booksandstories.com

June 2007 Review

Writing News

“The Dreamer” has been published, and you can buy your own copy by following the link on the List Page, but you can still read it for free on this website.

I have decided that only those books that had previously been password protected will remain so. That means that those that were not password protected, like “The Dreamer,” will remain freely accessible. As I also offer access to the books for free in any case if you email me and ask for a password, it would be nice if you bought the odd one or two. But I guess that's wishful thinking. If you are feeling generous you can find all my books at Amazon.com. Or you could use the Order Page to find direct links to each book.

I am looking at the remaining three Science Fiction books for publication next. BookSurge have been very good, and have even produced a hardbacked version of “An Affair of the Heart.” I will keep you up to date as I work on the books in preparation for publication. Having said that, I am still pondering on what to do with “The Twelve Great Ships.” It was supposed to be the link between the last part of “The Friendly Ambassador” and “The Lost Girls.” It was the prospect of writing this second epic after “The Friendly Ambassador” that dried up my writing in the first place. Even now I find it difficult to map out the actual story and plot. The problem is that I have written enough huge space battle scenes in “The Friendly Ambassador” already, and the Battle of the Black Cross Nebula has to be the biggy of them all. When I started “The Friendly Ambassador” I never realised it would take twelve hundred pages to complete, albeit split into four separate books. I don't want “The Twelve Great Ships” to get that long, but on the other hand, anything smaller would feel like a failure, if you know what I mean. At least I am thinking about it. Plot lines and scenes keep going through my head in a way that hasn't happened for some time now. Maybe I need therapy.

I have had feedback on “An Affair of the Heart” from a sale at Amazon. This story has always been the most popular and most read on my website for many years. It was also the first proper story that I wrote that didn't feature guns, monsters and mayhem. I was therefore sad to hear that the purchaser of the book was not satisfied. They liked the idea and the characters, but thought the story was not long enough or in depth. It's true that I enter the story only from Rachel's point of view, with the relationships between Robert, Alex and Sarah basically at the end of the road (pun not intended). It would have been nice to have gone further back and covered the whole story of Alex's first marriage and break-up, how Diana grew up without him, and how she and Robert met up before he went to work for her father. The love story between Sarah and Alex is also missing. As I said, we arrive at the end, the accident being the full stop to that whole segment. But it was the story that came afterwards that interested me at the time. The idea of the two men fighting, literally, over the heart of the woman they both loved was the main purpose of the story. I knew there had to be a background, and although I had it fairly straight in my mind I never intended to write it. In any case, that sort of love story is probably better being written by someone like Barbara Taylor Bradford, she would do it much more justice than I ever could, though I could try. The story would have to be a prequel, or a complete rewrite. Anyway, I have tried to contact the reader concerned so that I could explain things. If she gets back to me I will let you know. If you like the idea of a prequel to “An Affair of the Heart,” email me to let me know.

As a result of the above I am going to delay any publishing moves for “A Fine Woman” and “Mind Games.” This is because, like “An Affair of the Heart,” they are not very long at around one hundred and fifty pages. I think the price for a smaller book published as a trade paperback can be a problem. Most of the people who have read “An Affair of the Heart” did so for less than a couple of dollars, so $14 or $15 makes a difference. Although the larger books, at around three hundred pages, are a bit more reasonable, I am aware of the cost of buying one. I have asked BookSurge to lower the price of all my books, which they have agreed to do as it will be to my cost, and I hope that the small reduction works its way through the system quickly. The only other thing is that if I had received this feedback earlier, I might not have published “The Dreamer” on it's own, as this is also a smaller book. As some of you may know from a previous review, I had been thinking about an omnibus or anthology under the theme of “Extreme Women,” as the home for some of these stories. With “An Affair of the Heart” and “The Dreamer” already out on their own, that leaves only “A Fine Woman” and “Mind Games” as possibilties for inclusion. The page count would probably work out about right, too. I may pursue this later.
 

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