Sit back and kick up your feet. It’s story time.
If you’re on my Gray Mailing List, you may remember that a little while ago, a bunch of my readers set up a discord server. Well, holy damn, did I not expect what was going to happen next.
Discussion — a flood of discussion — hundreds upon hundreds of new messages, every single time I logged in. It was getting rather difficult to keep up with. And then came the release of chapter forty of DP&SW. It was a party in there, let me tell you. I thought I’d seen my stuff analysed in detail in online reviews, but yeah… I hadn’t.
Eventually the fever died down a bit and one topic started coming up again and again… How could readers support my work more directly? This is something I thought only I cared about, but apparently I was wrong. A lot of people in the channel wanted not only DP&SW, but Richard Struggle too, which hasn’t had a new update since February — much to my, and indeed their, frustration.
The answer turned out to be Patreon, which, if you’re not familiar with it, allows fans to support creatives directly for the work they love by pledging a monthly amount of patronage — kind of like how renaissance princes supported the artists of Italy back in the day. In return, patrons get rewards depending on how much they pledge. You can read more details about what I’ve done with my program by checking out my Patreon home page.
Now, “what does this mean for my other projects?” I hear you cry (or at least thinking rather loudly).
Quite a lot.
One of the rewards I’m offering my patrons is early access to drafts of my original works on a chapter by chapter basis. This means that I’m now writing my original works the exact same way I’m writing my other works — chapter by chapter — the exact same way that people like Charles Dickens wrote their novels — getting real time feedback from readers, and enjoying tight; scary; nose-to-the-grind-stone deadlines.
And all this means that I can now do something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but haven’t been able to…
…Keep a combined fiction project release schedule — as in, three weeks of Richard Struggle, then two weeks of DP&SW, and so on and so on.
I also released the first draft chapter of the new Richard Struggle book last Sunday. If you like DP&SW, you may well like Richard Struggle too. It has much of the same vibe, and you can read that first chapter online for free.
I’ll also be releasing further chapter schedules on a rolling basis to my patrons and the Gray Mailing List until further notice, along with updates as chapters are published to let you know that we’re still on track (or not as the case may be).
– J.M. Coombs (LeadVonE)