I’ve been fortunate to receive many wonderful reviews so far with my little book, but I wasn’t prepared for the last two days.  Essentially, I’ve been sending a lot of letters out to various book reviewers across the country and across the world, in the hope that they would help get the word out about Patrick Patterson and the World of Others.

Many have responded and agreed to read/review my story.  Two have just posted to their reviews to their websites.

Here are some snippets:

“I was truly amazed by this book. It is such a perfectly blended mish-mash of so many different things. It all works together to create a quirky, unique and fun book. It’s like an intergalactic fantasy/paranormal novel geared towards MG/YA. I feel like I’ve found a shiny gem that I want to show off :)”

–Jackie, My Tower of Books

Read her full review HERE!

“Patrick Patterson and the World of Others was delightfully distinctive, temptingly engaging, and astoundingly wondrous!  This remarkable book kept me on my toes, hoping that one way or another Patrick would unravel his destiny and take back what was rightfully his.  But I am left hoping as I am left eagerly waiting for the next installment…”

–Mindy, My Hidden Bookshelf

Read her full review HERE!

I was blown away by their response to my work!  All I can say is Thank You to you both!  I appreciate you taking a chance on an unknown author and happy that you enjoyed my first book.

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Without Regret

“I do not regret the things I did…

…only those I did not do.”
That’s a line from a movie I grew up with, called Empire Records.  Within reason, I agree with that statement.

I recently discovered this other quote, from Mark Twain, which I’m sure inspired the line for Empire Records:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I’ve always tried to live my life this way, by going after the things I’ve wanted, by trying to be unsafe and leaving the land of comfortable.  I recall reading a book called Sophie’s World years ago.  It’s a philosophical book about a young girl who goes on a journey of understanding after receiving a cryptic message that asks, “Who are You?

There’s one section in particular that I’ll always remember, which describes the world as being on the back of a giant rabbit.  In this world, there are two types of people:  those who are perfectly comfortable and content with being at the base of the rabbit’s fur, never to climb to the top, and those that actually break away from their everyday lives to peak out from the top of the fur so they can look at the breadth of what the world has to offer.

Which type are you?

In college, I took an acting class as a way of knocking out some extracurricular credit, never thinking I would actually…you know…act.  In fact, I was terrified of being put up in front of other people.  To perform.  Be funny.  Be emotional.

It wasn’t easy for me.

Nevertheless, I was forced to act in short scenes, adlibs, and eventually I starred in a couple of plays.  Trust me, it never got any easier, but I fought through the intense, sickening, fear, and I went after it every time.  I even pursued acting for a short time and ended up traveling across half the country with a small theater troupe for a year. After all of that, though, I realized acting wasn’t for me, but I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.  If I hadn’t pursued acting, I would have missed out on a lot of life-changing stuff.

I remember when I was about 16, I had such a crush on a girl we’ll call “Lisa.”  Lisa was that girl that every guy had a crush on. She was that gorgeous girl next door; quiet and demure with big, expressive eyes and a smile that melted your heart from across a crowded room.  If I ever had the luck to lock eyes with her, she made me feel like I was the only person in the whole, wide world.  At 16, that was love.

I didn’t know her and I was too scared to just walk up to her at the time.  Not one to give up on something, I used the gift that I was bestowed with–a natural knack for writing.  I laugh about it now, but I actually wrote a love letter of sorts, bought a long-stemmed red rose, discovered where her first class was, and left it for her to discover.

Lisa was so moved by my gift and letter that we exchanged numbers…we talked a few times, found that we didn’t have much in common and parted ways.  At the time, I felt that it was a big letdown, a big waste, but now I realize that it was just a step toward further understanding of who I am, how I’m supposed to love, and in small way, parted the way to my one and only wife–the love of my life.

And now, today, I’m going after my dream of being a published author.

I was scared to self-publish.  I thought it was admitting defeat, but the more I researched it, the more sense it made to try it out.  Believe me, the day I pressed “publish” through Smashwords, then Barnes & Noble, and finally Amazon, I had knots in my stomach.  And knots on top of those knots.  I think there may still be residual knots left behind…

But I had to decide…did I want to wait forever for the approval of the Big Publishers and perhaps never break through that impossible iron curtain around the Publishing industry?  Or did I want to throw off the shackles of convention and at the very least–even if it’s an utter failure–know that I lived without the regret of not knowing, not doing

Who knows what will happen?  Maybe my little book will just languish in the electronic bowels of the enormous Amazon system of books, to never see the light of massive day…but maybe, just maybe, one person will read it, love it, review it, and tell others about my story of Patrick Patterson.  Then, those other people will read, love it, review it, and tell even other people about Patrick Patterson.  And then, those people will….

Well, you get the point.

Only time will tell, I suppose.

So, the point of what I’m trying to say is to shout “No!” to convention, throw off the shackles of normal, and to “Explore. Dream. Discover.”  You’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than those that you did do.

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Patrick Patterson and the World of Others Book Trailer

Watch the brand new book trailer for the Young Adult Fantasy:  Patrick Patterson Book Trailer

“A match was struck in the distance, bringing light to what was otherwise darkness.”

And so begins the story of Patrick Patterson…

For almost thirteen years, he’s lived a quiet, simple life in the tiny town at the edge of Texas, called Farwell…with big dreams and small hopes…Suddenly, he is whisked away by a rag tag group of warriors and others across the United States to discover his true identity and a destiny clouded in mystery.

Never in his wildest dreams did he think that he’d walk through an underground city filled with citizens from across the universe, contend with powerful enemies from the edge of the galaxy, or travel to the Arctic Circle on a high speed train.

Now, he must decide what he truly desires and whether he even wants to take up the mantle of hero…or alien.

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Patrick Patterson and the World of Publishing

Cover designed by Dallas Dodd

My publishing career has been short, but I hope for it to extend into my many years to come.  It was always the road for me, but it took quite a while for me to realize that.  Writing was natural to me, from a very young age.  English was the only class that made sense to me; the only place where I excelled.  Homework was not a thing I typically enjoyed, unless it was an assignment involving a short story written for my English classes.

As many lives tend to go, other interests took hold, grabbed my attention, so writing as a serious career went on the back burner.  I’ve performed magic professionally, been a traveling actor, directed short films, and many other things, but Writing was always there.  It was always a silent passion.  And I could rely on it.

After the “normal” college years passed me by (while I toured across the country with a theater troupe), I finally decided to go back to University so I could fulfill my underlying passion for the creative field of writing.  I finished with my degree on the Dean’s List, but as I stepped off the University grounds, my lovely diploma clutched in my hand, I realized that I had no clue what to do with that piece of paper.

How does a writer actually make a living?

There are various ways you can do it, from copy writing on, but the only avenue I truly wanted to take was that of the novelist.  Oh, that’s a good one.

It’s a long, complicated road to take, but I wanted to do it.  I quickly learned all the things about professional writing that they don’t teach you in school.  Query letters, agencies, publishers, etc.  If you’re a new writer with no publishing credits, than you aren’t getting a publishing contract until you finish a book, and even once you complete a novel, you’ll be lucky to get a contract.  When you hear of a big advance to a new author or a writer making it big after a book or two, those are what you associate with the “norm” of publishing.  Those tales of immediate success are trumpeted so loudly that you can’t help except think that it’s possible, that you could be the one.

The reality is that those are few and far between.  Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling are the exceptions.  Their stories–not to detract from their unique talents–are like lottery stories.

But as I sat down to write my first book, a Young Adult Fantasy called Patrick Patterson and the World of Others, I believed that I would be one of the exceptions.  My belief, though, is just not enough.  Right when I completed PPATWOO, and I began my arduous trek toward hopefully getting published, I began to read about Amanda Hocking, John Locke, and the gateway of Amazon.

These stories intrigued me, to be sure, but I was still set on the traditional route.  As I sent out query letters, certain that mine would be like the golden ticket, I began to research the possibility of self-publishing and the steps necessary to pursue it.  I started a blog, registered with Twitter and Facebook, and attempted to form relationships with book bloggers.

I still waited, though.  I waited to hear from the agency that would sign me on and make my dreams come true.

Suffice it to say, that didn’t happen.  I sent out forty or more query letters and heard back from perhaps fifteen or so.  They were all rejections.  Very nice, complimentary, but still rejections.  I don’t know what the secret is to garnering an agent’s attention or their excitement.  I do know that they receive hundreds, if not thousands, query letters each week.  Agents get a percentage of the books they sell, so I can only guess that an untested author is much harder bet to make than one with publishing credits.  The cards were stacked against me.  It’s probably a lot easier to just send out form rejections in response to the mountain of query letters on an agent’s desk, rather than actually sift through to find that one amazing manuscript.

So, rather than work for years in hopes of eventually getting that Big Publishing Contract, I only waited a couple of months before making the decision to self-publish and taking my new career into my own hands.  Shortly after doing so, I came across Ravencrest.  For my thoughts on this transition, please go to the Ravencrest blog.  Dave Lyons, the man behind Ravencrest, has kindly posted a blog I wrote regarding the publishing climate and how we came together.

I am very hopeful for the future of my small book.  It’s a wonderful read, if I do say so myself, full of adventure, intrigue, and excitement.  As Dave Lyons recently tweeted, “Move over Harry Potter!”

There’s a new kid in town, and his name is Patrick Patterson!

About Patrick Patterson and the World of Others:

“A match was struck in the distance, bringing light to what was otherwise darkness.

And so begins the story of Patrick Patterson…

For almost thirteen years, he’s lived a quiet, simple life in the tiny town at the edge of Texas, called Farwell…with big dreams and small hopes…Suddenly, he is whisked away by a rag tag group of warriors and others across the United States to discover his true identity and a destiny clouded in mystery.

Never in his wildest dreams did he think that he’d walk through an underground city filled with citizens from across the universe, contend with powerful enemies from the edge of the galaxy, or travel to the Arctic Circle on a high speed train.

Now, he must decide what he truly desires and whether he even wants to take up the mantle of hero…or alien.

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