Novella

Blurbing

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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.

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 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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The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

Is available exclusively through Amazon.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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Book Review | The Totally Legend of Brandon Thighmaster by Steve Wetherell

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My plans for the weekend went out the window the second I received an email from Amazon telling me about new releases from authors I love. This one in particular is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time. I immediately jumped onto Kindle Unlimited and grabbed my copy.

Brandon Thighmaster, sexually attractive monk from the Temple of the Many Fists, ab-crunched his way into my world when he joined the Authors and Dragons podcast which I’ve been listening to since its inception. I remember his debut episode like I listened to it yesterday, mainly because I almost died from laughing. All that said, you don’t need to have listened to the podcast to enjoy this story.

The Blurb:

“Hi. I am Brandon Thighmaster. Monk. Hero. Inspiration. I enjoy crunching, squats, looking at myself, looking at other people looking at myself, and long walks on the beach. I also do adventures and stuff, and I guess you can read about them here. But enough about you, let’s talk about me. Brandon Thighmaster.”

This tale set in the same universe as the podcast, follows the embodiment of ultimate physical perfection as he embarks on his quest to leave the monastery where he has spent his entire life honing his fighting prowess, and punch his way through the entire back catalogue of fauna and occasionally the flora the world provides.

His character wanders thoughtlessly and aimlessly, always seeing opportunities to look at himself or work on his cardio routine, until he stumbles upon a rouge, Pritti Brightblade, in dire need of rescuing from a group of orcs. After a successful intimidation which is misunderstood by the orcs, he joins his first party of adventurers and joins the good fight to save a nearby settlement.

Written with the same humour Steve delivers each fortnight during the podcast, this was an entertaining read from start to finish. Set in the Pathfinder universe (that the Authors and Dragons podcast is played in) meant I didn’t need to try to understand the world mechanics (like the magical healing abilities of clerics, etc). I already knew the systems of that world so it felt like home.

Hopefully this is the first in a long series, not only by Mister Wetherell but also by the other authors of the podcast. I’d love to read more from this universe.

TL;DR Version

We have a saying at the Temple of the Many Fists. Read this story or get punched in the face. Check out the sample on Amazon!

Book Review | The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III

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“Bizarro fiction? What’s that?” I thought to myself when I first heard the term. Of course, I needed to look up this previously unheard of genre, landing on suggestions. Most of them fall into the NSFW category, and I guess this one – The Haunted Vagina – does too, to a degree. Depends on how prudish your IT department is about the word ‘Vagina’.

Most examples I found looked as if they were trying to outdo each other with outlandish book titles. There are certainly some interesting ones out there…

Anyway, after a bit of a crawl through GoodReads I landed on this one that sounded less disturbing than others I’d seen, and sounded funny enough that it might be a good introduction to the genre.

What’s it about? The blurb:

It’s difficult to love a woman whose vagina is a gateway to the world of the dead…

Steve is madly in love with his eccentric girlfriend, Stacy. Unfortunately, their sex life has been suffering as of late, because Steve is worried about the odd noises that have been coming from Stacy’s pubic region. She says that her vagina is haunted. She doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. Steve, on the other hand, completely disagrees.

When a living corpse climbs out of her during an awkward night of sex, Stacy learns that her vagina is actually a doorway to another world. She persuades Steve to climb inside of her to explore this strange new place. But once inside, Steve finds it difficult to return… especially once he meets an oddly attractive woman named Fig, who lives within the lonely haunted world between Stacy’s legs.

So that sets the scene. Stacy’s been hearing strange noises from down below for most of her life. One night after an adult-sized skeleton crawls its way out of her, she talks her boyfriend Steve into a mission to investigate.

Armed with walkie talkies and greased up like a Scotsman in an air duct, he ventures forth and finds Stacy is a doorway to an alternate reality.

It’s a short story, novella I guess at around 100 pages, but Mister Mellick packs quite a lot into those pages. The world he describes his both warped yet made vibrant and interesting by his words, and what happens once Steve gets trapped there kept me reading to the end.

Will I read more bizarre? I’m not saying no at this point, but it was a bit of an eye opener as a genre. I’ll see what GoodReads suggests as “also reads” once I’ve marked it as “Read”.

TL;DR Version

Certainly an eye-opener. An enjoyable short read. Check out the sample at Amazon.

Book Review | Uncanny Sally by W. Lawrence

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Uncanny Sally, a short story by W. Lawrence who you may know from Synching Forward which sets up this universe.

Reading Synching Forward isn’t a prerequisite for reading this as it works as a standalone novel, but if you have, you’ll have a deeper understanding on what drives our protagonist, Amara.

The Blurb:

Sergeant Agent Amara James of the Department of Homeland Defense is reassigned from her anti-terrorism task force to investigate a murder. A popular actress has been found dead at the Sathee Robotics facility, and Amara’s investigation will uncover our inventions sometimes mimic us too closely. Uncanny Sally is a whydunnit told in the asimovian style that will keep you guessing till the very end.

The Syncing In series complements the novel Syncing Forward, following the investigations of Amara James as she desperately tries to find a cure for her father. These novelettes can be read and enjoyed independently from the original novel.

This is a hard-boiled detective techno-thriller set in the universe W. Lawrence created in Synching Forward. The story is narrated by Agent Amara as she recounts a recent case she solved. She’s recording her life so that when her father returns he can get to know who she is. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Is For Other People

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cover_211My latest short story – Death Is For Other People – is now live on Amazon!

Death Is For Other People follows the life of the protagonist who is one of only a handful of people known as ‘Eternals’ – those who are cursed to be reborn as new people after death. They retain all of their memories from their previous life, and can be born into any family, anywhere.

Death Is For Other People is a rebirth tale spanning hundreds of years, and a battle to prevent  the extinction of all mankind. Read the rest of this entry »

Death Is For Other People

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My work in progress is going well since I first wrote about it last week. It’s now sitting at a little over 11,000 words with still some more to go.

Interestingly, I’ve written the beginning and part of the middle, but last time I sat down to write I skipped ahead and wrote the end. That isn’t something I normally do, but I knew exactly how I wanted to write it, plus I wanted  a break from the part I was currently writing. Next thing I knew Read the rest of this entry »

FTW Part 2… Or Is It?

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For the past couple of weeks I’ve been thrashing out ideas for the second part of my as-yet unreleased novella FTW. I’ve held off giving part one to my beta reader until I get a better idea of how part two is developing.

I didn’t originally intend on writing a second part so before I go too far down the publishing path I need to make sure my ideas for the second will gel with what I’ve written for the first.

I’ve thrown down a few thousand words already and so far it’s progressing nicely. It begins Read the rest of this entry »

3 Things + a bonus one

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Not one specific topic this week, more a summary of what’s been going on.

So first off, I’ve been busy converting two of my short stories into paperbacks. Both Storm View and Finsbury Park are now available as paperback and kindle books.

Originally I wasn’t planning on doing this, but given how easy it is to do with CreateSpace I figured why not, because it gives people the option then if they want it.

Plus, I like being able to see them on my bookshelf and insufferably pointing them out to people when they visit :). Read the rest of this entry »