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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gavain's Proving Available For Free This Weekend

Gavain's Proving is available for free this weekend (Saturday, May 17th through Sunday, May 18th) from The last free give away at the beginning of the month was very successful, so I've decided to offer it for free again!

This also marks the end of my experiment with enrolling Gavain's Proving in the Amazon KDP Select program. Within the next week I will be submitting Gavain's Proving to Smashwords for full distribution to all of the retail outlets it services. Because Amazon requires that you remain exclusive with them while enrolled in KDP Select, I won't be able to stay enrolled and take advantage of Smashwords as well.

Now stop reading this post, and grab a free copy of Gavain's Proving!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gavain's Proving Give Away!

I'm pleased to announce that starting Wednesday, April 30th through Friday, May 2nd, Gavain's Proving will be available FOR FREE from Amazon*. If you haven't had the chance to check out this Saga of Thorns Novella, this will be the perfect opportunity--and if you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the Saga of Thorns, this is the perfect jumping off point!
So spread the word and remember to go to Amazon between April 30th and May 2nd to get Gavain's Proving for free! Don't forget to post a review after you've read it!

*Available in Kindle format only.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Available Today: Gavain's Proving!

Available at
I am thrilled to announce that Gavain's Proving is now available for purchase at! As part of the KDP Select program, Gavain's Proving will be available exclusively at Amazon for 90 days, after which it will be opened up to wider distribution through and its subsidiaries. Below is the book's description:

When Gavain learned that he was going to be assigned his final test as a squire before becoming a Wyvern Knight, he expected that his Proving would be a routine mission--escorting a noble, leading a border patrol, or perhaps even coordinating an assault on a bandit camp. He never imagined that his Proving would require him to explore the deadly Wastes south of Valdaran, nor that what he would discover there would be far worse than his superiors suspected. If Gavain cannot survive his Proving, all of Valdaran may be doomed…

Gavain’s Proving is a prequel to the Saga of Thorns. Set a year before the Saga of Thorns begins, if you have yet to read Laeryk’s Proving, Book One of the Saga of Thorns, Gavain’s Proving is a perfect place to begin exploring the world of the Saga of Thorns.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped make this latest release possible; even though I handle the majority of my publishing on my own, it would be impossible for me to release anything without family and friends who beta read, offer critiques and suggestions, or simply allow me to babble out loud at them while I brainstorm ideas or work through various issues with the story.

Laeryk's Proving, Now At A Reduced Price!

To celebrate the release of Gavain's Proving, I've reduced the price of Laeryk's Proving at Amazon and Smashwords (and eventually at all the other retailers, once the price change goes through Smashwords' distribution channels). Now you can enjoy Laeryk's Proving for the low price of $2.99!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The End of the Tunnel Is In Sight!

I am extremely pleased to report that Gavain's Proving has finally gone into final layout. 

This means that the manuscript is done, with no further edits to be made before publishing (and unless egregious errors are discovered, none after publishing either). I finished the final changes yesterday after one last review, finding only a few minor corrections. The only corrections that need to be made now are any that crop up while reviewing the layout in the document I will be submitting to Amazon.

It also means that all that is left are things like building a hyperlinked table of contents, additional little bits like author's notes, the map of Aerth (readers of Laeryk's Proving will recognize it immediately), and some preview materials I am placing at the end of the book for Laeryk's Proving.

I'm very happy. It's stressful just before a release; there's an instinct (especially when you're publishing without a separate editor) to go over your manuscript one last time to make certain that you haven't missed anything. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I probably will do a quick search through the manuscript to hunt down certain words and make certain they're consistent. However, at this point time my manuscript has entered into diminishing returns. The changes I make now won't necessarily make the book stronger, and will probably prompt me to review it further, making changes again, and again, and again as my initial instincts war with corrections that I've made. Honestly, at some point it all just becomes a delay-spiral, and counterproductive. Having made that decision to say, "It's done," is a huge relief. These last final steps are important, but not very stressful for me. Building a Table of Contents is pretty simple, preview materials are easy to generate, and layout is almost automated. It's not as if I'm doing a roleplaying game layout, which often layers backgrounds, borders, images, multi-column text, and shaded text-blocks within a page.

So what does this mean in terms of release? When will the final book be available?

Soon. Very, very soon.

I'm fighting the urge to rush it off as soon as possible; sure, my birthday is this week, and it would be awesome to tell everyone that they can buy it as a birthday present to me. On the other hand, there's something to be said for timing. Rushing things for the sake of a single day (which happens to fall right when most people are trying to plan out Valentine's Day plans) just isn't worth it.

So right now, I am estimating release on February 18th, the day after President's Day. I'll probably upload the final file late on the 17th, so Amazon might show it as available before the 18th, but I won't be making any "Hurrah!" noises until that day. 

That's all for now. I can't wait for everyone to get their chance to read Gavain's Proving! Thanks for sticking with me this entire time!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Season's Greetings!

My posts are quickly following a pattern of having quite a bit of time between them, and while I wish that I could claim that it was entirely because I've been lost in a sea of pages completing the revisions and editing on Gavain's Proving and completing more work on Laeryk's Fate... well, that wouldn't be entirely correct. More mundane elements of life, such as family and friends have been receiving the lion's share of my attention lately, and I make no apologies for that; we all have our priorities, and I believe that mine are in the right place.

That isn't to say that I've been stagnant in terms of writing. After some major revisions, Gavain's Proving is almost there... so close that if I were using my fingers to show you how close things were, you'd barely see space between my thumb and index finger. I actually have the latest draft version open on the tablet next to me (trying to do my little part to save our environment by editing electronically), and I can get through almost every chapter with barely a change, just a slight rewording here or a more clever adjective there. That's good news, and leaves me with the hopes that I will be able to hammer home before the holidays and have the final draft ready to upload to Amazon by January 1st. (Or sooner, sooner works too.)

For anyone impatient to read more of the Saga of Thorns, I sympathize with you. I want to write more of it, desperately. I love writing; it has been the most rewarding and satisfying career I've ever had. I must admit, however, that I loathe editing. I've started multiple side-projects during the editing process because the creative part of my brain starts screaming for air and needing to take breaks from Aerth for just a bit, long enough to recharge my mental batteries. This results in what I can only imagine are longer delays than what someone who hires out editors to look over their work experience, but sadly such a thing is just not yet in the cards. I look forward to it someday.

This is a bit longer of a post than many might feel a "I'm almost there, really, I am!" sort of post warrants, but frankly it's the holidays and I want readers to get a little more than just a single line to confirm that I'm still alive and writing (or another bad milk carton joke like my previous post). If Amazon's policies were a little more lenient, I'd post more of a preview for Gavain's Proving, but I suppose that I can understand the reasons for their restrictions.

On a side note, I've recently been looking into things like telling stories over Twitter, and the format intrigues me. I've been debating something like that here on the blog and through my Twitter account (@GrantHoeflinger) as another creative outlet to help me creatively output during the editing process. We'll see; brevity has always been a distant acquaintance of mine, and perhaps a Twitter story would be a proper exercise in reducing word count.

Or just fun.


So until my next post - possibly this year - I hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday, regardless of faith creed or whatever.

Monday, October 14, 2013

If You've Seen This Author, Call...

So the last post to this blog was August 8th. That was... a while ago.

I wish that today's update had more substance to it, but this is essentially to let everyone know that I haven't vanished. My picture won't be on the side of any milk cartons, or posted on street corners. I've been busy enough with a variety of things in the family that I haven't been able to give enough attention to this blog.

But that doesn't mean that I haven't been keeping up my work. Gavain's Proving was almost ready to go when I passed the final draft on to a colleague who had some very insightful critiques, prompting a bit of a re-write that has created a new round of editing. I would like to provide a time frame for when I expect my edits to be done, but let's face it: If I set a deadline, I tend to miss it.

However, work is continuing. Not just work on Gavain's Proving, but also Laeryk's Fate and The Sound With Teeth. While I'm focusing more on Gavain's Proving at the moment, I'm also happy with the progress that I'm making on the other projects, as well as with some ideas that I'm nurturing for development into further stories.

So while I'm sorry to keep everyone waiting, rest assured that progress is being made and you will have Gavain's Proving available just as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Loving What You Do

Self publishing is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have complete control. Feel like giving away a copy of your book to someone interested in reviewing it? You can! Feel like putting on a sale to increase interest in your books? You're good to go. Has life decided to offer a bit of smackdown on you  - computer failure, skiing accident, the flu - and you need to take the day off? It's all good.

On the other hand, you bear all of the responsibility. Need a cover? Better find someone to commission one from. Need to format that book? Hope you know how to do it (or have the resources and/or connections to have it done). Need to market that book? It's all you, buddy.

That blade swings both ways, and trust me when I say that the edge is sharp. You feel it most keenly as you get ready to release a publication. You've busted your butt this whole time writing, and revising, and editing until you can practically recite your whole book from memory. You've gone through so many pages of revisions that it makes the Affordable Care Act look small. You're tired, but excited, because all of that hard work is about to pay off when your readers get to enjoy your story.

Wait - you're not done. You need to market your book still. (Truthfully, you should have been doing that this whole time, but now you don't have anything else to consume your time.) If no one knows your book is out, no one is going to read it, and all of that hard work was for nothing but personal satisfaction. You need book reviews, you need a way to attract readers - new readers, not just existing fans - and you need a way to get your book's cover in front of those impulse-happy shoppers who don't mind taking a chance, or using their precious Prime Member Lender's Library option for the month on your book.

No pressure, right?


Why do I bring this up? Because that's the stage I'm at with Gavain's Proving. Everything is lining up nicely. I have a few more edits (there always seems to be one more typo that you somehow missed, no matter how many times you comb through your manuscript), and then it's a matter of getting everything indexed for conversion to a .mobi file, and then... release! I can't wait - but marketing... I don't like marketing. It is definitely not on my top 100 list.

So why go on about it? Because no matter how much I dislike marketing, no matter how much I wish that someone else could do all of this and just let me write, write, write...

I'm having a blast. I love what I do. And no matter how much work that I dislike it forces me to do, I'm extremely grateful that self publishing has allowed me to write.

And you gotta find that joy in what you do. It's what makes it all worth the doing.

So what is it about your job that you love doing? If you haven't thought about it in a while, take a moment to reflect on those positives. When the things you love about your job put a smile on your face, all the burdens of the stuff you can't stand seem so tiny in comparison.

(Here are some covers to delight your senses - have your read everything on the list?)

Available now from Amazon
Available now from Amazon
Coming Soon!