So I thought I’d put this out there, the first three chapters of Ascendant, an epic dystopian novel I just finished editing and that I plan on putting out early this summer.
It takes place in America after nuclear war, and its the story of a kid with telepathic abilities who goes on the run from government men who want what’s in his head. He leaves his homeland, a Communist nation known as The People’s Republic of America, and enters “the Eastlands,” an anarchic wasteland where the only thing more dangerous than all the crime and desolation is a love affair with a girl mysteriously linked to his past—a love affair that could destroy him.
Hope you enjoy this preview. And sign up for my “New Release” mailing list to get an email when this book comes out. I only send out an email for new releases, so you can expect 1-2 per year (and when you sign up, you get my short story collection Peltham Park free as an ebook)
When the alarm began to wail over the mountains, Claudia gripped her son more tightly to her chest and hurried through the darkened forest. She was going to die tonight. She was going to die, and it didn’t matter as long as she got her son to where he needed to be before their captors arrived. They were almost there now. Just a little longer. Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on March 3, 2013
The most successful published authors out there tend to stick to one genre.
If you look at people like James Patterson (thrillers), Dean Koontz (supernatural thrillers), Nicholas Sparks (romance), Stephen King (horror) and George R.R Martin (fantasy), you’ll see that the genre in which these writer become successful is the one that continues to define them, and as a result, they rarely stray from the conventions of that genre. There’s a reason for this.
Writing novels for mass consumption is in many ways like turning your business into a franchise. Walk into any McDonald’s or Starbucks and you’ll be treated to the same atmosphere, menu, and aesthetic scheme that you encountered the last time you entered one of these stores. Authors do something similar when they produce novels in the same genre; after a few books, readers know what to expect and they continue to buy the author’s books in hopes of experiencing the same thrill. A good “genre” author gives them that thrill again and again just as a good franchise offers the same quality of taste and experience customers have come to expect regardless of the store’s physical location.
Because they’re a pretty safe bet for readers, genre authors sell thousands, if not millions, more copies of their books than “literary” novelists who choose to structure each novel according to a different theme or method. When a literary writer chooses to structure her latest novel around the exploration of narcissism in daily suburban life, most people won’t know what to expect story-wise and therefore won’t always take the risk or pay the money to find out. But literary authors also enjoy a special level of prestige and acclaim that can make their path worthwhile, regardless of the hit they take financially.
Ultimately, successful authors–whether their success is financial or critical–tend to stick to the field/genre they’ve chosen. And that’s usually a good thing. It lets them grow better over time and lets you, the reader, feel comfortable buying anything they write as long as you’ve already enjoyed their work in the past.
But regardless of whether you write literary or genre fiction, there’s one mistake all authors should avoid: it’s the mistake of only reading books in your genre. Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on January 13, 2013
How hard is it to write a book a year?
It depends on who you ask. Writing a book a year–assuming you’re serious enough about a writing career–can either be an incredibly stressful and demanding assignment, or it can be one of those accomplishments that you barely remember doing because it just happened so fast.
Let me explain. Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on January 1, 2013
There’s something every published or publishing writer can learn from salespeople. Whether you’ve signed a contract with a publishing house or you plan on publishing your books yourself, the techniques used by salespeople can benefit you.
A little background: I started a sales job six weeks ago that involves being on the phone pretty much all day (when I’m not interviewing people, which I do for 2-3 hours each day). For 50 hours a week, with no lunch break except the fifteen minutes I spend eating at my desk while reading the news, I cold-call people and companies to find jobs for computer programmers, software engineers, tech support people, and IT managers.
I can honestly say that after six weeks of doing this kind of work (and strangely enough I love every minute of it) I’ve learned a ton about being a self-published writer that I would not have learned otherwise. Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on December 22, 2012
So I’m toying with the idea of sending ASCENDANT to editors. Here’s a query letter I wrote last night that I hope might generate some interest. Opinions?
When 17-year-old Michael discovers he is telepathic, the first thing he does is review his plan to escape the country. He lives in The People’s Republic of America, where the regime uses telepaths like him to detect those disloyal to the One President and punish them. Michael would rather risk death than become a human lie detector. His plan is to bribe his way into the “Eastlands,” a ruined part of the former U.S.A. where the regime has no presence. Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on December 1, 2012
So I decided to give TRAINLAND away for free on Amazon.com for Halloween. It was free from Tuesday morning to Saturday midnight. A total of 2,216 copies were downloaded. What will this do for the novel? Will it increase sales? Will readers leave reviews?
I’ll get to that in a second.
Many well-known indie authors, including Lindsay Buroker and David Gaughran, have gone into detail on their sales number before and after a free book promotion. There’s always an increase in sales (PAID sales) after a promotion, and there’s usually an uptick in positive reviews left on whichever book had been given away.
Two things I need right now: Amazon reviews and an increase in paid sales to boost my rankings. It also helps to have your “Customers Also Bought” section be filled in by people who bought your book AND other books in your genre. It makes it look like you actually sold copies.
Those are the only three reasons I can see for doing a promotion like this: Read the full post »
Posted by Richard Denoncourt on October 30, 2012