I can do this again… I hope

Hello Imaginary Friends,

Some days staring at the unwritten parts of a novel I freeze and wonder if I can actually do this. In those times I need to remind myself I can and have.

Here’s he list of things I’ve written, excluding short stories and serial stories, for the past 10 years.

  • 2018: Elizabeth Investigates: Mystery of the Dancing Lights, Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish, and The Café between ‘Verses (All Unfinished)
  • 2017: Dinosaur Road Trip (Finished beta read and awaiting editing)
  • 2016: Paragenesis: The Copper Tarnish (hoping to finish this for nano this year)
  • 2015: Everdome (Accepted by Renaissance and hopefully being released in 2019)
  • 2014: Everdome
  • 2013: Parasomnia (Published 2017)
  • 2012: Elizabeth Investigates: A Case of Synchronicity (Submitted to Renaissance)
  • 2011: Elizabeth Investigates: The Sign of Faust (Published 2018)
  • 2010: Elizabeth Investigates: A Study in Aether (Published 2016)
  • 2009: Veridian Skies (Never going to see the light of day. It’s that bad.)
  • 2008: Veridian Skies

So that means in the past 10 years I have completed 7 novels, had 3 published, and I’m working on another 3. A rough total of 640,000 words.

This is the first and early part of my career and I hope to keep writing and publishing for another fifty years.

It’s important to remind myself that I can do it. I’ve done it 7 times before and I’ll do it again. It’s hard and lots of work but totally worth it.

Ok, peptalk over. Back to writing.

Later Days,

Éric

Can-Con 2018 – October 12-14

The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, or just Can-Con, is one of my favourite conventions. It has the best people and panels.

October 12-14, 2018
Sheraton Hotel,  Downtown Ottawa
150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2

Eric Desmarais Author, JenEric Coffee, JenEric Designs, and toddler Dragon will be there for the entire weekend.

The dealer’s room is free to the public so come say hi, get some books, and coffee.

I, Eric, will be one panel this year: Star Wars, Heroism and Society Friday at 4pm in Salon C. Come by and laugh at a Trekkie trying to talk Star Wars.

Hope to see you there!

Éric

The Importance of Quiet Moments

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The fourth novel in my Elizabeth Investigates series is kicking my butt. I thought I had everything planned out and set up. I was wrong. As I wrote I kept feeling like I was going too fast. I hit a wall about a month ago and instead of trying to find a solution I flirted with another book idea.

Writing isn’t a hobby so much as an obsession. When I’m writing, my mind is consumed with what’s going to happen. I think about scenes in the shower and I play out dialogue on the bus.

When the obsession stops being productive or switches stories my writing stops.

It’s an extremely frustrating feeling not knowing what to do to make the story move forward without becoming derivative or dumb.

My Daughter has appended her bedtime routine. It’s shortened and removed the last GOPEE! Instead now she says, “Wake up… Papa! Wake up… Papa.” It’s followed by, “Sing” and after her two songs (Goodness I’d missed holding her and singing.) and finally by “SIT!?”

So I sit there for ten minutes whiles she goes to sleep. Not every night, but it goes better when I do.

In those ten minutes she’s pretending to sleep, my wife is in bed, and I have nothing to do but think. Those quite moments are slowly helping me understand what to do next. I have some good ideas now, but the next 2/3rds of the novel have changed a dozen times. It’s amazing how much just stopping and thinking has helped.

If you’re stuck in your writing, try shutting yourself off from distractions and letting your mind go over the story. Like all writing advice, your mileage may vary.

Later Days,

Éric

Being an Author is hard but worth it

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Being a author is hard. You are constantly bombarded by articles that say things like:

Ok that last one was a trick and actually pretty positive.

Borrowed from Usborne Books.

The point is that even when you’re published you have to work your ass off to get your book in peoples hands and only 25% will actually read that book. (These statistics are my educated guess.) From those that read your book they’ll tell you they like it and then put it on their shelves and forget about it. Until you publish something else and if they actually liked it they might buy the next one.

That’s the life cycle of a regular book. One that doesn’t get turned into a TV show or movie, explode in sales, or cause a kerfuffle with its content.

I see what some fantastic authors do to encourage their book sales and I feel like I should be doing more. More writing, more advertising, more promotion, more writing, more events, more submitting to review, and did I say more writing?

An excellent guide to the care and feeding of a writer by Agarthan Guide.

The real problem with writing, novels specifically, is the speed of return. I so envy my friends who write fanfiction and can receive almost immediate feedback and love. A book takes me a year or two to write, another year to edit and pitch, and (if I’m lucky) another year to edit and publish. Sometimes it’s longer. This week marks the four year anniversary of me starting to write Everdome. It will hopefully be published in either 2019 or 2020.

So being an author is hard but there’s nothing like the feeling of holding your book after all that time or having someone tell you how much they loved your book.

Long story short or as the kids-these-days say TL;DR, it’s not easy but I love it and I’m not going to stop.

 

Later days,

Éric

Today I’m 35

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Today is my birthday! (If you’d like to get me a gift, read and review my books.)

It’s easy to look back on your life and think, “AHHHHHH. I’ve accomplished nothing!!!” But that’s your insecurity speaking. At the very least you’ve done something that a lot of others haven’t; you’ve survived.

Surviving is good. I’ve been lucky enough to not only survive but do a few things that, I think, are awesome: (no particular order)

  • Graduated University
  • Had 3 books published
  • Written 7 novels and part of two novels
  • Made sure there was constant content on this blog since 2014
  • Learnt how to roast coffee and made a semi-successful business out of it
  • Been married for 9 years to my best friend (Although that’s mostly her being patient and a little luck)
  • I’m super proud of Baby Dragon
  • Wrote and developed an RPG (Can’t wait for FADDS to be available to all)

I’ve spent my life feeling average. I’m not the smartest, hardest working, most handsome, etc. So it’s nice to have things I’m proud of and that I feel I’ve done well. Yes, I realize there’s nothing on that list that hasn’t been done before, or that hasn’t been done better before. But I’m proud and consider myself lucky.

Who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish in the next 35-50 years.

 

What are you proud of?

Éric

2018 Resolution Redux

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Since I’m doing so well with my resolutions. I decided to add some more and alter a few.

Oh my goodness… what have I done!?

Writing

Write 2000 words a week for The Mystery of the Dancing Lights

I will continue to try and reach this goal. Maybe I’ll catch up and maybe I won’t, but if I continue the way I have been I might fail but I’ll still have 2/3 of a novel.

Write a Monthly Serial Story

I’ll keep going at this and hopefully succeed. I can’t wait to see where this story goes. Go read it from the start.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it

Play testing will continue until at least September and maybe end of year.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Completed)

Nothing to do here until my publisher and partners get back to me.

Start getting a short story collection together (Completed)

This will still need to be edited but I consider it put together.

Write the Bookend Material for the Short Story Collection (NEW)

I’ve decide to submit the past 5 years of serial stories to my publisher with in between parts that are related to the Elizabeth novels. I’m hoping to call it The Coffee Shop Between the Worlds.

I need roughly 6000 words for the book ends and I might add a little to the serial stories to give people a reason to buy them.

Rewrite the introduction to FADDS (NEW)

The game is really close to ready but the first bit was written so long ago that it isn’t relevant to the game anymore. It needs a complete rewrite.

JenEric Designs and Coffee

Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs

We’ve been going for five years now with content every weekday on JenEric Designs and I’m very proud of that. Jen and I have worked hard not to miss a day. I’ll do my best to ensure we keep that streak going.

Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Completed)

Done and done. Working on even more.

Look into pricing and interest in CoasteRPG (NEW)

I developed a super simple RPG and I need to find out if it’s worth printing it onto coasters and selling it. I’d like to get some prices, and check if any of the local gaming bars/cafes would be interested.

Editing

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing beta reader

I’m going to go through this and hopefully I won’t cringe while reading it.

Edit and Submit A Case of Synchronicity to my publisher by end of summer. (NEW)

It looks like my publisher is doing extremely well and that means they have more than enough books for the 2019 roster. That means that there might not be room for Everdome (if they accept it). I don’t want that to happen again so I’ll try and submit a little earlier. Hopefully there will be room for the next Elizabeth A Case of Synchronicity in 2020 and Everdome in 2021.

Pleasure

Read 30 books by authors I have interacted with (Amended)

I’m amending this one to books by authors I’ve interacted with or met. It’s forcing me to read all the awesome books by authors who I like as people but haven’t gotten around to reading their books.

Play more Videogames

I will continue to try and play more games. I’m hoping to get Detroit: Become Human for my birthday and spend a few days playing it on vacation.

Finish Star Trek: Discovery (NEW)

I didn’t enjoy the show much but I feel I need to give it a full season to make up my mind. There are interesting characters and ideas but it’s very dark and has made some really dumb writing choices. I have four episodes to watch.

 

Well that’s an intimidating list. Here’s hoping it goes ok.

Is 15 too much?

Éric

2018 Resolution Mid-Year Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I made some resolutions in January about my year. I made them to push myself and encourage improvement.

Let’s have a look at them and how I’m doing.

Write 2000 words a week for The Mystery of the Dancing Lights (Failing)

This was an extremely ambitious goal. I was hoping to have 52000 words by this point but I’ve only managed 23000. It’s still writing but it’s not as much as I’d hoped. I’m averaging under 1000 a week, mostly due to the weeks I haven’t or just didn’t write.

I’m hoping I can increase my speed but we’ll see how it goes.

Pitch Everdome and the Super-Secret Project (Succeeded)

I pitched to Renaissance Press and they’re currently deciding on Everdome, if they don’t take it I’ll shop it around and maybe make the plunge and self publish it.

The pitch for the Super-Secret Project went well and everyone was excited but due to everyone involved being really busy it’s been put on the back burner.

I’ll hopefully have news by end of year.

Write a Monthly Serial Story (Succeeding)

So far Devices of Desire has been going strong and I haven’t missed a month. I’m really enjoying this story and I hope you are too.

Continue to ensure there’s content 5 days a week on JenEric Designs (Succeeding)

So far so good… I’ve had a few days where I was too sick or tired but I managed to put something up. Yay!

Read 30 books (Succeeding)

So far this year I’ve read 12 books (13 if you count beta-reading). I’ve been trying to challenge myself to only read books by people I have met or interacted with online. I’m a little behind but I should be able to catch up by end of month. Thank goodness for audiobooks and graphic novels.

Finish the new content for FADDS and playtest it (Succeeding)

I’m currently running a rag tag group of misfits through a fetch quest in the world of Everworld (precursor to Everdome) and it’s going well. I’ve managed to fix and write all the content I wanted and a little more. I still need to keep making monsters and see how the playing goes. So far so good.

Test, Design, and Produce 2 new coffee flavours (Succeeded)

I have successfully developed the above 3 flavours and I’m testing 3 potential flavours. Yay coffee!

Edit and send Dinosaur Road Trip to a willing betareader (No movement)

I haven’t even looked at it since the Weditor sent it back to me. I’m nervous that it sucks. I don’t think it’ll be a book I pitch. I might get a few self published copies for myself and family.

Start getting a short story collection together (Succeeded)

I’ve picked the theme, and the stories. I just have to write the middle parts and book ends. I’ll hopefully have them done by year end. So I consider this done.

Play more Videogames (Succeeding-ish)

I’ve played a lot of mobile games lately. I’ve really enjoyed SIMS Mobile as a time waster and I’m still in love with both Ticket to Ride Mobile, and Civilization Revolution 2.

Besides that I’ve maybe played an hour of FFX and a couple of hours of the new Lego Incredibles. I need to do more but Keladry still attacks the remote. I’ve tried to teach her what to do but she’s not getting it yet. I’ll keep trying.

 

So not bad, I’m currently succeeding at 6.5 out of 10. I guess that means I need to add more but that will be another post.

How are your resolutions going?

Éric

Reviews

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The best way to help an author is to leave a short review of their work on Amazon or Goodreads. Even anonymous reviews count towards something. Write what you liked and what you didn’t or just a line of what you thought.

The more a book is reviewed the more it’ll show up on recommendations and the more people will see it.

If you didn’t know I have three books out that you can review:

Please and thank you for your time,

Éric

Massive 5th anniversary party

Hello Book Lovers!

Come to the launch of my third book and a celebration of an amazing publisher.

Hope to see you all there!

 

 

It’s been five years already since Renaissance was founded by a group of friends, and it hasn’t just grown in that time – it’s exploded. In that period of time, we  signed a total of 19 Canadian authorsbuilt a team of 13 editors, designers, and artists; published twenty novels and three games; and are planning ten more releases, including one game and one anthology, by the end of 2019.

We’re having a party to celebrate our accomplishments, and most of all, our amazing people. We’d love for you all to join us at the Red Lion (47 Clarence St., Ottawa) on Sunday May 27th, 5-7 PM. Entrance is FREE, and you’ll be able to buy our books and get them signed by our authors!

Since we’ve always been very silly, geeky people, we invite you to attend cosplaying as your favorite literary character. This is entirely optional, but we will be giving out a prize to the best/cleverest costume!

Don’t worry if you don’t feel like dressing up – as always, we’ll also be giving out excellent door prizes as well!

Last, but not least, Frankenstein lovers, you’re in luck! As part of their fifth birthday celebration, Renaissance is also launching an anthology to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the release of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It is currently on Kickstarter, funded in just under a week! — and all backers of the Kickstarter project will enjoy an additional 10% off any Renaissance purchase they make at the launch!

As part of our celebration, we will be launching four new titles, all by Ottawa authors, some of whom you already know and love, and some brand-new names you’ll quickly add to your favorites:

The Sign of Faust (Baker City Mysteries, Elizabeth book 2) by Éric Desmarais (YA Supernatural suspense)
Can Elizabeth find out who’s trying to kill her — and discover the source of everyone’s luck — while navigating dating, concerts, school, and competing in the science Olympics? ISBN: 978-1-987963-33-5 – Available now!

Life After Redby by Kaitlin Caul (Horror)
Die. Become a zombie. Get needled. Do it all over again. Caught in the endless cycle of death, zombification, and resurrection, Cass became scarred inside and out. Now, her skills are needed again. ISBN: 978-1-987963-29-8

To Pluck a Crow by Sue Taylor-Davidson (Historical mystery)
Could Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets have been written by more than one person? As Janek and Sarah investigate, they get tangled up in another mystery. ISBN: 978-1-987963-30-4 – Available now!

Life and Lemonade by Jamieson Wolf (LGBTQIAPP2+)
All’s fair in love and war . . . but sometimes life gets in the way. ISBN: 978-1-987963-36-6 – Available now!

Accessibility

This location has a street-facing accessible entrance, and a city parking lot directly across the street from it.

We will have a specialized menu for the event which will include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

The location unfortunately could not offer gender-neutral restrooms at this time, but we will have designated and clearly identified bathroom buddies to accompany you to the bathroom for any reason, no questions asked.

Menu

The location has provided us with a specialized menu just for the event. Please note that burgers have optional gluten-free buns!

Nachos $17 : Corn Chips/ Pico de Gallo/ shredded cheese/ Jalapeños/ sour cream/ salsa/ guacamole.

Spicy Thai Chicken Bites $15 : Breaded chicken/ cucumbers/ sweet & spicy Thai sauce

Chicken Wings $15 : Breaded Wings/ Fries

Classic Poutine $15 : French Fries/ Cheese Curds/ Gravy

Kung-Pao Calamari $15 : Spicy Breaded Calamari/ Cucumbers/ Red Onions

Caesar Salad $15 : Romain Mix/ Parmesan/ Bacon Bits/ Croutons/ Creamy Caesar Dressing

Chicken Avocado Salad $17 : Heritage mix/ Red Peppers/ Red Onions/ Balsamic dressing/ Avocados/ Cheese

Fish & Chips $16 : Haddock/ Beer Batter/ Fries/ Tartar Sauce

Garlic & Herb Chicken Sandwich $17 : Garlic Chicken/ Bacon/ Cheddar cheese/ Southwestern ranch/ Pico De Gallo/ Lettuce/ Avocado/ Kaiser bun

The Loaded Stack Burger $17 : Double Beef Patty/ Sautéed Mushroom & Onions/ Southwestern Ranch/ Bacon/ Cheddar & Swiss Cheese/ Lettuce/ Tomatoes/ Pickles/ Kaiser

Shepherds Pie $15 : Ground Beef/ Corn/ Mash/ Cheese/ Gravy

Bangers & Mash $15 : Banger sausages/ Mash/ Onions/ Bacon/ Gravy

Chicken Curry $17: Chicken Curry/ Rice/ Naan

Sundried Tomato Pesto Penne $15 (available Gluten Free) : Broccoli/ Sundried Tomatoes/ Mushrooms/ Pesto/ Cream/ Penne