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8c8c82abe109ddbc406dc826a2e672bf Sean Arthur Cox · Author · added almost 5 years ago
So, in a fit of "Oh no, it’s getting late in the year and I haven’t accomplished any of my New Year’s Resolutions" last year, I went ahead and self-published on Amazon, and was in such a rush to get cover art, get it proofread, and get it out the door that I forgot to update that here. Anyway, the Kindle edition is free through April 29th. Thanks for following along and believing in this crazy little story. I hope you enjoy it.

All, thank you for the support. Things have been progressing well...

I’ve come up with a better concept for the cover, which will be handy when working with the artist.

But here’s the big fun thing:

;;

Why, what are those with the poorly drawn cover? Proof copies? What could I possibly need five proof copies for? I can’t imagine needing more than one. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to have a giveaway.

Also, I’ve finally decided what to do for my promotional video. It won’t be great, but it’s what I’ve got. Now I just need to find some time when the kids aren’t playing very loudly in the background so you’ll be able to hear anything I say.

All, thank you for the support. Things have been progressing well...

Formatting proofs have been ordered. I’m trying out a new blurb from the one on this page. We’ll see how I like it. I went ahead and put the original crayon-drawn cover for my first draft on the proofs, just to make them a little more amusing. I even ordered five. One for me, and four to use as giveaways. We’ll talk about how you can win one of those in a future update (they need to arrive first).

But, if you can spread the word now, I’d appreciate it. Share the link, tell your friends. Leave a review stating why you decided to follow this book in the first place, what caught your attention about it, or what you thought about the first few chapters, I’d greatly appreciate it. Honest feedback is ALWAYS appreciated.

In the meantime, I’m having a Big Dumb Drawing contest over on Facebook. I’m not a great artist. I’m good enough to do well at Pictionary, but far from professional. But I’ll do a big dumb drawing of your choosing just for spreading the word. Share the link to this book and then reply to this comment saying where you shared it (I’ll trust you) and you’ll be entered to win. Following the book nets you another entry, and leaving a review (positive or negative, so long as it’s honest) gets you another. 

The last winner asked for a drawing of the Eye of Sauron telling the hobbits to get off his lawn. Naturally, I had to sketch Frodo and Gollum smoking while Samwise did an Ollie on a skateboard (because why else would the ancient Eye of Sauron be telling them to get off his lawn?). You could have something equally silly, sillier even! Or a badly drawn sketch of a scene from your novel, which you could then use as fan art to promote your own book!

I’ll see you Monday with the winner!

All, thank you for the support. Things have been progressing well...

...well, they’ve been progressing slowly. My day job has had me working some particularly long hours this past week, but I will have substantially more time to throw some shoulder behind the push this week. 

Immediate goals are pretty much the same as last week. More fixes. More formatting, then submit for initial proofs hopefully early this week. I’ll be contacting the artist this week as well. When I send it up for proofs, I’ll post a picture of my crappy hand-drawn cover for the original draft that will no doubt end up the cover for the initial proofs (which you’ll be able to win!)

So that’s what I’ll be doing to bring the Professional Corpse to life. What can you do to help? You’ve already done the first step. You’ve put your faith in me and my book. But if you could kindly spread the word. Leave feedback. Let me know what you think of the prologue and the first couple chapters. Recommend it to your friends if you think they’d like it. Share the link. I’m just one guy with short arms. Help this book extend beyond the reach of just my fingertips.

In the meantime, here’s another playlist, though this one is less a "get to know the characters through music" playlist, and more "What does Sean listen to when he’s writing these books?" playlist. 

 I’d like to put together a playlist for Jamie (or "The Departed" as the character is referred to in my head, since really, Jamie is just what the character is going by at this time in this body), but the truth is, the Departed loves music too much and has lived too long. They’ve heard and been profoundly affected by music that I, as a writer, have never even heard in genres I’ve never heard of,  that the world has completely forgotten ever existed, and I just don’t feel like I could do that playlist justice.  

Having already done drafts for three books in this series, I noticed at times that it could get a bit... dark.  Olivia and Jamie both encounter some sadistic, evil people in their lines of work. I put this playlist together as a bouey, something to keep me afloat when writing a scene in which Jamie is bound in a cabin in the woods being tortured by an insane housewife who needs to keep herself occupied while the kids are at school.  It’s a playlist of songs that either are upbeat and high energy or are at least beautiful that it injects a little life and emotion back into me after I’ve been so drained. It’s the playlist that brings me back to life after writing an intense scene has burned me out.

Give it a listen. Let me know what you like and what songs you think I should add.

Without further, I present for your listening pleasure, Phoenix.


All, thank you for the support. Things have been progressing well...

I said I was going to do it, and I’m doing it. I’m starting my updates with the Inkshares update default. Until I get bored of it, at least.

I’m currently making some changes, some fixes, adding in a few little things, writing in the About the Author and the "Hey thanks" section, and coming up with chapter titles (two more to go!). Once I get that done, I’m going to send it off to get a proof copy made to get an idea about how big it’s going to be so I know what dimensions to give to to the cover artist I’ve found. While I’m at it, I’ll mark the proof up with red ink to give it one more last look before it’s ready for print. There will probably be two or three more last looks after that. I take last looks at my work like smokers take last cigarettes. I might well order a few extra proof copies, mark ’em all up with red, and then have a giveaway so you can see how even after several years of looks, I’m still catching new typos. Who knows? You may even catch hints at future books in the margin notes. Anyone interested in possibly winning a free red-inked copy? Or are there any other promotions you’d like to see? As I’m sure you’re aware by now, I’m a good idea man, but a terrible promoter. What would you like to see? Let’s make this our campaign, because without you, the early adopters, the supporters, it’d just be me throwing keystrokes at a hard drive with no one to enjoy it. So thanks for supporting and listening.


All, thank you for the support. Things have been progressing well...

In fact, I’ve spent the weekend doing what I do best with manuscripts. I’ve been reading through The Professional Corpse and realizing little things, opportunities throwaway lines and jokes that will pay off later in the book and later in the series. Finding ways to hid little Easter eggs in the text which themselves contain other Easter eggs within them which in turn serve as tiny little clues to future plot twists. Why? Because I like to amuse myself. Also because a couple of them are good for character development.

I’ve also been combing through Creative Commons and public domain images and putting together promotional images for this book that’s caught our attention. I’ll be actually doing timed releases of them to keep some sort of momentum going, but here’s a link for you to see them early. Little hook blurbs for the main five characters. I’ll probably do another set of five in a month or so, each with a quotation from a different character. We’ll see.

On top of promotional images, I teased a fun little meta surprise for anyone interested in the last update. Well, now I’ve got pictures. For those of you who’ve read chapter two, you may recall a certain unfortunately designed business card shared over a bottle of wine. I’ve made about sixty of ’em this morning. If anyone would like one, let me know and I’ll gladly throw it in the mail for you as a way of saying thanks for getting in early. The phone number on them is even functional! (though now I need to add a passage about hastily setting up his voicemail to make it clear the character is awkward with technology and the rambling was a deliberate choice on the writer’s part).

Anyway, if you’d like to get your hands one of these business cards, send me a message, or more amusingly still, call the number (443.648.DEAD) and leave Jamie a voicemail and he’ll get that out for you ;)

Every time I click Update Readers, it always comes pre-loaded with a default message starter. Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda want to start using that to start EVERY. SINGLE. UPDATE. 

But that’s not what this update is about. I’m working on some promotional stuff. Pictures and meta stuff to help spread the word. Marketing is my weakness, so I’m really cracking down trying to come up with ways to catch people’s eye and draw them to the project. A lot of it feels gimmicky, but I don’t know what to do that doesn’t feel gimmicky without stopping people on the streets and saying, "READ MY BOOK!"

But that leads to police, and that’s no good for anyone.

From a development front, I’ve found a couple of artists I’m about to approach for cover art, but I need a couple more logistical things in place before that can get moving. and have made a checklist for things to do in case I don’t suddenly become a marketing genius in the 77 days left in this campaign and don’t get the 243 preorders needed for Inkshares to make this happen. Because this book is happening, one way or another. The only question is when and how.

But gimmicky things. I’ve got some promotional images I’m putting together. Some playlists, since music is a big thing for both of the protagonists. And... a special something nice for anyone who wants a little surprise happy. Why? Because I like taking things from my stories and giving it some way to interact with the real world. For my novel New Tricks, the book came with sheet music for the drinking song the characters sing, so the reader can sing along.

For this one, I’d like to send a little something to anyone who wants it. Don’t worry. It’s not an assassin. Just a fun little prop from the book. If you’re an interested follower, send me a direct message with a place where you can get physical mail  and I’ll drop a thank you letter and a little promotional surprise in the mail for you. Because I also am secretly in love with the United States Postal Service and love sending stuff in the mail.

In the mean time, keep your eyes peeled. I’ll keep posting updates and pushing out fun little things like this promotional image::

And if there’s anything you’d like to see more of or anything you think might help get the word out, or just thoughts about the book in general (or if I need to put out more chapters. I don’t know how that’s typically done here), let me know! I’m always happy to hear from you!

I’m still new to this whole Inkshares thing, and I don’t know entirely what to do with updates, but...

Currently, I’ve got the book with a few people combing through for typos and what not. Story-wise the book is about the best I think I can get it right now, so unless we hit that 750 pre-orders, it’s not going to get a big professional overhaul from a narrative standpoint. As such, once I’ve gotten the feedback and had a chance to read over it one more time, I’ll start feeding more chapters, rather than just the prologue and the first couple chapters that are up (the getting to know our protagonists bits). 

So, since the drafting is mostly done for now, I figured to keep things interesting and keep communication flowing in this, our author-reader relationship, I’d give a bit of a peek into my process.

In my first novel, New Tricks, at one point, William injures his leg, and for the rest of the book, I couldn’t remember which leg I’d injured. I couldn’t always remember what Marcus Bloodstone looked like. I had a fuzzy idea, but I was constantly referring back to see what I had established, what I was accidentally changing. I literally kept pictures cut from magazines and pasted to index cards for reference.

Then, a year later Pinterest came out, which is an outstanding tool for keeping names, faces, locations, ideas in one location. And many years later, long after having written the first draft of this book and several others, I finally got around to actually using it.

I have since created a board on Pinterest for this book for readers to get a little idea what I see in my head when I write these characters. Note, these are approximations, best representations for what I had in mind.

https://www.pinterest.com/dumwytgi/professional-corpse/

For Olivia, I wanted someone sincere, someone a little nerdy, funny, someone who could just as easily flirt her way out of trouble as she could disappear completely into a crowd. I ended up going with Jesse Meriwether in my mental casting because she’s hilarious in the commercials she’s done (she was the woman in the Orbit gum commercial who called the other lady the lint licker). She’s got geek streak a mile wide. She’s versatile. What’s more, she’s from my hometown and went to high school with some friends of mine!

For Houston, I actually had it pretty easy keeping things consistent. When I published New Tricks, I did a contest that I don’t even remember except to say that I had one* and the winner got to be in my next book. Houston won. So I named a character Houston and gave him a few of the real Houston’s personality quirks. Originally, he was supposed to die in The Professional Corpse, but he was so much fun, I kept him alive and made him a recurring character in future books. To protect the real Houston’s privacy, I’ve recast him as an amalgam of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti, but happier and a touch more goofy. The real Houston does improv, and my kid’s baby blanket has a quilt square from a t-shirt for an improv festival with Houston’s outline on it.

Bill Thompson needed to be old, but full of vitality and mirth. And he’s a lecherous old coot, but not attractive, so he needed to be charming, the kind of guy who immediately breaks down your defenses because you can’t help but like the guy so much. Jack Lemmon seemed a perfect fit. 

Nick Presario needed to have a predator’s intensity, someone attractive but oozing with a hidden danger, a ruthlessness lurking just out of sight. Cillian Murphy has range and is great in everything he does, but when he puts on a suit and gets that look... that’s the way I envision Nick Presario.

The Marquis never really had a face in my mind. He was 100% personality, because to me at least, it didn’t matter what he looked like. He could be unwashed and penniless in the morning but by dinner, have talked his way into someone’s clothes and mansion and convinced them they owed him for the pleasure. He’s everything Nick Presario thinks he is (and deep down inside, if he’s being honest, wishes he were). If you gave Nick two hundred years’ practice, you’d have the Marquis. So instead of looking for a consistent face, I went for images that captured class, that captured the sort of air that exuded power, trust, and superiority. Someone who seemed to be your best hope for everything, someone you could confide in, someone who you would trust completely until the moment when he springs and you are torn to shreds in his claws, and even then, you might feel honored to have been eaten by him. 

So yeah. There you go. A little insight into my process and a little glimpse at the images that play out in my head before I move them to paper. Until next time, enjoy the ride, enjoy the story, and tell your friends!

*I remember the contest. It was, "If you could look like anyone and you knew you couldn’t die, what would you do?" Houston’s was my favorite, and when faced with that hypothetical in the book, fictional Houston uses the same response.

So, the presumptive final draft is ready to go except for art and a last check for typos (and first drafts for the next two books in the series already complete!). I’ve done just about all I can without a fresh set of eyes. When we hit 250 pre-orders, we should move pretty quickly into the production phase. If we hit 750, that’s when things get really exciting, and we turn this book from fun and exciting, to great and exhilarating! Follow along, share along, and let’s bring this thing to life like Jaime after a poisoned glass of Shiraz, shall we?