Archive for January, 2012

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Eye of Darkness, The Writing Life

(WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS ADOLESCENT WHINING)

Four weeks into the new year, and 26K words later (yes, I know it’s supposed to be 40K), and I’m still writing this book. I feel like I’m stuck in one of those fun house rooms where the closer you get to the door, the farther away it appears. I know I’m near the end of this book, but writing it is literally like dragging one word out of me at a time. It’s starting to feel like it’s never going to get done! Gaa! (told you there’d be whining).

On a positive note (I guess), I’ve got nearly 98K words written in this book so far. I’m currently working on chapter 52, and I’d swear I’ve only got another 10K words to write. Of course, I thought the same thing 26K words ago. Meanwhile, I’ve been able to go back through parts of it and correct some of the errors I’ve made, as well as insert a little more needful backstory in convenient parts so that more of the ending makes sense and the whole thing remains internally consistent. By far, the hardest thing to do with stories that contain magic is making sure you consistently obey its rules. Believe it or not, some people care about this kind of stuff, and I don’t want to disappoint.

I received some positive feedback and some helpful criticism from the folks over at IndieAuthors.com regarding the cover art, which means I’ve gone back and done a little revision work on it to clean it up a bit and render it better than what I’ve had so far. It’ll work better as a paperback cover this way, so that’s encouraging. I’ll post the new cover once the book is released.

One thing I’ve been debating is whether or not to include a map. It’s not the most critical element, but in the fantasy stories I’ve read, I’ve always enjoyed looking at the maps to figure out where the characters are. Tolkien started the whole thing, and I might want to honor that tradition. If I do, I think I’ll have to hand-draw it first, and then scan it in. I toyed around early on with creating it digitally, but the process was just way too clumsy and time consuming, which is one of the reasons I’ve thought about leaving it out. Of course, if I do make one, I’m gonna have to figure out how to include the images in the e-book versions. Should be fun!

All right. Back to the grindstone.

Posted: January 16, 2012 in Eye of Darkness

Well, Eye of Darkness is nearly done. I can see the end in sight, but getting to it feels like climbing uphill through a wall of Jell-O. I’m reminded of something Winston Churchill once said:

Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a joy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress. Then a master. Then a monster. And just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the beast and fling it about to the public.

I confess: I am more than ready to kill this beast and fling it about to the public, but it’s taking a while to grind out those last few chapters that will bring this to a close.

At any rate, it occurs to me that I’ve yet to show you the cover for the book, so I’ve included it below.

So there it is. I hope you like it. The girl in the front is the Ronami woman, Avenyë, and the man on the horse in front of her is Lucas Veritatus, ex-Sheriff of the North Country. You can almost make out his eye patch in this small version.

So, hopefully soon, this will be up on Amazon and Smashwords. Then, finally, it will be time to crank out the next mile of Jefferson’s Road.

Heard back from my editor yesterday with the final edits for The Lost Scrolls. So, rather than working on Eye of Darkness, I’ve been re-re-re-reading (probably are a lot more “re’s” in there) my manuscript with a pen and a fine tooth comb, looking for little imperfections. An out of place comma. A word that should be capitalized. A missing hyphen. If I can get this done and back to her by Thursday, we’ve got a good shot of getting the book out earlier than the August/September date she’d told me about. Instead, we might be able to make May or even April. I don’t know how much more there’ll be to do once this is done, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless. At any rate, I’ll git ‘er done and back.

There is still something to be said for traditional publishing. For one thing, it feels more “real,” to me than indie pubbing (not that there’s anything wrong with indie pubbing). Just knowing that my book has been accepted and that someone else is willing to invest money into getting it into print is pretty amazing.

Both my friend Linda and my wife think I shouldn’t give up on traditional publication so easily (did I mention this already?). In truth, I haven’t. I’m all for any means necessary to claw my way to the best sellers’ list. There are some books of mine I know I will indie pub – sequels, for example, to works that have already gone through the submission mill and didn’t make it (but which are still selling. Go figure), like the Coppersmith or Jefferson’s Road. Others, like EoD, I might give traditional pubs a shot. If they take it on, great. If not, that’s what indie pubbing is for.

On a related note, I’ve joined the site IndieAuthors.com, so if anyone wants to check it out or chat, give it a go.

Posted: January 9, 2012 in The Writing Life

I reckon this is good news. I just heard back from the Irish Michael Scott’s contact person, who said the following:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have passed this on to Random House who said they will handle this immediately.

Best wishes

Hopefully, this will help light a fire under Barnes and Noble to straighten matters out. Of course, this doesn’t mean I’ll wind up with an author page of my own. I half-expect to get lumped in with all the other nondescript Michael J. Scott’s out there publishing various text books few people read, rather than the awesome fiction I write that even fewer… people… read…

Starting to wonder whether of not this is going to work out to my advantage. 😉

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Eye of Darkness, Jefferson's Road, The Writing Life

Well, here it is the second week of January, and I’m still writing Eye of Darkness. The book is a little longer than I’d first anticipated – which is fine, given that, according to Mark Coker’s recent comments on Smashwords, readers prefer longer works. But it is putting me behind the eight ball when it comes to cranking down on The Tree of Liberty.

On a side note, my sister contacted me the other day to let me know that none of my books are coming up correctly on Barnes and Noble’s website. I blame my parents. Who knew that Michael Scott or even Michael J. Scott would be such a common name? I’m routinely confused for the Irish author, Michael Scott (no middle initial), and Barnes and Noble seems to think I’ve authored a bunch of text books of some kind or another as well. Episodically, I still get people asking me, “Do you watch The Office?” with a silly grin. Yeah, I’ve never heard that one before.

I seriously did consider writing my books under a pseudonym, or some variation of my name, to make them stand out. In the end, I chose to keep the name Mom and Dad gave me. Now my son, David? He’s got a great author name: D.H. Scott. Just kinda rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it? The kid’s been working like mad on his novel Riverton, which, given that he’s only 13, is actually turning out pretty darn good. Of course, he’s got a 220 pound gorilla in his corner pushing him to stick with it. I’ve read and line edited most of it for him, trying to help him succeed in this (and no, I’m absolutely not doing it for him. Boy, would that be self-defeating). I hope and pray he’s able to finish it. Just to finish a novel for a 13 year old is pretty darn impressive. Not only that, but the story itself is, like I said, pretty darn good so far. I think, once he finishes it, and we clean it up (’cause everyone needs editing), he might actually have something worth publishing. Then again, I’m probably biased.

At any rate, I have contacted Barnes and Noble – again – in an attempt to get this rectified. Never heard back the first two times, so I CC’ed Michael Scott of Ireland’s contact person as well. We’ll see, I suppose. I don’t know why Barnes and Noble just doesn’t set up an Author Page like Amazon does with their Author Central. Wouldn’t be that hard to clean stuff up that way.

Okay, I’m starting to grumble. Mondays are like that. Time to walk away and eat some lunch.