We’re #85 (Breaking into the Amazon Kindle top 100)

Evolved Publishing let me, and the rest of the world, know that Down to Dirt had made the Amazon Kindle Top 100 Sellers list. This is a fleeting honor – Amazon updates many times a day and the standings can change dramatically over the course of an average day. But I’ve never made the top 100 before, so I feel pretty stoked about it.

It’s difficult to quantify the impact of something so simple as being in the top 100, even if only for a few hours. However fleeting, it draws the attention of readers. No doubt the readers who care enough to check out the top 100 sellers or look to the top 100 for ideas on what to read next make up a very small fraction of the total number who visit the Amazon site at any given moment. But. If a few curious people follow the link and reads the description and the sample pages, there’s a good chance at least one will be intrigued enough to buy their own copy. Then, with any luck at all, they’ll like it enough to tell their friends about it, or mention it in social media, or – the holy grail for writers – post a review.

A reader’s review – one reader telling other honestly what she liked (or didn’t like) about a novel – has a greater impact on whether other people read the novel than any other single factor. So, yes, while #85 may not be impressive in the scheme of things, and even though the honor is fleeting, it’s still something I am – as I noted before – pretty stoked about.

To quote Evolved’s post:

Check out our latest Amazon TOP 100 offering: Down to Dirt by Kevin Killiany. This YA Science Fiction is a winner, as predicted by one prominent author:

Down to Dirt is YA hard science fiction with an attitude, full of technical details as engaging as the characters. I was immediately drawn into the story.” ~ Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Eternity’s Mind

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#85 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Hard Science Fiction
#110 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction
#128 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Hard Science Fiction

Grab yours today! ~ Down to Dirt on Amazon

Here’s Evolved Publishing’s post.

Writing multiple narratives in Living on Dirt

I was going to start my Writing blog with some pithy and insightful commentary on the craft. I’ve written a lot about writing over the years. I’ve taught writing. But none of those things are as important as the fact that I do write. So For my very first post, I’m going to give a snapshot of what it is I do when I’m writing.


This is my progress log for Living on Dirt, the second volume in my Dirt and Stars series of YA science fiction novels. The columns are date, day, word goal, words written, % of goal, countdown to deadline, and the scene I wrote. (Blessed as I am with the attention span of a mayfly and the organizational skills of a magpie, I need to do a lot of things to keep myself on track.)

Each novel in the series is written in the form of journal entries written by the characters, so the story is told from multiple viewpoints, and each character adds their own perspective on – and interpretation of – events. All of the journal entries are woven together over the course of the novel, so the story is told in chronological order. However, they’re not written in order. If one character is following a strong story arc I write several of their entries in a row, following the arc, then put each in its proper place in the overall narrative when I’m assembling the novel.

In the first Dirt and Stars novel, Down to Dirt, the narrators were Mara Duval, Beth Duval, and Jael Alden. In Living on Dirt we also have the journals of Lije Bronislav and Fatima Kielani. I’ve been working with Fatima the last few days.* She has more to do in Living on Dirt than what I’ve written, but I’ll be leaving her alone for a bit. Another character is about to get in serious trouble and until that runs its course Mara’s journal entries will have priority.

*(You’ll note I didn’t write the scenes in order, I wrote them when they were ready. A subject for another day.)