Yes, I’m on Substack. And so far it looks like a good call. I won’t pat myself on the back until I see how this unfolds over the next year, but I think it’s going to be a great way for me to publish stories I might not otherwise put into the world. And that makes me happy.
Substack gives me the opportunity to publish short stories and serial stories, post new podcast episodes, as well as host AMAs, giveaways, and other fan-centered events—all in one place. My first projects include short stories and flash fiction, essays about my experiences and life philosophy, a look at songwriting and song construction, and transcripts of my podcast. Readers can become paid subscribers and get exclusive aspects of the newsletter, or simply get everything for free. I think this is a fair model.
I’m also considering writing up a short guide on “How to Substack” for indie writers and perhaps offering some kind of advising or coaching to help writers get started. If you’re interested, send me an email or simply leave a comment.
Even though Substack (and other similar sites) have been around for a few years now, fiction writers are still struggling to understand how to use technology. I think we’re caught up in legacy thinking. We’re still walking the well-trodden path of query » agent » book deal. Or still dumping our work into the saturated word-pool of Amazon KDP hoping for millions and earning pennies. And there is of course still merit in those paths. But for those of us who want to be full-time writers, there are other ways to go about it. And Substack-like tools just might be the answer to the question: How can I write to live?
David Cawdron writes a ton of really fun books. I discovered him as I was devouring KDP Unlimited books on my Kindle whilst deployed to Iraq in 2017 (my seven months, 200+ books marathon). A Generation of Vipers is the 22nd book in his First Contact science fiction series and follows a scientist, Army general, and viral YouTube streamer as they respond to an alien invasion on Earth.
Overall, it had decent, well-paced writing. The story was fun and flowed well, though it jumped around from three primary sub-plots. Some secondary characters were a little flat.
I would give it a score of six out of ten. It was fun and light, but not great and definitely not revisitable.
Today I’m going to read from this month’s originals. I publish a new piece of original fiction or an essay every month. It’s a perfect way to sync this podcast with the overall effort of the Storyslinger concept, so from now on, this will be the way.
This month’s original story is based on an actual dream that I had. On its surface, it’s a story about becoming a father and facing mortality. But as the story builds, it becomes more about how we live and what is important in a life well lived. It’s called “Father’s Fury,” and certainly has some angry overtones. I’m sure you will feel something about it that’s worth commenting. Thanks for listening.