Giving Back

indie publishing, writing

I made a gift of a hardcopy of The Fourth Law to my girls’ primary school library.  After reading it, the Librarian asked me to come in and give a short (~20 minute) talk to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders about creative writing and self-publishing.  Why not?

Attached is a pdf of the PowerPoint I was using.  It’s fairly sparse, but I use the slides more as a mnemonic device to keep me on track while talking.

The 6th Graders were fun:  not only did they ask many questions, there was the “that’s cool!” moment when they realized that Daughter #2, their classmate, is the T4L’s protagonist.  As I told them:  write what you know.

SFdSS Writing PP 2015

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“Echoes of Family Lost” – a partial victory

characters, coming soon, deadlines, indie publishing, new books

As I and my esteemed colleague, Will, have said over and over:  if you want to actually complete a project, set a deadline; preferably an irrational one.

Yesterday afternoon I uploaded the pdf of my second novel to CreateSpace.  I had set Easter as my goal.  Just like NaNoWriMo, I beat the clock by three days.  At a 6″x9″ paperback format, it’s about 214 pages.  Longer than “The Fourth Law,” but then I’ve got two plot lines to manage, rather than just one.  I know I could have written more (the Pine Bluff, AR scene! dammit!) but Will has always warned me about my tendency to lecture.

This blog post title is ‘a partial victory.’  That’s because my intent was to actually publish by Easter.  That was my fault:  I wanted Will to do the front/back covers again, but he’s busy with other projects and I did spring all this on him rather suddenly.  I’m hoping to have the artwork in 1-2 weeks.

Aside:  two nights ago, in the basement with my wife, watching anime, I mentioned that I’d finished and didn’t know what to do next.  After a few minutes, out of the blue, she said, “Your next book should be about Henge.”  Henge (pronounced “hen-geh”) is the youngest of Machine Civilization; a quiet, reserved little girl AI (yes:  they hate that term).  I chewed on that idea – and drank more wine – and had the wild idea of making a 20-page illustrated children’s book, with Henge as the narrator.  Interesting.

Below the fold is another excerpt from “Echoes of Family Lost.”  I’ll let you know when I actually publish it.  Thanks for y’all’s support!  Oh:  spoiler warning, and all that.

Better Never Than Late

characters, independent, introductions

Two months without an update?  We suck; sorry.

There is some good news:  I’ve completed the sequel to “The Fourth Law.”  I’m in the midst of editing and such right now.  A bit longer than the first book; understandable as the focus has gone from two main characters to…well… several more.

Besides putting in chapter breaks and other coding matters, I’ve the little issue of thinking up a name for the thing.  “The Fourther Law” sounds stupid, and I didn’t come up with a Fifth Law (although ‘remember to tip your bartenders and waitresses’ is a sensible one).  Maybe a free copy for whomever comes up with a good title?

My objective was to have at least a Kindle version released by Easter, two weeks from today.  I’m much older at formatting that I was back in December, so I just might make that.

I’ve put an excerpt below the fold.  No spoiler warnings, per se, but if you’ve not read my first book, there are a few things revealed.  Cheerio!

The Fourth Law… coming soon

characters, New Ideas, writing

My  most esteemed colleague has completed the final cover art for my novel.  Good enough for the critical eye of my wife, good enough for me!

There may be one last minor textual revision… the Gods of Copybook Headings tend to hide where you least expect them.  However, I’m pleased enough with this version.  Has anyone every really read the first Harry Potter book?  Will I be called a racist if I pointed out that it was awful?  Grand ideas, but awful writing.  I feel that about my own work; it reads like the Gospel of Mark:  bare bones, no description, aching for more.  That’s what happens when you’re weaned on Visual Novels with a great artist to show your images.  I shall try to older next time.

Next time?  Of course I’m writing another!  What’s the point of a cliff-hanger if you don’t jump off of it!  Callie and her little son, Gary, with his most peculiar friend.  Lily, android Fausta, and Orloff setting out across country (yes; the horse’s name is Clyde) to find her.  The secret society of lightning; the open society of machine civilization… where’s the world going? won’t somebody tell me? are we all one?

Somewhere, back on Lily’s Path, in her tee shirt covered by blue jean overalls, Henge thinks… “I’ll help them…big sisters; big brother!”  Who will play this wild card?  Missiles fall in Memphis; a reactor fail?

I’ve no idea.