The publication of my latest book, 'The Shattered Realms' is now complete. The Kindle edition is on sale at all of Amazon's Kindle stores (which are really just sections of their major worldwide websites). The paperback edition is on sale at Amazon.com and all of their European sites, including Amazon.co.uk. The Smashwords edition has passed certification for their Premium Catalogue, which makes it available in iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Diesel, Sony E-Reader etc. as well as directly from Smashwords themselves.
Meanwhile work continues on Part Three, 'The Power of Four Queens', which has now passed the 40,000 words (160 pages) mark. As I see it, there are two types of creative writer: the organised and the organic. Organised writers pout much of their effort into planning, research and preparation, so the whole novel is planned out in detail before a single word is written. The result of this is that the actual book tends to be written quite quickly because the donkey work has already been done. The organic writer starts with an idea and runs with it. This tends to result in constant redrafting and revision - even whole plot threads being ditched as better ideas occur. The actual time taken to produce the book either way is similar, so one is not necessarily superior to the other. It is the end result that counts, after all. I am an organic writer because that is the way my brain works (when it works at all, that is). I thought I would mention this because, having reached this point in the story, an entirely new climax has occurred to me. The ultimate resolution will be the same, but the means of getting there is completely new - and far better. That is the main benefit of organic writing. It leaves room for improvement as the work develops. Of course, no writer is completely organised or organic. An organised writer can change tack if need be, and organic writers, like me, have been known to do research and plan things out in advance. There is a large measure of overlap between the two disciplines.
Pinch me somebody, but 'The Shattered Realms' is finally on sale. The proof was finished ages ago, but one thing after another dogged the proofreading stage. It finally passed the Cuzzie test yesterday and I uploaded it to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) this morning. It is now available in all of Amazon's Kindle stores worldwide.
Later on, I uploaded the Smashwords and CreateSpace editions to their respective sites. Smashwords puts the book out on iBooks, Nook, Kobo, even a version of Kindle that is not available at Amazon. CreateSpace produce rather sumptuous paperback editions of the book, available from Amazon.com and Amazon's European stores. The Smashwords edition is available from Smashwords directly now, although it will be a few days before it becomes available from iBooks, Nook, Kobo etc. themselves. It needs approval for the Premium Catalogue before that can happen, and that takes a little while. The paperback edition should be on sale at Amazon tomorrow.
No rest for the wicked, however. 'The Shattered Realms' is Part Two of my trilogy, 'A Queen's Heart'. Part Three, 'The Power of Four Queens' is already 140 pages long (with maybe another 300 to go). Aside from that, I have another short story to write because I missed the last two for Suzy (sorry Suzy) due to pressure of work.
Cuzzie has been delayed by problems with her central heating that required immediate attention. All that has now been solved and she is reading 'Realms' with her critical eye. The various editions: Kindle, Smashwords and CreateSpace (paperback) are formatted and ready to go, subject to her approval. Hopefully all will go on sale within the week.
Meanwhile, I have begun working on Part Three: 'The Power of Four Queens' and am already nearly a hundred pages into the first draft.
The manuscript of 'The Shattered Realms is finally complete and printed out, having undergone a month of rigorous line-editing. It is now seven pages shorter than it was before I began the edit. Today it goes to Cuzzie - my wife's cousin, Alex - who will run her eagle eye over it as my proofreader. That will take about a week, whereupon the thing should finally be published after I have ironed out any final lingering niggles that she uncovers.
In the meantime, I will begin Part 3: 'The Power of Four Queens'.
Part Two of my new trilogy, 'A Queen's Heart', is now reaching its climax. Following on from Part One, 'The Ancient Realm', this is 'The Shattered Realms'. As always, the cover features artwork by my son, Paul.
'The Shattered Realms' moves the story on from where 'The Ancient Realm' left off with the Lord of Morgonnun preparing to unleash his evil on the Triple Alliance of The Kingdom, Draal and Dragotar. Meanwhile Mussa is stranded in Krimmin and unable to use her new-found power to come to Avalind's aid - or is she?
There isn't much more of the first draft to do now. Hopefully that will be complete within two or three weeks, followed by a fairly intensive period of line editing. All being well, we should be looking at a publication date before the end of February. Once that is done, I will be starting work on the third, and final part, provisionally entitled, 'The Hearts of Four Queens'. Hopefully that will be complete some time in the autumn. Then I will turn my attention to a third 'Rutter' book.
Please note. My brother, Merv, who writes under the nom-de-plume of Petra Ceason, has moved his website to a new server. This has involved a change in its URL, although the site, itself, remains the same. The new URL is: petraceason.webspace.virginmedia.com
I have update
First blog entry for a while. I have been busy, combining my need to create works of literature with my other need - the one I share with everyone else: the need to pay bills and put food on the table. Progress continues to be made, however, and I look forward to the day when I can give up supply teaching altogether because I no longer need the money it brings in. Every word I write is a tiny step towards that goal.
My new book, 'The Shattered Realms' is now about two-thirds done. It is Part Two of my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, which is, itself, a sequel to the 'King's Head' trilogy. I am now reaching the climax, which is a biggie and will probably account for a hundred pages or more by the time it is finished. I have targeted Christmas as the time to get the first draft finished. After that comes the editing, proofreading and preparation for launch in both ebook and paperback editions. All being well, it should be on sale some time in January, or February at the latest. No cover picture as yet. I have one in mind, but Paul (my tame cover designer - and son) is still away at University and won't be back for a couple of weeks yet. Hopefully I will be able to upload a cover picture before Christmas.
After that comes Part Three, the title of which has been decided upon, but is still secret. I am aiming to get that out before the end of 2013, so that both trilogies will then be complete. After that, I intend to give Fantasy a rest for a while and concentrate on my other main genre, crime thrillers. A third 'Rutter' book is at the planning stage and will appear in due course.
I also have a third genre to my name: comedy. My funny book, 'The Planning Officers' is picking up sales and is now selling as well as my other works. This came as a pleasant surprise because I originally thought that it would be something of a minority interest. It seems, however, to be finding its own niche, and that is very gratifying.
My Smashwords publications have clocked up their first sales. Because of its diverse nature, sales reporting on Smashwords is notoriously slow. It can take weeks for their various retailers to report in, but they do filter through eventually. I have just discovered that my 'King's Head' trilogy has sold on iBooks in Australia. There may well be more sales, but it could be a while before I find out.
Sales are increasing, I am happy to report. Apparently August is usually a poor month for book sales because people are away on holiday reading books, rather than buying them. It is, therefore, with particular pleasure that I am able to inform you that I am about to record my second best month since I published my first book, 'The Planning Officers', just over a year ago. The best month was May, but that was fuelled by a KDP Select free offer, which resulted in more than 4,000 downloads (the vast majority of which are probably still unread). As you know, I withdrew from KDP Select at the beginning of June so that I could issue my books on the widest possible variety of platforms. The paperback editions, vie CreateSpace, are starting to sell now and the other ebook editions (for iPad, Kobo, Nook, Diesel etc.) should report in about a week. As ever, however, it is the Kindle that is driving sales forward. Top of the pack is 'Usurper', Part One of my 'King's Head' trilogy, but its two sequels, 'A Sovereign's Honour' and 'A New Queen Rises' are catching it up, which rather suggests that people are investing in all three books instead of just buying the first and leaving it at that.
Aside from that, I am going to be very busy. I have been asked to write the biography of a gentleman who has had a colourful life, to say the least. I have also been approached over a screenplay. This will be for an independent film and developments are still at a very early stage, but it is most exciting. Added to that, I am about 20% of the way through the first draft of Part Two of my 'Queen's Heart' trilogy, the sequel to 'A King's Head'.
Pardon me while I pause to take a breath.
Meet Petra Ceason. Petra is a very naughty young girl, who is also an author with a lengthy string of titles to her name. She publishes her work on Lulu, a self-publishing organisation of which I have also been a member for some time, although I have yet to use them.
Despite her apparently tender years, Petra is an experienced self-publisher who was issuing books years before I was, and clocked up five novels while I was still floundering around trying to find an agent who wasn't immediately put off by my unacceptable post code. Petra's books are completely different from mine, which is surprising because she and I share the same genes. The truth is, of course, that Petra isn't quite what she seems - except that her partner in crime - my brother, Mervyn - insists that she is as real as he is. She took up lodgings somewhere in the back of his head years ago. I visited him yesterday and took the opportunity to look at his head, but it seemed to be the usual size. Little outward evidence of a temperamental, but creative, little madam in residence, but that is heads for you.
Anyway, Petra has her own website: http://www.petraceason.co.uk that you can visit and learn all about her. There is also a link there to her bookshop on Lulu where you can see her work. If you missed the link in this blog entry, there is a big one on my Homepage.
I have just updated the site. Links can now be found to all of my books' outlets (Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk), paperback (also from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk) and the Smashwords editions. Smashwords makes my books available to all types of ebook readers: iPad, Nook, Kobo, Sony, Diesel as well as Pdf and RTF for those who like to read on their computers. There is also a Smashwords Kindle edition, which is only available from the Smashwords Store to avoid confusion with the Kindle edition that is available on Amazon. The two are textually identical, but there are slight differences in presentation. The link to my Smashwords page can be found on my Home page.
I have also updated my personal information on the Home page, to make it a bit fuller, and changed the widgets on the Home page to a carousel that displays all of my published works instead of the previous four..
Visitors to my site now get a freebie! I wrote a short story recently that was included in an anthology of short stories published for charity by Suzy Dubot. This is entitled 'The Painted Door' and it has a page of its own on this site. Visitors are very welcome to read it and I hope you enjoy it.
Last, but by no means least, I have included a page promoting the work of my good friend, Elaine Waldron, whose advice and support has been crucial in helping me to establish myself as an independent author.