Month: August 2014

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Littlest Christmas Elf

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The answers to the biggest questions of those Narnia fans…

What exactly happened to Santa Claus after he gave Peter, Susan, and Lucy their gifts?  Was he attacked by the White Witch’s forces?  Did he successfully bring Christmas to Narnia?  Did he bring gifts to anyone else?   And just how long is his beard?  Find out in the exciting story of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Littlest Christmas Elf, written by Aul!

A Word from the Author

It’s great to explore the world of Narnia and contemplate what really happened to Santa Claus.  I’m excited to work with new characters and really get a feel for C.S. Lewis’s creations.  I look forward to posting the first part of the adventure as soon as it’s finished.  Please stay tuned, because this is going to be one fantastic story!

Managing Editor for Montairyus: A New World of Fantasy” and author of The Saga of Montairyus

Yours truly,




On the Threshold of a New Age

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The new age of stories.

Given birth to by the next generation of writers.

A supreme, powerful force, that literally holds the threads of society in its hands, because of the weight of the influence it carries.



The fight has just begun.

There is no place for fear.  There is no place for doubt.

Fear is a choice.

Doubt gives birth to fear.

Overcome doubt.

Do not choose fear.

Strive harder.  Fight harder.

Seek to know how to inspire.  Drive the message home.

Impact lives.  Save lives.

Guide souls.  Give love to humanity.

We are writers.

And the new age of stories has just begun.

Please support my series The Saga of Montairyus as I endeavor to give birth to a new age of stories that will change people’s lives for the better.  My first book, “I Was Called” has already been completed and we are currently waiting to hear back from a contest to see if my manuscript has won.  Prayers, encouragement, and any type of support is appreciated to the utmost.


Self-Publishing? What’s the Best Way to Get Published?

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Hey everyone!  I found this article at and I thought it would be nice to share it here.  All credit goes to Holly Robinson, author of the article:


Yesterday, I gathered with a group of diverse writers for the Haverhill Public Library Authors Fair. My table was situated between Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, an author who publishes traditionally, and Connie Johnson Hambley, a self-published mystery writer.

This was the perfect place for me: I’m a hybrid author who has jumped from a traditional publisher (Random House) to indie publishing and back to a traditional house again. As I start my fourth novel to be published by New American Library/Penguin Random House, I have no contract for the next one. This means that I’m revisiting the all-important question for many writers: do I want to go solo when I publish my next book, or stay where I am?

This is a good time to roundup what I’ve learned about publishing. In the process, I want to dismantle four common myths:

1. Publishers are Out to Screw Authors
MYTH. Publishing companies are businesses that compete in a global marketplace. Their job is to make money–and, in so doing, they will make money for you.

With a traditional publisher, you will get royalties from your books–typically about 25 percent of ebook sales. This is much less than the percentage of royalties you’ll get if you self publish. Rates vary, but with self publishing, you’ll reap about 65 percent of a book sale as your royalty rate.

However, with a traditional publisher, you receive an advance against royalties–anywhere from $5K to $45K for most first-time novelists, though of course there are some pie-in-the-sky whopper deals. You will also get–for free!–an editor, publicist, marketing team, designers, sales people, etc. Your team at a traditional publisher will help you whip your book into shape and get it into the hands of readers.

People who self publish don’t get advances, obviously. In addition, they must shell out money in advance to designers, editors, copy editors, publicists, advertising venues, reviewers, etc.

Bottom line: Yes, I have friends who self publish and make buckets of money. However, the only self-published authors who really make a solid profit are those who are willing to write several books a year; have deep pockets to get the whole business of branding started; and most likely write romances, mysteries, or fantasy novels in series. Most say it takes them four or five books before they start seeing a solid, reliable annual profit.

2. You Have More Control as an Indie Author
SOMEWHAT TRUE. Everything–and I mean everything–is up to you as an indie author: writing, editing (or hiring editors), design, marketing, promotions, etc. You can decide everything from what kind of brand you want to create to how you want to promote that brand. Nobody can tell you, for instance, that you can’t write a paranormal book because your last book was a romance. You call the shots, and it’s a great feeling.

There is also a great deal of transparency. Your sales are visible nearly to the minute, and you can tell with some degree of accuracy whether certain ads or blog posts have caused upward tics in sales. If you’re with a traditional publisher, you probably won’t have any clear idea as to how many books you’ve sold until you get your royalty statement six months after your book is published, because traditional publishers have agreements with bookstores about returns–i.e., the books you “think” you’ve sold might actually be returned, so the publishers don’t want to tell you how many have gone out until they’re sure the books won’t be returned.

The flip side? Publishers are starting to listen to writers clamoring for more transparency. For example, Penguin is now adopting Random House’s “author portal,” which allows writers to see their royalties any time they wish, along with other info about sales, and of course we can also do that through BookScan on Amazon.

Bottom Line: Indie authors have more control both in writing and in the publishing process than traditional authors.

3. Indie Authors Spend More Time Marketing
SOMEWHAT TRUE. With marketing, Indie authors shoulder a lot of responsibility. They tend to be fiercely proactive with social media, and are paying up front for their own ads, Kirkus reviews, and publicists.

Today’s traditionally-published authors should also be building their platforms through social media, as well as meeting booksellers and librarians and participating in conferences and literary festivals.

Bottom line: The only marketing advantage traditionally-published writers have over our indie colleagues is that we have access to wider distribution through bookstores and international sales.

4. It’s Faster to Self-Publish
TRUE. To land a deal with a traditional house, you need an agent, and finding one takes time and a lot of networking. The agent might then ask you to revise the book before she shops it around to editors. This can take months.

Once an editor buys your book, you’re in for another round of revisions, first with the editor, and then with a copy editor, before the book goes into production. This process can take another year or more.
Seems like forever, right? However, if you’re going to write the best book possible, you don’t want to rush it. You’re going to want to show your book to beta readers and hire an editor and copy editor if you can swing it. I’ve seen too many talented self-published authors make the mistake of releasing their books too soon, simply because they’ve self-imposed some arbitrary deadline and don’t want to take the time to revise their books again.

Bottom line: it’s faster to publish your own books, but you never sacrifice quality for quantity when your name is on the cover.

As you’re polishing up that manuscript, consider these two key questions: Do you want to invest money up front and build your brand as an indie author, basically running your own business as you go? Or would you rather take more time and try the traditional route first?

For me, traditional publishing is still the place I want to be. But your situation is unique. Weigh your pro’s and con’s carefully, and don’t rush into anything. This is your book–you want it to be the best one possible.

The Return of Aul, Part Two

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My dear, dear followers,

In case you didn’t notice, I haven’t been posting very much lately.  But–hopefully–you will have no more to fear.  You won’t have to agonize over when my next post will be.   No longer will you wait with dimming hope for the sweet words that flow from my…fingertips.  That’s write (and that’s a pun), because, after two weeks of football camp which practically separated me from all other hobbies, I have returned.  If you would like to play epic music at this point, please feel free to!  I am not sure why, but I feel that new themes will be appearing in my writing; thought-provoking themes; themes of beauty, meaning, and maybe pizza.

My dear followers, thank you for welcoming me back.

Your most humble blogger,


The Big Question(s)

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once upon a time


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Today, I thought I’d write about answering a question that I believe is worth pondering.  It’s a big question for writers, so it deserves significant debate.  What’s the question then?

If you are writing a book and you get a new, and possibly better, idea for a book, should you stop writing your current book to pursue this new idea?

I have heard it from a couple sources that yes, you should write the other, new book, if the idea seems really good and could create a better story.  To a certain extent, this makes sense; why waste your time continuing to write a book that is lesser in comparison to a greater book that you could be writing?  Why not embrace this new and better idea?

I believe that, under certain circumstances, this notion is very valid.  If you’re writing a book that you find to be very boring, a book idea that you once thought was great but now don’t even like, then stop wasting your time.  If a new idea comes around, one that you think you can take all the way, then drop the boring story and focus on the exciting one.  Whatever captures your imagination, go with that; don’t settle for anything less.   Writing has to be something you enjoy if you want to do it well.  So why write something that you don’t enjoy?

On the other hand, suppose you’re writing a book and you love the story.  You love the characters.  You think about this book every day.  And then a new idea comes along; it seems more magnificent than the book that you’re currently writing.  You have a sudden desire to jot this new idea down.  Maybe you can work on both this new story and the old one.  Or maybe the new one deserves your undivided attention.  What should you do?

This has happened to me several times; from the time when I was ten years old to the present time.  I can’t say that you shouldn’t go with the new and better idea when it comes, but if I had done that, TSOM would most likely be a forgotten document on my computer.  I stuck with TSOM the whole while, throughout all my years of writing.  Not because it necessarily interested me more than a different idea at some point in time, but because I felt that I had to stick with it.  I had to persevere.  Thanks to the support of family and friends, I also continued to rediscover why I liked TSOM so much.  That being said, let me give you some advice, or a piece of knowledge that I find to be very true:

When others find your writing exciting and interesting, it makes you rediscover how awesome it is to you.

Gather the opinions of others.  Let them read a bit of your story.  Let them share their thoughts with you.  Rediscover your own,  God-given brilliance.   And persevere.  Maybe this isn’t your style to stick with one idea,  but it worked for me.  And I believe that, because I persevered with TSOM, I have also shaped my personality so that I can persevere in other areas of my life.  This brings me to my last point.

Your writing says a lot about who you are.  What does your writing say about you?


Character Quote 5

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“Character quotes” will consist of the wise, silly, or serious things that my characters say.  I hope you learn, enjoy, and are inspired!

“He was going to say [a quest] ‘unlikely to succeed’.  Can it be that impossible to gain entrance into Gillik?”-Terren

Do Thou Fearest the Editing Process?

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Ah…the editing process.   What a difficult, tall mountain that is to climb.  You think for a moment that you’ve reached the top, but then, as if it is a tree, the mountain grows, springing up into the air with the sound of a waterfall crashing, higher and higher until you think that it is impossible to arrive at your goal.  How can one possibly persevere against this Tower of Doom, this Tower of Tediousness?  The editing process…what a woeful experience.

What does one need to climb this mountain, to ascend this tower?  Can he rely alone on the strength of his mind; his own, fresh ideas?  Certainly, this will help, but no.  Can he rely on the aid of others?  This will give him an advantage, a new way of seeing things, but in the end his own friends cannot do what he himself must do.  And can he even rely on the inspiration that can so easily be absorbed from his surroundings; the beauty of a countryside, the influential works of other artists, or the impressive feat of another?  No, not even this will help him overcome his foe, his challenger.  What is necessary for someone to overcome the beast that is the editing process?

All of the suggestions that I have given, a fresh mind, the views of others, and inspiration, come together to make what is necessary to defeat the editing process.  But what binds these together?


I don’t care who you are or how good you are at writing.   If you don’t have discipline, you can’t write a book, and you will not be able to overcome the editing process.  Your own willpower must be strengthened and it must remain firm, for if you persevere, remaining disciplined, and true to your quest, you can overcome the editing process.  You can defeat the beast that terrorizes the World of Writing.

Get ready!  The beast has begun his assault!

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