Apart from finishing up Troubleseeker and preparing for the media blitz (joking!), I gave the series a cover overhaul. I liked the overall look but found the covers still too cluttered. So, a new font and some Photoshop layer deletions later, the whole series is looking better than ever.
Listening to Bear's Den new single "Berlin" fairly loud, even though the house is dark is quiet, everyone else asleep. This is out of my hands now. Work is done. "Baby on the way, catch!" Pressed the "Publish" button, mere days before Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles will start carrying "Troubleseeker", the third (or fourth, depending how you count) installment from the Troubleshooter universe.
Always a good feeling, on the other hand a scary feeling, letting go of a story that consumed you for about half a year, many train rides, many late evenings. Your protagonists gather around you like ghosts, whispering their story to you, consuming your thoughts, inspiring you to write their story, their truth and your truth mix until the story is made of one thought, made of one truth.
The third Troubleshooter installment "Troubleseeker" is now through the month long public scouting period at Amazon's Kindle Scout program. It is a strange feeling to give your works out of your hand for a while, not thinking about it. The next book is in the works and I almost had pushed Troubleseeker out of my mind. But then the "It's over" email came in and I checked the stats for the scouting period. Look not as promising as the "Five for Forever" period.
The hours in hot & trending were about the same, but "Five" had more double the view numbers than Troubleseeker. I like the series tremendously, as it is a very versatile and creative universe for me. But the reception so far for the Troubleshooter books had been more than luke warm, and of course I need to ask myself "Will there be another step forward in the series?" Or do we call it quits and concentrate on other projects? I have ideas for at least three more Troubleshooter novels, so writing them is not a problem. But the positioning is an issue right now.
All right, let's see where Kindle Press's review will lead us. A few more days then I will know.
Not sure who to vote for in a month? Hillary or Donald? If you can't make up your mind up until now, why not vote for me instead?
Kindlescout holds a voting for the next four weeks whether Troubleseeker, my latest Troubleshooter-series book, will be published at Kindle Press or not. The more attention it will get, the better! So spread the word!!!
Some updates from the writer's life while Richard Ashcroft does his hymnic singing thing in the background.
Re-Edit: "Troubleseeker" arrived back from the editor. Back to the chain gang to embed the edits and do all the homework of rewriting as suggested. Man, I hate this part. It is so labor intensive! I did not dare to check out the Word change log to see how much I have in front of me. But it must be done! A lot of good music will be needed to get me through the nights on this one.
Cover: And then of course the cover. I had some other priorities during the last weeks, so I fell behind on the cover for "Troubleseeker". The draft is there, but not the artwork, and not the copy for the back cover. Another piece of homework for me and Mr. Photoshop.
Wattpad: I will be hitting the three-hundred mark of followers and the thirty-thousand mark of readers due to the success of "A Brilliant Plan". We are at Chapter 45, five more to go!
Starting a new book: I am still undecided which topic to tackle next. It will be a romantic comedy, that is for sure. One a little darker, and one a little lighter and geekier. My mind tells me to do the lighter one first (a sort of Sex-and-the-City meets Start-up meets Gentlemen-prefer-Blondes mashup), but my heart lies with the slightly darker story (boy and girl are in love, fall apart, live their lives and accidentally meet again). If I see my follower group on Wattpad I might also dust-off a Calendar Moonshine short story from the shelf to bring that on the market before Christmas.
Tonight marks the next milestone for T3 - the third Troubleshooter installment, called "Troubleseeker". When I write or edit, I mark each open issue with an "xxx". This marks everything from missing descriptions ("xxx What does Irene wear?"), clarifications ("xxx MI5 or MI6?"), or plot-points to be picked up ("xxx add earlier scene about threat"). Especially in first drafts I might dispense "xxx" remarks by the dozen whenever I am too lazy or too immersed in my writing.
During editing passes one and two, most "xxx" items get taken care of. But at the end of edit pass two there will always be twenty to thirty more persistent items left over. Because they require a bit of deeper research which I avoided to do during concentrated writing or editing. E.g. "xxx what model is the helicopter?" requires a check into what helicopter types are used by the Royal Air Force to transport people from A to B.. Or because the issues require another dive into creativity because the story structure is weak or complete new scenes are needed.
In the most cases, I simply delete the xxx comment after I am done, as it makes no sense to keep them. But in other situations I keep them. I might pose a question in my remarks "xxx Shouldn't Tom discover the identity of the baby instead of Burton?". To answer, I leave the comment, just re-labelled as "yyy" or "nnn" which stands for Yes or No.
But now it is done. The last "xxx" has been eradicated from the Troubleseeker manuscript! Now it is back to edit pass three. By end of August I should be able to pass it over to the editing service for the language, grammar and typo check.
PS: in case you are wondering: I am working on a German Mac. German lesson of the day: "Suchergebnis" = "Search Result"