Writing projects status

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 10/25/16 11:00 PM
The last book I released was Majesty, and things have been rather quiet since my last status update. To tell you the truth, most of the information in that last update is still current.

The Unbound


I'm still waiting for my final alpha reader for Incursion, though I've given quite some thought on how to proceed with this series.
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An interesting thought regarding reviews

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 10/19/16 4:00 PM
My first blog post since August, and it's not going to be a long one. I've pretty much abandoned my earlier blog schedule, though the reasons for my lack of posts are somewhat varied, but I had some time to spare and really wanted to write down some thoughts I've been having for a few days. Mind you, these ideas are based off things I've read on KBoards, and I'm ashamed to admit that I can't credit the people who've had this idea before me, other than that they're far more active on that forum than
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Babylon 5

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 8/22/16 12:00 PM
One of the greatest Science Fiction series of my teenage years was Babylon 5, which aired during the second half of the 90s. I spent quite a bit of my free time watching Science Fiction in those days, though I was somewhat limited by both homework and parents who didn't want me to spend all my free time watching TV (not a bad thing).

The result of this is that while I did see quite a few Babylon 5 episodes, I missed at least a third
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Incursion and other updates

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 8/2/16 10:00 PM
Yes, I'm still here, it's just been a little hard keeping up with my regular blog schedule, as I explained earlier. Here's a small update on the state of things:

  1. I've gotten feedback on Incursion from two of my three alpha readers. Once all this feedback is processed, I'll be sending
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Interesting concept in a not so interesting movie

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/27/16 12:00 PM
A while ago I saw the movie Jupiter Ascending, the latest film by the Wachowski's, who were also behind the Matrix. It was an interesting movie, and I don't regret seeing it. There were some pretty good parts, too, and I re-watched a few fragments for the purpose of this blog post, but it would be a stretch to say that I'd recommend seeing it if you haven't already.

My primary issue with
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Mailing list fiasco recap

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/21/16 12:00 PM
Last Thursday I decided to add a lot of people to my mailing list, hoping to improve my book sales. Things got a bit interesting after that.

A short summary of what happened:

  • I sponsored a contest that required people to sign up to a mailing list, that would then be shared
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Monday morning bicycle ride music

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/18/16 10:00 AM
With all the " fun" happening with my mailing list lately, it's good to be able to take my mind off things. Today is the first day back on the day job after the birth of my son, and seeing as
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Why not to mail 5000 people out of the blue

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/17/16 5:00 PM
Last Friday I blogged about a rather large increase in subscribers due to sponsoring a contest, and about my intentions to send them an e-mail stating "hey everyone, I'm Jeroen, I sponsored a contest you participated in, these are my books, stay on this list if you want to hear when I write another".

Well, turns out I tripped all sorts of abuse monitors MailChimp
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A case of subscriber limits

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 7/15/16 10:00 PM
Yesterday morning my mailing list had 83 subscribers. I've grown this list gradually over the past two years (I think? I'm not entirely sure when I started it and too lazy to look it up), with some of the largest increases coming from cross-promotions. I migrated it to MailChimp a while ago, finding it infinitely better than my custom built solution.

Let's focus on this last bit. I've participated in
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A new toy

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/30/16 6:00 PM
About two weeks ago, I dropped my Kindle Keyboard when I wanted to put it on my nightstand. This wasn't the first time this has happened, but each time it happened before, it made a better landing. This time, I was not so fortunate. It hit the ground at the side, causing the e-ink screen to crack and killing 90% of all "pixels" in the top-left corner.

As you will undoubtedly understand, this makes reading
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Control your story background: use a Wiki

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/20/16 5:00 PM
Ever since the decision to focus on an Epic Fantasy book as my next writing project I have been busy writing down background information for this project. World history, persons of interest, timelines, that sort of thing. In the past, I've written down these notes either using a paper notepad, or as a big comment block at the start of the novel's LaTeX source file (I
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Offspring-induced blog schedule interruption

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/16/16 3:00 PM
For the past two months (I think?) I've been trying to follow a more rigid blog schedule, to avoid large periods of non-activity. This has been going swell so far, except for the past week. The thing is, last Friday my partner gave birth to our first child: my son Jasper. Both mother and child are doing well, though I'm sorry to say I won't be posting any pictures here.

As you can no doubt understand things have been a bit hectic since then, and following my blogging schedule has been
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Shower playlist addendum

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/6/16 10:00 PM
Last Friday I posted my shower playlist, a bunch of songs I often listen to while taking a shower that help get me in the mood for writing. I was reasonably sure I hadn't forgotten any of the songs. Turns out I was wrong. I missed no less than three of them, so here they are:

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The shower playlist

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/3/16 11:00 AM
I love taking showers. In addition to the usual benefits like getting clean I find them incredibly relaxing, and they often help me clear my mind, and fill it with fresh ideas. I think that time spent in showers has contributed significantly to my stories, and many of my better story ideas came into being during a shower.

Now, I've also stated that music plays a big role in helping me get into the right state of mind. Enter the Bluetooth Shower Speaker:

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/bluetooth-shower-speaker
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Addendum to yesterday's post about my next writing project

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 6/1/16 3:00 PM
As I announced yesterday, my next writing project will be an epic fantasy book, the earliest ideas of which date back to 2013, when I was still writing Hunter's Chosen. As I mentioned, I'm currently also in the process of revising Incursion, the 6th Unbound book, which will probably be released first (though I just sent it to the alpha readers and
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A decision has been made

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/31/16 9:50 PM
Last week I asked you, my esteemed readers, what my next writing project should be. Despite the lack of replies to said post, I did receive a number of responses, which varied from "your next project should be fixing your website" (thanks for helping out in that regard Mark), to messages of support that amounted to "write whatever gets you most excited".
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Do not track

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/29/16 1:00 PM
Last week I found something interesting in my 404 log. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, each time someone tries to access a page that does not exist, that person receives the "Not Found" error, which according to the HTTP protocol is error code 404. Each time this happens, my site records it, and asks me what I want to do about it. Do I want to keep throwing this error (i.e. the page really doesn't exist and never has), to give a more useful error (like 410, which means that the
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Writing productivity guide

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/27/16 10:00 AM
There's a lot to be said about writing, and every writer has his or her own rituals, tips and techniques for getting productive. Every author you ask will undoubtedly have something to add to questions such as "How do you maintain a writing schedule?" or "How do you get ready to write?".

I imagine that was what Yoav Ezer must have thought when he decided to approach over 90 authors (including yours truly) to ask them these
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My next project

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/24/16 1:00 PM
Last week I finished the first stage of editing for the 6th installment in the Unbound series. The editing phase of this book has taken a bit longer than usual, but I'll be sending it to my alpha readers sometime this week. This means I'll now have time to start working on my next project, which is...

I don't know yet!


I basically have 3 projects that I want to work on, each of which
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Working backwards

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/20/16 11:00 AM
Every writer wants to avoid continuity errors, or at least I hope that is the case. I definitely do, and it's one of the reasons I have a whole bunch of people proofread my books, preferable people who have read earlier parts.

Even so, continuity errors can be missed even by them, and small ones can creep into writing through successive edits. A while ago, when working on the first five Unbound books, my editor mentioned a technique she used to spot them, and I've since adopted it to
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Procrastination alert

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/17/16 10:00 PM
For the past two weeks or so, I've barely spent any time on writing. I even missed my semi-regular end of the week blog post, for no other reason than not feeling like it. Lately, I've found I'm more likely to fire up Factorio, or to spend time coding when I should be writing instead. In addition, I keep postponing stuff I could have done by now.

https://www.jeroensteenbeeke.nl/images/one-does-not-simply-forego
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Outrageously priced whisky

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/10/16 5:00 PM
Last Friday I got an e-mail from a local whisky distillery, announcing their second bottling (I think they started distilling in 2010), which was available for order through their web shop.

The price? 150 euros for a 0.5 liter bottle (for any Americans: that's about $170). Not only is that quite a steep price for whisky in general, it is an insane price for what they're offering. My response therefore: HELL NO, but let me explain.

Whisky comes in a lot
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Musical Inspiration: May 2016

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/6/16 11:00 AM
I listen to a lot of streaming radio at work, and during my writing Wednesdays, and it's quite amazing how different these experiences can be. Some days my favorite channel has a truckload of "meh", while at other times I'm making notes every few minutes because great songs keep happening.

Last Monday was another good day, and here are some songs I'd like to share with you.

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Short news flash

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 5/3/16 2:00 PM
A number of things to share:

  • Had a great time at De Dondersteen to discuss a cameo appearance by the owner Sebastiaan in Incursion
  • First editing pass of Incursion is complete. Two more to go until I send it to my alpha readers
  • No entries for the
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It appears I broke my contact form

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/28/16 10:00 PM
A few months ago MailChimp and Mandrill decided it would be a good idea to extort Mandrill's customers by merging Mandrill back into the parent company, and requiring Mandrill customers to get a paid MailChimp account.

I'm not sure about the exact math, but it comes down to a fourfold increase in cost, and the elimination of the free tier, which I used.

Now, this didn't appear to be that big of a problem. I thought I only used Mandrill for my Jenkins server (and previously
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Movie casting decisions

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/26/16 5:00 PM
While browsing IMDB a while ago, I noticed something pretty cool:

http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMjA2ODQxODQ3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzk3MzYyNTE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpg

Apparently they're making a movie out of Stephen King's Dark Tower
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Abandoned project: the vampire novelette

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/22/16 5:00 PM
A while ago, I think it was between writing Benediction and Deliverance, I was working on a side project that involved vampires. I think it was due to disappointment with recent vampire fiction that I started this project, and the premise was something along the lines of "what would happen if you combine a teenager's first vacation without parents with a group of
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The cameo appearance

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/19/16 9:00 PM
All of my books include a disclaimer that similarities to real persons are coincidental. This is pretty much a no-brainer for the Hunter in the Dark series as it takes place in a fictional universe, and mostly unnecessary for the Troll Warriors of Sheepbane, because whatever happens in my dreams is too weird to have any bearing on real life, even if my subconscious somehow keeps involving Kevin Sorbo
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Finding time to write

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/14/16 10:00 AM
It should be no secret that I don't sell enough books to make any sort of a living. If my Amazon sales rank wasn't enough of a hint, then my bio of course mentions that I have a day job as a Software Engineer. An often heard excuse among would-be writers is that they'd write a book if they'd simply have the time.

Okay, first off, if there's one thing I lack more than anything else it's time, but that didn't stop me from writing and
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Let's talk about whisky

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/12/16 10:00 PM
People not of legal drinking age, please ignore this post

My bio's pretty clear about the fact that I enjoy drinking Scotch. In fact, I generally enjoy most types of whisk(e)y (more on spelling later), though I tend to favor single malts with age statements. I'm not a heavy drinker (at least, I don't think I am), and usually limit my consumption of alcohol to weekends, drinking only 2 or 3 glasses on an average evening. According to the Oatmeal
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Classifying levels of power

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/6/16 10:00 AM
My books feature a whole bunch of characters, creatures and forces with special or supernatural abilities. The Hunter in the Dark series has the seven Gifts, a bunch of ancient relics that enhance people in various ways, and entire civilizations that are simply badass because of their natural habitat (the Wanderers). The Unbound series has the Sleepers and Unbound, with mostly similar powers, and a whole bunch of other supernatural creatures with varying abilities, such as Thanatos and Paul.
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Musical Inspiration: April 2016

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 4/4/16 4:00 PM
I haven't done one of these in a while, so here's a bunch of songs I've been listening to while writing:



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Let's talk about Dungeons and Dragons

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/30/16 4:00 PM
If you've ever read my author bio, or if you've been paying close attention to my Twitter feed, you'll know that one of my hobbies is Dungeons & Dragons. I've been playing the game for some time now, since 2005 I think. I started with D&D 3.5 and from there (recently) moved on to D&D 5. I also own the Pathfinder rulebook, but I have not actually played it.

Up until a few years ago, I used to DM these games, which is quite a feat considering
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Incursion and the road ahead

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/24/16 10:00 PM
Even though I neglected to make a blog post about it, my dedicated fans won't have missed the release of Majesty earlier this month. I believe I've mentioned this before, but the Unbound series was envisioned as something I'd write at once, and release close together. It was meant as a side project before I continued writing Epic Fantasy.

Without posting too many spoilers, I will say that Majesty was originally meant to be
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Robin Hobb made me cry

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/22/16 10:00 AM
As my regular readers know, I've been spending a considerable amount of my reading time re-reading "old" books (i.e. books I had already read at least once). This has been a fun experience, and I've shared most of it with you on this blog. Among others, I've covered Mistborn, the Dresden Files and most notable
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Introducing the Review Bounty contest

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 3/20/16 10:00 PM
When was the last time you've written a review about a book you liked? Think about it for a moment. For me it was July last year, a week or so after K.J. Colt released Forsaken Power, but despite having read dozens of books since then, I haven't left a review for any of them.

I have a valid excuse: Amazon frowns upon authors leaving reviews on other authors' books, so I tend to keep it to a minimum,
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Vigilance released, Majesty available for preorder!

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 2/8/16 3:00 PM
After the recent release of Repulsion, Benediction, and Deliverance, I'm glad to announce that the fourth installment to the Unbound series, Vigilance, is now available as well!

Vigilance
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Deliverance now available

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/18/16 8:00 PM
After the recent release of Repulsion and Benediction, I am glad to announce that the third installment in the Unbound series, Deliverance, is now available for purchase!

Deliverance
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The Shannara Chronicles

Jeroen Steenbeeke  Jeroen Steenbeeke
Posted 1/8/16 11:00 AM
I've been a fan of Terry Brooks for a long time, over two decades. I remember walking around the local library when I was 10 or 11, looking for new fantasy books to read. At this point I had already read Lord of the Rings, as well as everything David Eddings had written up until that point (mind you, this was 1993 or 1994, so he was still actively writing at that point).

So there I was, walking
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