Today’s the official release day for my latest novella, Corvette. You can get it exclusively on Amazon for the Kindle and in paperback. If you have pre-ordered your ebook, check your Kindle device or app to read it now! Corvette takes place before Starforgers, Book One of the Star Saga. It’s a great place to start if you are considering reading the Star Saga. Consider it Book Zero of the series.
Thirty years before the start of the Great War, a small starship has a deadly encounter with a massive alien warship on the fringes of the Outer Rim.
When Lieutenant Armon Vance found himself assigned to the oldest ship in the fleet, stationed on the edge of the known galaxy, he figured his Fleet career was over. In fact he was about to embark on the most important mission of his young career and his captain would rely heavily on him to help them get back alive after encountering a massive military warship of the Votainion Armada. In the spirit of grand Naval adventures of the past, Corvette packs exciting military action into a swiftly moving story of heroics and bravery in deep space.
As always, please be kind and leave a review. Thanks!
Corvette is the first novel that I have released in paperback and ebook at the same time. The novel is enrolled in the KDP Select program and will only be available on Amazon for the first 90 days. I have also used the KDP Paperback program to convert the ebook into a paperback. Amazon purchased the print on demand publisher – CreateSpace a few years back and now they are finally linking that software to their successful Kindle Direct Publishing program. The KDP Paperback program is still in Beta, but I thought I’d give it a try for this new release.
I uploaded the ebook to the system and it converted it into a 5×8 inch paperback sized Word document. I then downloaded that document and tweaked it a bit to make it more like a proper paperback. By that I mean I brought some of the front matter – copyright page, for instance to the front of the book and added page numbers. Since I’m not used to using Word templates, I had to mess around until I figured out how the page numbering worked.
For the cover I used on of Amazon’s canned templates to make things easier for myself. I think in the end the book looks quite nice and should please most readers. However, it is not as good as you can do if you hire a professional graphics artist to do the cover and the interior yourself. Previously that was my approach to making some of my other novels in paperback through CreateSpace. You can still upload your own professionally produced PDFs of the interior and exterior if you have them, but I wanted to see how good of a product I could make by myself with very little effort. I guess readers will have to let me know in the reviews whether they like the format or not. To me, the book looks clean and neat, but very self published.
I have decided that I can do without a perfectly produced paperback until I gain a much bigger following and could afford to pay to have nicer versions made. While I was doing the Corvette paperback I was also doing the Devon’s Blade paperback using KDP Paperback. Both books are now available through Amazon. A photo album of the proof copies and some comparisons is available here, for those of you considering whether or not to roll your own paperbacks using this system.
My latest WIP is called Betweos. It’s an original Sci-Fi story that dates back to the eighties when my brother, Byron, told me an idea he had for a science fiction tale. We tweaked the idea off and on for the next thirty years. While I was in college, I wrote the story as a screenplay. That screenplay is the structural basis for the novel I’m writing now.
Of course the story continued to evolve and hopefully the novel version will contain all the ideas and inspirations that we’ve collected over the decades. But it’s nice to have something to read as I pound out the outline for the novel. Screenplays are much less dense in detail than novels and thus the novel version will have more scenes and probably more subplots. Such is the nature of film vs book versions of stories.
This novel will be my primary focus for next year. I don’t anticipate writing anything else. If I finish a first draft before summer, I might start the next Star Saga novel, but I can’t promise anything. The more likely scenario is that I’ll push Betweos out to beta readers and try to collect their reactions in time to finish a second draft by the end of summer. That leaves fall and early winter to edit it.
Betweos is a stand alone novel and I’ll be taking it to agents for traditional publication. It could be years down the road before those efforts result in publication. If nobody wants it, then I’ll throw it out there by myself. In the meantime, the Star Saga will regain my focus until that series is complete.
This weekend it was cool outside so I busted out the blue screen and a finished model and took some pictures of it. That of course led to some Gimp action with some pretty background images. Since my brother was visiting, he got a chance to watch me photograph the model and then helped me tweak the photos in Gimp. The results are below for your viewing pleasure.
It’s been a while since I posted around here. Sorry about that. Summer is when I tend to stay inside and write and not venture into the furnace of my garage. So not much modelling gets done. Right now we have 90+ degree days and lots of smoke from nearby fires. So breathing is a challenge some days too.
I have, however, been working on my current novel, Corvette. I’ve left the Atom editor and migrated just the manuscript to Google Docs. I still use Atom for all my notes and outline, but all my writing is now linear in one GDoc. I’ve set up the writing scripts of Jamie Todd Rubin to help with word counts. I refer back to my outline open on another desktop, as I write. Currently I’m about a hundred pages into the draft and I’ve already added a few chapters to the outline. Actually, I don’t change the outline, I just add things to the manuscript. The outline is just a blueprint for the author and no reader ever sees it, so I don’t make it match the manuscript. That’s just wasting time and effort.
In the above screenshot of my outline, chapter 11 does not match up with where I’m at in the story or the actual draft. Pictured above in the manuscript is the last paragraph of chapter 12. Looking at the Google Doc above, you’ll notice I am using a chapter outline. This makes jumping from chapter to chapter easier. Each scene in the chapter is separated by three stars. One oddity is chapter 9 witch is one long scene.
I’m well into the second act of the story and I’ve realized that there might not be enough story to make a three hundred word novel. So I’m drifting a bit and adding character related materiel that might normally only be added in a second draft. I’m also considering whether this might be more of a novella. Normally you shouldn’t worry about all that on a first draft. Just write the story and then analyze it after you’re done. In many ways though, until you write about 20K words of a novel, you’re just not sure if you really know the characters as well as you need to. So sometimes a good examination of characters is needed to keep the reader engaged and story moving forward. And that’s where I’m at right now.
I’d like to be done with this novel before October, so I need to keep churning word counts on a daily basis to make that goal.
Over the weekend my brother put the finishing touches on the cover for the first Star Saga trilogy. As soon as I can get the time I’ll stitch books 1-3 together and put them up for sale on Kobo, Nook and Kindle. Eventually, I’ll do a boxed set that includes all six books in the Starforgers Trilogy. Which is to say you’d get the Tales From Ocherva anthology and two novellas, Devon’s Blade and The Blood Empress. Not sure on the pricing of that one yet.
Both of my Sci-Fi novellas are now only .99 cents on Amazon Kindle. Devon’s Blade and The Blood Empress both feature strong, independent female characters. They are quick, exciting stories that introduce you to my Star Saga universe. Devon’s Blade is the star of the first three novels and Empress Nykostra is the main villain. Both of these stories can be read independently of the Star Saga but if you want more, get Starforgers, Book One of the series – also only .99 cents.
I’m using a programming editor (Atom) to write my novel, Corvette. Sometimes it needs updating. This is what that looks like.
“Devon’s Blade is a solid sci-fi novella with an old school air combat appeal. It kept me interested from start to finish.” Readers’ Favorite
This little novella is starting to garner some praise out in the world. Reader’s Favorite is the latest, giving it a Five Star review!
Previous reviews include this one from Self-Publishing Review -“If you’re a fan of war fiction, especially with aerial fighting, and like your science fiction to have a large dose of recognizable realism, Devon’s Blade is action-packed, well-researched, and a fun read.” Self-Publishing Review
My novella, Devon’s Blade will be only .99 cents this Friday and Saturday. A Kindle Countdown sale will earn you a 67% savings on one of my most popular ebooks. Spread the word and as always, please leave a review on Amazon.