Something Different Coming in September

Sometimes an idea nags your noodle so much, you have to work it out before moving on to something else.

Thanks to one such idea, I’ve finished a first draft on a novella.

Yeah, it kind of surprised me too. I thought I was just sitting down to jot some points for a future story, and found myself 15,000 words later being quite content with what I’d created.

It’s called Revelation Game and will be released on September 17th. I’m not ready to drop a synopsis quite yet, but let’s say this was born out of a love for the recent anime Sword Art Online and the classic .(dot)Hack.

Because it’s a shorter work, it’ll be an Amazon exclusive and be priced at $0.99.

It’s exciting for me, because it’s written in first person in the active tense. I’ve only ever written a short story this way before, and it was interesting to stretch it to a longer work. I’m not sure if I’m sold enough on it to write a whole novel that way, but I enjoyed it for a change.

And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten Bleeding Worlds Three. In fact, my wife said to me just yesterday that she wants me to get moving so she can read it.

I’ll post more when I’ve ironed out a few more drafts and written an official blurb.

That’s it for today. I’m seriously thinking of what I can start posting on this site to make it fun and interesting. I don’t want to be one of those Indie Authors that has nothing but writing advice, especially when I feel like I’m still learning and improving myself.

Anywho, until I find that next fun topic, all the best.

JR

Does the Creator’s Opinion Matter?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a religious debate. It’s in regards to an idea I was introduced to via a video on YouTube (link will be at end of post).

Background

If you’ve followed the blog for a while, or my Twitter/Facebook/YouTube feeds, you’re probably aware that I am a fan of anime (Japanese Animation). One of my favorite series of all time is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Evangelion (Eva, or NGE, for short) was an anime in the mecha genre released by Gainax in 1997. Depending on who you talk to, it either revolutionized anime or was a narrative mess. Regardless, it has had a long and lasting impact on the fan base and particularly on the mecha genre.

The video I recently watched was in regard to the creator of Eva, Hideaki Anno, being quoted as saying he didn’t understand all the fuss. That in his opinion Eva was a simple show with a lot of symbols and such thrown in just to make it look cool. The video then asks a simple question; Even if that is what Anno thinks, does it matter?

Creators, not Interpreters

I’ve published two novels and have several more works either underway or in the planning stages. Each of them means something to me. I’ve tried to weave meanings into them that may never be apparent to anyone other than myself. But does that give me the right to tell every reader what their own interpretation and meaning is?

Assuming we release art (by which I mean all forms of expression) for more than just profit, we must be seeking an emotional response from the people who view and consume that art. Art is conversation, not lecture. If I wish to convey a specific message and it fails, I have no one to blame but myself. On the other hand, if a reader finds an entirely different message that means something to them, who am I to say they are wrong?

Our personal interpretation of art and evaluation of its merits is informed by our own experience and emotional core. Since no two people have lived an identical life, there is bound to be a difference of opinion. If anything, that prospect thrills me. I find it disheartening that any creator would devalue their own work, and their fans’ opinions, in such a way. Besides, if a work contains symbols and archetypes that are just thrown in without any thought to how they belong, the audience is generally intelligent enough to realize it.

Once my words are on paper, my job is finished. I won’t be hovering over your shoulder as you read, pointing out my intended subtext (good thing too, that would be creepy). Some will love the words, others hate them. To some, the words will speak to them, while others will be left feeling cold. That is the nature of art, and I have no place to tell someone whether they are right or wrong.

This also speaks to the cardinal rule of authors, which is to not make comments on the reviews left by readers. Certainly, if the review is nothing but personal attack, issue should be raised, but when someone presents a well thought out and balanced criticism, it shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, it should be heeded. There are many unfortunate instances where authors didn’t keep their mouths shut. Their insistence that the audience was wrong did nothing but damage their careers and alienate the very people they supposedly wanted to reach.

In Harbinger, I left a few dangling ideas and story bits. I did that because I wanted the ideas planted, but didn’t want to fully address them until Suture. These dangling ideas were probably the most cited issue people had with Harbinger. And so, in Suture, I sought to leave no dangling ideas. By the end, characters are in precarious positions, and there’s still one or two mysteries left, but they are ongoing ones, not one off sentences that are never addressed again. You the readers, who voiced your opinions, made me change mine. In the same way, Bleeding Worlds Book Three might be influenced by the response to Suture. Like I said, it’s a conversation.

So if you’re an artist, make the best art you can. But realize the moment it leaves your hands, your exclusive right to say what it means is at an end. And if you are a consumer of art, let your heart tell you what it means without fear of being “wrong.”

Talk further soon,

JR

Suture Release!

Hi everyone, welcome to Tuesday, August 6, 2013. It’s 2am in my part of the world, and I’m anxiously watching Amazon and Kobo grind away at publishing Suture.

Unfortunately, Apple is giving me some grief, so if you’re looking for the book from the Apple store, you might have to wait a few days. Same goes for Smashwords I’m afraid.

A print version will be available in the next 1-2 weeks. I’m much faster at HTML code than I am with actual layout programs, hence the delay.

However, based on sales, the vast majority of you will be looking for Suture on your Kindle. I’m happy to say that should be within the next couple hours.

Thank you all for hanging in there. I look forward to your thoughts on Suture.

All the best,

JR

Suture Release Date

Hey everyone.

Mark your calendars–Suture releases on Tuesday, August 6.

For real this time. No more delays, no more teasing.

Watch for the first chapter to be posted later this week.

Thanks again for hanging in there with all the delays. My second beta reader/editor gave the book high marks and said it was far better than Harbinger. I hope you feel the same.

All the best, and talk to you soon,

JR

Quick Update on Suture

The first draft is complete.

The first read through and edits are done.

The book is being sent out to my three beta readers tomorrow.

Yes, we’re progressing nicely to seeing this one released in July. I’m very happy with it. I hope you all enjoy it as well.

Talk to you soon,

JR

PS, Here’s the official book description…

suture-cover-thumbSuture. An organization created by immortals who once walked the Earth as Gods. A place containing eras worth of secret agendas.

Gwynn joins believing he will learn about his abilities, assisting to protect the world from the Veil.

Instead, he finds an ancient evil stalking him. A face from his past shows up in an unexpected place. And ghosts that prove to be very much alive.

Faith, friendship, family. All are tested within Suture.

Book Two of The Bleeding Worlds Series

Suture Cover Reveal – and a new Harbinger cover to match

Hello everyone. So I’m managing to keep my promise and returning with further news regarding Suture, The Bleeding Worlds Book Two.

The specific news today is to reveal the cover for Suture.

While I enjoy the cover Harbinger has sported for the past eight months, writing Suture made me want a change. I hesitated to do it, but I wanted new covers that would feature the series title more. So my cover designer and I went back to the drawing board and came up with the following….

harbinger-new-small-res

And now, for the cover of Suture…

suture-cover-web-res

The male models are images by GraphicPAStock http://graphicpastock.deviantart.com

All other photography and editing by Carolyn Macpherson.

Hope you all like the new covers. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

An Update – Where is the Sequel?

Hello everyone. I’m sorry for being away so long. Truth is, I’ve just been pouring every bit of creative writing energy I have into writing Harbinger’s sequel, Suture. However, I visited my Amazon page tonight, and saw that someone had asked about an update regarding Suture. Funny enough, Amazon won’t let me post directly to that thread because I haven’t purchased the book, so I thought I’d answer here and hopefully it will be found by the person wondering.

Back in January, I mentioned I was about a third of the way through Suture. By March, I’d completed half the book. Then, about mid-March, I threw it all out.

It’s a daunting task to look at 35,000 words and decide that only a tenth might survive. But after reading some of the comments left on Harbinger, and weighing my own feelings, I decided it was the right thing to do. So I started over.

Currently, I’m working on the last two chapters. I’m very pleased by how this new draft has worked out. My hope is to have a completed first draft by the end of the week. Then edits, then release.

The good news is I’m a much faster editor than I am when writing the first draft. Giving ideas shape is so much harder than making the shapes slightly prettier.

So my goal is to have Suture released by July.

I know, I had originally said Spring. At that time, I didn’t know I’d be starting over so late in the season.

It thrills me that people are still picking up Harbinger, and based on comments and ratings, a number of you are enjoying it. Right now, I feel confident that if you enjoyed Harbinger, you’ll find more to love in Suture.

Thank you so much for hanging in there. In the next week I will have more news, including the cover reveal.

All the best, and talk to you soon (I promise).

JR