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The first phone number I ever memorized...

I looked at my cell phone yesterday and found in my contacts list the first phone number I ever memorized.  As with most people, this number was connected to the home I grew up in as a child, then as a teenager, and then various bouts of time as an adult. 

 

For thirty-seven years this number has been one of the few constants in my life – a combination I’ve never forgotten, something I could always dial no matter where I was in the world, no matter how lost or found I’d become.  It remains so ingrained into the fabric of my being that I am certain that should my brain completely fail me in my twilight years -- I would still be able to recall this number with absolute precision.

 

It was with a profound sadness that I then realized I should delete this particular series of digits off my phone.

 

Two days ago my parents turned over the keys to the home this number has been associated with for decades.  Today, a young family will move in and make it theirs, as my parents move off to retire to the farm where my father grew up -- the homestead connected to the first phone number he likely ever memorized.  

 

 I wish them all the best.

 

I rarely memorize any phone numbers anymore.  I’m dependent on my cell to remember it for me.  I employ the common trick to have people call me or text me so that I have a record of it, which I can then use as a contact later.  I would challenge anyone to remember more than five of their own.  And to be fair, I can’t be certain as to when the last time I actually called my childhood home’s number was.  Last week?  The week before? 

 

It doesn’t really matter.

 

This number literally has lost any and all purpose, other than to remind me of times long past and  perhaps of the great impermanence we all must face.  Sooner or later, your number turns up.  The question will then linger – what did it all add up to?

 

For me this one will equate to four decades of sometimes hard but often wonderful memories, many of which have led me to become the man I am today.

 

Maybe the number still has some use after all...

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Meeting the Dream

My wife and I recently travelled to the United Kingdom.  It was the first time for both of us.  There was an abundance of sights to take in--the Tower of London, the Roman relics of Bath, the 1000 year old village of Lacock--but the place I was most excited to visit was an old arrangement of stones that had fascinated me since childhood--Stonehenge.  

This mysterious monolith had, in part, inspired me to write my first novel twenty years ago--Crusaders of a Dying Breed.  To see the stones before me with my own eyes, after having read written and dreamed about them for decades proved to be nothing short of a surreal experience.

No, I wasn't teleported to an alternate dimension (like what happens in my book).  I was simply lost in the splendor of it all.

I recently republished Crusaders with new cover artwork from my friend, Jose Emroca Flores.  As usual, Jose gave the cover a much needed facelift in his own unique style.  It's an Amazon exclusive, so if you've got a Kindle--check it out!

Jose's new artwork!

Jose's new artwork!

Original cover art from 1999.

Original cover art from 1999.

Dave Cravens is the author of the new science fiction thriller, The God Thought, available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Dave Cravens is the author of the new science fiction thriller, The God Thought, available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!



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"MEN IN BLACK meet HARRY POTTER"

 

 

A couple months ago I was contacted by a young woman named Shwetha HS from India asking for a review copy of my science fiction thriller, The God Thought.  She writes a blog called We Read That Too and explained that a lot of Western fiction can become popular among those fluent in English in her country.

Being new to the review game, I was a little hesitant to send a copy half way across the world.  I’d already been accosted by several people who claim to write reviews but really just sign up for a “book tour” to get free books.  But I took the chance, and I’m glad I did, because not only did Shwetha post a flattering review with five stars in Goodreads, she also gave me one of the most interesting analogies/tag lines I’ve read about my novel in a long time: “Men in Black meet Harry Potter.”

I can't emphasize enough how accurate that depiction is, excluding my story's mature content.   Certainly adult fans of Potter or MIB would find a lot to enjoy in my novel.  (The God Thought isn't for kids.)

So, thank you, Shwetha!  You can bet I’ll get some mileage out of that one.  And I’m so glad you enjoyed the book!

You can read Shwetha’s full review and follow her at We Read That Too

--DC

[DAVE CRAVENS is the author of the new science fiction thriller The God Thought and is a huge fan of anyone who enjoys reading his books!]


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Today, I wore pants...

Today, I wore pants, which may not seem like a big deal, but for me, it’s a statement.  Anyone who has known me in the last twenty years understands that I hardly ever wear pants.  I wear shorts, and I’m not talking khakis or any crap like that, I’m talking the classic full-on circa 90’s jean shorts – “jorts” as my co-workers refer to them.  I wear them every – single – day.

The occasions that might call for me to cover my fabulous leg hair would include fancy dates with my wife, funerals, weddings, a book signing, laundry shortage, our annual family Christmas Eve appearance at church, job interviews (I’ve only ever had two) and meeting with some high up executive or famous actor.

Granted, I work in the video game industry on the West Coast, where the definition of “casual attire” is loosely interpreted.  Kilts and spiked collars are not unheard of.  I’ve witnessed a 40 year old chain smoking man wearing spandex pants, a faded t-shirt and flip flops for an entire week.  My wardrobe is formal in comparison.

So why the change today?  I was inspired – in a Starbucks of all places.

Earlier this week, my friend and I went out to grab an afternoon coffee.  We entered the Starbucks, ordered our drinks and waited for them to be made.  But something had caught my eye, and I leaned over to my friend to ask him if he noticed it as well.  “Did you, by chance, notice the person wearing blue working at a laptop near the corner entrance?” I asked him.

He looked at me with wide eyes as if to answer: “Everyone noticed!” but offered a simple “Yes.”

The person in question was a blonde woman, probably in her late thirties, wearing a sharp, perfectly tailored power blue cocktail dress.  Not only did she stand out as a bright beacon in a sea of drab colors, t-shirts, shaggy hair and flip flops, she resembled almost exactly what I imagined a character to look like from my science fiction novel, The God Thought.  It was as though the character of Marilyn had literally stepped out of the pages of my book and joined the real world.  Usually the opposite happens – I meet a person and think to myself that he or she would make an interesting character.  Regardless, if you’ve read The God Thought, you know that Marilyn immediately commands any room she enters.

I couldn’t help but to think of the irony, that as someone who puts the minimal amount of effort into his physical appearance, how much I appreciate the efforts of those who take the extra time to look nice.

Growing up, I pitied my father for having to wear a suit to work every day.  It wasn’t until I went to college that IBM allowed him a “Casual Friday.”  But now, as I get older, I find my eyes gravitating to the sharper dressers of the world.  My wife, of course, is one of them – how she puts up with my lack of style, I’ll never know.  We recently watched an episode of Adam West’s Batman together and her first comment was how nice everyone dressed back then.  She was right.  Certainly, half the enjoyment of watching shows like Mad Men is appreciating the fashion of the era.  Go to Disneyland during “Dapper Days” and you will find a visual feast of all types of people, dressed to the hilt in garb from the 40’s – despite the searing summer heat.  In comparison, take the first day of my kids’ school this week.  I wanted to personally commend any parent who did NOT choose to wear sweatpants, a robe or a t-shirt.

For better or worse, I’ve come to realize we’re all part of a living canvas displayed to the people we live with, work with and interact with every day.  What would happen if I put a little more effort into my portion of that community art?  Would it help brighten someone else’s day like “Marilyn” did for me and the others waiting for our coffee?  Would it, in some small way, enrich the tapestry that I’m inherently a part of?

So I conducted a social experiment today that I call the 10% change.  Nothing drastic.  I just dressed a little nicer than what I usually do.  Full length jeans + button up pressed collared shirt = 10% more effort.  Maybe I’d add a smile now and then – let’s not get crazy.

Of course, the first person to notice was my wife for the five seconds we saw each other in the morning.  It gave her pause - she smiled.  The people at the coffee shop who’ve served me over a hundred times in the past year didn’t seem to recognize me at all.  My attire prompted several responses from co-workers, everything from “I like your nice minty shirt” to “Do you have an interview or something?” which would then lead to a lengthy explanation as to why I was wearing pants.

In the end, the day was nothing more or less than any other. 

I certainly wasn’t expecting that my wearing of pants was going to alter anyone’s reality, bring world peace or inspire a solution to cold fusion.  But maybe, just maybe, for a split second, it reduced the eyesore that is someone else’s universe by a fraction of a fraction.  And short of that, it was kind of fun to do.

Will I try it again tomorrow? 

Hell no.  We’re in the middle of a heat wave!

But it probably wouldn’t kill me to put 10% more effort into my appearance next Friday - or even the Friday after that.

--DC

[Dave Cravens is the author of the new science fiction thriller, The God Thought, and is a video games industry veteran.  He also likes to wear “jorts” while appreciating people who dress better than he does – namely everyone.]

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Don't Lucas it, man...let it be.

"Don't Lucas it, man," insisted Joe the podcaster during a recent interview.  "Let it be."

Joe wasn't referring to The God Thought, but a fantasy book I'd written almost twenty years ago entitled Crusaders of a Dying Breed.  Joel was one of the few people (and I do mean few) who read it back in the day.  He enjoyed it.  "It was a fun read," he told me.  But when interviewing me about my most recent novel he and the others cringed at the idea of me going back and polishing Crusaders.

I've been tempted to do that for a long time.  I recently re-read Crusaders while waiting for The God Thought to come online.  Like Joe, I enjoyed the read - it transported me back to the 90's and my days as a high school student.  It's a fun, over the top kind of read, and it's a good time.  But when I wrote it as a college kid, I couldn't afford to have it professionally edited.  It is remiss with errors.  Every book has a few typos, but I felt that I more than filled that quota with Crusaders.  And there is so much I've learned since then - all the things I would change!

Joe didn't care.  He enjoyed it for what it was.  He and his cohorts argued that the book stands as a moment in time, and an opportunity for people to see how much I've grown as a writer.

They may have a point.

Regardless, Crusaders isn't going away.  I'll get several phone calls from I-universe publishing throughout the year hoping that I'll re-market Crusaders.  Of course, this would involve me paying them to market the book for me.  The sales woman on the phone this morning pointed out that the book hasn't sold for several years because I haven't done anything with it.  "Exactly," I said.  "I've moved on."

Have I?  After all, I always meant to write the next book in the series at some point in my life.

The trouble is the audience for Crusaders of a Dying Breed is very different than the one for The God Thought.  The stories are told in very different ways, so it's not automatic that one would enjoy the other.  And yet, the one thing I couldn't help noticing when I reread Crusaders was how similar my voice as a writer was compared to what it is today.

If anyone has any thoughts on this matter as a reader or a writer, I'd be glad to hear it.  Do I let it be?  Or do I spruce it up?

If you're curious about Crusaders of a Dying Breed, you're welcome to check it out, just follow the link.  Be warned, it was written in a time before iPhones, Netflix and 9/11.  DVD's were just becoming a "thing" and people still watched TV on their TV.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on that too, for better or worse.

In the meantime, I prepare for the Nook and iBook versions of The God Thought to be released this Fall.  My experiment with the Kindle's exclusive digital publishing program will expire on September 11, and I look forward to branching out.

--DC

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Better Brews and Books...

Just had my first book signing for The God Thought in my hometown of Pine Island at the Better Brew Coffeehouse, and I couldn't be more pleased with the result.  Saw some old faces and new, and had the chance to visit with every single one of them.  A  big thank you to all who came out!

Of course, it's not every day an author gets to do a dual signing with a published poet who just happens to be his own mother.  You can check out Suzanne Cravens' anthology, Linger for a While in the Heartland, by clicking this sentence!

To cap it all off, I got to sign each book with a very special pen given to me as a birthday gift by my sister-in-law just the other day.  Nearly twenty years ago, she and her husband presented me with an engraved pen for a novel I wrote entitled Crusaders of a Dying Breed.  I was secretly hoping she might do it again for The God ThoughtJennifer did not disappoint. The gift is featured in the picture above.

Finally, a huge shout out to Marie and her staff.  The Better Brew Coffeehouse lives up to its name and then some.

Thanks for a great evening!

--DC

 

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Book Signing -July 24th in Pine Island, Minnesota

Never heard of Pine Island?  Not surprising.  It's a quaint rural town of roughly two thousand in south eastern Minnesota.  And no, it's not actually an Island.  You'd be surprised after hearing where I grew up how many people reactively blurt: "You grew up on an island?!?"  

Yes - an island of pines!

It's been a long time since I've done a book signing - nearly 20 years.  But what better place to start again than my hometown?  

Thus, my first official book signing for The God Thought will happen at the Better Brew Coffeehouse in Pine Island on July 24th, from 5:30-7:30pm.  

If you're in the area, stop by and say hello!

***

This will be a special trip in many ways, not the least of which is that it will be a dual signing with my mother, Suzanne Cravens.  Mom will be signing her collection of poetry, Linger for a While in the Heartland.  She's had her work published in Minnesota, Tennessee and Florida.  If you haven't read any of her poems, you should - Suzanne has an amazing gift for words.  Though very different, our books are connected in several ways, not the least of which is the influence Pine Island and the surrounding areas had on our writing.  My parents have made it their home since 1977, and I spent 20 years of my life growing up there.

At a quick glance Pine Island could be any one of a thousand towns in the Midwest.  But, in fact, it is a special fusion of two very different worlds.  On one hand, half the population is comprised of farmers and families who have lived there for several generations, while the other half is made up of transplants from all over the country who work for IBM or the Mayo Clinic in nearby Rochester.  Looking back I'm astounded at the opportunities, culture and technology I was exposed to as a young man while staying grounded in the "make it work" values championed by the local community.  People in small towns rely on one another to get things done.  They are incredibly proud and self sufficient.

Of course when I was growing up there, I didn't appreciate any of that.  Like most young people, I longed to be somewhere else, doing anything else as long as I felt it was bigger, better or more exciting.  Growing up in Pine Island compelled me to dream big and dream often.  Ironically, it's the work ethic of growing up in that town that equipped me to be able chase those dreams - and once in a while - catch one.

Pine Island has grown now, I don't recognize nearly as many faces as I used to when I visit.  Neighborhoods have changed, teachers have retired, restaurants have come and gone.  (The current Rainbow Cafe on Main Street is a favorite of mine, by the way.  If you ever stop by GO THERE and EAT EVERYTHING.)  But PI will always hold a special place in my heart.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to do a book signing there, as it will mark the close of an enormously important chapter in my life.  My parents, you see, will be leaving the town after making it their home for nearly fifty years, and retiring on our family farm in western Minnesota.

This will likely be the last time I will stay in the home where I grew up and dreamed so many dreams as a young boy.  I can remember, sitting at my desk in my room on countless nights, with the windows open to let in a moist summer breeze, the chirping of the crickets mixed with the rustling of leaves, a rumble of thunder in the distance as I typed away on my computer the ideas for a movie script, a novel, a short story or two.  It felt like anything and everything was possible.

So I thank you, Pine Island, for your part in making me who I am.  Thank you, Pine Island, for being the source of so many great dreams I have chased.

Oh, and a SPECIAL THANKS to MARIE HLAVA, owner of the Better Brew Coffeehouse for hosting the event.  Marie, I haven't met you in person yet, but I can already tell YOU ROCK.

--DC

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To the lady on the plane...

 

 

...I did my best to squeeze through the mass of corporate refugees who packed the plane’s cabin without hurting anyone.  We were all transplants for one reason or another.  My earlier flight was cancelled due to a mechanical failure, so I was just as eager to find my new seat and finally be off to my meeting in Seattle.  But I couldn’t help but to cringe as I checked my ticket: 11B.

The “B”usually meant I would be jammed between two men of equal or greater mass who would ferociously compete for elbow space over the next two hours.  To my relief, a rather stylish and slim older woman smiled to me as she got up from her aisle seat to let me in.  I mention this detail because a younger lady behind us made a point to compliment her on her leather boots and grey 70’s circa dress.

I settled in and found the man at the window on my left already passed out.  The stylish woman on my right anxiously flipped through her magazine.  “You must be a fast reader,” I joked.

“Nothing is really grabbing me,” she answered, frowning at the headlines of each page.

This led to a discussion of her reading preferences and habits, when I was interrupted by a text from a friend.  “Can’t make the meeting,” it warned.  “My father has passed away.”  My heart sank as the plane finally pushed off.  My friend was incredibly close to his father and I knew this would be devastating for him. 

After the climb to 30,000 feet and a chance to reflect, I noticed the stylish woman continued to flip pages.

“Do you like Sci Fi?” I asked her.

“Yes,” she answered, and went on to describe a Japanese author she enjoyed that wrote “mind magic” stories where the most fantastic things could happen.  I smiled. 

I casually reached into my bag and pulled out a copy of my book, The God Thought.  “I was going to give this to a friend of mine, but his father just died and his plans had to change. You’re welcome to have it if you think you’ll find it interesting.”

The woman accepted the book and immediately flipped it to the back to scan the synopsis.  Now - this was a very surreal moment for me.  I was watching someone who had no idea who I was, who had no idea what the book was about, have an honest reaction to it.  Had I revealed I was the author, her reaction would undoubtedly have been tainted with politeness.

After a minute, she turned to me.  “Are you sure?  You brought it for your friend.”

“Oh, I have another copy I can give him.”

The woman thanked me and stowed it in her bag for later.  We chatted for the rest of the flight.  

It occurred to me as we spoke that I would never know what this woman actually thought of my book after she read it.  I did not know her name.  She did not know mine.  There was no way to contact her without revealing who I was, which I felt would influence her experience in reading it.  

I wouldn’t get an honest opinion.

And then I thought of another way.  Perhaps if I posted this story about the stylish older woman who sat in 11C on a mid morning Alaska flight to Seattle on May 6th, 2015 - perhaps she might hear of it, and contact me with her thoughts at dcravensauthor@gmail.com

Only time will tell.  And whether I hear from her or not, I felt this was a story worth sharing.

--DC

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The first step in a new journey...

Yesterday marked a big day - one that I've been waiting for, for a long, long time.  The God Thought finally became available for purchase online through Amazon.com - both the paperback edition, and the hardcover edition!  Slowly, as the book distributor catches up with its accounts, the novel will appear more and more places for sale online.  I've already seen the hard cover edition on Barnes and Noble.com, and the paperback is sure to follow in the coming days.  The electronic editions for Kindle, Nook and iBooks will be available by Summer's start.  What does that leave?  The brick and mortar stores, which I must build momentum into before I can justify being stocked on shelves.  That's going to take a lot of time to accomplish, but I'm told selling books isn't a sprint - it's a marathon.

Which is why I look to all of you.  If you purchase the book and enjoy it - please spread the word.  Submit a review on Amazon.  Share the link with your friends!  And if you've got ideas for me that you think will help, let me know!

And to all the e-reader fans out there who can't wait for the summer to purchase your e-copy?  I'll make a deal with you.  Until the electronic versions are officially available, for anyone who buys a physical copy and emails me a picture of themselves holding it - I'll send you a special digital copy of the book for free.  Just email me your selfie with my book at dcravensauthor@gmail.com.

Thanks again to everyone who has followed me and supported this project these past several months. 

You rock!

--DC

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Final Covers are Finally Approved!

You might be wondering the significance of that statement - what's the big deal?  "I thought the covers were done months ago!"  They were, but aligning the files correctly with the publishing unit has been a comedy of errors and bad luck for over a month now.  We've battled bad fonts, incorrect colors, rasters that should be vectors, vectors that should be rasters, multiple artists have come down with the plague (or a bad cold, one of the two) and my rep's husband even had emergency surgery last week!  

But the proofs that were sent this past Monday looked great, and I finally got to type the words: "Covers Approved."  

What does this mean?  Well, I don't want to jinx it, but it could very well mean the hard cover and paperback copies of The God Thought might be available for purchase this week.  That would be bat shit crazy!  But until I have one in my hands, I'm not going to get too excited.

THEN, we've still got to publish the official electronic versions to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.  I'm told that won't take very long, but "Hah!" we'll see what life has in store for that adventure.  I'm just grateful that things are moving forward, and that my rep's husband is okay and no one died from yellow fever or something terrible like that.

I have been contacted by some of you who have read all the preview chapters and are "dying to know what happens next."  Stay strong - it's coming!  And since we're sooooooooo close, I'm thinking I'll start posting new preview chapters as early as next week just to get the momentum going again.

Thanks to all of you who have been so patient through this process.  Every time I get an encouraging note from someone who's fallen in love with the premise of the book and is anxiously awaiting the release it makes all of this work worth it. I hope you are pleased with the final result.  Hell, I hope I'm pleased with the final result :)

--DC

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Sooooooo close...

With just days to go in March, my initial hopes of bringing the finished novel to market by the end of the month are quickly evaporating.  This MAY have had something to do with my last minute decision to offer a HARDCOVER edition as well as the initial paperback edition.  Yup.  I did that.  As it turns out, it's easier to do it now than later.

My cover artist, the incomparable Matt Schiel, will be putting the final touches on the jacket layout for the hardcover this weekend.  We hope to submit that on Monday, and then there will be a QA process of the printing, etc.  After that, there's readying the Kindle version, the iBooks version and the Nook version, each with its own distinct format and challenges.  The good news is that production is "nearly" finished.  That's about as solid of answer I can get.  

One more week?  Two?  Three?

It needs to be done right.  And as soon it is, I'll be ramping up advertising, social media - the works.

Honestly, I'm desperate to just hold the darn thing in my hands!  The minute I get a copy, you can bet I'll be smearing a picture of it all over Facebook, Twitter and my website.

So, as I'm notoriously impatient when it comes to these things - how do I deal with the wait?

Simple.  

I work on the NEXT BOOK.

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44 Edits...

That's how many final changes I submitted to the publisher today.  Everything ranging from: "This quotation mark is a beginning quotation mark, and should be an ending quotation mark" to "In this sentence, change the word from 'on' to 'in'."  

I swear this was the 50th time I've read my entire manuscript from beginning to end looking for layout errors, etc.  It will take a couple days before I get a new proof, which I'll spot check to make sure the final edits are all in there.  Then my artist will take a pass on the cover to ensure it conforms to the final template.  And then???

We're almost there.  

I live for the day when I can post a picture of the final, physical copy in my hands.

 

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It's about to become real...

For over a week now, I’ve had in my possession, the final layout of my novel.  The publisher gave me 14 days to pour over it, suggest any minor corrections, of which 5 days remain. 

As I’ve plucked away at it, I couldn’t help but to admit a great reluctance on my part to finish.

Why?

Why put on the brakes when I’m so close?  People are waiting on this thing!  I’ve been waiting on this thing!  Why would I hesitate?  Where is that coming from?

I guess the honest confession would be – “it’s about to become real.” 

Once this book is done, it’s done.  It goes out into the world to be received and discovered and read and reacted to or ignored by whomever.  There’s no turning back.  If it’s a success or a failure, it has moved from the realm of “what if” and “endless possibility” - to that of “reality.”

Have I corrected all the flaws?  Is it entertaining enough?  Will people enjoy it?  All of these questions will be answered – and a part of me is afraid of that answer.  That sounds rather silly.  I’ve tested it – thoroughly.  Not everyone is going to like it, but I’m confident I will continue to find an audience that will.  But how big is that audience?  Can it catch fire?  Will it catch fire?  I want it to.  I’ll work hard for it to burn like crazy.  But in the end, it does or it doesn’t.

Like most creative people, I’ve had more than my share of projects that are critical successes but abysmal market failures.  Or worse – no one knows they ever hit the market.  The product releases into the wild, only to quickly sputter, stumble, fade away and disappear.  Such a disappointing result could be for any number of reasons: the market was never there, bad advertising, bad timing, mixed messaging, overpromising, lost in the clutter, “there was nothing special about the product in the first place” – there are so many more factors for something to fail than for it to succeed.

I can quickly rattle off a number of TV shows or movies that I personally loved that were abruptly canceled or never re-signed for a sequel because the market wasn’t kind to them.  (Firefly, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Arrested Development – just to name a few.)  The market is a strange and bewildering place for me.  But you learn what you can and try again.

 I guess when I look back on it, having a commercial success was not what prompted or inspired me to write The God Thought.  If that were my only goal, I would have written it differently (safer) and gone the more traditional publishing route. 

Don’t get me wrong, I would love for it to become this super mega-successful worldwide phenomenon that sells a gazillion units and invokes multi-movie deals.  That would be cool.

But in all honesty, it’s the idea of the god thought, the very premise of it that excited me in the first place. 

Beyond that, I hunger for something much more personal to result from finishing it:

Like a chef presenting his or her prized dish to a customer, I live for that moment when a reader takes a bite of the story, then can’t help but to devour it only to savor every nuance and spice I ever tried to pack into the thing - so much so, that they can’t help but gleefully boast something like: “That was one of the best f—king meals I’ve had in a long time.  Give me more!”

That’s the win. 

That’s what most creatives - whoever they are, whatever they do, however they express it – that’s what they live for.  For others to "get it."

And if it happens only once - to me, this time, this project - it will have been worth it.

Huh – suddenly I’m motivated to finish that review now.

 

 

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Where have you been?!?

Around.  My day job has kept me quite busy lately.  Paris, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara - all in a matter of days.  On top of the hectic travel schedule, I fell victim to the "winter plague" that attacked my home and family.  So I apologize for being so frugal when it comes to updates.

But as luck should have it, my silence is broken at a most opportune time.

Just this morning, my publisher sent me a final candidate for the printed version of The God Thought - 455 pages of awesome!  So I'll be pouring over it with a fine tooth comb to confirm that it is truly print ready.  

This means that March is looking very likely as the release date for the completed novel!

Just a few more weeks - and I can't wait!  

Thanks again for all of you who have stuck with it!

--DC

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First interview tonight!

Hey all!  Lot's of news to report.

First, my book has officially moved from the pre-production phase at the publishing house to full on PRODUCTION.  What does that mean?  Now that we got all the legal mumbo jumbo and documents signed and approved, the publisher will start laying the physical book out on the printed page.  Yes!  So THAT happened.

Oh!  And I'll be doing my first live interview about the novel tonight with Scott Haire on Crossing the Void Radio at 9:30 eastern, 6:30 pacific!

Scott is a big fan of Ghost Provokers so I'll bet that comes up in the conversation.  When I've been on his show before, it's always been in character as "Dr. David Jordan" - who is a complete moron and a lot of fun to play.  (It still blows my mind that despite our best efforts there are those out there who remain convinced Ghost Provokers is the real deal!) 

Regardless, I'll be appearing as myself for the interview.  

And hopefully not look as big of an idiot as Dr. Jordan does.

Go easy on me, Scott.  ;)

 

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For My Board Game Fans - Rise of Cthulhu

As production continues on the book (not a whole lot of news there) I wanted to give a shout out to a good friend of mine who has begun a kickstarter of his own.  Chuck Yager (who incidentally was one of my initial test readers) has created a riveting two player card game called Rise of Cthulhu.  That's (ka-thoo-loo) for those who aren't initiated into H.P. Lovecraft lore.

If you're into that stuff  (and I am) check out his kickstarter campaign!  Just two days in, and he's already 75% there!

Enjoy!

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The pro's and con's of the pre-production publishing push...

Honestly, I wanted to see how many "p" sounds I could put into that title.  I've been having discussions with some fellow writers lately, and the TV commercial for Blackhat (the movie) drew our attention with a piece of a dialogue where a character boasted: "He's a blackhat hacker named Hathaway."  How many takes did the actor need to get THAT right?  

I write a lot of dialogue for video games and there are awkward moments when I'm in a recording session and an actor is reading a line for the first time and get's tripped up with a typo I overlooked, and I realize maybe I SHOULDN'T have called the character "Pepperdine's Pappy, Sir Pimp-Dog Pumpernickel from Paris."

You get the point.

It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I'd reach out with the progress.  

This week I spoke with my publishing company and began the preproduction process they take all their authors through.  Most of it was fairly simple because I've already commissioned to have the cover done (thanks to the talents of Matt Schiel) and also already have my website going.  Then there's all the forms to fill out and paperwork to go through and the incredibly boring but super important stuff to bring it home.

One thing I never considered in writing my 126,000 word epic was exactly how many pages that would entail and the cost of printing, etc.  I guess that's why traditional publishers encourage new writers to write shorter books - to cut down cost on an already risky process.  But since I'M publishing it, I get to make that call.  Looks like I'm leaning toward a 6x9 book - still thinking paperback and the early estimated page count would probably be around 450.  That's seems par for the course with a lot of what I'm seeing out there.

Then, of course, there are the separate electronic versions to prep for.  My Kickstarter experimented with the ePub format, which is supposed to be fairly universal, but I learned quickly that Kindle's don't like that.  A very smart young lady named Toni Gutierrez was kind enough to point this out to me and quickly devised a conversion solution - thanks Toni!

It's all been a learning process that will culminate in about 10 weeks when the book finally goes live in the marketplace.  I'm excited - and tired - and nervous - and elated that we're almost there.

As the weeks go on, I'll be posting more, cranking out some more preview chapters, and prepping some interviews.  In fact, I will have my first radio / podcast interview about The God Thought toward the end of this month!  Details to follow.

Thanks again for all your support and interest.

--DC

 

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Happy New Year!

As I sit before a cozy hearth fire with my family and look back on 2014, I am humbled by the amazing support I've received by so many - strangers and friends alike.  Last year was a milestone in wrapping The God Thought up, testing the story, marketing ideas, working with several talented individuals to create the art - but it's 2015 that will enjoy the official release.

 Thanks to the success of the Kickstarter, I've moved forward with the publishing house to take the final steps that will bring the novel to market.  7-10 weeks from now, The God Thought will be available through your favorite retail channels, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

I thank everyone for their help and their interest.  I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year, emboldened with the power and motivation to make your own dreams a reality.

Sincerely,

Dave Cravens 

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Thank you! The Kickstarter is a success!

As of last night, the Kickstarter for my novel The God Thought hit its goal!  I want to thank all of you who participated for making it happen!  I  have been very heartened by the interest and support the project has generated.  

Today is the last day for the Kickstarter, so if you're still interested in getting your digital copy by December 25th, sign up and back it!  Otherwise, the book will be available toward the end of January / early February for those who want to buy it through more traditional channels.  

Thanks again, and I hope you all have a great holiday!

--DC

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New Preview Chapter Posted with 3 Days to go!

3 Days left in my Kickstarter, and thanks the generous backings of others I'm 89% funded!  That boils down to $105 left to raise to help pay for the final publishing and marketing costs for my novel.  I've been greatly encouraged by everyone's support and interest, so again, thank you.  If you like what you see, you can back the book and get a special, personalized digital copy by December 25th of this year!

In the meantime, enjoy the new chapter (6.0) I've posted in the preview section.  The farmer returns...

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