Last month, I took a trip to Europe with my brother Mike to o some research for scenes that take place in Europe in 1945 during WWII. We visited Antwerp, Koln and most importantly Nordhausen, site of the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp and the underground factory known as Mittelwerk where 20,000 slave laborers dug out tunnels in an old gypsum mine and manufactured the V-2 rockets used to bomb London and Antwerp.
While I had done research for these scenes, there is an additional level of verisimilitude that gained from walking the same steps that scientists like Wernher von Braun did when he visited the camp, or where the 104th Infantry rode tanks into town to liberate the prisoners.
I’ve received helpful and detailed feedback from the publisher on the most recent draft. The bad news is, there’s still a lot of work to be done. The good news is, it’s mostly about stripping out a lot of complexity that has grown into the story so that it can be more focused on the historical fiction elements. In the coming weeks, I’ll be re-assembling a new outline before diving back into the next draft of the novel that will be even better than the last.
On a sad note, my co-author Roxie passed away a couple of days ago. We knew she had cancer for the last couple of months and I’m grateful that she had so much energy and enthusiasm right up until the end. The house is eerily silent without her.
This round of edits are done! Just sent back the manuscript to Inkshares incorporating some excellent beta reader feedback. The story definitely got stronger because of it and it gave me a chance to tighten up a few things too.
Looks like line edits then copy edits then we should have a date. Fingers crossed!
To my incredibly patient followers and readers,
Let me begin by thanking you profusely. Thank you for your continued support and interest, for messaging me, stopping me in the office, or spotting me randomly in a store and asking me when the Hell After Death is going to come out.
It makes me feel terrible for the long wait, but it also makes me feel good that so many people are excited to read this novel on which I’ve now spent ten years of my life.
I apologize for the delay. Much of that is simply out of my hands, as I’m merely one of many talented authors whose work is being developed and published by Inkshares, and each of them are as anxious and as deserving of attention as I.
That said, my number has been called. And over several conversations with Inkshares CEO Adam Gomolin — over email, phone, text, and in person — a plan has been hatched to, yes, once again restructure the novel, this time sharpening its focus on the characters of Cara Lindley and her grandmother Meryem Nurzhan.
The character of Icara Lightfeather and her entire storyline is going to be cut from the book. (Boy am I glad I didn’t pull the trigger on that tattoo of the compass from the map of Icara’s planet!)
Let’s please take a moment to admire the incredible work of artist Andy Gouveia, who created the map for me.
To those beta-readers who considered this aspect of the book their favorite part, I can say only that Icara and her world will most certainly one day see the light of day in some other shape or form (these things almost always eventually do), and that I have every intention of cannibalizing the crucial plot elements from her storyline in service of this more honed concept.
Meryem’s backstory will be expanded even further, going into deeper detail regarding the previous outbreak of the plague in Kazakhstan and her life in the years between then and her emergence as the world’s preeminent expert on the Fever.
Some of the novel’s trippier aspects will survive, but will be made far less prominent, and the book will center more on how three generations of one family were affected by a disease, becoming less Cloud Atlas and more Sharp Objects, which — you know what? — is going to be pretty cool and a lot more accessible.
This will take time, of course. Adam’s hope is that further developmental editing will take eight months or so, with our eyes set on a potential July 2020 release date. Whether that comes to pass obviously depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is my own ability to pull it off.
But I am eternally humbled and grateful to all of you who have stuck by me through this, and who continue to anticipate this novel’s eventual publication. It means so much more to me than you can possibly know, particularly at this moment in my life.
In the meantime, please consider picking up a copy of Writing Bloc’s ESCAPE! An Anthology. It’s packed with twenty gripping tales of escape, including my short story "The Grave Ordeal of Jawbone John South," about an 1885 bank robbery gone very wrong when an outlaw attempts to evade the authorities by ordering his gang to bury him alive with the stolen loot.
If you are so inclined, you can also pick up a copy of my short story "The Equestrian," the slim tale of a jockey and his horse, and the night of horror that would bestow upon both an incredible ability and a terrible curse.
I’ve also gone and uploaded a bunch of my poetry, essays, and film criticism to my website, Dan-Lee.net, including my poem "Ode," which was previously published in the Santa Clara Review literary journal, "Incidents in a Traffic Jam," the piece that made me a California state finalist for the National Poetry Slam, and my critique of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which went unexpectedly viral a couple of years ago.
If you have some free time, please do check that stuff out!
You are all so wonderful. And I can’t say enough how much I appreciate not only your support and patience, but that of the friends I’ve made through being part of the Inkshares community. I’ve never met a more supportive group of writers.
I’ll try to do a better job of updating more frequently, but if you don’t hear from me, please be assured that I am hunkered down, doing the work. And that one day in the not-too-distant future, you will find out what happens After Death.
Just wanted to update my faithful followers with the latest red hot news to come my way! LOUISIANA BLOOD is a FINALIST in the SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC BOOK CONTEST. It was always my plan to reverse engineer the book into a film, and this is the first step in that journey.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
The winners of the Inkshares Mystery Contest have been announced, and I’m happy to say that "Cat’s Paw" is on the list! This means we will be going forward with all the editing and rewriting and nosegrinding that goes into the publication process, and, probably a year from today, the book will make it into your hands.
It has been a while, and so many great things have happened. Let me break them down.
Since getting bumped from Quill an Inkshares property, and getting all the wonderful benefits that come with that, The Living God went through several rounds of developmental edits. It has been copyedited, "poured" into book format, proofread, and had a brand new cover designed by Tim Barber of
I don’t know about you, but I think it looks fantastic. I’ve gotten several compliments on it ranging from, "Its beautiful!" to "It looks like a NYT bestseller!" And while it may not be a NYT bestseller (yet, gotta keep the faith), it sure does make me feel like one!
The whole process has been a rollercoaster of emotions, mostly joyful. However, there is a change that I am sorry to inform you. The publisher has moved the release date to May. This is to better strategically place and market the book. While I’m bummed you won’t get it for a few more months, I understand their decision to do so.
These things take a lot longer than I ever anticipated when I started this process and when you pre-ordered in 2016. I want to thank you all again for believing in me and in this project, but especially for your patience. May will be here before you know it, I promise.
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that 2019 is off to exactly the start you were hoping for.
I recently discovered a review that was posted back in December. That was quite the nice new year discovery!
I wanted to let you all know that paperbacks of More Fun and Games are now available! You can get them the following ways:
Your own friendly local bookstore can order them through Ingram. It’s ISBN 9780578214610
You can order them through Amazon
If you would like a signed/inscribed copy, you can order them through my own friendly local bookstore, The Briar Patch. If you had previously ordered the ebook on release day, you can use the code EBOOKFUN to save 99 cents on the purchase. You can put in inscription requests in the comment section at checkout.
I’m also determined to write more this year, which at least so far has exhibited itself in the form of working on my webpage, authordavebarrett.com. In particular, I’m going to be writing mini-blurbs/reviews of books as I read them this year. I’ve got two posted already, though I’m certainly not going to maintain a two-book-a-week pace. I’m also going to try to keep up with my blog.
And not but least, if you’ve already read More Fun and Games and haven’t left a review at your favorite etailers and Goodreads, please do so! A review is like giving an author a hug!
Thank you all for your continued support.
Hello Love Cats!
Check out this awesome review of The Love Fool on the renowned Kirkus Reviews.
Spread the word and keep on loving.
Lorenzo Petruzziello (author)