Work in Progress

Vikings, Reddit, and Real Life

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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. 🙂

Update: The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior

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I’m sure you’ll be eager to hear that my work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior – is now at the “beta reader” stage of editing.

That means it’s getting much closer to being completely finished! Once I get it back and comb through the notes, adjusting my draft where necessary, and it’ll be one step closer to putting it onto Kindle Scout.

In the meantime I’m busy working on some other things for the book. Firstly, in my books I like to have a custom “mid-chapter break” or “section break” if you prefer. In a lot of books these are three little asterisks “***” or bullets “•••” or the like that usually denote passage of time during a chapter.

I’ve always gone with a little symbol I like in all of my books to date – – for no other reason than I happen to like it. But with Gustav I’ve made a custom symbol, Gustav’s head:

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Progress Updates

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My focus this week has been split between first-round editing of my work in progress, the comedic Viking fantasy “The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior”, and reading the superb superhero coming-of-age story “Dreadnought”. More on Dreadnought further down because first up it’s all about me! lol 🙂

So my first round edits basically involve me printing out the entire Word document as well as converting it to spoken word with a text-to-speech program. Then I sit and listen to the mechanical voice reading my story back to me. Any errors or awkwardness I find I correct on the print out. When I’m done with that, I’ll update the Word doc and convert to Kindle for a read through before I send it off to my beta reader.

I’ve also been tweaking my cover art for my work in progress. I had a brainwave late one night earlier this week that the cover I’d settled on was a little too flat and it might look good if it was stacked-paper. So I got to work editing the artwork which resulted (after a few horrendous attempts) in the new cover design shown here.

I had to adjust a few of the colours because once I shrunk it down to thumbnail size I couldn’t read any of the title text. To make the colours more complimentary, I changed the water and the background to green, and I think overall it works. So it’s the one I’ll be publishing with (unless hit by some major inspiration and redesign the whole thing, unlikely).

Below is a quick progression of how the cover art matured over time. The first (lame) attempt was mainly to get the bones of the idea in place (such as the Viking long boat at sea) and then go from there. Read the rest of this entry »

Work In Progress Update

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update on my comedic fantasy work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior (TTTAOGGLVW for short, lol).

Well, it’s going really well, about 95% complete or thereabouts, and is now officially the longest single work I’ve written to date. Currently weighing in at a little over 47,100 words, I’m aiming to get it above 50,000 by the time I wrap it up.

Why? A couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a nice beefy number for a novel, and make it a good 10,000 words longer than my second longest. A decent sized read and makes for a nice thick book on the bookshelf. 🙂

Secondly, I’d like to try Kindle Scout and they have a hard 50,000 word minimum limit for submitted works. Never heard of Kindle Scout? This is what they do: Read the rest of this entry »

Gustav Gustavson

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gustav_gustavsonLast week I gave you a peek into what I’m currently working on – a comedy / fantasy with the working title of The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior. I was fortunate to have last week off from work so got a lot more words into the draft so it’s now sitting at a little over 18,600 words.

Based on my outline that should put me maybe 30-40% of the way through the draft unless something changes.

I’ve also been working on a cover idea. Sometimes when I get stuck for words, I take a break from writing the story to work on cover ideas. I wanted this one to convey to potential readers it’s a humorous book so have designed a cartoonish look for the cover (along with the comically long title). There’s a bigger version of the cover concept at the bottom of this blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Current Work & General Ramblings

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vikingIt’s been a while since I’ve given an update of what I’m working on right now. Between reading a lot and getting the combined FTW Series ready I’ve been a little slack.

But I haven’t been idle in the ideas department. About a week ago I had a great idea for a comedy/fantasy novel. So once again I brushed aside the book I was working on – The Obsidian Witch – to work on this one while it was burning a hole in my mind.

I will get back to the other one eventually, but after letting it sit for a while (since I got side-tracked by Badlands), I was having a hard time getting back into the swing of it. So of course when the new idea came along I jumped at the chance to belt out as much as I could.

At the time of writing this I’m sitting at just over 11,100 words with still heaps more to write. I’ve got a working title – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior – and cover idea (which I won’t be sharing just yet, still a work in progress), and a detailed outline for the plot. If I can keep up the momentum it might turn out as the longest thing I’ve written to date. There’s a small sample of the story at the bottom of this post. Read the rest of this entry »

Badlands – Almost Here!

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book2_conceptSo apart from slacking off over the Christmas break by lounging around in swimming pools (we’ve had a few 40 degree Celsius days here in Australia recently… that’s 104 Fahrenheit in old money) what else have I been up to, I hear you ask. As you can tell from the deluge of book reviews I posted yesterday, I’ve done a lot of reading.

But also I’ve been editing part 2 of the FTW series: Badlands. That’s right, it’s getting closer and closer to a final release date! I’ve got my feedback from my beta readers and am working through their notes and making adjustments based on their observations. Once I’ve done that I’ll dump it all into a Kindle so I can have a final read through to pick up any typos or formatting mistakes I may have made, then it’s off to Amazon for publishing!

It’s roughly the same length as part one (a little shorter, but not by much). As before, I’ll be making a paperback copy available as well for those who prefer the feel of a book rather than a device.

As I’m typing this, I’ve just realized I haven’t even begun to think of a blurb for Badlands. I better get onto that today because I’ll be needing it very soon, so maybe (and this is my first attempt as I type and think at the same time): Read the rest of this entry »

Badlands – First Draft Complete!

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I’m happy to say I’ve now finished the draft of FTW part 2 – Badlands. I’m now busy working my way back through the story, looking for typos and awkwardly phrased wording before I pass it off to my beta reader.

So at this stage I’m guessing at around mid to late January as a release date. I’ll firm this up as I work out what date this’ll be.

While I’m doing the first draft editing, I’m also designing a cover. I wanted one that’d link the two books together but have found it somewhat difficult to do. So I came up with a working design for Badlands, then revisited FTW. Read the rest of this entry »

Life, the Universe and Everything

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marvinThe subject of this week’s post is a little misleading. It’s nothing to do with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, or even as the picture to the left may suggest, Marvin. He’s just there to help sell the misdirect.

No, it’s just more a way of pointing out how life, the universe and everything can find almost limitless ways to divert me from my task at hand, namely writing my next book. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the diversions, they’re just make me less productive.

BUT! I’m now on holidays until the end of the month so I can start to rectify that. I mentioned in my post last week how I’d had an idea for an FTW sequel, but was torn between continuing work on my WIP or starting that.

Well, I chose my current WIP (The Obsidian Witch). For about 5 minutes. Then I had an idea I really wanted to write down for the FTW sequel so I didn’t forget it.

1000 words later and I had pushed aside my WIP, fully distracted by this shiny new distraction.

Since then I’ve added another 1500 words or so, so it’s still in its infancy. I’ve got it all plotted out like I want it though, so now it’s a matter or filling in the blanks.

With that in mind that’s all for this week’s post. I really should get back to writing. I’ve spent all morning gardening and potting plants (aka diversions), so I should try to add a few words to the draft.

Promoting and Procrastinating

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pt2_211Over the last week I’ve been running a Kindle Countdown Promotion on FTW, where it was discounted to $0.99. I’ve been so busy keeping an eye on that and tweaking adverts that I really haven’t got much else done.

As part of the promotion I’ve been running a number of ads to help push sales through Google Adwords, Twitter, Bargain Booksy, and Amazon Marketing. All of this has resulted in a marked increase in sales during the week which saw FTW hit a category high ranking of 18!

I’d like to extend a “thank you” to everybody who picked up a copy during the promotion, and hope you enjoyed it. Check it out:

cate_high
That’s me at #18!

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