The Plague Is Spreading

If you’ve read Plaguewalker, thank you (and thanks to those of you, friends as well as several strangers, who’ve left such thoughtful reviews on Amazon and GoodReads).

You’ll know, then, that Marcus is a man of few words, a practical man and also, perhaps more than anything, a man often puzzled by basic human interaction. The notion of befriending someone, or even simply engaging in pleasant conversation, flummoxes him. He is also an honest man, often brutally so. He would be hopeless in politics, advertising or, it must be said, stand-up comedy.

I admit feeling a bit like Marcus when it comes to marketing his story. Dutifully following the guidance of various indie publishing bloggers, I joined assorted indie publishing groups and posted on a number of indie publishing boards, despite feeling that, generally speaking, the experience was like being in a room full of preschoolers when Santa made a surprise visit, all of us shouting what we wanted (“read my book!”) and none of us listening to each other. (I did meet a couple interesting fellow authors, but more by chance than part of any organized campaign.)

I also had a number of messages from fellow indie authors who told me if I gave their book a five-star review they’d give mine one, too. The lack of punctuation and indifference to grammar in some of these emails alone gave me pause. (I’m no saint when it comes to perfect English, but at least I try. When you spell the title–the title–of your book three different ways in a single paragraph, I seriously question your commitment to the craft.)

So I’m trying something new, and that might be how you found your way here: advertising. If you’ve landed here via Facebook or my travel blog, Stories That Are True, or the smattering of newspaper and magazine articles about me, welcome. Here’s the deal. Plaguewalker is a dark but ultimately redemptive historical novel set in fourteenth century Bavaria. You can read the first chapter for free or download the first 20% or so, also for free, onto your Kindle or iPad through Amazon as a sample.

You can also read one of my previous posts on this blog that covers a little bit of my inspiration for the novel.

I hope that you’re interested enough to check out the book in eBook (Kindle or Nook) or paperback format and that, if you do, you enjoy reading it. It’s not for everyone, but I believe it’s a good story. A highly biased opinion, yes, but, like Marcus, I tend to be brutally honest. I didn’t write it to make money, or to find fame. I wrote it because it was what I, as a reader, wanted to read.

Regardless of how you found your way here, thanks for reading, and thanks in advance if you decide to walk the cold, snowy road to redemption along with Marcus. Now, speaking of cold and snowy, I’m off to take a walk myself. It’s a lovely day here in Antarctica. The wind chill is a mere minus 16 F and the midday skies are black and starry.

And no, I am not making that up.






  1. I’d be interested in whether the time and effort spent on publishing groups, etc., turned out to be worth it. I’ve considered trying some (one at a time), but I have the same feeling you expressed, that it’s a lot of people all shouting “Look at me!”

    I hate marketing.

    • Agree and agree! I backed off from the forums for the same reason I leave a bar or party when it gets too “meat-markety.” It’s not what I’m about or interested in. I haven’t done any review swaps, either. I wouldn’t consider the “I’ll give yours 5 stars if you give mine 5” sort, but others have asked for “objective” reviews. Quite honestly, though, I don’t have the time between working long hours in the kitchen, editing one book and trying to market another. I’m very much of the “if it has value, people will recognize that” mindset. For me, marketing feels as natural as putting a sweater on a spider ;-P

      • I keep telling myself the “if it has value” mantra, but there are days when I feel a little desperate. Never enough to go for swaps, though. I’ve never asked anyone to review my books, so it’s always a delightful surprise when someone does. (I could use a few more surprises.)

      • Surprise! 😉

      • Oh my, thank you so much. I get notice of comments in the mail, so I almost missed that your smiley was a wink. Could it be what I thought it might be? It was! You made my day, especially since the story came out of nowhere and made me wonder at myself. Why would I write anything so horrible, and what would people think? Are writers always doomed to be so insecure? There’s much talk about “validation,” which a lot of writers still mean as something that comes from publishers. For me, validation comes when readers *understand* what I’m trying to do. There’s no greater thrill. Thanks again.

      • No, thank you. When Plaguewalker was just out on its own in the world, you took a chance and read it and wrote an amazing review, not because you were a friend or relative but because it spoke to you. That is a great gift. I was indeed riveted by The Darkest Prison…I was particularly impressed that you managed to tackle some big topics (what makes us human, what is it to be dehumanized) with world building and character development in what, 12,000 words?? And I think of insecurity as a symptom of striving to be better and improve oneself and one’s writing. That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it. Now back to editing my monstrous fantasy tome…talk about feeling insecure!

  2. […] is The War’s End and testing new ways of marketing Plaguewalker (read all about it over at the book’s site), I’ve been fielding a couple media inquiries and also doing some freelance stuff. Check it […]

  3. Okay, you win the thank you contest, but I have to say it one more time (quietly) because what you said about Prison here is even more valuable to me than the review.

    I’m sure there’s no need for you to feel insecure, but since it’s unavoidable, we learn to deal with it. Now exactly when is that monstrous fantasy tome coming out? (just kidding)

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