I’ve been a legit author for exactly 1 year now.

I forgot to post this yesterday, but it’s been 1 year since my first book, West of Prehistoric, was published.

Sept 18th, 2020 to Sept 18th, 2021…

That’s pretty awesome.

I owe many people a great deal of thanks.

First, to my lovely wife who told me I should write a book and then stuck by me 90% of the time when I was writing it. The other 10% of the time was telling me that I was spending too much time fretting about it.

Second, to the internet forums. NC4x4.com, CarolinaFirearmsForum.com, and FalFiles.com. Without you three reading my book prior to publishing, then supporting me by buying multiple copies, requesting my newbie signature, and spreading the word, plus in general not telling me to get lost – I owe you a great deal of thanks. You formed the earliest basis of my reader group and I am eternally grateful.

Third, to all my readers who took a chance on a newbie author with a crazy idea about a novel for a lost world adventure set in 1885. From those who read it on kindle unlimited, to those who bought the electronic version, to those who bought the paperback – thank you! I’d never have gotten as far along as I am now in my fledgling writing career if it hadn’t been for your support.

And finally, the future is bright.

I’m not going anywhere and I plan on entertaining you all for many more years.

Thank you.

XOXO

Erik ‘Tracer’ Testerman

My most brutal Publisher rejection letter.

Since I’m on the verge of hitting 100 reviews, likely keeping my 4.7 star average, and having sold WAY more copies than most newbie authors… I’d like to share the most brutal rejection letter I received when I was looking for publishers.

***

Acquisition Reviewer Notes:

Zane Grey meets Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when prehistoric beasts, including myriad dinosaurs under the control of a race of huge, carnivorous bipedal apes, living in a parallel world, discover a portal into the human world where they proceed to wreak unspeakable and savage havoc in the Wyoming Territory of 1885, beginning with the spread of outlaw cum respected rancher, Jedediah Huckleberry, and gradually moving to a tense showdown in the little town of Granite Falls.

To be successful, any book, I think, must create a world in which the reader is able to suspend disbelief, if only within the pages of that book. Obviously, the farther the subject is from the known world, the more difficult it is to create that acceptance, and with a book that is this far from the “known,” the task is huge. It simply doesn’t work for me. While the characters are, to some degree, compelling (Jedediah Huckleberry makes a very good anti-hero), the author just tries to do too much, and it’s just too hard for the reader to buy in. The ending, which leaves so many loose ends tangling, makes one think that the author finally grew just as weary of the whole thing as his reader does.

It would appear that the author here is striving to occupy a niche, and in that, he is surely successful. The problem is that he is alone in that niche. I simply can not imagine a reader group who would join him there.

***

Hey there, Publisher… How you like my reader group now? 🖕🤣🖕

Time for training.

I used to be pretty jacked, then I had my self-induced gun-inflicted brain damage from firing big guns with muzzle brakes inside small spaces causing repeated concussions… which in turn caused a pretty severe case of post-concussive syndrome.

Long story. Doesn’t matter.

What does matter is I went from a gym rat to a depressed, moody, personality changed chunky guy for about a solid year as I ate my feelings. Then I started to get back into lifting as I began to recover… and COVID hit and closed the gyms down for another year…

So I went from chunky to fat.

This WAS me at a hefty 230lbs , running Spartan races, benching 325, and trying to find abs.

Now I’m a bit bigger AND so unhealthy that I have a metabolic age 8 years older than the actual 38 years old that I am.

So this is pretty unhealthy.

Well, I had tried to get back into the gym and lost about 10lbs. Then I started a new job that was a lot more stressful and demanding, and far enough from the gym that I couldn’t go during lunch time…. and I gained 15lbs back.

So screw it.

I got a trainer.

Not just any trainer, but celebrity training sadist Kris freaking Gethin. (Not his real middle name)

“Who?”

This guy.

Yeah, he’s pretty impressive. But what’s even more impressive are the transformations he’s helped people do to become physically fit, mentally sound, able to live better and longer, and frankly, become a more badass version of themselves.

Expect some more updates as time goes on, but so far I’m on day 6 of the program and I’ve lost 5.3lbs. (yay)

I’m exhausted and sore. And did I mention exhausted? Because I gave up the 2-3 monster energy drinks, 1-3 cups of coffee, and 2-3 diet sodas I was drinking a day for caffeine/energy… and I gave up sugar in all those delicious foods I liked…

I am tired.

But I’m sleeping good and feeling better.

Expect more updates to come as well as before/after pictures.

West of Prehistoric – Audio Book coming soon!

Woop!

Last night the publisher sent me the narrator’s audition ‘tape’ so I got to hear the voice of the gentleman who’d be narrating. It sounded great and I’m stoked.

Getting my first book in Audio format has been a goal of mine since I wrote it. Especially since my mom’s side of the family has hereditary vision loss around 60 and most likely I’ll get that genetic gift in a couple of decades. 🙂

So, it’s nice to see that goal come to fruition for everyone who has a hard time seeing or is to busy to sit down and read.

And while we wait on that… the reviews are still rolling in.

I’m currently standing with a wonderful 4.8 on West of Prehistoric and 4.5 on Enter Prehistoric. (Someone gave me a 1 star and a 2 star without any written reason on EP, if it wasn’t for that, it’d be scoring better than WoP since the other 24 reviews are 5’s with a few 4’s sprinkled in.) Keep them coming, I always tell people that reviews really help me keep the momentum going by showing other people that it’s worth their time to read a book by someone they’ve never heard of. And you guys have been delivering, and people have kept on reading.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with my reader’s reactions and the foreseeable future for my writing career. Both are outstanding. And now that I’m getting a grip on my new job, I’m finding more time in the evening to write without feeling exhausted and mentally drained. The progress on the third book continues!

And as an aside, my dad sent me a link to this rifle and it’s on my wish list now.

I bet there will be a lot of haters on it, since it breaks the traditional mold for an 1886, but I love it. The only thing I dislike is that the octagonal barrel doesn’t continue to the muzzle. That’s just lazy manufacturing and inexcusable.

So, I’ll keep building up my royalties, and maybe I can get one someday. 🙂

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