Tag Archives: The Yak Guy Project

A little update

We cancelled our weekend camping trip, so we’re going to be sticking around the house this weekend. When I left my office, it was 100 degrees outside. The low country was pretty much that temperature. When I climbed up to the bench, it hit 106.

Bulldogs tip over and die at those temperatures. Our weekend would have been spent with wet towels, possibly dunking dogs in the lake, etc. That doesn’t sound like much of a camp out to me.

My plan is to write as much as possible. We might get a shot at date night since payday is in about five hours.

In other news, I created a BookBub account. People who are smarter than me said it’s the place to be, so now I am. I’m still figuring it all out, and it seems like a kinder gentler version of Goodreads.

I’m telling you this so you can all rush over there and check it out. I’ll need BookBub friends, and the extremely generous ones can post your reviews there too. Okay enough pimping my new location. Here is my BookBub Link. I’m open to any tips you guys have about finding my way around there.

New topic. Rosie’s Book Review Team has been extremely kind to me over the years. These wonderful ladies take a chance on my books and post honest reviews. I’m thrilled that those reviews have all been favorable.

If you’re an author, you need to know about this group. What better way to check out their site than to check out the five-star review Robbie Cheadle gave to The Yak Guy Project. I’ll be monitoring the comments and hope to see you there. Feel free to share the post on your various social media accounts.

Here is the link” Rosie’s Book Review Team.

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The Yak Guy Project, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you lost wanderers, and those without purpose. You’ve found Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. Except for this week, that is.

This week you get me, talking about Craig’s book, The Yak Guy Project. I’ve run out of guests right now, and want to keep the slot open for everyone.

It’s okay though, I was there through the writing of this whole story. I can wing it enough to pull this off. As an example, see this poster.

It’s about this rotten kid, who leeches off his friends, and brings nothing to the table. At the beginning of the book he wakes up having been dumped in the desert. Guess people grew tired of his crap.

He gets rescued by a talking yak, but the whole thing is a setup. He’s been relocated to an alternate reality, and given a chance to start over. This means he has to learn some of the things he failed to learn the first time.

These lessons are pretty simple at their heart, but they aren’t easy. Many of them are a matter of life and death. More important are the lessons about understanding others.

Yak Guy has to learn all of this before he can be considered complete. He isn’t the center of the universe, and other people aren’t there to serve him.

Some of you might find it interesting that this story is based loosely around the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Understanding of this isn’t important to the story, but if you know something about the Tarot, you might enjoy spotting the characters and situations involved. As your first clue, Yak Guy is The Fool.

This book has been on kind of a slow burn, it sells, but slowly. Reviews are coming in, but slowly. Some books seem to do this, and there is no rhyme or reason to which one it will be. Maybe Craig released it too close to summer.

I have two issues for all of you today. First is to consider checking out The Yak Guy Project, because this is what we do on Lisa Burton Radio. I’m not going to add fancy links and cover art, because this broadcast will post to Craig’s blog after I go off the air. All you have to do is visit the sidebar and click on the cover art there.

My second pitch is for more guests. These interviews seem to be a feast or famine kind of deal. We either have too many guests to cover them all in a reasonable time, or not enough to keep the line moving. Some authors get tired of waiting and drop out. Usually this is after we’ve done all the work to get their interview ready.

This spot is for you to promote your wares. It’s been productive, because some of you dropped me lines and told me you moved copies on the day of the post. Some authors are sharing their interview on social media a year after we conducted it. You get out of it, what you put into it.

Drop me a line. Would one of your characters like to have an interview by the most awesome robot girl with her own radio show? Could your book use a bit of free promotion?

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Home cookin, and my own bed

My work trip is over. I’m really looking forward to some home cooking and sleeping in my own bed.

The work part was productive, even if it was a bit of hard work. McCall is a pretty nice place, and it isn’t too far from Boise. It’s a resortish area. It isn’t quite like Sun Valley, or Jackson Hole, but it’s getting there.

This is an iPhone shot out the window of the restaurant we ate at last night to give you an idea.

Speaking of the restaurant, how could I pass this up…honestly?

As the author of The Yak Guy Project, I felt obligated to try them. They were good, but very lean. Reminded me a bit of range beef, if anyone knows what I’m talking about. This is beef that never went to a feedlot to get fattened up before going to the slaughter house. Growing up out West, range beef is kind of a staple. You can always buy directly from the rancher, say a 1/2 beef at a time.

Home cooking amounted to a scrambled egg sandwich. Meh, can’t have everything. Old What’s Her Face didn’t know when I was coming home, and I respect not wanting to prepare something fancy if I wouldn’t be home in time. I honestly didn’t know when I would get home. I was at the mercy of the group.

I’m off for the next three days, and hope to accomplish a couple of things. I need to work on some interviews, and I’d like to move my pirate story along too. I’ll have prime writing time, because my daughter is already in Sun Valley, and my wife has to work.

I already know I’m going to have to force things on the pirate story. In real world time, they are holed up doing repairs that will take a long time. In story time, I’m going to have it take a month, but that’s speeding things up. My mission is to deliver the concept of time to my readers, and divert their attention with a side trip for two characters. This is because I want to expand them a bit, make what is really going on be a surprise when it’s revealed, and maybe even dabble in a tiny bit of romance on a tropical island.

I can keep some tension by having the best friend complain that the main mission seems to be getting lost. Spread a bit of dissent, that kind of thing.

Piece of cake, right?

I probably missed some things while I was gone. I’ll browse pretty fast in an attempt to catch up, but I’m almost certain to not read every bit of what I’m trying to catch up on. Hope you guys understand.

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Time to move on to the next project

The Yak Guy Project has been launched. The tour is over, and it’s safe to come out now. I always try to reblog for my hosts as a way of paying them back. If you missed the tour, you can still catch up by scrolling back through my feed. If you have a mind to.

I am grateful to all of my hosts, and you can all borrow my blog space any time you like.

During the tour, we sold a few books, and even managed to garner a few reviews – all of which were favorable. I intend to share any review blogs I stumble across in the next few months too. Of course, if the reviewer just manages to find Amazon to post, that is more than enough for me.

I want to get back to my work in progress, but that’s going to take at least two weeks. I’m sure there will be a warming up phase too, because I’ve been away from it for a while.

I’ve also been thinking ahead. Pinterest is a wonderful source of inspiration for me. I came across some great black and white photos from colonial Africa, and added them to a board called, “The One I May Never Write.” Many of these were people around campfires, and their faces are so interesting. There is so much character there.

Part of what’s holding me back here is popular sentiment about hunting. I can’t, in good conscience, take people from that era and work around the modern concepts of how evil hunting in all forms is. A young man in that era would want to go on safari, and he would enjoy the process. I used to be a big time hunter myself, and still look forward to my annual grouse dinner. I can write that part pretty convincingly.

I’ve toyed with some tricks. The woman in the story would be a local, and might impart some sensibility into his thought process. The group might be able to eat an entire impala, but it’s absurd to take an elephant for supper. The other trick is dealing with a man eater of some kind. Probably need a man eater in one of my type stories anyway.

The outline has a lot going for it, but the question remains. Will modern sentimentality kill this book faster than a .450 Jeffries to the head. It has a lot going for it, like magic, awesome setting, a love interest, a bit of war involving multiple factions, and oh yeah… diamonds.

Then there is a bit of author magic I need to do. I want to weave together some elements of style to help bring the setting up to something with a little more romance. There are some cool pins I’ve saved for that too. If you want, you can check the Pinterest Board. The debate still goes on in my mind. Should I dedicate months to write something the haters with an agenda could very well attack?

I don’t get it, but if you kill a fictional monster you’re a hero, kill a fictional lion and you’re a bad guy.

I also have a few different ideas involving Lizzie and the Hat. I’m determined to bring them back somehow, because that book performed really well.

Before anything else, we’re going to Las Vegas this weekend. Back when we still had money, we bought tickets to the Pink concert. I may be harder to catch this weekend, but I will get to everything somehow. This is my wife’s dream concert, but I’m kind of jazzed about it too. I’ve seen bits and pieces of her performances, and she puts on quite a show.

The following weekend, I left a bunch of people afloat on the ocean in a small ship, with piracy on their minds.

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Excerpt of The Yak Guy Project

Hi, gang. I’m over at Harmony Kent’s blog today sharing an excerpt of The Yak Guy Project. While you’re there, check out Harmony’s site too. She an awesome author, and one of my Story Empire partners. Here is the link.

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An update

My regulars will probably understand that I’m involved in a blog tour right now. I’ve been sweeping through those posts like a madman and trying to keep up with the comments. I’ve also been sharing them on this site, so if you miss one, you can link to it from here.

I garnered a couple of awesome reviews, and books are selling. As a new publication, I can always use more sales and reviews. Fingers crossed that the remaining tour posts will net some more folks next week. There aren’t many left, but they are productive locations.

I got a notice from Stumbleupon that some of my posts are being shared. Both Flipboard and Stumbleupon are kind of odd ducks. Either of them can cause a post to go crazy, but they have an odd rule to keep in mind. They don’t want you only sharing your own content. If you do, they’ll filter you back.

This filter is all run by bots of some kind, so they don’t know what the content involves, just what blog I shared it from. When I checked out the notice, the Stumbleupon action was about my blog tour posts, but only because I shared the host’s post and not my own. Kind of a cool trick. I’m in the habit of sharing other posts from my friends, so I don’t get filtered now.

If you got some action from SU, that could have been because of me this week.

Yesterday, I did some minimal yard work, and still need to work on the sprinkler system. The dogs got to chase the squirrel. Well, Otto likes to chase him, Frankie likes to chase Otto.

They’ve gotten so attuned to the squirrel that we have to be careful saying the word. We moved on to rodent, and now they know that too. I’ve taken to referring to the arboreal mammal.

Yesterday, Frankie spotted him and put her feet on the sliding glass door. Then she checked for Otto. When I got up, the squirrel was perched on the fence, and looking toward her in the house. I swear the squirrel is into it too and wanted me to let them out. End result, everyone is crazy and happy.

We even managed a cheap date night last night.

Today, I dealt with three more Lisa interviews. I really want to get back to my WIP, but by putting it off, it freed me up for my release, tour, and some of my blog duties. I’m hoping to return to my story next month.

I also wrote my next post for Story Empire and got it scheduled today. I consider it a fairly productive weekend. Tomorrow will be all about calling my parents and working on that sprinkler system.

Hope all of you are having a great weekend.

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Success!

Today is the day. I didn’t get everything I wanted finished, but the heavy lifting is done. The Yak Guy Project is live on Amazon.

I dragged my feet getting started today. It’s been a long couple of weeks at work, and that 6:30 start time was fine with me for a change. I sipped my coffee under a pile of bulldogs, and surfed through social media.

For my second cup, I worked on uploading the story. I wound up doing some spastic “swipe” maneuver and lost everything I’d done to that point. The second entry worked, then the nail biting while waiting began.

While waiting, I wrestled with three different artwork programs to make a graphic for Twitter. After I got the word from Amazon, I updated my sidebar and the cover is a purchase link. The slideshow took a bit more effort, but Yak Guy shows up in the rotation now too.

I made the first step on the only paid promotion I used last book. I’m still waiting for a PayPal invoice, but that’s in the works now.

I really like to do things in A-B-C order under my own roof. I have to operate in a more helter-skelter fashion at my workplace, but try to avoid it here, because it stresses me out. Wasn’t meant to be this time. It’s more A-B1/2-C-B2/2, but I can handle it… tomorrow that is.

I’ll either get the invoice and finish that part, or jump ahead with the first wave of blog tour stuff.

There were some small things too, like getting it set up on Goodreads, Lisa posted about it on her Facebook site. That kind of thing. Lisa and I will be making the rounds soon, and there will be some new Lisa posters on her part of the tour.

So, new book. I reckon I ought to tell you about it. This is my site, and this is where my friends are. This means no deeply thought out third person blurb, just me telling you about the story. You’ll get more tidbits during the blog tour that’s coming soon.

Let’s start with this cool cover from Sean Harrington:

The cover tells you a bunch about the setting. You have a pseudo modern outfit, but with some feudal bits like the sword. The presence of the yak indicates there is no spaceship, Jeep, or dirt bike.

Yak Guy wakes up in the desert with no idea what happened to him. All his life, he’s used others to get whatever he wants. He’s the guy who will sleep on your couch, eat your food, and drink your beer. He’ll let you do the cooking and the cleanup too, but that life just ended – forever.

He’s rescued by a talking yak, who tells him he’s gotten a second chance at life. Change is required, work must be done, survival is optional.

Those who’ve followed regularly will remember this is the one I based upon The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. An understanding of Tarot is not required to enjoy the story. Those with deeper knowledge will probably be able to pick out some of the Tarot characters and lessons, but like I said, not a prerequisite.

Yak Guy’s world was once modern, but hundreds of years of war destroyed all of that. I worked pretty hard to weave in some bits about what was lost, but not lose the situation they have during the events of this story. Right now, the idea of horsepower comes from actual horses, and they fight with pokey things.

Early sales and reviews are so important to a book. If you’re so inclined, this is the universal link http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07D1QY9Y7 It should take you to the correct Amazon outlet, no matter where you are in the world.

There are other things you can do too. Mark it as something you’re interested in on Goodreads. Share this post. Go to Amazon and use the sharing buttons directly from the purchase site. I already added it to one of my Pinterest boards from there. I also have that pinned tweet you can share. This post will auto-feed to the Entertaining Stories Facebook page, so you can share it there, or share the one Lisa made on her site. None of these efforts requires you to buy the book at all, but it will help spread the word.

I hope I’ve piqued your interest, and I’m excited to bring this one to you. I’m also excited to put it out there before school lets out for the summer. I’m declaring success for today, and I’ll work on more promo stuff tomorrow.

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Planning the weekend

Today marks the end of the longest two weeks we have at my paycheck job each year. In the last two weeks, I’ve had to put on a tie three times, make two presentations to groups, and several small ones to a political body. Prior to that it was all research, scripting, and Powerpoint stuff to get ready. But it all ends today! (Of course, I’m behind now at other work projects.)

On Tuesday morning, I received the upload copy of The Yak Guy Project from my formatter. Do you have any idea how hard it is to park on that for days that never end? Well, it’s hard for me.

Saturday is another matter. I can do my early chores, and start hammering it through Amazon. I have contacted the usual suspects and they agreed to help me with one of my home-made blog tours. There are a pile of pre-written posts in an attempt to keep them all unique. I also have some Lisa Burton art I’ve been parked on for nearly a year. I tried to contact folks in a small batch. This way, I can send them stuff and see what’s left. Then I can start a second wave and not lose track of who got what post. I used to do this all at once, and wound of losing track of things. Two waves should work… in theory.

Warning: There will be reblogs at Entertaining Stories. When people help me, it’s the least I can do to try driving them some traffic too.

I’ll send everything to my hosts after Amazon gives me the green light. After that, I need to update my sidebar to reflect the new title, deal with Goodreads, and all the peripheral stuff.

I already took the time to give the place a facelift. We have some nice fruit trees in bloom to replace the mud of Spring. Lisa’s ice sculpture of The Hat finally melted in the banner, but the yak is sticking around.

This is always an exciting time, but it kind of stresses me out. In some ways uploading to Amazon feels like putting my manuscript through a shredder. I had one bad experience many years ago and it’s stuck with me.

I can’t wait to get through this day, but the weekend will all happen in due time. I just have to remember this calming lesson:

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Riding the wave

Life seems to come in waves. If you’re on a roll with a project, it seems to build it’s own momentum. Projects at the office seem to go that way too. When things go wrong, they seem to keep going wrong.

I’ve completely given up on my WIP for now. This is the pirate story, and I’m desperate to get back to it. Even the determination to set it aside makes me feel better. It’s one less thing I have to worry about.

I have company this weekend, and that comes with it’s own challenges. I elected to stay home with Dad while my wife and mother went to town. I don’t need anything from town anyway.

Dad and I talked a bunch yesterday, but today he wants to stare at the Golf Channel. I took the opportunity to work on things that don’t require deep thought.

One of those things is The Yak Guy Project. I wrote two more advance blog posts. Since I know this story so well, I don’t have to work in total silence. Putting together a unique promo post isn’t that hard.

I also sent Yak Guy to my formatter. I’ve convinced myself that summer releases suck, at least in my genres. May isn’t quite summer though, is it?

The dogs woke me up early this morning. I took advantage to write up one shtick for Lisa Burton Radio and got it sent to the author. It wasn’t two or three, but even one is forward progress.

Honestly, I never expected to get this much done, so it’s kind of a bonus.

In other news, it looks like we need a new battery for my wife’s car. That’s not a huge deal, but it’s about par for the course lately.

This is a wave, and I’ll ride it out. There will be another wave, and hopefully it has a pirate ship and a few monsters on it.

I feel good about moving Yak Guy forward. This means two releases in 2018, and that isn’t bad. I don’t feel the need to complete my current project for a 2018 release. It could happen come winter, but if it happens in 2019 that’s fine too.

On a fun note, when my daughter got a cat, I was worried about Frankie wanting to kill him. She has a different attitude about such things. There was some careful monitoring of their relationship along the way.

These days, Frankie and Jackson the cat are best buds. Good enough to eat from the same dish.

Frankie has more of an underslung jaw than Otto. She tends to flick kibble out of her bowl when she eats. Jackson likes to bat them around the floor before eating them himself.

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Mediocre Wednesday

This is my first flex day since my trip to New Orleans. I got one day off, when I returned home, then had to return to the office. This means I had high hopes for today.

There were three goals: Work on Lisa Burton interviews, add back material to a novel, work on my current novel.

I accomplished that, but it was a stretch to call it productive. I tried to do the writing in the early hours. The dogs are usually quiet, and my daughter is still in bed. I got up about 5:30 and got started.

These two usually crawl up in my oversized chair and conk out for a while. Some days they jockey for position, and today was one of those. Frankie tries to get Otto interested in anything else, so he will get down and she can steal the sweet spot.

This led to Frankie wanting outside about a hundred times, but Otto wasn’t biting. She brought toys up and stuck them in his face. Nope.

I added to the problem, because old guys have to get up and pee frequently. I still added to my WIP, but it was only around 1500 words. It feels disappointing, but my characters dealt with an attack by the assassins, a swivel gun (small cannon) blew the crap out of a bunch of people, and they left town under cover of darkness. My main character has made a sea change in how he’s going about his business.

This means, he’s decided he isn’t his father and his skills are in a different field, and that field is the sea. I’ll have to wait until next weekend to dig up some graves and launch the first ship in this tale.

My daughter got up and brought this to an end. She talked my ears off until it was time for her to go to work. I love her, but this was a loss of hours of possibility.

The next thing that happens is my wife returning from work. In the small gap in between, I tackled the other projects.

I managed one shtick for a Lisa Burton interview and sent it out.

I added a title page and copyright data to the MS of The Yak Guy Project. I also wrote some end material to the book — twice. I have no idea what happened there. I added it, and it was gone. This is a major freak out point for me, because I wonder what else happened to the MS. It’s completely edited, and ready to go. Now I’ll probably have to read it again to make sure something isn’t plunked into the center of the book that doesn’t belong there.

No rush, because I don’t have the cash for formatting right now, but it’s not what I wanted to happen.

New Orleans earned me some comp time. I may have to take a day and use it selfishly for my projects. This is a tough time to take from work, but I might wrangle a day. After May, I could probably take a week, but I want Yak Guy out before Summer.

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