McDowell, E.M.: Dark Luminance
The Frameway Project promises all of this and more, and Mackland Luther is guiding the project to its final culmination. On the eve of what promises to be their biggest breakthrough, Mackland and his friends, Billy and Sean, prepare the test that will provide the almost limitless power needed to take the human race into the future.
Initial success and excitement quickly turn to horror as the Frame goes out of control, ripping Mackland and his friends from their world and depositing them in a world that is completely different yet strangely familiar. Along with Lily, a hard-charging security guard that was caught by the Frame along with them; and Grizzly, a rough yet gentle survivalist they meet in this new world, Mack and his friends must figure out some way to understand and undo whatever brought them here if they ever want to return to their own world.
But first they must survive an increasingly dangerous world full of undead drug addicts, giant mutants, and a relentless telepathic madman who will do anything to get his hands on the Frame for his own purposes.
Dark Luminance is the story of Dr. Mackland Luther and his companions battling undead mutants and a telepathic madman in an attempt to get back to their own universe after an experiment gone horribly wrong.
We couldn’t get a hold of author E.M. McDowell for a one on one interview, (word is that his publisher has him chained in a dark room with nothing but a laptop and a bowl of pretzels) but we did get a few pages from the journal of Mackland Luther, found at the site of his latest experiment.
Read on for an excerpt from ‘Dark Luminance’.
Post-Experiment- Day 3 – Lunchtime
Quick update: Billy is working in the tech tent, hopefully getting the Collector fixed, Sean is awake, although still in pain, and Lily and I are supposed to head over for some weapons and guard duty this afternoon.
Also, Jerrington might be insane.
Post-Experiment- Day 4 –
Not much doubt now that Jerrington is both bat-shit crazy and somehow controlling the Psidead. I suspect he is also able to read our thoughts, at least to some extent, whenever that crawling sensation hits. I’m guessing his mental abilities come from the same drug that created the zombies, but I don’t have any proof. I don’t think it really matters, but I’d like to know for sure.
He has made it clear that he intends to use the Collector and the Frameway portal to get off this world, and I have no doubt he will simply kill us as soon as he gets what he wants. I only have a few minutes before his goons come round us up for the road trip, but I need to write down a few thoughts.
I haven’t fully processed what happened to Sean, but I’m sure it will hit me later. For now, I have to focus on getting the Collector away from Jerrington, and then getting us away. I think we can count on Ming, but we will have to wait for the right opportunity. Until then, we can only go along for the ride to Cheyenne Mountain.
The only bright spot is Lily. I feel like I am getting to know here a little more every day, and she is an amazing woman. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t find a woman that interested me after Carla, but Lily seems special in so many ways. No matter how bad this world is, I’m grateful that this accident brought her into my life. Maybe it’s selfish, but its how I feel.
How to Not Sell Your Books
Do a Google search for ‘marketing your book’ and you will find hundreds of articles telling you how to use a combination of social media outlets to take your indie book to the bestseller stratosphere. I know, because I spent several months before and after publishing my first novel combing through these articles and blog posts, hoping for that magic bullet that would make my unknown title a bestseller. More than a half year later, I am here to tell you that, at least for me, these methods simply don’t work.
I did everything the experts said to do: I created my multiple profiles on Amazon, Goodreads (now owned by Amazon), Twitter, Facebook, Librarything, and probably a few others I can’t remember right now. I linked them all together like some intricate medieval puzzle, one feeding the other in a Mobius loop of data that is almost impossible to keep track of. I joined several writers groups, participated in conversations, and signed up for a handful of tweet teams. I grew my twitter followers to over 1300 in a matter of months, which isn’t earth shattering, but I felt like I was building a foundation to get the word out.
When I finally published ‘Dark Luminance’ on Amazon KDP in July, I scheduled a few giveaway weekends which gave me over 1,000 downloads and a #1 Amazon ranking both weekends. I was pumped! I received a dozen favorable reader reviews, and signed up for a few of the book blast services like bookbub, kindle reviews, and a few others. I was on my way to the big time now!
And then reality set in. I sold a few books each month, but nothing ever took off. My tweets were reaching thousands of people, but apparently nobody that wanted to spend money for an indie author they had never heard. I stayed with it each month, but I began to realize I was spending more time managing and updating my social media marketing than I was actually writing the stories I loved. It wasn’t working, and I got increasingly frustrated.
The failure is partially my fault, as I built my entire social media presence around other authors, which I think is great for mutual support, but not so good for sales. But my personal belief is that there is just too much noise in the social media sphere for an unknown author to be heard on their own. My Twitter feed is a sea of thousands of Tweets that I can’t possibly keep up with, and while Facebook and Goodreads are less crowded, they are still difficult to filter in any meaningful way. My gasps for attention were drowning in a sea of indie advertising, and the more I yelled, the more I was going under.
It wasn’t all bad, though. Along the way, I did manage to gain the attention of a great publisher, GMTA, and after a month of discussions, I signed with them to relaunch ‘Dark Luminance’ under their banner with new cover art and a print edition. They have been wonderful to work with, and with their support on things like this blog tour, I am looking forward to improved sales in the coming year.
What I won’t be doing this year is spending countless hours tweeting and updating Facebook, blogs, and forum posts. I’ll be focusing on writing the sequel to ‘Dark Luminance’, along with a YA Urban Fantasy novel ‘Urban Phoenix’, and a short story ‘Bad Seed’ in an upcoming science fiction anthology titled ‘World of Worlds’ by the ASMSG writers group.
The social media treadmill has worked for some, but not for me. I’m going to focus on writing what my readers want to read, and hope that the sales will eventually follow.
About the author:
Born and raised in Northwest Indiana, E.M. McDowell first started writing in high school, consisting primarily of sappy poems aimed at impressing girls. A four year stint in the Marine Corps pushed literary endeavors to the background, where they remained for the next twenty-odd years, until they were uncovered by a mild mid-life crisis.
In the intervening years, he has worked in various technology jobs, and is currently the technology manager for a small county government.
Married for twenty-two years to his best friend, and blessed with two wonderful daughters, he works to balance his writing while living in a house full of women.
- Site: http://erinmcdowell.blogspot.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoremm
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/E_M_McDowell