Category Archives: Beowulf Chronicles

First Reviews Are In

And Chocolate Meltdown is hitting it out of the park! Five 5-Star reviews and one 4-Star review, so far.

Here are a few highlights from the first reviews:

An artful blend of humor, suspense, whodunit, and a twist you did not see coming at the end.

Kurt West, ex-Marine and official “tourist hunter,” has a case, a problem, a lot of omelet-gobbling, mocha-drinking lizards that may or may not be as much help as he hoped, and a deadline

Just Brilliant!

But feel free to read all of the reviews on Amazon.

Before releasing this book, I thought it might be smart to send out some advance copies and ask for some reviews ahead of time. Makes sense, right? How can people who have never heard of the Beowulf Chronicles decide they might like to read it based solely on a cover picture and a 150 word blurb. Of course I don’t know just yet if the strategy is working, since the book isn’t on sale, but it is fun to see all of the great reviews rolling in!

The book goes on sale in a week.

Good News, Bad News, Old News

Rockin’ n Rollin’ that’s how I feel. Of course that’s after swallowing that the first draft of BC3 was boring and A LOT of coffee, but hey, you know, everyone needs a pick me up.

Mocha

Okay, so good news, bad news, old news. I’ll start with the old news. BC3 still needs a lot of work. Of course, it is still a first draft, so we knew this. Honestly, of the four novels I’ve outlined, it is the one with the weakest initial outline. In fact, to complete the first draft, I had to take a sharp turn off of the outline. Good news is that worked. Bad news is sometimes when you don’t have a plan, you end up somewhere else.

So the real bad news – first draft isn’t quite as good as I hoped. I know it’s a first draft, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want it to be solid ;-). The main weakness is the plot. Given my piss poor outline, this should not be a surprise. A disappointment, sure. A surprise, no. Not enough twists, no real turns, and no surprises. I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. But the good news is that I’ve got three more drafts before I even begin to consider it done and the magic is in the rewrites. Plenty of time and opportunity to get creative and put some twisty turns and surprises in.

Now on to the good news. Overall, the draft is pretty clean — grammar, spelling, etc. I’m sure I’ll screw that up in future drafts … after all, my beta readers need something to fix. The banter between the characters is great and as my readers have told me, this is a big part of what makes the books so fun. So basically, I’ve got the same fun characters, in the same fun and intriguing storyworld, with a mystery that’s not mysterious enough. Fixing the plot is easy. This should be a no-brainer, right?

So, I did some brainstorming with my alpha reader and came up with some solid ideas. I spent this evening plugging the ideas into the outline. And when I did that, I realized that a major significant sequence happens too early in the book, so I picked up three chapters and shifted them about ten chapters later. After looking back over the changes, I am convinced they’ll make the story more interesting and more fun. Good. I’m also sure there’s room for more twists, but that’s why I have a coupleish or so more drafts after this one.

Of course right now, I feel like I just got the recipe for a great new dessert. It looks and sounds yummy. I’ve read the ingredients and the instructions and it doesn’t seem too difficult to make. Of course, I haven’t gone shopping yet, attempted to find that one hard to find ingredient, discovered that kitchen implement I never thought was necessary just might be, or started the general work of making the dessert. Yep, the kitchen might end up a mess. Any time I make the number and type of plot changes I just made, it’s a lot. Even little ones have a ripple effect that cascade through chapters. The reread could be fun.

For now, I feel energized and not overwhelmed. So that’s something. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Flipping on the Light

It’s appropriate that my last post was on the eve of my week off to write, since I have taken this week off to write. Here’s a quick recap:

I didn’t take that week off. I found out that my company was about to let some people go in a restructuring and I cancelled my vacation. I did not get let go, but my department did get hit hard – that shook me up. For a while. At this point, for both me personally and my department I think that there is an opportunity for some very positive change and I am starting to look forward to it. For the past month or so, I must say, this writing hobby has seemed entirely secondary.

On the writing front, the work hit a full stop and then I nibbled at it on and off. During one phase of nibbling, I did manage to finish the beta for Mercury & Murder. I didn’t make all of the changes I had planned, it was more of a merger between making most of the significant ones and feeling the need to put it in the hands of my Beta Readers. So a couple of weeks ago, after missing the deadline, the delay line, and the new deadline, I sent it off to them. I’m aiming for feedback – Wow next weekend already.

As for book 3 (tentatively titled Chocolate & Wetsuits), my real target for the week, I’ve got the first chapter done – yay me! A chunk of that was done in a moment of true inspiration when I realized that volunteering to read something at my writers group meant that I actually had to have something to read. It got better reviews than I was anticipating and one significant flaw was discovered. That said, I need to finish outlining the book and write as much of it as possible this week. Ideally, I would like to finish it around the time that I get feedback on Mercury & Murder, but I don’t see that happening at this point.

I’ll keep you posted.