Exeter, a bustling town with a wealth of surprises, is now home to the Professor. He has set up his laboratory and has fished for active hauntings and, to his great delight, has succeeded in finding what could be the most perfect case on record, one that might be used for scientific analysis on the nature of the other world.
They’ve already had run-ins with the locals, and now they are wiser to the lay of it all, so it’s time to investigate in earnest. Of course, the city has its own surprises waiting for them. What will all this mean?
You can find out in less that a week! The official launch of Cooper Alley Ghost is on Sunday 26th of April, 2020. But you can get it now, on pre-order, with the eBook up at all major retailers:
The audiobook has been submitted and is currently under review, but there seems to be a delay on the publishing. I’ll keep you posted about that. I know Ah’dhu is a fan of the Audio versions, because then he can get his ghosts on the run.
After each release, I get deflated. Steam whistles out of my joints, my brain shimmies to a halt, my fingers become indecisive. Floff! That’s me for stint. Don’t worry, I’m not slacking off or anything. There’s always more to do. It becomes a matter of prioritising based on necessity.
Then, after a week or two of recuperation, my eyes lift up from where I am and start looking at where I’m going. I have to make a decision for the future. I have to look to the horizon and plan where I’m going.
I have to answer that burning question, “What’s next, Jez?”
Do I continue with the Paranormology series? Do I resurrect some of my older works and bring them up to speed? Well, both of those prospects are tempting, but I’ve decided to give that funky cephalopod a bit of love.
That’s right! Tedrick Gritswell is getting another book. And why not? He’s a hero. He has an assist-kick to help him. He has escaped the clutches of the Abyss. He’s only just getting started!
This time around I won’t be using KDP. I found it too restrictive, too cumbersome. I didn’t really enjoy the advantages touted and, frankly, I prefer Smashwords.
Of course, I’ll want to get a jump on the front cover as early as possible, but I’m not sure how that’s going to look yet. I’ve only got the skeleton of the story sketched out, and I’m still changing that around to suit.
I did it. As I rode home, I went over and over the possible situations: A hostile occupant. A disinterested one. Getting told to sod off. Getting an over-eager interest. How would it turn out? How would it all end?
I circled the block, checked it for other houses that might be more suitable (there weren’t), parked the bike, cricked my neck, cricked my fingers, admonished myself for procrastinating, and took off my helmet. “Hi, my name is Jeremy Tyrrell… Hmm. G’day, you don’t know me… nah. Hi, there. This might sound strange… Nup. Yo, firstly, I’m not here to sell you anything… Oh, boy.”
Clearly, pre-planning wasn’t working, so I opted to just wing it. Somehow, that felt better, or made more sense. I don’t know.
The front door was just over there. Only a few steps away. Through the gate, along the path, up the steps and across the portico, then ding-dong! Show time.
Easy as. Only the gate wouldn’t open. A latch? A bolt? Hasp and staple? No. A wire was tightly wrapped around the gate securing it to the brickwork.
No go, eh bro? Not so.
I am reminded by the saying, “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
Is that even legal?
Good question. I had to do some searching around to get a handle on photography laws as it pertains to private properties and public places. Turns out, it’s actually quite legal.
In a nutshell, unless I’m a Peeping Tom (kinda tough to be one at 5:30 on a main road), or being a nuisance, taking a photograph of a building or scene that is visible from a public area is fine. There are exclusions, such as if one is photographing a commercial concern and goes on to make proceeds out of what is essentially not theirs, or if one has been told to push off, or if there are minors involved.
If one is on private property, however, permission needs to be obtained from the owner or relevant body.
In short, if you’re on the street, it’s fair game.
The result? Ehhh, not so fast. A got a photograph, but it’s not a cover just yet, not without removing things like telephone wires, street numbers, garbage bins, antennae and all of that.
I like this house. Handsome, two floors, a lovely garden, and large enough to sport several rooms. The sky above looks pretty turbulent, too. just need to make it darker, gloomier.
There’s a fair way to go yet. Right now, I’m getting a tea and going to bed.
It’s official: the next in Paranormology sees our protagonist accompany the Professor to Exeter, following up on a potential lead involving a wealthy widow and a mysterious medium. I finished the second draft just now – coffee down, have a stretch, crack of the knuckles and back to it, Jez.
Naturally there’s the drama between the Professor and the Gypsy – neither appreciates the other’s presence. The protagonist is caught in the middle, being young and idealistic.
There’s the theme of the optimism of youth, and it helps in a few spots, yet the premise is related to controlling one’s emotions. Sound vague? Of course. I’m not going to spell out the premise, that’s the book’s job.
I don’t think I’ll be doing the whole KDP thing again on this one. Firstly, it wouldn’t be fair to those who have the rest of the Paranormology series on Kobo, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, etc. Secondly, I really like Smashwords as a publisher! They’ve got the author as their focus, not profits, and they make it easy to do just about anything. I’m cool with that.
As for the cover, I’ve got a particular house in mind that I pass by every day on the way home from work. It’s over in Essendon and I’m thinking I might want to ask for permission from the home owner first before I stand outside like a creepy guy and take happy-snaps of the house… Yeah, maybe I’ll do that.
Don’t know how I’m going to approach it, but. “Hey, hi. You don’t know me and, well, I don’t know you, but I was wondering if I could take pictures of your house…”
I’ve been quiet lately, I know. I’ve been busting my digits, giving my red pen a serious work out. Actually it ran out of ink. After that I ground my laptop’s CPU into the dirt making corrections and alterations and adjustments and –
Get on with it…
Alright, alright. You don’t want to hear me yapping on about the process. Your here to have a sneak peek at the cover, right?
Well, bear in mind that Adaptation Part 6 is the final and, without giving too much away for those of you who are still catching up, behind every good man, there’s a great woman, right? True, true. Am I talking about Ottavio? Ryan? Marcus?
You’ll just have to wait and see.
Come on, Jez, hurry it up.
Hey, I’ve been doing a lot, so sue me if I take my time. Where was I? Ah, the release date is still looking to be around the 15th of December, 2016. Depending how hard it is to upload to Smashwords and Kindle, along with pre-order, that might get push back a day or so. Not to worry, I’ll make an announcement when the pre-order is ready.
And now, without further fuss, here is a look-see of the cover art for Adaptation – Part 6:
Stay tuned for more updates as the days count down.
Well who would have thought they’d see the day, eh? Eh? Adaptation – Part 6 is heading for completion in December.
You heard right. The much-anticipated conclusion to the Adaptation series is due for release before Christmas. I’ll be making a space on this website soon enough. As per the others, it will be available from all platforms upon release, from iTunes and Barnes and Noble, to Kobo, Google Play and Amazon Kindle, along with our good friends over at Smashwords.
As a heads-up, just like the other Adaptation parts, it’s not exactly suitable for children what with the violence and swearing and other unsavoury topics.
Is there a cover? A fixed date?
No cover just yet, kiddies, that will come soon enough. I’ve got to the second draft going first. How’s this for a deal: I’ll do another post when that’s done.
As for a fixed date, the unofficial launch will be December 15th (ish). Don’t worry, I’ll be banging on about it a fair bit, so you won’t miss out.
Cue the fireworks and open the champagne. OK, maybe I’ll just crack a beer and watch Hellboy.
You see, I wanted to hold off on the release until I had all my ducks in a row. I wanted it available in printed media, as well as on Google Play and Amazon, get the webpage up, and all of that stuff, but I, um, kind of mucked up the delay thing at Smashwords and, well, long story short: it’s out.
But, hey, it’s out!
It’ll be up on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Kobo in a day or two, and I’ll update the website accordingly, but why wait? Head to Smashwords and bag yourself a free copy now! (Besides, it ain’t gonna be free on Amazon).
Third draft of Jolimont Street Ghost is done. More changes, “whoops, how’d that get in there?”, get rid of that unnecessary tosh, red pens and redder eyes.
Now I’m going to let it stew once more, while I figure out a release date, and attack the problem that, for me, is writing’s equivalent of cleaning the shower: the blurb.
It’s just a summary, right?
No. No it is not. If you’re thinking of a synopsis or a digest, that, to me, is akin to cleaning the toilet. I’ve got my own beef with synopses, but this is about the blurb.
The blurb is important. It let’s the reader know just what the book, this marvelous creation, is about. It’s a hook to get their attention and feed their curiosity. It’s a marketing tool. It’s a filter to let an audience decide if they will enjoy it. And it comes in two forms: short and very short.
The short can go onto the back of the print edition, and it’s also sent to various re-sellers. the very short is also sent to re-sellers and is what gets pushed under the nose of the audience when they click the ‘tell me more’ button. So it’s gotta be short, sweet and to the point.
Therein lies the challenge: How does one convey the subtleties of the book when they’ve got a limited character count? How does one grab the reader and say, “This book is (or is not) for you!”? How does one give a story line without giving away the punchline?
The Scene, the Theme, the Premise and the Moral
The hard work of writing the book is done, so writing less than a hundred words should be a cinch, but it ain’t. To help out, I write down the Premise, that global statement of hypothesis, that drove the book.
Then I write the moral out (which is surprisingly hard to summarise into a sentence), and put words pertaining to the theme and the scenery of the book, all in the same vernacular and perspective as the book. For example, with Paranormology, the narrator is relating a personal story from a Victorian era, hence the blurb will be a description, by him, of his tale in his manner of speech. Atlas, Broken, in contrast, is written in a third person, as an observer of Henry, in a more modern tongue.
Thus, the scribbles on my page read:
“A curse brought about by an individual can only be attended to by that individual. Rumour, gossip, conjecture, public opinion and speculation are born from assumptions. Assumptions. Science claims to make no assumptions, yet relies upon them. Light and Dark. Balance, what goes around comes around. Summoned demon, born in darkness. Occult, sorcery, physical harm, reputation harm.”
With these words and phrases, I then construct two sentences, one about the metaphysical nature of the book, and once about the physical side. In this way, I can give the reader two aspects to help them out.
“The supposition that darkness is merely the absence of light is both popular and false, as those who practise the occult can affirm.”
“In the dark cellar of number thirteen Jolimont Street, a house we had assumed benign, I unwittingly brought forth an ancient evil that threatened not only our reputations, but our souls.”
There. That’s 320 odd characters, 80 shy of the limit for the ‘very short’ version. Add in the series information, and I’ve reached my limit.
It took about an hour to write, twiddle, poke, and condense (I’ve got a little boy blowing a very loud recorder, so that skews the figures). That’s why it’s like cleaning the shower: A whole lot of scrubbing and rubbing and swearing in a cramped space, with very little at the end to show for it.
In the ‘short’ version, I’ll be able to add in another sentence or two to expand on the concepts of gossip, rumour and the like.
‘Jolimont Street Ghost’ second draft is done. Still a few things to tidy up. Still some paragraphs that need work. But now it’s time to break out the red pen.
Yeppers, it’s head down, bum up, editing hat on with some white noise flooding my ears, reading over the printed pages of the next great thing, cup of coffee dripping onto the pulp, marking little annotations with my red pen in cryptic squiggles and hieroglyphs.
There’s more to consider than just the story, though. Now that I’m at the pointy end, I need to update the Paranormology series image, figure out an actual release date rather than ‘sometime around March-ish’ – ah, a deadline.
And, you know what? I’ve been doing some thinking. This episode is in stark contrast to Grosvenor Lane, which is light-hearted and childlike. As I was doing the second draft, I realised the protagonist has grown a lot. His thoughts and attitudes are more adult and the situation he finds himself in is less Enid Blyton and more Howard Lovecraft, and this transition is palpable across the other two books.
It wouldn’t be fair to judge the series based on a single book now, would it?
So, as an extra kicker, Jolimont Street Ghost will be free.
As such, there’s no pre-release period, so I’m going to have to factor that into my release date as well.
This time, no mucking around with silly plots. What am I talking about? Well, if you look back a fair few posts, Hampton Court Ghost started life as a train-wreck. There was a mangled plot and a weird premise that just got worse as it developed.
If you can call a descent into silliness ‘development’.
I had to rewrite the whole thing, razing it and starting practically from scratch. Not so with Jolimont Street! There are markers and placeholders and XXX’s pointing out where I know I need work, all those things, but all in all, it’s a story that stays with its premise. In short, I’m chuffed.
Now I’m going to leave it for a bit, concentrate on something else. After a couple of days I’ll revisit the document with fresh, critical eyes and then, after that, I’ll do the hard copy and red-pen technique. Maybe I’ll work on the front cover in the mean time. Something brooding, not too innocent.