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I know it may not seem like it with all of the Ophelia, Doll promoting that I’ve been doing, but asking for help is a terribly difficult thing for me to do. In part, it made the overwhelmingly positive responses and preorders I received that much more meaningful. I wrote the book, but you guys are responsible for having kept me in the running with this contest. You’ve done that. Nothing I’ve said or done has forced your hand- it was a conscious decision that you made to help me. Maybe you did it because you know me and want to see me succeed. A lot of you are strangers to me and have added your wind to my sails simply because someone else who is close to me asked you to. For one reason or another though, each of you has decided to follow me on Inkshares/Facebook, preorder a copy of my book, comment/review the chapters I’ve posted, and/or asked other people to aid my cause and it means the world to me. 

I’ve spent a lot of time pondering why it is that anyone else should care about my dreams. Every other author in this contest could make the same claim. I don’t believe that anybody sets out to write a book if they don’t feel a strong, intense passion to do it- and they would certainly not cross the finish line without that drive. Even writing a terrible book would take a commendable effort! 

However, from what I’ve seen of my competition, the stories being shared through this contest are all worthy of admiration and respect. So I’ve wondered- how can I hope to gain any real momentum with complete strangers (as I’ve come to believe is what’s required to win this competition) when every single author has just as much heart put into their work as I have? If everyone has an equally valuable story of struggle and triumph that has led them to this point, how can I hope to do anything that will stand out? 

It’s not a question that I readily have the answer to. The best I’ve come up with is that I need to share my heart with you, as pretentious as that sounds. I’m operating under the hope that if I expose the raw nerves and emotional turbulence of my journey, that it will resonate with enough of you that you’ll do me an even bigger favor than what you’ve already done: I need you to share this with anyone who you think might listen and ask them genuinely for their support.

Today I was feeling pretty lost, having tried to reach beyond my immediate social media connections in order to expand my promotional efforts- so I went back to the drawing board and did what came naturally: I wrote. I didn’t know where I was headed when I started, but I ended up talking pretty openly about the paradoxical relationship I’ve formed with PTSD. On the one hand, it has made the process of promoting my book seem insurmountable. On the other hand, I truly believe that I wouldn’t have finished Ophelia, Doll, a book that I am wholly proud to have written, without the forcefully abrupt, screeching halt that PTSD brought into my life. I hope that you will take the time to read this post that goes into my personal story with greater detail:

If you have any ideas that might be helpful or feel like you have access to some means of helping me further the reach of my promotional efforts, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. Your comments, reviews, feedback and own personal stories are all much appreciated and make up most of what’s helped me maintain a loose grasp on sanity over the course of this crazy experience.

 Again, thank you all for everything you have done to keep me in the running- I appreciate each and every one of you.

Yours Truly,

Robert Wren

Top 5!

Ladies and gentleman, we’re doing it! As I wake up on Saturday morning from a tiring family vacation, back in my own bed at last, I am blown away by where you have all managed to take me after just a couple of days.

I’m in second place, trailing 1st place by 10 and leading over 3rd place by almost 20! It’s not a bad place to be! But of course, as I’m sure you can all relate, I doubt I’ll be able to fully relax until this thing is over and that’s quite a ways away still. The entire contest has been equally exhilarating and fear inducing on a near paralytic level. When I am threatened by that terrifying catatonia, it’s thinking about how many people took up arms on my behalf that puts a little wind back in my sails and gets me moving again.

There are two things that I would ask of you all this weekend:

1) Take a minute to read what you’ve preordered. The 1st five chapters are available to anyone who has preordered, but I’ve gotten some feedback that accessing it is not that simple. Most people have been able to find Chapter 1, though, and once you’ve done that- there’s a little hidden toolbar at the bottom of the screen with a dropdown menu on it that selects the chapter. I’d love to have your feedback on as many of these starting chapters as you feel comfortable sharing! In more ways than one, this is OUR book now. Even if I’m the father, you are all midwives, helping me to birth this creation into the world of the living. 

2) The second thing that I would ask of you is just as important as having ordered the book in the first place. I am very near the point of saturation with my friends and family. So many of you wonderful people responded so quickly, which is fantastic and the reason that I am where I’m at today, but it also means that I am running out of people to ask directly. I have started working on posters that I can hang around town, business cards that I can pass out, and I’m making connections with several writing/reading groups that I can approach… but those are things that are going to take a few days to get moving. My biggest fear is that by the time I get ready to take action on these campaign ideas, I’ll be starting from behind again. Which brings me to the next ask: Would you please find at least one person that you would ask to preorder on my behalf?

Facebook posts are good and all, but from my experience, it’s the people that you approach on a more personal level that really take you seriously. I need that kind of dedication from those of you who have already done more than I have a right to ask. My biggest strengths in this contest really don’t have anything to do with my writing- it’s a publishing contest after all, not a writing contest. My biggest strength is that I am banking on having a more dedicated, loving group of friends and family than anyone I’ve ever known and I’m counting on that belief to help me reach this goal that, only a few days ago, I would have assumed was insurmountable.

Thank you all- you already have my unending gratitude. Any help you provide next enters into a saintly territory.

Robert Wren

Cracked the Top 10!

I’ve cracked the Top 10 leader board for The Nerdist contest! Thank you all, I couldn’t have done it without you! Please remember to share with the readers, writers and lovers of all things artistic in your life! I adore you all!

Ink shares Nerdist Competition

Hi! My name is Robert Wren. 

Ophelia, Doll is my first novel, a dark fantasy. I’ve entered Ophelia, Doll in the Inkshares Nerdist Contest. If Ophelia, Doll is in the top 5 based on unique pre-orders when the contest ends on September 30th, I will win a publishing contract, including professional editing, professional book cover design, marketing and distribution. One of the top 5 will be chosen by the Nerdist to be included in its collection. As a new author, this would be life-changing.

Your pre-order of the book = one vote for Ophelia, Doll. The book is $9.99, but here’s a trick to get it for $4.99: Create an Inkshares account (just provide an e-mail address and a password, it’s that simple), log out and wait for an e-mail giving you a $5 credit. You can then log back in and pre-order Ophelia, Doll for $4.99.

Thank you for your support! To keep up with what’s going on, you can also follow Ophelia, Doll on Facebook at and on Twitter at You can check the Nerdist Contest leaderboard here: