All posts by serobertsonfiction_otmr8p

New record

Everything was ready, as far as I could tell, so I went through the set-up process on Amazon, uploaded the new book file, and hit save. It went along its merry way of … doing whatever it does for 72 hours, probably making sure it’s not plagiarized or something.

And I realized

The title page still says “published on [date]”

New record: Stupidest possible mistake

Ughhhhhhh

So… new non-Healers, “light-ish novel” book will be out tomorrow, hopefully. This is just for the ebook so far, so I just have to re-upload it. It’s…. …. …fine. It’s fine.

It’s fine.

“I paid for Crunchyroll and I’m using it, dammit”

We’re about a week out from my self-declared due date for novella feedback, which means that if all goes well, I can launch it within a couple of weeks?!

  • collect any other feedback
  • make some more edits based on that (I’ve gotten some great comments already!)
  • finalize text, test digital version again, lay out for print
  • design paperback spine/cover (have the digital/front cover now)
  • Today I’ve managed to outline most of 5 novellas in the series, to complete the overplot that’s teased in this first one. ???? I mean, none of this existed even in the slightest glimmer 3 months ago. I’m consciously deciding not to question it, and to run with this as long as it lasts.

Still working on outlining the next Healers book, too. I feel like I’m still in the “dump out all the Legos on the floor and sort through them” phase.

Fall 2022 Anime Rambling

It’s the season of hot beverages (here), rejoice

Little updates:

  • The Healers’ Purpose just hit 100 copies on Amazon; round numbers are neat. Several on Gumroad as well. Ironically, Gumroad sends me an email each and every time a copy of something sells, but I pay less attention to it. That doesn’t seem right. I ought to either check it more often or turn off those alerts. Maybe both. Anyway, that’s nice.
  • The new side project is in the hands of a couple of beta readers; thanks, folks, even though you can’t “hear” me here! Commissioned a cover illustration that I really love, and sent it over to my usual titles/design expert with a bunch of examples of English light-novel covers and an explanation of what the hell I’m trying to do here. Should be fun.

Recommendations / book talk:

In which I squee, a lot, about Mindtouch

Sticky post: Recent Releases

Welcome! Here’s the newest release. (I’m trying to be concise for once. Can you tell?)

Healers / Balance Academy Series Book 3: The Healers’ Purpose

Amazon US / UK / CA / AU – print and ebook
Gumroad – ebook (EPUB, MOBI or PDF)
Barnes & Noble / Nook – ebook
Rakuten Kobo – ebook
On Goodreads – rate and review

Content Notes / Trivia

Released mid-August 2022

Fantasy novella (“light novel-ish”) Book 1: How I Became a Therapist in Another World

Amazon (ebook, print coming soon-ish): US / UK / CA
Gumroad coming soon

Content Notes / Trivia

Released late November 2022

That happened

Sooooo… I finished a draft of the isekai-style novella. In like, a month. Granted, I tore through the last 40% or so while I was home sick with what turns out to not be COVID (hooray!), as a way of distracting myself from the situation. Still, like… wtf, universe? I take six years to write a book in this series I’ve been super attached to for decades, and I whip up this frothy little dessert of a thing based on a joke, and it just sails out in a month? Whatever.

what just happened

A brave, slightly annoying new world

This is mostly a test post – it means I’ve managed to log back into the site from my new computer. I’ve had the same desktop computer for … something like ten years now?… as well as a li’l netbook that I used to take out to coffeeshops, back when that was a thing.

This reasonably powered laptop should replace the desktop, once it’s all set up. It’s a much-appreciated anniversary present from my extremely patient spouse. 13 years is supposed to be “lace” or “textiles”, but this time it’s electronics. <3


Anyhow, for the last couple of weeks I’ve been noodling around with a new, completely unrelated story idea in a different fantasy subgenre, and have written four chapters and outlined a few more. I’m only aiming for 13 chapters – a long novella or a short novel – so at this rate, it should be a nice detour for a couple of months before I get back on the road. (Fingers crossed.)

And I do intend to get back to it; after backing up all the files from my old desktop, I got sidetracked reading bits of The Healers’ Road. I still really like it. Maybe that’s weird. Too bad. I can also see how The Healers’ Purpose is different from it, and I’m okay with that too.

So let’s see if this works, in more ways than one.

Well, fire up the kettle, it’s inevitable

Laid-Back Camp is not only about camping.

It’s about camping foodies. Who also camp in cold weather so you can bundle up and huddle around a fire, instead of my experience of summer tent camping: sweating your face off while being attacked by mosquitoes.

I did not know this when I started the series. All I knew going in was camping. I assumed summer.

So it’s also a foodie show. Cooking, camping, cold weather, and truly enormous scarves. So basically it’s perfect? Turns out I started it at exactly the right time of year, too.

So there’s that.


Gave up on Disco Elysium because of the bug/crash/freeze, for now. Started Slay the Spire, after getting used to the simplified card battle mechanic in Ooblets. So far I have only gotten through it twice, both times with the same relic – so I’m not good, is what I’m saying. [It’s the pyramid one that holds over your leftover cards till the next hand. I think I also had an energy-increasing relic in both runs as well. Those combine well.]


But not with every waking moment! Also working on a fluffy/goofy side project. If I can finish five chapters by the end of this month, I’ll consider seeing it through. It would be a one-off, I’m pretty sure. Under a different pen name, so as to cut down on confusion. But it might be fun anyway.

Okay, now it’s a problem

Yeah, a few attempts at Book 4 have petered out. Caught between a ticking clock and impostor syndrome, I think I might cool it a little. A silly idea for a fantasy novella crossed my brain and stuck there, so I may play around with that for a bit to get back into writing. (I have a random aversion to the phrase “keep the creative juices flowing,” can you tell?)

Because I feel better when I’m working on something, and I don’t want to ignore that.


Finished Ooblets rather quickly, again because I spent every leisure hour on games instead of crafting or writing. Oh well. Not the game’s fault, it was quite fun. Tried Octodad for a very short time, and felt like it was … categorically not for me. Like, I’m sure it’s fun, but “flailing around and getting frustrated and looking stupid” is my default mode for most video games, not a novelty that I seek out for the sake of humor. If you’re used to actually mastering hand/eye coordination, I’m sure it’s a fresh and unusual experience to suck at a game. I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s just not for me. That’s okay.

So I decided to give myself complete whiplash and started Disco Elysium. Not very far in yet. So far, so mostly-lost-but-it’s-fine. Though my game has decided to lock up at a particular plot point, and we may be in trouble there.


Forgot to mention that we stuck through the season of Parallel World Pharmacy. I never did come to hate it. It wasn’t exemplary, but it was fine. I have quibbles, yes. The ~Final Boss~ drops in out of nowhere after a season of setting up fairly realistic challenges, i.e. after several episodes of describing the preparations the kingdom is taking to prevent the plague from entering (the actual Black Death, Yersina pestis, called out by name and described in detail) – screening cargo ships! deputizing other pharmacists! distributing antibiotics! establishing quarantine! — the hero fixes it all by killing This One Guy.

Uh.

Okay then. I guess in the 1300s we should have found that one guy. Would’ve spared half of Europe. Oh shit, we should find That One Guy now and actually for-real end our current plague.

I mean, I was still That Nerd going “ooh, they’re gonna find penicillin!” so I’m not going to pretend I’m above it all. For all its “everyone immediately believes PhotographicMemory-kun instead of burning him at the stake” tendencies, it did its thing capably. I don’t regret watching it.

Now that that’s done, we’re looking forward to the second cour of Spy x Family, and I’ve also started Laid-Back Camp – a few years old now, but firmly in my wheelhouse. I guess there’s also a DIY hobby show coming up, so I’m picturing This Old House with syrupy anime girls. Which I would watch. I’ll give it a shot.

[Edit, later: !!! Nope, Do It Yourself!! is much weirder than that, which is the highest praise I could possibly give it. It has an odd, unshaded, kind of scribbly/loosey-goosey visual style, and the script is a) lightly science-fictional (??), b) centered on an accident-prone space-cadet human haystack whose name is a strained bilingual pun*, and c) genuinely funny at times. I fear this will doom it in the larger market, considering the larger market tends to want … not this. But I thank the universe for as long as it stays this good.]

[* Her name is Yua Serufu. Yourself. Do It Yourself. They hammer this in at the end of the episode with a pile driver.]

It’s been a year. I mean month.

How about that! It’s been a month since book 3 came out, give or take a few days. It’s going nicely by my standards — about 85 copies sold. I think I mentioned this already, but about 1/3 of the people who bought book 1 have gone on to buy book 2, so I’m curious to see what the ratio (conversion rate? that sounds weird) is for this one. If it’s also 1/3, we’re almost done. Heh.

It’s likely to be more, I think, but that’s not based on science or anything. More a vague notion that if you went on to book 2, this is probably Your Kind of Thing, and so you may be more likely to keep going.

Either way, it’s fine. Book 3 is doing its thing. If you’ve read it, I hope you liked it; if you haven’t, I hope you give it a try. If you want to. I’m not the boss of you.


What have I been doing for the last month? Well, a) stressing about stuff in real life (it’s okay, plans are in the works); b) playing video games far, far too much; c) repainting some rooms in our house; d) writing down some haphazard brainstorming for book 4.

Gamewise, I got through the entirety of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Dare I say… more than the original? I’m gonna say it. I was not a completist, because eff the bandit quests mostly, but I recruited all but one of the townsfolk and got to the point where money no longer meant anything. So a lot.

Then started Ooblets, a game that I think I’ve had in my bookmarks, “keep an eye out for this” style, for five hundred and fifty years. But now it’s out on Switch! So I’m playing it!

Stardew Valley meets Pokemon” is basically built in a lab to appeal to people with my gaming taste, and it seems almost too on the nose that the titles/UI use the same font as Steven Universe. The character/NPC design and monster design is simplified and cute and weird. I like the not-too-complex card battling mechanic, because I am not a deck-building game person normally. The toddler-speak style of the UI language — item names, confirmation boxes, etc. — annoys me, but not enough to drive me out of the game. I kind of stopped seeing it after a while, especially with the NPCs that use it a lot. I’m at… what I think is the next to last town?, stuck, on the verge of looking up some tips, but still enjoying it overall.

And all the bugs so far have been funny, so I’m not remotely mad about it. Once I showed up on a map looking like my character was 100 feet tall. And this might not even be a bug, but my character regularly loses control of their torso and whipsaws around from the waist up while running in a way that still makes me laugh, dozens of hours into the game.

Probably not going to be a completist for this one either, but I will probably sink a fair amount of time into it by the end.


The brainstorming for Book 4 still hasn’t coalesced into an outline. Because I’m starting to feel scared of starting, I’m jumping in by writing some scenes just to see how it goes. This is not a good idea; do not do this. This is how I started book 1. It took what, like, eight years to write or something. But here we are, and it feels good to try.

Moving parts, continued

The release post is now stickied, so I can keep posting about follow-up without feeling like I’m burying the announcement.

Also, I forgot to include this song, which has been stuck in my head intermittently through this process. [They Might Be Giants, “Number Three”]

The print version is now live on Amazon. I’m about to send my first email to the mailing list, which I find very daunting despite the fact that these folks specifically signed up for updates. Impostor syndrome 101, right there.

After that, it seems like the only loose thread is Goodreads; I don’t think it has populated there yet. I have found and bookmarked the instructions for requesting an addition, but I’ll wait a little while before going that route.

[EDIT: As soon as I posted this, I saw that Goodreads has populated book 3. All right! Updating link lists now.]

Non-book stuff: vacations and exergames