Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be welcoming Dean Jones the author of Father of Storms to my blog.
Dean has been kind enough to provide a guest post on the topic of how he came up with the initial idea for the story in Father of Storms and the journey from that idea to the finished and published book.
Father of Storms.
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 791 KB
- Print Length: 495 pages
- Publisher: BLKDOG (15 July 2019)
- Amazon UK / Amazon US
Imagine losing everything you loved as well as the future you’d wished for so long to come true.
Seth was born with the gift to manipulate energy, unfortunately his skills mark him as a target for one who wishes to control everything. So began a life running from those who would seek to command him, a life that spans over a thousand years waiting for the day when all will be once again as it was.
Captured in modern day London, Seth needs the help of his companions, the Mara, to show him who he is through dreams of his past, so he can save the family he has waited so long to have.
A warrior bred for battle must fight once more but this time the battlefield is his mind. Can Seth win, or will he finally lose who he is and become the weapon of the man who started his nightmare all those years ago?
Father of Storms is a story told through time, a tale of love and hope where there seems to be none and above all it is a reminder that if you believe, truly believe then even from the darkest places, good things come to those who wait.
Guest Post: How I got it Published.
The birth of Father of Storms came when I was working away in Cambridge, UK. I found I had lots of time on my hands and wanted to do something that didn’t involve drinking down the pub. So, I thought about writing a book. I had written before this, mainly short stories and poetry but nothing serious.
I began with an idea I had about a question I’d asked myself…what would happen if Jesus came back? Now I am not religious, I just happened to be watching a film which depicted a character with a lot of Jesus’ traits (less the beard and long hair) visiting and then helping a community.
My idea was much less sweet as I believed any returning deity would be vilified by the press to the point of character assassination. I let the idea ruminate and then when watching the video for Foo Fighters “Pretender” I got the idea for Seth, the main character of the story.
I wanted a MC who was strong and willing to do anything for those he loved. I sat and wrote the words “The howling wind of a ferocious winter storm was tearing at the forest trees, forcing all living creatures, with any sense, to seek the safety of their hollows and dens.” This was the first line of chapter one of what would become Father of Storms.
It took seven years to complete the first draft of the book, due to work and other life events, and the feeling of complete satisfaction and achievement was palpable. I was elated and believed that the hard work was done…how wrong I was. Editing a book is a painful and unpleasant experience but I knew it was necessary, so I ploughed on with the support of my partner, who has read the book maybe a hundred times. Together we ironed out most of the plot issues and removed 95% of the typo’s and spelling mistakes.
Having done this, I decided I wanted to publish the book immediately, after all, like they say in the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ “If you build it, they will come” so I figured, if I write it…they will buy it, right?
Well, first thing I needed was a cover, so I opened this up to designers using the website 99designs.com. I was blown away by the quality of the submissions, but one caught my eye instantly and That’s the one that I choose.
My book now had a cover, I had edited it, so it read well, and it looked good as an eBook. Next thing to do was to self-publish and wait for the money to come rolling in, or so I thought.
Let me just say that self-publishing is not for the feint hearted, there are traps set up at every turn, thankfully YouTube has videos on how to navigate most of them and I am thankful for having watched those first.
I was a published author. Strangely, I didn’t feel as fulfilled as I thought I would. That initial exhilaration I felt was replaced with anxiety and trepidation…what if no-one likes my book?
Days passed with me checking Amazon KDP reports on a minute by minute basis, I had created a twitter account (as a YouTube video suggested) and was interacting and ‘growing my social profile’.
A quick aside to this, what started as an entirely selfish exercise to promote my book by developing a social presence actually lead to connecting with some really great people who have supported me and others like me on the same journey. If you are a writer or a bestselling author, check out the #writingcommunity on twitter, there are some great people on there who have great advice and a listening ear.
Twitter follower numbers grew, and my book sold a few copies. I did the odd free promo day and things were looking OK. I now needed reviews and so reached out on twitter, asking if anyone would be prepared to read my book and leave an unbiased and honest review. Two people came forward, @mrs_y_writer and @book_obsessed1.
The waiting was awful, two professional bloggers reading my book…I expected scathing critique as, after all, I was a debut author without the finances to get my book edited properly. I was wrong.
The first review from Mrs Y arrived and I read it with my breath held. Two comments stood out and hit me very hard. The first was “This book is part “Highlander” part “Bourne Identity” part “Vikings” and part “Taken”, and the parts I’m talking about are all the good parts. This isn’t a film, but I think it’d make one amazing film someday.” And the second “Dean Jones did something with imagery and focus that is so rare in fiction.” WOW! I was blown away and very nearly shed a tear.
The second review took a little longer to arrive, but I had a couple pop up from other readers and things were looking positive.
Danielle from The Reading Closet dropped her review onto the blog site in January, I recall I was watching Cirque de Solei at the Albert Hall in London at the time. I read it once, then again before passing my phone to my partner. She smiled broadly and gave me a big hug. Another great review but not only that it was another that brought a lump to my throat. Danielle had enjoyed it too and not only that she was incredibly complimentary about my writing saying “Some passages of the book; the way they are written I found to be quite beautiful and felt as though they were taken from the heart. I imagine Dean Jones doesn’t just write from his mind or a story plan but rather right from his heart and soul.” Again…WOW!
All this success and the subsequent reviews were great, I never cease to be amazed when someone enjoys my book. Don’t get me wrong, there have been negative comments too but not every story is for everybody (another good piece of advice I received).
Reviews slowed down and I began to wonder why. This brings me to a lesson I have now learned.
When sharing links to Amazon for books, you must ensure the URL hyperlink is ‘clean’. What this means is that when you (as an author) navigate to the page with your book on it and copy the address to post on Facebook and Twitter, you need to be aware that within that URL string are metadata attributes connecting the link to your account. This meant that anyone buying the book, following the link I provided, was then prohibited from leaving a review on Amazon for my book because the ‘algorithm’ thought they were in some way connected to me or lived at my address…something like that.
If you are reading this and you were not aware of this rule, then I suggest you Google ‘how to create a clean link to Amazon.’
Moving on. Things were going OK, I had written a couple of short stories and self-published those too, but I have always wanted to be traditionally published. This self-published lark was great but inside my dream was always to have a book published by a proper publishing house and so I began to query my story. At first just targeting agents but then I found publishers were sometimes open to unsolicited submissions and so I queried them too.
I will say I didn’t receive a single offer from any of the agents I sent the book to, I got a few positive “thanks but no thanks” emails but nothing to get excited about. The publishers were different, I got an offer from all but one of the publishers I queried. Unfortunately, the offers most had made was what they termed “contributions based” which essentially meant they wanted me to pay for them to publish the book for me. I’d already paid for self-publishing, so this wasn’t the way I wanted to go.
Then, as I was about ready to give up, I received an email from BLKDog Publishing who offered me a traditional contract and wanted to publish my book! Dream fulfilled.
It has been eight years from my initial idea and budding dream of being a traditional published writer and it has brought ups and downs along the way, but it has all been worthwhile. Now my book has been edited, again, and republished and I am officially tickled pink by the whole process.
Now, like every other author, I need to promote my book and wait patiently for reviews as Amazon has this algorithm….
Thanks for reading my story, I hope it was entertaining and provided some insight into the process I, personally, have undertaken to get to this point.
About Dean Jones.
My name is Dean Jones, I am a 43-year-old father of 6, from Barrow-in-Furness (now living in Cheshire) who found that writing stories and poetry brought him the opportunity to escape the real world – for just a moment.
I first discovered an interest in writing when I was 12. I was away on a school trip and we had a day sat beside a river running through Eskdale, Cumbria. My teacher had tasked us to come up with a poem that captured the river and the scenery it meandered through. I duly obliged and set about capturing everything I saw. The result was something I was proud of, but more importantly my teacher loved it and told anyone who would listen all about the poem I had written. It was placed in center stage on the notice board and she even took it with her when she left (though I would have liked it back). This support and praise sparked a flame which still burns today over 30 years later.
In my later teens, I began using poetry as a release from my own personal circumstances and found writing my darkest thoughts let me move past many of the situations I was experiencing as many young men do.
Since those early school years, writing has become part of my relaxation and pastime routine. I just love it when I had an idea for a story or poem and then my creative juices would flow as I tried to conjure up a tale that was both exciting and imaginative or a poem that invoked imagery and emotion.
I began writing my first novel, Father of Storms, when I found myself working away from home. I discovered that making up short stories (which quickly became the start of larger stories) helped me cope with being away from my young family and gave me something else to do other than frequent the local bars with colleagues.
Some seven years later I completed that book and quickly began thinking of others.
Writing brings me joy and the stories I write, I hope, provide joy to others.
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