Discussion

SHORT UPDATE!

I’m working on the next draft after some interesting feedback from my editor. I’m still buckling down, still pounding out the words, and still crafting this book to be the best it can be. Just thought I’d let you all know and thank you once again for your support and patience. 

I’ll let you know when I send in the next draft. Until then, feel free to reach out. 

Thanks again, and I love you all. 

-Michael

I’VE UPDATED THE PAGE WITH A NEW COVER AND TITLE!

After I sent the last update, I got a ton of positive feedback about the new title. So, I went ahead and constructed a makeshift cover until the book cover masters at Inkshares create something inevitably mindblowing. Seriously. The covers coming out on Inkshares books have been amazing. To fill the gap until the amazing book cover train arrives, here’s what I scrounged together with my limited skills:



There’s clipart involved. It’s a temporary thing that may or may not elicit a "cease and desist" letter. But it’ll hold the spot for now. 

I updated the page itself, including the pitch and summary. I also uploaded the first chapter, which will be sent to you in a separate email. I hope you enjoy. You can view the entire book page by clicking here on these words

I realize most of you have been waiting for some time for this book, and I appreciate your patience. Your investment in me has been life changing, as I have learned more about the process of crafting a book than I would have without your faith in me. While I know the wait has been long, trust me when I say the result will be worth the wait. I am indebted to you always. Thank you for all of your love, support, and patience. 2018 will be a year saturated with progress. 

As always, love to you all.  

Happy Fat Tuesday!

-Michael

THE MANUSCRIPT IS IN!!!

After two months of rewriting and revising, with the help of my friends Peter Ryan and Cari Dubiel, and. of course, my wife, I’ve turned in a fine tuned 76,900-word manuscript after the first round of developmental editing. That’s nearly 10,000 darlings killed. It was probably closer to 15,000 of the original words that suffered their terrible fate, but I changed a couple of scenes and added about 5,000 words back in. It was all for the better, and I’m proud of what this book has become. 

I know I promised mid-January for turning in this manuscript, but I’m going to play the sympathy card, because I was hospitalized in January for acute abdominal pain and had my gallbladder removed and subsequently stolen. They wouldn’t bronze it and let me keep it, the jerks, they just took it God only knows where. But, I’m glad it’s out. The good news is that I got my author bio picture in the process: 

That’ll sell a lot of books on its own. Might even make it the cover of the book. Not sure my publisher would go for that, though. 

Speaking about the cover, design will start happening in a few months, but I already know one thing will be remarkably different when it’s done: the title. 

Yup, I am almost sure I’m changing the title. The book is in two parts now, and I’ve named part one "The Madness of Mr. Butler," while part two is "The Courage of Mr. Butler." As much as I love the title as it has been, it doesn’t really sound like a science fiction book, which it mostly is. I’m changing the title of the book to "The Man Who Stole the World," which, for those of you who are in need of improving your musical tastes, is a play on the title of a David Bowie song. (And David Bowie might have a cameo in the story, but I’m not at liberty to say at this point).

wink

So, what’s next? 

Right now, we wait. Matt Harry, my editor, already got back to me that he’s currently working on a few manuscripts and plans on starting on mine in a few weeks. So, it’s probably going to be a while before I can report on further progress. But, this means that this year will begin the next levels of edits on a manuscript that is actively in production. I feel great about it all. I’ve had a wonderful experience with Inkshares

Thank you all for your support. Your investment in me is something I think about and appreciate daily. I’m working my tail off to get you the best version of the book. Thank you for the opportunity. This is all because of you. I hug you.

In the meantime, if you wanna interact outside of email, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook, and fairly soon I’m getting my blog back up after some reconstruction. 

Hang in there, it’s all coming together!

Love always, 

-Michael


Thank you for your patience, everyone. This is a big update, but an important one!

A FULL DRAFT IS FINISHED!!!


Here’s what the timeline has been like:

Throughout the summer, Inkshares has guided me through a developmental edit of the manuscript, guided by my editor, Matt Harry. I’ve been working with a group of other amazing authors as we’ve all helped each other improve the structure of our stories. What I ended up with at the end of this process was a detailed outline of my story, as I decided to rewrite it for the most part. 

In mid-September, I got the green light from Matt to go ahead and write the book all over again. 

From September through the end of October, I expanded upon the outline I worked on with Matt, writing character sheets involving their personalities and background, as well as fun little things that won’t ever turn up in the story other than being guiding factors in the characters’ actions and decisions. I also wrote in details of the different settings, and I expanded the outline of the story itself into individual scenes. Basically, I was getting to know the world of the story I built. Part of fleshing that out was writing the prologue, which is still up on the book’s Inkshares page

Approaching November, I made a big decision based on what I learned about my own story. I changed the entire perspective of how it is told. I was writing in third person, as an omniscient narrator, but I felt this was not personal enough. The writing was dry, the humor fell flat, and the characters just felt detached. I was slowing down and feeling a bit uninspired. Then, I decided to experiment with first person, and I wrote a few passages from the perspective of George, the main character in the story. Suddenly, the story felt warm, personal, and it had depth. I was excited for my tale once more!

This was great timing, as November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo, for short). For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a free challenge to write a story of 50,000 words within the span of November. I participated, and I sacrificed a lot of sleep, and I completed the task! I FINISHED MY DRAFT! THE NOVEL IS FINISHED!!! And, I kicked NaNoWriMo’s ass by writing 86,298 words in a single month!


So...what now?

After the initial wave of emotion crashed over me as I typed the last words on the epilogue, I was finally able to talk without choking up. One of the first things I said to my wife was "I have birthed the child, now it’s time to raise it." And that’s actually a great little analogy. The book is here. It is born. It is readable and the story all makes sense. But I need to edit it, nurture it, make it great enough to release. I need to feed it and wipe its butt every time I look into its diaper and find a poop. It needs to be in a condition where, if you don’t like it, then it’s because of completely subjective things, not objective problems such as incoherence, plot holes, characters that don’t really make sense, or, God forbid, typos (gasp!)


So, it’s on to the edits. Right now that means I’m going to be combing through the manuscript myself, but I’m getting by with a little help from my friends. Namely, my wife, and the incredible Peter Ryan (you need to check out his book, for real). I’m hunting down a few others, but if you are reading this and feel excited to give what I have a read in exchange for constructive criticism, don’t be afraid to reach out to me. 

I feel that I’ll be able to turn in the latest and greatest draft of this thing to Inkshares by January. I’ll let you know when I get it in. After that, I’ll be able to give you updates on the finishing of the developmental edit, the copyedit, and the proofread. When that happens, we’ll also be getting into fun stuff like cover design and planning book signings and release parties and any other tricks I might have up my sleeve. The release date is estimated to be in September at this point, and I will do my absolute best to make that happen. 

I am proud of this story as it is now. It’s fun, it’s funny, but it’s also just a good story. I laughed and cried as I wrote it, though that might just be my crazy showing. I hope when this thing gets into your hands next year, you laugh and enjoy the story. But it’s okay if you cry, too. 

Thank you for your support, as always. Don’t hesitate to reach out. 

I love you all. For reals. 


Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and Happy New Year!

2018 is going to be amazing. 

Love always,

-Michael.

Pleeze give my Facebook author page a "like," why don’t ya? It’s here: Tall Tales Told

Or, if you’re more stoked about the extra characters on Twitter, I’m over there at times as well: @Tall_Tales_Told

Hello friends!

A couple of things going on, aside from the rewrite:

1) I hope you all received the prologue. It’s a quick read, and it sets the mood for the book. Any and all feedback is welcome. I hope it makes you laugh. This is my first draft of the prologue, and I liked it so much I wanted to put it up on the page to share. Special thanks to my good friend Peter Ryan for the help with the Aussie slang. Thanks to your help, the dialogue is fair dinkum. Peter is a fellow author, and quite the talent. You can buy his released book, "Sync City," here, and follow his next book, "Destiny Imperfect," here.

2) We are looking at a possible title change. Not that I don’t like "The Madness of Mr. Butler," but it would be great to get a title that captures the mood of the book as well as give an indication that it is sci-fi in its roots. My favorite thus far is "The Man Who Stole the World." If you have any opinions or suggestions in this regard, please let me know. 

That’s really it at the moment, as I have to get back to writing. Thank you once again for your support!

Love to all,

-Michael

Preorder here: https://www.inkshares.com/books/the-madness-of-mr-butler

Follow me on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/T3.TallTalesTold/

Follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Tall_Tales_Told

Check out my website here: https://talltalestold.com/

Contact me here: info@talltalestold.com

WE’RE ROUNDING THE CORNER TO THE NEXT PHASE OF EDITING!!!

Oh my patient readers, supporters, and followers...it is an exciting time in the world of this book. The first phase of developmental editing is coming to a close, and the complete structure of the book is receiving its finishing touches. This means that phase 2: rewrite will begin this week!

That’s not as bad as it sounds, perhaps. The writing is the best part! The planning and research, now that is some difficult stuff, indeed. My editor, the incredible Matt Harry, has assisted me in restructuring the book into a story that is great fun. Have things changed a lot? Yes, indeed they have. But all of it is for the better. The story is fairly, well, unrecognizable when compared with previous sketches, but all is improved. I am proud of this story, its characters, its themes, and its presentation. 

And this is why I’m updating you. I’ve put the new and improved synopsis up on the homepage, and I’d love for you to check it out. Click here to see everything. I’m going with what Matt said about the book. He called it "a really fun space adventure that reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy and Rick and Morty." Yup. That’s just about exactly what I was looking for. Perhaps with a little Hitchhiker’s Guide thrown in, but I think we all want to say that about our books. 

If you have trouble seeing the page or if you’d rather not click on a new link, I’ve pasted the pitch and summary below. I would love your feedback. 

So, writing/rewriting begins this week! 

Thanks for hanging in there, and thanks for your support of this little dream of mine. 

-Michael



The Madness of Mr. Butler


Comparisons: 

Guardians of the Galaxy meets Rick and Morty

Pitch: 

After helping a psychiatric patient escape the hospital, a burned out ER nurse and his girlfriend are swept away on an intergalactic thrill ride to save Earth from annihilation at the hands of a blood thirsty space pirate.

About: 

The Voyager probes were sent out into the universe to give any alien life an idea of what things are like on Earth, and they were built under the assumption that any intelligent life they encountered would be curious and peaceful. In the past week, one of the probes has gone AWOL and the other seems to be headed straight back to Earth with some sort of alien megastructure attached. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it’s really a shame the probes included coordinates to Earth. Now, the world is panicking as an alien force is bounding toward our pale blue dot, making it difficult to assume anything other than destruction is on its agenda.

This general feeling of impending doom by the general public is not helping George Butler feel any better about his life. He is a burned out nurse at the busiest ER in the greater Cleveland area, and this "end is near" vibe sweeping the world has only quadrupled his patient load. On top of this, his girlfriend Eliza has been increasingly nervous and distant recently, and George fears that she is thinking of ending the relationship. All George wants to do is finish out his shift and spend some time with Eliza, hopefully convincing her to stay with him.

The last patient George sees is the cherry on top of a shit sundae of a workday. The man claims to be from another planet (the fifth patient that day to claim such a thing) and will only go by "Mr. Butler" after stealing George’s last name from his ID badge. The patient goes on and on and won’t let George leave the room, claiming ridiculous things such as flying a spaceship shaped like a Victorian-style home with a lovely wraparound porch, and landing said ship directly on top of George’s own house. After finally cutting off the conversation and dodging every manipulative attempt by his charge nurse to convince him to stay and work, George finally gets to go on his date with Eliza.

It’s mostly a nice date, but the fact that the date was to celebrate their dating anniversary slips George’s mind. That makes things a little awkward.

That, and the fact that George’s plans to bring Eliza to his house to cuddle up in front of a movie are ruined by the fact that there’s an enormous Victorian-style house sitting right where George’s house once stood.

And is that one of the Voyager probes lodged in its lovely wraparound porch?

About the book

This book is meant to be taken seriously. At all costs. If you are offended by comedy or ridiculous situations, then you’ve come to the right place, because I’ve taken great care in my research to design The Madness of Mr. Butlerto be as scientifically accurate as possible. I’ve performed all feats in this book, or at least had a friend try them and tell me what it was like, and what I couldn’t accomplish I Googled, so it’s all factual as hell.

Think planets can’t be miniaturized? They can be. I’ve met a guy who said he did it once. He was playing the saxophone on the side of the street and only charged me a dollar and a ham salad sandwich for the information. That’s a bargain.

Think space pirates don’t exist? Well, tell that to a space pirate. They might not call themselves space pirates, per se, but they will exist nevertheless.

Think throwing a reaction bomb into the sun and then riding the resulting supernova away from danger is a silly idea? Then you obviously haven’t tried it. I’ll admit it’s a difficult thing to do, but with enough Googling, anything is possible.

The Madness of Mr. Butler is mostly biography. Sure, there are some embellishments, as biographies are mostly boring without a little flair mixed in. But the facts are factual, and the science is so hard, you won’t believe it. Trust me.

You should order this book if you care about the reason the Earth is safe from one of the greatest threats it has ever faced and learning about the people who stepped up to face the threat we faced to its face.

What are you waiting for? Harder science? More operatic space?

The Madness of Mr. Butler is a hard space opera so hard with facts the book doubles as a weapon because of its hardness.

I’d say more, but I know you’ve already bought a copy. Thanks for caring about facts.

And no laughing, unless you laugh hard.

Quick update!

Thank you for hanging in there, everyone!

I’m nearing the end of the first phase of developmental editing, which means that the story itself is getting a polished shine so bright you’ll be able to see your face in the cover when you get the book (subject to glossiness of the actual cover). This means in the coming weeks I will be moving on to rewrites. The developmental editing process has been incredible. Mr. Butler and friends have truly come out on top through this process. Endless thanks to Matt Harry, my editor, for his patience with me during a difficult summer, his ability to see the story the same way I see it, and his willingness to challenge me along the way. 

"Cool. So when do I get my book?"

I’m working hard to try and get it into your hands during the first half of next year. I can’t thank you all enough for your investment in my dream to become a published author. I realize it’s unconventional to buy a book two years before getting it, but the end will pay off, I promise. Inkshares books are still getting published faster than traditional publishers’s books, and all the while they are gaining international attention, securing TV, movie, and audiobook deals, and winning awards. This momentum is no doubt part of the careful attention they are giving to books like mine. This is a dream, and I thank you all for your investment. 

If you wish to see my other writing, poetry, and music while you wait, please take a look at talltalestold.com. It’s my personal blog and home for all things writing. You can watch me become a Viking and play guitar...but not in the same entry...yet. 

If you’re on Facebook, stop by and give Tall Tales Told a "like." There’s also a group on that page where I post the Mr. Butler news and updates, in case you’d prefer seeing them on there rather than through an email. 

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’d better get back to work.

Thank you for your support, as always. 

Love, 

Michael

I’d like for you all to meet my editor, Matt Harry. He has been amazing in the journey toward getting The Madness of Mr. Butler published. As I’ve said, it is a long process, but that process is all in the best interests of the story, and in your best interests as my readers, investors, and friends. This man is doing great things to help make Mr. Butler a great story. He is challenging me and pushing toward making the final product the absolute best it can be. He is behind the greatest successes at Inkshares, and Inkshares decided that my little book deserves the attention of an incredible editor. Please enjoy the blog entry and video regarding one of his recent releases, "A God in the Shed" by J.F. Dubeau, here: http://blog.inkshares.com/post/162717697220/it-all-comes-back-to-story

As for Mr. Butler, great things are happening, and I appreciate your patience as everything remains under construction. We are still looking at an early 2018 release date.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to email me at info@talltalestold.com

Why the new email address? Because I am running an internet thing called "Tall Tales Told" now. It’s a home for everything I’m writing and thinking. I’m featuring music, stories of both fiction and nonfiction, and illustrated poetry. Please take a moment and visit if you haven’t already. You can visit by clicking here.

Thanks again for your support and patience. 

Love always, 

Michael.

Short update, I promise...

In all honesty, it’s been a rough couple of weeks. We suffered a few terrible events in our family that led up to a great loss. I’m not going into great detail here, since this is a personal matter, but I felt you all deserved a good reason for why not much has happened over the past month. 

BUT! There are good things afoot!

1) I am a part of an arranged group of Inkshares authors, and we are all working together in order to polish our stories and make them the best they can be for when they arrive in your hands in 2018! I will give more details when I have them and when I am in a greater swing of things. But I assure you, this is a big deal. 

2) I am still writing other things, and I want to share them with you! I have started a website called Tall Tales Told (click here: talltalestold.com) and it is a blog of sorts. I wanted to get an author page going, and that might be a part of things in the future, but I noticed something about most author pages: there’s no writing. Tall Tales Told is laced with what I’m calling "embellished nonfiction." I am telling tales from throughout my life, but with necessary embellishments, allowing for the fact that my memory of events might not be 100% accurate. I see these tales as something along the lines of David Sedaris in terms of delivery. Also, there is poetry! And it is illustrated by the amazing Phil Rood! (Please check out philrood.com, because this man is incredible and you should be buying his work.) 

Tall Tales Told is also on Facebook and Twitter, and I plan on releasing all things Mr. Butler on this website as well. I am putting it all up there for your enjoyment, and for free. I hope you like it. Thank you for checking it out. 

That’s all for now. There’s much more, of course, but my brain and heart are a bit frazzled by this insane month of May. 

Thank you all for the support. I love you all. 

-Michael. 

Editing update!

I was thrilled to begin the editing portion of production, but I had no idea it would be this amazing. (I mean, I guess I did a little, because Inkshares posted their production process here.) I’m in the "story architecture" portion of the developmental edit. What this means is that my editor (the incredible Matt Harry, author of "Sorcery for Beginners," which you can check out here) started challenging me right off the bat. He threw great questions at me regarding what I want to say with my book and how I can make each character more meaningful in the story. 

Long story short, I’m restructuring the story. 

This is a GREAT thing, believe me. It does not offset the current release date aim of February/March of 2018, as long as I put in the work. And so far, I certainly have. In the two weeks since production has started, I redesigned the story into a four-page structure, and my editor, my beta readers, and I all see this becoming a story that is vastly improved and will be a fun read. 

Personally, I’m over the moon. 

At first, I’ll admit, being challenged on my own story and being presented with difficult questions was frustrating. Then I realized that pulling together a new and improved version is better for everything all around. This is a process I would not have gotten at a traditional publisher. Any other publisher would have simply helped me clean up the story I submitted. Working with Matt Harry makes me feel like I’m in a writer’s room and I’m the lead writer. It’s been an amazing couple of weeks working on the new and improved Mr. Butler, and I am sure that you all will enjoy the final product all the more. 

What’s next? I’m expanding my story structure into individual chapters with summaries describing what will occur in each chapter. Then Matt will go over everything with me and help me tighten the story up. 

After that, it’s rewriting time! I am excited to write this story. It’s going to flow quickly. 

With the detailed treatment my little book is getting already, I truly feel like a contest winner. And I won thanks to all of your support. Thank you. 

I will let you know when the chapter summaries are finished and I’m moving on to getting this adventure down onto pages. Until then, just know that I love you all. 

And if you haven’t preordered, you can here. Thank you for your support everyone.

-Michael.


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