Cover Art for In The Flesh and Editing as well as Release Date

I paid for my cover art last night and posted the banner ad the artist made for me to go along with it.  I also updated the about section of this page to have a very brief synopsis of the story.  This is so exciting.

Originally it was my intention to publish, self publish that is, In The Flesh as an eBook only.  The thing is I’ve now had two people ask me about physical copies.  One of my beta readers asked how she was supposed to get a signed copy if it was an eBook only.  That being said, and with the feedback I’ve gotten I think it would be worthwhile to make In The Flesh available for print on demand also.

When I self published The Shadow of The Hand of God I looked into publishing through Smashwords which would have made it available in many more venues than just  I chose not to because it would have required stripping all of the formatting out of the book and that book is organized into discrete sections for a reason.  In The Flesh does not have that issue so I am once again considering going through Smashwords to make it available in iTunes and Kobo and many other eReader formats.

For the record, both books are very different.  The Shadow of The Hand of God is a memoir and a ringing condemnation of fundamentalism and what far right conservatism has become.  It is a cry out to everyone who has felt rejected by the modern church and a heartfelt assurance that you are not alone and not unloved.

In The Flesh is science fiction.  It is pretty hard science fiction.  It is accurately sub categorized as post apocalyptic which is my favorite genre.  It is, I hope, exciting and fun and interesting and everything good science fiction can be.  I also tried to give it the flavor of the early science fiction works from the 40’s and the 50’s but with quite a bit of updating and a modern twist.

Once I have editing done for In The Flesh I will work on a synopsis and pitch for the back cover and to use in any advertising I might do.  There is still quite a bit of finishing up for In The Flesh but I hope to have it fully ready to publish and available for purchase in March of this year.

For those who are wondering how tedious editing is—I’m going to go do the dishes.

Preliminary Feedback On In The Flesh

I’ve received feedback from two other beta readers. One said, and I quote (with permission): Oh for crap sake!!! You BETTER be working on a SEQUEL!!

Also from what I’m hearing I’m moving otherwise gentle souls to cussing when people hit the end of the book. And yet, when I ask if I should extend or change the ending they universally tell me to leave it as it is. Just get to work on that sequel. Which is funny because I planned that ending from day 1 and I never planned a sequel.

I only just started seriously thinking about a sequel in the past couple of weeks when I started having ideas for one. I don’t much care for planned trilogies because all too often they have one idea and artificially stretch it out to encompass more books than the idea merits. I never want to be guilty of that.

The cover art is nearly complete and it’s fantastic. I showed it to one of my beta readers and she was completely blown away. She said it looked exactly like she imagined it. Plus it’s just beautiful. The artist I know is so talented. I can hardly wait until I’ve paid for it and can rightfully change out the header for this page to reflect the new artwork.

It is very exciting and emotional to see your vision come to life in the cover of a book. There is something very visceral about it. I put all of the work and sweat and a lot of myself into writing In The Flesh and to see someone else pour their talent into making an image from my story come to life is a wonderful experience.

In The Flesh Enters Final Chapters and Cover Art is Coming Along

Exciting news! I have named the final two chapters of In The Flesh and the names are right. Naming chapters is difficult. Often I don’t name a chapter until I start to write it because each chapter organically flows out of the one before it. Sometimes I have difficulty naming chapters because what I thought they would be is not what they turn out to be once they are written. Sometimes I have trouble because I did not select just the right word for the chapter name. One very important chapter I had to re-name 5 times.   It was a very important chapter too so it had to have the right name.

Other exciting news is that I think I only have 2 chapters left to write. If all goes according to plan (which almost never happens) the final piece of this story should be what I write this weekend.   The reason that sometimes extra chapters end up getting written is if something happens that requires a chapter break so nothing is set in stone, as they say, until I have written it.  That flexibility is necessary if the spark is to be kept in the story.  That feeling of life, the dynamic way a story flows requires a certain amount of flexibility.

So while others are watching the 49ers and the Ravens play the Superbowl I will, hopefully be putting the final touches on my latest novel.  Horay!

Finally I saw the update of the cover art and it is spectacular. The artist is so gifted and is doing such great work. I think I’m going to ok the latest cover art and go with it. Especially if I do actually get In The Flesh wrapped up this weekend.

In The Flesh and Cover Art Update

I’ve seen some preliminary sketches for In The Flesh and let me tell you they look amazing.  I’m tempted to ask the artist if they can do a quick one of the steampunk style ship the Lorelei II that shows up in the latter part of the book.  I don’t want to overwhelm her though.  She’s just good at what she does though.

In truth I’ve been in a bit of a slump.  I’ve been worried about how long this book is going to go.  I thought I was only a few chapters from the end but the closer I get the more loose ends I have to tie up and it just makes me wonder if I’m going on too much.  Once I stop worrying about that I find writing it a joy and it just flows.  So I’m having a bit of a conundrum as to what to do.  Do I just write it and edit out any extra?  What if it is still too long?  Is an arbitrary word count something I should restrict myself too?

Giving it much thought and with ideas and words just about bursting out of me I have decided to write it and let it be how lengthy it will be.  My beta readers have not complained, except occasionally about a chapter not being finished quickly enough for them so I will trust their opinion on the content.

Stay tuned to see where we shall go.


Good Ideas vs. Killing Your Literary Darlings also Cover Art Update

Oy, a couple of days ago, ok like 4 days ago I had this great idea for a funny little bit of bonding for two of the main characters to do during a lull in the action.  Unfortunately it was out of character for one once I got it written.  You’d think I’d learn by now that if I’m struggling to write a chapter something is very flawed about it.  Well I pressed on and got feedback from two of my readers that it wasn’t quite right.   This I already knew I was just hoping the idea was good enough to make it fly.  Sadly no.  Even more sadly three attempts to re-write it later I had to remove the idea in its entirety.  It was good, it was funny, it could have worked–with other characters maybe, in another book maybe.

What it was not was right for these characters and this book.  The chapter in its current form is much stronger, fits the book much better and is good.  I’m going to send it off to my readers today and see what they think but I am confident they will agree.

Sometimes a good idea doesn’t advance the plot.   That’s ok if it is something interesting that develops characters, although arguably that would advance a sub plot important to the plot and is a good thing.  Sometimes an otherwise good idea just isn’t right for a particular character or book.  Then all you can do is accept that, set that idea on a back burner for maybe another book or character and write what is right for the book.

It was difficult and I’m still a little bit sad even though it was necessary and the work as a whole is better for it.  Or as they say (possibly William Faulkner coined the phrase) “sometimes in writing you have to kill your darlings.”  It’s as painful as it sounds.  It is also necessary sometimes.

Also I got a look at the first sketches for cover art and I have high hopes.