March Update

Lots going on here at Brian J. Jarrett HQ, so I thought I’d take a moment to catch you guys up on things (nearly) completed and what’s coming down the pike over the next few months.

Firstly, I’ve finished the manuscripts and copy edit for my novel Kryptos. I still have to give it a final read through to ensure I catch as many pesky typos as I can, but my goal is to have that completed either this weekend or next. Preferably by Sunday, but you know how these things go.

Redemption In the Badlands, a novella set within my Badlands universe starring Pastor Dan Owens. You might remember him as the level-headed preacher from book #2 in the series, Beyond the Badlands. I’m super excited about this book; I think it turned out great. Plans are for an April release, once all the post-production work is complete. If you haven’t signed up for my mailing list, do that now. You’ll be the first to know when my new books are published.

Monday I’ll be starting a new book, but I’m keeping the details secret for now. Let’s call it an “experiment”. I’ll be tied up with that book for a couple of months, but after it’s complete I’ll start on another new book. I’m not sure which one just yet, but it might be a novella called Dream Eater.

The writing has been going well, so I expect to hit my goal of at least six books published in 2017. I’ll keep you all posted here as the year progresses. Thanks for reading!

Kryptos

It’s done. Finished the manuscript yesterday. I’m shooting for a February 18th publication date (that’s my birthday). Here’s the cover and the synopsis.

ONE NIGHT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING

Life as the constable of a quiet vacation island has been good to Marty. Unlike big city cops, he’s managed to avoid the worst of the job.

But when he gets a call about a murder-suicide, he’s sure it will be the worst thing he’s ever seen.

He couldn’t be more wrong.

Something is coming to the island tonight. Something terrible. Something unspeakable.

And it won’t stop until everyone on the planet is dead.

Familiar Lies Gets A New Cover

I released a murder mystery/crime thriller called Familiar Lies back in June of last year. This was the first book I’d written using a combination of techniques called sprints and cycling, which sped up the process and made it a ton more fun to write.

But six months after completion, I was looking at sales of this book and found that I haven’t sold any copies outside of Amazon. I made me think there might be a way I could spruce it up, so I worked up a new cover that I think fits the story much better.

Here’s the synopsis as a reminder, along with the old and new covers:

When Max Williamson’s teenage son Josh died in a climbing accident, Max’s world fell apart.

But a year later when Max stumbles upon a letter hidden in his son’s room—a letter that suggests Josh might have been murdered—Max begins his own investigation.

As he gets closer to the truth about what really happened to his son, Max finds himself caught up in a seedy underworld of lies, corruption, and exploitation. Max quickly becomes a target and the only way to stay alive is to expose the truth.

But the truth is a double-edged sword. What Max learns could save his life.

Or the truth could just as easily tear him apart.

Here’s the old cover:

And here’s the new cover:

I think this new cover does a better job of identifying the genre of the book. It looks more “thriller” than the original cover (which was probably better suited for a  literature book). I also feel like it aligns better with my other book covers’ look and feel, making it look more like a Brian J. Jarrett release.

Whether or not it sells more copies with the new cover remains to be seen. Regardless, I’m happier with it, which is what matters most.

I Am the Darkness

Book #2 from my Tom Miller series is live!

A KILLER LURKS IN THE SHADOWS

Months after he tracked down a killer of children, Tom Miller has settled into a new life of relative sobriety with a semblance of a future.

When another murderer strikes, Tom must make good on his promise to a distraught mother and find the man who killed her daughter.

But to stop a killer who lives in the darkness, Tom must journey to his own dark place. A dangerous place. A place where demons live.

A place from which he knows he might never return.

Available now at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and more.

2016 Year End Wrap-Up

Well, it’s that time of year again, the time to look back on what’s done and look forward to the year to come. Poetic enough, I suppose, although 2016 was anything but pretty.

Looking back at my year-end post from 2015, I had high hopes for 2016. I’d planned on writing a half-million words, but instead I came up short at just over a quarter million. All in all, not a bad way to fail, but that’s still only 50% of my goal.

What happened? The first distraction came with my day job. The company I worked for was sold and that didn’t work out well for me, so I found myself back on the job market for the first time in nine years. It was a lot of stress and a big distraction. I have a new job now that’s going pretty well, so that distraction is gone.

The second problem was not having a good system in place to edit and proofread the work after I completed a first draft. After adopting Chris Fox’s sprinting technique, I started producing new words faster than I could proof them. As a result, I got way behind and sacrificed a lot of time writing new words in order to get caught up. I now have a good end-to-end system in place for proofing and publishing those manuscripts, so that bottleneck is gone too.

And thirdly, I let self-doubt cloud my creativity and I floundered for a while trying to get inspired to work on projects. Combined with the work problems, this stopped me cold.

Combined, these distractions cost me about a quarter million words.

That said, I did use this down time to work on other book-related tasks. I created paperback editions for all my novels, something I’d been way behind on. Now all my novels in eBook format also have paperback counterparts. In doing so, I streamlined the process, allowing me to release books in both paper and eBook at the same time going forward.

I also revamped my website, brianjjarrett.com, improving the aesthetics, simplifying the navigation, and reorganizing the content. It’s much improved now and I’m very proud of it.

So while I might have missed out on getting a few new books to market, at least I didn’t let the time go to to waste. I have something tangible to show for those hours and my business is further ahead than it was last year.

I published five new books this year so far, with one more coming out at the end of this month. I’m ecstatic about that. I completed all the major projects I’d planned on. So while a lot of bad things happened in 2016, I still came out of it with something to show for it.

So what’s in store for 2017?

I have a half-finished “creature feature” novel called Kryptos that should see the light of day next year.

I also have a completed Badlands novel manuscript written and in need of only an edit. I plan to release that one before 2017 year’s end. Speaking of Badlands, I think there’s more to come in this story world. I plan to flesh out some of those ideas by the end of next year. Stay tuned.

I started a few projects in 2016 that I plan to finish up next year: a crime novel, a short story collection, and a zombie book. Look for at least one more Tom Miller book too.

I have a vague idea for a book centered around dreams and perceptions of reality. I feel like that one will make it into the 2017 release schedule.

And then there’s a secret project that I’m not ready to talk about yet.

Ambitious? Sure, but doable, I think. Mostly because I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work and how to avoid the latter while focusing on the former. Will I hit a half-million words in 2017? Hard to say, but I feel more prepared this time around.

Either way, I’m glad 2016 is nearly behind me. I’m super excited about 2017. I feel like it’s going to be a fantastic year. I hope you guys come along for the ride.