Leaving Social Media
Let me start by saying that leaving social media was absolutely the right thing to do. It took many hours (I estimate easily over 20) each week to maintain an active professional social media page—and as many experts warned—it was seriously taking away from my writing time.
Now, I’m back in the writing groove where I’m supposed to be.
Further, I now spend even more time in the forests (day and night)—my inspirational place for the Ryland Creek stories.
When readers write (particularly those noticing I'm off social media), I simply tell them: Chapter 2, opening sentence, The Master of Hounds. 😉
The Forest Ghost
The Forest Ghost is the prequel to the first novel in the Ryland Creek series, telling the story of a teenage Arthur McCutcheon as he enters the world of his adopted father, the Seneca Chief Gray Eyes.
Many former characters (e.g., a teenage Jacob Ernst, Rose McCutcheon, as well as Mist) and new characters (e.g., Paul and Mary Ernst, Shell (Gray Eye's wife)) are introduced in Ghost.
I’m now over 16K words—up 4K words in just one week of being freed from social media. I’m confident I can maintain a similar pace, which would mean Ghost will be completed around the late April 2021 timeframe—right on schedule for a Fall 2021 release date, barring other complications.
By the way, Ghost, which starts in 1963, is requiring a ton of research—and I’m loving every minute of it.
The Ryland Creek Newsletter (TRCN).
I’ve had a healthy sign up for the new Ryland Creek Newsletter. This bi-monthly newsletter will in part replace the posts and pictures I had on my professional social media platform.
I’m currently exploring different formats—in terms of both layout and content for TRCN.
The first edition of TRCN is slated for release on or about 1 January 2021.
You can sign up (free) here.
Ryland Creek Merchandise
Some authors/artists call this “bling” (I’m laughing), but one thing I noticed during my last year on social media was how much folks liked to see the pictures of the Painted Post region. To that end, we (my wife, Brenda, and I) created our first Ryland Creek calendar from the many pictures we’d taken. The calendar will clearly be an annual occurrence for the foreseeable future.
We’re also exploring coffee mugs (and maybe T-shirts?) with scenes/sayings from the novels. If we can find a quality mug (and T-shirt) maker who can get the images right, we’ll have this “merch” posted on our page as soon as we get our act together.