Sam Burns

Seeing the Bright Side of Romance & Fantasy

Author: Sam Page 1 of 13

January in Words

Hey all! So January is over, and boy was it a long year. For me, it was an incredibly productive month. In fact, it was the most productive month I’ve ever had.

So I thought I’d share it here, along with one of the ways I track my word count: I write it on an old-school paper calendar every day. This way Mr. Burns can get a look and if I’m having a slow period, give me a poke. (Okay fine, it’s more so he’ll praise me when I’m doing well.)

Imaginary cookies to anyone who can guess any part of my random notation system.

tl; dr: Take Care of Yourself

I’m one of those annoying authors who doesn’t believe in the concept of writer’s block.

Yes, sometimes I struggle to write.

Often, that’s the black dog hounding my tail. If it’s depression, it takes time to run its course. I sit around and read a lot of books—or if it’s really bad, I don’t read a lot of books.

Sometimes I struggle because there’s something wrong with the book I’m trying to write. If it’s that, I need to figure out what the problem is. Usually, it’s me trying to push square pegs into round holes. Sometimes the plot I envision just isn’t what my characters would do, and I need to accept that and replan to suit them.

So when I sat down to write the last book in the Rowan Harbor Cycle, Wren and Oak, and the words refused to come, I presumed it was one of those two issues. But instead of taking to my kindle and reading books, I spent a lot of days sitting there staring at a blank document, wondering why the words wouldn’t come.

It wasn’t my plot, I was sure. I’d spent eight books setting this up. I knew what needed to happen, and just how Fletcher would react to it.

And yet, my daily word counts had gone from thousands one month, to only occasionally positive numbers the next. It’s convention planning, I told myself. Then the convention itself. Then vacation planning. Then vacation.

Suddenly two months had gone by, and I didn’t have a book.

This is probably when I’d have usually started to despair about how I was never going to write again, and other such melodrama. Instead, I realized, I hadn’t eaten in two days. I’d lost fourteen pounds in the last week, in fact.

As it turns out, I started a different medication right before I started working on Wren and Oak, and because I was so busy, and traveling all the time, I didn’t realize that I was, in fact, poisoning myself. It turns out my body was not a fan of the medication in question, and was slowly shutting down.

I went off it, and two weeks later had a finished manuscript.

What was the purpose of this ridiculous plot twist?

I mean, other than that it’s a true story and proves that fictional plot twists have nothing on real life, there’s this: sometimes we all neglect ourselves in the daily rush to get everything done. I know if we don’t get things done, everything falls apart. Rents need paid, after all, and electric and grocery bills. But if you ignore your body’s warnings that something is wrong, you won’t be able to get everything done from a hospital bed.

Also, if we met or started speaking between September and mid-November, I apologize for anything and everything I said or did.

‘Tis the Season

…for holiday stories, of course.

I don’t usually write anything for the holidays, but in May, when I was struggling with a major project, taking a day to write a short story was a good distraction from my mental blocks. So here we are in December, and here’s my day well spent.

It is that–a short story–so if you don’t like things that aren’t novel length, it’s obviously not for you. If you’re looking for a feel-good holiday tale, it just might be. It’s a standalone contemporary, so there’s no magic (the shame!), unless you count the odd holiday miracle of two guys finding each other despite themselves. It’s even lucky number thirteen in the lineup of advent stories!

Wren and Oak

Almost two years in the making, the final book of The Rowan Harbor Cycle is finally coming! On December 26th, the cycle will end.

Wren and Oak, by Sam Burns
Rowan Harbor has been peaceful for a now unprecedented two months, but everyone knows it’s the calm before the storm. The Summer king is coming for the thorn—a weapon destined to bring his end—and Fletcher has never felt so helpless.

When the disturbing dreams start and his mentor, Oak, is hesitant to discuss them, Fletcher doesn’t know where to turn. He and his boyfriend Conner are in the process of moving in together, and he doesn’t want to add anything else to Conner’s list of concerns.

With a vengeful fae waiting for his chance to raze Rowan Harbor to the ground, Fletcher has to find a way to protect everything he loves and survive the coming storm.

The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…

Kidding!

No, no, I don’t mean that they weren’t exaggerated. I promise, if anyone told you I’m dead, they were wrong.

I think.

It’s been a whirlwind few months, complete with my two best book releases of all time:

Not only were both super fun to write, but they’re the first books in new trilogies, covers by the ever-fabulous Natasha Snow.

Never fear if you’re worried about Rowan Harbor, though. Book nine will be forthcoming soon! I’ll post the cover here this Friday, along with the blurb and… in case you haven’t already seen the widget, publication date!

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper

Seriously, Thanatos is a good guy. It’s not like he’s come to hurt anyone, just take them where they’re going. Look at that beautiful face. (on that beautiful cover by Natasha Snow!) So yeah, today is the release of the third book in my Lords of the Underworld series with W.M.Fawkes.

While this is technically the last book in the series, that’s because the next series of characters don’t (generally) fit into the underworld theme. Next up is Sons of Olympus, starting with Hermes, as he gets to know everyone’s favorite insufferable professor, Wilder Pratt in Wildfire.

Patron of Mercy is not only my favorite book in the series, but possibly my favorite thing I’ve ever had a hand in writing. I hope you love it as much as Waverly and I do!

Straight from the Heart Audio

As I’ve been mentioning on Twitter and Facebook for the last month, I’ve been working with a narrator to get my first book ever into audio.

I had a chance to listen to the finished product this week, and I’m so pleased with the result! All we’re awaiting now is Amazon approval to get it posted on Audible. The narrator in question, Gabriel Amari, has been kind enough to put together a couple of snippets and host them on Soundcloud, so here’s Alex and Liam on the phone.

Salmon and the Hazel

Hey all! Here we are, once again, in Rowan Harbor. Salmon and the Hazel is available today on Amazon, and it’s Jesse and Sean’s last book. Just one more to go in the cycle, and we’ll be done…

Salmon and the Hazel

Jesse’s only priority in life is protecting the people he loves, so he’s determined to see Rowan Harbor’s wards rebuilt. There’s just one problem: they’re missing an ingredient that can’t be ordered online.

Jesse volunteers to search for the missing component in the realm of the fae, but his boyfriend, Sean, isn’t letting him go alone. The town has an enemy among the fae, so they’ll need to keep a low profile. Along their way, they find unexpected allies, surprising enemies, and a whole host of problems.

The journey is a test of their endurance, but also of their relationship and their faith in each other. Can they find what they need and get back home in one piece in time for the summer solstice?

How Often Do You Get To Say Penultimate?

So here I am yesterday, announcing that the next Lords of the Underworld book is coming out next month, and the voice of common sense that I usually squash mercilessly whispers in the back of my head, “you never told people when the next Rowan Harbor book is coming out.”

And dang it, I didn’t.

So here we go guys, the next Rowan Harbor book? Is actually coming out before Patron of Mercy. So without any further wait, here’s the (late) announcement:

Jesse’s final book, and the penultimate book in the Rowan Harbor Cycle, Salmon and the Hazel, coming July 4th!

Jesse’s only priority in life is protecting the people he loves, so he’s determined to see Rowan Harbor’s wards rebuilt. There’s just one problem: they’re missing an ingredient that can’t be ordered online.

Jesse volunteers to search for the missing component in the realm of the fae, but his boyfriend, Sean, isn’t letting him go alone. The town has an enemy among the fae, so they’ll need to keep a low profile. Along their way, they find unexpected allies, surprising enemies, and a whole host of problems.

The journey is a test of their endurance, but also of their relationship and their faith in each other. Can they find what they need and get back home in one piece in time for the summer solstice?

Wanted: Trash Pirate

Hey, all!
It’s been a while because I’m terrible at blogging, but since we have the cover for this, and it’s coming out next month, I thought I’d give you a first look at the next Lords of the Underworld book.

Gorgeous cover art by Natasha Snow!

Lach has spent the last few thousand years counting only on himself. What he needed, he took. What he wanted, he won with charm. All except a god he turned his back on an age ago, when he had a different name and didn’t know what he was giving up.

Thanatos, god of merciful death, is one of the gentlest gods in the pantheon—easing the transition between life and death for billions of mortals. But he has faced eternity alone. After breaking his heart on the sharp words of a fisherman’s son, he hasn’t been able to connect with anyone.

Now, Lach is crashing back into Thanatos’s life, dragging him into an adventure that could save the world . . . or kill them both.

Patron of Mercy is a stand alone, second-chance romance between a trash pirate and the ancient god who loves him.

Coming July 18th!

For anyone rolling their eyes and wondering when the next Rowan Harbor book is coming, post to come tomorrow. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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