Friday, September 2, 2016

Revised Lucid Ready for Review

After three months of almost nonstop editing and writing, I've finally completed the updates to Lucid and sent it out for beta review. Now I think I need to say a few words about this.

I originally pulled Lucid because I couldn't make the next book in the series work with what I had already written. At first I was only going to do minor changes, but a funny thing happened during the process. Laec started talking to me. Not the quasi two-dimensional half-breed of the original book, but the real person behind the character. He came to life. I could hear his voice in my head as his story began unspooling in front of me--his history, his fears, his flaws, his strengths, his motivations, his desires. He was made flesh. And with each layer I revealed, I fell more in love with him as a character.

It took three months to complete the rewrite of an existing novel because I was also writing synopses and scenes for all the upcoming novels in the entire series. As a result, I now have every book in the series plotted, as well as the opening and closing scenes for each written, including the very last scene of the very last book. And while I know I'll discover new things about my characters along the way, as I did in this book, I know exactly where the journey is going to end. And one of the fun parts about that is being able to plant Easter Eggs along the way.

I'm proud of this book now. As a novelist, how often can you say that you love every line in your book? And yet, that's how I feel now with Lucid. Every word has been carefully selected and placed exactly where I want it, providing the perfect springboard for the rest of the tale.

This will not be a series of related books. It is a tale, from here to there, with each book playing its part to tell the complete story. But it's now a story I know from beginning to end, and I can't wait to tell it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rewrites coming for The Erebus Files

One of the best parts about being an indie author is being able to write and release on your own schedule. That also includes being able to rewrite your own published works. And as you may have guessed from the redesigned cover, this particular rewrite represents a major change in the story of Lucid.

New cover for the  rewritten edition of Lucid

Something this big deserves an explanation. I will admit that I rushed Lucid, Red Awakening, and the first book of the 'Ru Lexicon trilogy, Return of the Light, to print. Comments and reviews have backed this up and lead to no small amount of embarrassment on my part. As such, I decided to pull all three from distribution. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, only that they needed some serious attention to make them worthy of both my efforts and those of my readers.

I started with Lucid because I was working on the third book in The Erebus Files, Hazard, and I realized I couldn't tell the story I wanted to because of the way I had told the story in Lucid. Which meant before I could go forward, I had to go backward. I spent several months thinking about what I wanted to do with the character of Laec Matthews and his world, and realized that while I liked his inherent badassery, Laec really wasn't a sympathetic character.

I know Laec well (obviously), but he wasn't showing his best side to the world, which meant I had to rewrite his story. And as often happens, those rewrites began to take on a life of their own. I couldn't have predicted the twists and turns he wanted his story to take, but I went along for the ride and I have to say, I'm glad I did. What we have now is truly Laec's story.

I'm not rushing this book to print. In fact, I'm still polishing it to get it exactly where Laec and I want it to be. And then it will require a beta read (any volunteers would be appreciated), another thorough edit, and maybe then--maybe--I will deem it ready to be released into the wild.

For those of you who have purchased this book through either Amazon or any Smashword outlets (B&N, Apple, etc.), I will be happy to provide an updated copy when it's ready. Just drop me an email through this blog or in the comments. I'll make an announcement when it's ready.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Plea for Sanity

I don't often use this blog for political or personal rhetoric, but I am disturbed, appalled, and, frankly, frightened enough by what I see happening around me that I had to speak up.

I grew up a child of the 60s, a decade dominated by protests of every kind and the nightly death counts of young soldiers fighting in a war we did not want nor in which we should have been a participant. I’ve watched the world go from Cold War to real wars and crimes against humanity, from riots to people setting themselves on fire to protest civil rights struggles, Apartheid, and genocide of every color, flavor, and nationality. I’ve also watched the fall of the Berlin Wall and the passage of landmark civil and human rights legislature, granting all people the same rights and freedoms we hold dear.

The struggle was painful and often bloody to get to a point where mankind might–by a very slim, hopeful chance–finally find a way to put aside their differences and live together on this planet as one people. It wasn’t an easy battle, but it was a worthwhile and noble one. A battle worthy of a people who wanted to evolve into the kind of world where race, religion, belief, nationality, gender, and sexual orientation were secondary to species because, at the end of the day, WE ARE ALL HUMAN.

But never–NEVER–in all my years, have I witnessed the kind of widespread hatred, bigotry, and sheer entitled vehemence against one’s fellow man as we are seeing in the world today. Soulless, money-worshipping corporations that care for nothing but the bottom line, terrorist zealots who hide behind religion to commit unspeakable acts for the sake of some twisted sense of glory, power-hungry politicians who are so entrenched in their own personal and partisan agendas that they completely ignore the will of the voters who put them there, and a media that went from reporting the news to fanning the fires of hatred and civil unrest for the sake of ratings and readership–all have beaten down and bullied the populace into either capitulating to their own inhuman crusades or watching themselves become buried in a relentless tide of powerless despair.

We are all on a runaway train to our own destruction, and if we don’t wake up, look around, block out the noise, rhetoric, and rampant inhumanity prevalent in our society and extend an olive branch to the person next to us–regardless of their similarities or differences–we won’t have to worry about global warming or some natural or space-born disaster destroying the planet because we, as a species, won’t be here to see it. Even if we somehow manage to survive such a cataclysmic showdown, humanity as we know it will have ceased to exist.