Tuesday, May 28, 2013


It's that time of year. The time to get the kids out of the house and away from the computer. It's time to vacation!!

Actually, it's more like it's time to be a chauffeur for a week. Honestly, I don't look forward to these "vacations", they are never for me.. But, when I look back on past trips and reflect on the memories or click through the pictures that are taken, it is worth it. Worth every penny. Worth every second. After all, two more years and I'm an empty nester, so I don't get too many opportunities like this anymore. I can go on the vacations I want to do, and will probably spend most of it wishing my son was with me.

We're in California throughout the week, getting all we can out of two season passes to Six Flags. In a few weeks, we head for Washington D.C. Actually, I'm looking forward to the D.C. trip. It will be great to visit some American history.

I know I'm not the only one cooking up a vacation. What are you guys doing this summer?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Social Media

I pretty much began my writing journey two years ago when I attended the 2011 LDS Storymakers in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time, everybody kept saying that if you want to be a writer, you need a social presence. Specifically, get a blog, be active on Facebook, and become one with Twitter.

But most of all, blog.

So, I became a blogger, having no idea what I was doing. Well... let's be honest, I still have no idea.

Fast forward a year, and I had noticed that the fever to open blogs had toned down a bit. I still heard a lot about getting an online presence, so I kept active on Facebook and Twitter. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed this blog, too, which is why the posts still come, though not regularly.

Every few months, I take inventory of my time and look for ways to cut back. I cancelled cable, watching less TV, and playing less video games. I even reduced my obsession with the news, an emotional investment I've bee fond of for 15 years. I've also adjusted to waking up a o'dark thirty in the morning to write. But a week ago, I started looking at social media. Is the time worth it? I've pitched to two agents, and neither of them asked how active I was online.

When I went to Storymakers this year, I went contemplating an abandonment of my social media presence. I ran into a couple of people who got me thinking.

I had David Powers King (DPK) on the podcast and I asked him if blogging is still a good thing. His answer: it works for him. He has kept a loyal following after finding how he wanted to blog and being consistent with it.
DPK, The King of Blogging
Another author I had on my show, Abel Keogh, said he has written four books because the people on his blog strong-armed him into writing it. Again, another example of how blogging worked. He still blogs regularly and has a loyal following.
Abel Keogh
Side note: I rarely see DPK and Keogh on Facebook.

I met an author who taught a class on marketing. She mostly pushed social media, because it is "free." While DPK suggests blogging 2-3 times per week, she stated you should be posting 4-5 times per week. Holy Mamma!!!

She then went on to say she gets most of her traffic from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn? You mean the site with the resume I haven't updated in nearly 6 years? That place?

Apparently, she spent a lot of time on LinkedIn, and it is now her biggest source of finding purchasers for her books. How interesting...
Chas Hathaway
While interviewing DPK, fellow podcaster and friend Chas Hathaway mentioned that when he posts something on his blog, he will post the link on Facebook and get few to no comments on his blog, but a conversation will start flourish on Facebook.

So, wait, what is going on here? What should I take from this?

I have a theory. Well, since I'm very opinionated, I have two theories (actually, I have more, but I'll stop myself)...

1) You will reap the most reward depending where you focus your online presence. If I focus on my blog, I'll get a strong following here. Same for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or standing on a busy street corner in my tighty-whities strumming with a banjo. If people expect to find you somewhere consistently, you'll pick up a following.
For the ladies. Seriously though... mock him if you want, but he's on Wikipedia and I'm not.
The key word here is consistently!

I'm pretty consistent on Facebook and Twitter. A little less so on Google+. As far as Blogger goes, I don't think I'm cut out for consistent. I enjoy it, but having a set time every day/week/whatever is not for me. All I can promise is "when I have time for it." Sorry.

My suggestion for you is to focus on what you enjoy. Where you sow the most seeds is where most of your fruit will grow. I'd avoid the shotgun approach of hitting everything because 1) you'll spread yourself too thin, and 2) you'll never/rarely find the time to write.

Which brings me to...

2) As much as people proclaim social media, I think a writer's time is best spent (are you sitting down?) WRITING! That's right, BICHOK (Butt in chair, hands on keyboard).

I challenge you to find a successful writer who spends his entire day chillin' on Facebook and Twitter. Dedicating hours per day to online activity is only going to take you away from writing. And writers get paid when their writing is done, not when the Facebook status, tweet, or blog post is published.

Don't get me wrong, I think social activity is a good thing, but it isn't the best thing. Why settle for good, when the BEST thing you can do is write?

So what am I saying? Am I quitting social media? Is this website going away?

No. I'm just cutting back on the great time suck that is Facebook, et al. But I'll still be around, having fun, saying stupid stuff, and responding to interactions. Since blogging is closer to writing, I'll keep at it. Posting might even become more consistent. I'll re-evaluate in a few months on whether I need to cut back more.

Agree? Disagree? What are you thoughts?

So, off I go... to write!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May The Fourth Be With You

Saturday is Star Wars Day (May the 4th be With You). Since David Farland/Wolverton has written several Star Wars books,we'd like to celebrate this day of geekdom by letting the Wolverton Family know that "the force will be with them" in their time of need. Help Ben by tweeting, retweeting, and sharing this throughout the twitterverse.

Help Star Wars author's son on Star Wars Day! Visit http://www.helpwolverton.com to learn more. #davidfarland #starwarsday #HelpBen

Our goal is to get #HelpBen and #davidfarland trending, thereby reaching more people who can help Ben. Please tell others about the event. You can also share this tweet on other social websites like Google+ (get it trending there!), Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, blogs, and anything else. Several independent studies confirm that spreading the word will significantly increase your midichlorian count.

Trending Goals

While having several hundred people mention it throughout the day will be helpful, it might not be enough to get the topic trending. While every tweet helps, timing of the tweets can make a difference. If we can have 100+ people mention it at once within a coupe of minutes of each other, it ups the chances of it trending. So, here is what we suggest. If you are looking for the right time to do it, do it at the top of the hour. If we can get enough people tweeting it, we should be able to trend every hour for a few minutes. Retweeting similar tweets should also add into the formula.

If tweeting during those times don't work, we understand. Please still mention this event on Twitter at whatever time works best for you. Every mention helps.

If we are trending, mention the fact. It will keep it alive.

This is our suggested tweet:

Help Star Wars author's son on Star Wars Day! Visit http://www.helpwolverton.com to learn more. #davidfarland #starwarsday #helpben

That is only suggested. Feel free to make it your individual tweet, or add additional information. Just make sure every tweet directs people where they can find more information (http://www.helpwolverton.com) and includes the hashtags #HelpBen and #davidfarland . Otherwise, have fun with it!

What Happened to Ben?

The twitter bomb fundraiser is for David Farland's son, Ben Wolverton, age 16, who was in a tragic longboarding accident on April 3rd, 2013. He suffers from severe brain trauma, a cracked skull, broken pelvis and tail bone, burnt knees, bruised lungs, broken ear drums, road rash, pneumonia. He recently woke from coma and is facing months of rehabilitation. Due to unfortunate circumstances, his family has no insurance.

To learn more about Ben and his accident, read the Ben's Story section. Regular updates and photos are posted on this blog, charting his progress (and occasional setbacks) during his recovery.

How Can I Help?

You can help by spreading the word on social media, buying Dave's books, and/or donating directly to the fun set up to cover the medical expenses required to get Ben walking again.

Spreading the Word

Our goal is to trend on Twitter, which should attract attention around the world. Google+ has a trending page as well, so use the same message there. Otherwise, sharing it on all your social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, blogger, wordpress... anything. We'd settle for neighborhood smoke signals if you think it would get people to notice. Encouraging your friends to pass on the word helps as well.

Buy Dave's Books

David Farland (also known as Dave Wolverton) has written many Star Wars novels and contributed to anthologies, such as Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia, Star Wars: The Rising Force, Star Wars: Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina, Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and Star Wars: Tales from Jaba's Palace.

You can also help by purchasing David Farland’s young adult fantasy thriller Nightingale. This powerful novel has won seven awards, including the International Book Award for best young adult novel of the years, and the Hollywood Book Festival for best book of the year. It has been praised by authors such as James Dashner (The Maze Runner), Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), and Paul Genesse (Iron Dragon series). Nightingale follows the story of Bron Jones, who was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he is rejected by one family after another, until he meets Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognizes that Bron isn’t even human—he’s what her people call a "nightingale."

You can purchase it on Amazon/Kindle and Barnes and Noble/Nook. You can purchase the book and the audiobook on the Nightingale website Also, Apple/iTunes has an enhanced version complete with illustrations, interviews, animations, and its own soundtrack for your iOS devices.

If you’ve read Nightingale, don’t forget to write a review (it’s okay if it’s short!) and post it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. This will help too.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you may be more interested in downloading and purchasing David Farland’s Golden Queen trilogy as an e-book. Proceeds will also go toward Ben’s medical expenses.

International best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson called The Golden Queen "A rainbow mixture of technology and mythology, filled with vibrant colors, larger-than-life heroes, and thunderous action. A grand quest across a kaleidoscope of parallel worlds." Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Orson Scott Card said, "David Farland's Golden Queen trilogy....is . . . the equivalent of Lord of the Rings in space. . . . Even though it's a rollicking good yarn, you experience it with all the power of real life. Farland is simply one of the best sci-fi and fantasy writers alive."

The Golden Queen follows Gallen O’Day, who is hired as a bodyguard to escort a young woman through the woods to the forbidden ruins at Geata Na Chruinn. It seems like an ordinary job—but all too soon, he finds himself fleeing for his life from creatures that seem like escapees from a nightmare—the alien dronon, led by their golden queen. With his best friend, a genetically engineered talking bear named Orick, and his girlfriend Maggie, Gallen soon finds himself tangled in an interstellar war that he never knew existed, racing across a host of worlds, confronted by a future unlike any that he had ever imagined.

The first book in the trilogy is currently available for free on AmazonBarnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.

Purchase the second and third books on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.


You can also donate straight to Ben on the GoFundMe: Help Ben Walk page right here.

Thank you, everybody, for your continual kindness in this great time of need!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Released: The Buttersmiths' Gold

Like I wrote the other day, The Buttersmiths' Gold by Adam Sidwell is out today. You can join in on the action on the Facebook event by clicking here.

This is book two (or 1.2 since it is a novella) in the Evertaster series. Here is the book discription:



Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all.

Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and through, he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

Adam is doing something really interesting. When I release my book, I'll have to remember to do the same thing. If you buy the book from Amazon today he will send you signed book plate, so it is almost like you are getting a copy signed by him.

Details are here, on his blog.

I'm picking it up, but I also plan to see him next week, so I'll get it from him in person. :) If you don't have the luxury, this is a nice alternative.