Wren 6 goes a bit Dan Brown – Writing Wk17/18 2021

Mike Grist Weekly Writing Update, Writing Leave a Comment

It’s been 2 weeks since my last update, and they’ve been crazy weeks. We got our first Covid jabs, AstraZeneca, and they knocked us a little sick. In the midst of that, we were first deeply contemplating big home renovations, then chased that by making moves to sell our house and move, and chased that by realizing we were actually super happy where we were, with the house as it is, and putting the FOMO days of Covid firmly in the past.

I will be so glad to have coffee shops and restaurants as a home away from home again! Cinemas are coming too, and that is great.

In the midst of all that, I’ve been writing book 6. The deadline is fast approaching, June 30, and I have more pre-orders than ever, 210 so far, so I cannot disappoint. The book stands at 43,000 words, around halfway, so there’s a lot to do, but I’ve broken so much important theory in the last 2 weeks that I’m hopeful those words will almost wrie themselves.

Wren 6

I commissioned the cover from my artist. I have no idea if it’ll be the best reflection of the book, because I haven’t finished writing it yet, but that’s where I am currently. It’ll definitely look cool, if it’s like his earlier covers, and that’s the main thing.

And the story! It’s going crazily Dan Brown. Down a puzzle-rich, symbol-laden rabbit hole of Pyramid theory. Not too deep, not massive info-dumps. Rather I’m finding it fascinating. Pretty much everything is in position. Big plot turns are happening. Moments from which there is no going back.

I need to write at least 1,000 words a day going forward to have a shot at hitting the deadline. that sounds easy. It should be. I’d like to smash it much faster than that. Close out by the end of May would be amazing. Have penty of time for self-edits, a proof-read, get it sharp.

Add to this, Amazon US has, I think for the first time for me, offered a Kindle Deal for book 1 in the month of July. This is kind of perfectly timed to my new release of book 6. They can of course do different degrees of promo on my behalf. Saint Justice may appear at the bottom of a long promoted list of 99c books. It could also be at the top of a short one. It could lead to huge numbers of sales and page reads. It may not at all.

Maybe bigger than a Bookbub. Like a Kindle Countdown deal that can last an entire month. I’m running substantial Facebook ads every day, so I’ll have to play it by ear when the amazon deal starts. Make sure I’ve got a clear baseline so I’ll know when to throttle ads back, or even ramp them up. 99c books convert much better than full price. I’ll probably make new sets of ads to press that home.


Today I wrote 3,000 words, and set up the next 10 or so chapters. I have the major movements. The theory. I have the next 10 chapters after that in loose form. They’ll be tricky, but I’ll figure them out. Then we’ll be done!

So this time next week, it would be great to close out chapters 30-40. Hit 60,000 words. Have 2 weeks before the end of May to write the last 10 chapters and 20,000 words.


Facebook ads are going as well as ever. I partially gave up on solely relying on the Facebook algorithm to select which ad images it’s going to run for me. Now I’ve narrowed my ad sets and audiences way back, so it’s simpler to oversee this myself. If on any day ad clicks rise, I may first reduce the budget substantially, and if that doesn’t help after a day or so, I’ll turn off the expensive ad image and rotate another one in that’s done OK before.

It keeps the offering I’m putting before the FB audience constantly fresh. When I get new book covers made, I’ll use those images too. Constantly refreshed. New blurbs/ad copy for variety, as I come up with them.

Thus far it is working. Click costs stay pretty low. If I leave it to the FB algorithm, it’ll keep pushing a dud ad image for days before maybe switching over. If I do it myself, I rescue my cost per click. It’s got so I don’t need to spend much time on analysis, especially as I’m no longer trying to ramp things up. I don’t have the budget to go bigger, right now!

When some of these amazon royalties come in, I’ll look at going bigger again. We shall see.


Some great reviews have been coming in. I’m really pleased:

Do not start this book late at night. You won’t be able to sleep until you finish it. Wren is a hero who recognizes the need for allies, a characteristic a lot of heroes would be better off for sharing. Is the story realistic? How would I know? I certainly have never been a CIA operative. But Frost makes you believe Wren is the real deal. Great book

Frost is doing a god job! Nice one, Frost 😉

Great story…Christopher Wren is a combination of John Wick, Jack Reacher, and Jack Ryan….doing the right thing even when dangerous. I will read other books by this author…well worth my time.

Love this comparison to Wick, Reacher and Ryan. My thoughts exactly. And one more:

A horrific story, but unfortunately believable! A gripping tale which drags you along with the pace of the action. Great writing. Will find another when I have recovered from this book.

Great stuff, I’d like it to be a little less horrific, but won’t make any changes until I hear a bit more about what in particular comes off as so horrific.

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