Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fits and Starts

We've all got bad habits.

Mine is that I'm incredibly lazy.  It's a fatal flaw I've been aware of since I was a kid and have fought my entire life, with varying degrees of success.  It's also, as mentioned in my last post, a major factor holding me back - if I could figure out some way to force myself to consistently write, day in and day out, I'd be much better off.

I bring this up because my laziness has led me into another dry spell and, despite wanting to, I've written next to nothing for Earth Refound in the last couple of weeks.  I finished Act One last week and am about to start Act Two, but I've just frozen up.  This is a point that's always been tough for me to push past, since this is the point the story shifts and we get started on our adventure proper.  I have things outlined, but I'm honestly a little vague as to what I should be doing here.  I had similar issues with Fallen Saints at about this point.  Perhaps I should jump ahead a scene or two and write the next part that interests me?  It's always an option, but rarely one I take since I tend to write everything in sequential order.

Instead of writing, I've spent more time drawing and browsing my usual Internet forums - fun, sure, but not exactly productive.  It also hasn't helped that my day job has been a bit more hectic than usual.

It'd be nice if I could find some surefire method to get me to sit and write more often, but I know none exists.  What I really need is more willpower, to crack a whip and just DO it.  This has always been difficult for me, because no matter what I tell myself I know that I can always just ignore it.  There can be no consequences I've I don't believe there will be consequences!

I did manage to write a little more today, though not as much as I'd like.  My weekends (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday) tend to work out more in my favor, so perhaps this week I'll finally break into Act Two for real?  We'll see.

What I really don't want is for Earth Refound to go down the same path as Fallen Saints:  a week-long burst of productivity separated by months of little more than thinking to myself, "I really need to get back to this." 

I got Act One done.  Time to do the second!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I'm not an expert on either publishing or writing.  Not even close.  The best I can offer is that I have been writing for most of my life and have read pretty extensively on both traditional and indie/self-publishing, so at the very least I can offer some informed opinions on those matters.

All that being said, I'd like to talk a bit about goals.

Personally, I have modest goals for my writing and my career (at least, I hope they're modest!):  to write as much as I can, publish as much as I can, and if I manage to make a few bucks (or pick up a few fans) along the way, well, awesome.  My goal for many MANY years has been just to finish a book, any book, and get it (or anything, really) published.  In 2014, after years of dreaming, I finally made that a reality when A Slave of the Bird Men and Fallen Saints were published.

So, with that out of the way, what are my goals now?

1.  Publish two books and two short stories in 2015.   Last year I accomplished a major life goal by having one short story and one book published.  This year, I hope to double that.  I'm pretty sure I know what stories I'm going to focus on to accomplish this goal too, which is boosting my confidence a whole truckload.

I've already started the first book of 2015:  Earth Refound, a science fiction/adventure novel that, much like Fallen Saints, was a project I started a while back (in this case, Summer 2013), abandoned, and have now finally returned to.  I'm very happy with the progress I've made so far, though considering my issues with productivity (see Goal #2) I've no clue how long it'll be before it's finished.  The book I'll write after that is up in the air, but at the moment I'm interested in writing a thriller.

I'm much more set in the short story department!  I've already begun a science fiction/mystery short story titled Snake Crime that I'm excited to work on.  After that, I'd like to finish a sequel to A Slave of the Bird Men that I started a couple of years ago - I have pie-in-the-sky ideas of collecting the two into a single volume some time in the future.

If I can accomplish this goal, my confidence in my ability to turn this from a hobby/dream into an actual career will multiply!  Time will tell, though.

2.  Boost my productivity.  This is a much more nebulous goal than the previous one, but it's an issue that has always plagued me.  You see, I'm naturally lazy.  It's easily my fatal flaw, the thing that has and (unless I conquer it) always will hold me back.  It took me years to write Fallen Saints when, in my opinion, it should have taken only months.  I wrote all of A Slave of the Bird Men during the time it took me to write that book!  I need to spend much more time sitting and writing than I do now.  Even just an hour a day would be a huge improvement!  I suppose this is more of a long-term goal than something I can accomplish in just this year, but it's definitely an important one.

3.  Get my work into more markets.  This is probably the easiest and most concrete of all my goals for 2015.  I'm already blown away by how many markets Fallen Saints has turned up in, but there are some key places I'm not available in yet.  The next wave of markets I want to target is the remaining major eBook stores:  Kobo, iBooks, Google Play, and GoodReads.  I also want to, eventually, produce an audiobook for Fallen Saints - it's a portion of the market that I, myself, have never been interested much in but I'm convinced it's big enough that I shouldn't ignore it.  Another area I'd like to expand to is foreign languages, specifically Spanish.  Half of my family is of Dominican descent and, despite being good enough with English that I can write books, my Spanish skills are pretty terrible.  I'd love to get my work translated into Spanish, just for that personal reason.  Beyond that, I think German, Chinese, and Hindi are probably going to be important if I really want my work to be accessible outside the United States and Anglosphere.  The audiobooks and foreign languages are much more distant goals, things I probably will not do in 2015, but they are on my mind.

The future has opened up so much for me this year, so many things now seem possible and within my grasp, it's hard to focus on just the tasks right in front of me.  I'll do my best though and, if I'm lucky, maybe all of this will pay off.  If not, ah well, at least somebody will be happy to read my work.  ^_^

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fallen Saints Now Available at Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble!

 The Fallen Saints Paperback is now available through Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble!  If you usually prefer to buy your books through those retailers, now you can.

This is so exciting!  I hadn't realized the book was available through either of those chains until this morning.  Awesome!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fallen Saints


Two thousand years ago, the Power of God and the ability to perform powerful magic was revealed to the world. Protected by the Church, only the powerful magic-wielding “Miracle Workers” now know these divine secrets.

Now, in an American Old West where gunslingers and magic are facts of everyday life, Angie Grissom and her Cajun partner, Andrew Carnation, hunt down criminals for cash with little more than their wits and brawn. But when the hunt for a simple thief puts her in the middle of a religious blood feud between two factions of fanatical Miracle Workers and a battle over an ancient book with ties to the very origin of their powers, will Angie’s quick draw be enough?

Action and adventure await in a Wild West that never was!

- - -

I independently published my short novel Fallen Saints in December through my publishing imprint, Silk Baron Independent Press.  This was the culmination of years of work on a project that I've always enjoyed.  I'm so happy to finally see it in print!

PAPERBACK:  Amazon, CreateSpace

E-BOOK:  Kindle, Nook

A Slave of the Bird Men (Part One) Now Available in Innovate #8!

Francisco had dreamed of riches and adventure when he joined an expedition to the New World.  One ambush later, though, he's found himself prisoner to a race of intelligent birds in 16th Century South America.  Now, his only hope is to learn to survive amongst his captors as...


My short story A Slave of the Bird Men is being serialized by Innovate E-Magazine!

This is a huge accomplishment for me:  this is the very first short story I've gotten published by a magazine!  I was really blown away when Grey Wolf confirmed that I'd made it in.  If you haven't already, please check out their magazine, it really is pretty cool!  There's a great selection of stories, poems, and articles in every issue, it's definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

You will find the Print Edition of Issue #8 at Amazon.

You can also get the Digital Edition at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Inktera, and Scribd.

First Post

Welcome to the blog of Paul V. Cwiakala!

I, as you probably already guessed, am the aforementioned blogger and writer.  I've recently published a new book and a new short story, so I figure now would be a good time to finally start a blog dedicated to my writing.  Here's where I'll talk about my writing process, the publishing process, and probably my thoughts in general.

This is still a work in progress, so don't be surprised if you come back to find the whole layout completely different.  Until then, though, see you around!  ^_^