Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shevi Arnold Writes: How I learned to stop worrying and love the e-book...

Shevi Arnold Writes: How I learned to stop worrying and love the e-book...: I know my friends mean well when they tell me that an agent and a book deal are right around the corner. Every writer wants to be tradition...

A "kiss your feet" post.  A control freak like me who wanted to decide on her own editor, cover graphic, names of characters etc?  There were a list of reasons I chose to self-publish, and this lovely writer has just validated those.

Possibly one of the most engraving was the mere cost of paper submissions - from South Africa to international publishing co's.  

The Writing Bomb: Common Lies Self-Published Authors Believe.

The Writing Bomb: Common Lies Self-Published Authors Believe.: As an indie author I have to confess that I am guilty of believing a lie -- not just one, but many.  They are the same lies I see self-publi...

A beautifully written post!

Thank you.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nix Romipen

The sequel following The Morrigan is called "Nix Romipen".  Federi has a clear mission.  He wants to get to the bottom of the mystery that is the Unicate, once and for all, and root that evil organization out. To give himself a bit of space and have an excuse to get off the ship, he calls it a honeymoon and takes his essential backup along. 

Soon they find themselves in Romania, where Paean discovers the magic of Federi's birthplace, high in the Transylvanian mountains, and is drawn into the irresistible charm of the wild forests.  They reconnect with some free Tzigany, and so far everything seems perfect... but then...

That is exactly the point at which I need to start editing.  An essential emotional red thread running through the story is missing.  Federi's focus shifts.  Earth faces more aliens - this time nothing remotely human.  Things happen head-over-heels, the story splits as we try to follow Paean and Federi on their separate missions at the same time.  There is, to put it bluntly, chaos. 

For a while I thought it was ready.  It's not.  Please, be patient.  It's one of the strangest sequels in the whole series, as it seems to exist separately from the others.  It's very different in character from the others; also from the new series, "Shooting Star", following onto the Solar Wind series. It really is a stand-alone that belongs in neither.  It's a bridge but yet an individual.  I'll have to wrap my brain around it.

Why do I write?  Because if I didn't, I'd be crazy by now.

Friday, September 4, 2015

So amazing...

While I'm doggedly plodding through another revision of "Nix Romipen", Book 6 in the Solar Wind series, and that is after we thought "The Morrigan" was the last volume in that series, things are moving very fast in P'kaboo.

Times like this, I'm deeply thankful for all the help I'm getting, and that I don't have to run the ship alone.  Les, my excellent editor, is taking over going through submissions with a fine-toothed comb and approaching any edits with his usual, unusual sensitivity to the author.  Paul, our associate in UK, is taking over many details of the basic cogs and wheels concerning the overseas authors, approaching overseas book places and so on.  My young designer advises me on what works and doesn't work - mind, two other designers of ours have indicated that I do have an eye for visuals, but more advice is always great.  Interesting how the trends differ though.  The illustrator of a recent title has been giving more than her all to rectify quality issues with the original files of the release - working day, night, regardless to get everything smoothed down.  Two wonderful book bloggers are giving my authors spotlights, one by one, and two of my newest authors are pushing, L for Leather, the marketing and development of their works, one of them with such amazing success that a billboard ad will appear over a busy highway announcing her book available in a major UK book chain. 

If I didn't have my team around me, I'd be panicking, it all is moving so fast.  I'm deeply thankful to my wonderful associates as well as the strangers that are pitching in and helping.

Here's the poster that was created for Carmen Capuano, announcing her book in WHSmith:

To think that Bernhard, who created the cover for The Assassin and Almost Dead in Suburbia, originally created the 3D book image, and I've been using it all along, and now it has been deemed worthy of a billboard ad...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"The Morrigan" is done!

Last night I finally polished the last bits of "The Morrigan" up.

It's been sent to my editor, Les, for a final check-through (he already edited it previously, and all those edits were accepted), and after that it's ready for P'kaboo and Amazon.  This is very exciting.

I left this book for over 2 years, because there was something bothering me about it that I couldn't pinpoint.  Was it pacing?  Not really.  I have identified what it was, a number of subtle issues, and a few scenes that needed to be reworked, and now it works!  

I don't know whether there will be enough funds for a paper launch of both Raider and The Morrigan.  We'll have to see.



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Federi vs Paean

From the very first part of Solar Wind 1 it becomes apparent how much Federi cares about Paean.  This is high-flying shenanigans between her and Wolf notwithstanding.  Federi takes a backseat, watches how she runs into a wall there - and quietly steps in to fix things when they break.  This is his nature.

Here's a little scene from the revised Solar Wind 1.  Paean is riddled with guilt, her hands full of blood that no amount of scrubbing can wash off.

Federi looked up from the console.  In  the door to the bridge hung a worried little redhead.
“You okay, Federi?”
The gypsy laughed.
“Fine, Paean.  Except that Captain’s making us sail into a – oh, hell’s gadgets, it’s fine!  We’ll be fine.  Federi’s an old coward, that’s all!  Anna bottle…”
“Coffee for you?”
Federi smiled broadly.  “Now that’s going to make all the difference,” he stated.  “Thanks, little carer!”
“Any day,” said Paean and handed him his steaming mug.  “Got any decks for me to scrub?”
What?  With death hanging over all their heads?  He didn’t think so!
“Funny thing that,” he said, then trailed off.  He could see how she’d had a lot of friends in Milly-Molly-Mandy street.  Anyone who cared for their friends like this, had friends.  He frowned.  It made no sense.  This was her true nature, he sensed it.  Whatever she had done that was weighing on her like that – it had been a fluke, a mistake.  When Captain decided to drill down to the truth – he’d be there protecting her, he decided.  And he glanced at her hands.
The skin was abraded away right up to the elbows from scrubbing.  He knew he’d been giving her a lot of decks to wash, and she’d taken on extra heads-scrubbing duty for reasons only she understood, but this...  it was something else.  He locked the steering and grabbed her hands to take a closer look.  And observed how she shrank away, her breath hissing between her teeth as she inhaled sharply.
All that blood...
“Got to get that seen to, shey,” he said.  “Put something on it.  Captain will think Federi’s working you to death.  Wait...”  He dug in his pockets and unearthed a small flat tin, and slid its lid open.  There was something grey and greasy-looking inside.  He picked out a gob of the stuff and slapped it on the back of her left hand. 
“What’s that?” she asked doubtfully as she spread it over her abused skin. 
Federi hesitated.  “Neomer polycarbon thixotropalene.”
She gawped.  “What?”
“Motor grease,” he grinned and pressed the tin into her hands.  “What!  You expect me to carry medical supplies in my pockets?”
She stared at her hands in horror.
“It works.” provided the gypsy.  “Keep it, I can get more from the machine room.”
Paean pulled a face, but obediently spread the dreadful stuff over her hands and forearms.  Federi was right; people would notice.  Good that he only thought it was from washing the dishes.  She glanced uncertainly at his face and caught him staring moodily into the dark beyond the bridge.
“Doesn’t matter anyway,” he muttered.
“What?” asked Paean.
Federi scowled.  He’d seen it before.  But by now it really was irrelevant.  They’d die in Hamilton, regardless what she was guilty of. Those Stabs in the harbour...
Did she sense about the horror he had found in the machine room of the Hun?  How could she sense, he thought.  And about the irony of Captain being prepared to rescue his arch-enemy…  sail right into the death trap that was Hamilton!  With all his crew.
“Störtebeker,” he said.
“Pirate called Störtebeker.  You should ask Sherman about him.  Federi can’t tell a story quite the same.”
“Tell me anyway,” pushed Paean, still rubbing at the synthetic compounding lubri-squatch he’d made her put on her hands. 
“Aw, alright.  Störtebeker must have been a bit like Captain.  This is long ago.  In the days before mineral fuels.  He and his whole crew got captured by the law, and of course piracy carried the death penalty even then.  So Störtebeker negotiated with the government that all of his sailors could go free past whom he could walk after he was dead.”
“That’s dumb,” commented Paean.
“Wait for it,” said the Tzigan.  “I said I can’t tell it like Sherman!  So they line up his crew and chop off his head.  Paean, atenţie!  He walked past his entire crew with his head chopped off.  All of them!  Before his dead corpse fell to the ground.”
“Whoa!” commented Paean disbelievingly.
“Is true,” said Federi.  “Was a historical figure.  Go look it up in the Sher…”  He sighed impatiently and stared out to sea.  “Go to sleep!”
Paean gaped at him in shock, then she shrugged and left the bridge.  Federi glared at the sea some more.  In his mind’s eye he saw Captain walking past the Solar Wind’s crew with his head chopped off.  Aw hell… and now he’d snubbed the little mockingbird!  For what?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hardcover edition of the NEW Solar Wind

In celebration of the revision and re-polish of  Solar Wind 1, I published an exclusive hard-cover version of it on

It is only available on

It includes the new first chapter and has been honed and whittled down a bit.  Paean is paeansier, Shawn is shawnier, and Federi is more federitical.  The Solar Wind is windier and sunnier, and Ronan's true character shines through in the beginning.  (I know he gets buttered under a little as the series continues - he gets grouchy.  This is quite clearly due to overload, as the sensitive reader can understand.)

SW1 hardcover version comes in at $25, which is not much for (I don't think I could produce a P'kaboo case-bound book at that price), and for the first 3 months there will be a discount.  The discount diminishes over time, so get yours while it's hot!

"Don't know what you dragged aboard there, Federi."

At only fifteen, Paean's life is already over. Things have gone wrong, and now she is on the run. With her two brothers she escapes onto a ship - only to discover that the "Solar Wind" is a pirate vessel. Too late, they are already at sea.

Is it good or bad to be on a ship that is hunted by the military? Will Captain keep them on as pirates or pitch them overboard, and which is worse? Staying silent about what is eating her alive, is more difficult than she imagined for the extraverted young musician. Can she find allies, actual friends aboard? Or should she, as her instincts warn her, trust no-one at all?

Well, at least Captain is in for a lot of surprises!
As before, the book can be previewed at this link, and this is also where you can find reviews.

I'll eventually publish Lulu hardcover versions of Solar Winds 2 - 4 as well, and nr 5 when I'm ready to publish it at all (I'm not yet happy with "The Morrigan").  These hardcovers make excellent special presents for a read-happy friend or family member; and they'll look good as a series next to each other. 

Why exclusively on Lulu?

Because they don't have a lending system!

Monday, May 11, 2015


Checking our Amazon royalties, I find time and time again that my books are being read - but I get nothing, because they are being read via Amazon's free library program.

The KU is like a massive lottery.  People download your book, and depending what the "pool" is that month, and what "percentage of the pool" your book is being read, you get a payout or none.  In my case, clearly, none.

But that's not the function of ebooks!  Dammit!  My stories being given away for free; people can just help themselves to reading them, and the author gets schneid out of the deal??  Gee, Amazon!

I went to the settings and saw that there are 3 different ways in which people can borrow a book - that is, you make a "sale" that then gets reversed (after they've already eaten the cake).  There is KU, which comes with KDP.  None of my books are enrolled in KDP (they all are also published on P'kaboo), so clearly the lending doesn't come from KU.  Then there is "KOLL" - a monthly subscription program in which people can read a certain number of books per month.  What does the author get?  A lucky draw - maybe something, more likely nothing.  And then there is "friend lending", which I've found the place to disable.  Ebooks are cheap to begin with.  How cheapskate must one be to borrow them from Amazon and then give them back? 

You can only switch off friend lending if you only demand a 35% royalty.  I looked critically at the situation:  My large, 140 000-word epics going for $2.99 and then still being returned.  Bull, as our author Marie would put it, Gold.  I upped the price - they are worth the up-price anyway - and reduced the royalty and disabled lending.  NO more freebies!

If I want to share scenes with you, dear readers, that's one thing.  But to be looted like that?  Does even one of those freebie-readers leave a review?  Well! 

And as for the Kindle Matchbook, I don't totally understand the function of this, I believe it's some sort of after-sales sweetie; but I've set them from free to 0.99 anyway.  99 cents for an ebook?  Dirt cheap.  Even we in South Africa don't blink or look up when we have to spend R10. 

Let's see if it works better now!  Grrr!  Fuming.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Werewriters and green selfish dragons, and a critical look at Solar Wind 1

Rereading some of my posts after discovering to the bogglement of my mind that my blog has stats - people are actually visiting the posts, possibly even reading them!

And yes, a werewriter, that's what I am.  On the "ant", I wrote a post after the third or fourth sorely sleep deprived night in a row (I'm now on #5 or #6), about the dragon that is emerging from my previously much nicer personality.  My old shell is splitting in two and the dragon, brand-new and shiny, enormously selfish and powerful, is emerging, spreading out its glittering wings in the sunset to test how wide a span they have.  It will fly; but for now it is merely testing functions.  Fire-breathing.  People-eating.  The furnace that burns in its insides powering it - a metabolism that doesn't allow for sleep.  Low tolerance for nonsense; high enthusiasm for great stuff.  X-ray vision that cuts right through the BS and to the truth, and a forked tongue that will not be tied.

I'm now seriously curious about the selfishness cult of Ayn Rand, for no better reason than to find out what fueled those people that worshiped her, that are all billionaires today. 

Adding a "Chapter 0" to SW1 was a good move, no, a great move.  I'm rereading the start of "The Search for Home Base" (Shooting Star 3) and the style is lightweight, entertaining and fast-moving - something SW1 has partially lost over too many careful edits.  Sure, ST3 still has lots of holes in it, and gaps where it should have action, and a lack of multilayeredness (at least, the layers are there but not written out, only hinted at, so there is still lots of work to be done), but - the style is better than SW1.  Stacks better.

Is this then what it will take?  A complete re-edit of the first book, so that the style is (back) in line with my original fast-moving-like voice?  Chapter 0 is great; Chapter 1 nosedives now.  Sorry.  Full circle, 9 years after I originally wrote that first paragraph that was only put in place to evoke a mood before the story takes off.

I still like that paragraph; here it is.

6th of April, 2116. Rust-coloured waves, calm sea fading into the haze towards the darkening east. A minimal breeze, just enough to keep the perfectly balanced white ship moving forward dreamily, southwest towards Bermuda. Young boy high up in the archaic Crow’s Nest, playing a haunting tune on an ocarina, carried down in snatches on the wind. Young man leaning against the foremast, newly bearded and unkempt from the day’s work, strumming on a Clarsach, a small Celtic harp. Ancient acoustic instruments, rare calm moment, the great sea hushed. Young sailor with red hair cropped as painfully short as her two brothers’, leaning against the rail with an infuriated scowl, humming a fragmented alto line. The fast-sinking sun painting the trio orange. Three musicians, the Donegal Troubles, hired for the Solar Wind in Dublin.

Dark eyes watching from the shadows of the jib stowage bay.

*sigh*  I so wish I were on that ship!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Yeah this is about publishing again

I don't dare voice this on the "ant" as it might be seen as a public declaration of intent by P'kaboo, by some.  One has to be so careful what one shares, it's unbelievable...

Ran into a printer while waiting for a doctor with my son who had injured a ligament in his ankle.  What a small world.  He gave me a few quotes right off the top of his head (knows his trade well).

They are a bit more than what I was quoted last, but then there have been 2 years that went by.  Time to increase prices?  Surely not, everybody moans at the prices I set for our books.  Does that mean I must reduce the tiny margin I make, or worse, forgo it?

This is nonsense.  People will buy a book if they want to read it.  If they aren't interested they won't even waste R20 on it, second-hand.  So those who want the books, will get them.  Those who want them cheaper, can do with the ebook.  The costs of those are significantly

It sorely reminds me of those people who say, "oh, you wrote a novel?  No thanks - I'll wait for the movie to come out."  Don't they realize that if this is everybody's attitude, there will not be a movie?  For every movie that is made there are possibly thousands of books.  Most books never get a movie.  Only the bestsellers ever do - and bestsellers are bestsellers because people read the actual book, not because they wait for the movie.  Ok, mini-rant over.

But at any rate, perhaps the situation doesn't look as glum as I thought.  Perhaps there is a space for a mini-run here and a mini-run there.

The printer told me about a man who came to him for 5 copies.  He printed them for him.  The next month he was back for another 5.  In a while he came for 10, then for a number of months, 10 every month, until it suddenly jumped to 50, then 100.  The man is now the printer's biggest client with 50,000 copies at a go.  An African, self-publishing author.  I am thoroughly impressed.

I also realized that I don't have an FAQ page at P'kaboo.  That is nasty, I'll have to write one...  I'm so NOT in the mood for web programming.

On suggestion of my trusty co-creator and hubbs Iain I have rewritten the start of Solar Wind 1.  Funny how things get cemented in one's mind.  I added a chapter 0, because the book in chapter 1 starts exactly where I want it to start - with a panoramic zoom in to the ship, in a see flooded with red because of sunset and plankton, and 3 young Donegals trying to play "happy music" while keeping their heartbreaking, sinister secret close (and they're not doing it very well).

Chapter 0 provides a bit of backstory and brings the reader in close contact with Paean Donegal, upfront. I'll be posting it on the site as a preview, at

Anyone who'd like to give feedback, please feel free to comment here, contact P'kaboo, or post a review (which is also an email link) about the preview.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My head in a weird space

I'm writing and writing, the story's just running at the moment.  We're on "Shooting Star 3", The Search for Home Base.  Federi has finally decided to embrace that mutant as a part of himself after she regenerates his body basically from shrapnel.  Galamer has to fight for his kingship of Valleylon; the experienced politicians have found a way to sway the population against him, denying his birth right as High King. On the contrary, they come after him for his blood.  Earth and New Dome need to strengthen their alliance if both civilizations are to survive the battering from the Vaughhi, those blasted aliens that should have stayed on their own end of the universes.  And we finally learn about Jon Marsden's past... 

Ice Base gets revisited, and another surprise waits in the wings.  But through it all, there's a melancholy, longing theme weaving its way:  Where can the Shooting Star dock in safety?  Where is home?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Guardian of stories

"How do you cope with the arrogance of being an author?"

This question was raised at me from Goodreads.  For a while I didn't know how to answer it and I'm still not sure I do.

Yea, we authors are a pretty arrogant breed, that's true.  Not in the sense of thinking we're "better than others", but always believing we're better than other authors.  We can't understand why our books don't sell as well as Harry Potter.  Really, not.  Especially if we have "fen", a readership that enjoys our stories and boosts our egos.

But even if nobody reads us, we'll still always be writing.  The point is, being a writer is not a calling.  It's not something we hear a little angel voice say that we should do in order to improve humanity.  No.  It's a compulsion, an addiction, an identity.  I'm a writer by birth, and I'm decidedly not alone in this.  The second I knew how to write, I was writing stories.  Before I could write, my brother and I were "living" and playing out stories, stories and more stories.  My earliest memories, from when I was three, revolve around make-believe.  Legos?  We were playing a story.  Cars?  We were playing a story (the cars had "identities", usually us and a few friends).  Mud, sticks and pebbles?  Stories!  Never even mind the dollies and teddies.  My mom used to put on some music for us (usually classical) and we created a story around it.  She also played puppet theatre for us, and my father took us left and right of him in the evenings and read us - guess what, Grimm's fairytales.  Further feeding the stories.

When I desperately wanted to do something and we couldn't afford it, as a child:  My mother encouraged me to write about it.  I had a bad experience or hated a teacher: I wrote them into a story for revenge. 

I dream them.  No, not daydreams.  Actual REM-sleep, moving picture dreams.  "Suzie" is one of them, and "The Nest";  the Solar Wind series is built on a number of dreams and the crew visit me regularly, telling me about the aspects I'm forgetting.  It's a compulsion, I can't ever not write. 

There was a time in my life when I was working in medical genetics, the work was often tedious, demanding and always severely underpaid.  I arrived home knackered, too moeg to do anything - but I lay down on my bed and put pen to paper and worked on some or other story, when I wasn't reading some novel by a favourite author.  I sourced the ideas for my stories from real life and from my observations on (what I perceive as) the psychic relations of things to each other, the astral plane etc.  Not from books I read, though they always influence one, somewhere down the line (everything you do influences you).

Being a writer is more like... being a werewolf.  When the sun goes down, you write.  When the sun comes up again, you're still writing, and if you have a day job, or children to raise, or anything like that, woe betide you, you've got to get through the day somehow.  It doesn't matter whether people eventually judge the stories down (hell, it matters, it hurts us as badly as if someone takes a swing at our kids), but we'll always be writing.  It's not something we can "give up" like people give up drinking, smoking or playing tennis. 

Because our stories depend on us.  They need us to be there, willing channels that won't shoot them down for waking us up at 3am, "go put on your computer, you've got to get this down now!"

"I'm a wree-totaller, haven't written a paragraph in three months now" - no.  It doesn't work like that.

The arrogance of being an author?  Sorry if I came across as a bit smug in other answers, it wasn't meant that way.  I certainly have nothing to be smug about, any more than a werewolf does.

"There's a moon over Bourbon Street tonight..."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Shooting Star - Valleylon - and now onto Caraya.

Apologies to the wallpaper art that I ripped from an internet search. It is only to create an impression of the worlds the Shooting Star visits.
Beautiful Carayan landscape.  With an Earth wolf for all we know.

Sunrise over ... neither.  Valleylon has a binary; but no moons and stars. Caraya has 2 moons, but only one single sun. 

Could be - the 7 worlds of Valleylon? 

Valleylon: An ancient, arrogant civilization of immortals. Their biggest problem is boredom. A nice little rescue mission for Federi and his Donegal Troubles.

 But out of boredom, this old civilization also invades other worlds, enslaves other sentient beings, and has a whole slave culture, the central victims being - guess what. Earth humans, because they are biologically closest to the aliens of Valleylon. It's not for nothing Federi & crew "happened" upon these humanoid creatures. So the teenage (really) High King of Valleylon steps aboard the Shooting Star to learn from "Earth's leadership". Ha, I hear Federi nearly choking with laughter, ha, ha! But you can't possibly pass up such an opportunity to mentor the top man of a potentially deadly race. Our favourite pirate has a field day.

 Unfortunately for Federi and his teen crew, things start getting pretty deadly pretty fast, even though the young High King is loyal.

Caraya: A planet that is in the vertical universe. Not populated with any kind of vicious predator, sentient or otherwise - to our knowledge. The little shifters that move around on it, "prehelions", are certainly sentient, but they are gentle and their life habits unknown (and just about undiscoverable).  A perfect pirate haven, if they can only stop others from discovering it.


On another front, I'm working on 3 excellent novels by 3 good authors, editing "Split Decision" by Carmen Capuano (that is, she's doing most of the actual rewriting where I just give pointers because I want it done in her own voice); the next sequel in Les Noble's "Magic Circle" ... circles, "Darx Circle", where again editing needs to happen mainly in the author's voice; and I just proof-read a new submission, "KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE" by Marie Marshall.  There is also a fairy tale lined up by an author who doesn't want her identity revealed just yet; it's written for children and I've had my children split their sides laughing when reading parts to them out loud.  But that one will still take some time to prepare, though the author is hard at work on it.

"KWIREBOY vs VAMPIRE" has that appeal, it's gripping, beautiful dystopian Sci-Fi (though I'm thinking the author might disagree and say it's fantasy).  "Darx Circle" is more a genuine fantasy novel, it reminds of (the best parts of) Stephen Donaldson (ultimately condensed), and some of the more sinister parts of "Lord of the Rings".  Whereas "Split Decision" is a teen romance with a twist... a reality too many young teens face today, darkly anchored in the criminal underworld.  

On the horizon beckons another novel, a gypsy story set in Spain...  :-)  I love gypsy stories, and this one, by (sadly deceased) Hector Cortes, via his daughter taking care of the author angle.  I'll have to go very gently on editing, but luckily there is hardly anything.  "Miura" is the story of two boys who grow up to be men - one, a successful surgeon, the other, hampered by his impoverished origins but with an unchained spirit, a matador.  

Thank you Bookseeker Agency for your great subs!

But I might take a while to get to that last one (saw the list up there?  And I'm driving to get the whole Solar Wind series finished now, the Unicate must GO!  Federi is under time pressure now...).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Writing like crazy.

Disclaimer:  This image is a wallpaper downloaded from the net.  It is meant for inspiration only, and will not be the image on the official cover.  But it does convey the sense of flying, doesn't it?  :-)

The Shooting Star:

Federi, the Solar Wind's dogsbody, wants his independence and freedom.  With Paean and a handful of youngsters he escapes the ship to commandeer his own "leaky old crate", a run-down old Unicate vessel he calls the "Shooting Star".  Battling high seas and the ship's structural damage, he seems quite set to meet his prior (and angry) Captain's challenge, with classic Federitic flair.  

But then the challenges to Earth herself begin:  Alien invasions, abductions and outright war, driven by an invisible agenda.  The "Prince of Earth", a title created in a joke, has to be everything he is and a few things he is not, to protect his crew, his ship and his home planet.  But he cannot be everywhere.  And if he fails, humankind can kiss their blue planet goodbye...


“Federi,” the Captain restarted, “the challenge is off. I can’t have
Perdita on an unseaworthy vessel. You land here and we get your
crate tightened up and the leaks fixed and...”
Federi laughed. “The leaks are fixed. Bless Shawn and duct
“This ship is held together with duct tape?” repeated Lascek,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

... happy new year...

Finally had some time to write!!  So I re-polished the "Shooting Star" and came out the other side with the feeling that it's better now, and almost ready for submission to my editor...  there's just one small hitch...

I'm not 100% happy yet with "The Morrigan", the sequel to "Raider".  But more, I'm not at all sure that the prequel to "Shooting Star" is ready to submit to my editor.  That one is the one I refer to as "the Romanian sequel", but it's original name was "Nix Romipen".  I'm just not certain that the title fits the story anymore.

Unwilling to turn back before I've gone forward, I'm now working on the sequel to "Shooting Star", called "Valleylon".  I'm by now wondering if I shouldn't call that whole series "Valleylon", because that is the main theme carrying through them all.

I first-time edited the "Shooting Star" before, on the contrary, I've smoothed it down a number of times and editing it was fun.  Editing "Valleylon" is a completely different deal as I'm sitting with the first draft as written in 2007, and I can barely remember what went down.  I can't believe what nonsense I wrote!  If it were standalone I'd drop it; but it isn't, it's a linking sequel (or perhaps just a few linking themes) that propels the story forward, into Earth's, or rather Federi's, dealings with the alien world of Valleylon, where an elder race ... well, let me not spoil it all.

So this is the main reason you're unlikely to see "The Morrigan" out all that soon, or a review of it either.  "The Morrigan" is complete and edited but I'm not completely content with it.  Hoping "Raider" will see a print run this year though, so far it's available on Amazon (in paperback and Kindle) and as an ebook from P'kaboo.

I want to do a background pic for this post, let me see if I can get it done...  (btw the "Shooting Star" is super fun!)