the last time we spoke, a few books I edited have been released. Let’s take them one at a time, shall we?

FRACTURE POINT by Jeff Altabef

One of the things I really enjoy about Jeff’s books are his characters, which I believe are his greatest strength as a writer. Don’t get me wrong–he tells great stories, but I really love his characters.

In Fracture Point, Jeff gives us a glimpse of the futuristic world in which his A POINT THRILLER series all began. This is the world where his book Shatter Point takes place (Book 2 of the series), winner of the prestigious Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. So let me just tell you about Fracture Point.

An untrained spy and a rebel faction.
A mysterious scarlet-haired jazz singer.
Dangerous secrets guarded by a devious killer.

What could possibly go wrong?

Only everything.

Tom’s brilliant, but when it comes to people smarts, he’s clueless. When his older brother disappears, Tom opens the door to adventure and terror—and a beautiful red-haired spy. She stands in the doorway and spins a tale so unbelievable it just might be true. What if his carefree brother is not just a tennis instructor, but a spy who has uncovered a secret so explosive it could trigger a bloody revolution?

Tom will do whatever it takes to get his brother back, even if he’s completely unprepared for what happens next. He’ll need the help of would-be friends and foes, and a whole lot of luck, to outwit the psychopathic killer holding his brother hostage. And maybe, just maybe, he can rescue his brother and keep America from reaching the fracture point, too.

Amazon Kindle ; Amazon Paperback ; Barnes and Noble Paperback ;
Amazon Audiobook ; Audible Audiobook ; iTunes Audiobook

THE GHOST KING by Jeff Altabef

Yep, another great book from Jeff. This one is the second installment of his RED DEATH series, following up on the sensational first book, Red Death.

An Ancient Prophecy foretold.
An Evil haunts the land.
A battle looms against overwhelming odds.

Led by a powerful witch, a wild invading army threatens to tear the Soulless lands apart. To survive, the three tribes must join together, but old grievances and hatred divide them. Only Wilky can unite them, but when he glimpses the future, he sees only a glimmer of hope; too much of the future remains veiled in darkness.

As the battle approaches, King Dermot orders his brother, Eamon, to stay behind at the Stronghold and defend against a possible siege. Eamon, who took an oath to fight the invaders, defies his brother, risks everything, and plunges into a desperate race with Aaliss and Wilky to unite the tribes.

Enemies from all sides conspire against them. Only together can they hope to succeed against the witch who will stop at nothing to destroy them. Yet even united, they will need magic to defeat this enemy at their door.

As the battle looms, only one chance at survival remains–the Ghost King–but who is he, and what will be the price of their redemption?

Amazon Kindle ; Amazon Paperback ; Barnes and Noble Paperback

ROTA FORTUNAE by Isu Yin & Fae Yang

This one is exciting for me because of the scope of this project–not to mention its quality. The authors’ current plan calls for a series spanning 60+ books, called GRIMS’ TRUTH. I know, I know… but really, if ever I had faith in authors to complete their plan, it’s in the team of Yin & Yang. This one launches October 2, but it’s available for pre-order now.

Everything that has happened, is happening, will happen again.

Several turns after the disappearance of the High Queen’s successor, rumors of a plague spread across the Empire of Mu. Two parties, the Rebellion and the Council, clash over the strange phenomenon and its source, the Tainted.

Cruentus Fate, a young Royal from the second kingdom of Mu, becomes entangled in the battle for the Capital as she and her brother, Abyssus, seek out the truth about their relationship with the enigmatic Grim. Her life turns upside down when she’s separated from her brother and sold to the brothel by their father, the King of Macellarius. The brothel’s Madam, Fortuna, takes Fate under her wing and broadens her knowledge of the Empire, the war at hand, and the secret behind her existence.

With her new understanding, Fate sets out to restore balance to the Empire, and to recover her brother from their father’s clutches. First, she must rally the support of the unstable prince of the neighboring kingdom.

Around every bend lies another dark secret about the world she lives in, and the more she uncovers, the more entangled she becomes in the web of lies her family has spun.

Amazon Kindle ; Barnes and Noble Nook ; Apple iBook ; Kobo ;
Amazon Paperback ; Barnes and Noble Paperback

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So that will do it for this time around–3 great books for your reading pleasure, each of which I edited, and each of which I recommend wholeheartedly.

ENJOY!

Still Here

Yep… I’m still here. I was away from this site for so long, and hadn’t updated the site, that someone snuck in and hacked me… in a friendly kind of way, but still….

Anyway, I have a long TO-DO list, and I include on that re-engaging on this, my author’s website. Yeesh! I really have let it go too long.

Watch for my first new “real” post in a long time to appear next week. It’s on my calendar. 😉

Lane Diamond Talks about Editing & Writer Coaching

THIS POST IS FOR WRITERS AND INTERESTED READERS:

I’ve spoken on occasion about how hard it is for me to do my own writing because of all my responsibilities as managing publisher/editor at Evolved Publishing. Well, that got to me thinking: Exactly how many books have I edited, or co-edited with another, wherein I do the final polishing edit? And wouldn’t it be about time to do a little maintenance to update this information?

Well… here it is. To date (updated November 15, 2018) I’ve edited 148 books or stories for EP, 110 of which remain active there, and 34 of which have been returned to the authors. Wow. Yeah, that was my reaction when I did the update. And guess what? It explains a lot about my own lack of writing. C’est la vie… and it’s okay.

For the full list, just click over to my Writing Coach page and scroll down.

But really, as I think about it, I can’t possibly view this as a bad thing. Indeed, it’s a fantastic thing for me, and a point of real pride–in no small part because many of these books have gone on to win some very nice awards. I have helped, in my own small way, a number of authors to achieve their dreams (or at least to get started on those dreams), and nothing has been more rewarding for me than that.

And so the first thing I must say to all those authors is this: “Thank you.” Seriously, despite occasional frustrations with scheduling and workload, it has been my privilege and honor to have worked with all of you. I hope you become the superstars you deserve to be in this business. You’re doing great work, and I hope I’ve been able to contribute at least a little to that effort and to your growth as a writer.

I wear two hats in this arena: editor, writing coach. The first is clear enough, as I help authors address structural issues with their work–plot, characterization, setting, etc.–and then I help them not only clean up the prose but to ramp up its power. This is, I think, my greatest strength as an editor. As a writing coach, it’s really quite different, as I take on the role of trainer/educator/mentor. I do all as a writing coach that I do as an editor, but so much more. And make no mistake, this is where I’ve achieved my greatest professional satisfaction.

When I look to authors such as Ruby Standing Deer (I’m sure she won’t mind me singling her out), and I think back to where we started and the journey we’ve taken together, I simply could not be more pleased. Ruby has authored 3 books thus far, all part of the Shining Light Saga, historical fiction pieces focused of the American Indian culture of about 500 years ago: Circles, Spirals, and Stones. The 3 books combined have garnered 187 reviews at Amazon, 130 of which are 5-Star, and another 34 are 4-Star. That’s fantastic! And she has her 4th book coming early in 2016, so as her books continue to perform well and she continues to build her catalog, her future is bright.

And I was there at the beginning. Cool stuff.

Now, I don’t really take on editing jobs anymore outside of Evolved Publishing, because the EP authors keep me quite busy enough, thank you very much. However, I do still take on an occasional client in my capacity as a writing coach. I’m currently working with Melody J. Kaufmann on the beginning of her career as an author of sci-fi and fantasy. Her first book, After the Return, is progressing and getting stronger all the time. What lies ahead for MJ in her future as an author? I don’t know, but I’m hopeful that 5 years from now I’ll be able to look back, as I’ve done with Ruby, and say, “Wow, look at that!”

And who’s next? Hmmm… maybe you?

To be clear, I cannot take on a client right this minute, but if you want to be next up, beginning in September, now would be the time to give me a holler. Just email me at Lane@LaneDiamond.com, and we’ll start the conversation and the plan.

In the meantime, if you really want to know my work, there is no better indication than the books that appear on my Writing Coach page. I hope you’ll read all of them that appeal to your genre preferences. Really… you’re going to love them. Hey, maybe you’ll even take a chance on discovering the wonderful peoples and culture of The Fish People, a fabulous 500-year-old culture lost to time but not forgotten, in Ruby Standing Deer’s Shining Light Saga. Or maybe you want to try Robb Grindstaff’s Hannah’s Voice, or David Litwack’s The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, or Angela Scott’s Desert Rice, all of which I cannot recommend strongly enough! And please enjoy.

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The Devil’s Bane – “Come on, Diamond, get it done already!”

THIS POST IS FOR READERS:

I’ve heard that phrase more than once in recent times: “Come on, Diamond, get it done already!” They’re talking about my second suspense thriller featuring Tony Hooper, and the sequel to Forgive Me, Alex. Often included in that adminition is advice on how I might manage my time such that I’ll actually get it done. They mean well but…. I am at peace.

You see, it’s just not as simple as they think. So when will The Devil’s Bane be completed? Good question. I’ve made a few excuses, and I’ve experienced the crisis of faith that often accompanies a long delay in producing the next book, but the simple truth is that my other duties outweigh my goals as a writer.

I do make a little progress on occasion, but it’s a slow go. As managing publisher/editor at Evolved Publishing, I have more work than I seem able to complete. Don’t believe me? Just ask any of the 50+ EP team members waiting on something from me.

However, I don’t want to give the wrong impression: I’m not complaining. Really… I’m not! 🙂

In fact, I have finally come to peace with the circumstances. I am a publisher first, an editor second, and a writer third. And you know what? That’s okay. It has taken me a while to come to that conclusion, but I’m breathing a little easier now that I have.

And so what about The Devil’s Bane? Fear not, for it will be done. Someday. 🙂 Seriously, though: don’t give up on it, or on me. It’s just going to take a little longer. I’ve really released myself from self-imposed deadlines on this, given the job requirements at EP. It’s quite liberating, but it also leaves a bit of a question mark. So I shall just drop back in from time to time to report on progress.

And for those of you who have been waiting patiently, THANK YOU!

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Get a FREE Audiobook of Suspense Thriller “Forgive Me, Alex”

THIS POST IS FOR READERS (AND LISTENERS):

As you may know, my psychological suspense thriller Forgive Me, Alex is also available as an audiobook. What you may not know is that it’s possible you could get it free at Audible.com as part of a Free Trial. Just follow the link below for more information.

Get Forgive Me, Alex FREE as part of an Audible Free Trial

 

Audio_ForgiveMeAlex

This unabridged version, narrated by Kevin Scollin, provides 10 hours and 22 minutes of listening pleasure. Check it out.

In other news, I’ve been woefully neglectful of this blog and website, but some things are happening soon that will, I hope, make it easier for me to post more often. I appreciate your sticking with me.

Regarding the release of The Devil’s Bane, the sequel to Forgive Me, Alex and the second book in the Tony Hooper series, that too is running behind as I struggle to find adequate time to write. My publishing and editorial duties remain significant. Nonetheless, I am starting to creep forward again, and I’m determined that it see the light of day as soon as possible. Please stay tuned.

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“Forgive Me, Alex” by Lane Diamond Wins Pinnacle Book Achievement Award

THIS POST IS FOR READERS:

I’m so pleased to announce that my debut psychological thriller, Forgive Me, Alex, has been honored with the following award:

Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Summer 2014 – Best Books in the Category of THRILLER

(Scroll down near the bottom of the page for the THRILLER category.)

It almost seems odd to be getting an award 2-1/2 years after the book launched, but then again nothing in this business happens quickly. Besides, given that it’s been taking me so long to get the sequel out, it’s good for me to keep Forgive Me, Alex out there.

And speaking of The Devil’s Bane, I’m happy to report that I’ve once again carved out some time from my busy Evolved Publishing schedule, and I’m making regular–if slightly slower than I’d like–progress.

Anyway, if you haven’t already picked up a copy of my book, now you have another excuse to jump on the bandwagon. 🙂

Available at >Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords. Or get an autographed print copy directly from me at THIS PAGE.

Tony Hooper stands in shadow across the street, one amongst many in the crowd of curiosity-hounds gathered to watch a monster’s release. Seventeen years after Mitchell Norton, “the devil,” terrorized Algonquin, Illinois on a spree of kidnapping, torture and murder, the authorities release the butcher from psychiatric prison.

Tony longs to charge across the street to destroy Norton—no remorse—as if stepping on a cockroach. Only sheer force of will prevents his doing so.

“The devil” walks the world again. What shall Tony do about it? Aye, what indeed.

After all, this is what Tony does. It’s who he is. “The devil” himself long ago made Tony into this hunter of monsters. What a sweet twist of fate this is, that he may still, finally, administer justice.

Will FBI Special Agent Linda Monroe stop him? She owes him her life, so how can she possibly put an end to his?

Tony Hooper and Mitchell Norton battle for supremacy, with law enforcement always a step away, in this story of justice and vengeance, evil and redemption, fear and courage, love and loss.

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What Does It Take to Make a Living as an Author?

THIS POST IS FOR WRITERS:

I must admit that reading articles by authors who say something along the lines of, “With 18 books now out and available, I hope to one day make enough money as an author to quit the day job.”

Uh… what?

I just read an article where an author says something like that, and I can’t help but think that the individual in question is doing something wrong. Are the books poorly written? (I don’t know.) Is the author writing in some obscure genre? (No.) Does the author have a simply awful deal with the publisher? (I don’t know, but only half the author’s catalog is with a publisher, and the rest are self-published.) Does the author spend absolutely zero time and money marketing the books he/she has worked so hard to produce? (I don’t know.)

Something just isn’t right here. It could be any number or combination of factors holding this author back, but a little self-analysis is really called for.

To be honest, I could never get to 18 books if my first 17 weren’t selling and making me at least a modest living. What’s my magic number before I would think about hanging it up? That’s a hard one, because the marketplace is a different animal than it was 20 years ago.

Once upon a time, everyone expected authors to hit their sales stride by the time their third book released, or perhaps their fourth. Few authors received a deal for their fifth book if their first four weren’t making money. (Hell, sometimes they wouldn’t get a deal for their second book if their first one wasn’t at least a modest hit.) Now, it’s one thing for a traditional publisher to make money, and another thing altogether for the author to be making a living off the same books, given how crappy some of those traditional publishing contracts are for authors. Still, the third or fourth book seemed an appropriate time to tell the boss, “I quit!”

Nowadays, with the eBook and self-publishing revolutions, in which me, you, your neighbor, your neighbor’s uncle, and your neighbor’s uncle’s dog are all publishing books, the equation seems to have changed for most. It’s much harder to get noticed in the first place, and to go through that brand-building process, now that we’re all competing with 93,274,561 other authors (rounded off to keep it simple).

At Evolved Publishing, for example, we now have authors with four to five books out who are still looking to get over that hump. I believe they’re close, and certainly the genres they write in play a big role, but it looks as if they’ll need those sixth and seventh books to make that leap. In most cases, I believe six books might be the target number, but all six must be in the same genre, and therefore appealing to the same audience. In other words, if you’re writing in multiple genres, you need six books in each of them. Also, it helps if it’s a genre that sells well. If you’re writing literary fiction, as an example, you’ll have a tough row to hoe. Or if you’re writing children’s picture books, the magic number might well be ten to twelve just to get your catalog rolling, as parents tend to gravitate to authors who have a large catalog to offer.

Of course, that’s just an estimate based on empirical evidence I’ve seen and heard in all the discussions out there, and based on actual numbers I have for some twenty-five authors. Every individual experience is different. Some get lucky and hit it big with book number three or four; others are still struggling at six or seven. And when it finally happens for an author, the whole of their catalog will take off all at once–like zero to sixty in a split second… after revving the engine for years.

Additionally, you must build your brand as an author, and that means spending time developing your following–social media, website, advertising, special promotions, perhaps even a free eBook to get folks: A) knowing who you even are, and; B) excited about your work.

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The point I want to make is three-fold:

If you only have one or two or three books out, and they’re not selling, it may just be an indication that you haven’t yet hit that magic number where readers sit up and take notice. Keep going, and keep being careful to produce good work.

If you have eighteen books out and they’re still not earning a living for you, something is amiss. Frankly, your work may not be good. Sorry to say it, but there you have it. A lot of folks are publishing garbage these days, but they can fool readers for only so long. The consumer always catches up in the end.

Writing is the most important thing you do. Keep building that catalog, as it’s essential to your eventual success. However, you can’t ignore completely the marketing of your books and your brand. It’s a long slow grind, building your brand; you must start early and keep at it throughout your career. You needn’t spend hours a day at it, but at least a few hours a week is a good idea.

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If you lack patience, perseverance, and a thick skin, embrace your day job with a new gusto and stop torturing yourself over being an author. If you possess those qualities, however, and you’re producing good, professional-grade work, then just keep on keepin’ on. Your day is coming.

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