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Nice Winters, and Other Strange Concepts

We had such a nice, warm winter going on there.

(Well ... "nice winter", is relative. But in northern Indiana, if the temperature stays above freezing for any amount of time between late December and the end of January, that's a nice winter.)

I wanted it to continue. I contacted my state representative and asked him to build a wall between us and Canada, to keep out those nasty polar vortexes. Look, I love Canada, but I understand why they call that country America's Hat: They have to wear hats up there to keep their ears from falling off. For nine months a year.

You have to respect people who get by even though they think North Dakota is a bit too warm for them.

Anyway, my state representative recently got a frostbit nose on the Pokagon State Park toboggan run, and was thus sympathetic. He threatened to shut down the state government unless they funded a Games Of Thrones style ice wall, until it was pointed out to him that keeping a polar vortex out would require a wall eighteen miles high ... and besides, Lake Michigan was a problem.

That guy has since moved to Boca Raton, which I discovered is in Florida. Traitor.

Just to make it clear, this is NOT Boca Raton.

So, with no approval for a wall, or my backup idea involving a line of several hundred thousand salamanders pointed north, winter came back.

(Imagine my embarrassment when I discovered salamanders had to be powered by something, which made the idea financially unsound. I thought they all just crawled to the state line and breathed warm air into the wind.)

So one day I went outside to do yard work while it was in the low 50s (Fahrenheit--let's not get silly). Two days later it was 22 degrees, and lake-effect snow--which my wall would have stopped--was causing vehicles to skid all over like a Disney On Ice version of "Cars".

Which ... come to think of it would be a brilliant show, and I'd pay to go, if I could get out of my driveway.

"Screw it, bring in the zamboni."

Anyway, for awhile there we were having decent (relatively) weather, while the south was getting clobbered with ice and snow. I feel for the south, but there's a certain irony there: For most of my life I've sworn every winter that by next winter I'd move away; but like an angry Democrat celebrity, I never do. Honestly, I really love Indiana the rest of the year, but is a northern Indiana winter worth that?

Plan B was to become a rich author and have a winter home, an idea I abandoned when I found out the average author earns under the poverty line.

When it snows in the south, the counties dig out their only snow plow (manufactured by Mack in 1959). Most adults stay in, most kids go out to throw snowballs, and people who have to drive somewhere crash. All of them. But there's a good side: southern snow rarely lasts long, and pretty soon they get nice and toasty warm again (relatively).

Without a wall. Or maybe with, because the upper Midwest functions as their winter barrier.

Our good luck is over now, and we can expect a few months of complete ick. I shall survive by staying home as much as possible, writing under a multi-spectrum lamp while wearing both long flannel underwear and a big fluffy robe, and several layers in between. It's not quite denial.

But it beats Boca Raton in the summer.

"What ... you don't like me?"

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Good news, everyone!

The new newsletter is out:  https://mailchi.mp/dbc5dc2002fd/my-publishers-dropping-me-its-a-good-thing?e=2b1e842057 

Or you can just read it here: 

 

 

My publisher is dropping three of my books!

Well, it really is good news, but I'm going to have to explain it.

At my request, Start Publishing has returned the rights to three of my books: Storm Chaser, Storm Chaser Shorts, and The Notorious Ian Grant. They were originally put out by Whiskey Creek Press, which was later bought by Start Publishing. Start is a big company, and made arrangements for their e-books to be distributed by Simon and Schuster, a large and respected publisher.

This excited many WCP authors, as Whiskey Creek Press was a fairly small publisher, with limited resources. I understood going in that I'd have to do a lot of my own selling and promoting; but with these new players, it was hoped we'd get better distribution and more promotion help.

Alas, that didn't happen. I continued to promote as best I could, and overall I've liked and gotten along with everyone from both companies. But those three books are older now, and to my disappointment their prices never got lowered. In addition, I felt the print book prices were way too high, especially for an unknown author like me. (WCP and Start specialize in e-books.)

With Storm Chaser now seven years old and set at the same price as when brand new, my sales had dropped dramatically. In the last quarter of 2018 sales of those three books were abysmal, and I know that's a real word because I looked it up.

But I wasn't ready to give up. Many people who read Storm Chaser kept asking me for a sequel, which the other two books were--but the sales of those two weren't as good. I felt there was potential for the series yet, so I asked Start Publishing for the rights back.

It was a long process.

I want to stress that my experience with the publisher was for the most part very positive, and I met many good and admirable people. In fact, I still have another novel, Radio Red, available through their Torrid Books line.

But the rights to the other three are back in my hands, which is why you may notice them disappearing from various websites and resellers across the internet. (I do still have print copies of the two novels for sale. Storm Chaser Shorts, a short story collection, was never available in print--but it will be.)

Emily and I are going to re-release the books, including a print run for Storm Chaser Shorts, once she's designed new covers and otherwise gotten them ready. These are the old covers, which you'll see if you buy any print copies from us before the supply runs out (well, not the middle one, which come to think of it could stand a new title):

I'll probably drop the price of them close to my cost, since the new editions will have a much lower price tag. Emily's hard at work on other projects right now, but I'll keep you updated on when they'll come out. Also, I'll be going back to work later this year on a prequel, as a way of introducing readers to the Storm Chaser series as a whole.

And you'll see all those changes on MarkRHunter.com, of course! Remember to support your local author: Whenever a book doesn't sell, an angel loses his wings--don't jam up the roadways with hitchhiking angels.

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