Category Archives: Ascension of Peary

Kindle has Ascension of Peary!

It is September 18 and Ascension of Peary is live in the kindle store! I hope all my friends and fans will give it a try and tell their young relatives and neighbors about this cool new story. Who wouldn’t want to read a coming-of-age tale in a world with some magic, intrigue, witches and wizards, demons, and a 17-year-old or two running around making the world safe?

There are battles, murders, chase scenes, gypsies, conspiracies, and more magic than you can shake a stick at. Nonstop action abounds as Peary finds her way through a maze of interlocking incidents to reach the emperor. And then the fun really begins! Don’t wait! Rush to Amazon and acquire your very own copy!

And remember, my first young fan says this book is “AWESOME!”

Ascension of Peary revisited

It occurs to me that I haven’t really categorized Ascension of Peary or who it is aimed at in any way for my readers. I call it a mid-grade/YA hybrid, since it is aimed at those between 6th and 12th grades, and I know the latter are targeted by YA these days. It is a fantasy, a coming-of-age story, with epic dimensions since it involves a conspiracy against the emperor of a vast empire. The tools of war tend to be swords and magic, with the latter usually prevailing. Since the heroine is a 17-year-old girl and her skill is magical, that certainly colors the nature of the battles.

There are witches and wizards, demons and scholars, lords and ladies, and everyday people, something for everyone. My younger beta readers (at the lower end of the age group) are very excited about it and one reports that it is “Awesome!” If you know of any younger folk in the age groups mentioned who love fantasy, I sincerely hope that you will offer this book to them. I even know some adults who like it!

The paperback is now available but the ebook must wait another week!

Go figure. The paperback is now available but the ebook was placed on presale and I am bound by that date, 9/18. I am talking, of course, about Ascension of Peary. All of this indie publishing is new to me, and it seems to have taken on an aura of unreality. I wanted the books to be available on the same day, but amazon waits for no man or woman. It cautioned me to upload the manuscript to CreateSpace a full ten days before the requested date for publication. I did so, and the only problem was the one logo in the book, the publisher’s imprint. It was, I was told solemnly, less than 200 dpi. No assurances could be made that it would print properly. I was advised to upload a more dense image. Bullpucky. The image was more than 300 dpi, their standard, and the fact that they claimed it was less than 200 dpi probably had something to do with the fact that the logo is the outline of letters. Here:logo on transparentIt is a transparency and a .png file, which apparently causes them fits.  But as you can see, it’s plenty dense.

Then I had to wait for the proof. And wait. I ordered it 2-day on a Friday night, and they told me it was shipped on Saturday, 2-day, as I had requested it. Sunday and Monday didn’t count because of the holiday. The way I figure it, I should have had it Wednesday, but I got it Thursday late. I reviewed it three times as they advised, and approved it very late Thursday night or very early this morning. They assured me it would take them 3-5 business days to build the page for the book.

So how did it go live in less than two hours? A friend tells me she has ordered it in England, but of course that doesn’t show up on my dashboard yet. I feel as if I’m in a terrible limbo, and I’ve read nothing about this from other writers. Or else I’ve ignored it. I’m sure I’ll find some site where all this is explained in precise detail; why couldn’t I find it anywhere before?

Murphy’s Law is in full force and effect. I will wallow in uncertainty and then misery as the book doesn’t sell. Such is life. Then I will sit down and write the bejeezus out of the two books currently on my plate. I have no idea which will inspire me the most, but something will happen, I will write again, and try this silly process again until I get it right.

Ascension of Peary

My first book, Ascension of Peary, has been up loaded to KDP and is available here for pre-sale. The actual date of availability is September 18. CreateSpace and I are working on getting the paperback ready, and I expect to get my proof in the next few days. Once I tell them it’s all hunky-dory, they will push buttons, and fire up their gizmo, and start preparing the book, I have asked them to make it available on September 18 also, but your guess is as good as mine whether it will be available before that date or not. It will in all likelihood be available on that date, since I doubt they will screw up the proof at all.

I am still writing. I actually have a few in progress right now. The two most likely contenders for next book are: Fantastical Trips, which I had as my cover page for the first year of this blog, and nearly threw away in disgust this past June; and a prequel to Ascension of Peary which occurs some thirty five years before that book in an entirely different part of the empire. I haven’t named the second book yet, or rather it has two names, neither of which is suitable for the book as it is developing.

Fantastical Trips is being completely rewritten, which is a good thing. It bore too many of the hallmarks of a first novel, weak characterization, sloppy story-telling, amateur writing, and unappealing dialogue. Having made it through the process with Ascension of Peary, I have learned a lot more about the craft and the inadvisability to try only editing as a cure for Fantastical Trips’ numerous ailments. Only a fresh start seems to offer what this manuscript needs. I’m only ten thousand words into it, but the characters are already more lively and interesting than they ever were in the prior iteration. Rather than rushing into the primary conflict in the story, and rushing to its conclusion, I am taking the time to develop the world and its inhabitants through action and dialogue. No guaranties, but it already reads more smoothly, and is more entertaining. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen.

The prequel to Ascension does not involve any of the characters from Ascension unless there is a brief appearance of the third emperor’s son at some point in the latter reaches of this tale. That remains a possibility. Instead, I’m giving the origin story of some individuals who will show up in the sequel to Ascension, so that they don’t appear suddenly out of whole cloth when I write the sequel.

So in some sense, I have three books in progress, with the two sequels already planned and partially written for Fantastical Trips also waiting in the background. This ignores the steampunk murder mystery I have partially written and almost completely figured out which will see the light of day someday. I expect to be busy, which means I will likely not be blogging quite so much.  But, dear readers, I will do my best to keep you apprised of my works in process as they come to the fore.

I hope you read Ascension of Peary. I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on it and whether you want more. Advice will be gratefully accepted as each volume comes to its own publication date. I honestly don’t care whether you buy or borrow the book or books, but I hope you find them entertaining enough that you want to have your own copy. I also hope you will recognize the target audiences for my work, generally between twelve and eighteen, and will offer it to those you know in that age group. I should add that a precocious nine year old boy has been reading some of The Ascension of Peary and has been delighted by it. He is always asking for more, and he will shortly have his own copy.

The Formatter

Oh, dear, the end is in sight. Tomorrow I send Ascension of Peary to the book formatter. He will build the ebook and the CreateSpace book for me, I will review them. If they work, I can upload the ebook immediately. The CreateSpace book will have to wait for the cover artist to format it for the number of pages in the print book. In any event, they won’t be available for sale until 9/18, although once they’re accepted, they will be available for pre-sale. I’m very nervous and edgy, though I suppose this is reasonably normal.

There is some good news on another front. I have started two other books in the world I created for Ascension of Peary. One is moving better than the other, and I presented the first chapter to my writers workshop this past Wednesday. I was stunned by the number of positive reviews I got, with some raves, and most saying they wanted to read more. Some said it was the best I’ve written yet, which suggests that Stephen King is correct when he says you have to write a million words before you can call yourself a writer. I figure that’s about where I am now in my fiction writing.

Goodness knows, I’ve written plenty of words in a legal context over the course of my career. I may have to subtract all the legal words from the fiction words to get the true number of how many words I’ve written. All that legal stuff was anti-writing.

Final Read Through

Today I am doing the final read through of Ascension of Peary before sending it to the editor. I’ve been through all my beta’s comments, accepted most but not all, and now I’m reading for missing words, homophones, dialog tags, etc. All the annoying things my editor should catch, but shouldn’t have to.

I really want to get this sent off because I’ve started two other stories. One is a steampunk mystery, but I haven’t figured out a few steps yet, and it’s harder to do mystery by the seat of one’s pants. The other started as a short story on the same world as Ascension of Peary. It is, after all, an empire with 100 duchies, principalities and states in it. I figured I could write a short story and give it away free to whet people’s appetite for Peary. I’m not sure I’m constitutionally able to write a short story. I start with a suitably tiny idea and it grows like a weed as I sleep. I’m now thinking that short story I started is at least a novella.

I suspect it takes more self-control to write a short story than I have currently available to me. Maybe come winter, but now it’s summer, and ice cream season, and that is fatal to my sense of self-control.

Ascension of Peary is available for pre-order on Kindle, with a publication date of September 18. In case you’re interested. No picture is available there, but you can see the cover (minus the blurb) on my home page.

The Book is at the Beta-Reader

The book is done, first edited, off to the beta-reader, and ready to go the real editor in a week to 10 days. I’m giving her a month but the target date of September 18 is looking more and more plausible. I haven’t heard if my young fan is still enthralled, but I do have a confession to make. As I was writing the last twenty pages or so, I had to resolve an issue. I did so in the only way that made sense to me. And I cried. Editing it, I cried again. Maybe I’m just a wuss, but I look forward to my beta-reader’s take on the scene. If it passes that test, then it stays and I’ll get to find out out if others feel the way I do.

There’s part of me that wonders if this happens to other writers, that you write a scene with characters you have some feeling for, and find it is difficult to take. I am a pantser, as I have said numerous times on this blog. I write the story the characters tell me. It is, to my way of thinking, their truth, not mine. One of my pantser friends says, “Surprise the writer, surprise the reader.” If this is true, then I won’t worry about it.

The book will in all likelihood be available on Kindle and Amazon on September 18. it is called Ascension of Peary, and it is aimed at young to mid teens. I’m still trying to figure out what that group is called. YA?