And we have liftoff! The Pack Book 2: Lie with the Dead is now available in trade paperback.
Today my contributor copies arrived, too. Man it’s nice to have this one out there at last.
Hope you dig, folks.
And we have liftoff! The Pack Book 2: Lie with the Dead is now available in trade paperback.
Today my contributor copies arrived, too. Man it’s nice to have this one out there at last.
Hope you dig, folks.
This edition of the book has a new format, a new cover, and an excerpt from the sequel, Lie with the Dead, which is due out in early March. In fact, I’m told my contributor copies will be landing at my doorstep any day now.
If you’re new to my work or my The Pack series, Winter Kill is the first book and this is the ideal jumping-on point. If you’re a digital reader, stay tuned next week for more information on this new Kindle edition of Winter Kill.
New readers can also get a taste of the series by reading the first The Pack short story, “Bravo Four”, for only 99 cents on Amazon, or by checking out the short comic “Big Bad Wolves” on Indie Pulp. “Bravo Four” takes place several decades prior to Winter Kill and is set during the Vietnam War. “Big Bad Wolves”, meanwhile, leads into the events of Winter Kill.
And on that note, expect news on the next The Pack short story in the coming weeks.
The only downside to the new edition is we have a new ISBN, and thus a new product page on Amazon. As a result, our reviews aren’t listed on the new page. If you’ve read and enjoyed Winter Kill, I’d greatly appreciate it if you posted a review on the new product page.
Here’s a taste of previous reviews:
In the end, it’s the same great book, it just has a new face and some bonus material. I hope you’ll check it out.
After some questions from other writers, I thought I’d expand on my “Why I Love Evernote” post to discuss how I actually use it to help with my writing projects.
The key to remember here is your mileage may vary. There may be things about Evernote I love that don’t work for you, and you may discover things I wasn’t aware of or had no use for. Dive in, play with it, and make it work for you.
Also, keep it simple. “Ubiquitous capture” and the lack of traditional computer metaphors like files and folders can be daunting at first, but once you get a handle on how Evernote handles notebooks, notes, tagging, and searching, things get pretty easy.
So let’s break it down and use my The Pack series and notes as an example.
1) Create a Notebook
It may help at first to think of notebook as folders, but the metaphor here is imagine you just purchased a shiny new paper notebook you’re going to write in and stuff full of pictures, newspaper clippings related to your project. It’s both notebook and scrapbook, in a sense.
An Evernote notebook, then is your first order of sorting. In the future you can share it with an editor or a collaborator, but in the meantime it’s the place you’ll dump everything related to that project. The default notebook is enough for some folks, but I just use that one for day-to-day things. I have a Recipes notebook, a Karate notebook, a notebook for the day job, and one for every major project I’m working on.
Everything from here on will have been created within my “The Pack” notebook. I could feasibly create one for every novel, but it’s a lot handier (to me) to group everything related to the series under one notebook.
2) Create Notes
Click “create note” and you’re off and running. The beauty of notes is they can include several types of content. Text is most common, of course, but I can also drag in photos and other media. Tables, lists, and checklists are available when needed, and with the indents and lists, you can build a traditional outline.
If you’re the type who likes voice notes, Evernote can handle this, too. Dictate into the Evernote app on your phone, for example, and it will be available everywhere you have Evernote installed or via the Evernote web app. Want to make dictated notes searchable, or transcribe to text? Check out Quicktate or Voice2Note. I don’t use these, but as I said, YMMV.
Here are the types of notes I use most often:
Character Dates and Timeline
This note is simply a master list of important dates and a timeline of events. The novels Winter Kill and Lie with the Dead occur about six months apart, but the events in the first Pack short “Bravo Four” take place decades earlier during the Vietnam War. Events from the Call of the Wild comic series have an impact in the prose series. There are references to unpublished (for now) events in each story, and of course there is the ages of characters to consider. To keep it all straight, I’ve got each major character’s birth date, their death date where applicable, and at least approximate dates of when each story took place and when unpublished events occurred.
This is where I get more detailed. Winter Kill has a lot of characters, including the Tyler family, at least two sets of villains, and a handful of supporting characters. There are two ways one might approach it: one note per character, like an old-school index card; or one note per group of characters.
I tend toward the latter because I don’t mind if the notes get a bit lengthy. So, I have a note for all of the core members of the Tyler family. I have a note for all of the skinheads in Winter Kill. I have a note for Angie Wallace, a major character unrelated to the Tylers or the villains. Each character’s physical descriptions, their personality, and so on are all included. It’s simply broken down so the character’s name is in bold, and then the paragraphs or one-liners follow.
These notes help keep details straight. For example, if a character carries a certain weapon, it goes in the note so the weapon doesn’t magically change in another book. If a character receives a wound, I make sure I know where the scar is. I might even paste in descriptive passages from each work to be sure it’s always consistent.
In short, it’s helpful for continuity, and it saves me the time of having to flip through published works to verify details later.
Book Notes or Outlines
I have at least one note for each novel in the series, including Book 3. They’re fairly organic, and change as I massage the plots. They might start with a simple breakdown of Act I, Act II, and Act III, or even just a line or two about what I want to accomplish or an overall theme. Some are just brainstorming, and at least one includes a discarded version of a story which I might pick apart for later use anyway.
Over time, they get more detailed. I might have a beat sheet breaking down the book event by event, or even chapter by chapter. Pretty soon, they’re more or less an outline of the book I can use to write from, and they also become useful to refer back to when working on other projects in the series.
Short Story Notes
I have one note that has the synopsis for each of the short stories I’ll be writing for the series over the next few months. I then flesh them out with a separate note to figure out how the stories will play out.
For example, there’s a “Bravo Four” note I used to write from. It’s an outline, and it’s a reference for the future. If The Pack were a comic series, I might even have an issue-by-issue breakdown, a note for each story arc.
These are most often web clippings, but some may be simply photos or other notes. Because The Pack is a werewolf series, I clipped the article “Why everything you know about wolf packs is wrong” in case it might be useful in the future. This way it’s available in searches and browsing rather than lost in a pile of bookmarks or other links. I also have some notes about places and events from the Vietnam War for “Bravo Four”, and I have some other history notes for future short stories.
Everything related to publishing gets a note. I have a note with key reviews for Winter Kill. I have a note listing the ISBN numbers and publication dates of each work, and any relevant Amazon or Barnes & Noble links. They’re small things, maybe only needed once in a blue moon, but they’re handy to keep around.
I also have a note for the editing process of Lie with the Dead. I simply dumped the editor’s notes into a note for quick reference. Once, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, I thought of a way to address one of his notes. I fired up Evernote on my phone and jotted those thoughts in with that comment so I could address it later and not sweat forgetting it before I got to a computer.
I also dumped everything from a weekend retreat planning meeting I had with my publisher into a note. Notes we took, things we discussed, and even photos of the whiteboard we used are all still available to me for reference.
Everything else, basically. I do all my brainstorming on paper, so I might transfer those notes into a separate note for later noodling. Other times, the brainstorming notes go into existing notes. There’s no hard-and-fast rule here, because tagging and searching makes where I record the notes irrelevant.
3) Tying Notes Together
There are two ways to do this: tagging and linking.
You’re probably already familiar with the idea of tagging. They’re a simple way to “group” notes without using folders. Character names are an important tag, for example, as are book titles. This way, if I look for anything tagged “winter kill,” I’ll get everything that may be related to that book.
Linking is also handy, and works just like a hyperlink on a website, and in effect can turn your notebook into a wiki. In a plot note, I might include a link from a character’s name to the note containing their description. Or I can link from a plot or character note to one of the research notes. This keeps me from having to reproduce information, or from bogging down notes with extraneous information.
This is the point people sweat keeping everything organized. Forget about it, because the search feature makes all of that irrelevant. It’s very powerful, and will search tags, text within notes, and text within attachments (pictures, and even PDFs if you’re a pro user).
You simply don’t need to sort things into folders because the search will find it for you. Accidentally drop a note into the wrong notebook? No problem, you can restrict searches to within a notebook or open it up to your entire account.
Notes are typically listed by the date they were last modified. This way, the thing you’re working on most at the moment is typically at the top of the stack. It can also sort notes by location if that’s what you’re into by tagging notes with GPS information and showing you a map.
Are you the visual type? Take a look at Mohiomap, an app which allows you to surf your notes visually as a mind map based on your tags. This is another feature that’s not for me, but if you’re a big fan of mind mapping, check it out.
Once you get used to searching over sorting, it’s very liberating. You’re not wasting time organizing things, archiving things, or otherwise performing housekeeping on a fat stack of files. Throw your data in a note and forget about it.
The Evernote app also allows you the flexibility of creating shortcuts to your most-used notebooks and notes. One click gets you to a current project rather than having to go through a list of notebooks every time.
5) The Extras
Wherever I am, whatever device I have with me, if I can get to the Internet I can get to my notes. If I’m going to travel somewhere coverage might be sketchy (a very real possibility for me now that US Cellular has carved up and sold off entire service areas), I can tag certain notebooks as Offline notebooks so I can keep current notes with me at all times.
A Second Screen
I’m not a fan of flipping back and forth between windows, and it’s not always helpful to shrink windows to keep them side by side on a screen. Thus it’s not unusual for me to have a document in progress open on screen, and the notes related to that project open on the iPad or smartphone next to me. It’s a small thing, but I like it.
Reminders and To-Dos
I personally prefer Todoist and Google Calendar for these, but Evernote does have these features built in. You can set a reminder to nag you about a meeting or a deadline. You can create checklists of to-dos in a note, and tie them to reminders. It’s all very flexible, I just find it unwieldy compared to Todoist.
Just Do It!
There’s really no right or wrong way to this, and it’s all very adaptable to your style and personality. Get in there and dig around, start creating notes. If you decide you want to handle notes and notebooks differently, you can drag notes to different notebooks.
It’s all very organic, and all a lot more user-friendly than it appears at first glance. Understanding comes quickly. Learn by doing, and don’t be afraid because you’re not going to lose anything.
If you’re ready to get started, please, use my referral link to set up your Evernote account. I’d appreciate it!
“Lie with the Dead,” the second installment in Mike Oliveri’s werewolf noir series, “The Pack,” will be released in March, following the release of a revised edition of book one, “Winter Kill” in February.
“Lie with the Dead” continues FBI special agent Angela Wallace’s search for answers about the mysterious Tyler clan and the bloody aftermath of the shootout with gun runners that left her recovering in a hospital. In book two, the trail leads her to a deserted mining town in Nevada where, once again, she finds herself fighting for her life against unseen enemies hellbent on keeping secrets buried.
“Lie with the Dead” will be released in trade paperback and digital editions.
This has been a long time coming. I’m excited, folks!
It’s official: the trade paperback edition of Lie with the Dead will be released in October from Evileye Books.
Lie with the Dead is the sequel to Winter Kill, released a few years back.
From the Evileye Books press release:
In book one, “Winter Kill,” Mr. Oliveri introduced us to FBI special agent, Angela Wallace, who travels to Minnesota to investigate the seemingly random killing of tourists in the state’s northern mountain region. There she follows a trail of intrigue that ends in a bloody firefight, leaving her lying in a hospital with more questions than when she opened the case.
Now in “Lie with the Dead,” Agent Wallace follows the trail to an abandoned town in Nevada, but quickly finds she is once again fighting for her life as she gets closer to the truth about the Tylers. Meanwhile, back in the Tyler homestead, rifts between the brothers is tearing the family apart, making old wounds surface and leading to an unforgettable book-ending twist.
It took far longer than I anticipated to finish Lie with the Dead, but I think fans of the first book will find it’s worth the wait. For those new to the series, The Pack from Evileye Books also includes the prose short “Bravo Four” and the free comic Big Bad Wolves (featuring art by Mike Henderson). The Pack is the follow-up series to the comic Werewolves: Call of the Wild I published with Moonstone Books.
Book 3 and the next short story are under way. More soon.
Storms have rolled through here every day for the past several days. There’s a lull in one right now, so I’m outside with a small Sancho Panza cigar, pounding at the keys and enjoying the cooler weather. The bugs and toads are singing again, and everything is shiny and wet. The sky keeps flashing to the east and south, and a nice rumble will roll through several seconds later. There’s an ominous beauty about it all: serene and quiet, but it could all go to hell at any moment.
I should probably be working on a short story, but I’m physically exhausted and the mind is going a hundred miles an hour in different directions, so it’s not happening. I owe an editor and a collaborator some email, but those responses need more thought, too. Instead, I’m going to exorcise some of this other nonsense right here and clear out the works.
That’ll do it for now. I hope to have that Chromebook review for you soon. Given a few recent conversations, I may put together something about how I use Evernote to support my writing, too. Tomorrow, I rewrite and resubmit a short story.
It may not be apparent to the rest of you (yet), but the last month has been good to me. First, the publishers of a work-for-hire OGN project accepted the final draft of the script. Second, my editor at Evileye accepted the final draft of Lie with the Dead. And finally, I started a few things rolling on a couple of smaller projects before moving on to my next big one.
Oh, and I also built a new desk, which I continue to enjoy the hell out of.
This week marked the two-year anniversary of my first appearance on Shotgun Honey. Two years is entirely too long, so I cranked out another flash piece for them on that day. Hopefully they like it and I’ll have a second appearance in the near future. It’s still going strong as a fun little crime fiction site, and they have several repeat offenders. I was honored to be included in their first anthology, Both Barrels, and my next goal is to make deadline for their second book. (If I don’t make it in time, no worries; there’s another cool crime ‘zine I’d like to return to, too.)
Deadliest of the Species is hitting e-readers everywhere, but no reviews yet. Weird. I’ve heard from several folks holding out for the trade paperback edition, though. I’ll have more news on that front as Evileye Books and I put Lie with the Dead to bed.
I’m happy to say the publisher at Evileye was very pleased with the way Lie with the Dead turned out. He had a handful of very small notes which will be addressed no later than this weekend, if not by tomorrow. I look forward to having firm release news soon, as well as being able to share a small surprise for Winter Kill.
If you dug “Bravo Four”, the next The Pack short is under way. I have several planned and will continue to work on them as my editor and I nail down the outline for the next The Pack novel.
I will also have a short story collab going up on Kindle soon. I’ve got the original version edited on paper and will get those edits in place, and then I need to talk to some folks about designing a cover. If said cover won’t break the bank, I’ll have it live sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.
All of this is part of my revised Exit Strategy, which is my plan to get enough projects out there to write full time. I do all right when I finally have something available, but it’s still far from financially feasible to quit the day gig. I’m working up a few things that will help, but the Exit Strategy is long-term, not an immediate solution. For the next few months, at least, I’ve concentrated on making it realistic and attainable. So far, so good. I’ll check off the last goal box for last month very soon and be on track for this month thanks to some vacation time. (For the record, while there is a lot I like about my job, I can’t see myself doing it for another 20 or 30 years. Thus the Exit Strategy.)
And so begins what I intend to be a long and fruitful summer. Stay with me, folks, it’s getting better.
Featuring artwork by Mike Henderson, Big Bad Wolves introduces some of the characters from the first book in the Pack series, Winter Kill. In fact, it sets up the incident that kicks off the opening events of the novel.
If you’d prefer a shorter (and, let’s be honest, cheaper) introduction to The Pack, check out the short story “Bravo Four” for only 99 cents. Set in Vietnam, “Bravo Four” dips a little into the back story of the series, and it includes an extended preview of Winter Kill.
Nook readers, I’ve got some news for you: the first short story in The Pack series, “Bravo Four”, is now available in the Nook store!
Werewolves in Vietnam. What’s not to love? New readers to the series will be able to jump right in, and fans will get a glimpse into the history behind the series.
As with the Kindle edition, the package includes an extended preview of the first Pack novel, Winter Kill.
All for only 99 cents.
Download and enjoy, my friends.
This alleged Bigfoot sighting video could have come straight out of The Pack:
The only difference is in my telling, the campers take a shot at Bigfoot rather than run away.
The video is referenced in the first chapter of Winter Kill as two Bigfoot hunters are hiking through the woods. Dubbed the KenWood Video in the book, it in a sense kicks off the events of the novel when the hunters make a much deadlier discovery.
The recording of the KenWood Video itself is chronicled in the short comic Big Bad Wolves (featuring artwork by Mike Henderson). You’ll see what’s really behind the Bigfoot in the video, as well as meet two of the main characters from the series.
Who needs transmedia when reality does the work for you?
HWA members will be seeing a new ad in their newsletter shortly:
Kindle not your thing? There’s still the trade paperback edition.
A few people have downloaded Winter Kill after reading the 99-cent short story “Bravo Four” (which includes an extended intro to WK). Feedback for both continues to be strong, and a few new reviews have appeared. At this point, I feel like it’s all about rebuilding some of the momentum lost in the delay between WK and LwtD.
There’s more in the works to help with that, too. Stay tuned.
Things may look quiet around here, but I’ve been busy as hell in the background.
First, I’m happy to announce I sold a short story called “The Wrench in Her Works” to the first Shotgun Honey anthology, which I believe is scheduled for an October release. The full contents are not public yet, but there are some great contributors lined up and I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing.
Second, I’ve signed a new contract for Relics & Remains, so my horror short “Good for What Ails Ya” may make an appearance before long after all. It sounds like the anthology is in good hands, so if all the contributors are aboard for the second attempt, the book will drop sooner rather than later.
Lie with the Dead is still under review with my editor at Evileye, and I hope to have the last round of revisions back soon. Then it’s one last round of proofing and editing before it goes into the publication pipeline. I hope to have a release date for you soon, hopefully before the end of the year.
LwtD is a sequel to Winter Kill, which is still available on Kindle and in TPB. You can also get an extended preview of Winter Kill with the “Bravo Four” short for only 99 cents on Kindle. Expect another Pack short before long, too.
This week I’ll be wrapping up the scripts for a comic mini/OGN. I’m under contract, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. When the company makes their announcements and editorial has approved the first draft and things are moving along, then I’ll share. I hate jinxing projects, and I’ve had enough books fall out from under me over the years that I’m starting to feel like a tease.
Any Oliveri completists in the house? Check out Financial Intelligence from Smarter Comics. I adapted the book to script. Probably one of the toughest gigs I’ve taken (I’m just not an accounting guy), but it paid some bills and it’s set me up for some more work from the publisher. These are the kinds of gigs which get me one step closer to writing full time and escaping IT hell.
Finally, this weekend I’ll be firing off the third entry in my new Dispatches from the Front column over at Indie Pulp. The first two entries, “Darkness is Darkness, Blood is Blood” and “Gods vs Engineers” are still available.
The rest is all hush-hush and in development. I’ve got some research to do, and of course I need to put in a lot of keyboard time. I may be facing an artist hunt before long, which I’m both excited about and dreading.
Just gotta keep moving forward.