Monday, August 30, 2010

A Milestone of Sorts...

Okay, so I know this won't seem like a major deal to most, but it's something that has definitely made me happy.  As of today, I have sold 10 copies of IN DECLINE.  It's only been out for less than 2 months, and the fact that I've sold that much considering it's a short story collection (short story collections are typically tougher to sell), that's pretty impressive.

I'm still trying to get my name out there, so I know I have a ways to go.  But so far, I appear to be on the right track.

Publishing an eBook has been the best thing for my writing.  It's re-lit that spark in me.  I've already put out some single short stories as eBooks and am currently working on a novel/novella.  I haven't felt this energized about my writing in a long time.

It's nice to know that I have found a home for my writing.  Life's too short to play the waiting game.  Sometimes you just have to go out there and do it yourself.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Twofer... and it ain't even Tuesday!

Yes, another blog entry.  I feel this deserves mention.  As of today, I have reached the 100 mark in views/downloads of my two short stories, Canary and Today, I Told a Lie.  I find that very exciting.  Just the thought that it's possibly that I've had that many people check out my work is awesome.  I don't care if the stories are free.  My writing is getting attention, and that's what's important.

Of course, as I write this, is down.  They have a lot of problems with their site, sadly.  It's a lottery when it comes to seeing if you'll get to the site or not.  Ah!  It's up again... for now.

Still, this is excellent news.  I'm glad I found a place to publish some single-short stories.  It beats me trying to shop them to magazines, only to get rejection notices on them later.  And this way, I can always add these stories to a later collection if I wish, since I am publishing them myself.  That's another great thing about doing it this way.

It's happy news for me.  I like that my writing is getting noticed.  Hopefully some of those people who downloaded or viewed the stories enjoyed them.

You can view the stories at these links (when they're working, at least!):

Today, I Told a Lie

Again, the website requires patience.  If none of the links are working when you try them, come back later and give it a shot.  Hopefully they'll do a better job of maintaining the site in the future, but working website or not, this news is awesome.  Cheers!

Happy that it's Sunday, for a change...

That's right.  I said it.  Mark this day down in history, because chances are it ain't gonna happen again any time soon.

I'm happy that it's Sunday.

It's been one hell of a long week, filled with both good and bad things.  On the plus side, I got an excellent review from a fellow author for IN DECLINE, had some good times with my friends and girlfriend, and my writing has been going smoothly.

On the bad... Jury Duty (although it was an experience), and of course the death of my hamster, Cuddly Gizmo.

I'm doing much better today.  Still a tad sad, but it's fading.  Weeks are filled with ups and downs.  This week is no exception.  I'm just glad that a new week begins...

But that doesn't mean I'll welcome Monday with open arms.  Monday is still a sneaky bastard, and I will never forget that.  Ever.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

R.I.P. Gizmo (aka Cuddly)

Well, this blog entry has nothing to do with writing, but I wanted to write about this anyway.  One of my hamsters passed away last night.  Her name was Gizmo.  Cuddly Gizmo.  My girlfriend got me two dwarf hamsters for Christmas last year, and I couldn't tell them apart at first so I named them both "The Gizmo Sisters."  One of them was Cuddly, and the other Bitey (I'm sure you can figure that one out).  As time went on, I was able to tell the two apart.

Cuddly was starting to show some health problems this month.  She wasn't gnawing like she should, so her teeth were getting longer, and just recently she had something happen to her eye.  I took her to the vet on both occasions.  They gave me some eye drops to give her.  By the end, she was looking very frail and sickly.  I guess her eye was bothering her so much that she didn't exercise like she used to and she was even losing her appetite.  I was hoping the drops would help her within the next days.  Sadly, when I got home last night I found that she had died.  Her sister, Bitey, is still going strong.

It's one of those downfalls of being a pet owner.  You forget how much it hurts when they leave you.  While I am very sad about it right now, it does not outweigh the joy that Cuddly gave me these past 8 months, and 8 months for a hamster is pretty impressive.  I only hope that she enjoyed her life with me.  I'm sure she did.

R.I.P. Cuddly.

Friday, August 27, 2010

THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD: A Dark and Complex Fantasy

I've been meaning to write a review on THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD (THE HALF ORCS BOOK 1) by David Dalglish, but at least in a blog form I don't feel like it has to be polished or professional sounding.  When I can come up with a better review, I will post that on Amazon, but for the time being let me say this:

I LOVED this book.

And that's no easy task, I assure you, because I usually don't read fantasy.  I've never read any of the LOTR books--just couldn't get into them.  I tend to read works that are a little more slice-of-life.  But when I read the sample for this book, I had a feeling that I was looking at something special.  It drew me in from the get-go, and I never felt myself lost or overwhelmed by terms or names that would normally lose me in other fantasy works.

What I admire the most about Dalglish's work here is that he takes a real risk.  He does not give us clear-cut heroes.  On the contrary, the two main characters do some horrible things.  Evil things.  Yet, we follow them on their journey because we know that these two Half-Orc brothers have never had proper guidance.  Shunned by humans and elves alike, it's easy to see where their distaste for other people come from.

Harruq is one of the brothers.  All he's had in his life is his smaller brother, Qurrah.  Qurrah has taught him his entire life that they are creatures of destruction, and that they need not be ashamed of their violent nature.  When Qurrah meets a dark lord and sorcerer, Velixar, he's given abilities and powers he could've never imagined.  Harruq follows along, although he has doubts and even questions their violent deeds.

The book is full of action, yet Dalglish never allows it to overtake the story.  Story and characters are the most important to him when it comes to his writing, and that clearly shows.  Some people may be put off by the horrible deeds that the two Half-Orc brothers do, but you must understand that this is Book 1.  This is to show us what paths they may end up taking.  Everybody has to have a beginning, and they're not always pleasant beginnings.  The Half-Orc brothers, due to having a rough life and being treated horribly by others, are easily swayed to be weapons of destruction by anybody who has faith in them.  Plus, they believe that this is their nature--but will it always remain that way?  I cannot give that away.

It's an easy book to read, because Dalglish paints very vivid pictures without ever getting lost in the details.  Not once does the reader feel like he's lost or overwhelmed, or at least I certainly didn't.  I finished the book quickly and I look forward to reading the others in the series.

What would I rate this?  I think I'd have to give it 5 out of 5 stars.  It's brilliantly written--and again, he made me read a fantasy novel all the way through, and that's something I would've thought to be impossible.  That alone must count for something!

THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD (THE HALF-ORCS BOOK 1) is available on Amazon, and as of now it is only $0.89 for the Kindle.  I highly encourage you to check his work out.  Even if you're not into reading fantasy, you may surprise yourself.

Nothing Like a 5 Star Review from a Fellow Author (and one that I read and respect!)

Well, so far today is off to a GREAT start!  Just found a new review for IN DECLINE this morning, and not only is it a 5 star review, but it's also from a fellow author!  I hope you don't mind if I share it here real quick.

"In Decline (stories) by Michael Crane is a diverse mix of stories with a nice variety of characters and points of view. He tackles alienation, loneliness, addiction, divorce, and does it in a very real and honest way. I think my favorite story was 'Uncle Lenny' - written from a boy's point of view, Crane really captured the confusing feelings and misplaced guilt of his young protagonist. I'm glad I gave this author a try, and hope you will, too!"
- Joel Arnold, author of Fetal Bait Apocalypse; 3 Collections in 1 

You don't know how happy that makes me to see that this morning.  With having jury duty and having to take my hamster into the vet this week, it's just the boost that I needed.  Nothing makes me happier to find out that somebody enjoyed my writing--especially a fellow author!  Joel Arnold is a very talented writer, and I highly encourage you to check out some of his work.

He's not the only one.  One of the first reviews I received for this book was also from a fellow author:

"This book of short stories takes a perfect snapshot into the lives of very well drawn characters in very dark times. Looking forward to more from this author."
-Kipp Poe Speicher, author of Closing My Eyes Helps Me to See Clearly

Another talented author, if I do say so myself!

It's great when you hear feedback like that from fellow authors.  Makes me feel like I'm doing something right.


Hello, everybody!  My name is Michael Crane and I'm an indie author.  I've seen a lot of people blog on this site, so I figured what the hell?  Don't know how often I'll blog, or what exactly I'll blog about... but another outlet is never a bad thing.

I currently have an eBook out, IN DECLINE, which is a short story collection.  You can find out more about it on its Amazon page:  IN DECLINE: stories

I also have two free short stories on Smashwords that you can check out:


I also have an official facebook page where you can find more of my info:

As to how often I'll blog on here or how often I'll update it, I can't know for sure.  I'm usually bad at keeping up with things like this, but seeing as I'm trying to get my writing out there, I should learn how to do a better job!

Anyways, welcome to my blog site!  Be warned... there will be nothing but inane babble here.  Michael's Babble.