Where Things Are At …

I’m usually not so picky about my words on social media but I’ve started and erased this statement nearly a dozen times because I found myself being too petty or too whiny or too… just too much. I try to remain upbeat, but not at the risk of being phony. Today, unexpectedly, is kind of a terrible day to live through. It’s probably stupid that I should say “unexpectedly,” but I really thought I was feeling the extent of all the emotions yesterday. I thought I had made peace with where I am in my journey towards publication. That’s just one of the many naive misconceptions that Inkshares has been really good about teaching me through this contest.

 I guess maybe it hurts because it’s my first real experience, as a writer, with mass rejection. I know that I should have expected this, and I did, but expecting that knowledge to soften the blow is like telling someone how it feels to get shot in the gut and then being baffled when that doesn’t do anything to help them manage the pain. It’s probably easier than other forms of rejection, because at least here I walk away with almost 300 Facebook followers and  a ton of would-be book orders made by people who most certainly did NOT reject me.

 So don’t let that dampen my gratitude for you. Don’t let me convince you that I am not going to keep fighting the fight. Just not today. Maybe not this week, actually.

 Captain Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Washburne have a saying. “When you can’t run, you crawl, and when you can’t crawl, you find someone to carry you.”

 I’m going to take the weekend to lick my wounds and get back into fighting shape. Beneath all of this, I am excited to return to writing. I have the first half of a new book outlined and I’m in the process of falling in love with their characters, just as I did with Ophelia, her family, and the Impresario. Falling in love is a good feeling, capable of curing a lot of emotional ailments. In the meantime, if you guys want to help keep this ball rolling, here’s the good news:

 1) I’m currently in conversation with a more traditional (merit based, not pre-order sales based) publisher who is mulling over my manuscript and making a choice as to whether or not they will take me on. The contract they offer is way better, they are much more in the business of helping new authors launch careers as partners- which is good, because one lesson this contest has bestowed upon me is that I need help now, not just after I cross a 1k pre-order goal. By all indications, they are really genuine people with whom I would be lucky to start working. Wish me luck on that front.

 2) We are soft launching my new website (http://rewren.com/). Check things out as they develop!

3) We are still trying to use the Facebook page to centralize efforts with the book, so don’t stop directing people here! Every time the page gets another like, I get a liquid hot injection of the good feels shot straight into my soul and that acts as a natural immunization-boost to chase the away those pesky deep darkies!

 4) I love you all and can’t wait to be back in the saddle in a more official capacity. Thank you all for your support and encouragement. As always, you can shoot me anything you have in the way of questions or comments and I will do my best to respond. 😉

It’s All Over But The Crying

Well ladies and gents, it doesn’t look like I can build momentum enough to retake a Top 5 position by the contest’s close tomorrow. I’ll make an official announcement in the morning, but based on my projections at the current rate of competitiveness, I would need 100+ votes in the next 24 hours and I’m just tapped out of drums to beat.

I want to thank you all for helping me as much as you did, no hard feelings here, just pure unadulterated gratitude. I have no right to expect anything from another person, a self-defense mechanism adapted to protect against being let down.

With that said, it only makes the successes you have been laying on me that much more potent. I really can’t leave this contest feeling like a loser. I’ve stayed in the Top 10 out of 300+ other authors for the entire 6 week duration, I’ve launched this Ophelia, Doll Facebook fan page that already has more friends than I do personally on Facebook.

Two days ago, my pharmacist recognized me in a coffee shop and said she was so excited that she heard though Facebook somehow that I am an author and that I’m launching a book- she said “It’s like finding out that someone you know is a super hero!” It was hard for me to accept such a nice sentiment in the moment and I’m afraid I bumbled the interaction completely, so if you are reading this Christina, thank you and I am so grateful for your kind words.

A week before that, the pizza guy on my doorstep said that a friend of mine at the local video game store gave him a flier and he would make sure that his sisters saw it because it looked like “their kind of book.” The thought that my book is anyone’s kind of book is a beautifully overwhelming thing that you have all forced me to admit to even my most doubt filled, pessimistic self.

That’s really what has me going into losing the battle with any semblance of sanity. I know there is an audience, a greater war to win, a group of people that care enough to band together with no forewarning whatsoever.

I have big plans on what to do from here, so I hope that you’ll stick around. Even more, I hope you’ll share with those who you think might be interested in reading my story- get them to like the Facebook page. You should be able to click a button on the top of our page that lets you slide through and click all of your potentially supportive friends easily and send them a request to join the Facebook page. For the time being, this is the easiest way for me to keep you guys updated with news and announcements surrounding Ophelia, Doll (maybe some blog posts?).

I’m also planning on using this to stay connected with my supporters as I write my next book, which I just started yesterday. It’s still in developmental stages, which means that there will be lots of times that I will need some outside opinions, and I couldn’t think of a better bunch of people to ask. Thank you all for everything you’ve done for me. I hope you have the best Tuesday ever!

Ophelia, Doll on Facebook

Wow guys! What an amazing performance by you all! Thank you so much for the surge in orders! 

Going into the weekend, I was thinking of how much love I have for this group of people- many of whom I don’t even know in real life! 

Today my “ask” is a pretty easy one, I think. You know, I never really made a push to get people to like the Ophelia, Doll Facebook page, it just popped up as a necessity of the contest and before I knew it we had more than 200 followers! I know many of you (like myself) are gun shy when it comes to asking for people to invest their hard earned dollars, so today I’m asking for a different type of support that doesn’t cost a dime! 

Can you help support my book by asking your friends and family to like the Ophelia, Doll Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/OpheliaDollBook?fref=ts) ? This way, even if I don’t win the contest, I’ll have a hefty group of people backing me as I shop the book around to other publishers. 

The best way to help direct people to our page is by either sharing the post I made today and tagging those among your FB friends that you think would be most interested, or just tagging them in the comment section of the post itself! See! Simple!  

Thank you all for your random acts of kindness. I literally couldn’t have done this without you. (lol, see what I did there? Literally! Ha ha ha! I slay me!)


I can’t think of the number 300 without conjuring to memory visions of bronzer-soaked, greased up Spartans rising to fight the God-King Xerxes and the whole of his Persian Empire. That image of perpetual bad-assery is nothing compared to the accomplishments of MY army, and now the number 300 holds an even more impressive, special significance to me: It’s the number that makes my knees weak and my heart fall into my guts, like a rock dropped into the ocean, making a splash that grows into waves that are felt even by the faraway shore. 300 is the number of individual people who have contributed to the success of my book’s pre-order campaign. That number is more impressive to me than the fact that such a hefty sum is only good enough to keep me in 8th place during this grueling, patience draining trial of emotional grit and fortitude. 

The good news is that I am not beyond hope. The scary news is that you are the wardens of that hope- the keepers of my heart’s flame. Many of you have been throwing gasoline into that roaring inferno for the last five weeks and I thank you for having kept my soul so well fed. It makes it more challenging to admit how utterly at your mercy I am, but the simple truth is that I can’t do more than ask others for help- that’s the foundation by which this contest is built. 

 At the end of the day, this competition is not about my writing. It’s not about the size of my dreams in comparison to the rest of my Inkshares peers. This contest boils down to one thing: the people that I’ve asked for help doing more than the people other Inkshares authors have asked- or at least enough to bring me into a Top 5 position out of about 300 (there’s that number again!). 

 In order to win this contest, I need you all to do even more. I wish I could just push this boulder up the mountain through sheer force of my own willpower. Somehow that’s more within the parameters of my character than panhandling my way across the internet, less vulnerable I suppose. But with less than a week to go, that just isn’t going to cut it. My effort is in the asking, and after five weeks of being showered with more than I feel I should ever be allowed to deserve, begging for more feels like opening a vein with a jagged, rusty razor. 

 Please, if you know anyone that would help you out if asked, pass this on to them. I need you to spread the vulnerable position of asking another human for their hand in order for me to make it back into the Top 5 within the next 6 days. If you have a spouse, parents, friends- anyone who you think would be willing to do me a solid by doing you a solid, please take the time to ask them on my behalf. Hell, if you’re feeling especially ballsy, ask people who you think may NOT take the time- you’d be surprised. I certainly was! I’d be about 295 orders shorter if it wasn’t for people who didn’t owe me a damn thing stepping up to pledge their support. 

 A new incentive chapter has been added to commemorate hitting 300, which is truly a milestone that belongs to you, not me. 

Please ask 2-3 people to consider supporting and if money is the only thing holding anyone back, you should know that you won’t be charged the $10 unless I win and there are ways of getting discounts on your order if you want to contact me directly to work out what those methods entail. I feel like advertising the discount potential goes against the spirit of the contest, so I don’t want to promote it publicly (even in desperation), but if someone cares enough to ask, I’ll take that as a sign that your interest in supporting the book is genuine enough to warrant sharing that information directly. 

 The words “thank you” don’t seem like a strong enough sentiment. I love you is more like it. And I do. But also thank you.

Magic Being Born

Wow. It’s been another 50+ orders already (260 total as of right now)! You guys have me stalled in a continual state of amazement! I could have never imagined that this many people would rise up to support me through this process, yet every time I think I’m getting used to being buried beneath the weight of your kindness, you throw another load of your benevolence on me!

As promised, I’ve released another chapter, number seven for those of you keeping score at home. In this segment, we see the indirect effect of the Impresario’s arrival. His presence sends supernatural shockwaves through the homes and souls of Elancourt’s inhabitants, loosening the foundation of the world I’ve built to this point in the story. This is where things start to get abstract and weird. Magic is being born. Things get even creepier in the next few chapters as spirits and demons starts to take shape. I hope you’ll enjoy it and ask a friend to pre-order so that we can keep this momentum going.

A couple of days ago I accidentally sent out 100+ recommendations to all of my followers. I apologize. I thought that I was sending various Inkshares authors a personal request for my own book, but I was utilizing the improper Inkshares web tools for doing so. While I’m sure each of those books are worthy of being checked out, the phrasing I attached was pretty strange because of my mistake and made it sound like I was pitching my own book within a recommendation for theirs. 

My apologies to the people who received a bunch of spam emails and to the authors whose work I inadequately showcased. I’ve said it before, but even writing a terrible book would be a huge undertaking, so to put out the kind of quality my Inkshares peers have produced deserves a lot more respect and attention than what I put forth. I hope you’ll all consider browsing through some of the other authors in this contest. 

I have especially grown fond of Alex Lander’s Housewife in Hell and look forward to reading the new chapters she releases every Monday night. It always delivers the creep factor. As she suggested, I recommend reading it in the dead of night with your favorite end of the day beverage- you’re going to need it! 

Then there’ Gorracula by Yorgo Douramacos… the title alone is probably the most gravitationally effective I’ve ever seen, and yes *spoiler alert* it is exactly what it sounds like. lol 

The Elements: Descension by Lauren Drube. Seriously. Some really provocative sci-fi fantasy work! Can’t wait to get more of the story. I love science fiction. I love fantasy. When the two marry, they make the most beautiful babies. And then she put demons all up in there! *swoon*

Last but not least, Witch’s Diary by Rebecca Brae is super fun! It’s about a Witch who got drunk and burnt out her powers, so she takes a bunch of odd-jobs to see where she fits in without magick. For me, one of the hardest things to write is comedy, so when I see it done right I really take notice. Rebecca does it right and you can tell after just the first few paragraphs.

The sheer variety of appealing work is astounding. Makes it even more difficult to imagine that you’ve all managed to keep me where I am on the leader boards.

Of course, I hope I win, but not at the expense of potentially denigrating anyone else’s hard work. Keeping perspective in this ordeal is paramount. I have been supported by more than 250 people! As stressed out as I am, how can that be anything short of miraculous? Sure, it’s the kind of miracle that has my guts all tied up in knots, my blood pressure is rising to dangerously high levels and I kind of want to throw up my heart all the time, but still! Miracle!

Thank you readers and authors alike. Thank you dream makers and hustle-helpers. I will never stop being grateful for the efforts of the promotional army we’ve managed to amass! As always, reach out to me and let me know what you’re thinking! Have an idea of how I might take my book promotion to the next level? Want to let me know what you think of the last chapter? Have a book you want me to check out? Let me know!



Robert Wren