Monthly Archives: September 2018

Surviving Horse Island (Kids vs. Nature, #3) by Karl Steam Review

A refreshing change in scenery promises a day of fun for four middle school kids, but the reality of survival hits home in unexpected ways in author Karl Steam’s novel Surviving Horse Island, the third book in the Kids vs Nature series. Here’s the synopsis:

Josh and three of his classmates have proven they can survive a forest and a desert, but what about an island? Can they finish a third mission and make it home alive?

This third book takes an interesting turn, as for the first time the protagonist and the other kids caught in this endless web of survival missions the app brings them on find an environment that promises fun and adventure. The author does a great job of highlighting the beauty of the world, and also showing that beauty has to be respected and cared for, as untold dangers and survival skills are needed in the most beautiful of locations.

The growing character growth and blooming relationships between characters in the book promise a deeper and engaging story than ever before. The visuals do a great job once again of creating an even and free flowing story that both educates the reader and hooks them with relatable characters.

Overall this was a wonderful read that only makes readers crave more and more of the story. With the power of the app growing and the mystery of it’s development only becoming more shadowed, the third book in this series does a wonderful job of educating readers on survival on an island and how to fend for yourself in the wild, all while drawing the reader into a fast paced read that you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Surviving Horse Island by Karl Steam today!

Check out my review of book one here and book two here.

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DBSFJXY/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07DBSFJXY&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Surviving Desert View (Kids vs. Nature, #2) by Karl Steam Review

The four kids who stumbled into a mysterious app that transported them into the wilderness find themselves stuck in the app’s web in author Karl Steam’s latest novel, Surviving Desert View, book 2 of the middle school book series Kids vs. Nature. Here’s the synopsis:

Josh and three of his sixth-grade classmates find themselves stranded in the wilderness, again. Surviving in a forest was one thing. Can they survive a desert too?

Their situation takes a turn for the worse when they realize that their previous wilderness adventure was not an isolated experience. Not only do they need to complete another mission to get back home, but they need to find a way to prevent any more missions from happening. 

The mystery of the app and it’s ability to transport these children into harrowing situations grows in this second novel. The character development ramps up in this second outing, with the protagonist finding his specific knowledge coming into play throughout this novel.

The novel does a great job of bringing the visuals together with the story in a natural way. The story flows smoothly and makes the book a quick yet engaging read. The magic or power of this app and it’s mysterious origins bring this story to life in new and exciting ways, and by book’s end you will be eager to jump into the next book.

Overall this was a wonderful read. Full of adventure, knowledge and an amazing hook that brings middle school readers into the study of survival in a new and inventive way. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of book two in the series, Surviving Desert View by Karl Steam today!

Check out our review of book one in the series here!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D9JFB7W/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07D9JFB7W&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Surviving Moose Lake (Kids vs. Nature, #1) by Karl Steam Review

Four middle school students who couldn’t be more different find themselves stuck together and forced to learn how to survive in the wild in author Karl Steam’s Surviving Moose Lake, the first in the seven book Kids vs. Nature series. Here’s the synopsis:

Getting placed in a lousy group for a class assignment is bad enough, but it’s a thousand times worse when you get stranded in the wilderness with that group. Will Josh and three of his sixth-grade classmates have the skills they need to survive the wilderness? Will they all make it home alive?

Surviving Moose Lake is the first book of the Kids vs. Nature series. It provides an entertaining mixture of danger, adventure, factual information, and life lessons that are best learned in the great outdoors—far away from adults and school classrooms.

The book reminded me of a middle grade version of Jumanji, with an educational, learn survival skills element to it. Middle school kids will find themselves able to relate to these characters with ease. Each student brings a specific part of the school social hierarchy to life, and the book does a great job of breaking down the barriers that separate these students in an effort to survive together.

The mix of realistic and animated photos with the developing plot made the story flow smoothly, creating an engaging yet fast read that middle school children will enjoy. The author also did a great job of including educational facts about survival and the animals they encounter in the story at the end of the book, providing an interesting way to get reader’s attention and educate at the same time.

Overall the first book in this series began strong. It drew the reader in quickly, and by books end the promise of a growing series of stories makes this a truly marvelous series that parents will want to get their children. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Surviving Moose Lake by Karl Steam today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D9HNLJG/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07D9HNLJG&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Runnin Buddies: (A True Story, Vol II of V) by Josh Holliday | REVIEW

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warning: This is an adult level book and has graphic content. Drug use, as well as some triggering sexual encounters and subject matter is involved in the book. The author has made clear he does not support drug use or the actions herein, but told the story as events occurred. If situations like this trigger you, be warned.

The continuing tales of the drug fueled, crime ridden 60’s and two men who dove head first into the era come to life in author Josh Holliday’s novel Runnin Buddies: (A True Story, Vol II of V). Here is the synopsis:

The gripping story of two young adventurers just out of high school in the late 1960’s. Drugs are rampant in society in California. Follow them as they barely escape drug deals, confrontations with the police, smuggling across the International Border with Mexico, a risky trip into Arizona, and the final “Bust” at the Mexican border. Your eyes will bulge at some of the true adventures they skated though. Several times they barely escaped death. Based on true lives lived in this book II of V Books, a Series.

Once again this series continues to highlight the shocking, often deplorable actions of those fueled by sex and drugs in the 60’s. Using graphic and detailed images to highlight the stories told within, the author goes to great lengths to showcase the power of drugs and highlight the toxic, misogynistic and often heinous acts used against women in that era. In today’s day and age that sadly still occurs, but more often than not public support and the use of the internet has allowed victims to come forward, share their story and rally support to highlight these crimes. Yet in that era, when drugs and sexism ran rampant, not only were women more susceptible to these crimes, but convinced themselves it either didn’t happen or just went along with it out of fear. The author highlights these acts to show just how toxic this mentality is to have and to show how we can do better to teach future generations to respect one another and to view these acts for the crimes that they are.

The author did a great job of highlighting the way people living a life like this often miss the signs to change their ways. The book begins where the first left off, with one of the buddies in jail and the other lost without him. Yet rather than learn from his friend’s mistakes and making a change, he finds himself where many drug addicted people find themselves, and that’s back in the thick of it, tumbling further down the rabbit hole into disparity and illegal acts that they don’t even see themselves. While the book is graphic, (and on a technical note to the author, I would recommend going through the book and looking for grammatical and spelling mistakes more thoroughly. They didn’t hamper the story whatsoever but using quotations in dialogue will help separate the thoughts and make it easier to see who is speaking), the book’s importance of showing the rampant drug use and unspoken crimes committed in that era can help us to learn from the past and grow as a society, especially in this era of so much political turmoil, sexual harassment and abuse scandals, and global uncertainty.

Overall this was a fascinating, sometimes uncomfortable but wholly necessary read. The author did a wonderful job of highlighting these events and showing the way those involved in these crimes rationalize their actions so much that they believe their own lies. As the series looks to continue in book three, one can only hope the people involved in the true story this book is based upon will see “the light” and find a way to end these actions. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up Runnin Buddies: (A True Story, Vol I and II of V) by Josh Holliday today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GN4FHNC/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0

The Woman In The Window By A.J. Finn Review

Gone Girl Meets The Girl On The Train in one of 2018’s most engaging thrillers and the world’s next big read, author A.J. Finn’s novel “The Woman In The Window”. Here’s a synopsis:

Synopsis:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems. 

This book had me hooked early on. The heartbreaking story that unfolds is evenly matched with the heart pounding thrills and mystery that begins to reveal itself nearly halfway through the book. The story does a great job of showing the flaws and struggles everyone goes through in life, and sadly how the outside world looks down on those who are struggling. Yet in all her struggles, Anna Fox does an amazing job connecting with the readers and keeping you on the edge of your seat as you question everything and suspect everyone.

While this book definitely has the same engaging elements of other books like Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, it also does a remarkable job standing out on it’s own and creating a unique narrative that has so many twists and turns that you are bound to get whiplash. Often I found myself gripping the book tightly in my hands as new clues and shocking revelations would appear. By the book’s end, the final revelation will have you talking for years to come.

If Stephen King is the master of horror, then A.J. Finn is steadily making a name for himself as the master of thrillers. This novel was one of the more powerful reads of 2018, keeping me on the edge of my seat as I dove deeper into the inner workings of this small neighborhood and the various relationships we intentionally and unintentionally make in our lifetime. It also takes a very real look at the struggle those suffering from one ailment or another go through on a daily basis, and the hardship that comes with trusting oneself and what they see in this world. Who can you trust? Find out in author A.J. Finn’s novel The Woman In The Window today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062678418/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0062678418&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Author Bio:

aj_finn

#1 New York Times-bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, available in 41 languages and soon to be a major film from Fox starring Amy Adams.

https://www.facebook.com/ajfinnbooks/

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Heartsong by Annie Douglass Lima Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

What would you do if you found yourself on a new world filled with intelligent alien life, but you were now the alien? In a world of half truths and no answers, Liz must discover who she can trust and who she is when faced with the life or death circumstances that come with space travel in author Annie Douglass Lima’s YA novel, Heartsong. Here is the synopsis:

Synopsis

Two alien worlds.

One teen emissary.

No reality she can trust.

Thirteen-year-old Liz Smith has been ripped away from one foster family after another for years, so the idea of a permanent home is tantalizing. Who cares if that home is a colony sixty-five thousand light-years from Earth? The friends in her trusty e-reader will keep her company just fine on her interstellar relocation. 

But when the adventure of a lifetime turns into the disaster of the cosmos, Liz can only retreat so far into the books that have always sheltered her from loneliness and loss. Trapped in half-truths and secrets that leave her questioning reality, can one orphaned bookworm find a way to stop two races from destroying each other … and somehow write a happy ending to her own story?

If you like books about space travel, aliens, or cross-cultural transitions, you’ll love this poignant science fiction adventure. Get your copy of Heartsong now to start the journey today! 

This novel was really unique, as it explored what would happen if the human was the alien from another world, and the “aliens” had to decide whether or not the human was hostile or a friend. The author did an amazing job exploring a universal truth, which is the distrust and fear that comes from the unknown, and how sometimes opening ourselves up to new possibilities and finding common ground is the only way to avoid unnecessary violence and come together as one people. The unique differences highlighted between Liz and the alien people she comes into contact with made this an engaging, thought provoking YA adventure like no other.

The exploration of these new worlds highlights the different environments that would allow life to thrive and grow on other worlds, and puts our own history on Earth of conquering and taking what’s not ours, as well as the distrust we have for anyone or anything different than us, into a whole new light. The imagery used was breathtaking to imagine, and the emotional struggle of Liz and the people she meets is something a lot of people will be able to relate to.

Overall this was a fantastic story. Filled with heart, emotion and amazing sci-fi goodness that was kind of reminiscent of Lost in Space, this was a one of a kind novel that deserves to be read. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Annie Douglass Lima’s novel Heartsong today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DB6DKRY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07DB6DKRY&linkCode=as2&tag=jabla-20&linkId=f371eb4fbb911be6ad7fcf5b2f236cf5

Author Bio:

cape cropped

I was born in the United States of America but raised mostly in Kenya, which was my home for 14 years.  Upon returning to the US, I attended Biola University in Southern California, where I majored in elementary education with an emphasis on Intercultural Studies.  Shortly after graduating, I accepted a position as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Papua, Indonesia (a country where I had long dreamed of living).  The job lasted for a year, and not long after my return, I married my wonderful husband Floyd, who I’d met at college.  The two of us lived and worked in California for nearly five years, but when we felt the time was right, it was a joy to move overseas and start a new life in Taiwan.  We return to America every summer, but otherwise, we’ve lived in Taiwan for six wonderful years (and counting).  I love my job teaching fifth grade at Morrison Academy in the city of Taichung.

A few of my blog posts about interesting aspects of life in Taiwan:

Touchdown in Taiwan

Linguistic Misadventures at the Prawn Palace Restaurant 

Typhooning with Krosa

Christmas Dinner… Sort Of

Swine Flu!

Shui Nan Market (a Poem)

What About my Writing?

I’ve always loved writing.  Reading and writing were my favorite subjects in school, and I was seven years old when I decided I was going to be an author.  My first novel (an untitled piece of Christian science fiction) was as ridiculous as you’d expect from a seven-year-old, and it’s probably a good thing I never finished it.  But it got me excited about the idea of writing a book, and I can’t remember a time after that when I wasn’t working on some novel or other.

I was a college student when I woke up one morning after having an interesting dream and thought, That would make a great story.  I should write it down!  I did, and it turned into the first draft of what is now Prince of Alasia.  I set the manuscript aside and forgot about it for a few years, but later I brought it out again, revised it, added details, and turned the short story into a novel.  It was a dream come true when it was finally (after eleven and a half years and a lot of hard work) published as an eBook and later a paperback.

The more I worked on improving the story, the more I pictured other adventures the characters could have and other events that could happen in that setting.  In the Enemy’s Service grew out of those ideas and was published nine months after I started it.  Next came Prince of Malorn, which tells about the same events (and others) from the perspective of the neighboring kingdom. I have lots more ideas, and am currently working on two more books in the same series.  Stay tuned for excited announcements as soon as they’re done!

Besides writing, my favorite hobby is traveling.  Click here to see pictures and a brief description of my adventures in the nineteen countries I’ve had the joy of visiting so far.

Click here to read 25 random facts that most people don’t know about me.

Twitter

Google+

Facebook page (remember to “like” it to get updates about my writing, new publications, and when my books are on sale or occasionally available for free).

Goodreads 

“Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner” Now Available on iOS and Android

I am happy to share this amazing announcement from gumi INC. I am working with On Request Magazine to share this brand new press release for a recently released iOS and Android game called Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think of the game in the comments below.

“Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner” Now Available on iOS and Android

gumi Inc. brings its uniquely designed and gorgeously animated mobile strategy RPG to global audiences

SAN FRANCISCO, EUROPE, ANZ AND SOUTHEAST ASIA – September 17, 2018 – gumi Inc. today announced the global release of its Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner, its newest mobile strategy JRPG, now available for iOS and Android devices, and available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner is an original, full-fledged mobile JRPG set in the Brave Frontier extended universe. Embark on a fantastic adventure in a new branch of the story set a thousand years after Brave Frontier, leaving Grand Gaia behind. In this standalone adventure, players will meet a new cast of characters as they unravel the mysteries of a new world. This new addition to the Brave Frontier franchise was crafted with a splendid state-of-the-art HD 2D design, bringing all character artworks to life like never before.

App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brave-frontier-last-summoner/id1357888616

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.gumieurope.origins

STATE-OF-THE-ART HD 2D JRPG
Immerse yourself in the rich and vibrant fantasy world of Vask and meet charming characters brimming in style, handcrafted and animated with love to offer you the most thrilling battles ever seen in a mobile RPG!

BUILD AND LEAD AN ARMY
Engage in turn-based battles of epic proportions where up to 50 characters fight each other as you launch synchronized attacks, unleash special Brave skills and summon mighty Spirits to destroy your opponents, no matter their size!

COLLECT HUNDREDS OF CHARACTERS
Assemble a huge cast of charismatic heroes and villains ready to take arms for you as you train, specialize and evolve them to unleash their true potential, completing a vast collection of 7 different species – Humans, Giants, Undines & more!

MILLIONS OF WAYS TO PLAY
Become a master of strategy as you experiment with 9 Weapon Types, from hard-hitting to buff-empowering, enhanced by upgradable specialty skills to obliterate anything in your path – the possibilities really are endless!

PLOT TWISTS AT EVERY CORNER
Put together the puzzle pieces of the last summoner’s untold story as you witness history defining events from different points of view, all interwoven into a story of loss, courage and honor! Will you find the truth behind the bifrosts, Summoner?

Embark on the most extraordinary adventure featuring intense battles, high-end graphics, complex customization and content-rich stories! Made for JRPG fans, by JRPG super fans!

Official Website: https://www.lastsummoner.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BraveFrontierTheLastSummoner
Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/bftls_official/
Twitter profile: https://twitter.com/BFTLS
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/BraveFrontierTheLastSummoner

About gumi Inc.
Founded in 2007, gumi Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 3903) is a leading global mobile game publisher and developer headquartered in Japan, with overseas operations in France, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. The company has proven success in launching titles worldwide, such as the widely popular role-playing games Brave Frontier and THE ALCHEMIST CODE. In 2016, gumi established a Silicon Valley-based investment group with partners, called The Venture Reality Fund, which focuses on seed and early stage augmented reality and virtual reality startups. Additionally, its VR incubation subsidiaries have expanded globally, including Tokyo XR Startups, Seoul XR Startups, and Nordic XR Startups. With ongoing publishing and development projects on a wide array of mobile, AR and VR platforms, gumi aims to change the world through innovative entertainment products and services, including both original content and collaborations with popular IP. For more information, please visit http://www.gu3.co.jp/en/.

About Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner 
Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner is an original, full-fledged mobile JRPG set in the Brave Frontier extended universe. This spin-off title explores a completely new branch of the story set a thousand years after Brave Frontier, leaving Grand Gaia behind. In this standalone adventure, players will meet a new cast of characters as they unravel the mysteries of a new world. Breaking with pixel art tradition to innovate in graphical prowess, this new addition to the Brave Frontier franchise was crafted with a splendid state-of-the-art HD 2D design, bringing all character artworks to life like never before. Brave Frontier: The Last Summoner strives for keeping the essence of what made Brave Frontier such a huge hit, while introducing new ways to immerse players into a fantasy world.

(c) 2018 gumi Inc. with Brave Frontier elements (c) Alim Co., Ltd.
All Rights Reserved. Published by gumi Inc.

Runnin Buddies: (Based on a True Story, Vol I of V) by Josh Holliday | REVIEW

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Trigger Warning: This is an adult level book. Drug use, as well as some triggering sexual encounters and subject matter is involved in the book. The author has made clear he does not support drug use or the actions herein, but told the story as events occurred. If situations like this trigger you, be warned.

A tale of two young friends lost in a world of petty crimes, drugs and dangerous adventures take center stage in author Josh Holliday’s Runnin Buddies: (Based on a True Story, Vol I of V). Here’s a quick synopsis:

The gripping story of two young adventurers just out of high school in the 1960’s. Drugs are rampant in society in California. Follow them as they barely escape drug deals, confrontations with the police, smuggling across the International Border with Mexico, a risky trip into Arizona, and the final “Bust” at the Mexican border. Your eyes will bulge at some of the true adventures they skated though. Several times they barely escaped death. Based on true lives lived in this book I of V Books, a Series.

The author completely enraptured me with the tales of friends Roby and Roger. As a Southern California resident myself, I could perfectly imagine the chaos and drug fueled life these two led while living and traveling in the area. This book does an excellent job of exploring not only the affects drugs had on the two men, but the various ways this era of history produced some of the issues we still face in this world. From misogony and rampant drug use and addiction to spiking drinks, smuggling and drug deals gone wrong, this book has it all.

The one thing I would recommend for the author would be to be careful of formatting issues. At certain points the story would suddenly shift into dialogue or continue onto a new part of the story without any punctuation to indicate the shift. It’s a minor thing but some readers who focus on technical aspects may notice this throughout the story. However it wasn’t enough to take me completely out of the story. The author was spectacular at showing the lines these two crossed, and the adventures they went on in their drug fueled lives. The author also explores very dark topics that rose as a result of this era of drugs, such as sexual situations that would be appalling in our day and age, but sadly were an everyday part of life in the 60’s and beyond. The author gets inside the mind of someone so lost into this drug fueled state that they rationalize their actions at every turn, leading to some tough and very adult subject matter. It’s written with honesty and gut wrenching detail, bringing to light the mindset and era that defined the lives of so many, and the causes we as a society are now taking up to stop those same practices from repeating themselves today and in the future.

Overall this was an informative, mind blowing look into the 60’s era California drug scene and those caught in it’s addictive embrace. While the subject matter can be tough and difficult to read at times, the importance of learning from the past and exploring the roads that led to these events is important as we move forward as a society, so that we may learn to identify the problems of the past and create a brighter future. It was an engaging tale that has me interested to learn more about the adventures of these two men and how they came out the other side, and whether or not they were able to leave behind that life once and for all. As the first in a series, this book did a great job hooking the reader, and explored this era with detail and attention that it so rightfully needed. If you enjoy adult looks at historical eras and how the drug epidemic impacted the lives of so many in the past, then be sure to grab your copy of author Josh Holliday’s Runnin Buddies: (Based on a True Story, Vol I of V) today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Runnin-Buddies-Based-True-Story-ebook/dp/B07GJWZRMF/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536932978&sr=8-2&keywords=%22The+Runnin+Buddies%22

What do you do when you finish your novel? (Guest Blog Post From Author Stefan Vucak)

Here is a guest blog post from author Stefan Vucak from his website. Check this post and more on his official website here!

Lifeliners - Page 2 - V2

The last scene is written, the last piece of dialogue done … and it is finished! After slaving over the damned thing for seven months, I can sit back, heave a huge sigh of relief, and toast myself with a nice tumbler of bourbon. Another novel done and dusted.

Well, not quite.

The cursor is blinking, daring me to change a word, sentence, or paragraph. Glass in hand, I stare at the last page, replaying the book in my mind, savouring the good parts, mulling over the bits that could stand some polishing. Not just yet, my dear characters! I have to finish my bourbon first, and then do some basic maintenance.

First, I make a copy of the manuscript on my internal and external backup drive. If my primary drive packs it in, I haven’t lost anything. I wince at the number of times I read tales of woe on LinkedIn and Facebook where authors have not done ongoing backups as they write. The computer fails and … well, you know what happens: tears, gnashing of teeth, tearing of hair. Not nice. Lesson? Always do backups as you write!

With the book done, it is not ready for publishing, not by a long shot! As I write a section, I always do an edit before moving on to the next bit. After some twenty or thirty pages, I print them out and proofread the stuff. I am always amazed at things I missed editing online. The human mind is tricky, and it will sometimes fool you, automatically correcting errors your eyes pick up. Reading a printed page tends to give a more accurate world view to the brain, enabling me to correct the little bloopers that managed to avoid online obliteration.

Learning to be a stern, objective self-editor takes time and perseverance. Writers can become possessive about their creations, unwilling to admit that the product of their genius could possibly have punctuation, grammar, or word usage errors. Cut out that word or sentence? Cut off my hand instead! But cutting out that word or sentences is exactly what every writer must be prepared to do. Not only cut out that sentence, but a paragraph or page. Every piece of freshly finished writing must be viewed critically and any rough elements polished off. How much polishing is required depends on how good a writer is at writing.

It takes time to go over several hundred pages of manuscript, pen savagely attacking everything out of place, then updating the computer version. Done, ready to be released on unsuspecting readers! Again, not quite. Even though I don’t do a bad job editing my stuff, I am sure there is a little blooper or two grinning with glee that has managed to escape my eyes. To make sure the manuscript is as clean as possible, I send it off to a proofreader to kill off those wayward bloopers. When I get the thing back, sure enough, dead bloopers. After applying the corrections, I print out the whole thing again and, you guessed it, I do a final proofread. As you might expect, by the time it is all finished, I am heartily sick and tired of the book!

Anyway, I can now confidently publish the masterpiece! Confidently? There is never a perfectly finished book. After rereading some of my old novels, I invariably spot a word or phrase that should be cut or changed. I could keep polishing a novel forever, which would mean I would never get around to writing a new one. At some point, I have to let go and let the novel face critical readers and their reviews. Writing a novel is like rearing a child. From initial toddler paragraphs, to developing middle teens, and finally a finished manuscript. Once done, you have to let it make its own way in the world, maybe with a sniff or two.

The final step? Publish, of course!

Well, that is not really the final step. There is the ongoing marketing, but I have suffered enough pain for the moment. Let me recover a bit, okay?

All right, I have finished the novel, the damned thing is published, I push it along with some marketing, and then what? I don’t know about you, but I usually take some time off to clear my head and perhaps start tossing ideas for the next novel. I have several ideas on tap, and it takes a bit of time to sift through them, and nurture an idea that can be developed into a novel, or perhaps a short story. With a short story, I can get stuck into it fairly quickly. For a novel, that takes considerably more effort…and several glasses of bourbon.

You may want to check out the following article on planning a novel.

 

Author bio and links:

Stefan Vucak

Stefan Vučak has written eight Shadow Gods Saga sci-fi novels and six contemporary political drama books. He started writing science fiction while still in college, but did not get published until 2001. His Cry of Eagles won the Readers’ Favorite silver medal award, and his All the Evils was the prestigious Eric Hoffer contest finalist and Readers’ Favorite silver medal winner. Strike for Honor won the gold medal.

Stefan leveraged a successful career in the Information Technology industry, which took him to the Middle East working on cellphone systems. He applied his IT discipline to create realistic storylines for his books. Writing has been a road of discovery, helping him broaden his horizons. He also spends time as an editor and book reviewer. Stefan lives in Melbourne, Australia.

To learn more about Stefan, visit his:

Website: www.stefanvucak.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/StefanVucakAuthor

Twitter: @stefanvucak

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefan-vucak-65572360

Read more about ‘Lifeliners’ here: https://www.stefanvucak.com/books/lifeliners/