My dreams are written in words  an access to Fiza Hasan · Author · added over 4 years ago
I love the beginning. You have done a great job of catching your readers’ attention, and wanting them to come back for more!

We are just shy of 60 days into the Inkshares Mystery & Thriller Contest and as much as I was looking forward to crossing this marathon finish line this week, the Inkshares organizers have decided to let us continue to run until mid-December. I’m currently in first place and hope that continues. To be on the safe side, there is still time to encourage others to order the book. Every order gets me closer to publication. As a reminder, during November, I am donating $5 of every order to the non-profit and I would like nothing more than to have to write a big check for a good charity. So please continue to spread the word. 

A few backers have asked when they can read the book. I’m currently working on the third draft, so the honest answer is I have no idea, but most likely in 2019. In the meantime, I’ve posted 10 revised chapters on the Inkshares site. If you want to take a look, you can do so by clicking on the READ tab below the cover art. (Or click here to go straight to the first of these, the Prologue.)    

It seems there are still a small number of orders that have not going through. If you have not received an email confirmation from with the subject Gumshoe Rules Confirmation, then you’ll need to place your order again.  If you have any uncertainty, you can email directly to check if your order was received.  Please go to  to place your order. 

As this is Thanksgiving in the US, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on how grateful I am to be able to write and publish a novel. Without your support the book would not get published. I am especially grateful to those who not only ordered a copy of the book, but also badgered, spammed or otherwise encouraged other people to do so.  And even though it is sometimes uncomfortable to ask for this favor, it has been nice to be in touch with so many people and hear what so many friends and colleagues are up to.

So thank you everyone for your help! As a reminder, if you can want to reach out to one more person and encourage them to order the book, that would be fantastic!  I’m excited to have everyone along this journey!
--Z.Z. Traver
PS. Back in the spring I attended a writing workshop and met local Detroit author Stephen Mack Jones, who wrote the highly acclaimed August Snow detective novel. I am grateful for his feedback and encouragement upon reading the early chapters of this manuscript.  

The first draft of “Gumshoe Rules” was written in 30 days last November during National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.  Right now there are hundreds of thousands of novelists working eagerly to create their first 50,000 word draft. For anyone interested in NaNoWriMo, I wrote an article with 13 tips for authors on how to breakthrough this month-long writing marathon. To commemorate this event, during November I’m donating $5 of every order to the non-profit.

Meanwhile I’m on my third draft, knee-deep in edits to continue to make “Gumshoe Rules” as good as it can be. I’m fortunate to have been able to tap into some world-class editors both locally and around the world through a web site called Reedsy. For those who might have their own novel in the works, I strongly recommend taking a look at Reedsy in order to hire experienced professional editors and cover designers. They also have a wealth of information on structuring a novel, building suspense, character development and more. 

One slight complication has been reported to me by backers of this project. Somewhere between 3-4% of all orders placed on Inkshares did not make it through, due to some quirks in the Inkshares system. (The problem has now been corrected.) However, even if you are getting this update, it doesn’t mean your order was placed. Please check and if you didn’t receive an email confirmation from with the subject Gumshoe Rules Confirmation, then you’ll need to place your order again. Be sure to click on the final green “Confirm” button to make sure your order goes through. Please go to  to place your order. 

I am grateful to all who have helped support this creative project. I’m confident that with your help, we’ll finish November strong and raise some money for NaNoWriMo! If you can encourage just one other person to buy the book, that would help immensely. 

Thank you for all of your support!
--Z.Z. Traver
PS. At Bouchercon this year, I met Martin Edwards, whose most recent book "Gallows Court" has just been released to great acclaim. Edwards is a bestselling novelist, Chair of the Crime Writers Association, editor of the British Library’s classic crime series and an all around nice guy.   

We are now halfway through the Inkshares Mystery & Thriller Contest and we’ve got just over 300 orders for 400 books keeping “Gumshoe Rules” in first place. Thank you to everyone who has ordered a copy!

“Gumshoe Rules” is intended in part as an homage to classic noir writers including Raymond Chandler, Lawrence Block,  James M. Cain and John D. MacDonald. There are also several modern writers who have been a big influence: Ian Rankin, Anthony Horowitz and Philip Kerr. I consider Kerr’s “Berlin Noir to be one of the greatest noir series every written. His Bernie Gunther series is probably the biggest inspiration I have for writing “Gumshoe Rules.” That said, there is a a dark supernatural twist in my book (think Stephen King) that goes beyond traditional noir.

There are two excellent books that I wanted to share. Christopher Huang who is also in the Mystery & Thriller Contest is publishing his second novel Cat’s Paw.” I’ve ordered this book based on the strength of his first novel. For fans of English mystery writers like Agatha Christie, P.D. James, this will be a real treat. If you want to do your good deed for the day, buy his book. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

For those interested in true crime, I recommend a non-fiction book published by Inkshares “Death As A Living” by Doyle Burke and Lou Grieco is a memoir of a 30-year homicide detective who shares his secrets about his most horrifying cases.

I am grateful for everyone’s support of this book. But I have one more request. If I can ask all of you who have backed this project to send an email to 1 person that you know who might be interested. Perhaps it’s colleague who is a fan of murder mysteries or a family member who always wanted to write a novel. If we get a 25% success rate, that would have a big impact on this project and get me to the finish line so I can get back to writing.  

Send them a link to:  With your help I know we can get this project fully funded and ready for publication. Everything comes to a close in 30 days (November 21) so if you can send an email today, it is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you for all of your support!
--Z.Z. Traver
PS. I got to meet horror author Joe Hill at a reading from his latest book “Strange Weather.” When I told him I was working on my first novel he wrote some very kinds words of encouragement.  

Phew! It’s been a busy first 10 days of the Inkshares Mystery & Thriller contest. I’ve managed to get 225 orders for over 300 books, which is very exciting! This puts me around 40% of the way to the goal. We’re still early in the process, but thanks to all your support Gumshoe Rules is in the #1 position

A few people have asked me about Inkshares and why I chose this route to publication. There were several reasons, but perhaps the most important is that I know two successful authors who have used Inkshares: Tal Klein (The Punch Escrow) and Christopher Huang (A Gentleman’s Murder).  Their books are available in bookstores and on Amazon. Coincidentally, they both sold film or TV rights, which is awesome. If you like Science Fiction, The Punch Escrow is a real treat. For fans of “golden age” mysteries, A Gentleman’s Murder is a modern take on a classic 1920’s genre. But why choose? Buy ’em both!

The other reason I chose Inkshares is more subtle. The publishing industry has gone through tremendous consolidation over the last 10 years. With the advent of the Kindle, eBooks and self-publishing, it seemed like the old model of spending a year to find an agent, pitching publishers and eventually get a book deal seemed like a slow boat to nowhere. Inkshares is a disruptive approach to publishing that takes out the gatekeepers and lets readers decide what kind of books they want to read.  Inkshares seemed like a good middle ground between traditional publishing and the wild-west of self-publishing. They get good distribution through retail channels and the process moves faster than traditional publishing. Seems like a win-win to me!

I’ve spent several weeks emailing everyone I know  and I’ve found that to be 10x more effective than Linkedin or Slack and 100x more effective than Twitter or Facebook. If I can ask you to email two or three friends or colleagues about the book, that is greatly appreciated. Every unique order counts towards the contest, so no one should feel pressure to order multiple copies. Send them a link to:   With your help I know we can get to 400 orders and beyond.

In subsequent updates, I’ll talk more about the authors who have influenced this book, where readers are coming from as well as answer any questions you have.

Thank you so much for your support!
--Z.Z. Traver
PS. At the Bouchercon mystery writer’s conference, I was able to hang out with Christopher Huang, author of A Gentleman’s Murder, also published by Inkshares 

Thank you everyone who helped launch GUMSHOE RULES this weekend! I’m happy to report that my book is currently #1 in the Inkshares Mystery & Thriller contest. I sent out a lot of email these last few days and you came through with nearly 100 orders totaling more than 130 books (and counting) which puts me at almost 20% of the goal. I am grateful to everyone who ordered.

The challenge going forward will be how to scale this to get to the finish line as I’m rapidly running out of people to email. So if I can ask one more favor from everyone: please help me get the word out about this book. If you can email it to a family member, friend, stranger,  or strange family member, post it online on Slack, Facebook, Twitter or otherwise let people know about this project, it is greatly appreciated. Send them a link to: 

 I am currently awaiting feedback from my developmental editor to revise the third draft. I’m sure there is a lot of work ahead of me, but it is great to know there’s an audience waiting for the book.  I’ll do my best to keep you posted on my progress and I’m happy to answer any questions that you have. In future updates I’ll tell you more about GUMSHOE RULES, some if it’s influences, why I chose Inkshares, the value of a creative side hustle, the selection of a pen-name and more.
Again, thank you for your support!
--Z.Z. Traver
PS. Here’s a photo of me with one of my favorite authors, Ian Rankin, whom I met at Bouchercon, a writer’s conference I attended earlier this month. He was very gracious but he did make a weird face for the camera.