Monday, 21 February 2011

'Maranatha' in the Self-Publishing Press

Well it took some time, but finally Chaz's campaign to find some serious press for Maranatha is beginning to pay off. The following write-up appeared in the Winter edition of The Self-Publishing Magazine and is reproduced with permission, and without any 'judicious edits':

"...Religion-peppered thrillers are fast becoming cliches these days, and Maranatha immediately suffers by sporting a pedestrian cover with a tagline that sounds more like the fusion of two computer games than an introduction to a novel. Wood demonstrates flair and potential in his writing style and some passages draw the reader in. But this is not sustained throughout the text and clumsy, overly-descriptive passages rear their heads at opportune moments and jar with the edge-of-your-seat pace the novel needs to create to hook and hold the reader.

The presence of pictures is a puzzle as one thing Wood does excel in is the creation of characters. Indeed, the illustrations do push the novel into graphic novel territory, which in turn pushes the text towards a niche genre. Holding onto an understanding of the plot without a degree in Theology can be a struggle at times, but Wood keeps things just on the right side of accessible to the average reader. A lingering, almost voyeuristic preoccupation with the precise details of the violence of the murders in the story does mar things somewhat, and feels unnecessary given that there is a fine line between ritualistic murders and a gore fest.

Maranatha reeks of talent and potential but often finds itself treading water. The cover does not stand out or entice, which is a shame as, nestled on the bookstore shelf, it could easily be missed or passed by. Clumsy phrasing disturbs the flow of the thriller, but there is method to the madness of the plot and, if you like your thrillers to have that touch of the ritual and 'outside normal', then this is the book for you."

Chaz was very happy with that, deeming it fair on all counts. The presence of the illustrations and the issues with the cover are of course documented in this very blog (all the way back to late summer '08) when he was making the first steps into the big world of publishing, and was not at all confident in his own abilities as a book cover artist. Now over 2 years down the line, and Chaz has just completed his second official book cover commission (Dr. Frank English's Magic Parcel children's series), and far happier with his abilities as recent postings of the forthcoming Venus in Saturn cover will show. With the core text of Maranatha now over 5 years old in places, he has also learned a trick or two when it comes to writing in that time.

As a result of the above, Chaz is now in the process of revising Maranatha for a new, second edition, this time with no interior art, a full-colour pictorial colour, and Trinity Chronicles visual identity to tie it to Venus in Saturn and the forthcoming sequels. The text will also be given an overhaul and this new edition launched around the time that Venus goes live, in March or April this year. He's long wanted to make changes to the original edition since it was first released, but with the strict rules governing what can and cannot be altered under the same ISBN decided to leave it until he could resolve all the issues in one go. And Troubador's review has helped to do just that.

He's also now considering quoting the last line of the review on the cover...

The Self-Publishing Magazine is published by Troubador. Review content (c) 2010 Troubador Publishing Ltd., used with permission.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Origins of the Trinity Chronicles

Prior to the release of the next book in the Trinity Chronicles series (Venus in Saturn), Chaz has been working on a piece to set the scene for the whole background to these labyrinthine and layered books. In this short story, Beneath the Lion, we are taken back over ten millennia to outside the walls of the Garden of Eden...and a date with destiny for a certain notorious fallen angel. Heavily influenced by the forbidden lore of the Watchers and the Nephilim, Beneath the Lion also helps to set the scene for the third book in the series, and which sees the ultimate resolution of the complex mix of themes and conflicts which have entwined themselves through the past twelve thousand years of human history.

Friday, 4 February 2011

For Fenriswulf's Followers - A Springtime Freebie

Taking a break from editing Venus in Saturn, the next book in the Trinity Chronicles, Chaz thought it might be a nice idea to offer a free sample of the text to Fenriswulf's visitors and followers.

Simply browse to the e-Book page here and download the PDF. The free 63-page sample contains the first half-dozen or so chapters of Venus as things stand at present. Some of the work is still in 'beta' format, so any feedback or opinions at all will be gratefully received.

Warning: some disturbing and adult content lies within.

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners
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