All posts by serobertsonfiction_otmr8p

Small updates.

  • The omnibus has been re-checked and updated. Nobody seems to have bought it in the Age of Lots of Backwards Quote Marks. Whew. It’s fine now.
  • The Therapist single novellas are now in Kindle Unlimited, so people can read them for free if they have a KU subscription. This also means that the Gumroad download option is off the table for now. We’ll see how it goes; I’m neither married to it nor expecting anything in particular. It’s more of an experiment. The term for this system is 3 months, so now through the end of the year(ish). Then we’ll reassess.

I’m quite tired of thinking about the nuts and bolts publishing stuff, so on to actually writing.

Edit to add, next day or so: OK, first novella is $0.99 and the others are $1.25 (USD). And I will stop thinking about this for now. Augh.

“”””””””” ugh

I settled down to flip idly through the print proof and unwind last night, and discovered that about a dozen quote marks were flipped backwards — especially nested quotes and those after italics.

I’d seen a few complaints about this with regard to Atticus’ formatting, but I hadn’t seen any issues in a cursory check, and I was eager to get moving. So… lesson learned. I do still like everything else about Atticus’ formatting, but this is something to be aware of. It also seems to drop dashes when words are split sometimes? That’s confusing. But I am doing a more thorough check of the print omnibus now.

Nobody seems to have bought it yet (lol), so it’s a victimless crime, but it is embarrassing. Word to the wise.

I don’t do cover reveals, except when I do

Okay, the omnibus edition of Therapist (books 1-4) is in its final processing for release. I have no idea whether anyone will want to buy the all-in-one or not, but hey, it’s done!

I also wanted to post a preview of this completely gorgeous cover and rave about it a bit:

The ebook cover of the Therapist omnibus: an illustration of a woman with blue hair who is taking notes with a quill pen. In the foreground is an elf, gesturing as though speaking. Both are seated in a cozy-looking room.

The omnibus cover art is by Franshawn Langley (, one of many talented artists who replied to my call for a commission on Reddit. I LOVED the use of light and color in her portfolio works, and I am really happy with this one. The back of the print cover is also gorgeous, just saying.

And a shoutout to my sister, who has done the cover text design on all my books since the Healers’ Road inkwell cover. If you’re in Pittsburgh or wish you were, maybe buy a shirt (or mug, etc.)! ;P

The step away from anime style and toward a more fantasy/illustrated style was another gut decision: I love the individual covers (hell, we have prints of them framed on our game room wall), but I wanted the omnibus to have a slightly different style that still reflected the series’ vibe. Was this driven by market research, no, but nothing I do is ever driven by market research, and here we are nevertheless.

Okay. Hooray. Whew. Right about this time last year, I started this project. There was a time not that long before when I thought I was running on fumes. That I didn’t have it in me to come up with any ideas outside Healersverse, since I’d been writing in that setting for too long. (I did try once, but it didn’t quite come together.)

One year later, and I’ve had a complete blast. I still love the Healers series and plan to go back to A&K’s story, but striking out into a completely different direction has been so energizing for my sense of creativity.

So that’s today’s news. Happy autumn indeed.

*bmp-bmp chh, bmp-bmp chh*

I’m back already with another podcast episode rec.

The expanding universe of Lofi Girl | Endless Thread ( (with transcript!)

I mentioned in the notes to Healers book 3 that I listened to a lot of the Lofi Girl channel while writing that volume. Oddly enough, I kind of got away from it after that. No particular reason. But I also got hooked on Coffee Talk, a video game with a very lofi-beats-style soundtrack, and continue to listen to that to this day. [Actually? Forgot to favorite the second game’s soundtrack. Done.]

So I guess I do like this stuff, even though I wouldn’t consciously list it as a favorite and don’t follow the, so to speak, lore. This podcast episode dives a ways into the origins of the Lofi Girl channel — shrouded in mystery though they may be — as well as why it appeals to some listeners.

Of course, after listening to that episode, I spent the rest of the day listening to this stuff. It was a day to catch up on my day-job workload after taking time off for that weekend trip. And… maybe it helped. At least a little.

[Edit to add: AND, I’m listening to Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly while setting up the Therapist omnibus on Amazon. I will need some time to order a print proof first, but it should be on its way to sale soon. Fingers crossed.]

What’d I tell you?

Replaced the un-updateable Goodreads sidebar thingie with two Amazon sidebar thingies. Not one hundred percent what I wanted, but it’s a step forward for now.

General updates:

  • Attempting to check and update the keywords on everything, which is turning into An Undertaking. I’m not even being strategic about it; Amazon is just very slow for me. [Edit: I found a way to make it work. Inside baseball: Don’t use the save buttons at the bottom. Use the tabs at the top.]
  • Also? Since the last time I updated the Healers keywords, ‘Zon now asks you if you used AI to do your work for you. AI didn’t exist in its current form when I wrote Book 1. Back then it was just fodder for funny Tumblr posts about made-up NES titles or recipes or what have you. Instead of, you know, *waves vaguely around*.
  • Also, I’m never fucking using AI, at least not knowingly, nor purchase services from anyone who does. No, not even for grammar checking. I do not care what anyone else does with it; I’m just not giving them money for it.
  • Following r/writing is making me cranky. Let’s see how long this lasts.
  • I plan to bump up the price on Therapist singles to $1.49. [edit: $1.25, I scared myself off] So if you got in while they were 99 cents, hooray? Basically I’m just trying to thread the needle between “people are still willing to buy this” and “I feel like I’m undervaluing my work.” Someday we’ll find a sweet spot, I hope.
  • Just got back from a weekend trip to a hippie/gardening/artisan festival in a neighboring state, dedicated to a particular native fruit with a cult following. Had a great time. I am moderately obsessed with backyard fruit growing (not orcharding, which is fine but not my thing — just working it into the landscape). We don’t currently have accessible space for any new trees, so I didn’t buy any on this trip. Someday, though. Someday.
  • The first draft of Therapist 5 (which backtracks to overlap books 2-4, because I can’t stop shooting myself in the foot) is about 1/3 of the way through and moving along. 6 and 7 have first drafts done. I plan to stop at 8, I think, though I have a couple more ideas for that setting. It’s going to be high time to switch back to Healers at that point.

And on that note… how’s it going with that update, Amazon? … Sigh.

Sincerity: It won’t kill you!

I just spent a lovely 45 minutes listening to this podcast episode:

579. Punk Rock Writing with Chuck Tingle | Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (

…while a) working on my Halloween costume, the first I’ve done since 2016 and something that has been making me happy lately*; and b) making a stack of crazy quilt squares that I don’t know what to do with yet. And c) drinking some hot beverages.

I don’t write erotica, not because I have anything against it, but because I’m not any good at it. (Same goes for horror!) But I have found Chuck Tingle incredibly inspiring for years. I’ve had a screenshot of a particular tweet saved on my phone for ages, meaning to literally embroider it and hang it on my wall by my writing desk. I am not kidding. (Part of it goes “put love at [the] center of what you make and it will bloom.” I love it so much. Sorry I corrected the typo. My brain won’t let me not do it.)

Anyway, I don’t write erotica, but I am terminally sincere. I cannot turn it off. I grew up in an age of ironic detachment (and spaghetti strap sheath dresses), trying to play along and failing miserably. And now that we’re in another age of ironic detachment, I refuse to engage. (you go ahead and spend your life worrying about being labeled “cringe” on social media; I’ll just do whatever the hell I want, thanks)

So what Dr. Tingle talks about in relation to art and sincerity and love really speaks to me. Hell, and the stuff about privacy. I get it. In short, I don’t enjoy it ironically. I don’t really do irony. Camp Damascus was heartbreaking and affirming and had so much heart.

Terminal sincerity is, to a lot of people, a character flaw. A lot of people don’t like being around it, and that’s their right. But it’s how I am. So every now and then, it’s nice to celebrate it for a change.

* Halloween costume: It’s a local in-joke specific to this year (CW: photos of insects). It’s been fun to try. We’ll see how it turns out. Do I have anywhere to wear this damn thing? No, of course not. Not the point! Doing it anyway! Because it’s fun!

Nerd minute, August edition

Hooray, I’m not the only person swearing up and down that Buddy Daddies had some layers (as well as some extremely bad decisions in the last story arc)

We’re still hanging onto Masterful Cat, though I feel bad for anyone who thought this show was soothing going into it. I don’t like the judginess of the term “cringe comedy”, but Human Whatsherface is useless, and the show seems to know it. Sometimes the joke is that her cat is her mom, usually the joke is that she’s the cat and the cat is the human, but I’m not so sure they really care about one another so much as that she’d die in squalor without him. Which is pretty cynical. Maybe on my part, if I’m misreading the situation.

I’m not quite hate-watching, I guess? Yukichi the Cat is great. I want better things for him that I know he’s never going to get. Occasionally it’s funny, particularly the mental contortions the side characters go through to avoid realizing the premise of the show. But the colors are still distractingly ugly.

Undead Murder Farce is fun, though. Yes, it’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Anime. Yes, it turned the Phantom of the Opera into Arsene Lupin’s sulky bishounen boyfriend. (not literally, settle down, but… basically.) You can either get on board and hang on, or give it a hard pass. I am entertained.

Spy x Family is coming back in the fall, along with The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent, which I haven’t watched yet but seriously mean to, and Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, kind of, with some kind of wacky-hijinks sidestory thing. (Bananapants title, surprisingly cool show, by the way.) Two currently airing shows feels like enough for me, since I probably won’t be caught up with Omnipotent anywhere near then, but we’ll have to see.

[edit: An odd bit of trivia, too: This month was the first time Therapist outsold Healers in terms of sheer numbers across their respective series, although Healers 1 was still the top single book. Vaguely interesting. However future months shake out is also fine, though; I don’t have a real plan here. Just moving forward.]

[Edit 2, a week later — so after Masterful Cat episode 8 — I take it back, that headbutt was heartwarming as hell. Though I think the episode hiccupped and repeated half a scene? Was that a wrap around a commercial break, maybe? Anyway, Useless-chan shows that she is good at something, and Yukichi is adorably Concerned. Though in the grand tradition of overthinking everything, I can’t help but notice the weird combination of “gross jokes about marriageability” + “female character who gets to be a complete hot mess” + “male character who unapologetically loves cleanliness, cooking, and idol singers and wears a frilly apron to the grocery store”. Is this show accidentally doing a gender thing? My head hurts.]

Good news & bad news

Well, Goodreads believes I’m C.A. Moss. So much so that they merged the author profile with my actual reading profile, which is not, you know, Crafted for Maximal Social Media Engagement(tm). On top of that, the widget I included with the SER book list (currently on the right sidebar) has since been deprecated, so I literally can’t generate one for the new name. I didn’t realize that till I got into the author account and then did some googling about why most of the widgets were gone.

So now I have linked that account to my personal one for absolutely no reason~

(Hi, I have had Wonderbook in my “currently reading” for almost four years now. It’s a good book! I don’t know why I haven’t finished it! Everybody be cool, okay, I’m insecure about what a slow reader I am. That example is excessive, but just generally. I can’t seem to sit down and read anything for hours on end unless I’m on vacation. It’s not good.)

Oh well. I at least updated CA’s profile. Honestly, it’s okay from this side of things. It’s a system for readers, and I don’t intend to do any publicity through it. Just thought it would be nice to have the little graphical list on the sidebar. SHRUG.

(It has bugged me for a while that the widget shows the old cover for Healers 1 — which I liked, but that I couldn’t expand into a series, since it was a one-off cover — soooo maybe that plus the lack of symmetry will eventually drive me to take that one down. We’ll see.)

Some minor making of sausage

Still existing. Added links to Goodreads on the Therapist sales page, because I was just informed that those books are on Goodreads. Which I’d kind of forgotten about, despite using it as a checklist system for myself as a reader? Anyway, those are up. It would be kind of nice to add a sidebar widget with those books as well, but first Goodreads has to believe I’m also this person. The application is in.

In other constructive procrastination news, I started mostly moving from Google Drive to Atticus, which is a cloud-based paid service aimed at authors (I don’t use that word for myself, but y’know, that’s who the service caters to). This is a two-part decision based on a) the fact that Atticus seems to be quite useful for ebook and print layout, which saves me a lot of work, and b) I don’t agree with Google’s data scraping for AI. I don’t harbor any conspiracy theories about my work being “stolen”; it’s more of an “I’m tired of this techbro bullshit and don’t want to make myself into fodder for it any more than I have to” stance.

Atticus is not, unfortunately, as usable on mobile as it is on a computer. At least in my experience. Nor can it be used for sharing documents, because that’s just not what it’s for — which is fine. So I will continue to use Google Drive for things like brainstorming/notes and reference documents for art commissions. It has drawbacks. I don’t trust it to be secure. But I’m willing to compromise for some purposes.

That said, I’m going to sound like a shill when I say that I enjoyed trying out the layout tools in Atticus. It is so much easier than what I was doing before. I haven’t ordered a test print of the Therapist omnibus yet, but I look forward to it.

However, as much as it pains me to have a prettier option at my fingertips, I don’t intend to redesign the Healers paperbacks at this point. I live in fear that somebody will have bought books 1 and 2 before the redesign, land on 3 after the redesign, and promptly rip my jugular out because they don’t match. I do not need that in my life. They’ll stay as they are unless there’s some drastic need to change them.

Games update: Finished Pokemon Violet‘s main plotline and, since I can’t trade, did not bother trying to fill out any more of the Pokedex. Then played through Road 96 and Storyteller in quick succession (extremely quick, in the latter case). I enjoyed both of them, although Storyteller is ~2 hours long for $15, so y’know. I don’t demand that every single game be 200 hours long, but it seems worth mentioning.

After that, I looked at the funds remaining in my Switch account and the games on my wishlist and, despite my grousing that I wasn’t in the mood for another RPG, went with Final Fantasy VI Pixel Remaster.

I first played the original version (well, the US port, anyway) around my junior year of high school; it might also have been the summer between my junior and senior year. I bought Final Fantasy III (US) with my own money, which I had hardly any of. Did you know that AAA games with battery saves still cost about $60 in 1994? About $120 in today’s money, according to a quick search. So it felt like a big deal.

Should be fun. I’m only a couple of hours in, and already running into the need to grind for exp. Sigh. Still, it’ll entertain me a while.

100% whole bean, un-ground whatever-it-is-I-do-here

Recently I came across this essay, “Be Whoever You’re Gonna Be” by Dave Walsh. TBH, I don’t know who this is, but I really appreciated the essay. (I found it through the always entertaining blog of romance author Jenny Trout; I appreciated her reaction to the essay too.)

Okay, so I started self-publishing in 2014. After the initial “gold rush,” but a hell of a long time ago in internet terms. I have never, for basically one nanosecond, done anything Right(tm) according to any advice doled out for people in this situation. This used to bother me! A lot! A whole hell of a lot. When I started out, bright-eyed and ready to learn, I joined some self-publishing forums. I was told all my efforts were worthless because I hadn’t quit my day job, and as such, nothing I did counted or meant anything. I was told nobody would ever read anything I wrote because I didn’t devote my entire life to marketing. I was told so, so many things. It used to bother me so, so much.

Because I care about this stuff, you know? I love writing. Sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes it’s hard and I’m never quite as good as I want to be, but imagine that: I like doing this thing that I have chosen to spend a lot of my free time on. Also? I was raised to base my own self-worth on what other people say about me. It’s not good. I’ve been working on that. It’s gotten a lot better.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t need to slag people who spend a lot of time on marketing, or who research their keywords in order to come up with a story, or who publish every month. Whatever they do doesn’t have any bearing on what I do, and I don’t spend my time slinging shit at them or telling them they’re worthless. Because I don’t need to justify my decisions or cover up my own insecurity.



I’m going to rant. If you didn’t know that, hi. Welcome. You must be new here.