Monthly Archives: February 2012

Seeking Feedback for “Murder at the End of the World”

I see that Murder at the End of the World has sold a few copies, not enough to make the New York Times Bestseller list, but it is moving. It’s been more than a month now, plenty of time to blaze through all 48,000 words with a little time left over to think it over. So, I’d like to know what you think. Good? Bad? Indifferent? Any kind of response at all helps me to do a better job next time and to continue honing my writing skills. Only, if I don’t receive any feedback at all, it’s really hard to judge how I’m doing!

If you would be so kind, pop in here and leave a comment or two. Maybe swing by Amazon on your way out and leave a review, if you’re feeling up to it. Doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or fancy or long, just a few words that will let me know what you thought. And thanks to all those who put down a little money, it really does mean a lot to me.

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Filed under Murder at the End of the World, Mystery, Writing

Murder at the End of the World: One Month Later

It’s been exactly one month since Murder at the End of the World was released and my works found their way at last into the public consciousness. I’ve been working hard since then to get my novel into as many venues as possible and to fix up any lingering issues with the work itself that managed to slip past my many edits. It’s been a gamut of excitement, disappointment, surging triumph, and nervous anticipation. Just about any kind of emotion you can imagine has appeared at one point or another. I’m delighted by the success I’ve had so far and disappointed that I haven’t achieved more success. Does that sound strange? I suppose it probably does. Even so, I’ve been hard at work getting my next novel ready for release, to hopefully add to the small base of readers that I’ve managed to accumulate over the past month, but that’s a story for another day.

I feel good about how Murder at the End of the World turned out, I feel proud that I wrote the story and was able to do with it most of the things I wanted to do. Having said that, it could always be a stronger story and this month has given me more ideas that I wish I’d thought of before. But I don’t think I’ll really change the story at this point. Though I am sure that eventually I’ll change my mind and have to come back and work on a Second Edition at some point. That’s just how I am.

So, how do I feel about the first month? A conflict of varied emotions, certainly. And how do I feel about the next month? More of the same. But, honestly, I mostly feel excited about the opportunity I have. My murder mystery novel is not the only novel I have sitting around, it’s not the only story I know how to write. I can write mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, satire, and just about anything that pops into my mind. And, actually, I already have. I know I can one day be the successful writer that I’ve dreamed of being for years now, because I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep getting better.

And this past month will be where it all began.

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The Eminence of Bardon Roket: Excerpt #1

~The World According to Bardon~

As were the roads filled with autos, so were the sidewalks filled with people. Bardon paid them as much attention as he paid the autos, which is to say that he knew of their existence, but saw them merely as obstacles to be avoided along the path to his destination. It should be noted here that this allows another peak into the workings of Bardon’s mind.

Occasionally he’d hear the barks of newspapermen hawking their wood pulp-derived wares, covered in the scrawlings of faux-philosophers and wild-eyed ambulance chasers or, at worst, the scandalous details of the lives of people important only in their own minds. Other times the sounds of honking horns, as impatient drivers, largely unaware that the auto in front of them could go no faster, repeatedly called attention to themselves as they languished in a blind, frothing rage. This state of mind seemed endemic of the City at large.

People would sometimes stop to talk and their idle banter would slowly get louder, just loud enough for Bardon to pick out a few words, before fading away into the background again. Occasionally the click-clack of a commuter train as it passed by overhead, it’s piercing howl cutting through the noise of the world as its engine let off excess steam. And the ever-present buzz of dirigibles as they ferried people high above the City, a constant reminder that they lived in an age of technology.

The City was a noisy place filled with noisy things and noisy people, crowded and lively, though Bardon did not use that last word in a positive manner. It was enough to make one’s head ache, in his estimation. Everyone wanted to talk over everyone else, to have their voice heard, and they were too impatient to wait even a single second. It was the sort of thing that someone ought to do something about.

————————–

Still got a bit left to do before the book is all finished up, but it’s definitely very close. Should be ready by next week.

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Filed under Satire, The Eminence of Bardon Roket, Writing

Sneak Peak: Fragments of Mind

While digging through my folders, I rediscovered a batch of short stories I wrote a few years back. Some of them are really quite good, too, so it would be a pity to see them go to waste. I’ve decided to go through them again, punch up any sagging sentences or paragraphs and put them together into a collection. I’ll probably be ready to go on them sometime in late March, so they’re still a ways out, but today you can catch a peak at the stories that are going into this collection.

A Day in the Life of a Dark Lord – Fantasy and satire collide with the least-evil Dark Lord ever.

My Mechanical Soul – The story of the world’s first robotic detective

Pollen – A mysterious pollen has spread across the world, leaving Jace [who is allergic to the pollen] completely isolated

The Blasted Lands – A mysterious traveler is on the trail of his quarry through a bizarre, twisted world

The Box – A box containing something so desirable that people will kill for it

The Watchers – Two scientists are forced to leave the confines of their research station and venture into a world they know little about

These Tattered Dreams – Two synthetic humans meet after the end of the world

Two for the Money – Lister is ripped from his comfortable life by a girl who loves adventure

Public Security – One man’s insanity infects the entire city, or is it the other way around?

I’ve also got a few others short stories that are finished or close to being finished that I may put some work into if I feel like they’re good enough to make it. I’ll drop some more information, and a cover, in the coming weeks.

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Filed under Fantasy, Fragments of Mind, Horror, Science Fiction, Short Story, Writing

Murder at the End of the World: First Reviews

Some reviews have showed up! And here they are:

“Set in a world in a time-period where firearms are still in their early stages, this murder mystery is an unusual story. A murder that is apparently passionate and yet pre-meditated in a xenophobic and remote seaside town reminiscent of the ones in H.P. Lovecraft’s works promps the distant capital to send out Detective Allison Newberry. She has to pursue various unhelpful and often confusing leads in this town hostile to outsiders. She begins to unearth elements of bizarre rituals and strange stories that may or may not be linked to the murders. It is up to her to determine what is really going on, if there is a cover-up and who is responsible in this murder thriller. Readers familiar with Lovecraft will recognize elements from his stories. The story is well-written and will have you wanting to know what is going to happen next. Pet peeve: The author seems to confuse “purposely” and “purposefully”- a common mistake but one that one would expect the editor to catch. There are also a few typos/ misspellings like “alter” instead of “alter”. This is not a chronic problem in the book nor a prominent feature.”  3.5 out of 5 stars ~anredness [from LibraryThing]

“When the wife of a politician is murdered, detective Allison Newberry is sent in to investigate this complicated case. MURDER AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a mystery novel with elements of fantasy and horror. Great detective story. Thanks for sharing.” 4 out of 5 stars ~trishearl [from LibraryThing]

That may not seem like a whole lot, but it means a lot to me. That’s only two reviews so far, but they’re both positive and they both enjoyed the story they read. The first raises an issue I continue to have problems with: typos and such. It’s really incredibly hard to find all those without a third party editor, but I’m working even harder the next time around to make sure that even those few don’t make it through. A professionally published novel doesn’t have those issues and mine shouldn’t either, regardless of the fact that it’s self-published.

I’ll be sure to post more reviews as they come in.

-Edit-

Another review came in:

“A murder mystery with elements of fantasy and horror. Allison is called in for a high profile murder in the middle of nowhere, and it quickly becomes serial.

The plot behind the story was creative and well thought out, the execution though, not so much. Overall the prose was on the poor side, and there were a few grammatical errors. Some accents were written in a very over-the-top manner. The descriptions of characters tended to be an all-tell, with no showing. The detective aspect of the book felt rather fake, as she was more often lucky than actually thinking through the case. The ending has a lovely plot twist that ties everything together, even though the perpetrator isn’t surprising. So I wouldn’t completely write off Garrett, I’d just wait on a more polished work to come along.

Nibble: “Ice hung in thick spikes from the roof above the window, waiting to pop loose and crash down onto some unsuspecting pedestrian’s head.”

I would recommend this as a quick and easy read.” 1.5 out of 5 stars, munchingontheapple [from LibraryThing]

Not quite as enthusiastic as the other two, but what can I do? The book’s done, it’s not going to radically change. It would be nice if I could please everyone, but that’s never going to happen. So you’ve got to expect that some negative reviews are going to show up, no matter how hard you worked and no matter how good you think your book is. That’s just how it is. Unless there’s a flood of negative reviews, however, I’m not going to worry too much. Even so, this is another one of the steps I’ve got to take, to read the negative reviews and think about how I can do a better job next time. It’s another log thrown on the fire burning in my writer-soul.

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Filed under Murder at the End of the World, Mystery, Writing

The Eminence of Bardon Roket: Book Cover

 

How does that look, huh? Pretty awesome, isn’t it? Haha, yeah, I spent way too much time working on this. Yes, I actually made that myself, working with some Photoshop knockoff and trying to figure out how to make different images mesh properly without a lot of icky lines and such. It didn’t turn out so bad, all things considered.

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Filed under Satire, The Eminence of Bardon Roket, Writing

Feedback Feeds the Writer’s Spirit

Just recently I actually got a bit of feedback from people interested in Murder at the End of the World. Nothing major just a bit of enthusiasm at being able to read my book. Even so, it felt great, really great. People actually seemed excited about reading my book! Can you believe that? It’s hard to describe just how it feels to hear that from people, it’s almost like…validation? Feels like maybe I didn’t just waste all that time I spent writing. Of course, if my book’s not that great, then all that excitement is sure to fade a bit, but I’ve got hope. If someone derives enjoyment from my story, then…you know…that’s what it’s all about, right? If someone out there enjoys my book then good, bad, or somewhere in between, it doesn’t matter. I succeeded.

So, don’t be afraid to tell someone you love their books! Don’t be afraid to tell someone you hate their books! Writers feed off that feedback and get better, it’s what keeps us alive. It’s that little jolt of caffeine in the morning that wakes us up just enough to get going, it’s that kick to the backside that keep us from slacking off when things are slow. Well, maybe I shouldn’t be speaking for all the other writers out there, but I’ve come to realize that feedback is the very thing I need to keep writing day in and day out. Sure, a million dollars would be nice, but what if everyone still ignored my books? I’d much rather open up my email and see a few fan letters sitting there waiting to be read.

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