Archive for October, 2011

2 Down, 1 To Go!

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Just finished the print file for NASTY LITTLE F!#*ERS. Woohoo!

It’s my least selling book, which continues to surprise me. I figured it would do better than it does. Personally, I love the story. I’m glad I’ll have it out in print soon.

Just one more file to go. 61 A.D. :)

One Down, Two to Go!

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

This morning I finished formatting the print file for Saying Goodbye to the Sun. The print versions have been a long time in coming. I’m a slacker. Sorry.

Anyhoo, gonna start formatting NASTY LITTLE F!#*ERS tonight. Hopefully I can finish it and then get 61 A.D.’s print file done tomorrow. With luck, I could have all three uploaded to the printer by the end of this week.

And The Winner Is…

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Bait.

I am going to finish Bait as my next full length project. Once the first draft is finished, I will go through and edit The Gallows Tree. Meanwhile, in the background, I will start thinking about what to do for the next Bachiyr book. I have a few ideas already, but I need to do a little research first.

However, none of those things will be done this coming week. Why? Well, because my wife is smarter than I am. She suggested I finally get the print versions of Saying Goodbye to the Sun, NASTY LITTLE F!#*ERS, and 61 A.D. ready and make them available. This suggestion just made too much sense to ignore, so my project for the coming week is to get print copies of my “other” novels out for people who don’t have Kindles, Nooks, Kobos, or iPads.

Then I will dig into the story of Peter McKee, a wealthy Vicodin addict in a downward spiral who hunts vampires by using their own need for blood against them. How does he do it? Heh heh…well, that would be telling… ;)

And so I leave you with this picture of our Jack O Lanterns. The big one is mine, the itty-bitty one is Cole’s. Cute, huh?

Enjoy your Halloween, everyone! I hope it’s amazing!

I Need Your Help!

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Help Me Decide!

Hi Folks! I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve been sitting here trying to think of what I want to write next and I keep running into the Indecision Wall. You know the one. I get there and I can’t get past it because in order to do so, I have to decide. I suck at those. Just like writing a synopsis.

So, in this glorious digital age in which we live, I thought I would give you guys a voice in what I write about next. How cool is that? Do other authors do this? I dunno. Maybe. I’m sure I’m not the first. Then again, maybe I am. That’d make me a trendsetter. I can do that. I think. No, no I’m sure I can. Then again, maybe not. Then again, maybe I’ve had too much coffee. Who knows?

I guess it’ll have to remain one of life’s great mysteries. Sorta.

Anyway, all that blathering does have a point. I promise. See, I have several projects in mind that I can work on, and I am going to post a little bit about them here. Then you guys can read them and tell me which one sounds like a winner to you. Keep in mind that just having a project to work on doesn’t mean it will hit Kindle any time soon. Every full length project I write has to go through my agent first. Ready? Ok, here we go.

1. Finish The Gallows Tree. This is a book about a small town in east Tennessee that is haunted by the spirit of a young black boy who was lynched there in 1959. PROS: This would be the easiest of all the choices because the first draft of The Gallos Tree is already finished. All I have to do is edit and revise it, and I already know some key points that I want to change. I could have it ready in a month. CONS: I like to have something to edit on the back burner. Right now Tree is the only thing I have that is ready for edits, so if I finish it, I will have no edit projects in the wings. What this means is that I will have to finish TWO projects after it is done before I can think about editing again.

2. Sequel to Saying Goodbye to the Sun. This would continue the story of Vincent, the nice-guy-turned-Bachiyr that was my first character creation. PROS: The character of Joel Kagan would would play a major role in this, and he’s a personal favorite of mine. Also, I really enjoyed Saying Goodbye, and would love to visit Vincent again. CONS: The sequel to Saying Goodbye, as it is currently planned, takes place near the end of the Bachiyr series. If I write it now, it will give away a lot of what is to happen in the coming Taras and Theron novels.

3. Next Bachiyr book. The plot for this book is not completely fleshed out yet, but it would involve Taras, Theron, and bring back Baella, who is another favorite of mine. PROS: This series is what pays the bills for me. I have a bunch of books available, but 33 A.D. and 61 A.D. are, by far, my biggest sellers. They keep the lights on, and I would expect another book in the series to do quite well. CONS: As I said, this book isn’t much more than a vague idea at this point. I will be starting it from scratch, which means lots of research and stuff like that there.

4. Bait. This is a book I’m really looking forward to finishing. It’s about a drug addict who hunts vampires in a very odd way. I can almost guarantee you guys have never heard of this before, and it lets me look at the Bachiyr from a different perspective. PROS: This story is about halfway finished in first draft form. I have the ending set, and a really good beginning, and I’m working through the middle right now. I haven’t worked on it in a while due to other projects, but it should be easy to get back into it because I love the plot. CONS: Though the book is halfway done, I will need to go back and scrap about 10,000 words before I can keep going. I took a wrong turn back there and I need to find out what went wrong.

5. A third short story anthology. PROS: I love these because they are fast and hard. The 100 word bites are a major challenge, and I have been itching to get back into the EXHIBIT A/B/C world of shorts. I may even turn those into a novel someday. Also, being a short book, I won’t need to send it to my agent before publishing it, which means it could be available in a matter of weeks. CONS: Unlike any of the novels I’ve suggested, this would be a bargain price book at 99 cents. I don’t make much money on those, but I like doing them because they are fun and the lower price is a nice way to introduce people to my work. Also, some readers tend not to like these collections, feeling that the 100 word stories aren’t satisfying.

6. Something different. No idea what this is, but I could cook up something completely different.

So there you have it. Six things I could be working on right now instead of blogging or whittling the time away on Facebook. I can’t decide which one to do, so I am asking you, my loyal readers (All three of you!), to give me your input. What would you like to see come out of McAfee Land next?

It’s official. I am now represented by Frank Weimann of The Literary Group International in NYC. (Check the website, they have some pretty big clients!) I received the signed contracts in the mail yesterday. Technically, they were delivered on Saturday, but we forgot to check the mail that day, so I didn’t get them until yesterday. But anyway, they are here, and I can finally tell you guys about it.

A few months ago, I came across this thread on Kindleboards.com. For those who don’t feel like clicking, basically an author named Jeff Rivera came in and said he knew some agents who were looking for successful indie authors. To define “successful,” they put the number at 10,000 ebooks sold. Since I had sold over 25,000 by that point, I decided to give it a shot.

Jeff put me in touch with Frank, who called me on the phone the next day. After a 20 minute conversation, I sent him two hard copies of 33 A.D. Last week, I received an email from his assistant offering me a contract. I looked the contract over, showed it to some people who have been around the block, and, satisfied that everything was hunky dory, signed it.

And there you have it. All that time I wasted querying agents and publishers, and all it took to land one was a measly 25,000 ebook sales. Go figure. (In case anyone is wondering, there is a tiny hint of sarcasm there…25K ebooks is HARD to do by yourself. Obviously it can be done, but believe me, it ain’t easy.)

This brings me to the other thing I needed to mention. According to my blog stats—which I check almost as compulsively as my Kindle sales—there have already been searches for “David McAfee The Gallows Tree” or, sometimes, just “The Gallows Tree.” I think it’s cool that people are searching for info on the book, but things have changed a little in McAfee Land, and I figure I might need to address this with my horde of loyal readers. (Side note: can three or four people be classified as a “horde”? I hope so, ‘cause it sounds so much cooler that way.)

Now that I have an agent, I can’t self-publish any novels without giving the agency first right of refusal. Basically, I am contractually obligated to show them any full length book I write so they can decide whether or not they want to represent it. That means that, once I am finished with my editing for The Gallows Tree, I will not have the immediate right to publish it. It has to go through my agent first.

Now, if he doesn’t like it or doesn’t think he can sell it, I should be able to put it online myself, but I have no idea how long it will take him to decide. I’m not exactly a big fish, you know. In fact, I’m pretty low on the totem pole, so I doubt I’m a priority. And since I haven’t started editing it yet (That’s next on my calendar), I have no idea when, or if, I will be releasing it so that y’all can read it. Rest assured, it will be published, but whether it’s done by a traditional publisher or me is up in the air right now.

But, for the record, I think it’s a great book. It’s about a small town in Tennessee where the elderly residents all start to commit suicide by hanging themselves from the same weeping willow just outside the town limits. The only clue they leave behind are notes that just say “Guilty.” I won’t tell you why they are doing it, that would be cheating, but I will say that this book has much stronger language and situations than anything I’ve written to date.

Basically, part of the book deals with racial tensions in 1959, so you can imagine what some of the scenes are like. I don’t know how many writers have given themselves bad dreams with their work, but I sure did.

That poor kid…

Um, anyway. I probably said too much. Keep checking back here for more information. I promise not to keep you folks out of the loop!

See Y’all!
David

I Have News!

Posted: October 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Well, I have some pretty big news. At least it’s big to me. Some, if not most, of y’all might not think it’s all that big, but I gotta say it anyway.

I have an agent.

Yep.

For those of you who don’t know what a literary agent is or what they do, they are the folks who negotiate with publishers on an author’s behalf. They also act as salespeople to the big publishers, using their contacts to help get books in the hands of editors who will hopefully buy them. For a long time, they have been the first gatekeepers to traditional publishing, as most of the larger publishing houses would only look at work submitted to them via an agent. They are very hard to get because they tend to be selective. Their reputation is on the line every time they contact an editor about a project, so they tend to only take on books and writers they believe in. A good agent can help a writer’s career tremendously.

Back in 2007 when I first wrote 33 A.D. I tried to get an agent. I came close, but never got a contract. Then back in August I read a thread about some agents who were looking for successful indie authors. I emailed the person and he put me in touch with the person who would become my agent. (I am not naming any names until the contracts are signed.) The man called me and we spoke for about 20 minutes. The next day I sent him two copies of 33 A.D. to read.

Yesterday he got back to me and offered me representation.

So there you have it. I finally have an agent to represent my work. It only took four years and 28,000 ebook sales. Heh.

What does this mean for me? Well, for starters, it means I am not on my own anymore. There is someone in my corner who will go to bat for me and try and sell my books to the big guys in NYC. It’s not a guarantee of success, but it’s a whole lot better than nothing. I’m pretty excited about it, too.

As if you couldn’t tell. :)

There will be more news in the not too distant future. Stuff about books and hopefully sales, but for now I’m just gonna say it one more time.

I have an agent.

:)