Less than a week!

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:

Smashwords
Google Play
Apple Books
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

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.

Self-Imposed Deadlines

The deadline to get Portsmouth Avenue Ghost up on pre-release was the 21st of November. I hit that deadline. Great. Yay me. Well, I didn’t hit it as much as I flopped messily against it, exhausted, frustrated and strung-out. With everything else that’s going on, the point of hitting the ‘upload’ button on Smashwords felt like an afterthought.

Who made that deadline, anyway? What’s the point of it? Why bother putting myself through the wringer just to hit some arbitrary date scrawled on a whiteboard? Doesn’t that turn writing into a chore?

Let me answer those one by one: I made the deadline. I made a date for the first draft. Then, when I reached that, I made a date for the second, then the third and also for the cover.  Finally I made the deadline for the pre-release.

The point is that by making dates and tracking my progress, I force my focus onto getting that task done. I then prioritise writing over, say, playing video games or watching television. The priority game also comes into play when I’ve got other creative tasks on the menu, like making You Tube videos or drawing or painting or crafting.

Sounds good, right? Keeping myself on track, avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination and distraction. It’s more than that, though. There’s this thing called Reality.

Most decisions are beyond me. It’s often not a matter of ‘I can do this, or I can do that’, rather it’s ‘I must do this and must do that’. See the difference?

The real question is why do I threaten my health and sanity just to reach some uninteresting date imposed by no one other than myself? It’s quite simple, really. I have commitments. I have to work, no questions. I have to take care of my family, no questions. I have to deal with emergencies and chores and errands and last-minute things. There’s no choice about that.

If I want anything of my own to be accomplished, then I have to afford it a status of ‘has to be done’, otherwise it can’t compete against the rest.

And, yes, it does turn writing into a chore. If I was writing for myself or for a friend, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m writing for a bunch of people I’ve never even met. I’m putting my name to a book that can be read by some guy on the other side of the world and he expects that what he gets passes a basic standard, and, more than that, expects it to be entertaining or informative. He won’t be as forgiving as a friend or relative. My credibility is directly linked to his enjoyment of it.

You’re damn right it’s a chore. It’s bloody hard work!

Imagine you’re making a batch of home-brew beer. There’s the cleaning and the sterilising, and the washing and the cooking, checking up on it, then the bottling and capping and storing it all under the house and checking again at intervals. It’s hard work, for sure, and one could easily pop down to the store and buy a slab, but that’s not the point, is it?

Deep down we want to create something. We want to put ourselves into what we do, express ourselves creatively, make something from nothing. That’s being human. Not all creative endeavours benefit others, of course, but those that do must be taken seriously.

A sketch on a napkin or a ditty in one’s head remain just as they are until they get turned into something ‘real’, in that they get taken seriously. The ditty gets engineered into a song. The sketch gets worked into a painting. Time and effort, lots of both, must be spent making something from nothing, creating things that never existed before we applied what God gifted us. Otherwise those little bursts of creativity stay on that scrunched up napkin and eventually get forgotten about.

Believe me, it’s all too easy to pretend that it doesn’t matter. You can think, “Ah, I’ll miss it by a day. Big deal.” It is a big deal. I’ve missed many deadlines and, each time, I kidded myself that there was nothing more that could have been done.

Bollocks.

Each time there was something I could have done. Without exception, every time I looked back, with honest eyes, and understood that I had left things too late, wasted time at the beginning of my project, spent too much effort doing trivial tasks. I could have done more and I could have done it better. Criticising myself retrospectively (another useful tool) means that, now, I reach my deadlines.

Deadlines are a front-line weapon against Entropy. They are an essential tool to make stuff real. Use them honestly and they’ll keep you honest.

That Octopus is on his way!

I told you I’d do it! Tedrick Gritswell of Borobo Reef is up for pre-release.

What does that mean for you?

It means you can pre-order it so that, on 1st of June, 2017, it gets automatically added to your library and you get the honour of being the first spud to read it! It also means you can rest easy knowing that I’m going to use the next few weeks to spruce up the book, get the formatting down, all of that.

Here’s the link:

What does it mean for me?

It gives me a chance to slow down and take stock. The work doesn’t stop, though, you should know that by now. I need to:

  1. Work on the cover (woot!) some more. That’s not the final iteration.
  2. Fix up some grammatical and spelling errors.
  3. Make a few last minute additions and subtractions.
  4. Rev up the marketing engine and concentrate on that properly.
  5. Get this into a hard-copy version el-pronto.

I’ll keep you posted about how it all goes, including how the KDP uploading went. In the meantime, I’m going to take a break, have some lunch, maybe even head to Bunnings for a walk-around.

Haven’t done that in a good while.

Mini Jeztyr Logo

Editing – Ugh… Do I have to?

Who ever said that writing was glamorous? Not me, I can assure you. I can think of many words to describe it. Glamorous doesn’t make the list.

The writing bit is fun. You know, making up the story and getting all the words on the paper and building up characters, scenes and plots. That’s a hoot, but not glamorous. It’s fun, sticky and sugary, like eating dessert for an entree.

The marketing – promotions, adverts and posts – that’s all boring but essential, like steamed vegetables.

The worst part, for me at least, is editing. I’ve already read the damn book. I’ve worked over little details, scrubbed whole bits out, rammed other bits in, smooshed it, smoothed it, worked at it and sat on it. Then, after a period of recovery, I get to do it all over again.

And that’s just the second draft.

Rinse, repeat. Third draft. Oh brother. Looking down at the plate, you’ve got something in the realm of cold porridge, mixed with a spoonful of unsoaked lentils.

Ugh. Editing. Spoon by spoon, it’s a slog to get through, especially the third draft. It’s where I have to concentrate not only on grammar and spelling, but flow, repetition and any major flaws that are sitting there. Did Barnes come before or after I fought the Unome? Was Belvedere oblivious to Sassam’s plot? How much did Wyra blab to Coraline?

Yes, these should have been taken up in the Second Draft. Doesn’t mean they were. Consider it the last chance to nut all of that out before the galley is produced. I’ve had some assistance to this end in the form of my father grabbing a red pen and for this I am very, very grateful.

Of course, since he stole the red pen, I’ve been forced to use the green for my own amendments. I can live with that. Want to hear the good news? It’s all done. The hard-copy side of things, that is. Now comes the second part of the editing task: working back over the printed pages and translating the scribbles and scrawls, side-annotations and asterisks over to the electronic version.

This the is down-hill part of the task. Doesn’t mean it’s any less unpalatable, just that it takes less time.

What’s the date today? May 1st. Cool. In that case, I have reached the decision to put this book up for pre-release May 4th on Amazon’s KDP (the Kindle Direct Publishing thing), for an official release June 1st. That’s from a Thursday to a Thursday.

I’ll try my best to document the process. I’ve got Smashwords and Lulu down, but the KDP is still a bit of a foreign concept.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Adaptation – Part 6 on Pre-release

The wait is over. The time to crack champagne (or a decent Lagavulin whisky) is now!

Adaptation – Part 6, the conclusion to the Adaptation Series, is up on Smashwords and Amazon, and shortly it’ll be on Google Play, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo for pre-order.

Pre-order?

That’s right, pre-order. I was aiming for the 15th of December, but due to restrictions with the publishing houses, the earliest I could get was the 23rd of December.

Just in time for Christmas, eh?

An Apology…

On a side note, I must apologise to my Kindle audience. I am very sorry that you may have received an old edition of Adaptation – Part 1. Because of the way distribution works, I have to manually upload my books and editions of those books to Amazon and I’m pretty sure that the edition that was up there was not the latest, and had a bunch of spelling and grammatical issues in there.

If you’re one of the unlucky ones, I am sorry. I have re-uploaded the latest edition today, and that should clear in a couple of days. I will be looking over the Kindle versions after I finish, just to make sure I haven’t mucked up again.

OK, so, it’s party time?

You bet! Come on, this is a celebration! Part 6, up on pre-order, release on Friday the 23rd!coverart6small

Come and witness the conclusion to the Adaptation series!Mini Jeztyr Logo

Adaptation – Part 6, Cover Art Sneak Peek

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?

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:

coverart6small

Stay tuned for more updates as the days count down.Mini Jeztyr Logo

Hampton Court Ghost is Released!

HamptonCourtSmallThe best in the Paranormology series, Hampton Court Ghost has been released. Thank you to those who pre-ordered your copy, I trust you’ll enjoy the narrator’s next tale.

The book is available in digital format from all leading online stores, like Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and iTunes, and it’s also available in print from Lulu (and eventually Amazon, bear with).

I sincerely hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. There are plans for another haunting, I’ll let you know as things progress.

Thanks again! Enjoy, everyone!Mini Jeztyr Logo

Hampton Court Ghost is on Pre-release

HamptonCourtSmallQuick post to let you know that Hampton Court Ghost, the third book in the Paranormology series, is in pre-release. Over the next few days I’ll be hooking up a new spot here on jeztyr.com, and getting it ship-shape for y’all. The release is set for 27th of September.

Of course this means that I need to update the Paranormology series graphic, get the blurb nailed down, distribute at all the usual places.

It’s now at Amazon, and should be at iTunes, B&N and Kobo by the end of the week, so be patient, unless you want to get it directly from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/573017

or Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014O0YOIA

Feedback is welcome. Enjoy!