Dear friends and followers, I just looked at the calendar and realised: there are, as I type this, just eighteen days (and a couple of hours) to go until 31 July, when "A Gentleman’s Murder" is officially released into the wild.
If you happen to be in Montreal for the week following, there will be a book signing and launch event at the Indigo bookstore downtown (Place Montreal Trust, 1500 McGill College Avenue) on Saturday, 04 August from 1 pm to 4 pm.
In the meantime, if you’re in the U.S., there’s a GoodReads Giveaway happening with 25 free copies of the book to be won. Check it out and tell your friends.
And speaking of GoodReads, we’ve got a few reviews there already from readers with advance copies. Reviews have so far been complimentary -- let’s hope the trend keeps up! And I hope you’ll consider adding your own when you’re done.
Happy July to all of my amazing followers. I hope that all of you are having a lovely summer.
Getting down to the wire folks! The publishing date is less than two months away, and so much has been happening between each update. Galleys have been printed, and we have already received 33 goodreads reviews from NetGalley reviewers and early readers, with an average of 4.55 stars. With the underlying political themes present in the novel, I’ve steeled myself for a wide range of reactions, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Below are a few of my favorite snippets from NetGalley reviewers.
"Wow what a ride! The Seclusion was a mixture of The Giver, 1984 and V for Vendetta all rolled into a nice package with a little touch of Trump thrown in. WOW again.""This book was so scarily wonderful. I will be asking every teen and fan of YA to read this book when it comes out... The premise is engaging, the characters are wonderful and well developed and the writing flows. As soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to start it again, I cannot wait until others can read and start talking about this book! It has an ending that leaves the reader satisfied. I sure do hope that the author writes a sequel soon, though, because I want more more more!"
"This was a quick read for me because once I started it, I couldn’t put it down! With the political themes it hit very close to home... I believe teens and adults that enjoy dystopian story lines will enjoy this book and those that see the comparisons with the current political climate in our country right now. I highly recommend..."
Press releases have started to go out to local as well as national outlets. The official launch party has been set, and will be held at:
Malaprops Bookstore and Cafe
Tuesday, September 4th at 6:00pm
The launch will include a reading, signing, and refreshments. It would be my honor to meet as many of you in person as possible. The book will be avaible for preorder directly from Malaprop’s, and also through Indie Bound (support your local bookstore), Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
It’s July! We’re moved into our new house and just in time. I received my developmental edit letter from my editor on Friday! If you haven’t heard of a developmental edit letter, you aren’t alone. I hadn’t either until I started this process. It’s basically a giant letter explaining eveything that needs to be changed in your book.
I’ve been super nervous to receive mine since I’ve heard the editor is very thorough. Some of my Inkshares author friends have gone through 9 or 10 drafts! Sure enough, the letter suggests I restructure my whole story, take out some characters and plots, make some changes to focus on a different audience (young adult!), and work a lot on my descriptive prose and character arcs.
The extent of the suggestions wasn’t a surprise, but my reaction was! I really expected to be very defensive and sad and overwhelmed. Instead I feel incredibly honored that someone as skilled as my editor gave such thoughtful and helpful comments and incredibly grateful that you all gave me the chance to work with him. This book is going to be so much better because of it.
I just submitted a revised (4000 word!) outline based on his suggestions and we’ll work on that until we agree it’s time to move forward to a rewrite. I’ll keep you all updated!
Thank you for following along with this journey and for giving me the opportunity to experience this process! It’s so exciting!
Greetings, Faoii! Exciting news today!
The and best way is to watch the video of your newest missive by clicking here.
For those who don’t want to watch the video, here’s a summary: SO MANY of you have asked me about a sequel to The Last Faoii. So, let’s make that happen. Faoii Betrayer is now open for pre-orders and I need you to pick up your blade again if we’re going to see it become real. It’s going to be a hard fight, my warriors. We need 750 soldiers on our side before we can even begin the process towards publication. I’ve already had people tell me not to get my hopes up... but they didn’t have an army, did they? Prove. Them. Wrong.
The biggest thing we need in order to see Faoii Betrayer is more soldiers. Our current army isn’t going to cut it--we must spread the word. So tell your friends and your family. Leave a review for The Last Faoii on Amazon. Do whatever you can to bring more soldiers to this banner. This campaign and it becoming real is on you, Faoii. You want to see Faoii Betrayer? Prove it.
It’s been too long, my warriors. Pick up your blades and let’s show the world what we’re made of. I’ll see you on the battlefield.
Last week, my development editor, Matt Harry, sent me his notes on my last draft of Tantalus Depths. They were sparse this time and easy to address, so I made pretty short work of them. Last night I submitted my third full draft with the new changes added, and Matt gave this draft his seal of approval. We are officially done with the development edit stage!
So what does that mean? Well, for the moment it means we wait. In case you hadn’t gathered by now, the editing process is very much a “hurry up and wait” kind of deal. There is a queue for the copy editing stage, I’ve been told by the Inkshares staff that my copy edits probably won’t start for a month or so.
That might seem like a bummer, but it’s not. Once the copy editing begins, the gears start spinning a lot faster. I’ll be given a full production schedule, and we’ll finally be put on a set time table, with hard deadlines. We are almost at the top of the roller coaster now, and when we get over this hill, we’re going to seriously move.
I’m personally grateful for this downtime, for one very specific reason: Proteus.
I’ve had Proteus’s campaign extended one more time, and it now runs until the end of August. I didn’t want to, but we were down to just under two weeks to go and about 270 orders to go, so there’s just no way I was going to be able to hit that goal without driving myself insane. Fortunately, with the extension, I should absolutely be able to finish funding Proteus on time, and with this gap between Tantalus Depths’ editing phases, I should be able to finish the Proteus campaign before Tantalus Depths goes to the next stage of edits. I’ll finally be able to give Tantalus Depths my full attention during one of the craziest parts of the editing process.
The development editing process for Tantalus Depths was stressful, but absolutely worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what the next few steps in this process are like, or to see the finished product that is steadily creeping closer. Thank you all so much for supporting me this far. I know it’s often felt like nothing is moving anywhere, but fortunately I can say we’ve made major progress getting through this stage.
The kids are almost done with school for the year, and then before we know it summer will be in full swing. Our family will be kicking it off with a week on the South Carolina coast with good friends - playing in the ocean, eating seafood, and hopefully I’ll be making progress on my massive to-be-read pile.
With June just a few days away, I’m realizing that in just over three months, my book will be out in the wild. We’ve almost made it people! I realize that this update is coming a few days earlier than usual, but that is because a lot has been happening on this end. So, today I have an exciting production update for you, and interviews with authors Jason Pomerance and Christopher Huang to share.
The book is finished with copy edit and layout, and Advanced Reader Copies are being printed shortly. I have received a couple of amazing blurbs from authors that I respect greatly! These will be printed on the galleys, and possibly on the final books as well.
“Jacqui Castle’s new novel sets the hook in a wickedly-quick heartbeat. Not only does her eerily prescient story keep that hook in place throughout, it often leads to moments where you feel a chill that’s driven not only by her words, but also by the words we hear in the news and social media every day.” —Mike Rich, author of Skavenger’s Hunt and screenwriter of The Rookie, Radio, and Finding Forrester
“If you love The Giver, you will love The Seclusion. Castle paints a well-developed world in a realistic possible future with a pair of unlikely heroes you want to cheer for. There are no easy victories in this dark, gritty dystopian that checks all the right boxes.” —David Estes, bestselling author of The Dwellers Saga and The Fatemarked Epic
One of the secrets to a strong launch is early reviews. A while back I promised that those who have already preordered a copy of the book and would like to receive an early PDF version, would be offered that opportunity as soon as review copies were ready. Well, that day has come. I need as many of you as possible to be on my early review team!!!Shoot me a message if you are one of the original 570 backers to have already preordered the book and would like an early review copy.
What would being on the early review team mean?
Well, Goodreads allows reviews any time, including before the publication date, and Amazon begins allowing reviews on the date of publication. So, the goal would be to post Goodreads reviews asap, and then mark your calendars with a reminder to leave an Amazon review on September 4th. My personal goal will be fifty Goodreads reviews prior to publication, and fifty Amazon reviews within the first week after publication. This accomplishment will change the way Amazon ranks the book, so it will start showing up in the "if you like this, you might like this" section when people are browsing.
Remember, reviews don’t need to be incredibly detailed, they just need to exist. Detailed is great! But, a simple star rating is better than nothing. Have I told you recently how much I appreciate all of you?
I am hoping in the next few weeks to finalize my travel plans for my trip out to the west coast to sign all of the backer copies. If any of you are in the San Franscisco area and would like to grab a cup of coffee, let me know.