Devoid, the final book in my epic fantasy series, The Chosen of the Light, is now available on Amazon. In celebration, the previous two books in the series are on sale for only $.99 on Kindle until March 11th. Pick up a copy of Spirit Summoner and Soul Seekers today!
The Chosen of the Light is an epic fantasy series about a young Spirit Summoner, Darr, who believes he can only hear the whispered words of the spirits, but discovers summoning allows him to tap into the power of the Four Elements and even life itself. Spirit Summoner tells the story of Darr's journey of discovery with his newfound magic while uncovering the true nature of the quest he's been tasked with. Soul Seekers deals with the fallout of Darr's magic, for no magic comes without consequences. And Devoid brings the story to a conclusion as Darr's destiny as a Spirit Summoner comes full circle.
Please give me a shout out on social media, too:
This will probably be my last book for a while. The publishing game was not what I thought it would be, and I'm looking forward to just writing to create and writing for me again. Thanks for all your help and support!
After almost 20 years in the making, my book series, The Chosen of the Light, will finally be complete with the release of Devoid on March 10, 2019. The release will be on Amazon in both Kindle and print formats. You can check out an excerpt by clicking here.
Darr set out to discover his power as a Spirit Summoner, and in the process lost friends, family, and almost his own mind. He persevered, and with only one Sephir left to restore, and two of the Chosen left to find, he now dreams of his journey’s end. The Devoid welcomes that end, and it waits for Darr and the Chosen of the Light to bring it the key to its freedom.
It's been a long time coming, but the wait is over. Introducing the cover for my third and final book in the Chosen of the Light Series. Devoid will be released in March of 2019. Thank you all for the support!
As a child, barely a teenager, back when I read my first fantasy novel, The Sword of Shannara, I saw (and still do) see expansive potential in the fantasy genre. I had a plethora of fantastic ideas floating around in my head, and here, in this wonderful book I was reading, I saw a way to get those ideas out. I loved to draw, but it wasn't something I was passionate about, and saying my ideas out loud oftentimes came out jumbled and directionless. But writing, finally, gave me a way to get my ideas and stories to coalesce into something tangible and fantastic.
I immediately began to write down my ideas, folding and organizing them into sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. I planned out my book, then another and another. I researched what it would mean to be a writer, how to hone my craft and edit my work. I learned what it meant to be a plotter rather than a pantser. I looked hard at what it would mean to become an author and how to get signed with a publisher. I knew going in it wouldn't be easy, and that finding an agent or a publisher would be a long and difficult task. I was up for the challenge.
It took years and years of work to finally get my manuscript to a point where I was comfortable sending it out to publishers. So much time had passed in fact that the publishing industry was already beginning to evolve from what I'd learned growing up about what to expect. In the mid 2000's, slush piles weren't really a thing any more. Agents got your material to one of the Big 5 Publishers these days. I kept my head up and I followed the road I'd been following for years. If an agent is what it would take to get my book published, then that's where I'm going.
I submitted my book to countless agents over the course of two years. I didn't get a single nibble, and I saw plenty of rejection. The biggest criticism I found was that my novel, even as a fantasy novel, at a whopping 300,000 words, was too large for a new author. But how could that be, I wondered? All the great fantasy novels I read as a kid were 200K plus words! Despite my reservations, I decided to break my manuscript up into more manageable books. After all, the road kept going ahead, and I had to adapt to the conditions.
After a couple more years of editing and submitting to agents and publishers, I finally signed with Wild Child Publishing in January of 2011. I had a lot of reservations going in, mainly because Wild Child was an eBook publisher, not a traditional print publisher. Print was possible, but only if I sold a certain amount of books, and guess what, I would be a book seller. Marketing was required as a part of my contract. Wild Child helped some to sell my book, but a large amount of the marketing and selling was my responsibility. Again, this wasn't the road I was expecting, but it was the journey I signed up for and I wanted to see it through.
My experience with Wild Child wasn't terrible, but it wasn't what I'd always dreamed of. There were parts of this journey that really meant something to me though. The marketing aspect rekindled my love for graphic design, which I think really helped the process. I also met Shawn Howen, my editor, who helped make me into a better writer and shape my book into what it is today.
In December of 2013, my first book, Spirit Summoner, was released by Wild Child Publishing. By February 2014, enough eBook versions of my book had sold for my publisher to release it in print. I was ecstatic. Finally, my book was in paperback, and I got to hold it in my hands! Furthermore, my publisher was so happy with my performance, she agreed to release my next book in print and eBook at the same time.
The road wound on, but the life of bookseller, marketer, author, and writer began to wear on me. The change happened gradually. The marketing and blog posts got monotonous and much less exciting to create and keep up on. Besides, it took a lot of time to put together! Editing, a very important aspect to the author life, was wearing me down also. I missed the writing, the actual creation process, but I found it very difficult to make the time to do this between everything else I was working on.
.Shortly after my second book, Soul Seekers, was released in late 2015, I got an email from my publisher stating Wild Child Publisher was closing. I understood the decision, but I felt defeated, especially since I'd worked so hard and made so many compromises. Now I wouldn't get to publish the last book in my series. My editor, Shawn, had my back, and encouraged me not to give up. She even offered to edit the final book in my series, which we're currently working through.
I kept on the road I'd started all those years back, and I self-published Spirit Summoner and Soul Seekers through Amazon.com both in Kindle and paperback. I ran the same marketing game I ran with Wild Child, and that seemed to serve me well for a while. Eventually though, it sort of just fizzled out. I wasn't happy posting to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram several days a week. I wasn't happy making up content. I wanted to write, but I wanted to stay on the road, too, and I didn't have time to do both.
I came to a decision after lots of deliberation. Once I published Devoid, the final book in my series, the road I'd started as a child was going to come to an end. It wasn't an easy decision. It actually sort of shattered my world for a while. But as I looked back at the journey I'd been on, it just wasn't the journey I'd always dreamed of. It was filled with all sorts of road blocks and detours and hazards that just weren't a part of what I'd dreamed. I'm glad I went on the journey, and I'm proud of the work I've accomplished. Regardless, the road called "Being a Published Author" is coming to an end.
But even though I might be hitting the end of this road, the journey will continue. There are other roads to travel, roads more to my liking, and hopefully, roads filled with excitement, beauty, and challenges all their own. I doubt this will be the end of the Chosen of the Light either, but these stories might just be stories and nothing more. No publishing contracts or marketing schedules or Hollywood blockbuster movie deals. But I'm okay with that.
There are many different kinds of writers in the world. Some of us are plotters, others fly by the seat of their pants. Some write on a rigid schedule, others are more flexible. Some write relentlessly, some write when the inspiration hits them. In fact, so diverse are writers and writing habits, the only thing I know for certain about them is that no one can really define them.
For the most part, I've lived my life as a fairly regimented writer. I have a schedule, and I keep to it... most of the time. I've always had a hard time staying focus. My passions tend to change within months, and depending on how hard I'm working on that passion, other might take a back seat. Unfortunately, writing has definitely taken a back seat lately, and I'd like to write about my reasons why.
One of my biggest distractions in the last year has been exercise. I didn't get enough of it, and I felt it everyday. I felt it physically, and I felt it emotionally. I wanted to change, and so I made a strong effort to workout four times and week. I also upped the amount of physical activity I got on a daily basis. I go for bike rides, walks, and hikes as often as I can. Finding time for all this activity interrupted my regular schedule quite a bit, and my writing and marketing plans suffered.
Then in June of this year, I started a new job. After spending 12 years at my last job as a salesman, I took a new job working as a warehouse supervisor. The change was profound. My attitude and outlook on life have and are changing. My new job is filled with new excitement and challenges, and the entire experience, while good, has soaked up nearly all of my time and energy. Of course, that is exactly what I wanted and needed, a redirect in my life.
Now, after four months into my new position, the waves on the lake of my life are beginning to smooth out into ripples, and I'm adapting to the new changes. As such, the horse named "Being an Author" is standing outside my door, waiting for me to climb back on. I've made a schedule to finish the edits on my third and final book. I've contacted my editor. I've created a new marketing plan, and I've primed the pump for a sale beginning the Week of October 1. I'm feeling very optimistic about the coming months, and I want to say to everyone who has been patiently awaiting Book Three, "Thank you, and it'll be coming very soon!"
Depression and anxiety can be a powerful combination. Anxiety cripples you, forcing doubt and despair into your thinking. Depression holds you down. Tackling your everyday life can feel like an uphill battle. If writing is part of your everyday life, putting words down on paper can feel very much the same. You stack letters into words, push the words up into sentences, then into paragraphs, all while doubt sits on your back, threatening to topple all you’ve created. It’s not a great feeling, but don’t give up! At the top of the hill, there’s steady ground and hopefully, a stable and slow descent beyond to pick up some speed.
ROUTINES & GOALS
When depression hits you, focus on what you want to do, then set a routine to match your goals. Because depression tends to suck away your drive, figuring out a goal to strive for will help bring things into focus. What do you want to do today? Do you want to write a blog post? Do you want to finish a chapter?
Once you figure out your goal, set an achievable routine. Challenge yourself, but don’t set the bar so high the tips of your fingers don’t even touch it. Put your schedule down on paper as a reminder, and stick to it as best you can. Don’t forget to take breaks, and do not feel bad if you slip. Depression has a way of dragging you down hard when you don’t meet your own expectations. Forgive yourself.
GO FOR A WALK
Exercise is one of the most powerful tools in fighting depression. Not only does exercise increase the endorphins in your body, but it helps to clear your mind, allowing you to focus. Going for a 20-minute walk is enough to get your body in production mode. Take that energy and use it to put your vision down on paper.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Depression and anxiety can certainly affect the way you eat. Sometimes, you can only find solace in a bag of potato chips. Other times, you might find yourself going for long stretches of time without eating anything. You need fuel for energy, and you need energy to write, so be mindful of the fuel you’re putting into your body. Challenge yourself by limiting crutches like caffeine and sugar. Try something new and start the day with a different breakfast. Whatever you do or don’t put into your body will have an affect on your body and ultimately what you write.
Meditation can mean different things to different people. Some people meditate in a quiet space without any intrusions; others require music or some kind of background noise. Some people rely on breathing techniques. Whatever your process, what matters in meditation is the ability to quiet your mind. Let those cluttered and anxious thoughts melt away so you can focus on your words.
LIMIT YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA INTAKE
Social media can have an over all negative impact on your mental health, and if you’re here, you likely came by way of social media. The internet is filled with information, and social media takes that information and spins it into varying degrees of insanity. While social media can be a useful tool for writers, it can bombard you with unnecessary information. So again, focus on your goals, and limit yourself when going on social media. Post what you need to, find what you need to, and return to your work. Scrolling through status updates will not cure your depression.
In the end, only you can figure out what truly works in your cure for depression. Trying new things and staying flexible are probably the two most important lessons. If you make your routine too rigid, whatever you decide to make it, you’re destined to fail. Clear your mind and get your words out there. It isn’t easy to shake off depression and anxiety, but revel in your small victories!
The Chosen of the Light have returned! The new year brought the closure of WIld Child Publishing, but Spirit Summoner and Soul Seekers will live on through Jon Carlin Shea. As of today, Kindle and Paperback editions of both books are available on Amazon.com along with some new features and pricing.
The new editions have new cover images, minor corrections to the novel's text, as well as the inclusion of map artwork showcasing the world of Ictar. The new Kindle price will be a lower $2.99, however during the month of January for 2017, I'm lowering the price of both Kindle versions to $1.00. While I cannot lower the price of the paperbacks, I have included a free digital download with purchase of the print edition.
Thank you everyone for all your patience during this time of transition. More vendors will follow soon, including support on the Jon Carlin Shea website. With Book Three coming soon, I hope these changes will breathe new life into this epic fantasy series!
"We live in uncertain times."
I keep hearing this in social media, out in public, even in my own head. But I wonder why now is different than any other day. Every morning that we wake, we face the unknown. Every breath leads to an uncertain moment. As human beings, we strive to know so much, to control so much, but life is uncertainty. We will never be able to control it, no matter how much money we acquire or earn, no matter what things we get, no matter how high a wall we build around ourselves.
Take a breath. Acknowledge we face uncertainty every day. Face your problems as they come. Ignore the wild conjecture. Keep your head lifted high and aware, but don't dwell on the past, and don't let your imagination run wild with what's on the other side of the horizon, even if the path has become treacherous.
Our lives are full of moments. These moments can be huge or they can be insignificant. Sometimes these moments feel like an eternity, while other times they fizzle away into almost nothing, leaving barely a shadow. Whether the moment comes to us expected or unexpected, they still shape us into the people we are today. No matter how big or small they are, moments can lift us up to the top of the world, or they can tear us down and unmake us.
In my life, one of my biggest moments as a writer was that first email from Marci at Wild Child Publishing extending an offer to publish my book, Spirit Summoner. The offer came a couple months before the birth of my son. I still remember how surreal the feeling was entering into two new worlds, the world of a published author and the world of fatherhood. More than anything, the moment attached itself to me, and promised the fulfillment on a life-long dream. The process of editing revealed a whole new series of moments, big and small, that shaped me as an author.
Which brings me to this past weekend when I received an email from Marci informing me Wild Child Publishing will be closing at the end of the year. The moment was a big one.
Where do I go from here? What about the final book in my series? What about the books I’ve already published? What about my fellow Wild Child authors? The questions flooded my head, breaking my spirit down. New doubts and new fears split me in half. By the morning, I was a shell of myself, numb to the feeling of defeat the moment had brought me.
Luckily though, I’ve faced defeat before. I’ve faced years of rejection from other publishing houses and agents, and undoubtedly, I’ll face some more. But I won’t give up. I’ll figure out a way to get my third book published, and when that’s done, I’ll keep on writing. Shawn Howen, my editor with Wild Child and a huge credit to making the first two books what they are, has agreed to continue to help edit the last book. This alone has fueled the fires of perseverance in me. I couldn’t imagine wrapping up my final book with Shawn’s help.
As for The Chosen of the Light series, I might have to self-publish in order to keep them out in the world, which is a compromise I’m prepared to make. I’m not sure how I feel about self-publishing yet, but I’ll learn more about it in the coming weeks.
I want to assure my readers that I’m fully committed to finishing the series and to continue to write. When all is said and done, this is just another moment, a big one yes, but a moment that will be followed by another and another. I have many more yet to come.