My Mac is finally replaced properly. When it initially died last year, I transferred all my work to my old back-up PC, which had been running Linux for years, only for it to expire at Christmas. That brought into play another PC, that I had bought a couple of years beforehand to mark exams. It was a cheap, refurbished office job with next to nothing in the way of graphics capability. I bought it to do exam marking, which is Windows only. When I started to use it as my only machine, its limitations became very obvious. Although it ran Windows 7, it was really designed in the days of XP and out of its depth running anything other than the exam marker software. I managed to breathe a bit of life into it by installing Linux Mint in a dual boot system, but it was only a temporary solution.
Anyway, a new PC has now arrived, and it is super fast, courtesy of its quad-core processor and built-in solid state drive. It also has a good graphics card, so it can do whatever I want. It is running Windows 10, which is a real departure for me. Previously, I had hated Windows with a vengeance, mainly because of its historical vulnerability to malware (something to which Macs and Linux are largely immune). To my surprise, I found myself rather liking 10, so I am sticking with it. I haven't encountered any malware problems (touch wood), so it may be more secure than previous incarnations - or I may be more savvy about what I click on these days. To cut a long story short, this year's exam marking is now out of the way, so I have used some of my earnings to treat it to a new external back-up drive and an an absolutely gorgeous curved monitor from Samsung. I also stumped up for the paid-for edition of WPS Writer. The Linux version that I had been using is free, but there are a few compromises. The Windows version comes in free and paid-for varieties. The difference is that the free version carriers advertising, but the paid-for version doesn't, and is without compromise.
That leaves me free to complete 'The Secret Angels', except that I am, currently, appearing in a feature film, believe it or not. It is to be called 'Star Warriors' and I play General Ragtooth. Expect it to be released sometime next year. I only have three days of shooting left, so I should be able, finally, to get back to writing seriously after that.
Just as I thought I had overcome the issues imposed by the untimely demise of my Mac, another one presents itself. To be precise, Libre Office Writer, my replacement word processor. This is not a condemnation of said program. It is free, after all, and more or less as powerful as the anything but free Microsoft Word. It is just that it and I do not get along particularly well. In its favour, it makes a squeaky clean Html file for turning into an eBook (which is something Word never did), but it doesn't scroll smoothly and I find the interface rather clunky, which removes a lot of the pleasure from writing.
Imagine my relief at finding a replacement that is every inch the successor to my much loved Nisus Writer Pro (which I can no longer use because it is Mac-only). The new word processor is called WPS Writer, and it is terrific. It suits me down to the ground. The Linux version that I use is even free. Its default format for saving files is .docx (same as Microsoft Word) which avoids a lot of hassle. It also means that I can still use Libre Office to open the completed document and turn it into a clean Html file when making the Kindle version.
Accordingly, I have now migrated all my books over to the new program and republished them (with a few minor tweaks on the way - couldn't resist). Sadly, this means that the printed editions have lost their dropped capitals at the beginning of each chapter. I have, however, replaced them with raised capitals, so they look just about as good.
Finally, I can get back on with 'The Secret Angels'. Still targeting a publication date before Christmas.
'A Sovereign's Honour' wasn't the only one of my books to get a new look last week. The third 'Queen's Heart' book, 'The Power of Four Queens' was also refreshed. The original cover, with which I was never very happy (although it was the best I could manage at the time) featured multiple crowns. This one, which shows the Dark Lord, Darank, in profile, is altogether more in keeping with the subject matter and ethos of the book. It is the only one of the 'Avalind' books to have a monochrome cover, and that is entirely intentional, underlining the grimness of life under his thumb - yet a tiny glimmer of light lingers, symbolising hope.
The switch to Linux continues. 'The Author's Manual', all of the 'Rutter' books and 'Usurper' have now been converted and fully reformatted. While doing 'A Sovereign's Honour', I also decided on an new cover. The original cover, designed by my son, Paul, showed the hilt of a sword with entwined snakes. Unfortunately, that image was lost when the Mac expired and the Kindle and paperback versions had to make do with different covers for a while. That has now been put right with this new cover for both. This one should give you an idea of what Avalind looks like. It was a work of real trial and error because this is my first cover created entirely in GIMP (a Photoshop-like program that was originally written for Linux, but is now available for all operating systems). GIMP has a reputation for being difficult to learn, and it certainly took a bit of trial and error. I hope you like it.
First post in months. Sorry about that, but everything has changed here and I have been up to the eyes. A day that I had been dreading for some time arrived in August of last year. My trusty old iMac decided that it had reached the end of its allotted lifespan and gave up the ghost. Strictly speaking, it was only the screen that died - but as the iMac is an all-in-one computer, that is, effectively, the same as the whole lot turning turtle.
To compound matters, this happened while the pound was in a state of flux, following the Brexit vote. Buying a replacement Mac was out of the question, at least for the time being. I simply could not afford one. That left me working on my main back-up PC, which ran Linux MInt. I used this machine regularly before I got my Mac, and I had always preferred Linux to Windows, so that was no great hardship. The problem was that my word processor, Nisus Writer Pro, is Mac-only, so I had to convert my books to Linux's equivalent, Libre Office Writer. This I did, only to run into technical problem concerning ePubs and the like.
Then, to rub salt into the wound, the Linux machine died as well! Now I am left with the hopelessly underpowered Windows 7 refurbished job that I bought to do exam marking a couple of years ago. This has an old Pentium processor and works at the pace of an arthritic snail on a good day. I managed to breathe a bit of life into it by installing the latest version of Linux Mint alongside Windows. This, I recommend to anyone who has an ageing PC. Linux is inherently very secure and will run far faster than your Windows installation. It is just as easy to use as Windows, looks at least as nice and it is free!
Some intensive experimentation resolved the ePub issue, so I have now refreshed and republished all four Rutter books in their smart new Libre Office livery (which includes dropped capitals for the paperbacks). This machine will do until I can afford a better one. Would I go back to a Mac? It's tempting, but I would have to go through all the conversion again, so it is more likely that a really high-powered Windows 10 PC will arrive on my doormat sometime during the next few months - and it will then be turbocharged further by having Linux Mint installed alongside. I will keep you posted.
Part One of the new Rutter book, 'The Secret Angels' is ready now, but I am stil working out the details of Part Two, so that won't appear on the bookshelves for a while yet. Meanwhile, I also have to get all the 'Avalind' books and 'The Planning Officers' over the Libre Office. I told you I was busy.
If the cover on the left looks a little familiar, it is because 'Rutter's Revolt' is not entirely a new book. Like its recent sister publication, 'Larussi', 'Revolt' is a direct replacement for an earlier work, entitled 'Rutter's Resolution'.
'Rutter's Revolt' is reworked and now includes the short story, 'Rutter's Reject' (also published separately as part of the 'Stella and Rose' anthology) as its Prologue. The new book, with its new prologue, is my longest book to date, clocking the scales at 135,000 words, or 430 pages, if you prefer. Like all the Rutter books, it has plenty of action and intrigue. Unlike any of the others, so far, it does not limit is action to London, but includes a major excursion to the Austrian Alps as Julie Rutter's latest case crosses international frontiers.
Having finally got 'Revolt' on sale, the decks are now cleared to continue with a new book. 'The Secret Angels', the next Rutter book, was begun in January, but shelved temporarily while I revamped my existing works. Now I can get back to it and am hoping to publish in time for Christmas.
After several months with no updates, suddenly there are two on the same day.
To go with the relaunch of the 'Avalind' books on Amazon, I have revamped my website. I hope you like it. It is still a work in progress, and may be refined yet, depending on audience reaction. Feel free to send your feedback via the Contact Me page.
The web address remains the same: www.davidwaine.net
In a new move, all seven of my 'Avalind' fantasy novels have been revised and relaunched. The new editions are exclusively available from Amazon, where they have been enrolled in the company's KDP Select and Matchbook programs. This means that they will no longer be available from Smashwords.
Non-Kindle owners can still download the new editions if they install the free Kindle app on their iPad, Android tablet, computer or smartphone (most people, I think, have at least one of those). Those Nook and Kobo customers who bought my books from Smashwords, please accept my apologies. The new editions are not available from Smashwords, but you can still download a copy of your original edition, should it need replacing.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, all seven books (Usurper, A Sovereign's Honour, A New Queen Rises, The Ancient Realm, The Shattered Realms, The Power of Four Queens and Larussi's Heartsong) have been revised. Of these, the last two have been the most heavily updated. The Power of Four Queens has a more logical and coherent timeline, while Larussi's Heartsong now has an epilogue and a new title. From this day forth, it will be simply Larussi.
The paperback editions of the books remain on sale from Amazon, as before, but they have also benefitted from the revisions
First upload in what seems like ages, but I have not been idle. To begin with, a fifth Rutter book, provisionally entitled, The Secret Angels has been begun. More immediately, I have just published Issue Two of The Author's Manual, my only non-fiction work. This is a revised and updated edition, containing more useful information to aspiring writers.
In addition to that, I have been going through all of my published works and treating them to a good polish. There is a reason for this, but I may not disclose it just yet. Suffice it to say that major changes just may be in the offing - and they will be changes for the better. The publication of the new Author's Manual is the first step.
I will make further announcements in due course.
Rutter's Resolution has now passed its final test and has been included in Smashwords Premium Catalogue, which means that it will be available directly from iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Diesel as well as from Smashwords themselves. Owners of Palmtops, Sony e-Readers, and those who simply prefer to read the .rtf or Pdf editions on their computers can find suitable editions at Smashwords. There is also a Smashwords Kindle edition, which is available only from the Smashwords site. Most Kindle users buy from Amazon, which is where you will find the KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) edition. This is textually identical to the Smashwords edition, but there are one or two cosmetic differences that were needed to comply with Smashwords' 'Meatgrinder' software requirements.
Should you prefer not to indulge in all this electrickery, the good old-fashioned paperback edition is also available from Amazon. Now is a very good time to buy one, of course, with Christmas just round the corner. Traditional paper books make excellent gifts for the simple reason that they can be gift wrapped. That is something that you cannot do with an ebook because it is just a datafile that you download to your display device of preference.
Vists the Rutter's Resolution entry in the Rutter Books area of this website for full details on how to purchase.
A brief note about the website. I have just checked its statistics and visits are up by 50%, which is very encouraging news. I have been promoting it a bit lately, so you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be doing more of that.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.