Tag Archive: #ParaEarths



Our first novel in the Para-Earth Series, is going to get a complete rewrite! 

Yes, you are reading that correctly. You’re eyes are not playing tricks on you. I know earlier this year I said I was going to try and clean up “The Bridge”, but the further I got into reading it, the more I saw just how messed up it had gotten.
But before I go further, a little history lesson.


“The Bridge” was the first book I ever released, so naturally there were a lot of rookie mistakes made in it, which were pointed out to me early on in the reviews (even though those same reviews gave it 4 and 5 stars). But I couldn’t ignore the fact that there were problems with my baby. I call it that, because I did all the writing and did not credit my wife for all the help she gave me in developing the story. So I tried going back and fixing the errors only to wind up with mixed results.


A third attempt was made, which still seemed plagued with problems. Finally, a few years ago, my editor and I went back to the beginning together and went cover to cover fixing everything wrong we could find. At that point, I also added Helen’s name onto the cover to give her the proper credit she deserved because she too had a hand in the revision. With this new ‘clean’ copy I submitted the new file to Createspace and all was well in the land… NOT!

At about this same time was when Createspace was absorbed by Amazon and the files of all books put out by Createspace were moved to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Now keep in mind Createspace had 2-3 different files already for “The Bridge” and unfortunately, not only did the most recent ‘clean’ file not be the one that was moved over to KDP, the formatting went (as the late great Terry Pratchett would say) Wahooney-shaped. 


Alas I only found out about this problem late last year when I decided it was time to start putting all of our Para-Earth Books onto Audible. Naturally, I chose the first book in the series to narrate and begin this process. I barely got through the Prologue before I realized what had happened and proceeded to beat a rhythm of despair using my head and my desk.

Naturally, I had backed up the last ‘clean’ copy of the book, and went in search of it, so I could upload that version onto KDP. Alas, when my last desktop began to breath its last, my efforts to transfer files that had been in MS Word 97 did not convert into the latest version cleanly and were totally unusable. Even my trusty trick of using memory sticks failed me, as the stick in question somehow managed to latch onto a stray magnet (the retracted metal end of the stick was the part that found the magnet) and everything on it was totally lost.


I quickly pulled down “The Bridge” from every outlet starting with KDP and it has remained missing in action ever since. Since then I finally got around to trying to re-edit the book only to find the deeper I went the more screwed up things had become. So yesterday after spending two hours trying to mark errors in the latest printed version, I came to realize that my writing style had changed drastically as well and I was finding it harder and harder to read the story. Finally, I set the book aside and thought about rewriting the entire book from the beginning. But I spoke with Helen about it last night before I did anything. Her thoughts mirrored my own. 

Now before I go further, let me point out that Helen is a much more experienced writer than I am. She was writing short stories years before I tried my hand, and she got damn close several times to being published. In each case, the editors where like “We love your style… but this story isn’t quite us. Please send us more…”  Which was quite encouraging. But this was around the same time that Kindle, Nook, and other e-readers were taking the world by storm and many of the magazines that wanted to see more from her wound up folding and being lost to history.


But it was her writing experience and expertise, as well as sharp ideas that helped me to develop and shape “The Bridge” in the first place. At the time she hadn’t wanted her name on the book, but after work began on “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” I finally convinced her to help write parts of it that her name finally appeared on one of the books. After that she and I began talking about how much she had truly contributed to both “The Bridge” and “The Ship”, and she felt some credit was due her on those as well. So I happily added her name to the covers of both. 


Now with the decision made to rewrite “The Bridge” she suggested that she have more of a hand in the rewriting process and I readily agreed. Since we are aiming to release it next year, which will be the 10th anniversary of the book’s original release, we may be adding a few scenes and dialogue in some sections. The book itself will resemble the original in almost all respects, while being a more “clean and polished” version, with a few additions which will make this 10th Anniversary Edition something special. 


I also want to point out that anyone who already had a copy of “The Bridge” in your Kindle will have the 10th Anniversary Edition replacing it without any cost to you. If you don’t get it, let us know and we will make sure you get the new version absolutely free! This isn’t money-grab situation, this is correcting mistakes that I’ve tried repeatedly to fix.  


And as I’ve mentioned before, there will be an audio version of the 10th Anniversary Edition being released and made available on Audible, Amazon, Itunes (which includes Apple).


So there’s much work to do, but I’ll try to keep posting as regularly as possible. Until then, take care everyone and keep writing.

Gifting E-Books…


Okay gang, the big day is drawing near and you still want to get a few more gifts but don’t know what to buy, or don’t want to go out into the stores which have already pulled down half of their displays and are lining up Spring stuff. What to do, what to do… how about giving someone a good book to read on their Kindle? It’s fast, easy, and you can have it delivered on Christmas Day and know it will arrive on time…


Didn’t know you could do this? Neither did I for the longest time. I only found out a couple of years ago when we released “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. I found myself rewarding some of our beta-readers with a free copy of the finished product in whatever form they wished (trade paperback, Kindle, PDF).  Most requested a signed trade paperback, but a couple asked for the Kindle version.

So I headed over to Amazon, got into my account, and pulled up “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  Once there I quickly found the “Give As A Gift” button and clicked it.  From there I was taken to another screen which asked me to sign into my Amazon account, which I did.  From there I was taken to a final screen

This screen asked only for the e-mail address of the recipient I was sending this book to AND what day I wanted it delivered.  It was the option of a delivery date that really caught my eye.  Now some of you might be thinking, “Duh, you never noticed this before?”  And the answer is “Obviously, I didn’t.  I rarely gave e-books as gifts to anyone before, even though I’m one of the authors.  Most of my readers buy the books for themselves and hardly anyone in my family owns a Nook or Kindle.”  So yes, this was  new to me and very exciting.

So now I have this huge new avenue for holiday shopping before me.  And with Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming on the horizon, I thought it important to share these options with all of you. Some of you may have known about all this, but for those (like me) who didn’t you now have more options when it comes to shopping for gifts.  I personally love the idea of having a book to place in someone’s ‘Cyber Stocking’.

So for anyone who didn’t know about this option, now you do.  And the best part is you can do that kind of shopping right now.  The e-book will not arrive before the date you set.

Of course, being an author I’m going to shamelessly promote our books by providing links below so you can visit our author pages on Amazon, where all our books are listed and you can choose whichever one(s) you’d like to gift to the readers in your life.

US KINDLE USERS:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KT9C559?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

UK KINDLE USERS:
CANADA KINDLE USERS:

 

Thanks for tuning in and don’t be afraid to leave suggestions or ideas about gifting books that I overlooked in this post, in the comments section below.  Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Last night Helen and I finished the final story for our upcoming anthology!

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Thank you!  Thank you!  You’re all being too kind.  But today’s post is not to talk about the anthology itself, as much as what went into making it.  How did it differ from writing full-length novels?  Was it easier?  Was it harder? What was the process like?  Where did we get all the stories for it, etc.?

Well, for starters, coming up with a decent number of stories was and wasn’t hard really.  Helen had been writing stories long before e-books and well before I tried my hand at penning a tale.  I can easily say I learned so much from her earlier attempts at getting published, and let me tell you she got damn close to seeing some of her work in print.  But, that’s a tale for another entry.

What I want to say is that I learned a lot about what to expect when I decided to try  going the traditional published route.  Although in my case, I started shortly after the birth of e-publishing and after 2-3 years of trying to get an agent to represent and hearing over and over again “You’ve got something here, but you crossed several genres and I wouldn’t know what publishing house to try and sell it to.”

You see, at that time (and this still seems to hold true today) publishers don’t like to take risks on unknown authors or mixed genres. They want a straight up “Mystery”, “Thriller”, “Horror”, “Science Fiction”, etc.  They’re not keen on trying to sell a book that crosses multiple genres like the Para-Earth Series which we classify as “Paranormal/Sci-Fi”.

Nope

Now some of you may be pointing out that they do it more often these days, but most of those authors are well-known like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, J. K. Rowling, etc. who all have proven sales track records.

Anyway, getting back to how our upcoming anthology came to be a reality.

During that 2-3 years I tried to get published the traditional way, more stories were taking shape.  New characters and ideas were forming.  One of them was vampire I called Nathan Eoghan (pronounced Ewan) Steward.  I swore I’d never do a vampire character, unless I could introduce new angle or angles to the character.  Yet I still wanted to keep a lot of the traditional trademark strengths and weaknesses people have come and know and recognize.

By this time, I had already been blogging for several years and had learned from other writers the concept of giving sneak peeks into upcoming works, and even sharing short stories.  This is done to introduce characters and concepts to prospective readers and build a demand for them.  So, after creating a vampire character that would fit nicely into our paranormal/sci-fi concept, I began doing short stories with Nathan over on a new blog called “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition”.    Over the course of 3 years we had a number of tales about Nathan and introduced a number of his friends who appeared with him in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  And we’re still making new stories.  And that presented a problem, how many people want to wade through 4-5 years of blog posts to read all those stories?  Furthermore, most of those tales are rough 1st drafts and it shows.

During this time, I noticed some of my fellow authors who had created short stories on their blogs were bundling them into anthologies and that got us thinking.  With all the stories we’d already created, why couldn’t we create an anthology centered around all those stories on the blog?  While it sounded nice and easy, it also didn’t feel completely right to me.  While having all those earlier stories put into a more convenient format, shouldn’t we give the readers more?  Shouldn’t there be new never before seen stories in the collection?  Furthermore, should the stories not be just about Nathan but his friends, and even characters from our first two novels “The Bridge” and “The Ship”?

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This led to Helen coming up with the idea of recycling some of her earlier works which were firmly established in the realm of the macabre.  With a little reworking and adding scenes, she felt a number of those pieces could easily fit in with our Para-Earth Series, while also giving those unread tales a chance to finally see the light of day.

*Now I want to pause and say one thing.  Remember how I told you all, many posts ago, never to toss out your unfinished works, or fragments because you never knew when they might fit into some new idea/concept?  This is a perfect example of why you do that.  You just never know when that day might come.*

So right there, we had some brand new stories to slip into the anthology.  But we didn’t stop there, we went ahead and created several more brand new stories just for the collection itself.  The result?  One third of the tales appearing in this anthology are completely brand new.

Plus, we also added an afterthought following each story, sharing some of the who, what, where, and how each tale came into existence.  We thought it only right to share some of what the writing process can be like and hopefully inspire others to take that next step in whatever creative endeavors they are involved in.

Now, seeing how long this entry is getting and knowing there’s still a lot more to share, I’m going to end this one here.  I know I covered a lot of background areas today and haven’t really gotten to more of the technical and details of actually what went into the building of the anthology.  But rest assured that will be covered in the next installment.

Until then take care and keep writing everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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