Tag Archives: Corrosive Knights

A writing update, of sorts…

This is a difficult one for me. I’ve faced incredible frustration with the time available for my writing, to the point where in the past month or so I’ve done very, very little.

If you’ve been reading these posts, you know that a large part of this is due to the catastrophes I’ve faced at my house. First, the plumbing problems which led to having to virtually change all the water exit lines on the east side of my house. This resulted in completely tearing up the yard on that side (they had to bring in a digger to create the trench for the new pipes), then, a grand total of two days after the pipes were laid in, my central AC went down and I had to spend even more money on getting that replaced.

Then, my daughter moved and I spent a week with the wife driving to her home, helping pack up her stuff, then spent two days on the road moving her stuff to her new home. Then, another two-three days unloading and unpacking then flying back home…

…and now I’m knee deep in fixing the bathroom that initiated the whole fiasco. See, that bathroom, our guest bathroom, had trouble getting the water out, whether when flushing the toilet or using the shower/bath. We brought in some people, they used a snake, but no result. Then they brought in cameras and determined that the old exit lines, which were metal (a popular choice when our house was built in 1959), had corroded and plugged themselves up to the point they had to be replaced.

Ah well.

Anyway, the original plumbers had to break the ground under the toilet and, since then, the bathroom was unusable. Realizing that simply fixing the floor would be, at best, a patch up job, we decided it was best to refresh the entire bathroom and that’s where we are now.

We’re on day three of this process and I anticipate we’ve got another three days -at least!- to go before being done.

At that point, I very much hope –and pray!– all these time sucking calamities will be done and I’ll be able to finally get back to writing my latest book, which I’ve found an intriguing work to this point.

What is it about?

Well, my intention is to create a good suspense/horror novel which is set in the Corrosive Knights “universe”.

While before I stated my next novel would be an “Epilogue” to the Corrosive Knights series, I’ve reconsidered that thought.

It boils down to this: There are more areas I want to explore in this universe and if I finish off the Epilogue book (the first draft is pretty much done), I fear that it may serve as closure to the Corrosive Knights series and I’m not quite ready to do that yet.

So stay tuned. I’m very, very eager to pounce on the current novel and finish it up as quickly as possible… provided all these other problems are finished up and my focus can return to my work.

Soon.

Hopefully!

Corrosive Knights, a 2/7/19 Update

Been a little while since I’ve written about my lil’ ol’ series.

So, what’s new?

First, its been a very good couple of months since the release of Legacy of the Argus, the seventh and concluding chapter in the Corrosive Knights series.

I’ve seen a big increase in people both reading the books (almost all of them are available to be read “free” if you have Kindle Unlimited) and purchasing them (to then, very hopefully, read as well!). I’m also incredibly honored to find the increase in positive reviews of the books in Goodreads.com as well. Please, keep it up and bring on more reviews in Amazon.com as well!

In the time since releasing that book, I’ve also been writing a new book set in the Corrosive Knights “universe”, though I have to admit I’m still kicking ideas around and I’m not entirely certain how things will shake up in the end.

Originally, I was intending to release an 8th Corrosive Knights novel which would serve as an “Epilogue” to the CK series. However, since releasing Legacy of the Argus and after giving it some thought, I decided to put that book on hold for now. The reason being is that the story, which is already pretty much done though it is much shorter than any of the books in the series, serves as a good conclusion to the series and I find I’m not willing to end it all quite yet.

BUT…

I feel I’ve set a very high bar for myself with the CK series. Without sounding incredibly obnoxious, I feel the series is pretty damn great as is and if I’m going to add to it with “new” novels, they better damn well not be lame add-ons but full-fledged great stories in their own right.

So I started writing this new CK book shortly after the New Year and, I’m not going to lie: It has been a bit of a struggle to figure out where I want to go here. I spent a few weeks working on one particular set of story ideas but found my mind moving in other directions and effectively re-started later in the month with another concept.

I’ll keep working at this. I’m nothing if not bullheaded and will eventually crack this nut, but in the meantime, THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH for giving my books a try and for the positive reviews you’ve given.

I truly, truly appreciate it!

Corrosive Knights – A VERY BIG Thank YOU!!!

At the risk of bragging/sounding like some kind of blowhard, today I went over to my author’s page dashboard at Goodreads.com and found the following:

What you see here is the overall statistics my novels have earned over time. The important stuff is toward the top, which shows people have offered 77 ratings between 1-5 stars (5, of course, being the highest) to my novels and at this point I have a 4.19 average.

And I want to say with all sincerity and humility: THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Not just for taking a chance on my novels, not just for reading them and getting enjoyment out of them, but for also taking the time to offer your opinion on them.

So, to among others, a very, VERY big thank you to:

John Warden in NC, Fred in CT, Thomas (grumpid), Jon, Mike, Jason Naro in OK, John Stephens in TX, Kevin J. Brinkschroeder, Michael in GA, Ken Thompson in NY, Edward Corey, Jonathan, John Sammons in FL, Zachary Goldbeck, “C”, John H. Wise, Jon in Iowa, Cory Rose in TX, Brian Deacon, Cindy Lee Andron (finally, a woman… come on, I know there are more of you out there!), Cindy Lee Andrus (same person? I hope not!), Tim in Oregon, Bob Wolff in IA, Leon in South Africa (hello out there!), Christopher Vairma in MD, W. Gregory Kett in MN, Henrik Sørenson, Brandon Bridges, Philip Heathman, Nicolas C., Brett in WA, Sarah (I know you didn’t like the original Chameleon cover… I must admit I didn’t like it very much myself and of the covers I did, it was my least favorite -even after doing several fix-ups- and the reason I was determined to do the new covers. I hope the new covers are more to your liking!), and last, but not least, Robert S. Feeley.

To date, and unless I missed someone, these are all the fine folks who have offered ratings to my Corrosive Knights novels over at Goodreads.com and, once again, my most sincere, humble thanks for taking the time to do what you did.

The fact of the matter is that writing is a very difficult and lonely profession. You’re competing against an army of other people who are also releasing books and hoping to gain your attention with their wares even as I’m trying to do the same.

The best way to “break through” to a larger audience is to impress people enough with your work that they will, like those fine folks above, give their opinions on the books and, even more hopefully, recommend the books to their friends and so on and so forth.

If you want to see more of my novels on a more frequent basis, its up to you guys to be my promoters. If the books succeed and sell to larger audiences, I will need less time to worry about such things as paying my rent, paying for food, etc. etc. (you know, the little stuff! 😉 ) and more time in getting these lovely novels finished.

Again: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RATINGS.

You don’t know how happy they make me!

Corrosive Knights, a 1/8/19 Update

It’s the 8th of January and, since yesterday for many people and students, its back to work.

For me, the release of both Legacy of the Argus, the concluding chapter of my Corrosive Knights series, and the fact that I was able to get all the covers re-done and revise the first book in the series, Mechanic, couldn’t have been accomplished at a better time. By finishing all that tough work by mid-December, I was able to take a very much needed two week vacation -at least from writing!- and recharge the ol’ battery.

For quite a while now I’ve been showing people this graphic of the Corrosive Knights books:

As you can see from the graphic, I planned an 8th Corrosive Knights book, one that would serve as an “epilogue” to the series/story. I’ve even noted that the book is mostly written, though to be fair the story I wrote is actually more of a novella rather than a full novel (I believe the total word count of that draft wound up being around 20,000 words versus the usual 100,000 words -give or take- of the other novels).

Thing is, the “epilogue” as written is something of a concluding chapter to the Corrosive Knights series and I’m not sure I want to go there quite yet.

Don’t get me wrong: The Epilogue doesn’t “kill off” every/any character or provide some kind of Apocalyptic scenario. But it is set in a future farther from that presented in Legacy of the Argus and, again, I’m not sure if I want to go there yet.

Why?

Because the story is indeed something of a wrap up of the Corrosive Knights series and I feel like there’s more storytelling to do with the characters and the various timelines they’re set in.

Even though the seven books present a nice complete story, over my writing break, I thought about what I wanted to do next and considered the Epilogue and, because it was so short, felt it was best to bulk it up and add a few more elements to it.

And as I did, I started to think about another interesting story line apart from what was in the Epilogue. Yeah, though I may have taken a writing “break”, that didn’t mean my brain wasn’t working on another story.

At this time, I have the building blocks to a new story and, over the next few weeks, I’m going to work on it, chip away as well as build up. See where it takes me.

The story looks like it will NOT be part of that Epilogue, but rather another story set in the Corrosive Knights universe which could serve as an interesting add on without seeming like something I’m pulling out of (excuse my French) ass.

If all works out, it will be a stand-alone story which might just lead into other stories set in my beloved universe.

Give me a little time to work things out.

If you’ve liked what’s come before, you know I won’t release anything unless I’m really happy with it.

I’ll keep you informed!

Automation gone wild…

As I’ve made it known for a while now, I just released Legacy of the Argus, the 7th and concluding chapter in my initial Corrosive Knights series.

Now, getting this book ready to be released required plenty of steps beyond simply “writing” the book itself. For the Kindle (digital) release, I had to prepare the manuscript properly along with the cover art, etc. For the print copy, the same had to be done but, as I’m very careful to make sure everything works out fine, I request a “proof” copy so that I can hold the book in my own two hands and see that everything on it is proper.

I did this with Legacy of the Argus and once I gave it a good look I approved the book and now both Kindle and paperback versions are available.

Now, for those who order things from Amazon.com, you may be aware that once you do order something from them, once in a while you’ll get an email pointing out your purchase and asking you to rate it on a 5 star basis. I’ve had books, household items, etc. ordered through Amazon and now and again get these emails asking for me to review the item.

This is the first time I received a request to rate a proof copy of one of my books!

So… I’m being asked to give a review for a product -the proof of my novel- for… what reason exactly? The way this is presented is not me telling Amazon they’ve done a good job… indeed, they already knew that when I approved the book for sale!… but instead this form email is being sent as if the proof of the book is a product in and of itself and is available for purchase through Amazon to all clients…!

Only, of course, it isn’t. The proof copy is something that comes only to me and, should I wish it, to others I may want to get it and see it. But now that the book has been formally approved, the proof copy is a thing of the past. If people want Legacy of the Argus, they can order it and it will come without that “Not for resale” notation over the cover/backcover. If I want to get copies of my book, I will likewise order the approved version and don’t have to worry about proof copies anymore.

I wonder… if I were to “review” the proof, would my review appear on the book’s listing itself? I suspect it will.

And how obnoxious would it be for the author of a book to give his own book five stars?! 😉

Corrosive Knights: Mechanic, one more update!

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat: It’s been an incredibly busy month plus for me.  I’ve finished off Legacy of the Argus, the concluding chapter in the Corrosive Knights series (but there will be more stories set in this universe to come, stay tuned!).

Because we were reaching the end of this seven book series, I wanted to go back and re-do all the covers to the various books (all but one, we’ll get to that in a moment) as well as do something different with the cover to Legacy of the Argus.  I found the ebooklaunch.com company and they’ve done a smashing job getting the covers done for me.

Along with all that work, I revised Mechanic because a) it is the first book in the series and I wanted to make sure it was as good as it could be and b) because it was the first book in the series and I did so much work since that point I was certain I must have improved as a writer if only a little and therefore it was worthwhile to give the book one more -quite possibly final!- revision.

So I did that but, afterwards, felt there was one more thing that needed to be done.  Of the various Corrosive Knights books covers I did, Mechanic was my favorite and, even when I hired ebooklaunch.com to do the covers, I wanted to keep Mechanic as it was.

The problem, though, was that as I got all those other covers done, the cover to Mechanic began to look less and less like it was part of the series.  I wanted to make the book’s spine and back cover fit into the work of ebooklaunch.com and decided, several days ago, that I would also do a slight change to the Mechanic’s cover.  To wit: Have the logos on the cover fit in with the other covers.

So, without further ado, the “new” cover to Mechanic!

Now, all the covers together…

I’m as happy as I am exhausted but the work is done.  The complete seven part Corrosive Knights series is finalized and, as a very welcome bonus, I’ve got time to enjoy the remainder of the Holiday season and New Years without having to go back and work on these particular books!

But that doesn’t mean I’m doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the year.  Remember the Epilogue book I promised, the book that would be #8 of the Corrosive Knights series?

Suffice to say, I’ll now get to focus on it as I wanted to.  Properly!

Corrosive Knights, 12/13/18 update: Mechanic (redux)

A few days back (you can read it here) I noted that I was revising Mechanic, the first novel in my Corrosive Knights series…

I wrote back then that I’d announce when the book was revised and listed at Amazon and that day has indeed come.

The Kindle version of the book is online and available (if you bought the book before, you can “reload” it and the new version will appear).  I just posted the paperback version and, hopefully, later today or tomorrow the revised version will be the one available for purchase.

As I noted in the previous column, I decided to “revise” the first book because it had been many years since I last looked at it and figured there were likely things within it -mostly be grammatical/spelling issues- needed to be addressed.  After all these years, I reasoned, I’m likely a better author and given that this is the first book in the series and should be as “good” as it can possibly be, it was incumbent on me to give it one more, and perhaps one last, revision to make sure it was as absolutely good as I could make it.

But what worried me, and what I absolutely DID NOT want to do, was make any major changes to the story.  I also didn’t want to do what George Lucas did with his revisions of the original Star Wars trilogy, add a bunch of new nonsense that didn’t necessarily add to the story and might well slow it down.

I feel I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.

Mechanic, as it stands now, is a slightly shorter novel (the final page count was exactly 1 page less than the original page count!).  The vast majority of things I fixed were small, usually involving unnecessary or awkward words/phrasing.

There were also two pieces of information, one presented in the opening chapter and one later on, which needed to be revised because they didn’t fit in with the continuity I established in later Corrosive Knights novels.  Again, nothing HUGE, just stuff I originally wrote in Mechanic which, as the series played out, was refined for the better and needed to be fixed so that it fit in better with what was to come.

Believe it or not, the dialogue in this book remains at least 95-98% unchanged.  There was one tiny paragraph where a character thinks about something and I feltit  would be better for the character to say this out loud and then have someone else react to the comment.  Humorously, I hope!

But, again, really small stuff.

If you’ve read the book before and you were to read it now, I suspect you’ll wonder why I bothered since, in the end, the changes are smallish.  Its a fair question, but as I also mentioned in the previous posting, I always felt Mechanic was a shark of a novel:  Lean, muscular, without an ounce of fat and slicing through the water like a machine.

The changes made to this book, smallish though they may be, I feel makes it even more like that proverbial shark.

And I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

Give it a try if you haven’t.  It’s a blast! 😉

Corrosive Knights: Comments and Updates, 12/10/18

Lev wrote the following:

Love your series, just bought book #7. Will there be a book #8 – the epilogue and when?

First and foremost, thank you so much for the very kind comments you offer as well as the fact that you’ve decided my work was worthy enough for you to spend your hard earned money on buying it!

Will there be a book #8?  The short answer is: Absolutely.

But…

Here’s the thing: The 8th Book in the series is, as I’ve noted many times before and you’ve noted, is an “Epilogue”…

See, that’s how I’ve listed Book #8!

…as such, the Book effectively closes the door on stories featuring at least two of the major characters I’ve introduced in the series (I’ll not say who they are!) and I’m not sure I want to close that particular (pardon the pun) book on them quite yet.

Author Agatha Christie, during the heights of World War 2 and the London Blitz of 1940 and fearing that England -and she- would not survive the war, wrote the novel Curtain, which was the “final” and “concluding” story featuring what was arguably her biggest, most beloved creation, detective Hercule Poirot.

Ms. Christie put the novel in a lock box, intending it to be released only should she not survive the bombings and/or war.

Ms. Christie, England, and the world survived the war.  Ms. Christie kept writing new novels at an astonishing rate, including new novels featuring detective Poirot, but she kept Curtain in that lock box.  The novel would not be released until 1975, very shortly before Ms. Christie passed away in January of 1976.

Now, without sounding too obnoxious, I sometimes think that maybe Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series, or what I call the “Epilogue”, once fully fleshed out (I already have most of the novel written, believe it or not!), should also be kept in my own little lock box and released when I’m certain I don’t want to write any more Corrosive Knights novels.

So the short answer regarding Book #8, “Epilogue”, is: I WILL write this novel in the next year.  It WILL be done.  But it may not be released right away.  I may give myself a few weeks/months to think through the whole thing and see if I do want to release it or, perhaps, work on a different Corrosive Knights #8 novel and, in time, release the Epilogue when I feel its worth doing so.

Moving along, Lev, I hope this answers your question!

To you and those who have read my books and enjoy them, I ask a big favor: PLEASE write reviews for the books and post them either to Amazon or, at the least, offer a star review for Goodreads (if you read the Kindle edition of the books, you get the chance at the very end to click how many stars out of 5 you feel a book merits).

I jokingly say that if you loved my books, write reviews praising my oh-so-magnificent work.  If you didn’t, then don’t bother! 😉

Seriously, though, tell your friends about them, write reviews.  If you want to see more of my works, make them successful enough for me so that I can devote even more time on ’em!

Corrosive Knights, a 12/7/18 update… Mechanic!

A couple of days ago I noted I’d be revising Mechanic, the first book in my Corrosive Knights series…

The last time I did any sort of revision on the book, I found, was way back in 2011, so its been roughly seven years since I’ve re-read the book.

I wanted to revise it because it has been so long since I worked on it and figured if I was going to revise the covers to the series (already done), I might as well make sure the first book of the series is as good as I can possibly make it, given that for many this will be their jumping in point in this series.  If the first book doesn’t work for a potential new reader, chances are they won’t bother with the other books.

Added to that is the fact that I feel as a writer I’ve improved.  Hell, if I haven’t improved my skills in the seven plus years and six new novels made since Mechanic, then I don’t deserve to continue in this field.

But I’d be lying if there wasn’t a hesitancy to doing this.

In my previous post I noted I didn’t want to pull a “George Lucas” with Mechanic.  I wanted to “revise” the book and make sure there are no grammatical/spelling errors and ensure the reading experience is a smooth one.  What I absolutely DID NOT want to do is “re-do” the book and make it something all new and very different.  After all, there are many people out there who read the novel as it originally was (and, for the time being, is) and may react negatively to the author “meddling” with what they liked to begin with.

With that in mind, I began in earnest yesterday to re-read and do the revisions on Mechanic and, in that first full day, nearly made it to the book’s half-way point.

What fascinates me about reading the book after all these years, and after finishing the series, is that there were a few things right off the bat I needed to add/change.  Small details, mind you, and not BIG things.  As I worked deeper and deeper into the series, for example, I came up with certain names for things that I didn’t bother with back then.  But apart from those minor changes meant to make the book fit more snug into this series, for the most part I’ve kept to my word and cleaned up grammatical/clarity issues.  The dialogue remains the same, the story absolutely remains the same.

And you know what?  Despite the fact that I feel I’m a better author today than I was back then, the story and the way I originally wrote remains, IMHO, very strong.

Mechanic is the shortest, length-wise, of the Corrosive Knights novels.  When I presented it to a friend of mine, I told him the book was like a “shark” in water, a novel that doesn’t waste the reader’s time and moves along from scene to scene with minimal “fat”.

Curiously, most of the revisions I’ve done to date tend to involve eliminating lines or words here and there and making the novel even more like that shark in water.  I suppose I’m doing the exact opposite of what Mr. Lucas did with his original Star Wars trilogy*.

In the next couple of days I should finish the read-through and, following that, I’ll put the revisions into the document.  I’ll let you know when the new -and hopefully improved!- version is ready and released.

*****

*Regarding the Star Wars trilogy and Mr. Lucas’ revisions of it: I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with Mr. Lucas going back into those films and adding things he wanted to add but wasn’t able to way back when or decided, afterwards, was worth revising.  Hell, I have no problem at all with him making the films something far different than what they originally were.  They’re his films and he has every right to do what he wants with them.

My problem with Mr. Lucas is his stubborn insistence on not releasing the original theatrical cuts.  Do with your films what you want, but give audiences the ability to see the versions they originally saw way back when as well.  Hell, its a win/win situation for him, as far as I can see, to release his “new” version along with the original.

Yet he steadfastly refuses to release the original films in their original form and that, to me, is a crying shame.