THE SHORT VERSION
I’m a cartoonist and co-author of the Number One bestselling series Yesterday’s Gone.
I’m also co-host of The Self-Publishing Podcast and The Walking Dave.
And I’m a huge geek who loves to write about the things I love: TV shows, video games, and the occasional comic.
THE LONGER VERSION
I’ve been writing and drawing ever since I was a kid. It was my escape from a childhood with few friends and many bullies.
I used to sit in the back of class dreaming the day I could write stories or draw comics that would offer escape to others. Dreaming that people would want to get lost in my worlds like I got lost in the worlds of my heroes: Stephen King, Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson, and Berkeley Breathed.
Despite working retail and clerical jobs for my entire teens and twenties and into my thirties, I always kept the dream alive. I kept drawing and writing for the audience I hoped to someday have. I did an online comic strip, Todd and Penguin, for nearly ten years.
In 2005, I got my first professional writing and cartooning jobs, working at a small newspaper as a reporter and editorial cartoonist. I wasn’t writing fiction (despite what you might think about the veracity of journalism), but I was writing for a living, and in some way, I was still connecting with others, with many people saying that my work touched them, made them laugh, or sometimes made them cry. It was an honor that meant the world to me.
Then, a year after the birth of my son, the paper folded, I was out of a job, and shattered.
The dream was dead.
Or so I thought.
Soon I met (it’s a long, weird story how we met which I don’t have time to write here) Sean Platt via an email exchange. He was writing about the same things I was blogging about at the time: life, being a father of two young kids, and writing.
We started talking regularly. We had many shared interests including serials like Stephen King’s The Green Mile, comic books, and TV shows like LOST, The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Battlestar Galactica, and a bunch of movies.
We said, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to create our own ‘show?’”
We started writing a serial, Available Darkness, publishing it on our website in 2008. It was the sort of TV show we wanted to see on TV.
But most people don’t want to read a book on a website. And without a way to actually sell the book, there was no way we could make it as writers. Remember, there was no Kindle, iPad, Nook, or Kobo back then!
And there was no way on Earth that a publisher would sign two unknowns to write a serial!
And then Amazon stepped in, revolutionizing the way books were sold with its Kindle device.
No longer did writers have to rely on both talent AND luck or knowing the right person to get through the gatekeepers.
Two comic, TV, and movie-loving geeks could find our own audience of people who love the same stuff we do!
We could cultivate our own audience!
We could have our “show.”
We could become the HBO/AMC of the e-book generation! We could be KINGS OF THE SERIAL!
In 2011 Sean and I launched our first true serial, the post-apocalyptic series Yesterday’s Gone. We did something almost nobody else was doing at the time, serializing a book and using TV language to sell our books in “episodes” and “seasons.”
To us, e-books seemed like the perfect delivery system for serialized fiction!
I’m not sure why, but a lot of people back then said serials would never sell as e-books. That people no longer cared about the form, despite the serial’s long and storied history.
I’ll be honest. I was worried that we’d write this series and nobody would care. I might have given up before we even started if Sean didn’t help me get past what others’ said we couldn’t do.
In 2012, things finally came together. We suddenly had a Top 10 (I forget how high it went, maybe #2 overall?) book on Amazon. Our books were soon routinely in the number one spot for horror and sci-fi categories.
We were building our audience one book at a time (readers we affectionally call our Goners), people who got us and what we were trying to do. In other words, our people!
We launched six series, two of which were picked up by the publisher, 47North.
And my childhood dream of creating worlds for other people came true.
It’s still a ton of work, and long 50-60 hour weeks, but I’d rather work 60 hours a week doing something I love versus 40-50 hours a week for anyone else.
Now we’ve moved away from proper serials as they are becoming more difficult to market for a myriad of reasons. Now we’ve got a few active series (WhiteSpace, Karma Police, and ForNevermore), a few that are finished (Yesterday’s Gone and Available Darkness), and are also writing standalone novels (Crash, 12, and Threshold).
In 2016 we sold our first script, for Crash (the script was co-written with Justin Sloan of Telltale Games).
We’re writing the “shows” we love, and love having readers who look forward to our shows as much as real TV shows! Who knows, maybe someday we’ll have a real TV series!
Click here to visit our publishing house, Sterling & Stone’s website where you can find all of our books. Click on the Collective Inkwell tag to find the books by Sean and me. Or click on another of the tags to find books Sean wrote with his other writing partner, and co-host of The Self-Publishing Podcast, Johnny B. Truant.
If you’d like to check out our work without paying a dime, you can get the first two books of the Yesterday’s Gone series for free by joining our mailing list, which is also the best way to keep up with our journey.
Thank you for reading,
Feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Press inquiries can also be sent to the same email.
Just wanted to say that I loved Yesterday’s Gone Season 1 and have left you a 5 star review on Amazon. Can’t wait for the first episode of Season 2!!!
I love the serialized fiction concept, and I’m actually going to try it for my book Diary of a Nerd King. I’m going to release the next “Episode” as an ebook at 99 cents and see how my readers like respond.
Also, your readers may be interested in getting in on the FREE iPod Touch Kindle Fire giveway I’m doing this month. http://nerdkingdiary.blogspot.com/2011/12/win-free-ipod-touch-or-kindle-fire-your.html
All the best, and Happy Holidays!
So, I found you (and Sean and Johnny) through the Self-Publishing Podcast. I’ve already called and left a message – hoping to hear it in a future episode! And I’ve become a rabid reader of Yesterday’s Gone.
Just wanted to say what a fan I am of your work and am currently working on burning through your entire back catalog. Thanks for the great words man – all of them.
(P.S. You actually made gothsuptrees.net ?! Sick bastard…)
Leavening message with your writing partner too. I picked up Yesterday’s Gone season one. Love it of course. I wanted to thank you guys for having a gay character who just happens to be gay and is just a regular character in story. I think it’s so cool that’s it’s not made such a big deal of and is just another person in the book. Been turning people onto your work and they have been loving it..
Thanks, Mark. I appreciate the nice words. While we were briefly tempted to have Brother Rei target Will because of his sexuality (which he might have done, given the chance, considering the cult’s strict rules) it seemed over the top and one of those plot-convenient things, and I didn’t want to cheapen Will’s back-story, which was my favorite part of Season Two. Thank you for stopping by to comment.
I read the first two z2134 and loved it just wondering when the third episode is coming out. Also can’t wait to read the rest of your stuff, keep up the good work.
2136, the third and final book in the trilogy, is coming out on April 15 at Amazon.
I’m a huge fan of the first season of Yesterday’s Gone. Hoping to find the time to read the rest over the summer. I also tune in to listen to you, Sean and Johnny all the time.
Going the serial route is has really inspired me. I had the idea of doing a serial myself a few years ago, but haven’t been convinced to go through with it until now. I gotta say, you’ve changed my mind about it.
Just wanted to say I think you’ve got a great thing going.
Hi, Harry. Thanks for the kind words. I will say that we’re moving from serials to series books. They’ll still be written as serialized episodes (but we’re releasing just the season compilations for now). We’ve found the market for episodes themselves to be difficult to be difficult to market in with pricing limitations and the lack of promotion possibilities for smaller episode-length works.
Indeed, I’m sure it must be difficult. The format of episodic fiction is great to see out there, in whatever form. I look forward to seeing more from you. Thanks again