Whiskey & Whiskers is Out Now

Whiskey & Whiskers collects the first three books in The 9 Lives of The Outlaw Known as Crazy Cat series.

Get your copy here: Paperback or Kindle

Said about Embers a Dawn, the first book:

“If you like your Westerns dark and morally ambiguous, J.C. Loen’s EMBERS AT DAWN is plenty of both.” –Charles Baker for IndieReader

Said about An Obelus Wheeze, the second book:

“To say I liked the lead character would be an understatement. The balance between her tough will to survive and her loyalty and gentleness to those closest to her is a joy to read and I found myself smiling, even laughing out loud, on many an occasion.” – Kenneth Wilson, Goodreads

Said about The 7th Bullet, the third book:

“I really enjoyed the strong female outlaw. The story kept me reading and wondering if I was right in what I expected to happen.” Lynn, Goodreads

 

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Zerelda E-book is FREE

The E-book version of All the Things a Woman Oughtn’t Do – The Ballad of Zerelda Glanton is currently free. Yup, that’s right, no charge. Go pick up your free copy HERE, before I change my mind.

Zerelda Exhibition

Yeee-haw! The exhibition of images from the photo book I made in collaboration with Ingvild Eiring kicks off at Cyan Salong in Oslo next Friday. Prints, originals and, of course, the book itself will be for sale.

Here’s what y’all need to know:

Launch party: Friday, September the 16th from 18.00.

Talk, yup… that’s right, Ingvild and I will be rambling on about the project on Thursday the 22nd from 19.00.

The exhibition will be up and running for two weeks, with regular hours from Saturday the 17th to Friday the 30th of September. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 12-15.00. Closed on Mondays.

Ingvild and I will be present at the launch party and the talk, and I will be present at the gallery on the weekends (Friday – Sunday). Stop by and and say howdy! 🙂

The 7th Bullet is Out Now!

The 7th Bullet is the third book in the The 9 Lives of the Outlaw Known as Crazy Cat series—a Gothic western that draws upon elements from both horror and crime. It’s a foreboding tale of friendship and grief, madness, and haunts, and seeing a man about a horse.

Lee is offered a chance at freedom—all she has to do is assist a Pinkerton detective during an investigation and sign a contract where she swears to become a law-abiding citizen. She agrees to help the detective, but will she sign the contract and give up her outlawing ways?

The investigation brings her to the arid Bonneville flats and a lodge run by a family of spiritualists. They may or may not be able to talk to the dead, but they certainly have a connection to them.

Get your copy here:

Paperback

or e-book from

Amazon(Kindle)

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

iBooks

Google Books

Ebok.no

or

Enter my Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of the paperback edition here.

 

The 7th Bullet: The Soundtrack

The 7th Bullet, the next installment in The 9 Lives of The Outlaw known as Crazy Cat series will soon be complete (within a few months). The story is edited into a cohesive narrative, what remains is polishing and proofreading.

While you wait for the book, I’ve made a soundtrack for it, like I did for Embers at Dawn and An Obelus Wheeze. After (almost) completing my third novel, I’ve found out that the story ain’t “there yet” until the soundtrack flows smoothly. Just like the book, the soundtrack has been put through a rigorous editing process where darlings have been killed and gaps filled. If a song feels out of place or forced, it might of course be the wrong song for the scene, but most often I find that the fault lies in the scene it’s meant to accompany. First and foremost I put together these soundtracks for my own enjoyment, but they are also a great tool to better understand the ebb and flow of the narrative.

Western Comics

Well, y’all know I’m a nerd anyway, so I might as well admit I’m a comic book geek too. Figured I’d share some of my favorite western comics with you.

My absolute favorites are these four gems:

Bouncer

Beautifully vizualised, gritty adventures with a one-armed gunslinger in the lead. This is the kind of comic I’ll re-read many times and bring out occasionally just to gawk at the artwork. The stories are on point. The violence is grim and inventive. The characters well developed, flaws and all. In short: A masterpiece.

Loveless

Ah… Wes and Ruth – the protagonists – just might be my all-time favorite comic book couple, reminiscent of Tulip and Jesse in Preacher (another gem worth reading, if you haven’t already). Their blood-soaked, southern tale of revenge spans across 21 remorseless albums. Ruth is exactly the kind of ass-kicking anti-heroine I’d like to see more of in any media.

Pretty Deadly

I have a very real crush on Ginny, the skullfaced daughter of death – another fierce, gunslinging dame… and she is only one of several bad-ass women in this gorgeous tale of magical realism. The artwork is through and through beautiful, the story remarkable and well balanced in brutality and heart, you’ll even find something to call cute in there. The first five issues have been collected in a single volume, you know what to do… I can hardly wait for the follow-up!

Hawken

An old man riding a blind mule, with the ghost of every person he’s killed trailing after him… It’s weird. It’s violent. It’s a buckshot load of fun. The stories are great and told with plenty of humour. The black and white artwork is perfect for the gnarly ole gunslinger.

Other western comics I’ve enjoyed…

Bikini Cowboy is so much fun! Our hero, Whisky Jill, stomps around in the desert with a surfboard, wearing pretty much nothing but a skimpy bikini. The sketch-like style of the drawings corresponds perfectly with the whimsical story of the sassy Whisky Jill and the boy with mysterious powers she rescues.

The Grave Doug Freshley is another weird western where a young boy gets rescued, this time by the corpse Douglas Freshley, a former schoolmaster.

I take it Jonah Hex need no further introduction. I’ve read only a handful of albums, but have enjoyed the tall tales about this notorious bounty hunter very much.

Streets of Glory is also worth a mention. Penned by Garth Ennis, the mind behind Preacher, The Boys and Jennifer Blood, just to name a few.

Manifest Destiny has yet to be concluded. I’d advise you to buy the collected volumes, waiting around for the next album and the next makes for a jagged reading experience. Follow Lewis and Clark’s expedition into the wild and weird American frontier.

I’d love to hear what your favorite comics are too! Let me know in the comments 🙂

Embers at Dawn is Perma Free!

Embers at Dawn (e-book) is perma-free and available everywhere! …or at least here: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble/Nook, iBooks, Google Books and Ebok.no

Amazon is a bit tardy about taking the hint – they’re still selling it for $0.99, but you can get the mobi file (for Kindle) at Smashwords for free too.

I have received my first Smashwords review. It is short and sweet: “Loved this book! The imagery is amazing and the mix between total crass and intelligence is just awesome! Great characters.” – Debby Rubino, Smashwords

A Debut Novel’s First Year in Numbers

When I released my debut novel a year ago I had pretty much no idea what to expect. I found it frustrating that so few (or is it just me that haven’t found them?) were willing to share the actual results of their promotional efforts and overall sale when starting out. Vague words like “good” or “bad” was the norm of what little information I could find. So, this is me sharing what I would have loved to have read a year ago myself: An honest report of a self published debut novel’s first year in numbers.

My initial goal was to sell 1000 copies in a year. That goal changed pretty quickly, to have 1000 copies in circulation within a year – giveaways or sold – kindle or paperback. There are currently 1340 copies of Embers at Dawn (my debut novel) out and about. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t gone completely overboard with marketing, but I have certainly made an effort.

I’ve spent a total of approximately $1420 on the circus that is publishing and promoting, which includes: Proofreading, submission fees to competitions, copies of paperbacks (for giveaways, the local store etc.), promotions and postage for giveaways. I’ve earned a total of $242. Needless to say: I ain’t quitting my day job yet.

Here’s what I’ve done to get those 1000+ copies in the hands of readers:

KDP SELECT

Embers at Dawn has only been available as paperback and Kindle edition during the year it’s been out. I started off pricing the book at $3.99 and lowered it, over time, to $0.99. I have sold a few at the $0.99 price point, but I don’t need more than two hands to count the sales.

I have used KDP Select’s Free Book Promotion as often as I could. The results have varied, but have generated more “sales” (can you call it that when you’re giving away something?) than varying the price. The results of my Free Book Promotions are as follows (unless otherwise stated the promotion have only been marketed via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and my blog):

  • Five days in December 2013 – Copies given away: 224
  • Two days in March 2014 – Copies given away: 73
  • One day in April 2014 – Copies given away: 24
  • Two days in May 2014 promoted via Digital Book Today – Copies given away: 107
  • Two days in September 2014- Copies given away: 73
  • Three days in September 2014 promoted via Digital Book Today, E-books Grow on Trees, FreeBooksy and It’s Write Now – Copies given away: 751

GOODREADS

I have tried two different approaches to promoting my debut novel on Goodreads. I have hosted two giveaways where I gave away nine copies of the book and advertisement. I can’t say that the advertisement did much else than rob me off $50, but the giveaways were a major success. I kept both giveaways open for a month, as recommended by Goodreads – one directly after the book was released and another about six months after. 1286 people requested the book during the first giveaway. 1130 during the second. There are currently 929 people who have marked it as “to read” and I have received 7 reviews and 13 ratings.

COMPETITIONS

I have only submitted Embers at Dawn to two competitions: One dedicated to western literature – I didn’t win anything, and to IndieReader’s discovery award – I didn’t win anything there either, but I got a professional review out of it and a IndieReader feature (that I had to pay extra for). Can’t say that I got anything out of it, besides something to put on Amazon while I wait for reviews from readers to appear there.

AMAZON

I don’t have a single review on Amazon, except a quote from the IndieReader review, but I haven’t done anything to get reviews there either, beside asking on my blog and offering the winners of my second Goodreads giveaway a free copy of the next book in the series if they give me a review on both Goodreads and Amazon… I asked nicely on a hand-written note.

SOCIAL MEDIA

My blog is also my author website, so I’m doing my darnedest to keep the content on point and of quality. It’s good to have a platform where I get to properly went the thoughts I have on the writing process and share what I’m up to creative-wise, both as an author and photographer. I have 35 followers as of right now.

My Facebook fans mainly consist of people I know. It doesn’t seem like it does much for marketing my work, except for giving friends a platform they can share content from when they feel like promoting what I do. I have 130 likes on my page.

I love Instagram. I don’t really get Twitter. I don’t think either has lead to much as far as sales and exposure goes. I have 98 followers on Instagram and 67 on Twitter. Too many cats, too little content, I guess.

I have also made a book trailer. It has had 134 views and received 4 likes on YouTube.

MERCHANDISE

With a background as a photographer I am, of course, a sucker for the visual. I enjoy building the world of Lee (the protagonist in my western series) both on the page and off. I have no illusions about getting rich and famous by selling T-shirts on Zazzle or bookmarks on Tictail, but why the hell not, right? I enjoy designing the stuff, and I hope that some of you enjoy it too. I have sold exactly two buttons, a mousepad and a coffee mug – the mousepad and coffee mug was bought by a good friend.

LOCAL EFFORTS

An independent bookstore in Oslo, Tronsmo, is selling my book. They bought five copies and have not asked for a re-up, so I can only assume that they’re not sold out. I have also been interviewed by local media: a newspaper and a magazine. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But I honestly can’t say that it’s done anything to boost the sale.

I expect and accept that building an audience and platform as an author will take time, patience, a lot of hard work and a fair amount of money. I look at my Flickr account and take heart. I became a member in 2006 and was very active for a few years. When my efforts turned to writing, more than photography, I stopped uploading new work at a regular interval. But before I quit Flickr (at a regular basis) I had already uploaded a considerable body of work. In my absence, my followers have grown from some 3-400 (if I remember correctly) when I left it in 2010-2011ish to a whooping 1262 in my absence. I like to believe that if you work hard and make something worthwhile people will take notice… Sooner or later.

An Obelus Wheeze – Cover and Blurb

Lee has fled Chert in pursuit of the traitor Dan. She’s heading for Mexico accompanied by her guide, Snake Girl – she can’t decide which is worse: the climate or the company.

An Obelus Wheeze is a road trip on horseback – across scorching deserts and freezing mountains. The outlaw known as Crazy Cat gets to prove what she’s made of in encounters with bandits and rattlesnakes, crazy ole coots, saddle sores and worst of all: a big city.

An Obelus Wheeze is the second book in the western series The 9 Lives of the Outlaw known as Crazy Cat. It’s a story of harship and love, unforgiving climates and sordid sons of bitches.

-Recommended for mature readers.-

Release date TBA early 2015

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