Joseph Clay – Author

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Yep it’s 2018

Writing Update – Edition 1-18


Happy belated New Year to all! Here’s to 2018 may it bring you good health and cheer.

That’s right, we have entered another year. To those of us in the northern hemisphere that means it’s winter. Yes, Mother Nature took a deep breath of cold arctic air and released it with a mighty exhale. The frigid air spewed across her chapped and cracked lips sending snow and freezing temps as far south as Florida.

As I type this from Nashville, Tennessee there is snow on the ground and the temps at night are expected to be in single digits.

This is the second or third round of wind chills below freezing and the temps at night dropping into single digits. You will have to excuse me for not being sure but my brain has turned into a block of ice hindering my short-term memory.

I’m not a winter person as the cold brings on aches and pains of years and years of being rode hard and put up wet. I know that is a cliché and writers are not supposed to use them but hey I have never been one to follow the rules. I even started this article off with the weather which is also a no-no according to Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing.

Staying in the house most of the time to avoid the cold gave me to time to ponder 2017 and what 2018 may bring.

I must admit that 2017 was not a good year for my health and worse when it came to meeting my writing goals.

My health was a roller coaster ride to say the least and a major road block that caused a detour in my writing.

The doctors added medicine, changed medicines, and removed medicines. With each new regiment my body and system would adjust. At times the changes worked in my favor. Then there were the times when it was all I could do to get out of the bed and in the shower. Instead of getting to involved in what was happening I can sum up the health issues in one line.

I didn’t even put a tag on the Harley and it never left the garage in 2017.

I was writing full-time for Live Laugh Love Nashville penning the Music Monday feature. It was time-consuming and a bit stressful trying to gather the information needed to do the artist justice and the organization week after week.

The doctors informed me that the stress could be attributing my health issues. They determined I needed to stay away from all situations that were aggravating and/or stressful, which included anything with a deadline.

The hardest decision I made all year was to give that position up.

I didn’t see or feel stressed as I liked doing the feature,  liked the other writers and I love the owner like a little sister I never had. Heck we were like one big happy family. A little dysfunctional but still a family and I will miss them.

I also got derailed with many adventures, none which had anything to do with me physically writing.

I started a publishing company, ThunderHorse Publishing, last year. The company suffered several set backs that required more of my time than I had planned.

I determined that the best option was to take full control of the company and cut back  some of the services that the company offers to Independent Authors. ThunderHorse Publishing will reintroduce those services one at time over 2018 and 2019 after I restructure the organization.

Being an independent author means you foot the bills for advertising, publishing and editors along with cover design… you get the idea, we spend a lot a dough to get our work out their. I needed way to supplement my income that would help pay for my writing addiction.

The pieces began falling in place when my son’s car played out and had to be replaced. He is a college student and now needed money to help with the expenses that came along with purchasing a vehicle plus to help pay for a higher education.

We put our heads together when the opportunity arose to open a retail booth inside a flea market here in Nashville. We decided that it was a good idea and went for it.

On December the first we had the shelves stocked and began selling merchandise to the public under the name JT’s Place. The booth sells new and used items at prices anyone can afford. Give us a follow on Facebook and/or Twitter. Check out our website also.

The plus side of opening the store beside the cash it brings in, I have another brick and mortar outlet to carry my books in. On the downsize, running a retail location takes time. The time spent ordering stock, pricing and stocking cuts into the writing time. Does no good to have a space to sell your novels if you are not writing.

All the adventures mentioned above will benefit me and those involved along with other independent writers in the long run. However to reap those benefits I need to be writing and stay healthy enough to do so.

The store has become a family business with us all handling different aspects of it as not to overwhelm and/or stress out one person.

When it comes to my health, both physically and mentally I have been following the doctors orders, staying away from stress, exercising along with taking breaks away from people when I feel it necessary. I have been feeling like the old me since around the second week of the new year. I’m improving daily but still have bad days. When those days come around I do all I can to keep one day from turning into two and two turning into a whole week.

As you can see 2017 was a wild one. As I reflect on it I ask my self; what did I get done last year as for as writing goes?

Well it was not a total loss. Although the goal to release at least one new novel in 2017, with a long shot of putting two out fell short, I did make some writing headway.

I submitted three manuscripts, and several short stories for my short story collection, to my favorite Editor and Proofreader Clare at Human Voices for review. The three full length novel titles are as follows.

  • Thunder Bear
  • The Bet
  • Demons of the Jungle

My writing goals for 2018 are simple and within reach.

  • Keep the readers updated with a blog that is published at least once a month.
  • Release one new novel (Thunder Bear)
  • Release a new edition (Re-Write) of Demons of the Jungle

Rewrite, what us a rewrite you ask? Demons of the Jungle is my first published work. The book was released way back in 2013/14. I’ll cover the specifics of the rewrite in next blog.

Till then try to stay warm and keep flipping the pages and reading. Remember reading is like dreaming with your eyes open!








What Happened – Writing is the Easy Part – So I Thought (WU #14-17)


What’s up friends? I have a couple of reasons for asking. The first, I want to know and the second, I have no idea what is up with me. So I’m hoping someone knows what is going on. I feel like I’m running in a hundred different directions and not getting nothing done at all. Most of the time my writing keeps me half way sane, but lately it’s driving me crazy, as the characters are taking over and taunting me.

I’ll start with the writing updates. Below is the progress made since the last blog was posted on 5-4-2017 titled “Want to be a Published Author! (WU #13-17). Reading it may shed some light on the updates and blog below.

Working Projects

Witch’s Dilemma Video Trailer: At last post I had no idea the status of this project. I’m happy to report it has been completed with the exception of the credits at the end. The video is awesome, Jayce Boynton owner of Capture Scratch Productions, LLC., did an excellent job. Since the restructuring and forming of ThunderHorse Publishing, the logo for the company will need to be added to the credits also. The Logo should be completed within two weeks. However the video will be held from public view till Witch’s Dilemma has been pulled from the retail market and republished under ThunderHorse Publishing.

Writing Projects

[No book will be released until after the Publishing company is up and running. My goal is to have all the projects ready for publishing when that happens. I uses a 7 stage system in my writing process letting me know at what stage each writing project is at.  Her is the numbering system explanations; 1-Write * 2 – Manuscript Review * 3 – Rewrite * 4 – Edit * 5 – Proofread * 6 – Book Cover Art /Illustrations/Format/Book Trailer Video * 7 – Publish. I have listed the projects below in order of expected release.]

Thunder Bear: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/100%, 2/100%, 6/25%, Book Cover Art is complet.) Clare at Human Voices and I are wrapping up the discussions on the changes that need to be made to the manuscript, this includes story line adjustments and formatting.

The Bet: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/75%). This will be a love story with an erotic twist that came out of no where after arguing with my characters. I’ll explain how it fell into place in the blog below.

The Erotic Tales of Joe: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/25%). This book of erotic short stories has been through same changes since the last blog. The word count of 76,770 has declined to 64,023 and the total of stories went from 7 to 6 but two poems were added. The reason for this will be covered in the blog below also. At this time the book contains these completed tales and poems. “To a Princes” (Poem) * “Masterful Tongue” (Poem) * “Across the Hall – One Door Down” * “Paula’s Second Chance” * “Professor Rothschild – Cougar 101” * “What Damn Day is it Anyway” * “I Love Them Both” * “Making a Last Ditch Effort”. I would like to have twenty stories in this book putting the word count somewhere around 150,000 and 200,000 words. I have seven more stories outlined, so will need to come up with another five or six tales and/or poems.

The Tales of Joe: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/20%). This book hasn’t got much attention. At this time the book contains six stories which are titled. “Bloody Waters of Wahoo Creek” * “Death of a Soul – Birth of a Killer” * “To Die in Peace is to Rest in Peace” * “Night of Dreams” * “The Birds of Peace” * “Cursed; To Be or Not to Be”. Like above I would like to have twenty stories in this book putting the word count somewhere around 150,000 and 200,000 words. I have two outlined, which means I need around twelve more.

Demons of the Jungle: (Stages/Completion Percentage – 1/100%, 2/100%). If that title looks familiar it should, it’s my first published novel. Demons of the Jungle will lead us straight into the blog.

Blog #14-17 Pic1

Writing is not easy, buy a long shot. But I feel compared to all the other hats an independent author wears it is the easiest part. But sometimes due to the authors ego and stubbornness it becomes difficult which leads to everything getting crazy.

[For more on what an independent author does read my post “A Glimpse into the Glamorous Life of an Independent Author”.]

Demons of the Jungle is my baby, as it’s my first published worked and is in eBook and Paperback format. There has already been one major revision to the book as I felt it was not my best work. Read “When is a second edition needed?” That blog will explain my line of thinking on that re-write. The second edition was an improvement over the first from book cover art to story. However people either like it or hate it, and the written reviews are harsh to say the least. The first and second editions were done by different editors. The editor I use now, Clare at Human Voices, who is not one of the two mentioned above, is top notch and the best in the business. As I have said a thousand times I trust her completely with my writing career. I had her do a manuscript review on the second edition. We will get into what she found in the next blog as we cover the rewrite in depth. Maybe the old saying, the third time is a charm will hold true here.

How The Bet came to life. I love Edgar Allan Poe and remember in his The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, the tale titled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, had a sequel to it titled “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” From the manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment I had to cut a whole chapter due to content and I needed to also get rid of some characters. That chapter dealt with two lead female characters that played off each other and intertwined through the chapter. The chapter was too long to be a short story. Then my brain kicked in and I snapped my fingers as I thought, That’s it, I’ll break it up into two different stories, similar to what Poe did. As I was celebrating my genius of an idea, my gut was telling me, nope that will never work. “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story”, would be the first story with “The Secrets of Delilah” being the sequel. I finished “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” and placed it into The Erotic Tales of Joe short story collection and began working on “The Secrets of Delilah”. The stories were tying in great and I was laughing at my characters as they were telling me I was no Poe and what I was doing wasn’t going to work as they needed to stay together. Laughing at them was a mistake. Once I got to the end of “The Secrets of Delilah” the struggle became real. Although the stories had meshed and “The Secrets of Delilah” was a sequel of “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” the ending didn’t feel right or end the way I wanted it to. The characters started taunting me each day, to put it all back together and make it a novel. This battle went on for weeks until I gave in and reevaluated the situation as I realized they were right and one of the story’s endings had to change to make it work. I walked away leaving it to simmer for a couple of more days before returning to it. The characters had calmed down by then, but were ready to do battle again if I didn’t see the light. I was shaking my head in less than a minute. There, right in front of me, was a chapter that had all the components of a great erotic love story. All it needed was a few tweaks and the word count would come out around 75,000 words with the ending the way I wanted. “Learning to Please – Christina’s Story” was removed from The Erotic Tales of Joe leaving the book short a story and about 12,000 words. The writing process started over with the chapter intact bringing to life the love story titled The Bet.

[Note: To find out what happened with my first ever manuscript West on the East – Noon Judgment; read my blogged titled “Numbers to Words: My Journey from Engineering to Writing.]

Till next week,


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