Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Back to the Future

After a break from serious writing for almost the past year (due in no small part to what you see before you on this very webpage), serious work has now begun on ‘Maranatha’s sequels - and prequel. While ‘Maranatha’ ends with the promise "Tomas de Carranza and Emanuel Khalamanga will return, in ‘The Keys of Heaven, the Ashes of Hell’ ", the next book in the series in fact features Vanessa Descartes, set several years before the events in 'Maranatha', and during her previous career in criminal forensics. The reasoning behind this is that firstly, I needed to tie up some of the loose ends and unanswered questions about Vanessa that were left at the end of the first book, and also set up the rather complex background for what follows chronologically in ‘Keys of Heaven’. These are works in which the smallest details and throwaway references can have great symbolic significance later on, and the story arc is one that ultimately encompasses the past 10,000 years or so of human history, as well as the race's place in the cosmos, and the fate of the Western Church – the merest foundations for which were laid in ‘Maranatha’.

The remaining entries in what has now fallen under the umbrella title of 'The Trinity Chronicles' see a steep escalation in the overt supernatural elements which were, for the most part, tacit in 'Maranatha' or could at least be explained away by rational means. There is no such ambiguity in what is to follow, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter at this stage. (Apart from anything else, I'm still figuring out the full details of the background and the true nature of every character's place in that storyline).

The current working title for the Vanessa book is ‘Venus in Capricorn’ but that will definitely change by the end. Like it’s predecessor it will end up being illustrated, by me, and will most likely be a good deal shorter in length as well – a novella, rather than a novel, according to the current plan, so as not to hold up production of 'Keys' for too long.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Another Step of the Way

Well it took a wee while, but Lulu finally sorted out the problem with the last revisions. I received the proof copy today and now everything is pretty much bang on the money. So finally, the book's exactly as I want it, and a trip to my local Borders bookstores (i.e, 35 miles away) is now on the cards for next week. It'll be interesting to see how that goes...

In other news, I had some free time last night and put together a quick illustration slideshow, which is now in place at the bottom of this very home page. Some of Photobucket's 'quick and dirty' slideshow themes are pretty appalling to anyone over the age of thirteen and a half, but I quite liked the grainy movie look - which is in keeping with the dark themes behind the book and the artwork. Another free marketing tool for the collection, in any case, and it makes me wonder if I shouldn't do a few more illustrations or even - shock, tremble - even think about producing a cover art piece at some point? I do have a buddy on deviantart.com who had expressed interest in the job, and I would still want to give him first refusal on that gig. It would be a good bit of practice for me at least, to see how close to "professional" illustration standard I am. As they say, watch this space...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

A Helping Hand

Having pulled together a whole bunch of resources for myself over the past few weeks relating to self-publishing, I thought it might be a nice idea to share some of them on this very site for the benefit of any passing visitors with an interest in "Going it alone" themselves. I'll be adding these links to the left-hand sidebar as I go along.

In other news, the video trailer is now up and running, and is linked at the bottom of this front page. It turned out a little rougher than I had hoped, and I'll be sure to tweak and refine it over the coming days and weeks. The music turned out OK for a bunch of free-form improvised synthesizer fooling about, and despite some annoying clicks on the middle track, it doesn't sound too terrible through my tiny 1-inch laptop speaker. I've had thoughts about turning it into a Flash animation and actually enacting scenes from the book - though that could be a lot of work. Taking things a little bit at a time at the moment. More news (good, I hope) to follow soon...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Going Global?

While still in the process of getting the front cover finalised with lulu.com (we're both currently investigating why the new revised cover isn't printing, and reverting to the old. They say it's my fault, effectively. I say it's not. I don't really care who's at fault, I just want things fixed so I can go ahead and finish the distribution), in the meantime, I'm pressing ahead with publicity...

Currently working on a teaser video trailer for purposes of uploading to youtube, a site I've only glanced at since signing up to Broadband and which I'm amazed hasn't yet been sued out of existence for copyright infringement. However, the idea of authors posting promo videos for their books is one I've seen reported on several websites lately, and the whole notion immediately grabbed me. As I spent 2 years training in video editing and production at the end of the '90s, it's always good to keep old skills sharp - even if only through Windows Movie Maker. I expect to have the video online before the end of the weekend, as soon as I've composed a suitable soundtrack to go with it. While my initial thought was to rip off a recording of Verdi's Dies Irae and join the copyright infringement crowd, I didn't see the point in giving anyone a chance to throw bricks at me. This started out as a 100% self-made project, and it'll continue that way...

The big surprise of the day was when I checked on amazon, on a whim, and found the book right there, for sale. In a strange sidenote, the editorial review on the US (.com) site is a bizarre blurb for some paranormal guidebook, which I'll be ripping down and replacing with an accurate review as soon as I finish this post!

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