Hello peoples! Hope you've been enjoying the stories so far. Since I now have the first installment of both series up and published, I figured now is as good a time as any to let you all know what exactly is going on here and what you can expect from here on out.
What Is All This?
What I'm writing are two short story serials, similar to how old school writers like Charles Dickens and H. G. Wells wrote books. These stories, while being self-contained events in and of themselves, feature the same characters in each story and tell an ongoing narrative arc as the series progresses. If you think of a book as a movie, a large narrative completely contained in one "showing", then these series are like TV shows. There's a familiar cast and an ongoing plot, but each "episode" will focus on one zoomed-in piece of the puzzle, some being more relevant than others. Admittedly, this is less for any stylistic reasons and more because I don't have the stamina to write a full novel and my brain is too broke to just write a short story and leave it at that, but I think it works for the two ideas I'm working with.
The first series, Creepy America, is a horror series inspired by indie storytelling designed to trick you into thinking it's real, the kind you might see in The Blair Witch Project or the "NoSleep" subreddit, as well as online writing projects like the "SCP Foundation" and creepypastas in general. I've always loved the combination of the Lovecraftian realization that the aspects of reality you know is just the surface of a very deep ocean with the melding of everyday mundane objects, like video games and youtube videos. That's the idea that behind Creepy America: there's another reality out there. One that doesn't confine to rational law. So what is it? What's out there? Why haven't other people realized this? And, when it comes down to it, are you sure you want to know?
The other series, The Adventures of Solaire, is the polar opposite. It's a action-packed adventure tale filled with magic, steampunk contraptions, monsters and beasties of all kinds, and, most importantly of all, pirates! Think Pirates of the Caribbean combined with Lord of the Rings if you need a reference point. It's actually inspired by my roommate Collin's Dungeons and Dragons character: Solaire Ravenheart. That was his favorite character so when a campaign that Solaire was a part of died, he got transplanted into the next campaign, giving him story after story after story. I loved hearing about those games, as it gave Solaire a very checkered history, like the kind you'd see in The Count of Monte Cristo or Zorro. And seeing as how Solaire and really all the other characters involved never really got a proper ending, I decided to give them one.
When Is It Happening?
The plan is to write a story every week and alternate series. That means that whichever one of these is your favorite is going to get updated bi-weekly. I'll post the stories on Sunday and I'll try to shoot for early on Sunday, but if things get backed up it might come later in the day. Regardless, I'll let everyone know when today's story is up and ready to read (we'll talk about that in a sec).
As for how long, each series is plotted to have 100 stories in them from beginning to end. By my math, that means that they won't be done until a little after four years. So, you know, a bit.
Where Is This Happening?
Right now I've got four sites that I upload these stories to. One is obviously this blog and if you can only follow one of these sites, I highly encourage you to follow this one. I have the most control over this website so I want to cultivate it as "home base", as it were. That means I'll be publishing news updates here only, as well as other potential little things like polls for future projects and behind the scenes FAQs if anyone shows interest in that sort of thing. And as long as you have an email, you can use that subscribe button!
But I have a few others I post to, if they're more convenient for you. I have a Tumblr, nh935.tumblr.com, as well as a Deviantart, deviantart.com/nh935. Both of these websites have the stories posted to them at the same time as the other sites, but once again, those will only have the stories on them.
The last place I post is SmashWords, with a profile at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NH95, where these stories are published in ebook format for the low price of free! While you can download the stories from that site, SmashWords also automatically distributes it to a bunch of other ebook retailers online, like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Apple, Scribd, and more besides! Plus they come with nice little covers I design. Fair warning, SmashWords is a little persnickety with its formatting rules, so sometimes stories there take longer to be available as I have to work out the kinks before it lets me submit something, but if you have an e-reader of some kind, that's probably your best bet.
What If I Want To Yell At You?
The best way to get in touch with me is at my email, firstname.lastname@example.org. I check that inbox pretty regularly, so if whatever you want to tell me is important or time-sensitive, please leave it there. There's also options to message me on Tumblr and Deviantart, but I check those very rarely.
Outside of the email,best options are Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/noah.hoffmann.5891, and a Twitter, @NoahHoffmann6. Both of those should be accessible if you click on the little logos in the contact me section. I also use those to announce when new posts are up, so follow those if you want to make sure you stay up to date!
Suppose I Want To Encourage This Crazy Behavior. How Do I Do That?
I don't have anything set up support-wise right now. All my stories are free and I want to keep them that way until both are concluded. I'd love to make a Patreon one day and fill it with patron-only stuff (I have more than a few ideas for exclusive series), but that day is far, far away at this point.
The best thing you can do right now is just let me know you're enjoying the series. Use one of the communication options above to drop me a quick comment or just leave a like if the site you're reading on lets you do that. Seeing the page views on Deviantart and the number of downloads on SmashWords brings me a joy that I can't hope to describe. And constructive critique is always welcome! And, if you really want to go the extra mile, share them with a friend you think you will enjoy them. At the end of the, I'm happy as long as people are reading what I write.
So that's what happening! Feel free to contact me with any more questions. And happy reading in the days ahead.