Dear friends and followers,

It certainly has been a while, but things are progressing. About a week ago, I submitted the third draft of the novel, incorporating several new elements hammered out through discussions with my editor and a return-to-first-principles look at the structure of the story. I believe we have an improved product here: you will be getting your money’s worth.

But you just want the book, don’t you? Well, it appears that we have a tentative publication date! According to the info sent to Ingram, the book distributor, we’re looking at the 8th of May 2018. I admit to being excited enough about just having a date that I don’t particularly care that it’s half a year away.

So! What else is going on at Inkshares? I’d like to draw your attention to this book here: "Flight of Angels", by Kate Merenda Hohl. Every hardboiled private eye has his sassy secretary, and this story puts the sassy secretary in the spotlight to solve the mystery herself. The setting is 1957 Los Angeles, and the sun-drenched flavour soaks through like tan on a swimsuit model.

In the meantime, I’m working on putting together the next Peterkin mystery, while also preparing another proposal for Choice Of Games, while also ... well, I’m keeping busy. So I’ll leave you with this photograph from a recent visit to the south of England: Chichester Cross ... and, yes, it’s in the novel. Have fun, folks! The end is in sight!

Dear friends and followers,

It’s been a very long time since my last update. My apologies for that. On the book front, we’re now in developmental edits ... basically arguing with an editor over just how much of the novel needs to be rewritten from the ground up. A couple of chapters are going to be juggled around, but I should probably not say too much beyond that. We’re at a point where Change is an unchanging fact of life.

For most of the past year as well, I’ve been buried neck-deep in writing something else: "The Hero Unmasked!", a CYOA-style game for Choice Of Games.

It’s a superhero story, as you might have guessed, and very different from "Murder at the Veterans’ Club". The game was just released on Steam, Apple, and Android last Thursday, and I’ve pretty much spent the past couple of days grinning madly as the reviews roll in.

Is there anything else of note? Yes.

Landon Crutcher, author of "Monkey Business", has begun his campaign for "Black Cloud". I remember enjoying "Monkey Business", and I expect "Black Cloud" to be an even better outing. Crutcher’s writing this time about something he knows intimately from his work, and that always adds a certain special something. Like James Herriot writing about veterinary practice.

Ryan Smith has decided to publish his novel, "Goodbye, Angel", via Amazon instead. I’ve purchased it and read it, and I’ve found it an engrossing and enjoyable read, especially if you love the "hard-boiled" detective genre. I’ve recommended this before, and I continue to say ... Highly Recommended.

Until next time, being aware that "next time" could be A Long Time Off ... have fun, and keep reading.

Dear friends and followers,

It’s been a while since my last update. As I’ve said, it’s mostly a waiting game right now. Things are beginning to move, however: Inkshares has me reading up on various works of writing theory and working together with a few other authors to share and learn from each other. This is in preparation for the developmental edit round, perhaps so we’ll understand better how stories work and be better able to handle the developmental edits. It seems like a lot of additional effort, but I guess it’s in the interest of putting out a quality product ... and, perhaps, to groom a stable of talent? Does that mean they want me to write a sequel?

You know you want me to.

I’ve also been busy with another writing project, for Choice of Games: that’s been taking up all my attention for the past several months. I just submitted the completed draft for that project yesterday; it’s very exciting, and I expect there will be a lot of developmental edits on that front as well.

Looking around (because I can now afford to be distracted again)  a couple of works here on Inkshares have definitely caught my interest.

First off, there’s "The Rise and Fall of Gods and Housewives", by Zachary Sergi. Apparently the ancient mythological gods are alive and well, incarnated as ... reality show housewives? If that premise doesn’t grab you, I don’t know what will. Sergi is also the author of the highly successful "Heroes Rise" series for Choice of Games, so this should be of additional interest to all those Interactive Fiction buffs among you.

And second, there’s "Lost in the Fog", by Michael Ostrowski. It’s a caper in which a down-on-his-luck journalist is recruited to steal a bunch of sculptures, only to have someone else beat him to it. And no, the people who recruited him don’t believe a word of it. I firmly believe that we need more madcap mystery capers in the world, and this promises to deliver.

For now, though, I’m going to sit back and relax. I see a lot of developmental editing in my near future, so I better grab my binge-marathons of "Masterchef" while I still can.

Dear friends and followers,

It has been a while, and I apologise for the radio silence; we are still waiting for an editor to be assigned to us, and can only be patient. And anxious. And anxiously patient....

If any of you are in the Montreal region in April, however, I would like to draw your attention to the following event:

It is as it says above: the Arthur Ellis Awards recognise the best in Canadian crime writing. I’m not in the running (yet) but, being in Montreal, I’ll be there as one of the local crime writers playing host. With me will be Peter Kirby (last year’s winner for Best Crime Novel), Michael Blair, Michael Kent, Jim Napier, Geri Newell, and, of course, Hilary MacLeod who is also the organiser for the event.

In the meantime, here’s hoping for a speedy editorial process.

Dear friends and followers,

I’m still around. Things are quiet with "Murder at the Veterans’ Club" right now: we’re still waiting for an editor. In the meantime, my current project with Choice Of Games is keeping me occupied.

I’d like to draw your attention, though, to a couple of other projects currently funding on Inkshares:

1) "Love, Derric", by Jason Pomerance. I’m currently about 80% of the way through Pomerance’s first novel with Inkshares, "Women Like Us", and I’d say he has a pretty good feel for the nuances of human relationships and the humour therein. "Love, Derric" is a true story about a rescued beagle, and I expect to see the same sort of humour and nuance in the relationships developing around the dog and his new owners/rescuers. Anyone who’s had a dog or loved a dog is certain to indentify with the story.

2) "Wake Up Call", by J.T.R. Russell. This one presents a world in which the deities of ancient mythologies are still knocking around; our protagonist is a normal human being working in an antique shop owned by one of these mythical deities, though we’re not sure which one. The tone is very humorous, and I expect to come out of this laughing.

There are a lot of projects happening on Inkshares, always. So, until next time: keep reading, and have fun.

Dear friends and followers,

It is now three weeks since we won the Full Publication deal with The List. The manuscript for "Murder at the Veterans’ Club" was submitted two weeks ago, and now it is a matter of waiting for an editor to be assigned to me. This could take a while; here’s the article about the publishing timeline, in case you missed the last update: I know there are a couple of new faces among you since then.

So, what lies ahead?

Well, I am currently halfway through working on a story-game project for Choice Of Games. I expect to see it come out some time in the latter half of this year. (I encourage everyone to check them out. I’ve enjoyed their stuff over the past few years, and I’m excited at the possibility of seeing myself in their lineup.)

There is also the matter of what to do with the Peterkin franchise. With the publishing timeline being somewhat longer than I expected, and with the additional time required to properly fund a campaign ... plus the sheer chutzpah it would require for me to begin asking for orders on a second book before the first book is even in anyone’s hands.... If I plan on getting the Full Publication deal on something, I should probably start the funding campaign after the launch of this current book, which means it could be two years or more in between books. That seems ... likely to result in an overall loss of interest.

So, I’m toying with a couple of ideas.

One: start a new campaign anyway, for the short story collection "Peterkin Investigates the Anthology"--but aim only for the 250 orders required for the Quill imprint. It won’t get all the services of the Full Publication deal, but then it isn’t a sequel and it isn’t a full-length novel, and it will be out there and available within a year after "Murder at the Veterans’ Club".

Two: take that collection apart and publish the stories individually via Kindle Direct; say, one every two months.

I haven’t quite researched these options yet, nor have I decided on a course of action. It seems the adventure is only just beginning....

Zack headshot 2015 ZUrlocker · Reader · edited 11 months ago · 1 like
Congrats! This is awesome news.  Well done.

Dear friends and followers,

Happy new year! By now, you should all have gotten the news that we’ve made our goal, a month early. Or, more precisely, that we’ve made the top three on The List, which means the same result without having to actually hit the full 750 orders. This is pretty awesome, and it’s all thanks to you. Every one of you who pre-ordered, who spread the word, who got your friends to pre-order or even just to look at the book: thank you. Thank you so much.

So, now that we’re "in production", what does that mean? When will you get your books?

I know I’ve been saying that books will probably be out around November 2017, and that was a conservative estimate back in March when I started. But the volume of books going through Inkshares of late means that the production process is longer now than it used to be. Here is what Inkshares has to say about the production process. According to this, it could be twelve to eighteen months from the moment I submit my manuscript before the book comes out. In short: between January and June 2018.

I know. I’m a little dismayed too. But it’s still miles better than not getting it out at all, so it’s still a cause for celebration.

Again, thank you for everything. Let’s party like it’s 1925!

First of all: merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Second: we’ve passed 300 readers, which means I can start talking about how I’m defending my position on The List with 300, like King Leonidas at Thermopylae. Have you looked at The List’s leaderboard today, though? The contenders from the Launchpad competition have just been transferred in, at 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. While the top three Launchpad entries are, according to the rules, probably going to be taken out again, there’s still that one contender, the fourth Launchpad entry, currently in 6th on The List, who’s just 10 readers below me and still taking orders....

In short, my position is Extremely Precarious, and I’m probably going to need a bunch of new readers within the next week to ensure my place.

In book news, the manuscript is complete and ready for submission. So is a brand new plan of the Veterans’ Club ground floor--and yes, the manuscript has been edited to take into account the new layout.

In short, we’re ready to roll. It’s just a question of what happens over the course of the next week. Now, more than ever: tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your complete strangers. King Leonidas may have made an impressive defence of Thermopylae with his 300 Spartans, but that ultimately ended in defeat. Let’s hope the same doesn’t happen with my 300 readers.

It is now one week to Christmas, and a bit under two weeks to the end of The List. On the 30th, we shall see how our pre-order volume measures up against everyone else’s--I’m expecting a bit of jump in everybody else’s pre-order volume over the Christmas holidays as they meet up with distant relatives they haven’t spoken to all year, so let’s try not to get left behind. Make sure you’ve got your pre-order in!

Competing in The List ... well, that puts one in mind of a certain sport, doesn’t it?

Except the jousting in this List is done with pages. (And did you know that the official state sport of Maryland is jousting?)

Eric Peterkin, the hero of "Murder at the Veterans’ Club", doesn’t joust, but he does have dreams of Arthurian chivalry. The novel compares him to Sir Pellinore, one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table: according to legend, Sir Pellinore’s primary hobby was the pursuit of the mythical Questing Beast, a creature with the head of a snake, the body of a leopard, the feet of a deer, and a constant sound in its belly described as like "thirty brace of hounds a’questing"--hence its name. (Apparently the verb "to quest" once meant "to bark". Think of that the next time you read of heroes gone a’questing.)

The comparison is rooted in Eric’s Quixotic need to go chasing after something--anything!--and, in the novel, his "Questing Beast" is the identity of the murderer. Just as Sir Pellinore isn’t happy unless he’s out chasing his Beast, Eric won’t be happy unless he’s doing the same. Not that he’d ever admit it, of course.

In the meantime: happy Christmas, everybody! And may your new year be awesome!

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