Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Site

I have a new site! It's at: http://strangerealm.com/ and it is awesome.

And this site has my blog in it. And it's mine. Which is why I will no longer write in this blog. If you are interested in reading whatever it is I have to say about my writing, please go to my new site! It has blog posts and a newsletter widget and an "about" page and... uh, well, that's pretty much it for now.

So go there, keep following my progress as I transform from aspiring indie author to a beautiful butterfly.

(This is a true fact. Indie authors wrap themselves in a cocoon made of delusions of grandeur and dreams, and weeks later they hatch as butterflies. Butterflies with E-books for wings, who drink book reviews. When they mate, they create anthologies)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Onward and Upward!

So up until now, my next immediate step was in a gray area. Would Sleepless be published with Kindle Scout? Will it be me? When, why and how?

Now I can answer the questions to myself and to anyone who's interested:

Q: Will Sleepless ever be published?

A: Of course, silly questioning person. It'll be published in the next two months. Initially, I will probably only publish it on amazon.

Q: Why two months? Isn't it ready? You said it's ready!

A: Calm down, crazy questioning person. It's ready... but there are some small points to tie up:

  1. Sleepless has links within it to the blog of the protagonist. Those links actually work... except they don't. I still need to create the blog. The content is all there. It's all a matter of some design, domain acquisition and hosting
  2. I don't have a website yet, but I want to have one when Sleepless is published, so that I can redirect people from within the ending of the book to my website, so that they can register to my mailing list. So that has to happen too.
  3. There's some virtual paperwork to handle before I can publish my book. Tax... stuff. Some people are afraid of spiders, some of heights, some of clowns. I'm afraid of bureaucracy. But I'll get it done.
Q: Are you crying at night because you wanted to be published by Kindle Scout?

A: You're an annoying imaginary questioning person. I don't cry at night, I do my crying during the day. And not over this. This will probably be for the best, and is really no biggie.

Q: What is the meaning of...

A: And that's all for my Q&A between me and myself.

Q: Awww.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oh Well...

So... No kindle scout for me. Not for Sleepless, anyway.

Disappointed?  A bit. Not dramatically. I've written five books before Sleepless. I've received 6-9 rejection letters for each of them (three were published). I'm used to rejection letters. The only thing different in this one is the e-mail I got straight afterwards:

Dear Michael Omer,

We wanted to let you know that your Kindle Scout nomination, "Sleepless", was not selected for publication. The author, Michael Omer, wanted to make sure you received this thank you message:

“Thank you, this means a lot to me...

This is, of course, the e-mail that all people who nominated my book receive. I nominated my own book (Not because I'm biased. I read the first 5000 words, and I thought it was awesome), so I received the same e-mail.

This is a decent thing. Kindle Scout lets an author send the people who nominated him to his blog or website, where he can update them regarding the book. However, since all my family and friends nominated my book, this is also a bit like publicly slipping on a banana peel.

So, to reassure everyone: I am not incredibly upset. I wasn't sure at all that this was the right thing for my book, and now the decision, for better or worse was made for me. The book will be published, hopefully in the next two months, and it will all be awesome.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

How Did I Get Here?

It's been a bit more than a month since I started my new career as an indie author. Of course the only thing that makes me an indie author is me claiming to be one, since I haven't published anything yet, and I guess some indie authors would say that the kindle scout program is not really self publishing. But I digress.

I've been happy this month. I've written in a much higher pace than ever before. So far this is one of the best things that ever happened to my writing career.

It's worth mentioning how I got here.

I was looking for some writer blogs. I was just approaching the task of sending out query letters to agents for "Sleepless", and the daunting task made me look for advice from my peers. In a "top X blogs for writers" list I found one blog for JA Konrath.

Here it is: http://jakonrath.blogspot.co.il/

I've read the most recent post, and the one before it. Then I read the "bio". Okay, this was some "self publishing" author who made it. I was used to disregarding this as "something I would never be able to do", since I had learned the hard way that I can't market for shit.

So I switched to another blog, which bored me, then I switched back and read some more.

How many posts before I started muttering "This is doable"? Four? Five?

And that's the thing that Konrath does so well. He makes it feel doable. He clarifies that as long as you know how to write, and as long as you're prepared to work hard for a long time, you will succeed. And that basically the main thing that you have to do is write a lot.

After reading twenty or thirty posts I was completely hooked. I bought a bad "how to self publish" book. Then I bought a good one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OS96EYU/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

I e-mailed some people who didn't really understand what I was so excited about (but they were polite about it). I scared my wife, who knows that I'm sometimes prone to impulsive decisions, and she made me promise that I won't self publish "Sleepless" that week. I bored people to tears with explanations about the wonderful era that we're in, and how writing has stopped being a dead-end job.

And I started writing again. It was great.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I've been told that as a writer, I should have some goals.

When I say told, I mean I read it in some blogs. So the person who gave me that wonderful advice is not necessarily aware of my existence. But he told me to have some goals, and have goals I shall.

So, my big goal for this year (and by this year I mean until the end of December 2015, because I started all this serious writing business on October, so I'm stealing a couple of months from 2014. Do not report on me to the time police) is to publish three books:

  1. Sleepless - Which is already written aside from some blog entries within the book, and is waiting for the Kindle Scout verdict (14 days to go)
  2. My point of view (temporary name) - My sci-fi thriller which I began writing last week, and am having a blast with
  3. Moth to a Flame - The sequel to Sleepless, which has a pretty good draft already written, but needs to be rewritten from scratch because of reasons.
To accomplish this large goal, I set a weekly word count goal of... 4000 words.

Yeah, I know. This might be a small number. Not for me, okay? I don't write so fast, I have three children and (Insert any excuse that sounds plausible here). 4000 words. I might make it larger but listen:

My point of view is intended to be a 50,000 word novel. This means I can write the first draft in two and a half months.

Moth to a flame is also about 50,000 words (perhaps a bit longer), so let's say three months.

And I still have a month and a week I stole from 2014. Muhahahaha.

So it's doable, and I'm not lazy. This is the current number of words that I can really write per week. This is not Nanowrimo. I plan to write for years to come. I can't do it in an insane sprint. I have to pace myself.

There we go. Some goals. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First Chapters, Self Doubt

I've written the two first chapters of my new book yesterday, and invited in my old friend, self doubt.

Me: Hey, self doubt, please, come in.

SD: Thanks Michael. Don't mind if I sit down.

Me: That's actually my chair...

SD: Yeah.

Me: Uh... Would you like to drink anything? Tea? Coffee?

SD: Can you make coffee the way I like?

Me: I don't know, how do you like it?

SD: that's disappointing. Water's fine.

Me: Right. One glass of water, coming right up.

SD: Glass, huh?

Me: I don't... would you rather drink a mug of water?

SD: Nevermind. I'm not thirsty anymore. What do we have here?

Me: The first two chapters of my new book. Isn't it great?

SD: So this is a chase scene, huh?

Me: Well, it's more of an introduction. I want the readers to get a feel for the characters.

SD: There's a chase here.

Me: Yeah...

SD: It's crap.

Me: I know. I totally intend to rewrite it later.

SD: Of course you are. And the fact that you don't know how to write a chase scene doesn't have any impact on your writing skills.

Me: I didn't say it did. Does it?

SD: So, second chapter. What do we have here. Mhm. Uh huh. Hmmmm.

Me: I mean, I guess I could make it a bit more... interesting?

SD: Yeah?

Me: Yeah, I mean the first part definitely needs working on, and the dialog here about the elevator...

SD: Interesting character here, this Richie.

Me: Is he?

SD: What do you think?

Me: I can rewrite it. I can rewrite it all.

SD: No, no, it's really okay. I'm not bored at all.

Me: Bored? It's just the first two chapters...

SD: I think I'd like that water after all. It's becoming really dry here.

Some rewrites later this week. People say you should never edit the first draft while working on it. I say, get out of my office, I'm trying to work here, and stop giving me advice.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


So where does Amy (The protagonist of Sleepless) come from, originally?

During my honeymoon, which we spent in the far east, we visited China. If there was something we really fell in love with in China (and there was a lot to fall in love with), it was the tea houses. Each tea house was a calm, serene beautiful place, many times located in the middle of a park. You could order some tea, which would come with a huge jar of hot water for refills, and just sit there for as long as you'd like. People easily sit in a tea house for four or five hours, playing mahjong or talking to their friends. Me and my wife joined this Chinese national pastime, my wife practicing her calligraphy, and me writing. It was there that a concept for a book called "Amy's test" was born.

Amy's test was a story about a sixteen year old who was going through a crisis in life. Her best friend stopped talking to her, the guy she was in love with didn't return her love, her newly acquired friend turned out to be a mess, and over everything loomed an incoming math test which she had to score high in. The book's name of course has a double meaning where it literally means the math test, but the actual test is the way she handles those obstacles in her life... you get the gist.

The book never went anywhere. I think it isn't bad, but at the time no one wanted to publish it, and self publishing wasn't a thing yet (people self published, I guess, but it was much harder).

Much later, when I decided I want to write my scary thriller, I decided I needed a protagonist which was a fourteen year old girl. Then I realized I already wrote a protagonist I really like. True, she was sixteen, but presumably she was fourteen just two years prior, why not use her? She had a snarky voice, she was confused, headstrong, quick to act, and full of life. She was exactly what I needed.

A writer friend once told me that he took one of his stories, dismantled it and sold the parts. This is exactly what I did with Amy. I dismantled Amy's test, took her and a few choice lines, and sold those parts to Sleepless.