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’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.
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.
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Not in the Britney Spears way, more I got sidetracked from what I was going to write by a new story idea.
I was going to work on the short story idea I had called “The Redaction of Vernon Reid”, but due to some early morning brainwaves over the weekend coupled with copious amounts of coffee I’ve come up with a new idea that is just begging me to write it.
What is it?
Hmm, it’s still early days, but it’ll be a young adult novel set some time in the future where the Earth has been completely flooded. No landmasses anywhere, now just a complete ocean world.
A story of the survivors, and a starling discovery they find beneath the waves.
That’s all I’ll give away for the moment. I have knocked out a little over 1400 words since fleshing out the plot lines though, so it’s off to a great start. I’ll post more about it as it progresses, so check back regularly as always.
No news yet on “The Second Coming” except for a text message from my beta saying she’d got a few chuckles out of it already. So it’s always good to know it’s not just me that thinks I can be funny.
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!
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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.
This was a funny and entertaining book to read. So Gary, our “hero” of the story leads a dull life where he wants nothing more than to be a supervillain. Of course this wish is fulfilled when the magical cloak of the foremost (and newly deceased) hero of the city turns up on his doorstep.
Suddenly he gets everything he wants and becomes Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy. The tautology alone should give you an idea what this book is going to be like.
Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown’s resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion’s magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy.
But is he evil enough to be a villain in America’s most crime-ridden city?
Gary soon finds himself surrounded by a host of the worst of Falconcrest City’s toughest criminals. Supported by his long-suffering wife, his ex-girlfriend turned professional henchwoman, and a has-been evil mastermind, Gary may end up being not the hero they want but the villain they need.
Yes, I know you’re not supposed to judge books by their covers but I’m talking about my own here so I think I’m okay.
I’ve never been 100% happy with the covers of Boneyards or Badlands – the two books of the FTW series, so over the last week or so I’ve been busy reworking them into something I’m happier with.
This time I’ve tried to incorporate something that feels more like the world described in the book.
Boneyards takes place (mostly) inside the Boneyards where piles of scrap are picked over by the people living there. Check out the Boneyards page for more on this book.
I think the new cover shows this much better than the concrete wall of the previous cover. The good news out of all of this is if you previously purchased a copy with the old cover it’s now a collector’s item! 🙂
The cover of Badlands has also been updated to look more like the environment our heroines are exposed to.
The book takes place outside the walls of the city, in the baron wastelands beyond, the imagery which I’ve tried to inspire on the cover. Check out the Badlands page for more about this book.
I’ve also made the two covers similar in both colour scheme and title area to help join the two together when seen as a set.
If you’ve not yet read the series, what are you waiting for? Check out the sample of Boneyards over at Amazon!
Both books as well as the combined edition are available on Kindle Unlimited as well if you’ve got that.
Check out my Author Profile at Amazon for everything I’ve published.
For the next few days I’m running a free book promotion with Amazon, which means you can read a selection of six of my ebooks for nothing!
Why? Well, mainly because I’d like to get more people reading what I’ve written, and what better way to do it than to give out a heap of freebies.
From now until about Tuesday next week you’ll be able to grab these six books from Amazon for nothing.
So what are the books? They’re a selection of five of my short stories as well as Boneyards – book 1 of the FTW series. Follow the links below to Amazon.com, and happy reading!
- Storm View
- Have Shovel – Will Bury
- Finsbury Park
- Boneyards – Book 1 of the FTW Series
- Death is for Other People
I’d like to share something I nominated over at KindleScout. The book is Victor Boone Will Save Us by David Joel Stevenson, and it had me hooked from the moment I read the sample.
At the time of writing this it has 14 days left in its campaign, so you should check it out before it’s too late. Of course, you could always buy it later on, but if you nominate it and it is successful, you can snag a free copy.
So what’s it about? The blurb:
Robby does the saving, Victor takes credit.
Victor Boone is a handsome jerk who uses incredible powers to fly around in spandex and save his city’s citizens from evil doers – especially the busty ones. But he’s not a superhero.
In truth, an invisible, insecure and overweight Robby Willis has the powers, but he’s so terrified of anyone knowing he exists that he’s not comfortable with a cliché disguise. The two men form a partnership: Robby does the saving and Victor takes the credit.
Problem is, Victor’s been murdered.
From the opening paragraphs of the first chapter you’re in the thick of the action, and by the end of the first chapter the “hero” is dead. No spoilers there since it says as much in the blurb. After which comes the fallout, with Robby dealing with the death of Victor and the potential new love interest in his life who knows more about him than he’d like. Read the rest of this entry »