Category Archives: Books/Literature

Terminus Island Is Available Now…!

A while back, while still working on Terminus Island, I mused that I might have it done by late Summer. Welp, today, September 22nd, is officially the first day of Fall…

…but…!

Terminus Island was officially listed for the Kindle (ie, digital) yesterday, September the 21st, which means on the very last official day of Summer, the novel was available!

She lies hidden in the frozen northern seas, a dark island with even darker secrets.

For seven survivors of an ill-fated cruise ship, she offers hope at first, then terror.

They will meet forces they can’t understand even as some in their group prove they are not who they seem.

The fight for survival begins and before their stay is done, they will learn the terrifying secrets of Terminus Island.

To get your copy or read it free through Kindle Unlimited, click here:

Given the book was just listed, there’s still some stuff Amazon.com has to do. For example, the Corrosive Knights book listing at this moment has the previous 7 books in the series listed but not this book, with is #8.

…but…!

I’m here to tell you it is a part of the series and in the next day, hopefully, I’ll be getting the paperback material (ie cover and back cover graphics) and will have the proof sent to me. Once I review it and if it all looks good, the paperback follows. I’d give it a week or two, though.

Meanwhile, if you want to read the latest Corrosive Knights book, there it is!

Corrosive Knights: Terminus Island…!

Ladies and gentlemen, its been a long journey but we’re just about there now.

Without further ado, here is the cover to the latest book in the Corrosive Knights series, Terminus Island!

She lies hidden in the frozen northern seas, a dark island with even darker secrets.

For seven survivors of an ill fated cruise ship, the island at first offers hope, then horror.

These seven survivors will meet forces they couldn’t possibly understand even as some in their group prove they are not who they seem.

The fight for survival begins and before their stay is done, they will learn the terrifying secrets of Terminus Island.

******

Terminus Island will be available via Kindle (ie, digital) by this week. I’ll give you the exact date when it is released but it should be in the next couple of days.

The paperback will be available a week to two weeks later, as soon as I get my proof and feel everything is ok.

Feels nice to finally update the eight cover picture…

Terry Goodkind (1948-2020)

Just read of the passing of author Terry Goodkind and wanted to share some thoughts about his novels, for what they’re worth.

Years ago I found, purchased, and read this book by him:

The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth Series #7) by Terry Goodkind,  Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Don’t know how I stumbled upon this particular book, the 7th in the “Sword of Truth” series, but I enjoyed it quite a bit even if I was unfamiliar with the cast of characters.

But it did intrigue me and later on, I bought and read the first books in the series, starting with…

Amazon.com: Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth Book 1) eBook: Goodkind,  Terry: Kindle Store

This book, the first in the series, I felt was damn good, a wonderful fantasy epic that, while quite long (it’s listed as running nearly 600 pages in paperback form!) it really was an incredibly beautiful and immersive book.

I bought the next book and the one after that, Stone of Tears and Blood of the Fold and…

…they were good but it seemed with each new book I got the feeling Goodkind was either becoming repetitious or, frankly, just filling in pages.

Then came book #4 in the series, Temple of The Winds

Temple of the Winds | Sword of Truth Wiki | Fandom

Sadly, that was the book that wound up being the first to end my interest in Mr. Goodkind’s novels, in spite of the enormous good will I had toward them at the beginning. I believe I tried to read the next book in the series, Soul of the Fire, but by that point I was done.

Temple of The Winds was an excruciatingly long, padded, and ultimately pointless, IMHO, book which tried my patience like no other. Somewhere around the half-way point of reading it (and, like his other books, it ran some 600-800 plus pages… I don’t recall exactly) I began scanning through paragraphs rather than reading them, focusing on dialogue to try to move things along and get to the story’s point.

I say this not to insult Mr. Goodkind or his works, but to express my sadness at discovering what I thought was a damn good author who for a time really grabbed my interest but who I ultimately had to leave.

I still love Wizard’s First Rule and Pillars of Creation and do not hesitate recommending them to anyone who wants to read some really good fantasy works.

But, I’d be lying if I said my interest in Mr. Goodkind’s works continued much longer beyond that point.

According to the Tor website, which I’ve linked to in the first sentence above, 21 books in The Sword of Truth series have been created and I will absolutely give him this much: He was very dedicated to his craft and published an incredible amount of works.

For Mr. Goodkind’s family and friends and those who were fans of his series, who kept reading his works long past the point I gave up on them, my sympathies.

While I wish I could have continued enjoying his works beyond the initial two I read and the subsequent 2 which weren’t bad but not quite as good, Mr. Goodkind nonetheless provided me with many hours of enjoyment.

As an author, I view that as one of the best compliments one could receive.

On Writing… some thoughts

It’s Tuesday the 15th, the middle of September 2020 and I’m sitting here before my computer feeling pretty exhausted.

It’s a good kind of exhaustion, but an exhaustion nonetheless.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time of late working on my latest novel and, now that its nearing its end, I’m beat by all the intense work but happy because its coming to its end.

If you frequent this board, usually I’m much more active about posting, and of late it seems I’ve only been able to do on average one every week or so… Well, it seems that way, anyway. Further, because of my focus on this novel, many of the posts have involved Book #8 in my Corrosive Knights series.

I tend to write about what’s going on in my life and/or my current interests and at least for the last couple of months I’ve been focused like a proverbial laser on this novel and getting it done.

Which brings me to something I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll note again: I’m always amused by the way authors are depicted on TV or in the movies. I often have these visions of Angela Lansbury as the fussy Agatha Christie-type mystery writer who seems to write in her spare time while solving mysteries in her other spare time.

Or there’s the Hemingway-type author, the great outdoors explorer/great white hunter who also seems to have so much free time to engage in his manly activities while also seemingly writing books and stories in his spare time.

Then there’s the intellectual type, with a pipe in hand and thick glasses on their face, who at least seem like the type that would spend hours before a typewriter/computer creating their works.

There’s also the crazed/weird author, perhaps exemplified by the likes of Edgar Allan Poe (though tragic) or H. P. Lovecraft. People who are misfits yet brilliant when they set pen to paper but are otherwise looked upon as oddballs by society in general.

The other day I saw the opening to a Colombo episode that featured author Mickey Spillane (of Mike Hammer fame) being offed in the show’s opening minutes. Spillane is presented as a famous author who has the time to go to bars and have himself a good time, then record his fiction so that his secretary can transcribe it later.

The bottom line is the act of writing is often presented as something done on the fly, quickly and without much effort by the authors themselves or the focus goes toward the personalities rather than their actual writing.

I’ve noted before that for me writing can be excruciating. I’ve noted the quote one author -whose name sadly eludes me- that they “don’t like writing, but love having written.”

In other words, when it all comes together and you hold the completed novel or see your story in a magazine/online, you’re proud of your work, immensely so, but the actual process of getting there can be very hard.

Mind you, I’m not asking for some sympathy here or saying “poor me”.

The fact is that while I don’t love the actual process of writing, its in my blood and I couldn’t imagine spending those hours doing anything else.

But it is hard stuff.

Just as an athlete spends countless hours practicing before reaching the big game (and I can imagine many athletes love the game but aren’t quite as enamored of the training involved to play it), authors like me -because I’m sure there are others with different techniques- spend countless hours working on our stories and moving pieces this way and that, cutting out sections or realizing we have to do something completely different… and throwing away what may turn out to be months of work in favor of going into a different direction.

With Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series, I wound up doing just that. The novel began as one thing but after months –months!– of toying around with different ideas, I slowly came to the realization that I needed to go in a different direction and that’s what I did. I had some 20,000+ words written by that point and most of it was now useless.

I very much doubt, too, that any of it can be used in the future and for some other work!

So that’s the way it goes with writing. It’s not this casual thing that I do then solve mysteries on the side with my beautiful sidekick, who we make eyes with and might get involved with.

Neither am I always out in the wilds, canoeing or mountain climbing or (heaven forbid) hunting. Nor am I a weirdo (at least I hope not!) who society looks upon as an oddball.

What I am is a guy who spends a lot of time before the computer or before printed pages, near constantly thinking about what I’ve written and where it is I want to go. Looking for rough edges and softening them, looking for bad grammar/descriptions and fixing them.

In time, the work goes for this amorphous with some ideas in it, say a beginning and an end, maybe some idea of a middle section and certainly vague ideas of what the characters are and what they’re doing, then slowly I mold those disparate ideas until they start to make sense and, once they do, work them more and more, cutting out the fat and focusing like that proverbial laser on what needs to be in the story and what does not.

If I’m successful, I hope my novels -which sometimes can take as many as 2 years to complete- can nonetheless be read in one longish sitting.

In fact, I consider this a great success: That I’ve written something which has drawn a reader in so well and so quickly that they are willing to spend their precious hours breathlessly working their way through the book, whether it takes them one prolonged sitting or a couple of days.

Regardless, I don’t want to waste any readers’ time. I want to present, with each new novel, the very best I’m capable of. I know that my works may have flaws and hopefully they’re nothing more serious than a silly typo here or there.

I want to entertain you, and I truly, sincerely, don’t want to waste your time.

Corrosive Knights, a 9/14/20 Update

Big update today about Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series…

So last week, September 11th, I offered an update and here we are, only three days later and things have moved along quite a bit.

To begin with, I’ve finished the read-through/pen & ink revisions of Draft #8 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series.

Yay!

Further, this morning I began to pass those revisions into the novel’s Word file and, in what amounted to perhaps a little over 1 hour of work before I had to leave, I nonetheless managed to get roughly 1/4th of the revisions done…!

Whoa!

What this means is not that I’ve suddenly become a revision speed demon but rather that those pages required so little work that I could move through them as fast as I did.

Thing is, the rest of the novel is looking very similar and most pages -though not all- require only light revision and not much more. Even the ones that require a little bit more revision, I feel, don’t require all that much to be fine and certainly no where near the amount needed in previous drafts.

So, in other words, its looking like once I’m done putting all this stuff into the Word file, the book should for all intents and purposes be done… and its looking like I can do this by perhaps Wednesday or, if I somehow don’t find the time, by Thursday at the latest.

This morning I also got in touch with the company that has handled the Corrosive Knights covers and initiated the process of hiring them to get the cover to this book done. In general they take between a week and 14 days to deliver such things so, hopefully, we’re looking at having the entire book done, at the very latest, by the end of next week.

Which means that as soon as I have all this stuff together, I’m going to release the book…!

Because I’m so very close now, I’ll leave any future updates for the time when I get the cover and can reveal it, along with (obviously) the book’s title.

Hang in there folks, we’re about to debut Book #8!

Corrosive Knights, a 9/11/20 Update…!

Only been three days since my last update, but as of yesterday, I finished up Draft #7 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series…

I went ahead and printed the revised Draft and, starting today, begin the process of reading the whole thing once more while marking my pen & ink revision. As of this moment, I’m quite confident this will wind up being the last full draft I need to do of the book.

By that I mean that while doing Draft #7 I found most of the book required only very light fix ups. There were a few pages, no more than 20 out of 200, that required a bit more work but now that I’ve revised them, I suspect even those pages are very close to good-to-go.

What I plan to do is read through the entire book yet again, make my pen & ink revisions, and once I put them into the computer, that will be the last time I need to go over the book from start to end. If I find any pages that required more than a “little” work, I’ll go over them but no longer feel like I’ll need to go over the entire book.

It’s simply no longer necessary.

I’m hopeful that Book #8 will be done by no later than one week from today, next Friday the 18th. By done, I mean just that: Completely done.

So, from today through next week, there are several things still needed to be done:

First, of course, is to get through the entire novel once more, then take on pages -if any- that require one more look.

Second is to get the cover and back cover commissioned and made (this should take maybe a week or, if progress is slow, two), which means I should have everything done by not much later than the last full week of September.

Once all that’s done, I will make the novel available for purchase ASAP.

I’m beyond excited this novel is almost ready for its release, and I can’t wait to get it out to everyone!

Corrosive Knights, A 9/7/20 Update

Last week Tuesday (you can read it here) I posted an entry noting that I was done with the 6th Draft of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series…

At that time, I was feeling wonderfully optimistic about how things were going with Book #8, and that further the fact that it took me a grand total of two weeks to go from reading/pen & ink revision to putting those revisions into the book’s Word file suggested I was winding down things pretty quickly.

Welp, it seems like that is indeed the case.

Last week Thursday, the 3rd, I started the process of reading/pen & ink revision of the book. I worked on it that day, Friday, skipped Saturday (a whole bunch of crap was going on and I simply didn’t have the time), worked on Sunday, and this morning I spent a little less than two hours to finish up that part of the revision process.

So, in sum, its taken me roughly 3 days and a few hours to read through the book and do those pen & ink revisions, which means starting either today but more likely tomorrow I’ll sit before the computer and begin to put those revisions into the Word file.

The process should be pretty quick. The first 50 some pages of the book (when printed out on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and at 10 point size, single spaced, it runs 197 pages long, so we’re talking the first 1/4th of the book) came out wonderfully well. I had very little to clean up on them.

As for the rest of the book, I’d say there are no more than 20 pages which require some deeper “cleaning up”. I found a couple of instances of the dreaded “I’m repeating myself” issue which almost always seems to pop up, but overall the book is incredibly close to being all ready.

I’m guessing putting the revisions in the Word file will take me no more than the remainder of this week, provided I have the time and won’t find myself forced to do other things.

So that means that, theoretically, by Friday the 11th of September I should be on my way to doing what will likely be the last revision of this book, Draft #8.

And it it takes me even less time than Draft #7 did, I should have the book completed before the end of the month.

Whoa.

When I was working on past books in the series, I noted that Book #8 was originally slated to be an “Epilogue” to the Corrosive Knights story and that, further, I had already written that Epilogue. I noted many times before that I still intend to use it, but that it is rather short (only some 20,000 words long versus my usual novels which go 85,000-110,000 words) and while trying to clean it up, I stumbled into this new story which is the one I’m presenting in Book #8.

When I was getting to the final pages of this draft, a curious realization came to me. I was effectively offering another, alternate Epilogue story to the Corrosive Knights series.

I suppose that was bound to happen, given Book #7, Legacy of the Argus, wraps up so many plot threads.

Yet it was a startling realization, especially given the fact that I’m so near the end of the book’s creation and its release.

I’ll also note, in concluding, that I remain totally blown away by this story. It’s really good, IMHO, and sits proudly among the other works.

The big question remains: When will the book be released?

I’m shooting for the end of September/very beginning of October at this point.

So, yes folks, this book will be available in not all that much more than 3-4 weeks or so time.

Soon, my friends. Very, very soon.

Corrosive Knights, a 9/1/20 Update

Though I thought I might not be ale to do so, I wrapped up Draft #6 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series last night…

Though I printed out Draft #6 on 8/8/20, I didn’t get to it until around 8/17/20. The first step was reading through it and marking up corrections in pen/ink. Once done with that, I then transferred the corrections to the book’s Word file.

Having finished this process yesterday, it means it took me a grand total of two weeks to finish up the process, start to end, of getting Draft #6 done.

As I’ve noted before, when a novel I’m working on is near finished, the process of getting the draft done becomes very quick. Early on, it was not unheard of for a draft to take three or four months to be finished up.

Again: It took me a grand total of two weeks to get this one finished.

So today my intention is to print the latest corrected version of the book and, either tomorrow or the next day (we’ll see), I’m starting up Draft #7.

If all goes as it should, it could well take even less than two weeks to get this draft done, meaning I’ll probably be done with it in the middle of September.

I strongly suspect, however, that Draft #7 won’t be the final one and that I’ll need to go through a Draft #8 before the book is indeed completed.

In theory, we’re talking about maybe one more month of work, which means the book…

ta da!

…could well be released by October.

In fact, that’s what I’m shooting for, an early to mid-October release.

Hang on folks, its just around the corner now!

Corrosive Knights, a 8/24/20 Update!

On August 8th, two weeks and two days ago, I posted my last update regarding Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series…

This morning I finished the read through/pen & ink revision of Draft #6 of the book and, starting tomorrow, should begin transferring all those corrections to my Word file of the novel.

I’m thrilled with how things went!

While it has been a couple of weeks, the reality is that I spent the first week following printing out Draft #6 doing other stuff and simply didn’t find the time to get to it. While frustrating not being able to get to it, it proved a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to empty my head of any thoughts on the book and, when I got back to it last week Monday, I was fresh and rarin’ to go.

In one week time, a very short time indeed, I finished the read-through of the book and the revisions, as noted above, and I suspect it’ll take me no more than 1-2 weeks at the very latest to get the revisions on the computer and print things out and get to Draft #7.

As I mentioned when I was getting into Draft #6, I felt there were maybe 2-3 more Drafts to do before the book is ready. Now, as I’m on the cusp of entering Draft #7, I feel there’s 1-2 Drafts to go after this.

Most likely it’ll be two more Drafts which means Draft #8 will potentially be the last one I need.

The book is, if I do say so myself -and I believe I have already- terrific in my eyes and a wonderful addition to the Corrosive Knights series.

I really, really can’t wait to get it out there to everyone!

Soon, my friends. Very soon!

Corrosive Knights, a 8/10/20 Update

Seconds ago I finished putting the pen and ink revisions into the Word file. Thus, Draft #5 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series is finished!

I started this draft on 6/22/20, so it’s been some month and about a half that it took me to do this draft, minus the slightly more than a week I was off flying.

Not bad!

When I get to the point where I’m finishing off drafts in a month’s time -and I strongly suspect Draft #6 will take no more than a month- then we’re damn near the end.

Honestly, though, I thought I’d finish this draft yesterday, Sunday the 9th.

It didn’t happen because when I finished a section close to the end of the novel on Friday, I felt there needed to be more work done on it. These pages, which amounted to some 13 or so, were critical for understanding what was going on and, frankly, I felt they needed more work.

Rather than continue and get back to those pages with the full Draft #6, I printed them out and on Saturday read through them, pen and ink revised them, then jumped on the computer and essentially completed a Draft #5B on those pages.

I think I cleaned them up well, but it was a day spent going over something again rather than moving ahead and finishing up. Between Sunday and Monday (today), I did just that.

We’re getting there, folks.

Let’s see how long it takes me to do Draft #6, shall we?