Writing for a Cause

This is an announcement only post because I’ve just got so much exciting news to share. I will do a post about paragraphing (an exciting but oft overlooked topic in writing) tomorrow!

First, we’re now only 27 days from the launch of Tails of the Apocalypse, an anthology to which I contributed, which if you haven’t guessed, is about animals in an apocalyptic setting. It was super fun to write and it is also for an important cause. You can read more about it below. Second, we are even less than 27 days from the launch of the third book in my Derivatives of Displacement series, A Grave Tree, which is right now in the hands of my trusty editor, David Gatewood so he can work his magic and make hilarious comments about my errors.

In conjunction with the launch of A Grave Tree, which will be no later than November 17 (but could be sooner—stay tuned regarding the launch date and ARCs), I’m running a promo on Books One and Two in the Derivatives of Displacement series, A Pair of Docks and A Quill Ladder (including a Bookbub on November 4), so if you haven’t picked those up yet, then would be a good time. I’m really in need of more reviews on A Quill Ladder, so if you’ve read it, but haven't left a review, I would love it if you could take like thirty seconds and leave one. Here's the link. If you haven’t read it, but would be willing to do so and post a review immediately, email me at jlelliswriting@gmail.com and I’ll gift you a copy.

An update on the pen name. I’ve launched a fourth short and sales continue to mystify me. Some days they are quite high and other days they are zero (there seems to be no in between). Since I don’t advertise, it really makes me curious about how discoverability works on Amazon. I’ll keep you posted on this one.

Writing for a Cause: Pets for Vets and Tails of the Apocalypse

“There are a number of unique aspects of this anthology, but the thing I’m most proud of is our partnership with Pets for Vets.”

That’s how author-editor Chris Pourteau talks about his latest project, Tails of the Apocalypse. Described as The Walking Dead meets The Incredible Journey, the collection includes short stories written by 14 innovative independent authors. Tails of the Apocalypse examines world-ending scenarios—from nuclear war to natural disasters to planetary pandemics—featuring animals as main characters.

The idea came to Pourteau last spring after publishing his own short story, “Unconditional” about a dog searching for his boy, lost to the zombie apocalypse. The overwhelmingly positive response from readers made him think that maybe he’d hit a cultural nerve. And the idea for Tails of the Apocalypse was born.

Over the next six months, he recruited writers--including four USA Today bestselling authors--edited their stories, developed cover art, and produced an anthology that R. J. Pineiro, author of The Fall calls: “one of the most original and captivating collections of end-of-the-world ‘tails,’ shown through the eyes of an amazing cast of unforgettable furry and feathered characters.”

Giving Tails a Purpose

Even as the anthology took shape, Pourteau felt like he was missing something. The point of these wonderful stories about animals caught up in dystopian situations was about giving voice to those without the ability to speak for themselves. He decided he wanted to donate some of the profits to an organization that helped animals.

One of the authors, David Bruns, a US Navy vet, suggested Pets for Vets. The name and the mission of the non-profit immediately resonated with Pourteau. Founded by animal trainer Clarissa Black, Pets for Vets matches shelter dogs with military veterans. Personnel train the animals as special companions for veterans suffering from emotional trauma, like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters each year,” says Ann Black, president of Pets for Vets. “And it’s estimated that 20 percent of returning vets suffer from PTSD. Bringing them together provides a loving home for the pet and a caring companion for the vet. It’s a win-win.”

Pourteau plans to donate $1.00 to Pets for Vets from every copy of Tails of the Apocalypse sold through the end of the calendar year, regardless of format—e-book, paperback, or audiobook. “I’m honored that Pets for Vets allowed us to adopt them as a cause,” Pourteau says. “My goal now is to write them a big check on January 1st.”

Want to Lend a Hand?

We’re calling our project Tails for Vets. If you’d like to be part of the Tails for Vets movement, here’s how you can help:

1.     Join the Tails for Vets Street Team — Get email updates and shareable content by joining the Tails Street Team. Facebook banners, a “badge” you can post online to show your support, and chances to win paperback and audiobook copies of Tails of the Apocalypse are all available to the Tails Street Team.

2.     Buy the BookTails of the Apocalypse launches on November 20th, but you can preorder on Amazon now at http://amzn.com/B016E5JIRU. Remember: $1 from every purchase goes to Pets for Vets.

Speaking for myself, it is really exciting to be part of this project. Pets have played a central role in my life and supporting the well-being of animals and veterans is something I can really get behind.

That's all for today. Tomorrow, paragraphing, I promise. If you like what I have to say and want to receive my blog posts on a regular basis, be sure to sign up for my reader/writer mailing list here. There are some great freebies! If you prefer to just get new release announcements and the freebies, sign up for my reader mailing list here.