Saturday, 27 August 2016

Dreams of the Machines (Time Rats book 2)

I've finished Time Rats 2 (I'm still doing ever more minor tweaks, and will be until it's published - and on that topic, see below).

I'm pleased with it; I like my new major character, Angel, a pleasure droid who escapes to the past hoping to start a new life passing as a human. She is pursued both by her owner and Ansel Quinn, now Chief of Intelligence at IEMA UK, who believes she is responsible for a swerve in the timeline resulting in an android apocalypse. Jace and Floss come to the rescue. I think it's an entertaining and, in passing, a thought-provoking read - but although I always say I'm the most difficult person to please, of course it's not my opinion that matters, but my readers'. 

Every book is different to write. Ice Diaries was my quickest, at six months, largely because I had a lull in jewellery work at the time. I found it hard to write, but went to work each day looking forward to the struggle. Dreams of the Machines took ten months, but before Christmas I did spend a lot of my spare time helping the offspring and fiancé with DIY in their new flat. Later I got stuck in a couple of places, and my daughter came round to supper and brainstormed with me, bless her. (When you get to the Everest bit, that was her idea.)

As usual, I did my own cover on my old edition of Adobe Photoshop I bought years ago on eBay. I tried to get more texture and atmosphere into this one while maintaining the branding. I do love making covers - it's like a treat I get for writing a novel.

I've been very happy with how Amazon's Kindle Press has promoted Time Rats 1. I feel incredibly lucky. They have sold thousands more copies than I could have done alone, and sales and reads of my other books have perked up.

I'd love it if Kindle Press published this book too, so I've put Dreams of the Machines on Kindle Scout for thirty days. You can take a look at it here. If it's not selected, I'll self-publish directly. If Amazon does want it, it'll go on sale within a couple of months after its stint on Kindle Scout.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Final tweaks to Time Rats 2

A week or two ago I listened to a BBC radio serialisation of a really good book, Traitor's Purse by Margery Allingham. It was read by Roger Allam of Cabin Pressure fame, whose voice I could listen to forever. But it wasn't satisfying.

The problem was that it's a book I know very well, so I noticed every time they'd cut a bit, and they'd cut it massively in order to reduce it to two and a half hours. And the bits they cut were all the small nuances that add subtlety and character to the book, which is why I remembered them. The plot was still there, and the main outline of hero and heroine, but much of the depth and detail was lost.

I was thinking about this in the intervals of going over Time Rats 2, tweaking. I know many writers cut when editing, but when I do it, my book gets longer. I'm adding in more of those little touches that abridgers, vile tribe, would seize on and delete. Because I think they're one of the best parts of a novel, making a book memorable and worth rereading.

(I've got this edition of the novel, minus its front cover. So much nicer than the horrid modern design featuring - wait for it - a purse. Duh.)