I’ve been busy over the weekend doing the first round of self-editing on “The Second Coming” and I’m almost done.
Listening to a robotic voice read back the words is monotonous but highly effective way of catching out typos.
Missed words or wrong words (like using “and” instead of “an”, or “in” instead of “it”) stand out like the proverbial, so when they show up I can run the red pen through them to correct later.
I’ve also been working on that most hated of tasks: writing the blurb. What I’ve got so far is below, and I’m pretty happy with it. Like always I’ll sit on it for a while and come back to it later.
Skylar, the wayward daughter of Stan (better known as Satan thanks to a typo in a first edition) is desperate to escape the ethereal planes of Hell and become a bounty hunter.
Sapphire, God’s forgotten second scion, is oblivious of her divine heritage. Archangel Gabriel was to deliver the news on the night of her conception, but wound up bleeding and left for dead behind a seedy strip club.
So instead of delivering God’s latest and overriding commandment of “Don’t be a dick” to the people of Earth, Sapphire gets sucked into Skylar’s quest of hunting down an escaped soul from Hell that’s causing mayhem in Las Vegas.
The Second Coming is a wickedly funny urban fantasy crossed with comedic blasphemy, and laughing along with this book may get you a visit from Stan.
So hopefully it does what a good blurb is supposed to do. That is, suck you in and make you want to read the book. What do you think? Opinions are always welcome. 🙂
In other news, I’ve picked up a couple of nice 4 and 5 star ratings for The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior. A 4-star on Amazon.com, a 5-star on Amazon.co.uk and 2 x 5-stars over on Goodreads! (There’s also a 2-star on Goodreads, but I’ll ignore that. Can’t please everyone, and they’re obviously in the minority of people without a sense of humour… hehe).
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Woo! First draft of “The Second Coming” is finally done and clocked in at just over 33,000 words, so a little more than I originally estimated (guessed 30k). Not far off as guesses go.
Now the (not so) fun bit begins. First round of self-editing, which basically means pushing the whole through thing ProWritingAid which I find is immensely useful. It points out stuff like crappy comma placements, grammatical errors, passive phrasing, repetition and a bunch of other stuff that you become blind to because it’s your writing.
After that I’ll print it out and put the text through a text-to-speech program. This reads my story back in a robotic monotone which is useful for picking up awkward phrasing and other misspellings. I mark-up the print out and then makes the changes to the file.
When all that’s done it’s off to my beta readers who find even more stuff I’ve missed and give me excellent feedback on the parts of the book. And once those changes are made, it’ll be ready for export to Kindle and Paperback!
So all that considered I’m still quite a few weeks away from being ready to release it to the world. I’ll also need to bash out a blurb for it, which is probably the part I hate the most. Trying to come up with a few sentences to make people want to buy the book is rather difficult.
What comes next? I’m not 100% sure at the moment. I’ve got a few things I’m working, including an app to help kids learn to read and a website to support it. It’s been neglected for the past few weeks while I finished “The Second Coming”, so I need to get back to that.
Also kicking around inside my head is an idea for a second adventure for Gustav Gustavson. It’s rudimentary at the moment so needs a lot of fleshing out… so we’ll see where that goes.
I’ve also got a few ideas for a couple of kids books I wouldn’t mind looking at. By a wide margin they aren’t my biggest sellers, but I like being able to write and illustrate stories for my kids.
I price them as low as I possibly can so they don’t make me any money when they sell but it does give me a smile to know someone out there is laughing along with their kids because of something I wrote.
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This piece was written by a guy I went to school with, but scarcely seen since. I rarely have the time to catch up with people from my present, let alone my past to see how they’re doing, even those I was close to. Every now and then a few of us catch up, but years can elapse between these.
Like everyone, there never seems to be enough time in the day. Facebook comes to the rescue in most regards. I tend to keep my opinions to myself though, so I mostly read but not comment. It’s something I’m working on trying to fix about myself. My wife will attest that I’m not the most communicative of people you’ll ever meet.
All that aside, I’m glad to see he’s kicking butt and taking names though. I think there’s a lesson in this for all of us. Don’t let a single result from your life define you. Always strive to reinvent yourself because you never know where it might take you.
Every student at UON has a story.
The paths we travel to arrive here are as diverse as we are. For every high school high achiever, for whom university study was an expected next step, an accepted reality, there is a student who greets university life as something of an anomaly. UON has an inordinate number of students who are the first in their family to attend university. People from working class, marginalised and disadvantaged backgrounds mingle happily with the more traditional student body, largely due to UON’s hugely successful foundation studies programs: Open Foundation, Newstep and Yapug.
I am a graduate of Open Foundation, considered one of the more successful foundation studies program in the country. Applying for Open Foundation was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, and I’ve been asked to share my story. Open Foundation’s intensive program is a lesson in…
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The first draft of my current work in progress is almost done. I’m at about 80% of my 30,000 word goal for this one, so I’m sitting on a little over 24,000 words.
Once that’s done though the real work begins.
By real work I’m talking about going back and reading through the whole thing. Adding where necessary (I tend to gloss over parts on my first run through, so need to add in parts for it to make sense) and deleting where necessary to tighten up the story where it’s messy. And then going back to fix grammar and typos I introduced by adding new bits.
I’m happy with the current cover design I’m using, the Heaven / Hell split you can see at the top of this post. My name is smack bang in the middle of the Hell section. I’ve no doubt the subject matter of this one might make me a target of religious nut bags who can’t see the funny side of life, so at least I’ve got a head start on them.
I’ve also been actively avoiding thinking about the blurb, since that’s one of my most hated parts of the process. Trying to condense the novel into a couple hundred words that makes people want to click the “Buy Now!” button.
But these are the evils one must accept when trying to carve out a life as an author, especially a self-publishing one.
Last week I ran a 0.99 sale on The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior. I’m happy to say it was a huge success, and as it happens, it was my most successful sale I’ve ever run, with heaps of people grabbing a copy to read.
I’m quietly hopeful that some of these will turn into Amazon reviews. They’re one thing I’ve never had much luck at getting. I’ve read somewhere that only like one out of every hundred or more readers will leave a review, so I would have thought I’d have seen a few more by now. Perhaps the 1 in 100 is actually much higher.
Check out my most recently published novel
Available exclusively through Amazon.
To celebrate I’ve made a little video for the occasion.
Edit: Apparently embedding a video from Facebook isn’t as straight forward as I thought. Moved it to Vimeo 🙂
A minor update today on my current work in progress – The Second Coming. I wasn’t fully in love with the previous cover I’d designed, and after showing it around neither were other people so I went back to the drawing board.
I ditched basically everything except part of the title font and the little horns, and came at it from a different angle, the end result being what you see here.
Sitting at a little shy of 14,000 words, the work in progress is progressing really well. The words and plot are flowing nicely.
No guesses on when the first draft will be done yet though. It really depends on how much time I can find each day to write. I’ve got out a few thousand in the last few days though which has been really good progress.
That’s all for now. The kids are being quiet for the moment so I should try to bash out a few more words into the draft. 🙂
Check out my most recently published novel
Available exclusively through Amazon.
After a few weeks of not touching the work in progress at all, I’m back into it at full steam. I added approximately 1000 words since last night, so the total currently sitting at around 11,300 words and nowhere near done yet.
I’ve also (because I can’t help myself) been working on a cover design. First attempt is shown here. Not 100% on the design, but it’s literally the first attempt.
It’s a comedic urban fantasy novel featuring the God’s daughter Sapphire, and the Devil’s daughter Skylar, as they hunt escaped demons in Las Vegas and generally try to stay out of mischief.
It’s got everything you need to keep you laughing. God trying to get laid. Dinosaurs scaring the virgin Mary. A misnamed son of God (Chris, aka Jesus) and the faith he accidentally started. Stan, the Devil (who thanks to a misprint is now more commonly known as Satan) and his headstrong daughter Skylar, and a stripper named Cindy Doo-Yoo who bears the second child of God, Sapphire.
Here’s an (unedited and un-proof read) snippet from the first chapter.
“Behold,” said God. “I am your creator and you will lay with me.”
God cocked an eyebrow and stroked his beard. A beatific smile peeked out from behind the lush, white facial hair. His robes gleamed brightly in the late afternoon sun, and God knew he had it in the bag.
Mary was less than impressed. She scowled at God and flapped her hands to dissipate the smoke that threatened to darken her recently laundered bedsheets.
“I’ll give you this,” Mary said once the smoke had cleared, “as far as pick-up lines go it’s one of the more unique ones I’ve heard.”
“But I am your creator,” God sputtered. “I am bestowing upon you the great honor of being the bearer of my child.”
God stroked his beard again and pushed a hand through his hair, slicking it back. He was sure this approach had worked in the past. Mary put a hand on her hip and looked at God, an expression of skepticism painted on her face.
“If you’re really God, then prove it,” Mary said.
“Easy!” God said, then mumbled, “whatever happened to just having faith?”
“What was that last bit?” asked Mary.
“Nothing! Right then, let’s get started,” God said and clicked his fingers.
Behind him materialized two equally enormous and fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex. Mary didn’t know what they were, but when two hulking anachronisms appear out of thin air and scream at you, it doesn’t much matter if you know what they’re called or not.
I think it’s coming along nicely. The few week break I took from writing turned out to be a very good thing as I brainstormed a lot of the plot and added lots of extra complexity into the story line.
So why did I take a break? Well, that’s something else entirely. My wife and I are developing an education app and website to help young children learn to read and spell as well as other things along the same line. Making the app has been taking up a lot of my time while I get it right.
It’s still a few weeks away from being ready, so I won’t be giving away anything just yet. Stay tuned to this blog for more on this in the coming weeks.
Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.
Whaaaat? A collaboration between two of my favourite authors – Robert Bevan and Steve Wetherell?
Or more accurately shut up and take my Kindle Unlimited payment in about 8 week’s time. But still, how could I resist. Hell’s Titties, a small town nestled between the “twin peaks” of East and West Tittie in the Appalachian Mountains, is the unwitting town sitting atop an ancient evil.
Nestled between two peaks in the foothills of the southern Appalachian Mountains, a quiet town sits upon an evil as old as the hills themselves.
Bucky Wallace longs to break free and see the world outside of Hell’s Titties, but the town isn’t ready to let him go.
The heroes of the story, Bucky and Floyd are a couple of lifelong slackers living in a trailer where their retirement plans hinge on growing weed and a stash of nudie mags dating back to the 70s. Bucky, slightly more ambitious from Floyd is determined to climb the ranks of Texaco and make something of himself, the reasons why a bit ambiguous. Bucky alludes to it at one point and I don’t think ever fully explained… but maybe it’s just something for future books?
Anyway, in a comical series of events Floyd accidentally and correctly perform an ancient ritual that school kids of the area have been using to get laid for decades to summon a demon.
From out of the toilet bowl crawls a cockroach demon which takes, among other things, a particular liking to the nudie mag that brought it into being. Being out of their league, demon-hunting wise, they recruit a few others into helping them. An ex-girlfriend of Floyd’s (Rainn) who owns the occult book shop, Zelda, a Velma-esque girl who takes an instant liking to Bucky, along with a few others that round out this newly formed Scooby gang.
Actually, if I had to summarise the book in one sentence, it’d be “How Scooby Doo could have been if it were written for adults and had more dirty jokes.“
Together armed only with super soakers half-filled with bug spray they hunt the demon to capture it for fame and fortune. Of course, a bumbling troop of slackers and stoners will always stuff things up, and the authors do not disappoint.
I thought the story was very well written for a collaboration. The writing styles were consistent and for the most part I couldn’t tell who had written which parts. A few moments had me thinking “yep, that’s a Bevan bit,” or “that’s a Steve turn of phrase,” but generally it read as if a single author had written it.
I look forward to more of Bucky and Floyd as they hunt down more demons in future books.
How Scooby Doo could have been if it were written for adults and had more dirty jokes. Check out the sample on Amazon.
Hmmm, where to start. I grabbed So Not a Hero by SJ Delos because I’m going through a bit of a superhero kick at the moment and the story sounded interesting.
It is, don’t get me wrong. The story and world-building is solid and enjoyable. The main character has a ton of back-story and issues she needs to work through and you begin rooting for her pretty much straight away.
A reformed villain.
After serving two years in a Federal prison, Karen Hashimoto is out on parole and eager to put her criminal past behind her. No easy task, since she’s also the former supervillain known as Crushette. A chance encounter leads to an unexpected opportunity, and she is recruited as the newest member of the city’s premier team of superheroes: The Good Guys.
A new hero.
Now Karen has new teammates, a new code name, and the daunting responsibility of trying to be the hero everyone thinks she can be. Becoming a champion for Truth and Justice is going to be rough, especially for the ex-girlfriend of the notorious Doctor Maniac. Karen will have to do everything in her powers to keep her past from ruining her future.
It was so much simpler being the bad guy.
Some of the support characters seemed a little cookie-cutter though. The story could have done without a lot of the deep-seated misogyny inherent to many of the male characters. The way the author treats the main characters made me a little uncomfortable. Sure, I get there are arseholes out there that treat people like this, but it came across as a little gratuitous at times.
There are a couple of sex scenes, one at the beginning which establishes Karen hitting rock bottom, and one multi-page effort midway through. About mid-way through the second one I found I just wanted the story to skip ahead.
I’m not averse to reading sex scenes, however this one did drag on a little. Plus, I couldn’t help but think it was maybe a little bit of wish-fulfilment for the author. A thought that occurred to me a few times while reading. A sexy, do-anything superhero who madly wants to make love… I’ll let you make your own mind up.
Will I read the next one? Sure. The story arc got me engaged enough to care about the characters and what happens next. The points I take issue with don’t put me off enough to not want to read the next one.
Great story with some hard-to-like characters. I recommend checking out the sample on Amazon first before jumping into the whole novel.