Tag Archives: seventh star

Book Five Underway

Interior_3-4
Book five, the final installment of The Brotherhood of Dwarves series, has begun. My current goal is to complete the manuscript by the end of summer and release it near Thanksgiving. Please, stay tuned as I’ll try to post regular updates on here regarding the status of the manuscript. Some of you have been waiting for nine years for the culmination of this story, and hopefully, you’ll find the resolution satisfactory. Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement over the years. I’m blessed and grateful to have you behind me as I close out this series.

While you wait, if you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to leave reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Book one is only 11 reviews away from hitting 100 on Amazon, and the others still need more reviews, as well. As always, please leave honest critiques that you think will help other readers make an informed decision whether or not my series is for them. I can’t stress enough just how helpful customer reviews can be for books and authors, so please, when you have the time, take a moment and leave your feedback.

One last note, I’m down to two and a half weeks in my education career, so be on the lookout for a couple of posts as I close that chapter of my life and move forward into the next. Again, thank you all for your support. I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.

The Steep Climb

DSC_0968mc
In late 2003, I had a manuscript for the first book of a fantasy series, my first child on the way, a dead-end job at a crappy private college, and zero interest from a major publishing house. In my gut, I knew the series had promise, so I made the decision to self-publish. Back then, self-publishing was much more involved than today. E-readers were still in their infancy (when I submitted book one to Kindle, there were only 40,000 titles available, if memory serves), and self-publishing then meant launching an entire publishing company from scratch. As an educator, I didn’t have much money, so I secured funding through my aunt and uncle, who both read the book and agreed it deserved to be on the market.

There wasn’t enough money to do a color cover in an offset print run, so I decided to go a different route. I wanted to make the cover look old, like a relic from a bygone era. Looking back, that was my biggest mistake. Few people got it; most just thought it was ugly. But I still love the simplicity of that original cover. On February 21, 2005, my son’s first birthday coincidentally, book one returned from the binder, and The Brotherhood of Dwarves series was on the market.

For the first few months, I traveled to every bookstore, comic shop, gaming store, and library in a hundred mile radius, trying to get on their shelves. Some were receptive and encouraging, helping me gain a foothold; others were complete jerks. I organized book signings at local venues, and beat the pavement every free moment I had. I quickly learned that book signings by an unknown author are a complete waste of time. But in June or July 2005, I attended my first fandom convention in Knoxville and sold a bunch of books and T-shirts, so I began focusing my attention on conventions and festivals with solid incoming crowds. By late fall, I had sold about 75% of that first print run and decided to do a second. I made some tweaks to the cover, trying to get the right feel of an aged relic and added a blurb from my friend Cameron Judd, the bestselling Western writer.

At first, the second printing sold really well. I had tremendous momentum, and everything felt like it was moving in the right direction. Then, it was like I hit a wall. Nothing worked. By summer 2006, I couldn’t give the books away, quite literally. During this time frame, my relationship with that crappy private college was deteriorating rapidly, and my marriage was strained. I was working two jobs, plus running the publishing side of things and writing book two. I ran on three to four hours of sleep for almost a year. On September 5, 2006, my second child was born, and despite the joy of that event, everything in my life was crumbling beneath me.

The period from 2006-07 was one of the bleakest of my life. My books weren’t selling at all, my marriage evaporated, my career tanked, and on December 25, 2007, my wife interrupted me playing with my sons to tell me she wanted a divorce. I knew our marriage was over, but the cruelty with which she and the man she left me for handled it will never be forgiven. My memories of early 2008 are a fog. Being a father was the most important aspect of my life, the one thing that kept me going, and losing that full-time role was a blow I almost didn’t get up from. Unless you’ve been through it, I cannot explain the emptiness I felt.

Luckily, I have Scottish genes. Luckily, those genes infused me with an obstinate nature. Luckily, I refused to let her break me. In May 2008, I relaunched book one with a new, color cover and also released book two, Red Sky at Dawn. I slowly started getting back on the convention scene. I worked on book three. I focused more efforts on building an online presence. But sales were sluggish. Too much time had elapsed between books one and two. Most of my earliest readers had forgotten about me, and for a couple of years, I slogged onward, feeling as if I were starting from scratch at every new convention I attended.

My personal life was a wreck. I dated the worst possible women, emotional vampires who spoke sweet lies but beat me down at every opportunity. For several years, I made terrible decisions in my personal life, mistakes that probably set me back professionally, but that’s water under the bridge. No sense dwelling on things I can’t change now. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lessons and won’t repeat those same mistakes ever again. Today, I’m personally in a much better place and with a much, much, much better partner, a woman who accepts me as I am. But again, that’s all a different post for a different day.

By late 2010/early 2011, I realized I had gone as far as I could go as a self-published author, so I began talking to Seventh Star Press about taking over the series. I thought about looking at other publishers, but there was something about Seventh Star, though still a fledgling at the time, that appealed to me, and honestly, I didn’t trust any other publisher to take over my baby. No one else would’ve allowed me to keep the artistic freedom I demanded while offering as much support in terms of platform. On November 28, 2011, SSP released The Fall of Dorkhun. A few months later, they re-released books one and two with new cover art.

From the moment I signed with SSP, momentum began to turn back in my favor. Ever so slowly, I began to inch upward from a completely unknown, self-published author to something more. At conventions, I noticed a shift in how people perceived me. It’s difficult to describe the change, but it was palpable. In December 2012, Between Dark and Light was released, and just recently, book one became a legitimate bestseller during a promotional campaign. It’s been quite the climb, and I’m still not finished.

So here’s my warning to writers chomping at the bit for fame and fortune. Are you willing to wait nine years to see any return? Are you willing to drive 100 miles to sell two books? Are you willing to sit at your booth at a convention for eight hours and speak to every single person who walks by? Are you willing to stay at your booth for sixteen hours because there was a mix-up at the convention and your table is in an unsecured hallway? Are you willing to have doors slammed in your face? Are you willing to feel like you’ve let down everyone who matters to you? Are you willing to endure the slings and arrows from small, petty people? Are you willing to work two jobs AND still write a book? Are you willing to lose everything in your life that matters to you? More than once? Are you willing to press on despite every rational indication insisting that you will never break through? Are you willing to sleep in the back of a broken down SUV for seven weeks because you have nowhere else to go? Are you willing to endure those poisonous late hours all alone, with no promise of brighter days, yet still keep writing?

If you can’t honestly answer yes to every single one of those questions, a career as a fiction writer may not be the right path for you. Every serious writer I have ever met has had to pay their dues, in one form or another, and the great Steve Earle said it best:

Some folks say, if you keep rolling
And you keep it on the yellow line
It’ll take you to the big highway.
But there’s a toll to pay
So if you’re going,
The keeper at the gate is blind
So you better be prepared to pay

There is no secret to success other than never giving up, refusing to lose, refusing to accept no as the final answer. The only formula that works is persistence and faith during the darkest, hardest moments. Everything else is just window dressing. My climb is far from finished, and some days, I feel like there isn’t much gas left in my tank. But failure isn’t an acceptable option for me, so I’ll keep traveling to conventions, talking to readers, engaging people on a personal level, caring about them as human beings not dollar signs, writing these blog posts about my road, asking for reviews, and sincerely thanking people for using their hard-earned money to buy my work and their precious time to read it. That’s how I inch forward; that’s my formula.

I’m D.A. Adams, and I’ve just begun kicking ass!

Devastating News

Cover1

I just received word that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have both halted sales of my series because of a couple of humorous blog posts from a couple of years back. Apparently, I violated both companies’ “Non-Offensive Sanitized Language” policies with my jokes about Cletus McOnetooth, Billy Joe Oilmoney, and Bubba Blacklung. What kind of country do we live in where people are so easily offended that we’ll destroy a person’s career over harmless satire? I’m just devastated. Nine years of my life down the drain over a handful of entries that only my friends and family actually read. I can’t believe this is happening, especially after the recent successes.

Amazon and Nook Books Bestseller

The Brotherhood of Dwarves - Book One
The Brotherhood of Dwarves – Book One

Yesterday, The Brotherhood of Dwarves became a bestselling book, hitting #6 of all Fantasy titles on Amazon and #143 of all books and rising to #51 of all titles on Nook Books. A huge round of applause needs to go out to everyone at Seventh Star Press for their efforts, and a personal thank you is extended to all of my friends and readers who helped keep this series alive over the years. Without all of you, I would have faded away long ago. While this surge of success is wonderful, the hard work is just beginning in order to keep growing and expanding the readership base.

If you are just now discovering this series, I want to express my gratitude for you taking a chance on my work. Even if you end up not liking the first book, I appreciate that you took the time to read it. As I’ve expressed to many people over the years, please offer me your feedback, as I love to hear what readers think. That’s how I can grow and improve as an author. Please know that I make every effort to respond to everyone personally and encourage you to engage with me on here, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

Welcome to The Brotherhood of Dwarves, the adventure you’ve been waiting for! As always, thank you for your support.

St. Patrick’s Day Dwarven Extravaganza!

Seventh Star Press Open House
So for a few weeks now, I’ve been promising big news, and now, I can announce it. Today, The Brotherhood of Dwarves will be featured on Book Bub as a fantasy recommendation (though I’m not entirely certain at what time). For those of you not familiar with the site, it has over two million subscribers, and while obviously not all are fantasy readers, its fantasy subscribers are fairly robust and quite loyal. Today has a chance to be quite a day for the series.

So check back this evening to see what kind of fireworks Seventh Star Press has created, and have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

The Drums Are Rumbling

The Brotherhood of Dwarves - Book One
The Brotherhood of Dwarves – Book One

The dwarven invasion is underway! For a limited time book one, The Brotherhood of Dwarves, is available for $.99 on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo readers.

Here are some review snipets:

“Simply put, Adams delivers a masterful work of fiction. One that you can share with your children. One that you’ll read more than once. One that’ll leave you wanting to read more books like it.” – Amazon Review

“D.A. Adams puts together a story that I found myself reading from start to finish in less than a day”- Watch Play Read

“This story of self discovery is a fine read and I very much appreciate that the character focus is on dwarves. No cookie cutter, young, perfect characters. Real, genuine and unique.” – Jess Resides Here

“If you love intricate world-building, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book. If you like action and adventure, swords and arrows and more, you’ll love it too. And if you’re eager to see those working-class dwarves take a stand, this has to be the series for you.” – Sheila Deeth Blog

“Adams takes time to craft believable characters, even though they are fantastical beings, with their own histories and cultures. This gives a great context to the characters and their decisions and motivations – often lacking from the fantasy genre. It is also tremendous fun to read.” – Amazon Review

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

This Is My Family

Humble beginnings...
Humble beginnings…

Before the big promotion gets into full song, I want to take some time to thank the people who have supported me over the years. You folks encouraged me when I was a “the self-published guy” at conventions; you picked me up when I got knocked flat, more than once; and you believed in me when no one else did. Without all of you, I wouldn’t have toughed it out and continued forward with the series. Regardless of what happens with this promotion, every single one of you has a special place in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for all the love you have shown me. If I forget anyone, please accept my deepest apologies; putting together a list like this isn’t always easy.  Also, if you disagree with your category, as some readers are friends and some friends readers, please don’t take offense:

Readers – Patty Reed, proud owner of the very first copy of The Brotherhood of Dwarves; Aaron Price, my man the guitar dwarf; Dino Hicks; Sandra Quinton Ward; Joel Gates; Shon Medley; Steven and Janet West; Robert Gonzales; Misty Kat Gutierrez-Waller; Joanna Witkowski; Jessica Lay; Jennifer Morton Perkins; Floyd Brigdon; Christy Alaska Reece Vance; Crystal Rhea, who once told me she wished she could have more children so she could name one Roskin; Chris Walker; Ashley Franks; Amy and Roscoe Crittendan; Alice Walker-Buchanan; Alicia Justice; Reanna Berry; Kristie McKinley; Kriss Morton; Jileah Sampson; Herika Raymer; Rob Kirkpatrick; Coco Rivers; Xavier Rothechilde; John Chingren; Matt Small; Carrie and Duane Collins; Alicia Gardner, who regularly interacts of my Facebook page; and Chad Johnstone. You all have stood by my work for many years and deserve back more than I can ever return.

Colleagues – Viki Rouse; Bill Clampitt; Theran Muggleston; Heather Easterly; Betsy Long; Kay Heck; John Jessel; Doug Waddell; Paulette Golden; Tim Holder; Samantha Isasi; Terry Rawlinson; Christopher Lee; Steve and Kathy Alcorn; David Atkins; Aaron Wilmon; Jason Fishel; Julianna Gregory; Rachel Cassity; Chip McClain; Jason Dixon; John Oxford; Sherri Jacobs; Sue Frazier; Denise Wood; Erika Stevens; Birgit Kuban Austin; Robin Ringer; and Amanda Barnes. It’s been a pleasure serving in the trenches with you. I’m certain I’m leaving out some of you from the Tusculum years, but again, please don’t be offended.

Writers – Cameron Judd, who encouraged me so much in the early days; Brady Allen; Bob Holton; Sean Taylor; Dan Jolley; Bobby Nash; Joe Dickerson; James Tuck; Steven Shrewsbury; Elizabeth Donald; Jimmy Gillentine; Megan Lindholm; Jonathan Maberry; Glen Cook; Selah Janel; Ed Crandell; Rocky Perry; Rick Wormwood; M.R. Williamson; P.S. Gifford; Laura Jean Underwood; Kimberly Richardson; Andrea Judy; Joy Ward; J.L. Mulvihill; Jim Gavin; Georgia Jones; Angelia Sparrow; Tamara Lowery; Allan Gilbreath; Marian Allen; Jon Edward Klement; Larry Buttram; M.B. Weston; Haley Elizabeth Garwood; Stan Mitchell, who promoted me on his newspaper before anyone else; and Andy Deane. You all accepted me as one of the gang and made me feel welcome in this crazy profession.

Students – There are literally too many to list here, and I would probably leave out someone important. If you were ever a student of mine, please know that I will always remember you, even if I can’t always remember your names. Some of you have become dear friends, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to share my knowledge with you. Please, continue to interact with me on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and anywhere else we might meet.

Friends – Dagan Smith, the best friend a man could hope for; Stephen Zimmer, who believed in me when I had lost faith in myself; Philip Hopkins, a great friend AND a great editor; Christopher Rico; Christopher Koeppel; Amelia Ragland Russell; Tilman Goins; Tyrone Smith; Jack Tribble; Scott McNabb; Keith Baker; and Heath Tatum. You all have given me more than I deserve, and any person with half as many friends who are half as good would still be deeply blessed.

Family – Collin; Finn; Mom; Dad; Marsha; Marty; Breezy; Christa; Jenna; Sammie; Jackson; Aunt Jane and Uncle Leroy; Aunt Jane and Uncle Bill; Janette; Angel; Aunt Billie; Shane and Dennis; and those who’ve passed on. I love you all.

Finally, I want to thank Tracy Kinsler, who offered me friendship when I needed it, who accepts me as I am, scars and all, who appreciates the little things, and who does the little things. You are stuck with me, now.

These next few days are going to be exciting and nerve-wrecking, but hold onto your hats because the ride could get pretty fun.

PS. If I accidentally omitted you, please send me a message, and I’ll add you in.