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Manic Monday: Breaking News

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Hello My Happy People,

I'm afraid I have some news that some of you may not be so happy about ... I know I am not.

I have been struggling with this last book in the Into the West Saga Serial, Into the West: Family Ties, for almost a year now. I had started getting it set for publishing about last October and had intended it to be a Christmas release, but it just didn't work out ... obviously.

If you subscribe to this email, I am sure you know I have been pushing this book back and back and back, but honestly I am just so burnt out with all the behind the scenes work to generate sales for this serial. I have been doing everything I can to try to make it profitable. I have been working practically 24/7 for five years to promote these books on zero budget and the truth is, they have cost me much more to publish than I make from them. Unfortunately, I am at the end of my savings and can't afford to devote more time to this right now.

I could whip something up and quickly publish to just to finish this serial and have it over with, but I care too much about these characters to do that. I have worked so hard to try to do good work on all of these books, I do not want to just throw something together and end the serial with a shoddy book just so I can end it. However, I am to the point where I have to publish something that makes money or I have to start looking for a 9-5 kind of job to cover my publishing expenses. I have just run out of time to make The Into the West Saga Serial profitable.

So for now, I'm going to shelve the last book in the Into the West Saga Serial and try publishing something more marketable to create some income. Once I can cover my basic needs (which is a shocking low amount per month) I will go back and finish the Into the West Saga Serial as it deserves to be finished.

This has not been an easy decision for me. I have been struggling with this for months. To try to gain more interest in my books, I came out as the actual writer behind the pen name Stephen Burckhardt (which I had not wanted to do) so I could advertising the book serial more, I redesigned my webpages, started a podcast, I even broke down and got on TikTok (which is surprisingly more fun and addictive than I expected).

I have been reaching out to bookstores to carry my books and possibly do a signing, but living on the other side of the planet from my main target market makes it tough. Because I do not write in German, or speak it well for that matter, there is very little interest in author events for my books here.

Now, I could travel back to the US to participate in author events or to another English speaking country near me where my books are available, but the added expense of travel would pretty much negate any benefits from such events. I could keep trying to reach my books market long distance, but without an advertising budget, effective promotion is very much an uphill battle ... if the hill was Everest!

Now to be clear, I'm not giving up. I'm not canceling the last book. I'm just rearranging my publication schedule to make things more financially viable. Into the West: Family Ties will get published ... just later.

So that is where things are for me at the moment. I appreciate your understanding. In the meantime, I am working up a new book to be published as Dianne Burckhardt. It is a murder mystery I have been thinking about for a long time with a paranormal twist to it.

I am hoping to use my degree in forensic criminology and my extra studies in profiling, sex crimes, and crime scene investigation to write A crie series. It will be about an FBI agent who has left the bureau, but gets dragged back into cases because of her special talent for profiling and psychometry. However, she does not want to work cases anymore because of her talent/curse. It is why she left the bureau's Behavioral Analysis Unit in the first place.

Personally, I had the great privilege of taking a profiling seminar with Robert Ressler. One of the people who helped put this unit together for the FBI and was credited with coining the term "Serial Killer". I learned a lot from that training and have always hated that I never got a chance to work on a crime scene unit. I had my accident that caused all the brain surgeries one month before I graduated with that degree and the injury prevented me from meeting requirements for most of the jobs in law enforcement. Writing crime stories would at least let me finally use this knowledge.

So that is what is going on here. Most of you who follow me regularly are personal friends of mine or friends of friends so I want to be open and honest with you all. And in truth, that is just the kind of person I am. I feel no need for pretense to uphold a certain public image. This is me and I like who I am so this is who you get.

Have a great day, people!


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