I’VE UPDATED THE PAGE WITH A NEW COVER AND TITLE!
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).
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.
Hang in there, it’s all coming together!
Thank you so much supporting my novel Maxine Starr: Last Vanguard of the Zodiac. I appreciate everyone that liked, shared, and especially those that preordered a copy - some even bought the expensive paperbacks. Really - it meant the world to me that you followed and read my work. Although we didn’t reach our goal of 250/750 preorders, and the campaign is now over, I’m actually very happy with the response. You’ve inspired me.
I believe life is all about taking hits, learning and getting back up. So this isn’t the end of the book but rather a minor detour. I still believe in Maxine Starr’s adventures, and your support means that I’ll work on the book even harder to make it even better.
And don’t worry - for anyone that knows me, I’m not easily discouraged :) I’m actually excited to get moving again on the novel, and more books in the Maxine Starr series (yes, I have 3 more planned)
Right now, I’m considering other traditional, e-book, and self-published formats. I also have some other plans in the works. Just wanted to let you know that once it’s done, I’ll be offering buyers a reduced price for your early support. THANK YOU! The book will be released - that’s my promise. For now, your money will be returned to you in a few days.
I’ll be keeping this site up for a while longer. Feel free to give me feedback, ask questions or even contribute ideas.
Do you have an idea for a book?
Would you like the read the whole of Maxine Starr and give feedback?
Want an insight into the process of the writing, story and character designs?
Is there any way I can help you achieve your dream too?
I’m all for creating communities, and although this one is small, I appreciate all of your input. So thank you! This is not the end of Maxine Starr, the Zodiac Universe, or even her dog, Woof. I believe our dreams, like the cosmos itself, has no visible boundaries. And more importantly, you can’t let a single failure distract you from a coming triumph. Because, as Maxine discovers in the book, the impossible is often just one move away.
Thank you for believing in Maxine Starr.
The Astronaut Instruction Manual is ON SALEGet it on Amazon for $6.50–limited time
Happy holidays, everybody!
Awakening washed over Maxine like water--no thoughts, no sensations, no words. A deep throbbing transformed into an errant flame. Familiar. It warmed her skull.
Maxine breathed. Sensation ebbed back and forth. Colour returned. Ghostly screeches painted her mind in flashes. Maxine watched the flesh of her closed eyelids--her hidden interior. No sudden movements. Not yet.
Welcome home, Maxine Starr.
Maxine opened her eyes. A silver shriek impinged her senses. She turned h. . .
It’s been far too long since I’ve been able to deliver news of any significant amount of progress with Tantalus Depths. I’ve had quite a few people approach me asking when the book is coming out, and I’ve regrettably had nothing to offer in the way of a satisfactory answer. I’m not sure I made it clear enough during my campaign last year just how long it takes to get a book through this kind of production process, but it can take a very long time.
Fortunately, today I finally have some good news. Progress has at last been made! Last night I finally received my development letter from Matt Harry, my development editor. Matt is the Head of Story Development at Inkshares, and his work has helped books like the amazing Punch Escrow succeed brilliantly during their production processes.
For those unfamiliar with how the publishing process works, all Inkshares books receiving the full editing treatment (such as Tantalus Depths) go through several waves of editing, each one focusing on improving a separate aspect of the manuscript. The development edit is the first, and it focuses on big picture stuff, such as focusing the story’s overall tone, message, and style. Basically figuring out exactly what kind of story Tantalus Depths is and how to make it the best example of that kind of story it can be.
Tantalus Depths has been read by quite a few beta readers and has gone through at least four rounds of edits, but this is the first time it’s been seen by a professional editor. Matt sent me eleven pages of advice on what sort of things I should consider changing to improve the book, on top of dozens of margin notes in my original manuscript for specific lines and sections I should change.
There’s a lot to work on here. The overall story isn’t going to change from the one I set out to tell; in fact, Matt was very clear that they want to make sure I get to tell the story the way I want it. The primary point of these notes is to focus the story properly, to trim out anything that doesn’t work so I can make the stuff that does work even better. Most of the notes he gave me deal with things such as keeping a consistent tone, improving character development, and getting more into the worldbuilding. I was actually surprised by that last one, since I’ve done a tremendous amount of worldbuilding but was intentionally holding back on including a lot of it, lest I get too carried away. Now that I’ve been given a green light to add more, I’m going to be having a lot of fun with these edits.
So, long update short, the wheels are rolling on Tantalus Depths once more! There is still no release date nailed down (I’m afraid there’s still going to be a decent wait ahead), but finally we’re fully into production mode now. I have a lot of writing and re-writing to be doing in the next couple weeks, but I am looking forward to it. We’ve finally gotten to the point where Tantalus Depths is making the transition from a simple manuscript to a proper Novel.
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!
Oh, by the way, my campaign for Proteus is still running, and I’m going to go back into campaigning mode as well within the next month or so. Stay tuned for that as well, and if you haven’t ordered a copy yet (or would like to help the campaign out even more by ordering a second one), please do so!
If you haven’t voted for the DragonAwards yet, your last chance is nigh. Of course, what I’m hoping is that you’ll vote for A God in the Shed in the Horror Novel category, but obviously you can vote for whatever you want and I encourage you to do so.
So fill out the form and once you get the email, vote your heart out
Feel free to encourage others to vote too! The more the merrier?