Not Much to Report

I was hoping to have a huge update around now with dates for a cover reveal / launch for The Darkest Realm, and relaunch deets for The Lowest Realm, but unfortunately my publishing team have been super busy. I highly doubt that anything will be ready by November 9th as I’d hoped, but it is what it is. I just know it will be worth the wait 😀

I’m finally happy with my designs on Redbubble, so they will be ready to launch in time with The Darkest Realm. Just today, I’ve had issues with other ‘designers’ stealing my artwork and listing it as their own. Not cool – I paid a lot of money for the artwork and the exclusive license, so this person has breached usage rules. If you do go to buy something, please make sure it it’s from my account, AmyAlexCampbell.

I have commissioned another piece of artwork which I’m super excited about…but this one is a surprise 😀 It should be ready in a few days!

Yesterday I received my 2nd vaxx, so I will be returning to work on Tuesday 🙁
Being able to spend these last 4 months working on my writing has been the best 4 months ever. It has allowed me to focus on my stories and get them to a level that I’m happy and proud of. Unfortunately I need money to pay my bills, so until my writing pays enough that I can draw an income, leaving work isn’t an option (so cough cough please buy my books lol).

As for Tysion’s Story – I’m just over 30k words now. I’ve been a little slack on updating the tracker as I’ve had to stop and rework some of the back story to ensure it aligns with the main story. I’ve also had to build my cult from the ground up, and this has taken hours of watching vids of real cults. There was a lot to cover, but I’m confident my cult will be amazing 😛

Tysion’s Story is a spin-off, kind of like Rogue One / Solo in terms of Star Wars. It won’t be released until some time after The Darkest Realm. It is not essential for The Miscreant, but it is deep enough for a story and it’s one I love so freaking much.

Book 3 – The Final Realm is on pause while I work on Tys and Ashy, but not for too long. I hope to resume work on this real soon so I can tie it all off. At this stage we’re looking like it will be a trilogy – I’m praying to Am that I don’t get forced to write a book 4. Sometimes these things can’t be helped!

Patreon: I’m going to hold off on posting a Patreon update until I get more news. Remember that Patreons get exclusive early access to cover reveals, and instead of a boring page of text, you get to see a video of me rambling on about it! For ore info, check out my Patreon HERE.

That’s all for now. Hang tight my loves, I’ll have some proper updates for you all soon.

Much love,
AAC <3

Lockdown is Almost Over

After almost 4 months of being locked down, restrictions are finally about to lift as Sydney reaches its double-vaxxed target. On Monday the 11th, my store will finally reopen for trade.

This means that this week I have to go in and prepare the store for trade. Long story short, today was the first day and I’m already exhausted 😩

For me personally, my 2nd vax isn’t until Oct 23, so after this week, I can’t go back until I’ve had that dose.

Am I excited about going back?

The answer is no. It’s strange because all of my colleagues are bouncing off the walls dying to open and get back to work. For me, the passion just isn’t there any more.

For me, this entire lockdown has been about my writing. Every day, I did al least one thing that related to my business. I’ve written 1.5 books (hopefully I can finish the 2nd before I return Oct 25th), done all of my maps, done some streaming, worked on my website, and all those things that writers do when they’re not writing.

Lockdown 2.0 has been a time of self-reflection, but most of all, it has been 101 days (to date) I could dedicate to my passion. 101 days to become a better writer, and fix a lot of those beginner mistakes I made the first time around.

I was presumably one of the few people who leapt for joy (literally) when lockdown was announced, and upset that it’s ending.

During this time, I’ve also been studying still. The unit I just completed covered all those little things I need to find employment in my profession. As it turns out, applying for a library role is much more complex than applying for retail, so I’ve been doing it wrong all along.

My time in retail has run out. I’m done. The spark is gone. I want to do somethinng less intense so I can put more focus into my writing and really refine my craft. Unfortunately, changes like this don’t happen overnight, and one must work for it. I’ll keep you posted 💜

Updates!

I’m currently 22k words into Tysion’s story. I’m debating whether or not to brand it as The Miscreant 2.5 or 3.5. When the time comes, I’ll work with my beta reader and see what he thinks.

I should have another update by the end of the month and hopefully a cover reveal.

Until then, stay safe my friends 💜

Much love,

AAC

More Artwork & Maps!

Howdy folks! I’m so excited to show off the latest piece of artwork – this time it’s Ashavan and Tysion, who you will meet in book 2 and 3 of The Miscreant. Tysion will also be getting his own spin-off story too, but that’s for later 😉 To see the other artwork, go to The Miscreant tab above and navigate to Character Art
(or click HERE).
This artwork will be available on Redbubble on tees and other products, but I’m not launching that officially just yet. Stay tuned!

Maps, maps, maps! All of the ones needed for book 1 and 2 have been uploaded to the map section, plus a bonus rough doodle of a floor plan of the Monastery. Check them out in the map section under The Miscreant tab above (or just click HERE to save time).

Anywho, here’s the not-so-lovable Ashavan (who I love anyway) and Tysion <3

Ashavan on the left wearing his armour, and Tysion on the right wearing a simple tunic and hose, holding his hammer. Ashavan has blonde hair and stubble, and Tysion has brown hair and is clean-shaven.
Ashavan & Tysion

I’m up to date on my to-do list:

  • Suffer through writing a blurb
  • Work on the maps and get them ready for print.
    • World
    • Lorendia
    • Maikaden
    • Gri’Ran’s Gate
    • Kia-Mor
    • Bar’Am
    • Gri’Ran’s Rest
  • Edit and send it off to my beta reader.
  • Send info to my designer and commission the cover.
    • Booked for mid October
  • Update to cover of book 1
    • Booked and organised
  • More edits.
  • Send to proofreader.
  • Read through book 1, followed by a re-read of book 2, and ensure everything is right.
  • Finalise ornamental art for chapter and sections.
  • Set up interiors:
    • The Lowest Realm
    • The Darkest Realm
  • Send final page counts to designer.
  • Plan some sort of launch party
  • Set up preorders.
  • Launch.

Clearance!

I’m continuing to clear out copies of The Lowest Realm to make space for the updated copies. As such, these are now available for $12.50 each plus postage. Unfortunately, postage is still kinda high due to Aus Post. I’m continuing to try and find a cheaper method. Visit the SHOP to check it out.

20 Years On

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Twenty years ago, a major event occurred in the United States that shook the world. I was reflecting with hubs about this last night, and we both shared our stories of how it affected us when we heard the news. Remember, I’m an Aussie living in Australia and I was only 16 at the time, so my memory may be a little off.

At the time this happened, I was in year 11 (the 2nd last year of high school). Mum was working night shift at a meat factory, and Dad worked as a farm hand. Mum would get home around 3 or 4am and head to bed, while Dad and I would get up at 6am. He’d drop me at my Nan’s so I could have breakfast and finish getting ready for school, and he’d continue on to work. I should mention we lived in the country where I couldn’t just walk to school – it was a 10km drive from our place to the nearest town. Anyways…

Mum always left us notes on the bench, usually just saying that work was shit and she loved us. But this one morning, her note said something like:

“Big terrorist attack in America. Check the news. Bloody scary. Love yas.”

We listened to the news on the radio in the car on the way to Nan’s, but I don’t remember much. It wasn’t until I got to Nan’s that I saw what was happening on the TV. The Today Show was broadcasting live, and was replaying the two smoking towers and the collapse. I was just staring at it in disbelief, unable to comprehend that history was being written at that very moment.

And then at 7:21am (5:21pm Eastern Time US), the World Trade Center collapsed. I’m pretty sure this is what I saw live. I still remember the fear, the shock, and what I didn’t know at the time, the anxiety.

All day at school, the topic was the terrorist attack. The speculation that we’d be pulled into a retaliatory war, or something similar happening here. We were scared. Scared that we’d be targeted too.

My biggest memory from this day was when I was in my accounting class. My teacher Mrs Wright was known as The Dragon as she was strict and didn’t tolerate any bull crap. Myself and 2 other accounting students would sit at the back of her year 12 business class as there weren’t enough of us for a dedicated accounting class.

We were all fairly restless and no one could concentrate on the lesson. Mrs Wright put up her hand and stopped the class.

“Alright everyone. Let’s talk about this. We have just witnessed a major world-changing event and I think we all need to talk about it and debrief. Let’s get it off our chest so we can focus on moving forward and getting on with our day.”

One by one we went around the room and discussed it – the shock, the fear, the disbelief. There was no shaming or hanging shit on each other – in a way it was like a group therapy session for shared trauma (I’ve never been in group therapy but that’s what I imagined it to be like). Mrs Wright taught us about terrorism, what it is, and what to expect when the world would react to it. She explained how terrorism is aimed to strike terror into ordinary peoples hearts so we are living in fear of the next attack. Interesting to note: for some time after, even I avoided large events like concerts or cricket in the city because I never knew if there would be another attack. And even now, I find myself making a mental note of emergency exits, you know, just in case something happens.

So even though I’m in Australia and am far removed from what happened that day, I still feel this event deep in my very core. When I watched some footage just before writing this blog, I felt that same fear and anxiety that I felt on that day. My heart goes out to those poor people who died in those attacks, and their family members, the first responders, and everyone who was impacted by this event in any way.

I can only hope that we never see such a horrific attack again.

I will never forget.

Much love,
~AAC

Courtesy of Examiner

#WRITEboyslove

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One of the more challenging aspects of self publishing is marketing. Not everyone has studied this at a university level, and therefore has no idea on how to present themselves to the world and get their name out there. Another challenge is connecting with other writers in the same genre.

My Twitter bestie Kon Blacke (@BlackeKon) came up with #WRITEboyslove – to be used by writers of m/m work, so that readers and writers alike can find each other. This includes manga, fanfic, comics, and heck – if you’re an artist of m/m, I’m pretty sure we’d love to have you too!

SO! If you are a reader looking for new reads that are outside of the mainstream, simply do a search on Twitter for #WRITEboyslove and scroll through the juicy threads.

If you are a writer, follow myself and/or Kon, and keep an eye open for the daily prompts. We post them every day during September (and October when it comes around) at 12pm Aussie time, but you can respond to them at any time in any order. Simply include the # in your tweet so that other searchers will see your input when they search.

Note – this is open to anyone who writes man loves man. This includes bisexuals, pansexuals, trans people, anyone who does not spread hatred within the community.

You do not need permission to join in, there is no time limit, and no eligibility criteria apart from men loving men. We are not Centrelink <3

Your host Kon and I the co-host are both Aussies, so we aim to keep this a fun activity! The more lewd and naughty the better >:)

This is a fun way to connect with readers and writers alike. Feel free to interact and follow each other and hopefully make new friends!

Maps for The Miscreant

Howdy folks!

The maps for The Lowest Realm and The Darkest Realm are coming along really well! Here is a sneak peak:

(The gaps in the wording for Rithvend and Merillaborn is where the centre of the book page will be)
Maikaden close-up

Over the next few weeks I’ll be adding them into the map sections of the site (see Writers > Map Making & Lore: The Miscreant).

In other news: I’ve commissioned more artwork that’s being worked on right now, and I’m working on editing. 2 maps left to draw, and then I’ll almost be ready for publishing!

And finally, I took the plunge and started a bloody tik-tok account.

That’s all for now. Much love,

AAC 💜

New Character Artwork

I’m not crying, you are!

I recently commissioned artwork of Freyne and Nika to celebrate the completion of The Darkest Realm. OMG, it’s amazing 😭 I’m usually a heartless cow, but this made my eyes misty.

Freyne and Nika, by reendhanasukma.

Where am I up to?

  • Suffer through writing a blurb
  • Work on the maps and get them ready for print.
    • World
    • Lorendia
    • Maikaden
    • Gri’Ran’s Gate
    • Kia-Mor
    • Bar’Am
    • Gri’Ran’s Rest
  • Edit and send it off to my beta reader.
  • Send info to my designer and commission the cover.
    • Booked for mid October
  • Update to cover of book 1
    • Booked and organised
  • More edits.
  • Read through book 1, followed by a re-read of book 2, and ensure everything is right.
  • Send to proofreader.
  • Set up interiors.
  • Send final page counts to designer.
  • Plan some sort of launch party
  • Set up preorders.
  • Launch.

Each time I finish and publish a book, I am usually overcome with excitement and impatience, and rush rush rush to get it out to the masses. This time, though, I find myself feeling quite mellow. I’m happy and excited, but not bouncing off the walls like usual.

I was discussing this with my bestie who noticed this and mentioned it to me. I came to realise that as much as I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve also grown as a publisher. I’m determined to get it right this time around. The Lowest Realm and Catalogue of Disaster were both rushed, and I’ve had to rework them as a result. On the other hand, I took my time with Beneath the Grandstand and there are only 3 words I would change in the entire book – which are just a personal thing to me and my OCD. No one has picked up on these three words lol.

Patreon

Tomorrow I will be recording the next chapters of BtG and CoD to Patreon. I’ll also be recording my monthly update and uploading some more things, so stay tuned.

Check out my Patreon HERE! For $1.50 a month you get access to heaps of content 🙂

Twitch map streams

I’ve been streaming my progress of Maikaden map live on Twitch, so make sure you jump on and say hi. You will need to make a Twitch account, but it’s easy and so so worth it! If Twitch isn’t your thing, check out the edited streams on YouTube.

TWITCH

YOUTUBE

Stay safe folks and I’ll check in soon!

Much love,
AAC 💜

TDR Is Finished!

Happy August, everyone! I bring you great and exciting news!!

I’ve deliberately held off posting in my blog until now. I am so excited to announce that The Darkest Realm is FINALLY complete!! It has taken me 2 years, three different versions, to get where I am with this. For the longest time I was starting to regret announcing that there would be a book 2 and contemplated just making it the stand-alone it was meant to be. But I persisted, and WOW it was so worth it!

So, what’s next?

  1. Suffer through writing a blurb
  2. Work on the maps and get them ready for print.
  3. Edit and send it off to my beta reader.
  4. Send info to my designer and commission the cover.
  5. More edits.
  6. Read through book 1, followed by a re-read of book 2, and ensure everything is right.
  7. Send to proofreader.
  8. Set up interiors.
  9. Send final page counts to designer.
  10. Plan some sort of launch party
  11. Set up preorders.
  12. Launch.

Aim is to launch it on November 9th, which will be the 2 year anniversary of releasing The Lowest Realm.

But wait, there’s more!

To celebrate my growth as a writer, I will be re-launching The Lowest Realm just before the launch of book 2. I’ve sent TLR to my proofread / editor who is tidying it up for me. There will be no major changes to the plot, I’ll just be fixing punctuation and the sex scenes. I’ve watched enough porn since writing that book that I know I can do them a little better. No, I will not make them more graphic as this is not erotica.

I will be giving The Lowest Realm an updated blurb, and make some changes to the back of the cover to bring it in line with my branding.

And finally, I have commissioned some artwork of Nika and Freyne! I am so freaking excited about this! If all goes well, I’ll get some done of more of the characters. I’ll be updating the pronunciation guide so it will be an embedded video to make that easier, too.

On a final note, I will be adding a lot more content to my Patreon over the next few weeks. I’ll try and add some of the behind the scenes things such as interior setup, maps, publishing and so on. I’m super excited! Don’t forget to check it out at patreon.com/AmyAlexCampbell

I just want to give you all a big thank you for your support since I started this crazy journey. I have made new friends along the way, and reconnected with old friends alike. You are all my family and I love you.

Much love,

Amy-Alex x

Announcement! Patreon!

Click here to visit my Patreon ^

Big news, folks!

Today is the two year anniversary of finishing off the draft of The Lowest Realm. To celebrate, I’m launching my shiny new Patreon!

For those who don’t know what this is, Patreon is a way to support your favorite artists. There are writers, video creators, digital artists, musicians, and all sorts of creative folks on there. Fans get to sign up to their favorite creator for a monthly recurring fee, and in return they get access to exclusive content depending on their tier.

For my Patreon, I have 4 tiers available: Neophyte, Monk, High Priest, and Disciple. The features of each tier are listed below:

So if you sign up to be a Neophyte at $1.50 per month, you will have access to the monthly progress video or live stream; you get to submit questions for Q&A, participate in polls, and you get 10% off all books in my online store!

For the monk tier, you get this, plus access to character bios, interviews with characters, you can submit name suggestions for characters and locations. Instead of 10% discount, you get 15%.

High priests get all of the above, plus you will get to hear me read a chapter of one of my stories each month. I will post map images or host a live stream of me drawing them, and an occasional short story. This tier receives 20% off books in my store.

The final Disciple tier is not cheap, but this is Amy-Alex Campbell laid bare (not to be confused with naked – there is no nudity here). You get to read the icky offcut files, those versions that were so terrible they never see the light of day. I will print your name in the back of my next book as one of my supporters, and you get 25% off books in my store.
The biggest deal for this tier, though, is you get a copy of a limited print run version of Catalogue of Disaster. This run is discontinued as the pub mark was incorrect, there is a typo on the copyright page, and there are a few issues through the book which have since been changed.
Why would anyone want a ‘dud’?
I plan to be famous one day, so these copies may be worth something to someone some day – or not.
You also receive a hand-drawn initial map customised just for you. I will post you the map and book to wherever you live in the world.

I’m not doing this just to try and pocket all of your hard earned money. Any money made will be put back into running my website and keeping my Adobe subscription. To me, this platform enables me to directly interact with my true fans and readers, and by that I mean YOU. It creates an intimate environment where YOU get to experience behind the scenes and see what it’s truly like to be a writer. This content is just for YOU, not for Janice to randomly find and share / retweet.

If you have any questions, please email me or leave a message below.

Link: https://www.patreon.com/AmyAlexCampbell

Much love,

AAC <3

Update from Lockdown

Howdy awesome peeps!

I have no idea what day or week we’re in now….week 3 or 4 I think? I haven’t really been paying attention as usual. Since lockdown 2.0 started, I have been working on The Darkest Realm, and oh em gee, I am loving the story as it progresses. We have some awesome new characters, get an insight into the Miscreant and his closest generals, and new plot elements to bring more life to the story.

Each and every day, I update the progress bar with how many words I have written in the last 24 hours. That way, anyone who visits the website will know exactly where I am at, and hopefully can help me celebrate the milestones 🙂

Yesterday was a bit of a rest day. I had to run some essential errands, and decided to retro-fit one of the filters on my axolotl tank. This is such a big job, but totally worth it!

I also got to slip in an hour of gaming with a friend last night, before trudging back to the Chromebook for more writing. I spent the evening reworking chapter 15 and fixing up some of the dialogue, made sure things flowed properly.

Apart from writing, I’ve spent too much time on social media. I’m only human, after all!

Future Considerations

As an author, I am my own brand. I am a business, and therefore I plan for the future accordingly. Some things I’m considering:

  1. Patreon. I do a lot of work behind the scenes, such as writing crap that never makes the cut (TDR 2.1 is so cringe, I cringe just thinking about how cringey it is).
    Sometimes I write ‘scribbles’ which are part of developing characters, which then turn into mini stories as to why they behave the way they do. I have a hot scene between Garret and Jake that will probably never see the light of day…. Plus I’ll be writing a shorter story that covers how Tysion and Ashavan met.
    There is also so much work that goes into drawing maps, I can post videos and bloopers too. So there is no shortage of content!
  2. Beneath the Grandstand is my most successful novel to date. Davo Hardy, an Aussie film director, recently read it and loved it. Once I complete the Miscreant series and develop a bit more of a reader base, we’re looking into crowdsourcing the funds to adapt the book into a film. Super excited about this!
  3. Catalogue of Disaster has been receiving mixed reviews. It was only ever meant to be a short story of 40k words, something fun and fast paced. It was my first ever attempt at writing m/m romance in a modern setting. As much as I love this story, I feel like it has the potential to be so much more, especially now that I have grown considerably as an author. Therefore, I plan to revisit this story and flesh it out into a full length story like Beneath the Grandstand. I want to see Garret and Jake doing depraved acts in the archives, making out in the fire escapes, giving them a reason to get in so much trouble. There was going to be a part 2, but now I’ll just rewrite it into one sexy-ass story and bring it to life. I’ll still keep CoD, but the rewrite will be renamed and kick CoD out of the Marsden Park Series. Maybe. We’ll see.
  4. Between the Lines will still be written eventually. I started that project full of excitement, but writing about gangs in Australia is much harder than the United States. We don’t have guns here, and our crimes are nowhere near as extensive as over there. In Western Sydney, we deal with Eshays, which are hardly worth writing about. Therefore I will have to approach this from a different angle.

There are so many exciting things coming up, so make sure you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (or both, I post different content on each) and sign up to the newsletter.

That’s all from me today. Stay safe everyone!

Much love,
AAC <3