independent publishing, mirage stories

Winning the Rainbow: A Chance to Survive in the World of Indie Publishing

With each swing of the pendulum of time, the clock of eternity ticks ever closer to the inevitable Showdown at Sundown.

I wrote this quote on my whiteboard back at the tail-end of 2010, and at the time I thought it was the most profound thing that anyone, anywhere, in all of space and time, had ever written. I thought I had struck gold and it was going to have an honoured place introducing the first story in my grand mosaic, not unlike the ominous plaque above the entrance to Dante’s Inferno: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here. Like the epithet above hell, it would equally tease the greatest story ever written and offer a shape of things to come. Then I started to read Plato, Dickens, Coleridge, Wordsworth, as well as Tolkien’s extended mythology, and woke up to reality. I suddenly realised the greatest metaphor ever written was prosaic, immature, and—honestly—rather pretentious. “I can do better”, I told myself. And after many years, and countless hours writing, researching, and avoiding responsibilities, I feel like I’m finally reaching that magical point of being “better”.

Ergo, it’s time to enter the next phase of my writing life, and this weekend my wife and I took the first steps on the road towards the grand and alluring City of Oz twinkling just over the horizon. Those of you close to us will know that 2018 is going to be a year of great change and transformation for Mirage. A kind of metamorphosis is going to take place, one from which there is no going back. I’ve tried—rather foolishly—to drag myself out of my shell a couple of times in the past, and each time I realised I wasn’t ready to be outside yet, and I was able scuttle back inside before everything that I had fell apart. This time there will be no opportunity for retreat; the shell is far too small for me now, and once I leave it’s going to buckle and break and fall to pieces. It’s either flight or fall at this point, there is no other option.

All of this, of course, is my way of saying that Mirage is shortly going to be in the hands of a significant audience, and the critical response will begin in earnest. Starting next year, I will be attending every major convention—and even a few of the smaller ones, at least those that make financial sense—in Australia. I can’t say, at least right now, when our debut will take place, but I can assure you it will be no later than the Second Quarter.

 

banner mirage 5 final
This banner will be like Polaris. You just have to follow it to find me!

 

To ensure a sense of continuity at these convention, we purchased a new vehicle this weekend. We wanted something that was reliable, versatile, and made sense economically. We decided on a Mitsubishi Triton, with a Turbo Diesel engine to keep the fuel cost to a minimum, and a hard tonneau cover for the ease of safely transporting all of our materials and books.

 

Triton
Everyone keeps telling me that red makes it go faster: So far, they all appear to be right.

 

I have to say, I’m very excited with the purchase, but my euphoria is overshadowed by a nervous flutter in my gut and a terrified voice in my head, because now everything is starting to feel real. There’s no backing out of this anymore, not with a commitment like this hanging over our heads.

We both also bought new glasses on Saturday. This is Crystal’s second pair and my first. I was diagnosed with being slightly far-sighted back in 2008, and the optometrist recommended glasses for reading, though I never followed up on it until this month. Yeah, I know, I’m a bad boy, but the amount of reading, writing, and preparations I’ve been doing since we got married have made it necessary to lower the stress my eyes have been under. I was having some rather severe headaches for a while there, so hopefully now everything will be cool beans.

 

Us w: glasses
The optomotrist said we both had similar tastes. I replied: “Yeah, expensive.” We all laughed, then my wallet cried.

 

As 2017 rapidly comes to a close, Crystal and I will be hard at work, doing what we need to do to guarantee our survival in the uncertain world of indie publishing. We have recently finished our Project Portfolio draft, which comes in at almost 50 pages, all of which will come into play as we roll forward toward these conventions. Additionally, we have also drafted fliers and brochures and are currently working hard on the appendices for the physical editions. There’s some really exciting stuff we’re cooking up, and we can’t wait to share it with all of you!

independent publishing, mirage stories

One Map Down

Greenwich Map 2.jpg

This is the first of about ten maps I need to create before the exclusive physical editions of the books go to print. Excusing the draft, which took about 3 hours to sketch out, this took me a combined 12 hours and 30 minutes to complete. I still need to add in certain names and notations, but as I’m not very competent with calligraphy, I’ll be doing these final touches digitally.

I’m not 100% happy with the final product, but my skill improved immensely as I went along, and I am, at the very least, content. If you follow the trees in a clockwise direction from the western route of the road cutting through the town, you’ll notice see a noticeable improvement the farther you go.

Not too bad, but I can only get better with my future maps. I’ve got a lot of work to do, yet those of you who know me will be well aware that I can’t abide being idle.

Stay tuned for more.

mirage stories

Mirage Weekly Newsletter — 8 September, 2017

In today’s edition of the Mirage Weekly Newsletter, I discuss our progress preparing for next year’s convention appearances, yet another funeral, and a lay of love that has stood the test of time.

Read the full PDF here!

mirage stories

Mirage Weekly Newsletter — 18 August, 2017

In today’s edition of the Mirage Weekly Newsletter, I talk about my hiatus, an extended planet of apes, and plans for physical editions of all Mirage stories.

Read the full PDF here!

mirage stories

Mapping the Future

Although I haven’t spoken publicly about it yet, in the near-future I will be hosting my own booth at an upcoming convention. There’s not a lot I can say about it at the moment, but it’s going to be one of the biggest days of my life. I can’t wait. I really can’t. Months still bridge the gap between now and the grand day, but preparations are already underway!
 
In order to make the loudest noise I can and be heard over the sweltering soup, I will be releasing physical editions of every Mirage story for a scintillating value that is almost guaranteed to turn heads. I’ve never endeavoured to make a slick profit, and I will continue to practice this ideology for as long as I am able. I can’t confirm the prices yet, but I know it won’t disappoint anyone.
 
To add further value to these physical editions, I will be including a range of appendices that will touch upon the world of Mirage in new and exciting ways. Not only will readers of the physical editions understand a bit more of the larger picture, there will be a wealth of new content, such as a succinct timeline of events, revelatory narratives that just might tie off a few loose ends, and a handy map for each individual story.
 
Tonight I spent several hours drafting the geography of the Western Borderlands, where the recent short story, The Voice of the Wild, took place. It’s such a thrilling and peculiarly endearing experience to sketch in some of the blank spaces and see what the characters are seeing—and even what they’re not seeing.
Western Borderlands Beta Map
 
Aren’t maps just the coolest?
mirage stories

Mirage Weekly Newsletter — 28 July, 2017

In today’s edition of the Mirage Weekly Newsletter, I talk about what to expect from next week’s story, The Voice of the Wild, reveal an excerpt from the short story, and have a quick word about the grim reaper, who keeps hovering near me.

Read the full PDF here!