Haunting Blue, a look back, a look forward

Art by Bonnie Wasson
Art by Bonnie Wasson

I spent the last part of Memorial Day Weekend and thru Wednesday night re-reading Haunting Blue front to back, checking the publisher proof against all revisions, ensuring that this will be the final, most accurate version of the story. It’s an odd thing for a writer, looking back on an earlier work.

Because our craft is one of constant growth, I can say without apology that if I were to start over from scratch, if I were to pen the first book in the Adventures of Blue Shaefer today, it would be a very different book than what it is now. I’d like to think it would be a better book.

An author’s writing is like a time capsule, at least to the author. As we gain experience, beginner’s mistakes become more obvious, tangents that we might have thought better of stand out more clearly.  I have heard that some authors, at least privately, have a tendency to disown, or try to disassociate themselves from, their first works.

Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.
Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.

And while I “get it” to some extent, as I reviewed the work, head to toe, I can honestly say I am still very proud of Blue Shaefer’s premiere adventure. Yes, she’s melodramatic, over the top, and, yes, I roll my eyes at certain moments in the novel. When the time came to re-release the book, I had a choice to make–I could have gutted and rewritten the tale, or simply tweaked the text to address the bigger errors but otherwise let it stand as a time capsule of the start of my journey as a published author.

The great Harlan Ellison recently observed about his own early work (and I’m not comparing myself to a genius whose career goes back decades–this just happened to resonate) “I look back over my earlier stories and say, ‘eh, the kid did the best he could with the tools he had at the time.'”

I think this is very true, along with other factors. One that is obvious to me is my “everything plus the kitchen sink” approach. I thought of Haunting Blue as my one shot, maybe the only novel that I might ever put out, and I put my all into it, because who knew when the next book might get published. This is another factor that contributes to the drama of the tale.

Art by Bonnie Wasson for the new edition of Haunting Blue.

Of course, I now know, and am blessed to be assured, that I have plenty of readers and a publisher very anxious for my next story. And my next, and my next. I don’t need to “put it all out there,” which brings far greater focus to my later stories, a benefit to my readers as much as myself.

Another reason to tweak rather than gut: it’s fair to observe that when I drafted my angst-driven high school punk girl, I was much closer to her age than I am now. Who am I to second-guess how much of my narrative is genuine, when I’m much further from the source?

So starting tonight, and into tomorrow, courtesy of Seventh Star Press, Haunting Blue goes back into print, with the major ebook formats, and the softcover hits a couple days later. It is slightly tweaked, with a new cover and interior art by Bonnie Wasson, a new poem by Nicole Rinaldi, (who also wrote the pieces in Virtual Blue). The softcover will look quite spiffy next to Haunting Obsession and Virtual Blue, giving the trilogy a unified series look for the first time.

Haunting Blue is a paranormal thriller, an edgy first novel by a new voice who did the best he could with the tools he had at the time. Having just re-read it, it still moves me and accomplishes what I intended. I still love it, and if you’re experiencing the story for the first time, I hope you will, too.

Go here to watch the links go live.

Haunting Blue Cover Reveal!

BlueI’m thrilled to announce that Seventh Star Press officially unveiled the cover for the officiall re-release of Haunting Blue, plus they announced a release date for the ebook! The softcover will go live a few days later.

Read all the details here!

Haunting Obsession Success!

photoThe 99 cent promotion has moved a lot of Haunting Obsession ebooks in the past three days. Not only am I seeing positive spikes on the impossible-to-comprehend Amazon bar charts they make available to authors for endless head-scratching confusion, but just a few minutes ago I discovered that the book has officially cracked the Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Ghost Fiction chart at #89! Please continue to spread the word…let’s see how far we can take this!

Thank you very much for all your support. This would not have been possible without my readers and fans.

As part of the Seventh Star Press Spring Fling, the ebook of Haunting Obsession is available for 99 cents for a limited time! If you haven’t gotten yours yet, read the details here!

And we’re off! … Haunting Obsession now 99 cents

Haunting Obsession Lo RezApparently we’re starting the 99 cent sale on Haunting Obsession …and that’s fine by me. Now and for a limited time, download your choice of e-book: Kindle, Nook, or Kobo, for only 99 cents! Part of the Seventh Star Spring Fling!

Here’s a direct link to the my website order page. Just click to pick your format.

While you’re in the buying mood and looking for ghost stories, check out Eric Garrison’s Four Til Late, also on sale for 99 cents! You won’t be disappointed.

Spring Fling Titles by RJ and Peeps go to 99 cents!

FINALVDS_coverThe Seventh Star Press Spring Fling has been going for several days now, in which a few titles at a time from the press’s catalog drop to 99 cents for a limited time. During those price drops, the press has hit some new bestseller highs. Michael West had his terrific haunted theater title Cinema of Shadows (click here to read my 9-Arjay Review) hit the top ten in horror.

Even more exciting, Michael was the editor of Vampires Don’t Sparkle, which also became four til late SSPa top ten bestseller…and that title includes my story Robot Vampire. I am now a contributor to a bestselling anthology! How cool is that?

It’s also been a delight to see Michael Knost’s Writer’s Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy chart so well this week, along with D.A, Adams’ Brotherhood of the Dwarves!

Haunting Obsession Lo RezAs we head into next week, author peep Eric Garrison‘s book, Four ‘Til Late–the first book in his road ghost trilogy–gets the 99 cents treatment March 31-April 2, and my popular paranormal thriller, Haunting Obsession, goes on sale April 1-April 3. That’s all e-options, including Amazon and Nook, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, that’s the time!

The Seventh Star Press Spring Fling continues through mid-April, with a Facebook event devoted to telling everyone about it. Click here to go there! There’s a lot more deals by terrific authors available. Thanks for your support and please spread the word!

 

R.J. about to be Bitten By Books…or something

The Bitten By Books R.J. Sullivan author event in support of Virtual Blue starts later today–Noon Central/1 pm Eastern. The event runs three days, with lots of ways to earn raffle points every day, and at stake is a $25 Amazon gift card! There will be an ongoing Q and A, where I will be typing as fast as I can to keep up.

If you haven’t RSVPed, do so here!  (it gets you 25 raffle points). Then….

Click this link to get started! If the link doesn’t work, the event isn’t live yet.

 

Haunting Blue Returning to Haunt Readers Again

Some people may have noticed in the last few weeks that Haunting Blue has been dropping off the major outlets.  That’s because publication rights to the book reverted back to me, and in the months since, the novel has been dropping off from all outlets.

To put it simply, Haunting Blue is out of print.

While it saddens me to see my first novel enter the “old edition graveyard,” rest assured, this isn’t the end of Haunting Blue, but rather, a new beginning. As we speak, Seventh Star Press is putting the final touches on a new, improved release of Haunting Blue! And while it’s too soon to announce a date, it won’t be a long wait.

So what’s new?

  • Well, for starters, my Seventh Star series artist, the amazing Bonnie Wasson, is creating a new cover for this edition, along with fabulous interior art. Watch for reveals in the coming weeks!
  • I took advantage of the re-publication to tweak some passages and fix a couple of boo-boos. And just for fun, I added a poem by Blue (actually penned by reader and good friend Nicole Rinaldi, who also wrote the poems in Virtual Blue) to delve a bit more deeply into the character’s psyche.
  • And what I love the most: For the first time, the loose “trilogy” of Haunting Blue, Haunting Obsession, and Virtual Blue will have a unified series look.

Though it’s my first novel, I’m still very proud of this story, and I’m as excited to share it now as I was back in 2010. We’re doing everything we can to make this a “deluxe edition.” I’m excited to see Haunting Blue re-launch with a Seventh Star Sendoff. Stay tuned!

NEW REVIEW Bitten by Books gives Haunting Obsession 4/5

After a three-day redesign, Bitten By Books returns, which means I can link this new review that went up over the weekend for Haunting Obsession.

“Daryl is obsessed with Maxine Marie (think Marilyn Monroe) and has quite a memorabilia collection. His girlfriend, Loretta, has coped with this up until the night Daryl takes her shopping for her birthday present only to insist on buying himself a framed rent check Maxine had signed before becoming a household name. Storming off in a fury, Loretta makes her own way home, ignoring the advice of the Transit King to go wait for Daryl in his apartment. Unfortunately for Daryl, the rent check has become tied to Maxine’s ghost and, as she discovers the new world available to her as a powerful ghost, she doesn’t want to leave.”

Click here to read the rest of the review.

NEW REVIEW Bitten By Books gives Virtual Blue 5/5

Acclaimed review site Bitten By Books awarded Virtual Blue five out of five…tombstones, their highest rating and the same rating they gave the first book in the series, Haunting Blue, three years ago! (Click this to read that review)

The review:

This is a second book in a series, and I highly recommend reading the first book, Haunting Blue, first. I also read the in-between novella that isn’t necessarily needed but does flesh out some background of a new character,  Haunting Obsession.

Blue (Fiona) has never fully recovered from the events two years ago when her mother was killed and she almost died fighting a ghost.

Click to read the full review on Bitten by Books’ website.

New Virtual Blue Book Trailer now live!

Art by Bonnie Wasson
Art by Bonnie Wasson

Today Seventh Star launched the official book trailer to Virtual Blue, a collaborative effort with local fan and cosplayer Nikki Howard, who opened up and tapped her inner troubled punk girl. Thanks, Nikki, you are awesome! Special thanks to Eric Garrison for editing the pieces together for me so fast and efficiently.

So enough from me, check it out here!