You are hereFrom the Desk of Basil Sands - Newsletter
From the Desk of Basil Sands - Newsletter
A newsletter, distributed about once a quarter, maybe less, but seldom more than that, that keep you up to date with what Basil is up to. News on new releases, book deals, movie deals, radio appearances, contests and so on and so on. Basically whatever is going on in Sands Land. Sign up and be entered in a drawing for a free Kindle and free copies of all of Basil's ebooks.
Hello Readers & Listeners - Winter Greetings from Alaska
In This Issue Sandman News:
-Help me write my next thriller series (via Indiegogo)
-What's been going on?
-Free eBook (link at bottom of newsletter)
Ever wish you could help encourage your favorite authors to get their next book out faster?
Well, here's a chance ... at least if I fall into your favorites category that is.
Putting the Power in Your Hands
I have posted a new project on a website called Indiegogo.com . At Indiegogo writers, artists, inventors, etc are able to post projects to find folks willing to pledge financial support to help get the projects from dream phase into real life. Those who pledge get products in exchange for their dollars, ranging from books to audiobooks, to the writer pulling silly stunts like jumping into an icy lake in Alaska and putting it on TV.
The New Series
Ice Hammer is a three book fiction series seen through the eyes of a family ripped apart by invasion and the ensuing war that consumes the North American continent, including their home state of Alaska. It is not about the bigger political game that stands behind all war, but it is about the lives, the loves and the bitter struggles of those trying to survive the harsh Alaska wilderness amidst the horror of war just to see another day, and maybe, just maybe, to be reunited.
When is ICE HAMMER coming out?
I hope to have the first book completed and ready for publication by the end of 2014, and that's where I need your help.
What Can I Do to Help?
Pledge your support for the project at the ICE HAMMER Indiegogo Page.
The pledges I collect from this project will go directly towards subject matter research, topic specific training, recording studio upgrades, book formatting, cover art, and distribution/marketing.
Not only are you helping the process but you are pre-purchasing your copies of the novels and will receive them before anyone else. Certain pledges also get to participate in the creative process by being Beta Readers and Associate Editors of the text as it is written, so you get not only early copies, but you get to see under the hood!
Here's how you pledge:
1. Click this link to go to the ICE HAMMER Indiegogo Project Page
2. Watch the video and read the text to make certain this is a project you want to support
3. Select a dollar amount / award level you think fits you best
4. Make the pledge!
5. Then tell your relative, friends, neighbors, co-workers, strangers in the grocery store, and so on.
It's that easy.
I am confident that you folks can make this a reality. Head on over to my Indiegogo Project Page and make your pledge. Then tell your relative, friends, neighbors, co-workers, strangers in the grocery store, and so on.
Thanks in advance.
In Other Goings On
It's been a busy year thus far with book writing, audiobook recording, conferences, and generally being Alaskan.
March saw a two day snow-shoeing / cold weather survival camp with the boy scouts, lots of fun there. Summer was lots more camping with some fishing to stock the freezer with fresh salmon, cod, halibut, and rock-fish. Summer also saw my first trip ever to Juneau, interesting place our capital city. Tiny, yet emanating political ooziness all over stuff. The three days we were there happened to be the sunniest on record in the city with nary a cloud in the sky and temps in the high 70s. All in all though, the best bit of Juneau was the Zip-Line outing. Holy Schmoley, if you've never done one of those, do it. I am sure they have it in pretty much any state that has hills. Wow was that fun. It was worth the money just to hear my lovely wife scream as she zipped from tree to tree.
With summer's end came the book conference season for us. September was the 2013 Alaska Writer's Guild conference, where your's truly Emceed the awards banquet, and during the course of the conference signed with a major NYC agent who will be attempting to place my books once they're written. Interest by at least one major publisher was shown for my older works as well, 65 BELOW in particular. Never any promises in this business, which is why I keep writing new stuff on my own with the knowledge that if the big guys don't buy it I am willing to continue to go it on my own.
A couple weeks after the AWG Conference was the first annual Great Alaska Book Fair. Had a great time and met many terrific people, many of whom signed up for this newsletter.
And last but not least I got to teach once again at the 2013 Alaska Young Writers Conference. Now that was fun. I taught two sessions on writing action / fight scenes and the kids really got involved. Some of their work samples were simply stellar writing. I know there are at least a couple on their way to fame. The third session was on what it takes to make an audiobook. Several brave souls got up to do a cold read from a script and found out it's a lot more work than they thought.
All in all it's been a great year and I am looking forward to more terrific stuff on the horizon as we close out 2013.
With that in mind, have a great rest of the year, don't forget to pop over to the ICE HAMMER Indiegogo Project Page and support the new series, and definitely don't forget to grab your free ebook below!
Also, for those who signed up for the newsletter at the Great Alaska Book Fair, or anyone reading this actually,here is a link to the Free eBook I promised you. Enjoy BLADE OF HEARTS, a novella and three short stories full of action, adventure, and reasons not to go into dark alleys alone.
Enjoy the read and God Bless!
Who Dares, Wins
If you recently received a newsletter from me, disregard it. Something weird happened and a copy of a newsletter from last year was sent by my website all on its own. I did not send it, the server gremlins did. Strange IT stuff.
That being said, its been a long time since my last intentional newsletter, which goes with my promise to not flood anyone's inbox. Even if you decide to skip over the content of this email, make sure you read the end parts so you can enter to win some valuable stuff.
2011 has been a very eventful for me, both personally and professionally.
On the Personal Side:
My family got to enjoy our first ever family vacation outside of Alaska. That was thanks in part to my day job sending me to Florida for a conference of IT types in March. My two younger boys got to enjoy a lot of firsts. First time on a plane. First time out of Alaska. First time swimming in an outdoor pool (something that just doesn't exist in Alaska). First time on a roller coaster (we road every coaster in Busch Gardens, several of them mutliple times...those "fastpass" tickets were worth every penny). First time seeing darkness and summer-like heat at the same time (remember, AK has 24 hr sun in the summer). First time hearing crickets and frogs (AK has none). First time experiencing hot rain (it was 90 degrees and raining, which they thought was so cool that they wanted to play in the torrential downpour). Like I said, lots of firsts that folks in lower latitudes may take for granted.
Speaking of firsts, In July I got to spend a weekend with my teenage son's Boy Scout troop in Prince William Sound kayaking on the ocean. Before going out we took a day long training class that had us dismount our kayaks in the freezing cold sea water several times, you learn quickly how to get back into a kayak as the water was cold enough to have icebergs floating in it. Once we got out to sea proper, saw seals and whales and massive blue ice glaciers that filled us with awe. Our camp was setup on an island on which a pair of eagles was trying to coax their eaglets out of the nest for their first flight. They didn't take the plunge while we were there, but it was cool to watch them try. Part of my job with the Scouts is to do the campfire storytelling. Using the surrounding scenery I made up a story about two ancient kingdoms, a forbidden marriage, and a mountain troll. The kids stared wide eyed and white knuckled as the story pulled them in. The coolest part of that trip was waking to a sound at 1AM and rushing out of the tent to witness two Orcas playing around in the water near our camp. No one else came out of their tents, so I sat on the beach alone listening as they splashed about and spouted great columns of mist into the air, their whale song echoing off the mountains in the stillness of the midnight sun.
In October my oldest son moved out on his own. The wife cried, I felt proud. He's grown up and hopefully being a good example to his brothers. November saw my lovely wife and I celebrate 23 years of marriage. We'd planned to go to Alyeska for a skiing/snowboarding weekend with our two younger boys but an unexpected bill coupled with a freezing rain nixed the trip. So instead we enjoyed a delicious dinner of Filet Mignon and Lobster Tails with our two younger sons and had an overall great time reminiscing about the years we've spent together.
On the Professional side:
In January of last year the ebook versions of both 65 Below and Faithful Warrior made it into the Amazon Top Ten list and stayed there for two whole weeks each. I was more than elated with the results to say the least.
April saw Karl's Last Flight get picked up by Crossroad Press for audio production and is now available on Audible.com and other retailers. It was also nominated for an Audie Award for best work narrated by the author. Aaaand on a side note, the acceptance by Crossroad Press allowed me to switch my membership at the International Thriller Writer's Association from "Associate" to "Author" ... which makes me feel like a big boy. ;-)
In May I got to attend the Atlanta Writer's Conference while in town for another day job trip. I got some seriously uplifting validation from a major agent who, although she didn't take on my books (they aren't her genre) she did give me some good referrals. About that same time I was hired to do my first paid narration directly for Audible.com. The title was Threat Warning by John Gilstrap, a very good, action packed thriller, and a lot of fun to narrate. Following that I got several more narration contracts including the recently completed audiobook "The Wasted Vigil" by Nadeem Aslam. After getting a couple books up there, including a couple of horror stories from Crossroad Press and thrillers from various authors, Audible took a look at my own books, 65 Below and Faithful Warrior, and accepted them into their system to be narrated by me. That was a real trip because they usually do not accept self-published works. 65 Below was completed in September and has been doing very well. Faithful Warrior is slated to be produced in January 2012 and should be online by the end of March.
In addition to book success I became a radio talk show star! ... for a while at least. As many of you know I've been a fill in talk host for a few different AM shows around Anchorage for several years. In July one of the local hosts I fill in for dropped off the radar and the station asked me to fill in until they figured out what he was doing. That ended up being three months of running this particular weekend show and a promise that it would become my own show after the first of the year. Sadly, that part didn't happen because new owners took over the station and changed the schedule around a bunch. But the taste of 'fame' was intriguing nonetheless. Tons of fun.
Hollywood agent Ken Sherman, who I met at the AK Writer's Guild Conference, read a synopsis then requested a full manuscript of 65 Below for consideration for a movie option. At this point I've not received a rejection so that tells me he's checking around to see if it may sell. That's even more exciting than the other stuff that's happened this year.
I've also had the opportunity twice now to give presentations on self-publishing to the Alaska Writer's Guild monthly meeting. Very fun, that. I enjoy being on stage, and doubly so when I can give useful material to the audience.
Well, that's pretty much it for my year in a nutshell...a very big nutshell as it were. And now for some stuff for you!
Want a free eBook? Simply to go www.basilsands.com and click on the link to download GEEKS RULE for free. You will be asked to share the link with your Facebook and/or Twitter account then can get the book for free!
Last spring I gave away my first Kindle eReader. And now I am giving away two more! You can go to www.basilsands.com for details but here's a summary of the two ways to enter:
1. subscribe to this newsletter via the link at www.basilsands.com. At the end of the year I will give away a new Kindle eReader to one subscriber of this newsletter.
2. Leave a comment on any or all of my books at Amazon.com before 12/31/11 and you'll be entered to win another Kindle! Whether you've read the ebook or paperback, listened to the Audible audiobook, or listened to the free podcast versions leave a review of the books at Amazon before Dec 31 and you'll be entered win! One entry per review per book, means you can get up to 5 entries. No purchase is necessary for either entry method. Prize is your choice of the Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Touch ($99 value).
Also! For those who like solving puzzles, here is a riddle for you. Solve it and you will receive a free copy of the MP3 Audiobook version of your choice of 65 Below or Karl's Last Flight ($25 value). Pass it on to your friends as well.
What is the title?
An ancient spectacle with:
A Benchmark Fool
A dead woodsman's two "O"s
Miss Gentle Horse
An Unhappy man of famed fraternal chanson
A bright and radiant pastoral colleen
Send the answer in an email response to this newsletter. First three correct answers win the prize.
Lastly, if you have a paperback copy of one of my books that you'd like to get signed, let me know and I will respond with an address to send it to. Then just pop it in the mail with a self-addressed stamped and postage paid envelop and what you'd like the signature to say and I will do the deed and return it to you asap.
On another similar note: eBooks are hard to sign, given their nature of non-physicality, but for a $5 or greater donation to www.basilsands.com I will send a signed copy of the book cover of your choice. These are printed on high quality glossy photo paper worthy of placing in a nice gilded frame and hanging on the family picture wall next to Uncle Kermit & Aunt Maude or putting on the fireplace mantle. Want more than one signed cover? Just add $2.50 each per extra cover and those will be included as well. Details at www.basilsands.com
Well ladies & gents, that's it for this newsletter from the Far North desk of Basil Sands.
I hope you and your families have a blessed and wonderful holiday season and an amazing new year!