Bridgefinders Cover

Bridgefinders updates

Bridgefinders

Bridgefinders updates

Bridgefinders has been out for a little over a month now, so I wanted to do an update post on where everything is with the first book in the Echo Worlds series. It’s been an interesting road so far, learned a HUGE amount from the release of this book, stuff I’ll keep using and doing moving forward.

So far Bridgefinders has been an ‘OK’ (for me) seller. Not that I got into writing to make money, I actually enjoy just making up and telling the stories, but hey, some financial reward is nice, right? I say it’s been an ‘OK’ seller as it’s sold more than my other books, that that’s not saying much. *grin*

  1. Marketing is a pain. Everyone said it was.. and you know, they are right. Figuring out what works for YOU is hard. Period. The key word there is YOU. Some writers are better at You Tube and Periscope than others. Some are masters of the blog and Facebook, some have large budgets to blow on advertising and know how to craft a great hook. I’m learning in this area. I do have, thanks to the very talented @creativ_writer team some very nice marketing mock-ups, just don’t know where to use them! (One is at the top of this post.)
  2. Reviews are still hard to come by. I’ve gotten 6 reviews so far on Bridgefinders, I’m still hunting for more.
  3. Audio books are cool. For the first time I had a book made into an audio book via acx.com. While the process was long, I’m happy with it. I know the audio book is on Amazon and Audible, not sure if it’s on iTunes yet, anyone care to check and let me know? 😀
  4. I need to be more patient. (Badly.)

 

I’m working away on the sequel to Bridgefinders, tentatively titled ‘Bridgebreaker’ at the time I’m writing this. The story has taken an interesting twist, one I didn’t see coming. Remember I’m a ‘Gardener’ I don’t outline really. I plant the idea and just let it go where it takes me. Which I know sounds kind of weird, but that’s how I do it. As a result it’s taken me to a very interesting place.

As far as feedback on Bridgefinders goes.. some good, some bad.

It seems the biggest complaint is that the book is ‘too straightforward’ that there isn’t an emotional connection with the characters. Point taken, maybe I should have fleshed out the cast a bit more. For those who feel that way, I think you’ll be happy with the second book. I once told someone I was approaching this series with a ‘Star Wars’ mentality. Meaning, the first book was straightforward good guys win kinda thing. The second book is more complex, more conflict, you learn a great deal more about who these people are. We will see where it goes after this one is done. I don’t have a timeline for when it will be finished, I’m just writing it and moving forward day by day. I will say my goal is to put out 2-3 books a year. So Bridgebreaker will come out before the end of the year, but when exactly is unknown.

So that’s where things sit at the moment.

 

 

Bridgefinders First Draft DONE!

I’m very happy to say I’ve finished my first draft of my latest WIP, Bridgefinders. I’m going to take this as a good sign, but I wrote 55,150 words in a little over one month in time, making this the fastest draft I’ve written so far. Making me even more happy was the fact that I didn’t write every day. As I’ve mentioned before I’m a daytime writer. I don’t do night writing well, at least most of the time. I write best in that 9 am to 11 am time frame. I wish I knew why, but that seems to be my sweet spot for output. Bridgefinders was an easy write pretty much from start to finish for me, a refreshing change after the slog my last book became, were writing 300 words was painful.

Even better, my experiment with how I was writing the protagonist and antagonist(s) worked pretty well for me. I really felt like I needed to be in a separate headspace to write some of the antagonist(s) parts. I’d listen to some of Green Day’s American Idiot, or some old school Metallica, a bit to much coffee and then write those parts. And overall I’m really happy with how that turned out.

So what’s next for Bridgefinders?

So glad you asked! (Well you didn’t really, but I’m going to tell you.)

I’ve got 5 Alpha readers who have the draft now, one of these kind souls has already given me feedback. I’m also working with an actual editor this time around who also has the draft. I’m also doing some re-reading of the draft and tweaking things here and there on my own, but no large wholesale revisions yet. I’ve asked all my Alpha readers to please give me feedback in a two week time frame along with a list of things I’d really like to hear from them on. Examples include, what were their least favorite scenes, thoughts on the Protagonist and the Antagonist(s), etc.

With that feedback, and the feedback from the Editor I’ll do a full scale rework. Then I’ll resend to my editor, get a copy edit done, and that will be that. Of course I still need to find a good cover for Bridgefinders both eBook and Print. CreateSpace print.

So things are moving along. I will say I feel better about Bridgefinders than anything else I’ve written. And I’m pretty hard on myself when it comes to things like this.

The only other things on tap are:

  1. 1. Trying to work out a Marketing plan for Bridgefinders
  2. 2. Debating doing a vlog on Mind Mapping (or ‘Why I don’t do outlines.’)

Not sure on that second item, debating it for now.

 

What's going on?

An Experiment

fountain_pen_writing_paper_with_black_ink_313098

So I’ve been working on my new book, Bridgefinders for about two weeks now. It’s going quite well, and I’m happy with the flow and the story so far. But I’ve been mulling over in my head how I’m going to write the antagonist side of things. See in this book the protagonist and the antagonist are almost two sides of the same coin. There are a lot of links between them, though it’s not readily apparent at first. In fact the antagonist who I’ll call “S” for this post, has a VERY different mindset that the protagonist, who I’ll call “C”.  “S”comes from a different place both mentally and physically. And I think I’m going to find my normal method of linear writing hard to do with these two characters. So as an experiment I’m going to do the following:

  1. Totally write the story strictly from the point of view of “C”.  Get that whole story arc done, regardless of length.
  2. Then start a totally new story strictly from the point of view of “S”. Get that whole story arc done, regardless of length.
  3. Merge them. <—This may be kind of hard.

 

The main reason for this experiment is that I think it’s a disservice to the “S” character who I really like a lot to make them a bit player in the story of “C”. The character deserves more. And as they are very different, I’m not sure I can flip between the two and do it well. I need to inhabit the “S” character’s personality and background more than in a superficial way. The main downside to this is going to be the length of time it takes. It’s not going to be fast, but I think it’s going to be worth it.

I’m also going to go ahead and THIS time pay for an editor. I have someone in mind, and I think it will work out well. I’m debating doing something on 99designs for the cover art, just depends on the $$$.

So I’ll update this blog again with updates on how it’s going. Should be interesting at least!

 

–Josh

 

First 1500 words of Bridgefinders

So I’ve decided to post the first 1500 words of something I just started working on. Working title of “Bridgefinders” it’s a fantasy novel set in modern times, or as I was educated recently by someone, it’s “Urban Fantasy” which honestly I didn’t know was a thing. But here without further ado, is the first 1500 words of Bridgefinders. Read, think about, and if you like it, let me know!

(Note: This is ROUGH draft quality, so ..well.. you know.)

 

Bridgefinders

 

 

“Look Mark, it’s a system. Just a system, like any other system. I don’t need to know what each part does in detail.” Cendan was getting louder on the phone. “Just LISTEN, do what I say, and we will be done with this call in an hour.” One hour later to the minute, Cendan hung up the phone with a loud sigh. Performance up eleven percent, and one paycheck richer.

Cendan felt a bit burned out though. He found dealing with people hard. They weren’t predictable, and they didn’t always behave in logical and predictable ways. Mechanical systems, electronic systems, those were easy. Looking out the window of his home office, Cendan looked at the lush garden below. Heck even a garden was a system. Plants were the easiest living thing to deal with for him. They didn’t throw him curveballs on wants and needs. As a result, he actually rather liked gardening.

Cendan billed himself as a “System Management and Performance Consultant” a fancy sounding title that made the business types nearly giddy. Truth be told it was a good and fairly lucrative carrier. Companies paid him to make systems, regardless of what it was, run better, faster and more efficient. And he was good at it, very good.

Glancing at his cell phone he noted the time, and the fact that he’d had no phone calls or texts in three days. He used this cell for personal things, not work, and it served as a reminder that he wasn’t getting anywhere with trying to have some sort of social or romantic life. It’s not that he didn’t try, he did, and hard. But there always seemed to be a disconnection between what he thought he should be doing, and what the other person wanted him to be doing.

Cendan shook himself and decided to go for a run. Clear his head, then a nice cold shower to really feel refreshed. A small smile crossed his face at the thought. Some dinner, maybe a movie, then sleep. He felt good about the overall plan for rest of the day. Quickly changing, he left his apartment and locked up, jogging away his troubles.

A small shape appeared on his table, and grew to the size of a small dog before stopping. A gnarled figure, with large eyes with blood red irises and a nose too large for its face. It’s most distinguishing feature being the large collection of rings, and metal trinkets strong around its neck on a nearly black with dirt string.

*sniff, sniff* the figure smelled the air, searching for what it had come to find out. A tongue, grey pink and long appeared to lick the air. It snuffled and grunted as it jumped off the table and onto the floor. “Grellnot find another one. Grellnot find another one!” The figure danced side to side, the necklace jangling back and forth.

A long sniff and a pause the creature tapped his head. “Grellnot find one who doesn’t KNOW. No keepsakes for Grellnot here. SHE will want him gone before he knows.” The figure sat, it seemed sad now, though its heavy breathing and grunting still gave it an air of danger. “Unless SHE doesn’t know. If they find him, and make him KNOW, then Grellnot gets what he wants, and SHE gets what SHE wants.” A grin split its dirty lined face, showing a row of sharp even teeth, even as it’s tongue licked them.

“Yes… If Grellnot strikes now, only SHE gets to be happy. Not Grellnot. So Grellnot will wait, wait till he KNOWS, then Grellnot gets a shiny for his collection.” The creature stroked the necklace, its motley assortment of rings and keys, watches and other even stranger metal objects softly clinking in the dark kitchen. “Grellnot loves his collection. All those FINDERS pretty toys. All those DELICIOUS meals. Grellnot remembers them ALL.”

The creature started suddenly, its ears before flat against its stringy hair sprung erect, quivering. “Grellnot hears a child…” Its face took on a cast of malice. “Grellnot LOVES to scare children, delicious fear.” And with a pop the creature was gone, leaving only the faint feeling that something not right, something outside this world had been there.

Cendan was he felt one of the few people who understood the interconnection of things. As he ran his mind would grab random objects, and place them in the system of the world, and how they connected to other things around him. He had once tried to explain this to someone who didn’t have the same mindset, they had given him a look of utter confusion and found someone else to talk to.

The main issue with the world to Cendan was that the vast majority of people in the world didn’t understand their connections to it, and how one action causes other actions, and down the line. So many people thought of themselves as an island, self-contained and not connected, not beholden to the rest of the planet for any reason. Cendan knew that was egotistic tripe, but it was depressingly common.

A deep sigh and he decided to sort of shutdown his mind, loose himself in the steady rhythm of his steps as he ran. Steady and regular beats, counting out the distance. This claimed him greatly, when the world was so disorganized and regrettably stupid. He had mostly lost himself to it, when turning the corner near his home, he was presented with the sight of several police cars and an ambulance at the house across from his.

As he looked an officer approached him. “Sir? Do you live in the area?” The man’s badge read his name as Harlan.

“Yes, Officer Harlan? I live right there in fact.” Cendan gestured towards his place, slowly running in place as he talked. “What is going on?”

Officer Harlan glanced over at Cendans house. “Your name sir?”

“Cendan Key.” He replied.

“Mr. Key, do have a pet? Any animals?” The Officer seemed irritated with him, and Cendan wondered why. Maybe the running in place? Cendan then thought about the question. Animals? “No Officer. I do not. Why?”

“How long have you been out running Mr. Key? Hour? Thirty minutes?” The officer’s face betrayed his annoyance. Cendan decided to stop moving, and saw an immediate reaction towards a more relaxed persona.

“One hour Officer.” Cendan wanted to ask a follow up, but found himself unsure if this would annoy the officer more. People, so hard to deal with he thought to himself again.

“See any wild animals? Feral dogs or cats?” The Officer paused. “Little girl who lives across the street got bit by something, and something not small.”

Cendan raised an eyebrow at this. He didn’t really know the family across the street. He was on nodding terms, half waves but that was it. He interacted with all his neighbors that way. He knew however they had a little girl, no more than seven or eight. Wild animal attacks here? Unusual.

“No Officer, I didn’t see anything like that.” Cendan paused. “Haven’t seen any wild or feral animals in this neighborhood ever actually.”

At that moment the doors to the house where the girl lived opened as the Paramedics carried the little girl out of the house and into the ambulance. Cendan could see her right arm was bandaged up, but blood was starting to seep through.

“It was a little man! Not an animal! A little scary man!” The girl yelled to her frantic looking mother. Cendan couldn’t hear more as the girl was placed in the ambulance and followed by her parent and the doors closing behind them. Soon the ambulance took off with a wail of a siren fading quickly as it moved out of sight.

“Kids. Going to make it hard to find this animal if we can’t even get a good description of it.” Officer Harlan shook his head. “Look, Mr. Key, if you do see a wild animal, feral animal, just let us know ok? Call us or animal control ok? Don’t try to interact with it or capture it yourself. Don’t need anyone else getting bit.”

Cendan just nodded. Dealing with a wild animal wasn’t anywhere he felt comfortable. But why had that girl been screaming that it was a little man?

“Officer? Where was the girl when she got bit?” Cendan asked curious. “Just so I know where to stay away from.”

The Officer paused a moment. “That is the only weird thing. In her house apparently. We searched it high and low, and can’t find it though. Must have escaped somehow.”

Cendan looked at the house in question. How could that happen? It made the most sense of course, logically. But something bothered him on a deeper level, and he couldn’t quite put a finger on it.

Grellnot wiped his face. Tasty screams, tasty blood. Watching from the upper branch of a tree Grellnot smiled. “Stupid men, not looking up. Stupid stupid men thinking Grellnot is an animal. Grellnot is far more than an animal.”

Grellnot tracked the one he found as the man entered his own house. Soon THEY would find him and make him ready. Grellnot would feast then, and SHE would get one step closer to freeing them all.

So there, the first 1500 Words of Bridgefinders! Hope you like it so far…. 🙂