Fire From the Sky #9: BRIMSTONE

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I have delivered the ninth Fire novel, BRIMSTONE, to the publisher. Now will come the proofing, editing and cover design etc.

I will announce the release date as soon as I get it, here and on FB. And, assuming they let me, on Twitter as well. Twitter and I seem to have a love/hate relationship. I’d love to log in and post stuff, and they hate to let me do it 😀

NCR

New Parno Novel, “Parno’s Gift”

I sent the fifth and final Parno novel to the publisher this morning. The title is “Parno’s Gift”. It will now have to go through the editing phase so that I don’t look like a third grader who stole his mom’s typewriter, and then once that’s done I will get a release date for it, which I will pass along to you here, and on Facebook.

 

I hope you are all safe and well. And in the shade. Although it’s hot in the shade here as well, so. . . .

 

 

NCR

What to say?

Dear friends, I have neglected this blog for far too long, and I apologize for that. The truth is, I haven’t know what to say of late. I suspect my situation is much like many of you, trying to sort through endless waves of media misdirection to find what I need to know and decide what actions I need to take to protect my family.

I’ve tried to stay silent about all of this, because if I don’t, my mouth will almost certainly get me in hot water. I’ve also tried to work, though I admit it’s been difficult. I hope to finish the 5th Parno novel soon, though I cannot give even an estimate of the date due to problems in the past with such estimates being reported as ‘missed release dates’, which has caused a great deal of trouble. Once Parno #5 is finished, I will move on to other projects, and try to focus on them rather than the doom and gloom we’re surrounded by.

I hope that our nation will calm at some point. I suspect we will never have things back to normal, but if we can regain at least some semblance of normal then we should consider that at least a small victory.

Please take care of yourselves, and try to avoid dangerous situations. Sometimes we can’t, and that’s an unfortunate truth, but I hope all of you will remain well and safe.

I will try to update more often, though that’s a promise I’ve failed to keep more than once. I hope to get this blog back on a regular schedule and perhaps speak of good things to come. I am trying to increase my work load despite all the crazy in the world, so perhaps I can be more productive going forward. We’ll see how far that gets and how long it lasts before something else smacks me in the head 😀

Please take care, and thank you, always, for your support.

NCR

Tropicanado OLGA and her windy attitude

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So.

The tropical storm formerly known as OLGA ripped my little rural piece of the American Dream to shreds a week ago. Many people are still without power despite our line crews working nearly around the clock and often in dangerous conditions. Not their fault, or the Co-ops they work for, just the result of devastating damage.

My place was blessed to be just outside what I’ve taken to calling the Blast Zone, but it was close. Very close. I’ve surveyed some of the damage, including some only a few hundred yards away, and it was pretty bad. Hundred year old trees snapped like twigs, roads completely closed for hours as highway workers toiled frantically to open them so power crews could restore service and emergency vehicles could pass, entire roofs blown off by winds estimated to be nearing if not exceeding 100 mph. We were hit by the Northeast side of the eye wall, and it was still an organized eye when it got here, which just happens to be the worst possible area to get hit by.

Lucky us.

Planes flipped over, vehicles pushed along parking lots until they too, flipped over, roofs from shopping centers literally lying in the road, I mean we had it all. We were extremely blessed that the death toll and injury list was as small as it was.

We were without power for a day and a half, and felt fortunate that was all it was. Again, luck of the draw as all we needed was a transformer, as we had not lost any poles or lines. We had several trees down, but all missed the wires, though narrowly in some cases.

Needless to say, I’m a bit behind in my work, since I’ve been trying to clean up the mess and assist others in doing so as well. But, I am working, and feel fortunate to be able to. Nearby towns have been damaged to the point that some areas are unrecognizable at this point. They will never look the same again with so many stately old oak, poplar and maple trees gone.

But, we take our blessings where we find them, and despite the damage, we were, overall, extremely fortunate.

Which brings me to one last point. We made out just fine because we were prepared for something like this. We didn’t suffer nearly as much as even some of our neighbors simply because we were ready for an emergency. It pays to be prepared for any eventuality. A few batteries, a lantern or two, and food that can be easily prepared on a camp stove along with a little bottled water are all it takes to ride out the hours until things are back to normal. 

So take a look at your place, and imagine you’re without power for a week. Then decide how ready you are. It’s cheaper than you think to be ready, and a lot easier living when the SHTF.

And belated Happy Halloween.

 

NCR

A word about my books

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Well, a few words, actually.

First though, an apology, at least of sorts. I’ve never been regular in updates here, and that’s my fault. I’m absent minded, and time gets away from me. When I’m working, nothing seems to penetrate my little world. My wife will literally have to come and get me and make me do stuff.

Like eat. Just for instance.

So I take full responsibility for not updating here more, but with the caveat that I just don’t realize how long a time has passed. I mean, here it is, October, and I’m still thinking ‘what happened to July?’

Another part of my more recent absence is far simpler. We suffered a death in the family that shook us to our core. For me, one reason I’m so far behind is that time seemed to stop on that day, and so far it hasn’t seemed to start again. Oh, life goes on and the world does keep moving, but for me, time seemed to be still. Stuck on that day.

On to today’s topic, however, which is my works in progress, and plans for the future. Before I say anything, however, I am forced to qualify it with this statement:

“Nothing written here is in any way, shape, form or fashion meant to indicate any scheduled releases of books, whether currently or in the future. The discussion here is about projects that I work on or am working on, and what that means in terms of any series work, or in hoped for stories or sequels.”

There.

I’ve noticed a common trend that people often post in reviews that they hope the recent book in the Fire series, (Hellfire in this instance) is not the final book in the series.

It isn’t.

Fire From the Sky is an open ended series at the moment, and there is, at this point, no ending written or outlined. When I began the series, I decided that so long as I could create quality stories surrounding the Sanders family and their friends, I would continue to do so. At this point, for instance, I pretty much have the next two books, and possibly three books, mapped out. (depends on how much material there is, to be honest, as to how many books it will make). And again, I must warn all that this statement is in no way a promise of future release dates or deliveries. I use this blog to explain my actions and talk about what I hope to achieve.

What about Parno? Another regular question. The only answer I can give is that I am working on the fifth Parno book at this time. I can’t even guess at a finish or release date thanks to someone complaining that a ‘guess’ I once made about a book, or maybe a ‘I hope to be done’ about a book, was in fact a missed release date. They complained to Amazon, who in turn complained to my publisher, who knew what had happened and explained it to them. However, because of that and the trouble it causes, I have stopped entirely from ‘guesstimating’ on any release dates or even finish dates. I will tell you that I’m working on something, assuming that I am, and sometimes even guess at how much of it is finished, though I actually hesitate to do even that, now days.

This fifth book from Parno will likely be the last in this arc. That does not necessarily mean it is the last Parno book, though it may well be, I don’t know. But this book is supposed to tie up the loose ends and bring this arc of Parno’s story to a close. Again, not positively the end of Parno’s story, just the end of this part of it.

WHY does it take so long to get a Parno novel?  Well, because it’s hard to do, honestly. Hundreds of characters and a dozen or more minor plot lines, and that’s aside from the war and the major plot lines, take time to manipulate. I had no idea how much time, to be honest, until Parno and the follow on novels. It takes a lot of time just to fact check and back check to make sure that the current book isn’t directly contradicting something from three books back. So many moving parts and shifting people that it’s difficult to keep it rolling. So that’s why it takes so long. I never knew writing could be actual hard work until Parno. A mistake I shall not make again, 😀

Stormcrow? Stormcrow is important to me personally despite it not being much of a commercial success. There will be at least one more, Lord willing I live long enough, so that I can reveal a bit more about him and his story. Whether it goes on beyond that or not will depend a great deal on how well it does and what my time demands are on other projects. As important as Stormcrow is to me, there are other things I want to do as well.

SO, in summary, Fire From the Sky does not, at least yet, have an expiration date. I will continue to write that series so long as I can produce quality work for it, and there is a demand for it.

Parno doesn’t exactly have an expiration date, but this arc should end with book 5. Whether it goes further will depend on too many factors to mention. We’ll have to see.

Stormcrow will get a third installment at some point, and I hope it won’t be too much longer. I really do love his character and his story. I owe it to those who have read the first two books to bring his story further if I can.

The last thing before I go is reviews. Reviews, whether on Amazon or platforms like Goodreads, are priceless to an author. Good reviews are enjoyed, great reviews are adored, lol. But reviews, or even ratings, help books attract attention. The higher the rating, the better the chance a new reader might at least take a look at the book.

I mention this because of something that happened recently, which I posted about on my FB page. Hostile Fire, book 7 of the Fire series, had to date been one of my best reviewed books. I was surfing, looking for something to read (crazy, right?) when Amazon suggested I take a look at “Hostile Fire”, since it seemed like something I might enjoy. Laughing at the suggestion, I clicked on it anyway, tickled that Amazon had suggested it.

To find that Hostile Fire had at some point received a 1 star review. Just one, but there it was.

Since Hostile Fire had been so well received, I wondered what in the world had happened that someone was so disappointed in it, and I decided to take a look at the review.

To my surprise, the reviewer was commenting how much they had enjoyed ”all 12 books in the series”, but “there is no time frame for book 13 and I hate waiting.”

Well.

Imagine my surprise to learn that someone had read all twelve “Fire” books! Five of them before I had even written them!

I have no idea what the deal was, if maybe someone confused my books with someone else or what, but no matter. The point was that this is why authors ask writers to rate or review their books. Assuming you post a good review because you enjoyed the book, then that good review helps outweigh a review that was just posted as a way to ruin someone’s day. Apparently people really do scroll through and post bad reviews on books just for the heck of it. I wasn’t aware that was a thing until someone on my FB post suggested it. I don’t keep up with that kind of thing, so I learned something new that day.

Anyway, aside from stroking our egos (that’s humor and sarcasm together, there) reviews and ratings help books stay noticed and even attract new readers. So, if you have the time and don’t mind, consider leaving a review. Your favorite authors will all appreciate it 🙂

Fall has. . .fallen, it seems, and so I hope all of you enjoy the color change and the cooler weather. Please be safe when traveling as we seem to be having some weather extremes of late.

I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you for making N.C. Reed what he is. Without you, he would just fade away.

 

NCR

Update

I’ve been absent for some time both here and on any social media platform. Truth is that my family has suffered a tragedy and I just. . .I just haven’t been able to think past that very often.

I’m still writing, because it’s therapeutic for me, but anything else has just fallen by the wayside for the time being. I’m sorry for any inconvenience, but hopefully you can overlook it.

I’ll be back. I haven’t left. I just. . .I need time to deal with what has happened.

God Bless,

 

NCR