What I’ve Been Up To

I’ve been quiet and for good reason. This month has been insanely busy with many things.

The first one, we’re moving! We will be moving on from sunny South Florida for Atlanta. My wife got an amazing job opportunity there, so we’d be fools to pass it up.

Unfortunately, this move is pretty short notice, so we have had three weeks to pack everything, find an apartment, hire movers, and decide what to give away, as well as make arrangements for two cats and one baby. Combined with the rewrite I’m doing to Book 1 and the audiobook starting recording soon, needless to say, things have been the busiest they’ve ever been for me.

The biggest news is probably the rewrite of Book 1. As much as I love it, I looked at it with a critical eye and decided, yeah, there are some things there that could use fixing. The main ones were unnecessary passages that bogged down the pacing of the story. So, I got rid of those, and also added some extra stuff in about the magic system just to give the reader more of a taste of what’s to come.

It’s pretty much the same story, but of course, if you reach out to me, and I can give you the new version in case you want to play “spot the difference.” But you really won’t be missing much except a leaner storyline and me changing the name of Vera’s group, the Free Mages, to the Starsea Mages. That was the most major change, mainly done to make the title make sense.

I’ve had to change a couple of things in the second book, too, but nothing major. Mostly consistency issues and the storyline is the same on both.

All that said, it wasn’t an easy thing to admit to myself. I wrote the kind of story I wanted, but it was too slow-paced to be super marketable, even though I am getting decent downloads off of it and plenty of people reading on. The basic point being, with the audiobook recording this month, I had to rush to get this done.

Anyway. That’s the story on that. Now I’m working on consistency issues in book two, and might have a couple of things to tweak in Book 3. After all that, and once settled into Atlanta, I can get back to Book 4.

It’s always hard to admit you might’ve made a mistake. If you’ve read my previous posts, you might have heard me mention that I took a risk writing this kind of book that’s a bit slower in pacing than my usual stuff.

Well, seems like that foresight has bitten me in the rear, as this book has the lowest rating of any of my books so far on Amazon. I stand by the story, as I understand you can’t please everyone, but it was a bit disheartening to read the reviews where it seemed like a lot of people missed the point I was trying to convey, or they seemed to think I intended to write a book that was action-packed when I was going for something more character-driven.

That’s on me, though, because my cover does say “guy using magic in space” and that happens exactly once in the whole book, and people might be blindsided by the whole “guy trying to come to terms with what he is in space.” So in the rewrite, all that stuff is still there, but I did amp up the magic use a little bit and get rid of a lot of Lucian’s inner angst. I understand why people found said angst annoying, but I think a lot of people missed the point that this is Lucian’s character flaw and that he does learn to be more accepting of his condition by the end of the book with the help of Emma and Vera. I think some readers are expecting a perfect character who knows exactly what to do in every situation, so I’m never going to please those people, and I’m completely okay with that. I like Lucian, flaws and all, and those who duck out early because of that are going to miss some awesome stuff down the line as he learns to come into his own and grow in his powers.

So anyway, I strongly believe the rewrite is a better story and has broader appeal, and will probably be a better read for those not familiar with my work (as one of my beta readers told me). As much as I would like to be a Pure Artist about things, I do understand that you do have to give the people what they want, and making it more accessible will help me afford this Atlanta rent I have to look forward to.

So this month of May will be pretty crazy. Moving is no joke, but I’m glad the majority of rewrite is done. Next up is audiobook stuff, and I will resume work on Chosen of the Manifold, with a set release date of July 29.

So, I expect I will continue being quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you guys. There’s only so much one person can do, and when I have to choose the things to spend my time on, this blog probably gets the lowest billing. I suppose you can consider this long post into my inner psyche somewhat of an apology for that, even if I don’t feel an apology is necessary.

Enough rambling, back to work.

5 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Up To

  1. I love when you ramble as it means your giving us more info.. Please send me the rewrite, but I will tell you that I may not respond for a while as this weekend I’m Beta reading and next week I have a court date so will be busy preparing for that. Although im currently in FL, your move to Atlanta I think brings you closer to me in Jacksonville. Have a safe move,hope you’ll learn to love your new home as you did the one in FL.

  2. I’ve been a big fan of your works since the Wasteland Chronicles. I actually didn’t mind the slower pace of the Starsea book 1. For those of us who ordered paperback, how do we get the revisions without buying the books again? Also I wish the few profanities were toned down a bit in the Starseas saga, as it would allow me to share the books with my kids (and would appeal more to wider readers in general). I didn’t think it added anything to the story at all. But you’re definitely one of my favorite authors out there! Looking forward to book 4!

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the series! Unfortunately, it would be too expensive to give everyone a new paperback. That’s not something that’s really feasible for me, but I’m happy to give a free e-book once it’s ready for prime time (just shoot an email to kylewestwriter@gmail.com). As far as the profanities, Starsea is geared toward a more adult audience and isn’t meant to be young adult in any way, and there aren’t that many to begin with at least compared to a lot of authors. My characters say what they want to say and I wouldn’t censor them for anything. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Your an interesting person. I was able to read Nietzsche (Will to power), Kant (nuemena and phenomena), and Aristotle (unmoved mover) in your world building. It actually made me enjoy the story even more. So I have to ask: Did you study philosophy?

    1. I actually never did, but I have a passing understanding of some of their works (which I was conscious of as I was writing). The idea of the real world being a shadow and the Manifold being the true reality was taken from classical Greek philosophy, only I wanted to make that philosophy quite literal in my world-building. Vera’s philosophy is pretty much Nietzsche in a nutshell, her main thing being cultivating strength. As far as Kant, I’m not too familiar with his stuff, if I’m to be completely honest. I’m actually pleased that you picked up on that stuff because most of it I added intentionally and I was actually afraid I got a little too heavy-handed with it at points. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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