Tag Archives: Steve Vernon

KELPIE DREAMS – Now Available For Kindle Preorder

I got home from work last night only to find a few tweets, e-mails and a couple of Facebook messages letting me know that my Kindle Scout winning novel, KELPIE DREAMS, was now available for preorder on Kindle.

I can’t tell you just how happy and excited this one makes me feel. It has been a while since I have broken such new ground as this and I am just a little flushed with excitement over the whole notion.

Folks who have been following this blog know that I have already kept a thirty day diary of my Kindle Scout Campaign – from Day 1 to Day 30 which you can read about right here!

I do intend to write a big old blog talking about my experiences between my acceptance and the release of KELPIE DREAMS – but it is not this day!

Today I have got some writing to do. I am about a week or two away from completing a manuscript for my regional publisher – one that will hopefully hit a lot of bookstores here in Nova Scotia.

Then I have already begun roughing out a Kelpie novella to follow up on KELPIE DREAMS.

I want to thank everyone here who nominated KELPIE DREAMS for Kindle Scout and I hope that you enjoy reading that novel – because, for nominating my book you have probably already received your free copy. I have already heard from one of my readers who has read and enjoyed the novel and will release her review in her blog, at Amazon and at Goodreads shortly before the book goes live.

The book will go live on May 10, 2016.

I am so darned pleased and excited.

I would be intensely grateful to anyone who sees fit to preorder KELPIE DREAMS.


That link above is for Amazon.com.

My UK readers can preorder it through this link.

My Canadian readers can preorder it through THIS link.

And, lastly – if you happen to be a subscribing member of Kindle Unlimited you can grab this book for free.

I want to thank you folks one more time. I wouldn’t be here at all if it wasn’t for your support.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Back to the Grind

All right – while I sit and wait to hear from the folks at Kindle Scout let me fill you in a few interesting tidbits.

Patty Jensen Promo March 3-5

First off let me tell you about a REALLY cool promo for Scifi, fantasy and horror fans. We’ve got over ONE HUNDRED books available on Kindle AND Kobo – including a 99 cent Kindle special on my dark superhero collection, NOTHING TO LOSE. If you want to see MORE you can check this promotion out right now over at Patty Jansen’s website!

Nothing to Lose cover

And – if you want to hear some more about the inner workings of Kindle Scout – check out the SELF-PUBLISHING ROUND TABLE’S latest podcast with Kindle Scout winner Donna White Glaser. She can tell you how things work from the inside of Kindle Scout. Some awesome information!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


All right – so my wife and I went to see the new STAR WARS movie today and it absolutely rocked.
Understand – I absolutely hated the last two Star Trek movies by J.J. Abram – and that’s after seeing the first one TWICE. I still can’t remember a damn thing about either of those movies except for Spock shouting “KHAN!”. I thought they were muddied-up messes and didn’t remind me a bit of the old television series.
So – I really wasn’t all that confident in them making a new Star Wars movie.
You see – I remember Jar-Jar Binks.
I don’t want to remember him – but I do.
So I went into the movie theater fully intending to hate this movie – only I didn’t. Right from the get-go I thought that it was awesome. The same opening credits, the same music, the same universe without any of that kiddy-giggle crap that began with The Phantom Menace – Jar-Jar and kids flying tie-fighters.
I enjoyed it right through until the end.
No spoilers here – but here’s a few things I enjoyed.
Seeing Han Solo and Princess Leia back again. Seeing the Wookie. Seeing the Millenium Falcon. Getting our first chance to see a stormtrooper as a real person. Seeing Max Von Sydow playing ANYTHING!
A couple of things I didn’t enjoy?
How about Adam Driver – who I found to be a poor substitute for Darth Vader? How about Andy Sirkis as Supreme Leader Snork?
Banana Split Snork
(alright – so I know that the dude’s name was Supreme Leader Snoke – but it still sounded a little bit silly)
Still – these are tiny problems.
The fact was that I really  enjoyed the movie. I’d own it on dvd and I’d see it again.
The funny thing is that I had been avoiding reviews for the last couple of months. Tonight I took a look and I was amazed to see that ROTTEN TOMATOES absolutely LOVED the movie and yet when I looked at imdb I was amazed to see that a lot of the folks writing reviews there seemed to almost unanimously hate this movie!
Go figure.
Me – I loved it. I’m an old-time fan of the first three Star Wars movie and I felt that they nailed it.
Go and see for yourself. I’m not telling you anything more.
Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

E-Book Holiday Promotion How-To

For those folks who have been following my blog for a while, you might remember that I had a HUGE October promotion for two of my books – TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE.

Well sir, I have to say that all in all my promotion was a good short-term success. For starters it sold an awful lot of copies of both books and it has left me with a fine long “tail”.

So what is a tail, you might ask?

A tail is kind of like the splash that a rock makes after you throw into the nearest pond. Basically what a promotional tail is – is the effect on future sales that a short term promotion has.

I made over a hundred dollars in Kindle sales alone in October. No, that isn’t a lot for some of you more successful writer-types – but it is a pretty good month for me. Currently, two-thirds of the way through November I am already past the hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales alone. With a little bit of luck and a few extra sales I might even hit the two hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales as well.

And THAT is a big first for me. Two triple digit sales months in a row is definitely a bit of a personal record. The last two years I have mostly been in the double digits, barring a couple or three out-of-the-average months.

Now, as I reach the back end of November my sales have begun to slow down. I am coming to the end of my “tail”. So it is in my best interests to throw another rock into the pond and see what sort of splash I can make on my upcoming December sales figures.

Fortunately, some thoughtful marketer invented Black Friday some time ago.

Now – Amazon has been getting on the Black Friday band wagon for a while now. Some folks are upset about the notion of Amazon saying “Hey, you can do all of your Black Friday shopping from your living room couch” – but the older I get the more I hate shopping malls – so I am NOT necessarily against this whole concept. It isn’t like Amazon INVENTED online shopping, is it?

And even Canada has jumped onto the whole Black Friday concept – and why not? We’ve already got over our October turkey comas and we are still riding high on a sugar-buzz of leftover Halloween candy.


Admit it – how many of you out there have JUST developed a sudden craving for candy corn?

So I have been taking a VERY close look at the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend of November 27-30th.

Here’s what I have been up to.


First off – I have signed on for the Master Koda Black Friday Cyber Monday Facebook Party. 

This is a group effort put together by about four dozen authors – who are each chucking their own particular sized promo-boulder into the great collective pond.

In addition I have set up several HeadTalkers and one Thunderclap each of them advertising several of my e-book bargains including several 99 cent e-books and a couple of freebies.

I have also signed up for promotions at ebookstage  and My Book Cave – both of which cost me absolutely nothing – because both of these promo-sites are just getting started.

I have also spent two five dollar bills on a Fiverr promo with bknights and Bookkitty – both of whom have performed well for me over the last year or so.

So WHICH e-books am I promoting?

I am glad you asked.

My Halifax-based time travelling toilet extravaganza A BLURT IN TIME is available for only 99 cents all November long. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign as well as using the bknights and the bookkitty and the My Book Cave listing to help promote this one – as well as talking about it during the Master Koda weekend.

My hockey-vampire novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME is likewise available all November long for ONLY 99 cents. I have set up a Thunderclap campaign to help promote this one.

My mermaid short story, HARRY’S MERMAID  is going to be available for FREE from November 27th to November 30th. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign and an ebookstage listing to help promote this one.

And – as a reward for reading all the way down to the bottom of this blog entry, my story collection TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOODS is free today and tomorrow on Kindle.

Tangled Wood

Click the cover and it will take you directly to the Amazon.com listing. 🙂

Yes sir and yes ma’m – I am throwing one big old multi-faceted promo-rock into the pond of Black Friday. It isn’t too late to set up your own promotion as well. You’ll find some VALUABLE tips in Penny Sansevieri’s ULTIMATE HOLIDAY PROMOTION.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon





Want to Get Into Bookbub???

First – READ THIS!

With a tip of the hat to good buddy Robert Stanek


logo-7371ab8547ec8da72d51d75c2eb8b7bbyours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you enjoyed this blog entry or any of the others that I have posted this week – why don’t you do one of the very best things that you can do for an indie writer and pick up one of my e-books?


Steve Vernon on Kindle!

Steve Vernon on Kobo!

Chasing rabbits…

The old people have a saying.

You chase one rabbit you got supper. You chase two rabbit, you’ve got sore feet.

Sometimes a writer just seems to spend their whole entire day – just  chasing rabbits.







You know how it goes. You find yourself working on a novel and that gets you to thinking about that novella you wanted to work on and the next thing you know the idea of trying to write that novel and that novella at the very same time gives you an amazing idea for a wonderfully structured sestina composed about the theme of a single man trying to ride the backs of an entire stampede of golden palominos.

Before too long you’re chasing rabbits.

You might kid yourself and say that you are just following the whimsical frolicking call of your innermost moose!







(or is that muse?).

You might even convince yourself that – by god, you must be the single-most creative writer in the universe – filled with a never-ending fount of ideas and inspiration.







Horse-puck and hogwash.

You’re just chasing rabbits.

You see, the nearer that the human spirit comes to accomplishing, the more likely it is to try and come up with some reason not to finish.


Because once you finish something, it’s over. And once it’s over, then you got to do something else.

And you got to do it right.

So rather than finishing something properly and then starting something new, properly – a fledgling writer – and even us old fart veterans – will all too often allow distraction to jump up and lead them into the time-honored pursuit of chasing rabbits.

The distraction is nothing more than a fear of commitment. Of finishing it – because once it is finished somebody else will actually read it.

And they might tell you it stinks.






As long as the project remains in that ephemeral state of incompletion you can kid yourself into believing that you’re brilliant.

Only you’re not.

A writer is a craftsman, first and foremost. Like any carpenter he needs to sink that nail into the board, cut the next board and then nail that up to. He has to finish whatever he is building – so that somebody can sell it so that he can buy more boards to keep on building.

The only real difference between a carpenter and a writer is a carpenter often has a foreman who is more than happy to kick his butt.

Oh, we writers have foremen too.

Only we call them editors, publishers and readers.

Sitting at our desk, in our comfortable chair, puts us a long way away from the foreman’s boot.

So a good writer has got to learn to boot himself in his butt.

Hard, and often.

So, here’s what I want you to do.

Sit down with one work and tell yourself that you are going to add a paragraph to it. Don’t look at any other work. You find yourself thinking about any other work give your head a good hard shake and remind yourself that you set out that day to work on one piece of work.

Let me mix a few more metaphors and see if I can muddle this out for you any clearer than I have.

Writing any story is a little like a first date. You work at that story and you don’t look at any other story while you’re working at it. You try and turn that date with a story into a long term commitment and then you try and turn that long term commitment into a marriage and then when you’ve married the heck out of that manuscript and your finally done with it – divorce the sucker and start hitting the single’s bars.

And stop chasing rabbits.

Happy Easter

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


PS: I’ve passed the 41000 word mark yesterday at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Only 9000 words to go in the next four days. Wish me luck.

Follow my progress at Camp NaNoWriMo!

Saturday Stream of Consciousness – Mountain Man

This week I stumbled across a fun little blog writing project that is called the SATURDAY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

The idea is every Friday a subject is posted and on Saturday you write a complete stream of consciousness blog entry pertaining to that subject.

Today’s subject was OBJECT.

I took a look around my writing desk and the very first OBJECT that I saw was my Mountain Man carving.

2012-11-09 12.58.42I carved this mountain man during a cabinet making course I took at trade school. At the time that I attended I intended to make a career out of creating fine cabinetry.

Only problem was I sucked at cabinetry.

I have long since accepted the fact that when it comes to being handy I make Red Green look good.

Or – as Clint Eastwood might say – “A man has got to know his limitations.”

The Mountain Man has always represented a special kind of symbolism for me.

I grew up in the hills of Northern Ontario and at the time I thought of those hills as mountains – but later in life when I hitchhiked out to British Columbia and saw what real mountains truly looked like I gained perspective.

“Talking to men who had but lately kissed their wives goodnight and slept under storm-tight roofs, they must have had a look in their eyes and a way of a standing. Their shirts and breeches of buckskin or elkskin had many patches sewed on with sinew. They were worn thin between the patches, were black from many campfires and greasy from many meals. They were threadbare and filthy, they smelled bad, and any Mandan had a lighter skin. They gulped, rather than ate the tripes of buffalo. They had forgotten the use of chairs. Words and phrases, mostly obscene, of Nez Perce, Clatsoy, Manadan, Chinook came naturally to their tongues.” – Bernard DeVoto

In fact, one of my personal favorite go-to movies when I am sick or weary or just want a little comfort is The Mountain Men.

The carving is made from obeche – (oh-bee-she) – a West African wood, used for racing boats and sea planes and Fender guitars. The word is a song and you can’t say it without smiling softly and smelling the tall African grass and feeling the sunshine and the water splashing. It is a wood that sings and soars and it sometimes reminds me of the time I road in the back of a work truck with a group of African field hands as we drove away from a long week of fiddlehead picking in Northern BC.

They sang working chants – songs that I had previously heard only on Tarzan and Jungle Jim movies and there was something in that way that they sang those tunes that reminded me that no matter how much of this world a man has seen and experienced there is always a shade that dances behind experience – something that you haven’t seen just yet.

“Sing,” they told me and I sang old Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings and Gordon Lightfoot tunes right back at them – as many as I could remember. We sang together – them in their tongue and me in mine riding in the darkness in the shadow of the Northern Rockies.

And sometimes that word – “obeche” – reminds me of the O-Peach-Eee chewing gum that I chewed as a kid and it makes me grin and there’s nothing wrong with grinning, is there?

I had to laminate the original carving blank, gluing four chunks of the wood together, clamping it overnight to harden into a solid block. Then I worked on it with a bandsaw to rough out the shape. Used knives and wood gouges and chisels and rasps and surforms and a spokeshave to get down closer to the man who was hiding inside of that wood. Than I used a Dremel motor tool for the fine detail. I sanded it and finished it with mineral oil to give it that deep yellow sheen. The carving is about thirty years old and it is one of the few belongings that I hang onto.

It is sitting above my desk looking down at me while I type. I can hear him muttering under his beard – “What the hell are you waiting for? Get busy. Get writing.” and then other times I think of him as just standing there, worn down from wandering yet still gazing into the far off horizons of forever-go-yonder and my spirit breathes a deep clear breath of pure mountain air.

Damn it. Now I want a beer.



This post is part of SoCS. Find it here and join in the fun! http://lindaghill.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-3114

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

(PS: The rules of this blogging exercise PROHIBIT editing. It is strictly free-form stream-of-consciousness blogging – and I have stuck to that – but I had to re-edit it to add that Van Damme clip because WordPress froze up on me and I had to re-enter the blog to fix that)

The Importance of Choosing a GOOD Cover for your e-book

I’ve written about cover design at least two or three times before – but it is one of the most important concepts an indie writer ought to tuck between his ears.

Let me tell you about about my latest release, Hammurabi Road.

Hammurabi Road started out as one of a two novella collection that I called Hard Roads which was put together in 2007 by Gary Fry at Gray Friar Press.

Here’s the original cover – done by noted artist Zach McCain.


Now that’s a pretty good cover.

Hard Roads sold a few copies and I still have some on my shelf but these days I am focusing on my e-books – so it shouldn’t surprise any of you that I took it into my head to release these two novellas in e-book format.

Only – at the time that I was planning to release them my budget was feeling the pinch.

So I decided right away that I would use the Kindle Cover Creator and I came up with this cover.

Hammurabi Road expanded viewI took the photograph at the railroad tracks across the street from where I live – and I am going to leave you folks to guess at whether I live on the “right” side of the tracks or the “wrong” one.

I had to scoot under a tall wire fence to get close enough to take the shot and then I plugged that into the Kindle Cover Creator and came up with what you see there. It’s alright as a cover. It doesn’t make you want to pluck out your eyes or anything as drastic as that – but it LIKEWISE doesn’t make you want to pluck out some money from your wallet and BUY it.

But I was broke and this was all I could afford.

Then – when I decided to release Hammurabi Road in paperback I used the Createspace cover creator and I came up with this design.

Hammurabi Road Homemade VersionWhich was alright as well – but STILL really didn’t say BUY MY BOOK.

Which – at the end of the day – is REALLY all an author wants out of his book cover.

So – after a good couple of months I saved up enough in my pitiful PayPal account and I hired Keri Knutson to create a cover.

You might remember Keri. She created the covers

for Tatterdemon.

Tatterdemon New Cover

And for Sea Tales.

SeaTalesWell she put on her thinking cap and came up with this mind-blowing cover for Hammurabi Road.

Hammurabi Road new

Now that – brothers and sisters – says BUY MY FREAKING BOOK!

So – the moral of this story is if you want to write e-books and more importantly SELL e-books – get yourself a good cover designer!

Like Keri Knutson, for example.

NOW – if you want to read MORE about the importance of choosing a good cover take a look at these earlier blog entries.




There is ALWAYS a commercial.

If you are intrigued enough to pick up a copy of Hammurabi Road you can buy it at Kobo or Kindle or in paperback format through Createspace at Amazon!

If you buy it and you read it and you like it – PLEASE leave a review. That means an awful lot to us authors out here in the creative boondocks.

Yours in Storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Happy New Year – you better smile when you read this, pilgrim!

Hey folks.

This is the time of year when a lot of blog-writers get to thinking about what is going to happen in the coming year.

Dudes like J.A. Konrath, or Smashword-owner Mark Coker, or The Digital Writer Nate Hoffelder.

These folks are a whole lot smarter than I am. They have sold a whole lot more books than I have. Heck, my cat has probably sold a whole lot more books than I have.

Kizzy and book 003

The only thing that I can tell you about 2014 is that it is here and we’re in it and on it and if we want to make the best about the coming year we had better hang on tight!

It’s time to cowboy up!

Cowboy SteveThat’s right.

2014 is going to be tough – same as every year before it – and you need to be cowboy tough!

Keep on reading and keep on writing and have yourself one heck of a ride!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Never Trust an Actor…Or Why I Write Novels Instead of Screenplays!

I used to joke about how I used to cheer myself up by phoning all of my actor friends whenever I was feeling down about how HARD it can be to make a living off of writing. Acting is just one of those sort of gigs where you can a lot of money over a month or two – and then spend the rest of the year auditioning for voice-overs for Raid commercials.

In that way they are a little like writers. I make a good chunk of change twice a year when my traditional publishing royalties come in. I also make a bit of money from the occasional public appearance or short story. I also make a bit of money every month from my independently published works – but none of it is very predictable.

Neither are actors.

Just when you think you have got them figured out they go and do something that you didn’t expect them to do.

Like Mandy Patinkin.

You see – it really peeved me off when Mandy bailed on CRIMINAL MINDS.

Now Joe Mantegna has done a heck of a job taking over from him as has Thomas Gibson. I’m not going to mention Shemar Moore because – although he’s a pretty good actor he has the unforgivable distinction of being way too hunky, or at least so my wife says, for me to acknowledge him in public.

No – I’m not jealous of Shemar – I’ve just got certain standards to uphold is all.

Mandy Patinkin apparently had creative differences with the producers. Maybe he also had money disputes with them. He told folks that he did not wish to be typecast and wanted to move on with his theatrical appearances. He also was deeply bothered by the prevalence of violence in television.

Well, maybe so – but as a fan of the series I kind of wanted to see a little bit more of the character – Gideon – that he played. I guess he knew what he was doing. He has done fairly well on Broadway. I even hear that he can even sing a little…

He’s not the first actor to do this to we television-viewers.

Remember Radar?

Or Adam Cartwright?

Or Chris Eccleston’s Dr. Who?

Actors will do that to you – because actors are people. And people are ANYTHING but predictable.

My latest actor let-down occurred when Jim Carter – the actor who plays the butler Carson from Downton Abbey dressed up as a depressed Santa Claus and told the kids in the Youtube-viewing audience that Christmas was in jeopardy of being cancelled due to global warming.

I don’t know about you folks but I felt kind of cheesed-off that Greenpeace had taken such a blatant cheap shot at Christmas and all of those kids out there who still believe in Santa Claus. I’m not going to talk about whether or not global warming is real. I’m fifty-five years old and I’ve seen how badly screwed up the weather is these days. We’ve definitely broken something out there – BUT SCREWING CHRISTMAS UP FOR THE KIDS IS NOT GOING TO UNSCREW THE WEATHER!!!


Who put this soapbox under my feet?


The important thing to remember is that actors will mess with you when you least expect to be messed with.

Which is why I write novels instead of screenplays.

In a novel your character does EXACTLY what you tell them to do – right?

In a novel the author is in COMPLETE control – right???

Well – I’m not so sure about that either. I’ve had characters turn around and do something amazing or wonderful – right out of the blue.

I’ve also had at least THREE characters in three separate works of fiction up and die on me.

I remember the first time that happened – a character in my novel DEVIL TREE up and died on me in the third chapter. One moment she was there – the next she was gone.

Same thing happened in LONG HORN, BIG SHAGGY.

Same things happened in TATTERDEMON.

Characters will do that to you when you least expect it.

Have YOU ever had a character decide to do something all on their own?

I’d love to hear about it.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon