Comedy

Potential Art and Gustav Book 2

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Potential Cover Art
Potential Cover Art

I’m currently at a little over 9000 words into my as-yet unnamed work in progress. It’s a young adult sci-fi novel set in the future where the world has flooded and the only survivors live on a space station, and a discovery they make under the ocean that could change everything.

It’s progressing a little slower than I’d like, mostly due to me being repeatedly ill (once to the point of being hospitalized from a severe reaction to tonsillitis). That said, it’s fully outlined so I know what and how it needs to be written, so I’ll keep plodding along and hopefully have more to report next time.

The other thing I’m working on is an outline for a second Gustav Gustavson novel. After kicking off the audiobook project I re-read the story to check it was all in order and a bunch of new plotlines thundered into my head and demanded attention.

Since then I’ve been taking copious notes on what I’d like to include and what directions it should take, so that has the potential to arrive some time next year.

Potential Artwork for Fist of the King
The Fist of the King

The plot is still very much in the outline stage, but the working title is “The Fist of the King”. I’m working on a cover design that ties in with the first, using the same approach of paper cut-out type design.

My main problem now is staying focussed on my current WIP and not being distracted by Gustav. I’m enjoying writing the new one, it’s just a little heavier to write than a light-hearted comedic fantasy.


My most recent novel

The Second Coming

is available exclusively through Amazon.


Gustav Gustavson – Audio Book Auditions!

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The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

I am ridiculously excited to announce I’m taking my first steps towards producing an Audiobook version for The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.

About a week ago I put the pieces in place on http://www.acx.com to start getting auditions for the book, and I’ve had a number of fantastic audition pieces come back already. I’m now running a poll to help decide on who I should choose. My favourite audition pieces are embedded below.

Update: I’ve removed the poll as I was also running one on Facebook. I’ve extended an offer to Basil Sands so all things being equal he’ll soon be the voice of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior! You can listen to his audition below.


Basil Sands


 

The Second Coming is Now!

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The Second Coming CoverThe Second Coming is happening right now!

That’s right. My latest book is now live on Amazon for Kindle (and Kindle Unlimited) and very soon will also be available as paperback. If you’re after a good laugh and don’t mind a little blasphemy in your day, then The Second Coming is the book for you.

Check it out on Amazon!

The Blurb:

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 child, 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 land you in Hell.

Check it out on Amazon!

First Draft in the Bag!

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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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Check out my most recently published novel

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Available exclusively through Amazon.

•••


 

Almost Done!

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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.

Sale Update

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

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Available exclusively through Amazon.

•••


0.99 Sale for Gustav Gustavson!

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Quick announcement for today. The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior is on sale at Amazon and Amazon.co.uk for only 0.99 for the next week.

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 🙂

#AmGoingToHell

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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.


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Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.

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Book Review | Hell’s Titties by Robert Bevan and Steve Wetherell

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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.

The Blurb:

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.

TL;DR Version

How Scooby Doo could have been if it were written for adults and had more dirty jokes. Check out the sample on Amazon.

 

Book Review | 2 Shorts by Robert Bevan

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Robert Bevan is an author I’ve been reading for years now. His Critical Failures books in the Caverns and Creatures series are some of the most re-read books on my Kindle.

Between each Critical Failures books he puts out 6 short stories which eventually get bundled into their own six-pack. These are the most recent two which I read one after another (I was behind a little since it took a few weeks for them to get onto Kindle Unlimited).

They Fight Three Giants

While the title seems somewhat literal, you need to understand the short stories Mister Bevan puts out are always puns or jokes on whatever the theme is. Cornholed for example, isn’t about what you might think. Probing the Annis is another.

Anyway, a subset of our usual heroes are tricked into following a sorcerer through a portal where their doom awaits them. Not an uncommon occurrence for the hapless heroes, but Bevan always manages new and disgusting lows in which to take the story.

Tricked into becoming slaves / target practice for stone giants, the boys must escape. Through a series of misunderstandings they’re not sure which fate they’d prefer.


From the Bowels of Hell Hounds

Continuing the tradition and possibly one of the grossest covers yet, From the Bowels of Hell Hounds finds our heroes as escorts of a wagon filled with magical goodies on its way to an interesting character I really wouldn’t mind seeing more of, maybe in the canonical series.

Count Fabulazzo welcomes them, calling off his hell hounds just after they’ve barbequed the groups horses. PS – If you’re a horse lover then this series (not just this book) isn’t for you. They meet their demise in a startling array of horrors.

Tricked, of course, into accepting the mission which is really a ruse for them to become the fall guys for the real mission, they’ve no alternative to accept the quest set to them by the Count to retrieve what was stolen.

Fans of the podcast Authors and Dragons will enjoy the appearance of a religious zealot by the name of Sinas, who I couldn’t help but read in the voice of Rick Gualtieri’s “Silas Kane” voice.


Both of these were lots of fun to read. They’re non-canonical to the overall series so can be enjoyed as individual reads. What happens in these has no impact at all to the main story, but knowing the background of the characters helps understand their motives so if you haven’t yet, go read Critical Failures.

Book Review | Goddamned Freaky Monsters by Rick Gualtieri

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I should preface this review with a <POSSIBLE SPOILERS> warning since Goddamned Freaky Monsters is book 5 in The Tome of Bill series. If you’ve not read the first four, maybe look away now.

After reading the first 4 books in quick succession I decided a short break was in order before continuing with the series. That short break turned into 6 months as other books kept demanding my attention.

But finally I’m back on the Bill train, having finished this one over the weekend and lining up to read the next one when I’m finished what I’m currently reading.

The Blurb:

Three months have passed since the fateful encounter in New York City that ended with the disappearance of Bill Ryder – gamer, geek, and legendary vampire. Now he’s back, awakened halfway across the globe with no allies, clothing, or clue as to how he got there. The only thing he’s certain of is that his captors plan to use him for their own nefarious ends and don’t care how much blood they spill in the process.

Escape might be the least of his worries, though. Civilization teeters on the brink of chaos. Mythical beasts, once thought the stuff of fantasy, are breaking through the veil, intent on waging war against mankind. At their forefront stands an ancient evil, the last remnant of a cult thought long dead, and he’s about to cut a swath of destruction through the world not seen since biblical times.

Bill’s only chance is to reclaim his life, reconcile with his friends, and muster every bit of attitude he can – because if he fails, Hell on Earth will become far more than just a corny saying.

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