So all my best laid plans went out the window. I took a break from writing the YA novel I was working on because I was in the mood to write something humorous. Since I’m still working out plot points for Gustav Gustavson book 2 – The Fist of the King – I revisited my notes for my planned short story The Redaction of Vernon Reid.
Two days later and I’ve finished the first draft. At just over 7,000 words it falls slap bang in short story territory.
A short story of an ordinary NSA analyst named Vernon Reid, a sentient smart weapon that has developed a conscience who prefers the name Keith, and an invading alien race hell bent on universal genocide.
When Vernon designs a weapon possessing war-ending potential by accident, the aliens deploy Keith to erase him from history.
It still needs to be edited and the rest of the fun stuff that happens after writing, so it will still be a few weeks yet before it’s ready to go.
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I handed off my most recent work – The Second Coming – to my beta reader over the weekend so the publication date of that one is drawing ever closer. Obviously I can’t give a firm date yet until I’ve checked over whatever notes she leaves for me while reading it, but my hope is mid to late November.
I’ve not had any other thoughts about cover design, which is kind of weird for me. Normally I’ve got a few different versions I want to check out, but I’m still happy with the one I’ve made so at this stage it looks like it’s the one I’ll publish with.
The blurb has had a few little tweaks since last time I posted about it.
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.
I’m about 99% on that one. I might change a word or two, but for the most part I’m happy.
While The Second Coming is out of my hands I’ve been poking through my ideas folder for what to write next. One in particular keeps nagging at me to be written, a short story I’ve titled “The Redaction of Vernon Reid”.
The idea for this one came about while I was mucking about designing a cover for another book I wrote. I had the idea of a “Classified” document type design with various words blacked out. I quickly knocked out an example, and it became the inspiration for the rest of the story.
It’s the story of an ordinary NSA analyst named Vernon Reid, a sentient and very intelligent bomb that has developed a conscience, and an invading alien race hell bent on the annihilation of Earth.
When Reid accidentally designs a weapon possessing war-ending potential, the aliens deploy the bomb against him to erase him from history. All memory of him to be redacted until he never was.
Things don’t go to plan when the bomb has second thoughts about killing Reid, and the more it tries not to the bigger the paradox becomes.
Even though the cover exists, this is still in the very early stages of outlining so will be a few months away at the least. Check back soon for updates!
My most recent novel
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Four short stories I’ve been waiting to read finally made it into Kindle Unlimited. I grabbed all of them as part of Robert Bevan’s 5D6 release where he rolls up 6 shorts into one book (the first two reviewed here).
As usual, Mister Bevan proves himself the master of low brow humour. In these final four he delivers an astounding array of disgusting and hilarious scenarios for our hapless heroes to fight their way out of.
Tossing the Salaad – Deftly sidestepping any possible copyright infringements by a subtle renaming of the monsters, this book sees everyone’s favourite Cooper impregnated by the amphibious Salaad after what first could be mistaken as a prostate exam. From there things get decidedly more gross.
Pixie Dicks – Magical memory loss leads Tim to be a lot less of an asshole for the bulk of this story, a side some of his friends may prefer. Sent on a mission by a bunch of pixies, the boys prove they are capable of rising above all, especially when the pixies have been such dicks to them.
Fistin’ the Furious – One of the more confusing of the bunch, the team hook up with an attractive woman for a mission to kill her siblings. A mind/body swapping spray swaps the guys with the grotesquely deformed siblings, which is where some of the confusion came in. It was a little hard to follow in places and made more sense the second time through.
The Fuccubus – By the title it should be obvious what this one is about. The boys are “tricked” into wanting to have group sex with a half-elf who is really a succubus and wants to suck our their souls via… well, you get the idea.. This one had me howling with laughter, easily the funniest short that Mister Bevan has put out in a while. The others were funny, no doubt, but this one really took it to the next level.
Funny as hell, but not for the easily offended. Check out the sample at Amazon!
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
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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
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There are plenty of people out there who love Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, I however am not among them. This one popped up on a few lists I was trawling through for my next read. Lists like “Funniest books of all time” and “Best books of all time”, and so on… so I admit my hopes were high for this one.
But I found myself fighting not to give up on the book many times. There was just so much waffling I found myself skipping ahead as I pushed further into this novel.
The whole made up religion thing, Bokononism and the various paragraphs devoted to it throughout the novel, I just didn’t find funny at all though it was clear that was their intention. A religion founded on the believe that everything is founded on lies, including Bokononism.
Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three eccentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh…
So what sounds like an interesting premise and something that should appeal directly to me failed to do so. This book that was pegged in a “Funniest books of all time” list failed to raise even a smirk.
Disjointed and rambling are two words that first come to mind when thinking how to summarise the book. Maybe had I been around at the end of World War 2 or experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis first hand I might find more humour in this book, but alas for me it just fell flat.
Struggled to finish this one, but others seem to enjoy it. Check out the sample on Amazon and make up your own mind. At least you can’t say I didn’t try to warn you. 🙂
The last month has been hectic. My pay-the-bills job has been keeping me busy, plus other things outside of work have got me to the point of not wanting to do any writing when I finally have spare time.
I know that’s not the attitude to have, but it’s just been exhausting. That said, I think things are finally easing up a little which is giving me time to think about my next project.
I’ve decided to work on a new idea that’s been floating around in my head rather than the other story I got part of the way through before stopping to write Badlands and The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.
It’s still a little too early in the game to give away too much, other than to say it may make me a target for religious nut-bags. It’s a humorous tale of God and the Devil, Christ and few other family members and the havoc they cause.
Other than that I’ve been spending a lot of time over on Reddit as a way of not doing any writing. The Writing Prompts subreddit is one of my favourite places to hang out, reading all the prompt-inspired responses. I’ve posted a few of my own over the time, none that have really taken off until the one I posted the other day.
The prompt I submitted was: You accidentally summon a demon by trying to pronounce IKEA product names. I honestly didn’t expect it to get any traction, much like the ones that I posted before. But to my utter astonishment it took off, trending as high as top spot in the subreddit and garnering over 7,800 up-votes and even a gold star.
If you’ve got a bit of time, go over to Reddit and check out the awesome responses people have posted. It’s great to see how people interpret the response in different ways.
In The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior related news, it’s now been a little over a month since I released this book and I can honestly say it’s by a wide margin the best-selling book I’ve ever put out there.
It’s been snapped up by people all over the world, including countries I’ve never reached before. Sales have slowed a little since its initial release but I’m still seeing lots of people grabbing copies through Kindle Unlimited, and even the odd paperback copy being sold. Having people read and enjoy something I’ve written really makes my day.
That’s all for now. Back to
procrastinating …er… working on my next book. 🙂
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.
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.
It’s official! The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior is now live on Amazon.
Off to a good start with lots of people already reading it 😀
A laugh-out-loud comedic fantasy novel about the forgotten and self-proclaimed legend known as Gustav Gustavson.