Disillusioned but not defeated


Hi there,

things have not gone as well as I’d hoped with my writing career so I have come to a decision.

My dream of earning a living as a writer has been an uphill struggle as every aspiring writing can attest to. The writing aspect has never been an issue, what has held me back has  been the marketing of said writing. Not having the experience or contacts in the industry or a big enough budget to work with has hampered my progress no end. I’ve tried Facebook and Twitter but the sales just have not been forthcoming.

I am basically a shy person who does not like to brag about any achievements I’ve made and the realisation that to make it at all in this industry you have to push yourself, something I am not comfortable doing. How can I push my writing when I have no sales to back up any claim. Someone said to me that you push yourself to get the sales but everything I’ve tried so far has been ineffective. Reviews are crucial  to any books success and this has been another stumbling block for me. I have failed to even get reviews from family members so how can I persuade others to do something that even close family members have been reluctant to do.

This has nothing to do with the quality of the writing and more to do with apathy from said family members. I know this may come across as sour grapes from someone who doesn’t deserve to succeed and there may be some truth to that but I honestly don’t care because I doubt anyone will read this post anyway.

All this does not mean that I will give up writing but quite the opposite. All I’m doing is coming to terms with the fact that I may never sell anything. I will continue to write because it’s something I love to do. I still have the friends who have helped with the cover artwork and the editing and I hope to continue with their aid for as long as they are willing to help. The Col Sec series will continue, I’m already working on book 6 with plans for future books. Part of me still hopes that somewhere, someone will check out these stories and enjoy them as much as I do but I have to be practical.

Matthew Reilly, one of my favourite authors says “Never underestimate the power of your encouragement.” unfortunately I have never felt that power.

Jan.

Discovery


Hi there,

When I sat down to write Ronin I started with my main character, Kurt Stryder. I pictured what he looked like and what type of person he would be and when he was fully formed in my mind I set out to write his story. I knew I wanted him to be this good guy who stood up for his beliefs and throughout Ronin that is reflected in his actions. When Zara is taken by Norsky Kurt goes to her aid, not because he has any feelings for her but because if it had not been for him, she would not have been in that situation in the first place. It is not out of any sense of duty that he gives in to Norsky’s demands but because it is simply the right thing to do.

At the end of the book we see Kurt come to a decision and for him it’s a momentous one. He is aware of how he has changed, of what he is capable of and is afraid of how, should that ability be put to a military purpose, would affect the galaxy. His decision at the end of the book is the only one he could possibly make and keep a clear conscience.

It is the right thing to do.

In Omega Kurt is nowhere to be seen. When I left Kurt at the end of Ronin I wasn’t sure I had a good enough story for him so I put him on a back burner to sort out what he wanted to do with his life and it gave me the opportunity to concentrate on Matt Hawk for a while. Omega was, for me an extremely satisfying book to write. For a long time I had wanted to write a James Bond type of book and for me, Omega is just that. It allowed me to pay homage to all the things I love about the Bond movies without plagiarizing them but at the same time keep the story within the Col Sec Universe. At the end of Omega, Matt thinks he spots a figure in the crowd, someone he recognises, or thinks he does which leads us to the opening scene in Discovery.

At the start of Discovery Kurt appears at the memorial at the end of Omega. He went to pay his respects and is torn between his guilt at not helping and the consequences what would have happened if he had. He is still in a hard place in his life, unsure of a direction and so decides to get away from it all, to go somewhere to think. He is financially stable so his choice is to go on a luxury cruise.

As we all know, these things rarely go well and with him being the hero of the story he invariably finds trouble, or trouble finds him.

His choice of vacation turns out to be fortuitous for he is in the right place at the right time to discover the truth about a secret that had been kept for decades and also about the path he should take in life.

In this book we see Kurt at a point in his life where he is unsure what to do, and as the story unfolds we see him realise something he momentarily forgot. His motivation for joining Recon Delta was something his father told him when he was very young, but old enough to understand. His father told him that for evil to triumph all that is required is for good men to do nothing. Kurt had joined the military to help prevent evil from triumphing, a noble act by someone who is essentially a good man. His walking away from Col Sec is him doing nothing, in effect reneging on his promise to his father. In Discovery, when he sees the events unfold and the danger those around him are facing he cannot stand by and do nothing, he has to act.

Here’s the description of the book from my website

http://jan-domagala.co.uk/books.php#discovery

Discovery will be available soon.

That’s all for now, see you soon,

Jan.

Omega


Hi there,

Omega, the second book in the Col Sec series has also been relaunched in eBook format and the print edition will be released soon too. The inspiration for the book came from quite an unexpected source. Soon after I finished writing Ronin I wanted another project but wasn’t sure what to write. With developing the Col Sec Universe I had all these great characters but I didn’t have a clue what to do with them. I surely wasn’t going to discard them and do something else completely, it seemed such a waste. There was so much more left for them to do, to experience, but at that time I wasn’t sure where to start.

Then it hit me after watching Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig. I have always been a huge fan of James Bond in both literary and movie form, although at times the two are completely different animals. When Casino Royale came out I was ecstatic that they finally brought the character back to the big screen but when Quantum of Solace arrived I was less than overawed. It was good, but not especially what I would term a ‘Bond movie’ but there were some good ideas there.

I have always wanted to write a good spy novel and then I realised that one of my characters from Ronin, Matt Hawk was essentially a secret agent. I wasn’t sure where to go with Kurt Stryder after his dramatic recovery from Ronin but I didn’t want to discard all the other characters and I knew Kurt would resurface sooner or later so I decided to centre the new book around Matt to give Kurt time to sort his head out. If you’ve read Ronin you’ll know what I mean.In that regard it gave me ample opportunity to expand the Matt Hawk character along with the rest of those he worked with from Ronin.

I have always liked the idea of SPECTRE from the James Bond books and movies, the idea of a multi national covert criminal cartel that sold their services to the highest bidder, intriguing. In many ways Quantum was the up dated version of that same idea so I thought I would go one step further and update it for the twenty fifth century. Omega is the quintessential covert criminal cartel, no one knows they even exist until they reveal themselves. Through many twists and turns Omega threatens to destroy everything that Col Sec has fought years to attain and protect.

Through the process of writing the book I started with, what I considered to be a secret agent story, with the lone protagonist against the insidious organisation that was everywhere, but it slowly progressed into a Col Sec story. In Omega I think I’ve created a threat to Col Sec that will challenge them in ways they never thought possible but to find out how, you’ll have to read the book.

That’s all for now,

see you soon

Jan.