Robert Stadnik's Blog - Posts Tagged "exodus-of-the-phoenix"

Tomorrow I will be picking up the manuscript for Phoenix Among The Stars, the second book in the Exodus series. I anticipate spending the next week or so going through and making the final revisions before putting it up for sale. Unlike my first two novels, Phoenix Among The Stars will only be made available on the Kindle as an e-book. 99% of all my book sales have been through the Kindle, so I see no reason to offer my latest book as paperback or as an e-book through Barnes & Noble.

With that said, I can already say that the third Exodus novel, which I'm currently writing, will conclude the first year the TXS PHOENIX has spent in space. The story encompasses a time period of four years, but when I started writing the Exodus series I had no idea how many books it would take to cover the entire storyline. I'd like to think that I can assume it'll take three books to cover each year, totaling twelve books that will comprise the series. But I don't want to commit to a book count, I'd rather let the writing guide me as I commit the specifics of the storyline to paper.

The first Exodus novel, Exodus Of The Phoenix, was released July 2010. The second novel is coming out September 2011, over a year later. I don't anticipate the third Exodus novel to take as much time to release (I actually think I will release it sometime in the first quarter of 2012). The reason why it took so long between the first and second Exodus novel was because of Tales Of A Former Child Superhero. After the first Exodus novel, I switched over to writing the first book in the Heroes & Consequences series. But I've committed to writing the Exodus series exclusively until the entire storyline has been written. Also, I haven't come up with new storyline for the heroes series, unlike the exodus series, where I have the entire outline of the story written down.
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Published on September 09, 2011 17:27 • 111 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, robert-stadnik, science-fiction, starship, terra
So it finally happened...I got a bad review on Exodus Of The Phoenix. I knew it would eventually happen, but it was still a bitter pill to swallow. I don't know how other writers feel, but I wanted to ignore it and just focus on the positive reviews. But that isn't fair to me or my readers.

If I'm willing to put my work out there I have to be willing to take both positive and negative feedback. I put a good faith effort when writing my books, trying to have the story flow and eliminate all grammatical errors. But as some of those who have reviewed my books, they still contain grammar mistakes. I don't mind that being brought up in reviews, because those who point it out provide it as constructive criticism (and sure enough when I rechecked Phoenix Among The Stars manuscript last night, I found grammar mistakes). I read all my reviews and take the comments seriously, because that's the only way I can improve my subsequent novels.

It bothers me that after revising that manuscript 7 or 8 times, I still missed those mistakes. But a lot of my friends and writers have pointed out a couple things to me. One, I don't have the resources of a writer who's signed with a publishing house, who has the benefit of multiple editors reviewing his/her manuscript. Two, I'm only charging $0.99 for my e-books rather than the ten or fourteen bucks publishing houses are charging for their authors' e-books. I see what they're saying, but I still want to provide the same level of work as an author represented by a publishing house.

Another item pointed out to me is that even the most commercially successful authors have their detractors, so I did a little research. John Locke has sold over a million e-books and I checked a couple of his novels to see how many negative reviews he had (I considered negative 1 or 2 stars at amazon.com). 37% of reviews for Saving Rachel were negative, Then & Now had 25% bad reviews, and Lethal People, 28%. I then checked Stephen King, who of course is generally considered a great writer. His novel, Bag of Bones, had 15% of reviews that were negative.

You can spend years working on a single novel, have the backing of the biggest publishing houses, and no matter what there will be people who read the book and hate it. I realize that, but it's still tough when a bad review comes in. But what I can do is take those comments and reflect on what the reviewer is saying, especially if it makes me a better writer. (unfortunately, the bad review that prompted me to write this post had nothing constructive I could use. The reviewer just made it clear he hated Exodus Of The Phoenix).

I guess this is just another milestone all writers must go through.
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Published on November 05, 2011 10:21 • 92 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, novel-reviews, phoenix-among-the-stars, robert-stadnik, science-fiction
So I'm almost finished with the draft of the third exodus book, and I found myself having to refer back to the second book to ensure I have names and other tidbits of information correct. I didn't realize how often I had to go back and re-read about secondary characters and locations of specific areas on the ship.

I spent the weekend actually reading Phoenix Among The Stars (and giving me the opportunity to correct grammar errors I overlooked) and documenting relevant information I'll need as I continue to write the series. I have a red book I use as my reference tool (I'm starting to call it my exodus encyclopedia). I have pages upon pages of important information written down; the list of secondary characters alone covers two pages. I'm starting to understand how much work the writers of science fiction shows had to do to ensure established content was consistent among episodes. Whew!
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Published on November 06, 2011 20:44 • 100 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, robert-stadnik, science-fiction-novel
I've been putting a couple late nights into my writing, working on the third exodus book. Last night, at exactly 11PM, I completed writing the first draft. It took a little over two months to write it, and what an undertaking it was. There was so many events to write about the PHOENIX's adventures during the remainder of year one and all of year two, and there's still a lot I have to go back and write. I have a long laundry list of items I need to address, changes to certain scenarios and how they play out, additional dialogue, etc.

One of my motivations for all the hours I've been putting into the third book have been the sales of the first two exodus books. Since October, sales of both novels have really taken off. So much so that each hit amazon's top 100 sales list at one point (space opera, space adventure). I'm even more committed to ensuring this third novel is nice and polished (in hindsight, I rushed the second exodus novel out without really scrutinizing it. I won't do that again).

Finally, I haven't done much reading myself lately since my Nook went kaput on me. I bought the first version of the Nook back in January 2010 (paying full board price for it) and, although it was slow, it served its purpose and I enjoyed reading novels off of it as I traveled. To replace it, I ordered a Kindle Touch, the one with advertising for $99 bucks. I did look at the Kindle Fire but, just like the iPad, I can't justify what I would use it for. I just want something I can take and read.

So I'll be taking a break from writing for the next week. I won't start the revision process until after Thanksgiving. In less than two weeks, I'll be moving to my new place in Scottsdale and I so excited about getting back to the city. Prescott is nice, but it's too cold and I don't care for small towns (although Prescott is pretty much a small city at this point).
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Published on November 19, 2011 08:19 • 98 views • Tags: amazon-kindle, exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, robert-stadnik, science-fiction
I don't know if I mentioned this before, but for the last couple of months I've been living in Prescott, AZ. Life likes to throw some twists and, in my case, I had the opportunity to changes some things in my life. I think it did me a lot of good, as I wrote a very sizable draft of the third exodus book in just over two months. I started the revision process yesterday, with a mandate I made to myself that I would revise no more than one chapter a day. With moving day coming up Friday, I'll probably wind up putting off revising the draft for another week.

I'm relocating back to the Valley, but to Scottsdale, where I originally lived when I first left (escaped) California. I had to wait a couple of months to get the place I wanted, but it'll be well worth it, even if I'll only be there half the year. But the weekend will be pretty busy. Friday and Saturday will be moving day, then I have to brave the crowds and buy all the essentials for my new place, hit a Christmas party I've been invited to Saturday night, then off Monday to my last business trip for 2011. Phew!

I think my time in Prescott provided a different perspective that I infused in my writing, and it certainly encourage me to write vast amounts in such a short time. I certainly learned that small town life is not for me. I love Prescott, but I'm aching to get back to the Valley to enjoy big city life and hang out with my friends.

I don't know how many chapters I've written in the draft, but if it's more than 30 it'll take over a month to get to the first revision process. I'm sticking to my guns on this one. I'm taking my time on this revision as there's quite a bit that happens in the story.
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Published on November 28, 2011 17:52 • 152 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, phoenix-in-chaos, robert-stadnik, science-fiction
I didn't realize it's been awhile since I've posted anything here. There's been a lot going on in 2012, good things, but a lot going on.

First off, I want to give the latest news about the 3rd exodus novel. I am happy to say that Phoenix In Chaos will be going on sale at amazon.com in two weeks. Right now, I'm waiting to receive the last 100 pages of the novel from my anointed editor. I estimate I'll be getting back those revisions next week as I'm the road. When I get back from my business trip I will work full time going through those last 100 pages. Once that's done, I'll be putting the book up for sale. I've already finished the book cover and synopsis and set up the file on amazon, so I just need the completed manuscript and I'll be set to go.

I was worried I wouldn't meet my March deadline for this novel. Recently, I've accepted new responsibilities at work that will allow me to explore other areas of my company. It's a great opportunity, but has been taking me away from writing. Given the busy schedule I anticipate for the remainder of the year, I've been reevaluating my writing plans. I'm happy how Phoenix In Chaos came out. I was able to encompass a lot more of the story without bloating the novel too big. Also, I've been itching to get back to writing the Heroes & Consequences series. So, I'm intending to finish off the exodus series with one more novel, combining years three and four and releasing it by the end of 2012.

Finally, I want to thank everyone whose been buying the exodus novels. Although it's every writer's hope to sell lots of books, it's still a pleasant surprise when it finally becomes a reality. So thank you everyone.

Look for my twitter feed for the announcement the day Phoenix In Chaos goes on sale.
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Published on February 23, 2012 16:26 • 389 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, robert-stadnik, science-fiction, starship-phoenix
Short and simple....Phoenix In Chaos is now available on amazon.com for purchase.
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Published on March 05, 2012 09:54 • 406 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, phoenix-in-chaos, robert-stadnik, science-fiction, starship
After taking a writing break after publishing Phoenix In Chaos, I started writing the draft for the final exodus novel: Fury Of The Phoenix. Well, after a couple days of writing I managed to get three chapters written. That was a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, with my additional role with work, coupled with some things that cropped up in my regular audit role, I haven't had time to work on the draft. I'm at home next week but will have no time to work on the draft at all. As it is right now, I'm looking at getting back to writing the draft near the end of April...puke!

The longer I go without writing, the more my mind is focusing on the last story, which is a good thing. I've come up with several specific scenes in the novel and, in my mind at least, slowly refining them and the interactions that occur. So when I do have a chance to go back to writing the draft I should be able to churn the chapters out with relative ease.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to Daryl for his e-mail to me. He had some interesting thoughts about the Screen and I was able to provide some information not explicitly stated in the novels. And to my friend Dan in Santa Cruz...when am I going to get another letter from you with your theories about the characters and what you think will happen??! I know your dad got you a Kindle Fire! :)
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Published on April 07, 2012 11:54 • 737 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, phoenix-among-the-stars, phoenix-in-chaos, robert-stadnik, science-fiction, txs-phoenix
After playing catch up with work I was able to work on the final exodus novel. Yesterday, I hit the 10,000 word mark. A minor milestone, but one that make's me feel I'm making some progress (despite this being only the first draft).

The final novel doesn't immediately pick up from the last book. A couple of months (won't say how much time has passed by) have elapsed and, although I know how the story unfolds, I'm still amazed by all the changes that have occurred on the PHOENIX. As I've been writing the Fury draft, I find myself missing the characters that had been a part of the story through the first three books. Losing a character isn't easy for me, and I don't discard a character merely for the sake of doing so. All I can say is that's how the story evolved (I won't comment on specific characters for those who may not have read all three books yet). PHOENIX certainly isn't the ship it once was, and in some respects I feel I'm starting a brand new story all over again.

With me getting a better handle on my new position at work, I'm more optimistic about getting the first draft finished earlier than anticipated. As I work specific scenarios that moves the story forward have readily popped up in my head. Last night I was up until 2 in the morning going over specific scenes in my head and how things play out. My little red book I use to keep track of all the terminology and characters in the exodus series has already filled by three pages just on this final book.

I've received a lot of encouragement from readers who read Phoenix In Chaos. For those of you waiting for the final novel, all I can say is we're almost halfway through 2012 already, the end of the year will be here before we know it.
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Published on April 27, 2012 21:03 • 255 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, phoenix-among-the-stars, phoenix-in-chaos, robert-stadnik, science-fiction, starship
I've been silent for awhile about my progress writing Fury Of The Phoenix. Sorry about that, it's just that life throws some curve balls that you have no choice but to deal with.

Anyhow, I've gotten back on a writing spurt. I've committed myself to writing 2,000 words a day and have stuck with it. By the end of the month I'll finally have the first draft written (yah!)

Once the draft is written, I'll take a couple weeks off from writing so I can concentrate on my CFE re-certification (which is due by September). So the later half of August I'll begin the revision process. So I'm still on track for an end of year release of the final novel.
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Published on July 12, 2012 19:26 • 187 views • Tags: exodus-of-the-phoenix, exodus-series, fury-of-the-phoenix, phoenix-among-the-stars, phoenix-in-chaos, robert-stadnik