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Cleaning Up After Myself

A little over a year ago I got my book back from Trish, my editor only to see what a half-ass job I had done writing it. My problem was that I was in a hurry to put something out there. Actually, there were a lot of problems. Things weren’t going so well at work and after years of dealing with that mess, I was just burned out. I could barely see what I had written. It wasn’t until a month or so later when she had given the story back to me that I could see what a screwed up mess it was. I didn’t give Trish a whole hell of a lot to work with.

I spent the next year cleaning up the story. There were times when I thought I was wasting my time. Did the first book in the series need a prequel? Often I asked myself who would read this shit and then other times when I actually thought the story was pretty damn good. But hell, I went through all that when I wrote The Mission. So, with some encouragement from Trish, I hung in there and turned Shield of Health into something she could work with.

The payoff is Shield of Health. It turned out to be a damn good story and addition to my Remnants of the Past series. Apparently, The Mission did need a prequel. And who knows, maybe I’ll visit my own blog a little more than I have in the past. Most of all, I just want Tricia Kristufek to know how thankful I am for her services. You’ve earned a place in the story, Killzone.

I don’t even want to look at the date of my last post. It has been a while, I know. Chances are, it had something to do with the release of Shield of Health, the next book in my Remnants of the past series. I probably said something to how the book was going to come out at the end November or the beginning of December. Or maybe I set deadlines for myself during each of those months. Okay, I actually set quite a few deadlines that I blew through. What can I say? Well, I can say that never again will I set a deadline for anything I write. Shield of Health was not ready for any of the deadlines I set for it. I’m not sure how good the story will be when it is released , you’ll have to be the judge of that. But I do know that when I release it, I’ll feel right about it. As right as I can feel.

I learned a lot while writing Shield of Health. The first would be to concentrate on writing one story at a time. The second would be not to push it. Writing your story is done best on your own terms. The third? Don’t become a slave to it. Don’t put aside the rest of your life, and those things that made you the person who was capable of writing such fantastic things in the first place. The biggest reason for this major gap between posts was that I’ve been spending time with my family and getting back to playing an occasional video game lately. That’s not to say that I haven’t been working on Shield of Health, cause I have. Thanks to a lot of help from Trisha Kristufek, the rewrite is coming along nicely. Can’t say for sure when it’ll be done but it will get there. And because I’ve decided to take my time with it, it’ll be a much better story for it.

You are all Great! Stay true to yourself.

Immersion

Since giving the Shield of Health to Tricia Kristufek for editing I have kept myself busy with other things besides writing. I have worked with my Son-in-law, Brad, who by the way plays Birdseye in Shield of Health. I’ll explain in a minute. But anyways, Birdseye was instrumental in coming up with the shield you see being used as my profile pic on FB. I have jumped into a few video games. I do not seem to do enough of that lately. I have also spent time with my family. I always look forward to seeing my granddaughter. Her smile has captured my heart. There was the day I spent with my wife tasting wine.

The series, Remnants of the Past is a story set in a universe dominated by a warrior race of people from the planet Avexia, or the Home World as it is also referred to in the story. Most people on the Home World strive to become soldiers in the Combined Armies. Others forge their own paths and become Mercenaries. Mercenaries use aliases to protect their identities and their families. The crazy thing about the aliases I use in the story is that they are aliases used by friends while playing games online. Birdseye is my son-in-law and someone I have fought alongside with in many games.

During the time spent after handing Shield of Health over to my Editor, I have had ideas for the next book in the series. Right now I call it, Alone I Break. I have even scribbled out notes and played with the first few paragraphs of the story. I have scenes playing out in my head. Sometime after the launch of Shield of Health, I will begin writing and immerse myself in the third book in the series. I will stand on the bridge of a battle cruiser and watch the view screen as we move into orbit around some distant world. I will be there on Valdorion when Andrea meets her grandfather, Casey Evans, for the first time. I will see the good and evil my characters are capable of. I will know their triumphs and their defeats. I will share in their laughter and I will write sorrow that will make my heart ache and bring tears to my eyes. I will experience their loss and feel their pain. I will live and die on the pages of what I write.

 

 

 

I told myself when I was finished with Shield of Health that I would take a break before writing the final volume in my Remnants of the Past series. One thing I have learned about writing is that you do not necessarily have to be sitting in front of your word processor to be participating in the writing process. There is a lot of thinking about it that takes place anywhere and everywhere. That break I thought I was going to take, never really happened. I posted on Facebook this morning the title to the final piece in the Remnants of the Past series. Alone I break.  I also announced that I would be using LibreOffice Writer in Linux Ubuntu 12.04 to write Alone I break. A bold move? you bet, but hey, I am writing this from my Firefox browser on my Ubuntu desktop right now!

So hey, all I have to do now is write the first sentence and figure out that first word.

 

Something Clicked

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the third book in my Remnants of the Past series. There has been something I have needed to figure out. I have final scenes in my head and a lot of ideas as to how I’m going to get there, but there was one piece of the puzzle that I couldn’t put together. Then it came to me during a conversation with a friend of mine today. Since then I have developed a scene that I cannot wait to put in the book. Our young hero will one day return to Valdorion. There, he will discover Remnants of the Past.

 

Get your copy of The Mission!

What does it take to get a Novel out there to the reading public? Quite a bit, actually. I have recently turned my manuscript for my latest novel, Shield of Health, over to my editor, Tricia Kristufek. I guess I never really gave much thought to what she does. I mean she checks grammar, spelling, sentence structure and all of that, right? Of course she does, but I had the opportunity to catch her while she was working on the story and what caught me by surprise was that she was going back to the first novel in the series, The Mission and checking for consistency in the story; making sure things jived. I have to say that I was impressed and glad to know that my editor is just as concerned about the details of my story as I am.

I am glad to know that Tricia Kristufek is a part of my team, making sure that my story will be everything that it can be.  If this sounds like a testimonial, it is only because I am a firm believer in pointing out when someone is doing a phenomenal job.

I would highly recommend Tricia’s service as an editor to anyone who is looking to have their manuscript look its best. Tricia Kristufek.com/

Last week I gave my manuscript for Shield of Health to my editor, Tricia Kristufek. Shield of Health is the second book in my Remnants of the Past series. The first book, The Mission is really a book that stands on its own and in a way, Shield of Health stands on its own as well. Even so, the story will continue and come to an end in the third book. I still have to decide on a title for it. The Mission and Shield of Health feel totally different from each other and it’ll be interesting to see how the first two books in the Remnants series will influence the third. All characters in the first and second books carry a lot baggage with them, Remnants of the Past, so to speak. I have even considered that David, or Darkblood, due to everything he has been through, will deal with issues through his life. There will be a new characters and one who will be there for him and watch out for him. What she will learn before the end of the third book was that he was always there for her and that he will give up so much of himself to make sure things fall into place for her.

What I am hoping is that my writing skills have at least improved a little and that Tricia will not have to spend an ungodly amount of time fixing Shield of Health. While she works on my manuscript I am going to be working on a book cover, Hopefully, I will be able to get this book out by Thanksgiving. Who knows? maybe sooner. Regardless before the end of the year and with the help of Tricia Kristufek and the support of my family, I will have a finished product that I hope will stand up to my first book.

There is always that time in between writing books where ideas float around in your head for the next. I have a lot of ideas. I like to let them  coalesce a bit. I have to say though, it is kind of weird, this period where I am not actually writing a story. I find myself asking, What to Do?

Look for Shield of Health to come out in the fall of 2012 and all of the Remnants of the Past series at Amazon, Smashwords, Creatspace and B&N

Vince’s com band created a tingling sensation in his arm, letting him know a call was coming through. He quickly became aggravated with the sensation and wished he could figure out how to make the damn thing just chime or beep. Anything other than the tingling would have been fine. He set his fork down on his tray and raised his wrist up to his mouth. “Yeah, what is it?” he asked, trying to hide the frustration in his voice

Banshee’s voice sounded like it was being transmitted over a cheap toy. She picked up on his frustration. “The tingling thing again, huh?”

Along with her voice, Vince thought he could hear some laughter in the background. “No, Boss. It’s nothing.”

“Grim, I’m going to need you at the weapon’s console.”

“Is there a problem?”

“It’s probably nothing but I think I would like you up here all the same.”

“I’m on my way.” As Vince went to put his tray in the sanitizer his arm tingled once more. “Damn it!” he shouted, trying to rub the sensation from his forearm. He quickly brought his wrist up to his mouth. “What!” This time, the frustration in his voice was unmistakable.

It was Banshee again. “Sorry, Grim. I meant to call someone else.” Not only did she do a poor job of hiding her own laughter but the laughter in the background had been driven to a level of hysteria.

It was then that Vince realized that he was at the butt end of a joke. He took a deep breath to regain his composure. “I’m on my way, Boss.” After closing the channel on the com band, the Grim Reaper made his way toward the bridge.

 

That was just a little something from Shield of Health, my upcoming novel from the Remnants of the Past series.

Polishing it Up.

Just taking a break from polishing up the story I finished not too long ago. Spent the day in front of my netbook making sure everything jives and that nothing contradicts itself. So what do I do on my break? I sit down at the computer in my dungeon and write this post. Either I am always on break or I’m always working. I can’t tell the difference. Well anyways, Shield of Health is shaping up to be a good story and I’m looking forward to seeing it released. When I pass Shield of Health off to my editor, I will begin work on the book cover. I have some great Ideas for that. Well, at least I think they are great. You can be the judge of that after the release of the book.

As I get closer to releasing Shield of Health, I am going to need to come up with ways o promote it. I’ve never been a savvy promoter so I’ve been giving some consideration to someone who could represent my work. Perhaps in the future this could be a reality. Right now, I think I am really going to take myself out on the deck and take a real break. Catch you all later.

I know, it’s been a while. I look at the date and see that is has been a little over a month since my last post. Don’t fret, I’m still here. I’ve been busy, polishing up the Manuscript I call Shield of Health, because even Tricia, my editor has to know what the hell I’m talking about before she makes those final corrections.

Since my last post, things have been weird. Our outdoor cat was hit by a truck and we thought the worst. She ran off and after three days of heat close to a hundred degrees, she came limping down our driveway. We took her to the vet and brought her inside for a few weeks before letting her back out. Letting her out after what happened to her was difficult, but she loves it outside, and we couldn’t let her feel like she was trapped inside. She comes back everyday and last evening, she even came in for the night. My wife was so happy to have her sleeping at her feet on the recliner.

This past week ended with our refrigerator going out on us. Last night after we and the cats settled in for movies and a couple of Vodka and Tonics, my son announced that everything in the fridge was warm. Wonderful! Taking care of such things is part of what I do at my day job, so I was able to fix it this morning but not until after we lost some of our food. I think the worst part of it was that I had planned on doing some of that work on Shield of Health this morning. That’s alright, there is tomorrow morning.

Something good did happen yesterday. I logged into Facebook for the first time in a few days and seen that earlier in the week my friend and Author Amanda S Stabley commented that her hubby had read my first novel, The Mission and loved it. I’m not going to lie, The Mission could be selling better than it is but that is my fault. I’m not much of a marketer. I wish I was. But anyways, the few reviews I have received for the book are good and there have even been those like Amanda and her husband who come forward and say good things about The Mission. So, I just want to say thank you, Amanda. People like yourself are why I continue to write

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