As promised in my last post, I’m back with another Reintegrators status report, this time concerning the interior book design.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter may already know that I gave up trying to get my first novel The Reintegrators published about a month ago. A full discussion on why, and about traditional vs. self-publishing in general, will have to wait for a full post-mortem on the project. For now I just wanted to take the opportunity to update everyone on my progress as I prepare the book for self-publication.
There are five major tasks I need to complete:
Task 1 was handed off to the very capable RJ Locksley, and in a very short amount of time (less than half of what she promised), she returned the manuscript to me with around 70 notes and countless other small corrections. As of this writing, I’ve gone through and addressed all but three of the notes, and I plan to have those done sometime tomorrow. For task 2, I’ve contracted Damonza to do the cover design work. Here is what he sent me as his initial drafts (hopefully he’s OK with me posting these):
I’m still unsure as to which concept I’ll end up going with or how exactly it will differ from the final cover. Any thoughts you have are appreciated!
Finally, here is the blurb for the back cover, which may not be 100% final:
Welcome to Oakmont Academy. Study hard, make friends, and whatever you do, don’t get lost in the Metaverse.
Teddy Cartham is desperate to find a way to help his mysteriously catatonic father, but a crippling panic disorder and his disastrous grades have left him with few options. Teddy believes his luck is changing when he receives an invitation to attend the elite boarding academy where his father once taught, until he uncovers a shocking secret: the seemingly senile math professors at his new school are actually Reintegrators, a secret cult of alternate universe explorers whose origins stretch back to ancient Greece.
Teddy learns he has inherited the mental ability to travel between universes, a gift which brings both opportunity and danger. With the help of his classmates, he searches a maze of bizarre alternate worlds for the key to his father’s shattered mind. But can he overcome his fears and unravel his own twisted memories in time, or will he end up sharing his father’s fate?
And that’s about all I have to show you for now. If you want more updates, follow me here or on Facebook or Twitter, or shoot me an e-mail to be added to my mailing list. Hmm, I suppose I should automate a way to do that…
By all appearances, science fiction is about to lose one of its greats. I’ve only gotten into the Culture series relatively recently, but coincidentally I was in the middle of reading one of Iain Banks’ books (Excession) when I heard his horrible news. Amongst the outpouring of shock and sadness online, various retrospectives have been written regarding Banks’ work, which makes me think this may be as good a time as any to offer my meager contribution to the subject.
It’s an oft-repeated maxim in writing that good ideas are overrated: a good writer can make a good book out of an awful idea, and conversely, a bad writer will take a great idea and usually turn it an awful book. A common story, first brought to my attention by Brandon Sanderson, tells the origin of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. To quote Wikipedia:
The inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion”, and “Pokémon”.
The moral of the story, aside from “don’t make bets with Jim Butcher ‘cuz he really takes that shit seriously,” is: don’t spend too much time worrying about whether your ideas are good or not, when you could be using that time to write (and thus becoming a better writer in the process).
A very nice review of EPIC FANTASY 0.9b is up at The Indie Book Blog, so go ahead and check it out. Thanks to Scott for the thoughtful review.
I haven’t done a review in a while due to time constraints, but when Christopher Ruz asked me to take a look at his new novella, The Eighteen Revenges of Doctor Milan, I figured I could make time for a quick one. Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed, as Ruz utilizes his signature dark, excellent quality writing to deliver a sharp science fiction adventure.