Monday, December 31, 2012

The Forgotten King's Release and New Year's Day Tidings

Man, it's been a hell of a year.  I self published my first novel, finished the first draft of the second, moved to a new state, got a new job, and have gotten to watch my infant son blossom into the most awesome toddler of all time(no offense to anyone else's kids :)).

So, to kick off the new year, or, rather, go out on the current one, I want to announce a change to The Forgotten King's release.  I was originally going  for a mid to late March 2013 release.  I'm pushing the anticipated date to mid-April 2013.


Well, I've been at work on editing The Forgotten King after a wonderful proofread by JJ Proofing.  One thing that stands out to me now is that The Forgotten King is going to be so much more polished than The Dragon Gem.  When I got into the whole self-publishing scene, I was really naive, thinking I could do it all on my own.  I quickly learned that no, I couldn't.  Not if I wanted my books to be the best they could be.

Anyway, I have the advantage of hindsight now, having received tons of feedback for The Dragon Gem.  Also, I have the advantage of having been distanced from it for the past year while working on The Forgotten King.  I see how much better it can and should be.

Okay, I'm really getting to a point here.  Seriously.

My plan is to do a MASSIVE edit on The Dragon Gem and release a Kindle update and a re-release in print on CreateSpace to coincide with the release of The Forgotten King.   I'm even having a new cover done by the uber-talented Janette Ramos, the same artist working on The Forgotten King's cover now(which by the way, can't wait to reveal.  It's looking incredible!).  For those who have downloaded The Dragon Gem before, this will be a free update when released(though Amazon usually takes a decent amount of time to make an update available for previous buyers).  I just feel in my heart that this needs to be done.  I care for the story and want it presented in the best way possible.  Any writers out there will understand.

Anyway, obviously, this will take more time.  I am still going to devote 99% of my writing time to The Forgotten King revisions/edits so that if it looks like I can't hit the mid-April deadline I'm setting for myself, I can go ahead and release The Forgotten King anyway.  I feel strongly that I can get them both out by then, though.

This also means my other projects are on a 100% hold until both of these are finished.

If you're still reading(this is really long, I know)I just want to say thanks for all your support and patience.  Starting on March 1, I plan to post a chapter of The Forgotten King on here each week until its release for all those(read: all one) put off by the delayed release.

I wish each and every one of you(read: all two of you) an amazingly wonderful, successful, joy-filled, and productive new year.

Brian Beam

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Another Holiday Post

Okay, so I lied.  I'm posting again before Christmas.  But, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has given this fledgling indie author a chance this year.  Thanks to all who read The Dragon Gem.  Also, I am very grateful for all the kind words I have received from readers through reviews, emails, or Facebook.  Your support means the world to me and really makes what I do worth it.  I truly hope that The Forgotten King exceeds your expectations next year.

2013 is looking to be an exciting year for me with The Forgotten King and possibly both my short story collection and novella seeing a release.  Korin's Journal will kind of go on the backburner for several months after The Forgotten King's release to allow me a chance to stretch my creative muscles with my other projects for a bit, but the third and final book's story is solidifying in my mind and I'm really excited about it.

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!

For starters, The Game of Books which I mentioned in my last post was successfully funded.  I'm really excited to see where they go with it.  If you put money towards it, thanks!

Secondly, it's the 12/21/2012 and no signs of apocalypse just yet.  That really would have put a damper on my day.

Thirdly, I have finished the second short-story/novellette for my upcoming short-story collection.  My projects will soon be going on hold when I get The Forgotten King back from the proofreader this month, though.  I'm going to put all my upcoming writing time into getting The Forgotten King out by sometime in March.

Fourthly, The Dragon Gem will be free on Kindle Saturday December 22 and Sunday the 23rd!

And to the point, I'll be mostly off the grid for the next week or so with all the holiday travel to visit family for the next week, so I just wanted to wish everyone a merry and safe Christmas!  No matter what you celebrate this season, I hope you all have a wonderful time with your loved ones.  And food, lots of good food.

Happy Holidays to all!

Brian Beam

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Game of Books

So, if you've seen my Facebook page recently, you've seen me trying to promote the Kickstarter project for The Game of Books.  This is, in my opinion, a brilliant idea that has such great potential to get kids and possibly even adults into reading.

This Kickstarter is down to its last day of fundraising with less than $10,000 left to go to see it funded.  I urge all fans of reading or writing to give it a look and contribute if you can.

To explain it all would take a while, so I'm going to be lazy and copy and paste the general info. from their Kickstarter page and embed the YouTube video about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

An Author's Christmas Wish

So, I should probably do the whole, "Hey, The Dragon Gem would make a great Christmas gift for you and your love ones" thing, but instead, I'd like to bring your attention to Patrick Rothfuss(author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear)'s yearly Worldbuilders fundraiser for Heifer International.

I would take some time to explain what Heifer International is all about, but their self-stated mission pretty much sums it up - "Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth."

And Rothfuss describes the charitable organization on his World Builders 2012 site: "It helps people raise themselves up out of poverty and starvation. Heifer promotes education, sustainable agriculture, and local industry all over the world.  They don’t just keep kids from starving, they make it so families can take care of themselves. They give goats, sheep, and chickens to families so their children have milk to drink, warm clothes to wear, and eggs to eat."

Rothfuss has provided a couple of options to contribute to this wonderful charity.  You can straight up donate money, every ten dollars earning you an entry into a random drawing for one of hundreds of books, some signed by the authors, and other random things.  Secondly, you can buy anything from his online store, The Tinker's Packs(appropriate if you've read his books), with all proceeds going to Heifer.  With this option, you can help out the organization while also getting a Christmas present for a friend or loved one.  I'm sure we all have a geeky fantasy friend or two who would love the Fantasy-Themed Pinup Calendar that showcases a different amazing fantasy author each month from Neil Gaiman, to George R.R. Martin, to Patrick Rothfuss himself(no worries, the authors aren't the ones depicted in the pinups).  Thirdly, there will be auctions regularly posted in which you can win some cool stuff with the money going to Heifer.

I just love seeing such a prominent author set up such a well-organized, annual fundraiser for such an amazing charity and just really put his heart and soul into it.  Last year Worldbuilders raised $310,000.  This year, it's going for $500,000.  Anyway, they've got my support this year.

So, my Christmas wish is not necessarily for everyone reading this to immediately go and drop money towards this charity.  I simply ask you check it out and, if you feel you support the cause, donate.

In writing news, still putting small bits of time into my side projects as I wait to get The Forgotten King back in my hands.   My first side project will be a collection of (mostly) fantasy short stories which is trying its darndest to become a collection of novellas.  Getting close to finishing the second story on it.  The other will be a semi-short(50K words or so) fantasy story revolving around the unexplainable deaths(murders) of a group of people who are supposed to be immortal, and basically unkillable.  I'm having a lot of fun with both, but will probably not really dive into them until after The Forgotten King is out.

To end this, I will now post an irrelevant picture of my son "enjoying" his second birthday a little over a week ago.  In all fairness, he just hated the birthday hat.  Once it was back off, the world was well and right again :)

Brian Beam

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Origins Of A Name

So, this is a tad random, but at least it ends with a cute baby video...of course, I'm biased, though, since it's my baby.

Anyway, a year and a half ago or so, when I was writing The Dragon Gem, I was trying to come up with a name for the demonic-ish creatures of the god of death who eventually were named eldrhims.  The first name I came up with, however, was strahdrhims.   During this time, I was a stay at home father with my son, Jonas, and when I came up with names, I would say them aloud while feeding him to get a feel for what I thought about the names after hearing them a few times.  Strahdrhim just didn't seem to roll of the tongue so well, so the name was scrapped.  Given Jonas' reaction, maybe I should've stuck with it...

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Here's to a great week!

Brian Beam

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Forgotten King V1.0

A certain someone sure is excited about The Forgotten King

Wow.  It's taken almost a year, but the first draft of The Forgotten King has been finished and sent to the proofreader - all 231,000 words of it!  I only point out the word count to show that compared to The Dragon Gem(142K words), this book is a bit of a beast.  You can blame my love of epic fantasy.  Surely some things will get chopped, but it will still be much much longer than The  Dragon Gem.

I still feel that The Forgotten King will be out by March at the latest and I will update about that frequently on here.  I've been bad about posting anything this month with the amount of time I was putting into the book.  This has been a labor of love and I'm really excited about this story and can't wait to get it out there!

I'm hoping to hear back soon from the cover artist with a preliminary sketch.  Other than that, I'm planning on taking a small break and maybe get a few words in on one of my other projects.

I'm truly looking forward to getting The Forgotten King into your hands.  If you have any questions about it that won't make me spoil the storyline too much, just post them on here or on Facebook( ) and I'll be happy to answer.

Thank you all for your support!

Brian Beam

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Want Your eBook Copy of The Dragon Gem Signed?

I had signed up with Authorgraph, a site that allows readers to request eBook autographs from authors, a while back.  They now have this handy widget that you will see hovering on the right side of my blog page.

So, if you have any desire for a digital autograph and/or personal message, click on the Authorgraph widget below the progress bars or at the following link:

Of course, if you request an autograph, it will look like a 5 year old did the signing.   It's kind of hard to make a signature with a mouse pad.  Honestly, though, my real-life signature's not much better.

In The Forgotten King news, I'm rapidly approaching the end.  Going to finish up another chapter this weekend, and then there's just a couple closing chapters left.  Then, it's off to the proofreader (who I will probably have to pay more since I think it's going to go over the word count I quoted them).  Oh, well.

Hope everyone's having a wonderful weekend!

Brian Beam

Friday, November 16, 2012

TIny excerpt

So, not feeling great and work on The Forgotten King is going to go nowhere tonight.  I thought I would share the one paragraph I did write because I'm pretty sure it was birthed directly from how I feel.  Well, it fits the story too :)

       I really want to put down my quill and tuck this journal away for good.  There are just some events I have no desire to ever relive, not even as memory through writing.  There are times that I wish to completely forget.  My reasoning is selfish; I don’t want to put myself through the pain of putting these points into words.  To leave this next part out, however, would be a grave injustice to everyone involved.  So, here goes nothing..

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book 2 of Korin's Journal Title Reveal

The first draft of Book 2 of Korin's Journal is rapidly approaching the finish.  Only 5-6 more chapters to go!  An early 2013 release (March or before) is looking likely! 

Anyway, given that I have reached the chapter which is named for the title of the book, I feel I'm ready to announce the title.  So, here goes:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exciting Things

Okay, it's been a bit since my last blog post, but only because I've been investing a lot of time into Book 2 of Korin's Journal.

Since I wasn't really in a place in which NaNoWriMo would work out for me this year, I decided that I would make set a goal of finishing my first draft of this book.  I've even set up time with a proofreader in the beginning of December to keep myself on track in pulling it off.  Now, I don't have 50,000 words left of the book(the typical NaNoWriMo goal), so I have the benefit of having the time to really make the end of this book what I want it to be without worrying about falling behind on word count.  

I'm working on getting some great illustrative cover art for this one.  I'm excited about the concept for it.  If it turns out the way I'm hoping, I would like to have a new cover made for The Dragon Gem as well in the near future.

Lastly, Book 2 of Korin's Journal surpassed the 200,000K word mark over the weekend.  This story has grown beyond my original vision in, what I believe to be, a good way.   I think this will stand as the longest volume in the trilogy in the end.

So there you have it.  Just wanted to give a little update.  As things stand, I'm looking at a Feb/early March release.  I'll be sure to keep you up to date on the release as things progress.

Now, since I've been setting goals, my next one will be to reveal the title in my next blog post.

Have a great week everyone!

Brian Beam

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Book 2 Excerpt From a Lazy Writer

Okay, so I'm too lazy to come up with a blog post, so I'm going to post an excerpt from Book 2 of Korin's Journal instead.  Well, maybe it's not laziness, but the desire to get a bit more writing done tonight.  I had originally planned to knock out a good chunk of my current chapter and then work a little on a short story I'm toying with.  Alas, the chapter I'm working on has decided to be difficult(yes, I'm blaming the chapter instead of the person writing the chapter) and the short story must be put aside yet again and my planned blog post constrained to this paragraph and a small excerpt.  So, the following is from a dream sequence in the latter third of the book and the first line afterwards.  Enjoy. 

Brian Beam

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The World of Tomorrow

A little Wizard of Oz is all it takes for sleepy time

There was a time when I swore I would never use an eReader.  See, I love the smell of books, the feel of the pages, and the feeling of going into a bookstore and doing my shopping based on what I find there instead of by reviews on websites.  Then, about 2 years ago, I took the plunge.  I'm not sure what made me change my mind, but now I buy nearly all my books on the Kindle.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Public Service Announcement...or Something Like That

Starting him early.

Alright, time to step up on this soapbox for a moment.  To anyone with children who reads this, I want to plead for you to expose your child to books as early as you possibly can.  Take a step back and look at today's youth.  Today's children live in a generation of iPods/Phones/Pads, video games, television, and parents who are happy to just let them remain transfixed by such devices to keep them out of their hair.  I know I'm still relatively young, but even in my youth, this was not the case.

My parents exposed me to books very early on.  Both read to me regularly and I remember the excitement of going to the public library and bringing home a big armful of books.  I even partially taught myself to read due to that love of books and stories instilled in me at such a young age.  

Books, in my opinion, are critical in a child's development.  They expand their vocabulary, speech, logical thinking, communication skills, and encourage the use of their imagination(once they're beyond picture books).  Also, books can be a wonderful bonding tool in a child's first years. For example, reading a book to your child every night before bed is time just between you and them, and they will remember that.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Remnants of the Past Part II

So, a few posts back,  I posted the prologue to a manuscript I abandoned years ago.  I figured that since I was nine chapters into it, I may as well use it for something and post bits from it every now and then.  The following is chapter one.  Be prepared to see some familiar names if you've read The Dragon Gem.  Korin was the name of the protagonist in this story as well, and a character named Menar serves as the villain at first.  Alright, here's chapter one of The Secret of the Kolari: Book One of the Broken Cycle Saga(It has seen no editing, so no promises on grammar, spelling, etc).

If you missed the first blog with the prologue, you can check it out first:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Running Through My Head

Yeah, I'm so cool I run in the rain.

So, if you're a writer like me (the ones who don't fully outline your stories except for in your mind), you run into snags or plotholes more often than the (probably smarter) outliners.  This just happened to me last night with Book 2 of Korin's Journal. It wasn't even the part I was working on.  It was something from the next chapter that I didn't feel was going to connect the way I was going to want it to in Book 3.  My productivity was killed for the night.

So, this morning, I went for my triweekly that the right word?  Anyway, running is my go-to to think things through with my book, and generally, when I do hit snags, I not only think my way through them, but discover ways to make the story even better with how I approach the solution.  In this case, what was to be a small scene in the next chapter will now be at least a couple times longer and will provide more emotional impact, allow another glimpse at the main villain of Book 2, and tie into exactly how I see Book 3's story flowing.  All plotted in about 3.13 miles.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

How I Met Your Magic Talking Wizard Cat

How I Met Your Mother is one of my favorite television and on at least.  The most recent seasons have made me question why I still spend 22 minutes with characters that are barely shades of their earlier selves, back when the show was truly something special...I better stop before I get to rambling.  No one wants that.

Now, this may seem like a random topic, but I feel that this show has taught me something about writing and should be a little bit of a lesson for other writers out there. 

Do not do this with your books...please