Busy Bee. That R Me.

July has been kinda crazed in many ways for me.  Hence why so few posts.  Books 2 and 3 are done.  I just finished the Story Grid edit of Book 2 yesterday, and the week before that, I was at the Realm Makers Consortium 2018 Conference for 5 days.

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A blast was had, and I learned I neither suck at writing, and I have so much more to learn.  Seriously, the classes were phenomenal (with one exception that for a Christian Speculative Fiction Conference was a seriously sour note… but easy to forgive.  I keep thinking of the Niles and Frasier Crane definition of a perfect meal, where everything is perfect, except for one small flaw to pick at for the rest of the evening.

I will be going back, barring the apocalypse or some other minor but inconvenient tribulation.  :cP

No I don’t have pictures.  I don’t like pictures of myself.  I look like a couch with a goatee and an arm brace.  Who needs that kinda pressure?

That’s been July.  Busy editing, learning and generally finding things to fix in my book.  Hoo boy, it’s going to be an interesting edit.  I’m now scheduling two more passes through the book on my own where I do an out loud read through as well as another pass to get it looking nice and polished before I send it over to my editor.

My editor and I had dinner last night, and we talked about what scene to use for the cover.  Originally I wanted to do a triptych for the next three books, but alas, I do not think it’s going to be.  So I’m going to just be happy that I found a scene that portrays Brother Finn and Bergamot I like.  The other four scenes I seriously considered just all had fundamental flaws for how to portray the book best.  Also, you didn’t get Brother Finn like on the ALRDW cover.  I probably should contract the artist soon, if this is going to be a November release.  Yeah, it’s looking like that’s possible.

Still don’t have a title though.  Just the working title, which is going bubye.  Need something more fitting for the aesthetic.  I may wait till my Beta Readers get back to me.

Ohh!  That reminds me!  Beta Readers!  I’m going to put out an open offer for some people to get involved in the beta reading process.

What does this mean?

Ideally I would like to get between 10 and 20 beta readers.  I know that seems like a lot for some authors, but well, I like getting lots of feedback to consider.  I am writing something I want, but it also needs to satisfy you readers.

It will be for the month of September with a hard deadline of probably the last week of the month.  The date is not settled on yet.  I’m going to be a bit more strict this book, but I would love to get some of my fans involved.  I will also consider creating a Discord channel for us to be able to discuss the book.  Or perhaps we can set up a discussion forum on the blog here, or through Minds.com.  Again, haven’t decided but that will firm up, depending on participation from you guys.

Of course that means you will be rewarded with a free Ebook for your participation if you get in and provide the feedback I need once the book releases.

As a consequence of the conference (say that 3 times fast), I will not be doing a pre-order.  I found out Amazon changed their algorithm and it now screws over rankings for those who do pre-orders.  So if I do, it’s going to be less than 5 days if I do it at all.  So thank Amazon everybody.  Speaking of which, I’m probably going to go Amazon Exclusive for these next three books and see how that improves or hurts my sales.  See what Kindle Unlimited will do for me.

Lastly, I have a hardcover here that I am wondering what to do with.  It was supposed to go with me to Realm Makers, but showed up a few hours after I had to leave.  That means I have no current plans with it but the ideas are simmering.  I’m sure there are people out there who would like an autographed copy of the book.  But what to do for a contest for it?  I was thinking about fan art.  Be a shame to throw a contest and nobody came.  So if you like the idea, best let me know.  Something fun for a run up to Book 2’s release.  So, thoughts?  talk to me now for this is the time.

Well, that’s all for now.  The plan is:
August: editing
September: Beta Read
October: More editing, cover and formatting
November: Final polish and release (Late Nov publish date most likely)

Repeat process for an April Release of Book 3.

Repeat process for a November/December release of Book 4 (if all goes according to plan).

So there you have it.  Hope you like it.  Let me know what you think!

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The Beta Read Comes to a Close

First and foremost,

Thank you to all my Beta Readers who participated and gave me much needed feedback on my first novel.  If anyone has any questionnaires left out there, I still will gladly accept them if you wish to share your thoughts.

It has been a challenge as the edits came in to look at all my errors laid bare.  I did ask for you to be honest and brutal, and thankfully you all have, just as much as you have been encouraging and supportive.  My ego took some serious hits, but that is good.  Dishonest praise is worse than honest criticism.  The fact that I got lots of both, all done out of love and caring was best of all.

So once again, thank you.

Now, the future looks like the following.

  1. Finish NaNoWriMo.  This has been stumbling thanks to my discovery about derivative works.  I have not been so enthused to finish the project since I cannot publish it.
  2. Plotting the NEW book 2.  Yes, what I have previously written will be bumped to Book 3 in the series, and a whole new Book 2 written.  The goal is to be ready to start writing this when I finish with…
  3. Finish the 4th edit of Reimarsoga.  All those suggestions, edits and conversation come home to roost.  I hope… HOPE I will be done before the end of December because…
  4. Send last edit to professional editor and hire a cover artist.  My true deadline is the 1 year anniversary of me starting to write the first novel.  If I am really fortunate, I will also find a way to pre-order the book.  So, here’s hoping all goes according to plan.  So if you have some Christmas money you saved up for buying a book, get ready for pre-order pitches.  I will announce more where you will be able to purchase your copy as time gets closer.

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On the Quivering Edge

I cannot wait!  I’m champing at the bit to move forward and start work on my novella for NaNoWriMo!

I’ve never done it before, so I am enthused by the challenge to write 50k words again (though my first two novel drafts (From Ash Wednesday to Memorial Day) it was almost 200k words.  So I think I can do it.  My hardest task I think will be shutting up and keeping it a Novella.

Last week I did the loose plot and picked the names.  I checked with my Guru for all things Norse for some nice new terms to use and verify some usage of concepts, and I think this will be pretty cool.

Now… what worries me.

“The Price of Mendacity” (Working Title) is going to be nearly a Shakespearian trage-comedy, not the “Epic Christian Fantasy Adventure” the rest of Reimarsoga is going to be.  Sort of the same way “Ran” is a sublime but total rip off of “King Lear”. So if someone reads this as an introduction to my work, it will be to my setting and my style, but not to the series.  I hope that doesn’t ruin any reader’s expectation.  I dunno.  I’m overthinking.  Someone tell me to shut up here.

As a side note, I started listening to the Librevox version of Jack London’s “The Sea Wolf”.  Man!  I forgot how great a book that really was!  I am just enthralled with London’s writing style.  It’s of a similar subject matter of Melville but instead of wrist-slittingly difficult to comprehend, it’s far more accessible to my eye.  Oh well,

I really hope that writing this will also distract me from waiting to edit from my beta readers.  I am going bonkers waiting, with my inner Veruca Salt screaming “Make time go faster!”.  I have gotten one preliminary response back from one reader, whom I will share his answer to one of the questions on the Beta Questionnaire:

  • Are there enough stakes/tension throughout to make the book a “page turner”?

    I read the book on one day you do the math 🙂

So… I’m a pretty cappy hamper.

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(Thanks TDub.  Been smiling for 4 days on that one.)

 

Beta Read is now LIVE!

Attention all Beta Readers, you should now have your copy in your inbox that you provided.  If you have not received it, lemme know!

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X-Post Fact Toast #5

For those who have finished reading my Second edit… the third edit, having it read out loud, even through a cruddy “Text to Speech” program  has been quite revealing.  The “Ear Clunk” is rapidly vanishing, and the story has gotten so much smoother.  I did 7 chapters tonight, meaning only 9 more to go before Friday, and barring some major disaster, I will be able to make my Beta Reader deadline without much issue.

Get away from me unexpected threat to my happiness!  That was not a challenge for you to try and meet!

The process has been a surprise as well.  Writing has given me two new expressions:

  1.  “Vonnegut colored crayon”.  Meaning that I often feel like I am writing with a crayon in my mouth.  Some of the text has been bad and have been grateful for the rewrite to fix it.  To my Alpha Readers who have been so supportive… I am so sorry.e19ea468de59620c1ab6da71da2a9dd9
  2. “Nose to Bark.”  I coined this expression when talking to one of my alpha readers and trying to explain I was so close to my creation, it was like having my nose pressed to a tree, so I could not see the forest around me.

On a positive note, I got this back from one of my alpha readers after he completed the 2nd edit alpha read.

Needless to say, this came from someone who’s opinion means a great deal to me, and is not a fantasy fan… ergo, I’m one very happy person.

Furthermore, this also gave me the experience of seeing this book with my nose no longer on the bark, having the computer read it to me to catch the most egregious errors.  What I learned is that the first chapters may not be as good, but the ones done latest are significantly better and smoother running.  Not only that, I did not realize the story could be as engaging and compelling as compared to when I originally wrote this bad boy.  I had to force myself to stop editing because I wanted a fresh mind for the last 9 chapters, which, if fortunate, will be done tomorrow.  If not… Friday.  But it’s getting done!