My Plans for Kindle Vella and a Free Story for Cinco de Mayo

It’s been a while since my last post. Despite my blog silence, I have three projects in various stages of completion. The one I’m most excited about is My Three-year-old is a Barbarian and Other Parenting Problems. It’s a comedy fantasy story that I started back around the time I was getting The Robin Hood of Couches finished. My completion of the story couldn’t come at a better time.

Amazon is introducing a new platform, and my story will be there on launch day. It’s called Vella, and while the idea is not new to the internet, it is new to Amazon and represents the opportunity for me to be there when the doors open for the first time. The cover artist who created the Atmospheric Pressure Three image is already well on his way to creating an image for the story. My editor is deep into editing it.

My hope is that you all will join me for the journey because it will be a different way to experience reading. First off, the story will be released in small chunks. Basically, it will be a chapter a week, but there should be plenty of chapters for you to devour when the doors open. The first three installments are free, but then there will be a pay wall for the rest. From what I can gather it shouldn’t be too much to continue reading, pocket change.

In the meantime, Atmospheric Pressure 3 is almost ready to go. Sign up at Patreon if you want the special edition that includes all three books in one volume and early access to the story. 

And now for some Cinco de Mayo freebies and fun! My horror novella, Desert During Day of the Dead, featuring cover artwork by a talented New Mexico artist will be free on kindle, among others. You can see the full list on my author profile and sorting by price.

In addition to the freebies, each book of the Time Burrito series will be 99 cents! It’s a great time to pick up an entire series for $3 or maybe gift them to a friend who you think might want some fun reading this summer.

I’ll be touch when the Kindle Vella is open to the public. In the meantime, have a ruckus Cinco de Mayo.

Atmospheric Pressure 3 Cover and More

The kindle edition of Tuners is free until 3/20/21 to celebrate the audiobook release. The eBook of 2 and 3 are only one dollar each, so the entire trilogy is $2! If you missed out on the free audiobook codes. Guess what? There is still more left! Get them while you can by replying to this email.

If you already read Tuners and enjoyed the book. Consider leaving a review or sharing it with a friend. Those are the two best ways to help out independent authors.

And now without further ado, the cover art of Atmospheric Pressure 3, and I’m going to say that it’s my favorite cover art so far. Phil Hughes, the cover artist, did an amazing job: 

I am very lucky to have patrons to help fund cover art and editing fees. If you’d like to be one of those people, and get a special edition of Atmospheric Pressure 3 that includes all three books in one, consider becoming a Patreon member.

A New Fantasy Novel

Creepy HouseI know. I know. I’m supposed to be telling you right now that the third and final Atmospheric Pressure novel is coming out, and it will. I’m finished. I’m delaying the release because I want it done right. I have some really awesome cover art, and haven’t even sent it to the editor yet. Mainly because I’m waiting for royalties to come in order to pay those folks.

You can contribute to paying my editor and cover artist by signing up for Patreon. Each time I release a book, you get a really cool special edition. In the meantime, check out the Tuners audiobook. My narrator, Sean Winkless-Hall, is really good. It’s just cool to listen too.

And finally, why the spooky picture of Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon? Well, my next book is a Fantasy novel, about some teenagers from the Portland area who get sucked into an adventure by and evil overlord who lives with his highly critical mother. Yep, if you haven’t guessed, I’m a writing a Time Burrito style fantasy novel.

It will have Orcs, Goblins, Elves, Dwarfs, wizards, spells, sword fights, and captains who decapitate their underlings. What’s a good fantasy novel without bullying some underlings? It’s nothing like I’ve written before, and I’ve already release tidbits on Twitter. Look for my posts labeled Sneak Preview.

If Time Burrito made you laugh, I’m hoping this one will make you poop yourself (except not really because I don’t want to be sued over soiled undergarments). Pay attention to this space. More will come.

$1 Burritos

Amazon is going to include Time Burrito for 99 cents in its Kindle Daily Deal section on Friday, 1/29/21. For those of you not in the publishing industry, that’s pretty big news for me. It means that I will access a whole bunch of new readers, who normally wouldn’t see the book among the millions of titles Amazon has for sale.

While it’s not the kind of news that allows me to quit my day job, pop the Champaign, and write full time. It’s definitely a good step in that direction. So, if you like what I write, and would like to see me dedicate more hours of my day writing it, it’s a good time to leave a review or tell a friend, every little bit helps.

I’m also going to put The Bison Agenda up for sale for 99 cents on that day too. I would have done the third book, but Amazon lets you discount your books only so many times in a given period. Also, my apologies to my international friends. I don’t know if it will be on sale elsewhere, but would love to hear reports, so I know what to expect in the future.

As far as Atmospheric Pressure 3 is concerned, I am almost done with the first draft. Then I go to the dreaded editing phase. That’s where I have the least fun with writing, but probably the most important step. After that it’s off to my editor for grammar checking, and my cover artist, Phil Hughes, who has done all three novels, will be busy working at the cover art as well.

Finally, I want to share with you this article I read recently about climate change. While I personally have a more optimistic view on life, and believe people can and will solve the problems, (there is also good evidence to support that belief). I also value being aware of the dangers we face. 

That’s part of the reason, why I wrote the Atmospheric Pressure series to begin with. Science Fiction can act as a canary in the coal mine. The dramatic stories of doom, death, and destruction are the wake up call. Rather than throw our hands up in the air and say, “there’s nothing I can do about that,” why not shift our mentality to is there something I can do?

While Dystopian narratives might leave us with the feeling that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, I wanted to end mine with a message of hope and empowerment. So, the third atmospheric pressure book will have an experimental ending for it’s genre. I’ll be curious to see what you all think about it.

While you are waiting for Atmospheric Pressure 3, why not check out an author friend of mine’s book:

A naturally immune girl. A genetically modified boy. A search for a cure that may cost them everything…

Fifteen-year-old Jema Walker would do anything to protect her sibling. But she never imagined they’d be facing another global flu pandemic. Sent to a remote desert location for safety, Jema is horrified when her sister contracts the deadly virus.

Caught in a conflict of impossible choices, Jema teams up with a specially bred eighteen-year-old boy to find a remedy. But when they’re forced to go rogue and abandon their community, she fears the ruling adults only want them for their uniquely protected DNA.

Can the duo hunt down an antidote before they fall victim to ruthless experiments?

Lovelock Ones is the first book in the action-packed Lovelock YA dystopian science fiction series. If you like bold heroines, strong heroes, and post-apocalyptic settings, then you’ll love Tricia Copeland’s thrilling fight for survival.

Thank you for reading!

Some thoughts on the end of the world.

In case, you missed it. Time Burrito is free once again until this Saturday. Now that I got that out of the way, I’d like to share with you some thoughts:

I realized that part of why I write science fiction is because I’m fascinated with technology, and not in the gadget sort of way. Sure, my Christmas tree this year can be lit by saying, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree” and my 3-yr-old son will often say, “Alexa, play Street Cleaner.” But tech doesn’t inspire me to write novels. One of the things that gets me writing is fundamental questions about the survival of our species and how technology for better or worse is a part of that equation.

Even though I love and write dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, I don’t stay up at night wondering about when Skynet will awaken to take us all down. While there is a reason for concern, AI taking over the world seems like one of many possibilities. I can easily see a hyper intelligent AI deciding humans are pretty boring and building itself spaceship to go explore the stars, or a nurturing AI that thinks, “Silly humans, if you only knew what’s good for you,” and all the world’s problems being solved.

What if the first hyper intelligent AI after crunching through all of human knowledge decides to take up cross stitching? Seems just as likely as the AI bent on destroying the world. The point is that when it comes to AI and technology, while the fun-to-read narratives are the ones that focus on scary things like Missiles of DOOM!, I think there are far more threating stuff in the world, and I try to have my stories reflect that idea.

That’s why I wrote the Atmospheric Pressure series. The big dystopian threat to the world in those stories was climate change. In the first book, I introduced a place where people were forced to live inside what used to be downtown Minneapolis. I picked that location because I used to work in downtown in what was then the McGladery building (which changed names after I published the first book). Since Minnesotans know how to deal with cold weather and you could theoretically live in the 11 square miles of skyway connected city without ever going outside, it was perfect.

I remember weaving through the buildings on my lunch break, and thinking in terms of three buildings down, past the Starbucks and take the tunnel on the right. I literally could get anywhere through what felt like a maze to me the first time I was there. In fact, I gave my wife a tour of downtown, and she was lost. The funny part was that I was also lost when I went outside the buildings. While I probably could still walk to the Taco John’s from the IDS center today, I couldn’t tell you what street it was on, only what the corridors connecting to it look like.

This was a perfect setting for an idea I had about bacteria changing our atmosphere that was based on an historical event. Deep in Earth’s past, there was a climate catastrophe and a mass extinction. A new critter emerged called cyanobacteria, and they released a byproduct that was poisonous to things living on the planet at the time. That byproduct was oxygen, and hello world we have today.

Which of course if it happened once? Could it happen again? Which got my wheels turning about permafrost melting and releasing bacteria into the environment, and now there’s a recipe for a climate change apocalypse with the same threat level as Missiles of DOOM!

The reality of climate change is that it’s a slow process. The stability of the economy and the health of the world will erode as the hurricanes get worse, the heatwaves last for longer, the droughts are relentless, and the wildfires burn more and more. It won’t be something fun and cataclysmic like a narrative like Skynet. It will be more like heart disease, the system gets withered down until one day it finds itself in the hospital unaware that it was the triple cheese burgers all along!

Hopefully, the Atmospheric Pressure series can be one of the many canaries in the coal mine as people attempt to steer the largest boat in history in a new direction. I’d much rather be sitting in my floating green construction castle (or whatever writers are living in forty years from now), and have someone find a beat up copy of my book in their Dad’s basement and say, “Well, that didn’t happen” then “Holy crap, Aaron predicted the end of the world!”

So it is with great pleasure that I announce, the third and final Atmospheric Pressure book is in progress. You will have an ending. Promise! It’s never too early to reserve your Patreon special edition of Atmospheric Pressure 3.