The God of Battles coming April 14th, 2015

My new novel, “The God of Battles,” will be available on April 14th! It will be available shortly for preorder on the Kindle bookstore at I am planning a signing for the following Saturday, the 18th of April, at Tammie’s Books in Weaverville, and will have another signing at Northern Delights coffee shop soon afterward.

It’s been only a year since I started working on this book, but it feels longer! That’s how it often is with complex projects.

Look here for an update when the Amazon Kindle link goes live!

Book Trailer on a YouTube Channel

I finished (or should I say, abandoned) my new book trailer for “The Soul Thief” and have uploaded it to the YouTube channel connected to my G+ account here:

And here’s the video itself!

Job #1: The God of Battles, line edits

This evening I begin the task of applying line edits to the manuscript for “The God of Battles.” My editor, as usual, went above and beyond the call of duty and gave me invaluable feedback regarding several key themes, so although I have relatively fewer line edits, I have some head-scratching and content adjusting to do to make up for it.

Once I send back this round, we go back and forth a bit more, and then it’s off to the proofreader (or more than one, depending on how empty my wallet feels), and then… well, Gentle Reader, I will announce a publication date soon.

In the meantime, other projects will get little or no attention, so the Book Trailer will have to wait, as will my novellas “The Explorer” and “The Artist.” But they will be done. Rest assured.

Book Trailer #1 Coming Soon!

I’m teaching myself how to shoot and edit video. Because I learn by example, I’ve chosen to create a book trailer for “The Soul Thief,” using Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X (as well as Motion for some SFX). In common with most of the book trailers I’ve seen, I’m using minimal footage, relying primarily on effects, titling, and sound. That said, I have some clips I shot with two friends who are playing the parts of Angela and Cassandra; I am very grateful to them for their enthusiastic help!

Today, I spent a bit of time video editing, playing with basic effects, and experimenting. I bounced my sound track (yet to be mastered) and pulled that into the video project to see how it’s going. Right away I realized that I need to do something with the background, so I’m going to incorporate a still from the book cover, minus the shadowy figure (howdy, Mr. Soul Thief), scaling it up slowly as the trailer progresses. Everything should play on top of that; I’ll adjust opacity, brightness, etc to make sure things pop out as needed.

When it’s done, I’m publishing it to YouTube with suitable fanfare!

Time’s running out, though. Next Tuesday I will discuss my line edits for “The God of Battles,” after which I’m going to be heads-down to get that pushed toward completion.

Pitch Perfect Pick!

I’m extremely pleased that “The Soul Thief” has been chosen as a Pitch Perfect Pick by Underground Book Reviews. The UBR, as their “About” page says, “puts a spotlight on the emerging world of independent, e-publishing and self-publishing.” Aside from my personal reasons, I appreciate their mission because they’re providing a crucial element in the ecosystem of New Publishing: thoughtful, critical reviews.

Whether or not “The Soul Thief” is chosen to be reviewed, I am satisfied that the book has received an element of recognition. As part of my preparation for the launch of “The God of Battles,” I’m going to keep pushing ST out there.

Novella, bella, bella amore

For the last month or so I’ve been head-down in my next writing project. Okay, I just lied. I was also applying content edits until a couple of weeks ago, but aside from that I’ve been head-down. It’s surprisingly difficult to write the new story, but that’s probably because it’s really two stories. Each of the four novellas I’m planning will be a two-parter, dealing with two new individuals who become interwoven with the overall storyline.

I think the difficulty arises because, although these are shorter in word count, these stories still require the same amount of initial creative effort. They are complete stories, with the usual rising action, climax, and ending sequence. So what I’m finding is that my daily word count is lower, but I’m moving at about the same pace as a larger story might require while plotting.

Which brings me to another point. I think that the reason why I like starting with a screenplay form is that it’s much easier to revise. I can push a first draft, review the story, revise and rewrite, without plowing through acres of description or internalization. In other words, it’s an even more finely detailed outline, of a sort. This workflow matches how I think: rough in the ideas, then iterate. It’s also how I write code, and in fact the two activities are very similar. In both coding and writing, I start with a (requirements document/story idea), move through high level design (architecture/plot), and iterate over the modular functionality (classes or modules/drafts) until I have something I can (test/read). Then comes the (debugging/rewriting).

This novella introduces two characters, as I’ve said. The first is a French archaeologist named Alexandre. He is known for being a fast worker, often showing up at a new site and finding buried ‘treasure’ within a day or two. The second is a successful art dealer, Hector, who never keeps a piece for himself. Both of them experience awakenings of one form or other, and it’s been a blast finding out exactly how.

An Editing Tidal Wave

A few days ago I received my manuscript with content editing feedback. Now I know what I’m doing for the next month and a half! Unless I lose my mind altogether I will complete this phase of the work and, in early January, submit to my line editor for further corrections. Once I get that back, it’s off to proofreaders (I’m convinced now that I will need at least two of them), and then… *deep breath* Publication.

I cannot emphasize too highly how important it is for a beginning writer to hire good editors. Particularly content editors. ‘Nuff said.

A Novella Idea

Between the books, between the worlds… Following my newly-sensitive nose and exploring a novel idea, as it were: write a short (4-book) series of novellas, each of which explores a *certain topic* that follows on from “The God of Battles.” After the series, dive into a full-length novel, which I am *very* tentatively entitling “The Lady of Light.” Of course, now that I’ve said it, that title will be a bit harder to dislodge if I find something better.

I’m finding that a novella is an interesting challenge. Though I am a flailing infant in the world of creative writing, the space constraints of a shorter form feel a bit claustrophobic. I think the best approach is to limit to one viewpoint, keep the number of settings down to a minimum, and focus on the protagonist’s story arc to the exclusion of all else.

Alpha reading in progress for “The God of Battles”

Rachel, my prime reader and life partner, has been working with me to whip the manuscript into readable shape for submission to my content editor. The work we’re doing together will, I believe, ensure that the editor not stumble over egregious errors. And boy are there egregious errors. This is what comes of working **really** fast on a large, complex story, but I feel confident that this story will be the better for it.

That said, it’s always a little discouraging when one of my little gems turns out to be a crackerjack toy rather than something of polish and depth. There was a little scene that I had to essentially rewrite completely this morning, for example. It was atmospheric, and I thought it introduced a good story idea. But it turned out to be completely confusing for the reader (aka Rachel), so I replaced it with something a bit more mundane but a great deal more comprehensible.

Onward! November 6th is my drop-dead date.