Darrell Shaffer is creating Fiction
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Hello, I'm Darrell Shaffer, you may remember me from such sites as Blerds Online or 12 AM Fiction. You may have bought a book on Amazon, maybe even watched a YouTube video. If you've found this page you're probably aware that I write a lot, so I will not bore you with that any longer. It's not like I have a list of awards to rattle off.

I've wanted to be a story teller my entire life, so now I tell stories. There was a period in my life where I completely gave up on the idea. I entered into University planning to major in English. I had a creative writing teacher who would constantly tell us that we were all horrible. If he could not make it as an author there was no hope for us because his middle finger held more talent than the entire class combined. I finished the class, gave up and changed my major. I never lost the itch to write.

Sometime during college, I started Blerds Online, which people seem to life for some reason. We're coming up on five years, which seems ridiculous in my mind. For a while that itch to write was fulfilled. Reviews, theories, lists, and whatever else I wanted to write was just fine for me. The content I was delivering was enjoyable for people and I was able to write. Meanwhile the world of eBooks was booming. People who had been turned down by publishers or had been told they could never make it were releasing books.

They weren't only releasing books, they were selling books. Just about everyone found someone who enjoyed their content and that was the most beautiful thing to me. Nobody was getting rich and turning into JK Rowling or Stephen King, but they all found supporters. Even if books were being sold for 0.99 cents, they had people who loved their work. Watching people tell stories and have others respond positively or even negatively had me itching again. I mean I was really itching to write some stories.

Coincidentally, I had recently found a bundle of short stories that I had written back in high school. I don't remember what the original plan for them was. After freshman year of college, they were abandoned for years. Feeling brave, in 2017 I put them together and released them as a book called Stories From A Time Since Gone: An Anthology of Angsty Teenage Emotion. Apparently, I just liked the idea of really long book titles. I don't know what I was thinking.

Despite the horrible title I gave away 100 free copies in the first week. That was a rush because it's something I never deemed possible. That was with minimum promotion because admittedly I was a little nervous about putting it out there. Then something crazy happened, it sold. I'm not talking about huge numbers or anything like that. But, people were buying it, actually paying $1.99 for my work. Every month I get royalties deposited into my bank account. Some months it's only a few cents, sometimes I can buy a candy bar. Still, people buy that book every month and it is one of the best feelings in my life every time I saw a deposit in my account for $0.04 because somebody paid for my work. There are some great feelings that diminish over time the more you feel them, someone buying my book is not one of those.



Everyone has favorite authors. Social media has made those authors more accessible than ever before. I always understood being an author is not going to make you a millionaire so you better really love it. One thing that was mind blowing to me is that majority of my favorite authors have jobs. Seeing one of my favorite authors post a picture from his car complaining about the parking garage always being full or another post from her cubicle about Fridays at work dragging just blew my mind. These aren't authors I've fallen in love with during the eBook boom either. These are authors of books I read growing up, books available at libraries. I saw an author complaining about about how his 2001 minivan had died on him and I realized that, I was no different than these people. I mean, they were way more experienced than I was. I'm talking dozens of books over decades. But, at the core, we are all people with similar day to day lives and writing is our passion.

Which leads me to Patreon. I heard one of those authors I had read as a child praise Patreon for giving him a secondary source of income beyond just selling books even if it wasn't a ton of money. It I'm also a plan of laying the groundwork now and being thankful you did later.



  • Book covers are expensive: I have no intentions of ever paying $4000 for a book cover, yet, somebody is buying them. I'm pretty good with Photoshop if I do say so myself, but I'm no digital Picasso. I'd like to get some real artists to create book covers for me. 
  • Editors are even more expensive: If you've ever read anything I've written for Blerds Online you will know that I am the king of typos. I have no business editing anything I write because I will not catch my own errors until months, sometimes years later. Anything I have written for the site is living and always changing because I'm always catching errors way after things are published. There's probably errors in here that someone is going to see. They'll say "I'm not supporting an author who doesn't know basic English," and that's why I need an editor.
  • My House: I bought a house, and if you follow me on Twitter this thing is a never ending money pit. Garage doors just doing whatever they want. Trees falling when no one is around to hear them, appliances dying, wallpaper pealing, toilets dying. I never heard of a toilet flapper before, but I've put in two now. Who new something so small would be so troublesome? Seriously, follow me on Twitter, something goes wrong every month. It is an ongoing saga. However, I'm getting really good with a toolbox.
  • Formatting: I have no doubt with more practice I will be able to format books with no problem, but it's way easier to pay an expert.
  • Media: We all love it. I'll likely spend money on things like supporting my favorite podcast Three Guys On because I'm tired of being called a dirty freeloader. Video Games are the addiction of my generation. I love movies and you know I'm buying books. I love books and with eBooks I'm able to just buy dozens of them and don't have to buy book cases. 



You get that sweet smell of fiction all in your nose. Every Sunday I'm giving away a short story draft, from the 12 AM Fiction anthology that will come out every year on February 1st. That's a promise. On top of that, I'm giving away free books with different tiers. The plan is to give you all 52 stories every year. That's a lot, but Stephen King said writer short stories until you're really good at it. That's when you can write novels. Then write some more short stories, so here we are.

I was going to do these things anyway but now you get to buy my friendship while I do it because my friendship can be bought. And, these things will get done faster because now you're paying me to do it and I can't be lazy when I'm being paid.
Tiers
Sunday Candy
$1 or more per month 0 patrons
You don't really like me, but you admire the fact that I'm trying. For that, you'll get a 1500+ word story every Sunday. All it costs you is the price of a single song on iTunes.


Hello, I'm Darrell Shaffer, you may remember me from such sites as Blerds Online or 12 AM Fiction. You may have bought a book on Amazon, maybe even watched a YouTube video. If you've found this page you're probably aware that I write a lot, so I will not bore you with that any longer. It's not like I have a list of awards to rattle off.

I've wanted to be a story teller my entire life, so now I tell stories. There was a period in my life where I completely gave up on the idea. I entered into University planning to major in English. I had a creative writing teacher who would constantly tell us that we were all horrible. If he could not make it as an author there was no hope for us because his middle finger held more talent than the entire class combined. I finished the class, gave up and changed my major. I never lost the itch to write.

Sometime during college, I started Blerds Online, which people seem to life for some reason. We're coming up on five years, which seems ridiculous in my mind. For a while that itch to write was fulfilled. Reviews, theories, lists, and whatever else I wanted to write was just fine for me. The content I was delivering was enjoyable for people and I was able to write. Meanwhile the world of eBooks was booming. People who had been turned down by publishers or had been told they could never make it were releasing books.

They weren't only releasing books, they were selling books. Just about everyone found someone who enjoyed their content and that was the most beautiful thing to me. Nobody was getting rich and turning into JK Rowling or Stephen King, but they all found supporters. Even if books were being sold for 0.99 cents, they had people who loved their work. Watching people tell stories and have others respond positively or even negatively had me itching again. I mean I was really itching to write some stories.

Coincidentally, I had recently found a bundle of short stories that I had written back in high school. I don't remember what the original plan for them was. After freshman year of college, they were abandoned for years. Feeling brave, in 2017 I put them together and released them as a book called Stories From A Time Since Gone: An Anthology of Angsty Teenage Emotion. Apparently, I just liked the idea of really long book titles. I don't know what I was thinking.

Despite the horrible title I gave away 100 free copies in the first week. That was a rush because it's something I never deemed possible. That was with minimum promotion because admittedly I was a little nervous about putting it out there. Then something crazy happened, it sold. I'm not talking about huge numbers or anything like that. But, people were buying it, actually paying $1.99 for my work. Every month I get royalties deposited into my bank account. Some months it's only a few cents, sometimes I can buy a candy bar. Still, people buy that book every month and it is one of the best feelings in my life every time I saw a deposit in my account for $0.04 because somebody paid for my work. There are some great feelings that diminish over time the more you feel them, someone buying my book is not one of those.



Everyone has favorite authors. Social media has made those authors more accessible than ever before. I always understood being an author is not going to make you a millionaire so you better really love it. One thing that was mind blowing to me is that majority of my favorite authors have jobs. Seeing one of my favorite authors post a picture from his car complaining about the parking garage always being full or another post from her cubicle about Fridays at work dragging just blew my mind. These aren't authors I've fallen in love with during the eBook boom either. These are authors of books I read growing up, books available at libraries. I saw an author complaining about about how his 2001 minivan had died on him and I realized that, I was no different than these people. I mean, they were way more experienced than I was. I'm talking dozens of books over decades. But, at the core, we are all people with similar day to day lives and writing is our passion.

Which leads me to Patreon. I heard one of those authors I had read as a child praise Patreon for giving him a secondary source of income beyond just selling books even if it wasn't a ton of money. It I'm also a plan of laying the groundwork now and being thankful you did later.



  • Book covers are expensive: I have no intentions of ever paying $4000 for a book cover, yet, somebody is buying them. I'm pretty good with Photoshop if I do say so myself, but I'm no digital Picasso. I'd like to get some real artists to create book covers for me. 
  • Editors are even more expensive: If you've ever read anything I've written for Blerds Online you will know that I am the king of typos. I have no business editing anything I write because I will not catch my own errors until months, sometimes years later. Anything I have written for the site is living and always changing because I'm always catching errors way after things are published. There's probably errors in here that someone is going to see. They'll say "I'm not supporting an author who doesn't know basic English," and that's why I need an editor.
  • My House: I bought a house, and if you follow me on Twitter this thing is a never ending money pit. Garage doors just doing whatever they want. Trees falling when no one is around to hear them, appliances dying, wallpaper pealing, toilets dying. I never heard of a toilet flapper before, but I've put in two now. Who new something so small would be so troublesome? Seriously, follow me on Twitter, something goes wrong every month. It is an ongoing saga. However, I'm getting really good with a toolbox.
  • Formatting: I have no doubt with more practice I will be able to format books with no problem, but it's way easier to pay an expert.
  • Media: We all love it. I'll likely spend money on things like supporting my favorite podcast Three Guys On because I'm tired of being called a dirty freeloader. Video Games are the addiction of my generation. I love movies and you know I'm buying books. I love books and with eBooks I'm able to just buy dozens of them and don't have to buy book cases. 



You get that sweet smell of fiction all in your nose. Every Sunday I'm giving away a short story draft, from the 12 AM Fiction anthology that will come out every year on February 1st. That's a promise. On top of that, I'm giving away free books with different tiers. The plan is to give you all 52 stories every year. That's a lot, but Stephen King said writer short stories until you're really good at it. That's when you can write novels. Then write some more short stories, so here we are.

I was going to do these things anyway but now you get to buy my friendship while I do it because my friendship can be bought. And, these things will get done faster because now you're paying me to do it and I can't be lazy when I'm being paid.

Recent posts by Darrell Shaffer

Tiers
Sunday Candy
$1 or more per month 0 patrons
You don't really like me, but you admire the fact that I'm trying. For that, you'll get a 1500+ word story every Sunday. All it costs you is the price of a single song on iTunes.