Archive for September, 2022

T -10 Days

Well, squiders, we’re about 10 days out from Hallowed Hill‘s release.


There’s been so much to do. So much to coordinate. So much to check.

So far I’ve:

  • Finalized the book draft
  • Done all necessary book formats (this is fun, I love book formatting)
  • Made various versions of the cover (including a wraparound for print form)
  • Gotten the ebook pre-order live on all platforms
  • Updated aspects of my website
  • Chosen an excerpt and had it put up on the Turtleduck Press website
  • Fought with Goodreads (I’m not the default Kit Campbell so all my books always go on the other profile)
  • (I asked if I could be the default since the other Kit Campbell hasn’t published in over a decade and I have new stuff come out fairly regularly, and the answer was no)
  • Emailed a couple dozen reviewers (and have been sending out review copies as they get back to me)
  • Set up some email newsletters
  • Set up some promotions
  • Sent announcements to various groups

I still have some promotions I need to do, and I need to finalize some print stuff (Amazon is putting in random blank pages, so I need to go poke that a bit), and a couple more things for release day.

Ye gods.

I think it’s going pretty well, though! Things are in good shape, and the book’s rankings are already looking pretty decent. (Last I checked, it was #25 in Teen & Young Adult Ghost Stories.)

But I’m definitely starting to feel a little burnt out.

The last few days, I tried to record my SkillShare class, as a break from marketing and release work, but Tuesday my computer super crashed, and yesterday no matter what microphone I used, I got a low hum that I couldn’t get rid of. So in the end that was more stress instead of being a respite. Yay.

On top of the release stuff, all the MileHiCon stuff came out this week–panel assignments, programming, signing tables, etc. I love MileHiCon! But having all that in the middle of the release stuff has been really overwhelming. And they put me on FIVE PANELS this year. I’m normally on 2 or 3. And unfortunately I can’t do one of them because it overlaps the Critter Crunch and the bigger, mobile one isn’t allowed to be on his own for another year. (It was about DINOSAURS. I am distraught.)

Still, it’s only another week and a half, and then things will calm down a bit, I think. Or at least be less stress, fingers crossed.

I really appreciate your guys’ support through this.

I’m starting to think about what to do after the book is out. Take a week off and play video games, maybe. Except I’ll need to get going on MileHiCon stuff–prep for panels, make sure I have books to sell, get a new card reader that actually works, etc. And I’ll need to probably do some class work, assuming I can ever get that hum to go away.

But, maybe, I can finally get back to Book 1. That would be amazing. Especially if we start getting somewhere, since all the momentum we had got eaten when I had to shift gears for the novella.

Right now, though, I mostly just want to sleep.

How are you, squiders? How are you destressing these days?


Garage Sale Finds: Rumpole a la Carte

Sorry for the radio silence, squiders. Turns out I’m having a hard time keeping on top of everything with the release, and some of the other things in my life are getting neglected. So I’m going to go ahead and say that updates here are going to be spotty for the next two weeks til the book is out, and potentially a few weeks after that depending on how reviews/promotions are going.

(Also, just a reminder that the ebook version is $1.99 during the pre-order time period, and then the price goes up once it’s released. Pre-orders, cover, description, and an excerpt are here.)

Today we’re going to talk about a book I found at a garage sale around the corner from my house, rather than a library book sale book. I picked up this book because I suspect that I spent a lot of my childhood watching British mystery series on Masterpiece Theater on PBS. At least, it feels like I did.

I have many vague memories of different shows, but I remember Rumpole. He was my dad’s favorite. He was a large, loud, unapologetic man married to someone he called She Who Must Be Obeyed. I admittedly don’t remember anything other than that.

But when I saw this book at the garage sale, I remembered how much my dad liked Rumpole, and I picked it up for, like, a quarter.

(Also, I’ve talked to my dad, and he’s going to take this book off my hands next time I see him.)

Title: Rumpole a la Carte
Author: John Mortimer
Genre: Mystery short story collection
Publication Year: 1990

Pros: Rumpole is very much a character, and despite the age of the book it ages fairly well
Cons: I don’t understand how the British court system works and so I found some bits confusing

Each short story is almost exactly 40 pages long, which I like in an OCD sort of way.

So, while I remembered my dad liking Rumpole (Rumpole of the Bailey, I believe the TV show was called) I didn’t actually remember the set up of the show. Rumpole is a defense lawyer (Defence barrister, in the British, I suppose) whose main goal seems to be getting his clients–who are always innocent, at least in these shorts–off in court. He does do some investigation on his own and does tend to figure out what really happened, but he only uses this information to clear his own client. He never does anything beyond that.

Despite being set in the Bailey (which I assume is some sort of…law office? Hold on, searching–it’s a criminal court. My questions are not answered) and often on the floor of a court case, there is a definite element to these stories which is almost cozy mystery-esque. The stories involve the case at hand, but they also spend a lot of time on the antics of Rumpole’s fellow Bailey denizens, or on Hilda’s (that’s She Who Must Be Obeyed’s name, but in the stories she’s more often referred to by her name) relations or friends.

And the stories have aged well. I find sometimes, with older mysteries, that sometimes they come across misogynistic or sexist or racist or whatever, in a way that was acceptable at the time. But Rumpole literally does not care about any of that, so it’s all pretty minor.

Overall, I enjoyed the collection. The stories were a good length, the cases varied, and the characters interesting.

On a side note, before I let you guys go, I apparently had some issues as a child telling the time period of said British mystery shows. Part of that was probably the variety of shows in many different time periods, and part of that is probably the fact that lawyers wear robes and wigs at court in the UK, and so throws childhood perception off. From this book at least, it seems like Rumpole was contemporary to when he was being published.

Anyway! Did you guys watch the Rumpole of the Bailey tv show? Read any of the other books? Have thoughts of other good mystery short story collections?

Cover Reveal: Hallowed Hill, Out October 1!

Hooray! Squiders, I’m so pleased to present to you the cover for my Gothic horror novella Hallowed Hill.

Hallowed Hill cover

Maybe you should look a gift horse in the mouth.

After the sudden loss of her parents, 16-year-old Martie Torsney receives a surprise scholarship from a prestigious boarding school. This is the opportunity she needs to leave the heartbreak and echoes of her parents behind.

Greyson Academy sits deep in the forests of Vermont, high on a hill overlooking the trees. The school has a long history of helping its students succeed in life. If Martie excels here, she’ll be set.

But all is not well at Greyson. Scholarship students are very rare, and none has ever completed their time at Greyson. And, now, someone wants Martie gone too. Her things are moved, cryptic messages are left, and the school is vandalized in her name. But is it the living trying to scare her away–or the dead?

Martie is determined to stay, for herself and for her parents’ memory. But staying may cost her more than she ever imagined.

If you love ghost stories and mysteries, check out Hallowed Hill now!

The book will be released on October 1 (just in time for Spooky Season) and is currently available for pre-order in ebook form.

Preorder here: ( Kindle | Smashwords )