Kura Carpenter, the artist who has done the art work and design for several of my book covers, recently invited me to be interviewed for a piece on her blog. The interview has been published and can be found on her website - Kura Carpenter - Love Books Blog. It is always fun to be challenged to explain why you came up with a particular plot concept, or why a story developed as it did, and I certainly enjoyed explaining my concept for Harry Heron: Into the Unknown to her.
The editing of my new book, Magnus Patricius, is now in hand, and an artist who has recently done the illustrations for a new children's book has turned my rough sketch of how I envisaged the man we now call St Patrick, into a rather nice image for the cover. I like the typeface, and the 'Celtic' border sets off the picture very well.
I'm delighted. My book based on the life of St Patrick has been accepted by my publisher IndieGo Publishing. It will, I hope, be available in print and as an ebook later this year, but it will, at last, appear in print. To be titled Magnus Patricius, I have based it on his own biographic account contained in his 'Confessio' - one of the two documents we can authenticate as being written by him. Forget the legends, the man hiding behind them is far, far more interesting and, dare I say it, even more remarkable than any legend could possibly make him.
I'm delighted to see a great review of Limehouse Boys on the Historical Novel Society page. It is always a boost for an author to see a positive review of their work, especially when it is from someone who knows and enjoys history. Equally pleasing is the fact that my publisher, IndieGo Publishing, is running promotions on all my books on Amazon's UK Kindle Unlimited site and the sales figures show a very good response.
One of the best things about using Beta Readers is that you get some straight talking and honest reviews from them which help immensely in fixing some of the holes you may, inadvertently, have left in your story. They will also tell you whether or not the story is interesting and held their interest. The key thing in selecting Beta Readers is to get a wide spread of folk, some of whom would not usually read the genre the story follows. So, when I set out to find a group willing to read and give me feedback on Harry Heron; Into the Unkown, I approached a number of friends I knew did not normally read fiction, or did not read science fiction.
It's been an exciting week, and a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown is on sale on Amazon Kindle. Released on St Patrick's day, it is, I'm delighted to say, already selling steadily.After a lot of soul searching, the publisher and I decided to go with Kindle exclusively, though it does have both Lightning Source and Create Space paperback versions.
After quite a haul the second book in the Harry Heron series is to be released on Kindle on March 17th, appropriately on St Patrick's Day. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown picks up the story of Harry, Ferghal and Danny where Harry Heron; Midshipman's Journey left off. Now the trio face an enormous challenge. They must learn almost everything from scratch, and adjust to a new age, new social conventions and a new type of ship, service and fleet. And they must do it all while being hunted by unscrupulous humans in the midst of a new type of war. In Harry's own words - they must either learn and adapt, or forever be condemned to being curiosities to be studied and examined at the mercy of others.
Here we are at the beginning of March, and getting ever closer to the publication of Harry Heron; Into The Unknown now in the final editing and proof reading processes. It has been with eight Beta Readers for the last couple of weeks, and we now have all their comments, all overwhelmingly positive. Some suggestions for clearer relationships, expansion or removal of descriptions or dialogue have been received and considered, and now we are in the final stages of publication.
One deadline has come and gone, and at least I met it. Just. Harry Heron; Into the Unknown is another step closer to publication, now it must go through another edit, then to Beta Readers, and once their comments and criticisms have been addressed, it will be ready to go. Kura Carpenter has produced the cover design, and that process can be finalised once we have the final page count. It's been a busy month one way or another, first with rewrites and new scene writing, second with a few 'non-writing' projects and dealing with the day to day things at home. Sometimes the day just runs out of hours before I run out of jobs, but at least it's all positive.
Now that 2015 is gone, I find myself in 2016 with several projects and one New Year resolution. The resolution is a simple one. Make sure I blog regularly! The projects are coming along nicely, largely because they have some deadlines, and the whizzing sound of their approach is keeping me on my toes! The first of these is the total revision -- perhaps rewrite -- of Out of Time. It is now in the final stages of preparation for publication and I have to admit that it is vastly different to my original.