Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.




Monday, December 31, 2012

Last Post of 2012

So it's been a good year. My first book got published in 2012. Killer of Killers was my first book, so it's fitting that it got published first. My second book, The Vase, will be published second. Still not 100% sure which publisher will publish it. I have a contract in hand. An offer has been made, but another publisher who offers higher royalties is considering the revised manuscript right now.

So, even though I haven't seen the entire contract, I only know the royalties, I suspect I will go with them, if they do offer the contract. Yeah, there might be some sticking points, but then again, there might not be. I'm pretty experienced with contracts now. I've been offered, let's see, one, two three, four, five of them to this point, NOT including two others from agents.

Of the three publisher contracts I signed, Virtual Tales was a good one, Cogito was a bad one, and Melange was acceptable. But this latest one, is also acceptable. It just depends on which of the latest ones is best. We'll see.

But as far as the year o 2012 is concerned, Killer of Killers is published, and I'm working on polishing up the sequel, Killer Eyes right now. I will submit it to Melange. They will be the publisher for that series. It seems right. They were the ones who took a chance on it, and I hope it continues to do well. Killer Eyes is the continuation of that story. And I plan on wrapping it up with one more. I'll call it The Killers Guild. Hopefully I can write that one this summer. We'll see.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas is here, What?

Unfortunately, the school district for which I work has the Christmas break this year starting NEXT week, instead of this past week. And because of that, it hasn't felt much like the Christmas season. Usually, we've had a week off before Christmas, and a week off after Christmas. Now, it's pretty much going to be two weeks off AFTER Christmas.

That gave no time for preparation. No time to buy presents, and no time to visit with relatives. I'm the kind of person who is not into doing things on a work night. Things like traveling, partying, even going to the movies. I don't even like to go out to dinner on a work night.

I get up at 6 a.m. to be at school by seven, and that means I usually want to hit the sack by 11. Sometimes when I'm writing or revising my books, I'll be up after that, but not too long. I need to get a decent night's sleep, so once midnight hits, it doesn't matter where I am in my writing, I force it off.

Not like over the summer time. I've been up as late as five in the morning writing away at the computer, and those nights see a lot of progress. It's usually when I'm writing the first draft. And when it's the first draft, you are very glad to see a lot of progress. You're shooting for the finish line, and you won't get there if you don't put the time in to get it done.

But now, it's Christmas, and I have to focus on other things besides writing. Like my kids, my wife, and my relatives. And I still have a third of The Vase to finish in the POV revisions. It's the second pass through, but I'm glad I'm doing it. It's going more slowly than I thought. I was supposed to be done last week. It's okay. What's a week when it comes to preparing a manuscript for publication?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

With Connections, Short Road

As someone who had no connections in the publishing industry, and still got a book published, and will probably get all my books published, I can honestly say that it made my writing and my books better that way. Because it forced me to get better. And who can argue with that? You want your writing to be as good as it can be.

If I had a connection and got my books published before I improved them, then that would have been nice to have that time cut shorter, but then my writing wouldn't have been at the level it is now. I would have been content to just be published. And although the writing was good enough, it just wasn't as good as it is now.

My second book, The Vase is another example of being better after some time. If Virtual Tales or even Cogito did publish The Vase, it would have been a good story, with good writing. Now, it's a great story with great writing. And it only took maybe a year more for it to happen. I think any writer who is interested in their writing to be as good as possible would make that trade. Well, maybe some wouldn't, but this writer here says, yeah, I'll make that trade.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Without connections, it's a long road

If you are a writer with no connections to the publishing industry, you've got a long road ahead of you. That was me five years ago. When I began writing Killer of Killers, I was starting from ground zero. I was a good writer, but I hadn't taken any writing classes or joined any writing groups. I wrote a good book, but there were a million things I needed to change to make it worth publishing.

And from reading the many writer's blogs, agent blogs and even a book on how to write a breakout novel, I did learn those things, and subsequently made those changes. But, for me, there was more. I continued to learn from publishers who were interested in publishing my books, even those who didn't end up doing it, and, of course, from those who did and/or will.

That's where editors came in for me. And not all editors were the same. I had one with Virtual Tales, one with Cogito, two with Melange, and now, one with yet another publisher, even though I haven't signed a contract with that publisher yet.

The plan is that after I complete the first round of edits, as suggested by this new publisher, I will resubmit, with the probable result being a contract. And through it all, I have learned how to write in the way that editors who work for publishers want their authors to write.

And I did it all with no connections. It was hard work, mostly, and perseverance, with a good deal of ability and patience to make it come to being published, not with just one publisher, but two, fingers crossed, which proves that, even if you have no connections, it can be done.

Better if you have connections though. That would be a nice shortcut.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What's in Store?

Killer of Killers got published in 2012, and The Vase, I'm pretty sure, will be published in 2013. Hopefully, Killer Eyes will be, too. Or should I proceed with John Dunn? 

It will be interesting to see how this new publisher differs from Melange. I think they are very similar, but I'm sure there will be differences. They are more restrictive in handing out contracts, I know that already. Melange went ahead and offered the contract for KOK, and then addressed POV issues.

This other publisher wants the POV issues tackled before offering their contract. Mind you, they said it doesn't have to be perfect, but enough so that they can tell I'm making a good effort to deal with it. They said it will show them that I am someone with whom they can work, and a working relationship is important to them and who wouldn't agree with that?

It's one of the good things I like about Melange. They were always open and always communicative, and very responsive to me. That was great. And I think this other publisher is, too. At least they have been so far. And I haven't even signed a contract yet, so that's something. But I'm taking too long now. I've gone through the manuscript once already, but knew better to send it then. Because going through it a second time, as expected, I'm finding things I missed the first time.

So, it could be that I might go through it a third time. No harm in that. I have to get over that eagerness, and be patient. As every author knows, or will find out soon enough. patience is a prerequisite to the publishing industry. Yep.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Vase-Full Understanding

So The Vase is my second novel, and like almost everything when it's the second thing you've done, it's a better written novel. That's not to say my first novel, Killer of Killers isn't well written. It is. But that POV thing again. The editors at Melange pointed that out, made suggestions how to correct them, and then let me go and do it. I did. But not perfectly. Oh, it's still a great read, to be sure. But after this other publisher, (the one interested in The Vase,) went to great pains explaining every detail about POV in The Vase, I came to a complete understanding of it.

So, yes, KOK is third person limited, but there's a few places where it's more omniscient. It still works, and I have no regrets at all. It's my favorite story, my favorite book and all that. It's just that if I was to write it now, I would do it just a tad bit differently. Like I am with The Vase. And when I get back to revising Killer Eyes and John Dunn, I'll concentrate on those points, too. As for The Vase, I had hoped to finish it by yesterday, but I'm almost there. Should be done this week.

I know I said that last week, but I've already learned not to rush things like that. I'm giving it another read through to catch all the things I missed in my first read through. Just one more week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

This Weekend Will Tell

I'm wrapping up those POV places, and I'm so close to being finished, that I expect to be done this weekend. And that's when I hope to submit it again to the publisher who wanted it. And if they don't, there's the other publisher who already has offered a contract. So I'll be very busy. But there's Christmas shopping to do, too. And relatives will be visiting. My brother is writing a fantasy story at this time. He began it over 40 years ago. It's a great story, too.

I'll be his beta reader, as he's been mine. He found a couple errors in my KOK manuscript,, and I got them fixed, so it's important to have that beta reader. I'll be watching for POV issues in his manuscript, too. Paying close attention to that while your writing saves a lot of trouble later.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Darlings Gone

When changing the POV for consistency, I've had to delete several "darlings" those passages that an author was particularly proud of, but found were now unnecessary. It's OK. The book is better. Fortunately, I was able to repositions some of them, and make them pertinent. It's all about skill. If you can make it work, great. But if it's better without them, don't force it to work. Do what's best for the story, first, and the writing will take care of itself. That's all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Improved Writing

I wish I knew about this POV thing before I wrote my books. It does make your writing better. I improved Killer of Killers by addressing the POV issues, although being my first novel, I can't say I did  a perfect job. Because there is more to it than simply telling the story from a single perspective. There's a lot more to it.

But in The Vase, I am now more experienced with handling this type of thing. As with anything, the more you do something the better you get, and almost always, your second time at something has better results. So it is with The Vase. Even though Killer of Killers is by far my personal favorite story, and Trent Smith is by far my number one favorite character, The Vase is a better written novel, and I'm referring specifically to POV.

But people say that Hunger Games and the Twilight books were not well written. And the same thing is being said about the Shades of Grey books. But they must have something going for them to be so successful. Which is proof that perfect writing is not really a necessity in the ultimate success of a book.

But I'm thinking The Vase will have all of it. Good writing and that something else. We'll see.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This Week Will Tell

I'm on page 275 out of 305 pages in the revisions of The Vase. Those revisions, as I've talked about, are focusing on POV in every scene. I also, at the publisher's request, revised the scenes that take place in the past. They are flashbacks or memories, now, and one of them I changed to a dream. It was their acquisitions editor's suggestion, the same guy who wants the POV changes.

As for the other publisher who's interested in The Vase, they sent me a contract yesterday. It's okay, as contracts go. It offered 40% across the board. Melange gives 40%, too, for digital. but 10 % for print. Virtual Tales offered 50% for both and so does this other publisher with whom I've been in contact. The worst contract was from Cogito. They offered 10% for print and only 15% for digital. Well, there's another one even worse, if you can believe it. The first publisher to offer a contract for The Vase, I won't name, but their royalties were 10% across the board.

Yeah, I'll take the 50% across the board, thank you very much. So now, it's a matter of finishing those revisions, and I should be done by the end of this week. Can't wait to get home and get it done!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Vase Will Be Published

Yes, The Vase will be published. But even now, I'm not sure by whom. The publisher with whom I've been in contact is waiting on my revised manuscript. They all but promised a contract when they receive it. And this other publisher? Well, I advised them that I was still interested in them, because The Vase is still available, but I also said I wanted to be up front, that I was rewriting the manuscript for another publisher, and was nearly done.

And I am nearly done. I put a lot of work into it this past week, and I'd say by this week I will be done. Then what? Well, I'll send it to the publisher for whom I reworked it. And what of the other publisher? Well, it depends. The questions I  posed last week will be pertinent. Which one is the more established publisher, and the contract terms, certainly, will be a factor.

The bottom line is that The Vase will be published, and a contract should be signed this month. Which means that it could be out as soon as this coming summer. But that all remains to be seen. The good thing is that it is all coming together. Even the rewrites. They are working. And The Vase is better than ever. But for which publisher? That is the question.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Contract Offered for The Vase

But it's not the publisher with whom I've been working on the POVs. It's another publisher.

So now what do I do? I suppose a contract in hand is better than one in the bush. But still. Which one has higher royalties? Which one is more likely to sell the book? Which one has books already selling well? Which one is more established and less likely to tank, like what happened to the first publisher who had offered a contract for The Vase.

Or which publisher is less likely to be a flaky publisher, like the second publisher who had offered a contract for The Vase. Those are serious questions to me. I guess it's better to have two publishers interested than one. And better one than none. But not always. It would have been better to have NO publisher than a publisher like Cogito. No need to rehash that experience, it's all documented on this blog. If you want to know about it, just click on the archives under Cogito.

Well, this is a good thing. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Improved Manuscript

Well, I just have to say that this latest revision of The Vase is making it a much better manuscript. And yeah, the POV 'corrections" are a part of that improvement. I wouldn't have thought that at first, but I have made very notable changes throughout the manuscript, and even things that I wouldn't have changed before, have been changed and for the better.

So the moral of this situation is to listen to your editors. Is the Third Person Limited narrative better than third person omniscient? I wouldn't go so far as to say it is, but I can tell you editors believe it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Different ways to fix POVs

I'm still fixing those POV issues in The Vase, and there are many ways to do it. I don't have the time to list them, but the old saying "There's more than one way to skin a cat" does apply. One way I'll mention is to delete the part that encompasses a head hop. But if it's too important to the story, you've got to put the perspective back into the person whose POV is featured at the time.

Anyway, those distractions I talked about the other day kept me from making too much progress yesterday, but at least I got something done. And that's my plan. Something done everyday if I'm going to be finished by this month. Keep on truckin'.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advocates? Nope

So many writers out there have advocates. You know, husbands who support them, or wives who encourage them. Even friends who are editors and beta readers. I know this because of the many writers blogs out there, and I do read a lot of them. How many times I've read some woman's blog, and she's raving about how wonderful and understanding her husband is. She's got no kids, no job, (husband supports her,) and she's got all day to write with no distractions or responsibilities. Often these bloggers lament that their houses is a mess, too.

But whatever. I'm not complaining that I have a full time job, two sons, and a wife. But when it comes to distractions, those things more than qualify. I'm lucky if I get even an hour in the day to write. And right now, I wish I could go all day. It's because I'm eager to finish the rewrite, or revisions to The Vase. A publisher is waiting on it, and that is something worth working toward.

If only it was summertime, then I'd have a couple more hours a day to get this done. Heck, I'd be done by now. Still, I should be done by this month.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Past Half Way Point

I'm rewriting The Vase, and I've just passed the half way point. I'm combing though the manuscript ensuring the POV remains with a single character in every scene. At first I thought it would be a major effort, but it's not really. And it's a good thing. I fretted having to rewrite the book, but it's not really rewriting. It's more like revising. And that's something with which I'm very familiar.

I mean, I only revised Killer of Killers a kazillion times. And I'll probably end up revising The Vase that many times, too. Right now I'm just short of it. But I'll get there.

But this time, The Vase has a publisher waiting. I mean I think it does. They said as much. But I won't divulge the publisher until after the contract has been offered and I've signed it. Then it will be official. In a couple more weeks, I should be finished. In the meantime, just keep on truckin'.

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Raining

Rain is pelting the Bay Area today. Heavy Rain, that is, and that's not too common over here. It made me wonder about how I might use rain in a novel. Of the four books I've written, it only rains in one of them. The John Dunn book, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. None of the others have a single rainy day in them. But that's because of the time of the year. Both Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes take place over the summer. And in both of them, the setting is America, as Trent Smith travels coast to coast throughout the duration of the books. In The Vase, the time of year is Spring, and I've learned that the climate in Israel is similar to the climate here. And there's no rain.

But in John Dunn, which takes place entirely in South Africa, in Natal and Zululand, there is plenty of rain. Heavy rain. Flooding rain. When John Dunn brings his large family and his people across the Tugela River at the start of the Zulu War, it's pouring rain. And it was fun writing about it.

Actually, I can't wait to get back to that novel. But it's last in queue because The Vase and then Killer Eyes will preceed it. But it shouldn't take too long. I'm still enjoying this writing process. But right now it's a new stage. Revisions, editing, and publishing. I like the publishing part best. Can't wait to see The Vase published. I'll be submitting the rewritten version next month. And Holy Smokes, next month begins tomorrow. Cool.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time to Move On

Yes, after so many years, and lately, so many months focusing on Killer of Killers, it's time to move on and focus on The Vase. My editors for Killer of Killers seemed to be much more content with it than I was. After only one round of editing, they were ready to go ahead with publication. But I wasn't so sure. I know that they considered it a pretty clean manuscript when I submitted it, and it was.

But I'm a perfectionist. It's the artist in me. And I just had the feeling that it needed to be better. And better. Even after Melange published it back in August, I still couldn't keep myself from seeing how it could be better. I found some typos, and grammar mistakes, and even some clunky passages, and I am very grateful that Melange was willing to reload the improved version each time I requested it.

And now, I have to let it go. It's like having your child grow up and move out of the house, I suppose. You just have to let go.

I have another novel to focus on, now. The Vase might have been published first, and that is well chronicled on this blog, and even so, it needs its own improving, which I've been working on this past week. I hope to have the POV rewrites done by next month. And when it is, I'll keep the focus on The Vase until it, too, is published and out there in the world.

And like a parent whose second child is grown, I'll have to let go of that one, too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still No Reviews

Well, it's been about three months since Killer of Killers has been released, and the Lulu sales ranking has remained pretty good. But there are no reviews for it, yet.

I tried to find some reviewers, but mostly I found reviewers who wanted to be paid for their review. I emailed a couple reviewers who didn't require payment, and got no response. I submitted a couple requests to blogs that do reviews, and, again, I got no response. It's like I never even sent them anything. One guy on Goodreads left a good review a month or so ago, and I wish I thanked him for it, because just as suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared. Did he change his mind or what?

Maybe I should be careful for what I wish for. You know... maybe I'll get a review and then wish I never got the review. I'm aware there are going to be haters out there. Yeah, there are people who seem to revel in trashing stuff in their reviews. So, maybe no review is a good review? Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Readers Groups? No, Just Writers

I've joined some groups at Goodreads to try and promote Killer of Killers, and there's a couple of Martial Arts groups over there, and an Action/Thriller group, too, and both groups have a lot of members. So I was hoping being there would prompt an interest in my book. Nope. I'm finding out that most or maybe even all of the members at Goodreads aren't much into reading other people's books. They are practically all of them writers with books of their own to promote.

I really doubt much more than one or two of them have any interest at all in reading someone else's book, let alone buying one. Hey, I'm not judging, because I'm one of them. I spend 100% of my spare time writing, not reading. And so I can conclude that they do, too. It's back to the old conundrum--more writers than readers---at least in the groups I join. How to solve it? Find groups that are readers and not writers. That's all. But where are they?

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Vase Coming Along

So I finally got back into the mode for rewriting The Vase. And that's exactly what it is. A rewrite. The editor made it clear that the POV must be limited throughout the story, and my third person omniscient will not do. So third person limited it is. One more thing. The time changes must be either dream sequences or flashbacks. In Killer of Killers, they were mostly flashbacks with one dream sequence. I think that's what I'll do with the time changes in The Vase, too. Had to make it happen with the first one in chapter 3 last night, and it worked out.

Talk about "darlings" as some authors do, I had to delete some of those. Darlings are parts of your writing that you are particularly proud of, but in the revisions stage, or rewriting stage as I'm in now, it turns out those parts must be deleted, even if it hurts. You don't want to do it, but there is no longer a reason to have them in there no matter how well they are written. So be it. And I had to delete a couple of my darlings last night from chapter three.

Hopefully, tonight I can get to chapter four and be done with this by Christmas. We'll see.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks to All-and POV-again-this time The Vase

Okay, so it's Thanksgiving, and I'm sure everyone has something for which they can be thankful. I do. But I won't bore anyone who might be reading this with a list of everything I'm thankful for, nor would I want to read anyone else's list.

But when it comes to writing, all authors can be thankful that they made their work into a publishable manuscript, and I'm among those who managed to get that far. Killer of Killers is published, it seems to be selling pretty well, and I am currently working on making The Vase into a publishable manuscript.

One of the problems in The Vase is that I had written the first chapter in Muhsin Muhabi's POV, but he doesn't see the first incident of the images projected from his vase. Still, I had to describe the images so that the reader is in the loop. But if Muhsin doesn't see them, how can I describe those images? That was the issue the editor at this other publishing house had with the writing at this point. He says I have to permit Muhsin a glance of the images, and that is the only way I can then describe them.

But, again, Muhsin is NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE THOSE IMAGES. It's integral to the storyline that he doesn't see them. Not until near the end of the book does he see them. And that was my quandary. My solution? I have rewritten the first chapter from his son's POV. It's Naji Muhabi's POV, now, that the story begins with and since Naji is seeing the projection, it's okay now for the images to be described for the reader.

Hopefully, the editor will aprove of this rewrite, and I can proceed to rewrite the rest of the book in a like manner. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Okay, So I Reviewed it, but....

I know I said an author reviewing his/her own book didn't sound right, but since Goodreads had a place to do it, I decided there was a way an author can do it without sounding self-serving. So I didn't write about how great Killer of Killers is, and I didn't rate it with five stars. In fact, I didn't rate it at all.

I mean what author would give himself less than five stars? See what I mean? So I just  talked about what the book entails and left any rating or opinions about the quality out of the review. I think that's the best way for an author to review his own book and that's how I did it. Click on the Goodreads link to the right if you care to see what I said. That's all.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Martial Arts Novels

I'm hoping that martial arts novels can be as popular as martial arts movies. The reason is obvious. Martial arts movies are very popular, and they have been for a long time. Bruce Lee movies back in the 70s were part of the rise in popularity for martial arts movies, and that old TV show with David Carradine, Kung Fu, was another reason for the rise.

And since then, martial arts movies have been coming out quite regularly. And always with success. I saw the latest one, The Man with the Iron Fists, and it was good. Martial arts novels aren't too numerous, however. I've heard they are in China, but here in America, there are just a few. I tried to read them, but lost interest. Don't know why. Mostly they are about police detectives or some private investigator, or something like that. And I just didn't get into them.

I found someone who wrote martial arts novels while searching for them on the internet, but they seemed to be self-published novels, and the formatting seemed very unconventional. Doesn't mean they weren't good, but, again, I couldn't get very far when I tried to read the samples. Maybe those authors can't read much of my book, either.

But my debut novel, Killer of Killers is more than just a martial arts story. It's also a love story. A compelling one, too, but with a lot of action, a brooding hero, and a deep theme. When I started writing it, I wasn't too concerned about including a theme, but as the plot unfolded, the theme seemed to spring out. So I went with it. I don't want to put in spoilers here, which would happen if I explained the theme, but it's one that people face their entire lives.

And the bad guys? Well, they may not be so bad after all. Interesting, yes, but evil? Well, again, I don't want to include any spoilers here. I'll leave it to the readers to decide.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reviews

So I have no reviews currently for Killer of Killers. On Goodreads you can put up your own review, but that doesn't sound right. I mean who will believe an author's review of his/her own book? Of course he or she will say it was a great book.

I checked around the web for how to get reviews, and all I found were reviewers who want authors to pay them for their reviews. That's not something I will do, because it sounds unethical. Pay for a review? And then what? You get a good review? I can't imagine people are going to pay for a bad review. Those reviewers won't stay in business long if that was the case.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking you shouldn't be paying for reviews. It's like cheating. At least that's what I think. If someone reads your book, and they liked it, and they are inclined to write a nice review for it, then that's how it should happen. Or even if the reviewer is a professional reviewer, then he or she should only write what they really think of the book, but because they get paid by the newspaper or magazine for whom they work, not because they get paid by the author to write the review.

So, anyway, I won't be paying anyone to write a review. Maybe that means I won't get any. Life goes on, and so will my book. Reviews or not...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Authors Everywhere, but...

As I read blogs about the web, I might conclude that there are authors everywhere. An abundance of them, either published or seeking publication, or still writing their first novels, or even their second, third or fourth, etc. But I really don't see many blogs by readers.

In one way, it makes sense, that writers write blogs, and readers just read them. Okay. You would think that mathematics would dictate a large disparity of readers to writers, with readers being the vast majority. And with the success of some of these recent novels, it would seem to be true.

Still, it also seems that the number of writers, both published and unpublished, is endless. I suppose that it's much easier to be a writer than any other kind of artist. As an artist, I might say that it's true. I am an artist and an art teacher. I draw, paint, sculpt, and you know what? Doing those things does take a lot more of an effort than sitting down in front of a computer and writing.

And I'm also a musician and song writer. And sure enough, doing that also takes a lot more effort than sitting down and typing away.

So, yeah, I guess that's why the number of writers is so vast. It's an easier thing to do. I spent four or five years writing music, and it was fun. But if I want to get out there and get it known, I'd have to find other musicians to form a band, practice regularly, and then get gigs to perform.

Writing only takes you. You don't need anyone else. Of course you find a publisher, but still it's just you. Again, a much easier proposition. No wonder there are so many writers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sales Remain Steady

I posted a week ago that sales seemed to be pretty good for Killer of Killers, but I wonder who's buying it. Who's reading it? Well, someone must be reading it, because the Lulu Sales Ranking is higher than your average Lulu paperback. It shot up from a five figure number to a four digit number the first month after release, and it has remained pretty steady since then.

Aside from a coworker or two, I have no clue who is buying it or reading it. No one is reviewing it, or at least, no one is leaving any reviews anywhere that I have seen. And no one is commenting on it, either, or at least nowhere that I have seen. I did see one review on Goodreads about a month ago, but it disappeared. It was a good review, too.

It would be great to see some good reviews that don't disappear, but I suppose it doesn't matter. The sales ranking is pretty good, and that doesn't even include Amazon, because I don't think Amazon even has it yet. I hope that will change soon. The delay might be because I insisted on reloading the "template" which kept it from being put on Amazon. But now that the final reload has taken place, I think it will go on Amazon any time now. I should ask my publisher about that.

And when it does, maybe the sales will increase even more. It's time, also, to check out my local bookstores. Barnes and Nobles told me a couple weeks ago that they would stock it. I'll go see if they did. And if they did, I'll visit a few more bookstores. That will be fun. Nothing like promoting and marketing your own book. But I'd rather be writing. Have to get on with that sequel and the further adventures of Trent Smith. Killer Eyes is up next. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 9, 2012

3rd Person Omniscient or Limited

I like third person omniscient, but the word seems to be that third person limited is the preference. At least among editors. And I'm not so sure I am in the same boat with them.

Because, to me, third person limited is almost like a first person narrative. You are only supposed to write, or the reader is only supposed to know what is up with that one character in whose head the writer is "in" during each scene.

But I grew up reading third person omniscient. And I have grown a hatred for first person narratives. In fact, whenever I start reading a first person book, I drop it like a hot potato. Can't stand that type of novel.

I made Killer of Killers into a third person limited, because the editors at Melange insisted on it, and it wasn't such a difficult thing for that one to be changed. But The Vase is different. The story makes it almost necessary for it to be third person omniscient. I'm exploring the possible ways to change that, but I'm thinking it might not be possible.

There are just some stories that by their very nature must be a certain type of narrative. And I still don't buy into the argument that readers get "confused" by third person omniscient. Unless the writing is just plain bad. Maybe that's just my opinion. But I don't think so.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What about Josh Jones?

Since Amber Heard is the perfect actress for the part of Samantha Jones, what about the brother of Samantha Jones, Josh Jones? He has an important role in Killer of Killers, too. But casting an actor for that part won't be easy. Because Josh Jones is 6' 7" tall, and built like an NFL defensive lineman. That would mean he's about 280 pounds of solid muscle.

I don't think there are any Hollywood actors who would fit that description. It's one of the reasons the role of Conan was so hard to fill. And Hollywood keeps thinking Arnold is he answer, as I've just learned that Arnold is reprising his role as Conan in the near future.

As a matter of fact, Killer of Killers has a whole bunch of characters that are extraordinarily tall. I suppose that the special effects people can make actors appear taller than the really are. If KOK is ever made into a movie, that's something they can do. I heard that one of the recent Sleeping Beauty movies used special effects to make normal sized actors look like dwarves. And look at how well the LOTR movies did with making actors look like short little Hobbits.

And there are NFL players who might just welcome a chance to show what they can do as actors. A lot have already made a good transition from the gridiron to the silver screen. Bubba Smith, Alex Karras, Howie Long, Jim Brown, and Fred Dryer come to mind, and that's just off the top of my head. Even Brett Favre has made a few cameos.

I wish there was a current day Chuck Norris for the main character of Trent Smith. But like I've said, Dustin Clare would be great. Just give him some martial arts lessons, and being a great actor, he could pull it off no sweat. Heck, if David Carradine, who's had no formal martial arts training whatsoever could pull off Kung Fu, it can be done by any decent actor. That's all.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Writing, yeah, but Promotion, too

Of course, it's about the writing. First and foremost, a novel, or any book for that matter, must have good writing. It must be a well-written book. Otherwise, what's the point of writing a book in the first place. Sure, I've heard how some books became famous even with writing that wasn't good. But the first rule of writing a book, to me, is write the book well.

I only became a good writer after I wrote my first book. And then I had to go back and virtually rewrite the book. An agent told me straight up, my story line was "terrific" but the writing wasn't "strong" enough. That's a polite way of saying I didn't write well enough at that point.

But I didn't just quit. I went back and revised, revised, revised, to the point that I had virtually rewritten the book. I added scenes, subplots, and deleted a lot of it, and changed a lot. I mean right up to the point of publication and beyond, I continued making the writing better.

And now the writing is pretty darn good. And now that that is taken care of, it's all about promoting it. Killer of Killers, martial arts thriller, needs to get out there. People need to know about it. Particularly if they like martial arts stories.

And when it comes to promotion, there is no quitting there, either. Oh, if I only knew all the ways. But like writing, I'll be learning how to do that, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Samantha Jones-Here she is-Amber Heard

No, I am not infatuated with Amber Heard. I've never even seen an Amber Heard movie or TV show. I simply ran across this even better photo of her and felt compelled to post it here, because in this photo she looks exactly how I envision Samantha Jones to look like.

In case you don't know, Samantha Jones is the lead female character in Killer of Killers, and she is a  police detective. But she happens to be a very beautiful police detective. With blond hair and blue eyes. And this photo depicts her perfectly.

The funny thing is, when I wrote Killer of Killers, I had a blond Jessica Alba in mind. The way she appeared in the Fantastic Four movies when she played the part of Susan Storm. But time goes by, and Jessica will be too old pretty soon, just as Casper Van Dien is quickly becoming too old to be Trent Smith.

So what can you do? Well, you find someone else, and Amber Heard, as she appears in this photo is the Samantha Jones. More so than Jessica Alba ever was. And Dustin Clare has become my first choice for Trent Smith, mostly because I was so impressed with his performance as Gannicus, the champion gladiator in the Starz series Spartacus.

I'm still waiting to see who readers will envision as Trent Smith and Samantha Jones. That will be interesting to me. We'll see.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sales Seem Good

So if you go to Lulu and check the sales ranking, it seems that Killer of Killers is selling pretty well. I googled what the Lulu Sales Ranking means, and found out that it doesn't mean number of sales, but rather the dollar amount sales have brought in.

And the reason for that is that some authors or sellers price their books or eBooks at 99 cents each, and generate a lot of sales that way, and Lulu figured that is not a fair indication of sales. So they calculate their rankings on how much money each book has earned instead.

I read that the total number of books on Lulu is around a million. I don't know if that is true, but it's what was written on that site I looked up. All I know for sure is that when I checked other books, and when KOK first came out, the figures were in the five digit levels.

About a month later, the figures for KOK had reached the four digit levels, and I was happy about that. In the last couple months, the ranking has fluctuated between the 5000s and the 8000s, and considering most books I checked were in the 30,000s, I think it's pretty good.

I don't know which books are in the triple digit levels or even the double digit levels, and I certainly think that if KOK ever reaches that level, I would truly have something to celebrate. But the book is young yet. We'll see how the coming months go.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Dustin Clare and Amber Heard

Now that Killer of Killers is published and out there, and people are actually reading it, the characters might be referenced as particular actors who are also out there right now. And right now, as I've posted once before, my first choices for the parts are Dustin Clare as Trent Smith, and Amber Heard as Samantha Jones.

And who knows? It could be made into a movie one day. I've seen a new martial arts thriller movie being advertised on TV, and it's directed by Quentin Tarantino, who has already made the Kill Bill movies which could be called martial arts movies, too.

So, martial arts movies have been popular for a long time, and if Killer of Killers would be made into a movie, I bet it would be a great one. And those two actors would be my first choices as the male and female leads.







Actually, my first choice for Trent Smith was Casper Van Dien, but now that he is in his forties, that choice is fading fast. If Casper Van Dien was to play that part it would have to be right now. Better five years ago. 
















But Dustin Clare is young enough yet to be good for another ten years as Trent Smith.





















And Amber Heard is the perfect actress for Samantha Jones. I mean absolutely perfect. 











Anyone else out there? I suppose the casting director would have something to say about who gets cast, but if I had my say, these are the two who get the parts. Here's hoping. In the meantime, buy a copy of Killer of Killers and see for yourself if it wouldn't make for a great movie. And if you do, let me know who you think would be great for the roles of Trent Smith and Samantha Jones.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why This Cover?

I talked about the cover design to Killer of Killers yesterday, so I thought I might explain why I came up with it. To be clear, it was the Melange Books cover artist who came up with it, but it was based on an idea of mine that I got from an online image.

I posted it some months ago, thinking it would make a good cover, but as it turned out, Melange came up with an even better one. This one.

But what I was thinking at the time was that since the title of the book was Killer of Killers, a skull image would be appropriate because skulls symbolize death. And being a killer, the main character, Trent Smith, is a bringer of death. Of course, only to those killers who deserve it. He's not some mad dog murderer, no, he's more like a seeker of justice, a vigilante, or maybe more accurately, an executioner. And again, only to those who should have already been executed, or at the very least, imprisoned for life.

It's the story line that makes this concept intriguing, because even in real life we've seen murderers go free, or escape the justice that screams for them to be put away for life, or executed for their brutal crimes against innocents. Heck, it seems to happen regularly, and over the years, it seems to be getting worse.

And in the story of Killer of Killers, it is worse. And it's because of a drug. A drug? Yes, a drug. But this is a very special drug. One that you might think was a miraculous drug. But as it turns out, it's not so special at all.

Buy a copy of Killer of Killers. It's an exciting adventure of a man who wants justice. And he does make a habit of bringing justice to those who thought they had dodged it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween-Killer of Killers!

So Happy Halloween, and Happy Halloween especially to anyone who happens to be a fan of Killer of Killers, my debut novel, which has been reloaded and is better than ever.

Just take a look at that cover. Does it inspire the spirit of Halloween? I think it does. Even though it's not really a Halloween book, (there are no monsters, like vampires, zombies, or werewolves,) but it sure would be a great book for Halloween.

Because, for one thing, there is a lot of action, and yes, a lot of violence. And killing. But not gratuitous. Nothing gratuitous at all. It's a martial arts thriller is what it is. It's about the world's greatest martial artist. But he doesn't run around in a martial arts costume. He doesn't ever wear his black belt. Well, in flashbacks he does. But during the course of the story, he can't even find it. Someone sneaks into his residence and steals it. Why? Well, you've got to read the story.

Killer of Killers is a great Halloween book, because it's a great book, period. Buy a copy today, and find out for yourself. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you thought about it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Final Reload and Promotion

I expect the final reload of Killer of Killers to be happening any time, and when it does, I will go full speed ahead with trying to promote it. Sales have been decent without much promotional effort, but I want to get going on that. I will start contacting my local newspaper for one thing. I remember a few years ago a neighbor of mine who self-published a short novel romance had her picture in the local newspaper. I hadn't even known she was a writer, but there she was on the front page with a feature article on her self-published book.

So, why not? If she can do it, I suppose I can, too. I'll be a little shy about having my picture in the paper, though. Maybe I can just have them put the cover of the book on there. I suppose that might work. Maybe even better. SInce it's kind of a Halloween type cover, it would be appropriately timed. I'll let you know how that goes. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 29, 2012

POV

So this POV thing is best handled when you first write the story and I sure will keep that in mind the next time I write a story. As it is, after fixing all POVs in Killer of Killers, I still have to fix them in The Vase, and then Killer Eyes, and of course John Dunn.

But there is something I must say. Editors have told me that the reader will get "confused" if the POV shifts from one character to another. And you know what? I disagree. I'm not saying that these editors are wrong in their belief of the basic POV rule, which is to keep the POV with a single character in each scene of a book, but I just don't think that readers will get confused about it if it is written in a way that makes it obvious.

When I read my own writing, for instance, and the POV shifts from one character to another, it's clear to me whose POV it is. I don't think a reader will get "confused." Unless said reader is some very low IQ type of person, and I don't think that would be the case. Because anyone who is smart enough to read a book at that level is more than likely smart enough to understand that this is character B's POV now, and not character A's.

But that doesn't mean it's the correct way to write. One of the ways I used to write was as if I was watching a movie. I would write the book in the way a movie unfolded. I learned that that is not the right way to write. An editor told me that it's okay for movies to have POV switches in scenes, but it's not okay to have that happen in books. Why? Well, back to the reader getting "confused" I suppose. And, again, I just don't think readers are that dumb. I mean, they don't get confused when they're watching the movie.

Nevertheless, I will most definitely follow this rule from now on, because it really will be simpler to just do it "right" the first time, instead of putting in the extra effort to make it right in revisions. That's all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Useful Tool for Revisions


I have learned that the "Find" feature on the word.doc program is a very useful tool when revising. You can find where words are that you want to change in a flash. Or you can find where those pesky double spaces are, or where words are used too much or too close together. Phrases, too. I figured it out recently, and wished I had known about it long before.

And when it comes to revisions, the countless times I revised Killer of Killers and The Vase might have been much fewer, had I known about it long before.

Another thing I wish I knew about long before was this POV thing. Fortunately, KOK was not too hard to fix, but there are major issues with doing it in The Vase. For instance, the mc Muhsin is not supposed to have seen the visions, but then if it's from his POV, then how can I describe the visions for the reader? Well, change the POV at that point, or make him see them, if only for a glimpse, maybe. We'll see about that. I'm still figuring it out.

But regardless, KOK is a finished work. The latest reload should be today, and it's as perfect as any book can get. Yes, and that means POVs included.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Revising Always Happening

I've talked about revising so much that I'm tired of it. But you better not get tired of revising. Not if you want to be a writer. Or remain a writer. Because revising is something that is always happening. Even after a book is published. It's just that there comes a time when you have to stop. You just can't keep reloading a published book over and over again. Killer of Killers was reloaded. This latest time will be the third time. And the last time. But it's a pretty clean book as a result. Very clean, I should say.

Now it's back to The Vase, and I wish I knew these POV rules when I wrote it. Cleaning up the POV or head-hopping issues in KOK was not so hard. But in The Vase, it's going to be a lot harder. The main character, Muhsin Muhabi didn't see the projections the first three times they happened, but the POV was with him. And correcting it in the way it needs to be corrected will not be easy. I mean look at it this way: how can you describe a scene that your POV character doesn't see? And if I make it so that he does see it, it changes a very important element in the story.

The whole point of that element is that Muhsin did not SEE the projections at first. Now I have to make it so that he DOES see them, so that I can describe them. But then that changes too much. So much that it ruins the point of the story. It will be a very difficult thing to fix. But we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rainy Days

Well, it's raining over here in California, and rainy days are good days to write. That is, after I get home from work. In a Middle School, rainy days aren't so desirable. The kids get all wet, and muddy and bring that into your classroom. It's as if they prefer to be a mess than to be clean and dry.

But, anyway, I have a lot to write. Not only finishing revisions and edits, but I've got to start outlining the third installment to the Killer of Killers line. It will probably be the last one. Still, you never know. One good thing about that story is that it could probably have an endless series attached to it. I'm not sure exactly where it will end up. We'll just have to see.

Monday, October 22, 2012

KOK Not a Halloween Book

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and it's a week away. The cover of my book, Killer of Killers, makes it look like a Halloween type of book, but it's really not. A martial arts thriller may or may not qualify as a Halloween book, but it's not a scary book, meaning its genre is not horror.

It's an action/thriller, and there are no costumed characters in there. Unless you consider the black suits costumes. We've seen black suits before, in movies, anyway. Men in Black and The Matrix come to mind off the top of my head, but there are likely more. No, Trent Smith, the main character does not wear a black suit. He's a blue jeans type of guy. The black suits are worn by the "Eternals" as they're called in the book. Also known as "Soriah Specials," these guys are like immortal supermen, and they would be the "villains" of the story.

But some of them, the elite ones, wear gray sports coats. Those are the guys within Soriah's inner circle. And Trent is at odds with the lot of them. You'll have to read the story to see for yourself. You'll be glad you did. There are no boring moments, I can promise you that.

Friday, October 19, 2012

How Long to Blog?

More and more bloggers are stopping. And many are blogging less frequently. I try to blog Monday through Friday, and I have been pretty consistent. I've noticed that other consistent bloggers have become less consistent.

I've blogged about this before, and I can understand why some bloggers quit blogging. it's an effort after all, and no doubt other things take priority. I have this time before school starts to say something about writing. It's fun, and I do want to have some kind of platform, as they say, to promote my books.

So I guess if people like to read, and really do read this blog, then it is logical that they also like to read books, and will buy a copy of one of my books. I only wish that more than one was published right now, but I'm glad that at least one of them is.

Will get back to work on The Vase pretty soon, and send it to that publisher. I'll keep you posted how that one goes. Even though the sales ranking for KOK is decent, I expect The Vase to do even better. We'll see.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Great Villains-KOK has its share

Great heroes make for great stories, but so do great villains. And Killer of Killers has a great hero in Trent Smith, but it also has its share of great villains. And actually, it has a lot of them. Yeah, there's the main antagonist, Abraham Soriah, but there are really many more. Almost everyone Trent runs into can be labeled an antagonist of some sort. Many of them are quite villainous, and most of them are killers. And, as the title of the book suggests, he is their reckoning. It makes for a great story. Talk about never a dull moment. That's the kind of book KOK is. Check it out. It's a killer of a  story, all right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get The Word Out

So I have no clue who is reading Killer of Killers. I really can't promote it where I work, because I'm a Middle School teacher, and this book is not for kids. I am on Goodreads, Facebook, and Author's Den, but I don't think those sites are widely publicizing it. I think you have to pay them some money to do that, and I don't pay them anything.

I do have this blog, but I have no idea who is reading this. The stats page says someone is, but that data is pretty much a generalized indication. People in the United States, Russia, and a spattering of other countries seem to be tuning in, but who they are and if they have bought Killer of Killers is beyond me.

Just the same, I will keep up this daily blog. I like to write, after all, and when I'm at work, I can't do any writing except for the five minutes I take writing this before school begins.

So since I have another twenty minutes, let me take this time to say this:

Killer of Killers - a martial arts thriller is now available from Melange Books. It's a story of action and adventure, love and romance, too, by the way. Click on the image to the right and buy your own copy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Never a Dull Day

With a writer, things never have to be dull. Your day is as exciting as you write it. Now that doesn't mean every single scene or every line is exciting. But a story should have its share of excitement, whether in the writing or the events that take place.

You know, as a Middle School teacher, it's kind of that way. There seems to be some type of excitement taking place every day. Whether a drama unfolding with the students, or even a moment of learning, when a student gets what you're trying to teach him/her.

Fortunately, for me, it's the latter that I get to experience with some kind of regularity. Thank goodness.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breaks Are Good

Time away from a manuscript can be a good thing. For example, I might spend a tremendous amount of time on a manuscript, reading, rereading, revising, etc, and think I corrected every error, every typo, every clunker, and such, but then I'll take that very important break, say for a week or so, and come back to it, and there's an error, or a typo, or a clunker staring me in the face.

It's like, how the heck did that get there? You're telling me that I read that manuscript over and over again, and never saw that? How the blazes did I miss that? But there it is. And there's another. How the heck did I not see that? I mean, I only read this thing a kazillion times.

Well, it happens. And it's because a writer can get too close to his/her story. Somehow that makes parts of it invisible. But when you take that break, it turns them visible again once you return to it. So yeah,  taking a break can actually improve your writing. It doesn't sound logical, but that's the reality!

Friday, October 12, 2012

No New Books - Still Perfecting

I've written four novels, and it was during the summer vacations that I accomplished that. Bust last summer was the first summer in five years that I didn't do that. Not only was I perfecting Killer of Killers, but I began the revision process of Killer Eyes, and I also worked on some revisions in The Vase. Most of my time last summer was spent on Killer of Killers, but it's The Vase I'll be spending time on the next couple weeks.

Why? Because there is a publisher interested in it. Not Melange, which is the publisher of Killer of Killers. Make no mistake. Melange has been great. They worked well with me, and have done everything I've asked of them. And I have every intention for them to publish the sequel to KOK, which is Killer Eyes.

But The Vase is such a different kind of story. It's almost as if it was written by a different author. That's how different it is. But no, I wrote it. I sure did. Whereas KOK is a martial arts thriller, The Vase is more of a suspense story. With a completely original premise. You know the vase video thing. And that is why I think it is so intriguing.

So for the next couple weeks, I'll be correcting all POV issues, as I've done with KOK, and resubmit to this new publisher. Heck, it's something I'd have to do anyway. May as well get it done now.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tips About Writing

I have learned a lot of tips that make your writing better, and here's one which will help prevent the overuse of a word, or prevent a word from being used too close to each other. You know that "find" feature on the word.docs? Well, just type whatever word you think might be overused in there, and it will show you every place you used that word.

And if it's used more than once on the same page, or on consecutive pages, you can fix it right then and there. Probably a lot of writers already know this, but no one ever told me that before. And I'm not talking about words that are common, like "and" or "said" and such. Take the word, "admitted" for example. That word, unlike "said," should not be used twice on a page or even on consecutive pages. I would like at least a ten page distance from using it again. And with that word.doc feature, you can determine that at a glance.

Otherwise you'd have to read your manuscript word by word to determine that. And again for another word, and so on. And the time needed to do that is tremendous. Yep, that's some good advice right there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Killer of Killers is no cartoon

I used to like comics, and even cartoons. But that was some time ago. Comics and cartoons used to be just for kids, but for a while now both comics and cartoons have been targeting an adult audience. I think it might have something to do with those kids who used to like them have grown up, and being savvy in marketing, the people who make comics and cartoons decided to keep targeting those customers.

And as a result, a lot of new comics companies have cropped up. And certainly many of them target an adult audience. I suppose they call them Graphic Novels now. Frank Miller's Sin City is a prime example. But even though it is for adults, it retains that "cartoon-like" quality. As do most of the others, even in their motion picture formats. Despite being live action, they still have the flavor of a cartoon. The Spirit is another one. Make no mistake, I love both of those movies, although I admit I never read the graphic novels.

But Killer of Killers is no cartoon. Nor is it a comic book. It just doesn't have that kind of flavor to it. It's for adults, just like Sin City and The Spirit, but it has none of that style. I couldn't see it as a graphic novel. It doesn't have any of that "camp" that exudes from both of those stories. Again, I loved both of them, but KOK is nothing like them.

And that's because KOK is 100% serious. Sure there's a comedic scene or two in there. Maybe a few funny lines, but it doesn't take away from the heavy story line. It's dark, to be sure. And it's a brooding Trent Smith who dominates the overall story line. There are many characters in it, and readers may identify with any one of them. But there's no "camp" and no "tongue-in-cheek" and no lightheartedness whatsoever. No cartoon. No comic. No graphic novel

The only exception might be Japanese anime. If you've ever seen those, then you know what I mean. And that's the only exception.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trent Smith - Superhero?

The main character in Killer of Killers, Trent Smith, is a hero. He's the guy who sees to it that murderers get what's coming to them. Because he is the world's top fighter, he could be called a superhero. But he doesn't wear a costume and he doesn't have superpowers.

Not all superheroes wear costumes and not all of them have superpowers. Batman for instance has no superpowers, but he does wear a costume. I can't think off the top of my head which ones don't wear costumes, but there probably is one or two.

Trent Smith doesn't patrol the city at night looking for criminal activity like your typical superhero will often do, but he does track down murderers and kills them. Not just any old murderer. The killers he kills are multiple murderers, and they murdered innocent women and children in brutal ways.

So no, he doesn't just kill your average run of the mill murderer. Plus, these are the killers who were acquitted of their crimes. These guys were thinking that they got over. And they did, too. That is, until they ran into Trent Smith. Then they got to see what it's like with the shoe on the other foot, so to speak. Yeah, if you're a killer, and you happen to run into Trent Smith, then it's your turn to sweat.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Theme

Killer of Killers is already published. The Vase will be soon. But The Vase is so different. It is more of a suspense novel. But it has a theme. So does Killer of Killers, but The Vase has a different kind of theme. You have to read it to see, but I think it's a theme that promotes brotherhood and good will.

I think the world could use a little more of that. Not just in the Middle East, but everywhere. In every country and in every community. Some places are filled with it already. I know, I've seen it for myself. Some places are void of it, and I've seen that, too. Hopefully, The Vase can help make the world a better place. Well, it's got to get published first. I'm working on it. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pay Attention to Detail

One thing I've learned about writing over the years is to pay attention to detail. Sure you know that already. But I can't tell you how many times I thought I was doing that, but somehow a detail or two or three got by me.

I can kick myself, but that doesn't help. And now that I've learned about the POV details, I am confident that from now on, that particular detail won't jump out and bite me anymore.

When it comes to fixing details after the manuscript is written, you have to watch out for screwing up other details. For instance, you may come up with a better dialogue tag than the one you used originally, but when you do patch up work like that, you might screw up another dialogue tag that was exactly the same as the one you inserted after the fact.

And that's a detail. No matter how many times you comb through a manuscript, you've go to pay attention to every single detail, and how it fits with other details regardless if you thought it was something you already fixed.

Yes, this is an important lesson I've learned, and I hope to remember it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What About That POV Thing?

Yesterday I was talking about that POV issue, that both Melange and another publisher had mentioned. In KOK I took care of it during edits, and in The Vase, I'm taking care of it right now. Fortunately, after I handled it in KOK, I went back and addressed many of the POV inconsistencies in The Vase. And it's a good thing I did, because if I didn't, that other publisher would have seen a lot more of them, and possibly just dropped the manuscript.

So I would guess I fixed about half of them. It was only one read-through, after all, and now that I'm reading through it again, it's like I've had a head start on this. The best thing about it is that I know how to fix them. It was the editors at Melange who brought this to my attention first, and offered suggestions on how to make them right. And I did.

So I'm doing it again in The Vase. It's not hard really. It just takes doing. The thing you have to remember is that for each scene, you should keep the POV with only one character. It's the head-hopping that editors frown upon, and if you have it happening even once in a scene, it's one time too many. Fixing it is just changing the wording so that whatever is happening or being felt by another character is perceived through the character whose POV is being represented at the time.

Just remember to maintain one POV per scene, that's all. When you have a scene break, which is indicated by the asterisks, (* * * *) then you can have another character's POV portrayed. It's better to make it that way when you first write the story. But since I wrote my four novels before I was accepted by publishers, I have to fix them now. And that's what I'm doing.




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Publishers and POV

When I submitted Killer of Killers to Melange, the acquisitions editor liked it so much he offered me a contract the next day. That was like a dream come true. But for some reason he was not the editor for the book. I was split between two other editors, one being the owner of Melange. I took that as an honor. And it went well. But what I wanted to focus on today is the issue of POV.

I may have talked about this before, but the reason I'm bringing it up again, is because the publisher who is interested in The Vase has brought up this same POV thing. Unlike Melange, he wants me to fix the POV issues before he offers the contract. He explained that they have had trouble in the past with authors who were unwilling to work them out. And now their policy is to have the authors correct those issues before the contract is even offered.

Well, Melange and I had no problems. They edited my story, brought up the POV concerns, and I fixed them in the edited version. But maybe they haven't had the hassles with their authors regarding that. I'm sure the experiences of different publishers are just that. Different. And this new publisher is doing what it needs to do, I suppose.

So why am I not submitting The Vase to Melange? Don't worry. I love Melange. They are wonderful and they have done everything that I hoped they would do. And I will certainly submit Killer Eyes to them, and my other Killer sequel, The Killers Guild, which is in the planning stage right now.

But The Vase is such a different story. Well, by definition, Melange would still be appropriate. Yet, I want to expand my experiences. I had two failed offers for The Vase as I've chronicled. Melange was a successful one, but for KOK. And since this other publisher is interested in The Vase, I want to take that journey, too. Just to see. They will be my fourth publisher. And I believe I'm a better writer, with better books for having experienced all four.

When the contract is offered, that's when I reveal who they are. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Killer of Killer - the printed book

Killer of Killers is published, and I'm reading it for the first time as a printed book. You know, holding the book in my hands under a light source and actually reading it, which is quite a different experience than reading it on a computer screen, like I've done countless times over the past few years.

It's something I've waited a long time to do. And it is kind of exciting to do that. I probably should have done it by now, but after the last reload, I was sure to finally begin. And last night I finished chapter three and began chapter four. And I'm telling you, it's just as much fun reading it for the umpteenth time. But reading it like I've read books my whole life is the culminating element to this whole "getting published" thing.

I am finding things that I might have written differently, but not in the story line itself. A couple sentences here and there I might have worded differently. That's all supposed to have been taken care of in the countless revisions. But it only goes to show you, revisions are a never ending process, that only publication can bring to a stop. No doubt about that now.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Publisher Interested in The Vase

Well, that publisher has expressed interest in The Vase over the weekend, and has been very forthcoming in communication with me. I haven't signed a contract yet, but it could be happening very soon. I have some decisions to make.

Meanwhile, Killer of Killers seems to be doing pretty well, as the Lulu sales rank for it has crept ever upward. I'm not in the top hundred yet, not even the top thousand, but I did go from 13,000 something to 6,000 something in one week.

I really don't know exactly what that means. Did it sell a lot to make a climb like that, or just a few? I couldn't say. But here's to hoping it was a lot. Meanwhile, I'll keep spreading the word to whomever likes to read books.

I did make it to Barnes and Nobles, and they, again, were very receptive and told me that they will indeed stock in on their shelves. But they didn't take the books that I brought. They said they had to order the book through their warehouse, and stock their shelves from there. They said if I check back in a couple weeks, I should see it in their store. I'm glad I bought books from them now.

I suppose I'll have to visit some more bookstores. If it means getting my book stocked on their shelves, then it will be worth it.

So that's what I'll be doing when I have the time to do it. That and making the decision to sign on with the other publisher for The Vase, who I will mention and talk about once the contract is signed, just like I did with Melange, and Virtual Tales, and Cogito. Let's see how this one goes. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Killer of Killers - a Martial Arts Thriller

I've already talked about the general lack of martial arts novels that have been published. If you were to google it, you'd find a list of some. And some on that list, I'm not even sure would be considered martial arts novels. But I wouldn't know. I haven't read them. I have picked up some of them. The "Rain" books were some that I tried to read a couple years ago. But I couldn't weather them.

I'm not dissing them. I'm sure they're good books. But at the time, I was writing Killer of Killers, and my mind was probably geared more to writing than to reading. I picked up the Rain books from the library, because I read somewhere that you should read in the genre that you are writing. But as I said, I couldn't last through even the first one.

But I'm not so sure that you have to read books in the genre you want to write. Maybe for some genres, but for martial arts novels? I don't think so. You do have to do research. And I did. I researched like crazy. I researched martial arts dojos, and actually spent a lot of time at one. It's the one my son attended for ten years. I got to know the Shihan pretty well. I interviewed him for the purpose of writing the book, even. I talked to a lot of the senseis over there, too.

I researched the moves, the throws, the blows, the philosophies, the history, and incorporated all of that into Killer of Killers. You might say that the Shoji Tokyo Dojo is based on the dojo my son attended.  And that's a good thing. It gives a realistic portrayal of a dojo, and the people who train there. But I also researched a ton of medical data, too. Because Trent Smith is an expert at attacking nerves and the circulatory system. He can kill with a single strike. But he doesn't have to kill. He can also paralyze, blind, cripple, and alter the way he strikes to exact any range of the above.

So, no. Trent Smith isn't just a killer of killers. He can do and does everything in between. And as far as I know, Killer of Killers is the only book with a character who does all of those things in a single story. Yes, Trent Smith is a great hero. He's up there with James Bond and Conan. Two of my all-time favorite heroes. There's always room for another great hero. Trent Smith has arrived.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Other Journey Continues

I was talking about my journey to publication being completed yesterday, but really it's only one of many journeys. Now the other journey must continue. And that is the journey to publication for The Vase. I just submitted it again yesterday, and we'll see how that goes. It's a good publisher, I think, and would be a nice fit for a book like The Vase.

My goal is to have Melange publish the Killer of Killers books, meaning Killer of Killers and the two sequels I have planned. And another publisher publish The Vase and even John Dunn. But goals sometime must be adjusted to accommodate reality and/or alternate plans. So it's a 'we'll see' type of thing.

In the meantime, I will get back to perfecting Killer Eyes, and maybe outline The Killers Guild. I have learned so much about formatting and POV and making a manuscript the way it should be when Killer of Killers got published. And I don't want to be making last second changes for that one. When it's at he level of Killer of Killers, then I will submit it to Melange.

Same thing for The Vase. But that one's already there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Journey Completed

So now that my journey to publication is completed, I'm wondering about this blog. Do I keep blogging? This was supposed to be like a journal on or about that journey. And I have reached the end of that road. But only for one of my books. Do I keep writing about the others?

It was a strange journey in many ways. I had written Killer of Killers first, but it seemed for a while that The Vase was going to get published first, thus the name of the blog. But two publishers failed to publish it, and I am hesitant to go with the other two who said they would.

I haven't proposed it to Melange yet. I thought maybe it's better to have more than one publisher, but I'm not sure about that any more. The other publishers who were supposed to be reviewing The Vase seem to be taking their time. And that is to be expected. I was spoiled there for a minute when Melange offered a contract the day after I submitted the full ms.

So yeah, that was definitely the exception to the rule. You better be prepared to wait for months to hear back from a publisher, and that's what I've been doing for The Vase.

But if this year ends with no word, I think I will submit The Vase to Melange. I know they will publish Killer Eyes. I told them about it, and they were interested. They should be. It wraps up the story from Killer of Killers. If I ever do write The Killers Guild, it will be more like an addendum to the story or a sequel. Still it will be connected to the story, more so than being just another episode in the life of Trent Smith. But one thing I better make sure of is that it is as exciting and adventurous as the first two. Well, it will be. Don't worry about that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Melange Works Hard

Although I've never met anyone at Melange Books personally, I happen to know that they all work very hard at what they do. How do I know? Well for one thing, Nancy, the publisher, never backed off from my continued requests to improve the manuscript. So you may say it's to her advantage, also, to have a better book out there that's one of her publications. And that may be so, but she also has a lot of other authors, and I can't believe that I'm the only one who is picky about his/her manuscript.

And everything she did for me, I would think she does for them, as well. Now other authors may or may not be as picky. It could well be true that once their books are published, they leave it as is. But I didn't do that. I had already revised Killer of Killers countless times. And it underwent an editing round at Melange, too. But I went over it again, and again. And then after it was published, still again, and again. Being a POD publisher has its advantages. Seeing that a ton of books weren't printed and distributed, I was able to improve the prose and correct the typos and have it "reloaded."

And that's what happened. But still I wasn't satisfied. I did it yet again. The reason was because I learned a lot more about paragraph formatting. And even though much of that could be subjective, I decided on a specific way to do it, and wanted the book to be consistent. And now it is. But it took a lot of emails between me and Nancy, and every time she responded and acted on my requests. What more could I ask?

And don't forget how hard Caroline worked on that cover. I mean she had to put up with almost the same kind of thing that Nancy did. I would scrutinize that cover every day after she designed it. And at least three times, maybe even four times, I had something to say about it to make it better. And she did. Every time.

So now, Killer of Killers is as good a read as possible. I mean there is nothing more I can do. It's finished, like I was talking about in yesterday's post. Kudos to Melange.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Now What?

So no more work on Killer of Killers. It's a done deal. No more revisions. No more edits. No more worrying about what could be better, or what might have been written better, or what should be changed to make it better. No more of that. It's a done deal.

And that's that. Or is it? So who's reading it? I know a couple people who said they would buy it. Still, I'm not even sure if they did. As far as I know, it sold two copies. Although, I'll admit that I don't really know anything about sales or figures.

As far as what's next, I'll take the copies I ordered from Melange to Barnes and Nobles. They were kind enough to me to at least tell me that they would stock it on their shelves. At least the one in the area where I live. It would be nice if the Barnes and Nobles chain would stock it. But I guess this is just a start. I suppose they'll stock the few that I provide, and if they sell out, then maybe they will order more straight from the publisher.

As for a book release party or a reading, well, I'm too shy for that. Maybe I might agree to a signing event, but I would rather not even do that. I figure what for? Say I sit at some table for two hours, or so, and only one person buys a book for me to sign, I'll feel pretty bad. I'm not someone anyone knows. So it would probably be a bad idea.

Word of mouth will take time. Let's see how things are in about a year from now. Then maybe we'll talk about signing events and such. That's okay. I waited four years for it to get published. I suppose I can wait a little longer for it to sell. Fingers crossed.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Let it go Global

Final reload is today and that means Killer of Killers is absolutely done. No more revisions. No more edits. No more changes or paragraphing formats. It is set in stone, so to speak. And I'm good with that. Because I truly believe that every error and every typo has been corrected.

And when the distribution is global, the sky's' the limit. I hope people buy it. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Books Arrived

So my books arrived yesterday, but I didn't see them until I got home which wasn't until about nine o'clock at night. Still it was great to hold Killer of Killers in my hands and open it for the first time.

My oldest son seemed the most excited. It really wasn't real for him until he, too, saw and held the book. He began reading it right away. It was funny when he told me he found a typo. But I had to tell him that the word "absentee" is not a typo, that it is in fact a real word.

He also didn't know the word paramour. Well, he's only sixteen, and I have said time and again that this book is not for kids. But I wasn't going to squelch his enthusiasm for the book his father wrote and got published. He is a great son. And so is my younger one. I'm a lucky dad.

But I can't wait for the final reload. That's when I'll order more of the books and take them to the bookstores. Should happen by tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to School Night Tonight

Yes, tonight is Back to School Night, which means I'll be busy here at work until about nine o'clock tonight. Maybe I'll have a chance to go home for an hour or two, but I won't have much time to work on my books.

But taking a one day break is okay. Sometimes you get too close to a book and you don't see the errors or the clunkers in it. (Clunkers are spots of shoddy prose.) And when you come back to it and you see them, you wonder how you missed them in the first place.

It's happened a lot to me. So you just keep on going, that's all. Eventually, all the errors get fixed, and the clunkers, too. It's called time. It takes time to perfect a novel. A lot of time.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Global Distribution

My publisher told me that soon, Killer of Killers will undergo a global distribution. That sounds good, since the stats on my blog indicate that people all over the world are reading this.

Don't know how anyone even knows about it. But that's fine by me. Let's see how it all pans out.

Meanwhile, back to the grindstone. I have one last chance to make it better, and that's just what I'm doing. Let you know when it's done. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fatigue?

There's been talk of fatigue in authors when it comes to writing their books. They say that they grow sick of their book at some point. After five years of working on Killer of Killers, I can honestly say that I never grew sick of it. In fact, I've come to love it more and more as the time went by.

Even now, after it's been published for a couple weeks, I still want to improve it. I've endlessly revised it, and still I'm finding ways to improve it. It's already been reloaded once, and I want to ask Nancy to do that one more time. Nothing really is changed, though. Just some paragraphing/formatting things, and some very minor prose polishing. It's the same story. But it reads better.

I'm a perfectionist, you see. It's the artist in me. And that's not something I would apologize for, in fact, it will only make for a better book, a better publication. And who would argue with that?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Blogging Phase Dying Out?

A lot of bloggers are no longer blogging. Even the most famous one, whose name I shall not mention now, even though I've mentioned it before, has become an infrequent poster on the blogosphere. Several bloggers whose blogs I used to read no longer blog at all.

So is the phase dying out? Is Twitter the next phase? I never twittered and don't expect to any time soon. I don't even know how to do it. The reason I blogged at all was to make an effort to establish a "platform" which, I had learned from reading blogs, was something an author needed if they wanted to be successful.

And now that I have a book published, I'm not even sure that this blog has led to a single sale of a single book. Or even a digital file. Two of the bloggers who had followed my blog are no longer blogging. Which, to me anyway is unfortunate, because I read their blogs and looked forward to buying their books when they became available.

So what happened to them? I don't know if their books were ever published, don't know if they just gave up, or what. It's kind of sad to me. I had hoped that one of them would be a beta reader for my fourth novel, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. But I guess that won't happen.

Speaking of which, it's time to get back to these other books I wrote. John Dunn is one of them, of course, but the book I should really start concentrating on is Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers. And then the third and final entry into the Trent Smith story, The Killers Guild. But I haven't even outlined that one yet. But I'm getting some good ideas for it. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Rock and the Hard Place?

I'm not sure that saying is applicable to my situation. I'm a Middle School teacher. And the kind of books for Middle School kids are MG books. I mean not even YA books are really appropriate. And I don't teach Literature over here, so I'm not all that familiar with too many MG books. I know of some. The Rats of Nimh is one, and I actually liked it. I taught sixth grade core for a while before I got my full  assignment of Exploratory classes, and that was the book we read for Literature class.

The YA books I know are the ones that were made into movies. And the thing is, I am stumped as to how they became popular. Take the super hit Harry Potter, for example. A boy wizard in wizard school? Where is the appeal? And Twilight? A vampire forever attending high school classes? I don't get it. And then there's Hunger Games. A teenage killing game? That one's over my head, too.

Regardless, they all became hits, and kudos to the authors. They achieved the ultimate in having their books made into movies. What could be better than that?

But I can't even really promote my book, Killer of Killers. Not where I work. Because it's not for kids. The few people I've told about it, I had to be sure to tell them it's not for kids. They can't believe it. They act surprised. It's like they're thinking that I'm out of line being a teacher writing books that are not for kids. So should I promote it or not? Well, I guess I should, just not here. That's all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paper vs. Digital

There has been a lot of discussion about printed books going the way of the dinosaur. The digital age has arrived, and eBooks are the new thing. Well, it's true that the digital age has arrived and eBooks are the new thing, but I don't believe that printed books will go the way of the dinosaur. At least not for another few years, anyway. Like fifty, I'd say.

One of the reasons I say that, other than the fact that a lot of people just plain prefer paper, is that having a real physical book in your hands is really a different experience than sitting in front of a computer screen or an eReader screen.  Turning pages, smelling the print, feeling the paper, is all part of the experience of reading a book. And digital books remove all of that.

Of course, you still have the words. And therefore you can still read. But it's not the same. Like now, for me. I have yet to receive my debut book, Killer of Killers, in print. I do have the digital copy. And I've been happy perusing it on a computer screen. But I long for the moment when I can hold my book in my hands and turn the pages and read the ink. So, even now, the fact that I'm a published author has not  been, shall I say, consummated yet. Because even though it has happened, I don't have a real book in my possession to show for it.

Well, I expect to have one this week. In fact, I expect to have ten or eleven this week. And when they arrive, only then will I be able to hold my book and say, "I wrote this book." And I will sit down and I will read it, and turn the pages just like in the olden days. Somehow that just sounds better. Is that an old school thing? Maybe it is. Maybe I'm just an old school type of guy.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time to Visit Book Stores

I'm going to be visiting the local Barnes and Nobles this week. I have about ten of my books on the way, I hope, and when they arrive, I'm going to take  some of them with me. I've already talked to people over there about stocking Killer of Killers, and they were agreeable to that. They even suggested hosting a "Signing" or "Book Release" party for me, but parties aren't for me.

Still, it was a nice gesture to offer that. I'm no party animal, so I won't take them up on it. But I would very much like for them to stock my book. I'm not sure to what extent Melange Books gets their books into bookstores, but I don't think it's a hassle to visit Barnes and Nobles again and this time with books in hand. And there's a few other book stores around here, too. If they're anywhere near as obliging as my local Barnes and Nobles was, I should have my book stocked in them, too. And, btw, there's more than just one Barnes and Nobles close by. There's three or four of them in the area.

So I'll let you know how that goes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Update - Killer of Killers Reloaded!

And that is the final draft, once and for all. I won't be so arrogant like before and say there are no more typos, but, heck, if there are, I sure don't know where they are.

So, if you want a  copy of Killer of Killers, please order away! And enjoy!

Or Time to Take a Break

Maybe it's time to just take a break from writing. I began five years ago. I wrote Killer of Killers over summer vacation, used the next nine months to revise it, then wrote The Vase over the next summer vacation. I used the next nine months to revise it, and then I wrote Killer Eyes over the next summer vactation. But I didn't use the next nine months revising that one. I spent the next nine months polishing both Killer of Killers and The Vase, and found an agent for Killer of Killers.

Well, the agent thing sure didn't work out for reasons documented on this blog, but three publishers offered contracts for The Vase. (which, also, didn't work out.)

Meanwhile, the next summer vacation I wrote John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu, and the ensuing months resulted in a contract for Killer of Killers. And now Killer of Killers is published, although I am waiting for the latest file to be reloaded for when I order my own copies of it. Hopefully that will be any day now.

And after a pretty good submission process for The Vase, on which I am still awaiting news, I think a break of maybe a week or two is in order. At least until I settle down with my new book in hand and collect my senses about what direction I want to go.

We'll see.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Time to Turn Back to The Vase?

Now that Killer of Killers is published, I guess I'll turn my attention back to The Vase. It's weird how it seemed as though that was the one that was going to get published first, and then the next thing you know, Killer of Killers is published and The Vase is still without a contract.

I was sure The Vase was going to be published first, and when I signed the contract for it I changed my blog name to THE VASE. But nothing is guaranteed, and so it is what it is.

But I believe in The Vase, every bit as much as I believed in Killer of Killers. I figured that one would have a greater appeal. Could be true, still. But what's taking so long? Well, that's publishing for you. It takes a long time. Just about every aspect of that business takes a long time.

So if you're not willing to be patient, don't be a writer. That's all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

File Sent - And That's It!

Okay, I sent the file for reload last night, and I am very glad I wasn't quick on the trigger. I had it finished the night before, but as I have explained, I learned not to be quick on that trigger. I decided to wait a day, and those last second catches would be fixed in time.

And that's exactly what happened. After work, (and before sending,) I corrected two Spanish words that were misspelled, and corrected a very important paragraphing error. And even a couple more very, very minor things, so minor that they aren't even worth mentioning other than the fact that I fixed them and that they will make the overall quality improved.

And then I sent it. And another good thing about Nancy at Melange is that she let's you know she got the file, and you don't have to sit there and hope she did.

Which means that Killer of Killers is a done deal. No more work on that one. It's published, it's reloaded, and that means that it's FINISHED. No more revisions, no more editing, no more polishing, it's a finished manuscript because it's a PUBLISHED book now.

I know I talked about arrogance yesterday. So I won't be so arrogant like I was before, and say that there are no more errors or typos. But if there are, they are minor. I hope that doesn't bring me into the arrogant field again. But whatever. If there are errors or typos in there, so be it. It's still a great book, and an exciting read for anyone who likes adventure, action, love, romance, and the rollercoaster ride of the world's greatest martial artist.

Buy a copy of Killer of Killers, but don't buy it today. Wait until Nancy has time to reload that latest file. Hopefully by tomorrow. I'll let  you know.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Will Send New File Today

I'll be sending the new file of Killer of Killers today. I finished it last night, actually, but I've learned not to be too quick on the trigger. If I had a nickel for every time I did that, well, you know how the saying goes.

But I've also learned something else. Don't be so arrogant. I was so sure there were no typos or any other errors in that manuscript. That was arrogance, and I regret being that way. Because there were errors and typos in it. Most were paragraphing inconsistencies which are fixed now. And as for typos? Well, there were more than just one.

Yep, as of last night, after I had finished going over that ms with a fine tooth comb, so to speak, I found seven typos. Ouch. And a "head-hopping" error, too, which is one of Melange Books' pet peeves. They don't like POV switching in the same scene.  It was easily fixed, just by deleting the sentence in front of that particular character's dialogue.

One thing I can say for certain is that there weren't any misspelled words. I mean except for one of the seven typos. The main character's name, which is Trent, had an "r" missing at one point. Sure, it only happened once, but how I missed it all those times I read it is  beyond me. I mean, his name is Trent, not Tent!

So, yeah, all the changes were minor, but there were enough of them to make this "Reload" worthwhile. So I am very glad that Nancy, the publisher is doing it. And that is to her credit. If all publishers were like Nancy, then their books would be top quality. And that speaks volumes for the books at Melange. Check them out. If you want quality reads, then you need look no further.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Melange a Great Publisher

So I do have a typo and Melange will allow me to correct it and make some other minor improvements in the manuscript. That makes me feel real good. I guess that's an advantage of digital formats, like eBooks and POD publishing.  So by next week, it will be finalized once and for all. Does that mean the books sold in the first week will be collector's items? Who knows?

As for my contest, well, if you want to win a free book, you'll have to get one before I send the fixed file to Melange. Because after that, it will be impossible to find a typo. There won't be any.