Hello! It’s been a little bit, hasn’t it?
I’m so happy to speak with you again. I promise this update is chalk-full of both magic and wonder.
Let’s start off with some music and then hop right in to the good stuff.
And there’s your bit of audio culture for the day – it’s now time for a…
Release of the Month: Dirty Rotten Thievery Part 6
Oh, why yes, it’s the release of the month! It is around that time that you’re well due a short story. This time Order practices horrible overlord society law to keep Chaos from going completely bonkers and causing a mass extra-dimensional genocide: no biggie.
Of course, she’s quite good at everything that isn’t being happy, but even she’ll have to struggle against her litigation team, considering they’re Chaos’ minions!
One more thing, a trigger warning for those sensitive to wild massive insect overlord sex and murder. Well… mostly murdersex, which is an important distinction I’d like to think.
And now you ask: “Kell! Why would you have murdersex in your fine literature for good boys and girls!?”
Well, this part of DRT takes place in Overlord Space, and that place isn’t exactly a good moral place to be for kindly boys and girls of good standing. It’s quite a lot rougher than the fluffy fun and happy lands that the minions are more used to. I hope you enjoy it: the hideous, horrible murdersex, of course.
You can enjoy the latest and greatest in overlord litigation and interdimensional hijinks at: https://kellinkston.com/2021/04/10/dirty-rotten-thievery-part-six/
-MV Update: Going smoothly
As the analyst enjoys a mildly roasted breakfast blend, so too does the writing of MV hold a smooth and dark flavor profile. I never knew writing about blowing up insects or human-obsessed (see: questionable attraction) fairies could be so exciting, but there you go.
I feel like in this novel I’ve learned a lot more than my typical project. I created many problems (only some unintentional) and fought with them to improve and better understand my process. Writing is both the mirror and the viewer – one has to carefully examine not only her own artistic planning, but also the process for how they solve their problems that fiction-writing presents.
It’s that feeling again: I feel like I’m climbing up a mountain with outstanding speed. My muscles are live with acid and blood, I’m at the very rim of my breath, but it feels wonderful – like I can do it forever. When growth goes hand in hand with work, it’s perhaps the most incredible feeling in the world. You are moving toward your target, and you know you’re only getting stronger as you do so.
That said, you’re probably going to really like Mystic Vengeance. Effie and Mort are getting very comfortable with each other, sometimes in ways that make me look away from the screen when I write, but it’s not like I can reach down there and go “hey! Don’t do it! Fae-human STDs are real!” So I just have to trust the two of them will be responsible adults and not engage in a heated night of frenzied love. I’m not their parents – Mort’s are dead.
Haha, yes, but what they’re really going to be doing is killing a whole lot of insects, elves, and other losers that get in their way! In this book, we will learn a lot of cool things, as well as some sprinkling of secrets that only the most eagle-eyed readers will pick up on. Just wait.
If you’d like to get in on the action early and preorder for 75% off, click here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BJBY4KC
Reflection: Genre is hard when you don’t plan it
Writing to market? Researching what people are buying?
The REAL way of analysts like me is to write what you believe in!
“Oh, but then things won’t sell.”
Ha! I don’t do it for the money! So I guess that doesn’t work so well after all, does it?
“But you need money to quit your job.”
So? I like my job! I learn a lot and it’s perfectly satisfying!
“Yes, but if you quit your job, you can write more.”
Right, so setting a good genre and making it clear to readers that’s what they’re getting is important. To date I’ve written exactly Zero series I expected to do outstandingly well. It’s not that people don’t buy the books, they do, but the key is that amazon does not show them those books because they are “partially this, but also this”. We’re very deep in that territory, so more often than not the algorithm will go. “Okay, well it’s fantasy, but it doesn’t have a half-orc wizard as the main character, so it’s probably an urban fantasy instead, oh, wait, but it’s a different world… ew, and there’s some literary themes… wait, is that interdimensional travel I see there? Where do I even put this? Who in the hell buys this book?! WHAT THE HECK IS THE CAPTAIN SUPPOSED TO BE?!“
It’s okay, Amazon algorithm, I know you try your best. It’s me, not you.
That said, writing for art, and also for success is without a doubt the harder way between writing simply to make money and writing for the gratification of it. That’s okay with me, because what we’re making is special and unique and very wonderful in a profound way. It’s going to be very, very radical.
Now, I know this lesson, but I still won’t follow along to the piper’s tune. The Holy Verses are a big place, and it’s not really the kind of place where you go to read a normal “good” book, either. Just like our universe, we’re too big to have a few good, choice labels, though multi-dimensional fantasy works reasonably well. Basically we’re just “too cool” to be enjoyed by anyone who isn’t an unbelievably cultured, super cool reader that always has good takes on things.
With that said, I have even more weird stuff to throw at you this month! Check it out:
-The Great Green (uh, red?) Knight of Rondi’s Order, revealed!
Right, so you know Rondi, right? Goddess of the Omniverse Expeditionary Librarium and apparently the strongest mage in the Verses? Don’t feel bad if you haven’t, but keep an eye out for mentions of her, because she’s been worked into the very fabric of Librarium society – they are crazy for her! I’m talking Rondi action figures, Rondi body pillows, even Rondi-flavored popsicles!
Just kidding, they’d murder anyone who had stuff like that.
Anyway, before most dimensions even had societies that recorded history, there were a few that were ahead of the bar, not so much because they were nice places to live (often quite the opposite) but they were societies that did certain things very well.
Rondi, in her augermancer wisdom, called out for the aid of ten knights, and all sorts answered the call:
We have folks like Ywn, who would eventually form the O.E.L.,
Dudes like Rayda, who would create the Royal Knights,
Fine Lasses like Ree, who would eventually go on to become worshipped as a goddess,
We have that Black Knight dude, who is… uh, who is he again?
Kids like Mort and Effie, who are more than a little tough by the time they leave their realm,
And we have… Salavane.
“Who’s Salavane,” you might ask?
Behold, and try not to croak.
The green (red?) knight Salavane is an uberfrog from a backwater universe where chivalry had died, and humanity recessed to base nonsense for hundreds of years before one hopping lad takes up the banner of the noblest of lifeforms, and begins his dream of becoming a knight. Even though every animal clan will reject him due to his following of “the demon’s path” he will not give up his volition – he is sure that the path of the gentleman soldier is the way to pull his clan out from the clutches of the vile serpents.
His series is under construction as we speak. You can expect to see him after Soot Knight and Azure Vigil are done.
The “Draw Kell Super Badly” competition!
Hey, want to draw me super, unbelievably well? Want to have your art featured as the website logo?
Well, from now until the end of the month, you can submit art to the Draw Kell Super Badly competition!
Here’s last month’s winner, when I was trying out the event on the facebook group:
If you want to be featured and be a glorious part of history, send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in the facebook group topic.
The winner this time gets a delicious signed copy of Substation 7’s first book: Condemnation, perhaps even one of the super rare misprint editions! Shipping to U.S. and Canada only for the time being, sorry.
Woodcastle on Sale!
And by “Sale” I mean free for the next five days.
Take a peek at it in my latest group promo at StoryOrigin:
-The Shop… We’re working on it!
I’m working on an online store, but the webhosters are not doing a good job! I mean, they’re trying, but it’s a little unconvincing, and I’m too demanding! I’ve contacted them with my problems, and they say it’s actually a backend glitch on their end. Their mug images simply will not show the correct way. I mean just look at this:
Now, they assure me they are working on it at maximum speed, but it’s been weeks, and I don’t know how confident I am teaming up with folks that take this long to respond to a customer service request *Karenhairflip.png*. I think I’ll give them until next month’s email update. It is cosmic destiny for the Holy Verses to have a store that works and displays cool products correctly.
But all things considered, I’m not actually angry about it, just wanted to share one of my little miffs with you. Coding is a hard job, and when you operate a huge website it can be even more complicated. Stay tuned to get your cool minion mugs.
Reflection: Habits for Success
Understanding yourself and how you work is one of the great keys to success. The longer you work, naturally the more connections your mind will make, especially if the work or practice you do is purposeful and directed.
As you know last month, I took time off from writing, simply because I could not physically write. The work load was truly immense, and my time was totally taken up with putting out fires. It was sort of hard, because I’ve gotten quite good at writing every day no matter how crazy the day surrounding might be.
While I didn’t get to write much, I did get to reflect quite a bit.
Among these reflections were thoughts on habits and the triggers that allow us to do certain things throughout the day. Back in 2018 when I was writing Voidstar, I could easily wake up at 5 each day and start writing before the great bell of work tolled for me. Somewhere down the line, I lost that fire, and would sleep in every time I was allowed the enjoyment of it.
No longer! *shoots lightning out of my hands onto lowly goblin underling*
Since returning from the trip, I’ve slept in a total of one (1), yes, one, times!
When have I been waking up every morning? 4 AM.
How have I been able to do this? To awake and cut into my day so quickly? Restructuring habit triggers.
If my phone is next to my bed when the alarm goes off, I go right back to sleep, because my brain isn’t quite “on” yet. To fix that, I place the phone on a table across from my room.
But I’ve done that before, and it doesn’t work. I would just go right back and sleep.
I had to be creative. I needed to find a way to get my body to the laptop to write, and not immediately turn with dread back to the bed.
I’ve now set a second alarm on the laptop: forming an impetus to reach it in time. It’s only 5 minutes after the first alarm, so long as I catch it, the whole house won’t be pounded by the bass of my embarrassing music!
My coffee maker has a cool delay brew function, which I have now set at 4 AM.
I have a neat little pull-up bar installed between the way between the bedroom and the room where my laptop lies in wait – to pass through, I have made it a matter of honor to always hit that bar before I pass through.
Once I click off that laptop alarm, I:
-am outside of the room where my bed is
-have done a small but crucial-for-waking amount of physical exercise
-have a fresh, wonderful pot of coffee brewing
-am in front of a powered-on laptop with absolutely no reason not to write
By removing the excuses my half-asleep moron brain would create to go back to sleep, I’ve streamlined the experience and now can write early in the morning every day.
This has probably been the easiest to develop habit, as it doesn’t even require willpower, it is simply an intentionally created necessity due to the volume of the laptop alarm. By wagering the sleep of everyone in the home, I am getting up early and hitting my goals before most people even grumble about rising from bed.
It’s wonderfully liberating, and I’m outstandingly happy I can write with this much freedom again.
The reason I’m bringing this up is because I wanted to tap on the power and beauty of forming your circumstances around you to achieve your goals.
Do you have a TV on in the room where you work? How about your phone, how many apps do you really need notifications for?
I’d bet that by actively thinking ahead and removing as many reasons to say no, you will simply go forth and go great things. Think about it.
Projected Release Timeline – February 2021:
–Mystic Vengeance: Soot Knight #2 – June 20th
Certain Vengeance: Soot Knight #3 – November 20th
Blades of the Moon: Azure Vigil #1 – Sometime in 2022
At that, we are done with this month’s update.
Stay safe and cool, or warm if it’s what you prefer – you need to survive so you can find out how all the books end, please.
All the best to you and your kin,