Magic of Havenwood Series Update

I just passed the halfway point in the sequel to the Magic Collector!

I’m going strong on the sequel, and hope to have it published before the end of the year. The book cover will be completed by October, just in time for the World Fantasy Convention.

Speaking of which, I’ll be attending the World Fantasy Convention in LA this year! If you happen to be going as well, feel free to say hello. I’d love to meet you!

Why I Wrote the Magic Collector

The idea for The Magic Collector began with a vision.

A girl sitting at a table in a library, opening a book. And when she finishes it, she looks up…and everyone in the library is gone.

I combined this with inspiration I received from listening to a talk by Gregory Manchess during the first World Fantasy Convention I attended, in 2017. A gifted painter, Mr. Manchess mentioned that he learned that what drew people to paintings and book covers was the story created by the art…and a mystery within that story that made people want to know more.

This idea, combined with the vision of a girl in a library lost in a book, was the seed that grew into the tale told by The Magic Collector.

My wife and I, having two boys, planned on having another child. If we had a girl, my wife wanted to name her Bellatrix. My wife is a wonderfully dark person, identifying with villains far more so than heroes. And she loves the moon, and wolves, and Halloween. So of course her daughter - if she existed - would share these qualities.

And thus, Bella was born. Not in real life (yet), but in a book.

So, with the idea that art was the process of telling stories, and that a very dark but sweet girl named Bella would get lost in a book, I created the characters and world of The Magic Collector. Grandpa represented my journey as a writer, and the lessons I’d learned as an artist and a father.

The story grew as it was written, as is the case with all books. And as it grew, more characters sprang forth from the ether, and the magic of writing took hold. My characters took on a life of their own, and I drew them forth from the page, making them real…for myself, and I hope, for some of you.

I took great pleasure in writing The Magic Collector. If you experience a fraction of that joy reading it, then I will be quite content.

Thank you for reading!

The Magic Collector is Publishing!

The Magic Collector is now complete!

It is currently in the process of being published to Amazon’s site, and should be available in a few hours at least, and tomorrow morning at the latest, if things go as per the usual. The paperback will take a bit longer, and will take some time to be linked to the ebook version.

I’ll be posting links to each version as soon as they are available.

Update on the Magic Collector

The Magic Collector manuscript is complete! I’m waiting on a revision of the book cover before I publish the book. And I’m also nearly 40% done with the first draft of the sequel.

I’ve also registered and booked the flight and hotel for the World Fantasy Convention in LA! My wife and I are excited to be attending, and look forward to meeting fellow authors - and readers - in the city of angels. If you'll be there, let me know…I’d love to meet you!

The Magic Collector - Coming in June!

Hey guys and gals,

The Magic Collector, the first book in my newest fantasy series, is finished! The first draft of the book cover should be done by June 4th. Depending on how many revisions there are of the cover, the book should be available on Amazon for purchasing sometime in mid-June.

I’ve also ordered a book cover to be done in October for the sequel to the Magic Collector, which I’m over a quarter of the way through writing already!

I’ll post a pic of the cover for The Magic Collector as soon as it’s available. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, and I can’t wait for you guys to read it!

More updates!

I know I’ve been a little lax on the blog posts recently…but I swear I’m hard at work on my new fantasy series!

I’m deep into the edits for the first book in the series, tentatively titled “A Brush With Magic.” And I’m a quarter of the way through the first draft of the second book in this new series. The book cover for the first book will be done in June, and the cover for the second will probably be done sometime in October of this year. If all goes as planned, I’ll be publishing both shortly after their covers are finished.

I’ve still got more books planned for the Runic series, and book 5 is percolating in my brain as I write. And after that? Who knows! But I’m planning on releasing at least 2-3 books a year.

As always, I’ll keep you updated using the graphs on the home page of my web site. To check out my progress there, click here!

Updates!

I’ve been working hard on the first and second book of my newest series. The first one, tentatively titled “A Brush With Magic,” is deep into the editing phase. The book cover is due for sometime in June. Looking forward to having all of you read it! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The second book is going strong. I’m already a good 70 pages in. I plan to have the first draft finished in a few months!

Also, I just joined Instagram. Check me out @ClaytonTaylorWood!

Traditionally Publishing?

As an indie author, I’ve self-published seven books so far, spanning two fantasy series.

After doing so - and learning from my mistakes as I went - I’ve become very comfortable with self-publishing and am becoming more adept at marketing my books with time and practice. While the first book I published took me two weeks to format for print and ebook, for example, now it takes me about an hour or two. So publishing my newest book series myself would be quick and painless.

But we writers are masochists by nature, and I prefer to be uncomfortable!

Therefore, I’ve decided to see if I can publish my next novel traditionally. I’ve queried a few agents, which requires a whole new skillset. The ability to sales-pitch professionals within the industry is something I’m trying to develop. A new adventure into the unknown!

Naturally, if no agents or publishers pick it up, I’ll go the indie route again. In the meantime, I’m hard at work at the sequel, as well as a science fiction novel.

I’ll keep you posted!

Beta Readers Go!

I’ve submitted the 2nd draft of my newest book to my usual beta-readers, and am awaiting their thoughts!

In the meantime, I’ve started the sequel. My plan is to finish the 1st draft of the sequel soon after I publish the first book. Gotta keep them moving!

I’ve updated the progress bar graphs on my home page, and will continue to do so as I work.

First Draft Done!

The first draft of my newest book is complete!

I’ll start the editing process today. Lots of changes to make, as usual, but the bones of the story are there. I’ll keep you posted with my progress using the graph on the home page as usual. I’m hoping to have the final draft done before the summer!

New first draft almost done - and marketing updates

I’m almost 400 pages in to the first draft in my newest book. The first book in a brand-new series, in fact. I’m still going back-and-forth on the title, but my plan is to finish the draft this month, then spend the next couple of months editing the heck out of it.

I’ve also played around with the price of the first books in the Runic series and the Fate of Legends series. They were originally at $2.99, and I’d discounted them for a few months at $0.99 each as a way to get people into the series.

The price makes a pretty substantial difference.

2-3 times as many people pick up the books when they’re at 99 cents…and more people pick up the subsequent books in the series as a result. As a result, for marketing purposes, it appears that a lower price for the first books is a more effective draw.

I’ve been using Facebook ads, and have found they result in a spike of sales initially, but after a few days, the effect seems to peter out. Not sure why this is, but if I stop the ads for a while, then activate them again, I get the same result.

I have the urge to spend more time learning the ins and outs of marketing, but for now I want to focus most of my (limited) free time on writing more books!

As usual, I’ll keep everyone updated on my writing progress on my home page.

Invest in Yourself

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my life is to invest in myself. To spend time and effort building my skills, my knowledge base, my wealth, my health, and so forth.

And it comes down to habits.

If there’s one thing being an ER doc has taught me, it’s that habits matter. In fact, they’re often the determining factor in how our lives go. Much of what I see in the emergency room is preventable. Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, liver disease, alcohol-related trauma, mobility disorders…the list goes on and on.

But it’s not just our health that is influenced by our habits. It’s our careers…indeed, the entire trajectory of our lives. Your finances, your relationships…everything you do is, in large part, determined by the little things you do every day. The seemingly inconsequential activities that are repeated, day after day, year after year. These seem so small and insignificant, but they define who - and what - we become.

If you want to be an author, get in the habit of writing. Every day that you can, even if it’s just a sentence or two. If you want to get in shape, exercise every day that you can…even if it’s just for fifteen minutes. If you do something most days of the week, they’ll become habits…and they’ll build momentum. These activities - arduous and painful at the beginning - will become easier. Automatic.

They’ll become your life.

It is far too easy to blame external factors for what happens in our lives. Sure, there is a component - sometimes large and unavoidable - of chance that affects each of us. We can’t control that. But what we can control, we should try to control. Even if it’s hard. Even if we fail over and over again. Because if you’re failing, at least you’re trying. Failure is a great teacher, and trying is the surest way to succeed.

So invest in yourself, every day. Pay yourself first, if you can. Pay your savings. Pay your debts. Pay your retirement. Put some time into your health. Put some time into your hobbies. Your relationships. Invest in what you want to grow. Because the only things that will grow are the things you invest your time and effort into.

Avoid the temptation to defer your success. Pay your future self before anything else. Whatever you value, spend time and effort on. Every day that you can.

Invest in yourself. It won’t be easy - change never is - but your future self with thank you for it.

You’re worth it.

New Series!

I’m about 60% of the way done with the first draft of the 1st book in my newest series. No title yet, but I’m wracking my brain for one. I’m also considering when I want to start the 5th book in the Runic series.

So much to do, so little free time to do it. I’ll keep you posted, as usual!